What makes a good shower?


While on my road trip in England, I stayed with lots of friends and family as well as a few hotels.  This meant I had a shower in a different place each day (some good, some better).  While standing under one such stream of water, I pondered – what makes a good shower?

I thought about what I’d enjoyed and what had annoyed resulting in my set of shower quality criteria:

  1. Water pressure
  2. Temperature regulation
  3. Width of water jet
  4. Size of shower surround
  5. Height of shower head
  6. Volume of hot water available/size of hot water tank

I was going to rate my hosts by their shower and suggested it to one of them.  He immediately hid his face in his hands saying “don’t do that, I’ll be really low down on the scale”.  As it happens, his shower scored very well on points 1 and 5 above and but a close second-last on point 6.  I don’t want to discuss my personal hosts shower facilities in any more detail, however include shower reviews in any TripAdvisor or LateRooms.com hotel review.

Two public shower facilities are worth a positive mention here, one in Bath Spa, the other in Galveston, Texas.  The two-sided showers in the Minerva Baths in the Thermae Bath Spa are cool, you don’t know which way to face while under them.  Unfortunately they lacked adequate pressure to top the list (that may be because you are facing the water jet in 2 out of 4 orientations).  The best plumbed-in shower I have experienced in ANY of my travels were the showers in the spa of the Hotel Galvez in Galveston.  It’s worth going back there just for the showers.  Honest.

Have I missed any vital criteria and what is the best (worst) place you’ve ever had a shower?



  1. Well we find in our travels that one thing that marks showers down is when the lever for ‘turning’ it on is in a position to get knocked which can leave you without water or change that lovely temperature you’ve taken time to adjust. The shower cabinet needs to be big enough. Pip

  2. The controls are very important. First of all they should be high enough so that you don’t need to bend down as with bathtub shower attachments.

    The volume of water between the tap and the shower head should be minimal so as to minmise the lag between temperature adjustments and scalding or freezing you. You can now get remote controllers that are situated in the showerhead but may be operated from outside the cabinet. Thus you can set the temperature without having to stand in it.

    Our guest shower (which you have missed) has only one knob – temperature. The volume is fixed and is very adequate.

    Shower curtains are out. Glass doors and panels get lime encrusted very quickly. Acrylic are flimsy and get easily scratched. I recommend polycarbonate. They don’t get scratched and resit lime buildup.

    Door seals are also very important – I have yet to find the perfect answer.

    Sorry if you will have to re-assess all yor past samples.


    1. if your guest shower was on my route, I would have loved to sample it and let you know whether the water volume is adequate (although I have said I won’t rate showers in homes, just in hotels!). I did have a neutral (possibly positive?) experience with a shower curtain, where the rail was bowed outwards, so I won’t dismiss them completely. Fortunately as a traveller, I focus on the use not the cleaning or challenging seals…

      I think the length of the hose which affects the amount of cold water at the beginning is a fundamental omission on my part, as the blast of freezing water this morning also reminded me!

      Point 8. amount of cold water to be endured before the hot arrives

  3. My head was in my hands in relation to the ‘new’ guest shower, because it is in pieces hanging off the wall. There can be many criticisms of the old one, particularly aesthetically (how about the tiling?!), but bucketloads of water, albeit for a short time whilst my boiler’s broken, overcomes its other failings 🙂

    1. aesthetics aren’t that relevant to me, but if my readers consider it important:

      9. Aesthetics of tiling/view from the shower

  4. Remind yourself not to visit us. The boys won’t use the visitor’s shower, they pile into our en-suite which used mains (high) pressure as opposed to the visitor’s which uses gravity (low) pressure. Perhaps more important than the view out, is the view in. Our family bathroom has just had a total makeover. The shower surround is now much roomier,but is totally see through. I’m glad we went for obscurity level 4 in our replacement window!

    1. And there I was thinking you overlooked empty fields providing a great view from all rooms in the house…

  5. Pingback: A Pertinent Riot

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.