Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: May 15, 2021
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The advancements made in smart home technology have seen modern showers becoming digitized and with this, the chance for consumers to enjoy a luxurious shower experience. The smart shower system allows you to automatically and precisely set the temperature of your shower water. It also eliminates the waiting period usually experienced with regular showers, where you have to wait minutes for the water to heat up once you turn on the shower. The best smart shower not only gives you a luxurious experience but also cuts back on shower water wastage.
For this review, we looked at the features that are important in a smart shower system, what to look for, and how to choose between any two models. Some main features we’ve looked at in detail include the valve connection, the temperature control, the material, display, and temperature control. We analyze the importance of each and why it matters.
We took the time to try different smart showers and have a first-hand experience of how they operate. We spent a few months comparing different models and noting the differences and similarities between each. This review is a comprehensive outline of what we discovered. We’ve included all the information in an easy-to-follow structure, with a comparison table, in-detail review of each smart shower model, and a buying guide. We trust this information will enlighten you on how to go about choosing a smart shower system and help you make a good purchasing decision.
If you have a Smart home, then the Moen S3102 is an excellent pick as a Smart shower option.
If you are looking for luxury, then you can rest assured that this shower offers you just that. The model we reviewed is the four outlet version. While this shower comes in at a rather steep price, it comes with features that make it quite worth it. You can also get models that are less expensive; they come with a shower head and an extra nozzle.
Despite the price, this unit provides connectivity and capabilities that elevate it above most other options on the market.
When you buy the shower, you get the digital controller and valve. These are quite versatile and work on your previous shower setup.
The manufacturer says installation is easy and straightforward, and we agree; as long as you have DIY skills. If you are not a handy person, you might find it slightly difficult to install.
This unit offers you precise temperature control. It gives you the ability to choose and maintain the shower temperature that you want.
As a Smart option, it comes with an app that you use to control the settings. The app is well designed and comes with plenty of presets. Thus different people can configure settings that they want. The app allows you to start up the shower and pause water flow too.
The Moen U Digital Shower Controller is available in a terra beige color and finish. It’s a two-outlet unit that comes complete with a valve and soft control buttons for the two outlets. It’s easy to operate and gives you full control over the temperature, preset options, and the choice to power it on or off. You’ll be able to see your selected temperature or preset option on the accompanying LCD screen, which is outlet powered and Wi-Fi connected for ease in connecting with your devices.
You can start or stop the shower remotely using the U by Moen apps available for iOS and Android or Amazon’s Alexa. Moen says it also works with Google Assistant. This means you can start the shower while finishing up on another task in another room, and when you’re ready to take a shower, your water will be all ready and waiting. Choose whether to operate the smart shower by voice command, through the app, or via the control panel. All three work great.
Moen offers a 5-year limited warranty, which includes free replacement parts and service. As a homeowner, you also benefit from Moen’s lifetime limited warranty for as long as you own the house in which you’ve installed the shower system.
Why did it make our list?
Can be operated via the control panel, phone app, or voice
Works with both Android and iOS AI assistants, and Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant
What is not ideal about it?
Sometimes you may need to hit the control buttons twice to get a response
The Blue Ocean SPA392M is an ultra modern smart shower panel tower with eight, adjustable and multifunctional nozzles. It includes a rainfall (overhead) shower, handheld shower and tub spout. Even if you install it in a walk-in shower, you’ll find the tub spout useful in case you need to fill buckets. The overhead shower and hand shower won’t operate simultaneously; use one or the other. The manufacturer has also designed the functions to operate independently, ensuring that the water pressure stays optimal throughout the duration you use the shower.
The temperature display unit is powered by AA battery, with the battery slot located at the bottom of the tower for easy access in case of battery replacement. You can change the body jets from jet to mist by turning the knob. The mist function gives a rejuvenating steam shower. Turn the knob again to revert to a jet spray.
The shower panel tower is constructed from aluminum alloy and is sturdy. If you’re wondering if this will complement your bathroom, we think it will. It features a mirrored front and brushed aluminum on the asides, a look that goes well with any bathroom.
This shower tower comes with everything you need to install it on the wall, but does not include installation instructions. Good thing is it comes largely ready to use and only requires you to hook the hot and cold connections and then mount it on the wall, where the hot and cold water hose connects directly to the water pipe fitting.
The KOHLER K-527-0 supports both single and dual-outlet applications. You can use it in both the shower and bath, or you can use with either the bath or the shower. This single or dual operation is regulated by a digital thermostatic valve, with KOHLER giving options for two-outlet and 3-outlet valves. With the two-outlet valve, you can add two extra components, while the three-outlet valve gives room for three additional components. One of the best things about this shower system is that you can run all your components at the same time if you like. For example, the rain head, the shower head and the body spray at once.
It offers a wide range of customization, and you can set the timer, change the temperature and switch to a different type of spray with the click of a button. There’s also a touch button-operated integrated diverter, which toggles between water outlets and can run them simultaneously or separately. Other useful features include the selectable water-saving feature, selectable outlet delivery, and the option to set to Celsius or Fahrenheit. For added safety, KOHLER includes a high-temperature limit setting, which means no one will, accidentally or otherwise, set the temperature to a hazard level.
The K-527-0 comes in four finish options: black, white, polished chrome, and polished nickel, making it easy to choose a color and finish that’s perfect for your bathroom.
This shower comes with a 5-year warranty.
What stands out?
Highly-responsive, one-touch control buttons
Available in four finish options
High temperature limit setting
Can run multiple functions at once
Highly-responsive, one-touch control
What cons did we manage to find?
Has no settings to dim or turn off the back light, which came seem glaring when using dimmed bathroom lighting
Moen TS3415, a modern digital shower control unit, has single spray functionality and comes in a lovely chrome finish. Connect it to the control valve and plug the valve to a 110V outlet. The valve will then enable water flow to the output line and to your showerhead. Now, you’ll be able to control the flow rate and temperature of the water using the TS3415, which gives you four presets for both flow rate and temperature. An extra advantage with this control unit is that it is fully remote. You don’t have to keep it in the bathroom to operate it. You can have it in the bedroom, kitchen, or elsewhere in the house and use it to turn on the shower and set your water temperature.
This control unit uses the M-PACT Common Valve System from Moen, an innovative technology which fixes and removes fixtures by twisting from the top to remove and vice versa, without interfering with the plumbing. This means even if this shower control develops problems down the line, you’ll be able to replace the knobs without taking the whole thing apart.
Moen offers a 5-year warranty on the digital components and a limited lifetime warranty on the trim parts. Its biggest downside is that it does not come with the valve. You have to buy the valve and any trim parts required separately.
The Ello & Allo Stainless Steel Shower Panel is a wall-mounting shower panel tower system constructed from stainless steel for longevity and finished in brushed nickel for a classic silver look. It includes a waterfall shower head, rainfall shower head, funky square handheld shower, a horizontal massage spray with two settings, and a water spout.
This diverse range of settings and shower variables means you can customize it any way you like and create a luxurious shower experience every time you walk into the shower. And while you can’t turn all features on at the same time, you can use two simultaneously. That means you can turn on the rainfall head shower and one of the body jet sprays or use the handheld shower and the rain shower head.
It includes blue LED lighting on the rainfall and waterfall shower heads and a temperature control knob, with a temperature display that shows the set temperature.
This unit comes with a two-year limited warranty on parts. You may fiddle a bit with the installation if installing it yourself because it doesn’t come with installation instructions. Calling in a plumber to install it for you would make things easy.
What are its best features?
Beautiful design with classy brushed nickel finish
Wide range of shower variables
Supports dual function
Includes a 2-year limited warranty
What could be improved?
Prone to water spots
Slightly flawed design forces you to place it really high for taller people to shower with ease
Shower panel is too close to the tower, forcing you to stand uncomfortably close to the tower
The KOHLER K-9245-CP brings the magic of a music shower head to life in your bathroom. This simple and easy to use, yet classy little showerhead is designed to connect with any Bluetooth device, making sure you bring your music or other audio content with you to the bathroom.
It comes with a wireless speaker that you can attach and detach to the shower head with ease. The speaker is loud and, best of all, can be used outside the shower. Place it anywhere in the house, use it in the car, or take it with you when spending time in the outdoors. Should you wish to increase the volume, do so through the device from which you’re playing the audio. The speaker responds well and instantly to volume changes. Also included is a built-in rechargeable battery with 7-hours of runtime and a micro USB charging cable.
The showerhead has 60 angled nozzles that deliver a wide-reaching, full-coverage spray. The water flows at a rate of 2.6 gallons per minute (gpm). But there’s a water-saving option that supports a 2.0 gpm rate, allowing you to save water with every shower.
KOHLER gives a lifetime limited warranty on the showerhead and a 1-year warranty on the speaker.
Why did it make our list?
Comes with a detachable, wireless speaker
Includes micro USB charging cable
Speaker available in four colors
Syncs with Bluetooth-enabled devices, up to 32 feet away
The JiaYouJia Shower comes with an adjustable, 16-inch showerhead and mounts to the wall. It uses a 12-inch thermostatic shower valve with scald protection. All the valves and other hardware you need to mount it are included in the package, so you won’t be buying any accessories separately. However, do not attempt installation of the system unless you’re a professional plumber as it is a complex system and requires professional installation.
It has three handles and six body sprays. And while you can only use either the rain head or hand shower at a time, you can use either of them with the jets. The unit itself – from the showerhead to the hand shower – is constructed from solid brass and finished in chrome, so it is both strong and sleek; it’ll blend right in with modern bathroom decor and fittings.
It’s an easy-to-use unit, and the faucet changes color according to the water temperature, so in case you’re not sure about your water temperature, you can count on the faucet to alert you. When the water temperature is between 1 and 30 degrees, the blue LED goes off. Between 30 and 40 degrees, it turns green LED; between 41 and 50 degrees, it turns red; and between 50 and 100 degrees, you get a flashing red LED.
The manufacturer gives a 10-year warranty on both parts and workmanship.
The AKDY 5333D shower panel is a wall-mounting shower system with a rainfall shower head, handheld shower, massage spray jet nozzles, and a tub filler. It’s a single outlet system and you can only use one function at a time.
The manufacturer says it requires a minimum of 29 psi and a maximum of 72.7 psi, and though it offers a commendable range of shower options, the water pressure isn’t strong enough for an invigorating shower experience. If using the jet sprays, for example, you need to stay close to the jet to experience the effect of the water on your body. If you’re farther away, you may not feel it at all.
All in all, it is a well-designed system made from aluminum, tempered glass, and stainless steel. LED technology is integrated in the shower heads to make your shower experience one of a kind. The LED light changes in color as the temperature of the water changes, turning from blue to red as the temperature rises.
AKDY gives a 1-year limited warranty on parts only.
What makes it stand out?
Offers a wide choice of shower options and functions.
Incorporates LED lighting
1-year limited warranty on parts
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Water pressure is not as strong as most people would prefer
You have to stay close to the jets to feel the light massaging effect of the water
Supports only one function at a time
Things to Consider
The right smart shower system can enhance your shower experience in unimaginable ways. It’s only after you get one of these that you realize what you’d been missing. Imagining a fun, luxurious, water and energy-saving shower experience is the easy part. Finding the shower system which delivers all these while matching your personal shower preferences calls for you to carry out a conscientious search. And to do so, you need to know what to look for, the deal-breakers, and what you can compromise on. This buying guide sheds light on this.
Beyond the progress – why do you need a smart shower system
The most obvious reason for wanting a smart shower system for many of us would be the enhanced efficiency and convenience it gives.
Unlike traditional mixer showers which require you to manually set your shower water to your desired temperature using knobs, the smart shower allows you to do so digitally, either using a remote control or by simply inputting the desired water temperature into the shower display unit. The smart shower processor then mixes up the water in a behind-the-scenes sort of way, and immediately you step in the shower panel, your water is ready and at just the right temperature.
This process may sound lengthy and complex, but it all happens within milliseconds. Because everything is digitally synchronized, the water temperature is adjusted instantly in the processor. There is no waiting period. With traditional shower heads, you have to give the system a couple of minutes for the water to heat up, which means letting the cold water flow for a few minutes and then getting inside the bathtub or under the shower when the water gets warmer. Not so with these smart shower systems.
If you’ve been looking for ways to use water efficiently in your home, a smart shower will help. These units keep wastage of water to a minimum as the water flows only when you’re in the shower and stops when you step out. Statistics from the EPA show that approximately 20%, or 200 billion gallons, of the water coming out of shower heads in the US goes to waste each year. If more people swapped their regular showers for smart showers, this number would come down drastically. The EPA says by replacing older shower heads with modern, WaterSense compliant ones, each family could save 2,700 gallons of water or more each year. The environment agency also says you would reduce your electricity and water bills by at least $70 if you do so. Conserving water conserves the environment and, coupled with a lower energy bill, is a compelling reason to consider a smart shower unit.
If you opt for a model with remote control, you’ll be able to set your shower temperature while still in bed. Many models can be remotely controlled from a distance of 10 meters or more.
Smart showers are aesthetically designed to complement any modern bathroom. Adding one to your bathroom is a style statement all on its own and gives your bathroom a neat look.
Are shower systems hard to install?
Yes and no. Here is why.
Most of the simpler smart systems can be installed without the input of a professional plumber. Usually, these are designs that don’t need to be plugged into the plumbing system and will only need you to connect the hot/cold cable to the water pipe. Some models, however, are a lot more complex and need to be installed by a plumber. These almost always come with detailed instructions and an advisory to use a professional plumber for the installation. In most cases, these models have to be integrally connected to the piping and plumbing system.
Tips on improving your showering
If you have trouble falling asleep, taking a warm shower an hour or two before bed may help improve the situation. When you go bed, the body temperature falls as the body prepares to go into rest mode. Taking a warm or hot shower raises the body temperature. At the end of the shower, the body temperature falls, and this may help you fall asleep faster.
Using a showerhead with lights, not the bright variety but subdued LED lighting, can also create a relaxing environment that optimizes your body for sleep. Making this a habit that becomes part of your bedtime routine could train the body to begin preparing for sleep after your evening shower.
You can also play soft, relaxing music in a low volume while in the shower to slowly get your body in the mood for sleep. Rather than installing a music system, in the bathroom, using a music shower head will do the trick.
Features to consider while buying a smart shower system
Different materials are used for the shower panel, faucets and valves. Generally, metals are used to make the main parts, and these are given a corrosion free finish to preserve their flawless look in the face of constant contact with water. Popular finishes included brushed nickel, brushed chrome, polished nickel, polished chrome, copper, polished brass or oil-rubbed bronze.
Materials used to make the shower panel and shower head range from stainless steel to aluminum alloys and brass. For the handheld shower, materials range from brass to stainless steel and engineering grade plastics.
For the faucets, brass and chrome-plated finish are commonly used.
This is mostly an LCD screen where the water temperature is displayed. When you adjust the temperature, the new temperature will show on the display. Having a display is important because you would know when you’ve absent-mindedly set a temperature that is too low or too high and adjust accordingly.
A good smart shower system allows you to control the water temperature as you like and supports a wide temperature range to make this possible. With many digital shower systems, you can set any temperature between 0 and 120 degrees F. As a safety precaution, some systems will automatically shut off or revert to the allowed maximum temperature when you attempt to increase the temperature further.
Having a powerful water jet is key to having a great shower experience. This requires sufficient water pressure to push out the water with sufficient force. The shower head must also have a high number of nozzles for enveloping coverage.
Water jets come in different types, the most common ones being rainfall and waterfall shower jets, both of which are located overhead. Others are body spray patterns and massage mists, and handheld shower jets. The more diverse the types of water jets your shower supports, the more customizable each shower session is going to be. Examples of shower systems with an extensive range of variables include the Ello & Allo Stainless Steel Shower Panel, AKDY 5333D, and JiaYouJia Shower.
Some smart showers come with timers to automatically turn off the water supply after a specified amount of time. You set the number of minutes you want the shower to run and when the time is up, the shower switches itself off. Timed shower heads are great when you want to save on the amount of water spent in the shower. They are also great for when you want to train yourself to spend less time in the shower.
The valve is the link between the shower hose and the control unit of your shower system. Some valves are designed to stay hidden behind the wall, while others are exposed on the wall. Both work equally well, the only difference between the two being that the hidden variety is favored for a minimalist, sleek, contemporary look, while the open/exposed valve suits a more traditional bathroom look. Because of the simple nature of their concept and design, open valves are easier to install than their concealed counterparts.
Some valves are connected to sensors which initiate water cut-off when a given amount of time lapses or when you step out of the shower.
The shower tower refers to the complete shower system and comprises of the valve, shower head, handheld shower, body jets, and controls. It’s typically designed as one tall structure, hence the term “tower.” With a shower tower, you don’t need to install a separate valve because it comes bundled with the rest of the shower components. A shower tower is easier to install than a regular shower and valve system and lends your bathroom a neat, contemporary look.
Is it easy to use?
Smart shower systems are super easy to use, and this is attributable to the fact that everything comes preinstalled and preset. And with its wireless composition and a digital processor in place, the system operates exactly as it was built to without you having to fiddle with any of its components.
Smart showers don’t come cheap. Having a warranty ensures that your investment is safeguarded and you have the manufacturer’s support when components need replacement. Most shower heads come with a 1-5 year warranty on parts, and many manufacturers issue a limited lifetime warranty for residential use. Models with the best warranty include the JiaYouJia Shower, Moen U Digital Shower Controller, KOHLER K-527-0, and Moen TS3415.
It’s safer to call in a plumber to do the installation for you. Even though some of the models are simple in design with a straightforward installation process, a simple installation error can affect your entire plumbing system and be costly to remedy.
The electric shower head and smart shower system is safe and can be used by people of all ages. Some models have extra safety features, such as anti-scalding technology and a cap on maximum temperature. If children will be using the shower, you can preset the temperature for them to ensure their shower water is not too hot or too cold.
Your child can independently use a digital shower system from the age of 6, but you may need to be nearby to supervise them and help them with cleaning hard-to-reach parts of the body like the back. It’s safe for children under 6 years to use the smart shower, but only with you taking charge of their shower session. Never leave them in the shower unattended.
We liked how the Moen S3102 was compatible with smart home systems. We also liked that the control has up to 12 personalized presets and the four outlet versions. The lifetime warranty was another attraction we couldn’t resist.
Our second choice is the JiaYouJia Shower. We especially liked the many shower variables it gives, its dual-use capability, the LED color change with change in temperature, the sturdy construction, and the 10-year warranty.
The third best smart shower in our books is the Ello & Allo Stainless Steel Shower Panel. Its great pricing was our best selling point. We also liked its dual-function and how you can turn on two options simultaneously. The many shower options, including horizontal sprays, rainfall shower head and body jets, are another winner.