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Bath vs shower: Which is best?

When it comes to keeping yourself clean, are you more of a shower or bath person? Many of us have both a shower and bath in our household, so often go between the two, but is one better for you than the other and – the age-old question – which is more economical and will save you money?

While trend predictions for 2024 suggest that baths are on the way out in favour of more luxury showering experiences, the spa vibe for bathrooms persists, which ultimately centres around the relaxation of bathing. So, baths and showers are arguably both very much still in vogue.

If you’re renovating or self-building and are considering whether to install a bath, shower – or both – in your home, then read to the end of the blog to get the low-down and, hopefully, some insight into which is best for you.

Both baths and showers have their own advantages.

Health benefits of showering and bathing

When considering the benefits of showers vs baths, it’s interesting to look at the various health and wellbeing attributes of both, as each has its own particular advantages.

The first basic thing to think about is which actually serves to get you clean most effectively. You might say both but, practically, a shower ultimately cleans your body better as it distributes the water evenly and then washes it away immediately, taking dirt and impurities with it. So, if efficient cleansing is your priority, then a shower stands out in this regard.

Baths, however, bring their own advantages in providing a relaxing experience which soothes muscles and aching joints, so it all comes down to what matters most to you.

Advantages of showering

  • More efficient cleansing.
  • Combination of hot water and steam relaxes and soothes muscles.
  • Hot showers can help you feel relaxed before bed.
  • Hot showers open up pores and are good for clearing the skin of impurities.
  • Hot showers can help open up the airways and can aid with congestion.
  • Cold showers help boost your immune system, with the shock of the cold water stimulating the blood cells which fight infection.
  • Colder showers may also help with fat loss (although this is minimal), via thermogenesis – the body burns calories while generating heat to combat the coldness of the shower.

Showering, especially cold showers, has multiple benefits.

  • Cooler showers (cold if you can handle it) preserve the natural oils on your hair and skin, while hot showers strip these away. So, cold showers can help keep your hair and skin looking healthier and give you a more glowing look.
  • Taking a cold shower can also help to decrease anxiety and symptoms of depression, boosting endorphins (the ‘happy’ hormones) and decreasing the stress-inducing hormone, cortisol.
  • A quick shower (less than ten minutes) also has the advantage of being more eco-friendly (more on that below).
  • It can simply be handier to step into the shower, if you’re in a hurry, rather than waiting for a bathtub to fill.

Advantages of bathing

  • If you’re prioritising deep relaxation and a soothing experience which combats fatigue and stress, then a bath is a good option.
  • Warm baths relax our muscles and help us to unwind, relieving aches and pains within our deep tissue.
  • Baths are great for helping you get a good night’s sleep, especially if you take one about 90 minutes before you go to bed, as the hot water lowers your internal body temperature, which aids sleep.

Bathing can help relax muscles and aid a good night’s sleep.

  • Baths boost our overall mood and wellbeing, as they have a comforting effect and make us feel safe and relaxed.
  • Soaking in a hot bath for an hour can actually help you to burn calories, as it raises your metabolism.
  • A warm (not hot) bath treated with essential oils can soothe irritated skin, while aromatherapy can boost your mood and ease stress.
  • Bathing can be beneficial when it comes to fighting off colds, also helping to combat congestion.

Water efficiency in showers and baths

A key question which is always linked to the usage of showers and baths concerns which is the most efficient and cost-effective when it comes to saving energy and money. According to research the consensus is that showering is generally more efficient – although there are a few caveats to this.

Factors which influence water usage:

  • How long you shower for vs how deep a bath you run (and whether you top this up).
  • The type of shower kit you have. For example, a rainfall or power shower vs a standard showerhead.
  • How hot the water is and how you heat it (e.g. electric shower, hot water system etc.).

With the average shower lasting for about eight minutes, a study by Unilever states that, combined with an average water flow rate, this will use approximately 62 litres of water and cost around 30p.

The average bath, meanwhile, uses 80 litres of water and this may increase to around 100 litres if you top it up while you bathe.

How you can reduce water usage and be more eco-friendly:

  • Choose an eco-showerhead.
  • Take shorter showers – or ones which last 8-10 minutes. If you can get your showering down to just five minutes, then even better.
  • Don’t fill your bath as high – even reducing the water level by an inch is beneficial in terms of energy usage and cost.

Luxury bathing vs immersive showering experiences

Deciding which is better for your home and daily routine – a shower or bath – will also depend on the overall experience that you’re looking for. If you’re keen for that luxury vibe, then the shower and the bath bring their own opulence to the table, both in terms of functionality and aesthetics.

The Eliseo Ricci Exclusiv Round Rigid Riser Shower in Brushed Brass.

Rainfall showerheads deliver an immersive luxury showering experience.

Luxury showers

There are lots of great options for a fantastic showering experience these days, with wet rooms increasingly popular with homeowners and walk-in shower areas reminiscent of these in bathrooms. Shower kits have also improved over the years to deliver more immersive experiences alongside new technology which incorporates everything from lighting to Bluetooth features.

Rainhead or rainfall showers provide a fully immersive experience with the water flow emulating the flow of raindrops so that you benefit from full coverage and a luxurious shower. For example, the Eliseo Ricci Exclusiv Round Rigid Riser Shower in Brushed Brass has a rainfall showerhead and a sleek, modern look with the brushed brass finish which makes it both look and perform well. The brushed brass adds elegance and an opulent aesthetic, while the showerhead delivers that full immersion which will instantly elevate your showering experience.

Another luxury shower option is opting for something which incorporates cutting-edge technology. For example, steam showers offer an experience reminiscent of a spa or sauna, generating steam around your body to induce relaxation and boost your overall wellbeing. If you’re seeking sanctuary, then this just might be the shower for you.

With features including everything from high-powered, adjustable jets which deliver a hydrotherapy massage to aromatherapy from fragrance-infused steam, these will instantly elevate your bathroom routine. You can also get multicoloured lighting as well as Bluetooth connectivity so you can enjoy listening to your favourite relaxing music – with remote control and handy touch-screen control panels available for added convenience. With a range of sizes, styles and designs on offer, there’s lots of great choice with these showers.

The Vidalux Serenity Steam Shower Enclosure comes with lots of luxury features.

The Vidalux Serenity Steam Shower Enclosure has internal colour-changing chromotherapy lighting so you can enjoy a selection of hues and choose your preferred ambience. It has been suggested that chromotherapy can enhance our moods so, as well as looking great, there is also that additional benefit to consider. You can further enjoy aromatherapy-infused steam, along with three multi-spray massage jets, a high-quality speaker system and thermostatic control.

Another luxury shower to consider is the shower tower with waterfall effect, such as the Eliseo Ricci Monsoon Waterfall Shower Tower in Chrome. This stylish shower has a smooth, sleek appearance and delivers another immersive experience with the waterfall-inspired water flow design.

The Eliseo Ricci Monsoon Waterfall Shower Tower in Chrome.

You can also enjoy thermostatic control along with two body jets for added luxury. A handheld showerhead is further provided in addition to the main waterfall one, for added convenience.

Luxury baths

If you want to indulge in a more luxurious bathing experience, then there are also lots of great options in this regard as well, with a wide range of freestanding bathtub designs available, as well as whirlpool baths, fitted baths and shower-bath combos.

The freestanding bath is perhaps what most people will visualise when they think of a luxury bath, as these have obvious spa vibes and an opulent aesthetic associated with boutique hotels. With everything from bespoke painted baths and roll-tops to claw feet, flush-to-floor, double-ended and slipper styles, there’s something to suit every taste – with all of these designs guaranteed to deliver that luxury bathing experience.

You can also choose from various luxury finishes, including copperleaf, silver, matt black, brushed brass, gloss white and more – including a textured fluted finish.

The Cannes Luxury Freestanding Bath in Silverleaf Finish is a stunning bath which stands flush to the floor and has a sleek aesthetic with smooth curves and that eye-catching metallic silverleaf finish. With a double-ended design, this means you can bathe at either end or share it with a partner, while the soft curves of the bath give it a calming organic look.

The Cannes Luxury Freestanding Bath in Silverleaf Finish has a distinctive luxury look.

Another freestanding style is the slipper bath, such as the Clara Double-ended Slipper Bath with White Claw and Ball Feet. It has a classic style and is another tub which allows you to use both ends for bathing. With the traditional claw and ball feet for added character, the Clara also features the slipper design at both ends, with these being raised for better shoulder and neck support, therefore delivering a more comfortable experience.

It also has the classic white gloss finish and an elegance which will make you feel like you’re in that spa or luxury hotel – all without having to leave the comfort of your own home.

The Clara Double-ended Slipper Bath with White Claw and Ball Feet.

If you’re looking for something which delivers even more on the bathing front and is more high-tech, then consider the whirlpool bath, which includes in-built massage jets and chromotherapy features, amongst other things.

For example, the Solarna Single-ended Bath with Whirlpool System C has a modern straight design and comes with 12 Airspa jets, two air flow controls, six directional whirlpool jets and six back/foot jets. You also have the option of adding an inline heater to the bath for further comfort, along with colour kinetic underwater lighting.

The Solarna Single-ended Bathwith Whirlpool System C.

Choosing showers or baths according to bathroom size

If you have a larger bathroom, then you have more options when it comes to choosing your bath or shower. However, smaller spaces don’t mean that you have to miss out on the luxury experience, as there are lots of great options for more compact interiors.

One of these is the shower-bath combo – an inspired choice if you want the benefits of both a bath and shower but need to economise on space. These are available in both P and L-shaped designs and include a straight bath with room at one end for showering. Simply fit a shower screen at that end of the bath and then choose your preferred shower kit for the wall and you’re good to go.

The Ari Shower Bath, Panel and Screen gives the option of a shower and bath in one.

While a bigger bathroom may have more space for that large freestanding tub, if this is the style you really want, then it’s still possible to get your dream bath if you opt for a more compact slipper design.

For example, the Viktor Benson Elemi Freestanding Slipper Bath has a sleek shape with a single raised end to accommodate more comfortable bathing. This also makes it easier to fit into those smaller spaces, so you can enjoy all the benefits of this luxury tub without the bigger bathroom.

The Viktor Benson Elemi Freestanding Slipper Bath can fit into smaller spaces.

Meanwhile, if you do have lots of space in your bathroom, then you can make a statement out of your luxury-look bath and place it centre-stage to create maximum impact. The Viktor Benson Taha Freestanding Double-ended Slipper Bath in Black has a modern style and a bold gloss black finish which demands attention for all the right reasons.

With a double-ended design, both ends of the bath are raised so you can bathe at either end while enjoying the enhanced back and neck support this provides. Meanwhile, the striking black finish contrasted with the white interior makes this an eye-catching bath which will add glamour and a chic aesthetic to your interior.

The Viktor Benson Taha Freestanding Double-ended Slipper Bath in Black has a chic, elegant design.

Find your perfect bath or shower at Bathshack

Whether you’ve been suitably inspired to find your perfect bath or shower – or need some assistance – our team at Bathshack is always on hand to help with any queries you might have. Planning what you want for your home during the initial stages will help you decide which is best for you – weighing up the size of your bathroom along with the practical features and aesthetics.

How efficient and eco-friendly showers vs baths are may also, of course, factor into your decision-making and, while there are lots of options out there, if you feel overwhelmed then we’re happy to help with any questions you might have.

From power showers and rainfall styles to steam enclosures and more, we have a wide range of showers to suit every preference and budget. We also have an extensive selection of beautiful baths in various styles, so whether you want a freestanding, fitted or shower-bath combo, we have every option available, including bespoke painted baths.

With baths that will make a real statement in your home and give you a luxurious spa-like aesthetic, to those which can easily slot into smaller spaces, we have a perfect bath for everyone. As for which is best – a bath or shower, well, that’s really up to you …


For all your bath and shower needs, visit our website at bathshack.com. Alternatively, if you have any questions, just email our team at info@bathshack.com, call us on (028) 9077 0188 or use our online chat.