What to Know Before You Get a Smart Shower & Top Picks


smart bathroom technology for a shower remodel

Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), our homes are becoming increasingly high-tech and connected these days. But with all those technological advancements, do we need high-tech smart showers as well?

Smart showers offer more features than conventional showers. Aside from convenience, they reduce water usage and can make showers safer for children and seniors. You can choose to build a smart shower system from scratch or convert your existing shower by purchasing smart shower upgrades.

For other smart bathroom ideas that can transform your life, don’t miss my post on the 9 Coolest Smart Bathroom Ideas of the Year.

Should You Get a Smart Shower?

 

Before you decide if you should get a smart shower, let’s make sure you understand what a smart shower is, how one works, the difference between digital and smart showers, how much they cost, and the best models available.

 

What Is a Smart Shower?

A smart shower has built-in technology for greater control, connectivity, and automation.

 

Greater Control and Personalization

For starters, smart showers have control panels that allow you to preset everything about your shower, like the precise water temperature and water flow rate. Once in place, you only have to push a button to reuse the same presets each time you take a shower.

By extension, everyone in your home can also have a preset of their own. So, whether they prefer a hot shower with lots of water or a colder one that saves water, their customized shower experience is just a button-push away.

 

Connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT)

Of course, a smart shower wouldn’t be ‘smart’ if it didn’t connect to the internet. But why would you want a shower that can connect to your home WiFi? 

Well, it allows you to interact with the shower online or through a smartphone app. So, for example, you can track your water usage and use that information to be more environmentally conscious. Or you can set music to stream through a smart shower with a built-in Bluetooth speaker.

 

Automation

As with other smart and connected devices, your smart shower may have automatic self-cleaning features that take all the fuss out of maintenance for you.

 

 

How Does A Smart Shower Work?

 

Shower Remodel? It's Time to Try Smart Bathroom Technology

 

As complex as a smart shower might seem, its functions are pretty straightforward. That’s especially true when you understand that it has three main components: 

  • a control panel
  • a controller box
  • a wireless transmitter.

The arrangement of these parts can differ between brands. For example, the control panel, controller, and transmitter could all be part of a single unit. Other brands separate them into three stand-alone components.

Let’s look at what each part is designed to do.

 

Control Panel

The control panel or interface is the point where you interact with your smart shower system.

With conventional showers, you’d turn knobs or move levers to adjust the water temperature. On a smart shower, however, you’ll use a control panel that’s designed to be intuitive and straightforward. 

So, rather than waste time trying to adjust the water flow and temperature, all you have to do is choose your preferences on the control panel.

Naturally, the control panel is waterproof so you don’t have to worry about touching it with wet fingers. Once you’ve input your settings, the control panel will then communicate with the rest of the system to give you the smart shower experience you want.

 

Controller Box

The controller box is the heart and brain of your smart shower system. After the smart shower is installed, you probably won’t see the controller box anywhere. That’s because it’s typically concealed behind a wall or panel.

The controller box is connected directly to your hot and cold water lines, as well as the power supply needed for it to function correctly. Inside, there are valves and electronic components that control the flow of water.

The controller box reacts based on the settings that you input to the control panel. For instance, once you’ve set your desired water temperature and flow, the controlled box will adjust the valves to ensure that you get the customized shower you desire.

 

Wireless Transmitter

A smart shower system also has a wireless transmitter attached to it. This transmitter allows the controller box to communicate with your smartphone app through your home WiFi network.

 

Smart Showers vs. Digital Showers 

a person controls their smart bathroom with a mobile phone

 

Many manufacturers might use the terms ‘smart’ and ‘digital’ interchangeably, even though technically speaking, they mean two different types of shower technologies.  

As the name suggests, a digital shower comes with a built-in digital thermostat. That thermostat is connected to a control panel or remote in the shower, where you can set your desired temperature and water flow precisely as you like.

However, while a digital shower only gives you control over temperature and flow rate, a smart shower has many more programmable features.

 

Smart Shower Features

 

Unlike digital showers, smart showers: 

  • Connect To WiFi and Apps – The connectivity offered by smart showers allows it to be a part of your smart home and any automation that you’ve created for it.
  • Collect Usage Data – They call it ‘smart’ for a reason. Not only does it carry out your instructions (i.e. temperature and water flow settings), but it can also measure how much water is used and for how long. That type of data allows you to shower much more consciously.
  • Home Assistant Compatibility – At the heart of any smart home is the home assistant, many of which are now compatible with smart showers. That means you can control your shower using your voice, alongside digital controls and mobile apps.

 

Pros and Cons of a Smart Shower

Before you decide if you should get a smart shower, consider some of the biggest advantages and disadvantages:

 

Pros of a Smart Shower

  • Eco-Friendly: Smart showers are an excellent solution for environmentally conscious users. That’s because its settings allow you to control how much water you use for your shower. Plus, you can also limit the duration of your shower to use even less water. (If you want to have an eco-friendly bathroom, be sure to read my post 16 Tips to Make a Bathroom More Energy Efficient.)

 

  • Safer for Children and Seniors: Smart showers also have safety features for both children and seniors. For example, these safety modes limit how high the water temperature can be set. In doing so, they prevent children and seniors, who may have more sensitive skin,  from accidentally scalding themselves with hot water.

 

  • Voice Activation and Remote Control: Smart homes are no longer science fiction. As they become increasingly common, people want their showers to be included in the fun. Smart showers do this. They are compatible with voice-activated home assistants like Alexa and Google.

 

  • Customized Presets: With customizable presets and profiles, every member of your home can have a totally unique shower experience despite sharing the same shower unit. All you have to do is tweak the settings once, save them, and reuse them with each shower.

 

Cons of a Smart Shower

  • Higher Cost:  A conventional shower only requires a mixer, a showerhead, and a few hoses. But a smart one has a control box, wireless transmitter, and control panel. Plus, you’d also have to put in a power supply for each component. All of that adds to a bigger price tag.

 

  • Specialist Installation and Repair: Smart showers don’t just involve conventional plumbing parts, but they also involve complicated electronics. As such, you can’t get a regular plumber to install or repair them from you. Instead, you’ll need the help of a qualified technician to do so, and that could cost you more than fixing a regular shower.

 

  • More Points of Failure: What’s the worst thing that could happen to a conventional shower? At worst, you’ll have a leak or a dripping faucet. The worst-case scenarios for smart showers, like electrical or electronic failures, will prevent you from operating the shower at all.

 

How Much Do Smart Showers Cost?

Assuming you’re buying a new and complete shower set, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,200 to $25,000 to purchase and have a smart shower system installed in your home. That price range is pretty broad, so let’s break it down a bit further:

  • Entry-Level Smart Shower Systems: From $1,200 to $2,000
  • Mid-Level Smart Shower Systems: Approximately $3,000 or more
  • High-End Smart Shower Systems: Above $10,000 to $25,000 or more. 

If those numbers seem a little too high for your liking, don’t worry. Here’s the thing about smart showers: you don’t have to replace all shower parts just to make it a smart shower. 

Instead of starting from scratch, you can buy specific smart components (like the smart shower controller or a smart showerhead) and turn your regular shower at home into a smart one that way. 

 

Best Smart Showers Under $1,000

 

The market for smart showers is growing very quickly. Still, some names still lead the pack despite all the new manufacturers and products becoming available.

In this section, we will show you our top 3 picks for the best smart showers. As you’ll see from this list, there are several ways to turn your existing shower into a smart shower. 

 

ProductGROHE Rainshower SmartConnect ShowerheadMoen Digital Shower Controller and OutletKOHLER DTV+ Digital Shower Interface
What's IncludedWireless rainshower head only.
Controller and thermostatic valve onlyShower interface only
Notable FeaturesWirelessly control rainshower spray type (3 options)
Sleek design, voice control
two shower presets on the controller, 12 presets on the app, compatible with Alexa and others.
All-in-one control for shower, lighting, audio, steam, and more; maximum 6 shower presets; compatible with Alexa
ConnectivityWireless remoteWiFiWiFi

 

 

1. GROHE Rainshower SmartConnect Showerhead

This product is the perfect solution if you want to experiment with smart shower technology without investing too heavily in it, since all you’re doing is upgrading your rain showerhead. 

It comes with a remote control that you can mount on your shower wall and allows you to switch between three of GROHE’s shower rains, namely ActiveRain, PureRain, and Combination Spray.

See it on Amazon

 

2. Moen Digital Shower Controller and Valve Outlet

There are many things to love about this smart shower. First, the design of the controller is straightforward and sleek. So, no matter what your bathroom decor is like, the controller won’t look out of place.

Plus, this product comes with all the control options you’d want. You can use your voice, the smartphone app, or the buttons on the controller. Better yet, you can also connect it with a home assistant like Alexa as part of your overall smart home setup.

See it on Amazon

 

3. KOHLER DTV+ Digital Shower Interface

 

The KOHLER DTV+ Digital Shower Interface enables you to control your bathroom’s shower outlets, audio outputs, steam, and even lighting from this interface. You can adjust the entire environment of your shower and bathroom as a whole, all while taking a shower.

See it on Amazon

 

So Should You Get a Smart Shower?

 

Are you still wondering, “Should I get a smart shower?” Well, iiof you’re doing a bathroom remodel now is a great time to invest in smart bathroom technology. Though you might invest more upfront, you can save costs by monitoring the length of your showers and always keeping the temperature at a pre-set level.

While you’re at it, you might want to consider other smart bathroom ideas like touchless faucets, steam-free bathroom mirrors, smart toilets, smart bathroom lights and smart bathroom fans. Check out my posts on all of these so that you can get the best products for your bathroom and your lifestyle.

And if singing in your smart shower is important to you, then consider getting an LED color-changing shower head and a Bluetooth bathroom mirror. With these smart additions, you’ll easily turn shower time into party time!

Shana

Shana Burg is a bath enthusiast, content strategist, and award-winning writer. She is the founder of bathtubber.com.

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