No matter if you’re a bathtub person or a shower tub person, you have to admit there are several benefits in investing in the best shower panels for your bathroom. This modern solution has become increasingly popular, especially in the small apartments where there isn’t enough space in the bathroom for a large bathtub.
A shower panel is installed into your preexisting shower enclosure. This makes them more affordable compared to purchasing an entire shower system, yet they still give you a premium experience compared to just getting a shower handle.
Today, there are plenty of options and features you can choose from to help you get an enjoyable showering experience. While this is great, it can make it challenging to narrow down your choice.
To make things somewhat easier for you, we have compiled a list of the top three best shower panels currently on the market. We have included a premium product, a budget-friendly one, and the one that stands somewhere in the middle price-wise, but offers the best price for the money.
Best Shower Panels Comparison
1. Best Value For The Price: Blue Ocean Shower Panel
- Comes with a unique temperature control
- Straightforward installation process
- Great value for the price
- You can use all heads at once
- Can be a bit confusing to use at first
- Limited water pressure with side jets
If you’re looking for some of the best shower panels when it comes to the combination of looks, price, and functionality, then Blue Ocean might be the right product for you.
This shower panel is made from stainless steel, meaning it’s as durable as it can be, albeit a bit heavy. The design is gorgeous yet simplistic, and it’s made to be used for flat walls. Thanks to this, this shower panel shouldn’t interfere with any of the existing fixtures in your bathroom.
People that aren’t that good with tinkering skills might need to contact a professional. Others, however, might even be able to install it on their own, as everything is pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, there are some minor flaws when it comes to the design that you can notice when installing. For example, the panel hangs in the shower, so you can knock it over and break it. Fortunately, stainless steel can withhold a lot of damage, but it would still be better if the panel was a bit more stable.
One of the unique features of this shower panel is the thermostatic temperature control. Not many other products offer this. Also, the side jets seem to offer somewhat limited water pressure – but all of the other ones work perfectly. The panel offers the minimum water pressure of 29 psi, while the maximum is 72,7. This allows for perfect water control.
Another advantage of using this shower panel system is that everything can work entirely simultaneously. If you’d like to, you can shower and get a full body massage at the same time! This isn’t something you can do with most other panels. As long as you don’t mind the limited water pressure on the sides, this can be one of the best shower panels for you.
2. Premium Pick: Blue Ocean 52” Aluminum SPA392M
- Bright LED display
- The handheld showerhead offers a rainfall option
- Comes with 8 adjustable nozzles
- Durable design
- Easy to install
- It takes some time to get used to all the features
This shower panel has one of the highest built qualities we’ve seen. It’s made of aluminum, a durable and sturdy material that, despite all of this, remains lightweight. This means it’s also easy to install, even if you’re someone that doesn’t know how to fit shower panels immediately. With just a little skill, even you could install it, so there is no need to contact a professional for help – which is great, since this is an expensive shower panel, so any other expense might be a bit too much.
The height of this panel is 52 inches, so it will likely be pretty good even if you install it right above the floor. However, we would suggest installing it a bit higher, just so it can fit taller people, as well.
The panel comes with 8 adjustable nozzles that allow for a perfect water massage. There is also a handheld showerhead, meaning you can decide how you want to shower. This allows the unit to stay pretty versatile. The water temperature is picked over a LED display that is bright and easy to read from – another great option, as you often don’t have the time or desire to mess around with small displays in the midst of showering. All functions could be used separately, as well.
The biggest downside of the Blue Ocean SPA392 is that all the fancy features can be tricky to get used to. It may take you some time to understand what each option means and how to use it properly. However, once you’ve taken a few showers, you’ll likely learn everything by heart, and you’ll feel as if you’d never shower in a regular tub again.
3. Budget Pick: AKDY Multi-Function Shower Panel
- Sturdy handheld shower handle
- Sleek design
- Bright LED display
- Can be difficult to control the nozzles
- Not complete installation kit
This budget-friendly shower panel has an elegant design that is sure to draw attention. It’s designed with aluminum and tempered glass. Thanks to this, it has some of the most luxurious looks you’ll find. Not to mention that it’s in silver color, so it will reflect shine perfectly.
The size of the panel is 52 inches, which is usually the recommended size as it’s not too big and not too small. It should fit most shower stalls without looking bulky. The tempered glass is durable and strong enough not to break easily. In fact, it seems to protect the aluminum very well. Don’t expect to see scratches on this unit any time soon! It will stay as pretty as the first day for a very long time, especially compared to units not protected by glass.
You can control this shower panel by using a LED display. There is a variety of options to choose from. The display is bright and large enough to keep you from having any issues finding your way while using it. At the same time, there are 8 adjustable nozzles, and the unit sports an integrated shower head.
Despite its many features, it’s the good looks and the tempered glass design that got us sold on the AKDY shower panel. This is a very eye-catching model, especially when you consider the price.
What To Look For In Best Shower Panels – Buyer’s Guide
Even just from reading our three reviews, you can notice that not all shower panels are the same. They are made to cater to specific needs, so the right model for you might depend on your preferences. If something you want is to simply shower and be over with it, then it might be better if you look for some of the best luxury shower heads out there.
When trying to find the product that is suitable for you, try to imagine what would your ideal shower experience be. Also, think about how do you imagine your bathroom to look like once you’ve installed the panel. This includes the design, colors, and size. Getting a good shower panel can be a good idea to remodel a part of your bathroom without having to renovate it entirely.
This buyer’s guide is made with the intent to help you narrow down the choices by finding the features you hold most important. Some of the features you should look for in the shower panel are:
- Water Pressure
Here are some of them explained.
Size should be the first thing you consider when looking at some of the best shower panels for you. Most panels range between 26 and 65 inches in height. As you can see, this quite varies, so you should come in prepared.
Try to determine the right size you’ll need beforehand. For example, a panel that is on the larger end of the scale might perfectly fit a larger bathroom, but there’s nearly no way it would fit a small shower enclosure. Also, think about how everything will look once installed.
Do you plan on installing the panel all by yourself, or are you okay with paying for a professional to help? Some shower panels don’t come with all the pieces necessary for the installation. Others might include everything but still aren’t straightforward to install.
Most of the best shower panels come with the instruction, so this is something to look for. If you determine that you’ll need professional help, after all, make sure to calculate the costs.
Another important thing you need to consider is the quality of the build materials. Most are made of aluminum, as this metal is sturdy yet lightweight, giving you many installation options. However, you can find shower panels from many other materials, including stainless steel, tempered glass, and ceramics. There are even laminate shower panels.
Most shower panels have several fancy features that serve to improve your showering experience. However, this also means they come with plenty of controls that are built into the panel.
You should look for panels with controls that are easy to reach and built right into the shower panel. If you need to bend down or to reach up just to change the temperature, flow rate, or spray pattern, there is something wrong with your panel choice.
Many shower panels also come with plenty of knobs that can become confusing to operate. You need to be aware of how many knobs you can use and remain comfortable. Some people don’t feel bothered having to operate ten or more knobs. Others would prefer to have as few of them as possible. This is entirely up to you.
Overall, shower panels should work with all sorts of water pressures. No matter if your pressure is high or low, you should find a panel that works for you. However, sometimes the panel cannot operate at higher water pressures, so make sure it can handle at least around 70 psi. Also, if your water pressure is lower than the pressure the panel is intended for, it might not give you any power.
All of the best shower panels come with a plethora of accessories. This includes an overhead shower, a handheld showerhead, and massaging nozzles or jet. Make sure to look at what do you want and what can the certain shower panel give you. Also, look at all the attachments and how do they look, and are they up to your standards. If you prefer using a handheld showerhead, don’t settle for a panel that has a bad or a small one. The same goes for any of the attachments.
Bottom Line: Are Shower Panels Worth It?
As you can see from many of these reviews, shower panels aren’t really cheap. This can cause you to rethink your decision to purchase one. But, are they worth the price?
Here are some of the benefits of best shower panels:
- They are more affordable than shower systems, yet offer almost the same features
- They can be installed without changing the entire showertub
- They use less water compared to ordinary shower systems
- They occupy very little space
- They come in plenty of styles
- Cleaning is effortless
- You can fit them in all types of bathrooms
Shower panels can do much to improve the look of your bathrooms. They are also a fairly affordable option when it comes to upgrading a corroded showerhead, as you can replace the showerhead and improve the look of your shower without getting a new tub.
So, should you get one of the best shower panels on the current market?
 That is entirely up to you. What do you want from your showering experience? If you’re bored of just having a handheld showerhead and would like to add some excitement to this everyday activity, then getting a shower panel is an amazing option for you.
Keep in mind that no shower panel can work as well as a shower system – but they come pretty close for a way lesser cost. You can save some cash while getting the most from your bathroom. Just make sure you’ve picked the model wisely.