Above: The Methven Aio
“They are definitely making a comeback,” says designer Greg Natale on hand showers. “I don’t have one at home, but in hindsight I wish I did include one when I renovated my bathroom. Many of my clients request them. They are certainly very cool again.”
The benefit of a hand shower is obvious…flexibility; allowing you not only to manoeuvre it around your body, but making it easier to clean down your shower recess when it’s being cleaned.
“They are more popular because they are more practical,” says Ross Cass of Cass Brothers. He says for even more practicality, architects and designers often specify a dual system, where a hand shower is teamed with an overhead rain shower.
And, he says there has been a raft of technological improvements, especially when it comes to adjustability, making it possible to control flow rate and incorporate features such as massage and rain shower, at the push of a button.
Here are five of our favourites:
- Methven Aio: The newest and arguably the best hand shower in the world today, the Aio is distinguished by its organic halo-shaped showerhead. Utilising Methven’s new Aurajet technology, Aio delivers a high efficiency shower with 20 per cent more spray force and twice the coverage of a conventional shower. Aio also uses an engineered polymer with hydrophobic properties to resist the build-up of limescale. Available in chrome, and chrome & white finishes. The Aio was designed by Methven’s former Design and Creative Director, the late Kent Sneddon; a former winner of numerous awards including the Red Dot (Germany), Good Design Awards (USA), UK Design Awards and NZ Best Design Awards. RRP: $452.00
- Methven Waipori: This New Zealand company, founded in Dunedin in 1886, really punches above its weight. The Waipori hand shower was awarded a prestigious Good Design Award (2013) by the Chicago Athenaeum International Museum of Architecture and Design. Designed by the late Kent Sneddon (see above), it features patented Satinjet technology where colliding twin jets produce over 300,000 droplets of water per second, with a wide spray for added coverage. Aesthetically, Sneddon has taken a square geometric form and softened the edges, making it perfect for those in the market for a slim-line and compact shower head. RRP: $244.20
- Marc Newson for Caroma: Nothing has created so much buzz in the bathroom industry as this home-grown collaboration between one of the world’s great designers, Marc Newson and Caroma. This hand shower is typical of what we’ve come to expect from Newson; minimal, futuristic and with a pop of his signature orange (although it is also available in black or white). Features water saving design (3-star WELS) and a smooth swivel hose for durability and ease of cleaning. The Caroma Marc Newson collection has already picked up the Good Design of the Year Award (2014) In the Housing and Building category. Newson says he loved the fact that Caroma gave him the opportunity to make products that were not only well designed, but accessible for everyone. RRP: $314.00
- Hansgrohe Raindance Select E120: Winner of the IF Design Award, the E120 allows the user to choose from three shower modes, simply by touching the button on the showerhead. The RainAir setting creates air-enriched drops from large jets for gentle pleasure showering. Those who want a stronger shower or need to rinse shampoo from their hair will opt for the Rain setting. And the Whirl setting is a concentrated massage spray produced from rotating jets to relieve tension. The E120 is available in round or square, finished in chrome, or chrome with a white spray face. Also available as an EcoSmart version to reduce water consumption by up to 40 per cent. Like all of Hansgrohe’s showers, the Raindance Select E120 was designed by the Phoenix Design Studio in Munich, with the team led by Tom Schonherr.
- Caroma Titan Stainless Steel: We’ve included this hand shower because being made from 304 stainless, it’s the ideal choice for those who live in coastal zones, or want an alfresco after-beach shower. Featuring a ‘microphone’ showerhead, it’s also great for those who like to belt out a tune while they wash. $326.00