Baths vs Showers:Which is Better?

Which is Better

Which is better — baths or showers? Each has its partisans, all of whom tend to get passionately opinionated about the best way to get clean. Let’s try to scrub away some of the misconceptions and get at the facts, especially if you’re about to remodel and need a new tub or shower installation from Ace Plumbing.



We do more than just get clean in the bath or shower. It’s a place where we can let the worries of the day run down the drain with the water, soap, and shampoo. Psychologists give a slight edge to baths over showers for psychological well-being, but each is helpful in its own way.


Skin Care

Most of us don’t run baths quite as hot as showers, which benefits skin and scalp health. However, if you soak too long, you’re going to dry out your skin by stripping it of vital oils that keep it healthy.



Depending on which camp you fall into, you may be surprised to find this one’s a tie under most circumstances. You might think the shower would be cleaner, since you’re not soaking in a marinade made of soap, shampoo, conditioner, skin oils, and grime. However, a bath will get you just as clean as a shower… unless you’re really filthy, in which case, turn on the shower instead of soaking.


Special Needs

This one’s another tie. Families with small children clearly need the bathtub to keep their little ones clean (and to have a place for all the toy boats, toy fish, toy mermaids, and everything else that makes you wonder where in the heck you’re supposed to fit a toddler). But none of us stays a toddler forever, and at the other end of the spectrum, many older adults have issues with mobility and balance that make showers a better idea than baths. Grab bars and benches can make showers friendlier still to those with safety concerns, but neither is a good fit for a long soak in the tub.



Here, there’s a clear winner. The average bathtub holds 36 to 40 gallons of water. Since we all displace water when we get into the tub, we’re not using that whole amount; on average, it’s closer to 30 gallons. You can get by with a bit less, but at some point that kinda defeats the purpose of drawing a bath.


A shower under a low-flow shower head, on the other hand, uses two gallons per minute. Take a ten minute shower and you’re using 20 gallons of water. If you’re speedy, you can cut that down further, but taking a faster bath isn’t going to use less water or keep your water heater from working overtime.


So at the end of the day (or the beginning, depending on when you get your suds on), which is better? In many ways, it doesn’t matter; few of us are going to change the habits of a lifetime just based on science, and that’s just human nature. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to conserve water — always a good idea in California, and anywhere else you may be reading this — showers are the clear winner.


Hopefully we can all agree on one thing: as long as you’re getting clean one way or another, that’s what matters. And when it comes to finding the right Sacramento plumbers? No argument there — just call Ace Plumbing!