The Shower Showdown: Thermostatic vs Electric

Trying to decide whether to get a thermostatic or electric shower for your bathroom renovation?

Both have their pros and cons, so it can be tough to make a decision. Luckily, we're here to help!

In this blog post, we'll go over the main differences between thermostatic and electric showers, as well as the pros and cons of each. By the end, you should have a better idea of which type of shower is right for your needs.

Thermostatic Shower vs Electric Shower: The Main Difference

The biggest difference between thermostatic and electric showers is how they heat the water. Thermostatic showers are supplied with hot and cold water that is mixed. Electric showers, on the other hand, are supplied with cold water only, which is heated using electricity as it flows through the unit.

Thermostatic Showers

thermostatic shower

Thermostatic showers are temperature-controlled, which means that they maintain a consistent desired temperature even if the water pressure fluctuates. This is achieved by mixing hot and cold water before it enters the shower head, which ensures that the water temperature will remain constant even if someone else in your household turns on a water-using appliance, such as a basin tap, dishwasher or washing machine. 

One of the main advantages of thermostatic showers is that they're safer than electric showers, since there's no risk of scalding yourself with sudden changes in water temperature. This means that you can enjoy a consistent stream of hot water without having to worry about you or anyone else in your home getting scalded! 

A thermostatic shower can be a great option if you have small children or elderly family members in your home, as you can be sure that the water won't be too hot or too cold for them, especially if there is a hot or cold water supply fail. Thermostatic showers also tend to have more temperature settings than electric showers, so you can find the perfect setting for your needs.

They're also more energy-efficient since they don't require as much electricity to heat the water to maintain a consistent temperature. One downside of thermostatic showers is that they tend to be more expensive than electric showers, but having said this, they also tend to last longer since they don't have any exposed heating elements that can break down over time.

Thermostatic Shower Pros 

  • Maintains a consistent water temperature, even if someone else is using water elsewhere in the house
  • Can save you money on your energy bill since you won't need to run the hot water for as long before hopping in 
  • Longer lifespan since there are no exposed heating elements that can break down over time 

Thermostatic Shower Cons 

  • Higher initial cost 
  • Heating system can take up space in your house, although this is typically minimal

Electric Showers

electric shower

Electric showers, on the other hand, are known for their instant hot water delivery. Since they heat the water as it passes through the unit, there's no need to wait for the water to heat up before you get in—which means you can save time in the morning, or whenever you shower.

Electric showers tend to be more affordable than other types of showers. However, one downside of electric showers is that they can't be used if there's no mains water supply. And if your home experiences regular power outages, an electric shower might not be the best option for you.

Because they work by heating water as it passes through the unit, electric showers have higher energy usage than thermostatic showers. They are also generally less safe than thermostatic showers since there's a risk of scalding yourself if the water temperature suddenly changes.  

Electric Shower Pros 

  • Inexpensive upfront cost 
  • Heats water as you need it, so there's no wait time for the hot water to kick in

Electric Shower Cons  

  • Shorter lifespan since there are exposed heating elements that can break down over time 
  • Consumes more energy than thermostatic showers, which means higher energy bills for you 
  • Tend to have lower water pressure than other types of showers

Frequently Asked Questions

shower next to sink

What is a mixer shower?

A mixer shower is a type of shower that mixes hot and cold water supplies together to create the perfect temperature for you. 

What is a digital shower?

A digital shower is a type of mixer shower that allows you to control the water temperature and flow rate using a digital display, unlike a manual mixer shower which uses a traditional knob to control the mix of water. If you want complete control over your shower, this may be the right option for you. Digital showers typically have a thermostat, which allows you to choose a pre-set temperature before turning on the shower.

Digital mixer showers usually require a little bit more installation than electric or thermostatic showers, but they offer the perfect solution for people who want complete control over their shower experience.

What types of shower valves are there?

shower valve

Exposed shower valves are installed on the outside of your shower, while concealed shower valves are installed inside the wall. Concealed shower valves are becoming increasingly popular since they give your bathroom a sleek and seamless look. Bar shower valves are another type of valve that allows you to control multiple shower functions, such as water temperature and flow rate, from one central location. The shower valve you choose will depend on your personal preferences.

What is an anti-scald device?

An anti-scald device is a mechanism that prevents scalding by limiting the maximum water temperature that can be reached. This is especially important in showers since sudden changes in water temperature can cause serious burns. Anti-scald devices are typically found in thermostatic showers, but some electric showers also have them.

Does a plumber or an electrician fit an electric shower?

If you're installing an electric shower for the first time, you'll need to have both a plumber and an electrician do the work. The plumber will install the water pipe that feeds into the shower, and the electrician will connect the shower to the mains electricity supply.

What should I look for when buying a shower?

When it comes to choosing a shower, there are a few things you need to consider. First, think about what type of shower you want. Do you want a thermostatic shower, an electric shower, or a power shower? A 1 outlet shower system, 2 outlet shower system, or a 3 outlet shower system? Each has its own set of benefits that you'll need to weigh up.

You will also need to decide what style shower you want. There are options to suit every bathroom, from antique bronze traditional showers to black modern showers, so don’t forget to take into account the overall style you want for your bathroom and any accessories you already have. 

Next, consider the size of your bathroom. This will help you determine the best shower size for your needs and we have put together a guide, Easy Ways to Make Your Small Bathroom Feel Bigger, to help with this consideration. Finally, think about your budget. Shower sets can range in price, so it's important to set aside enough money to get the one you really want.

If you're not sure which type of shower is right for you, we have created The Shower Buying Guide to help you. By the end of it you should have a better idea of which type of shower is right for your needs.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are a few key differences between thermostatic and electric showers, and the debate between them is one that's sure to continue. Ultimately, the best type of shower for you will depend on your budget, your needs, and your personal preferences.

Still need help choosing the perfect shower for your home? Our team of bathroom experts are always here to help. Contact us today and we'll be happy to answer any questions you have.