The best mixer showers are not the ones that look nice but the ones that look nice and give you a good shower. You need to ask the right questions before you buy a mixer or tap.
Many people buy beautiful looking showers that give wonderful results with the minimum of pressure, but many customers are sold ‘lemons’, and often this is not because they did not ask the right questions but because they were misled, wrongly directed, or just plain lied to.
I fitted a Mira Apt Shower Mixer which is designed to work at a minimum of 1 metre head in September 2017. It cost me £100 from Screwfix and the performance with a single SPB on the hot is very good, with a a second SPB on the hot is is brilliant. The Mira Apt is good looking, well built, and was the perfect choice for a budget shower mixer.
Mira Apt £99.99
Other Shower Mixers To consider which claim to need a minimum of 0.1 bar, all sold at Screwfix, are:-
Mira Adapt ERD £169.99
Mira Excel EV £349.99
*Triton Benito £69.99
(*)Aqualisa Aquavalve £199.99
Mira Atom £239.99
Mira Agile £239.99
Triton Verne £169.99
Mira Coda Pro £249.99
Mira Element £199.99
(*)Equalise Colt £189.99
Mira Select £399.99
Mira Minilite £149.99
(*)Bristan Sonique £159.99
Mira Element £239.99
There are others and if you pick from the ones which simply state a minimum of 0.1 bars you should not go wrong. The showers marked with (*) appear to quote flows based on open discharge without the shower head which is a poor guide to the flow with a shower head on. These shower mixers are probably ok when you fit a shower head, but I do wish manufacturers would give flow rates with shower heads on rather than water glugging out of an open shower mixer without shower head or hose.
Some showers mixers sold in the UK and Ireland are targeted for the European Market where most homes have higher mains pressure and lack gravity systems. Avoid these at all cost (see video).
We do not sell shower mixers ourselves, but we do want to identify the same lemons coming up on our radar time and time again, and we do want to point our customers to the best mixer showers which are also the ones which perform the best. We will not comment on style and features but leave that to you. This review ‘page’ could well turn into a ‘book’ and will be based solely on feed back from our customers and research without prejudice or favour.
RESEARCH BEFORE BUYING IS VITAL
Many shower mixers, and that includes thermostatic shower mixers, need a minimum of 1 metre head, and we strongly recommend you only buy shower mixers which specifically state in writing that you need a particular minimum pressure and avoid showers that are sold purely on the statement ‘suitable for gravity systems’. Do not buy any shower mixer which does not state in writing what the minimum pressure requirement is, because that’s when they slip in a lemon and then argue the toss when you find with 5 metres head you get a weak pathetic shower. Time and time again the manufacturers will weedle out of their responsibility by arguing that it is ‘suitable for gravity systems’ but it is not ‘suitable for all gravity systems’. It is not their fault that you do not live in a three storey house and want a shower in the basement. Some argue it is suitable for gravity systems but…… only if you pump up the pressure with a great big pump.
Over time we will create a listing of ‘Recommended Showers’ and ‘lemons’ from our own research and customer feedback. If you find a shower mixer you know to work well, or one that you would like others to steer away from, please let us know.
We will never have a complete list so please research yourself, look for a written specification, and beware of a plumber or local plumbers merchant who state that you cannot find a thermostatic shower mixer that works with a minimum of 1 or 2 metres (o.1 or 0.2 bars). This possibly means your plumbers merchant or local plumber does not sell the mixer you need, but for some plumbers its that they would like to sell to you a big pump as well as the shower mixer when it does not work.
The ‘minimum flow’ for a mixer is not standardised, but if you do have the ‘minimum head’ it is not a good shower but a ‘minimum shower’.
If you have already bought a shower mixer or tap see our blog on how to research the shower mixer or tap you have bought
For an upstairs shower which has only 1 metre head and your mixer manufacture states that 1 metre is the minimum, a shower power booster is all you need to quadruple the pressure and double the flow and turn your minimum shower into a great shower.
Lemons and Sob Stories
A Garda Thermostatic Shower mixer was sold to a customer in July 2017 on the recommendation of his plumber as being suitable for his gravity system. The plumber then recommended his favourite and biggest of pumps to make it work when the result was a pathetic dribble. The specification researched by me on the internet was easily found and the Garda Thermostatic Shower Mixer clearly states it needs a minimum head of 5 metres. Customer needs to rip it out and start again.