When it comes to equipping your bathroom, you can face a difficult choice: which is better – bath vs shower? Of course, you can install both a bathtub and a shower enclosure. However, that is the privilege of those of us who have a large bathroom. Those of us who are less lucky have to choose between bath and shower.
There might be other concerns that might bring you to the necessity of choice. Moreover, if you have a small bathroom, you can always install a tub/shower combo, getting both options and saving valuable space at the same time.
You might wonder which option is more economical – a full bathtub or a ten-minute shower. Or, perhaps, you care about the ecological situation and the fact that water is becoming scarce, and want to reduce your water consumption to a minimum.
Let’s compare bath and shower from all the points of view and find out is it better to take a shower or bath.
Bathing Methods Around the World
Bathing traditions in different countries vary. Some nations prefer taking long relaxing baths. Some prefer to take a quick shower. For others, it is customary to go to the sauna. Such differences can be explained by such factors as geographical position and traditions of particular countries and regions.
Americans, with their hectic lifestyle, prefer to shower rather than bathe. Japanese, on the other hand, who are known for their slow paced life, cannot imagine ending their day without pampering themselves in a hot bath. Finns, with their cold climate and strong family ties, visit a sauna – all family members go together, from small to old.
In Japan, there are a lot of natural hot springs that have been turned into public baths called onsens. In Korea, both men and women go to communal bathhouses called jimjilbang. In Russia, people still used traditional banyas, although modern showers and baths are more common. Hammams with their steam rooms, rooms for bathing, and rooms for resting are used by the Turks.
Bath Vs Shower
Now, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of bath and shower and compare them from the viewpoint of eco-friendliness, cost-efficiency, comfort, and health benefits.
Eco-friendliness. If you wonder, what uses more water – a short shower or a full bath, the answer is not as obvious as it seems. It depends on many factors. The size of the bathtub, the level of water in it, the efficiency of the showerhead, and the water flow. On the average, people use about 30 gallons to have a bath. A 10-minute shower consumes about 20-25 gallons, depending on the water flow rate of the showerhead. Even if you use a standard, not low-flow showerhead, showering will require less water than taking a bath, provided you do not spend more that ten minutes in the shower.
Cost-efficiency. The cost of a bath or shower depends not only on the amount of water you use. It is also affected be the temperature of water. The higher it is, the more energy a water heater consumes. Researches have shown that a comfortable water temperature for a bath is 111 °F, while a comfortable temperature for a shower is somewhat lower – 105 °F. Taking into consideration the amount of energy a water heater needs to heat a gallon of water, a low-flow shower can be cheaper than a bath only if it lasts seven minutes, and a high-flow shower – no less than five and a half minutes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average shower lasts eight minutes. Meaning, if you prefer to take a longer shower, it will be cheaper to take a bath.
Comfort. Some people think that shower is the most comfortable option, while others cannot imagine a better treat than a bath full of hot water. The choice depends on individual preferences, the rhythm of life, and the temperament of each of us. If you are a busy person or a mom of three kids, you do not have much time for pampering yourself every day in a hot bath. On the other hand, if you have a lot of free time, you can treat yourself to a hot soak every now and then. If you are that kind of person who likes to make everything quick, a shower is just the thing for you. If you do not like haste, a long bath is a perfect solution.
Health benefits. If you suffer from muscle pain and other health problems related to muscles, bones, and joints, a hot bath will be a real lifesaver for you. Different bath salts can do even more to soothe pain and other unpleasant symptoms. If you suffer from stress, headaches, or insomnia, a bath can help you ease those unpleasant conditions. Especially, if you add some relaxing essential oils. Another great benefit of taking a hot bath is detox. Hot water opens the pores and draws toxins through the skin. It also improves blood circulation, transporting more oxygen and nutrients to all the organ systems in the body. Regular hot baths also fortify the immune system, making you resist viruses much better.
Showering also has certain health benefits. They depend mostly on the temperature of the water. A hot shower can help you destress and ease pain in tired muscles. A cold shower can make you feel invigorated, improve the condition of your skin, normalize blood circulation, and increase energy levels. A contrast shower is especially beneficial for athletes as it helps restore after training and improve muscular performance.
Now, that you know about all the benefits of bathing and showering, you can make a conscious choice and decide which bathing method is better personally for you. No matter which one you choose, you can make the experience much more pleasant if you use the best body wash and loofah. They will offer you a spa-like experience both in the shower and in the bath.