Do Baths Or Showers Use More Water?

There is an age-old debate over which is better – a bath or a shower. It is something that most people have a preference for, and it is something that can cause a lot of arguments within the family.

Especially if you are trying to reduce your water usage.

Do Baths or Showers Use More Water

Every day, the average American household uses more than 300 gallons of water, through drinking water, showering, cleaning, and so on.

When you consider that the recommended water intake in the US is half a gallon a day, it is easy to be alarmed with how much water is used (and wasted) by humans every single day.

This is why so many people are trying to reduce the amount of water that they are wasting. 

One way that people are choosing to reduce their water usage is by changing the way in which they bathe.

But does bathing or showering use more water? In this guide, we’ll be answering this question. So keep on reading to find out more! 

Do Baths Or Showers Use More Water?

Well, let’s dive right in and take a look at what uses more water – bathing or showering.

As you would probably expect, taking a shower uses less water than taking a bath.

When you run a bath, you have to use a certain amount of water to ensure that you will be able to wash yourself appropriately.

But, when you shower, the water will be squirted directly at you from the shower head. This is why less water is used when you shower than when you bathe. 

The other reason why showers tend to use less water than a bath is due to the length of time for which you are in the shower. When you run a bath, the length of time which you are in it doesn’t matter.

Even if you only stay in the bath for 5 minutes, you will still have used a lot of water to fill the bath.

In contrast, if you take a 5-minute shower, then the water that you use will be minimal. This is why baths tend to use more water than showers.

Is It Cheaper To Have A Shower Or A Bath?

One of the main reasons why people all over the world are trying to reduce their water usage is to save money.

As the cost of living rises, and bills become more expensive, people are always looking for ways to save money. One of the best ways to do this is to reduce your water usage. 

One of the main uses of water in the household is bathing/showering. This is an essential part of personal hygiene, and it is something that you cannot go without.

So, you can’t simply skip a bath to save money. However, you can reduce your water bills by carefully choosing how to wash yourself. So which is cheaper?

Research suggests that the cheapest option is showering. This is mainly because you tend to use less water when you shower.

When you run a bath, you have to fill the bathtub to a certain level before you can hop in – even if you only plan on taking a short bath.

In contrast, if you only want a short shower, then you will only pay for the water that is actively used in the time that you are in the shower.

This amount of water tends to be a lot less than if you are taking a bath, which is why showering is cheaper.

Do Baths or Showers Use More Water (1)

How Much Water Does A 20-Minute Shower Use?

The great thing about showering is that you can turn the water on and hop right in.

So, the only water that you will use when you are showering is water that you are actively washing yourself with.

So, let’s take a look at how much water you tend to use when you shower. 

Most people shower for around 20 minutes, especially if they are planning on washing their hair while they are in the shower.

A shower which lasts around 20 minutes will use around 40 gallons of water.

On average, low-flow shower heads emit around 2 gallons of water per minute, which is why you will use around 40 gallons of water.

Of course, the amount of water that your shower head emits will depend on the specific type of shower head that you have fitted. 

While a lot of people shower for around 20 minutes, it is recommended that you actually shower for less time than this.

A lot of dermatologists actually recommend that you only shower for around 5 to 10 minutes, as this is the optimum amount of time to cleanse and hydrate your skin.

Showering for 5 to 10 minutes will also reduce the amount of water that you use.

Is It Better To Bath Or Shower?

So, bathing uses a lot more water than showering, but which is the better option?

Well, if you are looking to get yourself as clean as possible, then showering is obviously the best option. 

When you shower, your skin is cleansed as the water actively runs down your skin, taking the dirt with it. Once your skin has been cleansed, the dirty water will simply wash away.

Showering is not only better for cleansing your skin, but it is also better for saving money and reducing water usage too! 

However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t bathe. In an ideal world, you should alternate between bathing and showering to ensure that your skin is being cleansed, and that your body’s soft tissue is getting the relaxation that a bath offers too.

So, in reality, neither is better. In fact, bathing and showering work best when you alternate between the two.


In short, baths use more water than showers for obvious reasons.

So, if you want to reduce your water usage, you should consider taking a shower, rather than running a bath.

Thank you for reading!

Mike Noren