Shower vs. Bath: Which Uses Less Water?

Showers vs. Baths: Which Uses Less Water?

With climate change, water scarcity has become a new focus of attention. Many places in the world are suffering intense droughts, and we might soon realise that water is not just a basic commodity, but instead a rare and precious good that we need to conserve at all cost. After all, while we cannot live without water. But while water should be treated as the more precious and essential item in the world, most of us have grown in modern societies where water has always been made available easily to us, so we have not learnt to value it. One of the most common daily household activities that consumes water is showering and bathing. While both activities can be relaxing and enjoyable, it’s important to be aware of their environmental impact, particularly their water consumption.


What appliances consume most water at home?

These are the activities and appliances that consume most water in a typical household in the US. Of course, if you own a private swimming pool, this will be the number one item that consumes water, but for the sake of this article, we considered that the typical household does not own a swimming pool.

  1. Watering lawn and garden: Outdoor water use accounts for about 33% of total household water use in the United States. The amount of water used for watering lawns and gardens varies depending on the climate and the size of the lawn or garden.
  2. Showers and baths: Showers and baths account for about 22% of indoor water use in the United States.
  3. Toilet flushing: Toilets account for about 27% of indoor water use in the United States.
  4. Clothes washing: Washing machines account for about 14% of indoor water use in the United States.
  5. Dishwashing: Dishwashers account for about 8% of indoor water use in the United States.


Things to consider when choosing between shower and bath

Impact of Showerhead Type

The type of showerhead you use can significantly impact your water usage. Standard showerheads typically use around 2.5 gallons of water per minute, while low-flow showerheads use only 1.5 gallons per minute. This means that switching to a low-flow showerhead can reduce your water consumption by up to 60%.

Impact of Bath Size

The size of your bathtub also plays a role in your water usage. A standard bathtub holds around 60 gallons of water, while a smaller bathtub may hold only 50 or 40 gallons. If you frequently fill your bathtub to the brim, you’re using a lot of water.

Impact of Shower Length

The length of your shower also affects your water consumption. A three-minute shower uses about 10.5 gallons of water, while a five-minute shower uses about 18 gallons. If you tend to take long showers, you can easily use up over 30 gallons of water.


Comparing Showers and Baths

Here’s a table summarizing the water consumption of showers and baths for different shower lengths and showerhead types:


Water Consumption (gallons)

Standard shower (3 minutes)


Standard shower (5 minutes)


Standard shower (10 minutes)


Low-flow shower (3 minutes)


Low-flow shower (5 minutes)


Low-flow shower (10 minutes)








As you can see, showers generally use less water than baths, even when using a standard showerhead. However, the difference in water consumption is most pronounced when using a low-flow showerhead. A 10-minute shower with a low-flow showerhead uses only about half the water of a full bathtub.

Sources: Stanford Magazine, EPA


Which is More Eco-Friendly?

Based on the information above, it’s clear that showers are generally more eco-friendly than baths. They use less water, which helps to conserve a precious resource. They also use less energy to heat the water, which can help to reduce your carbon footprint.


Tips for Reducing Water Consumption

Here are a few tips for reducing your water consumption when showering or bathing:

  • Use a low-flow showerhead.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Turn off the water while you’re soaping up.
  • Fill the bathtub only halfway.
  • Shower before taking a bath.

By following these tips, you can help to conserve water and reduce your environmental impact. And if you are looking to read more articles and tips about how to preserve water, click here and find all our latest content on water saving!

Author: easyecotips