Baths vs Showers: Which is the Nation's Favourite?

baths versus showers header image showing person laying in bath and woman showering with text saying which is the uk's most popular baths vs showers
Author: James Roberts
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Bathing and showering is an essential part of our daily routines, a way in which many of us start or end our day. Whichever we choose, our personal hygiene deeply impacts our sense of wellbeing, and our habits provide the opportunity to take time for ourselves.

But, do we prefer a long soak in the bathtub or a quick, convenient shower? The age-old question continues to spark debate in bathrooms worldwide. And now, we have surveyed the UK public to finally answer the question – at least for this year!

Are Showers More Popular Than Baths? The UK is Officially A Shower Nation

According to our recent survey, in 2024 the UK is officially a shower nation after almost 3 in 5 Brits (59%) revealed they prefer taking a shower over having a bath, with some more strongly than others.

graphic showing that 60% of brits prefer showering to baths

The survey revealed the reasons behind Brits bathing and showering preferences were driven by a desire for convenience, a sense of cleanliness, and the remarkable benefits showers offer for mental health and wellbeing.

When quizzed on their bathing and showering habits, Brits revealed the reasons behind their preferences. These were:

graphic showing Brits reasons for bathing or showering preferences

  1. They make me feel cleaner (40%)
  2. They help me relax/destress (34%)
  3. Convenience and time saving (33%)
  4. Getting time to myself (30%)
  5. Easier to wash in, do hair and beauty routines (21%)

A large number of Brits surveyed claimed that they feel cleaner, and there is certainly truth to this when it comes to showers in particular. The direct flow of water in a shower can be more effective in removing dirt, sweat, and impurities from the body, compared to a bath.

34% of Brits stated a shower helps them relax or destress, and while it may not be for everybody, a cold shower has lots of benefits in this area. A cool shower can be far more invigorating and help you feel more alert, while it can also aid exercise recovery and support your immune system. A cold shower also has wonderful benefits on skin and hair too. So, it might be time to turn down the dial next time you’re in the shower!

A third of Brits (33%) revealed their preferences were based on convenience, with showers taking precedence as the quickest routine over baths, making them ideal for busy schedules.

The Benefits of Bathing

image of a relaxing bath with candeles and bath rack with book and drink

Despite only 28% of Brits saying they preferred them, you can’t deny the benefits of baths. Warm baths can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and ease muscle tension, especially when using alongside bath salts and essential oils, like lavender or rosemary. There’s no better feeling than taking a moment to yourself to relax, and prioritise your own self-care.

Soaking in a bath can also ease symptoms of eczema and can be more beneficial than a shower for people with this condition. The National Eczema Organisation recommends bathing in lukewarm (not hot) water for five-ten minutes, and following the “Soak and Seal” method to lock in the all-important moisture needed for eczema-prone skin. Leave the skin slightly damp after bathing, apply any prescription medication required, and liberally apply moisturiser within three minutes. Let this soak into your skin fully before getting dressed.

Do Baths or Showers Use More Water?

On average, Brits use around 10 - 25 gallons of water for a 5 minute shower whilst a bath uses around 70 gallons. This average water usage has an effect on running costs, and the natural world - two considerations that our survey revealed Brits are increasingly conscious about.

image of woman soaking in bath with cup of coffee

Nearly one in 10 Brits (8%) revealed they used to prefer having a bath, but have changed their habits due to the economic cost of hot water and energy (16%), while 1 in 4 (7%) have even taken measures such as sharing with partners of bathing children together.

If you’re looking for ways to reduce water consumption in your home, you can introduce water-efficient features into their homes, such as dual flush cisterns, which offer users the choice between a lower volume flush for liquid waste and a higher volume for solid waste, maximising water savings.

image of a dual flush toilet button being pressed

Replacing your shower head could also help to reduce water waste. Changing your shower head to a low-flow version with high pressure can help save water usage and money while not compromising your shower experience.

A minority of 1 in 33 (3%) still don’t believe there is anything wrong with the environment and climate, and so don’t care about water usage.

What's Truly Better: Baths vs Showers?

While our survey provides insight into whether Brits prefer baths or showers, of course, the decision is personal. There are differences between taking a bath and shower, and you need to choose whatever works for you.

Factors like time constraints, physical limitations, environmental impacts and simply personal preferences will lead to favouring one method over another. And of course, not every home will be equipped with both - sometimes it’s a matter of using what you have!

Consider the desired outcome too. Do you prioritise relaxation, pain relief, timekeeping, protecting the environment, reduce running costs, or efficient cleansing? With more Brits claiming their habits have shifted due to a desire for convenience, a sense of cleanliness, consider getting in the shower! There are remarkable benefits showers offer for mental health and wellbeing and past research from Sanctuary Bathrooms also revealed that singing in the shower can improve your mood and overall well being, with 73% of men and 88% of women indulge in this joyful activity.

image of woman singing in shower with brush

And of course, if possible, take advantage of both baths and showers for optimum cleanliness and relaxation if you can. 12% of Brits claimed they like both baths and showers equally in our survey, and if this is you, a shower bath is the perfect compromise for offering the chance to have a relaxing soak when time allows, while also having the convenience of showers for when time is tight.

Cleaning Up The Results

Bath vs shower is an age-old question, and a conversation starter to boot. Whether you're a bath or shower person, one thing we can all agree on is how important it is to take the time to ourselves to bathe, destress, and feel ready for our day.

Has this article inspired you to reconsider your bathroom? If so, we have hundreds of new bath and shower styles ready to adapt to your lifestyle, facilities, and personal preferences.

And if you’ve enjoyed reading this article, discover our whole hub of inspiration on The Journal, filled with blogs about bathrooms, interiors, water management and much more.