Best Shower Brushes

Updated June 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

56 Models Considered
28 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
165 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best shower brushes

Exfoliation is a vital part of any well-rounded skincare routine, but if you're only focusing on your face, you're missing out. Whole-body exfoliation is an excellent way to improve the appearance, texture, and overall health of your skin, and a good shower brush is just the tool for the job.

A shower brush makes it easier to access those hard to reach areas so you can exfoliate your skin evenly. A vigorous scrub with the right shower brush can also help boost blood circulation, and some brushes even come with built-in massagers to help relieve muscle tension.

If you're wondering how electric shower brushes stack up against manual models, which handle length offers the most versatility, or which bristle type to choose, you're in the right place. Our detailed buying guide has everything you need to know about choosing the best shower brush for your bath-time needs. Above, we’ve recommended some of our favorites too.

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Exfoliating your skin with a medium-bristle shower brush while you wash comes with a wealth of benefits, including a reduction in acne, softer and smoother skin, improved blood circulation, and better absorption of lotions and creams.

Key considerations

Manual vs. electric

Manual: Almost everyone is familiar with the good, old-fashioned manual shower brush. These brushes can have a long or short handle. Most are relatively lightweight and tend to be extremely easy to handle and use. Simply wet the brush, apply a little body wash or shower gel, and get to work on your skin using either a back-and-forth or circular motion.

Electric: Too tired to scrub after a long day? An electric shower brush will do all the work for you. These brushes often come with interchangeable scrubbing and massaging heads that spin into action at the press of a button, and some even have a built-in soap dispenser. Most electric shower brushes have variable speed settings, and a few also offer a vibrate function to help relax stiff, aching muscles. However, they do tend to be quite a bit heavier than manual brushes and, of course, require regular recharging.

Handle

The length of a shower brush handle can have a considerable impact on reach and control. Depending on your personal needs, you may find that one suits you better than another. Another option is to choose a combination brush. Let's take a quick look at each.

Long handle: A long-handled shower brush is perfect for reaching areas like the middle of back. It also allows you to reach virtually any part of the body, high or low, with minimal movement or effort, making it ideal for anyone with limited mobility. The handle length on these shower brushes can vary considerably, so it's a good idea to check the measurements before you buy.

Handheld: Also known as body brushes, handheld shower brushes come with knobs or straps for a secure grip. While handheld shower brushes don't offer nearly as much reach as long-handled varieties, they can provide superior control. This is especially helpful for targeting specific areas like the hips, thighs, or upper arms and can be ideal for dry brushing as well.

Combination: Combination shower brushes have a two-in-one design that offers the best of both worlds. These have a long handle with a detachable head that works as a handheld shower brush. Some combination shower brushes come with a few different head types for added versatility. While two-in-one shower brushes can be convenient, if the attachment mechanism gets damaged, you'll only be able to use the heads in handheld mode.

Bristle type

Natural: Derived from plants (palm and cactus sisal fibers) or animals (boar and horse hair), natural bristles are non-irritating and suitable for most skin types. Not surprisingly, natural bristles are considered the gold standard of shower brushes and just about any other type of brush as well. However, they can be prone to shedding and should be handled and cleaned with care.

Synthetic: These bristles are usually made of nylon or silicone. Shower brushes with synthetic bristles tend to be more affordable, but they're also more likely to irritate sensitive skin. Whether they're soft or stiff, nylon bristles can be just as prone to shedding as natural bristles. Silicone bristles, on the other hand, are generally soft, flexible, and easy to clean.

Bristle firmness

Shower brushes come with soft, medium, or firm bristles.

Soft bristles are the gentlest of the bunch and work best for sensitive skin as well as more delicate areas, such as the belly, chest, and neck.

Medium bristles are for you if you're after more intensive exfoliation. These brushes can help remove dead skin cells as well as dirt and oil buildup without being overly harsh. However, you may want to avoid sensitive areas like the neck and face.

Firm, stiff bristles might be right for you if you're the type who craves a deep and satisfying back scratch. That said, you might want to consider purchasing a separate brush with softer bristles or one with a double-sided head for more sensitive areas.

Give your shower brush a thorough wash at least once a week to keep it clean and hygienic. Use a natural disinfectant like tea tree oil to kill germs and bacteria without damaging the bristles.

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Features

Dual heads

Shower brushes with dual heads offer added versatility. While some feature soft bristles on one side and firmer bristles on the other, you can also find bristle and massage nib combinations. As mentioned previously, many electric shower brushes come with interchangeable heads. These range from heads with varying bristle firmness to loofahs, massagers, and even pumice stones for an all-in-one spa experience.

Soap dispenser

A few handheld and electric shower brushes come with a built-in soap dispenser that feeds liquid soap into the brush head at the press of a button. While this can be convenient, it also adds another step to your shower brush cleaning routine.

Loop

Having a built-in storage solution certainly is handy. Shower brushes that come with a sturdy hanging loop take all the guesswork out of finding a suitable storage spot by allowing you to hang them right in your shower or on any other available peg.

Handle

Nonslip: Soap and water make a slippery combination. Choosing a shower brush with a textured handle or rubberized grip can reduce the chances of accidental drops and any damage that may occur as a result.

Adjustable: If you aren't quite sure which handle length to choose, a model with an adjustable handle will meet you in the middle. Traditional shower brushes typically have either a two-in-one design (detachable head) or folding handle, while most electric models deliver adjustable length via a telescoping handle.

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DID YOU KNOW?
If you're looking for a shower brush that will comfortably reach from head to toe with minimal effort, choose a handle length of between 14 and 17 inches.
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Accessories

Shower gel: L'Occitane Verbena Shower Gel
No shower is complete without a good shower gel. For a pick-me-up before or after a long day, choose one with a clean, crisp scent that will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized like this verbena option from L’Occitane.

Body lotion: AHAVA Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Lotion
A hot shower paired with a good scrub can leave skin feeling dry and tight. A quality body lotion can help restore moisture, and this one from AHAVA comes in five delightful scents.

Shower speaker: SoundBot Waterproof Shower Speaker
Why settle for simply singing in the shower when you can collaborate with your favorite muso? Hanging a colorful waterproof speaker in your shower, like this mini version from SoundBot, is a fun way to elevate your bath-time experience.

Shower brush prices

Inexpensive: For between $5 and $10, you can find both natural and synthetic handheld shower brushes, as well as synthetic models with long plastic handles.

Mid-range: The $10 to $20 price bracket yields a wealth of options, ranging from long-handled natural bristle brushes (both single- and double-sided) to combination models and even shower brush sets.

Expensive: Premium natural bristle shower brushes with longer than average handles and electric models generally cost anywhere from $20 to $45.

If you're looking for a vegan-friendly alternative to boar bristle shower brushes, cactus sisal fiber is an excellent choice.

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Tips

  • Don't be too hard on your skin. If your scrubbing action hurts a little, it means you're doing a good job, right? Well, no, not really. Contrary to popular belief, exfoliation shouldn't hurt at all. If your skin is feeling tender, burning, or turning red during or after exfoliating, it's a sign that you should ease up on the pressure or look for something with softer bristles.
  • Scrub in a circular motion. Gently brushing your skin in a circular motion is the best way to loosen and remove dead cells and dirt.
  • Use a nourishing shower gel. Some shower gels can dry out skin. Using a quality option with moisturizing ingredients can help nourish and replenish your skin.
  • Dial down the temperature. There are few things more inviting than a steaming hot shower after a long, hard day, but high temperatures can take a toll on your skin. Hot water opens pores and strips the skin of natural oils, leaving it dry and vulnerable. Using lukewarm to warm water washes away dead skin and dirt without drying you out too much.
  • Follow up with a good moisturizer. After a good scrub and rinse, your skin is bound to be thirsty. Quench it by applying a moisture-rich body lotion or body butter afterward.
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Brushes with wooden handles should be dried quickly and thoroughly to minimize moisture absorption and prevent mildew growth.

FAQ

Q. Can I use a regular shower brush for dry brushing?

A. Yes, many regular shower brushes can double as a dry brush as well. However, it's important to make sure your brush is completely dry before you start. For the best results, we recommend choosing a handheld model with natural, medium bristles.

Q. How should I clean my shower brush head?

A. Cleaning your shower brush at least once a week will help remove dead skin cells, dirt, and bacteria. To clean your shower brush, fill with water a bowl large enough to accommodate the head. Add three drops of tea tree oil or another mild disinfectant. Place the brush head bristle side down into the solution, taking care not to submerge any wooden components. Swirl the brush around to loosen dirt and then leave to soak for five minutes. Rinse well, shake the brush to remove any excess moisture, wipe, and hang up your shower brush to dry. Alternatively, you can fill a bowl with hot water before adding half a cup of white vinegar and half a cup of baking soda. Soak the brush for 15 minutes and then swirl it to dislodge any dirt. Rinse your shower brush thoroughly and hang it to dry.

Q. Are shower brushes better than loofahs?

A. From a hygiene perspective, definitely. While the porous and highly textured surface of a loofah is fantastic for exfoliation, it also traps dead skin cells and dirt and can quickly become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Loofahs are also nearly impossible to clean properly, so every time you exfoliate, you're exposing your skin to some pretty nasty stuff. Not surprisingly, this can lead to acne outbreaks and infections. Shower brushes, on the other hand, are fairly easy to clean, making them a much safer and more hygienic alternative to loofahs.

 

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