The choice of taking a bath or a shower should depend on your own personal requirements and hygiene priorities – so, it’s really up to you.
We posted some social media polls and did some internet “digging” to find the answers to these questions and more.
You may or may not be shocked to discover that our audience loves a good shower!
But is that the best way to keep clean? We decided to find out!
Is It Better To Take A Shower Or A Bath?
It’s a tough question.
After all, it depends what you’re trying to achieve and how you define “better”.
Want to relax? You’ll probably take a bath, right?
But is a shower ever as relaxing as a bubble bath? That’s what we’re asking.
Are baths better or worse for your health than a refreshing and invigorating shower?
Is there one method of getting clean that’s more beneficial?
Well, sort of, we guess…
Both baths and showers have their own health benefits and lead to the same outcome – getting clean.
So let’s explore the benefits of both to find out which is best!
Is A Shower Or A Bath Better At Getting You Clean?
Taking a shower will get you cleaner than a bath can.
Is that obvious? We’re pretty sure you knew that. But it’s true.
In a shower, water mixes with soap or your favourite shower gel and helps to break up the oils, dirt and sweat that’s accumulated on your skin.
Water hits your body evenly in a shower and washes the dirt away from you and down the drain.
In a bath, some of us can’t get the idea of “sitting in our own filth” out of our heads – and in a bath, that’s pretty much what you do.
So, if you want to be as clean as possible for the day ahead, you should definitely be opting to take a morning shower over a bath.
Can A Bath Be More Beneficial Than A Shower?
The short answer is, yes, in terms of your health and well-being a bath is better than a shower.
Showers may be better at cleaning you than a bath can be, but that does not mean that a beautiful bath time isn’t good for you too.
Baths can help to exfoliate your skin, stimulate your nervous system and are great at helping you to relax.
In fact, a Japanese study discovered that the health benefits of taking a warm bath far outweigh those of taking a shower.
The research delved into the benefits of taking a hot bath compared to taking a shower, and asked people to report back on their physical and mental well-being after each.
Although showering is the most common way of getting ourselves clean, according to the results of the study, the benefits of a hot bath should not be underplayed.
It found that people who bathed more often than they showered were more inclined to feel happy in themselves, had a better nights sleep and suffered less with stress and anxiety.
But, the study didn’t stop there.
It also found that taking a bath helped improve a person’s metabolic rate too – meaning people who take regular baths could be onto a weightloss idea that many of us shower lovers have missed!
It stated that baths are great for your heart rate and can be beneficial for people with heart conditions and physical disabilities and that baths can help to give your entire musculoskeletal system a recharge; alleviating the stress in your joints and muscles.
So, can a bath be more beneficial than a shower?
In relieving pain, reducing stress, and perhaps helping you to lose weight – while still keeping you clean – they win, this round.
Other Advantages Of A Bath Over A Shower
A standard bath, filled with water is one thing, but there are several variations on the bath time theme that perhaps you haven’t considered.
Sure, hot baths do a good job of relaxing you, but you can approach a bath in several different ways – each of which offers a little extra than a shower can.
Baths can be a great delivery system for all sorts of ingredients that are good for your health too.
Check out these “alternative” bath ideas and you’ll be milking up bathtime like Cleopatra in no time.
Oatmeal baths have been used to treat a range of incurable skin ailments for a long time.
One such skin condition – that doesn’t have a cure – is Eczema, and an oatmeal bath can be great at reducing the swelling and itchiness caused by it.
Check out our helpful article on Oatmeal baths and how they can be of benefit to you!
Essential oils have long been known to help relax and calm your mind and body and a few drops in a steaming hot bath can soothe tired muscles and chill you out.
Eucalyptus and Lavender are the two most common essential oils used at bath time, but you wouldn’t go wrong with Camomile or Lemon oil either.
You may have heard how Cleopatra kept herself looking young by bathing in Ass’s milk to cleanse her skin and give herself a radiant glow.
But is there any truth to the milk bath myth?
The benefits of a milk bath can vary based on the type of milk you choose, and these days there are several options to choose from.
From coconut milk that is filled with lauric acid – which features in many skin care products – to buttermilk that’s a great anti-wrinkle solution, there are several milks you can use in a soothing bath.
This is a slightly more medical type of bath than any of the others above, and is often prescribed to new mums to help soothe issues arising from childbirth.
A Sitz bath is a warm and shallow bath that is used to cleanse the perineum – that’s the little bit of flesh between your bum and your genitals – and they’re great at soothing itchiness and irritation caused by hemorrhoids too.
There are kits that you can buy to use while sitting on the loo, or you can create one in your bathtub at home by putting about 4-6 centimetres of warm water in the bath and lowering your rear end over the side and into the water.
With a Sitz bath, you only want to put your bottom in the bathtub and avoid getting anything but your bum wet.
Sit(z) there for a few minutes to cleanse the area before patting (not rubbing) yourself dry to soothe the perineum.
Advantages Of A Shower Over A Bath
So it’s pretty clear from the research we’ve found that baths have an advantage over showers in terms of relaxing you and offering a couple of medicinal uses too.
But surely showers have their own benefits too, right?
Well, yes, and they are many and varied and shouldn’t be overlooked.
We take both hot and cold showers depending on our mood and the type of day we’re experiencing, and there are benefits to both.
A hot shower will produce heat and steam – elements that will soothe muscles and help to release toxins in your skin.
Colder showers can help to boost your immune system and even burn fat (which means I am taking cold showers from now on!).
Go From Hot To Cold To Stay Healthy
This amazing study highlighted that people who took hot-to-cold showers were invariably healthier than those that did not.
It showed that starting with hot water showers and decreasing the temperature resulted in the adults in the study taking fewer sick days off work over the course of a 12 month period.
This is a sort of “response conditioning” that was designed to determine if repeated exposure to cold showers – over a 30 day period – had any sort of cumulative impact on a person’s wellness and health state.
Though only a small study, it would suggest that hot-to-cold showers are more beneficial if you want to stay healthy!
Check out our guide to learn more about the benefits of hot and cold showers.
Take A Shower To Save Your Skin (And Your Hair!)
A shower will help to improve blood circulation under the skin.
This process is known as vasoconstriction and it controls how blood is distributed throughout your body.
A cold shower can stimulate the blood flow in your scalp – improving the look and feel of your hair and perhaps help with reducing baldness.
It is this same process that helps to give your skin a “glowing” look, so is definitely something to consider before a night out or an important job interview – as a cold shower could help you look your best!
Cold Showers & The “Feel Good” Factor
It has been suggested that showers that start off at a moderate temperature – before being reduced to freezing cold – can help to wake up your nervous system and stimulate natural endorphins.
This approach has been prescribed for people suffering with depression and is notable for its simplicity – in that anyone with a shower can give it a try, and see if it has a positive impact on their mental health and well-being!
Should I Take A Bath Or A Shower?
As with all personal hygiene – and as the name suggests – it is your own personal preference that should determine if you take a bath or a shower.
But, if you’re looking to relax, ease daily fatigue and perhaps treat chronic pain, you should probably take a bath for all three.
For more effective daily cleansing of the skin – and for additional health benefits – a shower may be a better option.
Showers can also give you an immune-system boost and prevent a range of ailments if you switch from hot to cold for the last few minutes of your daily routine.
Which Team Are You On – #TeamBath or #TeamShower?
Tell us about your bath or shower routine in the comments below and follow our Instagram account to hear stories from people in both #TeamBath and #TeamShower camps to discover what the UK population prefers!
John trained in journalism before joining the Big Bathroom Shop team. His exceptional journalism skills allow him to meticulously research bathroom topics and bring you the very latest news and views on all things bath and shower related. He’s also a dab hand at Scrabble!