Digital showers buying guide: Choosing the right shower kit
Choose from a selection of premium digital shower systems that will transform your showering experience. Providing you with single or double shower head controls, you can even fill the bath.
Guide to digital shower mixers
What could be nicer than stepping into a preheated shower each morning, no need to wait for the water to reach the right temperature, and no need to endlessly adjust mixer taps to get the flow just how you want it. Just jump in and allow the powerful jets to fall over your body leaving you feeling ultra clean and fresh without the stress associated with a conventional shower. With a luxury state-of-the-art digital shower all this and more can be a reality.
What is a digital shower?
A digital shower works like a conventional mixer shower, where hot and cold water streams are mixed to achieve the desired temperature. The difference with a digital shower is that the water flow is controlled by an electronic thermostat, which monitors and constantly adjusts the water flow to maintain a constant temperature, effectively eliminating those annoying cold spots you get when someone turns on an appliance in another room.
How do digital showers work?
A digital shower has an electronic thermostat built into the shower unit which monitors the water flow and temperature. The thermostat is connected to a control unit which is installed out of sight, either in the loft or under the bath. The user can then use the control unit to select their desired temperature and water flow settings, on some models these can be pre-programmed into the unit allowing each family member to have their own settings. The control unit then constantly adjusts the water flow to maintain the desired temperature.
Aqualisa Q, the next generation of smart showers
The different types of digital mixer valves
The type of digital shower valve you can install will depend on the type of hot water system you have fitted in your home. There are essentially three types of hot water system used in the UK. Gravity fed, pressurised and combination (combi) boiler systems. The gravity fed system uses a cold water tank located in the loft to feed a hot water cylinder which is usually installed in an airing cupboard. Gravity fed hot water systems are low-pressure systems which don’t have particularly strong water flow. To compensate for this a digital pump can be fitted to increase the pressure in the system to around 0.1 to 0.4 bar, this will give you a much more powerful water stream at the shower head.
With a pressurised system the hot water cylinder is fed directly from the mains with a mixer valve used to mix hot and cold water before it reaches the shower head. With a pressurised system there is no need for a hot water tank in the loft. However, because this type of system is pressurised already you are not able to install a pump to increase the pressure. High-pressure digital valves designed to exceed 0.5 bar also need to be fitted with this type of heating system.
If you have a combination boiler fitted, you don’t have a separate hot water tank, and the water is heated when required by the boiler. Combination boiler heating systems are closed loop pressurised systems so a pump cannot be installed and a high-pressure valve must be used.
Most digital shower manufacturers offer both gravity fed and pressurised systems suitable for all the above central heating types. You just need to choose the right pump and valve combination for the type of central heating system you have.
What features do they have?
Digital showers come with many more features than traditional mixer showers. The digital control unit enables you to pre-program individual temperature settings, allowing each member of your family to have their own temperature profile. Some models also provide access to the control panel from your smartphone, enabling you to preheat the water to your desired temperature before you jump in. Digital showers can also be programmed to preheat the water to a predetermined schedule, ensuring the water is always piping hot each morning when you get up.
The control panel itself can be a standard dial which is easy to use and won’t look out of place in a traditional bathroom or you could opt for a more advanced LCD touchscreen display which gives you access to individual family temperature settings, water flow settings, pulse and massage settings and much more. And you’re not limited to having the control panel in the shower cubicle itself, some digital showers have wireless or Bluetooth functionality which allows the control panel to operate up to 10m away from the control unit itself, allowing you to set the shower temperature while you’re still in bed.
How easy are they to fit?
Digital showers are relatively easy to fit for anyone who has experience installing conventional electric shower systems. Most systems allow you to install the processor box out of sight, either in the loft or under the bath, rather than taking up room in the shower enclosure itself. Water is then fed to the showerhead via the riser rail which helps keep cables and pipework hidden from view. With this type of system, you won’t need to drill holes in wall tiles or channel pipes into the wall. However, some systems may require new pipework and cabling to be installed, so it’s worth exploring the different options before you make a final decision.
When choosing a system it is also worth considering the type of control unit you require. Digital showers are available with some pretty elaborate LCD touchscreen displays which may look out of place in some traditional style bathrooms. Fortunately, most digital shower manufacturers provide a range of different control panel options, with everything from traditional maritime taps to discrete remote control options for you to choose from.
How much do they cost?
Digital shower systems are available to suit most budgets, with the cheapest systems retailing for as little as a few hundred pounds and more elaborate systems costing upwards of £1000. As a general rule, pumped systems cost more than high-pressure systems, and the more feature rich showers will cost more than standard systems. Most of the major shower brands have a range of digital showers with models from Aqualisa and Mira costing around £500 - £1100, while Vado and Crosswater offer a range of sleek contemporary digital showers which cost from £750 to over £2000.
Digital shower manufacturers
Aqualisa is a leading British manufacturer of shower units that have been supplying shower units for UK bathrooms for over 40 years. Aqualisa offers a range of digital showers, with both gravity feed and high-pressure systems available. The Aqualisa range of smart showers combines a minimalist design aesthetic with Aqualisa smart technology to help reduce water consumption without altering the showering experience.
Aqualisa Smart showers are available in the following collections:
Quartz Smart – Ideal for family bathrooms the Quartz range is operated the same way as a traditional shower system but it allows you to thermostatically blend water to the exact temperature and holds it there for the duration of the shower.
Visage Smart – Built for small shower enclosures, Visage is easy to fit and comes with a choice of concealed and exposed designs that can be fitted with minimum disruption and cost.
Q Smart – Based on the Quartz Smart system, Q Smart incorporates a sleek, round digital dial and LCD display which allows you to precisely control the water temperature. The control unit can also be programmed to create your own unique shower experience from a range of combinations, including temperature, water flow, and duration.
Rise Smart – Designed for multi-head environments, Rise Smart uses intelligent diverter technology to switch between adjustable, drencher and handheld showerheads. An optional remote control is also available for added convenience, allowing you to set the bath running from the comfort of your bedroom.
Q EDITION – Based on the Q Smart system, the Q Edition gives you more customization options including Black Chrome, Bright Chrome, Rose Gold, Pewter, and Nickel finishes.
Infinia – Described as the thinnest, most customizable shower ever, Infinia combines an elegant sleek design with a range of customizable options allowing you to tailor the fit and finish to suit the style of your bathroom.
HiQu – With its minimalist and contemporary design, HiQu is the perfect compliment for any modern, sleek bathroom. HiQu uses unique diverter technology to switch between showering and bathing at the touch of a button and can be fitted with a remote control option for the ultimate indulgence.
Viso – Simple to use and easy to install, Viso provides all the simplicity and convenience of a digital shower without breaking the bank. Viso Smart showers are priced from £400.
Zuri – Based on the low-cost Viso system, Zuri has the capability to add multiple shower heads, with the option to switch between adjustable and drencher heads at the touch of a button.
Mira is a UK based company that have been manufacturing showers for over 90 years. They offer a range of digital showers to suit all budgets and styles from traditional to contemporary. All Mira digital showers use WiFi-enabled control units which don’t require a cable to be connected to the control box, making them much easier to install than wired systems.
Mira digital showers are available in the following collections:
Mode – Available for both gravity and high-pressure systems, Mode is a minimalist style shower unit which can be extended with a range of options including multiple heads and a separate bath fill. It uses a standard dial controller which is easy to use and install.
Platinum – Easy to install with a range of shower head options including ceiling rose, handheld and adjustable, the Platinum collection is the perfect choice for family bathrooms. It comes with a digital programmable controller with versions available for both gravity and pressure based hot water systems.
Vier – Offering precise flow and temperature control along with a warm-up mode, Vier is ideal for families on the go. The sleek minimalist design also won’t look out of place in any bathroom, contemporary or classic.
Vision – Providing the ultimate in control, the Vision system can be used to pre-program water temperature and flow rate settings allowing you single-button access to your favourite shower settings. The controller can also be used remotely for the ultimate relaxing experience.
Relatively new to the bathroom scene, Bathroom Brands has become the first choice for plumbers and customers wishing to install the most up to date innovations in their bathrooms. Easy to maintain and instal, these colour changing digital control sets are connected to a central digital processor that can be situated anywhere in the bathroom including the loft. A newly developed thermistor checks the water temperature 10 times per second so you will always experience a soothing and safe shower.
Bathroom Brands digital showers are available in the following collections:
Traditional Classic 1910 - Bold striking designs with single or double outlets in traditional Victorian styles giving you the best of both worlds, traditional looks with space-age technology.
Contemporary 2025 - High gloss chrome components to match your other bathroom brassware feature colour coded LED lights around the controls indicating the desired water temperature has been reached. Quick to react, the digital processor can be hidden under the bath or in a cupboard to save space. In addition a handy remote control with a range f up to 10 metres can be specified.
Famed for their innovative design and quality construction, Crosswater bathrooms have established themselves as one of the UK’s leading luxury bathroom and brassware manufacturers. Crosswater digital showers are available for both gravity fed and pressurised systems with a range of matching accessories also available.
Crosswater digital showers are available in the following collections:
Kai – With its simple contemporary and understated style, Kai is the perfect fit for almost any bathroom. Its elegant interface is simple to use and comes with a high-quality chrome metal finish providing the ultimate luxury finish to your bathroom.
Belgravia – Designed for traditional bathrooms, where a contemporary control unit would look out of place. Belgravia comes with a choice of two handle styles, the classic cross handle for a nautical look or an elegant single lever which adds a decadent traditional feel to your bathroom.
Vado is a leading British bathroom and brassware designer which has a reputation for supplying high-quality bathroom products in a range of styles both contemporary and traditional.
Vado supply digital shower valves and accessories in the following collections:
Identity – With its large digital LCD display and ultra contemporary design, the Identity control panel won’t look out of place in even the most futuristic of bathrooms. It can also be combined with a range of matching fittings and accessories to complete an ultra contemporary look.