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What Is the Best Shower Temperature?

6 min read
  • Design Trends

Design Your Dream Shower Request a free consultation or call (800) 484-9738

According to most dermatologists, the ideal shower temperature is anywhere between 98°F (37°C) and 104°F (40°C)—and no more than 105 °F (41°C). Rinsing under lukewarm water allows you to stay comfortable and maintain your body temperature while reaping all the benefits of both hot and cold showers.

But this general rule doesn’t mean you should stop taking cold or hot showers. In fact, the water temperature you use can deliver different health impacts, so varying your routine can be really beneficial.

Make the most of your shower time by learning how to set the temperature just right based on your situation or goal.

For Glowing Skin

Woman washing body with loofah

Hot showers may feel amazing, but they have the potential to damage your skin. The heat from the water can strip away your skin’s natural, oily protective barriers, leaving it dry, irritated and itchy. If you have acne-prone or sensitive skin, you’ll especially want to avoid showering with water hot enough to turn your skin red.

To keep your skin soft and hydrated, rinse off in lukewarm water and apply moisturizer right after your shower when your skin is still wet.

For Shiny Hair

woman deep conditions hair in shower

The best way to wash your hair is to cleanse it with hot or warm water and use cold water for the final rinse. Starting your shower with hot water opens your scalp’s pores, helping to remove dirt, oil and build-up from your hair. The downside is that it can increase dryness, frizziness and hair breakage. You can counteract these effects by ending your shower with a cold water rinse to seal your cuticles and lock the moisture in.

No matter what temperature you prefer, make sure to use a great conditioner to give your hair volume and shine.

When You’re Sick

Closeup of women in shower with loofa

A hot or cold shower won’t make your cold or flu disappear, but it can help you treat the uncomfortable symptoms. Standing in a hot shower can help relieve cough or respiratory symptoms. The steam opens your airways, loosens up phlegm and clears out your nasal passages. Conversely, cool or lukewarm water can help reduce your fever. Be careful that the water isn’t too cold, as shivering can raise your core body temperature.

If you’d rather take a more proactive approach instead of just treating your symptoms, consider taking cold showers regularly.

Research suggests that taking icy showers a few times a week may boost your immune system and make you more resistant to colds and the flu.

After Working Out

Couple in Bluette Shower

Both cold and hot showers can help speed up your recovery time. Cold water narrows your blood vessels and reduces inflammation, helping to prevent bruising and swelling. Meanwhile, hot water can increase the blood flow to your muscles and flush out lactic acid build-up from tired muscles.

To learn more about the advantages of hot vs cold showers after exercise, explore The Best Way to Shower After Working Out.

Before Bed

Image of shower at night

Taking a hot shower one to two hours before heading to bed can help you fall asleep faster. The hot water increases blood flow to your hands and feet and lowers your core body temperature, which signals to your body that it’s time for bed. As you begin to drift off, you’ll feel your muscles relax and your body tension melt away.

For more reasons to unwind with a hot shower (and wake up with a cold shower), see our answer to the question, When Is The Best Time of Day to Take a Shower?

Set the Temperature Just Right With LuxStone®

KOHLER LuxStone Digital Showering Technology

Whether you prefer cold, lukewarm or hot showers, LuxStone makes it easier than ever for you to control the temperature with a digital shower system. At the touch of a button, the DTV Prompt® lets you program your preferred temperature settings to activate upon start-up so you can step in right away and never have to worry about finding the perfect water temperature again.

Contact your local KOHLER Authorized Dealer to learn more about LuxStone’s cutting-edge features.


Request A Free Design Consultation

or call to speak with a KOHLER Authorized Dealer (800) 484-9738