The 7 Best Steam Showers of 2023

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Treat yourself from the comfort of your own bathroom

<p>The Spruce / David Hattan</p>

The Spruce / David Hattan

If you’re remodeling your bathroom and eager to up the spa-like potential of the room, consider a steam shower. “It’s a very handy device that is installed nearby a bathroom that boils water. At the touch of a button or screen, the shower enclosure is quickly filled with steam through a special outlet,” says Jennifer Hutton, principal designer and creative director of Grau Design Studio in Durham, North Carolina.

Your next step once the steam arrives: relaxation. If you’re familiar with the sauna or steam room in the gym or spa, you’ve got a sense of the benefits that accompany a steam shower. But this add-on does not come cheap. Steam showers—along with the renovations needed to get them in place—have a high price point, and you’ll need to consider a variety of factors, including the size of the generator, power usage, and if it includes add-on features, such as aromatherapy and WiFi.

EliteSteam 12 kW Steam Shower Generator Kit

Buy at

Buy at

What We Like

  • Kit includes all essential parts

  • Aromatherapy option

  • Easy installation

  • Accommodates large space

What We Don't Like

  • Takes 5 minutes to warm up

  • Auto drain is available separately

This is one of the more popular steam shower options, according to plumbing company co-owner Harrison. The advantage of this bundle from Steamist is that you have just about everything you’ll need to put in the steam shower: the generator, the control, the steamhead, and the connecting cable. That inside control is available in a variety of finishes, so you can find the option that works best with your shower design. The control is simple, with limited options, making it easy to operate even if you’re taking a steam before your morning cup of coffee and being fully alert.

This steam shower comes with a warranty. The generator itself is sized to fit into small spaces, so you can easily stash it in a cabinet. But a compact size doesn’t mean small amounts of steam—this unit emits enough steam for a 550 cubic feet shower enclosure.

There’s a built-in reservoir, offering you the option to add scent to the steam. Buyers praise the smooth installation process. Note that some reviewers point out that it takes the generator some time to get up to temperature. Plus, while an auto Steamist TSG-AD Auto Drain product is available, it’s sold separately (Amazon, $342).

Price at time of publish: $1,974

Dimensions: 15.5 x 18 x 7.5 inches | Weight: 46 pounds | Auto-Drain: No | Built-In Thermostat: Yes

Kohler Invigoration Series 9kW Steam Generator

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What We Like

  • Reaches temperature quickly

  • Responsive customer service

  • Temperatures stay steady and don’t fluctuate

What We Don't Like

  • Control, adapter, and drain pan sold separately

  • Requires dedicated breaker

This steam generator from Kohler is speedy, taking just one minute to reach your desired temperature. That’s a feature that buyers appreciate. And the steam is emitted consistently, for a comfortable experience without dips or spikes in temperature.

This steam generator has a one-touch automatic cleaning option, which uses water to flush sediment through the steam head. The generator is appropriate for a shower enclosure sized at 240 cubic feet.

Several additional items are required to make this steam generator function, including a drain pan, control panel, digital interface, mounting bracket, and system control module. Since the generator includes a reservoir for aromatherapy scents, you can have a scented steam shower.

One other feature to note: It uses one gallon of water during a 20-minute session. For contrast, a standard shower uses 2.5 gallons of water per minute, according to the Environmental Protection Agency—that’s a whopping 50 gallons of water used in a 20-minute shower.

Kohler products come with a limited warranty, and reviewers generally describe their interactions with customer service as being positive and smooth. Some reviewers do find the generator to be somewhat noisy, so consider your placement options carefully.

Price at time of publish: $2715

Dimensions: 14.5 x 6.5 x 6.5 inches | Weight: 28.7 pounds | Auto-Drain: Yes | Built-In Thermostat: No

Steamist SMP-7 SM Plus

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What We Like

  • Personalize features

  • Relatively low power rating

  • Warranty available

What We Don't Like

  • Does not come with essential items for operating

  • Does not include auto-drain

Steamist offers another popular generator when it comes to steam showers, Harrison says. It has a 7.5 kW rating and will accommodate up to 250 cubic feet. The tank is made from stainless steel and it offers diagnostics and intelligent control communication.

It comes with a two-year limited warranty. A separate automatic drain system is compatible with this device (and also recommended). Other products are also required for this generator to work, including a control panel. While this means a lot of add-ons in terms of price, the other way to look at it is that you’ll get to opt for the customized options that are most appealing to you. For instance, you can get a WiFi-enabled touchscreen, such as the Steamist 550 ($1,295 at SteamSaunaBath). That allows you to turn on the device from the coziness of your bed, so steam is present by the time you arrive in the bathroom.

Various spa package add-ons allow you to add aromatherapy and chromotherapy, as well as various speaker options, so you can have a full sensory experience while engaged in the steam shower, with scents, colors, and sounds.

Price at time of publish: $1,444

Dimensions: 15x6x15.5 inches | Weight: 30 pounds | Auto-Drain: No  | Built-In Thermostat: No

SteamSpa Oasis 9 KW QuickStart Steam Bath Generator Package

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What We Like

  • Budget-friendly price for package

  • Heats quickly

  • Aromatherapy option

  • Quiet

What We Don't Like

  • Mixed reviews of customer service

  • Essential installation kit is also recommended

If you’re looking for a basic—but not too barebones—steam shower experience, we recommend the SteamSpa Oasis. This kit includes nearly everything you’ll need to get started: a steam generator, control panel, steam head, and auto drain.

The steam head includes a reservoir for fragrance, and in fact, one small jar of essential oil fragrance is included as part of the package. Steam begins to generate quickly. According to the manufacturer, it’ll take around a minute to appear and will then flow uninterrupted.

This package is suitable for a shower enclosure of up to 420 cubic feet. And it operates quietly. Some reviewers noted difficulty getting in touch with the company when parts didn’t function properly or other issues arose. Still, most reviewers appreciated the relatively low cost and quality of the steam shower package.

Price at time of publish: $1,191

Dimensions: 22 x 22 x 12 inches  | Weight: 38 pounds | Auto-Drain: Yes | Built-In Thermostat: No

Mr.Steam MS iTempo 9kW Steam Shower Generator Package

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What We Like

  • Recommended brand

  • Includes control, steamhead, and generator

  • Provides LED indicators for troubleshooting

What We Don't Like

  • Does not include all features from other packages

  • Spa accessories are an additional cost

Mr. Steam products were mentioned by many of the experts we consulted. “We use and install Mr. Steam brand products,” says Bill Harden, owner of City Wide Plumbing in Arizona. “It’s a stainless steel housing with stainless steel and brass fittings that don’t have that cheap feeling like some of the other budget brands,” he says.

This package includes the generator and the brand’s iTempo Control system, which has an LED display and allows you to set the temperature and duration, as well as programming preferred settings for two people. This particular package does not come with a drain pan, for instance. And while Mr. Steam does offer spa therapy accessories, those are sold separately.

The generator is made from recyclable stainless steel. LED indicators are in place to help you find and troubleshoot issues, and the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty, replacing or repairing generators that have defects. This accommodates just ​​257 cubic feet, which is slightly smaller than some of the other options on this list.

Price at time of publish: $2,971

Dimensions: 12.5  x 32.5  x 21.5 inches | Weight: 36 | Auto-Drain: Yes | Built-In Thermostat: No

Mesa 9090K Corner Steam Shower

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What We Like

  • Everything is included

  • Offers body and foot massagers

  • Built-in fold-down seat

What We Don't Like

  • Installation can be tricky

  • Small space

Here’s another approach: Instead of purchasing a generator along with a la carte additional options, or purchasing a kit that includes everything you need for a bathroom remodel with a steam shower, you can opt for a steam shower enclosure that comes with a generator and everything else you’ll need.

This one from Mesa includes a small fold-up seat, along with body massage jets, a foot massager, rainfall ceiling shower, and a generator. It’s on the smaller size (like a stall shower) and can be positioned in the corner or free-standing. It also offers the ability to incorporate aromatherapy.

The sliding doors are curved and made with blue glass for a somewhat futuristic aesthetic. Buyers had mixed feedback on the ease of installation, with some describing it as more challenging than others.

Price at time of publish: $2,298

Dimensions: 87 x 36 x 36 inches | Weight: 447 pounds | Auto-Drain: No | Built-In Thermostat: No

Mr. Steam MS400EC1 9 Kilowatt, 240-Volt Steambath Generator

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Buy at

What We Like

  • Excellent customer service

  • Quiet

  • Customize the control panel and add-ons

What We Don't Like

  • Other essential parts sold separately

  • Steam available in minutes but it may take awhile to reach temperature

If you want to go with Mr. Steam—a highly regarded brand—but are eager to personalize your experience, consider getting this generator, and then opting for the other parts (such as the control and steam head) that suit your style and needs. Other, more decadent add-ons are also available, such as a home audio system, ChromaSteam System, and more.

This generator is easy to install and can be as far as 25 feet from your bathroom (handy if you don’t have a nearby closet or space to stash the unit). It’s made with a stainless steel reservoir and a serviceable heating element. It contains self-diagnostic LED indicators to help you identify and troubleshoot concerns.

You can use this with a variety of Mr. Steam control panels, including the Tempo, TempoPlus, or Bulter1. It will provide steam for a space that’s up to 360 cubic feet. During 20 minutes of operation, this steam shower will use about 1.2 gallons of water.

Price at time of publish: $2,334

Dimensions: 14.76 x 14.48 x 6.73 inches | Weight: 30.8 pounds | Auto-Drain: No | Built-In Thermostat: Yes

Opt for the SteamSpa Oasis 9 KW QuickStart Steam Bath Generator Package if you don’t want to deal with picking out each add-on and are seeking a relatively budget-friendly option. If you’re interested in a more personalized product, consider purchasing just the generator—like this one from Mr. Steam—and then adding on the control unit and features a la carte. Remember, you’ll need to consider the size for your space (since that determines the generator size required) as well as where you’ll place the generator. And, tread carefully when it comes to building your own steam room given the complex electrical and plumbing considerations. 

What to Look for in a Steam Shower

Size and Weight

Weight isn’t much of a concern when it comes to generators, Harden says. But size matters. “While the generator is small—about the size of a large briefcase—we needed to carve out space for it,” says Hutton, who is in the process of installing a steam shower in her own home.

Fortunately, the generator doesn’t need to be installed in the bathroom, which can give you some options for where to place the devices. That said, it’s ideal to have the “shortest pipe run possible,” Harden says. That is, “keeping the unit as close to the steam head as possible is best,” he says. A compact option like the generator in the EliteSteam 12 kW Steam Shower Generator Kit, which is about 15 by 18 inches in size, can easily be stashed within a cabinet or behind a wall.

When you’re designing your bathroom, and looking into adding a steam shower, consider how much steam the generator produces, and if that’s sufficient for your space. Before making a purchase, check the size of your space, and take advantage of generator sizing guides, such as this one from Elite Steam. Your generator size will also be “impacted by the surfacing materials in your shower since ceramic tile conducts heat more readily than natural stone,” Hutton notes.

Power Consumption

It’s not only the plumber who gets involved in steam shower installation—electricians are also required. The power consumption of the steam shower (that is, the kilowatts or kW) affects the amount of electrical work required during installation, says professional electrician and Sparky Base founder David Nicholas. “The greater the kW, the higher the amps the unit will draw, and the larger the cable needed from the consumer unit,” he adds.

Higher kilowatts also mean consuming more energy, which you’ll spot on your electricity bill. “From an energy-saving standpoint, selecting the lowest-rated unit for your needs will save running costs, but should be balanced with the need to produce enough steam quickly enough to enjoy the experience,” Nicholas says.

Start Time

Waiting out shivering for the steam to arrive isn’t the luxurious experience you likely have in mind. Look for steam showers where the start time is speedy, but expect it to take some time.

“Some of these units come with an option of a pre-warming feature that will significantly cut down on the wait time, but usually you’ve got full steam pumping within 3-5 minutes on a standard unit,” Harden says. The Kohler Invigoration Series 9kW Steam Generator is a particular stand-out here, taking just 60 seconds to reach temperature.


With this feature, the water drains from the steam generator after it’s used. “This is important because it helps prevent the buildup of bacteria and mineral deposits that can damage the generator over time,” Harrison says.

Typically, this is an add-on component, Harden says. That is, it won’t come with your generator but will be purchased separately. But if you purchase a kit like the SteamSpa Oasis 9 KW QuickStart Steam Bath Generator Package, the auto-drain feature is included.

Standout Features

Safety Features

The goal of the steam shower is an enjoyable experience, but you'll still want to look for steam showers with built-in safety features like "automatic shut-off, low water level alarms, and temperature sensors,” Harrison says.


A steam shower is a pricey add-on to your home. Make sure that the parts you buy—including the steam generator—come with a warranty.

Scents, Lights, and Music

“Some steam showers come with a built-in aromatherapy system that can enhance the steam experience,” Harrison says. You’ll also find steam showers that offer colored lights or have built-in speakers.


Harden points out that WiFi features in some models are quite advanced—and they can have a truly positive effect on your experience, allowing you pre-heat the shower and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a steam shower work?

When you turn a steam shower on, it triggers an electric valve to fill the steam generator with cold water. Once that water is heated to boiling point, it’s sent to the steam head, which disperses the steam into your shower or bathroom.

How do you install a steam shower?

As mentioned above, steam shower installation is best handled by the pros—a plumber and an electrician, to be exact. In addition to the actual steam shower, you’ll also need to install a generator (though, luckily, this doesn’t need to be done in the bathroom).

What else can you add to your shower to make it a more spa-like experience?

This depends largely on your preferences, but essential oils, oversized robes and towels, and other thoughtful additions can make the world of a difference. If you want to further upgrade your steaming experience, look for a steam shower that comes with extras like an integrated aromatherapy system or colored lights.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Madeleine Burry is a longtime writer of product roundups for The Spruce, and has also written about home and garden topics for Via Magazine and other outlets. For this roundup, she consulted a variety of experts: both Bill Harden, owner of City Wide Plumbing in Arizona, and Allison Harrison, co-owner of Goodbee Plumbing in New Orleans, shared plumbing knowledge, while professional electrician and Sparky Base founder David Nicholas provided insights on the electrical elements involved in a steam shower, and Jennifer Hutton, principal designer and creative director of Grau Design Studio in Durham, North Carolina, offered a holistic look at the products. Burry included products that met the criteria highlighted by these experts and consulted online reviews for further insights. 

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