Outdoor shower ideas: 10 refreshing ways to cool off in your garden

Our edit of outdoor shower ideas will get you inspired for your own – from simple-yet-chic set-ups to luxurious spa-like styles

outdoor shower ideas: the hot tin roof by Ellie Edkins at Chelsea flower show 2021
(Image credit: Jacky Hobbs)

Have you ever contemplated outdoor shower ideas for your garden? These handy features are a growing trend, and it's easy to see why.

Having a shower in your outdoor space may seem a bit unnecessary at first thought, but they have plenty of practical uses. For instance, if you live in a region with hot summers, what could be better for cooling down after ticking off your garden chores (or post-sunbathing?). If you have a pool, an outdoor shower is also an easy way to rinse off before and after you take a dip. And if you have pets – well, having somewhere to wash them outside will stop them traipsing mud all through the house.

From portable and wall-mounted styles to luxurious enclosures, there are lots of different outdoor showers to choose from to complement your existing garden design ideas. We've rounded up some of our favorite looks to help you get inspired.

10 outdoor shower ideas that are both pretty and practical

Whether you love a modern or rustic theme, or something in between, you're bound to find something that suits your garden in these outdoor shower ideas.

1. Create an on-trend backdrop with cool colors

outdoor shower on decking

Shades of gray look great in this set-up

(Image credit: David Brittain/Future)

Adding a wall-mounted shower onto the exterior of your home can make installation more straightforward (and therefore cheaper) as the plumbing will be easier to access. And if you tuck it to the side of your house, you'll likely boost the privacy levels too.

We're big fans of this contemporary set-up, complete with sleek decking which complements the exterior wall. And, the charcoal and gray paint adds a sophisticated tone which allows the chrome shower fixture to really pop.

There are lots of lovely finishing touches here too, which really help complete the scene. The rustic stool has caught our attention – the perfect spot to place your soaps – as has the wooden ladder used as a towel rack. Potted plants add a splash of greenery and give the space a more spa-like feel.

2. Tuck your shower to the side of the shed

outdoor shower by shed

Make the most of a hidden-away spot

(Image credit: Spike Powell/Future)

If you don't want to put your outdoor shower to the side of your home, how about the side of your shed or garden building instead? Opt for a portable design that can be hooked up to a hose for ease, and you'll be cooling off in no time. And don't forget to add a pretty hook nearby for your towel and soap-on-a-rope.

Just be sure that your garden building is properly treated with a waterproof protector to avoid damaging it over time from the splashes.

3. Opt for a chic enclosure

outdoor shower with wooden enclosure

(Image credit: Little Greene)

If you want to give your shower a little more privacy, then you'll need some outdoor shower enclosure ideas like this stylish design.

Slatted wood will always look smart and will blend into most garden schemes. We like the different heights in this set-up too, which helps to show off the black wall behind (a perfect color choice for a touch of industrial-chic). Meanwhile, nearby foliage softens the look and brings a more organic vibe to the scene.

You can find more garden screening ideas in our feature.

4. Go for a crisp and modern approach

courtyard with shower

Keep it minimal, like this chic courtyard

(Image credit: Peter Cook-VIEW/Alamy Stock Photo)

A courtyard can be a real sun trap. If you have one of your own, an outdoor shower might be the perfect way to freshen up on hot days.

Go for a pared-down approach by opting for wall-mounted chrome fixtures, a crisp white backdrop, and pale paving underfoot. Then, add plenty of verdant greenery nearby – whether that's in pots or in a small flowerbed. The result will feel nothing short of serene.

We've got lots more courtyard garden ideas in our guide.

5. Try a contemporary copper-hued design

outdoor shower in The Hot Tin Roof Garden by Ellie Edkins

'The Hot Tin Roof Garden' by Ellie Edkins at Chelsea Flower Show 2021

(Image credit: Jacky Hobbs)

This gorgeous design by Ellie Edkins is inspired by a life lived by the beach. We love the masses of ferns and other foliage which contrast beautifully against the corrugated steel.

The copper-toned shower makes an on-trend addition – and what could be better for washing off sand and sea salt after a long day ocean-side? And if you look closely, you can spot the blue-patterned tiles which bring extra style points to the scene.

It just goes to show how even a small plot can include an outdoor shower and look spectacular. There are lots more small garden ideas in our guide.

6. Add a touch of Zen

outdoor shower in Japanese style garden

Embrace a Japanese style for your shower space

(Image credit: david hancock/Alamy Stock Photo)

If you love Japanese garden ideas, then consider extending the theme to an outdoor shower zone.

While the color palette here is stripped back to a handful of natural tones, there is plenty of textural interest involved. Woven wall panels, rustic pebbles, tufts of grass and chic stepping stones all come together to create a calming yet very stylish scene.

A small bench boosts the practicality factor too, as can be used to place towels and bottles of soap within arm's reach.

7. Keep it rustic with nautical accents

rustic outdoor shower

This shower scene is full of charm

(Image credit: Simon Scarboro/Future)

For an outdoor shower with a rustic style, consider a look like this. The weathered-effect wood offers a sense of authentic charm, and we love how it's offset by the characterful cobbles behind.

Small details can make all the difference, and here, it's the miniature lifebuoy and rickety ladder nearby which have caught our attention. All in all the look is simple but definitely stylish and would work brilliantly for a nautical-themed plot.

Looking for more rustic garden ideas? There are lots to inspire in our guide.

8. Build a stone wall for a screen

outdoor shower with stone wall enclosure

We love this moody backdrop

(Image credit: Paul Whicheloe/Future)

For ultimate privacy, enclose your outdoor shower space with stone walls. Opting for a layered, textural look creates a more organic, back-to-basics vibe that will transport you to your own jungle-like paradise. A double shower head is a useful feature too and will boost the versatility of the zone.

You could continue the look for the rest of your garden walls for a sense of cohesion. And be sure to add plenty of tropical plants to your yard too, to complete the scene.

9. Hook it up to your hose

outdoor shower with tent

A portable design that'll keep you refreshed, and installation costs down

(Image credit: Mel Yates/Future)

This portable outdoor shower is super practical and even includes a built-in towel stand. It's not the most private, but for a quick post-swim rinse, it's ideal. And because it's hooked up to the hose, there's no tricky installation required.

You can also add a pop-up changing zone nearby like this vintage-style tent – a lovely way to bring a holiday vibe to your plot.

If you like the thought of showering outdoors but don't want to splurge all your savings, this is a great solution. There are lots more cheap garden ideas in our feature.

10. Combine with a tub

tin bath outdoors with shower

Bathe out in the fresh air

(Image credit: Simon Bevan/Future)

For ultimate relaxation vibes, combine your outdoor shower ideas of choice with a tub. A roll-top metal design will always look stylish.

Take your pick from the best garden parasols to provide shelter overhead (from either the sun or the rain). Then fill it up, grab your favorite soaps and relax whilst you breathe in the fresh air of the great outdoors.

You could plant scented herbs nearby too for an extra sensory touch. Lavender, with its calming fragrance, is always a good pick.

How much does an outdoor shower cost?

The overall cost of an outdoor shower can vary from hundreds to thousands – it's hard to estimate as every scenario is different. 

As Checkatrade explains, it all depends on a range of factors. This includes the size and style of the shower – portable ones are generally the cheapest, wall-mounted ones are pricier, and standalone designs are the most expensive. The cost will also depend on where you put it, the complexity of the plumbing (you may need a new water line fitted), and the flooring around the shower to avoid any slips. Where you live can also have an impact as rates can vary, they add. 

Don't forget that the overall cost of installing your outdoor shower will also include the cost of a plumber. According to Checkatrade, in the UK, they charge on average £40–£60 per hour (or £320–£375 per day). You will likely need an electrician too, who charge on average £45 an hour, or £225 a day. According to HomeAdvisor.com, in the US, electricians charge between $50 and $100 per hour while plumbers charge around $45 to $200 or more per hour.

'You will also need to factor in the cost of a water pump for low water pressure which can cost around £70–£250 [the equivalent of $95–$340], as well as the cost of the shower itself and the surround of the shower including the tiles,' Checkatrade adds. Of course, if you're just hooking a portable shower up to a hose, then some of these costs can be avoided.

It's always worth contacting a trusted professional for a quote before you go ahead, so you know what to expect with your particular design. If you need more advice on the costs of landscaping, our guide can help.

outdoor shower near pool

This outdoor shower zone is perfect for freshening up after a swim

(Image credit: Paul Vinten/Alamy Stock Photo)

Are outdoor showers worth it?

Whether an outdoor shower is worth it or not really depends on how often you expect to use it. If you live somewhere very warm, then they're a great way to keep cool. If you have a hot tub or are planning on installing some pool ideas, having a shower nearby to rinse off beforehand is a good way to help keep the water clean. A simple shower is also great if you have dogs that love to get muddy. Or, maybe your main reason for wanting an outdoor shower is to feel more in touch with nature. After all, showering in the fresh air surrounded by greenery can be a real treat for the soul, especially if you can control the temperature.

However, as well as the initial costs involved, they do require maintenance. This includes keeping them clean, and ideally dry when not in use to discourage the build-up of mold and mildew. Outdoor showers also need some protection during cold winters – for instance – you may need to drain the pipes before the big chill hits.

Top tips to consider when installing an outdoor shower

Outdoor showers 'can be practical and luxurious but there are a few important things to get right,' says Thomas Goodman, a construction expert at MyJobQuote.

  • 'If you're overlooked by neighbors, then you'll need some screening. And if you don't want to fall out with your neighbors, you should consult them before installing anything,' says Thomas.
  • 'Placing a shower on an external wall of the house will reduce the cost of plumbing but may not work in terms of moisture and privacy. Walls and screening will mean your shower could be in the shade, so preventing algae will be important to keep the shower area safe and clean.'
  • Are you thinking of a simple cold shower for rinsing feet and pets or a luxurious shower with hot and cold water? 'A hot water connection will require extra plumbing. However, you could use a solar panel to generate your hot water instead.'
  • 'You'll need to consider drainage too,' continues Thomas. 'Many outdoor showers are designed so that wastewater soaks away into the ground. But you'll need to check whether this is possible in your garden or whether it will need to be hooked up to your drains. And if you're allowing water to soak away into the garden, you'll need to source chemical-free cleaning and bathing products, so you don't harm your plants.'
  • 'Pick materials that are going to stand up to harsh weather and outdoor conditions. Showers designed specifically for the outdoors are made from durable and corrosion-resistant materials such as treated wood and high-grade stainless steel. However, these will still require a bit of maintenance,' he adds.
Holly Crossley
Acting Deputy Editor

The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion.