If 2022 proved one thing it's that we all want our homes to offer us a little more comfort and relaxation. While it was also the year we could finally let friends and family inside again, the idea that our interiors should promote a sanctuary-like space hasn't slipped away; and yet, the soaring cost of living is making that harder than ever before.
While lockdowns are in the rearview mirror (for now), there's still a very strong case for designing a home that nourishes our well-being and promotes positivity. In trying times there's also nothing like a bit of self-care to lift our spirits and, as such, our bathrooms become one of the most important spaces for us to retreat and recharge our batteries.
The truth is, a spa bathroom isn't going to come cheap, and none of us wants to add to the growing financial pressures we're already facing. That's why I've scoured Amazon for the best budget buys that promise a spa-like shower without having to spend thousands of dollars on a new bathroom refurb. If you're up for a little extra TLC from your daily shower, we've listed the best options for a luxurious feel without the cost below.
Lilith is an expert at following news and trends across the world of interior design. She's committed to sharing articles that help readers make the best design choices in their homes for a more relaxing space that promotes wellbeing. For this piece, she lists her favorite buys for a more spa-like bathroom on a budget.
1. Shower steamer
For a more luxurious shower, shower steamers are a good place to start. The shower equivalent of a bath bomb, these little discs fizz away in your shower to release nourishing aromas that help you relax and rejuvenate, mimicking a spa-like environment.
'Shower steamers are very much like bath bombs, but they’re not designed to be used in the bath,' explains Anne-Marie Faiola, founder of soapmakers, Bamble Berry. 'That allows you to use some ingredients that might otherwise be irritating to delicate skin, like menthol. They often also incorporate clay as an ingredient as a way to prevent the steamer from dissolving away too fast, which lets the aromatherapeutic benefits last longer.'
The best part is that you can enjoy these benefits for as little as $10. It's one of my favorite ways to create an instantly soothing shower room without having to splurge on expensive products or redesign the entire space. As Anne-Marie notes: 'The spa experience focuses on being kind to both your mind and body. Shower steamers are a great way to promote that in a limited space.'
For the perfect morning boosts, try these shower steamers, available at Amazon. Each shower bomb is infused with aromatherapy essential oils including citrus, cocao orange, and grapefruit to invigorate your senses and leave you feeling rejuvenated. A truly deluxe home spa experience.
2. Aromatherapy shower filter
If you want the same aromatherapy benefits of a shower bomb without the hassle of unwrapping packaging or replenishing your stock of steamers, you could try an aromatherapy shower filter. Just as a regular water filter fits on your showerhead, as do these clever innovations, the only difference is they also release essential oils in the process.
You can buy these as a filter attachment or as an entire showerhead, although the attachments are best if you're looking for a spa-like experience on a budget. Vera Oh, founder of VOESH offers a Vitamin C Shower Filter, for just $29 and it lasts up to 110 showers. 'This luxurious shower filter transforms your bathroom instantly through skin-loving ingredients and calming scents like citrus,' says Vera. 'The shower filter also removes chlorine and other impurities from hard water to rejuvenate your skin.'
H201SHIFT also offer an innovative showerhead that instantly turns your shower into an aromatherapy spa using interchangeable capsules. 'Our showerhead releases essential oils into the stream of water using the scent capsule - think of the Nespresso pod system on a showerhead for essential oils instead of coffee flavors,' says their founder, Brian Koh. 'These essential oils are infused with skin-loving nutrients, which keep you hydrated and moisturized even after showering. Plus it's also equipped with a water filter to trap harmful chemicals and pipe rust.' If you have a walk-in shower, the scents will fill the entire room, too.
This vitamin C shower filter from Voesh lasts up to 110 showers and removes residual impurities from hard water by filtering it through a vitamin C gel. Probiotics strengthen and regenerate the skin barrier, while oatmeal powder softens and soothes for more glowy skin. We love that this brand is completely cruelty free, too.
3. Reflexology shower mat
Spas are all about improving your mental and physical well-being through holistic therapies, and that's exactly what reflexology is all about. Stemming from the idea that areas of the foot correspond to organs and systems of the body, reflexology uses pressure points on the feet to alleviate stress and improve circulation, as well as a whole host of other benefits. With that in mind, a reflexology shower mat is one of the simplest ways to imitate a spa-like experience, and they're a long-lasting investment, too.
'One of my favorite ways to make a shower feel instantly more luxurious is to add a reflexology shower mat,' says Jen Rhodes from Tubtopia. 'These are special mats designed to provide a massage-like experience while you shower.' This is thanks to hundreds of tiny massaging nodes on the mat that massage the feet while you shower.
'Reflexology mats work by helping to stimulate the reflex points on the feet, which can help to reduce tension and stress, improve circulation, and promote relaxation,' notes Jen. 'All in all, it's an affordable way to get some of the benefits of a real foot massage, but from the comfort of your own shower.' They're typically designed to allow water to drain with non-slip suction cups that attach to your shower tiles too, so your mat can stay in place.
As with all of the contenders on this list, you can enjoy all these benefits without having to do anything but take your regular shower. A daily pamper session with zero effort? Count us in.
To promote your health and wellbeing, try a reflexology shower mat like this one, from Amazon. The textured surface is designed to align with pressure points in your feet to massage your muscles, alongside magnetic footpads to promote blood circulation. With a suction cup base, it's anti-slip, too.
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Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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