Benefits of Cold Showers Versus Hot Showers

By Laura P.
February 6, 2018


Showers are a daily ritual for most Americans. Cold showers invigorate the senses and keep libidos in check—or so they say—while hot showers are the gold standard for rinsing away the day’s dirt and stress. You probably choose between cold showers and hot showers based on need or habits, but there are potential benefits associated with each type. Which is better for you?


Benefits of Cold Showers

  1. Cool you down on a hot day or after exercise
  2. Stimulate the senses to make you more alert
  3. Maintain natural oils that keep skin soft
  4. Keep hair shiny and smooth by closing the hair shaft cuticle
  5. Reduce localized swelling1
  6. Ease symptoms of depression by sending electrical impulses to the brain2

Benefits of Hot Showers

  1. Warm you up when cold
  2. Lower stress levels by releasing the brain chemical oxytocin3
  3. Soothe and loosen sore muscles
  4. Open pores to release dirt and oils
  5. Dilate blood vessels to encourage circulation
  6. Ease sinus and chest congestion when you’re sick

Benefits of Cold Showers and Hot Showers Combined

The overlap of potential benefits above might make you wonder: combining cold showers with hot showers could offer benefits from both worlds. Before you throw cold water on the idea, consider the findings of one scientific study in which a cold shower after a hot shower elevated and regulated mood better than prescription antidepressants.4 Participants in another study reported fewer sickness absences from work after following a hot-to-cold showering protocol.5 Scientific studies are few, but there isn’t much to lose from gambling here. Ending your hot showers with a brisk, cold shower could offer you a nice blend of the many benefits above. Why not give it a try?


Change Your Shower Experience

Try combining your new hot & cold shower routine with a Waterpik® PowerPulse Massage®! You’ll enjoy up to two times the massage force of other shower heads, for an invigorating shower experience—no matter which temperature you choose.


  1. Mooventhan A, Nivethitha L. Scientific evidence-based effects of hydrotherapy on various systems of the body. North Am J Med Sci [serial online] 2014 [cited 2017 Nov 27]; 6:199-209. Available from: http://www.najms.org/text.asp?2014/6/5/199/132935.
  2. Shevchuck, NA. Adapted cold shower as a potential treatment for depression. Med Hypothesis. 2008;70(5): 995-1001. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2007.04.052.
  3. Uvnäs-Moberg, K. Oxytocin linked antistress effects--the relaxation and growth response. 1997; 640:38-42. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9401603.
  4. Shevchuck. Adapted cold shower as a potential treatment for depression.
  5. Buijze, et al. The Effect of Cold Showering on Health and Work: A Randomized Controlled Trial. 2016. PLoS One. 2016; 11(9): e0161749. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0161749.