When you take a shower, the water that comes out of the faucet isn't just plain water. It can contain other things, like chlorine and minerals, that can be harmful to your skin and hair. This can lead to dryness and irritation.
Enter shower filters – these nifty devices can be quickly fitted to your shower and help to strip away impurities and hard minerals from the water, leaving your skin silky smooth and reducing your reliance on shampoo. They can also add nourishing vitamins like vitamin C and E to your water. Say goodbye to dry, irritated skin and hello to a relaxing shower experience.
Here are the top shower filters for hard water:
Top Picks for Best Shower Filters for Hard Water in 2023
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Multi-layered for maximum filtration
- Top-tier pricing
- Guarantees 90% chlorine removal
- KDF copper-zinc filtering
- Easy installation
- 10,000 gallons filtration capacity
- Stainless steel design
- Additional layers for carbon and chlorine filtering
- Around 20,000 gallons filters lifespan
- Specifically target chlorine reduction
- Introduces vitamin C to water
- Also removes chlorine and chloramine
- Quick and easy installation
- Three stage filtration
- Removes chlorine and heavy metals
- Built to last
- NSF certified
- 10,000 filtered gallons
- Simply quick & easy installation
- Chic look
- Effectively remove contaminants
- Shower & hose combo
- Generous 15 stage filtering
- Introduces additional layer of Vitamin C
- Affordable price tag
- Excellent construction
- Highly effective in chlorine and fluoride removal
- Budget-friendly pricing
- Sleek stainless steel chassis
- Filters last 4-6 months
Let’s take a look at the best of the bunch:
1. AquaHomeGroup Luxury Filtered Shower Head – The Best Of The Best
AquaHomeGroup has created a compact showerhead filter that meets all the necessary criteria for luxury. It can be easily installed by screwing it onto your current shower system and is compatible with most types of showers.
|Contaminants Removed||Chlorine, heavy metals and other sediments|
|Filter Lifespan||Every six months or more frequently depending on water quality|
|Compatibility||Most types of showers|
The AquaHomeGroup filtering system uses carbon dust which may cause the water to turn black when first used. However, this will dissipate after approximately 30 seconds of flow.
AquaHomeGroup's showerhead is made of stainless steel and will not negatively impact the appearance of your bathroom. It also comes packaged in a professional gift box – whether you’re treating yourself or splashing out on a loved one, it’s the full package.
The AquaHomeGroup filter has multiple layers for efficient filtration. It uses KDF 55 and activated carbon to remove bacteria, viruses, chlorine, and most sediment. The result is water that is pure enough to drink and helps to soften hard water. Additionally, the filter includes vitamin C and E cartridges which can benefit your skin.
Please note that these filters aren't inexpensive. They are priced at a high-end level and the filters need to be replaced every six months, or more frequently depending on the quality of your water.
2. Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Hard Water Filter – Best For Hair Loss
The Aquasana AQ-4100 is a combination inline filter and showerhead. It provides a refreshing shower experience without requiring a bathroom renovation.
|Contaminants Removed||Harmful chemicals and chlorine|
|Type||Combination inline filter and showerhead|
|Filter Lifespan||6-month or 10,000 gallons|
The Aquasana AQ-4100 is an inline filtering unit that attaches to your plumbing system between the plumbing and the showerhead. It's a bulky product that may stand out if you have a streamlined bathroom look. The polished plastic filter may not match traditional stainless steel systems.
Despite its appearance, the Aquasana AQ-4100 is easy to install. Simply screw it onto your existing shower plumbing. Its upflow design means you won't lose any height in your shower.
The filter has a double system that combines KDF copper-zinc filtering with a carbon layer to remove contaminants from your water. Aquasana guarantees that 90% of chlorine will be stripped from your water, which is healthier for your skin and hair.
However, the filter may not address sediments that cause hard water. While eliminating chlorine will improve water quality, particles of calcium and magnesium can still be present in hard water.
3. AquaBliss SF100 Revitalizing Shower Filter – Best On A Budget
The AquaBliss SF100 is a powerful filtering unit that also has a stylish design. It has a great price tag attached as well. To install this inline shower filter, you will need to screw it into your system between the pipes and the showerhead. This may require a little more work than installing a showerhead filter, as you are attaching it at two points.
|Contaminants Removed||Removes harmful impurities and boosts nutrients in water|
|Filters||Three layers (sand, ultrafine mesh, activated carbon and chlorine)|
|Filter Lifespan||6-month or 10,000 Gallons|
AquaBliss have gone the distance to build a filter that’s compatible with all shower types, and thanks to its slick stainless steel design it slides into any modern bathroom to elevate the look.
The AquaBliss SF100 showerhead has multi-stage filtering to provide ultimate water purity. It also has an inbuilt “rejuvenation” cartridge that adds vital minerals to your water. The AquaBliss SF100 removes harmful impurities and boosts the nutrients in your water, improving the health of your hair and skin.
The AquaBliss SF100 has three layers of filter specifically designed to remove large and medium-sized sediment in hard water. The showerhead filters have a sand layer that catches the larger particles, then ultrafine mesh to catch the smaller ones. There are also additional layers of activated carbon and chlorine filtering to target remaining contaminants.
The AquaBliss SF100's filters last for about 10,000 gallons of water, or about six months. Although the initial price is low, it is worth the investment.
4. Berkey KDF Shower Filter WITHOUT Shower Head – Best KDF 55 Filter
Berkey is a well-known brand in the water filter industry. Their inline filter provides reliable filtration. While it may not be the most attractive shower filter on the market, it serves its purpose effectively. The Berkey KDF Shower Filter is made of plastic and attaches below the showerhead.
|Contaminants Removed||Chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, heavy metals and microorganisms|
|Filter Lifespan||1-year or 20,000 gallons|
The Berkey KDF Shower Filter has a solid filter, despite its appearance. As a well-known brand in the filtering industry, they have put their expertise into this product. It's easy to install by screwing it onto two points in your shower system. The filter has a lifespan of approximately 20,000 gallons, or up to a year of showers, so you won't need to replace it frequently.
The Berkey KDF Shower Filter uses KDF 55 technology to reduce chlorine in your water. This can be helpful if chlorine is causing issues for your hair and skin. While the filter does remove some sediment and can improve water softness, this is not its primary function.
5. Sonaki In-line Vitamin C Shower Filter – Best Vitamin C Softener
Vitamin C is essential for various aspects of health, including skin sensitivity and resistance to scurvy.
|Contaminants Removed||Chlorine and chloramine|
|Filter Lifespan||1500 gallons|
|Annual Cost||$120 – $150+|
The Sonaki In-line Vitamin C Shower Filter allows you to boost your health by providing nourishing water straight from the source. It's important to consider not only what can be taken out of water, but also what can be added back in. This shower filter focuses on adding beneficial nutrients to your water.
The Sonaki In-line Vitamin C Shower Filter removes contaminants such as chlorine and chloramine from your water supply and adds vitamin C to nourish your skin and hair. It has a stylish design with chrome and brass finishes and is made with high-quality resin to prevent leaks. Installation is easy as it simply screws in between the shower head and piping.
However, it's a pricey unit and the filter needs to be replaced every 1500 gallons, which can be a long-term cost to consider. It also does not have multi-layered filter technology like activated carbon and ion exchange, so it may not provide completely soft water.
6. Crystal Quest Shower Filter System – Best Combo Filter
Crystal Quest has designed a shower filtering system that includes both an inline filter and a custom showerhead. This system provides everything needed for effective filtering.
|Contaminants Removed||Chlorine and heavy metals, organic compounds and pollutants|
|Type||Inline and custom showerhead|
|Filter Lifespan||Almost 1-year|
|Annual Cost||$40 – $70+|
The Crystal Quest Shower Filter System is not the most visually appealing option, but it has a basic and compact design that won't stand out in your bathroom. It comes in two colors: white plastic and chrome, to match your desired color scheme.
Installation is easy because the filter system comes with its own attached showerhead. This means there is only one point of connection, so you don't have to dismantle your existing shower system. Simply replace your old showerhead and attach the system filter to your shower's feed pipes.
Despite its plain outer appearance, the Crystal Quest Shower Filter System has a high-quality filter that performs well. It has a three-stage filtration process that includes the ERA 6500 and ERA 9500 (Crystal Quest's in-house filter systems) and a carbon activation layer. These filters remove chlorine and heavy metals, as well as organic compounds and pollutants, resulting in crystal clear water that is safe to drink.
Additionally, the filter can handle long-term use. It's expected to last for about a year before it needs to be replaced, which is longer than many other brands on the market.
7. Culligan WSH-C125 Wall-Mounted Filtered Showerhead – Best For Shower Spray Settings
The Culligan WSH-C125 is a stylish showerhead with an in-built filter. It also has 5 spray settings, so you can still have a relaxing bathing experience.
|Contaminants Removed||Remove chlorine and reduces bacteria and softens water|
|Filter Lifespan||6-month or 10,000 gallons|
|Annual Cost||$80 – $100|
The Culligan WSH-C125 showerhead filter is a convenient and discreet addition to your bathroom. It easily fits onto any ½ inch threaded shower arm and the filter is built into the showerhead, so installation is straightforward. However, it's important to run water through the filter for ten minutes before use to flush it out. It is recommended to run it cold to save on your heating bill.
Replacing the filter cartridge is also easy. Simply unclip the filter compartment from the showerhead, no need to de-install the unit. The Culligan WSH-C125 filter has been NSF certified to remove chlorine from your shower water, which not all shower filters have. It also contains a KDF layer that reduces bacteria and should soften the water by reducing the TDS (total dissolved solids). The filter has a capacity of 10,000 filtered gallons, so you can expect to change it about twice a year, which is standard for these products.
8. PureAction Luxury Filtered Shower Head – Best Handheld Showerhead Filter
Unlike most shower filters, PureAction has created a handheld showerhead with an in-built filter. This feature is beneficial for those who enjoy moving the flow of water while showering.
|Contaminants Removed||Remove chlorine and chloramine, sediments and unwanted minerals|
|Filter Lifespan||6-month or 10,000 gallons|
|Annual Cost||$80 – $100|
The PureAction Luxury Filtered Shower Head is a stylish and modern-looking stainless steel showerhead. In addition to its functionality, PureAction has also focused on creating a chic design.
The showerhead comes with a hose and wall attachment, making it a handheld unit that can be removed from the wall. While installation may be slightly more complicated due to the various parts included, all pieces screw together easily and the showerhead can be mounted onto any standard shower arm.
The 60-inch hose should be long enough to meet your needs, but may become tangled in the faucet.
The filter in the PureAction Luxury Filtered Shower Head is highly effective at purifying water. In addition to removing sediment and minerals, it also effectively removes chlorine and chloramine. Plus, the filter includes fluoride filtering as a standard feature, which sets it apart from other options.
9. Aqua Earth Shower Filter – Best For Fluoride Filtering
The Aqua Earth Shower Filter is an inline shower filter that uses multi-layered filtering to purify your water. It also adds vital vitamins to rejuvenate your water.
|Contaminants Removed||Removes chlorine, calcium, heavy metals, fluoride and fluoride|
|Filter Lifespan||4-month or 12,000 gallons|
|Annual Cost||$60 – $80|
|Warranty||Replacement over leak|
The Aqua Earth Shower Filter is a large unit that installs between your showerhead and shower piping, making it out of the way. It has a stainless steel chassis that will match most shower styles. It is easy to install and Aqua Earth encourages you to take it with you when you travel to avoid hard water. However, it might not be allowed to be installed at the gym.
After installing the filter, you need to run water through it for 20-30 seconds to remove excess sediment, which provides almost instant access to purified water. The Aqua Earth Shower Filter has 15 stages of filtering, which is some of the most effective on the market. It targets specific contaminants such as chlorine, calcium, and heavy metals. It also includes fluoride filtering as standard.
An additional layer adds vitamin C to your water, nourishing your skin and hair as you shower. The Aqua Earth Shower Filter's inline filter is designed to allow your shower’s water flow to continue uninterrupted, so you shouldn't notice any impact on water pressure. You can still enjoy a long, relaxing shower while also receiving vitamin nourishment.
10. PureAction Water Softener Shower Head Filter – A Best Of Both Worlds
The PureAction Water Softener Shower Head Filter is a showerhead with built-in water filtering. It provides both effective water filtering and shower comfort.
|Contaminants Removed||Removes chlorine, fluoride, calcium and magnesium|
|Filter Lifespan||1-year or more|
The PureAction Water Softener Shower Head Filter is made of stainless steel and transparent plastic. It may not be aesthetically pleasing, but it is a well-constructed unit. The filter is held in place with multiple screw-in parts that are sealed with Teflon tape to prevent leaks.
Installing the filter is easy, as PureAction Water Softener Shower Head is compatible with any ½” shower piping and can be screwed into most showers in seconds. The showerhead also has three high-pressure spray options: a traditional rain mode, a power rain mode, and a massage mode.
One unique feature of the PureAction Water Softener Shower Head Filter is that it comes with two replacement filters. Most other showerhead filters need to be replaced within six months, but these filters can last for a year or more. These filters are also highly effective at removing chlorine, fluoride, and water hardening compounds such as calcium and magnesium.
11. SparkPod High Output Shower Filter Capsule – Best for Reducing Chlorine, Dirt, Odors from Shower Water
The SparkPod High Output Shower Filter Capsule is a multi-layered filter system that installs between your shower head and shower piping. It offers exceptional value and powerful filtering.
|Contaminants Removed||Traps chlorine and sediment, but does not filter out fluoride|
|Filter Lifespan||4-6 months|
|Annual Cost||$50 to $70|
The SparkPod High Output Shower Filter Capsule comes as an individual unit but can be paired with its own showerhead for guaranteed strong water pressure. However, this may raise concerns about water pressure when using a different showerhead.
Despite this potential issue, the SparkPod High Output Shower Filter Capsule is a reliable unit. Although it is easy to install, allow some time to fit it between the showerhead and piping. The process may require some adjustments.
The filter's stainless steel casing contains multiple layers, including activated charcoal, KDF 55, and nutrient cartridges, which work together to soften hard shower water. The filter traps chlorine and sediment, but does not filter out fluoride. Some research suggests that fluoride can damage hair, so this may be a consideration for those concerned about this issue.
The SparkPod High Output Shower Filter Capsule has a limited lifespan and will need to be replaced every 4-6 months. While the unit itself is reasonably priced, the ongoing replacement cost should be taken into account.
The Ultimate Shower Filter Guide – Your One-Stop Resource for Smooth, Soft Water
Freeing yourself from the scourge of hard water can rejuvenate your hair and skin, but with so many choices on the market, you might feel overwhelmed. Now that you've seen the best models, let's take a closer look at how a hard water filter is necessary for your shower system and how you can make the best choice for you and your family.
What is Hard Water?
It might come as a surprise, but water can be hard or soft. These classifications don't refer to how the water feels in your hands.
Hard water refers to the mineral content of the water. When the minerals, usually made up of calcium and magnesium, reach a certain threshold, the water is considered to be hard. The vast majority of household water supplies are in areas with hard water and it can lead to problems. These minerals build up in household appliances and cause damage, such as limescale buildup in your showerhead. Hard water can also irritate your skin and damage your hair.
The Benefits of Showerhead Water Filter
Enhance your showers with the numerous benefits of a showerhead water filter:
Removing Bacteria And Deadly Viruses
Did you know that bacteria and viruses in your water supply can enter your body through the shower? It's almost impossible to prevent some water from getting into our mouths or ears, and water in our eyes has a direct line to our bloodstream, which can quickly cause damage from dangerous contaminants. A shower filter can remove these contaminants from the water before it reaches the showerhead, protecting you from potential health risks.
If you've ever turned on the shower and been greeted with an unpleasant smell, you may be living near a sulfurous water supply. This rotten egg smell is caused by sulfur buildup in the water. A shower filter can purify the water, eliminating any unpleasant odors, and many also come with scented cartridges to keep your bathroom smelling fresh.
Hair and Skin Health
Hard water, which is contaminated with mineral deposits, can make your skin feel dry and itchy. Instead of spending money on expensive skincare products, try using a shower filter for hard water to improve the condition of your skin and hair.
It’s Better For Your Children
Hard water can be particularly harmful to children, who often have sensitive skin during growth. Conditions such as eczema can be made worse by the presence of these compounds in the water. Chlorinated water can also be dangerous for children, as the fumes produced when heating contaminated water can be inhaled, damaging their lungs. When chlorine is vaporized in the shower, it becomes chloroform gas, which can trigger asthma attacks.
A Cleaner Bathroom
Hard water can lead to limescale build-up in the bath, which can be difficult to clean. A hard water filter can remove these compounds from the water, so they never make it to the tub, making it easier to keep your bathroom and drain systems clean.
Transform Your Shower Experience with These Water Filter Styles
There are three main types of shower water filters: showerhead, inline, and inline and showerhead combo.
Showerhead filters are easy to purchase and install because they are built into the showerhead. However, they can be bulky and may compromise on showerhead features in order to provide the best filtering options.
Inline filters are installed between the showerhead and the shower's in-flow piping, purifying the water as it passes through. While this allows you to keep your existing showerhead, some inline filters may restrict water flow if used with non-certified showerheads.
3. Inline and Showerhead Combo
Inline and showerhead combo units offer the benefits of both types of filters, allowing for both purified water and a high water flow and showerhead features. However, they may require more installation.
Types of Showerhead Filters
There are several types of showerhead filters available. These include carbon filters, KDF 55 filters, and vitamin C filters.
Carbon filters consist of multiple layers that target different contaminants. Fine mesh removes sediment, while other layers absorb chlorine, heavy metals, and other contaminants such as bacteria, pesticides, and herbicides. Carbon filters are effective water softeners as they remove microscopic compounds from the water.
KDF 55 Filters
KDF 55 filters are specifically designed to remove chlorine from the water. Chlorine can dry out the skin and release noxious gases when showering. KDF 55 filters also remove bacteria and viruses, but may be less effective at removing calcium and magnesium, which can harden the water.
Vitamin C Filtering
Vitamin C filters use ascorbic acid to absorb chlorine and also introduce vitamin C to the shower water. Vitamin C filters nourish the skin and hair while also purifying the water. These filters often have a shorter lifespan than other filter components.
Key Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Shower Water Filter for Your Home
Purchasing your first shower water filter is a big decision. No one wants to spend an afternoon screwing their shower back together only to be disappointed with a trickle of water or the return of an eggy odor.
When shopping for a shower water filter, consider the following:
When shopping for shower filters, there are many additional features to consider such as spa-mode or scented cartridges. However, the most important aspect to consider is the filter's ability to effectively remove contaminants.
One common contaminant to look out for is chlorine. It can cause skin irritation and release harmful vapors when inhaled. Both KDF 55 and vitamin C filters are effective at removing chlorine from your water. However, they may not effectively remove other compounds that contribute to hard water. For truly soft water, look for filters that include activated carbon and fine mesh layers.
Shower filters have a limited lifespan. They can be certified for anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 gallons or more, but the actual lifespan will depend on how frequently you and your family use the shower and the quality of your water. It may become expensive to replace the filters every few months.
Shower water filters are typically made of stainless steel or plastic. The material used affects the product's durability. Plastic filters may be cheaper, but they may crack and leak eventually. Stainless steel filters tend to be more durable.
Some shower filters come with Teflon tape, a high-grade plumbers tape that helps seal the filter during installation. This is a professional touch to look for when purchasing a shower filter.
Handheld showerheads with inbuilt filters can be powerful. Consider the weight of the unit and who will be using it. Children or the elderly may not feel comfortable using a heavy showerhead. Weight won't be as much of an issue for fixed filters, such as showerhead, inline, or combination filters.
You likely don't want to retrain as a plumber, so you want an easy-to-install shower filter. Most shower filters easily screw into your current system and are compatible with common ½” pipes. However, some require more attachment points.
Remember, most filters need to be flushed with water before they are effective. Some only require 20 seconds of flow, but others may need the shower to run for ten minutes before the water is purified.
Weak water pressure in motel rooms can ruin a rejuvenating shower. To keep showers special, prioritize powerful water pressure with a filter system.
When purchasing an in-line filter that fits between the showerhead and piping, make sure it is compatible with your current water pressure. However, keep in mind that higher water flow means more energy consumption and water waste. Some states, like California, limit water flow to 1.8 gallons per minute. Therefore, some showerheads may not comply with local regulations.
A showerhead is not just a showerhead. It can have features like “rain” or high-powered jets to transform your shower into a spa experience. Water filter showerheads are now being equipped with luxurious features, allowing you to have both clean water and comfort.
If something goes wrong with your new water filter, a warranty is important to get a replacement quickly. When you buy a shower filter, you are often buying two products together – a water filter and a chassis or chamber that fits into your shower system.
Filters usually come with a three-month warranty, while the whole house filter unit can have a warranty of one to five years. Stay informed to be a savvy consumer.
There are many different terms to learn when shopping for shower filters, such as chloramine and KDF 55. When researching further, you may be surprised by the contaminants that can be found in our water supply. Even substances like magnesium and calcium, which are chemically inert, can cause irritation to sensitive skin and clog drains.
There are shower filters available for every need, whether you want to preserve the function of your showerhead with an inline filter or upgrade your entire system for a spa-like experience at home.
A shower filter can improve the quality of your water, benefiting both your skin and your home. Hard water can lead to dry, itchy skin, but a shower filter can provide soft water for a smooth and refreshing experience. Enjoy the feeling of clean, soft water with a shower filter.