Best Shower Filters for Hard Water in 2019 – Comparisons & Reviews

Best Shower Filters for Hard Water

When you shower, your skin and hair could be coming into contact with a plethora of different contaminants. Some of the contaminants could even become airborne causing you to breathe them in without you even knowing.

Hard water and water with chlorine in it could cause your skin and hair to be dry or even irritate skin conditions such as eczema or acne. A shower filter can reduce or remove any contaminants that could be harming you.

In this article we provide you with a few key resources to make your search for a shower filter easier and more straightforward. Included is product reviews from some of the best products on the market, a comprehensive buying guide, and a question and answer section which answers the most common questions.

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1. Berkey Shower Filter Without Shower Head

  • Don’t need to replace for 20,000 gallons or approximately one year.
  • Significantly reduces chlorine coming into your shower.
  • Will prevent scum, mold, fungi, and other build-up.
  • Can use with a handheld showerhead and most standard showerheads.
  • Will also reduce lead, mercury iron, bacteria, and other contaminants.

The Good

This is an affordable showerhead which removes chlorine, most heavy metals, and bacteria making the water healthier for you and your shower. It also works with most standard showerheads.

Not So Good

When using this filter the water pressure will drop after you install it as it takes time for the water to filter through. Additionally, it needs to be back-washed regularly.


Overview

Several features make this Berkey shower filter unique and desirable. Finding the right shower head filter can be a challenge but this filter checks a lot of boxes.

No Showerhead Included

Some people may want an included showerhead, but plenty don’t. If a filter comes with a showerhead then you are restricted to what you can and cannot have in your shower or bathroom for it to match.

With this filter, you can either use your existing showerhead or buy a new one to suit your specific needs. It gives you the freedom to choose what you want. The simple white color of the filter means it will match with any showerhead you have or choose.

Long Life

One of the biggest hassles of getting a filter like this is having to replace the filter itself. Berkey really put a lot of thought into the design of the filter which keeps the maintenance as low as possible.

The filter only should need to be replaced once a year, or every 20,000 gallons. If you have a large family who will use the shower a lot, then this may be sooner.

What allows the filter to last so long is its backwash option. You can very easily backflush the filter about once a quarter. It is not time-consuming and doesn’t take a lot of effort. This will keep the filter healthier for longer and extend the life of the system.

More Than a Chlorine Filter

This filter takes out more than chlorine. It also filters out and reduces heavy metals including iron, lead, and mercury; kills bacteria; and also removes hydrogen sulfide, microorganisms, mold, and fungi.

The significant reduction of chlorine and heavy metals in your water will not only make your hair and skin softer and healthier but also reduce any scale or build up in your shower.

The benefits of a filter like this are numerous which can make it a valuable investment for your home.

2. WaterChef Premium Shower Filter System.

  • Includes a showerhead with shower wand option.
  • No tools needed for installation.
  • Significantly reduces chlorine.
  • Should change the filter every 10,000 gallons or approximately 6 months.
  • Comes with a three-year warranty.

The Good

This is a high-quality filter that is not overbearing or clunky. It is easy to maintain, looks nice, and is simple to install. The showerhead comes with a shower wand as well.

Not So Good

Compared to other filters, this one needs to be maintained and replaced about every six months. If not, the filter has been known to spew black carbon bits.


Overview

Unlike the first filter, this WaterChef shower filter comes with a showerhead and other unique features including that the filtration system has been independently tested and certified by labs.

The Showerhead

When looking at a filter that comes with a showerhead, as much thought must go into the showerhead as goes into the filter. While the filter is an important part of the system, the showerhead will be used by people every day and must meet their standards.

This showerhead has a lot of great features including a shower wand with 60” hose, 5 spray patterns, and rubber spray nozzles to prevent clogging.

The Filter

Not only is the showerhead high-quality, but the filter does a great job as well. It significantly reduces chlorine which helps soften harsh water. While adding chlorine might have some benefits, it is not good for your hair or skin.

This filter specializes in chlorine removal so be sure to check with your municipality before you purchase this filter to ensure they don’t add chloramine, which will not work with this or any other KDF filter.

Removing chlorine from your water could have near instant benefits including softening your hair and skin. It can reduce long-term damage to your hair and skin and also can reduce scum or build up in your shower.

The Maintenance

This is a fairly low maintenance filter, though you do need to be diligent about it. Once the filter is used up, this system has been known to leak or spew carbon bits through the shower head.

No one wants to be showering then be covered in used carbon bits but as long as you change the filter every 10,000 gallons or about every 6 months, you should have no problems.

Replacing the filter is as simple as replacing a cartridge which just pops in and out. The new cartridge will then last another 6 months.

Installation

One of the best features of this filter and showerhead is that there are no tools needed for installation. You don’t have to hire a plumber or handyman and it doesn’t take multiple people to install.

The easy installation is a nice benefit as is the 3-year warranty the filter comes with. This is a well thought out filter that has some great features.

3. AquaBliss High Output 12-Stage Shower Filter.

  • Has 12 stages of filtration which ensures clean, safe water.
  • Easy installation that doesn’t need any tools.
  • Fits most standard showerheads.
  • Filters last 10,000 gallons or 6 months before needing to be replaced.
  • Reduces more than just chlorine, including pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals.

The Good

I like that the filter does more than just chlorine removal so it tackles water problems more universally. Additionally, it should fit with whatever showerhead you have making it more cost-effective.

Not So Good

It only comes in a chrome finish which might limit showerhead choices if you want it to match. Additionally, there is no mention of a warranty so if it breaks you will likely have to eat the cost.

Overview

This is definitely a thorough filter that covers nearly all bases. It has a comprehensive filtration system that can simply be added to your current showerhead.

12 Step Filtration Process

The fact that this small filter has twelve different filtration steps is pretty impressive. First, there is a sand and stainless steel mesh that stops sediment from going through and clogging up the filter.

Second, there is microporous PP Cotton which basically does the same thing as the sand and stainless steel but for very small particles like dust. Third and fourth are calcium sulfite and redox media respectively. Both are essential in reducing chlorine.

The fifth step is activated carbon which is a very common filtration media used throughout many different types of filtration. Sixth is infrared balls which increases oxygen levels in the water. In stage seven zeolite ceramic balls reduce heavy metals.

Stage eight includes vitamin C balls which adds the vitamin into the water. Stage nine has tourmaline added to the water which is great for your hair. Tenth is magnetic energy balls which continues adding oxygen into the water to help with moisture and revitalization of your skin and hair.

The eleventh and twelth steps have another layer of microporous PP cotton and ultra fine stainless steel mesh to ensure nothing from the filter gets into your water.

Maintenance and Installation

This filter has fairly simple maintenance and installation. The filter cartridge needs to be replaced every 10,000 gallons or about every six months. This is simple to do and should take only a few minutes.

Similarly, the installation is simple and requires no tools. Everything can be hand-tightened and won’t leak. Additionally, this filter can be added to the showerhead you already have. As long as your current showerhead has some of the most common types of connections, it should connect quite easily.

How the Filter Helps

This AquaBliss filter tackles many water issues, not just one. It can reduce hardness, chlorine, heavy metals, sediment, and odors. The filter also adds in minerals such as vitamin C and additional oxygen and negative ions to further enhance your experience, soften your skin, and make your hair healthier.

4. Aqua Earth 15 Stage Shower Filter With Vitamin C Shower Filters

  • Can be used with nearly any showerhead including rainfall, combo, overhead, and handheld.
  • Fifteen stages of filtration in a system that is just under 5 inches long.
  • Simple installation with no tools needed.
  • Replace filter cartridge every 10,000 gallons or approximately 6 months.
  • Comes with an extra filter.

The Good

This product is very efficient yet nondescript. You can barely even notice it is on the showerhead so it looks nice and works well. It is also easy to install and works on nearly every showerhead.

Not So Good

This is not ideal for large households as the cartridge needs to be replaced every 10,000 gallons which is enough water for about six months for one to two people. This means the more people you have the shorter the lifespan is.

Overview

There is a lot of filtration levels packed into this small showerhead filter which is part of what makes it so valuable.

Not Just Chlorine

This water filter not only completely removes chlorine from your water but also reduces fluoride and chloramine. Some municipalities actually use chloramine instead of chlorine to treat the water so this covers you no matter what your municipality does.

Fluoride is added to most water though the long-term benefits of it are still not conclusive. Filtering out fluoride is mainly for drinking water; however, it will help soften the water that comes through the shower as well.

Fifteen Steps of Filtration

There are fifteen stages of filtration in this small, compact filter. These fifteen stages cover four main categories which we will discuss here.

First, the water will go through a series of mesh filters to remove any physical dust or debris that is in the water. Included in this step is a stainless steel mesh filter, ultra-fine stainless steel mesh, and microporous PP Cotton. These steps are necessary to ensure there is no physical dust or dirt clogging up the following filtration stages.

Second, is the stages to remove or reduce the chlorine, chloramine, and fluoride. These include KDF 55, calcium sulfate, activated carbon, negative ion balls, and medical stone.

KDF 55 and calcium sulfate are very common media to be found in filtration systems such as this one and are very effective in removing chlorine.

The third category is meant to add oxygen, Vitamin C, and ions back into the water. There are ceramic balls, mineralized balls, magnetic energy balls, and vitamin C included in this category of filtration.

The last step has three filtration stages that are to ensure there is no filtration material that has made its way into the water and to ensure the water you are using is as clean as possible.

Two of the stages are the same as the first category as they are meant to do similar things just on either side of the filtration process. These stages include alkaline balls, micro-porous PP cotton, and ultra-fine stainless steel mesh.

Consistent Water Pressure

The design of this water filtration device ensures there is consistent water pressure throughout usage. The water pressure may decrease as the filter nears the end of its life and needs to be replaced.

The length of life of the filter depends on usage and how hard your water is. If you have very hard water, then the filter will likely need to be changed more often than if you just want to remove standard amounts of chlorine or fluoride.

When you first put in a new cartridge, let the water flow through it for about 30 seconds as there could be some activated carbon dust in the cartridge that needs to be flushed out.

5. AquaHomeGroup Luxury Filtered Shower Head Set

  • The filter is small and includes a showerhead.
  • Has 15 filtration stages including removal chlorine and Vitamin C enrichment.
  • Removes heavy metals which makes this filter great for well water.
  • Filter cartridge lasts approximately 6 months.
  • Helps improve skin and hair health.

The Good

Not many showerhead filters remove heavy metals which is usually present in well water and effects a large portion of the population. This filter is comprehensive and great for all types of water.

Not So Good

There is only one option for material the filter is made of so the showerhead and filter may not match the rest of your fittings in your bathroom.



Overview

This is a modern looking filter and showerhead that has fifteen different filtration stages. The filter is not bulky yet is an effective filter to soften shower water.

The Filtration Process

This filter has a very similar filtration process to the Aqua Earth filter above. It uses two types of stainless steel mesh and PP cotton to remove any physical dust or dirt that might be in the water. Not only does this help clean the water, but it also prevents the filter itself from getting clogged up with physical debris.

From there the water will flow through Alkaline ceramic balls, maifan stone, KDF 55, and microporous ceramic balls which are used to remove chlorine, heavy metals, and even rust. This is where the actual contaminant filtration happens.

The next major step is adding minerals and oxygen back into the water. The stages included here are Vitamin C, coconut activated carbon, geranium balls, calcium sulfate, and magnetic energy ceramic balls.

That third step is meant to soften the water even further. The addition of Vitamin C and other minerals will help soften your skin and hair and can even help prevent flare-ups of eczema or other rashes.

Finally, the water goes through another area of PP cotton and stainless steel mesh to ensure there is no filter media or other physical debris in the water before coming out of your shower head.

Simple Installation

This filter and showerhead has a very simple installation process and does not require any tools. You can tighten the connection with your hand and there will be no leaks.

It also will connect to any standard type of shower so you don’t have to worry about it not fitting or working in your shower or anyone else’s. This means if you move or give the showerhead as a gift, there should be no issues installing it anywhere else.

Every time you replace the filter cartridge, which should be about every six months, let water run through the filter for about five to ten minutes before actually hopping in the shower.


There is always the possibility that there is some carbon dust inside the cartridge that might need to be washed out. Letting the water run through the filter every time you change the cartridge is a good way to ensure you don’t get covered in carbon dust when you hop in the shower.

6. Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Water Filter System

  • Uses coconut shell carbon media.
  • The filter needs to be replaced every 6 months.
  • Removes chlorine, lead, pesticides, hydrogen sulfide, and volatile organic compounds.
  • Does not affect water pressure.
  • Comes with a showerhead.

The Good

This is a simple water filter with only two stages of filtration, yet it is efficient and very effective. I like that it uses coconut shell carbon media as well.

Not So Good

This filter looks clunky and outdated. It is also quite large compared to other filters and is fairly expensive to maintain when it comes to replacing the filters.

Overview

Compared to the other filters on this list, this Aquasana filter is simple yet still very effective.

Two Stages of Filtration

There are two main stages of filtration in this system, yet they are efficient and get the job done. The Aquasorb HX coconut shell carbon is essential to reduce the chlorine in the water and can also reduce other chemicals or metals such as lead, mercury, iron, hydrogen sulfide, pesticides, and herbicides.

One chemical that is not reduced or removed is chloramine, which some municipalities use instead of chlorine to clean the water. Check with your municipality to ensure they use chlorine, otherwise, this is not the filter for you.

Some of the chemicals listed above can become airborne so removing them not only prevents contact with your skin and hair but also reduces the risk of breathing in possibly dangerous contaminants.

The second stage is KDF 55 which includes a copper and zinc blend for maximum efficiency. This stage further reduces the contaminants in the water and will enhance the pH to where it is best for your skin.

What Makes This Design Better?

This design might not look a bit clunky and not very modern, but there is a significant design advantage with this specific design.

The water is pushed down through a tube to the bottom of the filter and then the pressure will push it up through the filter media and into the showerhead.

This design helps prevent a change in water pressure and allows the water maximum time in the filter itself while not slowing the water down. It also prevents any filter debris such as carbon dust from coming up through the showerhead.

In order to best maintain the filter, the cartridge should be replaced every 10,000 gallons or six months. Clear instructions are included with the system, but it is important to flush water through the new cartridge right after installation.

How It Affects Your Health

It is so incredibly important to get a filter that works for you. This is a filter that reduces but does not completely remove a variety of chemicals and metals. It is more of an overall filter which reduces a wider group of contaminants.

Some filters are very specific and will remove all traces of a specific chemical, like chlorine. If you live in an urban area that is a nice option, but if you truly have hard water that includes iron or VOCs then a filter with a wider treatment base might suit your needs better.

By reducing chlorine, heavy metals, VOCs, pesticides, and herbicides, you can reduce the exposure your skin and hair have with the contaminants. Additionally, you will not be breathing in possible contaminants that could become airborne once entering the air in your shower.

7. Culligan WSH-C125 Wall-Mounted Filtered Shower

  • The filter is in the showerhead itself.
  • Can be easily installed on most standard shower arms.
  • Reduces sulfur odor, chlorine, and scale.
  • Replace the filter cartridge every 10,000 gallons or 6 months.
  • Great for your reducing build up in your shower and softening your skin and hair.

The Good

The filter itself is in the showerhead so it doesn’t look clunky and there are minimal locations for possible leaks. It doesn’t look different from a standard showerhead.

Not So Good

This specific filtered showerhead does not have a handheld option though the company does offer one. It also focuses on the reduction of chemicals, not the removal of them.

Overview

This filter is unique in several different ways including that the filter itself is in the showerhead. This does mean you will have to completely replace your showerhead, but you won’t be able to notice the filter is even there.

How It Works

The showerhead filter uses a standard Culligan whr-140 filter cartridge which is used fairly standardly throughout all of their products. This cartridge will last 10,000 gallons or approximately six months of use.

It reduces any sulfur odors along with chlorine and scale. The filter uses a filter media that has been patented by Culligan and works to reduce bacteria in your water.

Installation

You will need to have a shower arm to attach this showerhead too. The shower arm is likely a piece of ½ inch pipe that extends from the wall out into the shower.

The showerhead comes with Teflon tape to help create a true waterproof seal between the shower arm and the shower head. You should not need any tools and should be able to install the showerhead within a few minutes.

The Showerhead

The showerhead itself is a major componenet of the filtration system and is important to highlight in the description. Five spray settings are included in the showerhead with varying degrees of the width of spray and even a pulse option.

There are rubber spray nozzles which prevent clogging and help streamline the flow of water. Additionally, the showerhead meets all EPA requirements including the standard maximum water flow rate of 2 gallons per minute.

Why Tackle Scale Build Up?

Scale can build up on shower walls and is, in its simplest form, excess minerals in the water. Scale can have negative effects on your shower and also requires you to clean it more often.

When the minerals that make up scale are reduced, it also means those minerals are not interacting with your hair or skin. By reducing the minerals in the water, your skin and hair will be softer and more hydrated.

It is important to note that this filter only reduces chlorine, not chloramine. Some municipalities use chloramine instead of chlorine. If you live in one of those municipalities, then this filter will not be effective.

8. Dewifier – Water Softener Shower Filter

  • Works with any standard ½ inch showerhead including handheld, fixed, and other showerhead types.
  • Has a six-stage filtration process.
  • Removes chlorine, organic particles, and heavy metals.
  • Simple installation with all materials needed provided in the box.
  • The cartridge needs to be replaced approximately every six months.

The Good

This filter can be used with nearly any showerhead so there is no need to replace your showerhead if you love it. It is extremely effective in removing chlorine.

Not So Good

The installation is slightly more involved than the other filters on the list, but still not complicated. It can be challenging to eliminate leaks in the joints.

Overview

This shower filter is overall good at softening your shower water. It can help soften your hair and skin and prevent inhalation of chloroform which comes from chlorine in the water that is released into the air.

The Six Stages of Filtration

You are probably familiar with some of the mainstream filtration media used by this point in the article, though there are some differences in this filter.

High-density stainless steel mesh and PP cotton are the first two stages of filtration. This will get rid of any dirt or dust that might be in the water. These are very common first steps for nearly every shower filtration system.

Activated coconut carbon is used next which is essential in the removal of chlorine, organic materials, and trihalomethanes (THMS) which might be in the water. KDF 55 is the fourth stage of filtration and will continue to remove chlorine. In addition, the KDF 55 will remove heavy metals.

Then the water will flow through ceramic balls which will continue to remove the chlorine from the water. The three stages meant for removing chlorine ensure that no chlorine makes its way through the filter.

The fifth and final step is a resin which works similarly to the stainless steel mesh and PP cotton in that it is to remove physical particles, specifically minerals.

Testing Your Water

This system comes with its own water test kit so you can see the difference the filter is making on your water. Though chances are, you will be able to feel a physical difference in the health of your skin and hair.

It is important to test the water before you put the filter on so you have a base to go off of. Then once you install the filter you can test the filtered water. The test kit includes a reagent that you will add to the water sample you pull from your shower.

Once the reagent is added, the water will turn a shade of yellow depending on the amount of chlorine in the water.

Installation

While you don’t need tools for installation of this shower filter, you are provided with Teflon tape and silicone O-rings which can be used to prevent any leaking in the joints and connections between the shower arm, the filter, and the showerhead.

9. Luxsego Ionic Shower Head with Replacement Hose and Holder

  • Increases standard water pressure.
  • Uses mineral balls to help reduce chlorine.
  • Will work with any standard ½ inch connection.
  • No cartridge, disassemble to clean filter media then reassemble.
  • The showerhead comes with filtration system as does a hose for handheld use.

The Good

This is an all in one package with the hose, showerhead, and filter media. Additionally, you don’t have to buy replacement media, it can be cleaned and then put right back into the showerhead.

Not So Good

The showerhead is made of plastic which means it could break or shatter if it is dropped or overtightened. The system also does not come with installation instructions.

Overview

This filtration system has some prominent features that could make it a great fit for your family and household.

The Design

There is no other filtration system like this one on this list. The base of the showerhead is clear so you can actually see the filter media inside the handle. This is pretty cool because the balls will move or shift as water passes through the handle.

The showerhead is made of plastic, which is necessary to achieve a clear product which shows the filter media. It does mean that some care needs to be taken not to overtighten the connection point and not to drop the showerhead as it could crack or break.

The showerhead itself has three different spray patterns including jetting, massage, and rainfall. It is simple to adjust the spray patterns and gives a personalized touch to your shower.

The Two-Step Filtration Process

This system uses a simple two-step filtration process. First, the water will flow through infrared mineral balls. These will reduce any contaminants in the water including chlorine.

The infrared mineral balls are also a great way to add some minerals into the water which can help soften and rejuvenate your skin and hair.

Next, the water will flow through the anion mineral balls which continues to add minerals into the water. This step works to reduce impurities that could be absorbed by your skin and replace them with healthy minerals.

This filtration showerhead is more focused on adding minerals into the water than taking out contaminants, though it does reduce chlorine in the water.

This showerhead is great if you have fairly good water but want to reduce chlorine. If you have truly hard water with a lot of heavy metals, VOCs, or pesticides, then this showerhead might not be the most effective filter.

Replacing the Filter Media

The mineral balls need to be replaced every four to six months. If you do not replace them, then the pores in the mineral balls will fill up with impurities and it will cease to be effective.

Additionally, the mineral balls could start to break down over time if they are not replaced.

10. BathBeyond Shower Filter

  • 15 stage filtration process.
  • Comes in four different colors to best fit your showerhead and other bathroom fittings.
  • The water filter needs to be replaced every 24,000 gallons or 700 showers.
  • Helps reduce chlorine, fluoride, and scale.
  • Simple to install and maintain.

The Good

This filter has several different color options so it can match your current showerhead and bathroom fittings. The filter lasts more than twice as long as most showerhead filters.

Not So Good

While no tools are needed to install this showerhead filter, it is a slightly more complex process. The product is plastic so could break if dropped or not installed properly.z
 

Overview

This filter has a long life and 15 stages of filtration to remove harsh chemicals, metals, and odors from your water.

The Colors

While the color of the filter does not have anything to do with the filtration device itself, the options are nice because you can find a color that matches or complements your current showerhead and bathroom fixtures.

The four color options are chrome, nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and rose gold.

Installation

It is fairly simple to install this showerhead filter and it comes with a full set of instructions and everything needed to properly install it.

One essential step is to wash water through the shower filter for about 5 minutes before attaching it to the showerhead. This will flush out any dust from the filter media that might have settled inside the filter.

Teflon tape and silicone washers are included to ensure a tight seal between the joints connecting the shower arm to the filter and the filter to the showerhead.

The Filtration Process

There is a 15 stage filtration process which will remove nearly all impurities in the water. This is a great filter for truly hard water as it can handle heavy metals, VOCs, bacteria, pesticides, chlorine, and chloramine.

PP cotton and steel mesh bookend the beginning and end of the filtration process so that no debris or physical impurities get into the filter and no dust from the filter leaves with the water.

From there the filtration process is fairly standard with KDF 55, activated carbon, and ceramic balls to filter the water itself.

This filter does include nano-silver ceramic balls, vitamin C balls, and tourmaline which add minerals into the water and help stabilize the pH of the filtered water. They also add oxygen into the water so it softens your skin and hair.

Filter Capacity

This filter can handle a whopping 24,000 gallons of water before it needs to be replaced. For a single person, this is over a year of use. For a family, it could be as little as six months; however, it is significantly longer than most filters which need replacement every 10,000 gallons.

The large filter capacity is a huge asset to this filter as it does not need to be replaced as often and can save time, money, and waste.

What To Look For When Buying A Shower Filters

If you have hard water, but don’t want to spring for a full house filtration system, a shower water filter is a more cost-effective route to take. Even though you typically do not drink your shower water, there can still be harmful chemicals, metals, pesticides, and other contaminants in the water that could harm you.

What Are the Benefits of a Showerhead Filter?

One little known fact about municipal water that comes into your house is it could be coming from contaminated pipes. When pipe systems were first built, they were made from lead which can leech into the water.

Additionally, with municipal water, the water is tested as clean as it leaves the sanitation plant, not as it gets to your house. So any variable of bacteria or heavy metals could infiltrate your water.

Most municipalities add either chlorine or chloramine to the water to keep it clean as it travels through the pipes; however, this can lead to a harshness in the water itself and sometimes even cause an odor.

If you have well water, then your water itself might have large amounts of iron, other heavy metals, and even pesticides in it. This is usually referred to as hard water and can cause scale build up in your shower and be harsh on your skin and hair.

No matter what you are trying to remove from your water be it heavy metals, pesticides, chlorine, or any other contaminant, a showerhead filter will have near immediate and noticable benefits.

One of the first benefits you will notice is its postive effect on your hair and skin. Even after just a few showers, you should be able to tell that your skin and hair is softer and less damaged.

Additionally, your shower could have bacteria or viruses in it. If it comes through the pipes, then your showerhead is the perfect place for the virus or bacteria to breed. This could expose you to harmful microbes; however, a showerhead filter will usually stop any bacteria or viruses from coming in contact with your showerhead.

A long-term benefit of having a showerhead filter is reducing the build up of scale, mold, or minerals on your shower walls. Over time, small amounts of minerals or metals can build up causing a film or even discoloration of your shower. The right filter will reduce or remove these contaminants and significantly decrease the build up in your shower.

Types of Showerhead Filters

There are three main types of showerhead filters, and they all have some overlap with each other. Keep in mind, these are just based on the physical design of the filter and how it interacts with your existing shower plumbing.

The first is a true showerhead filter. The filter is in the showerhead itself so there is no addition coming off of it. In fact, besides the showerhead itself likely being a bit larger than a standard showerhead, no one would be able to tell there is a filter there at all.

The second is an in-line filter with a showerhead. Several of the filters on the list have this design. The filter and the showerhead come together but are separate entities. If you buy a filter like this, you will not be able to use your current showerhead.

The third is an in-line filter which you can think of as more of an addition to your current shower. You can keep your current showerhead and merely install this in between the shower arm and the showerhead.

Each of the types of showerhead filters have their benefits and downfalls, but at least one style should work for you. If you have a showerhead you love, then the in-line filter is likely your best bet; however, if you want more regulated pressure, you may want to try a showerhead or in-line with showerhead option.

Breaking Down the Filtration Media

Most of the filters have some combination of a few different types of main filter media. Some of the filters might just use one type of media others could have up to fifteen stages of filtration.

Understanding the filtration media used, and what they filter out, is key to purchasing the best filter for you.

Stainless steel mesh and PP cotton are very common to use at the beginning of the filtration process, at the end of it, or sometimes both. When used at the beginning of the filtration process it will prevent dust, dirt or physical debris from entering the filter and clogging up the filter media.

When used at the end of the filtration process, it is to ensure none of the dust or particles from the filter media make it into the water you are showering with.

KDF 55 is another very common type of filter media. A KDF filter is a great overarching media to have in a filter as it reduces nearly all contaminants from heavy metals and chemicals to bacteria, pesticides, herbicides, and viruses.

If you have hard water with a lot of different variables you want to control, then it is important to have KDF 55 in the filter you purchase as it is one of the most efficient filter medias around.

When used at the end of the filtration process, it is to ensure none of the dust or particles from the filter media make it into the water you are showering with.

Activated carbon can be a very effective filter, especially for chlorine and chloramine. Both chlorine and chloramine can be used to treat municipal water, but it can be harmful to your hair and skin. Sometimes the chemicals can even volatilize and you could be breathing in fumes from the chlorine or chloramine.

Municipalities will use either chlorine or chloramine, not both, to treat the water. You can contact your municipality to find out which they treat with, but an activated carbon filter will reduce or even remove the chemicals from your water.

Vitamin C filters have been proven to reduce chlorine and chloramine significantly. As a filter media by themselves that is really the peak of their usefulness; however, the Vitamin C filter is usually coupled with other filtration media to make it more effective.

If your main reason for purchasing a shower water filter is to remove the chlorine or chloramine that was added to your water, then a simple Vitamin C filter will be efficient and cost-effective.

How Much Water Do You Use?

It is important to know approximately how much water you use on a daily basis. Filters will need to have cartridges or media replaced to keep it in proper working order.

If you do not follow the proper maintenance recommendations then the filter will not only stop working but the media might also start breaking down and coming out through the showerhead itself.

Most water filters have a gallon limit on how much the filter can handle. Many manufacturers will also give an approximate time that might take up. For example it might say: 10,000 gallons or approximately 6 months of use.

But what most people don’t realize is that 6 months of use is calculated from a single person showering once a day. So, if you have a family, or even just one other person living with you, this could decrease the life of the filter and increase the cost to maintain the filter by quite a bit.

Here is a simple calculation that can help you determine how many days your filter should last. In the equations, GPM stands for gallon per minute. You can find the GPM of your showerhead online or on the showerhead itself or you can use the standard rate below.

Gallon Limit on Filter/ (# showers per day x duration of shower x GPM of showerhead) = total # of days

A standard American has a 2.4 GPM showerhead and takes about a ten minute shower. If you have four people in your family who use the shower every day and are looking to purchase a showerhead filter with a 10,000 gallon limit then the calculation will look something like this:

10,000 gallons / (4 showers x 10 minutes x 2.4 GPM) = 104 days

So in this example, your showerhead filter cartridge would last about 104 days or about 3.5 months which is much different than the approximate time of use the manufacturer gave.

FAQs

Is chlorine the same as chloramine?

No! They are different though municipalities use them for the same purpose. Most filters will remove either chlorine or chloramine so it is important to know what your municipality uses before purchasing a showerhead filter.

How much do showerhead filtration systems cost?

A showerhead filter will definitely cost less than a whole-home filtration system. The price can vary depending on what you are looking to remove and how often you need to replace the filter cartriges.

Is there a lot of maintenance with a showerhead filter?

There should be almost no maintenance required except to change the filter cartridge at the appropriate time. The manufacturer will have a gallon usage limit on the filter cartrige so you know when to change the filter.

Are showerhead filters easy to install?

Most showerhead filters don’t need any tools to install. They are very simple to install and should only take a few minutes to do so.

Conclusion

A showerhead filter can be a huge asset to your home, especially if you have sensitive skin or hair. Some showerhead filters do such a thorough job they can prevent eczema flare ups or acne.

Even if you don’t have sensitive skin or hair, you will likely feel a near immediate difference in the health of your body after using a showerhead filter. It is important to choose the filter that best suits your needs though.

Make sure you calculate your usage and the number of days until you will need to replace the filter cartridge. Prices of replacement cartridges can vary, but some filters have higher volume capacities than others.

My overall top showerhead filter is the BathBeyond shower filter because it is a comprehensive filter with a large volume capacity. It can filter 24,000 gallons of water before needing to replace the cartridge and it removes or reduces nearly all contaminants.

There are a few factors to consider when buying a showerhead filter; however, when you find the right one it can make a huge difference in your life.

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