Updated: April 19, 2021 by Zac Harding
Your skin is dry. Your hair is damaged. You feel debris when showering or your soap refuses to lather. You’re suffering from itchy skin. And sometimes the smell of chlorine and other chemicals is pungent.
Either or all of the above could be the reason you’re looking to buy a shower head filter. The good news is we have been in your shoes at one time and frankly, it was difficult getting a shower filter that would actually do its work.
From experience, we have compiled a list of the best shower head filters. We also reviewed each preferred product to give you an idea of what to expect. Since choice differs, you might want to read our reviews and select your own personal best.
Especially as we’re sure you’d be particularly interested in our choice for the best shower filter for hard water if you find it difficult lathering up while showering.
With the Exclusive Home Goods Luxury Shower Filter, you’re guaranteed pure, nourishing shower water that is not only free of debris and contaminants, but also revives and rejuvenates your hair, skin, and nails. This luxury product is our top choice because, as promised, it removes excess heavy metals and impurities from even well water and hard water. It is the best shower head filter.
Our Best Shower Water Filter Reviews
1. Exclusive Home Goods Luxury Shower Filter — Best Shower Head Filter for Hard Water
The Luxury Shower Filter Water Purifier is our top choice of all showerheads because it does not only filter water, rejuvenate skin, hair, and nails but also manages to be visually pleasing enough to be ornamental in your bathroom.
If you’re worried about your bathroom losing its upscale look, this aesthetically pleasing shower head would blend with your decor and even complement it as it is externally designed to be impressive. It is built with premium quality chrome, steel mesh, and aluminum resulting in an impressive finish.
This luxury shower head filter by Exclusive Home Goods promises a refreshing, cleansing and generally nourishing shower experience through its 15-stage filtration system.
It uses a straightforward filtration technique to first get rid of deposit and dust, then lessen heavy metals and chlorine, increase negative ions, and finally infuse the shower water with reinvigorating minerals. It also softens hard water, removes hard chemicals, and infuses water with Vitamin C & E.
We have no complaints about this shower head filter’s performance for now.
We also like that this product does not just do its job of water purification, it goes ahead to add revitalizing minerals that help in skin, hair, and nail treatment.
- Manufacturer: Exclusive Home Goods
- Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Dimensions: 11.3 x 5.9 x 4 inches
- Installation Method: Screw-in
- It features a 15 stage filtration process that purifies water of all pollutants.
- After cleansing, it goes a step further to soften hard water and harsh chemicals that cause dry skin and destroy the hair.
- It is easily installed. Tools and the services of a professional are not required.
- It is constructed to fit most standard shower types. All you need to do is screw it in.
- It is designed for durability as it is built with aluminum, steel mesh and premium quality chrome that does not rust.
- The cartridge lasts up to 6 months after which it can be replaced for a negligible sum.
- We couldn’t find fault with this product, much as we tried. It exceeded our expectations and apparently those of other customers as well, as there seems to be a general consensus that this product does its job perfectly.
Constructed with a corrosion-resistant chrome, aluminum, and stainless steel mesh, its internal elements include maifan stone, KDF 55, PP cotton, activated carbon, ceramic balls, geranium balls, and calcium.
Water is carefully filtered through all the previously listed components before coming through the exquisite shower head to restore your skin, hair, and nails due to the presence of Vitamin C & E.
Apart from appearing more sleek, elegant and luxurious than it actually is, it also superbly filters hard water and rids it of other harsh chemicals. These are the major reason it is easily our Best Overall shower head filter.
This 12-stage filter ensures the most efficient filtration through its unique combination of activated carbon, KDF 55, Vitamin C balls, magnetic energy balls and calcium sulfite. These filter elements were hand-picked and dosed to form the ultimate composition that guarantees you bathe in toxin-free water.
Although it makes hard water softer, it doesn’t quite achieve the softness of water softeners. This is because it is not made to act as a softener for hard water. We would have preferred if it offered this added attribute.
We particularly love that apart from acting as a water filter, this luxury shower head also allows easy spray mode selection that allows you to choose between a focused massage, gentle rain or a full stream experience.
On this note, the best showerhead filter with showerhead (by this we mean a showerhead that offers spray settings for water), is the SparkPod Shower Filter Head. This is because it doesn’t only filter water, but also offers some exceptional settings that would leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
- Manufacturer: SparkPod
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.2 x 3.9 inches.
- Flow Rate: 2.5 GPM
- Style: 3-function shower head with filter.
- It reduces toxins and cancer-causing chemicals in water, leaving you with silky, healthy hair.
- It traps chlorine, fluoride, and odors through its 12-stage filtration.
- The filter packs are made up of 12 natural minerals that have been confirmed to protect.
- In addition to water filtration, it also allows you to enjoy a comforting, restorative rain setting, concentrated massage or mixed stream for gentle pressure.
- The corrosion-resistant ABS water filter for shower head can be easily screwed on and attached to any ¹/2-inch pipe in 5 minutes or less.
- SparkPod offers a 100% replacement or 30-day refund guarantee on this filter.
- While it has water-softening abilities, it does not include water softening as one of its available features. It would have been a hoot if it was also a water softener.
The SparkPod filtered showerhead offers benefits like safe water for you and your family, strong nails, rejuvenated skin, and healthy hair.
With the fact that it features amazing spray mode selections, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it is our choice for Best Filter with Impressive Showerhead settings.
This excellent quality product uses a 15-stage filtration system to clean and soften water. Despite this, water pressure is not affected as it offers high output water pressure.
We love that this product offers an extra 15-step cartridge that can be used for replacement when the cartridge in the filter becomes ineffective.
Based on the fact that to effectively neutralize the toxic chemicals that cause hardness in water one would require a filter that uses the two-stage filtration system, our best shower filter is Limia’s care 15-stage Water Softener and Shower Filter because it uses this system and does a rather effective job of softening water.
However, it seems like the extra cartridge is not exactly such a great deal as both cartridges together can barely meet the 6-month efficiency mark as promised by the manufacturer.
- Manufacturer: Limia’s care
- Weight: 1.37 pounds
- Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 5 inches
- Item Number: PO-336
- Included Components: 15 stage shower filter, 1 extra 15-stage cartridge, silicon seals, instructions and an isolating Teflon string.
- The amount of chlorine, heavy metals, and organic substances in water are significantly reduced when using thus 15-stage shower head filter.
- It employs a tested and trusted effective composition of several filtering layers to clean hard water.
- This hard water filter improves the condition of your hair, skin, and health by improving the quality of the water.
- It can be easily installed without requiring the help of a professional.
- This filter does not last as long as it could. Instead of the 4-6 months promised by the manufacturer, in less than two months, there’s usually a need to replace the cartridge as its effectiveness might have reduced.
This product is our choice for the best shower filter for hard water category. It is very effective at reducing harmful metals and softening water.
4. BWDM 15-Stage Shower Filter — Best Bargain
This 15-stage shower head filter makes a noticeable difference in your water quality. Also, apart from filtering out sediments and impurities, it also revitalizes and rejuvenates the skin, hair, and nails.
Our choice for the most affordable shower head filter is the BWDM 15-stage Shower Head Filter.
For the most affordable shower head filter, you’d want a product that is not only inexpensive but gives great value for money by actually reducing sediments and toxic chemicals from your water, significantly softening hard water and also being sturdy and durable.
This product fits the bill perfectly as you get it at a bargain price, compared to other shower head filters, and despite its relatively inexpensive price, it still gives the others a run for their money when it comes to quality performance.
- Manufacturer: BWDM
- Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Dimensions: 3.3 x 3.3 x 4.6 inches
- Included components: Silicon rings, Teflon tapes, instruction manual.
- It purifies water and perfects skin by removing harmful impurities.
- It is fully compatible with most showerheads and hand showers as it uses a standard 1/2 inch thread type.
- It can be easily installed within minutes and no tools are needed.
- There might be a little issue with leakage. But it’s likely this is due to improper installation as it only affected some of us.
At less than $20, this product is our top pick for Best Bargain. It offers as much value as other water filters with the extra advantage of being very affordable.
This shower head filter uses a 12-stage filtration method to cleanse water of all impurities and make it healthy and safe for use.
- Manufacturer: AquaBliss
- Weight: 1.25 pounds
- Dimensions: 7.7 x 3.8 x 3.7 inches
- Item Number: AB-SF100
- Included components: 1 aquabliss 12-stage showerhead filter
- It delivers maximum water filtration to neutralize odors, balance out PH levels and infuse useful minerals into the water to help with nails, skin, and hair.
- It is easily installed within minutes and is engineered to work with all shower types.
- It does not just soften hard water, and combat chemicals and chlorine, it is also beneficial in restoring healthy, itch-free skin, strengthening nails and making hair shiny.
- There seems to be an issue with the functionality of replacement cartridges. When replaced, the cartridge might not work as well as the initial pre-installed one.
This product does not just target and reduce hard water, chemicals, and chlorine, it also gives the added benefit of restoring healthy, itch-free skin, strengthening nails and giving a shine to your hair.
This 15-stage shower head filter adds an extra unique ingredient to its blend of active carbon, calcium sulfite, and KDF-55. The extra ingredient is Silver balls which are useful in breaking down bacteria in water.
- Manufacturer: CraterAquaSystems
- Weight: 1.25 pounds
- Dimensions: 7.8 x 3.7 x 3.6 inches
- Item Number: SF-Silver
- Included components: Premium Gift Box, Filter Housing, 2 cartridges, Teflon tape, O-Rings, Installation instructions
- This shower head filter adds a new ingredient, silver ceramic balls, which helps in the breakdown of bacteria in water.
- This high-performance water shower filter effectively reduces 97% of chlorine in addition to bacteria, iron, heavy metals, pollutants, and lead.
- It guarantees a consistent flow rate and also rids water of unpleasant smell.
- It prevents skin damage by getting rid of the chemicals that damage hair, skin, and nails.
- It is compatible with most standard shower heads and hand-helds as it can be easily installed without the aid of professionals.
- It comes with an extra cartridge, which means that one purchase can last you throughout the year.
- Unfortunately, it is not engineered to filter chloramine and fluoride.
With the unique addition of silver balls to its multi-stage filtration system, this product has significantly raised the bar by not only purifying shower water but also combating bacteria.
This cost-effective 15-stage shower head filter removes chlorine, fluoride, and chloramine from water, thereby repairing your hair and protecting your skin from the effects of these chemicals.
- Manufacturer: Aqua Earth
- Weight: 2 pounds
- Dimensions: 10 x 4 x 7 inches
- Item Number: AQUA-15
- Flow Rates: 2.5 GPM
- Included components: Replaceable filter cartridge, Additional Teflon tape, Complete installation instructions.
- It purifies water by removing chlorine, fluoride, residues and other heavy metals.
- By removing unpleasant odors and purifying water it reduces the risk of developing skin diseases.
- It doesn’t reduce existing water pressure in order to give effective filtering.
- It is compatible with standard shower heads and hand-helds.
- Aqua Earth offers a refund policy if you’re not pleased with your purchase.
- Unfortunately, pesticides and pharmaceuticals are not one of those chemicals that it can filter.
This 15-stage shower head filter uses a unique coconut shell activated carbon technology and Vitamin C to filter hard water, chlorine, fluoride, and other heavy metals. It is quite effective.
8. AquaHomeGroup Luxury Filtered Shower Head — Best for Skin, Hair, and Nails
This rain shower head filter embodies an internal filter cartridge with vitamin C and E. Its body is made of metal and it features a 15-stage water filtration system, including activated carbon, KDF 55, calcium sulfite, ceramic balls and other filtering materials that guarantees the best quality of water purification.
It is easily our choice for the category of best showerhead filter for hair, skin and nails because it is a health care, 15-stage shower head filter that contains Vitamin C + E which helps in revitalizing the skin, hair, and nails.
For us, AquaHomeGroup’s Luxury Filtered Shower Head Filter is the perfect choice for healthy skin, lustrous hair and strong nails.
- Manufacturer: Aquahomegroup
- Weight: 2.4 pounds
- Dimensions: 11.4 x 5.9 x 3.9 inches
- Flow Rates: 2.5 GPM
- Item Number: AHG12S
- Included components: Premium gift box, O-rings, Teflon tapes,5 shower caps, instruction manual.
- Composed externally of premium metal and internally of Vitamin C & E, this product cares for the skin, nails, and hair.
- It purifies water and revitalizes the body.
- It requires little or no effort to be connected as it can fit any standard shower head.
- You get free gifts of five shower caps in a premium gift box.
- For now, it cannot be added to a handheld shower. If the provision was made for this, this showerhead would come close to being perfect.
It uses a 15-stage filtration system to filter hard water removing chlorine and harmful substances. It is our choice for the Best Hair, Nails and Skin Care.
9. AquaHomeGroup 15-Stage Shower Filter
With its 15-stages of water purification, this shower head filter effectively removes heavy metals, sediments, chlorine, and fluoride. Because it is a water softener, it makes bathing children and pets pleasant and safe.
- Manufacturer: AquaHomeGroup
- Weight: 7 ounces
- Dimensions: 7.9 x 3.4 x 3.4 inches
- Item Number: AHG15
- Included components: Premium gift box, O-rings, Teflon tapes, 2 cartridges, 5 shower caps, instruction manual.
- There is a noticeable improvement in the health and appearance of the hair, skin, and nails.
- The water pressure from this shower filter is consistent.
- Build-up from hard water and chlorine is reduced.
- It is fully compatible with most showerheads and so can be easily installed without stress.
- As earlier stated in the previous product from the same manufacturer, the only disadvantage with that particular product was that it wasn’t engineered to be used for hand-held showers also. Well, this one is and so is perfect.
This shower head filter acts as a moisturizer, purifier, and softener and can make sensitive skin feel better. It is very adequate for skin, nails and hair care.
Types of Shower Head Filters
A shower head filter is a type of water filter that can be affixed directly to the shower head. It helps to soften water, remove impurities and odors, and reduce chlorine and other toxic chemicals from your bathwater.
What are the types of shower filters? There are probably as many shower head filters as there are harmful chemicals in shower water.
Choosing a shower head filter would involve an understanding of how they work:
Vitamin C Filters
Two forms of Vitamin C: ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbate have been tested and proven to neutralize chlorine in the water. As earlier stated, chlorine reacts with natural organic matter in water to create harmful chemicals that can cause cancer.
Kinetic Degradation Fluxion is a copper-zinc formulation that basically exchanges electrons with contaminants. This it accomplishes through a chemical procedure called redox (oxidation/reduction).
KDF filters remove chlorine, mercury, lead, hydrogen sulfide, and some bacteria and fungi by generating an electric charge when zinc and copper are pressed against each other.
In addition, KDF filters are adequate for eliminating odor, residual chlorine and improving the taste of water. However, they perform abysmally at removing organic chemicals and pesticides, bacteria and for now, are not adequate to be used alone in filtering water. Rather, they are used together with activated carbon filters.
Activated Carbon Shower Filters
Carbon shower filters are the most commonly used type of shower head filters. These filters work by using chemical adsorption to remove pollutants from water.
Though relatively inexpensive, activated carbon effectively removes lead, pesticides, odor, chlorine, sediments, and taste in water. However, their potency can be extremely hampered by heat. The hotter the water temperature, the more ineffective it becomes.
Carbon filters are also inefficient in eliminating dissolved inorganic substances, salts, minerals, and some other organisms. They also have a remarkably low shelf life of 4-6 months after which they become clogged and need to be replaced.
These filters combine both the KDF and activated carbon filtration as a feature of their filtration system. Separately, both parties have their limitations but together they can create the best shower filter for hard water.
Why Do You Need a Shower Head Filter?
According to the World Health Organization: lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury are among the top 10 chemicals of major public health concern. The problem is that these chemicals can be found in water.
When the lead used in the house’s plumbing system starts rusting, the lead starts seeping into the family’s water. Even at meager levels, WHO reports that exposure to lead can cause irreversible neurological issues in children especially.
Similarly, chlorine which is a chemical used in the treatment of water can react adversely with other organic substances in the water, thereby creating harmful chemicals that might be carcinogenic.
Note that it is not enough to conclude that your bath water is safe because it doesn’t have any odor or contain any particles. A report by the United Nations revealed that unclean water kills more people yearly than wars and other forms of violence. 3 in 10 people worldwide lack access to safe, readily available water at home, according to a 2017 report by WHO and UNICEF.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency advises testing your water routinely if you get your water from a private water source or even if you buy water from public water systems (contamination can come from household plumbing and faucets).
Some conditions that necessitate water testing are: cloudy, frothy or colored water, corrosion of pipes and plumbing, hard water, you experience taste, odor and staining problems, presence of a new baby or pregnancy, etc. A shower head filter is, therefore, a necessity as a form of protection from waterborne diseases.
Please note that if you’re having serious issues with your water supply, then you not only need a shower filter, but more importantly, you need to at least install a faucet or pitcher filter or under sink filter like this one for your drinking water. You should also consider a whole house filter.
What Is KDF-55?
KDF-55 medium is particularly formulated to reduce or eliminate chlorine and water-soluble chemicals. It is made of finely pulverized zinc and copper alloys. It functions by creating a chemical redox (oxidation-reduction) when water passes through the media.
How Long Should A Shower Filter Be Used Before Changing?
The shelf life of shower filters is usually very specifically listed by the manufacturing company. You should check for that and adhere to it. Usually, the duration of effectiveness is 4 to 6 months.
Can A Clogged Filter Be Cleaned (Unclogged) And Reused?
It is advisable to change filters that have been used for more time than specified by the manufacturer. Cleaning a used filter cannot properly rid it of all pollutants and residues, so if reused, it cannot filter water effectively.
How Do I Install Shower Filters?
Most shower filters require you to simply screw them to the showerhead.
To change used cartridges, open the showerhead by unscrewing the cap, remove the used cartridge and replace the new one in exactly the same position. Close the showerhead and dispose of the used cartridge.
Congratulations, you have successfully executed a DIY of shower head filter cartridge replacement. It is that easy.
Where Can I Find Replacement Cartridges?
Some shower head filter manufacturers include one or even two extra cartridges in your package when you buy a shower head filter. Most manufacturers sell cartridges for a replacement.
Having gone through our buying guide, we hope it is clear how we arrived at the choice of Exclusive Home Goods’ Luxury shower filter as our top choice. Of course, your primary concern while choosing a shower head filter should be getting one that actually filters chlorine, heavy metals, deposits, and dust.
But if it goes the extra mile of infusing vitamins that would noticeably treat your hair, skin, and nails, while also acting as a softener for hard water, then it is a product worth taking a second look at and buying.