The Best Hard Water Filters for a Healthier Shower

The Best Hard Water Filters for a Healthier Shower

Hard water may not be a serious health risk, but it can have serious impacts on the health and appearance of your skin and hair. Even if you aren’t ready to invest in a whole home water filter and softening system, you may want to install a shower filter. Of course, if you don’t know whether or not you have hard water, you can check EWG’s database or USGS’s water quality map of the U.S. 

Shower filters give you the benefits of softened water. Having softened water immediately improves in your hair and skin within the first few uses. Softened water can also make showering more pleasant. The filters pull out the contaminants that make your skin and hair feel slimy and tight, or dry and itchy, right after a shower. 

A good filter system will also make bathroom maintenance a breeze. They eliminate most of the sources of limescale, making it easy to clean your shower and tub in minutes instead of hours. 

The Best Shower Filters for a Better, More Enjoyable, Shower 

All of these filters make an impressive difference in the quality and feel of your shower water. We’ve handpicked each and know that they’ll impress you as much as they impressed us. 

Let's get started!

1. AquaBliss, High Output, Universal Shower Filter

The AquaBliss shower filter has an easy, no tools necessary, installation. You can use it with any standard shower head, so don’t worry about going out and getting a new one. Plus, the attractive chrome finish will fit in with most bathroom décor. 

This filter will take care of most of the chlorine in your water, and all of the other main contaminants that damage your hair and skin.

You won't have to worry about odors, heavy metals, limescale, or other contaminants in your water. This filter is also a good option if you live somewhere with well water since it removes pesticides and other common rural contaminants as well. 

The filter won’t significantly reduce the shower pressure or flow.
Since one of the main filtration elements is activated carbon, don’t be surprised if your shower water is gray or black the first time you turn it on. It should only last for a minute or two until all the carbon dust is cleared from the filter. 

Aquabliss’s shower filter has replaceable cartridges. You should plan to replace the filter cartridge about once every six months.

What We Like:

  • Easy installation
  • Cartridges are easy to replace
  • Comes with a customer satisfaction money-back guarantee
  • Reasonable price for both the filter and cartridges

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No bacteria or virus filters

2. Aquasana AQ-4100

Aquasana’s 4100 shower filter comes complete with everything you need in one package. This filter is simple to install, it’ll be up and ready to run in minutes.

The 4100 also comes with its own shower head. It's designed specifically to work with their filter. The showerhead provides great water pressure at the industry standard 2.5 gallons per minute. 

One of the features of this filter, over other options, is that it can come with a standard showerhead or a wand shower head. You also have two different color choices. You can pick the option that will work best for you and fit in with the rest of your shower.

But, the canister for the filter is a little unattractive. It’s not a big drawback, but it is something to consider compared to more compact filtration options. 

Their two-filter system combines activated carbon with coconut fiber. It's a vegan, environmentally friendly way to filter all the main contaminants out of your water.

The 4100 will significantly reduce the amount of chlorine. It also removes lead, magnesium, and calcium, the main causes of limescale in your shower.

Your water will feel better, without the drying effects of mineral contamination. And, your shower water will smell better and be easier on your tub and shower walls as well.

What We Like:

  • Simple installation
  • Comes with its own showerhead
  • Can opt for a shower wand
  • Environmentally friendly filter ingredients

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Unattractive cannister filter design
  • Made of plastic

3. Aqua Eva 15 Stage Shower Filter

The Aqua Eva shower filter comes with an impressive 15 stage filter cannister. Like the other filters on this list, it's easy to install this shower filter. The filter and built-in showerhead are all made of durable metal, so the assembly will last longer than plastic alternatives.

Each replaceable 15 stage filter cartridge is good for 6 months of average use before it needs to be replaced. 

Like other filters that contain activated carbon, the first time you turn on any new filter it will run gray or black for a couple of minutes. Don't worry, it will resolve into clear, perfectly filtered water.

The filter has a standard ½” size connector, good for all showers in the U.S. or U.K. 

In addition to the benefits of filtered water for your skin and hair, this filter also adds vitamin c and vitamin e to your shower water. Both vitamins improve the health and appearance of your skin and hair. 

The addition of these vitamins will help you see results from your filtered water sooner. It will also take your appearance further than filtered shower water alone. Both vitamin c and vitamin e are critical for skin and hair health. They also act as antioxidants, which help to prevent premature aging and stress in your skin.

This is also one of the best filters if you’re concerned about heavy metal content, rust, or other metallic contaminants in your water. 

You’ll also breathe easier with this filter installed since chlorine, and several other chemicals used to make water safe, or present as contaminants, can vaporize under heat and pressure. The gasses from these chemicals are irritating to your throat and lungs alike. 

They also include replacement shower caps in case yours ever get dirty. 

What We Like:

  • All components are made of durable metal
  • The advanced filter system eliminates all contaminants including possible contagions.
  • Added vitamins support hair and skin health
  • Luxury rain shower head for surpassing comfort in the shower
  • Comes in a gift box if you want to give it as a present

What We Didn’t Like:

  • It comes with unnecessary packaging.

​4. Wat Life 12 Stage Shower Filter

The Wat12 stage filter is another filter that not only pulls contaminants out of the water but also adds beneficial minerals to maintain skin and hair health.

Adding some minerals back into the water also ensures that the water is at an ideal PH for your skin. Proper PH is important not only for your skin and hair but can also boost the effectiveness of your soap and shampoo as well. 

Wat's filter won't reduce your water pressure. The system filters water quickly enough that you won't notice a difference in the feel of your current showerhead. You can also upgrade to any shower head that uses the standard 2.5 gallons per minute and expect it to perform well with a Wat Life filter installed.

Wat Life's filters also meet standard duration requirements and last for 6 months before they need replacement.

However, like most shower water filters, each time you replace the filter, the water will come out gray or black for a couple of minutes. It only lasts until all the activated carbon dust has cleared from the filter cartridge.

While the Wat Life filter has its own shower head, you can also use it with any other standard sized showerheads. That includes low-flow, high pressure, or luxury rain shower systems.

The filter housing and showerhead are also designed from durable metal. The design ensures that the system will hold up to years of use.

What We Like:

  • Durable construction
  • Standard connector design, so you can use the showerhead of your choice
  • Thorough filtration removes all main water contaminants
  • Naturally balances water PH 

What We Didn’t Like:

  • May need filter cartridge replaced sooner in family or high-use homes.

​5. Homespal Shower Water Filter

Homespal’s 10 stage water filter is another great option if you’re looking for a thorough filtration system that’s easy to install. It will produce high quality filtered water regardless of other filtration systems in your home. 

The Homespal filter is a metal cartridge container that connects to all standard ½" pipes and showerheads. While it doesn't come with its own showerhead, that just means that you can continue using your current showerhead, and get better results from it. 

Using a shower filter will also extend the life of your shower head. Limescale and other mineral buildup reduces your pressure over time. Limescale makes your showers less enjoyable as well as less effective.

Since the Homespal filter takes care of all the major causes of limescale buildup, your shower head will last significantly longer. As long as you replace the filter cartridge, regularly. 

Homespal’s shower filter also lasts for a standard 6 months of regular use.
Including a medical stone in the 10 stage filter, Homespal’s filter also removes bacteria and viruses in addition to heavy metals, contamination, and pesticides. 

As a bonus, Homespal includes two filter cartridges in each package, extending the time you can use the filter before investing more money in clean PH balanced shower water. 

What We Like:

  • Comes with 2 filter cartridges
  • Durable metal construction
  • Filters out all the main sources of contamination
  • Compatible with all standard showerheads and pipe connections
  • Reduces vaporized contaminants

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Only comes in one color
  • No showerhead included

6. Berkey Shower Filter

Berkey Shower Filter

The Berkey shower filter comes with its own showerhead, compatible with multiple settings to make your shower experience more variable and enjoyable.

This is a good filter option if you are concerned about vaporized chemical contaminants. The Berkey filter removes up to 95% of chlorine, compared to most filters that remove only 91-92%. 

Chlorine vaporizes under heat and pressure and can irritate your throat and lungs. If you, or a member of your family, have asthma or another breathing condition, you may want to consider a good chlorine filter to help improve your respiratory health.

The Berkey filter also filters out mold and fungi, reducing contaminant risk and odor.

It also comes with a unique back-wash filter, preventing the filters from clogging prematurely, and extending the life of each cartridge.

However, it is made of plastic, and only comes in white, so this may not be the right filter if you’re looking for something to fit in with your bathroom décor. 

Yet, the cartridges on the Berkley Filter last twice as long as a standard shower filter, a full year instead of six months. 

It’s also slightly lighter than most other shower filters available on the market, which average 2.5 to three pounds. At slightly under 2 pounds, this filter is incredibly easy to install. 

What We Like:

  • Compact, lightweight design
  • Filters mold and fungi
  • Highly effective chlorine removal
  • Backwash filter prevents clogging

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Made of plastic
  • Somewhat unattractive design

​7. Culligan WSH-C125

If you’re looking to filter your shower water, without making it obvious to guests that you’re filtering, the Culligan filter may be the right one for you. Instead of a separate filter cartridge, the filter is inside of the showerhead, disguising it completely while also giving you a new 5-setting showerhead.

This is also the only filter on our list that meets EPA low-flow certification standards. The showerhead runs at only 2 gallons per minute, compared to the 2.5 gallons per minute industry standard.

It also comes with a filter change reminder sticker to make it easy to continue getting high-quality filtration.

Like the other filters on this list, Culligan’s filter prioritizes reducing chlorine and line scale build up in your shower. Not only does reducing chlorine help improve the health of your skin, hair, and respiratory system, reducing scale buildup makes cleaning your shower a breeze. 

The showerhead itself is also easy to clean and will maintain it's high pressure for longer than standard showerheads since it won't have limescale build up over time. 

Included Teflon tape makes leak-free installation quick and easy.

What We Like:

  • Discreet filtration system
  • Environmentally friendly low-flow high-pressure system
  • Attractive design
  • Long-lasting metal design
  • Easy to clean
  • 5 shower spray settings

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The bacteriostatic system indicates but doesn't filter bacteria

​8. Dewifier Water Softener Shower Filter

The Dewifier filter is a 6-stage filtration system, targeting chlorine as well as the main contaminants most water.

Unlike the other filters on our list, this one comes with a test kit so you can directly measure the effect of the filtration system on your water.

Measuring the results makes it easy to tell when you need a new filter cartridge, improving your results since consistency is the key to successfully using a filtration system.

While we’re mainly concerned with the filtration system, the Dewifier system also has a wide variety of compatible shower heads that are designed specifically to work with their filtration system. While the filter is universal, having compatible shower heads can help create a better shower experience. 

Overall, reducing chlorine, heavy metals, and other contaminant types helps to prevent dry skin, acne, and can help prevent premature aging.
Both the filtration system and the replacement filters are cost-effective. They’re some of the cheapest filters on this list, without sacrificing the quality of the filtration. 

What We Like:

  • Cost-effective
  • Included test kit demonstrates filtration results
  •  Universal compatibility lets you pick the showerhead and style of your choice
  • Uses eco-friendly coconut sourced activated carbon

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Test kit only measures the presence of chlorine, no other contaminants

​9. Aqua Home Group 15 Stage Shower Filter

The Aqua Home Group 15 stage shower filter is one of the most complete shower filters on our list, perfect for removing contaminants from even the hardest water and lowest quality sources.

In addition to the 15 stage filtration process, which de-chlorinates the water and pulls other contaminants out, it also passes through the vitamins as the last step, ensuring that both vitamin C and vitamin E make it to your skin without another chemical interaction stopping them in the filtering process. 

This shower filter also specialized in well water, although still suitable for treated tap water, it's able to handle the additional heavy metal build-up common to well water sources.

The Aqua Home Group filter also removed biological contaminants, preventing molds, fungi, bacteria, and viruses from making it through your shower faucets to vaporize and damage your respiratory system or make you sick. 

While the activated carbon is relatively early in this filtration system, it's also slightly more likely to create dust and powder within the cartridge, so you should plan on a slightly longer initial run period to wash the carbon dust out of each new cartridge. Aqua Home Group recommends planning on 10-15 minutes of run time to completely clear the excess carbon dust.

The high filter output on this product also ensures that you won’t sacrifice pressure or water temperature to get well-filtered water for your shower.

What We Like:

  • Thorough filtration
  • Attractive design
  • Metal for additional durability
  • Universal compatibility

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Extra carbon dust may take longer to clear from each new filter.

​10. Jonathon Product Beauty Shower Filter

Jonathon Product Beauty Shower Filter

The Jonathon Product shower filter is another cartridge filter. However, the somewhat unattractive style may be worth it if you know you have old piping or other contamination in your water system. This filter specializes in removing lead and copper buildup from your pipes. 

Lead and copper contamination are both common in rural areas, as well as in older and historic buildings even in urban settings. While lead contamination is now known to be more dangerous than we originally thought, many homes and even city pipelines still rely on lead piping with anti-corrosive agents to keep your water safe. 

Unfortunately, those anti-corrosive agents aren't always effective and can have negative impacts on the health of your skin and hair.

The Jonathon Product filter removes the most common causes of contamination, along with lead and copper, as well as de-chlorinating your water for a healthier, more relaxing, shower. 

While this filter doesn’t use skin-boosting vitamins C and E, it does include healthy potassium ions to ensure your shower water is always at an ideal PH for your hair and skin. 

What We Like:

  • Maintains PH balance
  • Removes the most common sources of heavy metals contamination
  • Immediately improves water quality and odor
  • Quickly improves the look and feel of your skin and hair
  • Easy to install

What We Didn’t Like:

  • A bit pricey compared to the competition
  • Unattractive cartridge design
  • Made of plastic

Benefits of a High-Quality Shower Filter

While hard water isn’t hazardous to your health, it can impact your hair and skin, especially if you have sensitive skin. Plus, chlorine, lead, and other common contaminants in your water can impact your health.

While a whole home water filter can help the overall quality of your water, with or without a whole home water filter, you can enjoy filtered water in your shower.

Showering with filtered water also reduces your exposure to airborne contaminants like vaporized chlorine. Chlorine protects your health in water by keeping it free from biological contaminants. However, chlorine gas can be a serious irritant to your throat and lungs.

Shower filters significantly reduce your exposure to chlorine gas, so you’ll feel better in addition to looking better.

Most users see results from adding a shower filter within a few uses. Your hair will have more body and volume, and your skin will clear and naturally maintain more moisture.

Hopefully, this list will help you pick the best filter for your home as well as your health goals. All 10 of the filters on this list are highly effective, removing chlorine and the other primary contaminants found in treated and untreated home tap water.

When you pick your filter, think about the type of contaminants known in your area, both your state water supply and your local county or development. You should also consider your decorations, how often you’re willing to replace your shower filters, and what type of shower head you want to use.

We’re confident that you’ll find the perfect filter for you on this list.

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