Best Shower  Head Filters

Shower head water filters are a great way to ensure that the quality of water in your home doesn’t affect you when you’re out of the house, but choosing the best shower head filter for your needs can be a headache.

We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the best shower filters – this brings together shower filter reviews, our guide to the types of shower head filters available and an overview of the factors that will influence your decision, to make it as easy as possible for you to make a decision on which shower head filter is best for you and your budget.

Top Shower Head Filtration Systems

IMAGE PRODUCT FEATURES
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    Cost: $$
    Filter Life: 6 months
    Flow Rate: 2.5GPM
    Filter Type: Carbon
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hd-table__image

    Cost: $$$$
    Filter Life: 6 months
    Flow Rate: 0.5GPM
    Filter Type: Vitamin C, Carbon, Ceramic
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hd-table__image

    Cost: $$
    Filter Life: 12 months
    Flow Rate: 2GPM
    Filter Type: KDF
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hd-table__image

    Cost: $$
    Filter Life: 6 months
    Flow Rate: 1GPM
    Filter Type: Carbon & Ceramic
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hd-table__image

    Cost: $$
    Filter Life: 12 months
    Flow Rate: 1GPM
    Filter Type: KDF
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hd-table__image

    Cost: $$
    Filter Life: 6 months
    Flow Rate: 1.5GPM
    Filter Type: Carbon
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hd-table__image

    Cost: $
    Filter Life: 6-8 months
    Flow Rate: 2.8GPM
    Filter Type: Vitamin C
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hd-table__image

    Cost: $$
    Filter Life: 6-8 months
    Flow Rate: 2.8GPM
    Filter Type: Vitamin C
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hd-table__image

    Cost: $$
    Filter Life: 3-6 months
    Flow Rate: 2.5GPM
    Filter Type: Carbon, KDF, Vitamin C, Ceramic
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hd-table__image

    Cost: $
    Filter Life: 6 months
    Flow Rate: 2.2GPM
    Filter Type: Vitamin C
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Best Shower Head Filter Reviews

 

1. Aquasana AQ-4100

This filter from Aquasana is perfect for anyone looking for a showerhead that will reduce minerals and contaminants at the point of use.

Easy to install and with a coconut fiber filter that will reduce impurities including chlorine, lead, pesticides, and iron, this shower head filter is our top pick for 2020.

With a unique wand design, the AQ4100 also improves the throw of water from the head, improving shower performance.

Pros

  • Easy Installation
  • Cartridges readily available
  • Improves water throw from the showerhead

Cons

  • Expensive Filter Cartridges
  • Doesn’t filter fluoride

 

2. Sonaki Vitamin C Inline Water Filter

Sonaki is the market-leading brand when it comes to water filtration in South Korea and their experience shows in this… we’d rate it the best shower head filter for chlorine.

The AWWA considers Vitamin C an effective means of eliminating chlorine from the water supply and it is the main active element in this shower head filter.

Amazon’s Choice for best shower water filter and an average review of 4-star, this model is easy to fit, comes with a money-back guarantee if you’re not happy and connects to your existing showerhead for convenience.

The filter body is transparent so it is easy to gauge the life left in the filter and the pack comes with 3 replacement filters so you won’t need to go out and buy more for some time… it even includes the tool required to change the filters.

Overall, we were impressed.

Pros

  • No plumbing modifications required
  • Easy install
  • Money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Expensive to purchase at the outset
  • Short cartridge life vs other models

3. VivaSpring FSH25-CB

This shower head filter from VivaSpring is a great product. With 60 silicone spray nozzles to prevent scaling and deliver a broad jet, a patented filtration technology that is expected to last 6 months or 10,000 gallons without needing replacement is also included and it is no surprise that this unit averages over 4 stars on Amazon.

Effective at filtering lead, chlorine, mercury, and copper, the FSH25-CB also has an antimicrobial treatment that inhibits the growth and transmission of bacteria and parasites within the showerhead.

The filter attaches to the existing water outlet and is suitable for all shower outlet types except hoses.

There are scattered reports of poor product quality but this looks to be a batch manufacturing issue and most feedback is overwhelmingly positive.

Pros

  • 10,000-gallon filter life
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • No water jet adjustment

4. Aquabliss High Output 12 stage

With tool-free fitting and connection to your existing showerhead, this shower head filter from Aquabliss has been designed to be easy, subtle and effective whilst keeping the cost low.

Two cartridges are included in the box which should see you through the first 40,000 gallons of water use – potentially enough to last 12 months!

The filter itself will remove most of the contaminants you would expect including chlorine, heavy metals, and bacteria, with the added benefit that by directly treating the scale-causing minerals calcium and magnesium this Aquabliss model will actively soften the water supply making it one of few genuine soft water shower heads available. 

Chlorine levels are dramatically reduced which improves taste, odor, and general water quality plus the unit is small enough to go unnoticed in most bathrooms.

Pros

  • Avtively softens water
  • Removes chlorine and bacteria

Cons

  • Reviews suggest common issues with leakage

5. Berkey Shower Filter

Water filters from Berkey have impressed us in recent reviews so we were looking forward to getting our hands on this one – we weren’t disappointed.

With no showerhead included, this shower head filter fits inline, between the shower body and your existing showerhead.

The filter is tested and proven to remove up to 95% of chlorine from the water supply and the filter is expected to last up to a year, treating 20,000 gallons before needing replacement.

As well as chlorine, this shower head filter removes scale-causing minerals and comes with a black flush attachment for filter cleaning, further improving the filter’s lifespan.

The filter feels very robust in the hand however we expect this extra weight to make it difficult for some buyers to install.

Pros

  • Actively softens water
  • Includes back-flushing attachment for cleaning – to improve the lifespan
  • Affordable 

Cons

  • Heavy, difficult to fit and not suitable for cheaper showers

6. AquaHomeGroup 15 stage filter for Hard Water

Another contender for the best shower water filter for chlorine, this filter from AquaHomeGroup has been designed with chlorine reduction in mind, removing up to 97% from the water supply

This shower head water filter does not act to reduce or remove levels of scale-causing minerals such as calcium or magnesium – as such this is not the best shower filter for hard water.

Two cartridges are included with the filter body, along with replacement plumbing fittings for ease of installation and maintenance and no special tools are required to fit. Cartridges will typically last 6-8 months.

Although not effective at softening hard water, this is an excellent filter for chlorine reduction

Pros

  • Very effective at reducing chlorine
  • Two replacement filters included

Cons

  • Does not soften water or remove scale-causing minerals

7. PureAction Shower Head Filter for Hard Water

Another shower head water filter using Vitamin C filtration, this offering from PureAction is effective, affordable and filters a surprising range of impurities from the water supply including chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals, fluoride and other sediments

The showerhead installs to your existing outlet in less than 5 minutes without the need for tools and the set includes one replacement cartridge and comes with a 12-month warranty against defects – excellent insurance on a filter which costs less than $20.

PureAction are so confident in the performance of this filter that they actively promote it on the basis of the improvements which it can make to the appearance of nails, skin and hair and the product has racked up over 330 reviews on Amazon averaging over 4 stars.

Pros

  • Affordable – ideal for anyone looking for a shower head filter to test the results
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Some reviews suggest that quality control needs to be improved, but overall positive

8. PureAction Softening Shower Head

If you’re looking for an economical way to find out if a shower head water filter could help the appearance of your hair and skin, this softening shower head could be the product you’ve been waiting for.

With almost 1,000 Amazon reviews averaging over 4 stars, customers seem to love the effectiveness, appearance and longevity of this filter.

Manufactured from plastic to a simple design, this device from PureAction feels reassuringly simple.

With a powerful flow rate and effective removal of chlorine, calcium and magnesium, for less than $25 delivered this shower head filter is an excellent choice for anyone who is trying to decide whether one of these gadgets would help in their homes.

There is some feedback suggesting that these heads can clog with sediment which means they are not the best shower filter for well water however if you have a mains supply you should have no problems.

Pros

  • Effective at removing chlorine
  • Actively softens water
  • Affordable
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Some reports of clogging and blockages

9. Infun 17 Stage Filter

Good looking, well-reviewed by Amazon-buyers and with an impressive 17 stage filtration system, this showerhead filter from Infun ticks all the boxes on paper.

Replacement filters for this unit are expensive in comparison to other models available which increases the lifespan cost of the filter, and there are reports of clogging after minimal use.

The filter lifespan is impressive (which is to be expected for the cost) although with no inclusion of tools to backflush the filter this could be significantly reduced in areas with poor water quality and high levels of contamination.

This filter doesn’t require tools to install and acts as a filter, purifier and softener.

Pros

  • Effective filtration
  • Long filter lifespan

Cons

  • Expensive replacement filters
  • Filter ineffective in areas of poor water quality

10. Dominow Vitamin C Shower Filter

This is the only shower head filter in our guide which flavors the water from your shower, with the Dominow unit including Lemon Balm – definitely matter of personal taste!

This filter maintains a flow rate of 2.5 GPM and is another vitamin C type filter that offers no active softening of the water but provides excellent filtration of chlorine, fluorine and sediment.

Unfortunately, we have seen several reports of negative reactions to the chemicals within these filters and even accounts of them causing health issues in some individuals.

Although there are many positive reviews of this shower heads filter, we recommend avoiding this one until the chemicals in use are amended or more research is carried out.

Pros

  • Good flow rate
  • Effective filtration of chlorine and sediments

Cons

  • Negative health reactions to chemicals within filters used a large concern

Shower Head Filters Buyer’s Guide

What is a Shower Head Water Filter?

A shower head water filter is a water filter that attaches to your shower (depending on the type of filter it will either replace your existing showerhead or attach behind it on the pipework) and filters the water as it comes out.

As with all water filters, different models of showerhead water filters are more or less effective at removing different contaminants which makes choosing the right filter for your needs important.

What does Shower Water Contain?

Shower water contains the same elements which are filtered out elsewhere in the home.

Sediments, rust, pesticides, bacteria, heavy metals and minerals can all be suspended in the water pumped into our homes and have negative side effects.

Chemicals such as chlorine can be bad for health whilst Hard Water causes the skin to dry out and hair and nails to look dull, while sediment builds up within the waste pipework.

A shower head water filter should be chosen according to the problem which the homeowner or tenant is experiencing and the product checked to make sure that it is capable of tackling whatever the problem contaminants are.

Benefits of Shower Water Filter Systems

Soften Water

Some shower head water filters actively soften the water, removing or neutralising the minerals which cause scale and accumulate within plumbing systems and on the skin and hair.   

Softening Shower Head Filters are the best shower filters for hair, and can make cleaning easier as the minerals which would be deposits within the shower have been removed.

Remove Chemicals

The most common complaint of chemical taste or smell from tap water is chlorine.  Introduced into the supply at water treatment plants, chlorine is not harmful is small doses but prolonged exposure is not recommended.  It also gives a distinctive smell and taste to water which is unpleasant. Vitamin C filters are very effective at removing chlorine.

Remove Pollutants 

Pesticides from agriculture and heavy metals resulting from industrial operations can find their way into the groundwater over time as the water cycle washes these pollutants through the soil.

Where water is drawn from boreholes, wells or local reservoirs without being centrally treated, heavy metals can be drawn into homes with the water supply.

These compounds are not good for human health, and effective filtration systems can remove them from the water before we come into contact with them.

Kills bacteria

Many types of bacteria can live and breed in water, and in more remote locations where water is drawn from reservoirs or wells without disinfection, an effective water filtration system may be the only defence against these bugs.

Bacteria can even breed within dead legs in the plumbing systems within the home, making point of use filtration (such as faucet filters or shower head filters) very effective at combating them.

Is a Shower Head Water Filter Necessary?

In most cases, water filtration is only necessary once a problem has already occurred. 

As very few people regularly have their water supplies sampled and analysed for contaminants and bacteria the first they know there is an issue is when they fall ill.

If you have a whole house filtration system installed, a shower head water filter isn’t necessary.

If you have your water tested and it is of good quality, and you have a water softener installed you probably don’t need a shower head water filter.

The importance of water filtration is often overlooked but given that most homes have no permanent means if purifying water, low cost, easy to install options such a shower head water filters go long way towards reducing any possible risks associated with poor water quality. 

Types of Shower Filters

Showerhead Filters

Shower head filters are designed to be fitted to hose-type connections.  They are quick and easy to install and although usually bulkier than a standard shower head they are usually fairly subtle.

They filter the water as it passes through the head, and the outlet nozzles are incorporated into the filter body.

The best filtered shower heads maintain a good flow rate and have long filter lives.

Inline Shower Filters

These filters are installed between the supply pipework and then shower head itself.  

Usually compatible with fixed pipework, either exposed risers from the shower valves or fixed outlets from wall or ceiling are the most common places to see these filters.

As with showerhead filters, these filters the water as it passes through the head on the way to the outlet. 

Inline and Showerhead Filters

These filters are the largest of the retrofit filters and can be difficult to install without compromising space. 

Inline and showerhead filters incorporate both shower head and filter into one body, for connection to existing shower supply pipework.  

Being the largest, they often have the most stages of filtration which makes them very effective at removing impurities and pollutants and can still be competitive on price with showerhead or inline filters.

Types of Shower Filter Cartridges

Different models of filter use different means of filtration, adding another layer of confusing decisions to making your choice.

We have summarised the main types of filtration below

Multilevel Carbon Filters

The most widely used of the filter types in most non-permanent filtration systems, carbon filters traps particles within the water in tiny pores within their compressed bodies, allowing water to pass whilst contaminants remain trapped in the filter.

These are very effective at removing rust, sediments and some chemical contamination.

KDF Filters 

KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) filters work via an electrochemical reaction within the filter block.

Made up of a granulated zinc-copper alloy, as water passes through the filter the process swaps out molecules such as chlorine, iron and heavy metals.  These filters are also effective at removing fungi, algae and bacteria from the water, which contributes to the comparatively long life of the filters. 

As these filters operate based on a chemical reaction, they are less effective at trapping inert compounds such as sand and hence KDF filters are often used as well as activated carbon filters to improve the effectiveness of filtration. 

Vitamin C Filters

Vitamin C filters are known to work effectively thanks to the chlorine-neutralising properties of ascorbic acid.  This is often used in lieu of chemical disinfection to adjust PH levels within the water without unbalancing the environment.

There are questions over whether or not Vitamin C can effectively treat chlorine in light of the very limited time that the two elements are in contact as the water flows through the showerhead however these are also often used in combination with carbon filters to improve efficacy.

 

How to Choose the Best Shower Filter

Type of Filter and Contaminants Removed 

It may sound obvious, but the best filtered shower head for your home will be the one which most effectively treats the most prevalent water quality issues in your area.

If you live in a Hard Water area, you should be looking for the best water softener shower heads to neutralise the scale causing minerals within the water supply.

If you are concerned about dullness of the hair and nails, or dryness of the skin from showering you should also look for water softening shower head filters.

If you draw well or borehole water you should be looking for filters which can remove heavy metals, pesticides and bacteria as these are the most likely sources of the water quality issues in your area.

If you tap water tastes or smells odd, you should look at filters which will remove bacteria and chlorine.

Plastic vs Metal

Plastic or metal will affect the look, cost and longevity of your shower filter.

Often,

plastic will seem to be cheaper and less robust, however many manufacturers

use thin sheet metal to construct their filters and these can be easy to damage

and prone to bending when taken apart to change filters.  This can lead to leaks or failures of the

items.

 

Plastic is lighter and pound-for-pound cheaper than metal to produce but it is liable to cracking and can become brittle over time.

Metal can be treated with antimicrobial agents to prevent the growth of bacteria within the filters whereas plastic filtered would treat the elements within the case in this way, as the microscopic grains in the surface of the plastic are prone to trapping all manner of small particles including organic materials.

Mostly, the decision of plastic vs metal will come down to look and cost.

Filter Cartridge Life and Number of Cartridges

The type of filter cartridge and the number of cartridges included is going to determine the ongoing cost of operating your shower filter.

More cartridges included means that you can go for longer without needing to pay for new cartridges.

Longer cartridge lifespan means that the cartridges will be effective for longer before needing replacement. 

Correct size

It doesn’t matter how effective a shower filter is if it won’t fit where it needs to… you’ll end up removing it, setting it to one side and never using it again.  

Luckily, manufacturers know this and so they make filters in a range of sizes and styles to ensure that there is at least one which fits onto the shower you have and is of a size that you can get along with.

Usually, larger filters have more filtration stages inside however if you can’t fit a bulky shower filter into your shower enclosure don’t worry – there are many smaller ones that are just as effective if you know what water issue you are looking to treat.

Does it Change Water Pressure?

Water pressure and flow rate are both important factors in how effective and enjoyable a shower is – if the shower filter ruins either of these it won’t be staying for long!  Of the two, the flow rate is usually the most noticeable to the user.

Most filters have a small but largely unnoticed impact on the flow rate and pressure however it pays to check as some more specialist filters can have a large impact.

If your water pressure is generally good you shouldn’t have any problems however with gravity fed water systems and properties fed by reservoir having low water pressure before a filter is fitted can make things much worse. 

If you are unsure, you can always ask a specialist contractor to provide an opinion on the best filtration solution for you. 

Price

This one is also fairly self-explanatory, but the old saying is usually true – you get what you pay for. 

That is not to say that you can’t find a good quality shower head water filter at an affordable price, however if you buy the cheapest filter you can find you will likely find that it is less effective than you would like and few an extra $10 you could have had something of much greater quality and efficacy.

Weight

Most shower head filters are fairly light and you wouldn’t notice much difference between them however there are a few, often using KDF or multistage filtration which can be much heavier. 

These units are usually harder to install and require a more robust shower installation to avoid causing damage to the plumbing systems. 

Ease of installation

Ease of installation is a key factor in the cost of a shower water filter – if the fitting is so complicated that a professional is required, you will add a significant extra cost to the initial cost of the filter.

Most shower head filter manufacturers publish installation guides online and you can always look these up to check if you have concerns about a particular filter being difficult to fit.

As always, we recommend you do your research before committing to any filtration system to ensure that you are well prepared.

Warranty

Having a manufacturer’s guarantee in a product can provide peace of mind, especially when you are shopping at the higher end of the market.

Although there are always conditions attached to the way a filter is maintained, if you look after and maintain your filter as the manufacturer suggests not only will it last longer and work better, but you will be covered during the warranty period should anything unexpected occur.

How to Install your Shower Head Water Filter

1. Once you have selected your shower head filter and confirmed its compatibility, read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly.

 

  1.   Ensuring that the shower is turned off (you may wish to turn off the water supply to make sure there can be no accidents), remove the existing showerhead from the outlet.  This will usually unscrew.

 

  1.   With the old head removed, ensure that any rubber washers are in place and, if directed by the instructions, apply 15-25 wraps of plumbing tape to the threads.  

 

  1.   Making sure that any washers remain in position, offer up the new shower filter and screw it into position.

 

  1.   If your new filter didn’t come with a showerhead, fit your old head onto the newly installed filter.  Again make sure to use plumbing tape if required and fit any washers or seal rings that may be needed.

 

  1.   If you turned off the water supply, slowly switch it back on.  It pays to have two people to do this – one to open the valve and another to watch the new installation so they can warn you if any leaks are present.

 

  1.   Turn on the shower, slowly at first, and check for leaks.

 

  1.   If there are no leaks, leave the shower on for several minutes as detailed the manufacturer’s instructions to flush out the filter.

 

  1.   Once flushed, your new shower head filter is ready for use.

 

Conclusion

Homes in Hard Water areas without water softeners installed could almost always benefit from having at least one water softening shower head.

The best shower head filters will always be selected according to the situation within your home and with an eye on solving the problems you know to exist with your water supply.

Manufacturers know the value that their systems offer and are also aware of the wide range of options available to customers which has driven innovation, as they fight to stand out with new features and higher quality. 

If you are considering a larger water treatment system, a shower water filter is a great, affordable way to dip your toe in the water and find out whether water filtration will really make a difference in your home.

 

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