5 Best Shower Filters for Hard Water (Reviews & Guide)

Did you know a shower filter that removes softens water can make you look better?

Yup. The best showerheads for removing hard water will make you look better. This is because of the brutal effects that the minerals in hard water have on the body.

Anyway, our choice is the AquaBliss SF 220. The rest of this article will cover 5 excellent alternatives. An in-depth buying guide that answers any questions you have about hard water in your shower will follow.

Reviews of the Best Shower Filters for Hard Water

AquaBliss High Output Shower Filter (SF 220)

Filter Mount: In-line

Filter Material Type: Activated carbon, KDF-55, sediment, calcium sulfite

Filter Lifespan: 6-8 months or 10,000 – 12,000 gallons

aquabliss shower filter chrome

Our top pick is the AquaBliss SF 220. This shower filter offers everything you need at an affordable price. There really is not a better option for a shower filter head… in my opinion.

This filter has three specific stages that remove a large amount of contaminants and other nasty stuff in water. The first stage is the sediment filter, which removes the standard rust, dirt, and other large pieces of sediment that somehow end up in water.

The next filter stage is the calcium sulfite, KDF-55, and activated carbon stage. Those are actually three different filters, but count as one stage. Anyway, this stage removes chlorine, chloride, heavy metals, and bacteria.

Don’t worry, the filters still work in hot water. You don’t have to take cold showers for the filters to work.

Sonaki Inline Vitamin Shower Filter

Filter Mount: In-line

Filter Material: Vitamin C

Filter Lifespan: 3 months or 1320 gallons

Next up on our list is a Vitamin C filter made by Sonaki. We like this filter because it is extremely effective at removing chlorine. Sure, it doesn’t look the best. However, it removes the most chlorine of any of the products on the list.

It removes 99.9% of chlorine from water. The best part is that this filter doesn’t lose any effectiveness in hot water like an activated carbon filter. We can’t complain about that.

We also like that this model has a brass housing, which makes it much more durable. Remember, it will have a lot of hot water passing through it. We want maximum durability.

The only things we don’t like are the goofy looking filter housing, the price, and that it only removes chlorine and chloramines. This unit is much more expensive than any of the other ones listed. However, this is worth it for the vastly improved reduction of chlorine. We definitely recommend this for those super concerned with removing chlorine from their water.

Culligan WSH-C125

Filter Mount: Showerhead

Filter Material: Activated carbon

Filter Lifespan: 6 months or 10,000 gallons

Culligan is a name that everyone can trust and the WSH-C125 comes in a solid third on our list. This filter is actually a showerhead one. Meaning that the filter is actually built into the showerhead, which means you have to change the showerhead.

Obviously, this isn’t good if you really like your current setup. However, we don’t think this is too much of an issue. It still looks great and it has 5 different settings. Plus, it has a 2.0 gallons per minute flow rate. This is more than enough water pressure.

As for the contaminants, this removes most of the chlorine found in water, which will reduce limescale.

If you’re looking for a filter that replaces the showerhead, then this is your choice and the one we recommend.

AquaHomeGroup Shower Filter

Filter Mount: In-line

Filter Material: Coconut activated carbon, KDF-55, Calcium sulfite, maifan stone, ceramic balls, germanium balls, steel mesh

Filter Lifespan: 6-8 months

The AquaHomeGroup shower filter is another in-line filter. We like it because it removes a whole lot of contaminants from water. Some of those contaminants include lead, iron, and nickel. Of course, it removes chlorine as well. All this contaminant removal results in a more neutral pH level, which is always good for the skin.

Other than that, this is just a normal in-line shower filter. It is chrome and looks great, but it really isn’t that much different than the other units listed. We do like that the filter lasts a little bit longer than the other filters on the list. You can’t go wrong with this choice.

Rainshow’r – CQ 1000 MS Shower Filter

Filter Mount: In-line & Showerhead

Filter Material: KDF-55

Filter Lifespan: 25,000 gallons (6-9 months)

rainshower water filter for shower

This is a unique shower filter and definitely not for everyone. This is why we put it on the bottom of our list.

Rainshower’s CQ 1000 is basically an in-line filter with its own showerhead. I personally don’t like the look of the white plastic. It just looks tacky and like something from 1996. However, we like to mix things up here because we know not everyone shares our views on home décor (this is ok).

Anyway, this uses a KDF-55 filter, which removes chlorine, some bacteria, and viruses. It really doesn’t remove much. As mentioned earlier, the chlorine is the biggest problem with the tap water, so that’s fine.

All in all, this is a decent showerhead filter that doesn’t reduce the water pressure too much and has a very long filter life. Our biggest problem is just the looks and the fact that it only removes chlorine and some microorganisms.

Benefits of Using a Showerhead Water Filter System

Here is a nice and concise list of all the great benefits of using a showerhead water filter system. They range from cosmetic benefits to more practical benefits.

Makes Your Skin Look Younger

I’m getting up there in age. I’ll gladly do something as simple as using a showerhead water filter to make my skin look younger.

The reason why your skin looks younger is because these filters remove the chlorine from your water. Chlorine has a tendency to strip away the natural oils that are found on your body, which leads to wrinkles. We all know that wrinkles make people look older.

Makes Your Hair Look Better

Chlorine also has a tendency to damage the hair. Just think about those people that are into swimming. They all have messed up hair that always looks flat.

The chlorine strips away the oils found in hair, which gives it that flat look. Take away the chlorine and all of a sudden you have the most luscious looking hair of your life.

Softens Water

This might not sound important in a shower because there aren’t any appliances. However, just take a look at your shower and you’ll probably see a large amount of lime scale around where the water lands.

This is because you have hard water. The soap combines with the calcium found in water, which results in lime scale.

Scale looks awful and it is difficult to clean. I should know, cleaning the bathroom was part of my weekly chores while I was a child. It wasn’t fun cleaning all that scale off the tub.

Reduces Chlorine

Removing chlorine does more than just save your skin and hair. It can also extend your life expectancy. Studies have shown that chlorine in hot water will evaporate into a gas. This gas has a negative impact on your lungs and long-term health. It has an especially big impact on the well-being of your children.

If you don’t want to get a showerhead filter, then that’s ok. Just remember your children will be exposed to chlorine on a daily basis.

Shower Water Filter Buying Guide

Take one glance at the shower filter section on Amazon and you’ll see thousands of different choices. Finding the exact filter that you need can be a daunting task. This guide will help you when making the very important decision about finding the best filter.

Different Types of Units

Showerhead filters come in a few different varieties. This section will provide a brief overview of the different methods you can use to install your filter.

Showerhead Filters

These filters are built into a showerhead. They look like any other shower filter. In fact, most people probably cannot tell the difference between one with a filter and one without a filter.

Some of them are a bit more obvious though. If the look of your showerhead is important, then you should skip this type of filter. Opt for one of the more inconspicuous models listed below.

These also may reduce your water pressure as well. Some will not, but a lot will reduce it. The main advantage of these models is their budget price.

We recommend these for homeowners looking for a budget option.

In-line Shower Filter

These are the most inconspicuous filters on the list. You will never see these because they are installed on the pipe before your showerhead. The main advantage of these units is that you can keep your current showerhead.

Now, that might not sound too important for some of you. However, changing the showerhead to one of the bulky models can negatively impact the overall visual aesthetic of the bathroom. This is not something you want to mess around with.

If you don’t care about the overall visual aesthetic of your bathroom, then it does not really matter. I’m just trying to save some of you the horror.

In-Life + Showerhead Filter

The final type of shower filter is a combination of the above two. This type has an in-line portion that does the bulk of the filtration. The showerhead portion mostly regulates the pressure.

These showerheas aren’t nearly as bulky since they only regulate the pressure. As an added bonus, these units often have more water pressure than a typical showerhead. This is because they have a smaller opening, which increases the water pressure.

Keep in mind, not all of these will increase your water pressure. Some will decrease it, and by quite a bit, but for those that do increase it the benefits are really great. Everyone loves a lot of water pressure when taking a shower.

Different Types of Filters Available

These filters come in a few different varieties other than just the normal activated carbon that you’re probably accustomed to seeing.

Activated Carbon

Activated carbon filters are by far the most popular. In fact, they are the most common type of filter found on any filtration device. The reasoning is simple, these filters just plain work.

They do a good job removing chlorine, chloride, sediment, and a few other contaminants commonly found in water. Chlorine is pretty bad for your skin, so that is one of the more important contaminants to remove from your shower water.

Furthermore, these filters are a lot cheaper to replace than other complex filters.

Source: EPA Guide to Granular Activated Carbon

KDF Water Filter Media

KDF water filter media is used as an alternative, or alongside, an activated carbon filter. KDF filters are composed of copper and zinc. This causes an electro-chemical reaction, which neutralizes the harmful effects of contaminants like chlorine. It also eliminates lead, mercury, copper, and a few other hazardous metals from the water.

A KDF filter will also extend the life of a carbon filter. This makes it a great choice to use with one. In fact, many of the shower filters available on the market will use a carbon filter and a KDF one.

Source: http://www.kdfft.com/HowItWorks.htm

Vitamin C Filter

This is a bit of a strange one for residential uses, but it’s common for showers. These filters are composed of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is actually a great way to neutralize the chlorine and chloride found in water, which is good because most of the health problems come from chlorine.

Do I need a showerhead filter?

You don’t need one in your home. I’m not going to get up here and say that every home in America needs one.

However, the chlorine found in municipal tap water has some negative effects on the skin. Removing the chlorine is worthwhile if you want to save your skin.

Now, you won’t need one if you have a whole house water filter system. Most people don’t have those systems though. So you will still see some benefit from purchasing a shower filter.

Final Thoughts on Shower Filters

All in all, the benefits of using a shower filter make it worth the investment. The effects of chlorine on the skin have already been proven to increase aging.

Who likes to look older?

Exactly. No one wants to look older.

These filters aren’t the fountain of youth. However, they will give you some benefit for not too much money.

This makes it a worthwhile investment for us and a filtration system that we highly recommend.

If you want to remove lead from your water, then check out our best picks for removing lead from water.

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