11 Best Shower Filters for Hard Water: Review and Comprehensive Shower Heads Buyer’s Guide

The best shower filters for hard water ensure that you have a pleasant showering experience, promote healthy hair and skin, and protect and improve the efficiency of your shower head. There is a wide range of products to choose from on the market. They differ in design, filtration mechanism, and price.

This article will review the 11 best shower filters for hard water for your consideration. It will also provide a comprehensive buyers guide to help you choose the right one.

11 Best Shower Filters for Hard Water Reviewed

AquaBliss High Output Revitalizing Shower Filter – Best Overall

If you’re looking for a reliable shower filter system, AquaBliss High Output is the ultimate choice. The product works flawlessly with rain showers to provide a fresh bathing experience. Besides, it reduces the foul smell and controls scale buildup.

The AquaBliss system water filter features a filter cartridge, which you can replace after every six months. It attaches easily to any showerhead style, such as fixed, handled, and rain designs.

You’ll find the user manual containing detailed installation instructions and maintenance information in the product package. The unit comes with essential installation components. So, you don’t need to incur extra costs to buy tools. More so, the installation process is seamless, even with minimal DIY or plumbing skills.

The AquaBliss shower filter is one of the most powerful showerhead water filtration systems on the market. This 12-stage filter unit is capable of softening water as well as trapping larger sediments. It targets chorine in hot and cold water, infuses water with vital vitamin C, and boosts water oxygen levels.

The system lasts for about 12,000 gallons, which means it can last for about six months. It’s, therefore, fair to say that AquaBliss is highly efficient. Moreover, replacing the filter is quite economical and easy. More so, you can buy them in bulk for a cheaper deal.

The shower head filter is designed to fit onto various showerheads. The installation process is simple and quick. You don’t need installation tools since the filter comes with all the necessary tools. So even with basic DIY or plumbing skills, you can install the system.

Pros
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • The system utilizes advanced filtration technology
  • Easy installation and maintenance
  • Highly efficient and effective
  • It fits standard fixed showers
Cons
  • It’s only available in one color
  • A bit bulky
  • It might not remove chloramine from water

With premium filters and materials in this unit, you rest assured of clean water. Waterdrop SF-30 Shower Water Filter System comes in a precise design that ensures efficient filtration takes place. It’s perfectly compatible and provides excellent performance. Your skin and hair will reap immense benefits from water with no impurities.

The unit offers an excellent showering experience and rejuvenates your skin. Besides, the system has NSF, WQA, and IAPMO certifications.

The Waterdrop filter system offers an advanced water filtration process. Once installed in the shower head, the unit effectively reduces odor and eliminates harmful elements, leaving you with healthy and uncontaminated water.

In addition, Waterdrop SF-30 is manufactured to be compatible with an array of shower heads. It’s suitable for handheld, fixed, and rain showers. Therefore, you can use this unit for any shower.

Installation of the Waterdrop shower filter system comes in simple, seamless steps. First, install the system using Teflon tape and place the rubber O-rings. Then twist the showerhead, and you’ll have finished installing the unit.

The product is easy to maintain, and you only need to replace the filter after 8 – 12 months.

Pros
  • Easy installation process
  • Filters chlorine and lead
  • Compatible with various showerheads
  • Multiple layers water filtration units
  • Easy installation
Cons
  • Expensive

Crystal Quest Luxury Shower Filter System

Crystal Quest Luxury Shower Filter System

The Crystal Quest shower head filter system is designed to provide you with healthy, safe, and clean water at all times. Crystal Quest is a reliable company entrusted with high-quality manufacturing products, and a luxury filter shower head is no exception.

This shower head filter will give you softer and smoother skin with less dry hair. In addition, the shower and tub area will be cleaner since the system filters out sediments and reduces buildup.

With a unique drip-down design, the system allows a substantial amount of filtration to occur.

More so, the unit allows more headroom than other filters on the market. It means you’ll have the best shower filter for hard water. The replaceable filter cartridge gives you a chance to take care of the system

Water drops own through the reliable shower filter for enhanced PH balance and chlorination. In addition, the granular activated carbon (GAC) ensures all harmful contaminants get eliminated. This leaves you with clean for healthier skin and hair.

It has a recommended flow rate of 2 gallons per minute, but it can go up to 2.5 gallons per minute. Purchasing the product comes with a simple and flexible payment plan. You’ll get four easy and interest-free payments. Alternatively, you can make small payments every month.

Crystal Quest Luxury shower filter system is easy to install. You don’t need advanced skills for installation. The unit comes with all necessary installation tools and a manual guide. More so, you’ll take few minutes to install onto your shower head.

The reversible filter cartridge makes maintenance easy. Replace the unit after every 8 or 12 months, depending on the usage.

Pros
  • Affordable payment plan
  • Fast shipping process
  • High capacity filter cartridge
  • Live customer support
  • Removes chlorine and chloramines
  • Elegant design
Cons
  • Not highly compatible

The Quality Water Treatment Water Filter System is explicitly designed to ensure you get clean water throughout your bathroom. It is an inline filter that you attach to your bathroom water line.

The highly effective unit promises to increase oxygen levels, reduce scale buildup, and soften hair and skin. Besides, it’s affordable, compact, sustainable, and easy to use.

The design of the unit mimics nature through material and motions. It’s structured with high standards and goes through rigorous quality control. The innovative, unique design establishes a vortex motion and restores essential properties.

Enjoy a more vitalizing and refreshing shower with softer water. Since water will have fewer harmful chemicals, you’re then promised smoother skin. In addition, you’ll need less soap, which is quite economical.

The filtered water minimizes limescale buildup. More so, the shower curtain will stay clean for an extended period. Apart from elegant design and excellent performance, the unit is long-lasting. The manufacturer also offers several financing options to suit your budget.

The installation of the Showerhead filter is completed in a few minutes. You won’t need a skilled plumber for installation. Instead, the manufacturer supplies you with essential fittings and a comprehensive manual guide for seamless installation. The unit is maintenance-free and needs no power.

Pros
  • Long-lasting shower filter
  • Flexible payment options
  • Seamless installation option
  • Easy maintenance
  • Fast shipping experience
Cons
  • It’s costlier
  • Might not filter chloramines
NU Aqua 12 Stage Shower Filter

NU Aqua is a highly functional shower head filter with a sophisticated design. The 12-stage unit ensures harmful contaminants are removed effectively. More so, it protects your hair and skin from microorganisms and bacterial.

The unique Showerhead filter is endowed with polypropylene spun cotton to stop all medium sentiments. An ultra-fine plastic mesh is created to cleverly remove both medium and small sediments, rust, and dust. The polypropylene spun cotton is almost at the bottom, which is strategically placed to filter media and fine sediments.

Besides, the presence of anti-bacterial porcelain balls eliminates and prevents bacterial growth in water. As a result, it ensures your water doesn’t cause skin-related conditions like finger and toenail fungal infections.

Kinetic degradation fluxion, or KDF55, is a high-quality filtration media for removing water-soluble heavy metals, algae, bacteria, controls scale, and removes chlorine. The KDF55 remains effective in both hot and cold water. It also ensures your Showerhead filter lasts long.

NU Aqua shower head water filter comes with activated coconut shell carbon which is highly porous. This element absorbs and dissolves harmful compounds, such as asbestos, arsenic, radionuclides, leads, and metals.

The unit’s construction also incorporates alkaline mineral balls, which are enhanced with natural minerals. These alkaline ceramic balls make water rich in antioxidants and oxygen to boost the overall immune system. Further, the negative ion balls enhance water by eliminating impurities that might increase oil production on your skin.

Besides, the far-infrared mineral balls improve oxygen levels and strengthen the body’s power to fight diseases. The final result is water-free of sediment or toxic properties.

NU Aqua 12 stage filter comes with detailed, easy-to-use instructions. The manual helps you install and run the system effortlessly.

Pros
  • Water becomes noticeably softer
  • Easy to install and use
  • It gives you value for your money
  • Durable
  • Efficient
Cons
  • It might not be suitable on tight budgets
  • May not remove chloramine effectively

Hard water is associated with several plumbing issues, such as buildup, clogged pipes, and hair and skin issues. To eliminate these issues, then install the best shower filter in your shower head. And in this case, the Berkey Shower filter is the best bet.

Berkey shower filter has modernized the elimination of hard water from showers. The unit is a composition of patented calcium copper and zinc. The manufacturers claim that the unit reduces approximately 95% of chlorine in the water. The proprietary filter media also eliminates bacteria and fungi.

It also prevents the growth of fungi, algae, and bacteria. With this shower head filter, your water will have low hydrogen sulfide, iron oxide, and iron levels. The filter head helps in softening water, which in turn softens your skin.

 

As an added advantage, the Showerhead filter is entirely safe, and the filtration process is not toxic without any side effects. It comes with health benefits like reducing damaged hair and skin.

Furthermore, the Berkey shower water filter is effective in both cold and hot water. This is because it contains bacteriostatic media to kill bacteria in water.

Berkey Shower filters are all designed to handle 20,000 gallons before replacing. More so, the product is designed for portability. However, do not use it on water that exceeds 110 F. Take a note that this unit is not suitable for drinking water.

Pros
  • Removes chlorine efficiently
  • Ideal in both cold and hot water
  • reduces damage to your hair and skin
  • It includes a massage showerhead
  • Reduces vapor inhalation and chemical absorption
Cons
  • It might leave chloramine components
  • Material: Copper zinc
  • Capacity: 10,000 gallons
  • Connector size: 5 x 7.25 x 3.2 inches
  • Warranty period: 1 –year warranty

Aquasana shower water filter is an essential beauty and health product. The unit reduces over 90% of chlorine for moisturized and softer hair and skin.

The powerful water softener shower head is best known for its excellent performance. It reduces and eliminates harmful chemicals for a healthier shower head and boosts the water’s pH balance.

Aquasana utilizes modern technology for smart design. The unique upflow design eliminates clogging and retains water pressure. More so, it increases water contact with filtration media for healthier water.

The Showerhead filter system delivers clean water. It has a capacity of 10,000 gallons, and you may replace it after six months.

The filtration technology is certified and tested to NF standards. The upflow design prevents media clogging and channeling. It also retains water pressure and enhances water contact with media. This filter has a replaceable cartridge

Aquasana shower filter is easy to install. All you need is to attach the product to the existing showerhead.

Pros
  • Gets rid of the odor
  • Long-lasting
  • Enhances good water flow
  • Easy to clean
  • Seamless installation process
Cons
  • It’s a bit bulky
  • Pricey

The AquaHomeGroup Luxury Filtered Shower filter is a luxury unit endowed with several features for efficient filtration. The filter is a powerful, 15-stages filter that removes an array of contaminants.

The 15-stage shower filter utilizes activated carbon filters combined with KDF55, alkaline ceramic balls, and calcium sulfite. This powerful blend ensures your water gets purified to its level best. In addition, the system eliminates pesticides, lead, chlorine, and chloramine.

In addition, the system minimizes bacterial, algae, and fungal infections. Your unit comes with two filter cartridges and filter housing. There is also Teflon tape, O-rings, five shower caps, and an instruction manual.

With overall dimensions of 11.5 x 5.9 x 4 inches and a weight of 2.5 pounds, the system is compact to fit in several showerheads. More so, the set comes in a stunning gift box to complement the luxurious rain shower head.

This filter system removes about 97% of chlorine from water. More so, it minimizes heavy metals like copper and lead. In addition, the system filters water while maintaining good water pressure.

The two filters last for about six months. Alternatively, you can say 10,000 gallons of water before replacement.

The filtration process occurs in 15 stages. The activated coconut carbon filter is the topmost layer that eliminates chemicals and chloramine, which might cause an itchy sensation on the skin. The concentrated zinc and copper granules use oxidation to eliminates heavy metals.

Furthermore, the system is endowed with calcium sulfite to eliminate heavy metals too.

The built-in filtration system contains maifan stone, germanium balls, and alkaline ceramic balls to enhance your shower water further. The combination of these elements increases the pH values of your water.

Installing AquaHomeGroup Luxury Filtered Shower Head is an effortless process that you can complete within 30 minutes. The filter is designed to be compatible with all shower types, including handheld, wall-mounted, and rainfall showers.

It comes with all essential tools and a manual to offer excellent installation guidance. Upon installation, flush the shower for about 30 seconds to allow loose carbon to rinse through.

Pros
  • Economical lifespan
  • Long-lasting
  • They don’t compromise water pressure
  • Compatible with all shower styles
  • Elegant design
Cons
  • It makes filter cartridges costly
  • Plastic parts may not be durable

SJ WAVE is a reputable company best known for offering top-quality products, and Showerhead Hard Water Filter System is no exception.

The shower head filter is manufactured to reduce lead, chlorine, and other chemicals from water. It also removes unpleasant odors, reduces scale buildup, and softens hard water. This leaves you with soft water ideal for adults, pets, and babies.

By clearing the sediments and harmful elements, the water becomes suitable for people with sensitive hair and skincare. Water shower filter also promotes healthy nails. The presence of antioxidants properties keeps fungi, yeast, and bacterial at bay. This hard water shower nourishes silky and dry hair.

Showerhead Hard Water Filter System is long-lasting and highly compatible with all shower styles. This 10,000-gallon capacity system fits best on handheld showers. However, it can still fit onto fixed and rain showers.

The sleek ergonomic design creates an elegant look for your bathroom accessories. The unit has a 90-degrees adapter for more power and an efficient filtration process.

 The ASP patented food-grade material gives magnesium and calcium granules a solid coat to prevent scale buildup.

The filter easily attaches to the shower fittings. With the simple setup, you don’t need advanced tools or skills for installation. It has a visible status indicator to track usage level to know when to replace it. Ideally, it’s advisable to replace after six months.

Pros
  • Unique and chic design
  • Suitable for many shower types
  • Easy-to-follow instructions
  • Easy to maintain
  • Protects your skin and hair
Cons
  • It might leak
  • It might also slide out

Culligan is associated with clean and soft water. So you expect excellent performance from this showerhead filter system.

Culligan is among the best inline filters for hard water. It comes with a plus WHR-140 cartridge for effective filtration. The package also includes a filter change reminder sticker and Teflon tape.

The inline filter is designed to fit a standard 0.5-inch thread shower head. It’s manufactured to reduce the effects of sulfur odor and chlorine for an enjoyable showering experience. Designed to make showering even better, the system is perfect for people who prefer their existing showerheads concerned for water coming from the home water system.

Besides, the system reduces bacteriostatic, which indicates that the unit limits the growth or passage of bacteria or fungi. It means the showering water is safe and cannot cause toenail or fingernail fungus infection.

A refreshing shower is rejuvenating, and it’s something you look forward to every day. Now you’ll be showering in filtered water, and you can have softer skin and hair.

Chlorine is an irritant on the skin and can cause scale buildup in the showerhead. Fortunately, your Culligan inline shower filter alleviates chlorine that might be present in water.

It’s easy to install a Culligan filter and replace it when required. Remember to change regularly. The cartridge filter life is 10,000 gallons or six months. So, replace the filter twice a year for effective filtration. It comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Pros
  • Offers value for your money
  • Effortless installation process
  • Filters chlorine effectively
  • Affordable replacement filters
  • Good for skin and hair
Cons
  • The joint might get weak
  • It doesn’t come with a shower head

SparkPod shower filter promises to soften your hard water without interfering with pressure.

The rustproof ABS SparkPod is a 12-stage water filter that attaches to any ½-inch pipe in few minutes. If your skin and hair feel dry, it means you have constantly exposed them to hard water. Chlorine and other harmful chemicals can also make the skin itchy.

Mercury has a low boiling point and can lead to kidney issues when inhaled, even on short-term exposure. Luckily, the SparkPod shower filter removes 98% of mercury from your shower water. In addition, it reduces odors, dirt, and chlorine. The ultimate filter composition includes KDF55, alkaline ceramic layers, and coconut-activated charcoal.

KDF55 is the filtration compound that meets NSF standards for filtering toxic chemicals. Coconut activated carbon helps during the filtration process by removing chlorine and odors. More so, it’s renewable and lasts long.

Additionally, calcium sulfite strips remove 99% of chlorine content. This leaves you with soft water for an enjoyable showering experience.

SparkPod is backed by a one-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee. The unit provides an easy installation process. Enjoy about four months of soft, pure, clean water per cartridge.

Pros
  • Excellent performance
  • Recommended for people with sensitive skin
  • Super easy to install
  • Inexpensive unit
  • No loss of water pressure
Cons
  • It doesn’t remove chloramine
  • It might not last for long

Buyer’s Guide for Shower Head Filter for Hard Water

What is a Shower Water Filter?

These are filtration units attached to showerheads and shower faucets. Shower filters work by getting rid of hard water ions, chemicals, and other contaminants. They help to improve the quality of your shower water for healthy skin and hair.

Why Do You Need a Shower Water Filter?

Unfiltered shower water contains a wide range of contaminants such as harmful chemicals, sediments, viruses, fungi, bacteria, pollutants, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The level of the contaminants varies depending on the water quality.

For instance, unfiltered well water has a wider range of contaminants. Also, hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium minerals.

Although city water is filtered and treated to get rid of a wide range of contaminants, it contains high levels of chlorine that can cause itching, dry skin, and dry hair. Therefore, even treated city water needs to be filtered to remove chlorine.

Dissolved magnesium and calcium can cause limescale build-up. This results in clogging and corrosion of the water pipes and showerhead. As a result, you may experience a decrease in the flow rate, water pressure, and faster wear and tear of the plumbing system and showerhead. Hard water may leave white spots on your bathroom tiles, curtains, and glassware.

Also, hard water may alter your skin’s PH leading to dry skin and irritation. It makes skin conditions such as eczema worse and hair brittle and dry. It can also ruin your showering experience as it prevents soap from lathering.

Well water is particularly prone to pharmaceuticals, herbicides, and pesticides. Pesticides and herbicides are used in crop production and tend to seep through the ground into the water.

In summary, the benefits of a shower head filter for hard water include:

  • Removes Chlorine
  • Softens the water
  • Removes bacteria and viruses
  • Removes heavy metals
  • Removes harmful chemicals
  • Makes the water safe for use on kids
  • Prevents limescale accumulation
  • Promotes healthy skin and hair

Does Everyone Need a Shower Filter?

You need a Showerhead filter if your main water supply is not treated. If you have a whole-house water filter fitted, you may not need one as the whole-house filter gets rid of most of the contaminants. If your water supply is extremely hard, you may need to install a whole-house water softener or descaler to prevent limescale accumulation. Otherwise, a showerhead filter or hard water will come in handy.

Shower Head Filters Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Easily accessible
  • A wide range of options to choose from on the market
  • Quite affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to maintain

·      Cons

  • Short filter life (some have lifespans of about 3 months)
  • Some remove only a narrow range of contaminants

Types of Shower Filters

There are different types of shower head filters for hard water depending on their design and filtration mechanism.

Types of shower filters for hard water by Design

Showerhead Filters

Some are designed as complete units inclusive of the showerhead and filter. Others are a separate filter that is attached to your existing showerhead. They are efficient and provide good pressure. Most have an easy plug-and-use mechanism. A majority also have a replaceable filter cartridge.

Inline Shower Filters

These are the most common types of shower filters for hard water on the market. You attach them between the existing showerhead and its waterline. They are less conspicuous. Some come with a replaceable filter cartridge while for others you have to replace the entire unit.

They can be used with different types of showerheads including rain, handheld, and waterfall showerheads.

Types of Shower Filters According to Their Filtration Mechanism

Multi-Level Carbon Filters

These are the most popular types of shower water filters. The most popular ones provide 8-12 levels of filtration. At each level is a specific type and size of filtration media. Shower water passes through the various levels to get rid of a wide range of contaminants.

The specific type of filtration media used vary from one model to another. Typically, the top levels get rid of the small, medium, and larger particles such as debris, sediments, rust, and large pathogens. The filtration media such as woven cotton, sand, and fine stainless steel mesh are used on these top levels.

The second stage of filtration is impurity removal. Filtration media such as activated carbon, redox, and calcium sulfite are used to remove chlorine and trihalomethanes.

In the third stage, shower water is softened and then revitalized. Shower filter water softeners contain sodium or potassium ionized beads where ion exchange takes place to get rid of hard water minerals. The subsequent levels consist of filtration media such as zeolite, mineralized beads, tourmaline, and zeolite that remineralize the water.

Finally, the last levels provide protection. They prevent the other levels of the filtering media from leaving the filter while keeping away any contaminants from entering through the lower end of the filter.

KDF Filters

KDF filters can be used alone or in conjunction with carbon filters. They are made of copper and zinc and are quite effective at removing bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, and chlorine.

They produce an electro-chemical charge that polarizes heavy metals such as lead, mercury, aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, and copper enabling them to be filtered out. They also change the structure of chlorine to make it insoluble.

Vitamin C Filters

A Vitamin C filter is a cartridge that contains vitamin C. They have a 99% efficiency at removing chlorine and chloramine. They also infuse the shower water with Vitamin C to promote healthy skin and hair as it does not wash out natural oils. However, they do not get rid of other contaminants. As such, most manufacturers incorporate them alongside carbon and KDF filters.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Shower Head Filter for Hard Water

Water Composition

Whether you are using well water or municipal water, begin by taking a hardness test. It will help you determine the right GPM rating for your water softener. Also, test the water’s chemical composition to establish the type of impurities by using a water testing kit.

For instance, if you use municipal water, you need a shower head filter that has high efficiency in removing chlorine. On the other hand, for well water, a multi-stage filter is more appropriate as it will get rid of a wide range of contaminants. Knowing your shower water composition will help you choose the right type of shower filter for the highest filtration efficiency.

Material

Most shower filters either have a plastic or metallic housing. Plastic shower head filters are lighter and more affordable. However, they wear out faster. On the other hand, metallic shower filters are sturdier, more durable, but more costly. They are also prone to corrosion and rusting.

Build Quality

The best shower head filter for hard water does not have a premium-quality build. However, the quality should be good enough to last the filter’s lifespan. If your preferred shower head filter has a replaceable cartridge, ensure that the housing and connectors are durable enough to serve you for several years.

 

Also, look out for NSF-certified shower head filters. They have better build quality that meets the recommended WQA quality and health standards.

Most manufacturers do not offer a warranty on the shower filters due to the relatively short lifespan of the products. However, a few do offer a warranty for the lifetime of the filter. The product must have a money guarantee or return policy for an easy return or replacement in case it is defective or faulty on delivery.

Weight

Although you want a shower head filter that is sturdy and strong, it shouldn’t be too heavy. Lightweight is particularly important for a handheld filter as it makes it cumbersome to handle. Plastic shower head filters are generally lighter than their metallic counterparts.

Lifespan and Capacity

Every shower head filter has a lifetime as indicated by the manufacturer. Most range between 6-12 months after which you will need to replace the filter or cartridge with a new one.

The filter’s capacity is an indication of how much shower water in gallons the filter can treat efficiently. Exceeding the shower filter’s lifespan and capacity compromises its efficiency.

Impact on Water Pressure and Flow Rate

The best shower filter for hard water should not impact the flow rate or water pressure significantly. In most cases, there will be a minimal drop in water pressure and flow rate. However, if it is too significant, the water filter’s flow rate may be mismatched with your water line flow rate. Or, the filter may have been installed incorrectly.

If you notice a drop in the water pressure or flow rate over time, it might be an indication that the filter has done its time and needs to be replaced.

Ease of Installation and Maintenance

Most shower filters are easy to install by following the steps provided by the manufacturer. They come with all the parts needed for installation and you can do it by yourself.

Conclusion

The best shower head filter for hard water is efficient at removing a wide range of contaminants. It fits well with your plumbing system and shower head without compromising flow rate and water pressure. Those that have a replaceable cartridge are cheaper in the long term.

 

FAQs

How Much Do Shower Head Water Filters Cost?

Shower water filters are relatively affordable. Most cost $20-$35. However, there are a few premium options that cost around $50. Replacement filters cost $12-$20.

Is it Safe to Use Shower Head Filter Water on Kids?

Yes. It is preferable. The best shower water filter gets rid of contaminants and improves water quality.