The 10 Best Shower Filters in 2020 – Reviews with Buying Guide
Shower filters may seem small and insignificant, but they truly have transformative powers when it comes to cleaning water and elevating bath time.
The best shower filters are compatible with a variety of showerhead models and can also come with a showerhead themselves. You are sure to benefit from using a water filter and since it is easily installed in most homes, it is almost immediate.
It’s true that there are many water filters currently available and it may seem hard to find the right place to start. That’s where we come in! We have chosen and reviewed 10 shower filters to help start you off on the right food.
These were selected based on excellent functional design, performance, and overall efficacy. As an extra bonus, we also have a list of things to keep in mind before you purchase a filter, as well as a list of the benefits and some tips to keep you on track.
10 Best Shower Filter Reviews
1. AquaBliss High Output Universal Shower Filter
When it comes to high-quality water filtration, this AquaBliss High Output model is sure to satisfy. The water passes through ten different filtration stages, including a blend of KDF 55, calcium sulfite and activated carbon, before it hits the shower head. This ensures that most of the chlorine, bacteria, pesticides and heavy metals such as lead, mercury, nickel and chromium are removed from the water.
This shower filter is great for those with chlorine in their water (and subsequently released in the steam). The benefits include slower scale buildup; the removal of algae, fungi, and mold; and it reduces dry and itchy skin. Additionally, your reduce respiratory problems are sure to decrease as well.
When it comes to installation, the AquaBliss shower filter will work with both handheld shower heads and wall-mounted shower heads. It is easily installed and will filter both hot and cold water. It is important to note that this shower filter will drop the shower head down about 5 inches so taller buyers may need to take that into consideration.
The filters are replaceable and on average can be replaced once every six months. However, depending on the amount of work the filter needs to do to keep the water clean, the filter may need to be changed more often.
- Dimensions: 3.7 x 3.7 x 5.4 in
- Weight: 15.2oz
2. AquaHomeGroup: 8 Stage Shower Water Filter
This is arguably the best shower filter for hard water. Not only does this Aqua Home Group model filter the water with an 8 stage filtration system it also softens your water while still delivering consistent water pressure.
This filter keeps key components that are filtered out of the water including chloramine, fluoride, chlorine, bacteria, pesticides, and heavy metals. You will also find that ammonia and sulfur scents from the steam disappear.
Once in place, this filter works to reduce the risk of eczema and dry and itchy skin. Since this model also removes certain elements often found in steam, it also helps improve the effects of asthma and bronchitis.
This Aqua Home Group water filter can be self-installed and comes with all of the necessary pieces tools are not included so you can have it up and running in minutes.
It is an excellent model when it comes to compatibility, working with most shower head types including overhead, handheld, rainfall and combo shower heads.
It is also well-recommended for well water due to the durability and filtration of heavy metals. You’ll only have to change the filter cartridge approximately every 6 months and it doesn’t take too much time either.
- Dimensions: 8.1 x 3.5 x 3.5 in
- Weight: 1.32lbs
3. Culligan WSH-C125 Wall-Mounted Filtered Shower Head
The beauty of this water filter is that it comes built into the Culligan showerhead directly. You have two versions of this water filter to choose from: a handheld version and a wall-mounted shower head with a massage setting.
The showerhead has an anti-clog design and is system tested and certified by NSF International against the ANSI standard 177 – this means it meets national standards for chlorine removal.
For the shower head, it comes with 5 spray settings and has an output of 2.0 GPM. It is easily installed on any ½” threaded shower arm which is another reason why this water filter and showerhead combo is a customer favorite.
When you consider the filtration abilities, the filter can sustain 10,000 gallons of water before needing to be replaced (approximately 6 months). It filters out sulfur odor, chlorine and works to prevent scale buildup in addition to filtering out bacteria.
It’s everything that is wanted in a water filter with the bonus of a showerhead. The result is cleaner skin and hair as well as improved respiratory function due to the cleaner steam production. One of the perks of this water filter is that comes with one of the longest warranties as well: 5 years.
- Dimensions: 4.8 x 8.5 x 12.2 in
- Weight: 1.35lbs
4. Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Water Filter System
This Aquasana model has almost everything one could want in a water filter. It comes as a solo water filter, a filter/wall-mounted showerhead, or in two versions of a filter/handheld shower (white or chrome).
The filtration system is made from a mixture of coconut shell carbon and a copper-zinc combination that works to reduce the amount of chlorine, lead, mercury, iron, and hydrogen sulfide in your shower water. It also filters out pesticides, herbicides, and other organic compounds so that you enjoy an all-around cleaner shower.
One of the most important features that make this the best shower filter is that it takes 40-50 percent of fluoride out of the water. As a bonus, it removes chlorine and other breathable chemicals from the shower steam as well.
As for the showerhead, it produces a water stream of 2.5GPM and comes with 5 feet of tubing (for the handheld models). To adjust the spray settings, simply turn the shower head like a dial to select different pre-set shower sprays.
The benefits of this having this water filter in your home include healthier hair and skin and reduced breathing problems related to steam-borne chemicals. Additionally, like a showerhead, this model is great for kids and dogs (the handheld version) since the tubing is nice and long.
- Dimensions: 8.5 x 7.2 x 3.2 in
- Weight: 2.6lbs
5. Captain Eco Shower Filter
This Captain Eco model is the only one that has a unique filtration stage using Negative Ion Maifan balls. In addition to this cleaning stage, it also comes with the standard calcium sulfite and KDF 55 media.
As a whole, these stages work to remove chlorine, sediments and prevent the growth of organic materials such as bacteria in algae. Not only does this water filter help reduce dandruff, dry skin and allergies, it also doubles as a water softener which makes this one of the best water filters for hard water.
Beyond the actual performance of this water filter, it is aesthetically diverse as well; it comes with either a silver or chrome finish.
As a bonus, this model comes with two replacement cartridges and like most, it is recommended that the filter cartridge is changed about every 6 months. The model can be self-installed and works with a standard shower. The filter can work with both low and high water pressure, but higher pressure is recommended for optimum performance.
- Dimensions: 7.8 x 3.8 x 3.7″
- Weight: 1.35lbs
6. Rainshower CQ 1000 MS Shower Filter
The Rainshower shower filter is a powerhouse when it comes to removing chlorine from water. This filter is NSF certified and meets the standard for the reduction of free chlorine.
Utilizing a KDF-55 filter, the media removes approximately 90% or more of chlorine from the shower water. The process is unique to this filter too, the filter destabilizes the chlorine and converts it into a harmless chloride. Outside of chlorine, this filter also has enhanced performance when it comes to sediment removal too.
This easily installable model works well with most shower heads – including handheld shower kits. The filter is one of the longest-lasting ones on this list, running 6-9 months before needing to be changed.
While it may not filter out as many particles and varieties as other models, this filter truly works well with chlorine and will leave hair and skin softer and healthier for it.
Additionally, with a significant decrease in chlorine, color-treated hair will also retain its color for a longer period of time.
- Dimensions: 3.8 x 4 x 8.2 in
- Weight: 1.9lbs
7. Waterchef Premium Shower Filter System
The Waterchef premium shower filtration system is truly a premium investment. Don’t let the 2-stage cleaning system lead you wrong; the ThermalGuard™ system reduces chlorine in the water and is NSF tested and certified.
While mainly used for chlorine filtration, this combined shower filter and showerhead work to provide a softer, cleaner wash. By removing much of the chlorine in the water, this is an ideal water filter system for dry hair or skin, itchy skin, and eye irritation.
The filter system comes with a 3-year warranty and the handheld shower wand is truly a nice addition. It comes with 5 adjustable spray patterns and a 60″ stainless steel flex hose.
The anti-clog rubber spray nozzle works to prevent buildup on the showerhead and the water pressure comes out at a nice, steady 2.5GPM. The filter comes pre-installed and will run approximately 6 months (or 10,000 gallons) before needing to be changed.
One caution for this model is that the showerhead is a bit on the ‘soft’ side and will damage easily if accidentally dropped. The warranty is truly a good thing in this case and the head can be swapped out with others if this is a consistent problem.
8. Sprite HO2-WH-M Universal Shower Filter
This Sprite water filter shower system has all of the capacity of other name brands. It filters out a variety of things including chlorgon, free chlorine, hydrogen sulfide (the bad egg scent), iron oxide and sediments.
In addition to all of this, this filter actually doubles as a water softener for some, although not directly advertised as such. It also balances the pH of the water it filters, letting off a stream of water that helps to soften hair and smooth the skin. Due to the scent and steam-borne contaminant cleaning, it also helps improve breathing for some customers.
Not only is this a filter it also comes with a showerhead. This showerhead and filter combo have been known to increase water pressure and it puts out water at a rate of 2.5GPM.
Unlike other filters and showerhead combinations, this high-capacity filter doesn’t need to be changed every 6 months. Instead, this model has a reversible filter that is simply flipped monthly.
- Dimensions: 8 x 3.2 x 3.2 in
- Weight: 1.8lbs
9. New Wave Shower Filter with Aromatherapy Diffuser Ring
This New Wave shower filter takes showering to the next level with the addition of an aromatherapy diffuser ring. The filter contains 16oz of bacteriostatic KDF-55 and 2oz of crystal quartz. Together, these Media remove chlorine and hydrogen sulfide, in addition to reducing the heavy metals found in the water.
This filter also works to soften the water. By removing and reducing contaminants, this filter improves dry skin and dandruff and keeps chlorine gas from being released in the steam.
The aromatherapy ring is a luxurious bonus to this model and helps elevate the shower experience. The ring is intended to be used with any essential oils of choice in order to create a spa-like experience.
The filter lasts approximately one year before it needs to be replaced. As a unit, this fits standard showers and can be used with wall-mounted or handheld models.
It is important to note if using this filter with a handheld unit that has an on/off button on the shower head, to always turn the water off via the faucet. Turning the flow off at the head has been known to damage the filter due to the increase in water pressure that ensues.
- Dimensions: 3.6 x 3.6 x 8.6 in
- Weight: 1.41lbs
10. Pelican Water PSF-1 3-Stage Premium Shower Filter
The water filter by Pelican Water is excellent for those who want options. This three-stage shower filter comes in a variety of ways including a wall-mounted showerhead (in chrome or white), with a handheld showerhead (in chrome or white), or just the filter itself (in chrome or white).
For the handheld models, this filter/shower head combination comes with 5 feet of tubing and all of the shower head models come with a water-saving, 1.5GPM flow.
The water filter itself works to remove chlorine, chloramines and other chemicals from the water. It is so efficient that over 96% of chlorine can be removed. This will often increase softness in skin and hair while reducing dryness, flakiness and fading for colored hair.
The filter also removes unpleasant odors from the water and offers an ocean breeze scent bar for an aromatic experience while showering as well.
This filter and showerhead combination comes with a 1-year warranty. The filter design is unique in that the filter sits above the showerhead, which keeps the showerhead at a good height, rather than pushing it down several inches. The filter lasts for approximately 15,000 gallons of water – or about 750, 10-minute showers.
- Dimensions: 3.8 x 3.8 x 6.2 in
- Weight: 4lbs
Things To Consider Before Buying The Best Shower Filters
There are a number of reasons that may prompt someone to purchase a shower filter for their home or apartment and they all have one main reason: to improve the quality of water that comes out of the showerhead. In order to get the best out of your water filter, there are a few key things to consider before the purchase is completed and the unit is installed.
Why Do You Want a Shower Filter?
While it seems self-explanatory, the answer to this question will guide the buying process and will help narrow down the options available on the current market. Some of the main reasons for purchasing a shower filter include:
- Water that smells
- Water that is discolored and leaves rust-like stains in the tub
- Hard water
- Health-related issues
As said previously, there are a number of reasons that may prompt people to purchase a water filter, but this shortlist covers the main ones. Each one will direct the water filter search in a different direction.
For water that smells, you will want to look at filters that remove chemicals and contaminants from the steam itself and some brands and models do this better than others. You may also want to consider a model that offers aromatherapy of some sort to make your time in the shower even more pleasant.
For water that is discolored or leaves rust-like stains in the tub, you will want a filter that focuses on heavy metals and chemical build-up.
You may further want to consider a filter and showerhead combination that has an anti-clog showerhead that can be cleaned easily. You’ll also need to make sure the model has a filter that is changed easily since it may need to be changed more frequently depending on how clean (or not) your water is going through the filter.
For hard water, it is recommended to look for models that not only filter but also soften the water. Not all models have this dual function. You can also look for models that specialize in the removal of heavy metals which are often found in hard water.
Finally, if you are looking to purchase a filter for health-related reasons, you may want to identify what specifically you are hoping the shower filter will help with.
The two main things that a shower filter can help improve our skin and hair as well as the ability to breathe. If you are hoping that a shower filter will help improve your breathing, look for filters that focus on steam-borne contaminants such as breathable chlorine.
If you are looking to help soften or moisten your skin, look for filters that focus on removing chemicals from the water (such as fluoride or chlorine).
What is your Water Like?
Once you have narrowed down the questions that you want your water filter to do, you’ll need to consider what your current water is like. This will be different for each person and there doesn’t have to be a professional water test conducted.
However, it’s essential to keep your water in mind to best match the filter with your expectations and the actual performance.
Purchasing a filter that removes high amounts of chlorine may not have the results you are hoping for if your water has large amounts of heavy metals, but only trace amounts of chlorine.
What Does Your Current Shower Head Look Like?
One of the final things to consider before buying a shower filter is what your current shower looks like aesthetically. This will bring all of your expectations and considerations together to ensure you have the best shower head filter and shower experience possible.
Make sure to consider the current height of your shower head and know that many water filters tend to drop the shower head lower by a few inches.
Check that your new filter can be installed with your shower head and pipes if you are doing a filter and showerhead combo; and lastly, make sure the water pressure is going to stay comfortable for you.
Just like there are many reasons for purchasing a shower filter, there are also some benefits. These range from minor little perks to life-benefiting improvements. The health benefits alone are worth investing in a water filter, while the aesthetic benefits for both you and your shower are also wholly welcomed.
One of the main reasons people purchase a water filter is for the benefits it has for their hair and skin and lungs. Regardless of whether this is for medical-driven reasons or personal comfort, there is no arguing that water filters can often improve your external body.
Purchasing a water filter can have extreme benefits for your hair. It leaves it softer, shinier, and less dry and stiff. Additionally, for those that have a filter that specifically targets large amounts of chlorine, colored hair holds the color longer as a result of not fighting the chlorine.
One of the top benefits of using a water filter is having softer, healthier skin. This can be a medical necessity for some who struggle with eczema or simply a reprieve from having dry skin constantly.
By removing contaminants and chemicals from the water, filters deliver cleaner, purer water that nourishes the skin rather than stripping it. Water filters also help reduce dandruff for the same reasons.
It’s not often thought about, but contaminants and chemicals can be released in the steam from a shower. For those who have breathing issues, this can be an annoying (or serious) problem after each shower.
There are many water filters that are targeting the steam-borne chemicals and they can significantly improve breathing-related struggles caused by such contaminants.
In addition to the physical advantages of using a water filter, there are also many aesthetic benefits. These can benefit those who are taking a shower as well as those who regularly clean the shower. They can be thought of as ‘side perks’ to getting a shower filter of which the benefits include:
Decreased Scale Buildup
Since chemicals are being removed from the water, there is less left behind to cause scale buildup. This is even truer if you purchase a water filter and showerhead combo that has a rubber head. It keeps the shower cleaner and decreases the residue that can sometimes be left behind
Decreased/Dissipation of Bad Smells
When a water filter catches and dissipates chemicals and bad odors released in the steam, there are few to none lingering effects. The ‘bad egg’ smell is one of the most common that goes away, as well as the chlorine scent.
If your home or apartment runs on well water, then having hard water is something you, unfortunately, have had to deal with.
Luckily, one of the benefits of a water filter for the shower is that it can soften the water too. This isn’t true for all models, but there are some that were designed to filter and soften the water. A true perk for those that would like better shower experience.
Fewer/No Rust Stains
The shower filters that remove heavy metals will also keep the rust stains down in your tub. The chlorine-focused filters won’t impact this as much, but it’s important to note that chlorine-saturated water doesn’t leave rust stains.
Installing a water filter will help keep things clean and ensure the tub and showerhead live a much longer life without rust erosion.
One of the final, but arguably most enjoyable, perks of having a water filter is the improved water quality and extra features that now come with some of the water filter and showerhead combos.
These extras include aromatherapy, dissipation of essential oils, showerheads that offer massaging settings and more. With softer, cleaner water you can now elevate your shower experience and enjoy the benefits all around.
In order to reap the most benefits from your shower filter, there are some tips when it comes to shopping around, installing and using your shower filter. Here are some of the key things to keep in the forefront of your mind anytime during the process.
Tips for the Shower and Shower Head
If your shower head is already as low as you’d like it to be, consider a top-mounting water filter or consider purchasing a filter and showerhead combo that doesn’t lower the height of your showerhead
Pipes & Installation
All of the water filters here are easily self-installed, so long as your shower is fairly standard and doesn’t have strange sizing. Some of these filters only work with certain styles, however, so make sure you check the filter specifications before purchasing.
There are a number of water filters and filter/showerhead combos that can increase your water pressure. Alternatively, if you are looking for water-saving models, there are a number of the shower head and filter combos that you can purchase that have a reduced GPM flow.
Hand-Held Showerhead Models
If you have children and pets that you will need to use a hand-held showerhead for, look for models that offer longer, non-tangling cords. You can also find showerheads that have a stretchy cord that can go from 5′ to 7′ when needed.
Tips for the Water Filter
If you can approximate how many showers you take in a 6-month or year period, you’ll have a good idea of how long you’d like your filter to last. If you are in a home that chugs water, look for filters that can handle more gallons or consider a model that reverses every set period of time
Don’t turn off the water at the showerhead
Many of the newer hand-held showerheads have an on/off feature that allows you to turn the water flow off without actually turning off the faucet.
If you own one of these and are going to install (or have installed) a water filter, try to always turn the water off at the faucet rather than on the showerhead in order to avoid water pressure building up and potentially damaging the filter. This will ensure the filter lives a long and productive life.
Time to Change
Many of the shower filters come with a sticker that will remind you when it’s time to replace the filter. Alternatively, many models start to lose water pressure when their filter needs to be changed. It’s always good to know that a loss in water pressure means that the filter most likely needs to be changed.
Initially, choosing a shower filter can seem overwhelming. The options are almost limitless and specific needs or wants can get lost in the sea of product promises.
Knowing what kind of shower filter you are looking for and what you expect it to do is going to help narrow down your options.
Considering your current shower situation, including the sizing and water quality brings you even closer to choosing the best one for your home and shower.
The ten models listed here are some of the best in their categories and are sure to meet many if not all of the needs that people have when looking for a shower filter and there is sure to be one on this list that is ‘The best’ for everyone.
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