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The 8 Best Shower Head Filters of 2021 – Buying Guide & Reviews

By Luna Regina | Updated
Our recommendations are made independently through research and testing following our review procedure. We may receive commissions from purchases made via our links at no additional costs to you.

Good day to you all!

First, a question: have you ever wondered, for yourself, why your hair and skin feel a bit weird after a shower? Even worse, they both keep feeling weird and start to look terrible after a while?

Best Shower Head Filters 2021

If you do, well then, you’re not alone, as a matter of fact. Lots of other people (that includes me for a while) have also experienced itchiness, dryness and irritation after showering in unfiltered tap water.

It’s time for you to start considering picking up one of the best shower head filters to put this matter to rest permanently.

I say, first, we take a better look at the cause of such annoyance and, later, at which product would be the most suitable one for you.

[toc]

Why do we need a shower filter?

Studies have shown that the number one suspect for dry, itchy skin and weak hair is the water that runs in our houses. And I think you all know what's the cause— or at least make a guess in the ballpark: disinfectants and impurities.

Shower Head Water Softener

In truth, water is rarely just… water. In many cases, water prior to being pumped towards households, is disinfected with chlorine or chloramine. As those substances are beneficial to some aspects of our health, they are not so nourishing to the human skin and hair.

Also, along the pipes, chemical reactions can occur, leading to the creation of disinfection by-products, causing unpleasant taste or smell, or even rendering water unsafe for consumption.

To deal with disinfectants in the shower, shower head filters were introduced and have been the number one choice for such issues. These filters are known to remove various potential harmful elements – so effectively you can actually FEEL the rejuvenation at the first try.

I am going to make a quick list of filters that, to my knowledge, offer the best prices and utilities. Please, for the sake of your own skin and hair, and Buffalo Bill, buy yourself a shower filter ASAP.

Hope this will help! Drop a comment if it does. Thanks!

Criteria For A Good Shower Filter

In case you are a person of your own knowledge and opinion who prefers to do your own research on desirable products, here are some things that should be looked at prior to a purchase.

Filtration Measures

Different products apply different methods to suit different needs. Therefore, there are quite a few of them. Make sure that you know what needs to be filtered out of your water, then do a quick check of the technology offered.

Lifespan

Keep this in mind: filter cartridges are not meant to last forever. You will have to replace them once in a while, but NOT every week. Typically, they last an average of 6 months, depending on the amount of showers you take, despite other claims.

Replacement Filters

You definitely don’t want any trouble in finding extra filter cartridges for your system. It would mean that you would have to buy a brand new set if you wanted to continue your use. So check if you can get replacement cartridges with no problems before you commit to a certain type of shower filter.

Practical Use

This might be unnecessary to say, but you should take a look at the reviews on the product to see if it really does what it means to be doing.

Chlorine or Chloramine

For many years, countries have been using chlorine as the major disinfectant in their water treatment. However, over the years, many water companies have switched to chloramine because of its long-lasting nature in water pipes and the lack of smell and taste.

Though it’s said to be safer as a disinfectant than chlorine, chloramine might lead to skin, eye, or respiratory problems.

Reviews of the Best Shower Filters 2021

Still not confident which is the right showerhead filter to install in your bathroom? We’ve made this detailed review of the signature products from leading brands of showerhead filters and filtered showerheads this year, in case you need some references.

  1. AquaHomeGroup 15+ Stage Shower Head Filter - Best to Buy in 2021
  2. Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Filter - Best for Hair Loss
  3. AquaBliss SF100 Universal Shower Filter - Best for Hard Water
  4. Vitamin C Filter Inline Shower by Sonaki- Best Vitamin C Softener
  5. Culligan WSH-C125 FilteredShower Head- Best Culligan Showerhead
  6. Barclay's Buys Filtered Shower Head Filter - Best Budget Filter
  7. AquaHomeGroupLuxury Shower Head - Best Affordable Vitamin C
  8. Berkey Shower Filter WITHOUT Shower Head - Best KDF 55 Filter

Top-rated Shower Filters Comparison Chart

A quick overview on the shower filters/ filter shower heads in this section:

FiltersLongevity (gallons)Filtration MethodTarget of filtrationWarranty
AquaHomeGroup Filter Shower
Head
(Editor's Choice)
10,000-12,00015 Stages (KDF + Vitamin C + E included)Chlorine + Heavy metals + Fungi, scale, mold, bacteriaN/A
Aquasana AQ-410010,000KDF 55 +
Activated carbon
Chlorine + Heavy metal + Volatile organic compounds1 year
AquaBliss 12-Stage12,00012 Stages*Chlorine + Heavy metals + sediments + Fungi, scale, mold, bacteria 1 year
Sonaki Vitamin C5,300Vitamin CChlorine + Chloramine4 months
Culligan WSH-C12510,000 NSF 177 certifiedChlorine + Scale2 years
Clearly Pure Shower12,000Calcium sulfiteChlorine + Sediments1 year
AquaHomeGroup10,000Vitamin C
Polypropylene cotton
Chloramine + Bacteria + SedimentsN/A
Berkey Shower Filter20,000 KDF 55Chlorine + Iron + Other heavy metals1 month

Here’s our picks for the Best Shower Filters.

1. AquaHomeGroup 15+ Stage Filter Shower Head - Best To Buy in 2021

In terms of "rising stars" in the industry, the AquaHomeGroup 15+ stage filter shower head sure fits any description put forth, surpassing many other opponents to become one of the best filter shower heads to have ever been made.

AquaHomeGroup 15 Stage Shower Filter
  • 15-stage filtration

  • Skin-nourishing Vitamin C + E

  • Universal design + Easy installation

  • 6 months filter life

  • Teflon tape and spare filter cartridge included

  • Gift: shower caps

  • No warranty (but refund/exchange is possible)

It’s not without cause that consumers are crazy about this particular product out of all inline shower filters out there. Its affordability in association with what it has to offer— a 15-stage filtration system, that not only eliminates and inhibits unwanted, unnourishing elements but also revitalizes damaged skin and hair.

To put it in simpler words, the item uses a stack of 15 different, specifically designed ‘sieves’ to filter shower water.

Let’s investigate these methods of water purification in depth.

Stages 1, 3, 13, and 15 (ultra-fine and high-density stainless steel meshes) intervene with sediments, preventing them from entering and damaging the filter itself.

Stages 2 and 14 ( PP cotton) set up tight nets that block out even smaller particles, including dust and turpitudes.

Serious filtration happens at stage 6, with KDF55. It filters out chlorine, bacteria, and algae, even in hot water. Every bit of chlorine that somehow manages to pass through, along with trihalomethanes (THM’s), organic materials, and impurities, will once again be tested and fully stopped by the microporous ceramic balls in stage 7, activated carbon layer in stage 9 and calcium sulfite in stage 11.

The rest of the filter is specifically designed to improve the condition of our skin and hair.

Alkaline ceramic balls in stage 4 and maifan stones in stage 5 will release revitalizing minerals and other beneficial elements into the water.

The vitamin C in stage 8 helps with collagen synthesis and protects your skin from free radical damage.

Stage 10 with Germanium balls raise the level of negative ions and oxygen in water. Magnetic energy balls in stage 12 further enhance the oxygen quantity to reform your hair, skin and nails.

All of those come in one filter, which you can purchase separately. The famous universal, no-tool-required design of AquaHomeGroup filters that fits with all types of shower heads make it a piece of cake to install one in your bathroom.

If you buy the whole shower head set, there's an extra stage where Vitamin C and E are released to the water right before it comes out. These are both antioxidants known to have great protective and nourishing effects on your skin over long term use. Together, they're actually one of the greatest skin care ingredient combos— you must notice them on a plethora of serums and moisturizers!

At this point, we should just call it a shower water filter system. A simple 'filter' just doesn't feel good enough.

The long-lasting filter cartridge won’t need changing until after 6 months of normal use. As a plus, the package includes an extra cartridge, so you can enjoy fresh shower water for a whole year before having to buy replacement filters!

Of course, the shower head is not without room for improvement — it has only one single spray mode. If you prefer something more versatile, this high-pressure filter shower head features the same 15-stage filter and three spray modes (rain, massage, and rain and massage) for a more fascinating shower experience. On the other hand, it doesn’t have the extra Vitamin C and E cartridge.

AquaHomeGroup offers an exchange for defective products or a full refund if you return the product unused and in the original packaging within 30 days.

Check Latest Price On AquaHomeGroup

2. Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Water Filter - Best For Hair Loss

Chlorine is responsible for skin irritation and illness, while dissolved solids have harmful effects on hair strength. By eliminating both, AQ-4100 will improve your complexion and issues with hair loss to a significant extent.

Best Aquasana AQ-4100 Shower Water Filter
  • Maintain strong water pressure

  • Multiple spray settings

  • 10,000 gallon or 6 month long cartridge

  • Simple replacements – no tools required

  • 1 year limited warranty

  • Crunchy feel plastic

  • Possible minor leaking (can be fixed with tape)

  • Old model

The filter offers double filtration with coconut shell carbon and KDF copper/zinc media— a combination applied in many advanced household water filters to get rid of chlorine, sediments, and other volatile organic compounds found in your tap water.

There is a particular concern regarding how the said media don't work as advertised. But don't you worry! The coconut shell carbon and KDF filtration combo have been certified by the NSF to standards 42 and 61, which guarantee that the products tested are safe to use and effective in removing aesthetic impurities, including chlorine.

Moreover, this seemingly bulky piece of lavatory equipment is actually very easy to install. It takes most people about 10 minutes, depending on their existing shower, to set it all up.

The bulky look, however, is not there without reasons. It's designed to give room for thick layers of coconut shell carbon and KDF 55. The filtration mechanism also allows for longer contact time with the media compared to other canister designs, resulting in more efficiency.

Admittedly, the product is no “youngster” concerning the slightly outdated design. That being said, it is a veteran in the market and proves to be aging wonderfully. Additionally, Aquasana is a brand with no small reputation of appreciated quality.

The AQ-4100 deluxe lasts for 10,000 gallons or 6 months of shower use. Adding to that, the company offers Water for Life autoship program for replacement filter cartridges, a 1-year limited warranty and a 90-day full-refund guarantee.

Check Out Best Price On Aquasana

3. AquaBliss High Output Universal Shower Filter - Best for Hard Water

Talking about a showerhead water softener for hard water, one simply can’t leave the Aquabliss SF100 to pass. Having been one of the best seller shower filters, the item easily earns a top spot in our list.

AquaBliss High Output Revitalizing Shower Filter
  • Works for hard water

  • Easy Installation

  • 6-8 months or after 10,000-12,000 gallons

  • 30-day money-back guarantee

  • 1-year limited warranty

  • No shower heads included

Introducing the Universal Shower Filter by AquaBliss. This Inline Shower Filter features a 12-stage system. The first stages are similar to the SF220, with a mix of KDF-55, active carbon and calcium sulfite. It removes chlorine and harmful impurities, and prevents bacteria and fungi from growing.

Although its efficiency in removing iron— or in dealing with hard water— is not outstanding compared to larger water filters, it is effective to a certain extent nonetheless. Adding to that, the filter prevents irritation by removing chlorine and harmful substances.

Unlike the SF220, this filter offers extra media that can help revitalize your skin. The vitamin C, zeolite, tourmaline, and magnetic energy beads all contribute to a refreshing and nourishing shower experience.

The showerhead filter performs well and would be perfect for those who want to test out what a shower softener can do at an almost next-to-nothing cost.

Plus a universal design that works with all shower types— including rainfall and handheld showers, this filter is certainly one of the best rated and most favored filter units.

The cartridge lasts 6-8 months or after 10,000-12,000 gallons of water use, whichever comes first before a replacement is needed. You can look to buy more filter cartridges right here.

If there’s any dissatisfaction within the first 30 days, AquaBliss will happily refund your money and take the product back. Additionally, a 1-year warranty is also offered.

Check Latest Price On AmazonCheck Latest Price On AquaBliss

4. Vitamin C Filter Inline Shower by Sonaki - Best Vitamin C Shower Water

Recently, Vitamin C has been considered as one of the dechloramination methods in AWWA (American Water Works Association) Standard (AWWA, 2005b). This water filtration method has brought about such successful results that many manufacturers have adopted it to their shower filter system designs. One of them is Sonaki, the no.1 water treatment brand in Korea.

Best Vitamin C Inline Shower Filter
  • Removes chloramine > chlorine

  • Good for skin

  • Goes with existing shower head

  • Easy set-up, wrench included in package

  • 4 months money back guarantee

  • Pricy

  • Only 5300 gallons long cartridge

I am betting good money that Korean models with goddess-like skin would know a thing or two about Vitamin C shower filters.

The Vitamin C Inline Shower Filter Assembly by Sonaki has continuingly been the Amazon’s Choice for “Vitamin C water filter”. This product promises a 99.9% chloramine and chlorine reduction in disinfected water, which will absolutely bring a reform to your skin/ hair.

Not only that, it is not without a transparent cartridge for easy filter checking, completely made of Brass and Durable resin with a chrome finish, which provides a luxury feel.

Also, the package includes 3-Vitamin C filters and a wrench for changing out filters. Each cartridge life span varies around 1400 gallons.

Oh, have I mentioned that you don’t have to replace or change anything major in your bathroom to install this product? You’ll just have to attach it to your existing shower arm and head and you are good to go. The process is unexpectedly easy.

The price for the assembly is somewhere between $60 and $80.

I understand it is a bit expensive for a shower filter. But hey, some people would tear down a house! Just saying.

Check Latest Price On Amazon

5. Culligan WSH-C125 Wallmounted Filtered Shower Head - Best Culligan Shower Head Filter

Also easy to install, Culligan wall mounted is still one of hottest filtered showerheads (yes, pun intended). Installation should only take up less than 10 minutes, reading from customer reviews. The filtration system has been tested and certified following ANSI Standard 177 to decrease free available chlorine effectively.

Best Culligan Filtered Shower Head
  • 5 spray settings

  • 10,000 gallon or 6 month long cartridge

  • Easy to install

  • 2 year limited warranty

  • Old model

Other than that, it can also help with the typical smell and taste of processed water and contribute to the promised low levels of bacteria, scale, mold… Building on that, the shower head offers 5 different spraying settings with easy-to-clean rubber nozzles.

Evidently, the product is of an old model, like the Aquasana. With that being said, it is a fighter and proves to be long-lasting. Additionally, most customers have testified to its quality.

The cartridge can filter shower water of 10,000 gallons in volume or 6 months of shower use and the product (housing) is under the effect of a 2-year limited warranty.

You can purchase this shower filter on Amazon for less than $35.

Check Latest Price On Amazon

6. Barclay's Buys Filtered Showerhead - Best Budget Shower Head Filter

Don’t want to spend too much on a shower filter? Only curious about how it could possibly help your skin and hair? Then an inexpensive, yet not actually cheap, filtered shower head should do the trick for you.

Best Clearly Pure Budget Filtered Shower Head
  • High water pressure

  • Cheap

  • 6-8 month long cartridge

  • 1-year guarantee

  • Only 2 spray settings

  • Possible clogs and leaks

The Clearly Pure Filtered Shower Head has been receiving positive reviews after positive reviews. Of course there are complaints, but nothing of serious matter so far. It’s fair to say that this item is one worth considering.

Constructed with plastic as the main material, the unit is expectedly light. With a simple design, it is not a hard task to set it up in your bathroom and to disassemble it to replace the filters when the time comes.

Water pressure coming out of this shower head sure is a nice feature, maintaining at 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM). It is not completely surprising since the item adopts the calcium sulfite filtration method only, which has been said to be effective against chlorine.

The only noticeable drawback is the occasional leaks or clogs. But with a filtered shower head under $25, it’s a good bargain. Especially true in this case, where the filter can last up to 8 months and the unit is covered with a 1-YEAR manufacturer guarantee.

Check Latest Price On Amazon

7. AquaHomeGroup Vitamin C Shower Water Filter - Best Affordable Vitamin C Filter

If you are not into luxurious shopping or you are more interested in economical choices, then this filtered shower head should be perfect for you.

Best Filtered Shower Head 2 Cartridge
  • Consistent water pressure

  • Easily adjusted shower head

  • Easy installation, tool-free

  • Comes with gift box

  • Cheap

  • Poorly manufactured shower head

  • Possible leaking problems

As another Vitamin C filtration adaptation, plus the incredibly low price for a Vitamin C shower filter at under $40, this particular product is a common recommendation.

Made of class metal, the shower head is durable and lightweight. Laser cut micro-holes that maintain strong and balanced water pressure accompany an integrated swivel ball joint which allows smooth angle adjustments.

Regarding installation, it is not much different from other products. You need no additional tools, since the showerhead has a universal design, easily attached to a ½ inch fixed mount and adjustable shower arm. But the best thing about this item is the bonuses: 2 Vitamin C cartridges and 5 bath caps in a premium gift box. Now that's economical!

Another worth-mentioning quality of this potential purchase is its manufacturer. Aquahomegroup has been in customer’s favor and stealing their hearts away. According to Amazon customer’s overall reviews on the company, over 90% of them has been positive, more specifically on the customer’s service. Take a look and see it for your own assurance.

Check Latest Price On AquaHomeGroup

8. Berkey Shower Filter - Best KDF 55 Shower Head Filter

Okay straight off the bat, this is not the greatest looking water softener shower filter out there. But don't let looks deceive you. The product is capable as far as shower filters for hard water go.

Berkey Shower Filter Shower Head Review
  • Compatible with many shower head types

  • Installed without tools

  • 12 months or after 20,000 gallons

  • 30 day money-back guarantee

  • No shower heads included

  • Relatively expensive

It is partly fortunate that the picture was so unappealing. Because had it not been so, I wouldn’t have had to dig deep like I did to find out why customers love it so much.

And as it turned out, there are actually nicer pictures of it. Thank goodness!

Getting back to the matter at hand, first of all, it’s a Berkey. It is a brand with no small reputation when things come around water filtration. Despite the incident with their Black Filters, which has been dealt with, products from Berkey rarely fail their consumers.

Second of all, it’s the compatibility of the design with standard shower head types and the easy installation. It probably will only take you less than 5 minutes to hook it on to your existing shower head. No problem whatsoever!

Third of all, it actually does what it’s meant to do. Reading through the comments section, there are plenty of satisfied reviews on how the item clears out the taste and smell of chlorine right away.

Adopting KDF 55 granules, one of the most popular filtration media, Berkey’s shower head filter can also inhibit the growth of bacteria, algae, scale, mold, and fungi.

The filter cartridge should last 20,000 gallons or 1 year before a replacement is needed. Sadly, Berkey does not list a warranty. However, they offer a 30-day guarantee on this one, so test your product right after you receive it.

Check Latest Price On Amazon

Do Shower Water Filters Work For Hard Water?

To set the record straight one more time: hard water does have negative effects on skin and hair.

As drinking water, it may not be damaging, but hard water in showers will surely do a number on hair strands, gradually turning them rough and dull. How?

Soap in contact with hard water will combine with the dissolved metals and form a film of soap curd.

The curd will stick to our hair, making it more and more lifeless and difficult to manage. In addition to that, the film will prevent filth and bacteria from being cleansed off and hinder the skin’s ability to recover back to its normal condition.

In short, “we'd like our shower water to be soft, please. Thanks!”

Which begs the question: how do we effectively remove unwanted minerals and sediments from our water?

Since the problem occurs mainly in the bathroom, shower filters seem like a decent choice. However, when put next to other water filtering systems for hard water, they are indeed inferior. All things considered, the ultimate way to deal with water hardness is a combination of water softener systems and shower filters.

If someone says that you only need shower filters to deal with the dissolved metals such as calcium and magnesium, they've been misled, or they’re trying to sell you something.

Think about it. How can a single, small unit of shower filter completely remove all the sediments and dissolved metals? It needs help. As in, help from a bulky assembly that will take the hard water straight on. We recommend this Fleck 5600SXT, which uses ion exchange mechanics – a method proven to be effective against hard water.

Luna Regina

A writer and entrepreneur, Luna’s day doesn’t start at the computer keyboard, but in the kitchen. Half of her working hours are spent on mixing ingredients for her recipes. The other half involve working with the tech team to research and test the tools and appliances that promise to make kitchen work effortless and mess-free. From a kitchen knife or water filter to the Instant Pot, if it can help save time and effort for the home cook, Luna and her team are on it. Luna’s extracurricular pastimes include camping, travel, and photography.

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