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Do you get dry skin after taking a shower? Is your hair not as soft as it should be? Do you feel that horrible chlorine smell? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then it’s a sure sign you need one of the best shower filters for hard water. The benefits of using soft water are clear as a filter will improve water quality in your house, and it will be much kinder to your skin.
To find the best shower filters for hard water, we’ve searched high and low and came across 43 different products out there. While we picked 10 marvelous models among them for this review, the AquaHomeGroup 15 Stage Shower Filter topped our list as it looks great, is simple to install, and most importantly gives you brilliant water quality. The other 9 we looked at also have plenty of qualities and may be more suitable for your needs.
What makes the best shower filter for hard water? Well, we’ve considered filtration stages of each model, capacity, exactly what they remove as well as other practical specifications such as dimensions and weight. To give you the right information, we’ve spent countless hours on our detailed reviews and consulted several expert sources. Make sure to check our thorough buying guide along with the FAQs section as well as our top three final picks. Let’s get started!
"For those looking for better showering experience, we recommend this premium model that comes with a shower head with numerous settings. The installation process is very quick and simple with this product."
Removes: chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, odors and more sediments
Dimensions: 7.9 x 3.4 x 3.4 in.
Weight: 1.3 lbs.
More features: acts as a moisturizer, purifier and softener, easy to install, extra cartridge and five shower caps included
With 15 stages of filtration, you can be confident that this filter is going to get rid of everything that you need it too. That includes chlorine, as well as all the other heavy elements that can be found in water. Additionally, there is vitamin C, which helps to make this stand out from the competition.
The result of that filtration is instant soft water that will make showering a whole lot nicer. The installation of this filter is incredibly simple, as it should only take a few minutes. Everything is included to make your life easier. There is also an extra cartridge in the package, as well as five shower caps. With overall build quality, it adds up to excellent value for money.
You’ll find yourself not needing to use moisturizer as this gives your skin smooth feeling that you need. Some users have reported a reduced level of water pressure, but this doesn’t happen to everyone and is only a slight issue if it does. The construction of the filter is brilliant, and it will be able to last for a very long time and give you great continuous showers.
Removes: chlorine, fluoride, chloramine, odors and more
Dimensions: 3.34 x 3.6 x 3.34 in.
Weight: 1.3 lbs.
More features: consistent water pressure, excellent skin protection, comes with an extra cartridge
Aqua Earth is an affordable filter that has 15 stages of filtration with vitamin C added. You’ll instantly love the results, and you won’t ever want to get out of the shower. It’s able to do that with no noticeable drop in water pressure either, and the filter should be able to last up to 12 months.
The plastic housing on the filter looks good, but it doesn’t feel incredibly durable. That being said, we had no problems with it, and there haven’t been any user reports of it breaking. However, it can get flimsy over time. Despite the plastic housing, you’re going to find it very easy to install with only minimal effort required.
It comes with an extra cartridge, which is very useful, and it will be able to remove everything that you need from the water. Once the filter has expired, it’s then very easy to replace. It all adds up to an excellent solution, and as soon as you start using it, you’ll ick yourself for having never used such a filter before.
More features: prevents clogging, comes with shower head, even distribution of water throughout the media, BPA-free
Berkey has been able to make a highly effective media filter, which is another great solution for your showering needs. It’s able to remove chlorine as well as all the other contaminants that can make showering in very hard water unpleasant.
In terms of usability, there’s really not a lot to complain about here as it works very well. With its white and unique design, some people might think that it doesn’t fit in with the rest of their shower room. If you don’t mind the style, then you’ll love this premium shower filter.
A lot of people worry about their shower filter negatively affecting their water pressure, but this filter can improve it. It also comes with a shower head that gives you numerous different settings to give you the perfect experience. Installation is quick and easy, making it a great solution for those looking for a media filter.
Removes: chlorine, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, dirt, odors, helps control scale buildup
Dimensions: 7.7 x 3.8 x 3.7 in.
Weight: 1.25 lbs.
More features: helps to restore hair, skin, nails, quick installation
A lot of these shower filters take on a similar shape as it makes them very easy to use. This AquaBliss filter has a lot of competition but is able to hold its own with the quality it provides. You’re going to be able to feel the results instantly and enjoy showering in much softer water, which is recommended for dry skin.
It is able to remove all of those common contaminants without negatively affecting the water flow. It will work to improve the natural strength of your hair while also negating the need to use moisturizer constantly. The 12-stage filter is highly effective.
It costs more than many of its rivals, but not by much. You get an excellent level of build quality with a shower filter that ticks all the right boxes. It’s very easy to use, and it will be able to remove bad smells, as well as all of those contaminants. Overall, It’s a brilliant filter with long-term durability.
Removes: chloramine fluoride and chlorine, heavy metals, bacteria, pesticides, odors and more
Dimensions: 2.7 x 2.7 x 4.5 in.
Weight: 14.4 oz.
More features: suitable for children and pets, helps to maintain the body’s natural pH level
While style may not be the most important consideration when it comes to shower filters, you still want it to be able to fit in with its surroundings. A brilliant aspect of this shower filter is that it comes in four different colors, allowing you to find the perfect fit.
The most impressive aspect of this shower filter is not the colors but the capacity that it has. It can get through 24,000 gallons of water before it needs to be replaced. That’s around twice as much as its closest rivals. It helps to make it a good option for larger families that have several showers per day.
While the style and capacity are impressive, the filtration is too with 15 separate stages it has. Although the finish can peel inside, which can be a little annoying, it mostly retains its look. The result of the filtration is smoother water that is going to much kinder to your skin.
Removes: chlorine, chloramine, some fluoride, heavy metals, sand, silt, rust
Dimensions: 5.1 x 4 x 3.4 in.
Weight: 13.8 oz.
More features: increases pH level, creates high-antioxidant water, ionizes and softens hard water
Here, we see a filter that goes above what would be normally expected with a couple of great features. As well as the standard filtration, it’s also able to increase the pH level of the water for more invigoration, and also it creates high-antioxidant water.
This is another filter that has an impressive capacity, and it should be able to last for six months of heavy usage. Furthermore, it looks great, too, with the bright metallic finish. It makes it out as though the shower filter is made from metal, but instead, it has a plastic housing that is durable but without the highest levels of quality.
The Invigorated Water filter works very well with an impressive level of efficiency that will give you soft water time and time again. Once you have this on your shower, you’ll be wondering how you can add a filter to every water source in your home.
Removes: chlorine, lime, limits passage and growth of bacteria
Dimensions: 4.8 x 8.5 x 12.2 in.
Weight: 1.44 lbs.
More features: anti-clog rubber spray nozzles with 5 spray settings, easy to install and change cartridges
If you need a compact solution that looks like your regular shower head, then this is going to be perfect. It gives you a seamless transition that is going to be ideal for those who don’t like the look of the other filters that we’ve already seen.
The rubber spray nozzles aren’t going to clog up, and there are also five different settings to get the perfect shower that you want. A great aspect of this shower head is that the cartridges are extremely easy to change and are only going to take a matter of seconds.
With it being a more compact version, you’re not going to have quite the same level of filtration as its rivals, but it is still highly effective. There are not leaking issues, here and it all adds up to the perfect solution for those that want a shower head replacement.
What are its best features?
Stylish and compact design
Simple filter replacement
No leaking issues
Five shower settings
What could be improved?
Filter performance is lower compared to its rivals
Removes: chlorine, scale, bacteria, algae, heavy metals, THMs, radioactive iodine 131 and more
Dimensions: 7.8 x 3.8 x 3.7 in.
Weight: 1.35 lbs.
More features: two filters included, adds beneficial minerals to the water, protects sensitive skin, hair and nails
Captain Eco has been able to make an impressive shower filter that has cartridges that are easy to replace. They don’t have the highest capacity that we’ve seen here but are still able to clean around 12,000 gallons of water before they need to be swapped.
As well as reducing all harmful elements from the water, the filter will also take away any bad smells, which can be off-putting when you’re trying to have a shower. There are two filters included, and you won’t have to worry about them changing the water pressure.
The only issue here is that a few users have reported leaking issues, which can be quite annoying. It looks very good, and most importantly, it will make a big difference to the quality of your water. It works perfectly for those with sensitive skin and hair as it allows you to relax in that pure water.
What stands out?
Gives a nice smell and minerals to the water
Doesn't change the water pressure
Comes with two cartridges that are easy to replace
Removes: chlorine, THMs, organic materials, heavy metals and more
Dimensions: 5.2 x 3.7 x 3.6 in.
Weight: 14.4 oz.
More features: comes with a water test kit, easy to install
This is a simple but effective filter that has a good level of quality. If you’re worried about your water quality, then you’ll have peace of mind here with a water test included to be able to confirm the product’s exceptional performance.
With 6 stages of filtration, this isn’t the most thorough filter that we’ve looked at here, but it’s still going to be able to do a very good job. It’s able to reduce all those key contaminants, making it ideal for children and those with skin conditions.
It’s able to do that work without a noticeable pressure loss. Like with most models, installation is very simple here, and you’ll have your clean water in no time. It looks great and is also very light. It’ll easily fit into your shower without looking ugly or out of place.
More features: improves pH balance, prevents clogging, comes with adjustable shower head
This filter looks a little different from the others that we’ve checked here but isn’t any less effective. The only problem that some may have is that the filter isn’t the most stylish out there, and that could well put a few users off.
There are some great features here, however. The filter can improve the pH balance of the water, and it will also work to reduce clogging. The head is adjustable to get a few different types of flow, depending on your preference.
It’s great for those who battle with hard water when it comes to their hair and skin. This is also perhaps the easiest to install of all the options that we’ve looked at. With this weighing 2.3lbs, you’ll want to make sure you’re connecting it to a solid pipe.
What stands out?
Improves pH balance and prevents clogging
Adjustable shower head
Easy and quick to install
Perfect for hair and skin
What cons did we manage to find?
Low style level
Things to Consider
The best shower filters for hard water can make a huge difference to your hair and skin, but it can be difficult to know exactly which model you should get. That’s why in this buying guide, we’ll give you all the information that you need to make the right choice. Here, we’ll look at all the important features in detail as well as give you some answers to the common questions.
How to pick a shower filter for hard water?
Before you buy a shower filter, it’s good to know exactly what you need. The demands of filter capacity, dimensions, and ease of installation, for example, are going to be different from one person to the next. As we go through this guide, the best idea is to make a note about how each one applies to your situation. If you do that, then you’ll start getting a clear view of how to pick the right shower filter for you.
All these products come with different stages of filtration, with some models such as the Aqua Eva Shower Filter having 15 different stages. These aim to remove harmful compounds and chemicals in the water with varying degrees of success.
These stages include steel mesh, cotton, ceramic, calcium sulfate, magnetic balls, and medical stone as well as other layers. This all adds up to a thorough filtration process, but a huge amount of layers isn’t the ultimate sign of a good filter.
The quality of the filtration material and its performance against particular compounds and sediments are more important than the number of stages.
Each filter will have its own lifespan, as over time, it will become clogged up and ineffective. This means they’ll need to be replaced, but this isn’t something you want to do every couple of weeks. Ideally, you should look for a filter that lasts up to 6 months.
The BathBeyond Shower Filter has a brilliant capacity as it can filter up to 24,000 gallons, which can be ideal for large families. The Dewifier Shower Water Softener can process up to 12,000 gallons and is more suited to a smaller family or those living on their own. You also want to check how easy these cartridges are to change and how expensive they are.
Why is water hard? Well, it naturally picks up minerals, and sediments along its journey, but also chemicals are added to it to make it safe to drink, as they kill bacteria. An efficient filter should remove these chemicals and leave you with fresh and clean water. Chlorine is the main culprit here, as it not only makes the water hard, but it also isn’t great for hair or skin and has a distinct smell.
As well as removing chlorine, an efficient filter should be able to remove other chemicals such as fluoride and also heavy metals, minerals and sediment. The best shower filters for hard water will give you almost completely pure results.
Along with its filtration ability, the filter also needs to fit your space. Some of these options are quite bulky and may not be a perfect fit for a small shower room. If space is an issue, then the Culligan WSH-C125 Wall-Mounted Filtered Shower Head would be a great option as this is a very compact shower model.
As well as the dimensions, the shower filter should also fit in with the space you have. The wrong color or shape may not fit in with your existing décor. A few options, such as the BathBeyond Shower Filter, offer an attractive range of colors.
When you attach anything to your shower, there is always a danger that it’s going to negatively affect the water pressure. If you have a strong and consistent flow throughout your shower, then this is going to be less of an issue.
While rare water issues have been reported, all the shower filters we’ve looked at here have no effect on water flow or a minimal one. If you already have poor water pressure, then this will be more of an issue to look out for. Buying inferior brands can seem like a good idea, but in reality, they can cause problems.
Ease of installation
We’ve picked different models here, but they are all very easy to install. Most of them work by simply unscrewing the existing shower head, placing the new filter in between the head and the pipe, and then putting it back together with the universal 1/2″ connector.
This could be more difficult if you have an unconventional shower head. You’ll want to ensure that it can be fit together before you buy it. Rain shower heads, for example, may be more difficult to set up and require a different type of filter.
It’s always great to get extra features with any product that you buy.
One thing that might seem very appealing to anyone is a shower head with adjustable settings. This will allow you to get the perfect relaxation as it can change the power and width of the flow.
You’ll also need to replace the filter over time. Getting extra filters can be very helpful and will allow you to save money. The Dewifier Shower Water Softener has a unique accessory as it comes with a water test kit that will allow you to check that you’re getting the results you’re looking for.
So your filter can cope with 12,000 gallons, but you’re never going to measure that, so how do you know when to replace it? Firstly, it’s a good idea to check the product guidelines to see how long it’s meant to last. Once this period passes, the water will once again feel harder, and the filter media will look a lot darker. If you have a whole family using the shower, then you should probably check it every two months. But if you live on your own, six months would likely be fine. You could always buy a water testing kit, which is inexpensive, and can let you know whether or not the filter is doing its job.
Everyone would prefer to take a shower or bathe in clean water rather than hard water. In terms of hair, hard water can make it feel rougher and more tangled. It also reacts with soap and shampoo and decreases its effectiveness. As for the skin, the likes of calcium, magnesium, and iron can get into your pores and make it dry. It can also make it become flaky and irritable. Hard water can even dry out your nail beds. Some filters can also help to neutralize the pH, which can be great if you have water with either acidic or, more likely, alkaline water.
The answer to this depends on the type of filter you’re using and your existing flow. Some of them may have a slightly negative effect on water pressure, but this should be hardly noticeable. There are some filters out there that can even improve the water flow. There some tricks to be able to get around this, such as clog prevention. If you already have a powerful level of flow, then you don’t need to be worried. If your flow is poor, then it’s best to double-check you’re getting a filter that won’t negatively affect it.
We’ve looked at 10 amazing options here that all have a high level of quality. The one that stands out above the others is the AquaHomeGroup 15 Stage Shower Filter, as it ensures excellent filtration, looks great, and is very easy to install and change the cartridge.
It could be, however, that you’re looking for something a little less expensive, such as the Aqua Eva 15-Stage Shower Filter, which comes with an extra filter.
The other 7 options we’ve looked at here may also suit you. It’s a great idea to go back through our buying guide and make sure you get one of the best shower filters for hard water that matches your needs. Once you install it, you’ll notice the results straight away!