July 30, 2020

The 8 Best Shower Head Filters of 2020 – Buying Guide & Reviews

By Arjun Kapoor

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 2020 review

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.

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.

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.

Shower Head Water Softener
Is your shower water safe enough?

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 2020

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. AquaBliss 12-Stage Shower Head Filter – Best to Buy in 2020
  2. Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Filter – Best for Hair Loss
  3. AquaBliss 3-Stage Universal Shower Filter – Best for Hard Water
  4. Vitamin C Filter Inline Shower by Sonaki – Best Vitamin C Softener
  5. Culligan WSH-C125 Filtered Shower Head – Best Culligan Showerhead
  6. Barclay’s Buys Filtered Shower Head Filter – Best Budget Filter
  7. AquaHomeGroup Luxury 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:

Filters Longevity (gallons) Filtration Method Target of filtration Warranty
AquaBliss Universal
(Editor’s Choice)
12,000 3 Stages* Chlorine + Heavy metals + Fungi, scale, mold, bacteria 1 year
Aquasana AQ-4100 10,000 KDF 55 +
Activated carbon
Chlorine + Heavy metal + Volatile organic compounds 1 year
AquaBliss 12-Stage 12,000 12 Stages* Chlorine + Heavy metals + sediments + Fungi, scale, mold, bacteria 1 year
Sonaki Vitamin C 5,300 Vitamin C Chlorine + Chloramine 4 months
Culligan WSH-C125 10,000 NSF 177 certified Chlorine + Scale 2 years
Clearly Pure Shower 12,000 Calcium sulfite Chlorine + Sediments 1 year
AquaHomeGroup 10,000 Vitamin C Chloramine + Bacteria + Sediments N/A
Berkey Shower Filter 20,000 KDF 55 Chlorine + Iron + Other heavy metals 1 month

Here’s our picks for the Best Shower Filters.

1. AquaBliss High Output 12-Stage Shower Filter – Best To Buy in 2020

Now in terms of “rising stars” in the shower head filter business, the AquaBliss 12-stage SF100 sure fits any description put forth, surpassing many other opponents to become one of the best filters to have ever been made.

AquaBliss High Output 12 Stage Shower Filter Review
Pros
  • Universal design + Easy installation
  • 6-8 months or after 10,000-12,000 gallons
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 1 year limited warranty
  • 12-stage filtration
Cons
  • No shower heads included

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 12-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 12 different, specifically designed ‘sieves’ to filter shower water.

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

Stage 1 (fine stainless steel mesh) intervenes with medium-sized sediments, preventing them from entering and damaging the filter itself.

Stage 2 (micro-porous PP cotton) sets up a tight net that blocks out even smaller particles, including dust and turpitudes.

In stage 3, a layer of the familiar calcium sulfite— a very effective mean in removing chlorine— drags the said substance straight out of the water, be it hot or cold.

The KDF55 is also featured, in stage 4, to further filter chlorine, bacteria, and algae, even in hot water. But it’s not done yet. 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 activated carbon layer in stage 5.

Now, in terms of restoration, stage 6 to 10 are specifically designed to improve the condition of our skin and hair.

Zeolite ceramic balls in stage 7, ceramic balls in stage 8 and tourmaline in stage 9 will release vitamin C, revitalizing minerals, and beneficial elements into the water.

Better yet, stage 6 with infrared balls raises the level of negative ions and oxygen in water and magnetic energy balls in stage 10 further enhance the oxygen quantity to reform your hair, skin and nails.

Finally, another two layers of fine stainless steel mesh and PP cotton stand at the exit to trap any remaining sediments inside the filter, leaving your water purified and transformed.

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

Regarding other aspects, the famous universal, no-tool-required design of AquaBliss filters that fits with all types of shower head has to be mentioned. Plus, the long-lasting cartridge won’t be needing replacement after 10,000-12,000 gallon or 6 months of normal use.

In the first 30 days, if the AquaBliss 12-stage SF100 fails to perform, the company will refund your money in full and withdraw the product. It is also covered with a 1-year warranty.

Check Latest Price On Amazon

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
Pros
  • Maintain strong water pressure
  • Multiple spray settings
  • 10,000 gallon or 6 month long cartridge
  • Simple replacements – no tools required
  • 1 year limited warranty
Cons
  • 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 3-stage Universal to pass. Having been one of the best seller shower filters, the item easily earns a top spot in our list.

Best Shower Filter for Hard Water
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • No shower heads included

Introducing the Universal Shower Filter by AquaBliss. This Inline Shower Filter features a 3-Stage System: 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 that outstanding compared to larger water filters, it is effective to a certain extent nonetheless. Adding to that, the filter prevents irritation and nourishes your complexion by removing chlorine and harmful substances.

The showerhead filter performs well and would be perfect for those who want to test out what water softeners 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 Amazon

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
Pros
  • Removes chloramine & chlorine
  • Good for skin
  • Goes with existing shower head
  • Easy set-up, wrench included in package
  • 4 months money back guarantee
Cons
  • 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
Pros
  • 5 spray settings
  • 10,000 gallon or 6 month long cartridge
  • Easy to install
  • 2 year limited warranty
Cons
  • 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, Culligan is well considered by most customers

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
Pros
  • High water pressure
  • Cheap
  • 6-8 month long cartridge
  • 1-year guarantee
Cons
  • 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
Pros
  • Consistent water pressure
  • Easily adjusted shower head
  • Easy installation, tool-free
  • Comes with gift box
  • Cheap
Cons
  • 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.

The shower head is expected to be durable and lightweight, given the fact that it is made of class metal. 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. No tools are required thanks to its 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 Amazon

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
Pros
  • Compatible with many shower head types
  • Installed without tools
  • 12 months or after 20,000 gallons
  • 30 day money-back guarantee
Cons
  • 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’s probably will only take you less than 5 minutes to hook it on to your existing shower head. No problems 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, this one is covered with a 30-day guarantee, so test your product right after you receive it.

Check Latest Price On Amazon
Shop Related Products
Filtered Shower Head – Chlorine Water Filter – High…
$24.95$28.95
 (803)
Culligan WSH-C125 Wall-Mounted Filtered Shower…
$18.06$36.99
 (3953)
AquaBliss High Output Universal Shower Filter wi…
$33.12$49.95
 (4084)
Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener Digital …
$598.50
 (420)
Berkey Shower Filter WITHOUT Shower Head -…
$64.00
 (457)
AquaBliss High Output Revitalizing Shower Filter…
$30.37$34.86
 (8789)
AquaBliss Certified Replacement Multi-Stage S…
$14.95
 (1366)
Vitamin C Filter Inline Shower Assembly by Sonaki – 3 sh…
$67.49
 (212)
Ads by 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 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, like this Fleck 5600SXT which uses ion exchange mechanics – one of the few methods proved to be effective against hard water.