Shower Filters 101 – Best Shower Water Filters

In the hustle and bustle of our daily routines, we often overlook the significance of seemingly mundane things in our lives, like our daily showers. Yet, how often do we think about the water quality? Meet the unsung hero of our bathrooms: the shower filter. These filters improve our shower experience by tackling water impurities and chlorine, contributing not only to a better experience but also to our overall well-being. So, what are the best shower water filters? What features should you look for in shower filters?

Keep reading to learn more!

Healthiest Shower Filters

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Author: In On Around Founder & CEO, Catherine Power.


  • Shower filters can help reduce your exposure to chlorine, heavy metals, and other contaminants found in tap water.
  • Best Brands = ProOne, Crystal Quest, Aquasana

Table of Contents

Understanding the Importance of Shower Filters

Shower filters may seem like a small addition to your bathroom, but they pack a powerful punch when it comes to your health. They’re typically cost-effective and fairly inexpensive. These filters work wonders by reducing the presence of impurities in your water, providing a noticeable improvement in skin and hair health (especially if you have hard water). So, think of it as a little luxury for your daily shower that pays off in a big way for your well-being!

Hard vs. Soft Water

Hard water contains higher levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can be abrasive on skin and plumbing systems. On the other hand, soft water has fewer minerals, offering a gentler and smoother feel on the skin, while also preventing mineral deposits on surfaces.

The choice between hard and soft water often depends on personal preferences, with some favoring the robust feel and improved lathering of hard water, while others opt for the soft water experience since it’s skin-friendly and spot-free. However, if you’re looking to improve your hair and skin health, it’s best to find a shower filter that removes most minerals.

Best Shower Filter

Common Shower Water Contaminants

There are many contaminants lurking in shower water, like…

  • Chlorine: Added to municipal water supplies for disinfection, chlorine can strip the skin and hair of natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation.
  • Heavy Metals (like Lead & Mercury): Contamination can occur through aging pipes, and exposure to heavy metals may have adverse health effects over time.
  • Hard Water Minerals (like Calcium & Magnesium): While not harmful, they can cause limescale buildup on skin, hair, and shower surfaces, affecting the effectiveness of personal care products.
  • Bacteria and Microorganisms: The presence of bacteria in water, though usually at low levels, can contribute to unpleasant odors and potential health concerns.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): These chemicals, often found in pesticides and herbicides, can enter water supplies and may have adverse health effects upon exposure.
  • Sediments and Particulates: Tiny particles in water can cause cloudiness and may affect the appearance and feel of the water.
  • Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products: Residual traces of medications and personal care items can find their way into water supplies, posing potential concerns for long-term exposure.

Gross, right?! Installing a high-quality shower filter can help reduce or eliminate these contaminants, promoting healthier and more enjoyable shower experiences.

How Shower Filters Work

Shower filters can work in a number of ways depending on the specific type, but here’s how they typically filter water:

  • Mechanical Filtration: Shower filters use a mechanical filtration system that physically captures impurities and particles present in the water as it passes through.
  • Activated Carbon Adsorption: Many filters incorporate activated carbon, a highly porous material that effectively adsorbs chlorine and unpleasant odor.
  • KDF-55 Technology: Utilizing KDF-55 media, certain filters neutralize bacteria and reduce the presence of metals, which contributes to a safer and cleaner shower.
  • Simple Installation Process: Installing a shower filter is a straightforward process; typically, it involves attaching the filter to the existing showerhead. You may need some easy-to-use tools, like a wrench, to do so.
  • Noticeable Improvement: With the filtration mechanisms at work, users often experience a discernible difference, enjoying the benefits of softer skin, glossier hair, and an overall upgraded shower experience.

Benefits of Using Shower Water Filters

There are certainly many benefits to using a shower water filter! Let’s dive in:

  • Skin Health: Filters remove impurities, promoting healthier skin by preventing dryness and irritation caused by chlorine and contaminants. Shower filters can help prevent dry, irritated skin.
  • Hair Vitality: Reduced exposure to hard water minerals leads to softer and more manageable hair, enhancing its natural shine and texture. Shower filters can help prevent weak, dry hair and split ends.
  • Respiratory Wellness: Filtering out chlorine and volatile organic compounds minimizes inhalation of potentially harmful substances, benefiting respiratory health.
  • Prolonged Plumbing Life: Shower filters help prevent the buildup of scale and sediment in plumbing fixtures, extending the lifespan of pipes and shower equipment.
  • Enhanced Aesthetics: Clearer, cleaner water enhances the overall appearance of the shower and prevents the development of stains and discoloration.
  • Environmental Consideration: By reducing the need for harsh chemical cleaning agents, shower filters contribute to a more eco-friendly routine.

Are Shower Filters Worth It?

Yes, shower filters are absolutely worth it. They provide tangible benefits such as improved skin and hair health and protection against contaminants, making the investment a valuable addition to your daily shower routine.

Vitamin C Shower Filter

Types of Shower Filters

Alright, let’s dive into the many different types of shower filters! We’re breaking down the pros and cons of each type, so you can choose the best shower water filter for your needs.

1 - Carbon Filters:

These filters use activated carbon to adsorb impurities like chlorine and odors.

  • Pros:
    • Effectively removes chlorine and odors.
    • Simple installation and maintenance.
  • Cons:
    • May have a limited lifespan.
    • Less effective against certain metals.

2 - KDF Filters:

These use KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) media to help neutralize bacteria.

  • Pros:
    • Neutralizes bacteria and reduces metals.
    • Durable and long-lasting.
  • Cons:
    • Initial cost may be higher.
    • Limited effectiveness against some contaminants.

3 - Vitamin C Filters:

These filters are infused with Vitamin C to neutralize chlorine and chloramine.

  • Pros:
    • Natural and chemical-free.
    • Provides additional skin benefits.
  • Cons:
    • Requires frequent cartridge replacement.
    • May not be as effective against all contaminants.

4 - In-Line Filters:

These are installed directly into your water supply line.

  • Pros:
    • Comprehensive filtration for entire water flow.
    • Can be installed in various water supply lines.
  • Cons:
    • Installation may require more effort.
    • Initial cost might be higher.

5 - Cartridge-Based Filters:

These use replaceable cartridges containing filtration media.

  • Pros:
    • Replaceable cartridges for easy maintenance.
    • Flexible in addressing specific filtration needs.
  • Cons:
    • Ongoing cartridge replacement costs.
    • May have a slightly lower flow rate.

6 - Reverse Osmosis Shower Filters:

These use reverse osmosis technology using a semipermeable membrane.

  • Pros:
    • Advanced filtration for exceptionally pure water.
    • Effective against a broad spectrum of contaminants.
  • Cons:
    • Way more expensive
    • May result in a lower water flow rate
    • More water waste

In-Line vs. All-In-One Shower Filters

In-line shower filters, positioned between your existing shower head and the shower arm, offer a seamless integration without requiring a full replacement. On the other hand, all-in-one shower filters function as a combined unit, replacing the entire shower head while incorporating a built-in filtration system directly into the fixture.

Each option presents a different approach to installation and maintenance, providing users with flexibility in choosing a setup that aligns with their preferences and requirements for enhanced water quality.

Water Shower Filter

Key Features to Consider

So, what should you look for in a shower filter? How do you choose the best shower filter? Look for these things:

  • Transparency: support companies that Shower-head Filter Element Water Test Report!
  • NSF-Certified
  • Removes contaminants, like:
    • Bacteria
    • Rust
    • Chlorine
    • Sulfur
    • Fluoride
  • Strong water pressure and flow rate
  • Easy installation
  • Longevity and minimal maintenance

In my opinion, using any shower filter is better than not using a shower filter at all… regardless of the brand.

Installation Tips and Maintenance Guidelines

There are certain routine maintenance practices that are necessary for optimal performance of your shower filter, such as:

  • Regular Cartridge Replacement:
    • Ensure timely replacement of the filter cartridge according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to maintain optimal filtration efficiency.

  • Cleaning External Components:
    • Wipe down the exterior of the filter regularly to prevent the accumulation of dust or grime that could affect performance.

  • Inspecting for Leaks:
    • Periodically check for any leaks or drips around the filter connection points and address any issues promptly.

  • Flushing the System:
    • Flush the system by running water through the filter without the showerhead to remove any sediment or impurities that may have accumulated.

  • Monitoring Water Pressure:
    • Keep an eye on water pressure and address any noticeable drops, as it could indicate a potential issue with the filter or plumbing.
Top Picks

Top-Rated Shower Water Filters in the Market

Let’s dive into the best, better, and worst shower filter brands! Your experience with these filters may be different – take this information as you will and make your own informed decision before purchasing.

Best Shower Filters

  • Pros:
    • Helps remove 200+ harsh chemicals and contaminants, including VOC’s, heavy metals, lead, pesticides, chloramines, chlorine (57%+), fluoride, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, and odor.
    • Up to 6-month filtration capacity
    • Lab reports are available directly on their site from 2020 [1] – one of the very few that are fully transparent!
  • Cons:
    • More pricey compared to some other models


  • Removes chlorine, chloramines, VOC’s, THM’s, pesticides, sulfur, heavy metals, hydrogen sulfide, and iron oxides
  • ISO-certified and tested to NSF Standard 177 for chlorine reduction
  • 1-year filtration capacity with 3-stage filtration
  • Use Eagle Redox Alloy (ERA) 6500 and 9500 as well as Coconut Shell Granular Activated Carbon (GAC)
  • They sent me their full chlorine reduction 3rd party lab report from 2020 – reduces at least 50% of chlorine (based on NSF/ANSI standard limit)


  • Did not respond to my inquiry about a full 3rd party test report
  • Does not remove fluoride


  • Reduces over 90% of chlorine
  • 10,000-gallon lifespan – replace every 6 months
  • NSF/ANSI tested and certified to Standard 61
  • Their Performance Data Sheet for chlorine is available directly on their website [2]


  • Did not respond to my inquiry about a full 3rd party test report, although their chlorine report is on their site
  • Less aesthetic
Okay Picks

Better Shower Filters

AquaBliss Shower Filter




  • Did not share water quality test report
  • Does not remove chloramine and fluoride
  • Their other shower filter options aren’t as robust. Their HD Multi-Stage is the best option.

Jolie Shower Filter
  • Pros:
    • Removes 85% chlorine, heavy metals,
    • Exceeds NSF-177 certifications
    • Has been tested via multiple third-party labs
    • Does not clog nor reduce pressure
    • “Uses a proprietary blend of KDF-55 and Calcium Sulfite, which far exceeds NSF-177 certifications and includes the most KDF-55 compared to any other existing shower filter.”
    • Very aesthetic
    • Full refunds within 60 days of purchase
  • Cons:
    • Did not share water quality test report
    • They don’t have data on chloramine and fluoride removal
    • Needs to be replaced every 3 months

Canopy Showerhead

3 - Canopy Filtered Showerhead


  • Tested to NSF-177 standards
  • 3 types of filtering media: granular activated carbon, KDF-55, calcium sulfite (99% effectiveness of de-chlorination)


  • Did not share water quality test report
  • Replace every 90 days
  • More expensive (~$150)
Berkey Shower Filter


  • Reduces chlorine up to 95%
  • Lasts 20,000 gallons (this is a long lifespan)
  • Uses a blend of zinc, calcium, and copper


  • Did not share water quality test report
  • Does not remove chloramine or fluoride
SparkPod Filtered Showerhead


  • Claims to filter out chlorine, pesticides, heavy metals, etc… (although the amount removed is unknown)


  • Did not share water quality test report
  • Replace cartridge every 3-4 months
Shower Filter
Avoid These If Possible

Worst Shower Filters

1 - Vitaclean


  • Discloses ingredient list: dextrin, pectin, Vitamin C, distilled water, essential oil


  • Did not share water quality test report
  • Replace every 90 uses and the microfiber cloth every 30 uses
  • Scented – this is completely unnecessary
  • Doesn’t explain the amount of chlorine or other contaminants removed

2 - Hydroviv


  • NSF-certified
  • Uses catalytic carbon, KDF 55, and activated carbon blend


  • Did not share water quality test report
  • “Since there’s no current scientific standard for shower filter testing, we’re not comfortable making claims about full lists of chemicals or percentages removed from the shower filter.”
  • Does not claim a percent of chlorine removed

Final Thoughts - Best Shower Filters

As you embark on the journey to a healthier shower routine, consider the long-term advantages and the positive effects on both your body and the environment. Opt for shower filters that disclose their 3rd party testing! With informed decision-making, you have the power to turn your daily shower into a revitalizing and health-conscious ritual. It’s time you elevate your shower experience with a great shower filter!

Pin this “What’s the best shower water filter?” pic on Pinterest for future reference!

Shower Filters

Do you use a shower filter?

Let me know your thoughts and key takeaways in the comments below!

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Want to read more? Check out my other articles here!

Additional references on Shower Filters – Best Shower Water Filters: Forbes, Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful, 123 Filter

Copyright In On Around LLC 2024 ©. The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration). They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information provided by this website should not be used as individual medical advice and you should always consult your doctor for individual recommendations and treatment. The information contained in this site is provided on an “as is” basis. Related to this site, there are no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness, or timeliness. In On Around LLC assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site.

About Catherine Power

Catherine Power is the Founder and CEO of In On Around. She is a Harvard-educated Ingredient Safety and Environmental Toxins expert. Catherine has a background in Food Science, Personal Care Quality, and Regulatory Compliance.

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