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Published Sep. 29, 2021

A shower is likely part of your daily routine. Whether you prefer a quick three-minute rinse or enjoy the luxury of a prolonged steamy shower, it’s safe to assume the water that comes from your household pipes isn’t completely clear of contaminants. Depending on where you live, there can be chlorine, hazardous chemicals, and minerals like calcium that can result in dry or flaky skin. Luckily, adding a filter to your shower is a straightforward way to ensure that your daily rinse is as clean and safe as can be. We’ve rounded up the best shower head water filters to address a variety of concerns—whether you want to have soft water for improved hair health or remove serious contaminants from your water supply. 

How We Picked the Best Shower Head Filters

Methodology

While almost any shower filter will be an improvement and clear out some contaminants, not all models are built the same. I compared more than 40 filters to narrow down the best options with a variety of designs. 

Design: There are two major types of shower head water filters—inline and all-in-one models. Inline models can be added to your existing shower setup without replacing the shower head, which will come in handy if your shower has settings that you don’t want to sacrifice. An all-in-one model has the filter within the shower head and will replace your existing model. 

Filter type: There are a range of filter types to choose from when picking your shower head filter. Carbon filters, kinetic degradation fluxion (KDF) filters, and redox reactions are all reliable methods that we looked for in our recommendations, as they effectively filter harmful chemicals that are commonly found in water, like chlorine and sulfur.

The Best Shower Head Water Filters: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Sprite High Output Shower Head

Replaceable Filter

This inline system filters out chlorine, dirt, and odors without sacrificing water pressure. Sprite

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Why It Made The Cut: This reliable filter is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation, meaning that it meets public health and safety standards to make your shower safer.  

Specs:

  • Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 3.25 x 3.25 x 8 inches
  • Finish: Plastic

Pros:

  • Replaceable filter
  • Fits most wall pipes
  • Affordable price

Cons: 

  • Unfinished plastic look might not suit all showers

One of the best ways to filter out harmful chemicals or minerals from water is by using redox reactions, which convert molecules into new elements using electrons. While there are a variety of redox filtration systems used in shower head water filters, the Sprite High Output Shower Head is designed with unique and patented chlorgon technology. The chlorgon converts chlorine into chloride, which is a larger molecule that cannot be absorbed by the skin. Ridding the chlorine in your everyday rinse will leave your skin and hair softer and better hydrated—not to mention that this filter also rids any odors or dirt that might be in your water supply.

In addition to being certified by the National Sanitation Foundation, this filter is also certified by the California Energy Commission, which only approves products that are energy efficient. This pick is designed as both an inline and all-in-one design, as it comes with a detachable shower head that you can swap out with your own if you want. The inline filter attachment can connect to any ½-inch NPT wall pipe, and the shower head has three massage settings so your shower can be easily customized. Keep in mind that you should replace the interior filter every 12 months or 25,000 gallons of water to ensure that chlorine is still filtered effectively.

Best Value: Culligan Inline Showerhead Filtration Attachment

Reduce Scale Buildup

Reduce sulfur, chlorine, bacteria, and scale buildup with this inline filter design. Culligan

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Why It Made The Cut: For those that are looking to incorporate a filter into their existing shower setup, this Culligan pick’s patented filtration technology is easy to install and rids of both chlorine and scale. 

Specs:

  • Weight: 15 ounces
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 7.5 x 10 inches
  • Materials: Plastic or chrome

Pros: 

  • Includes materials for installation
  • Easy setup
  • Makes water softer

Cons: 

  • Some slight leaking 

If you want to keep your current showerhead while adding a filter to the overall setup, this inline design from Culligan can easily attach to any ½-inch shower arm with no additional tools needed. The kit from this industry leader in water filtration includes handy Teflon tape and a change reminder sticker so setup is a breeze. In addition to reducing the chlorine content of your water, this Culligan pick cuts down the scale buildup from your water supply. You might have noticed stubborn scale buildup on your shower doors or showerhead, which is primarily composed of calcium and magnesium compounds that are found in the water supply. This attachment can also get rid of the sulfuric odor that can make any shower unpleasant. 

This pick’s interior filter should be replaced every six months or 10,000 gallons—so we recommend staying on top of the dates that you install, so your filter continues to function efficiently.

Best Shower Head: Nosame Shower Head

Improve Dry Skin

This high-pressure filter system softens water for healthier skin and hair. Nosame

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Why It Made The Cut: In addition to providing a filter, this shower filter improves water pressure at an affordable cost. 

Specs:

  • Weight: 9 ounces
  • Product Dimensions: 11.26 x 5.55 x 3.03 inches
  • Materials: Stainless steel 

Pros:

  • Improves water pressure
  • Affordable cost
  • Multiple settings

Cons: 

  • Filter technology not described in detail 

The Nosame Shower Head became an Internet sensation for its ability to improve water pressure and purify shower water. Unlike some other plastic or inline models, the Nosame adds a sleek touch that can suit almost any bathroom with its clear tunnel filled with mineral beads and a chrome shower head. The bioactive mineral balls inside the clear tunnel help to remove chlorine and subsequently release negative ions, which work to make shower water softer. Soft water can more easily penetrate the hair shaft to soften your hair and improve the texture of coarse or damaged hair. 

This shower head water filter also offers a micro-nozzle technology, which has smaller and denser outlet holes that increases pressure while saving water. For anyone with less-than-ideal water pressure, or hard water that leaves your hair dry and brittle, this affordable shower head is a simple solution to tackle multiple problems at once.

Best for Baths: Crystal Quest White Bath Ball Filter

pH Balanced Bath

This easy-install bath filter rids of chlorine, sulfur, metals, dirt, rust, and sulfur for a pure and clean wash. Crystal Quest

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Why It Made The Cut: Soaking in less-than-clean water makes a bath less relaxing—which is why this Crystal Quest filter can easily improve any tub setup.

Specs:

  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 5 inches
  • Materials: BPA-free plastic

Pros:

  • 12- to 18-month filter
  • Easily installed
  • Makes hair and skin softer

Cons: 

  • May not fit all bath models

Baths tend to be a time for self-care and relaxation, but soaking in contaminated or dirty water can make the experience far less enjoyable. Although it isn’t a shower head filter, if you’re inclined to take baths on a regular basis, we recommend buying a bath filter to ensure that your water is equally as clean. The Crystal Quest White Bath Ball Filter has an activated carbon filter that removes such potentially harmful contaminants as chlorine, mercury, selenium, and sulfur. In addition to ridding of these common tap water contaminants, this filter can also reduce the iron oxides in water that result in rust, dirt, sediment, and any other odors. 

The carbon filter also helps to balance the pH of water to create a refreshing bath that improves both skin and hair health with softer water. Installation is as easy as slipping the handle over your bath faucet and hooking it on the drain pin, so you can also remove it from the shower and store it when not in use. One downfall to this product is that the design might not fit all bath models.

Best Premium: Berkey Shower Filter

Kills Bacteria

This high-quality pick filters out everything from microorganisms to water-soluble heavy metals like lead and mercury. Berkey

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Why It Made The Cut: For those whose top priority is clearing out any contaminants and bacteria from their water supply, this filter from Berkey is top of the line. 

Specs:

  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: ‎5 x 4 x 4 inches
  • Materials: Plastic

Pros:

  • Inline design can be added to existing showerhead
  • Filters out 95 percent of chlorine
  • Reduces bacteria

Cons: 

  • More expensive than some other models

If you’re looking for as much protection as possible, this high-quality Berkey Shower Filter is equipped with a KDF filter. KDF is a copper-zinc formula that creates a redox reaction to remove contaminants like chlorine, lead, mercury, iron, and hydrogen sulfide. This pick can reduce up to 95 percent of chlorine, which is a common element found in most tap water. In addition to filtering out these materials, KDF has an antibacterial effect that can help reduce limescale, mold, and fungi buildup in your shower. An added benefit of filtering out all these contaminants is an ultimately softer water supply that makes both skin and hair softer and healthier. 

With an inline design that fits most existing shower lines, you can easily install this filter to your existing bathroom setup to achieve cleaner water. Berkey recommends replacing the filter once a year or every 20,000 gallons—though your location and tap supply might create variation in this cutoff.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Shower Head Water Filter

Finding the right shower head water filter for you depends on several factors, including what you’re looking to filter and your existing setup. 

Contaminants

The shower head you select should largely depend on what type of contaminants and water issues are in your tap supply. You can use this tap water database to see what pollutants are in your shower and select a filter accordingly. 

Water Pressure

If your shower is already plagued by low water pressure, picking a shower head that can improve that problem is an easy solution to two problems. Both the Nosame Shower Head and Sprite High Output Shower Head are great options for those who want to improve their water pressure while filtering their water supply. 

FAQs

Q: Will a shower head filter help my hair?

A shower head filter can help remove chlorine in your water supply, which can strip your hair of the natural protective oils that keep it sleek and healthy. Longterm, chlorine might cause itchy scalps and dry or brittle hair, so it’s safe to say that a shower head filter can improve hair health.

Q: Does shower water need to be filtered?

While your tap water can vary greatly depending on your location, it’s generally a good idea to filter your shower water. Some common minerals and pollutants are able to penetrate your skin barrier while showering, causing dryness or more serious health issues depending on the contaminant.

Q: Can a shower filter help with hard water?

Most shower filters help reduce the minerals in your water that cause hardness, like calcium or magnesium. A shower filter can make your water softer and improve your hair and skin health.

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to improve your skin health with soft water or need to clear out contaminants from your tap, a shower head water filter is an addition that can benefit every bathroom. One of our top picks is the Sprite High Output Shower Head, as it retains water pressure while improving the quality and cleanliness of your rinse. 

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