There is no substitute for having clean and purified water in your everyday life. If you are dealing with hard water, there are numerous shower filters for hard water that can change your daily life.

best Shower Filter for Hard Water

Not everybody has the luxury of having full-scale water softening and filtering system. By purchasing a simple filtering showerhead, it can have immediate benefits to your hair, skin, and nails. On top of that, many water supplies have a chlorine smell that sticks with you all day after a shower; nobody wants that!

In addition to the health benefits from softened water, you will notice an improvement in limescale buildup in your showerhead and an overall cleaner shower experience. By investing in a new water filtering shower head, you will not regret it! In our easy-to-follow guide, we will break down what makes shower filtering water heads so valuable, and hopefully, with our guidance, you can choose the best shower filter for hard water.

Recommended Hard Water Filter

Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Hard Water Filter

  • One of the only shower filters that guarantee an enhanced pH level for shower water.
  • The showerhead comes with multiple massage settings and adjustable settings.
  • DIY installation that can be completed only four easy steps.

Perfect Water High Output Shower Filter for Hard Water

  • Includes activated carbon to filter out organic matter and impurities.
  • Unique 12-step sediment filtration system.
  • Simple and ‘Tool-less’ installation.

PureAction Head Hard Water Filtered Shower

  • It is specifically designed to removed calcium, lead, and iron from water.
  • Ionic showerhead increases the pH balance of the water.
  • 60″ hose attachment.

My Top 10 Shower Filters for Hard Water Reviews

(Tested & Rated by myself and the team)

1. Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Filter for Hard Water (Best Overall)

Highlighted Features

  • NSF-certified filtration technology.
  • The shell of the filter showerhead is made of natural coconut that reduces chlorine, lead, and iron.
  • DIY installation that can be completed in only four easy steps.
  • Long-lasting filters only need to be replaced twice a year on average.

Aquasana is a household name in water filter products, and this shower head filter is no exception. The easy installation is a breeze for just about anyone that can reach the showerhead.

It has a standard operating pressure of 80 psi, which is right around average for filtering showerheads. Combining that with its maximum flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute, the shower experience, even without the filtering component is an immediate step-up from the hard water environment I was in before installing this.

Coming with a one-year warranty, this plastic-based filter showerhead focuses on chlorine removal, which is one of the biggest issues most people report with their water. Chlorine can cause itchy scalps, skin, and dry fingernails, but thanks to Aquasana, you have an option to rid yourself of these things.

What I Like:

  • Softer skin is immediately noticeable right off the bat.
  • One of the only shower filters that guarantee an enhanced pH level for shower water.
  • Uses a patented copper/zinc blend to further reduce chlorine.
  • The showerhead comes with multiple massage settings and adjustable settings.
  • It can be installed with no tools.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The surface area of the showerhead is noticeably smaller than other models we have reviewed.
  • The filtering compartment on the showerhead could be considered big and heavy to some people. (But it serves a purpose)

2. AquaBliss High Output Revitalizing Shower Filter for Hard Water (Best in-line)

Highlighted Features

  • Unique 12-step sediment filtration system.
  • On average, it costs $.09 per day with the AquaBliss model.
  • Maximized water filtration to neutralize odors associated with hard water.
  • Boasts a sand filter at the beginning of the filtration stage to ward off large sediment.

If you are looking for an affordable filter that will soften your shower water and filter out impurities, then the AquaBliss may be the one you are looking for. While there is not a lot of information about the flow rate on the market, we do know that the 12-step filtration process that the AquaBliss runs through, has multiple stages that inject your water with beneficial elements to help with your hair, skin, and nails.

Installation is a breeze with this filtering head, and the AquaBliss SF100 will show results of cleaner, clearer water right away. Included is an advanced revitalizing filter that adds numerous stages for your water to pass through that boosts water oxygen and adds revitalizing minerals to the water. (This is a great filter for basically any shower, just add it to your existing showerhead).

It starts with an ultra-fine stainless-steel fine mesh that rids the water of larger impurities and ends with another mesh layer combined with micro-porous PP cotton to capture any sediment that may have squeaked through.

What I Like:

  • Within the 12-step filtering and purification process, there are vitamin C additives to give your water healthier minerals.
  • Includes activated carbon to filter out organic matter and impurities.
  • Affordable at under $$.
  • Clean metal finish that looks nice and luxurious.
  • Filters last approximately six months.
  • Simple and ‘Tool-less’ installation.

What I Didn’t Like:

  • The size of the filter showerhead is smaller than many others on the list.

3. Luxury Filtered Shower Head Set 15 Stage Shower Filter (Best For Vitamin C & E)

Highlighted Features

  • 15-Stage filtering process that includes vitamin C + E internal additives.
  • Rainfall shower technology is almost a necessity in every home now.
  • Revitalizes the body using activated carbon and calcium sulfite purification methods.
  • Fits any standard shower type and can be connected in minutes with no tools needed.

The Luxury 15-stage filtering showerhead does make you feel like a luxury. It feels like your opening a Rolex box when you open this for the first time. In terms of performance, they did not leave anything behind either. 15 stages of water filtering and purification are unheard of in the water filtering industry, and you can tell the difference from the first shower.

In the 15-stages of water purification, each of the 15 stages has its own role within the cleaning and purifying of the water. Starting with an ultra-fine mesh stainless steel trap, the water goes from there through several tried and proven filtering techniques including Maifan stone, germanium balls, and coconut activated carbon.

Coming standard with a 2.5 gallons per minute flow rate, you will see little to no water pressure issues with this showerhead filter. Everyone tends to like the feel of a classic rain shower, and this luxury showerhead provides just that, without compromising water quality.

What We Like:

  • Premium packaging that resembles a gift box gives you a real sense of luxury upon opening the water filter showerhead.
  • The package includes additional Teflon tape for multiple installations in case of moving or shower remodel.
  • A lot of hard water will have a distinct smell of chlorine or sulfur; we noticed that after 30 seconds of running this Luxury showerhead, all smells were gone!
  • I have noticed immediately that my hair and skin feel much softer after installing this filtering shower head.
  • The filters that this showerhead uses are long-lasting, and when the time finally comes to update them, it takes mere seconds to do.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Plastic filters have a cheap feel to them.
  • There is not a ton of range of motion with this showerhead.

4. Culligan WSH-C125 Wall-Mounted Filtered Shower Head (Best If You Have a Whole House System)

Highlighted Features

  • Meets EPA water sense certification of 2 gallons per minute maximum.
  • No-tool installation and installs on any ½” threaded shower arm.
  • Includes a patented WHR-140 filter cartridge.
  • Five different showerhead spray settings.

Culligan is one of the most trusted names in water products all over the world. From water cooler technology to full house water softening products, they have been providing the world with quality products for years, and the WSH-C125 is no exception.

One thing I liked about this one was the rubber coating over the spray nozzle. It provides a seamless water delivery, and the 5 different spray methods are an awesome feature that everyone can customize to their own needs. Combine that with the maximum operating temperature of 120 degrees and its ability to filter out 99% of harmful chemicals; the WSH-C125 is a great economical choice.

The stainless-steel fine-mesh rids the water of larger impurities and ends with another mesh layer combined with micro-porous PP cotton to capture any sediment that may have squeaked through. This helps with hard water stains.

What We Like:

  • The rubber spray nozzle features anti-clog technology.
  • Filters last 6 months and are easily replaced.
  • 5-year warranty from Culligan.
  • Includes a ton of Teflon tape for multiple installations.
  • Removes up to 99% of chlorine

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Smaller showerhead size compared to many.
  • Upon doing a before and after water reading, the number of total dissolved solids that the filter head picked up was disappointing.

5. Vitamin C Filter Inline Shower Head for Hard Water (Best For Added Vitamin C)

Highlighted Features

  • Removes up to 99.9% of chlorine and chloramines from shower water.
  • An addition to your current showerhead, no need to replace your favorite showerhead.
  • Infuses your water with vitamin C.
  • Upgraded filter for 2020 from Sonkai.

The first showerhead add-on on our list is unique to the fact that you simply just add it to your already existing showerhead. Without adjusting your current showerhead setup height or angle, you can add this vitamin-C injection showerhead component to help your water with chlorine removal and add valuable minerals to help improve your hair, skin, and nails.

The Sonkai system installs easily with most standard showerheads, and we have yet to see any issues with decreased water pressure or flow rate. The housing for the unit in prior models had issues, but Sonkai took those user notes and rebuilt the housing to be made of brass, making it highly durable.

If you’re in love with your current shower setup but wish the water was a bit friendlier to your hair, skin, and nails, the Sonkai vitamin C injection model is a great choice for you.

What We Like:

  • The chrome finish is very elegant and can be matched to many existing showerheads.
  • Adding it to your current showerhead setup is beneficial because no height or angle changes are required.
  • It comes with three filters.
  • The resin housing is made of brass, which is extremely durable.
  • Vitamin C additive does wonders for your hair, skin, and nails.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • To change the filter, you need a wrench handy, which isn’t always easy.
  • The filter only lasts roughly 14 showers.

6. BathBeyond Shower Filter Vitamin C For Hard Water (Best in-line + Vitamin C)

Highlighted Features

  • 15-Stage Filtration process.
  • Oxygen increasing formula that removes odor from water.
  • The filter can last up to 700 showers, which is roughly 24,000 gallons of water.
  • Vitamin C injection for skin nourishment.
  • An inline water filter that attaches to your current setup.

Inline water filters are becoming more and more popular, and the BathBeyond model is one of the better ones on the market. 15 distinct and unique stages of filtration and softening can make even the hardest water immediately healthier and purer.

It is an extremely good option for people that are living in apartments or condo buildings since, it is very rare for apartment units to have designated water softening systems, so adding a simple showerhead is a smart move. Also an economical option for many, with the average showerhead filter being between $ and $$, it is a small investment for improving water quality.

Starting with a PP cotton layer of filtration and ending with a fine steel mesh filter, the multiple layers of in-between are designed to remove contaminants, odors, metals, and chemicals. Coming in 4 classy metal finish colors, the BathBeyond inline showerhead is a great option for many.

What We Like:

  • Longest standard filter life of any showerhead filter we’ve reviewed.
  • Easily installed by the homeowner with no need for tools.
  • One of the 15-stages is a Maifan stone filter that is designed to maintain the body’s natural PH.
  • There was a noticeable increase in water pressure when this was installed on my kitchen sink.
  • An inline water filter lets you keep your current showerhead but with cleaner water.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No-Tool install was easy, but we did notice a leaking issue at the top.
  • Upon initial testing after installation, chlorine levels were lower, but I expected more.

7. Water Softener Shower Head – (Best Budget)

Highlighted Features

  • Reduces 80-90% of chlorine from water.
  • Filters will last 6-8 months with normal usage.
  • The shower head has three different settings to choose from.

The all-metal construction on this full-filtered showerhead unit is solidly built and easily installed by many homeowners, without the need for tools. For homeowners and renters alike, this small package comes with three spray settings for the user to decide from, which is not a common characteristic.

If you are dealing with hard water, this is one of the better options because it uses bead technology on the very outside layer of filtering. You can see the white beads when looking at the spraying side of the showerhead. The beads are there to filter out impurities within your water.

The filter life on these models is the best we have seen, lasting up to 8 months in some cases. They are also extremely easy to change in and out. Another reason I love the filtering on this model is that it is extremely easy to see when you need to change the filter. Most of them are guessing games, but with these models, you can see the filter and be able to change it at the perfect time.

What We Like:

  • Easily install onto a ½” shower arm.
  • Fully guaranteed with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Water-saving design, maximizing water pressure while using no more than 2.5 GPM.
  • The ball joint allows for the showerhead to adjust to whatever angle you prefer.
  • Visible filter beads allow you to see when the filter is getting bogged down.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Small showerhead size, the smallest we have reviewed thus far.
  • Chlorine removal of up to 90% is good but not as high as many others.

8. Berkey Shower Filter WITHOUT Shower Head

Berkey Shower Filter

Highlighted Features

  • 15-Stage filtering process that includes vitamin C + E internal additives.
  • Filters can last up to a year, or 20,000 gallons.
  • Filter contains KDF 55 granules.
  • Reduces limescale, mold, and fungi.

The Berkey inline shower head is a simple design. You can add it to your existing showerhead set up in no time, and the benefits of softening water will be noticeable right away.

The 10,000-gallon filter features multiple levels that will remove or reduce several chemicals and contaminants. Using a KDF 55 process with filtration granules will remove water-soluble metals and elements such as hydrogen sulfide and other microorganisms. Another thing that the Berkey water filter showerhead does is reduce chlorine and will also kill bacteria.

Not every filtering showerhead can remove bacteria, but Berkey’s filtering technology can manage that and a lot more. One of the most noticeable things I noticed after installing the Berkey system was a cleaner shower. There were less limescale, mold, and fungi left over.

What We Like:

  • Reduces chemical absorption and vapor inhalation.
  • Includes a backflush attachment to remove stagnant water from the filter.
  • KDF 55 granules help remove 1000’s of elements, including iron.
  • Easy install for any homeowner.
  • Has proven to noticeably improve limescale buildup.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • This Berkey model is more expensive than other inline models.
  • The two-piece model makes room for more errors.

9. 15 Stage Shower Water Filter to Remove Impurities

Luxury Filtered Shower Head Set

Highlighted Features

  • 15-Stage filtration and purification process.
  • The inline attachment works on any existing showerhead.
  • Twist-on installation.
  • It comes with two replacement filters included in the packaging.

At a price point of less than $$, this 15-stage shower water filter is a great inline option for cleaner shower water. The water filter comes in a smooth chrome-plated finish that can be matched to many existing showerheads.

It comes with 2 extra filters included, which can last up to 1.5 years of normal shower use. The filters have 15-stages of filtering, including a Maifan stone stage that helps with the ion exchange process to clean water of impurities.

The easiest installation of any model we’ve tested thus far was a pleasant surprise. It was installed in about 3 minutes. After, we ran the water for about a minute to ensure that any activated carbon was out of the filter, and from there, it was clean and pure water.

What We Like:

  • No reduction in existing water pressure.
  • Luxurious chrome plated finish to match existing hardware.
  • It can be connected to standard faucets, handheld showers or existing showerheads.
  • No leak housing technology to avoid unnecessary water waste.
  • Immediately noticeable results in skin and hair health

What We Didn’t Like:

  • No indicator of how to filter cartridge life; you must keep track yourself of usage.

10. PureAction Luxury Filtered For Hard Water (Best Luxury)

PureAction Luxury Filtered

Highlighted Features

  • Removes 99.9% of sediments and contaminants.
  • Ionic showerhead increases the pH balance of the water.
  • Chrome-plated ABS plastic construction.
  • 3-Part filter with ionic cartridge, filter sponge, and alkaline ceramic beads.
  • 60″ hose attachment.

The only water filter on our list that includes a hose attachment, we loved what the PureAction device did to our hard water. The filter eliminates 99.9% of water-based containments and comes in a smooth, chrome-plated finish.

The hose attachment is great for people that prefer that in a shower, and we were surprised to see that it came with a replaceable hose. The filtering process has 3 unique parts that all have a major role in softening your shower water.

You will notice an improved soap lather upon installation while the cleaner water reduces acne, eczema, and dry skin.

What We Like:

  • The first model we’ve reviewed that has a replaceable hose attachment.
  • Packaged in a luxurious gift box.
  • Includes a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.
  • Extremely affordable price point under $35.
  • It is specifically designed to removed calcium, lead, and iron from water.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Filters are hard to come by and do not attach well to the unit.

What To Consider Before Buying A  Shower Filter for Hard Water

When selecting your perfect water filtering showerhead, several factors come into play. Some of these are technical things that you need to investigate, like your water quality, for example. Other things that will need to be addressed are opinions and personal preference for what you’d like in the perfect shower experience.

What’s in your water?

Before investing in a water filter head, you need to know exactly what you’re dealing with. To do this, you can purchase a water testing kit, which is available from several different places. The testing kit will tell you exactly the hardness level of your water and what exactly is in your water that needs to be filtered out. If your water has high levels of iron or other metal elements, you may want to look for a specific showerhead that filters out iron better than others.

Water will vary from home to home, but there are some consistencies with the environment and water type. If you are using well water, you will realize that metal, sulfur, and more natural elements will be more present in your water supply.

On the flip side, if you are in an urban environment, you are most likely on the city’s water supply, and we have realized that the water is higher in additives like chlorine and fluoride. While these things can be healthy in moderation, city water supplies are usually too high in these elements.


Over time, the evolution of filtering showerheads has made massive strives in filtering capability and flow rate technology. One thing that many homeowners struggle with is the installation of a new filtering showerhead. If you are not necessarily a tool-savvy person, you will want to make sure that the showerhead that you choose requires no tools and is hand tightening.

Luckily, there are numerous options where the easy install was part of the manufacturer’s design of the filtering showerhead. However, some models do require wrenching, taping, and in some cases, re-routing water lines. This is something that we highly suggest hiring professionals for if you were to choose a highly technical shower filtering system.

Showerhead Size and Inline Filters

This is one of those factors that comes down to personal preference. I love a bigger showerhead for more surface area of water. But this comes with some downfalls (unfortunately.)

Most often, showerheads with built-in filters are in a smaller size. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you want a full rainfall shower with a 12″ surface area, then you may want to look into an inline filter addition that can be added to your existing showerhead setup. These can be a little harder to install, but this is a very popular option and still provides awesome filtering.

If you don’t care about the size of your showerhead, then getting a combined unit that includes the filter and the showerhead in one big unit, then you will have plenty of options to choose from.

This is the more popular option, and while you can find larger showerhead sizes in the filtering showerhead, the flow rate may be compromised the larger you go. This is due to how many levels of filtering and softening that water goes through.

Filter Life and Usage

Any showerhead filter, whether combined unit or inline will need to have filters that need to be replaced. Depending on the showerhead and the filter that it works with, the time in-between filter changes will vary. When you’re looking at deciding on a filtering showerhead, usage should be a big factor in your decision.

If you have a large family that will be taking a lot of showers daily, it will be important to find a water-filtering shower head that has a large capacity filter. Most filters are rated to handle a certain number of gallons or liters throughout their lifetime.

Throughout all my research and experience installing showerheads, it has been my experience that they rarely last if advertised. My advice is to find the largest filter capacity you can and buy them in bulk.

Budget and Value

Like any home project or other consumer goods, price and value are going to be on our minds. In most situations, budget and price would be much higher up on the buying guide.

Luckily, when it comes to filtering showerheads, they are typically on the cheaper side of appliance additions, and the peace of mind you can get from having clean water is invaluable. Almost all the options you will find are less than $100, and for usually less than $100, you can get the most luxurious and high-quality water filter showerhead on the market.

When looking at alternatives to softening and filtering your shower water, outside of showerheads, the other options are wildly more expensive. If you do not have the luxury of having a full-home water softening system, which can be thousands of dollars, the water filtering shower head is of great value and can do wonders for your health.

Frequently Asked Question And Answered

Why do I need to install a shower filter head?

why install a shower filter?

If you are dealing with a hard water situation, specifically a water supply that has high levels of metal elements, showerhead filters are a good option to soften and filter water. Additionally, if you would rather save money and not install a full system water purification system and softener, shower filters are a great way to get softer and cleaner water.

What is the difference between a full showerhead unit and an inline assembly?

Differences in shower units and inline assembly

A full showerhead unit uses the filtering aspects in cohesion with the physical showerhead to combine it into one unit. An inline unit is installed onto your existing showerhead to filter and purify the water that goes through your existing showerhead.

Are inline assemblies better than a full showerhead filter?

Are inline assemblies better than a full showerhead filter?

As with most personal household decisions, the right answer depends entirely on the situation. Some people love their showerhead and current assembly and do not want to change the height or angle of the water stream; therefore, the inline assembly would be better. Full showerhead units are more popular, however. They typically come in so many different options that nearly everyone can find one that works for their situation.

How does filtering shower water help me?

How does filtering shower water help me?

By removing thousands of toxins and contaminants from your water supply, it will help your skin be less dry along with healthier fingernails and hair.

Do water filter showerheads remove bacteria?

Do water filter showerheads remove bacteria?

The short answer is no. Bacteria are microscopic and are airborne typically, while water filters remove toxins like iron, magnesium, and limescale, bacteria are different.


As we’ve discussed in previous sections of this article, having a quality water filter head in your shower can do wonders for the quality of water and the effect that will have on your hair, skin, and nails. In many living situations like apartments and condos, having a dedicated water softener is extremely rare and can make your shower water hard and unhealthy. Shower filter heads are a great, economical option to improve the quality of your water.

With so many showerheads available for under $40, the investment is well worth it in our minds and is something we swear by in a hard water situation. Because there are so many options on the market, beginning your search can be a little bit daunting. Don’t let that scare you; however, this article should have provided you with a great start in your search.

If you have any questions please leave a comment below.

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