If you find your hair and skin is dry and irritated after taking a shower, the problem might not be the products you’re using; it could be something in your water. Every time you turn on your showerhead, you’re getting water and all of the potential minerals that exist in your local water supply, like calcium and magnesium. Fortunately, though, there’s an easy fix: Adding a shower filter can help improve your water, which is better for your health and the longevity of your fixtures.
With options from inline and installed filters to handheld showerhead units, there’s a filter available for every shower setup. You can opt for a specialized filter or one that generally works to keep minerals and contaminants off your hair, body, and bath fixtures. To find the best shower filters available, we spent hours researching countless options, from filters for light minerals to heavy-duty alternatives that can remove everything from sediment and sand to chlorine and iron through multi-stage filtration. Our top picks are those products that provide effective filtration, work reliably in most showers, and offer both value and longevity.
AquaHomeGroup 15 Stage Luxury Filtered Shower Head
15 stages of filtration
Enhances water with extra vitamins
Great water pressure
Can’t be used with other showerheads
A single shower filter that removes chlorine, heavy metals, sand, sediment, and even small particles of rust might sound almost impossible, but the AquaHomeGroup Luxury Shower Filter accomplishes it all. This impressive 15-stage filter is our pick for the best option overall, thanks to its long list of features, its ability to work with any showerhead, and its nicely affordable price. Designed to work with your existing system, this filter does include a showerhead that enhances your water with added vitamins C and E for an extra nourishing perk.
Thanks to its impressive multi-stage filtration capabilities, this shower filter is the gold standard when it comes to maintaining the highest water quality. Larger particles are filtered out through a steel mesh, while small particles like lime and chlorine are removed through the remaining nine filtering stages. These are designed to attract certain particles without lowering your overall water pressure. Plus, it keeps a long list of different minerals and contaminants out of your water, giving you plenty of bang for your buck (and doing your skin and hair a lot of good!).
Installation is easy, especially with the included plumber’s tape. You will need a wrench to tighten the connections for the best results, but everything else needed for installation is included with the filter set. If you prefer an adjustable showerhead, you may need to find a different filter that lets you use your own showerhead, however. Keep in mind that the filter does need to be replaced, along with the vitamin enhancement filter, over time. You’ll typically get between six and 12 months per filter, depending on your usage.
Price at time of publish: $53
Filter Lifespan: 6-12 months | Filter Type: Internal filter cartridge | Contaminants Removed: Chlorine, heavy metals, rust, sand, sediment
Barclay's Buys Better Home Goods Filtered Shower Head
Removes 80 to 90 percent of common contaminants
Three shower spray settings
Improves water pressure
Limits water usage to 2.5 GPM
Only two filtration stages
Screw-on connection may not perfectly fit
Barclay’s Filtered Shower Head is a simple but effective showerhead that rolls a high-pressured flow and contaminant-fighting multi-stage filtration into one nicely budget-friendly bathroom addition. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a “cleaner” and more mineral-free shower thanks to this filter. With the filter built into the showerhead itself, the design reduces the overall bulk and look of the system. Its two-stage filtration takes care of common irritants, including chlorine, chloramine, iron, calcium, and fluoride.
This showerhead is adjustable, with three settings. You can toggle between massage, rain, and combo. It also has metal rings on both sides for a secure fit that won’t crack or wear. It uses a standard half-inch connection, making it easy to install on just about any shower. However, while it is effective, the filter does work primarily on larger particles since it only features two levels of filtration. That means it isn’t great at getting rid of the teeny tiny particles in your water.
Price at time of publish: $25
Filter Lifespan: 6-12 months | Filter Type: Inline | Contaminants Removed: Chlorine, chloramine, iron, calcium, and fluoride
Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Water Filter System
Comes with massaging showerhead
Can be used with other showerheads
Keeps showerhead high in the shower
Filters out small particles
For some of the best filtration plus a massaging showerhead that brings luxury to your next shower, consider the Aquasana Premium shower filter. It removes chlorine, synthetic chemicals, zinc, and copper, as well as balances the water's pH. It has a 2-stage filter but uses a lot more of the actual filter medium meant to target really small particles. The larger filter takes up more space but is designed to let the water pass down and back up to keep the showerhead high.
This is a larger system overall and made of industrial-looking white plastic rather than sleek chrome or metal. While it creates a luxury experience, it doesn’t offer a luxury look. It comes with a massaging showerhead, although you can also use the filter with a different showerhead for a custom experience.
Price at time of publish: $67.49
Filter Lifespan: 6 months | Filter Type: 2-stage | Contaminants Removed: Chlorine, synthetic chemicals, zinc, and copper
Best for Hard Water
PureAction Water Softener Shower Head
Removes common hard water contaminants
Comes with replacement filter cartridge
Three spray settings
Only two stages of filtration
Hard water has a lot of minerals, such as calcium, that can build up in your fixture and cause havoc on your hair and skin. The PureAction water softener filter removes many of these contaminants, as well as improves the pH balance of your water. It does this while still maintaining good water pressure and a pleasant shower experience with three spray pattern settings.
This set comes with a replacement filter in addition to the one in the unit, making it easier to maintain the filter and ensure that you’re getting the best results. You should replace the filters around every 6 months, although that time can vary based on your usage and the exact makeup of your water. The set also comes with plumber’s tape that you will need for the installation.
Price at time of publish: $35.87
Filter Lifespan: 6 months | Filter Type: 2-stage | Contaminants Removed: Calcium, chlorine, fluoride, chloramine, rust, sand, and sediment
Best for Well Water
AquaEarth 15 Stage Shower Water Filter
15 stages of filtration
Removes common well water contaminants
Showerhead purchased separately
Well water can be particularly hard and have a lot of mineral deposits. That’s why the Aqua Earth filter for hard water is a great option. It uses 15 stages of filtration, including an activated charcoal layer. These trap small and large particles in your water, such as lime, copper, rust, chlorine, chloramine, and sediment. These are some of the most common mineral deposits found in well water.
You will need a separate showerhead when using this filter system. This adds to the overall cost, but does let you customize with an adjustable or handheld showerhead. Fortunately, the Aqua Earth filter is affordable, allowing extra room in your budget for the ideal showerhead.
Some wells are regulated and monitored like any other public water supply. However, private wells are not included. “Private well owners are responsible for the safety of their water,” says the EPA. This makes extra steps like shower filters even more important.
Price at time of publish: $29.56
Filter Lifespan: 6 months | Filter Type: 15-stage | Contaminants Removed: Lime, copper, rust, chlorine, chloramine, and sediment
Best for Removing Chlorine
AquaBliss Heavy Duty High Output Shower Filter
Works for hot or cold water
Multiple finishes available
Requires separate showerhead
Chlorine is one of the chemicals that can wreak havoc on your hair and skin if not properly monitored and filtered out of your water. While it does a great job killing potentially harmful contaminants, filtering out any excess chlorine before you shower can result in a better experience for you. The AquaBliss heavy duty shower filter uses a multi-stage filter to target sediment and chemicals, including chlorine. The calcium sulfite, redux media, and activated carbon specifically target chlorine and work for both hot and cold water passing through.
This filter comes with an exterior housing that is available in three finishes: chrome, brushed nickel, and oil rubbed bronze. This helps it blend in more with your existing fixtures. You will need to have a separate showerhead and plumbing set up. The filter and housing are installed in between the water source and the showerhead.
Price at time of publish: $37.99
Filter Lifespan: 6 months | Filter Type: Multi-stage | Contaminants Removed: Sediment, chlorine, rust, trihalomethanes
Best to Remove Heavy Metals
BWDM 15-Stage Shower Filter
Stages trap particles and keep them in the filter
Can be used with any replacement filter brand
Needs teflon tape for installation
The impressive 15 stages of the BWDM Filter take care of common heavy metals that can cause problems in your water and shower. It has filters to trap everything from sediment and sand to lead, rust, and chlorine. The last layers keep all trapped particles in the filter rather than letting them leak out. You will need to supply your own Teflon tape to wrap the plumbing fittings, which is recommended to create the best seal.
It also comes in chrome, brushed nickel, and oil-rubbed bronze. The filter inside lasts for around 6 months, depending on usage and the makeup of your water. It is easy to change and fits any 2.7 by 2.4-inch filter cartridge. The filter housing is also a universal fitting for any type of standard showerhead connection. So it doesn’t matter if you have a rainfall showerhead, handheld showerhead, or just regular connection.
Price at time of publish: $19.97
Filter Lifespan: 6 months | Filter Type: 15-stage | Contaminants Removed: Sediment, chlorine, heavy metals
Culligan ISH-100 Inline Showerhead Filtration Attachment
Easy to install
Teflon tape included
Filters particles and odors
Hard to get exact replacement recommendations
Inline shower filter attachments are a great way to filter water without having to make a huge adjustment to your system—all you have to do is screw it onto the base of your shower and then add the showerhead. This kit from Culligan (a top name among water filtering brands) comes with teflon tape to get the best fit and avoid leaks. It filters out particles, small chemicals, and even smells, including sulfur smell, chlorine, and scale.
The kit is good for up to 10,000 gallons of water, though this will vary slightly based on the amount of filtration that it needs to do. It comes with a reminder sticker so that you can set the recommended change date based on your average usage. This does require looking up your usage in your past water bills for the most accurate recommendations. You can always follow the recommended 6-month change out for easier tracking.
Price at time of publish: $35.55
Filter Lifespan: 6 months | Filter Type: Multi-stage | Contaminants Removed: Chlorine, scale buildup, sulfur smell
Feelso Handheld Shower Head with Filter
Same function as a handheld showerhead
Long water line
Multiple spray modes
15 stage filtration
Takes special kind of filters
The Feelso Handheld Showerhead is one of the least noticeable shower filters out there. But don't let the sleek look fool you—it still has 15 stages to filter out things like chlorine, heavy metals, and sediment, with the filtration medium located inside the handheld sprayer rather than as a separate piece. It doesn’t take the same filters as most other shower filters, so you’ll need to get the specialty replacement cartridges available from Feelso.
For an extra spa-like experience, this showerhead comes with three modes: rainfall, massage, and mix. Similar to other handheld units, you can adjust it using the toggle button on the side, and it also comes off of the cradle—a good option if you use it for children or pets. The handheld showerhead is connected to the water line with a standard connection and has a 60-foot hose.
Price at time of publish: $32.99
Filter Lifespan: 4-6 months | Filter Type: 15-stage | Contaminants Removed: Sediment, chlorine, heavy metals
Best for Conserving Water
Hello Klean Shower Filter
Effective on common contaminants
This sleek shower filter from Hello Klean is a great eco-friendly choice all around. Not only does it conserve water, but it is also made out of recyclable aluminum. When you need to replace the filter, you can recycle the plastic housing inside as well. It reduces more than 90% of the chlorine, iron, copper, and lead in your water.
The shower filter is expensive, although you can subscribe for a periodic shipment and save a little bit of money. Depending on the setup of your showerhead, you might need to purchase the shower adapter, which adds to the overall cost. Hello Klean also makes a purifying showerhead that is a bit cheaper, although it does not reduce as many contaminants.
Price at time of publish: $72.00
Filter Lifespan: 4 months | Filter Type: KDF, calcium sulfite, carbon, ceramic beads | Contaminants Removed: Chlorine, lead, copper, iron
G-Promise Luxury Filtered Handheld Shower Head
Easy to change out filter cartridge
Uses a standard filter
Multiple shower settings
Two finishes available
Filter housing can only be used with handheld unit
The filter in the G-Promise luxury filtered handheld shower filter uses a standard filter size but connects to an included handheld shower unit for easy use. It has six different spray modes, ranging from concentrated water spraying to a more gentle rain-like shower. It also comes in two finishes: chrome or oil-rubbed bronze.
You don’t need to remove the shower unit to change out the filter, a great benefit to this option. The housing unscrews easily and you can replace the filter cartridge. Then screw the housing back together and get right back to showering. It uses ½-inch connections, which is typical for a handheld unit. While the filter can be used in other units, the housing is specific to this handheld shower head.
Price at time of publish: $63.99
Filter Lifespan: 6 months | Filter Type: Not listed | Contaminants Removed: heavy metals, chlorine, sediment
Our top pick, the AquaHomeGroup Luxury 15 Stage Shower Filter, has a 15-stage filter to remove impurities while also adding vitamins C and E to keep your hair and skin in great shape. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Barclay’s Buys Better Home Goods Filtered Shower Head, which is a great value that filters out chlorine, one of the most common contaminants in shower water.
What to Look for in a Shower Filter
Look for a shower filter that gets rid of common contaminants as well as any specialized filtration that you need based on your water. Filters are most often described by the number of stages or filtration media that they include. 15-stage filtration, such as that in the AquaHomeGroup Luxury 15 Stage Shower Filter or the Aqua Earth Shower Filter For Hard Water, are some of the most thorough filtrations out there.
Filters often need to be replaced every four to six months, although exact times are variable based on the contents of your water as well as your water usage. Both our top overall, AquaHomeGroup Luxury 15 Stage Shower Filter, and our best budget pick, Barclay’s Buys Better Home Goods Filtered Shower Head, can last up to 12 months and are easy to change out.
Type and Style
Some filters are built into the showerhead, such as the PureAction Water Softener Shower Head Filter for Hard Water. Others, including the AquaBliss Heavy Duty High Output Shower Filter and the bwdm 15 Stage Shower Filter, do not come with a showerhead and are installed in between the water source and the showerhead. This allows some additional flexibility but can be more costly.
How do shower filters work?
Shower filters remove contaminants and particles from your water by trapping them in various filtering media. Some stages use larger particles that keep sand, sediment, and debris from moving past. Other stages create a chemical reaction that keep smallerl contaminants, such as chlorine, trapped.
Are shower filters worth the money?
Shower filters can help improve the health of your hair and skin, resulting in fewer specialty products or visits to the salon to keep your hair in great shape. If you have very hard water, using a water filter to remove things like heavy metals and iron can also help your fixtures last longer with less build up and grime. If you have a lot of contaminants in your water, installing a shower filter can be of great value.
What type of shower filter is the most effective?
Generally, the type of filter that works best depends on your water and system. Shower filters that remove the majority of common contaminants, including those with 15 stages, are the most effective and the most versatile.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was researched and written by Katie Melynn, a freelance writer specializing in home and family products. Katie has been writing for The Spruce since 2019. To make this list, Katie looked at shower filters that took care of the most common contaminants, such as chlorine and sediment. She also looked for filters that would work for specific needs, such as hard water or well water. She also researched current regulations and recommendations for water safety from the Environmental Protection Agency.