7 Best Shower Head For Hard Water (Water Softener Filter Reviews)

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shower filters for hard water

Do you live in an area with hard water? If you are one of the millions of Americans living with hard water, then you know the hassles it can bring.

Growing up in an area with hard water, I remember the water softener company’s delivery guy dropping off a few 25-pound bags of salt every month and my dad teaching me how to fill the holding tank.

While a large family (8 brothers and sisters) we took a lot of showers and went through of salt!  My dad now jokes about how easy it would have been if they would have had water softener shower head filters back then….like this AquaHomeGroup 10-12 stage Shower Water Filter.

Many new homeowners are faced with the decision of installing a water softener. The question is, do you really need to soften all the water you use in the entire house?

woman with tangled hair from hard water
Hard water: shampoo/soaps don’t lather, leave residue and hair tangles.

If you rent your house or apartment then that probably is not a choice you are even left to make. Luckily there are many relatively affordable showerheads available on the market that filter out the mineral deposits and give you soft water “on-demand” only for the water that comes out of the shower. 

We’ve taken a look at a bunch of these to come up with a shortlist below.  I personally don’t see the point of spending the money (or hassle) to install a water softening system for my whole house when I can just put one of these filters on each shower and get a similar quality of soft water. 

Although we’ve picked the one as the best shower head water softener, we have also highlighted a couple of other brands below for a better choice.

You may also want to check the “Hard Water” section of our site: we’ve narrowed down a few top picks in each category of bath & shower products (shampoo, body wash, etc) that work better with hard water and will leave you feeling cleaner and more refreshed than many of the other products on the market that are not really made with hard water in mind.

Shower Water Pressure
Shower Water Pressure | Photo Credit: espensorvik

Best Shower Heads For Hard Water 2020

AquaHomeGroup 10-12 Stage Shower Water Filter

AquaHomeGroup Shower Water Filter Multi-Stage - 2 Cartridge Included - Removes Chlorine, Impurities, Unpleasant Odors - Boosts Skin and Hair Health - For Any Shower Head and Handheld Shower
AquaHomeGroup Shower Water Filter Multi-Stage (Image: Amazon.com)

This shower head filter is designed as a water softener but also removes chlorine and unpleasant odors from your shower water.

You can enjoy a toxin-free shower bath with the AquaHomeGroup 10-12 stage Shower Water Filter, especially if you have sensitive skin.

The additional filtration helps limit the risk of developing nasty skin infections like eczema, dry, itchy skin, and dandruff. The ceramic balls have extensive purification properties and help to reduce the levels of staphylococcus and coli bacillus rendering the water safe for children and pets.

The activated carbon effectively removes harmful chemicals and heavy metals, while solid impurities are kept out by the carefully-placed 10 to 12 stages of the filter.

This filter is compatible overhead, handheld showerheads, combo showerheads, and even luxury rainfall showerheads.

The main observation was that shampoos and hair conditioners (natural and otherwise) worked better. You may even find your notice health benefits since the filter is designed to eliminated chloramines from the water supply. The shower head filter is pretty easy to install and replace.


  • Easy installation and replacement
  • Multi-stage filter to cover a wide range of filtration functions
  • Aesthetically good-looking – blends with the other bathroom fixtures
  • Six-months of water softening life, based on average usage


  • Comparatively costlier than other similar products
  • It’s possible you won’t notice a huge difference if you have very hard water in your area 

Madison Kyle Premium Universal Polished Chrome Shower Head Filter

Universal Shower Filter and Water Softner - High Output Shower Water Filter, Hard Water Treatment, Chlorine & Other Harsh Chemicals - Includes Replaceable Multi-Stage Filter Cartridge - Chrome
Universal Shower Filter Hard Water Treatment (Image: Amazon.com)

This showerhead filter removes chlorine as well as deodorizing the water if you have strong smelling rural water or have a home that suffers from “rotten egg” smelling pipes. A quick and easy way to get better-quality shower water, the Madison Kyle Shower Head Filter is easy to install and replace.

The effect on the purification of water by this filter is to reduce the potential of itchy skin and lackluster hair by softening the water and filtering chemicals, bacteria, heavy metals, and solid impurities. The multi-stage cartridge uses a combination of calcium sulfite and carbon which covers all the stages required of a showerhead filter.

The filter is also easy to install, needing no special tools for installation. Water containing iron bacteria tends to get a colored tint. This filter reduces the coloration of the water, hence preventing staining and the harmful effects that such water has on the skin and hair.

Customers who used this product seemed quite satisfied. Most felt better after bathing with the filter installed especially those who live in areas which get a supply of exceptionally hard water were pleased with the degree of softening that the filters provided


  • Reasonably-priced
  • Effective in softening water
  • Users with skin problems experienced relief
  • Removes chlorine efficiently


  • Some customer reports of leakage
  • Fewer filter stages

Kooups Universal 10-Stage Shower Water Filter

Universal 10-Stage Shower Water Filter with 2 Replaceable Cartridges - Removes Chlorine and Harmful Substances - Protect Skin and Hair Health(with 4pcs Wall Hooks ) (White)
10-Stage Shower Water Filter (Image: Amazon.com)

A useful and reasonably-priced product, the Kooups Universal 10-Stage Shower Water Filter is a cost-effective way to soften your shower water without having to get into installing an expensive unit for the whole house. The product even comes with a handy free-gift – a set of nifty wall hooks.

This showerhead filter not only removes the minerals to give the soft feel you are looking for but it also filters out chlorine, heavy metals, and other harmful chemicals and prevents algae and fungi from growing in the water which can be a problem, especially in rural areas and homes with well water. The result is that you get relief from irritation of the skin and it maintains the natural texture of your hair.

The filter is easy to install and can be used on a hand-held or fixed shower head. An added feature of this filter is that you can also fit it on a kitchen tap if you’re looking to soften the water coming out of the kitchen sink faucet. The cartridge has a life of about 6 to 8 months depending on usage – this converts to effective cleaning of about 10,000 to 12,000 gallons of water.


  • Useful for removing chlorine and chemical odors
  • Useful for prevention of algae and fungi
  • Delivers soft water 6 to 8 months (depending on usage)


  • Possible leakage from the joint
  • A new product on the market from this company so not a lot of history to know accurate life-span and durability.

Aquasana Deluxe Shower Water Filter System

Aquasana Deluxe Shower Water Filter System with 5' Wand Premium Massaging Shower Head, Chrome
Aquasana Deluxe Shower Water Filter

The Aquasana Deluxe Shower Water Filter System helps you shower in pristine water. It uses a copper-zinc and coconut shell carbon mixture that lowers the amount of chlorine, mercury, lead, iron, pesticides, hydrogen sulfide, herbicides, and other volatile organic compounds.

As a result, you get gentle water during every shower. Protect your hair and skin from these harsh chlorine and chemicals – if you are wishing for moisturized skin and shiny hair but all skin and hair care products aren’t working, then the problem might be with the water you’re using.

Removing chlorine and chemicals also results in a lot of health benefits. Many people have trouble breathing from unhealthy shower steam. This filter system helps fix that problem. It’s safe for kids and animals, too. There is a five-foot shower wand that makes it easy to use for children and pets. Grown-ups can enjoy the different multiple massage options on the showerhead.

It lasts a long time, and when it gets worn out, you can easily fit in a replacement without requiring tools.


  • Safe for kids and pets
  • Has many massage settings to choose from
  • Fitting a replacement is very easy


  • Some users reported that chlorine odor wasn’t completely removed
  • The filter tends to leak when you turn it on
  • Some find the water pressure to be too strong

AquaBliss High Output 12-Stage Shower Filter

AquaBliss High Output 12-Stage Shower Filter - Reduces Dry Itchy Skin, Dandruff, Eczema, and Dramatically Improves The Condition of Your Skin, Hair and Nails - Chrome (SF100)
AquaBliss High Output 12-Stage Shower Filter

The AquaBliss High Output 12-Stage Shower Filter follows a 12-stage filtration process:

  1. Stage 1: the bigger sized sediments are taken out by the stainless steel mesh
  2. Stage 2: smaller sediments like turpitudes and dust are caught by the micro-porous PP cotton
  3. Stage 3: chlorine is blocked by the calcium sulfite, both with hot and cold water
  4. Stage 4: bacteria, algae, chlorine is reduced further by redox media
  5. Stage 5: chlorine, organic impurities, and trihalomethanes are removed by activated carbon
  6. Stage 6: oxygen levels and negative ions present in the water are boosted by infrared balls
  7. Stage 7: Heavy metals are removed by zeolite ceramic balls, and minerals are released
  8. Stage 8: Vitamin C is infused, together with other beneficial elements, are infused into the water
  9. Stage 9: More filtration and mineral release take place thanks to the tourmaline
  10. Stage 10: Oxygen-energized water is released by magnetic energy balls, which is beneficial to the skin, nails, and hair
  11. Stage 11 and 12: Finally, all the bad stuff that was filtered is prevented from entering the shower water, through the ultra-fine stainless steel mesh and microporous PP cotton
  12. Bonus: There is also a sand filter washer that captures big sediments like grit, sand, and limescale


  • Meticulous 12-stage process
  • Good for skin and hair
  • Minerals are added to the water


  • Some users report a leak in the area near the shower after installing
  • While the chlorine smell is reduced it was not fully removed
  • Difficult to repair on your own if it leaks or breaks

Torti Lia 15-Stage Shower Filter with Vitamin C For Hard Water

15 Stage Shower Filter with Vitamin C For Hard Water - 2 Cartridges Included Shower Filters Removes Chlorine Fluoride and Harmful Substances - Showerhead Filter High Output
15 Stage Shower Filter

The Torti Lia 15-Stage Shower Filter purifies the water by removing chlorine, fluoride, sediments, and heavy metals in the water. It also prevents the growth of scale in the tub. It can be installed over the head, or used handheld, with combo or rainfall showerheads – depending on your preference.

The shower promises consistent water pressure. It also would not lower the existing water pressure every time you use it. After every shower, you’ll feel a softer, moisturized skin that’s great for all skin types.

The effects of purified water include increasing oxygen content in the blood, removing unwanted impurities and odors, helps slow down the aging process, helps relieve stress, and creates healthier, brighter skin.


  • Removes harmful sediments and chemicals in the water
  • Can be used over the head, handheld, and in other settings
  • Great for the skin


  • Users said that water pressure was good in the beginning, but started to weaken over time
  • Som reports of filter leaks, allowing the particles sifted to get out into the shower water
  • The item is too big, which can be problematic for those who are shorter than 5-feet

KZKJ High-Pressure Air-Injection Rainfall Adjustable Showerhead

Shower Head,KZKJ High Pressure Air-Injection Rainfall Adjustable Showerheads Anti-Clog Rain Showerhead Chrome
KZKJ High-Pressure Air-Injection Rainfall Adjustable Showerhead

The KZKJ High-Pressure Air-Injection Rainfall Adjustable Showerhead features a 4.2-inch showerhead. It has self-cleaning rub-clean jets, which are great for preventing the buildup of lime. It’s also pretty easy to clean up. Because of the adjustable ball joint, you can maneuver it any angle you want to.

It has a modern design that can easily match your bathroom decor. It is made of premium ABS material and has a chrome finish that’s very luxurious to look at. It performs well even when there is low water pressure present. This is because of their patented air-power showerhead, which results in a full rain shower that can cover the entire body.

You can install it with no tools – very minimal assembly is required.  It is crafted with durable brass fittings. The entire product is rustproof. You get 10 years of warranty, which makes it worth every buck you spend.


  • Has self-cleaning rub-clean jets
  • It is covered by a limited 10-year warranty
  • It has 64 anti-clogging silicone jets that prevent hard water and lime deposits


  • Some users claim that the description doesn’t match the actual diameter of the shower spray
  • The water isn’t distributed well enough because the diameter is bigger than the showerhead itself
  • There is not a low-flow option for the showerhead
The Right Size of Water Droplets
What is the Right Size of Water Droplets? | Photo Credit: Evonne

How to Install a Shower Head Water Softener:

These filters are relatively easy to install, normally its just a question of removing your existing showerhead (turning in a counter-clockwise direction).  You’ll want to remove the old plumber’s tape if you have any on the arm, then wipe off the threads with a clean cloth, wrap several layers of Teflon tape (“plumber’s” tape) over the threads on the shower arm.  Then just screw in the filter and reattach your shower head.  This short hands-on video gives a better look at how to install the filters. The installation is basically the same on most standard hard water shower filters.

Buying Shower Head Water Softeners: 

hard water shower flow

  • Number of Stages: The number of stages in a shower head filter needs to be at least five if not more. However, what is important here is to see what is being added to each stage of the filter. The stages are used to soften the water as well as filter minerals and impurities. Generally the more stages it has, the higher the degree of filtration.
  • Filter Life: Ideally, a shower head filter should last for at least six months with average use. If you want to quantify the usage, you could apply a rule-of-thumb that each cartridge should be able to soften and filter about 10,000 to 12,000 gallons of water.
  • Ease of Installation: You don’t want to have to hire some plumber every six months or so to replace your cartridge. In fact, even the installation of shower head filters is so simple that you can do it yourself without any special tools. Some videos demonstrate how to do it in a few simple steps. The water softener filters we’ve selected on this list are easy to install, usually just needing a wrench and possibly a spool of Teflon plumbers tape
  • The Power of Reviews: Go to the product sites and study the reviews carefully. It is always better to select a product that has more reviews and good ones, at that. Take care to look for bad reviews as well, to see what you don’t want!

The Final Verdict

Universal 10-Stage Shower Water Filter with 2 Replaceable Cartridges - Removes Chlorine and Harmful Substances - Protect Skin and Hair Health(with 4pcs Wall Hooks ) (White)

Adding a water softening filter to your showerhead can make your showering experience much more pleasant. We’ve researched the top-selling filters on the market and narrowed down the choices to the top three picks.

The choice was a bit difficult to make, as all the products seem to have identical features, except for the number of stages in the filter. The AquaHomeGroup 10-12 stage Shower Water Filter is effective in removing odors, chemicals and bacteria has ten filtration stages and is just as easy to install the other two products featured here.

However, what stood out for us is the fact that this product is customer satisfaction.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this review. Please feel free to drop your comments and feedback and questions, if any and we will be happy to respond. If you have hard water you may want to try out these shampoo shower bars.




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