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5 Best Shower Filters for Hard Water

Scott Winfield
Written by Scott Winfield
Last Updated on

Hard water contains high amounts of calcium and magnesium ions. While these minerals benefit health, they also can have adverse effects for everyday living.

Hard water promotes limescale formation and makes it difficult for soaps to form a lather. Limescale leaves an unpleasant slimy film on your shower, making cleaning difficult. Additionally, the high mineral count takes away the joy of showering, as thoroughly cleaning your skin and scalp will be challenging.

If you live in an area with very hard water, we recommend a whole-house ion exchange system to soften it.

On the other hand, if the water is moderately hard, a shower filter is a better option for your needs, and the AquaHomeGroup Handheld Shower Head is one of the best products out there. However, other filters may be a better match. Let’s review the top 5 shower filters for hard water.

Best Shower Filter for Hard Water
AquaHomeGroup Handheld Shower Head
  • Filtration Stages:20
  • Filter Life: 6 months
Aqua Earth 15 Stage Shower Filter
  • Filter Life:6 months
  • Filtration Stages: 15
Feelso Shower Filter
  • Filtration Stages: 15
  • Filter Life: 6 months
PureAction SH158
Best Additional Perks
  • Filtration Stages: 3
  • Filter Life: 1 to 4 months
Rainshow'r CQ-1000-MS
Best Filter Life
  • Filtration Stages: 2
  • Filter Life: 6 – 9 Months

Shower Filters for Hard Water

AquaHomeGroup Handheld Shower Head – Best Overall

AquaHomeGroup Handheld Shower Head
  • Filtration Stages:20
  • Filter Life: 6 months
Pros
  • The 20-stage filtration process reduces a wide variety of contaminants
  • Adds vitamins A, E, and C to the water
  • Comes with a lot of additional attachments
Cons
  • The installation procedure is complex and time-consuming

The AquaHome Group Handheld Shower Filter has 20 filtration stages, much more than most standard models.

The 20 filtration stages are effective against many things, from removing chlorine to getting rid of hard minerals and heavy metals. Water with a high mineral content has many benefits but makes it more difficult for soaps to foam. It’s not fun to scrub for minutes just to get a bit of a lather, and this filter fixes that problem for you.

Aside from removing common contaminants, the AquaHomeGroup shower head adds vitamins to the water. More specifically, it adds vitamins C, E, and A, which help you achieve a better complexion and make your skin smoother and softer.

Another benefit is that you’ll get a complete shower set when you buy the AquaHomeGroup model. The set includes the filter itself, a custom shower head specifically designed to be used with it, a 59-inch length of hose, and several different fittings for the installation.

Furthermore, you’ll get a high-pressure spray plate to change the water flow’s power, 5 shower caps to keep your hair dry, and even some Teflon tape for the installation.

On a different note, the robust package could be a double-edged sword. While the extra goodies are great, they complicate the installation process. Instead of only attaching a filter, you’ll need to know how to install an entire shower. You may be able to do it yourself, but it’ll take a lot more time and effort than with other models.

Finally, the unit has a 30-day return policy allowing you to exchange it if something is wrong or it’s not performing as advertised.


Aqua Earth 15 Stage Shower Filter – Best Runner-up

Aqua Earth 15 Stage Shower Filter
  • Filter Life:6 months
  • Filtration Stages: 15
Pros
  • The 15-stage filtration process removes various contaminants and minerals from the water
  • Adds vitamin C to the water
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Cons
  • The claim regarding fluoride removal is unsupported

The AquaEarth is almost the same price as the AquaHomeGroup and with just as many features. The 15-stage-filtration system is remarkably effective at eliminating both chlorine and hard minerals from your water.

The filter is divided into 4 sections. The first section uses mesh, microfiber, and pp screens to catch and remove sediment, dirt, or soil particles in the water.

The second section is where KDF media, calcium sulfite, and activated carbon treat chlorine, soften the water, and neutralize unpleasant tastes and odors.

The third stage uses ceramic, mineralized, and magnetic energy balls to remove heavy metals and add helpful minerals and vitamin C to the water.

The fourth and final stage uses alkaline balls, microporous pp cotton, and stainless steel mesh to erase the remaining traces of sediment and soil particles and increase the pH value of the water, ensuring it’s not too acidic.

The Aqua Earth 15 Stage can go through 10,000 gallons of water before it needs replacing. The exact expiration date depends on how often you shower and how much water you use. Still, a single cartridge should last around 6 months before you need to get a replacement.

Aqua Earth also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

A single concern we have is that Aqua Earth claims their filter removes fluoride. Fluoride is a very difficult chemical to remove, even for most reverse osmosis systems. As shower filters are less powerful than most RO systems, we don’t believe this claim is genuine.


Feelso Shower Filter – Best Price

Feelso Shower Filter
  • Filtration Stages: 15
  • Filter Life: 6 months
Pros
  • Uses a comprehensive filtration process
  • Adds vitamin C to water
  • The showerhead has 5 spray settings
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Fragile filter that breaks easily

The Feelso is the most cost-effective option on our list. While lower prices usually come at the expense of product quality, this product doesn’t lag behind the competition. In fact, it has a more effective filter than most other units on our list.

Just as Aqua Earth, Feelso has a multi-stage filtration process consisting of 15 stages. We included it in our list because one of those filter stages quickly and efficiently eliminates hard water molecules, softening your water.

Aside from hard minerals, this model also works against chlorine, odors, and heavy metals like mercury, nickel, copper, lead, chromium, and more. In addition, the stainless steel mesh and microporous pp cotton eradicate sediment particles from the water.

Another similarity with Aqua Earth is Feelso’s inclusion of ceramic, mineral, and medical stones to add healthy minerals back to the filtered water and vitamin C for your skin.

The filter also comes with a showerhead that perfectly matches the filter. The shower head is placed on a swivel joint so you can easily turn and adjust it however you want.

Feelso comes with 5 spray modes: rain, massage, mist, rain & mist, and rain & massage mode.

The only questionable aspect of this product is its durability. You need to be careful not to drop the shower head as it’s fragile and could break.


PureAction SH158 – Best Additional Perks

PureAction SH158
  • Filtration Stages: 3
  • Filter Life: 1 to 4 months
Pros
  • Features aroma filters adding a pleasant scent to the water
  • Comes with 5 replacement filters: standard, vitamin C, lavender, rose, and jasmine
  • Removes a wide range of contaminants
Cons
  • The aroma filters need to be replaced every month
  • The shower wand is fragile

The additional perks of the PureAction SH158 model are a few quality-of-life items that significantly improve your showers. The most notable perk is the luxury gift box containing 4 scented replacement filters for this unit, in addition to the standard replacement filter you get with the purchase.

So, the PureAction SH158 comes with 5 replacement filters free of charge, 4 of which add a pleasant scent to the water while softening it.

Getting five premium replacement filters for free is a fantastic deal that saves you a lot of money.

However, these aroma filters should be replaced monthly, while the second filter using mineral ceramic beads should be replaced every 4 months. The brand offers a refill set of 4 filters lasting approximately 4 months. Nevertheless, even with the package deal, you’ll still need $120 annually for the aromatic filters, which is pretty steep.

PureAction’s filter is effective against chlorine, chloramines, sediment particles, heavy metals, and bad odors and prevents scale and rust from building up.

That said, the shower wand is light and comes with a large 60-inch hose attached, which is convenient but not durable. Some parts are made of stainless steel, although many components are plastic.


Rainshow’r CQ-1000-MS – Best Filter Life

Rainshow'r CQ-1000-MS
  • Filtration Stages: 2
  • Filter Life: 6 – 9 Months
Pros
  • It has a filter life of around 9 months
  • This filter uses quartz crystals to counteract the effects of hard minerals
  • The shower head has a massage function
Cons
  • Removes chlorine and neutralizes hard minerals, but it’s ineffective against other contaminants

If you’re looking for a long-lasting shower filter, the Rainshow’r CQ-1000-MS blows its competition out of the water thanks to the 9-month filter life. However, remember that the exact time depends on several factors, predominantly how often you shower and how much water you use.

Typically, shower filters purify 10,000 gallons of water before they need replacing, which most companies estimate to be 6 months. If we do some math, we’ll find that the 9-month lifetime of the Rainshow’r CQ-1000-MS means it filters roughly 15,000 gallons of water before it expires. That’s a significant stretch for a single cartridge.

The installation process is as simple as it gets, and it’ll probably take you less time to attach this filter than to figure out how to pronounce the model’s name. You should remove the old shower head and attach the filter and accompanying shower head to the water pipe.

The filter itself uses a carbon filter to eliminate chlorine from the water, as well as unpleasant odors and tastes. There’s also a KDF media responsible for softening hard water. Rather than removing magnesium and calcium minerals from the water, the KDF media uses quartz crystals to reduce surface tension. The process counteracts the harmful effects of hard water.

As for the shower head, it has a standard and massage setting, so you can take a slow relaxing shower or jet-blast to loosen up.

If you’re looking for a filter that removes chlorine or counteracts hard minerals, it’s an excellent pick for any home. However, the filter is not helpful against other contaminants.

How Does a Shower Filter for Hard Water Work?

Shower filters work by using a filtration media that removes hard minerals. The filtration media is placed inside a cylinder or cartridge, and the cartridge is attached between the shower head and the water pipe.

Once the water flows, it goes through the filter, where the filtration media absorbs contaminants before the water exits through the shower head.

What pollutants will be eliminated depends on the filtration media type. Furthermore, some filtration media types are also able to add beneficial vitamins or minerals to the water.

Some shower filters can’t remove minerals from the water, so they use alternative methods to improve the water quality and make it less susceptible to the adverse effects of hard minerals.

For instance, if the surface tension of the water is reduced enough, hard minerals will no longer stick to surfaces and cause limescale buildup or non-lathering soaps.

Advantages of Shower Filters for Hard Water

Shower filters for hard water are very small and simple to install, giving them an edge over other models. They don’t weigh the pipe down, and you’re able to install them in just a few minutes.

They are also incredibly cost-effective. The two most expensive units on our list are only $59,95, and even if you look around multiple sites, you’d be hard-pressed to find a hard water shower filter that breaks 3 digits.

Disadvantages of Shower Filters for Hard Water

Shower filters are handy but not effective against extremely hard water. They tackle many contaminants, but only to a certain degree. If the water is too polluted, it’ll clog the filter.

If you live in an area with particularly hard water, installing a whole-house water softener is the best option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s answer the most frequently asked questions concerning shower filters.

What is the cheapest shower filter for hard water?

The cheapest model for hard water, both on our list and on the market, is the Feelso. This unit only costs $28.99, which is criminally low for a filter with many perks.
Even if we missed something and you find an even cheaper hard water filter online, we guarantee it won’t have the same cost-to-benefits ratio as the Feelso.

What is the average price of a shower filter for hard water?

These units generally cost between $30 and $60. There will naturally be exceptions to this, but even the exceptions shouldn’t cost more than $100.

What does installing a shower filter for hard water require?

Installing a shower filter for hard water is straightforward and boils down to a few simple steps.
Unscrew your current showerhead from the water pipe and put it to the side.
Use Teflon or some other thread-sealing tape and wind it a few times around the end of the now-exposed water pipe.
If your shower filter comes with an O-ring, place it inside the input point of the unit.
Screw the filter onto the water pipe.
Attach your shower head or the shower head that came with the product to the filter.
Turn on the water and check for leaks.
If something is leaking, turn the connections slightly for a better seal.
If nothing is leaking, your job is done.
Keep in mind that hand-held models come with more parts, but the general idea is the same, and you should be fine as long as you follow the product’s instructions.

Conclusion

The AquaHomeGroup Handheld Shower Head has everything you need from a shower filter for hard water, making it a great pick for any home.

The Aqua Earth 15-Stage Shower Filter has a slightly less effective filtration process, but it’s still an excellent pick for just about anyone.

The Feelso is the most affordable unit on our list, so it’s a perfect pick for newbies who want to try them without making a significant financial investment.

The PureAction SH158 has many useful extras that improve your shower experience, so it’s the go-to model for those who want to take their time and enjoy their shower.

The Rainshow’r CQ-1000-MS has an incredibly long-lasting filter life, so it’s an ideal choice for people who can’t be bothered with maintenance.

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Scott Winfield
Scott Winfield
My name is Scott Winfield and researching and writing about water filters and other strategies to purify water has become my full time passion in recent years. I'm glad that you found our site and you can look forward to authoritative and well researched content here to help you get the best in water.
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