The 2 Best Shower Water Filters
Looking for the perfect water filter shower head? Read on to find out which model we recommend and why.
Sometimes a large, expensive water filter just isn’t necessary. A perfect example of this is when you just wish to improve the condition of your bathing water. The best shower filters can reduce chlorine and other harmful contaminants and cost just a fraction of some other types of water filters.
Today, we take a close look at 2 of the best shower water filters. Our reviews deal with the things that matter, so you can make the most informed decisions.
SF1 8-15-Stage Shower Filter
Despite being one of the cheapest models that we have included, it offers the most stages of filtration. A whole 15 of them! We’ll begin by discussing what the key filtration stages are and exactly what they bring to the table.
One thing to note is that there are numerous shower filters that make this “10-stage” claim. They are all very similar and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are all manufactured in the same place. We chose this particular model because the filter cartridges are easily available to buy.
Granulated Activated Carbon (GAC) – this media is perfect for reducing levels of chlorine and also harmful contaminants such as chloramines, trihalomethanes, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Polypropylene Cotton – this removes larger particles like sediment.
KDF-55 – this filtration media is great at reducing heavy metals like lead and mercury.
Calcium Sulfite – this targets chlorine and heavy metals too.
Alkaline Ceramic Balls – this raises the pH of the water slightly. They are also thought to make give the water more antioxidant potential. Check out our guide to water ionizers to read more about this.
A great thing about this model is that it treats the pH and softens the water too. However, the effect on pH and water hardness is only very slight. It does an awful lot for something so relatively inexpensive.
These filters last for 10,000 gallons of use, which equates to around 6 months for the average household. The filters are well priced considering the numerous stages of filtration they achieve.
15 filtration stages
Long life filters
2 filters included
The SF8 to remove more than 90% of chlorine from water. It actually reduces a whole lot else too and will combat iron, mercury, lead, pesticides, herbicides, VOCs, and hydrogen sulfide. There’s the classic carbon (coconut shell) that’s so good at tackling chlorine, and also a copper and zinc mixture that besides reducing harmful chemicals, also increases the pH to healthier levels.
These filters last for around 6 months or 10,000 gallons of use which is about average for a good shower head water filter. However, the filters are a little on the expensive side. They are the most expensive that we have encountered in our reviews. Furthermore, their ability to raise pH is a skill which is uncommon among competitors.
Bottom Line: It’s a great piece of high quality design. The replacement filters are very convenient. This shower filter reviews very well on large consumer sites like Amazon too.
Long life filters
Multiple design options
Why Get a Shower Water Filter?
Our skin covers a huge surface area and is incredibly good at absorbing things from the atmosphere. Many of these things benefit our bodies, with Vitamin D from sunlight being a prime example. However, some things that are readily absorbed by our skin are aren’t so good for us. Chlorine is one of these things and it is heavily present in city drinking water supplies. Chlorine is the primary concern as it is harmful to health and also has negative effects on our physical appearance. We’ll go into this in more detail in the next section.
Shower heads are also excellent places for mold to collect (biofilm). This collection of microorganisms and bacteria covers you every time you turn on the shower. A good shower filter prevents the growth of biofilm, resulting in a much more hygienic shower environment.
The best shower head filters provide bathing water that is kinder to your skin and hair. Without chlorine, both skin and hair will retain more moisture and feel softer. Removing disinfectant chemicals like chlorine can also have a big positive impact on your health.
So what’s so wrong with chlorine?
Chlorine is considered a necessary addition to our drinking water. It helps kill off harmful bacteria and pathogens that can be potentially fatal. However, chlorine also kills good bacteria that have a positive effect on our skin and hair. In fact, that’s not the only reason it’s bad for us. Let’s take a look at some more.
Chlorine can destroy vitamin E and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Vitamin E is a nutrient that acts as an antioxidant, while polyunsaturated fatty acids are healthy fats that can help lower cholesterol and reduce risk of heart diseases.
Chlorine is said to promote the generation of free radicals in the body, and in the skin. These free radicals are heavily linked to cancer.
Chlorine reacts with other chemicals present in water to form harmful by-products like trihalomethanes (THMs), and chloramines. These have been linked to cancer. Studies have also shown an increased chance of cancer from bathing/showering in water than from drinking it. Our liver is great for detoxing drinking water, but our skin has no such protection.
Hot shower temperatures cause water to vaporize and the chemicals that are contained within it to be released into the air. We inhale these vapors that can contain harmful THMs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) state that levels of harmful chlorine related by-products can be high. Studies show that these by-products of chlorine can be incredibly dangerous when ingested, inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
Excessive exposure to chlorine is thought to cause premature ageing. Anti-ageing creams use anti-oxidants which are thought to fight against free radicals that cause premature ageing of the skin. Chlorine of course increases the presence of harmful free radicals.
Chlorine is also thought to reduce levels of protein in the body. Proteins are important to healthy skin. Chlorinated water is linked to dry and itchy skin which is lacking in essential, natural oils.
Chlorinated water is really bad for asthma sufferers and can increase the frequency of asthma attacks.
Before You Buy: Shower Water Filter
In this section we’ll discuss the key features that you should be looking for when buying a shower head water filter. They come in a variety of styles so its important that you know exactly what you’re getting. These are the features that you should consider before you buy:
1. Water Flow Rate
The water flow rate is the amount of water that is able to pass through the shower head per unit of time. It is typically measured in gallons per minute (gpm). The higher the value, the stronger the jet from your shower.
The EPA set their WaterSense certification benchmark at 2.0 gpm, while most shower heads work at around 2.5 gpm. A showerhead filter with EPA WaterSense certification will save water and reduce water bills. However, you might notice a slight drop in pressure.
2. Handheld or Wall Mounted
The two types of model available are the hand-held and wall mount style. Most only come in the wall mount style but some offer a choice of the two. The WaterChef model that we review actually combines the two styles into the one unit.
3. Filter Lifespan & Cost
This is one of the most important features and probably the one that is most overlooked. You will need to replace the filter every 6 months (on average). Depending on what model you choose, this can represent a significant outlay. The one off purchase of the actual shower head unit will be just a fraction of what you spend on filters over the course of 5 or 10 years. Make sure you check the cost and lifespan of the filters before you commit yourself to a specific unit. Some of the more expensive models have extra long-life filters, so this might actually work out cheaper in the long-term.
4. Spray Settings
Some showerheads come with multiple spray settings like pulsating mode and massage mode. If you need this choice when showering then make sure you check out whether a model has this option.