How To Soften Shower Water: Stop Hard Water With A Filter

shower water softener

Soft water is what we all really want in the shower. We want water so fresh it feels like we're standing under a (warm) waterfall, but we're often on the receiving end of hard water, or water with an excessive number of minerals and chemicals.

This isn’t an unsolvable problem. It can be stopped with the right hard water filter.

These filters work to make sure you are showering in the cleanest, safest water available to you so you feel as clean and comfortable as possible when you're done.

With so many choices out there, we’ve helped narrow them down. We've found and reviewed the best shower water softeners for you to choose from.

Main Benefits of softening your shower-head

Using a water-softener in your shower-head is a great idea for many reasons.

For one, it’ll help to improve the condition of your hair and skin. There’s often a lot of bacteria in water that comes out of our showers, which can wreak havoc on our bodies. By softening the water, you lessen the risk of dry, irritated skin.

If you suffer from frizzy or dry hair, this could be the answer to your prayers! The fewer chemicals that your hair comes into contact with, the better condition it’ll be in.

Interestingly, our body also absorbs the chlorine and other chemicals that our shower water is treated with. By using a water-softener as a filter, our skin will have less contact with damaging chemicals.

If you’re pregnant or have small children, this is definitely something to take into consideration. Equally, if you have very sensitive skin, softer water will make things easier for you.

Shower areas get damp, we all know that. This can be a bit of a pain when it comes to dealing with limescale etc, but can actually cause or worsen respiratory issues.

If your shower water contains chemicals, these stay in the damp air and can cause issues for asthma-sufferers. Using a water-softener can really help eliminate these risks.

In a similar way, preventing further chemicals from entering our bodies is never going to be bad for our mental health. Some chemicals found in shower water can have a negative impact on our mental health, with some finding a link between water content and depression. Keep safe and chemical-free.

On a slightly different note, shower filters can help eliminate any nasty odors! Some water does just smell a bit strange, but using a water-softener can help filter out the nasty smells.

Different types of shower filters

Carbon filters can be great for some showers, but beware if you like burning-hot showers! Activated carbon works as a filter to keep any chemicals from coming into contact with your hair and skin.

This can be amazing, but the carbon, unfortunately, stops working once it reaches a certain temperature. While this is a cheap option, I wouldn’t suggest it for people who like getting hot and steamy!

KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion, you can see why they shorten it!) filters create a small rush of electricity by combining two adverse metals together.

This spark won’t do you any damage, don’t worry, but works to stop other metals and chemicals from coming out of your shower-head. They encourage damaging chemicals, such as chlorine, to join together with other minerals and metals in order to form something harmless.

This is a good option for most people, but beware if you have a high-pressure shower as the KDF filters may not be able to work fast enough to keep you fully safe.

Two-stage filters are, unsurprisingly, a two-pronged approach to keeping you shower water safe. These work on the water’s pH to get it to a neutral, non-damaging level.

They use a similar electrical method as KDF softeners to filter out chlorine and metals, as well as the activated carbon mentioned earlier. The result is clean, neutral water that is safe for skin and hair.

Three-stage filters do this and more, working against the natural process involving negative ions in water. There’s a lot of science behind it, but they basically prevent a build-up of chemicals and rust in your bathroom.

Showerhead softener installation tips

If you’re looking to install a shower-head softener, don’t feel overwhelmed! It’s much easier than it looks…

Goes without saying, but read the instructions on whichever filter you go for! In general, it’s very easy to install a shower-head softener yourself. Turn off the water while you’re attaching it and get it on as tightly as possible. This will prevent any potential leaks.

Some filters simply attach to the shower-head, while others need to be plugged in a little bit more with various hoses and pipes.

Make sure everything is on the right way – the ‘inlet’ pipe will need to be attached to the water supply, while the ‘outlet’ should be going in the direction of your water heater. There will be a hose attached, which needs to be pointed into a drain.

This is where waste water and any other nasties will come out, so keep it placed close to the drain so there’s no risk of it splashing back at you.

When you first turn the water back on, it’s likely that quite a lot of ‘gunk’ will come out! Don’t shower without testing the softener out first. Equally, let the water shoot out from the shower-head until it runs clear before using a spray or hose.

It’s a lot easier for the dirt and built-up chemicals to come out of the head than through a small pipe and will cause less damage to the shower itself.

This is coming from any water left in the pipes before the softener was installed. Once this is out of the way, a fresh supply will come in and be filtered.

Now that all of that is out the way, carry on as usual and enjoy a clean shower.

5 Best Shower Water Softeners

Culligan WSH-C125 Wall-Mount 10,000 Gallon Capacity Filtered Showerhead

Culligan WSH-C125 Wall-Mount 10,000 Gallon Capacity Filtered Showerhead

This hard water filter is easy to install and will install on any standard ½” threaded shower arm.

It also offers an anti-clog rubber spray nozzle with a high filter capacity, reaching 10,000 gallons.

The filter itself promises to reduce 99% of chlorine, sulfur odors, and other harmful and unwanted materials present in hard water.

The shower head has 5 spray settings, so you won’t be sacrificing any comfort for this filter.

An additional feature for this product is that it comes with a NSF certified 5-year warranty. If you try it and it happens to break, it won’t be any stress on you to get it fixed.

AquaBliss High Output Universal Shower Filter

AquaBliss High Output Universal Shower Filter

This filter removes chlorine, lead, mercury, nickel, chromium, bacteria, pesticides. It also inhibits the growth of scale, algae, fungi, and mold.

This level of filtration is done by a 3-stage filtration system with a blend of KDF 55, calcium sulfite, and activated carbon.

This allows for maximum filtration whether you're using hot water, cold water, or a mix of both.

The system also installs easily on almost all showers form fixed showers to rain showers and even handheld showers.

This filtration system also features replaceable filters. It's more economical than having to change the entire shower head when the filter has reached its lifespan.

3 Setting Shower Filter

3 Setting Shower Filter

This shower water softener promises to remove 80-90% of toxins in your water, including chlorine and lead.

This process is carried out by a filtration system made of three vital parts including an ion box, filter sponge, and calcium sulfite stones.

The filter lasts 8-10 months, but can be replaced as needed.

You won’t sacrifice quality either as, this shower head has a flow rate of two and a half gallons per minute.

It has three settings including rain, non-pulsating massage, and a combination of the two. 

There's also a 100% money back guarantee with this product, so you won’t be risking too much by trying this product for your shower.

Shower Filter By QwenchPure

Shower Filter by QwenchPure

This system is dedicated to making sure you have the best shower possible.

It's made for maximum chlorine reduction to reduce any damage to your hair and skin.

It greatly reduces the growth of mold, algae, fungus, hydrogen sulfide, and any sort of hard water staining.

The system is simple as well, since it just twists on without the need for extra tools or modifications.

The filter will last between 5 and 7 months and the inner cartridge is easy to replace.

For those of us with more than one shower in our homes, the company lends a helping hand, with a 10% discount on orders of more than one of these water filter systems.

Shower Filter For Removing Chlorine And Heavy Metals

Shower Filter for Removing Chlorine and Heavy Metals

This system also operates in 3 parts, including KDF 55 and calcium sulfite to filter for chlorine, heavy metals, and any odors or other impurities to soften your water to a more suitable level.

This system also boasts easy installation without extra tools or extravagant modifications.

It easily screws on to most standard showers with a ½” threaded shower connections whether it's a fixed, rain, or handheld shower.

This product also comes with the rubber O-rings you'll need to ensure there are no leaks after the product is installed.


Impurities in water are easy to fix with a hard water filter. One of these systems not only makes your water safer, but will help with dry skin and protecting colored hair.

With this review guide, finding the perfect water filter for your shower is easy! Any one of these products will make your water softer and safer, and leave your showers feeling cleaner.