Best Shower Filters for Healthy Skin and Hair , Tested & Reviewed

Updated: Mar. 23, 2024

The best shower filter can improve your skin, hair and nails by upgrading your home’s water quality. Go ahead, get your glow on!

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The Jolie Filtered ShowerheadMARY HENN/FAMILY HANDYMAN

The water streaming from your showerhead may be drying you out, especially if you have sensitive skin. From chlorine to odors and pesticides, unfiltered shower water can irritate your skin and hair. “Shower filters are designed to remove or reduce contaminants such as chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals and in some cases, even certain bacteria from shower water,” says HVAC and plumbing technician, Josh Mitchell. A quality shower filter removes unwanted chemicals from water, just like a water filter you would use for drinking tap water. 

While there is some debate regarding the effectiveness of shower filters, two things are certain: Most models are relatively inexpensive, and no real harm can come from installing a water filter on your showerhead or smart showerhead. And despite the debate, many people find their skin and hair are drier when showering with unfiltered or hard water. If you have eczema or psoriasis, you might find that a shower filter is just what you need to help relieve perpetual dryness.

Mitchell shares that, “the effectiveness of a shower filter depends on various factors, including the type of filter media used, the specific contaminants it targets and the flow rate of water. They can improve the quality of water for those with sensitive skin or respiratory issues and can also help in reducing the buildup of limescale and other deposits in the shower.”

In addition to being affordable, most in-line shower filters are super easy to install and don’t require any tools for installation. I tested several shower filters in my own home to bring you my top five picks for filters.

1 / 5
AquaBliss HD Revitalizing Shower Filter Mary Henn/Family Handyman

Best Overall Shower Filter

AquaBliss HD Revitalizing Shower Filter

From the brand that made this popular, top-rated choice when it comes to shower filters comes the new AquaBliss shower filter. It has a powerful SF400 cartridge (compared to the high-output shower filter, which has an SF100 cartridge). However, like the high-output one, the HD revitalizing filter infuses water with vitamins and minerals, like zeolite, vitamin C, tourmaline and magnetic energy beads for skin and hair benefits. It also removes chlorine, pesticides, sediment and more harsh chemicals for healthier skin and hair.

Like most showerhead filters on the market, the filter cartridge comes pre-installed, and instillation is as easy as flushing out the filter and screwing it in. As I mention in my full review of the AquaBliss filter, the HD revitalizing filter is also one of the best-looking shower filters that doesn’t come in a showerhead. Plus, it’s affordable and fits all showerhead types, including fixed, rain and handheld showerheads.

I showered with the AquaBliss filter for about two weeks, and like my experiences with similar showerhead filters, I noticed a few differences while showering. I noticed less soap scum buildup on my shower floor and walls (a sign of hard water from calcium reacting with soap to form a residue).

I have extremely sensitive skin, and while I rarely emerge from a hot shower without looking like a tomato, this shower filter reduced even more post-shower redness and itchiness. My skin also felt softer and less dry overall after showering. Additionally, the AquaBliss seemed to keep my hair feeling light and frizziness at a minimum, which is what I’ve come to expect from any worthwhile shower filter after many months of testing different ones.

Pros

  • Very effective
  • Easy to install
  • Affordable
  • Powerful SF400 cartridge
  • Infuses water with vitamins and minerals
  • Includes two replaceable sediment filter pads
  • Compatible with most shower arms and showerheads
  • Comes with everything needed for installation

Cons

  • Only available in one finish

2 / 5
Feelso High Output Universal Shower Head Filter Mary Henn/Family Handyman

Best Budget Shower Filter

Feelso High-Output Universal Showerhead Filter

For an extremely budget-friendly price, you can’t go wrong with the Feelso shower filter. In general, there aren’t really any downsides to a shower filter–only benefits. With one that is super affordable and easy to install, you’re not wasting significant time or money on a shower filter.

The Feelso filter has an 18-stage system that can handle hard water, heavy metals and odors. It also uses universal cartridges, so you can swap out filters if you change casing models or if you have a different casing model in another bathroom.

In terms of testing, the Feelso filter performed and looked most similar to the AquaHome showerhead filter above. While it made my skin and hair feel similar post-shower as the filter above and the filter below this one, I noticed that there was a slight (and I mean very slight) decrease in water pressure with the Feelso filter compared to the other two. This could be because it uses an 18-stage filter as opposed to a 15-stage one.

Also worth noting: The Feelso filter didn’t come with all of the installation accessories or an extra filter cartridge like the AquaHome filter did. The Feelso filter is also heavier than the AquaHome filter, which may be something to consider if you don’t want additional weight on your showerhead.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • 18-stage filter
  • Universal filter cartridge
  • Vitamin C infusion
  • Durable

Cons

  • Only available in one finish

3 / 5
AquaHome Group 15-Stage Water Filter Mary Henn/Family Handyman

Best Shower Filter for Well Water

AquaHome Group 15-Stage Water Filter

Another extremely popular showerhead filter from Amazon is this one from AquaHome. I tried this showerhead filter for myself and noticed improvements in my overall hair texture right away. Granted, this was the first shower filter I tested, and I hadn’t ever used filter water to shower before this one.

The AquaHome shower filter is designed to remove harsh chemicals and heavy metals from your tap water. During my testing, I noticed the expected reduction of buildup and scum in the base of my shower. I also noticed that my shower water smelled and tasted better (which might say more about the apartment I was living in at the time than anything).

Truthfully, I found this shower filter to be very similar in performance to the AquaBliss filter above. The AquaHome filter has 15 stages, including coconut-activated charcoal and vitamin C stages for bathing water that won’t damage skin, hair or nails. This best shower filter also helps remove chloramine, fluoride, chlorine, heavy metals, sediment and pesticides from tap water and connects to virtually any showerhead type, including fixed, rain, handheld and smart showerheads.

If you’re deciding between this and the AquaBliss, I recommend the AquaHome for well water. Plus, it’s lightweight and available in five colors to match your existing showerhead. It also comes with two filter cartridges that’ll last six months each, Teflon tape and rubber O-rings, so you have everything you need for installation.

Pros

  • 15-stage filter
  • Easy to install
  • Available in five finishes
  • Affordable
  • Includes extra shower filter cartridge
  • Compatible with most shower arms and showerheads
  • Comes with everything needed for installation

Cons

  • Can’t return if opened or used

4 / 5
Hello Klean Shower Filter Mary Henn/Family Handyman

Best Sustainable Shower Filter

Hello Klean Shower Filter

If you’re looking for a sustainable, high-quality option, the Hello Klean shower filter is a smart pick. It has a refillable design that lasts for about four months of usage. This filter uses high-grade ingredients to remove 90% of chlorine, as well as copper, lead, iron and other harsh chemicals. The refillable, aluminum design uses less plastic than other shower filters on the market, and you can attach this filter to your shower or bathroom sink.

Additionally, the carton and refill capsule on this filter are both recyclable, and you can sign up for a subscription service through Hello Klean to ensure that you never run out of filter cartridges. I really like this shower filter for dry hair, dandruff and dry skin. The ingredients in this filter bond with the chemicals found in hard water, like heavy metals and chlorine, to creating softer elements. For instance, chlorine filters into harmless chloride.

During testing, I found the Hello Klean filter to be great for skin. It helps reduce symptoms of dry skin, eczema, shower rash and psoriasis. Plus, it can also help with body acne, as hard water can alter the oil levels of your skin barrier and leave behind soap products on the skin that can clog pores.

Pros

  • Made with recyclable parts
  • Quality construction and materials
  • Refillable, aluminum design 
  • Subscription option for new cartridge delivery
  • Works for showers and sinks
  • Stylish finish

Cons

  • A little pricey, but high-quality design
  • Longer body may extend showerhead further from wall

5 / 5
The Jolie Filtered Showerhead MARY HENN/FAMILY HANDYMAN

Best Splurge Shower Filter

Jolie Filtered Showerhead

Wanting to splurge a little on your shower experience? Upgrade your whole showerhead with the Jolie filtered showerhead, which has the filter built in. Like other showerhead filters, this filtered showerhead removes chlorine, heavy metals and other contaminants from your water to improve your skin and hair health. Because the filter is built directly into the head, water pressure isn’t affected like it is with freestanding shower filters, which is a major benefit if you want to keep your water pressure as strong as possible while filtering shower water.

The Jolie showerhead uses a blend of kinetic degradation fluxion (KDF)-55 and calcium sulfite to give you powerful filtration, too. It exceeds the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)-177 certification for water filters, and it has been tested via third-party labs for performance. So, if you’re serious about getting a shower filter that has credible performance, this is one to consider. I love the way it feels, maintains my water pressure levels and looks in my shower.

It comes with everything you need for installation and operation, including a wrench! It also comes with a replacement filter, plumbers tape and a how-to guide.

Pros

  • Filter built into showerhead
  • Certified filtration
  • Won’t decrease water pressure
  • Available in four finishes
  • Takes up less shower space than freestanding filters
  • Comes with everything needed for installation

Cons

  • Filter may need to be changed sooner

What to Look for When Buying a Shower Filter

Depending on your needs and budget, there are a few things to consider when shopping for a shower filter: cost, color and certification. Many functional in-line shower filters can be found on Amazon for less than $40. Most of those come in a silver finish, so if you have gold, brass or black finishes in your bathroom, you might want to go with an option like the AquaHome or the Jolie, which offer a variety of colors.

If you’re serious about removing as much chlorine as possible from your water supply, you’ll want to look for a water filter that’s certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 177, which guarantees that the shower filter is going to remove chlorine. Shower filters, like the Jolie model, is certified to that standard. Those options, however, are going to have a higher price point.

Why You Should Trust Us

I don’t mess around when it comes to my hair, skin and nails. Whether it’s researching and investing in the latest skincare technology and haircare products, or testing a series of shower filters to reduce the effects of hard water, I’m going to go the distance. While I was a bit skeptical of shower filters at first, I can honestly say that I will continue to use a shower filter for the foreseeable future, as filtered shower water has made noticeable improvements to my skin and hair.

Way consulted Josh Mitchell, a plumbing and HVAC technician who runs websites that help others solve their home repair problems. As the owner of Air Conditioner Lab and Plumbing Lab, Mitchell helped give more insight on shower filters and why they can be a great addition to your bathroom.

How We Found the Best Shower Filters

For this article, I researched and tested multiple shower filters for almost an entire year. I installed each filter myself and showered many times with each filter in order to tell you exactly how each product performs initially, as well as over a longer period of time. If a filter was impossible to install or didn’t perform, I ruled it out and moved onto the next.

FAQ

Do shower filters work?

In short, yes, shower filters do work. One of the main reasons for using a shower filter is to remove chlorine, which can negatively affect skin, hair, throats and lungs. While some experts say that shower filters don’t treat all the water quality issues they claim to, most do well at managing chlorine-related issues, which can specifically affect the skin and hair.

Is a shower filter good for hair?

Shower filters are vital for removing excess chlorine from your water, which affects hair. Your hair (and skin) will be dry and damaged if too much chlorine absorbs into the follicles.

How long do shower filters last?

Shower filters typically last for six months, depending on your chosen filter. Although some filters can last longer, we recommend regular replacement to ensure effectiveness.