How to Choose a Shower Head Water Filter
There is no doubt that showers are one of the greatest inventions in existence. Unfortunately, your at-home spa might be more dangerous than you think. Unfiltered shower water can be just as—if not more—toxic than polluted drinking water. To counteract that, you need a shower head water filter. But you can’t just choose any shower filter.
You need to know your options, as well as which type of shower head is best for your setup. Today, you will learn how to choose a shower head water filter, so you can find the best one out there for you and your family.
What is a Shower Head Water Filter?
A shower head water filter is a type of water filtration system that is designed to remove contaminants from your shower water to protect your hair and skin. Water that has added chlorine or chloramine can irritate and damage your skin and hair over time. Furthermore, detergents, chemicals, and other impurities in water can be picked up while traveling through the pipes in your municipality or home.
In other words, if you are using a water filter on your kitchen sink, you should also be using a shower filter to bathe.
Types of Shower Filters
Many kinds of shower filters exist, but the two most common are filtered shower heads and inline shower filters. The former works like a regular shower head but has a built-in filter that removes contaminants from the water. Inline filters are installed somewhere between the shower head and water line. This makes them popular, because you don’t have to swap out the entire shower line to get the benefits of filtered water.
Regardless of which kind of filtered shower head you purchase, always look for filters that are multi-step. You want to select one that is made of layers of carbon (such as activated coconut charcoal). The downside to these is that hot water degrades carbon over time, so it loses effectiveness faster.
If you want to avoid that, there are kinetic degradation fluxion (KDF) shower filters available. KDF filters are built with zinc and copper and utilize chemical reactivity to neutralize heavy metals (mercury, iron, lead) and chemicals like hydrogen sulfide. Homes that struggle with mold and limescale would benefit from a KDF filter.
Do you want to dechlorinate your water and add nutrients to it at the same time? Try a Vitamin C filter. They work the same way as a multi-step charcoal filter.
Who Should Use a Shower Head Water Filter?
You might think that your water is clean since it’s considered safe to drink. Unfortunately, that isn’t always true. Even when your water tastes good and doesn’t have an odor, there could still be harmful chemicals floating about. In fact, many areas of the US have hard water. There are three categories of water pollutants that often end up in your shower water:
- Toxic metals, such as cadmium, arsenic, and lead
- Chlorine and chloramine
- Chemical byproducts
While chlorine is used to disinfect your drinking and bathing water, there is a problem with this practice. Chlorine will react to the natural sediment in water and produce harmful byproducts known as THMs. Since high amounts of THMs can be carcinogenic, it is best to avoid bathing in them.
The best way to mitigate the risk of these contaminants is to use a shower head water filter.
Even if you are positive that the quality of your water is fine, there may be metals and minerals in the water that affect your hair and skin. Remove those impurities with a shower filter and see a difference.
The video below explains why you should use a shower head water filter:
How Do Shower Head Water Filters Work?
Depending on the type of shower head water filter you install in your home, the filtration process will look a little different. As you now know, the main purpose of a filtered shower head is to remove skin irritants and heavy metals from the shower water by passing it through a filtration media first. With impurities removed, your shower water is going to be better for your skin.
Water is filtered in steps as it passes through the filter. The process works like this:
- Water first passes through a mechanical medium, such as tightly woven cotton. Substances, like sediments, that are larger than 0.1-0.3 microns are blocked from passing through the cotton.
- Next, water moves through a chemical phase, where the water is softened by ion exchange. At this point, magnesium and calcium are removed from the water.
- Water then rushes through the active carbon layer, where chemicals and contaminants—including chlorine and chloramine—are blocked.
- The remaining stages will further remove bacteria, toxins, and more chlorine.
How KDF Filters Work
Often used in conjunction with activated charcoal filters, KDF are ideal for removing chlorine and other heavy metals from water. How does that happen? Copper and zinc have an electric charge. While humans don’t notice this charge, metals in the water do. Chlorine, for instance, undergoes a change in structure, making it water-soluble and more easy to remove.
This works for hydrogen, arsenic, cadmium, iron, lad, chlorine, and many other impurities in water.
How Vitamin C Filters Work
Most vitamin C shower filters are between 93-99 percent effective at removing contaminants. Similar to KDF and activated charcoal filters, many impurities in water are reactive to vitamin C. As these heavy metals and pollutants react and change, they are drawn from the water or neutralized.
The only disadvantage to vitamin C shower head water filters is that not every contaminant present in water will react. This means that some sediments and impurities could slip through.
Things to Consider When Shopping for a Shower Head Water Filter
One quick glance online, and you will see dozens of shower filters. How do you know which one to choose? Aside from considering the type, you should also keep the following factors in mind:
Since the shower filter is going to be a part of the overall look of the bathroom, you want to choose one that doesn’t clash with your interior design. There are many chrome shower head water filters out there, but you may be able to find other finishes. Inline shower filters can often be matched to the color of your current shower head, too.
You have been introduced to a number of technologies used in the filtration system. It is best to do your own research on what contaminants are present in your area and which filter works best in your situation. Optionally, look for an all-in-one filter that handles hard water.
How long the filter will last is important. You don’t want the filter to stop working too soon. Consider how many gallons the filter can process, as well as how often you take a shower. The best shower filter for you should work between 6-8 months.
When considering a filtered shower head, look at the features, too. Some shower filters have a variety of settings, including power massage, rainfall, and pulsing. This can make your shower all the more luxurious and relaxing.
Cost Over Time
Purchasing and using a shower head water filter is a great investment but an investment, nonetheless. This means you should also consider your budget. How much does the model cost outright? How many times will you be replacing the filter and for how much? Make sure the filter can meet your needs without breaking your budget.
Will a Shower Head Water Filter Reduce the Water Pressure?
There is a low chance that the shower head water filter you choose will affect the water pressure in your home. Most shower filters are designed to operate within a pressure range of 20-100 psi. Therefore, if your household’s water pressure runs around 40-80 psi, the water filter shower head you choose won’t limit the water flow. Keep in mind that 40 psi is technically low water pressure!
If you do have low pressure in your home, many shower head water filter companies provide low pressure options that assist with reduced pressure.
Will a Filtered Shower Head Soften Water?
Regular shower head water filters will only remove chemicals like chlorine and other contaminants from the water, but many of them are unable to soften water. However, there are some brands, like Invigorated Water, that have created filters capable of reintroducing vitamins and minerals into the water during filtration.
Water softening is done with an ion exchange. In order for this process to occur, there has to be charged resin beads inside the filter. Since there is no way to recharge the beads, most water softening properties are diminished within a few uses. The closest you can get to softened water is by removing the calcium and magnesium levels in the water, which strip moisture from your hair and skin.
Therefore, if you are looking to soften your water, look for filters that mitigate hardness by removing sediments, calcification, limescale, and heavy metals.
When Do I Replace My Shower Head Water Filter?
While it can be difficult to predict when you should change a water filter shower head, it typically depends on the quality of your water. Also, how frequently do you shower? When you consider these two things, there are three outcomes:
- If you are single person and don’t use the water filter often, change the shower head water filter every 4-6 months
- If you live a partner or spouse and use the shower frequently, replace the filter every 3-4 months
- If you live with a large family or group of people and take frequent showers, consider changing the filter every 2-3 months
Well water and city water usage will also change how often you must change the filter. Some sources of water have greater amounts of sediment and metals. Check your filter once in a while to see how much build up is there. After a few changes, you will have a feel for how often the shower head water filter needs to be replaced.
More Rejuvenating Showers With Invigorated Water
Getting a more satisfying shower is easy when you use a shower filter. Now that you know how shower head water filters work and what to look for, you may want to buy one for your home. Keep the things to consider in the back of your mind while searching. You want an easy-to-install filter that will remove all kinds of impurities while adding in minerals.
1. Do water filter shower heads work?
Most definitely! Shower head water filters are an excellent way to remove impurities from your shower or bath water. Despite water treatments and better water quality standards, there is always a chance your water carries contaminants. Using a high quality water filter for the shower will remove those impurities, giving you a better bathing experience.
2. Which shower filter actually works?
There are two kinds of shower filters—inline and filtered shower heads—that you can choose from. While both work very well at removing sediment and other impurities, inline shower filters are easier to install. This is because inline shower filters come with universal adapters, so you don’t have to replace your current shower head to get the benefits.
3. How long do filtered shower heads last?
The average lifespan of a shower head filter is about 4-6 months. However, the frequency of use and the quality of water will greatly influence the life of the filter. Most filters are rated for about 10,000 gallons of water use. For the individual who takes showers every other day, this could last 8 months. A large family that takes multiple showers a day will use up the filter more quickly.
If you notice that the water no longer has the same clean feel or that your hair and skin are itchy and dry, it may be time to swap out the filter for a new one.