Last Updated: May 18, 2023 @ 1:39 pm.

What is the best shower filter? To find out, we asked our parent readers for what worked best in the real world. Then we tried out several popular brands ourselves. Here are the ones we think are best.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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Best For Chlorine

Great for dry skin
We thought this filter was super easy to install and it did an impressive job—reduced chlorine smell and made the water softer, in our tests.

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Best For Chlorine: AquaYouth 2.0 Shower Head Filter

We tried out several filters on a city water supply that was heavy on chlorine odor, before deciding this one by AquaYouth is the best best for most folks. It is easy to install and the filter is super easy to replace. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Helped reduce chlorine smell.

• Good water flow.

• Easy installation.

• Made water softer.

• Made in Korea.

• Uses activated carbon as a filter.

What Needs Work

• Pricey compared to other filters we tried.

• Filter juts out the side of shower head. Some folks didn’t like that aesthetic.

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Best For Hard Water

Easy to install
This filter performed well in our tests, softening the water significantly. Also nice: comes with two cartridges that last about 12 months.

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Best For Hard Water: Aqua Earth 15 Stage Shower Filter

Yes, 85% of US households have hard water—and that can be especially pronounced in the Midwest and Western parts of the US.

Hard water is caused by deposits of limestone and occurs naturally. Unfortunately, it can wreak havoc on those with dry skin or other skin issues. 

Here are the parts of the US with the most hard water (source: USGS):

Map of Hard Water Areas US

For the best shower head that is effective at softening water, we thought this model by Aqua Earth is the best bet for most folks. It was easy to install and did an excellent job, based on our tests.

What We Liked

 Easy to install.

• Didn’t change water pressure in our tests.

• Filter is simple to swap out.

• Installs in line with shower head, instead of to the side.

• Extra O-rings are included.

• Includes 2 filter cartridges which last about 12 months.

What Needs Work

• Carbon dust in filter may cause black water when first installed. Run water for 30 seconds after installation to flush this out.

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Best Combo Filter and Head

Good water pressure
Yes, this model includes a shower head, great if you want to replace yours while adding a filter. Worked well in our tests and has five shower modes.

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Best Combo Filter and Head: Shower Head and 15 Stage Shower Filter Combo

Most shower filters go between your existing shower head and your water supply pipe. But what if you want to also replace your shower head as well? This model combines both a shower head AND a shower filter—and does a good job at filtering the water, at a price that is easy on the wallet.

What We Liked

• Includes shower head—most shower filters don’t have this feature.

 Good at removing chlorine.

• Easy to install.

• Different spray modes (five) worked well in our tests.

• Good water pressure.

• Affordable.

What Needs Work

• Harder to remove cartridge for replacement compared to other models.

About the Authors

Denise & Alan Fields are consumer advocates and best-selling authors. The Fields have authored 12 books with three million copies in print, including the best-selling guide to baby gear, Baby Bargains.

The Fields have been featured and quoted in the New York TimesWall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

As consumer products experts, the Fields have been guests on the NBC Today Show, Good Morning America and ABC’s 20/20.

How We Pick Products To Recommend

We often turn to our readers (3 million strong!) to find products to recommend. We ask our parent readers for their favorites and consider their real-world experiences in our recommendations.

When we test a product, we always purchase it with our own monies. We do not take free samples, as we believe that compromises our independence.

We also fact check manufacturer information with our own measurements. If a maker claims a product weighs X pounds, we will weigh it to make sure. If the battery life is supposed to be six hours, we will see how it stands up in the real world.

In some cases, we will do interviews with experts in the field to get additional feedback on products.

To get hands-on time with products, we regularly meet one-on-one with gear companies and even tour manufacturing facilities. (When we do this, we pay our own travel expenses).

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

We make our living from affiliate commissions, but we always recommend what we think are the best bets for our readers (not the ones that are the most expensive). We are always looking for products that offer the best bang for the buck.

Our independence is a key reason why we have been doing this so long. As we mentioned above, when we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

Baby Bargains: Your Baby Registry Cheat Sheet is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and its related sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.