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If you have hard water in your home, there are basically two approaches to dealing with it. You could get a whole-house water softener that filters and softens the water supply for your entire home (which is expensive), or you could just get softeners for specific water sources in your home. For those concerned about the dry skin and hair associated with showering in hard water, a shower head attachment might be the best option. In this guide, we’ll help you find the best shower head water softener for your needs and budgets.
Quick Picks for the Best Shower Head Water Softeners
Our Picks for the Best Shower Head Water Softener 2020
Top Overall: Speakman
Key Features: Internal filter removes contaminants and softens water; high flow rate; 50 customizable sprays
Price Range: $$$
The Speakman Hotel Pure is perhaps the best shower head water softener for 2020. It is also one of our favorite filtered shower heads. It effectively reduces the amount of contaminants found in your shower water, while also softening the water.
This shower head is made by Speakman, an industry leader that has been in business since 1869. They manufacturer high-quality, high-flow shower heads that are often used in hotels. This particular shower head adds an advanced filter, which is useful for reducing contaminants, chlorine and hard minerals. The head also offers an impressive range of customization options, with an incredible 50 unique spray patterns.
The Speakman is easy to install and use, and each filter is designed to last for 6 months. It’s also available in low-flow options of 1.75gpm, 2.0gpm, and 2.5gpm. Even the low-flow models have excellent water pressure and you won’t feel like you’re making a sacrifice – but you’ll save money on your water bill each month! Click here to learn more.
Key Features: Budget-friendly; 3-stage filtration; 100% satisfaction guaranteed
Price Range: $
The Brom4ord Shower Filter is one of the best shower head water softeners for those on a tight budget. It’s a highly affordable model that still filters and softens water quite effectively. The 3-stage filter consists of KDF-55, activated carbon and calcium sulfate, which together work to significantly reduce hard minerals, chlorine and contaminants.
One important thing to keep in mind is that this is actually just a filter, that attaches to your existing shower head. That’s one of the reasons it’s more affordable, but it will require a separate shower head to use. That said, it’s versatile enough to fit most standard piping sizes, so it should work with your existing shower head.
If you look at shower head water softener reviews, you’ll find that this product is consistently well rated. It’s durable and well-made, and protected by a 100% satisfaction guarantee from the manufacturer. Click here to learn more.
Key Features: 10-stage filter; extra-long hose; durable & adjustable metal bracket mount
Price Range: $$$
The G-Promise Luxury Filtered Handheld Shower Head is a high-end upgrade for your shower. It offers a high-pressure, versatile shower head with 6 unique spray settings. It’s attached to an extra long hose, which is useful for bathing pets and cleaning. And the unit contains a built-in 10-stage filter, which is effective in reducing contaminants, hard minerals, chlorine and more.
The unit is easy to install, and will fit most standard plumbing setups. Looking at shower head water softener reviews, this model consistently earns high ratings. It’s also backed by a 10-year warranty, protecting your investment for the long run. Click here to learn more!
Benefits of Water Softeners
Hard water can cause a variety of issues, both for your family and for your appliances. It can be particularly harmful in the shower, where it leads to dry skin, dry hair, soap that won’t lather, and more.
Water Softening: These shower heads and filters help to reduce the concentration of hard minerals in your water, leading to “softer” water for your shower. This has a variety of benefits.
Softer Skin and Hair:.According to dermatologist Dennis Gross, bathing in hard water can wreak havoc on your skin. Hard water can lead to dry skin, rashes, and more. It can also dry out your hair, making it more brittle.
Less Soap: Interestingly, hard water makes it difficult to lather soap and shampoo, which results in the need for more soap to do the same job. Using the water softener shower head can help to save soap, which is good for the environment and saves you money.
Water Filtration: Most shower heads that soften water also filter out various contaminants, like heavy metals, chemicals and chlorine. When you take a hot shower with unfiltered water, you end up inhaling a lot of chemicals, including chlorine. This can cause various health issues, and the chlorine skin contact can also cause your skin to dry out.
Easier Cleaning: Hard mineral deposits from hard water can build up in your shower, causing unsightly stains that can be difficult to remove. Often called limescale, this phenomenon is also responsible for the water marks left on glass shower doors. Water softeners can help reduce or eliminate this buildup, making bathroom cleaning easier.
Shower Water Softener vs Whole House Softeners
If you have hard water in your home, you can either get a whole-house water softener to soften your entire water supply, or you can get individual softeners for your shower, sink and anywhere else that needs it.
Which is the better option, though?
Well, whole-house softeners have the obvious advantage of softening ALL the water in your house. This can help protect appliances from mineral buildup and damage, reduce mineral stains on fixtures, and soften your shower water all at the same time. The downside to these setups, of course, is that they are quite pricey and more difficult to install.
On the other hand, shower head softeners are quite affordable, and can be installed in about 5 minutes with no plumbing experience. But, they strictly soften your shower water.
The best option for you depends on your needs and wants, and on how hard the water is in your area. Consider the factors we’ve discussed here when making your decision.
How We Chose
Filtration Technology: We picked shower heads that not only soften water, but also do a good job of filtering out contaminants and chemicals. This provides a variety of benefits, beyond just softening your water.
Filter Life: These filters need to be replaced on a regular basis, usually every 3-9 months or so. We picked models that were designed to last a long time, and that offered affordable replacement filters.
Durability: While these filters don’t cost as much as a whole-house softening system, they are still a decent investment. Thus, we tried to pick options that are well made, durable, and well rated in customer reviews. Some even have manufacturer warranties and/or satisfaction guarantees.
Value: We picked shower heads that struck a good balance between price and features, and that offer our readers the best value possible for their hard-earned money.
Austin is the lead water consultant and blogger for Water Filter Data. With 10 years of experience in the water quality industry, Austin can instantly pinpoint the cure and the cause for the water pollutant.