Best Shower Filter For Perfect Skin: Review of the Top Brands

Last Updated: February 5, 2017
best shower filters

Here at Tools of Men, we do an exhaustive amount of work on trying to identify the best product for men to take their grooming and skin care routine to the next level.  Whether it’s using a specially formulated exfoliator or shampoo for men, it’s our core purpose to give men information they need in order to make an informed purchase decision.

But here’s the deal (and how we got to this article today):

Even if you invest in the most expensive products on the market, you will hit a limit with how far you can take your skin care.

This wall is usually defined by environmental factors – general pollutants, living conditions, etc.  For example, if you live in the New York City area, you are subject to environmental pollutants every time you go outside – there is just simply no way to prevent exhaust fumes, and god knows what else is in the air from interacting with your skin.

Now one of these environmental factors that we always thought would be a prohibiting factor for men is water quality – especially when showering.

When you jump in the shower every day (or every other day), you really have no say in the quality of the water that comes out of the wall.

What’s the alternative?

Fill a Brita filter and pour it into the bathtub?  Get bottles of water from the local grocery store and empty them into the tub.

Both would be ridiculous and time consuming!

Clearly, there is no option to get clean and purified water out of your shower head…

Or at least that’s what we though a few weeks ago.

Alas, when doing an extraordinary amount of research, we came across perhaps one of the best inventions and perhaps the greatest secret weapon for your skin care game – shower water filters.

They come in all different shapes and sizes, but with countless research we have identified the best shower filters on the market that will not only improve a man’s rugged skin, but will also work wonder on woman’s as well (should you share your stall with someone else).

Here’s a summary of the best shower filters that we found on the market that will be sure to filter out all the bad stuff to make your skin look and feel healthy:

Comparing The Best Shower Filters On The Market

Title Vitamin C Filter Inline Shower Assembly by Sonaki AquaBliss High Output Universal Shower Filter Alolli High Output Universal Shower Filter with Replaceable 4-Stage Filter Cartridge Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Water Filter System Pelican Water PSF-1 3-Stage Premium Shower Filter New Wave Shower Filter With Free Aromatherapy Diffuser Ring Culligan WSH-C125 Wall-Mounted Filtered Shower Head with Massage WaterChef Premium Shower Filter System Culligan ISH-100 Inline Shower Filter Bath & Relax Filtered Hand Held Shower Head Filtration System
Product
Product Detail Page See Price See Price See Price See Price See Price See Price See Price See Price See Price See Price
Dimensions 9.8 x 7.9 x 2.7 inches 5.4 x 3.7 x 3.7 inches 2 x 0.4 x 6.8 inches 8.5 x 3.2 x 3.2 inches 3.8 x 3.8 x 6.2 inches 3.6 x 3.6 x 8.6 inches 5 x 9 x 13 inches 6.8 x 12 x 3.8 inches 3.5 x 7.5 x 10 inches 3.1 x 3.1 x 9.8 inches
Item Weight 1.5 pounds 15.2 ounces 12.3 ounces 2 pounds 4 pounds 1.8 pounds 1.1 pounds 3.1 pounds 14.9 ounces 11.2 ounces
Price Range $$$ $$ $$ $$$ $$$ $$ $$ $$$ $ $
Chlorine
Peer Review Rating
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3.9
4.2
4.3
4.1
3.9
3.8
Expert Review Rating
5.0
4.7
4.6
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.4
4.1
4.0
3.7
Overall Rating
4.8
4.7
4.6
4.4
4.4
4.4
4.3
4.1
4.0
3.7
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Analysis On What Makes Up A Top-Rated Shower Filter

Top Products Reviewed

Before you invest in the best shower filter for your bathroom, there are a few things that you need to know before you click that ‘buy now’ button.

Here we outline a few of the key details on shower filters, what exactly they will be blocking, and how they will make your showering experience one that you will look forward to on a daily basis.

Purpose of Getting A Shower Filter

As we eluded to in the intro, the core purpose of getting a top-rated shower filter is to rid all the bad stuff (or at least most of it) from the stream of water before it hits your skin.

While we absolutely love taking a hot shower in the morning, there’s something very bad going on at the surface of your skin.

Not to remind you too much like your 8th grade bio glass that slept through, we just want to mention what goes on with your skin when you crank up that heat on the shower dial.

As you would probably guess, you have hairs both long and short all along the surface of your skin (except for your lips, palms, and soles).  At the base of every one of these hairs you have these tiny glands called sebaceous glands.

These glands throughout the course of a day excrete a natural oil called sebum oil.

Sebum oil is responsible for keeping the surface of your skin well hydrated and nourished.  They play a pivotal role in the overall health of your skin and scalp.

:: But let’s rewind for just a second ::

Before the water ever hits your skin, it gets treated at your local water plant (more on this in a minute).  They infuse chemicals into the water to effectively disinfect it before it ever gets to your home or apartment.

Without these chemicals water would wreak havoc every time you turned on the faucet (i.e. disease, corrosion, etc.)

:: Fast forward to your shower ::

As the water comes out of the faucet at a high temperature, your pores are wide open and the chemicals in the water are released into the steam.

The most notable chemical that is infused in your water will be either chlorine or chloramine.

This gaseous form of chlorine can cause your skin to be dried out (or in more severe cases, irritated).

Now just to clarify one thing:

Overall this isn’t a terribly dangerous thing, and we definitely aren’t trying to scare people!  There are not daily news reports of people having adverse reactions to their water while showering.

In fact, the EPA and CDC both go on to say that chlorine in water is incredibly safe.

But what we do want to concentrate on is the drying of your skin.

When you use one of the best shower filters that we outline below, they will work to drastically reduce this chlorine and other hard metals and minerals before they ever come out of the shower head.

An effective filtration system can ensure that your skin care routine is living up to its fullest potential and allowing you to look your absolute best.

What Is The Difference Between Chlorine vs. Chloramines

chlorine in your water

::Flush::

That’s the last sound you hear before the water leaves your house.  Unfortunately, that poop-infused toilet water is going to come right back and hit you in the face.

No don’t worry about searching google to see if this is true – sadly it is.

As much as we don’t like to think about it, water is a finite resource.  Therefore, water treatment plants play a key role in our day to day lives.

Whenever you flush the commode and your epic poo makes its way to the treatment plant there is a lot that is going on.

While this whole process is well beyond the scope of this article, let’s just summarize it really quick:

They need to filter out all that raw sewage and drain the water to make it drinkable again.

Once it’s made to a passable drinking quality, they add chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine.

Fluoride as you may be aware, is responsible for making sure that your teeth don’t fall out of your mouth by warding off tooth decay (source).

Chlorine on the other hand, is used to disinfect the water before you drink it.  If the water treatment facility didn’t do this step, there were would likely be grave health concerns nationwide whenever you went to fill up your cup from the tap.

Now when it comes to choosing the best shower filter for your home (or apartment), there are two types of chlorine that can be filtered: chlorine (aka free chlorine) and chloramines.

Chlorine

Chlorine has been around in public waters for years.  Per the CDC site, it was first used in 1908 and as of 1995 was found in 64% of all community water systems (source).

Prolonged exposure to chlorine on your skin however will cause pronounced dryness along with brittle hair follicles.  This is largely due to the stripping of sebum oil that we mentioned earlier.

This type of chlorine is also commonly referred to as free chlorine.  A common drawback of using chlorine in water treatment is that it may chemically react to other dirt or germs that could lead to health issues.

Chloramines

Very much like chlorine, chloramine is a chlorine compound.  Therefore, the water treatment plant will not only add chlorine to the water, but they also add in ammonia.  When combined, depending on the chemical compounds, it will create monochloramine, dichloramine, or trichloramine (di and tri chloramine are usually not found in drinking water).

Chloramines has a longer life span and can travel much further than chlorine. In addition, chloramines tend to have an improved taste and smell when compared to a chlorine infused water.

Additional Information

When researching, you may notice that some shower heads may refer to total chlorine.  This is the term used when water contains both free chlorine and chloramines.

If you want to find information about your local water company, check out the CDC website for additional information in the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) section.

Filtration Systems Used In Shower Heads

When it comes to selecting the best shower filter for you, there are a lot of options particularly around the filtration system.

Whether it’s a multistage filtration system or one that simply runs water through an intermediary holding chamber before it comes out of the spout, here are a few options at your disposal:

Vitamin C Filters

By and far one of the most effective filters at removing chlorine and chloramine is going to be Vitamin C.  This type of filtration system is an intermediary holding chamber that water passes through before it comes out of the shower head.

Of all the options on the market, this will be the best shower filter that can actually remove chloramine.  Since chloramine is a compound element, filters like KDF 55 (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) or Calcium Sulfite simply cannot filter out chloramine.

Basically these filters rely on Vitamin C in powder form that is held in a chamber.  Through its restrictor valve it will let just a tiny amount of this powder to escape in order to mix with the water to effectively kill the chlorine and chloramine particles.

Since the water doesn’t have to pass through a tiny filter, this shouldn’t restrict water flow (i.e. no noticeable drop in water pressure).

An additional benefit of Vitamin C is its natural antioxidant property.  This means that it will help prevent free radicals on the surface of your skin.  Furthermore, Vitamin C will help to give you more radiant and healthier looking skin.

Sediment/Multi-chamber Filter

Sediment filters are great for removing chlorine and scale.  When water enters a sediment filter it is forced through a single or multiple fine filters before the water comes out of the shower head.

If you live in an area where the water contains a lot of sediment, this can and will be a great addition.  Another nice selling point to these filters is that they can remove sulfur smells that may have seeped into the water (a big problem for those living in Georgia).

Unfortunately, a big drawback to sediment filters is that they can’t extract chloramine.  Therefore, you will want to check with your local water facility to see what type of chlorine they use to treat your water before getting this type of shower filter.

Installing The Best Shower Filter Systems

Installing a shower filter to your shower head is a fairly straight forward process.  Simply all you will need is a wrench and some Teflon tape (and bucket if you don’t want to get the ground of the shower wet):

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Vitamin C Filter Inline Shower Assembly by Sonaki

Expertly crafted in South Korea, this Vitamin C water filter by Sonaki will remove 99.9% of chlorine and chloramine from your water before it hits your skin.

With a minimalist design, this will work on just about any universal shower pipe fitting and will tuck nicely behind your shower head.

Unlike some of the other filters on the market, you can keep using your own shower head after installation.  Therefore, you won’t miss out on any of your preferred settings.

Packed with a total of 3 Vitamin C tubes, each cartridge should last you for about three months with regular shower usage (assuming about 20 minute daily showers).

With the translucent design, you will be able to visually see how much Vitamin C remains, therefore, you don’t have to worry about keeping track of dates.

What most men often do, is change it when they clean their shower stalls.

Once you have exhausted all the cartridges, you can easily find replacements available for this shower head online and are incredibly affordable.

Pros: A terrific shower filter that will get out both the free and compound chlorines from your water.
Cons: Improper installation may lead to Vitamin C waste.
Bottom Line: Overall one of the best shower filters money can buy. Remove most chlorine and chloramine from your water.

AquaBliss High Output Universal Shower Filter

Beautifully crafted in a radiant chrome casing, this shower filter will be an instant upgrade to your shower stall.

Likely matching the details of men’s shower stalls across the U.S. the chrome finish will be able to blend in without notice.

But like the old saying goes, ‘it’s what’s on the inside that counts’.  That couldn’t be more true than with this shower filter.

Featuring three distinct chambers including:

  • sediment removal
  • chlorine, impurities, and heavy metal removal
  • cotton protection lining

This filter will do an amazing job at getting rid of a lot of minerals and chemicals before the water escapes it.

Therefore, if you live in an area where scale or other mineral deposits is a constant battle, it will be a welcome addition.

Like all other shower filters reviewed, the inner filter will need to be changed on a regular basis.  Unlike the Vitamin C filter by Sonaki that we outlined above, you won’t be able to visually tell when the filter will need to be replaced.

However, one AqualBliss filter is rated to last between 10,000 and 12,000 gallons of water.  Therefore, you should expect to change this filter about once every 6 to 8 months.

Replacement filters are pretty cheap (~$15), and will be recommend to pick one up upon checkout so you aren’t caught in a pinch down the road.

Pros: Great chrome plated shower filter that will effortlessly blend with your bathroom fixtures.
Cons: Only blocks free chlorine.
Bottom Line: Effective fillter with a mult-chamber design that will remove chlorine and other minerals from your water.

Alolli High Output Universal Shower Filter with Replaceable 4-Stage Filter Cartridge

Housed in a long cylindrical casing, this shower filter by Alolli features a multi-stage filtration system that works to rid your shower of the harsh elements.

This filtration system features four distinct stages:

  • Stage I – Microporus membrane
  • Stage II – American KDF55
  • Stage III – Japanese calcium sulfite
  • Stage IV – Activated carbon

This filtration system will work flawlessly in both hot and cold water environments.  Furthermore, you can expect to block out chlorine, heavy metals, and bacteria.

The filter is swappable, and is rated to last you for about 10,000 gallons of water throughput.

Chrome finish won’t rust in the damp environment and will look great in just about any man’s shower stall.

Pros: Sleek design that will fit behind your existing shower head. Four chamber design among the best in class.
Cons: Free chlorine and sediment filter not capable of removing chloramine.
Bottom Line: Beautiful and minimalist diesgn at removing scale, minerals, and chlorine.

Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Water Filter System

The market leaders in shower filtration systems is without a doubt Aquasana.

Not only will this filter do a terrific job at removing nearly all the chlorine from your water (up to 90%), but will also enhance the pH levels for the cleanest and well-balanced showers of your life.

While similar in design to the Vitamin C filters on the market, this filter by Aquasana does not actually filter out chloramine (should your local water treatment facility use this chemical).

Some multistage filtration systems may impede the rate of which water exits the shower head as the water must force its way through the filters.  However, with the separate chamber design seen in the Aquasana, there should be no degradation in water pressure.

Filters for the Aquasana last about 6 months, so be sure to pick up an additional one upon checkout.

Pros: Universal filter that will work with just about any shower head. Separate chamber for effective filtration.
Cons: May be a bit pricey for some. Only removes free chlorine.
Bottom Line: Provides excellent pH balance that will remove impurities from your water.
Sale
Aquasana AQ-4100NSH Premium Shower Filter without Shower Head

Aquasana - Tools & Home Improvement

$61.77 - $0.63 $61.14 Buy on Amazon

Pelican Water PSF-1 3-Stage Premium Shower Filter

Housed in an all-white design, this shower filter is designed to fight both chlorine and chloramines.

But it gets even better.

Up to this point, all the shower filters were only able to last up to 10,000 gallons before they needed to be changed – the PSF-1 is actually rated to endure 15,000 before needing a swap.

Depending on your scenario there is likely a filter for you.  Pelican Water offers this filter in three varieties: standard shower filter (pictured above), shower filter + wand, and shower filter + head.

One features that sets this shower filter apart from the rest though, isn’t just the volume of water that can pass through before it needs to be swapped, but that it has an aromatherapy scent bar that can be easily injected into the base.  This will allow you to transform an ordinary shower in to a wonderfully smelling aromatherapy bliss.

Overall a terrific water filter that won’t inhibit your water pressure – leaving you with a well moisturized skin post-shower.

Pros: One of the best shower filters that removes both chlorine and chloramines.
Cons: Slightly higher price point that comes in a variety of options to suit your needs.
Bottom Line: Great all around shower filter that will filter out chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals, and scale.
Sale
Pelican Water PSF-1 3-Stage Premium Shower Filter with Shower Head, White

Pelican Water Tech. - Tools & Home Improvement

$76.99 - $12.04 $64.95 Buy on Amazon

New Wave Shower Filter With Free Aromatherapy Diffuser Ring

This shower filter by New Wave Envrio doubles at being an effective shower filter and a aromatherapy device for your shower.

In its simple no-frills white casing, you will find a KDF 55 crystal quartz filter that will ensure that chlorine doesn’t come into your shower stall and dry out your scalp or the rest of your skin.

Beyond just chlorine, you can expect to also stop heavy metals and other minerals that come through in an unfiltered environment.

Replacement filters for this shower head are affordable and should last about 6 months before they need to be replaced.

Pros: Not only does this shower head remove chlorine, but also allows for aromatherapy for a spa like experience.
Cons: Reports vary on filter effectivness.
Bottom Line: Affordable shower filter in a flat white design that doubles as an aromatherapy device.
Sale
New Wave Shower Filter With Free Aromatherapy Diffuser Ring

New Wave Enviro - Tools & Home Improvement

$44.99 - $12.16 $32.83 Buy on Amazon

Culligan WSH-C125 Wall-Mounted Filtered Shower Head with Massage

Coming in wall mounted or handheld varieties, this shower head by Culligan has a EPA water sense certification and will do an effective job at preventing sulfur, chlorine, and other common minerals found within the water from reaching your skin.

Packed with a 10,000 gallon replaceable WHR-140 water filter, each filter should last you for about 6 months.

To further give you peace of mind, the WSH-C125 has been certified by the NSF.

Universal fitting and sleek design will complement just about anyone’s shower stall.

Teflon tape is included when you swapping out your showerhead with this Culligan shower filter.

Pros: Shower head with a built in filter to remove chlorine. Competitively priced.
Cons: Will need to replace existing shower head to use this filter.
Bottom Line: Will remove chlorine only and is a great shower head for regular shower use.

WaterChef Premium Shower Filter System

This beautifully brushed nickel shower filtration system with shower head is the complete all-in-one system for clean shower water.

The NSF certified filtration system will get the job done in stopping chlorine from drying out your skin.

With the 60” hose, you can easily remove the shower head from the mount and fully flush out all those hard to reach areas of your back or netheregions.

Filters on the WaterChef SF-7C should last you about 6 months and one comes packaged in the box.  Additional filters can be purchased online at a relatively affordable price.

This shower filter has no problem operating in extreme temps and has been rated to work as low as 34 degrees and as hot as 140 degrees (Fahrenheit).

Overall a terrific purchase if you want to replace all the hardware in your shower stall.

Pros: Complete replacement option for your shower stall. 60" hose alows for complete coverage.
Cons: While elegant in design, this shower filter does command a high price point.
Bottom Line: If you want a brand new shower head, filter, and hose then its a complete system worth considering.

Culligan ISH-100 Inline Shower Filter

Another option from Culligan comes the ISH-100.  The ISH-100 is one of the smallest shower filters on the market that rests solely behind the shower head.

But don’t let the size fool you.

The ISH-100 can remove up to 97% of chlorine while also taking on scale and eliminating sulfur odor.  Noticeably absent of Vitamin C, you won’t be able to remove chloramine from the water with this filter.

Each filter of the ISH-100 is also in-line with market averages and should last you for about 10,000 gallons before it needs to be changed.

Temperature range for the ISH-100 is slightly more narrow compared to others and will be able to withstand between 40 and 120 degrees (Fahrenheit).

Pros: Compact design at an affordable price tag.
Cons: No frills, doesn't remove chloramine.
Bottom Line: Affordable price point that removes chlorine, scale, and heavy metals. Great for men on a shoestring budget.
Sale

Bath & Relax Filtered Hand Held Shower Head Filtration System

Definitely one of the most unique items on our list is this shower filter by Bath & Relax.

What really sets this shower filter apart from the rest comes down to the handle.  Unlike the others reviewed that have either a multi-stage filtration system or a Vitamin C housing, this shower filter by Bath & Relax relies on mineral balls, negative ion balls, and energy balls to naturally extract the chlorine and other impurities out of the water.

The inline filter is rated to remove 98% of chlorine as the water passes through.

But unlike many filtration systems that attach between the pipe coming out of your wall and the shower head, this filter is built into the shower head.

With the three shower modes, you should be able to find the perfect one for you so you can get not only clean, but feel incredibly soft once exiting the shower stall.

Overall a unique design that includes both a head and filtration system for a rock bottom price tag.

Pros: Removes 98% of chlorine while providing a 30 day satisfaction guarantee.
Cons: Some men have reported leaks with the fitting.
Bottom Line: An incredibly affordable shower head that offers an alternate filtering method not seen in most alternatives on the market.

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