When you step out of the shower the idea is to feel clean and refreshed, but in many cases we still come away from our showers with dry and peeling skin and that may have a lot to do with the type of water running through our pipes. If the area you live in is particularly prone to hard water you may not enjoy your shower quite as much as you should. Hard water simply isn’t comfortable on the skin and you may want to consider an in-home water softener system or a water softener shower head.
Not only is hard water uncomfortable on your skin it can also be quite damaging to your pipes and your appliances. If you’ve ever noticed an ugly buildup of calcium around your shower head that’s a direct result of the hard water passing minerals such as calcium through your pipes.
If you like the idea of having a shower without these problems, but you’re not interested in an expensive whole home system then a water softener shower head is a great alternative. In the guide below we review the best ones available in stores and look at the advantages and disadvantages of each model.
1. Culligan WSH-C125
Perhaps the main attraction of a water softener shower head over a whole home water softener solution is the relatively minor cost. You can purchase the Culligan WSH-C125 for under $30 and you get a lot of great features in such an inexpensive package.
This showerhead filters out up to 99% of the chlorine from your water and reduces the unwanted sulfur smell as well as scaling. It installs easily on any standard shower system and doesn’t require any special tools to install it. The filters do have to be changed from time to time, but this is a fairly simple process as well.
Not only does the showerhead produce softer water for a comfortable shower it also has five different spray settings including a massage option. If you find any one setting to intense you can switch over to one of the other four choices – there’s bound to be one that matches your own personal preferences. It has a 10,000 gallon capacity and an anti-clog rubber spray nozzle. To top it all off the showerhead comes with a five year warranty which is better than the industry standard.
2. Rainshow’r CQ-1000-MS
One of the reasons that people hesitate in switching their showerhead out for one with a built-in water softener feature is that you have to change the filters in these types of showerheads from time to time and that can be a little bit of pain. The Rainshow’r CQ-1000-MS isn’t any different from other water softener showerheads in that it does have a filter that needs to be changed, but that filter is good for up to 25,000 gallons which is more than double many other showerhead water filter systems. You will have to change the filter, but you won’t have to do it very often.
When you make the switch to a water softener showerhead you’ll be treating yourself to a soothing shower that reduces dry skin and scalp leaving you feeling much more refreshed than you would from using a standard showerhead. It’s also a great choice if you or a family member has color treated hair as the softer water won’t wash out the color as readily – meaning you won’t have to visit the salon quite as often. Perhaps most importantly it also reduces up to 90% of the chlorine that runs through your showerhead as well as other contaminants.
3. Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower
The Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe showerhead is one of the most unique and effective water softening showerheads out there. It’s a bit of an odd looking contraption, but it’s highly effective in producing softer water that’s easier on your skin and your scalp. The reason it’s a little different looking from other showerheads is that it has a built-in two-stage filtration system with an up-flow design that maximizes the water filtration process producing some of the softest clean water that you’re ever likely to take a shower with.
It’s easy to change filters as well as the filter cartridges simply screw onto the bottom of the showerhead – it takes all of a couple of seconds.
By the time the water makes it through the showerhead after passing through the filter process it’s already removed more than 90% of the chlorine which means you’re going to have healthier skin and softer hair. The filtration process also enhances the pH balance of your water. With up to 2.5 gallons of highly filtered water passing through the showerhead each minute you’ll still get a powerful shower without any noticeable water flow decrease. Each filter is designed to last approximately six months or 10,000 gallons making it a relatively inexpensive solution for cleaner softer water in your showers.
4. Jonathan Product Beauty Water Shower Purification System
The original source of the water that you use in your home probably didn’t start out with all of the pollutants and heavy metals that end up filtering through your pipes, but somewhere along the way as it passed through the ground these contaminants entered the water system.
Unfortunately, that means for us the water that comes out of our taps and showers isn’t very soft and can be very irritating on the skin and hard on our appliances. The Jonathan Product Beauty Water Shower Purification System does a great job of getting rid of a lot of these contaminants so that you can experience an enjoyable and relaxing shower that actually feels like it restores you.
This showerhead uses a unique two-stage filter system that changes the contaminated tap water that normally pumps out of your pipes into fresh, soft, clean water that’s largely free of these heavy metal contaminants and chlorine. It will make your hair softer, reduce dry skin, and prevent the buildup of those ugly chemicals around your drains. The filters are easy to change as they simply unscrew from the bottom of the showerhead and they only need to be changed every few months.
5. WaterChef SF-7C
You wouldn’t normally associate a showerhead with culinary pleasures, but there’s a reason that the WaterChef® SF-7C has the word chef in its name. Chefs produce food that are works of art and the way that this showerhead filters to produce soft cleansing water on the other end is pretty close to a work of art. It has a two-stage filter system that reduces the chlorine content of your shower water significantly. It also eliminates many of the heavy metals that pass through your water system producing a much softer type of water that’s easier on the skin and produces softer hair.
It’s packed full of some other great features that truly make it a premium showerhead. It comes with a shower wand which you can remove from its base allowing you to focus the water from the showerhead however you see fit and it also features five different spray settings including a comforting massage setting. If you’re looking for healthier skin, softer hair, and less eye irritation from your shower water then this system is ideal. It also comes with a three year warranty and a 60 day money back guarantee which means you really don’t have a lot to lose in giving the system a try.
6. Culligan ISH-100 Level 2 Inline Shower Filter
If you like your existing showerhead, but you’d really like the benefits of a water softening showerhead you may want to consider the Culligan ISH-100 Level 2 Inline Shower Filter. This system can be attached to any existing showerhead simply and easily turning your standard showerhead into a water softening showerhead in a matter of minutes.
You simply attach the Culligan shower filter onto your shower arm and then reattach your original showerhead to the underside of the filter. It’s a very inexpensive alternative that will reduce the chlorine in your water as well as the heavy metal content giving you smoother skin and softer hair.
Everything you need is included in the package including plumber’s tape which will reduce any leakage from the connections. It’s a sleek little piece of equipment and the filters are easy to change as you can simply unscrew the old one and screw on a new one – no need to take you showerhead apart. These filters have a 10,000 gallon capacity which for most households will last around six months.
Why You Need a Water Softener Showerhead
If you’ve read through our reviews you’ve probably got a good idea already of why you would need a water softener showerhead, but I think it is useful to go over things one more time. A traditional showerhead simply pushes the water that’s moving through your pipes out and does nothing to filter out any contaminants.
Unfortunately, for most of us hard water is a fact of life as heavy metals and chlorine are present in our water in substantial amounts. When you take a shower with hard water you tend to end up with dry skin and brittle hair, but by switching over to a water softener showerhead you can eliminate this problem.
The result is smoother skin, softer hair, and a generally much more refreshed feeling once you get out of the shower. On top of all that softer water without all those contaminants is a lot easier to clean out of your drains – you generally don’t get that white ugly build up around your shower heads and drains.
Home Level Water Softeners Versus Showerhead Water Softeners
Home-Level Water Softeners
Home Level water softeners are very efficient in producing soft water throughout your house and all the benefits that come with it, but they’re also extremely expensive systems – usually in excess of $1000. They require the help of a professional to install which may increase your costs even more and they can be expensive to repair if you don’t follow the suggested maintenance procedures. They also require the use of salt and resins for their filtering process so you have to replenish your supplies of these materials on a regular basis as well. The end result is a rather expensive system to maintain that for a lot of people seems like more trouble than it’s worth.
Showerhead Water Softeners
Showerhead water softeners are a lot less expensive than installing a whole home solution – normally you can expect to pay no more than about $50 for one of these units. Changing the filters on these systems is normally quite simple and they’re very effective at removing contaminants from your shower water and giving you all of the benefits when it comes to your shower that you’d experience from one of the more expensive whole home systems.
Installation of these shower heads takes no more than a couple of minutes in most cases and they don’t require the help of a professional to do it. Many of these systems also give you extra options to make your shower a more pleasurable experience such as massage settings. It may be hard to justify spending $1000 for softer hair and smoother skin, but most of us can afford the minimal cost of a shower head water softener which is a major advantage of these systems.
I remember staying at a friend’s house a few years back and taking a shower and thinking I’d stepped into heaven – they had a whole home water softener system and the results were quite impressive.
Unfortunately, when I found out the cost of such systems I wasn’t quite as enthusiastic. If you like the idea of softer water in your shower, but you don’t want to spend $1000 on a whole home system that will give you soft hair and smooth skin then a water softener showerhead is a much less expensive alternative that works just as well.