Chlorine in our drinking water or water chlorination is a wonder of modern health and science. When it comes to keeping our drinking water free of germs and disease, nothing really beats chlorine for its efficiency and effectiveness.
Though there are some downsides of water chlorination, such as an altered taste and smell of our water, plus the rare chance of harmful disinfection byproducts not being filtered out completely. To have all the benefits of a reliable disinfectant without the downsides, most of us drink filtered tap water, but did you ever think about the water in your shower?
Research (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10981726) has shown that your body can absorb more harmful disinfectant byproducts from a 10 minute shower than drinking one liter (one quart) of tap water. Disinfection byproducts such as trihalomethanes (THTs) have been linked to bowel and colon cancer in humans, albeit at very low rates. Don’t panic too much, the health benefits of having clean disease-free water far outweigh the small cancer risk.
Chlorine in your shower water also acts to strip the natural protective oils in your skin and hair. This can dry out your skin & hair causing it weaken, lose body & color. The drying nature of chlorine in your shower water can also cause eczema and other skin conditions to flare up.
Want the best of both worlds? Disease-free water for your shower but without the drying effect and harmful chlorination byproducts. A dechlorinating shower filter is just what the doctor ordered.
The best water filter shower heads
|Culligan Wall-Mount Filtered Showerhead||Wall mount||$||4.3|
|Culligan RainDisc Showerhead with Filter||Wall/ceiling mount||$||3.9|
|Culligan Level 2 Hand-Held Filtered Showerhead||Handheld||$||3.3|
|Sprite High Output Filter with Massaging Shower Head||Wall mount||$||4.4|
|Aquasana Deluxe Shower Water Filter System with Showerhead||Wall mount||$$||4.1|
|WaterChef Premium Shower Filter System||Handheld||$$||4.0|
|Aroma Sense Vitamin C Shower Head||Handheld||$$||4.8|
|Rainshow'r Shower Filter with Massaging Shower Head||Wall mount||$||4.6|
|Jonathan Product Beauty Water Shower Purification System||Wall mount||$$||4.5|
What is a shower filter?
Attaching to the shower arm between the shower head, or sometimes forming part of the dechlorination shower head, shower filters use a chemical reaction to remove chlorine from shower water.
The two main types of shower filters that remove chlorine use KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) with carbon or they’ll use vitamin C.
As water passes through the KDF filter, a positive and negative charge is created. The charges then attract and trap chlorine and other water impurities to the KDF surface. The result being, you’re left with very pure shower water.
Vitamin C is an ascorbic acid which reacts with chlorine and acts to neutralize it.
Advantages of a shower filter
Healthier shower. Less harmful disinfection byproducts and less chlorine. As you can absorb nasties in your shower water through your skin and pores, plus you can inhale them via the shower steam, removing the nasties will make your shower healthier.
Better looking hair and skin. Chlorine is basic or alkaline, whilst your skin and hair are naturally slightly acidic. The reaction between alkaline and acid acts to dry out your skin and hair removing natural oils. Take the chlorine out of your shower to leave you skin and hair looking great.
Smells better. No more feeling like you’re taking a shower in a swimming pool. You’re probably used to your current chlorine smell in the shower. Trust us, you’ll notice the difference immediately once you remove the chlorine, it’s great.
Less irritation. High levels of chlorine in your shower water will irritate the eyes and skin. For eczema sufferers and young kids, removing the chlorine in your shower is a good idea.
How do I find the best shower filter for me?
Look out for these things;
Go KDF or Vitamin C. These two types actually work to remove chlorine from your shower water. Backed by real science, you’ll get what you want – chlorine free water that is better for your skin.
Longevity. No filter will last forever but you don’t want to have to change the filter every week. Most last an average of 6 months, others claim to last longer. Of course the length of time before you need to change your filter will depend on how many and how long your showers are. If your filter sits idle (whilst you’re on vacation), it doesn’t degrade or fill up, so you don’t need to count this time.
Availability and cost of replacement filters. Before you commit to a certain brand/type of filter, check that the replacement cartridges are cost effective to replace every 6 months (or however long they claim to last on the pack). You want to make sure they are readily available as well, you don’t want to have to buy a full new filter system every time you need to change the cartridge, or being stuck with a system that you can’t maintain.
Reputable. You don’t want a filter filled with ordinary sand or marbles! Check the product reviews and you’ll quickly find out whether the product does what it claims to do or not.
Top 5 shower filter reviews
Culligan are one of the best known brands in water filtration, so it makes sense to assume that this filtered showerhead is both high quality and will do what it says on the box – and it does. And it only costs about $30.
There are almost 500 people who have left 5 star reviews for this product on Amazon for one reason – it works so well, and has helped these people improve their showers and better manage skin conditions like eczema.
If you’d prefer the relaxing spray pattern provided by a rainfall shower head, then the Culligan RainDisc is the ideal shower head. The Culligan filter that is inside this shower head removes 97% of the harmful chlorine, sulfur odor and scale from your shower water, leaving you with water that is as pure as rain.
This could just be the best way to enjoy a shower – and it only costs about $30! See what you’ve been missing out on.
The Sprite High Output Shower Head with Chlorine filter has a much larger filter element than the Culligan, but there’s a good reason for that – it only requires replacing after filtering 25,000 gallons of water, which is approximately one year based on the showering habits of a two person household.
The included shower head, which can be swapped out if you desire, has a full body spray and plenty of pressure.
The WaterChef shower filter system is a bit of a mixed bag – on one hand, there have been a few reports of people that have been having issues with various components of the system breaking or leaking. But, the people who reported issues were also very happy with the after sales support offered by WaterChef and the speed at which free replacement parts were sent out by the company.
In terms of the filtration, it’s the only product on the market that advertises its filters as being BPA free. The effective life is listed at 7000 gallons, which they claim gives you a life span of approx 6 months per filter.
The RainShow’r system is similar to the Sprite system, in that is has a larger sized in line filter, which drops the height of the shower head and allows you to swap their shower head for a different one if you desire. The one way around the loss in height would be to use a shower arm that raises the height of the unit.
Because it’s a larger filter, it has an effective life of approx 25000 gallons, which they claim should be approximately 6-9 months for most households.