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Shower Filters VS Whole House Filters: Which is Better?

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If you have considered using countertop water filters for safe and happy drinking, then you might want to consider using a shower filter for your water in the bathroom or a whole-house water filter system for your entire house. Water filters are becoming a trend nowadays due to pandemic reasons and healthy lifestyles.

There have been many cases of using filtered water for drinking due to issues with the chemicals and microorganisms that can be found in the water sources. Most likely, the source of the tap water used for drinking and showering comes from the same place.

Chlorine is one of the mainly used chemicals by municipal water treatment centers. It disinfects drinking water to make it safe to drink. Over time, it leaves not only an unpleasant taste but also possible health complications due to long-term use.

Impurities found in water are not uncommon because the source of the water may carry with it chemicals picked up along the way toward your home. As advanced as the US is with its technology, it cannot escape the worries of impure waters.

Water shower filters come in many shapes and sizes. There are also a lot of different types. Many have opted for the best shower filter to safeguard themselves from the potential harm that chlorine can bring to their body externally.

But there are also some consumers who prefer to have all the water that comes into their house filtered using whole-house water filtration systems. This is to make sure that all the water that comes into their house from the pipes is guaranteed to be free from any harmful substances. 

At times, it can be confusing to choose what you really need or what is best for your home. So, knowing the pros and cons, as well as the features and differences of both water filter types, can definitely help in making a sound decision.

Shower Head Filter vs. Whole House Filter: Their Differences

Water filters have a lot of different benefits and features. Each type can have similarities, but none of them are 100% effective when it comes to filtering out other contaminants. Some water filters may lack certain materials to filter out heavier metals of smaller microorganisms.

This is why it is important to know what benefits filtered shower heads can offer you before you invest in them. This is to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth from the type of water filter you are investing in.

What are Shower Head Filters?

A shower filter is a type of filtration system that eliminates harmful chemicals like chlorine in the water. It is very similar to an activated carbon filter since they filter out the same chemicals.

By filtering out the chlorine in the water, it prevents skin and hair dryness and irritation which can also be greatly benefitted by the body. After all, irritation and dryness can cause the pores to open up.

From there, bacteria and other harmful microorganisms can penetrate the skin and can cause serious illnesses. Using shower filters remove chlorine and chloramine levels in the water, making it safer to use.

Shower Head Filter Pros and Cons

A great thing about a shower filter is that it is easy to install. You won’t have to worry about any complex procedures since you simply have to attach it to the pipe in place of your shower head.

But since shower filters are used daily, you should expect to use replacement filters regularly. The shower head filter life is not as long as a whole house filter cartridge.

Also, another downside of this type of filter is that it is limited to filtering water for the shower. The rest of the house will be unaffected by the filtration system. It also only filters one shower.

So, if your house has multiple bathroom showers, you will need to install shower filters to those bathrooms too.

What are Whole House Filtration Systems?

Whole house water filtration systems are as straightforward as they come. From the name itself, we already know that it is the type of filter that filters the water that goes into the different parts of your house. 

It connects to the main line of water, which in turn is connected to the various faucets, shower heads, toilets, and many other parts of your house that uses water.

Whole House Filters Pros and Cons

Installing a whole house water filter means that there would be cleaner water everywhere, not limited to the inside but also the outside of the house. There would no longer be a need to go to a specific place to fetch clean water.

This also means that you won’t have to install individual water filters to your faucets since this type of filter is an all-in-one solution to that problem. It can remove all the harmful contaminants in the water including some heavy metals that can cause potential health risks.

The downside of whole house water filters is that it can be a relatively expensive investment. If you are hoping for high-quality results, you can expect that you will need to buy the more expensive models.

Also, there is a limit to its capacity to filter water. It can only produce up to 50 gallons per day. So, if you use way more than 50 gallons, it can be a problem. You will also need to make extra space to accommodate this type of water filter.

For small homes, this can be a problem since this can occupy more space in their homes making them stuffy and constricted.

Well Water Filter For Shower Head vs. Whole House

Shower water filters come in a wide range of functionalities, capacities, and features. Each has its own benefits, but none is 100% efficient and effective at removing water contaminants. Therefore, homeowners buy a water shower filter specific to their needs to get the best out of their investment.

In this section, we will discuss the two major shower water filter types to help you find the one that best meets your requirements.

How Each Type of Water Filter Works

All the shower filters work in a similar fashion, that is, removing impurities, but their capabilities vary as per their mechanism. For a better understanding of the filtered shower head systems, let us discuss the two most prevalent times and focus on how each works.

Shower Head Filter

Shower filters use KDF material to turn chlorine molecules into chloride. It eliminates the majority of the chlorine in the water and is thus a popular shower water filter. Most shower filters make sure the water that touches your skin is secure.

Most shower head filters function in a simple manner without impacting water pressure. They are placed in the whole unit with a built-in shower filter or fixed in the current shower head for clean shower water. The best shower filter contains filter material to remove contaminants as the water flows through them.

Numerous best shower filters are available, each with a unique system for eliminating impurities. Some people use an activated carbon filter, a porous substance capable of trapping silt, rust, and chlorine.

However, others use multiple filtering mediums or ceramic beads to remove heavy metals and other dangerous impurities from water. A powerful shower filter uses ion exchange resin, vitamin C filter, and KDF-55 to give you clean shower water.

Although the best shower filters improve your shower water quality, it’s essential to understand that not all filters are the same.  The degree of filtration may vary depending on variables, including water pressure and temperature, with some being more efficient than others at removing specific impurities. Besides, the filter life depends on the quality of your shower water supply.

Whole House Water Filter

Whole-house water filters are an ideal choice for people who wish to have a filtration system across their entire home. This water shower filter removes large particles and other contaminants in three steps and then adds polishing agents for sparkling shower water.

Many faucets, sinks, laundry pipes, toilets, and shower heads in your home get water from the water facility.

The water traveled a long distance before it arrived at your faucet. It starts as rainwater from an outdoor source, like a lake, river, or stream. These surface waters serve as municipal supplies, and underground aquifers provide water for private wells. Water picks up impurities along the route, both naturally occurring and created by humans.

Whether you use well water or municipal water, each type undergoes a channel before it enters your faucets. It originates from a natural source—a lake, river, or ground—and travels through the earth to a treatment facility. Water may pick up dirt, particles, and other impurities as it travels, which could increase the amount of water hardness and other issues.

The treatment facility processes and cleanses the water before distributing it to your home. However, some substances are present even after the authorities have cleaned the water. The newly discovered contaminants, including PFOA/PFOS, pesticide, and pharmaceutical discharge, harm water sources.

Many water treatment facilities are unsuitable for removing toxins because they are not under the agencies that monitor municipal water safety, such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Also, water moving from treatment facilities to your home through outdated infrastructure and lead piping may pick up additional toxins.

A water filter system is the best answer to some of these water issues. Most are based on a reverse osmosis system that removes impurities without chemical treatment. But you can also invest in a vitamin c filter, ideal for your skin and hair.

If you are using well water, it comes straight from an underground reservoir known as an aquifer. It is drawn from your well into your house and circulates through your plumbing system.

Well water can have low pH, iron, arsenic, sediment, hydrogen sulfide, silt, and other pollutants (acidic water). That is why getting a shower filter that can address your unique water problems is crucial.

Contaminant Removal Abilities

Showerhead filters and whole-house filter systems are the preferable water filtration systems. But do they remove impurities? Let us discuss if these systems effectively remove contaminants. Moreover, we will discuss the toxic substances and chemicals the two filtration systems will remove.

Shower Filter

Let’s look deeper at what impurities a showerhead filter can eliminate.

Heavy Metals

Heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, and mercury, can harm your health if taken in large quantities. Water is one of the most common heavy metal contaminants that can come in contact with your skin.

Since tap water, if not treated properly, contains heavy metals, it can cause serious harm to your skin and hair. Moreover, inhaling or physical contact can harm your health and skin. Although extended contact with metals in shower water can harm your health, the quantity of metal ions your skin can absorb is often relatively minimal.

Shower filters that employ KDF or activated carbon filtering media successfully eliminate some toxic metals from the water, decreasing your chance of exposure. While activated carbon filters pull heavy metals to their surface and absorb them, KDF shower filters transform toxic substances into harmless ions. Besides you can also use a vitamin C filter to replenish your skin and hair.


Moreover, the best shower filter can assist in removing other disagreeable smells present in your water, like the occasionally present musty smell in well water.


Chlorine is usually added to municipal water systems to clean water and eliminate dangerous germs and viruses. It can damage your hair and skin and cause itching, dryness, and irritation, even though it is a powerful water disinfectant.

The chemical can irritate your skin, hair, and respiratory system in addition to these side effects. You might breathe in chlorine gas discharged into the air after a hot shower. Long-term chlorine gas exposure can cause breathing problems, especially in respiratory or asthma patients.

Therefore, you should use a showerhead filter as it can remove chlorine present in the water. You can find some of the best shower filters in the market as they contain vitamin C or activated carbon filter media.

Activated carbon pulls chlorine to the surface and absorbs it for a clean and safe supply. On the other hand, vitamin C neutralizes chlorine ions to reduce their impact on your skin and hair.


Bacteria might also be in your bath water, especially if you’ve got well or reside in an area where the water supply has high amounts of germs. One purpose of shower filters is to purge the water of microorganisms.

For instance, a silver-based in-line shower filter has natural antibacterial qualities that can destroy hazardous organisms in the water.

Whole House Filter

Whole-house filtration systems solve various problems associated with water quality by removing a wide range of impurities. The optimal filter for your home will depend on the water quality in your home. Moreover, the filter eliminates toxins to protect your skin, hair, and overall health.

Water softeners remove:

  • Dissolved manganese and iron
  • Dissolved minerals such as magnesium and calcium
  • Scale

Ultraviolet purification disinfects:

  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Parasites
  • Algae
  • Fungi

Sediment filters remove:

  • Dirt, sand, and clay
  • Turbidity
  • Rust flecks from aging pipes

Carbon filters remove:

  • Chloramines
  • Chlorine
  • Trihalomethanes
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Bad tastes and odors

Acid neutralizers reduce:

  • Acidic corrosion
  • Acidity imbalance (low pH)

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Shower Filter?

Customers may want to consider other factors besides the variety of filtration system types available when selecting the ideal showerhead filter for their home.


The cost of a shower filter is generally low unless they need frequent replacement. Purchase filters that have durable, long-lasting, and inexpensive filter cartridges. Customers can utilize filters made by the manufacturer to ensure their water filtration system works efficiently. While looking around, you can get filters that can withstand over 1,300 showers.


Plastic makes up the majority of the best shower filters as it is durable and rust-free. Besides, plastic showers come in various finishes and plumbing fixtures to suit your bathroom interiors and enhance aesthetics.

When buying a shower filter, ensure the chosen material is safe for your health. Low-quality plastic typically contains bisphenol-A, which can increase estrogen levels in your body. It may lead to severe health implications, especially in young children. Therefore, look for a BPA-free plastic shower filter or opt for other materials such as stainless steel.


Many factors besides actual filtration play a role in maintenance. Water filters often weigh little when first assembled. However, a contaminated water supply can increase the weight of these filters.

This may also build the stress of water pipes on in-line shower filters. Once the water and impurities accumulate in the filter, it strains and alters the position of the filter near the shower neck. The pipe may bend, shatter, or come apart from the fitting due to the weight.


Users may be able to manage how much water they consume by selecting the water’s flow rate or by using adjustable water filters. Some shower filter has settings for high-speed jets, pulsing massage, and even rainfall.

The shower filter will continue to remove impurities from the water regardless of the shower head’s setting. It’s crucial to remember that water pressure will naturally drop over time, almost always due to a blocked filter instead of an improper shower filter setting.

Users must change the filter cartridges to restore the shower filter’s optimum flow.


Lastly, you must consider the installation process and cost to choose the best water filtration system. Since installation charges for the shower water filter and whole house filter may vary, it is crucial to research before you hire experts to install a water filtration system in your home. Moreover, crosscheck the price range of filtered shower heads to understand what the experts are offering.

Shower filters use four types of filters to ensure that chlorine, along with the other harmful chemicals are removed in the process. Here are the four stages of shower filters:


  • Bioceramic pH-Balancing Media
  • 25 Micron Sediment Filtration
  • Coconut Shell Carbon
  • KDF Media


Shower filters are the type of filters to employ KDF media that will convert chlorine molecules to chloride. The shower filters remove most of the chlorine content that is present in the water. It ensures that the water that will touch your skin will be safe.

A whole house water filter is suitable to use for people who would like long-term use of water filters that can cater to the whole house. It goes through a three-step filtering process of filtering large particles and impurities to have polishing agents as final filters.

From there, water is then distributed to the different faucets, sinks, toilets, laundry pipes and shower heads of your house. See more at

Final Thoughts - Well Water Filter for Shower or Whole House Water System?

Both of these water filters are great at doing their jobs. They make sure that the water you use is safe and clean. Although their costs and maintenance may vary, they still offer a lot of benefits that you will not regret in the long run.

What you choose for your house is entirely up to you. But before you dive into a water filter investment, make sure you do your research first. Consider what you really need for your house and your budget for the investment.

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