While they share similar components with a drinking water filter, shower filters are designed to filter water running at high volumes and temperatures through a shower head.
There are various types of shower filters that are effective against chlorine and to a limited extent chloramines and we’ve tried several over the years including KDF, Active Carbon, Vitamins C and Whole house filtration systems.
Here’s an overview of the alternatives and some of the pros and cons.
Kinetic degradation fluxion (KDF) is a high-purity brass water filtration product. It was developed in 1984 and patented by Don Heskett in 1987. The KDF 55 product is brass granules with alloyproportions of 45% zinc and 55% copper.
KDF media can remove chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, heavy metals, iron, and can reduce other inorganiccontaminants. The filter inhibits the growth of algae, fungi, and bacteria.
Overall KDF filters are very effective and cost efficien when it comes to reducing their harm from chlorine and generally our recommendation.
2. Active Carbon Filters
Simple carbon filters like Sprite are effective at removing chlorine but with a big caveat: They don’t work very well at warm temperatures or with high pressure. In fact, they become less effective the warmer the water gets, making them more effective for drinking water filtration (usually filtered cool) and less effective for shower filters. They are a budget friendly option that can be helpful for those who take cold showers with low pressure.
3. Vitamin C
The filter uses a tube of ascorbic acid (pure Vitamin C) which interacts with the chlorine and the chloramines and neutralizes them. Some of the filters claim to remove 99% of the chlorine but this has not been confirmed by independent tests and as per the myths and facts section a lot of experts doubt their effectivess. Make sure you see an independent test before buying.
They are also pretty pricey since the ascorbic acid replacements don’t last very long. We’ve tried the Sonaki brand vitamin C filter with seemingly good results but a big downside is that it requires replacement cartridges every few months.
Finally, Vitamin C is an ascorbic acid, so while it does remove Chlorine, is may also stain the hair and skin.
4. Whole house filtration systems
This is the most effective but also most expensive alternative if you really want clean water. See the drinking water filter overview for more details. If you’re building a new house then this can be a great option.