Difference Between Shower Head Filter and Water Softener

The Elixir of life, water, can cause disastrous problems to the family if it is not pure. Leave away the internal sickness that we might develop. The water by itself needs to be treated well before we use it at home. Be it taking a shower or cooking, you require harmless water. There is much equipment that has evolved to purify the water or at least usable. Two of the devices that we come across are the Shower Head Filter and Water Softener. They both filter the water, true, but the usage is entirely different from one another.

Shower Head Filter vs Water Softener

The main difference between a shower head filter and a water softener is the elements that the respective devices filter out. The shower head filter’s predominant job is to remove the chlorine and chloramine from water while the water softener reduces the hardness of the water by filtering out calcium and magnesium.

Shower Head Filter vs Water Softener

The shower head filter is a device connected to the shower in your bathroom that shall remove the harmful elements from the water that may otherwise cause serious skin diseases. The device filters out chlorine, chloramine, harmful elements and makes the water safe to bathe.

The Water softener, on the other hand, has a complex filtering process that treats the water to be soft. That means to say, it removes the minerals that make the water hard. The minerals it removes are calcium and magnesium, the two main culprits to make the water not conducive for any use.

Comparison Table Between Shower Head Filter and Water Softener

Parameters of ComparisonShower Head FilterWater Softener
UsageIt is a piece of bathroom equipment.It is connected to the main source of water to the house.
FunctionIt removes the harmful chemicals and elements from the water making it safe to take a bath.It helps in purifying the water from calcium and magnesium and making it soft.
ProcessA straightforward process that uses carbon or KDF filters.A complex purifying process that uses resin beads to filter out the elements that make the water hard
Time of UsageThe shower Filter shall spring into action as you switch on the shower to bathe.The water softener is a continuous process that shall treat the water and allow it through the plumbing lines for household usage.
Water wastageUsage of the Showerhead filter does not have any problem of water wastage.Statistics say, to treat 100 gallons of water, 120 gallons of water is wasted.

What is Shower Head Filter?

A shower head filter is a filtering device that is connected to the shower. As you take a bath, the water from the shower is filtered of harmful elements, making it safe for your skin. The main reason for the water to considered dangerous to take a bath in the presence of chlorine and chloramine.

While the presence of chlorine and chloramine is artificial, it treats the water, and that’s true. But to take a bath in water that is mixed with chlorine has long-term skin consequences. It shall damage the skin, makes it dry, and also develops rashes in the beginning.

The shower head filter shall filter the chlorine from the water and other harmful elements so that the water is completely safe for your hair and your skin. Shower Filters are made in such a way that it does not affect the water pressure as you bathe. Usually, there are two types of processes used.

  1. Carbon Filter
  2. Kinetic Degradation Fluxion

The former filter is used widely, however as the temperature of the water raises, it may not give the desired results. But the second one is indeed a process. It converts the chlorine to a more conducive chloride ion and makes the water safe.

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What is Water Softener?

Water Softener is a complete filtration system that makes the water soft and safe for household usage. The filtration system treats the water by removing harmful chemicals and minerals that cause the water to be hard. The two main minerals that cause the water to be hard are Calcium and Magnesium.

These two minerals go together and blend well in making the water hard. As you use a water softener, it effectively removes the minerals and makes the water soft. The best part is, the filtration system shall retain the needed minerals and only removes the calcium and magnesium.

Water softeners indeed work like real-life magnets that attract the negative poles. The filtration system has resin beads, and that is negatively charged. While the two minerals, namely calcium and magnesium, are positively charged. As the water passes through the system, the minerals get attracted and get onto the resin bead. Just like an iron piece gets attracted to a magnet.

The drainage system is made in such a way that the calcium and magnesium shall get flushed away with the saltwater that is formed during the process. Hard water has long-term effects on the house, like silt formation on the floor, skin sicknesses for people at home, and much more.

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Main Differences Between Shower Head Filter and Water Softener

  1. The main difference between Shower Head Filter and Water Softener is the basic functionality of the device. The Shower Head Filter is bathroom equipment and attached to the shower, while Water Softener is connected to the water source of the house.
  2. The Shower Head Filter removes harmful chemicals like chlorine to make the water safe for bathing, while the Water softener makes the water soft by removing the hardness of the liquid substance.
  3. The former functions only when the water comes out from the pipes to the shower, while Water Softener functions almost all the time to soften the water.
  4. The Shower Head Filter has a very simple filtration process, while the Water softener is more complex in its process.
  5. The Shower Head Filter does not intend to waste any water as it filters only the water that comes its way, while wastage of water is more when it comes to usage of a Water Softener.


The water requires to be treated to be safe for usage. With a family filled with kids and pets, treating the water to be soft becomes mandatory. At the same time, a shower head filter is a simple device that needs to be connected to the shower in your bathroom. The functionality of the filter is also simple. At the same time, there is no change in the water pressure and thus makes it the same feel as you took a bath earlier. A water softener is for the entire use and all purposes. The water that you use for any purpose needs to be treated, and that’s the main reason why we use Water softeners.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0021979710013044
  2. https://wcponline.com/2007/04/26/chlorine-removal-showerhead-filters/
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Last update on 2022-08-08 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API