shower head pouring water

Imagine stepping into your shower expecting a refreshing experience, only to be greeted by weak water flow and lacklustre lathering. Instead of the refreshing cascade of water you expect, you get a weak dribble, thanks to stubborn mineral buildup clogging your showerhead. And forget about that rich, foamy lather from your favourite shampoo; you’ll be using half the bottle before your hair feels clean! Hard water can really impact your shower experience, plus it can leave your skin feeling dry and your hair looking dull.

Installing water softening systems in homes can help alleviate the negative effects of hard water, promoting healthier skin and hair and providing a more relaxing showering experience. 

If you’ve been wanting to know how to soften water in the shower, you may have come across shower head filters and water softening systems. We compare the two and explore which is best for your home. 

How Do Shower Head Filters Work? 

A shower head filter typically works by utilising a filtration system, often with resin beads or cartridges containing ion-exchange resins that remove impurities from the water as it passes through the shower head. Shower head filters attach to or replace the shower head.

A shower head filter offers a localised solution. It only treats the water at the point of use, specifically in the shower. They don't impact water quality elsewhere in the house.

How Do Water Softener Systems Work?

Whole-house water softener systems treat water at the point of entry, meaning all water sources in the house, including taps, showers, appliances, and pipes, receive softened water. Soft water can offer huge benefits to the whole home, particularly in reducing limescale, which can damage appliances. 

Our Kinetico Premier water softener systems work by passing hard water through twin tanks filled with food-grade resin beads as it enters your home. The calcium and magnesium ions in the hard water are attracted to these resin beads. In your softener, ion exchange takes place, removing the calcium and magnesium and releasing sodium ions into the water, making it soft.

Discover more about how our water softener systems work:

How Are Shower Head Filters Installed?

Installation is typically easy and doesn't require a professional plumber. You can usually screw it onto the existing shower hose.

How Are Water Softener Systems Installed?

As a water softener is a whole-house system, it needs to be connected to the main water line, which requires a professional to install. When you buy a water softener from Kinetico, we will arrange installation for you to get your system set up and ready to go, so you won’t have to worry! 

Do Shower Head Filters Need Maintenance? 

Periodically, you will need to replace the cartridges or resin beads on your shower head. 

Do Water Softener Systems Need Maintenance? 

The only maintenance you’ll need to do for our Kinetico water softener system is to add salt to your machine. Water softener salt comes in salt blocks or tablets, and it is easy to replace in your softener system. As a rule of thumb, for an average family of four, we recommend about 4kg (or one block) per person, per month. This will vary in relation to the amount of water actually used, and if you are a high water user, you will use more.

How Effective is a Shower Head Filter?

Shower head filters can be effective for improving the feel of water during showers, but they do not accomplish the same results as a water softener system. 

While they may be advertised as a water softener for your shower, most shower heads will be incapable of actually removing minerals from hard water, as they are water filters rather than water softeners. 

A filter can remove some impurities and particles, such as chlorine, but it is less effective at removing excess minerals that cause hard water. 

How Effective is a Water Softener System?

A water softener system provides softened water throughout the house, offering benefits for appliances, plumbing, and personal care. They effectively remove the minerals in hard water, which reduces the amount of limescale buildup you’ll find in pipes and appliances. This makes it less costly to run your heating, heat water or need to replace appliances. 

In the shower, a water softener will ensure the water coming out is free from minerals, which can cause dry skin and hair, and will reduce the amount of product you need to get a good lather on your shampoo and soap. 

You’ll also spend less time cleaning the bathroom, as there will be a reduction in marks left behind on the tiles or shower screen by the hard water. 

Discover more about the benefits a water softener could bring to your home: 

How Cost-Efficient is a Shower Head Filter? 

While shower head filters have a lower upfront cost, their effectiveness may not contribute to the desired outcome for your water. It’s cheaper, but you might not see the best benefits! 

How Cost-Efficient is a Water Softener System? 

Water softener systems are a little more expensive upfront, but they provide a comprehensive solution for the entire house that will contribute to improved efficiency and longevity of water-using appliances due to reduced mineral buildup. 

You’ll also spend less on shower products and cleaning products, as they will work more effectively with soft water. Plus, cleaning the bathroom won’t be as hard without pesky limescale stains to deal with! 

Plus, all Kinetico softeners are non-electric, so you’ll be pleased to know that running them won’t add to your electric bill either.

All in all, a water softener system is the most effective and efficient solution for your home if you are having issues with hard water. If you’d like more information on how a water softener system can improve your home, get in touch with our expert team on ​​0800 056 86 86 or fill in our form for a free quotation.