Do Shower Filters Soften Water?

One of the most common questions that comes up when individuals are trying to choose between a water filtration system or water softener system is this:

What is the quality of the water that I will end up with?

The most common source for municipal water systems is underground water. According to experts, underground water has much higher levels of minerals than surface water does. 

High mineral content leads to hard water. A water softener system filters out these minerals to soften your water.

On the other hand, a water filtration system addresses a wider variety of water quality issues.

Which is Better: Water Softener System or Water Filter System?

If your water is not quality, chances are that you are looking at getting one or the other of these systems. In order to decided which one is best for your needs, you must have an understanding of how they work.

Below, you’ll find some of the differences between the two.

Which is Better: Water Softener System or Water Filter System?

The processes are different

A water filter removes contaminants, while a water softener removes minerals from the water. Many people assume that a water softener is also a water filter.

However, the truth is, the term “water filter” indicates a much wider variety of products that are much more than water softeners. There are some water filter systems that include iron/sulfur removal filters, fluoride absorption filters, back-washing carbon filters, sediment filters, and more.

These systems obviously do so much more than simply softening your water.

They use different technology

A water filter uses a wide range of technology to process out the contamination in the water. They remove pollutants from the water through advanced media beds. Some of the processes that are followed are micro-filtration, absorption, catalytic conversion, ion exchange, and oxidation.

There are various types of media that are used to treat everything from natural to man-made chemicals, and heavy chemicals. Once the water has passed through a water filter media bed, it’s known to be safe to drink.

However, a water softener system uses ion-exchange and salt resins to remove calcium and magnesium from the water. These resins force calcium and magnesium ions to migrate out of the water, and are replaced by sodium ions from the resin as it passes through.

They have different needs when it comes to maintenance.

You must understand that a salt-based water softener is high maintenance. One of the most important tasks you’ll need to stay on top of is to restock the consumable salt.

A non-salt based system doesn’t require nearly as much maintenance, but you must be aware that they can become damaged by trace amounts of oil.

Finally, a magnetic system does not require much maintenance at all, and is fairly inexpensive. However, you must be aware that they’re not effective against metallic dissolved materials.

A water filtration system isn’t really going to need much maintenance at all. On the other hand, they’re much more expensive to obtain and install.

If your primary need is softening your water, a water softener will do all that you need. Of course, if you do have other concerns regarding your water quality, such as waterborne pathogens, bad taste, chlorination, ion staining, or bacterial contamination, you will not be satisfied with the results you get from a water softening system.


Both of these types of water treatment options are quite popular. The one you choose depends upon your personal water filtration needs and your budget. You want to make sure that you take the time to test the water before you make a decision so that you can be sure to make the right one.

Once you’ve decided which type of filtration system you need, take the time to read reviews so that you can be sure to choose the right brand.

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