Showers should be relaxing. But if your bathroom smells like a swimming pool when you take a hot shower, or your hair and skin dry out after, you might love your daily shower less than you should.
Cheap shower filters from a supermarket are poorly designed, don’t filter well, and can slow down your flow to a pathetic trickle. But a high-quality shower filter can restore softness to your hair and skin and give you several options for flow strength, so you get exactly the experience you want.
Our Aquasana Shower Filter review focuses on the AQ-4105 Deluxe. It’s simple to install, removes contaminants from tap water, lasts up to 6 months, and has an adjustable head that’ll give you an awesome massage each morning.
At A Glance: Aquasana Shower Filter
- Noticeable improvements in skin & hair quality for most users
- Simple enough for a child to install
- Powerful & relaxing massaging showerhead
- Doesn’t soften water (although may improve hard water in some cases)
- Replacement filters seem a little wasteful
Things to remember before buying a shower filter
Shower filters are great for people who are happy with their drinking water quality but need to remove low levels of contaminants from their shower water to improve their hair or skin. If your home’s water quality isn’t good enough to drink, you’ll need a whole-house water filter to fix water quality issues.
Before you buy, consider the following.
Know your water quality
Know your water quality and buy something that solves your specific water problem. The AQ-4105 Deluxe is an all-rounder, reducing chlorine and heavy metals, neutralizing acid (PH levels) and improving the water’s smell and taste (in case you accidentally get some in your mouth!).
If you’re unsure, a water quality test can confirm exactly what’s in your water.
All shower filters become less effective over time, eventually needing replacing. The Aquasana AQ-4105 Deluxe lasts for 10,000 gallons or six months. Manufacturers base these lifespan estimates on average usage, so a larger family may need to replace more often.
Most shower filters are simple to install. Check your current fittings for compatibility before purchasing. The AQ-4105 deluxe uses a standard fitting (which should be used in 99% of American bathrooms) and screws in within a few seconds.
Aquasana Shower Filter Review
The AQ-4105 Deluxe is a great all-rounder for improving most households’ bathing water quality (assuming no unusual issues.) Most users see clear improvements in the hair and skin within a few days.
Its massaging shower head is a stand-out feature – and something I appreciate on a shower head after a tough run or workout.
One of the AQ-4105’s main rivals is the Aqua Bliss SF500 (recommended by many other sites). The AquaBliss is less expensive and claims to have 15-stage filtration – we didn’t find it quite as effective as the AQ-4105, and some reviewers said it made their water worse. You also don’t get a massaging head included. On the plus side the AquaBliss replacement filters have a much smaller footprint and look less wasteful than the Aquasana.
If you’re looking for a filter without an extendable shower head (known as a wand), Aquasana also sells the AQ-4100. This is a bit cheaper and saves space if you don’t need a long extendable wand.
Whichever model you pick, Aquasana offers a one-year limited warranty, and a 90-day guarantee making it a low-risk purchase.
What’s in the box?
- Shower filter body
- Filter cartridge (already attached to the body)
- Massaging shower head
The AQ 4105 Deluxe’s natural coconut-shell carbon filtering shower system traps chlorine and removes lead, iron, and other synthetic chemicals and contaminants from tap water.
The coconut shell carbon also enhances the taste and smell of your water. So you won’t need to worry about the nasty taste of accidentally getting water in your mouth anymore.
The two-stage up-flow filter uses coconut shell carbon and the KDF copper/zinc oxidation process to correct your water’s PH balance. This combination of media and the unique two-stage process makes AquaSana’s filter uniquely efficient.
Aquasana shower systems also have an up-flow design, increasing water contact time with the filtration media.
The benefits are clear. You’ll enjoy healthy, clean water while you shower, giving you softer, more moisturized skin and shinier, noticeably softer hair.
Are you tired of smelling chlorine from your shower water? Does it make you feel like you’re breathing in toxic chemicals? If there are high amounts of chlorine in your water, you may have high levels of indoor air pollution caused by the vaporized chlorine from your hot shower water.
Fortunately, as described above, the Aquasana shower filter reduces chlorine in your shower water. This helps improve the air quality in your bathroom and ensures your relaxing, hot shower is safe too.
Water Flow Rate
If you’ve experienced a poor flow rate and water pressure from your old showerhead or a cheaper brand of shower filter, you’ll be happy to know that Aquasana’s shower filters have a fantastic flow rate.
Aquasana’s Shower Filter is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to enjoy a relaxing shower without worrying about their shower water pressure dropping. This innovative product utilizes an up-flow design that prevents media channeling so that you can take advantage of every drop!
Cost & lifespan
The AquaSana AQ 4100 Deluxe is long-lasting; when factoring in filter replacements and the purchase price, it costs as little as $0.25 per day.
Many worry about buying into an ecosystem that locks you into filter replacements for the rest of the product’s life. But in the case of AquaSana, that isn’t an issue. You won’t need to change the filter for six months to 10,000 gallons of showering.
And when you do, you only need to replace the filter cartridge itself. Not the whole unit. So you can keep using the massaging shower head for as long as you like.
Four-step, easy install
Like most filter shower heads, the installation process is straightforward, and there’s no need to hire a plumber. Aquasana has an easy-to-follow manual with pictures, which makes things super simple..
1) Remove the existing showerhead
2) Install the AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Filter
3) Run water for several minutes to flush the shower filter of carbon fines until the water is running clear
4) Screw in the massaging shower head.
Aquasana recommends using plumber’s tape (Teflon tape) on the threads, but be sure to hand-tighten only. Do not over-tighten, as you may damage the threads.
For optimal filtration, install new replacement cartridges every six months or once you notice a decrease in your shower water pressure. You’ll be glad you did!
The Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Water Filter System has it’s own shower head for relaxing, muscle-soothing showers.
There are three modes of water flow – a full body spray, a targeted massage spray, and a gentle trickle for those times you want to extend the length of your shower.
I’m a keen hiker and swimmer, but as I live in a small apartment, I don’t have the option of coming home to a relaxing bath. So I appreciate a shower head with various strengths and options to relieve my aching muscles.
What are people saying about the AQ-4100?
We know our opinion is just that – an opinion! So we also spent some time looking for independent customer reviews to ensure we hadn’t missed anything.
Here are a few examples:
Nearly all the reviews we looked at were positive. One common theme is that almost everyone mentioned how they saw improvements in their skin or hair quality from using the Aquasana shower filter.
Something that surprised me was the number of people who said their hair dye lasted significantly longer after using the shower filter! Not something I can comment on myself because I’m a bald guy!
Most negative reviews are related to the filter not working on hard water. This product is a filter, NOT a softener – if you want to reduce hardness, look for alternatives.
Aquasana or Berkey? Which shower filter is better?
Both AQ and Berkey make quality products. Depending on your preferences and shower water quality, I recommend either one.
We compared the Aquasana AQ4100 against the Berkey Inline Shower System. Below is a brief comparison, but you can read our full Berkey Shower Filter Review here if you’d like to know more.
If budget is a consideration, Aquasana pushes out in front.
We found that Aquasana worked out a few bucks cheaper to comparable models with massaging shower heads.
Price of replacement filters
When you buy a replacement for either model, you buy the whole body again (minus the massaging showerhead). Because of this, Aquasana is quite a bit cheaper again.
Tests show that Berkey’s shower filter reduces 95% chlorine, whereas Aquasana’s removes 90%.
The Aquasana does not reduce scale or soften the water, whereas the Berkey uses KDF55 granules which are effective for hard water.
Winner: Berkey (just)
Ease of installation
Both are installed in pretty much the same way.
Massaging shower head
Both include options to buy a massaging shower head that works similarly.
Design and aesthetics
Both look good with their clean white design. However, the Berkey is much smaller. So we’d choose the Berkey if space is an issue.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a high-quality shower filter head, then the Aquasana is a fantastic choice.
You’ll save a few bucks by buying an Aquasana, which can add up when you factor in replacements every six months.
Aquasana is not quite as effective at removing chlorine as some shower filters, but the difference is so tiny that this is not a problem for most people.
If hard water is not a problem for you, save some money and buy the Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe. Otherwise, look for a shower filter designed specifically for hard water – our shower filter review page is a great place to start.