3 Best Shower Filters for Iron & Sulfur Smell Removal (2024)

Last updated Feb 15, 2024

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Welcome to our expert guide on choosing the best shower filter for iron and sulfur smell removal. A quality shower head filter for iron and sulfur does two things: it eliminates the rotten egg smell and rusty-colored water that just loves to stain everything it touches.

The technical names for these substances are iron oxide and hydrogen sulfide. There are two types of iron that linger in water: ferrous iron and ferric iron.

Ferrous iron is colorless and soluble at any pH, while ferric iron is responsible for those reddish stains we know all too well. These stains are referred to in the mining community as “yellow boy.”

A hydrogen sulfide problem typically occurs alongside an iron problem because of the bacteria that feed on iron. The sulfur bacteria and iron bacteria live in harmony and have a good ol’ country jamboree in your pipes.

In this guide, we share the top 3 best shower filters for iron and sulfur smell removal along with a buyer’s guide that explains in greater detail how we arrived at these 3 filters.

Best Shower Filters for Iron and Sulfur Smell Removal

Model Features & Highlights
#1 Berkey Shower Filter (KDSF)
  • Filter Life: 1 year or 20,000 gallons
  • Filter Media: High-Purity Blend of Zinc, Calcium, and Copper (Calcium Sulfite and KDF Redox Media)
  • Warranty: Berkey Lifetime Warranty
  • Dimensions: 5″ Length x 4″ Diameter (Filter Case)
  • Highlights: Longer filter life than competing brands | Includes backflush attachment to push out trapped iron gunk in a jiffy | Specially formulated to remove iron (rusty water), iron oxide, and hydrogen sulfide | Relieves itchy skin | Approved by wives for a boost in hair, skin, and nail health | Highly effective at removing stinky egg sulfur odor
  • Recommended Reading: Berkey Shower Filter Review
#2 Aquabliss High Output Universal Shower Filter (SF220)

Aquabliss High Output Universal shower head filter for iron (SF220)

  • Filter Life: 10,000 – 12,000 gallons or 6 – 8 months
  • Filter Media: KDF Redox Media, Calcium Sulfite, Activated Carbon
  • Warranty: 1-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
  • Dimensions: 4.61″ Long x 3.35″ Diameter
  • Highlights: The better Aquabliss shower filter for iron-rich well water and sulfur odors (skip the SF100 version) | Activated carbon does an excellent job of eliminating noxious odors | Also great for chlorine removal | Easy to backwash | Provides hair, skin, and nail benefits | More affordable than the Berkey | Reliable customer service and quality parts that’ll stand the test of time
  • Recommended Reading: Aquabliss Shower Filter Review

Coupon Code for 5% Off  AWMSH2O 

#3 Sprite Universal Shower Filter (HO2-WH-M)

sprite shower head filter for sulfur

sprite HOC best shower filter for iron removal

  • Filter Life: 6 – 12 months or 25,000 gallons
  • Filter Media: Chlorgon (copper, zinc, and calcium sulfide, similar to Berkey)
  • Warranty: 1-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
  • Dimensions: 8″ Long x 3.2″ Diameter
  • Highlights: Sprite is one of the oldest and most reliable shower filter brands | Most brands copy Sprite’s Chlorgon filtration media | Formulated to remove hydrogen sulfide and iron oxide | Reversible shower filter (rotate it monthly to extend life) | Tons of different models to choose from to match your bathroom finishes | The most affordable option in our Top 3 | Extra-long filter life | Simple Installation
  • Recommended Reading: Sprite Shower Filter Review

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Shower Head Filter for Iron and Sulfur Smell Removal

We kept this list short and sweet for a reason: these are the top 3 filters on the market to get the job done. There are other comparable models, but they’re not better than these three. In this section, we go over how we arrived at our picks.

# of Filtration Stages

When choosing a shower filter for iron bacteria and sulfur odors, it’s best to choose a filter with fewer stages. 12 and 15-stage filters are better for treating municipal water or well water that’s light on iron.

The photos below demonstrate the difference between the 3-stage Aquabliss filter and a 15-stage filter #ad:

15-stage shower filter

The filter on the left is the 3-stage Aquabliss SF220 filter, and the filter on the right is a 15-stage filter. The 3-stage Aquabliss filter is advantageous for iron-rich and sulfur water for the following reasons:

  • Increased filtration surface area of the most effective media, e.g. KDF-55, activated carbon, and calcium sulfite.
  • The 3-stage filter does not add minerals to your shower water. There’s no point in adding more minerals to iron-rich water.
  • Fewer air pockets between the different types of filtration media.
  • Increased contact time between your water and the redox media, which is the most effective type of filtration media for shower water. It’s tested to remove contaminants in hot water and for higher flow rates and typically used to meet NSF/ANSI Standard 177 for chlorine reduction.
  • Longer Filter Life – 15-stage filters will burn out faster with iron-rich water

Sprite Chlorgon Media

Sprite Chlorgon media is a popular choice among shower filter brands. Berkey’s filtration media is very similar to Sprite’s Chlrogon media. The reason we chose the Sprite and Berkey filters is that Chlorgon media is formulated to remove iron, iron oxide, and hydrogen sulfide.

These are the three culprits behind rust stains and rotten egg scents. If you look back at the Aquabliss shower filter above, you’ll notice that Aquabliss also uses essentially the same media with the addition of activated carbon.

The activated carbon layer is the bottom layer, then the KDF redox media, followed by the top layer of calcium sulfite.

Sprite and Berkey filters simply mix the calcium sulfite and KDF together (see photo below #ad):

sprite hoc best shower filter for iron water

Be sure to choose the Sprite HOC High Output Filter pictured above (click the image to go directly to the Amazon product page). Sprite manufactures several types of filters, and the HOC High Output filter is the best one for iron and sulfur.

The Berkey filter is available with or without a showerhead in case you want to keep your existing showerhead.

The Aquabliss SF220 does not come with a showerhead.

The Importance of Backwashing Your Filter

Backwashing your filter is particularly important when filtering iron-rich well water with hydrogen sulfide. Iron is a nasty beast and will inevitably cause gunk to build up at the filter’s entry point. Backwashing your filter extends the life of your filter and prevents it from clogging.

The video below demonstrates how to backwash a shower filter:

For more information about backwashing, we recommend our guide on choosing the best shower filter for well water.

Sprite’s HOC High Output filter is reversible. It’s recommended to rotate it monthly to avoid clogging and to extend the life of the filter.

The Berkey filter includes a backflush attachment for easy backwashing.

To backwash the Aquabliss SF220 filter, follow the instructions in the video above.

Bottom Line

We’re confident that by now you know how we arrived at these three filters. These are the 3 best shower filters for iron and sulfur currently on the market. All three companies are trustworthy, provide warranties, and have excellent customer service marks.

The filters contain filtration media that’s designed to remove iron bacteria and sulfur odors. Lastly, what sets these filters apart is the ability to backwash them or rotate the filter. This is an essential feature to have when filtering iron-rich water.

It’s easy to find a great shower filter with the same filter media types, but without being able to backwash it, the iron will collect around the entry point. This leads to a shortened filter life, decreased water pressure, and at worst, a broken filter housing due to the increase in pressure around the entry point.

Bottom line, stick with these shower head filters for iron and sulfur to get the job done.

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