Since I live in an apartment complex without a water softener, I wanted something to make the water more suitable for showering. I have been relatively pleased with the shower filter and do sense some difference in the quality. It's not a water softener, but still seems to make an improvement. When it came near the end of the use-cycle, and I swapped out to a new filter, I could sense the difference. It's worth it for the relatively low cost on an annual basis (I swap mine out every 4 months, although the manufacturer says 6 months).