Welcome to our guide to choosing the best water filters that remove fluoride. Whether you’re a renter, homeowner, or on a tight budget, we’ve got you covered. This month has been fluoride removal month here, and we’re confident that the many hours of research we’ve put in have led us to the best filters that remove fluoride from water.
Instead of listing the top 5 overall filters for fluoride removal, we took a different approach by sharing our top pick from each category. When we say category, we mean each type of filter that removes fluoride since different filter types have the ability to remove it.
To make our guide as user-friendly as possible, we started with the most affordable filter and worked our way up to the most expensive option.
Top 5 Best Water Filters That Remove Fluoride
#1 Water Pitcher Filters (Aqua Crest)
Cheapest Filter that Removes Fluoride
#2 Ion-Exchange Resin (ZeroWater)
Removes up to 99% of Fluoride (According to ZeroWater)
#3 Water Filter Pitcher (Clearly Filtered)
Removes up to 98.2% of Fluoride
#4 Activated Alumina (Countertop & Whole House)
Removes up to 93% of Fluoride
#5 Reverse Osmosis (APEC)
Removes up to 93.8% of Fluoride
What did you think of our top 5 water filters that remove fluoride? Have you already chosen the best filter for your home? If you’re still undecided, continue on through our buyer’s guide.
Fluoride Water Filter Buyer’s Guide
In this buyer’s guide, we’ll take a closer look at how each type of filter removes fluoride from your tap water, but before we do that, we recommend completing one initial step.
How to Check Fluoride Content in Your Tap Water
The most important step is to ensure there’s fluoride in your tap water before you invest in a filter (if you haven’t already). Checking if your tap water is fluoridated is easy and 100% free. Here’s how to do it:
- Navigate to the CDC online fluoride checker tool (Click Here)
- Find your state
- Once you search for your state, find your county
- After you click on your county, find your local water provider
- You’ll see a list of water providers with a “Yes” or “No” in the “Fluoridated” column
- If your water provider fluoridates your water, click on your provider to see the exact fluoride concentration in ppm
Now that you know whether your tap water is fluoridated, let’s go over a brief overview of each filtration type.
ZeroWater Ion-Exchange Resin
Water filter pitchers that remove fluoride typically use ion-exchange resin to get the job done. You may have noticed how large the ZeroWater filter is. The filter’s large size is due to the thick layer of ion-exchange resin.
In layman’s terms, ion-exchange resin does exactly what it says in its title. In other words, the charged ions in the resin switch places with similarly charged ions in your tap water including fluoride. The thick layer of resin in the ZeroWater filter increases the contact time between your tap water and the resin.
This allows the resin to do a more thorough job and remove all minerals from your tap water, including essential minerals. It’s the reason why ZeroWater filters become spent so quickly. The more minerals in your tap water (higher TDS) the quicker the ion-exchange resin uses up its already short lifespan.
If you have hard tap water or well water, ZeroWater replacement filters will get expensive in a hurry. You’re better off purchasing any of the other 4 options if you have high TDS water.
Further Reading: Do Zero Water filters remove fluoride?
Clearly Filtered Affinity Media
The overall best fluoride water filter pitcher is Clearly Filtered. They take a different approach than ZeroWater by using a mixture of what they call “affinity media.” Each type of media is designed to attract and trap a different set of substances in your tap water including fluoride.
What we like about Clearly Filtered is they post water quality lab test results on their website, and their filters leave essential minerals intact, unlike ZeroWater. The Clearly Filtered filter sports an impressive 98% fluoride reduction rate.
Activated Alumina Fluoride Removal
Activated alumina water filters are highly effective at removing fluoride. A quality activated alumina filter can remove up to 99% of fluoride. The EPA Secondary Standard limit for fluoride is 2 ppm. An activated alumina filter can reduce the fluoride level from 2 ppm to .1 ppm through the process of fluoride adsorption.
Activated alumina also does a marvelous job of removing arsenic. There are two types of common activated alumina water filters: countertop and whole-house.
For most people, we recommend the countertop version because it’s more convenient and easier to install. Also, you may not require whole-house fluoride removal.
The countertop version is more than adequate to remove fluoride from your drinking water, and you get on-demand filtered water, unlike a water filter pitcher.
Reverse Osmosis for Fluoride Removal
The last of our water filters that remove fluoride is reverse osmosis. How does reverse osmosis remove fluoride? Unlike the other types of filters on this list, reverse osmosis blocks fluoride instead of attracting it. It achieves this feat by forcing water through the semi-permeable reverse osmosis membrane.
The 0.0001-micron pore size in the reverse osmosis membrane is too small for most fluoride molecules to pass through. APEC’s reverse osmosis membrane removes 93.8% of fluoride.
The one drawback to reverse osmosis filtration is that the system removes all minerals, similar to the ZeroWater filter. To correct this issue, most water filtration companies have begun selling remineralizing reverse osmosis systems. These systems use an additional inline mineral filter cartridge after the reverse osmosis membrane that contains alkaline minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
The water from this type of system tastes better than plain reverse osmosis water. In fact, a lot of bottled water is reverse osmosis water with added minerals for taste.
Now you know how to choose the best water filters that remove fluoride for your home. Always remember to check if your local water is fluoridated before investing in a water filter because there’s no point in spending the extra money to filter out something that’s not there.
Of the options we included in our article, our top picks are Clearly Filtered and APEC because they provide water quality test reports on their websites. We prefer to know how a filter performs according to lab test results instead of taking a company’s word for it. We also value company transparency, and overall, APEC is one of the more impressive water filtration companies we’ve come across.