6 Best Fluoride Water Filters: Reviewed and Ranked (2024)

Reviewed by: James Layton
Updated on:
February 28, 2024

To choose the best fluoride water filter, I tested and compared 24 options. Throughout this process, I followed Drinking Water’s seven-step testing methodology and also received valuable insight from James Layton, our in-house water expert who has almost three decades’ experience working in the water treatment industry and currently consults for the EPA.

In the end, the Clearly Filtered water pitcher earned my #1 recommendation for a fluoride water filter. If you don’t want a pitcher filter, my second and third choices are under-sink and countertop units. Here is more information about the products that made my list:

Best Overall: Clearly Filtered Pitcher 9.5/10

  • Removes up to 99.54% of fluoride from your water.
  • Filters 99% of chlorine, lead, haloacetic acids, PFAS, and VOCs.
  • Its 80 oz/10-cup capacity and fast filtration make it suitable for large families.
  • Includes a lifetime warranty and 30-day return policy.
  • Varying filter life and capacity
  • Not good for well water

PROS

The Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher is my top fluoride filter for four main reasons:

Pro 1/4: Effective fluoride removal

The first and most important benefit of the Clearly Filtered Pitcher is that it does what it’s designed to do and removes over 99% of the fluoride in your water.

It does this by including a dedicated filtration stage designed specifically for fluoride. In total, the pitcher has three stages. The first and second stages are designed to tackle other contaminants (discussed below), but the third stage features activated alumina, a substance whose chemical composition attracts fluoride molecules and removes them almost entirely from your water. This filter was tested on a water sample with a 2.2 mg/L fluoride concentration and reduced it to less than 0.01 mg/L, which is a 99.54% reduction.

This means that if you want a filter that is going to reduce fluoride concentrations in your water to next to nothing, you should get the Clearly Filtered pitcher.

Pro 2/4: Targets a wide range of other contaminants

The second thing to like about the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher is that it also removes over 95%–99% of chlorine, chloramine, VOCs, PFAs, disinfection byproducts, herbicides, pesticides, and nitrates.

The first and second stages of this filter’s three-stage design make this possible. The first stage is a screening layer that removes sand, dirt, clay, and other sediment that might be in your water. It also helps distribute the water over the rest of the filter media to ensure its working at full capacity. The second stage is made up of activated carbon, which is one of the most effective filter media in existence and is capable of removing between 95%–99% of chlorine, chloramine, VOCs, PFAS and other forever chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, disinfection byproducts, such as haloacetic acids, and more

This means that if your water tastes funny because of high chlorine levels, or you’re worried about its safety due to the presence of other chemicals, you should get the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher.

Pro 3/4: Large and fast enough for a family of 4 or more

Another perk of the Clearly Filtered pitcher is that it is large and fast enough to work for one to four people — minimum

The pitcher itself holds 80 oz of filtered water, which is a little more than a half gallon. We should be drinking at least this much water per day, so if you live alone, just tell yourself to empty the pitcher once per day. However, this filter still works for larger families because of how quickly it can filter water. Thanks to the first stage of the filter, which distributes the water over the filter media, water can move more quickly through the second and third stages than it can with other filter pitchers. You can fill the entire pitcher and have clean water in less than five minutes. If you do this a few times per day, that’s more than enough water for the entire household.

This means that no matter if you have a large or a small household, if you want to remove fluoride from your water, you should get the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher.

Pro 4/4: Lifetime warranty and 30-day return policy

I have owned several water pitchers throughout my life, including multiple Brita filters, and they all have one thing in common: They eventually break and start leaking. Either the plastic cracks, or the seals around the filter break down, or something else happens that requires me to go out and spend more money on yet another filter. This has always been super frustrating, and I hate that this constant need to replace things has become so normal. These pitchers are meant to help reduce plastic water bottle use, but if I have to buy a new one every year, I am still creating waste and throwing money away.

That’s why one of the Clearly Filtered pitcher’s biggest selling points for me was its lifetime warranty. No other pitcher I have had has offered me this kind of guarantee, and none of the other top options on the market even come close to what Clearly Filtered offers. This gives me peace of mind because I can feel confident it won’t break like the others did. But even if it does, for some reason, I can go back to Clearly Filtered and get assistance. 

In a world where everything is designed to be thrown away after just a few months or years, it’s refreshing seeing a company come out and stand by its product in this way. 

All of this means that if you want to buy a fluoride filter that will last you a lifetime and is backed by an industry-leading company commitment, you should get the Clearly Filtered pitcher.

CONS

There’s a lot to like about the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher, but it has two notable downsides:

Con 1/2: Requires manual refills

One downside of the Clearly Filtered pitcher is that you have to manually refill it constantly to get clean drinking water. It filters fast, but if you need water immediately, you might get sick of the endless cycle of refilling and waiting.

This is a natural feature of any pitcher, but the alternative would be to go for a larger system such as reverse osmosis, which I’ve reviewed in the next section. These work great and give you a nearly endless supply of clean drinking water, but they are about four to five times more expensive.

If you don’t like the added step of filling the pitcher up yourself every time you need water, check out option #2 on my list.

Con 2/2: Unknown filter life and true capacity

Another con of the Clearly Filtered pitcher is that we can’t really trust the 100-gallon filter life claim the manufacturer makes.

There are too many variables, and exact filter life depends on what’s in your water and how much water you use. Higher contaminant levels and higher water use will require more frequent replacements. 

The manufacturer recommends a family of four refill the pitcher three to four times a day and replace the filter once every three months. But I would probably cut this to once every two months to ensure the filter is working at max capacity throughout that entire time. If you live alone or with just one other person, the filter should last you three to four months with no problem.

All in all, if you don’t want to worry about changing filters every few months or don’t like not knowing exactly how long it’s going to last, I encourage you to check out option #2 and option #3 on this list, both of which deal with this issue in different ways.

OVERALL: 9.5/10

The Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher is my top recommendation for a fluoride water filter because it removes 99.54% of fluoride and 99% of a long list of other city water contaminants, such as chlorine, chloramine, lead, arsenic, VOCs, and PFAs.

It’s true that it’s impossible to determine true filter capacity, but this isn’t too big of an issue considering it’s also backed by an industry-best lifetime warranty. 

If you want to remove fluoride from your water once and for all, get the Clearly Filtered water pitcher.

Best Under-Sink Fluoride Filter: SpringWell Reverse Osmosis 9.2/10

  • Removes 92%–95% of fluoride from your water.
  • Filters up to 99% of chlorine, chloramine, VOCs, heavy metals, and more from your water.
  • Refills automatically and is large enough for a family of six or more.
  • Works on city and well water.
  • Quick and easy filter replacements simplify maintenance.
  • More expensive up front than a pitcher filter
  • Wastes water
  • Not suitable for hard water unless you add a softener

The SpringWell Reverse Osmosis Water Filter is the best under-sink fluoride filter because it effectively removes 92%–95% of fluoride and provides lots more water at once than a pitcher, but it’s more difficult to maintain and costs more up front. 

PROS

The SpringWell Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System is the best under-sink water filtration system for the following five reasons:

Pro 1/5: Removes 92%–95% of fluoride

The SpringWell Reverse Osmosis water filter is the second-best fluoride water filter and my top under-sink option because it’s proven to remove 92%–95% of fluoride from your water.

It does this using a process known as reverse osmosis, which has long been a gold standard in water filtration due to its effectiveness. During RO, as it’s often called, water is pushed through a membrane with super small pores — around 0.001 microns. Fluoride molecules are larger than this, so they get trapped and removed from your water. 

Fluoride filtration rates are slightly lower than with the pitcher I chose as my top option, which is why this is my second choice. But while the filtration method used in that pitcher allows for almost 99% removal, this number will go down as the filter gets older and nears the end of its life. RO will maintain its effectiveness right up until the moment you need to replace it.

All of this means that if you want to reduce fluoride levels to almost nothing and avoid the potential health challenges it presents without constant refilling, you should get the SpringWell Reverse Osmosis Water Filter.

Pro 2/5: Removes 99% of other city water contaminants

The next big upside to the SpringWell reverse osmosis system is that it also removes up to 99% of tons of other common water contaminants, such as chlorine, chloramine, VOCs, PFAS, nitrates, heavy metals — including lead — and more

It does this by combining the reverse osmosis membrane with three additional filtration stages, turning this system into a four-stage filter with high capacity to remove contaminants. The first stage is a sediment filter designed to remove dirt, dust, sand, etc. The second stage is a carbon block filter, which is what takes all the chemicals out. The third stage is the RO membrane, which removes fluoride, lead, nickel, copper, and other heavy metals, as well as viruses and bacteria. The fourth and final stage is another sediment filter designed to trap anything that might have snuck through. The result is clean, clear, great-tasting water. 

This means that if, in addition to fluoride, you’re also concerned about the many other chemicals that are added to your water, both intentionally and unintentionally, you should get the SpringWell under-sink reverse osmosis filter

Pro 3/5: Refills automatically and is large enough for a family of six or more

One of the biggest pros of the SpringWell RO filter, and a major distinguishing feature, is that it refills automatically and can meet the needs of a family of six or more.

This tank is connected to a hose and faucet that you will install at your sink next to your main faucet. When you want clean drinking water, turn the faucet on and it will pull clean RO water from the tank. As you use water, the system will refill the tank. Since each person should drink 0.5 gallons per day of water, the tank holds enough for six people. But because it refills automatically, it can provide even more. While total daily production can vary, this unit can easily produce up to 50 gallons per day of clean, clear, fluoride-free water. This is a much larger capacity than any pitcher can provide, and since it refills automatically, it also requires less work.

The bottom line is that if you want endless fluoride-free water and don’t want to have to worry about refilling a pitcher or tank, you should get the SpringWell RO filter

Pro 4/5: Quick and easy filter replacements simplify maintenance.

The fourth advantage the SpringWell reverse osmosis filter offers is that it’s easy to maintain

Three main features contribute to this filter’s simplicity of use. First, it refills automatically. Second, the two carbon filters and the sediment filter need to be replaced once every six months, and the reverse osmosis membrane is good for two years. Third, the proprietary design of the filters means you can change them in a matter of seconds and don’t need any tools

This means that if you don’t want to have to worry about maintaining your filter except for a few times per year, you should get the SpringWell Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System.

Pro 5/5: Works on city or well water

The last major advantage of the SpringWell RO system is that it can be used on either city water or well water

If you’re looking for a fluoride filter, you’re probably on city water and looking to remove the added fluoride. But naturally occurring fluoride does exist and can be just as dangerous, if not more so. The Clearly Filtered water pitcher reviewed above does not work with well water

This means that if you want a fluoride filter that is just as effective on your private well water as it is on city water, you should get the SpringWell Reverse Osmosis system.

CONS

There are three main cons of the SpringWell RO system that I want to mention: 

Con 1/3: More expensive up front than a pitcher

The biggest downside of the SpringWell RO system is that it’s about six times more expensive up front than the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher

Prices change all the time, but as of writing, it was around $500 for the complete unit. I know that can be a big shock, but it’s actually not as dramatic when you think long-term.

Pitchers need filter replacements once every one to two months, and these filters cost around $50 at the time of writing, though you can get them for less if you buy multiple at once. This translates to $300–$600 per year in filter replacements. The SpringWell reverse osmosis filter has more filters to change out, but they are larger and last longer, so yearly costs are around $150 in total. After two to three years, the two units are around the same price, and by the 10-year mark the RO filter is cheaper

This means the SpringWell Reverse Osmosis unit is the more affordable long-term solution as compared to the pitcher, even if it is significantly more expensive up front.

Con 2/3: Wastes water

The second drawback to the SpringWell RO filter is that it wastes water

This is a natural result from reverse osmosis, which works by separating water into “clean” and “dirty” supplies. The clean supply has been filtered and is what goes to the tank and then your tap. The “dirty” supply is saturated with the contaminants removed by the RO membrane and gets sent down the drain. How much water is wasted depends on what’s actually in your water, but it ranges from one to four gallons for every gallon of clean water the system produces.

The Clearly Filtered pitcher ranked as the #1 option on this list does not waste any water, and option #3 wastes much less. If wastewater is a concern of yours, then you should go with one of those two products.

Con 3/3: Not suitable for hard water

Another downside of the SpringWell RO filter is that it is not suitable for hard water unless you want to buy and install a water softener

RO membranes are so small that they catch and remove calcium and magnesium from your water, which are the minerals responsible for hard water. These minerals will then stick to the membrane and cause scale buildup, much like what happens to your fixtures and appliances. Over time, this will clog the membrane and render it useless. If you install a water softener before the RO filter, this will solve this problem, but that makes the entire system much more expensive. On the other hand, if you have hard water, it could be wreaking havoc on your pipes, fixtures, appliances, laundry, skin, and hair, so it’s worth looking into anyway.

If you have hard water and don’t want to install a softener, you’re much better off going with the pitcher I listed as my #1 overall choice.

OR…

Check out my review of the best water softeners to find one that works for you.

OVERALL: 9.2/10

The SpringWell Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Filter System is the best under-sink fluoride filter because it’s super effective at removing fluoride and also filters lots of other contaminants.

It’s true that it costs more money up front, but the large capacity and decreased maintenance compared to pitchers helps offset that. 

If you want a convenient and effective way to filter fluoride out of your water, then get the SpringWell Reverse Osmosis Water Filter.

Best Countertop Fluoride Filter: SimPure Countertop Reverse Osmosis 9.2/10

  • Removes 90%–95% of fluoride.
  • Filters 95%–99% of chlorine, chloramines, VOCs, and PFAS.
  • Includes a UV light that kills bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
  • Countertop design requires no plumbing.
  • More efficient than other RO systems.
  • Constant refills
  • Electricity required
  • Costs more than a pitcher

The SimPure Countertop Reverse Osmosis Dispenser is the best countertop fluoride filter because of its effectiveness against fluoride and many other city water contaminants and because it requires zero installation.

PROS

The SimPure Countertop Reverse Osmosis Dispenser ranks so highly on my list for the following four reasons:

Pro 1/4: Removes 90%–95% of fluoride

The first and probably the biggest pro of the SimPure Countertop dispenser is that it scored very high on our effectiveness tests after reducing fluoride levels in water by 90%–95%.

It’s able to achieve such high removal rates because it uses reverse osmosis. Often called RO for short, reverse osmosis is a process that pushes water through a membrane with super small pores, usually 0.001 microns. This allows it to trap a wide range of contaminants, including fluoride. Due to the small size of fluoride molecules, this is one of the most effective ways of removing them from water. While a little bit of fluoride might be able to sneak through, this filter does an excellent job at reducing fluoride well below safe and desirable levels of fluoride in water.

What this means is that if you have fluoride in your water and want to reduce it to safe, almost undetectable levels with an easily accessible countertop system, you can get the SimPure Countertop Reverse Osmosis Dispenser.

Pro 2/4: Filters 95%–99% of chlorine, chloramines, VOCs, and PFAs, and microbes.

The second reason the SimPure Countertop dispenser ranked so highly on my list is it includes additional filtration stages that allow it to remove 95%–99% of many other contaminants, mainly chlorine, chloramine, VOCs, PFAs, heavy metals, and dangerous microbes

It does this thanks to its three additional stages of filtration, which include a sediment filter, activated carbon and ultraviolet (UV) light. When you add the RO stage, that’s four total stages of filtration. The first stage, which is the sediment filter, removes dirt, dust, sand, and other particulate matter from your water. The second stage, activated carbon, is highly effective at removing most chemical contaminants, such as chlorine, chloramine, VOCs, PFAs, etc. The third stage, the RO membrane, removes fluoride as well as heavy metals, such as lead, chromium, and nickel. Finally, the water passes through the fourth stage, a UV light chamber, which zaps the water with powerful ultraviolet light, altering the DNA of bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens — like parasites — and killing them on the spot. 

All of this means that if you want a filter that will not only remove fluoride from your water but will also remove chlorine, chloramine, VOCS, PFAs, heavy metals, and microbes, then you should get the SimPure Countertop Reverse Osmosis Dispenser.

Pro 3/4: More efficient than comparable models.

The third thing that helped the SimPure Countertop RO system earn the title of the best countertop fluoride filter is that it’s considerably more efficient than most other RO systems with a 4:1 pure to drain ratio.

All reverse osmosis systems “waste” water. This is because during the filtration process, water is pushed through the membrane with tiny pores, leaving clean water on one side and “dirty” water on the other. This dirty water saturated with contaminants is flushed down the drain. Most reverse osmosis systems have a 1:1 or 2:1 efficiency ratio. The first number is how much pure water is produced and the second is how much water is wasted as a result. Filters with a 1:1 ratio send one gallon of water down the drain for every one gallon of fresh water. That’s a lot of water being flushed away. The SimPure Countertop RO system captures wasted water and filters it, which means four gallons of water are purified while just one gallon is sent down the drain

If you’re looking for a reverse osmosis fluoride filter that wastes the least amount of water compared to any other similar product, then you should get the SimPure Countertop RO system.

Pro 4/4: Countertop design requires no plumbing.

The fourth and one of the most important pros of the SimPure Countertop Reverse Osmosis Dispenser is that it requires absolutely no plumbing. You simply set it on your counter, plug it in, fill it up, and you have pure, fluoride-free water. 

The Clearly Filtered pitcher I ranked #1 also offers this convenience, but it has a much smaller pitcher and you have to pick it up. The SimPure unit provides almost a whole gallon of water for each tank fill and is available at the touch of a button. Most other fluoride filters are under-sink reverse osmosis systems. These work great and provide you with nearly endless water, but they require you to cut into your pipes and also find space for a separate drain line.

All of this means that if you want a fluoride filter that provides you with almost a gallon of fluoride-free water with one fill and requires absolutely no plumbing work to install, you should get the SimPure Countertop Reverse Osmosis Dispenser.

CONS

There are three primary drawbacks of the SimPure Countertop Reverse Osmosis Dispenser:

Con 1/3: Requires constant refills

Probably the biggest downside is that the SimPure RO dispenser needs to be manually refilled constantly to continue providing you with clean, fluoride-free water.

It has a 1.3-gallon holding tank, but not all of that will be available once filtration is complete. Remember that all RO systems send some water down the drain. In total, you should get around 0.8 gallons of clean, fluoride-free water every time you fill the 1.3-gallon tank. That’s enough for one day if you live alone, but if you have other people in your home, you will have to refill it several times a day for continuous access to filtered water. 

If having to remember to fill your filter is going to be a problem, I suggest you check out the second option on my list, the SpringWell under-sink RO system.

Con 2/3: Operates using electricity 

The second downside of the SimPure dispenser is that it requires electricity to run. 

For the UV light to work, and also to run the pump that pushes the water through the RO membrane, you need to place the unit near a plug. This has two consequences. First, it limits where you can put it. Second, it means it won’t work during power outages. Depending on where you live, this may or may not be a concern. But since access to clean water is often a concern when the power is out, this filter will not be available during those times.

If you want a fluoride filter that does not require electricity, I would check out option #1 and option #2 on my list.

Con 3/3: Costs more than a pitcher

The biggest drawback in my eyes to the SimPure Countertop Reverse Osmosis dispenser is that it is significantly more expensive than a pitcher like the Clearly Filtered reviewed above.

It is still cheaper than larger reverse osmosis systems, like the SpringWell RO unit in position #2 of this list, but for not giving more than a half gallon extra of clean water for each fill as compared to the pitcher, the price tag is on the steep side. The extra money is for the UV filter as well as for the compact, countertop design — which I suppose is worth it.

If extra filter capabilities and plumbing-free countertop design are not important to you, I suggest sticking with my first choice or trying out my second choice

OVERALL: 9.2/10

All things considered, the SimPure Countertop Reverse Osmosis Dispenser is an excellent fluoride filter and the best countertop one thanks to its effective filtration of fluoride, its ability to remove a wide range of other contaminants, and its efficiency. 

It’s true that it’s more expensive than a pitcher and smaller than an under-sink unit, but its compact, plumbing-free design makes it a unique fluoride solution. 

If you want to get rid of the fluoride that’s in your water without the fuss of a pitcher or under-sink system, then get the SimPure Countertop Reverse Osmosis Dispenser.

Honorable Mentions

Waterdrop 3-Stage Under Counter Direct Connect Filtration 8.6/10

The Waterdrop 3-stage filter boasts adequate fluoride-removing capabilities. It uses a three-stage filtration cycle that cleans the most harmful elements from the tap water. It mainly targets fluoride, chlorine, lead, arsenic, and bacterial contamination. 

To remove fluoride, it uses ion exchange in the second stage. This is effective but not as effective as RO. And if you have lots of fluoride in your water, it can consume the lifespan of this filter more quickly and require more frequent replacements. 

The Waterdrop 3-stage is a point-of-use filter, and installation is a breeze — simply mount the cartridge filters to a wall, connect the pipes to the main supply, and you’re good to go. It doesn’t have a storage tank and instead delivers completely filtered water on demand to whichever faucet it’s connected to.

Waterdrop is a good option if you’re short on budget and don’t have severe contamination in your tap water. For a more reliable and long-lasting fluoride filter, I recommend one of my top picks. 

Get the Waterdrop 3-stage fluoride filter here.

Crystal Quest Fluoride Under Sink Water Filter System 8.4/10

Crystal Quest’s fluoride water filter uses granulated activated carbon with aluminum oxide to remove fluoride from water. 

If you want to remove chlorine, chloramine, VOCs, or other contaminants from your water, you can add a traditional granular activated carbon filter as well as Crystal Quest’s patented SMART filter, which tackles heavy metals, such as lead and copper. 

What’s nice about this product is you can choose exactly what you want and build the system you need. If you just want a fluoride filter, you can get it. Or you can add one or both of the others to make a more complete system.

The reason Crystal Quest didn’t make it onto my best list is it didn’t fully pass our tech check. The site says it uses calcium charcoal granulated activated carbon to remove fluoride. But this is simply not a real thing. The calcium cannot be added, and if it were, it wouldn’t do anything to the fluoride. It’s likely they are using calcium sulfite with activated carbon, but it’s unclear.

It also says, “unless aluminum oxide is requested.” Also known as activated alumina, this will remove fluoride. It seems if you want a fluoride filter this is what you will get. 

The test data checked out, but the lack of clarity about the technology does not inspire confidence. And the folks at Crystal Quest were unable to give me a satisfactory answer.

Get the Crystal Quest fluoride filter here.

Royal Berkey Water Filter 8.3/10

Last on my list is the Royal Berkey countertop filter. The brand claims to be the most popular filter out there, but I beg to differ. 

Performance-wise, it does the job. 

It’s also a portable system, so you can carry it with you for camping. And it has a big storage tank of 3.25 gallons, making it stand apart from other low-capacity countertop filters. 

However, it’s a gravity filter, so it takes a good bit of time to clean water. We’re talking hours, unless you shell out cash for multiple filters. 

Speaking of cash, the real issue I have with Berkey filters is their cost — in terms of both up-front and on-going costs. 

Berkey has a good branding campaign going on, and its products do look nice. But there are better, less expensive options out there. 

Still, if you must have a Berkey, you can get it here.

The Bottom Line: The Best Water Filter for Fluoride

As always, among all the fluoride-removing water filters I reviewed, a few truly stood out. 

The Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher takes the crown as the best overall fluoride-removing filter. It features a high fluoride removal rate, targets many contaminants, suits a large family, and comes with a lifetime warranty. 

The SpringWell Reverse Osmosis Water Filter is also a good choice if you don’t want to refill a pitcher or a countertop unit. 

Lastly, the SimPure RO water dispenser is an excellent countertop option that also works for those lacking space to install under-sink filtration systems. 

Research Methodology: How We Test and Review Products

With so many companies running marketing campaigns boasting about their water filters and claiming to have the perfect filtration solution for homeowners, it’s difficult to find the right product.

So, to help you cut through the noise and simplify the process, we have developed a seven-step research methodology to review the best fluoride filters on the market. 

Our research process involves rigorous analysis covering all qualitative and quantitative aspects of water filtration systems. Our team of experts and scientists handles all of this.

In the following section, you’ll get a sneak peek into our process. But you can also learn more about our water filter product-testing methodology.

Use analysis

Once we gathered all the information about the latest water filters and compiled an initial list, we analyzed each one based on its specific use cases. 

A common theme we often notice is how brands claim their products are suitable for a plethora of contaminants, which often turns out to be a marketing gimmick.

We select the ones designed to target a specific problem and discard those more suitable for other uses. A common example is a water filter effective for city water but struggling with well water or a system good for removing chlorine but not heavy metals. 

Learn more about how we complete our use analysis.

Tech Check

After collecting all the information about different use cases, we take one step further and investigate the filter technology used in each system. 

Water filtration is an ever-changing field with frequent new advancements and better cleaning processes. 

We compare the actual capabilities of the filter media, gleaned from research and test data, to verify the claims made by each company. It takes no effort for a trained eye to spot red flags if a company makes false claims.

However, the process isn’t that simple. To understand the subtle nuances of our process, check out the details of our tech check

Water test data

In the modern world, it’s all about data. Manufacturers rely on past performance data to lure customers. However, the water quality test reports available on a company’s website should be taken with a grain of salt.

Knowing this, we do a thorough background check on all these claims and verify them with third-party labs. In some cases, we do our own water sample tests for better insights. 

Learn more about how we authenticate and verify water test data

Installation test

Ease of installation is another aspect we consider. While it might appear trivial, easy installation significantly contributes to overall customer satisfaction. Here are some key points we focus on:

  • Whether the filter system is DIY or requires professional plumbers
  • Whether all necessary components are included or if a trip to the hardware store is necessary
  • Whether the manual or instructional video is clear and straightforward

In specific cases, we even attempt the installation of test products ourselves.

Learn more about the ins and outs of our installation tests

Cost-of-ownership analysis

We generally don’t recommend cutting corners when it comes to water filters, as it directly affects health. However, this doesn’t mean one can’t be responsible for the budget. Some products have very low up-front costs, which attracts people, but their long-term maintenance costs are high. Or vice versa.

To ensure our readers get the true value for their hard-earned money, we calculate operational and maintenance costs based on real-life scenarios. The water filters with the right balance of price and performance are ranked higher on the top. 

Get full details about our cost-of-ownership analysis here

Warranty check

The devil’s in the details, which is why we meticulously read through the warranty guidelines for all the water filters we review. Many companies boast “lifetime” warranties but often conceal the caveats within. Several factors can void the warranty, ranging from poor installation to the use of incompatible water sources.

There are also legal aspects to be aware of, but don’t worry; we handle all the groundwork for you. Our expert teams prioritize products with excellent warranties that offer the most peace of mind to customers.

Learn more about the warranty check here.

Customer service test

We prioritize companies with a “customer-first” policy because, ultimately, it’s about dealing with people, not just the product.

We assess customer service by scrutinizing online comments and reviewing their responses to queries — nobody appreciates rude customer service or delayed responses.

Additionally, we make multiple contacts with the companies and rate each experience. This approach allows us to review a water filter in a more holistic manner because we aim for our readers to have not just a good product but a phenomenal overall experience.

Here is how we do our customer service test.

Before You Buy a Fluoride Water Filter

So, you’ve decided to buy a fluoride water filter to eliminate unwanted chemicals from your drinking water, but there are a few things to keep in mind before making the final purchase. Equipping yourself with the right knowledge will prevent any unforeseen mishaps.

Do you really need a fluoride filter?

We’re aware that toxic levels of fluoride in drinking water can lead to dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis, thyroid problems, neurological issues, and various health risks, particularly for children. 

However, the critical term here is “toxic level,” or more than 4.0 milligrams per liter (mg/L, parts per million). Exceeding this limit puts you and your loved ones in the danger zone. Considering the amount added for dental health is 0.7 mg/L, it’s unlikely you’re in any danger from municipal fluoridation.

If you’re not primarily concerned with toxicity and simply prefer the government not add stuff to your drinking water, fluoride filters are your best bet.

The fluoride levels in city water are generally regulated, but owners of private wells must test their groundwater to monitor its quality.

Some US states, such as Arizona, have naturally occurring groundwater with fluoride contamination exceeding 2 mg/L. To make it easier, I’ve included a map of the US states most at risk for fluoride contamination.


Highlighted US states have higher fluoride concentrations in groundwater.

So, I highly recommend testing your water supply before investing in expensive water treatment systems. For more thorough and accurate analysis, professional lab tests are easy to get. They cost approximately $50–$200 and provide detailed insights into water quality.

Pretreatment of well water 

Reverse osmosis is the sole filtration technology capable of effectively removing fluoridation. Other filtration systems can reduce fluoride to some extent but not to the same level. However, it’s worth noting that reverse osmosis systems are primarily designed for city water supplies.

When dealing with a private well, it’s crucial to communicate with your manufacturer about necessary pretreatment to effectively filter fluoride. Untreated groundwater often contains hydrogen sulfide, iron, and magnesium, which can harm reverse osmosis membranes. Clear communication with the company will save you money and time in the long run.

Water waste

Reverse osmosis systems are highly effective, but expect water wastage. This is due to the average 4:1 drain ratio of RO systems, meaning for every four gallons of water processed, only one gallon of drinking water is produced — the rest is flushed away as wastewater.

Wasted water is the price you pay for super clean water. Nonetheless, your water bill may increase, and there is no way around it. 

The most effective method to minimize water wastage is by recycling it. Rather than allowing wastewater to go down the drain, consider collecting it in a storage tank or container for use in non-drinking purposes, such as washing and cleaning.

However, when considering recycling, keep two important factors in mind:

  • Make sure the TDS level of recycled water is less than 1100 ppm before using it for anything. Otherwise, it can damage plants and deposit excessive minerals after washing.
  • Water should not be cycled back through the RO filter. Its high mineral content can damage the filter media.

Back to product recommendations

Dive Deeper: In-Depth Water Filter Guides

Before making a purchase, if you’d like to delve deeper into water filters and reverse osmosis systems, here are some resources worth exploring:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a filter that filters fluoride?

Yes, activated alumina and reverse osmosis are both effective methods for removing fluoride from the drinking water supply.

Activated alumina is a champion at adsorbing and removing not only fluoride but also arsenic and lead. RO filtration systems, which are also effective but tend to waste water, are commonly found in under-sink and whole-house water filter setups. 

Additionally, while not exactly a filter, distillation is an effective way to eliminate fluoride from drinking water.

Do all water filters remove fluoride?

No, only a select few water filtration technologies can effectively remove fluoride.

Reverse osmosis, activated alumina, ion exchange, and distillation filters are the ones capable of removing fluoride from tap water. Conversely, activated carbon and sediment filters cannot eliminate fluoride.

Does Brita filter remove fluoride?

No, Brita water filters focus on reducing chlorine, lead, copper, and other sediment while retaining minerals like fluoride

For effective fluoride removal, you’ll need a specifically designed water filter, like the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher.

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Brad

Hi Jake. How do you know the SpringWell RO system is “keeping essential minerals in the water”? Honest question. I was reviewing their website and I find no mention of minerals.

James Layton

Hi Brad, I believe that review is being updated. The truth is, not everyone wants to add anything back to their RO water. We get our minerals primarily through diet. So drinking RO water without any minerals added back is perfectly fine. Some people like the idea of a cartridge that adds a little bit of calcium back to the water. I personally prefer the taste of RO water as it comes from my filtration system.