Best Fluoride Water Filters: 2020 Buyers Guide
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When I learned about the bad effects that fluoride can have on our health, I knew that I had to do something to protect myself and my family.
Maybe you feel the same way.
If you're not sure how to reduce the fluoride in your water, you've come to the right place. In this review we'll cover different types of water filters that will get rid of the fluoride in your drinking water. Plus, there's even a fluoride water filter for shower heads I want to tell you about.
You'll also find mini reviews of the specific models that I recommend in each category.
Here's a table with a quick overview of my top picks. You can click the links to check the current prices, or keep reading for a more detailed look at each of them.
Best Fluoride Water Filters
Fluoride % Removal
Clearly Filtered Pitcher
Each of these brands has its advantages and disadvantages, but they all do the job of reducing fluoride. I hope that the information in this guide will help you to decide which is the best one to meet your needs.
Click on a topic in the quick navigation below, or just keep scrolling to read the whole article.
Water Filters That WON'T Reduce Fluoride
First, let's talk about what doesn't work.
All water filters are not made equal.
Most pitcher type filters like Brita and Pur may make your drinking water taste better, but they don't take out fluoride. The same goes for most faucet mounted filters and many under sink water filtration systems. They use activated carbon, usually made from coconut shells.
If a filtration system only has an activated carbon filter, it will not work on fluoride.
I have read that activated carbon can remove 40 to 60% of fluoride in water, but it loses its effectiveness in a very short time. That's why I don't recommend carbon block filters for fluoride filtration.
The good news is there are much more reliable methods to choose from.
Water Filters That WILL Remove Fluoride
- First there's Reverse Osmosis (RO). You've probably heard of this before. It's a water filtration system that you hook up to your plumbing. It has several filters and an RO membrane, which is the part that works on the fluoride.
- Another popular type of water filtration system is the gravity filter, which sits on your countertop. It uses activated alumina* or some other type of fluoride-blocking media to remove fluoride from the water.
- Deionization filters will also remove fluoride, but I've never seen any for home use. They are usually used for chemistry labs and in manufacturing. I'm not covering them in this review.
- There are a few brands of water purifying pitchers that can filter out fluoride. You need to do a little digging to find them, but they're out there. I've included one - Clearly Filtered - in this review.
- One other option is distillation. A water distiller will remove fluoride, but it's not technically a water filter. This is a good option, though, so I wanted to be sure to cover it along with the filters. And distilled water has other health benefits besides reducing fluoride.
Does Activated Alumina Add Aluminum to the Water It Treats? (Pure Water Products)
Reverse Osmosis Fluoride Filters
How does RO work?
A reverse osmosis filter system involves sending tap water through a series of carbon block filters and a reverse osmosis membrane.
This filtration system is connected to the cold water plumbing in your house, and it uses water pressure to push the water through the system. In the process, the contaminants are collected in a brine which goes down the drain.
The components are all installed in the cabinet space under the kitchen sink. A small storage tank holds the filtered water until you turn on the dedicated faucet that's mounted on the sink.
Most RO systems have 4 to 6 stages that the water goes through, although I've seen as many as ten! Sometimes, besides the basic filtration, they add on some extra steps like the addition of minerals, exposure to ultraviolet light, and ozonation. Of course, the more stages a system has, the higher the cost.
Here's a diagram illustrating a basic RO system setup:
Reverse Osmosis Pros and Cons
- Superior performance: RO has an excellent record of removing all kinds of organic and inorganic contaminants, including fluoride.
- Taste: It removes foul tastes and odors, and makes drinking water taste clean and fresh.
- Convenience: This kind of filtration system gives you an instant and continuous supply of water for drinking and cooking.
- Easy installation: Most DIYers can install an undersink system in 1 to 2 hours.
- Moveable: If you want, it can be uninstalled and taken with you when you move to a new house.
- Requires installation: If working with plumbing makes you nervous, you're probably going to have to hire someone to install it. The good news is that it won't take long and it shouldn't cost very much.
- Removes good minerals: RO filtration systems don't differentiate between good and bad minerals, so it all goes out with the wastewater. This results in slightly lower pH level, meaning that the water will be more acidic. It will probably not be noticeable, but it is something to be aware of.
- Wastes water: 3 to 4 gallons of water are wasted for every 1 gallon of filtered water produced. Those 3 to 4 gallons go down the drain unless you have some way of capturing it and reusing it. This can be a major disadvantage if you live in certain parts of the country or if you just hate waste.
- Needs water pressure: If the water pressure is too low, it will either not work or it will work more slowly. It is possible to remedy this with the addition of a pump.
- Not for emergencies: This type of water filtration system can't be used for emergency purification in situations when the water supply is cut off.
Best Reverse Osmosis Filtration System for Fluoride: APEC RO-90
APEC is an American company with an excellent reputation for making the highest quality water filtration systems.
Their most popular model is the RO-90. It's a 5-stage system that can put out up to 90 gallons of filtered water a day.
Fluoride is reduced by 97.7% with an APEC RO filter.
APEC also makes other models for different needs-
- If low water pressure is a problem for you, the RO-PERM is the perfect solution. It includes a non-electric permeate pump that gives the water an extra boost, making up for the low pressure.
- The ROES-PH75 is a 6-stage filtration system that adds minerals back to drinking water for those who want more alkaline water. It uses calcium carbonate to remineralize the water.
- APEC also makes a countertop system called the RO-CTOP. Instead of connecting it to your plumbing, you just connect it to the kitchen sink faucet. It's great for apartments, dorms, RVs, or other temporary living situations. The only drawback is that it does not have a holding tank like the others do, so the flow of water is very slow.
You can read Which APEC Reverse Osmosis Water Filter is Best? for more details on all of these APEC systems.
All RO filtration systems will reduce the fluoride and give you good clean drinking water. If you'd like to learn about even more options, please see my top 4 reverse osmosis systems picks.
Gravity Fluoride Filters
How does a gravity filter work?
A gravity filter is a very simple system. It's made up of two containers, one stacked on top of the other. Two or more filter elements are housed inside. Different brands use different media for filtration.
To use it, you pour water into the top container and gravity pulls the water down through the filters into the bottom container. A spigot in the bottom part allows you to dispense the water.
Please note that not every gravity filter can act as a fluoride water filter. Be sure to check the specifications before you buy.
Gravity Filter Pros and Cons
- Effective: This kind of filtration system is very good at removing all kinds of contaminants, including fluoride.
- No installation: A gravity filter just sits on a counter or table. There's no plumbing involved.
- Portable: It can be used indoors or outdoors and easily taken with you when you travel or move.
- Versatile: It can accept any kind of water except salt water - even pond water!
- Taste: All the nasty stuff is taken out and you're left with pure great tasting drinking water.
- No waste: Every bit of the water is used, so there's no waste.
- Leaves minerals: It does not take the good minerals out of the water.
- Protection: Because it's not dependent on water pressure, a gravity filter can be used to make clean drinking water during natural disasters and other emergencies.
- Needs to be refilled: This type of filter has to be refilled regularly in order to keep a constant supply of water. You have to remember to refill it.
- Slow: The filtering process can be very slow, depending on how many filter elements you have.
- Takes up space: This is going to take up space on your countertop. If you don't have much to begin with, this could be a problem.
Best Gravity Filter for Removing Fluoride: Big Berkey
The best known gravity filter, and one that I own and love, is a Berkey. It comes in several sizes. The "Big" Berkey is not actually the biggest one, but it is the most popular size.
It holds 2.25 gallons of water, so it's good for a small family. You could use it for a bigger group, but that would mean refilling it more often.
A basic Berkey filter system will come with two Black Berkey filters that take out most of the contaminants.
In order to filter out fluoride, you have to buy the PF-2 fluoride and arsenic filters. These are optional extras that attach to the black filter elements. You can buy them bundled with the Berkey filtration system, or you can buy them later.
The PF-2 fluoride filters use activated alumina to remove fluoride. This is not the same as aluminum, so you don't need to worry about any health risks.
The typical reduction of fluoride is greater than 95%. Under optimum conditions (i.e. the pH of the water is 5), the reduction is greater than 99.75%.
Click here if you'd like to learn more about the Big Berkey. You'll go to my in-depth Big Berkey review.
Or read my detailed comparison of the best gravity filters for information about other brands that also reduce fluoride in drinking water.
Water Distillers for Fluoride Removal
How does a water distiller work?
There's an interesting way that distillation differs from filtration.
Instead of removing contaminants from the water, the process of distillation removes the water from the contaminants. That sounds similar, but it's not the same.
A distiller boils the water and turns it into steam. Chemical contaminants, including fluoride, are left behind. The high temperature also kills any biological contaminants like viruses or bacteria. As the steam cools, it turns back into pure water, which is collected in some kind of container.
I've had a hard time nailing down the exact percentage of fluoride reduction by distillation. Most everything I have read says that distillation removes "a high percentage" or "most, if not all" fluoride from water.
Water Distiller Pros and Cons
- Taste: Completely removes all contaminants so drinking water tastes clean.
- Easy to Use: Just pour in tap water and push a button to start.
- Portable: It's not much bigger than a coffee maker, so you can take it with you on vacation or to the office.
- Effective: Removes all or almost all of every kind of contaminant.
- Small Capacity: Only makes about 1 gallon at a time.
- Slow: Can take several hours to distill one gallon of water.
- Removes Beneficial Minerals: Everything is removed, so the water will be slightly more acidic.
- Uses Electricity: It won't work during a power outage and it will increase your electric bill a little.
Best Fluoride Removing Water Distiller: Megahome
The Megahome Countertop Water Distiller Model MH943TWS is a popular model. It's well constructed and made of high quality stainless steel, enamel coated steel, and glass. Only the handle and lid are made of food grade polypylene. But the water never touches any plastic because the nozzle is made of glass.
Because the distillation process takes about 5 to 6 hours, you'll only be able to make a maximum of 4 gallons per day.
Fluoride is removed completely or almost completely using the Megahome distiller.
I've also written a detailed review of the Megahome distiller, which you can read here if you'd like more information.
You can also see Best Home Water Distiller Options for the details on some other top brands.
Pitcher Style Fluoride Filters
How do filter pitchers work?
Filter pitchers have a simple setup. There are three main parts: the pitcher, the reservoir, and the filter.
The filter is attached to the reservoir. You fill the reservoir with tap water, and the water seeps through the filter and drips down into the pitcher. Contaminants are blocked and collected in the filter.
Because the filter collects the contaminants, it eventually gets clogged up and stops filtering. That's why you have to replace it every now and then.
Water Filter Pitcher Pros and Cons
- Inexpensive: You can get a fluoride filter pitcher for under $75.
- Portable: Take it with you wherever you go.
- Compact Size: Doesn't take up much space on the counter or in the fridge.
- Small Capacity: Most brands hold 1/2 gallon or less.
- Short Filter Life: Most filters only last a few months.
Best Fluoride Water Filter Pitcher: Clearly Filtered
I said above that most pitcher style filters aren't any good for fluoride filtration. Well, the Clearly Filtered is one that does take out fluoride.
This pitcher holds 2 quarts of water, and the filter will last for about 3-6 months, or 100 gallons. It does an amazing job of removing lots of harmful contaminants from drinking water, including lead, chromium-6, and, of course, fluoride.
Fluoride reduction with the Clearly Filtered pitcher is 98%.
The Clearly Filtered is also available at the Clearly Filtered website with free shipping. There's also an option to save 10% on replacement filters by signing up for their subscription service.
Plus - enter the code SAFEHEALTHYHOME2020 at checkout to get an additional 10% off your purchase.
You can read more details about the Clearly Filtered in my review of the best water filter pitchers and My Review of the New Improved Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher.
Best Under Sink Water Filter for Fluoride Removal: Clearly Filtered
So, what's the best fluoride reducing filter that goes under the sink, but isn't an RO filtration system? Well, your options are fairly limited. But, they do exist, and the one that reduces the most fluoride is made by Clearly Filtered.
The Clearly Filtered 3-stage under-the-sink filtration system installs quickly and easily under your kitchen sink. I know it's easy because I did it myself!
It hooks up to the cold water line, and it uses your existing faucet. So, you won't have to drill an extra hole for a dedicated faucet. The disadvantage is that there's no bypass, so all the cold water is filtered - not just your drinking and cooking water.
This model reduces fluoride by 99.5%, and the filter life is 2,000 gallons, or about one year.
You can take 10% off the price when you order at Clearly Filtered.com by using the code SAFEHEALTHYHOME2020 at checkout.
To learn more about the Clearly Filtered, you can read my Hands On Review of the Clearly Filtered Under Sink Water Filter.
A second under counter filtration system brand you might consider is Propur. The fluoride reduction isn't quite as good as Clearly Filtered - 90% vs 99.5% - but it's less expensive.
Best Refrigerator Fluoride Filter: Clearly Filtered
There are a couple of fridge filters that are good at removing fluoride.
First is the Clearly Filtered Universal Inline/Refrigerator Filter.
A second model to consider is the Propur Promax Inline Connect Refrigerator Filter.
It uses the same filter technology as the Propur under sink and countertop water filter systems. Fluoride reduction is 90%, according to independent lab test results.
This water filter lasts up to 750 gallons or about 9 months, so about twice as long as the Clearly Filtered.
Faucet Filters Don't Work on Fluoride
There's not a single faucet mount filter I'm aware of that is capable of fluoride reduction. I had reviewed one called the iSpring LittleWell that could do it, but that model was discontinued. I'm not a fan of faucet mount filters, anyway.
Best Fluoride Shower Filter: Propur
So maybe you have a filtration system for your drinking water. But maybe you're concerned about absorbing fluoride through your skin. If you also want to do something about the fluoride in your shower water, I have good news for you.
There is one shower filter that reduces fluoride. That's the Propur ProMax. It's the only one that I've found that works on fluoride.
According to independent lab test data, it removes 48.2% of sodium fluoride, 43% of hexafluorosilicate, and 48.1% of fluorosilic acid. The reason the reduction rate is so low is that water passing through the shower has only brief contact with the filter medium.
So, this shower filter can't completely eliminate fluoride from your shower water, but it can cut it almost in half. Your only other solution would be to install a whole house fluoride water filter.
You can find more information about the Propur ProMax in my review of the best shower head filters.
Conclusion: Use Care When Choosing a Fluoride Filter
I don't think I can say that one particular filter is the best fluoride water filter. All of the filters I've mentioned will do a good job of removing the fluoride from your drinking water.
Which type of water filter, and which particular model would be best for you is really a matter of personal preference based on the other features.
The first decision to make is whether you want an installed filtration system or a portable system that can be used at home and away from home.
If you want an installed RO system, think about what your special needs might be. How good is your water pressure? Do you have a medical condition that requires your drinking water to be alkaline? Make sure the filtration system you choose addresses those issues.
If you're more interested in portability and in being prepared for emergencies, you'll probably want to go with a gravity filter or a pitcher filter. The gravity filter can handle a much larger capacity, though.
A distiller is easy to transport, but you have to be able to plug it in. It's also very slow. Definitely not good for emergencies, but it's suitable for everyday use for one person or a small family.
I hope you've found this helpful in deciding which is the ideal filtration solution for your situation.
If you have any questions about any of these filters, feel free to ask in a comment below and I will try to give you an answer as soon as possible.