Looking for the best water filters that remove fluoride?
Fluoride is notoriously difficult to remove from water and whilst many filters on the market claim to reduce an impressive array of contaminants, this rarely includes fluoride.
Most everyday water filters, especially the common pitcher filters, use activated carbon to remove contaminants and although it works effectively on chlorine, it doesn’t work on fluoride.
However, there are a number of processes that are known to be effective at reducing fluoride by up to around 90%. These processes are endorsed by the Water Quality Association and include:
- Reverse Osmosis
- Ion Exchange
- Activated alumina
- Bone char filtration
Below we’ll look at the best water filters that remove fluoride using some of these processes.
The Problem With Fluoride in Water
Fluoride has been added to many municipal water supplies since the 1950’s to reduce tooth decay. Adding fluoride to water supplies is particularly prevalent in the US, although much less so in the UK and Europe.
However, data from the World Health Organization suggests there’s no discernible difference in tooth decay between the developed countries that fluoridate water and those that do not.
Which is perhaps not surprising when you consider that fluoride exposure has also been linked to a range of health conditions – from dental fluorosis to possible lower IQs in children and bone disorders.
If you live in an area that fluoridates municipal water supplies, the recommendations below should help you choose a water filter that removes fluoride from your drinking water.
Water Filter Pitchers That Remove FluorideMy recommended water filter pitcher that removes fluoride and chlorine is the Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher.
Aquagear have been making the filter for 15 years and are very transparent with their testing results, which show fluoride removal of up to 90.6%.
The filters are made out of activated carbon and a formulation of ion exchange materials, which work to remove over 89 contaminants. This is probably your best option if you are looking for how to remove fluoride from water cheaply (or relatively cheaply anyway).
Aquagear water filter pitcher at a glance:
- claims to remove 20x more toxins that other leading pitcher filters, including fluoride up to 90.6%
- rigorously tested for 15 years, ISO accredited
- meets NSF standards 42 & 53 for contaminant reduction
- filters are BPA-free, BPS-free, vegan, and recyclable
- backed by lifetime guarantee for damage, defect or breakage
- filters produce 150 gallons of water each, 3x longer than many common filter pitchers
What does the Aquagear water pitcher filter remove?
Claims to remove 2000% more contaminants that Brita. Specific contaminant removal includes fluoride, lead, chlorine chromium 6, chloramines, mercury, arsenic, copper and VOCs. It removes 89 contaminants in total, which is backed up by independent testing.
Pros: Filters water whilst still retaining trace minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which reverse osmosis, for example, will strip out.
Cons: Holds less water than other filters, such as a gravity fed filter. The filtration is quite slow, but the positive of this is that slower filtration generally means better filtration.
Gravity Fed Water Filters That Remove FluorideFor a filter that removes fluoride with a larger water capacity than a pitcher, I recommend the Big Berkey.
The Big Berkey is cited as the No.1 filter system by a variety of health magazines, labs and independent health sites. It’s arguably the most powerful around for home use. It’s also the filter of choice for humanitarian organisations such as the Red Cross. With the Big Berkey, you have the option to buy and insert dedicated fluoride filters, which reduce fluoride by up to 95%.
The Big Berkey at a glance:
- fluoride filters remove fluoride by up to 95% (you need to make sure you buy the correct filters)
- holds 2.25 gallons
- can filter up to 3.5 gallons per hour with 2 filters
- made of high quality, polished stainless steel
- filter life of around 6 months (or 800 gallons)
- self -sterlising.
What does the Big Berkey remove?
- with correct filters, it will remove fluoride by up to 95%
- removes 99.999% of pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites
- reduces herbicides, pesticides and VOCs, without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs
- reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury, as well as many other toxins
Pros: Retains beneficial minerals. Holds up to 2.5 gallons of water.
Cons: More expensive than a pitcher, plus takes up more space. You also need to buy the dedicated fluoride filters separately.
Reverse Osmosis Water Filters That Remove FluorideReverse osmosis is a powerful water filtration method that removes impurities by pushing water, under pressure, through a semi-permeable membrane.
There are many reverse osmosis systems on the market and the main difference you’ll find is the quality of the filters and membranes and the number of stages of filtering.
Bear in mind reverse osmosis, like distillation, removes the good minerals, as well as the bad (although some systems, such as the iSpring use a remineralising filter to put them back). Reverse osmosis can also leave water tasting a little flat and tends to waste a lot of water in the filtering process (wastes about 4 gallons of water per gallon made). This doesn’t make it the most water efficient option.
Distillation For Fluoride RemovalDistillation involves a process where water is boiled to remove impurities. The unwanted chemicals and minerals are left in liquid state, while the pure water is converted into steam.
Distillation is a natural process that is very effective at removing almost all impurities from your water and this includes fluoride.
The Megahome Countertop Water Distiller is a popular distiller if you want to go this route.
However, bear in mind that distillation effective strips pretty much everything from your water.
This means it removes the good minerals from your drinking water, as well as the bad. It also can’t remove contaminants with a lower boiling point than water. This includes chlorine and VOCS.
Another problem with distillation is that it’s not very energy efficient as it takes a long time. It also leaves water tasting rather lack lustre.
Bone Char For Fluoride Removal
Bone char is used in some water filters that remove fluoride. This study suggests bone char may effectively reduce fluoride by 70.64%.
One problem with bone char, however, is that it takes a large amount of it to remove small levels of fluoride. This means it can be difficult to get sufficient bone char in a filter to effectively remove fluoride over a prolonged period of time.
The Best Water Filters That Remove Fluoride – Summary
Investing in a water filter that removes fluoride is an effective way to reduce your long term exposure to fluoride. If you’re unsure whether your tap water contains fluoride, you can check with your local water authority
The Aquagear filter pitcher is my cheapest recommended option if you don’t use a huge amount of water on a daily basis. For a larger, constant supply of water, the Big Berkey (with fluoride filters) makes a great long term option if you have the counter space.
A reverse osmosis system or water distiller will also effectively remove fluoride, but keep in mind they are less efficient methods in terms of time it takes (distillation) and water waste (reverse osmosis).