How to Compare Water Filters

There are hundreds if not thousands of manufacturers of drinking water filters. Most produce filters that reduce chlorine only. Only a few manufacturers produce filters that actually effectively reduce numerous contaminants in addition to chlorine. No water filter removes 100 percent of any chemical contaminant.

Quality is the key factor when it comes to water filters. A quality filtration system will not only provide you with better, purer, and healthier water than a cheap filter, but will also save you money in the long run.

Filter lifespan is very important. Look for filters that have a lifespan of at least 6 months or longer. Replacement filters can be expensive. A long life filter will save you money. Compare replacement filter cost also.

Another thing to question is how long has the manufacturer been in business? Will they be there when you need a replacement filter? If they have been in business for a number of years, 10 at least, they more than likely will be there for you when you need to replace your filter or need a part for your system.

Determine what you are trying to accomplish by using a filter. Chlorine reduction only? Bacteria? Or, do you want to effectively reduce bacterial cysts, chlorine and a wide range of chemical and organic contaminants? Do you want to remove the healthy minerals from your water?

Determine Technology – There are a number of different technologies when it comes to water filters. Loose Carbon, Carbon Block, Ultraviolet Lighting, Reverse Osmosis and Distillation.

Loose Carbon – This is a bacteria factory. Loose carbon allows oxygen to exist within the filter which encourages, in fact enhances the growth of bacteria. These filters are very cheap to purchase, but expensive in the long run because the filters have to be replaced frequently.

Distillation – Can be effective on bacteria, sediments, solids, and any organic or chemical contaminant that will not evaporate. Many contaminants, especially many chemical contaminants found in water today will evaporate.

Ultraviolet lighting can effectively kill bacteria. This type of technology should be used in addition to a quality filter.

Reverse Osmosis – Reverse Osmosis is a membrane which reduces radium, fluoride and numerous other contaminants to a high degree, but it does have limitations. This type of technology can be used in addition to a quality filter which will increase the range of effectiveness. Reverse Osmosis does remove the healthy minerals from water.

Solid Carbon Block – This type of filtration reduces the widest range of chemical contaminants to a very high degree. Some are higher quality than others. The density and quality of the carbon determine the effectiveness. Water passes through a high quality solid carbon block as a molecule instead of a drop. This means all the water touches the carbon. Therefore all the water is subject to proper filtration. Look for a carbon block which will reduce contaminants to at least 1 micron. The smaller the number the better.

Now that you know what you are looking for, how do you know which filters will do the job? NSF International (National Sanitation Foundation) tests and certifies that water filtration products meet certain standards and do exactly as the manufacturer claims. The NSF Certification will show you exactly which contaminants the filter will reduce and to what extent. You can find the certification data on any certified water filter by inquiring at or by requesting the certification from the manufacturer. Never consider buying a water filter that is not certified by NSF.

Consumer Digest is also a good source for information when comparing water filters. Consumer Digest actually compares water filters and rates them accordingly. Cost – Filter Life – Effectiveness – etc.

For more information regarding water filters and drinking water see:

Patti Wilson

4 Responses to “How to Compare Water Filters”

  1. Samir Says:

    Berkey water filters any good?

    I am thinking in buying a Big berkey filter to remove the chlorine, fluoride and other contaminates from the water. However, there isn’t alot of info concerning this filter online. How does this filter compare to distilled filters? I know this filter won’t increase the ph level of the water, but exactly what is the ph level of filtered water?
    For those who have this filter do you recommend it?


  2. whocares682 Says:

    I dont know but I recommend Brita water filters.
    References :

  3. robapel4 Says:

    Filters of purifiers should not affect the PH balance of water. A distillery does.

    Keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Most water systems are simple filters. They improve taste and smell and little, if anything else. Purifiers also improve color and many health effects in water.

    I have not heard of berkey myself. I would think that they would have their own web site. You can try different places on the net too. – though they charge a subscription fee. – Water Quality Association – National Sanitation Foundation International

    If you only want to improve the taste then simply get the cheapest thing you can find. Like a Pur or Brita. If you want something to actually make the water safer then I always recommend eSpring. It is the highest rated system and has been used on Extreme Makeover, Home Edition.
    References :

  4. Monica L Says:

    Berkey filters are used internationally by many aid organizations and people working in 3rd world countries such as missionaries who often have very limited or no access to safe drinking water. A friend of mine has a berkey (I’ll be getting on soon) and she has put food coloring in with the unfiltered water and the berkey filters out all the food coloring.
    Try doing that with a Brita and see what happens!
    It’s not just a neat party trick…the company recommends doing this if one has any concerns as to whether the filter is working properly. It’s cheaper than sending the water away to be tested.
    There are many places to buy a Berkey but try or call them at 1-888-803-4438. You’ll get lots of info and questions answered.
    Hope this helps
    References :

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