Do Brita Filters Work? The Truth About How Effective They Are

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Do Brita Filters Work? The Truth About How Effective They Are

With Brita being the big name in water pitcher filters and other types, it makes sense that you would be asking “Are Brita filters effective? Are they worth it?” 

The answer is yes, but also no. Confused yet? Don’t be. 

What that means is Brita does do a good job at filtering some things but not others. To find out if Brita is worth it for you then read on. You may be surprised at what Brita filters remove and what they don’t.

Though Brita is a good brand and does a decent job, there are better pitcher filters out there. (This one by Epic Pure is a great example!)

Faucet filling carafe

What Do Brita Filters Remove?

Before you do anything, make sure you are testing your water to see what types of contaminants are lurking there so you know what you need to filter. Here is a popular water test kit that covers a lot of common contaminants. 

Once you know what’s in your water then you can see if Brita is going to work. 

Since there are different types of filters that Brita offers from water pitchers to faucet filters, let’s take a look at each one and identify what they filter.

ContaminantLonglasting PitcherStream Pitcher FiltersBottle FiltersFaucet Filters
Chlorine (Taste & Odor)YesYesYesYes
ChloramineNoNoNoYes
LeadYesNoNoYes
CopperYesYesNoNo
Particulates (Sand, Sediment)YesYesYesYes
PharmaceuticalsYesNoNoYes
PesticidesYesYesNoYes
MercuryYesYesNoNo
CadmiumYesNoNoNo
BenzeneYesNoNoYes
AsbestosYesNoNoYes
ZincNoYesNoYes
1, 2, 4 - Trichlorobenzene NoNoNoYes
TTHMs, Giardia, Atrazine, Lindane, TCENoNoNoYes

What Does a Brita Filter NOT Remove?

As you can see from the chart above, there are quite a few things Brita doesn’t filter out. Here is a list of the things Brita doesn’t remove:

Coliform Bacteria

If you have well water, then there is a good chance that you are dealing with coliform. Most of the time it’s benign, but if you live near a farm, then you may have e-coli or other fecal coliform bacteria that can make you sick.

And how much does it cost to shock a well to get rid of coliform? Usually about $100 if you call a professional to do it for you.

But remember, Brita doesn’t filter coliform bacteria so you’ll need a different kind of filter for that. Take a look at how to filter coliform here.

Arsenic

Again, if you are on well water then the risk of having low levels of arsenic in your water is on the high side. Since Brita doesn’t filter arsenic you’ll need to find a different filter. Zero Water is the only water filter pitcher that does remove arsenic. You can also try different types of arsenic filters so click to see what your options are.

Chloramine

Brita does a good job at removing chlorine, but Brita doesn’t filter chloramine which is a type of chlorine disinfectant. The filter doesn’t let the water stay on the filter media long enough to remove it. If you have chloramine your water will still taste like chlorine and leave your skin and hair dry unless you use one of these filters to remove it.

Hard Water

There is no shower head filter or water pitcher filter that can soften water and Brita is no exception. Brita might be able to remove some scale, but you will still have hard water. Which is fine to drink anyway, but for your shower and appliances you need a whole house filter for hard water. This electric one from iSpring is going to get the job done.

How do Brita filters compare with the competition? Check out this comparison article between Brita and Zero Water!

Dirty water vs clean

Best Brita Filter Alternative

There are a few filters I would choose over Brita but that isn’t to say Brita is a bad filter.

Let’s go over a few different types of filters that I think beat Brita by category.

Water Pitcher Filter

There are a lot of water pitcher filters and not many of them work great. There is one that hands down beats Brita, though.

Brita vs Epic Filters

There are two different types of filter media found in most water pitcher filters. One is a solid carbon block and the other is granulated carbon.

Though they are both charcoal filters, they are not created equal. Granulated carbon allows water to pass through quickly which is good for speedy filtration, but not so good for filtering out a lot of contaminants.

Carbon block, like that found in the Epic Pure Filter, is far superior as a filter media because it can filter out things like giardia, lead, heavy metals and chloramine. The flow rate slows down because it is solid, but that is a good thing and is the reason it is able to filter things that a granulated carbon filter doesn’t.

The problem with a granulated carbon filter is that there is not enough time where the water is in contact with the media so lots of contaminants don’t get filtered out.

Sale
Epic Pure Water Filter Pitcher
1,942 Reviews
Epic Pure Water Filter Pitcher
  • Filtered water pitcher for refrigerator: This large water filtration...
  • Fluoride water filters: Proprietary formulated carbon block water filter to...
  • Tap water filter: Proprietary solid carbon block filter removes 2000% more...
  • The Pure Pitcher also comes with a LED timer, which counts down from 90...
  • Water purifier pitcher with filter: Each premium quality gravity water...
Brita Water Filter Pitcher
19,010 Reviews
Brita Water Filter Pitcher
  • This BPA-free Everyday water pitcher is easy to fill, fits in most fridges...
  • This space efficient Brita pitcher fits perfectly on refrigerator shelves,...
  • Get great tasting water without the waste; by switching to Brita Longlast,...
  • Reduce 99% lead, Chlorine (taste and odor), Cadmium, Mercury, Benzene,...
  • Longlast filters are compatible with all Brita pitchers and dispensers...

Check It Out!

Can charcoal water filters make you sick? Check out my article about charcoal water filter side effects to see if activated charcoal filters are right for you.

Faucet Filter

Brita vs PUR

This is a push as they both pretty much remove all the same things from tap water with one exception. PUR faucet filters remove Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) where Brita doesn’t. That means that many bacteria are removed.

It really comes down to price and convenience. The PUR beats Brita as far as convenience goes since they have filters that work across more systems than Brita. With Brita there is pretty much a different filter refill for every type of filter out there.

They are very similar but PUR edges out Brita for a couple of reasons.

PUR Advanced Faucet Water Filter
8,300 Reviews
PUR Advanced Faucet Water Filter
  • FAUCET WATER FILTRATION SYSTEM – Enjoy cleaner, filtered water from your...
  • REDUCES 70 CHEMICAL & PHYSICAL CONTAMINANTS INCLUDING LEAD – This PUR...
  • EASY ONE CLICK ATTACHMENT – The faucet mounted water filter is easy to...
  • COMPATIBLE DOES NOT MEAN COMPARABLE – Genuine PUR Faucet mount water...
  • #1 SELLING BRAND IN FAUCET FILTRATION* – Contaminants can enter your...
Sale
Brita Basic Faucet Water Filter System
11,164 Reviews
Brita Basic Faucet Water Filter System
  • This complete Brita faucet water filter attaches to your standard faucet...
  • Get great-tasting water without the waste; by switching to Brita, you can...
  • The space efficient design attaches directly to your faucet to give you a...
  • Reduce 99% of lead, chlorine (taste and odor), asbestos, particulates,...
  • Replace your faucet mount water filter every 100 gallons or approximately...

Countertop Dispensers

Countertop dispensers can mean a couple of things. In its simplest form it is simply a large pitcher filter style that either sits on your countertop or goes in your fridge, but is only different in size.

Others are more complicated and can range from gravity filters that pass through a series of levels of filters to a reverse osmosis and everything in between.

It’s almost not fair to compare them because they have wildly different prices and do different things.

If you are going to take up space on your countertop, however, to me it’s better to go for one that filters tap water the best.

Brita vs Aquasana

Aquasana Clean H20 Machine
583 Reviews
Aquasana Clean H20 Machine
  • Powered Active Filtration - obsessively engineered to force unfiltered...
  • Reduces 96% of 77 harmful contaminants including lead, mercury, asbestos,...
  • Full system NSF Certified to standards 42, 53, and 401 +P473 and BPA free -...
  • Hydration on demand - instant access to healthy water available at the...
  • Longest lasting filter - 8x the capacity of the leading gravity based...
Sale
Brita Ultra Max Filter Dispenser
24,939 Reviews
Brita Ultra Max Filter Dispenser
  • The BPA-free UltraMax water dispenser holds 18 cups of water, enough to...
  • Get great tasting water without the waste. By switching to Brita, you can...
  • This space efficient filtered water dispenser fits perfectly on...
  • Brita is the #1 water filter** reducing chlorine (taste & odor), Mercury,...
  • Compatible with Longlast and Standard water filters; for the freshest...

Still not sure what to get? Check out this detailed comparison between Aquasana and Berkey filters to see which countertop filter works best for your needs!

Water Filter Bottles

When you are on the go, a filtered water bottle is a great alternative to plastic bottles and still gives you tasty, purified water.

But, they aren’t all created equal. Let’s take a look at the competition for Brita in this category.

Brita vs Epic Filters

Sale
Epic Nalgene OG Bottle Filter
2,304 Reviews
Epic Nalgene OG Bottle Filter
  • ✅ FILTERED WATER BOTTLE (LEAD WATER FILTER): This Nalgene water bottle...
  • ♻️ NO MORE EXPENSIVE SINGLE USE PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES: This water...
  • ✅ REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE: At Epic Water Filters, we believe in building...
  • ✅ “YOU’LL LOVE IT” GUARANTEE: Our 100% money-back guarantee is as...
  • ✅ SIMPLE, SAFE & AMERICAN MADE FILTERING WATER BOTTLE: This Water...
Brita Plastic Water Filter Bottle
28,729 Reviews
Brita Plastic Water Filter Bottle
  • The BPA-free Brita Premium Filtering Bottle holds 26 oz of water, and is...
  • Get great tasting water without the waste; by switching to Brita, you can...
  • It’s the convenient way to stay hydrated at home or on the go; sleek,...
  • The filter reduces chlorine (taste and odor) and more with every sip;...
  • For the freshest-tasting water, the Brita water bottle filter should be...
Brita Water Bottle

FAQ about Brita Filters

Are Brita water pitcher filters dangerous?

The short answer is that they are not any more dangerous than other filters. The problem with any water pitcher filter is that they can trap bacteria which will then grow inside. You have to be careful that you always replace a filter when it is ready to be replaced. If you see mold anywhere on your pitcher, make sure to wash it well.

Are Brita filters recyclable?

You can’t put the filters in with your plastic recycling but they can be recycled with a little effort. Brita will do it for you so sign up for an account on their website. Then, collect your filters and when you have five pounds worth you can pack it up and send it to Brita to be recycled. Shipping is free with a Brita account.

Does a Brita filter soften water?

No, your water can only be softened by a water conditioner or reverse osmosis filter. Brita filters can remove some sediment and particulate which can include limescale, but your water is not softened as a result.

Does a Brita water pitcher filter remove microplastics?

As of right now there is no water pitcher or tap filter that removes plastic particles. The particles are so small that you need a reverse osmosis filter or a carbon block TAPP 2 filter.

Are Brita Filters Worth It?

I will reiterate that it depends on what you need the filter to do. They are worth it to remove chlorine and give you better tasting water if your tap water tastes funny.

Are Brita water filters effective? After reading this article, I hope that you understand what filters really are for and that a Brita is only good for removing certain things. 

If you need an actual filter to get rid of bacteria and other contaminants, then you need a serious whole house filter instead.

ZIP PATENTED COUNTERTOP WATER FILTER

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