Is your water healthy? Even if it is tested and healthy to drink according to the EPA, does it taste good? (Source)
If you answered no to either question then you are likely here to see if you can use a filter to get your water up to your standards.
And, 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?”
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.
In this article:
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 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.
|Contaminant||Longlasting Pitcher||Stream Pitcher Filters||Bottle Filters||Faucet Filters|
|Chlorine (Taste & Odor)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Particulates (Sand, Sediment)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|1, 2, 4 - Trichlorobenzene||Yes|
|TTHMs, Giardia, Atrazine, Lindane, TCE||Yes|
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:
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Best Brita 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.
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 Zero
The Zero Water Filter is more expensive than Brita, but it filters more contaminants out of your tap water.
There is one area where Brita beats Zero, but this actually is the reason why Brita is not as good at filtering certain things. The pour speed for Brita is much faster than Zero.
Yet, it’s the very reason Zero is a better filter. Water needs to spend more time in contact with the filter media to be able to get rid of things like arsenic and chloramine. Since the pour speed is slow, the water stays in contact with the filter longer so it can remove these contaminants. In fact, Zero water has been independently tested along with other water pitcher filters and has been found to be the only one that filters arsenic.
The life of the filters is shorter with Zero, but since it filters more, it is a small price to pay.
Check It Out!
Brita vs PUR
This is a push as they both pretty much remove all the same things 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.
FAQ About Brita Filters
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.
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.
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.
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 filter instead. Take a look at some whole house filters below to see what you really need to filter your drinking water safely.