Shopping for a water filter to remove lead?
You’ve come to the right place!
You might be living in a rural area with access to well water that’s high in heavy metals like lead or may be dealing with a low-quality city water supply that has high levels of sulfur and chlorine odors.
These situations can make it difficult for renters and homeowners to find clean and safe water.
All these contaminants are very hazardous for humans if consumed, lead, in particular, is extremely dangerous to our health, so it’scrucial that we limit our exposure to these water-based metals.
Luckily, the water filtration process has evolved significantly, and you can now easily remove harmful contaminants without spending thousands of dollars.
This guide explains some of the best ways to purify water with a high lead content and discusses a few of the best water filters for lead removal available today.
What kinds of Water Filters can Remove lead?
Several different kinds of water filters remove lead efficiently. However, finding one that best suits your requirements is incredibly difficult.
Whichever filter you choose, make sure it has a certification for NSF Standard 53. Some options you can go for are:
Regular filter pitchers remove the leadpresent in water by using coconut-based activated carbon and ion exchange resin. They’re portable and ideal for personal use because of their energy-efficient operation and cheap costs.
However, they need an extra certification called the WQA certification that proves that they can remove 99% of lead from water.
Whole House Filters
Whole-house or point-of-entry water filters are fixed to the main water line before the water enters the house. They are incredibly effective in removing lead and iron from well water and essentially purifying it.
If you have a large water unit or use more than 100 gallons of water per day, it’s better to opt for 25ppb or 15ppb filters.
For larger scale or commercial use of more than 1,50,000 gallons of water per day, a 100ppb whole-house water filter is more suitable.
Lead can significantly damage your hair. Washing your scalp with water with high lead levels can result in severe brain disorders in both children and adults.
Shower filters are equipped with special media that filters out 99% of lead from water. They’re also able to reduce the level of lead in hot water that passes through water warmers.
Under-counter water purifiers are one of the most popular drinking water purifiers in the market.
Instead of an RO process, they work with a different filtration process that can remove up to 99.99% of lead from water.
These units are also designed with temperature control that prevents lead from accumulating in the containers. Since they are inline filters, their installation is incredibly cheap and easy as well.
What's In This Buying Guide
Table of Contents
In this buying guide, we review three of the best water filters for lead removal. We also include a comprehensive buying guide, explain how these filters work and mention some tips for installation and maintenance.
Let’s jump right in!
Best Water Filters for Lead Removal
Frizzlife Under Sink Water Filter
Brita Tap Water Filter System
Best Faucet-Mount Filter
Express Water Heavy Metal Water Filter
Best Whole House Filter
You can attach the Frizzlife filter nearly anywhere in your house. You simply need to connect it directly to the waterline, and it will purify any water that comes its way.
It’s excellent at removing lead and the foul odors and tastes associated with chlorine.
Along with filtering out all contaminants, it retains the essential minerals we need from water, such as calcium.
The Frizzlife Under Sink Water Filter boasts an ingenious design. Along with providing safe and pure tap water, it has several other uses as well.
You can install it in the icemaker, in the refrigerator, or the bathroom! It ensures exceptional versatility and delivers odor-free and chemical-free water.
The installation of this model is also extremely easy. You just need a few basic tools to connect the hoses to the plumbing.
Furthermore, you don’t need to turn off the water supply when you replace the cartridge, as the unit has an auto-shutoff mechanism.
This will keep the water flowing even when you’re changing the filter, so you’ll never be without clean water.
The Frizzlife water filter features 2 filtration systems. One gets rid of larger particles, while the second one removes smaller molecules that measure at least 500nm in diameter.
This unique filtration design filters out all the harmful contaminants and keeps only the beneficial minerals.
Issues & Limitations
The filter has two minor issues. Firstly, it’s not certified by the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation). This is not a big problem unless you only purchase units that have been certified by a third-party organization.
Secondly, there are some leakage issues, but those are easy to fix.
With each filter offering more than 100 gallons of purified and clean water, this Brita model is the best faucet-mount filter in the market.
By just fixing the filter to your sink’s nozzle, you can access pure and clean water without needing an under-sink system or bulky filter.
This inline water filter is highly efficient at removing both lead and chlorine from your water.
But it particularly stands out to us because of its portability. Its lightweight design allows you to connect it to your faucet’s spout easily.
The unit is incredibly easy to maintain as well. A filter change reminder with an LED light notification further makes it easier for you to replace the filter.
Lastly, it is designed with an additional sediment filter layer that removes heavy metals and solids usually associated with lead. Once you twist the filter on your sink, you’ll have clean drinking water immediately!
Issues & Limitations
Although Brita states that the filter can withstand 4 months of continuous use, the real-world application of the filter has shown that it has a shorter service life.
The O-ring seal is also of poor quality, so the manufacturer could improve the filter’s durability and construction.
Furthermore, the Brita Tap Water Filter System is only suitable for urban-sourced water and is not recommended for heavily contaminated source water.
All in all, the Brita Tap Water Filter System is inexpensive and effectively provides your family with safe, lead-free drinking water directly from the tap.
You can install several of these units throughout your house, and you won’t have to worry about dangerous and harmful chemicals ever again.
This 3-stage whole-house filtration system is one of the best Point Of Entry (POE) units available in the market. It provides safe and clean water throughout your entire house for washing, bathing, and drinking.
One of the biggest advantages of the Express Water filter is its 3-stage filtration system that removes more contaminants and harmful chemicals.
The model has a sediment filter on the right, a kinetic degradation filter in the center, and an activated carbon block on the left. All filters have their distinct purpose, with each one eliminating different-sized particles.
The sediment filter gets rid of dirt, rust, and sand, while the ACB and KDF remove different chemicals and contaminants that are harmful to your health.
This unit is incredibly efficient as well and can provide clean water to the entire house in around 30 minutes.
Each set of filters has a service life of around 6-12 months or 100,000 gallons of water, depending on your use.
This means that you’ll only need to replace the filter 2 or 3 times every year, saving you a lot on costs and offering you a constant flow of clean water.
This will further allow you to cook without the metallic flavor, drink pure water without getting sick, and shower without chlorine.
The replacement and installation processes of these filters are also very simple and user-friendly.
Lastly, it comes with a solid standing frame that gives you the option to mount the filter or place it somewhere that best works for you.
Issues & Limitations
This filtration system is a bit costlier than other models, and it might burn a hole in your pocket. The second stage of the filtration process is also a bit faulty, as the water pressure drops quite a bit.
Although the Express Heavy Metal Water Filter is expensive, it can completely eliminate your concerns about the water in your home.
Boasting a high flow filtration, this filter can give you clean, crisp drinking water from every faucet in your house with only a slight drop in the water pressure.
Water Filters for Lead Removal: Buying Guide
How Is Lead in Water Harmful
There is a high level of lead in the water we use, making it one of the biggest health and environmental threats.
After the Flint water crisis, many people were worried about the lead content in their water.
Lead is a neurotoxin that can be very damaging to our health. It can cause brain damage and irreversible damage to the kidneys. It can also weaken the walls of the bloodstream and destroy red blood cells.
Lead also poses a significant threat to pregnant women, as it can result in premature births or other complications.
It can reduce the growth rate of babies and cause other abnormal symptoms as well.
Even a small amount of lead can pose significant risks for infants and children and cause serious harm.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, children exposed to lead can have around 36 behavioral disorders and learning disabilities. They can also have brain disorders and damaged nervous systems.
Many children further have impaired hearing, a weak constitution, and short statures because of their damaged blood cells.
Exposure to lead results in other disabilities and abnormalities as well, including:
What is a Water Filter for Lead Removal – and how does it work?
There are several different ways you can filter out lead from your drinking water. You can use a shower filter, but you will have to determine the accumulation and intensity levels of the water before you install one.
You can also change your water source to get rid of the lead itself or use a specialized filter, like a water pitcher, to remove lead. Most people prefer the third option, as it is the most viable and cheapest method.
Lead water filters come in a wide range of styles, sizes, and shapes, but they all basically employ the same system.
Most models are either designed with chemical or physical filters to remove particles, toxins, and contaminants from the water. Some even have filtration systems that feature both processes.
In a physical filtration system, contaminants and toxins pass through a physical barrier or membrane that removes them from the water.
Reverse osmosis variants are examples of a physical filter, as they are designed with a semipermeable membrane.
They use the water pressure to force the particles and contaminants to pass through the filter. The membrane then filters out heavy metals, such as mercury, iron, and lead.
On the other hand, chemical filtration systems use simple chemical reactions to remove the smaller contaminants and particles left behind after the physical filtration process.
Distillation systems use chemical filtration and rely on both the cooling and healing processes.
The system first boils the water and turns it into steam. Since lead and other heavy metals have a higher boiling point, they are left behind and filtered out. The system then collects the steam and condenses it back to the water.
However, chemical filtration has one drawback. Since the system filters out all particles and minerals in your water, the essential ones are also removed.
Furthermore, some whole-house water filters for lead removal use both chemical and physical barriers, like activated carbon filters. Boasting dual processes, these units are the most popular in households.
Once the water goes through the filter, the carbon component works like a magnet and collects heavy metals, such as lead and other particles and contaminants.
The system further uses a chemical filter to filter out the more microscopic and finer particles.
Different Types Of Lead Water Filters
There are several different styles and types of water filters for lead removal. Before you finalize your decision, it’s essential that you know all the different kinds available in the market.
These units are usually constructed with stainless steel, and you can place them on a countertop. They’re also available in different sizes and cater to a wide variety of needs.
They’re designed with a type of carbon filter that removes lead, toxins, viruses, bacteria, and other contaminants from the water.
Gravity filters are also flexible, as you can use them with different kinds of water except for saltwater. Furthermore, they are incredibly convenient to use and ideal for emergencies.
However, the filter tends to lose its effectiveness after purifying a certain amount of water, requiring frequent replacements.
Reverse osmosis systems
Osmosis systems are of two kinds: reverse osmosis and complete reverse osmosis.
Complete reverse osmosis is efficient and beneficial, but it’s only suitable for expensive, high-end water filtration systems.
On the other hand, reverse osmosis systems are cheaper and one of the most popular ways to remove lead from your water. These units are usually installed in your plumbing or fixed under the sink.
Along with removing up to 95% of lead from your water, they also eliminate other particles, bacteria, viruses, toxins, and other contaminants.
However, these systems have a drawback as well. They use a large amount of water, as the contaminants blocked by the unit’s membrane need to be washed out. Thus, they need a continuous water supply.
Faucet Mount Filters
Faucet-mount filters are installed under the sink and are usually more compact and easier to use than other types. You just need to mount them on a faucet in order to enjoy its benefits.
However, remember that these units can only remove certain contaminants and be fixed to standard faucet models.
Therefore, it’s best to take a look at their specifications before purchasing them.
Distillers are one of the most efficient systems for purifying water. Along with lead, they can eliminate other particles, toxins, and contaminants as well.
However, these systems consume a lot of energy and are a bit slow. Thus, if you’re looking for a filter that can purify more than two gallons of water, it’s better to opt for a different type.
What to look for in a Water Filter for Lead Removal
Due to their popularity and high demand, several different water filters are available today.
With such a wide range of options, choosing the model that best suits your needs can be a bit challenging.
To help you make the right decision, we’ve listed some variables and factors you should consider before finalizing your purchase.
Ease of installation
If you want to avoid additional expenses, you should opt for a unit that’s easy to install.
This will save you the money of hiring a professional to complete the installation for you. Filter pitchers and faucet-mount filters are two of the easiest-to-install water filters.
However, hiring a professional is definitely the right choice if you’re planning to purchase a more complicated system, like a distiller, a whole-house filter, or a reverse osmosis system.
Water filters for lead removal are available in a wide range of styles, sizes, and shapes.
The ideal filter type depends on the amount of water you need to purify, the space available in your house, and several other considerations.
If you don’t have a lot of space, it’s better to go for a portable lead water filter. Pitcher water filters and faucet-mount types only need a small amount of space.
If you use a lot of water or have a larger space, a home filtration system is a more suitable choice.
Most people, particularly those with bigger families, opt for reverse osmosis, distillation, or gravity-fed systems.
If you want to get rid of other contaminants and toxins as well, it’s better to go for a whole-house filtration system. You can also install different filters and use them together if you want.
Regardless of the type of filter you choose, make sure it passes the required standards and has all the necessary certifications before you purchase it.
Some filters need frequent replacement to ensure efficient and effective filtration, especially when they accumulate many particles, contaminants, and other debris.
Before you buy a unit, make sure its filters are within your budget and easy to find. Otherwise, the replacements might cost you more than the original water filtration system.
It’s also important to remember the time between each replacement. Some filters last for only a few weeks, while some work for a couple of months. Most filters usually need a replacement after 6 months.
There are many different types of water filters, each with a different installation process.
It’s advisable to read the user manual and follow the installation instructions or hire a professional for a more complex system.
Faucet mount filters are one of the easiest to install, but they usually don’t fit on faucets properly. They need special adapters that ensure the water passes through the filter before filling your glass.
To install these filters, you need to remove the faucet’s aerator, which is a small disc fixed on the faucet tip that controls the flow of the water, and uncover the threads below.
These units screw onto most faucets with external threads but need an adapter for taps with internal threats.
If you don’t find an adapter that fits perfectly, don’t force it. Instead, contact the manufacturer or ask a professional for help.
A filter pitcher is also incredibly easy to install, and you can easily do it yourself. However, if you want a filter that fits under a sink or a whole-house model, it’s better to hire a pro than doing the installation yourself.
Ultimately, it depends on how much free time you have for filter installation and if you think it’s better and more convenient to just have the filter installed by a professional.
Pros and cons
Before purchasing a water filter for lead removal, you should compare the benefits with the drawbacks.
In our opinion, the advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages, but make sure you do a cost-benefit analysis yourself before finalizing your purchase.
Filters out contaminants and particles
A quality water filter removes lead and other particles and pollutants present in your water. With an efficient water filter model, you won’t have to worry about your family’s health when drinking tap water.
The lack of dangerous toxins and chemicals also reduces the damage to kitchen equipment and appliances.
Furthermore, drinking filtered water has long-term health benefits. Clean and pure water encourages you and your family to drink at least 8 glasses daily without having to worry about any harmful elements and chemicals contaminating it.
Improves water supply
A water filtration system can definitely improve the quality of your water supply.
As all the contaminants and impurities in the water are eliminated, the odor and taste of your water improve as well.
Reduces bottled water consumption
A water filter allows you to drink water right from the tap as all impurities and contaminants are already removed.
You don’t need to purchase mineral water or bottled water as you already have a clean water supply at home. Reduced bottle consumption helps save the environment as well.
Initial costs and maintenance expenses
High-end water filters are a bit costly for some people. Although they offer long-term health benefits, their high initial costs usually discourage many customers.
The maintenance of water filtration systems can also be quite expensive. Filters need to be replaced and removed for effective and efficient filtration, which can be costly for some people. Some models use a lot of water, which can result in an increased water bill.
Low water output
Water filtration systems affect your water output. With a filter, the water needs to pass through a specific process before it’s suitable for drinking, and depending on the model, the water flow can be quite slow.
Considering this low output, it’s better to store filtered water in jugs.
Although water filters are extremely helpful, they cannot eliminate all the contaminants, impurities, and bacteria present in your water supply.
Thus, it’s advisable to use a unit that combines different filters and methods.
However, these advanced systems are usually more expensive, both to purchase as well as to maintain.
Cleaning and Maintenance
The cleaning and maintenance instructions of lead-removing filters differ from model to model.
Make sure you read the user manual and follow the process that the manufacturer recommends to prevent any damage to your filter.
If you have a reverse osmosis system, make sure you flush it and replace or clean its membrane once or twice every year.
Also, remember to use cold water, as hot water can negatively affect both the physical and the chemical processes used to absorb contaminants.
If you turn on the hot water for a couple of seconds but switch to cold quickly, the filter will be fine. But make sure you discard the hot filtered water and flush the unit with cold water.
If the hot water has been running for a long time, you’ll need to remove and replace the filter immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a water filter for lead removal, or can I just boil the water to remove it?
You cannot remove lead from well water by boiling it because as the water heats up and evaporates, the lead content increases in concentration.
You’ll need a specific water filter if you want to remove lead from your water supply and protect your family’s health.
Can I test my home water supply for lead content?
If you live in the state of New York, you can get a free testing kit and check your home water supply for lead levels.
If your state does not offer free testing, you can buy an inexpensive kit to put your mind at ease.
You can also contact your municipal water supply and ask for a Consumer Confidence Report.
This document lists the levels of contaminants and pollutants found during tests that are run regularly in accordance with federal law.
Most public suppliers also post their yearly reports online, so you can type your ZIP code into EPA’s website to determine the lead content in your water. Make sure the lead levels are below EPA’s action level of 15ppb.
Which water filter is the best for removing lead?
Reverse osmosis is the cheapest and most popular method for removing lead from water. However, the best water filter for you depends on your needs and preferences.