Does a Water Filter Remove Fluoride? Find Out Here!

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Water filters not only remove contaminants, they can also make your water taste way better – think crisp and fresh.

Moreover, they provide you with an eco-friendly alternative so you can ditch wasteful single-use plastic bottles forever.

With that said, some people think that all water filters are alike and filter out the same contaminants. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Some water filters can screen out potentially harmful and toxic heavy metals, while others will only improve the taste of water slightly. Also, no filter or technology is 100% effective in removing all contaminants from tap or well water.

So, which type is suitable for fluoride removal? Do water filters even remove fluoride?

This short guide will walk you through various water filter options that can help you remove fluoride from your water supply.

Key Takeaways

  • Some water filters do remove fluoride – to more than 99% depending on the filter model.
  • Water filter types that can be used for fluoride removal are reverse osmosis systems, bone char filters, and activated alumina filters.

Can You Filter Fluoride From Tap Water?

Yes, you can filter fluoride from water using a water filter. However, it is essential to note that not all water filters feature the technology to remove the infamous salt. Furthermore, even those water filters that can reduce it have different reduction rates.

For example, some filters can remove 95% fluoride while others bring down the level by a mere 80%.

Fluoride is one of those impurities that are particularly hard to remove from water. However, installing a specialized filter can ensure that the water you bring in from the tap is pure.

What Water Filters Remove Fluoride?

In the era that we are living in, we have three methods through which we can have clean, fluoride-free water running through our household:

1. Reverse Osmosis

Fluoride reduction: About 95%

Reverse osmosis is highly effective at removing fluoride. Also, reverse osmosis systems are one of the most popular methods used for fluoride removal. That’s no surprise considering RO membranes offer meticulous filtration removing 99.9% of hundreds of water contaminants.

In an RO filter, a semi-permeable membrane filters out contaminants and impurities based on their size. Being rated at 0.0001 microns, an RO membrane rejects almost everything that’s larger than water molecules.

What’s more, RO systems feature multiple post and pre-filters that help improve the quality of your water even further.

The only problem: RO water purification also removes healthy minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. What’s worse is that an RO filter wastes a lot of water. For instance, to deliver a single gallon of filtered water, a standard system easily sends three gallons down the drain.

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2. Bone Char

Fluoride reduction: 90-95%

Bone char makes an excellent fluoride filter with a highly porous ionic surface that loves adsorbing impurities.

The lesser-known water filter technology is not commonly used but can reduce a wide range of contaminants, including fluoride, heavy metals, and radioactive elements.

Please keep in mind, bone char is not the same as activated carbon and is not similar to it either.

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3. Activated Alumina

Fluoride reduction: Up to 95%

Activated alumina filters are among the most widely used applications to remove fluoride and arsenic, high TDS levels, and sulfate concentrations from tap water. Berkey filters are one of the most famous filters that utilize the underrated technology.

Activated alumina is made using aluminum oxide and it has a significantly high surface-area-to-weight ratio which helps trap contaminants for an extended period of time.

Do Carbon Filters Remove Fluoride?

No, most activated carbon filters can’t remove fluoride. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A carbon filter is the most widely used water filter that can remove a litany of common tap water contaminants, first and foremost chlorine and chemicals.

Can Fridge Filters Remove Fluoride?

Fridge filters – one of the most popular choices for filtering water at home – can’t remove fluoride. At least, we haven’t come across any refrigerator water filter that utilizes AA or bone char cartridges.

Carbon-based filter cartridges in refrigerator filters are effective at removing aesthetic contaminants like free chlorine.

Hence, if you are worried about going fluoride-free, now may be an excellent time to upgrade your filtration system. If you are looking for the same level of convenience, you should opt for a water filter pitcher instead, like the Clearly Filtered.

Pros and Cons of Fluoride in Drinking Water

Fluoride in drinking water is a controversial topic, and people on both ends of the debate feel very strong about it. There’s significant debate about whether the oral-hygiene related advantages of fluoride outweigh the potential health risks involved.

If you are here, it’s safe to assume that you’d rather drink non-fluoridated water. Honestly speaking, not all fluoride is harmful. But, like all things in life, moderation is key.

Here’s a roundup of pros and cons related to fluoride in drinking water.


  • The most significant benefit of fluoride in drinking water is that it helps prevent one of the most widespread diseases, tooth decay. As a result, kids who drink fluoridated water have stronger teeth.
  • Fluoridated water in communities has resulted in fewer cavities for at least 25 percent of the population, including kids and adults.
  • Spending a small amount on fluoridating tap water saves the government tons of money that would otherwise be spent on dental fillings.


  • Dental fluorosis is one of the most common problems with drinking from a fluoridated water supply. While it doesn’t affect the function of the teeth, dental fluorosis results in unsightly stains and may create pits, too.
  • Skeletal fluorosis refers to extreme pain in bones and joints that have stored more than the required amount of fluoride.
  • In the same fashion, fluoridated water can affect the functioning of the thyroid gland and expose your body to a plethora of problems.

woman mouth and teeth

More Tips to Reduce Your Fluoride Exposure

Here are a few tips to reduce your overall daily fluoride exposure:

  • Avoid processed and inorganic foods that are chock-full of fluoride. Since most processed food items utilize fluoridated water in the production process, they can contain a high amount of fluoride.
  • Similarly, pesticides used in conventional agriculture also add up the level of fluoride in fruits and vegetables.
  • Ask your dentist to suggest fluoride-free dental products.
  • It’s best to avoid or limit tea and coffee intake since they may contain a naturally high fluoride concentration.
  • Avoid cooking in Teflon cookware. It’s likely that food cooked in Teflon contains a higher amount of fluoride.
  • Many medicines also contain a high level of fluoride. So, if you are consuming any such medicine, it’s best to ask your doctor for a substitute.
  • Some bottled waters are chock full of fluoride.

If you have any thoughts about the question, do water filters remove fluoride, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

About the Author Gene Fitzgerald

Gene Fitzgerald is one of the founders of BOS and currently head of content creation. She has 8+ years of experience as a water treatment specialist under her belt making her our senior scientist. Outside of BOS, Gene loves reading books on philosophy & social issues, making music, and hiking.
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We adhere to strict editorial guidelines. Rest assured, the opinions expressed have not been provided, reviewed, or otherwise endorsed by our partners – they are unbiased, independent, and the author’s alone. Our licensed experts fact-check all content for accuracy. It is accurate as of the date posted and to the best of our knowledge.

Leave a Comment:

Robert says March 12, 2023

Does a charcoal filter remove pathogens and other living organism.allso.floride

    Gene says March 13, 2023

    Hi Robert,
    A charcoal filter does not remove fluoride. It can remove pathogens, but that depends on the specific carbon filter and the pathogens in question. Simply put, carbon filters have different micron ratings (pore sizes), and some pathogens are smaller than others. The smaller the pathogen, the smaller a filter’s micron rating needs to be for successful removal.

moira palmqvist says May 11, 2023

How can you remove fluoride ie what filter is the best if there is one to use

    Gene says May 12, 2023

    We have a guide about exactly that topic linked in the site menu!

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