Does a Water Filter Remove Fluoride? Like a Carbon Filter?

Please note: This page may contain affiliate links. If you buy a product or service through such a link we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more about our product review process or check our FTC affiliate disclosure.

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.

Contents

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.

#1 Reverse Osmosis System for Fluoride: AquaTru

AquaTru Countertop RO System

Get 10% Off! Use Code: BOSAQUATRU

  • Our #1 RO System for Fluoride and Overall
  • Provides Great-Tasting and Clean Drinking Water Fast
  • 93.5% Average Fluoride Reduction, Also Removes 80+ Other Contaminants
  • NSF: Standards 42, 53, 58, 401, P473
  • No Installation Required – Ideal for Renters
  • Easy and Affordable Maintenance
  • → More Details in Our Full Review

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.

#1 Whole House Fluoride Filter: Crystal Quest

Crystal Quest Fluoride Whole House Water Filter

Get 5% Off! Use Code: BOS5OFF

  • 90-95% Fluoride Reduction
  • Also Removes Lead, Mercury, and Arsenic
  • Pre and Post-Filters Trap Sediment and Chemicals for Improved Water Taste
  • KDF Additive Prevents Bacterial Growth in Main Tank
  • Bone Char Lasts 1 Million Gallons (Up to 10 Years)
  • Easy and Affordable Maintenance

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.

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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.

comment banner blue

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 Maria Martino

Maria Martino is one of our part-time content creators. She owns a B.A. in Multimedia Journalism from the University of Chicago and enjoys writing about all walks of life. When she doesn’t write, Maria likes to portray people and support her local community.
Learn more about Maria and the rest of the BOS Team.

Maria

Leave a Comment: