Fluoride is known to have toxic properties even in low dosages. But once added to our water supplies, there is no way of controlling who ingests how much of it. This can be a serious problem especially for the majority of kids that already exceed the recommendations for daily fluoride intake by nutrition alone.
As a growing part of the population wants to opt out of water fluoridation, the demand for filter systems that can remove fluoride from water increases.
If you too are serious about going fluoride-free, make sure to carefully read our guide below. It not only tells you how to remove fluoride from water at home, it also features the best fluoride water filters.
On This Page You Will…
|Model||Our Rating||Price||Fluoride Reduction||Type||Features|
|$$$||97.7%||Reverse Osmosis Under Sink|
|$||48.2%||Shower Filter with Head|
|$||up to 90%||Bottle|
|$$||up to 99%||Distiller|
Whatever your reasons might be to try to remove fluoride from your tap water, you probably have spent a good amount of time reading up on the topic already. Therefore, we don’t want to talk about fluoridation in general and whether it’s a good or a bad thing. Instead, we would like to focus on how you can remove it.
Now, the amount of fluoride dissolved in fluoridated tap water doesn’t exceed 1 ppm (parts per million or mg/L) says the American Dental Association. In comparison, non-fluoridated water usually contains less than 0.3 ppm, although concentrations in groundwater may be higher.
It’s a fair question to ask if filter systems are able to remove/reduce this insanely small amount of fluoride, or if it simply slips through the grid of even the most rigorous filtration process to later end up in our water glasses anyway.
To answer the question, the Water Quality Association lists four treatment methods as suited for the removal of fluoride from tap water:
It’s surprising, but the most popular water filters, PUR and Brita pitchers among them, will not filter fluoride out of your water. Yes, they improve water taste and can remove chlorine for example, but when we are talking about fluoride, that’s a whole different story.
The reason being that both PUR and Brita filters use activated carbon (also called charcoal) to adsorb impurities, which doesn’t have any effect on fluoride.
As for LifeStraw, it only eliminates bacteria, protozoa and viruses (some models).
The sole purpose of a water softener is to soften water. Thereby it does not remove fluoride. That’s just not what the ion exchange resin was designed to do. Instead, a water softener removes calcium and magnesium ions and replaces them with sodium or potassium ions.
No, you can’t. Boiling water does not remove fluoride, as it does not evaporate easily. What you can do instead is use steam distillation to separate the water from all other contaminants dissolved in it.
Every once in a while, one of our readers reaches out to us and asks: How can you remove fluoride from drinking water naturally? The bad news is, you can’t. Fluoride neither evaporates at room temperature nor does it break down if you wait long enough or something like that. It’s just not possible.
A study conducted by the University of Nebraska in 2008 has shown that even small point-of-use reverse osmosis systems that get installed under your kitchen sink are very well capable of removing fluoride from tap water – some systems are certified to take out as much as 96%.
One aspect the authors of the study pointed out is that membrane selection plays a key role that significantly affects a system’s fluoride-removal capabilities.
Polyamide thin-film composites (TFC) and cellulose-type membranes are most commonly found in conventional RO systems. As a general rule, TFC membranes are more costly, but have higher Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) rejection rates and therefore do a better job at filtering out a broad range of water contaminants including fluoride.
According to the study, it is also crucial that you maintain your RO system properly to avoid membrane scaling, which can also lower filtering performance.
These are the 3 RO systems that we recommend for fluoride removal:
The Home Master TMAFC-ERP has proven to reject fluoride at an average rate of 97.7%.
It costs considerably more than its 2 competitors, however, it’s by far our favorite as it doesn’t really have any drawbacks. Instead, everything is backed by the manufacturer with a 5-year limited warranty.
As one of the cheapest of its kind, the iSpring RCC7 reverse osmosis system is WQA certified to remove 94-96% of fluoride from water, which is a very high rejection rate.
Other advantages are that replacement filter costs are super low and you get a leak detector plus a 1-year money-back guarantee for ease of mind. Learn more about other features here.
Drawbacks? A few leaks here and there – nothing that couldn’t be solved.
The Aquasana OptimH2O is another RO unit that has earned NSF certifications according to standards 42, 53, 58 and 401. Standard 58 covers fluoride removal. The average reduction rate was 95.7% – not bad at all.
In addition, the Aquasana OptimH2O features a remineralization stage adding calcium, magnesium and potassium minerals back into your drinking water for improved taste and balanced pH.
What we don’t like is that replacement cartridges are rather pricey, water flow is a bit low and the included chrome dispenser could do with an upgrade. Detailed review here.
A whole house fluoride water filter? That’s a tough one to be honest. You see, whole house water filters mainly rely on activated carbon for trapping impurities, which is completely ineffective against fluoride.
So like we said earlier, you have to look out for a whole house unit that uses activated alumina media (like Berkey) or you opt for a whole house reverse osmosis system.
The latter provides the purest water of all (fluoride removal > 90%), but requires an additional storage tank + delivery pump due to the slow water flow rate.
First things first, this 20″ Big Blue system removes 70% of fluoride from water in average household use, which isn’t bad but also not groundbreaking. The activated alumina/bone char carbon blend also filters arsenic.
In addition, a sediment filter (stage 1) and a radial flow carbon filter (stage 3) trap particulates, chlorine, chloramines and other chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and MTBE that might be lurking in your water.
Lastly, the whole home system is low in maintenance and can be installed by homeowners with basic plumbing skills, although the instructions could use an overhaul. The overall quality is good.
The iSpring RCS5T RO system produces water on-demand. For whole house use, you definitely want to add a non-pressurized storage tank as well as a delivery pump to the system. This way you can ensure to always have purified water at the ready.
Speaking of purified water, the RCS5T reduces fluoride content by 94-96%. Furthermore, you can also say goodbye to 99% asbestos, 96-98% lead, more than 99% bacteria and dozens of other contaminants.
Maintaining the system is nice and easy. The only problem is that especially the pre-filter cartridges need frequent replacements.
As we’ve learned, PUR and Brita purifier pitchers won’t remove fluoride from your drinking water. That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t other pitcher models that will. Here are two of them:
The Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher was tested by independent and accredited labs and has proven to remove 90.06% of fluoride from water. It also removes chlorine and chloramines (99.9%), lead (99.9%), pentavalent arsenic (99.8%) and many other harmful substances.
The jug can hold up to 8 cups and filters last between 3-6 months depending on feed water quality and how high your demand is. If you would like to learn what other customers say about the pitcher, check out some of their reviews here.
For a more thorough review from us, follow this link.
The ZeroWater 10 cup filter pitcher is more affordable than the Aquagear and has an average fluoride reduction rate of 99% according to tests conducted by an EPA certified laboratory.
A free TDS meter is part of the deal and the pitcher allows you to quickly dispense water from the bottom spigot – no need to lift it up or take it out of the refrigerator.
The biggest drawbacks of the ZeroWater are the filtration speed which is one of the slowest among all pitchers and the filter cartridges that don’t last for very long which adds to the maintenance costs.
If you are willing to invest a little more, you can get yourself a Berkey water filter for your countertop and upgrade it with two PF-2™ fluoride filter elements filled with high-grade activated alumina media.
Tests have shown that these elements are capable of removing at least 97% of dissolved fluoride in water.
Berkey systems are gravity-based and come in different sizes. For example, there is the highly popular Big Berkey that can hold up to 2.25 gallons of filtered water sufficient for a whole family. And there is the Travel Berkey with a 1.5-gallon tank for single households.
Want all the details? Find our review of the Big Berkey here.
As an alternative to Berkey, check out the Home Master Jr. F2 countertop water filter. Fluoride removal rate: 93%. Method: Activated Alumina.
The Jr. F2 is much more compact than a Big Berkey and even a Travel Berkey, making it an ideal choice for small homes.
It directly connects to your kitchen tap – setup takes 5 minutes at max – which makes it very convenient to use.
The only disadvantage is that such a small system requires more frequent filter replacements.
Every time you take a shower you inhale fluoride and absorb it through your skin. But is there even such a thing as a shower (head) water purifier that removes fluoride effectively?
Unfortunately, there isn’t – at least not really. Yes, there are sellers out there that list fluoride-reducing shower filters, but they are not very effective.
The Propur ProMax for example (on the left) removes about 48% fluoride. Well, still better than nothing. And the unit looks nice. Unfortunately, it’s pretty expensive.
The Seychelle Outdoor Advanced Bottle allows you to “Drink from freshwater lakes, streams, rivers, or the tap with peace of mind“.
It filters organic and inorganic contaminants as well as microorganisms and, most importantly, it removes up to 90% of fluoride.
The BPA-free bottle was designed for traveling, hiking & camping and any emergency scenarios where safe drinking water is not easily accessible. Capacity: 28 oz. Filters are manufactured in the USA.
Cons: You have to squeeze the bottle while drinking. If you squeeze too hard the lid pops off which can be annoying after a while. Also, water is likely to leak out around the base of the cap or when you tip the bottle.
Steam distillation is a very effective way of purifying water and getting rid of fluoride.
Our favorite distiller? The Megahome MH943SBS! For people on a budget we recommend the Mophorn Pure. If money is not an issue, you might also want to check out the H2oLabs:
This Megahome countertop distiller is another top seller on Amazon. Its inside is made from stainless steel so the water cannot possibly touch any plastic parts and get contaminated.
Realistically speaking, the distiller can produce about 2 gallons of purified water per day – enough for 2-3 people. Unless you have the device run all night, then the maximum capacity is 4 gallons in 24 hours.
As the distiller works, the water first drips into a glass nozzle with a built-in carbon filter for the removal of volatile substances. Then it flows into a glass collector afterwards. Again, no cheap plastic parts here that could contaminate your water.
And last but not least, the Megahome MH943SBS is backed by outstanding customer feedback, a 1-year manufacturer warranty and a great customer support team. Plus it usually comes with free shipping!
The greatest advantage of the Mophorn Pure is the low price. And just like the Megahome, it purifies about 1 gallon of water per distillation cycle.
We have a food-grade stainless steel interior and above that an activated carbon filter trapping volatile substances. BUT the carafe is made from plastic which according to customers adds an unpleasant taste and odor to your water. So you probably want to replace that one.
What we also don’t like is that sometimes units stop working without warning after they have been used for a few weeks/months.
The H2oLabs Stainless Steel Water Distiller is of high quality and should last you a lifetime.
The glass carafe and all other parts are easy to clean, which is nice, because it’s likely that you will be using them on a daily basis.
And if you think about it, this daily use really adds up. So it’s better if you only need to spend two or three minutes for cleaning and refilling the system instead of 10.
What’s more, the distiller looks nice (you can check it out here). In fact, it looks a lot better than other cheaper models. The reason why we consider this to be important is because it will be visible on your kitchen counter all day.
Click the link to find more countertop water distiller reviews.
As far as we know, faucet and refrigerator filters won’t help you to get fluoride out of your water. If you are still interested in learning more about these filter types, follow this link for the former and this link for the latter.
RO systems, pitchers, whole house units, shower heads, distillers, etc. – eliminating chlorine from water is usually much easier than getting rid of fluoride. The products listed on this page are all capable of removing the former, so there’s no reason for you to worry about that.
Also, our Chlorine Special is the best place if you want to learn more about how to remove chlorine from your water.
More on Fluoride Filtration
It all started when tap water was enriched with fluoride for the first time in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1945. Today, 42 of the 50 largest U.S. cities fluoridate their public water supply to ‘prevent tooth decay’, and according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) almost 66.3% of the US population received fluoridated water in 2014.
U.S. residents served with fluoridated community water from 1992 to 2006
Fluoride is naturally found in mineral rocks and doesn’t add taste, color, or odor to water when dissolved in it. Conventional medicine states that small amounts of it will help you maintain healthy teeth. However, fluoride-opponents are convinced that many groundwater sources contain too much fluoride already and that excessive long-term exposure can have negative side effects on human bone structure, kidneys, and many other parts of our body.
If and which of these claims are true has been part of a very controversial debate in the last decades and will provoke discussions among leading scientists, especially dentists, for many years to come.
Here is a great video on Why The Government Puts Fluoride In Our Water in the first place:
If you have any questions about how to remove fluoride from water, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!
And don’t forget to come back to this page from time to time, as we are going to add new fluoride water filter reviews occasionally.