14 Best Water Filters for Lead Removal (*Update 2023)

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Top Pick

The best water filter for lead removal in 2023 is the PIONEER, because it is NSF-certified to remove 99.62% lead providing your entire home with lead-free water. Also, it easy to install and maintain, backed by a lifetime warranty and 6-month satisfaction guarantee, and has a long filter life of 100,000 gallons.

Get ready to take a plunge into the world of water filters that tackle lead like superheroes! With so many options out there – not all of them are good – finding the perfect sidekick can feel like diving into a sea of confusion.

Luckily for you, we’ve done the research, testing, and ranking of over 42 top-notch filters. Our trusty guide, constantly updated since December 2017, ensures you get accurate and reliable information. Get ready to quench your thirst for pure water and wave goodbye to lead!

No Time to Read? Check Our List of the Best Water Filters for Lead!

Filters Details
PIONEER Whole House Lead Purifier System
Best for Whole House Lead Filtration: PIONEER

Overall Rating: 5.0/5.0 ⓘRatings based on lead removal %, price tag, yearly cost, filtration capacity, NSF standards, product support, warranties, customer feedback, our own testing, and other factors.

Get 5% Off! Use Code: BOS5OFF

Price: $$$
Type: Whole House Filtration System
Lead Reduction: 99.62%
NSF: 53, P473
Read Review: Click
Clearly Filtered Lead Water Filter Pitcher
Best for Ease of Use: Clearly Filtered Pitcher

Overall Rating: 5.0/5.0 ⓘRatings based on lead removal %, price tag, yearly cost, filtration capacity, NSF standards, product support, warranties, customer feedback, our own testing, and other factors.

Get 10% Off! Use Code: WELCOME10

Price: $
Type: Water Filter Pitcher
Lead Reduction: 99.3%
NSF: 42, 53, 401, P473
Read Review: Click
Alexa’s Video Review: Click
Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under Sink Water Filter
Best for Under Sinks: Clearly Filtered 3-Stage

Overall Rating: 5.0/5.0 ⓘRatings based on lead removal %, price tag, yearly cost, filtration capacity, NSF standards, product support, warranties, customer feedback, our own testing, and other factors.

Get 10% Off! Use Code: WELCOME10

Price: $$
Type: Under Sink Water Filtration System
Lead Reduction: 98.9%
NSF: 42, 53, 401
Read Review: Click
Alexa’s Video Review: Click
AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System
Best for RO Water Purification: AquaTru

Overall Rating: 4.5/5.0 ⓘRatings based on lead removal %, price tag, yearly cost, filtration capacity, NSF standards, product support, warranties, customer feedback, our own testing, and other factors.

Get 15% Off! Use Code: BOSAQUATRU

Price: $$
Type: Reverse Osmosis
Lead Reduction: 99.1%
NSF: 42, 53, 58, 401, P473
Read Review: Click
Alexa’s Video Review: Click
Aquasana AQ-4100 Shower Filter
Best for Lead-Free Showers: Aquasana AQ-4100

Overall Rating: 4.5/5.0 ⓘRatings based on lead removal %, price tag, yearly cost, filtration capacity, NSF standards, product support, warranties, customer feedback, our own testing, and other factors.

Get Up to 50% Off! Use Code: AQBOS50

Price: $
Type: Shower Water Filter
Lead Reduction: Yes
NSF: 77
Read Review: Click
Alexa’s Video Review: Click
Big Berkey Gravity Water Filter
Best for Countertop/Gravity Lead Filtration: Big Berkey

Overall Rating: 4.5/5.0 ⓘRatings based on lead removal %, price tag, yearly cost, filtration capacity, NSF standards, product support, warranties, customer feedback, our own testing, and other factors.

Price: $$
Type: Gravity Water Filtration System
Lead Reduction: 99.9%
NSF: 42, 53
Read Review: Click

The Best Water Filter For Lead Removal

Right now, our evaluation process is based on these key factors: NSF-based lead reduction rates (30%), price tag and yearly cost (25%), first-hand testing and user opinions (20%), filter life (15%), customer service & product warranty (10%).

Review Order

  1. PIONEER – Best for Whole House
  2. Home Master HMF2SmgCC55 – Whole House Runner-Up
  3. Clearly Filtered Pitcher – Best for Ease of Use
  4. Clearly Filtered 3-Stage – Best for Under the Sink
  5. Aquasana Claryum & Epic Smart Shield – Under Sink Runner-Up
  6. AquaTru – Best for RO Water Purification of Lead
  7. Aquasana OptimH2O and Home Master TMAFC – RO Runner-Up
  8. Aquasana AQ-4100 – Best for Showering
  9. Big Berkey – Best for Gravity Filtering of Lead
  10. Brita Filters
  11. PUR Water Filters
  12. Refrigerator Water Filters

1. Best for Whole House: PIONEER Lead Water Filter

In our opinion, the best water filter for lead removal in 2023 is the PIONEER by ENPRESS. It’s the only whole house water filter on the market with an NSF Standard 53 certification for guaranteed lead removal. All things considered, it’s the ideal system for people who want lead-free water at every outlet in their home. 5 stars!

PIONEER Whole House Lead Filter System

SpringWell Whole House Lead & Cyst Removal System: PIONEER

Price: $$$
Type of Filter: Whole House
Ability to Remove Lead: 99.62%
NSF Certifications: 53, P473
Warranty: Lifetime

Overall Rating: 5.0/5.0 ⓘRatings based on lead removal %, price tag, yearly cost, filtration capacity, NSF standards, product support, warranties, customer feedback, our own testing, and other factors.

Get 5% Off! Use Code: BOS5OFF

Gallery

SpringWell PIONEER Whole House Lead & Cyst Removal System image 1

Other Specs

  • Model: LCR-1
  • Last Price: $1554.98
  • Yearly Cost: ~$400.00
  • Filter Media: Carbon Block
  • Flow Rate: Up to 8 gpm
  • Filtering Capacity: 100,000 gal
  • WxHxD: 8″x40″x8″
  • Water Temperature: 34-120 °F
  • Water Pressure: 20-125 psi
  • Fitting: 1″

Key Features & Pros

  • Only whole house water filter tested and certified for lead reduction against NSF standards. Removes 99.62% particulate + soluble lead from 100,000 gallons of water.
    • Traps particulate lead down to 0.5-micron nominal.
    • Carbon filter media binds soluble lead, too.
  • Also certified for reduction of PFOA/PFOS (97.9%, NSF P473) and cyst (>99.95%, NSF 53).
  • Also helps with chlorine, chloramine, other heavy metals, bad taste and odor.
  • 4.51 gallons per minute service flow rate and 8 gpm peak flow – sufficient for homes with 1-3 bathrooms depending on how much water you use simultaneously.
    • Larger homes can use 2 systems installed in parallel.
  • Unit is metered and uses simple LED system to let you know when the remaining filter life is less than 10% and when to replace the filter cartridge.
  • Filtration capacity is 100,000 gallons of water or 1 year, whichever comes first.
  • Whole house water filter system is shipped preassembled and includes bypass valve ideal for DIYers who like to self-install and save money.
  • Replacing filters is a simple process and doesn’t require tools.
  • Seller provides 6-month satisfaction guarantee for peace of mind.
  • System is warranted for lifetime.

Cons

  • 8 gallons per minute peak flow might not suffice for large homes with 3 or more bathrooms without experiencing water pressure drops.
  • Not for people on a budget.

Our Rating

  • Filtration Performance: 5.0/5.0
  • Filter Life: 5.0/5.0
  • Price: 4.0/5.0
  • Annual Filter Replacement Cost: 4.0/5.0
  • Overall: 5.0/5.0

Best for

The PIONEER is best for people who want a highly effective POE filter system for lead removal.

→ Read Our Full PIONEER Filter Review Here

2. Whole House Water Filter System Alternative: Home Master HMF2SmgCC55

Home Master HMF2SmgCC55 Whole House System

One of the best alternatives to the PIONEER is the Home Master HMF2SmgCC55. It, too, is a cartridge-based system with

  • One multi-gradient depth sediment filter stage removing sand, silt, and other floating particles down to a size of 1 micron (nominal).
  • And one cartridge with a mix of catalytic carbon and 12 pounds(!) of KDF55 filter media for “challenging lead removal applications”. Apart from lead and other water-soluble metals, the filter media also reduces chloramine, chlorine, all kinds of chemicals, and bad taste & odor.

The Home Master HMF2SmgCC55 has 2 advantages over the PIONEER whole house water filter:

  1. It’s a lot more affordable upfront.
  2. Instead of 8, it allows for up to 10 gallons per minute flow rate which is better for large houses with multiple bathrooms.

On the downside, the Home Master HMF2SmgCC55 is NOT certified for removing lead. The manufacturer claims up to 95% reduction, but that’s not backed by actual lab testing.

Also, the HMF2SmgCC55 is more costly to maintain. The annual cost for 100,000 gallons of filtered water is around $500, opposed to roughly $400 for the PIONEER.

And lastly, the Home Master system is for city water only.

3. Best for Ease of Use: Clearly Filtered Lead Removal Pitcher

In our opinion, the #1 lead removal pitcher in 2023 is the Clearly Filtered. It’s for people who put healthy and clean drinking water at the top of their priority list and don’t want to make any compromises when it comes to quality and taste. Being one of a few water filter pitchers tested against 4 NSF standards, it’s guaranteed to remove over 360 contaminants including 99.3% lead. 5 stars!

Clearly Filtered Purifier Pitcher for Lead

Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher

Price: $
Filter Type: Pitcher
Ability to Remove Lead: 99.3%
NSF Standards: 42, 53, 401, P473
Warranty: Lifetime (Limited)

Overall Rating: 5.0/5.0 ⓘRatings based on lead removal %, price tag, yearly cost, filtration capacity, NSF standards, product support, warranties, customer feedback, our own testing, and other factors.

Get 10% Off! Use Code: WELCOME10

Alexa’s Video Review

Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher Image 1Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher Image 2Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher Image 3Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher Image 4

After setting up the pitcher and using it for a while we really liked this pitcher (…). It tastes really good, it pours easily, it was easy to set up, and I like how it looks on the counter. So it gets 5 stars in my book.

Alexa Gibbons – BOS Video Content Creator

Alexa

Other Specs

  • Model: CF-PRF
  • Last Price: $90
  • Yearly Cost: ~$150
  • Filter Media: Carbon + Composite Shell
  • Storage Volume: 80 oz (10 Cups)
  • Filtering Capacity: 100 gal
  • WxHxD: 11.25″x10.25″x5″
  • Weight (Empty): 2.3 lb

Key Features & Pros

  • Our go-to water filter pitcher.
  • Removes more contaminants than any other model on the market. For example: Chlorine (99.5%), chloramine (99.7%), fluoride (99.5%), arsenic (98.3%), lead (99.3%), chromium-6 (97.8%), about three dozen pharmaceutical drugs (up to 99.9%), herbicides (up to 99.9%), pesticides (up to 99.8%), chemicals like BPA, PFOA, and nitrate (99.9%), 100+ volatile organic compounds/semi-volatile compounds (vast majority to more than 99.8%).
    • NSF standards: 42, 53, 401, P473.
  • Uses Affinity Filtration Technology which combines granular activated carbon with several other proprietary filtration materials.
  • Built in the USA.
  • Made from medical-grade Tritan.
    • BPA-free and doesn’t leach chemicals, odors, or tastes into your water.
  • Holds 10 cups of filtered water, enough for family use.
  • Removable lid makes refilling very easy.
  • Water dam allows pouring out drinking water without spilling unfiltered water.
  • Most essential minerals are kept in the water and add to daily nutritional intake.
  • Filters are long lasting for convenience: 100 gallons of water or 4 months on average.
    • Way more than what you get with most other brands.
  • Filter pitcher is backed by 30-day no-risk satisfaction guarantee + limited lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • Although you can buy in bulk and/or subscribe to filters and save up to $9.50 per piece, the replacements are quite pricey.
  • People complained about slow flow and clogged water filters.
    • We haven’t experienced the latter ourselves.
    • The Clearly Filtered pitcher was designed for longer contact time between water and filter media to allow for highest contaminant removal.
    • Seller sends free replacement filters in case of defect.

Our Rating

  • Filtration Performance: 5.0/5.0
  • Filter Life: 5.0/5.0
  • Price: 4.0/5.0
  • Annual Filter Replacement Cost: 4.5/5.0
  • Overall: 5.0/5.0

Best for

The Clearly Filtered is best for people who want a lead water filter pitcher that’s easy to use, extremely effective, and affordable.

→ Read Our Full Clearly Filtered Pitcher Review Here

4. Best for Under the Sink: Clearly Filtered 3-Stage

In our opinion, the number one under sink lead water filtration system in 2023 is the Clearly Filtered 3-Stage. It provides highly clean, safe, and refreshing drinking water. How clean? According to independent lab testing against NSF standards, it removes 98.9% lead in addition to more than 230 other contaminants that might be lurking in your water supply. 5 stars!

Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under Sink Water Filter

Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Filtration System

Price: $$
Filter Type: Under Sink
Ability to Remove Lead: 98.9%
NSF Standards: 42, 53, 401
Warranty: Lifetime (Limited)

Overall Rating: 5.0/5.0 ⓘRatings based on lead removal %, price tag, yearly cost, filtration capacity, NSF standards, product support, warranties, customer feedback, our own testing, and other factors.

Get 10% Off! Use Code: WELCOME10

Alexa’s Video Review

clearly filtered under the sink water filter image 1clearly filtered under the sink water filter image 2clearly filtered under the sink water filter image 3clearly filtered under the sink water filter image 4

I’m going to give this a 5-star because I think that this it is the nicest product you can get for under-the-sink filter. I can’t believe how much different it made my tap water taste coming out of the faucet. (…) on top of that it was super easy to install and I could do it myself.

Alexa Gibbons – BOS Video Content Creator

Alexa

Other Specs

  • Model: 3-Stage Under the Sink Water Filter System
  • Last Price: $550
  • Yearly Cost: ~$440
  • Filter Media: Carbon + Proprietary Blend
  • Filter Stages: 3
  • Filtering Capacity: 2,000 Gallons
  • WxHxD: 15″x15.4″x3.1″
  • Fitting: ⅜”

Key Features & Pros

  • The Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Filter System removes lead (98.9%), chlorine (98.6%), chloramines (95.3%), arsenic (94.3%), sodium fluoride (90.7%), chromium 6 (99.4%), PFOA (99.6%), herbicides and pesticides (up to 99.9%), 100+ VOCs and semi volatile compounds (up to 99.9%), and much more.
    • Tested by independent lab against NSF standards 42, 53, and 401.
    • Some of the best testing results we’ve ever seen!
  • Stage 1 uses granular activated carbon filter (made from coconut shells).
  • Filter stage 2 uses “special blend” to reduce heavy metals, VOCs, radiation, PFAS, and other chemicals.
  • Filter stage 3 uses proprietary filter media which targets fluoride and arsenic in drinking water.
    • Free from activated alumina and bone char.
  • Built in USA.
  • Stainless steel hoses guarantee durability.
  • Designed for quick, non-permanent DIY installation (i.e. doesn’t require a hole for an extra faucet) – great for renters and to save money.
  • System maintenance is low. Each of the 3 filters lasts about 2,000 gallons or 12 months. The average household has to replace once a year.
    • Modular design + built-in shut-off valves allow for quick and tool-free filter changes with no need to close the feed water supply.
  • Covered by limited lifetime warranty.
  • 30 days satisfaction guarantee for peace of mind.

Cons

  • Quality has its price. This under sink water filter for lead removal is more expensive than most of its competition.
  • Reduces water pressure by 25-35% (thorough filtration takes time).

Our Rating

  • Filtration Performance: 5.0/5.0
  • Filter Life: 5.0/5.0
  • Price: 4.0/5.0
  • Annual Filter Replacement Cost: 4.5/5.0
  • Overall: 5.0/5.0

Best for

The Clearly Filtered 3-Stage is best for people who want an under sink lead filter that’s compact, easy to install and use, and very effective.

→ CF 3-Stage Under the Sink Filter Fully Reviewed

5. Under Sink Water Filter Alternatives: Aquasana Claryum & Epic Smart Shield Under Sink Water Filter Systems

2 budget-friendly alternatives to the Clearly Filtered 3-Stage under sink water filter are Aquasana’s Claryum systems (there are 3) and the Epic Smart Shield by Epic Water Filters.

Both are NSF-tested/certified for more than 99.3% average lead reduction which is even more than what the Clearly Filtered can do for you.

As for Aquasana’s Claryum water filtration systems, there’s

Aquasana AQ-5300+ Under Sink Lead Water Filter

  • The AQ-5200 with 2 filter stages and 500 gallons of water filtration capacity.
  • The AQ-5300 with 3 filter stages. Filters 600 gallons.
  • And the AQ-5300+ with 3 larger filter stages for higher water flow and 800 gallons filter life.

All 3 use activated carbon + catalytic carbon and other filter media to remove up to 99.9% of at least 77 different and potentially harmful contaminants including lead. NSF certifications: Standard 42, 53, 401 and Protocol P473.

Personally, we favor the AQ-5300+ because the other two tend to be a bit slow.

Epic Smart Shield Under Sink Water Filter

The Epic Smart Shield features a single activated coconut carbon block filter stage and is thus the most affordable option. Made in USA, it removes over 70 tap water contaminants like lead (NSF 42, 53, 401) and is available with or without a dedicated faucet.

Setup couldn’t be easier and the filter is small enough to fit in the tightest corner

Capacity: 650 gallons which is less than one-third of the Clearly Filtered’s life so that, over the long run, there’s not that much of a difference in terms of annual filter replacement cost.

Alexa’s Video Review

Epic Smart Shield Under Sink Water Filter image 1Epic Smart Shield Under Sink Water Filter image 2Epic Smart Shield Under Sink Water Filter image 3Epic Smart Shield Under Sink Water Filter image 4

I want to give this filter a 3.5 out of 5, and that is because of the taste and the fact that I struggled a little bit with the setup. (…) It is still good. It still removes a lot of contaminants. (…) if your budget is in that 100 to 200 dollar range, this is going to be a great purchase for you.

Alexa Gibbons – BOS Video Content Creator

Alexa

6. Best for RO Water Purification: AquaTru System

In our opinion, the #1 RO system for lead removal in 2023 is the AquaTru. It’s a countertop system that has been tested rigorously to earn 5 different NSF certifications. Lead reduction rate: 99.1%. And the best thing about the AquaTru, it doesn’t even require installation. It’s a plug & play unit ideal for renters and everyone who doesn’t want to bother with a tedious install. 4.5 stars!

AquaTru Countertop Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System

AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System

Price: $$
Filter Type: Reverse Osmosis
Ability to Remove Lead: 99.1%
NSF Cert.: NSF 42, 53, 58, 401, P473
Warranty: 1 Year

Overall Rating: 4.5/5.0 ⓘRatings based on lead removal %, price tag, yearly cost, filtration capacity, NSF standards, product support, warranties, customer feedback, our own testing, and other factors.

Get 15% Off! Use Code: BOSAQUATRU

Alexa’s Video Review

AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Image 1AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Image 4AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Image 3AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Image 2

The 3-part filtration system is quite impressive. It really removes everything out of the water. As far as water filtration systems go this will be a very high quality option for you. (…) Overall my review of this system is going to be a 4.5 out of 5.

Alexa Gibbons – BOS Video Content Creator

Alexa

Other Specs

  • Model: AquaTru
  • Last Price: $449.00
  • Yearly Cost: ~$100-120
  • Primary Filter Media: RO
  • Filter Stages: 4
  • Water Flow: 1 Gallon in 10-15 Minutes
  • Recovery Rate: 80%
  • Filtering Capacity: 600-1,200 Gallons
  • WxHxD: 12″x14″x14″
  • Water Temperature: 39-100 °F
  • Operating Pressure: 40-85 psi

Key Features & Pros

  • RO system is compact and easy to use.
  • Tested and certified to remove up to 99.99% of 82 different contaminants
  • 4 filter stages:
    • Uses combination of sediment filter and activated carbon filter to trap sediments and other large particulates as well as adsorb chlorine, chemicals, bad taste and odor, and more.
    • Reverse osmosis membrane rejects heavy metals, fluoride, nitrate, arsenic, total dissolved solids, etc.
    • Activated coconut carbon block polishing filter takes care of organic compounds, PFOA, PFOS, pesticides, and residual taste among other stuff.
  • 5 NSF/ANSI certifications (Standard 42, 53, 58, 401, Protocol P473) guarantee clean drinking water.
  • Purifies 1 gallon of water in 10-15 minutes so no long waiting times.
  • Built-in pressure pump increases recovery rate to 80%, meaning only one-fifth of the input water goes down the drain (compared to 3-5 gallons that other reverse osmosis water filtration systems waste for every gallon of filtered water produced).
  • Permeate water collects in 3-quart front tank which allows for easy button dispensing.
    • Tank is removable for portability and refrigerator cooling.
  • Reject water is collected in second tank ready to be discarded.
  • Material is Tritan plastic which is BPA + BPS-free.
  • Takes less than 10 minutes to set up for maximum convenience. No drilling. No plumbing.
    • Great for renters who aren’t allowed to drill into their sink/countertop and make changes to the plumbing system.
  • System maintenance is low, straightforward, and affordable. Cost: Approximately $100-120 a year.
    • Indicator light on front panel tells you when it’s time for a new filter cartridge.
    • Replace the filter cartridges annually/biannually. RO membrane lasts up to 2 years.
    • Tool-free replacement process takes 2 minutes max.
  • One year warranty.

Cons

  • Issues with leaks and units malfunctioning after several months use.

Our Rating

  • Filtration Performance: 4.5/5.0
  • Filter Life: 5.0/5.0
  • Price: 4.0/5.0
  • Annual Filter Replacement Cost: 5.0/5.0
  • Overall: 4.5/5.0

Best for

The AquaTru is best for people who want a reverse osmosis system for lead removal, one that is compact, installation-free, super effective, and fast.

→ Read Our Full Review of the AquaTru System

7. 2 Reverse Osmosis System Alternatives: Aquasana OptimH2O and Home Master TMAFC

Aquasana OptimH2O Reverse Osmosis System for Drinking

2 alternatives to the AquaTru countertop RO system are the Aquasana OptimH2O and the Home Master TMAFC. Both are under sink units that require proper installation.

If you’re on a budget the Aquasana OptimH2O is probably the right choice for you. It’s certified to remove 99.3% lead and 87 other contaminants. Just know that the system is not without flaws. A few people had trouble with leaking and the flow rate can be pretty slow, too.

Home Master TMAFC Reverse Osmosis System for Drinking Water

According to the manufacturer, the Home Master TMAFC removes 99.3% lead from water on average. However, this claim isn’t backed by an NSF certification.

Reasons why the filter is still one of our reverse osmosis system top picks is because of A+ customer feedback, a 5-year warranty, low maintenance requirements, and the built-in remineralization – adds calcium and magnesium back into the drinking water to balance mineral loss during the RO filtration process. → Check the Home Master TMAFC on Amazon.

8. Best for Shower Water Filtration Removing Lead: Aquasana AQ-4100

As far as we know, there’s no shower filter certified for lead removal currently available. This also goes for the Aquasana AQ-4100 shower filter. However, it uses the right types of filter media – granular activated carbon combined with KDF-55. This is the best defense against lead you can get for your shower.

Aquasana AQ-4100 Shower Filter

Aquasana AQ-4100

Price: $
Filter Type: Shower
Ability to Remove Lead from Water: Yes
NSF Cert.: 177
Warranty: 1 Year

Overall Rating: 4.5/5.0 ⓘRatings based on lead removal %, price tag, yearly cost, filtration capacity, NSF standards, product support, warranties, customer feedback, our own testing, and other factors.

Get Up to 50% Off! Use Code: AQBOS50

Alexa’s Video Review

Aquasana AQ-4105 Shower Water Filter Image 1Aquasana AQ-4105 Shower Water Filter Image 2Aquasana AQ-4105 Shower Water Filter Image 3Aquasana AQ-4105 Shower Water Filter Image 4

My final rating of this shower filter is 4.5 out of 5. I think it’s a great shower filter. It was relatively easy to install. It does the job. It removes the contaminants. Good price in my opinion. All good things.

Alexa Gibbons – BOS Video Content Creator

Alexa

Other Specs

  • Model: AQ-4100, AQ-4105
  • Last Price: $69.99-$104.99
  • Yearly Cost: ~$100
  • Filter Media: Carbon + KDF
  • Flow Rate: 2.5 gpm
  • Filtering Capacity: 10,000 gal
  • WxHxD: 7.25″x8.5″x3.2″
  • Water Temperature: Up to 115 °F
  • Water Pressure: 30-80 psi
  • Fitting: ½” NPT

Key Features & Pros

  • Choose your favorite model:
    • With massaging head.
    • With handheld wand.
    • No head.
  • Uses 2-stage filtration process. The first filter layer is granular activated carbon followed by KDF media. Great for lead removal.
  • Shower filter is NSF standard 77 certified for chlorine removal (~90% for 10,000 gallons of water) – great for healthy skin. Other than that, Aquasana says the unit is also effective against chloramine, iron, hydrogen sulfide, mercury, and various chemicals.
  • BPA-free materials only.
  • Easy to install.
    • Shower head remains at its old height so you can stand upright.
  • Filter life is 10,000 gallons or 6 months so maintenance is kept at a bare minimum.
  • The manufacturer provides a 90-day satisfaction guarantee and a 1-year limited warranty for peace of mind.

Cons

  • The filter nozzle is short and thus not compatible with large shower heads.
  • Some people have had issues with clogged or broken filters.

Our Rating

  • Filtration Performance: 4.0/5.0
  • Filter Life: 5.0/5.0
  • Price: 3.5/5.0
  • Annual Filter Replacement Cost: 4.5/5.0
  • Overall: 4.5/5.0

Best for

Aquasana’s AQ-4100 is best for people looking for a lead shower filter that’s affordable, easy to install and service, and long-lasting.

→ Read Our Full Aquasana AQ-4100/4105 Review Here

9. Best for Gravity-Based Lead Filtration: Big Berkey

Berkey gravity filters achieve 99.9% lead reduction when used with long-lasting Black Berkey purification elements. They also get rid of dozens of other harmful contaminants as certified by lab testing to NSF standards (42 & 53). The result: Healthy and great-tasting water!

We usually like to recommend the Big Berkey, but you can also choose the Travel, Royal, Imperial, or Crown Berkey, or the Berkey Light.

Big Berkey Gravity Water Filter

Big Berkey Water Filter for Lead

Price: $$
Filter Type: Gravity
Ability to Remove Lead from Water: 99.9%
NSF Cert.: 42, 53
Warranty: 2 Years to Lifetime

Overall Rating: 4.5/5.0 ⓘRatings based on lead removal %, price tag, yearly cost, filtration capacity, NSF standards, product support, warranties, customer feedback, our own testing, and other factors.

Other Specs

  • Model: Big Berkey
  • Last Price: $407.00
  • Yearly Cost: ~$55
  • Primary Filter Media: Carbon + Ion Exchange
  • Flow Rate: Up to 7 gph
  • Storage Capacity: ~2.25 Gallons
  • Filtering Capacity: 3,000 gal
  • WxHxD: 8.5″x21″x8.5″

Key Features & Pros

  • Big Berkey is perfect for family of 4.
  • Large tank volume and fast filtration eliminate waiting times. You also don’t need to refill too often.
  • Black Berkey filters remove lead and other heavy metals including chromium 6, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium, bacteria and viruses, pharmaceutical drugs, chlorine taste and odor, chloramines, sediment…
    • PF-2 filter elements as optional upgrades for even more effective fluoride reduction.
  • 304 food-grade stainless steel provides for durability and preserves filtered water purity.
  • A rubber gasket prevents surface scratching.
  • Initial assembly is super easy. The same goes for system maintenance.
    • Each element has a filtering life of as much as 3,000 gallons.
    • You probably won’t need to change the filter elements more than once a year. Cost? Around $55 which is super affordable!
  • Filter system is warranted for lifetime, filter elements for 2 years

Cons

  • Re-priming of the filter elements may be required.
  • The drinking water dispenser might leak.
  • You need to make sure to buy the filter elements from a licensed seller. There are plenty of dupes being sold online and they are usually awful.

Our Rating

  • Filtration Performance: 4.5/5.0
  • Filter Life: 5.0/5.0
  • Price: 4.0/5.0
  • Annual Filter Replacement Cost: 5.0/5.0
  • Overall: 4.5/5.0

Best for

The Big Berkey is best for people who want a gravity system capable of filtering lead that’s highly effective and ideal for regular use and prepping.

→ Complete Big Berkey Review

10. Brita Filters

Does Brita remove lead from water? Well, the Brita Standard filter cartridge which can be used with Brita pitchers and dispensers applies coconut-based activated carbon in combination with an ion-exchange resin. This reduces the level of lead but may not be effective enough to provide safe drinking water.

However, the Brita Elite filter is WQA-certified to remove 99.5% of lead in addition to about two dozen other contaminants including pharmaceuticals that have found their way into our water supply systems in recent years. Now, this is a good start but it also shows that Brita simply cannot compete with Clearly Filtered in terms of overall filtration effectiveness.

Also, people are having numerous problems with Brita Elite filters including premature clogging, unpleasant drinking water taste, and overall low quality and filtration performance. Bottom line: We don’t really recommend them.

Brita On Tap Complete Faucet Water Filter

That being said, apart from filter pitchers and dispensers, Brita offers the On Tap Complete, a solid faucet water filter certified against NSF standards 42, 53 and 401 for removing lead at a minimum rate of 99.3%.

And with 100 gallons, the filtering capacity is about average. The small unit connects to any standard kitchen tap within minutes. Cartridges can be changed with a simple click.

As an added benefit, you can easily switch between filtered and unfiltered water which is a simple yet effective way to extend the filter’s lifespan and save money by only using filtered water when really needed.

11. PUR Water Filters

Do PUR water filters remove lead? Yes, they do…

PUR Lead Removal Replacement Cartridge

If you want to go the pitcher route, make sure to use PUR’s PLUS replacement filter cartridges instead of the regular PUR filters.

PUR PLUS filters are NSF-certified to eliminate 99.4% or more of toxic lead among other harmful stuff. Filters: 40 gallons.

But again, if you check the performance data sheet you’ll find that the stats aren’t bad, but also nowhere near the Clearly Filtered pitcher reviewed above which is tested to remove way more contaminants and often at higher reduction rates.

On a side note: With PUR pitcher filters clogging seems to be a common issue.

If you haven’t settled for a pitcher yet, the this is our top choice. It’s easy to use, can store up to 11 cups, and is made from BPA-free materials.

PUR PLUS Faucet Filter

You don’t like pitchers? The PUR PLUS faucet water filtration system is up to NSF standards taking on 70 different contaminants in water including more than 99.3% lead and 96.0% mercury. (This is a similar model that was given to Flint residents so they could combat their drinking water crisis!)

Cons: People have had issues with leaks after about six months of use. What’s causing these problems are cheap materials that tend to develop hair line cracks making the product unusable.

12. Refrigerator Water Filters

Believe it or not, there are many, many high-quality refrigerator water filters that are great for removing lead. Examples are:

  • The Samsung DA29-00020B – For side-by-side and French Door refrigerators. Lead removal >99.0%
  • The GE RPWFE – Also for French Door refrigerators. Lead removal >98.0%
  • The GE MWF – For side-by-side and bottom-freezer refrigerators. Lead removal 99.3%
  • The Frigidaire WF2CB PureSource 2 – For refrigerators after 2004. Lead removal 99.3%
  • The LG LT700P – For different LG refrigerators. Lead removal >99.3%

Which filter is best suited for you depends on your refrigerator model of course. That’s why we suggest you go ahead and check our 2023 Refrigerator Water Filter Special here.

Best Lead Water Filter Comparison List

(Mobile Hint: Swipe to Scroll)

Filtering System Price Annual Cost Type Lead Reduction NSF/ANSI Filter Method Filter Life Warranty Additional Info
SpringWell Whole House Lead and Cyst Removal System: PIONEER $$$ ~$400.00 POE 99.62% 53, P473 Carbon Block 100,000 Gallons Life Filtration System was Specifically Designed to Remove Lead from Water Source
Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher $ ~$150 Pitcher 99.3% 42, 53, 401, P473 Carbon + Composite Shell 100 Gallons Life (Limited) Better than Bottled Water
Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Water Filter System $$ ~$440 Under Sink 98.9% 42, 53, 401 Carbon + Proprietary Blend 2,000 Gallons Life (Limited) Replacing the Filter Cartridges Couldn’t Be More Simple
AquaTru Filtration System $$ ~$100-120 RO 99.1% 42, 53, 58, 401, P473 Reverse Osmosis 600-1,200 Gallons 1 Year One of the Best, Easy to Install
Aquasana AQ-4100 $ ~$100 Shower Filter ? 77 Carbon + KDF 10,000 Gallons 1 Year Filtering System is Easy to Install
Big Berkey Filtration System $$ ~$55 Gravity Filter 99.9% 42, 53 Carbon + Ion Exchange 3,000 Gallons 2 Years to Lifetime

Buying Guide – How We Picked the Best Water Filters to Remove Lead + What You Need to Consider

The following are things worth considering before you go out and buy a water filter for lead. These are also the very same criteria we focused on when picking our top products for this guide.

Indispensable: NSF/ANSI International Standard 53 Certifications

When shopping for a water filter system definitely look out for NSF/ANSI Standard 53 testing and certifications for lead removal.

NSF International is a not-for-profit organization that develops industry standards. Independent third-party testing agencies such as the Water Quality Association (WQA) or CSA certify specific products on the market to these standards.

To get certified, a filtering solution must be able to reduce the amount of lead in water below the U.S. EPA action level of 15 ppb. That’s not perfect, but it’s a great start. You should also check and compare the specific lead reduction rate listed in a product’s performance data sheet.

By the way, some reverse osmosis systems are certified for lead removal against NSF standard 58. Both standards are fine.

Types of Lead Filtration Systems

Truth is, lead removal from water isn’t so much about the type of filter but rather the filtration process/method(s) used. Reverse osmosis, carbon filtration, KDF filtration, and distillation are all very effective.

They can be found in whole house filtration systems, under sink filters, water filter pitchers, countertop units, gravity-fed systems, faucet filters, distillers, and the different types of reverse osmosis systems.

Testing Your Water for Other Contaminants

Consider having your water tested for lead AND other contaminants. Many are no less harmful than lead, chromium-6 for example, and therefore just as important to remove.

In our opinion, it’s always best to go with professional labs. They can test one or more direct water samples for hundreds of different chemicals, organics, heavy metals, etc.

Another option is to check your latest water quality report. It’s free but not available for private well water.

You may also do your own water testing to get a basic idea of the quality of your water supply and which issues you’re facing. Simple test kits are widely available.

Lead Filter Installation

How challenging the installation of a lead water filter turns out to be depends on its type.

Whole house systems are certainly more difficult to install than under sink filters.

Pitchers, gravity filters, faucet mount systems, countertop filters, and distillers can usually be assembled in a matter of minutes and don’t require permanent installation.

Replacement Filters

Replacement filters are an important aspect with every type of water filter: They are the predominant cost factor in the long-term. That’s why long-lasting, affordable filters that are widely available are the preferred choice here.

Methodology: Why Trust Us?

How did we approach the wild and wacky world of lead water filters?

Well, get ready for a review process that involves intense research, hands-on testing, and deep analysis that will blow your socks off:

  1. We kicked things off with a bang by handpicking 19 essential features to separate the lead-fighting heroes from the zeros. Then, we put over 42 different systems to the ultimate test, pitting the big shots against the underdogs.
  2. But wait, there’s more! We went undercover and dove into product manuals, dissected descriptions, and even grilled companies like Clearly Filtered, Aquasana, and Berkey with questions that would make them squirm. Armed with certifications and test data from the likes of IAPMO and NSF, we narrowed down the field to the top 17 filters that were ready to rumble.
  3. We didn’t stop there, my friend. We took feedback and third-party ratings from real users into account, seeking only the cream of the crop for our final list. No mediocre filters allowed!
  4. It was time to get down and dirty (literally!) as we ordered and tested 5 (more are following soon) of the remaining 14 products on a genuine tap water supply. We even got our hands on water test kits from Tap Score to ensure we were getting the real deal. We measured the reduction rates of lead and conducted tests for filtration speed, taste, and odor. We didn’t just dip our toes in, oh no, we committed to using each filter for a minimum of two weeks.
  5. With all the pieces of the puzzle gathered, we put together a guide so easy to understand, even your grandma could navigate it with ease – all so you can make the best decision possible in your quest for clean and tasty water.

And hey, just between us, all our ratings etc. we’re dishing out here are completely independent and unbiased. We also take accuracy seriously and have a team of professionals fact-checking our content.

More on Lead Filters

How Does Lead Get into Our Water?

Lead enters our water systems via pipes and fixtures connected by corroding lead solder which was used until 1986, and via pipes directly containing lead which applies in particular to homes built before the 1930s. Thus, the AWWA estimated that 15-22 million Americans drank from a tap water supply with lead-based service lines in 2016.

corroded lead pipes

Another adverse factor of lead contamination is acidic water with low mineral content that accelerates corrosion.

What’s Really Shocking

USA Today identified about 2,000 city water supply systems in all 50 U.S. states where tests showed severe lead contamination between the years 2013 and 2016.

The Detroit Free Press stated that hundreds of major U.S. cities still have 100% lead piping connecting tap water utilities to homes.

And according to The Guardian, at least 33 U.S. cities have been found to use cheats to conceal dangerous levels of lead in their tap water supply.

Health Risks – How Does Lead Affect the Human Body?

Lead is classified as a neurotoxin. It

  • permanently impairs the intellectual development of children and fetuses, and delays their physical development.
  • affects a child’s ability to concentrate and causes behavior problems (e.g. irritability).
  • can be responsible for fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, and hearing loss in young children.

Symptoms in adults include high blood pressure, abdominal pain, constipation, joint and muscle pain, numbness or tingling of the extremities, headache, miscarriage or premature birth in pregnant women, fatigue, and memory loss. (Source)

What’s Considered a Safe Level of Lead in Drinking Water?

The U.S. EPA has set the lead action level to 15 parts per billion (ppb). This is when water utilities are required to take action to lower the lead concentrations in their water supply. (Source)

However, the maximum contaminant goal for lead in drinking water is “0”. That’s because lead is simply too harmful even at low levels, as it can bioaccumulate in the body over time causing irreversible damage. In a nutshell, lead should be eliminated from drinking water entirely if possible.

This is something you should keep in mind when choosing a lead filter. One model might be more expensive than another but therefore certified to remove 99.9% rather than 95.0% lead (just an example) – a small difference which can have a huge impact on your health.

How to Test Water for Lead

Lead is colorless and odorless, and if traces of it are dissolved in water they are invisible to the naked eye. So if there’s lead in your tap water how can you find out about it?

  1. First of all, you can request a free water quality report, called Consumer Confidence Report, from your municipality. Water quality reports have to be released each year by July 1st. And all public water suppliers have to provide them for free. The exception is private wells which the EPA does not regulate. Here it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain water safety. Alternatively, you can access the EWG Tap Water Database which provides a browsable collection of water quality reports from almost all suppliers in the country.
  2. If you can’t get access to a Consumer Confidence Report, you can contact your local health department and ask for information.
  3. Since 1. and 2. don’t take into account possible lead contamination caused by the plumbing system leading water to and through your home, the safest way of identifying a problem is by having a direct sample tested for lead by an independent lab. Costs range from $40 to $150. Your local water authority can help you find a suitable service provider.

Heads Up!

Lead does not distribute evenly in water. You could test your water supply right now and measure 2 ppb of lead. 5 minutes later you might find 10 ppb. And the next day you suddenly have 1,000 ppb. So even direct water testing cannot guarantee lead-free water.

How to Remove Lead from Water

How to remove lead from water? By far the easiest way is using a water filtration system. But first you should try to identify the contamination source and eliminate it if possible.

Your home’s outdated plumbing system may be the root of the problem. If you have the resources to completely renew it, you should definitely do so.

If you’re on private well water, have a licensed contractor check the well itself and the pump.

If removing the lead source turns out to be too expensive or is simply not an option for any other reason, the CDC recommends flushing your water system before using any water for drinking and cooking. The longer the water has been sitting in the pipes, the more lead it’s likely to contain. So, if a particular tap hasn’t been used for six hours or more, let it run for 1-2 minutes or until the water is as cold as it gets.

Obviously this wastes a lot of water so you might want to collect it for later use, for example in your garden. The CDC also advises against using hot water as it dissolves more lead than cold water.

Filtration Methods

You want to play it safe and have a water filtration system installed in your home? These common filtration methods are suited for lead removal:

  • Reverse osmosis purification – Reverse osmosis (RO) is considered one of the best methods to remove lead from water.
  • Activated carbon filters – Activated carbon uses adsorption to effectively remove lead and other heavy metals. However, not all activated carbon filters are effective enough. What’s more, some quickly lose their removal capabilities.
  • KDF-55 filtration – When water filters through KDF-55, soluble lead is reduced to insoluble lead which is then electroplated onto the media surface.
  • Distillation – Although having nothing to do with water filtration, distillation is a very effective method that can be used to remove lead from water.

The Different Types of Lead Water Filters and How They Work

Whole House Lead Water Filters

Whole house lead water filters operate at the point of entry and thus give you access to lead-free water in your entire home.

Big Blue Whole House Water Filter

Under Sink Water Filters

Under sink water filters can use multiple filter stages to remove many different types of impurities from water, lead among them, at the point of use.

RO Systems

Most reverse osmosis water filter systems are installed under the kitchen sink. But there are also countertop and even whole house setups. The lead-removing RO purification process is highly effective.

Countertop & Gravity Water Filters

Countertop and gravity water filters are the pendant to under sink systems. They, too, often use more than one filtration stage to target a whole plethora of water contaminants – like lead!

Filter Pitchers

A water filter pitcher is great for filtering drinking water and water used for cooking. A unit that combines carbon filtration with ion exchange is the best choice for lead filtration.

Faucet Water Filters

Faucet-mounted filters don’t have a very long contact time with the water. Therefore, lead reduction can be inadequate, but it doesn’t have to be!

Shower Filters

We are still waiting for a shower filter certified for removing lead from water.

Refrigerator Filters

Which refrigerator water filter you should choose depends on your fridge model, obviously. The good news: OEM filters are often highly effective at removing lead.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using a Lead Filter

Advantages

  1. Drinking water without lead is much, much healthier.
  2. Usually, filtered water tastes much better.
  3. Most water filters not only filter lead, they are also effective against other harmful stuff.
  4. Unless you are interested in a whole house system, lead filter costs are manageable.
  5. Installing and servicing a lead filter is easy in most cases.

Disadvantages

  1. A lead water filter may remove 95% of the heavy metal, but that still might be insufficient to provide safe drinking water.
  2. Not all water filters are NSF-certified to remove lead from water.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • What does lead in water taste like?
    You cannot taste lead in water.
  • What does lead in water look like?
    It’s invisible to the naked eye at concentrations found in tap water and well water.
  • What are the most trusted lead water filter brands?
    We doubt these water filter brands even exist. But you can find the most effective lead removing filters listed above.
  • Does reverse osmosis remove lead from water?
    Yes, RO systems are great for removing lead from drinking water – to more than 99 percent depending on the model.
  • Does boiling remove lead from water?
    Unfortunately, boiling does not remove lead from water. While it kills waterborne pathogens and eliminates volatile chemicals, lead does not evaporate easily and the heating process may actually further increase lead levels.

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Questions? Leave a comment below!

And don’t forget to come back to this page from time to time as we’re going to continue searching for the best lead water filters.

About the Author Alexandra Uta

Alex is a content writer with an affinity for research and a methodical attention to detail. Her writing interests have included many different topics, water treatment among them, which have encompassed varying writing styles.
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Alex

Leave a Comment:

Murry says June 2, 2018

I was wondering if you knew of any refridgerator filters that you could recommend. I just bought the samsaung rf261beaesr and was wondering what I could buy for that usage.

Reply
Shannon Lima says February 20, 2019

This is scary! We have very high lead levels in our water in the city of Pittsburgh, they seem to be doing nothing about it.

Reply
    Gene says February 20, 2019

    Shannon,
    sorry to hear that. At least now you know what you can do about it. 🙂
    Best,
    Gene

    Reply
Tina Dickey says November 6, 2019

I’m really stuck on cost, my area Dundas, Ontario Canada had replaced the municipal water lines up to my home line, and I replaced the line from to municipality to my home, but debating on just getting a brita or other?

Reply
    Gene says November 6, 2019

    Personally, I would go with another pitcher, simply because there may be a bunch of other contaminants lurking in your water that you don’t know about.

    Reply
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