Brita filters can feature in faucets or certain water pitchers or bottles. People may use these filters to remove components of water that can affect its taste, smell, or safety.

Water filters vary in design depending on their purpose, and there is currently no single type that can filter out all contaminants. Brita claims that its filters can reduce toxins such as chlorine, copper, and lead but cannot remove them.

The taste of tap water varies slightly among water treatment systems and depends on the water’s source. This variation occurs because the concentration of components in the water differs from sample to sample. Brita provides different filtration options that can change the taste of water.

This article looks at how Brita and other water filters work, including what they filter and their effectiveness.

Water filters work differently depending on what they are trying to remove. For instance, a filter may catch microscopic parasites and prevent them from leaving the jug while allowing other components of the water to pass through.

A Brita filter will come with a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certification that a person can use to see which components of water the product will filter out.

How often do filters need changing?

Brita recommends changing its water filters every 2–6 months, depending on the type of dispenser or pitcher.

In most cases, this will mean that people can filter 40–120 gallons of water before a new filter is necessary.

Water filter brands often list the contaminants that their filters can remove. This means a company claims that its filters either eliminate these particles completely or remove a certain percentage of them.

When a company claims that its filters reduce contaminants, it means they do not remove 100% of the contaminants but instead greatly limit the amounts that remain in a person’s drinking water.

Brita claims that all its filters reduce the taste and odor of chlorine and reduce contaminants.

For instance, it claims that its Longlast+ filter removes 99% of lead and reduces most contaminants.

According to Brita, standard filters work like a sieve, using carbon to lower mercury content and reduce the taste and smell of chlorine. Brita filters also contain an ion-exchange resin to filter zinc, copper, and cadmium.

These filters have pores that control which components get through. These pores come in different sizes, which may affect the filtration results.

Brita claims that each filter lasts 2–6 months before a person needs to replace it.

The approximate replacement rates for Brita pitcher and dispenser filters are:

  • Brita Standard filter: 2 months
  • Brita Longlast+ filter: 6 months
  • Brita Stream filter: 2 months

Brita bottle and water faucet filters have the following approximate replacement rates:

  • Brita Premium Filtering Water Bottles: 2 months
  • Brita Water Filter Faucet System Model OPFF-100: 4 months
  • Brita Water Filter Faucet System Model SAFF-100: 4 months
  • Brita Water Filter Faucet System Model FF-100: 4 months

However, Brita states that a person who lives in an area with hard water may need to change the filters more often.

A person can use the electric filter change indicator on certain products to see when they need to replace filters.

Brita supplies the following products:

  • pitchers
  • dispensers
  • replacement filters
  • bottles
  • faucet systems

Brita states that it differs from competitors because its filters can eradicate more contaminants. Brita filters also reportedly last longer and are more environmentally friendly.

A few examples of Brita products are below.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

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Pitchers and dispenser filters

Below is a range of Brita’s pitcher and dispenser filters.

Monterey Water Pitcher with Elite Filter

This pitcher is available in four colors and has a 10-cup capacity. Brita claims that the filter lasts 6 months.

This filter lasts longer than other models, is free from bisphenol A (BPA), and features a space-saving design.

It also uses Brita’s electronic filter indicator, which tells a person when it is time to replace the filter.

It is available for $41.99.

Cascade Stream Water Pitcher

This pitcher costs $34.49 and has a 12-cup capacity. It comes in two color options.

Brita recommends changing the BPA-free filter every 2 months.

The pitcher has an electronic filter change indicator to let people know when the filter needs changing.

The brand also states that people living in areas with hard water may need to change the filter more frequently.

Ultramax Water Dispenser with Elite Filter

This dispenser is available for $49.99.

It has a 27-cup capacity, and stores more than a gallon of water.

It also features a slim design for easy storage.

According to Brita, its filter can last 6 months. A person can use the electronic filter replacement indicator to see when they need to replace the filter.

Brita also claims that the filter reduces more contaminants than competitors, including 99% of lead.

Ultraslim Stream Water Dispenser

This dispenser costs $44.99 and features a 25-cup capacity and a sleek design for easy storage.

It has a Stream Filter that filters water as it exits the dispenser.

This filter needs replacing every 2 months. There is a SmartLight filter indicator that shows a person when they need to replace the filter.

Brita advises that in hard water areas, individuals may need to change the filter more regularly.

Water bottle filters

Brita offers two water bottles fitted with filters: one stainless steel model and one plastic.

Premium Filtering Water Bottle — Stainless Glacier

This stainless steel bottle is available in one color and retails for $32.99.

It features a double-wall design, which reportedly keeps water cold for 24 hours.

It can contain 20 ounces (oz) of liquid.

The filter fits inside the straw and filters the water as a person drinks. Brita states its filter is made from a proprietary blend of activated carbon and a binder.

Brita claims that the filter is BPA-free and reduces chlorine taste and odor and particulates.

Premium Filtering Water Bottle — Hard-Sided Plastic

This is Brita’s largest-capacity bottle, holding 36 oz of water.

It comes in four colors and is dishwasher-safe. Brita states that the hard-sided plastic material is more durable than some other materials. It also writes it is BPA-free.

It uses the same filter as the stainless steel Premium Filtering Water Bottle. A person can wash and replace the filter within the bottle, and Brita recommends changing the filter every 2 months.

This bottle costs $29.99.

Brita Faucet Filtration System

A person may also consider filtering water from the tap with a Brita filter.

Basic Water Filter Faucet System

In addition to the above products, Brita sells faucet systems to filter water straight out of the tap.

Brita writes that the filter needs to be changed every 4 months on average.

According to Brita, it can filter 100 gallons of water before a person should replace it. A person can use the filter replacement indicator to see when they should replace the filter.

This basic system retails for $19.99 and is available in two colors.

Replacement filters

Replacement filters for all Brita products are available for purchase online.

Elite Replacement Filters

Brita claims that the Elite filter removes 99% of lead and is made without BPA. It is compatible with all Brita pitchers and dispensers, except the Stream.

Brita recommends that a person change this filter every 6 months, and writes that it lasts three times longer than its Standard Filters.

It aims to reduce the taste and odor of chlorine and the amount of lead, mercury, cadmium, and particulates in the water.

Brita claims that a person can recycle this type of filter via TerraCycle.

The cost of these filters is $19.99 for a single filter and $32.99 for a pack of two.

Standard Replacement Filters

Brita states that its standard filters fit all Brita dispensers and pitchers. They are BPA-free and aim to reduce mercury, copper, and cadmium levels, plus the taste and odor of chlorine.

A person can purchase these filters in packs of one, three, four, or six.

The company recommends changing these filters every 2 months, which Brita claims equals 40 gallons of water on average.

Brita states that people can also recycle these filters via TerraCycle.

A single filter costs $7.99. Packs of multiple filters cost $18.99–29.99.

Different filters may remove different substances from water, but Brita states that its filters reduce or eliminate the following substances:

People may have differing opinions on whether it is important to filter water.

In the United States, public water filtration systems remove contaminants so that the water is safe to drink by the time it reaches the tap. However, filtering this water can change the taste and odor to increase its appeal.

Sometimes, individuals refer to water as tasting “hard” or “soft.” This taste spectrum comes from the water’s calcium and magnesium content, which is higher in hard water. However, these essential minerals are generally good for the body.

Soft water may contain fewer minerals than hard water. Studies have suggested that this lower mineral content can lead to an increased risk of some diseases and reduce the nutrient intake from food cooked in soft water.

However, this is unlikely to affect a person’s overall health if they eat a diet rich in minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

Fluoride

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 73% of the U.S. population uses community water systems. These systems have enough added fluoride to help prevent tooth decay.

Brita advises that its filters retain a healthy amount of fluoride.

Chlorine and chloramine

Small quantities of chlorine and chloramine play a role in community water systems, working as disinfectants and killing germs such as Salmonella and norovirus.

The CDC states that small amounts of chlorine do not have harmful health effects in drinking water but can protect the body in the event of a waterborne disease outbreak. The same is true of chloramine.

All types of Brita filters remove a high percentage of chlorine.

Certain health conditions

Some people may need to avoid certain water components or contaminants for personal health reasons. In these cases, using a Brita filter can be effective in eliminating unwanted substances.

In the U.S., it is possible to order a customer confidence report from community water providers. These reports will show the ratio of water components from individual systems. A person can then decide whether their water contains large quantities of any substances that they wish to filter from the water before drinking it.

Collecting water through a private source means that it is not subject to the same regulations as public water systems, so it is up to individuals to filter the water appropriately.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately 10% of people in the U.S. use private wells to obtain their drinking water.

However, certain contaminants can get into these systems, including pesticides, antimicrobials, and prescription medications.

Therefore, if a person is using a private well, it is advisable to have a state-certified laboratory test the water at least once each year. The results will show the water components, and a person can then use an appropriate filter to remove any contaminants present in high concentrations.

Despite regulations, some contaminants can enter tap water after treatment. One of these is perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a compound that has links to kidney and testicular cancer. Brita does not claim that its products filter PFOA.

Unnatural contaminants can also cause adverse health effects. For example, research suggests that consuming agricultural contaminants in drinking water during pregnancy can lead to complications and congenital abnormalities.

The CDC notes that filtering systems should also aim to remove parasites and lead from water.

Filtering water lowers the chances that contaminants will have harmful effects.

Below are answers to the top frequently asked questions about Brita filters.

How do Brita filters work?

All Brita filters work by trapping unwanted contaminants. This means that bacteria and other contaminants are not “killed” — they are still present in the filter.

Typically, a Brita filter has a sieve-like mechanism that traps contaminants and a sponge-like layer to hold on to chemicals such as chlorine. Most Brita filters use activated carbon granules or blocks that absorb contaminant molecules.

To keep Brita filters working correctly, a person should follow installation instructions and replace them every 2–6 months as Brita recommends, depending on the product.

How well do Brita filters work?

Brita claims that its products can remove up to 99% of certain water contaminants, such as lead.

A 2020 study found that carbon filters — which many Brita filters use — effectively reduced lead contamination in water to safe levels.

However, each Brita filter will work to reduce a different range of contaminants. A person should check which contaminants each filter aims to reduce, as a certain filter may not cover every mineral or contaminant.

Additionally, a person should always replace their water filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent contaminating their water with the bacteria buildup that occurs in the filter over time.

How well do Brita faucet filters work?

Overall, there is a lack of scientific research into the effectiveness of Brita products.

However, the Brita faucet filters have mostly positive reviews on the Brita website. Reviewers state that the faucet filters are convenient to use and work well.

Some reviewers complain about leaks and flimsy materials.

How well do Brita water bottle filters work?

The Brita water bottles have generally positive reviews on the Brita website. However, some people say the straw is difficult to clean and can develop mold and an unpleasant odor.

How well do Brita pitcher filters work?

Brita pitchers use the Brita Elite Filter, which aims to reduce chlorine taste and odor and the presence of lead, mercury, cadmium, and other particulates. This filter does not aim to reduce all contaminants that may be present in a person’s water. Additionally, the contaminants Brita lists may not be present in everyone’s water supply.

Like most other water filters, Brita filters reduce the amounts of contaminants in drinking water. They will filter out different components, depending on the model.

In the U.S., the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) regulates public drinking water. As a result, the country has some of the safest and most reliable tap water globally.

A person may choose to filter tap water if they have concerns over harmful contaminants, wish to change the taste or smell, or have individual healthcare requirements.

SDWA safety standards mean that the treatment process water goes through before it reaches people’s homes removes harmful contaminants or reduces them to a safe concentration. However, private water systems are not subject to SDWA regulation. Therefore, if a person uses a private water source, it is best to get a laboratory to assess the water for contaminants at least once a year.