10 Best Water Filters for Lead Removal: Reviews & Guide 2021

Author: Jason Hollow - Published: 2021/02/12 - Updated: 2021/04/02

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Lead is highly toxic. That’s why lead in the tap water or well water in your home is a serious problem – no wonder that people are trying to get rid of it!

A lead filter can help you remove the heavy metal, either at the point of use for drinking purposes for example or at the point of entry so that you have lead-free water throughout your entire home.

Either way, using such a water filter you don’t have to worry about lead affecting your health any longer.

So, here is our collection of the 10 best lead water filters. Enjoy!

Best Water Filters for Lead – Top Picks

ProductsSpecs & FeaturesWhere to Buy
#1 Whole House
PIONEER Whole House Lead & Cyst Removal System PIONEER Whole House Lead & Cyst Removal System

PIONEER

★★★★★
  • Price: $$$
  • Remove Lead from Water: 99.62% Soluble & Particulate Lead
  • Filter Capacity: 100,000 Gallons
  • Best For: Whole House Filtration Removing Lead

Or read our review

#1 Pitcher
Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher with Affinity Filtration Technology Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher with Affinity Filtration Technology

Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher

★★★★★
  • Price: $
  • Remove Lead from Water: 99.5%
  • Filter Capacity: 100 Gallons
  • Best For: Drinking Water without Lead

Or read our review

#1 Under Sink
Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Filter System Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Filter System

Clearly Filtered Under Sink

★★★★★
  • Price: $$
  • Remove Lead from Water: 99.9%
  • Filter Capacity: 2,000 Gallons
  • Best For: Safe Drinking Water for Home Use

Or read our review

Waterdrop WD-G3-W Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System Waterdrop WD-G3-W Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System

Waterdrop WD-G3-W Reverse Osmosis

★★★★☆
  • Price: $$
  • Estimated Lead Removal: High
  • Filter Capacity: ?
  • Best For: Safe Drinking Water for Home Use

Or read our review

#1 Shower
Aquasana Shower Filter Aquasana Shower Filter

Aquasana Shower Filter

★★★★

  • Price: $
  • Estimated Lead Removal: ?
  • Filter Capacity: 10,000 Gallons
  • Best For: Lead-Reduced Shower Water

Or read our review

Big Berkey Water Filter Big Berkey Water Filter

Big Berkey

★★★★★
  • Price: $$
  • Remove Lead from Water 99.9%
  • Filter Capacity: 3,000 Gallons
  • Best For: Lead-Free Drinking Water

Or read our review

#1 Faucet
PUR Advanced Faucet Water Filter PUR Advanced Faucet Water Filter

PUR Advanced Faucet Mount Unit

★★★★☆
  • Price: $
  • Remove Lead from Water: 99.7%
  • Filter Capacity: 100 Gallons of Water
  • Best For: Drinking Water

Or read our review

Best Lead Water Filter Reviews

The order of the following lead water filter reviews is deliberate. Our favorite products are at the top.

1. PIONEER Whole House Lead & Cyst Removal System

In our opinion, the best water filter for lead in 2021 is the PIONEER Whole House Lead & Cyst Removal System. That’s because it’s the only whole house water filtration system certified to remove lead according to NSF standards (53). Simply put, the certification guarantees 99.62% lead removal from your water which is really good. And there are other advantages – more below – making the PIONEER our top choice when it comes to lead water filters.

PIONEER Whole House Lead & Cyst Removal System

★★★★★

See More Product Images at springwellwater.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$$
  • Removes: 99.62% soluble and particulate lead down to 0.5-micron in size
  • Filtration capacity: 100,000 gallons of water or 1 year
  • Water flow rate: 8 gallons per minute peak (1-3 bathrooms)

Pros

  • This is the only whole house water filter system that’s tested and certified against NSF/ANSI Standard 53 for lead removal. Soluble and particulate lead get filtered out.
  • Soluble lead is bound by special binder.
  • Lead particles are trapped if their nominal size is larger than .5 microns.
  • The PIONEER or SpringWell Whole House Lead & Cyst Removal System is also certified for removing 99.95% cyst and 97.9% PFOA & PFOS. Especially the latter is a group of harmful contaminants with severe health effects.
  • The whole house filtration system also filters bad taste and odor, chlorine, chloramine, and some other heavy metals.
  • A bypass valve is part of the package for easy installation if you are handy with tools.
  • The metered system will let you know when it’s time to replace the filter cartridge. Green LED light means the filter is still good. When you see yellow light you have less than 10% remaining filtering capacity. Red light means you need to change the filter immediately.
  • The replacement process itself is simple and tools-free.
  • SpringWell Water offers a 6-month money-back guarantee on the filter. It allows you to return the product for a full refund during that trial period.
  • A 1-year warranty covers the system itself. Each lead cartridge is warranted for 30 days.

Cons

  • Owed to the complexity of the filtration process, the provided water flow rate is relatively low compared to regular whole house filtration system. This is why, for large homes, we recommend combining two units for up to 16 gpm peak flow.

2. Crystal Quest Lead Removal Whole House Water Filter

As an alternative to the PIONEER from above – which is our absolutely favorite when it comes whole house water filters removing lead – we recommend the Crystal Quest Lead Removal Whole House Water Filter.

The main difference between the two is that the PIONEER is NSF certified to remove lead from water, the Crystal Quest isn’t. Of course, that does not mean that the latter isn’t effective. We just don’t know how effective exactly. The applied filtration process looks highly promising to say the least.

Crystal Quest Lead Removal Whole House Water Filter

★★★★☆

See More Product Images at crystalquest.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$$
  • Removes: Soluble and particulate lead
  • Filtration capacity and flow rate depend on which system size you choose
    • CQE-WH-02174: 750,000 gallons, 6-8 gallons per minute (1-3 bathrooms)
    • CQE-WH-02175: 750,000 gallons, 8-10 gallons per minute (1-4 bathrooms)
    • CQE-WH-02170: 1,000,000 gallons, 14-16 gpm (4-6 bathrooms)
    • CQE-WH-02171: 1,000,000 gallons, 16-18 gpm (7+ bathrooms)

Pros

  • The system features pre- and post-filtration. As a pre-filter, a pleated cellulose sediment filter cartridge is used. It removes sediment, silt, sand, and dirt. The post-filter is a carbon block cartridge. It eliminates volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, and industrial solvents.
  • The main filtration process is based on ion exchange. It combines cation exchange resin which is also used by regular water softeners with lead removal multimedia. The latter is a mix of regular and catalytic coconut shell based granular activated carbon as well as KDF resin. Together both filter media effectively reduce lead and other heavy metals, chlorine and chloramine, pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceutical by-products, and other inorganic substances.
  • Put shortly: Both types of filter media act as magnets. They attract and bind any passing lead and other contaminants.
  • You not only get water free from lead, it’ll also be soft since all calcium and magnesium ions are removed.
  • Ceramic and tourmaline balls balance water pH.
  • You can choose between fiberglass and stainless steel casings for longevity.
  • The installation is slightly more difficult due to the additional filtration stages.
  • Media regeneration is fully automated. All you need to do for maintenance is replace the sediment filter every 18-24 months and the carbon filter every 12-18 months – easy.
  • A 1-year limited warranty provides peace of mind.

Cons

  • There is no NSF certification for lead removal.

3. Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher with Affinity Filtration Technology

In our opinion, the best performing lead water filter pitcher in 2021 is the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher with Affinity Filtration Technology. Apart from 99.5% lead, the unit is also 5 times NSF-certified to remove more than 200 other contaminants from water, making it our number one pitcher model overall.

Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher with Affinity Filtration Technology

★★★★★

See More Product Images at clearlyfiltered.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $
  • Removes: 99.5% lead
  • Filtering capacity: 100 gallons or 4 months
  • Water storage volume: 10 cups

Pros

  • This water filter pitcher provides drinking water that tastes and smells exceptionally clean.
  • The affinity filtration technology, a combination of granular activated carbon and several proprietary filter media – is tested to remove more contaminants from water than any other pitcher currently on the market: 99.5% lead, 99.9% chlorine and chloramine, 99.6% arsenic, 96.9% chromium 6, at least 96.9% fluoride, up to 99.9% pesticides and herbicides, 99.9% bacteria, 99.9% of different pharmaceuticals, up to 99.9% VOCs, etc.
  • The requirements for NSF standards 42, 53, 244, 401, and P473 were met.
  • Essential calcium and magnesium remain in the water and are not filtered out.
  • The jug can hold enough water for family use.
  • A removable lid for easy refilling and a water dam for pouring without spilling make the pitcher water filter simple to use.
  • The material is medical-grade Tritan which does not leach BPA or any other substances with hormone activity into the filtered water. It also conserves the taste and odor of pure drinking water.
  • 100-gallon filtration capacity per filter is a lot when compared to most of the competition.
  • You get a 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee.
  • Clearly Filtered also offers a limited lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • A few reviewers complained about slow filtration and filters clogging ahead of time.
  • Replacement filters aren’t cheap. Make sure to subscribe and buy in bulk to receive discounts.

4. Aquagear Filter Pitcher

We would also like to introduce you to the Aquagear water filter pitcher. It uses activated carbon + ion exchange resin to remove the majority of harmful contaminants including lead found in city water. Testing according to EPA standard 200.8 has shown 99.9% lead reduction.

Aquagear Filter Pitcher

★★★★

See More Product Images at goaquagear.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $
  • Removes: 99.9% lead
  • Filtering capacity: 150 gallons or six months
  • Water storage volume: 8 cups

Pros

  • Most people agree: The Aquagear produces great-tasting drinking water.
  • Apart from lead, the pitcher also reduces chlorine and chloramine, disinfection byproducts, other heavy metals, nitrite/nitrate, fluoride, volatile organic compounds, and much more. Testing back in 2015 has shown that NFS 42 & 53 standards are met.
  • Essential minerals are kept in the water.
  • The pitcher can hold up to 8 cups of water which is enough for a small family.
  • All materials are 100% BPA and BPS free.
  • 150 gallons capacity per filter is even more than what the Clearly Filtered can provide. The average replacement frequency is somewhere around 4 months. Super long lasting for low maintenance!
  • For people worried about your ecological footprint: You can send back your used filters which are 100 percent recyclable – for free!
  • The unit is warranted for lifetime.

Cons

  • The price tag for the pitcher and replacement filters is much higher compared to most standard models on the market, but students and military personnel quality for a discount and you can subscribe to have new filters sent to you automatically at 20% off.
  • Filter speed can be slow depending on your water conditions. Aquagear recommends using the filter with tap water only.

5. Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Filter System

In our opinion, the best under sink lead water filter in 2021 is the 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Filtration System by Clearly Filtered. Just like the Clearly Filtered pitcher reviewed above, this system removes more than 99 percent lead together with hundreds of other substances providing great-tasting drinking water safe for consumption.

All in all, it’s our #1 under sink water filter – not only for lead removal.

Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Filter System

★★★★★

See More Product Images at clearlyfiltered.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Lead removal: 99.9%
  • Filtration capacity: 2,000 gallons or 12 months

Pros

  • Rigorous lab testing according to NSF standards 42, 53, and 401 has shown that this water filter is capable of removing lead, arsenic, hexavalent chromium, water disinfectants and their byproducts, PFOA, fluoride, pesticides and herbicides, and many other contaminants; more than 200 in total.
  • The 3-stage filter process combines a coconut shell based granular activated carbon filter with 2 other filters containing proprietary media blends to reduce as many different water pollutants as possible.
  • Stainless steel instead of rubber hoses ensures durability.
  • This inline system is super easy to install. That’s because the installation isn’t permanent. No need to hire a plumber.
  • Each filter cartridge provides 2,000 gallons of filtered water for a maximum of 12 months. Thus, maintaining the under sink water filter is a piece of cake, also thanks to the modular filters that can be replaced in no time without the need for tools.
  • The Clearly Filtered 3-stage under sink system comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
  • The unit is also covered by a lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • You should expect a drop in water pressure of around 20%.

6. Waterdrop WD-G3-W Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System

Again, we want to provide you with an alternative under sink water filter to remove lead from water: The stylish Waterdrop WD-G3-W. It’s our favorite tankless RO system and perfect for people that lack the space to install a tank-based filtration system in their kitchen sink cabinet.

Waterdrop WD-G3-W Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System

★★★★☆

See More Product Images at waterdropfilter.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Lead removal: ?
  • Filtration capacity: ?

Pros

  • A sediment and activated carbon block composite filter, a reverse osmosis membrane, and another activated carbon block filter remove sediments, chlorine taste and odor, heavy metals, bacteria and viruses, and more. The process also removes lead, but we cannot give you an exact reduction rate. That’s because the system has only one NSF certification for overall TDS (total dissolved solids) reduction (94%). That said, RO water purification is highly effective at removing lead. Some sources say more than 99% reduction can be achieved.
  • Simply put, the Waterdrop WD-G3-W provides you with fresh and great-tasting drinking water containing little to no lead.
  • The tankless design saves space.
  • No tank means that water needs to be filtered on demand. But that’s perfectly fine since the 3-stage system has a built-in pump to boost water pressure for fast filtration.
  • Higher pressure also means much lower waste water production compared to conventional RO systems.
  • Easy installation saves you from paying a professional installer.
  • The dispenser features a convenient filter life indicator. It uses different LEDs to tell you about the remaining filtration capacity. Blue light is good. Yellow light means there is less than 40 gallons of filtered water left. When you see red light and hear beeping you need to replace.
  • The same LED lights are on the unit’s front panel. It also displays output water TDS which indicates the current status and effectiveness of the filter process.
  • When it’s time to replace filters you can do so without closing the water supply and without tools. All it takes is a quarter turn to remove an old and insert a new cartridge.
  • For the first 30 days after purchase you can send back the filter and receive a refund.
  • A one-year warranty covers the entire unit.

Cons

  • We miss a reduction rate specifically for lead.
  • Some people need to drain a full gallon of water before the system reaches its full potential.

7. AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System

If you are looking for a countertop water filter for lead removal make sure to check out the AquaTru reverse osmosis system. Lead removal: 99.1% according to NSF/ANSI 58. By the way, this is our #1 reverse osmosis system overall.

AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Water System

★★★★★

See More Product Images at waterandwellness.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Ability to Remove Lead from Water: 99.1%
  • Water filtration capacity: 6 months to 2 years

Pros

  • The 4-stage filter process has been independently tested and certified against 5 NSF/ANSI standards – 42, 53, 58, 401, and P473 – for guaranteed filtration effectiveness. More than 80 contaminants including lead (99.1%) are removed from water. The result is healthy and clean drinking water.
  • A sediment and activated carbon pre-filter catches large suspended solids to prevent clogging of the rest of the system, and removes chlorine taste and odor and certain chemicals and organic contaminants. The RO membrane rejects almost all remaining heavy metals, salts, etc. Another activated carbon filter adsorbs leftover chemicals and improves water aesthetics.
  • An internal pump is used to increase water pressure. This allows for much fast filtering and reduces wastewater production to a minimum. The AquaTru produces 1 gallon of purified water in 10-15 minutes.
  • You can easily dispense clean water from the removable tank (great for cooling in refrigerator).
  • The reject water collects in the back tank ready to be flushed down the drain.
  • Installation, maintenance, and use of this countertop reverse osmosis system are as easy as it gets. The setup barely takes 5 minutes – no plumbing or drilling – and replacing the filter elements every 6-24 months goes even quicker.
  • You don’t even need to remember the date of the last replacement. The unit will tell you when it’s time to replace the filter elements.
  • All plastic is BPA and BPS-free.[1]
  • The filtration system comes with a warranty valid for one year.

Cons

  • Leaking due to a design flaw can be an issue.
  • For a few users, the system started to malfunction several months after purchase.

Or read our detailed review of the AquaTru system

8. Aquasana Shower Filter

Here’s the thing: To our knowledge there simply is no shower filter that removes lead, at least not one that’s certified to do so. Aquasana, however, claims that their AQ-4100 respectively AQ-4105 shower filter does remove lead. How much and can you know for sure? Only if you do some testing. What we do know is that the right filter media are being used: Activated carbon and KDF-55. We expect lead removal to be fairly effective.

Aquasana Shower Filter

★★★★

See More Product Images at aquasana.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $
  • Lead removal: ?
  • Water filtration capacity: 10,000 gallons or 6 months

Pros

  • Aquasana’s shower filter comes in different versions: With and without handheld wand, with massaging head, or not head at all. But they all use the same filter cartridges advertised to filter chlorine, chloramine, mercury, iron, hydrogen sulfide, a bunch of chemicals, and most importantly lead.
  • An NSF 77 certification proves 87+% chlorine reduction for 10,000 gallons of water. This will benefit your skin and provides for chlorine-free air in the shower.
  • The filtration itself is a 2-stage filter process. A blend of copper and zinc are mixed with activated carbon. This should definitely help with your lead problem.
  • Materials are free from BPA.
  • Installing the filter is simple and due to its design the shower head remains at the same height so that you have enough room to stand comfortably.
  • Filter replacements are fast, no tools required.
  • A 90-day satisfaction guarantee is another plus.
  • The limited 1-year warranty covers defects in materials or workmanship in manufacturing.

Cons

  • We miss a contaminant reduction rate specifically for lead.
  • A few people complained about units falling apart.
  • Others struggled with clogging filters which can be a problem due to replacements being quite expensive.
  • The filter nozzle is too short to accommodate a large shower head.

9. Big Berkey Water Filter

The Big Berkey is the most popular of all Berkey filters, it’s our favorite gravity-fed water filtration system, and it removes 99.9% lead together with dozens of other contaminants – according to NSF testing.

Big Berkey Water Filter

★★★★★

See More Product Images at berkeywaterfilter.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $$
  • Ability to Remove Lead from Water: 99.9%
  • Filtration capacity: 3,000 gallons or 3 years

Pros

  • People love how their water tastes after it has been purified by a Berkey filtration system.
  • The Big Berkey is perfect for family use and not too bulky for most kitchens. Large storage tank volume and high filtration speed mean you don’t need to refill too often and avoid long waiting times.
  • Long-lasting Black Berkey filter elements remove contaminants like lead and mercury, chromium 6, arsenic, cadmium, bacteria and viruses, cyst, various pharmaceutical drugs[2], sediment, bad taste and odor, chlorine, chloramine, THMs, and so on and so forth.
  • If you want you can upgrade the process with PF-2 filter elements for even more effective fluoride removal (97%).
  • The upper and lower water tanks are made from 304 food-grade stainless steel for safety and durability.
  • A rubber casket prevents surface scratching.
  • Gravity water filters in general are easy to assemble, use, and service.
  • Replacement filter cartridges are highly affordable.
  • A lifetime product warranty covers the system.

Cons

  • The dispenser is prone to leaking.
  • Occasionally, you might have to prime the filters to maintain fast water flow.

10. PUR Advanced Faucet Water Filter

In the last of our lead water filter reviews, we’ll examine the PUR Advanced Faucet Water Filter. According to three NSF certifications it can be used to remove more than 70 different contaminants from water, some with health and others with aesthetic effects. Most important of course is 99.7% lead removal.

PUR Advanced Faucet Water Filter

★★★★☆

See More Product Images at qualitywatertreatment.com

Main Specs

  • Price: $
  • Ability to Remove Lead from Water: 99.7%
  • Water filtration capacity: 100 gallons or 3 months

Pros

  • The list of contaminants certified to be removed by the PUR Advanced include water disinfectants, various heavy metals, VOCs, emerging compounds (mostly chemicals and pharmaceuticals), and a few more. This should make your water a lot healthier and better tasting.
  • PUR offers two different filter elements: The MineralClear and the Basic filter. The difference is that the latter will just filter your water, while the former also enriches it with essential minerals for improved taste.
  • You can switch between filtered and non-filtered water without uninstalling the unit.
  • Easy to install: Several adapters and washers are part of the package. Please note: Faucet water filters are only compatible with standard-sized faucet.
  • The Clear Sensor Monitor indicates the filter status.
  • Changing the filter is quick and simple. What’s more, replacements are affordable.
  • You can partake in PUR’s recycling program. They partnered with TerraCycle.

Cons

  • Wear and tear hair line cracks causing leaking. The issue is quite common.
  • The indicator lights tend to malfunctioning after a few filter replacements.

Lead Filter Comparison Chart

How do the best water filter systems for lead perform when directly compared to each other?

Filters$$$Lead RemovalFilter LifeBest ForDetails
SpringWell Whole House Lead and Cyst Removal Water Filtration System$$$99.62% Soluble & Particulate Lead100,000 Gallons of WaterBest Water Filter Overall for Point-of-Entry FiltrationFiltering System Specifically Designed to Remove Lead from Water
Crystal Quest Filter for Lead Removal$$$Soluble & Particulate Lead750,000-1,000,000 Gallons of WaterTap Water Supply and Well Water SupplyFiltering System For Any Levels of Lead, Can Filter a Lot of Water
Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher$99.5%100 gal#1 Lead Removing Filter PitcherFor High Levels of Lead in Drinking Water
Aquagear Filter Pitcher$99.9%150 GallonsMunicipal Water SourceOne of the Best Models on the Market
Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under Sink Water Filtration System$$99.9%2,000 GallonsIdeal to Remove Lead and Other Heavy Metals from Drinking WaterProvides Great-Tasting Water Far Cleaner than Bottled Water, Preferably Use with Municipal Water Source, Easy to Install
Waterdrop WD-G3-W Reverse Osmosis Filtration System$$??Municipal Water SourceProvides Healthy Drinking Water
AquaTru RO System$$99.1%6-24 MonthsOne of the Best Lead Removing Filters for Drinking Water PurificationProvides Healthy Drinking Water Far Cleaner than Bottled Water
Aquasana Shower Filter$?10,000 GallonsShower WaterFilters Water on Demand (Hot Water or Cold)
Big Berkey Gravity Water Filter$$99.9%3,000 GallonsOne of the Best at Producing Drinking WaterEasy to Use
PUR Advanced Faucet Mount Water Filter$99.7%100 galDrinking WaterBudget-Friendly, Easy to Use

Buyer’s Guide – How to Buy the Best Water Filter for Lead

NSF Certifications for Lead Removal

The first thing you need to keep in mind when buying a lead filter is too look out for NSF certifications. Make sure that a certain water filter system was certified or at least tested according to official NSF Standard 53 requirements for lead removal. If so, you will find a lead reduction rate somewhere in the product manual or performance data sheet.

For reverse osmosis systems like the AquaTru you may have to check for NSF 58 which doesn’t make a difference.

You can compare the reduction rates of different products and choose the one that’s most effective.

Testing for Other Contaminants in Your Water Supply

Chances are that your water not only contains lead. There exist hundreds if not thousands of contaminants that could possibly be present in your water supply. This is why it makes sense to test your water thoroughly before you invest a lot of cash.

That said, you might not need to do your own water testing. If you are on a tap water supply you can consult the free water quality report that your local water utility has to provide on an annual basis. Another option is to check the EWG Tap Water Database.[3] Both sources should contain a list of contaminants that were detected in your water supply. The downside of going this route is that utilities don’t need to test for every possible contaminant out there but only those required by the EPA.

That’s the advantage of doing your own testing or hiring a laboratory to do it for you. It can provide you with a more complete picture of what you’re facing. It’s just that it’s not for free.

Once you know about all the different chemicals and heavy metals and the like in your water supply you can go out and search for your ideal filtration system. Remember: NSF testing and certifications are key. They exist for a large number of water contaminants.

Lead Filter Types

There are many different types of lead water filters which we will discuss in more detail below. For now, here is a list of options:

  • Whole house filtration systems
  • Water filter pitchers
  • Under sink water filtration systems
  • Reverse osmosis systems
  • Countertop water filters
  • Shower filters
  • Gravity water filtration systems
  • Faucet mounted filters

Water distillers are highly effective at removing lead from water, too. However, the water they provide is almost 100 percent pure and therefore not really suited for drinking without additional treatment – think remineralization.

Installation

Is a water filter for lead difficult or easy to install? This entirely depends on what type of filter you’ve opted for. Whole house water filters are certainly the most challenging to hook up, followed by under sink filters. Depending on your experience as a DIYer you might or might not need to hire a professional installer to do the job for you.

All other groups of filters are more or less installation-free.

Replacement Filter Lifespan

The filtration capacity of filter elements determines how often you need to service your lead filter. Longer lifespans are better, obviously.

Cost (Short-Term vs. Long-Term)

At first glance it might make sense to buy a more affordable filtering system. However, you need to weigh short-term against long-term cost. Because if replacement filters only last for a couple of weeks or months and, in addition to that, are overpriced, you might end up spending much more in the long run than you would have if you had invested more money upfront.

What is a Water Filter for Lead Removal?

Best Water Filters for Lead Removal Thumbnail

As the name suggests, a water filter for lead removal can be used to filter lead from water. There exist different filter types that apply different filtration methods like reverse osmosis purification or carbon filters.

The number one advantage of using a lead filter is that you don’t have to worry about the toxic heavy metal affecting your health anymore. The biggest disadvantage is that lead can be harmful in tiny dosages that even the most sophisticated water filtration system might not be able to remove.

What Are the Different Types of Lead Water Filters and How Do They Work?

Whole House Water Filters

Let’s start with whole house filters. People like the idea of having lead-free water in their entire home. Only a whole house water filtration system can help you with that. However, systems that are effective enough to remove lead on a large scale are rare.

Water Filter Pitchers

Filter pitchers provide water for drinking and maybe cooking. Most models we know are certified or at least tested to remove lead.

Under Sink Filters

Under sink water filters can provide much more water than pitcher filters and most are highly effective at removing lead.

Reverse Osmosis Systems

RO systems usually come as under sink or countertop units. Their water filtration process is perfectly suited for removing lead.

Countertop Water Filters

Just like under sink water filter, countertop systems are reliable when it comes to removing lead.

Shower Filters

Finding a lead shower water filter is difficult if not impossible. All we can rely on are products using the right type of filter media.

Gravity Water Filters

Gravity filtration systems like the Berkey eliminate all kinds of heavy metals with ease, including lead.

Faucet Water Filters

Most but not all faucet water filters are effective against lead. Make sure to check a system’s performance data sheet before you make your final buying decision.

How to Remove Lead from Water

There are several methods to filter lead. Most commonly used are:

  1. Activated carbon filters – Activated carbon is a filter media used in granular or block form that adsorbs lead and traps it in its surface pores.
  2. Ion exchange – KDF filter media and cation exchange resin both help to get rid of lead in water.
  3. Reverse osmosis – Reverse osmosis filtration is one of the most effective lead filtration methods.
  4. Water distillation – Distillation removes almost all water contaminants. This also goes for lead.

For more details continue reading here: How to Remove Lead from Water

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Lead Filters

Advantages

  • Using a filter designed to remove lead from water has the obvious advantage that you don’t have to worry about the health issues of drinking lead-containing water anymore.
  • It is inevitable that sophisticated filters remove lead AND other contaminants in water.
  • Once filtered your water will taste and smell much better.
  • For most lead filters applies: Installation and maintenance is easy and doesn’t require much of your time.
  • The costs to purchase, install, and maintain a lead filter should be manageable for most people.

Disadvantages

  • Scientists agree that there is no safe level of lead in drinking water. This can be a problem because even if a lead filter removes more than 99% of the neurotoxin, there is still 1% left.
  • The selection of POE lead filters is limited.

How Does Lead Get into Our Water?

Lead can get into our water supplies in two ways.

Most problematic are pipes containing the heavy metal. These are usually found in homes built before the 1930s.

Another possible contamination source is lead solder. Lead solder wasn’t banned until the late 1980s.

The AWWA has done a lead service line analysis and estimates that 6.1 million lead service lines remain in U.S. communities.[4]

Water acidity can aggravate lead contamination through pipes and solder due to accelerated corrosion.

How to Test for Lead in Water

How can you test for lead in water?

First of all, you can neither taste or smell nor see lead in water. That’s because dissolved in water lead is tasteless, colorless, and odorless, and even particulate lead is way too small to be visible to the naked eye.

In other words, to identify lead in your water you need to rely on appropriate testing methods.

City water gets tested for lead content on a regular basis. Therefore, you should start by checking your latest water quality report. People on well water don’t have that choice. They need to test on their own or pay a lab to do it for them. We recommend: Tap Score.

This might seem like a disadvantage at first, but it could actually be the safest way to go about things. That’s because water utilities and their testing cannot detect lead contamination that happens while the water travels to and through your house. Personally we believe that the most reliable way to test water for lead is to analyze a direct cold water sample, drawn from your kitchen faucet for example (don’t use hot water!).

You should also consider that lead does not distribute evenly in water. You could test one sample today and find almost no lead at all. Then you test a second sample 1 tomorrow or in a week and suddenly measure 40 parts per billion. The only way to solve this problem is testing multiple samples over the course of a few weeks.

How Does Lead Affect Our Health?

This is probably one of the most important questions: How does lead affect our health?

What you need to know is that lead is a so-called neurotoxin. When it finds its way into our body, for example through ingestion, it can cause mild symptoms like fatigue, tingling or numbness of the extremities, and headaches, but also more severe issues including abdominal, joint, and muscle pain, high blood pressure, and even premature birth or miscarriage in pregnant women.

Lead is also particularly hazardous in young children. In can impair and delay their physical and intellectual development, affect their ability to concentrate, and result in conditions like loss of appetite, fatigue, constipation, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

This is why there cannot be safe levels of lead in water used for drinking and cooking.[5]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Do Brita filters filter out lead?

The Brita Longlast filter which can be use with Brita pitchers and dispensers is WQA (Water Quality Association) certified to remove 99.5% of lead. Brita also sells a faucet filter NSF certified to remove lead (99.3%).

Do refrigerator water filters filter out lead?

Not all but most of them do.

Does boiling water get rid of lead?

Boiling water does not get rid of lead. In fact, due to evaporation the level of lead is likely to increase.

Can you taste lead in water?

No, you cannot taste lead in water in concentrations found in our water systems.

Conclusion

A water filter for lead can make a valuable addition to your home. You just need to choose one suited for your water quality. Our first choice is the PIONEER. It’s by far the best in the realm of POE for lead. If you want a pitcher, definitely go with the Clearly Filtered. Clearly Filtered is also our #1 when it comes to under sink water filters. For reverse osmosis systems, take a look at the Waterdrop WD-G3-W or the AquaTru.

If you have any questions about these or any other lead filters please leave a comment below!

Further Reading

Resources

Meet Jason Hollow

Jason Hollow Jason is the founder of Water Masterz and head of content creation. After six years in the industry, he has tremendous knowledge and first-hand experience on all things related to water treatment.

His credo: Not a single American should have to drink unhealthy water at home.

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