Lead is one of the most infamous and dangerous water contaminants, these are the best water filters for lead removal on the market as tested by our experts.
SpringWell Whole House Lead & Cyst Removal System
Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
Lead is one of the most dangerous drinking water contaminants, yet an estimated 6.1 lead service lines still exist in the US today. This means that many of us are drinking trace amounts of this toxic metal without even knowing it.
It’s not usually possible to prevent lead contamination, which is why water filters are so important.
Table of Contents
- 🤝 Why You Should Trust Us
- 🥇 Best Water Filter for Lead
- 📊 Comparison Chart of Water Filters for Lead Removal
- 🕵️Our Research
- 🚰 Do I Need a Drinking Water Filter for Lead?
- 🙋♀️ Who This Guide is For
- 📊 How We Chose
- 🧪 How We Tested
- 1️⃣ Whole House Systems
- 2️⃣ Pitchers & Dispensers
- 3️⃣ Under-Sink Filters
- 4️⃣ Reverse Osmosis Systems
- 5️⃣ Faucet Filters
- ❔Frequently Asked Questions
🤝 Why You Should Trust Us
I offer free advice, share first-hand reviews, and discuss the ins and outs of water filtration products with my 250,000-strong monthly audience.
I’m supported by a growing team of water treatment experts, and together we sift through the water filtration products available on today’s market, analyzing them in detail and comparing them against one another to work out which products are the very best.
Our research goes beyond the information available online. My team and I have spent many hours testing products in our own homes as well as discussing features and posing questions to manufacturers and customer service reps to verify claims.
As with all of my buyers’ guides, I ranked the lead filters in this list by performance, additional contaminants removed, filter capacity, and customer satisfaction. After extensively researching, testing, and comparing a range of lead filters, this list features only a small selection of the products that I would use (or do use).
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Which 14 lead filters are the best available in 2023
- The types of lead filter available, and which is best for your needs
- What to consider when buying a lead filter for your home
🥇 Best Water Filter for Lead
- Top Pick & Best Whole House System: SpringWell Whole House Lead & Cyst Removal System
- Best Pitcher: Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
- Top Under-Sink Filter: Aquasana AQ-5300
- Best RO System: AquaTru
- Best Faucet Filter: PUR Plus Faucet Filtration System
📊 Comparison Chart of Water Filters for Lead Removal
|System||SpringWell Whole House System||Home Master HMF2SMGCC||Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher||Epic Pure Water Filter Dispenser||Big Berkey||ZeroWater 12 cup||Aquasana AQ-5300||Epic Smart Shield||Clearly Filtered Under Sink Filtration System||AquaTru||Waterdrop G3 P800||Aquasana OptimH2O||PUR Plus Faucet Filtration System||Brita Basic Faucet Filtration System
|Contaminants Reduced||10+||10+||365+||200+||200+||98% of all TDS||77||70+||232+||83+||1000+||88+||70||60|
|Certifications or Testing||NSF 53, P473||–||NSF 42, 53, 401 & 473||NSF 40, 42, 53||–||NSF 42 & 53||NSF 42, 53 & 401||NSF 42, 53 & 401||NSF 42, 53 & 401||NSF 42, 53, 58, 401, P473||NSF 58, 372||NSF 42, 53, 58, 401, P473||NSF 42, 53, 401||NSF 42, 53|
|Filter Life||100,000 gal.||95,000 gal.||100 gal.||150 gal.||3,000 gal./ cartridge||40 gal.||600 gal.||651 gal.||2,000 Gal.||600 – 1,200 gal.||6, 12, 24 months||6, 12 months||100 gal.||100 gal.|
|Annual Cost||$300 – $650||$330 – $660||$140 – $200||~$140||~$40||~$160||~$130||~$115||$396-$440||~$100||~$145||~$230||$50 – $100||$40 – $60|
|Warranty||Lifetime||2 years||Lifetime||Lifetime||Lifetime||90-day warranty||180 days||Lifetime||Lifetime||1 year||1 year||2 years||2 years||1 year|
In this section of the guide, you’ll learn whether you need a lead water filter, how we chose the best water filter for lead removal products in this guide, and how we tested, compared, and rated the filters.
🚰 Do I Need a Drinking Water Filter for Lead?
Whether you get your water from a municipal supply or a well, you won’t know whether you need a lead water filtration system without testing your water.
Lead is tasteless, colorless and odorless, so it’s important to test for lead in your water if you have any reason to believe that lead might be present.
If water testing reveals that your water contains lead, no matter how much or how little, you need a lead removal water filter system. The Maximum Contaminant Level set by the Environmental Protection Agency for lead is 0 Mg/L, meaning that no level of lead in drinking water is considered safe.
The sooner you can buy a water filter system for lead, the better. Lead is a cumulative toxicant, meaning that it can build up in the body over time, and is released very slowly. Even if your water contains only trace amounts of lead, drinking water containing lead over a period of months or years can result in a buildup of lead to dangerous levels in your body.
🚱 How Does Lead Get Into Drinking Water?
Lead rarely naturally occurs in water. It’s after treatment, during water’s journey through the pipes into your home, that lead has the biggest chance of polluting water.
Any plumbing material that contains lead corrode, including lead pipes, faucets and fixtures, can leach lead into your water.
🩺 What are the Lead Health Effects?
Lead is the only metal that has no useful biological function in the human body, and it’s considered unsafe even in small amounts. In adults, lead consumption can cause adverse health effects in the mind and body, and is linked to fatigue, joint pain, memory loss, headaches, depression, high blood pressure, damage to the nervous system and kidneys, and poor appetite.
In children, lead consumption can affect development, including decreased muscle and bone growth, behavior problems and lower IQ, hearing loss, learning disabilities, kidney damage, anemia, and nervous system damage.
🧪 How to Test for Lead in Water
If you think you may have lead in your drinking water, you can ask your local water company to test for it in your home. You can also buy your own personal water testing kit for lead if you would rather do it yourself.
Find a kit that can detect lead at very low levels. It’s best to test the water that comes out of your kitchen faucet, as well at your home’s point of entry, to see how much lead (if any) leaches into your water during its trip through your plumbing.
🙋♀️ Who This Guide is For
This guide is for anyone who has a lead problem in their drinking water, or anyone looking for a lead removal solution as a precaution. A lead water filtration system for lead makes sense if:
You’re Considering Multiple Filter Types
We wanted to give options for everyone in this list, so we’ve found the best lead water filters for whole house, faucet, and under-sink installation. There are also pitchers and dispensers, and reverse osmosis lead removal filters. Each filter type has its own benefits and drawbacks.
Your Budget is Fairly Flexible
Not all lead water filters are priced the same. Some of the filters on this list are in the hundreds, while others cost less than $50. Whether your budget is on the lower end or the higher end, providing you have some flexibility, you should find several lead removal systems that are affordable and suitable for your requirements.
Lead Removal Is Your Most Important Requirement
Many of the filtration systems on this list can remove a selection of contaminants. However, they’ve made this list because they either have NSF certifications for lead removal or they have strong data to support their lead removal capabilities. If you’re on the hunt for the best water filter for lead removal, this guide includes only the most capable water filters available today.
📊 How We Chose
NSF 53 Testing & Certification
The most important feature of the lead water filters we reviewed is NSF 53 testing and certification. NSF 53 is the NSF Standard for “health effects”, and water treatment products with an NSF 53 certification for lead removal have been rigorously tested in a laboratory setting to determine whether a certification can be awarded.
If a filter has an official NSF 53 certification, it’s the strongest indicator that the filter can reliably remove lead as advertised. However, we’ve also included products that are third-party tested to NSF Standards in this list, because gaining an NSF certification is expensive, and we still wanted to consider manufacturers offering strong third-party test results that can’t yet afford an official certification.
Testing and certifications are positive signs, but our research went beyond this. We looked at the percentage of lead removal that each filter was tested and certified to remove. The higher the percentage of lead removal, the more capable the filter, and the safer the filtered water.
Additional Contaminants Removed
If you have a high concentration of other contaminants in your water, it makes sense for you to find a system that removes those contaminants as well as lead.
Many water filters remove chlorine and other heavy metals from water. Modern filtration technology has come a long way, and it’s now common to find affordable filters that can remove hundreds of varieties of contaminants.
Ask yourself whether you’re ultimately looking for a lead water filter or a water filter that removes a range of common contaminants, with lead being one of them. This will help you to prioritize whether to look for a filter that removes as many contaminants as possible, or a filter that removes a handful of contaminants, but is exceptionally good at lead removal.
Reviews & Customer Feedback
Our research wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t take customer reviews into account. While we might know from personal experience how a lead water filtration system performs, the overall customer experience with a product can often be very different from ours.
We used customer reviews to provide more of an insight into the durability, quality, and user-friendliness of the water filters on this list. We read hundreds of customer reviews for each product, noting any mentions that were repeated by more than a handful of customers.
Reading reviews gave us a clearer picture of how each filter could perform in the long term, and whether any unexpected issues and complications were discovered by customers after several months or years of use.
Quality of Components
The quality of the components used in a lead water filtration system determines the filter’s durability, running costs, and ease of use.
Plastic parts are less durable than metal parts, but in some of the water filters included on this list, like water pitcher filters, plastic parts just make sense. We’ve not excluded plastic parts on this list, but we’ve selected products that use the most durable, BPA-free plastic, like Tritan.
When considering lead water filters for this list, we knew that cost would be an important factor, because not everyone has the same budget.
The lead filters in this guide cost between $50 and $1500. There’s no need to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a capable, reliable lead removal filter nowadays, but some filters, like whole house water filter systems, are more expensive than smaller models with shorter filter lifespans, like water filter pitchers.
The long-term costs of owning a lead water filtration system are just as important as the short-term costs. We looked at filter lifespans and the cost of filter replacements, and how much each product would cost to run on a yearly basis.
With such a broad range of lead filters available, the average running cost spans from $100 to $300 per year. This review features filters with a lifespan of six months, minimum, to reduce the maintenance required.
🧪 How We Tested
On previous occasions, we’ve conducted our own testing of water treatment products using SimpleLab’s Tap Score, our most trusted independent testing laboratory. However, our testing was limited because we couldn’t test with as much depth and complexity as the manufacturers themselves, so we weren’t able to get a comprehensive understanding of which filters were better than others.
Instead, we’ve used third-party test data from manufacturers to compare filter performance. Third-party test results are much more accurate and conclusive, so when it comes to lead removal, we’ve left this testing to the experts. Our own testing looks at the user-friendliness of a water filter, and how the filter performs in real life with everyday use.
1️⃣ Whole House Systems
SpringWell Whole House Lead & Cyst Removal System
Our top pick for the best overall and whole-house lead filter system is the SpringWell Whole House Lead & Cyst Removal System. This water filtration system is the most capable whole-home lead filter from a trusted manufacturer, and has been third-party tested and certified to remove 99.95% of lead according to NSF Standard 53.
- Removes almost 99.95% of lead – the SpringWell is third-party certified to NSF Standard 53 to remove 99.95% of heavy metals including lead.
- Certified for PFOS/PFOA removal – a bonus third-party certification for the SpringWell water filter system is for NSF/ANSI P473 standard for PFOA/PFOS removal. PFOA and PFOS are just as dangerous as lead in water.
- Removes two types of lead – The 0.5-micron water filtration system removes particulate lead (tiny grains of lead that need to be physically removed) and soluble lead (invisible lead, which is removed by ionic bonding).
- Good warranty and trial period – The tanks and valves are backed by a lifetime warranty, and the system has a 6-month guarantee.
Best for: Anyone looking for the most reliable whole-house water filter system to remove lead from all the water they wash with, cook with, and use for drinking.
- The SpringWell water filter system is the best water filter for lead removal for whole-home use, removing almost 100% of lead from water.
- With its space-saving design, the SpringWell whole-home lead removal water filter system packs its entire filtration process into a single tank.
- SpringWell is a trusted brand, so you know you’re spending your money smartly and making a good investment in this system.
- If you want to protect the system with a sediment filter, you have to pay for this filter separately.
- Even with the installation kit, you may find it too difficult to install this filtered water system yourself.
Home Master HMF2SMGCC
The Home Master HMF2SmgCC is bulkier than the SpringWell, with three separate filters to replace. However, with its ability to remove up to 95% lead, this whole-house filtering system is in close second place.
- Up to 95% lead removal – The Home Master water filter removes up to 95% of heavy metals like lead – plus chlorine, sediment, chloramine, chemicals, and more.
- Combines GAC and KDF85 – This water filter uses a granular activated carbon filter and a KDF85 filter, two of the most reliable filtration processes available today.
- Included Sediment Filter – The four gradient density sediment filter removes particles down to 1 micron in size. The sediment filter is built into the first filtration stage.
- Long Filter Lifespan – The cartridge filters last for up to 1 year, so replacement filters aren’t needed regularly.
Best for: Anyone who wants a capable lead water filter that removes a good amount of other contaminants, without affecting water pressure.
- The Home Master HMF2SmgCC has good lead removal capabilities, removing up to 95% lead.
- With its extra-large filter housings and 1-inch ports, the Home Master HMF2SmgCC allows for a flow rate of up to 10 gallons per minute.
- The Home Master targets a broad range of other contaminants aside from lead, so it’s ideal for anyone whose water contains other impurities.
- The Home Master HMF2SmgCC only has a 2-year warranty, which isn’t as impressive as the SpringWell.
- There are two cartridges in the system, so you’ll need to pay for two replacement filters.
2️⃣ Pitchers & Dispensers
Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
Independently certified to reduces an impressive 365 drinking water contaminants, including up to 99.3% of lead, the Clearly Filtered water filter pitcher is head and shoulders above any other filter pitcher on the market.
- Reduces up to 99.3% lead – According to independent testing, the
Clearly Filteredcan filter up to 99.3% lead from drinking water.
- Tackles a range of harmful contaminants – The
Clearly Filteredshows just how capable a water filter pitcher can be, reducing more than 365 harmful contaminants from tap water.
- Independently tested to NSF Standards – Although the
Clearly Filteredpitcher doesn’t have an official NSF certification, this water filter is tested and independently certified to a range of NSF Standards: 42, 53 (for reducing lead), 401, and 473.
- Made from strong plastic – This tap water filter has a BPA- and BPS-free durable Tritan plastic design.
- Relatively long-lasting filters – Depending on the quality of your water supply, replacing filters is required after about 100 gallons, or 4 months.
Best for: People looking for a no-fuss, no install portable filtration system with an exceptional performance, that can filter lead and hundreds of other contaminants.
Clearly Filteredis the best water pitcher on the market for reducing lead and a range of other impurities from a tap water supply.
- Despite its impressive contaminant reduction capabilities, this water filter pitcher retains essential minerals in drinking water.
- The filter comes with a lifetime warranty, and the manufacturer’s customer service is excellent.
- Filtration gets very slow towards the end of the filter’s lifespan. You can end up waiting upward of 25 minutes for an entire pitcher of water to filter.
- Although the price is justified for what you get, the
Clearly Filteredis more expensive than other water filter pitchers on the market.
Epic Pure Water Filter Dispenser
A close contender to the Clearly Filtered, the Epic Pure Water Filter Dispenser has been independently tested to remove more than 99% of more than 200 contaminants, including 99.94% of lead.
- Removes 99.94% lead – According to its test results, the Epic Pure can actually remove more lead than the
Clearly Filtered– 99.94% vs 99.3%. Of course, these differences are minuscule, but if you care about every last point, keep this in mind.
- Filters more than 200 contaminants – The Epic Pure dispenser isn’t quite as capable of removing other contaminants as the
Clearly Filtered, removing 200 impurities compared to Clearly Filtered‘s 365 – however, this is still the second-best figure on the market.
- Tested to exceed a range of NSF/ANSI Standards – This pitcher filter has independent testing that proves the filter exceeds NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53 (for lead removal), 401, and P473.
- LED Filter Timer – The LED countdown timer counts down 90 days from when you first install the filter, so you know when it’s time to make a replacement.
Best for: Anyone looking for a no-install system that can filter lead as well as a unit connected to your water supply, and can provide more filtered water between refills than the average pitcher.
- You can enjoy virtually lead-free water using the Epic Pure, thanks to the filter’s ability to remove lead up to 99.94%.
- The size and design of the dispenser make it ideal for storing in your refrigerator, for cool, filtered water that you can dispense without having to remove the whole container.
- The Epic Pure filter’s large holding capacity requires fewer refills between uses, making it a lower-maintenance option compared to a smaller pitcher.
- The Epic Pure filters have a 150-gallon lifespans, or about 3-4 months. Although these lifespans are longer than the
Clearly Filtered‘s, you’re filtering more water every time, so you’ll still need to replace the filters fairly frequently.
- With a bigger holding capacity, the Epic Pure is bulkier than the
Clearly Filtered, and isn’t as portable.
Taking the third spot on our list of the best pitcher and dispenser filters for lead is the Big Berkey – the bulkiest and most expensive option of the three, but removes greater than 99.9% of lead from tap water.
- Removes more than 99.9% lead – The Berkey does an exceptional job at removing lead from a tap water supply.
- Reduces 200 other contaminants – You can rely on the Big Berkey for purposes aside from just removing lead. The system can also remove chlorine and chloramine, bacteria, pharmaceuticals, and more.
- Long-Lasting Filters – There are two filter cartridges, known as Black Berkey elements, in the Big Berkey. The filters have an impressive 6,000-gallon (2-5 year) lifespan – and you can add another two filters to double that lifespan again.
- Berkey Care Lifetime Warranty – The Big Berkey is backed by a lifetime warranty.
Best for: Big families and people who want a countertop lead filter that requires as little maintenance – including refills and filter changes – as possible.
- The Big Berkey can remove lead better than any other dispenser filter.
- There is no filter dispenser on the market that has filter lifespans as long as the big Berkey’s.
- The unit holds up to 2.25 gallons of water, so most people will be able to add unfiltered water just once per day.
- The Big Berkey certainly isn’t a space-saving dispenser, and not everyone wants to have a large stainless steel unit on their kitchen countertop.
- Berkey filters aren’t tested or certified to NSF Standards.
ZeroWater 12 cup
The ZeroWater 12-Cup Ready-Pour Pitcher is our second recommended choice for folks looking for a water pitcher that can remove lead. This pitcher doesn’t quite remove as many contaminants overall as the Clearly Filtered Pitcher, but it has the advantage of holding an official NSF certification for lead reduction.
- Certified to reduce 99.9% lead – The ZeroWater Ready-Pour Pitcher is one of the only water filter pitchers to be officially certified to NSF Standard 53, for the reduction of 99.99% lead. Check the NSF product listing here.
- Reduces tens of other contaminants – ZeroWater’s claim to fame is its ability to reduce more than 98% of all dissolved solids, including heavy metals like copper and iron, and organics like nitrates and nitrites. It’s also certified to reduce chromium and PFOA/PFOS.
- Ready-pour technology – You don’t have to waste time waiting for the entire reservoir to filter before you can pour yourself a drink. This pitcher uses ZeroWater’s Ready-Pour technology to allow you to pour from the spout while water is still filtering through the jug.
- 90-day guarantee – Considering this pitcher costs less than $50 upfront, it’s good to see that you’re protected for 90 days after your purchase.
Best for: Anyone who enjoys the convenience and portability of a water filter pitcher and is looking specifically for a pitcher with an official NSF certification for lead reduction.
- The ZeroWater Ready-Pour Pitcher has an official NSF 53 certification for lead reduction – something that the Clearly Filtered pitcher is lacking.
- When we compared this ZeroWater pitcher with similar pitchers, one thing was clear: ZeroWater has put a lot more effort into its filter design. It has a full 5 stages of filtration combined in a single cartridge, which is why its contaminant removal stats are so impressive.
- The 12-cup design means fewer refills throughout the day, even if you drink a lot of water.
- Impressive lead reduction aside, we’re not sure about ZeroWater’s marketing for 98% TDS removal. We think most people would rather retain healthy dissolved solids, like minerals and salts, in their water.
- The filter lifespan isn’t the best, and doesn’t compare to the Clearly Filtered pitcher. Prepare to replace the filters once every 2-3 months.
3️⃣ Under-Sink Filters
Our top pick for the best under-sink lead filter is the Aquasana AQ-5300. This filter greatly reduces 77 contaminants and holds official NSF certification for Standard 53, for up to 99% lead removal.
- NSF certified for lead removal – The Aquasana AQ-5300 has an official NSF certification for removing up to 99% lead.
- Also certified to NSF 42 and 401 – Lead isn’t the only contaminant that this under-sink faucet filter is certified to remove. It’s also certified to reduce 97% chlorine and chloramine, and 96% PFOS and PFOA, as well as herbicides and pesticides, mercury, cysts, VOCs, and more.
- Instant clean water – The Aquasana AQ-5300 connects up to your under-sink cold water supply to remove lead instantly, providing clean drinking water within seconds.
- Sediment pre-filter – The included sediment pre-filter protects the later filtration stages and prevents damage from sediment in your water supply.
Best for: Anyone looking for an under-sink water filter that’s backed by an official certification to remove lead and other common drinking water contaminants.
- The Aquasana AQ-5300 is certified to remove lead, so you know your water is safe from lead with this system.
- The filter connects straight up to our cold water supply, so using the filter won’t affect your flow rate.
- You have plenty of choice when it comes to choosing a faucet, as there are three styles available: brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, and chrome.
- The filter cartridges have a 6-month lifespan, which isn’t as long as some of the lifespans of other under-sink filters on this list.
- A common problem amongst customers was defective O-rings, causing the unit to leak.
Read the full review: Aquasana AQ 5300 Review
Epic Smart Shield
Our second choice for the best under-sink lead filter is the Epic Smart Shield. According to independent testing, the filter can remove up to 99.99% of 70 different tap water contaminants, including up to 99.94% lead.
- Removes up to 99.4% lead – The Epic Smart Shield has been independently tested to remove nearly 100% lead from drinking water.
- Greatly reduces 70 contaminants – As well as lead, the Epic Smart Shield reduces 99.99% of 70 other drinking water contaminants.
- Tested to NSF Standards – The Epic Smart Shield has been tested to NSF Standard 53, for lead removal, as well as Standards 42 and 401, for the removal of chlorine, chloramine, and emerging contaminants.
- Long-lasting filter life – The filter lasts between 12 and 16 months, making the system a good long-term economical choice.
Best for: Anyone looking for an affordable lead removal filter that requires minimal maintenance and is easy to DIY install.
- The Epic Smart Shield costs just under $120, making it an affordable, budget-friendly option that doesn’t sacrifice quality.
- You can recycle your filters with Epic’s filter recycling program (and get a free filter for every 3 smart shield filters you return).
- All of Epic’s filters are BPA-free and made in the USA.
- Filter flow rate slows right down after a few months, which isn’t ideal when the filter is supposed to last beyond 12 months.
- The tubing supplied with the filter doesn’t have much flexibility.
Clearly Filtered Under Sink Filtration System
The Clearly Filtered Under Sink Filtration System doesn’t hold an official NSF certification, but this filter is tested to NSF standards to reduce more than 230 contaminants – including up to 98.9% lead.
- Third-party tested for lead reduction – Third-party test results show that the
Clearly Filteredcan reduce up to 98.9% lead.
- Reduces more than 230 other contaminants – The
Clearly FilteredUnder Sink water filter is also tested to NSF Standards for the reduction of 232 contaminants.
- 15- minute installation – It takes just 15 minutes to install the
Clearly Filteredwater filtration unit, and you should be able to do it yourself.
- Good warranty and trial period – The
Clearly Filteredis backed by a lifetime guarantee and a 30-day worry-free trial.
Best for: Anyone who isn’t bothered about official NSF certifications and would rather look for a filter that can reduce the most contaminants alongside lead.
Clearly FilteredUnder Sink Filtration System is one of the best under-sink filters for contaminant reduction, reducing nearly 99% lead and more than 200 other contaminants.
- Despite its thorough three-stage filtration, the unit is small and compact, and doesn’t take up much under-sink space.
- The filters last up to 2 years before they need replacing, which is as good as it gets for an under-sink system.
Clearly Filteredis more expensive than other under-sink lead filters on this list, costing around $500.
- The filter affects water flow rate somewhat because of the thorough three stages of filtration that water must pass through.
4️⃣ Reverse Osmosis Systems
The AquaTru is our top pick for the best countertop reverse osmosis lead filter. The unit has been certified by IAPMO to remove or reduce more than 80 contaminants, including 99.1% lead.
You can buy the AquTru in four separate configurations:
- Classic (around $450) – the most affordable choice. We’ve reviewed this one here.
- Connect (around $500) – a step up from the Classic, with WiFi that connects to an app that gives you useful info about the filter status.
- Alkaline Classic (around $470) – the Classic, but with an alkalizing remineralization VOC filter instead of the usual VOC filter.
- Alkaline Connect (around $520) – the most expensive choice. Combines the WiFi compatibility with the remineralization alkaline filter.
- Impressive lead removal capabilities – The AquaTru can remove an average of 99.1%, and a minimum of 97.5% lead, with its thorough RO filtration process.
- IAPMO tested to NSF Standards – Although the AquaTru isn’t officially NSF certified, it holds the second-best thing: testing and certification from IAPMO to NSF Standards.
- Reduces more than 80 contaminants – Using patented reverse osmosis technology, the AquaTru reduces a total of 83 drinking water contaminants.
- 1-gallon capacity – The AquaTru can hold up to 1 gallon of reverse osmosis water at a time.
Best for: People who are looking for the benefits of reverse osmosis but don’t want a system that hooks up to their main water line or requires major installation.
- The AquaTru is one of the best reverse osmosis systems on the market for lead removal, and its IAPMO certification is a mark of the system’s reliability.
- Because the AquaTru is an independent countertop unit, it won’t affect the flow rate of water coming out of your faucet.
- The reverse osmosis process is fairly quick, taking up to 15 minutes for 1 gallon of water to be filtered.
- Although you won’t have to wait long for RO water in this unit, you’ll still have to wait – you can’t get instant access to water until filtration has finished.
- You’ll have to fill the water container and discard the wastewater yourself, and the system wastes some water (it has a 65/35 ratio of treated to wastewater). There are also three filters to change (every 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years, depending on the filter).
A close runner-up to the AquaTru is the Waterdrop GP3800, which is NSF certified to remove 99.99% TDS, including lead. However, there’s no dedicated performance data for the WaterDrop, which is why it didn’t take first spot on our list.
- NSF certified for lead removal – The Waterdrop is tested and certified by NSF International for its RO performance.
- Removes 99.99% TDS – If you’re looking for a filter that can remove virtually all total dissolved solids, this reverse osmosis system can do it.
- Tankless design – The Waterdrop GP3800 is space-saving thanks to its under-sink tankless design.
- Integrated UV light – The Waterdrop G3P800 is the only tankless reverse osmosis system that has a built-in UV light to target microbiological contaminants.
Best for: Fans of smart features that simplify maintenance and make it easy to know when the filter is doing its job.
- The Waterdrop packs 7 stages of filtration into a single unit, providing impressive NSF-certified TDS removal.
- There are several smart features that are unique to this system, including an LCD ring that changes color based on when the filters need changing, and a built-in TDS meter to allow you to check up on the system’s performance.
- All 7 stages of filtration are packed into the slim, 5.7-inch-wide unit, which takes up very little under-sink space.
- You’ll need a big budget for the WaterDrop, which costs just under $1,000.
- Although the water flow rate from this system is fine, you’d still get faster access to water with a tank-based system.
Aquasana OptimH2O Reverse Osmosis System
The OptimH2O is more difficult to install than the other reverse osmosis systems on this list, and requires four filter replacements. However, the filter is certified to NSF Standard 53 for up to 99% lead removal, which makes it a worthy contender.
- Certified for lead removal – The Aquasana OptomH20 has an official NSF certification to Standard 53, for removing up to 99% lead.
- Filters out 88 dissolved solids smaller than 1 micron – The semi-permeable membrane can greatly reduce a range of impurities, including radium, nitrates and nitrites, fluoride, and arsenic.
- Easy-replace filters – You don’t need tools to replace the Aquasana’s filters – they simply click into place. Filters require changing every 6-12 months, depending on the filter.
Best for: Anyone looking for a traditional tank-based under-sink RO system with an NSF certification for lead removal.
- The Aquasana is NSF tested and certified, so you can guarantee it performs as it should.
- You get a 2-year warranty and a 90-day satisfaction guarantee with this filter.
- The Aquasana uses a water storage tank to store water after it has been filtered, meaning you get instant access to clean drinking water when you turn on the tap.
- Aquasana strongly advises that you use a professional plumber for installation, which costs more money.
- There are four separate filters that need replacing at separate times.
5️⃣ Faucet Filters
PUR Plus Faucet Filtration System
The PUR Plus Faucet Filtration System is one of the only faucet filters to hold an official NSF certification for 99% lead removal, making this our top pick in the best faucet filters for lead category.
- NSF certified for lead removal – The PUR holds an official NSF certification for the removal of 99% lead.
- 100-gallon filter lifespan – You should get 2-3 months of use out of the filter before you will need to replace it.
- Attaches to most faucets – The filter is designed to attach to most standard kitchen faucets, either directly or with an adapter.
Best for: Anyone who wants a non-invasive, affordable, certified solution to achieving a lead-free water supply.
- The PUR Plus Faucet Filtration System has an official NSF certification for the removal of 99% of lead and reducing other impurities larger than 0.3 microns.
- The system requires no maintenance aside from changing the filters, so it’s a good low-maintenance option for removing lead.
- Inserting and replacing the filter is easy – just twist to remove the cover, place the filter in the housing, and re-close the cover.
- The filter is known to slow down water flow towards the end of its lifespan.
- Hot water will damage the filter, so you can only use it with your cold water supply.
Brita Basic Faucet Filtration System
The Brita Basic Faucet Filtration System doesn’t remove as many contaminants as other water filters on this list, but, importantly, the filter is NSF certified for 99% lead removal.
- Certified to remove lead – The Brita Basic Faucet Filtration System is NSF certified to Standard 53 to remove 99% lead.
- Other NSF certifications – As well as an NSF 53 certification, the Brita holds NSF 42 and 58 certifications, for the removal of chlorine, asbestos, and more.
- 1-click filter change – Changing the filter is easy – simply click it out of place and click the new filter into the housing.
Best for: Anyone who wants a simple lead filtration solution from a reliable brand, backed by several NSF certifications.
- The Brita Basic Faucet Filtration System doesn’t only hold an NSF certification for lead removal – it also holds two other certifications.
- The water filter is affordable, costing less than $50, making it an ideal budget choice.
- All the guesswork is taken out of replacing the filter as the filter indicator light will let you know when filters have reached the end of their lifespan.
- The replacement cartridges are quite expensive compared to other models.
- A lot of customers had problems with water leaking out of the filter’s connections.
❔Frequently Asked Questions
Is there anything I can do to reduce lead from my water aside from using a filter?
Yes, but it’d be much more costly than using a lead filter.
For instance, you could pay for an inspection of your home’s pipes by a plumber and replace any lead materials with lead-free. That would cost thousands of dollars – and it wouldn’t prevent lead from being picked up from the pipes on its way into your home.
Using a lead water filter is much cheaper and easier than trying to prevent the lead from getting into your water in the first place.
Can I find lead in my well water?
Potentially. Some older wells have a lead seal that may cause lead to leach into stored water. Water may also become contaminated with lead if it passes through lead pipes from your well into your home.
Can I remove lead from my water by boiling it?
No. Actually, boiling your water can increase the lead concentration.
How can I make sure my chosen filter will do a good job of lead removal?
Manufacturers often exaggerate their marketing claims to make a sale. If you want to know that a product is genuine, look for an NSF certification or third-party testing for Standard 53, for lead.