Do Water Filters Remove Minerals?

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We all know that water filters are designed to remove the bad stuff from our water – but do they remove the good stuff, too?

Do water filters reduce or remove healthy minerals in tap water?

We’ve shared the answer to this question – and more – in this guide.

πŸ“Œ Key Takeaways:

  • Most water filters, like activated carbon filters, KDF filters, ultrafiltration systems, and sediment filters, don’t remove minerals.
  • The only filters that can remove minerals from water are reverse osmosis systems and water distillers.
  • Tap water contains minerals like copper, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, as well as healthy salts.
  • We need minerals for a variety of bodily functions, including turning foods into energy, maintaining strong, healthy teeth and bones, and controlling fluids inside and outside of cells.

βš—οΈ Do Water Filters Remove Minerals?

Most water filters don’t remove healthy minerals.


Because the filter media is designed to trap harmful contaminants, but not dissolved minerals.

In some cases, this could be because of the size of the filter pores or the design of the filter media. In other cases, it could be due to the minerals not being attracted to the type of filter media.

Most water filter materials only remove the bad stuff, allowing you to drink healthy water that contributes to your daily mineral intake without the risk of dangerous trace contaminants, like chemicals, microorganisms, and heavy metals.

The only exception is filters that have the ability to produce pure water by removing virally everything, including minerals. Only reverse osmosis filters and water distillers can provide this level of filtration.

do water filters remove minerals?

Do Activated Carbon Filters Remove Minerals?

No, no type of carbon water filter can remove minerals. Carbon filter media is designed to attract chlorine, VOCs, and some disinfection byproducts, but it doesn’t attract minerals in drinking tap water.

Do Reverse Osmosis Water Filters Remove Minerals?

Yes, reverse osmosis filters remove minerals from water. The RO method of water filtration is known as membrane separation. Water flows through a semi-permeable membrane with tiny pores (usually 0.0001 microns in size). The membrane rejects almost every single contaminant, and only water particles are small enough to fit through.

πŸ“Œ If you like the sound of drinking pure water but still want to drink healthy minerals, buy a reverse osmosis system with a remineralization filter stage, which will add minerals back into your water before it’s dispensed for drinking.

Membrane filtration process

Does Ultrafiltration Remove Minerals?

No, ultrafiltration doesn’t remove dissolved minerals from water. This method of water filtration also doesn’t remove dissolved salts, dissolved metals, or any other dissolved substances in drinking water.

Ultrafiltration is a good option for people who want a filtration system that’s almost as thorough as reverse osmosis, but still retains minerals.

Does a Water Distiller Remove Minerals?

Yes, a water distiller is capable of removing healthy minerals from tap water. Distillers boil water until it evaporates, leaving the contaminants – and minerals – behind as the water vapor condenses into a separate container.

countertop water distiller

Does a Water Softener Remove Minerals?

Yes, a water softener removes healthy minerals. Both calcium and magnesium are responsible for hard water, and a water softening system removes these minerals, exchanging them for sodium (another trace mineral). This prevents your tap water from leaving scale deposits in your plumbing and appliances.

πŸ€” Which Water Filters Remove Minerals?

The water filters that remove minerals are reverse osmosis water filters and water distillers. These systems are often called water purification systems because they eliminate virtually all dissolved solids in water, including essential minerals.

πŸ‘ Which Water Filters DON’T Remove Minerals

The water filters that DON’T remove minerals are all the other filters that exist today, including mechanical filters, ultrafiltration systems, all types of activated carbon filters, ion exchange filters (excluding water softeners, which remove calcium and magnesium), KDF filters, UV purifiers, ceramic filters, and activated alumina filters.

🚰 What Minerals Does Tap Water Contain?

Tap water usually contains traces of the following minerals:

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • Sodium

Tap water isn’t as mineral-rich as bottled mineral water, but it should still contribute somewhat to your daily mineral intake.

Healthy minerals found in water

πŸ”Ž Why Do We Need Minerals?

The human body needs minerals for the following purposes:

  • To build strong, healthy bones, hair, skin, and teeth
  • To turn the foods we eat into energy
  • To control body fluids inside and outside cells
  • For proper nervous system functioning

Essentially, the majority of the things that our bodies do (without us even realizing) are a result of the minerals it receives from our diet.

πŸ“Œ Without minerals, our bodies wouldn’t be able to function. Mineral deficiencies cause us to become fatigued, weaken our bones, and decrease our immune system function.

🩺 Is It Bad To Drink Tap Water Without Minerals?

No, it isn’t necessarily bad to drink tap water without minerals, as long as you’re getting plenty of minerals in your daily diet.

For instance, dairy foods, almonds, and edamame contain a lot of calcium. You can find magnesium in nuts, legumes, and dark chocolate. Potassium is found in dried fruits, beans, lentils, potatoes, and spinach, and copper is found in shellfish, seeds, nuts, and whole grains. Sodium is found in the majority of foods in our diets.

Most people simply prefer the alkaline taste of mineral water, and that’s why they would rather not drink mineral-free tap water.

Drinking water

❔ Do Water Filters Remove Minerals? FAQ

How do you purify water without removing minerals?

If you want to purify water – i.e. remove all its impurities, producing pure tap water – you’ll end up removing the beneficial minerals and salts too, by default. However, it is possible to add these minerals back into your drinking water after purifying it. Mineral drops or remineralization filters are both good options.

Does Brita water filter remove minerals?

No. Brita filters are made with a combination of activated carbon and ion exchange filter media, none of which can remove healthy minerals from drinking water. Brita removes only a handful of contaminants from water, including chlorine and a few heavy metals – but no minerals.

Do PUR water filters remove minerals?

No, PUR water filters don’t remove minerals. The filters in PUR pitchers are made from carbon block media, which is incapable of reducing minerals. So, while PUR’s filters remove more than 60 contaminants from drinking water, they retain healthy minerals.

How can I add minerals back to reverse osmosis water?

Want to drink reverse osmosis water with the added benefit of healthy minerals? Buy a reverse osmosis system that comes with an add-on remineralization filter stage. This filter is the final filtration stage and should add a healthy amount of beneficial minerals to your tap water before it’s dispensed for drinking.

Are there minerals in filtered water?

Yes, filtered water usually contains minerals. The exception here is if you use a reverse osmosis system or another form of water purification, like a water distiller. These systems remove everything from a tap water supply, including healthy minerals.

  • Laura Shallcross
    Senior Editor

    Laura is a passionate residential water treatment journalist who holds an undergraduate degree in Print Journalism and a master’s degree in Creative Writing. Over a span of 5 years she's written on a range of topics including water softening, well water treatment, and purification processes.

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