How Long do Brita Filters Last?

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Whether you’re considering a Brita filter or you’ve already bought one, you might be wondering how long Brita filters last.

We’ve done the research, and we’ve shared the average lifespan of Brita filters in this guide.

How long do brita filters last

📉 How Long Do Brita Filters Last (According to Brita)?

Brita sells a couple of different filters for its water filter pitchers, with different lifespans. The average lifespan of Brita filters is 2-6 months, depending on the filter.

How Long Do Brita Standard Filters Last?

Brita Standard filters last up to two months, or 40 gallons.

How Long Do Brita Elite Filters Last?

Brita Elite filters last up to six months, or around 120 gallons.

Standard filters40 gallons2 months
Elite filters (previously Brita LongLast filter) 120 gallons6 months
Stream filter cartridges40 gallons2 months
Bottle filters40 gallons2 months
Faucet filters100 gallons4 months

Find out more about the Brita water filtration process in this guide.

🤔 How long do Brita Filters Really Last?

Brita, like all manufacturers, estimates its filters’ lifespans based on a certain test water quality and “average” water usage. In these conditions, Brita can say that its Standard filters last for 40 gallons, or two months.

But that doesn’t mean that a Brita filter is guaranteed to last this long for you.

For instance, you might not use 40 gallons of water in two months. You might use 50, 60, or 80. Plus, your water might be poorer-quality than the water Brita used to estimate its filter lifespans, so your filter might become clogged before the two-month timeframe is up. A clogged gravity filter will reduce water flow rate to such an extent that you may have no choice but to replace the filter early.

So, how long do Brita filters really last? Your Brita filter might last the expected lifespan – but some people need to replace their filters a few weeks early.

Scale build up inside brita filter cartridge

📅 When Should You Replace Your Brita Filter?

Brita says you should replace your filters according to your own water usage. Brita’s recommended filter change frequency is based on households that drink 11 gallons of water per day.

Most Brita pitchers have a built-in electronic filter change indicator, which takes the guesswork out of filter changes. Make sure to reset the timer when you replace the filter, and it’ll count down until you need to replace the filter.

You should also replace your filter if you notice mold on the cartridge, or if the filter becomes cracked or damaged.

If you don’t replace your Brita filter, the filter may start allowing contaminants to pass through with the water. There’s also a risk of bacteria buildup in old Brita filter media, and the flow rate of water through the filter will slow right down. So make sure to replace it on time!

Flushing the brita filter
source: How to Change the Filter on Your Brita Everyday Pitcher, Youtube, Uploaded by Brita USA

📝 What Affects the Lifespan of a Brita Filter?

Several factors affect the lifespan of a Brita water filter, including:

  • Your water quality – The more contaminants your water contains, the faster the filter media will become clogged. In this case, the filter might not last as long as advertised. It could end up becoming so clogged that no water can pass through.
  • Your water usage – If your water usage is below average, your filter may last longer than advertised because it’s used less frequently than expected. But if you use your filter more frequently, it will likely become clogged faster and will need to be changed sooner.
  • The filter materials – Different Brita water filters are made from different materials, which plays a role in how long they last. For instance, the Brita Elite filter is made from proprietary active filtering agents and patented pleated filter media, which is more advanced and lasts up to three times longer than the activated carbon granules in the Brita Standard filter.
Brita coconut-based activated carbon media

🔂 Signs You Should Replace your Brita Filter

Here are 6 signs that you need to replace your Brita filter:

  • Your water tastes bad – A chemical, metallic, or musty taste in your water suggests that a new Brita filter is needed.
  • You notice a bad smell – Along with a bad taste, you may notice that your filtered water smells bad if your Brita filter cartridge has reached the end of its lifespan. An old filter may add an unpleasant odor to your water as it passes through the filter. Your filter could even be cracked, allowing unpleasant-smelling contaminants to leach into your water.
  • The filter develops mold or algae – If your Brita water filter has developed algae or mold, it’s essential that you need to replace the filter. Mold and algae are dangerous to drink, and may also indicate the presence of bacteria.
  • The flow rate is much slower – Slow flow rate is another key sign that you need a fresh filter in your Brita system. The slower the water flow through the filter, the more clogged the filter likely is.
  • Enough time has passed – Finally, the most obvious sign that you’re using an expired Brita filter: it’s been two months (or six months, in the case of the Brita Elite) since you first installed the new filter.

📰 How to Change a Brita Filter

To change a Brita filter in a pitcher, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the old filter from the reservoir and put it to one side (you can recycle it later).
  2. Take out the new sealed filter from the filter packaging.
  3. Hold the water filter under cold water from your faucet for up to 15 seconds.
  4. Place the new water filter in the reservoir and reset the filter indicator light (if you have one).
  5. Add cold tap water to the top chamber. The filter is now ready to use.

You can learn more about how to use a Brita filter, and how to change filters in a Brita system in this guide.

Separating brita water pitcher components
source: How to Change the Filter on Your Brita Everyday Pitcher, Youtube, Uploaded by Brita USA

Note: WaterFilterGuru is an independent publisher and has no affiliation with Brita filters.

🧠 How Long do Brita Filters Last: FAQs

What can you do with old Brita water filters?

Brita has a recycling program that lets you sensibly dispose of old filters. Recycling your filters is the best decision for the environment. Simply collect your old filters until you have a 5-pound batch to ship at once. You can learn more about recycling Brita filters here.

What’s the shelf life of a Brita filter?

The shelf life of a Brita filter – i.e. how long the filter can be stored in sealed packaging before use – is indefinite. This means you can store the filter for as long as necessary before you use it, as long as it’s stored in a cool, dry place. You may need to soak the filter for 15 minutes if it’s over a year old, as the filter may dry out after so long in storage.

Can you use expired Brita filters?

No, using an expired Brita filter isn’t recommended because the filter isn’t guaranteed to remove the contaminants that it’s supposed to. Replace your filter on time if you want to maintain its performance over the long term.

Brita grand pitcher performance
  • 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.

2 thoughts on “How Long do Brita Filters Last?”

  1. Avatar for Laura Shallcross

    I have used the filter for 6 months, but the sign on the top of my Brita water filter is still green. In this situation, do I need to replace the filter?

    1. Avatar for Laura Shallcross

      If you are using the Elite filter, it should last up to 120 gallons or ~6 months
      The Standard filter only lasts up to 40 gallons or ~2 months

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