What is an Alkaline Water Filter and How Does it Work?

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So, you’ve heard some good stuff about drinking alkaline water, but you don’t want the expense and plastic waste associated with bottled alkaline water. In that case, an alkaline water filter sounds like the sensible solution – but what exactly is this filter, and how does it work?

We’ve answered this question and more in this quick guide.

πŸ“Œ Key Takeaways:

  • Alkaline water filters produce filtered tap water with an increased pH level (usually to around 8 or 9).
  • An alkaline water filter works by first filtering out common drinking water contaminants, then using an alkaline filter media (such as mineral stones or calcite) to introduce healthy minerals into the water.
  • You can find alkaline filters in alkaline water pitchers, water ionizers, and reverse osmosis water treatment systems.

🚰 What Is An Alkaline Water Filter?

An alkaline water filter is a type of filter that does two jobs: it filters water, and it makes the water more alkaline, usually by adding healthy minerals like calcium and magnesium.

The purpose of an alkaline water filter is to further improve water’s taste and health properties by increasing its pH level and alkalinity.

What Is Alkaline Water?

Alkaline water is water with a pH level that’s higher than neutral (usually between 8 and 9). All water has a pH reading that falls somewhere on the pH scale, from 0 to 14. Normal drinking water usually has a neutral pH level of 7.

ph scale

pH isn’t enough to give water substantial alkalinity, which is why alkaline water usually contains alkaline minerals, too. Alkaline drinking water also has a negative oxidation-reduction potential, which means it’s more antioxidizing than normal drinking water.

Alkaline drinking water has a few supposed health benefits, including increased energy levels, reduced risk of acid reflux, weight loss support, and lower blood sugar levels, due to an acid-alkaline balance in the human body.

Related: What is Live Water?

Alkaline drinking water

πŸ”Ž How Does An Alkaline Water Filter Work?

So, you know what it is – but how exactly does an alkaline water filter work?

Usually, this type of filter has at least two separate media: a filtering media and a mineralizing media.

The filtering media is typically made from activated carbon, which may be combined with KDF, ion exchange resin, and similar filter media. This media is typically designed to reduce chlorine, heavy metals, and other contaminants that commonly affect water quality.

The mineralizing media is commonly made from calcite and/or alkaline beads (otherwise known as mineral beads, stone beads, or ceramic beads), which boost pH and add traces of healthy minerals (such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and selenium) into the water. Calcite is known for neutralizing acidic water, but it should also work to alkalize neutral water.

The exception here is an alkaline filtering cartridge in a reverse osmosis unit, which is designed solely to remineralize water and contains only alkalizing media to do so.

Not all alkaline water filtration systems use traditional filter media. You can also buy an ionized water filter, or an ionizer, which lifts the pH of neutral or acidic water by using an electric current, which separates the acidic and alkaline ions and adds additional minerals.

🧰 Where Are Alkaline Water Filters Installed?

An alkaline water filter is usually installed in a point of use (POU) system. Water pitchers are the most common type of water filtration system to contain an alkaline water filter.

You could also call a reverse osmosis remineralization filter an alkaline filter. Reverse osmosis provides incredibly thorough filtration, which removes everything including healthy alkaline minerals. Remineralization filters are installed as a final stage in a reverse osmosis system, often sold as an add-on, to add these minerals back into RO water.

Finally, ionizers usually have alkalizing potential, so they’re also classed as alkaline systems. These units are designed for countertop setup and are powered by electricity, so they’ll need to be installed near a power outlet.

NU aqua 8 stage alkaline filter
Source: Amazon.com

πŸ†š Alkaline Filters Vs Normal Filters

The key difference between alkaline filters and normal filters is the filter intention.

An alkaline drinking water filter contains alkalizing or mineralizing filter media, alongside filter media designed to filter the water, such as carbon and ion exchange resin. The result is that water is not only filtered, but also rich in minerals, and usually with a higher pH.

A normal water filter, on the other hand, doesn’t contain mineral-boosting or alkalizing media. Water treated by a normal filter is simply filtered. The filtration process doesn’t usually affect pH or mineral content, since most normal filters don’t add or remove minerals.

πŸ’° Should You Buy An Alkaline Water Filter?

Alkaline filters are worth considering if you like the idea of having access to energizing drinking water at home.

Alkaline drinking water has an enjoyable mineral taste that many people enjoy, and you may be encouraged to drink more water if you enjoy its taste, which means you’ll experience all the benefits of good hydration. Plus, alkaline drinking water from a filter is much cheaper and better for the environment than buying alkaline bottled water.

However, there’s limited scientific evidence to support the claims that water with high pH levels has any effect on immunity and energy levels, so keep in mind that an alkaline water filter might not offer many more benefits than a normal filter.

πŸ“Œ In short: don’t expect an alkaline filter to work miracles and make a huge difference to your health. Keep your expectations low. At best, the alkaline water produced by an alkaline system will simply taste better than normal filtered water due to its additional minerals.

Alkaline water from a water ionizer

Related articles:

  • Want to get perfect tasting water? Check out the 8 popular alkaline water filters reviewed for 2024
  • Looking for the most affordable way to get alkaline water? Here are the top alkaline water pitchers worth buying in 2024
  • Got more to spend? Check out our water ionizer reviews

❔ Alkaline Water Filter: FAQ

What Are The Benefits of Alkaline Water?

There are a few possible benefits of consuming alkaline water. Scientists think that alkaline water may improve health and energy levels, support weight loss, boost immunity, and even resist certain cancers, but at the moment, there isn’t enough research to support these claims.

Do alkaline filters really work?

Yes, alkaline water systems really do work – but keep in mind that the benefits of this type of water treatment are usually exaggerated. An alkaline filtering system truly does boost water’s pH and introduce minerals that are beneficial to human health, and it should also produce better-quality water due to its filtration stage. However, alkaline systems may not offer all the health benefits claimed by the manufacturer.

What is the purpose of alkaline water filter?

The purpose of an alkaline water system is to boost the pH of neutral or acidic water and improve the water’s taste and health properties by introducing healthy minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. This type of filter produces water with a pH of around 8. Most alkaline systems also filter water, removing contaminants like chlorine and heavy metals, so it’s safer to drink.

What happens if you drink alkaline water everyday?

Some people claim that you’ll experience health benefits such as improved energy if you drink alkaline tap water every day, but these claims aren’t backed by much evidence. You may enjoy the benefits of better hydration, including maximized physical performance and brain alertness, if the great taste of alkaline drinking water encourages you to drink more than your normal water intake.

  • 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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