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The 5 Best PFAS Water Filters to Remove Forever Chemicals

Scott Winfield
Written by Scott Winfield
Last Updated on

PFAS, also known as “forever plastics”, are increasingly found in water supplies in the US. The only way to safely and effectively remove them is to use a PFAS water filter. Yet, there are many, many different models and there’s often little to separate them. We’ve put together this list to help you choose the best one.

The best PFAS water filter overall is the SpringWell CF1 due to its 4-stage filtration process, which removes over 99.5% of PFAS, and the fact that it’s a whole-house filter. But, if you’re looking for a countertop system with NSF certifications, then we’d highly recommend the AquaTRU RO System which has been tested for NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53, 58, and 401. 
When it comes to gravity filters, the ProOne Big+ and the Epic Pure Water Filter Dispenser are our picks of the bunch.

Whole House Filter
SpringWell CF1 Whole House Filtration System
  • Filter type: Whole house water filter
  • Filtration technology: 4-stage filtration with flex bed, KDF media, catalytic carbon, and sediment filter
  • PFAS reduction rate: More than 99.5%
  • NSF certifications: Not certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime on the tank and valves
Countertop Filter
AquaTru
  • Filter type: Countertop Reverse Osmosis
  • Filtration technology: 4-stage filtration with two pre-filters, one RO membrane, and one VOC post-filter
  • PFAS reduction rate: More than 97.5%
  • NSF certifications: NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53, 58, and 401
  • Warranty: 1-year
Water Pitcher
Clearly Filtered Pitcher
  • Filter type: Water pitcher
  • Filtration technology: Affinity Filtration Technology with a unique structure and contaminant magnet
  • PFAS reduction rate: More than 95%
  • NSF certifications: NSF standards 42, 53, 244, 401, and 473
  • Warranty: Lifetime

1. SpringWell CF1 Whole House Water Filter

Whole House Filter
SpringWell CF1 Whole House Filtration System
  • Filter type: Whole house water filter
  • Filtration technology: 4-stage filtration with flex bed, KDF media, catalytic carbon, and sediment filter
  • PFAS reduction rate: More than 99.5%
  • NSF certifications: Not certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime on the tank and valves

Thanks to its high-end flex bed, KDF media, and catalytic carbon filter, SpringWell CF1 is the best whole-house filtration system out there. It removes 99.5% of PFAS as well as other harmful contaminants like herbicides and pesticides.

The SpringWell CF1 filters PFAS in four stages:

  1. Flex bed: More often than not, the granular activated carbon media of whole-house water treatment units are made for channeling, in which the water rapidly passes through the granules of the media. This rapid movement decreases the contact time between water and the media. Less contact time means an inefficient filtration process. The flex bed of the SpringWell CF1 eliminates channeling, allows for more contact time, and ensures thorough filtration.
  2. KDF media: KDF means kinetic degradation fluxion and is made of a special copper or zinc alloy. Thanks to the electro-chemical oxidation properties of this alloy, KDF media is capable of removing PFAS, and heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and copper; chemicals like nitrates, chlorine, and pesticides; and aesthetic impurities like taste, odor, and color. Since it does the majority of the heavy lifting in multiple-stage filtration systems, it also extends the lifespan of the main filter, which is the succeeding catalytic carbon media in the SpringWell CF1.
  3. Catalytic granular carbon bed: Standard activated carbon media can only reduce free chlorines and aesthetic impurities from water by blocking them. The catalytic granular carbon bed, on the other hand, is a highly activated upgrade on the standard carbon block, and provides more contact time between water and the filtration media. Thus, it can remove organic compounds like VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and PFAS with great effectiveness.
  4. 5-micron sediment filter: Lastly, the sediment filter of the SpringWell CF1 blocks all the silt, clay, and sand that might end up in your faucets.

It Doesn’t Affect Water Pressure and Flow Rate

SpringWell CF1 is one of the few whole-house water filter systems with minimal effect on the water pressure or flow rate. While most systems can only provide 6 to 7 gallons of water per minute, this particular system is able to filter 9 GPM of water, which is sufficient for small households. If you have a bigger house with higher water needs, the SpringWell CF4 and CF+ models have 12 and 20 GPM options, respectively.

Springwell Well Water Filter System
Springwell Well Water Filter System

It Requires Minimal Maintenance

The maintenance requirements for the SpringWell CF1 are minimal. Depending on the sediment levels in your water, you may need to change the sediment filter once every 6 to 9 months, but the media beds have a filtration capacity of one million gallons, which can last as long as 10 years.

Of course, all these perks come with a high price tag, as the SpringWell CF1 is easily the most expensive PFAS filter on this list. 

Pros
  • Very efficient 4-stage filtration, which means it can remove up to 99.5% of PFAS
  • Great flow rate and we didn’t notice any pressure drops once it was installed
  • It’s very low-maintenance—we were able to just “set and forget” it
  • Lifetime warranty, so there are no concerns about paying out for repairs and replacements
Cons
  • Expensive but you get what you pay for with SpringWell
  • Installation requires a professional

2. AquaTru Reverse Osmosis System for PFAS

RO System
AquaTru Reverse Osmosis System
  • Filter type: Countertop Reverse Osmosis
  • Filtration technology: 4-stage filtration with two pre-filters, one RO membrane, and one VOC post-filter
  • PFAS reduction rate: More than 97.5%
  • NSF certifications: NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53, 58, and 401
  • Warranty: 1-year

AquaTru is our recommended water filter to remove PFAS via reverse osmosis. It removes 97.5% of PFAS in water and as we already know, reverse osmosis is one of the best water filtration methods for PFAS. AquaTRU also ranks top in 2 other product categories: countertop water filters and reverse osmosis systems, which is a testament to its effectiveness at removing contaminants.

It Has Multi-Stage Filtration

The AquaTru RO System utilizes more than reverse osmosis. Similarly to the SpringWell model above, it has a 4-stage process, which increases its efficiency to a great extent:

  1. Mechanical pre-filter: Unlike the last-stage sediment filter of the SpringWell CF1, the sediment filter of the AquaTru RO System is the first step of filtration. Removing contaminants that have large particles eases the job of succeeding filters (two activated carbon ones and one RO membrane).
  2. Activated carbon pre-filter: The second stage of filtration in the AquaTru reverse osmosis unit consists of a standard activated carbon block. As we established above, this particular filter removes chlorine and aesthetic impurities (taste, odor, and color) from water.
  3. RO membrane: After removing sediments and impurities, it’s finally time for the super-efficient AquaTru RO membrane to do what it does best. It removes several inorganic contaminants from heavy metals like hexavalent chromium, lead, and copper to total dissolved solids and emerging compounds such as PFAS.
  4. Activated coconut shell carbon VOC filter: Lastly, an activated coconut shell filter takes care of whatever minute, insoluble, and organic contaminants might have escaped the three previous stages. This is effective against volatile organic compounds, which are in a gas state and can still make their way through RO membranes. This filter ensures that they don’t.

High Removal Rate and NSF-Certified

Unlike the SpringWell Whole House Water Filter, an independent lab tested the contaminant removal claims of the AquaTru and provided a performance data sheet that lists what contaminants AquaTru can remove and with what success rate. This data sheet shows that the AquaTru unit can reduce PFAS levels in water by a minimum of 97.5%.

In addition, the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certified the product with its NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53, 58, and 401 certification for Aesthetics, Health effects and Contaminants removal.

It Has Large Storage Capacity

AquaTRU has two water storage tanks: a 3-gallon tap water tank and a 1-gallon filtered water tank. The filtered water tank is detachable from the unit, so once you have a gallon of filtered water, you can take it out and put it in your fridge.

Compact and Easy Installation

The unit is a countertop system, but it’s quite compact and very easy to install. You only need to plug it in and pour unfiltered water into its tap water tank.

Pros
  • The super-efficient RO membrane is very effective against PFAS
  • Tested by an independent lab and certified by the NSF, which demonstrates its effectiveness
  • Compact and slick design so it doesn’t take up too much space on your kitchen counter
  • Easy to install—all we had to do was plug it in and leave it to do its thing
Cons
  • Filters need replacement once every 6 months, which can become costly over time
  • Only 1-year warranty, which means you have to pay for all of those filter replacements

3. Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher

Water Filter Pitcher
Clearly Filtered Pitcher
  • Filter type: Water pitcher
  • Filtration technology: Affinity Filtration Technology with a unique structure and contaminant magnet
  • PFAS reduction rate: More than 95%
  • NSF certifications: NSF standards 42, 53, 244, 401, and 473
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Despite being a water pitcher and significantly more affordable than a whole house or countertop water filter, the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher is one of the best water filtration units—it removes 95% of PFAS. For an item of its size, category, and price, it really packs a punch with its ability to remove more than 365+ contaminants, including PFAS, which is a staggering number for any kind of water filtration product.

Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
Pros
  • Innovative filtration technology removes more than 365 contaminants
  • Tested by an independent lab and certified by the NSF
  • The most affordable option for removing PFAS from drinking water
  • Lifetime warranty, which is reassuring considering it’s a plastic unit
Cons
  • Filter replacement once every 4 months might become costly in the long run

4. ProOne Big+

Gravity Filter
ProOne Water Filter
  • Filter type: Gravity filter system
  • Filtration technology: ProOne G2.0 multi-stage filter
  • PFAS reduction rate: Up to 99.9%
  • NSF certifications: NSF standards 42, 53, and P231
  • Warranty: 5-year warranty for the unit, 1-year warranty for the filter

The ProOne Big+ is a stainless steel gravity-fed countertop water filter with 3 gallons of storage capacity. It has an incredibly high PFAS removal rate of 99.9% and can remove more than 200 other contaminants as well. 

It’s one of the best options on the market for households with high water demands due to its large capacity. It’s pretty affordable too, considering how effective it is.

Pros
  • It’s made with 304 stainless steel, so it’s far more durable than units that are made of plastic
  • Its high storage capacity means we have access to filtered water on demand
  • It doesn’t need to be installed or hooked up to your electricity
  • It can remove up to 99.9% of PFAS
Cons
  • As it’s a gravity filter, it can take some time to replenish the storage tank with filtered water once it’s empty

5. Epic Pure Water Filter Dispenser

Water Dispenser
Epic Pure Water Dispenser
  • Filter type: Container/dispenser
  • Filtration technology: Multi-stage filter including activated coconut carbon filters
  • PFAS reduction rate: Up to 99.9%
  • NSF certifications: NSF standards 42, 53, 401, and P473
  • Warranty: Lifetime

At 2 liters, the Epic Pure Water Filter Dispenser doesn’t have quite as much storage capacity as the Big+, but it still has enough to make it suitable for homes with fairly high water demands. Like the Big+, it’s very efficient at filtering out PFAS and it can remove up to 99.9% of these contaminants from your water supply. 

Pros
  • Removes up to 99.9% of PFAS and it has high removal rates for many other contaminants
  • The LED timer is a really nice feature that eliminates the need for guesswork in terms of filter replacements
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty, which is exceptional for a plastic unit
Cons
  • As it’s a gravity filter, it does take a while to filter water

PFAS 101 for Beginners

PFAS, also referred to as per- and poly-fluoroalkyl or fluorinated chemicals/substances, are an umbrella category that encompasses a plethora of contaminants such as  perfluorobutane sulfonate, perfluorodecanoic acid, and polytetrafluoroethylene. These substances are used by a wide variety of industries, from cookware production to firefighting foams.

Since they’re used so widely, there’s no way to prevent them from contaminating ground and surface water sources. These contamination often happen due to improper waste disposal practices, surface water runoff, or simply because the packaging of a food item ended up in a water dam that provides drinking water for the area.

Although the use of PFAS for industrial purposes has lately decreased due to health concerns and increasing debate and awareness, these compounds persist in the environment, and can still leach into water sources.

As we earlier established, PFAS are a newly-emerging compound, which means that the research on them is limited as of yet. Although the Environmental Protection Agency has an action plan against PFAS, it hasn’t started regulating PFAS levels in drinking water in the strict sense of the word yet; nor does it have a safety standard for them.

That doesn’t mean that they’re safe. On the contrary, since there’s not enough research on the amount of PFAS that can be considered safe in drinking water, we should absolutely filter them from our drinking water.

What Are The Effective Water Filtration Methods for PFAS?

Despite the fact that some water treatment manufacturers develop their own unique and innovative technologies (like the Affinity Filtration by Clearly Filtered and the Black Berkey Elements by Berkey), there are only two mainstream water filtration methods that can effectively remove PFAS from water:

What to Look For When Buying a PFAS Water Filter

NSF/ANSI Standard 401 is the most important certification to consider in a PFAS water filter, as it pertains to emerging compounds/incidental contaminants. If a PFAS filter doesn’t have an NSF 401 certification, you should look for a performance data sheet from an independent and certified lab that has tested the product and provided data on the product’s capability of removing/reducing PFAS.

Typically, the relevant certifications given by the National Sanitation Foundation act as a testament to the reliability of a water treatment product. These certifications mean that the product is able to remove the contaminants that the manufacturer claims it does.

But not all manufacturers have their products tested and certified, choose to disclose the certification, or have completed the process. For instance, two such products on our list are the Big Berkey and the SpringWell CF1. Yet, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the manufacturer isn’t been truthful about their product effectiveness.

The Big Berkey, for example, holds detailed performance data sheets provided by EPA-certified, independent labs, and these sheets show that it can reduce PFAS levels in water with exemplary effectiveness. The SpringWell CF1 doesn’t have a data sheet either, but positive user experiences attest to its efficiency.

Of course, you can’t solely rely on users experience when in the market for a new water filtration unit, nor can you test every device yourself by sending one treated and one untreated water sample to a water testing lab.

So, it’s best to stick to products that have either the relevant NSF certifications or performance data sheets provided by independent labs, especially when the problem is a serious health hazard like PFAS.

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Scott Winfield
Scott Winfield
My name is Scott Winfield and researching and writing about water filters and other strategies to purify water has become my full time passion in recent years. I'm glad that you found our site and you can look forward to authoritative and well researched content here to help you get the best in water.
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