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Best Water Filters for Arsenic Removal

Scott Winfield
Written by Scott Winfield
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Arsenic, a heavy metal, comes in two forms: organic arsenic, found naturally in soil, water, and fish, and inorganic (pentavalent) arsenic, an extremely harmful form.

Inorganic arsenic is a crucial part of many industries and contaminates our water supply due to improper waste practices.

Water contaminated with arsenic leads to many short- and long-term health issues. Short-term effects include neurological and cardiovascular problems, while long-term consequences involve an increased risk of different types of cancer.

Avoiding exposure to this hazardous heavy metal is essential for protecting your family’s health, which you’ll achieve by installing an arsenic filter.

To help you make the best decision for your home, we’ve conducted extensive research to put together a comprehensive list of the best arsenic filters available on the market.

Top 5 Filters for Arsenic Removal Are:
Big Berkey Water Filter
  • Filtration technology: Black Berkey Elements
  • Filter type: Countertop system
  • Arsenic reduction rate: from 99% to 99.9%
  • Contaminants removed: 203+
  • Filtered Water Capacity: 2.25 gallons
  • NSF 53 certification: Not certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
  • Filtration technology: Affinity Filtration
  • Filter type: Water filter pitcher
  • Arsenic reduction rate: Minimum of 98.3%
  • Contaminants removed: 365+
  • Filtered Water Capacity: 10 cups (80oz)
  • NSF 53 certification: Certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Aquasana OptimH2O Reverse Osmosis + Claryum
Best Under-the-Sink Reverse Osmosis Filter
  • Filtration technology: Claryum + reverse osmosis
  • Filter type: Under-the-sink RO unit
  • Arsenic reduction rate: Minimum of 97.6%
  • Contaminants removed: 88+
  • Filtration capacity: 13.32 gallons per day
  • NSF 53 certification: Certified
  • Warranty: Two years
Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Water Filter SystemCheck Price
Best Non-RO Under-the-Sink Filter
  • Filtration technology: Clearly Filtered’s 3-stage filtration tech
  • Filter type: Under-the-sink system
  • Arsenic reduction rate: Minimum of 94.3%
  • Contaminants removed: 232+
  • Filtration capacity: 2,000 gallons for each filter (lasting roughly a year)
  • NSF 53 certification: Certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
Crystal Quest Arsenic Whole House Filter
Best Whole House Water Filter
  • Filtration technology: Mineral tank
  • Filter type: Whole house filter
  • Arsenic reduction rate: Up to 99%
  • Contaminants removed: Unspecified
  • Flow rate: 9 to 11 gallons per minute
  • NSF 53 certification: Not certified
  • Warranty: One year

Reviews of Top 5 Filters for Arsenic Removal

Big Berkey Water Filter – Best Filter for Arsenic Removal Overall

Big Berkey Water Filter
  • Filtration technology: Black Berkey Elements
  • Filter type: Countertop system
  • Arsenic reduction rate: from 99% to 99.9%
  • Contaminants removed: 203+
  • Filtered Water Capacity: 2.25 gallons
  • NSF 53 certification: Not certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $367
Pros
  • Removes arsenic by at least 99% thanks to the Black Berkey Elements
  • Removes 203 other contaminants equally efficiently
  • Arsenic removal claims tested and approved by two different certified water-testing labs
  • Filters may last up to two years
  • Stainless steel body
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Filtration process takes two hours
  • Plastic spigot

Big Berkey, a stainless steel countertop water filter, is our favorite product against arsenic. We trust it because two certified water-testing labs can attest to its uncontested arsenic removal efficiency.

According to Envirotek Laboratories, the device removes arsenic by a minimum of 99.9%. In comparison, the findings of the Environmental Toxicology Laboratory show that the Big Berkey removes at least 99% of arsenic from water. Both scientific analyses demonstrate that Big Berkey is more than capable of treating arsenic in water.

But what makes it so effective? It all boils down to the manufacturer’s innovative filter design and engineering technology, the Black Berkey Elements.

Black Berkey Elements is a set of different filtration techniques, not all of which are disclosed by the manufacturer, varying from less sophisticated ones like microfiltration to more complex methods such as adsorption and absorption. For arsenic removal specifically, its advantages over other water filters can be attributed to two main factors:

  • State-of-the-art adsorption media: Adsorption means drawing and binding the contaminants with ionic or molecular structures. Since arsenic has an ionic structure, Black Berkey Elements is easily able to capture it.
  • Exposure time: Once you put water in Big Berkey’s 2.25-gallon unfiltered tank, the device filters it for two hours. The water passes through the filtration media very slowly because of the labyrinthine structure of the Black Berkey Elements. This increased contact time means the device adsorbs arsenic ions more thoroughly than other filters.

Additionally, while the filters of most countertop units need replacing at least once a year, Black Berkey Elements lasts approximately two years, another way the product stands out from its competition.

However, its slow filtration process may be a dealbreaker for some who prefer clean water on demand.


Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher – Best Water Pitcher for Arsenic Removal

Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
  • Filtration technology: Affinity Filtration
  • Filter type: Water filter pitcher
  • Arsenic reduction rate: Minimum of 98.3%
  • Contaminants removed: 365+
  • Filtered Water Capacity: 10 cups (80oz)
  • NSF 53 certification: Certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $90
Pros
  • Reduces arsenic by 98.3% thanks to the Affinity Filtration technology
  • Removes 365+ other contaminants equally successfully
  • Filter lasts up to four months
  • Certified by the NSF
  • Made in USA
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Expensive for a water pitcher

Following the example of the Big Berkey, the American-made Clearly Filtered also uses innovative filtration technologies. However, in contrast to the Big Berkey, Clearly Filtered uses it for water pitchers, under-the-sink filters (the fourth product on our list), and refrigerator devices.

The Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher employs a unique technique called Affinity Filtration, thanks to which it’s able to reduce arsenic by 98.3% alongside 365+ other contaminants.

The Affinity Filtration technology operates in a very similar way to Black Berkey Elements. Clearly Filtered’s main cartridge has a unique structure subjecting contaminants to a path full of twists and turns. Ultimately, the twists and turns prolong the contact time between the filters and water, ensuring an extensive filtration process and a remarkable reduction of arsenic.

Additionally, the inner walls of the filter cartridge act as a contaminant magnet. Similar to Big Berkey’s adsorption technique, the magnet targets contaminants with ionic structures like arsenic, attracting and binding them.

Most water pitchers have a filter life lasting up to three months. Yet, in the case of Clearly Filtered, they last up to four months, making them the most long-lasting water pitcher filters on the market.

In addition to the long filter life, Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher bears an NSF 53 certification pertaining to health hazards like arsenic. This was a particularly reassuring aspect for us, as it provides scientific evidence for the claims the brand makes about the device.

That said, Clearly Filtered’s water pitcher is one of the most expensive products in its category.


Aquasana OptimH2O – Best Under-the-Sink Reverse Osmosis Filter for Arsenic Removal

Aquasana OptimH2O Reverse Osmosis + Claryum
  • Filtration technology: Claryum + reverse osmosis
  • Filter type: Under-the-sink RO unit
  • Arsenic reduction rate: Minimum of 97.6%
  • Contaminants removed: 88+
  • Filtration capacity: 13.32 gallons per day
  • NSF 53 certification: Certified
  • Warranty: Two years
Pros
  • The combo of Claryum and reverse osmosis removes arsenic by 97.6%
  • Holds all the relevant NSF certifications
  • Removes 88+ other contaminants
Cons
  • Removes healthy minerals
  • Requires filter replacements once every six months
  • Only two years of warranty

Reverse osmosis (RO) is one of the most popular methods for removing arsenic from water. However, most RO units either can’t achieve EPA standards for removing arsenic or don’t provide enough unbiased data regarding their products’ performance. Thankfully, Aquasana OptimH2O is an exception.

We loved this unit because it removes arsenic by 97.6%, the highest rate among RO and under-the-sink units and because it’s NSF-certified (NSF/ANSI standards 53 and 58).

We must note here that Aquasana’s RO technology isn’t the only thing responsible for its removal capacity for arsenic specifically. Rather, the RO technology is enhanced with the brand’s patented Claryum technique.

We can label the Claryum technology as a humbler version of Black Berkey Elements or Affinity Filtration. It blends four different water treatment methods, including ion adsorption, in the same cartridge, achieving improved performance against arsenic and other contaminants (more than 88).

What’s more, contrary to the Big Berkey and the Clearly Filtered models on our list, the RO tech utilized by Aquasana OptimH2O removes healthy minerals alongside arsenic and other dangerous contaminants. Although the manufacturer claims the device has a remineralizer adding healthy minerals back to the water, there’s no scientific proof that remineralizers work.

Furthermore, despite the affordability of Aquasana OptimH2O’s main unit, the device’s filters need to be replaced once every six months, which is too often for an under-the-sink device. So, it may burden your budget in the long run.

Lastly, the manufacturer only offers a two-year limited warranty. Two years is exceptionally modest compared to the lifetime warranties of Big Berkey and Clearly Filtered.


Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink – Best Non-RO Under-the-Sink Filter for Arsenic Removal

Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Water Filter SystemCheck Price
  • Filtration technology: Clearly Filtered’s 3-stage filtration tech
  • Filter type: Under-the-sink system
  • Arsenic reduction rate: Minimum of 94.3%
  • Contaminants removed: 232+
  • Filtration capacity: 2,000 gallons for each filter (lasting roughly a year)
  • NSF 53 certification: Certified
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Price: $550
Pros
  • The special heavy metals + VOCs filter makes it ideal for arsenic removal
  • Doesn’t reduce healthy minerals like RO units do
  • Reduces 232+ other contaminants
  • Filters need replacing only once a year
  • Made in USA
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Replacement filters are costly

Our review of the Aquasana OptimH2O established that reverse osmosis removes healthy minerals from the water alongside arsenic. However, these minerals are crucial for bone growth and healthy blood pH levels. So, if you want an under-the-sink product that retains beneficial minerals while effectively reducing arsenic, the Clearly Filtered model is our top choice.

Although it has a lower arsenic reduction rate (94.3%) compared to Aquasana OptimH2O, it’s still able to reduce arsenic ions levels below the Environmental Protection Agency’s threshold (10 parts per billion).

Additionally, as seen in its performance data sheet, Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink reduces more than 232 other contaminants with equal or better capacity.

The Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink model differs from its water pitcher sibling because it doesn’t utilize the Affinity Filtration technology. Instead, this unit’s leading technology entails a unique filter that reduces heavy metals like arsenic and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The Clearly Filtered system’s advantages over the Aquasana OptimH2O aren’t limited to retaining minerals. Its filters provide arsenic-free water for a year without needing replacements, making them the most long-lasting under-the-sink filters currently available.

This model also comes with a lifetime warranty, and it’s made in the United States.

Of course, the only disadvantage of the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher also applies to this product. It’s already an expensive unit in its category, and its replacement filters aren’t cheap either.


Crystal Quest Arsenic Whole House Filter – Best Whole House Water Filter for Arsenic Removal

Crystal Quest Arsenic Whole House Filter
  • Filtration technology: Mineral tank
  • Filter type: Whole house filter
  • Arsenic reduction rate: Up to 99%
  • Contaminants removed: Unspecified
  • Flow rate: 9 to 11 gallons per minute
  • NSF 53 certification: Not certified
  • Warranty: One year
Pros
  • The best whole house filter designed explicitly for arsenic removal
  • Provides arsenic-free water at all faucets
  • Great flow rate for up to 4 bathroom households
  • The manufacturer offers refunds
  • Made in USA
Cons
  • Not certified by the NSF nor tested by an independent lab
  • Expensive
  • Only one-year warranty

Generally speaking, whole house filters can’t remove arsenic from water, and when they do, they rarely do it effectively.

Inspired by the lack of options, Crystal Quest saw the opportunity for producing an arsenic-specific whole house water filter. Their innovative product is your best whole house choice, with a capacity to remove up to 99% of arsenic from water.

Pentavalent arsenic (also known as inorganic arsenic) is an anion consisting of negatively charged ions. To remove such negatively charged ions, Crystal Quest utilizes a mineral tank full of positively charged mineral ions, like calcium and magnesium.

The filtration media of this mineral-rich tank attracts anions of arsenic and binds them. The end result is arsenic-free water running from all taps.

Unlike the other filtration units on our list, the Crystal Quest whole house model doesn’t have any NSF certifications nor provides test results from independent labs. However, the manufacturer guarantees it’ll refund you if a third-party lab tests your water quality before and after installing the filter and finds that the product doesn’t remove arsenic as advertised.

In addition to arsenic, the Crystal Quest filter removes VOCs, herbicides, pesticides, and aesthetic impurities like taste, odor, and chlorine. It has a 9-11 gallons per minute flow rate, ideal for households with one to four bathrooms.

This arsenic-specific whole house filter costs more than twice that of traditional whole house units, typically costing about $1,000. Lastly, the one-year warranty is poor for such a bulky and expensive unit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s answer some of the most commonly searched questions about arsenic removal and filters.

What are the health effects associated with arsenic in drinking water?

Drinking arsenic-contaminated water has various short-term and long-term health effects.
The short-term health effects include:
Arrhythmia
Neurological impairments such as peripheral neuropathy
Nausea and vomiting
Fatigue, resulting from a decrease in the production of red and white blood cells
The long-term effects of drinking arsenic-contaminated water are more detrimental and include the following:
Anemia, mainly among pregnant women
Various types of cancer including in bladder, liver, colon, and lung
Neurological and cognitive dysfunction
Cardiovascular disease
Changes in heart structure
Because of the substantial body of research linking arsenic to all these negative side effects, the EPA has set the maximum threshold for arsenic in drinking water at 10 parts per billion or 0.010 mg/L. However, most people don’t want to take risks and take measures to remove it completely from their water supply.

Should I purchase a water filter that removes arsenic?

If your water is contaminated with arsenic, you should take action immediately. Purchasing a water filter to remove arsenic is both a quick and long-term solution. Considering the detrimental effects arsenic has on health, you should take it very seriously.

How can I test my water for arsenic?

If you suspect arsenic presence in your water, the best and most secure action is to collect a water sample and send it to an EPA-certified water-testing lab.
These labs charge between $25 to $400 but will provide a detailed list of contaminants and their levels in your water, including arsenic.
We advise you to refrain from drinking water from your faucets until the test results come. In such cases, it’s best to stick with bottled water.

Which water filter is the best at removing arsenic?

According to the reports of two independent water testing labs, Big Berkey has at least a 99% removal rate concerning arsenic. That number makes it the most effective device for producing arsenic-free water.

What is the relevant NSF certification for arsenic removal?

Arsenic is a heavy metal regulated by the EPA under the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWRs). The National Sanitation Foundation certifies products with claims regarding contaminants regulated under the NPDWRs with its NSF/ANSI 53 Standards certification.
But not all water treatment products with an NSF 53 certification remove or reduce arsenic to levels below EPA standards. For instance, the AquaTru RO System holds an NSF 53 certification, but there’s no indication in its performance data sheet that it reduces arsenic.
So, the best practice is to examine the performance data sheets of the device you want to purchase and ensure it’s suitable for removing this heavy metal.

Conclusion

Arsenic is a hazardous heavy metal causing neurological issues, cardiovascular problems, and various types of cancer. So, many Americans remove it from their drinking water supply.

To that end, the Big Berkey emerges as the best option, with its minimum arsenic removal rate of 99% supported by two different water-testing labs. On the other hand, the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher takes the cake if you’re looking for a water pitcher, with its 98.3% arsenic reduction rate.

If an under-the-sink system suits your needs the best, then take your pick between the Aquasana OptimH2O and Clearly Filtered Under-the-Sink. While the former is a RO system that also removes healthy minerals, the latter retains them.

Lastly, if you want arsenic-free water at all faucets, the Crystal Quest Arsenic Whole House Filter is the device for the job.

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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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