If you’re hydrating with water straight out of your faucet, you may be getting more than you bargained for. With more and more harmful toxins sneaking their way into our water systems, your tap water is more than likely loaded with health-disrupting contaminants.
In our increasingly toxic world, it’s more important than ever to ensure that the water you’re drinking isn’t chock-full of these sneaky, harmful contaminants. But choosing a water filter can actually be a little more complicated and overwhelming than you might think.
So today, we’re going to explore how water filtration systems work, what to look for when choosing one for your home, some common mistakes to avoid, and most importantly – how to select the best water filtration system for your health. Let’s dive in.
Why Is It Important to Filter Water?
While the United States is fortunate enough to have some of the safest drinking water in the world, it’s far from perfect. You see, thanks to the molecular structure of water, it’s excellent at dissolving things. This is highly useful when it comes to things like tossing your laundry in the washer with some detergent and voila – water dissolves the detergent and muck straight out of your clothes.
But water’s highly solvent nature has a downside too. Our water circulates throughout the world – drifting in a cloud, raining down on our crops, rushing through a river, traveling through countless pipes that make up our water system – and eventually streaming from your faucet as you pour a glass of tap water. As this water circulates, its brilliant ability to dissolve and attract compounds means that a plethora of icky and toxic substances can be floating around in your tap water – leaving it tainted with a concoction of health-disrupting toxins like:1,2,3,4
- Heavy metals
- Pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers
- Toxic chemicals
To dive deeper into the details of the medley of toxic compounds that can be found lurking in our tap water, head over and check out my blog Is Tap Water Safe? Dangerous Toxins That Might Be Lurking in Your Water. Because these toxins are rampant in our drinking water, it’s impossible to avoid them without filtering water. So how exactly do water filtration systems work to remove these troubling tap water toxins?
How Do Water Filters Work?
Different water filtration systems utilize different processes and materials to purify water, but in general, they rely on two primary methods to purify water which are:
- Mechanical filtration: Mechanical filtration works sort of like a physical barrier or membrane – with tiny pores that allow water molecules through while trapping debris.
- Adsorption: Adsorption works like a sponge – drawing in and trapping contaminants as they pass through the highly absorbent material. Most filters use some form of granular activated carbon that’s full of nooks and crannies to ensnare free-floating contaminants.
So, how do you go about choosing a high-quality water filtration system that you can actually count on to remove harmful toxins?
How Do I Choose A Water Filtration System? Mistakes to Avoid
With so many water filters and products to sift through – all claiming to be “the best” – it can be overwhelming. So before you head to the store or hop online to begin searching for a new water filter, it’s important to know what to look for and some mistakes to avoid. Let’s address a few common mistakes and misconceptions surrounding water filters.
Mistake #1: Believing the Refrigerator Filter is Adequate
There’s no denying that it can be incredibly convenient and refreshing to simply press a button on your refrigerator and get a delicious stream of ice-cold water. And while it can be tempting to believe that refrigerator water filters are actually delivering pure clean water, the truth is, these filters leave much to be desired.
Most refrigerator water filtration systems are designed to simply make your water taste better. You see, most fridges pass water through a simple filtration system that removes some levels of chlorine so tap water smells and tastes better. But they remove little else – leaving behind a slew of toxins and contaminants that make their way directly into your glass.
Mistake #2: Thinking All Water Filters Are Created Equally
While most water filters may employ a similar filtration technique, not all filtration systems are created equally. In fact, there is an incredibly broad range of quality among water filtrations systems – with many standard water filters removing only a small fraction of the contaminants found in tap water.
Unfortunately, many mainstream water filters work similar to refrigerator filters – removing chlorine and a handful of other contaminants to simply improve the taste of your drinking water.
Mistake #3: Purchasing Filters That Don’t Disclose Their Performance Data
When you’re purchasing a water filter to remove toxins and harmful contaminants you want to be sure that the product performs right? One of the best ways to ensure that you’re getting a water filtration system that can live up to its claims is by reviewing its performance data.
Any water filtration company worth their salt should have published, easy-to-access performance data so you can see exactly how well their filters perform. Performance data should show you which contaminants were found in the water tested and how high levels were before and after filtration. And ideally, all testing should be performed by an independent third party that complies with what’s known as NSF standards.
NSF standards are simply the guidelines set forth by the National Sanitation Foundation International – an independent research organization dedicated to testing products to ensure they comply with or exceed public health standards. If a water filtration company doesn’t proudly provide their performance data results, chances are, it’s not a water filter you want in your home.
Mistake #4: Not Replacing Water Filters
While it can seem inconvenient to have to regularly change your water filters, this is one of the most crucial components of keeping your water pure and contaminant free. As your water filter collects gunk, contaminants, and free-floating toxins, it inevitably becomes clogged up over time.
Not regularly replacing your water filter can defeat the purpose of having a water filtration system in the first place – with accumulated junk and toxins making their way into your drinking water. So it’s crucial to choose a water filtration system that requires regularly replacing filters and makes it simple to do so.
Now that you understand the basics and the major no-no’s to look out for when it comes to choosing a water filter, you’re probably curious which water filtration systems can live up to this tall order?
Which Filter Is Best for Drinking Water?
As you know, when it comes to water filtration systems, they are far from created equally. And one brand that I personally love, use, and trust is Clearly Filtered. Here are just a handful of the reasons Clearly Filtered’s water filters are some of the best systems available on the market:
- Advanced filtration technology: Clearly Filtered utilizes their unique Affinity Filtration Technology. Unlike typical filters, Affinity Filtration combines both a strategic physical structure and magnet-like absorption – filtering water through a maze of twists and turns as powerful ionic magnetic molecules draw out and bind to harmful contaminants.
- Removes over 365 different contaminants: Clearly Filtered’s unique dual-technology approach is able to remove a whopping 99.9% of over 365 different contaminants – locking them up tight and keeping them out of your water for good.
- Extensive, easy-to-access performance data: Clearly Filtered doesn’t just claim to have spectacular filtration results – they have the science to back it up. With extensive testing performed and verified by independent EPA-accredited laboratories at levels exceeding NSF standards, you can clearly see just how well their water filters perform.
- Made in the U.S.A with a lifetime warranty: All of Clearly Filtered’s products are proudly made in the U.S.A with the highest quality medical-grade materials. In fact, Clearly Filtered stands behind the quality of their products so much that they even offer a lifetime warranty on all of their filtration systems.
- Convenient and all-access filtrations systems: Clearly Filtered has a wide range of convenient, easy-to-use products to match your needs and your budget. They offer water bottles, pitchers, under-the-sink filtration systems, and even an in-line fridge filter system.
- Subscription-based filter replacements: Swapping out worn-out, toxin-filled filters is key to keeping your water pure and clean. Clearly Filtered makes it almost effortless to regularly replace your filters. With a discounted subscription-based filter replacement program, you can essentially “set it and forget it” – with fresh new filters showing up on your doorstep as often as you need.
Clearly Filtered is on a mission to provide people with the tools to take control of their water and live healthier lives. Their filtration system offers unparalleled water quality – delivering pure, clean, and fresh-tasting water on demand. If you’re ready to experience Clearly Filtered’s next-level water purification system for yourself, you can click here to explore their entire line of products.
Don’t Settle for Anything Less Than the Best
When it comes to creating a healthy lifestyle and attempting to avoid toxins in our increasingly toxic world, it can feel overwhelming to say the very least. But there are some lifestyle tweaks that simply have more bang for their buck when it comes to the impact they have on your health. And ensuring the water you’re drinking on a daily basis is pure, clean, and free of health-harming toxins is one of the most potent health-supporting choices you can make.
Water is vital to nearly every aspect of our well-being – so when it comes to the water you’re putting in your body, don’t settle for anything less than the best. I only recommend products I personally use and truly believe in. So if you’re ready to uplevel your drinking water, I encourage you to head over and learn more about Clearly Filtered’s incredible water filtration systems.
And if you’re looking for more tips, tricks, and lifestyle tweaks that pack a powerful punch when it comes to up-leveling your health, head over and browse through my blog – it’s full of hundreds of articles written to arm you with the knowledge you need to protect and optimize your well-being. And if you want to take it even deeper, you can sign up for my weekly newsletter to get my best advice and resources delivered straight to your inbox. All you have to do is enter your name and email address in the form below!
Now it’s time to hear from you. Have you ever felt overwhelmed when it came to choosing a water filtration system? Have you tried and loved Clearly Filtered’s water filtration system? Leave your questions and thoughts in the comments below!
- Drinking Water Contaminants (epa.gov)
- Drinking Water Concerns | Wisconsin Department of Health Services
- Unsafe levels of toxic chemicals found in drinking water of 33 states – Harvard Gazette
- All drinking water should be filtered to remove toxins | The BMJ
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product mentioned in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is not intended to replace any recommendations or relationship with your physician. Please review references sited at end of article for scientific support of any claims made.
Hi Dr. Jill! Thanks so much for your helpful articles. Do you have any recommendations for shower and bath water filters? Also, do you recommend whole house water filtration systems — I’ve ready mixed reviews about these? I’m moving into a newly constructed home and am debating getting shower/bath filters vs. a whole house water filtration system that would also filter water for the laundry and dishwasher machines (+ also having a separate filter system for drinking water). Thank you.
AquaBliss makes a heavy duty shower filter that works well
Hi Dr Carnahan- i would love to know what you recommend for a full home water filratration brand?
Yes, unfortunately the only whole house filters that I am aware of use RO (reverse osmosis) which also depletes minerals from the water
Radiant Life filters were recommended by a colleague for whole house
My current under sink system is RO as well. So a whole home system isn’t recommended?
My Vet wants me to use Berkey filtration system for my dogs but it’s so huge. I’m glad to see something that is smaller, for the dogs and the humans in the house.
Yes, berkey is great too but I love Clearly filtered!
Thank you for this article Dr Carnahan. Overwhelmed is an understatement. We use reverse osmosis water in 5 gallon bottles that we go and get. We live in Michigan and well, everyone knows about the Flint water. We don’t live in Flint but I don’t trust any tap water. We do add the trace minerals in but I feel like we are missing something. We drink a lot of water but still have dry skin, hair and nails. I have tried to read about the different brands that say they are the best and also read the reviews and still come up stumped. It could become a full-time job! lol There is a guy that also did research for one of the big water systems that seems pretty popular and one of the things he brought up was the testing. He also had the water tested himself? And still found fluoride and other things that should be filtered out. (especially for the price!) Like the rest of the world, what do you believe? I did not read about Clearly Filtered but I will now. I appreciate all your information. Oh how I wish I lived closer to your office. Thank you again!
I think I read last year that you recommended the Berkey filtration device. Well, I finally bought one a few weeks ago. Do you think it is OK, or do I need to switch to this one that you are recommending here?
I recommend both — Berkey is great!
Which whole house system is the best . I have been looking at environmental water systems out of Las Vegas
Great question, Kathleen – the only whole house filters I know use RO (reverse osmosis) technology which also eliminates minerals from water however Radiant Life filters were recommended by a colleague for whole house
Radiant Life filters were recommended by a colleague for whole house
I’ve seen aqua sana and pentair among others. Not sure if there is a better one.
Thank you for this article and all your articles Dr Carnahan.
We have been looking to switch from RO and reading about the different water filtration companies. Trying to sift through it all can be a full time job! LOL I noticed on the Clearly Filtered website that only the pitcher filters out the microplastics? I really wanted to purchase the under the sink unit but after reading your articles on microplastics I am now wondering if the pitcher is the better choice? I also put my zip code in to find out what sketchy things are in our water but they don’t specify microplastics.
If you are able to offer your opinion I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks Maureen! I absolutely love my Clearly Filtered pitcher but if you totally want to avoid plastic, you might consider Berkey water