Most filters will make your water taste better. The best way to tell whether they also get rid of the contaminants you’re concerned about is to check their certification with NSF International (formerly the National Sanitation Foundation). That’s easier said than done.
The NSF’s website is difficult to navigate. So we’ve compiled a list showing whether some widely available filters remove four contaminants— lead, arsenic, MTBE, and VOCs. (VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, include disinfection byproducts and some pesticides and industrial pollutants.)
Of course, these and other filters also remove other contaminants. (For example, the Brita pitcher removes mercury, cadmium, and copper.) For a complete list of what each filter is certified to remove, try info.nsf.org/Certified/DWTU. For more information on water filters by brand and model, see the ratings on the Consumer Reports website (available to subscribers).
Keep in mind that many brands use the same filter in more than one model.
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