Lead Over Heels: 6 Best Water Filters for Lead Removal In 2022 – Reviews and Buying Guide

Lead is one of the most notorious contaminants in our water supply. It damages our bodies and brains in a number of ways and drinking water contaminated with lead can lead to anemia, brain disease, and kidney failure.

And because lead can cross the placental barrier, it prevents a danger to unborn babies if it’s consumed by pregnant women.

But lead wasn’t always famous for its toxicity. In fact, lead pipes weren’t banned until 1986 – and many lead pipes are still used in our water supply today.

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) estimates that 15 to 22 million Americans are drinking water supplied by lead pipes. And from 2014 to 2016, the citizens of Flint, Michigan were exposed to dangerous levels of lead, causing 12 deaths and hundreds of illnesses.

So what can you do about lead in your water? And how can you protect your family from lead, when it's in the pipes that bring water to your home?

The answer: a water filter for lead removal. There are so many filters on the market that target lead, and they are often affordable, accessible, and easy to install. So there’s no good reason not to start filtering lead from your water supply.

Whether you install a whole-house system that stops lead at the source, or a faucet filter that keeps your drinking water fresh and clean, there’s a water filter for lead removal for everyone.

So let’s get lead of heels for the world of lead removal. Here are the best water filters for lead removal of 2022.

The Best Water Filters for Lead Removal in 2022

Lead is a heavy metal, so you’ll need a heavy-duty water filter! Here are the best water filters for lead removal on the market in 2022.

1. SpringWell Lead & Cyst Removal System – Best Whole House Lead Filter

Springwell’s Whole House Lead Removal System targets lead and a lot more, giving you lead-free water across your home. Get 5% OFF! Use Code: DF5OFF

No image available
Pros
  • Removes 99.5% of lead
  • NSF/ANSI 53 and P473 certified
  • 100,000-gallon capacity
  • Removes chlorine and parasites
  • Intuitive filter change light
Cons
  • Costly add-ons required to upgrade the unit
  • High starting price tag

The 0.5-micron filter is NSF/ANSI 53 certified and removes 99.5% of lead from your water supply. It’s also NSF P473 rated to remove compounds from the PFOA and PFOS families, as well as tackling chlorine, chloramine, and a range of parasites.

The filter system targets lead, giving you total peace of mind. And by eliminating a range of other nasty contaminants, you get pure drinking water throughout your home.

This is a whole house lead filter, designed to trap contaminants before they enter your home. That means every shower you take, as well as every glass of tap water, is contaminant-free. With a 100,000-gallon capacity, the filter should last over six months for a family of four.

So you’ll be replacing filters regularly – but fortunately, the intuitive filter change light system means you’ll never forget. Springwell’s Innovative Digital Notification Head monitors your water and flow rate, offering amber and red alerts when it’s time for a change.

Optional extras include large sediment (+5 microns) pre-filtering stage, and RO and UV add-ons. The large sediment filter is an affordable extra that will extend the lifespan of your system – but it seems off that Springwell didn’t include this in the first place, given the already-sizeable price tag.

For whole-house lead systems, installation will always be a challenge. But Springwell includes all the components you need for installation, alongside intrusive videos and guides to save you calling out the plumber.

Springwell’s build quality is backed up with a lifetime guarantee on tanks and valves and a six-month money-back guarantee. Safe as houses.

Get 5% OFF! Use Code: DF5OFF

Bottom Line If whole-house lead-targeted filtering is what you need then a lifetime warranty and 99.5% lead removal make this the perfect choice for a lifetime of lead-free water. View Latest Price on SWW →

2. Waterdrop WD-FC-01 – Best Lead Removing Filter On A Budget

If you’re looking for a water filter for lead removal that doesn’t break the bank – and you wouldn’t mind upgrading the taste of your tap water too – then a faucet filter might be the way to go.

Waterdrop WD-FC-01
Pros
  • 0.5GPM flow rate
  • NSF 42 certification for taste and odor
  • Bypass valve to help you preserve filter lifespan
  • Great value and long life filters
  • Super easy install and filter replacement
Cons
  • No NSF 53 certification

While Waterdrop’s WD-FC-01 isn’t dedicated to lead removal, it does reduce lead alongside chlorine and other chemicals that affect the taste and odor of your water.

The outcome? Deliciously clean-tasting water and the added peace of mind from lead reduction.

Unfortunately, the filter isn’t certified to NSF 53’s standards but there is NSF 42 certification for taste-tampering chemicals. And, being a faucet filter, it’s exceptionally easy to install. Simply add the filter to your existing faucet for pure water by the drop.

Filtration works in two stages – a pre-filter layer tackles the biggest contaminants by size, and then the activated carbon traps nasty contaminants. The filter itself has a 320-gallon capacity and should last up to three months. Filter replacement is as easy as installation – you won’t break a sweat but you will be ready to hydrate.

By preserving a 0.5GPM flow rate, there won’t be a frustrating wait for pure water. And the added bypass valve helps extend your filter’s lifespan: whenever you’re using water for washing dishes or watering plants when purity isn’t a concern, you can bypass the filter at the flick of a switch.

Bottom Line An easy-installation faucet filter that provides pure-tasting water, and added lead reduction capabilities to suit any budget. View Latest Price on Amazon →

3. iSpring WGB32B-PB – Best Three-Stage Filter System For Lead Removal

iSpring's WGB32B-PB features three stages of filtration, one of which is dedicated to lead reduction. This system really packs a punch on a number of levels!

iSpring WGB32B-PB
Pros
  • Dedicated lead filter
  • Additional sediment and activated carbon filtering
  • Long-lasting lead filter
  • Impressive flow rate
  • Easy installation
Cons
  • High price point
  • Requires pre-filtering water softener in hard water areas

We’re here for lead removal, so let’s check out iSprings dedicated lead filter first of all. With a capacity of 150,000 gallons with a lead content of 100ppb (parts per billion) you've got a long-lasting filter – around 9 months for an average small family’s water consumption.

iSpring hasn’t sprung for NSF certification when it comes to lead – but they’re aiming to get it in the future.

Of course, if you live in an area with exceptionally high lead content then mileage will vary – it’s always best to test.

As well as the lead removal filter, you get sediment filtering and an activated carbon stage – each rated to a 100,000-gallon capacity. Bear in mind this could mean three or four filter changes every year, so you’ll have to factor that into your budget.

For whole-house systems, flow rate is exceptionally important – you don’t want your water supply to be choked. iSpring guarantees 15 GPM: enough for multiple showers and faucets, and should be adequate for most homes.

Installation is designed for the average DIY-er and the unit comes with everything you need. And the filters are designed for easy changing, despite the relative frequency.

It’s a powerful system, but naturally, that means it’s a pretty hefty unit. You’ll want to make sure you have space in the basement or utility cupboard as outdoor installation could hurt your system’s lifespan.

Bottom Line A serious filtering system for your whole house with an impressive capacity and a broad spectrum of contaminants removed. If you’re looking for lead removal with added stages then don’t ignore this lean, mean filtering machine. View Latest Price on Amazon →

4. Woder WD-S-8K-ADV-DC – Best For Long Life Filters

Under-sink filter systems offer the best of both worlds – the powerful capacity and tucked-away design of a whole-house system but the easy installation of faucet filters.

IMAGE ATL TEXT
Pros
  • Impressive capacity
  • Dedicated lead filtering
  • Ridiculously easy to install and change filters
  • Powerful flow rate
Cons
  • Lacks NSF certification for lead removal
  • Under-sink design means it’s hard to bypass the filter if needed.

Woder’s WD-S-8K is built for lead removal, giving you peace of mind regardless of your pipes! It also filters an impressive 99.9% of contaminants – including chlorine, VOCs, and compounds that impact taste and odor.

While the system hasn’t been certified to NSF 53 standards for lead removal, anecdotal evidence is pretty compelling: users have reported high lead contents disappearing entirely. If you’re concerned about your city’s pipes or your home’s fixtures, this is complete peace of mind.

And you get great-tasting water to boot. Whether it’s for cooking or coffee, the reduction in chlorine and eradication of that nasty sulfur smell leaves you with pristine water, whatever the use.

Under-sink systems aren’t so easy to bypass, meaning you’ll be using filtered whatever for all kitchen purposes whether that’s washing dishes or mopping the floor – but with an astonishing 8,480-gallon capacity, you’ve got the water to spare. You could go years without changing a filter here.

And when you do, it won’t be a chore. The installation process is as easy as hooking up hoses and filter replacement is aided by automatic shutoff and a fully leak-proof process.

Bottom Line Look no further for seriously long-term filtering. With an affordable price and a great depth of filtering beyond lead-targeting, this is the best under sink option on the market. View Latest Price on Amazon →

5. Watts Premier WP500313 – Best Under-Sink Lead Removal System

Watt’s 2-stage under-sink filtration system offers two layers of defense against contaminants in your water supply.

Watts Premier WP500313
Pros
  • Sediment prefiltering
  • Adequate flow rate from Watts’ bespoke faucet
  • Six-month filter lifespan
  • Easy installation
Cons
  • Lacks NSF certification for lead
  • Requires some hole-drilling in the DIY installation

The first stage is sediment filtration which reduces larger particles like rust and dirt. This stage also prevents these particles from reaching the second filter and damaging it – so you’ve got a product designed for durability. It’s a robust system that should last for years under your sink.

The second filter is a carbon block. The carbon block reduces lead in your water as well as a wide range of other contaminants – over 80, in fact. This is a great all-rounder that hits lead and other unwelcome worries in your water.

Arsenic, asbestos, VOCs, and parasites are all removed by the carbon block, and taste and odor should be improved thanks to chlorine reduction.

The carbon block is specifically formulated to remove lead, but Watts hasn’t got that top-tier NSF 53 validation to certify the reduction. Nevertheless, it’s proven by third-party testing to be effective and reduces an impressively wide range of contaminants.

Under sink lead systems are tucked away nicely, and this two-stager is pretty easy to install, coming with all wall-mounting brackets and parts. But don’t forget you’ll be drilling a hole in your countertop for a new faucet (also included) so come prepared for a day of DIY.

And that faucet guarantees a healthy flow rate of 0.5GPM, so you won’t be waiting around for your purified water!

With a 600-gallon capacity you’ll be replacing your filters around once every six months according to Watts but, I’d guess, it could be more frequent than that for busy households. But it’s an affordable unit and filters don’t cost a fortune when you factor them in.

Bottom Line The two-stage filtering ensures you’ve got a durable, long-life system that’s specifically formulated for lead removal. If you’re looking for an under-sink system with broad-spectrum purification then you can’t look past the Watts Premier WP500313. View Latest Price on Amazon →

6. PUR PLUS FM2500V – Best Faucet-Mounting Filter For Lead Removal

If lead is a concern but so is your bank balance, then $1500 whole-house lead filter systems are pretty off-putting but don’t worry. Here’s a lead-targeting water filter that doesn’t require pockets deeper than the deep blue sea.

PUR PLUS FM2500V
Pros
  • NSF 53 certification
  • Ridiculously easy installation
  • Remineralization for a great taste and healthy water
  • Cheap starting price
Cons
  • Frequent and expensive filter replacements
  • Won’t fit on certain faucets so you may need to replace your faucet too.

PUR’s PLUS Faucet-mounting filter is exceptionally affordable and ridiculously easy to install. What more could you want, if you’re dipping your toes into the world of lead reduction.

PUR has packed activated carbon and ion-exchange technology into a filter that fits in the palm of your head. It’s certified to reduce lead along with 70 other common contaminants.

Then the trademarked Mineral Core technology adds health and flavor-boosting minerals giving you a crisp and tasty finish.

Unlike a lot of lead-removing filters, PUR has opted to go the distance for NSF 53 certification, which gives you some extra peace of mind. There’s also NSF 42 certification on the taste-and-odor side of things.

If you have a compatible faucet then installation literally takes a second – remove your aerator cap and then twist-and-click the PUR filter into place. Replacing the filter is a similarly easy job, which you’ll appreciate as the shorter 100-gallon lifespan will make it a fixture in your life!

Despite the starting low price of the unit, filter replacements add up. The filter makes up the bulk of the original unit’s price, so you’ll feel like you’re splashing out on a new system every few months. Don’t forget you can bypass the filter when purified water isn’t a concern!

But with easy installation and certified lead reduction, I think this faucet-mounting water filter is worth every cent.

Bottom Line Rare NSF 53 certification, easy installation and remineralization make this fancy faucet filter comparable to many larger models. Just don’t forget you’ll be replacing the filters frequently. View Latest Price on Amazon →

Before You Buy: The Buyer's Guide to Choosing Right Water Filters for Lead Removal

Lead is a heavy metal, so you’ll need a heavy-duty water filter! Here’s everything you need to know before you’re ready to make the perfect purchase.

Do I Need A Water Filter For Lead Removal?

With up to 22 million Americans receiving water from lead pipes, there’s a good chance your water supply is contaminated by lead. And even if your water distribution network has been updated, lead can still seep into your water supply from old faucets and fixtures.

You can request a water quality report from your municipality to find out if there’s lead in your water supply, but this won’t take into account your own home’s plumbing system – only the city’s water supply. The number one way to be sure there’s no lead in your drinking water is by installing a water filter that eliminates lead.

Filtration Method

There are a number of filtration methods suited to removing lead from your water supply, giving you a range of choices for your lead removal.

Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Reverse osmosis (RO) filters work by flushing your water through a semipermeable membrane. The membrane allows the molecules of water to pass through but blocks almost every other contaminant. The result is exceptionally pure water – without a trace of lead.

Activated Carbon

Activated carbon filters are exceptionally good at removing bacteria and chemicals from your water supply, but unless they’re adapted for lead they are unlikely to remove it entirely. Because they produce great-tasting purified water they’re a popular choice but they’re not ideal for targeting lead.

KDF-55

KDF filters use a process called oxidation reduction or redox to chemically alter harmful contaminants, rendering them inert and harmless. KDF-55 filters will remove 98% of lead ions in your water, keeping you safe from heavy harm.

Filter System Style

Whole House

Whole house systems are the big daddy of lead removal, and they’re usually designed to target a wide range of contaminants.

Installation is a bigger job and you’ll need basement or utility closet space to install as these units don’t fare too well outside in harsh climates. They can be one-, two-, or three-stage filter systems depending on what you’re looking for, but they come at a cost.

Undersink System

Under-sink systems, also known as under-counter systems, are a bridge between the big boy whole house filters and their little cousins, the faucet filters. Under-sink systems come with their own faucet, so they require a little more installation but they give you a hidden filter system and pure water coming from the faucet.

Faucet Mounts

Faucet water filters are exceptionally easy to install – clicking onto the base of your existing faucet (if compatible). They produce purified water at the source and usually include an activated carbon filter and, sometimes, ion exchange. They’re super affordable and offer an easy option – but thanks to the smaller filters you’ll be replacing them often.

NSF Certification

Because of the dangers posed by lead to you, your family, and even your unborn child’s health, NSF certification is an important piece of documentation.

NSF (the National Science Foundation) has a range of standards for water purification – NSF 53 is the certification that indicates lead removal has been third-party tested and verified. Because of the costs involved in obtaining NSF 53, you won’t find it on every filter – but if you’re a stickler for the paperwork then it’s good to look out for.

Other Contaminants

Most water filter systems can target contaminants beyond lead, removing unpleasant tastes and odors or eradicating potentially deadly viruses and bacteria. Since lead is commonly found in city water, concerns about added fluoride are often a secondary issue. Find a water filter that targets all the contaminants of concern.

Installation

One of the first symptoms of lead poisoning is a killer headache – but installing water filters can be a headache too!

Because we’re dealing with a wide range of styles – from faucet filters to whole-house lead filter systems, installation can differ significantly. If you’re not a DIY type then you might want to look into simplified systems or get ready to splash out on professional installation.

Replacement Filters

When you’re buying a water filter for lead removal, the upfront costs can be a little misleading. Filters have finite lifespans, and whether you’re changing them every three months or once a year, the cost adds up.

Factor replacement filters into your budget – and remember that this long-term maintenance can become a chore. If you’re into hands-off hydration, aim for a maintenance-free model.

Budget

Lastly, budget is always a consideration although we wish it wasn’t. Lead removal water filters can be picked up for under $50, but if you go for all the bells and whistles of a whole house system then you could be looking at upwards of $500. But don’t be put off by premium price tags – there’s a lead-targeting water filter for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions About Water Filters For Lead Removal

The presence of lead in our water supply raises a few questions… So let's get to the bottom of this notorious contaminant!

How Does Lead Get Into Our Water?

Up until the mid-1980s, lead pipes were used for water supplies. As these pipes corrode – a process accelerated by acidic or low-mineral water – they leak lead into our water supply, leading to contaminated water.

But city plumbing isn’t the only way lead can get into your water. Faucets and fixtures in your home may contain lead, and these can be another source of lead in your water.

Why Is Lead Bad For Our Health?

Firstly, our body cannot purge itself of lead, so any lead you consume builds up over time. Lead accumulates in your kidneys, muscles, and brain, as well as crossing the placental barrier and damaging unborn children in the womb. Brain damage and kidney failure are associated with lead poisoning.

Can You Taste Lead In Water?

Lead is an invisible presence in water with no visible signs, and no taste or odor. The only way to tell that there’s lead in your water supply is to test – and the only way to eliminate it is with a lead-targeting water filter system.

Wrapping Up…

The catastrophic effects of lead poisoning on the citizens of Flint, Michigan gave us all pause for thought about our water supply.

The mistakes of the past still ripple into the future – and the widespread use of lead pipes in our water supply is one such ripple.

The best way to protect yourself from lead, whether it’s coming from your city’s plumbing system or your own home’s faucets and fixtures, is a water filter that targets lead.

And getting the lead out of your water doesn’t have to break the bank. We’ve seen water filters for every budget, including the exceptionally affordable Waterdrop WD-FC-01, whose long-life faucet filters reduce the running costs.

And if money’s of no concern, why not spring for a whole-house system like Springwell’s Whole House lead removal system. 99.5% lead reduction and NSF 53 certification are worth paying for, after all.

Lead poisoning can be slow to take effect, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t act fast to find a water filter for lead removal. This article should have given you a lead start in your hunt!


Recommended Reading:

Eric Phillips

Hi, I’m Eric, a Plumber, Home Repair Expert and Chief Editor behind Dripfina. I first became interested in water purification and water safety when I spent a couple of years traveling the world. I not only learned the importance of keeping my own water fresh and pure (yes, sometimes the hard way…) but I also saw how important water is as a resource worldwide. Read more about me...

Leave a Comment