When it comes to home water filtration, Brita and Reverse Osmosis are two of the best systems on the market.
When comparing Brita vs. Reverse Osmosis, note that each filter approaches water purification from different angles.
Brita uses a carbon filter that removes chlorine, dirt, bad odor, and other contaminants. On the other hand, reverse osmosis removes most organic material, metals, and nearly all chemicals in your tap water.
Both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses. However, reverse osmosis seems to take the crown in terms of effectiveness. It eliminates almost 99 percent of all contaminants compared to Brita, which only eradicates 80 percent of the same.
While the debate between these two systems escalates, I’m sure you are wondering which can be your best match for your home infiltration needs.
Luckily, we have done all the research for you. This article will dive into the details of both types of filters, their pros and cons, and ultimately help you decide. Keep reading.
Brita vs. Reverse Osmosis
Brita filters work through adsorption. They are usually made of carbon filters. So once water is passed through, contaminants are attracted to the carbon surface and are trapped there until clogging. And once the pores clog, the whole system will ultimately require replacement.
As mentioned above, Brita filters will effectively eliminate contaminants and chemicals like chlorine and completely change the odor and taste of your water. However, they will not filter dissolved metal components in water. These are metals substances like lead and fluoride, which will not be attracted to carbon components in Brita.
So this method will only eliminate 80 percent of impurities leaving behind minerals, nutrients, and metals that may harm human health, especially lead. Yet, despite Brita not eliminating all the contaminants, it has its advantages.
Pros of Brita Filters
- Inexpensive (when compared to reverse osmosis)
- Easy to use
- Easy to replace the filter cartridge
- Filter cartridges last several months on average
Cons of Brita Filters
- Nonexistent TDS Reduction (percentage of total dissolved solids in water)
- No fluoride reduction or removal
Ultimately, Brita will work best if your water infiltration needs are low and you are sure your tap water hardly contains harmful minerals and metals.
Ultimately, it is your go-by choice to eliminate bad odor and unpleasant tastes in your tap water while retaining healthy minerals.
Reverse osmosis uses a semipermeable membrane to remove ions, molecules, and contaminants in water.
In reverse osmosis, an applied pressure is used to overcome osmotic pressure, a colligative property driven by the solvent’s chemical potential differences. The highly concentrated solution is passed via a semi membrane under applied pressure, filtering solute and suspended metal substances leaving a less concentrated solution, which in this case will be pure water.
The result is a solute retained on the pressurized side of the membrane and the pure solvent on the other side. And to be selective enough, this membrane should not allow large molecules or ions through the pores (holes). It should only allow smaller solution components (such as solvent molecules) to pass freely.
All in all, reverse osmosis is a deviation of scientific laws as typically, in the osmosis process, the solvent would naturally move from low concentration (high water potential), through a semipermeable membrane, to a highly concentrated solution(low water potential).
While this method can be your go-by choice due to its effectiveness, you have to keep in mind that this system can also filter crucial minerals from the water, like calcium. But this should be no biggie if you rely on this water for cooking or drinking since you can still re-add these minerals to the solvent at your convenience.
Below are the benefits of reverse osmosis.
- Clean drinking water — removes virtually all dissolved contaminants from tap water, including heavy metals and chemicals.
- Easy to use — connect to your kitchen faucet, and the system does the rest.
- No wastewater — all wastewater is recycled back into the tap.
- Low maintenance — there are few moving parts that can break down; change filters every 2-3 years.
Reverse osmosis also has disadvantages. Below are some of them:
- Expensive. High-quality RO systems will cost you a great deal which may be too expensive for some.
- Slow process. Purifying water with reverse osmosis will take much time and effort. For example, if you have an RO system that can produce up to 50 gallons per day, but you need to purify 100 gallons per day, it may take 2-3 days to make 100 gallons of purified water.
- Requires electricity. Of Course, Reverse Osmosis will only work under electricity.
Following the basic principles of water filtration, Brita and reverse osmosis filters will remove contaminants from your water.
However, here is the key takeaway.
While both systems filter out harmful bacteria, parasites, and chemicals, Brita is not as effective as reverse osmosis systems. Reverse osmosis will typically remove 99 percent of all contaminants, while Brita will only remove 80 percent.
So the only way to ensure you are drinking uncontaminated water is with a reverse osmosis system installed under your sink or countertop.
FAQs on Brita vs. Reverse Osmosis
Which System Is Right for You? Brita or Reverse Osmosis?
It will depend on your infiltration requirements. While Brita is good at removing impurities and contaminants, it can’t remove everything.
In fact, there are many contaminants that Brita filters will not remove from your water supply. So if you want to remove all possible contaminants from your water supply, a reverse osmosis system will be your savior.
In contrast, if you are after an easy-to-use filter that removes chlorine and bad odor, then the Brita filter is the way to go. It is affordable and easy to maintain.
Is Reverse Osmosis Worth the Cost?
Reverse osmosis systems are more costly than other filtration systems. However, their upfront cost is well justified by the superior quality water they produce compared to other filters.
A reverse osmosis system is a great investment for your family’s health. So reverse osmosis is definitely worth your hassle and penny.
Why Reverse Osmosis Water May Not Be Good for Your Health
Drinking Reverse Osmosis water can leach minerals from your body, causing mineral deficiencies.
This could also contribute to potential health concerns, depending on individual factors, including overall diet and other lifestyle factors.
In terms of ease of use, Brita wins, hands down. It is also less expensive and will deliver better-tasting water to your home. The only downside is that you’ll have to replace the filters more often than reverse osmosis, although the price difference should make up for that.
So Brita filter will deliver great-tasting water with little maintenance on your part—all at a much lower price than Reverse Osmosis systems.
However, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if Brita is better than RO or vice versa. It’s about figuring out what will work best for you and your family as you try to maintain your health.
And that’s why it’s recommendable to do your research before finally settling in one of these systems.