Reviews Appliances & Cookware

Better Taste, Better Water Flow: A Brita Faucet Water Filter Review

It removes dozens of impurities from tap water without excessively restricting the flow, and it’s surprisingly affordable.
The Brita Complete water faucet filter installed on a kitchen faucet for testing drinking water taste and purity.

Photo: Mark Wolfe for Bob Vila

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A 2022 Gallup poll revealed that 57 percent of respondents “worry a great deal” about pollution of drinking water. Thankfully the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which sets and enforces national standards for public drinking water, takes its job seriously. Not only does the EPA set and enforce standards for more than 90 potential drinking water contaminants, but it also sets the water testing schedules and treatment methods that public water systems must follow.

Most American tap water is very safe to drink for average healthy people. The EPA notes, however, “Drinking water can reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants … People with severely weakened immune systems or other specific health conditions, or those concerned about specific contaminants present in local drinking water, may wish to further treat their water at home.”

Those who want to treat their tap water further may want to consider the Brita Complete faucet water filtration system. Brita is probably best known for its popular water filter pitchers, but those with limited countertop or refrigerator space may prefer the space-saving convenience of a faucet-mounted water filter. The Brita Complete faucet water filtration system removes contaminants from tap water as it flows from the faucet.

I tested this product alongside some of the best water faucet filters, including systems from Pur, ZeroWater, Waterdrop, and others. After comparing the purchase price, filtration certifications, filter cartridge longevity, water flow rate, and the taste of the water from 10 similar products, Brita Complete was the clear winner. Here’s why.

Brita Complete Faucet Water Filtration System: At a Glance

A person holding the Brita Complete water faucet filter while twisting its on/off lever.
Photo: Mark Wolfe for Bob Vila

Rating: 8.8/10

SPECS

  • Filter type: Activated carbon
  • Maximum flow rate: 0.5 gallons per minute (GPM)
  • Filter replacement: 100 gallons

PROS

  • National Sanitation Foundation/American National Standards Institute (NSF/ANSI) 42-, 53-, and 401-certified to remove bad tastes and odors, class I particles, and 60 contaminants
  • Fast and easy to set up, and easy-to-change filter cartridges
  • Lightweight faucet-mount filter causes less wear and tear on the faucet
  • Faster flow rate than most of the other water filters we tested
  • Filter cartridge is recyclable for free with TerraCycle

CONS

  • Flow rate is still constricted in the unfiltered position, compared to the flow with no filtration system

Get the Brita faucet water filter at:

What is the Brita Complete faucet water filtration system?

The Brita Complete faucet water filtration system is designed to improve the taste and odor of tap water while eliminating more than 50 contaminants. The plastic filter assembly attaches to the faucet via a female connector that threads onto most standard kitchen faucets after removing the existing aerator assembly. Each replaceable filter cartridge lasts up to 100 gallons.

The budget-friendly Brita sink filter comes equipped with several convenience features. A selector valve allows users to choose filtered water for drinking and cooking, or unfiltered water for cleaning and other uses, thereby preserving filter life. An indicator light on the side of the housing eliminates the need to manually track filter changes. The one I tested featured a shiny chrome finish, but it’s also available in white. This unit is not designed for use with pull-down faucets.

I tested the Brita Complete alongside similar systems from other top brands. This review is based on my own experience installing it, timing the fill rate in my own sink, tasting water samples from before and after filtration, and using it at home for 3 days. I also reviewed the list of contaminants that Brita Complete is certified to remove and compared it to other popular faucet filters. When I compared the overall results to systems offered by Pur, Culligan, ZeroWater, and Waterdrop, Brita Complete offered the best combination of filtering ability, water taste, ease of use, durability, and value.

A person holding the small Brita Complete water faucet filter in their hands prior to installation.
Photo: Mark Wolfe for Bob Vila

Quick Installation

All of the faucet-mounted water filters in the test group featured tool-free installation, so they were all easy to set up and the difference from the easiest to the most difficult was minimal. Setting up the Brita Complete system required the removal of the existing aerator from the faucet. It’s important to note here that the threaded female (internal threads) coupler on the Brita filter requires a threaded male (external threads) end on the faucet. Faucets with internal threading will require an adapter.

Incidentally, all of the tested models were made the same way, and some included adapters, but Brita did not, although one can be purchased. My faucet was ready to receive the coupler, so no adapter was required. I gave it a score of 5 out of 5 for installation because, once I removed my aerator, the filter housing threaded into place with no issues and the grip points on the coupler made it easy to get a snug hand-tightened fit with no leaks. After installing the housing on the faucet, I inserted the filter cartridge and turned on the water to flush the system for a few minutes before proceeding with tests.

Filtration, Flavor, and Flow

The Brita Complete faucet system comes equipped with the Brita FR-200 filter, which carries NSF/ANSI 42, 53, and 401 certifications through third-party lab testing. It removes chlorine taste and smell, class I particles, lead, asbestos, chlordane, toxaphene, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), 50 volatile organic chemicals, and seven emerging compounds/incidental contaminants. My testing conditions included a water pressure of 60 pounds per square inch and a water temperature of up to 140 +/- 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The only filter systems I tested that were certified to remove more contaminants were the Pur faucet filters, which removed 70. I gave Brita Complete a score of 4 out of 5 for filtration.

As for taste, Brita water was better than plain unfiltered tap water, and better than some of the filtered water from other tested systems. It’s tough to describe, other than to say it simply tasted like good, clean water. There was no hint of chemical aftertaste, even first thing in the morning. I gave it a score of 4 out of 5; the best-tasting water from my group test came from the Pur mineral core system, which was only marginally better.

A true standout among its peers, Brita Complete did the best job of providing high-level filtration without restricting flow. To compare the different models, I timed how long it took to fill a 32-ounce water bottle with filtered water. Brita Complete clocked in at 40 seconds. All of the Pur filters took close to, or more than, a full minute. Other brands with fill rates similar to or faster than Brita removed far fewer contaminants.

Simple Maintenance

Affordability and practical operation only matter as far as the filter remains reliable. Although I only tested it for a few days, I was impressed by the sturdy build and easy maintenance of the Brita Complete. The 100 gallons per cartridge working life is comparable to other top performers. The only models with more longevity are either much more expensive or filter far fewer contaminants.

When the time comes to change the filter, it’s a simple matter of pressing a release button, pulling out the old one, and inserting the new one until it clicks in place—the easiest process of all I tested, and good for a 5 out of 5 score. It’s also great that Brita has a process in place to recycle old filter cartridges for free.

Another maintenance aspect that must be considered is the effect of the filtration system on the rest of the plumbing. The Brita Complete faucet filter only weighs 12 ounces when wet, compared to others which weigh as much as 1 pound 7 ounces. The light weight of the Brita model minimizes leverage and should help limit any undue wear and tear on the faucet but may wear a bit more easily over time.

This model also included a durable brass coupler instead of a plastic one like some of the models I tested. Unlike brass, plastic could easily be damaged by cross-threading and compromise the filter’s connection. The combination of easy filter changes and sturdy, lightweight construction earned it a 4 out of 5 for durability.

A person opening the Brita Complete water faucet filter to show its durable internal construction.
Photo: Mark Wolfe for Bob Vila

Is the Brita Complete faucet water filtration system right for you?

The Brita Complete faucet water filtration system sells for about $30 or less, with a three-pack of replacement filters going for under $35. The system is easy to use, saves refrigerator and countertop space, and improves the taste of tap water. Plus, the filter cartridges are recyclable. Better still, it removes more than 50 contaminants, making it one of the best values for tap water purification. Even though the Brita Complete offers many benefits and boasts thousands of 4-plus star reviews, some buyers might be better served by a different option.

If your water is tainted by a specific, known contaminant, it is important to read the performance data sheets associated with the filtration system you are considering. Be sure to select a filtration system that is certified to remove the contaminant(s) in question. The Brita Complete removes a lot of contaminants, but Pur faucet filters remove more. Pur systems are more expensive and fill more slowly than Brita, but for specific contaminants, Pur may be the better choice.

Another consideration is the physical configuration of your kitchen sink. I found that my straight faucet and standard sink became somewhat cluttered after adding the faucet filter. This may not be a problem for those who seldom cook and rely heavily on the dishwasher. But when it comes to traditional kitchen work, the sink filter may get in the way. A high-arc faucet would work better. Other options might include an under-the-sink filtration system, which is more difficult to install and maintain, or an easy-to-use Brita pitcher that requires countertop or refrigerator space.

However, if you prefer a faucet filter that removes dozens of contaminants and flows well, the Brita Complete is a great option that’s tough to beat.

Where to Buy the Brita Complete Faucet Water Filter

Get the Brita faucet water filter at:

Meet the Tester

Mark Wolfe is a writer with an extensive background in the green industry and an avid DIYer who lives in a 50-year-old home. When he isn’t writing, he spends his time upgrading, repairing, and replacing anything and everything in his home, yard, and garden. He tests and writes reviews about hand tools, lawn care and home repair products, and outdoor living goods.

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