Home Blog Home and Wellness How Long Does A Brita Water Filter Last?

How Long Does A Brita Water Filter Last?

by Dr. Jonathan Doyle - Updated May 10, 2024
The lifespan of a Brita water filter depends on the quality of the filter, what type of water passes through, and how much water goes through it. A water filter is a simple and efficient filtration system used in pitchers and under-sink water filters , It absorbs decontaminants, including heavy metals, chlorine, chemicals, tastes, and foul odors.
The three common types of Brita water filters are the basic/standard type, the stream filter, and the long-last filter. Each of these comes with its longevity span, with the Long-last filter having the longest efficacy. In the following paragraphs, we detail how often you should change each of these, based on an estimate that your household consumes about eleven glasses of water per day.
If you are looking for a reverse osmosis water filter , the newly launched Waterdrop X Series RO System could be your best choice.

How Often Should You Change Your Brita Water Filter?

Based on the three types of Brita filters, the list below shows how long you should use one before replacing it.

The Basic/Standard Brita filter

This is the most common Brita filter, usually identified as the “white ones.” They’re used in pitchers, faucets, and dispensers, having the capacity to remove foul odor and bad taste. Regarding its efficacy period, you should change this filter every two months or after using 40 gallons of water. You can get this standard Brita Maxtra filter for pitchers to start your clean water journey with Brita.
a water pitcher and a glass

The Stream Filters

These are designed specifically for the dispensers and pitchers, with mechanisms to deliver filtered water faster. Compared to the standard water filter for Brita pitcher, these are referred to as the “gray ones.” They have a similar lifespan to the standard/basic filters, with an efficacy period of two months or 40 gallons of water.

Long-last Filters

These Brita filters use pleated filter technology to ensure they last longer and have better filtration efficacy by covering a larger surface area of water. Long-last filters are also called the “elite or blue ones” and have a lifespan of six months. This means they can filter about 120 gallons of water.
You can find the Brita water filter replacement on Waterdrop at affordable prices. For example, if you’d rather have one for your faucet, too, the Brita Faucet 36311 water filter is your best bet. You’ll find a variety of other Brita water filter replacements at the best prices on the site, too.
dirty water vs clean water

How Do Brita Water Filters Work?

Brita filters use granulated activated carbon or carbon block to remove impurities, odor, and taste from your tap water. The granulated activated carbon comes from crushed carbon, which is subjected to oxygen treatment that opens pores in the carbon. It provides the carbon with a large surface area to absorb impurities from water. Our Waterdrop replacement for Brita Maxtra+ uses granulated activated carbon made from Sri Lankan organic coconut shells.
The carbon block filters are used to remove smaller impurities that may escape the granulated activated carbon. Carbon block filters are made from the fusion of carbon particles with high pressure to form a solid block. Not many filters use the carbon block filter compared to the granulated carbon. However, the block can remove more impurities and tend to be costlier than the granulated carbon.
carbon block filters

Factors That Affect the Lifespan of Brita Water Filters

Although these filters have marked lifespans, several factors can make them shorter or longer. These are highlighted and detailed in the list below.

The Quality of Water

The kind of water that passes through your filter has a major impact on how quickly saturated your filter becomes. For instance, heavily contaminated water with impurities such as heavy metals, chlorine, sediment, and chemicals will necessitate changing your filter frequently. On the other hand, if your tap water has little to no impurities, it can prolong the lifespan of your filter for just a bit longer.
Check your tap water quality on Waterdrop with the EWG Tap Water Database .

The Type of Water

You either have hard or soft water running through your tap, which also exerts its effect on your Brita filter. Hard water will require changing your filter frequently as it comes with a higher level of magnesium and calcium. These mineral deposits will also saturate your filter quicker and reduce the lifespan of your filter.

Usage Frequency

The lifespans of most filters are estimated on the assumption that the household drinks 11 glasses of water per day. However, if the household uses water at a higher frequency, the lifespan of the Brita filter can be significantly reduced.

Filter Maintenance

You can maintain your Brita filter to meet its expected lifespan by rinsing the filter with cold water. Also, if you’re using a dispenser or pitcher, ensure that they are always clean. Usually, these filters for faucets and under-sinks come with a maintenance guide from the manufacturer that you should follow for optimum efficacy and longevity.
new water filters

Lifespan Monitoring and Replacement

Some of the pitchers and dispensers have an inbuilt indicator to tell when your filter needs a replacement. These come in the form of stickers and electronic indicators that are quite essential in how you monitor and use the filters. You can also determine the time for replacement from changes in odor and taste in your water.

How To Change Your Brita Filter?

The steps to change your Brita filter, regardless of the type, are easy and can be executed in a few minutes. If you’re changing the standard Brita, you can look up Brita water filter near me on your search engine to make a purchase. Once acquired, follow through with the steps listed below.
  • Take out the old Brita filter from your pitcher or dispenser.
  • Flush the new replacement with cold water for about 15 seconds.
  • Put the filter into the pitcher so that the groove in the filter aligns perfectly with the ridge.
  • Fill the pitcher with cold water to give you filtered water.
  • It’s advisable to discard the first three full pitchers of water as they may contain carbon dust.
  • You can drink the water from your pitcher on your fourth fill.
If you’re changing a Brita steam filter, the process is quite similar but with a few extra steps. For instance, after rinsing the new filter, you’ll need to fit the filter into a cage such that the blue ring faces up. To do so, you’ll need to press it down till you hear a click sound. Also, there’ll be a need to fit the filter cage into the lid with one good twist. Fill your pitcher with water and use it at will. Lastly, you only need to put the Long-last filter in place without even rinsing it before you start using it.

How Unsafe Is Using an Old Brita Filter?

If you’re using a Brita filter that’s past its assigned lifespan, you’ll be doing yourself more harm than without a filter at all. This is because, in addition to the impurities you’re trying to get rid of, an old Brita filter will grow bacteria and add to it. It’s been reported that colonies of bacteria that grow in old filters are ten thousand times as many as those in ordinary tap water. Hence, it’s not enough to change filters; you should also remember to clean them occasionally before expiration.

Can Brita Filters Be Recycled?

With the short lifespan of these Brita filters, one could use up to five replacements in a year. As such, Brita came up with the initiative for users to recycle their old filters. This is in partnership with TerraCycle , an organization that collects your Brita waste and recycles them in an eco-friendly manner. They collect all the types of Brita filters, including the ones for pitchers, dispensers, and faucets.
The recycling program is also gamified so that participants who recycle their Brita filters are awarded Brita reward points. These points can be redeemed in the form of a donation to a charity, non-school, or any of your preferred non-profit organizations. To become a participant, you’ll need to fill out a request form on the Brita recycling page. They’ll send you a prepaid label, after which you can pack your Brita waste of five pounds minimum and send it off.


At Waterdrop, you get the best selection of water filter for Brita pitcher at competitive prices. These filters are NSF 42 & 372 certified and have been reviewed first-hand by customers. Remember to change your filters regularly so you and your family can enjoy pure water all the time.


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