Why Are Refrigerator Water Filters So Expensive? Here’s Why

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You’re here because you just noticed how expensive refrigerator water filters are. I know, it’s crazy!

But really, why are they so expensive? 

Refrigerator water filters are expensive because manufacturing, shipping, and distributing them are costly. Plus, OEM filters are designed to meet strict industry standards for filtration and durability, which drives up the cost.

However, there are cheaper alternatives to OEM filters. Personally, I would never purchase one of those, but some people do. 

In this article, we dive deep into OEM filters to find out why they are so costly and how you can save up to 25% on these filters. We also compare these filters to cheaper options. 

Here’s Why Refrigerator Water Filters Are So Expensive

The cost of refrigerator water filters can be a shocking expense to those unaware of the technology that goes into making them. 

Here’s what makes refrigerator water filters so expensive:

  • The materials used in refrigerator water filters are often of higher quality and require more specialized production processes than other filters, contributing to the cost
  • Additionally, the research and development that goes into creating these filters, including testing and certification, also adds to the overall expense
  • Ultimately, the price reflects its value in ensuring clean and safe drinking water for you and your family

Things to Consider When Buying a Refrigerator Water Filter

A refrigerator water filter is made to eliminate pollutants from tap water, including dirt, chlorine, lead, and other contaminants. So when buying a refrigerator water filter, it’s essential to consider a few things.


The cost of these filters is not just about the physical filter itself but also the technology and materials used in its construction. 

While the price may seem high, it’s crucial to prioritize the health and safety of your family by investing in a high-quality filter that will effectively remove contaminants and provide clean, safe drinking water. 

PSI Range

The filter determines the water flow’s force through the pipes in your refrigerator. For the filter to operate at its best, the PSI range of the fridge must be compatible. The majority of OEMs fit your refrigerator’s range.

Gallon Capacity and the Lifespan of the Filter 

The gallon capacity tells you how many gallons it can clean before needing to be replaced. Most filters have a water capacity of 200 gallons (757 liters). 

However, you should replace the filter every six months, even if you don’t reach the water capacity. 

Many brands offer a subscription on their filters. By subscribing, you can save up to 25% on each filter.

NSF Certification

Ensure the filter has certifications from recognized brands before purchasing it. 

Proper NSF certifications would guarantee that customers buy the right goods by providing the promised services and significantly increasing the water quality. 

Additionally, ensure your chosen brand meets specific standards for removing contaminants from your water.


One major consideration is choosing an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) filter or an aftermarket filter. 

While aftermarket filters may be cheaper, they often lack the same quality standards and may not fit as well in your refrigerator, potentially leading to leaks or reduced filtration.

By taking the time to research and choose the right option for your needs, you can rest assured that you and your family are drinking clean, safe water.

OEM Water Filters Vs. Aftermarket Water Filters

When buying a refrigerator water filter, you’ll be faced with choosing between an OEM filter and an aftermarket filter. 

Both options come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. So let’s take a closer look at each type.

OEM filters are designed and produced by the same company that made your refrigerator. They are made to exact specifications and are guaranteed to fit and work properly in your fridge. 

While OEMs are generally more expensive than aftermarkets, they often offer a higher level of purification, which means they can remove more contaminants from your drinking water.

On the other hand, aftermarket filters are made by third-party manufacturers and are designed to be a cheaper alternative to OEM. 

They are often marketed as “compatible” or “generic” filters and may not be prepared to the same standards as OEM filters. Because they are less expensive, many consumers are tempted to buy them to save money.

While aftermarket filters may seem more cost-effective, they can come with many problems. For example, they may not fit properly in your refrigerator, which can cause leaks and other issues. 

Moreover, they may not be as effective at removing contaminants from your drinking water, which defeats the purpose of using a water filter in the first place.

The decision between OEM and aftermarket filters comes down to your personal preference and budget. 

However, if you’re concerned about the quality of your drinking water and want to ensure that your refrigerator is performing at its best, it’s worth investing in an OEM. 

While they may be more expensive, they offer the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re using a high-quality, appropriately designed filter in your fridge.

Related >> Samsung Refrigerator Water Filter Alternative

Problems Caused By Using Cheap Water Filters

Using a cheap water filter can cause problems with your health or even damage your refrigerator. 

Therefore, choosing one compatible with your fridge model and certified by reputable organizations such as NSF International is essential. 

Here are the problems it can cause: 

Poor Water Flow

Poor water flow can result in slow dispensing of water. This is often due to a low-quality one that clogs easily and doesn’t allow enough water to pass through. High-quality materials are necessary to ensure proper water flow and filtration.

Water Dispenser Malfunctions

The filter might not fit correctly, leading to leaks or damage to the water dispenser mechanism. The filter must be designed to fit your refrigerator perfectly.

Water and Ice Can Have a Bad Taste 

Aftermarket water filters may not be able to effectively remove contaminants leading to unpleasant odors in your water. The best filters use advanced technology to remove contaminants.

Water Leaks

Using cheap filters can cause damage to your refrigerator and may require expensive repairs. High-quality filters can help prevent costly repairs and ensure the longevity of your refrigerator.

Which Water Filters Are the Best for My Refrigerator?

Now that you understand why refrigerator water filters can be expensive, you may wonder which ones are the best. 

The answer to this question will depend on various factors, such as your refrigerator brand, model, and filter type.

When shopping for a new one, you should always check if the filter is compatible with your refrigerator. Some popular refrigerator water filter brands include Samsung, Glacier, Frigidaire, Whirlpool, LG, and GE. 

It’s also important to pay attention to the filter type, which can vary depending on your refrigerator’s make and model. 

For example, some refrigerators use in-line filters, while others use cartridge filters.

If you’re not sure which one to choose, it’s always a good idea to stick with an OEM. While this is more expensive, they are designed to work with your refrigerator and provide the best possible filtration. 

Aftermarket filters may be cheaper, but they can sometimes cause problems such as leaks or decreased water flow.

Related >> What Water Filter Do I Need for My Frigidaire Refrigerator?

The Importance of a Good Refrigerator Water Filter

Choosing the right refrigerator water filter is extremely important when it comes to ensuring the health and safety of your household. 

Despite their relatively high price point, the benefits of using a quality water filter in your refrigerator far outweigh the cost. 

The truth is, these filters are not just your average, run-of-the-mill water filters. They are specially designed to remove contaminants such as lead, chlorine, and bacteria from your drinking water. 

The purification process also improves the taste and smell of your water, making it a pleasure to drink. 

But when we try to save money by purchasing a cheaper, aftermarket water filter for our refrigerator, we risk our health. 

Cheap water filters may not have the same level of filtration capabilities as OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and can even introduce harmful bacteria into your water. This could result in illness or other health problems for you and your family.

It’s essential to remember that refrigerator water filters have a finite lifespan and must be changed every six months, depending on your usage and water quality. 

While the initial cost of a good water filter may seem expensive, the long-term benefits and cost savings make it well worth the investment.

Remember, many brands offer water filter subscriptions where you can save up to 25% of each filter. 

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Niels Joensen is the founder and chief editor at KitchenThrill.com. Niels is a professional painter who runs his own painting company. When not painting he likes to write about home renovation and appliances.