OEM vs. Aftermarket Refrigerator Water Filters

It is no secret that there are many types of water filters out in the market. You can find water filters that range from brand-name products to simple household items that can help improve bacteria, chemical, and lead levels. In addition to that, you can even find water filters that only work for one type of contaminants. As a result of all these different options, it is easy to get confused as to which water filter is the best for your personal use. This article will discuss the pros and cons of both OEM and aftermarket refrigerator water filters so you can make an informed decision on which filter will fit your needs best. It also offers a brief breakdown of each type so you know what each product does.


So what are OEM Filters?

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. OEM filters are also referred to as branded filters since they are manufactured by the actual companies who produce the product you are looking to filter. If you have a brand-name refrigerator, chances are that brand has an OEM filter for it. For example, if your product is an LG refrigerator, there is probably a LG OEM water filter available for it. OEM water filters are generally regarded as the highest quality option available on the market and they tend to be more expensive than aftermarket products.


What are Aftermarket Filters?

As the name would suggest, aftermarket filters are filters that are not made by the actual companies who produce the products they filter. Similar to OEM filters, they are also high quality and can be slightly more expensive than their counterpart. However, most aftermarket water filters only work with certain models of products. They are not generally applicable to all different brands of refrigerators, so if you have an aftermarket filter that is not compatible with your product, then you will have to buy a different filter. All this can make it difficult to make an informed decision.


Factors to Consider when Choosing a Refrigerator Water Filter

So how do you make sure you buy the right filter for your needs? Below, we list several factors that you should consider before making an informed decision about which filter to buy:


How Durable is the Product?

Before buying a product such as a water filter, it is important to consider how well it will work over time. OEM filters tend to last much longer than their aftermarket counterparts. The reason for this is that aftermarket products are not always produced using the same techniques and materials as OEM products. This can make them wear down quicker. In some cases, you can even find aftermarket water filters that start leaking or malfunctioning before their warranty has ended. OEM products last longer because they are made from better quality materials and they are put together more carefully.


Are they Easy to Install?

Another factor to consider when buying a water filter is how easy it is to install. This can make a big difference in your overall experience with the product, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process of installing water filters in refrigerators. OEM products are generally easier to install because they are designed with the specific model of refrigerator in mind.

Do they Effectively Remove Contaminants?

When shopping for a water filter, it is also important to look at how effective the product is at removing contaminants. Aftermarket filters are not always the best option when it comes to contamination. If you are trying to filter chemicals or heavy metals out of your water, then OEM filters are ideal. There are even some aftermarket products that claim to filter out many types of contaminants, but these claims are almost always false. This cannot be said for all OEM products.


Similarities of OEM and  Aftermarket Refrigerator Water Filters

Both OEM and Aftermarket filters use O-rings to help keep the water flowing through the filter.

Both OEM filters are designed to fit only specific models of refrigerators.

Aftermarket filters are not always produced using the same materials as OEM filters. This can make them wear down quicker.

They both come with anti-leak valves that ensure the water does not leak when in use.

Both OEM and aftermarket filters do not need to be replaced as often as you would think.

Aftermarket filters are less common than OEM filters.


Differences  between OEM and Aftermarket Refrigerator Water Filters


OEM filters tend to last longer than their aftermarket counterparts, as OEM products are more carefully made and they usually fit more accurately on their model of refrigerator.

Refrigerators designed with aftermarket water filters often fail early due to contamination.


OEM water filters tend to be more expensive than aftermarket filters.

Easy to install

Aftermarket filters are more difficult to install than OEM products.


Aftermarket water filters cannot always filter chemicals and heavy metals out of the water.

Both OEM and aftermarket water filters can sometimes leak or malfunction early on. If that happens, you will need to buy a new filter.

Gallon Capacity

OEM water filters generally hold up to 3 gallons of water whereas aftermarket filters only hold around 2 gallons.

Water Temperature

OEM water filters will usually keep the water warmer than aftermarket filters.

Aftermarket filters are not always effective at filtering out all types of contaminants.


OEM filters are usually produced with a specific model of refrigerator in mind, so they are more compatible than aftermarket products.


Pros Of OEM

OEM products are usually more durable than aftermarket products.

They are easier to install in most cases.

Because they are designed for a particular model of refrigerator, OEM water filters can more effectively filter out heavy metals and chemicals than aftermarket products.

A large number of OEM filters are produced by companies that also manufacture refrigerators, which means that they can get their product into the hands of consumers faster than aftermarket companies. However, some manufacturers make both types of filters, so it is important to make sure you check before you buy.


Cons Of OEM

OEM water filters are more expensive than aftermarket filters in most cases.

They cannot always effectively filter out all contaminants in the water.

OEM water filters tend to be more difficult to find than aftermarket filters.

In some cases, OEM products can have a lower flow rate than aftermarket water filters.


Pros Of Aftermarket Filters

Since aftermarket filters are not always properly produced and can sometimes malfunction early on, you will be able to get a replacement product much quicker than you would with OEM brands.

Since brands of water filters are not always made by the same companies, it is important to check before you buy.

Less expensive than OEM filters in most cases.

More readily available


Cons Of Aftermarket Filters

Aftermarket filters are not as effective at filtering heavy metals and chemicals as OEM products.

Aftermarket products often do not last as long as their OEM counterparts.

It can be difficult to find a well-known, reliable aftermarket brand of water filters.

Aftermarket water filters sometimes leak or malfunction early on. If that happens, you will need to buy a new filter.

Filtered water can sometimes be warmer or colder with aftermarket filters.


So Which Water Filter is Right For You?

You may need to consider the cost of OEM water filters if you are on a budget. However, aftermarket filters usually have lower prices, so there is really no reason to choose the cheaper option when buying water filters for your refrigerator. So which one is better? It all depends on what you are searching for in a product. OEM products last longer and are designed with the model of refrigerator in mind, whereas aftermarket products are less expensive and can sometimes work better.