Is SteriPEN a filter?

SteriPEN FitsAll Filter

We are often asked the question, “Is SteriPEN a filter?” The answer is no. Unlike filters, SteriPEN does not remove anything from the water. Instead, SteriPEN’s UV lamp renders microorganisms that could cause illness harmless (like viruses, giardia, and cryptosporidium). However, SteriPEN offers filter accessories for pre-treating water which is sometimes needed for effective purification.

If you’re purifying clear water with UV light, pre-filtering isn’t necessary, but if you’re water has debris and floaties, we recommend running it through a filter before UV treatment. SteriPEN Pre-Filter and FitsAll Filter accessories are designed to be used with SteriPEN water purifiers. We you don’t have a SteriPEN filter available, you can run the water through a coffee filter — we’ve even heard of people running water through a t-shirt to remove debris.

Below are some answers to questions we’re often asked about SteriPEN filters.

What is the purpose of SteriPEN filters?

SteriPEN filters provide a convenient and economical filtering device to complement our UV water purification technology. We want SteriPEN to work with a variety of water bottles and SteriPEN Pre-Filter and FitsAll Filter meet that expectation. Both do a great job of filtering water at a rate of about 30 seconds for 1 liter of water.

What is the exact size of the mesh filter in your filter cartridge?

The filter cartridge used in the Pre-Filter and FitsAll Filter filters out particulates using a 40×40 micron size nylon mesh filter. SteriPEN Pre-Filter and FitsAll Filter are not intended for microbial removal. There are several mentions of incorrect micron mesh size on YouTube and digital versions of old product manuals on the Internet so we would like to clearly state again, the size of the nylon mesh is 40 microns. The filter cartridge is durable and is easily cleaned for repeated use. If the filter cartridge becomes damaged, a SteriPEN Replacement Cartridge can be purchased separately.

How should I clean my SteriPEN filter?

Both the SteriPEN Pre-Filter and SteriPEN FitsAll Filter should be cleaned periodically in a soapy water, like dish detergent, and both are safe for the top shelf of a dishwasher.

Which filter works with which bottle?

SteriPEN FitsAll Filter works with virtually any bottle due to its funnel-shape and the SteriPEN Pre-Filter screws onto most wide-mouth water bottles, such as Nalgene 1-liter bottles.  With both models you can filter 1 liter of water in about 30 seconds. There are two ways to treat water with a SteriPEN filter: immersive & pour-through. The videos below demonstrate the two methods. Below is a table to help illustrate what works with what.

Filter ModelSteriPEN FitsAll Filter

SteriPEN Pre-Filter

Water Bottle CompatibilityVirtually any bottleNalgene-type wide-mouth water bottles
SteriPEN Model CompatibilityKeep on bottle when using SteriPEN Classic 3, SteriPEN Ultra or SteriPEN Aqua.

Remove from bottle before using SteriPEN Adventurer Opti or SteriPEN Freedom
Keep on bottle when using SteriPEN Classic 3, SteriPEN Ultra or SteriPEN Aqua.

Remove from bottle before using SteriPEN Adventurer Opti or SteriPEN Freedom
Included with SteriPEN ModelsNoneSteriPEN Classic 3


Still have questions about SteriPEN filter accessories?

Visit SteriPEN FitsAll Filter and SteriPEN Pre-Filter product pages and click on the blue, Ask A Question link to submit your question.

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