Should You Buy OEM Refrigerator Water Filters From Your Fridge Manufacturer?

Should You Buy OEM Refrigerator Water Filters From Your Fridge Manufacturer?

As much as the original manufacturers would like to make you believe that you only need to buy OEMs, that is not always the case. Apart from being equally effective, aftermarket filters cost way less than OEM.

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Are you confused between an OEM and an Aftermarket Refrigerator Water Filters? With thorough research and accurate information, here is a detailed article to help you understand the distinction between them. 

The manufacturer is the main difference between an OEM and Aftermarket Refrigerator Water Filter. When a product is labeled as factory original or OEM, understand that it has been made or officially authorized by the same company that manufactures the original refrigerator water filter.  



On the other hand, an aftermarket product is manufactured by a third party and designed to almost replicate or replace the factory original. This generic product is also priced competitively and usually costs less than the genuine ones. Moreover, the aftermarket refrigerator water filters offer the same or sometimes better quality than the OEM filters. 

Differences Between OEM and Aftermarket Refrigerator Water Filters

When deciding between OEM and Aftermarket Refrigerator Water Filters and which one you should buy, you must know what they are. Here is a quick guide on OEM and Aftermarket Refrigerator Water Filters.

What Is An OEM Water Filter?

OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. These are the filters designed by the same brand or company that made the refrigerator. More often than not, a separate manufacturing plant under the original company directly sells manufactured parts to customers. These parts are specifically built for their models, and the quality resembles that of the originally installed water filter in the refrigerator.

What Is An Aftermarket Water Filter?

In this case, the original company is not the only manufacturer of their refrigerator water filters. You can purchase a similar filter for your fridge from a different manufacturer too, known as ‘Aftermarket water filters.’ You will notice that the specifications on aftermarket water filters are similar to OEM products. 

Ideally, they fit and work equally well in your refrigerators. Some companies manufacture these replacement filters with the same or higher quality material, which you can sometimes grab at much better prices. Some aftermarket filters are also known as generic water filters, as they can fit several different models of refrigerators. 


Pros And Cons Of OEM Water Filters

Let's talk about the pros and cons of OEM water filters that you should consider before buying. 


  • As they are manufactured by the same company as the refrigerator, customers tend to trust them more. 


  • OEM filters are expensive and are usually sold at higher prices due to their reputation. One original filter can cost you more than $50.

Pros And Cons Of Aftermarket Water Filters

Let's talk about the pros and cons of aftermarket water filters that you should consider first.


  • More often, you get the same quality as an OEM. Sometimes, even better. 
  • The price of an aftermarket water filter is very low compared to an OEM.
  • An aftermarket water filter is not limited to one model but can be used for many models, including brands that may not even be on the market now.


  • The major con of an aftermarket water filter is that it may not be NSF-certified. This makes their use risky at times.

Is An Aftermarket Water Filter Legal?

Companies like Whirlpool have sued aftermarket water filter sellers for replicating their filters. They believe that aftermarket water filters infringe the patent laws and risk human lives by providing low-quality material. However, a counter-argument was given, stating that buying an aftermarket water filter is not illegal since you had paid the patent owner his share while buying the refrigerator. Furthermore, the law of permissible repair allows you to keep your product working.

Patent Or Not

If the third-party brand owns a patent for manufacturing its product, it will face no issues.

Is It Safe To Buy The Refrigerator Filter From A Third Party?


When it comes to buying an aftermarket water filter, they can be extremely safe. However, here are the following points you must ensure while buying one: Check Whether The Filter Has Passed NSF Certification The best way to ensure safety while buying an aftermarket water filter is to check for an NSF certification. NSF certifications vary depending on what impurities the filter removes. Here are the following NSF certifications that you must look for:
  • NSF42 certification is devised to remove chlorine and impurities to improve the smell and taste. In addition, NSF42 certification ensures raw materials' safety, equipment's high-quality structure, efficient workflow, and effective pressure reduction. This certification includes two types of processing equipment: point-of-entry and point-of-use.
  • NSF53 certification ensures safety from water pollutants like heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides, etc.
  • NSF372 certification is required for products with lead content.
  • NSF401 certification ensures safety from various anti-inflammatory drugs, contraceptives, antibiotics, etc.
What Raw Materials Are Used For The Product? The raw material used in a filter depends on the type of carbon powder required for the activated carbon block. The source of this carbon powder can vary. Coal-based activated carbon is used to reduce costs by some brands; however, coconut shell activated carbon is the best.  It is also crucial to ensure the PP material is used in the filter housing. Using non-pure PP material is also a common practice to reduce costs.

Do You Need to Buy Your Refrigerator Filter from Your Fridge Manufacturer?

As much as the original manufacturers would like to make you believe that you only need to buy OEMs, that is not always the case. Apart from being equally effective, aftermarket filters cost way less than OEM. Why Is Aftermarket Refrigerator Filter Better? Aftermarket filters are better because they are not model-specific. Finding a generic filter that can work with most brands and models is easy. Can The Aftermarket Filter Provide The Same Quality As The Original? Yes. Many aftermarket filters meet NSF53 and NSF42 standards like OEM, making them equally reliable when removing contaminants.

What Is The Difference Between Glacier Fresh And Other Third-Party Brands?

Glacier Fresh uses Sri Lankan coconut shells as their source of activated carbon. These make them super effective and environment-friendly. 

  • Does Glacier Fresh Use Pure PP Material For The Filter Shell Of The Refrigerator?

The purity of PP material makes Glacier Fresh better than other filters. Unfortunately, many manufacturers adulterate their PP material by blending it with calcium carbonate using a plasticizer that harms human health. However, the PP material used in Glacier Fresh is pure. It can be tested by scraping off a little shell and placing it in water. Pure PP material will always float. 

  • Does Glacier Fresh Have NSF Certification?

Yes. Every Glacier Fresh product is released only after it passes the NSF certifications.

  • Do Glacier Fresh's Products Have Their Own Patents?

Yes. Each Glacier Fresh product has its own patent, and you can use them freely.

  • Has Glacier Fresh Served More Than 1 Million US Customers?

Since its beginning in 2016, more than a million US customers have benefited from Glacier Fresh products.

  • What Brands Of Filters Can Glacier Fresh Be Applied To?

Glacier Fresh can be applied to most major brands. However, Glacier Fresh filters are mainly used for LG, GE and Samsung products. This is because the quality of Glacier Fresh filters is at par with OEM filters.


Now you must be aware of the differences between OEM and Aftermarket Refrigerators Water Filters. The major difference lies in the manufacturers. NSF certifications are crucial when it comes to choosing a filter. Depending on the source of carbon powder and PP material used, the quality of Aftermarket Refrigerator Water Filters may vary. That doesn’t mean you need to buy an OEM; you just have to look for the right company. Luckily, Glacier Fresh manufactures high-quality aftermarket refrigerator water filters with great water filtration capacity and provides pleasing healthy water at minimal prices. 


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