The remediation of metal and heavy metal contaminants from water ecosystems is a long-standing problem in the field of water management. The development of efficient, cost effective, and environmentally friendly natural polymer-based adsorbents is reported here. Magnetic chitosan (CS) and carboxymethylchitosan (CMC) nanocomposites have been synthesized by a simple one-step chemical coprecipitation method. The nanoparticles were assessed for the removal of Pb2+, Cu2+, and Zn2+ ions from aqueous solution. Kinetic and thermodynamic models were used to describe and understand the adsorption process of the ions onto the nanomaterials. The interactions between the ions and the biopolymer-based composites are reversible, which means that the nanoparticles can be regenerated in weakly acidic or EDTA containing solution without losing their activity and stability for water cleanup applications.