Your health comes above everything else, and one of the major causes of diseases and sicknesses is unclean water. If the water in your home is contaminated even to a small degree, you should consider investing in a water filter.
Water filters come in all shapes and sizes, which can be confusing. A decade back there were only one kind, but now there are at least 5 different types of water filters for single faucets. Depending on the level of contamination, a water filter system can cost you anywhere from $50 all the way to several hundred.
It is up to you to decide how much you need a water filter, but when it comes to buying the best ones and understanding their types, this article has you covered.
Best Water Filters Reviewed
There are several different types of water filters you can choose from. Each one behaves very differently and caters to a specific requirement. Understanding what each type of water filter does is difficult enough, but knowing which one to buy in a specific type is an even bigger headache.
For this reason, we’ve selected the best water filter for each type. These include pitchers, large reverse osmosis filters, undercounter filters, and countertop water filters.
To help you understand what each type does and which one is the best for you, we’ve also incorporated a detailed buyer’s guide and FAQs section after the reviews.
iSpring RCC7 WQA Reverse Osmosis Filter
Best Water Treatment Solution
The iSpring RCC7 is a powerful reverse osmosis filter that gets rid of 98% of all contaminants in your water. This filter is easy to install and works more efficiently than other reverse osmosis filters with a waste water to filtered water ratio of 3:1 compared to the normal 5:1. It is a great solution if you need serious water filtration to get rid of multiple contaminants.
The iSpring RCC7 is the best solution for anyone looking to get the cleanest water out there. Reverse Osmosis filters provide the best filtration, and we believe the iSpring RCC7 tops the list.
High Capacity Undercounter Filter
The CuZn UC-200 is a powerful undercounter water filter that has an incredibly high capacity of 50,000 gallons of water. This allows it to last up to 5 years. It is capable of removing all major contaminants and pathogens from your water and prevents any kind of bacterial growth within the filter due to its design.
If you have enough space under the sink, there aren’t many better options than the CuZn UC-200.
Mavea Elemaris – Best Water Filter Pitcher
Most people love the Brita Grand Pitcher water filter pitcher, and while it’s great in its function initially, it tends to suffer severely from durability problems.
When it comes to design and performance, the Mavea Elemaris is king. This is because of its smart design and the use of appropriate materials for their innovative filters. Each filter of the Elemaris can filter 40 gallons of water. That’s a lot less than what other pitchers offer, but the efficiency and design of this water filter pitcher is what makes it worth it.
A replacement filter of the Elemaris costs only $8, less than half of what you’re expected to pay for other companies. Additionally, the Elemaris is certified to remove more of the NSF-53 crud than its competitors.
The design of the Elemaris is its biggest selling point. There are a minimal number of parts that need to be removed or moved when pouring in water, which greatly increases the pitcher’s durability. A single spring-loaded cap behaves like a doggy door when you pour in water, eliminating the need to remove anything.
- Excellent design
- Very durable
- Filter doesn’t require pre-soaking
- Poor filter life
Culligan FM-25 – Best Faucet Mount Filter
Elegant, small, and made out of metal, the Culligan FM-25 attaches to your faucet and filters out waste from the water. It is our favorite faucet-mount water filter because of its (relatively) compact size and steel construction.
The filter has a lifetime of 200 gallons of water, and the filter replacement price is around $7. This makes it a cost-effective solution if your water is only mildly contaminated.
Culligan FM-25 feels like a part of the sink due to its size and design. The trigger for the filter is a sturdy metallic pin. You just have to pull it out and wait for the water to flow through. This takes longer than some faucet water filters, but the Culligan has a sturdier built trigger than competition.
Once you turn off the faucet, the filter goes back to unfiltered water. This prevents it from filtering the water when you are using it for cleaning dishes, greatly extending the filter’s life.
- Small footprint
- Very cost-effective
- Robustly built
- Long filter life for a faucet filter
- Only filters out lead, atrazine, and cysts
- Filter trigger system is a little slow
iSpring RCC7 WQA – Best Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
Reverse osmosis is the best technique for removing majority of the contaminants from your water, and there isn’t a better overall reverse osmosis water filter than the iSpring RCC7 WQA.
The entire setup is quite expensive, but it is extremely effective in removing harmful substances from your drinking water. The iSpring RCC7 removes 98% of all chemicals, heavy metals, sediments, cysts, fluoride, and more. There are more than 1,000 contaminants that this water filter is capable of removing.
It uses a five stage reverse osmosis filtering system to perform its operation, and while that looks intimidating, it is actually easy to install. It is a simple DIY project that requires no plumbing expertise. The tank can be positioned horizontally or vertically, and the instructions are clear and easy.
Another thing that makes the iSpring RCC7 the best reverse osmosis water filter is that it produces less waste water than its competitors. Normally the ratio of waste water to filtered water is 5:1 for reverse osmosis filters, but the iSpring RCC7 boasts a much improved ratio of 3:1.
- Easy to install
- Removes most contaminants
- Produces less waste water than competitors
- Works with different types of water
- Tends to filter out essential minerals as well
CuZn UC-200 – Best Under Sink Water Filter
The UC-200 by CuZn is perhaps the highest rated water filter of any type on Amazon. Boasting an incredible 4.8/5 stars with over 350 reviews, the UC-200 is a favorite for anyone looking for an ultra-high capacity under counter water filter.
Yet despite its great performance and high capacity, this water filter doesn’t cost an arm and a leg like some of its competitors. No wonder Amazon reviewers love this beast.
The biggest advantage of this under sink water filter is its easy installation process. There is no additional faucet required, and the filter will connect directly to your sink’s cold water line. The basic components that you’ll need to install the water filter all come in the package.
But perhaps the best feature of this water filter is its incredible capacity. A single filter is capable of producing 50,000 gallons of water! That’s enough for at least 5 years, which means this filter will last more than others.
The UC-200 has a three-stage filtration process that gets rid of microbes, chemicals, and unwanted metals but does not remove essential minerals. It is also bacteriostatic and not susceptible to mold or bacteria growth because it is not a carbon-only filter.
- Easy to install
- Removes most contaminants
- Does not remove essential minerals
- Incredibly high capacity
- Large size may not be suitable for all sinks
CleanWater4Less – Best Countertop Filter
If you don’t have the necessary space under your sink for a larger water filter, a great alternative is to buy a countertop version. Out of all the countertops out there, the CleanWater4Less filtration system is the best because it strikes a perfect balance between affordability and performance.
There are no filter cartridges to replace in this countertop water filter, which means there is no maintenance required. Yet this unit can produce up to a whopping 10,000 gallons of clean water. Depending on the size of your family, this will last you 2 to 3 years.
Installation of the CleanWater4Less countertop water filter is easy. Simply attach the diverter valve directly to your faucet and you’re good to go. The unit comes with adapters that fit most standard faucets, so this is a plumbing version of a plug-and-play device.
The CleanWater4Less filter uses granulated activated carbon for the filtration. This removes most volatile active compounds and potentially harmful chemicals. The unit also reduces heavy metal count and hydrogen sulfide.
- Easy to install
- Removes most contaminants and harmful metals
- Very cost-effective
- Incredibly high capacity
- Does not remove all lead content
There are several different types of water filters available, and all of them have their advantages and disadvantages. Which filtration system you choose should depend on other factors such as the amount of contamination, available space, and amount of water consumption. All these factors are also discussed in this buyer’s guide.
Water Filter Pitchers
Water filter pitchers are convenient if your water is only slightly contaminated and the amount of water consumed is small. They usually contain granulated activated charcoal to remove some contaminants.
They are less expensive than other options but require frequent filling. Additionally, their filters aren’t designed to handle as many gallons as other types. They are ideal for single individuals looking to improve the taste of their water that is only slightly contaminated.
Faucet water filters are an inexpensive yet effective way to treat your drinking or cooking water from a single faucet. These filters are easy to install and attach directly to your faucet. Some models, such as the Culligan FM-25, allow you to easily switch from filtered water to regular tap water.
Faucet filters are similar in performance to pitchers but offer a higher capacity through their filtration system. They are not designed to treat heavily contaminated water.
Reverse Osmosis water filters use a single or series of membranes that remove many contaminants from water. They are usually paired with granulated activated charcoal filters. They are some of the most powerful types of water filters.
However, the semipermeable membrane also rejects a large amount of water in the filtration process. This results in a waste of several gallons of water for every gallon filtered by a reverse osmosis water filter. Reverse osmosis filters also tend to filter out many essential minerals such as calcium and magnesium out of the water.
These types of filters are powerful and ideal for homes with heavily contaminated water. However, because of their inefficiency, many people now prefer undercounter filters.
Undercounter or under sink filters are often multi-stage and send water through a rigorous filtration process. They remove a wide range of contaminants and do so in a manner that is much more efficient than reverse osmosis.
However, they must be installed under the sink. They are often large, which means they won’t always fit in your undercounter space.
Countertop filters are a great option if you don’t have space for large under-sink filters. They work in a similar way to undercounter filters, though they don’t always have the same capacity. These water filters consist of a valve that attaches to your faucet, and the cold tap is routed through a tube to a container that holds the filtration system. You can then use the purified water from the container’s spigot.
They are not as convenient as undercounter filters because they have a separate tap through which the water is used instead of behaving like a bypass.
You can obtain the information regarding the water supply to your home through a CCR or Consumer Confidence Report (also known as a water quality report). EPA requires community water suppliers to provide a CCR to customers every July.
You should contact your local water company for a copy of the CCR. Community water systems providing water to 100,000 or more individuals are obligated to post the CCR only.
The CCR report tells you about the water and its contents in the municipality, giving you an idea of what water filter you should buy. However, the CCR only tells you about the water in your municipality and not what is coming out of your faucet.
If you’re suspicious about your plumbing system, you should get your own water manually tested. This is paramount if your home was built before lead-free pipes were mandated in 1986.
Depending on where you live, you might be able to get your local health department to offer free test kits. If not, you can find test kits at home improvement stores. EPA suggests sending the samples to certified labs, which you can find by contacting EPA.
The space required is an important factor in determining which water filter you should buy. There’s no point in buying an undercounter water filter or a large reverse osmosis system if you do not have the space. You should also keep in mind that you will need regular access to your water filtration system, so it should be in a place that is easily accessible.
How much water you need to have filtered should determine not only which filter you get, but also which type is right for you. The water content is obviously important, but the type of water filter you choose should also be based on how much filtration you need.
There’s no point in investing in a complex water filter if you only need to filter out a few gallons every week and your water isn’t seriously contaminated. In such cases, a water filter pitcher or faucet-mount filter will be ideal.
If you live in a large family though and need adequate filtration for everyone – and if you cook with filtered water as well – you should get a more complex filtration system that can filter large amounts of water for a longer period.
How often should I service my water filter?
All home water treatment equipment will require attention and regular inspection. The frequency of inspection will largely depend on what type of water treatment system you are using and how often.
More often use warrants more regular servicing and inspection even if the water filter has not reached its capacity.
What is the difference between POU and POE systems?
If you want to treat the drinking and cooking water at your sink, you will use a POU or point of use system. All the water filters listed in this article are point of use systems.
A POE or point of entry system is designed to address the water supply to the entire house or building. These systems are installed where the water enters the house. Such systems are mostly used in homes or districts with severely contaminated sources or plumbing.
What are the most extreme measures I can take for waterborne bacteria?
The best way to treat water contaminated with bacteria is UV filtration. UV light destroys certain bacteria and viruses that it comes in contact with. However, this depends on the intensity of the UV light as well as the amount of time the pathogens are exposed to the light. For this reason UV filtration is often done after a few previous filtration processes.
Is distilled water the best filtered water type?
Distilled water is safe to drink, but you may not like the taste of it because almost everyone is used to water with minerals in them. Additionally, desired minerals are important for the body’s function, and distilled water rids of them completely. Because of no minerals, distilled water does not aid in the digestion process, which can in turn increase body acidity.