Best Countertop Water Filter in 2019 – Top 10 Picks & Buying Guide‎

Best Countertop Water Filter

Whether you live in an area with subpar water, or just want to make sure that the water you are drinking is clean and safe, a countertop water filter is a great solution. Most countertop water filters are easy to install and move around.

Whether you are a college student who moves apartments often, living in a house, or traveling the country in an RV, a countertop water filter can be an asset to your home and a great way to ensure you are drinking safe water no matter where you are.

We have a list of the top countertop water filters as well as a comprehensive buying guide to help make your decision-making process as smooth as possible.

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1. Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter

  • Holds 2¼ gallons of water.
  • The system is portable and 19¼ inches tall and 8½ inches in diameter.
  • It comes with two Black Berkey purification elements.
  • Removes a wide range of contaminants.
  • Gravity fed, no electricity needed.

The Good

This is a low-key water filter that will consistently output clean, good tasting water. It is portable and does not need power to work.

Not So Good

The filter will need to be maintained on a fairly regular basis. The filters will need to be primed and cleaned. The tools needed for maintenance are an added cost.

Overview

This is a gravity-fed water filter that is great for cabins, camping, or even just to supplement water at your house. It has a 2 ¼ gallon capacity. If this is for a trip or a cabin, this should suffice, but if this is your everyday use and you have a family, it might not be enough.

The system is portable and does not need a power source so it is great to use on car trips or in places you may not have access to clean water. Two purification elements are included in the kit, though up to four can be added into the system at a time.

The filter removes 99.999% of viruses, bacteria, inorganic material, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and trihalomethanes. The purification elements are good for up to 6,000 gallons of water so you will not have to replace them often.

The filters will need to be primed. The company offers a primer at an additional cost. Maintaining the filter is key to its success and the flow will slow or even stop if it is not maintained properly. There is a 6-month warranty on the system.

2. APEC Portable Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System

  • Hooks up to a standard faucet.
  • It can output up to 90 gallons per day.
  • It is portable for anywhere with a standard faucet.
  • Uses reverse osmosis to purify water.
  • Four stages of filtration.

The Good

Reverse osmosis is a very effective type of filter. This is easy to set up and maintain and has a good volume output.

Not So Good

This system will only work on a standard faucet, not one that has a hose or anything. It does slow down the flow and will probably need to be hooked and unhooked for dishes.

Overview

This is a reverse osmosis countertop water filter whose installation simply requires being hooked up to your faucet and running the water. This four-step filtration system removes up to 99% of arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, fluoride, copper, lead, and radium.

The filter works great in apartments or homes and can be moved around. It can only be connected to a standard faucet, so if you currently have a faucet with a hose or sprayer, you will need to replace it before using this product.

Reverse osmosis systems do have wastewater, called brine water. This water is not filtered but is great for watering plants, doing dishes, or can just be put down the drain. The filter has a capacity of up to 90 gallons per day which is suitable for a family.

The filter will be slower than just the tap. This will happen with most filtration systems, but especially RO systems. The system works best with water pressure ranging from 40 to 80 psi. It is a great system for families and individuals alike.

3. Countertop Drinking Water Filter – Alkaline

  • It produces alkaline water.
  • For use with a standard faucet.
  • Small and stylish with multiple colors to choose from to match the kitchen.
  • Adds healthy minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium into the water.
  • Easy installation and maintenance.

The Good

This water filter adds minerals to the water and has six different color options to best suit your needs. It is easy to install and maintain.

Not So Good

This system only works with standard faucets. The filter will need to be replaced every few months which is an added expense.

Overview

Alkaline water is becoming very popular because it adds valuable minerals into the water and slightly increases the pH. Purchasing alkaline water is quite expensive and produces a lot of waste so a countertop water filter is a good option.

This water filter simply screws into any standard tap and begins working. It has a five-step filtration process including KDF 55 which reduces or removes bacteria, heavy metals, and microorganisms.

Water will also flow through granular activated carbon which removes or reduces chlorine, chloramine, benzene, and organic chemicals. Alkaline beads and calcite add in magnesium, potassium, and calcium.

The filter media will need to be replaced every few months, depending on usage. The average filter should last about six months before needing to be replaced. Alkaline water is said to reduce fatigue, promote bone health, and support the immune system.

If you independently test your water to ensure the filter is effective, it is important to note that the total dissolved solids (TDS) will not be reduced as the filter adds minerals into the water. In fact, the filter should increase the TDS in your water.  

4. New Wave Enviro 10 Stage Water Filter

  • Ten stages of filtration.
  • The filtration cartridge needs to be replaced about every 1,500 gallons
  • Simple installation that works with standard faucets.
  • Small and unassuming on the countertop.
  • Removes heavy metals, pesticides, chlorine, and more.

The Good

This is an unassuming water filter that attaches to a standard faucet. The filter does not need to be replaced often and when it does it is a simple change.

Not So Good

The system is made of plastic and the housing and has been known to crack. The company tends not to be responsive via phone or email if any issues arise.

Overview

This is a small but effective water filter that simply attaches onto any standard water faucet. The product weighs a mere 8 ounces. It has ten stages of filtration which include micron filters and pads which are great for taking out solid waste and separating different layers of filter media.

KDF-55, a very common filter media, is also used to reduce or remove chlorine and heavy metals. There is a fine mesh that includes coconut shell and granulated activated carbon to remove bad odors and color from the water as well as organic matter like pesticides and herbicides.

Within the filter is an ion exchange resin to reduce lead in the water. When the ten stages work together they will reduce lead, mercury, chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, trihalomethanes, arsenic, PCBs, and organic matter.

The filter cartridge will need to be replaced every 1,500 gallons and is fairly simple to do. Be careful when you do so though because the housing is made of plastic and is vulnerable to cracking. Filter cartridge replacements are an additional cost and no extras come with the filter.

5. CleanWater4Less® Countertop Water Filtration System

  • Filter hooks into any standard faucet.
  • A single-use system that lasts 10,000 gallons.
  • There are five stages of filtration.
  • No replacing filters.
  • he company is responsive to comments or issues.

The Good

The filter is designed to last for about 10,000 gallons. It reduces common contaminants and has five effective stages of filtration.

Not So Good

When your 10,000 gallons are up, the filter is basically useless and will likely need to be thrown out.


Overview

This filter has an interesting design. You will never have to change out cartridges, but once the filter is depleted, the filter is basically useless. The filter itself lasts for 10,000 gallons of water which is up to ten times more than other filters like this.

Not having to change filters every few months saves money and time. Also, you don’t have to remember to change the filter, because it just stays in there. This is a unique system that is an effective filter.

It will remove up to 97% of major contaminants including chlorine, sediment, discoloration, odor, and organics. It uses a five-step filter to clean the water. There are two steps considered “pre-filters” which basically primes the water to go through the filtration by removing solids.

The third stage is activated carbon which will do the work in removing contaminants. Then there is a mesh and micron filter to take out any contaminants that might have gotten through and make sure the water is ready to drink.

It is easy to install this filter. You simply need to hook it up to any standard faucet. It has a flow rate of one gallon per minute which is likely slower than your faucet, but still fairly fast. The company is extremely fast and thorough in responding to concerns.

6. Home Master TMJRF2-BK Jr F2 Sinktop Water Filtration System

  • Small and travel-friendly design.
  • Simple installation that works with standard faucets.
  • Removes up to 93% of major contaminants including fluoride.
  • Filter replacement needed every 500 gallons or 3 months.
  • It comes with a 3-year limited warranty for manufacturer defects.

The Good

There is a nice warranty on this filter and it has a flow rate of one gallon per minute. It is easy to install and travel-friendly as well.

Not So Good

It only removes up to 93% of contaminants and the filter cartridge will need to be replaced fairly often, every 500 gallons or 3 months.

Overview

This is a compact yet effective water filter that is compatible with any standard faucet. It will not fit on faucets that don’t have a removable aerator which is common with many faucets that have hoses. The filter comes in both black and white to best suit your lifestyle.

The installation of the filter is very easy and should take only a few minutes to do, as long as it is being used with the correct type of faucet.

The filter uses coconut shell carbon and activated alumina to filter the water. When the two media work together they will remove up to 93% of fluoride, VOCs, TOCs, chlorine, arsenic, pesticides, herbicides, and more.

The filter cartridge will need to be replaced every three months or 500 gallons, whichever comes first. You will need to remember to do this quarterly to get the best results. Buying the cartridges is an added cost and the system does not come with any extras.

There is a 3-year limited warranty on the system which is an awesome feature to have. Many filters similar to this one do not offer a warranty of any kind. Additionally, the manufacturer is very responsive to questions from customers.

7. Propur Countertop System W/ProOne Filter

  • The filter will last one year before needing to be replaced.
  • It can flow up to one gallon per minute.
  • It will reduce over 200 contaminants including fluoride.
  • It is compatible with standard faucets that have a removable aerator.
  • Quick and simple installation.

The Good

The filter does not have to be replaced often, only once per year. It has a wide range of contaminants that it reduces.

Not So Good

The filter merely reduces the amount of contaminants, and there is no indication of what percentage.

Overview

This is a low-maintenance and thorough water filter that will hook up to any standard faucet. It does not work with faucets with a spray hose or those that do not have a removable aerator.

The flow rate for the filter is up to one gallon per minute depending on the water pressure in your home. The installation for this filter is simple as it attaches right to your faucet. There is no plumbing or complex steps to get this up and running.

The filter has multiple steps and will reduce over 200 different contaminants which include lead, fluoride, heavy metals, VOC’s, herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, micro-organisms, and disinfectants.

The filter media includes granulated activated carbon, one of the most effective filter media on the market. The kit includes the housing, a spout, tubing, the filter itself, a diverter valve, and a male to male adapter.

The filter is said to last about a year before needing to be replaced and is fairly simple to do. The filter cartridges are an additional cost. Propur has great customer service and will respond to questions quickly and thoroughly.

8. iSpring CKC1C Countertop water filter

  • It comes in multiple colors.
  • Has a 1-year warranty and great customer service.
  • The filter should be replaced every 6 to 9 months or 500 gallons.
  • Includes an adapter to fit most faucets.
  • Easy to travel with or move from place to place.

The Good

This is a great filter with different color options, easy installation, a long lifespan, and comes with a great warranty and customer service from the manufacturers.
 

Not So Good

The company isn’t clear on how much the filter reduces or removes contaminants. The connector can be a bit finicky and might take some adjustment to eliminate leaks.

Overview

This filter has a lot of great features. It comes in several different colors including clear, orange, pink, purple, and blue. This means it will match all different kitchen colors and types. It is easy to move and would be great in a home, apartment, RV, cabin, and so much more.

The filter has multiple stages including KDF media, calcite, activated carbon, and dual-layered sediment filtration. This combination of filtration media is proven to be very effective and will consistently provide clean water.

The filter will reduce or remove lead, chlorine, heavy metals, VOCs, arsenic, sediment, iron, asbestos, rust, Giardia, and germs. It will also balance the pH of the water to provide good tasting water with no odor or color coming out of the filter.

You can also purchase a CTO Carbon Block that will fit in the system. The carbon block will remove herbicides, pesticides, industrial chemicals, silt, sediment, rust, sand, odors, and chlorine.

The company provides a 1-year warranty and has very responsive customer service. The option for two different filters based on your needs is a great asset to this filter. Additionally, it comes with an adapter so it will fit most faucets.

9. Ecosoft Countertop Drinking Water Filter

  • The filter cartridge needs to be replaced every 1,500 gallons, approximately every six months.
  • Includes faucet adaptors and a leak-proof seal.
  • It comes with a one year warranty.
  • BPA Free design.
  • Removes a wide range of contaminants.

The Good

The filter is BPA and phthalate-free. It comes in two colors to match different kitchens. A 1-year warranty is included with the system.

Not So Good

The filter needs to be replaced every three to six months or 1,500 gallons which is an added cost and quite often.


Overview

This is a well made and well thought out filter that covers a lot of bases. It is made of food-grade plastic without BPA or phthalates. The company has clearly gone out of its way to ensure the filters themselves are made of quality material.

The filter will remove chlorine, chloramphenicol, rust, lead, odor and taste, and sediment. The filter itself uses activated coconut carbon to reduce and remove contaminants. This is a natural and effective filtration method that is fairly standard.

The kit includes the filter katsina, the activated carbon filter, sealing rings, a wrench, chrome faucet, faucet adaptors, filter base, and tubing. The filter also comes with a one year warranty. If you are a first time user of the product, the company will send you a free filter replacement.

The filter is simple to install and attaches right to your sink. It comes with several faucet adapters so fit a wide range of faucets. The filter will need to be replaced every three to six months or 1,500 gallons, depending on what comes first.

10. DOULTON-W9331032 UltraCarbCountertop Filter System

  • Minimalistic yet functional design.
  • Uses a ceramic microfilter to filter contaminants out of water.
  • Lightweight at 3.1 pounds and compact for space efficiency.
  • Easy to install and maintain.
  • The ceramic filter needs to be replaced every 600 gallons.

The Good

This is a filter that is meant to last a long time. It has a very simple design and is designed for functionality. It is easy to install.

Not So Good

In lieu of replacing the filter cartridge every few months or 600 gallons. It does not remove organic material such as benzene.

Overview

This filter is built to last and is extremely efficient in the removal of contaminants. It uses a ceramic microfilter to remove or reduce a variety of contaminants. This countertop filtration system will work with most standard faucets.

The filter will remove up to 99.99% of bacteria and cysts including E.Coli, cholera, shigella, typhoid, cryptosporidium, and giardia. It will also remove up to 85% of insecticides and herbicides, up to 96% of free chlorine, up to 50% of phenols and trihalomethanes and up to 98.7% of lead. The filter does not remove organic material.

The filter flows at 0.5 gallons per minute so fairly slow for a filter, however, its filtration effectiveness should make up for the speed of the water. The filter should be replaced every 600 gallons which should be about 3 to 6 months with standard usage.

The filter is made up of a ceramic microfilter, carbon block, and lead removal media. It is easy to install and maintain as long as the filter is replaced on time. It weighs only 3.1 pounds and does not take up a lot of space on your countertop.

What To Look For When Buying A Countertop water filter

Buying the best countertop water filter can be overwhelming. There are many different types that have different features. Without doing a lot of research, it can be hard to know what water filter will be best.

There is a massive price range for different water filters that seem to do the same thing. Why is that? And is there really a difference if a filter removes 93% of a contaminant as compared to one that removes 97%?

This buying guide will break down different features and types of filters to help you make the best decision for your needs. Here are a list and explanations of some of the major features of a countertop filtration system that could impact the decision you make.

Filtration Type

There are so many different types of filtration on the market. All of them essentially do the same thing: they clean your water. But they each do it in a slightly different way and have pros and cons. Here is a break down of some of the more common filter types:

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is arguably one of the most effective types of filters around. Usually, an RO system will remove up to 99.99% of nearly all contaminants. That is a huge asset to people who live in an area with truly dirty water.

The downside of an RO system is it wastes a lot of water in the process of filtration. Many people use excess water to water their plants or do dishes. They also tend to be more expensive than a standard filter. For many people, these cons are a small price to pay for clean water.

Gravity-Fed System

A gravity-fed system is very simple and low-maintenance. It is great for camping, cabins, or even your home. The system is basically made up of two stacked chambers with a filtration device in between.

You simply fill the top chamber up with water and the force of gravity will pull the water through the filter and out clean on the other side. It is a very simple way to clean water and does not require a hook-up to a faucet.

The downside of a gravity-fed system is you have to remember to fill the top chamber. Unlike other filters, you cannot just turn on a tap and have the water start filtering. It does require a bit of planning and remembering.

Standard Countertop Tower Filter

The vast majority of the countertop water filters look like small towers. They usually have a plastic or metal housing that holds and protects the filter itself. These filters are simple to hook and unhook from any standard faucet and are very travel-friendly.

While the design for these filters is pretty much the same, the filtration media and filter cartridge lifespan are usually different.

Alkaline Filtration System

Alkaline water has been gaining in popularity in the last few years. An alkaline filtration system will filter water out similar to a standard countertop water filter, but after filtering out contaminants will add essential minerals back into the water.

Alkaline water will generally have a higher pH and usually add minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium back into the water. These filters are usually meant for water that is already very clean and is more of preference by the drinker than a necessity.

Length of Filter Cartridge Life and Cost

Depending on your budget and your lifestyle, the length of the filter cartridge life could have an impact on your decision. If you have a family or are a college student with a very busy life, remembering to change a filter every three months might not be the most realistic.

Most filter cartridges have a time and volume limit. So it might say something such as ‘500 gallons or 6 months, whatever comes first.’ It can be hard to know how many gallons you actually drink or will use the filter for until you actually get it and start drinking the water.

That being said, a single college student or individual will most likely drink or use less filtered water than a family or even those who live with a roommate. If you have several people using the filter, you can expect to be on the larger volume intake side and will likely need to replace the filter more often.

Additionally, replacing filter cartridges can be fairly expensive, though the prices range for different filters. Before purchasing a filter, look into how expensive a replacement cartridge is because you could be purchasing up to four a year.

Doing a quick cost-analysis could be beneficial. A more expensive filter might be more cost-effective in the long run if you only have to replace the filter once a year. For some though, the benefits of a specific filter might outweigh the cost of replacement filters.

Do the Contaminant Removal Percentages Matter?

For some, yes the contaminant removal percentages will play a major part in the decision-making process. If your municipality has fairly clean water such as Chicago, New York, or Denver, then most of the contaminants are already filtered out.

In this case, you probably don’t need a filter that will clean 99% of the contaminants out of the water. If you live in a municipality with clean water, you likely are looking to remove something specific from the water, such as fluoride, which most cities will add to the drinking water.

If you live in a municipality with low-quality drinking water, then you are probably more interested in a filter that will take out a higher percentage of contaminants. Some water in cities has high levels of lead and other potentially dangerous contaminants. In this case, it is important to get as much of it out of the water as possible before consuming it.

If you do not know the status of the drinking water in your municipality, the EPA has some great resources to help you learn and understand more about the drinking water in your area.

FAQs

Why are there so many different types of filters?

Different types of filters and filter media will be most effective in different ways. Some are specific to certain types of contaminants and will remove different percentages of those contaminants.

Why do some cartridges need to be replaced more often than others?

Depending on what the filter is made of, what it filters out, and how it is made can impact how long the filter will last before it needs to be replaced. From this information, manufacturers will recommend a length or volume the filter can handle before needing to be replaced.

My municipal water is fairly clean, do I need a filter?

While you likely do not need a filter, if you are looking for a better taste or to remove any additives your municipality puts in, such as fluoride, you might want to consider a filter.

Why should I get a countertop filter over other types of permanent filters?

A countertop filter is simple to install, usually costs less money, and can be moved easily from place to place. They are ideal for those in apartments or who move a lot; however, are great for houses as well.

Conclusions

Whether you are simply looking for better tasting and cleaner water or need to remove potentially dangerous contaminants from your water, a countertop water filter can be a great solution.

Though there are different types of water filters and different features to go with each, there should be a filter that best fits your needs and works within your lifestyle.

Our top pick is the APEC Portable Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System which will remove nearly all contaminants and provide extremely safe and clean drinking water. It is a system that is easy to install and extremely effective.

Hopefully between the comprehensive buying guide and the recommendations for the top countertop water filter picks, a potentially overwhelming decision has been made more straightforward.

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