Having an inline water filter means clean, refreshing water at the touch of a button. These easy-to-install filters can connect to your refrigerator’s water line, and many of them can last for almost a year, so you don’t have to worry about constantly replacing them.
However, finding the right filter while factoring in your budget and specific needs can be difficult. I’ve been in your shoes! After going through quite a few filters myself, I now have a list of top picks to save you time, money, and most importantly, your health.
9 Best Inline Water Filter – Reviews
Here are our reviews for the top nine inline filters that will make a great addition to your kitchen or home.
1. Nahla Pure Ultra High Capacity Water Filter
It is highly effective in removing 99.99% of unwanted contaminants in regular tap water. It has leak-proof connections to the cold water line. It is an easy-to-install, high-capacity, low-maintenance filter from a mission-driven company.
Not So Good
This is one of the few inline water filters that will actually filter out 99.99% of the contaminants and odor in your water, including ones that are usually left out by other filters of the same type.
In addition to its efficiency, this filter also lasts a long time and people who use the water that comes out of it to make coffee remark on how much better their coffee tastes and recommend it to their friends, family, and to you!
This filter comes with 30-inch long 3/8-inch tubing with three female-to-female adapters, plus easy-to-follow instructions. Even those without any experience installing filters can expect to finish the job in around 10-15 minutes, especially with the inlets and outlets clearly marked.
The flow is a little slower than some other inline filters, allowing water to be thoroughly filtered. The hose quality is like what you would find in a new washing machine; they are virtually leak-proof.
Can Effectively Filter Any Water
While some inline water filters can only filter a few contaminants in relatively clean water, this one is able to treat both well water and municipal water.
It is great at getting rid of all the odors, sediments, VOCs, and toxic substances in water. While it is not an RO system, it is able to transform water that was previously not drinkable into clear, tasteless water.
Saves a LOT of Money in the Long Term
While this filter is quite expensive, it can be considered a good bargain because of how long it lasts and what it is able to do.
A faucet-mounted filter that needs to be changed every 2-3 months would cost well over $1,000 over three years. This one-time purchase will last 10,000 gallons, saving you money and saving the environment from plastic waste.
2. GE SmartWater Inline Filter System
The value of this filter comes from its affordability, ease of installation, and efficient filtering of most contaminants. NSF and ANSI certification is a crucial plus!
Not So Good
This smart inline filter system from GE is another product success from General Electric, a well-known, trusted company that has been around for over a hundred years. Its emphasis on quality shows through, and this is no exception.
The filter is designed in a way that allows it to attach to existing refrigerator and ice maker water lines without built-in filtration. It provides safe drinking water and clean ice.
“No-Tools” Installation Using the “Twist and Lock” Mechanism
The “twist and lock” mechanism allows anyone to install the filter themselves without any tools. Simply shut off the water supply connected to your fridge and ice maker, cut the tubing, and mount the filter system to the back of your fridge using the provided adhesions.
You can just insert the water line tubing directly into the filter and be finished.
The filter system also comes with a built-in valve that automatically shuts off water while changing the filter so you can avoid making a mess.
Affordable Price for a Great Product
This filtering system is less expensive than the Nahla filter or reverse osmosis; however, it still does a great job in removing impurities and restoring clarity to your drinking water as it removes dirt and particulates.
The fact that it’s also easy to install and lasts for a fairly long time makes it one of the best.
Filters out More Than Most
The water that comes out of this filter is tasteless and clean, free from heavy chemicals, especially chlorine.
The micron rating is 0.5, indicating that extremely small particles often missed by other filters can be removed.
3. Woder Ultra High Capacity Inline Water Filter
This is another affordable option that comes in two sizes of water supply lines and is super easy to install. It also removes a large number of contaminants found in regular tap water.
Not So Good
It does not fit braided hoses. Also, it is not suitable for use with well water or municipal water that has not been properly treated and disinfected.
This Woder water filter is able to filter out 99.9% of the most common contaminants found in regular tap water. However, what makes this filter different is that it leaves naturally occurring minerals, such as calcium, sodium, and potassium in the water.
By selectively filtering substances in water, this filter ensures that the water and ice you get will be great for you. The fact that it comes in two sizes ensures that you have the perfect match no matter the size of your water line.
Selective, High-Performance Filtration
In addition to removing 99.99% of most impurities in tap water, making it among the best filter water you can have, this filter leaves in what’s good. It has all the minerals that you want to find in mineral water, while tasting clean and crisp.
The selective filtering works via a granular formula using six different media in the filter, each with pore sizes ranging from fairly large to nano-sized. The media are blended rather than layered, attracting harmful chemicals while leaving the good minerals alone.
Quick, Easy Installation
This filter is absurdly easy to install. It can be completed in under five minutes. It involves cutting your pre-existing water supply line and fitting the tubes into the inlet and outlet as indicated in the instruction manual.
Some users have said that turning off their old water supply was even harder than the actual installation.
Clean Water Without Compromising Water Pressure
With a flow rate of 3 gpm at 65 psi, it is a smooth-flowing filter that does not require you to wait forever as you fill your cup or coffee pot.
A few users have even connected the filter to a hose to wash their car, and gotten it cleaned with no residue or deposits.
4. Culligan IC-EZ-4 EZ-Change Inline Filtration System
Different levels of filtration means there is a suitable system no matter what your needs are. The filter is also NSF/ANSI Standard approved for TWO standards.
Not So Good
The Culligan IC-EZ-4 EZ-Change Inline Filtration System fits into your refrigerator and ice maker to filter out 99.99% of particulates and toxins included in Standard 42 and Standard 53 of the NSF/ANSI Guidelines.
The system itself lasts for 3,000 gallons, while the cartridge must be replaced every 500 gallons. Installing this filtration system requires a dedicated faucet and may require more effort than previously mentioned inline filters.
Mess-Free Cartridge Replacements via EZ-Change Mechanism
The EZ-Change mechanism is a twist-on, twist-off filter design to make filter replacements super easy.
The quick connect fittings allow you to change to a new filter within a matter of a few moments without making a mess or risking leakages.
Multiple Series Based on Level of Filtration Required
While the most basic filters from the IC-EZ line only remove bad taste and odor, including the aesthetic removal of chlorine taste and odor, the IC-EZ-3 removes sediment, lead, and cysts in addition.
The IC-EZ-4 tops all that off by further removing chloramine tastes and odor, MTBE, VOCs, and mercury. This gives you filtration options depending on your needs.
Install to a Dedicated Faucet
One unfortunate thing about this Culligan filter is the need to install it to a dedicated faucet and its slightly more complicated installation.
A pre-existing opening such as that for a soap dispenser is often needed. Additional steps are required to screw on the filter system below the faucet and to connect the cold water line and supply adapter to the filter. Installation is estimated to take around 30 minutes to an hour.
5. Watts Inline 20,000 Gallon Water Filter
This is one of the most affordable water filters that helps to get rid of odors and tastes in your water. It is relatively easy to install and has the greatest filtration capacity we’ve seen thus far.
Not So Good
It only filters chlorine taste and odors while doing little else to remove other contaminants and chemicals found in drinking water. Definitely not suitable for well or municipal water that has been minimally treated.
The Watts Inline water filter has its seat among the best mainly because it is so affordable and does change the quality of water to a certain degree. The fact that it inhibits bacterial growth means that the filtration system can last 20,000 gallons. Despite being very lightweight, it is still able to function well after five years without breaks or leakages.
Bacteriostatic Properties and Chlorine Filtration
The Watts filtration system is among the best for filtering out chlorine residues, odors, and tastes, as well as remaining free of bacteria.
Even after five years, the system remains clean and delivers great filtration (though mostly just chlorine) due to its Kinetic Degradation Fluxion mechanism. There is not much change in the quality of ice that is produced using this filter.
Great Bargain Price
For the price, this is a good filter that will at least improve the taste of your water. If that is all you are looking for and you’re on a tight budget, this is a great option for you.
However, if chlorine has already been removed from your city water and you’re hoping to turn absolutely undrinkable water into “pure” water, this may not be the right filter for you.
Better Tasting Water
Many people who use this filter note a remarkable change in the way their water tastes. Some point out a “refreshing” taste that does not resemble chemicals.You’ll most likely drink more water with this filter.
6. Culligan IC 1 EZ-Change Inline Icemaker Filtration System
Despite its low price, this filter has received NSF certification and does a little more than just removing the taste and odor of chlorine. It is very easy to replace the cartridges.
Not So Good
This low-priced filter offers considerably high-level filtration that meets NSF standards for chlorine odor and taste removal as well as class III particulates, which are 5-15 microns in size.
The installation, as mentioned previously for the Culligan EZ-change systems, requires a designated faucet and more extensive installation work that may be challenging for those without experience installing a filter. (It’s still simple enough with instructions.)
Better Tasting Water and Ice
This filter is known to do wonders in removing the funny taste in unfiltered water and ice, making it a great choice for those who just want to improve the taste. For simple filtration work, this filter definitely gets the job done and maintains a decent flow rate (0.5 gpm) while at it.
Amazing (Rare) Price
This is one of the most affordable inline filters, but still slightly pricier than the Watts filter considering that the system lasts for only 12 months.
The removal of particles of 5-15 microns also gets rid of additional soil, sediments, algae, and many of the toxic substances that would otherwise remain in your tap water.
Install to a dedicated faucet
The IC-EZ line of filters all need to be installed to a dedicated faucet, meaning it’s less versatile and slightly more difficult to install than other inline filters.
However,, many people have said that installing the system was a “piece of cake”, so you won’t need a plumber to install this system even if you are new to the process.
7. Filtrete Advanced Quick Change Filtration System
It is easy to replace the filter cartridges, and the filter system itself lasts for quite a while. The filter also changes the taste and appearance of ice and drinking water in a way that leaves most people satisfied.
Not So Good
The Filtrate Advanced Quick Change filter is the intermediate in a line of Filtrate filters ranging from basic to maximum (which filters lead in addition to what is filtered by the advanced filter). It is one of the most effective filters that can change the taste and appearance of water significantly, but may not do much on the microscopic level.
While the filter system may take some time to mount against a cabinet wall underneath your sink, cartridge replacement can take place in a flash.
Replace Filter Cartridges with Just a Quarter Twist
Filter cartridges used with the Filtrete basic, advanced, and maximum filter systems can be removed from the filter system with just a quarter twist.
Replacement is required every six months. New cartridges can be inserted into the head bracket and secured with another quarter twist, without needing to turn off the cold water valve.
Filter System Can be Mounted on a Cabinet Wall
In order to install this system, a drill, adjustable wrench, and screwdriver are needed. After clearing the way under the sink, you’ll need to mount the filter system on the wall of your cabinet below your sink. Close the cold water valve and disconnect the water line.
Next, you’ll be installing a supply line, forming a compression assembly on the other side of the tube, attaching that to the shut-off valve, and tightening all connections with a wrench. Not so easy for a beginner, but not impossible, either.
Full-Flow mechanism Lets You Quickly Fill Your Glass with Clean Water
One distinction with this filter is its ability to function in full flow. This means there won’t be any difference between the flow rate before and after the filter is installed.
8. GE GXRTDR Refrigerator/Icemaker Filtration System
Installation is simple and straightforward. The filter is able to improve the taste and quality of your tap water and ice. The filter is of decent quality and low-maintenance.
Not So Good
A simple, low-priced filter that is perfect if you want to get rid of the metallic taste in your ice or improve the taste of your water. With this GE filter, it is important to start off with water that has already been purified and just requires a little aesthetic touch-up to the taste. The filter does have NSF certification for chlorine removal, but will not remove much else.
Simple Economical Design
For its price, this filter works well for removing chlorine odors and taste from the water supply with a noticeable change in both the taste of ice and water.
NSF Class V particulates are removed. Water pressure, at 25-125 psi, works well with most refrigerators and will not cause leaks.
Reduces Metallic Taste in Ice and Water
Like most inline water filters, the filter is good at reducing the metallic taste of water due to its ability to remove the odor and taste of chlorine.
Some users have even said that they taste absolutely nothing in their water and ice after using this filter for a while.
Especially for a product from a well-known company like GE, this filter does a lot for its price. With easy direct installation and the ability to filter for six months, it’s clear why this is still the go-to filter for many users.
9. PureWater Inline Water Filter Kit for Ice Makers
It improves the taste of tap (or even well) water when used to make ice, improving the clarity and taste of ice. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
Not So Good
The PureWater inline water filter kit is solely designed to work with refrigerator ice makers as an addition to further improve water that has already been sanitized, and in most cases, filtered.
Its NSF certification signifies that it will help improve the quality and health benefits of your drinking water to at least some degree. It is not suitable for well water or minimally treated municipal water.
Efficient Removal of Chlorine Odor and Taste
Regular tap water that feeds your refrigerator ice and water dispenser often contains the smell and taste of chlorine.
This filter is able to remove these nasty odors, leaving you with clean, fresh ice cubes that will accent any beverages you add them to. As the filter may last for up to a year, it is quite an economical product to purchase.
Easy Direct Installation
This filter comes with 15 feet of 1/4-inch tubing (water line), a shut-off valve, two 1/4-inch quick-connected water line adapters, and a mounting bracket with screws.
Their assembly often takes no more than 15 minutes, and with free lifetime telephone support, help is always available.
Adequate Filter Life and Capacity
The filter is said to work its best for almost an entire year (1,500 gallons), without any leakages, reductions in flow, or changes in pressure. It is very low-maintenance and can be a great addition to your kitchen fridge.
How to buy A Inline Water Filter
Before getting your new inline water filter, it is important to know what you are looking for, or at least what you are hoping your filter will do.
They usually work great in getting rid of the contaminants in your tap water, and the convenience about them is that they connect to your existing supply line quite easily. Since there are many different kinds of inline filters, here’s a list that will help you narrow down your choices.
Types of Inline Filters
In this review, we’ve actually looked at three different kinds of inline water filters, each with their own pros and cons: charcoal filters, carbon block filters, and granular formula filters, which allow for selective filtration.
Charcoal is a natural material that removes many toxins, including VOCs and chlorine, that pass through the filter. Since charcoal is carbon-based, it attracts carbon-based substances to itself, removing them from your water.
Activated carbon works in a similar way, providing you with water that has been significantly reduced of impurities and chemicals.
Granular formulas use different materials with different-sized pores to trap various compounds and substances as they pass through. However, they also keep certain minerals in the water because these minerals are not attracted to the materials or are too big to cross over.
Measure Your Water Line
It’s important to make sure that the size (diameter) of your water line fits securely into the inlet and outlet of your filter. Most water lines are either 1/8 inch or 3/8 inch in diameter.
You may also buy a male/female adapter, depending on the filter, if you wish to connect a filter that is not compatible to your measurements.
Make sure you are okay with the installation process required to set up your filter. Especially if it is your first time installing an inline water filter, spend some time watching online tutorials on how it is done to understand more about the product you are interested in.
Most companies will also have their own videos to assist with the installation. Most of the filters we mentioned will take at most 30 minutes to install, but be sure about the specifics of installing and maintaining any filter you wish to buy.
The easiest filters to install are those that just require you to cut your pre-existing water line connected to your fridge or faucet and attach them to an inlet and outlet, and then mount the filter on the surface in the cabinet or on the fridge.
Specificities include flow rate, pressure, and even temperature, though you should always connect an inline filter to your cold water line. The flow rate and pressure are important, as a slightly slower flow rate may indicate that the filter is doing its job, while some filters do manage to keep the same pre-installation rate (full flow).
Pressure should be checked periodically to avoid leakages from taking place!
Usage and Requirements
While some inline filters must be installed with a designated faucet, others can be added to your pre-existing water supply line in your kitchen or bathroom faucet so they’re more versatile. They may even be connected to a garden hose so that you can water your plants or wash your car, if you so choose.
Some of the ones we’ve included are also designed to directly fit to your refrigerator cold water supply so you can have clean, refreshing water and ice using the same filter. Very few filters are designed just for ice makers. It’s also important to match your filtration needs with what is available. There is no filter that is going to remove every single contaminant or particle from your water, and that’s not really needed.
Yet, depending on your budget and needs, there are varying degrees of filtration available. The most basic filters are those that only filter the taste and odor of chlorine, a common substance in tap water that has actually been added to help kill off pathogens in the water.
The next step is a filter that meets NSF Standard 42, which additionally removes particles 5-15 microns in size. The best filtration system is one that is able to turn otherwise undrinkable well water into clean water by removing 90% of most contaminants including mercury, lead, and particles 0.5 microns in size.
More on Budgeting
Some companies set their price really low, and then market their product with a nearly impossible filtration capacity or lifetime. While the 20,000-gallon filter we mentioned may actually do what it should, the only thing that it’s designed to do is to remove chlorine odor and taste from your water.
You may be looking for more from your filter, and in some cases a different choice may save you the most money and give you the greatest value. It’s up to you to determine which filter is worth the investment.
The Importance of NSF/ANSI Certification
Only if a filter has received NSF/ANSI certification for a certain standard does it pass an official test for removing the substances included in that standard. Companies often choose to voluntarily submit their products for evaluation, and they receive a certification if they meet the federal requirements.
For example, the two standards most commonly evaluated in filters are Standard 42 and 53. The first is certified if the filter adequately (over 90%) reduces chlorine, including its odor and taste. Standard 53 further accounts for reduction of heavy metals, inorganics, and volatile organic chemicals.
An EPA registration, on the other hand, requires a company to submit evidential data concerning the materials it uses and the claims it is making. The EPA determines if the two match up and if there are acute or chronic health concerns with the product. If it satisfies all of its claims and there are no health concerns, the product can be registered with the EPA.
F A Q
What do inline water filters remove?
Inline water filters often remove contaminants commonly found in drinking water, including sediments and chemicals.
Sediments can be categorized by size (0.5 microns being the smallest of particles removed), while chemicals are either organic compounds such as waste products and soil, inorganic compounds, or elements such as mercury and lead.
In removing these contaminants, these filters also improve the taste and quality of your water.
How do I change inline water filters?
The steps for changing most inline water filters will be similar to the steps used to install them. First, make sure that your water supply is completely off. Place the filter and the connected tubings over a bucket and snap off the tubings.
Connect the water lines to a new filter and remember to flush at least five gallons (unless otherwise specified) of water to get rid of loose charcoal or other residue from the filter. Other filters just require you to change the cartridge periodically until the entire system needs to be replaced.
Do I have to clean my inline water filter?
It is recommended that you throw away your filters after their specified lifetime or after their capacity has been used up. Until then, following the date of installation, you can just let your filter run on its own. You can also clean the outside of your filter if you’d like.
Now you know what goes into choosing the best inline water filters. We’ve chosen the products in our list based on the quality, efficiency, and price of each filter. Each one is sure to provide you with cleaner and clearer water, with some completely changing the way you drink your water.
The Nahla Pure ultra high capacity water filter has everything you need in a water filter. From its high efficiency and easy installation to the scope of harmful substances it can remove from your water, and even its company mission, it’s the filter of your dreams!
If the one-time investment is too much for you, I’d take a look at the GE SmartWater Inline Filter System, which is comparable across many standards and more affordable. Either way, there’s definitely an inline filter out there for you!