15 Best Water Filters (Review) In 2021
- 1. ZeroWater 10 Cup Water Filter Pitcher
- 2. Brita 5 Cup Water Filter Pitcher with 1 Spare Filter
- 3. Aquagear BPA Free Water Filter Pitcher
- 4. Clearly Filtered 10 Cup Water Filter Pitcher
- 5. ZeroWater 23 Cup Water Filter Dispenser with Water Quality Meter
- 6. Brita Ultra Max 18 Cup Filtering Dispenser
- 7. Brita UltraSlim 25 Cup Water Filter Dispenser
- 8. Santevia Gravity Water System - Countertop Water Filter
- 9. Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter
- 10. PUR Advanced Chrome Faucet Water Filter
- 11. Brita Chrome Tap Water Filtration System
- 12. Waterdrop 320-Gallon Long-Lasting Water Faucet Filtration System
- 13. iSpring Under Sink 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Filtration System
- 14. APEC Premium Quality 3 Stage Under-Sink Water Filter System
- 15. Frizzlife Under Sink Water Filter System
The Best Water Filter
Water filters are a necessary investment if you live in an area where drinking tap water is not recommended. And if you don’t like the taste of the minerals found in tap water, then a water filter can make it easier to swallow and help you stay hydrated.
However, even if you have decided you want to have filtered water, it is hard to know what the best water filter is for you. Is it a countertop unit, a faucet fitting, an under-the-sink filter, or a simple jug? We have reviewed many of the best options and features available to help you make a decision on which filter to buy. If you are also considering buying a water cooler for your home or office, then take a look at our best water dispensers guide. Many of these also provide filtered, hot or cold water.
Water filtering pitcher
10 cup capacity
Included water quality meter
Five stage filtration
Removes 99.6% of dissolved solids
Certified to remove chromium and lead
Our top choice from the best water filters comes in the shape of a ZeroWater 10 Cup Water Filter Pitcher. As you would expect from a water filter pitcher, this is easy to use, required no set up, and is affordable. What you might not expect from a simple jug is the level of filtration that ZeroWater offers you. This pitcher uses Ion Exchange Technology to remove contaminants and filters water in 5 stages. It is certified to remove lead and chromium and reduce 99.6% of other solids. Depending on the quality of your tap water, you may need to change the filter very regularly.
All you have to do to use the filter system is add water from your tap and it is ready to drink. The added feature of this water filter is the water quality meter, which means you can test the end product at any time. This meter sits at the top of the pitcher lid for easy storage.
The Zerowater jug is also fitted with a comfort grip handle and a spigot, so you don’t even need to lift it off your counter to pour water.
Quality meter included
Reasonable capacity for a pitcher
The filter needs replacing quite regularly
Small water pitcher
Easy to fill and pour
Fits on refrigerator shelves
Reduces chlorine, copper, mercury, and zinc
Filter change reminder
Our budget choice for the best water filter is a small pitcher from Brita. The Brita 5 Cup Water Filter Pitcher with 1 Spare Filter has a simple design, with a comfortable handle and pouring spout and a capacity of 5 cups. While this capacity is quite small, its space-efficient design does mean that the jug can fit easily in a refrigerator to keep you supplied with chilled water.
The Brita filter will reduce the taste and odor from chlorine and minimize any copper, mercury, zinc, and cadmium impurities from your tap water. While it doesn’t have a five-stage filter process like the ZeroWater pitcher, it does that the Brita filter lasts 2.5 times longer (around every two months) than Zerowater filters.
This compact pitcher also has an electronic indicator that will warn you when it almost time to change the filter (change soon), and then when you must change it (change now). If you are looking for an easy to use, very affordable filter for a household of one or two people, then this product is worth considering.
Easy to use
Only removes certain chemicals/metals
Removes a wide range of contaminants
Healthy trace minerals remain
NSF standards 42 and 53 compliant
Filter lasts three times longer than competitors
The Aquagear BPA Free Water Filter Pitcher claims that it removes 2000% more contaminants when compared to other brands. This filter is highly effective at removing mercury, lead, chromium, chloramine, chlorine, and fluoride, as well as over 50 organic compounds. It also leaves behind what we know as ‘healthy trace minerals’ such as calcium and magnesium.
A lovely advantage of buying this product is that it comes from a company that has a strong corporate social responsibility program, so for every purchase, you make them provide six months of clean water to someone in need. The filters can also be returned to the company, and they will recycle them.
The disadvantage of this product is the accuracy of the filter. With no indicator or measure, it is hard to know when your filter needs changing or how effective it is. Some reviews have reported that chlorine and fluoride are not reduced, whereas other reviews rate the effectiveness of the filter extremely highly.
One gallon capacity
Filters are recyclable
Supports clean water in developing countries
Maintains healthy minerals
Filter is slow
No testing or indicator for the filter
10 cup capacity
Meets NSF standards
One filter cleans 100 gallons
Removes fluoride, lead and over 230 contaminants
100% BPA free
The Clearly Filtered 10 Cup Water Filter Pitcher has a capacity of 10 cups and pledges that each filter is effective for a longer period than its competitors. On average, you can expect to change the filter every four months/ every 100 gallons.
Clear Filtered also claim that the pitcher will remove more contaminants and chemical that all of the leading top 5 brands. There are too many contaminants to list, but the highlights include fluoride, lead, chromium, mercury, and arsenic.
For a 10 cup capacity pitcher this is an expensive model, yet as you don’t have to change the filter as often, this should compensate for the initial cost. As with the Aquagear pitcher, there is, unfortunately, no way to accurately known when to change the filter, or how effective it is.
Filters over 220 chemical and metals
Expensive for a pitcher
No filter change indicator
Pitcher jug is not high quality
23 cup capacity
Quality meter included
Five stage filtration
This ZeroWater 23 Cup Water Filter Dispenser with Water Quality Meter comes with many of the same features as our best choice water filter, but with a much larger capacity. As this can hold 23 cups of water, this is one of the most generous capacity pitchers you will find, so it is excellent if you have a large household and don’t want to be continuously filling the jug. This model is also a great value for such a large capacity.
It has the standard ZeroWater quality meter that can measure the purity of the water and give you an idea of when it is time to change the filter. This quality meter is also conveniently stored above the spigot.
With its five-stage filtration process, this pitcher can remove 99.6% of dissolved solids and is certified by the NSF to remove heavy metals such as chromium and lead. Unfortunately, you will need to replace this filter quite frequently.
Quality measure included
NSF certified lead reduction
Spigot spout is not very durable
The filter needs to be replaced frequently
18 cup capacity
Sticker indicator to change the filter
Spigot for easy pouring
Easy fill lid
Slim, modern design
Brita is one of the most recognized brands when it comes to water filters, primarily due to its efficiency and durability. This model is no exception. The Brita Ultra Max 18 Cup Filtering Dispenser has a large capacity, fits in most refrigerators and has a spigot attached. As a result, you can pour water from the pitcher without having to remove it from the fridge each time.
The jug is made well, from high-quality plastic that is difficult to crack, and the lid can be folded back for simple refilling – you don’t have to take the whole unit out of the fridge and to the sink. You use the standard Brita filters with this item, and there is a sticker indicator that serves as a reminder of when it is time to change the filter, every two months. As with their other products, the manufacturers state that the filter lasts 2.5 times longer than ZeroWater products.
If you decide to purchase this pitcher, be aware that taking it apart to clean it is a little tricky, and while the easy-fill hinged lid does make your life easier, you do need to leave extra space in your fridge to use this. This might not be feasible with some refrigerator configurations.
Fits in refrigerator
Filter change reminder
Easy fill lid takes up space
Challenging to take apart for cleaning
25 cup capacity
Easy fill slide lid
SmartLight filter indicator
The Brita UltraSlim 25 Cup Water Filter Dispenser has the largest capacity of all Brita dispensers and can hold up to 25 cups. Ideal for large households. The ultraslim design aims to ensure this dispenser can fit in the refrigerator easily, but we recommended checking the measurements before you buy it.
This water filter has the same filtration properties as the other Brita pitchers we have reviewed, but they have added a few more, useful features. Firstly, is the SmartLight indicator, which is an LED light that glows green if the filter is working well, and flashes red when it is time to change it. This removes a lot of the guesswork of when to order a replacement.
Next is the sliding lid at the top of the unit. Unlike the 18 cup dispenser, where you had to make space in the fridge above the dispenser to be able to open the hinged lid, this particular lid slides back to open, so takes up no extra space.
Easy pour and fill
Slow flow rate as it filters while pouring
98% fluoride reduction
99% chlorine reduction
Award-winning multi-stage filtration process
Our premium pick for the best water filter is the Santevia Gravity Water System – Countertop Water Filter. This is a unique filtering system that has been designed to recreate the earth’s natural purification process. It uses a ceramic pre-filter and a fluoride filter to remove bacteria, parasites, fluoride, chlorine, and other chemicals. Then the water passes through mineral stones where it is oxygenated, and minerals such as calcium and manganese are added using a process similar to reverse osmosis. The aim of this water system is to restore your water to a clean, alkalized and mineralized state, but only using gravity.
You will need to replace filters but not very often – once a year for the ceramic pre-filter and every four months (approx.) for the fluoride filter. The Santevia has a capacity of 2.64 gallons and is quite large so won’t fit in your fridge, but the stone-filled interior does make it more attractive than other models, so shouldn’t be too offensive to display on your countertop.
For every purchase you make, the company donates 100days of clean water to help fight water poverty in Uganda.
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The flow rate is slow
Available in several colors
Alkaline filter system
Removes pesticides, metals, cysts, and chemicals
Connects directly to sink faucets
The Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter system connects directly to the kitchen faucets to produce purified, alkaline water. As it runs directly from your tap, there are no restrictions on capacity, and replacement filters are needed after 750 gallons have been passed through.
The Apex produces alkaline water, which is believed to have many health benefits, but it does also have a carbon block filter that can remove pesticide, chlorine, mercury, rust, and numerous other contaminants from your water. It works with a five-stage filtration process.
This countertop water system is very easy to fit standard faucets. Still, you should check the product descriptions to see their definition of standard faucets to ensure it is compatible with your sink. Despite it being initially straightforward to fit, replacing the filter is more challenging. We recommend following the guide, or even some customer reviews, that describe in detail how to do this successfully.
Easy to install
BPA and lead-free
Produces alkaline water
Only fits standard faucets
Difficult to fit replacement filters
Attaches directly to faucets
Designed with aesthetics in mind
Reduces lead, mercury and other contaminants
The PUR Advanced Chrome Faucet Water Filter is a mount filter system, another option that connects directly to your taps, with no need for a separate container. This model is certified to remove 99% of lead and more contaminants than other brands.
This attachment is simple to connect to your faucets, and no tools are needed to achieve this, but you should verify which type of faucets it is compatible with before purchasing. There have been several reports of leaks around the taps, and this may be because of compatibility issues.
As per the product descriptions, one PUR filter can provide up to 100gallons of water before needing a replacement (approximately every three months). This is equivalent to 750 standard bottled water containers, making it a great investment to save money and the environment.
Easy to install
Removes 99% of lead
Need to remove before running hot water
Reports of leaking
Attaches directly to a faucet
Removes 60 contaminants
Filter change reminder
One-click filter replacement
This faucet water filter comes from Brita and is a highly affordable option for unlimited filtered water. The Brita Chrome Tap Water Filtration System is effective at reducing 60 contaminants, including chlorine, lead, asbestos, and other unwanted chemicals.
One advantage you get with this item compared to faucet attachments is the filter change indicator. This will tell you when it is time for a replacement, which should be approximately every four months. When you do have to change the filter, the one-click system makes this incredibly user-friendly to do.
As with all similarly designed products, ensure that you check your faucet style for compatibility. You should also expect that the water pressure from your tap will decrease when you fit this filter.
Reputable Brita filter
Must remove before using hot water
Water flow is slow
NSF certified to reduce chlorine and lead
320 gallons of clean water per filter
Carbon fiber water filtration
Fast filtration – 4 bottles in one minute
Easy switch between filtered and regular water
The Waterdrop 320-Gallon Long-Lasting Water Faucet Filtration System is our best value choice filter for water. It attaches quickly to your faucets and is NSF certified for lead-free material and chlorine removal. Its Activated Carbon Fiber filter can also reduce fluoride levels.
In comparison to other faucet fitted water filtration systems, the Waterdrop has a longer product lifespan. You should only need a replacement filter after 320 gallons of clean water has been dispensed. There is also a high flow design of 0.5 gallons per minute, so you won’t have to wait for a fresh glass of drinking water.
One added feature of this model is that you can switch off the filter when you run hot water, rather than having to remove the filter completely. This protects the carbon fiber filter and means you don’t have to keep messing around with installation.
Removes lead, fluoride, and chlorine but retains healthy minerals
‘Off’ switch for using hot water
Not as easy to install as other products
High capacity reverse osmosis filter
Removes up to 99% of 1000 contaminants
The iSpring Under Sink 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Filtration System is one that is fitted underneath your sink, directly to the pipes. The five-stage layered filtration system in this model works around reverse osmosis technology, carbon blocks, and sediment filters. There isn’t much that will pass through this system! Once installed, you will get a bottle-water quality flow from your faucets, with a capacity of 75 gallons per day. This is more than enough for a large family.
The iSpring advertises DIY installation, accompanied by guides and videos. While this is true, you will need to be a little handy with tools and DIY before attempting installation. Luckily the company provides exceptional live support to talk you through the process if needed.
As with all under-sink filtration systems, the various filters will need to be changed at different times, so you will need to keep on top of this. This product does require a significant initial investment, but if you are looking for a long-lasting system that you will keep for many years then in the long-run, it is more cost-effective than buying bottled water.
Five-stage reverse osmosis filtration
Live support for installation
75 gallon per day capacity
Different filters need changing at different times
Super capacity filters
Removes chemicals, not TDS removal
Lead-free chrome faucet included
The APEC Premium Quality 3 Stage Under-Sink Water Filter System comes with a high price tag, but it is constructed with very high-quality materials and includes a full, lead-free chrome faucet, so you don’t need to worry about it being compatible with your kitchen taps. The water flow is also above average for similar filtration systems.
There is a three-stage filtration process in this product, with a sediment filter followed by two different carbon blocks. These stages remove dust, chlorine, and any unpleasant tastes and odors, but retains potassium, calcium, and magnesium. If you are looking for a product to reduce your total dissolved solids (TDS) count, then this is not the best product for you, but it will leave you with high quality, alkaline drinking water. Fluoride and lead will also not be removed.
Filter change every 12 months
Three stages of filtration
No wasted water (no need to flush filters)
Does not remove fluoride or heavy metals such as lead
Space for a separate faucet is needed
99.99% lead removal
Fits ½ and 3/8 inch cold water lines
2.0gpm water flow
Cartridges last for 1600 gallons
The Frizzlife Under Sink Water Filter System is approximately half the price of many other under sink options, but it is still highly effective. The two-stage purification process will eliminate lead, heavy metals, chlorine, carcinogens, rust, and mercury plus numerous other contaminants. Essential minerals (calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium) remain. This is why you won’t see a reduction in TDS.
Compared to other under sink modes, the Frizzlife is one of the best filters for water in terms of installation and replacing. With a built-in, automatic shut-off valve, you don’t even need to turn the water off when changing the filter. The filter cartridges are also half the price of similar alternatives.
There aren’t many downsides to this product, apart from it not being certified by the NDF, so you will only be able to validate the filtration claims through testing.
Easy to install
Quick to replace filters
Can be attached to fridge lines
Not NDF certified
Features To Consider With Water Filters
The filtering method you need will largely depend on your water supply and therefore which impurities or heavy metals you need to remove.
If you suffer from hard water, with calcium and magnesium deposits, then water filters with the Reverse Osmosis method are best. The pores in a Reverse Osmosis filter will remove dissolved metals and impurities. This process is one of the most effective treatments available.
You may also find water ionizers that are designed to produce alkaline water. Many people believe that alkaline water has numerous health benefits, but water ionizers will not remove any contaminants.
The lifespan of the best water filters will vary according to the type of system you invest in. Regular replacement is necessary to maintain correctly filtered water.
Whilst you should compare the lifespan of the individual models once you have decided which system you prefer, the below guidelines should help.
A pitcher or dispenser will need the filters changing at least every six months, but much more often if you use it regularly. Some of these filters will only last for one month. If you get filtered water from a faucet attachment then you can expect to replace the filter every 4-5 months. A countertop filter lifespan will vary considerably but the average is around every 4-6 months. An under sink system should have the filters replaced every 9-12 months.
If you are buying a pitcher, then there is very little maintenance involved other than the frequent replacement of a filter. If, however, you are buying an under the sink system then it is recommended to get them serviced every quarter and replace the filters every year. You should factor these costs into your purchasing decision.
If you are choosing a water dispenser or pitcher, then it is essential to consider the portability of the model you select. Some dispensers can stay in one position and be easily topped up with a jug of water, so portability is not an issue. However, if you opt for a model that you need to fill directly from the tap then the ability to lift and move it is very important. A large capacity pitcher may be attractive, but if you can't lift it once full, or carry it back to the fridge, then this will be a huge inconvenience.
The water capacity largely determines the size of a water filter, but there is a significant difference in terms of the design and shape of water tanks. You should measure the size of the area where you plan to position the filter and then seek to find a model that has the appropriate dimensions.
Capacity is essential when it comes to pitchers and dispensers, but less so for filters that fit on a faucet or under the sink. The best water filters are not always those with the highest capacity, but if you have a large household then it is best to opt for a model that you don't have to continuously fill up.
Many people claim that drinking water tastes better when it has been through a filter, as this removes elements that make it less palatable. Of course, the taste is subjective, so there is no guarantee which filter makes water taste best!
Any filtration or purification system will remove chemicals, metals, or bacteria, none of which make water particularly pleasant to drink. Once you have clean water, free from these contaminants, it will taste much nicer.
Water Filter FAQ
Q: Which type of water filter lasts the longest?
This will vary according to the exact model but generally speaking an under-sink filter will last the longest.
Q: Can you put hot water through a water filter?
Hot water should not be used in a water filter. The heat can damage the delicate structure of a filter's mesh, reducing its effectiveness.