That strange hint of swimming pool taste in your tap water should be a warning. The chlorine mixed with the water coming into your home kills bacteria and protozoa. It’s not good for you or your family, and no one knows the long-term effects of drinking it.
Lately, I’ve noticed that countertop water filters are gaining in popularity due to their affordability, convenience, and effectiveness in removing harmful chemicals and contaminants from tap water. They offer a practical and stylish addition to any kitchen and are easy to install without requiring any plumbing changes.
People are becoming more aware of the potential health risks associated with drinking tap water, and countertop water filters provide a safe, great-tasting solution for access to clean and pure drinking water at home without the need for constant bottled water purchases and plastic waste.
Countertop water filters are a convenient way to create clean, chemical-free water to drink or cook with. They easily fit onto any kitchen counter, giving you quick access to daily clean drinking water. There is no plumbing to hook up; pour in the dirty water and pour out the clean.
As someone in the water industry for over 30 years, I know how important it is to have clean and pure drinking water. During my time in the industry, I’ve had the opportunity to consult with many water brands and experts, and I’m familiar with nearly all brands of water filters.
In today’s round-up review of the best countertop water filters, I’ll share my expertise and provide a comprehensive guide to help you decide which will be best for you and your family or business office. By combining my knowledge and the insights of other industry experts, I’ll explore the top-rated models side-by-side so you can see the ones that can deliver the clean and safe drinking water you deserve. So, let’s get started!
The Advantages of Countertop Water Filter
- Better Tasting Water
- Healthier Water Sources
- Easier Installation
- Saves Money
- Easy to Maintain
Better Tasting Water
Healthier Water Sources
Water devoid of lead, magnesium, calcium, and pharmaceuticals is just better for you. You won’t ingest these hidden chemicals if your filter traps them first.
Reviews of the best countertop water filter on the market all have similarities. Put the filter on the countertop, plug it in, fill it with water, push the button, wait a few minutes, and have pristine natural water. Installation is easy because there is none.
Buying bottled water can be expensive and arduous, and when you run out, it’s time to haul those heavy jugs back to the store or to call your delivery service. A countertop filter provides water on demand, with no waiting, no lift, just clean water.
Easy to Maintain
The maintenance of a countertop water filter is simple. Pour the tap water in, let the machine work. Pour the clean water out, and pour the waste product down the drain.
Best Countertop Water Filter Reviews
I’ve reviewed dozens of countertop water filters over the years and here is a summary of my Top 10 this year, along with a comprehensive buying guide to help make your decision-making process as smooth as possible.
In this countertop water filter buyer guide, you will learn:
- Which countertop filters are best or removing the most common containments in tap water
- The main considerations you should think about
- Side-by-side comparisons of popular countertop brands and models
1. Big Berkey Countertop Water Filter (Best Countertop Gravity Water Filter)
After testing dozens of models over the last 10 years, I am thrilled to recommend the Big Berkey Countertop Filter as our #1 pick for a countertop water filter. This amazing gravity-fed water filter is great for cabins and camping trips and an excellent option for everyday use in your home, especially if you have a small family.
One of the best things about the Big Berkey Countertop Filter is its portability and lack of dependence on a power source. This means you can take it with you on car trips or to places where clean water is not readily available. The kit comes with two purification elements, but it can hold up to four at a time, making it a flexible and versatile choice for any situation.
This filter is also incredibly effective at removing impurities from water. It can remove up to 99.999% of viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, trihalomethanes, and other inorganic materials. Plus, with a lifespan of up to 6,000 gallons, you won’t have to replace the purification elements often.
While the filter must be primed, the company offers an optional primer at an additional cost. Proper maintenance is essential for the filter’s success, but if maintained correctly, it will provide a steady and reliable flow of clean water. With a 6-month warranty, you can trust that this filter will last long. Overall, the Big Berkey Countertop Filter is a fantastic choice for anyone looking for a high-quality countertop water filter.
If you want to learn more about the Big Berkey Water Filter, you can read the complete review by clicking here.
- Ideal For: 2-4 People Each Day
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Capacity: 3.25 Gallons
- Flow Rate: 0.07 Gallons Per Minute
- Certifications: NSF 53
- Filtering Media: Carbon & Ion Exchange
- Cost Per Year: $50 on average per 4-person family
Why I Love It (Pros)
This low-key water filter will consistently output clean, good-tasting water. It is portable and does not need power to work.
Keep In Mind (Cons)
The filter will need to be maintained on a fairly regular basis. The filters will need to be primed and cleaned. The tools required for maintenance are an added cost.
Alternatives to Berkey (WaterDrop King Tank)
While I love my Berkey, I also tested the King Tank from WaterDrop and found it reliable (filters out almost all the same containments as Berkey) and is a less pricy alternative.
So if you want to save a few bucks on this type of countertop filter, check out the King Tank.
Also, use Coupon Code: WFC2023 to save an additional 10%.
Big Berkey vs. AquaTru Classic
|Filtration Technology||Gravity-fed||Reverse Osmosis|
|Capacity||2.25 – 4.5 gallons||1 gallon|
|Filtration Performance||Removes viruses, bacteria, inorganic material, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and trihalomethanes.||Removes up to 99% of contaminants including lead, chlorine, and arsenic.|
|Portability||Portable, no power source needed||Portable, needs power source|
|Installation||No installation needed||Needs to be connected to a power source and a water source|
|Maintenance||Requires priming and regular cleaning||Easy to maintain and replace filters|
|Cost||Typically less expensive||Typically more expensive|
|Overall Rating||#1 rated system in best countertop filter list||#2 rated system in best countertop filter list|
⭐ 2. AquaTru – Reverse Osmosis Countertop Water Filtration System Review (Best RO Countertop)
So I tested the AquaTru Portable Water Filter System for two weeks and can attest to its effectiveness. This countertop water filter utilizes reverse osmosis technology to remove up to 99% of harmful contaminants, including arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, fluoride, copper, lead, and radium.
While it may not be my top pick, I still rank it as my #2 rated system in my best countertop filter list this year. The filter has a capacity of up to 90 gallons per day, making it suitable for families, and can be moved around for use in apartments or homes.
The device handles three quarts of water at a time, takes up very little countertop space with a small footprint of 14x12x14 inches, and best of all, the water it produces tastes great.
The AquaTru is designed to removed lead, arsenic, carcinogens, chromium, and drug residue, in addition to the standard threats of calcium, chlorine, and bacteria.
Installation is simple, requiring the system to be hooked up to your faucet and for water to be run through it. It works great for apartments or homes and is portable, allowing it to be moved around. However, it can only be connected to a standard faucet, so those with a hose or sprayer must replace their faucet before using this product.
The system does produce wastewater, called brine water, but this can be repurposed for other household tasks. While the filtration process may slow down water flow, this is common for most filtration systems, particularly those utilizing reverse osmosis.
For those with water pressure ranging from 40 to 80 psi, this is an excellent option for improving the quality of their drinking water. Whether you are an individual or part of a family, the AquaTru Portable Water Filter System is an effective and convenient solution.
- Ideal For: Apartments
- Certifications: NSF 42, 52, 58
- Capacity: 1000 Gallons on average
- Filter Type: Reverse Osmosis
- Tank: .75 gallon
Why I Love It (Pros)
Reverse osmosis is a very effective type of filter. This is easy to set up and maintain and has a good volume output.
Keep In Mind (Cons)
A bit bigger than other models I have reviewed in the past.
The AquaTru is easy to use, with quick-release twist-and-seal filters. The futuristic design can purify a gallon of tap water in just 12 to 15 minutes.Andrew Miles
3. Brondell H2O+ Countertop Water Filtration System Review (Best in-line Countertop Model)
An innovative three-filter design provides quality filtration without the time constraints of smaller reverse osmosis systems.
The Bronell H20 is a continuous flow filtering system that attaches directly to a faucet, providing as much water as you need without the sometimes cumbersome filling and emptying the reservoir from a standalone countertop system.
The three-stage filtering system is a patented Nanotrap technology, a process usually found in much more expensive under-the-counter filtering systems.
The small 11.5×4.25×11 inch design takes up only a little of your countertop space but provides an enormous supply of water.
Simple installation in under 10 minutes and an equally easy replacement filter make this a solid piece of equipment for people worried about the pollutants arriving from their municipal water supply.
The three-step process begins with the composite plus filter. This two-step filter traps rust, fine particles, organic material, and sand. It acts as a pre-filtering agent to screen out all the large particles that can flow into your home.
The nanotech filter is the second stage. Composed of cellulose and alumina fiber, it traps particles down to two microns. This clears your water, reducing turbidity.
The final carbon block filter reduces odor, bad taste, and is the final defense against contaminants such as chlorine, organic compounds, and microscopic particulates.
The composite and carbon filters need replacement every six months, while the recommended replacement interval for the nanotech filter is a year.
The filtering process is effective against bacteria and other waterborne organisms but doesn’t affect hard water.
If you have hard water with heavy iron, calcium, or magnesium content, this three process, the physical filter, will not remove or reduce the hard water levels. That’s the job of a water softener in large quantities or for a reverse osmosis system.
- Ideal For: Home or Office
- Color: White
- Material: Plastic
- Flow Rate: 0.2 – 1.0 gallons/min
- Item Weight: 2.99 pounds
Keep In Mind
This three-filter device does not produce distilled water as a reverse osmosis system does, but it is effective at removing smells, harmful contaminants, and bacteria from a water supply.
The advantages are easy to see. This is a low-cost, high-volume filter that is easy to attach, and provides long shelf life with low-cost replacement filters.
4. RKIN Zero Installation Purifier Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Review
Seventy-five gallons daily, from a countertop reverse osmosis filtration, is all you need to know about the AlcaPure by RKIN. This high-capacity countertop filtration system approaches the production level of full home units but at a fraction of the cost.
Weighing just 23 pounds, with a footprint of 14.5×9.5×16.25 this compact unit is a workhorse.
It comes in two varieties, one the AlcaPure edition for countertop alkaline water filter, and the OnliPure edition for zero TDS water.
Both units function the same, they’re just specifically designed to handle the additional challenges water in the PH7 to PH8 alkaline range can present.
This system is small enough to work in any kitchen, it fits compactly in apartments, and it’s even small enough to take with you in your RV.
The supply tank of the unit is located in the front for easy access. Its height allows it to fit under most kitchen cabinets on top of the lower cabinets.
This unit removes chlorine, lead, magnesium, and calcium from water. It is also effective at removing fluoride, other heavy metals, bacteria, and dissolved pharmaceutical drugs which by be dissolved in your municipal water supply.
There is no assembly required, the unit is filled with water by a jug from the tap. In about 15 minutes, you’ll have a half-gallon of pristine water. The system works similarly to a coffee maker.
The four-stage process ensures the best-tasting, odor-free water you’ve ever experienced.
Stage one allows the water to pass through a five-micron sediment filter. This removes large particles such as rust, sand, and sediment.
In the second stage, a coconut-based activated carbon block filter removes chemicals, pesticides, and other dangerous dissolved solids floating in your water.
The third stage is the reverse osmosis membrane. The system can produce an impressive 75 gallons of purified water per day.
The final stage applies AlcaPure’s patented post-filtering system. In this final step, calcium, magnesium, and other metals common to highly alkaline water are filtered out via an ion exchange process.
The resulting water is pure, odorless, chemically free PH balanced.
5. WaterChef C7000 Premium Countertop Water Filter System 1,000 Gallon Review
The WaterChef C7000 is the least expensive of the countertop water filters we’ve reviewed here. Its easy-to-use design lets a homeowner connect the filter directly to the kitchen faucet.
Not a reverse osmosis filter, but rather a series of physical filters, this device can still remove many of the harmful chemicals found in municipal water supplies.The C7000 removes 99+% of lead in your incoming water.
Weighing just 3.6 pounds, with a dimension of 6.75×4.75×10 inches, this is the lightest and smallest of the countertop water filters we’ve reviewed.
It has a filtering capacity of .75 gallons per minute. It will slow your faucet flow, but the water coming out of it will be vastly superior to the incoming municipal water.
It comes with a pre-installed filter, a battery, and a diverter valve assembly. The built-in mechanism warns you when it is time to install a new filter.
This is not a reverse osmosis filter so some of the chemicals that the reverse osmosis process filters will get through this system. The most notable is fluoride.
Because of its small footprint, many RV users take this unit on the road. It is even popular with boat owners. The filtering system works well with questionable water while camping or boating, providing clean, safe water for you to use.
Keep In Mind
Another common application for the C7000 is to place one in the kitchen, the laundry room, and every bathroom with a sink. The low cost and high function make it a perfect addition to any home water supply.
All you need is a pressurized water supply, the provided hose, an adapter, and open space on your counter, the C7000 does all the rest. Great tasting, safe water is just a few minutes away after this unit arrives.
6. APEX Quality Countertop Drinking Water Filter Review
The APEX countertop filter has many features that any homeowner would love. The chance to match your new filter to the rest of your kitchen is not always possible with other models, which made this system stand out from the start. We were impressed with the system’s flow rate; many times, with water filtration systems of all types, you will see a large decrease in water flow rate.
While there was some decrease in the APEX system, it was not noticeable enough to mention I had complaints about it.
The most important aspect of a countertop filter is its ability to do what it was made to do, filter. The APEX system removed large amounts of fluoride, chlorine, and other traceable heavy metals like lead. The water smelled and tasted much better than before.
The APEX is a solid solution if you are battling common tap water issues like chlorine smells, limescale build-up, or heavy metal.
- Ideal For: Apartments or Homes
- Capacity: 750 Gallons
- Flow Rate: 0.75 Gallons Per Minute
- Stage: 5-stage
- Key Features: NSF Certified
What We Like:
What We Didn’t Like:
7. iSpring CKC1C Countertop Drinking Water Filtration System Review
No matter which water filtration system type you are investigating, iSpring will always have a quality and reliable product. This countertop system is no exception.
The size of the countertop system is excellent if you are short on counter space. It is around 10″ tall and should fit almost any space.
- Ideal For: Renters and Homeowners
- Included Components: Housing, faucet, filter
- Purification Method: Reverse Osmosis System, Carbon Block
- Filter Life: 6 Months
- Filtration Material: Carbon Block
What We Like:
What We Didn’t Like:
9. Cleanwater4less Countertop Water Filtration System Review
The unique water delivery system of this countertop unit stuck out to us. By attaching the water diverter to your existing faucet, the water flows up through 5 stages of filtering and out of the chrome faucet. The chrome faucet features a black rubberized endcap that will help stop the build-up of any bacteria that can form when water is tuck in the faucet.
One thing I liked about this countertop filter was how long the water line is from the faucet diverter to the actual unit. This makes it easy to place the countertop filter anywhere you would like and get into the perfect place on your counter.
When it comes to filtering properties, the system removes chlorine with the best of them, and you can expect great tasting water due to the activated media stage of filtration.
- Ideal For: Easy-to-Clean
- Capacity: 10 Gallons
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Flow Rate: 1 GPM
- Stage: 5-stage
What We Like:
What We Didn’t Like:
10. Home Master Sinktop Water Filtration System Review
The Home Master system is unique to our list because it is the first connected countertop option. If you have just a few extra inches on your countertop and are looking for a simple and affordable water filter, this could be your choice.
Installing the system is extremely simple; the water line attachment makes it quick. Once you have installed the waterline, you only need to twist the included dedicated tap and have a reserved freshwater system on your countertop.
The filter does an admirable job of removing contaminants, and you will see a reduction of about 93% when removing fluoride. It uses three different filter types, and they all have something they specialize in removing. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium will remain in your water supply while the contaminants are removed.
- Ideal For: Any Rental Home
- Feed Water: PSI 20 – 90 PSI
- Height: 12 inche
- Flow Rate: 1 GPM
- Stage: Multi-stage
What We Like:
What We Didn’t Like:
Types of Countertop Filtration Systems
There are two main types of countertop filtration systems. Water line and gravity fed. There are also distillers for an alternative option.
1. Water Line and Faucet Connected Countertop Water Filters (Best for having clean water in the kitchen all the time)
The type of countertop filters that connect to a water line has many benefits, which is why they are so popular. They are easy to install and require virtually no plumbing experience. They connect to your already existing sink’s faucet.
These are a preferred style of countertop filters to many people because there is no limit to the amount of water you have access to. It draws water from your main sinks water supply, making water always available.
A popular unit is the:
- 𝐌𝐞𝐞𝐭𝐬 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐯𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐬: The RO drinking water faucet, fitting 0.4 inch to 1.57 inch kitchen sink hole, can be used in various situations, such as with water purifiers RO, under-sink water filtration, ultra-filtration water filtration, kitchens, and RVs to meet different needs. 2 sizes quick connectors (1/4 inch & 3/8 inch PE tubing) are offered to meet your various installation needs.
- 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐝-𝐅𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝟑𝟎𝟒 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐥𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐒𝐭𝐞𝐞𝐥: Reverse osmosis faucet by Waterdrop, coming up with two material: Matte Black Finish & Burshed Finish, is made of lead-free 304 stainless steel. So the water dispenser faucet is unlikely to get rust, corrosion, and tarnishing during everyday use. The durable ceramic disc creates a perfect sealing effect, thus achieves a good experience of drinking water.
- 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐝𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐧: The reverse osmosis faucet stem is integrated with the base for simple installation and the avoid of water leakage. Triple O-ring seals are used to avoid deformation of the faucet and breeding; This drinking water faucet inner is smooth and no rust occurred, thus, the drinking water is safe and clean. ⭐Please Note: This faucet can only be connected to PPE pipes.
- 𝟗𝟎° 𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐥𝐞 𝐥𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐥𝐞 & 𝟑𝟔𝟎° 𝐬𝐰𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐥 𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐮𝐭: This state-of-the-art drinking water faucet with a 360-degree spout swivel and a quarter-turn single lever handle makes sure you get water more easily from each angle and position . Enjoy your clean drinking water offered by reverse osmosis faucet with free rotation.⭐Please Note: No smart filter life indicator. Only for cold water.
- The maximum flow the faucet can withstand is: 1.63 gpm / 6.20 lpm
2. Gravity Fed Countertop Water Filters (Best For Ease of Use)
These systems do not have a water line that must be connected to a local water supply. Rather, they have a holding tank that you can fill with water, and as the water flows down (Gravity!) it goes through a filtering process and into a holding tank.
These are usually larger than water line-connected systems, have limited water amounts, but they are mobile. You can bring your clean water supply with you wherever you go. These are not nearly as common as waterline and faucet-connected countertop systems.
A popular unit is the:
- 15 L / 4 GAL MINERALIZED WATER FILTER: Create cleaner, pure tasting water with our BPA-Free, Gravity Water System. Santevia filters first reduce impurities from water and then add back healthy essential minerals to create pure and mineralized water.
- REDUCES LEAD AND FLUORIDE: The Santevia Gravity Water System reduces hazardous chemicals found in tap water like chlorine, pharmaceuticals, and fluoride as well as heavy metals like lead.
- MINERALS IN EVERY GLASS: Santevia water filters add essential minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium to create water that’s healthier for you. Support your optimal health and love your body from the inside out with clean and mineralized water.
- THE ALKALINE DIFFERENCE: Santevia water filters raise the pH of your water by up to +2.0 units creating a smooth and silky taste. By increasing the alkalinity (resistance to acid) of your water you support your body's ability to fight unhealthy acidity.
- OPTIMIZED FOR TASTE: Adding healthy minerals to water is better for your health and will also make your water taste fresh and delicious. Santevia filtered water tastes so good that you’ll drink more of it and stay better hydrated.
3. Water Distillers and Filter Combinations (Best for Emergency Survival)
You can purchase a water distiller with a few filtering features for people relying on distilled water. These are not the most popular choice for people who do not need distilled water, but they are a great option for those who do.
By combining a boiling process, steam filter, and collection tank, water distillers can provide you with clean and distilled water, right from home. They usually take longer but will save you money in the long run on distilled water bottles.
A popular unit is the:
- Stainless Steel Non-Electric Water Distiller/Desalinator Producing 8-10+ Cups per Hour
- Gravity Water Filter Producing upto 5 Gallon per Hour
- Converts from Distiller to High Speed Gravity Water Filter
- Makes All Water Drinkable
- Built in Burlington, Wisconsin.
How Do Countertop Water Filters Work?
Countertop water filters, compared to water pitchers, are so popular because they work so simply. When it comes to water line connected filters, the way they work is very simple.
The filters come with a water line and faucet adapter to connect your current faucet to the water filter. Water will flow from your existing faucet and into the countertop filtration system where it will be purified, and harmful contaminants will be filtered out. Once the water is filtered, it is ready to be used.
Unline countertop water dispensers, most countertop water filters have a dedicated faucet that is attached to the filter. This is entirely separate from your existing faucet and produces only purified water. One nice feature that many countertop water filters possess is a water diverter valve.
This is the thing that connects your old faucet with the new filter. This diverter valve will allow you to choose where the water will flow, either out of your original existing faucet (unfiltered) or into the new countertop water filter.
Gravity-fed countertop systems are even more straightforward than standard countertop filters. They usually contain two separate containers for water. You load the top of the system with water, which will flow downward into the filtration stages.
Another water collection area is usually called a reservoir when the water is filtered. Here is where clean water collects. You then use a spigot to release the clean water into your water bottle or mug. They are popular systems because no plumbing is needed, and they do not need a water line.
Should you Install a Countertop Water Filter?
Countertop water filters are an excellent option for many homeowners and renters. The convenience, affordability, and effectiveness of unpurified water make it an excellent clean drinking water solution.
If you are someone who (understandably) tends to shy away from plumbing work of any type, then countertop filters are a good option for you. There is no manipulation of your current plumbing, and there is usually no need even to get the toolbox for installation. The simplicity of their design cannot be overstated.
The biggest reason someone may want to choose a countertop water filter is the cost. A whole-home system can cost thousands of dollars and usually require some know-how regarding installation. If you aim to find a suitable solution for clean drinking water, then a countertop filtration system can provide that for a fraction of the cost.
What Common Contaminants Does a Countertop Water Filter Remove?
Standard inline water filters attached to the sink tap are fiber filters that trap pollutants, chemicals, debris, and small amounts of bacteria by trapping them in activated carbon fibers. They don’t stop all bacteria; only a reverse osmosis filter can do that.
A reverse osmosis-style countertop water filter creates distilled water as its final product. The chemicals, including chlorine, lead, magnesium, and even trace amounts of pharmaceuticals, are all removed during the reverse osmosis filtration process.
This popular model from GeekPure is a good example of one of these:
Mechanical filters can remove most pollutants from your water, but it takes an osmosis system to remove them all. A full home osmosis system can cost between $10,000 and $20,000 to install. A countertop model is much more affordable and provides the same product, only on a smaller scale since it process just limited amounts for cooking and drinking.
What to Consider Before Buying a Countertop Water Filter
As someone who has reviewed many countertop water filters over the years, I understand how overwhelming it can be to choose the right one. Knowing which filter is best for your specific needs can be hard with so many different types and features available.
One thing to consider when choosing a filter is the type of filtration it uses. There are many different types, each with its pros and cons. For example, reverse osmosis filters are highly effective at removing contaminants but can be wasteful and expensive.
It’s also important to consider the price range of different filters. While some filters may seem to do the same thing, there can be a significant price difference between them. However, it’s worth considering whether a filter that removes 97% of a contaminant is much better than one that removes 93%.
To help make the decision process easier, this buying guide will break down the significant features of countertop filters and explain how they can impact your decision. By considering factors such as filtration type, price, and effectiveness, you can find the best countertop water filter for your needs.
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 slightly differently and have pros and cons. Here is a breakdown of some of the more common filter types:
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 water 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. Many people use the excess water to water their plants or do dishes. They also tend to be more expensive than a standard filter. For many, these cons are a small price for clean water.
A gravity-fed system is straightforward and low-maintenance. It is excellent for camping, cabins, or even your home. The method comprises two stacked chambers with a filtration device in between.
You 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 straightforward 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 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 popularity in the last few years. An alkaline filtration system will filter water out, similar to a standard countertop filter, but contaminants will add essential minerals back into the water after filtering out.
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 a preference by the drinker than a necessity.
Test Your Water!
This is one of the most important things you can do before deciding on the best countertop water filter. Testing your water will tell you exactly what contaminants are in your water. This will allow us to combat them in the best way possible.
Knowing precisely what you are dealing with and then comparing the capability of a specific countertop water filter is the best single piece of advice I can give you.
This is something that is often overlooked by homeowners when deciding on a countertop water filter. Remember, the entire filter will be placed on your countertop along with a dedicated faucet in most cases.
You MUST ensure that you have the space to accommodate the filter housing and the height of the faucet. The variation of sizes is enormous, but that more oversized the filter does not always equal more filtering capability. There are many options out there that pack a mean punch in a small package.
A countertop water filter was designed to do this first and foremost: Remove Contaminants! Each filter has a uniquely distinct number of contaminants and toxins that it can effectively remove.
You probably noticed throughout our product reviews; there were thousands of contaminants that filters claimed could be removed from your water supply. Based on your water test results, you will be able to determine the best course of action and which contaminants you should target with your water filter.
Countertop water filters were designed to remove the most found contaminants within typical municipal water supplies. These include lead, other heavy metals, chlorine, and more. The one thing to be aware of is the filterability to remove total dissolved solids (TDS) from a water supply.
If your water test shows high TDS level, ensure you find a filtering option that can handle TDS toxins. Some filters do not permanently remove these.
I love the peace of mind you get from knowing that a trusted party has certified any consumer product. Regarding countertop water filters, you want to be on the lookout for products approved by NSF/ANSI and the Water Quality Association.
NSF/ANSI have several testing procedures that ensure a filter is up to the task of being safe and effective at removing contaminants. Each type of contaminant group has a standard number for the NSF/ANSI process. For example, if you find a filter that NSF/ANSI certified on standard 42, it is proven to be effective in removing lead. The more certifications, the more guaranteed contaminants the filter will remove.
The WQA is another 3rd-party group that does its testing. They run each device through rigorous tests and ensure that they are made of safe, quality parts that will effectively keep your water safe. A gold stamp of approval from the WQA goes a long way with many consumers.
One thing people tend to forget about countertop water filters is that even though it is connected to a water supply, they are rated for a certain output of water for each day. Water can be pushed through, but after that ‘limit’, you will see a drop in filter effectiveness.
You want to ensure that the filter is not limited to a low amount of water per day for your standard water filters. Most humans only need about 2 gallons per day, so this should not be an issue with any quality filter.
If you use an electric distiller or any battery-powered filter, you do not want to waste energy or time waiting for your water. Some electric distillers can take up to 8 hours to produce a liter of water, which is not the most efficient water filtering delivery system.
Ease of Use
We all like to find products that are easy to use and are still effective. Many countertop filters check that box for us, fortunately. Because there are so few moving parts and there is no real process to get your water other than using the dedicated tap or faucet, countertop water filters are one of the most straightforward products to use.
Look for any system with a dedicated faucet or one that works with your existing system, and clean water will be in your hands in minutes.
Plumbing scares a lot of homeowners and for a good reason! It can be daunting trying to make sure you have the right water line in hand and you are reconnecting them correctly. Luckily, countertop water filters require virtually no installation tools and can be done in less than 10 minutes.
Typically, you only need to screw the water divider or adapter onto your kitchen sink’s faucet, and you have water. If there is any more to it for a countertop water filter that you are considering, run away
There is little to no maintenance to keep up with most countertop filters. We suggest you flush the filters every so often with cold water to ensure they are working at their best, but several systems do this for you. One thing you want to consider when it comes to maintaining your countertop filter is the ease of changing filters. Some systems make it wildly tricky to change filters, and we find that can be a real annoyance when it comes down to it.
Another nice maintenance feature to consider is a filter-changing reminder system. These will vary from system to system, but the most essential part is to find one that works for you.
The beauty of the countertop system is that there is little maintenance or clean-up! With the countertop filters, the cleanup will consist of removing filters and maintaining your water lines. For filter cleanup, finding recyclable filters is a godsend. I strongly suggest you consider these filters.
Maintaining your water lines means ensuring that the water line connected to your home faucet to the countertop filter is clean from bacteria and other toxins. Some systems have water lines made from anti-bacteriostatic material; these are nice but unnecessary. Just run them with clean water every once in a while, and you should be good!
How To Install the Countertop Water Filter?
Unlike whole-home systems, the installation procedure for a countertop system requires virtually zero plumbing experience. When we say that any homeowner can install a countertop filter, we do mean it. When you have decided on the best countertop water filter for you, it will begin by attaching the filter’s water line to your existing sink.
This can be done by unscrewing your faucets endcap; this should only take a few seconds. After that is complete, screw the water-diverting endcap piece that came with your filter, and that is virtually it.
All you are doing is redirecting your water through the kitchen sink and into your filter. If your new countertop water filter has a dedicated tap, open that valve to let clean water flow!
Countertop Water Filters VS Under-Sink Water Filters
We are often asked about the differences between a countertop filter and under-sink filtering systems. Both have their benefits, and depending on your situation, either one could be right for you.
Regarding ease of installation, maintenance, and price tag, the countertop water filtering system will win out nearly every time. While most countertop filters are reserved to only purify for your drinking water, they can still be used for cooking and cleaning as necessary, which is something most of us will use somewhere down the line. Installation is much simpler and straightforward than the under-sink systems, and they usually do not require any splicing of existing water lines like the under-sink system.
Under-sink systems typically require you to attach your existing cold-water line into the filtration system. This allows you to use your existing sink set-up without the need for anything new on your countertops. This is one thing people tend to like more about the under-sink systems; they do not always require a dedicated faucet or a filter to be placed onto your countertop. Under-sink systems are more expensive and much harder to install. This is what makes countertop filters a popular choice over under-sink systems.
Countertop Water Filters VS Whole House Water Filters
When it comes to comparing countertop water filters versus whole-home systems, there is a lot to unpack. Countertop systems are a budget-friendly way for you to provide your home with clean drinking water at your sink, and you can also use it for cooking if you wish. Whole-home systems are much more elaborate. They filter water as it flows into your water pipe systems and provides the filtering capability to every water delivery system in your house. Depending on your specific needs, one may be better for you.
If you are looking for cleaner drinking water and that is your main concern, then the countertop filter will be just fine. The price comparison between a countertop system and a whole-home system is not even on the same planet. Purchasing a whole-home system for simple drinking water needs is over the top and redundant, not to mention comes at the cost of thousands of more dollars.
Whole-home systems are a great option for those who can afford it. If you have the means and the desire to have softer, more purified water for showers, handwashing, and for all cleaning applications, then, by all means, a whole-home system could work. But the added costs do not make up for it if your main concern is drinking water.
Countertop Water Filtration System FAQs
How do I know when to replace my countertop water filter?
Many systems (not all) have a way to track how long you have been using a certain filter. The simplest but still effective system is a sticker system that allows you to mark down the date of the new filter you know exactly when it was replaced. Some systems use LED light indicators or virtual countdowns.
Is there a countertop filter for alkaline water?
There are countertop filters that can add pH and other minerals to your water to make the water, ‘alkaline.’ If you are looking for an alkaline water ionizer, that is a different product, but you can still get some of those benefits out of top-notch countertop filters.
What countertop filter removes arsenic?
Lots of them do! Many systems that remove fluoride will also remove arsenic. iSpring systems are a great option for arsenic removal.
Which countertop filters are affordable to maintain?
I would steer clear of water distilling filters and go with the standard. You also want to find one with a long filter life. The cleanwater4less model checks these boxes.
Which countertop filter reduces to 0.3 Microns?
0.3 microns is a good number to strive for with filters. This means that toxins sized 0.3 or higher will not get through the filter. Most systems are rated anywhere for 0.3 to 0.5, the APEC, APEX, Berkey, and iSpring systems can handle this.
Do countertop water filters work for all kitchen faucets?
Yes, they are compatible with all kitchen faucets. Those that connect directly to the kitchen faucet had adapters provided for all the major models of faucets.
Do countertop water filters store water before drinking?
Yes, and no. Those that are standalone and must be filled manually with a water filter pitcher all have storage areas. Those that connect directly to a faucet only allow flow through without storage capacity.
Everyone can benefit from a countertop filtering system. No matter how good your water quality seems to be, it can always be improved by either a filter, a reverse osmosis system, or a combination of the two.
Modern city water supplies have many hidden dangers, dangers that you can’t taste or smell but are there nonetheless. Knowing you’re drinking the best water available, a countertop water filter can provide a little security for you and your family.
Your choice of the best countertop water filter comes down to the features you need for your home.