A generation ago, ice came from the freezer, and water came from the tap. That’s no longer true with modern refrigerators which offer water, and ice dispensed from the door.
Selecting the best refrigerator water filter is a big part of keeping the water and ice functions of your refrigerator functioning.
Refrigerator filters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all have the same function. Keeping the water flowing into the refrigerator pure ensures clear ice, cloud-free water, and most of all, water that tastes good.
Refrigerator water filters come in a wide variety of styles, but they must fit your particular model of refrigerator. Some filters work across a few brands, and others are specific to just one refrigerator.
We’ll take a look at what they do, how they work, and why regular removing and replacing is a good practice for you to follow.
How Do you Know When The Refrigerator Water Filter Needs Changing?
The easiest method is to pay attention to the LED lights on most ice-making refrigerators. A red or amber light on the control panel near the water dispenser on most refrigerators is a warning that the filter needs replaced.
Styles of warning lights vary with each model of refrigerator with some advanced models having a digital readout, or ones that even send texts to your cell phone indicating the filter needs to be changed. Others just have a few lights that you can interpret from the user’s manual.
Slow flowing water indicates a plugged, or fouled filter.
If your water takes on a strange taste, or if the ice is not as pristine as it once was, that can be an indication of a failing refrigerator filter.
The final indicator is time. If it’s been six months since you changed the filter, it’s probably time to do it again.
Changing the filter can be a step up in water quality since the best water filter for the refrigerator can be an improvement on the filter that came with it originally.
Best Refrigerator Water Filter Reviews
1. Whirlpool EDR4RXD1 Refrigerator Water
Whirlpool is a leader in home appliances from refrigerators to washing machines. They have a long, solid reputation as an excellent producer of quality home appliances. They support those appliances with easy to remove, easy to install, and equally easy to calibrate filters.
The EDR4RXD1 is the best refrigerator water filter for Whirlpool. It has a viable functioning period of six months, reduces lead, and reduces 31 known pollutants found in municipal water systems. Municipal water quality varies greatly from city to city. It even varies within a municipality.
Neighboring communities can experience large fluctuations in water quality, often from the same source. Materials in the pipes that supply the water can add lead, mercury, or other metals to the water.
Filtering those out before your family takes a drink is the duty of a responsible homeowner.
NSF certified this filter is designed to work with Whirlpool, maytag refrigerator water filter, kitchenaid refrigerator water filter, JennAir, and Amana refrigerators. This variety of applications is one of the reasons consumers trust Whirlpool.
A few of the contaminants it can reduce are leader, mercury, parasites, pesticides, and even pharmaceuticals. Ibuprofen is one of the leading drugs found in municipal water supplies. There are sometimes traces of narcotics in city water.
It works in side-by-side and bottom-freezer models and is rated to clean approximately 200 gallons of water, or the average six-month consumption of a family of four before needing to be replaced.
Marketed as “everydrop” the filter is 2.5 x 3 by 9.38 inches in size and weighs 11.7 ounces.
The everydrop filter has one of the fastest flow rates of similar generic filters, allowing your refrigerator to produce ice at top speed and efficiently deliver drinking water on demand.
It is packaged in an airtight container that offers up to a year of shelf storage without degradation of the filter.
2. Frigidaire ULTRAWF Pure Source Ultra Water Filter
Frigidaire doesn’t have the widespread product line of Whirlpool, but they do make quality home appliances at reasonable prices. Their refrigerator line may be the best products they can place in an American home.
Frigidaire is renowned for taking care of the aftermarket with their products as well. They offer a wide variety of filters, refrigerator water filter replacement parts, and repair parts. Some, as with a frigidaire refrigerator water filter are easily serviced by the homeowner and don’t require calling in a profession.
The Pure Source Ultra takes the guesswork out of removing and replacing the refrigerator filter. All you have to do is push the old filter and it releases; replacing it with a new filter is just as easy, line it up, push, and it clicks back in place.
You’ll need to run the water for three minutes to prime the new filter, but that’s it. You’ve replaced your water filter without any tools in just five minutes.
The Ultra features a carbon-based filter that improves the taste and smell of your water while removing chlorine odor, the chemical found most often in municipal water supplies.
The filter will also reduce concentrations of lead, nitrates, mercury, and pesticides that sometimes find their way into municipal water supplies.
Keep In Mind
When you’ve replaced this filter, the refrigerator water filter replacement reminder light may not automatically reset. If it doesn’t reset it manually, press the water filter control button or the dispenser control button for a few seconds. When the light changes back to green, you’ve successfully reset the filter.
This Frigidaire filter is certified by WQE, ASPE, and ANSI S 804 for quality.
The filter is 11.7 x 2.4 x 3.9 inches and weighs 10.1 ounces. Its convenient size, easy-to-remove and attach interface, and the multiple certifications that come with the Frigidaire filter make it a fabulous product for home uses.
3. General Electric Co GE XWF Refrigerator Water Filter
General Electric refrigerators feature an “alligator style” water filter interface. Located in the upper corner of their refrigerators, it is a simple process to open the filter container, remove the old filter, attach the new filter, and close the container. After a few minutes of running water through your newly attached filter, you’ve finished the filter replacement.
It’s a process that needs to be completed at least twice a year, but it takes hardly any extra time to successfully master the procedure.
The XWF is considered the best water filter for GE refrigerators, thanks to its advanced design. The XWF is rated to reduce or eliminate 50 impurities from municipal water, one of the highest numbers of all refrigerator water filters on the market.
The XWF principally removes lead and mercury, but it is also effective at filtering out chlorine-resistant cysts that can find their way into your home water supply if not filtered out.
Lead has been a problem in homes for a long time. In spite of the best efforts in refitting municipal water supply lines and removing lead from consumer products, it still resides in municipal water. Mercury is another chemical that engineers haven’t been able to totally eradicate from the water supply. You can help the process by installing an XWF filter.
The filter is compatible with side-by-side and lower freezer refrigerator styles.
Impurities that many consumers don’t even realize can be present in household water are pharmaceuticals. For example, Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, progesterone, and atenolol are sometimes present in municipal water supplies. This filter will reduce those unexpected pharmaceuticals from your drinking water and ice cubes.
The XWF is a small 1.8-inch diameter cylinder that is 9.8 inches long. It locks securely in the GE interface in the back of the refrigerator and weighs just 7.9 ounces.
4. Samsung Da29-00020b-1P Refrigerator Water Filter
This filter is designed for very specific models of Samsung refrigerators. Be sure to check that your model is compatible with this filter. For the most part, Samsung side by side or french door refrigerators that include an ice machine and water dispenser are compatible.
The filter removes up to 99% of chlorine, including bad taste and odor, heavy metals, and chemicals such as lead, and microbial cysts, including cryptosporidium. The filter lasts about six months or 300 gallons.
There is no need to keep count of gallons used or months, though, as your refrigerator has a change filter indicator on the digital panel.
5. General Electric MWF Refrigerator Water Filter
GE designed this water filter to be top of the line. It removes over 15 major contaminants, including lead, cysts, asbestos, mercury, benzene, giardia, and pharmaceuticals such as ibuprofen and progesterone.
The filter is very easy to install and replace, simply twist it into place in the correct spot.
The filter needs to be replaced approximately every six months or 300 gallons. This will ensure the best possible water for you to drink. The filter is compatible with side-by-side and bottom freezer GE refrigerators, though it is important to check the model number.
6. GE RPWFE2PK RPWFE 2 Pack Refrigerator Water Filter
This GE refrigerator filter removes a significant number of contaminants, including lead, mercury, asbestos, pesticides, cysts, and chemicals. It will also remove bad odors and tastes from the water while also protecting your refrigerator itself and elongating your appliance’s life.
The filter includes an RFID chip that communicates with the refrigerators and helps indicate when the filter needs to be replaced. A good rule of thumb is about 300 gallons or every six months.
7. Waterdrop NSF 53&42 Certified Refrigerator Water Filter
This is a very effective water filter. It removes up to 99.6% of lead, 96.6% of benzene, 97% of chlorine, 99.99% of cysts, and much more as well as eliminating bad tastes and odors.
These contaminants are bad for your refrigerator as well, so having a good water filter can elongate the life of your appliance.
The list of compatible appliances with this water filter is very specific, so be sure to check your model number. The filter needs to be replaced every 6 months or 300 gallons.
8. LG LT1000P Vertical Refrigerator Water Filter
This LG refrigerator filter is great if you just need your water cleaned up a bit. It will not remove major contaminants like lead or pharmaceuticals; however, if you have fairly clean water already, those hefty filters are not necessary. It will reduce sediment, rust, iron, and chlorine, including the odor, taste, and color that comes with each.
This water filter will need to be replaced every six months or approximately 200 gallons, depending on how much you use it. It only works with 12 LG models, so be sure to check it works with yours!
9. ICEPURE UKF8001 Replacement Refrigerator Water Filter
If this filter is compatible with your refrigerator, it is a truly amazing option. It is reasonably priced and will get the job done. It reduces over 20 contaminants, including a reduction in chlorine by up to 99%.
The filter is compatible with some of the major manufacturers and has a thorough return policy as well as a money-back guarantee. It is constructed from lead-free, BPA-free, and food-grade material to ensure the safest possible filter.
10. Mist UKF8001 Replacement For Whirlpool Maytag
This Mist water filter is a great way to clean up your water. It has about a 6-month lifespan or about 200 gallons.
While the filter does not remove a lot of major chemicals, if you have clean water already, you don’t need a super hefty filter. This filter will remove chlorine as well as its odor and taste, which is a very common issue, especially for people in urban areas.
The filter is compatible with a wide range of manufacturers and refrigerator models and is simple to install and use.
11. AQUACREST MDJ64844601 Refrigerator Water Filter
This three-pack of water filters is a great option if you have their specified LG or Kenmore model. This is a great filter if you already have fairly clean water, but just want a little something more. The filter will reduce or remove odors and tastes from the water, which is a great asset for many homes.
Each of the three filters has a 6-month lifespan or 200 gallons, so this pack will last you about 18 months. It uses a coconut carbon filter as a natural and clean way to filter the water.
12. Culligan IC 1 EZ-Change Refrigerator Filtration System
This water filter is different from most on the list in that it is an inline water filtration system. You install it before the water even enters the fridge. This can help elongate the life of your refrigerator while providing clean water that does not have any bad tastes or odors.
Recommended Reading: Best Inline Water Filter for 2021 – (Reviews + Buying Guide)
There is a two-year limited warranty on the system. The filter cartridge is easy to replace and has a 3,000-gallon lifespan, which usually lasts about 12 months.
How to Change a Refrigerator Water Filter
This is a question that is entirely dependent on the brand, model, and type of refrigerator you’ve purchased. The big three of GE, Frigidaire, and Whirlpool each have their own unique design, and by default, their own method of removing and replacing a water filter.
The best thing you as the consumer can do is a little research. Your product guide or user manual will have detailed step-by-step instructions on removing and replacing the water filter. Since this and the light bulb inside the refrigerator are the only consumer replaceable items in the refrigerator, the documentation is more than sufficient for you to follow.
If you still have questions or need a step-by-step video, search for one online. There are hundreds of “how-to” videos you can access that will change the filter a much easier process.
So whether it is twist and pull, push and click, or a combination of each one, you can find the technique with a little research.
7 Things you Have to Check Before Buying The Best Fridge Water Filter
This buying guide will help you choose the best fridge water filter for your needs; there are a few key decisions that need to be made that will narrow down the field of water filters significantly.
This can make the decision process much easier as there is a smaller pool of products to choose from. What makes this unique, though, is most refrigerators come with the filter itself, but not the cartridges.
Luckily, if your refrigerator is equipped with a filter, then you should have a variety of cartridges to choose from that will be compatible.
Refrigerator Water Filter Compatibility
There are at least 25 major brands of refrigerator water filters, plus dozens of others for lesser-known models. Selecting the correct filter for your refrigerator is an important step.
The good news is that every filter has a product code printed on it. When you remove a water filter it automatically shuts off the water supply so you don’t have to worry about spills while you’re reading that product number.
Compatible filters can be found in online compatibility charts, and even in product reviews that list the make and model of refrigerators a specific filter will fit.
The final step is in your product user manual, available in printed form if you’ve kept it, or more likely in a downloadable PDF from the manufacturer’s product support site.
Determine What Level of Filtration You Need
Most refrigerator water filters will you some form of carbon block to filter the water. Unlike whole house water filters or countertop water filters, there is not a lot of depth in choice when it comes to the type of filtration.
There is, however, the choice of what level of filtration you need. If you live in an urban area with fairly clean water, you probably only need a filter that will remove chlorine and maybe odor and smell.
If you live in an area with severe water issues, you will likely be looking for something a bit heftier that will remove pesticides, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and other contaminants.
Set a Price Range
Price is one of the biggest factors in deciding to purchase a refrigeration water filter. When you set a price range, it is important to look toward the future as well. Many filters only have a lifespan of about six months or a year.
It is important to calculate how much you can spend each year on filtration. Luckily, the compatibility will remain the same on your refrigerator so you can switch the type of filter if your needs or price range changes
Quality & Certification
NSF is an organization dedicated to consumer quality and safety. Starting in 1944 it is an organization that tests, certifies, and provides quality control reviews for millions of consumer products. Having the NSF certification on your refrigerator water filter is insurance that the device is safe, and will function well in your home.
The Water Quality Association (WQA) is an organization that tests water-based products for durability, quality, safety, and reliability.
In a global market with literally thousands of products available for purchase, the WQA provides a safety net for consumers, along with reliable suggestions on products that will work well for them.
Generic vs. Manufacturer OEM Brands
Selecting the best fridge water filter would seem to be an easy process, just locate the product number, and order an identical replacement. But, that’s not always the case. Sometimes a generic filter is a better choice than the OEM offered by the manufacturer.
The advantage of OEM replacements is that the product will fit exactly as it was designed to do. The caveat with OEM Is that they generally cost more, may have a shorter shelf life, and even possibly be of lesser quality than a lower-priced generic filter.
If your water is heavily contaminated and you are replacing your refrigerator water filter often, a quality generic might save you a little money. If it fits, does the job, and costs just a fraction of the OEM cost, you’d be wise to choose a generic filter.
What kinds of contaminants can you find in your water? Perhaps more importantly, which of these contaminants will the filter you’re thinking about buying remove?
Your water may not be as safe as you think it is. A refrigerator water filter can reduce or remove these insidious items from drinking water and ice. Pesticides, chlorine and heavy metals are all commonly found, albeit in tiny amounts, in municipal water supplies.
Doing the job of a miniature water softener, a good refrigerator water filter can take these dangerous particles out of your water.
Most of the time pesticides, chlorine, and heavy metals are in such minute amounts that they won’t harm you initially, but over time, they can build up and create health issues.
Installation and Maintenance
Top-of-the-line refrigerator water filters are easy to install and equally easy to maintain. Selecting one that can be removed, and replaced with common household tools is important. Getting the filter to maintain quality over time is equally important in function and in price.
A filter that fits your refrigerator without leaks, extra gaskets, or modifications of any kind is what you want to find.
Refrigerator Water Filter Related FAQ
What Happens if you Don’t Change your Refrigerator Water Filter?
The short answer is nothing good. Your water supply will slow and eventually stop. The water will taste bad as bacteria build-up behind the clogged filter and your ice cubes will become cloudy, and sometimes disgusting to look at.
How Do I Know if my Refrigerator Water Filter is Clogged?
The water will change from a healthy flow to a trickle. The water quality will diminish, perhaps becoming even worse than the water at the tap as impurities and bacteria pile up behind the clogged filter.
Can You Clean and Reuse Refrigerator Water Filters?
No, you can’t. Refrigerator water filters are designed to trap contaminants in the microscopic fibers within the filter. Once these microscopic filters are filled with contaminants, they can’t be cleaned. The contaminants adhere to the fibers.
Carbon fiber filters are plugged just as quickly and completely as cellulose-based filters.
How Often to Change the Fridge Water Filter?
If the warning light hasn’t gone on, or your water flow, water quality, and ice quality haven’t diminished, you should still change the water filter every six months. It’s easier and safer to replace a filter that isn’t completely compromised than it is to remove one that has stopped functioning.
Do any Fridge Filters Remove Chloride?
Yes, they do. Municipal water supplies are chlorinated to kill protozoa and bacteria. Chlorine is an excellent sterilant, but it tastes terrible. Refrigerator water filters are designed to remove chlorine for up to six months of use.
Do I need a separate filter for my ice maker and water dispenser?
No, one filter works for both the ice maker and the water dispenser. The supply lines leaving the filter provide water at the door are split to supply the icemaker with clean, filtered water as well.
That on-demand icemaker next to the lever that delivers filtered water is one of the greatest modern innovations in a kitchen appliance. The first day the new refrigerator goes online the people living in the home will be standing in line to use it.
A quality water filter replaced regularly and maintained to the manufacturer’s expectations will deliver safe, flavorful water and pristine, clear ice cubes for decades.
You can extend the working life of your refrigerator and avoid costly repairs with the regular replacement of your water filter.
Knowing that your water is free of metals, chemicals and bacteria is important.
As a homeowner, parent, or just as an aware consumer, water quality is one of the most important things you can determine in your home.
Choose wisely, and keep your water supply as pristine as it can be with regular replacements of high quality refrigerator water filters.