Best Carbon Water Filters
Written By: Andrew Miles
Written By: Andrew Miles

30-year licensed plumber out of NYC. Specializing in Water Filteration and Softening Systems. Now, retired and enjoy sharing my industry knowledge here. See my bio.

Having clean water is a huge priority for most people. Whether you know you have bad water or old pipes or are just hoping to install a water filtration system for preventative measures, having a great carbon-based water filter is a great option. 

Best Carbon Water Filter

Carbon blocks remove a wide range of contaminants and leave your water very clean, especially when used in conjunction with sediment filters or reverse osmosis systems.

In this article, we will explore some of the best carbon water filters and provide a comprehensive buying guide to help you make the best decision for your water filtration needs.

Best Carbon Water Filter Reviews

1. Express Water Heavy Metal 3 Stage Carbon Water Filter


This three-stage whole house water filter will remove nearly all major contaminants from your water. It utilizes a carbon block, KDF, and sediment filter to remove everything from chlorine, iron, lead, and pesticides, to VOCs, chromium, herbicides, viruses, chloramine, and insecticides.

The system is easy to install and maintain. The housing on the first stage of filtration is clear so you can see the filter working, and know when it needs to be replaced. This filtration system can help elongate the lives of your appliances and plumbing while removing harsh chemicals from the shower and drinking water.

Additional Specification

  • Ideal For: Whole House
  • Capacity: 0.25 Gallons
  • Flow Rate: 0.25 Gallons Per SECOND
  • Purification: Sediment, KDF, Activated Carbon Block
  • Temperature Range: 40-100℉

Why We Love It

This whole house water filtration is easy to maintain and has a clear first stage water filter housing so you know when it is time to replace the cartridges.

Keep In Mind

The installation is simple as long as your pipes are the same size as those on the filter otherwise it could be expensive to get the fittings to convert the pipe size.

2. Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System


This whole house water filtration system is unique from some because it does not use salt to condition the water. Even so, it will still remove up to 97% of chlorine and significantly reduce the presence of many other common contaminants including mercury, lead, VOCs, herbicides, and pesticides.

The water filter uses a carbon and KDF filter to clean the water and ensure healthy water for your home which will improve health and taste, increase the longevity of your appliances, and decrease the scale and build-up in showers and sinks. It also comes with a 10-year warranty which is significantly longer than most manufacturers provide.

Additional Specification

  • Ideal For: Whole House
  • Capacity: 1000000 Gallons
  • Flow Rate: ‎7 Gallons Per Minute
  • Installation Method: ‎0.75 inch fittings
  • Temperature Range: 40-90℉

Why We Love It

This filter will remove nearly all chlorine and reduce other major contaminants significantly. It does not use salt to soften or condition water.

Keep In Mind

Filter cartridges need to be replaced approximately every three months which is a consistently added cost that needs to be considered.

3. APEX EXPRT MR-2050 Drinking Water Filter


This countertop alkaline water filter is simple and easy to install; however, it will only work with standard domestic faucets. It uses a carbon block filter to remove chlorine, chloramine, bacteria, heavy metals, benzene, radon, THM, solvents, and TCE from your water. It also utilizes alkaline beads to add magnesium, potassium, and calcium to your water. Alkaline water can increase healthy minerals in your body and reduce fatigue.

The filtration system has a 1-year manufacturer warranty and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. The filter does need to be replaced approximately every 750 gallons of drinking water which equates to approximately 6 months with normal usage.

Additional Specification

  • Ideal For: Countertop
  • Capacity: 0.25 Gallons
  • Stage: ‎5 Stage
  • Material: ‎Carbon
  • Warranty: One-year Manufacturer’s

Why We Love It

This is an alkaline water filter that is simple to install and use. It connects to domestic faucets and uses a carbon filter for efficient filtration.

Keep In Mind

If you do not have a domestic faucet, then this filter will not work. Be sure to check the compatibility of your faucet before purchasing.

4. Home Master – Sediment & Carbon Water Filter


This whole house water filter is a great, sustainable option for homeowners. The filter only needs to be replaced about once a year or every 95,000 gallons. It has a 2-year parts warranty so you can rest easy knowing that if anything happens to go wrong.

While the installation might be a bit challenging if you do not have much hands-on experience, it is well worth it as the filter removes up to 95% of sediment and contaminants such as chlorine and other chemicals. This water filter is only meant for those on municipal water, not for people who have well water.

Additional Specification

  • Ideal For: Well water
  • Capacity: 100,000 gallons
  • Feed water: ‎PSI 20 to 90 PSI
  • Stage: ‎3 Stage Filter
  • Temperature Range: 40˚ to 100˚(F)

Why We Love It

This is a thorough and high-quality water filter that will treat your entire house and only needs the filter replaced once per year.

Keep In Mind

Installation can be a challenge especially if you have no experience with plumbing. This system is meant for those on municipal water only.

5. ISpring WGZB21B 2-Stage Heavy-Duty Water Filtration System

ISpring WGZB21B

This water filter is very efficient. The filter cartridges last for 50,000 gallons which equates to about 6 months for a family of four. It uses high-quality PP sediment and carbon block filters to remove up to 95% of chlorine, sediment, chloramine, rust, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, industrial solvents, and other potentially hazardous chemicals.

The installation is involved but instructions are thorough. Additionally, the customer service provided by iSpring is great. They offer a money-back guarantee and a warranty on this product.

Additional Specification

  • Ideal For: All Households
  • Capacity: 50000 Gallons
  • Pattern: ‎‎Filtration System
  • Purification: ‎Mechanical filtration, Chemical Absorption
  • Material: Polypropylene (PP)

Why We Love It

iSpring has great customer service and is easy to work with. The filter is durable and will last a long time.

Keep In Mind

If you have hard water or well water, you may need to install a water softener in conjunction with the filter.

6. AQUA TRU 1 Year Combo Pack – Includes Carbon Filter


This is a unique water filter as it is one of the few countertop reverse osmosis systems available. There are four steps to the filtration with this system including a mechanical pre-filter, reverse-osmosis pre-filter, reverse osmosis membrane, and an activated carbon filter.

The pre-filter will need to be changed about every 6 months, the carbon filter about once a year, and the RO membrane approximately every 2 years. This filter will remove major contaminants such as lead, chromium, copper, fluoride, radium, and chlorine.

Additional Specification

  • Ideal For: Countertop
  • Brand: AQUA TRU
  • Stage: ‎‎4 Stage
  • Duration: ‎12 months
  • Material: Plastic

Why We Love It

A comprehensive countertop water filter that is great for drinking water. Perfect for those who only want filtered drinking water or rent their home.

Keep In Mind

The filters need to be changed at different times so you have to pay attention and have extras on hand for when the system notifies you.

7. Express Water — 3 Year Reverse Osmosis System

Express Water

This pack of replacement filters is very high quality and a great option if you have a whole house reverse osmosis water filtration system. Replacement filters can be extremely expensive so being able to purchase three years’ worth of quality replacement filters for a reasonable price is a great option.

These filters remove up to 99% of lead, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, chlorine, and bacteria. The filters included are a sediment filter, carbon block, RO membrane, post-carbon filter, and a GAC block which removes bad tastes and odors from your water.

Additional Specification

  • Ideal For: Kitchen
  • Components: ‎6 Carbon Block Filters
  • Certification: ‎‎NSF
  • Duration: ‎6 months
  • Product Benefits: Removes Pollutants

Why We Love It

These filters fit with standard 10” systems and have a quick connect feature so it is easy to replace when needed.

Keep In Mind

You will need to ensure your RO system works with these filters as some have different connection mechanisms.

How to Choose Carbon Water Filter for your Home

Here is your comprehensive buying guide on carbon water filters. Carbon water filters as a whole are a very trusted and reliable form of water filtration, especially for homes and drinking water. In addition to the product recommendations above, here are some considerations and details that could affect your purchase of a carbon water filter.

Carbon Water Filter

One thing to note is that carbon water filters do not soften water so if you have hard water or well water, you may need to have a water softener in addition to a water filter. Hard water can significantly reduce the life of a carbon block filter and could cause maintenance costs to increase.

Whole House Or Countertop

First, you will need to decide if you want a whole house or countertop water filter. Whole house water filters will filter any water coming into your home including shower water, sink water, water used by your washer and dishwasher, and drinking water.

Countertop water filters will only filter the water from the faucet it is directly hooked up to. If you rent or only drink primarily from one location, countertop water filters are a great, budget-friendly option to get clean water.

Percentage Of Removal

Every carbon block filter does not remove the exact same amount of contaminants. Additionally, most carbon block filters are coupled with other forms of filtration such as reverse osmosis or a sediment filter.

It is important to look at the whole system. If you have fairly clean water and just want to drink or use even cleaner water, a system that simply reduces contaminants is likely good. But, if you truly have contaminated water with heavy metals present or high levels of chlorine or pesticides, it might be necessary to look at a higher-quality system that truly removes almost all of the contaminants.


Price can be a huge factor when looking for a water filtration system for your home. Luckily, you should not have to compromise on the quality of filtration to meet your budget needs. A countertop water filter is almost always a budget-friendly option if you need good drinking water. There are also some reasonably priced whole house water systems but be careful as sometimes cheaper systems need maintenance more often which can quickly add up.

Warranties And Guarantees

If you are purchasing a water filter for the first time and are worried about not liking the system or things going wrong, you can check to see about guarantees or warranties. Some have both. Some filters will come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Others might have a warranty that is anywhere from 1 to 10-years long. Knowing if there is a warranty or guarantee can ease your mind about making such a significant purchase.


Maintenance will be required for all filtration systems, likely in the form of replacing filter cartridges.

Most systems make maintenance easy: simply pop out the used cartridge and pop in a new one. But what might differ is how often you need to replace them.

Some systems need to be replaced every 3 or 6 months, while others can last up to a year or even two before needing to be replaced. Purchasing cartridges is an added cost, so be sure to factor in how much the system will cost per year in maintenance before making a purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often do I need to replace the filter cartridges on a carbon water filter?

This depends on the brand of the filter. Be sure to follow the instructions given by the manufacturer.

Do I have to know a lot about plumbing to install a carbon water filter?

There is no plumbing involved in countertop systems. You should have a basic knowledge of tools and plumbing to install whole-house systems.

What happens if I forget to replace a water filter cartridge?

If you forget to replace the cartridge you will likely notice the flow of your water slow down significantly. Additionally, it will no longer be filtering contaminants out of the water to its best capacity.

How much of a contaminant does carbon filters remove?

Check with the manufacturer site as they are usually very transparent about what is and is not removed or reduced. Each filter is different and may reduce or remove slightly different contaminants.


Throughout this article, you should have acquired some very valuable knowledge with regards to the best carbon water filters and the value they can add to your home. Whether you are looking for a comprehensive whole-house water filter or simply a countertop system for drinking water, you can be sure to find exactly what you need with the suggestions and buying guide above.

Our top pick is the Home Master – Whole House Water Filter – 2 Stage Fine Sediment & Carbon Filter which is durable, efficient, and needs very little maintenance. The filter cartridges last about a year and produce extremely clean water without compromising the water pressure or flow in your home.

Remember to find the filter that fits your needs and your budget. There is a perfect fit out there for you.