Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: July 06, 2021
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While drinking tap water on a daily basis may seem normal, low-cost, and convenient, it can still be a hazard to your health. There are too many contaminants found in water that you need to be aware of, especially for those with autoimmune diseases or those with weak immune systems, such as children. But having healthy water in your home isn’t a simple process. Countertop water filters are the easiest way to guarantee clean drinking water.
With an abundance of different water filters, choosing the best countertop water filter for your needs can prove to be a bit difficult. Despite the tedious process of comparing detailed features of the many water filters out in the market, it’s an essential step to ensuring the safety of your water. For instance, take note of the type of water filter – is it a faucet or a pitcher-style filter? Other aspects to keep in mind are the materials used, the pollutants that can be removed, the certifications and capacities of the filters.
To make this process easier for you, we’ve painstakingly put together a list of some of the best water filters around. After three days of comparisons of every feature of many water filters, we’ve made a table to rate the filters accordingly. From official websites to comparison reviews in magazines, we’ve gone through many pages worth of research to compile this list with in-depth product reviews – with pros and cons – along with a helpful buying guide, for those who are newcomers to the world of water filters.
The Travel Berkey water filter is one that comes with everything included – it is equipped with fluoride and arsenic filters (attached to the Black Berkey purification elements), to absorb heavy metal ions. The system includes upper and lower stainless steel chambers, two Black Berkey® Purification Elements, two wingnuts, two washers, one priming button, two Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Elements, stainless steel lid with handle, spigot, and a rubber gasket to protect the base. Constructed of highly polished AISI 304 stainless steel, this water filter removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites, extracts harmful pollutants such as herbicides, organic solvents, pesticides and VOCs, reduces nitrate, nitrite, lead and mercury levels in water. Each Black Berkey element can purify 3,000 gallons of water before needing replacement and can handle 100 washes without mishap. This particular system has a unique feature that removes food coloring from water, without disrupting the presence of beneficial minerals in the water.
The Travel Berkey Water Filter receives its rating for its ability to offer customers the cleanest water possible. Detoxifying in the healthiest of ways, it’s an excellent choice for anyone looking for a better taste in their purified water, and those wanting to take this with them on their travels.
What makes it stand out?
Outstanding filter capacity compared to pitcher filters
This pH RESTORE Alkaline Water pitcher Ionizer is equipped with a multi-stage PH001 and PH002 filter that consists of zeolite, stone and ceramic ball blend, micro nets, activated coconut carbon charcoal and ion exchange resin. All of this comes together to increase pH levels in water and also raises the ORP of the drinking water. The filter also remineralizes, to add healthy minerals such as selenium & calcium into the water and purifies by removing fluoride, chlorine, chloramine, and VOC’s. Other features of the RESTORE alkaline water pitcher include inhibition of bacterial growth, filtration of heavy metals, arsenic and lead in tap water, providing a more natural taste.
The pH RESTORE is a great quality filter, highly rated predominately due to its ability to exceed customer expectations and offer a better-than-expected water taste as a result. It also works well in effectively filtering out the nasty stuff before water consumption. Many customers like the idea of the longer shelf life of this filter, which contributes towards a greener environment, rather than having to keep buying replacement filters in the process of finding that best model. It also makes it the more cost-effective purchase.
Why are we impressed?
Combination filters at an affordable price
Made with BPA-free materials
Better-than-expected water taste
Relatively long shelf life of the filter
What negatives must you be aware of?
Smaller filter capacity compared to some competition
A popular countertop faucet water filter, the CleanWater4Less® model comes at a great price, and it’s very efficient. The key feature of this particular water filter is its filtering capacity – a huge 10,000 gallons. This makes the CleanWater4Less® Countertop Water Filtration System the most cost-effective water filter on the market.
This particular model filters chlorine, but not fluoride. For fluoride removal, it is suggested that you use an activated alumina cartridge or an entire reverse osmosis system.
One of the more accessible models to install, no tools are needed to attach this to your faucet, and it takes a matter of seconds to get it up and running, merely requiring you to place the diverter value directly on the tap. What most customers rate highly about the CleanWater4Less® Countertop Water Filtration System, is not needing to spend any further money on any replacement filters once you have purchased this product, which in turns makes it the more environmentally-friendly of choices as well. Additionally, with the option of being able to drink gallons of water every single day, this is an excellent addition to the larger of kitchens, serving several members of the household, or in areas where there are multiple users.
What makes it stand out?
Easy to follow setup instructions
Large filtering capacity
Efficient and affordable
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
No filter change indicator when filter capacity is reached
For those looking for a smaller size, pitcher-style filter, but want the best quality water with a higher rate of purity, the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher is a great option. Among all the water pitcher filters on the market, this one-of-a-kind filter has a proprietary filter that removes over 230 chemicals, toxins, and contaminants from the water, which other filters might miss out on. Unlike reverse osmosis and ZeroWater filter systems, the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher keeps your water healthy and full of beneficial minerals. The materials used to build this pitcher are BPA-free, recyclable, and FDA-approved.
A highly rated filter, the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher gets many customer thumbs up for its ability to remove so much of what is bad for the body from the water. But, more importantly, it’s the peace of mind that this extraordinary process offers, particularly for those using the filter with many family members.
With most stating this product is perhaps the only one to lay claim to filtering so many aspects of tap water, it’s a sturdier and longer lasting design that dramatically improves the overall taste of the water for all of those who use it on a regular basis.
Why did it make our list?
Warranty for the life of a product
Filter protects water contamination from over 230 toxins
Sometimes filtered water doesn’t taste right. But the Brita UltraMax water filter covers cleanliness and taste in great balance. Although low levels of BPA are considered safe, they have been linked with many side effects on human health – this Brita water dispenser and filter is BPA-free. It lowers chlorine taste and odor, while taking care of copper, mercury and cadmium impurities commonly found in tap water. Its large size can easily take over 300 standard 16.9-ounce water bottles, and you only need to change the filters every 40 gallons – or every two months – whichever comes first. A feature that is unique to this Brita filter is that it has a helpful sticker indicator that lets you keep track of your previous and upcoming filter changes.
A most space-efficient product, this model sits on the countertop neatly, or can fade into the background if you prefer. The Brita Water Dispenser and Filter not only offers customers the chance to purchase a practical and healthy product at a lower price than others on the market but also works to provide the whole family the opportunity to sample clean filtered water, through its vast 18-cup capacity.
Why is it special?
High-quality and efficient
Better taste with less chlorine
Made with BPA-free materials
What are the flaws?
Smaller filter capacity
Slightly more expensive than other pitcher filters
The Ecosoft water filter system is a great model for those who want to experience the benefits of drinking purified and filtered water but have a limited budget.
Most of the contaminants in your drinking water, including sediment particles, bad tastes and odors, heavy metals and chlorine, will be extracted and removed with this filter.
Another good thing about this particular water faucet filter is that it has low maintenance – only change the gallons every six months, or every 1,500 gallons. The Ecosoft Countertop Drinking Water Filter System for Faucet is extremely basic and limited in design, but this only serves to make it that little bit easier to place and use almost anywhere in the home. Simple in looks, this model is also one of the simplest when it comes to its structure and what it offers customers, but, perhaps surprisingly, the results that it yields are just as good as its bigger counterparts! Considered by many to be the easiest of all the filters to install, you just place it next to the kitchen sink, attaching it to the faucet, and you’re away – with instant, quality results.
Why did it make our list?
Cost-effective and efficient
Easy to install
What is not ideal about it?
Some users report leaking
1500-gallon filter capacity is less than competition among faucet filters
The Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 is a countertop water filter that will remove most of the contaminants in your drinking water. This model also removes most of the bacteria and parasites that can be found in the water, and it will also remove up to 93 percent of the fluoride, chlorine, and other harmful chemicals that you might find in the water. If you want to make sure fluoride is properly removed, filters may need to be replaced more often, around every three months or so. The water filter is easy to use and install, and its smaller dimensions make it suitable for people who need a water filtering solution while traveling.
Highly rated for its sturdiness despite being the smaller of filters, the Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Water Filtration System is designed to take up the least amount of room, therefore, is perfect for the smaller of dwellings and can be easily packed away when transporting it.
Customers prefer the simplicity of this model in design, as it is considered a great space saver. It is also thought to be thoroughly effective at offering a better quality of water, both in taste and improved smell.
The Apex countertop water filter can remove up to 99% of the contaminants in your drinking water, including bacteria, parasites, fluoride, chlorine, arsenic, harmful minerals and metals, like sodium and lead, through a five-stage filtration process that ultimately raises the water’s pH, and lowers acidity with calcite. The water filtered is more alkaline, as recommended by many nutritionists. Another good thing about this filter is that it has low maintenance. There’s no need to clean the filters frequently, and a single filter can purify up to 750 gallons of water.
Rated as one of our mid-range picks, the APEX Countertop Drinking Water Filter is a convenient product type which has been designed with the utmost practicality in mind, ensuring that almost any kitchen can attach and remove this filter to suit. Aimed at providing good quality clean water, Apex is also keen on highlighting the environmentally friendly aspect when purchasing this product, as it means no longer having to continually spend money on numerous bottles each week, reducing our dependency on plastic. This small, but highly effective filter choice is a hit with customers enjoying the simplicity of setup and use, alongside healthier drinking water.
The AquaTru Countertop 4-stage RO system is an NSF certified countertop water filter that removes more than 90 percent of lead, chromium, copper, fluoride, and chlorine, among many other contaminants. Convenient to use, the faucet style water filter is automatic and can filter a gallon of water into purified, clean drinking water in approximately 12 minutes. It makes very little noise when turned on and assures a high flow water rate with a storage tank made with guaranteed BPA-free materials. Only ¼ of the input water is wasted in the purification process with the AquaTru Countertop Water Filter Purification System. It is certified to NSF Standards by IAMPO to remove 15 times more pollutants and toxins than other competitors.
The AquaTru Countertop Water Filter Purification System is a mid-range model that is visually vibrant and modern, and offers customers an added guarantee that they’re getting the best water possible, whenever they use it. Customers prefer the idea of one simple dispensing button, which is all that they need to press to fill up their glass. The original filters supplied with the product are also claimed by many to last for a reasonable length of time before needing replacing.
This New Wave Enviro is a water filtration system that removes most of the contaminants, toxins, and pollutants in your drinking or cooking water, in a 10-step filtering process. All ten steps are unique to specific types of bacteria, minerals, and organic compounds. The filters in this particular model are very small, helping to screen out cysts and protozoa as well, for clear and clean water.
The water filtering process for this filter is fast, as a whole gallon of water can be filtered in about one and a half minutes, which is a better output than what most of its competitors offer. New Wave Enviro products also include a 30-day money back guarantee, as well as a one-year warranty against machine and craftsmanship defects.
Favored by many customers for its ability to offer fresh, crisp and great-tasting water, the New Wave Enviro 10 Stage Water Filter System is quick and easy to set up and use, and provides a great alternative to those who have a smaller countertop area. We’ve rated this based on an excellent aftercare service offered by New Wave, alongside fantastic guarantees, demonstrating the confidence this company has in their filter.
Why are we impressed?
Easy to install
Faster output among water filters
Excellent customer service
What negatives must you be aware of?
Can only be used on tap water
Faucet may drip after turned off
No fluoride filters
Things to Consider
Many of us are used to comparing reviews and reading up the advantages and disadvantages of products we want to buy. But often, we miss out on the basics. And it’s the same with water filters.
So what is a water filter and why do you need one?
Water filters are exactly what they say they are – appliances that help you maintain higher levels of purity in water and give you healthier, contamination-free water. Many researches have shown that drinking or using unfiltered water at home for cooking can be risky, especially for those with weaker immune systems. Water filters have been known to reduce the risk of rectal cancer, colon cancer, gastrointestinal diseases, and bladder cancer. And it’s always better to be safe than sorry, as the world’s pollution rates keep increasing year by year.
When it comes to any appliance or product, there are a few things that you need to keep an eye out for. Some of them are listed below to help you find the water filter that best fits to your needs.
Why choose a countertop water filter and what are its best features?
There are two main reasons why most people prefer to opt for a countertop water filter, rather than a bigger model. Firstly, they are more compact in style and design, making them perfect for those areas where space is limited or smaller kitchen areas that cannot house another large and bulky appliance. If, however, you use a lot of water for cooking, you may want to opt for a water dispenser which will ensure you have water instantly without the need to spend time on filtering. Some of the best bottom loading water dispensers have a smaller footprint compared to top loading models and are a handy solution. Another alternative here is an under sink water filter, in case you have enough space in your kitchen cabinet.
Secondly, if you are traveling regularly yet still want to be able to access good quality and filtered water, you will want to take your water filter with you on your journey. Therefore, if you have purchased a countertop water filter, it’s more likely to be the ideal fit for your bag or luggage, and will allow you not just to transport it with ease, but ultimately set it up in an instant at the other end.
The most commonly used types of water filters in households are faucet style filters and pitcher style filters. For example, the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher is a smaller pitcher water filter whereas the CleanWater4Less countertop water filter is a larger faucet water filter. The main difference lies in the pricing and the need for replacement of the filters. Pitcher filters are cheaper, but require more replacements, while faucet filters can be an expensive investment.
One of the most essential things to check is what material your water filter is made of. Plastics are inevitable and BPA materials can be leaked into containers with the water. BPA-free water filters like the Brita Large 18 Cup UltraMax Fileterd Water Dispenser are recommended for those worried about chemicals leaking into your drinking or cooking water. Some people may find the idea of having a plastic water filter a little ironic, considering that part of the concept of such a product is to eliminate plastic waste. However, make sure you look closely at the materials section of each product and ensure that it clearly states BPA-free, like those recommended above do.
Ease of use
The convenience of installation and usage depends on the type of water filter you’re using. Most countertop faucet filters require professional help for fittings, but some of them, like the Travel Berkey water filter, are very easy to use and install. Pitcher water filters are even easier to use, as instructions come with the boxes themselves.
Depending on the size of your family, you may need a larger filter capacity in your water filter.
The larger the filter capacity, the longer it will last you before you need to replace it.
Equally important when looking at making an initial purchase of a filter is how easily obtainable any additional filters will be to purchase, alongside an estimated guide of what you may be looking at spending on such extra items. The pH RESTORE Alkaline Water Pitcher Ionizer, for example, comes complete with an additional two life-long filters as part of the overall filter purchase, meaning you may not need to make such a purchase for some time to come. However, it’s best practice to look at the cost and availability of the necessary filters for your model beforehand, to ensure you will be able to replace them immediately, should the need arise.
Warranties and aftercare for your filter
A large number of filters now automatically offer warranties such as 30-day returns and exchange periods when you make your purchase. However, it’s a good idea to not only look out for those models that do offer such a deal, but also those that provide ongoing aftercare, or even an extended guarantee, should something go wrong or need replacing once your filter is installed.
Additionally, if you can find a filter which has a fantastic aftercare service, all the better. A great example here is the New Wave Enviro Water Filter System which offers a one-year warranty against machine and craftsmanship defects, ensuring you’re fully covered should the filter stop working or break through no fault of your own.
Quality of water
The biggest question that comes to mind when discussing water filters would be “How clean is the water I’ll be drinking/using?” This comes to down what filters each water filter is using. Most often people ask for extraction of/purity from pollutants, or reduction of certain element levels such as fluoride, copper and other heavy metal ions.
Make sure to check out the filter section of each water filter to know what minerals will and won’t be filtered, as some will have chlorine – but not fluoride – filters, and vice versa, which can be tricky to the eye of the customer.
Taste of filtered water
Although it may not be a big deal for many, the taste of the water can often be the deal breaker in choosing the right water filter. Some may have more chlorine taste, while others may be completely odorless and tasteless. It depends on what taste you prefer, so make sure to try out filtered water when going through stores.
It’s also a good idea to take a little time to read through customer reviews on each filter you look at, to get an overall picture of what other people are experiencing tastewise with each filter. Some state no difference in taste, but many people find there is a significant difference in the taste of filtered water which, although great, can take a bit of getting used to for some people.
The appearance of your filter
Though this may not be a factor high on the list when searching for the best filter, for some people having this item out on display every day of the week means you will need to become accustomed not just to using it, but also concerning its visual aspect! With so many of us color-coordinating most appliances and items in our kitchen, it’s completely understandable that many of us will want to apply this to the filter we intend to purchase. Yet, as you may be able to tell from any small amount of research you’ve already done, as well as from the above list, these countertop water filters aren’t always the most attractive of products! In many cases, they are unlikely to match with the items you already have on display.
Many people worry that when they purchase a faucet water filter, it may be a rather complicated and long-winded process, with some being put off by this factor. However, installing a faucet water filter is easier than you think and is undoubtedly one of the simpler jobs when purchasing such a product.
As you can see for yourself when reading the above reviews, filters that require such an installation are quick and simple, and need no additional tools or plumbing knowledge. In fact, this is often one of the biggest advantages for people that want to travel and attach their filter wherever they stop on their journey.
A quick six-step guide to the installing process
Though each filter will come with its own set of instructions on how to get your filter up and running, this is a quick six-step process for those faucet water filters:
Switch off the water supply using the shut-off valve
Because every filter is different, the inner workings of every filter cannot be known and every problem encountered cannot be predicted. The first thing to check would be to see if the water is still flowing. And in cases like with the Travel Berkey water filter, check if the food coloring is being filtered visibly. However, with other filters, this cannot be discerned and it’s recommended that you call over a technician or the customer support of that particular water filter company.
Faucet and pitcher filters can be too small to cover ground or well water that is microbiologically unsafe. So we recommend whole house water filters, like the Aquasana Well Water Triple-stage whole house water filtration systems.
Reverse osmosis systems are the most effective way available to filter out fluoride from your water filters, including hydrofluorosilicic acid. They are the most advanced and affordable on the market. Reverse osmosis is such an effective filtration system, it will remove pretty much everything from your water, leaving it pure and clean. Check if your filter has one or not. Some may not have any and may recommend that you get a reverse osmosis system on your own.
Among the many water filters, each has its own best feature. However, we’ve picked out some of the ones that best fit each category of our own. The Travel Berkey Water Filter is our best all-around pick for countertop water filters as it comes with everything included, is extremely durable as well as portable, and features larger filter capacity compared to pitcher filters. For pitcher-style water filters, the pH RESTORE water filter is the best option with its large coverage of protection from harmful organic elements, toxins, pollutants, and others, as well as remineralization and ionization ability. For those looking for a faucet filter, we recommend the CleanWater4Less® Countertop Water Filtration System as it’s the most cost-effective and efficient.