7 Best Countertop Water Filters

Best Overall

APEX Countertop Drinking Water Filter
  • Removes harmful chemicals and bacteria
  • Adds beneficial minerals
  • Filters over 750 gallons of tap water 

 

Premium Choice

APEC Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Lasts a very long time
  • 1-step installation

 

Great Value

Aquasana Countertop Drinking Water Filter System
  • Removes 10 times as many contaminates
  • No permanent plumbing changes
  • Inexpensive

 

Would you like to experience the benefits of pure drinking water without buying bottles? Well, you’re in luck. We’ve scoured the web for the best counter top water filter systems that money can buy, and they all provide the health benefits of bottled water without the heavy price tag.

Do you want a water filter but countertop space is limited in your house? We’ve found several compact filters that fit on any counter.

Perhaps you want the best drinking water possible and don’t care about counter space? That’s not a problem, either. We’ve found the best distillers and reverse osmosis units on the market.

We haven’t just reviewed the cream of the crop, though. We’ve put together a list of everything you need to think about when you’re looking for a new countertop water filter, and it’s included in this article. So, you won’t have any problems figuring out which model is best for you.

The Best Countertop Water Filters

Best Overall

1. APEX Countertop Drinking Water Filter

The APEX counter top water filter is a long-lasting device, and it's extremely easy to install. The APEX is certified to remove 99 percent of contaminates with a series of carbon blocks. The filtration blocks filter out harmful chemicals and minerals, but it adds in the potassium, calcium, and magnesium that your body needs to stay healthy. Countertop water filter systems are often difficult to install, but APEX has made the process as easy as possible. It simply requires you to screw an adapter collar onto your sink's spout, and then you're ready to go. To make sure that it's compatible with most sinks, APEX ships the filter with several adapters.

Key Features
  • Removes harmful chemicals and bacteria
  • Adds beneficial minerals
  • Filters over 750 gallons of tap water 
  • Comes with several adapters
  • Easy to install
Dimensions12 x 4.5 x 4.5Weight4.85 poundsFilter life750 gallonsWarrantyNone
Premium Choice

2. APEC Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System

The APEC works a bit differently than other filters that we're going to cover in this guide. It's a reverse osmosis countertop water filter. That means that it uses water pressure to quickly force water through a membrane. The process removes almost all contaminates from your tap water, and it doesn't require as much maintenance as other systems. This particular model has a super-easy installation process. It doesn't require any collars, plumbing changes, or anything else. You simply plug it over the spout on your sink. That does have one minor drawback, though. It can only be used on standard sinks. If you have a sink that extends or has special dimensions, you'll have to buy another countertop water filtration system.

Key Features
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Lasts a very long time
  • 1-step installation
  • Removes nearly all contaminates
  • More portable than other models
Dimensions15.5 x 6.5 x 6.5Weight10 poundsFilter lifeBetween 1 and 5 years depending on water qualityWarrantyLifetime support
Great Value

3. Aquasana Countertop Drinking Water Filter System

The Aquasana is an inexpensive model that provides a lot of value for your investment. The filters last for roughly 6 months, and its gravity-powered filtration system is resistant to damage from wear and tear. It doesn't have any difficult parts to install, either. You can simply twist the system's rubber attachment onto your sink, and you'll have clean water in no time. Of course, it wouldn't be worth anything if it didn't do a good job of filtering out contaminates. Luckily, the Aquasana removes more contaminates than the leading gravity pitchers. Not only that, but it's proven to remove chloramines and herbicides that other filters leave behind.

Key Features
  • Removes 10 times as many contaminates
  • No permanent plumbing changes
  • Inexpensive
  • Resistant to wear and tear
  • 6-month filter life
Dimensions12 x 7 x 4Weight2.95 poundsFilter life450 gallons/ 6 months Warranty1-year limited warranty

4. Home Master Sinktop Filtration System

This countertop water purifier from Home Master is one of the most compact filters we could find, and it can be bought for a very fair price, too. The countertop water filter system uses 3 stages of carbon discs to filter out 93 percent of contaminates, and it's one of the few systems on this list that claims to be a countertop water filter that removes fluoride. The compact design of this Home Master model is small enough to fit along the edge of your sink, and it attaches via a twist-off hose. It can be easily stored in a bag, and the twist-off hose will accommodate practically any sink. That makes this one of the best countertop water filters for people who travel extensively.

Key Features
  • Travel-friendly
  • Easy installation
  • Filters 93 percent of contaminates
  • Fairly priced
  • Compact
Dimensions 4.5 x 6 x 12Weight4.3 poundsFilter life6 months WarrantyManufacturer's warranty for 1-year

5. Mophorn Digital Control Distilling Water Machine

This Mophorn is very different from the other counter water filters that we've reviewed. It doesn't rely on carbon discs or membranes. It's a distilling machine. You attach it to your sink, set its temperature, and insert its outflow hose into a vessel of your choice. This allows it to completely purify your tap water, but it takes a little bit longer for it to do its job. Luckily, it has an automatic shutdown feature, and it has a safety limit placed on its thermostat. So, you can safely allow it to run while you're sleeping or working. Also, while it is marketed for purifying water, the manufacturer claims that it can easily distill hard alcohols like whiskey and vodka. That's a neat little bonus feature for people who are into home-brewing.

Key Features
  • Distills for perfect purity
  • Automatic shutdown
  • Temperature control
  • Can be used for alcohol
  • Distills 6 gallons per day
Dimensions24 x 13 x 10.6Weight14 poundsFilter lifeLife of unit WarrantyNone

6. iSpring countertop water filter

The iSpring is reminiscent of something you'd see in a fancy hotel, and it's built to perform like a true luxury item. It filters 95 percent of contaminates out of your water supply very quickly, and that includes a lot of the harsher chemicals that less advanced models leave behind. The best part is that it provides all of that luxurious experience for less than $50. The installation process isn't as quick and easy as it is with other units, but that's because the iSpring has a leak-proof connection system. It features several adapters for different types of sinks, and it has a clamp that is sealed by an o-ring.

Key Features
  • Leak-proof connections
  • Elegant
  • Inexpensive
  • Filters 95 percent of contaminates
  • Performs like units three times its price
Dimensions5 x 5 x 12Weight4 poundsFilter life6 monthsWarrantyLifetime warranty against defects

7. APEX MR-1030 Countertop Water Filter

The APEX MR-1030 is a water filter that's a little more flexible than others, and it's neat to look at. Like other filters, uses a 3-stage filtration system to remove chloramines, odor, commercial farming chemicals, and heavy metals. This particular model uses carbon blocks that are supplemented with coconut shells, and it has a layer of KDF-55. Finally it adds calcite to your tap water to increase its alkaline levels. Unlike other water filters, it has a clear shell that allows you watch as it cleans your water. That's not necessary, but it's unique, and some people will prefer it to simply looking at a plastic block on their counter. It's also extremely easy to maintain. A lot of other filters require specific cartridge replacements, but the MR-1030 can accept any standard 10-inch cartridge.

Key Features
  • KDF-55 layer for added purifying abilities
  • Accepts all 10-inch cartridges
  • Clear shell
  • Adds calcite
  • Removes most contaminates
Dimensions14.5 x 6.5 x 6.3Weight4.7 poundsFilter lifeDependent on your choice of filter.WarrantyNone

Countertop Water Filters Buyer’s Guide

Not all water filters are equal, and each one excels at something different. So, how do you go about buying one that you’ll be happy with? Are you more concerned with water clarity or easy installations? We’ll help you answer those questions in this section, and you’ll be on your way to finding the best countertop water filter in no time.

Types of Filters

There are a lot of different ways to remove all of the contaminates from your tap water, and each one produces different results. The four main methods are what we’ll go over, and each of the filters from our countertop water filter reviews falls into one of these main categories.

Carbon-Based

Carbon filters rely on blocks or discs of activated carbon to separate your drinking water from all of the chemicals your local water treatment facility adds to it. These types of filters are fairly quick to use because the water passes through them pretty quickly, and you don’t have to leave them on when you’re not getting a glass of water.

However, they require you to regularly replace their filters, and some models require specific filters that you can only buy from the manufacturer. Not all of them are like that, but you’ll want to make sure you can get new filters easily before you buy a model that does require special filters.

Other than that, these are great options for most people. Filters can typically be purchased at a low price, and they usually last about a year. They’re also fairly easy to install. Some models require you to use a wrench once or twice, but a lot of them are twist-on models.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis water filters are a little more complicated than carbon-based filters. They use water pressure to force water through a very dense membrane, and that removes nearly all of the contaminates in the water.

These are more expensive filters, but they don’t require a lot of maintenance, and they work exceptionally well. However, they’re a bit harder to install.

Distilling

Distillation units are the best water filter systems you’re going to find if you want the purist water possible. They don’t use any fancy blocks of carbon or membranes. They evaporate water and slowly cool it. That allows the water to travel through a tube until it cools, and pure water comes out of the other end.

The main issue with these is that they’re expensive, and they take longer than other filters. After all, they have to evaporate water, and they have to cool the steam back down before they can produce anything that’s worth drinking. If you leave a distillation unit on for 24 hours, you’ll likely only receive about 5 gallons of purified water a day. That’s fine for most people, but it means you’re only getting small amounts at a time, and you’ll need a vessel of some sort to store it as it comes out. Pairing your countertop water filter with cooler systems can help with that.

Gravity Pitchers

Gravity filters are like carbon filters, but they allow gravity to slowly pull tap water through their filtration blocks. These are usually the cheapest filters you can find, and they work exceptionally well. They’re just not as fast as most of the other methods. If you’re on a budget, these are usually your best bet, though.

Certification

NSF certification is important to look for when you buy a water filter. Countertop water filters can be sold by anyone, and they’re not regulated by the law. So, a manufacturer can claim whatever they want about their countertop water filter dispenser. it doesn’t mean that it’s always true.

However, the NSF is a third-party organization that tests water filters to see if they’re up to par with their standards. Manufacturers have to apply to have their product tested, and NSF won’t pass their product unless it meets every requirement that they have in place. Their standards are pretty high, too. So, you know that you have a good water filter if you see a certification label on a water filter.

That’s not to say that models without a certification label are automatically bad. It just means that you have to trust that the manufacturer is being honest when you buy those types of filters. However, you should be wary of any company that claims to have the best countertop water filter system, and they didn’t even try to get it certified by NSF.

Installation

Are you capable of working with plumbing? If you’re not, you’ll want to buy a filter that uses a twist-on hose or attachment collar.

Those two installation methods are mostly found on gravity pitchers, carbon filters, and some reverse osmosis filters. So, you’ll want to stick with looking at those types of filters if you don’t want to mess with your sink too much.

Out of those two, twist-on hoses are the easiest to install. All you have to do is slide the hose over your spout and twist. The collar attachments typically only require screwing an adapter onto your sink and tightening one bolt.

However, there are a lot of high-end models that require you to run new lines under your sink, split water lines, or modify your sink spout permanently. We recommend staying away from those unless you’re experienced with plumbing work. Luckily, our water filter reviews don’t include any models that require that much experience to install.

Added Minerals

A lot of filters add minerals to your water during the last stage of the purification process. This is to help you get the minerals and nutrients that you need throughout your day, and it can lower your need for store-bought pills or supplements.

It’s not a bad idea to buy a filter that adds minerals. The water that they produce has added health benefits. However, those minerals do change the flavor of your water. If you’re more concerned with tasting water in its pure form, you’ll want to stay away from these types of filters. Just know that you’re missing out on a lot of health benefits by doing so.

Added Alkalinity

Alkaline water is all the rage right now, and it’s drumming up a bit of controversy. There are a lot of people that say it can help prevent cancer and other diseases, but experts aren’t too sure.

If you’re one of the people that believes the hype surrounding alkaline water, you’ll be happy to know that a lot of filters add alkalinity to your tap water. So, you can avoid the expensive bottles at the store.

Like we said, the claims that alkaline water can increase your overall health aren’t confirmed by a lot of experts. So, this is a decision that you have to make for yourself. If you plan on buying a filter like this, we recommend doing your own research to make an informed decision.

Portability

Do you move around a lot? If you do, it might not be a good idea to buy a distilling system or other complex unit. You might benefit more from a simple table top water filter with carbon blocks.

Gravity pitchers and standard filters are great for purifying the water in your RV, and they work well when you travel between hotels or other temporary housing units. This is because they can be hooked up to any sink without messing with the plumbing, and they work quickly. They’re also very compact and lightweight.

However, you can get a lot more use out of a more permanent filtration system if you just want to keep it in your home all of the time, and the more complex units don’t require as much regular maintenance. So, it might be a better idea for you to buy a distillation unit or other permanent appliance.

This all boils down to how much you travel. The average person can afford to set up a distiller and wait for water, but that’s not practical for traveling businessmen or other travelers. Make a decision based on your own personal lifestyle.

Water Filters And Reviews

Reviews have become a major part of the shopping process for most people. With the internet, we have access to thousands of opinions and experiences surrounding any product that we may want to buy, and it only takes a few minutes to see what others think. You can use that to your advantage when buying a new water filter.

It is true that customer reviews can sometimes be very biased or made without real experience, but you don’t have to use them to see how high-quality something is. Customer reviews often contain information that the manufacturer might not have considered important enough to include in their product descriptions.

Imagine you’re looking for a countertop filtered water dispenser for your RV. You’ll want something small, quick, and durable enough to survive if a bump in the road sends it flying. You’ll also want to avoid anything that requires complicated plumbing work. If you find a customer review that details someone else’s experience with the unit in their RV, you’ll know what to expect when you use it yourself.

Don’t be afraid to spend a few minutes reading what other customers have written. You’ll often find information that manufacturers don’t have the time to talk about.

Budget

All of the different types of water filters are relatively affordable, but they still come in a range of prices. The price of a filter tends to correlate with what type of filter it is. The cheapest models are usually about $40, and the most expensive models can be nearly $200. So, here’s a list of what to expect to find in different price ranges.

  • Cheapest: Gravity pitchers
  • Second Cheapest: Carbon-based filters
  • Somewhat More Expensive: Reverse Osmosis
  • Most Expensive: Distillers
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