Clean and safe potable water is not something you can take for granted. While all water that comes from municipal and city water systems are treated and disinfected according to strict hygienic standards, there’s a lot of things that can happen as the water is delivered into your household.
Germs and contaminants in the ground can seep into leaky pipes. Toxic metals like lead can poison your water especially if your home is still using lead service lines.
Households that rely on well water aren’t safe either. With all the pesticide and plastic pollution contaminating aquifers, drinking groundwater isn’t really good for your health. That’s why a countertop water filter is an essential kitchen gadget.
Countertop water filters are designed to improve the quality of your drinking water by filtering out contaminants and particles. They come in two types: a faucet model and a pitcher model. Both are made to eliminate at least 90% of the common pollutants found in potable water.
In general, the faucet types are more efficient at filtering water. Pitcher models rely on gravity to filter out contaminants so it takes time to have a glass of filtered water. A countertop faucet, however, filters water and dispenses it into your glass in real time.
The most basic filter design in a countertop removes chlorine and chloramine. These two compounds are used to clean tap water of germs and bacteria. They’re also the reason why tap water tastes metallic and smells like disinfectant. Using a countertop removes the awful taste and smell so you can enjoy the taste of clean water.
But with more chemicals polluting our environment now, many countertops are now equipped with various filters that screen out many pollutants. It all boils down to finding the countertop with the right filter that’s going to remove the specific contaminants found in your water supply.
Some high end models can go the extra mile and add some nifty features. For instance, a UV filter will remove viruses that might be present in the water. Some will even remineralize the water after filtration so that what you’ll get is similar to mineral water from a clean spring.
Other models come with features that make it easy for you to check if the filters need changing. Another will have a hybrid design that incorporates a water dispenser and an undersink design. There’s even one that uses a reverse osmotic membrane as a filter medium.
A countertop water filter is one of the most compact and affordable water filtering solutions for a household. It doesn’t occupy a large counter space and it costs less than an undersink filter or a reverse osmotic system. It’s also designed for DIY installation.
In this post, I’m featuring the best faucet models for countertop water filters. If you’re looking for pitcher models, check out my previous post on gravity filter pitchers. Here are my top 5 countertop water filters for your kitchen faucet.
Table of Contents
- The Best Countertop Water Filters
- 1. APEX Quality Countertop Drinking Water Filter – 5 Stage Mineral Cartridge – Best Alkaline Filtration System
- 2. iSpring Countertop WATER FILTER, Clear with Multi Stage Cartridge
- 3. Countertop Ultra Drinking Water Filter for VOCs Cysts Pesticides Herbicides Chlorine Taste & Odor
- 4. The Stainless Steel Countertop Lead Reduction Water Purifier Filter
- 5. KFLOW Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System, Countertop RO Water Filter, Double RO Tech Water Purifier with Filter Life, TDS Monitor, 0.0001 Micron Precise Filtration
- Buyers Guide To Buying The Best Countertop Water Filter
The Best Countertop Water Filters
- APEX Quality Countertop Drinking Water Filter – 5 Stage Mineral Cartridge – Best Alkaline Filtration System
- iSpring Countertop WATER FILTER, Clear with Multi Stage Cartridge
- Countertop Ultra Drinking Water Filter for VOCs Cysts Pesticides Herbicides Chlorine Taste & Odor
- The Stainless Steel Countertop Lead Reduction Water Purifier Filter (.5 Micron Carbon Block)
- KFLOW Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System, Countertop RO Water Filter, Double RO Tech Water Purifier with Filter Life, TDS Monitor, 0.0001 Micron Precise Filtration
1. APEX Quality Countertop Drinking Water Filter – 5 Stage Mineral Cartridge – Best Alkaline Filtration System
This is a 5-stage countertop filtration system that will remove 99% of chlorine and chloramine in your tap water, along with other substances such as benzene, nitrates, radon, and heavy metals. It then turns the water alkaline by adding magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
It uses a coconut shell activated carbon block filter to remove tiny contaminants and microorganisms while a KDF filter removes toxic metals and substances like pesticides and rust through electrochemical oxidation. Both filters can filter up to 750 gallons of tap water before needing to be replaced. They are also compliant with the NSF/ANSI’s Standard 42.
The system is designed to easily connect to standard kitchen faucets and arrives fully assembled with all the necessary accessories for an easy DIY installation. According to the manufacturer, it’s as quick as removing the aerator screen from the faucet and screwing on the collar of the APEX diverter valve.
This unit comes with a 3-day 100% satisfaction money-back guarantee and a limited 1-year manufacturer’s warranty against material defects and faulty workmanship.
- Includes mineral replenishment after filtration
- Strong flow rate
- Not for lake or well water
- Doesn’t come with a faucet adapter
2. iSpring Countertop WATER FILTER, Clear with Multi Stage Cartridge
This faucet type model is suited for filtering city water or natural water. It will remove contaminants like germs, rust, or parasites and will filter out asbestos, iron, lead, chlorine, herbicides, and a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
It uses a single cartridge that combines activated carbon, dual layered sediment filtration, KDF media and calcite filters. It has a fast filtration rate; it will take only 4 seconds to fill a glass of fresh water. Its filter life span is 6-9 months or about 4,000 gallons of water, whichever comes first.
It’s easy to install and maintain. The cartridge housing is transparent for easy monitoring of the filter and there’s a faucet adapter with multiple thread sizes to fit all kinds of standard taps that’s also included in the package.
This unit comes with a 1-year warranty and lifetime free technical support.
- Fast flow rate
- Suited for filtering natural or tap water
- Overseas buyers might find it difficult to request for a replacement of a faulty unit
3. Countertop Ultra Drinking Water Filter for VOCs Cysts Pesticides Herbicides Chlorine Taste & Odor
This is a countertop water filter that’s also portable for use in campers and RVs. It removes scale particles, sediments, and chlorine-resistant microorganisms like giardia and cryptosporidium. It also filters 97% of chlorine and chloramines, reduces toxic metals like asbestos, lead, or mercury, and removes other organic chemicals like fertilizers, herbicides, VOCs, etc.
This filtration system uses a 0.5 submicron carbon block filter which is guaranteed to filter out 1-2 micron sized particles like E. coli bacteria or asbestos. It’s capable of filtering 750 gallons of tap water and has a life span of 6-12 months. The filter is made from ANSI/NSF approved materials.
The unit can be installed to the faucet in just seconds by screwing its valve into the faucet. It is guaranteed to fit into any standard faucet with 13/16″ threads. There’s also a housing wrench, faucet adapter and O-ring that’s included in the package. It comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Retains the good minerals
- Suitable for well water too
- Not for use with hot water
- Some units might drip because the collar attachment wasn’t fully tightened at the factory
4. The Stainless Steel Countertop Lead Reduction Water Purifier Filter
This countertop water filter has a heavy duty stainless cartridge housing and is designed with a highly molded structure. It will remove 99.9% of giardia or cryptosporidium spores, 97% of chlorine or chloramine while also reducing lead, radon, and volatile organic compounds.
It uses an NSF certified 0.5 Micron Carbon Block to filter out particulates from tap water. It can filter up to 1,000 gallons of water and has a filtration accuracy of 0.01~0.1um. It is also equipped with 3/4 inch full port spout for faster filter flow rate.
It’s easy to install, as the diverter valve easily fits into most standard faucets. Its heavy duty filter head is also easy to clean.
This unit comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
- Made from durable stainless steel
- Easy to install
- Doesn’t remove fluoride
- Doesn’t seem to have a warranty
5. KFLOW Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System, Countertop RO Water Filter, Double RO Tech Water Purifier with Filter Life, TDS Monitor, 0.0001 Micron Precise Filtration
This is a countertop filtration system that use a 4-stage reverse osmotic system so that it can effectively block out 1,000 contaminants and decrease the total dissolved solids in the water faster and more precisely than other brands.
It uses a double reverse osmotic filter that has 0.0001 micron filtration accuracy. According to the manufacturer, it will only allow water molecules to pass, effectively screening the rest of the usual contaminants like bacteria, chlorine, fluoride, lead, mercury, radium, and other heavy metals.
One of its innovative features is a Recycling Multi-filtration technology that uses the waste water again for the next 3 rounds of filtration so that you can save water by at least 300%.
It is also equipped with smart filter indicators that monitor the inlet and outlet of water quality in real time. This allows the system to prolong the filter cartridge life. The unit can also be programmed to produce 0.5L, 1L,1.5L, or 1.7L of water automatically.
Because of its user-friendly design, there is no need for installation. The cartridge replacement has a spiral design which just requires you to twist it in seconds. This product comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Uses reverse osmosis
- Portable; combination of a drink dispenser, and under-counter filtered design
- Needs to be connected to a power outlet
Buyers Guide To Buying The Best Countertop Water Filter
Unfortunately, there is no water filter that removes all kinds of contaminants. That’s why it’s important to know what exactly is in your drinking water before buying a countertop water filter.
If you’re using well water, have it tested in a private lab. If you’re using a local water utility for water supply, read their annual water quality report for details. You can also hire a plumber to estimate the water hardness level or see if the plumbing system still uses lead pipes.
Once you’ve learned everything about your water quality, then you’ll have an idea what kind of filter to look out for.
Water Filtration Method
There are many kinds of filtration methods that are used by countertop models. The most basic is an activated carbon filter which efficiently traps small particles 0.3 microns and higher. If all you need is to just remove the taste of chlorine and chloramine in your water, this will suffice. Look for a coconut shell activated carbon filter since this is the best for water purification.
Most models, however, will combine a carbon filter with a sediment filter in order to better screen out larger particles like rust, sand, or stone. These filters are a standard in any multi-stage water filtration system. If money isn’t a problem, pick the 5-stage filtration models. They’ll screen out more contaminants than the standard 2-stage water filter countertop.
If you’re using well water, and the water’s hardness level is high (120 ppm or more), a multi-stage filter might not help. Consider using a Reverse Osmotic (RO) system since this is more efficient at lowering down total dissolved solids (TDS) in your drinking water. If the hard water level is just minimal, look for a multi-stage filter that includes a water softening component.
An RO system is also the best way to remove fluoride from the water. Multi-stage filtration units can do it as well but, according to professionals, only an RO membrane filter can effectively remove it by as much as 95%.
For total removal of dissolved solids, you can choose a system that uses a deionization (ion-exchange method) filter. This is ideal for removing excess amounts of magnesium, calcium, nitrate, and arsenic.
Filtration Life and Capacity
Pick a model that fits your water consumption needs but is also cost-effective. A unit that can filter at least 700 gallons is good enough. That gives you around 6 months before you’ll need to change the filter.
There’s no lifetime filter; it’ll wear out eventually. Some will be quicker than others, although water quality and the amount of water you use will have an impact on the product's effectiveness. The ones on this list are good for at least 6 months and that’s more or less the market standard.
Look for NSF/ANSI quality certifications on the product. These two agencies are recognized by industries and the government. They also employ the strictest standard in quality testing for water filters.
Some brands will opt for other third-party certifiers because the testing is less expensive. If they’re qualified, they’ll be testing the product to strict NSF/ANSI standards so they are equally good.
Some brands will have models that have specialized filters. One example is a filter that remineralizes the water. Since the filtration process eliminates minerals, a special filter will add just the right amount of magnesium and calcium right after it’s gone through the filtration process so that the water tastes like natural and healthy mineral water.
Another useful feature is the ability to make the filtered water more alkaline. That’s because alkaline water supposedly boosts the immune system while promoting weight loss. Some will brands specifically market their alkaline filters as an important component in their filtration process.
Ease of Installation
Pick a unit that’s designed for DIY installation. All countertop faucet types are generally constructed for easy assembly but some might require you to buy additional accessories like a faucet adapter.
The best ones are those whose filter cartridges come pre-assembled and include a faucet adapter. Installation is as easy as taking out the faucet aerator and connecting the countertop’s pipe to the faucet spout.
The standard warranty is 1 year and an assurance of a lifetime technical support. Some will even offer a limited lifetime warranty.
Pick the one that has the most responsive technical support. While these units are easy to install, you can’t go wrong if the unit is backed by a reliable support team that you can easily contact.