Judith is a fairy in the world of writing: she manages to turn any topic (far not only a kitchen-related) into an entertaining text that is so easy and educating to read. Fond of gardening, reading, and cooking, of course.
Emily has over 10 years of professional experience using, testing and comparing kitchen appliances. Her knowledge helps to easily and naturally solve everyday problems. She is also the owner of the lifestyle blog emilyreviews.com
Last updated: February 15, 2021
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Having access to fresh, safe, and clean drinking water can be a challenge for most households. However, with the addition of a countertop water filter, those challenges are gone thanks to this contraption that is easy to set up, produces clean water, and comes at an affordable price. In this review of the best countertop water filters, we’ll take a look at the top 10 products on the market today.
To compile this list, we’ve essentially done all the work for you and reviewed over 50 different countertop water filters. In our research, we’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 list that is highlighted by our Editor’s Choice, the Apex MR-1050 Countertop Drinking Water Filter. This alkaline water filter helps to eliminate various contaminants to provide amazing and clean drinking water that is easily accessible. We’ll also review nine other products if you are looking for something slightly different.
In our review of the countertop water filters, we’ll make a note of a few important features. They include the type of filter, how many filtration stages it goes through, what it removes, its filter capacity, certifications, its size, and its warranty. It took us 50 hours to check the description of each product, visit official websites and consult several expert sources. It is our hope that after reading more about these products, you’ll have a really good idea of what to look for when purchasing one of the best countertop water filters out there today. Continue reading, and you will find detailed reviews as well as our buying guide to get more information about these products.
Our favorite countertop water filter is also our Editor’s Choice, the Apex MR-1050 Countertop Drinking Water Filter. When it comes to the perfect blend of quality, excellent functionality, durability, and affordability, there is no better option that the Apex MR-1050.
It is a faucet type of water filter, meaning that it can be installed directly onto your kitchen sink faucet head. It connects to any standard faucet and includes the hardware that is required to install it yourself, which is also very easy to do. The water here runs through five filtration stages, which means that it’s capable of removing more contaminants from your tap water. So, if you live in an area where the tap water quality is questionable, you’ll want a water filter that can make your water as clean as possible.
What’s impressive about this Apex MR-1050, is that it can remove over 11 different contaminants in the water, including some of the most common ones such as aluminum, mercury, arsenic, and iron. In terms of capacity, this product can filter 750 gallons maximum, which means that you get fresh water supply to keep you going for a long time. You’ll also be glad to know that this product is proudly made in the USA and adheres to the National Safety Foundation (NSF) water safety standards to ensure that you are drinking clean and safe water while using this filter.
While the vast majority of customers are very happy with this filter, a notable complaint is that it can be quite hard to replace a cartridge. On the other hand, the customer service here is top-notch.
One of the most trustworthy names in the water filtration business is Brita, and it’s no surprise that they make it to our list. With their Brita UltraMax Filtered Water Dispenser, you’re looking at a solid option for fresh-tasting and clean drinking water at an affordable price tag.
This Brita water filter is a pitcher/dispenser that would sit perfectly on top of your countertop or even in your fridge, if you have the proper space. It runs a 2-stage filtration process, which means that it uses a sediment and carbon filter to help remove a handful of potentially harmful contaminants, including chlorine, copper, mercury, zinc, and cadmium. Removing the chlorine from the water makes it taste much better, according to many people who have used this water filter.
It has a filter capacity of 40 gallons or approximately 2 months’ worth of usage before you’re required to change the disposable filter. For a single fill, however, it tops up at 1.13 gallons and sits tall and upright, and you can dispense the water using the handy spigot. As for certifications, it’s also NSF and FDA certified meaning that is in compliance with water safety standards.
Like our Editor’s Choice, this Brita water filter is enjoyed by the majority of owners. However, among the few complaints, a few people did note that it needs quite a bit of room on your countertop, and it can be a bit of an eyesore as well since it is rather tall.
If you’re not one to be concerned with the price the best countertop water filters and just want a premium model, look no further than our Upgrade Pick, the AQUA TRU Countertop Water Purifier. This water filter comes at a whopping $420, but it is, simply put, one of the best countertop water filters on the market.
With a 4-stage water filtration process, this dispenser boasts a reverse osmosis system to produce ultra-pure and safe drinking water. In fact, studies have shown that this AQUA TRU water filter is capable of removing up to 15 times more contaminants than other leading pitcher water filters. As for some of the most common types of contaminants, it can easily remove lead, chromium, copper, fluoride, radium, chlorine, and many more. It has a fantastic filter capacity, with a 600-gallon capacity for pre-filter and VOC filter and up to 1,200 gallons for an RO membrane.
This water filter has a digital display to let you know when the filter needs to be changed and dispenses water by pushing the button. Moreover, it can easily sit on your countertop. In comparison, the AQUA TRU is slightly bigger and bulkier than the Brita filter.
The majority of owners are very happy with this product and especially praise the easiness of use and set up as there is no plumbing required. Aside from its high price tag, a few owners noticed that it could leak. However, this product does come with a 1-year warranty, and you should be able to get a replacement in no time.
While the majority of these water filters can easily sit on your countertop, other water filters, like this one, the Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Counter Top Water Filtration System, sits much better on the sink top. It’s because of this we’re calling this water filter the Best Sink Top Water Filter, and that’s exactly where it should be placed because it needs to be in close proximity to your kitchen sink.
That’s because this is a faucet type of water filter that is easy to install, and it’ll be up and running in minutes. With this water filter, you simply attach the hose to your kitchen sink faucet head using either a 15/16” or 13/16”.
Many people love this water filter’s space-saving design since having it on your sink top allows you to free up space on your kitchen. 3-stage water filtration process does a great job at removing contaminants such as fluoride, chlorine, and more. Additionally, the product comes with a fantastic 3-year warranty, which means you’ll get to really see how it performs over a number of years.
As convenient of a water filter as this one is, quite a few people did make note that after shutting off the faucet, the water filter head would still drip water, so it will take some a few hours before it stops dripping.
Perhaps, one of the sleekest-looking countertop water filters on our list is the Royal Berkey Water Filter System. The product comes with two stainless steel chambers to house your water. While these chambers do take a lot of space, the overall design of this water filter is one of the most elegant and sturdiest around.
It has a simple 2-stage filtration process, and the filters help to remove harmful bacteria, protozoa, inorganic minerals, heavy metals, and more. Out of all the countertop water filters on this list, the Royal Berkey has the highest water filter capacity at an astonishing 6,000 gallons! It uses two filters to help refine the water, and it will be a long time before you need to replace the filters.
With a single fill, it can hold up to a solid 3.25 gallons in the tank, which can be dispensed using the rubber spigot at the bottom. In terms of its size, it’s not small and measures out to 23” tall and 9” in diameter. You can keep on your kitchen countertop or even bring it with you on a weekend camping trip.
Owners of this water filter absolutely enjoy the fact that it is easy to put together, and among the common complaints, some have experienced issues with the filters leaking because of the loose fittings. However, the customers should note that there is a lifetime warranty to put your mind at ease.
If you’re short on space in your house, but you still want to enjoy the benefits of fresh and clean drinking water, you might want to consider purchasing the APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP.
This countertop water filter is the perfect choice for people that may not have a lot of countertop space in their apartment, condo, or motor home kitchen. It has a very compact size that is perfect for smaller kitchen countertops. It measures out to 14” wide, 6” tall and with a depth of 6” as well. It comes in a sleek rectangle box-like shape where, underneath the hood, a fantastic 4-stage water filtration process is taking place to provide you with the best-tasting water.
The filters do a magnificent job at removing key contaminants, including arsenic, fluoride, copper, lead, and many more. In terms of installation, this APEC water filter hooks up to most standard faucets, which is important to note because it is not compatible with faucets that pull out or any other specially-designed faucets.
The majority of people who own this water filter are very happy with it because it is very simple to change the cartridge inside the console.
Another great dispenser is our pick for Best Water Filter with Spigot, the Santevia Gravity Water Filter. This upright dispenser features a near transparent body to go along with a spigot just below the middle of this water filter. In terms of the water filtration process, it sports a mind-blowing 8-stage filter, which, by far, is the highest number among the best countertop water filters on this list.
With an 8-stage filtration system, you can certainly bet that it will remove 99% of the contaminants that are in tap water, including fluoride, chlorine, bacteria, parasites, and more. While removing the contaminants, it also alkalizes and mineralizes the water.
Its size is a bit bigger, all the way around with a 13” height. What’s helpful about this Santevia Water Filter is its spigot, which is conveniently located not at the bottom of the water tank, such as seen with a few others on this list. Having it slightly below the middle of the body allows you to place a cup of water underneath the spigot to fill it up without moving the filter. Another great feature is that you’ll get excellent filter capacity, so it can last up to 6 months for the main filter or 1-year for the ceramic filter. As for water storage, the upper tank can hold 2.6 gallons while the lower tank holds 1.3 gallons.
The vast majority of people love this Santevia product. However, some of them said that it was too expensive and could be tricky to put together and install.
With the Invigorated Water pH Regenerate water filter, it definitely looks more like it could be your kitchen faucet and not a water filter. Along with its gorgeous and appealing stainless steel design, this water filter produces some of the best-tasting water in what we’re labeling it as the Best Alkaline Ionized Water Filter.
With this faucet water filter, you’re getting a 2-stage water filtration that works to increase the water pH and ORP levels. What that means for you is water that is improved in terms of its taste and smell. While the filtration process works, it removes a number of potentially harmful contaminants from tap water, including mercury, copper, lead, chlorine, chloramine, and limescale, while also adding helpful minerals like zinc, magnesium, and iron into the water.
You’ll be happy to know that with this fresh and good-tasting water, you also get a filter capacity that can last you an incredibly long 12 months! Owners of this water filter were thrilled and amazed by its gorgeous design, as well as its ease of installation, as it simply is able to hook up to your faucet with the use of some basic tools.
While the majority of owners were happy with this water filter, a few people did note that it is not compatible with all faucet types, so it’s best to check before purchasing if your faucet will be compatible with this water filter.
One of the benefits when it comes to purchasing the countertop water filters is the ease and quickness of getting them installed. Perhaps, the easiest countertop water filter to hook up on our list is the Aquasana AQ-4000W Countertop Drinking Water Filter System.
This water filter is another faucet model that is incredibly easy to connect and get started with. Once you’ve unpacked it and put the filter in, you simply attach it to your faucet head and voila, it will begin filtering water for you. You don’t need any basic tools or any other gadgets to help you get set up – it really is as easy as latching it onto your faucet!
Once you’re all set up, the water will go through a 3-stage filtration process whereby it will remove over 97% of chlorine and improve the overall taste of your water. It’s also very good at removing and reducing over 70 different contaminants. At the same time, it will retain more healthy minerals in your water including calcium, potassium, and magnesium to name a few. With this simple water filter, you’ll get plenty of fresh water out of a single filter use as it gets you 450 gallons of water or approximately six months of usage.
Among the downsides to this water filter is that it can leak from time to time, and if it does, you can try and get a new one under their 1-year warranty policy.
What we liked:
Easy to install
3-stage filtration process for better-tasting water
If you are looking for a reliable water filter that you can connect to your faucet, you can try this model. The CleanWater4Less Countertop Water Filtration System is not massively big, so it shouldn’t take a lot of space on your countertop. At just 9.5” tall and 5” wide, you can easily carry this water filter around in your hand. It also has a very durable with stainless steel build to it, so it should last you years to come.
To use this faucet style water filter, you simply just connect it to the faucet, switch the valve and let the water go through a 2-stage filtration process. The result is fresh-tasting water that is free of chlorine and has improved taste and no odor. What’s even better about this water filter is that you get an astonishing 10,000 gallons from the filter before you need a new one. That is definitely the best result on our list!
Additionally, it comes with a 30-day warranty, so if you notice anything awry with it, you can claim their warranty. One of the things to watch out for is that pieces of carbon from the filter can, unfortunately, leak out into the water.
What we liked:
Easy to install
Fantastic filter capacity
Removes odor and improves water taste
What could be better:
Black carbon particles from filter can leak into the water
Things to Сonsider
After checking out the best countertop water filters on the market right now, it’s time to turn your attention to our buying guide. In this section, we’ll delve more into the nuances and individual components of each countertop water filter. We’ll explain what to look at as well as the many different things that go into making a great countertop water filter. If you still have questions after that, perhaps you’ll find an answer to it in our frequently asked questions section. We’ll then wrap things up with our final verdict, which will consist of our top three countertop water filters.
Benefits of countertop water filters
There are many reasons to purchase a countertop water filter. One of them is that they are installed where you have direct access to water. For many people, this means you can simply attach it right to the faucet head and enjoy the benefits of fresh, clean, and filtered water on the spot. Many people really appreciate the fact that, in many cases, it is incredibly simple to install and begin using right away. Moreover, it very simple to change the removable cartridges.
There are also a few other countertop water filter options that are portable as well, meaning that you can take it with you on a weekend camping trip, or you can move it around freely in your kitchen and even store it in your fridge.
Lastly, and most importantly, the best countertop water filters do an excellent job of producing clean and safe drinking water. The high-quality of the water comes from the different filters used that are made of various materials, including activated carbon or ceramic, which help to remove the particles and contaminants in tap water.
How to pick the best countertop water filter?
If you find yourself scratching your head and unable to figure out which countertop water filter you should buy, perhaps you’ll be able to benefit from learning more about some of the individual components that go into a countertop water filter. Some of the things to consider before buying your countertop water filter include the type of filter that is used, the materials it is made of, the filtration stages, how it performs, the life of the filter, its dimensions, and its ease of maintenance. So, let’s dive deeper to find the best counter water filter.
Types of filters
As we’ve seen from the products on our list, there are quite a few types of water filters with no real standard or consensus among them.
Fist, the faucet type of water filter is one where you generally attach it to the faucet in your kitchen sink. Some, if not all, faucet water filters require you to use some basic tools to install it, so it’s best to check the product description beforehand. The Apex MR-1050 Countertop Drinking Water Filter is a fantastic product that features ease of installation.
Another type is the dispenser or pitcher water filter. With this particular water filter, the filtered water goes into some sort of vessel or container, and to extract the water, you would use some sort of spigot or button.
Lastly, perhaps the most uncommon type of water filter on our list is the chamber filter. This type of water filter uses two different sections or compartments to filter out your water. This water filter is gravity-fed, which means you pour the water into the upper chamber where it will then go through the filtration process and dispense out of the lower chamber. The Royal Berkey Water Filter System is a great example of a chamber filter.
The materials with which these countertop water filters are made of are also important. We see a few of these water filters that are made with stainless steel, and this helps to maintain its durability and ensure that it will last you for many years.
Another type of material that is becoming more common not just among water filters, but in other different products as well, are BPA-free plastics. BPA is a harmful chemical that has been used to make particular plastics and resins dating back to the 1960s. They are harmful to the end-user and for the environment as well. Thankfully, there are BPA-free water filters on our list, such as the Brita UltraMax Filtered Water Dispenser.
Each countertop water filter has its own specific number of filtration stages. It can range anywhere from 2-stages all the way up to 8-stages. For the most part, it’s typical to find water filters that are in between the 2-4 stage range. For ones with a 2-stage water filtration process, such as the CleanWater4Less Countertop Water Filtration System, this means that granulated activated carbon (GAC) works to remove dirt particles, chlorine and other chemicals to help improve the taste and odor of the water. In stage 3, carbon block filters are introduced to the process to further remove more harmful chemicals, VOCs, cloudiness, and more.
Lastly, in the fourth stage, this is where a semipermeable RO membrane, such as seen with the AQUA TRU Countertop Water Purifier, which acts as the main filter of the system and purifies and removes up to 99% of contaminants in the water.
For water filters that have more stages, the main benefits are that it changes the pH of the water to be slightly more alkaline.
Objectively speaking, the real reason why you’re considering to buy a countertop water filter is that you want to get healthy and better-tasting water! And with these water filters, they perform incredibly well to give you clean, fresh, and odor-free water.
The best countertop water filters work to do two things: remove harmful contaminants and re-mineralize your tap water with beneficial minerals.
In terms of some of the harmful contaminants these filters can remove, you’re looking at arsenic, mercury, lead, aluminum, lead, copper, and fluoride. These contaminants in your water are terrible for your health, and when drinking tap water that contains these contaminants, it can cause long-term health effects.
While removing most of the harmful contaminants, some water filters are also able to re-mineralize tap water with beneficial minerals, including magnesium and calcium. Adding these minerals back into the water greatly helps to produce better and clearer tasting water. Lastly, some water filters also have the ability to help make your tap water more alkaline, such as the Invigorated Water pH Regenerate, and this has a wealth of health benefits.
The water filter life expectancy can vary quite a bit depending on the model. In terms of measuring the filter life, it can be done in two ways: by gallons or by the length of time (i.e., 6 months).
The shortest filter life we see on our list of the best countertop water filters is the Brita UltraMax Filtered Water Dispenser, which has a filter life of roughly 2 months or 40 gallons of water. This means you’ll have to replace the filter every two months or when you’ve produced 40 gallons of water.
All of the countertop water filters should have some sort of certification, and what this basically means is that these products are approved by a certain governing body. The most common certification that nearly every countertop water filter has is the NSF certification. NSF, or the National Sanitation Foundation, is a non-profit organization that tests and certifies products related to food, water, and consumer goods. Its primary goal is to promote products they deem to be healthy, and that reduces adverse health effects while simultaneously helping to protect the environment. Since producing clean drinking water using a countertop water filter prevents wastage (plastic), it helps to promote this vision outlined by the NSF. Other common certifications that some of these water filters may have are from the FDA and LMBG.
For the most part, you’ll be glad to know that these countertop water filters are fairly small in size when compared to more industrial-sized water filters. However, with a countertop water filter, you’re obviously looking for something smaller in scale and size, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with these products.
Much like everything else about these countertop water filters, their designs can also vary dramatically as well. Dispenser or pitcher types usually have some sort of a dispensing piece, such as a spigot, at the bottom of the water filter that helps to extract the water from the water filter. Other water filters, like the Royal Berkey Water Filter System, feature a stainless steel body design that is very durable. For faucet water filters, they are more designed to look like an actual faucet complete with a spout where the filtered water comes out of.
Any particular design is not necessarily better than another – it ultimately boils down to what type of countertop water filter you’re looking for and the build you prefer.
Ease of maintenance
Just like any other household product you may have in your house, even the best countertop water filters need to be maintained. Still, the best part about it is that maintaining process is fairly simple and quick, and with most of these water filters, you’ll only have to do it 2-3 times per year.
Each water filter has a specified filter capacity, and once you’ve reached your filter’s limit, it’s important to replace the filter. If you don’t, you’ll just end up drinking unfiltered tap water.
For the countertop water filter you purchase, you’ll have to check to see how often you’ll need to change your filter. On top of this, it’s always good to do a quick inspection of your water filter to ensure there are no leaks. Since most of these water filters deal with large volumes of water, from time to time, there can be leaks.
It’s not very common to find a water filter with a lifetime warranty, so you should expect it to be between 1 and 2 years.
While it’s almost impossible to put a price tag on clean water, you can put a price tag on the device that helps to make it fresh! When it comes to the prices, the simple answer is that it varies. But the best thing about it is that there is a range of options for people that are more price-sensitive, as well as a few choices for those who need premium quality.
For those who are not concerned about the price, you might want to take a look at the AQUA TRU Countertop Water Purifier. Despite being the most expensive countertop water filter on our list at just over $400, it really is a very high-quality water filter that removes more contaminants compared to its rivals.
The best countertop water filter to remove chlorine from your tap water is one that uses activated charcoal. This carbon filter is able to get rid of the chlorine in tap water, and the end result is water that is clearer and smoother with less of a chemical taste. Moreover, this helps to eliminate the odor of chlorine, too. Make sure to check the product description to find whether there is a carbon filter with granules or particles. You will also find how efficient the specific filter is against different types of contaminants.
If you have a particularly sensitive palate, and if you’re able to differentiate between good and clean-tasting water and that of harder and denser water, then your taste buds will be able to tell you when your water filter needs to be changed. Another good clue is the odor of the water as well. While filtered water can smell like nothing, water that is not being filtered can often have a funky smell to it and can smell sour. If you notice a particular smell when you go to take a sip of water from your glass, it probably means you need to change your water filter. However, the best indicator is the capacity of the filter itself. The manufacturer will provide you with all the information you need to know how often you should change them.
When it comes to the water that is coming out of your taps, the pH value is a good indicator that shows you how hard the water is. Water filters help to control the fluctuations that can commonly arise in pH levels of tap water. Water filters are excellent at preventing acidic contaminants such as lead, copper, iron, and zinc from getting through your pipes and into your water. In doing so, it will help to prevent a number of health issues from arising. In most cases, the result of these water filters affecting the pH level is an increase in the alkaline level, which will make water taste better since it does not have the harmful metals and contaminants in it.
In our final verdict, we present to you our top three choices.
Kicking things off with our Editor’s Choice, the Apex MR-1050 Countertop Drinking Water Filter, we’re just really impressed with the overall quality and presentation of this water filter. Things that stand out for us is its simple and elegant design, ease of installation, and of course, the clean and fresh tasting water it produces.
Next up is the Brita UltraMax Filtered Water Dispenser. Brita is notoriously known for creating some of the best countertop water filters, and that’s what you get with this 2-stage water filter that has a convenient spigot at the bottom for simple dispensing.
Lastly, we adore the AQUA TRU Countertop Water Purifier. This premium model comes with a digital display, has a long filter lifespan and requires no plumbing or installation. We also love that it can fit right in on your countertop without taking much space!