Best Countertop Water Filter [2020]

best Countertop water filters

Water in your home is transparent, fresh and looks great? All of this means that it is 100% clean and safe to drink and use for cooking. Sadly, the answer is no! Despite the fact water looks like we have just mentioned, it may still contain heavy metals, chloramine, benzene, viruses, bacteria and so much more. It is even possible to contain uranium, believe or not! A good thing is that you can eliminate all the contaminants without any work. For that, you will need the best countertop water filter, a few minutes of your time and you are safe.

These products may look incredibly simple and even basic, but they are a must-have addition these days. Water sources are more and more contaminated as we speak, so finding the best way to make them perfectly clean once again is important.

For most users, a countertop water filter is the best alternative. They are very easy to install and use and they are still powerful enough to meet the highest requirements.

The only question is which one to choose? After all, there are hundreds of models out there and not all are ideal for your home. Let us do the hard work. We have tested over 20 models in order to compile a list of 5 best units. We will also reveal the secrets which you can use to find a unit that is just right for your home.

Buyer’s Guide For The Best Countertop Water Filter: What You Need To Consider?

There are almost countless countertop filters out there and each one claims to be revolutionary, special and more. How you would tell which one is truly special? Well, you can do it with our help. In this very section, we will explain all the main facts and factors to consider when looking for a new countertop water filter. We used all of these parameters when we tested models presented on the list.

Type of a countertop water filter

Not all countertop water filters are the same nor they offer the same features. However, there are 5 main types and each one is specific. To better understand the water filters and how they work, you will have to understand each type and be able to set a clear difference among them.

  • Filter dispensers

This is the first and very common type. A filter dispenser is basically a tube filled with filtration elements. There are two main chambers. The first one is a water container. You will pour water here and wait. The second chamber is where the clean water is stored.

As such, your only task is to fill the upper container and the water will pass through the filtration elements and end up in the lower container, perfectly clean. You will end up with clean water that can be consumed immediately.

There are few good and not so good things about this type. The first one is simplicity. Filters of this kind are very affordable, they do not require complicated assembling, adjustments or anything like that. As specified above, you will pour the water and you are done.

This also brings us to a drawback. First of all, you have to pour water every couple of hours or days, depending on the size. Then you will have to wait for the water to pass through the filters. This can take up to 10 hours, although most new models can process water much quicker.

Filter dispensers are ideal for people who are on the go, who need small and compact and also affordable solutions.

  • Distillers

Water distillers are a completely different thing and they are probably the most advanced of them all. They are usually big in size and complicated to maintain or repair.

But, a countertop water filter of this type is the best filtration system on the planet. It uses a process known as distillation to remove the chemicals, metals and more. The water will be heated to boiling temperature and a special tube or tubes will lead the steam to another container. When the steam cools down, you get clean water.

This process is so effective that it has been used in medical facilities, in laboratories and more. Luckily there are products made for home usages and the ones that can be purchased today and used in your home instantly.

While the filtration is the best and cannot be linked to any other type of water filters, a water distiller is usually massive in size, slow and it will require complicated maintenance. These units are designed to process a few gallons of water per day and to meet the requirements of 2-3 people.

If you are looking to get one of these units, make sure there are no materials sensitive to heat such as plastics. They must be made from glass, steel, copper and similar materials.

Choosing the best countertop water filter with this design is complicated as well. If you make a mistake, you can end up with water that tastes like plastic or cannot be consumed. A proper distiller will provide you with 100% clean and fresh water though.

  • Ionizer

An ionizer is the most complicated type of water filters. They use a process called electrolysis. During the process, cathodic water will be created on negative electrodes (positive ions are attracted) while negative ions will create anodic water. Anodic water is also known as oxidized water.

So, do you need a product of this kind? The answer is yes and no. The ionizers are very effective and they can provide you with perfectly clean water every single time. They eliminate all possible contaminates and they keep the water fresh and you will feel good while draining it.

On the other side of the story, we have a high price and the fact not all people can drink this type of water. Some of you may love it, while others won’t be able to stand it in a glass.

One thing is still in debate. Water ionizers and their benefits alongside advantages are still being researched. There are a lot of studies and there will be many more in the near future. Many of the studies do agree that this water is perfect for your health because it increases pH levels in your body and hence protects you from various conditions, disorders and diseases.

Who should consider a water ionizer? The answer is very simple actually. If you are looking or the best filtration method, you want the healthiest water of them all and you can afford an ionizer, go for it.

  • R.O filters

The most popular and the most commonly used type. R.O stands for reverse osmosis and it is basically a filter with a built-in cartridge inside. Inside the cartridge, there are various filtration elements. Those elements are responsible for filtration.

The main reason why these models are so popular is the overall success rate and simplicity. In general, you get a massive filter. It will feature 3 or 4 stage filtration process and end up with clean water.

The effectiveness is above the average and can rarely be compared to any other system. A system will be able to filter water and eliminate heavy metals, chemicals, chlorine and so much more. They typically offer 99.9% filtration rate while other filtration systems offer a bit lower rate.

RO filters are easy to use and install but they are not made to look nice. Many models out there won’t be even seen in a kitchen, due to the fact they will be under a cabinet! For some users this is an advantage, giving them more countertop space.

We did mention that RO filters are usually installed under the countertop but this isn’t a generic solution. There are many users who leave the filters on their countertop and they stay there.

  • Sink top type

Here is one type of water filter you probably have come across many times. They are very small, easy to install and they are practical. Sink top countertop water filter is directly connected to the faucet and it will filter water before it runs out from the tap.

Water comes to the cartridge which filters it and then is stored in a container. Many models do come with a faucet installed. From that faucet, you will get clean and safe to drink water.

Sink top models can be small, medium or massive in size. They are very affordable and they can be used literally anywhere. Don’t forget that they can be installed on most kitchen faucets but they will need an adapter. Many models come with a package that includes one or two adapters so always check compatibility with your faucet.

After installation is complete, you get a successful and effective water filtration system that removes bacteria, contaminants and so much more from water.

Comparison table

Name of the filterMain featuresRatingPrice

Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter

best countertop water filter

  • 2.25-gallon capacity
  • removes 99.9% bacteria
  • 6.000 gallons lifespan
  • independent testing.
  • 4.3/5
  • $$$

APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-C Portable Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System

best countertop water filter

  • Case included 90 GPD
  • standard fit
  • 4 stage filtration
  • up to 40-80 psi.
  • 4.6/5
  • $$$

APEX Quality Countertop Drinking Water Filter

  • 99% contaminants removal
  • connects to any faucet
  • 7 different color versions
  • 4.4/5
  • $$

iSpring CKC1C Countertop water filter

best countertop water filter

  • 5-micron cartridge
  • easy to install
  • NSF/ANSI standards
  • 4.2/5
  • $

Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Counter Top Water Filtration System

  • Three-stage filtration
  • Portable design
  • installation within minutes
  • Compact design
4.1/5
  • $$

 

Content table

  • Introduction
  • Comparison table
  • Top 5 Products
  • Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter
  • APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-C Portable Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
  • APEX Quality Countertop Drinking Water Filter
  • iSpring CKC1C Countertop water filter
  • Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Counter Top Water Filtration System
  • Buyer’s guide for the Best Countertop Water Filter: What you need to consider
  • FAQ
  • Verdict

Top 5 Countertop Water Filters

Finding the best countertop water filter is more complicated than it may sound and that’s why we have invested days into finding the ones that will exceed all your expectations. The rank is mentioned below.

Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter

Big Berkey Gravity-Fed is the first and therefore the best countertop water filter on our tests. There are so many reasons for that. Let’s begin with the basics. The unit looks great and it will fit nicely to any kitchen and any home. The dimensions are 19.25” x 8.5” (height diameter) and the construction is glossy metal.

The capacity of the filter is 2.25 gallons. This transfers to a sufficient water flow for 4 people per day. Users can increase or decrease the flow rate accordingly. Adding a new or secondary Black Berkey Purification Element will obviously increase the flow. You can install up to 4 elements per one main unit.

Removal of bacteria, viruses and heavy metals among other contaminants is mandatory for each and every filter of this kind. The particular model removes up to 99.99% of bacteria and viruses. It will also remove heavy metals, inorganic minerals, trihalomethanes and literally everything else that will contaminate your water.

The result is purified water. Big Berkey Gravity-Fed is commonly known as a water purifying system rather than just an ordinary filter. This advantage made it the most appealing and desirable counter water filter you can have today.

Lifespan

Now we will cover the lifespan of the filter. It is 6.000 gallons but per a purification element. In other words, each element can last 6.000 gallons. After that, all you have to do is to replace the element (not the entire unit) and use it again. The lifespan is increased to all-new 6000 gallons of water! In other words, you will spend 3 cents per gallon of purified water.

Each product is tested by third-party testers before delivery. Each new model must pass even more complicated tests in order to become available on the market. The best part here is that this manufacturer uses several third-party testers in order to provide safe and reliable filtration products.

The complete filter is made from stainless steel. This is one of the hardest metals known to man and perfect for this application. Stainless steel won’t rust or corrode despite the period of time it is exposed to water and moisture in general.

Thanks to the material, cleaning the unit is extremely simple. When you want, you can wipe it with a clean cloth and you are all set. Yes, you can use various cleaning solutions as well, just make sure they are not toxic nor dangerous to humans and animals.

Overall designbest countertop water filter

The overall design is a masterpiece. The entire unit looks well-made and solid. The attention to detail is impressive and will allow you to use the product in any home. It will blend perfectly with your décor and your home looks even better.

Installation is as you would expect. You don’t have to drill, use electricity or anything else. Just connect the main components and you are done. The water filter will work immediately afterward. Except for replacing the filtration element, there are no other maintenance tasks you will have to process.

This is a premium water filter, designed and made by experts to meet all your requirements. As you would expect, it does come at a price and it isn’t the most affordable product out there. On the other side, it is a great investment you may want to consider as soon as possible.

Pros
  • Removes 99.99% contaminants

  • Well-made and strong construction

  • Up to 4 filtration elements

  • 000 gallons lifespan (per filtration element)

  • Independent testing by various labs

Cons
  • This model comes at a high price

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APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-C Portable Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System

APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-C is the next model on our list. It is a modern water filter countertop system that will look stunning and also better than almost any other product of the same type. Of course, it isn’t all about beauty. The system must be efficient and must purify water perfectly so there are no harmful toxins, metals or anything that may have a negative effect on your health.

Installation is relatively simple. Yes, you can install it on any standard faucet, but the accent here is on standard! What this means is that the filter system can be installed on any old or new standard faucet. Installation is impossible on sprayer faucets, special size and also on pull-out faucets. APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-C  is made for most homes and for basic applications.

One thing we must mention and explain here is the case. It is available as an optional extra and it does change the price of the product! Users can get it without a case, obviously for less money but the filtration system looks ‘’exposed’ and not that great.

Adding the case made from aluminum is an excellent choice and we actually tested both versions. The one with a case looked better and was more appealing to use. The case also protects the sensitive components of the system which may be something to consider these days.

The filtration happens in 4 different stages. With each stage, smaller particles and elements are removed. The end result is perfectly clean water with great taste. The taste is actually so much better when compared to bottled water!

The entire filtration process happens in the bottle-shape components inside the case. It is obviously safe and it eliminates all the commonly founded compounds and contaminants inside the water source.

Length & Max Air Pressurebest countertop water filter

The filters inside are 10 inches in length and each one uses ¼ inches connection (quick connect). When the time comes, you will have to replace the filters but it is an easy task and it doesn’t differ from other models’ features here on the list.

The maximum pressure the system can be used with is 80psi, but the range is 40-80 PSI. Thanks to this, you can use your new filtration system in your home, apartment, motor home and even while traveling. The filtration rate will always stay at 99%.

Additional facts we can add include simple installation. An average user will need a few minutes of the time. Owners can get instant help from WQA Certified Water Specialists at any given moment.

In the end, all we can add is the summary of the product. It eliminated 99% of bacteria, germs and contaminates, it is made by some of the best-known brands in the industry and it comes with an aluminum case suitable for versatile usages.

Overall, transporting the APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-C is an easy task. However, this refers to the version with the case only. The one without it is more exposed and requires gentle handling.

Pros
  • 4 stage ultimate filtration

  • The aluminum case is available as optional extra

  • Fits all standard faucets without any modifications

  • An ultra-quiet and reliable filtration system

  • Suitable for usages at homes, apartments, and while on the move

Cons
  • Doesn’t fit sprayer, special size or pull-out faucets

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APEX Quality Countertop Drinking Water Filter 

APEX Quality Countertop Drinking Water Filter is a bit different model and the one that does require a lot of time to explain. The first thing we noticed is the variety of colors. There are 7 different versions available and they do share the same components, although the main cover is different. There is also a stainless steel option. Just to add, all versions come at the same price.

How this water filter works is a separate story. There are two separate processes. The first one is obvious. It removes 99% of bacteria, germs, chlorine, heavy metals and so much more. In general, users get a complete water filtration process.

The second part of the filter is responsible for boosting the levels of calcium, potassium and magnesium. This will simply increase the alkalinity of the water. All of these minerals will slightly raise the TDS levels of water. This is perfectly normal and even the manufacturer provides details about it.

Installation is done using adapters. In the package, there are multiple adapters and it is expected that each user checks for compatibility with their faucet. After that, the water filter can be used without any complications.

The composition of the filter is more important than we can explain. There are 4 different steps or levels of filtration. The first one is KDF 55 and it is used to remove bacteria, heavy metal and also microorganisms.

Microfelt Pad

Then there is microfelt pad. After it, the filter uses granular activated carbon. This is the main section of the filter and it will remove chlorine, chloramine, benzene and also organic chemicals. Once again, microfelt pad is added between the levels.

Alkaline beads are the second-largest part of the filter. They are not responsible for filtration. Instead, they add potassium, magnesium, and calcium, as we have mentioned at the beginning. Microfelt pad is added once again.

The last part of the filter is calcite. After this section, users get perfectly clean water. The filter is simple in how it works and operates, but complex on the inside.

There is no need to add that the unit meets the latest NSF/ANSI Standards. It is made in the United States and it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The guarantee is a nice addition, but most users won’t even consider it, due to the fact the Countertop Drinking Water Filter is effective and gets the job done without any issues.

The size is 12 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches while weight is 5 pounds. The idea was to create a small and compact water filter that will eliminate the need for smaller, single-use products and decrease the plastic waste in the world.

APEX Quality Countertop Drinking Water Filter is the most popular product of this kind on the market and it can be seen literally anywhere these days. The price is generally affordable and places it in the mid-range of the commonly used countertop water filter products.

Pros
  • Available in 7 different color options

  • Excellent value for money

  • Advanced filtration mechanics

  • Adds potassium, magnesium, and calcium to the water

  • Compact and easy to carry

Cons
  • Replacing the filter is complicated and some users may need a lot of time to replace it

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iSpring CKC1C Countertop Water Filter 

iSpring CKC1C countertop water filter is an extremely affordable model. It is recommended for those who are on a tight budget and who look for a great and effective way to filter the water and drink 100% clean variation.

There are 3 options users can get. The first one is the carbon filter only. It is used as a replacement for the existing and old filter and can be purchased separately. The second option is carbon filter with a clear housing. The last option is white housing with a carbon filter. We tested two of the versions and the carbon filter itself and here are our findings.

A clear housing is used to inspect and determine the quality of water visually. You can also check and determine when the time is right to replace the filter. It isn’t a mandatory element here but can make overall use simpler.

The filter itself is based on 5-micron carbon blocks. They can eliminate up to 95% of contaminants from water. In other words, the filter is effective against heavy metals, rust, salt, odors, silt and sediments among other things.

One advantage is the ability to filter the so-called volatile organic compounds or VOCs. These are traces of herbicides, pesticides, and chemicals found in industries. Just to add, this advantage is confirmed by laboratories and therefore meets the NSF/ANSI Standards!

The package includes the filter, 2 adapters needed for the faucet, plastic wrench and also O-rings. Tubing is included as well. The installation is one of the simplest here and there is no need to explain it in detail. There is a user manual included meaning all users can get over with installation within minutes.

Long Lasting

best countertop water filter

Each filter can last for 6 months. Don’t think that the situation is different with high-end and more expensive models. Their filters also last the same period of time. In essence, a filter will lose its properties after 6 months hence replacing it is mandatory.

iSpring CKC1C includes standard CTO carbon block with 4 stage filtration. It is slightly different than with other products of this kind. There are 4 stages of filtration, but 6 main components inside a filter.

The first one is a part used to remove particles, dust, and germs (larger particles in general). The same component is available in 4 places inside the filter and does the same job every single time. The next section improves the water taste and balances pH levels.

The third section is smaller than others and it is used specifically for removing atrazine, asbestos, and iron. The last section is large and it is used for removing VOC (volatile organic compounds) and chlorine. In the end, clean and filtered water comes from the filter and it is ready for drinking.

Each new filter, users can get, contains precisely this layout of sections and materials. Replacing the filter is easier than average. We had a great time testing and using the device for a couple of days. The result was above average and as such, we had to include it on the list.

We must add that the iSpring CKC1C is suitable for city water sources. The same brand makes other filters that are suitable for city and natural water sources.

All users seeking for affordable, yet effective and safe to use water filter countertop system should consider this particular unit. It is easy to install, maintain and removes all contaminants from water easily.

Pros
  • Very affordable

  • Complete water filtration with 10 inches filter

  • Simple installation and filter replacement

  • Excellent customer support always available

  • Works well with various city water sources

Cons
  • Designed for city water sources only

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Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Counter Top Water Filtration System

The Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Counter Top Water Filtration System is the last model on our list. It has been the best countertop water filter for many users all around the globe. First and foremost, the unit is available in both, black and white colors. Again interesting addition is that the black version is slightly more expensive. Other than that, they do not have differences.

The filter itself is capable of removing 93% of chemicals and compounds such as chlorine, fluoride and many others. Some of you will know that this result is lower than premium models have but still considered as more than just effective.

The design is a masterpiece. The entire model is designed and made to occupy as little space as possible and to be used in various locations.

The installation is as easy and as simple as it gets. An average user will need a couple of minutes. There is no drilling, matching or any complicated task present.

If we take a look inside the filter, we will see a bit different configuration. There are 10 ounces of coconut shell carbon filtration, followed with activated alumina (10 ounces as well). Between the layers are compression disks.

Additional Info

We can add that this countertop water filter includes flexible connecting tubing and also long-reach chrome faucet. Honestly, the faucet here is the best among the various products. It is strong, reliable and perfectly made without any drawbacks.

In the package manufacturer includes 15/16×13/16 faucet adapter, allowing you to connect it with many different faucets out there. The unit is completely assembled before delivery and also includes a nice set of user manuals with all needed instructions.

In a nutshell, the Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 is simple, affordable and comes with all the essentials in the package. The construction is tough and we believe the filtration system is built to last. It will serve you for many years.

Pros
  • Available in black and white color versions

  • 3-stage filtration

  • Value for money

  • Extra-long and chrome-plated faucet

  • Useful instructions provided by the company

Cons
  • 93% of filtration is slightly below average

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Which pollutants are you trying to remove?

Before you make up your mind and decide which water filter do you need or want, you should take a look in the water. Not literally of course. You need to perform a water test. Luckily there are a lot of water testers you can get online and use for your water.

The mission here is to inspect your water source and find which chemicals or contaminants you are trying to eliminate from water. For example, if water has a strong chemical taste, it means it is loaded with chlorine. If it has earthly taste, it contains algae.

Now, when you know what is inside the water you will know what to eliminate. Some water filters are designed to remove chlorine better than the others. Other models are more focused on bacteria and algae. The only way to make the right choice is to find a unit that matches your requirements.

If you are not interested in performing a water test nor you have the time, take a special look at the next factor. It is a simpler alternative to all that we have mentioned here and it can also assist you in making the best possible choice.

Filtration percentage

Percentage of filtration is one factor that can make a massive difference. You probably know that many water filters offer a 99.99% percentage of filtration. This is the highest possible result and there is no single model out there with a higher rating.

We will say that 99.99% is a rate we all need. It is the safest, makes water completely clean and has the ability to clean all possible contaminants and chemicals from it.

If you are in a hurry or you want the safest countertop water filter, pick one with the mentioned rating. As a result, you can expect clean water and you can be positive that poor water quality is a thing from the past.

99.99% of water filters are not the only choice out there. There are models with lower ratings. Some may offer 93% others 94% and these are above average. Don’t think that they are not successful and effective. They are still capable to keep bacteria, germs, and chemicals away from your body but they are not as safe as the first type here.

A possible drawback here is that not all manufacturers will mention the filtration percentage. If this is the case with a model you like, pay attention to the filtration stages. It is the next factor here and there we will explain the basics.

Filtration stages

Water filters come with 3 or 4 stage filtration processes. Ideally, you will have a unit with 4 stage filtration. But, what this actually means?

A filtration system has a cartridge, basically a filter that does all the work. This is a tube-alike part that occupies the central part of the system and water comes to it via tubes. Inside there are various filtration elements responsible for filtering the water.

If a filter has 3 filtration elements, then it is 3-stage filtration. If it has 4 elements, it will filter water 4 separate times and therefore provide 4-stage filtration. Both variations are effective, but 4-stage models are more advanced and they are able to filter chemicals that are not always filtered by 3-stage filters.

The best example is the Apex filtration system. It is the 3rd model on our list. This unit comes with 4-stage filtration and if you take a look at the review you will see that there are 4 separate stages. They are KDF-55, granular activated carbon, alkaline beads, and calcite. This is just an example. Other models have different filtration elements inside.

In addition, it isn’t necessary for all 4 states to perform filtration only. With the previous example, we saw that one section of the carriage is used for adding magnesium, potassium, and calcium to the water. Anyway, this is an advent and something we liked a lot.

Last but not least part of the section is to take a look at the diagram of the cartridge and look for filtration element separators. These are pads or additional materials used to separate the filtration elements inside and make sure each one does its job perfectly.

Size

Where you are going to use your new water filter? If you are planning to use in a massive kitchen, then you can go for a large model with large tank and large capacity. If you are planning to use it while traveling, you will need a small model.

Many versions are 10 inches in height and this is an average size. The cartridge filter determines the size and all other components will follow this size. While 10 inches is more than some users need, it isn’t sufficient for those who need more clean water.

The point here is to pay close attention to the size of the water filter and get one that comes with size suitable for your usages. Bigger filters are usually more suitable for permanent, stationary use. Make sure to know your needs and your requirements before getting a product.

Price

The best countertop water filter may come at a price. It is important to set your budget and then look for models that meet that price range. Ideally, your budget will be between $40 and $300. For this price, you can choose between countless models out there and obviously easily find the one that is just perfect for you and your home.

Once you decide a budget, you should look for the capacity, level of filtration and the size of your new unit. Pick one that has 3 or 4 stages of filtration, offers great quality and comes with detailed tests or approval from the authorities.

It doesn’t mean that a cheap model will be useless or the unit won’t filter water properly. In most cases, this means that a unit is smaller in size but it still offers 99.99% filtration rating.

Cost over time

Each filter has cartridges that must be replaced. Some of them must be replaced after 2 months, some after a specific amount of water processed and others when the manufacturer specifies. This is cost over time or better said how much money you will invest in your water filter to run smoothly over time.

When looking for the details regarding this factor, you need to consider the duration a filter can be used and also the cost of a replacement unit. There are a lot of examples and sadly we cannot generalize the matter. But, we can add some valuable information.

Ceramic filters will have to be replaced after 6 months. They generally cost $50 or more. The situation is similar to activated carbon and KDF. They should be replaced between 6 and 8 months and they will cost you $40. Cartridges used for distillation should be replaced after 2 months but they are very affordable, $20-$30.

There is a separate type of filter that doesn’t have to be replaced after a specific period of time. They have to be replaced after the total amount of water filtrated. For instance, you will replace it when it filters 6000 gallons of water which is the case with Royal Berkey models. This will cost you $120 per filtration element and you can use up to 4 of them.

The end result is to have a water filter you can maintain. It is useless without a new filter and it won’t get the job done. Make sure to invest in a model that is affordable to maintain according to your possibilities.

Installation

How easy it is to install your new water filter? Almost all new models are extremely simple and easy to install. They come with basic instructions and details and they come with a few steps you have to follow. But, this isn’t always the case.

There are several levels of installation. The first one is the simplest models. They don’t have to be installed at all. You will pour water and it will pass through the filter and be available for drinking.

The next type is water filters which have to be connected to faucet only. They are reasonably easy to install and with a bit of help, you can complete this process within minutes. In this case, scenario, make sure that your new unit is compatible with your old faucet.

The third type is the model which requires electricity and connecting with the faucet. They are very complicated for most users and they may need professional installation.

If you are a new user, start with a model that has to be connected to the faucet only. If you are a regular user and you have the experience, then you can use any of the types mentioned above.

One important addition is to look at the user manual. It can help you install a unit without making any mistakes or errors. Of course, a well-written and image-rich instructions are much better and far more preferable. It would be highly advised to check out the user manual and the details before ordering that very countertop water filter. Just to add, online videos with how to, can be helpful.

Supported faucets

This factor may sound irrelevant, but it is actually one of determining things to consider when looking for a new counter water filter. Try to remember that almost all models are made to work with standard faucets.

Many models of this kind won’t work with special size faucets, pull out and sprayer faucets. You can still connect them but you will need a special adapter which is usually available as an optional extra.

To make sure you don’t make a mistake and end up with a water filter that stays in the kitchen but cannot be used, always check for the compatibility. Each and every manufacturer will display the supported faucets and include additional resources and files potential owners should check out.

Materials used in construction

A water filter is constantly in contact with water. Some models that use heat to purify water are even more demanding for the materials. What this means is that you need to look at the materials in general, used in a new water filter.

On the market, you will see many models made from stainless steel. This is the ultimate metal. It is immune to corrosion, water, moisture and it also stays shiny for decades. The situation is similar to aluminum but it isn’t as great as stainless steel.

Ceramics is used also and it is an excellent option. In general, you need to consider metals and materials which won’t leave any traces in water and which won’t corrode after years of use. If you get a model with this advantage, you will make a worthy investment and you will be positive that your water filtration system is superb for many years to come.

Another advantage here is maintenance and repairs. Models that are made to last do not have to be repaired after a few years simply because they won’t develop any leakage or damages.

Water taste

This is a factor we cannot generalize. Some water filters affect the water taste. Others don’t. The ones that do, there are several options. The ideal solution is to get a clean taste of the water that doesn’t remind you of anything. What this means is that the taste will be neutral or it will be like any other clean, fresh, natural water source offers.

Other water filters will change the taste of water and make it ‘’sweet’’. This is a common option and many users won’t have a hard time getting used to the taste. On the other hand, we have homeowners who dislike the taste and who don’t want to drink water with it.

Sadly, it is almost impossible to determine what kind of taste water will have before using the water filter for some time. The only possible solution is to take a look at the reviews (we will always mention if a unit changes the taste of the water) or to check for the reviews of users who actually own that water filter.

Water pressure

Many of the models available on the market work with average water pressure, which is between 40 and 80PSI. This type of pressure is found in many homes, apartments and general across the world.

If your home has a higher pressure, you may have to use an additional valve designed to decrease the pressure. If the current pressure is too low, you will need a different unit, compatible with that pressure.

Water pressure needed for the water filter to operate can be divided into two main categories. The first one is average, as we have mentioned earlier. The second category is above or under the threshold. Check with the manufacturer of water filter you are planning to use can it be used on the water pressure your home has.

NSF and ANSI

These are standards a water filter should or better said must comply with. NSF stands for National Sanitation Foundation and it is an organization established back in 1944. The goal was to provide safety standards for all the items that are in direct contact with drinking water and food.

ANSI is a similar organization known as privately owned and non-profitable institutions. The acronym refers to the American National Standards Institute. As you can see both of these organizations affect the water filtration systems.

We would like to say all models on the market meet the highest standards and there are no deviations. However, this isn’t the case. As a matter of fact, there are almost countless standards present. Below, we will explain the most common ones and the ones that are usually included in the description of a water filter you are looking.

NSF/ANSI Standard 42

These water filters will remove aesthetic chemicals and compounds found in water such as chlorine or anything else that affects the taste and odor of the water. They can be used on countertops and they can be used for the entire home. Models with this standard are the most common on the market.

NSF/ANSI Standard 53

NSF/ANSI Standard 53 includes the aforementioned NSF/ANSI Standard 42 but improves it even more. These units can also remove aesthetic compounds but also can remove contaminants which have a negative effect on human health. The best example would be carbon filters. Very common, popular and appealing to use.

NSF/ANSI 44

You may see this term in the description of your new water filter but it is unlikely! The standard refers to the water softeners which use potassium chlorite or sodium to decrease the hardness of the water.

NSF/ANSI 55

The standard refers to the models which use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and germs. It is a high standard commonly linked to premium water filters. Here we can see two main sub-types. The first one is Class A and it is used for products that can kill bacteria on contaminated water. Class B products can disinfect drinking water.

NSF/ANSI 58

NSF/ANSI 58 is used for RO or reverse osmosis systems. They force water using pressure to pass through the membrane and therefore eliminate particles that may be harmful to the humans and animals. These filters are regulated by EPA and Health Canada.

NSF/ANSI 62

NSF/ANSI 62 is a high standard that affects distillation systems only. It means that the overall process is successful and a unit can eliminate all the toxins, bacteria, germs and anything else that people don’t like in water.

NSF/ANSI 177

NSF/ANSI 177 is used for shower filters only. The standard means they can successfully reduce chlorine in the water. Keep in mind that this standard does not refer to ordinary water filters.

Design

All of you looking for the best Countertop Water Filter will consider the design at some point. After all, this is a unit that will stay on the countertop at all times. You need a modern and appealing device that will match the décor of your home.

When we are explaining design, we can add that it is irrelevant to the overall success rate of the water filter. However, the design should be well-marched to the overall size of the device. You need a larger model to filtrate more water and to remove more contaminants. 10 inches filters are the best.

Here you need to pay attention to the design that will match your home décor but the unit is still 10 inches or bigger in size. Other sub-factors are not important nor needed.

Testing

Each and every model will be tested in some way. There are two main types of testing. The first one is in-house. This means that the manufacturer will test the model when it is developed and share the details with potential buyers.

The second type is when a manufacturer uses third-party tests and laboratories to test their new model. This is a more advanced type of testing and usually more important in the eyes of beholders. There are a few additional facts.

If you are looking at a water filter that is made by a small and unknown company, make sure it has third-party tests present. It is common for those manufacturers to present you with false tests or ‘’imaginable’’ tests.

If you are looking at a model made by some of the largest brands in the industry, then you can rely on in-house testing and be positive that the unit meets the requirements. Lab or third party testing is always trustworthy and applies as a better alternative at any given moment. If you find a model that comes with a third party and in-house tests, it is the safest choice, period.

Capacity

Capacity is an obvious factor. It refers to the amount of water the unit can process in a given time. You will see that some manufacturers list the capacity as 2.2 gallons or 0.5GPM. The second option is gallons per minute and it applies to the total amount of water that passes through the filter in one minute. More is better.

The capacity is used for water filters that are smaller and portable, which comes with a container for intake water and for clean water. Once again, more is better and it means that you will have to refill the containerless frequently.

There is a third option also. It may be stated in the product description or on the package that a unit is sufficient for a large family, one user or something in between. These values are usually accurate and there is no need to explain them any further.

Recommended water sources

This is an important factor that many users simply don’t pay attention to! It means that a water filter you are looking for is suitable for city sources or for natural sources or both. Many models can be used in city water sources only.

More expensive and more professional models can be used with the city and natural sources. There are no models which are designed for natural sources only. This is a must obey factor and fact specified by the manufacturer!

Weight

Weight is an important and needed factor to consider for portable models that are designed for use while traveling, on the go and etc. It is determined by the size of the model and the capacity.

There are countless options out there but the goal is to choose a unit which meets your requirements for clean water. The weight of that model will generally be around 5 pounds and the capacity 1-2 gallons.

The weight factor is irrelevant for models designed to be used on a home and the ones that won’t be moved around.

Alkaline beads

The factor in question isn’t important for the actual filtration process. It is an addition that promotes and therefore improves the water quality. This is a separate section inside a filter that adds magnesium potassium and calcium.

Alkaline beads are commonly used in premium models and they are more than just appealing for a specific type of user. Yes, this also means that the price of the model with the system is higher but worth it.

Warranty

Many of the water filters from our list and the ones available on the market come with high prices. That’s why it is important to look for a warranty. You want a reliable model with countless features and safe design. A long warranty that covers all the aspects literally tells you will get a filter with these advantages.

A warranty also protects your investment. A better warranty means that you can replace the unit if something is damaged in the transport, or at the factory.

Pay attention to the money-back guarantee. This is especially important for models that change or affect the odor and taste of odor. If you are not satisfied, you can return the product and the manufacturer will give your money back. Without this feature, you are left with a water filter with a water taste that you don’t like.

Quality

Overall, a countertop water filter should be well-made, from premium materials and it should be able to last for decades. The quality is determined by the materials used. Look for stainless steel, ceramics, and aluminum alongside high-quality plastics.

If you make the right choice, your water filter will serve you for many years and it will truly be the best countertop water filter.

Tubing

Tubing is a part of the system you will use to connect the water filter to the faucet. It should be flexible and long. It is possible to extend the tubing in some cases, but usually, it involves getting a new set of tubes and pipes and advanced modifications.

To make sure you get a suitable and just right unit, look at the length of the tubes. Longer is always better and more preferable.

FAQs

What is a water filter?

A water filter is precise as the name tells you. It is a device that filters water by removing dangerous chemicals, compounds and metals you don’t want to consume with the water.

There are countless varieties of water filters out there. The most basic ones are basically a piece of cloth with small holes. More advanced filters consist of several filtration elements and each one removes a specific type of contaminants.

Is there a difference between the water filter and a counter water filter?

Yes and no. A water filter is a generic term. It refers to all water filters regardless of their size, type and purpose they are made for. A countertop water filter is a special type of water filter. It will be used on the countertop.

There are many variations of countertop water filters. They all do the same thing but in different ways and use different methods.

How does water filter work?

A water filter will usually and probably have 4 or 3 separate elements inside. This is known as cartage and it is filled with those elements. Water penetrates the cartridge and each filtration element separately. Each filtration element is one stage in the filtration process.

The first stage will remove heavy metals, second will remove chlorine and so on. The goal is to remove all contaminants from water and for a user to get clean water within minutes.

Are all the water filters the same?

No, they are not. A water filter countertop model can be a member of one of 5 main types. We have explained to them above so you should go back and take a second look at the main types.

The main difference is in how a water filter will work. Some use ultraviolet light, others use RO systems while third use distillation process. Each type is needed and suitable for a specific type of water and therefore for a specific user.

How long a water filter can last?

This depends on two main factors. The first one is the build quality. A well-made water filter can last for decades and it will serve you in the same way as the first day.

Keep in mind that this refers to the construction and the base of the water filter. The actual filter cartridge must be replaced at specific time intervals, specified by the manufacturer.

What maintenance involves?

Maintenance of all water filters is extremely simple. All you have to do is to replace the cartridge and you are good to go. The same process for all the types and can be implemented on all water filters.

In some cases, maintenance will require replacement of tubing faucet adapters and making sure that all components work perfectly.

Which contaminants my water filter should remove?

There are two separate parts of the answer. A water filter must remove heavy metals, bacteria, germs and viruses from water. This is mandatory for all water filters regardless of their size, application or type.

The second part of the answer is more direct. You can perform a home test and test the water. The test will show you which contaminants your water source has. After that, you can get a specific water filter that removes those contaminants from water.

When do I need to replace the filter cartridge?

When you need to replace the water filter cartridge is specified by the manufacturer. It can be between 2 and 8 months and there are many factors that determine the duration. Always make sure to pay close attention to this process. What this means that germs and bacteria among other contaminants can pass through the filter and end up in your glass!

Can I install the water filter all by myself?

Yes, you can. Make sure to follow all the instructions and details and you will be perfectly capable of completing the task. When installing a unit, pay attention to the supported faucets and the adaptors included or needed.

Possible if every water filter installs on any faucet?

No. You cannot install any water filter on any faucet used in your home! There are two things to consider. You will have to consider the type of the faucet and the adapter used or included in the package of your new water filter. They must match.

Generally speaking, most water filters fit standard faucets.

Will a water filter change the taste and odor of water?

Most water filters will just purify the water and therefore make it taste fresh. As such, they will not affect the water odor nor taste. However, this isn’t the case with ionizers. They may change the taste of the water which is an issue for some users. On the other hand, some people prefer the taste of water processed via ionizers.

What is NSF/ANSI 42?

NSF/ANSI 42 is a standard that is present with most water filters. It means that a product can successfully remove aesthetic impurities and can also remove compounds that affect the taste and odor of the water.

Conclusion

Big Berkey Gravity-Fed is the best countertop water filter and the one we like the most. It gets 4.9 out of 5-star rating. The reasons are obvious. It can filter 6000 gallons of water before cartridge must be replaced and it is 99.99% effective which is the highest rating possible. It is also well-made and comes with all the great features a modern user will need.

Also Read:

Best 5 Water Filters That Remove Fluoride Mavea Water Filter Review

 

One Response

  1. pedicure April 4, 2020 Reply

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