How To Choose A Countertop Water Filter
Water contamination is getting worst these days across the country. In recent days, there are tonnes of news regarding unsatisfactory water conditions and deteriorate water quality.
To overcome this issue, we need to have an additional filtration system for our drinking water before we consume it. Whatever that wasn’t filtered, will be filtered by you.
Picking a water filter can sometimes be a hassle. You don’t really know which water filter is the best in the market. Well, sometimes the best isn’t right for you.
Here are some guidelines for selecting the right water filter.
Identify The Contaminants in Your Water Source
The most important element of buying a water filter is to remove contaminants that exist in our source water. Do you know what are pollutants exist in your source water? One method is to look for your local Consumer Confidence Report. You should be receiving it on July 1st of every year.
Search For The Model That Removes The Contaminants
Search for several filters which filter the contaminants that you identify earlier. Do not settle for just one system. It will be a great determining factor if the system has an NSF or WQA certifications although it isn’t required.
Besides removing the contaminants that you identify, it is always good that it will get rid of some other major contaminants such as chlorine, arsenic, mercury, and lead.
These contaminants are deadly and should be removed for you and your family’s health.
Initial and Running Investment
Is this filtration system falls within your budget? Some systems might be affordable at the initial cost but the filter replacement cost per year is twice as much as the initial cost. Never forget to check on the running cost.
While some gravity-driven water filter doesn’t require installation, generally this type of water filter only required minimum installation. You just need to be sure that your faucet fits the adapter of the filter that you intend to purchase.
Read the Reviews
If you purchase from Amazon, you can definitely return it within 30 days if the product doesn’t meet your expectation. It’s good to go through the reviews by existing customers so that you won’t be wasting your time on bad products.
It is certainly not a hard rule to follow the guideline above in order to own a countertop filtration system. It is just a recommendation.
Best Countertop Water Filter Reviews
- pH Regenerate – Best Countertop Water Filter
- Aqua Ionizer Deluxe 7.0 – Best Ionizer Countertop Filter
- Big Berkey Filter – Popular Pick Countertop Water Filter
- APEC RO-CTOP – Best RO Countertop Water Filter
- New Wave Enviro – Best Patented Countertop Water Filter
- Home Master TMJRF2 – Best Fluoride Countertop Water Filter
- APEX MR-1050 – Best Countertop Alkaline Water Filter
- CleanWater4Less – Best Budget Countertop Water Filter
- Zen Water System – Best Gravity Fed Water Filter
- MegaHome Distiller – Best Countertop Water Distiller
pH Regenerate – Best Countertop Water Filter
Invigorated Water has been in the water treatment market targeting the alkaline water filter. Here are some of the key features of the pH Regenerate filter.
Multi-Stage Filtration With Alkaline Remineralization: This system has two filtration cylinders capable of removing contaminants plus naturally adding in minerals that raise the pH level. Contaminants that were removed include heavy metals like lead, arsenic, copper & mercury as well as common city water contaminants such as chlorine, chloramine & limescale.
By adding zinc, magnesium & selenium, improves the water taste, pH and decreases -ORP.
Stainless Steel Housing: Unlike other systems, it comes with stainless steel housing which is more durable and can handle higher water pressure. It is more stylish and can easily blend into any kitchen design.
Long Lifespan & Maintenance: The pH Regenerate is built to last. The filter cartridge, PH007 can last up to 12 months before you need a replacement.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $50
Bottom line: The pH Regenerate combines filtration and remineralization in one compact housing. It is definitely our No.1 recommended countertop water filter system.
+ Durable stainless steel housing.
+ Long lifespan and low maintenance cost.
+ Easy installation.
Refer to our pH Restore pitcher review for more details.
Aqua Ionizer Deluxe 7.0 – Best Ionizer Countertop Filter
Aqua-Ionizer pro water filtration system will add great value to your family. The Deluxe 7.0 greatly reduces the cost of amazing anti-oxidant-rich water. Therefore, we put it as one of our best countertop water filters.
Easy Installation: The Aqua-Ionizer Pro is designed to easily fit in almost all countertops with standard kitchen faucets. Installation is also easy and takes less than 10 minutes to set up.
Environmental Friendly: The FDA plastics used in the construction of this water filter have been approved to be harmless to your water. The plastics are food-grade safe and won’t leach any chemicals in the water.
Plate Design: This ionizer comes with a durable 7-electroplate coating technology with platinum-coated titanium. These plates are long-lasting and energy-efficient.
Powerful Ionization: It produces alkaline water with pH between 4.0 – 11 that boosts the antioxidant effectiveness in water which has many health benefits.
Maintenance: This unit has a self-cleaning mechanism that washes the plate after every 10.5 gallons of filtration. All water ionizers need descaling. The recommended descaling period is after 12 – 24 months using the citric acid cleaning agent provided.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $60
Customer Rating: 4.2 | Our rating: 4.4
+ Produces over 12 pH levels.
+ High durability.
+ Advanced technology.
– Slightly expensive compared to other countertop filters.
Big Berkey Filter – Popular Pick Countertop Water Filter
Berkey is one of the top gravity-fed water filters that are available in the market. Sadly that it is not available in Iowa and California due to the banned imposed by the two states.
After a thorough understanding of the situation, we think that the banned is due to some regulatory request by the state which was unable to fulfill by Berkey due to hefty cost.
We believe that it is still a great piece of water filter which shouldn’t be missed. Let’s dive deep into the Berkey system and understand why we think that it is that great.
Great Quality Filter: The foundation of Berkey systems is made up of two separate cartridges, the Black Berkey and the Fluoride Filter.
Black Berkey: It is a microporous filter, which removes up to 99.9% of some of the contaminants that appear in the water.
It was independently tested in the EPA-approved laboratory against NSF/ANSI Standards 53 to ensure the quality of the filter is being achieved.
The Black Berkey is easily cleanable from time to time when the flow rate started to get low. This can prolong the lifespan of the cartridge.
Fluoride Filter: Although it is named a fluoride filter, it can do better than just removing fluoride.
Besides fluoride, this system is able to remove Arsenic, which is one of the dangerous contaminants available in our water source. Apart from Arsenic, it removes MBTE and some other heavy metal ions.
With the combination of Black Berkey and Fluoride Filter, Berkey is capable of filtering the list of top 20 major contaminations shown below.
For a more in-depth list of contamination that is filtered by Berkey, kindly refer to this list.
Besides the chemical contaminants, their filter also removes 100% of pathogenic bacteria. Generally, it is required to have a UV light sterilizer to remove the bacteria.
Variants And Sizes: There are different models of Berkey to cater to different needs. Take Berkey Go as an example, it is designed for hiking and traveling purposes with its small and compact size.
While the Crown Berkey is suitable for small offices or huge household as it container can store up to 6 gallons of water at a time.
One of the best sellers is the Big Berkey, which is having an ideal size of 2.25 Gallons that is enough for a decent size family of 4.
Replacement Cost: A pair of Black Berkey can withstand up to 6000 Gallons of water as suggested by Berkey. This is mainly due to the cartridge is cleanable
The Fluoride Filter is small in size. Hence, the lifespan is just about 1000 Gallons per pair or approximately 2 years for one set of replacements.
Annual Replacement Cost: $80
Lifetime Warranty: When you register your Berkey, you will receive a Berkey Care Lifetime Warranty instead of the standard 6 months warranty. However, this only applies to Travel, Royal, Big, Imperial, and Crown Berkey.
Bottom line: It is great to see how Berkey can build such a simple filtration system while still capable of removing so many contaminants. Although the flow rate might be lower compared to the rest of the system, it is a great system that you will never regret.
+ Great filtration capability in removing contaminants.
+ Long Lifespan Filters.
– Expensive on the initial investment.
Please visit our Big Berkey review for more details.
APEC RO-CTOP – Best RO Countertop Water Filter
APEC RO-CTOP is one of the few over-the-counter water filtration system with reverse osmosis capability.
Below are the three reasons why this is our top-rated countertop filter.
High Flow Rate Filter: Traditionally RO filter comes with a bulk storage tank due to the flow rate is low. In order to remove the storage tank, APEC increases the flow rate of RO-CTOP to 90 gallons per day.
The flow rate capacity only appears in the top tier products which are priced close to $300. The APEC RO-CTOP is really a good bargain.
Reverse Osmosis Filtration: APEC claimed that the RO-CTOP is capable of removing 99% of harmful contaminants and provide an excellent filtered water quality.
It is 4 stages reverse osmosis water filter which contains a sediment filter, a pre-carbon filter, a RO membrane, and a post-carbon filter.
Quick Installation And Replacement: The APEC RO-CTOP doesn’t require complicated installation like other reverse osmosis filters. Just screw on the faucet adaptor and you are good to go.
Unlike other water filters, the APEC RO-CTOP required no wrench for replacement. It comes with a Quick Connect capability by inserting or releasing the tubing for replacement.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $70
Bottom line: The APEC RO-CTOP combines the benefits of reverse osmosis and the portability of a countertop water filtration system.
+ Remove up to 99% of the contaminants in the water.
+ Reasonable annual replacement cost for such a great system.
+ High Flow rate compared to other RO systems.
+ Suitable for well water and city water source.
For a more in-depth analysis, kindly visit APEC RO CTOP review for more information.
New Wave Enviro 10 – Best Patented Countertop Water Filter
The New Wave Enviro 10 stages water filter comes with a patented cartridge. That’s the main reason why we put it on our best countertop water filters list.
Patented Filter Reduce Major Contaminants: New Wave Enviro claims that its filter is able to reduce most of the major contaminants to an EPA minimum level. Those major contaminants include:
- Chlorine and Trihalomethanes
- Organic Arsenic and Inorganic Arsenic
- Dangerous Minerals such as Mercury, Lead, PCBs, asbestos
- Organic Contaminants such as pesticides and herbicides
Great Customer Satisfaction: Many customers gave a thumbs up on this New Wave Enviro 10 stage water filter although there isn’t any certification from NSF or WQA.
Long Lifespan Cartridge: This 10 stages filtration system will require a replacement approximately once a year. This shows that the filter is built with high quality to withstand contamination while maintaining the quality of the water.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $69
Bottom line: This system is one of a kind countertop filter that is stylish and effective in removing contaminants. If APEC CTOP is out of your budget, this is the perfect one for you!
+ Patented 10 stage filter in one cartridge.
+ Low annual maintenance cost.
To find out more about this filter, visit our latest New Wave Enviro filter review.
Home Master TMJRF2 – Best Fluoride Countertop Water Filter
If your water source contains a high amount of fluoride, the Home Master TMJRF2 is one of the filters that you can consider. It removes up to 93% of the fluoride contained in the water.
Not Just Fluoride That Was Removed: The Home Master TMJRF2 doesn’t just have a fluoride filter. The 3 stage water filter system is consists of the following capability.
- Activated Alumina – Reduce arsenic and fluoride.
- Coconut Shell Carbon – Reduce VOC, Herbicide, Pesticide, and Chlorine.
- 5 Micron Compression Disk – Remove particles such as dust, sand, and dust.
Furthermore, it retains healthy minerals such as calcium and magnesium in the water.
3 Years Warranty: Home Master is so confident about its product that it provides a 3-year warranty on the TMJRF2 while most system only comes with a 1-year warranty.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $80
Bottom line: If fluoride is one of the main contaminants that you wish to get rid of, this is the most affordable countertop drinking water filter that will help you in removing it.
+ Retains healthy minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
+ Backed by a 3 years limited warranty.
– Slightly expensive maintenance cost.
Learn more on our Home Master TMJRF2 review to understand the filter.
APEX MR-1050 – Best Countertop Alkaline Water Filter
The APEX MR-1050 is the only water filtration system in this category that produces alkaline water in a single canister filter. Let’s have a look at why we put the APEX countertop drinking water filter as one of our best countertop water filters.
5 Stage Alkaline Filter: The first 3 stages are merely standard filtration systems with sediment and carbon filters. What makes the APEX MR-1050 special is the last 2 stages of the filter.
- Alkaline Layer – Remineralized potassium and magnesium.
- Calcite Layer – Remineralized calcium.
These two stages make the water remineralized with healthy minerals and increase the pH level of the water.
The Benefits Of Alkaline Water: Many experts claimed that alkaline water is beneficial in neutralizing the acidic food that we consume daily and neutralizing the free radical which can reduce aging.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $90
Bottom line: Alkaline water can be very expensive. Although you can change the pH of water coming out from APEX countertop drinking water filter, you can assure that the pH is 7 and above.
– Slightly expensive maintenance cost.
To learn more, visit APEX MR-1050 review page now.
CleanWater4Less – Best Budget Countertop Water Filter
CleanWater4Less countertop water filtration system is undoubtedly the most cost-effective filter that we have on the market.
Long Lifespan Of 7 Years: This filter has a lifespan of 10,000 gallons of water which translates to about 7 years of usage for a family of 4 that uses 1500 gallons per year.
It is extremely affordable and you have no reason not to get rid of your ineffective water pitcher and get the CleanWater4Less water filter system.
Effective Filtration: The 5 stage CleanWater4Less countertop water filtration system is capable of removes odor and taste from chlorine, radon, VOC, and heavy materials from the water. Those are the main components of contaminants.
It comes with a high-grade GAC filter alongside two stages of pre-filters and two stages of post-filters.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $Nil
Bottom line: Overall is the cheapest among all the system in the long run due to $0 maintenance for 7 years. Replace the whole unit after that.
+ Cost effective and affordable.
+ Suitable chlorine treated city water source.
– Unable to estimate when to replace the whole unit.
– Doesn’t publish on how well does it filter contaminants.
To learn more about this filter, kindly visit our detailed review.
Zen Water System – Best Gravity Fed Water Filter
This water filtration system will in no time transform your ordinary tap water into alkaline pure-tasting drinkable water. It is loaded with multiple functions and it filters, alkalinizes purifies, mineralizes, and preserves water purity.
Selective Filtration: As the filters purify your water, the Zen water system adds essential minerals such as magnesium, and calcium that are beneficial to your body.
Simple utility and Installation: The installation of this water system is laid back with a DIY assembly. No electricity or plumbing skills are required. It also operates on gravity.
Multiple functions: This water filtration system features 5 functions in 1. It not only filters contaminants in your water, but also purifies it, alkalinizes, preserves, and adds minerals at the same time.
Maintenance: For the dome micro-ceramic filter, replace it after every one year or 1000 gallons. Wash after 2-4 weeks. The 5-stage Mineral Filter Cartridge needs to be replaced after every 6 months.
To reactivate the mineral properties, boil the mineral stones after every 6 months in water. They should be replaced after 3-5 years if they notably wear down. The top and bottom tanks need to be cleaned after 3 months.
Annual Maintenance: $40
Customer Rating: 4.0 | Our Rating: 4.2
+ BPA free plastic required no electricity and pipe connection
+ Remineralized the water.
– No certifications on contaminations removal.
Visit our Zen Water System review page to learn more about this filter.
MegaHome Distiller – Best Countertop Water Distiller
This Megahome model countertop water distiller has been approved by UL (Underwriters Laboratory), a global safety company for products. You can safely use it at home for distilling drinking water.
Durability: It uses 304 stainless steel materials for both the interior and exterior. The upper steam dome and boil chamber are all made of stainless steel. A porcelain-based glass bottle is used for collecting distilled water.
Recommended by specialists: The distiller is effective in removing 99.99% of impurities and eliminates most toxins found in water.
Simplicity: This water distiller has a simple intuitive design, is easy to use and has a user-friendly build. Distilling your own water couldn’t get any easier. You simply need to fill the boiling chamber, press a button and get going.
Maintenance: You will need to thoroughly clean the 6-multiple filters after three to four months depending on how frequently you use them for water filtration.
Annual Maintenance Cost: $24
Rating: Customer: 4.6 | Our Rating: 4.6
+ Well built stainless steel material.
+ Relatively low maintenance.
– Slow filtration due to the distillation process.
What Is A Countertop Water Filter?
From the name, you probably have guessed that this type of filter normally sits on top of the kitchen counter. In order to blend in seamlessly with your kitchen, most of the filters are well designed and have a sleek appearance.
The companies that produce such water filters tend to be more innovative. Due to the space restriction, they are forced to pack the filtration media into a single canister. Otherwise, they will need to justify a good-looking casing to enclose it.
Types Of Countertop Water Filters
Countertop water filters have slowly found their popularity in American homes due to the rising need for safe water. They are relatively cheaper compared to under sink water filters and easy installation.
Here are the five most popular types of countertop water filters you will find in the market today.
A water distiller boils up your water, takes the steam through condenser coils, and back to pure liquid in a container collector. Water distillation is one of the oldest and effective methods for removing contaminants.
This type of countertop filter ensures that all the contaminants, including heavy metals, sediments, and chemical contaminants, are being removed.
Water distillers are suitable for households with 2-3 members or individuals because the whole process takes time.
Do consider where to put your water distiller as this distiller required electricity.
Water ionizers have a slight functionality compared to other types of countertop water filtration systems. They have pre-filters to remove water contaminants like other filters, but the primary purpose is to ionize the filtered water.
Ionizers use the electrolysis process to change the pH of water. Depending on the settings, the electrolysis plates will attract ions to make the filtered water acidic or alkaline.
For alkaline water were produces, it has a lower ORP, which is an anti-oxidizing agent that helps to neutralize the harmful free radicals on our body.
Water ionizers are generally more expensive than other water filters due to their advanced technology. However, it is worth every penny.
Gravity Fed Filter
This type of countertop drinking water filter is portable and suitable for families of all sizes.
Typically, this system doesn’t depend on electricity but relies on gravity for water filtration. It generally includes an upper and a lower chamber, with filtration elements in the middle.
Water flows from the upper tank then gets through the filters to the lower chamber (container), filtered. These water filters don’t need any power plug connection, faucet connection, or water line.
The main drawback is the filtration process is slow.
This type of filtration system works when there is a semi-permeable membrane incorporated into the system. It is called the reverse osmosis membrane.
The RO membrane is capable of removing up to 99% contaminants in the water with a 0.0001-micron rating. Tap water is forced through the membrane leaving behind the contaminants.
The reverse osmosis filters also remove beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium. However, there are many systems out in the market that will remineralize the filtered water with natural stones.
Of all countertop water filters mentioned above, sink-top faucet-mounted water filters are the oldest among all. They often come with one canister filter that does everything.
Installation is made directly into your kitchen faucet and filters water immediately before it comes out through the tap. The filter cartridge is usually small-sized and fits nicely next to the sink.
Filter longevity and capability are the downsides of this type of filter. Due to its size, a replacement is required every 3-6 months. However, there are still some excellent systems out there in the market.
Benefits Of Countertop Water Filters
What are the benefits for using countertop water filters?
+ Minimal Installation: You will either require no installation procedure with a countertop drinking water filter or connect it to your kitchen faucet and get going. Gravity water filters, especially, have minimal to no installation difficulties, so you can carry them along with you anywhere you go.
+ No Extra Faucet: Unlike under sink water filters, countertop filters don’t require an additional kitchen faucet on the sink. The faucet adaptor helps to switch between regular and filtered water from your tap.
There’s no drilling of holes and a complicated installation process.
+ Cheap Maintenance: It’s cheap and easy to maintain a countertop water filtration system. At no instance will you need to crawl under your sink to fix a problem with the pipes. All you need is to clean the filters and replace them within the required time intervals. Plus, you don’t need to dismantle half the system while changing the filter cartridges.
+ Portability: Since there are no complicated installations on the system, these filters are incredibly portable. You can easily unscrew the faucet adaptor in under a minute and move it to a new location.
Drawbacks Of Countertop Filtration Systems
What are the drawbacks of using a countertop drinking water filter?
– Single point filtration: The point of filtration for countertop water filters is only on the tap in which they are installed. It is primarily for drinking water, unlike whole house filters that filter all the water that’s entering your home.
– Aesthetic Reasons: Some filters might not blend in well with the design concept of your kitchen. Unlike under sink filters, they sit on top of your kitchen sink.
– Efficiency: Compared to multi-stage water filters, some countertop water filters lack the same contaminant removal capacity.
Who Should Use The Countertop Water Filter System?
Countertop water filters are often portable and can be easily detached from one place to another. This guide is great for people:
- who is looking for a switch from faucet filter or water pitcher.
- who stayed in a place where city water is their source water.
- who are looking for affordable options for filtering your drinking water.
- who are renting an apartment which cannot be involved in heavy installation.
The main reason for these recommendations is due to it does not require a complicated installation procedure which involves drilling.
Generally, due to the small size and portability, it couldn’t pack a complicated filtration system in one canister filter. Hence, it won’t work well on a highly contaminated well water source. (Except for the RO water filter)
How Do You Install A Countertop Water Filtration System?
Follow the simple steps outlined below to install your new countertop drinking water filter:
- First, you need to place your water filter in a strategic position, where you can get enough line length to connect to your faucet adaptor.
- Locate the faucet where you are installing the filter, and remove its aerator. Define what type of thread your faucet has. If it’s an outside thread, you don’t require an adapter.
- If it’s an inside thread, choose the right adapter and washer and screw into the faucet. Tighten using hands.
Note that each countertop drinking water filter comes with an adapter. These mostly fit into any faucet, apart from non-standard or customized adapters.
- Attach your diverter valve to the faucet and turn the swivel collar for tightening. Ensure that the gasket in the diverter is correctly positioned between the drain and the valve. You might need to retighten the swivel collar later.
- The last step is to turn on the water and allow water to flow through the faucet normally.
To allow water to flow through the filter, turn on the diverter handle. Turn the diverter handle off to stop the water flow, or turn off the faucet knob.
Based on the 10 best countertop water filters that we recommend, which one suits your house? Or you are still looking for a greater system?
If you are a homeowner, we do suggest that you go for one of the best home reverse osmosis systems. It has more features and capability in removing contaminants in rigorous conditions.
There are more choices and the annual maintenance is lower. Check it out now!