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Water Filter and Softener

Best Countertop Water Filter for Clean ; Healthy Hydration

Jacky Chou

We all assume our drinking water is safe: The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, was a tragic reminder that water quality is something we tend to take for granted. The water we drink contains more than we think, and these contaminants pose great risks to you and your loved ones. The best countertop water filter allows you to provide clean, healthy water for the family while also improving the taste and smell.

Countertop water filters are designed to be affordable, portable and convenient. This makes them some of the most popular home water filters, especially where a whole-house filtration system is not feasible. Here are our favorites for the best countertop water filtration system:

1. Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter

Big Berkey BK4X2 Countertop Water Filter System with 2 Black Berkey Elements and 2 Fluoride Filters
  • Includes Big Berkey stainless steel housing (Upper, Lower, Lid and spigot etc.), 2 Black Berkey Filters, and 2 Fluoride Elements.
  • Holds 2.25 gallons of purified water. Designed for home use for 4 to 16 people
  • The Big Berkey is made with High Grade 304 Stainless Steel and measures 8.5"D x 21"H when assembled
  • Each (1) Purification Element has a lifespan of 3,000 gallons. That's 6,000 gallons for a two-filter system.
  • Each (1) Fluoride Filter attaches onto the stem of the Black Element, as a post filters, and can filter up to 1,000 gallons (3,785 liters).

The Big Berkey 2.5-gallon system is our top pick for the best countertop drinking water filter. It’s made of high-quality, durable materials, with filters tested and certified by the NSF/ANSI Standard 53. Furthermore, it’s reasonably priced for the average consumer.

This faucet filter is excellent at removing sediments, chlorine and other common tap water VOCs. But it also takes filtration a step further by eliminating water fluoride and re-oxidized arsenic III and V. Its superb filters, the PF2 and black BB9, can also remove the MTBE organic compound -a potentially poisonous substance.

Its upper and lower chambers are made of stainless steel for long-term durability. The PF2 filters can process 1000 gallons- and the BB9 3ooo gallons- before they need replacement. Additionally, the water filter comes with a huge stainless steel bottle so that you can enjoy your purified water on the go; it’s a bit too big to carry around every day, but it would be ideal for a camping trip.

  • Strong, long-lasting filters.
  • Durable.
  • Smaller models are portable.
  • Includes stainless steel water bottle.
  • Available in various sizes.
  • Has to be filled manually.
  • Unclear assembling instructions.

2. Aquasana AQ-4000W Countertop Water Filter

Aquasana Countertop Drinking Water Filter System - Removes Up To 97% of Chlorine & 99% of 77 Contaminants - Filtration for Clean Tasting Tap Water from Kitchen Faucet - AQ-4000W , White
  • Removes over 97% of chlorine and reduces 76 other contaminants - NSF certified to remove lead, pharmaceuticals and more
  • No waste water or harmful contaminants added to your drinking water during the filtration process
  • Retains the healthy minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium for the healthiest water
  • Only 11 cents per gallon - 11 times the capacity of the leading gravity-based filter pitcher
  • Easily attaches - no permanent fixtures or installation required. Filtered water right from your tap

The Aquasana Countertop Water Filter can eliminate up to 97% of chlorine, as well as remove another 76 drinking water contaminants, as certified by the NSF. The appliance has a remarkably high flow rate of 30 gallons per hour, which means you don’t have to wait around too long for a glass of purified water. It’s engineered for easy and quick installation, so using it is typically a breeze.

This water filter features a 2-stage filtration technology known as the Claryum. According to the manufacturer, the countertop filter can eliminate up to 10x more contaminants than the best filter pitchers on the market. However, it’s worth noting the filters have a relatively shorter lifespan, lasting only about 6 months before they need replacing.

  • Reasonable flow rate.
  • Twin cartridge for more efficiency.
  • NSF certified to filter 77 contaminants.
  • Higher price point.
  • Shorter filter life span.

3. Home Master Jr F2 Water Filter

Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Multi-Stage Countertop Water Filter System, 500 gallon Replaceable, Filters Fluoride Chlorine Chemicals Pesticides and more up to 93%
  • Highly pure water - three-stage filter removes up to 93 percent of fluoride, chlorine, and other chemicals
  • Efficient, space-saving design - compact design takes up minimal space and easily fits on any sinktop
  • Simple and easy installation takes only minutes
  • Portable - compact unit travels well

Sink top filters are not popular for their efficiency. Home Master solves this problem by producing filters with full layers of filtering materials. This also includes compressions disks at the inlet, outlet and in between the layers, making sure the water passes through coconut carbon to filter out VOCs and chlorine, then through a layer of activated aluminum to remove fluoride. This immediately improves your tap water’s taste and smell.

The compact and simple design makes the water filter easy to install and take apart. All you have to do is connect the faucet adapter to the faucet, and you’re good to go. This also makes it a great choice for rented spaces or temporary accommodation. The only downside is perhaps the shorter lifespan of the filter cartridge, which lasts through only 500 gallons of water.

  • Filters chlorine, fluoride, etc.
  • Effective in enhancing water taste and smell.
  • Compact and portable.
  • Easy setup and installation.
  • Affordable.
  • Short filter life.

4. New Wave Enviro 10 Stage Water Filter System

As the name suggests, the New Wave Enviro 10 Stage Water Filter System comes with a stunning 10 stages of filtration. The filter is exceptional at eliminating chlorine, lead, rust, dirt and even heavy metals. This makes it a great alternative for people who don’t wish to spend extra for a reverse osmosis filter but still want a wide range of contaminants filtered.

The filter has a remineralization phase that adds calcium back to the filtered water to boost the water’s pH. This adds a more enjoyable taste to your purified water. One thing to note is the filter only lasts for about a year before you have to replace it.

  • 10 filtration stages.
  • Easy and fast installation.
  • Simple filter swap.
  • Doesn’t eliminate fluoride.
  • Replacement filters are not as effective.
  •  as the originals.

5. AquaTru Countertop Filtration System

AquaTru Water Purification Unit - Certified NSF/ANSI Standards, Removes 83 Contaminants, No Plumbing Required, Cost-Effective, Environmentally Friendly
  • IS YOUR WATER SAFE TO DRINK? Studies continue to pour in regarding Toxins, Hormones, Microplastics, Cancer-linked contaminants, known Carcinogens and other toxins discovered in our Tap Water, Filtered Water…and yes, even Bottled Water. AQUATRU's patented Ultra Reverse Osmosis water filtration system is CERTIFIED to remove harmful contaminants.
  • CERTIFIED NSF/ANSI STANDARDS - Tested & certified by IAPMO to meet NSF/ANSI standards 41, 53, 58, 401, and P473 for water filters, which include 83 contaminants and PFAS “forever chemicals.”
  • NO PLUMBING OR INSTALLATION required - takes just minutes to set up. AquaTru’s Trusted & warrantied RO countertop system COSTS CONSIDERABLY LESS than fully installed under-the-counter RO systems, while at the same time, delivering often Cleaner, Purer, and Better Tasting Water. Why waste money & add to landfills with bottled water (93% recently found to contain microplastics)?
  • COST-EFFECTIVE and ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: AquaTru has affordable filters that are made to last for 600-1200 gallons – that’s only a filter change every 6 mos. to 2 yrs.
  • QUICK CHANGE TWIST AND SEAL FILTERS come included with your first AquaTru water purifier and last from 6 months to 2 years. 1 set of filters replaces 4,500 plastic water bottles, so you can forget about the hassle & cost of buying bottled water.

This superb water filter uses 4-stage reverse osmosis (RO) technology to eliminate chlorine, fluoride, hormones, carcinogens, toxins and a plethora of other drinking water contaminants. It’s NSF certified to remove over 83 contaminants, but since it’s an RO system, it can potentially get rid of 99.9% of all dissolved solids.

This countertop water filter looks sleek and modern. It’s also very easy to install and use, although it runs on electricity. The water filter features a digital display that lets you know when filters need replacing. Like other RO systems, you’ll have to consider that the filter produces wastewater at a 1:4 ratio of drinking water to waste.

  • Simple to use.
  • NSF certified.
  • Doe not require plumbing or installation.
  • Digital display, plus filter replacement alerts.
  • The most thorough filtration system.
  • Long lasting filters.
  • Requires electricity to run.
  • Produces wastewater.
  • Smaller holding capacity.
  • No demineralization filter.

Factors to Consider in the Best Countertop Water Filter

1. What’s in Your Water?

Quite simply, you need to know exactly what your water contains to decide on which specific countertop water filter to buy. To find out what your water has, you can reach out to your local water supplier and ask for a water quality report. These documents are readily available to the general public.

It’s worth considering water quality reports present a wider picture of what your local area’s water contains, and your home’s water may be slightly different. Therefore, it would be prudent to do your own water test to ascertain exactly what your water contains. You can buy a reliable water testing kit from your local home improvement store or online.

Different kits test for different water contaminants. |Get a kit with the widest possible range of elements to test, such as bacteria, pH, nitrates, lead, fluoride, chlorine, and not just water hardness. This makes it more straightforward to narrow down to the best countertop water filter for your specific filtration needs.

2. Types of Countertop Water Filters

Even before you start looking at the best countertop water filters, you have to determine which type of filter is most suitable for your needs. Here are the most common filter types you’ll find on the market:

a). Water Filter Pitcher

Water filter pitchers are the cheapest and simplest countertop water filters on the market. They look like an ordinary water jug with a filter that traps and eliminates contaminants from the water. It takes anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes for a water filter pitcher to get the job done.

Generally, water filter pitchers hold between 8 to 12 cups of filtered water at a go. Therefore, they need to be refilled from the faucet regularly. Some larger pitchers can hold up to 4 gallons of water, but they might be more difficult to use. Swapping filters is relatively straightforward, as well as cleaning the whole setup; just soak it in warm, soapy water or a dishwasher if the manufacturer recommends so.

b). Faucet Filters

These are designed for a kitchen countertop, usually near the sink, where they’re connected to the faucet using a flexible plastic hose. Most faucet filters come pre-assembled and are easy to install. They dispense water at the press of a button, so you don’t have to wait for your glass of purified water.

c). Ultrafiltration

This method uses high pressure to force water through a semi-permeable membrane. The membrane material traps larger solids and contaminants as water passes through. The filtration process is more thorough, which makes ultrafiltration countertop filters more expensive than standard ones.

d). Water Distillers

This is a somewhat different method of filtration, where the appliance turns water into steam, then condenses the vapor back into contaminant-free water. Water distillers are efficient at eliminating arsenic, fluoride, lead, viruses and several other contaminants.

e). Reverse Osmosis (RO) Filters

These are more common in under sink water filters. The process-which works similar to ultrafiltration- reportedly can remove up to 99.99% of all dissolved solids. However, reverse osmosis has a pure water to wastewater ratio of 1:4, meaning you lose 4 gallons of water for every 1 drinkable gallon.

3. Size

You don’t want to buy a countertop water filter only to find out it doesn’t fit in the available kitchen space. It would be best to measure the space near your kitchen sink to determine the best water filter size to buy. This also goes for water filter pitchers, where you don’t want one that’s too wide or too tall to fit properly.

4. Filtration Ratings

It’s important to know the specific elements a countertop water filter can eliminate from your water. All the best countertop filters remove bad taste or odor from water, but not all are created equal. Some filters are more efficient at eliminating chemicals such as chlorine, while others are better with heavy metals like lead and arsenic.

Some filters remove even the beneficial minerals from water, but others keep them in. Some models can also remineralize your water with the recommended amounts of essential minerals during filtration. Ultimately, the goal is to find a countertop water filter with the necessary features for the specific contaminants in your water.

5. Filter Maintenance Requirements

All kinds of water filters require regular maintenance if they are to last a decent while. Different filters come with different maintenance requirements, so go through the user manual to be fully aware of what’s required. You must also keep in mind that it’ll get to a point where you’ll need to replace your filters; they tend to lose plenty of their efficiency as they grow old.

6. Ease of Use

Ease of use relies heavily on the specific design of the countertop water filter. Faucet water filters require a bit more maintenance since they have to be connected to the system before use. However, they are also the easiest filtration systems to use after installation. You only need to press a button, and the device dispenses water instantly.

On the other hand, water filter pitchers require less maintenance. However, they become heavier as they get fuller, making it a bit more difficult to pour water, particularly for children. More so, you also need to refill the pitcher manually.

7. Desired Water Taste

As much as countertop water filters produce cleaner, healthier water, not everyone likes the taste. Some even filter out calcium and magnesium from the water, meaning the water might taste different from bottled water. The taste of filtered water might require some warming up to for some users.

8. Certifications

The best countertop water filters come with the relevant certifications to prove their filters perform as advertised by the manufacturer. These third parties include the Water Quality Association (WQA) and NSF International for quality assurance tests that are quite rigorous and difficult to attain. Look out for such certification to ensure that you get a quality product that’s safe for your health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Countertop Water Filters

1. Do countertop water filters work for all kinds of faucets?

Countertop faucet water filters are designed to fit the standard kitchen faucet. If you’re unsure about your specific faucet type, look into the product and find out if there are any faucets it’s incompatible with.

2. Can I connect a countertop water filter to several faucets?

No. These appliances are designed to only connect to one faucet at a time. That said, it doesn’t take too long to disconnect a countertop water filter from one faucet to another.

3. Can bacteria grow on a countertop water filter?

Yes. Countertop water filters can be habitable environments for bacteria to thrive in. As such, flush your filters for 30 seconds before use to get rid of any bacteria.

If you’re using a water filter pitcher, don’t leave it in a warm spot or under direct sunlight. More so, don’t leave water sitting out for more than a day since mold and algae could start growing.

Jacky Chou