The 10 Best Water Filters

Updated April 02, 2018 by Lydia Chipman

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We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether you're eyeing the tap suspiciously in the wake of the latest contamination scare or simply want to filter out unpleasant tastes and smells, our selection includes convenient countertop options, multistage systems and portable versions that promise to improve the flavor and quality of your drinking water, remove potentially harmful substances, or even adjust the pH to your liking. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best water filter on Amazon.

10. Camco Evo Premium RV

If your house is equipped with the most advanced purification infrastructure that money can buy, it won't do you a lick of good when you take your show on the road, but having a Camco Evo Premium RV unit lends greater credibility to your onboard supply's "potable" label.
  • lasts a full camping season
  • vertical support sold separately
  • extension hose is cheaply made
Brand Camco
Model 40631
Weight 3.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Lifestraw Go 2-Stage Sport Bottle

There's a limit to the amount of plastic waste and throwaway containers the world's landfills or oceans can handle, so a reusable alternative like the Lifestraw Go 2-Stage Sport Bottle is an eco-conscious hydration choice with a minimal environmental footprint.
  • antimicrobial hollow fiber membrane
  • handy and spill-proof travel option
  • core needs frequent replacement
Brand LifeStraw
Model LSGOV2CR41
Weight 15.2 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. WaterChef U9000

Big Block filtration technology and a battery-powered intelligent monitor help the WaterChef U9000 under-sink unit sequester impurities and improve flavor more efficiently than other configurations, although it's far from the cheapest option and doesn't do reverse osmosis.
  • straightforward installation
  • durable steel housing
  • not the most compact system
Brand WaterChef®
Model U9000 (Brushed Nickel D
Weight 7.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Camelbak Fresh Reservoir

A Camelbak Fresh Reservoir insert and Quick Link adapter will turn your hydration bladder into a handy, backpack-mounted mobile purification system for healthy refreshment that doesn't taste like plastic or sanitizer, and goes wherever you do without weighing you down.
  • good for over 30 gallons per unit
  • doesn't affect output
  • needs careful maintenance
Brand CamelBak
Model 90766
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Brita Everyday Pitcher

For fresh-tasting hydration that's easy to carry into the dining room, out to the back yard, or even to a cookout, the Brita Everyday Pitcher is a decent portable option. Each cartridge removes chlorine, mercury and other undesirables from 40 gallons of the good stuff.
  • simple and affordable solution
  • replacement indicator sticker
  • best suited for low-volume purposes
Brand Brita
Model 1.00603E+13
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Berkey System

Although the polished steel housing wouldn't seem out of place at an elegant soiree, classic good looks aren't the only thing going for the Berkey System of interchangeable carbon and ceramic cylinders that can be mixed and matched to meet a wide range of filtration needs.
  • no electric components or hookups
  • ideal for mobility and versatility
  • assembly takes some getting used to
Brand Berkey
Model RB4x2-BB_PF2
Weight 7.1 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Woder Direct Connect

The Woder Direct Connect comes preassembled for easy installation in a matter of minutes, after which it will serve up 10,000 gallons' worth of environmentally friendly drinkable goodness that's 99.9% pristine and much less wasteful than disposable plastic bottles.
  • takes up very little space
  • fittings and hoses included
  • certified ansi and nsf compliant
Brand Woder
Model SYNCHKG126873
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Apex Countertop

To remove gunk, funk and noxious smells right at the tap without the assistance of a professional best known for the "plumber butt" stereotype, the DIY-friendly Apex Countertop effectively purifies and alkalizes the stuff flowing from your faucet.
  • processes 750 gallons per cartridge
  • eco-friendly alternative to bottles
  • meets nsf and fda standards
Brand APEX
Model MR-1050
Weight 4.9 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Home Master Artesian

Reverse osmosis helps ensure the purity of every drop that makes its way through the Home Master Artesian, while patented Full Contact technology takes care of restoring essential minerals to the finished product for better health and enjoyment.
  • excellent flow rates
  • high-performance pump system
  • modular under-sink design
Brand Home Master
Weight 14.5 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Apec Top Tier

The long-lasting components of the Apec Top Tier can eliminate up to 99% of contaminants passing through your pipes whenever the tap is running. It's designed to fit under most sinks, and comes with all the parts you'll need to put it together.
  • 1-year satisfaction guarantee
  • various sizes and configurations
  • easy diy installation
Brand APEC Water Systems
Model ROES-PH75
Weight 26.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

The Risks Of Hard Water

Whether drinking, washing dishes, or making coffee, daily life requires water. Problems occur when the water running through a home is considered hard water. In America, the sources of both tap and bottled drinking water include rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, reservoirs, springs, and wells. As water travels over the surface of the land or through the ground, it dissolves naturally-occurring minerals and, in some cases, radioactive material, and can even pick up substances resulting from the presence of animals or human activity.

Tap water which is considered hard is filled with undesirable elements such as calcium, chlorine, magnesium, iron, and sediment matter. These minerals and sediment can cause damage to a house's plumbing, appliances, dishes, and the hair and skin.

Without a water filter or water softener, hard water begins to buildup in the pipes it travels through. This can cause inconsistencies in water pressure and clogged pipes which may burst if left unaddressed. If this hard water makes it through the pipes, it causes scale to accumulate on taps and sink faucets. This scale is made up of charged minerals, which adhere themselves to the metal tap as the water exits.

Hard water can also cause issues with dishes. The high mineral content of hard tap water prevents liquid dish soap from producing suds by binding with the soap molecules, creating a thick slime that is difficult to lather. The minerals are also more difficult to remove from laundry, leaving sheets stiff and causing clothing to wear down faster.

The body can suffer from the effects of hard water as well. Water that has not passed through a water filter contains particles from not only minerals, but from heavy metals, organic compounds, chlorides, and even low levels of pharmaceutical medications. All these particles can toll the kidneys, contributing to kidney stones.

Drinking Tap Water

Mineral hardness is not the only thing to worry about in a glass of tap water. Most tap water, especially the water in heavily populated cities, is full of contaminants which can pose serious health risks.

As easy as drinking a glass of tap water seems, it can actually be a health risk. The levels of arsenic in drinking water in the United States are especially high. Arsenic is known to cause cancer and other serious health problems. It is found naturally in the rocks and soil of the earth; though this is not where contamination occurs from. Drinking water can be contaminated by arsenic compounds found in pesticides, preservatives, electrical additives, and glass. People can be exposed to arsenic from food and the work environment, though the easiest avoidable source is in drinking water.

Drinking tap water also exposes the body to pharmaceutical drugs. Prescription and over the counter drugs alike are released in small amounts in patients' urine or simply flushed down the toilet. Many water processing plants treat water to remove government-mandated chemicals and organic matter such as bacteria. This water is then reintroduced into the water cycle.

The problem with this is that many pharmaceutical drugs remain in the water. The World Health Organization estimates that only 50 percent of these drugs are filtered out with water treatment processes like chlorination. Filtration processes like reverse osmosis remove up to 99 percent of particulates such as these.

Unfiltered water can also contain heavy metals like aluminum; which has been linked to liver disorders, learning disabilities, and degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Studies have shown that aluminum contributes to brain disease by producing oxidative stress in the brain tissue.

Benefits Of Using A Water Filter

The best way to avoid many of the negative health impacts associated with tap water is to use a water filter. Water filters can provide pure, clean drinking water while also saving users money and time.

Equipping the home with high quality filtered water keeps the body healthy. Water filters remove heavy metals such as lead and aluminum; preventing them from entering the body. Water produced from a filter also removes organic contaminants such as bacteria and chlorine by-products. Water filtration can reduce the risk of gastrointestinal diseases by removing parasites like giardia from drinking water.

Water filtration also removes fluoride. While fluoride has been associated with oral health, it is actually linked to a number of health problems such as a weakened immune system and impaired cognitive function in children. Researchers of this meta-analysis found strong indications that fluoride can adversely affect brain development in children.

Water filters also save money. Water produced from filters can cost pennies per gallon. This is a drastic savings when compared to bottled water. Most filters are simple to set up and use, and are economically and environmentally sound. Filtered water is also superior to plastic bottles, as plastic water bottles are not biodegradable.

As the population of the United States goes through plastic bottles at a rate too high to be immediately recycled, much of this consumer plastic ends up in landfills. Drinking water from an in-home filter immediately reduces plastic use, which is a benefit for both the drinker and the planet.

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Last updated on April 02, 2018 by Lydia Chipman

An itinerant wordsmith with a broad constellation of interests, Lydia Chipman has turned iconoclasm into a livelihood of sorts. Bearing the scars and stripes of an uncommon diversity of experience—with the notable exceptions of joining a religious order or becoming an artist—she still can’t resist the temptation to learn something new.

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