Best Countertop Water Filter Systems: Reviews & Guide (2019)
Clean water is a basic necessity in your home to ensure quality health for all inhabitants. Tap water supplied by municipalities in different places is widely viewed as clean and safe for drinking and other domestic purposes since it meets the quality standard expectations.
However, tap water contains some contaminants and other properties that cannot be identified with a naked eye and they affect its taste and quality.
This challenge can be rectified by installing a countertop water filter systems in your kitchen than opting for other alternatives like buying bottled water that can be costly.
Basically, a countertop water filter system is a simple method that is used to filter water in your kitchen.
The system comprises a filter that is attached to the sink faucet and allows water to flow through it thereby purify it in the process.
It is straightforward to install and maintain since it does not require any tool to perform the task.
As such, I have selected what I believe to be the best countertop water filter systems in this guide to choose the appropriate system for your water purification needs in your home.
For each product, I outline in detail its key features, pros, and cons in a bid to give you insight so that you can make informed decisions when you decide to buy a countertop water filter for your kitchen.
In the second half of the article I have written a guide for you to follow when selecting a best countertop filter.
The Best Countertop Filter Systems
Apex Countertop System
5-Stage filtration, standard faucet connection, BPA-free materials, made in USA
price of filtered water 11cents/gallon, healthy minerals are kept in water during filtration, NFS certified
Easy installation without any plumbing, No cartridges to replace, purifies 10 000 gallons of water
Home Master TMJRF2 Jr2
Compact design, 3-year warranty, multistage granular filter
Brondell H2O+ Cypress
Nice and modern design, continuous water filtration, healthy minerals are not filtered from the water
New Wave Envio Stage 10
filters 1 500 gallons of water before replacement, retains healthy minerals, 10-Stage filtration
13-Stage filtration, NSF certified, BPA-Free, Made in USA, 1,500 gallons capacity
Brondell H2O+ Pearl
Beautiful minimalistic design, WQA certified, Reminder, 0.5 GPM Flow rate
additional free filter cartridge, design color variety, 1 500 gallons of water processed before replacement
iSpring CKC1C Countertop
Cheap option, CTO carbon cartridge, 30-Day money back guarantee
I have selected ten countertop water filter systems that I believe are the best for your home needs. They are not listed according to preference and quality.
APEX Quality Countertop Drinking Water Filter comprises five stage mineral cartridges, and it is viewed as the best alkaline water purifier.
This filter system is ideal for removing contaminants that are usually found in tap water, and these include the following: sediment, radon, and chlorine.
The filter also removes harmful pesticides and mercury to give you a quality taste of fresh water.
The other components removed from water by the filter include Giardia Cysts and Cryptosporidium which can cause water-borne diseases.
The Apex countertop filter is convenient in that it was designed to sit on your kitchen counter and it connects easily with different standard kitchen faucets.
All the hardware is included, and it is straightforward to install since you can do it within a matter of minutes yourself.
The other aspect of the system is that it is cost effective since you do not need to waste money buying purified bottled water.
On top of that, the Apex countertop filter system is environmentally friendly since there are no plastic bottles disposed.
The system itself is very safe to health since it has been manufactured in strict compliance with the safety standards and requirements by the National Safety Foundation.
No worries about your safety and health concerns.
Regarding usage, the system can purify up to 750 gallons of quality drinking water before a replacement filter is sought.
The system is portable, and it does not occupy a lot of space in your kitchen.
Aquasana countertop water filter system is probably the best given that it is responsible for removing about 97 percent of chlorine from water and it also reduces about 76 other contaminants from tap water.
The other important issue is that vital minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium are retained during the filtration process.
This helps to give you the healthiest water.
This product is easy to install since you do not need to hire a plumber to perform the task for you.
No batteries are required to operate the water filter system since it is directly connected to the tap faucet on your kitchen sink. It filters water straight from the tap, and the results are immense.
One notable aspect about Aquasana filter is that it gives you eleven times the processing capacity of one of the leading gravity-based pitchers for only 11 cents per gallon.
In the same vein, this system only requires fewer replacements of filters while at the same time giving you quality and excellent tasting water.
Its filter life is six months, and its flow rate is 0.5 gallons per minute.
This rate is ideal for domestic purposes, and it can sustain the demand for clean water always.
The other feature of this countertop filter system is that the National Safety Foundation certifies it.
This means that all safety issues have been carefully taken into consideration hence there are no worries in as far as your health is concerned.
The system has also been designed in an environmentally friendly manner.
With the use of the system, there is no waste disposal since water is purified directly from the tap.
The product includes free shipping in the US, and it also comes with a one-year warranty.
However, the warranty does not cover filters that have been installed against the instructions provided by the manufacturers.
The warranty is also void if the product is used with other parts that are not genuine Aquasana.
Clean water 4 less is characterized by specific features that make it different from other water filter systems in this category.
The major notable feature, in this case, is that the water filter system does not require any cartridge.
This makes it unique in that the users do not need to stress about issues about filter replacement after a certain period like other countertop water systems.
The best part?
The system purifies up to 10 000 gallons of water, and this volume is probably the largest among other systems. It is also easy to install and does not require any tool to perform the task.
It only takes a few minutes to fit the system on the faucet of your tap.
On top of that:
The system is environmentally friendly since it does not contribute to any pollution in the form of dumping of used plastic bottles.
The product is one of the cheapest among other similar products within the same category. Buyers of this water filtration system are also treated to free shipping within the US.
However, prospective buyers of this product need to contact the seller directly for any information related to the issue of warranty.
This can be a drawback to interested buyers since they enjoy getting information about a product without hassles.
Home Master TMJRF2 is a three-stage filter system, and it is capable of removing about 93 percent of chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals that may affect the quality of water.
This filter system is highly efficient, and it produces water that is of high quality.
The system has also been designed in such a way that vital minerals dissolved such as magnesium and calcium are not removed.
100% water quality is guaranteed with this water filtration system
Home Master is also characterized by a compact design which means that it occupies a small space around your kitchen sink. It is also effortless to install given that a plumber is not required to perform the task.
You will love this filter because it has also been designed to fit on any sink top which is also an added advantage to prospective buyers.
It is ideal for any temporary residence since it can be easily mounted or removed from the tap.
The product includes free shipping across the US as most of the reviewed filters. International shipping is also available to selected countries from the US.
The whole unit comes with a three-year warranty on parts, and these are replaced whenever damaged during this particular period from purchase.
This kind of warranty gives the users added advantage since they will be in a position to save money.
Prospective buyers can also get more details about the certification of the Home Master water filtration system by contacting the sellers of the product directly.
This will also help them to get more details about the type of warranty available.
This countertop water system comprises a three-stage powerful filtration.
Used technology is meant to deliver high-quality products and is usually found on under the counter systems.
The system dramatically reduces herbicides, microorganisms, organic compounds, odors, and bad water tastes.
Brondell also reduces toxic chemical properties like atrazine, benzene, chlorobenzene, Endrin, Methoxychlor, and chlorine from your tap water to give you quality water.
On top of this…
The high technology the system uses is convenient, and it can be easily attached to the faucet.
It takes less than ten minutes to install the system to your tap.
The other notable feature about the system is that it is elegantly designed, and it is also comprised of an ergonomic button that is meant for water dispensation.
Continuous water dispensation is also guaranteed.
It has also been certified by the Water Quality Association which means that quality water is guaranteed.
The system should not be used with water that is unsafe. Adequate disinfection should be performed before filtration in cases where the safety of water is not known.
The Brondell H2O+ water filter system is portable, and filters should be replaced every 6 months or after 150 gallons of water. Regarding cost, it can be observed that the price of the system is high.
The product comes with a one-year warranty and buyers are also entitled to free shipping within the US.
This water system is characterized by certain features that make it different from others and these are designed to appeal to their interests.
It continues to supply fresh water with excellent taste, and it also removes primary contaminants to the required EPA minimum level.
The other notable aspect about the system is that it retains minerals like magnesium, fluoride, potassium, and chlorides once the water has been filtered.
This ten stage water system also removes contaminants that include the following: cancer-causing compounds called Trihalomethanes, bad odors, chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, Lead, microorganisms as well as other little known organic contaminants.
The other feature of the water system is that it is easy to attach to the faucet.
However, the major drawback of this system is that the conversion kits are sold separately.
This is not supposed to be the case, unlike other water systems that come with all necessary kits.
The best part about the system is that its filter needs to be replaced after processing about 1 500 gallons of water.
This can be produced in about one year, and you will save money since you will not necessarily need to change filters over a short period.
The water system comes with a one-year warranty to cover against defects that may be attributed to the manufacturer.
On top of that, the system also comes with a 30-day money guarantee where the customers can claim their money and return the product if they find it unsatisfactory.
The product can be shipped for free within the USA, and it can also be sent to other selected countries from the US.
Here is the deal:
According to the reviews this filter has received from the customers, this filter is excellent regarding the performance.
It comes with the 13 stages of filtration, but the thing is that 7 of them are micro-filter pads.
Anyway let’s have a quick look at the remaining stages that we are interested in.
- KDF 55 – This stage removes heavy metals micro particles, and to some extent certain bacteria
- Activated Carbon – Removes chlorine, chloramine, arsenic, VOCs, etc.
- KDF 85 – This stage takes care about iron, and hydrogen sulfide
- Lead Resin – Gets rid of lead in water
- Alkaline, Mineral and Electrolyte Beads – Removes chloramine
- Calcite Stage works as the aid neutralizer
Between each stage there is a micro-filter pad and total number of these is 7 as mentioned previously.
I have had a look on the manufacturer website as well as other sources, and I wasn’t able to find any performance related data.
This for me is a huge drawback of this unit, as I don’t know what and the percentage of removal.
As I was reading other reviews, people were pleased with the overall performance of this unit so I can assume that it does the job.
On top of that:
Filter is BPA-Free and comes with the 1-year warranty as well as 30-day money back guarantee.
This is a good thing as you can try the filter out and see how it’s doing, and if you don’t’ like it just send it back.
Regarding installation, there are no surprises, and it’s easy to install as pretty much all filters in this article.
Filter will last roughly 1,500 gallons or 1-year, but as always I suggest you change the cartridge every 6 months.
I have mixed feelings about this product. This is because it’s not much information about it out there about performance and for the strange marketing claim of 13 stages.
Although, people have reported that the filter works fine and are happy with it, so it seems like it does the job.
There is one a Brondell Cypress mentioned earlier in this review. However, I just have a need to mention Pearl as well.
So, Pearl is the cheaper alternative to the Cypress filter and it offers only one stage of carbon block filtration.
The best thing:
I love the way it looks. It is absolutely beautiful and sleek.
Apparently, the designer of this product was inspired by the bamboo, and the button on the top of the unit looks like the water waves from the water drop.
By the way:
The button has an LED light built in with red and blue color. If both colors are on, it means that it’s time to replace the cartridge inside.
The filter lasts for about 6 months.
This is calculated based on the daily usage of 0.84 gallons.
That means, the capacity of 150 gallons.
Pearl will fit most of the standard kitchen faucets and is WQA certified, which means that performance has been independently tested.
Last but not least:
This beautiful unit comes with 1-year limited warranty and the installation is pretty straightforward.
You would be able to install it easily DIY.
If design matters for you, then pearl is the way to go. To be fair, most of the Brondell products are really good looking.
Apart from the look you will get a good performance unit that will do the job and don’t let you down when the time for replacement come.
This countertop water system is characterized by features that make it different from other similar products within the same category.
It comprises a modest design with quite a range of different colors to suit your kitchen.
It is designed to fit any place like the office or even the bathroom, and it is easy to install.
The system gives you high flow rates and about 12 months of uninterrupted service. The filter is responsible for removing impurities like chlorine, lead, sediment particles, and bad odor.
While giving, you fresh, clean water, the system is also responsible for retaining valuable minerals in water such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium while at the same time eliminating chemicals that might be dangerous.
Quality water is guaranteed within minutes of installing the system in your kitchen.
The other notable aspect is that one free filter is included in the package and a filter cartridge is expected to last up to six months or can be changed after processing about 1 500 gallons of water.
This filter is the cheapest among other countertop water filter systems highlighted above. It is characterized by high-quality filtration technology that is better than many leading brands.
The product comes with one free filter cartridges, and free shipping is offered to all buyers within the US.
Other components included in the package are two faucet adaptors, seal, and ring for leak prevention during installation and a plastic wrench.
Customers interested in buying this product need to contact the sellers for them to get full details about the warranty.
Here is the thing:
I think there is no need to introduce the iSpring brand. I have mentioned it in a couple of previous articles and we probably all know that it is a reliable brand.
So let’s have a brief look at what their countertop unit has to offer.
iSpring has created the cheapest possible filter.
It comes with only a CTO block, and basically, it only improves the taste.
CTO bock is efficient at removing following contaminants:
I mean don’t expect miracles and removal of some more dangerous contaminants such as arsenic. It simply doesn’t for the price.
Note, that the unit will not decrease the number of TDS and it is not designed to do so. You will need something more advanced for this such as reverse osmosis.
If you know that your water is clean already and you just want to improve its taste it is a way to go.
The design is very similar to the APEX mentioned in the review earlier.
The unit is also easy to install so you should be done with it in 5 minutes.
The best thing:
iSpring gives you the 30-day money back guarantee so again there is no risk for you in trying this unit out and see if it’s enough.
On top of that you will get a 1-year limited warranty and lifetime technical support, which is a nice bonus.
As said earlier, if you are looking for a cheap countertop iSpring will do the job.
I mean if you have a whole house filter already, you can use this as the second stage just for drinking, and it would be a great combination.
Although, if you want to use it as the primary source of drinking water than make sure to test your water to see how polluted it is before buying it.
In summation of the points discussed above, the table at the beginning of this article compares and summarize different water filter systems to establish the best among them.
It should be noted that they share quite a lot of similarities hence the buyer use this information to choose the preferred brand since they are all equally good.
Over and above, it can be noted that of the ten countertop water systems discussed above, Ecosoft countertop filter is probably the best among them all.
The main reason for this assertion is that Ecosoft filter systems value-price ratio and fact that additional cartridge is offered for free with the filter.
For its cost, it has outstanding features and offers a variety of color options compared to the other water filter systems discussed above with the higher price.
Apart from being convenient, the water system filter needs to be replaced after 12 months or after it has purified about 1 500 gallons of water.
This means that the system is cost-effective, unlike others which require filters to be replaced twice a year.
When it comes to water filtration, this system is excellent in removing different contaminants such as germs, bacteria, sand, rust, organics and it also partially removes hard metals like mercury, chrome, lead as well as chlorine among others.
The system also gives a great taste to water while retaining vital minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
If you want the ultimate performance, Home Master is a fantastic choice.
It offers great performance and removes contaminants such as fluoride and chlorine.
If you have not selected any of the product from this review, do not hesitate and check our other articles, as there is a wide variety of the different types of filtration and I believe you will pick the right one for you.
Buyer’s Guide of Countertop Filters
In this section of the article will explain to you what you should be aware of when it comes to the selection of the right countertop filter.
I mean it is not an easy task to select the appropriate unit to fit your needs if you are not an expert or haven’t read lots of the literature about the topic.
I will explain everything in easy to understand language to make the selection process as easy for you as possible.
So, get comfortable and let’s go.
Countertop Filter Is Great Option If…
Here is the thing:
Before we actually jump into the world of countertop filters, I want you to understand whether it is what you need.
Although, I receive a commision from the sale as a “thank you for a great website full of tips,” it is not in my interest to sell you things you don’t need.
I want to ensure that you are aware of what you are buying and the product is actually right for you.
It makes me happy to know that my articles are helping you to make an informed decision.
Here is the list of criteria which indicate that the countertop unit is the right option to fit your needs.
If you fall into any category mentioned above, then the countertop filter is a great choice, and you won’t be disappointed.
You know that countertop filter would be an excellent choice for you. Keep reading, and I will explain the difference between this type of filter and others.
You can skip the following section and jump straight to the part where I explain all the things you should pay attention to before you click that purchase button.
First Time Buyer? No Problem!
If this is a first time you come across countertop filter or filters in general, don’t worry.
In this section I will cover everything you need to know as the beginner. I will compare different types of filters so you can have a broad image.
Here is the comparison between the most common types of filtration available.
Countertop Filters vs Under-sink (RO) Filters
As the under-sink filter we usually mean a reverse osmosis system. Although it is not a case every time, as there are other under the sink units as well apart from that.
To make it easier, let’s compare it to the reverse osmosis system as it is probably the most common type.
Countertop filters usually have one stage of the filtration, while standard RO units typically have 5 stages of water treatment.
Although it is not a rule as you can see from my reviews, for example, Brondell Cypress has 3 stages of filtration.
There is no surprise:
That RO technology is currently the best treatment available so…
I mean, obviously these are not the only differences, but I think it gives you an idea. You can read my other posts to get into more details.
So, let’s jump onto faucet mount filters.
Countertop vs Faucet Mount
This one is pretty straight forward.
Both are installed on the faucet, and that’s the only thing that makes them similar.
However, with the help of T-valve you can connect countertop filter straight to the water supply under the counter, so bear that in mind.
Countertop vs Pitchers
Here is the thing:
Pitcher filters are the most basic treatment you can get.
I mean they usually remove quite a few main contaminants such as chlorine, lead, and some heavy metals, but nothing surprising.
I am going to stick to the layout so here is the list of the differences:
These are the main differences between various types.
I haven’t included ultraviolet filters and whole house units in this section.
Although those are filters as well, they are made for a different purpose and cannot be really compared with countertop type.
Bear with me as in the following section I will explain what you should pay attention to when selecting a new filter.
Pay Attention To…
Here is the secret:
If you pay the attention to the following section, you can save yourself a lot of troubles after the purchase.
1. Correct Faucet
So, listen up:
The first thing you should check before you even think to get a filter is whether you have a right faucet.
Yes, that’s right!
Although all the countertop filters are easy to install, they won’t fit on the non-standard faucets.
If you have a pull-down sprayer kitchen faucet or any kind of designer tap with non-standard tap end, you won’t be able to connect the countertop unit.
Here is the solution:
You can get a T-valve and connect the filter under the counter straight to the water supply, so you can still use this pretty faucet.
That this is a good idea only in the case that the countertop filter has its own valve.
The good filter for this is Brondell Cypress mentioned above.
It has its own valve, so when you connect it to the water supply, you won’t need to get on your knees and divert the water flow all the time.
2. Treatment Performance
You have checked the faucet, and you are good to go with countertop type.
This is the second thing you should check before you buy any filter, as it directly impacts the overall performance.
So, how can you do so?
First of all, test your water to see which contaminants are present in your specific case.
This is important as different filters serve to a slightly different needs.
Check the performance data-sheet. It usually looks like a table with the list of impurities and the reduction percentage.
For better imagination I have included the Brondell’s data-sheet as the example.
The good thing is:
If the filter is WQA certified, that means that it has been tested by the Water Quality Association and the performance should be similar to the reported data-sheet.
Note, that performance may vary and depends on your location and the quality of water supplied in your area.
General advice is…
Usually, you can find performance sheet on the manufacturer website.
I believe I have covered most important information you need to be aware of when it comes to treatment.
So let’s jump to factor #3.
3. Filter Lifespan
The fact is:
That you will probably have to replace filters quite frequently anyway.
Usually, I recommend replacing filters no longer than every 6 months.
The reason for that is that all the impurities captured in the cartridge create an excellent environment for bacteria to breed.
Countertop filters don’t remove bacteria and you need to include ultraviolet filter if you want to kill those.
But what you can do, is to prevent yourself by frequently replacing cartridges.
Different filters can have different lifespan and capacity. This may vary from 150 and go even up to 10,000 gallons such Clean Water 4 Less for example.
With that being said earlier, I believe that it is not necessary to have a filter that has a capacity of 10,000 gallons.
Personally, I would select something in a range about 500 gallons roughly such as Home Master.
This would be enough to use it for drinking water for a few people considering average daily consumption at 0.6 gallons a day.
To sum it up:
This is just my personal view on this.
If you have different needs and huge capacity is essential to you, then select the filter with big capacity.
Remember, the filter always needs to serve your individual needs.
4. Price of Replacement Cartridges
This might seem funny, but it is a thing that some manufacturers are doing.
They sell you the filter at the really great price.
You are happy with it it works fine until…
It’s time to replace the cartridge. You just go online to purchase one and..
Yes, the cartridge costs nearly more than a brand new unit.
So, here is the only one advice.
If you have selected a filter and you are happy with everything, just go and check the price of the replacement cartridge.
Now, you know how much you are going to pay for it and if you are happy with the price than…
YAY! Go for it.
Here is the thing:
It is likely that you will experience leaks at some point. Most of the time it will be at the faucet connection point.
I just want you to know that minor leaks are okay.
However, if you experience significant leaks, you should contact the seller.
What can you do about leaks?
First of all, check if the filter is connected properly.
It’s funny, but some obvious things are not so obvious when you are in such a situation, so make sure to check if everything is connected correctly and tight.
You can get additional seal O-ring if the issue is at the faucet connection and see if it helps.
You can experience leaks from the filter itself after you have replaced the cartridge.
Again check if everything is tight and the cartridge is at the place where it should be.
Try to figure out where the leak is coming from. By doing this, you better understand what’s wrong, whether the faulty part or connection.
Check the manual if there is a troubleshooting section. This might save you time and hassle chasing the seller.
If you have tried everything just go and contact the manufacturer and explain the situation, they will be able to help.
So, these are the 5 checks that I urge you to pay attention to.
Bear with me as I will talk about the filter installation.
How to Install Countertop Unit?
Let’s be honest:
The installation of the countertop filter is not a rocket science.
It is pretty straightforward, and if I am honest it is much easier to show than to write and explain every step.
So here you go:
Maintain Your Filter Like a Boss!
Here is the deal:
Most of the filters are really easy when it comes to the maintenance.
This includes countertop units as well.
This section would be short as there are literally two things you should do.
I know not all the filters have a reminder. What I am doing is that I put a label or piece of paper with the date as of when I have replaced the cartridge on a visible place.
So you can do the same thing, or if you have a better method, reminder on the phone, etc., it’s up to you. Just make sure those are frequently changed.
Remember, I have mentioned the bacteria thing earlier?
Well, this is related to it and as another preventative step just make sure to disassemble parts regularly and wash them.
No, you don’t have to disassemble it to the last bolt, but clean parts near the cartridge are quite important.
I suggest you doing it every 2 weeks.
Q: I use my TDS reader and levels of dissolved particles don’t decrease. Is the filter working?
Q: Do I need to buy replacement cartridges separately?
Q: Does the packaging include everything to install the filter, or I need to buy additional parts?
Q: Do countertop filters remove bacteria?
Q: Do they remove fluoride and chlorine out of water?
Q: How do I know that filter is not working anymore?
Q: How else can I use a countertop water filter?
I hope you have found this guide useful and learned something new.
As always, I would love to hear your experiences with countertop filters.
Which one in your opinion is the best countertop water filter and why?
Share in the comment section below.
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