Best Countertop Water Filters

Worry over water safety has become a source of stress for most homeowners. In the search for clean drinking water, many households have spent a fortune on bottled water. Countertop water filters, however, are a fantastic solution to this escalating problem.

They are a point of use water filters installed at exact water access points such as the kitchen faucet. Countertop water filters will filter out a large percentage of chemical pollutants from city or municipal tap water, through carbon-based filters. Specialty elements can also be included in the filtration cartridges that eliminate other water pollutants such as lead, cysts, fluoride, heavy metals, bacteria, or nitrates. The most robust water filters will have dual or trio water filtration cartridges, which enhances their water filtration potential.

They are also straightforward to install. You only have to attach one to a faucet, and it will dispense clean and safe water for use. You can also purchase countertop filters that produce that mineral water that you love. Want to learn more? Below is a list of the ten best countertop water filters on the market today.

The Winner, Second Best, Editor's Choice
Apex
8.9
Model: Apex MR 1050
Flow Rate: 15 GDM
Filtration Stages: 4
For 3-6 bathrooms
Made in USA
water4less
8.7
Model: COMINHKR069766
Flow Rate: 7 GDM
Filtration Stages: 5
For 4-6 bathrooms
10 year warranty
Pure Water
8.4
Model: PURE Company Carbon
Flow Rate: 15 GDM
Filtration Stages: 4
For 4-6 bathrooms
Limited Lifetime Warranty

Best RO System - Full Comparison Table
ImageF.RateStagesU.V.PriceScore
15 GPM4
Apex MR 1050
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8.9
7 GPM5
CleanWater4Less COMINHKR069766
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8.7
15 GPM4
The PURE Company Carbon Water Filter
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8.4
24 GPM3
Big Berkey BK4X2
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8.3
15 GPM5
Invigorated Water Filter pH REGENERATE
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8.3
15 GPM3
Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Water Filter
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8.1
10 GPM4
Brondell H630 Countertop Filter
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7.8
12 GPM3
Zen Water 4G-MP
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7.7
7 GPM3
APEX EXPRT MR-2050
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7.5
12 GPM2
Aquasana AQ-4000W
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7.2

Flow Rate
Filtered Water Quality
Ease of Maintenance

  • Highly Effective Purification
  • Filter lifespan: 2000 Gallons
  • Made in the USA with 5 Year warranty

8.9

Do you love your mineral water but worry about the presence of harmful microplastics, endocrine disruptors, and plasticizers in it? Well, you can drop that expensive bottled mineral water habit and purchase the Apex MR-1050. You will love the price of the Apex MR-1050. It is more affordable than the Apex EXPRT MR-2050 but gives just as many benefits as its more costly counterpart.

The Apex MR-1050 will not only sieve all harmful water pollutants from your water but will also make it tastier and healthier. First, it will eliminate heavy metals, Chloramines, and microorganisms on its initial filtration stage that utilizes KDF-55. Its second filtration stage uses activated carbon from coconut shells to filter out bad odors and tastes, and chlorine.

Afterward, the Apex MR-1050 utilizes its powerful remineralization filters to increase the filtered water’s PH level. But that’s not all there is to this filter’s robust filtration process. Its five-stage process still takes the water once more through a second activated carbon filtration process to remove any remaining chlorine and odors. Finally, the water is passed through Calcite, which lowers its acidity level. The Apex MR-1050 has long life filters that last 750 gallons of filtration before replacement. The manufacturer advises a filter change once a year for clean and safe water for a family of five.

Flow Rate
Filtered Water Quality
Ease of Maintenance

  • Improved ALKALINITY removal
  • Trusted US brand with 20 years of history
  • High purity RO water and at 75GPD

8.7

Are you that person that loves water filters, but hates that the fact that they need constant filter replacements and other maintenance procedures? The truth is that they do require maintenance as a tribute for good, safe, and affordable water. Cleanwater4less countertop water filters, however, are different. They will filter 10,000 gallons before they are due for a change.

That is about seven to ten years of use for a family that needs about 1500 gallons of clean drinking water each year. The only other countertop filter that rivals the long filter life of the CleanWater4Less water filter is the Big Berkey. The Big Berkey’s filters will, however, filter 4,000 gallons less than CleanWater4Less’s before replacement.

A CleanWater4Less filter is also a very affordable product on purchase. It utilizes a five-stage filtration process that begins with a sediment pre-filter to get rid of dirt and the floaties. The water also goes through an activated carbon filtration process. The process ends with a micron filter that produces clean water free of VOCs, chlorine, bad tastes and odor, radon, and other dense contaminants.

Flow Rate
Filtered Water Quality
Ease of Maintenance

  • Great PH Levels
  • 98% lead removal
  • Affordable Filters

8.4

Just like the Apex MR-1050, the Pure Company’s countertop water filter is a 750 gallon per filter product. It is, however, designed to impress. Its stainless-steel body is handcrafted from food-grade metals and has an attractive satiny marshmallow finish. The product also has a metallic spigot in a beautiful classic design. If you are looking for your kitchen counter’s focal point, the Pure Company’s water filter is what you need.

The decanter, manufactured in Detroit, Michigan, utilizes a high-quality carbon block filter for water filtration. Unlike most other countertop water filters on this list that utilize activated carbon filters, this brand from the Pure Company uses a carbon block filter. Carbon block filters are made from finely ground activated carbon, heated, and compressed into a solidified block. A carbon block, therefore, is a very efficient filter, albeit a slower one. Thus, you can expect wonderfully clean and tasty water from this model, but you have to be ready for a slower than usual rate of filtration.

Flow Rate
Filtered Water Quality
Ease of Maintenance

  • Large super capacity filters
  • Durable
  • Price wise

8.3

The Big Berkey, as per its name, is enormous, standing at 19 inches of height. If your kitchen countertop has wall cabinets, you need to ensure that you have enough space for it, before you make a purchase. Usually, there are only 18 inches of space left between a countertop and wall cabinets. You might also find the Big Berkey too obtrusive for refrigerator use.

The countertop water filter has, however, received excellent reviews on its lead filtration prowess. If you live in an area whose water is susceptible to lead pollution, the Big Berkey could be of assistance. Nonetheless, it’s essential to note that while the product’s manufacturers claim that the filter removes 99.999% of all bacteria, viruses and reduces protozoa, heavy metals, drugs, and chemicals, the claims are not

The Big Berkey utilizes a combination of activated carbon filtration coupled with ion exchange mechanisms. It has large and dense filters that are key to its water filtration prowess. It is also a gravity-fed water filter, drawing water from its upper chamber through its robust filters to its lower chamber, where you can access it from a glass, steel, or plastic spigot, depending on your purchase. Like the CleanWater4Less countertop filter, the Big Berkey has long life filters too. They may not filter 10,000 gallons before replacement, but they do 6,000 gallons, which is no mean feat.

Flow Rate
Filtered Water Quality
Ease of Maintenance

  • Good customer service
  • Environmentally friendly coconut carbon filters
  • Quick and easy installation

8.3

Just like the Apex MR-1050, this pH REGENERATE countertop water filter also filters water then increases its PH level to create mineral water. The pH REGENERATE brand has, however, branded the alkaline mineral water produced as ‘invigorated water.’ The product not only filters pollutants such as copper, lead, chlorine, limescale, Chloramine, and mercury but also adds selenium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. The end product is alkaline mineral water with a PH of 7. Besides water filtration and remineralization, this product also increases the levels of hydrogen in your water.

Just like the Pure Company and the Big Berkey brands, the pH REGENERATE is a stainless steel product. You will, however, love its elegant, compact design that makes it a good fit for smaller kitchens. It can also act as a faucet water filter since it has an adaptor that is compatible with most faucet designs. Its filters will last for one year before they require a replacement. If you want to try this product, it does come with a 100% money-back guarantee if you are not thrilled with its performance.

Flow Rate
Filtered Water Quality
Ease of Maintenance

  • 1: 1 Drain Ratio mean less water waste
  • Fast flow 400 GPD
  • Attractive Tankless Desing

8.1

Are you worried about the levels of fluoride in your drinking water? You should be. Excessive ingestion of fluoride can cause fluorosis, which is very detrimental to teeth and bone health. The Home Master countertop water filter has a three-stage filtration system that not only eliminates chlorine, bad tastes, and odors but 93% of the fluorine in water as well. First, it has an enhanced activated carbon filter, reinforced by three sets of compression disks. The filters are also boosted with activated alumina whose pores have a large adsorption surface area that can filter out arsenic and fluoride.

Its filters will produce 500 gallons of filtered water before they require a replacement. You will, therefore, need to replace them every three months, which is a big difference from some of the countertop filters on this list that go for years. However, you will love the product’s space-saving compact design that will fit well on any size of a sink top. Just like the Apex MR-1050, it stands at 12 inches of height.

The Apex MR-1050, however, has a slimmer profile at 12 x 4.5 inches compared to the Home Master’s 12.3 x 9.4 inches. That said, Home Master is lighter. This makes the product portable. The Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 also has a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so do not be afraid to try it.

Flow Rate
Filtered Water Quality
Ease of Maintenance

  • Compact Design
  • WQA Gold Certified
  • Water Saving Smart Technology

7.8

This futuristic-looking Brondell H630 H2O+ Cypress model utilizes its manufacturer’s Cypress water filtration process, which is a three-stage water purification system. It initially takes water through a sediment filter to eliminate dirt and rust via its composite plus filter. The water is then taken through cellulose fibers and nano alumina stage, which removes pathogens and other particulates.

On its last stage of filtration, the water goes through a carbon block filter for the ultimate filtration of volatile organic compounds, chemicals, bad taste, and odors. Nevertheless, there is a catch to this ingenious system. You will need to replace the countertop water pre-filters and carbon block filters every six months. You will also need to replace its nano trap filter annually. The product is, however, certified by the Water Quality Association. As per the products on this list, it is only rivaled by the Aquasana countertop filter in NSF Standards certifications. Unlike the Aquasana product, it is not NSF standards 473 certified, but it has certification 372.

You will love the product’s slim profile, which makes it perfect for small kitchen countertops or refrigeration. It dispenses its filtered water via an ergonomic push button, which is not only attractive but also unique. This system also minimizes any chances of water leakages.

Flow Rate
Filtered Water Quality
Ease of Maintenance

  • True filter change indicator
  • Unique leak-free integrated water route
  • NSF/ANSI standards components

7.7

Zen Water Systems water filters have received choice reviews from their users over their ability to give the freshest and best tasting water. Just like the Apex MR-1050, pH REGENERATE, Zen Water Systems, and the Apex EXPRT MR-2050 is has a water remineralizer feature. The extensive filtration process utilizes an activated carbon filter and silica sand to eliminate water pollutants. The products have a 4-gallon and 6-gallon filtration capacity to ensure that you have enough water for larger families.

You can use the countertop water filter without its base, to ensure that it’s refrigerator friendly. Users have said that it has a complicated initial set up, so be prepared for a bit of a challenge after purchase. You also need to ensure that you only purchase the Zen Water System’s replacement filters for optimal water filtration and remineralization.

Flow Rate
Filtered Water Quality
Ease of Maintenance

  • NSF Tested and Certified
  • Extra Long Filter Life
  • Money Saving Model

7.5

Just like the Apex MR-1050, the Apex EXPRT MR-2050 does not only filter water but produces sweet-tasting and healthy remineralized alkaline water. Unlike the Apex MR-1050, the MR-2050 has both a dual carbon block filter and a five-stage alkaline filter. The carbon block filter first eliminates sediments, radon, and chlorine amongst a horde of other pollutants found in drinking water.

The five-stage alkaline filter, much like that of the Apex MR-1050, takes the filtered water from the carbon block filter cartridge through KDF 55 first. This stage eliminates heavy metals, microorganisms, and bacteria from water. The water then passes through granular activated carbon, which removes any leftover Chloramines, benzene, Chlorine, Radon, and other organic chemicals.

The alkaline beads process is followed by a calcite stage where magnesium, potassium, and calcium are infused into the filtered water. The end product is not only healthy but sweet tasting water as well. Besides, the Apex EXPRT MR-2050 is very easy to install. It does connect to the most common faucet designs. It is a US-made product, and its components have an NSF Standard 42 and 61 certifications. Its replacement filters will last between four to six months, depending on usage.

Flow Rate
Filtered Water Quality
Ease of Maintenance

  • Reduces chlorine taste and odor
  • Filters up to 600 gallons
  • Removes entamoeba cryptosporidium and giardia

7.2

Just like the Apex MR-1050, the Apex EXPRT MR-2050 does not only filter water but produces sweet-tasting and healthy remineralized alkaline water. Unlike the Apex MR-1050, the MR-2050 has both a dual carbon block filter and a five-stage alkaline filter. The carbon block filter first eliminates sediments, radon, and chlorine amongst a horde of other pollutants found in drinking water.

The five-stage alkaline filter, much like that of the Apex MR-1050, takes the filtered water from the carbon block filter cartridge through KDF 55 first. This stage eliminates heavy metals, microorganisms, and bacteria from water. The water then passes through granular activated carbon, which removes any leftover Chloramines, benzene, Chlorine, Radon, and other organic chemicals.

The alkaline beads process is followed by a calcite stage where magnesium, potassium, and calcium are infused into the filtered water. The end product is not only healthy but sweet tasting water as well. Besides, the Apex EXPRT MR-2050 is very easy to install. It does connect to the most common faucet designs. It is a US-made product, and its components have an NSF Standard 42 and 61 certifications. Its replacement filters will last between four to six months, depending on usage.

How To Choose Best Countertop Filter – Buying Guide

What is a countertop water filter?

Countertop water filters are point of use water filter waters attached to a faucet. There are also countertop water filtration systems designed for portability and can be used to filter water in RVs or camping excursions. The most portable countertop water filters are gravity fed. These points of use water filtration products are a staple of many kitchen countertops because they are an easy and affordable solution for clean kitchen faucet water.

They have a straightforward installation process that you can complete without the assistance of a plumber and come in a variety of styles and designs. Additionally, countertop water filters have a variety of water filtration technologies, which eliminate not just sediments, rust, and dirt, but chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, microbial, and fluoride.

How a countertop filter works

These products have a straightforward method of water filtration, but one that is also very effective. To operate the water filtration system, simply turn on your cold water and allow it to run. The diverter valve on the faucet should have a knob that, once pulled, will divert your faucet’s cold water to the filter via the connecting tube. The water goes from the pipe through the product’s filter housing, where it passes through replaceable water filters housed in filter cartridges.

Your water will go through one or more filtration systems and then emerge through a spout ready for drinking or cooking. You can stop water filtration by turning off the cold-water faucet. The connected diverter bulb will pop back to its original position and cut off the water supply to the filter. This should free your faucet for other uses such as cleaning and washing and save on the filter’s life. There are, however, pour-through pitcher types of countertop water filters, not connected to the faucet.

Factors to consider before buying a countertop water filter

If you are planning to purchase a countertop water filter for your household, there are a few factors that you need to keep in mind to ensure that you buy the best there is out there. There is, for instance, the factor of space or the type of filtration process used. You, of course, will need to figure out the product’s cost. The size of the filter also will influence the speed and clarity of filtration. Below are some of the vital factors that you need to keep in mind when purchasing a countertop water filter.

Type of countertop water filter

Water filter pitchers

Water filter pitchers are easy to use water filtration products that are used in many homes to eliminate unpleasant smells and tastes from drinking water. According to Consumer Reports, they are the most common type of water filters in most US households. Pitcher style water filters have an easy installation process. Simply fill them up with water from your faucet, then let it run through its filter cartridge. These products are inexpensive compared to other water filtration systems. If your home does not have any water filtration system, a pitcher style fitter will conveniently supply your home with great tasting, clean water.

Faucet filters

If water from your filter pitcher seems to run out faster than it can filter your water, you need to purchase a faucet water filter. Faucet water filters are installed directly onto a tap, and they can provide clean, safe, filtered water for months. They are a much more affordable option to the under the sink or reverse osmosis filter and are easier to install too. Faucet filters models vary in filtration prowess and the amount of water they can supply, as well as their maintenance requirements. Theyare designed to eliminate sediments, chemicals like chlorine, bad tastes, and odors from water. There are faucet water filters that can filter a broader range of water pollutants.  Other faucet water filters like the pH REGENERATE Faucet Water Filter, increase water PH which improves the taste of water.

Filtration mechanism

Carbon filters

Most point of use water filters depend on carbon for water filtration. Carbon blocks can be used as standalone filters because they effectively eliminate chemicals like chlorine from water. They are also fantastic volatile organic compounds, bad odors and tastes, herbicides, sediments, and pesticides filters. For enhanced water filtration, they are at times treated with special additives or combined with other filtration technologies.

Activated carbon filters are simply charcoal that has been processed to expand the porosity of its granules. This gives the individual carbon granules a larger adsorption surface area. The enhanced adsorption capability is what makes activated carbon block or granulated filters efficient assimilators of dissolved pollutants in water. Activated carbon is also affordable and readily available, meaning that its replacement filters are easy to purchase and low cost too.

Ceramic filters

Ceramic filters are commonly used in countertop water filters to eliminate sediments and disease-causing cysts and bacteria from water. These filters have dense microscopic pores with minute micron ratings, which means that any water pollutants with more substantial micron ratings cannot pass through them.

Most bacteria, for instance, is a micron in size, but a ceramic filter’s pores could be 0.5 microns. There are instances where this filter is infused with silver, a bacteriostatic element. This prevents the growth of living organisms, such as algae, which could flourish inside the ceramic filter. The beauty of a ceramic filter is that it can be cleaned and reused over time. When combined with activated carbon or ion exchange resins, ceramic filters can be very efficient at water filtration.

Water distillation

Water distillation, as mentioned above, utilizes heating and cooling processes to purify water. It generally imitates water evaporation cycles, whereby water is heated up by the sun into vapor and falls back as rain or dew. Water distillation eliminates viruses, heavy metals, chemicals, and elements from water, producing the purest form of water. Distilled water, however, may require remineralization to make it healthy enough to drink.

Maintenance

Countertop filters that use carbon for filtration will need replacements every few months or years. Ceramic filters, on the other hand, will require constant cleaning, depending on the amount of sedimentation in your water. Countertop water filters that have a pre-filter will need replacements over shorter periods. It is essential, therefore, to ensure that you are aware of the life period of a particular filter before purchase. If you want a set it and forget it type of filter, purchase a product whose filter will last for years.

Costs

While the initial cost of a countertop water filter may be a critical factor, the prices of filter replacements over time are crucial too. The filtration efficiency of a countertop water filter is highly pegged to the condition of its filter. Therefore, you have to ensure that first, the filters that work with your product of choice are affordable and readily available. They should also be of very high quality, to ensure that they can filter water optimally for more extended periods.

Pros of countertop water filters

  • Countertop water filters require minimal installation procedures, and at most, you only need to attach a diverter to your cold-water faucet to get them up and running. You do not need to purchase an extra tap, such as is the case with under sink water filters.
  • They are also very easy to maintain. All you need to do is to establish their filter replacement durations, and change them when the time comes. Some models will go for years without filter replacements needs.
  • Water produced by countertop filters is very affordable when compared to expensive bottled water. The filters themselves are also low cost, and their maintenance costs are very low too.

Cons of countertop water filters

  • Countertop water filters are point of use water filtration systems. This means that they will only filter water from one single faucet, unlike whole house water filtration systems.
  • Countertop water filters have to be placed on your kitchen counter, which could be intrusive not only on space use but on your design aesthetic as well. If you want a discrete water filtration product, an under the sink system could be more ideal.
  • These products may not filter every pollutant in water. Some of them only have a one-stage filtration process with one media. If you need to filter a broader spectrum of water pollutants, you will need dual or trio stage filters, with more than filtration media.

How to install a countertop water filter

As the name suggests, countertop water filters are placed on top of a kitchen counter adjacent to the kitchen faucet. A large number of them have a diverter valve that connects their filtration system to your kitchen faucet’s water flow. All you need to do is swap your faucet’s aerator for the water filter’s diverter valve. Once the diverter valve is firmly screwed on to your kitchen cold-water faucet, you can begin to enjoy clean, fresh-tasting, and safe drinking and cooking water.

How to change a countertop water filter

Simply slip the provided housing wrench onto the filter’s casing. Turn the casing clockwise to open it up, and then unscrew the filter cartridge out. Remove the old cartridge and insert the new one. Spin the base of the casing back on and tighten it with the housing wrench.

Conclusion

We recommend the APEX EXPRT MR-2050 Water Filter for its very effective two-cartridge system. It has a carbon block filter and an alkaline water filter, which combined, produces not only optimally filtered water but great tasting water as well. We also love the Cleanwater4less Countertop Water  System for its long life filters and stainless steel build.