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Published Sep. 22, 2021

Public water treatment plants remove potentially harmful microbes from raw water to make it fit for human consumption, but that doesn’t mean what comes out of your tap is necessarily pure. To further strip contaminants and chemicals such as rust, bacteria, and lead from your drinking water, you may need a point-of-use home water filtration system. These products typically use granular-activated carbon filters, or a combination of methods, to ensure your drinking water is clean.

Not only will you have peace of mind knowing your water is stripped of impurities, but your water will taste better as well. Additionally, since replacing carbon filters costs a fraction of what you’d spend on bottled water, water purifiers are both a cost-efficient and environmentally sustainable option. Depending on your individual needs and budget, these types of systems vary from pitchers and faucet attachments to under-the-sink filters and more. To get you started, we’ve assembled a variety of highly-rated products, below.

How We Picked the Best Water Purifiers

Methodology

With countless water filtration products on the market, it took no small effort to arrive at our  picks. In addition to honing in on the most top-quality, highly-rated water purifiers, we also looked at a range of different products that could fit into a wide variety of homes and lifestyles. We assessed several dozen products before narrowing our list down to these five.

Given that the primary function of these products is to eliminate potentially harmful contaminants in drinking water, safety was the primary criterion. All of the products on this list are WQA (Water Quality Association)- or NSL-tested and certified, and all are likewise constructed of safe BPA-free materials. Of course, cost efficiency was another significant factor, and all of the products listed here employ long-lasting, replaceable filters to provide months of water filtration. But no matter which water purifier you decide is suitable for your home and personal use, you can rest easy knowing that the planet will thank you for doing your part to eliminate harmful, single-use plastics.

The Best Water Purifiers: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: Waterdrop 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher

Clean Water In Minutes

Drink more water with the convenience of a simple pitcher.

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Why It Made The Cut: This high-capacity pitcher not only produces fast, clean water but fits neatly into a refrigerator door, and an ergonomic handle makes it easy to grip.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 200 Gallons
  • Purification method: Activated carbon
  • Dimensions: 10.4 x 5.3 x 10 inches

Pros:

  • High-grade BPA-free plastic design
  • Each filter produces 200 gallons of water
  • Ergonomic handle

Cons:

  • Not ideal for larger families
  • Can be challenging to keep top on

Enjoy great-tasting water with the Waterdrop 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher, which uses multi-stage water filter technology to reduce contaminants such as arsenic, fluoride, and lead, and also neutralizes the taste and odor of chlorine. Each filter can purify 200 gallons of water—or more than 1,600 standard 16-ounce water bottles—and a handy gravity induction indicator eliminates the guesswork of knowing when the filter needs to be replaced.

The innovative, BPA-free plastic design boasts an ergonomic handle for easy lifting and fits perfectly in most refrigerator doors. Even the spout cover is thoughtfully designed to prevent dust and other particles from getting inside the pitcher. After all, what good would water purification be if contaminants from the air around you managed to get inside your drinking water?

The pitcher also filters quickly, with a fast flow rate of a half-gallon per minute. However, some users or families with high water consumption needs have noted that even that speed wasn’t fast enough. Keep that in mind when deciding on a water purifier.

Best Large-Capacity Dispenser: Brita Stream UltraMax Water Filter Dispenser

Slim And Compact

A space-saving design that’s perfect for refrigerators and countertops.

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Why It Made The Cut: Pouring a glass of purified, refreshing water is as easy as turning a spigot with this slim dispenser that won’t take up much room in the fridge.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 40 Gallons
  • Purification method: Carbon
  • Dimensions: 10.25 x 4.41 x 15.97 inches

Pros:

  • Holds 25 cups of water
  • Space-saving design
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons:

  • May not filter well water
  • Tap leaking can be an issue

Whether using in the refrigerator or on the countertop, the space-saving design of the Brita Stream UltraMax Water Filter Dispenser is a great fit anywhere, at only 4.41 inches wide. The large, 25-cup capacity makes it perfect for families, as it can hold enough to fill eight 24-ounce reusable water bottles. Both your wallet and the environment will thank you, as it can replace as many as 1,800 single-use plastic water bottles within a year.

The unique design of this dispenser actually filters as you pour, making it quick to fill up since the filtering speed won’t constrict you. You can reduce the taste and odor of chlorine and other contaminants such as cadmium, copper, mercury, and zinc that are typically found in municipally treated tap water. However, because well water can contain additional contaminants, such as iron and rust, you may want to check with your local health department to make sure this product is safe for use if you rely on well water.

Additional features include an electronic filter indicator, an easy locking lid, and a precision-pour spigot, perfect for filling up reusable water bottles. However, a handful of users have noticed pools of water in their refrigerators around the tap, which indicates that it may be prone to leaking. Those users seem to be the exception, though, and it’s unclear why some consumers have this problem and others don’t.

Best Under-the-Counter System: APEC ROES-50 Reverse Osmosis Filter System

Best Under-the-Counter System

Premium, long-lasting filters remove up to 99 percent of over 1,000 contaminants.

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Why It Made The Cut: Potentially harmful contaminants such as chlorine, toxic fluoride, arsenic, lead, chromium, and nitrates are no match for this five-stage water filter system.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 50 gallons per day
  • Purification method: Reverse Osmosis
  • Dimensions: 16 x 5.25 x 17.5 inches

Pros:

  • Removes up to 99 percent of all contaminants
  • Easy installation
  • Included lead-free designer faucet

Cons:

  • Can waste water
  • Not ideal for renters

For water that tastes even better than bottled, the APEC ROES-50 Reverse Osmosis Filter System uses a complete five-stage water filter system manufactured from high-caliber components to offer reliable performance for years to come. Tested and certified by the Water Quality Association (WQA) to receive the Gold Seal Usage trademark, the highest standard in the industry, the ROES-50 removes up to 99 percent of all contaminants, such as chlorine, toxic fluoride, arsenic, lead, chromium, nitrates, and other heavy metals.

The system also comes with a lead-free designer faucet and food-grade tubing and parts to ensure that the water coming out of the tap is as clean and contamination-free as possible. The detailed instruction manual and step-by-step online installation videos facilitate installation and maintenance.  The system can be installed right under the sink, though some users prefer to mount it in a basement or garage to save space.

The manufacturer recommends that the stage one to three filters are changed every 12 months and that the complete filter set be changed every two to four years. The only downside to the system is that some users lament that the discharge water continues to drain, sometimes for hours, and you might notice an increase in your water usage. Given the installation process, it’s also not an ideal solution for short-term renters or those who tend to relocate frequently.

Best Faucet Filter: Waterdrop Water Faucet Filter

Best Faucet Filter

With quick and easy installation, you can access clean water right out of the tap without having to commit to an entire home or under-counter filtration system.

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Why It Made The Cut: With quick and easy installation, you can access clean water right out of the tap without having to commit to an entire home or under-counter filtration system.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 320 Gallons
  • Purification method: NSF-certified carbon fiber
  • Dimensions: 8.06 x 7.1 x 2.9 inches

Pros:

  • NSF tested and certified
  • Provides three months of average use
  • Convenient switch design

Cons:

  • May not work with all faucets
  • Clunky appearance

Get clean, fresh-tasting water right out of the faucet without the hassle of installing a home system with the Waterdrop Water Faucet Filter. The convenient design allows for the simple flip of a switch to alternate between high-quality filtered water (for drinking and cooking) and regular tap water (for washing dishes, watering plants, etc.). Each filter purifies 320 gallons of water for about three months of average use, and additional filters can be purchased. This way, you’ll only need to change filters approximately four times a year, saving time and money.

Upgraded filtration technology tested and certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) reduces lead and 94.2 percent of the taste and odor of chlorine without slowing down water flow. Even when the filter is activated, you can still fill up four standard-sized water bottles in just one minute.

Various adapters are included so the filter can be easily attached to most standard faucets. Leak-proof technology ensures against water waste that can raise utility bills. Again, though, it’s important to check the specifications before purchasing, as the filter is not compatible with pull-out, hand-held, and spray-style faucets or faucets with a sensor.

Best Filter Bottle: Brita Stainless Steel Water Filter Bottle

Filters As You Sip

Enjoy crisp, clean tasting water from anywhere.

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Why It Made The Cut: Avoid spending money on pricey, bottled water at airports, festivals, sporting events, and more with this convenient reusable bottle that filters on the go.

Specs:

  • Capacity: 40 gallons
  • Purification method: Carbon
  • Dimensions: 3.23 x 3.23 x 10.83 inches

Pros:

  • Stays cold for 24 hours
  • Push-button leak-proof lid
  • Comes in a variety of colors

Cons:

  • Must be hand-washed to clean
  • Straw can be difficult to drink from

Always have access to clean, filtered drinking water with the Brita Stainless Steel Water Filter Bottle, that’s perfect for the home and office, traveling, festivals, sporting events, and more. With one of these bottles in your bag or purse, you’ll never have to spend inflated prices on bottled water again. One filter can replace up to 300 standard 16.9-ounce single-use plastic bottles, so the bottle it pays for itself in just a handful of uses.

The easy-sip straw filters water as you drink, with a built-in carrying loop and a one-handed, push-button, leak-proof lid for added convenience. Double-wall, stainless-steel insulation keeps water cold for 24 hours and won’t “sweat” like some bottles. The Brita bottle also fits perfectly into most cup holders. Plus, the bottles come in a variety of eye-catching colors to match your style.

The only drawback to this bottle that some users noted is that because it filters as you drink, the straw can make it difficult to sip compared to standard sports-style water bottles. To keep your bottle operating smoothly, simply replace the filter after approximately 40 gallons or about every two months of regular use.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Water Purifier

With so many water filtration products on the market, it can be challenging to decide which one is right for you. However, the most basic factor to consider is how many people in your home are going to rely on your water purifier. For example, a small pitcher or individual bottles will likely be fine for singles or couples who are not home very often. On the other hand, families with more significant water consumption needs may require a large-capacity dispenser, a faucet filter, or a home system.

Another logistic to consider is what type of space you have to accommodate a water purifier. If space inside your refrigerator is a precious commodity, it may be wiser to choose a model that installs under your sink or to your faucet. These types of products tend to be optimal for homeowners who plan on staying put, and apartment dwellers may need to check with their landlords before doing any kind of DIY plumbing projects in a rental unit.

Price is also an essential factor in deciding on a purifier. Standalone pitchers tend to be the most immediately budget-friendly option, though the cost of  replacement filters will add up over time. It’s crucial to examine not just the price tag of the water purifier itself, but how much the filters will end up costing in the long run. Depending on your personal needs and usage, you might find that a pricier home system will ultimately save you money years down the road.

FAQs

Q: What features should we look into when purchasing a water purifier?

There are a number of features you should look into when purchasing a water purifier, including the type of technology used in the purification method, storage capacity, whether or not installation is required, and the rejected water ratio (which calculates what percentage of the water goes to waste in the filtration process).

Q: Which water filter is the most effective?

The most effective filters are reverse osmosis systems that go through, at minimum, a five-step process to remove 99 percent of contaminants—including chlorine, heavy metals, and even pesticides and herbicides—in municipally-treated drinking water.

Q: How can I test the water in my home?

Before purchasing a water purifier for your home, it’s a good idea to have your water tested for impurities. Most states and municipalities have certified water quality testing labs that provide a detailed overall analysis to check for chemicals, metals, and microbiological impurities. Check with your local health department to find out what resources are available.

Final Thoughts

With the ability to remove up to 99 percent of contaminants, our pick for the most efficient water filter would have to be the APEC ROES-50 Reverse Osmosis Filter System. Users report that this under-the-counter system provides the all-around best tasting water; however, it may not be the best fit for short-term renters or those who dwell in small apartments.

That’s why our pick for the best overall water purifier is the Waterdrop 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher. Not only is the pitcher highly rated to remove most contaminants, but it doesn’t require any kind of special installation or tools. It’s an ideal choice for home and office, apartments, or dorm rooms. 

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