Why do people want water filtration in their homes? One study recently found over 100 hundred common contaminants in 20,000 water samples taken from 20 different cities in the US. In addition, there is also a difference between countertop water filtration and under sink filtration. Countertop water filters are easy to set up because they simply attach to your kitchen faucet. They can also be installed on any other faucet.
Countertop water filtration takes up a smaller amount of space than under sink filtration. Some countertop water filters are lightweight and portable, allowing you to bring them on vacation to purify and clean water wherever you go. Various filters purify water inside of a countertop water filter systems. Some contain activated carbon, ceramic filters, and even reverse osmosis (RO) filtration. We have selected some of the best countertop water filters to share with you, including detailed guides on our favorite countertop reverse osmosis water filters.
Did You Know: Countertop Water Filters With These 5 Features Receive 87.9% of Five-Star Reviews
When it comes to water filtration, and specifically countertop filters, consumers need to look at the specifications first. Convenience, filtration speed, and filtration quality are most important when looking at these devices. This is why we only looked at countertop devices that had simple setups in under 60 seconds and delivered 99% purity.
1) Ease of Setup and First Use
You want to be able to use your water filter within minutes of opening the package. It can take hours to set up whole home filtration, and while there are some benefits to having filtered water to every faucet, countertop water filters are made so that you can quickly get drinking water or cooking water at the press of a button.
There are some filters that come with faucet connections while others use a dispenser. As long as the faucet connection takes less than 60 seconds to screw on, we believe it’s convenient and easy to use.
2) Quick Filtration Speed
Before buying any water filter, you definitely want to check the flow rate and speed of the unit. Most countertop filters can deliver a cup of water in less than a minute. However, this varies depending on the amount of filtration and type of filtration. For example, gravity-fed water filters take a bit longer to filter out contaminants, but the results may also be purer.
3) Ability to Switch Between Tap and Filtered Water
This is an added bonus when you want to be able to quickly get water from the tap or filtered water. Some countertop water filters allow you to easily switch between plain tap water and filtered water using the faucet. This also helps with filter life, so you can save a bit more money by using these types of filters.
4) Multi-Stage Filtration and Types of Filters
We naturally gravitate towards water filters that have multi-stage filtration. This means that water passes through over four stages of filtration for the cleanest results. We also look for machines that have reverse osmosis membranes because it means that more lead and trace chemicals will be removed from the water.
5) High Filter Life Capacity
Some filters last longer than others, and there are also water filtration devices that have exclusive filters, which tend to cost more. Before purchasing, you can look at the specifications and read reviews from customers to understand filter cost.
If a filter is rated for 1,000 gallons, that means it will last for about a year. Anything less than that will likely need to be replaced within 6 months.
It’s best to start off with a water test at your home to know what you need to filter out. There are home water test kits that make it easy to see what’s in your water. Some filters are better at removing contaminants than others. However, multi-stage filtration with 5 or more steps typically removes 98% or more chemicals.
Best Countertop Water Filter
There are a few different types of countertop water filters. While they are fundamentally the same type of filtration and require very little plumbing knowledge, countertop filters separate into tankless and gravity water filters. These have different processes for cleaning water and removing impurities as well.
When it comes to finding the best countertop filter, we looked at hundreds of different systems. Our selections are based on the water filter’s strength, types of filters, ease of use, warranty, and overall customer satisfaction. These countertop water filters offer the most features for the value, and they are also certified for the highest contaminant removal.
Five Star-Rated Countertop Water Filters
AquaTru RO Filter
- Reduces 83 Contaminants
- 4-Stage Ultra Reverse Osmosis Technology
- NSF/ANSI 42, 53, 58, 401 & P473 certified
RKIN OnliPure RO Filter
- Removes 99% of All Contaminants
- 4-Stage Deep RO Filtration
- NSF/ANSI 58 certified
Imperial Berkey IMP6X2-BB
- Removes 99% of Viruses & Bacteria
- Comes With Additional Filters
- NSF/ANSI 53
Propur ProOne BIG+ Brushed
- Removes 200+ Types of Contaminants
- Durable Stainless-Steel Construction
- NSF/ANSI 42 Certified
AquaTru Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Purifier
AquaTru is a very popular water filter brand that creates the only “ultra reverse osmosis” (RO) technology filter. This means that the AquaTru can remove even more contaminants than most of its competitors [PDF File]. For example, AquaTru can remove more chemicals than a regular filter, including drug residues, pharmaceuticals, cysts, herbicides, lead, and chromium, in addition to chlorine and other commonly filtered toxins.
There are four levels of filtration with the AquaTru countertop water filter. With a pre-filter, activated carbon filter, ultra reverse osmosis stage, and activated carbon filter, it’s very efficient and removes 99% of contaminants, which is why it’s NSF certified.
What We Liked
The AquaTru has a modern design and can purify about 1 gallon of water in less than 15 minutes. With its lightweight, compact design, AquaTru is easy to fit under a cabinet, and it’s convenient. The multi-stage process can remove 15 times more contaminants than other competitors.
The filters removed 99% of poisons and contaminants, including chromium, chlorine, radium, fluoride, copper, and lead. The four-stage process includes a mechanical pre-filter, reverse osmosis pre-filter, ultra reverse osmosis membrane, and an activated carbon.
There’s absolutely zero installation, so it only takes five minutes to start purifying water. Since it’s incredibly compact and portable, you can place it anywhere and dispense water efficiently. It comes with a pitcher, making it easy to store your water as well.
What We Don’t Like
This AquaTru model is priced towards the luxury segment of the market. That price is met by two effective RO filters and a convenient removable pitcher. However, warranty is only for one year and doesn’t cover some of the parts. Some customers had issues with broken parts that took a while to replace, according to reviews.
OnliPure Zero Installation Purifier
OnliPure offers the ZIP RO countertop water filter, which is a stylish, elegant, and efficient water filtration solution that uses reverse osmosis to remove 99% of all contaminants. In fact, this unit can purify up to 75 gallons of water per day.
You don’t have to install anything with the OnliPure ZIP filter. You simply sit it on your counter, plug it in, and fill the bottom pitcher with water from your sink. Once you push the start button, you receive pure, refreshing, contaminant-free water.
We found that this filter did more than remove normal contaminants, it can also remove trace fluoride, heavy metals, glyphosate, chromium 6, and more. It also offers four stages of filtration within a BPA-free design, and it’s NSF/ANSI certified.
What We Liked
OnliPure has created a genuinely beautiful water filtration product. This countertop filter is small and beautifully designed. You can fit it almost anywhere in your kitchen, and it takes a few minutes to get pure water for a third of the cost with some under sink filtration devices.
OnliPure designed a zero waste water filter, so it’s simple to plug it in and pour water inside to get started. You don’t have to connect any tubes or water lines. It works as a standalone purifier and ionizer, turning regular tap water into spa-quality water.
With four stages of filtration, the OnliPure ZIP is one of the only filters on this list that can filter out all TDS, or total dissolve solids. The first filter is a 5-micron sediment filter, followed by an activated carbon block filter, exclusive AlcaPure post filter, and a reverse osmosis membrane. All of the filters are viable for a year, except for the RO membrane, which can take 2 to 4 years to replace.
What We Don’t Like
Even though it’s a unique design and quite powerful, the OnliPure ZIP is taller than other countertop filters and may not fit under some cabinets.
Most water filters also have a five-year or lifetime limited warranty, but the OnliPure is only protected for up to one year after purchase.
Tankless Countertop Water Filters
Tankless countertop water filters are the smaller, lightweight devices that make it easy to get filtered purified water right in your kitchen. They support all kinds of household sizes, and they are affordable as well. Depending on what kind of filtration you are looking for, tankless water filters offer multi-stage purification for an incredible value.
When it comes to tankless water filters, we look at contaminants removed, size, and waste water efficiency. In addition, we also review the taste, odor, and convenience when using the filter.
APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-PHC
There is a lot to love about the APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-PHC Alkaline Filter. For one, it can create bottled water quality results with 99.99% pure water. With four stages of filtration, it’s also extremely successful at removing some of the trace amounts of lead, chlorine, fluoride, and arsenic.
The APEC can handle 90 gallons per day at 60 psi or 75 gallons at 50 psi. This is a tankless countertop filter that provides the safest, cleanest drinking water, and it’s easy to carry with you if you want to get clean water at the office.
In addition, this unit is completely low maintenance. You only have to change the pre-filters once every six months, and the RO membrane will last for up to 4 years. The APEC also works in any location because it’s portable and does not need connections to work with a faucet. APEC systems have a sleek design that’s different from other water filters. The case is made from aluminum and has a horizontal design, and you can test the water before and after using APEC’s kit that comes with your purchase. We found that the test results were the same as our own kit.
What We Liked
We like that APEC is compatible with all standard faucets and comes with incredible filters. It’s one of the best countertop water filters we’ve reviewed. It takes less than 60 seconds to set up this filter. This filter offers clean, great-tasting water right from the faucet. After testing the APEC, we found that it removes 99% of contaminants, which is on par with some of the higher-quality systems we reviewed.
There are four filters included with this system. The first is a premium quick-connect 5-micron sediment filter that removes most dust, dirt, sand, particles, and rust. The second stage is a coconut-shell activated carbon filter that removes all odors, colors, and bad flavors. It also removes chemicals and VOCs.
The third stage uses a FILMTEC high rejection reverse osmosis membrane. It removes all arsenic, lead, fluoride, chromium, radium, bacteria, viruses, and much more. The fourth stage is a calcite acidic water neutralizer that adds calcium carbonate to balance the water so it’s alkaline.
We found that the system has a 2000 ppm for total dissolved solids. Since it does not have tank, we also like that this system is lightweight and easy to move wherever you need it. You can use it with almost any faucet, except for pull-out faucets.
What We Don’t Like
The design is a little bit different than other tankless countertop filters. The design is interesting, but we found that it doesn’t have the same convenience as the Frizzlife or other countertop filters on this list. The horizontal design takes up too much space. We also found that the warranty is only for a year and does not cover most of the parts.
Gravity Water Filters
Gravity water filters use the power of, you guessed it, gravity to purify water and remove contaminants. These water filters are designed to have an upper chamber that you feed water through, while the lower chamber purifies the water. There is typically filter media between the chambers that aids in removing toxins. While the processes are different, both tankless and gravity filters result in 98% or higher pure water.
For filters that use gravity, we check the overall purity of the water first. Our test results should have over 99% pure results. We also look at the design and size of the unit to ensure that it’s convenient and easy to set up.
Imperial Berkey Water Filter
Gravity filters are better overall for purification and water waste. It’s also faster when it comes to dispensing clean, pure water. The IMP6X2-BB Imperial Berkey is one of the most popular gravity countertop filters. The design and function of this filter make it one of the best countertop filters to buy as well. The design includes an upper and lower basin with two black Berkey filters, 2 fluoride filters, and 4 hole plugs.
The Berkey holds nearly 5 gallons of purified water at once, and it can filter up to 5 ½ gallons of water per hour. It is made with high-grade stainless steel. While we like the aesthetic of the design, it is a rather tall unit because of the gravity filter build.
Berkey filters are among the best on the market. They are made to withstand years of filtration. These filters are rated for 3,000 gallons each. That means that you won’t have to replace filters but once every 3 years.
What We Liked
The Imperial Berkey gravity filter is a well-made filter with high-grade filters that completely filter your water. We found that the results were spa-quality and tasted great, and our tests showed that the IMP6X2-BB can remove 99% of all contaminants. We tested thousands of chemicals and toxins, including chlorine, chloramine, chromium, bacteria, cysts, arsenic, lead, and pesticides.
You also do not have to spend any time on setup or installation with this Berkey. It works as a standalone water dispenser with an extremely effective filtration process. It wastes less water, and it’s perfect for the office or home.
What We Don’t Like
Some customers have reported that the Berkey is too tall and does not fit under regularly sized kitchen cabinets. This is definitely true and indicative of the gravity filter design. If you want this kind of filtration, you will have to deal with a taller case overall.
The Berkey also has a premium price point, and only comes with a one-year limited warranty.
Royal Berkey Water Filter
Berkey creates a variety of different water filtration devices, including the Royal Berkey, which is a gravity-fed filter that is well-known for its deliciously pure water. The Royal Berkey comes with two black Berkey filters, which blends coconut shell carbon and five other types of filter media.
The black Berkey filters are rated for 3,000 gallons, which means you don’t have to replace them every six months. These will last 3 to 5 years according to customers. The outer case is made from stainless steel as well, so it’s virtually indestructible and has quite a lovely design for office waiting rooms, open houses, and other professional settings. It’s also perfect for home use.
The main difference between this system and the IMP6X2-BB Imperial is the capacity and filter types. The Imperial includes four filters, while the Royal only has two black filters. This means that we were not able to get the 99% pure results like with the Imperial.
What We Liked
We love Berkey filters because they are strong and long-lasting. The Royal gravity-fed filter works great, and it’s easy to set up. You simply plug it in and pour in water to get it started. We found that the results were just like the Imperial in odor and taste.
We love that the Royal comes with two long-lasting filters. You won’t have to constantly replace filters, and when you do, it’s easy to twist and snap the filters into place. We also liked that it has a quick flow rate. You can quickly dispense pure water in about 60 seconds.
The stainless steel case is quite sleek, so it’s perfect to replace a water fountain area or just sit on your counter at home. It can purify any kind of water and does not need any installation to start working. Instead of using your faucet, you can simply fill the top chamber to get pure water dispensed through the spigot.
What We Don’t Like
The Royal does not come with as many filters as the other systems, but you can purchase 2 fluoride filters if you want to purify water even more. This product’s premium aesthetic steel design and brand reputation is met by higher-end pricing.
Propur ProOne® BIG+ Gravity Water Filter
Propur has created a truly amazing water filter design. Their gravity filters have silver-infused ceramic on the outside with granular-activated carbon on the inside. There are no extra filters needed for different contaminants, such as fluoride filters that Berkey makes you but. The ProOne G2.0 filter in the Propur can handle all contaminants.
In addition, Propur has a stainless steel spigot in comparison to the plastic spigot on Berkey models. We found that this system was able to remove 99.99% of all contaminants, and it was also the most accurate with lead removal. Overall, we were really impressed with the ability of the Propur to filter out thousands of contaminants.
While the design is quite tall, the gravity filtration design really works with the Propur. Water tastes refreshing and clean. It’s also extremely fast and delivers a glass of water in about 60 seconds.
What We Liked
With a silver-infused ceramic filter, the Propur truly works hard to purify your water. We found that it was easy to install filters and set up the gravity-fed filter. You don’t need to hook it up to any water lines. You simply add water and it just works.
The stainless steel design makes it even better than Berkey. You never have to worry about contamination, and it comes with a one-year warranty should any of the parts break or need replacing.
The filters are extremely successful with most contaminants. We found that lead, chlorine, chloramine, arsenic, fluoride, pesticides, chromium, and many other toxins were completely gone from our water sample after testing.
The Propur also has an extremely high customer satisfaction rating. Their customer service team handles replacements easily through their one-year warranty. If any parts break, you can simply replace them through the hotline. Most customers were impressed by the company’s quick response.
What We Don’t Like
The filter life is not as long as Berkey filters. These will last about 12 months before you need to replace them. In addition, we found that the Propur was weak on removing radioactive contaminants, but this is mostly an issue with the gravity-fed design and not the Propur itself. Our samples were clean and great-tasting after filtration.
Conclusion: The AquaTru Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Purifier Defeats The Competition
When it comes to countertop water filters, we wanted to get the purest results with the most convenience. We looked at filter strength, capacity, size, and portability as some of the main factors for what makes a countertop filter better than another, and we found that one of these filters stood out for value and features.
The AquaTru Water Filter is the perfect countertop filter because of its compact, and sophisticated design that includes a reverse osmosis filter. This is absolutely amazing to us that they can fit a four-stage filtration process in such a small container. In addition, this unit uses drain water recycle methods to cut down on waste.
While many of the countertop filters we reviewed will work great for any home or office, we think that the AquaTru Water Filter offers the most value and gets the best-tasting results.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the Importance of Water Quality?
When you taste your water, does it have a metallic flavor? Does it taste acidic? Perhaps you have hard water, or if you have a well supply, then you could have bacteria and other microorganisms causing issues with your water.
Different filters also remove various contaminants. For example, UV filtration is better for well water because it can remove bacteria and parasites. Reverse osmosis (RO) filters are better for purifying water of chlorine and trace amounts of lead. If you pick one of the countertop water filters that we suggest, then you may get 98% to 99% purified water. This means they remove hundreds of contaminants, but the most important toxins removed include arsenic, heavy metals like lead and chromium, and residual bacteria.
Do Tankless Countertop Water Filters hook up to the faucet?
Some tankless countertop water filters are made to connect to a regular kitchen faucet and won’t work on their own. However, others are designed as a water dispenser. You simply pour in water at the top and purified water comes out of the spigot.
We find that countertop filters with tanks or without tanks filter water the same way, so it’s really up to your preference on what type of design you are looking for.
How Long Does It Take For Gravity Water Filters To Filter Water?
There are different flow rates for each countertop water filter, so you will have to look at the specifications. You ideally want a larger gallon per hour rate. Many gravity-fed water filters have between a .2 to 1 gallon per hour rate. You can typically see purified results in a few minutes for a glass of water.
How Do You Know When To Change Filters For Gravity Water Filters?
Unfortunately, most of these brands do not have any digital indicators that let you know when a filter needs to be replaced. You may simply taste the difference in the quality of the water, or you can look at the specifications to set reminders. For example, Propur’s G2.0 8” gravity filter can last up to 8 months. While this isn’t ideal, we think it’s pretty easy to set up a reminder before water starts to lose its purity.
How Do You Clean A Gravity-Fed Water Filter?
Gravity filters are different than other countertop filtration systems. For one, you need to manually clean out the chambers and replace the filters in a gravity filter. Most countertop filters have a digital display that shows you when the unit is self-cleaning. However, gravity filters are old school.
You will need to clean your gravity filter every two to three months. If you have hard water, you may want to clean the unit every month, or if you use it often, then you may need to maintain it more.
In addition, it’s important to rinse out the chambers as much as possible before resuming water purification. You don’t want any contaminants sticking to the side of the filter.
What Happens If You Stop Using Your Countertop Water Filter?
If you decide to go on vacation or you haven’t used your countertop water filter in some time, then it’s important to store the filters so that they don’t dry out. For gravity filters especially, you want to remove the lid, drain any water in the container, and remove filters if you haven’t used the system in a while. Then, you can wrap the filter elements in terrycloth towels and store in a cool, dry place.
When storing filters, you should never place them in a plastic bag or any closed container. They also should not be frozen or kept in high heat areas. You also cannot place water filter media in the dishwasher. You can run water over the filter to clean it and then let it dry.
Will A Countertop Water Filter Fit On My Countertop?
There are some things that you should check before buying any water filtration device. For one, the size matters most. If you have super low kitchen cabinets or don’t have enough countertop space, it will be difficult to use most countertop water filters.
There are some countertop filters that have a compact, lightweight design, such as the Frizzlife. These may be more portable and easier to access. However, many countertop filters are made to be used on open tables, such as in a breakroom or on a side table. This is especially true for gravity-fed filters, which have taller cases.