Countertop Water Filter Review (Do NOT Buy Before Reading)

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.

Five Star-Rated Countertop Water Filters

Top Pick

Frizzlife WA99

  • 4-Stage RO Filtration
  • Removes 99% of All Contaminants
  • NSF/ANSI 58 certified
Runner Up

AquaTru RO Filter

  • Reduces 83 Contaminants
  • 4-Stage Ultra Reverse Osmosis Technology
  • NSF/ANSI 42, 53, 58, 401 & P473 certified
Top Pick

RKIN OnliPure RO Filter

  • 4-Stage RO Filtration
  • Removes 99% of All Contaminants
  • NSF/ANSI 58 certified

The typical countertop water filter offers water purification and some smart features, but a truly high-end luxury countertop water filter is a sleek, modern masterpiece with multiple programming options.

In comparison to under sink water filtration systems, the luxury countertop filter still offers multi-stage filtration but in a compact package.

We took a look at some of the best countertop water filters on the market to see how these top brands offer greater water purification within a sophisticated, efficient design.

Frizzlife WA99 Reverse Osmosis Countertop Water Filter

One of the certified WQA countertop water filters on our list is the Frizzlife WA99 Reverse Osmosis filter. This compact countertop water filtration device offers premium filtration with an over 99.99% purity rating. This means that almost all of the contaminants were reduced or eliminated using this countertop filter.

We found that the Frizzlife WA99 can remove heavy metals, chlorine, lead, mercury, chloramine, chromium, arsenic, radium, asbestos, and hundreds of other toxic chemicals ranging down to 0.0001um.

Commentary and Features

The first thing you’ll notice about the Frizzlife WA99 is the compact, sleek design. This water filter looks like it belongs on the counter at Starbucks. It’s also designed with a smart touch screen and LCD dispense screen. It’s perfect for your kitchen, break room, or even for the bathroom. It’s also tankless so you don’t have to worry about changing out the tank or cleaning it.

The Frizzlife WA99 is also an extremely efficient water filter. With multi-stage filtration that includes reverse osmosis, you’ll always have pure water. You can also see TDS monitoring, filter life reminders, and automatic, continuous dispensing. Whether you choose how much to dispense or select continuous, you’ll have very clean, refreshing results.

What We Liked

The Frizzlife features four stages of filtration, eliminating most of the contaminants in our test. It’s one of the only countertop water filtration devices with this level of water purity, so you’ll definitely notice a difference in taste and clarity.

The water filtration ratio is extremely efficient at 5:1. This means that for every 5 gallons of filtered water, only 1 gallon of waste water is produced. This is important as you don’t want a higher water bill just for enjoying your countertop water filtration device.

There’s also a TDS meter built into the Frizzlife WA99. This lets you know the total dissolved solids in the incoming and outgoing water. This means that you’ll see if your system is filtering out toxins correctly or if you need to replace a filter.

The filter reminder also makes it easy to know when you’ll need to change out the carbon block filter or reverse osmosis membrane. The filters have a twist and click installation feature, making them easier to replace.

What We Don’t Like

Since this system is so small and tankless, you won’t be able to pour a ton of water at once. It doesn’t hook up to your faucet. However, this also means that it’s easier to clean, and you don’t have to install anything. You simply plug it in to get started with filtration.

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.

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.

Entry-Level Countertop Water Filters

We also wanted to provide some insights on more affordable, entry-level countertop water filtration devices. These filters typically offer similar filtration purity, but they may not have the same amount of multi-stage filtration or smart features as some of the higher end models.

Waterdrop WD-M5-G Countertop RO Filter with Portable Water Pitcher

The Waterdrop M5 is one of the coolest countertop filters that you’ll see, and it comes with a portable water pitcher. This filter is unique due to its reverse osmosis filtration and pitcher combination. The filters also last up to 550 gallons or about one year of filtration in a small household.

We always want to look at the water purity first. We found that with reverse osmosis, this Waterdrop filter can remove as many toxins as the Frizzlife countertop filter in our high-end bracket. That’s because Waterdrop includes five stages of filtration that we found removes over 1,000 harmful toxins, including chlorine, lead, mercury, PFAS, dissolved solids, fluoride, and arsenic.

Commentary and Features

The five stages of filtration set this countertop RO filter apart from many competitors. Waterdrop actually does an amazing drop to design a sleek exterior with an extremely efficient water filtration device. It includes an 80 oz water pitcher, as well as no pump, no electricity needs, and no built-in tank.

This devices uses a composite filter, pre-filter, premium carbon block filter, sediment PP membrane, RO membrane, and post-activated carbon block. On the outside, the device is a sleek steel design.

What We Liked

With a very quiet operation and on-demand filtered water supply, we actually like this Waterdrop filter better than many of the high-end countertop filters we’ve tested in the paste. You’ll love the way your water tastes after going through this filter as well.

The pitcher is easy to use when you want to automatically fill up the pitcher. You don’t have to stand around and wait for it to fill up. This works well if you want to fill up and chill your water in the fridge before drinking.

This countertop filter does use a different installation process so you can get continuously filtered water right next to your sink. The instructions are very clear, however you’ll need to install the connector underneath the sink for it to work properly.

What We Don’t Like

The installation time will set you back a bit, especially if you’re not familiar with plumbing and water pipes beneath your kitchen sink. There are a number of videos and the instructions offer a lot of help. It takes less than an hour if you have the right tools.

This filter may not work with homes that have a lower water pressure so you’ll need to match the PSI before purchasing. It can take up a bit of countertop space as well and has a taller casing than some of the other countertop water filters on this list.

Aquasana Clean Water Machine with Pitcher

Another contender in the entry-level countertop water pitcher market is the Aquasana Clean Water Machine with Pitcher. This is an NSF-certified, multi-stage filtration device that eliminates most contaminants. It’s rated to remove 99% of all chlorine, lead, and asbestos as well as hundreds of other toxins.

We found that this water filter also reduces PFOA and PFOS by 99.99%, so it’s an exceptionally high-grade filter for the price. This water filter also has a unique design and doesn’t take up hardly any countertop space.

Commentary and Features

One of the first things you’ll notice about this water filter is the design. With its narrow design, it’s easy to set up anywhere. It will work on almost all kitchen countertops, but you can also set it up in your office break room or bathroom. It’s that sleek and easy to install.

The self-dispensing model holds a gallon of water at a time, but you can also opt for the removal pitcher. In addition, this water filter can remove 10 times more contaminants than gravity filter devices, such as the Berkey.

The electricity-driven filtration allows you to filter half gallon in just one minute. The Clean Machine also has a few smart features, including a light that lets you know when filters must be replaced.

Customer satisfaction ratings for this filter are quite high. It has a 90-day guarantee and one-year warranty that covers most replacements and parts. We found that it was also easy to contact their customer service line and get help.

What We Liked

This water filter doesn’t really look like many of the countertop water filtration devices we’ve reviewed. It looks sleek and clean next to your sink or in the corner of your kitchen due to its narrow, elongated design. It’s also very easy to set up and start using.

With four-stage Claryum filtration, the Aquasana Clean Machine reduces contaminants 15 times more than many competitors. It’s also quick and easy to get started with zero installation.

This water filter has a higher rate of filtration, so the result is odorless and perfectly smooth, leading to a refreshing finish. However, despite the exceptional filtration, it doesn’t remove healthy minerals. The result is very clean, smooth drinking water that you can quickly place in the fridge with the pitcher if you want to.

There are a variety of pitcher filters on the market right now, but this is the highest-grade filter if looking for top filtration. It’s certified to remove many of the worst contaminants including lead, cysts, chlorine, chloramine, mercury, and VOCs.

It has a maximum capacity of 320 gallons and dispenses quickly at 0.5 gallons per minute. It comes with a 90-day guarantee and 1 year warranty as well.

What We Don’t Like

Even though many of the harmful toxins are reduced or removed, it’s not as high as 99.99% for all contaminants as other competitors. While the design is sleek and narrow, it will need a powerful outlet to sit next to in order to power the filter.

The filter life in the Aquasana Clean Water Machine isn’t as long as we’d like. It’s rated for 320 gallons, which is around 3 months.

Why You Should Consider a Countertop Alkaline Water Machine

Now that we’ve looked at the top countertop water filtration devices, there are a few other types of countertop water filtration devices to look at.

 We realized that there are a number of water filters that include important features to improve your health that aren’t standard in this category. These are known as countertop alkaline water machines or countertop water ionizers.

Water ionization offers so many benefits, especially if you like drinking alkaline water. Many people suffering with IBS, cancer, and acid reflux drink alkaline water regularly. There are also studies that show alkaline water increases oxygen levels in your blood. This can reduce the build up of lactic acid in your muscles.

If you have chronic pain, gastrointestinal issues, GERD or chronic acid reflux, high blood pressure, or cholesterol issues, drinking alkaline water can be a soothing experience for your body. This is due to the higher pH that has been shown to improve your health. Some studies have shown that drinking alkaline water can lead to an improvement in IBS symptoms.

With start of the art technology and multi-stage filtration, many of these water ionizers offer the most pure water and alkaline benefits at the same time. While it hasn’t been proven as a cure-all for these conditions listed above, many people swear that alkaline water has improved their health. However, it has been proven to help athletes and those who need higher hydration.

Alkaline water filters also provide other benefits. Many offer customized water pH levels, so if you wanted to create your own acidic water for cleaning your beauty supplies, you could also create low pH water.

Water ionizers typically provide a range of acidic and alkaline water options. In many cases, you can program these devices to dispense alkaline water at exactly the pH that you’d like, which ideally would range between 7.7 and 9.0 pH for alkalinity. We provide scientific reviews and in-depth testing of these countertop water ionizers if you’d like to try these exceptional water filtration devices that deliver alkaline water right to your glass at home.

Conclusion: The Frizzlife WA99 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 Frizzlife WA99 Reverse Osmosis 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 Frizzlife WA99 offers the most value and gets the best-tasting results.

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.

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.

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.