Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Review (Do NOT Buy Before Reading)

Everyone is worried about what’s in the water supply. From reports of chlorine to pesticides to cancer-causing cysts, there are more than 1,000 contaminants that could be lurking in your water. A good defense against these toxins is a reverse osmosis water filtration system, and these filters are becoming increasingly necessary.

Did you know that, according to the Environment Working Group Tap Water Database?
• Over 80% of America’s water has toxins linked to cancer
• More than 75% of Americans are drinking water contaminated with hexavalent chromium (Think Erin Brockovich)
• All 50 states have had their water supplies tested, and all water samples returned arsenic, chromium-6, fluoride, chlorine, lead, pesticides, fertilizers, and radiological toxins

Based on our reverse osmosis system reviews, we know what makes one filter better than another. One of the reasons that we focus so hard on reverse osmosis (RO) filters is because of their effectiveness against even trace amounts of these toxins. In fact, most reverse osmosis water filters that have a RO membrane remove 99% of all contaminants.

Some of the contaminants that RO membranes remove include:
• Lead
• Phosphates
• Nitrates
• Nitrites
• Chromium
• Fluoride
• Chlorine
• Selenium
• Mercury
• Radium
• Cadmium
• And thousands of other toxins

In addition, RO filters are just a type of filtration process that is typically included in multi-stage filtration. RO filtration can be found in countertop reverse osmosis water filters, under sink filters, and whole house RO systems.

What Is Reverse Osmosis?

Do you want the cleanest water in your home? Reverse osmosis filters are known for purifying almost any water sample of any contaminant. These filters consistently receive NSF certifications for their ability to remove thousands of contaminants.

Reverse osmosis is a method of filtration that filters water through a thick, semipermeable membrane. Contaminants get stuck in the membrane as water moves through the filtration stages. The fresh, clean water created is called the permeate while the other water with contaminants is called brine.

The RO membrane is made up of small porous holes that block contaminants but still allow clean water through. Osmosis causes the water to become more concentrated, while reverse osmosis blocks toxins from entering the less concentrated area of the membrane. As water feeds through the membrane, only purified water molecules can get through, resulting in clean, refreshing water.

We have completed hundreds of reverse osmosis system reviews to find out what makes a filter remove contaminants better than another. In a reverse osmosis filter, there are likely several steps of filtration to clean the water before it reaches the reverse osmosis, which is a bit of a “catch-all” for trace amounts of toxins. The best reverse osmosis filters also have less wastewater with a ratio lower than 3 to 1.

How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?

Pressure pushes water to flow through the reverse osmosis membrane. Toxins, chemicals, bacteria, and any other trace amounts of chemicals get stuck in the semipermeable membrane. This means that it can remove small amounts of lead as well as arsenic and mercury from the water without wasting purified results.

Most reverse osmosis systems have multiple filters preceding the membrane. For example, a typical four-stage filtration process has carbon activated filters, coconut shell filters, and a sediment filter. These block out most of the bacteria, microorganisms, chlorine, and fluoride before it reaches the RO membrane, which will remove 98% of all total dissolved solids (TDS).

Once the water moves through the membrane, it typically goes to a tank or out of the faucet. In other cases, your reverse osmosis filter may have a dispenser. However, the main part of the filtration has already happened at this point.

Here is the typical step-by-step process:
• First, water enters a pre-filter, which is typically a sediment filter to remove dust, dirt, sand, and other particles
• The next step takes water through carbon activated and coconut shell filters. Most of the major contaminants are removed at this time.
• Now water pressure increases as water moves through the reverse osmosis membrane. Dissolved particles, microorganisms, and trace amounts of toxins are further purified from the water supply at this level.
• At this point, water may flow to the storage tank. In a typical under sink filtration process, there is a tank that holds purified water. However, some tankless water dispensers and whole house ro systems simply send water through the faucet.

What Does Reverse Osmosis Remove?

Reverse osmosis filters can remove almost all contaminants in your water supply. This is why those with contaminated municipality water and well water use a reverse osmosis system. In our research, we have found that filters with reverse osmosis tend to remove 99% of all contaminants, and we test over 1,000 different kinds of toxins.

Here are some of the common toxins and chemicals removed with a reverse osmosis filter:
• Fluoride
• Salt
• Chlorine
• Arsenic
• VOCs
• Herbicides
• Pesticides
• Lead
• Sediment
• Chromium
• Chloramine
• Manganese

However, reverse osmosis filters do not remove bacteria and viruses. These should be treated previously through the other filters, such as carbon block or activated carbon filters. UV filtration is the best at removing these kinds of contaminants, however.

In addition, RO filters can remove bad taste and nefarious odors in water, leaving you with clean, spa-quality water.

What are the Benefits of Reverse Osmosis Filters?

While other filters may be strong against certain toxins, reverse osmosis filters have powerful membranes that catch any remnants of toxins and purify water thoroughly. It may be the only method that can remove traces of lead and chromium, as well as other cancer-causing agents.

There are more benefits to these types of filters, including:
• Nearly 100% removal of all dissolved solids
• Sodium and nitrates removed
• Reduces bad odors and foul flavors
• Better for the environment over bottled water
• Easy to install and maintain (many units come with self-cleaning functions)
• Included with under sink filters, countertop water filters, water ionizers, and even portable water filters

The most popular reason for getting a water filter with a RO membrane is that you want nearly 100% pure water.

Do Reverse Osmosis Systems Waste Water?

With reverse osmosis water filters, waste water is created and sent back down the drain. As water flows through the membrane, it’s divided into permeate or purified water, which is stored in a tank or dispensed through the spigot, while the waste water is flushed away.

Every reverse osmosis system creates waste water, but some create less. These are shown as ratios of how many gallons of water are wasted per gallon of pure water created. A ratio of 3:1 is typical of an average RO water filter. However, lower ratios like 2:1 and 1:1 may be found with higher quality reverse osmosis water filters.

There are ways to reduce waste. For example, you may want to add a permeate pump or look for filters with booster pumps. These can increase efficiency. Other reverse osmosis filters have an automatic shut off valve, which ensures that the filter won’t keep pushing water through once the tank is full of water.

Should You Drink Reverse Osmosis Water?

There are some questions about the quality of reverse osmosis water and whether it contains the minerals and nutrients of regular water. While RO filters were created because water supplies were contaminated, some filters do remove necessary minerals that are beneficial for your body. These include calcium and magnesium.

However, that does not mean reverse osmosis filters created poor quality water. In fact, many filtration systems account for the fact that these minerals are removed along with contaminants and add in a remineralization filter.

Where are Reverse Osmosis Filters Installed?

There are several types of filters that use reverse osmosis. They are defined by where they are installed, but you can find almost all types of water filter systems can have a RO membrane. Even water filter pitchers now have a RO filtration process in some cases.

Here are the most common types of RO filters and where they are installed:

Countertop Reverse Osmosis Filters

Even within the countertop category, you can break down these filter types even more. The main type of countertop water filter connects to your kitchen faucet and sits next to a power outlet.

However, there are tankless water filters and gravity water filters that do not necessarily need to hook up to your faucet. Instead, they have their own spigots and dispense water on demand.

Whole Home Reverse Osmosis Filters

Reverse osmosis has been changing many water filtration processes. In previous models, RO was not always included in whole house filtration systems. This has changed in the past five years. There are new multi-stage filters that include several filters, such as a carbon activated filter, UV filter, and reverse osmosis membrane.

However, these are more expensive. This is because reverse osmosis systems rarely do not help your home’s flow rate, which can lead to poor water pressure throughout. When looking at these systems, you want to make sure that the system is rated for whole house use and match the PSI specification to your own home.

Whole house filters are installed at the main entry point of your water supply. Whether you receive well water or get your water from the city municipal supply, the reverse osmosis filtration step is typically last.

This type of filtration delivers purified water to every faucet and shower in your home. You typically also have the benefits of softened water too.

Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Filters

In between the value and budget-friendly countertop filters and convenient whole home filters, there are under sink reverse osmosis filters. These deliver clean, pure water directly to your kitchen faucet. They are hooked up to the main line underneath your sink. These don’t take as much time to install as a whole house filter, but they can be quite large and take up all the room under your kitchen sink.

The most significant thing to look for is connections and water pressure to match your kitchen faucet. You want a system that does not lag when you turn on your faucet. Typically, these systems come with a separate faucet that you install next to your original sink faucet. This can be time-consuming and costly if you don’t have access to another hole in your countertop for the secondary faucet.

Question and Answers About Reverse Osmosis Filters

What’s The Difference Between Reverse Osmosis Filters, Carbon Filters, And Other Types Of Filters?

The biggest difference between reverse osmosis and other filters is the filtration process. Water pressure pushes contaminated water through a semipermeable membrane that filters out toxins through small porous holes. This makes it more successful in removing some trace toxins and smaller microorganisms over other filters.

Carbon filters may be called activated carbon, carbon block, or post-carbon filters. These filter water through a carbon medium and can remove impurities like chlorine and iodine, reducing bad tastes and removing odors. Most carbon filters are used with less expensive filtration systems, such as water pitchers and standalone systems. However, when combined with reverse osmosis systems, carbon filters can reduce enough toxins with the membrane to get a 99% contaminant-free result.

Do Reverse Osmosis Systems Work With Any Water Pressure?

Have you heard of slow flow with reverse osmosis? This can be an issue, but it’s typically resolved with a permeate or booster pump. The pump helps to move water quickly through the membrane and transfer clean water to the tank.

A typical reverse osmosis filter can produce filtered water in less than 5 minutes, depending on the design and type of water filter. Most countertop reverse osmosis systems are much faster than others.

If you notice slow water from a reverse osmosis system, there are a few reasons. Most of the issues come from low pressure inside of the RO tank. You should have a 7 to 8 psi in order to get the most flow from your RO system.

In other cases, it could be that your RO filters are extremely clogged. RO filters need to be replaced at least every 2 to 4 years. If this is the problem, your tank may not fill up for four hours.

Do You Have To Clean Reverse Osmosis Membranes?

The average lifespan of a RO membrane is 2 to 4 years, but there are some thicker membranes that can last up to 5 years. During that time, there can be some buildup, and if you notice foul odors and bad tastes, then you may need to clean the membrane. Manufacturers also suggest cleaning if the following conditions are observed:
• Regular permeate flow drops below 10%
• Regular salt passage increases by 5 to 10%
• Regular water pressure drops by 10 to 15% or more

Which Reverse Osmosis System Is Better: Countertop Vs Under Sink Vs Whole Home Filtration?

When it comes to determining the type of reverse osmosis filter you want, it’s best to think about your budget and where you want to install a filter. If you have a bigger budget and don’t mind a plumbing project, then a whole house filtration system may be the best option. However, you also must consider gallons per minute and water flow rates with whole home filters. These may be slow without a permeate pump to help push water through your home.

If you simply want clean drinking and cooking water in your kitchen, a countertop filter may be the best option. It requires no installation and offers quick dispensing of 99% pure water. Some countertop filters are more wasteful than others and need more water to produce results, so it’s best to check reviews and look at the wastewater ratio before purchasing these units.

Finally, under sink water filters offer continuous filtered water, but they require some plumbing knowledge to connect the system underneath your cabinet. These systems also must deal with water pressure problems and low flow rates, so you should only pick up a system if it has a permeate pump and easy installation instructions.

Can You Install A Reverse Osmosis System By Yourself?

Most of the time, we find that reverse osmosis systems are easy to install with a set of tools. Some systems are harder to install than others, such as whole home reverse osmosis filters. These require you to find the point of entry for your water line and connect each tube so that it doesn’t affect your water pressure. This can be a little difficult if you aren’t familiar with home plumbing.

Countertop water filters are typically the easiest to install because they don’t have any connectors. Instead, they are standalone units that plug into the wall like a coffee maker.

How Much Water Can Be Filtered With A Reverse Osmosis Filter Per Day?

The manufacturer will have specifications like gallons per minute and daily flow rate that you’ll need to check before purchasing. These factors vary depending on the type of unit as well. In general, you should look at the following to ensure that you get the most water per day.

• Water pressure should be higher, as this allows for more water flow.
• Higher temperatures also produce more water.
• Reverse osmosis can slow down water flow, which is why permeate pumps are necessary.

Most reverse osmosis systems are tested at 60 psi with an average temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit. These systems are best for household sizes of 4 to 5 people.

Do You Need A Remineralization Filter With Reverse Osmosis?

If you want to keep the health benefits of minerals in your water, then you may need a remineralization stage. Most minerals are removed during intensive filtration. Tap water can have some important minerals like calcium and magnesium. There are some systems that have a re-mineralization phase to aid in adding back these minerals.

Best Whole House Reverse Osmosis Filters

We have looked at hundreds of reverse osmosis systems and found the best whole house filters on the market. These systems have the best flow rates and pass our water safety tests with flying colors. We look for filter strength, contaminants blocked, size, and ease of installation to determine if the filter is worth the money.

Here is our top pick below, but you should read our full guide to whole house reverse osmosis filters for other options and complete buying guide.

Aquasana Rhino Whole House Water Filtration System (Well Water plus SimplySoft + UV)

Aquasana offers several different water filter options and add-ons, so it’s important to mention that we are specifically reviewing the complete Aquasana Rhino Whole House Water Filtration System. This model includes all the add-ons so you can use it whether you have a city water supply or well water system, and it has UV filtration in addition to reverse osmosis.

Rhino RO water filtration systems come with a 5-micron pre-filter that catches larger particles, such as sediment, silt, rust, and dirt. This pre-filter increases the filter life of the other stages, such as the carbon filter and reverse osmosis membrane.

This system has catalytic carbon filters and “Sterilight” UV filtration. This is one of the reasons why we chose this filter as the best reverse osmosis system for whole home filtration. These filters get out 98% of all contaminants, including bacteria and viruses thanks to the UV filtration. This helps reduce almost all the contaminants before reaching the RO membrane, which can then remove trace amounts for the ultimate pure result.

The Rhino is rated at 7 gallons per minute (GPM) for flow rate. This is best for households with four people and up to 2 bathrooms. Larger homes may want to find a higher GPM so that they don’t suffer any pressure drops.

What We Liked

Aquasana really goes above and beyond to ensure that customers have everything for installation. It does take some knowledge of plumbing and water lines to know where to install this unit, but once you do, you’ll be amazed at the boost in water quality. We were truly impressed with the purity of the water.

We found that the Rhino reverse whole house filter was able to remove 99.99% of contaminants thanks to its multi-stage process. Water tasted and felt like spa-quality mineral water, which means that it was also softened. If you have hard water in your shower, this filter will take care of it.

This system also has 42 certifications from NSF for water quality, which means that it can guarantee contaminant removal. The EQ-1000 is also rated for 1,000,000 gallons, which means that you don’t have to replace the filters for up to 10 years.

What We Don’t Like

If you don’t have plumbing experience and you don’t want to mess up your water pressure, you may need to have a professional help with the installation. We think the instructions are easy to follow with the right tools, but it’s not necessarily the easiest DIY project.

Aquasana’s whole house filter is state-of-the-art, but it comes with a pretty steep investment cost. However, it’s an amazing investment for those who want the cleanest water with reverse osmosis throughout their entire home. In fact, it’s one of the only whole house filters to include this level of filtration.

Top Brands for Whole House Water Filters

There are several brands that we love for their high-quality filters, indestructible tanks, and amazing customer service. These brands have built some of the best reverse osmosis water filters on the market.

1) Aquasana Whole House Filter

We have to include our favorite pick for whole home filtration. This brand has developed a truly unique RO water filtration system that suits multiple budgets and purification needs. Aquasana designed their systems to go from basic to advanced with special features for those customers who have well water or need different connectors. While these filter systems can be considered more expensive, it’s worth the cost for the nearly 100% pure water result. Aquasana is best known for its Rhino whole home filter, which comes in a variety of models, such as the EQ-600, EQ-1000, and EQ-WELL-UV.

2) Pelican Whole House Water Filter

Originally formed in 2007, Pelican Water Systems is a Florida filtration company that has built a name on whole house RO water filtration systems. They provide several different systems that may work for your home based on budget and water flow needs. Their Pelican PRO-RO six-stage reverse osmosis system is our top pick for the brand. It reduces 99% of contaminants and offers 8 GPM flow rate. It also has a filtration capacity of 662,400 gallons, which is nearly as high as Aquasana’s premium whole house filter.

3) 3M Whole House Water Filter

When it comes to water filters, 3M has been the brand to beat for many years. However, some of the products are a bit dated. However, their Aqua-Pure Whole House Filtration System offers a 20 GPM flow rate, which means there is zero loss in water pressure. Their systems can be used with well water or municipal hookups.

Questions and Answers on Whole House Reverse Osmosis Filters

How Much Maintenance Is Necessary For A Whole House RO Filter?

The RO water membrane doesn’t need to be changed for 2 to 5 years. However, there is more to it than just replacing the RO membrane. It’s also important to have a sediment pre-filter and carbon filters, which protect the RO membrane from getting too clogged. These other filters need to be changed regularly, which typically means every 6 to 12 months.

In addition, experts recommend that you soften water before it moves through the membrane as it removes more sodium before going through the semipermeable RO membrane.

If you notice that your water quality or water pressure drops, it could be that your RO water system is clogged or that your permeate pump isn’t working like it should.

Do Reverse Osmosis Filters Work Well With Whole Home Filtration Systems?

Older thinking was that RO water filtration would not work with a whole house RO water filter because they did not have a high enough flow rate to service showers and other high-pressure water needs. However, many systems have developed higher GPM (gallon-per-minute) ratings to handle larger households with multiple faucets and showers.

However, if you are looking at a whole house RO water system, then you should check that your psi and flow rate match the device you are purchasing. An average family of four uses 100,000 gallons of water every year. You should also have a minimum PSI of 40, but the best option would be a 60 PSI water filter.

Under Sink Reverse Osmosis

Under sink filters offer the best of both worlds if you want convenient, continuously flowing purified water for an affordable price with RO water filters. While these filters are not as budget-friendly as countertop filtration, they offer pure water on-demand, and the device stays out of sight. Some of the things you need to look for in an under sink reverse osmosis filter include good water pressure, filtering capacity, ease of installation, filter life, and purity. Most under sink reverse osmosis filters have a 99% contaminant-free rating.

We have looked at hundreds of reverse osmosis filters and tested each one thoroughly. There is no other under sink reverse osmosis filter like our top selection, shown below. However, you can read through our full guide and see the best under sink filters based on our testing factors.

Home Master TMHP-L Hydroperfection Undersink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System

When it comes to high-quality, pressurized water filtration, the Home Master TMHP-L Hydroperfection offers an incredible package that does it all. It includes a permeate pump, which ensures that you get 75 gallons of water per day and reduces waste water.

In addition to a reverse osmosis stage, the Home Master TMHP-L comes with a remineralization filter to add safe minerals back into the water and turn the water slightly alkaline. We found that this provided a spa-quality taste to the water.

The Home Master TMHP-L also has an ultraviolet (UV) light. We tested and found that this stage kills 99.8% of bacteria and other microorganisms. This is best suited for well water systems, which have more issues with bacteria, viruses, rust, and other problems. However, this also means that the unit needs to be near a power outlet.

With a modular filter design, this reverse osmosis filter can easily be maintained. The design ensures that the filters are protected from debris and damage as well. You can simply change the filters with a push of your thumb.

The best part about Home Master TMHP-L is the water efficiency. It has a 1:1 ratio, so nearly all water is filtered and purified. Most filters have a 3:1 waste water ratio, which means that for every single gallon of filtered water, 3 gallons are wasted.

The unit also comes with a chrome faucet and five-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.

What We Liked

The Home Master TMHP-L is one of the best reverse osmosis system because of its purity percentage. In our tests, we found that this filtration system had a 99% purity rating. The filter was able to remove almost all contaminants including chlorine, chromium, chloramine, bacteria, viruses, cysts, pesticides, lead, arsenic, and more.

The permeate pump design really helps this reverse osmosis water filter with waste water efficiency and a faster flow rate. The 4-gallon pressurized water tank also stores your water, so you don’t have to worry about not having immediate water to drink from your kitchen faucet.

The multi-stage filtration offers the most purity in comparison to other competitors. You can taste the difference with Home Master TMHP-L water because it does not have any odor or bad flavor. The remineralization filter ensures that it has a spa-quality taste.

The UV filter is also unique for an under sink filter. It destroys 99.8% of all bacteria and microorganisms, which makes it perfect for well water homes.

While most under sink filters have a 3 to 6 month filter life capacity, the TMHP-L offers filters are rated for 2,000 gallons, which ensures that you won’t have to replace the filter for at least one year. However, these may last as long as 2 years.

What We Don’t Like

The installation step takes almost an hour. This is partly due to the connections and fitting the unit under the sink. If you are not comfortable with plumbing, this step could take a bit longer due to the connections and ensuring that the second faucet can be installed above the counter.

Top Brands of Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Filters

Most brands that sell water filters sell every type of installation and filtration model. Under sink reverse osmosis filters are more popular because of their ability to filter out more contaminants and remain out of sight. We looked at some of the top brands and their best under sink reverse osmosis filters. These selections offer the highest quality water filter products with multi-stage filtration, filter life capacity, easy installation, and long-term warranties.

1) Home Master

The Home Master brand offers a variety of water filters. Their filtration system design is unique and tested, revealing that it’s over 99% successful in removing all contaminants, including trace amounts of lead, mercury, arsenic, fluoride, chlorine, and more.

We have reviewed a few products from the brand and found that the TMHP-L HydroPerfection under sink water filter offers the best value. In addition, their filters are the most efficient. The 1:1 ratio of the HydroPerfection reverse osmosis filter is better than any other competitor in the under sink class.

2) iSpring Water

The iSpring water filtration brand offers some of the best under sink filters on the market. Their iSpring RCC7AK-UV Deluxe is their best filtration product because it has multiple stages and includes a remineralization filter. We found that it delivered absolutely perfect and great-tasting water.

The iSpring UV Deluxe has a seven-stage water filter that can remove 99.9% of all contaminants, including lead, chlorine, chloramine, bacteria, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, viruses, cysts, and other microorganisms. The UV filtration step is a nice touch because it ensures that all parasites, bacteria, and microorganisms are removed from well water.

One of the main differences between iSpring and other competitors is the remineralization and alkaline stage that elevates the pH of your water so that it tastes better and provides more antioxidants.

3) APEC Water

As we look at different under sink reverse osmosis filters, we try to find the ones that are more affordable and still highly accurate when it comes to removing contaminants. We found that the APEC Top Tier 5-stage reverse osmosis filter was one of the best systems that we reviewed. It includes a carbon block filter, reverse osmosis filtration, UV filters, and a remineralization stage.

APEC has created multiple water filter systems, but none comes close to the 99.9% clarity of their Top Tier 5-stage under sink water filter. However, it produces slightly more waste water than iSpring and Home Master water filters, which is something that you should look at if you want the most purified water for the value.

Question and Answers About Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Filters

Can Under Sink Water Filters Remove The Same Contaminants As Other Filters?

These filters are extremely effective at removing all kinds of chemicals just like other reverse osmosis systems. However, you should check that the filter is NSF-certified before purchasing.

Do Under Sink Water Filters Waste More Water?

Reverse osmosis systems do waste water, but you can look at waste water ratios to ensure that you purchase a low waste filter. Under sink systems use a tank design, which means that waste water is flushed back out. You should look for a water filter that has less than a 3:1 wastewater ratio to ensure.

How Do You Change Filters In An Under Sink Water Filter?

Most of these systems are designed with different cartridge filters. Since you place an under sink filter in a cabinet, it can be time-consuming to remove and replace these filters. Typically, you will need to remove the casing and unlock the cartridges, removing them and snapping the replacement filter cartridges in place.

You can look for filters with longer capacities. The best filters should only be replaced once per year. RO membranes need to be replaced every 2 to 5 years.

Countertop Reverse Osmosis

Countertop water filters are more lightweight, portable, and easy to install over other filtration systems. These water filters typically sit on top of your counter next to your kitchen sink. Some attach to your faucet while others are standalone units that never have to connect to anything. For example, tankless reverse osmosis water filters allow you to quickly set up and plug in the filter, bringing you continuously purified water.

There are a number of countertop reverse osmosis systems available, and we have reviewed hundreds to find the best reverse osmosis water filters with a countertop design. These are best suited for apartments, RV travelers, and vacation homes when you can’t make changes to the plumbing or if you are looking are more convenience with the same water purity rating. We only select systems with at least a 98% contaminant-free rating.

AlcaPure Zero Installation Purifier Reverse Osmosis Countertop Water Filter with Patented High Capacity 4 Stage Technology

The AlcaPure Zero Installation Purifier, also known as the ZIP, is one of the most convenient and easy to set up countertop water filters. We chose this system because it’s easy to use and the design is quite attractive. In addition to water purity, this system also helps if you have hard water, and it’s quite affordable for most households.

The countertop reverse osmosis water filter from AlcaPure removes 99% of all contaminants, and it has a wastewater ratio of 1:1. It’s best suited for residential homes, apartment rentals, small offices, and RVs. You can set up this filter in less than 60 seconds because it doesn’t require any plumbing or connections.

The AlcaPure also has a patented four-stage filtration method. We found that this system was able to remove fluoride, chlorine, arsenic, lead, chromium-6, TDS, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, bacteria, and over 1,000 contaminants. Furthermore, the result is absolutely pure and slightly alkaline, which is the best type of water to drink.

What We Liked

We really loved how well the AlcaPure filtered out contaminants in a short amount of time. The ZIP starts dispensing water in seconds. However, it’s also the efficient waste ratio that we liked. It produces less water waste than almost every other competitor in the countertop water filter market.

Setup takes only a few minutes. It produces high-quality great-tasting water that filters out a glass of water in less than 60 seconds. It works best for trace amounts of contaminants, which can often get through simple filtration devices. However, that’s not the case with the AlcaPure.

There are four different stages of filtration with the AlcaPure, including a sediment filter, activated carbon filter, reverse osmosis membrane, and post carbon filter. The sediment filter is rated for 5-micron filtration, which means that it can remove most particles before it reaches the activated carbon filter. This next step is responsive for removing chlorine, dissolved gasses, bad tastes, and discoloration.

However, it’s the reverse osmosis stage that removes the most toxins, including microorganisms, heavy metals, fluoride, hormones, nitrates, bacteria, and much more. The reverse osmosis booster pump also maintains water flow, so you don’t have to wait for water like with other countertop and under sink water filter systems.

As contaminated water moves through the five-micron sediment filter, most toxins are removed, but the next three filters guarantee that other difficult toxins will be removed. We found that the AlcaPure had a 99.9% contaminant-free rating. In addition, the AlcaPure injects beneficial minerals like magnesium and calcium back into the water during a remineralization phase. In addition, the pH level is raised to ensure that water is slightly alkaline for the best taste and most antioxidant benefits.

We also liked that the filter replacement on the AlcaPure is quite easy. The filters in this device can last for a year or more. The AlcaPure ZIP has a filter change alert that blinks red when it needs to be changed. The RO membrane will last for up to 4 years.

Finally, AlcaPure has a great warranty that protects customers from any manufacturer defects and missing parts. Customers reported that support was able to help them quickly, responding to most requests within 24 hours.

What We Don’t Like

Countertop water filters are generally made to fit on countertops, but the AlcaPure is a little bit taller than we would like. You may have to keep this filter on the countertop in an open area that is not under any cabinets. Otherwise it would make it impossible to use this dispenser style countertop filter.

Top Brands of Countertop Reverse Osmosis Filters

There’s a big difference in cost and installation when it comes to countertop water filters. These systems are designed to be more affordable and portable, which makes them a great choice for most households. If you notice that your home has unpleasant water, whether due to contamination or bad odors, you can use a countertop water filter to remove just as many contaminants as a whole home filter or under sink filter. The main difference is the convenience and cost.

1) AlcaPure

The AlcaPure brand has been reviewed by us extensively. They have tremendous water filter products and provide innovative new models with better filtration and easy installation. The AlcaPure Zero Installation countertop water filter offers the most convenient access to 99% pure water. It comes with four stages of filtration as well as a remineralization stage.

We love that AlcaPure uses high-quality filters, including a five-micron filter and post-carbon filter, as well as a reverse osmosis membrane. These filters have a long life and will last over a year, but the RO membrane can last up to 24 months. AlcaPure is highly rated according to most customer experiences. The customer service team also received high marks for their quick response to warranty fulfilment requests.

2) APEC Water

We have reviewed almost all the APEC water filters. Their best countertop water filter is the APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-C portable countertop filter. It’s extremely easy to use, as are most of the products from this brand. It also has a faucet adapter that allows you to get continuous filtered water with one faucet while also being able to switch to tap water.

The APEC countertop water filter also filters up to 90 gallons per day. This high output provides the best temperate and water pressure, matching the quality of an under sink reverse osmosis system. In addition, the wastewater ratio is decent with APEC’s countertop filter. We found that it was able to produce 2 gallons of waste water for every 1 gallon of purified water.

The only issue with this system is the horizontal design, which can take up countertop space. However, it’s easy to hide this countertop system under a cabinet because of its compact, lightweight design.

3) Frizzlife

Frizzlife is another one of our favorite reverse osmosis filter brands. For countertop filtration, Frizzlife offers a compact, completely installation-free filtration system. We loved that this small unit has a four-stage filtration process, and it’s completely tankless. This is one of the only systems of its kind, and it delivers on water purity despite being a nearly handheld device.

We have rated Frizzlife’s countertop tankless filter as the top countertop water filter because of its ability to go anywhere and deliver 99.99% pure results. It removes chlorine, heavy metals, chromium, arsenic, radium, pesticides, and many other contaminants. In addition, this unit is rated for waste water efficiency and offers a 5:1 pure water to waste water ratio. That’s insane!

Questions and Answers About Countertop Reverse Osmosis Filters

What Types Of Countertop Water Filters Come With Reverse Osmosis?

The first thing to note about these water filters is that there are a few basic types of countertop filters.

The first is a water filter pitcher, which is not connected to your faucet at all. These are standalone units that allow you to manually fill up the basin, just like with your average coffee maker, and the water filter dispenses pure water into your glass. If you have a smaller kitchen with not that much room, the pitcher or dispenser style is best. It’s also a great option for offices.

Faucet filters sit on your countertop and connect to your faucet. These are great for continuously flowing pure water, but they do not work with all faucet types. However, it can be easy to switch back and forth between tap water and purified water, which is necessary sometimes if you need water quickly.

There are also gravity-fed countertop filters, but these do not use reverse osmosis. These are sometimes preferable for offices and waiting rooms because they are taller in height. These filters also keep minerals unlike reverse osmosis systems, which typically require a remineralization filter.

What Size Countertop Water Filter Is Best?

To pick the right countertop water filter, you should measure the space around your kitchen sink including the countertop area and space between the countertop and bottom of the cabinet. If you find a water filter that has a taller height, it may not fit beneath your cabinets and take up too much space. We recommend picking a smaller countertop filter so that it’s portable and easily fits anywhere.

What Should You Do Before Buying a Reverse Osmosis Filter?

One of the first steps to understanding water filtration is knowing the quality of your water. You should get a home water testing kit to see what kind of contaminants in your water. If you have issues with chlorine, fluoride, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, bacteria, lead, arsenic, and other micro particles, then you should definitely look into a reverse osmosis filter.

In addition, you need to know your water pressure requirements and water flow rate. Most appliances have a flow rating that lets you know how much mater it needs to operate correctly. If you have multiple appliances using water as well as 2 to 4 faucets and up to 4 people in your household, then you’ll need a higher flow rate and at least a PSI of 60.

You should also consider your budget. For those who only want to spend under $500, then a countertop water filter is probably best. These systems typically cost much less than under sink and whole house water filters, which can range over $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the amount of filtration and filter quality.