Best water filters in multiple categories
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Having clean water is necessary for good health and a water filter can be an ideal solution to ensuring safe drinking water at home. It can enhance the quality of your water by removing potentially harmful contaminants and improving its taste and odor.
That said, there are several different types of water filters, each designed for a different purpose or situation. In this post, we’re going to share our best pick in each category, and give you a brief insight about them. You can check full reviews of each one of them plus other top options in the web links above.
1. Survivor Filter PRO
- Independently Tested in the USA to show 99.999 percent filtration removal of tested Virus, bacteria, parasites and reduces heavy metals, unpleasant tastes and odors
- Proven protection against any unwanted objects in your drinking water; Reduces Heavy Metals and Improves taste, thanks to Dual Hollow Fiber Membrane (Ultra Filters) and Carbon Filtration - 20 times more efficient than the competition at 0.2 microns and none of the Competition Comes Close with Our Heavy Metal Removal
- Shell is ABS Material (Same Material Used on Car Bumpers), Polysulfone Medical Grade Ultra Filter (Same Material Used in Visors of Apollo Astronauts), Food Grade Activated Carbon and Handle Contains Steel Bar Inside for Extra Support. BPA Free
The Survivor Filter Pro is the best portable water filter mainly because its filtration process is highly effective at removing contaminants and also because its filters have a long lifespan.
It’s a 3-stage filtration system consisting of a carbon filter and two ultra membrane filters which removes contaminants down to 0.01 microns. They get rid of 99.99% of microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. They also clear out chemicals and heavy metals such as lead (93%) and mercury (99.5%).
Its flow rate is fast as it’s equipped with a pump. It can deliver 17 ounces of clean water per minute. The filters don’t require frequent replacement either due to their long lifespan. The capacity of the carbon filter is 2000 liters which can last 2 years while that of the ultrafilters is 100,000 gallons hence they can last roughly 100 years.
The unit is easy to use too. Pushing and pulling the pump takes little effort and inlet tubing is long making it convenient to access water sources that are slightly hard to reach.
The entire unit is quite sturdy and durable made using a strong ABS material. It’s not likely to break or malfunction easily, and it’s backed by a lifetime warranty. Moreover, it’s considerably light (weighs 10.9 ounces) and has a compact profile (measures 3.15 x 1.97 x 6.5 inches). It can fit well in a small backpack, plus it comes with a case which makes carrying it simple.
Setting it up doesn’t present any challenges. You just insert the filter and then attach the hoses, that’s all. The challenge is taking it apart as several users reported that it’s a bit hard to disassemble it for cleaning.
The other notable downside is that the pre-filter is prone to clogging with time causing the flow rate to diminish considerably. However, it continues to work fine once it’s backflushed.
2. GRAYL Ultralight Filter Water Bottle
- Ideal for global traveling, outdoor adventures, emergency preparedness, hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing, survival
- Fast and easy-to-use, simply Fill. Press. Drink. No sucking, squeezing, pumping, prolonged waiting, ultraviolet bulbs, or batteries
- Award winning [ONE PRESS] design makes clean, purified drinking water in only 15 seconds from virtually any fresh water source in the world
The GRAYL Ultralight offers a versatile and very effective filtration process which is one of the reasons that it’s our pick for the best filter water bottle. It uses three filtration methods that include activated carbon, electro-adhesion, and non-woven ceramic fiber.
The three media are highly efficient at removing waterborne pathogens. They clear out 99.99% of all bacteria, viruses, protozoan cysts. Chemicals like chlorine, benzene, and pesticides are also removed by the filter as well as heavy metals such as lead (99%) and arsenic.
Other impurities like sediments and microplastics get cleared out too. GRAYL has even added antimicrobial agents to help prevent mildew, bacteria, and mold from developing within the filter unit. The whole filtration process is quick. It takes about 15 seconds resulting in a faster flow rate – the filter can process 2 liters of water per minute.
However, it’s lifespan is short. Its maximum filtration capacity is 40 gallons which last only 2 months – you might have to replace it often if you filter highly contaminated water regularly. The holding capacity is equally on the lower end. It can hold just 16 ounces of clean water which is basically two 8-ounce cups of water.
Using it takes some physical effort too. You have to push down the inner container to filter the water and it doesn’t slide down easily – many found it a hard task, especially for daily usage. The filtered water does pour out nicely without leaking or dripping down the sides.
The overall quality of the bottle is great. It’s sturdy and built using a tough plastic material that’s BPA-free. It can withstand several drops without breaking and cleaning it is simple too.
Another advantage is its two-chamber design that provides extra insulation hence helping keep water cool longer. You can’t use it in freezing conditions though or leave it in the freezer for long hours because the filter gets damaged.
In terms of size, it’s similar to a standard water bottle, so it’s pretty compact (measures 9.8 x 2.9 inches). It can fit neatly into a side mesh pocket of a small backpack. It’s available in several different colors and comes with a 10 years warranty.
3. EveryDrop by Whirlpool EDR1RXD1
The EveryDrop EDR1RXD1 is compatible with various refrigerator models from different brands like Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Amana, Maytag, and JennAir. Besides compatibility, it offers great filtration performance, which is one of the factors that makes it stand out from the rest.
It’s an advanced carbon block filter that’s capable of removing 99% of lead as well as 28 other harmful contaminants such as chlorine (97%), cysts (99.99%), particulates (99.99%), and more than 90% of pharmaceuticals and organic chemicals like pesticides. It also clears out emerginc compounds like naproxen, nonylphenol, TCPP, ibuprofen, and more.
The filtered water does still retain a slight chlorine taste at the beginning but it disappears over time. The unit has a filtration capacity of 200 gallons that’s specified to last 6 months. Unfortunately, it seems not to last that long as most users claim that it works effectively for only 4 months.
The flow rate, however, is relatively fast at around 0.75 GPM, plus it doesn’t reduce over time. Installing it is simple and it can work with different refrigerator styles including side-by-side and models with either a bottom or top freezer provided they can accept Filter 1 cartridges.
It requires a bit of priming though. You have to flush at least 4 gallons of water through before using it, otherwise, you’ll end up with a tangy sour taste during the few initial days of use.
There were also reports that the filter causes the refrigerator to make loud jackhammer sounds, particularly when dispensing water. It equally appears marred with counterfeit problems as a couple of customers reported receiving a used or defective filter.
4. Big Berkey BK4X2 Water Filter
- Includes Big Berkey stainless steel housing (Upper, Lower, Lid and spigot etc.), 2 Black Berkey Filters, and 2 Fluoride Elements.
- Holds 2.25 gallons of purified water. Designed for home use for 4 to 16 people
- The Big Berkey is made with High Grade 304 Stainless Steel and measures 8.5"D x 21"H when assembled
The Big Berkey BK4X2 features two purification elements and two fluoride filters. The purification elements eliminate a broad array of contaminants from both municipal and untreated well water. They are able to clear out 99% of microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, and parasites) and over 95% of heavy metals like mercury and lead. It’s our favorite countertop water filter.
Other harmful contaminants such as organic chemicals (VOCs, pesticides, herbicides), organic solvents, trihalomethane, nitrites, nitrates, radon 22, and MTBE are equally removed from the water.
The two fluoride filters, on the other hand, are specified to remove over 95% of fluoride. However, their actual removal rate is around 60 to 70%, so they still reduce a significant amount of fluoride compared to many standard countertop water filters.
The filters require a lot of priming though, especially the purification elements because they leave a rubbery taste at the beginning. There are also a couple of claims that the water occasionally has a rusty metal taste after about 2 to 3 months of using the unit.
However, all the filters do last long. The filtration capacity of the purification elements is 3, 000 gallons while that of the fluoride filters is 1,000 gallons. They can go for two years before requiring replacement.
The filtration process takes some time since water flows through the filters using gravity. The flow rate is around 7 gallons per hour and it can even slow down much more with time, taking hours for the reservoir to get filled.
With regards to holding capacity, the reservoir can hold 2.25 gallons of clean water which is enough to cater for the water needs of a small family of around 4 people.
No installation is required as it’s a standalone unit. It doesn’t connect to a water line or the faucet. The whole unit is also robust and durable made using a sturdy 304 stainless steel. It’s backed by a 1-warranty on parts while the purification elements are covered for 2 years.
It requires a bit of maintenance since it tends to rust, plus the outer part of the housing catches dirt quite easily. You can’t also tell how much water is in both tanks, which is inconvenient, particularly during refilling.
The other downside is that the spigot sits slightly above the very bottom, hence you don’t always get to dispense all the water completely from the lower tank. There’s always some water left in the bottom and you can’t get it out. There were also several complaints that the spigot leaks sometimes around the beveled rubber washer.
5. Pur PFM400H Water Filter
- FAUCET WATER FILTRATION SYSTEM – Enjoy cleaner, filtered water from your faucet with the PUR Faucet Mount Filter System. It’s easy to attach and includes a MineralClear filter that filters water over natural minerals for a crisp, refreshing taste.
- REDUCES LEAD AND 70+ CONTAMINANTS – This PUR drinking water faucet filtration system is certified to reduce over 70 contaminants, including lead, mercury and certain pesticides. PUR Faucet Filtration systems reduce more contaminants than any other brand.*
- EASY TO ATTACH – The faucet mounted water filter is easy to attach and no tools are required. Compatible with most faucets, but will not work with pull-out or hand-held faucets.
It’s filtration process is a combination of an activated carbon filter and an ion exchange resin which together get rid of over 70 different contaminants.
They eliminate 99% of cysts, lead and industrial pollutants. They also remove over 96% of VOCs, mercury, and many other contaminants including emerging components such as BPA, TCPP and TCEP. The carbon filter does remove chlorine (96%) and other organic chemicals too, and PUR has even incorporated a MineralClear core in the filter which consists of natural mineral stones.
It clears out particulates down to 0.5 microns and significantly boosts the taste of the water as it passes over the stones. The filter, however, fails to remove viruses, protozoa and bacteria, so you can’t use it on untreated water.
Its maximum filtration capacity is 100 gallons which is quite low as it translates to a service life of only 2 to 3 months. Fortunately though, it has a filter life indicator that notifies you as soon as the filter requires changing.
The water flow is decent, at 0.5 GPM and it’s even faster when the water pressure from the faucet is high – you can fill a big glass of water within 15 seconds.
Installing this PUR filter doesn’t present much challenge either and it’s backed by a 2-year warranty. It also comes with several adapters that can work with most standard faucets except handheld and pull-out/pull-down faucets.
The build quality, however, isn’t the best. Water sometimes keeps dripping after turning off the faucet and the housing tends to leak after a couple of months, especially if the water pressure is often high. Other users claim that the indicator light turns off occasionally and can even stop working completely in the long run.
6. iSpring CU-A4 Water Filter
- SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE: The advance 4-stage design, which includes both Ultrafiltration and KDF/GAC stages removes up to 99% of most problematic pollutants such as chlorine and chlorine treatment by-products, lead, arsenic, and much more, while retaining healthy minerals. Noted: This system does not affect TDS as Reverse Osmosis System does
- 4-Stage ULTRA FILTRATION SYSTEM: PP Sediment Filter ((5 microns) removes larger particles like rust, sand, dirt. ) Ultra Filtration Filter (contains hollow fiber membrane technology with a pore size of just 0.01 microns. ) KDF and GAC Filter (provides much better control of particularly problematic contaminants including chloramine, hydrogen sulfide, heavy metals, and other compounds). Fine Activated Carbon Filter (provides final polishing before the purified water).
- SIMPLE AND FLEXIBLE: NO WASTE WATER and No storage water tank required. The CU-A4 provides highly effective water filtration for any number of clean-water needs - at the sink, in the refrigerator, for coffee makers and more.
Our pick for the best under sink water filter is the iSpring CU-A4 and the reason for this is that it strikes a nice balance between performance and quality.
It has one of the most thorough filtration processes featuring fours stages that include a PP sediment filter, a 0.1-micron ultrafiltration membrane, KDF and activated carbon filter, and another activated carbon filter.
These four stages are as efficient as an RO system when it comes to removing contaminants. They clear out 99% of chlorine, VOCs and microorganisms (bacteria, cysts, cryptosporidium, and giardia). They also remove up to 98% of heavy metals like lead, mercury, nickel and copper.
Asbestos, iron (95%), PFOS, PFOA, pharmaceuticals, particulates, and organic chemicals like pesticides and germicides are removed too from the water.
The filtered water initially has a plastic taste and some sort of oil sheen on top but they all disappear after flushing a few gallons of water through the system.
The lifespan of the filters is relatively long. The ultrafilter membrane requires changing after 12 months while the rest have a filtration capacity of 1,100 gallons which lasts roughly 6 months.
The flow ranges from 0.5 to 0.9 GPM based on the source water pressure. It’s not the fastest on the market, but it does remain consistent throughout the filters’ lifespan – it can take about a minute to fill a one-gallon bottle.
Installing the set is simple although the installation instructions are not quite clear. It uses push-to-connect fittings that snap on easily and all the tubings are color-coded. Installing the faucet is the hard part if you don’t have an extra mounting hole already drilled on the counter.
The entire unit including the fittings is sturdy, made using durable plastic material and backed by a one-year warranty. The fittings connect tightly – they don’t leak. It does take up more room though compared to other under sink water filters due the four filter cartridges ( it measures 10.63 x 4.33 x 12.6 inches).
The maintenance is equally a little high since you need to change three filters every 6 months – other under sink filters usually have one or two filter cartridges. Besides that, finding the replacement filters is challenging. They seem not to be available on iSPring’s website or Amazon. Knowing when to change the filters is challenging too as there’s no filter life indicator.
7. SpringWell CF1 Water Filter
The major reason why the SpringWell CF1 is the best whole house water filter is its 1,000,000 gallons filtration capacity. It’s amongst the largest on the market and it’s equal to 10 years of service life. It’s a suitable filter for a 3 bedroom house and needs very little maintenance. The sediment filter is the only one that requires frequent changing – it lasts 6 to 9 months.
It also offers a very extensive filtration process that eliminates many more contaminants from water than similarly priced systems. It utilizes three filtration media; KDF filter, a coconut shell carbon filter and a 5-micron sediment filter.
They perform a thorough filtration, clearing out heavy metals (like lead), chloramine, PFOA, PFOS, TTHM, MTBE, and organic chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, VOCs, and haloacetic acids. Up to 99.6% of chlorine (taste and odor) is removed as well as sediments down to 5 microns.
It improves the quality and taste of the water significantly, plus the KDF media helps to prevent growth of mold and bacteria within the unit. You can’t, however, use it to filter untreated water since it doesn’t remove microbiological contaminants, iron, or fluoride.
The other factor that gives it advantage over the rest is the fairly fast flow rate that ranges from 9 to 17 GPM. There’s no much impact on the water pressure after installing it. Some users did mention though that it drops by about 10 to 20% after two years of use.
You might have to get a professional to set it up if you don’t have any plumbing knowledge and you’re not good at DIY installations. You have to install it into the main water supply line which requires altering the plumbing system.
Everything needed for the installation is provided including the O-ring, fittings, bypass valve and mounting bracket. The filter cartridge is enclosed in a robust stainless steel tank that can’t get damaged easily.
The fittings are also sturdy and connect tightly – there are no leaks after installation. It’s equally backed by a lifetime warranty, plus a 6 money-back guarantee. The downside is that it’s bulky and heavy – it measures 9 x 45 inches, and weighs 72 pounds.
8. Epic Pure EW-WFP TAP Water Filter
- Filtered water pitcher for refrigerator: This large water filtration pitcher for refrigerator is easy to pour and refill. This space efficient gravity water filter system jug fits perfectly on refrigerator shelves and is great for families. H 10"; W 6"; L 10"; Weight: 2 lbs. This solid carbon block water purifier pitcher with filter will keep your family drinking clearly filtered water for years to come. Rigorously tested against NSF/ANSI standards 42, 53, 401, and P473 (NSF 53 Water Filter)
- Fluoride water filters: Proprietary formulated carbon block water filter to remove fluoride. Designed and tested to remove chlorine. Lead Water Filter: 6mm thick carbon block removes lead. PFAS Water Filter: Designed and tested to remove the Forever Chemical PFOA PFOS PFC. 1,4-Dioxane Water Filter: Recently tested for the removal of 1,4-Dioxane in drinking water. Haloacetic Acids (HAAs) Water Filter: Recently tested for the removal of Haloacetic acids.
- Tap water filter: Proprietary solid carbon block filter removes 2000% more contaminants than the leading water filter pitcher including Total Trihalomethanes, Chromium 6, Fluoride, Chloramines, Bromodichloromethane and much more. 6mm thick solid carbon block water filters protect you and your family from contaminants that other filters miss. Smart filter media keeps healthy trace minerals like calcium and magnesium in your water, which a reverse osmosis system will strip out.
The Epic Pure EW-WFP is worth checking out if you want a highly effective water filter pitcher for cleaning heavily contaminated municipal water.
It uses a combination of a dense activated carbon filter and proprietary organic filter to remove various different kinds of contaminants such as chlorine (98.4%), lead (99.94%), fluoride (97.88%), chromium (99.2%), and arsenic.
It also removes 99.6% of PFOA/PFOS, TTHM, trace pharmaceuticals, xylenes and organic chemicals (VOCs, pesticides and herbicides). Microorganisms, however, are not eliminated, hence you can’t use it to filter untreated water.
The filter doesn’t seem to last as long as specified. It has a filtration capacity of 150 gallons that’s supposed to last at most 4 months, but it clogs up quickly causing the filtration process to slow down almost to a halt in less than 3 months.
The good thing though is that there’s a digital counter placed on the lid that monitors the filter’s capacity, so you get to know in advance when the filter needs replacement.
The filtration speed is moderate. It takes around 10 minutes for the pitcher to get filled. The holding capacity is pretty decent too. It can hold 3.5 liters of clean water at once which is equal to about 10 cups of water.
Filling the unfiltered water tank is simple. You don’t have to remove the lid – it features a small opening with a flip cover that lets you fill the tank easily and the whole unit is a clear plastic. You get to see the amount of water left in the tank, so you don’t end up overfilling it.
Pouring the filtered water out is a bit tricky. The spout is small and has a flip cover that only opens partially thereby obstructing the flow of water as it comes out causing it to pour in different directions. The lid also doesn’t fit securely. It tends to fall off while tilting the pitcher to pour out the water.
The overall build quality appears to be good nonetheless. The unit is made using a thick Tritan plastic. It’s sturdy enough to last for a long time and it comes with a lifetime warranty. The only part that seems flimsy is the handle. It can break over time. The digital counter is not durable either. It stops working properly if it gets wet.
The pitcher itself has quite a low profile (measures 5.5 x 10.5 x 10.5 inches). It doesn’t take up a lot of space in the fridge or the counter. It’s not heavy too – it weighs 2 pounds hence it’s easy to carry around.
All water filters are capable of removing the most common contaminants. Global Rainwater Harvesting Collective recommends using a filter for rainwater before drinking it.