A countertop filter gives you access to clean water right at your kitchen sink.
Installation is quick and easy without the need for tools and no plumbing involved – perfect for any rental home or temporary living space but also small apartments where an under sink installation is just not possible.
What’s more, countertop water filters are portable, convenient to use and provide a good balance between filtration performance and price.
How to find the best countertop water filter? Well, you came to the right place!
On This Page You Will…
|Model||Our Rating||Price||Type||Filter Capacity||Annual Cost|
Best Rated Countertop Water Filter: APEC RO-CTOP Reverse Osmosis System
|$$$||Reverse Osmosis Filter System||6 Months to 3 Years||$$$|
Popular Countertop RO Water Filter Alternative: AquaTru
|$$$$||Reverse Osmosis Filter System||600-1,200 Gallons||$$|
iFilters Countertop Ultra Drinking Water Filter – For Basic Filtration Needs #Cheap
|$||Carbon Filtration||750 Gallons||$|
Best Selling: Aquasana AQ-4000 Countertop Water Filter System
|$$||Carbon Filtration + Ion Exchange||450 Gallons||$$-$$$|
The APEC Portable RO-CTOP is perfect for people who want to enjoy the taste and the health benefits of pure H2O – everywhere they go.
As the name suggests, this is a portable water filter system that is lightweight and very easy to carry around and connect to almost any standard kitchen faucet within a couple of minutes (faucet adapters included).
A maximum output of 30 to 90 gallons per day is plenty of water even for larger families.
As for the filtration, with 4 filter stages the RO-CTOP is capable of removing up to 99 percent of arsenic, chromium-6, copper, fluoride, lead and dozens of other potential water pollutants.
How about system maintenance? It’s child’s play. All you have to remember is to replace the disposable pre-filters one or two times a year to keep up output water quality. RO membrane and carbon post-filter last 2 to 3 years. All elements are Made in USA.
Quick connect fittings allow for fast filter changes. Average annual cost: Rather expensive, although you can buy cheaper aftermarket filters if you like.
Last but not least, the RO-CTOP is available with/without an aluminum case, for better looks. This makes a lot of sense considering that it will sit next to your kitchen sink.
Please note: This water filter system wastes about twice the amount of water than you can later actually use. This is just how reverse osmosis works.
Some people had issues with leaking hoses. Others had problems with tubing that became brittle after a couple of months use. Buying a suitable replacement at your local hardware is an easy fix.
Furthermore, the system is quite pricey and lacks certifications other than standard 42.
If you ask us, the APEC RO-CTOP is the best countertop water filter system on the market. Easy to install, low maintenance, great for on the go and small apartments, provides highly pure, great tasting drinking water. 5 stars!
The AquaTru countertop 4-stage RO water purification system is NSF Standard 42, 53, 58, 401 and Protocol P473 certified to remove more than 99% lead, 97.2% chromium-6, 93.5% fluoride, 96.6% chlorine, VOCs (at least 95%), drug residues like Ibuprofen, pesticides, herbicides, and 97.5% PFOA and PFOS among many other contaminants.
Thus, it provides exceptionally clean water for drinking and cooking.
The AquaTru water filter is also very easy to use, can be set up in less than three minutes with no plumbing required, and works fully automatic – a real time saver.
But what we like most about this unit is that it uses a high pressure pump to force water through its reverse osmosis membrane, reducing wastewater production from 2-3 gallons for every gallon of filtered water down to 0.33 gallons.
In other words: Only 25% of the input water has to be discarded. This is good for the environment AND your wallet.
FYI: Like we said, every reverse osmosis purification process wastes water. It’s just how the technology works.
A high flow rate – the system filters one gallon of water in 12 to 15 minutes – and a 3-quart storage tank ensure that there will always be filtered water when you need it. Reject water collects in the back tank which you can simply dump in your sink.
Yes, the tanks are made of plastic, but it’s Tritan and therefore guaranteed BPA and BPS-free. Testing has shown that Tritan does not release any estrogenic or androgenic substances into water.
What about the actual filters?
The activated coconut carbon block filters last for 600 gallons of water or 6 to 12 months, whichever comes first. The US made RO membrane is good for 1,200 gallons or 2 years. Don’t worry, a light will flash on the front control panel indicating whenever one of the filters needs to be changed.
The good news is that you can replace each element with a simple twist, no tools required. This barely takes 5 minutes. What’s more, everything is color-coded so you know which filter goes where.
Customers reported that their AquaTru stopped working for no apparent reason after a couple of months use. This is probably due to malfunctioning base units. Following the troubleshooting instructions in the manual did not help in most cases.
Mind you, this only happened to a relatively small proportion of users, but if this is something you absolutely don’t want to deal with, we recommend you opt for a different product.
Also, in our opinion there should be a longer return policy, not just the 30 days. And the fact that the customer service can be hard to reach isn’t helpful either.
Rare issues include leaking and pumps that continue to turn on and off. You also have to make sure that the water tank is seated just right or the system won’t start.
Lastly, the dispenser on the filtered water tank is a bit low and not suited to fill larger containers.
Bottom line: Most customers are very happy with the AquaTru water filter and can’t say enough good things about it. The water it provides tastes great and is free from most harmful contaminants. In comparison to other reverse osmosis filter systems it is also uniquely water-efficient.
But we must also take into account the issues mentioned above as well as the high price tag. 4 stars.
The iFilters Countertop Ultra Drinking Water Filter is for basic filtration needs, so mainly to improve water aesthetics and remove contaminants such as sediment, lead, chlorine and a couple of organic chemicals. In addition, the water filter will take care of cysts and certain bacteria – everything down to a size of 0.5 micron.
Asbestos, radon, chloramine and a bunch of other contaminants are also on the removal list, says the manufacturer, but we would like to see certifications or lab reports as proof.
The coconut shell carbon filter cartridge has a capacity of round about 750 gallons of water or 6 to 12 months, depending on the size of your family.
Annual filter replacement cost is low. Changing filters couldn’t be any easier. This also goes for the tool-free installation to any standard faucet.
Other than that, the iFilters countertop water filter will only take up a small amount of space on your kitchen counter and is available in 2 different designs: Clear (see image) and white. One faucet adapter and one housing wrench are included in the package.
Browsing through customer reviews we stumbled upon complaints about leaks and bad water taste. Our tip: Make sure to flush the carbon filter cartridge properly before first use.
That said, most people are happy with their purchase and enjoy their filtered water.
Good water pressure, submicron filtration, and affordability. The iFilters Countertop Ultra Drinking Water Filter provides good value for the money. We definitely recommend you check it out! 4.5 stars.
Please note: The Aquasana AQ-4000 is among the best selling countertop water filters on Amazon at the time of writing (or rather updating) this review guide.
If you want not only great-tasting but also clean drinking water, the Aquasana AQ-4000 water filter system might be just what you are looking for.
It’s available in 3 different finishes (white, black and brushed steel) and attaches to standard faucets in a matter of minutes, tools-free.
Once set up, the Claryum filter uses carbon and ion exchange media as well as submicron filtration to help you get rid of:
All reduction rates are according to real test data. Total number of contaminants removed: 77 (NSF certified to Standards 42, 53, 401 + Protocol P473) – we like!
The flow rate (0.5 gpm) is a bit slow. We have to keep in mind, though, that thorough filtration takes longer.
In theory, filter changes couldn’t be more straightforward. However, after 6 months the filter caps tend to get stuck really tight. Some people would even order a whole new unit because they couldn’t manage to open their old one.
What’s more, new water filter cartridges feel overpriced. They cost almost as much as the entire system including filters.
Other problems are leaking and the diverter malfunctioning.
On the one hand, the Aquasana AQ-4000 countertop water filter system provides clean water which also tastes good. But on the other hand, although the system does a great job for the majority of people, there have been issues we need to take into account for our final verdict. 3.5 stars.
Believe it or not, this tiny device features a 10-stage filtration process that removes all kinds of chemicals, heavy metals, tastes and bad smells, and at the same time leaves calcium, magnesium, potassium and other essential minerals in your water.
Unfortunately, New Wave Enviro does not provide specific contaminant reduction rates other than for aesthetic chlorine (98.8%) and TTHMs (91.3%), a group of disinfection byproducts.
However, the company claims that the 10 Stage Plus also filters chloroform, inorganic arsenic, mercury, lead, PCBs, pesticides, herbicides and a range of other organic and inorganic substances.
By the way, if you suffer from fluoride in your tap water and you are trying to have it removed, this countertop filter is not the right choice. It does not affect fluoride levels at all.
As far as installation is concerned, the system attaches to any standard kitchen faucet within mere seconds. All you have to do is unscrew the aerator from your faucet and screw on the diverter valve. A male thread connector is part of the package.
Above that, you can also easily convert the unit to a fully functioning under sink water filter system with the help of the Enviro installation kit, which can be purchased on Amazon separately.
Finally, we like the affordable price and the relatively low maintenance cost (filters last for about 800 gallons of water or 12 months).
We don’t understand why New Wave Enviro does not disclose their testing data. Certifications for NSF standard 42 and 53 supposedly exist, but we couldn’t find them.
Also, there is some confusion going on about 2 different water filter versions: The standard version and a so-called “California version” (which is more thoroughly tested?).
Other issues have to do with unpleasant water taste, broken products and replacements filters being shipped, and difficulties removing the filter casing.
On top of that, it can be hard to get a response from the company.
New Wave Enviro’s 10 Stage Plus countertop water filter combines a variety of filtration media with a quick setup and an affordable price . However, it doesn’t come without issues and we miss contaminant reduction rates substantiated by standardized lab testing. 3.5 stars.
F- & Pb Filtration
If you want to learn more about how to remove fluoride from tap water and get a list of the best fluoride filter systems on the market, access our badass fluoride guide here.
If you want to learn more about how to best remove lead from water and check out our lead filter system reviews, follow this link.
Next on our list, the pH REGENERATE water filter by Invigorated Water which does 2 things:
The result is filtered alkaline water rich in minerals that enhances your energy levels, slows down ageing, reduces illness and injury, and improves your overall wellbeing among other benefits, says Invigorated Water.
FYI: The multi-stage water filter makes use of activated charcoal, zeolite, KDF and other media blends.
Stainless steel guarantees longevity. Other BPA-free, food-grade materials rule out recontamination.
And like most other countertop water filters, the pH REGENERATE is easy to install. One of the 6 connectors should fit your faucet as long as it’s standard-sized.
In addition, refill cartridges last a convenient 9 to 12 months and are reasonably priced.
Did we mention that the pH REGENERATE is backed by a 60-day money back satisfaction guarantee?
For some users, water flow slowed down after a short time.
Another minor flaw is the tubing which is neither very flexible nor attractive.
Our main concern is that Invigorated Water does not provide any lab reports to support their products.
The Invigorated Water pH REGENERATE is one of the few countertop alkaline water filters we could find. Apart from raising water pH and ORP, it takes care of the usual contaminants and also enriches your water with healthy minerals. Nice looks, price seems fair, and most importantly, the output water tastes great.
The iSpring CKC1C is another basic countertop water filtration system that turns tap water into somewhat cleaner and healthier drinking water.
What makes it special, though, is the clear housing. Well, actually, it’s a semi-transparent darkish blue. Anyway, it allows you to visually inspect the filter so that you know when it’s time for a replacement.
Speaking of filters, by default the CKC1C comes with a 5-micron (nominal) carbon block cartridge that removes 95% of chlorine, odors, sand, silt, sediment and rust.
It’s also highly effective on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like pesticides, herbicides and industrial chemicals, says iSpring.
As an alternative, you can choose a filter with granular activated carbon (model number FG15), also rated at 5 microns. The FG15 is a tad cheaper and more focused on improving bad taste.
Both water filters should be replaced every 500 gallons of water or every 3-6 months. The good news: They are affordable and standard-sized, meaning that you can choose from a whole arsenal of off-brand filters if you like.
As usual, the iSpring water filter is super easy to connect to any standard faucet. Tip: Remember to remove the cellophane wrapper from around the filter inside. A plastic wrench and two extra adapters are included.
We also wanted to point out that we really appreciate iSpring’s responsive and helpful technical support which is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Some customers said it’s the best they’ve ever experienced.
Our biggest concern is that the product description says “Tested by independent third-party to meet NSF/ANSI Standards” without actually providing any test results.
We also read about minor leaks here and there – nothing that couldn’t be solved (YouTube is your friend).
And it looks like the instructions could do with an update.
As the headline suggests, the iSpring CKC1C water filter combines basic filtration with great customer service.
Simply put, don’t expect fully purified RO water. 3.5 stars.
Perfect Water Technologies, Inc. markets the Jr. F2 water filter under their well-known and popular Home Master brand. The filter is available in white or black.
We have a very compact and portable design which is perfect for renters and small apartments. Plus, the installation is super convenient and barely takes more than five minutes (adapter included).
Happy customers reported that the unit makes even the most disgusting water taste fresh and also praised the excellent support.
But what makes the Home Master Jr. F2 stand out is the combination of activated carbon with activated alumina (AA) filter media.
As we already know, the carbon treats chlorine, pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals responsible for foul tastes and odor in water.
The AA filters up to 93% of fluoride from your tap water, says the manufacturer (more on this in a bit). Moreover, it also reduces arsenic. Now this is something you won’t find with any of the other countertop filters reviewed on this page expect for the two reverse osmosis systems at the very top.
By the way, to prevent a condition called “channeling” where water bypasses the filter components and comes out unfiltered, Home Master uses three 5-micron compression disks. This helps to ensure uniform filtration and, above that, it traps sediments.
Filtration capacity: 500 gallons of water or 3 months per filter which is pretty average.
And lastly, the Home Master Jr. F2 is backed by a 3-year limited warranty for peace of mind.
With the Jr. F2, Home Master has tried to offer a non-RO countertop water filter capable of reducing fluoride. Whether the process is really as effective as advertised is a different kettle of fish. Certifications are missing up to this day. Taking into account the other drawbacks, it’s 3.5 stars from us.
|Models||Product Type||Additional Information & Notes|
|APEC RO-CTOP RO Countertop Water Filter||RO Water Purifier||Improves Taste of Water + Removes Most Contaminants Incl. Heavy Metals, Bacteria & Viruses; Filter Elements Last 6 Months - 3 Years; Easy to Install|
|AquaTru RO Countertop Water Filter||RO Water Purifier||Improves Taste of Water + Removes Most Contaminants Incl. Bacteria; Filters Last 600 - 1,200 Gallons; No Faucet Installation|
|iFilters Countertop Ultra Drinking Water Filter||Water Filter||Improves Taste of Water + Removes Certain Cysts and Bacteria; Product Uses One Filter; Filters Last 750 Gallons; Simple Installation Process (Standard Kitchen Faucet)|
|Aquasana AQ-4000 Countertop Water Filter System||Water Filter||Improves Taste of Water + Removes Certain Heavy Metals, Cysts and Bacteria; Filters Last 450 Gallons; Simple Installation Process (Standard Faucet)|
|New Wave Enviro 10 Stage Plus Countertop Water Filter||Water Filter||Improves Taste of Water; Uses One Filter; Filters Last 800 Gallons; Simple Installation Process (Standard Faucet)|
|Invigorated Water pH REGENERATE Countertop Water Filter||Alkaline Water Filter||Provides Alkaline Water; Unit Uses 2 Filtration Cartridges: One Carbon & One Mineral Filter (Adds Calcium, Magnesium, etc.); Filters Last 9 - 12 Months; Simple Installation Process (Standard Faucet); Materials: Stainless Steel|
|iSpring CKC1C Countertop Water Filter||Water Filter||Mainly Removes Chlorine Taste from Water; Product Uses One Filter; Filters Last 500 Gallons of Water; Simple Installation Process (Standard Faucet)|
|Home Master Jr. F2 Sink Top Water Filter||Water Filter||Improves Taste of Water + Filter Removes Chlorine & Other Chemicals, Arsenic and Fluoride; Model Uses One Filter; Filters Last 500 Gallons; Simple Setup Process (Standard Faucet)|
Other Countertop Water Filters:
Here are the important things you should know and look out for in order to find the best countertop water filter for your needs.
Your ideal water filter must have the ability to remove all or at least the majority of harmful contaminants that can be found in your water. There are two ways you can approach this:
Once you know about all the contaminants you are facing, look out for water filters that are NSF certified to eliminate these. Because manufacturers can make claims all day long, but only independent third party testing provides proof. You should pay particular attention to these three NSF certifications:
Most countertop water filters connect to a kitchen faucet. This means that a hose will run between the two. Now, you might not like the sight of this.
And it’s entirely possible that your kitchen faucet is incompatible with a countertop filter. This is usually the case for pull out/down, handheld, sprayer-type, sensor and basically any unconventional faucet or spout.
Yes, there are exceptions to this, but if your kitchen faucet falls in one of the categories you want to double check the instructions before you spend any money.
Fortunately, the vast majority of standard faucets should be fine and there is always the option to use an adapter. In fact, most sellers include 2 or 3 with their water filters for convenience.
Filtration speed depends on A) the water pressure in your home and B) filter design (thorough water filtration takes time). In other words, super fast filtration isn’t always a good thing.
Every water filter with a faucet connection should allow the use of plain, unfiltered tap water by pushing a knob or turning a lever. This will increase filter life and save you money.
We made sure that all products in this guide fulfill this requirement.
A countertop water filter sits on your, well, countertop every day, all day. The looks of a system might or might not be important to you, but if it is remember to not pick the ugliest just to save a few bucks.
More on Countertop Water Filters
Our hunt for the best countertop water filters on the market ends here. If you have a question about countertop water filters or any other types of water filters, ask away!
And make sure to come back to this buying guide from time to time as we are going to add new countertop water filter reviews occasionally.