Written by: Alexandra Uta // Last Updated:
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A countertop water 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…
|Water Filtration System||Details|
Best Countertop Water Filter System: AquaTru
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Type: RO, Standalone
NSF: 42, 53, 58, 401, P473
Filter Capacity: 600-1,200 gal
Annual Cost: ~$100-120
Read Review: Click
Alexa’s Video Review: Click
Best Looks: SimPure Y7P-BW RO Countertop Water Filter
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Type: RO, Standalone
Filter Capacity: 3-12 Months
Annual Cost: ~$120
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Best for Gravity Filtration: Big Berkey
Type: Gravity-Fed, Standalone
NSF: 42, 53
Filter Capacity: 3,000 gal
Annual Cost: ~$40
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Best Regular Countertop Water Filter: Aquasana AQ-4000
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NSF: 42, 53, 401, P473
Filter Capacity: 450 gal
Annual Cost: ~$120
Read Review: Click
In our opinion, the best countertop water filter in 2023 is the AquaTru, for 2 reasons:
Bottom line: 4.5 stars!
AquaTru Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
|Type:||Countertop RO, Standalone|
|NSF/ANSI:||42, 53, 58, 401, P473|
|Filtration Capacity:||600-1,200 gal|
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The AquaTru is best for people who want a countertop water filter that’s installation-free, compact, easy to use, highly effective, and super fast.
In case you don’t like the AquaTru for whatever reason make sure to check out the SimPure Y7P-BW. It’s another standalone countertop RO water filter system that doesn’t require installation.
3 consecutive filters – last stage features UV disinfection which eliminates harmful microorganisms – remove up to 99.9 percent of contaminants in your water. Plus, the drain water gets recycled to lower the amount of waste produced: Hence, only 1 gallon goes down your sink for every 4 gallons of clean water you can use.
System maintenance? It’s a breeze thanks to smart twist on/off filters and a filter replacement reminder. And new cartridges are affordable at about $120 a year on average.
Taking into account that filter life is rather short, we’ll award 4.5 stars. By the way, don’t forget to use our discount code for 15% off when shopping:
Berkey systems are gravity-based, but they’re countertop water filters nonetheless. And they’re the most popular – and in our opinion best – countertop gravity water filters, too: Reasonably priced, super easy to assemble and use, low maintenance, and most importantly highly effective at removing a wide range of contaminants that might be lurking in your water supply. 4.5 stars!
Big Berkey Water Filter
|Filtration Capacity:||3,000 gal|
The Big Berkey is best for people who want an effective and autarchic gravity filter system.
Aquasana’s AQ-4000 is our number one “regular” countertop drinking water filter (it’s neither gravity-based nor does it apply reverse osmosis filtration).
It converts plain tap water into clean, delicious drinking water on demand as long as filters are replaced according schedule.
On top of that, the filter system comes at an affordable price and you get a 90-day satisfaction guarantee, so what can really go wrong? Our verdict: One of the best countertop water filters. Four stars!
Aquasana Countertop Water Filter System
|Type of Water Filter:||Inline|
|NSF/ANSI:||42, 53, 401, P473|
|Filtration Capacity:||450 gal|
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Aquasana’s AQ-4000 is best if you want a non-RO, non-gravity countertop water filter.
→ Read Full Aquasana AQ-4000 Review Here
Next on our list, the pH Regenerate alkaline water filter by Invigorated Water which does 2 things:
The result is filtered alkaline water that supposedly enhances your energy levels and mental clarity, slows down ageing, reduces illness and injury, and improves your overall wellbeing among other health benefits, says Invigorated Water. Truth or fiction?
By the way, the company advertises the pH Regenerate as a faucet water filter; however, we consider it a countertop water filter which is why we’re including it in this list.
pH Regenerate Alkaline Countertop Water Filter
|Filtration Life:||9-12 mos|
The pH Regenerate is the best choice if you are into alkaline drinking water.
Perfect Water Technologies, Inc. markets the Jr. F2 Elite water filter under their well-known Home Master brand. Happy customers reported that the unit makes even the most disgusting water taste fresh and also praised the excellent support. Unfortunately, there’s a lack of NSF testing or certification. Thus, 3.5 stars.
Home Master Jr. F2 Elite Countertop Drinking Water Filter
|Filter Capacity:||500 Gallons|
This Home Master countertop filtration system is best if you want a simple and compact unit that’s still using various filter media for broad contaminant removal.
Strictly speaking, water distillers don’t belong to the group of water filters but water purifiers. Still, we chose to include the Nutriteam Megahome MH943SBS countertop water distiller in this review series to give you a broader product range.
That said, Megahome is the most popular brand of water distillers around. Nutriteam, Inc. has 20+ years of experience in the field of air and water purification. The high quality MH943SBS water distiller is the company’s flagship when it comes to distillation and one of the best. 5 stars!
Megahome Countertop Water Distiller MH943SBS
|Type of Filtration:||Distillation|
The Megahome is best if you like the idea of distilled drinking water for highest purity.
How do the best countertop water filters compare to one another?
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|Countertop Water Filter||Price||Type||NSF||Capacity||Annually||Additional Info|
|AquaTru Reverse Osmosis System||$$$||RO||42, 53, 58, 401, P473||600-1,200 gal||~$100-120||Provides Great-Tasting Water with Higher Than Bottled Water Quality, Uses 2 Carbon Filters, Designed to Remove Contaminants Including Chlorine, Fluoride, Arsenic|
|SimPure Y7P-BW Reverse Osmosis System||$$||RO||58||3-12 Months||$120||Easily Achieves Bottled Water Quality|
|Big Berkey Countertop Water Filtration System||$$||Gravity||42, 53||3,000 gal||~$40||Better Than Bottled Water Quality, Filter Lasts 3,000 Gallons|
|Aquasana Countertop Water Filtration System||$||Inline||42, 53, 401, P473||450 gal||$120||Filter is the Best in Its Category, For Tap Water, Easy to Install|
|Invigorated Water pH Regenerate Countertop Water Filtration System||$||Standard||–||9-12 Months||~$45||Removes Chlorine, Fluoride, Arsenic, Easy to Install, Filter Lasts 9-12 Months, Filter Dispenser Has Chrome Finish|
|Home Master TMJRF2 Countertop Water Filtration System||$||Standard||–||500 gal||~$120||For Tap Water, Easy to Install, Filter Dispenser Has Chrome Finish|
|Nutriteam Megahome||$$||Distiller||–||–||$120-180||Easy Installation Process|
|cleanwater4less Countertop Water Filtration System||$||Standard||–||10,000 gal||–||cleanwater4less Countertop Water Filtration System Filters 10,000 Gallons of Water, Quick and Easy Installation|
|New Wave Enviro 10-Stage Water Filter System||$||Standard||–||1,500 gal||$70||High-Quality Countertop Water Filtration System is Easy to Install|
|APEX Countertop Drinking Water Filtration System||$||Standard||–||750 gal||~$45||Easy to Install on Sink-Top|
The following are things worth considering before you go out and hunt for the best countertop water filtration system for your needs. These are also the very same criteria we focused on when picking our top products for this guide.
There are different types of water filters for countertops which we will discuss in more detail below.
In a nutshell, we can differentiate between faucet-fed and standalone systems. What’s more, most sink-top filters fall in one of these 4 categories:
Your ideal water filter must be able to remove all or at least the majority of harmful contaminants in your water source. There are two ways you can approach this problem:
Once you know about all the contaminants you are facing, look out for water filters that are NSF certified and/or tested to eliminate these. Because filter manufacturers can make claims all day long, but only independent third-party testing provides proof. You should pay particular attention to these NSF certifications:
Some, not all, countertop water filters make use of a remineralization filter restoring all beneficial minerals which have been removed in the filtration process. A remineralizer is only really necessary if a filter system applies reverse osmosis water purification or distillation.
Many countertop water filters connect to the kitchen faucet. This means that a water line will run between the two.
Now, you might not like the sight of this. And it’s entirely possible that your kitchen faucet isn’t compatible 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, but if your kitchen faucet falls in one of these categories you want to double check the instructions before you spend any money on a filter system.
The good news is, the vast majority of standardized faucets should be fine and there’s 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.
Still, if you live in a large household a really slow filter is probably not an ideal fit.
A countertop water filter sits on your, well, countertop every day, all day. The looks of a water system might or might not be important to you, but if it is remember to not pick the ugliest one just to save a few bucks.
Also, you need to have enough space on your countertop near your kitchen sink to accommodate the unit.
In general, countertop filters are easy to maintain. All that’s usually required is regular filter changes. How often depends on two factors:
Obviously, filters that last a long time means fewer changes required which is convenient.
The cost for buying a water filter are only one part of the equation. Even more important are replacement filter cost which largely depend on the filtration capacity per cartridge. Our tip: Check cost and availability of replacement filters before making your final buying decision.
More on Countertop Water Filters
First of all, what is a countertop water filter exactly?
Well, as the name suggests, countertop water filters are designed to sit on your kitchen counter and produce clean drinking water from plain tap water or well water.
There are different types of systems that also work differently – think reverse osmosis versus a gravity water filter (more on this in the next section).
The main benefits of a countertop filter are affordability paired with ease of use and filtration effectiveness. On top of that, the vast majority of systems are either completely installation-free or the setup is non-permanent and super simple. As a result, you have a water filter that’s highly portable.
Drawback include is that the filter system is always on display, you only have a single point of use, and water flow can be slow.
Browsing the market, you’ll stumble upon different types of countertop water filters which also work differently. Here’s how we categorize them:
One the one hand, there’re countertop filters that connect to the kitchen faucet or any other standard-sized tap in your home. The connection is needed to feed the filter. Water flows through an inlet hose attached to the faucet, flows through the various stages of the filter system, and comes out a dispenser or outlet tube all nice and clean.
On the other hand, we have standalone units. They don’t have a water connection and require manual filling which you might find less convenient. In return, autarchic systems can be easily moved around without having to worry about sink proximity.
We can also group countertop filters into those using common types of filter media and those that apply more specialized water treatment methods (more on the latter in a bit).
Most regular countertop water filters make use of sediment filtration, activated/catalytic carbon, KDF, and/or ion exchange resin. This is usually enough to remove a wide range of common and harmful contaminants from water, depending on the number of filter stages and how sophisticated the filtration overall.
RO systems combine reverse osmosis filtration with some of the filter media mentioned before to achieve the highest contaminant reduction rates.
Like we said, water distillers are not water filters but water purifiers. We decided to include them in this guide anyway due to their unmatched performance. If you distill your water with the help of a regular home distiller you’ll end up with almost pure H2O.
Gravity water filters are designed to use gravity to force water through their filter elements. Most filters remove contaminants like fluoride, chlorine, lead, and much more.
For the sake of completeness, we also wanted to mention water filter pitchers and faucet water filters, although strictly speaking we wouldn’t categorize them as countertop water filters – but we know some people do!
Apart from RO filtration and water distillation, what are the common filtration methods and filter media used by countertop water filters?
The following is a list of advantages associated with countertop water filters sorted in no particular order.
Not all but many countertop filter systems are pretty affordable. And you can save a lot by not having to buy bottled water anymore. Better to spend your hard-earned cash on more fun stuff!
They’re small. After all, what’s the point of having all that space under your kitchen sink if your countertop is clustered?
As mentioned earlier, countertop systems either don’t require any installation at all or they can be hooked up in no time and without the need to make any permanent changes to your plumbing – great for renters and to save money!
Compact and quick to connect and disconnect means high portability.
No, we didn’t forget that the main purpose of any countertop water filter is to provide filtered water without contaminants – think health benefits. This drinking water usually also tastes and smells significantly better.
We’ve already covered the easy-installation aspect. In addition, countertop filters are also super simple to maintain. Most will perform just fine if you replace filters (bi-)annually and do some periodic cleaning.
How about disadvantages?
After a while you might find it annoying that your countertop drinking water filter is always on display. And let’s be honest: They’re not all what we would consider stylish.
Compared with whole house water filters, countertop units supply filtered water at a single point of use. So unless you buy more than one system you won’t have access to clean water in your bathroom(s), the garage, the garden…
Chances are that you won’t connect/disconnect your countertop water filter each time you’re thirsty. And even though most systems allow you to switch between filtered and unfiltered water, you might find the faucet connection inconvenient when you’re cleaning or doing the dishes etc.
There’s no doubt that a good filter will reduce water pressure from your kitchen faucet.
Slower rate of filtration
There’re many different types of countertop water filters so there’s not one-size-fits-all approach to installing each system. In fact, your model might not require any sort of installation at all. Thus, you should consider the following step-by-step instructions as a general guideline and consult the product manual before you proceed:
When we compare countertop with under sink water filters, we find
When comparing countertop with whole house water filter systems, we find
Our hunt for the best countertop water filters on the market ends here. Questions? Ask away!
And make sure to come back to this buying guide since we’re going to add new countertop water filter reviews occasionally.