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We created this guide to help you find the best faucet water filter for your kitchen sink.
In general, faucet mounted filters are much more affordable than reverse osmosis under sink systems and most countertop filter units, which is a huge plus and the reason why they are a real alternative for people on a tight budget that still want to protect their health and remove some of those nasty contaminants from the water running through their homes.
But although faucet filters have proven to be capable of providing clean water suited for drinking and cooking under certain conditions, in terms of purity levels they just cannot compete with the classic RO system that applies a multi-stage filtration process or a high-quality distiller.
Searching for your favorite faucet filter, this is something we ask you to keep in mind.
If the quality of your water is exceptionally bad and, for example, contains a range of dangerous chemicals or bacteria, an RO unit (see reviews) is the way to go.
Most Durable Faucet Filter: Culligan FM-25
#1 Best Seller: PUR PFM400H Horizontal
The best faucet water filter you can buy is one that is customized to:
To get you started, first you should figure out the quality of your tap water by either conducting a water quality test, or by taking a look into your municipality’s free annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). You can learn more about both options in our short paragraph about testing water for contaminants here.
In case you receive water from a well, or you are worried about contaminants dissolving into your water along the way from the treatment facility to your place, we definitely recommend you to test a direct sample of the water in your home.
Once you know about all the contaminants you are facing, look out for filters that are NSF-certified to remove all or at least the majority of these substances. One good example for a third-party organizations that certifies products to NSF standards is the Water Quality Association (WQA).
When it comes to home water filtration, PUR® is a very popular brand that includes some of the best selling products on the market. The main reason for PUR’s popularity is that their filter systems are affordable for everyone.
This applies especially to their faucet mounted filters, which feature a 3-stage NSF-certified water treatment process.
Overall filtration capacities are pretty standard. One cartridge should last for up to 3 months or an equivalent of 100 gallons of filtered water. This means that annual replacement costs add up to a mere $35 USD. If you buy replacement filters in bulk you can make additional savings.
What we like about PUR faucet filters is that they can get easily installed onto your kitchen faucet within minutes. Definitely no expert plumbing skills are required here, and most of the time you don’t even have to use any tools.
Please note: PUR faucet filters do NOT reduce the amount of dissolved fluoride in tap water intentionally and they won’t work with most pull out faucets.
PUR Advanced Chrome FM-3700B
The PUR Advanced FM-3700B comes with a fancy chrome finish that will make your kitchen shine and your water taste great. Other available colors are gray, white, and a stainless steel look. Chrome and stainless steel are definitely our favorites here, as they tend to blend best with your other kitchen appliances.
We like the light indicator that will let you know when it’s time to change filters. As long as the unit runs on 100% filtration power, the indicator light is green. When it starts to flash orange, it’s time to order a replacement element. Red light means that the unit is not functioning properly anymore.
Drawbacks? Customers complained that the device lowers water pressure and flow rate noticeably, which is something that happens with more or less all faucet mounted filters. Other than that, users noted that the whole unit could do with a redesign to increase sturdiness and prevent cracking and other durability issues that might occur over time.
All in all, the PUR FM-3700B is a nice looking faucet filter unit best suited for lead contamination issues. By the way, a 2-year limited warranty is included in the purchase price of about $25 USD.
PUR PFM400H Horizontal
The PUR PFM400H is the #1 best selling faucet mount water filter on Amazon with four different looks to choose from.
Just like the PUR FM-3700B, the filter is certified to remove lead, mercury, and about 70 other contaminants from water including chlorine, which in most cases is the main cause for unpleasant tastes and odors, providing you and your family with great tasting, healthy drinking water.
The straightforward installation – no tools needed – allows you to have everything set up and running in no time.
Unfortunately, it seems as if the PFM400H suffers from the exact same durability problems we’ve already mentioned about the PUR FM-3700B (small cracks and possible leaks).
Bottom line: For a little more than 20 bucks you get a faucet filter unit that not only removes the majority of the most common water contaminants, it’s also beautiful to look at. What else could you ask for?
PUR PFM800HX Horizontal With Bluetooth
There is one important distinction between the PUR PFM800HX and the PFM400H faucet filter: For an additional fee, the former includes Bluetooth functionality, which allows you to connect the unit to an app that you can install on your smartphone for free.
The app tracks your daily water usage and the current state of your filter element.
Plus you can set it to remind you each time you need to buy a replacement filter or let it automatically order a new one for you. Now it really doesn’t get any more convenient than that!
Our verdict: The PFM800HX should be your number one PUR faucet filter in case you value convenience over costs.
Please note: Fits standard faucets only.
Customers have reported that water cleaned with the Brita On Tap has a very fresh taste and smell to it.
It’s another compact device, which can be purchased for about $25 USD, that comes with a chrome finish matching most modern kitchen designs.
The filter provides healthy drinking water certified to reduce the amount of lead, chlorine, and asbestos, as well as 99.99% of cryptosporidium and giardia. An additional filtration layer removes sediment.
Just like PUR, Brita filter elements last for about 100 gallons before they need replacement. Here annual costs are a bit higher and add up to approximately $40 USD per faucet when buying packs of two or three.
Again, a light indicator makes changing filters on time an easy task. When it’s time for a replacement, you will see a red light switch on.
What’s more, a 1-year warranty is part of the deal and a quick switch allows you to draw unfiltered water from your tap, so you don’t have to waste filtration capacities when watering your garden.
Last but not least, installing the Brita On Tap is straightforward with no tools required. Make sure to use the provided adapters, if need be. Done correctly, you will hear a click and a green light will flash for about 10 seconds. That’s it!
To be honest, choosing between PUR and Brita doesn’t make too much of a difference in our opinion. Here is why:
The only real difference between the two is that there are more positive customer reviews to be found online for PUR than Brita faucet filters. By the way, customers have had issues such as leaks and water spilling with products from both brands.
The Dupont WFFM350XBN is a bit more bulky than what we are used to → take a look here.
Filters have a treatment capacity of 200 gallons each, which is twice as much as you get with most competing faucet filters. However, replacement costs add up to about $30 USD per year when buying in bulk, which is almost the same as what you pay for if you run a PUR or Brita unit.
What we love: An easy-to-read digital meter display shows you exactly how much water has been processed yet, so you always know when it’s time for replacement and you can make sure your water is getting cleaned effectively all the time.
By the way, replacing the filter element is a matter of minutes. All you need to do is remove the cover to take out the old and insert the new.
Finally, we have a WQA certificate for reducing asbestos, lead, mercury, microbial cysts, cryptosporidium, and giardia among many other contaminants with a 4-year warranty that got you covered in case anything goes wrong with the product.
Lastly, let’s take a look at what Culligan has to offer when it comes to the best kitchen faucet water filters.
Culligan FM-15A Advanced/Culligan FM-25 Advanced
The Culligan FM-15A Advanced comes in white, which looks a little cheap (just being honest). Its bigger brother, the FM-25 Advanced, has a nice to look at chrome finish that will blend in with your other kitchen appliances and costs only about $5 USD more – this update is definitely worth the money!
What’s the big difference between the Culligan FM-15A Advanced and the FM-25 Advanced?
As far as we can tell, there is none except for the looks.
Both filters are incompatible with pull down and pull out faucets and a number of other standard models, so we recommend you to double check with the manufacturer whether or not it will fit on your kitchen faucet before you spend any money.
Filter elements have a capacity of 200 gallons each (annual costs: $22 USD). But this time there is no filter change indicator that will tell you when it’s time for replacement. This is not a big deal, but it’s a little less convenient.
In terms of pros & cons, on the one hand customers have reported experiencing a low flow rate with both units, on the other hand they’ve also made clear that Culligan faucet filters are very durable and won’t start leaking after a while.
Above that, everything is backed by a 2-year warranty. Plus the filters have been tested against NSF Standards 42 and 53, which includes bad taste, odors, lead (98.9%), turbidity, lindane, atrazine, and cryptosporidium and giardia cysts (99.95%) among other contaminants.
Testing a direct sample of your tap water has shown higher concentrations of lead? In that case you obviously want to opt for a faucet filter that is capable of removing the toxic heavy metal as effectively as possible.
Fortunately, there is no real reason for you to worry! All of the faucet filters reviewed above are NSF-certified to remove about 99% of lead and other harmful substances. You can simply choose the one you like best, maybe for visual reasons or due to costs.
Our recommendation? Go for the Culligan FM-25 Advanced. It has the best looks, is durable, and can be easily installed to most standard faucets.
Do faucet water filters really work and are they worth their money, or should you better invest your hard-earned cash elsewhere, such as in an RO under sink system or a filter pitcher?
Let’s get to the bottom of it:
Using a Brita faucet filter with a Brita Longlast™ element (Model OB06) as our example, here is a list of contaminants that this setup is capable of removing from tap water:
Chlorine, lead, mercury, cadmium, benzene, asbestos, 1, 2, 4 – Trichlorobenzene, TTHMs, Giardia, Atrazine, Lindane, and Trichloroethylene (TCE).
As you can see, fluoride didn’t make it on the list. That’s because faucet filters aren’t capable of reducing the amount of dissolved fluoride in water to a significant extent.
So, if you are fighting tap water fluoridation and you are looking for a filter model tailored to your specific needs, our article here on how to remove fluoride from tap water will help you out – with lots of fluoride filter system reviews, so make sure to give it a chance!
The best thing about faucet mounted filters? You have to install them only once, which is a matter of minutes and most of the time no tools and definitely no advanced plumbing skill are required. Once installed, you can simply forget about them and enjoy clean and healthy water.
Pitcher filters and faucet filters are very similar to each other as:
However, faucet mounted filters usually last a lot longer than pitcher filters. Plus, taking into account convenience of use, we would choose a high-quality faucet filter over a pitcher any time, as the latter has to be refilled multiple times per day.
Brita: Faucet vs. pitcher filters – who wins the race?
This clearly depends on what kind of contaminants are present in your tap water that you want to have removed.
Comparing the Brita On Tap faucet unit to the Brita Standard and the Longlast pitcher filter, we find that the Brita Standard is the least effective when it comes to contaminant removal. Whereas the Brita Longlast and the Brita On Tap have similar filtration characteristics.
Both are capable of removing chlorine, lead, benzene, asbestos, and particulates among many other contaminants. Additionally, a Brita Longlast filter pitcher will reduce the amount of mercury and cadmium dissolved in your water – something that the Brita On Tap won’t.
However, the Brita on tap is capable of reducing 1, 2, 4 – Trichlorobenzene, TTHMs, giardia, atrazine, lindane and TCE, which the Brita Longlast doesn’t have any effect on.
|Contaminant||Brita On Tap||Brita Standard||Brita Longlast|
|1, 2, 4 – Trichlorobenzene||Yes|
|TTHMs, Giardia, Atrazine, Lindane, Trichloroethylene (TCE)||Yes|