A faucet water filter gives you access to clean water right at your kitchen sink. Installation is a breeze without the need for tools and advanced plumbing skills, and you are not even required to make any permanent changes to your plumbing system which is perfect for renters.
What’s more, faucet mount filters are really convenient to use and, compared to other water treatment systems, they are surprisingly affordable – a real alternative for people on a tight budget that want to protect the health of their family without spending a fortune.
But how do you find the best faucet water filter for your home or business? Don’t worry, this buying guide will help you make the right choice!
|Model||Our Rating||Price||Filter Capacity||Annual Cost|
Our #1 Faucet Filter: Brita Complete FF-100
Most Contaminants Removed: PUR Vertical Faucet Water Filter
Engdenton Stainless Steel Faucet Water Filter
CuZn Bath Ball for Bathtubs
|$$||Up to One Year||$$|
Order of Product Reviews
The Brita Complete FF-100 is the best and also a best selling faucet water filter on Amazon at the time of writing (or rather updating) this guide.
What we like about it are the certifications against NSF standards 42, 53 and 401. While Standard 42 is only for the reduction of chlorine taste and odor as well as larger particulates, Standard 53 is for water contaminants with health effects and Standard 401 for emerging chemicals.
To give you a quick overview, the Brita FF-100 filters sediment, lead (>99.3%), asbestos (>99%), TTHMs (>98.7%), chlorine taste and odor (97.5%), particulates class I (99.7%), dozens of VOCs (at least 95%), and chemicals such as BPA (99.1%) and Ibuprofen (94.9%).
Please note: This is only an excerpt from the testing data.
In other words, this faucet filter is your best chance if you want clean and great tasting water right from the kitchen tap.
Other than that, the filtering capacity is pretty average – 100 gallons or up to 4 months – and filters can be replaced with a simple click. By the way, they are reasonably priced.
One click is also all that’s needed for mounting the unit. 2 different adapters are included in the package in case your faucet has inside threads.
What’s more, you can easily switch between filtered and unfiltered water. It’s a great way to extend the life of filters and save money by only using filtered water when really needed.
Speaking of filter lifetime, the built-in reminder light lets you know when it’s time for a new cartridge.
Lastly, we wanted to mention the Brita recycling program real quick. It allows you to send back your used faucet water filter, water filter pitcher and any other Brita water product as long as you collect a minimum of 5 pounds before shipping. Then, simply request a shipping label and drop your package off at the nearest UPS location.
Brita has partnered with TerraCycle, an award-winning recycling company that separates and shreds all the materials to make new recycled products.
A number of people reported that the Brita Complete kept falling off, either because the collar or one of the adapters failed, or simply because the adapters are too flimsy. Tip: Visit your local hardware store and buy a metal replacement.
Another issue is the filter life indicator that has a tendency to stop working all of a sudden. The battery inside cannot be switched out, meaning you have to purchase an entire new base or do without the indicator.
We also read complaints about smaller leaks here and there and reduced water flow which is typical for faucet water filters – nothing out of the ordinary.
All in all, Brita’s Complete FF-100 faucet water filter features a solid filtration process with good contaminant reduction rates, it is simple to set up, and even easier to use. Drawbacks are the sometimes faulty faucet connection and the filter indicator light. Our rating: 4 stars!
As an alternative to the Complete FF-100 faucet water filter, Brita offers the Basic SAFF-100.
The reason why we recommend you go with the Complete FF-100 faucet filter and not the Basic SAFF-100, although it would be cheaper, is because with the Basic it’s more difficult to switch between filtered/unfiltered water which oftentimes requires both hands.
Chrome and stainless steel are our top picks here, as they tend to blend best with other kitchen appliances.
That being said, they all make use of the same filter(s), namely the PUR MineralClear or the Basic. You are free to choose between the two.
Where is the difference? In terms of contaminant removal, there is none. Also, both have a 100-gallon water filtration capacity. However, the MineralClear “filters water over natural minerals for great taste”, the Basic doesn’t. This might be why the Basic water filter is a tad cheaper. Can you taste the difference? Honestly, we don’t know.
Anyway, using activated carbon and ion exchange media, PUR faucet filters are certified to reduce over 70 contaminants from drinking water, such as:
All reduction rates are according to NSF standards 42, 53 and 401. This means a PUR faucet filter will make your stinky tap water significantly cleaner and better tasting, and turn it into a delicious cocktail (just kidding).
One-click installation? Check. Adapters + washers for most internal/external threaded standard faucets included? Check. Pro tip: If the unit does not fit your tap make sure to contact PUR and they will send you a suitable adapter for free.
Another feature that you might find useful is the indicator light that tells you when it’s time for a new filter cartridge. Like we said, the rated filtering capacity is 100 gallons or 3 months of use.
Depending on the condition of your water supply, you might have to change the filter more frequently though. Fortunately, it barely takes 2 minutes and new filters are cheap, especially when bought in bulk.
To extend their lifetime you can switch between tap water and filtered water by using the lever at the side.
The service flow rate is 0.52 gpm, so a little bit slower than the Brita Complete.
And just like Brita, PUR offers a program to recycle all your PUR products with TerraCycle.
While most people have no issues with PUR Vertical faucet water filters at all, reading dozens of customer reviews we stumbled upon a couple of complaints that came up repeatedly.
For one, many reviewers said that the thin plastic construction is not built to last. The filter housing is particularly fragile. Hair line cracks are not uncommon. The result: Leaks and water spraying everywhere within months after purchase.
In addition, the wiggly system-to-faucet connection might not be water-tight.
Also, for some users the water flow slowed down considerably after only a few weeks, while for others the water started sputtering out of the main spout as if it was clogged.
With this PUR faucet water filter the taste improvement is substantial. Plus, it rids your drinking water of a bunch of potentially harmful pollutants. On top of that, it’s affordable and easy to connect and use. But there are issues that could definitely do with an improvement. 3.5 stars.
What makes the Engdenton faucet water filter system stand out is that instead of cheap materials it is made from 304 food-grade stainless steel for sturdiness and durability, so no leaks due to cracking as is often the case with the plastic models.
As far as the filtration is concerned, activated carbon fiber improves water aesthetics, removing most of the chlorine and all kinds of sediment including sand, rust and dirt.
The maximum filtering capacity is 320 gallons of water or 6 months which is a lot more than what you get with Brita or PUR. Above that, replacement filters are super cheap. To be fair, though, the Engdenton faucet water filter does not nearly remove the same amount of contaminants (at least it is not certified to do so).
Standard adapters for mounting the unit are included. By the way, the installation barely takes more than 5 minutes even if you are not very handy around the house.
Stainless steel or not, the Engdenton is reportedly still leaking, mainly between the adaptor and faucet.
We also miss a performance data sheet with specific contaminant reduction rates in combination with NSF certifications.
We love that the Engdenton faucet water filter is made from quality stainless steel rather than flimsy plastic. However, this does not solve all problems with leaks.
Considering that the filtration is very basic we would recommend this product to anyone who is mainly concerned about bad tasting water.
Next, let’s take a look at how well Culligan does on the faucet water filter market.
The Culligan FM-15A comes in white which looks a little cheap (just being honest).
Its older brother, the FM-25 model, has a nice chrome finish that blends much better with other kitchen appliances and costs only a little more – this update is definitely worth the extra money!
Apart from looks, what’s the big difference between the Culligan FM-15A and the FM-25? Simply put, there is none.
Tested against NSF Standard 42 and 53, both faucet water filters provide a simple solution for great tasting and somewhat cleaner drinking water free from odors.
To be more specific, the carbon block filter reduces sediment and turbidity, 97.4% chlorine, at least 98% lead and 98.9% lindane among a couple of other contaminants.
Other benefits are:
The biggest flaw? Quite a lot of people cannot get the filter housing open. After a couple of days/weeks use the cap gets stuck and simply won’t move which makes the whole replacement process a real pain.
Another problem we have is that filters are considerably more expensive than the competition.
We also read reports about leaks along seams or due to cracked filter compartments and customers receiving defective models.
The Culligan FM-15A and FM-25 faucet mount water filters provide H2O that tastes better than plain tap water. That’s for sure. They are easy to use, they blend in nicely with other fixtures, and they are very effective at filtering out lead. Taking into account the housing cap design flaw, it’s 3.5 stars from us!
Want a full review? Click here.
The TAPP 2 Twist is all about biodegradability. TAPP Water, the company behind the faucet water filter, wanted to combine water filtration with eco-friendliness and came up with a product that filters more than 80 contaminants from water and that reduces plastic waste at the same time.
The filter is most effective at reducing bad taste and odor, chlorine/chloramine (≥95%), lead (≥95%), microplastics, nitrate/nitrite (≥90%), and certain disinfection byproducts like total trihalomethanes (TTHMs).
Refill cartridges are 76% biodegradable. The remaining 24% is non-toxic, inert plastic that won’t break down into microplastics. The faucet water filter itself is made out of recyclable ABS polymers.
Why “Twist”? The unit has a calendar on it which reminds you of when you need to replace the filter cartridge. Just twist the calendar to set it to 2-3 months from today when installing a new one – this is how long a cartridge lasts with average water usage (300 to 400 gallons).
Speaking of installation, anyone can hook up the TAPP 2 Twist in no time. It fits most standard faucets and comes with two additional adapters.
You can choose between tap and drinking water for extended filter life. The filtered water flow rate is a sufficient one gpm.
The activated carbon block (1-2 microns) has been certified for NSF 42 and 53 in other products which is good. In future, we will hopefully also see certifications according to NSF standards for the TAPP 2 Twist itself.
We will find out how the TAPP 2 Twist faucet water filter performs under real-life conditions when it’s released in the U.S. in 2021. For now, it looks very promising and we are excited for all the Amazon user reviews to come in next year.
The CuZn bathtub faucet water filter supposedly does two things:
The purpose of this is to “alleviate water quality issues that may contribute to dry, itchy, flaky skin, brittle hair, eye, lung and sinus irritation” while bathing at home.
What is the secret of the CuZn bath ball that provides for a more pleasant bathing experience, smoother skin and softer hair?
It’s KDF-55 filtration media, a copper-zinc blend which is not that big of a secret actually.
However, the CuZn uses a KDF-55 media foam disc. The foam is more effective at removing contaminants than granular KDF as it allows for a longer contact time with the water, says the manufacturer. Also, the surface area is 50 times larger.
Personally, we like that no plastic housing is required so the replacement filters are 100% recyclable.
Speaking of which, one filter disc is good for up to one year (seems a bit too long to be honest) and the replacement is super simple.
As usual, the biggest issue that we have is that the manufacturer does not provide a performance data sheet, so we cannot possibly tell how effective the CuZn bath ball really is. For some users it seems to work, for others it didn’t (chlorine levels stayed the same).
Also, the ball is just not very practical since it can be hard to keep directly underneath the tap.
The CuZn Bath Ball is for people who want a quick, easy and inexpensive solution to fill their bathtub with kinda filtered water. Most reviews are positive with customers seeing an overall improvement in the health of their hair and skin. 3 stars!
The faucet water filtration systems use the same filter cartridges that the vertical series uses, so you can expect identical results. Although if you take a really close look comparing the performance data sheets you will notice that PUR horizontal water filters are certified to remove 99.7% lead, whereas the vertical models “only” reduce 99.3%.
On a side note, if you are looking for a more thorough guide on lead purification, follow this link: https://www.best-osmosis-systems.com/water-filters-for-lead-removal/. Chromium removal? Here.
And again, you can choose between working with MineralClear or Basic filter elements. Both are rated at 100 water gallons which is the standard in the faucet water filter realm. They also are NSF certified to remove the same contaminants (more than 70 in total; learn more above).
Where’s the difference? The MineralClear enriches your water with minerals for improved taste. The Basic drinking water filter doesn’t, which is probably why it costs a little less.
As for the installation, unlike PUR vertical systems, the horizontal models do not feature a one-click install. But don’t worry, all you have to do is tighten the threaded mounting nut onto your faucet. Adapters + washers are included. If they don’t fit, reach out to PUR and they will send you a suitable replacement for free.
Water leaking from the bottom of the housing, water leaking straight out of the front of the housing, water leaking from the handle – water coming out of these units where it is not supposed to come out is a major problem and also the main reason for the subpar customer feedback.
Another common problem are malfunctioning indicator lights that stop working after the first or second filter replacement.
It’s sad that we can’t rate PUR’s horizontal faucet mount water filters with more than 3 stars, as they provide solid filtration and especially the MineralClear filter elements producing good tasting water.
However, the leaking and the erroneous filter replacement indicators make buying these products like playing Russian roulette. Maybe the company should consider a redesign to increase sturdiness and prevent cracking and other durability issues?
|Model||$||Filter Life||Filter Type||Comments|
|Brita Complete FF-100 Faucet Water Filter System||$||100 Gallons of Water per Filter Cartridge||Activated Carbon Filter||Our Top Pick, Vertical Design Saves Kitchen Sink Space, Easy to Install|
|PUR Vertical Faucet Water Filters||$||100 Gallons of Water per Cartridge||Filter Cartridges Contain Carbon + Ion Exchange Media||MineralClear Cartridge Adds Minerals to Drinking Water, Vertical Design Saves Sink Space, Easy to Install|
|Engdenton Faucet Water Filter System||$$$||320 Gallons of Water per Filter Cartridge||Carbon Filter||Durable (No Plastic), Vertical Design Saves Sink Space, Easy to Install|
|Culligan FM-15A Faucet Water Filter System||$$||200 Gallons of Water per Filter Cartridge||Carbon Block Filter||Vertical Design Saves Sink Space, Easy to Install|
|Culligan FM-25 Faucet Water Filter System||$$||200 Gallons of Water per Filter Cartridge||Carbon Block Filter||Easy to Install|
|TAPP 2 Twist Faucet Water Filter System||$$$||300-400 Gallons of Water per Cartridge||Carbon Block Filter||Vertical Design Saves Sink Space, Easy Installation|
|CuZn Bath Ball||$$||12 Months per Cartridge||KDF55 Foam Filter Disc||Not for Drinking Water, Installation Free|
|PUR Horizontal Faucet Water Filters||$$||100 Gallons per Cartridge||Filter Cartridges Contain Carbon + Ion Exchange Media||MineralClear Cartridge Adds Minerals to Drinking Water, Easy Installation|
There are a couple of things that you should consider when shopping for a faucet mount water filter. These are:
In theory, the best water filter faucet you can buy is one that is customized to the contaminants present in your water. So your first step should be to figure out its quality.
You can do this by either conducting a test or by reviewing your municipality’s free annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) if you are on tap water.
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 test a direct sample of the water in your home.
Once you know about all the water pollutants you are facing look out for filters that are NSF-certified to remove all or at least the majority of them. NSF certifications are the best guarantee for effective contaminant reduction.
That being said, many faucet water filters will only improve how your water tastes and smells. But there are also those that do a great job at filtering out lead and other heavy metals and all kinds of chemicals. You will find models from both categories in this buying guide.
Unfortunately, we don’t know of any faucet water filter that would make hard water soft.
Just as important as a water filter’s capability to remove certain contaminants is its faucet compatibility.
Generally speaking, faucet mount filter systems are incompatible with these faucet types:
Obviously, there are exceptions to this, but if your kitchen or bathroom tap falls in one of these categories you want to double check that it’s compatible with a water filter before you spend any money.
The vast majority of standard faucets should be fine and there is always the option to use an adapter. In fact, most sellers include a couple of adapters with their models.
Kitchen or bathroom tap doesn’t really make a difference. What’s important is that it’s standardized.
Questions about faucet mount water filters? Ask away!
And make sure to revisit this buying guide from time to time as we are going to continue our hunt for the best faucet water filters.