Water filters are becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners around the world, including in the US. One reason for this is the growing awareness of potential contaminants found in both public and private water supplies, with one report suggesting around 20 to 30 contaminants in every household’s tap water.
As a result of this, we have put together some information on the types of filtration method currently available, along with examples of the best water filters on the market right now. These have been chosen to highlight the different types and fittings available to you so that you can make an informed decision.
- Our Top Picks
- Best Water Filters of 2021:
- Water Filters that are worth mentioning:
- 1. Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher – Best Water Filter Pitcher
- 2. Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter – Best Countertop Water Filter
- 3. PUR FM-3700 – Best Faucet Water Filter
- 4. Waterdrop 3-Stage Ultra Filtration System – Best Under Sink Filter
- 5. AquaBliss High Output Revitalizing Shower Filter – Best Shower Filter
- 6. Travel Berkey – Best Portable Water Filter
- 7. Sawyer Gravity Water Filtration System – Best Backpacking Water Filter
- 8. LifeStraw Go – Best Filtered Water Bottle
- 9. Aquasana Rhino Whole House Water Filter System – Best Whole House Filter
- 10. SpringWell Futuresoft – Best Water Softener for Hard Water
- Types of filtration method
Our Top Picks
Best Water Filters of 2021:
Water Filters that are worth mentioning:
We’ve put together 10 of the best water filters on the market, along with some key information and the pros and cons for each. You will see that we have chosen the best of each type, to give you a better understanding of the types of filters, as well as brands to choose from.
1. Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher – Best Water Filter Pitcher
We start our review of the 10 best water filters with this water filter pitcher from Aquagear. It is one of the most cost-effective solutions for households that want to have a water jug and ensure drinking water is always filtered.
Designed and built using BPA-free materials, you can rest assured that it will reduce many harmful contaminants including heavy metals, chlorine and fluoride.
This pitcher includes a filter which will work for about 150 gallons, which should be enough for most households for 6 months, depending on usage.
Whilst it is an effective filter, it doesn’t remove the good minerals that you want to keep in the water supply. However, this impressive filter does come with the drawback that it takes quite a while to filter water, so don’t expect a quick drink if you haven’t planned ahead.
2. Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter – Best Countertop Water Filter
Next on our list is this countertop water filter that uses gravity to help feed the water through the filtration process.
This impressive system has been built using stainless-steel, minimising the chances of rust occurring and making it last longer than other models.
Its filter system is made up of two purification elements, which will work for a total of 6,000 gallons, which is an impressive three years for the average household. Perhaps the biggest selling point here is that this water filter doesn’t only filter out harmful contaminants but also purifies the water, removing bacteria and viruses as well.
The only real downside of this unit is that it isn’t certified by the NSF, although it has been extensively tested so this may not be an issue for most customers.
3. PUR FM-3700 – Best Faucet Water Filter
A stylish chrome design means it will fit in with most modern sinks and is compatible with the majority of faucets in households.
In terms of filtration, this system from PUR has been certified by the NSF that it will reduce more than 70 harmful contaminants found in your water supply, including chlorine and pesticides.
Its filters last for approximately 100 gallons which may not sound like much but it’s one of the best for this type of water filter. Just be careful to not use hot water through these filters as that can harm the filter and cause them to need replacing more quickly.
4. Waterdrop 3-Stage Ultra Filtration System – Best Under Sink Filter
Choosing an under sink water filter is a fantastic solution for those wanting a more powerful filtration system for the kitchen or bathroom.
This is one of the best water filters on the market at the moment as it includes an impressive three-stage filtration unit. Firstly, it removes sediment and larger molecules, then it removes over 100 harmful contaminants from the water supply. After this, it improves the taste of the water, a really nice extra feature that some filters don’t bother with.
This system from Waterdrop really does deliver on the filtration side and these filters last for up to 2 years, which is helpful given it uses three of them. Thankfully, they are easy to remove and install when the time comes.
5. AquaBliss High Output Revitalizing Shower Filter – Best Shower Filter
It is important to realise that filtering water is not just about drinking water, but also water you use to shower and wash with. The chemicals and metals found in water supplies can be harmful to your skin and health, and this shower filter will help protect you from that.
Easy to install, even for those with minimal experience and with a stylish design, it will fit in well with most bathrooms.
Despite its small size, its multi-stage filtration system performs well removing sediment, as well as many harmful contaminants.
Whilst this system even adds back in minerals that are good for your hair and skin, it is important to note that flow rates can be affected by adding filters, so if your water supply lacks pressure already then it may struggle.
6. Travel Berkey – Best Portable Water Filter
We’ve heard from many customers who wish they had a portable water filter to take with them on camping trips, holidays away or any long journey. This travel version is one of the best water filters on the market right now and it’s easy to see why.
It has a capacity of 1.5 gallons and can be used with any natural water supply, so you don’t need to worry about carrying bottled water with you at the same time.
Its filtration system will remove many of the harmful contaminants found in water including viruses, heavy metals and bacteria.
Each product will last for around 6,000 gallons which is years of travelling before you need to buy a new set. For those worried about damage, its stainless-steel body means it will survive many camping trips.
7. Sawyer Gravity Water Filtration System – Best Backpacking Water Filter
A truly portable option and one of the best water filters for those who backpack or go hiking away from main trails. This using a gravity water filter that can be connected with your backpack or hung up on your tent.
What stands out here is the performance of the filter, removing incredibly small contaminants including bacteria and microplastics.
You will have this filter set up very quickly by hanging it up and connecting the tube between the bag and filter. It will work with any natural water supply or faucet and you can then use this water for drinking and cooking.
Another benefit of buying this water filter is that it takes less than three minutes to filter one gallon and the manufacturer says each filter will last for 100,000 gallons before placing.
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8. LifeStraw Go – Best Filtered Water Bottle
Many of us carry a water bottle with us, whether to the gym, office or even at home and its time to ditch the single-use, plastic bottles purchased from stores. This option gives you the best of both worlds – an environmentally friendly system that filters water before you drink it.
Made from BPA-free plastic, its filtration system is made up of two parts with the first being an activated carbon block that reduces pesticides, odours and chlorine. The second filter is a membrane that removes harmful bacteria and microplastics.
Whilst the membrane filter will last for 1,000 gallons and this bottle will cope with water from any source including natural rivers and lakes, the activated carbon block does let the team down. It will last for around 26 gallons and so will need replacing more often.
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9. Aquasana Rhino Whole House Water Filter System – Best Whole House Filter
This powerhouse of a water filter makes it on our list as the best water filter on the market that delivers clean, safe water to the entire house.
A whole-house system works at the water supplies point of entry to the property and so every faucet will get the same quality of water.
It has been certified by the NSF to remove 97% of chlorine found in the water and reduce other harmful contaminants including pesticides, sediment and metals. Each filter will last for approximately 1,000,000 gallons, which is 10 years for the average household.
Choosing a whole-house system is more expensive than other choices but over time, it will work out a cost-effective solution if you want filtered water to multiple points in the house.
10. SpringWell Futuresoft – Best Water Softener for Hard Water
The last on our list of best water filters is specifically designed to soften hard water, a problem that many households will suffer from. This is an important solution if you don’t want your pipes and faucets to start being affected by limescale.
We’ve chosen this system from SpringWell because it doesn’t use salt to soften the water, but uses a special process known as Template Assisted Crystallisation. This turns the calcium and magnesium crystals into a different form that won’t bind to surfaces.
Furthermore, this will help remove any existing limescale found in the plumbing of your house and doesn’t require any electricity, making it particularly cost-effective. Unfortunately, this isn’t a water filter in the traditional sense, so it won’t remove the harmful contaminants that other options will.
Thank you for taking the time to read our article on the 10 best water filters on the market right now and we hope you’ve found it helpful. It is our belief that the world of water filters has developed significantly in recent years, with a solution for almost every problem and household need. As always, it is important that you research around the subject, ensuring you understand your individual requirements and how these map against the products on the market right now.
Types of filtration method
You can get water filters that offer a solution for a single faucet, an entire household, homes with well water and specific systems such as water pitchers and ice machines. Once you’ve decided on the filter system you want, it is important to understand the filtration methods available to you. Some systems may include multiple methods to offer a high level of filtration.
This method involves forcing water through a membrane which is semi-permeable, catching molecules over a certain size. These are then processed through a waste pipe and what is left is a highly filtered supply of water. This is one of the most effective methods and many of the best water filters for entire homes and sinks will use this method.
You have probably used a water filter that has an activated carbon filter inside and this uses the process of adsorption. It is the most widely used method for all types and sizes of water filters and what happens is that any contaminants that are in the water get trapped in the porous structure of the carbon filter.
This method is less common than the others but is still a useful option for some people. Water filters that use this method will heat water until it becomes vapour, after which the system condenses it back to liquid, removing most of the contaminants in the vapour.
This method is most frequently used in water softeners that are salt-based. This process involves calcium and magnesium ions being replaced with sodium ions, stopping limescale from forming on the pipes. The system then performs something called regeneration which is a self-clean that flushes out the unwanted ions.
There are some fundamental features of water filters that you should consider before making a purchase and we’ve put a range of them below to help make your life easier when investigating water filtration systems.
Type of filter system
When you talk about water filters, it will fundamentally be about making sure tap water or drinking water in your home is safe and clean for your family. However, there are many different ways of achieving clean water.
You need to consider the type of water supply, whether it is well water or from a local authority. You will almost certainly need a water filter for well water, and even treated supplies will still contain contaminants.
Then it is about the type of filter, whether it is a whole-house solution to clean water coming into the property, a single faucet filtration system, reverse osmosis system or water filter pitchers.
Consider what the purpose of your water filtration system is and this will instantly narrow down your search.
This is an important consideration because a busy, high water usage household will need high capacity filtration systems. You should look out for the gallons of water per minute it can filter, how long they last and how the water quality affects the capacity.
Water filter pitchers are fantastic for those who want a jug of clean water for the table at meals, but won’t suit those who want to improve the water quality for all faucets and showers in the home.
If you have a busy household, then one of the best options is a whole-house filter that will be strong enough to manage filtering water for every faucet, but even these will have limits.
Everyone has a budget in mind and it is important to do your research on the type of filter for your individual requirements. This is because you may need to spend more than you have budgeted for, or maybe you don’t need to spend quite as much as you thought.
For example, due to space, you may want to buy a countertop filtration system. However, you don’t necessarily have to buy the best countertop filter on the market as it does far more than you require.
No matter the type of filter you go for, even the best water filters of 2021 will require maintenance including filters that need to be changed.
The amount of maintenance required will vary but the best systems on our list will need minimal maintenance, as long as you follow the instructions for installation and care. You will want to aim for filters that last at least six months but this does depend on your choice. For example, a water pitcher filter will require more frequent changes that a countertop filter system.
You also want to consider how expensive replacement filters are and the type of water source you use. Many will have contaminants like bacteria, heavy metals and chlorine, all putting pressure on filters.
One of the most frustrating issues of water filters is that the flow rate of tap water drops too low. It is important to remember that because you are filtering water, it will impact the flow rate but some of the modern systems perform very well. Some types of filter work faster than others, for example, reverse osmosis will have a greater impact on flow rates because it performs much higher levels of filtration. A water pitcher filter is another with a slow flow rate, so planning ahead is important with these choices.
It is also important to check the current flow rate of your water source because the lower it is before it enters the filter, then the greater the impact.
Fortunately, the vast majority on our list are easy to install, even if you go for a more complex filter that is designed to remove the most contaminants. Pitcher filters will require minimal setup but it is still important to check reviews and instructions to make sure it is clear and doesn’t require additional assistance.
These are long term investments and it is important to consider any extra costs involved, such as professional assistance.