The 8 Best Countertop Water Filters

March 11, 2017 
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Find the perfect countertop water filter for your kitchen with our awesome guide. We explain all the important details that you should know before you buy, and review the top 8 countertop water filters available right now.

countertop-water-filter-review-compilation-smallerWe’ve selected the 8 best countertop water filters for you to compare.

These models cover every range of budget, and are each outstanding in their own way.

Compare their performance in the key areas that matter to you with our comparison table.

Then read about them in more detail in the reviews that follow.

There’s also a buyer’s guide which details exactly what things you should be looking for in a quality system.

Jump straight to the reviews and comparison table

Why Get a Countertop System?

There are many different types of water filter out there. Each with their own pros and cons.

So, what makes a countertop system special, and why would you choose one of these over another type? This is the lowdown on countertop water filter systems.

1. They are really convenient.

Countertop systems are among the simplest water filter systems to install and maintain. I would say they come second only to pitcher filters in terms of convenience.

Most countertop systems are attached to the sink faucet, with the water fed through a filter to come out of the faucet on the filter device. To set this up takes just a couple of minutes and requires no tools or DIY skills.

The maintenance of these systems is also really easy. The majority of them use just one filter that will need replaced every 3-12 months (depending on manufacturer). Changing the filter requires no tools either, and is just a matter of twisting the housing off, and snapping the new filter in.

2. They represent good value for money.

Water filter systems can be very expensive. A whole house system, for example, can cost upwards of $1000.  However, countertop units are much cheaper. The big difference in cost here is mainly due to the size and capacity. A whole house unit is expected to filter a much larger volume of water and maintain higher water pressure. A countertop system is installed only at the kitchen faucet and therefore handles much smaller volumes of water and lower pressures.

3. They’re more effective than different water filter methods of a comparable price.

Of the cheaper water filtration methods, countertop systems are probably the most effective. Similar priced filtration methods would be pitchers, and faucet filter systems.

Countertop systems are more effective mainly because they can use bigger filters with more stages of filtration. By using more types of filter media they can reduce a wider range of harmful water pollutants from drinking water. However, the most effective home water filter would be the more expensive reverse osmosis system.

4. The filters last longer than water filter methods of a comparable price.

As the filters are much bigger than those of pitcher and faucet devices the filters have a longer lifespan. Some filters can last as long as one year which means maintenance is really minimal, and running costs stay low.

Before You Buy: What to Know

Here are a few important points to consider before you buy a countertop home water filter.

  • What water contaminants are you looking to reduce?

The answer to this question should decide which water filter you need. Some are good at removing chlorine, while others are better for heavy metals like lead.

There are a few different ways to find out which contaminants are hiding in your water:

1. Test it yourself using a special water testing kit.

2. Get it tested by an independent laboratory.

3. Check out your local Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). This is a yearly drinking water quality report from your local water authority.

  • Is alkaline water important to you?

Alkaline water is that which has a pH of greater than 7. Some people believe alkaline water to be healthier and better for the body.

Some water filter systems have the ability to add healthy minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium to the water. This improves the mineral content of the water, but also raises the pH to more alkaline levels.

  • How much are the replacement filters, and how long do they last?

It’s easy to judge a system’s cost based on the initial outlay, but the true cost is based on the filters.

A $50 system that uses $20 filters that need replaced every 3 months will cost $850 over 10 years.

A $100 system that uses $50 filters that need replace every year will cost $600 over 10 years.

Be sure to check out the replacement filters before you buy. We’ve included this information whenever possible in our countertop water filter reviews.

  • Is it certified?

The best water filters come with certification to prove their effectiveness. The main certification for countertop units is from NSF. If you see this mark then you can be assured of the unit’s quality.

  • Does it remove fluoride?

Fluoride in drinking water is another hotly debated subject. Most countertop units won’t remove fluoride, but some will. We’ve included a couple of the best ones below (Home Master Jr. F2 Elite & Big Berkey).


The Top 8 Countertop Water Filter Reviews

PictureModelRatingPriceFiltration StagesRemovesWarrantyKey Features
APEX-Countertop-Drinking-Water-FilterAPEX Countertop4.4$$$5Chlorine, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury, lead, aluminum, copper, iron, manganese, Escherichia coli1 Year- 5 Stage water purification
- Adds healthy minerals to water
- Great tasting water
- Improves pH
- Easy installation
- NSF certified
New-Wave-Enviro-10-Stage-Water-Filter-SystemNew Wave Enviro4.2$$10Chlorine, trihalomethanes, arsenic, mercury, lead, PBCs, giardia, cryptosporidium, asbestos, pesticides, & herbicides.1 Year + 30 day money back gurantee- 10 Filter stages
- Great tasting water
- Easy installation
- Switch between filtered & unfiltered water
- Doesn't remove healthy minerals
Cleanwater4less-countertopCleanWater4Less Countertop4.5$5Chlorine, radon, VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), sediment, heavy metalsN/A- Easy installation
- No filters to change
- 10,000 gallon lifespan
- Great value
- Easy to Maintain
Home-Master-TMJRF2-Jr-F2Home Master TMJRF2 Elite4.2$$$5Fluoride, chlorine, VOCs, TOCs, aluminum, iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide, lead, mercury, copper, chloramines, pesticides, herbicides3 Years- Removes Fluoride
- Easy installation
- Effective filter
- Doesn't remove healthy minerals
Watts-500315Watts 5003154.2$1Sand, silt, sediment, rust, chloramine, chlorine1 Year- Great Value
- Easy installation
- Cheap filters
Aquasana-AQ-4000WAquasana AQ-4000W4.3$$3Chlorine, lead, asbestos, mercury, cysts, cryptosporidium, giardia, benzene, trihalomethanes, VOCs1 Year- NSF certified
- Easy installation
- Easy change filters
- Improves taste
- Preserves healthy minerals
Big-Berkey-BK4X2-BBBig Berkey BK4X24.2$$$$$2Fluoride, chlorine, nitrates, nitrites and heavy metals (like lead & mercury), bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon, trihalomethanes,2 Years- Removes Fluoride
- Independently certified
- Powerful filters
- Great customer support
- 2.25 Gallon capacity
Waterchef-c7000WaterChef C70004.3$$$$1Lead, chlorine, chloramine, cysts (giardia & cryptosporidium), trihalomethanes, pesticides, herbicides, benzeneLifetime- NSF certified
- Lifetime warranty
- Intelligent filter life monitor
- Easy installation

APEX-Countertop-Drinking-Water-FilterAPEX Alkaline Countertop           OUR TOP PICK – BEST COUNTERTOP WATER FILTER

The APEX Alkaline is a system of some distinction, and has a considerable reputation. Besides being an effective filter of water contaminants, it also adds healthy minerals back to your water to make some really great tasting water. The system is made from NSF certified components.

The unit uses a 5-stage water filtration process. Combining these different filter materials adds up to an effective countertop system that removes a large number of harmful contaminants from household drinking water. Let’s see how it works:

  1. Stage 1 uses KDF material to remove chlorine, chloramines and also heavy metals like iron, mercury, lead, manganese, arsenic, aluminum and copper.
  2. Stage 2 is a coconut shell activated carbon layer. Activated carbon specializes in the removal of chlorine. It will improve the taste and odor of the water.
  3. Stage 3 removes further contaminants, but focuses on adding healthy minerals to the drinking water. It adds calcium, potassium, and sodium to the water. These minerals improve the taste, and also make the water more alkaline by increasing its pH value.
  4. Stage 4 is another coconut shell activated carbon layer. It removes more chlorine and improves the odor.
  5. The final stage of water filtration makes the water more alkaline by adding the mineral calcite. Calcite is effective at neutralizing acid and raising the pH to more alkaline levels.apex-alkaline-countertop-filter-view

The 5-stage APEX filter is awesome, but a nice feature of this model is that it will accept 10″ size filters from other manufacturers too. For example, if you decide that you need a filter that is effective in removing fluoride then you are free to use it.

The APEX Alkaline is easily connected to your existing faucet. It comes with all necessary hardware (including an adaptor) and can be installed in minutes. The great thing about these countertop units is that they are so convenient. Installation is a breeze and then all that’s required of you is a simple filter change every few months. The APEX filter is said to last for around 1500 gallons of use, which is a considerable lifespan.

Bottom Line: We love this countertop system. It does a great job at reducing a wide range of contaminants, and makes the water taste really good. The clear filter housing is a great look too.

Key Features:

  • Rating: 4.4
  • Price: $$$
  • Removes: Chlorine, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury, lead, aluminum, copper, iron, manganese, Escherichia coli
  • 5-Stage water filtration
  • NSF certified
  • Improves pH
  • Adds healthy minerals to water
  • Great tasting alkaline water
  • Easy installation & maintenance
View on Amazon

Home-Master-TMJRF2-Jr-F2Home Master Jr. F2 Elite                        BEST FOR REMOVING FLUORIDE

Home Master are makers of top quality water filter systems. They make exceptional reverse osmosis and whole house systems, and this model is no different. Unlike most counter-top water filters, this one actively targets and removes fluoride. It’s one of the most powerful countertop systems available, as it reduces such a wide range of contaminants.

The F2 Elite model is Home Master’s flagship countertop system. It uses 5-stages of water filtration to treat your water. These 5-stage water filters last for 500 gallons of use (around 3 months on average). Let’s take a look at how they work in a bit more detail.

  1. home-master-TMJRF2E-Jr-F2-Elite-filter-viewThe 1st filtration stage contains activated alumina. This is one of the most effective materials at removing fluoride and arsenic from water supplies.
  2. The second stage of filtration is a catalytic carbon layer. Carbon is an effective weapon against chlorine and chloramines. It will also guard against pesticides, herbicides, iron, hydrogen sulfide, THMs, and pharmaceuticals.
  3. Stage 3 is an activated carbon layer made from coconut shells. This will target chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, and VOCs.
  4. The 4th layer of filtration is made of KDF85. This material effectively combats harmful contaminants such as lead, mercury, aluminum, iron, manganese, copper, hydrogen sulfide, chlorine, and chloramines.
  5. The final layer is a 5 micron compression disk. This provides protection from particles like sediment, dirt and rust. The compression disk ensures that the entire 5-stage filtration process is applied evenly to all of the contaminated water.

Despite providing such a thorough level of filtration, the F2 Elite won’t remove the healthy particles from the water. Healthy minerals like calcium and magnesium remain in the drinking water. These minerals are key ingredients in great tasting water.

The F2 Elite features a slim profile so it own’t take up much space in the kitchen. It is really easily installed in just a few minutes, and comes with all the necessary adaptors to attach to any faucet with a removable aerator tip.

Bottom Line: There aren’t many countertop water filters that can match this level of performance in reducing levels of so many harmful contaminants. It’s incredibly thorough for a countertop system. Its ability to remove fluoride makes it stand out from the crowd too.

Key Features:

  • Rating: 4.2
  • Price: $$$
  • Removes: Fluoride, chlorine, VOCs, TOCs, aluminum, iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide, lead, mercury, copper, chloramines, pesticides, herbicides
  • 5-Stage water filtration
  • Reduces a wide range of contaminants
  • Doesn’t remove healthy minerals
  • Easy installation & maintenance
View on Amazon

Cleanwater4less-countertopCleanWater4Less 10,000 Gallon                      BEST BUDGET BUY – AMAZING VALUE

This model from US based manufacturer CleanWater4Less is our choice as the best value counter top water filter. This system is cheaper than most because it doesn’t need filter changes. Simply plug it in, then after 10,000 gallons of use, discard it and replace it with a new one.

As it doesn’t need expensive filter replacements, the running costs of this system are really low. In fact, there are none. The initial cost of the unit is the only outlay, and that lasts for a massive 10,000 gallons of use. To put that into perspective, if the average person consumes 3 gallons of drinking water each day (drinking and cooking), then a family of 5 should get about 2 years of life out of one unit. That is quite incredible for something that is so cheap to begin with.

The filtration is achieved using 5-stages. The main stage is a granular activated carbon (GAC) layer. GAC is particularly effective at removing chlorine and hydrogen sulfide from water. It will also reduce radon, heavy metals, and VOCs. This system is suited to homes supplied by municipal water. I wouldn’t recommend it for well water supplies.

It can be easily set-up in just minutes, and requires absolutely no further maintenance over the course of its life.

Bottom Line: As far as value for money goes, this just can’t be topped. It’s also a great choice if changing filters represents a problem.

Key Features:

  • Rating: 4.5
  • Price: $
  • Removes: Chlorine, VOCs, hydrogen sulfide, radon, heavy metals
  • 5-Stage water filtration
  • Easy installation
  • No filter changes
  • No maintenance
  • Amazing value
View on Amazon

 

Big-Berkey-BK4X2-BBBig Berkey BK4X2                                       AMAZING QUALITY

The Big Berkey is a bit different from the other countertop filters we have included in our post. Instead of attaching to the faucet, this unit needs to be filled from the top. I guess it’s like a huge, glorified pitcher, but just far more effective at filtering your water.big-berkey-filters

The Big Berkey allows gravity to do the work and force the water down through its filters. It comes as standard with 4 filters. There are two regular filters and 2 fluoride & arsenic filters. The system can actually fit 2 more of the standard black filters, which increases the water flow rate from 3.5 gallons per hour to 7. The standard black filters have a lifespan of 3000 gallons each, which gives 6000 gallons of use for the two that are provided. That’s an absolutely huge lifespan that would be measured in multiple years rather than months. The fluoride & arsenic filters last for 1000 gallons of use.

The filters are really powerful and reduce a wide range of harmful water particles. Contaminants it reduces include herbicides, pesticides, lead, mercury, nitrates, VOCs, radon, and trihalomethanes. The fluoride filters will remove up to 95% of the chemical.

The Big Berkey is made of high quality stainless steel, and has a capacity of 2.25 gallons. It is 19.25″ tall has a diameter of 8.5″. A real bonus of a system like this is that it doesn’t rely on your faucet water supply. That makes it perfect for if there is ever a water cut-off, or for camping trips, or off-grid living. A system of this size would suit households or families of 1-4 people.

Bottom Line: Really powerful water filtration that doesn’t attach to the faucet. The filters seem expensive, but they last about 6 times longer than the average countertop filters. That actually makes them very reasonably priced.

Key Features:

  • Rating: 4.2
  • Price: $$$$$
  • Removes: Fluoride, herbicides, pesticides, lead, mercury, nitrates, VOCs, radon, and trihalomethanes, and more.
  • Doesn’t rely on faucet water supply
  • Doesn’t remove healthy minerals
  • Long lasting filters
  • Portable
View on Amazon

Waterchef-c7000WaterChef C7000                            SMART TECHNOLOGY & INTELLIGENT DESIGN

The Waterchef C7000 is NSF certified to reduce a wide range of contaminants. It also uses smart technology to monitor usage and current filter effectiveness.

The C7000 uses a solid carbon block filter that has a really long shelf life. It will last for 1000 gallons of use, which is probably around 1 year. The filter combats a variety of harmful tap water contaminants by maximizing its contact time with the water. The contaminants it will reduce include:

  • Lead (up to 99%)waterchef-c7000-large-image
  • Chlorine & Chloramine
  • Giardia & Cryptosporidium
  • Pesticides & Herbicides
  • VOCs
  • MTBE & Benzene

Crucially, it won’t remove healthy minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium either. This means it produces great tasting and chemical free water from the kitchen faucet.

My favorite feature of this water filter is the real time Intelligent Monitor. Most water filters don’t have a means of monitoring the effectiveness of their filters, and those that do usually use a time-based system that is inaccurate. The C7000 actually measures the water usage of your home, so that you always change water filters at the optimum time. That means no guess work, and no risk of using a filter once it is well passed its recommended life cycle. It works using a three light LED system.

Green: Everything is in fully working order.

Yellow: Less than 10% of the filter capacity is left. It’s time to order a new filter.

Red: The filter has reached its capacity. It should be changed right away.

It’s actually one of the better looking countertop units too. It has a stylish design that won’t look out of place in the kitchen.

It’s easily installed without the need for tools, and replacing the filters is very simple.

Bottom Line: We love this water filter. The intelligent filter monitor and NSF certification make it a system of some distinction. Did we mention it has a lifetime warranty too??

Key Features:

  • Rating: 4.3
  • Price: $$$$
  • Removes: Chlorine, mercury, lead, pesticides, herbicides, VOCs, MTBE, benzene, giardia, cryptosporidium
  • Intelligent filter monitor
  • Long life filters
  • NSF certified
  • Doesn’t remove healthy minerals
  • Easy installation & maintenance
  • Lifetime warranty
View on Amazon

New-Wave-Enviro-10-Stage-Water-Filter-SystemNew Wave Enviro 10                              INCREDIBLE FILTRATION

The New Wave Enviro uses a quite incredible 10-stages of water filtration. Now, this is more than anything we have ever seen, but is it effective or just hype?

This water filter reduces a huge range of contaminants to below EPA’s minimum levels.  These include chlorine, chloramine, herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals (arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium etc.), asbestos, PCBs, cysts, protozoa, trihalomethanes and hydrogen sulfide. It achieves this with its epic 10-stage filter. Let’s break down exactly what this filter does.new-wave-enviro-10-filter

  • Stage 1: 30 Micron sponge filter. This stops the larger particles like dirt, sediment and rust from going any further.
  • Stage 2: 8 Ounces of KFD-55. This is a patented material that is excellent at removing chlorine, and heavy metals.
  • Stage 3: 10 Micron felt pad. This removes more solid particles.
  • Stage 4: 30 Cubic inches of super fine mesh, coconut shell, and granular activated carbon. Activated carbon is one of the best ways of reducing chlorine. It also removes herbicides, pesticides, mercury, arsenic, and trihalomethanes.
  • Stage 5: 10 Micron pad. This removes more sediment and larger particles.
  • Stage 6: 7 Cubic inches of ion exchange resin. This helps to remove lead.
  • Stage 7: 30 Micron pad. Protects against any remaining sediment.
  • Stage 8: 7 Cubic inches of granular activated carbon. This protects against organic contaminants.
  • Stage 9: 2 Ounces of calcite. This adds healthy minerals to the water. Besides being healthy, this also raises the pH to more alkaline levels.
  • Stage 10: 1 Micron filter. Filters out cysts and protozoa.

The amount of water pollutants that this reduces is really impressive. That’s not all though, as it also adds healthy minerals to your water to maintain an alkaline pH level. Furthermore, the filter lasts a massive 365 days. That’s a great return for a countertop water filter, and makes the price of the filter represent pretty good value too.

The New Wave Enviro 10 comes with everything needed for a really quick installation. It doesn’t require any tools or DIY skills. The unit also comes with a 30-day money back guarantee and a one year manufacturer’s warranty.

Bottom Line: The 10-stage filter is more than just hype, and delivers really effective filtration results. There aren’t many countertop units that combat this many pollutants. The filters also last one whole year, which is a great return for this type of system.

Key Features:

  • Rating: 4.2
  • Price: $$
  • Removes: Chlorine, chloramine, herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals (arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium etc.), asbestos, PCBs, cysts, protozoa, trihalomethanes, hydrogen sulfide.
  • 10-Stage Filtration
  • Adds healthy minerals
  • Raises pH to healthier levels
  • Long lasting filters
  • Easy installation & maintenance
  • 1 Year warranty & 30-day money back guarantee
View on Amazon

Aquasana-AQ-4000WAquasana AQ-4000W                               NSF CERTIFIED

The Aquasana AQ-4000W is NSF certified to reduce 68 harmful contaminants from water. It comes with a solid reputation and an awesome 90 day satisfaction guarantee.

The AQ-4000 is Aquasana’s sole countertop system. It provides effective water filtration using a twin filter system. The filters last for around 6 months or 450 gallons of use. Now, the filters aren’t cheap, but they are NSF certified to reduce a wide range of contaminants. The certification means they meet strict safety standards and have been independently tested to prove their effectiveness. They are certified to reduce 68 contaminants, but more specifically they will reduce the following:

  • 96.6% Leadaqusana-aq-4000-with-filters
  • 96.6% Mercury
  • 97.4% Chlorine
  • 99% Asbestos
  • 99.4% Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • 99.9% Cryptosporidium & Giardia
  • 81.8% Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE)

These are pretty impressive figures for a countertop unit. It does this using a 3-stage filtration process which combines a carbon filter, ion exchange, and sub-micron filtration. The Claryum filter technology actually preserves the healthy minerals too. That means beneficial magnesium, calcium, and potassium remain.

The filters are easily removed and replaced, and the unit is easily installed too. There are no permanent fixtures and installation simply involves screwing on the faucet attachment.

Bottom Line: The NSF certification makes this a really effective water filter. The filters aren’t cheap, but you can rest assured that they do their job very well.

Key Features:

  • Rating: 4.3
  • Price: $$
  • Removes: 68 contaminants (including chlorine, chromium, mercury, lead, asbestos, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, MTBE)
  • 3-Stage water filtration
  • NSF Certified
  • Doesn’t remove healthy minerals
  • Easy installation
View on Amazon

Watts-500315Watts CT-1                             GREAT VALUE

The Watts CT-1 provides high quality carbon filtration. It has a sleek, minimalist design and takes up very little space in the kitchen.

The CT-1 is NSF certified to remove chlorine, chloramine, lead, sediment, sand, and rust from drinking water. It does so with a 5 inch carbon block filter, but it will happily accept 10″ filters from other manufacturers too. That means you are free to experiment with different types of filter that range in cost and the contaminants that they protect against. The standard filter supplied with this model is a good fit for municipal water supplies. It wouldn’t work well with well water supplies.

The CT-1 comes with everything needed to install. Installation is a breeze and doesn’t require any tools.

Bottom Line: This is one of the cheaper countertop filters available. It’s a great choice for municipal water supplies.

Key Features:

  • Rating: 4.2
  • Price: $
  • Removes: Chlorine, chloramine, lead, sediment, rust, dirt, sand
  • Accepts standard 10″ filters
  • NSF certified
  • Easy installation & maintenance
  • 1 Year warranty
View on Amazon

Well that brings us to the end of our 8 best countertop water filter reviews of the year. If you have any questions then don’t hesitate to get in contact, and we promise to get back to you promptly.

Check back soon as there is lots more to come from Water Filter Answers over the coming months. To stay up to date with all the latest news in the water filter world (including information on water pollution and the environment) you follow us in Facebook. There’s an icon in the top right corner of the page.

Until next time!






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