Your search for a quality under the sink water filter is over. Check out our reviews of the top models for every budget.
An under sink water filter is a great option for many, because they are great value, effective, and remain hidden from sight.
In today’s post we review the 7 best under sink water filter systems available on the market right now. We’ve chosen 6 models that represent the best option for every budget.
There’s a handy comparison table where you can compare the key features, and more detailed reviews that give the low-down on the things that matter.
How do the Top 7 Compare?
Compare the key features in the table. The more detailed descriptions follow the table.
Under Sink Water Filter Reviews
Here’s where you can read about the under the sink water filters that we recommend in a bit more detail. Find out which contaminants they remove, how long the filters last, and more.
APEC WFS-1000 3-Stage
Key Features: 3 filter stages, long life filters, 1-year satisfaction guarantee, lifetime support
APEC Water are well known for their fantastic reverse osmosis systems, and this under sink unit is another of real quality.
Unusual for an under sink unit, it features three stages of filtration. This makes it a highly effective water filter that is capable of removing a wide range of harmful contaminants.
The filters last longer than reverse osmosis systems and allow an impressive water flow rate too. They should last around 12 months before needing to be replaced. Be aware that this figure will vary depending on how much they are used and also the quality of water they have to filter. Let’s take a closer look at what each of the three filter stages does.
- Stage 1 – This is a 10″ polypropylene sediment filter. It gets rid of the larger particles like sand, sediment, rust, dust, and dirt.
- Stage 2 – A 10″ carbon block filter. Carbon media is particularly effective at removing chlorine, but also tackles VOCs.
- Stage 3 – A further 10″ carbon block filter. This second carbon filter works to refine the taste, color, and odor of the water. It also acts as a final fine layer of filtration for common contaminants.
A great feature of these types of under sink filters is that they don’t remove any healthy minerals from the water. Minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium (which are good for our bodies) are removed from water by some methods of filtration, but not this one. Aside from being beneficial to out health, these minerals also make the water taste great too. The APEC WFS-1000 also uses two carbon filtration layers that help to refine the taste and odor of the water .
This system comes with an amazing one year satisfaction guarantee, and also lifetime support from a team of WQA certified water specialists. APEC aren’t always the cheapest, but they offer great support and build quality.
Bottom Line: As a water filter for city/municipal water supplies, this is a great option. It’s low maintenance, and really effective at filtering chlorinated water. It also makes a big difference to the taste of city water.
Woder 10K-Gen II
Key Features: 3 year filter lifespan, really low maintenance, money back satisfaction guarantee
The Woder 10K is a really popular water filter due to its simplicity, and also its effectiveness at treating contaminants like lead. The huge lifespan of the filter makes this unit extremely good value too.
It is really compact and takes up little room under the sink. It comes with everything need for installation, and requires no expert skills to install in very little time.
The simplicity that we mentioned comes from the fact that once installed, it can be left to work for itself for 10,00 gallons of use or around 3 years in time. That’s pretty incredible and we’re not aware of many water filters that are this low maintenance.
Woder state that it is capable of reducing up to 99.9% of chlorine, lead, and heavy metals from water. It has been independently tested to NSF/ANSI 42 standards which means it will effectively remove chlorine from water and improve the taste and odor. This means it is also structurally sound, and is durable and long lasting. Importantly, it doesn’t remove healthy minerals from the water, and you can be assured of clean, healthy faucet water.
The Woder 10K also comes with an amazing money back satisfaction guarantee. This under sink water filter reviews really well on sites like Amazon too.
Bottom Line: This gives amazing value for money due to the 3 year lifespan of the filter. It’s also about as low maintenance a water filter as you can get. It’s a great choice for city (treated) water.
iSpring CU-A4 4-Stage
Key Features: Effective water filtration, multiple installation options, easy change filters, 1-year money back guarantee
The A4 combines four filtration methods into a powerful little package. It may be the most expensive of our undersink selections, but it’s also the most thorough in rejecting multiple contaminants. Let’s take a look at these 4 filter stages:
- Stage 1: 5 micron sediment filter that rejects the larger particles like dirt, sand, and rust.
- Stage 2: Ultrafiltration membrane. This layer has a rating of 0.1 microns (or 0.00001 cm). It rejects anything larger than this size from passing.
- Stage 3: Hybrid layer of KDF and activated carbon. KDF is a really effective substance that can remove heavy metals like lead, mercury, arsenic, and iron. It will also remove pesticides. Activated carbon is really good at targeting chlorine.
- Stage 4: Coconut shell activated carbon. This final stage enhances the taste and improves the color and odor of the water.
The 4 stages work together to create a pretty effective water protection unit, that comes second only to reverse osmosis. However, there are a few reasons to go with this over an RO unit:
- It produces clean drinking water on demand.
- It doesn’t waste any water in the filtration process.
- It doesn’t use a bulky water storage tank.
The downside here is that 4 filters need replaced. This running cost must be considered. A years supply (5 filters) can be purchased in bulk, with the sediment filter needing changed every 6 months as opposed to yearly for the others. The actual filter change procedure is really easy and they just twist off and on.
Bottom Line: It’s the most expensive of our recommendations and it requires the most filter changes, however it’s also the most refined and effective.
3M Aqua-Pure 3MFF100
Key Features: Powerful filtration, easy filter changes, long life filter, low maintenance
This is one of the most expensive of our under the sink water filter recommendations, but it is also one of the most effective.
The 3MFF100 is NSF listed to reduce contaminants such as chlorine, lead, cysts, and VOCs. The filter is actually rated at 0.2 microns. This means that it will remove all particles larger than 0.2 microns in size. This filter rating is better than most whole house water filters, and most other methods of filtration. It is only topped by reverse osmosis water filters.
However, there are some reasons to choose this over a reverse osmosis system:
- It doesn’t waste any water.
- The filter lasts for 2 years.
- It doesn’t remove healthy minerals from the water.
The filter is a combination of the pleated sub-micron filter and a carbon block. The carbon block is really effective at treating chlorine, and also improves the taste and odor of the water.
The filter media lasts for a massive 6,000 gallons or 2 years of use. The filter is then very easily replaced with the help of the built-in shut-off valve. This means you don’t have to shut-off and drain the whole water supply. The filter cartridges are easily twisted off to be replaced.
Bottom Line: We love this water filter. It’s a really effective unit and very low maintenance. I would recommend this for city water supplies only. It might clog up quickly with dirty well water supplies. As far as effectiveness in reducing a wide range of water contaminants goes, this is one of the best under counter water filters.
CuZn UC-200 50K
Key Features: Huge filter lifespan, 3-stage filtration, very low maintenance, great value
This system from CuZn Water Systems is unique because of how long the filter lasts. Many brands boast of long lasting filters, but none match the enormous 50,000 gallon or 5 years of use that this system offers. Considering the cost of the unit, that’s quite a remarkable achievement.
The three stage filter contains three different methods of water filtration to give a well rounded performance. It’s able to target a wide range of contaminants because of this. Let’s take a closer look at how it filters the water.
Stage 1: A micro sediment membrane. This stage removes the larger particles from the water. Things like dirt, rust, sediment, and sand are removed.
Stage 2: A layer of KDF-55. This material is especially good at removing chlorine, heavy metals (like lead and mercury), and bacteria from water.
Stage 3: A layer of coconut shell carbon media. This layer refines the taste and odor of the water. It also removes chlorine, herbicides, and pesticides.
The installation is really simple and takes a matter of minutes rather than hours. Once installed, the system is pretty much maintenance free for its life cycle. A bonus with this system when compared to some other water filter systems is that it doesn’t require a new faucet. It connects directly to the water line.
Bottom Line: This system is really hard to beat for value. The filter lifespan is exceptional, and the 3-stage filter media is really effective too.
Key Features: Great value, effective at removing chlorine
This model from Nahla Pure is one of the cheaper systems that we have included.
It uses activated carbon media to provide a good level of chlorine filtration. The filter has really long lifespan of 3 years, which when combined with the fact that the unit is relatively cheap, makes this a really attractive purchase.
It is connected directly inline, and therefore doesn’t require a new faucet. The fittings connect to the standard 3/8″ cold water line.
It is suited to city water only, and treats chlorinated water.
It comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and is very well regarded by customers on sites like Amazon.
Bottom Line: If you seek a low price solution to chlorine in your drinking water then you won’t do much better.
Key Features: NSF certified, amazing value, great for chlorine reduction
This is the cheapest of the under sink units that we have included in our top 6. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s not an effective system, because it is.
The filter cartridge is carbon based and therefore is particularly effective at removing chlorine. It is actually NSF certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 42 for chlorine reduction. The filter cartridge lasts for around 12 months, which is a really good return for such a well priced unit. The cartridges themselves are also very competitively priced.
The filter changes are really easily done, and are just a matter of twisting and pulling. There’s even a water shut-off valve included. It’s very easily installed too, and comes with quick-connect fittings.
Bottom Line: This can’t be beaten on value. It’s amazing how little it costs.
Before You Buy: Checklist
Even though these water filters are all labelled as being “under sink” systems, they go about their jobs in different ways. Take a look at the key features that you should be looking at in our buyer’s guide.
- Water Flow Rate
In doing their job, water filter systems restrict the water flow. Some affect the water flow much more than others, so it’s important that you check out the water flow rate before you buy. Something like the Woder model that we reviewed above has a flow rate of 5 gallons per minute, which is more than enough for a kitchen sink. However, not all models are as generous as this.
The best under sink water filtration systems will offer a generous water flow rate.
- Contaminant Reduction
Not all water filters were created equally, and some are more effective at removing harmful water contaminants than others.
Most under sink water filters contain some from of carbon media. This makes them especially good at removing chlorine. However, the best under sink water filter systems use more than one stage of filtration, and combine carbon with another kind of filter media. These multi-stage water filters remove a larger number of contaminants. But, the filters that they use tend to be more expensive.
Look out for water filter certification to (NSF and WQA) to see just how effective a system is.
Our undersink water filter reviews detail which contaminants that a unit will protect against.
The installation of these under sink models tends to be pretty straight forward, but it’s considerably easier depending on which type you choose.
There are two types of under sink water filter. Those that are installed directly in-line and use your current faucet, and those that require a new faucet to be installed. Those that don’t require a faucet are easier to install.
Some units are so easy to install that they just require a wrench to tighten the fixings.
Not all of these models are as small as they might look. Make sure you check out the dimensions, and ensure you have enough space to accommodate it. Some will require mounting with brackets too.
- Filter Cost and Lifespan
This is a big consideration as it decides how much money you spend over the life of the water filter system. The initial cost of the water filter system is just a fraction of what you pay in the long term. Since you have to consider the initial cost and both the cost and the lifespan of the filer, I find working out a 10 year cost estimation works really well when pricing a system.
Water filter A costs $50 and uses filters that cost $20 and need replaced every 6 months. Over 10 years this costs $450
Water filter B costs $150 and uses filters that cost $100 but last 3 years. Over 10 years this costs $450
Despite costing much more and having much more expensive filters, water filter B costs around the same over the course of its life. The example shows that the cheaper systems don’t always work out as being the cheapest in the long term. Cheaper units tend to use filters that don’t last as long, which can impact the long term running cost.
The NSF and WQA offer certification to water filters that meet certain standards of effectiveness. Look out for these certificates when choosing a system for your home. Models that have NSF or WQA certification have been proven to remove contaminants to exactly the level they claim. Furthermore, the components used and the build quality of the water filter will be first class.
The best under counter water filters will be certified by the WQA or NSF. Check out our under counter water filter reviews to see which models feature certification.
Why Get an Under Sink Water Filter?
There are so many different types of water filter available, and it’s really important that you make the right choice. There are whole house systems that filter both the drinking water and bathing water, pitcher filters that are cheap and need to be filled, and many, many other types.
An under sink water filter can be the right choice for a variety of reasons. Let’s look at those reasons, and see if it’s the right choice for your home.
1. They’re installed under the kitchen sink. There are two reasons why this is a positive characteristic of these types of filter.
Firstly, it saves valuable counter space in the kitchen. If you have a small kitchen, or don’t have much counter space to devote to a water filter, then an under sink unit is the perfect fit for your home.
The second reason is that water filters can be quite unsightly devices. They’re designed to be effective and not to look attractive. Having it installed under the sink, keeps it out of sight.
2. They are very low maintenance. Under sink units require the least frequent filter changes that we have encountered. In our reviews, the CuZn UC-200 system doesn’t need a filter change for 5 years. Compare this with most other water filtration methods needing filter changes every 6 months.
3. They can feature multi-stage filters. This doesn’t apply to all systems, but some units offer up to 3-stages of water filtration. This makes them particularly effective at removing a wide range of harmful contaminants from water.
4. They can allow a strong water flow rate. A negative aspect of some water filters is that they can throttle the water pressure. Under sink units tend to avoid this, and allow a pretty good water flow rate at the kitchen faucet. Always check the water flow rate of a system before you buy.
5. They offer really good value. Initially, they’re not as cheap as pitcher, faucet, or countertop filters, but in the long-term they offer very reasonable running costs. As they don’t require filter changes for such long periods of time, you don’t have to buy as many filters. This makes them one of the cheaper types of water filter to run over a long period of time.
Advantages and Disadvantages
If you’ve still not made up your mind if an under sink water filter system is right for you, then take a look at the pros and cons to get a balanced view.
- They’re installed out of sight.
- They save precious counter space.
- The filters last a really long time.
- They’re particularly good at removing chlorine.
- Multi-stage filters can target large numbers of contaminants.
- They don’t remove healthy minerals from the water.
- They provide great tasting water.
- Some models require you to use their faucet.
- This method of water filtration wouldn’t be my first choice for well water supplies (great for city water though).
That brings us to the end of our post including the best under sink water filter system reviews of the year. We’re pretty happy with the models that we’ve chosen, but we’d love to hear of any models that we’ve missed.
If you’re still unsure about which type of water filter you need then check out the rest of our guides.
As ever, if you have any questions then drop us a line and we’ll help in any way we can.
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