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Looking for the best Reverse Osmosis system that is high-performance, great built-quality, leak-free, and at a reasonable price?
I have the answer for you.
I have worked and studied the water treatment industry for more than 10 years so I know this industry very well and I know exactly what a reverse osmosis water filtration system should be like.
I’ll share with you the best Reverse Osmosis system for well water & city water that’s available in the market at a reasonable price so that you won’t end up paying the premium cost for a RO water filter that is not what you want.
More importantly, I will make sure you understand more about the water filtration system and how to choose the right one for you and your family.
The 10 Best Reverse Osmosis Systems of 2023
- Waterdrop Tankless Reverse Osmosis WD-G3P600-W – Best Tankless RO System
- Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Full Contact (Permeate Pump) – Best Water Efficiency
- APEC Top Tier Supreme RO-PH90 – Best RO Water Filter
- Express Water Alkaline RO Water Filtration System ROALK5D – Best for Alkalinity
- iSpring RO Water Filter (UV) RCC7AK-UV – Best RO for Well Water
- APEC Top Tier ROES-PH75 – Budget Alternative for Best RO System
- Aquasure Premier Advance AS-PR75A RO Water Filter – Best for Pure RO Water
- APEC Portable Countertop RO-CTOP-C– Best for Portability
- iSpring RO Water Filter RCC7AK – Great Overall
- Whirlpool WHER25 RO Water Filter – Budget Alternative for Pure RO Water
Why Choose RO Water Filter System
Because it’s great.
For consumers, there are no other water filtration technologies that can come close to Reverse Osmosis technology in term of the numbers of contaminants it can filter out and the quality of water it can produce.
So what is RO water?
In short, RO water is the purest and cleanest water you can get. Period.
And if you are not used to the taste of pure water, it can be easily compensated by using a Reverse Osmosis water filtration system with mineralization filter cartridge.
By combining the reverse osmosis filter with mineralizing water filter, you get the best of both worlds, results in getting the cleanest water with only beneficial minerals and great taste like mountain water, which is best for you and your family’s health.
The 10 Best Reverse Osmosis Systems Reviews
From 100s of Reverse Osmosis water filters that I’ve reviewed, here’re the carefully picked top 10 best RO water filter for well water & city water:
1. Best Tankless Reverse Osmosis System: Waterdrop WD-G3P600-W Tankless RO Water Filter Review
- Effectively remove 99% of major contaminants in tap water
- Tankless design ith a smart faucet
- An intelligent water filtration system
- Quick and easy installation
- Quick 1-turn filter change
- Space efficient
- Fast water filtration rate of 600 GDP
- Efficient wastewater to clean water ratio of 2:1
The Waterdrop Reverse Osmosis System WD-G3P600-W is an innovative high-performance tankless Reverse Osmosis water filtration system that’s capable to remove most contaminants in tap water with filtration size down to 0.0001um.
With the combination of sediment filter, activated carbon, and reverse osmosis technology, this water filtration system can effectively remove a wide range of contaminants such as chlorine taste and odor, heavy metals (eg: lead, mercury, copper), carcinogens (eg: cadmium, chromium), microorganisms (eg: cysts, bacteria), Inorganic contaminants (eg: arsenic, fluoride), organic contaminants (benzene, lindane), total dissolved solids (TDS), turbidity, and more.
Here’s the breakdown of the Waterdrop Reverse Osmosis G3P600 water filtration system:
Stage 1 – CF Filter (PP + Activated Carbon): Removes rust, sand, silt, chlorine taste and odor, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and more particulates.
Stage 2 – RO Filter (RO membrane): Removes contaminants like heavy metals, microorganisms, and inorganic compounds, and reduce total dissolved solids (TDS) and scale.
Stage 3 – CB Filter (Activated Carbon): Improve water taste.
Moreover, the tankless design takes up less space and protect the system from secondary pollution like bacteria growth.
Also, with the help of an internal pump, this tankless RO system is producing pure water at 600 GPD rate, which is about 8 times of most home Reverse Osmosis system in the market, no more waiting time for filling up your water bottle or cup.
The water efficiency is another factor to consider this Waterdrop Reverse Osmosis system. With wastewater to clean water ratio of 2:1, it can save a lot of water and reduce your water bill.
Note: You need to flush the whole system for at least 30 minutes or 8.5 gallons of water after installation. Alternatively, you may flush and wait until the blue light on faucet stop flashing.
Want a powerful Reverse Osmosis system but without the drawbacks like slow filtration rate, water tank, a large amount of wastewater, complex installation, and bulky in size?
The answer is Waterdrop WD-G3P600-W Tankless Reverse Osmosis system.
It’s nice-looking, compact in size, strong filtration performance, no water tank, fast water filtration rate, easy installation, quick filter replacement, less wastewater, smart faucet, smart leakage detector, and embedded with sensors to remind filter life, water quality, and TDS value in real-time.
Also, this Waterdrop Reverse Osmosis system comes with a leakage protector that monitor leakage at real-time and will cut off water and power supply automatically in case of leaking happen to protect your property and electrical appliances.
I also like the smart faucet that indicates the filter status, so that I don’t have to open up the bottom cabinet and check every time.
Basically, I think the only cons is the price.
However, in the long run, the greater water efficiency (2:1) does compensate for the extra cost of the system with the lower monthly water bills.
If you can afford it, get it and you won’t regret, it’s really good.
It is the best tankless RO water filter in the market.
- Strong water filtration power
- Fast water filtration rate of 600 GPD with an internal pump
- 2:1 wastewater to clean water ratio
- Compact and space-efficient
- Tankless design
- Fast and easy installation
- Quick filter replacement
- Good quality materials
- With leakage detector
- Comes with a smart and lead-free faucet
- Require electricity
Waterdrop G3P600 Discount Code: Apply the code "BRIZFEEL5" to enjoy an additional 5% OFF!
Looking for an even more powerful tankless Reverse Osmosis system with a fast water flow rate of 800 GPD, high water efficiency of 3:1 filtered water to wastewater ratio, and a LED UV sterilizer to eliminate all the microorganisms?
Waterdrop G3P800 discount code: Apply the code “BFGP” on the official Waterdrop store to enjoy an exclusive $199 OFF (that’s about 20%)!
Tempting to get the Waterdrop G3P600 Tankless RO system but too expensive for you?
No worries, there is a budget alternative – the Waterdrop G2 tankless RO water filter.
Waterdrop G2 Tankless RO Water Filter Review
The Waterdrop G2 is an economical alternative to the Waterdrop G3 Tankless RO system that has a similar design, flow rate, wastewater ratio but fewer features and slightly weaker filtration performance.
If the Waterdrop G3 model exceeds your budget, then you can consider the Waterdrop G2 tankless RO system.
Waterdrop G2 vs G3P600 Tankless RO system (Comparison)
Here are the main difference between the Waterdrop G2 and G3P600 tankless RO water filter:
|Model||Waterdrop G2||Waterdrop G3P600|
|Flow rate||400 GPD||600 GPD|
|Filtration||Two composite filters with 5 stages of water filtration||Three composite filters with 8 stages of water filtration|
|Faucet||Metal faucet||Smart faucet with a light loop to indicate filter life in different colors|
|Front panel||Filter life indicator||Filter life indicator with a real-time TDS reading LED display|
|Certification||FCC Approved||FCC Approved, NSF 58 & NSF 372 Certified, Reddot Design Award, UL Listed|
2. Best RO Water Filter for Water Efficiency: Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Full Contact with Permeate Pump Review
- Consists of 7 stages of filtration and enhancement which capable in removing up to 99% of contaminants.
- Patented Full Contact technology adds calcium and magnesium minerals twice during the purification process.
- Come with a built-in non-electric permeate pump (made in USA) to reduces water waste up to 80% and increases water production by up to 50%.
- Long lasting and easy-to-change filters.
- Replace filters once a year.
Home Master’s innovative design eliminates the most common problems like canister filter housing leaks, high water waste, slow flow rate, service challenges, and slightly acidic water.
Home Master Artesian Full Contact with Permeate Pump uses 7 stages of filtration, purification and enhancement to remove up to 99% of chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, dissolved solids, and other contaminants.
The RO systems use catalytic carbon filtration media in the carbon pre-filters to treat the chloramine which normal carbon filters are unable to effectively remove it.
Most of the RO water filter systems produce highly pure but slightly acidic water, and when the acidic water sits in the storage tank, the acidic water dissolves some of the rubber bladders and causes storage tank degradation which affects the taste of the water.
Home Master Artesian Full Contact with Permeate Pump prevents storage tank degradation from occurring with its patented ‘Full Contact’ remineralization system.
This system balances the water’s pH level by adding a small amount of calcium and minerals (30-60 mg/L combined) through a natural process when the water travels to the storage tank and when the water travels to the faucet.
Compared to other RO filters, the Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Full Contact use a modular “all-in-one” design where the filter is incorporated into the filter housing avoid the possibility of the microorganisms, sediments, and biofilm accumulate in the filter housing and cause leaking.
Besides, the Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Full Contact is made in USA and backed by a 5 years limited warranty.
If you need to remove viruses, just upgrade to the Home Master TMHP HydroPerfection Reverse Osmosis System with a UV filter and an Iron removal prefilter.
The unique point about this RO water filter system is it incorporated a permeate pump.
The permeate pump make use of the brine’s hydropower to overcome the back pressure from the tank and allow the RO water filter system to take advantage of the pressure it has to fill up the water tank faster, hence reduce the amount of brine by up to 80% and increase water production by up to 50%, which improve the system efficiency significantly.
It’s the best RO system (under sink) for water efficiency.
Also, it provides slightly cleaner water by eliminating TDS creep.
On top of that, the Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Full Contact uses larger fittings, tubing and high-flow components to further increase the water’s flow rate to the faucet. So it’s great for those who want to fill up their glasses quick.
From my research, I found that the majority of buyers have positive reviews in using this Reverse Osmosis filter for months to years, which you can rest assured for the product quality in the long run.
This is the best Reverse Osmosis system for water efficiency.
- Has a permeate pump which reduces the brine (wastewater) and increases the water flow without electricity
- Fast water flow rate
- Quick and simple installation
- The price is reasonable for its features and quality
- Comes with integrated filters and filter housing that you can replace easily
- The instruction manual is not simple enough for beginners with no basic skill
- The design of the whole system is just normal and looks a little bit cheap
- The quality of the fitting is moderate
- Due to the addition of a permeate pump, there are more tubes crossing around and make the whole system look messy
3. Best RO System: APEC Top Tier Supreme RO-PH90 Review
- 6-stages reverse osmosis drinking water filter system.
- High flow rate at 90 GPD.
- Improved water taste by raising pH level and neutralizing acidity in the water.
- Provide high-purity mineralized drinking water with calcite remineralization.
Come with 100% lead-free and metal premium designer faucet and FDA Certified JG food grade tubing for safe and contamination-free drinking water.
The system also includes a 100% US-made high-purity calcium carbonate mineralizing water filter to enhance pH in the water, which great for those who looking for alkaline water.
Also, the APEC Top Tier Supreme RO-PH90 water filter comes with 2 years manufacturer warranty and lifetime support to provide you with peace of mind.
Capable to remove 99% of contaminants including chlorine, lead, bacteria, fluoride, virus, heavy metal, arsenic, and more.
Nonetheless, the water filter is WQA certified.
If your house’s water pressure is low, then you may consider the APEC Water System RO-PUMP-120V (with US Made Ultra-Quiet Booster Pump) which operates under low pressure (0 – 30 psi).
In term of performance and overall functionality, APEC Top Tier Supreme RO-PH90 is the best Reverse Osmosis system for home use. It has high flow rate, high tank capacity, remineralization, and made from US-based reputable brand.
To me, this reverse osmosis filter system is quite easy to install as there’s nothing complicated to put the system up, mostly just connect the tubings.
Also, the instructions given are very clear and even come with pictures, I just follow it closely and get the job done in under an hour.
Oh ya, remember to flush the system first before you start drinking the water. To do that, after you’ve installed the system, open your water supply and fill up the tank until full (for me it took about 2.5 hours).
Once the tank is full, drain it until empty and repeat the same process again for one more time before you start drinking the water.
- Build quality is good
- High flow rate
- High water storage capacity
- Installation is simple and easy
- Connectors and fitting are industry standard
- No leak detector
- Price on the high side
4. Best RO Water Filter for Alkalinity: Express Water Alkaline RO Water Filtration System ROALK5D Review
- Up to 20% more oxygen than regular water.
- The Active Mineral Technology adds Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and other minerals into your water.
- Removes up to 99.99% of Bacteria, Viruses, Heavy Metal, Chlorine, Radium, Lead, Arsenic, Fluoride, and more.
- Quick and easy installation.
Express water filter system consists of 5 stages of RO filtration combine with 5 stages of mineralization, giving you clean drinking water with useful minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and more.
Here’s the breakdown of the 10-stages express water filter system:
1st stage of filtration is a Sediment filter which filters out rust, dirt, sand, and dust.
2nd and 3rd stages are Carbon Block and Granular Carbon Filters which focus on getting rid of chlorine, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), and odor.
4th stage is the core – RO Membrane. The RO Membrane focuses on the most difficult contaminants like arsenic, lead, chromium, TDS, radium and more.
5th-9th stages are mineralizing water filter which adds 5 stages of mineralization, antioxidants, and oxygen into your clean water. The minerals are ionically activated so the water picks up more mineral contents as it passes through the five stages of mineral rocks. The same way the healthiest natural springs on Earth add minerals.
10th stage is a Post Activated Carbon Filter which does a final pass on your water, right before it comes through the faucet, removing any possible taste or odor.
The filtered RO water is also a great source of antioxidants with up to 20% more oxygen.
For the accessories part, the Express Water Filter System ROALK5D comes with a fast flow rate faucet with 0.8 GPM and a 4 gallons (3.2 gallons net water capacity) water storage tank and tank stand.
The Express water filter system comes partially pre-assembled, so it just took me about 35 minutes to identify all the parts and put it up, which saved my pocket on hiring a plumber.
During the system installation, I found one small flaw which is the top 3 horizontal filters actually block the screw holes for hanging, so I have to remove them in order to tighten the screws. Anyway, it’s not a big deal thought.
If you are concern about the size, no worry, it’s a compact system made to fit under a sink in a cabinet, either sit upright or on its side (great for small cabinet).
Out of curiosity, I’ve measured the system produced water with my pH meter and got a reading of 10.2 pH (comparable to some of the expensive alkalizing machines in the market which cost you thousands of dollars), which is great for people who preferred alkaline water.
The system uses separate cartridges to add minerals into the water and raise water pH level naturally (same as stream water), which is far better than those ionized water.
I’d definitely recommend Express Water Filter ROALK5D to those who prefer to drink alkaline water as it’s one of the best reverse osmosis water systems for alkalinity.
- The setup is fast and simple with their Quick Connect tubing system
- The system is compatible with 3/8″ and 1/2″ under sink connections
- High water storage capacity
- For water safety and quality wise, the Express Water system is certified by an independent laboratory to NSF standard 58
- For those who prefer lower alkalinity, then the system output water pH is too high for you
- The company is closed every weekend and all major holidays, so it could be difficult for those who only free on weekend to seek for technical support
5. Best RO Water Filter for Well Water: iSpring RO Water Filter (UV) RCC7AK-UV Review
- The water filter system contains 7 different stages of filtration and sterilization to remove up to 99% of contaminants, including arsenic, mercury, fluoride, chlorine, hormones, asbestos, bacteria, viruses, giardia, microorganisms, and more.
- The existence of UV sterilization stage makes RCC7AK-UV the perfect solution to purifying water sources containing excessive microorganisms (eg: water from wells, lakes, and streams).
- The Alkaline Remineralization (AK) filter restores useful minerals and produces alkaline-balance water.
- Transparent 1st stage housing makes filter inspection easy.
The Alkaline Remineralization stage restores the right proportion of healthy minerals and natural taste, and the high-performance UV stage provides an extra level of protection against viruses and microorganism contamination.
The iSpring RCC7AK-UV are tested annually by the WQA and are certified to remove up to 99.99% of harmful contaminants that commonly appear in city. All components including filters, tank, tubing and other water-contacting parts are manufactured to comply strictly with NSF/ANSI standard (58 for reverse osmosis) and FDA (CFR-Parts 174).
The iSpring RO water filter system also went through rigorous testing for air leaks, pressure, and cycle resistance to maintain the quality and high-performance standard.
The iSpring RCC7AK-UV is a 7-stages multi-layered RO water filter system built around a 75 GPD RO membrane that provides optimal protection against over 1,000 different types of contaminants, including arsenic, lead, fluoride, bacteria, viruses, mercury, sodium, asbestos, chlorine, hormones, giardia, and more.
The filtration system consists of 7 filtering stages, each one is designed to progressively remove contaminants and improve the water quality:
1st stage (pre-filter) – PP sediment filter remove large particles and contaminants to protect the water filter system from clogging.
2nd and 3rd stage (pre-filters) – Carbon KDF (GAC) filter and Carbon block (CTO) filter are used to protect the RO membrane from chemicals like chlorine and chloramines.
4th stage (core filter) – The Reverse Osmosis (RO) filter removes contaminants down to 0.0001 microns, which is too small until only water molecules can squeeze through.
5th stage (post-filter) – The GAC filter provides final polishing by absorbing undesirable taste, odor, and color before the purified water is delivered to the next stage.
6th stage (post-filter) – The 11-watt Ultraviolet Sterilization stage provides an additional level of protection against a wide variety of viruses and microorganism that might pass through the RO filter.
7th stage (post-filter) – The Alkaline Remineralization filter restores healthy minerals and a natural alkaline balance to produce a more natural taste.
The combination of both GAC and CTO filters in the 2nd and 3rd stages provide greater protection against harmful chemicals like chlorine than CTO alone.
The iSpring RCC7AK-UV used an 11 watt UV lamp shielded in a stainless steel housing with a flow sensor switch to control the UV lamp on and off automatically with water flow for power saving and lengthening the lifespan of the UV lamp.
The UV sterilization stage kills the residual viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms that could potentially remain in the water after the RO process.
The Alkaline Remineralization (AK) stage is designed to restore the natural minerals and alkaline balance of the water. The red mineral stone portion of the AK filter adds back healthy minerals including not just calcium, magnesium, and more. The calcite portion of the filter neutralizes the pH of the RO water and make the water tastes better with the presence of minerals.
The system also includes a lead-free, solid brass faucet with brushed nickel finish for you to mount on the counter to enjoy your clean and healthy drinking water.
For your peace of mind, the entire system is backed by a 1-year money-back guarantee, a 1-year manufacturer warranty, and iSpring’s lifetime technical support.
From my findings, the iSpring RCC7AK-UV is the best Reverse Osmosis system for well water.
Personally, I think UV is unnecessary for treated water unless the water source is untreated (eg: well, lake, river) and the condition is really bad.
But if you are looking for a complete solution of water purification, Reverse Osmosis filtration system with UV sterilization is by far the most complete method available.
The whole system is designed for do-it-yourself installation and fits nicely under a standard kitchen sink.
The installation is straightforward and guided by clear written instructions, instructional videos, and access to iSpring’s technical support team.
This is the best Reverse Osmosis system for well water.
- The installation of iSpring RCC7AK-UV is considered simple for someone with basic skill
- Compared to the standard RO water filter system, the iSpring RCC7AK-UK includes 2 additional stages, which is the UV stage and the Alkaline Remineralization stage
- The customer service of iSpring is quick in handling the customer’s problem and issue
- Required power socket and electricity to turn on the UV light
- The UV light could be unnecessary for a treated water source
- The system set up time could be time-consuming due to many connections and the instruction is not simple enough for inexperienced owners to install it
6. Budget Alternative for Best RO System: APEC Top Tier ROES-PH75 Review
- Made, designed, and assembled in USA to guarantee water quality and safety.
- The 6-stage filtration system removes up to 99% of bacteria, viruses, cysts, organics, chemicals, and more.
- With 75 GPD flow rate.
- The US made cartridge uses food-grade calcium for water pH enhancement, improved alkalinity, and great taste.
- 2 year extended manufacturer warranty with registration.
- The water filter system comes with 100% lead-free designer faucet, FDA Certified JG Food grade tubing, and parts to provide contamination-free water.
- High-quality leak-free quick connect fittings require no extra lock clips to seal leak and does not rely on water leak detector to protect your home.
The APEC ROES-PH75 water filter is a 6-stage 75 GPD reverse osmosis water filtration system with 100% US-made re-mineralizing calcium filter that adds high-purity calcium minerals to enhance the pH level and improve water taste for people who prefer mineral or alkaline water.
The system also comes with 2x carbon blocks to remove up to 99.99% chlorine in the water to protect the RO membrane.
Here’s the breakdown of each stage’s functionality:
1st Stage: High-capacity polypropylene sediment filter removes large particles such as rust, dust, and more to protect and extend the life of the membrane and the whole system.
2nd & 3rd Stage: Double premium extruded carbon blocks to get rid of unpleasant chlorine, tastes, odors, colors, VOCs, and other common chemicals from the water.
4th Stage: High Rejection TFC reverse osmosis membrane removes up to 99% of total dissolved solids (TDS) and other contaminants such as fluoride, arsenic, chromium, lead, bacteria, viruses and more.
5th Stage: Advanced coconut shell refining carbon filter (Total Contamination Removal) removes any possible residual taste from the water tank.
6th Stage: pH+ alkaline re-mineralizing calcium filter adds high-purity calcium carbonate to increase water alkalinity and improve taste.
As this RO water filter system is similar to the previous one, so you may either:
- Choose the supreme version if you want higher flow rate.
- Stick with this if you want a budget option with similar quality of filtered water.
- APEC has a great customer service team, so usually, you can talk to a real person in less than a minute for any assistance
- The water filtration is strong as It can turn a yellowish water source into a crystal clear and tasty drinking water.
- High tank capacity
- The setup instructions in the manual are easy to follow
- The water flow rate is a little bit low for a big family. You may need to constantly fill up additional water jars for storage to avoid constantly running out of the water
- Only have calcium for those who prefer more type of minerals
- The brine (wastewater) sometimes hit the 1:4 ratio, which is a lot if you didn’t repurpose it
7. Best for Pure RO Water: Aquasure Premier Advance AS-PR75A RO Water Filter System Review
- Aquasure Premier Advance Quick Twist RO water filter system is capable to remove up to 99% of contaminants including chlorine, bacteria, virus, arsenic, fluoride, heavy metals, lead, and more contaminants.
- High performance RO membrane with the water production rate of 75 GPD.
- Simple to install and maintain with the advanced quick twist filter cartridge design, one array system layout, Hydrofit Quick Connection, and the leak-proof shutoff valve at each individual stages.
- Extra security is provided with the inclusion of Flow-Lock, Shok-Blok leak protection system in ensuring a peace of mind when using the system.
- Comes with NSF certified lead-free designer faucet, tubings, and components to ensure the highest quality and safety.
- 3 years warranty on registered Aquasure product and lifetime tech support.
The Aquasure RO filter system is equipped with both FLOWLOK and SHOKBLOK technology that provides an extra level of security in leak prevention and system failure.
Here’s the Aquasure water filtration stages breakdown:
1st stage – High capacity 5-micron polypropylene (PP) sediment filter.
2nd stage – High-Performance 5-micron Extruded Carbon Block filter.
3rd stage – High-rejection 75 GPD Reverse Osmosis Membrane.
4th stage – Post stage taste refining coconut shell carbon filter.
The Aquasure RO water filter is a standard 4-stages RO filtration system that gives you the basic filtration at lower price point.
The installation is simple as the filters are pre-installed into the housing with a leak-proof safety mechanism, so all you need to do is connect the tubings to complete the system.
This is the best Reverse Osmosis system for the purest water.
- Simple and fast installation
- Easy maintenance with their quick twist filter design
- Low entry for RO water filter system
- The pre-filter stages only have one carbon block to absorb the chlorine
8. Best RO Water Filter for Portability: APEC Portable Countertop RO-CTOP-C Review
- Compatible with most standard faucets.
- Plug and drink, installation-free, and lightweight portable water filter system.
- High-performance reverse osmosis water filtration system with a flow rate of 90 GPD.
- Come with high capacity filters for long-lasting performance.
- 100% made, designed and assembled in US.
The APEC countertop RO-CTOP-C is a portable reverse osmosis water filter with high-performance filtration power.
The compact size will ensure it only takes up the minimum space on your countertop.
One thing I liked about this water filter is its portability.
Sometimes, I brought it along with me to short vacations where no drinkable water is provided. My friends even said the water taste like mountain water (loved to hear that).
Also, if you currently stay in a rented house for temporary, you may consider getting this water filter as you can easily bring along when you move house.
This is the best RO water filter for portability.
- This countertop RO water filter system is great for a small kitchen where you can’t install the RO system with a tank
- High filtration rate
- It’s very easy to set up the system by following the instructions given (simple and clear)
- It can filter about 2-3 gallons of water in an hour with good water pressure
- Not compatible with all type of faucets such as designer faucets
- No water tank for storage, so you need to fill up your water jar manually from time to time
9. Great Overall: iSpring RO Water Filter RCC7AK Review
- The water filter system contains 6 different stages of filtration to remove up to 99% of contaminants, including arsenic, mercury, fluoride, chlorine, hormones, asbestos, and more.
- The Alkaline Remineralization (AK) filter restores useful minerals and produces alkaline-balance water.
- Transparent 1st stage housing makes filter inspection easy.
The iSpring RCC7AK is a 6 stages Reverse Osmosis water filter with Alkaline Mineralization.
It’s the non-UV version of iSpring RCC7AK-UV.
For those who don’t need the UV feature, you may get this at a lower cost compared to the UV counterpart.
It has the same features and functionalities as iSpring RCC7AK-UV except for the UV part.
- Great water filtration
- With Alkaline Remineralization (AK) filter
- Simple installation
- The customer service of iSpring is quick in handling the customer’s problem and issue
- The system set up time could be time-consuming due to many connections and the instruction is not simple enough for inexperienced owners to install it
10. Budget Alternative for Pure RO Water: Whirlpool WHER25 RO Water Filter Review
- Effectively reduce chlorine taste and odor, sediment, lead, cysts, chemicals, and dissolved solids.
- Ultraease Technology allows for easy and hassle-free filter changes.
- Low maintenance cost due to fewer filters.
- Small system size for space saving.
- The EZ Change Indicator Light lets you know when your filter needs to be changed.
This system has been tested according to NSF/ANSI 58 and 42 standards. Water Treatment Device Certificate Number 06 – 1780 by the State of California Department of Health Services.
The filter replacement is really simple and hassle-free for this RO filter with its UltraEase Technology, as you don’t need to turn off the water supply during the filter changing process.
Not only that, the EZ-Change Indicator Light tells you when it’s the time to replace your filter, so no more guesswork and the needs to open up filter housings for checking.
- The design and exterior of the whole system including faucet and tank are great
- The filters changing process is quick and easy
- There were complaints about the malfunction filter system and bad support from Whirlpool company
Comparison of the Best Reverse Osmosis Water Filters (Table)
Here’s the comparison of the best reverse osmosis systems:
|Waterdrop WD-G3P600-W||600||8 (No)||Best Tankless RO||Check|
|Home Master TMAFC-ERP||75||6 (Yes)||Best Water Efficiency||Check|
|APEC Supreme RO-PH90||50||6 (Yes)||Best RO System||Check|
|Express Water ROALK5D||50||10 (Yes)||Best for Alkalinity||Check|
|iSpring RCC7AK-UV||75||7 (Yes)||Best for Well Water||Check|
|APEC ROES-PH75||75||6 (Yes)||Best Overall (Budget)||Check|
|Aquasure AS-PR75A||75||4 (No)||Best for Pure Water||Check|
|APEC RO-CTOP-C||90||4 (No)||Best for Portability||Check|
|iSpring RCC7AK||75||6 (Yes)||Great Overall||Check|
|Whirlpool WHER25||50||3 (No)||Pure Water (Budget)||Check|
Here’s What I Look For In The Best Reverse Osmosis System
The Best Reverse Osmosis System Is Effective In Removing Water Contaminants
The main purpose of using a water filtration system is to remove contaminants from water to ensure the water we use is clean and safe.
So, evaluating the filtration performance is crucial when considering the right water filtration system for your home.
The best RO water filter should be highly effective in removing a wide spectrum of water contaminants including dissolved solids.
The Best Reverse Osmosis System Is Providing Good Water Flow Rate
Nobody likes to wait for their cup of water for more than 10 seconds, hence, the best RO system should provide an adequate water flow rate.
While the RO system has a slower flow rate compared to other types of water filtration systems, however, it shouldn’t be too slow until it affects your family’s experience in using the RO system.
The Best Reverse Osmosis System Is Made of High-Quality Materials
Product material is important when comes to a product like a water filtration system that has constant contact with our drinking water.
Therefore, the best Reverse Osmosis water filter should be made of high-quality materials to ensure durability and safety.
When choosing the RO system, prioritizes a product that is made of high-quality materials such as stainless steel, and if it is plastic, make sure it is food-grade and BPA-free.
The Best Reverse Osmosis System Is Great Value for Money
Getting a RO system for your home shouldn’t be a matter that causes financial stress to you.
Therefore, the best Reverse Osmosis water filter should be affordable to you.
You should gauge your affordability and choose the one that fits within your budget and give you the best value for your money.
Buyer’s Guide for Indoor Water Filters (Reverse Osmosis & Non-RO)
First, just forget about all those gimmicks and marketing tactics like “live water”, “crystal water”, “ionized water”, “diamond water”, and etc. You DON’T need that to have a healthier body.
In fact, the water treatment industry is full of LIES due to its highly profitable nature, so you have to be smart to not fall into all different kind of marketing traps.
Many dishonest and irresponsible companies just repackage their old technology with terms like “nano”, “ultra”, and “living” and then sell to their prey using all kind of marketing tactics.
It’s such a sad thing when someone looking for a way to have better health but ended up getting conned by these greedy sharks.
That’s the reason I prepared this buyer guide to help you in understanding the basic of water filtration to choose the best RO water filter for your family.
How to Choose the Best Reverse Osmosis System
Water, especially drinking water, has been playing a vital role in our life.
We take it daily, from morning till night.
But the thing is, there are more than just H2O in the water coming out from your tap, and those contaminants might be harmful to your health.
Therefore, to ensure the water is clean, safe, free from contaminants and chlorine, you need a great water filter system to do the job.
There are only 2 types of water – safe to drink & unsafe to drink.
Below are the 3 steps for choosing the best reverse osmosis system for well water and city water:
Step #1: Know What Is Inside Your Water
We knew that there are many contaminants inside your water, and that’s the reason why we need to have water filters – to filter them out in order to serve you safer and cleaner water.
Of course, not every single contaminant is harmful to our health, so let’s identify the risk of some of the potential contaminants below
- Harmful bacteria (Harmful)
- Iron (Will block your water filter) (Not harmful)
- Lead (from plumbing equipment like pipes, hoses, and etc.) (Harmful)
- Viruses (Harmful)
- Chlorine (have smell & taste) (Not harmful)
- Salts (May cause limescales) (Not harmful)
- Fluoride (Harmful)
- Sediment (rust, sand, and etc.) (Harmful)
- Pesticides (Harmful)
- Mercury (Harmful)
- Nitrates (Harmful)
- Chloramine (Harmful)
- Arsenic (from plumbing equipment) (Harmful)
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) (Harmful)
- Pharmaceuticals (Harmful)
- Bisphenol A (from plastics) (Harmful)
Step #2: Know What You Want To Filter Out
After knowing what’s inside your water, the next would be what you want to filter out from your water source.
In most cases, you may want to remove harmful bacteria, viruses, sediment, lead, VOCs, taste, and odor.
So, make sure your water filter system can remove all these contaminants to serve its purpose – to protect your health.
Step #3: Pick A Water Filter System To Do The Job
Alright, now you know what might be in your water and what you want to remove, the last step is to choose a corresponding water filter system according to your budget.
Since most of the water filter systems has few stages, just add up their effects to get the overall functionality of the system such as what it can remove from the water (contaminants) and add into the water (useful minerals).
For instances, the APEC Top Tier Supreme RO-PH90 reverse osmosis filter is capable in filtering out all the above listed harmful contaminants, so it fulfilled the criteria as a good water filter and is recommended to get for your house if within your budget.
It is also the best RO water filter in overall.
What Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System is Really About
If you ever heard about something like “you need minerals from water”, “reverse osmosis water is bad for you” or “RO water is dead water”… flush out all these crap from your brain, those statements are based on old research articles from 30 years ago and is no longer relevant.
Do you really think you need to get minerals from water? If so, I think you need to drink a few towers of water in order to get sufficient minerals.
Do you read any news regarding someone who dies or falls sick because of RO water? No!
RO water is the purest water that you can get easily and affordably, period.
If you want some good minerals in your water, simply get the RO system with remineralization, then you have the cleanest water with only good minerals you want.
All the best Reverse Osmosis water filter systems are built with pre-filters, RO membrane, and post-filters:
In short, pre-filters are used to filter out sediment and protect the RO membrane (specifically from chlorine).
Chlorine can damage the Reverse Osmosis membrane, so it has to be getting rid of using a carbon block.
Generally, the pre-filters will consist of sediment filter (to protect the carbon block from large-sized impurities), and then 1 to 2 carbon block (to absorb the chlorine in water).
A best RO water filter must consist of both a sediment filter and an activated carbon filter.
The core of the Reverse Osmosis system. RO membrane can filter out 99.99% of impurities in water, which make it the safest choice of drinking water.
When the water flows into the RO membrane (which consists of many layers of filters), all the impurities will be blocked and washed away into the drain as waste water so that the RO membrane can continue to function well and last longer than a normal filter.
In most water situations, the Reverse Osmosis TDS removal rate is typically between 90-99% depending on your tap water pressure, water temperature, and the RO membrane.
Here’s the thing, the pure water coming out from the RO membrane will then be stored in a water tank, which may cause the water to smell bad.
So, the purposes of post filters are to filter out the bad taste and remineralize the water (optional).
Also, in case you are worried about whether the water tank will grow bacterias or leach chemicals into your water, some RO system will have a post filter to take care of them as prevention.
As a cross-checking, make sure your RO water filter system has a sediment filter (washable or replaceable) to block all the large-sized impurities (to protect the rest filters) and carbon block for chlorine (to protect the RO membrane), smell, and bad taste.
For normal household usage, the RO membrane can last for 2 years (as it constantly gets washed), sediment filter will need to be changed every 3-6 months depending on the quality of water, and the rest filters will last for 1 year.
Most of the time, reverse osmosis water filter is used as point-of-use (POU) filters due to its characteristics.
Understanding the Semipermeable RO Membrane
The semipermeable RO membrane is a submicron membrane that only allows some molecules (eg: water molecules) to pass through, making it highly effective in removing a wide spectrum of contaminant ions, including microorganisms and organics compounds.
The concept is similar to filtering coffee grounds with a filter screen, which allows coffee liquid to flow through the tiny pores but not the larger size coffee grounds.
It’s the reverse mechanism of the Osmosis process, the different is, Osmosis process occurs naturally without the need of external force, but for Reverse Osmosis, an external force is required to make it works, and that is the reason why Reverse Osmosis water filter requires high water pressure to operate.
How Does Reverse Osmosis System Work
Reverse Osmosis works by forcing the feed water across a semipermeable RO membrane with high pressure and leaving 99.99% (if not all) of dissolved solids behind in the wastewater (brine), which will be flushed away from the system.
As a result, the RO water passed through the semipermeable RO membrane is ultra-clean and contains no (or minimal) dissolved solids.
In standard filtration, when the water flows through the filter media, the contaminants are attached to the filter media’s surface or inside the filter media, eventually reducing the water flow rate and clog the filter media.
But for Reverse Osmosis system, it uses a cross filtration mechanism which separates the feed water into two streams, a filtered water stream and a wastewater stream, allowing the semipermeable RO membrane to be washed constantly to prevent any contaminants buildup and keep the membrane’s surface clean to last for 2-3 years.
The Reverse Osmosis technology is what makes desalination possible, it can turn seawater into safe drinking water by removing the salts and other harmful contaminants from water.
What Does Reverse Osmosis System Remove
Reverse Osmosis is a powerhouse in the water filtration world, capable of removing over 99% of contaminants, including:
- Dissolved solids
- Organic compounds
- Inorganic compounds
- Microorganisms like bacteria
- Sediments like rust, sand, dust, and silt
- Heavy metals
- and more
What Reverse Osmosis System Does Not Remove
While the Reverse Osmosis system has a strong filtration capability, however, it cannot remove 100% of contaminants in water.
The RO membrane removes contaminants based on their size and charge.
Therefore, it cannot remove atoms with a size smaller than its pore size, due to this limitation, a RO system shouldn’t be used alone to treat water with a high concentration of microorganisms, especially viruses.
To effectively remove viruses, it should be paired with a UV filter.
The RO system is ineffective against gases like CO2 because these gases have a low molecular weight and fewer charges.
For municipally treated water, the main weakness of a RO membrane is Chlorine, the Chlorine chemical can destroy the RO membrane over time, and that is the reason why RO systems need to have an activated carbon filter BEFORE the RO membrane to protect it.
The Advantages of Reverse Osmosis System
Here are the three reasons why you should use a Reverse Osmosis system for home:
- Superior filtration performance
- Reduce TDS level
- Long lifespan
The first advantage alone is enough for most people to use a RO system, aren’t the main purpose of getting a water filtration system is to remove as many harmful contaminants from water so that it’s safe to drink?
The Disadvantages of Reverse Osmosis System
Here are the drawbacks of a RO system:
- Produce wastewater
- Low water production rate
- Require high water pressure
The low water production rate issue can be tackled with a high-production RO system such as the Waterdrop Reverse Osmosis Tankless WD-G3P600-W.
For the high water pressure requirement, I believe most households have enough water pressure for a home Reverse Osmosis system to work, but if not, you can get a water pump to increase the feed water pressure.
How RO Water Filter Work with Other Water Filtration Systems
Although the Reverse Osmosis filter can remove a large variety of contaminants by itself, it’s not an effective solution to use a standalone RO filter as the main water filtration system.
A RO filter works best when used along with other types of water filtration system, such as:
- Activated Carbon filter: To protect the RO membrane from Chlorine and remove bad taste and odor – MUST HAVE!
- Sediment filter: To protect the RO membrane and rest filters from larger particles – Crucial to extend the life of the main filtration system and improve the efficiency
- Water Softener: Used as a pretreatment system to soften the water to protect the RO membrane from scale buildup – Important for hard water treatment.
- Ultraviolet filter: To remove any residual viruses that passed through the RO membrane – Recommended for water with microorganisms like well water.
Do You Need a Reverse Osmosis System for Home?
While reverse osmosis filtration system remains one of the top filtering systems for water, it does come with some weak points like water wastage, water tank, and lower water flow rate compared to other filtration technologies.
However, the advantages of having an water filtration system with reverse osmosis is more than the disadvantages, especially in the aspect of health (the main reason for you to look for a water filter).
So, I concludes that the reverse osmosis water filtration system is not compulsory but highly recommended for home use.
What to Consider When Choosing The Best Reverse Osmosis System (RO)
While Reverse Osmosis filtration system offers the cleanest water for you, there are some weak points and things to consider before getting one:
- Avoid cheap water filter system as most probably it is made from cheap and low-quality components which produce unsafe water that may harm your health (not worth the saving!).
- If possible, choose a water filter system from reputable brands due to their strict quality control.
- Reverse Osmosis water filter system will produce brine (rinse water used to wash and carry away impurities from the RO membrane), so make sure you are okay with that or use the brine for other purposes like flushing and etc.
- Reverse Osmosis water filter system requires high water pressure to maintain the water flow rate. If the water pressure is low, you may want to consider other types of filtration system (or wait for it to fill up the tank slowly).
- Most reverse osmosis system for home come with a water tank, so make sure you have sufficient space for it.
Best Reverse Osmosis System Brands
There are a few water filtration system manufacturers that consistently produce high-quality RO water filter system for home use, and I highly recommend you to buy from them due to their proven records and reputations in making great products.
You can find the best RO water purifier in the world from these companies.
Here are some of the best Reverse Osmosis system brands in the market:
- Home Master
- Express Water
You can find these water filter brands in my top 10 list of best RO water filters.
FAQ for the Best RO Systems
I also prepared a frequently asked question section to clear some of your doubts and questions regarding the Reverse Osmosis water filter system.
1. What is RO?
RO is an acronym of Reverse Osmosis, which is a type of water purification technology that are popular and widely available in the market.
2. What is RO water?
RO water is the filtered water produced by reverse osmosis water filtration system.
3. Is reverse osmosis water bad for you?
No, reverse osmosis water is simply the purest drinking water. There’s no solid scientific proof or research shows that RO water is bad for you.
4. How much a good reverse osmosis system cost?
A good reverse osmosis system cost between $150 to $600.
5. Is the water filter brand important?
Not absolutely but is recommended if it’s a highly reputable brand in term of product safety, quality control and customer support.
As we discussed earlier, the important parts of considering a water filter system are about the material of the components, where the components are manufactured, and the functionality of the filter system.
So more importantly, choose a water filter system which all its components are manufactured by reputable companies with strict material control and strict quality control (eg: US-based manufacturers).
6. What is the best reverse osmosis system for home?
The best reverse osmosis water filter for home is APEC Top Tier Supreme RO-PH90.
7. Is NSF certification required for water filter system?
The answer is no, but it’s recommended to have NSF certified for all components that have contact with water (especially for smaller brands).
NSF is a certification system and not a quality control system, so it can’t guarantee the filter performance in the long run and the quality of your filter when it’s manufactured (since thousands of filters are being manufactured and shipped to customers directly without going through NSF).
8. Is RO water suitable for people who have kidney or health problem?
Yes, because RO water is pure water without any minerals and contaminants.
9. How long can your water filter cartridge last?
For safety wise, any filter cartridge that is not washable should change every 1 year (maximum) except sediment filter which required to change more frequently (2-4 times a year depending on water quality).
While for the RO membrane, the lifespan is about 2 years since it gets washed constantly.
10. How to know whether the water filter cartridge is clogged or it’s time to replace?
You can measure the pressure drop by installing pressure gauges before and after the filter.
When the filter cartridge is new, run the water filter system and write down the difference of pressure reading (let’s say 2 psi). Then measure again after a few months, you’ll notice the pressure difference is increasing, let’s say to 7 psi.
When the difference of 2 pressure gauges reading reach about 15, it’s time to change the filter cartridge (or wash if it’s washable).
11. Can a TDS meter really measure the Total Dissolved Solids in water?
I have seen many people used a TDS meter or TDS pen to measure Total Dissolved Solids in their water without knowing what is really being measured.
In short, what TDS meter measured is the electrical conductivity (EC) in water (pure H2O has virtually zero EC), and then times the EC value by a factor between 0.5 to 1 (set by the manufacturer) to estimates the TDS (which is not the real Total Dissolved Solids in water).
For instances, dissolved organic solids (eg: sugar) and microscopic solid particles (eg: colloids) are not measurable by the TDS meter because they do not affect the water conductivity significantly.
The accurate way to measure the actual TDS in water is to evaporate the water and then weighing the dissolved residue left.
12. If the RO water filter is “Made in USA”, is that mean it’s 100% safe and good?
Not really. For example, a water filter company bought all the low-quality components from elsewhere and assembled in USA, the company is allowed to say the water filter system is “Made in USA”, but this doesn’t justify the product quality and safety.
What you really need to know is where the components (which used to build the water filter system) are manufactured. For instance, if all the components are made in USA and assembled in Thailand, then the water filter system is considered safe
Summary for the Best Reverse Osmosis Water Filters
If your water quality is bad (or hard), or any of your family members has health problem, or you want the best water filtration, then you must go for RO water filter system as other widely available filtration technologies still can’t match with Reverse Osmosis filtration technology in term of the number of impurities it can filter and get rid of.
When comes to the wide selection of reverse osmosis water filters available in the market, choose it according to what you need and your budget, but don’t tolerance on water quality and safety for your health.
If you simply want the best regardless of budget, APEC Top Tier Supreme RO-PH90 is for you.
Looking for a tankless RO system with a high water production rate? Then I highly recommend Waterdrop Reverse Osmosis System WD-G3P600-W or WD-G3P800-W, which is my favorite RO system and the best RO water filter with a fast filtration rate.
If you are looking for the best Reverse Osmosis system for well water, then the iSpring RCC7AK-UV Deluxe is the ideal option.
For a big family with good water drinkers, I’ll recommend Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Full Contact with Permeate Pump for it’s less brine produced and high water filtration rate so you won’t run out of drinkable water (and save your bill too).
Also, no matter what water filter you choose, it’s always good to have a separate front end sediment filter (washable or replaceable) to prevent your main water filters to get clogged in few months’ time and prolong the lifespan of your water filter system.
Conclusion: The Best Reverse Osmosis System Is System That Meets Your Needs The Most And Is Priced Reasonably
As each family has different requirements, preferences, and budgets, so no RO system can fulfill the needs of every family.
That’s the reason I list out multiple options that are the best in a certain area to fulfill the requirements of different families.
Ultimately, the best Reverse Osmosis system for your home is the one that fulfills your needs and budget.