Water Filtration System Review

Top 10 Best Reverse Osmosis System [Reviews & Buying Guide]

Best Reverse Osmosis System for Home image

Looking for the best Reverse Osmosis system (RO) that is high quality, leak-free, and at an affordable price?

I have the answer for you.

I have worked and studied the water treatment industry for more than 10 years so I dare to say that I know this industry very well and I know exactly what a reverse osmosis water filtration system should like.

I’ll share with you the best Reverse Osmosis system available in the market with reasonable price so that you won’t end up paying the premium cost for a water filter (RO) that is not what you really 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.


 

Why Go for RO Water Filter System

Because it’s great.

For consumers, there are no other water filtration technologies that can come close to water filtration system with 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 don’t use to the taste of pure water, it can be easily compensated by using an reverse osmosis water filtration system with the 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.

 

Top 10 Best Reverse Osmosis System Reviews

From 100s of water filters (reverse osmosis) I’ve reviewed, here’re the carefully picked top 10 RO filtering systems for water:

  1. APEC Top Tier Supreme RO-PH90Best Overall
  2. Waterdrop Tankless Reverse Osmosis WD-G3-WBest Tankless RO
  3. Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Full Contact (Permeate Pump)Best for Brine
  4. Express Water Alkaline RO Water Filtration System ROALK5DBest for Alkalinity
  5. iSpring RO Water Filter (UV) RCC7AK-UVBest Reverse Osmosis with UV
  6. APEC Top Tier ROES-PH75Budget Alternative for Best Overall
  7. Aquasure Premier Advance AS-PR75A RO Water FilterBest for Pure RO Water
  8. APEC Portable Countertop RO-CTOP-CBest for Portability
  9. iSpring RO Water Filter RCC7AKGreat Overall
  10. Whirlpool WHER25 RO Water FilterBudget Alternative for Pure RO Water

 

1. APEC Top Tier Supreme RO-PH90 [Review] – Best Overall

APEC Top Tier Alkaline Mineral ROES-PH75 image

What’s good about this reverse osmosis system:

  • 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.
  • More details..

 

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.

 

Low-Pressure Option:
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).

 

Expert's comments:

In term of performance and overall functionality, APEC Top Tier Supreme RO-PH90 is the best reverse osmosis system for home. 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.

Pros:
  • Build quality is good
  • High flow rate
  • High water storage capacity
  • Installation is simple and easy
  • Connectors and fitting are industry standard
Cons:
  • No leak detector
  • Price on the high side

 

Check out the latest price for APEC Supreme RO-PH90 here!

 

2. Waterdrop WD-G3-W Tankless RO Water Filter [Review] – Best Tankless Reverse Osmosis

waterdrop-tankless-Reverse-Osmosis-System-image

Highlights:

  • Effectively remove 99% of major contaminants in tap water
  • Tankless design
  • An intelligent water filtration system
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Quick 1-turn filter change
  • Space efficient
  • Fast water filtration rate of 400 GDP
  • Efficient wastewater to clean water ratio of 1:1
  • Cool design
  • Smart faucet
  • More..

 

The Waterdrop WD-G3-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 3-stage 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 400 GPD rate, which is about 5 times of most 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 tankless Reverse Osmosis system. With wastewater to clean water ratio of 1:1, 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.

 

Expert's comments:

Want a powerful Reverse Osmosis system but without the cons like slow filtration rate, water tank, a large amount of wastewater, complex installation, and bulky in size?

The answer is Waterdrop WD-G3-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 tankless RO 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 (1:1) 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.

 

Pros:
  • Strong water filtration power
  • Fast water filtration rate with an internal pump
  • 1:1 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
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Require electricity

 

Check out the latest price for Waterdrop WD-G3-W Tankless RO Water Filter here!

 

3. Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Full Contact with Permeate Pump [Review] – Best for Brine

What’s good about this reverse osmosis system:

  • 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.
  • More details..

 

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.

Last but not least, the Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Full Contact is made in USA and backed by a 5 years limited warranty.

 

Upgrade Recommendation:
Want to destroy harmful microorganisms in your tap or well water?

Just upgrade to the Home Master TMHP HydroPerfection Reverse Osmosis System with a UV filter and an Iron removal prefilter.

 

Expert's comments:

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 brine 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.

 

Pros:
  • 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
Cons:
  • 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

 

Check out the latest price for Home Master TMAFC-ERP here!

 

4. Express Water Alkaline RO Water Filtration System ROALK5D [Review] – Best for Alkalinity

Express Water Alkaline Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System image

What’s good about this reverse osmosis system:

  • 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.
  • More details..

 

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.

 

Expert's comments:

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.

 

Pros:
  • 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
  • Inexpensive
Cons:
  • 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

 

Check out the latest price for Express Water ROALK5D here!

 

5. iSpring RO Water Filter (UV) RCC7AK-UV [Review] – Best for RO with Ultraviolet

iSpring RCC7AK-UV Reverse Osmosis Water Filter image

What’s good about this reverse osmosis system:

  • 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.
  • More details..

 

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 small percentage of 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.

 

Expert's comments:

From my finding, the iSpring RCC7AK-UV is the best Reverse Osmosis system with UV feature.

Personally, I think UV is unnecessary for treated water unless the water source is untreated (eg: 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.

 

Pros:
  • 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
Cons:
  • 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

 

Check out the latest price for iSpring RCC7AK-UV here!

 

6. APEC Top Tier ROES-PH75 [Review]  – Budget Alternative for Best Overall

APEC Top Tier Alkaline Mineral ROES-PH75 image

What’s good about this reverse osmosis system:

  • 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.
  • More details..

 

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.

 

Expert's comments:

As this RO water filter system is similar to the previous one, so you may either:

  1. Choose the supreme version if you want higher flow rate.
  2. Stick with this if you want a budget option with similar quality of filtered water.

 

Pros:
  • 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
Cons:
  • 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

 

Check out the latest price for APEC ROES-PH75 here!

 

7. Aquasure Premier Advance AS-PR75A RO Water Filter System [Review] – Best for Pure Water

Aquasure Premier Advanced AS-PR75A Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System with Quick Twist Lock image

What’s good about this reverse osmosis system:

  • 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.
  • More details..

 

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.


 

Expert's comments:

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.

 

Pros:
  • Simple and fast installation
  • Easy maintenance with their quick twist filter design
  • Low entry for RO water filter system
Cons:
  • The pre-filter stages only have one carbon block to absorb the chlorine

 

Check out the latest price for Aquasure AS-PR75A here!

 

8. APEC Portable Countertop RO-CTOP-C [Review]  – Best for Portability

APEC Portable Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System image

What’s good about this reverse osmosis system:

  • 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.
  • More details..

The APEC countertop RO-CTOP-C is a portable reverse osmosis water filter with high-performace filtration power.

 

Expert's comments:

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.

 

Pros:
  • 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
Cons:
  • 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

 

Check out the latest price for APEC RO-CTOP-C here!

 

9. iSpring RO Water Filter RCC7AK [Review] – Great Overall

iSpring RCC7AK image

The iSpring RCC7AK is a 6 stages Reverse Osmosis water filter with Alkaline Mineralization, it’s the non-UV version of iSpring RCC7AK-UV.

The iSpring RCC7AK is a 6 stages Reverse Osmosis water filter with Alkaline Mineralization, it’s the non-UV version of iSpring RCC7AK-UV.

Expert's comments:

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.

 

Check out the latest price for iSpring RCC7AK here!

 

10. Whirlpool WHER25 RO Water Filter [Review]  – Budget Alternative for Pure Water

Whirlpool WHER25 Reverse Osmosis Filtration System

What’s good about this reverse osmosis system:

  • 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.
  • More details..

 

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.

 

Expert's comments:

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.

 

Pros:
  • The design and exterior of the whole system including faucet and tank are great
  • The filters changing process is quick and easy
Cons:
  • There were complaints about the malfunction filter system and bad support from Whirlpool company

 

Check out the latest price for Whirlpool WHER25 here!

 

Summary (Comparison Table)

Here’s the summary for the best reverse osmosis system reviews:

ModelFlow rate
(GPD)
Stages
(Minerals)
CommentPrice
APEC Supreme RO-PH90906 (Yes)Best OverallCheck
Waterdrop WD-G3-W4003 (No)Best Tankless ROCheck
Home Master TMAFC-ERP756 (Yes)Best for BrineCheck
Express Water ROALK5D5010 (Yes)Best for AlkalinityCheck
iSpring RCC7AK-UV757 (Yes)Best for UVCheck
APEC ROES-PH75756 (Yes)Best Overall (Budget)Check
Aquasure AS-PR75A754 (No)Best for Pure WaterCheck
APEC RO-CTOP-C904 (No)Best for PortabilityCheck
iSpring RCC7AK756 (Yes)Great OverallCheck
Whirlpool WHER25503 (No)Pure Water (Budget)Check

 

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.

Let’s start!

 

How to Choose the Right Water Filter 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 your water filter:

 

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 have water filter – 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.

 

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.

Of course, that’s no perfect system in the world (yet). RO water filter system does come with several weak points such as low water flow rate (typically from 50 GPD to 90 GPD), brine (usually with a ratio of 1:3), dependant to water pressure, and most come with the tank (required larger space).

All Reverse Osmosis water filter system is built with pre-filters, RO membrane, and post filters:

Pre-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).

RO Membrane

The core of the RO 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.

Post-filters

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.

 

Do You Need a Reverse Osmosis System?

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 a Reverse Osmosis Water Filter (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 come with a water tank, so make sure you have sufficient space for it.

 

FAQ for Water Filter System

I also prepared a frequently asked question section to clear some of your doubts and questions regarding the 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 $350.


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?


No.

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 safeties.

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.

 

Conclusion

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 have a really tight budget for pure water, I’ll suggest you go for Whirlpool WHER25 RO Water Filter, otherwise, Aquasure Premier Advance AS-PR75A RO Water Filter is more recommended to get.

If you simply want the best regardless of budget, APEC Top Tier Supreme RO-PH90 is for you.

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

 

Now it’s your turn, comment below which one is the best reverse osmosis system for you?

 

Related Posts:

The 10 Best Water Dispenser for Home & Office

Top 6 Best Whole House Water Filters

Top 10 Best Faucet Water Filter

 

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8 thoughts on “Top 10 Best Reverse Osmosis System [Reviews & Buying Guide]

  1. As always a perfect guide to buy a best Reverse osmosis Water filter. there are a huge difference in you and other guides available on internet. thanks for such info.

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