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Looking for the best water filter for home?
Well, you are in the right place. I’ve worked and studied in the water treatment industry for more than 10 years.
With my knowledge and experience about water filtration technologies, I know exactly what a great water filtration system should be as well as the reasonable price tag (so you won’t get conned by the overpriced water filters in the market).
Note: If you are looking for a reverse osmosis water filtration system (RO), I’ve prepared a post that specifically talked about reverse osmosis water filters, so read there instead.
Alright, let’s continue.
In this post, I’ll discuss the point of use (POU) flow-through water filtration system (or called “direct-flow water filter”) where the incoming water flows through multiple filter cartridges to become drinkable.
The good thing about these filters is they don’t rely on the water pressure to work, it just simply let the water pass through and get rid of the impurities in the process, unlike RO system.
Also, if your water source is treated and soft, then reverse osmosis is a bit overkill. You don’t get much value in getting an RO in oppose to activated carbon filter or ultrafiltration filter by sacrificing the cost, flow rate, efficiency, and water tank space.
After this article, you’ll know how to choose the best water filter for home and office.
Top 10 Best Water Filters For Home (Under $150)
Here’re the top 10 best water filters for home that are under $150 :
- APEC WFS-1000 3-Stages Under Sink Water Filter – Best Under Sink Water Filter
- Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Countertop Water Filter – Best Countertop Water Filter
- Engdenton Faucet Water Filter – Best Faucet Water Filter
- Brita Large 10 Cup Everyday Water Pitcher – Best Pitcher Water Filter
- Travel Berkey Gravity Water Filter BT2X2-BB_PF2 – Best Gravity Water Filter
- Woder 10K-Gen3 Under Sink Water Filter – Best Long Lasting Water Filter
- Culligan US-EZ-4 Under Sink Water Filter – Best Budget Under Sink Water Filter
- CleanWater4Less Countertop Water Filter – Best Budget Countertop Water Filter
- Culligan FM-100-C Faucet Water Filter – Best Budget Faucet Water Filter
- Brita Small 5 Cup Metro Water Pitcher – Best Budget Pitcher Water Filter
How I Pick The Best Water Filters for Home
To be included in my best water filters for home list, they need to fulfill the criteria below based on their purpose:
- Filtration capability
- Great value
- Customer experience
- Quality and durability
1. Filtration Capability
Well, you are looking to buy the best filter for water right, so the filtration capability is one of the main consideration here.
How well a water filtration system in getting rid of contaminants tells whether it deserves a spot in the best water filters for home list.
Here are some possible contaminants, chemicals, and impurities in your tap water that you want to remove:
- Heavy metal
- Bad taste
- Bad smell
The creation purpose of the water filtration system itself will be taken into account as well.
For instance, it’s not fair and logical to compare the filtration capability of a multi-stages under sink water filter with a single-stage faucet filter.
So I reviewed and ranked the best water filters for home based on different categories, which are best pitcher, best faucet, best under sink, best countertop top, best portable, and best long lasting filter.
2. Great Value
A consumer’s choice of water filter needs to justify its value in terms of performance and price.
Filter A performance score is 80 and priced at USD 500.
Filter B performance score is 76 and priced at USD 350.
I’ll pick the filter B because the performance score only differs by 4 points, so it’s not worth the top up of USD 150 (I do care for your pocket).
3. Customer Experience
The company customer service team from the must be good and prompt to ensure customer satisfaction and experiences when facing any issue or technical difficulties.
No customer would like to deal with a one-way communication company.
As per this consumers’ shopping behavior survey, consumers valued highly on customer experience.
4. Quality and Durability
Lastly, the water filter quality.
There’s no point to include a few-times-use water filter here.
The filters need to at least survive for several years to prove its quality.
Of course, I took into account the product cost and its materials. I still have the common sense for the expected durability between a USD 10 product and a USD 100 product.
Best Water Filters for Home & Office Reviews
Now, let’s go through each of the best water filtration system one by one.
1. Best Under Sink Water Filter – APEC WFS-1000 3-Stages Under Sink Water Filter [Review]
- Made in the USA for quality assurance.
- 3-stages water filtration system to remove chlorine taste and odor and other contaminants to produce clean and safe drinkable water.
- Comes with FDA certified JG food grade tubing and lead-free chrome faucet for water safety.
- All the 3 filter cartridges can last up to 12 months.
- Backed by a one-year satisfaction guarantee and lifetime support from APEC.
The APEC WFS-1000 3-stages under sink water filtration system is a fast water filter (also called hi-flow water filter or fast-flow water filter) that deliver clean drinking water to your faucet quick to shorten the waiting time to fill up your cup or bottle.
Here’s the breakdown of the APEC 3-stages under sink water filtration system:
1st stage: High-capacity 10 inch polypropylene (PP) sediment filter to remove large particles, rust, dust, sand, and more.
2nd stage & 3rd stage: Double 10 inch premium extruded carbon blocks to greatly remove chlorine taste and odor, VOCs, chemicals, and impurities from the tap water while keeping the beneficial minerals and water alkalinity.
All three high-capacity filter cartridges can last up to 12 months. The longer filter life also means fewer replacements and lower maintenance cost for using this under sink filtration system.
Looking for the best water filtration system (under sink) that is affordable and provide great water filtration?
This is the one.
The APEC WFS-1000 3-stages under sink water filtration system offers a great water filtration for home in getting rid of common contaminants, impurities, and chemicals while keeping the beneficial minerals in your tap water.
Also, due to the direct flow-through filtration system, there is no wastewater produced in the filtration process while providing a constant supply of clean and tasty filtered water.
For busy folks, this fast water filter will prevent you from getting angry and frustrated in filling up your bottle and cup.
Not only that, If you prefer not to have the same filters in stage 2 and 3, you can also replace the stage 3 filter to one of the six alternative filters based on your water condition, which are FI-CHLORAMINE, FI-FLUORIDE, FI-CERAMI, FI-PHPLUS, FI-NITRATE, and FI-ARSENIC.
This is the best water filter for drinking.
- High water flow rate at 1 GPM
- Strong water filtration capability without producing waste water
- Interchangeable filter cartridges for different removal purpose
- Will not occupy the countertop space
- Longer filters life up to 12 months
- Easy and simple to install
- Reasonable price
- Great filtered water taste
- Comes with stainless steel faucet
- Great customer service
- Moderate quality of fittings
- Required some space under the sink to put the system
- No filter replacement indicator
- 3 filters mean higher maintenance cost compared to the single filter system
2. Best Countertop Water Filter – Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Countertop Water Filter [Review]
- The 3-stages filtration can significantly remove chlorine taste and odor, fluoride, and more contaminants.
- Compact and space-efficient design allows it to be fit on most countertop easily.
- Easy and simple installation.
- The filter cartridge can last up to 3 months or 500 gallons of filtration.
The Home Master Jr. F2 Countertop Water Filtration System includes an advanced 3-stages granular filter to effectively remove sediments, chlorine, arsenic, fluoride, pesticides, herbicides, VOCs, and more contaminants while keeping the good minerals in the tap water.
It’s designed to be compact and space-saving while maintaining its high-performance in getting rid of unwanted contaminants in tap water.
You can bring it along when traveling due to its portability.
Here’s the breakdown of the advanced multi-stages granular filter media:
- 5 Micron Compression Disks – Remove sediments and prevent channeling.
- Activated Alumina – Remove fluoride and arsenic.
- Coconut Shell Carbon – Remove chlorine, VOCs, pesticides, herbicides, and more.
The activated alumina is a contact-dependent media, which mean a higher amount of contaminant can be removed by letting the water stay in the media for a longer time, like reducing the water flow rate.
The Home Master TMJRF2 Jr. F2 countertop water filter is a compact filter with 3-stages in a single standard cartridge that is perfect for small kitchen area due to its space-efficient design.
If you don’t have under sink space and limited countertop space, this is what you need.
Also, this portable countertop filter is suitable for temporary stay, rental home, and travel use due to its portability and small size.
This is the best water filter to place on your kitchen countertop.
- Compact and space-efficient design
- Quick and easy to install
- Reasonable price
- High-quality coconut shell carbon
- Can filter fluoride
- Great water taste
- Accountable customer service
- The filter needs to be replaced every 3 months
- The activated alumina (AA) used to remove fluoride is a contact time-dependent media
3. Best Faucet Water Filter – Engdenton Faucet Water Filter [Review]
- Incorporate an Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) filter to remove rust, sand, chlorine, bad taste, and more.
- Made with food grade 304 stainless steel housing for leak-proof, cracking-proof, and durability.
- High water flow rate from 0.5 to 0.8 GPM.
- Simple and quick installation.
- Replace every 6 months or 320 gallons of water.
The Engdenton faucet water filter is a high-flow ACF filter encapsulated with high-quality food-grade 304 stainless steel housing that can effectively remove unwanted contaminants in water with its 0.5 microns filtration.
The ACF filter itself is anti-bacterial to ensure clean and safety drinkable water for your family.
The fast water flow rate is a bonus as you don’t have to wait long to fill up your bottle or cup.
As a faucet filter, the Engdenton faucet does its job perfectly by providing a basic water filtration to supply clean and tasty water constantly to you and your family.
The good about using a faucet filter is there’s no extra space needed to store the system, just install it to your faucet (few minutes) and get your filtered water.
Also, the nice looking robust 304 stainless steel faucet filter housing is definitely worth the additional top up as it can sustain high water pressure and prevent you from the trouble of water leakage issue due to housing crack (it makes your kitchen look class).
This is the best water filter on tap.
Lastly, I like the 360-degree adjustable faucet filter housing as you can just rotate it and drink directly from the filter output without getting your cup (I’m kinda lazy sometimes and I admit it).
- Good filtration technology with the ACF filter
- Great faucet filter housing material (304 food grade stainless steel)
- High water filtration flow rate save your time in filling up your cup
- Easy and fast to install and dismantle.
- Long lasting filter with up to 320 gallons of filtration or 6 months
- Affordable replacement filter price keeps the running cost low
- Can only remove limited numbers of contaminants and impurities in tap water
- The faucet filter is able to reduce the chlorine level but not remove it completely
- Suitable to install on the standard faucet only
4. Best Pitcher Water Filter – Brita Large 10 Cup Everyday Water Pitcher [Review]
- 10 cup high-capacity to ensure sufficient water supply for a big family and serving guests.
- Transparent material for a clear view of water level.
- Come with soft-grip handle for easy pouring and removable lid for easy refilling.
- Come with indicator to notify you when it’s time to replace the filter to ensure filtered water quality.
- Made with BPA free plastic and light-weight for easy carry.
- Reduce chlorine taste and odor, and common impurities found in tap water such as mercury, copper, and cadmium.
- Long lasting filter which only required to change every 40 gallons or 2-3 months depending on usage.
The Brita large 10 cup everyday water pitcher is designed for a big family to enjoy clean and great taste water while saving the world from plastic pollution. 1 Brita water filter can save about 302 disposable plastic water bottles (16.9 ounces).
Due to its large capacity purpose, the water pitcher is designed to maximize the refrigerator space so that it can fit into most refrigerators easily and make it the best brita filter to own at home.
By simply replacing your daily water bottles with this Brita 10 cup everyday water pitcher, you can save a lot of money every year.
Last but not least, the Brita water pitcher can be ready to use in just a few simple steps.
As a water pitcher, the Brita 10 cup everyday water pitcher fulfills its purpose very well by providing sufficient clean and great taste filtered water for a big family while having the benefits such as installation-free, easy maintenance, good exterior design, light-weight, and easily fit into most refrigerators.
Quality wise, the Brita system with standard filter is tested and certified by NSF International and WQA against NSF/ANSI Standards 42 for average reduction of Chlorine (96%) and Zinc (64%) and Standards 53 for average reduction of Copper (86%-94%), Mercury (96%), and Cadmium (93%-96%).
Additionally, the price for the Brita water pitcher and its replacement cartridge is reasonable and affordable for the benefits it brings to you and your family.
For small, medium, and big family who are looking for a water pitcher, this is the best pitcher water filter for your home.
- Easy to assemble and clear instruction given
- Cleanable with removable reservoir
- Good durability
- Affordable filter replacement cost
- It takes some effort to take out the reservoir as it’s tight, especially in wet condition
- Limited water filtration (anyway, you can’t expect much from a water pitcher)
- Not robust enough to withstand falling from a high place
5. Best Gravity Water Filter – Travel Berkey Gravity Water Filter BT2X2-BB_PF2 [Review]
- Effectively remove Arsenic, Uranium, Aluminum, Fluoride, and more.
- Gravity drip filtration rate up to 60 GPD.
- Holds up to 1.5 gallons of water.
- Stainless steel material.
- The filters can last up to 6,000 gallons of filtered water.
- Made and assembled in the USA.
The Travel Berkey Gravity Water Filter BT2X2-BB_PF2 consists of 2 Black Berkey Filters to get rid of harmful chemicals, parasites, bacteria, and more from the untreated water and 2 PF2 Fluoride Filters to remove fluoride, arsenic, and other heavy metal ions from the unfiltered water via the gravity-fed mechanism.
This stainless steel gravity filter is suitable for travelers and those who live in a small space or without kitchen access.
As the name sounds, the Travel Berkey Gravity Water Filtration System is designed to be used for traveling, camping, backpacking, and outdoor activities due to its compact size making it easy to pack and carry along.
The strong filtration capability and robust body make it stand up as the best gravity water filter to own.
With the gravity drip filtration mechanism (which doesn’t require it to be connected to the water pipe), the gravity water filter is ideal for travelers, campers, individuals or groups with no direct water source access, and homestay and room rental owners.
If you are staying in a room individually or as a group with no kitchen access, then a gravity water filter is all you need to enjoy safe filtered water. Just get the water from the bathroom and pour into the gravity water collection half will do.
Also, it is suitable for homestay and rooms rental owners, as you just need to put one at the common area (like a shared living area with no water pipe) for your guests to enjoy clean filtered water.
All these benefits and flexibility make it literally the best water purifier at home and outdoor.
For traveling and camping purposes, the strong filtration capability of this gravity water filter is crucial in treating cysts, pathogenic bacteria, parasites, arsenic, fluoride, and other contaminants from water from rivers, lakes, ponds, and tap.
All you need to do is just pour the unfiltered water into the stainless steel container filtration half and let the gravity do the rest in producing clean and drinkable filtered water to the collection half.
This is the best gravity water filter for home and outdoor use.
If you don’t need to get rid of fluoride, just get the downgrade version without the PF2 Fluoride Filters here.
- Compact design and size
- Easy to assemble
- Non-dependant on the direct water source and water pressure
- No electricity or plug needed
- Stainless steel body
- High holding capacity
- High filtration rate
- Need to be used frequently to prevent bacterial growth
- Moderate support from the customer service team
- Parts quality is moderate
- Some owners reported bad smell and taste
6. Best Long Lasting Water Filter – Woder 10K-Gen3 Under Sink Water Filter [Review]
- Super-high capacity filter.
- Last up to 10,000 gallons of filtered water or 3 years.
- High water flow rate of 2 GPM.
- Remove up to 99.9% lead, chlorine, chromium 6, mercury, carcinogens, VOCs, heavy metals, turbidity, odor and bad taste, and more contaminants from tap water.
- No plumbing is required.
- Woder filters are tested by independent laboratories to ANSI standards for quality assurance.
The Woder 10K-Gen3 Water Filter is a high capacity direct-connect under sink filter that can effectively remove chlorine, bad taste and odor, lead, and other contaminants for a long period of time.
The Woder filter use microparticles to contain more filtering ingredients so that it can stay effective for a longer time compared to other filters.
As it’s a direct flow-through filter, all the essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and more are kept while filtering out the harmful contaminants.
Do take note that It’s only suitable to be used for municipally treated water.
If you simply need a great under sink water filter with huge filtration capacity, get this! The Woder 10K-Gen3 Water Filter is created for this purpose.
The filter comes as a complete assembled kit, so you just need to connect it to the water source and the faucet to start using it.
The Woder 10K-Gen3 is the best water filter for long lifespan.
- Affordable price
- Good filtration quality
- Quick installation
- Great water taste
- Less maintenance due to long filter life
- The flow rate may get slower after a year
- Filtration performance may reduce gradually before reaching the 10,000 gallons mark
7. Best Budget Under Sink Water Filter – Culligan US-EZ-4 Under Sink Water Filter [Review]
- The EZ-change replacement filter cartridge allows you to change the filter easily with the quick-connect fittings
- Comes with a dedicated 100% lead-free faucet
- The RC-EZ-4 filter is tested and certified by NSF International for the reduction of sediments, chlorine taste and odor, chloroform, cyst, lead, mercury, VOCs, turbidity, perfluorinated chemicals (PFOA & PFOS), and more.
- The RC-EZ-4 filter can last up to 6 months or 500 gallons of filtration.
- Comes with filter a built-in LED filter life indicator for filter replacement.
- High water flow rate at 0.5 GPM.
- Interchangeable filter cartridge between RC-EZ-1, RC-EZ-3, and RC-EZ-4 to suit your water filtration needs.
The Culligan US-EZ-4 Premium Easy-Change Under Sink Water Filtration System is an affordable single filter system that can fits easily under the sink and is able to remove most of the common contaminants, impurities, and chemicals in your tap water.
The filter replacement process is quick and easy with its twist-on and twist-off filter mechanism and built-in quick-connect fittings.
The Culligan US-EZ-4 Premium Easy Change Water Filtration System is one of the budget water filters (under sink) that does quite well in providing the necessary water filtration for your family daily needs.
Even though the RC-EZ-4 filter cartridge can only last up to 6 months or 500 gallons of filtration, its EZ Change filter mechanism makes the filter replacement process easy, quick, and hassle-free (no wrenches is required).
This under sink filtration system also comes with a nice-looking faucet and a built-in LED filter life indicator to notify you on filter replacement.
This is the best under sink water filter for budget.
- High water filtration rate
- Quick and easy filter replacement
- Certified by NSF International
- Moderate fittings quality
- 1 lithium battery is required
- The installation may take some time if you don’t have the basic skill
- The nylon adaptor may cause leaking if not installed properly
8. Best Budget Countertop Water Filter – CleanWater4Less Countertop Water Filter [Review]
- Quick and easy installation.
- Space-efficient design.
- Attach directly to the faucet.
- No replacement filter.
- High water flow rate at 1 GPM.
- Last up to 10,000 gallons of filtered water.
The CleanWater4Less Sealed Countertop Water Filter System is a high capacity 5-stages carbon filter that provides clean and tasty water in a compact housing.
The 5-stages of filtration consists of a sediment pre-filter, a depth pre-filter, a high-grade granular activated carbon media (GAC), a depth post-filter, and a final micron filter.
The good thing about this sealed budget countertop water filter is its super-long filter life (10,000!) with no filter replacement needed.
You just have to install the diverter valve to your existing faucet and run it until it reached its end.
The price is also very attractive for its lifespan, even though I don’t really think that it can be used for 10,000 gallons of filtered water, but anyway, still worth to get.
This is the best countertop water filter for budget.
- Quick installation
- No filter replacement needed
- High water flow rate at 1 GPM
- Compact and space-efficient design
- 10,000-gallons shelf life
- Do not fit on all faucet
- The water flow rate may slow down gradually before the 10,000 gallons mark
- Normal exterior design
9. Best Budget Faucet Water Filter – Culligan FM-100-C Faucet Water Filter [Review]
- Effectively reduce chlorine taste and odor, lead, sediment, and more impurities and chemicals in the water.
- Built-in electronic filter life indicator to notify you on filter replacement.
- Easily switch between filtered water and unfiltered water with the diverter tab.
- Compact faucet filter housing design with chrome finishing.
- Compatible with most aerator faucets.
- Tested and certified by WQA.
- Quick and easy filter cartridge replacement.
- The filter can last up to 2 months or every 200 gallons of filtration.
The compact Culligan FM-100-C faucet mount water filter is designed to attach directly onto your existing faucet with no tools needed.
The faucet water filter comes with a carbon block filter cartridge to reduce sediment, lead, lindane, atrazine, and chlorine taste and odor in tap water to improve water’s smell and taste.
It’s tested and certified by WQA and come with a 2-years warranty for your peace of mind.
If you want to get a faucet water filter and your up-front budget is tight, I would recommend you to get this Culligan FM-100-C faucet filter as the budget alternative to the Engdenton faucet filter.
The good part about this faucet filter is how easily you can switch between filtered and unfiltered water by simply pulling the diverter valve button while the faucet is on.
Not only that, when you turn off the faucet, it will automatically switch back to unfiltered water to prevent accidentally wastage of filtration quota for washing hand or plates on the next use.
Also, the Culligan FM-100-C faucet filter comes with an electronic indicator light to tell you when you need to change the filter cartridge so no more guesswork and usage tracking.
However, the filter cartridge life is shorter (about 200 gallons of filtration or 2 months), so you need to change it more frequently.
You may check the replacement cartridge price here to calculate the running cost.
This is the best faucet water filter for budget.
- Has an electronic filter replacement indicator light
- The mechanism to switch between filtered and unfiltered water easily
- Quick and easy to install
- Leak-proof compact design with chrome finish
- Moderate filtration quality
- 1 lithium metal battery is required
- The plastic adapter quality is moderate
- The water flow rate is slowing down with usage time
- Not compatible with the hand-held style and pull-out style faucets
10. Best Budget Pitcher Water Filter – Brita Small 5 Cup Metro Water Pitcher [Review]
- Made from BPA free plastic.
- Space efficient due to small water pitcher design which allows it to fit into most refrigerator easily.
- 5 Cup water capacity.
- Convenient and easy to carry around due to lightweight.
- Reduces chlorine taste and odor, mercury, copper, and cadmium from tap water.
- Come with electronic filter indicator to notify you on filter replacement.
- One Brita filter can last for 2 months or every 40 gallons.
The Brita small 5 cup metro water pitcher is designed to be space-efficient while enough for single and couple to enjoy clean and tasty water.
The filtration quality is tested and certified by NSF and WQA.
It can effectively reduce common impurities found in tap water like copper, mercury, and cadmium as well as chlorine taste and odor with its advanced filter technology.
Also, the flip top lid design makes refilling and pouring easy.
If you simply want to drink a clean and tasty filtered water without much hassle and high up-front investment, get this.
For the families with more than 2 people, the Brita 10 cup everyday water pitcher is more suitable to own.
This is the best pitcher water filter for budget.
- Take less space in the refrigerator
- Clear and sleek design
- Lightweight and easy to carry around
- Have a filter replacement indicator with digital light
- Great customer service from Brita team
- Not suitable for medium and big families
- Cannot serve many guests at one time
- The number of impurities it can remove is limited
- The filter replacement tracking is not very accurate to reflect the actual filter condition
- The water filtration rate is moderate
Here’s What I Look For In The Best Water Filter For Home
The Best Water Filter For Home Is Effective In Removing Water Contaminants
The reason of using a water filtration system is to remove contaminants from water to ensure the water is clean and safe to drink.
Therefore, the filtration performance is the main factor to look at when choosing the right water filtration system.
The best water filtration system should be effective in removing contaminants from water to protect your family’s health.
The Best Water Filter For Home Is Providing Good Water Flow Rate
Low water pressure will cause unpleasant experience during water-using activities such as filling up your cup, showering, and washing dishes.
The best water filter should provide high water flow rate to ensure no significant impact on water pressure after installed the filter.
The Best Water Filter For Home Is Made of High-Quality Materials
For a product like home water filter that process water on daily basis, its has to be made of high-quality materials to ensure safety and durability.
The Best Water Filter For Home Is Affordable And Great Value For Money
The best water filter should be affordable to you and won’t cause any financial stress to you.
Never buy an overly expensive water filter with features you don’t need, but choose the one that fits within your budget and give you the best value for your money.
Why You Should Use a Direct Flow-Through Water Filtration System
Before that, if your water quality is bad, or you simply want the best water filtration, then you have to go for Reverse Osmosis.
Otherwise, a direct flow-through water filtration system could be more suitable for you and your family.
Here are some of the advantages of a direct flow-through water filtration system:
- No brine (wastewater).
- Retain essential minerals in water such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and more.
- Fast water filtration rate (20 times faster compared to reverse osmosis water filter).
- No water tank is required.
- Lower cost compared to reverse osmosis water filtration system.
1. No Brine (Waste Water)
Unlike reverse osmosis water filtration system, there’s no RO membrane in a direct flow-through water filtration system which needs to be washed constantly and produced brine.
All the water flowing into the water filters will coming out from the system as clean drinking water.
What you need to do is just replace a new set of filters when they reached their lifespan.
2. Retain Essential Minerals in Water
Essential minerals are important for your health and cannot be produced by your body naturally, so you need to take it externally from foods, drinks, and supplements.
Here are some of the common beneficial minerals found in water:
Calcium – Essential mineral in building strong bones and teeth, clotting blood, nerve signals communication, and more.
Magnesium – Important mineral which plays a vital role in bone health, muscle, heart, and diabetes prevention.
Potassium – Primarily used by the body to control the electrical activity of the heart and other muscles. Sufficient intake of potassium will reduce the risk of stroke, bring down the blood pressure level, and reduces kidney stones.
Phosphorus – Use for waste filtering in your kidneys, building strong bones and teeth, and repairing tissue and cells.
To be frank, the amount of each mineral in the water is not much for your body daily needs, so you still need to get more minerals from food and supplements, but still, it’s better than no right.
3. Fast Water Filtration Rate
Due to the direct flow-through mechanism, the water filtration rate is fast (about 0.5 to 1 gallons per minute at normal water pressure), which saves you a lot of time in filling up your bottle and cup.
You can also drink directly from the faucet if you are in a hurry or just lazy to take up your cup.
It’s almost impossible to run out of clean filtered water by using a direct flow-through water filtration system.
4. No Water Tank is Required
Not everyone has a large under sink or countertop space in their kitchen for the water tank.
The direct flow-through water filtration system eliminates the needs of a water storage tank with its fast water filtration rate, providing you the clean drinking water on-demand.
Also, you no need to worry about the risk of bacterial growth inside the water tank.
5. Lower Cost
The price of a direct flow-through water filtration system is lower compared to the reverse osmosis (RO) water filtration system.
In the consumer reports, 89% of consumers said price is the top factor for purchase.
The lower entry cost enables more families from low-income group to enjoy clean and safe water right from their faucet.
Also, if you are staying at rental home for temporarily, getting a lower cost water filter won’t hurt your pocket that much.
How to Choose the Best Water Filter for Home & Office [Buying Guide]
Overwhelmed by the large variety of water filter in the market?
Don’t know how to choose the best water purifier for home or office?
No worries, I am here to guide you, and I hope I do it well.
I’ll share with you how to choose the best water filtration system (or the most suitable one) for you and your family.
Let’s start with the ideal setup of a multi-stage water filtration system first.
The Best Water Filtration System Set Up
You can’t build an efficient water filtration system by just simply grab a few water filter cartridges and put them in a random order, it will never work that way.
The simplest and most basic water filtration system will be just a carton block filter, commonly used in water pitcher and faucet filter.
That’s the ideal setup for a single-stage water system to provide basic water filtration.
The upgrade version would be a 2-stage filtration system that consists of a sediment filter and a carbon block filter to improve the system lifespan and effectiveness.
But, it’s not ideal for a multi-stage water filtration system.
The ideal setup of a water filtration system (under sink and countertop) should consist of 3 stages as below (in order):
1. Pre-filter stage
The 1st stage of an ideal water filtration system should be a sediment filter to get rid of large particles such as rust, sand, and more.
Large particles will clog any filter easily and reduce the lifespan significantly, so you need to protect the rest filters by using a sediment filter in the beginning stage of the water filtration system.
For sediment filter, you can either use a standard Melt-Blown Polypropylene (PP) cartridge which you replace frequently (cheap) or a washable Polyester Pleated cartridges that can last for 2-3 years (expensive).
If you saw a multi-stage water filtration system that placing a carbon block in the 1st stage, that’s not an effective water filtration system, so don’t ever consider that, waste of money.
2. Core filter stage
The 2nd stage of an ideal water filtration system should be your core filter, which performs the filtration job according to your water condition and your requirement.
For instance, if your water source contains fluoride, then you may put a filter that can get rid of fluoride.
If your water source is treated and considered soft, then you may just use an advanced carbon block to further getting rid of chlorine taste and odor, VOCs, chemicals, and more contaminants.
If your water source is bad and may expose to Insecticides and harmful bacteria, a sub-micron filter like ultrafiltration (UF) is more suitable here.
3. Post-filter stage
The 3rd or last stage of an ideal water filtration system should be a carbon block filter to absorb the chlorine, bad taste, odor, chemicals, and other remaining contaminants in water before it reached the faucet.
Carbon block is also one of the most common filtration media used in water filtration system due to its effectiveness in removing water contaminants and chemicals.
Sum-up for the Best Water Filtration System Set Up
The above 3-stages water filtration system is a very logical and practical approach, the 1st stage sediment filter block all the large particles from reaching the rest 2 filters, the 2nd core filter performs its job according to your requirements, and then the 3rd carbon filter absorbs all the chlorine, bad taste, and odor before the water reached your faucet.
This is how you get clean, tasty, and safe drinking water.
If situation allowed, I’ll also recommend you to get a separate sediment filter (lower cost) as a pre-filter or a whole house water filter to protect the main filtration system (higher cost) from getting clogged by large particles in the water.
To do that, just buy a standard 4.5″ by 10″ filter cartridge housing and install a good quality polypropylene (PP) filter or washable pleated polyester filter cartridge.
The replacement frequency depends on the sediment filter capacity and also the water source condition, it could be every 3 months, 6 months, 9 months or 12 months.
And if you want to further upgrade the water filtration capability for an under sink or a countertop water filtration system, you may install an additional sub-micron filter cartridge as a post-filter.
While for a single-stage water filter, if you can only pick one filter cartridge, it will definitely be the activated carbon block filter.
The activated carbon block filter is highly effective in removing common contaminants and impurities as well as absorbing chlorine, bad taste, and odor in tap water, make it the best choice for chlorine.
Which Type of Water Filter Is the Best For You
There are many choices of water filter, so which one should you get?
Well, there are some key factors that you need to consider beforehand:
- Your intention
- Number of people
- Available kitchen space
- Temporary stay or permanent home
If your intention is strong water filtration and has 2 members or more in your home, then the best choice is to go for multi-stages under sink system as it offered the best water filtration for home.
But if you don’t have enough under sink space? Then the countertop version is your next option.
If you just need a basic water filtration with less hassle, then you may go for the water pitcher. You may also go for the faucet water filter if you want fast filtration rate.
For mobility purposes, just get the travel gravity water filter for its portability and strong filtration capability.
If you are those who prefer set and forget system, get the long-lasting water filter so that you only need to change every 2-3 years.
When to Use a Multi-stage Water Filtration System for Home?
If you need a better filtration performance and feature, you should always go for a multi-stage water filtration system.
For standard water filtration, you can use a 3 stages filtration system.
If you need more minerals in your water, you can get the best water purifier with the mineral cartridge.
If you want the strongest filtration, you can go for the Reverse Osmosis system which consists of multiple stages of filters.
When to Use a Single-stage Water Filter for Home?
There are three reasons that you may go for a single-stage water filter.
First, you only need basic water filtration.
Second, you only have a small budget for a water filter.
Third, the space is limited and can only fit a single-stage water filter.
How To Choose The Best Water Filter for Home (Under Sink)
Main deciding factors in choosing the best under sink water filter for home:
- Filter filtration quality
- Filters lifespan
- Installation and maintenance efforts
- Filter components manufacturers origin
If you are going for under sink filtration system, try to get a multi-stages one if space is allowed.
The ideal one would be a 3-stages water filtration system, which is good enough to provide great water filtration while not taking up much under sink space and having lower running cost due to only 3 filters.
Most importantly, make sure the 1st filter is a sediment filter and contain at least 1 activated carbon block filter.
Recommended Under Sink Water Filter: APEC 3-stages Under Sink Water Filter
For the sack of laziness, aim for a water filtration system that comes with filters capacity that lasts for 12 months (exception for sediment filter).
Also, the installation and filters replacement has to be simple enough to set up for consumers with no basic plumbing skill.
Otherwise, the final cost to own the water filtration system will be increased as you need to hire a plumber to install for you.
For quality assurance wise, prioritize the water filtration system that is built from components made in the USA, as they have strict quality control on water filters.
This is the reason why the USA made filters are the consumer’s choice water filter.
How To Choose The Best Water Filter for Home (Countertop)
Main deciding factors in choosing the best countertop water filter for home:
- Kitchen countertop space
- Filter filtration quality
- Installation and maintenance efforts
- Filter components manufacturers origin
For a countertop filtration system, I’d recommend getting a compact and space-efficient design filter to free up more countertop space for other purposes.
Being compact means fewer filter cartridges, so it’s best to go for multi-stages filtration in a single standard filter cartridge size (3 in 1).
Also, make sure the single filter cartridge contain a high-quality carbon block stage, such as coconut shell carbon.
Recommended Countertop Water Filter: Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Countertop Water Filter
Next, as you may need to replace the filter cartridge quite frequently, so by picking a water filter that is quick and easy to maintain will save you plenty of time and hassle.
How To Choose The Best Faucet Water Filter
Main deciding factors in choosing the best faucet water filter:
- Filter filtration quality
- Housing quality and durability
- Filter lifespan
- Cost of the replacement filter
Most of the faucet water filter used only 1 carbon block filter to do all the heavy lifting.
So, a great faucet filter must be using a high-quality carbon block, preferably the activated carbon block filter.
Also, the filter housing quality is very important too in ensuring no leaking and cracking in the long run, I’d always go for high-quality stainless steel housing than the plastic housing.
Recommended Faucet Water Filter: Engdenton Faucet Water Filter
Next is the filter lifespan. For a faucet filter, you should aim for about 6 months or 300 gallons of filtered water.
Lastly, before you decide to buy any faucet water filter, remember to check out the price of the replacement filter first to calculate the running cost.
How To Choose The Best Pitcher Water Filter
Main deciding factors in choosing the best water pitcher:
- Filter filtration quality
- Pitcher capacity
- Removable reservoir
- Cost of the replacement filter
It’s pretty straightforward here as a water pitcher only have one filter cartridge (mainly carbon block), so you only need to consider the water pitchers with high-quality carbon block.
Next, since a water pitcher can only store a fixed amount of filtered water, it’s better to get a higher capacity water pitcher if you have 2 or more people in your home to ensure sufficient water supply.
For hygiene purpose, the water pitcher reservoir has to be removable so that you can take it out and clean frequently to prevent bacterial growth.
Recommended Pitcher Water Filter: Brita Large 10 Cup Everyday Water Pitcher
In term of cost, because the pitcher filter cartridge can only last about 2-3 months, so by getting a water pitcher with a lower cost filter cartridge will significantly bring down the annual running cost.
For the convenient sack and to better monitor the filtered water level, get a lightweight water pitcher that is made from good quality transparent BPA-free plastic.
How To Choose The Best Gravity Water Filter
Main deciding factors in choosing the best gravity water filter:
- Filter filtration quality
- Housing material quality
- Water holding capacity
- Water filtration rate
- Filters lifespan
As one of the main purposes of a gravity water filter is for traveling use, it’s crucial to get one with strong water filtration as the water sources could be from lakes, ponds, and river streams (which exposed to more harmful contaminants than municipally treated water).
Next, since you may carry around the gravity water filter, so make sure the housing materials quality is durable (eg: stainless steel) to prevent cracking and leaking.
Recommended Gravity Water Filter: Travel Berkey Gravity Water Filter
The gravity water filters come in various water holding capacity (from 1.5 gallons to 6 gallons or more), so pick according to your as larger holding capacity also mean bulkier to carry, but do make sure it’s sufficient because more is always better than less.
Aim for at least 50 GPD water filtration rate so that you won’t have to wait too long for clean drinking water.
How To Choose The Best Long Lasting Water Filter
Main deciding factors in choosing the best long lasting water filter:
- Filtration performance
- Filter quality
- Housing durability
For a water filter designed to last for a long period of time, the filtration performance is one of the key components to consider.
It’s not just about how many contaminants it can remove, but also how effective it can remove them after a long period of usage (I am talking about after 1 year or more).
So if a filter experienced a significant filtration performance drop after 1 year of usage, it’s out from my consideration (however the drop of filtration rate is normal and acceptable, as long as it’s not too obvious).
Also, to withstand the long period of working hours, the filter quality and housing materials have to be great and durable.
Recommended Best Lasting Water Filter: Woder 10K-Gen3 Under Sink Water Filter
Aim for a lasting water filter with at least 2 years or 6,000 gallons capacity for its purpose.
And for safety wise, go for a filter that comes as a whole set so that when the time is up, just change a whole new set without worrying about the bacterial growth issue.
Summary of the Best Water Filtration Systems for Home
Below is the summary of the top 10 best water filters for home and office.
Looking for the world no. 1 water filter?
You can find it here.
|Water Filter Model||Reason to Pick||Price|
|APEC WFS-1000||Best Under Sink System||Check|
|Culligan US-EZ-4 EZ-Change||Best Budget Under Sink System||Check|
|Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2||Best Countertop System||Check|
|CleanWater4Less||Best Budget Countertop System||Check|
|Engdenton||Best Faucet Water Filter||Check|
|Culligan FM-100-C||Best Budget Faucet Water Filter||Check|
|Brita Large 10 Cup Everyday||Best Pitcher Water Filter||Check|
|Brita Small 5 Cup Metro||Best Budget Pitcher Water Filter||Check|
|Travel Berkey BT2X2-BB_PF2||Best Gravity Water Filter||Check|
|Woder 10K-Gen3||Best Long Lasting Water Filter||Check|
FAQ for Best Home Water Filters
Still have some doubts regarding the best home water filtration system?
Here’s the list of frequently asked questions I prepared for you:
1. How frequently you need to replace a filter cartridge?
It really depends on the filter capacity, water quality, and usages, it may last from 1 month all the way to 3 years (maximum).For safety wise, any filter cartridge that is not washable should change every 3 to 12 months, except those with very high capacity and purposely made to last for a long period of time.
2. Why my filtered water have black flakes or grey in color?
No worries, It’s normal for the first few times if you are using a water filtration system that contains carbon block filter. The greyish color is due to the black color carbon block and the black flakes are from the newly manufactured carbon block. Just open the water tap and flush the system for about 5 minutes and 2-3 times will do.
3. Why the TDS value I measured is not much difference between tap water and filtered water?
Because a flow-through water filter will retain the minerals in water which contribute to TDS value, therefore, the TDS reading will not drop much if your tap water is treated and soft. But that doesn’t mean your filter is not working or you don’t need a water filtration system.
4. Can a TDS meter really measure the Total Dissolved Solids in the water?
The answer is 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.
5. If the 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 the USA, the company is allowed to say the water filter 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 filtration system) are manufactured. For instance, if all the components are made in the USA and assembled in Thailand, then the water filtration system is considered safe.
6. Is the water filter brand important?
Not absolutely but is recommended if it’s a reputable brand in term of product safety, quality control and customer support.
As we discussed earlier, the important parts of considering a water filter 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 which all its components are manufactured by reputable companies with strict material control and strict quality control (eg: US-based manufacturers).
7. Is NSF certification required?
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. How to know whether the 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 filtration 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).
Conclusion: The Best Water Filter For Home Is Filter That Meets Your Needs The Most And Is Priced Reasonably
Well, now you have all the basic knowledge on how to choose the best water filter for home that is suitable for you and your family.
It’s your turn to decide which type of water filter you need for your house.
Most of the water filters I recommended above come with a budget alternative option so that you can gauge between what you need and how much you are willing to pay for a water filtration system (I know the price factor is important for you).
If possible, take the best water filter for you yourself and your family as drinking water played a vital role in everyone’s life.
As each family has different preferences, requirements, and budgets, so I listed out multiple types of water filters that are the best in a certain area to fulfill the needs of different families.
Ultimately, the best water filtration system is the one that fulfills your needs and budget the most.