Countertop water filter is a point-of-use (POU) water filtration system that is very effective in eliminating most contaminants found in water. They sit on the Kitchen’s countertop to provide clean healthy water for the family.
Countertop filters are designed to be portable, affordable and convenient which is why they’re one of the most common home water filters.
After evaluating tons of water filters, we determined the most efficient countertop water filter to be the Big Berkey Filter which has capacity to filter 6,000 gallons of water throughout its lifespan. AquaTru, Apex and Aquasana are also good alternatives to consider.
Countertop Water Filter Comparison Table
- Filter Stages: 2+2
- Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 21
- Weight: 7 lbs
- Filter Stages: 4
- Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 12
- Weight: N/A
- Filter Stages: 5
- Dimensions: 12 x 4.5 x 4.5
- Weight: 4.84 lbs
- Filter Stages: 2
- Dimensions: 4.25 x 7.25 x 8.25
- Weight: 3.2 lbs
- Filter Stages: 2
- Dimensions: 12 x 7 x 4
- Weight: 2.89 lbs
Criteria For Choosing A Countertop Filter
Here’s what to look for when purchasing countertop water filters:
1. Evaluate Your Home/Family Needs:
Every home and family has different water purification requirements. It’s essential to consider your individual needs and preferences to decide whether a countertop water filter is best for you or if you should look into alternative options.
You should also consider how bad your water may be locally. Not only are there worries of heavy metals in local water supplies, but in some areas it’s concern over the presence of bacteria, herbicides, and pesticides. The most important factor is the amount of water you use.
Countertop devices typically only hold one or two gallons at a time. Does your family need more water than this at once?
Another factor to consider is the single-faucet setup. Do you have multiple faucets you want filtered? If so, a whole house filtration system might be a better bet.
2. Consider Specs & Features:
Here are a few of the most important countertop water filter features to consider during the buying process:
Some filters have a filter for all types of contaminants. Others have a more specialized use for a single contaminant, such as arsenic or fluoride.
How long will the filter last before it needs to be changed? Depends on how many gallons of tap water are treated. Most are between 3 months and one year, although longer-lasting filters are available.
How quickly does the device remove contaminates and filter water? Many do so quickly, but some methods, especially steam distillation, can take hours.
How much clean water does the storage tank hold at a time? Some models feature large stainless steel tanks that can hold many gallons.
Does the device connect via hose to your kitchen faucet? Make sure your faucet is compatible with the specific connection type.
Note that almost all of these models are easy to install with no tools, so installation type isn’t really a necessary factor to consider.
3. Consider Alternative Options
A countertop water filter is just one of many water filtration systems for home use. One of the most common alternatives is a pitcher filter. These work in much the same way as other filters, except that they are filled with water and placed in the refrigerator.
Another common option is a whole house water filter. These systems connect to your home’s main water line and remove contaminates right there, so that all of the water in your home (sinks, toilets, showers, etc) is clean, safe, and filtered.
This means you don’t need to install multiple filters (in the kitchen and elsewhere) and just leave it all the filtering to the one master unit.
Reviews: Best Countertop Water Filter
Here are our top picks for countertop water filter system:
- Berkey Gravity-Fed Countertop Filter
- Aquatru Countertop System (Using Reverse Osmosis)
- Apex Countertop Filtration System
- Pelican Filters
- Aquasana Filtration System
- Home Master TMJRF2
- CleanWater4less Countertop System
1. Berkey Countertop Water Filter
In our opinion, the best countertop water filter is the Big Berkey Water Filter System, which comes with everything you need for clean, pure drinking water. It has two stainless-steel chambers, two purification elements, two fluoride and arsenic reduction elements, a stainless-steel water bottle, and much more.
This particular model doesn’t connect directly to a faucet. Instead it works much like a pitcher system that you fill with water and then dispense as needed with the built-in spigot. As the name of the item suggests, this countertop water filter has a 2.5-gallon clean water capacity.
The device is notable for its extensively tested purification elements that filter out a variety of common contaminants, including arsenic, fluoride, chlorine, sediment, and much more.
Not only does this water filter look great and work well, but it also needs very little maintenance. It can filter roughly 6,000 gallons of water before replacement is needed (a second filter is included in this package).
- Durable construction
- Quality filter for top-notch performance
- Stylish appearance
- Some plastic parts prone to damage
You can’t go wrong with a Big Berkey countertop water filter. This 2.5-gallon version looks good, works well, and lasts for a long time and deserves to be called the best of all filters in this group.
2. AquaTru Countertop Water System
Our second choice best countertop water filtration system is the AquaTru’s Water System, which will filter 15x more contaminants than leading countertop filters, giving a constant supply of clean, great-tasting drinking water. Oh, and AquaTru didn’t sacrifice looks for quality filtration. This sleek, modern system will complement any kitchen countertop.
RO is a powerful filtration method that eliminates pretty much anything you want removed from your water. AquaTru’s system includes NSF certified filtration that removes 83 contaminants, including lead, chlorine, nitrates, fluoride, PFAs, and more. This countertop filter is made with Tritan BBA and BPS-free plastic and measures 14 x 14 x 12 inches and weighs 16 pounds.
This system will not attach to your faucet, making it completely portable. All you do is manually fill the one-gallon feed water tank and then attach it to the base. The system filters ¾ gallons of water every 12 minutes, and the tank holds one gallon at a time. You can also store the removable tank into your fridge for convenience. Just press the easy dispensing button, and you have clean, filtered water on demand.
The long-lasting filters are made to last for 600-1200 gallons, while the convenient digital display alerts you when it’s time to replace them. AquaTru’s RO system comes pre-assembled, so installation is simple. The cost of this RO countertop filter is higher than some competitors, but the quality far outweighs its competitors, so we say it’s worth the money. AquaTru offers a one year warranty.
Related: If you need more reverse osmosis options , read our article that compares the best reverse osmosis countertop filters.
- NSF certified for removal of 82 contaminants
- Durable construction/modern look
- Simple installation
- Portable—you can take it anywhere
- One year warranty
- One gallon tank may seem low depending on water consumption
3. Apex Countertop Filtration System
Remove 99% of common contaminants from your drinking water with the Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter. These filters are specifically designed to filter out arsenic, chlorine, calcium, and remove lead as well as bacteria and viruses in addition to a variety of other contaminants.
This Apex water filter sits on the counter next to your sink. It’s connected to the faucet with a house so it always remains full of clean water. The unique attachment point enables you to use the faucet on your sink like normal. You can use unfiltered water to clean dishes and wash hands, switching to filtered water for drinking and cooking.
A highly-rated alkaline water filter provides the top-notch filtering power while the BPA-free plastic storage basin is durable and long-lasting. At the same time that this device filters out harmful contaminants, it retains healthy minerals.
It accomplishes all this with low price cartridge style activated carbon filters that are easy to replace by the customer.
- Model attaches to faucet for easy refilling
- Highly-rated filtering mechanism to remove contaminates
- Easy installation
- Model requires frequent filter changes
The Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter model is a great option for those that drink a lot of water – and always want a fresh, convenient supply.
4. APEC Water Filter System
Reverse osmosis is one of the most effective ways to purify drinking water. Unlike other filters on this list that use a typical filtration process, the APEC Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System is capable of removing even more contaminants.
This particular model features a 4-stage reverse osmosis filtration process that leaves you with not only safe drinking water, but water that is also incredibly clean tasting and delicious. The filter used are long-lasting to require minimal maintenance and replacement. The device is designed to provide excellent water pressure for filling your pure water receptacle.
On top of all this, this water filtration system is lightweight and portable (unlike some of its heavy competitors). It’s extremely easy to install without any tools or specialized knowledge required.
The one catch is that many people consider reverse osmosis water “too clean” – the process often filters out beneficial healthy minerals in addition to harmful contaminants like heavy metals.
- Lightweight, portable design
- Installation-free setup
- 4-stage reverse osmosis filtration
- Removes healthy minerals
Fans of reverse osmosis, over traditional filtration, should strongly consider this reverse osmosis water filter system as one of the best counter top water filters.
5. New Wave Enviro 10 Stage Water Filter System
This water filter from New Wave is notable for its stylish design, good price, simple installation, and great water quality.
Perhaps most notable is the simple installation. Not only is it easy to install with no tools required, but it attaches to almost any faucet. Conversion kits are also available for even more attachment options. Because it attaches directly to your faucet, it provides you with clean, pure drinking water on the go.
The actual purification element itself is designed to remove all major contaminants so that your water is well below EPA minimum levels. A handful of the contaminants that this device is specifically designed to remove include arsenic, lead, herbicides, pesticides, and sediment.
A big bonus of this particular water filter is the 30-day money-back guarantee and the one-year manufacturer’s warranty. That’s definitely a standout among the best countertop water filters.
- Simple installation
- Multiple attachment options
- 10-stage filtration process
- Potential quality control issues
The New Wave Enviro 10 Stage Water Filter System is a one-two punch of affordability and great overall quality among filters; one of the best filters.
6. Pentair Pelican Countertop Drinking Filter System
A state-of-the-art system with a stylish, modern design, the Pelican Water Countertop Drinking Filter System (PDF-450W) removes over 60 common contaminants, including chlorine, lead, VOCs, THMs, PFOA, and PFOS. This filter is NSF/ANSI 42, 53, and P473 certified for the reduction of chlorine/chloramine, cysts, mercury, lead, VOCs, PFOAs, and PFOS. It will not only filter your water, but you will also notice that it improves all kitchen water-related tasks, including washing produce and making coffee and tea.
The Pelican Countertop Drinking Filter utilizes a dual carbon block, which removes over 60 contaminants and lasts for up to 450 gallons or six months, whichever comes first. The convenient built-in LED indicator will remind you to change your filters. With a maximum flow rate of 0.5 GPM and operating pressure of 80 PSI, the performance is on par with its competitors.
This drinking filter is small at just 8 ¼ inches high and 7 ¼ inches wide and will take up little space on your countertop. While this filter is a convenient option for anyone, it is especially good for those who don’t want to install a whole house filter or who live in smaller houses or apartments.
It comes with all you need to install it, including the filter, the chrome diverter and hose assembly, two faucet adapters, two rubber washers, a reminder timer battery for the LED light, and an installation guide. Pelican offers a 90-day satisfaction guarantee and a one-year limited warranty.
- NSF/ANSI 42 and 53/P473 for PFOAS and PFOS
- Removes more than 60 water contaminants
- LED light indicator
- Easy to install
- Some customers reported low water pressure
- Some customers said the faucet adaptors provided did not fit their faucets.
7. Aquasana Countertop Drinking Water Filter:
Aquasana does it again with their countertop Drinking Water Filter.
The device is simple, straightforward, and affordable. It easily attaches to your faucet for a continuous supply of clean drinking water and you can count on it to remove bacteria, heavy metals, and other contaminates. Despite the low price, this Aquasana water filter is a top-quality product that will last for many years and deliver water with great taste.
This model uses a carbon block method of filtering and leverages quick-change cartridge style cartridges. Although filter replacements are required on a regular basis, the replacement process is easy, filters are cheap, and each filter lasts roughly 6 months with normal use by a family of four.
This Aquasana water filter model is very small so it doesn’t take up much room on your counter. It looks great so you won’t mind having it there and because permanent installation is not required, it’s easy to move this water filter from place to place if required – it’s completely portable.
- This model removes 97% of chlorine, bacteria, and other contaminants
- NSF certified, Good price
- Retains healthy minerals
- Prone to leaking
Those looking for an affordable and portable countertop water filters with a great track record should check out the Aquasana Countertop Drinking Water Filters as they’ve been known for a long time as one of the best filters in the industry.
8. Home Master TMJRF2 Countertop Water Filtration System
The TMJRF2, or Jr F2, countertop water filtration system from Home Master takes water filtration and turns it into an art form.
Like all Home Master water filters, this particular model not only works incredibly well and looks great, but it also lasts for a long time. These filters are designed with durability in mind. The storage portion of the device is as rugged and long-lasting as they come. The purification element itself lasts for at least three months between replacements.
Most importantly, the filter works incredibly well. It removes over 93% of all contaminants, including chlorine and fluoride, thanks to the three-stage filtration process. This means that each batch of water goes through three filters, each with a specific purpose, and results in some of the cleanest drinking water possible.
The device connects to your faucet for a continuous supply of clean water. It boasts a minimalist design to take up as little space as possible on your countertop.
- Space-saving design
- Attaches to faucet for continuous water supply
- Three-stage filtration system
- Filters need frequent replacing
It’s hard to beat the low price, convenience, and efficiency of the Home Master TMJRF2 model Water Filtration System. We consider it one of the best among these countertop water filters.
9. CleanWater4Less Countertop Water Filtration System
CleanWater4Less does exactly what it states – it helps you get clean water without spending a fortune! Their water filtration system lives up to the hype. Although it’s far from the most efficient filters on the market, it does purify water quickly by getting rid of the bulk of contaminants.
The device boasts simple installation. All you do is attach the end of the hose to your faucet and you have up to 10,000 gallons of clean water. That’s exactly how much this filter is designed to handle – 10,000 gallons. For this reason, the company states replacement isn’t necessary, because the filter lasts so much longer than the competition.
Other highlights include a simple, minimalist design. Unlike some models, this water filter won’t get in your way.
Unfortunately, replacement filters aren’t available. While the device supposedly lasts up to 10,000 gallons, you’ll have to replace it altogether once you reach that point.
- Minimalist design
- Incredibly easy installation (no tools required)
- 10,000-gallon claimed lifespan
- Replacement filters unavailable
Hate changing filters? Then the CleanWater4Less Water Filtration System might be for you. It comes with a single, non-replaceable filter that’s claimed to last for at least 10,000 gallons of water. Even though you have the replace the whole unit, the overall price is compelling.
10. MegaHome Countertop Water Distiller
MegaHome is a well-regarded company with a reputation for creating top-quality products.
Their MegaHome Countertop Water Distiller is no different. Built from the ground-up with water filtration quality in mind, it complies with all UL water safety standards. The catch is the slow filtration speed. The device only purifies a single gallon of water over the course of every 5.5 hours.
For this reason, the device isn’t the best option for those that use a lot of drinking water, or want purified water for other uses.
Of course, the lengthy, specialized filtration process results in a better final product. A unique steam distillation process is used to ensure that absolutely all contaminants are removed from the water.Additional highlights are the glass container design (to eliminate plastic) and the 1-year warranty.
- Rigorously tested to UL standards
- Steam distillation system
- Removes over 99% of impurities
- Slow filtration process
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more affordable and effective steam distillation water filter than the MegaHome Countertop Water Distiller among our best countertop water filters list.
11. Aquaspree 7-Stage Countertop Alkaline Water Filter
The Aquaspree 7-Stage Countertop Alkaline Water Filter utilizes, as its name implies, a 7-stage (including a coconut shell activated carbon stage) process to cleanse and purify your water into alkaline drinking water.
The entire device is designed from the ground up to meet and exceed the strict water safety standards set up by the World Health Organization. The process uses slow, gravity-fed filtration process to ensure absolutely all harmful contaminants and heavy metals are removed from the water.
A durably constructed filter system and water collection container ensure you’ll be able to use this countertop water filter for years on end.
This device is incredibly easy to use. It requires no installation. It doesn’t require attachment to a faucet – just pour the water in and watch it work.
Although naturally not as important as the quality water filtration, the Aquaspree water filter is also known for its streamlined and sophisticated design.
- 7-stage filtration process (including activated carbon)
- 20-liter capacity
- Improves taste as well as safety of water
- Unsecure lid that can allow sediment to get inside
If you’re looking for a countertop water filter that provides clean, pure, alkaline water in a single easy step, then the Aquaspree 7-Stage Countertop Alkaline Water Filter is worth a peak.
What Is a Countertop Water Filter?
A countertop water filter is a simple device used to filter and purify water. Despite their overall simplicity and straightforward design, the best countertop water filters are remarkably effective at filtering out contaminants and heavy metals from drinking water. A countertop water filter is unique in that it sits on your countertop.
These filters most typically consist of a storage container which also houses the filter/purification element itself.
Some models connect directly to the faucet with a thin water line. You must pour water directly into others. Some models have a water collection tank that stores the filtered water. A spigot is used to deposit the water into drinking containers and cookware.
Types of Countertop Water Filters and How they Work
There are a variety of filters of this type. Some of the most popular filters include the following:
- Reverse Osmosis Systems
- Water Distillers
- Water Ionizers, and
- Faucet or Sink-top Systems
Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems are very popular and for good reason as they are quite effective. These filters use a system to force water through membranes that filter out contaminates and leave behind a healthy and pure water to consume.
RO systems between manufacturers often look identical as the concept and methodology of how RO works is so straightforward. Essentially, you hook up your water source into the RO system that has several filters that the water must go through until it reaches a large tank that holds the filtered water that is ready for consumption. Very often, the filter portion of the RO system is a three-stage filter that acts to remove contaminates and heavy metals.
The RO system, while not elaborate, does take up some space between the filter system and the final water tank. As a result, you will almost always find these systems directly underneath the kitchen sink inside the cabinet. Recently, there have been some new innovative RO systems that have been made smaller in size and attractive enough to live on the countertop area.
Installation for RO systems isn’t difficult, though it is typically done by a plumber or service technician. It can, however, be done easily by those that like home improvement projects and are a bit handy.
The process is mainly to place the filter stages and water tank in the under-sink area and run some new tubing to deliver water into the RO system and then out to your faucet. The filters typically last 6 to 12 months, depending on the household and how many gallons of tap water are treated. The filters can be cartridge style and are easily done by the homeowner or maybe a service technician.
Water distillers are a whole different type of filters for treating water. This method is also very easy to understand and an age-old method of making things safe, that is, by boiling them. Boiling water and collecting the steam and then capturing it back into liquid form is how it works.
The idea is that as the liquid boils into steam, the sediment, heavy metals, and other contaminants are all left behind. Distilling can also remove fluoride as one of its strong suits. The only exception to what distilling can’t remove are any chemicals that may be in the water that would boil at the same time and get captured with the rest of the water steam.
Installation is not an issue with water distilling systems as we’re mainly talking about a separate system that is housed on your countertop. You fill the system’s reservoir with water and then the distiller has a process to boil the water within it, collect the steam, and finally capture back as treated liquid water. So, it’s a self-contained system and typically not anything the consumer needs to install in their kitchen.
The distilling concept is simple and is usually well executed, depending on the system you purchase and how well it’s executed. As always, read the reviews that we have on this site to make sure the system you’re considering is well constructed with the right materials and attention to detail. When distilling is done right, you are left with a pure water ready for drinking that is free from fluoride.
Water ionizing systems are again a very different methodology than the others we’ve described so far. Here, the process is called electrolysis and involves the use of positive and negative ions to turn water acidic and alkaline portions. The idea is that the more alkaline water may have health benefits in terms of helping with higher pH in humans.
Installation of ionizing systems is a similar story as distillers. You are buying a new water treatment system that will live next to your sink or wherever you’d like to place it. This unit is self-contained and does all the work within itself to deliver the final water product to you. The only installation for some units is to feed a water line directly into the system, which is not a big job.
You should know that there is debate over the health claims around drinking alkaline water. That said, these filters have seen faithful use by many, and it’s also argued against the pleasant taste of the water produced. Ionizing systems are at the upper end of these types of water filters and you can expect to pay a minimum of several hundred dollars for a unit and most often the units are significantly above the thousand-dollar mark.
The final filter type is also the most standard filter in most households, that being the faucet or sink-top system. These systems have been around for a long time, can be quite economical, and are very convenient. The systems that this type encompasses range from traditional membrane filters to ceramic filters and even new sediment types that add desirable minerals to your drinking water.
These systems have different implementations, but they have traditionally presented to the consumer a new small spigot next to their normal faucet that delivers the filtered water. There are even some traditional systems that attach directly to the faucet itself and do the filtering right there and deliver the treated water right from the faucet.
As you can imagine, these systems can be the most convenient in terms of taking up the least amount of room in your kitchen and conserve your countertop space. These models use activated carbon and other methods to remove bacteria and other contaminates from tap water and deliver great water taste.
The installation of these systems and difficulty depend on which one you get. The last and most traditional one we mentioned couldn’t be easier to do and you simply just screw in the filter into your faucet.
Others may require the owner to be handy or leverage a plumber, especially if a new spigot needs to be mounted on your sink. Other system may simply get water fed into it from a tube and then do their work. In those cases, you simply need to provide that initial water hook up to the device.
One final thought in terms of countertop filters is that you even have pitchers that have built-in water filter technology. These couldn’t be any easier to use and simply are pitchers that take the water you pour into them and then the water goes through its filter and then settles into the reservoir.
Then, you simply just pour water from the pitcher and consume. No installation, nothing that has to sit on your counter, and it couldn’t be simpler.
Countertop Water Filter Pros and Cons
You have a lot of different options when it comes to water filters, so it pays off to make sure a countertop water filter model is the one for you. Here are the main pros and cons of this type of water filtration system:
Countertop Water Filter Pros
- Affordable – These filters can be an arm and a leg cheaper than many other filtration options, like whole house filters
- Small Size – Countertop filters are typically very small, are not heavy, and don’t take up much space
- Convenient – These devices are located right next to your kitchen sink for quick and easy drinking water
- Minimal Installation – At most, a countertop water filter requires connecting a small attachment on the end of the hose to your faucet
- Efficient – The best models efficiently remove harmful contaminants from your drinking water while simultaneously leaving healthy minerals behind
Countertop Water Filter Cons
- Single Faucet – These filters can only connect to a single faucet at once to remove contaminates
- Slow Filtration – Most countertop systems filter your water very slowly, so consider the flow
- Small Capacity – Most countertop filters have a small clean water storage tank of roughly one or two gallons
Take all of these pros and cons into consideration to decide if this particular type of water filtration system is right for you.