Best Countertop Water Filter 2017 – Top Models Reviewed
Municipal water quality has come under intense scrutiny over the past few years. Stories have been reported from all corners of the United States about filthy or contaminated city water supplies.
As concerns grow over aging municipal water systems and harmful minerals and chemicals that have reached unsafe levels, more and more Americans have looked to home water filtration units to improve the quality of their water.
At first, water filtration was available mainly through filtered pitchers. Those pitchers were only capable of a gallon of filtered water at one time. For a family that relies on filtered water, that meant constantly refilling the pitcher.
Many pitcher filters added an unwelcome taste to water, even as they removed minerals. Recently, improved water filtration has become available through counter mounted systems.
These systems are capable of removing most harmful properties from water supplies in large quantities. Here then is our review of the best countertop water filters available.
Recommended Countertop Water Filter
The first unit that we’re reviewing is the APEX Countertop Drinking Water Filter. As prices go, this is one of the lower-priced units ($99.00). Even though it doesn’t cost as much as a few other water filters, it is an effective and dependable countertop water filtration system.
Here are a few of the notable features found in the APEX filter.
- It removes a large number of harmful or unnecessary tastes, heavy metals, and controls microorganisms. The five step filtration system removes such chemicals as: chloramines and chlorine. Then it adds minerals such as: calcium, magnesium, and potassium, to your water.
- Installation of the APEX water filter is simple. Attach a diverter to your faucet, then attach the hose that runs from the back of the filtration unit to the diverter. After that, your filtration unit is ready for use. The filters are good for up to 1500 gallons of water. Used in a normal household, that means the filter should be good for about 4 months.
- Replacement filters are a little pricey, costing $40 each.
- On your countertop, the APEX takes up a small amount of space. The footprint is only six inches square, with a height of 14 inches. It is available in 6 attractive colors.
- One drawback to the APEX, the hose that attaches the faucet to the filtration unit seems longer than necessary. As a result, it can become a nuisance in tight countertop spaces.
With good and bad traits taken as a whole, the APEX Countertop Drinking Water Filter is a good value. When compared to some of the more expensive units, it’s a great value.
Aquasana’s AQ-4000W filter system, like the APEX before it, is one of the less expensive countertop water filtration systems available. Priced at $61.28, it is a basic, countertop filtration system. One thing the Aquasana AQ4000W’s three stage filtration system is capable of is removal, or significant reduction of many harmful contaminants.
A few of those contaminants are:
- 99.9% of particulates
- 99.9% of cyst live cryptosporidium and giardia
- 99.6% of mercury
- 99.4% of mercury
- 99.3% of lead
- 99% of asbestos
In addition to the significant reduction of contaminants offered in the AQ4000W, it is a simple to use system. Like the APEX, connect the diverter to the faucet and attach to the hose.
- The AQ4000W comes supplied with 3 different diverters, and is guaranteed to fit on 99% of contemporary nozzle designs.
- The filters are good for anywhere from 4 to 6 months of use. The cost of replacement filters seems high ($60). Some users have taken to simply purchasing a new system instead of replacing the filter.
The Aquasana AQ4000W Countertop Water Filter System is a decent value. As noted, the cost of a replacement filter is pretty steep, especially when it costs almost as much as the rest of the unit. Overall, this filtration system does a good job and is durable. A good value.
This filtration system is big. That’s why the word “big” is part of it’s title. When we say big, think old-style coffee urn big.
Because it is a big water filtration system, it’s also the most expensive of the reviewed units.
However, because it’s more expensive, it is a higher quality, more capable unit than other, less expensive filtration systems.
- The Berkey uses 4 different filters in its filtration process. The Black Berkey Filters (2) remove a large amount of the same contaminants from your water that the other systems will. What makes the Berkey Big BK4X2 different is 2 fluoride/arsenic filters. The white filters are capable of removing up to 99.9% of fluoride from tap water.
- This unit is big (8.5 inch diameter x 21 inches tall). Because it’s big, it holds a lot of clean, filtered water. 2.25 gallons. The filters are capable of filtering up to 6000 gallons of water before they need to be replaced. For a normal family, that can mean almost a year’s worth of filtration before they need to be replaced.
- Due to the large size of the Berkey filtration system, it can be used in an office or church setting as well as home.
Berkey boasts that this system is the absolute best system available for water purification. They claim that it is capable of removing food coloring from water. All this while purifying 7 gallons of water per hour.
This is an impressive unit, regardless of the cost. If you have a large family, or would like to replace the office water cooler with a better system, then the Berkey Big BK4X2 Countertop Water Filter System is exactly what you’re looking for. You won’t be disappointed.
The CleanWater4Less filtration system is the least expensive of the filter systems reviewed. It is a bare-bones water filtration system. A diverter attachment valve is included and is claimed by the manufacturer to be a universal fit, as long as the faucet is equipped with an aerator.
Some of the main features of the CleanWater4Less filtration system are:
- It purifies your tap water through a carbon-based filtration system. The carbon filter is claimed to remove chlorine, sediment, volatile organic compounds, as well as unwanted tastes and odors.
- No filters are to be found on this water filter. The carbon filter is built in and non-replaceable. The system is designed to purify 10,000 gallons of water, then be disposed of.
- For those who need installation instructions, the installation manual is simple and easy to follow.
The CleanWater4Less Countertop Water Filtration System seems to be designed for those who aren’t worried so much about purification percentages and fluoride filtration.
It appeals to those who just want to enjoy a good tasting, clean, glass of water. It does exactly that. When it wears out after about 2 years, then throw it away and buy another one. They are cheap, and do their job well. A good, basic, value.
The Brondell J2O+ Cypress filtration system is the one mid-priced filter in our review. Of all filtration systems reviewed, this one is absolutely the most aesthetically pleasing. Its slim, black and white, modular design will easily fit on any countertop and not take up a lot of space.
What separates the Brondell from our other reviewed filters is the 3-stage Cypress filtration system. Among the impurities removed from your water are: atrazine, chlorobenzene, and aesthetic chlorine. They also claim that the H2O+ will remove industrial chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, as well as bad taste and odors from your water.
A few other notable features of the Brondell H2O+ Cypress are:
- Small, attractive design. At 13.5 inches length x 3.8 inches width x 10.5 inches height it takes up little counter space.
- Replacement filters are relatively inexpensive, although there are 3 filters that will need to be replaced, each at a cost around $30 (might changes time to time).
- There is some discrepancy regarding how often filters need to be replaced. Some commenters claim that they only needed to replace their filters every 6 months. Others claimed to have had to replace filters every 2 or 3 months.
The fact that the manufacturer doesn’t list filter life is troubling. However, like the CleanWater4Less system prior to this review, the Brondell H2O+ Cypress Countertop WAter Filter System is really a basic system that’s designed to remove bad odors and tastes from your municipal water.
Unfortunately for Brondell, the aforementioned system does the same thing at less than half the cost, without filter replacement. That being said, the Brondell is not a very good value.
Except for the Brondell filtration system, each of these countertop water filter systems has it’s own high points. The most expensive system, the Berkey, does the best job of contaminant removal, and can do it for a large amount of water before maintenance is needed.
The three lower priced models all filter impurities well and provide a better tasting water.Considering the large price differences among these filtration systems, with the exception of the Brondell, you really won’t be disappointed with your purchase when you take into account the amount you will spend to purchase it.
Regardless of the unit you purchase, you and your family will enjoy better tasting, safer and purer water.