The 7 Best Water Filters to Buy in 2018

Shop the best water filtration systems that remove chemicals, minerals, and more

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Do you know what’s in your tap water? Depending on where you live you might find fluoride, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and more. If you don’t want those in your drinking water, you have a couple of options. First, use exclusively bottled water, which is expensive and bad for the...MORE environment. Or, second, you can invest in a water filter.

Fortunately, there are a wide range of water filtration systems on the market from pitchers you keep in the fridge to reverse osmosis systems you’ll want to have professionally installed. Depending on your space and whether you rent or own your home, one of these six options is likely to be a fit.

  • When it comes to wiping impurities out of your H2O, nothing gets it done better than the consumer favorite—and Amazon’s top seller—APEC Top Tier Filter. The American made filtration system gets rid of 99 percent of contaminants like arsenic, copper, lead, and more in your drinking water. It is a reverse osmosis system, which means it forces water through the membrane of the filter to remove impurities.

    Once the system is installed at your kitchen sink, there’s no need to stock up on replacement...MORE filters right away either as three of the five filters only need to be replaced every six months, and the other two filters should be swapped every two to three years. The unit comes with a lead-free chrome faucet for easy drinking. The faucet has two settings one which turns on the tap as long as you're pressing down on the button—ideal for filling your drinking glass, and the other that provides a continuous stream of water until you turn it off, which is perfect for filling up cooking pots or water bottles. Added to all of this are the Leak-Free Fittings, which ensure you won’t be wiping up spills every time you use it.

    Unlike portable filter options, this unit does require installation. But as long as you have the space under your sink for the filters and room on the sink itself for the additional tap, installation is relatively pain-free and takes about 30 minutes.

  • Runner Up, Best Overall: APEX Countertop Drinking Water Filter

    This filter not only removes contaminants, but is also adds some minerals back into the water. With the suggested RF-1050 replacement alkaline cartridges, which are said to adjust the pH level in the water using calcite, this removes chloramines, heavy metals, chlorine, and odors. It also controls microorganisms. The minerals it adds back are calcium, magnesium and potassium. The filters need to be changed after 1,500 gallons of water have been filtered. Since this has a standard-sized housing,...MORE you can also use other types of filters.

    This is a countertop unit, but it connects to the faucet at the nozzle via a flexible tube that fills the filter unit, which then dispenses the filtered water. It’s easier to install than an under-sink unit, and doesn’t need to be refilled like the pour-over countertop or pitcher units, but the tube isn’t particularly attractive and can get in the way of normal sink usage if left to dangle from the faucet.

  • Best Faucet Attachment: PUR Horizontal Water Filtration Faucet Mount

    If you like the idea of filtered water but you do not like the idea of constantly replenishing a pitcher, this faucet attachment will filter your water with absolutely no fuss. Just install it on the faucet and forget about it – every drop of water is filtered.

    The included filter is certified to remove over 70 different contaminants including 99 percent of the lead, 96 percent of the mercury, and 92 percent of certain pesticides. Meanwhile, the water is filtered over a mineral core that adds a...MORE crisp, clean, refreshing flavor to the filtered water.

    An integrated light signals when it’s time to change the filter. Each filter can handle up to 100 gallons of water, which is 2-3 months worth of water for an average household. The horizontal design looks sleeker than similar vertical filters.

    This is an updated model that now has a leakproof connector, an improved grip, and 60 percent better battery life. Since this attaches to the end of the faucet, it’s not compatible with pull-out faucets.

  • Brita 10 Cup Everyday Water Pitcher with 1 Filter, BPA Free, White

    Best Pitcher: Brita 10 Cup Everyday Water Pitcher

    Sometimes you just want a simple and inexpensive way to purify water, and that’s where a pitcher like this one from Brita comes in. It’s nice because it cleans your water but you don’t have to install it on your sink. This one can hold 10 cups of water and can reduce the taste and odor of chlorine, copper, mercury, and cadmium, impacting not only the taste but even your health. You’ll need to change the filter out every 40 gallons or approximately every two months. There’s a handy sticker on the...MORE top for you to keep track of when it needs to be replaced. One filter is included with the purchase, but you can buy additional ones in packs of three for less than $15.

    Some people have had issues with it leaking while in the refrigerator, but one said that if you don’t fill it all the way to the top, that should help. A bonus for this product as opposed to the sink versions? Because it sits in your refrigerator, you’ll get extra cold water every time. 

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  • Filtrete Maximum Under Sink Water Filtration System, Easy to Install, Reduces 99% Lead + Much More (3US-MAX-S01)

    Best Easy-to-Install: Filtrete Maximum Under Sink Water Filtration System

    Let’s face it, if you want a water filter that hides under the sink, they can be a headache to install. While it’s still not as easy as a pitcher or faucet filter, this under-the-sink system is one of the easiest-to-install that you’ll find. According to the company, you can do it in less than 30 minutes, and most reviewers said they had no problem following the instructions. The system reduces lead, microbial cysts, chlorine taste and odor, sand, sediment, rust, and soil. You’ll need to change...MORE the filter every six months or so, and maximum, advanced, and standard replacement filters are interchangeable with system.

    An overwhelming majority of customers were happy with this product, with many reiterating how easy it was to install. They also noted how great the water tastes after using it. Some have had issues with it leaking after installing but most were pleased with the functionality of the system. 

  • Berkey BK4X2-BB Big Berkey Stainless Steel Water Filtration System with 2 Black Filter Elements

    Best High-Capacity: Berkley Stainless Filtration

    This high capacity water filtering tank has a bit of a cult following in certain circles, and for good reason. The Berkley Stainless Steel Water Filtration System is ideal for locations where a reliable water supply isn’t a given. No, you probably won’t need it in your urban apartment or house in the suburbs, but in a more remote home that relies on well water, it can be a life saver.

    The drum holds just over two gallons of water and can filter 3 ½ gallons per hour, removing cysts, parasites, and...MORE pathogenic bacteria. It can even handle untreated water from lakes or streams, if necessary. There are two different filtering options—the standard filters can last for 3,000 gallons or roughly 10 years, while the ones that also filter out fluoride should be replaced annually. Yes, this tank is on the expensive side, but for a reliably clean water supply it’s worth the cost.  

  • Brita 23.7 Ounce Hard Sided Water Bottle with 1 Filter, BPA Free, Gray

    Best Water Bottle: Brita Hard Sided Water Bottle

    For filtered water on the go, a simple water bottle is all you need. Our pick is the Brita Hard Sided water bottle that uses a filter in the straw to ensure you’re drinking clean H2O. The 24-ounce bottle has a wide straw that fits a miniature version of the classic Brita charcoal filter which eradicates odor, particulates, and chlorine. Go ahead and order an extra package of replacement filters as you’ll need to swap them out every two months.

    The bottle itself is BPA-free and will fit both in...MORE your car’s cup holder and the cup holder on the treadmill at the gym. The bottle is also dishwasher safe on the top rack, though you’ll want to be sure to hand wash the mouthpiece to get it really clean. The wide mouth of the bottle allows you to add ice cubes to keep your drink cold as well.