The 7 Best Water Filters to Buy in 2018

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

water-filters
Courtesy of Getty.

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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 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.

  • 01 of 07

    Best Overall: APEC Top Tier Filter

    APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (ESSENCE ROES-50)
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.

    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 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.

    Check out our guide to the best whole-home water filters you can buy today. 

  • 02 of 07

    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, 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.

  • 03 of 07

    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 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.

  • 04 of 07

    Best Pitcher: Brita 10 Cup Everyday Water Pitcher

    Brita 10 Cup Everyday Water Pitcher with 1 Filter, BPA Free, White
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.

    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 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. 

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Best Easy-to-Install: Brita On-Tap Faucet Filtration System

    brita-filter
    Courtesy of Home Depot.

    If your primary concern is easy installation, the well-reviewed Brita On-Tap Faucet Filtration System boasts a user-friendly installation process and simple design—meaning, it’s nearly impossible to install this filter system incorrectly. You’ll hear an audible clicking noise as you put the filter in place, which tells you that it’s being properly fitted onto your faucet. In addition to this, the Brita On-Tap Faucet Filtration System has a built-in filter indicator to signal when it’s time for a replacement, which only makes your life easier. Nearly all the rave reviews for this product mention how truly easy it is to install and maintain.  

  • 06 of 07

    Best High-Capacity: PUR Ultimate Water Dispenser

    Uniquely designed to meet your high-capacity water filter needs, the best-selling PUR Ultimate Water Dispenser provides a whopping 30 gallons of pure, ready-to-gulp H2O. In addition to having a seriously large capacity, this top-quality filter is WQA certified, which means it effectively reduces 99 percent of lead and other contaminants. Amazon users have praised this PUR dispenser for its ability to provide “clean, crisp-tasting water”, as well as its “slim design” that doesn’t take up too much space in your fridge. Stop wasting time constantly filling up your pitcher: Never run out of filtered water again when you purchase the PUR Ultimate Water Dispenser.

  • 07 of 07

    Best Water Bottle: Brita Hard Sided Water Bottle

    Brita 23.7 Ounce Hard Sided Water Bottle with 1 Filter, BPA Free, Gray
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.

    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 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.