Looking for safer, healthier drinking water? Our comprehensive guide reviews the best home water filters to give consumers a better insight into how you can easily, and relatively cheaply improve the quality of the water in your home.
Drinking water is part of our daily life, we simply cannot function without it! But is the water you drink from your tap really as safe and healthy as many would claim? Obviously, water quality and how your water is delivered to you varies drastically in the United States with many suffering from either hard or soft water supply, forcing homeowners to buy bottled water or use a home water delivery service, probably not aware of the relative ease of installing an under sink water filter system or whole house water softener. Since 1974, the drinking water in America has been protected under the Safe Drinking Water Act, but experts warn that the water in our tap water increasingly doesn’t meet health & safety guidelines and our government is doing nothing to enforce more rigorous testing. A recent study performed in 2014 discovered that almost sixty million people have been exposed to contaminated drinking water that contained thousands of harmful chemicals that are not regulated under federal law. While these chemicals were distributed in low concentrations, it’s still enough to cause major concerns among many and leads the way for a big rise in the need for filtered water at home.
Thankfully, we have compiled some great information on the best home water filtration systems in 2019, with reviews and buyers guides to show you how you could drastically increase the quality of your mains water, ditch buying expensive bottled water and save a ton of money in the long run. Sound good? Read on!
Our Top 5 Water Filter Reviews of 2019
|Product ||Filters ||Warranty ||Dimensions||Weight
|Express Water Five Stage Water Filtration System ||99% of Contaminants||1 Year||18.2 x 19 x 16 inches||29.4 pounds
|Home Master TMAFC Water Filtration System ||98% of contaminents ||5 Years (parts)||20 x 16 x 13 inches||14.1 pounds
|iSpring RCC7AK Water Filtration System||99% of Contaminants||1 Year ||15 x 8 x 18 inches||20 pounds
|APEC ROES 50 Water Filter System||99% of Contaminants||1 Year ||16 x 5.2 x 17.5 inches||25 pounds
Why use Home Water Filtration?
It seems that the experts are constantly changing the daily recommended amount of water intake for adults. More commonly, experts encourage a minimum of eight tall 8oz glasses a day (known as the 8×8 rule), while nutritionists and other healthcare professionals recommend a gallon a day and agree that increasing your daily water intake is a great way to start losing weight, increase your energy levels and improve skin condition.
If you’re on the path to a healthier lifestyle then the odds are that you’re paying more attention to everything you put into your body and that includes the quality of both food and drink. If you have started to closely examine and monitor what goes into your body and learn more about the importance of flushing out toxins then you may have become concerned about the quality of your water and the harmful contaminants it probably contains and should really start to think about what is the best water filter for home use.
For many people, the solution to this problem is purchasing bottled water. These people will probably be shocked to learn that the FDA, which is responsible for regulating bottled water has even fewer regulations for the bottled variety than tap water which is worrying. These consumers would probably also be shocked to learn that it’s common for reputable bottled water companies to use plain old tap water and simply put it through a filter before it’s bottled and shipped off to the market. So much for natural spring water!
Choosing the best Water Purifier for Home
So what can you do to protect yourself and your family from water chemicals and contaminant exposure?
The answer is firstly looking at the following home water filter reviews to determine which system is going to be best for your requirements. Buying a water purification system that has a reputation for reliability, durability and ease of use can definitely give you some peace of mind, especially consider the many models that utilize the reverse osmosis purification process and can remove up to ninety-nine percent of contaminants and a thousand pollutants. Keep in mind that all types of water treatment, especially osmosis water filter systems will require you to change the filter regularly, so its also important to look at the accessory costs on top of the price of buying the unit itself. If you are looking at the best RO water purifier for home use, you will only be required you to change the filter just once or twice a year (depending on usage) which is a huge bonus for families on a tight budget.
RO water filter systems work by pushing water through a semipermeable membrane. This membrane acts as an extra-fine filter. These systems also use one to three different types of filters, including a carbon filter and although cheaper, the downside is that there tends to be a lot of waste water.
How to determine if you can benefit from a Home Water Treatment System
If your tap water tastes or smells bad or if you have ever noticed visible particles in your water, then there should be little doubt that you’re in desperate need for water filters that remove fluoride and chlorine. Municipal water commonly smells a little like chlorine and a good quality filtration system can treat these issues using a GAC filter which absorbs contaminants, rust and sediment that can cause offensive smells and taste. The system that uses this type of purifier might cause cloudy water for the first week or so after initial installation and following subsequent filter changes. This is harmless and caused by the release of air from the GAC filter and generally goes after running the water for a few seconds before use.
If your water is provided via a Well, then your more likely to be contaminated by parasites and bacteria. Many types of parasites and bacteria will naturally occur in water supplies, and others will appear if the water is contaminated by waste. Some types of bacteria and parasites can cause serious health issues especially in children and the elderly and for this reason a filtration system that will remove a high percentage of contaminants and pollutants including parasites and bacteria is needed, such as a 5 stage water purification system.
When tap water contains lead it’s impossible to detect as it’s colourless, tasteless and odourless. Water filtration systems are equipped with specially designed purifiers that are able to detect and remove lead by as much as ninety-nine percent, and if you home has lead pipes, you should consider the best best whole house water filter for maximum benefit.
Unfortunately, No filtration system can remove every contaminant 100% mainly due the fact that the list of harmful chemicals continues to grow. But an RO system has the ability to protect you and your family from these harmful chemicals by as much as ninety-nine percent which is a big deal, just as long as you install the system correctly and stay on top of changing out the filters.
APEC ROES 50 Water Filter System Review
The APEC ROES 50 water filtration system can produce up to fifty gallons of pure drinking water a day. In order to use this system effectively you’ll need a water pressure of forty to ninety PSI, with a water temperature of a hundred and twenty degrees. One of the system’s best features is the fact that the four-gallon tank can be filled in less than an hour, as reported by consumers, although the manufacturer states it can take two to three hours. Another great feature is the automatic shutoff switch which turns off the filtration system once the tank has been filled to capacity. No electricity is required for this system as it runs solely on water pressure. Weighing in at just twenty-six pounds this model features five stages that work together to provide you with pure, great tasting drinking water. According to the manufacturer, this system can remove over forty types of contaminants including asbestos and lead, in addition to bacteria and pharmaceutical drugs. The ROES 50 also has the ability to remove ninety-nine percent of contaminants. This is also a low maintenance system that requires a new filter only once or twice a year.
iSpring RCC7 Water Filtration System Review
The iSpring RCC7 water filtration system requires a water pressure of sixty PSI and a water temperature of seventy-seven degrees. Consumers with water pressure that’s below forty-five PSI should purchase an iSpring model with a built-in permeate pump. This is a five stage water filtration system that utilizes reverse osmosis in order to provide you with crystal clear pure drinking water. This rigorous system can remove over a thousand types of contaminants for a final product that’s ninety-nine percent pure. These chemicals include asbestos, arsenic, copper, chlorine, lead, and selenium. It can also rid your water of parasites, bacteria and a wide range of microorganisms. The RCC7 can produce an impressive seventy-five gallons daily, making this the perfect model for large households. Each component on the RCC7 has been NFS certified so you know it’s a product that will last you for several years to come. A major downside for most RO systems is the difficult installation process, which often requires the assistance of a professional plumber, but this system is pretty easy to get up and running and will take only about an hour of your time.
Home Master TMAFC Water Filtration System Review
The Home Master water filtration system can provide fifty gallons of pure water daily. This model comes with a Filmtec RO membrane and NSF certified components, which can reassure the consumer that this is a product that’s built to last. Equipped with seven filtering stages, including reverse osmosis and remineralization, this is a must-have filtration system for the consumer who’s serious about the quality of their drinking water. During the reverse osmosis process, the water is pushed through a very fine membrane, which is so fine that it ends up removing the minerals that are essential for health and they’re also what gives water its flavor. After the water has completed the RO portion of the filtration process it tends to taste somewhat acidic. Because of this, Home Master has added the remineralization process which works to reintroduce the minerals back into the water not once, but twice. These stages work together to remove a total of ninety-eight percent of impurities including microorganisms, harmful chemicals, pollutants, parasites, and bacteria. You’ll also find a catalytic carbon filter, which specializes in the removal of hydrogen sulfide.
Express Water Five Stage Water Filtration System
The Express Water five stage water filtration system is equipped with four filters that work hard to eliminate the harmful chemicals and pollutants found in everyday tap water. This is a system that utilizes reverse osmosis as part of the purification process because it has a reputation for catching and removing even the tiniest particles. Because this RO membrane is so fine it can also remove the minerals that are an essential part of your nutrition, not to mention they’re also responsible for water’s flavor. After the RO process, the water can also be left with an acidic taste that will make it unpleasant to drink. Because of this Express Water has included the remineralization process, which is a feature you won’t commonly find on models this reasonably priced. The remineralization process will actually reintroduce the minerals that have been removed during RO back into the water so you won’t miss out on those important minerals or the clean, crisp taste. This RO system also features a stage that removes VOCs, while blocking carbon fibers and eliminating other pollutants that can negatively impact the odor and taste. After the process has been completed you can enjoy water that’s impressively pure.
iSpring RCC7AK Water Filtration System Review
The iSpring RCC7AK water filtration system is a six stage RO model that’s easy to install and maintain and is able to treat all types of water including hard and soft, tap and well. The six-stage purification process includes RO, a sediment filter, mineral filter, alkaline filter, carbon block filter and five micron. Thanks to the extensive purification process this system can remove up to ninety-nine percent of contaminants and harmful chemicals. It’s also equipped with a handy safety feature that will turn the filtration system off once the tank has been filled to capacity. iSpring recently released a new and improved version of the RCC7AK which is equipped with some handy upgrades including a faster water flow feature and improved components that make installation a cinch.
Detailed buyers guide for purchasing the best home water purifier system
As humans, our bodies are made up largely of water and thus we rely on it to survive. In many countries around the world the water straight from the tap is not safe to consume. Although, the water from the mains in the United States is safe to drink it does not mean there are not toxins in the water or bad tastes in some parts of the country (if not all).
Using a high quality water filter or under sink water filtration system for the home can really help to not only reduce or remove the toxins or impurities from your water it can also greatly improve the taste of your water. Unfortunately, there are not yet any home water purification systems that can remove all get rid of 100% of the impurities and toxins from your water but there are plenty available to buy that can remove around 98-99% of contaminants which is an excellent result.
Take your buying process seriously and obtain great value for money with your water filter
As with any purchase it can be very difficult to choose the correct product for your individual needs. There are many different factors that you need to take into consideration before buying. Your budget of course will help you to drill down into the options within your price range and help you to locate the best value for money water filter system for your home. Below you will find the 4 key areas you need to consider when buying water filtration systems.
What is in your water and why do you need purify to protect yourself?
Firstly, you should be checking to see exactly what is in your water (contaminant-wise) to see what kind of whole house water filter it is that you require and the key toxins that you need to be removing/filtering from your water supply. The EPA dictates that a CCR (consumer confidence report) must be produced to all water receiving customers every July. If you reside in a condo or managed building you will be able to locate a copy of this water report from your building manager or possibly your landlord.
Removing impurities to provide clean fresh drinking water
It is very important to remember though, if you receive your water from a private well you will not be getting one of these reports as these wells are not regulated. I suggest that regardless of receiving one of these reports you should carry out your own water test from your mains/tap.
The reason for this is, even if the buildings water as a whole is showing pure or an acceptable level of purity it doesn’t necessarily mean your own personal supply is at the optimum level. It is especially important to run a test, if your building and the water pipe system was built prior to the exclusion of lead piping back in 1986. There is a zero safety level on lead exposure, so be very careful with this.
Testing for safety guarantees your purity levels
If you require a water safety test kit you should be able to obtain a free one from your local government health department. If not you will definitely be able to buy a water purity testing kit from a DIY or home improvement shop. To be 100% sure of what is in your water you should send these samples off to a local expert but you can also go off your home testing kit results (make sure you buy a good quality one so that the results are accurate and in depth). Once you have your test results you can move on to the next stages in the buying process.
Choose a water filter that is aligned with your family’s needs
The next step in the purchasing decision is the find the best kind of water filter system for you and your family’s requirements. For this decision you will of course need to be armed with the results from the water testing. However, the majority of reverse osmosis water filtration systems for the home will remove the key contaminants such as lead, chloroform, fluoride, benzene and atrazine from your water supply.
The key factor you need to look for here is, is the under counter water filtration system that you are looking at certified to remove the toxins that you have in your water. The main certification to look out for is one from the NSF (a non-profit company that certifies water filter products) and also UL, WQA and CSA.
The latter 3 are 3rd parties that certify to the same standards/levels that NSF do. If the filtering model you are purchasing is certified to remove the substances you need taking out of the water then it is a safe bet.
Pricing is critical to your buying decision
As with any product available on the market, water filtering systems for the home can vary massively in price so you will need to have a strict budget in place before you start searching ideally. You can spend anywhere between $20 for the in-fridge jug or carafe models up to well over a $1000 for the full home reverse-osmosis models. The latter are the best options in the longer term and you don’t need to spend the upper limit to get a good quality one.
Considering on-going costs of replacement filters is also important when choosing
The final thing to consider with any of these models is the filter that will need replacing fairly regularly (some more than most). The filters can be expensive (some as high as $400) so make sure that you check both the cost of replacement filter and the regularity of replacement to ensure you don’t overstretch yourself. You should also check the accessibility of the water filter replacement. Most can be bought online, generally on Amazon or eBay, these large sites normally have the best prices for the new filters.
Useful Facts About Water
What are your different filtering/filtration choices?
Now we come to the type of filtering system you need to choose. All have their own pros and cons of course and the prices of each varies quite substantially. The six main types are carafe water filters, faucet mounted water filter systems, counter-top filtration, under sink water filtering options, reverse osmosis systems for filtering water and lastly the refrigerator water filters that actually fit inside your fridge.
Carafe water filters for the home
These are amongst the cheapest and the smallest for home use. The lower priced models do tend to get clogged up easily though and the filter life isn’t great on these either. Obviously, they can only hold a small amount of water thus they are not ideal for a large family.
Faucet mounted water filter systems for your kitchen
This kind of water filtering system for the home is extremely easy to install and have the functionality to switch from filtered to non-purified water which is good for saving on your filter life. However, they do tend to be rather slow and this can be annoying if you have a high water consumption. Price-wise they are very low on the scale.
Counter-top filtration systems that go with your kitchen
This excellent filtering choice offers great value for money and tends to be a better alternative than the previous two as the flow of water is much quicker and they don’t have a tendency to clog up like the carafe. These will, however, cost you a little bit more money and they do take up quite a lot of room on the counter. If you don’t have much space they are not a great choice.
Under sink water filtering options ideal for any home
These filtration systems sit in a similar price range to the counter top models and also offer great value for money. The key difference here is the space utilized is under the counter rather than on top which for me is a much better alternative. The downside here is you will need an expert plumber or the shop you purchase from to install for you. You may even need to make some changes to your counters to accommodate this option.
Reverse-Osmosis Water Filtering systems for home or business locations
As one of the more complex filtering methods these are excellent at eradicating a plethora of different contaminants from your water supply and the price reflects their efficiency. Similar to the under sink options these products would sit in your cabinets and thus take up space here. They do tend to be a little on the slow side but the results are worth it as the water quality you will get is superb.
Remember you will need sanitize/clean these regularly and the new membranes will need to be purchased as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Refrigerator water filters simple and easy
You will not find as many of these as the others but some fridges do actually come with these inside and certain models produce ice or cooled water as well. The filter replacements for these options are relatively cheap and they are of course super easy to maintain. You don’t get the level of contamination removal that you get with the higher quality products though.
What brand should you be picking?
There are many different brands available online today but some of the best and most reliable are Express Water, Home Master, iSpring, APEC, Amway, Aquasana, Brita, Culligan, GE, Kenmore, Pur, Whirlpool and ZeroWater. If you are unsure what brand is best please take a look at the best water filter reviews and comparisons we have on our site. We hope these will help you to make an educated buying decision.
Struggling with all the Jargon? Take a look at our Jargon Busting glossary below to help you further understand some of the complexities of home water filtration.
|Absolute. Used when defining the specific size of the individual particles that are unable to get through the filter. Any particles that are too large will be trapped inside the filtering system. ||Ground Water. Water that can be found in semi-permeable rocks. Well water is the prime example of this.
|Acid. Chemicals/substances that are used to reduce the PH to reach lower levels of alkalinity||Hardness. Volume/level of magnesium & calcium salts found within the water supply
|Acid Demand. This is the volume of acid required to bring the water to the desired level. Generally this is achieved using an Acid Demand Test or procedure using acide filtration ||Heavy Metals. High denisty metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury
|Activated Carbon. Carbon material used in most water filtering systems to remove the unwanted tastes, smells, chlorine and other such contaminants ||Hydrogen Sulfide. Highly toxic gas with a very strong odor similar to rotting eggs
|Adsorb. The action of colloids and/or molecules adhering to surfaces of different solids/substances.||Hydrologic Cycle. Cycle of water through the environment. From evaporation through to precipitation
|Aeration. Oxidation of water which is achieved by the addition of air. This is generally used to eradicate hydrogen sulphide and iron from water supplies. ||Ion Exchange. Exchange of ions within a water solution casued by a chemical reaction Prime example is the softening of water
|Algae. Plant organisms that can be found in water ||Langelier Index. Mathematical term that derives the total alkalinity, hardness and PH levels at various different temperatures.
|Alkalinity. Please See the explanation for Total Alkalinity.||Magnesium Hardness. Level/volume of magnesium salts within a water solution
|Anion. An ion that is charged negatively ||Membrane. Film crafted from polymers that creates the semipermeable layer for reverse osmosis, microfiltration and ultra filtration systems for the home and indutsry
|Aquifer. A naturally forming source of water such as natural springs, wells and other such supplies.||Mg./1. Milligrams per liter.
|Backwash. The opposite direction of a water/solutions flow/passage through the filter system. This is often done to cleanse the water with dual filters and sand. This process resettles and cleanses the fitlering bed ||Micron. 10-4 centimeters. 25.4 microns = 0.001 inch = one mm. Generally the measurement used on filters when sizing
|Bacteria. Deseased organisms that will need to be killed using sanitzer. Can be found in water, soil or other substances ||Microsiemens. How a waters conductivoty is measured
|Bactericide. Substance or liquid that can stop or kill basteria ||Module. Housing and membrane part of the filtering system
|Balanced Water. Perfect water type that does not corrode or scale any materials. Also, referred to as PH neutral ||Muriatic Acid. Acid required to cause a reduction in the PH and alkalinity levels of a liquid/water.
|Base Demand. The volume of alkali needed to increase the PH level of the water supply to the desired number. This is achived by using a Base Demand test ||Nominal. Rough size of the particles that are unable to pass through the membrane or filter
|Binders. In the filtration industry these are the materials required to bind or attach the short fibers to each other in the filtering systems ||Osmosis. Flow of liquid/water from lower concentration to a higher concentration through a membrane or filter
|Blinding. Plugging or blocking of the small holes/pores in the filtering membrane, generally a gel ||Osmotic Pressure. How to measure the energy differences of water on each side of the membrane used to filter
|Bromine. Sanitizing chemicals that eradicate kill off algae and bacteria within water ||Oxidizing Filters. Filtration systems using catalytic media fucntionaility
|Buffer. Chemicals that are resistant/immune to PH changes within the water supply. An example of this is sodium bicarbonate ||Ozone. Oxygen that can be used to disinfect water supply
|Calcium Hardness. The level of calcium salts that are dissolved/present within the water being tested ||Particulate. Extremely small particles .
|Cation. Ion that is charged positively ||Permeable. Material that allows water or materials to go through it
|Chemical Solution Feeder. Pumping system designed to feed different checmicals like polyphophate and chlorine into water ||Permeate. This is the water that has been able to pass through the membrane of filter, also referred to as the product water in the reverse osmosis process.
|Chloramine. Mixture of ammonia gases and chlorine that is able to retain bactericidal properties/qualities for longer than standard free chlorine solution. ||pH. The level of acid in water. PH scale goes from 0 to 14, 7 is PH neutra
|Chlorine. Sanitizer created with chemicals that removes/kills algae and bacteria from water solutions/supplies. ||pHof Saturation. Perfect water balance
| Chlorine, Combined. The result of chlorine combined with ammonia and other different types of pollutants. Often referred to as chloramines|| Phenol Red. Chemical that is generally required to test PH levels between 6.8 and 8.4
| Chlorine Demand. Volume of chlorine needed to create a reaction with/on various different impurities within the water supply prioer to residual being reached. || Polymers. Compound that has a number of repeating units
| Chlorine, Free. Standard chlorine used for killing algae and bacteria || Pore. Microscopic hole in a filtering membrane
| Colloid. Extremely fine particles, very small|| Porous. Material that allows some substances through it and not others
| Colloidal-matter. Gel or mucinous materials that is held in water and able to get/pass through very fine sedimentary filtration systems || PPM. Parts per million.
| Compaction. This is the reduction in flux levels due to pressure being applied using a reverse osmosis of other filtration membrane || PSI. Pounds per sq. inch (when measuring pressure).
| Concentrate. The section of the feeding stream in the filter that keeps ions, organics and other suspended particles. || Regeneration. Process of renewing ion exchangers such as water softers so they can continue to be effective
| Condensate. Water that is created using evaporation techniques || Rejection. Materials and substances not being able/allowed to pass through the filters membrane. Reverse osmosis process rejects certain materials from getting to the other side of the membrane
| Contaminant. Origination of the contamination within the water supply|| Resin. Ion polymer beads that are used during the ion exchange pricesses when removing different salts from water
| Crossflow. Exact seperation of different parts of a liquid of fluid using a membrane, pressure and flow of water || Reverse Osmosis. Exerting high pressure on a membrane to removed certain (one or more) components from water. Very popular in home water filtration systems for drinking water
| Cyanuric Acid. Chemicals required to stop decomposition in chlorine from UV || Scale. Crusting created by high alkaline water, generally happens with simming pools and shower units
| Dl (Deionization). Removal of salts from water using ion exchange processes. || Semipermeable. Materials with the ability to allow some substances through and not others. Semipermeable membranes are used in nearly ALL filtering systems, specifically reverse osmosis
| Demineralization. Removal of different minerals from water supply || Soda Ash. Chemical/materials required/used t increase the levels of PH and alkalinity within water(also known and sodium carbonate)
| Disinfection. Removal of bacteria from water distrubution || Sodium Bisulfate. Chemical used when decreasing PH and alkalinity (also known as dry acid)
| Dissolved Solids. Inclusion of small and colloidal suspended particles in the water|| Soft Water. Water with lower than 17ppm magnesium or calcium
| Distillation. Removal of organics from water by boiling and thus creating steam. The steam is condensed on cooled surfaces. || Solute. Solvent with particles dissolved in
| Effluent. Exit streams from the filter system, usually the waste || Stabilizer. See explanation for Cyanuric Acid.
| Element. Standard base point of the filter system, usually the membrane || Superchlorination. Introduction of huge amounts of chlorine to remove unwanted compounds within the water supply
|Feed. Entry solution of the filter system ||Suspended Solids. Material including small particles lower than 1.2mm in diameter
|Filter Cube. The accumulation of the various particles on the surface of the filter||Titration. Water testing process to ascertain strength
|Filtrate. The volume of the feed stream of water that has gone through the membrane||Total Alkalinity. Measurement that shows the capacity of water to neutralize acid.
|Flocculent Chemical used to coagulate different particles within water ||Total Dissolved Solids. Total of all solids that are dissolved within water supply
|Flux.Throughput volume that has gone through the membrane ||Turbidity. Silt, slouded substance, clouded level of water
|GPD. Gallons per day.||Ultrafiltration. Seperating components from water using membrane and applying pressure
|GPG. Grains per gallon. Usual way to measure the hardness of the water supply ||Ultraviolet Disinfection. Using ultraviolet lighting to kill bacteria The use of ultraviolet light to destroy bacteria.