Best water filters: 8 fabulous finds to keep water fresh and clean

According to our team, these are the best water filters to invest in this summer

best water filters for your home
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Are you searching for the best water filters? Naturally, it is that time of year. There is nothing more refreshing than a fresh glass of cold water, but buying bottled water is often an unnecessary expense that wastes single-use plastic as well as money. 

The best water filters are surprisingly easy to install on your faucets and can remove all sorts of impurities such as lead, chlorine, microplastics, and more. If you do not want to install a water filter to your faucets, you can consider another model like the best water filter pitchers. All you have to do is: fill the pitcher up and leave it on the sink or in the refrigerator for easy access whenever you need it. 

Though finding the best water filter — or the best water filter pitcher — is no easy task, and if you are short on time like most of us, your go-to choice may fall short of your expectations; but have no fear, that is where we come in to help. 

The Homes & Gardens team has not only rounded up everything you need to know from the lifespan of the filter inserts and the size, but our team has gone ahead and found eight top-notch tries that are worth the investment. 

The 8 best water filters worth the investment

best water filters to try for home

(Image credit: Lifestraw)

1. LifeStraw Home Water Filter Pitcher

the best water filter: our hands-down overall winner that looks great and fits in the fridge

Type: Pitcher
Filter life: 264 gallons
Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 14 inches
Reasons to buy
+Comes in glass and plastic+Plenty of colors to choose from 
Reasons to avoid
-Not the longest lasting filter

We love the look of the LifeStraw Home Filter Pitcher. It has a range of filter colors to choose from, including aqua, grey and white, and comes in either glass or BPA-free plastic. The seven-cup design means it will fit into most refrigerator doors while still catering to the whole family. 

The microfilter claims to last up to last a year with regular use, which isn't as much as some of the other water filters in our guide, but that is perfectly acceptable; it is easier than ever to replace when need be. 

When it comes to the filtering function, there's a two-stage process in the LifeStraw pitcher. The first filter removes 99.9% of bacteria, parasites, and microplastics. 

The activated charcoal and ion exchange filter removes chemicals such as chlorine for a better taste and removes metals such as lead and mercury.

best water filter

(Image credit: Aquasana)

2. Aquasana 2-Stage Under Sink Water Filter System with Brushed Nickel Faucet

The best water filter: one of the best models for those looking to keep it discreet

Type: Under counter
Filter life: 500 gallons
Dimensions: 8.25 x 4.25 x 9 inches
Reasons to buy
+DIY installation+Great price+Low running costs+Neat-looking faucet
Reasons to avoid
-Some have complained of leaks-It may be difficult to install

Under-counter, filters have the benefit of purifying all of the water that comes out of the faucet. Choices such as these happen to be expensive and complicated, whereas the Aquasana 2-Stage Under Sink Water Filter is anything but; it is an exceptional selection. 

Here, this best buy strikes a balance between price and effectiveness, particularly as you'll notice it comes equipped with a chrome faucet. 

Nevertheless, while the features and functions are fantastic, the set-up is another story, as it is designed to be a DIY-yourself; prepare to invest a decent amount of time into its set-up, as it's known for being difficult. A handful of users have noted that the plastic joints (included in the set-up) can leak a little: so be careful as you install them. 

When properly installed: the two-stage filtration system will remove up to 97% of chlorine, as well as lead, asbestos, herbicides, and pesticides; dealing with upwards of 60 common water contaminants with every use, and at a flow rate of only 0.5 gallons per minute. (Which is good since filtrations cost a minimum of 10 cents per gallon!)

All-in-all: owners have agreed that their water tastes exceptionally better after implementing this system. 

best water filters

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Cleanwater4less Countertop Water Filtration System

The best water filter: a simple countertop model that gets the job done and offers easy installation

Type: Countertop
Filter life: 10,000 gallons
Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 9.5 inches
Reasons to buy
+Simple installation+Well priced+Can purify thousands of gallons+Good flow rate
Reasons to avoid
-The diverter valve is the weak part-No replaceable filters

The Cleanwater4less Countertop Water Filtration System is easy to install, with a universal diverter valve that should connect directly to most faucets. According to most users, this system is a bit easier to set up when compared to others, and while it is a little fiddly (as most are), it was not anything all that difficult. 

In terms of value with this filter, it is one of the better ones on the market; with a system rated to purify 10,000 gallons of water, it is sure to impress. The integrated filter isn’t as extensive as some other products but is said to reduce chlorine by 97%, plus it can deal with volatile organic compounds and sediment. 

However, as impressive as that may be, it is crucial to note that this machine comes with an irreplaceable carbon filter, so when the filter is finished: that is it. 

Time for a brand-new machine! 

best water filter

(Image credit: Waterdrop)

4. Waterdrop Lucid 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher

The best water filter: comes in plenty of colors and has a large capacity

Type: Water jug
Filter life: 200 gallons
Dimensions: 10.40 x 5.30 x 10.00 inches
Reasons to buy
+Well priced+Good capacity+Filters last a long time+Good-tasting results
Reasons to avoid
-Water filling system can be finicky 

Water jugs are one of the most convenient ways of filtering water: as you top them up with tap water, let them do their job, and then stick them in the fridge. While many can be expensive, Waterdrop Lucid is one of the best value.

Its 10-cup capacity is a good balance between size and portability, and the filter lasts for 200 gallons before you it will need to be replaced. 

Plus, there is a wooden handle for an easy-to-use pour, as well as a fill port with a flap that opens underwater pressure — so the lid does not ever have to be removed! 

Lastly, this choice turns to a seven-stage filtration system to improve the taste and quality of your water. 

best water filters

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter

The best water filters: the best selection for an accessible purification

Type : Countertop
Filter life: 750 gallons
Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 14 inches
Reasons to buy
+Looks great+Clean tasting water+Easy to fit+Great price
Reasons to avoid
-Filter can be hard to replace

The Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter comes equipped with a clear filter that is sure to be a talking point for anyone in your kitchen. 

Much like any other typical countertop model, this choice connects directly to your faucet, and it’s fed directly with tap water. Designed to last for up to 750 gallons — remove chlorine, sediment, radon, and more! — this easy-to-install option will look sensational in any kitchen. 

best water filters

(Image credit: Brita)

6. Brita Ultra Max Dispenser

The best water filters: a well-designed option that features a dispenser with an 18-cup capacity

Type: Dispenser
Filter life: 120 gallons
Dimensions: 5.1 x 14 x 9.6 inches
Reasons to buy
+It Will not take up much space+Spigot for dispensing+A larger capacity+Sized to fit into a refrigerator
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy to refill-Replacing the filter cartridge can be difficult

If you like the idea of having a lot of filtered water readily available but don’t want the DIY hassle of an under-counter or countertop filter, the Brita Ultra Max Dispenser could be for you.

With an 18-cup capacity, this slimline dispenser has enough water for the entire family. Designed to sit on a counter without taking up too much space, but you can slide it into a refrigerator, too.

As this is a large item and heavy when filled with water, there’s a spigot on the front for filling up cups or bottles, and it has a decent flow rate.

This model ships with Brita’s long-life filters, which require changing after 120 gallons (there’s an indicator on the lid that tells you when). You can use the standard 40-gallon filters, too.

Some owners have found it hard to get the black plastic lid off to replace the filter.

Refilling is straightforward enough, with water going in at the top and filtering through to the bottom. This product is a little cumbersome and heavy to move.

Brita says its filter can remove 99% of the chlorine and lead, plus cadmium, mercury, benzene, and more. Owners generally report an improvement in water taste.

Overall, if you don’t want to plumb in a water filter but want a lot of capacity, this is the product for you.

best water filters

(Image credit: Amazon)

7. LARQ Lightweight Self-Cleaning and Non-Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

The best water filters: the best model for those who need their purified water on the go

Type: Bottle
Filter life: N/A
Dimensions: 9.6 x 2.7 x 2.7 inches
Reasons to buy
+Kills germs and viruses+Self-cleaning+Works with virtually all water sources+Provides a long-lasting charge
Reasons to avoid
-Quite expensive-Doesn’t improve the taste

The LARQ Bottle is slightly different from the other products on this list: as it doesn’t have a filter; instead, it uses a rechargeable battery in the lid to power a UV light that kills bacteria and viruses, making water safe to drink.

There are two cleaning modes: typical is for regular tap water, where you’ve got a fair idea of how trustworthy the source is; Adventure mode is a longer cycle for less reliable sources. 

LARQ says that the minimum requirement for filling is that the water looks clear and is free of heavy sediments; so, you can technically fill it from a clean-looking stream if you need it.

There’s also a self-cleaning mode, where the bottle activates quickly every two hours to keep your water pure.

When on adventure mode, the bottle can eradicate 99.9999% of bacteria (including E.coli), as well as 99.99% of viruses. There’s no filtering of chlorine or heavy metals: so this bottle won’t improve the taste of water.

Other than that, this 17oz bottle is like any other insulated water bottle, keeping cold drinks cold and hot ones hot.

If you’re trying to avoid bottled water on the move, this is a handy way to get pure and safe water wherever you are.

Amazon Basics AMZB-G30CW

(Image credit: Amazon Basics AMZB-G30CW)

8. AmazonBasics AMZB-G30CW Filtration System

The best water filters: a budget-friendly, affordable countertop option

Type: Countertop
Filter life: 30,000 gallons
Dimensions : 4.4 x 4.4 x 12.8 inches
Reasons to buy
+Multiple colors+Low price+High filter capacity+Easy to install
Reasons to avoid
-Cheap parts-The filter is not replaceable

The AmazonBasics AMZB-G30CW Filtration System brings you countertop filtration for less, helping those on a budget get better-tasting water.

Available in three different colors, the filtration system is rather plain-looking, but it doesn’t take up much countertop space. 

This filtration system requires a connection to an existing faucet, which should be straightforward, but it’s not compatible with all faucets. There are some complaints that the diverter valve leaks, so take care while installing.

Each product can filter 30,000 gallons of water, but there’s no replaceable filter, so you’ll have to dispose of the product and buy a new one each time. 

Amazon says the product is crafted to reduce chlorine and other unpleasant odors. It does the job well, with most people reporting better-tasting water after installing this.

Do I really need a water filter?

From a safety standpoint: tap water is very safe to drink, although some homes: do not have a substantially safe supply. 

For most people, then, the point of having a water filter is to improve the taste of tap water. In the majority of US states, chlorine's primary use is as a disinfectant. It is safe to drink the detectable levels of chlorine, but the taste is affected. 

A water filter helps clean out chlorine and other contaminants, giving you better-tasting water. And, as water filters can work for many gallons, you can save money over bottled water.

For people with a contaminated water supply, filtration can help, but you have to know what you’re trying to filter out. If you think that you’ve got a contaminated water supply, seek professional help.

How do I choose a water filter? 

All water filters work in the same way: tap water passes through a filter that removes contaminants. There are different styles of filter, though.

Under-counter filters are designed to fit into a cupboard and usually come with a new faucet. These give you clean, filtered water at the same flow rate as your regular faucet. Although harder to install, you get the benefit of a single faucet to use for everything, and you can quickly use filtered water everywhere, from cooking to filling a water bottle to take away.

Countertop filters work in a similar way to under counter, but they’re usually connected to your faucet. You get the same advantages as with an under-counter model, but these models are easier to install. Having a bulky device on your kitchen counter is the main downside.

Jug filters have everything built into a jug. You fill up the top reservoir with tap water, and it’s filtered through to the bottom as clean water. These are quick and easy to use, and you can store a jug of filtered water ready for use. The downsides are that you need a jug double the size (half for tap; half for filtered), and there’s a short wait for filtered water every time you fill up.

Bottle water filters are designed for on-the-go use. They’re handy if you’re on the move and want to refill your water from anywhere.

What does a water filter remove?

Each water filter system is different, so you need to check carefully what each one offers and their particular need. It’s worth pointing out that bacteria are generally not removed by most water filters.

Water filters will generally all remove chlorine and prove to be roughly 90% effective. Other contaminants include volatile organic compounds (harmful chemicals), heavy metals, and sediments. 

How often should I change the filter itself?

Filters are rated: by the gallon, and most water filter systems will track how much of the filter was used. Once it’s time to replace the filter, you’ll get a warning. Cheaper systems that don’t track actual usage will tell you how long each filter will last.

Typically, you should replace filters promptly, as they’ll stop working effectively, and you may as well have non-filtered water.

Brittany Romano
Brittany Romano

Brittany Romano joins Future as their U.S. Shopping E-commerce Editor, residing on the Upper East Side in New York City. Originally hailing from Connecticut and a graduate of New England College, Brittany started her career as a fashion market assistant at Marie Claire, later joining AMI, where she designed a highly profitable commerce vertical. Noted for her award-winning content, she's covered everything from celebrity beauty hacks to the most lavish home decor; Brittany has maintained her penchant for the finer things in life. 

If a genie granted Brittany one wish, it would be for Kelly Wearstler to bring her vision to life and transform her living space, but until then? You'll find Brittany continuously evolving her chilled-out sophisticated style, shifting her attention to eclectic pieces (with a hint of retro), grounded by a rich understanding of history, focused on functionality, luxury, and quirkiness.

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