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Best Water Filters of 2023

By: Sheryl Cannes
Updated on: July 28, 2023

Heavy metals, chlorine, and other contaminants and substances can make their way into your tap water, making it taste less than fresh. Chemicals like chlorine clean the water, but the odor and taste don’t necessarily make you want to sip your ice water. Water filters remove impurities and contaminants while reducing odors, which produces great tasting water that rivals the best bottled water.

The right type of water filter will produce clean water directly from your tap. Some are whole-house water filtering systems, while others are a pitcher you can store in the refrigerator. Different types of water filters work better at doing different things. For example, some are better at removing sediment and heavy metals, while others sterilize bacteria and viruses. How you plan to use the filter and the kind of contaminants you want to remove will decide the type that is best for you.

We reviewed eight of the best water filters on the market and have included a shopping guide to help you decide which type you need.

8 Best Water Filters of 2023

Best Water Filter Overall:
iSpring RCC74K 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System

This six-stage filtration system fits under a standard-size kitchen sink and removes contaminants as small as .0001 microns. An added alkaline remineralization stage rebalances the water’s alkalinity so that it’s pH balanced for optimum taste and nutrition.

$200 from
Best Under Sink Water Filter
Best Under Sink Water Filter:
Frizzlife MK99 Under Sink Water Filter
  • Fast, 3-minute installation
  • Includes converters for greater faucet compatibility
  • Auto-shutoff allows you to replace the filter without turning off the water supply
$80 from

Heavy metals like lead and copper don’t stand a chance with the Frizzlife. It targets heavy metals, chlorine, arsenic, and sand, removing particles as small as .5 microns. This model comes with converters to fit a wide range of faucet types. If you’re looking for a filter that’s super easy to install and quick to manage, this is the model for you.

Once installed, it maintains a good water flow rate of two gallons per minute. One of the best features is the auto shut-off that allows you to change the filter cartridge without disconnecting the entire mechanism from your water system. A filter cap with a built-in shut-off valve automatically stops the water flow when you’re making the change for fast, easy maintenance.

Tip:The Frizzlife MK99’s filter design allows you to dispose of the inner filter without throwing away the casing, for an eco-friendly way to keep your water clean.

Best UV Water Filter
Best UV Water Filter:
Express Water Alkaline UV Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
  • Combines a reverse osmosis water filter with UV sterilization
  • Fits under most standard sinks
  • UV filter kills bacteria and viruses like E. Coli and coliform
$260 from

The Express filtration system drastically improves water quality through a combination of filter types. The reverse osmosis process takes care of sediment, chlorine, lead, arsenic, nitrates, and other contaminants that affect water quality, taste, and health. When you add UV sterilization, this model protects you from microorganisms, common bacteria, E. Coli, and coliform, to name a few.

It’s all put together in a system that fits underneath your sink, so the Express is completely hidden from sight. However, with all its filtration abilities, it’s the leak detection feature that adds even more value. The filter automatically shuts off if it detects a hint of a leak, protecting your home from unseen water damage.

Best Reverse Osmosis Filter
Best Reverse Osmosis Filter:
Waterdrop RO Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System
  • 7-stage filtration removes contaminants while improving water taste and quality
  • Fits underneath a standard sink
  • Automatic flushing, overwork reminder, and frequent use reminder to better maintain the system
$540 from

The Waterdrop’s impressive seven-stage filtration system removes impurities, contaminants, and odors all from underneath a standard kitchen sink. As far as reverse osmosis filters go, this is one of the best options because of its three automated safety and monitoring functions.

The Waterdrop automatically flushes itself after it’s worked for an accumulated total of two hours to remove built-up contaminants. There is also an overwork reminder that goes off after 30 minutes of continuous use and a frequent start and stop reminder when the system is turned on and off repeatedly over the course of 20 minutes. Once a reminder goes off, you know it’s time to shut off the water to flush the system. Together, all of these features protect the system, help it to last longer, and keep fresh water running through your faucet.

The seven-stages, which include a carbon block filter, remove limescale, viruses, bacteria, and heavy metals. With the Waterdrop, you get an easy to install and maintain system and clean drinking water. This unit is also tested and certified against NSF/ANSI standards, which means you’re getting safe, high-quality water.

Tip:Follow all installation instructions exactly. If the water filter is installed incorrectly, it can at the very least be ineffective and at the worst damage your plumbing system or faucet.

Best Water Pitcher Filter
Best Water Pitcher Filter:
ZeroWater 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher
  • 5-stage filtration removes lead and other heavy metals
  • 80-ounce capacity (10 cups)
  • Easy-grip handle for better control
$35 from

Pitcher water filters provide fast, easy, clean water. The ZeroWater comes with a five-stage filtration system that removes up to 99.6 percent of total dissolved solids (TDS) like lead, copper, and other heavy metals.

It holds up to 80-ounces or ten cups of water at a time. When it’s time to refill, a quick-fill spigot helps get the water through the filter with little to no spillage. Finally, ten cups of water aren’t light weight. An easy-grip handle offers better control and grip when it’s time to pour.

Best Portable Water Filter
Best Portable Water Filter:
LifeStraw Portable Water Filter
  • Lightweight and highly portable
  • Filters bacteria, parasites, dirt, sand, and microplastics
  • Filter membrane lasts for 1,000 gallons of water
$20 from

You can’t get more portable than the Lifestraw. Outdoor adventurers and enthusiasts swear by it and its 1.62 ounces. The straw allows you to directly drink from water sources like streams and lakes, while it filters out bacteria, parasites, dirt, and sand. The filter membrane also removes microplastics and general cloudiness.

The completely BPA-free materials hold up for the long haul. The filter cleans up to 1,000 gallons of water before it needs to be replaced. Whether you need a filter for hiking or your emergency supplies, the Lifestraw Portable Water Filter is a clear winner.

Types of Water Filters

Water filters are either point of entry (POE) or point of use (POU). A whole-house water filtration system is POE. Water filter pitchers, under the counter, and faucet-mounted models are all examples of POU filters. Within either type are the following types of water filters.

Activated CarbonReverse Osmosis
An activated carbon filter has a huge surface area relative to its size, which allows it to absorb a large number of contaminants. At the same time, carbon has chemical reactions with other substances that essentially neutralize them. When chlorine, for example, comes into contact with carbon, it creates chloride ions. Chloride and chlorine are different, and chloride ions don’t leave behind a taste, scent, nor are they harmful to drink. In fact, the right chloride ion levels can make water taste better.
However, carbon filters can only remove so many contaminants. How much they remove before they get saturated depends on the number of contaminants, water temperature, and how long the water stays in contact with the filter. Carbon filters are usually used in conjunction with other types of water filters, like reverse osmosis or UV, as a second or third layer of filtration.
A reverse osmosis (RO) filter works by passing water through a thick semi-permeable membrane that traps contaminants like salt, sediments, and sand. The harmful contaminants stay on one side of the filter while the water passes through to the other side.
The process is usually done through several stages, which may include a carbon filter and sediment pre-filter before the water passes through the semipermeable membrane.
RO filters work well for water softening, which removes excess minerals from water. Some designs can filter much smaller particles, down to .0001 microns, which targets some bacteria and viruses.
However, RO isn’t a fast process. It takes time and often requires a tank of some kind so you can access the filtered water. RO tankless filtration systems may require a rest period if it’s been filtering water for over 20 to 30 minutes.
Ultraviolet light penetrates water and kills bacteria and viruses. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to clean contaminated water of E. Coli, cryptosporidium, and other common pathogens. UV filters can be used alone or as part of a mixed filtration system. It’s a low energy way to clean water and doesn’t leave behind any odor or taste.

Features to Consider

Ease of Installation Whole-house water filtration systems may directly attach to a water tank to filter city or well water before it enters the rest of your house. You’ll probably need a professional for this type of system.
However, most under the sink and faucet-mounted systems are designed for DIY installation. Check the installation instructions and recommendations to see how easy (or hard) the filter is to install, as some models are easier than others.
Ease of MaintenanceFilters eventually get full, which means you’ll need to replace them on a regular basis. Some systems require you to turn off your water or disconnect the filtration system to replace the filter, while others have settings that stop the water flow so you can quickly replace the filter without disconnecting or turning off the water to your house.
Contaminant RemovalWe’ve talked about the different types of filters, but we didn’t go into why you might choose one over another. Different filters remove different types of contaminants. If you’re targeting bacteria and viruses, which can be as small as .0001 microns or less, a UV filter or some types of RO filters can do the job.
Carbon filters target larger contaminants that are about .5 microns or larger. RO can, depending on the filter quality and design, filter sediment and sand and smaller contaminants like bacteria and viruses.
Installation TypeWater filters are installed in a number of different ways. The main types being under the counter filters, faucet-mounted filters, whole-house filters, water pitcher filters, and countertop water filters.
Whole-house systems have the advantage of filtering all the water that enters your home. If you have a serious amount of contaminants or hard water, this type of system might be for you. On the downside, they’re expensive and may require professional installation.
Under the counter, faucet-mounted, and countertop water filters vary in size, with faucet-mounted models being the smallest. These filters are easy to install and do a good job of filtering the water that comes through the faucet to which they are attached.
Water filter pitchers offer the most portability and ease of use. You fill the pitcher and put it in your refrigerator. Before long, you’ve got perfectly filtered water that’s delicious, cold, and safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of water filter do I need?

The type you need will depend on the contaminants you’re trying to remove. If you have hard water, a reverse osmosis system will help. Activated carbon filters and reverse osmosis filters can remove heavy metals, sand, and sediment. If you want to kill bacteria and viruses, you’ll need a UV filtration or reverse osmosis model designed specifically to remove contaminants that small.

Will my water filter get clogged?

The filter in any water filtration system or device will need to be replaced eventually. The filter reaches a saturation point, after which your water pressure may slow. At the same time, a saturated filter no longer removes contaminants, so regular maintenance is part of keeping clean water flowing. However, if you replace the filters on a regular schedule, the chances of slowed water flow and reduced filtration are small.

Do I need a whole-house water filtration system?

A whole-house filtration system makes sense when you live in an area where water contaminants are high, or you have hard water. Whole-house systems filter water as it enters or leaves the water tank. If you have hard water, lots of sediment, and heavy metals, a whole-house system makes sure those contaminants don’t ruin appliances, clothes, or anything else. It also eliminates the need to have a POU water filter at every faucet.

Final Advice

Whether it’s poor tasting water that’s got you on the hunt for a water filter or sediment and hard water, there’s a model out there for you. If all you want is the taste of bottled water at home, a water filter pitcher may be all you need. Test your water, so you know the types of contaminants with which you’re dealing. From there, it’s about finding a model that fits your lifestyle, water system, and DIY abilities.


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