Picking the best water filter out of an ocean of brands is tricky.
But don’t worry. I’ve spent months reviewing, testing, and analyzing dozens of water filters for every situation so you can invest in the best of the best for your family.
Here are the water filtration systems that stack up well against the massive competition on the market.
Let’s dive in.
1. SpringWell CF1: Best Whole-House Water Filtration System $1016.44
The SpringWell CF1 model boasts a powerful four-stage filtration system that banishes 99.6% of the contaminants in the city water, offers a 1,000,000 gallons filter capacity, a brisk nine gallons per minute (GPM) flow rate, and a lifetime warranty.
The SpringWell CF series uses a combination of a five-micron sediment filter, a catalytic carbon filter, and KDF media to trap dirt, chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, lead, mercury, PFOA/PFAS, and many other chemicals that may enter the water line on the way to your home.
The SpringWell CF is equipped with a flow rate of nine GPM, which is decent enough for a house with one to three bathrooms. If necessary, you can upgrade to an even higher flow rate, with models offering 12 or 20 GPM.
This system’s carbon and KDF filters can clean 1,000,000 gallons of dirty water without needing a filter change for over 10 years. You cannot find such a huge filtering capacity in any other brand, trust me, I’ve done my research. The micron filter will last up to nine months and you can get a pack of two for $40.18.
SpringWell CF1 whole house filter is installed either in the basement or around the perimeter of your house where your main water shut-off valve is located. If you’re handy, you can install it yourself using their easy-to-understand Youtube tutorials.
What makes it the best in the market of whole-house filters is its authentic certifications. SpringWell is NSF certified against NSF/ANSI P473 standards.
If your water is a nasty combination of bacteria and viruses, you can combine SpringWell’s ultraviolet system or reverse-osmosis system with the CF filter.
SpringWell offers a lifetime warranty and a six-month money-back guarantee to its customers.
This system will not remove microbial contamination and fluoride in water. But you can always install SpingWell’s UV filter and reverse-osmosis unit in tandem with your CF model to clear out bacteria, viruses, and unwanted minerals.
The SpringWell CF whole-house filter produces squeaky clean water in every tap of your home for the longest period of time without causing a pressure dip. Installing this means you won’t have to replace the filters for over 10 years! (Except for the micron pre-filter that would cost you only $20 approximately every six months.)
If you’d like to learn more even more about this unit, check out my full review of the SpringWell CF1 whole house water filter.
2. PUR PLUS: Best Faucet Water Filter $37.99
PUR PLUS faucet filter removes over 70 contaminants from your drinking tap water. It takes the lead because of its long life, easy installation, solid certifications, and affordability.
PUR PLUS uses the filtering power of activated carbon and ion exchange to trap chlorine, trihalomethanes, lead, mercury, pesticides, and other contaminants that enter your water supply.
In addition to filtration, PUR PLUS also features a mineral filter inside the gorgeous chrome body, making your water taste extra fresh.
This filter will last three months or 100 gallons, whichever comes first, and the replacement filters cost only $30. This means you’ll get clean and thirst-quenching water from your kitchen tap for only $120 a year. A good bargain, I must say. I was happy to find out that it also features a filter indicator light that glows bright when it’s time to change the filters.
It took me only five minutes from unpacking to setting it up on my faucet. That’s how easy the installation is. The filter cleaning and maintenance is effortless as well. Just unscrew the body, take out your filter, wash it, and reattach.
PUR provides its customers a two-year warranty and all of its filters are NSF and WQA certified.
PUR PLUS doesn’t filter microbes, so make sure your tap water is free of microbial contamination.
Although it has a sturdy body, the sideways design gets in the way when you’re doing dishes.
The PUR PLUS faucet filter is a durable unit that removes 70 contaminants from your tap water, making it squeaky clean and delicious to drink. Due to its accessible price point, easy installation, certifications, and warranty, it’s the best faucet filter on the market right now.
Get one for your kitchen sink here.
3. SpringWell Reverse Osmosis: Best Fluoride Removal Filter $442
If you’re troubled with excessive fluoride in your water, the SpringWell Reverse Osmosis Drinking System is exactly what you need. Using a four-stage filtration process, this under-sink filter removes fluoride along with other contaminants like lead and mercury in your treated water supply.
The SpringWell reverse osmosis (RO) under-sink filter combines a sediment filter, two carbon-block filters, and a mighty reverse-osmosis water filter that removes 99.99% of fluoride, heavy metals, chlorine, chloramines, pesticides, and many other contaminants, leaving you the purest form of water.
You’ll get 75 gallons of clean water every day. That’s more than enough for medium to large families.
It fits neatly under your kitchen sink and is very easy to install. No need to call your plumber. You can follow their tutorial video and finish the job in less than thirty minutes.
Except for the reverse osmosis filter that lasts a whole year, the other filters included with this unit require a replacement every six months. The replacement filter cartridges will cost you about $150 a year, which is very affordable compared with the rest of the filters in this category.
This SpringWell filter is made of only certified components. On top of it, it comes with a one-year warranty and a six-month money-back guarantee.
SpringWell’s reverse osmosis under-sink unit has no way of telling the life of filters. If you delay the filter replacement, you might consume some unfiltered contaminants in the water.
This SpringWell under-sink filter produces the cleanest water by removing harmful contaminants, including fluoride, using its top-quality carbon and reverse-osmosis filters. It’s easy to install and maintain and won’t break the bank.
4. SpringWell WS1: Best Sulfur Removal $2204.09
Sulfur in well water, if not treated, can make your whole house smell like rotten eggs. But with the SpingWell WS1 filtration system installed, you can bid farewell to this unbearable stench along with the orange and black stains caused by iron and manganese in the water.
SpringWell’s WS1 is a beast against excessive hydrogen sulfide, iron, and manganese typically found excessively in well water. It uses an air-injection oxidation (AIO) filter combined with a greensand filter to oxidize and trap up to eight PPM of sulfur, seven PPM of iron, and one PPM of manganese in both soluble and insoluble forms.
The trapped contaminants are then backwashed regularly to increase the life of the filters. What sets this unit apart from other sulfur well water filters is that it does not require your input or effort once installed. The system automatically cleans and replenishes itself for the rest of its life. You can connect the control head to your smartphone and schedule the backwash cycles from the comfort of your lounge.
The WS-series features two models: One with a 12 GPM flow rate suitable for medium households and another with 20 GPM for large families.
The filter can be easily installed anywhere along the main water supply line that connects your private well to your home. It’s made of only certified components, so it’s guaranteed to last long. You’ll get a one-year warranty and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
You may find this filter a bit expensive, but considering it’s a whole-house filter that produces clean water from every tap of your home for the rest of your life with minimal maintenance, the price tag is worth it.
Equipped with a high-quality AIO and greensand filter, which removes 99% of hydrogen sulfide iron and manganese, the SpringWell whole-house filter is what you need to get rid of the rotten smell and yellow stains in your toilets and sinks.
If you’re in need of additional information, I’ve conducted a comprehensive review of the SpringWell WS1. Conversely, if you’re ready to experience purified water, you can purchase the SpringWell WS1 here.
5. Waterdrop G3: Best Under-Sink Water Filter $499
The Waterdrop G3 is a stylish, compact and tankless under-sink unit that uses eight stages of filtration to remove bacteria, viruses, chlorine, lead, arsenic, total dissolved solids (TDS), and many other toxins.
Besides a 0.0001-micron RO membrane, the filter comprises multiple sediment filters and carbon filters that ensure no pollutant enters the drinking water.
The G3 has a filtering capacity of 11,000 gallons and a flow rate of 0.75 GPM, which is higher than any other unit in this class. What I absolutely loved about this RO system is it has a low drain ratio, which saves the waste of water by 300%.
It also displays the remaining life of the filters, so you don’t miss the due date and forget to swap the filters in time.
This filter is NSF certified against NSF/ANSI 58 standards for TDS reduction and NSF/ANSI 372 standards for using lead-free components.
The Waterdrop G3 runs on electricity. If you face frequent power outages in your area, this filter might not be for you. I was also disappointed to not find any warranty details on Waterdrop’s RO filters. When the price of a product is a bit steep, you expect the brand to provide its users with at least some warranty.
The Waterdrop G3 is a stylish, space-saving under-sink water-filter system that produces clean and fresh water for a long period of time. Learn more about Waterdrop G3 here.
6. SpringWell LCR-1: Best Lead Filter $1554.98
You can only trust a few filters to remove deadly lead from your water, and the SpringWell lead- and cyst-removal system is one of them. Made and assembled in the US, this filter is certified for lead reduction.
SpringWell’s lead removal filter uses a powerful combo of a 0.5-micron filter and a KDF filter to remove 99.99% of lead along with mercury, PFAS/PFOS, chlorine, giardia, cryptosporidium, and other harmful cysts.
Compared to an average filter in this category, SpringWell is equipped with a faster and better flow rate of eight GPM, suitable for medium to large households and a huge water-filtering capacity of 100,000 gallons, which equals one whole year of clean water supply.
This filter takes the lead on the market because it can indicate the life of the filter. Lead is poisonous, and you can’t afford to consume it in any concentration, so changing filters in time can save you from unwanted trouble.
SpringWell has NSF/ANSI 58, P-473 certifications for lead and PFOS removal. You’ll get a one-year warranty, and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Some may find this filter a bit expensive because of its annual $400 replacement filter cost, but considering it removes lead from the main water supply, so you only get fresh and safe water in all the taps around the house for over a year, I think it’s worth it.
If you’re to treat lead in water, go for a certified whole-house filter that doesn’t lose its efficiency with time. SpringWell’s whole-house lead-removal system is one such filter and is lead’s worst enemy. Learn more about it here.
7. AquaOx DF 7: Best Garden Hose Filter $349
AquaOX’s in-line garden hose filter is ideal for your garden because it removes chlorine, chlorine by-products, herbicides, pesticides, and other chemical pollutants that can harm your flowers and plants.
The AquaOx DF7 boasts a unique QD (quantum disinfection) filter that attracts electrons from pollutant molecules and neutralizes them as a result. The filter also features an activated-carbon filter that cleans out any remaining chlorine and heavy metals.
This filter is the best on the market because it removes bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, making the water safe for your children and pets. You can also use it to fill your aquariums, wash your pets, and clean out your RV water supply.
AquaOx is equipped with a splendid seven GPM flow rate and a huge water-filtering capacity of 100,000 gallons, meaning it will last 10 years.
What makes it the best garden hose filter is that it’s certified against NSF/ANSI 42 and 61 standards for removing chlorine and using only lead-free components. Plus, it comes with the longest warranty of 10 years and a 1-year money-back guarantee, which, I have to admit, deserves a standing ovation.
This filter is pricier than the rest of the filters in the garden-hose category. But it still wins the competition because you’ll be getting a 10-year warranty (which is also the average life of this filter) and a 12-month money-back guarantee, which is a rare find.
You can buy this long-lasting filter here.
8. Big Berkey: Best Gravity-Fed Water Filter $367
Looking for a gravity filter for the upcoming BBQ party in the backyard? The Big Berkey gravity-fed filter can produce delicious water for a big crowd. It can hold up to 2.25 gallons of water and can easily fit in an RV or a cabin.
The Big Berkey gravity-fed filter uses coconut-shell activated carbon and a proprietary blend of filtration media to eliminate more than 200 contaminants, including chlorine, VOCs, lead, pharmaceuticals, sediments, heavy metals, and even radioactives.
This 21-inches-tall stainless-steel filter comes with two Black Berkey filters, each with a filtering life of 3,000 gallons, and having certification against NSF/ANSI 53 standards. You can add two more filter elements of your choice if you want to double this filter’s filtering speed and life.
On top of it all, Big Berkey comes with a lifetime warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The only con is that it’s slightly pricier than the rest of the gravity filters on the market. But if you’re getting a top-quality unit with a generous warranty and money-back guarantee, it’s worth it. Get yourself one today.
9. SpringWell: Best UV Water Purifier $1100.99
SpringWell’s most powerful UV water filter neutralizes 99.99% of all tap-water bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. You can pair it up with any brand’s whole-house filter.
SpringWell’s UV filter uses a strong 30mj/cm2 UV dosage that ruptures and neutralizes the cells of microorganisms. With a high flow rate of 15 GPM, it can provide brisk water flow in seven bathrooms at the same time.
SpringWell UV filters have a smart control head that displays the remaining life of the UV lamp. No need to walk down to your basement to check it; you can connect it to your phone using the QR codes. Pretty dope stuff.
This filter is made of only splash-proof, certified components that protect the UV lamp from external damage. The filter lasts for over a year with minimum maintenance, and the replacement UV light will set you back only $109.54 annually.
The filter comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Plus, you can return it within six months if it’s not up to your expectations. No other brand provides such a generous warranty on its UV filters.
You might want to buy a sediment pre-filter if you haven’t installed one already. Otherwise, the UV lamp will lose its efficiency. The pre-filter costs $83.23 and comes with a lifetime warranty, so you won’t have to get one again.
10. Survivor Filter Pro: Best Portable Water Filter $70
The Survivor Pro pump filter features a precise 0.01-micron filter that I could not find in any other filter in this class. It uses a combination of 0.1-micron pre-filter, an activated-carbon filter, and an ultrafilter to remove 99.99% of microbes, 93% lead and 99.5% mercury, and many other pollutants. This filter is certified for Log 5 reduction of microbes. If you have any doubts, you can check the test reports yourself.
The Survivor Filter Pro’s micron filters last about 26,000 gallons, while the carbon filter needs a replacement after every 528 gallons mark. The replacement filter kit will cost you about $48.
You can find a detailed tutorial on Survivor’s website about setting it up and maintaining it on the go. It took me only 70 seconds to get this filter up and running and get half a liter of clean and safe water. It’s lightweight and made of sturdy ABS plastic that won’t crack even if you drop it on hard concrete.
I appreciate that Survivor Filter Pro gives its users a lifetime warranty and a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Since this is a pump-style filter, you’ll need to pump it 60 times to produce eight ounces of water. It might become tedious if you’re mid-hike or tired from a hectic climb.
11. Aquasana AQ-4100: Best Shower Filter $119.99
Aquasana’s NSF-certified shower filter is a top performer when it comes to removing chlorine and toxic chemicals in the water that dry out the skin and hair. Aqusana AQ-4100 is independently certified against NSF/ANSI 177 standards for chlorine removal. As with any shower filter, the Aqusana is not effective for hard water.
Aqusana AQ-4100 uses a coconut-shell carbon filter and copper-zinc medium to filter chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and total organic carbon (TOC). With a steady flow rate of 2.5 GPM, you’ll never face the fluctuating shower pressure that no one is fond of, especially after a stressful day.
This filter lasts six months before needing a filter swap, which is twice as long as other filters in its category. If you’re a little handy, you can install and maintain the filter yourself. Aquasana provides a detailed manual, and if you still face any trouble, you can contact the company for help.
What I really liked about this brand is its effort toward eco-friendly ventures. As a part of “Water for Life,” you can get a 15% discount, free delivery, and an extended warranty on its replacement filters.
The Aquasana showerhead filter comes with a one-year warranty and 90-day money-back guarantee. It’s a tad pricier than its competitors, and its annual replacement cost can set you back about $119.98 annually, which may be too much for some users. Another downside is its bulky design
12. Epic Smart Shield: Best In-Line Fridge Filter $70
The Epic Smart fridge filter removes 90% of the contaminants, including microbes, in your water supply, making your water and ice cubes taste delicious. Trust me when I say that a refrigerator filter targeting bacteria, viruses, and cysts is rare. It doesn’t remove fluoride, though.
The Epic Smart in-line refrigerator filter uses a combination of hollow fiber and activated carbon to trap dirt, sediments, chlorine, microbes, PFOAs, lead, mercury, and other toxins. This is not an empty claim; this unit is independently certified against NSF/ANSI 42, 53, 401, P231, & P473 standards.
The filter can clean 365 gallons of water, meaning it’ll roughly last about two years before needing a replacement. It’s equipped with a surprisingly fast flow rate of five GPM.
The replacement cartridge costs $45, and you can get a 20% discount by subscribing to their monthly packages. Epic Water Filters offers a limited lifetime money-back guarantee. Some users may find its price steep, but no other brand in this category gives its customers a lifetime money-back guarantee.
You’ll appreciate that Epic Water Filters participates in programs that offset its carbon footprint, such as a recycling program for its used filters. Plus, it’s a part of 1% for the Planet, meaning a fraction of your payment indirectly goes into making Earth a better place.
Learn more about it here.
13. ZeroWater: Best Filter Pitcher $34.99
ZeroWater’s premium five-stage filtration technology removes 99% of dirt, chlorine, lead, PFOA/PSOF, and other dissolved solids from tap water, making it the best water filter pitcher for both well water and municipal water supply. It has a sleek design, comfortable grip handle, a spigot to dispense water that removes the need to tilt the pitcher, and a free TDS meter.
The ZeroWater pitcher is equipped with five stages of filtration that include sediment filters and ion-exchange resin that can trap many contaminants, including chlorine, lead, and TDS, in water. It’s certified against NSF/ANSI 42 and 53 for lead, chromium, and PFOS/PFOA removal. You can check out the contaminants it removes here.
The filter cleans 10 cups in just a few minutes. You’d need to swap filters every month or after 45 gallons. Replacement filters will set you back $14.94 every month. You can also get discounts and free shipping by subscribing to their monthly offers. ZeroWater offers a 90-day money-back guarantee on its pitchers and a 30-day warranty on its filter cartridges.
The filter doesn’t come with a filter-life indicator, so you need to set monthly reminders, or you might end up with mold and algae in your expired filter.
Check out the website for more information.
14. AquaTru: Best Countertop Filter $359.20
If you like countertop systems, you can’t go wrong with the AquaTru.
The AquaTru RO filter removes 99% of 80 pollutants in water using its certified reverse-osmosis filter, sediment filter, and activated-carbon filter. It banishes chlorine, PFOS, lead, arsenic, nitrates, carcinogens, toxic cysts, and fluoride from tap water.
This filter has a long list of certifications. It is independently certified against NSF/ANSI 42, 53, 58, 401 and P473, significantly improving this unit’s credibility.
Its gorgeous yet simple design, with a digital display, will only improve the look of your kitchen. You can set up this system in less than 15 minutes and start drinking clean and delicious filtered water just as quickly.
Unlike other popular countertop filters that need filter changing every two to three months, AquaTru’s filters last twice as long as its competitors, which is 6–12 months (or 600–1,200 gallons). With only a $100 annual replacement cost, it’s a pretty decent deal. The AquaTru countertop filter comes with only a one-year warranty and no money-back guarantee, which is a bummer.
The Bottom Line
After an intense eight months of testing, I can safely say that getting a whole-house water filtration unit like Springwell WS1 can eliminate all the water-related troubles in your life.
This powerful filter is guaranteed to remove 99.6% of all the contaminants lurking in your tap water while keeping the flow rate at an optimum 9 GPM. The filter is compact and can be easily placed in the garage or basement where the water enters your house.
It provides a whopping 1,000,000 gallons of filtered water and lasts about 10 years! You’d need to change the micron filter every nine months and that’s it, no other maintenance is required.
But if your water filtering needs are more specialized, there’s a filter on this list for you, and you can be sure that each one is the best in its class.
Finding the best unit in each category of water filters is no walk in the park. It took eight months to research and analyze dozens of water filters. Here’s a summary of how I did my research.
Step 1: A big list of water filters
To begin my journey, I enlisted the most popular water filters in each category, including whole-house, countertop, coffee, gravity-fed, under-sink, faucet, garden hose, shower, in-line fridge, and portable pitcher filters. This also included filters that removed fluoride, lead, and sulfur from water.
I included filters with the highest sales and popularity on websites like Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target. To further refine my list, I visited a few local marketplaces and asked my friends and families to pour in suggestions.
Step 2: Product analysis
Before evaluating the filters on my list, I needed to know more about what made a water filter the best and how an average person could judge a filter. My mind was whirring with questions, so I quickly noted them down.
- What filter technologies should one look for to clean tap water and well water?
- What are the different filtering stages in a water filter?
- How long should the filter life be?
- What NSF/ANSI and WQA certifications should these filters have?
- How much will I need to spend on the maintenance of the water filter?
- How often will I have to change the filters?
- How durable is the filter body?
- Does it make water drinkable?
Answering these questions helped me judge the filters better.
Step 3: Online reviews
I dedicated a whole week just reading and skimming through hundreds of online reviews and testimonials left by customers. This included surfing review websites like TestFreaks, Angie’s List, Google reviews, and Consumer Reports. I even watched YouTube and Facebook videos about the filters made by some popular influencers.
It took some time, but I was able to trim my list and remove a few filters that had the worst reviews and lowest rankings.
Step 4: Interviews with real customers
Of course, I couldn’t stop here because online testimonials (apart from some authentic websites) can be fake and paid. I decided to contact real customers and talk to them about their experiences with the filters. I reached out to 50 customers and, to my surprise, everyone wanted to share something about their filters. Some even promised to report their filter’s efficiency after a few months of using it.
I now had genuine reviews, including pictures, videos, and test results to judge the filters on my list.
Step 5: Interviews with brands
My search was incomplete without talking directly to the brands and conveying customers’ complaints regarding their products. I prepared a few questions about the authenticity of their certifications and how they planned to improve their filter’s shortcomings.
To my surprise, most of the brands were quick to respond to my queries. But here’s the thing: only a few gave satisfactory answers and even followed up a few weeks later.
I removed the brands that didn’t get back to me within two days.
Step 6: Test drives
Now was the time to test the filters myself. It took me four months, but I was able to give my filters the final rankings based on the taste, smell, and color of filtered water and the contaminants they removed, as well as the ease of installation and maintenance. I tested both city water and well water using my water testing kit. Disclaimer: no water was wasted in these tests.
Step 7: Rankings
In the last month of my research, I plugged in all the important details about the filters left on my list and ran a few excel formulas to reach a conclusion.
I gave each filter scores against the following factors.
- Filter efficiency
- Number of contaminants removed by the filter
- Filter body
- Ease of maintenance
- Ease of installation
- Refund policies
- Customer care service
- Customer reviews
With ever-increasing pollution, you cannot trust well water or city water to be fit enough to consume without some kind of filtering. Even the cleanest-looking water may be brimming with bacteria and viruses.
To ensure you choose the best filter that removes toxins with certainty, I’ve tested and reviewed dozens of filters in every category of water filters, including whole-house, countertop, backpack, and under-sink filters.
So, if you want to bid farewell to nasty pollutants in your water, get yourself either a SpringWell WS1 whole-house filter, a PUR PLUS horizontal faucet mount, or a SpringWell Reverse Osmosis System now.