How to Choose the Best Drinking Water Filtration System

How do you choose the best drinking water filtration system in 2024? What features and functions must an ideal water filtration system offer for a perfect quality/price ratio? Read our article and make an informed choice.

The best tap water filterA safe and consistent supply of drinking water is crucial for the health and well-being of everyone in your household.

With countless contaminants potentially present in tap water, a robust drinking water filtration system can serve as an essential line of defence.

However, the market is teeming with a plethora of filtration systems, making it daunting to identify the most suitable option for your needs.

This comprehensive guide will break down the factors you should consider when choosing the best drinking water filtration system, along with the benefits each type of system can bring.

Top 3 Recommended Best Drinking Water Filtration Systems

Why Use a Water Filtration System?

Generally, drinking water supplied to the tap by the public system must meet strict conditions to be safe for consumption.

However, this does not mean that tap water contains no contaminants. Tap water can contain impurities that can not only affect your health, but also change the taste, colour and smell of drinking water.

Drinking water filtration systems, such as water filters under the sink, considerably reduce the amount of water impurities in the tap. These water filtration systems are mounted directly to your drinking water network (under the sink or as stand alone).

Although these systems will probably not reduce 100% of drinking water impurities, they will reduce a considerable number and provide you with a superior, tasty, healthier quality water.

Most water filtration systems will use several stages of filtration. Each stage uses a specialized filter that retains certain particles or germs present in the tap water. Some filtration systems can retain up to 50 types of contaminants, while some simpler just a few.

A major advantage is that most drinking water filtration systems do not require the help of an plumber.

Usually they can be installed in just a few minutes by the buyer. However, some tap water systems can be bulky and can take up much space in the cabinet under the sink.

Best Drinking Water Filtration Systems: What to Look for

The best tap water filtration system has to eliminate as many contaminants as possible, to have as much lifetime as possible and not to occupy a lot of space where it is installed.

Easy change under the sink water filterIn addition, make sure that the chosen filtering system comes with a bigger warranty. Below we offer some criteria that will help you properly evaluate such a product.

Understanding Water Filtration

Water filtration systems work by removing impurities from your water supply.

These impurities can range from harmful chemicals like lead and chlorine to particulates like sand and dust. However, not all filtration systems are created equal.

Some are specifically designed to target certain contaminants, while others provide a broad spectrum of filtration.

Understanding what contaminants are present in your water supply is an essential first step in selecting the best water filtration system.

Types of Drinking Water Filtration Systems

  1. Activated Carbon Filters: These are commonly used in pitcher filters and under-the-sink systems. They work by attracting and absorbing a range of impurities, including chlorine, sediment, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
  2. Reverse Osmosis Systems: These are highly effective at removing a wide array of contaminants, including lead, fluoride, and some bacteria. They use a semi-permeable membrane to filter out impurities, making them a comprehensive option.
  3. Ultraviolet Systems: These use UV light to kill bacteria and viruses, making them excellent for eradicating harmful microorganisms. However, they don’t remove other types of contaminants, so they’re often used in conjunction with other filters.
  4. Distillation Units: These work by boiling water and collecting the condensation, effectively removing a wide range of contaminants. However, they can be energy-intensive and may not be efficient for large quantities of water.

The effectiveness of a water filtration system hinges significantly on its ability to filter out the specific contaminants present in your water supply. These contaminants can be diverse, varying from place to place depending on the local water source and treatment facilities, as well as local environmental factors.

Before choosing a water filtration system, it’s vital to understand the quality of your water supply. This can be done through a comprehensive water quality test, which you can often arrange via your local water authority or by purchasing a home testing kit.

Types of Water Pollutants

Water pollutants can be broadly categorised into several types:

  1. Physical Pollutants: These are typically suspended particles, including soil, sediment, and organic materials. A filtration system with a good mechanical filter should easily remove these.
  2. Chemical Pollutants: These include elements or compounds such as metals (lead, mercury), salts (sodium, chloride), and man-made chemicals (pesticides, pharmaceuticals). Activated carbon filters can effectively remove many organic chemicals, while reverse osmosis systems are adept at removing a broader range of chemical pollutants.
  3. Biological Pollutants: These include bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that can cause health problems if ingested. UV filters are excellent for eliminating biological contaminants, but they’re typically used in conjunction with other systems to ensure comprehensive filtration.
  4. Radiological Pollutants: These are unsteady elements that emit ionising radiation, such as radium and uranium. Although rare in most municipal water supplies, they can be a concern in some regions. Certain types of ion exchange systems or reverse osmosis filters can help to remove these.

Consideration of Pollutant Levels

The concentration levels of these pollutants will influence the type of water filtration system you need.

Filters for water pollutants and contaminantsIf your water supply has high levels of a broad range of contaminants, a multi-stage system combining several types of filtration, like a reverse osmosis system with a UV filter, could be the most effective solution.

Keep in mind that some systems are also able to deal with particular contaminants exceptionally well. For instance, if you’re dealing with high levels of chlorine in your water, an activated carbon filter is an excellent choice.

Aim for Balance

Finally, remember that balance is crucial when filtering your water. Some minerals, like calcium and magnesium, are not only safe but also beneficial to human health. A system that removes every single mineral may not be ideal. Many people opt for filtration systems that reduce harmful contaminants while leaving beneficial minerals intact.

Quality Certifications

Quality certifications are paramount when choosing a water filtration system. They serve as a testament to the system’s effectiveness, reliability, and safety. Various international and local organisations issue these certifications after thoroughly testing the products for different criteria.

  1. NSF International: This is a widely recognised global certification body that tests and certifies water filtration systems. Products certified by NSF have been verified to reduce specific contaminants to safe levels, ensuring the safety of your drinking water. Look for certifications like NSF/ANSI Standard 42 (for aesthetic effects like chlorine taste and odour), Standard 53 (for health effects, such as reduction of specific contaminants like lead, giardia, and volatile organic compounds), and Standard 58 (for reverse osmosis systems).
  2. Water Quality Association (WQA): The WQA offers a Gold Seal certification programme that verifies a product’s durability, structural integrity, and ability to reduce contaminants.
  3. Underwriters Laboratories (UL): UL is a global safety certification company that tests water treatment devices for safety and performance. A UL certification signifies that the product meets stringent safety standards.

By choosing a filtration system with these certifications, you can have peace of mind knowing that your system will effectively reduce contaminants in your water.

Water Flow Rate

The flow rate of a water filtration system determines how quickly it can filter and provide clean water.

It’s usually measured in gallons per minute (GPM). The right flow rate for you will depend on your household’s water usage.

  1. Under-the-Sink and Countertop Models: These systems typically have lower flow rates as they are designed to filter water for drinking and cooking rather than the entire home’s water supply. The average flow rate for these systems is around 0.5-1 GPM.
  2. Whole House Filtration Systems: These need to provide filtered water to all the faucets in your house, including bathrooms, kitchens, and possibly garden hoses. Therefore, they require a higher flow rate. An average-sized household usually needs a flow rate of about 15-20 GPM.

To calculate your household’s flow rate, consider the number of water outlets in your house and how many are used simultaneously. Also, consider peak water usage times, such as morning routines or watering the garden, to ensure your system can meet the demand.

A system with a higher flow rate can provide more water in less time, but it may also be more expensive, both to purchase and to operate. A system with a lower flow rate will be cheaper and may use less energy, but it might not be able to keep up with your household’s water demands. By considering these factors, you can choose a filtration system with a flow rate that best suits your needs.

Water Hardness Compatibility

If you live in an area with hard water (water with a high mineral content), you might consider a system that also includes water softening features.

Pure clean and filtered drinking waterToo much calcium or magnesium can cause scale build-up in pipes and appliances, so a filtration system that also addresses water hardness can be beneficial.

Size and Space Considerations

The physical size of a water filtration system is an often overlooked but vital factor to consider. Different types of systems vary significantly in size and will therefore require different amounts of space for installation.

  1. Countertop Water Filters: As the name suggests, these are placed directly on your countertop. They are compact, requiring only a small amount of space next to your sink. They’re easy to install and move, making them ideal for rented properties or smaller kitchens.
  2. Under-Sink Water Filters: These systems are installed under your sink and, therefore, need enough cupboard space to accommodate them. The size varies, but you need to ensure you have enough room for both the filtration system and the required plumbing.
  3. Faucet-Mounted Water Filters: These are small filters that attach directly to your faucet. They take up very little space, but they may not be compatible with all types of faucets.
  4. Whole House Water Filters: These systems are larger and need to be installed at the point where your water supply enters your home. You’ll need to have a suitable space, often a garage, basement, or utility room, where the system can be installed and accessed for maintenance.

Remember to measure your available space accurately before purchasing a filtration system. If you’re unsure, consider seeking advice from a professional plumber or the filtration system manufacturer.

Ease of Filter Replacement

Water filters are not a ‘fit and forget’ solution – they require regular maintenance, primarily through filter replacements. The frequency of this varies based on the system, the quality of your water, and your usage.

Some systems make it simple for homeowners to change the filter, with clear instructions and easy-to-access filter housings. Others might require specialised tools or professional assistance, which can add to the ongoing maintenance cost.

Here’s what to consider:

  • Frequency of Replacement: Check the manufacturer’s guidelines on how often filters need to be replaced. This can range from every few months to every few years, depending on the system.
  • Cost of Replacement Filters: Don’t just consider the cost of the filtration system itself, but also the ongoing cost of replacement filters. These costs can add up over time, particularly for systems that require frequent filter changes.
  • Availability of Filters: Make sure the replacement filters are readily available. If you choose a less common brand or type of system, you may find it harder to source replacements.
  • Ease of the Process: Some systems are designed to make filter replacement as easy as possible, while others can be more complex. If you’re comfortable with DIY, you might be fine with a more complicated process. If not, look for a system known for its easy maintenance.

Considering these factors can help ensure your chosen water filtration system is not only effective but also manageable in the long term. This will help keep your drinking water clean and safe without causing unnecessary hassle or expense.

Environmental Impact

The environmental impact of a water filtration system encompasses multiple aspects, from water and energy efficiency to waste production. Considering these factors can help you choose a system that not only provides clean drinking water but also aligns with your commitment to sustainability.

  1. Water Efficiency: Some filtration systems, like reverse osmosis, are known to waste water. They can use up to 3-20 times the amount of water they produce. On the other hand, systems like activated carbon filters and ceramic filters have a lower waste-to-clean-water ratio.
  2. Energy Use: Energy consumption can also contribute to the environmental footprint of your filtration system. Some systems, like UV filters, require electricity to operate, whereas others, like gravity-fed or faucet-mounted filters, use no energy at all.
  3. Filter Waste: All filtration systems produce some form of waste in the form of spent filters. Consider how often the filters need to be replaced and whether they are biodegradable or recyclable.
  4. Plastic Waste: If a system uses plastic components or cartridges, check if these are made from recycled materials and whether they can be recycled after use.

Choosing an environmentally friendly filtration system not only reduces your environmental impact but can also lead to cost savings in terms of water and energy use.

Warranty and Customer Support

A solid warranty and reliable customer support are indicative of a company’s confidence in their product and their commitment to customer satisfaction.

  1. Warranty: The length and terms of the warranty can vary significantly between manufacturers. A longer warranty period generally indicates a higher quality product. The warranty should cover key components of the system, and it’s advisable to understand what specific parts and circumstances are covered before making a purchase.
  2. Customer Support: Good customer support can make the difference between a smooth, stress-free experience and a frustrating one. Check whether the manufacturer provides clear and comprehensive user guides, easy-to-follow installation and maintenance instructions, and accessible customer service channels. User reviews can often provide insight into a company’s customer service reputation.
  3. Post-Purchase Service: Some companies offer additional services such as professional installation, regular maintenance, or filter subscription services. While these services might come at an extra cost, they can provide additional peace of mind and convenience.

Your Budget

The cost of water filtration systems can vary greatly depending on the type and quality of the system.

Clean and safe filtered drinking water in your kitchenWhile initial outlay is a consideration, bear in mind the ongoing costs, such as filter replacements, maintenance, and energy consumption. High-quality systems may have a higher initial cost but could save you money in the long run due to their durability and efficiency.

Installation and Maintenance

Consider whether the system requires professional installation or if it’s a DIY job. Also, take into account the frequency of filter changes and the accessibility of replacement filters. A system that’s straightforward to maintain will save you time and hassle in the future.

Conclusion

Identifying the best drinking water filtration system is about understanding your specific needs and the quality of your water supply.

By taking the time to evaluate different types of systems, their costs, and their maintenance requirements, you can secure a safe and clean water supply for your household.

Remember, the best system for you is one that effectively removes contaminants from your water, fits within your budget, and aligns with your lifestyle.

Recommended Drinkable Water Filtration Systems

We have selected for you, from the many products available on the market, several tap water filtration systems that offer excellent performance at a convenient price.

Water Filter Man WFMHHWFSFAM EcoPlus Whole House Water Filter System & Salt Free Water Softener
40 Reviews
Water Filter Man WFMHHWFSFAM EcoPlus Whole House Water Filter System & Salt Free Water Softener
  • 1st Filter: Whole House Water Filtration - filters levels of compounds including chlorine and heavy metals, designed to reduce the taste & odour of the water
  • This filter also contains antibacterial filter media to help inhibit bacterial growth within the filter and to allow for long life filter changes
  • Replacement filter code: WFMSUPER10BBï
Sale
iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System with Alkaline...
10,718 Reviews
iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System with Alkaline...
  • 【Certified to NSF/ANSI 58】: 6-Stage Alkaline Remineralization Layered Filtration - Exclusively designed to restore the natural alkalinity and mineral balance of water; this reliable and ultra-safe Reverse Osmosis (RO) water filtration system converts your water into clean, pure and healthy drinking water by removing up to 99% of over 1,000 harmful contaminants like chlorine, fluoride, lead (removes up to 98%), arsenic, asbestos, calcium, sodium and more.
  • 【GREAT-TASTING MINERAL WATER】:A standard 5 stage RO system produces slightly acidic water with a pH of 7. 0 or below because the RO membrane removes not only harmful pollutants but also a few helpful minerals. The iSpring RCC7AK Reverse Osmosis water filter includes an additional 6th stage - an Alkaline Remineralization filter which restores healthy minerals and produces a balanced alkalinity, which gives your water a more natural taste than regular 5 stage RO water filter.
  • 【LOW MAINTENANCE】:Transparent 1st stage housing for easy visual inspection. Three extra long life pre-filters to remove large contaminants and protect RO membrane. Ultra fine (RO) filter to remove contaminants down to 0. 0001 microns; fine GAC filter to provide final polishing to the purified water and (AK) filter to finally restore just the right proportion of healthy minerals and a natural alkaline balance. The end result is great-tasting bottled-water quality.
APEC Water Systems ROES-50 Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System,...
7,861 Reviews
APEC Water Systems ROES-50 Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System,...
  • Supreme quality - designed, engineered and assembled in USA to guarantee water safety & your health.
  • The only technology to remove up to 99% of contaminants including arsenic, chlorine, lead, fluoride, heavy metals, bacteria, virus and 1000+ contaminants.
  • Premium long-lasting filters used to treat tap water, well water. Provide unlimited clean, refreshing crisp tasting water superior to bottled water.
Doulton W9380020 Duo Under Sink Drinking Water Housing Includes a CleanSoft Scale Reduction...
4 Reviews
Doulton W9380020 Duo Under Sink Drinking Water Housing Includes a CleanSoft Scale Reduction...
  • Great tasting water, Doulton UltraCarb W9123006 & CleanSoft W9125010 remove Suspended Solids, Cloudiness, Parasites, Pathogenic Bacteria, Chlorine, Bad Taste, Lead & Reduce Limescale in drinking water
  • 3/8” push-fit inlet & outlet suitable for 3/8” flexible plastic pipe. Doulton Installation Kit W2391085 is needed if you do not have existing connections (Search Amazon for ASIN: B01M109IDZ)
  • Replacement Filters: Doulton 10 inch BSP CleanSoft Scale Reduction Water Filter Cartridge ¦ W9125010 and Doulton Ceramic UltraCarb 10 inch BSP Water Filter Cartridge Candle ¦ W9123006
Recommended Product No. 1
Under Sink Drinking Water Filter System Including Water Filter Tap, Inline Water Filter and...
  • By purchasing this kit you will save money on jug filter cartridges & bottled water as well as helping to reduce excess waste plastic pollution.
  • This system includes a high-quality coconut granular activated carbon filter, which reduces sediment, removes up to 97% of chlorine, other organic contaminants, odours and toxins from your water.
  • This kit will deliver high quality tasting water, on tap, as and when you require it
Recommended Product No. 2
GLACIER FRESH Under Sink Water Filter System, Connect Under Counter Drinking Water System with...
  • Safe Materials: GLACIER FRESH Under Sink Water Filter System is made from advanced coconut shell activated carbon with strong adsorption capacity with a 0.5-micron outer layer and food-grade materials, such as PP, NBR, and Stainless steel(304).
  • Long Service Life: Under Counter Drinking Water System with Kitchen Faucet with high capacity, each filter has a maximum service life of 12 months or 10000 gallons, longer than other Water Filter systems.
  • High-Efficiency Filtration: Direct Connect Under Sink Water Filtration System with multistage filtration greatly reduces chlorine, heavy metals, chemical iṁpurity, sediment, and other large particles, which provides you with cleaner and pure water.
Recommended Product No. 3
Finerfilters Reverse Osmosis Under Sink Drinking Water Filter System (50GPD) for Home Domestic,...
  • Purchase the Finerfilters 5 Stage Reverse Osmosis water filtration system for the very best drinking water every time you open the tap. RO water can help to produce tastier and more aromatic teas, coffees and juices, cleaner tasting foods, contaminant free, crystal clear ice cubes and is often cleaner, safer and cheaper than even most bottled water.
  • This under sink RO water filter and water softener system is capable of removing the vast majority of contaminants and total dissolved solids (TDS) which can be found in drinking water including, but not limited to; fluoride (up to 98%), lead (up to 98%), bacteria (99+%), mercury (up to 98%), nitrates (up to 99%), chlorine (98+%), calcium (up to 98%), sodium (up to 98%), and much more!
  • This superb system produces up to 190 Litres per day of purified water and comes with 3 US gallon storage tank, Chrome faucet tap, all tubing, filters, and fittings required for easy installation. A DIY installation manual is also provided. Please ensure to read this thoroughly beforehand.
Recommended Product No. 5
Finerfilters CLASSIC Undersink Drinking Water Filter Kit System Including Tap and Accessories...
  • Finerfilters CLASSIC Undersink Drinking Water Filter Kit System Including Tap and Accessories Chrome
  • Brand : FINERFILTERS
  • Product type: WATER PURIFICATION UNIT
Recommended Product No. 6
Frizzlife Under Sink Water Filter System SK99-NEW, Direct Connect, NSF/ANSI 53&42 Certified 0.5...
  • [Fully Certificated System] Frizzlife SK99 under sink water filter system is rigorously tested and certified by IAMPO against NSF/AISI 42&53 for Material Safety, Structure Integrity, Flow rate, and Filtration Effectiveness on eliminating but not restrict to chlorine, particle class, lead & Cyst.
  • [Premium Filtration Performance (0.5 Micron)] Adopting 0.5 ¦Ìm purification accuracy, almost 10X higher than other brands, the compounded filter cartridges of SK99 under counter water filter consist of more than 7 layers of filtration materials that can effectively remove over 99% of contaminants such as Dust, Sediments, Lead and other Heavy Metals, Chlorine, Chloramine, Fluoride, Heavy Metals, and VOCs, etc. from tap water whilst leaving in all the beneficial minerals.
  • [Fast Water Flow & DIY Installation]The water filter for sink has a tested flow rate>2.0GPM @60 psi. The installation of the water filter takes less than 15 minutes following comprehensive video instruction, no plumber required. With TWIST-IN design, the replacement of the filters is super easy even for elders. The SK99 under sink filter system can simultaneously serve both of your sink and refrigerator by using an ice maker connection kit.
SaleRecommended Product No. 7
iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System with Alkaline...
10,718 Reviews
iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System with Alkaline...
  • 【Certified to NSF/ANSI 58】: 6-Stage Alkaline Remineralization Layered Filtration - Exclusively designed to restore the natural alkalinity and mineral balance of water; this reliable and ultra-safe Reverse Osmosis (RO) water filtration system converts your water into clean, pure and healthy drinking water by removing up to 99% of over 1,000 harmful contaminants like chlorine, fluoride, lead (removes up to 98%), arsenic, asbestos, calcium, sodium and more.
  • 【GREAT-TASTING MINERAL WATER】:A standard 5 stage RO system produces slightly acidic water with a pH of 7. 0 or below because the RO membrane removes not only harmful pollutants but also a few helpful minerals. The iSpring RCC7AK Reverse Osmosis water filter includes an additional 6th stage - an Alkaline Remineralization filter which restores healthy minerals and produces a balanced alkalinity, which gives your water a more natural taste than regular 5 stage RO water filter.
  • 【LOW MAINTENANCE】:Transparent 1st stage housing for easy visual inspection. Three extra long life pre-filters to remove large contaminants and protect RO membrane. Ultra fine (RO) filter to remove contaminants down to 0. 0001 microns; fine GAC filter to provide final polishing to the purified water and (AK) filter to finally restore just the right proportion of healthy minerals and a natural alkaline balance. The end result is great-tasting bottled-water quality.
Recommended Product No. 8
Waterdrop 15UB Under Sink Water Filter System, 60K Liters High Capacity Drinking Water Filtration...
  • 𝐔𝐥𝐭𝐫𝐚-𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐯𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞: When used with municipal water, each filter has a maximum service life of 24 months or 60,000 liters. (This may vary based on water conditions.) If you want to reduce water hardness or TDS, choose the Waterdrop RO system!
  • 𝐈𝐧𝐧𝐨𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐦𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧: The Waterdrop Under Sink Water Filtration System uses innovative multistage filtration. And it can effectively reduces chlorine, heavy metals, chemical iṁpurity, sediment and other large particles.[2] Use activated carbon block and other advanced filter media ensure efficient and safe filtration. AND the water filter system with a faucet comes with a lead-free brushed 304 stainless steel faucet.
  • 𝐈𝐀𝐏𝐌𝐎 𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐢𝐞𝐝 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐭𝐞𝐫: Specially selected premium materials are lead-free, which is fully certified by the IAPMO against NSF/ANSI 372 standard. Tested by IAPMO against NSF/ANSI 42 Standard, it effectively reduces chlorine, taste and odor. The BPA-free, lead-free material ensures more reliable use from the inside out. To look over the 42&372 certification of this product, please search "WD-15UB" on IAPMO official website.

Last update on 2024-06-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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