You are looking to buy a water filter but which type is the best for you? Many different options are available to choose from and there is information you need to know.
Read this water filter buyer’s guide to know exactly what types of water filters you should be buying. Discover the best filter for you below.
And if you want to learn other DIY skills for the home such as how to conserve water, I’ve got you covered in my other articles.
How To Choose A Quality Water Filter
- Types Of Water Filters
- 4 Things To Look For In A Water Filter
- Choosing A Water Filter For Your Water Supply
- The Best Water Filters You Should Buy
- Best Choice
- Frequently Asked Questions
THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
On this page, we are going to walk you through how you can choose the right types of water filters for your needs. This will be based on what you are trying to filter out of the water. We will talk about how you can determine this a bit later on. For now, let’s start by talking about the types of water filter appliances.
Let’s get started.
Best Overall Pitcher-Style Water Filter
Runner-Up Pitcher-Style Water Filter
Types Of Water Filters
Three different types of water filters are available on the market, varying in price and performance. You can’t go wrong selecting any of these types of filters, it is just a matter of preference. See the three types of water filters below.
#1) Pitcher-Style Water Filter
When most people think of water filters, they will think of the water jugs that have a small filter built into them. This is the ideal option for individuals or couples in terms of the cheapest to purchase and ease of use.
A pitcher-style filter uses water from the faucet to fill a reservoir at the top of the pitcher, water then is filtered and released into the bottom of the pitcher, ready to drink. You simply fill up the pitcher and place it in the refrigerator to chill until you want to use it.
PROS: Very cost-effective and easy to use.
CONS: These are not the best option if your family goes through a lot of drinking water every day.
#2) Faucet-Mounted Water Filter
As the name suggests, these will mount straight onto your kitchen faucet. Some models can be rather large, but they will provide filtered water straight out of the faucet.
These are simple to install, are great for providing drinking and cooking water, and have a selector to switch between filtered or unfiltered water.
PROS: Inexpensive and easy to switch between filtered and regular tap water.
CONS: These may not fit every type of faucet, so double check before you buy.
#3) Under-Counter And R/O Filters
Under-counter filters require space under the sink for their holding tanks and filter systems. They also need some plumbing tie-in to place them in line with the water supply line.
This type is very convenient to use but costs more upfront and in the replacement filters, especially reverse osmosis(RO) filters.
PROS: Able to filter a lot of water and it’s ready on demand.
CONS: Installation is required with under-sink filters and the costs are higher.
Note: Another type of water filter is the refrigerator filter, I’m not including it in this list because it already comes with your fridge. These filters generally perform pretty well and require changing about twice a year.
4 Things To Look For In A Water Filter
Before purchasing a new water filter system consider these 4 factors listed below.
Think about the initial cost of the water filter unit as well as the periodic cost of the replacement filters. Filters will need to be changed anywhere from every 3 to 6 months or up to once a year for some filters.
Pitcher-style filter systems cost around $30 – $50.
Faucet-mounted filter systems cost around $18 – $40.
Reverse Osmosis filter systems cost around $150 – $400.
#2) Water Usage:
Determine your daily drinking water needs and select a water filter appropriate for that amount. A water pitcher is more suited to smaller households, whereas a reverse osmosis or under-sink filter can supply endless amounts of drinking water.
#3) Type Of Water You Have:
How to work out what type of water you have.
The EPA requires that all water companies analyze what is in their water. Each year, they will have to produce a freely available report to their customers. This is known as the Consumer Confidence Report(CCR). This will list the various compounds kicking about in the water. Once you have this information from your water company, choose a suitable filtering system.
#4) NSF Standards Rating:
The NSF is an independent certification organization. Products such as water filters that have been certified and meet the NSF standards display the NSF mark on their packaging. Look for the NSF mark and the contaminant reduction on the package.
Choosing A Water Filter For Your Water Supply
Once you know what type of water supply you have, you have an easy job ahead of you. You need to work out what type of filter you need. This will dictate the exact filtering equipment that you will purchase.
Carbon Water Filters
These are the most basic water filters. If you purchase a water filter jug, then chances are that it will be a carbon water filter.
Carbon water filters are not going to filter out huge amounts of chemicals or minerals. Carbon water filters are for those that just want to improve the taste or smell of their water. Basically, if you have a bit of a chlorine taste in your water, then carbon water filters are all you are really going to need.
Carbon water filters can also help to remove trace amounts of pesticides and THMs. However, if that water report comes through that there are high levels of any chemical in that water, then you may want to look for another type of filter.
UV Water Purifiers
Many of the ‘better’ water purifiers on the market will combine UV and carbon filtering techniques to keep that water clean. UV water purifiers do not work brilliantly well on their own.
UV water filters will improve the taste and smell of the water, much in the same way that carbon water filters do. However, they will not be able to remove chemicals from the water. What they can do, however, is remove viruses and bacteria from the water. It will just kill them off.
The bacteria and viruses are unlikely to be a huge issue with standard water supplies. However, if you get your water from your own water supply e.g. a well, then they could come in handy.
Reverse Osmosis Water Filters
These water filters are going to be the best of the best.
They are fantastic if your water has a salty or metallic taste. Basically, a reverse osmosis water filter can really help in areas with hard water.
These water filters will often have carbon filters built into them for a bit of extra water filtering. This means that they are going to be fantastic for cleaning sediment out of the water.
There are a couple of downsides to reverse osmosis water filters. The major one is the fact that they are more expensive. You will also need to install them into your water filtering system.
The Best Water Filters You Should Buy
In my best water filter buyer’s guide, I have selected these two pitcher-style filters as the best to purchase. Their ease of use, portability, and convenience make them a great choice for anyone.
#1) Brita Standard Everyday Water Filter Pitcher, White, Large 10 Cup
Great all-around choice, affordable, holds 10 cups of water, and fits in the fridge.
Reasons To Buy:
- Fits in the fridge better with its square design.
- Comes apart easily for cleaning.
- Reduces contaminants(Chlorine, Copper, Mercury, and Cadmium) and improves taste.
- BPA Free.
- 10 Cup capacity.
- Height: 10.7″; Width: 5.4″; Depth: 10.1″; Weight: 1.3 pounds
- The optional Longlast+ filter filters out lead.
Brita offers several models of water filtration. Their pitcher-style is easy to set up and use. The replacement filters are cost-effective.
Spoiler Alert: This is the water filter you want.
#2) ZeroWater 10 Cup Round Water Filter Pitcher
Great runner-up filter. Comes with a free water quality meter. 5 stages of filtration.
Reasons To Buy:
- Free water quality meter to test your water.
- 5 stage Ion Exchange Technology to filter water.
- Removes chromium and lead.
- BPA Free.
- 10 Cup capacity.
- Height: 10.25″; Width: 8.54″; Weight: 2.8 pounds
- Some reports of leaking around the filter, be sure to install correctly.
Do not have to prepare the filter, just fill and go.
Finding the right water filter shouldn’t be that tricky with this water filter buyer’s guide. For most homes, a carbon water filter should be fine. However, if you have a heavy metallic or salty taste to your water, then you may want to look into alternatives such as a reverse osmosis water filter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely, having fresh, clean water available to drink is a must-have.
Reverse osmosis(RO) water filter is the most complete, effective system available.
No, boiling water alone does not remove lead from water. Testing is the only way to know if lead is in your water.
A smaller micron number will filter out more contaminants.