How to Find the Best Countertop Water Filters: A Buying Guide

Share Button

Water filters used to be expensive and complicated, but they’re getting a lot easier to maintain and install. That’s important, in a world where water contamination is becoming a widespread problem. Many tap water systems include dangerous substances like E. coli, nitrates, lead and arsenic. Fortunately, the best countertop water filters on the market are excellent at removing all these contaminants. You just need to know what to shop for.

Reading the CCR

The first step in choosing a great water filter is deciphering your CCR, or consumer confidence report. If you live in the United States, every utility has to send you a report of this kind once per year. You might also see this report printed in your local newspaper or posted online by a local government. CCRs list the water quality violations that have occurred in the last year. They also tell you about any contaminants that might be in your water. Remember that the CCR lists data for your entire area; you can only find out about the specific water for your home by getting it tested directly. Using this report can give you a good idea of what you need to remove from your home water supply, however.


Most water filters don’t have a whole lot of extra features, but there are a few things that could make your experience better. One is an easy-to-connect plumbing set up. For instance, filters from Aquasana require only a few minutes to install and need no tools. Other models might ask you to get out your toolbox or buy some special supplies. Simpler installation means that you’ll be able to enjoy clean, fresh water a lot quicker and with less fuss.

It’s also a good idea to pick a brand that makes filter replacement easy. A clogged or worn out filter won’t clean your water effectively. Some models offer a sensor that tells you when the filter needs to be changed. You can also sign up for a program that will send you fresh filters automatically every three to six months. This is a great way to save money on supplies. It also helps you remember when to change your system’s filter; when a new one arrives, it’s time for replacement.

Filtration Options

The best countertop water filters for your home will depend in part on which contaminants are in your system. You can either look for a more specialized setup that will remove only the substances you don’t want in your water or you can choose one that filters a larger range. The better models are capable of handling chlorine and chloramines, sediment, minerals, bad smells, heavy metals, chemicals and microorganisms. Ideally, the filter won’t affect the pH of your water and will leave in beneficial minerals. If you’re not sure which model is right for you, talk to an expert before you buy.