When you begin to notice the decreased quality of the tap water in your home, countertop water filters serve as an affordable alternative to bottled water, or even whole house filter systems. Unfortunately, tap water contaminants are a part of daily life throughout the United States, but especially other parts of the world. A countertop water filter is capable of removing contaminants, such as copper and chlorine, which commonly present in tap water, which creates an unpleasant taste. Most of these contaminants and solids will not create a large health concern, but create inconveniences such as poor flavor and overall quality.
Aside from a compact design, most of the top countertop water filters present a sleek appearance to fit into a majority of interior design. Compared to under-the-sink water filters, countertop units require zero installation, and are essentially ready to go from the moment of unboxing. For many users, countertops present straightforward means of providing their household with high quality, filtered water basically on demand. If you find yourself to be someone concerned with the water you are consuming, or want to improve your tap water even further, our list of the top countertop water filters of 2021 is for you. Let's get started with five of the best countertop units this year, as well as a quick rundown on their features, advantages, and disadvantages.
Top 5 Countertop Water Filters
Waterdrop M5 Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
As the ground-breaking RO system, and Waterdrop's latest release, the M5 RO system has been designed to provide the most advanced features in water filtration technology. With a 5 stage filtration system, the Waterdrop utilizes two layers of sediment PP membrane, premium carbon block, RO membrane, as well as post-activated carbon block. Together, these elements create a countertop water filter that is capable of removing various harmful susbtances such as chlorine, lead, particulates, rust, sand, TDS, and more. This is in addition to the efficient removal of particles contributing to the bad flavor and odor of tap water.
Waterdrop's M5 Countertop RO system provides an 80 ounce water pitcher, crafted out of BPA-free Tritan material. This not only provides an improved water purification experience, but also ensures clean, safe, drinking water. As a portable water pitcher, many users find the Waterdrop M5 to be easy to carry around their house. Capable of rotating 180 degrees, the M5 can pour from various angles, with an easy to replace annual filter. This particular unit does not require electricity, utilize a water pump, or require extensive knowledge or skill to install and use.
The M5 operates at a quiet level, adopting a cutting-edge, all-in-one filter in order to provide safe drinking water for 12 months. With an annual filter, such as the one utilized in this model, households can enjoy up to 550 gallons of filtered water, free of worrying over the hidden contaminants of tap water. This provides customers with the ability to enjoy safe water, without the hassle of monthly filter replacements. And, when it is time to change the filter, it only requires about 3 seconds to complete.
Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter
By utilizing gravity in order to force water through a filter cartridge, the Big Berkey removes contaminants commonly found in tap water, without plumbing or electricity. Simply fill the top reservoir with water, similar to how you might with a filter pitcher, and allow water to feed through. This design enables users to keep filtration contained within this Big Berkey unit, without needing to attach a filter to a faucet.
Simply place the Big Berkey on the most convenient section of your countertop. One downside to the Big Berkey, is that it is slightly boisterous compared to other countertop systems, measuring in at: 19 ¼” x 8 ½”. The bottom compartment, which holds filtered water readily for use, is capable of holding 2 ¼ gallons of clean water.
Aside from it's large size, the Big Berkey filters water as effectively as other, more traditional countertop water filter systems. The upside to a design, such as the Big Berkey, is that it doesn't require electricity, and the filters have a lifespan of up to 6,000 gallons before replacement. Users may break their Big Berkey down in order to take it on a camping trip, in an RV, and it also works well in an apartment or condo.
APEX Quality Countertop Drinking Water Filter
The APEX MR10-50 countertop system efficiently removes foul flavor and odors, while also adjusting your tap's pH to more suitable levels. By employing a 5-stage filter, the APEX countertop water filter removes contaminants such as chlorine. Unfortunately, the MR10-50 is incapable of removing solids such as fluoride, a common concern for many homeowners or health conscience individuals. Set up in stages, the APEX MR10-50 filter features a remineralizing element in order to adjust pH levels. If pH is a concern in your home, this APEX may bring your water to a level close to 7, or 8 ½. Overall, you can expect a lifespan of 750 gallons out of these filters before replacement.
Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2
For those concerned with a space saving unit, the Home Master Jr. F2 countertop filter system is a great solution. Individuals searching for a water filter system capable of removing flouride, the Home Master is here to save the day. Aside from filtering out fluoride, this countertop unit is capable of removing VOCs, TOCs, arsenic, selenium, and chlorine. Compression disks are utilized between layers of filters, in order to provide regular, efficient filtration during regular use. Overall, this filter's lifespan is shorter when compared to similar units, ringing in at under 500 gallons.
Waterdrop Chubby Water Filter Pitcher
The overall design of the Waterdrop Chubby Water Filter Pitcher is self-contained, with built in water filters. These filters are capable of removing impurities commonly found in tap water, in order to provide your family with safe, clean drinking water. There are a few sizes available for the Waterdrop Chubby, which provides users with a variety of sizes to better suit their needs.
Compared to other countertop water filters, it's worth noting that water pitchers filter at a slower rate compared to other countertop systems. This is because water must flow through a filter cartridge, at a slow trickling pace. As with most water filter pitchers, the filter cartridges of the Waterdrop Chubby provide a lifespan of 40 gallons, or two months of use.
How to Select a Countertop Water Filter
Test Your Water
Testing the drinking water quality of your household tap water is the most important stage of selecting your next countertop water filter. This will not only give you an idea of the contaminants present in your water, but also provide insight into the quality of local water sources. A report goes great lengths in breaking down any of the impurities your future water filter system will go up against, as well as educate you on the features you should shop for. The only downside to this type of report is that they do not factor in contaminants that might be picked up on the way to the treatment facility. This includes various bacteria, and even lead. A water test kit is easily obtained online, or even through local home improvement stores.
Set a Price Range
Setting, and sticking to a budget will go great lengths in ensuring you get the most bang for your buck, without overspending. Countertop filtration systems come at a wide variety of price points, which is why identifying a budget is essential – your biggest limitation is your pocketbook. Avoid hurting yourself financially, and set a price range you are comfortable with, and capable of sticking to without fail.
Understanding the Contaminants
When you don't understand common contaminants present in drinking water, you won't get the most out of your water filter unit – regardless of the style. This is because you will fail to understand what your filter is up against, and may miss out on purchasing a feature you really need, for other features you should bypass. Once you understand these contaminants, you can educate yourself on how the alter the appearance and taste of water, even going as far as to affect overall odor. Once you set a budget, continue on your search by reading about contaminants in local water sources, as well as the results from your own water test kits.
Some of the most commonly identified contaminants include bacteria, calcium, chlorine, copper, heavy metals, magnesium minerals, and viruses. However, chlorine, for example, is added to water once it flows to treatment facilities in order to disinfect it. This contaminant imparts its own distinctive taste onto the resulting tap water, creating a flavor most individuals have a natural aversion to. Residential piping may utilize copper and lead, which also adversely affects taste, and carries other various health ramifications. Additionally, minerals such as magnesium and calcium create buildup in the form of limescale, which imparts an alkaline taste to tap water.
Final Thoughts on Water Filtration
Countertop water filter systems are a very popular choice, discussed extensively. This specific category of water treatment systems are renowned for their space-saving design, as well as overall affordability, and ease of installation. Basically, you can find a unit for any budget, and feel confident in setup, installation, and use, regardless of your skill level. Hopefully, you are now more informed in regard to the top countertop water filter options of 2021, and can move onto making an informed purchase.