The Best Countertop Water Filter Recommendations of 2021

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Find the best countertop water filter to create clean, great-tasting water for your family. We’ve selected 12 of the best countertop water filters including our favorite gravity filters, faucet hookup systems, and even a standalone reverse osmosis filter.

Apex Countertop Water Filter Installed in a kitchen
Pictured above is our favorite countertop water filter that connects to your faucet – the Apex MR-1050.

Having fresh, clean water to drink every day makes for a healthy body. Much of the water that flows from the tap is not as clean as you think.

While it meets minimum standards of cleanliness in most areas of the United States most of us would be a little shocked at what is lurking in our kitchen faucets.

If you want to ensure your family is drinking clean, pure water then a countertop filtration system is an affordable option for almost any budget.

With so many options to choose it may seem overwhelming to make such a purchase. To help you out we’ve compared the most popular countertop water filter options and reviewed their features, pros, and cons to help you decide which brand is right for you

The Best Countertop Water Filters

Here are our top choices for 2021. The first four on our list are gravity water filters, #5 is a stand-alone reverse osmosis filter and the last 7 use a faucet hookup. If you aren’t sure which type of water filter is best for your home, read more about the countertop filter types here.

Click on any of the links below to go directly to that product’s review.

  1. Zen Water Systems 4 Gallon Countertop Water Filter System (Gravity)
  2. Santevia Counter Top Water Filtration System (Gravity)
  3. Berkey Travel Stainless Steel Water Filtration System (Gravity)
  4. AQUASPREE Exclusive 7 Stage Alkaline Water Filter (Gravity)
  5. AquaTru Countertop Water Filter (Reverse Osmosis)
  6. Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter, Alkaline (MR-1050) (***Our Winner for the Best Faucet Mounted Water Filter***)
  7. iSpring CKC1C Countertop Water Filter
  8. CleanWater4Less® Countertop Water Filtration System
  9. Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Counter Top Water Filtration System
  10. Ecosoft Countertop Alkaline Water Filter System
  11. APEC Alkaline Mineral Portable Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
  12. Pure Hydration Next Generation

We’ve broken down this review into 2 main types of countertop systems: gravity water filters & faucet hookups.

A Review of the Best Gravity Countertop Water Filter Systems

I have selected five of the top-selling gravity countertop water filtration systems to review in a range of prices to make finding the right one for your needs a little easier.  No faucet hookup or electricity is needed.

Let’s see how they measure up first, then we’ll dive into each review.

 PhotoCapacityFilterAlkaline WaterSizeWeightMaterialFilter Life
Zen Countertop Water Filterzen water systems countertop filtration 4 Gallons5 Functions: Filters, Purifies, Mineralizes, Alkalinizes, MagnetizesYes12.5"D x 22"H6.5 poundsBPA Free PlasticCeramic filter:1,000 gallons or 1 yr
5-Stage Filter: 500 gallons or 6 months
Mafia Mineral Stones is 3 to 5 yrs
Santevia Counter Top Water SystemSantevia Countertop Water Filter4 Gallons8 stage purification processYes12.25"D x 23.5"H 8.6 poundsBPA Free PlasticCeramic pre-filter: 1 yr
5-Stage Filter: 6 months
Mineral Stones: 2-5 yrs
Travel Berkey Water FilterTravel Berkey - Square1.5 GallonsUnique filter process using microfiltration, absorption and an Ion exchange process.No7.5"D x 18"H6 poundsStainless Steel3,000 gallons per filter element
About 3 yrs (1k gallon a year)
AQUASPREE Exclusive 7 Stage Alkaline Water FilterAquaspee - Square5 Gallons7 Stage Alkaline Water FilterYes12.2 x 11.8 x 21.2 in9.2 poundsBPA Free PlasticMain 4 Stage Filter - 500 Gallons
Maifanite filter: 1,000 Gallons
Ceramic Filter: 1,000 Gallons
AQUA TRU Countertop RO SystemAquaTru-SquareHolding Tank 2.1 Gallons/Storage Tank: 3.2 Gallons4 Stage Filtration Process using Reverse OsmosisNo18 " D x 15" H22.9 poundsBPA Free PlasticPre-filter & VOC - 600 Gallons; RO Filter - 1200 Gallons

1. Zen Water Systems 4 Gallon Countertop Water Filter System

Zen Water Systems Countertop Filtration System
The Zen Water Countertop Filter

Features

  • 5 Stage Water Filtration
  • Produces Alkaline Water
  • 4 Gallon Capacity
  • Dimensions 12.5″D x 22″H

This is one of the best countertop water filtration systems on the market for around $80. Most users have nothing but good things to say about the unit and whenever they had a problem, customer service was right there to resolve it.

Pros:

  • A five-step filtration system that removes sediment, chlorine, pesticides, and bacteria from tap water
  • It is compact and stylish with a great spout for dispensing the water.
  • Makes very clean, pure alkalized water using healthy mineral stones with calcium, zinc, and magnesium.
  • No electricity required
  • The filters are inexpensive to replace, last a long time and the company provides great customer service
  • Minimal maintenance required

Cons:

  • This unit is somewhat time-consuming to set up. Read the instructions carefully and follow them. You will need to boil and rinse the mineral stones and run two cycles before you consume the water it produces
  • It does not make the water very quickly, but that’s because it has such an extensive filtration system. The first time you use the Zen countertop water filter, it may take 12 hours to fill the basin. After that, the time will be considerably less, but it may still take 3 or more hours.
  • Replacement parts and filters have to be ordered from the company directly. They are available on the Zen Water’s replacment filters page.

Click here to read more about the Zen Water Systems Countertop Filtration System.

2. Santevia Counter Top Water Filtration System

Santevia Countertop Water Filter
The Santevia Water Filtration System

Features

  • 8 Stage Water Filtration
  • Increases pH
  • 4 Gallon Capacity
  • Size: 12.25″D x 23.5″H
  • 8.6 pounds

This model is on the medium end of the price scale. However, when you consider the cost of buying bottled water over and over, this will pay for itself after a year.

This is a gravity-powered system that not only cleans your tap with a multi-filter system but also re-mineralizes the water to make it more alkaline, which has many health benefits.

The Santevia Gravity Water System goes through an 8 stage system to filter the water:

  1. Ceramic Pre-filter removes minerals sediment and bacteria
  2. Granular activated coconut carbon filters chlorine, pesticides, chemicals, and heavy metals. This stage also improves ORP.
  3. Volcanic Mineral Zeolite stage inhibits bacteria & neutralizes heavy metals through an ion exchange process
  4. Mineral Stone Infusion promotes oxygenation & alkalinizes
  5. pH Mineral Balls add calcium, magnesium to further increase Ph
  6. Energy Balls to assist in balancing Ph and energize the water
  7. Mineral Stone Immersion to release ionized minerals
  8. Magnetic Energy breaks the water molecules into smaller clusters for better absorption

Pros:

  • Crystal clear great tasting water – users of this system, even those who had issues with their unit, say the water is incredibly clean, odor-free and taste good.
  • Filters and alkalizes – the more filters the cleaner your water gets. Having good minerals put back in the water before you drink it is an added bonus.
  • No electricity needed – lightweight and fairly easy (but time-consuming) to set up
  • Great customer service – most people who contacted the company reported they given good help and were able to get replacement parts promptly

Cons:

  • Leaks – that was one of the most common complaints from those who have the unit. Leaks around the faucet seemed to be from improper installation. The worst complaint was that the storage unit leaked all over the counter and floors. Others reported that it only leaks it you don’t fill it all the way to the top
  • Hard to change filters – several reviewers of this system carped about how long it took to replace the filters

Most of the reviews of this unit were very favorable. Since it is one of the more expensive models, you can bet people are going to complain loudly if it doesn’t live up to the investment. Since the customer service seems to be top-notch, the Santevia model is a good choice if you are serious about saving money over the long-term on bottled water and filters.

3. Berkey Travel Stainless Steel Water Filtration System with 2 Black Filter Elements

Berkey Water Filter - Travel Sized
The Berkey Stainless Steel Water Filtration System

Features

  • Fast Filtering
  • Compact Size: 7.5″D x 18″H
  • 6 Pounds

The Berkey Water Filter is at the top of the price and might stretch your budget a little. It normally retails between $228 and $250. The reason for the higher price is the materials. It is made from stainless seal which most people prefer over a plastic unit.

Although the Berkey water filters are higher priced than some, most people think it’s worth the cost.  They consistently get some of the highest customer reviews.

The travel size Berkey is good for a smaller family of up to four. Many also take this size on vacation or even on camping trips.  They also make larger sizes like the Big Berkey which holds 2.1 gallons of water and the Royal Berkey that holds 3 gallons.

Pros:

  • Made from stainless steel. The only plastic is inside the spigot. This is a huge selling point for most people since the stainless steel will last a lifetime and not impact that “plastic taste” you get with some water filters.
  • Filters water fast at up to 2.75 gallons per hour
  • When not in use the upper chamber fits inside the lower section, so is only 12 inches in height. This makes it easy to pack if you want to take it with you on a trip.
  • Testing was performed by independent EPA laboratories and results exceeded the EPA standards.

Cons:

  • The storage capacity is smaller than the other 2 units at 1.5 gallons
  • A few people complained that the filter started leaking from the spigot after several months. If you overtighten the plastic wing nuts, you can strip the threads causing the leak. You can buy replacements parts directly on the Berkey website.
  • Care must also be taken when filling the unit. It is recommended to not overfill the top compartment when the bottom compartments are not empty, or this could also cause leaks. It is important to read the instructions that come with the unit to prevent this type of problem.

4. AQUASPREE Exclusive 7 Stage Alkaline Water Filter

Aquaspree Countertop Alkaline Water Filter

Features

  • 7 Stage Filtration Process
  • Capacity: Holding Tank 2.1 Gallons/Storage Tank: 3.2 Gallons
  • Size: 12.2 x 11.8 x 21.2 inches
  • Filter Life 1,000 Gallons

This seven-stage purification system helps remove harmful substances so you can enjoy alkaline, mineralized, purified drinking water. The system gravity-feeds every drop of your water through slow exposure to each layer of filters, transforming it into a safe and delicious glass of alkaline water for healthy consumption.

The ceramic filter removes particles down to a .1 to .3 micron level. Additional layers of filtration include Coconut Shell Activated Carbon, removal of heavy metals, pesticides, and chlorine. The water is tested and complies with the World Health Organization’s standards.

Its design uses eco-friendly, renewable, BPA-free plastic. It’s a good fit for your home or office and is compact enough for frequent travel or small spaces.

This unit is slightly larger than some of the other systems we’ve reviewed, but it still fits nicely on a counter, and it has a dispensing system that can be used easily with one hand. Its reservoir holds enough water for you to enjoy as much drinking water as you need.

5. AQUA TRU Countertop Water Filtration Purification System

AQUA TRU Countertop Filter

Features

  • 4 Stage Filtration System
  • Uses Reverse Osmosis
  • Filter Life: 6 months to 2 years
  • Size: 14 x 14 x 12 inches
  • NSF Certified

Standout Feature: The only countertop reverse osmosis system.

The AquPur countertop water filter is the only one on our list that uses reverse osmosis. While it uses the same technology as the under the sink RO systems, this design processes the water faster and is less expensive than most. By miniaturizing the reverse osmosis process, you can have the same quality of water on your countertop in a hurry.

This water filter removes 95% or more of lead, chromium, copper, fluoride, radium, chlorine, and other harmful chemicals and substances. It’s designed to remove thousands of foreign contaminants that are harmful to your body.

It doesn’t require any special tools or plumbing to install, and it only takes minutes to set up. The sleek, compact design is stylish on any counter and fits any space. It’s a convenient size for traveling or small living quarters.

It can purify one gallon of water in less than fifteen minutes. And in case you are in a hurry, the convenient display on the front of the unit tells you how much longer you’ll have to wait until it’s done.


Our Review of the Best Faucet Hookup Filters Using a Diverter Valve

Next, we’ll check out our favorite faucet-mounted counter-top water filters. In this category, The Apex MR-1050 was our winner due to the 5 stage filtration process, long filter life, reasonable price point and ability to create clean alkaline water.

 ImageFiltrationPriceAlkaline WaterSizeWeightFilter LifeModel
Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter, Alkaline (MR-1050)Apex-MR 1050 Alkaline Water Faucet Filter5 Stage Filtration$Yes6 x 6 x 14 inches5 pounds750 gallons monthB00V2JMUHY
iSpring CKC1C Countertop Water FilteriSpring Purple See through Filter - CKC1cCarbon Block Multi-Stage Filter$No5 x 5 x 12 inches4 pounds6 monthsCKC1C
Cleanwater4LessCleanwater4less filterGranulated Activated Carbon Filter$No5 x 5 x 9.5 inches3.55 pounds10,000 gallons lifetimeCOMINHKR069766
Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Counter Top Water Filtration SystemHomeMaster-TMJRF23 Stage Filter$No12.3 x 9.4 x 7.6 inches4.25 pounds500 gallons monthTMJRF2
Ecosoft Countertop Water Filter System for Faucet Mount Ecosoft faucet mounter water filterActivated Coconut Shell Carbon Filter$No3.5 x 3.5 x 12 inches3.5 pounds3-6 monthsFMV1BOBLEXP
APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-PHC
APEC Portable RO Countertop System4 Stages of Filtration$$$Yes18.5 x 12.5 x 10.5 inches12.8 poundsRO-CTOP-PHC
Pure Hydration Next GenerationPure Hydration Water Ionizer4 Stage Filtration; Ionizer$$$Yes11 x 5.5 x 12.5 in13.1 pounds600 gallons monthB01BO45AZ0

6. Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter, Alkaline, Clear (MR-1050)

Advanced Alkaline Mineral Filter - packaging and demo of product
The APEX Alkaline Water Filter

Features

  • 5 Stage Filtration
  • Sink Mounted Faucet Filter
  • Produces Alkaline Water
  • Size: 12 x 4.5 x 4.5 in
  • Filter life: 750 Gallons 

The Apex unit is our favorite of this category. Not only does it removes the common contaminants and pesticides from your drinking water, but it creates great tasting alkaline water.

5 Stage Water Filtration from Apex
Photo source: Amazon.com courtesy of APEX Water Filters

The Apex Alkaline Water Filter uses a 5 stage water filter system. Water is fed into the unit from your faucet where it will pass through the filters that remove chlorine, industrial chemicals, and heavy metals such as radon and lead and mercury.

The alkaline filter will add back minerals that are good for us, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium. The results are PH Balanced water with a clean, fresh taste at an affordable price.

Pros:

  • Great customer service from APEX.
  • Installs easily from your kitchen faucet.
  • The price point is very manageable, currently at under $100.
  • NSF & FDA certified.
  • It comes in 5 colors to best match your kitchen’s decor.

Cons:

  • The filter can be hard to change. See our detailed review on this unit for some pointers on changing the filter.
APEX MR 150 - Chrome Color
APEX MR-1050 Shown in Chrome

The Apex Alkaline Countertop Drinking Water Filter gets our vote for the best countertop faucet filter since it is easy to use, comes at a great price and creates great tasting alkaline water right from your faucet.

Click here to see additional details and purchase on Amazon.com. You’ll want to check out the 5 different colors!

7. iSpring CKC1C Countertop Water Filter

Features

  • Mounts on Countertop
  • Multi-Stage Carbon Block Filter (5 micron)
  • Removes Pesticides and Herbicides
  • Meets NSF/ANSI Standards
  • Size: 5 x 5 x 12 inches
  • Available in see-through purple or white housing

The sleek design is efficient and looks at home in any space. It’s also compact enough for places where you’re short on countertops. This Atlanta-based company also provides an excellent warranty and customer support.

The Carbon Block Cartridge is a standard five-micron cartridge capable of removing up to 95% of odors, silt, sand, sediment, rust, and chlorine from your water. It’s also effective on herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals. This water filter is easy to install with all parts and tools included.

You should be able to count on the best countertop water filter to purify your water for you, and with the iSpring CKC1C, you can enjoy a clear housing that allows you to see the clean water for yourself. When it’s time for replacement filters, you’ll know it, and you can switch them out quickly for clean water once again.

8. Cleanwater4less Countertop Water Filtration System

Cleanwater4Less by Lake Industries- model COMINHKR069766

Features

  • Faucet hookup with diverter valve
  • Granular Activated Carbon Filter
  • Flow Rate: 1 Gallon Per Minute
  • Size: 5 x 5 x 9.5 inches
  • 10,000 Gallons Life – No replacement filters

Best Uses: Families with basic filtration needs that don’t want to worry about replacement filters.

The Cleanwater4less system is different than the others on our list in that it doesn’t require frequent filter changes. In fact, it requires none! Instead, the internal filter will create up to 10,000 gallons of filtered water before you need a new one. When you are done, you simply throw it out.

So if we do the math, let’s say we have a family of 4 that each drink 1 gallon per day. That’s 1460 gallons per year. At this rate, you would not need to buy a new unit for about 6.8 years.

The internal filter removes 97% of the chlorine, filters sediment, pesticides, and other organic compounds. It does not remove fluoride or change the pH of the water as some of the other units on our list do.

9. Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Counter Top Water Filtration System

Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2

Features

  • 3 Stage Filtration with Coconut Shell Carbon, Activated Alumina & Compression Discs
  • Sink Mounted Faucet Filter
  • Size: 12.3 x 9.4 x 7.6 in
  • Filter life: 500 Gallons 

Just like the models in our countertop water filter reviews so far, this filtration system is easy to install, compact for traveling, and filters out most chemicals and other sediments. It has an attractive design and delivers clean, delicious water.

However, what sets this one apart is the multi-stage granular filter. While other filters may become blocked and some of the water passes through unfiltered, this design fills the filter cartridge completely and passes the water through compression disks for better, more even filtration.

The TMJRF2 can filter out 93% of contaminants. Those include organic carbons like TOCs and VOCs, as well as chlorine, so you get water that tastes great, smells great, and is healthy for you. It will also fit in on almost any counter with its space-saving design and sleek appearance.

10. Ecosoft Countertop Water Filter System for Faucet Mount

Features

  • Activated Carbon Block Filter
  • Available in 5 colors
  • Size: 3.5 x 3.5 x 12 in
  • Filter life: 3-6 Months 

The vivid design features a color scheme that adds depth and beauty to your kitchen. Easy to install without tools, the Ecosoft Countertop Filter attaches easily to most standard faucets.

The company uses a coconut-based carbon block filter to remove chlorine, manganese, iron, lead, salts, sediment, bacteria, pharmaceuticals and more from your drinking water. Available in black, green blue and white.

11. APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-PHC Alkaline Mineral Portable Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System

APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-PHC

Features

  • 4 Stage Filtration
  • Standard Faucet Hookup
  • Portable Design
  • Produces Alkaline Water
  • Size: 18.5 x 12.5 x 10.5 in

Best Use: Motorhomes & frequent travelers that want alkaline water right from their tap.

The APEC filtration system has an aluminum case for a modern look and reliable performance. It’s a great portable for small spaces like apartments and motor homes or for people who travel.

This unique filtration system hooks directly to your standard faucet in minutes without any tools. It’s lightweight, compact, and efficient, so it’s an excellent choice as a tabletop water purifier.

It features a four-stage filtration system that removes up to 99% of contaminants from your water including arsenic, fluoride, copper, lead and more. Calcium minerals are added back to the filtered water for great taste and more optimal alkalinity.

12. Pure Hydration Next Generation

Pure Hydration Next Gen Water Ionizer

Features

  • 4 Stage Filtration
  • Sink Mounted Faucet Filter (with Under Counter option)
  • Produces Alkaline Water
  • Size: 11 x 5.5 x 12.5 in
  • Filter life: 600 Gallons 

Pure Hydration has been making water filtration systems for some time now, but the Next Generation model is a significant upgrade. You still get alkaline, hydrogen-rich water but with a new sleek design and a bevy of extra features that make it easier and more fun to use.

One of the unique features of this model is the infrared sensor for hands-free operation. Just wave your hand in front of it to turn it on and off. It also has an LED light indicator and audible alert that tell you when it’s time to change the filter, so you don’t have to remember to mark the calendar.

The filtration is next level and removes particles down to the .02 level where most other countertop water filters only go to 5 microns. It produces alkaline water with a pH of 9-9.5 and up to a -450 making one of the most powerful on our list.

You can install it quickly on your existing faucet or mount it under the counter out of the way. This water filtration system ensures that your water is clean and full of molecular hydrogen, which is a powerful antioxidant that can help you get and stay well.


Additional Tips to Help You Choose the Right Countertop Water Filter

What is the Quality of Your Unfiltered Tap Water?

Before you find the best countertop water filter for your particular household, it is important to find out what is in your city’s drinking water. A good place to start is to read a water quality report from the Environmental Protection Agency for your state.

The EPA’s website publishes the contact information for community water systems in the United States. Knowing what contaminants might be in your water is the first step in deciding what kind of countertop filtration system to purchase.

EPA Local Drinking Water Information
Use the EPAs website to find your community’s local drinking water quality report.  Photo Source:  http://cfpub.epa.gov

How Much Water Does Your Family Drink

Determine how much water you will consume every day on average – most countertop filtration systems are designed for a family of one to six people, plus a pet or two. A family of eight with two or three dogs and a cat will need more water than a countertop model can provide.

Test Your Water’s pH Level

Pick up some pH strips to see how alkaline your tap water is. It should be at least a 7 on the pH scale, and if it is lower, you have acidic water. This is not what you want. More alkaline water has several health benefits, and a counter-top water filtration system can help you ensure your water has a proper pH.

How Much Counter Space Do You Have?

Space – do you have adequate counter space to accommodate a water filtration system? If not, you might want to consider an under the sink model.

What Type of Countertop Water Filter Do You Need?

Once you have decided on the level of filtration, the amount of water required and where you want to install the unit, you can decide on the type of filter that will work best. We have 2 choices: a gravity water filter or a faucet-style hookup.

What is a Gravity Water Filter & How Does it Work?

Gravity water filters are an easy way to create filtered water in any location of your home.

There are two chambers in a gravity filter that are separated by a filtering system. The top chamber is where you pour in your unfiltered water, typically straight from the tap. The bottom chamber where your filtered water is stored.

The water filter works as you might imagine – by using gravity to pull the water from one compartment into the next.  Different types of filtering systems are using in gravity water filters, depending on the manufacturer or model.

Pros:

  • Flexibility. This type of filter does not need to be connected to a water source so it can be placed anywhere in your home. It is also common for folks to keep one at their office.
  • No electricity is needed to power the filter.
  • Filters last a long time.

Cons:

  • They are slower to filter the water initially.
  • Replacement parts can be pricey.
  • They are typically larger in size since they need to be big enough to store a few gallons of drinking water.

Faucet Hookup Water Filters

Faucet filtering systems give you the option of using both filtered or unfiltered water directly from your kitchen sink.

If you are still not sure which model is right for you, here are a few guidelines to get you started:

Faucet filters are connected to your kitchen faucet where the water is diverted from the spigot into the filtering system. A typical installation involves unscrewing your faucet’s aerator, then attaching the diverter valve which connects to the filtering system. The diverter valve should have an on/off switch.

You’ll turn it off when you want to use unfiltered water for washing the dishes and cleaning. Turn the switch to on when you want to filter the water. The clean water is dispensed from its own spigot on the side of your kitchen sink.

Pros:

  • Installation is very easy, typically only taking a few minutes
  • Convenient to use
  • Very quick to filter water

Cons:

  • Changing out the filter can be tricky depending on the model purchased (be sure to keep the instructions!)
  • The filtering unit sits next to your sink & can sometimes get in the way
  • There is no easy way to tell when the filter needs to be changed

Clean Water for Cleaner Living

Countertop filtration systems are a very good option for those a lot of reasons. If you are renting and cannot install a permanent unit, if you have limited space under your cabinets or just want to have an easy alternative to buying bottled, then one of these countertop models makes sense.

The best countertop water filter for your particular household will take care of the contaiminents already lurking in your water, be convenient to use and cost effective.

To have access to pure, clean alkalized water for drinking, washing produce and cooking is essential for good health. Anytime you are drinking more water, that’s an investment in yourself that everyone should make.

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