Every living thing needs water to survive. We humans, for example, can’t function well without water after three days – in some cases, it could even spell great disaster. However, that doesn’t mean we can simply drink any kind of water without regard for our safety.
That’s where water filters come in. They help improve our water quality and keep it safe for consumption. It also gets rid of impurities and particles that may affect our overall health. So with that thought in mind, what’s the best water filter we can use in our home? Let’s find out.
Access to Clean and Safe Water
Almost everyone has access to clean and safe water for consumption. For example, processed bottled water is a viable short-term answer for safe use. In addition, we can access fresh bottled water in our local stores. However, the cost would eventually hurt our household budget, and most of us wouldn’t be able to sustain it for a long time.
Water filters offer a better alternative for safe drinking water at home. It gives us access to fresh water, and it is more sustainable in the long run. We may indeed need to shell out money initially, but the investment we put in will be good for a significant amount of time.
There are different types of water filters out there, and they serve a varying degree of purpose when it comes to processing clean water for consumption.
Water Filter Systems Types Which is Better?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. Every water filter system has its own merits and downsides. There are cases where filters fitted under our sink might be the best solution. And other times, whole-house filtration systems might be a better option. This simply means there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to safe and fresh drinking water.
We need to look for NSF International certified water filter systems to ensure safe and fresh water in our homes. NSF International conducts tests and offers certification for products that meet public health and safety standards. We can ensure our home’s water filter provides safe drinking with their approval.
Things To Consider For Your Next Water Filter
Choosing the right water filter system in your home can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t know what exactly to look for. Filters come in all shapes and sizes, and that could also add up to the overall confusion.
Knowing what to look for may help you decide the next water filter in your home. Here are the things you need to consider.
Water Filter Type
Deciding what type of water filter system might be the first thing you need to consider for your home. Here are some of the most common types of water filters available on the market.
- Faucet Attachments
Water filter attachments are the most common filtration system in the market. They are easy to use and install. On top of that, units are relatively cheap compared to other types available.
Just like the name implies, you can attach this filter to your faucet, and it treats the water as it passes through. The purifying process is simple yet effective for providing safe and drinkable water.
- Water Filter Pitchers
This type of water filtration system uses carbon filters inside a pitcher-like chamber to help get rid of contaminants and filter the water for consumption. The water goes at the top of the chamber, and gravity helps the water go through a series of carbon filters.
At the bottom of the chamber, you’ll get clean and filtered water that you can enjoy without worries. This type of filter is also one of the most popular in the market mainly for two reasons: they are relatively cheap and easy to use.
- Under Sink Filters
These filters are stealthy and tucked away under our kitchen sink. The filtration process happens right before the water reaches the end of the faucet and usually comes with multiple chambers that act as different filtration stages.
The multiple stages of filtration help remove more water contaminants than other types of filters. However, the additional components mean it is a bit harder to install and maintain compared to others. Another downside is the cost.
- Refrigerator Water Filters
There are refrigerators with water dispensers and ice makers. You can fit them with a simple refrigerator water filter if you have one at home.
The system uses charcoal filters to help remove any impurities in the water. The filters are easy to replace and maintain. However, the cost of maintaining one can build up over time. On top of that, compatibility could be an issue for replacing components. You must know the correct make and model of your unit.
Countertop filters are easy to install, but it can be hard to incorporate them into the overall design scheme of your counter. This type of filter usually uses an existing faucet as its main water source.
- Portable Filters
Most backpackers and campers use portable water filters to help them get through their safe water needs. This type of water filtration system usually has a pump at one end that acts as the water inlet. The water then goes through a series of filters made from carbon and microfiber filters that help eliminate contaminants.
It is a convenient option for people who don’t have access to fresh drinking water. However, they usually come with expensive price tags.
- Whole-House Filters
A common household filter usually sits in one or two faucets in our kitchen (see also ‘How Can You Remove A Kitchen Faucet Handle Without A Screw?‘). However, some properties use a water filter fitted within the water system. Whole-house filters provide clean and drinkable water anywhere inside the house. In fact, they even provide filtered water for appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and even in your shower.
As you might have guessed, this type of water system is one of the most expensive on the list. The price could also go up depending on how the filtration process goes. Maintenance and repairs can also be on the higher side.
Water filters use various methods to get our home water as clean and safe as possible. There are carbon filtration, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet, and others. These methods may use different mediums, but they all get rid of contaminants and impurities from our drinking water.
Carbon filtration may be the most common method used in many water filters. This filtering method is known for removing harmful substances such as pesticides, chlorine, and solvents. On the flip side, it may not be as effective when it comes to dealing with nitrates, sodium, and other heavy metals found in water.
Reverse osmosis uses semipermeable membranes that block impurities while allowing water molecules to pass through. In contrast to carbon filtration, reverse osmosis effectively prevents heavy metals and other chemical contaminants. However, they aren’t as powerful for removing herbicides and pesticides. This filtration process also needs strong pressure.
Ultraviolet filters are effective against bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other microscopic organisms found in water. There are also water filters that use multiple filtration methods to provide clean and safe water effectively. These water systems incorporate the strong suit of other filtration processes and feature multiple stages of purification.
Installation and Maintenance
Ease of installation and maintenance plays a huge role in choosing the right water filter for our home. While most water system issues can be fixed with simple methods, there are systems that require extensive knowledge and, possibly, professional intervention.
Most manufacturers conduct tests with their water filter systems. However, the leading figure for public safety and health standards for water filters is NSF International. They are a non-profit organization and a trusted figure when it comes to setting the standards for safe public products.
The Water Quality Association or WQA is another respectable figure for water filters. When considering a new water filtration system, it is best to look for The WQA Gold Seal.
Now the groundwork is set, let’s look at the top water filter systems on the market.
Best Water Filters for Your Home
Brita Standard 18 Cup UltraMax Water Dispenser
Thanks to its superb price range, simple design, and utility, the Brita Standard 18 Cup UltraMax Water Dispenser holds the top spot. Just like the name implies, the dispenser can hold up to 18 cups of water. Don’t let the water capacity trick your eyes. It is small and elegant enough to fit on a countertop without taking up too much space. In some cases, it can even fit on a decent-sized fridge.
The filter effectively removes sediments and substances such as chlorine, copper, mercury, zinc, and others. Thus, giving you clean, safe, and healthy drinking water.
ZeroWater 10 Cup Water Filter Pitcher
When it comes to the price and functionality ratio, the ZeroWater 10 Cup Water Filter Pitcher leads the pack with its simple yet effective approach. It uses gravity filters and integrates carbon and ion exchange technology to remove impurities and heavy metals from our drinking water.
iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration S
The iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration S might be your best option for a whole-house water filter solution. It offers three stages of filtration that removes sediments, pesticides, and other chemicals that might be harmful to the body. It also utilizes two carbon filters that provide clean, safe drinking water for the family.
The iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration S offers up to one year of safe drinking water for a typical household. That means the filters can treat up to 100,000 gallons before they need replacement.
Waterdrop 10UA Under Sink Water Filter System
Undersink filters can be a pain when it comes to installation and maintenance. Good thing the Waterdrop 10UA Under Sink Water Filter System can accommodate up to 8,000 gallons of water, which is more than enough to serve a family of four over a year. Their fitting features a push-connect system, making installation more pleasant.
The Waterdrop 10UA Under Sink Water Filter System offers a five-stage filtration system that eliminates lead, arsenic, mercury, and other heavy metals. They also filter out harmful chemical contaminants that may affect our health, such as herbicides and pesticides.
APEX Quality Countertop Drinking Water Filter
If you’re looking for a good countertop filter, then the APEX Quality Countertop Drinking Water Filter might be the perfect choice for you. The system can last up to 750 gallons of water and removes various contaminants in your drinking water, such as chlorine, mercury, and other sediments that may be harmful to your body.
Common Questions about Water Filters
What type of water filter gets rid of most contaminants?
Water filters using reverse osmosis filtration systems are considered the most effective for dealing with contaminants. However, a water filter that features more filtration processes the better. Also, the best filter to remove the most depends on what water contaminants you want to eliminate.
What’s the recommended number of filtration stages for water filters?
Water filters that offer three stages of filtration processes are sufficient to give us safe drinking water. High-end filters may feature seven or more filtration stages, with the addition of a reverse osmosis chamber may remove 99% of contaminants, heavy metals, and other substances.
When is the best time to replace water filters?
Manufacturers provide a recommended usage span for all water filters. However, to make sure you get the cleanest drinking water possible, it is best to change filters before they reach the end of their lifespan.