The 8 Best Water Filters in 2022 (2022)

Deal Alert! Get a new water filter for a great price during Black Friday, whether you're looking for a pitcher like the top-rated ZeroWater Jug or a whole-house water filtration system like our favorite from Aquasana.

The Spruce Eats Top Picks

The five-stage filtering system, ease of installation, and the fresh, clean taste of the water put the APEC ROES-50 Reverse Osmosis System at the top of our list. If you want a filter that attaches to the faucet, then the Pur PFM400H Faucet Water Filtration System is a perfect and attractive fit.

Water filters help improve the flavor of your water and protect you from impurities such as rust particles, bacteria, and lead. Sure, bottled water is easily available as a quick and (initially) cheap solution, but water filters are much more sustainable—and can save you money in the long run.

There are countless types of water filters available on the market, each differing in what they remove from your water. These include under-sink filters, faucet attachments, whole-house filtration systems, pitcher filters, and more. While there isn't a one-size-fits-all filter solution, we help narrow down the list of the best water filters based on your needs. Each item included in this roundup has either been certified by the NSF, a health and safety standards testing company, or tested and certified by an independent third party to meet NSF standards.

After extensive research and expert input, we rounded up the best water filters on the market.

Best Overall:APEC ROES-50 Reverse Osmosis System


The 8 Best Water Filters in 2022 (1)

What We Like

  • Uses five stages of filtering

  • Easy to install

  • Water tastes very clean

What We Don't Like

  • Takes up ample under-sink space

Who else recommends it? Forbes also picked the APEC ROES-50 Reverse Osmosis System.

What do buyers say? 85% of 6,100+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.

A highly efficient system and also an attractive option, this reverse osmosis filtration system is designed to be placed under the sink; it can, however, also be placed in a basement or attached garage with the water routed to the sink with the included faucet. Along with the typical lead and other heavy metals, bacteria, and chlorine, this removes as many as 1,000 different unwanted contaminants from water.

This system uses five separate stages of filtration to remove 99 percent of contaminants. It has a sediment filter, two stages of carbon filters, a reverse osmosis filter, and a coconut fiber filter. Filters need to be changed at different intervals; The first three last six to 12 months, while the two stages can last two to four years.

Installation is designed to be a DIY project, but specialized tools may be required to install the faucet if there isn’t already a hole drilled into the sink or counter.Still, most reviewers like that the instructions are very clear and that the system is relatively quick and easy to install.

Price at time of publish: $180

Type: Under the sink | Certified By: WQA | Contaminants Filtered: Chlorine, VOCs, fluoride, lead nitrates, heavy metals +more

What Our Experts Say

"Counterfeits are a problem for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they likely won’t remove the contaminants you expect them to and could therefore pose a health risk. Also, if they are made with substandard materials that leach they could actually make your water worse. The number one indicator of a counterfeit is price. Counterfeit filters and replacement cartridges usually cost significantly less than authentic certified products." — Rick Andrew, Director of NSF International's Global Business Development

Best Faucet Attachment:PUR PFM400H Faucet Water Filtration System

The 8 Best Water Filters in 2022 (2)

What We Like

  • Easy to install

  • Attractive design

  • Indicates when filter needs replacing

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't work with pull-down faucets

When an under-sink filter is too much trouble but pitchers aren’t sufficient, a faucet attachment can be the perfect fit. Many customers who rated this filter highly did so because of how simple it is to install: It mounts easily to the existing faucet without any tools. Plus, it removes a host of common contaminants like lead and other heavy metals, chlorine, pesticides, and more. The internal filter is easy to change—which is necessary every two to three months based on average water use. A sensor checks the filter and indicates when it’s time for a change, so there’s no need to track time or usage.

Since there are plenty of times when filtered water isn’t required, this makes it simple to switch filtering on and off—so drinking water is clean, and cold brew coffee tastes right, but the dishes can be rinsed in unfiltered water. This attachment includes three different adapters to fit common faucets, but it won’t work with pull-down or handheld faucets.

Price at time of publish: $28

Type: Faucet attachment | Certified By: NSF, WQA | Contaminants Filtered: Lead, mercury, certain pesticides +more

The 5 Best Countertop Water Filters in 2022

Best Whole-House System:Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System

The 8 Best Water Filters in 2022 (3)

What We Like

  • Doesn't require electricity to set up

  • Can last through 1,000,000 gallons

  • Filters for shower and tub

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive

  • Can be challenging to install

Most water filtration systems are designed for kitchen use only, but if the local water supply is so off-putting that brushing your teeth makes your mouth feel dirtier than before, a whole-house filtration system may be the best option. Not only will the water from all the faucets be clean and drinkable, but the water for your shower or tub will also be filtered.

This system filters and conditions the water, so it removes heavy metals, chlorine, pesticides, and contaminants. Several customers who typically deal with hard city water treated with heavy chlorine claim that the odor was completely removed and their water is softened adequately. A less expensive option that filters but doesn’t condition is also available, as are several other filtering options, so there’s something for every need. The system itself is rated to last for 10 years or 1 million gallons, but filters need to be changed about every three months.

Note that while all of Aquasana's filtering systems are NSF-certified to remove PFOA and PFOS, the whole-house system in its entirety is not certified because the company cannot guarantee that contaminants are not in the house's pipes and being picked up after going through the system.

Price at time of publish: $1,774

Type: Whole-house | Certified By: NSF | Contaminants Filtered: Chlorine, lead, pesticides, VOCs +more

Good to Know

The CDC has a wealth of information to help you decide which type of water filter is best for your home. One word of caution about whole-house systems: According to the CDC, "filtering that removes chlorine might increase the growth of germs in all the pipes in your house."

Best Small Pitcher:ZeroWater 7-Cup Water Filter Pitcher

The 8 Best Water Filters in 2022 (4)

What We Like

  • Includes water quality meter

  • Small countertop footprint

What We Don't Like

  • Some say filters don't last long

Great for small spaces, this pitcher holds 7 cups, so it won’t take up a lot of space in the refrigerator or on the counter. It’s great for filtering drinking water for singles or small families and is small enough to bring to the office or on trips. While it might take several batches to fill a large pot for making stock, this will work well for small cooking tasks.

This filter removes chromium, lead, and other heavy metals, along with all solids. Several reviewers commented that the filtered water tastes just as good, if not better than bottled water. The filter also includes a water quality meter, so users can test their water before and after filtering. How often you replace the filter depends on the contaminant level of your water, but most places within the United States fall within the 25- to 40-gallon range.

Price at time of publish: $13

Type: Pitcher | Certified By: NSF | Contaminants Filtered: Dissolved solids (chromium, lead)

Best Large Pitcher:Brita 12-Cup Stream Filter Pitcher

The 8 Best Water Filters in 2022 (5)

What We Like

  • BPA-free

  • Sleek design

  • Has an electronic filter-change reminder

What We Don't Like

  • Slow to pour

Let’s face it: Most water filter pitchers are built for function, but they don’t look great for serving. The last thing a host wants is for guests to be wondering how bad the water really is, so this pitcher hides the filter from view with an attractive design element. Since it filters as it pours, you just fill it and bring it to the table to fill water glasses.Most customers are happy with the flavor of the filtered water; however, some note that it pours more slowly the less water there is in the pitcher.

This holds 12 cups and is designed to fit the fridge, so it’s ready to dispense chilled water when you want it. It has an electronic filter change reminder, so you don’t have to chart time or usage. It’s made from BPA-free plastic, and the filters are recyclable through TerraCycle.

Price at time of publish: $33

Type: Pitcher | Certified By: WQA | Contaminants Filtered: Chlorine, particulates (class VI), trichlorobenzene

Best Countertop Dispenser:Pur DS1811Z Ultimate 18-Cup Water Filter Dispenser

The 8 Best Water Filters in 2022 (6)

What We Like

  • Slim design

  • Holds 18 cups of water

  • Indicates when filter needs replacing

What We Don't Like

  • Some say filtration is slow

This countertop dispenser holds 18 cups of water, which eliminates the need to filter batch after batch for larger families or cooking projects. It’s certified to remove 99 percent of lead, along with 22 other contaminants, and can filter up to 40 gallons of water before the filter needs to be changed.

The proprietary filter cap ensures that only filtered water moves from the top reservoir to the bottom, so unfiltered water won’t mix in. This is designed to fit in the sink for convenient filling and is well balanced, so it’s easy to move to the counter where it will be used. Several customers say the dispenser was very easy to set up and operate, though some note that it takes some time to filter water.

Price at time of publish: $36

Type: Countertop | Certified By: WQA | Contaminants Filtered: Lead, chlorine +more

What our Experts Say

"Be sure to do your due diligence as a consumer and compare filters and replacement cartridges. If something seems too good to be true, then there is a good chance it may be a counterfeit." Rick Andrew, Director of NSF International's Global Business Development

Best Water Bottle:Brita Hard Sided Water Bottle with Filter, 26 Ounce


The 8 Best Water Filters in 2022 (7)

What We Like

  • Sturdy construction

  • Filter is easy to install

  • Dishwasher-safe

What We Don't Like

  • Straw can be difficult to clean

There may be some instances when you only need to filter one serving of water, like at work or on vacation. In this case, your best option may be a water filter water bottle, such as the Brita Hard Sided Water Bottle.

This handy 26-ounce water bottle is made from BPA-free hard plastic, and it has a built-in carbon filter that will remove impurities from up to 40 gallons of tap water. The water bottle is dishwasher-safe and fits in most car cup holders. The manufacturer recommends changing the filter every two months, and reviewers say it's the perfect water bottle to take on vacation to areas where you might not have clean tap water.

Price at time of publish: $17

Type: Water bottle | Certified By: WQA | Contaminants Filtered: Chlorine taste and odor

Good to Know

Some self-filtering water bottles are only effective for treated municipal water, whereas others can handle water with a greater contaminant load. For your safety, before you buy a filtered water bottle for traveling to places without easily-accessible drinking water, check the specifications to make sure it can handle more than treated city water.

The Best Reusable Water Bottles to Hydrate Wherever You Go

Best for Easy Filter Replacement:Waterdrop 10UB Under Sink Drinking Water Filtration System

The 8 Best Water Filters in 2022 (8)

What We Like

  • Retains minerals

  • Water tastes good

  • Requires minimal under-sink space

What We Don't Like

  • Need to drill hole for faucet install

  • Not certified for lead removal

This water filter removes chlorine and heavy metals but leaves behind the minerals that help water taste good, so it’s perfect for a refreshing drink or for making tea, lemonade, or cocktails. Unlike under-sink filters that filter all the water used—including water for washing dishes—this comes with a dedicated faucet so you can have filtered water when you want it, while not wasting filtered water for washing and rinsing.

This can produce up to .75 gallons of filtered water per minute, so there’s no waiting when filling a pitcher. Even users with no experience with plumbing praised the ease of installation, and they also praised the easy filter replacement. According to the manufacturer, changing the filter takes just 3 seconds.

The filter is good for 8,000 gallons of water before it needs to be replaced, but for people who use a lot of water, a 16,000-gallon model is also available. For renters or people who don’t want to drill a hole for the dedicated faucet, there are models that connect to the faucet to filter all of the water.

Price at time of publish: $61

Type: Under the sink | Certified By: WQA | Contaminants Filtered: Chlorine, sediment, rust, and other heavy metals

Good to Know

The CDC notes that no filter can eliminate all contaminants, and many are specialized. To know what contaminants need to be removed, certified labs can test water from private wells or cisterns. For city water consumers, a Consumer Confidence Report is sent annually with the water bill.

Final Verdict

The APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System earns our top spot because of its five-stage filtering system and simple installation. Reviewers praise how clean and smooth the resulting water tastes. If neither under-sink filters nor pitchers are options, try the Pur PFM400H Faucet Water Filtration System; it's attractive, effective, and you don't need tools to install it.

What to Look for When Buying a Water Filter

By Marshall Bright


Water filters can remove contaminants like heavy metals and man-made chemicals from your water. If you are on well water, have old pipes, or live in an area with unsafe drinking water, you may need a water filter to remove contaminants like lead or actual particles like sand.

If you are on city water, you can look at the annual water reports to see what kinds of contaminants are in that water.Even if your municipal water is safe, you may have old pipes that could be leaching contaminants into your water. Adding a water filter can help remove those impurities.Filters certified to remove chlorine, for example, can also encourage hydration by making water more enjoyable to drink.

Independent Certifications

Because effective filtration is so important (and because it’s so hard to actually be able to tell if it’s working), certification is one of the only ways you can actually be sure your water filter is removing the contaminants its packaging claims. The NSF is one certifying body—other certifications to look for are the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Water Quality Association (WQA). There is no one-size-fits-all certification, so it’s important to know what you want removed from your water. For example, the NSF offers certification for removing a certain amount of chlorine, and a separate one for removing lead. The more certifications a filter has, the more contaminants it can remove.

Andrew cautions that you just need to make sure your filter is actually certified. Marketing jargon to look out for includes “filters to NSF standards,” which does not mean it has been independently tested. An earlier version of our list included several water filters that were removed based on similar language that made it unclear whether they were independently tested.


You will want to consider your household’s water consumption when purchasing a filter. A smaller pitcher may be fine for a dorm or apartment, but for larger households or using filtered water for cooking, faucet or under-sink filters may make more sense. Refilling a pitcher doesn’t take a huge amount of time, but if you need to do it several times a day, it can be a pain.

Replacement Filters

Filter cost is another thing to consider. A water filtration system is only as good as its filters, so be sure to factor in their price and availability, as well as how often they need to be replaced.


Water filtration systems can cost up to thousands of dollars, while smaller pitchers can go for around $20. You can get an affordable water filter for personal use without spending much, but make sure to look for certifications. Also, consider the cost of the water filter and how often it will have to be replaced when deciding what you want to spend.

Types of Water Filters

When we think of water filters, a pitcher is the first thing that comes to mind, but filters can be used at almost every point of water's journey through your home.

Whole-Home Systems

Whole-home systems filter all the water coming into your home. The most common kind, says Rick Andrew of NSF International, "is a water softener that will help remove minerals and 'soften' your water." Since hard water is bad for pipes and water fixtures, a whole-house filtration system makes the most sense. Because this type of system filters water for the whole house, it's often expensive and time-intensive to set up.

There are two reasons to get a water filtration system, explains Andrew. For drinking water in the United States, it's more likely that you’ll want a filter to improve taste or remove hard minerals and protect your pipes. Hard water (i.e., water with high mineral content) can damage pipes and water fixtures with buildup.


If you are filtering for contaminants or taste in your drinking water, a point-of-use filter is also an option. These can be filters that attach to the sink or under the sink where you get drinking water. Andrew emphasizes that whole-house filtration, unless you are on a well, is generally only for softening water, and that these point-of-use systems are sufficient if you’re filtering out contaminants. Under-sink filters are often easier to install than whole-home systems, but are more expensive than faucet attachments or pitchers.

Faucet Attachments

Like under-sink filters, faucet attachments offer instant access to filtered water at a place where you would be getting drinking water, such as the kitchen sink. These filters can typically be attached to most standard sinks, though they won't work with more unique sink setups, like a pull-down faucet with a spray nozzle. A faucet attachment will typically allow you to filter only the water you want to drink and let unfiltered water come through for things like washing dishes. If you are only filtering to improve taste, this should be sufficient. This type of system also puts less pressure on the filter by only filtering the water you need.


Pitchers don’t offer the convenience of a sink filter because they need to be refilled, but Andrew says "some people prefer pitchers because they allow you to chill filtered water, which can make it more enjoyable to drink." It’s also the easiest to set up. Furthermore, if you are only filtering water for taste, you may find a faucet filter to be bulky and unnecessary while you do things like wash hands or dishes at the sink. Again, this comes down to preference, and both faucet attachments and pitchers are capable of filtering out contaminants.


Countertop water filtration systems work similarly to faucet filters by diverting water from the sink into a filtration system with its own tap. Other countertop filtration systems need to be filled, acting like water coolers, and these can be bulkier than pitchers but require less frequent refilling. They do offer the advantage of allowing you to place filtered water anywhere in your home, away from a water source.


Special water bottles can filter water as you fill the bottle or as you drink, and they can be certified by the NSF and ANSI. Water bottles can be a great option if you want to drink filtered water on the go, and they're a great alternative to buying bottled water. However, certain filter bottles are only designed to remove contaminants from treated municipal water, so if you want a water filter for hiking or traveling in places without clean drinking water, you’ll need to be extra sure that the filtration system you're buying can remove bacteria and other organisms.

While filters of all types can do a great job of removing contaminants, Andrew says, "no filter can actually remove all contaminants." Any filter that claims it can remove all or 100 percent of contaminants is misrepresenting itself, and no certifying body would verify those claims. "The technology just doesn’t exist," Andrew says.



Nowadays, the term “Brita pitcher” has basically come to mean a filtered water pitcher. Brita’s filters all come with NSF certifications, and its pitchers are popular for their ease of use—drop a filter into the pitcher, and you’re good to go. Brita also offers a wide array of pitchers and filtration systems, including faucet filters and water bottles. Brita does not offer under-sink or whole-home filtration systems, however, and not all Brita filters are created equal. Depending on what you want filtered out of the water, make sure to check for those certifications.


Pur and Brita offer very similar products: basic filters that remove impurities for taste, as well as mercury and other contaminants, as well as more expensive filters that can also remove lead and an even higher percentage of contaminants. Pur does offer the most certifications in its basic and more expensive filter.


APEC offers a whole-house filtration system in addition to countertop filtration systems. The company’s whole-home systems are designed to remove things like odor and chlorine, as well as minerals that can cause scaling on appliances.


Water filter systems, no matter the size or type, are not a one-and-done purchase. Filters don’t last forever; they'll eventually stop effectively filtering water. "This can have two effects," Andrew says. For starters, the water can start to flow more slowly through the filter itself. More seriously, the filter can also stop effectively filtering water, letting the contaminants stay in the water. Filters all come with a lifespan, from a few months to a few years. NSF certifications test to ensure that the filter can continue to remove contaminants for as long as its listed lifespan and even allow for a little bit of time on the end.

“But, at some point, it's just not going to work anymore,” Andrew says. Replacing your water filter per manufacturer instructions is just as important as purchasing the right filtration system in the first place.


As brands try to set themselves apart in the filtration space, different accessories and add-ons have popped up such as Bluetooth capabilities and sensors to monitor filter effectiveness. While these can be appealing bells and whistles, they are not necessary; if you follow manufacturer guidelines on replacing filters, for example, the sensor is unnecessary. Ultimately, what matters is if the filter itself is capable of removing the impurities you want removed.


Which water filters remove the most contaminants?

While there are a variety of water filtration systems, no one type is inherently better (or worse) at filtering out contaminants. The same types of filters can remove different contaminants depending on how it was manufactured and certified. This is why experts recommend knowing what kinds of contaminants you want to be removed, rather than simply looking for a filter that removes a lot of contaminants. If you are unsure of what is in your local water, you can get a water report.

Do water filters remove bacteria?

"NSF certifies filters that remove bacteria under a standard called P231," says Andrew, but those tend to be designed for activities like camping, when you may need to drink water from a stream. If you have specific concerns about bacteria in your drinking water, be sure to buy a filtration system certified specifically to remove bacteria.When in doubt, you can boil your filtered or unfiltered water as an added safety precaution against bacteria.

Can you filter any type of water?

In short, absolutely. Water filters can be used for city and well water and on both soft and hard (high mineral level) water. Just be aware of what you are hoping to remove; a whole-house system specifically designed to remove minerals from hard water, for example, won’t work the same as a pitcher that removes chlorine for flavor.

Do water filters remove fluoride?

Yes, certain types do. If you have a preference, be sure to check your filter’s certification.

Do water filters remove PFAS?

There are water filters that remove polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) very effectively, and filters that only have partial efficacy in removing them. If this is an area of concern for you, make sure you pick a filter that specifies removing PFAS.

How long do water filters last?

Water filtration systems are only as good as the filters within them. Nearly all are designed to be replaced, and all certifications are done with the life of the filter in mind. So if your filter needs to be replaced every six months, NSF will test each filter to ensure a six-month lifespan. If filters are replaced regularly, the filtration system itself can last for years.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Donna Currie has lived and worked in areas of the country where the water was rated in the top ten in the country…and she’s lived in areas where the water was decidedly unpleasant. Over the years, she’s tested a variety of models and done her research on the rest. Associate Commerce Editors Taylor Rock and Fran Sales researched and contributed to this piece, incorporating information from Rick Andrew of NSF International’s Global Water program.

This roundup was updated byKatya Weiss-Andersson, a writer and editor who has nearly a decade of experience as a professional chef.

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