The 6 Best Countertop Water Filters To Remove Toxins From Your Drinking Water
If you're looking for easier access to clean drinking water, may we suggest picking up a countertop water filter? The best countertop water filters are not only easy to use and store but can also reduce exposure to detrimental contaminants often found in tap water, such as lead, chlorine, and pesticides. Studies show that lead found in water, even at low levels, can harm our health1, and chlorinated water could be linked to colorectal cancers2.
In addition to making our water cleaner, countertop water filters can help promote hydration by making high-quality water readily available—and proper hydration is essential for regulating body temperature, preventing infections, and delivering nutrients to cells. Needless to say, water filtration systems are a worthwhile investment.
Using research, product reviews, and expert insight, we've found the best countertop water filters available today. Read on to learn more about the importance of using a countertop water filter, plus how to pick the best one for your lifestyle and needs.
The best countertop water filters of 2023:
The best countertop water filters of 2023:
What is a countertop water filter?
A countertop water filter is a water filtration system that (as it sounds) sits right on your counter. Many are easily transportable and can be placed on shelves or inside refrigerators, too. These systems are often affordable, easy to use, require little to no installation, and effectively reduce the number of contaminants in tap water.
Who should use a countertop water filter?
Anyone interested in staying hydrated or who would like easier access to cleaner, safer drinking water will benefit from a countertop water filter. "Drinking filtered water is important for many reasons," shares Peter Michael, M.D., a practicing physician and the chief medical officer of VUE. "It can help improve the taste and smell of water, reduce the risk of dehydration and constipation, and help maintain skin, hair, joints, and digestive tract health." He adds that filtered water can lessen the risk of consuming contaminants and impurities, including chlorine, copper, lead, and more, that are typically found in tap water.
Countertop filter systems are also an excellent environmentally friendly way to cut back on buying plastic water bottles.
How to use a countertop water filter.
How you use a countertop water filter depends on which model you choose. "The most important thing is to fill it with water and make sure you replace the filter when the manufacturer suggests," says Constantin Geambasu, owner of Water Rehab in Phoenix, Arizona. He recommends placing the filter close to your sink so you can fill it with water easily.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of a countertop water filter?
Michael emphasizes that countertop water filters are beneficial because they help remove contaminants from water, such as chlorine, lead, and pesticides. "This can help to improve the taste and odor of the water while also reducing the risk of health problems associated with these contaminants," he says. He points out that the costs involved with these kinds of filters may be a drawback, adding that "There may also be risks from the filters themselves, especially if they're not maintained properly."
Geambasu shares that countertop filters do have limitations. "They are a cost-effective way of making good water taste better, but they cannot make bad water taste good, and they cannot make a water supply potable if it wasn't already," he explains. "A whole house water filtration system is always the preferred option; however, this option is not realistic for every person."
How to choose a countertop water filter.
It's important to keep in mind certain details when choosing the best countertop water filter for our personal needs.
First, consider what size filter will work best for your space and the filtration process you prefer. List out any features (such as a water indicator or dispenser) you'd like your filter to come with. Geambasu recommends purchasing a countertop water filter that has at least a three-stage filtration system. "A three-stage system will often include two carbon filters and one sediment filter," he explains.
How we picked:
Unique features, such as water quality indicators and push-button dispensers, help elevate user experience. We analyzed each pick and highlighted these as pros.
Top-quality products last longer and are safer to use. We made sure to include high-quality products from brands that people trust.
We dug through hundreds of reviews to gain a better understanding of what people like (and dislike) about each filter. Reviews helped us get an idea of how people interact with these products day to day.
Not everyone has the same amount of countertop space, which is why we made sure to include a range of size options on our list.
Our picks of the best countertop water filters of 2023:
Best portable: Berkey Travel Gravity-Fed Water Filter
- Addresses 200+ contaminants
- Easy to clean
- Can’t see water level
Contaminants removed:200+ Contaminants
Process:Multistage process that includes microfiltration and ion exchange
Filter Capacity:6,000 Gallons
Dimensions:7.5” x 7.5” x 18”
Perfect for campers or anyone who wants to invest in a portable filtration system, the Berkey Travel Gravity-Fed Water Filter is an easy-to-clean option made from stainless steel. It impressively reduces over 200 contaminants from water taken from lakes, streams, ponds, or the tap.
Berkey has been a leader in water filtration for over 20 years, and the quality of this product reflects this. Its pair of filters can last through approximately 6,000 gallons of water before having to be replaced, and its compact design is portable and convenient.
Withover 2,000 highly-rated reviews, this filter gets a lot of attention for its streamlined design and versatility. One shopper writes, “I have always had issues switching water between states or counties. We are using this in our RV and I've not had an issue at all, it's fresh, clean and no bad taste. Highly recommend getting this instead of bottled water.” Keep in mind, some people say installation is a bit confusing, so be sure to read the instructions closely.
Best NSF-certified: OEMIRY Countertop Filtration System
- Eco-friendly materials
- Filter lasts up to 12 months
- Ultra-fast flow rate
- Doesn’t come with a filter change indicator
Contaminants removed:99.99%, Lead, Chlorine, Heavy Metals, Bad Taste & Odor
Filter Capacity:8,000 Gallons
Dimensions:14.4” x 9.3” x 7”
If you’re looking for a top-notch filter that fits easily on your countertop, this sleek option is an excellent choice. It features a multistage filtration system that efficiently reduces heavy metals, sediment, and up to 99% of chlorine. Each filter has up to 12 months of service life (or 8,000 gallons of filtered water) and is NSF/ANSI 42 certified.
We especially love how this filter is made using eco-friendly materials and can be used in kitchens, bathrooms, or RVs. What’s more, each filter order comes with an installation kit that includes a wrench, two adapters, and Teflon tape—so you don’t have to make a trip to the hardware store.
Customers love this option for its quick install and easy-to-use design. One reviewer writes, “Not even 5 minutes to install. After flushing the filter out (you have to let it run for a few minutes), the water will be noticeably cleaner and there shouldn't be a chemical smell. Where I live there always was a light chlorine tinge to it. Not any more! So much better now! Even my ice cubes are better.” Some people do point out that this product’s filters are trickier to find, and others wish the filter came with a change light indicator.
Best budget: ZeroWater Filter Pitcher
- 5-stage filter
- Easy install
- Can also be stored in the refrigerator
- Filter doesn’t last as long as other options
Contaminants removed:99.6% of total dissolved solids (TDS)
Dimensions:15” x 5.5” x 10.6”
Warranty:90 days filter, 30 days filter cartridge
This straightforward design uses an advanced 5-stage filtration system that removes up to 99.6% of total dissolved solids (TDS), including pesticides, lead, mercury, minerals, salts, and ions. Plus, it costs less than $40 on Amazon.
It’s NSF-certified and BPA-free and can hold up to 23 cups of water at a time, making it an excellent filter to have on hand if you have a larger household, or don’t want to have to refill it constantly. With the included water quality meter, you can easily keep track of when the filter needs to be changed. Pro tip: when the meter reads 006 or higher, it’s time to switch the old filter out for a new one!
With over 36,000 ratings, people rave about how this filter doesn’t require soaking beforehand. Take it from this emphatic reviewer: “Yes, I absolutely hate water. I will drink almost anything else if I am able to. With that being said, this filter makes it easier for me to tolerate water. It is easy to deal with as you don't have to soak the filter first, and the filter is quick to flow, so you don’t have to wait 10 hours to get filtered water. It leaves the water tasting pure. I don't taste anything weird with it until it is actually time to change the filter which at that point it's not the filter's fault.”
Although this pick has thousands of highly-rated reviews, some customers do mention that they wish the filtration process was a bit quicker.
Best reverse osmosis: Bluevua Reverse Osmosis Countertop Water Filter System
- Filter lasts between 12 and 24 months
- Digital display
- Power-saving mode
- Reduces 1000+ contaminants
- Smaller water tank
Contaminants removed:99.9% of all possible contaminants
Dimensions:14.1” x 17” x 18”
This heavy-duty machine uses reverse osmosis to filter water. Reverse osmosis purifies water by using applied pressure to separate ions, specific molecules, and other larger particles from it. It might sound complicated, but this handy system requires zero installation. Simply plug the filter in, fill it with water, and you’re set. What’s more, the device can be easily moved from room to room.
Each filter lasts between 12 and 24 months and reduces over 1000 contaminants in just minutes. Its LCD monitor allows you to view water quality in real-time, and an included borosilicate glass jug can be used to store water (no plastic bottles here!). This pick comes with a standby mode that helps conserve energy when not in use.
With over 1,000 highly-rated reviews, this option is loved for its durability and unique features. One person raves, “Generally I don’t write reviews, however this unit impressed me enough to comment! Easy to set up and use, looks good, and is durable. The most important thing is that it filters the water unbelievably well! The gauge that shows the level of contamination going into/out of the unit is impressive and a bit startling at the same time! I always knew the tap water wasn’t the greatest, but I never knew just how bad it was! Definitely recommend this unit if you want great healthy water!” A few people mention that they wish this filter was less fragile.
Best easy installation: Brita UltraMax Filtered Water Dispenser
- Trusted brand
- Easy-pour spigot
- Batteries not included
Contaminants removed:Chlorine (taste and odor), Mercury, Copper, and more
Process:CarbonIon Exchange Resin
Filter Capacity:Standard (40 Gallons)Elite (120 Gallons)
Dimensions:5.7” x 14.4” x 10.5”
Brita has been making high-quality water filtration systems since the 1960s, so it's no surprise that this countertop version is top-tier. Each unit is made without BPAs and features an easy-pour spout for a quicker water flow. This model holds up to 27 cups of water at a time and can be stored easily on the counter or in the fridge. It’s compatible with both Brita Standard and Elite filters: The Standard filters last two months (40 gallons), and the Elite version lasts up to 6 months (140 gallons).
The Brita filters out contaminants, including cadmium, copper, chlorine, and mercury. It comes with convenient indicator stickers that help you keep track of when the filter needs to be replaced, too, making your life a whole lot easier.
Sleek and compact, customers rave about how versatile this filter is. It can be left out on a counter or stored perfectly in a fridge. “Before this I had a Pur sink attachment filter that took up way too much space and had extremely low water pressure flow,” one person writes. “I returned it and bought this Brita pitcher instead and it is literally perfect. I have a smaller refrigerator and the sleek slim design fits amazingly inside. It's super easy to fill, holds a lot of water that continuously filters through as it's used, and the water spout is so convenient with a high pressure flow that takes seconds to fill a glass. I love this product and would buy it again for sure.”
Best with dispenser: Brita Hub Countertop Water Filter System
- Compact design that can be customized
- Reduces 70+ contaminants
- Change filter indicator
- Only holds 12 cups of water at a time
Contaminants removed:70+ contaminants (lead, PFOA/PFOS, chlorine, select pesticides and more)
Filter Capacity:120 Gallons
Dimensions:15” x 9.5” x 12”
The newly-launched Brita Hub countertop filter is ideal for those looking for an easy way to filter their water with something a little more high-tech. At the press of a button, it quickly filters tap water in just seconds, and requires practically no installation. 12-ounce and 20-ounce presets help you quickly fill up cups and bottles, and the reservoir base can be reconfigured to the back or front of the machine, allowing you to customize the device to your space.
What our testers say:
“I recently installed this in my kitchen (install is an overstatement—it’s ready to use in just a few minutes!), and it has made my life a lot easier. I’ve tried using water filter pitchers and faucet filters in the past, but neither worked well for me. Because of this, over the last year, I’ve been drinking bottled water almost exclusively—I know, way too much plastic! I’m happy to report that this new kitchen gadget not only looks pretty cool on my countertop, but it’s also allowed me to cut back on my water bottle buying. I like how simple it is to use—add water to the reservoir, press a button, and voila!—and that it’s made by brands I trust.” — Brittany Natale, contributing writer
Are countertop water filters safe?
Countertop water filters are safe to use but must be maintained regularly to make sure they are in optimal working condition. Filters that aren't in tiptop shape may have negative effects on your health.
What is the healthiest way to filter tap water?
Michael shares that the healthiest way to filter tap water is by using a reverse osmosis filtration system. "Reverse osmosis is a type of water filtration system that is capable of removing nearly all contaminants from tap water, including bacteria, viruses, and other harmful chemicals," he explains.
Which water filter removes the most contaminants?
Although the amount of contaminants each water filter removes depends on the model, filters that use reverse osmosis often reduce the highest amount of contaminants. Be sure to read through the description of each filter before purchasing.
How can I naturally purify my tap water?
Natural ways to purify tap water at home include using a filtration system or boiling your water. It's vital to remember that even though each of these methods can reduce the number of contaminants found in tap water, they may not remove them completely.
There's no doubt about it: Hydration is vital to our health. The best countertop water filters can make clean, safe drinking water more accessible and help keep you hydrated throughout the day. They can also help you cut back on buying plastic water bottles, which is a win for our planet and for us. If you want to learn more about the importance of hydration and drinking high-quality water, check out our reasons not to drink bottled water and our ultimate guide to water filters.