7 Best Countertop Reverse Osmosis Systems in 2023 – Clean, Pure Water at Your Fingertips

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By Eric Phillips


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If you're looking to improve the taste and quality of your tap water, a countertop reverse osmosis system may be the solution.

The countertop RO systems filter out a greater number of contaminants than traditional water filters, and often have additional features like pH balance, mineral retention, and UV light sterilization. Not only do they improve the taste of your drinking water, but they can also save you money by eliminating the need for bottled water and reducing waste in landfills.

If you travel frequently, live in an RV, or have a smaller apartment, a countertop filter system that can be easily placed on your kitchen counter may be a good option for you. There are many countertop reverse osmosis systems available, and it can be difficult to choose the right one for you. Below is a list of our top picks for the best countertop reverse osmosis systems. Scroll down to learn more about them.

Top Countertop Reverse Osmosis Systems in 2023

Best of the Best
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  • 3-stage exceptionally powerful system
  • Removes an astonishing 83+ contaminants
  • Lasts up to 1200 gallons of water
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Best for Traveling
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  • 4-stage filtration system
  • Promises 99% of contaminants removal
  • Lifetime support
View on Amazon →
Best Design & Performance
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AlcaPure RO
  • Sleek design
  • Removes 99% of all contaminants
  • Saves most of its water
View on Amazon →
Best for pH Levels
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  • Powerful 4-stage filtration system
  • Allows filling up to 60 gallons of water per day
  • Delivers excellent pH levels
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Best For Environment
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KFLOW Countertop RO
  • Uses multi-filtration recyclable technology
  • RO filters last for 2 years
  • Certified by EU safety guidelines
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Best for Bacterial Buildup
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Waterdrop G3
  • Guarantees removal of bacteria and viruses
  • Alerts when to replace filters
  • Fast-working
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Best For Large Families
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Express Water Countertop RO
  • 4-stage filtration system
  • Easily removes 99.99% of water containments
  • Fast-pumping machine
View on Amazon →

Let's dive deeper to know more about these bad boys:

1. AquaTru Countertop Reverse Osmosis System – Best of the Best

The AquaTru countertop water filtration system is a heavy-duty option that uses reverse osmosis to remove 83 contaminants, including hormones, microplastics, carcinogens, and arsenic.

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  • Three-stage filtration system
  • A digital display indicates when to change filters
  • Sleek, compact design
  • Fragile machine and can break if users are not careful
  • Filtered water stores in a plastic tank

One filter of AquaTru can last for up to 1200 gallons of water, which is usually around two years of consistent use. Plus, using a single filter helps to reduce the amount of plastic water bottles that end up in landfills, saving the environment from over 4,000 bottles.

The AquaTru system even has a filter alert button that tells you when it's time to change the filter. This ensures that your water is always as clean and pure as possible.

The installation process for AquaTru is quick and easy. It's a countertop system, so there's no need for plumbing or a complicated setup. You won't even need any tools to set it up or change the filters.

Some customers have reported that the AquaTru system can be sensitive and requires all parts to be perfectly aligned for it to function properly. It's important to take good care of this machine to ensure that it lasts for years to come.

Bottom Line This AquaTru compact machine filters out water expertly. Indicator lights let you know when it's time to change the filters, so there's no guessing. View Latest Price on Amazon →

2. APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-C – Best for Traveling

The APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-C is a small but powerful water filtration machine that can be placed on any countertop. It weighs only 10 pounds, but has a four-stage filtration system that removes 99% of contaminants, including arsenic, fluoride, lead, and radium.

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  • Easy assembly
  • Lightweight and transportable
  • No tank required
  • The machine pumps out water slowly
  • The installation process produces backsplash

One of the benefits of this machine is that it doesn't require a large tank like many reverse osmosis systems. This makes it ideal for people who are always on the go, such as students or frequent travelers. The compact size and light weight also make it a good choice for those who want to save space on their countertop.

The APEC Water Systems' team values quality and offers lifetime support for the product. If you have any issues with your machine, a team of experts is available to provide technical support.

However, it's worth noting that the APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-C system has a simple installation process, but is not compatible with certain types of faucets. If you have a pull-out, sprayer, or special size designer faucet, the APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-C will not be able to connect to your sink.

Bottom Line The APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-C is a practical and lightweight solution to your water filtration problem. It is also transportable. View Latest Price on Amazon →

3. AlcaPure ‎RKIN-ZIPAL – Best Design & Performance

The AlcaPure ‎RKIN-ZIPAL System is notable for its style. It has sleek edges, bold color, and modern design. AlcaPure understands that buyers don't have to sacrifice style when purchasing a water filtration machine.

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  • Stylish design
  • Doesn't waste as much water
  • Tank in front gives users more space
  • Poor use of sensors

The AlcaPure ‎RKIN-ZIPAL is a compact water filtration system that can be easily placed in a kitchen, dorm, or RV. Its unique design has the supply water tank on the front, which allows for extra space on the sides and back. This makes it easy to fit the machine under cabinets or inside cabinets, or even display it on a table.

The AlcaPure ‎RKIN-ZIPAL is also highly effective at removing contaminants from drinking water. Its filtration system removes 99% of contaminants, including fluoride, chlorine, heavy metals, lead, PFOA, and PFOS.

One of the standout features of the AlcaPure ‎RKIN-ZIPAL is its water-saving capabilities. Many reverse osmosis systems waste a lot of water, but the AlcaPure ‎RKIN-ZIPAL has a 50% recovery rate, which is one of the highest among reverse osmosis systems. The rejected water that is suitable for drinking is also easily accessible and can be used for other purposes, such as watering plants or washing produce.

However, there are some drawbacks to the AlcaPure ‎RKIN-ZIPAL. Some customers have reported issues with the customer service team being unresponsive when they have problems with their machines. Additionally, the machine doesn't have sensors to detect when the top chamber is partially full, which means it cannot be filled when this occurs.

Bottom Line AlcaPure RKIN-ZIPAL is a compact machine that is efficient in saving water. It's also stylish. View Latest Price on Amazon →

4. APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-PHc – Best for pH Levels

APEC's APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-PHc machine made it onto our list again. It has many of the same great features as the original APEC RO system.

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  • Calibrates pH levels
  • Can fill up to 90 gallons per day
  • Lightweight design
  • Not ideal for pets and animals
  • It takes a few pumps to produce clear water

The APEC RO-CTOP-PHc has a four filtration system that removes contaminants to produce pure water. It also safely raises pH levels, which is a feature not offered by many other RO water systems.

Drink a lot of water? No problem. The APEC RO-CTOP-PHc allows you to fill up to 90 gallons per day with sinks that deliver a 60 psi water pressure.

The APEC RO-CTOP-PHc allows you to fill up to 90 gallons per day with sinks that have a 60 psi water pressure. However, it's not compatible with pull-out faucets, spray faucets, or special-size designer faucets. Additionally, the first few runs may produce cloudy water due to air in the filter, but this will eventually clear up.

Please note that the water produced by the APEC RO-CTOP-PHc has a different pH level, making it unsafe for pets to drink as they typically need more acidic water.

Bottom Line APEC RO-CTOP-PHc is a lightweight, transportable machine that delivers excellent pH levels. View Latest Price on Amazon →

5. KFLOW KFL-ROPOT-180 Plus – Best For The Environment

The KFLOW KFL-ROPOT-180 Plus countertop RO system is a top choice for environmentally conscious buyers.

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  • Saves water
  • Made with food grade material
  • Filters last many years
  • Small tank
  • Hard to clean

KFLOW KFL-ROPOT-180 Plus uses recycling multi-filtration technology to recycle the leftover water for the next round of filtration, up to four times. The filters can also be reused for many years, with the third RO filter lasting for two years and other filters lasting for one year.

The KFLOW KFL-ROPOT-180 Plus also places a high importance on health and safety. It meets safety measurements and protocols and is constructed with food-grade material, which is certified by European safety guidelines. When purchasing a machine from KFLOW, customers can be confident that it will work as each filter system is tested before being sent out.

There are a few drawbacks to the KFLOW KFL-ROPOT-180 Plus. The jug only holds 1.5 liters, making it more suitable for single use or for those living alone. Cleaning the tank can also be a bit challenging. However, overall, the KFLOW KFL-ROPOT-180 Plus offers a superior water recycling mechanism and prioritizes health and safety in its design and construction.

Bottom Line The KFLOW KFL-ROPOT-180 Plus is designed for water conservation. It has a smaller jug, so it may not be suitable for households with multiple people. It's best for individuals living alone. View Latest Price on Amazon →

6. Waterdrop G3 – Best for Bacterial Buildup

The Waterdrop G3 has a cross filtration system that removes bacterial and virus buildup within the machine. This sets it apart from its competition.

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  • Product passed 400+ chemical lab tests
  • Fast-working
  • The tankless design saves space and ensures bacteria-free water
  • Indicator lights can fail

Some water filters accumulate harmful bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms because water remains inside the machine even after passing through the filters.

The Waterdrop G3 has an alert notification system that goes above and beyond others. While other countertop reverse osmosis filters only let you know when the filter is no longer working, the Waterdrop G3 has three lights: “perfect,” “replace soon,” and “replace now.” This way, you have plenty of notice to buy a new filter instead of running out unexpectedly.

The Waterdrop G3 TBS Smart Monitoring Panel also shows you how many contaminants have been filtered out of your waste, allowing you to see the difference firsthand. This adds to the overall satisfaction of using the product.

However, some customers have reported that the indicator lights on the Waterdrop G3 begin to fail after extended use. Additionally, the customer service for Waterdrop G3 has received criticism for being difficult to reach and often leading to automated answering machines rather than live representatives.

Bottom Line The Waterdrop G3 is a water filtration system that removes bacteria from inside the machine. It's a great choice for those who want to see the results of filtration for themselves. View Latest Price on QWT →

7. Express Water Countertop RO System – Best For Large Families

The Express Water RO Countertop system can pump four gallons of water per hour. This makes it a good choice for homes with multiple people.

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  • It fills up enough water for the whole family
  • One-year warranty
  • Fast shipping
  • Can't use hot water
  • Must purchase adapter

The Express Water countertop RO system is a good choice for large families because it is faster than other water filter machines. It uses a 4-stage water filter system to remove 99.99% of contaminants. This system includes a sediment filter, granular carbon filter, reverse osmosis membrane, and a post-activated carbon filter.

However, you shouldn't use hot water with this machine because it can damage the filters. Additionally, you may need to purchase an adapter if you don't have a specific type of faucet.

One potential issue with the Express Water RO system is that the water drip is slow. This can be inconvenient if you are in a rush or have a lot of people over. To avoid this issue, make sure to fill up the water tank when you are not in a hurry.

Bottom Line The Express Water system is a fast-acting machine that pumps water quickly. It produces enough water for large groups and families. View Latest Price on Amazon →

Weighing the Benefits and Drawbacks of a Countertop RO Water Filter

Water purification systems are important due to global industrialization and the threat of water pollution and scarcity. Access to clean, great-tasting drinking water should be available to everyone. (2)

Reverse osmosis water filters are relatively cheap and extremely effective at purifying water. They also have a long lifespan and require minimal maintenance. Many reverse osmosis water filters are compact, making them suitable for small spaces and accessible for urban residents, students, travelers, and others.

Does it Offer Health Benefits?

Is reverse osmosis water good for you?

The countertop reverse osmosis water filter system is a home solution that cleans city or well water by removing harmful organisms and chemicals, such as nitrates, sulfates, fluoride, and arsenic. This makes reverse osmosis water a healthy alternative to bottled water, which may contain harmful microplastics.

However, reverse osmosis systems also remove healthy minerals from the water, like magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium, which the body needs for proper health. It's thought that the body is more efficient at absorbing these minerals through food rather than water.

Countertop RO System Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right One

A reverse osmosis water filter can seem intimidating to understand, even in a countertop unit. However, you can learn more about how it works and what to consider when purchasing one through our buyers' guide.

Water quality and contaminants in your area

Check the quality of your water before purchasing a countertop reverse osmosis system. Look for potential contaminants. You can use a water testing kit or contact your local water utility for a water quality report.

For example, if you live in an area with high levels of lead in the water, a reverse osmosis system can effectively remove the contaminant.

Type and size of the system

Countertop reverse osmosis systems come in two types: standalone units and ones that attach to your faucets. Consider the type that fits easily on your countertop. If you have limited kitchen counter space, you may want to consider a smaller, faucet-mounted system.

Flow rate and water production capacity

The flow rate of a reverse osmosis system refers to the amount of purified water it can produce in a given time period. It's important to consider the flow rate when choosing a system for your household. A system with a high flow rate may be more suitable for large families.

Maintenance and filter replacement frequency

Countertop reverse osmosis systems require regular maintenance, such as filter replacement, to ensure optimal performance. Consider the frequency of replacement tasks and whether you will perform them yourself or hire a professional. Also, consider the price of replacement filters before purchasing.

If you prefer to perform maintenance tasks yourself, choose a countertop RO system with easy-to-replace filters.

Countertop RO System Filters

Filters in any size countertop system work by using water pressure and membrane filters to purify water. They do this by moving unfiltered water through semi-permeable membranes. Any contaminants in the water are unable to pass through these membranes and are removed from the water as it passes through each filter until it reaches the holding tank. The contaminated water is then flushed down the drain.

To ensure the best taste and longest filter lifespan, look for systems that have at least four filters and indicator lights that alert you when it's time to replace the filters.

Wastewater/Environmental Impacts

Most reverse osmosis water filters do waste a significant amount of water. Even in small countertop units for RVs and apartments, wastewater is produced as a part of the filtering process.

It's important to note that some systems can waste up to 20 gallons of water when producing one gallon of drinkable water. However, this is not always the case. Filters like the KFLOW waste less water than others. It's important to consider your comfort level with the amount of wastewater produced when deciding which reverse osmosis system to purchase.

Energy efficiency

Some countertop reverse osmosis systems are more energy efficient than others. If you want to save money on your energy bills, look for a system that is Energy Star certified. An Energy Star certified system may use around 50 watts of electricity per hour, while a non-certified system could use up to 85 watts per hour.

Price and budget

When purchasing a countertop reverse osmosis purifier, consider your budget. These purifiers are typically priced between $180 and $450 due to their advanced technology. The specific cost will depend on factors such as the chosen product, desired features, and reliability.

Wrapping Up…

Choosing the right reverse osmosis water filter for your home can be stressful. There are many products to choose from.

To help you, we have listed our top picks for countertop reverse osmosis systems. AquaTru is our top pick due to its features and water pumping capabilities. However, all options on this list are leaders in the industry.

If you want an environmentally friendly countertop reverse osmosis system, consider the KFLOW.

If you want a filter that prevents bacteria buildup, consider the G3 Waterdrop. If you have a large family, consider the Express Water Countertop RO System to ensure your filter can meet their needs.

Start shopping now to get clean, fresh water for your home.

Eric Phillips

Meet Eric, the Water Treatment Specialist and founder of Dripfina, where he shares his wealth of expertise. With notable features in Realtor, ApartmentTherapy, FamilyHandyMan, and more, Eric is a renowned expert in water treatment industry. Join Eric on Dripfina and benefit from #AskDripfina community to make informed decisions for clean, refreshing water.

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