Here are two facts: drinking enough water doesn’t have to be a chore, and you don’t have to buy bottled water.
Though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates tap water, it still contains billions of chemicals, microorganisms, and other elements (1). Even if the water is free of harmful contaminants, tap water usually has a strange, unpleasant taste.
However, your tap water could taste better, look cleaner and just be better for your health straight from your kitchen tap.
Enter the countertop reverse osmosis systems, they drastically reduce the number of contaminants in your drinking water to a much greater degree than traditional water filters without the need to install an entire home system.
The best countertop reverse osmosis systems not only filter out contaminants but also come with many other great features like indicator lights, compact design, and so forth.
They can save money by eliminating the need to buy bottled water and reducing clutter in landfills.
If you travel a lot, live in an RV, or just a smaller apartment, you may want to purchase a filter system that can fit right on the top of the counter.
The Best Countertop Reverse Osmosis Systems in 2022
With so many countertop reverse osmosis systems to choose from, it can be tricky to find the one that's right for you. Scroll a bit below is a list to learn our top picks for the best countertop reverse osmosis systems today!
- 3-stage exceptionally powerful system
- Removes an astonishing 83+ contaminants
- Lasts up to 1200 gallons of water
- 4-stage filtration system
- Promises 99% of contaminants removal
- Lifetime support
- Sleek design
- Removes 99% of all contaminants
- Saves most of its water
- Powerful 4-stage filtration system
- Allows filling up to 60 gallons of water per day
- Delivers excellent pH levels
- Uses multi-filtration recyclable technology
- RO filters last for 2 years
- Certified by EU safety guidelines
- Guarantees removal of bacteria and viruses
- Alerts when to replace filters
- 4-stage filtration system
- Easily removes 99.99% of water containments
- Fast-pumping machine
Let's dive deeper to know more about these bad boys:
1. AquaTru – Countertop Water Filtration Purification System – Best of the Best
If you're looking for a heavy-duty water filtration system, look no further than the AquaTru countertop system. This powerful filter uses the power of reverse osmosis to filter water and removes an astounding 83 contaminants.
When you use AquaTru, you know that your water will be free of harmful pollutants. The powerful filtration system effortlessly removes hormones, microplastics, cancer-linked contaminants, carcinogens, arsenic, lead, chromium, drug residue toxins, lead, chromium, copper, fluoride, radium, chlorine, and more.
In addition to AquaTru filtering out contaminants, these filters last for up to 1200 gallons of water which usually lasts for around two years of consistent use. And, using one filter saves the environment from over 4,000 plastic water bottles from ending up in a landfill somewhere.
AquaTru even alerts you when to change the filter with a filter alert button. This way, you can be confident with every glass of water, knowing that your filter is working just as it should be with maximum efficiency.
The installation process of AquaTru is fast and pain-free. Since it is a countertop filtration system, there is no plumbing work or complicated installation. In fact, you won't even need tools to set up the machine and changing out the filters.
However, some customers complain that the machine is sensitive. Every part of the machine must align perfectly, or the device has difficulty working. Make sure to take good care of this machine to ensure that it will last and keep each part functioning well to work for years.
2. APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-C – Best for Traveling
This small but mighty water filtration machine can sit comfortably on any countertop. Though it's only a light ten pounds, the APEC packs a punch in water filtration.
With its four-stage filtration system, the APEC filters out 99% of containment in your water, including arsenic, fluoride, lead, radium, and more.
The great thing about the APEC filtration system is that it doesn't require a heavy tank in the back of it like most reverse osmosis filter systems. Because of this, the APEC is great for those who are always on the move. If you're a student, a frequent road tripper, or someone who just enjoys more countertop space, this compact, this lightweight machine may be for you.
The APEC team prioritizes quality, and that's why they promise lifetime support on your product. So long as your product is around, a team of experts is on standby to deliver technical support to your product.
While the APEC system has a simple installation process, unfortunately, it is not compatible with some faucets. If you have a pull-out faucet, a sprayer faucet, or a special size designer faucet, the APEC is not compatible and will be unable to hook up to your sink.
3. AlcaPure RKIN-ZIPAL – Best Design & Performance
The one thing you'll notice about the AlcaPure RKIN-ZIPAL System is its style. With sleek edges, bold color, and modern design, AlcaPure knows that buyers don't have to compromise style just because they're purchasing a water filtration machine.
This compact machine will beautify any kitchen, dorm, or RV. Plus, AlcaPure uses its superior design to make this filtration system more compact than its counterparts.
The AlcaPure osmosis machine has its supply water tank on the front, which means you'll have extra space on the side and back parts. As a result, you can easily slide this machine underneath cabinets, inside cabinets, or display it on the table.
But enough of its design – the AlcaPure works amazingly, too. Through its robust filtration system, the AlcaPure removes 99% of all contaminants from drinking water, including heavy-hitters like fluoride, chlorine, heavy metals, lead, PFOA, PFOS, and more.
Another great element of the AlcaPure is its water-saving capabilities. The reverse osmosis process typically results in a lot of water wasted, as is the case with many other systems on this list.
The AlcaPure machine is unique in that it can save most of its water. In fact, the rejected water that is suitable for drinking is easily accessible. You can even use it for a whole host of other uses, such as watering plants, washing produce, etc. Overall, the AlcaPure has a 50% recovery rate, which is among the highest percentages for water filter systems.
There are some drawbacks to this machine, though. For one, AlcaPure has an unresponsive customer service team when customers report problems with their machines. Additionally, you cannot fill the process when the top chamber is partially full because of a lack of sensors.
4. APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-PHc – Best for pH Levels
APEC makes our list again with their APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-PHc machine. This machine boasts many of the same great features as the original APEC RO system.
Again, the APEC RO-CTOP-PHc wields a powerful four filtration system to deliver crisp, clean, pure to clean contaminants. The main difference between this filtration system and the standard APEC water system is that the RO-CTOP-PHc can also safely raise the pH levels.
This feature is one that not many RO water systems consider, so if pH levels are essential, you may want to consider this APEC RO-CTOP-PHc.
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.
There are some downsides to this system. Like the standard APEC machine, this system does not work with a pull-out faucet, a spray faucet, or a special-size designer faucet. Another flaw? The first few runs pump out cloudy pumps of water. However, this is just the air in the filter and will eventually even itself out to pump out clear, quality water.
Finally, because the water is at a different pH, it's not safe for pets to drink (as animals usually need more acidic water).
5. KFLOW Countertop Reverse Osmosis System – Best For The Environment
The KFLOW countertop RO system is one of the best filters to use for environmentally conscious buyers.
Most countertop reverse osmosis systems waste a considerable amount of water per filtration use. The KFLOW uses recycling multi-filtration technology and uses the leftover water to recycle it for the next round of filtration. While you can't use this water more than four times, it still sets KFLOW above its competition with a superior water recycling mechanism.
KFLOW keeps up this same mentality of recycling and saving materials with their filters. In fact, you can reuse their filters for many years. Third RO filter last for two years and other filters for one year.
Additionally, KFLOW prioritizes health and safety by meeting safety measurements and protocols. Many consumers are worried about the plastics in a water filtration system, but the KFLOW is constructed with food-grade material, making it certified by European safety guidelines.
When you purchase a machine from KFLOW, you have a guarantee that it will work. They test each filter system before sending it out to their customers, drastically limiting your chance of receiving a faulty appliance.
A downside is that the jug only holds 1.5 liters, so this machine may only be ideal for single-use or if you live alone. Cleaning the tank is also a bit arduous, so be prepared to be very careful when washing the machine.
6. Waterdrop G3 – Best for Bacterial Buildup
One feature that sets the Waterdrop G3 apart from its competition is its cross filtration system that guarantees the removal of bacterial and virus buildup within the machine itself.
Many consumers don't realize this, but some water remains inside the machine with water passing through the filters. As a result, some filters are prone to the buildup of harmful bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms.
The Waterdrop G3 also goes above with its alert notification system. While other countertop reverse osmosis filters only let you know once the filter is no longer working, the Waterdrop G3 has a “perfect” light, a “replace soon” light, and a “replace now” light. This way, you have ample notice to buy a filter instead of suddenly running out one day.
Plus, the G3 Waterdrop TBS Smart Monitoring Panel shows you the number of contaminants filtered out of your waste so you can see the difference with your own eyes. This feature leads to a much more satisfactory experience.
Some customers have reported that the indicator lights begin to fail after long-time use. Additionally, Waterdrop customer service lacks a bit; it's challenging to get ahold of an actual customer service representative as most clients get stuck in a loop of robot answering machines.
7. Express Water Counter RO System – Best For Large Families
This robust water filtration system can pump an impressive four gallons of water every hour, making this a standout choice if you live in a home with multiple people.
If you have a large family, this countertop RO system can be the best as compared to other machines which are a bit slower to produce filtered water.
The Express RO water system uses a powerful 4-stage water filter system that easily removes 99.99% of water containment. It uses a combination of a sediment filter, granular carbon filter, reverse osmosis membrane, and a post-activated carbon filter to give you superior drinking water.
One downside is that you cannot use hot water on this machine as too high temperatures will damage the filters. Additionally, if you do not have a specific type of faucet, you may have to purchase an adapter separately.
Lastly, the drip does come out rather slowly. This reduced speed can be a little inconvenient, especially if you are in a rush to leave or have a lot of people over. If you decide to purchase this machine, make sure to fill up the water tank when you're not in a rush to avoid any inconvenience.
Before You Buy: The Buyer's Guide to Choosing Right Countertop Reverse Osmosis System
Understanding how a reverse osmosis water filter works can be a bit intimidating, even in a seemingly simple countertop unit. Learn more about how your countertop reverse osmosis water filter works, what you should look for when purchasing this product, and more in our buyers' guide below.
Countertop Reverse Osmosis System Filters
Filters in any size countertop system work in roughly the same way. They use water pressure and membrane filters to purify water. The filters accomplish this by moving unfiltered water through semi-permeable membranes.
Whatever contaminants are lurking in the water cannot move past these membranes and are removed from the water as they’re left behind in each step until it reaches the holding tank. Afterward, it flushes the contaminated water down the drain.
Look for systems that have at least four filters to ensure the best taste and indicator lights which can alert you when to replace these filters and allow the filters to last as long as possible.
Countertop Reverse Osmosis Features
Not all countertop reverse osmosis systems are created equal. You must consider various features and find which ones are right for you and your lifestyle.
Ease of Installation
The first step is to understand how much work you want to put into installing and maintaining your countertop unit by choosing a category of system.
The two main categories are:
- Over the counter
- Under the counter
Under counter reverse osmosis water filters tend to be much more complicated and take a great deal of knowledge (or professional help) to install as they tap directly into your water line and hidden from sight. Over the counter units are usually screwed onto the tap.
The downside, of course, to an over the counter water filter is that it will take up a significant amount of counter space (although some brands like the AlcaPure take up far less space than their counterparts).
If countertop real estate is scarce, choose an under the counter unit or look for a unit that needs minimal square footage.
Water Waste/Environmental Impacts
Another way to choose a system is by deciding how much water waste you are comfortable allowing. Most reverse osmosis water filters do waste quite a bit of water. Even small countertop units for RVs and apartments, wastewater is a natural aspect of the filtering process.
Not to scare you, but some systems can waste up to 20 gallons of water when producing one gallon of drinkable water.
Thankfully, this isn’t always the case, some filters like the KFLOW waste less water than others. So understanding how comfortable you are with what waste is a great way to narrow down which reverse water osmosis system you would like to purchase.
How much water will you need, and how fast will you need it? If you live alone, a smaller water filtration system may work with your lifestyle even if it produces water much more slowly. If you live with other people, look for countertop machines that quickly filter water.
Advantages of a Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
With global industrialization and a rising threat of water pollution and scarcity, water purification systems in various sizes are more vital than ever (2). Everyone should have access to clean, great-tasting drinking water.
They are also:
- Relatively cheap and enormously effective: Reverse osmosis water filters can quickly purify water with significant results.
- Long-lasting: Typical filters last several years, and they take relatively little to no maintenance to keep up.
- Compact: Many reverse osmosis water filters are small enough to fit on top of small spaces, giving access to people in urban areas, students, travelers, and more.
Does it Offer Health Benefits?
Yes and no.
The countertop reverse osmosis water filter system is a home solution to cleaning city or well water rife with harmful organisms and chemicals.
Reverse osmosis systems routinely remove nitrates, sulfates, fluoride, and even arsenic from tap water. In this sense, reverse osmosis water is excellent for you. Also, considering that many plastic water bottles contain harmful microplastics, reverse osmosis water systems are a healthy alternative to bottled water.
However, reverse osmosis water systems are not without their flaws.
Most critics cite that these water systems also remove healthy minerals from the water, which every person needs for proper health. For example, reverse water osmosis systems remove magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium.
Still, it's believed that your body is more efficient in absorbing these minerals through food and not water.
How Much Does a Countertop Reverse Osmosis Purifier Cost?
The last point to consider when buying a countertop reverse osmosis purifier is your budget.
Because of their sophisticated technology, you should expect that a reverse osmosis purifier will set you back at least a couple hundred dollars, even for a small unit.
However, most under the counter or whole house reverse osmosis systems can be much more expensive and cost up to four or five hundred dollars. The exact cost depends on the company that makes it, how many features you require it to have, how reliable the product is, and more.
Choosing the right reverse osmosis water filter for your home can be a stressful experience. With so many products to choose from, it's easy to get lost in a sea of options.
That's why we laid out our top picks for countertop reverse osmosis systems. While we believe AquaTru is the best system overall due to its top-tier features and impressive water pumping capabilities, all options on this list are leaders in the industry.
If you are looking for a more environmentally friendly reverse osmosis water system, you should consider the KFLOW.
If you are looking for a filter that considers bacteria buildup inside the machine, the G3 Waterdrop may be the machine for you. Lastly, if you have a lot of loved ones in your home, you may want to consider the ExpressWater to make sure that your filter can satisfy your whole family.
Start shopping now to get the cleanest, freshest water in your home today!