In a world of fizzy sodas, energy drinks and hypercomplex smoothies, water is a refreshing break. Surrounded by unnatural ingredients and E numbers, a crisp glass of water brings us closer to mother nature.
But sometimes the water in our home takes us a little too close to the natural world - when it comes swirling with sediment like sand and grit!
And sometimes our water supply isn’t natural at all, contaminated with pesticides and other industrial chemicals. There’s nothing natural sounding about polyfluoroalkyl, after all!
Introducing filtered water to your home gives your family access to clean, crisp water. This is life, straight from the source!
You can keep the kids off sugary sodas, as well as reducing your plastic footprint!
The question is, how?
Well, how does filtered water on tap sound? A faucet water filter gives you instant access to filtered water, right where you need it. These simple, accessible and easy-install faucet attachments are one of the quickest and most affordable ways to bring filtered water into your home.
Are you ready to dive in?
Let’s check out the best water filters on the market and see which one sink and which ones swim!
The Best Faucet Water Filters of 2021
There are so many faucet water filters on the market that it’s hard to know where to start. Luckily, we’ve saved you from swimming through shoddy faucets - and have brought you the best of the best. Here are the ten top rated faucet water filters your money can buy.
One thing PUR has achieved is a stylish faucet attachment that elevates your kitchen design whilst providing functionality. The stainless steel finish and pod design is an eye-catching addition to your kitchen aesthetic.
PUR has ensured that installation is a breeze - so long as your existing faucet is compatible. Because the filter and spigot simply mount to your existing faucet - but won’t work with either pull-out or hand-held faucets. Make sure you have a compatible faucet at the ready.
Inside, PUR’s carbon-activated filter removes a broad spectrum of contaminants from your water. This includes heavy metals such as lead, arsenic and a range of pesticides. The filter capacity of around 100 gallons should last you three months, and replacements can be bought in discounted multi-packs. Word on the street is that PUR’s filtered water tastes great.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that PUR has included some great extra features. A warning light will indicate when it’s time to change your filter, meaning you don’t have to worry about counting the days or the drops.
And you can extend the lifespan of your filter significantly using the on/off switch on the filter so that you’re only filtering water that you’re going to drink. We may love our plants - but they don’t need perfectly purified water, like we do!
A water filter faucet that includes everything but the kitchen sink. It’s pricey, but quality workmanship makes it a great buy.
I don’t think Engdenton’s faucet water filter will be winning any style awards - to look at, it’s a basic faucet-mounting water filter although the stainless steel finish should fit into most kitchen aesthetics.
But there’s more to this water filter than meets the eye. 304 stainless-steel housing and all food-grade materials mean that this is a robust faucet water filter that can handle anything you throw at it. It’s crack-proof and leak-proof - perfect if your household tends to manhandle the utilities.
Installation is quick, easy and a tool-free job: if your faucet fits. This faucet water filter is compatible with standard water filters only, so you should check your faucet for a screw-on aerator cap. If compatible, however, you’ll find that the mount is capable of 360-degree rotation - a nice bonus feature that lets you create a water fountain in your kitchen.
The internal filter contains a standard mesh and carbon-activated filtration. Common contaminants such as lead and arsenic, as well as pesticides are purified by the carbon layer whilst grit and sand are caught in the mesh. A 320-gallon capacity makes these filters stand out from the crowd - that’s an exceptionally long lifespan, and when you factor in the cost of filter replacement, it saves your wallet too.
A sturdily constructed faucet water filter with an impressively long lifespan.
PUR’s MineralClear replacement filters sit snugly inside your faucet water filter, so you don’t need to worry about design - they’re hidden by the stainless steel or plastic chassis of your filter system.
These filters are housed in plastic and designed to be leak-free. Simply twist off the cap of your filter system and replace the old filters with the new ones. It’s a two-second job that you can even teach the kids to do - add it to the chores!
MineralClear filters cost a little more than the basic filters on the market, so let’s see what you’re getting.
Not only does the carbon-activated filter purify your water and free you from contaminants such as lead and herbicides and pesticides found in farm run-off. These filters also include a calcium carbonate layer that reinstates flavorsome minerals in your water, leaving you with a clean and crisp taste.
The filters have a capacity of around 100 gallons - swap them out every three months to ensure your water is at peak purity!
Great tasting water and a good value pack of filters.
A new and improved design is evident as PUR has switched from a traditional vertically-mounted filter to a horizontal one. The filter pod has been reshaped into an elegant sphere and the stainless steel chassis gleams stylishly above your kitchen counter.
However, the horizontal design, whilst pleasing to the eye, can sometimes inhibit sink access. The new design prioritizes over function and can occasionally get in the way.
Installation is unchanged, and the filter system mounts to your existing faucets. It’s compatible with a wide range of faucets, but not hand-held or pull-down faucets. If your heart is set on this stylish model, however, a new faucet won’t set you back too much.
An on/off switch allows you to disable the water filter whenever you don’t need your water to be purified. This extends your filter lifespan, and lets you give your pets and plants unfiltered water as you see fit.
A filter life indicator is an additional and useful touch. The filters should last around 3 months or 100 gallons, but you can forget about it until the light turns red. A major change in this updated model is that the light is powered by a lithium-ion battery, for an even longer lifespan.
The PFM400 is compatible with all of PUR’s faucet water filters but comes with the premium MineralClear filter. This activated carbon filter eliminates lead as well as a wide range of chemical contaminants and runs your water through a remineralization stage that improves the flavor.
A super-stylish faucet water filter that may put form over function.
A clean, cylindrical design means that it won’t turn heads in your kitchen, fitting seamlessly into any contemporary kitchen look. It’s one of the more compact and subtly designed faucet water filters.
Culligan has included adaptors for all standard faucet designs, meaning you can mount this water filter on a wide variety of faucets. It’s not universal, however, and won’t fit drop-down faucets.
If your faucet fits, installation takes just a few seconds and you won’t even need to bring out the tool kit. Simply screw the filter system onto your existing faucet.
Inside the sleek, stainless steel chassis sits Culligan's bespoke filter unit. Utilizing a carbon block filtration method, a wide range of contaminants are eliminated from your water supply, including chlorine and lead - and the taste of your water is improved.
A 200-gallon capacity in each filter, depending on your local water quality, means you won’t be changing the filters too often. However, mark it on your calendar as there’s no filter change indicator to remind you.
This no-frills filter gets the job done. If you’re looking for a simple, compact filter you can’t go wrong with the FM-25.
This faucet water filter comes in two options, a gleaming chrome finish to match with stainless steel faucets, or a white finish, which hints at a more industrial setting. Basic is the word for the design, a simple vertical fixing with none of the shapely swoops and curves found in other brands.
Brita has kept costs down by using plastic for the chassis - this is great for shoppers on a budget, but plastic is more prone to leaks and cracks, and with just a one year warranty accompanying this unit, you might be worried about the cost of longevity.
Despite cost-cutting construction, this is an easy-installation water filter that’s compatible with most standard faucets. In fact, Brita has included adaptors for fixtures with non-traditional screw-on methods, helpfully expanding compatibility.
Simply twist on, with an adaptor if needed, and flush the filter with water for five minutes. Then you’re ready to go.
Inside the simplistic chassis is a filter media of activated carbon, combined with a mesh layer. 99% of lead is guaranteed to be removed, as well as a reduction in chlorine and asbestos. Whilst these are common targets for faucet water filters, it’s a fairly short spectrum of filtering - check to see whether it meets the unique needs of your water supply.
The filter has a 100-gallon capacity, so expect to switch it out every few months. Fortunately, Brita has included a filter change indicator light to save you noting dates in the calendar.
Basic is right for this limited filter, but additional spray features and an indicator light make it a great choice for those on a budget.
Finding the best replacement filters for your faucet water filter system is vital. Nothing lasts forever and water filters are no exception - you can only provide purified water for your family if you have a steady supply of filters.
These compact and well-built replacement water filters are compatible with PUR’s range of faucet water filters, as well as many other off-brand faucet filter systems. However, PUR only guarantees performance when used with genuine PUR products.
As PUR’s most basic filter, you don’t get any added mineralization - that could leave you noticing a difference in taste between these and more premium filter replacements.
However, these replacement filters still combat a wide range of common contaminants. A combination of ion exchange and activated carbon media remove up to seventy physical and chemical contaminants from your water.
Powerful filtration indeed - but because these filters work hard, their lifespan is ultimately compromised. You’ll get around 100 gallons of pure water out of each filter.
A good budget filter targeting a wide range of contaminants.
The FM-4000B is an easy-installation, vertical loading water filter. Thanks to the vertical design, it saves space around your sink so it’s a great choice for compact kitchens and outhouses.
It’s a stylish faucet filter system - the filter chassis is hugged by a curved basin, and the stainless steel finish will fit right into your kitchen design. However, it’s important to notice PUR’s careful choice of words: this “stainless steel style” faucet water filter is primarily built from plastic components - those expecting a solid metal unit will be disappointed.
Installation is a breeze - if you already own a compatible faucet. Look out for a screw-on aerator cap on your home faucet to check for compatibility. Non-traditional pull-down and hand-held faucets will not fit, however.
PUR’s filters can handle a wide range of common contaminants from lead to chlorine, as well as 70 other chemical and physical contaminants. Thanks to a combo of activated carbon, ion exchange and mesh layers, these filters should leave you with peace of mind and pure water but will need to be replaced once every three months to keep functioning effectively.
A filter light indicator and on/off function finish the job, providing you with a broad-spectrum filter with all the added features.
A stylish model with powerful filtering, but reading the small print reveals some cost-cutting in construction.
This faucet water filter comes in one colour - white. Compared to chrome and stainless steel models, this unit might stand out in your kitchen color scheme, but if you’re not into aesthetics then you’ll look right past it.
In terms of construction, Waterdrop has opted for plastic rather than metal components. Whilst this keeps costs lower - savings they’ve passed onto the customer - it does leave the system looking a little cheap and I’d be worried about leaks cropping up over time.
This filter stands out in terms of filtering lifespan. Waterdrop rates their filters for over 300-gallons of purification - that’s up to three times longer than competing brands. When you factor in the low unit price, you’re onto a bargain.
But what does it actually filter? Well, with a long lifespan, there’s often a cost in the number of targeted contaminants, but these filters are effective in removing lead and chlorine - the most common concerns. And as a bonus, it doesn’t strip essential minerals out of your water.
The on/off switch is a really handy feature that lets you pause your purification, and extend your filter life even longer. However, a lack of a filter change indicator light, when coupled with that 300-gallon capacity, means that you could have a headache remembering to change your filters at all.
An impressive lifespan makes this a great pick for those who like to set and forget.
If you’re worried about your water, this is a great buy for peace of mind.
It’s a clean design with a chrome finish, reflecting the shine of your existing faucet. However, the horizontal mount can take up extra space in small sinks, sometimes hindering access to the washing up.
PUR includes four separate attachment types, giving you a wide range of compatibility. The most common attachment is a hard-wearing metal, but the other three come in plastic.
Faucet water filters are an easy-installation breed, but PUR has gone one step further. Thanks to the additional attachment mounts, you now have one-click installation, meaning you can attach and remove the filter at will. That’s great news if you’re regularly using unfiltered water from your faucet.
One of the main reasons you’d be drawn to this is for its powerful filtering: a 3-stage filter, including remineralization, protects you from a wide range of contaminants as well as improving the taste of your water.
The downside of catching all these contaminants is a shorter filter life - around 100 gallons. An electronic filter life indicator will remind you when it’s time to change.
Powerful filtering and easier than easy installation - yes, please!
The Faucet Water Filter Buying Guide
Stop right there! Although we’ve selected ten of the best faucet water filters on the market, crafty consumers learn everything they can before making their choice. Here’s the low-down on faucet water filters.
What Even Is A Faucet Water Filter?
Before we dive into the details, let’s have a quick overview of what faucet water filters are - and how they work.
Water filter systems come in all shapes and sizes - from home filter systems attached to the outside of your house to under-sink systems that filter water before it hits the faucet. Faucet water filters attach to your existing faucet - they typically consist of two parts, a plastic or stainless steel filter housing unit that screws into the base of your faucet and an internal filter that does the heavy lifting.
Water runs through your faucet like usual - but before it reaches the tip, your faucet water filter channels in through an internal filter, usually combining mesh layers with a specialized filter media of activated carbon, ion exchange or KDF. The faucet water filter then dispenses purified water, wherever you need it.
How Faucet Water Filters Work
Inside the housing unit is the filter - this is how your water is actually purified. There are a number of filtering methods at work in the various faucet water filters on the market, so let’s take a closer look at these differing systems.
Before we get stuck into the science, the simplest way faucet water filters work is by catching sediment and grit in a mesh layer. These mesh layers can be made out of ceramic or polypropylene and they effectively catch anything solid floating in your water. It’s a simple screen that catches anything over a certain size.
However, a mesh layer alone can’t protect you. Many chemical compounds are too small to be caught by these exclusion layers. That’s why faucet water filters don’t rely on mesh layers alone.
A common method of filtering water is to use an activated carbon layer. This works because the porous surface of the carbon captures chlorine and many other chemicals through a process of adsorption. However, with a finite surface area, activated carbon filters have limited lifespans, and become less effective over time.
Ion Exchange Method
Ion exchange extracts charged particles from your water supply and is targeted at softening hard water. Whilst heavy metals such as lead are effectively removed, ion exchange can’t discriminate between these contaminants and inert elements such as calcium ions, so these methods often demineralize your water, purifying but also neutralizing nourishing minerals.
The last common media used in faucet water filters is KDF (kinetic degradation fluxion, but I prefer KDF!). KDF works by kickstarting redox reactions from a copper-zinc blend, and is effective at removing heavy metals and chlorine from your water supply.
Why You Need A Faucet Water Filter
Faucet water filters are wonderful things. Here are some of the reasons why this is such a valuable addition to your kitchen setup.
The number one reason to pick up a faucet water filter is to give you easy access to purified drinking water. Across the United States, the alarming statistics show that water quality is declining, and from fluoride to lead to plain old grit, the water coming out of our faucet can’t be trusted.
A faucet water filter gives you the guarantee of clean water for you and your family. Don’t take the risk with farm run-off and old lead pipes, get a faucet water filter.
A Cleaner Taste
A clean, crisp glass of ice-cool water. It’s one of life’s great pleasures, but one that we’re increasingly prevented from enjoying thanks to chemical contaminants in our water supply. Faucet water filters remove things like chlorine from your water supply, improving the taste and some even add minerals like calcium to create the perfectly pure tasting water we remember from childhood.
Reducing Your Plastic Footprint
As we all grow increasingly environmentally conscious, reducing our plastic footprint is on everyone’s radar. Disposable plastic water bottles pile up in landfills and pollute our ocean - it’s time to break the cycle and install a faucet water filter.
Once you have confidence in the water coming out of your faucet, you never need to buy a plastic water bottle again. Having bottled-quality water on tap is a great way to save the planet.
If you're DIY-phobic, I’ve got great news for you. Faucet water filters are so easy to install, you don’t need any handy know-how and you can forget the toolkit. Compared to many household water filter systems, faucet water filters are the simplest to install - you can have filtered water flowing in under ten minutes.
Faucet water filters also offer you the greatest flexibility at home and come with easy-access on/off switches to allow you to swap between filtered and unfiltered water. Compared with whole-house filter systems which leave you filtering hundreds of gallons of water for watering plants or washing the car, a faucet water filter means you never waste a drop.
Great Value For Filtered Water
Still not convinced? We all have our eye on the bottom line and faucet water filters are some of the most affordable home water filter systems. When you add up all those $4 water bottles you no longer have to buy, they’ll even save you money in the long run. Vote with your wallets - filter your own water!
Things To Consider Before Buying Your Faucet Water Filter
To make the best faucet water filter decision for your home and your family, here’s everything you should consider before making the call.
1. You Purification Needs
Water is wet. Whilst this old adage is used to mean that things act in predictable ways, when you get down to it our water supply isn’t all that predictable.
Some countries add fluoride to their water supply, whilst others don’t.
Contaminants such as lead, chlorine and arsenic vary greatly from state to state, as do the pesticides and herbicides that come from farm run-off.
Whether you’re in a city or a rural home, your water supply will have specific contaminants that you need to look out for, so identifying your purification needs before you pick a faucet water filter is vital. Find out what’s in your water, before you go splashing out.
2. A Matter Of Taste
Don’t think water has a taste? You’ve been drinking too much Coca-Cola! From chlorine to calcium, the contaminants and minerals that go into our water supply can change the taste from chemical bitterness to crisp and clean. Some water filters can add flavorsome minerals such as sodium and calcium to your water, improving the taste even as they strip away chemical contaminants.
In fact, some faucet water filters might not do much more than remove sediment and add a bit of flavor to your water filter. If you’re looking to save money and aren’t too worried about the purity of the water you’re drinking, this can be a great value option.
When it comes to purity, who are you going to trust? Ensuring that a reputable body has certified the filters in your faucet gives you peace of mind, letting you put your faith in your faucet.
Many faucet water filter brands have worked with NSF (the National Sanitation Foundation) to attain an independent lab report that backs up their big claims, but some big-name brands argue that NSF certification isn’t necessary. Personally, I like to know what I’m buying so I aim for some form of certification every time.
4. Construction Quality
Construction quality is vital not only to the longevity of your water filter system - cheap, plasticky faucet filter systems can upset your entire kitchen aesthetic. Many brands use plastic to house the internal filter system - this works well to bring costs down and put a cheaper product in your basket, but plastic is prone to cracks, breaks and leaks.
Premium faucet water filters are built from stainless steel. These are both more durable and more stylish than their plastic counterparts but come with a higher price tag.
If you’re opting for a plastic faucet water filter, check to see if they’ve used BPA free plastic for the housing - this ensures no chemicals can seep into your water supply.
Faucet water filters generally mount to your existing faucet and, if your faucet is compatible, installation is quick and easy. But nobody wants a headache when they unbox their new faucet water filter, only to discover an esoteric attachment that isn’t going to work.
Whether you’re installing your filter in the kitchen, bathroom or outhouse check out your faucets first! Handheld faucets - like the ones in the garage - and pull-down faucets are often incompatible. If you’ve already invested in a fancy faucet, you may need an under-sink water filter that you can plumb in below the faucet.
One of the best reasons to buy a faucet water filter over under-sink filter systems is the ease of installation. Forget the toolkit, and simply screw your new filter system in.
But when you’re rushing to get the water gushing, don’t forget to prime your filter media - that means flushing water through it for up to ten minutes, according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Priming your filter removes sediment that may have built up inside it, and gets your filter working optimally before use.
Another thing to look out for is taping your attachment points. Some brands recommend the use of plumber’s tape, usually made of Teflon. This is great for sealing points that could spring a leak. If your faucet of choice mentions Teflon tape, check to see if it’s included in the kit.
7. Finding Flow
Flow rate refers to the volume of water that your faucet can produce - and it matters because nobody wants a trickle coming out of the tap. Across the United States, water-saving measures limit faucet flow rate at 2.2 GPM (gallons per minute) but in reality, they tend to be lower than that.
Without a water filter installed on your faucet, the average flow rate of a faucet is between 1 and 1.5 GPM. You can visualize filling up a gallon jug at the sink, how long do you want to wait for it to fill up?
Because faucet water filters direct your water through filter media, it slows your flow rate down. Standard filter flow rate is around 0.5 GPM - already half what you were experiencing before, and at the lowest end you might only be getting a third of a gallon a minute.
Maximize the flow rate your faucet water filter can handle, within your budget, to save time at the sink.
8. Filter Lifespan
One of the most important things to realize when you’re buying a faucet water filter is that filters have fixed lifespans. The filter itself often accounts for around 25-50% of the product’s price tag and replacing them several times a year adds up to a long term maintenance cost you have to factor in.
Filter lifespan varies dramatically, from around 100 gallons (estimated at three months of usage) to 300 gallons or more. A long-lasting filter might be worth an initial investment, as it can save you heaps over the years.
However, filter lifespan as determined by the manufacturer may not be something you see in reality. It will depend on the initial quality of your water supply, and if you have a high TDS (total dissolved solids) reading, expect your filter lifespan to be halved.
What’s more, the longest-life filters often achieve this feat of endurance by limiting the contaminants they target. For broad-spectrum filtering, sometimes replacement filters are a cost you have to bear.
A warranty gives you peace of mind in the worst-case scenario - your filter is faulty. From one year to lifetime warranties, there’s a wide range on the market so choose wisely. It’s also important to note that when you purchase a faucet water filter, you’re picking up a filter housing system as well as an internal filter. Often, you get a different warranty for these two products so it’s important not to conflate the two.
Purified water takes us one step closer to nature, it can be a balm on the wounds of the modern age.
It also liberates us from the endless cycle of single-use plastic, saving the planet with every glass.
And if you’re looking after your health, then filtering lead and chemicals from your water is a must.
Thanks to easy installation, intuitive mechanisms and low costs, faucet water filters provide one of the quickest and easiest ways to start providing your family with purer water.
Face it - faucet water filters are a must for your home!