The Best Water Filters Of 2023

Quality cooking starts with quality ingredients. Start with the fundamentals by ensuring you have great-tasting filtered water. We've compiled the best water filters for a range of uses. Many people are familiar with the water filter pitchers from name brands such as Brita or Pur, but a range of countertop dispensers, faucet attachments, and whole house filtration systems are available. People living in small spaces or who always seem to be reaching for an empty pitcher in the fridge (guilty!) could benefit from a water faucet attachment. High water use? Large households might consider an under-sink filtration unit. We know water isn't supposed to have a taste, but we'd wager yours might, which is why you're looking for a water filter. 

For many reasons, Consumer Reports urges consumers to know what's coming out of their faucets before purchasing a filtration system. First steps include requesting an annual report about water quality from your city and testing your tap water. EWG offers tap water reports based on zip code to better understand which contaminants are possibly in your drinking water.

How we selected products

The best water filters not only filter out bacteria and other contaminants but also viruses and potential lead. We prioritized water filtration products that are certified by the NSF, an independent, international organization that tests water filters for efficacy.

Not all brands pursue NSF certification due to cost or other factors. For example, Berkey Water Filters refuses to get certified because it doesn't want to give up proprietary information. We included some alternatives that are independently reviewed. Also, all of the water filters on this list are BPA-free because why clean your water only to risk potential contaminants? We also considered the value of each water filter, including how often filters need to be replaced.

Online reviews were considered, in part, to see if there were common, recurring issues with functionality. They act like clues to what you might be getting even if the five-star reviews are stacking up. We understand the validity of customer reviews can be hit or miss (and spotting fake reviews isn't always easy), but they can still be useful. Whether you're looking to improve the taste or remove harmful compounds from your water, we found some of the best water filters for all sorts of uses.

Best overall water filter pitcher

The Aquaphor Provence holds 17 cups of water, is NSF certified to filter lead, and has an attractive design. Plus, the price is a bargain for a pitcher with the valuable ability to remove rust, chlorine, and other contaminants that you don't want in your glass. The Aquaphor Provence's A5 filter enriches tap water with magnesium to improve taste while removing odor. This brand might not have the name recognition of others on this list, but the performance is impressive and the 17-cup capacity is much higher than pitchers by other brands.  

One impressive attribute of this filter is its ability to preserve good compounds while at the same time reducing harmful compounds such as lead. Aquaphor Provence filters for taste and contaminants in tap water for up to 90 gallons per filter but leaves the electrolytes you want. 

Interested? Purchase the Aquaphor Provence pitcher from Amazon starting at $33.54.

Best budget water filter pitcher

Sometimes you just need some great-tasting water. A budget water pitcher is more than sufficient for removing the taste of chlorine and any off-putting odors. The Brita Small Metro is a compact five or six-cup pitcher that will fill two reusable 24-ounce travel bottles. This makes the Small Metro pitcher ideal for one or two people in a household. The Brita filter is also rated to remove minerals such as mercury, copper, zinc, and cadmium that can be lurking in municipal water.

Water filter pitchers like Brita filter tap water using carbon filtration, which is cost-effective and best for removing lead, mercury, and volatile organic compounds, as well as off-putting smells and tastes from chlorine-treated water.

Keep in mind: We've found that 40-gallon filters can last as little as four weeks if you use the pitcher for cooking, and they tend to clog with hard water. Despite the small size of the Metro Pitcher, you can use either Brita pitcher with the LongLast filters that are viable for 120 gallons, or around six months, versus standard filters replaced after 40 gallons or an estimated two months. Longer-lasting filters save money and reduce the amount of plastic in landfills.

Purchase the Brita Small Metro pitcher from Amazon starting at $21.59.

Best dishwasher friendly water filter

Even though a pitcher might only hold water, you still need to keep these kitchen items clean and ready for action. Many water filter pitchers can't be put in a dishwasher. Not the end of the world, but it can be a pain. We've also seen an online review where a complicated design without the ability to take it apart could result in harmful mold build-up — not what you want to deal with. The good news is some brands are making cleaning a little easier.   

The Hydros Glass Slim Pitcher is not only beautiful, but it's eco-friendly and dishwasher safe. The glass pitcher is a sleek design that is attractive at the dinner table and can be placed in the washer along with your dinner plates (except for the filter, of course). The compact design isn't going to hydrate a family of four, but it's perfect for one person, and you won't have to worry about grime.

Purchase the Hydros Glass Slim Pitcher from Amazon starting at $23.99.

Best water filter dispenser

Available in black and turquoise, the Waterdrop long-life water filter dispenser not only filters water but features a handy spout that lets you easily fill your glass or bottle. Made from lead- and BPA-free materials, the unit features a handle and a sliding cover for easy refills.

The 200-gallon dispenser can filter enough water to fill 40 cups, making it ideal for large families and gatherings. With a five-stage carbon fiber filtration system, it also removes a large number of impurities including chlorine, iron, metal ions, copper, and mercury. Those with limited patience will be pleased to know that the water dispenser has a faster flow rate than many other brands, filtering its full capacity in just five minutes.

The Waterdrop long-life water filter dispenser has received the thumbs up from Amazon shoppers, who have awarded the product 4.5 out of 5 stars. Many happy customers praise the unit for its water taste and ease of use. One reviewer calls the product a "great filter," adding, "[I have] been using it for about a year now. Really enjoy it. Easy to clean [and] makes great tasting water." Another shopper agrees, saying, "I'm a pretty picky water drinker and have been using the Waterdrop brand for years now. The water always tastes so fresh and clean [...] The filter was easy to put in, [but] make sure you read the directions."

Purchase the Waterdrop long-life water filter dispenser on Amazon starting at $51.99.

Best investment water filter pitcher

Although the terms water filter and purification might be thrown around as if interchangeable, the term filter is more limited in its ability. Most standard pitchers are unable to purify water with bacteria — and, to be fair, most homes in the United States aren't concerned with these types of microbes. If you're traveling, then bacteria can be a major concern, and it's not unheard of for sewage to leak into a water line (but thankfully, not common). All the same, the ability to remove bacteria from water is important beyond just when you're drinking from a backcountry spring.

LARQ started as a Kickstarter campaign and has built a reputation for itself due to its multi-stage purification system and sleek design. This LARQ Pitcher PureVis comes with a physical filter that claims to purify water from lead, mercury, pesticides, microplastics, pharmaceuticals, and more. 

This pitcher also includes a UV light that automatically activates every six hours in order to kill bacteria and self-clean. It's rare to have this technology, so it's worth the higher price point. Plus you could avoid "traveler's stomach" or creating tons of plastic waste from disposable bottles when overseas, where you won't have the necessary immunity to drink the water.

Purchase the LARQ Pitcher PureVis from Amazon starting at $168.

Best replacement water filters

The best water filter pitcher option we selected is from Aquaphor, so the brand's replacement filters are worth taking the time to consider. Aquaphor A5 replacement filters are NSF-certified to filter lead, mercury, copper, pesticides, and heavy metals. The best part: A5 filters fit in any Aquaphor pitcher designed for B5 filtration systems. We do find the two-pack filters to be less convenient than other brands where you can purchase four or more at a time. However, the price point is comparable to PUR or Brita while the A5 purification certifications are more impressive.

We have heard other filters have issues clogging, and we found out the hard way (sorry, couldn't help it!), hard water can add additional challenges. Aquaphor reviews don't complain about the same issues, which is extra promising news for these replacement filters.

Purchase the Aquaphor A5 replacement filters from Amazon starting at $24.43.

Best faucet mount water filter

We found this water filter category to be straightforward. A faucet mount allows for water on demand instead of taking up fridge or counter space. You also won't find a million different options with NSF lead certification or adjacent claims. We find the PUR Plus Faucet Mount Water Filter to be the clear winner for anyone looking to reduce 70 contaminants, including lead, mercury, and certain pesticides. The PUR water mount filter possesses an NSF 401 certification, which is proven to remove compounds such as microplastics and pharmaceuticals. Plus, it improves the overall taste. And PUR takes up minimal space while still accommodating 100 gallons of water for cooking and drinking.

All that said, water faucet filters come with some downsides. Fit is a significant factor; a tight seal on the faucet is important to avoid leaks and build-up. Also, don't let the product pictures fool you: whether vertical or horizontal, the PUR Faucet Mount commandeers valuable real estate for anyone with minimal sink space. We've found the water capacity of 2-3 months really depends on the quality of water. If you live in an area with hard water, or a building with old pipes, you might run into clogs around the one-month mark. 

Purchase the PUR Plus Faucet Mount Water Filter from Amazon starting at $26.45.

Best overall countertop water filter

A countertop water filter is a step up from a pitcher for greater capacity for home cooks. Accessing water straight from a separate faucet means you won't have to refill a pitcher or worry about adding filtered water in a pot for cooking. The Aquasana AQ-4000W is the best countertop water filter because it's compact and uses an NSF-certified filtration system to remove 77 contaminants like lead, herbicides, pesticides, and heavy metals. You also won't have to worry about the filter removing healthy minerals and electrolytes.

This Aquasana countertop model is a steal as an upfront investment. Keep in mind that filters will cost around $60 every six months to replace. And if you have really hard water, it might need to be replaced more often. But, we've found this is on par for most pitchers on the list. Plus, signing up for a subscription to receive the filters automatically on the brand's website will reduce the cost of filters by 15% — and saving money is always a good thing.

Purchase the Aquasana AQ-4000W on Amazon starting at $64.99.

Best investment countertop water filter

We found more than a few of the top countertop water filters are steep investments. Many also have dubious claims. But the right one can be worthwhile for any household looking to get serious about water quality, capacity, and taste. AquaTru Connect Countertop features a carbon VOC filter to improve taste and a reverse osmosis filtration system to eliminate toxins such as arsenic and lead. AquaTru also connects to wifi to remind you when to change your filter. The system is independently certified but does make those results available.

The best part of the AquaTru? An app connects to your smartphone with meter readings and reminds you when it's time to replace your filter. You won't need to install this reverse osmosis system or hire a professional. The four-stage filtration system holds one gallon of water in its tank and cleans out difficult-to-remove contaminants including fluoride, radium, chromium, and lead. AquaTru could be worth the investment because most other filtration systems will need to be installed directly to your pipes in order to eliminate such heavy hitters.

Purchase the AquaTru Connect Countertop from Amazon starting at $449.

Best under-sink water filter

Beyond a great-tasting and safe glass of water, many of us are looking for clean water to make steamed vegetables, boil pasta, bake bread, or improve upon grandma's secret recipe. Under-sink water filtration provides a separate faucet you install at your sink and a hidden filtration system for a more permanent option — but still at a lower cost compared to a whole house system.

The two-step Aquasana AQ-5200 model is NSF-certified to eliminate 77 different contaminants, including lead, mercury, volatile organic compounds, pharmaceuticals, and other materials. If you want a higher capacity system, you can also invest in the Aquasana AQ-5300, a three-stage under-sink system for up to 800 gallons per life cycle. Both are NSF certified for chlorine and independently tested for other heavy metals. However, we think the AQ-5200 provides the best balance of functionality and value.

Purchase the Aquasana AQ-5200 Under-Sink Filter on Amazon starting at $124.99.

Best portable water bottle filter

Designed for people on the move, the LifeStraw go water filter bottle is both stylish and practical. Made from BPA-free material, the 22-ounce water bottle comes in multiple colors, from clear to blue, and features a top with a built-in straw. Plus, it comes with an integrated two-stage filtration system. The membrane microfilter, which requires replacement every 1,000 gallons, removes bacteria and parasites, chemicals, and microplastics. Meanwhile, the activated carbon filter, which requires replacement every 26 gallons, reduces chlorine, chemicals, and odors.

Amazon shoppers favor the LifeStraw go water filter bottle, awarding it 4.6 out of 5 stars. One satisfied buyer sums up the merits of the product, saying, "[The bottle] gives water a fresh taste through its filter. Easy to attach and detach filter to clean it. Nice size. Would be great for camping or hiking." On the downside, some reviewers complain that the bottle's top is prone to leaking and that the built-in straw can be slightly uncomfortable to use.

Purchase the LifeStraw go water filter bottle on Amazon starting at $29.55.

Best budget portable water filter

We understand there are more than a couple of alternatives out there for an on-the-go water filter. Not everyone needs to filter out bacteria or viruses from their tap water, but this budget option leaves water tasting great and filters parasites. You could even drink right out of a stream. No, really — feel free to slurp out of a not-so-bubbling brook.

We recommend the brand's original LifeStraw personal filter as a solid budget option that lasts up to 1,000 gallons. That's right: 1,000 gallons or an estimated five years. Lifestraw is award-winning for its capabilities in such a budget-friendly package. Your budget filter purchase can be used with an existing water bottle and will also buy one year of safe drinking for a community in need. The nonprofit brand places special emphasis on supporting people during a humanitarian crisis or in need of emergency aid. We'll call that an all-around win.

Purchase the original Lifestraw Personal Water Filter from Amazon starting at $18.71 per straw.

Best overall reverse osmosis water filter

Reverse osmosis is one of the most comprehensive options for removing all traces of contaminants, toxins, minerals — and even fluoride. Reverse osmosis systems are tempting for their ability to wipe away any threat in your water. But the technology does have a downside. The technique wipes all minerals from the water. If you are dealing with a health condition, water without any salt, magnesium, or minerals might be exactly what you're after. For most people, it's overkill. 

That's why we selected the iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis System with an alkaline filter that automatically remineralizes your water to mountain spring freshness. This model is also one of three iSpring reverse osmosis systems that are NSF Certified. If you want a system that automatically remineralizes your water and doesn't alter the pH of the water, the iSpring is an affordable unit with a standard clean-water-to-waste ratio. This also brings us to the second issue with reverse osmosis systems: If the idea of throwing away up to a couple of gallons of water for every filtered gallon is just too wasteful, then try another type of water filter. Otherwise, the convenience and purity of the iSpring water system is unparalleled. 

Purchase the iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis System from Amazon starting at $218.49

Best standard reverse osmosis water filter

Municipal water containing fluoride is a controversial subject. If you want to remove the fluoride in your water, reverse osmosis systems are one of the few options that will remove this chemical from tap water. Even a solid budget reverse osmosis water filter will cost around $160, so this APEC reverse osmosis filtration system is a standard price for an under-sink water filter for removing all impurities. We included a standard water filter without remineralization on this list because perhaps that's exactly what you want.

APEC Reverse Osmosis filters out fluoride, in addition to lead, arsenic, nitrates, heavy metals, and other emerging contaminants. So, while it's a higher upfront investment than a filter pitcher, APEC ROES-50 will rid your tap water of most trace solids thanks to a five-step system that includes sediment, carbon block, and reverse osmosis filters. This APEC water filter also features a semi-permanent installation and a separate in-sink spout for filtered water as soon as you need it.

Purchase the APEC ROES-50 Reverse Osmosis Filtration System from Amazon starting at $199.

Best whole house water filter system

A whole house water system, often referred to as a water softener, treats water straight from the source — well, the source in your house, at least. Every faucet will receive the same filtered water, so you won't have to worry if the pasta you're boiling or the splash of water on your toothbrush is free from contaminants. Whole house filters are a permanent solution installed by a professional, which means it's an investment. Testing your water is an absolute must to know which heavy metals or chemicals you're up against. You'll also want to buy your filtration system based on if you have well water (much harder on pipes and filters) or municipal water (potential for pharmaceuticals and microplastics).

That said, our overall recommendation for many homeowners is the Rhino by Aquasana. The 600,000-gallon model is a whole house system tested by the NSF. The Rhino uses carbon and KDF filters to reduce sediment, chlorine, lead, mercury, pesticides, and more. The 600,000 gallons is said to last up to six years of water treatment for your entire home. You can also purchase the option to remove salt and include an Aquasana Rhino with UV filter for bacteria and viruses. We found the Rhino 600,000 Gallons water filter on many lists for the best water filters on the market, and the versatility without a ton of confusing add-ons is a huge plus. 

Purchase the Aquasana Rhino Whole House Water Filter from Amazon starting at $2,253.49.

Best overall shower water filter

We threw this category in because water should be safe even if you're not drinking it. Finding a shower head filter that is reliable and certified was not as easy as we hoped. Many make claims without any independent testing or advertise efficiency the product details can't support. And NSF certification for shower filters only covers chlorine removal. So, we have to trust the word of these companies when they claim to filter other compunds.

Aquasana's shower filter isn't NSF certified — independent testing to NSF standards is not the same thing. But other products from the brand are tested through NSF. We purchased the Aquasana without the shower head, but other options include a handheld wand or a chrome finish.

You can also gain additional discounts if you subscribe to get filter replacements automatically delivered. We love the advantage of a discount paired with a foolproof system to know when it's time to switch to a new filter.

Purchase the Aquasana Shower Filter at Amazon starting at $59.99.

Best budget shower water filter

If your skin is dry and itchy, you might benefit from a water filtration system in your shower. Sprite is NSF certified to reduce chlorine. The Sprite brand also offers a range of shower head water filters and filter attachments if you want different shower heads, attachments, or chrome details.

We've tried the Sprite High Output 2-Shower Water Filtration System because it's budget-friendly and easy to install with your regular existing shower head. We also like that Sprite features a dial to set the month to remind you when to replace the filter. The filter needs to be replaced every six to nine months, and it's much easier to forget to replace a shower filter than a filter pitcher. If you're going to go to the trouble of installing a shower filter, you want it to actually work.

Purchase the Sprite High Output 2-Shower Water Filtration System from Amazon starting at $31.13.