The Best Under Sink Water Filters (2021 Update)
Water filters that install under the sink provide an efficient way to filter your tap water and remove impurities. This is less expensive and easier to install than a complete home water filtration system. Within minutes, you can begin enjoying cleaner drinking water.
The following are the top nine under sink water filters and your best options for protecting you and your family from consuming high levels of minerals and various contaminants.
Comparison Chart of Top-Ranked Under Sink Water Filters in 2019
|Image||Product Name||Filter Life||Rating||Price|
|Filtrete Maximum Under Sink Water Filtration System||6 months or 2,000 gallons||4.3/5||Check Price|
|iSpring 6-Stage High Capacity Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System||NA||4.7/5||Check Price|
|Aquasana 3-Stage Under Sink Water Filter System with Brushed Nickel Faucet||6 months||3.9/5||Check Price|
|Olympia Water Systems OROS-50 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System||50 gallons||4.7/5||Check Price|
|CuZn UC-200 Under Counter Water Filter||50,000 gallons||4.9/5||Check Price|
|APEC WFS-1000 Super Capacity Premium Quality 3 Stage Under-Sink Water Filter System||12 months||4.5/5||Check Price|
|APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (ESSENCE ROES-50)||NA||4.6/5||Check Price|
|GE GXULQ Under Sink Water Filter System||6 months||3.7/5||Check Price|
|Culligan US-600A Undersink Drinking Water Filtration System||12 months or 1,000 gallons||3.9/5||Check Price|
Best Overall: Filtrete Maximum Under Sink Water Filtration System
The Filtrete Maximum filtration system includes everything that you need to begin filtering the cold water in your kitchen or bathroom sink. It offers filtration to help remove lead, sand, and rust from your water.
The Filtrete filtration system is a compact filter that installs under your sink and takes up very little space. This filtration system offers several benefits that help it stand out as a quality filter.
The Filtrete Maximum filtration system is an effective solution for removing lead, sediment, and small particles from your tap water. If you use a chlorine treatment to purify your water, this filter may also help get rid of the taste and odor.
The installation process is easy. You simply connect the water filter to the cold water supply line and to your faucet. When it is time to change the filter, you turn the filtration system one quarter of a revolution.
While there are no major drawbacks to the Filtrete under sink water filters, there is one minor issue. The filter life is relatively short compared to other options.
You will need to replace the filter at least every six months. However, this is just a minor inconvenience and does not impact the performance of the filter for removing lead and other contaminants.
- Removes up to 99% of lead.
- Helps filter sediment and particles.
- Removes chlorine taste and odor.
- Easy installation process.
- Long-lasting filters.
- Relatively short filter life compared to other options.
- Filter should be replaced at least every six months.
Who Should Consider Getting the Filtrete Filter?
Anyone that is concerned with the presence of lead in their water should keep this filter in their considerations. It is an affordable system that installs in minutes. This is one of the most cost-effective ways to eliminate lead in your water
Runner Up: iSpring 6-Stage High Capacity Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System
The iSpring water filter system offers a complete solution for killing bacteria and removing harmful substances from your water. This is more than just a standard water filter, you also get a reverse osmosis system, alkaline remineralization, and water softening.
With this filtration system, you can remove over 1,000 contaminants from your tap water. Enjoy crystal clear drinking water, along with other advantages.
Multi-stage filters help you get rid of a wider variety of contaminants. This is useful when you do not know which elements are in your drinking water. With the iSpring filtration system, the water goes through six stages of filtration.
The water first passes through a sediment filter, followed by two carbon filters. The reverse osmosis membrane is then used to filter out chemicals, bacteria, and remaining sediment before passing the water through a post-carbon filter. These processes remove most contaminants.
There are a couple issues that you should consider before purchasing the iSpring filtration system. The first issue is the installation process. While installation is not overly complex, it is more detailed than some of the other systems.
With the iSpring system, you are installing a complete reverse osmosis system to filter and soften your tap water. There are multiple tanks, filters, pipes, and water lines to deal with. If you have never dealt with plumbing projects before, the installation may be a challenge.
The number of filters also increases the size of the system. You will need to measure the available space under your sink to ensure that this system will fit. Besides the six filters, the filtration system includes a 3.2-gallon tank, requiring additional space.
- Reverse osmosis filtration.
- Alkaline remineralization.
- Maintain water pressure.
- Six-stage filtration system.
- The installation is more detailed than that of the other systems.
- This system is space-occupying due to the multiple tanks, filters, pipes, and water lines.
Last Thoughts on the iSpring Water Filter
If you want to eliminate almost any threat to the quality of your drinking water, the iSpring water filter may offer the most effective option. The six filters can eliminate over 1,000 types of contaminants, providing a broad range of protection. The only drawbacks are the size of the system and the installation process.
Best for Alkaline Water: APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (ESSENCE ROES-50)
The APEC Top Tier 5-stage filter system claims to remove up to 99% of common contaminants, including lead and fluoride. Whether you have a specific contaminant that you want to eliminate or want to thoroughly filter your water, this system likely has you covered.
The APEC Top Tier system provides many benefits to your health, by eliminating harmful substances. However, there are also several other benefits to consider, which shall be discussed later.
The APEC 5-stage system consists of a reverse osmosis membrane and several filters. The filters include a sediment pre-filter followed by two carbon block filters. The pre-filter gets rid of dirt and debris, while the carbon filters begin removing chemicals, odors, and impurities.
The reverse osmosis system is necessary for removing up to 99% of contaminants. The final stage of the filtration process is a coconut carbon filter that removes any residual tastes or odors from the water.
The APEC Top Tier filtration system is one of the most effective under sink water filters. Reverse osmosis can remove more contaminants than activated carbon filters alone. However, it is also less efficient.
One of the main drawbacks of this system is that it takes longer to filter the water. While it can produce gallons of water throughout the day, you may occasionally need to wait for cleaner water.
The water is stored in a 3.2-gallon tank and includes multiple filters. These components take up space below your sink. While they should fit underneath most counters, you may need to remove any shelving or stored items.
- Straight-forward installation process.
- Five-stages of filtration for cleaner water.
- Reverse osmosis removes up to 99% of contaminants.
- Takes longer to filter the water.
- Space-occupying due to the large size of the tank.
Last Thoughts on the APEC Top Tier Water Filter
Finding a system that can remove almost every contaminant from your water is difficult. The APEC Top Tier system helps eliminate almost all harmful materials. However, you need to ensure that you have enough space for the unit. You may also need to deal with water waste and a less efficient filtration method.
Despite a couple drawbacks, the APEC reverse osmosis system does help provide pure water for you and your family. You can trust that your water is always free of bacteria, viruses, and harmful heavy metals.
Best Non-Reverse Osmosis: CuZn UC-200 Under Counter Water Filter – 50K Ultra High Capacity
The CuZn UC-200 under-counter water filter looks like a single-stage filter system. However, the inside of the unit contains multiple filters and filtration media to eliminate many different elements.
This system connects directly to the cold-water line. The only tool needed is an adjustable wrench to tighten the connections.
Why should you think about getting this filter system? The high-capacity UC-200 filter offers several advantages. The top benefit is the water capacity. The filter has a 50,000-gallon capacity, offering years of use before it needs replacing.
You also get multiple stages of filtration in a single filter. The various filtration media is contained inside the high-capacity filter, limiting the size of the filtration system.
The three stages include a filtration media to prevent bacteria growth, along with activated carbon and acid-washed coconut shell. These filters remove organic contaminants, such as chlorine, herbicides, and pesticides. They also eliminate inorganic elements, such as lead and other heavy metals.
The only issue with the CuZn filter is that it is not intended for use with a private water system. If you use well water, the CuZn is not recommended for use in your home. However, it does offer a cost-effective option for those with public water.
- 50,000-gallon filter life.
- Compact design.
- Three-stage filtration.
- Cost-effective option for people with well water.
- Not intended for use with a private water system (e.g., well water).
Is the CuZn UC-200 a Quality Under Sink Water Filter?
The CuZn UC-200 is quick to install and you only need to change the filter every few years. It also addresses both organic and inorganic contaminants, with a three-stage filter system. Overall, the CuZn UC-200 provides an efficient option for cleaning your drinking water.
Aquasana 3-Stage Under Sink Water Filter System with Brushed Nickel Faucet
The Aquasana 3-stage under sink water filter is designed to provide a simple way to remove lead, mercury, and other contaminants. It is a compact filtration system that should work with most sinks.
You get all the parts and filters required to install the system under your counter, including a brushed nickel faucet that is 100% lead free. The system features a main component that connects to the cold water supply line and the faucet. The three filters are then connected to the side of the main unit.
Aquasana promises that this 3-stage filter system can remove up to 99% of 77 different contaminants. The elements that it promises to remove include lead, mercury, herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, detergents, chlorine, and more. Other benefits include:
- Compact design and easy installation
- Ion-exchange filter and carbon filter
- Pre-filter removes sediment
This system does not take long to install and does not require any plumbing experience. Most people can install it within a half hour.
Another advantage is the combination of an ion-exchange filter and carbon filter. The carbon filter helps remove the most commonly found contaminants, while the ion-exchange removes additional levels of heavy metals, including mercury and lead.
Before the water reaches these filters, it passes through a pre-filter. The pre-filter gets rid of sediment, dirt, and rust, improving the taste and quality of your water.
You should not find any problems with the Aquasana filter system. It is an efficient little filter system. However, the filters do have a short life. You will need to replace them every six months.
Why Should You Consider Getting the Aquasana Filter?
The Aquasana 3-stage filtration system offers a great value. It is right in the middle of the filtration systems, in relation to price and the number of contaminants that it can remove. While it may not remove all contaminants, it removes some of the most commonly found substances.
Olympia Water Systems OROS-50 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
The Olympia Water Systems provides five stages to eliminate harmful elements from tap water. While it is a large system with multiple filters, it ensures that you always have plenty of clean drinking water, whether you use public or private water systems.
The five stages include a reverse osmosis membrane, along with carbon block filters, a sediment pre-filter, and a post-carbon filter. This combination of filters can remove hundreds of types of contaminants.
The system should install underneath most sinks. However, it does include a large 3.2-gallon storage tank.
When you do not know what types of contaminants may be in your water, you need a system that can remove a variety of organic and inorganic materials. The Olympia system is equipped to handle this task. It offers the following benefits:
- Reverse osmosis for effective bacteria removal
- Two carbon block filters to eliminate heavy metals
- Easy installation process
- Produces 50 gallons of clean water per day
The five-stage system does offer a complete solution for removing a variety of materials from the water in your kitchen or bathroom sink. Reverse osmosis is often effective at eliminating bacteria and viruses, while the carbon block filters can remove up to 99% of lead and other heavy metals.
Despite the multiple filters and storage tank, the system is easy to install. It does need to connect to the water supply below the sink. However, most people find the installation process to go smoothly, even without any previous DIY plumbing experience.
There are no disadvantages to this filtration system, other than the amount of space needed to install it. The 3.2-gallon tank will take up a little over a square foot of space and you also need room for the filters.
Concluding Thoughts on the Olympia Reverse Osmosis System
Under sink water filters, such as the Olympia system, help get rid of many different types of contaminants. You get a broad range of protection to keep your water pure, including reverse osmosis and two carbon filters. Overall, this system is effective, efficient, and affordable. It is also relatively easy to install.
APEC WFS-1000 Super Capacity Premium Quality 3 Stage Under-Sink Water Filter System
The APEC WFS-1000 is a 3-stage system that connects to most water lines. However, it does come with a lead-free chrome faucet.
The three stages include a sediment pre-filter and two carbon block filters. This combination should help remove a variety of common contaminants and impurities, resulting in tastier, cleaner water.
The design of this 3-stage system makes it easy to install. It is always easier to add one of these systems when the multiple filters are connected to a central unit. This central unit connects to the water line, while the filters are easily removed as needed. Other highlights include:
- Super capacity filters
- Includes a water feed adapter
- Water retains essential minerals
- Does not waste water
- Maintains water flow
The super capacity filters should last for at least 12 months before they need to be replaced. The filters also clean your water instantly, preventing any changes to the water flow. There is also no need for filter flushing, which eliminates any water waste.
Some filtration systems remove nearly all minerals and elements from the water, including healthy minerals that your body requires, such as potassium. The APEC WFS-1000 retains important minerals while removing chemicals and odors.
If you are looking for a filtration system that removes heavy metals, such as lead, you will need to find a different filter. While this system is effective at removing sediment, bacteria, and certain contaminants, it does not effectively remove heavy metals.
Should You Get the APEC Water Filter?
While it is a great system, it does have limitations. For those that simply want cleaner, tastier water, the APEC WFS-1000 is an excellent choice. However, it does not remove fluoride, lead, and various heavy metals.
GE GXULQ Under Sink Water Filter System
If you want cleaner water and do not want to install a large filtration system, you should take a closer look at the GE GXULQ under sink water filters. These compact little devices connect to your existing faucet and cold-water line.
Ease of installation is one benefit of installing this compact water filter system. It comes equipped with an installation kit and the fittings needed to connect the filter to the water line. This process should only take minutes.
Here are a few other reasons to consider getting this filter:
- Remove common contaminants
- Replace the filter without shutting off the water
- Six-month filter life
- Filter replacement reminder light
The GE GXULQ will remove some common contaminants. While it helps to lower the levels of certain elements, it may not effectively remove high levels of contamination.
The filters are designed to last about six months before they need replacing. To help remind you to replace the filters, there is a reminder light on the side of the filtration system.
The GE GXULQ is affordable and easy to install. However, it does not remove high levels of harmful heavy metals and various organic materials. It is intended as a basic solution for providing cleaner water, it will not provide a thorough solution for removing specific contaminants.
Why Choose the GE GXULQ Filter System?
If you need to remove a specific contaminant, such as arsenic or lead, to get your water to safe drinking levels, this system may not provide the right treatment. However, it is affordable and convenient for providing clean drinking water by removing some impurities and sediment.
Culligan US-600A Undersink Drinking Water Filtration System
Culligan is a trusted name in the water filtration industry. They have manufactured residential and commercial water filtration systems for many decades, including whole home filtration and softener systems. The US-600A is one of their under sink water filters and connects to any standard water line.
The Culligan water filtration system comes with several advantages. It can be used for either public or private water systems. If you use well water, you can still use this filtration system. Some of the other benefits include:
- Simple and quick installation
- Filters are easy to replace
- Provides cleaner water
The Culligan US-600A offers a hassle-free installation process. It comes with everything necessary for installing the system under your sink, including a mounting bracket for securing the filter. The filters should last for a year and they are easy to replace.
This system is one of the most affordable filtration systems available. It is designed to help provide fresh, clean water by removing impurities and chemicals that commonly impact the taste of the water and may produce a nasty odor. The result is cleaner water for cooking or drinking.
The only drawback to the Culligan system is the effectiveness of the filter. It will help lower the levels of contamination for some common elements. However, it may not lower the levels significantly.
If you are aware of a health concern with your drinking water due to the presence of a specific contaminant, you may need to find a more complete water treatment solution.
Overall Thoughts on the Culligan Water Filter
The Culligan water filtration system is not intended to completely clean your water and get rid of all impurities. What it can do is help clean your water so that it tastes fresh. The installation process is easy, the filters last for up to a year, and your water will probably be a little safer to drink.
Under Sink Water Filters Buying Guide
The health risks associated with drinking unclean tap water is a serious problem that more homeowners are becoming aware of. Lead, bacteria, and various chemicals may reach into your water supply, whether you use a public or private water supply.
If you are concerned with the quality of your tap water, you should think about adding an under counter water filter. These compact filters are often easy to install and provide an effective way to remove harmful heavy metals and chemicals from your water.
Primary Features of a Quality Under Sink Water Filter
Water filters are available in a variety of designs, with various features to help eliminate different particles. You may need to find a filter that targets a specific element or that provides adequate water pressure.
The following features are the main details that you should pay attention to when comparing and shopping for under sink water filters:
- Filtration capacity
- Water flow rate
- Compatibility with your plumbing
- Types of filters used by the filtration system
- List of contaminants removed by the filter
Not all products will list each of these details in the product description. However, these features do let you know how effective the filter will be at removing contaminants from the water in your kitchen or bathroom sink.
Examining the Filtration Capacity of the Water Filter
The capacity of the filter is often expressed as the number of gallons that the filter system can filter before it needs to be changed or replaced. Instead of listing the number of gallons, some products simply list the number of months that the filter can last before it needs replacing.
The average household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water per day. However, most of this water usage is from flushing the toilet and taking showers or baths. If you install the filter in your kitchen sink, you may only need to filter about 10 gallons of water per day.
If a filter can process 1500 to 2000 gallons of water before you need to replace the filter, the filter should last about six months. Some filtration systems include an indicator to let you know when to change the filter, while others require you to keep track of how long the filter has been in use.
Pay Attention to the Water Flow Rate of the Filter
Older kitchen and bathroom faucets may not list the number of gallons per minute that can flow through the faucet. Many modern fixtures only allow one gallon per minute to conserve water usage. However, your faucet may provide a stronger water flow.
Before shopping for under sink water filters, you should inspect your faucet for an inscription that indicates the water flow. This is typically listed as X GPM, where X is equal to the number of gallons.
If the filter has a water flow rate that is lower than the current flow rate of your sink, you will notice a reduction in water pressure.
Compatibility with Your Plumbing Fixtures
Most sinks use a universal size for the plumbing fixtures. These under sink water filters typically connect to the cold water supply line below the sink. A 3/8-inch compression thread is the standard size needed to install the filter.
Generally, you should not find any compatibility issues, unless your sink does not feature standard plumbing. As with the water flow rate, you may want to inspect the plumbing fixtures before shopping for a sink filter.
When inspecting the pipes under your sink, you should also look at the available space. If you do not have a lot of space under the counter, you may need to find a filter with a compact design.
The dimensions of the filtration system are typically listed in the product description. Use a ruler or tape measure to ensure that you have enough room for installation.
Types of Filters Used in the Filtration System
The next consideration is the types of filters that are used to remove contaminants. Most of these filter systems use multiple filters to collect a wider range of harmful particles and minerals. The most commonly used filters include:
- Sediment pre-filter
- Active carbon filters
- Activated charcoal filters
- Reverse osmosis filters
Pre-filters are often used to remove sediment and non-chemical particles from the water. These filters prepare the water for the next stage of filtration, but do not get rid of harmful minerals and other elements that may be in your water.
Active carbon filters are found in most filtration systems. The filter uses the adsorption process to trap chemicals and heavy metals. With under sink water filters, you may find granular activated carbon (GAC) filters and powered block filters. The block filters are typically more effective at removing a wider range of contaminants than the GAC filters.
Activated charcoal filters work like the carbon filters. They trap contaminants by binding them to its porous surface. While these filters are not as effective as the carbon filters, they do help remove tastes and odors from your drinking water.
Reverse osmosis filters include a carbon pre-filter to help remove most elements. This is followed by the reverse osmosis process to remove both inorganic and organic elements from your water.
Reverse osmosis is one of the most complete solutions for eliminating harmful substances from water. However, these systems are less efficient than a standard carbon or charcoal filter. They waste up to three gallons of water for every gallon of clean water provided to your sink.
List of Contaminants Filtered by the System
The filtration system should list the elements that the filters can help eliminate. The waterborne contaminants that you are most likely to find in your water include various heavy metals, bacteria, and viruses.
Consuming large amounts of heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, nitrates, and copper can lead to serious health effects for the people in your household. Bacteria and viruses can cause a variety of waterborne illnesses.
How Do You Know Which Contaminants to Filter?
There are several methods of determining the current condition of your tap water. To find out which contaminants are present in your water supply, you can purchase a water testing kit, hire a water testing lab, or examine your water bill.
Water testing kits provide an affordable option for testing your water. However, these kits do have a few limitations.
Water Testing Kits
The kits are comprised of strips that change color when exposed to specific minerals or contaminants. This lets you know if a specific substance is present in the water, but it does not offer an accurate indicator of the concentration levels.
If you want to know the exact levels of minerals and particles in your water, you will need to contact a water testing laboratory. These labs may either send a technician to collect the sample or require you to send the sample to their lab.
Public Water Supply Data
Another source of information about your water is your local water company. If your home is connected to a public water supply, you should receive a water quality report in your water bill once per year.
This report will include the latest results of water quality tests of the public water supply. The report is typically sent during the summer and may also be available by contacting the water company.
Choose a Filter That Addresses Your Needs
If you know which contaminants are present in your drinking water, you can look for under sink water filters that specifically target these substances. After testing your water, if you detected high levels of lead, you should look for a filter that helps eliminate lead.
If you are not sure what type of contaminants you need to remove from your water, consider getting a filter that includes a multi-stage filtration system. Multiple filters help to remove additional contaminants and particles from your water.
With a multi-stage filter, the first filter may remove larger particles and sediment, while an active carbon filter helps remove nitrates, sulfate, fluoride, and other heavy metals. A multi-stage filter ensures that a variety of the most commonly found elements are removed from your water, making it a useful solution for those that do not test their water.
Last Thoughts on Choosing the Best Water Filter
Under sink water filters help to remove contaminants that may pose a threat to your health. These contaminants include certain minerals, viruses, and bacteria that are often found in public water systems.
While water utilities are required to monitor the levels of these contaminants and inform customers when the levels exceed the Federal requirements, your tap water can still contain trace amounts of these substances.
If you want to ensure that your drinking water is clean, an under-sink water filter may be your best option. Remember to consider the features discussed. You should look for a filter that works with your existing plumbing. It should also be easy to install and have a water flow rate that matches your faucet.
Water testing and public data may also help you determine which contaminants are likely to be inside your water. With this knowledge, you can search for filters that specifically target the contaminants in your water supply.
You have a selection of great under sink water filters to consider for your kitchen or bathroom. Choosing the best one depends on several important factors. Before buying a filter, you need to consider the current quality of your tap water and the contaminants that you want to get rid of.
When you know which elements are in your water, you can shop for a filter that eliminates specific contaminants. For example, if you know that water in your area contains high levels of lead, you should look for filters that can remove up to 99% of the lead.
You may also want to look for a filter that is easy to install. Unless you have experience with home plumbing projects, you do not want to deal with a complicated setup. Most of the filters discussed install in less than a half hour and simply connect to the cold water supply line to the faucet.
You should not have to worry about the health of the water that you and your family consume. Use any of the filters discussed to start filtering harmful contaminants from your tap water.