How to Choose a Reverse Osmosis System

How to Choose a Reverse Osmosis System

Water is so important for everyone’s health and well-being, and it is important to make sure that it is safe and free of contaminants.

A Reverse Osmosis water filter is one of the best ways to take care of this. It has the ability to remove more contaminants than many other types of water filters, and many people say that the water tastes better.

Types of Reverse Osmosis Systems

There are two main types of Reverse Osmosis systems, as well as a whole house option.

The first type is a Countertop Reverse Osmosis System. This type is designed to sit on the countertop or on the ground, and it can also be called a free standing reverse osmosis system. The system is usually compact and doesn’t take up a lot of counter space.

The benefits of this system are that it is compact and doesn’t require professional installation, and you can take it with you if you move.

This is also a great choice for renters. However, keep in mind that you will need to designate counter space for the system.

The other main type of reverse osmosis system is the Under Counter Reverse Osmosis System.

This type of system is normally installed under the sink, and it is the most common option out there. It is very easy to use once it is installed because it filters water every time you turn the faucet on.

Keep in mind that you will likely need to have a professional install this kind of system. In spite of that, it is very easy to use and can filter a lot of water quickly, so once it is installed, you won’t have to think about it again.

The last type of system is a whole house system. These reverse osmosis systems can effectively purify water for an entire house, but they are very expensive. They can cost from $12K to $18K to install.

Do you live in Canada? Did you know that you could rent a reverse osmosis system? Check this offer before it expires!

How to Choose a Reverse Osmosis System That Meets Your Needs

When you are considering how to choose a reverse osmosis system that will work well for your personal needs, there are a number of different factors to take into account.


The first factor should be the cost. It is important to know your budget because reverse osmosis filters can range in price from $150 up to $1,000 and beyond for an entire house.

More expensive systems might have more filters and the ability to filter larger amounts of water at the same time. They might also have extra features, such as autoflush.

In addition, some of these expensive systems can put valuable nutrients back into the water once the harmful nutrients are filtered out.

The less expensive reverse osmosis filters might be made with inexpensive materials, and they may not last.

RO filters that are mid-range may do a good job of filtering water, but they will have fewer features than expensive systems. You should determine your budget, and then choose the best RO filter within that price range.


Reverse Osmosis systems come in different sizes, so you need to determine how much space you have available.

You should check both your counter space and your under sink space to see where the system will best fit.

You can measure your space and then check against the dimensions of the system you want to buy. You can ensure that it will fit before you start to install it.

How Much Water Can It Filter?

You can check the product specs to see how much water the reverse osmosis system can filter each day. Some can do 50 gallons, and others might do 100.

You should consider the size of your family and your water usage before you choose a system. Smaller households can get away with a 50 gallon system, while larger families might need larger systems.

How Effective Is the System?

When you are looking at a reverse osmosis system, it will tell you how many stages the filter has.

The stages are filters, so a two-stage system has two filters, and so on. The more stages, the more filters, so the cleaner the water.

You should be aware of how many stages the system has as well as the condition of your water.


More complicated systems will require professional installation, so consider this when you are choosing a system.

If you are able to choose a less complicated system, it will likely cost less to install.

How Easy Is it to Use?

Most reverse osmosis systems are easy to use. Normally, they work when you turn the faucet on.

You will want to know how often you should replace the filter, as well as how difficult it is to clean it. Some systems may need the filter replaced monthly, and others may only require it once a year.

How Much Waste Does the System Create?

Often reverse osmosis systems waste a lot of water in the process of filtering. They may produce only 10% or 15% of the water they filter, with the rest being discarded.

There are systems that repurpose this water for the dishwasher or the washing machine. This is a great way of getting clean drinking water without wasting what is filtered out.

How Long Will It Last?

You should find out how long the system is projected to last, which will give you a good idea of whether it is worth the cost to you.

In addition, check to see if it has a warranty and what the warranty covers.


What Are the 10 Best Brands for Reverse Osmosis Systems?

Once you have considered all of the factors and know what kind of system is best for you, you should look at different brands.

Some brands have better reputations, and it is always a good idea to go with a brand that has received positive customer reviews. This is the best objective measure of how well a product works.

Take a look at the following brands:


APEC offers reverse osmosis systems for countertop and under sink installations. It also has a system for homes with low pressure.

They have systems with different numbers of stages, and they have a range of prices as well. Many of their customers claim that the water is clean and tastes better.

Their systems are a good value, and the higher stage systems actually save customers money in the long run because the additional cost is the same as buying three filter replacements for the lower stage systems.

The systems include everything needed for installation, and the units are compact and efficient.


Most customers find AquaPure reverse osmosis systems easy to install. The water tastes great as well.

The system reduces arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, copper, cyst, fluoride, radium, selenium, turbidity, and lead. It is an advanced multi-stage reverse osmosis filtration system that produces cleaner water through a single faucet.

This system provides filtered water as needed for drinking water, baby formula, cooking, coffee, tea, and more, and it can be used with city water as well as well water.

How frequently the filter needs to be replaced will depend on the quality of the water coming into the system.

This brand is well known and widely used in settings that are residential, food service, science labs, industrial, and more.


Brondell offers a variety of reverse osmosis water filter selections, from single stage up to their Circle RO under counter system.

This system is up to 10 times more efficient than other reverse osmosis systems, and it has a flexible reservoir and a patented Smart Valve to significantly reduce wastewater by eliminating back pressure.

The system doesn’t take up a lot of space, and it is straightforward to install. It will filter a number of impurities, including lead, chlorine, fluoride, hexavalent, chromium, trivalent, arsenic, barium, radium, cadmium, copper, cysts, and more.

Express Water

Express Water boasts a 99% removal rate of over 108 contaminants. It removes lead, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, chlorine, and bacteria from water, and it is easy to set up and use.

This system requires filter changes twice a year, and it is quick and easy to do.

They offer a variety of models with different numbers of stages as well as kits that include other features.

They offer between 50 and 100 gallons per day, and the company offers other products that will even further improve the system, including a water storage tank, a reverse osmosis faucet, and a leak stopper.

Global Water

Global Water offers a high performance reverse osmosis filtration system that produces fresh, clean, great tasting water.

The system also removes up to 99% of contaminants, including chlorine, lead, bacteria, arsenic, fluoride, and more.

It comes with a lead-free faucet and water storage tank, as well as quick connect fittings and self secure technology.

The five-stage system offers two sediment filters, two GAC activated carbon filters, two CTO block carbon filters, one membrane, two inline filters, a tank, a faucet, tubing, an installation kit, and valves. It is reasonably priced.


HiKiNS offers a high-quality reverse osmosis water system for a reasonable price. It uses five stages to remove up to 99% of pollutants, including heavy metal and much more.

It produces clean, clear, sweet tasting water, and it is designed for low waste. It comes with a 100% lead-free faucet and a guarantee of two years on services.

HiKiNS has been producing water and air purifiers for 20 years for more than 50 different countries, and it is a brand you can depend on.

Home Master

Home Master has several different reverse osmosis systems available, and they remove up to 98% of iron, chemicals, heavy metals, sediment, and other contaminants.

One system even adds calcium and magnesium twice during the purification process to add to the taste of the water.

The filters are advanced and long lasting, and they can go 2,000 gallons or one year between filter changes.

It includes an iron pre-filter that protects the reverse osmosis membrane and a UV filter to destroy microorganisms.


iSpring offers different systems, and they remove up to 99% of over 1,000 contaminants, including chlorine, fluoride, lead, arsenic, asbestos, calcium, socium, giardia, and more.

It comes with an additional sixth stage that restores healthy minerals to the water and balances the alkalinity.

The system also has a European style faucet and three long lasting pre-filters to remove larger contaminants and protect the reverse osmosis membrane.

It is very easy to install, and all of the parts are included, as well as written instructional videos.

This reverse osmosis water filter system is well received by customers, and it leaves you with clean, clear, great tasting drinking water.


PurePro has a number of different reverse osmosis water system models. Their basic model has a five-stage filtration system and a 3.2-gallon water storage tank. It includes a long reach chrome faucet and is installation ready when you receive it.

The stages include two micron sediment filters, a carbon block filter, a reverse osmosis membrane, two other membranes, and a post carbon filter.

The system removes chlorine, bad tastes, bad odors, and chemical contaminants, as well as dissolved solids at the ionic level.


Vitev systems are on the expensive end of the spectrum, but the company has a very good reputation.

In addition to filtering water and removing contaminants, it adds minerals back into the water to help alkalize it. Many customers find this product to be worth the extra expense.

In addition to reverse osmosis systems for the sink, they sell a reverse osmosis water pitcher. It removes contaminants, but it adds minerals back in to produce alkaline water for drinking at home.

Key Takeaways

There are many different reverse osmosis systems to choose from, and the variety can accommodate every budget.

Some systems are basic and serve to remove most contaminants, while more sophisticated systems have more stages of filtration and may even add minerals back into the water.

You should choose a reverse osmosis system that meets your needs and fits within your budget.

Jon Agarwal

Jon Agarwal works as an environmental consultant focused on water resources, and he volunteers his time for non-profit organizations. He lives in the heart of Melbourne with his beautiful wife, two sons, and three Persian cats. He particularly enjoys working part-time as it leaves him the time to work on his own writing and share his knowledge. Visit our About page to learn about the contributors of Healthy Buddys.

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