Countertop water filters are a convenient trade-off between the low price of basic pitcher-style filters (think: Brita) and more robust under-sink models, which often require professional installation and considerable space inside your cupboard.
Like faucet-mounted filters, these devices sit on or near your sink, with some models attaching directly to the tap via a hose. This means no annoying trips between the fridge and the tap to refill reservoirs, nor the need to wait while water cycles through the device.
Unlike faucet and pitcher filters, however, countertop water filters don’t need to fit onto your tap or in your fridge, so they’re less constrained in terms of cartridge size, and the components that will up filtering power and flowrate.
All of which goes to say that a countertop filtering is a smart choice for home treatment. Based on our review process, these are the best countertop water filters you can purchase at the moment:
What’s different about countertop water filters?
Among many home water filter products on the market today, countertop water filters might just be the most user-friendly. Not only do they take little to zero effort in terms of installation, but their larger cartridges mean that replacements are required less often.
Countertop models source their water either from a large reservoir that you’ll need to manually fill, or from a hose and directional valve attached directly to the faucet. For faucet models, filtered water is created simply by turning on the water, and allowing it to flow through the filter (which will normally have its own dedicated tap). Countertop filters that use reservoirs may take some time to build up a ready supply of filtered water, but can be easily topped-up.
In terms of exactly how countertop systems remove contaminants from your water, this category of filters may have the largest range of filtering mechanisms. From activated carbon cartridges that operate similarly to Brita-style pitchers, to purifiers and sediment removers, to silver and ceramic methods that can effectively remove major health concerts such as lead from your water. Some larger, premium countertop filters even utilize reverse osmosis membranes, which will filter your water on a molecular level.
Countertop filters are one of many options when it comes to home water treatment solutions. If you’re still trying to decide which model works for you, here’s our comprehensive article Comparing the different types of water filters.
What do they filter out?
Activated carbon countertop filters can be counted on to remove carbon-based contaminants, or Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), from the mains supply. This includes common chemicals and gases such as chlorine and sulfur, which can significantly affect how your water tastes and smells.
Countertop filters that incorporate carbon blocks, ceramic cartridges, or reverse osmosis membranes will filter the above pollutants, plus a more worrying set of particulates, such as heavy metals, bacteria, viruses, and even fluoride and minerals.