best faucet water filter

Best Faucet Water Filter 2019: Top 5 Reviews & Buying Guide

Looking for the best faucet water filter to remove chlorine, sediments and impurities from your tap water? 


You’ve come to the right place.

In this in-depth buying guide, we review & compare the best faucet water filters sold today.  Our picks are based on several factors including ease of installation, price and water filtration performance.

Faucet water filters are a great, inexpensive and immediate water treatment solution if you just want to remove impurities from your tap water.

Faucet filters are also a lot less expensive than whole house filters and a lot easier to install than whole house and under-sink water filters.

What's In This Buying Guide


Top 5 Faucet Water Filters Compared

best water faucet filter
  • DuPont

  • BEST METERED
  • Dimensions: 2.6 x 5.8 x 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 12.2 ounces
  • Color: Chrome
  • Includes: 1 faucet mount, 1 faucet mount filter, 2 Faucet adapters, 2 washers and plumbing tape
  • Material: Plastic

filtering faucets
  • Brita On Tap

  • BEST ON TAP FILTER
  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 8.6 x 2.8 inches
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Color: White
  • Includes: 1 System+2 Filter
  • Material: Multi

best tap water filter
  • Kabter Healthy

  • BEST HOT/COLD FILTER
  • Dimensions: 5.1 x 2.8 x 4.3 inches
  • Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Color: Chrome finish
  • Includes: Faucet Water Filter, Cartridge
  • Material: Food- grade ABS plastic

best sink water filter
  • PUR 3-Stage Advanced

  • OUR TOP OVERALL PICK
  • Dimensions: 3.2 x 7.3 x 7.7 inches
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Color: Chrome
  • Includes: Pur Vertical Faucet Mount, Filter Casing, 1-Filter, Automatic Safety Monitor Gauge Product
  • Material: Multi

faucet water
  • InstaPure

  • BEST BUDGET PICK
  • Dimensions: 2.8 x 5.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Color: Chrome
  • Includes: Faucet mount, faucet filter
  • Material: Chrome

Best Faucet Water Filter Reviews

Our Top Overall Pick:

PUR FM-4100B 3-Stage Vertical Faucet Water Filter System

PUR Faucet Water Filter

PU​​R is well known for their high quality water filters. This one is one of their best.

This compact faucet water filter is incredibly easy to install. You just click it into place. Removing the filter is just as easy.

It is a bit more expensive than other faucet water filters but the results are worth it. It uses three stages of filtration to remove lead, pesticides, mercury and other harmful contaminants.

The filter also reduces chlorine to improve taste and odor.

The only thing we wish the filter had is longevity. There are too many customer complaints about the filter breaking after about one year of use.

For the price, it should last longer.

Pros

  • High performance 3-stage water filtration.
  • Greatly improves the taste and odor of water.
  • Easy 1-click installation.
  • Filter life indicator.

Cons

  • Filter doesn’t last long before breaking.

Best Features 

1. Easy to Install (Easier and Faster than Most Faucet Filters)

You won’t find a water filter that is easier to install. It takes about 5 minutes to have the PUR filter in and ready to go.

You just need to insert the cartridge into the filter, remove the washer and aerator from your faucet and click the filter into the faucet.

The filter comes with adapters for both inner and outer threads so don’t worry about compatibility if you have either of these thread styles.

The only faucets it’s not compatible with are hand-held and pull out faucets.

2. 3-stage Filtration 

This PUR filter uses a 3-stage filtration process to remove over 70 different contaminants.

The first stage traps sediment and other suspended particles.

The second stage removes chlorine, chemicals, lead and microbial cysts.

The third stage gives the water a refreshing taste by passing it over natural minerals.

The filter has a capacity of 100 gallons. It will last between 2 and 5 months depending on how much water you use.

To prolong the filter lifespan, you can turn on the unfiltered water mode for water-demanding activities like dish washing.

water faucet filter
3. Filter Life Indicato​​​​r 

A small light on the side of the filter lets you know when it’s time to change the filter. When it changes color to red, it means the current filter is clogged.

This is a thoughtful feature though several customers say the light stopped working within a few weeks of installing the filter.

Issues and Limitations 

1. Product Quality Issues

This filter seems to have a few build quality issues.

Some customers say after a few months, the filter housing starts leaking and sputtering, making the filter unusable.

The indicator light also stops working after a while, leaving you with no accurate way to know when to replace the filter. 

For the price, we expected better quality from PUR.

Avoid this one if: You are looking for a budget water filter. This is on the pricey side. Also not ideal if you want your replenish-able water filters to last at least two years.

The Bottom Line 

If you are looking for a high performance faucet water filter that can effectively remove a wide range of impurities from their city water, then look no further.


Best Value Faucet Water Filter:

Culligan FM-25 Faucet Mount Filter

faucet water filter

The Culligan FM-25 is one of the most popular faucet water filters sold on Amazon with almost four thousand reviews.

It has a more compact design than most other faucet filters and a noticeably better build quality.

Like the DuPont filter, this Culligan uses a carbon block that does a great job clearing unpleasant tastes and odors from water.

Unfortunately, activated carbon filters are easily damaged by hot water. So you cannot install this filter on a hot water faucet.

The filter is super-easy to install. It takes less than 10 minutes and is compatible with all standard faucets.

But filter replacement seems to be an issue many users are facing. It’s a bit difficult to open the housing and remove the cartridge.

Pros

  • Easy to install.
  • High-performance activated carbon filter.
  • Auto-off switch (see below for more details).
  • High capacity filter (200 gallons vs. 100 gallons of most other filters).

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with hot water.
  • Not ideal for well water.
  • Tedious filter replacement.

Best features

1. Easy Installation 

The filter takes less than 10 minutes to install and you don’t need any tools at all.

Just remove the aerator from your faucet, fit the right adapter on the filter and attach the adapter to your faucet.

The filter is compatible with all standard faucets and includes adaptors for different thread types. 

2. Active Carbon Filter with 200-gallon Capacity 

The Culligan filter uses a carbon block cartridge to remove chlorine, chemicals and heavy metals from water. 

It also clears up turbidity, producing clear water.

The filter has a capacity of 200 gallons of water, which is twice the capacity of most faucet filters.

Despite the higher capacity, many customers say it didn’t really last long, with some filters lasting as little as a month. Culligan recommends replacing the filter after just 2 months.

The shorter lifespan despite a higher capacity could be because the filter is more efficient, meaning it traps more impurities than other filters.

You can actually see a stark difference in color between unfiltered and filtered water. Put the two glasses side by side and the filtered water appears much clearer.

The taste is also more natural with no hint of chlorine or chemicals.

3. Auto-off Flow Selector Switch 

Like most faucet filters, the Culligan filter has a flow selector that lets you select between filtered and unfiltered water.

But Culligan’s is slightly different.

With other flow selectors, you have to manually turn the level to your preferred position. The Culligan’s switch automatically switches to the unfiltered water position when you turn the faucet off.

This might seem like a small feature but it makes a big difference in convenience.

Since most families use filtered water mostly for drinking, you don’t have to keep turning the switch to unfiltered every time you want to wash dishes, wash your hands or do any other activity.

 It also extends the life of the filter since no one will mistakenly use filtered water.

Issues and Limitations 

1. A Difficult to Replace Filter

By far the biggest issue reported by customers is the difficulty they experience when replacing the filter.

The filter housing gets stuck and it becomes almost impossible to twist it with your bare hands. Using a wrench or pliers is not an option since you’ll damage the filter.

2. No Replacement Reminder

The above-mentioned problem seems to occur if you don’t replace the filter after the recommended two months.

Since the filter does not have a replacement reminder, you will have to note the replacement date on the calendar and set a reminder.

The Bottom Line 

The Culligan FM-25 Faucet Mount Filter is best for: Anyone looking for a reliable and affordable water filter that will improve the taste, odor and appearance of their tap water.


Best Budget Pick:

InstaPure F2BCT3P-1ES Faucet Mount Water Filter System

InstaPure F2BCT3P-1ES

The InstaPureF2BCT3P-1ES is a great choice if you are looking for a budget faucet water filter. It costs less than most models and does a good enough job cleaning up impurities from water.

Considering the price however, don’t expect the same performance as the more expensive Culligan or PUR filters.

 If your water has a very strong chlorine taste or has a lot of sediment, the InstaPure will struggle to remove these impurities.

Pros

  • Inexpensive.
  • Easy to set up – its compatible with most faucets, including inside-threaded ones.
  • Significantly improves the taste of water by reducing the amount of chlorine. Also improves the taste of coffee and tea.
  • Removes impurities like sediment, lead, VOCs and microbial cysts.
  • Cheap replacement filters.

Cons

  • Not ideal for heavy-duty filtration.    

Best Features

1. Reduces Chlorine and Impurities 

The main part of this filter is the coconut carbon block that reduces the amount of chlorine in water. It also absorbs other harmful organic compounds like VOCs and chemicals.

Note that this filter may not be very effective if your city uses chloramines instead of chlorine to disinfect water.

2. Easy Installation and Wide Compatibility 

Both whole house and under-sink filters require considerable time and effort to install. You have to cut the water pipe, set up connectors and sometimes create a bypass loop.

In contrast, faucet filters like this one take less than 15 minutes to install. You just need to connect the filter to the faucet opening and that’s it.

The InstaPure is compatible with most faucets including those with an inside thread. Use the included adaptors to fit the filter to your faucet.

3. Easy Switch Between Filters and Unfiltered Water 

After installation, you can select whether you want filtered or unfiltered water simply by turning a lever.

 If you prefer using unfiltered water for things like gardening, you don’t have to remove the entire filter every time you want to water flowers.

Issues and Limitations 

1. Not Effective for Heavy-Duty Filtration

Depending on the kind of water you receive, this may not be the best faucet filter for you.

It is not designed for heavy-duty filtration. So if your water has high levels of impurities, you might not notice a big difference in terms of taste, smell and look.

That’s why we don’t recommend it for well water. It contains too many impurities than it can handle.

The Bottom Line 

The InstaPure faucet water filter is best for:Anyone looking for a low-cost faucet water filter that is easy to set up.


Best Hot/Cold Faucet Water Filter:

Kabter Faucet Mount Water Filter System

best water filter faucet

Most of the faucet filters we have reviewed can easily get damaged by water hotter than 100F, meaning you cannot filter hot water.

The Kabter is one of the few filters that won’t get damaged by hot water. It can handle a max water temperature of 158F.

This makes the best choice if you prefer drinking hot water or you use filtered hot water to clean dishes.

The Kabter faucet mount system uses three types of filters to clean up your tap water: activated carbon, calcium sulfite and KDF55.

Together, they filter out a wide range of contaminants to make your water safer and better tasting.

Installation is straightforward. The filter comes with adaptors to fit different faucet sizes and thread styles.

Its main limitation is that it’s not ideal for well water. It cannot remove most of the impurities found in well water.

We recommend it only for homes that receive chlorinated city water.

Pros

  • Ideal for both hot and cold water.
  • Affordable.
  • Easy to install.
  • Removes a wide range of impurities.
  • Beautiful chrome finish that blends well into your kitchen.

Cons

  • Not ideal for well water.

Best Features 

1. Three Filters 

Food grade calcium sulfite ball: Removes several chemicals from water including chlorine and organic chemicals.

Activated granular carbon: Further removes chlorine, harmful chemicals and heavy metals.

KDF55 media: Also reduces chlorine and some dissolved heavy metals. It also prevents the development of bacteria, mold, scale and fungi.

By the time your tap water passes through the three filters, you won’t smell or taste a whiff of chlorine in it. It’s also much safer for drinking and cooking.

2. Wide Compatibility 
best water filter for faucet

The Kabter filter is compatible with most standard faucets. These include faucets with an outside thread or inner thread.

It will not work with unthreaded faucets, pull out faucets, spray faucets or any other unconventional faucet styles.

3. Ideal for Both Hot and Cold Water 

You can fit the filter on your cold or hot water faucet.

The max temperature rating is 158 degrees Fahrenheit so don’t worry that the hot water will damage it.

The filtration media inside removes impurities just as effectively from hot water as it does normal cold water.

Issues and Limitations 

1. Only Fit for City Water

You cannot use this water filter to filter well water.

It designed to remove impurities you often get in city water – chlorine, industrial chemicals, cysts and so on.

It does not remove impurities like iron, Sulphur and other contaminants common in well water.

Avoid it if: You use well water.

The Bottom Line 

The Kabter water filter is best for: Anyone looking for a good quality and affordable faucet water filter for city water. Also ideal for families that want a water filter that works with hot water faucets.


Best Metered Faucet Water Filter:

DuPont WFFM350XBN Electric Metered 200-Gallon Faucet Water Filter

best faucet water filter

All water filter manufacturers will readily tell you the capacity of their products. That is, the expected number of gallons of water they can filter before you need to get a new filter.

That’s great all but how the heck do you tell when the specified number of gallons has gone through the filter?

Most will tell you to look out for a difference in water taste. You need to wait until your water tastes like chlorine again to know you need a new filter.

Dupont has a better and much more convenient idea.

Their filter uses an integrated electronic meter to monitor how many gallons you have used, giving you a more accurate way of determining when to get a replacement.

It’s a neat feature that you actually don’t have to pay a lot of money to enjoy.

The DuPont filter is priced affordably, too.

The two main complaints from customers is that the display can be difficult to read and water flow is a bit low especially after several dozen gallons.

Pros

  • Electronic meter takes the guess work out of filter replacements.
  • Great value.
  • Easy to install – compatible with most standard faucets.
  • Enhances the smell, taste and appearance of water.

Cons

  • Not ideal for well water.
  • Low water flow rate.
  • Cannot be used with a hot water faucet.

Best Features 

1. Electronic Meter and LCD Display

The meter is integrated into the filter housing. It measures the flow of filtered water in gallons and displays the number on a small back lit LCD display.

The filter is good for 200 gallons, which by the way is twice the capacity of most faucet water filters including PUR.

By occasionally checking the display, you can know exactly when you need to replace the filter.

For most families, the filter lasts 4-6 months.

Note: There is an initial flush you are supposed to do to remove carbon fines from the filter.The meter takes this into account and does not count the water used towards the gallon count.

faucet mount water filter
2. 10-minute Set-up and Easy Filter Replacement

The easy set-up is not unique to the DuPont water filter. Most faucet water filters are dead easy to install.

To install this filter, you just need a pair of pliers. Remove the aerator from your faucet, fit the right adaptor on the filter (there are two that come in the package) and hook it up to the faucet.

Install the cartridge into the filter housing and then turn on the water. Make sure the flow selector is turned to allow filtered water through.

Let the filtered water run for a few minutes to flush out loose carbon fines.

After that your water should come out clear and fresh.

Note: The manual has instructions that are more specific. Read them before you begin installation.

Now all you need to do is monitor the number of gallons you have used and change the filter when it reaches capacity or gets close to.

To replace the filter, open the housing and remove the old cartridge. Pop in the new one and flush it until the ‘Flh’ code on the display disappears.

3. Activated Carbon Filter 

At the heart of the faucet filter is activated carbon that filters out chlorine, chemicals, some heavy metals and sediment.

Unfortunately, the activated carbon filter is not very effective against impurities found in well water.

If you receive well water in your home, this is not the best faucet filter for you.

4. Water Flow Selector 

You can select between filtered and unfiltered water using a switch on the filter.

Move it to a vertical position to allow filtered water through. Press it back down to bypass the filter and get unfiltered water from the faucet as you normally would.

DuPont recommends leaving the lever in the horizontal position (unfiltered water) until you need filtered water.

This prolongs the filter life. 

Issues and Limitations 

1. Weak Water Flow

Several customers have mentioned that the filter has a water flow issue. After 20-50 gallons, the filtered water flow slows down significantly making it tedious to fill a large bottle or pitcher.

2. Only Fit for City Water

Another limitation is that the filter cannot be used with well water. It’s designed to work only with chlorinated city water.

3. Temperature Limit

It also cannot work with a hot water faucet. The max temperature limit for the carbon filter is 100 F.

Avoid if: You use well water.

The Bottom Line

The DuPont filter is best for: Families looking for an affordable faucet filter that will remove the bad taste and odors from their city water. Also great for anyone looking for a faucet filter that doesn’t force them to guess when to replace the cartridge.


Most Powerful Faucet Water Filter:

New Wave Enviro 10 Stage Water Filter System 

water filtration faucet

Faucet water filters are typically small units that fit neatly under an existing faucet.

The New Wa​​ve Enviro filter however comes with its own faucet and a foot-high cylinder that houses a 10-stage cartridge inside.

That’s right. The Enviro has 10 different filters, making it the highest performance water filter among our picks.

It removes more impurities than other faucet filters and the resulting water is fresher, clearer and safer.

In fact, you can use it as an under sink filter though you’ll have to buy a separate conversion kit.

Obviously, it’s more expensive than other filters.

It also takes up space on your countertop and the line leading from your faucet can get in the way when you are using the sink.

But if you don’t mind these inconveniences, this is one of the best faucet water filter you can buy for your family.

Note: This is NOT a reverse osmosis system.

Pros

  • High performance 10-stage filtration – removes more impurities and contaminants than other filters.
  • Easy to install.
  • Easy and quick filter replacement.

Cons

  • Pricey.
  • Takes up space on the counter.
  • Not ideal for well water or water with harmful microorganisms.

Best Features 

1. 10-stage Filtration 

Unlike most faucet water filters that have just a single stage, this filter has ten of them. This makes a big difference in filtration performance and final water quality.

It removes more contaminants, resulting in water that is safer and tastes better.

Here are the 10 stages.

One: 30-micron filter to trap large particles of sediment and rust.

Two: KDF-55, a proprietary filtration media, removes chlorine and some heavy metals. It also prevents the development of bacteria and mold on the filter.

Three: 10-micron filter to trap smaller particles and prolong the life of the other filters.

Four: Coconut shell activated carbon reduces chlorine and various organic chemicals including pesticides and industrial solvents. It also eliminates bad odors and tastes from the water.

Five: 10-micron filter to remove any remaining fine sediment.

Six: A cation exchange resin removes ions of heavy metals such as lead and copper from the water.

Seven: 30-micron filter removes residual particles floating in the water.

Eight: Fine granular activated carbon (GAC) removes any chlorine and organic chemicals not removed by the coconut carbon filter.

Nine: Calcite to adjust water pH to the recommended level.

Ten: 1-micron filter polishes up the water and removes tiny particles to make the water completely clear.

2. Easy Installation and Filter Replacement 

Despite the many filtration stages, this filter is as easy to install as other faucet filters. In fact, the process is exactly the same.

Remove the aerator from your own faucet, screw on the right adaptor and then hook up the hose connector.

It takes less than 10 minutes.

Note that this Enviro system has its own faucet. Unlike other filters that hang from your faucet, this one directs the water to the cylinder sitting on the counter next to the sink.

Water goes through the different stages and comes out of a faucet attached to the cylinder.

Replacing the filter is just as easy. Just unscrew the housing and replace the cartridge inside.

Don’t forget to flush the water for a few minutes until all the carbon fines are gone.

3. High Capacity Filter Cartridge 

The most annoying thing about faucet filters is that you need to replace the cartridges every couple of months.

With the Enviro filter, you can rest easy for a full year or even more without worrying about replacing the cartridge.

It has a capacity of 1,500 gallons that work out to about a year of use for the average family.

Issues and Limitations 

1. Price

These features don’t come cheap. The Enviro is themost expensive faucet filter among the ones we have reviewed.

But at least, it’s cheaper than an under sink system.

2. Requires Significant Space

The other issue is its size. You have to set it on the counter, which can be challenging if your countertop is already bursting with other appliances.

Avoid if: You use well water or you are concerned that your water might contain harmful microorganisms.

The Bottom Line 

The Enviro water filter is best for: Anyone looking for good quality faucet water filter that can remove a wide range of contaminants. Also ideal for those who want a filter they don’t have to keep replacing every 2-4 months.


Best High Capacity Faucet Water Filter:

Home Master HM Mini Plus Sink top Faucet Filter

whole house charcoal water filter

The Home Master Mini Plus falls somewhere between compact faucet filters and the large Enviro system.

It’s bigger than a basic faucet filter, has better filtration performance and has a higher capacity (750 gallons).

But it’s not as tall as the foot-high Enviro and doesn’t have its own faucet.

Instead, the compact filter unit sits on the counter next to the sink (don’t worry, it takes up very little space) and a couple of lines bring water from the faucet and take it back.

 It’s the best option for those looking for a faucet filter that is a bit bigger and more capable than the basic models from PUR and Brita but doesn’t want an expensive model like the Enviro.

Pros

  • Better filtration performance than most faucet filters.
  • Higher capacity.
  • Easy to install and replace filter.
  • Great customer service.

Cons

  • No filter life indicator.
  • More expensive than most faucet water filters.

Best Features 

1. 750-gallon Water Filter 

The water filter consists of a 1-micron carbon block that removes chlorine and organic chemicals from water and a filtration media designed specifically to remove lead.

The Home Master Mini can remove 99% of lead and a wide range of other contaminants including giardia cysts, cryptosporidium,rust and sediment.

The filter has a much higher capacity than a typical faucet filter.

It can filter about 750 gallons of water before you need to replace it. This is roughly one year of use for the average family.

2. Easy Installation and Filter Replacement 
kitchen faucet filter

Installation takes less than five minutes.

Just remove the aerator from your tap and connect the filter. There is an additional adapter included if the one on the filter hose does not match your faucet’s threading.

 Replacing the filter is just as fast. You open the housing, remove the old cartridge and put in the new one.

Issues and Limitations 

1. Limited Purification

The Home Master Mini removes a wide range of impurities. But there are just as many it does not remove.

It does not neutralize bacteria and germs in water. If you think your water has dangerous microorganisms (get a test to confirm), a RO filter is your best option.   

It also does not remove total dissolved solids (TDS) such as magnesium and calcium from the water. That’s why we don’t recommend it for well water, which has a high level of TDS.

Avoid if: You receive well water or if you are concerned about harmful microorganisms in your water.

The Bottom Line 

The Home Master Mini water filter is best for:Those looking for a high-capacity faucet water filter that will last at least one year before cartridge replacement.


Brita On Tap Faucet Water Filter System

faucet water purifier

​Brita promises water that is just as fresh and great tasting as bottled water.

But can the Brita On Tap filter replace your weekly bottled water purchases?

Most customers agree it can, and it has.

The Brita filter removes that awful taste and smell of chlorine from water. It also removes or reduces lead, asbestos and other harmful impurities from water.

So your water not only tastes spring-fresh, it’s safer too.

The main complaint from customers is that the connector you use to hook it up to the faucet is plastic. It breaks easily if you don’t handle it carefully. The plastic threading also tends to wear down fast.

Pros

  • Makes water taste better and fresher.
  • Removes some harmful impurities from water including asbestos, lead and certain chemicals.
  • Easy to install.
  • Three spray options.
  • Convenient filter life indicator.

Cons

  • Low quality plastic connector.

Best Features 

1. Removes Chlorine, Lead and Other Impurities 

According to Brita, the filter removes 60 contaminants from water.

It has the NSF/ANSI 53 certification that indicates it can remove contaminants that are harmful for health including benzene, lead, asbestos and some microbial cysts like Giardia. 

It is also certified for NSF/ANSI Standard 42, which means it can remove contaminants related to water aesthetics (taste and smell) including chlorine and suspended particulates. 

The filter uses a carbon block to remove most of the contaminants. But it also has an extra filtration layer that captures sediment. This increases filtration performance and prolongs filter life.

2. Easy to Install (Wide Compatibility and Space Saving design) 

You’ll love the compact design the Brita faucet filter. It makes it so much easier to install even in small areas.

The filter connects easily with most standard faucets so don’t worry about compatibility. The only faucets it does not fit are the pull out and spray faucets.

3. Three Spray Options 

Using the lever, you can select between three types of water output:

Filtered water stream: Produces a strong stream of filtered water. Unlike most faucet filters, the Brita delivers water at a high flow rate.

Unfiltered water stream: If you want unfiltered water for a particular purpose, just turn the lever and the water bypasses the filter.

Unfiltered water spray: This is one of the favorite features for many customers. The spray option is especially great for washing dishes.  

4. Filter Life Indicator 

You don’t have to guess when the filter is due for a replacement. An indicator light on the filter will tell you.

Green means everything is running ok. Yellow means you should change the filter soon and red indicates that you should change the filter immediately.

It’s a really convenient feature.

For average sized families, the filter replacement period is about 4 months.

Issues and Limitations 

Low Quality of Connector & Filter
The company could do better when it comes to longevity.

The Bottom Line 

The Brita filter is best for: Families looking for a reliable faucet water filter that can remove chlorine, sediment and other impurities from water.


Do I Need a Faucet Water Filter?

faucet water filter reviews

If your water has a foul taste and odor, a water filter can help.

The unpleasant taste and smell is caused by the presence of chemicals like chlorine, hydrogen sulfide and pesticides.

A faucet water filter reduces these chemicals in your water, which improves its taste and smell.

A faucet water filter can also clear up your water if it comes out of the tap brown and with suspended particles.

A faucet water filter also makes your water safer by reducing heavy metals like lead and cysts such as Giardia.

Pros

  • Easy to install. Most take no more than 10 minutes to set up.
  • They take up very little space.
  • Easy maintenance. You just need to replace the filter after a few months.
  • Improves water aesthetics (taste, color and odor) and safety.

Cons

  • Most are designed for use with city water only. If you use well water, your best option is an under sink or whole house system.
  • Low capacity compared to under sink and whole house filters. This means replacing the filter every few months.
  • It removes a limited range of impurities. Most cannot remove germs and total dissolved solids.
  • A faucet water filters only cleans up water at one point of use. If you want to filter water from several faucets, you have to buy a separate water filter for each.

Four Types of Faucet Water Filters

water osmosis systems

Carbon Faucet Filters 

Most faucet water filters are carbon filters. They remove contaminants from water using an activated carbon block cartridge.

Activated carbon is great at reducing chlorine and organic chemicals. It can also remove fine sediment and cysts.

But it cannot remove total dissolved solids like magnesium and iron and neither can it neutralize bacteria and other germs.

Activated carbon filters are also sensitive to high temperatures meaning you cannot install one on a hot water faucet.

Reverse Osmosis Faucet Filters 

These are the best for high-performance water filtration. Not only can an RO (reverse osmosis) system remove chemicals and heavy metals, it can also remove harmful microorganisms.

The main downside of RO systems is that they are expensive.

Faucet-mount Water Filters 

These are the most common types of water filters.

The filter is a compact unit that you mount on the faucet. You don’t need tubes or lines.

Faucet-mount filters take up little space and are incredibly easy to install and maintain. On the downside, they usually have a very low capacity of 100 or 200 gallons.

Countertop Faucet Filters 

If you need a filter with more capacity, get a countertop faucet filter.

The main filter unit sits on the counter with tubes bringing water to it and taking it back to the faucet.

Installation and maintenance is just as easy as with faucet-mount filters since the tubes still connect directly to the faucet.

The main downside is that they are more expensive and you need to make space for them on the countertop (but they take up very little space).

On the upside, you get a filter that you don’t need to think about replacing for at least a year.

Countertop filters also tend to perform better because they have bigger filters that can capture more impurities. Some models use multiple filters – sometimes as many as 10 –to increase performance.


How Do Faucet Water Filters Work?

PUR filter review

When water comes out of your faucet, it is diverted to pass through the filter cartridge where activated carbon (or whichever media is present) removes or reduces various impurities.

Most filters incorporate a pre-filter to remove sediment and rust and then follow it up with activated carbon to remove chlorine and various chemicals.

Some filters also use specialized media like KDF-55 to remove other impurities such as heavy metals.

The filtered water comes out of the filter cleaner and clearer.

Most faucet water filters have a switch or lever that lets you choose between filtered and unfiltered water.

When using unfiltered water, the water is not diverted to the filter cartridge. It comes out of the faucet as normal.

Note: Water filters are not water purifiers. They improve water quality but do not necessarily make it 100% safe to drink since they do not remove all impurities. But an RO system is a water purifier because it removes almost all kinds of contaminants and produces pure water.


How To Buy The Right Faucet Water Filter

whole house charcoal water filter

Here’s what you should consider when shopping for a faucet water filter for your home.

1. Filter Capacity 

Basic faucet water filters have a capacity of 100 or 200 gallons. They last for 2-6 months depending on how much water you are using and the level of impurities.

Pricier and bigger filters have a capacity of 700-2,000 gallons and they last for about one year. They are the best for large families.

2. Filter Life Indicator 

Instead of guessing when your filter needs to be replaced, a filter life indicator tells you exactly when to get a new one.

Most use a small colored light to indicate when the current filter has reached the end of its life.

The DuPont filter I reviewed above actually counts the number of gallons used using an integrated electronic meter. It then shows a gallon count on a small screen.

3. Ease of Installation (Check Whether Adapters are Included)

A faucet filter should take no more than 10 minutes to install and you don’t need any tools. If you need tools, it should only be a pair of pliers or a wrench.

Check whether the filter comes with different adapters for different types of faucets.

4. Ease of Filter Replacement 

Replacing the filter should be even easier; no more than 5 minutes.

You shouldn’t have to use any tools to open the housing and remove the old cartridge.

5. Flow Selector and 360-degree Swivel 

A flow selector is a standard feature in almost all faucet filters. It lets you switch between filtered and unfiltered water simply by flipping a lever.

Another must-have feature that will make the filter easy to use is the ability to swivel 360 degrees. This applies only to those filters that mount on the faucet, not the countertop ones.

A 360-degree swivel makes it easy to turn the filtered water outlet to any position.

6. Finish 

The standard finish for most faucet water filters is chrome. It blends in nicely in most kitchens and matches well with the faucet.

Some models provide additional finish options such as white or silver.

7. Build Quality 

Finally, check the build quality of the filter.

Unfortunately, faucet water filters are not known for their longevity. That’s because most are made from plastic.

The average lifespan is 1-3 years. But larger countertop filters tend to last much longer.

Just make sure you don’t buy a filter that will start cracking and leaking after just a few months. A quick check of customer reviews can give you an idea of how well the filter holds up to months of use.


How To Install a Faucet Water Filter

Faucet water filters are incredibly easy to install compared to whole house and under sink filters. In most cases you don’t need any tools and you definitely don’t need to hire a pro.

Here are some general installation tips. Check your user manual for specific instructions for your particular model.

  • Open the package and make sure you have all the parts you need.
  • Remove the aerator from your faucet. You may need to use an adjustable wrench if it is tightly screwed on.
  • Select the right adaptor that will fit your faucet. Most filters come with a choice of two faucets plus washers.
  • Fit the adapter and washer (if there is one) on your faucet. If the adapter has slots on the side, use a coin to tighten it.
  • Attach the filter or filter hose (for countertop filters) to the faucet and tighten the connector. Do not use any tools to tighten the connector as that could damage it.
  • If the cartridge is not already inside the filter, put it inside and tighten the filter closed.
  • Open the faucet and turn the flow selector to the filtered water position.
  • Let the filtered water run for 5-10 minutes to flush the filter.
  • Make sure there are no leaks. If you see any, try re-installing the filter or call customer support for help.

Care & Maintenance of Faucet Water Filters

The only maintenance a water filter needs is replacing the cartridge after it has reached its capacity.

This varies among models. It’s 100 or 200 gallons for cheaper filters and 700+ gallons for countertop filters.

Depending on your filter’s capacity and your family’s water consumption, you’ll need to replace the filter every 2-6 months for low-capacity filters and higher capacity for larger filters.

You don’t need to remove the filter from the faucet to replace the cartridge. Just unscrew the filter housing, remove the old filter and put in the new one.

 Remember to flush the new filter for a few minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions About Faucet Water Filters

best water faucet filter

Do faucet water filters remove fluoride? 

No, most do not. That’s because most water filters use activated carbon and sediment filters that do not remove fluoride.

If you want to remove fluoride from your water, buy a reverse osmosis water filter.

Can I use a faucet filter if I have well water? 

Unless you have a reverse osmosis system, you cannot. Most faucet water filters work only with chlorinated city water.

What do faucet water filters remove? 

It will depend on the particular media used in the filter. But most faucet filters can remove/reduce chlorine, some organic chemicals, heavy metals, sediment, some cysts and rust.

Do faucet water filters soften water?

No. Most water filters do not remove dissolved solids responsible for scale, in specific magnesium and calcium.

Are faucet water filters good for drinking water? 

As long as you know the source of the water and you are sure it does not contain any harmful microorganisms, then a faucet water filter is good for drinking water.

It improves the quality and safety of the water.

But if you are using untreated water (e.g. well water) or water whose source you don’t know, an RO system is the best option. It purifies water instead of just filtering it.


How To Get The Best Deal on a Faucet Water Filter

water filtration faucet

Most manufacturers and sellers offer deep discounts on special occasions such as Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Time your purchase for one of those occasions to get the best deal.

But keep checking the product page on Amazon or the manufacturer’s website since you can also get discounts outside these special occasions.

As for the ideal place to buy a faucet water filter, online is better than hardware and plumbing stores. You get more variety at great prices.


Top 6 Faucet Water Filters Compared: Specification Chart

PRODUCTDIMENSIONSPRICEWEIGHTCOLORINCLUDEMATERIAL 
Brita On Tap
Brita On Tap Faucet Water Filter System
9.8 x 8.6 x 2.8 inches$$$1.1 poundsWhite1 System+2 Filters Multi
Kabter Healthy
Kabter Healthy Faucet Water Filter System<br />
5.1 x 2.8 x 4.3 inches$$14.1 ouncesChrome finishFaucet Water Filter , CartridgeFood- grade ABS plastic
PUR 3-Stage Advanced
PUR 3-Stage Advanced Faucet Water Filter<br />
3.2 x 7.3 x 7.7 inches$$1.1 poundsChromePur Vertical Faucet Mount, Filter Casing, 1-Filter, Automatic Safety Monitor Gauge ProductMulti
DuPont WFFM350XBN
DuPont WFFM100XCH Premier Faucet Mount Drinking Water Filter<br />
2.6 x 5.8 x 5.5 inches$12.2 ouncesChrome1 faucet mount, 1 faucet mount filter, 2 Faucet adapters, 2 washers and plumbing tape. Plastic
InstaPure F2BCT3P-1ES
InstaPure F2BCT3P-1ES Faucet Mount Water Filter System<br />
2.8 x 5.4 x 7.5 inches $$5.6 ounces ChromeFaucet mount, faucet filter Chrome
Culligan FM-25
Culligan FM-25 Faucet Mount Filter<br />
5.5 x 3.5 x 6.5 inches $$1.4 poundsChrome finishCartridge , faucet filter , adapters Plastic with a chrome coating


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Ed Carmichael

Ed is a water specialist in Tampa, FL. He built CleanerSofterWater.com to help his friends and family learn about DIY solutions to common water quality issues in the home.
Ed Carmichael