One of the most affordable and convenient ways of filtering water in your home is by using a faucet water filter. They fit directly onto your tap and ensure that you get clean drinking and cooking water. Moreover, these gadgets, unlike other filtration technologies, don’t produce any wastewater and require minimum maintenance. There’s a wide range of products available on the market, each offering protection against certain chemicals, minerals and other harmful contaminants in the water. So if you’re finding a hard time which one is right for your needs, below we’ve compiled the best faucet water filter reviews, which include the top rated products in 2020.
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- DuPont WFFM100XCH
- Filter life: 100 gallons
- Filter indicator: no
- Dimensions: 2.6" x 5.8" x 5.5"
- Filter life: 320 gallons
- Filter indicator: no
- Dimensions: 8.1" x 7.1 "x 2.9"
- Brita On Tap
- Filter life: 100 gallons
- Filter indicator: yes
- Dimensions: 8.25" x 2.38" x 6"
- InstaPure F8CU-1ES
- Filter life: 100 gallons
- Filter indicator: yes
- Dimensions: 3" x 6" x 7"
- Culligan FM-100-C
- Filter life: 200 gallons
- Filter indicator: yes
- Dimensions: 3.5" x 5.2" x 3.1"
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 5 Faucet Water Filters Reviewed
- 2 Brita On Tap Faucet Filtration System
- 3 DuPont WFFM100XCH Premier
- 4 Waterdrop ACF Faucet Filtration System
- 5 InstaPure F8CU-1ES
- 6 Culligan FM-100-C
- 7 How Tap Water Filters Work?
- 8 So How Do Faucet Water Filters Work?
- 9 What Do Faucet Water Filters Remove?
- 10 Benefits Of Faucet Water Filters
- 11 What To Look For In the Best Faucet Water Filter?
- 12 Faucet Water Filter Installation
- 13 Faucet Water Filter Maintenance
- 14 Filtered Water vs Tap Water
- 15 Best Way To Filter Tap Water At Home
- 16 Wrap Up
Top 5 Faucet Water Filters Reviewed
Brita On Tap Faucet Filtration System
One of the best faucet water filters is the Brita On Tap system, which comes at a very affordable price and offers an efficient filtration solution. It easily installs on your existing faucet, providing cleaner and better tasting water in just mere seconds. It fits all standard faucets, with the exception of the pull out type.
When using the filter, you can quickly switch between filtered water, unfiltered and spray. So unlike other faucet filtration systems, you don’t lose any water pressure but get a consistent flow of water.
One filter cartridge lasts about 4 months or a 100 gallons. There’s a sensor on the unit that will notify you when the filter will need replacement. When you’ll see the sensor change to red color, it’s time for a replacement.
The filter has been tested and certified by NSF to support their contaminant reduction claims. It reduces lead, chlorine, asbestos, particles, pesticides and many other contaminants. What you get are a cleaning and good tasting water.
The filter, however, also comes with a few drawbacks. First of all, during the installation, it needs to be perfectly lined up or it won’t be able to properly work. Also, some users have complained about the filter sensor dying quickly.
So while it does have a few drawbacks, the price and the filtration efficiency it offers is still difficult to beat.
DuPont WFFM100XCH Premier
The DuPont WFFM100XCH is another affordable option if you’re looking for the best tap water filter. It has a high overall rating and lots of positive reviews from users.
It easily attaches to standard kitchen faucets using a simple snap-on system. All the hardware, including the faucet adapters, washers and plumbing tape, comes with the faucet. Make sure that you use that Teflon tape, otherwise, the faucet might start leaking. In all, you don’t need any extra tools to mount it on your kitchen sink.
You can switch between two functions: a filtered stream of water and unfiltered. This faucet mount water filter also comes with a 100-gallon filter cartridge included in the package. Unlike Brita, however, there’s no indicator notifying you when to replace the filter. And we think that it’s a disadvantage to this filter.
This tap water filter system can reduce sediment, cysts, chlorine, benzene, asbestos, mercury and lead. So for a very good price you get an efficient faucet filtration system that can remove almost all the contaminants that more expensive models do.
The filter also comes with a built-in antimicrobial protection of the cartridge housing. It’s designed to improve the life and performance of the filter.
Waterdrop ACF Faucet Filtration System
The Waterdrop kitchen faucet water filter uses an innovative multi-stage technology. It provides efficient filtration of chlorine, bacteria and other contaminants, while at the same time improving the taste and odor of the water.
The first stage includes a preliminary stainless steel mesh designed to capture larger particles. Then the water goes through the pre-sediment PP cotton. It intercepts small particulate matter, such as sand, rust and suspended soils. The third stage uses an activated carbon fiber filter with high absorption capacity for reducing chlorine, organic compounds and other contaminants. Then there’s another stage of post-filter PP cotton for further reducing small particulate matter and the final stage with a stainless steel mesh filter.
Another advantage of the Waterdrop tap water filter is the long lasting filter life. It has the capacity of 320 gallons, which should give you about 6 months of water filtration. That’s 3 times longer than what most other kitchen tap water filters offer.
Moreover, it provides clean, drinking water at a flow rate of .5 GPM, giving you instant access to large volumes of filtered water. There’s also a simple switch for changing between filtered and regular tap water.
It also features a hassle-free installation, fitting most standard faucets. Keep in mind, though, that it’s not compatible with pull-out, hand-held and spray types of faucets.
InstaPure F8CU-1ES is also an efficient water filter for sink faucets. It uses a coconut-based activated carbon filter to reduce the most harmful water contaminants. It’s certified for reducing chlorine taste and odor and also has ANSI/NSF certification for reducing 53 different contaminants. Among them are microbial cysts, lead, giardia and others.
It also has a 3-month filter life. A sensor system monitors the life of the filter cartridge. It visibly indicates filter status and notifies you with a red light when it needs a replacement. So there’s no guesswork of when to change the filter.
The filter also comes with an auto-switch button that automatically changes the mode to unfiltered water each time you shut off the faucet.
This water filtration faucet system comes in a nice chrome design that can nicely blend with various kitchen decors. It also requires very easy installation. The whole process is just a several minute task, which you can complete without any special knowledge or tools.
The Culligan FM-100-C tap mounted water filter is a compact unit that comes in a nice, stylish design. You can choose the filter in either a chrome finish or white color, depending on your existing kitchen decor. The compact space-saving design helps to blend it with the surroundings without the fixture becoming an eyesore.
It comes with an adaptor that allows mounting the kitchen faucet filter on most aerated faucets. Keep in mind that just like the other mentioned products in our list of the best faucet water filters, this unit is also not compatible with pull-out and hand-held faucet designs.
With this faucet water filter, you get the efficient removal of tastes and odors, as well as reduction of chlorine, sediment, lead and other particulates. The filter cartridge needs to be replaced after every filtering every 200 gallons. There’s also an electronic indicator that conveniently lights up red when it’s time for the replacement.
By default, the water filter system uses the unfiltered mode. To switch to water filtration, you need to turn the faucet on and then pull a diverter tab.
How Tap Water Filters Work?
People often confuse and interchangeably use two different systems: filters and purifiers. So before we get to how faucet water filters actually work, we’ll explain the difference between these two systems.
Filters are designed to remove larger particles from the water, as well as to improve taste and odor. As the water flows through the filter cartridge, the filter traps the larger particles, contaminants and impurities. It can use a physical barrier, chemicals or a biological process.
Some filtration systems can remove small particles as well, including bacteria and microbial cysts. They also efficiently remove sediment, chlorine and rust. However, for most faucet water filters, manufacturers mention that they’re not intended for use with water that is microbiologically unsafe.
Water purifiers, on the other hand, can also be used on untreated or untested water. They can remove up to 99% of the water contaminants. They produce water that is pure, free off biological contaminants, chemicals, viruses and other impurities.
Water filters can remove contaminants over 5-10 microns in size. The best water filtration systems can get down to 0.5 microns. Water purifiers, on the other hand, can remove contaminants that are as small as 0.0001 microns in size.
However, even though a purification system seems superior, it also has its downsides. While removing all the contaminants, purifiers also strip the water of minerals that are essential for the human body. Drinking water without minerals can lead to mineral deficiencies.
So How Do Faucet Water Filters Work?
Most of the tap water filters have the same components that work in a similar way. However, the quality and efficiency of these components can vary between different manufacturers.
When you turn on your faucet, the water flows through a screen that acts as protection for the water filter. The screen that is usually made of non-woven mesh is designed to trap larger particles, such as dirt, sand and debris.
Next, the water goes through the second layer, which is usually a compressed block of activated carbon. This compressed block has a porous surface with millions of little pores. The surface is also full of nooks and crannies. These pores act like a sponge, efficiently absorbing different chemicals and bacteria.
Most manufacturers activated carbon filters, which implies that the surface is impregnated with certain chemicals. This gives additional properties to the carbon, allowing to kill off fungi or bacteria that might otherwise escape it.
The longer water stays in contact with the activated carbon surface, the more contaminants it will be able to trap. This is why most faucet water filtration systems reduce the faucet’s water flow.
Keep in mind that all filter cartridges have a limited lifespan. The porous surface of the carbon block will eventually become filled with contaminants, causing the water filtration efficiency to drop. So check with the manufacturer how often should the cartridge be changed.
What Do Faucet Water Filters Remove?
When deciding if a faucet water filter is a right choice for you, it’s important to understand what are they capable of removing.
First of all, tap water filters efficiently remove chlorine. This produces a better tasting water without any foul smell or taste. These systems also remove sediment, including rust, sand and dirt. The main stage of filtration also reduces volatile organic compounds, bacteria and viruses.
Benefits Of Faucet Water Filters
- Healthier water. Tap water filtration systems block many of the contaminants entering your water supply line. They might not be as effective as water purifiers, but with various models removing as much as 50 or 70 contaminants, they also provide an efficient way of getting clean drinking water.
- Better tasting water. These systems also remove any weird taste or foul smell of the water, that is usually associated with chlorine.
- Removes chlorine. Municipal water filtering facilities usually use chlorine to treat water. However, chlorine has also been linked to a number of diseases. It also gives the water an unpleasant taste and odor. And faucet water filters can eliminate this problem.
- Convenience. Unlike most other water filtration systems, tap water filters are usually very compact. They also produce filtered water on demand. You just need to turn on your faucet and you instantly get clean water.
- Cheap. Faucet water filters are the most affordable water filtration method. They don’t cost much and you don’t need any professional help to install them. Moreover, the filtration cartridges, which needs to be replaced every 3 months or so (varies for each product), are also quite cheap.
- Easy to install. Some other filtration systems require a complex installation. But water filter faucet attachments can usually be installed in under 5 minutes and most people would be able to do it without any difficulty.
- Low maintenance. Kitchen sink water filter faucets require very little maintenance. All you have to do is regularly change the filter cartridge. The frequency of replacement varies for different filters. So just check with the manufacturer, but it’s usually about every 100 gallons.
- Environmentally friendly. By using a faucet water filter, you won’t need to buy any more bottled water. The capacity of one filter cartridge can replace buying about 750 bottles of water. Moreover, unlike other systems, faucet water filters don’t produce any waste water. So the only waste these filtration systems produce is the cartridge that you need to replace every 3 months or so.
- You can easily switch between filtered and unfiltered water. These units are designed to snap right on your kitchen sink faucet spout. And by just simply turning a knob, you can easily switch to using filtered or unfiltered water.
What To Look For In the Best Faucet Water Filter?
Even though faucet water filters work using the same concept, they are not built the same. They offer different features and different filtration capabilities. So here are a few of the main features to look for when choosing the best faucet water filter.
Tap water filters all come in a relatively same size but some are still slightly bigger or smaller. It’s usually best to look for a more compact unit since then it won’t occupy much space in your sink area. Imagine heaving to maneuver large pots under a faucet that barely has any space clearance under it. Also, a smaller size of the unit will allow it to blend it with the surroundings and won’t make it an eyesore in your kitchen decor.
So check the size of the faucet water filter and decide if it would be compatible with the size of your kitchen sink (check out our undermount kitchen sink reviews here).
Finish And Style
Tap filtration systems also come in different styles and various finishes. You can find chrome, stainless steel, black and various other finishes.
When it comes to choosing the right finish, pick one that matches other fixtures and appliances in your kitchen. It should also match your faucet. We’d recommend avoiding white plastic finish. It usually doesn’t really match anything in the kitchen and it just looks cheap.
Some of the tap filters can swivel around their axis. This allows moving the filter out of the way when you’re washing dishes or doing other tasks in the sink.
Other filters move vertically, so you can also push it up and have unhindered access to the sink.
Ease Of Installation
Most of them are very easy to install. You don’t need any tools or the help of a professional. You might only need an adjustable wrench to unscrew the aerator of your kitchen faucet. However, you might also be able to do that by hand.
The manufacturers usually include installation instructions that come with the product package. There you’ll find a step-by-step guide. It’s good to have an easy to install filter since you will have to change them regularly and you don’t want it to become a hassle.
Filter Cartridge Life
The most important component of any faucet water filter is the filter cartridge. They are the ones that trap all the contaminants in your drinking water. So it’s important to understand what exactly they filter and what is their lifespan.
The best faucet mount water filters can remove up to 70 different contaminants. This should provide clean drinking water.
All filter cartridges also have a limited lifespan. It can be a 100, 200 or 300 gallons. This means that after filtering this amount of water, the filter cartridge needs to be replaced. A 100 gallons usually lasts about 3 months in an average sized household. To make sure that the unit maintains efficient water filtration and delivers clean water at all times, it’s important to regularly replace the cartridge. You can find the manufacturer’s recommendations for the filter change frequency in the product’s specifications.
Filter Change Sensor
If you don’t want to be guessing or calculating when to change the filter, look for models that come with a filter change sensor. Some filters first notify you when the need for a filter change is approaching (yellow light) and then also notify you when it needs immediate replacement (red light). Other units just indicate when the cartridge has reached its maximum filtering capacity.
Faucet Water Filter Installation
As we’ve mentioned above, installing a faucet water filter system is a breeze. You don’t need to have any plumbing or other skills. Anyone can do it in just a couple of minutes.
Everything you’ll need to set the system up, you’ll find in the package for the product. There you’ll also find a more complete installation manual. So before proceeding, make sure to read it. As the following installation guide is for informational purposes only. Most faucet filters have a similar installation process but it still can vary from product to product. And for the filter to properly work, you need to install it correctly.
Step 1 – Remove the Aerator
For this step, you might need to get an adjustable wrench. If you can remove the aerator by the head, great. If it’s too tight, get a wrench. Check also if there are any rubber washers under the aerator. Remove them as well.
Step 2 – Clean Off Any Buildup
Before proceeding with installing the tap water filter, clean the faucet, removing any limescale or rust. One simple way to do that is by using vinegar. Fill a plastic bag with vinegar, place it over the spout of the faucet and secure it with a rubber band. The spout should be submerged in vinegar. After an hour, remove the bag and run hot water to wash off the vinegar and buildup.
Step 3 – Check If You Need an Adapter
If your faucet has threads on the inside, you’ll need to use an adapter to install the filter. This adapter you can find in the filter kit. If your faucet has threads on the outside, you can skip the adapter and begin with mounting the filter.
Step 4 – Attach the Adapter (If Necessary)
Choose an appropriate adapter and place a washer into its recessed end. Attach the adapter to the faucet spout and tighten it until it feels snug.
Step 5 – Attach the Filter
Mount the filter on the new insert and twist the mounting collar until it feels snug. Don’t over-tighten it as it can damage the threading. Next, attach the filter cartridge and check if it’s working. Switch to filtered water setting and you should see the indicator flash a green light.
Step 6 – Flush the Cartridge
Switch again to the filtered water setting and leave the water running for about 5 minutes. Make sure that the water is cold and not hot. This process allows to flush out any excess carbon dust and also activates the system.
Faucet Water Filter Maintenance
Maintaining a faucet water filter requires changing the filter cartridge on a regular basis. Manufacturers indicate the lifespan of the filter. So check your product’s specifications. Most of them have 100, 200 or 300 gallon capacity. So depending on the size of your household and water consumption, the frequency of replacements will vary.
It is important to change the cartridge as its capacity runs out because you don’t want to end drinking unsafe water.
It’s best if the unit has a filter change sensor. When it starts flashing red, it’s time for the replacement. This way you don’t need to calculate your water consumption and you don’t need to put it on your calendar each time.
Filtered Water vs Tap Water
Tap water is free and is available virtually everywhere. Before, people didn’t give much thought to the source of it. They drank and cooked with it. It was considered to be safe.
These days, however, tap water raises a lot of concerns. People are more concerned about the way it tastes and what’s in it. Municipal tap water system is required to meet safety standards and they regularly go through government checks. These municipalities treat water by adding chlorine or fluoride, which remove particles, chemicals and bacteria.
However, the system is not perfect and different contaminants can still be sometimes found in the municipal water supplies. Moreover, all the added chlorine creates an unpleasant smell and taste of the water. It’s also not good for you when consumed over time. Also, if your household is using well water, there’s even more chance that the water is contaminated.
So for many people filtering their tap water is a good solution. They can reduce chlorine, sediment, chemicals and other water contaminants. Considering their low cost, it makes sense to install one of these systems and have cleaner drinking water in your home.
Best Way To Filter Tap Water At Home
There are different water filtration methods and understanding the difference between each one can help you see if a tap water filter would be enough for your home.
These units attach directly to your faucet. They use activated charcoal filters that have high absorption characteristics. The filters can reduce chlorine, any bad taste and odor. They can also substantially reduce volatile organic compounds, lead, pesticides and other hazardous contaminants.
On the downside, due to their small size and water flow limit, they are not the most efficient water filtration option. They also don’t prevent the spread of microorganisms and usually have a capacity of no more than 100 gallons of filtered water.
Water Filter Pitchers
We would recommend tap filters over carafe filters. While also cheap, they are not very practical. They can hold a limited amount of water (about a few cups of water) and the filtration is a very slow process. They also require frequent filter cartridge changes and due to the limits of the activated carbon filtration method, can’t remove microorganisms, fluoride and smaller particles.
Countertop or Undercounter Filters
As the name suggests, these install on the countertop next to the sink or under the counter beneath the sink. They connect to the incoming water line and produce safe drinking water.
These systems have a bigger capacity than the above mentioned ones. They can filter between 450 to 1500 gallons with one cartridge. They also offer a more effective filtration solution. In addition to chlorine and lead, they can also reduce cysts, mercury, bacteria and a range of other contaminants. However, they also don’t reduce microorganisms.
Reverse Osmosis Systems
RO filters use a semipermeable membrane to trap dissolved solids and contaminants that are larger than water molecules. So what you get is very pure water, but the drawback is that it also removes minerals that are important to our health. However, some of the most advanced RO systems use a carbon mineral filter to add calcium and magnesium back into the water.
There’s one more downside to RO systems: they produce wastewater. After producing filtered water, the trapped contaminants need to be periodically flushed off.
Faucet water filters are a great option for removing harmful contaminants from your tap water. They might be able to purify water, but some of them can reduce up to 70 different contaminants. They are also cheaper, environmentally friendly and require minimum maintenance. The best faucet water filter can produce clean drinking water with better taste and no offputting smell. We hope that these faucet water filter reviews and buying guide have helped you to make a more informed buying decision.