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A countertop water filter is a smart and easy way to get clean water from your tap.

Countertop water filter reviews prove that people want:

  • Cleaner water
  • Convenience
  • Affordability and Style

Fortunately, there is a range of products that meet all three needs—and we’re going to go through them here.

But first, we’ve got to share the highlight of our research.

There are plenty of company that makes a ton of handy countertop water filter equipments but the best countertop water filter we’ve found is the Big Berkey System.

The purification element and flouride filter system means purer, fresher water in a snap. It’s simple to install, straightforward to use, and proven to provide safer water for your family.

In a Rush?

Overall: 

Big Berkey 

  •  stainless steel housing (Upper, Lower, Lid and spigot)
  • 2.25 gallon capacity
  • 2 Fluoride Filters with 1,000 Gallon Lifespan each
  • 2 purification Elements with 3,000 Gallon lifespan each

How we conducted the test:

We got a team of evaluators and tried a number of products from different brands to see which will give peak performances according to specific purposes. We also logged in the number of hours that we spent in testing the models.

5 TESTERS

14 PRODUCTS TESTED

46 HOURS


Top Choices on the Market

Image

Product

TOP OVERALL CHOICE

Big Berkey

Big Berkey

TOP OVERALL CHOICE

Benefits

  • Removes Harmful Contaminants
  • High Grade 304 Stainless Steel
  • 2 Year Pro-rated Warranty

Specs

  • 8.5 x 8.5 x 19.2 inches
  • Item Weight: 8.77 pounds
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Brondell

Brondell

Benefits

  • Ergonomic Push-Button
  • Nanotrap Filtration Technology
  • Certified by Water Quality Association

Specs

  • 13.5 x 3.8 x 10.5 inches
  • Item Weight: 6.2 pounds
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Apex Countertop Alkaline

Apex Countertop Alkaline

Benefits

  • 5-Stage Water Filtration
  • Screw-In Installation
  • Made In USA

Specs

  • 12 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches
  • Item Weight: 5 pounds
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Cleanwater4less

Cleanwater4less

Benefits

  • Easy-to-install, No Tools Required
  • Needs No Replacement Filters
  • Easy Fit to Standard Faucets

Specs

  • 5 x 5 x 9.5 inches
  • Item Weight: 3.36 pounds
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iSpring CT10

iSpring CT10

Benefits

  • See-Through Compact Design
  • Hassle-Free Installation
  • Offers Money Back Guarantee and Warranty

Specs

  • 5 x 5 x 12 inches
  • Item Weight: 4 pounds
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Home Master

Home Master

Benefits

  • Installed in just minutes
  • Space-saving Design
  • 3 year Limited Warranty

Specs

  • 12.3 x 9.4 x 7.6 inches
  • Item Weight: 4.25 pounds
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New Wave Enviro 10 Stage Water Filter

New Wave Enviro 10 Stage

Benefits

  • 10-Stage Filtration System
  • Removes Contaminants Effectively
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty

Specs

  • 12.2 x 5.4 x 4.6 inches
  • Item Weight: 4.1 pounds
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Aquasana

Aquasana

Benefits

  • Full System Tested And Certified By NSF/ANSI Standards
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty
  • 90-Day Money Back Guarantee

Specs

  • 12 x 7 x 4 inches
  • Item Weight: 0.16 ounces
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Best Countertop Water Filter Reviews 2020

Big Berkey BK4X2
  • Eliminates parasites, viruses, cysts and pathogenic bacteria
  • Separates harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, and other organic solvents
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Can remove food coloring retaining the minerals
  • 2 Black Berkey Filters and 2 Fluoride Elements

1. Big Berkey BK4X2 Countertop Water Filter System with 2 Black Berkey Elements and 2 Fluoride Filters

9.2
Rating
3000 gal
Capacity

HOUSEHOLD:
Family of 4-16

ADDITIONAL FEATURES:
made with High Grade 304 Stainless Steel

What We Like

Berkey has a great reputation, and their Big Berkey countertop filtration system doesn’t disappoint. It comes in a range of sizes—from 1.5 gallons to six gallons—and it’s easy to use and you can get up to 1,000 gallons of fresh water out of one set of filters.

Along with the fluoride filters, you also get two purification elements. According to the manufacturer, these are called purifiers because they remove a staggering 100 percent of pathogens from your drinking water.

Impressive, right?

Berkey uses stainless steel, and you pour the water in for filtration instead of piping your faucet to the system.

What We Don’t Like

With Berkey, they expect you to use this system a lot. As in, daily. If you don’t, bacteria can grow in the dry filters. If you have to leave town, get someone to babysit your Berkey just in case.

Also, filtering can go a bit slowly. The manufacturer claims seven gallons per hour, which is definitely not as fast as your home tap.

What We Think

The Big Berkey is a true countertop water filter system that doesn’t require any plumbing. Just set it on the counter, put the filters in, and add water—no tools necessary.

It also offers high filtration levels and purification results, which is excellent for water with lots of pathogens and other gross stuff. Your Berkey needs a bit of extra care, but it’s worth it for super clean water.


Brondell H630 H2O+
  • Has ergonomic push-button control
  • Easy fit to most faucet with superb filtration power
  • High quality filtration reduces waterborne microorganisms that may cause diseases
  • Tested and certified by WQA

2. Brondell H630 H2O+ Cypress Countertop Water Filter System

9.6
Rating
750 gal
Capacity

HOUSEHOLD:
Family of 4

ADDITIONAL FEATURES:
three-stage patented Nanotrap technology Filter

What We Like

If looks are your thing, you’ll like the Brondell countertop filter system. It just looks new-agey, with a streamlined style and push-button water dispensing. The filtration is three-fold: composite plus, nano trap, and carbon block filters treat the water as it passes through. 

It gets even better:

With all three filters, you’ll be eliminating sediment, microorganisms, particulates, and chlorine.

Brondell also has its systems tested by the Water Quality Association (WQA).

What We Don’t Like

The unit is small, which is nice for saving space. But it’s also tough to fit anything larger than a standard water bottle under the spigot. You might need to prop the system up to fill other items.

With three filters, there’s a bit more upkeep involved. Two of the filters need to be changed about every six months. The third filter lasts for about a year.

The bad news? Those filters can get expensive. Of course, yearly upkeep is probably still less than buying bottled water.

What We Think

If you’re wanting to save space but still effectively filter your water, Brondell’s streamlined system is a great deal. Upkeep is more complex than single-filter systems, but you get three times the filtration here, so it’s a decent tradeoff.


Apex
  • 5-Stage Filtration with Advanced Alkaline Purity
  • Simple Screw-in Installation
  • Eliminates harmful contaminants which are commonly found in tap water
  • Made In USA
  • Removes Metallic Water Taste and Odor

3. Apex Countertop Drinking Alkaline Water Filter, Clear (MR-1050)

9.4
Rating
750 gal
Capacity

HOUSEHOLD:
Family of 4

ADDITIONAL FEATURES:
Made from high performance components and media that complies with NSF/ANSI Standard

What We Like

For anyone looking for alkaline drinking water, Apex has the right solution. You can enjoy up to 750 gallons of water per filter, too. The Apex countertop filter system uses alkaline beads, calcite, and activated carbon—plus other filter measures—to get the water clean.

Stuff like bacteria, heavy metal, radon, chlorine, and odors get wiped out, so your water is safe and tastes good, too.

And while a boring style wouldn’t be a deal-breaker, the color options are refreshing. You can choose from blue, chrome, clear, white, green, red, and black.

Plus, Apex makes all its products in the US per National Safety Foundation guidelines.

What We Don’t Like

If you need an adapter to fit your faucet, you’ll have to put in a special request. For some reason, the adapters aren’t a part of the set by default.

It can also be hard to get the housing off to replace your filter—be prepared for a truly secure fit with this one.

What We Think

For affordable and safe alkaline water, Apex’s filter system is a great solution. You get filtration plus pH balancing measures in one unit. And it’s within FDA standards, too, which is reassuring.

Of course, the color options are also a fun perk.


cleanwater4less
  • Easy to Install​​
  • Needs no Replacement Filters
  • Effectively reduces contaminants and filters sediments and VOCs
  • Removes bad Taste and Odor
  • Easy Fit to most standard faucets

4. cleanwater4less Countertop Water Filtration System

9.1
Rating
10k gal
Capacity

HOUSEHOLD: 
Family of 4 - 16

ADDITIONAL FEATURES:
Granulated Activated Carbon

What We Like

Cleanwater4less water filter offers a replacement-filter-free unit that promises about 10,000 gallons of water per unit. It has no cartridges or plumbing hookups or any complicated stuff. There’s just a diverter hose to attach to your faucet.

The company uses granulated activated carbon filtration for getting rid of chlorine and other yucky flavors. Filtering is fast, so there’s no waiting around for your glass to fill.

You do need to attach the hose to your faucet, and the manufacturer includes the adapters with the unit.

Flavor is a highlight with this filtration unit since it focuses on getting chlorine and sediment out. You won’t miss the chalky or gritty taste of your city water!

What We Don’t Like

Not having to replace the filters is awesome, but you do need a filter of some sort for reducing fluoride. Cleanwater4less’s countertop system doesn’t filter fluoride—at all.

Plus, once it’s done, it’s done—no replacement filters mean that after 10k gallons, you have to buy another unit.

What We Think

If you’re mostly worried about chlorine and gross tastes in your water, Cleanwater4less’s countertop filter is an excellent option. It’s convenient, filters fast, and helps with the taste of your water.

For filtering other stuff, though, like heavy metals and fluoride, you’d need more filtration equipment.


 iSpring CKC1C
  • Hassle-Free Installation​
  • See-through design makes it possible to visually inspect the filter
  • Eradicates contaminants and filters sediments and VOCs effectively
  • Offers a lifetime technical support​​​​
  • 1 year limited warranty and 30-day money back guarantee

5. iSpring CKC1C Countertop Filter with Carbon

8.9
Rating
1500 gal
Capacity

HOUSEHOLD: 
Family of 4 or more

ADDITIONAL FEATURES:
Contains 5 micron Carbon Block Cartridge 

What We Like

iSpring offers a bunch of water filtration devices, but it’s their countertop one we really like. A carbon block cartridge gets gross flavors, chlorine, rust, and more out of your water.

Independent third-party testing confirms that the filters get out lots of nasty stuff like herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals. The multi-stage filter helps with balancing pH, too.

But if you want more filtration power, the CT10 also accepts off-brand filters. Any 10 inch by two-inch carbon block will fit—which is convenient if you need replacements quickly.

Filters last about six months, and filling is fast every time.

What We Don’t Like

The color options are limited, with only clear (which looks purple) and white available. Some report receiving different colored, clear housings, so it might vary.

There is some setup required—you have to attach the hose to your faucet. It’s common, but for consumers who want a pour-in model, this isn’t it.

What We Think

With iSpring’s CT10, you get fast-flowing and cleaner water that tastes good.

It might not filter to the extent that other brands do, but it covers the basic concerns like flavor and cutting out toxic organic compounds. The filters are easy to swap, too, so you don’t have to stick with iSpring’s replacements.


Home Master
  • Space-saving compact design and easy to most standard faucet​
  • Portable filter which is also perfect for outdoors and RV
  • Removes flouride and chlorines for better tasting drinking water
  • Installation takes only minutes
  • 3 year limited warranty

6. Home Master Countertop Water Filter System

8.8
Rating
500 gal
Capacity

HOUSEHOLD: 
Family of 3 - 4

ADDITIONAL FEATURES:
Compound multi-stage filtration system 

What We Like

Home Master’s countertop filtration system is small, nondescript, and works great.

three-stage filter—coconut shell carbon, activated alumina, and compression disks filter out fluoride, chlorine, and other chemicals from your water. Per the manufacturer, that’s 93 percent of contaminants removed.

Basically, they pack the filter full and use compression disks to hold the materials in place. This way, the water can’t pass through unfiltered.

The small size is also ideal for traveling or just saving space at your sink.

What We Don’t Like

Home Master’s countertop filtration unit has a similar look to other filters. But it’s also kind of boring with its black or white color options—those are the only choices.

Plus, you only get about 500 gallons of water per filter, which is on the low end. It might last about three months, depending on your water consumption.

What We Think

Though you might need to swap the filters often, Home Master’s little workhorse countertop filter does an excellent job.

You’ll find less dissolved solids, less fluoride, and better taste with this filter. Sure, the look is a bit dull—it’s meant to be nondescript—but the performance is worth it.


New Wave Enviro 10 Stage Plus
  • Hassle-Free Installation and Easy Install Replacement Cartridge​
  • Removes harmful contaminants such as chlorine, trihalomethanes,  lead, pesticides, and herbicides, that may cause diseases.
  • 1 Year limited manufacturer's warranty against defects
  • 30-day Money Back Guarantee

7. New Wave Enviro 10 Stage Plus Countertop System and Cartridge

8.7
Rating
1500 gal
Capacity

HOUSEHOLD:
Family of 4 or more

ADDITIONAL FEATURES:
10-Stage Filtration System works superbly in eliminating contaminants

What We Like

Colorado-based New Wave Enviro’s 10-stage system cuts out gross stuff like arsenic, trihalomethanes, herbicides, mercury, lead, and more.

Every cartridge filters about 1,500 gallons, which the company says should last a family of four an entire year.

The ten-step filtration involves material like micron sponge filters, an alloy to remove heavy metals and chlorine, and activated carbon for fresher tasting water.

Per New Wave Enviro, their filter system is NSF Certified and/or Gold Seal Association Certified.

What We Don’t Like

As New Wave Enviro confirms on their product page, this filter doesn’t remove fluoride.

If you want to get rid of fluoride, you’ll have to choose another filter—or just make sure your city doesn’t add it to the water supply.

There’s also a bit of confusion about the company’s third-party testing results. They don’t seem to want to publicize the findings—they just confirmed that the system was tested and ranked well. So, if you want specific facts and figures, New Wave Enviro won’t provide them.

What We Think

Other than the lack of fluoride filtering, New Wave Enviro’s system covers every other water contaminant. It lasts a long time, delivers great taste, and is easy to install.


Aquasana AQ-4000
  • Simple and Hassle-Free Installation, Replacement, and Maintenance
  • Improves taste and odor of drinking water
  • Eliminates chloramines, organic herbicides, and other harmful contaminants
  • 90-Day Money Back Guarantee
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty
  • Full System Tested and certified by NSF/ANSI Standards

8. Aquasana AQ-4000 Countertop Drinking System

8.6
Rating
450 gal
Capacity

HOUSEHOLD:
Family of 2-4

ADDITIONAL FEATURES:
​SELECTIVE CLARYUM® FILTRATION

What We Like

Aquasana is a trusted brand when it comes to many water products. So, how’s their water filtration system? We’re glad you asked.

This countertop system removes over 97 percent of chlorine. It also reduces 76 other contaminants, including lead and other worrisome stuff. You can also get their PERFORMANCE DATA SHEET to look over—something not every brand publicizes.

NSF Certification is another highlight. Three stages of filtration—carbon, ion exchange, and sub-micron—help clean the water up.

Plus, it’s pretty streamlined—the unit is small and unobtrusive on most countertops.

What We Don’t Like

You do have to change the filters around every six months, and there’s no specific gallon count.

BUT, you can sign up for automatic filter delivery from Aquasana to cut costs and stay prepared!

The design is also a bit blah for a unit with such high performance.

What We Think

The amount of water quality data alone might inspire you to jump on the Aquasana countertop filtration system. Their being up-front about the water quality and filtration methods is refreshing—and so is the water their unit provides!

Changing the filters might be the most complex part of using this device, but the brand’s auto-delivery offer makes it easier.


How to Pick the Perfect One for Your Needs?

Choosing a countertop water filter might be an easy decision. You want something that’s not permanent, is easy to install, and is good for your budget (and the environment).

So, what should you look for? We’re glad you asked.

Features to Look for

They’re not all the same, even if they all sit on the countertop. Here are the most common features of countertop filtration systems.

Some filtration units connect to your water faucet, while others require you to pour in untreated water. If you have a nonstandard faucet, most filtration systems won’t connect to it. Read through the manufacturer’s guidelines carefully to ensure that your faucet is compatible with their product.

If you have a spray nozzle faucet, for example, a standalone countertop unit might be better. For example, the Big Berkey does an excellent job at filtering—and you just pour the water in the top.

Some units can connect directly to your water line, too. For those, you might need to make some modifications to the installation, though.

Size might also be a factor, since you may have limited counter space. You need an area next to your sink (close to the faucet in many cases) to set up the system. You’ll also want easy access to fill bottles, pans, and your coffee maker!

Also, STYLE is a consideration for most folks. Plenty of water filtration systems come in a range of colors and designs. You can likely find something that matches your décor. From under-the-radar to big and bold, systems come in every shape and size.

Considerations Before You Buy

For most people, the flavor of their water is what’s most important. But depending on local water quality in your area, you might have specific filtration needs.

For example, high levels of fluoride can be harmful to your health. But many municipalities add fluoride to city water—meaning you need a filter to cut it down to safe levels.

In other areas, water might have tons of chlorine to kill off potentially dangerous bacteria. Chlorine TASTES AWFUL, though. To get rid of it, you need specialized filters.

Speaking of filters, figuring out how much water you use can help narrow down your buying decision.

While most adults drink only about four cups of water per day, experts say that’s not enough. We SHOULD drink closer to a gallon per day, while kids should have somewhere between one and two liters.

That’s around 90 gallons of water per month for a family of four AND that’s before adding in water for cooking, coffee, and pets. Estimate how much water you and your family use to determine the best filtration fit for your needs.

And finally, you should think ahead to REPLACEMENT FILTERS before buying. Are the filters hard to come by? Are they super expensive? You might even find a system that accepts generic filters, a money-saving measure and one of convenience.

Some systems even have reusable or no-replacement filters. Think carefully before choosing these, however. There might be more work involved with reusable options.

No-replacement models also require complete replacement when the life of the unit is up.


Pros and Cons 

There are plenty of perks to choosing a countertop water filter and a few drawbacks.

Pros

  • There are countertop water filters that remove fluoride, arsenic, chlorine, and more.
  • Convenience is key: you can still use your water faucet and enjoy filtered drinking water.
  • You can take it with you if or when you move.
  • Cost savings are significant over bottled water or whole-house filtration systems.
  • You likely don’t need filtered water in the bathroom or laundry room. A kitchen-only countertop model gives you fresh water where you need it.
  • Changing filters is easier than struggling with under-sink or whole-house models.
  • Products range from super affordable to high-end.
  • You can find a style that suits your kitchen/décor.
  • Fill your own water bottles for enormous savings.
  • With many units, you can visibly tell when filters require changing—making it more likely that you’ll do it on time.
  • Most countertop models are high-capacity, delivering water quickly at speeds faster than faucet units or gravity-dependent pitchers.
  • Many models use a range of compatible filters, making replacement easy.
  • You don’t need a degree in plumbing to install them.
  • Some are no-install—just set them on the countertop and pour water in.
  • You have choices for the filtration type and intensity.

Cons

  • You lose a bit of counter space, no matter how small the unit.
  • No filter can remove EVERY contaminant.
  • You don’t get super-high capacity with smaller units.
  • Only focused fresh water; you need to install a separate device at each sink in the house for whole-house drinking water.
  • The faucet functions can be clunky (and slow in some cases).
  • Some units require daily usage to keep from growing bacteria and other undesirables.
  • It’s often tough to remove the housings to swap filters.
  • It can be hard to fill bottles if the unit is short or awkwardly placed.

How to Install the Unit

This filtration system installation is typically straightforward.

Here’s how to install yours:

If it’s a true countertop model (like the Big Berkey):

  1. Set it on the counter.
  2. Add water into the reservoir.
  3. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for purging and flushing before drinking.
  4. Enjoy fresh, filtered water.

If your unit is a countertop faucet-connected model:

  1. Remove your kitchen faucet aerator.
  2. Determine the right adapter (if applicable) to fit the threading on your faucet.
  3. Connect the filtration system line to the faucet.
  4. Use the diversion setting to direct water to the filtration system.
  5. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for priming the system.
  6. Enjoy fresh drinking water!

Final Verdict

Big Berkey

We’ve found the very best countertop water filters for home use—no matter what type of contaminants are in your water supply.

But honestly, we’re fans of one unit, in particular.

The Big Berkey BK4X2 gets top ratings for its high water quality and good looks. It is a relatively compact and quite stylish.

A streamlined design—with push-button water dispensing—makes it easy to use. It’s definitely not an eyesore to have on the counter.

What’s the bottom line?

If you want better tastingcleaner and SAFER water for your family—  Big Berkey BK4X2 delivers on all three counts.

For under sink filter options, you may want to see this article

For whole house filter products, this feature content might interest you.