Did you know that the average American household uses over 300 gallons of water every day?

We use water daily for drinking and cooking. We also use it to wash dishes, bathe, and much more.

As much as we use water, we want it to be clean. Unfortunately, even in the United States, the substance isn’t always the best. It can have a bad taste and smell. It may even contain harmful contaminants.

This situation is when you need water filters. Filters remove contaminants, including lead, chlorine, mercury, and other heavy metals, leaving you with pure, filtered water.

In this guide, we cover everything you numerous water filtration systems. Our reviews for the best water filters in 2020 will help you find the best ones for your home.

Is Your Water Clean Enough?

Everyone’s tap water comes from different sources. So, you’ll have to do some digging to determine whether or not yours is safe to use unfiltered.

Using communal water? Check your town’s Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). This annual report shows where your tap water comes from and what’s in it.

Using well water? You probably won’t find a report of its contaminants. So, you’ll have to test it yourself. Consider using a home water quality test kit. They are cheap, easy to use, and relatively accurate.

Other methods include:

  • Using your senses. Check if the water is cloudy, has particles, or strange in color. Any strange tastes or odors may indicate poor water quality.
  • Sending a sample in for professional testing. Home kits are great in a pinch. For the most accurate results, you’ll want to send a sample in for professional testing. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends certified labs in every US state.

Even if you think your water is clean, it’s a good idea to test it. Knowing what’s in it will allow you to determine its quality and improve it.

Once you know what kind of contamination you’re dealing with, you can get the best water filter.

(Pro tip: Consider using more than one of these methods. It will help you confirm the accuracy of another. For instance, check your town’s CCR and compare it to the results from a professional sample testing.)

Does Filtering Your Water Work?

Many people recognize that their water isn’t as clean as it should be. Yet, they still don’t filter it.

Often, people are skeptical. They don’t want to spend money on a water filter if it doesn’t do anything.

But filtering your water improves its quality significantly! 

You just need the right water filter. The best water filters should:

  • Filter water from a specific source. For instance, if you want to filter your drinking water, you should get a water pitcher filter. If you want to filter the water throughout your home, a water filtration system is the best choice.
  • Target the specific water contaminants. For instance, if chlorine is your primary concern, you should get a filter made for chlorine heavy tap water.
  • Be certified by the National Sanitation Foundation or by state/EPA labs. Certification ensures that the filter removes chlorine, heavy metals, and other contaminants.

Benefits of Filtered Water

The right filter improves your water by removing:

  • Bacteria, viruses, and other harmful contaminants
  • Sulfur and other substances that cause a terrible smell and taste
  • Sediments that cause cloudiness and discoloration

Filtered water isn’t just safer to drink. It also:

  • Prevents buildup and corrosion in your appliances and pipes (unfiltered well or city water can be acidic, leading to damaged pipes)
  • Enhances the flavor of your cooking (contaminants like magnesium can cause foods to have a nasty, bitter taste)
  • Eliminates the residue that hard water leaves behind when you wash your clothes and dishes
  • Preserves your body and hair’s natural oils when you bathe

The Best Water Filters in 2020: My Top 8 Picks

By now, you realize how beneficial it is to filter your water. But what is the best water filter?

This question is tricky to answer, considering how many filters for water are on the market. Many types differ in not only quality but various purposes.

Check out our top 8 picks for the best water filters 2020 reviews to find one suited for your needs!

Best Water Filter Pitcher: Brita Everyday Water Pitcher

Pros
  • Makes tap water tastier and safer for drinking
  • Functional design that makes pouring, refilling, and storage easy
  • Long-lasting filter
  • Filter indicator that lets you know when it’s time for a replacement
Cons
  • You have to discard the first three pitchers with every new filter.

For our top picks for The Best Water Filter Pitchers of 2020 Click here!

In some households, the tap water is not suitable for drinking, so many rely on water filter pitchers for their drinking water.

In the market for a water filter pitcher? The Brita Everyday Water Pitcher is our favorite.

This product is reliable and convenient. Simply insert the filter, fill up the pitcher with water, and let it do its thing. After about 10-15 minutes, you’ll have pure, filtered water.

This water filter pitcher is sturdy and made of clear, BPA-free plastic. Even though it holds plenty of water (10 cups), its design makes it easy to pour, refill, and store in your fridge.

As advertised, the Brita filter effectively removes chlorine, mercury, copper, and cadmium from tap water. It results in water that is tastier, cleaner, and safer to drink.

One filter lasts the average household for about two months. It effectively filters around 40 gallons, which is equivalent to 300 plastic bottles. A helpful indicator lets you know when its time to replace the filter.

Changing the filter is relatively easy. You simply flush out the new cartridge and place it in the reservoir. However, keep in mind that every time you put in a new filter, you must discard the first three pitchers because it produces carbon dust forms, making the water inadequate for drinking.

Specifications

  • Volume: 10 cups
  • Dimensions: 10.94 in. x 5.59 in. x 10.47 in.
  • Weight 2.29 pounds
  • Made of clear, BPA-free plastic
  • The filter removes contaminants like chlorine, mercury, copper, and cadmium.

This pitcher is an excellent option for families and offices who need access to clean water. It is reliable, easy to use, and affordable. The actual pitcher is inexpensive, as are the replacement cartridges. So, if you no longer want to rely on plastic bottles for clean water, buy the Brita Everyday Water Pitcher!

Best Countertop Filter: Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter

Pros

  • Purifies water instead of just filtering it
  • Doesn’t require any electricity or tools to install
  • Long-lasting filter
  • Holds enough water for 1-4 people daily

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Not NSF certified (The manufacturer, however, notes that the product has gone through third-party lab testing, proving it can remove heavy metals, etc.)

A water pitcher filter might not be big enough for your family’s needs. The best countertop water filters offer many of the same benefits while providing more water.

This stainless steel product from Berkey is a fantastic option. For one, it has a volume of 2.25 gallons. It can purify water for anywhere from 1-4 people every day.

Berkey’s Purification Elements don’t just filter well water; they purify it. The robust filtration particles remove:

  • Viruses – 99.999%
  • Pathogenic bacteria – more than 99.9999%
  • Protozoa
  • Inorganic materials
  • Trihalomethanes
  • Pharmaceutical drugs
  • Contaminants like lead, chlorine, heavy metals, etc.

One system comes with two purification elements, each lasting for up to 3,000 gallons. The manufacturer recommends occasional cleaning with diluted bleach or distilled vinegar. With routine maintenance, the two elements should last you around a decade. If you don’t want to spend any money after your initial purchase, the stainless steel filter is for you.

This Berkey countertop filter is large, so make sure your kitchen has space for it. Fortunately, it doesn’t require any power or plumbing. You don’t even need tools to install it. You can move it or take it outdoors, for constant access to clean drinking water.

Specifications

  • 19.25 in. x 8. in
  • Volume: 2.25 gallons
  • Filter life of Black Berkey Purification Elements: around 3,000 hours each

This countertop filter is a reliable choice as it thoroughly purifies enough water for a family’s daily consumption. For a product that will last you years to come, check out this one from Berkey.

Best Shower Filter: AquaBliss High Output Universal Shower Filter

For our top picks for The Best Shower Filters of 2020 Click here!

Pros

  • Improves overall showering experience (makes it easier to lather and rinse, etc.)
  • Manages conditions such as dry skin, acne, etc.
  • Easy installation and removal
  • Provides high water pressure

Cons

  • None

As noted, filtered water isn’t good solely as drinking water. It’s also great for hair and skin.

If you want a shower filter, nothing beats this one from AquaBliss.

It boasts a unique blend of calcium sulfite, redox media, and activated carbon to filter well water. The cartridge is replaceable and multi-stage, filtering water through each substance. This revolutionary technology:

  • Removes smells caused by substances like chlorine and sulfur.
  • Enables better lathering and rinsing
  • Helps manage skin conditions such as dryness and eczema
  • Reduces acne

The best part? It’s super easy to install. You don’t need any tools, and you can start using it within minutes. Unscrew your current showerhead, screw the filter on, and screw on your showerhead. It’s that simple. The high-pressure filter also means you won’t have to worry about insufficient water pressure.

This product from AquaBliss is universal, meaning it will likely fit any showerhead you have. Whether you have a fixed, rain, or handheld showerhead, you’ll be good to go. If you ever want to remove it, you’ll be glad to know it comes off as easily as it goes on.

Specifications

  • Uses a unique blend of calcium sulfite, redox media, and activated carbon
  • Universal (it is compatible with most showerheads)
  • Dimensions: 3.70 in. x 3.70 in. x 5.40 in.

After extensive testing, we found no cons with this product. And even the online reviews agree that this is one of the best shower filters out there. So, definitely consider giving AquaBliss a try.

Best Pool Filter: Intex Krystal Clear 1500 GPH Sand Filter Pump

Pros

  • Sand naturally and effectively removes algae, dirt, etc.
  • Sand is relatively inexpensive to replace and only needs replacement once every five years or so
  • Easy to maintain with a 24-hour timer
  • It comes with an ECO. saltwater system

Cons

  • Only good for above-ground pools
  • Doesn’t filter dissolved solids like salt

If you have a pool, you’ll want a good pool filter. It will prevent contaminants, including algae and dirt, from clogging up your water.

If you have an above ground pool, we recommend this filter from Intex. It is one of the best water filters for pools and will keep it crystal-clear all year long.

The sand in the system filters water naturally and effectively. It gets rid of dirt and algae and helps prevent buildup and stains from forming on your pool’s surfaces. Note that while sand is effective at filtering, it cannot remove dissolved solids like salt.

The sand is relatively inexpensive to replace, and you’ll only have to replace it once every five years or so. You can control this filtration system with a 24-hour timer, making maintenance very easy.

As a bonus, the system comes with a saltwater system with ECO. (Electrocatalytic Oxidation). Saltwater systems are becoming the preferred method for maintaining a pool’s chemical balance. They use dissolved salts to generate chlorine, meaning you don’t have to rely on traditional liquid chlorine. It is excellent as it is more cost-effective and doesn’t produce the same pungent smell and irritation that traditional chlorine does.

Specifications

  • Designed for above-ground pools with a 2,600-8,500 gallon capacity
  • Pump flow rate: 1,600 gallons per hour
  • 55 lb. sand capacity
  • 2-year warranty

So, if you have an above-ground pool, definitely consider this product from Intex. It uses a natural substance (sand) to keep your water crystal-clear. And, you get a saltwater system that will maintain your pool’s chemical balance.

Best Softener for Hard Water: Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener

Pros

  • Prevents rusting and red staining caused by iron
  • Eliminates white “scale” buildup caused by hardness
  • Prevents black staining and “slime” buildup caused by manganese

Cons

  • If you’re not handy with tools, you may need a plumber to install the system.

Every homeowner should consider getting a water softener. It removes substances that cause buildup and lead to long-term piping damage.

If you need a reliable water softener, try the Iron Pro 2! It removes hardness up to 75 gpg, which has many benefits. It will eliminate the white “scale” buildup that forms when your water’s hardness is too high. This “scale” can clog your piping system and damage your plumbing. Removing hardness from your water has other benefits, including making your soap more effective.

This product also doubles as an iron filter. Too much iron can lead to rusting and red staining, which may lead to costly repairs. The Iron Pro 2 uses a fine mesh resin to filter out excess iron.

The fine mesh resin also collects sediment, sand, and manganese. Removing sediment and sand purifies water and reduces cloudiness. Removing manganese eliminates the black staining and “slime” buildup the substance causes.

Every product comes with a 5-year warranty. Luckily, its sturdy build and unique design allow it to last much longer. It’s relatively simple to install, but it does require a few tools. You might need to hire a plumber to install the filter.

The system prevents waste through its meter based regeneration process. It automatically tests your water and adjusts iron, hardness, etc. levels accordingly.

Specifications

  • 64,000-grain capacity
  • Dimensions: 14 in. x 7 in. x 21 in.
  • Weight: 119.2 pounds
  • Removes hardness up to 75 gpg, manganese up to 6 ppm, and iron up to 8 ppm
  • 5-year warranty

If you need a softener, definitely try the Iron Pro 2. It acts as a softener and iron filter all-in-one, providing clean water and well-maintained pipes.

Best Under-Sink Filter: Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian

Pros

  • Innovative modular filter design
  • No tools required to change the filter
  • Filter only needs to be changed once annually
  • Reduces waste by up to 80%

Cons

  • It can be somewhat bulky if you have a small kitchen, but both smaller and larger tanks are available.

For our top picks for The Under-Sink Water Filters of 2020 Click here!

When you’re cooking food for your family, you should have access to safe water free of contaminants. The Home Master TMAFC-ERP is an effective reverse osmosis filter system that fits right under your sink.

Reverse osmosis systems tend to get a bad rap. The biggest complaint that users have with them is that they feature a “canister filter housing” design. When it’s time for a new filter, only the filter gets changed instead of the entire housing unit.

This reverse osmosis system creatively solves this issue. It features a modular filter design, so the entire filter system is disposable. As a result, users can efficiently change their filters every year and prevent the buildup of microorganisms and sediment.

This filter only needs to be changed once a year. And, you don’t need a plumber or any kind of professional experience to do it. It’s a seamless process for homeowners and doesn’t even require a wrench.

It uniquely improves water quality by using seven stages of filtration and enhancement. Users have praised its ability to eliminate issues like acidic water and slow flow rates. It’s also backed by a 5-year warranty, so you can rest assured if any problems arise.

Our favorite thing about this reverse osmosis filter is that it increases water production by up to 50%. It also reduces water waste by up to 80%, which is great for your water bill and the environment.

Specifications

  • Features a built-in non-electric permeate pump
  • Features 7 stages of filtration and enhancement
  • Needs to be changed every 2,000 gallons or so
  • Dimensions of purification unit: 16 in. x 15 in. x 5 in.

If you’ve always wanted to give an RO water filter system a try, check out this innovative product from Home Master today!

Best Faucet Filter: PUR FM-3700 Advanced Faucet Water Filtration System

For our top picks for The Best Faucet Filters of 2020 Click here!

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Removes mercury and lead
  • NSF certified

Cons

  • Short filter life (usually only lasts for two to three months)
  • You can only use the PUR brand replacement filters

Don’t want to deal with a bulky water filter but still want access to cleaner water? The PUR FM-3700 may be the solution for your water quality needs. The mechanism attaches to your faucet with one click. Depending on your preferences, you can choose between a horizontal or vertical style. Your initial purchase comes with a filter, so you can begin using it immediately. The filter life is around 100 gallons, enabling about two to three months of use.

This product features a patented MineralClear core that makes your home’s water taste pure and fresh. The NSF has certified that it removes up to 99% of contaminants like lead, certain pesticides, and mercury. Notably, it can filter around 70 different contaminants, which is ideal for improving your water’s taste and quality.

To put users’ minds at ease, the brand offers a two-year warranty on the PUR FM-3700.

This product has a shorter lifespan than some other similar models on the market. You’ll need to change its filter every couple of months, but mind that this is for an entire household rather than one person.

Also, you must purchase the PUR brand replacement filters exclusively. Other filters are not compatible with the PUR FM-3700.

Specifications

  • Features a patented MineralClear core
  • Filter life of up to 100 gallons of water
  • Click-on attachment

Check out the PUR FM-3700 if you’re looking for an affordable and straightforward water filter in your kitchen that’s easy to install!

Best Mini Filter for Outdoors: LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Pros

  • No batteries or pumping required for use
  • Long lifespan
  • No expiration date for use
  • Comes with a carrying bag

Cons

  • Doesn’t store water

The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is just what you need to take with you on camping or hiking trips. It’s also fantastic for an emergency preparedness kit.

This filter is lighter than bulky purifiers and more efficient than non-reusable iodine tablets. It can purify up to 1,000 gallons, which is more than the average person drinks in a year. Unlike with other models, you won’t need to look for a new one every two months!

It removes a minimum of 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites and 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria. It filters to 0.2 microns and exceeds EPA filter standards, ensuring safe water access no matter where you are.

The LifeStraw is incredibly easy to use. You use it just like an ordinary straw. Simply place the end of it into a river, stream, or another source. As you drink, microplastics, bacteria, and parasites stick in the filter’s membrane microfilters. From there, only clean water can pass through.

This contraption doesn’t store water. It merely makes a source like a river or a stream viable for drinking. If you are on a hike or camping trip without access to a river, make sure you bring a refillable container.

Specifications

  • Weight: 2 ounces
  • Dimensions: 9 in. x 1 in. x 1 in.
  • Microscopic pores are 0.2 microns in size.
  • Filters up to 1,000 gallons (or 16,000 cups of water) over its lifetime

The LifeStraw is a handy choice for everyday use outdoors. It also works well for those in extreme survival situations. Check it out here.

Why You Should Use a Filter for Water

One of the main reasons people use water filters? So they don’t have to drink unfiltered city or well water. So, why don’t people just use plastic water bottles?

Some problems with plastic bottles include:

  • The cost of replacing them. The cost of plastic bottles adds up, whereas water filtration systems are relatively affordable. In the long run, they are well worth the initial investment.
  • The environmental impact. Even if you recycle, plastic bottles have a harmful environmental impact. They contribute to land and water pollution. And, their toxic chemicals can find their way into groundwater and soil.

Instead of plastic bottles, you should get a water filter pitcher, under-sink filter, etc.

Plus, plastic bottles are only good for providing clean drinking water. They aren’t practical for bathing, cooking, and other uses.

If you want to reap the full benefits of filtered water, a water filtration system is your best bet. It will preserve your skin’s natural oils, protect your home’s piping system, and much more. This guide and our reviews should help you find the perfect system for you!

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