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Under-Sink & Countertop Water Filters

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What is a drinking water filter system?

Water filters under your sink or on your counter provide clean water at its point of use (POU), while whole house water filters treat water at its point of entry (POE). What each type of drinking water filter system removes depends on its method of filtration, whether reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, or activated carbon.

Uses for Under-Sink and Countertop Water Filters

  • • Refrigerators
  • • Water coolers
  • • Ice makers
  • • Kitchen counters
  • • Kitchen sinks
  • • RVs
  • • Boats

How to know what’s in your drinking water

Before you choose a drinking water filter, conduct a water test to learn about the quality of your water.

If you’re on a well water supply, then you should have a UV system with sediment filtration to treat bacteria and remove dirt and debris. If you’re on city water supply, then the water has already been treated. Most treatment plants, however, disinfect water with chlorine or chloramines. Activated carbon is great at removing chemical disinfectants. Your water may collect particles as it travels from the treatment plant and through plumbing pipes on the way to your home. If you find that your water contains many microscopic contaminants or dissolved inorganic compounds, then you need more extensive filtration like under-sink reverse osmosis or ultrafiltration systems.

Under-Sink Water Filter

An under-sink water filter is installed out of sight under your counter. It is an in-line water filter that water passes through on the way to the tap. Under-sink water filters are the most convenient drinking water option. After installation, simply turn the faucet on for clean water. There's no need to wait for a gravity water filter pitcher to pass water through. Many under-sink filters come with quick-change filter cartridges, which are easy to replace, but some may require an additional faucet installed at your sink.

Types of under-sink water filters

  • • Activated carbon
  • • Reverse osmosis
  • • Ultrafiltration
  • • Ultraviolet disinfection

Use our buyer’s guide to find the best under-sink water filter for your refrigerator, RV, or well water.

Benefits of an under-sink water filter

  • • Convenient
  • • More extensive filtration options
  • • Last 10 to 20 years

Under-sink water filter with faucet included: Neo-Pure TL3 Ultrafiltration System

Under-sink water filter without a separate faucet: Neo-Pure TL1 Under-Sink Filter

Countertop Water Filter

A countertop water filter may be the best option for renters who cannot install a more permanent system. To install a countertop water filter, simply attach it to your existing faucet for filtered water at a rate of .5 gallons per minute in your home or office.

Types of countertop water filters

  • • Carbon
  • • Ceramic
  • • Ultrafiltration

Benefits of a countertop water filter

  • • Easy to install and disassemble
  • • Doesn’t require permanent installation
  • • Extensive mechanical filtration options

Water Filter Pitcher

What is a water pitcher filter and how does it work?

A water filter pitcher is gravity-fed and filters water as you pour it in. A filter pitcher fits in your refrigerator door keep your water cold. These filters are great if you receive clean drinking water from your city source and want to remove particles that may have crept into your water on the way to the tap. Water pitcher filters are beneficial for students living in dorms who can’t install a system and have no counter space. Remember to replace your water pitcher filter every two months.

Benefits of a water pitcher filter

  • • Portable
  • • No maintenance required
  • • Easy to use

Methods of Drinking Water Filtration

Ultraviolet Disinfection

Available in under-sink water filters.

UV water treatment disables bacteria from reproducing and spreading infection with the ultraviolet rays of the UV lamp. Even if your water has been disinfected by a municipal plant, it’s a good idea to install a UV system under your sink to protect your drinking water in the event of Boil Water Advisory (BWA). If your water is compromised, you won’t have to boil it or worry about getting sick from drinking it. Some under-sink UV systems, like the Viqua VT1-VWS, include sediment filters to remove dirt and debris in addition to disinfection.

Under-sink UV systems protect water from:

  • • Cryptosporidium
  • • Giardia
  • • Dysentery bacilli
  • • Salmonella
  • • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • • Streptococcus
  • • E. coli
  • • Hepatitis B
  • • Cholera
  • • Algae
  • • Fungi
  • • Some viruses

Browse all UV water purifiers.

Learn more about UV water treatment.

Activated Carbon Filtration

Available in under-sink filters, countertop filters, or water filter pitchers.

Carbon water filters are a popular choice for those with city-treated water who want to get rid of nasty chlorine taste and odors in their water. All our carbon water filters are activated, which means the carbon has been heated to open the filter pores and expand the capacity. Contaminants adsorb or cling to the outer surface of carbon. Some carbon water filters have pore sizes less than one micron, allowing them to filter out lead and cysts. Other carbon filter cartridges contain carbon blended with KDF to reduce scale build-up or antibacterial media to reduce bacteria and algae.

Activated carbon water filters remove:

  • • Bad tastes and odors
  • • Chlorine
  • • Chloramines
  • • Trihalomethanes (THMs)
  • • Mercury
  • • Pesticides and herbicides
  • • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Carbon with KDF removes:

  • Heavy metals
  • Lime

    Carbon with antibacterial media (Micro-Pure) removes:

    • • Mold
    • • Algae
    • • Asbestos
    • • Bacteria

    Sub-micron carbon block filters remove:

    • • Lead
    • • Cysts

    Browse all replacement carbon water filters.

    Learn more about activated carbon.

    Other Systems Available as Countertop or Under-Sink Water Filters

    Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis Systems

    Out of all our under-sink filter options, an RO system reduces the most contaminants. Under-sink RO systems include carbon and sediment filters in addition to the RO membrane that removes 98% of dissolved inorganic compounds.

    What do RO systems remove?

    • • Total dissolved solids (TDS)
    • • Fluoride
    • • Arsenic
    • • Other dissolved inorganic compounds
    • • Everything carbon and sediment filters remove

    Browse all reverse osmosis systems.

    Learn how reverse osmosis works.

    Under-Sink Ultrafiltration Systems

    Ultrafiltration also removes fine particulate like reverse osmosis, but it has a larger membrane pore size. This means that the ultrafiltration membrane does not remove dissolved minerals. Many people prefer under-sink UF systems because they receive fine filtration and the benefits of mineral water. Some ultrafiltration systems contain a .02 micron membrane that allows them to remove some viruses and parasites.

    What do UF systems remove?

    • • Fine particulate
    • • Everything carbon and sediment filters remove
    • • Bacteria, viruses, and parasites through a .02-micron membrane

    Browse all ultrafiltration systems.

    Learn how the ultrafiltration membrane works.

    Countertop Ceramic Water Filters

    Ceramic water filter systems are portable and easy to use, with awesome reduction capabilities. Some ceramic countertop filters contain silver-impregnated carbon, which removes chemicals and living organisms. The interior ceramic filter has microscopic pores that reduce small particles, and many contain silver ions in the media to prevent bacterial growth. Many countries with unsafe drinking water use ceramic filtration as a simple solution for potable water.

    What do ceramic filter systems remove?

    • • Cysts
    • • Lead
    • • Fluoride
    • • Mercury
    • • Chlorine
    • • Pathogenic organisms (Giardia, E. coli, Crypto)

    Browse all replacement ceramic filters.

    Learn how ceramic filtration works.

    Buyer Reviews for Under-Sink Water Filters

    Here’s what our guests had to say about their countertop and under-sink filters from Fresh Water Systems:

    Neo-Pure TL3

    Love it!

    I talked to the people at the company prior to this purchase. I had an RO system I could not find filters for and then discovered the amount of wastewater I was producing. This system has none and I just love the taste. -- Kelly

    Everpure ADC RV filter

    We will buy this product again.

    We use it on our fifth wheel. We are very happy with the Everpure ADC RV Water Filter Cartridge because without the water we do drink has no taste. -- Yolaine

    Everpure H-104 drinking water filter

    Big bang for your buck.

    The Everpure H-104 filter has almost all the features as the H-1200 system for a lot lower cost for filter replacement... I just installed the H-104 system in my daughters home. It sure beats bottled water and is bio-friendly to the environment. --Darryl D.

    Browse residential drinking water filters by brand: Neo-Pure | Everpure | 3M

    Browse all water filtration systems.