- Countertop Water Filter Overview
- Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filters with Electric Installation
- Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filters with Plumbing Installation
- Berkey Water Filters with Zero Installation
- Berkey Accessories
Countertop Water Filter Overview
There are many ways to filter water but a countertop water filter system is the best choice if you can’t install or don’t want to install a more complicated system.
We’ve researched this list of the best countertop water filter systems so that you can still have the purest tap water no matter where you are.
Why would you want a countertop water filter?
- If you rent your apartment or home, you may not be allowed to install a more complex water filter system like an undersink water filter or whole house water filter.
- If you are living some place temporarily, staying in a hotel, or travelling, a water filter that needs installation is not practical.
- If you want filtered water on demand in your bedroom, bathroom, or office, there may not be plumbing or a faucet available (nearby) to connect a system to.
- In an emergency, you may not have running water or electricity but you will still need lots of clean, filtered water.
We have researched all of the options and created this list of the best countertop water filters in three categories:
- Reverse osmosis systems that only need power to operate
- Reverse osmosis systems that connect to a faucet and don’t need power
- Berkey gravity water filters that don’t need a faucet or power
Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filters with Electric Installation
The following countertop water filter systems are super simple to install since you only need to plug them in. There is no plumbing connection needed.
You add water by filling a reservoir in the system and then take your water on demand, one glass at a time.
While these systems are not cheap, they provide multiple stages of filtration including reverse osmosis, which is the most effective and complete water filter technology according to the Environmental Working Group.
If you want the cleanest possible drinking water and the least effort to install the system, then these are the best countertop water filter options.
Frizzlife Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
This four-stage countertop water filter removes up to 99.99% of over 1,000 contaminants, including lead, chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, mercury, chloramine, chromium, arsenic, and radium.
The Frizzlife achieves a very good 5:1 ratio of filtered water to wastewater. The smart design incorporates a circular filtration system that re-filters the water as much as possible before an indicator lets you know to dump the wastewater. Waste water containing the filtered contaminants is a normal part of the reverse osmosis process.
Another great feature of this system is the integrated TDS meter. At all times, you know the TDS level of the water going into the system and of the filtered water coming out. TDS (or “Total Dissolved Solids”) is used as a general guide to how “pure” water is. 100% pure water would have a TDS of zero.
The system will also show you the age and status of each of the four filter cartridges, so you know when the filters need to be replaced.
Speaking of filters, they are easy to replace with a simple twist of the included tool when indicated by the system.
Combine these great features with a decent purchase price and replacement filter cost, and it’s obvious why this is a popular and well-rated system.
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AlcaPure Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter
The AlcaPure is another four-stage countertop water filter system that will remove up to 99% or more of over 1,000 contaminants, including lead, chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, mercury, chloramine, chromium, arsenic, and radium.
The biggest unique benefit of this system is that has a remineralization stage. Since reverse osmosis removes all particles of a certain size, that includes natural minerals (such as calcium and magnesium) that some people consider beneficial.
By adding calcium and magnesium back to the filtered water, the pH is raised into the 7-8 range and the water becomes more alkaline. Alkaline mineral water has more of a “mineral water taste” that many people prefer.
This system uses a very low 30W of power and has a 1:1 ratio of filtered to wastewater.More Info on Amazon
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AQUA TRU Countertop Water Filtration Purification System
Over time, many people have purchased and rated the AQUA TRU countertop water filter system on Amazon. With a good overall rating and great comments about water filter speed, this system is worth checking out.
In fact, this system is endorsed and recommended by Erin Brockovich – the clean water advocate who had a movie made about her landmark lawsuit over hexavalent chromium water contamination.
The AQUA TRU has four stages of water filters including the reverse osmosis membrane, capable of removing thousands of contaminants – 15x more than standard pitcher filters.
Quick change twist filters last from 6 months to 2 years and are easy to replace.
An integrated digital display let’s you know when it’s time to change filters.More Info on Amazon
SimPure Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
Since it is fairly new, the SimPure countertop water filter does not have as many reviews as the other systems above, but it does have one very special feature that makes it stand out…
With Instant Heat, you can dispense pure, filtered water at any of these temperatures on demand:
- Room temperature
- 113 F / 45 C (Warm milk)
- 185 F/ 85 C (Coffee)
- 198 F / 92 C (Tea)
So instead of just being a water filtration system, the SimPure is also an electric hot water kettle!
Three stages of filtration including reverse osmosis remove 99% of pollutants and harmful substances from your water.
A 5 Liter (1.3 gallon) holding tank is the largest of our recommended electric systems.
Integrated LED indicators let you know the status of the filters and when they need to be changed. When it is time to change filters, they are easy to remove and replace.
If you want the convenience of a countertop reverse osmosis water filter and on-demand water heater, then you should definitely check out the SimPure.More Info on Amazon
Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filters with Plumbing Installation
Our next batch of recommended countertop water filters differ from the systems above in two ways:
- They require no electricity
- They connect to a faucet or to the undersink plumbing for a much higher gallon per day output
If you want or need more filtered water volume than with the electric systems above, then check out the options below.
Also, since they do not require electricity, these options are less expensive than the electric systems.
Because of their connections, these systems must be placed next to a sink. If installed in the kitchen, they will produce enough water for both cooking and drinking without the hassle of manually filling a reservoir.
For those that attach to the faucet, the sink must have a “standard” aerator faucet head that the system can connect to. If you have a “sprayer” style faucet head or anything else that is unique, you won’t be able to connect this type of filtration system.
Waterdrop M5 Countertop Reverse Osmosis System with Portable Water Pitcher
This countertop system from Waterdrop is unique in that it requires a connection to the undersink plumbing for fresh and wastewater, but it does not interfere with the faucet like the comparable systems here.
With an all-in-one 5-stage filter and a quiet, non-electric pump, you get 12 months or 550 gallons of filtered water between filter replacements, which only take 3 seconds!
The 80oz BPA-free pitcher is removable, so you can keep it in the fridge or move it to wherever you want clean, filtered water. When you return the pitcher to the base, the system will automatically filter water until the pitcher is full again.
Consisting of two layers of sediment membrane, a premium carbon block, the RO membrane, and post-activated carbon block layer, the filter can remove over 1,000 harmful substances, including but not limited to chlorine, lead, taste and odor, sand, rust, particulates, TDS and other heavy metals.
Note that it is suggested to drill a hole in your counter to run the necessary hoses from this system to the undersink plumbing.
APEC RO-CTOP-C Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
The APEC RO-CTOP countertop water filter has four of the same filters you would find in an undersink reverse osmosis system, but conveniently connects to your faucet instead.
Because of the faucet connection, this system travels well when you want to bring it with you.
The faucet adapter has a clever design that allows you to switch between sending water to the RO system or normally through the faucet. It also contains the wastewater tube, so that wastewater can flow down the sink drain as the RO membrane works.
Not only does this system have a surprisingly large maximum output of 90 gallons per day (GPD), it is also highly efficient. For every gallon of filtered water produced, only 2 gallons are wasted for flushing the RO membrane. This is lower than the average of 3 gallons wasted with other systems.
A clean and sleek metal case covers the filters, which makes it less obvious on the counter.
Read our full review of the APEC CTOP-C.More Info on Amazon
This system is also available in the RO-CTOP-PH version which adds a calcite remineralization stage for filtered water that has a higher pH and more of a “mineral water” taste.More Info on Amazon
Reverse Osmosis Revolution Countertop Reverse Osmosis System
This countertop water filter system from Reverse Osmosis Revolution is like the APEC system above with a few notable differences.
First, it has 5 stages instead of 4.
Second, there is no case around the filtration system, which makes it a lot less attractive on the counter.
Third, the wastewater ratio is higher at 2.8 gallons of waste per 1 gallon of purified water. Wastewater is normal with a reverse osmosis filtration system but if you have to pay for your water, you may want something more efficient.
The one big benefit is that it is quite a bit cheaper than the APEC system and still gets good reviews.
All input and output hoses connect to the faucet adapter making it easy to choose between using filtered water or unfiltered water from the single faucet.
Because of the faucet connection, this system travels well when you want to bring it with you.More Info on Amazon
Express Water Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
Comparable to the two systems above, this countertop water filter system from Express water requires you to connect an adapter to a standard faucet and then select whether water comes out of the faucet normally or goes to the water filters.
Four filters (including the RO membrane) work to remove 99.9% chemicals and contaminants.
The big difference with this machine is that instead of the filtered water coming out of the faucet adapter, this system has a dedicated filtered water faucet attached to the filter system.
This is the same kind of faucet you would expect to get with an undersink water filtration system you have to install. Depending on your needs, this may make dispensing the water more convenient.
This is another system without a case around the filtration system, so it is not as attractive as one with a case, such as the APEC system.
Because of the faucet connection, this system travels well when you want to bring it with you.
It still gets good reviews and is an excellent way to get filtered water with very minimal installation.More Info on Amazon
Berkey Water Filters with Zero Installation
If you are looking for the ultimate in convenience of a countertop water filter system that truly needs no installation, then you may be interested in a gravity-fed or Berkey water filter.
Berkey water filters don’t require any power, plumbing, or installation. You simply place it anywhere you want, pour water in the top, and then draw filtered water from the bottom.
Berkey water filters work by using gravity to pull water down through the filter stages, much like how rain water filters down through the ground into wells.
While not as good at removing contaminants as reverse osmosis, the filters in a Berkey water filter do a good job of removing some of the most common water problems.
Because they filter out viruses, bacteria, and protozoa found in natural water, Berkey filters are great for travel, outdoor activities, or during unexpected emergencies.
We only provide a few Berkey water filter reviews here but there are only a few options available. The difference between most variations is the volume of water they hold. Each of these filters are made in several sizes but they all work the same.
Big Berkey Water Filter
The Big Berkey countertop water filter holds 2.25 gallons of purified water and is designed for small and medium sized families (1-4 people).
The housing is made of high grade 304 stainless steel and is easy to clean.
The dimensions are 21″ high and 8.5″ wide and it filters approximately 3.5 gallons per hour.
This system comes with two “black Berkey filters” that remove the bulk of contaminants and two fluoride filters that remove 95% or more of fluoride. The system can be upgraded to four of each filter if you want to double the filter speed.
You can expect 99% or more reduction in the following chemicals:
- Heavy Metals
- Perfluorochemicals (PFOAS)
- Trihalomethane (THMs)
- Petroleum Contaminants
- Herbicides & Pesticides
- Radiologicals (95%)
Imperial Berkey Water Filter
Go bigger with the Imperial Berkey for 4.5 gallons of water capacity.
It has the same standard and fluoride filters as the Big Berkey but with twice the capacity for more water and can accommodate more people.
The dimensions are 27″ high and 10″ wide and it filters approximately 5.5 gallons per hour.More Info on Amazon
Travel Berkey Water Filter
Go smaller with the 1.5 gallon Travel Berkey.
This is the smallest Berkey filter in the lineup and is meant to be the most portable.
The dimensions are 19″ high and 7.5″ wide and it filters approximately 2 gallons per hour.More Info on Amazon
There are a number of Berkey accessories but two of the most popular are:
Berkey Water Filter Stand
The Berkey Water Filter Stand is made of stainless steel wire and has rubberized, non-skid feet. It lifts your Berkey water filter up 6 inches for easy access to the spigot.
Without a stand, your Berkey will have to sit on the edge of a table or counter to access the spigot.
It is available in multiple sizes to hold up the full weight of any Berkey water filter.More Info on Amazon
Boroux Stainless Steel Spigot
The Boroux Stainless Steel Spigot is a high-quality steel spigot for people that prefer a more durable or non-plastic option.
Many people even prefer it to the OEM steel spigot available from Berkey because the design and performance are better.
It is designed to fit all of the stainless Berkey water filters as well as any other gravity fed beverage dispenser with 5/8” or ¾” spigot openings.More Info on Amazon