The 10 Best Countertop Water Filters: Reviews & Ultimate Guide


This is our review of the best Countertop Water Filters of 2023.

We reviewed several countertop water filters and found out that the Big Berkey Gravity Water Filter is the best one.

There are several factors to account for when choosing a countertop water filter, and different filter types to consider, so we invested long hours reading & researching to find out the best overall countertop water filter, and also the best option for different situations so that you don’t have to waste your precious time.

You will find out the best countertop water filters, their pros and cons, and an explanation of why they are better for specific situations.

Let’s get started!

Our Top Picks for Best Countertop Water Filters

  1. Big Berkey Gravity Water Filter (Best Overall Countertop Water Filter)
  2. APEX Quality Countertop Drinking Water Filter (Runner Up Countertop Water Filter)
  3. CleanWater4Less Countertop Water Filtration System (Best Budget Countertop Water Filter)
  4. AquaTru Countertop Water System (Best Reverse Osmosis Countertop Water Filter)
  5. Waterdrop WD-CTF-01 Countertop Filtration System (Best Sink Top Countertop Water Filter)
  6. Aquasana AQ-4000W Countertop Water Filter (Best Compact Countertop Water Filter)
  7. Megahome Countertop Water Distiller (Best Water Distiller Countertop Water Filter)
  8. New Wave Enviro 10 Stage Water Filter System (Best Lightweight Countertop Water Filter)
  9. APEC Portable Countertop Water Filter System (Best Portable Countertop Water Filter)
  10. Waterdrop Chubby Alkaline 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher (Best Countertop Water Filter Pitcher)

10 Best Countertop Water Filters Reviewed

After investing our time researching and reviewing several countertop water filters, we identified the 10 best options for different purposes.

We've invested the time so you don't have to:

  • Best for: Overall
  • Type: Gravity Water Filter
  • Dimension: 8.5 x 8.5 x 19.25 inches
  • Weight: 7.45 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: up to 6.000 gallons
  • Remineralization: No

You can’t go wrong with a Big Berkey Gravity Water Filter as it’s highly efficient at removing contaminants, filtering more than 200 harmful contaminants, like viruses, inorganic minerals, heavy metals, chemicals, sediments, and others. It’s portable, durable, and has a nice design that will fit well in most kitchen countertops.

Our favorite part of this water filter is the fact that it comes with the Black Berkey Purification Elements which is amazing for purifying water, reducing up to 99.999% of viruses and pathogenic bacteria, and also removing high amounts of other common water contaminants.

And the Big Berkey Water Filter has a long duration, can filter up to 6.000 gallons of water before you need to change the filters, which will save you money in the long run.

Also, it’s portable, doesn’t require installation, and doesn’t need to be connected to a water source or electricity, you just need to pour water on the top container and let the force of gravity make the water flow through the filters to the bottom container. This is awesome as you can change the location quite easily.

You can add filters to it if you need additional filtration power and speed for your water. There is also a version with 2 Black Berkey Purification Elements and 2 Fluoride Filters.


  • Highly effective at removing contaminants
  • Doesn’t need a connection to a water source or electricity
  • Portable
  • Filter’s longevity
  • Can filter well water
  • Nice looking design


  • Price
  • Takes some time to filter water
  • You have to manually fill it
  • Some customers complained about leaks
  • Best for: Runner Up
  • Type: Sink Top
  • Dimension: 12 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches
  • Weight: 4.97 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: Up to 750 gallons
  • Remineralization: Yes

The APEX Quality Countertop Water Filter is a great option if you need access to clean and pure water. This device is not expensive and is able to remove harmful contaminants and the bad taste of water, remineralizes back the water, it’s easy to install, and looks great on your kitchen countertop.

This countertop water filter uses a 5-stage filter process that removes up to 99% of harmful contaminants from your water, such as heavy metals, chlorine, and other chemicals, but it does not remove fluoride.

Another positive point of the APEX Quality Countertop Water filter is that it remineralizes back the water, adding important minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium that were removed from the filtered water in the earlier stages of the filtration process. This will make the water alkaline with a pH between 7 and 8.5 and improve its taste.

The installation of this device is quite easy as it comes with the necessary equipment included, but take into account that it won’t connect to all faucets, so check first if it connects to yours.

The filter lasts for about 750 gallons before you need to replace it, so its lifespan is lower than other filters we reviewed in this article.


  • Good at removing contaminants
  • Price
  • Easy installation
  • Nice design
  • Remineralization
  • BPA-free


  • Low filter longevity
  • Some customers complained about being difficult to replace the filter
  • Doesn’t connect to all faucets
  • Best for: Budget
  • Type: Sink Top
  • Dimension: 5 x 5 x 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 3.36 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: 10.000 gallons
  • Remineralization: No 

The CleanWater4Less Countertop Water Filter is a great budget choice because as the name suggests, it delivers clean water for less money than the other options.

But the unique thing about this water filter is that you don’t need to change the filters, basically, it can filter around 10.000 gallons of water during its lifespan, which is around 7 years.

It has a 5 stage filter that is highly effective at removing chlorine, sediments, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and unpleasant taste and odor from the water.

The CleanWater4Less Countertop Water Filter is a small device with a minimalistic design that fits well in most countertop kitchens. It’s also easy to install and doesn’t require maintenance as you don’t have to change filters, you just need to purchase a new system when this reaches the end of life.

The small size and weight of this filter make it a good option if you need a portable countertop water filter because it’s easy to move from one place to another.


  • Price
  • Long lifespan
  • Doesn’t require filter’s replacement
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy installation


  • Doesn’t remove fluoride
  • Some customers complained about the quality of the materials
  • Best for: Reverse Osmosis
  • Type: Reverse Osmosis
  • Dimension: 18 x 18 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 22.7 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: 600-1.200 gallons
  • Remineralization: No

The AquaTru Countertop RO system is an ideal choice for a Reverse Osmosis countertop system, as this NSF-certified system delivers highly effective filtration capability through a 4-stage filtration process capable of removing 82 different contaminants (like lead, carcinogens, chlorine, copper, etc.).

This RO system has a modern look that fits great in a kitchen countertop, comes with a removable tank that allows storing the purified water in the fridge, and has a digital display to inform when you need to change the filters.

Contrary to other countertop water filters we reviewed, this one does not require installation as you only need to fill the tank manually and wait around 15 minutes to get clean water.

This also makes the AquaTru Countertop RO system a good solution if you need a portable filter, as you don’t need to uninstall anything, you only have to pick it up and move it to a different location.


  • Cool design
  • No installation required
  • NSF certified
  • Removable dispensing tank
  • A highly effective filtration system
  • Portable


  • Price
  • Small holding tank
  • Some customers complained about intermittent shut-offs
  • Best for: Sink Top
  • Type: Sink Top 
  • Dimension: 15.2 x 7.52 x 5.94 inches
  • Weight: 4.98 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: 8.000 gallons
  • Remineralization: Yes

The Waterdrop WD-CTF-01 Countertop Water Filter is a great sink top option for your countertop kitchen. The low price, great design, remineralization capability, bundled with a powerful filtration system that removes several harmful contaminants including fluoride, make this water filter one of the best choices for you.

This system has a 5-stages filtration process that reduces the common contaminants and impurities from the water, such as heavy metals, sediments, chlorine, fluoride, hydrogen sulfide, and other chemicals.

In one of the 5 filtration stages, this system adds back beneficial minerals (like calcium, potassium, and magnesium) to the water that were removed in earlier stages of the filtration process, making the water healthier and tastier.

Another distinctive feature of the Waterdrop WD-CTF-01 Countertop Water Filter is the filter lifespan, which filters up to 8.000 gallons of water, much more than other filtration systems covered by us.

It is also easy to install and has a modern and sleek design, lead & BPA-free, that will look great on your kitchen countertop.


  • Price
  • Removes fluoride
  • Remineralization
  • Filter’s longevity
  • BPA and lead-free


  • Doesn’t connect to all faucets
  • Some customers complained about leaks

Promo: Use our code WFP10 for a 10% discount on any product on the Waterdrop website

  • Best for: Compact
  • Type: Sink Top
  • Dimension: 12 x 7 x 4 inches
  • Weight: ‎2.86 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: 450 gallons
  • Remineralization: Not required

The Aquasana AQ-4000W Countertop Water Filter is a compact and affordable NSF-certified double filter system capable of removing 76 different contaminants, such as heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, chlorine, etc.

It combines a 3-stage filtration process of activated carbon, ion-exchange, and sub-micron mechanical filtration to achieve a great filtration efficiency, without removing beneficial minerals like calcium and magnesium from the filtered water.

The Aquasana AQ-4000W Countertop Water Filter is a small and compact device, that fits well in most kitchen countertops, and because it’s easy to install you can disconnect it and reconnect in another location to make it a portable choice for a countertop water filter.

A negative point compared with other countertop options we reviewed is the filter longevity, as it is only capable of filtering around 450 gallons before the filters need to be replaced.


  • Price
  • NSF certified
  • Compact design
  • Good filtration power with 2 filters
  • Retains important minerals


  • Low filter longevity
  • Some customers complained about the filter changing process
  • Best for: Water Distiller
  • Type: Water Distiller
  • Dimension: 9 x 9 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 11 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: NA
  • Remineralization: No

If you need really pure water, the Megahome Countertop Water Distiller is a great choice because it delivers distilled water, one of the purest types of water to drink.

This device is able to remove up to 99,9% of impurities and also comes with optional high-quality charcoal filters in case you need to remove VOCs like chlorine or other toxins.

The Megahome Countertop Water Distiller is certified by UL (Underwriters Laboratory) which ensures that this device is compliant with the safety standards. It includes a thermostat that will automatically shut off to prevent incidents.

The distillation process is a bit slow, as it takes 5.5 hours to distill one gallon of water. If you need more water available, this might not be the right solution for you.


  • UL certified
  • Pure distilled water
  • Easy to clean
  • No installation required
  • Portable


  • Price

  • Slow filtration process

  • Power consumption

  • Best for: Lightweight
  • Type: Sink Top
  • Dimension: 12.2 x 5.4 x 4.6 inches
  • Weight: 0.5 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: 800 gallons
  • Remineralization: No

The New Wave Enviro 10 Stage Water Filter is a lightweight countertop water filter that provides affordable clean and fresh water.

While not as powerful as a Reverse Osmosis system, the 10 stages of filtration ensure great filtration capabilities removing harmful contaminants such as chlorine, lead, arsenic, mercury, pesticides, and herbicides.

While the filter longevity of 800 gallons is not as good as other countertop water filters we covered, it should still be able to give you one year of filtered water before the filter needs to be changed.

The installation process is quite simple, as it comes with all the pieces you need to connect to your faucet in a few minutes.


  • 10 stages of filtration
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to install
  • Portable


  • Does not remove fluoride
  • Filter longevity
  • Some customers complained about the quality of the materials
  • Best for: Portable
  • Type: Reverse Osmosis
  • Dimension: 14 x 6 x 6.5 inches
  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Remineralization: No this version, but similar one

The APEC RO-CTOP Reverse Osmosis system is a great option if you need a portable countertop water filter that delivers healthy water because this device is lightweight, does not require permanent installation, and being a RO system is able to filter out much more contaminants than other water filters. All of this makes this system a perfect choice for apartments, condos, RVs, students, and everyone that is looking for a portable RO system.

This water filter uses a 4-stage filtration process that removes up to 99% of the water contaminants such as dust, particles, chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, lead, chromium, radium, VOCs, chemicals, etc.

The APEC RO-CTOP system doesn’t require a permanent installation as you just need to connect it directly to the faucet and it will be ready to produce filtered water. Take into consideration that it only connects to standard kitchen faucets, so if you have a special faucet it may not work for your situation.

The tubes showing might not be a good solution for you, so there is an option to add a case to cover the filters making it more convenient and discreet, but the tubes connected to the faucet will still be there.

While this version doesn’t remineralize the filtered water, there is a version with an alkaline filter the APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-PH RO System, which is similar to this one, just slightly heavier (9.55 pounds).


  • Reverse Osmosis filtration
  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy installation, and not permanent


  • Price
  • Tubes showing isn’t aesthetically pleasing
  • Some customers complained about the time it takes to fill a glass of water
  • Best for: Water Filter Pitcher
  • Type: Water Filter Pitcher
  • Dimension: 10.4 x 5.3 x 10 inches
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Filter Longevity: 100 gallons
  • Remineralization: Yes

Another water filter worth mentioning as a good countertop water filter choice is the Waterdrop Chubby 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher. This water filter pitcher uses a 7-stage filter technology that is able to reduce the levels of nasty contaminants like arsenic, lead, chlorine, fluoride, mercury, copper, etc.

With this pitcher, you will have access to alkaline water with pH in the 8 to 9.5 range, as during the filtration process it adds back healthy minerals like calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium that were removed in the early filtration stages.

This water filter pitcher is NSF certified: the NSF 42 ensures that it reduces chlorine, bad taste, and odor, and the NSF 372 ensures that it is lead-free.

The Waterdrop Chubby Alkaline Water Filter Pitcher is a BPA-free device with a modern design that allows you to refill it without needing to remove the lid, which is great to avoid particles from entering the pitcher.

It has a LED indicator to let you know when the filter needs to be replaced, ensuring that you will always have access to clean and filtered water.

This device has a fast water flow which means that you can fill it and have filtered water ready to drink in just about one minute.


  • Price
  • NSF certified
  • Lead-free and BPA-free
  • Intelligent indicator to let you know to change filter
  • Portable
  • Modern design
  • Remineralization


  • Not as powerful as the typical countertop water filter
  • Filter longevity
  • Some customers complained about the top section slipping when pouring water

Promo: Use our code WFP10 for a 10% discount on any product of the Waterdrop website

Buying Guide for Countertop Water Filter

Buying a Countertop Water Filter is not an easy decision, as you need to understand the most relevant features of this type of water filter to select the best one to provide clean and healthy water for you and your family. 

That is why we not only presented a curated selection of the best countertop water filters for different situations, but we also created a comprehensive buying guide for countertop water filters so that you can understand all the important topics and be able to make an informed decision.

What to Look For in a Countertop Water Filter (here or after countertop types)

When researching for a Countertop water filter to buy, these are the key features that you should consider:

Know Your Water

Before deciding which countertop water filter to buy, it is important to understand which contaminants exist in your water, and its quantities. Depending on your area and water source, you might have different contaminants and chemicals in your tap water.

There are different ways to get this information: you can test your water yourself using a water test kit, you can have it tested in a laboratory near you, or you can check the Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) shared once a year by your water company (you can learn more about it in our Water Information article).

If you decide to test it by yourself, use a kit that tests a wide range of contaminants like chlorine, fluoride, lead, bacteria, etc., and not a specific one.

After knowing the contaminants in your water you can look for countertop water filters more suitable to deal with them.


If you are planning to buy a faucet countertop water filter, you need to check that you have available space in your countertop to put it. And also take into consideration that it should be placed near the sink.

If you prefer to buy a water filter pitcher, the space in the countertop is not important but the space in the refrigerator might be, as some people like to store the pitcher on the fridge to have cool purified water. 

Filtration Ratings & Contaminants Removed

There are different countertop water filters available that are able to remove different contaminants. While some might be better to remove heavy metals like lead and arsenic, others are better to remove chemicals like chlorine and fluoride.

So it is important to know the contaminants in your water, to make an informed decision about the best countertop water filter to remove those specific contaminants.


There are independent third-party accredited institutions like NSF or WQA that certify products to ensure that they are able to remove a high percentage of certain contaminants. 

To have certified products the manufacturers of the water filters need to pass rigorous third-party testing, allow manufacturing facility inspections and product sampling. This is not easy to get, but allows the consumers to trust that the products meet the required standards and are able to remove harmful contaminants.

You should look for certified countertop water filter systems to have proof that the filter is able to remove the indicated contaminants.


Cost is always a factor to consider when buying a product, so it’s no exception when you are looking for a countertop water filter to buy.

Depending on the water filter type that you want, the price range can be different. While a water filter pitcher is less expensive, in the $30 to $60 range, a sink top countertop water filter can cost a few hundreds of dollars.

Also, the type of filtration might impact the price, as a Reverse Osmosis system that has more filtering stages will typically be more expensive than a filter that only has one filtering stage.

Easy to Use & Install

Another important factor to consider when buying a countertop water filter is if it’s easy to use.

Typically sink top or faucet countertop water filters are easy to use as you only need to turn on the water to have access to filtered water in real-time, as it passes through the filter.

Even the installation process of this type of filter is quite easy, as you only need to connect it to your faucet, which should only take a few minutes.

Water filter pitchers do not require installation but require you to fill the pitcher and wait a few minutes to have filtered water available. Also, if the pitcher is full of water it might be heavy, depending on the capacity, which can be more difficult to use, especially for kids. 

Filter Longevity & Maintenance

You should also understand that countertop water filters will require some maintenance, as the filters of the system won’t last forever and should be replaced periodically.

Usually, they can last from 3 to 12 months, depending on the filter, use, and the contaminants on the water source.

This is important to consider because some countertop water filters might look cheaper initially, but will have a higher cost in the long run if the filters need to be replaced more frequently.

So, when buying a countertop water filter take into consideration not only the initial cost but also the yearly cost associated with the replacement of the filters.

Water Taste

A countertop water filter can change the taste of your water after the filtration process.

Some changes to the water taste can be really positive, like if your water tastes like rotten eggs due to being acidic, or has a heavy flavor to chlorine.

But during the filtration process to remove harmful contaminants, some filters like Reverse Osmosis filtration systems can also remove healthy minerals from your water like calcium and magnesium which can negatively impact how the water tastes for you.

If this is a problem for you there are some countertop water filters that have remineralization filters to add back to the filtered water the important minerals removed in earlier filtration stages.

What Is a Countertop Water Filter?

A countertop water filter is a device that filters water turning it into purified and clean water to drink, and it’s usually placed on the kitchen countertop.

Typically these filters have a container with one or more filters that are responsible for the water filtration and are really powerful for removing the most common and harmful contaminants from the water.

The majority of the countertop water filters will filter the water at the moment, giving you filtered water at the moment you want it. Most of them can be connected directly to the faucet, but there are models in which you put the water into it, and then the filtration process takes place and the filtered water is stored in a specific container.

How Does a Countertop Water System Work?

As will check in detail in the next section, there are different types of countertop water filters. But all of them are good at removing contaminants to deliver clean and fresh water that is safe to drink.

The typical countertop water filter is the faucet or sink-top filter, which is really easy to install and the way it works is straightforward.

This water filter connects directly to the cold water line on your kitchen faucet, and then when you just need to turn on the divert valve and open the faucet to make the water go straight to the countertop water filter system, instead of flowing to the faucet aerator.

This way the water is filtered by the different filters used in the countertop water filter and comes out of it in a few seconds, usually in a small faucet that is part of the device, clean and ready to drink.

Depending on the countertop water filter, the filtration process can involve one or more filters or filtration stages, and each one will deal better with specific types of contaminants.

Some countertop water filters have a remineralization filter that will add back important minerals that were removed in the early filtration process, like calcium and magnesium, which will also improve the taste of the water to some people.

Another common type of countertop water filter is the water filter pitcher. This device is also quite straightforward to use, you pour some water on the top part, and it will flow through the in-built filter to the pitcher container, being filtered in the process.

This filtration process should take between 10 and 15 minutes, and then you will have clean water ready to drink.

Types Of Countertop Water Filters

Sink-Top Filter

This is the most common countertop water filter type and it’s a really simple point-of-use (POU) system that you connect to your sink faucet.

It connects to your faucet aerator and becomes an integrated system, in which you just need to turn a diverter handle before opening the tap to make the water run through the countertop filter before coming out clean and filtered.

This type of device is really easy to install, and you can do it by yourself in just a few minutes.

It’s also an affordable water filter system that doesn’t take lots of space, you just need to place it near the sink.

While it is not the faster filtration system, it can deliver water on-demand without having to wait long.

Water Filter Pitcher

Another water filter that can be considered a countertop water filter is the water filter pitcher. 

This is a water pitcher with a built-in water filter in it which is really simple to use. You just need to pour water and wait for it to go through the filter to become purified water.

It takes some time to get filtered water, is not as immediate as the sink-top water filter, and the capacity is limited to the size of the pitcher.

But the water filter pitcher is a cheaper option, that doesn’t require installation, and is portable which is a big plus in some scenarios.

Gravity Water Filter or Water Filter Dispenser

A gravity water filter is a water filter with two main containers, one on top of the other, separated by a middle layer that contains the water filters.

You need to fill the upper container with tap water, and gravity will force the water to go through the filters and go down to the lower container, filtering the water in the process.

This filtration device is really effective at removing contaminants from the water and is portable and you don’t need to connect it to anything, like a faucet or electricity.

The filtration process is not fast, and it might take a few hours until you have clean water available to drink.

Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System

The reverse osmosis process is highly effective to remove harmful contaminants, and you can read more about this process in our article “What is Reverse Osmosis”.

This system, through multiple filtration stages, removes several different types of contaminants, like sediments, bacteria, chemicals, etc., which makes this one of the most powerful water filter types.

But they are not cheap and might take some space also. Typically a RO water filter is an undersink system, but now there are some modern designed countertop RO systems that fit really well in the kitchen countertop.

If this technology looks interesting to you, learn more about the best Reverse Osmosis systems.

Water Distiller

A water distiller is a device that boils the water in the main container and then collects the steam and cools it off to “convert” it back into water into another container, removing most of the contaminants this way, like sediments, viruses, fluoride, chemicals, and heavy metals.

These harmful contaminants are left behind in the water of the initial container, which needs then to be removed before starting the process again.

Water distillation is a highly effective method to get purified water, so you might consider this system if you or your family need access to really pure water.

The water distiller is a portable device, with a small size, that doesn’t require installation and that can be placed almost anywhere.

But due to its small size, it also has low capacity, so if you have a large family it won’t be the best choice.

Some of the drawbacks of this device are that the distillation process takes a long time and consumes energy.

Water Ionizer

A water ionizer is a device that uses a process called electrolysis to clean the water. In this process, positive and negative ions are used to turn water acidic (low pH) or alkaline (high pH).

This is an advanced system but also quite expensive if you compare it with other water filter types.

The installation is simple as you only need to connect a water line to the system, and then you are able to get clean water with great taste.

While some people say that alkaline water is good to fight diseases and other health issues, from skin irritations to cancers, there are no scientific studies to prove this yet. 

Is a Countertop Water Filter Right For Me?

To decide if a countertop water filter is the right choice for your situation, you should first start by testing your water or checking the CCR from your water source provider to know the contaminants in your water.

With that knowledge you are able to look for a filter that is good at removing those contaminants.

For example, if your water has lots of contaminants a Reverse Osmosis system that can remove up to 99% of the contaminants might be a good option, but if you have hard water, you should look for a filter that is good at removing minerals like calcium and magnesium from your water.

Also, it is important to define a budget because there are options with different price ranges. This can help you focus on a range of products that suit your budget.

Price is not indicative of quality, there are good water filtering options available with affordable prices.

But there are other water filter types that can be better for your situation than a countertop water filter, so it’s important to know how they compare.

Countertop Water Filter vs Water Filter Pitcher

A water filter pitcher is a type of countertop water filter, but it doesn’t require a connection to the faucet.

It is easy to store in another place, and you can store it in a refrigerator to have cold water. Just try not to let the water be stored without being consumed for more than one day, it’s better to filter more water in that case.

These filters can take more time to filter the water and they do not provide filtered water at the moment you need.

Typically they are less expensive than a regular countertop water filter.

Countertop Water Filter vs Whole House Water Filter

A whole house water filter connects to the home main water line, so it is known as a point-of-entry (POE) water filter instead of a point-of-use (POU) water filter like a countertop water filter, that is connected to the single faucet that you want to use to drink clean water.

Whole house filters are more expensive than countertop water filters, but they filter the water for the entire house, not only on a specific faucet. All the water from your sinks, showers, kitchen appliances, toilets, etc. will be filtered, without the need for multiple filters.

Countertop Water Filter vs Undersink Water Filter

Undersink water filters require a more complex installation process than countertop water filters and usually have their own specific faucet.

Also, while a countertop water filter can easily be disconnected and connected again in another location making it portable, that is not so easy with an undersink water filter.

The positive points are that undersink water filters are typically faster to filter water and the device is hidden undersink, while the countertop water filter is showing on your countertop.

Countertop Water Filter vs Water Softener

A water softener is designed to deal with hard water, removing minerals like calcium and magnesium that cause water hardness.

They are not designed to remove chemicals, so that is why it is so important to know your water contaminants to make an informed decision.

Like a whole house water filter, a water softener is also installed on the main water line, so it’s a POE filter that is able to prevent the limescale buildup in your entire house.

A countertop water filter’s main goal is to deliver clean water while the main goal of a water softener is to soften hard water.

Countertop Water Filter Pros


Countertop water filters are, on average, less expensive than other water filter types, like whole house filtration systems.

Also, if you drink bottled water, you will save lots of money with a countertop water filter. This type of filter, even considering the initial cost and the recurring cost of changing filters, is much cheaper than having to buy bottled water.

Convenient & portable

You can decide to place a countertop water filter in a convenient location for you, as long as it is near the faucet that you want to use to drink clean water.

This type of system is also easy to disconnect if you want to move it to another location, like a different division, a different home, or an RV.

Won’t take much space

Typically countertop water filters are compact and small, not taking a lot of space on your kitchen countertop.

Other water filter types like undersink water filters are larger and will need more storage space.

And a countertop water filter type like a water filter pitcher would even take less space and can be stored in different locations, like a refrigerator.

Remove harmful contaminants

Countertop water filters are really good for removing harmful contaminants from your water, delivering fresh and clean water that we can drink.

The top countertop water filter can block between 90 to 99% of common water contaminants like heavy metals, bacteria, chemicals, pesticides, chlorine, fluoride, etc.

Simple installation

While other water filter types require some work to be installed, the installation of a countertop water filter is really simple. You just need to connect the filter to the faucet, which can be done in less than 10 minutes.

Easy to maintain

Countertop water filters require minimal maintenance, as you only need to change the filters according to the frequency mentioned by the manufacturer, typically every 6 to 12 months.

Environment friendly

Using a countertop water filter can help you heavily reduce the plastic waste that you create. If you consume plastic water bottles, start drinking clean water from a countertop water filter will have a positive effect on the waste you create.

The top manufacturers of water filters also offer incentives for recycling used filters, which benefits the environment.

Countertop Water Filter Cons

Connects to a single faucet at a time

Typically a countertop water filter can only be connected to a faucet at a time, so you will only have filtered water on this specific location, not on your entire home.

Slow filtration

Because the water is filtered at the moment, the water flow is slower than usual because the water needs to be filtered before you drink it.

And if you use a water filter pitcher it may take even longer to get filtered water, between 15 to 20 min, as it uses only gravity to force the water through the filter, while a typical countertop water filter uses the tap water pressure to force the water through the filters which accelerate the process.

Always showing

While the undersink water filters are hidden, a countertop water filter is always showing in your kitchen, there is no way to hide it, as you need to have it near the kitchen sink.

If the aesthetics of your kitchen is important to you, make sure you select a countertop water filter with a good design that fits well in your kitchen.

How to Install a Countertop Water Filter

Installing a countertop water filter is a straightforward process that you can complete by yourself in six easy steps.

Step #1: Place the countertop water filter in the desired location, making sure the water line can reach the faucet to which it will be connected.

Step #2: Remove the aerator from the faucet, and screw the adapter and washer. If needed, use a gasket to make sure the adapter is tight.

If your faucet has an outside thread, no adapter should be required.

Step #3: Then, attach the diverter valve to your faucet, trunking the swivel collar to make sure it’s tight and the gasket is correctly positioned between the diverter valve and the faucet.

Step #4: Rotate the diverter valve to the desired position.

Step #5: Turn on the water and it should go through the faucet as usual. Then turn the handle on the diverter valve, which will make the water go through the countertop water filter.

Let the water run for a couple of minutes to flush out the filters.

Step #6: That’s it! Turn off the diverter handle to switch back the water flow to the faucet.

FAQ About Countertop Water Filter

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about countertop water filters.

What common contaminants does a countertop water filter remove?

It will depend on the countertop water filter that you buy, so you should always check which contaminants each filter removes. Some filters are more powerful than others, like RO filters which combine multiple filtration stages so it’s capable of removing most of the common contaminants of the water.

Typically a countertop water filter will remove chemicals, heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride, microorganisms, and some other contaminants as well.

Do countertop water filters work for all kitchen faucets?

Not with all kitchen faucets. While countertop water filters are designed to work with most kitchen faucets, they might be incompatible with some modern faucets.

But you can always check first in the specifications if the countertop water filter you want to buy can be connected to your faucet.

Is it possible to connect a countertop water filter to more than one faucet?

Not really, you can only connect one countertop water filter to one faucet, at the same time.

But if you want to move the filter to another place, you can always disconnect it and connect it again to another faucet. 

Can bacteria grow in my countertop water filter?

Yes, but you can flush before using for around 20 to 30 seconds to ensure that any bacteria in the faucet is removed.

Do I need to install a faucet for a countertop water filter?

Typically not, as most countertop water filters are designed to connect directly to a kitchen sink faucet.

How can I check if the countertop water filter is NSF certified?

Most of the manufacturers will mention on the product description if the countertop water filter is certified, as is something that differentiates their product.

Is countertop water filter water better than bottled water?

While both options offer good drinking water, in our view drinking purified water from a countertop water filter instead of bottled water has 2 main benefits.

First, it will save you money in the long run. Even considering the initial cost of buying a countertop water filter and the recurring costs associated with replacing the filters, this cost is only a small fraction of the cost of buying bottled water.

Second, the plastic produced by consuming water bottles is really harmful to our environment, something that you can avoid by using a countertop water filter. 

Are countertop water filters portable?

Yes. You can easily disconnect a countertop water filter from your kitchen sink faucet and take it to another place, like an RV or another home.

If you use a water filter pitcher is even easier, as you don’t even need to disconnect anything, you just need to take it to another location.

Our Verdict

By now, you should have a good understanding of the important factors to look out for when buying a countertop water filter, and you should also know the best options available in the market, and how they suit different situations.

For us, the best overall choice is the Big Berkey Gravity Water Filter, but all the countertop water filters we have in our top are great options, so you can’t go wrong with any of these!