The 6 Best UV Water Filters: Reviews & Ultimate Guide

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This is our review of the best UV Water Filters of 2022.

We reviewed several UV water filters and found out that the Springwell UV Purifier is the best one overall.

There are several factors to look for when buying a UV water filter so, to make your life easier we spent long hours reading & researching to find out the best overall UV water filter. And because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all as each household and family has their unique situation, we also identified the best option for different situations.

You will find out the best UV water purifier available today, their pros and cons, an explanation of why they are better for specific situations and a complete buying guide with all the relevant information that you need to know to choose the best UV water filter for you.

Let’s get started!

Our Top Picks for Best UV Water Filters

6 Best UV Water Filters Reviewed

After investing our time researching and reviewing several UV water filters, we identified the 6 best options for different purposes.

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

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  • Best for: Overall
  • Dimension: 20 x 4 x 4 inches
  • Lamp Longevity: 420 days
  • Flow Rate: 15 GPM
  • Warranty: Lifetime

In our opinion, the Springwell UV Purifier is the best overall UV water filter available in the market. This high-quality system can remove up to 99.9% of harmful contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms, delivers a great water flow of 15 GPM, includes an LCD to give you information about the system, and has a lifetime warranty and a 6-month satisfaction guarantee.

The Springwell UV Water filter is one of the most effective available, using a 30mj/cm2 UV power it can inactivate 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and harmful pathogens like Cryptosporidium and Giardia, ensuring that you will have access to clean water.

This UV water filter can deliver a water flow of 15 GPM, which ensures that you won’t notice a drop in the water pressure, even if you use water in different locations simultaneously.

The Springwell UV Purifier comes with a color LCD to help you monitor the systems, as it displays relevant information like alerts, systems diagnosis, and fault messages.

Springwell also offers a 6-month money-back satisfaction guarantee and a lifetime warranty (on tanks and valves) which demonstrates the trust they have in their product.

Pros:

  • Removes 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, and pathogens
  • 30mj/cm2 UV purification power
  • Color LCD with system information
  • Great flow rate
  • Good lamp longevity
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 6-month satisfaction guarantee

Cons:

  • Price
  • Not easy to install
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  • Best for: Overall (Runner up)
  • Dimension: 30 x 4 x 4 inches
  • Weight: ‎11.51 Pounds
  • Lamp Longevity: 1 year
  • Flow Rate: 9 to 16 GPM
  • Warranty: 10 years

The Pelican Premium Ultra Violet Disinfection System is also a great UV water filtration system, as it can deliver an effective UV purification removing up to 99.9% of microorganisms, is NSF certified, only needs to change the lamp once a year, has a good flow rate, and comes with a 10-year warranty.

This UV water purifier can remove harmful contaminants from the water, inactivating up to 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and pathogens like Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and E.coli, protecting you and your family from diseases.

One differentiator factor about the Pelican Premium UV System is the fact that it is NSF 55 Class B certified, which means that it reduces the amount of non-health-related bacteria.

This UV water filter can deliver a water flow between 9 and 16 GPM (depending on the size of the model you choose) which should be good enough so that you won’t have to worry about lack of water or pressure drop in your household.

And it comes with some nice features, like a safety cap for the lamp which prevents it from being powered if it’s not in the UV chamber, and an indicator to let you know when it’s time to replace the UV lamp.

The Pelican Premium UV System comes with a 10-year warranty for the UV chamber, a 3-year warranty for the electrical components, and a 1-year warranty for the UV lamp, sleeve, and sensors, which gives you peace of mind when buying this UV water purifier.

Pros:

  • Removes 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, and pathogens
  • NSF certification
  • Great flow rate
  • Lamp change indicator
  • 10-year warranty

Cons:

  • Price
  • Some customers complained about difficulties during installation
  • Best for: Value
  • Dimension: 20.5 x 3.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Weight: ‎10.7 pounds
  • Lamp Longevity: 1 year
  • Flow Rate: 9 GPM
  • Warranty: 10 years

The Viqua D4 UVMAX UV Water Filter is a good value choice for a UV water filter as it combines a good price with nice features. This compact device can remove up to 99% of microorganisms, viruses, and bacteria from the water, comes with a 10-year warranty, a lamp with capacity for a bit more than one year, and comes with a good water flow of 9 GPM.

This UV water filter is very effective at removing harmful contaminants from your water, and uses 30mj/cm2 of UV power intensity to get rid of up to 99% of bacteria, viruses, and pathogens.

The Viqua D4 UVMAX UV Water Purifier produces a water flow rate of 9 GPM, which is not as good as some of the previous options but is still good enough to provide a decent flow for most of the households.

It comes with an audible reminder to let you know when it’s time to change the UV lamp, and safety features like a safety cap and a lamp plug to avoid unwanted access to the UV lamp.

Like the Pelican Premium UV System, the Viqua D4 UVMAX also comes with a 10-year warranty for the UV chamber, a 3-year warranty for the electrical components, and a 1-year warranty for the UV lamp, sleeve, and sensors.

Pros:

  • Removes 99% of viruses, bacteria, and pathogens
  • 30mj/cm2 UV purification power
  • Lamp change indicator
  • 10-year warranty

Cons:

  • Not as effective as other expensive models
  • Best for: Good Choice
  • Dimension: 36 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches
  • Weight: ‎9 pounds
  • Lamp Longevity: 1 year
  • Flow Rate: 12 GPM
  • Warranty: 1-year

The Bluonics UV Water Sterilizer is a good choice for a UV water filtration system because it combines a competitively priced device with top UV water filter features like the capacity to remove up to 99.99% of microorganisms, a UV lamp with 1-year longevity, and flow rate of 12 GPM.

The Bluonics UV Water Sterilizer is very effective at removing contaminants, being able to get rid of 99.99% of microorganisms, viruses, and bacteria like Giardia and E-coli, without impacting the water taste.

The system has a good water flow of 12 GPM which is more than enough to guarantee that your household won’t be impacted by a decrease in water pressure.

The Bluonics UV Water Sterilizer is made of stainless steel to avoid corrosion, a security plug to ensure that the lamp is only powered up if in the interior of the UV chamber, and a LED indicator to tell you if the system is working.

And this UV water filter comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 1-year warranty which is good to let you try and check if it suits your needs.

Pros:

  • Price
  • Removes 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, and pathogens
  • Good flow rate
  • Good lamp longevity
  • Easy to install
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons:

  • Just 1-year warranty
  • Some customers complained about issues with the ballast
  • Best for: Budget
  • Dimension: 37.2 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches
  • Weight: ‎7.09 pounds
  • Lamp Longevity: 1 year
  • Flow Rate: 12 GPM

The HQUA Ultraviolet Water Purifier is the best budget choice for a UV water filter. This device has an affordable price and it is capable of removing bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms from your water, while delivering a good water flow of 12 GPM.

The HQUA Ultraviolet Water Purifier can remove 99.99% of microorganisms from the water with a UV lamp of 30mj/cm2, ensuring that you and your family will have access to water clean of these nasty contaminants.

The system delivers a water flow of 12 GPM which should be good enough for almost all households up to 4 bathrooms, as you won’t notice any pressure drops.

The stainless steel design of the HQUA Ultraviolet Water Purifier is made to make it last, and it comes with a light indicator to let you know if the system is working and when it’s time to change the lamp.

Pros:

  • Price
  • Removes 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, and pathogens
  • 30mj/cm2 UV purification power
  • Good flow rate
  • Easy to install

Cons:

  • No mention of the warranty period
  • Some customers complained that the lamp didn’t last as much as expected
  • Some customers complained about failures on the ballast
  • Best for: Undersink
  • Dimension: 9.75 x 4.1 x 2 inches
  • Weight: ‎1.25 pounds
  • Lamp Longevity: 7 to 10 years
  • Flow Rate: 0.52 GPM

If you are looking for an undersink UV water filter, the ArrowMAX 2.0 UV-LED water purifier is the right choice. This POU UV water filter comes with its own Acuva Smart Faucet, can remove up to 99.9% of the microorganisms from the water, and will last for almost a decade.

The ArrowMAX 2.0 UV-LED Water Purifier can remove up to 99.9% of harmful microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses from the water through UV purification, and also includes a pre-filtration step to reduce other contaminants in the water like chlorine and heavy metals.

This UV water filter is NSF 55 Class B certified which ensures it is independently tested to remove the microorganisms from the water.

Unlike other UV water filters in our list, this is a POU (point-of-use) instead of a POE (point-of-entry) water filter that can be connected to multiple water lines. Also, because it won’t purify all the water in your household but only from specific source(s), it will last much longer than other options. It can filter up to 31.700 gallons of water, which will last for between 7 to 10 years of usage, minimizing the maintenance required.

The ArrowMAX 2.0 UV-LED Water Purifier is only 0.52 GPM which is much lower than what we have seen in other UV water filters. But because this UV water filter is connected to one water line, it should be good enough to fill a glass of water in a few seconds.

The innovative under sink design allows it to connect to a specific water line instead of the entire household mainline and includes an Acuva Smart Faucet to deliver the filtered water.

Pros:

  • Removes 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, and pathogens
  • NSF certified
  • Great filter lifespan
  • Includes smart faucet
  • Consumes less energy than other models

Cons:

  • No mention of the warranty period
  • Low water flow

Buying Guide for UV Water Filter

Buying a UV Water Filter is not a simple task, as different households have different needs and you should buy the one that suits your family, to ensure they have access to clean and healthy water.

That is why we present a curated selection of the UV water filters for different situations, and we also created a comprehensive buying guide for UV water purifiers so that you can understand the most important factors and be able to make the best purchase decision.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best UV Water Filter

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

Contaminants to Remove

UV water purifiers are great to deal with bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms, but they cannot remove chemicals, heavy metals, or improve the taste and odor of the water. If your water source is contaminated with other stuff, you might need another water filter, like a whole house water filter, to complement the UV water filter. 

So you should start by understanding which contaminants you need to deal with at your home. You can do this, by checking the CCR of your water provider or by checking the water of your home by yourself, using a  water test kit.

Cost

UV water filters are expensive, so you need to define your budget and decide which features of this type of filter are relevant for you because typically the price is correlated with its different features.

The prices can vary a lot depending on the model, brand, and features, and you will find options from a few hundred dollars to more than one thousand dollars.

Apart from the initial cost, you will need to change the UV lamp from time to time, so it is important to also consider this recurring cost.

Water Flow Rate

Water flow, or flow rate, is measured by the amount of water in gallons per minute, or GPM. A UV water purification system is going to filter the water you will consume, so you don’t want a device that can’t deliver the amount of water you and your family need.

If you need large amounts of water at the same time, it is better to go with a UV water filter with a higher water flow, but if your household is small you should be ok with a lower water flow.

Capacity or Bulb Longevity

A UV lamp has a limited capacity and will be able to purify a finite amount of water before needing to be replaced for a new one.

You should go for a combination of good longevity and decent price, to not have to change the lamp bulb quite often and minimize the recurring cost of changing it.

Certifications

Both NSF and WQA are independent third-party accredited institutions that certify water filters and water purifiers to give the consumer trust that those products can remove certain harmful contaminants. 

For UV water filters, the most important certification to consider is NSF 55 that is specific for this type of purifiers:

  • NSF 55: for UV systems, certifies this type of system to inactivate or kill bacteria, viruses, and cysts (Class A) or to reduce the amount of non-health-related bacteria (Class B).

System Physical Size & Space Available

UV water filters will have different sizes, so you need to check that you have enough space to install your new system in the desired place.

And take into consideration that you need to be able to access it in the future to change the UV bulbs.

Water Quality

This is an important factor because if your water has sediments, high quantities of minerals, or heavy metals like iron and manganese, it is more difficult for the UV rays to penetrate the water and be effective at destroying microorganisms.

In this case, you should use a water filter to remove these impurities to ensure that the UV water filter works well and efficiently.

What is a UV Water Filter?

A UV water filter, or a UV water purifier, is a device that uses UV radiation to kill bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms that exist in the water. This device ensures that the water that you drink is free from some harmful contaminants, as it usually kills up to 99.9% of the microorganisms.

Typically ultraviolet water filters are long devices that contain a UV lamp and are connected at point-of-entry (POE) to purify all the water that enters the household.

How Does a UV Water Filter Work?

The UV lamp of the UV water filter emits UV light that can penetrate the outer cell membrane of microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, which are harmful to our health.

When the UV radiation penetrates these microorganisms it can disrupt their DNA stopping them from reproducing.

Basically, this process doesn’t really kill the microorganisms, but inactivate them, as they won’t be able to replicate and harm you.

A UV purification system is typically composed of these components:

  • UV Lamp: The most important component of the UV water filter, the UV lamp generated the UC-C radiation that inactivates the microorganisms.
  • Quartz Sleeve: This component is a long tube made of quartz glass in which the UV lamp is placed to avoid touching the water directly.
  • Reactor Chamber: This component holds the UV lamp and quartz sleeve, and also controls the water flow that goes through the purification system.
  • Controller Unit: This component controls the UV lamp intensity, and can have additional alarms to let you know when the system fails or when it’s time to change the UV lamp.

But you might be wondering if a UV water filter can remove all types of contaminants that we will find in the water. Let’s check this in more detail in the next section.

UV Water Purifiers vs Water Filtration Systems

A UV water filter or UV water purifier is good at dealing with viruses, bacteria, cysts, and microorganisms, but won’t be able to deal with other types of contaminants like sediments, chemicals, heavy metals, etc.

Other types of water filters are really effective in dealing with the types of contaminants that the UV water filter can’t deal with as when the water passes through them they will block the contaminants on their media filters, but are not effective at removing microorganisms like a UV water filter.

If you need to deal with all these contaminants in your water (which is common if you use well water), ideally you should go for a combination of a good whole house water filter and a UV water purifier to ensure that all the harmful contaminants are taken care of.

UB Water Filter Benefits

UV water filters have many advantages, such as:

Effective Water Purification

UV water filters are effective at dealing with viruses, bacteria, cysts, and microorganisms, being capable of removing up to 99.99% of these contaminants, which will give you trust that the water you will drink is purified.

Other water purification methods, like chlorine, are not as effective as UV filters to remove these specific types of contaminants.

Non-Chemical Disinfection

Another benefit of using a UV water filter when compared with other water purification methods is that it won’t add any chemicals to your water, will just use UV rays to inactive existing microorganisms.

Other methods can disinfect the water but will add contaminants to your water that could be harmful to your health and/or cause a bad taste and odor on your water.

Environment-friendly

UV water purification is a more environmentally friendly alternative to other methods of water purification like the addition of chlorine because won’t add any disinfection contaminants and components during the cleaning process.

Easy to Maintain

Contrary to other types of water filters that will need regular maintenance and filter replacement every few months, a UV water filter is much easier to maintain.

You will just need to replace the lamp, typically once per year, and clean it every few months.

UV Water Filter Disadvantages

UV water purifiers also have a few disadvantages, like:

Only Removes Microorganisms

UV water purifiers are great to deal with bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms, but won’t be able to deal with other common water contaminants that are harmful to your health, like chemicals, heavy metals, sediments, etc.

So if your water source has more contaminants, you may need to combine a UV purifier with another type of water filter.

Requires Electricity

Even if the energy consumption of a UV water filter is low, it still needs some power to run, which may be an inconvenience in some scenarios of power failures or emergencies.

Is a UV Water Filter Right For Me?

You might be wondering when you should use a UV water purifier, and if it is the right choice for you.

Not everyone needs a UV water filter, so let’s look at some situations that might make sense for you to buy a UV water filter:

To treat well water:

If your water source is well water, it’s probably a good idea to use a UV water filter, and also another type of filter as a whole house water filter.

Usually, well water is contaminated with microorganisms, so it’s safer to make sure that they won’t reach your family through the water, inactivating them with a UV water purification system.

To purify municipal water:

Municipal water is treated and usually safe to drink, but it still may contain some microorganisms that aren’t good for you.

It is also a good idea to check the quality of your water, because not all municipal water is contaminant-free, and your water source might have contaminants that can be removed by a UV water filter. 

UV Water Filter Installation

Installing a UV purifier is not an easy task. The complexity of the installation may depend on the brand, type, and size, but typically these are the 6 steps required to install a UV water filter:

Step #1 – Choose the water filter location:

Typically you will install a UV water filter in combination with another type of filtration system, so you should install it after the other water filter, this way the water that comes into contact with the UV water filter is already free from sediments and other contaminants that might make the UV purification process more difficult.

It is also important to choose one location with access to power because the UV water filter needs to be electricity to work.

Step #2 – Mount the housing lamp:

After selecting the ideal spot for the UV water purifier, you need to mount the housing lamp in the wall. Typically these systems include a mounting bracket so that you can attach it directly to your wall.

Step #3 – Insert the UV lamp into the housing:

Open one side of the housing lamp to insert the UV lamp into the housing, and then seal the lamp on both sides with the O-rings.

Step #4 – Connect the UV system to the waterline:

Connect the respective threads of the UV water filtration system into your water main line, ensuring that the water will come into the system, and they will leave after being in contact with the UV light.

Step #5 – Turn on the water:

In this step, you want to check if everything is working properly. So, just turn on the water and check if there are no leaks.

Step #6 – Power on the UV water filter:

In the last step plug the UV water filter into an electrical system. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you are making the correct steps and avoid any issues.

UV Water Filter Maintenance

Maintaining a UV water filter doesn’t require much effort, but there are 2 activities that you should be aware of, to ensure it works properly and for a long time:

UV lamp replacement

A UV lamp won’t last for life, and usually, it will last for 9.000 hours which should be good for a bit more than one year. After that, you will need to replace the lamp to ensure a proper purification of the water.

This is a simple activity, you just need to take the old lamp from the housing, insert the new one, and turn on the system again.

Quartz Sleeve Cleaning

It is also important that you clean the quartz sleeve every now and then, to ensure that the system is working properly.

Typically mineral deposits accumulate in the glass and that interferes with the UV rays that inactive the microorganisms in the water.

FAQ About UV Water Filters

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

Arere UV water filters safe?

Yes! UV water filtration inactivates harmful microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses that exist in water in a safe way, without introducing any chemicals.

Do I need to install a Whole House Water Filter before my UV Water Filter?

Not necessarily, but if your water has contaminants it can make the UV purification process less effective.

Also, if you use well water it is a good idea to combine a UV water filter with other water filtration systems to ensure that common water contaminants are removed from your water.

What happens if I don’t change my UV lamp at the right time?

Your UV lamp will be less effective and might even stop working, so the water you drink won’t be completely clean of microorganisms that were inactivated by the UB rays.

Should I turn off my UV lamp when I’m not using it?

This is not recommended because turning on and off the lamp multiple times can cause it to stop working.

How is UV strength measured?

UV strength is measured in millijoules (mJ) per centimeter squared (cm2).

The minimum recommended by the US Department of Health for UV purification systems is to have at least 30.000 mJ/cm2 of power.

What is the best way to check if my UV Water Filter is working properly?

The best way is to test it by checking the water contaminants before and after it passes through the UV water filter.

Ideally, you should choose a water test kit that tests for bacteria which is something that a UV system targets.

Which type of Filtration is better, UV or UF?

There isn’t a better method as they are complementary.

UV filtration is needed if you want to get rid of microorganisms, viruses, and bacteria, while ultrafiltration, like what a Reverse Osmosis system does, is better to remove other water contaminants.

Our Verdict

Clean and healthy water is fundamental to our health, and the best UV water filter can ensure that your water will be free of harmful contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms.

You are now in a position to make the right choice for you because after reading our guide you know the most important factors to consider when buying a UV water purifier.

For us, the best overall choice is the Springwell UV Purifier, but all the water ionizers we have in our top are great options, so you can’t go wrong with any of them!