This is our review of the best Water Filter Straws of 2021.
We reviewed several water filter straws and found out that the Sawyer Products MINI Water Filter Straw is the best one overall.
There are several factors to look for when buying a water filter straw and to make your life easier we spent several hours researching to discover the best overall water purifier straw so that you don’t have to waste your precious time. And there isn’t a one size fits all because each person has different needs, we also identified the best option for different situations.
You will find out the best water filter straws 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 water filter straw for you.
Let’s get started!
Our Top Picks for Best Water Filter Straws
- Sawyer Products MINI Water Filter Straw (Best Overall Water Filter Straw)
- LifeStraw Personal Water Filter (Best Value Water Filter Straw)
- SimPure Water Filter Straw (Good Choice Water Filter Straw)
- Membrane Solutions Portable Water Filter Straw (Best for Budget Water Filter Straw)
- Etekcity Portable Water Filter Straw (Best Compact Water Filter Straw)
- Waterdrop Personal Water Filter Straw (Best for Longevity Water Filter Straw)
- Purewell Outdoor Personal Water Filter Straw (Best Ultra Filtration Water Filter Straw)
7 Best Water Filter Straws Reviewed
After investing our time researching and reviewing several water filter straws, we identified the 7 best options for different purposes.
We’ve invested the time so you don’t have to:
In our opinion, the Sawyer Products MINI Water Filter Straw is the best overall water filter straw available. This product is ideal for outdoor activities because it is lightweight, compact, versatile, can filter out most bacteria, protozoa, and microplastics from the water, and has an incredible lifespan of 100.000 gallons.
The Sawyer Products MINI Water Filter Straw contains a hollow fiber membrane with micropores of 0.1 microns that remove 99.99999% of all bacteria (like salmonella, cholera, and E. coli), 99.9999% of all protozoa (like Giardia and Cryptosporidium), and 100% of microplastics.
While there is no mention of an NSF certification for this water filter straw, it is independently tested by different entities to ensure that it can remove the contaminants mentioned above.
Another great feature of the Sawyer Products MINI Water Filter Straw is its high capacity, being able to filter up to 100.000 gallons of water before needing to be replaced, which is much more than the typical water filter straw that filters around 400 gallons of water.
This water filter straw comes also with a squeeze pouch which gives you more flexibility to drink, store filtered water, and fill other containers with clean water. It also includes a cleaning kit to make the cleaning and maintenance process easier.
- Powerful filtration capability
- Removes more than 99.99% of bacteria and protozoa
- Filter longevity of up to 100.000 gallons
- Includes drinking storing pouch and cleaning kit
- Independently tested
- Not as straightforward as other water filter straws
- Some customers complained about the slow flow rate
The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is the best value water filter straw, as it combines an affordable price in a compact and lightweight device with great features such as a good filtration capacity and long lifespan, making it a great option for camping, hiking, or emergency situations.
The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter uses a hollow fiber membrane to remove 99.999999% of bacteria (like E.coli, salmonella), 99.999% of parasites (like Giardia and Cryptosporidium), 99.999% of microplastics, dirt, and sediments.
The manufacturer does not mention an NSF certification but claims this device has been independently tested to meet EPA standards ensuring it can remove some of the most harmful contaminants from the water.
The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter weighs less than 2 ounces (01. pounds or 46 grams) making it a great lightweight option as you can pack it and take it anywhere without adding much extra weight.
This device has good longevity as it can filter up to 1.000 gallons of water. It also comes without an expiration date, which makes it a good option to be part of an emergency kit.
- Good filtration capacity
- Filter longevity of up to 1.000 gallons
- Independently tested
- Micron-rating of just 0.2
- Some customers complained that is hard to suck the water from this straw
The SimPure Water Filter Straw is a good choice for a water filter straw because it combines in a single device an affordable option, good portability features like reduced size and weight, and great filtration capabilities through multi-stage filtration.
The SimPure Water Filter Straw uses 4-stages of filtration combining a pre-filter grid (against dust and sediments), a PP cotton fiber filter (to remove larger impurities and reduce turbidity), a coconut shell activated carbon filter (that removes chlorine, VOCs, heavy metals, bad taste and odors), and a hollow fiber UF membrane of 0.1 microns (to remove microplastics, bacteria, and protozoa) to remove several types of contaminants, ensuring that you will get clean water to drink.
This is an easy-to-use device that you can directly use in an outdoor water source or attach to a water bottle or hydration pack. And its low weight and small size make it a great option for a portable device that you can carry almost anywhere.
The SimPure Water Filter Straw has a filter longevity of 396 gallons which is in line with the average of this type of water filter, but it is lower than some of the top competitors on our list.
- Multi-stage filtration
- BPA-free and food-grade materials
- Easy to use
- Filter longevity
- Some customers complained about the quality of the materials
The Membrane Solutions Portable Water Filter Straw is a great budget option for a water filter straw. This low price device comes also available in packs and has many nice features like a good filtration capacity through a 4-stage filtration system, long lifespan, and good portability.
The Membrane Solutions Portable Water Filter Straw has 4-stage of filtration, combining a coarse filter screen (blocks larger impurities and sediments), PP cotton filter (reduces turbidity), coconut shell activated carbon filter (removes VOCs, organic materials, bad taste and odors, etc.) and an ultrafiltration hollow fiber membrane with 0.1 microns (removes bacteria, parasites, and microplastics), to deliver high quality filtered water.
This water filter straw is highly portable due to its small size and lightweight, making it ideal for different uses as you can carry it in a bag, purse, or backpack and bring it anywhere you go.
The Membrane Solutions Portable Water Filter Straw can filter up to 396 gallons of water, which is average for this type of water filter, but a bit worse than some other top options we covered.
- 4-stage filtration
- Fast flow rate
- EPA certified
- BPA-free materials
- Available in a pack of 4
- Not that easy to clean
- Some customers complained that is hard to suck the water from this straw
The Etekcity Portable Water Filter Straw is a great portable choice for a water filter straw because it is compact, lightweight, with 3-stages of filtration system that comes with a complete kit that includes a cleaning syringe, an extension tube, and a foldable water bag, which are very useful for outdoor activities.
The Etekcity Portable Water Filter Straw has 3-stages of filtration, which the first one is a pre-filter that removes large contaminants and impurities, the second one is an activated carbon filter with ion-exchange resin that removes chlorine, heavy metals, bad taste and odors, and a third one is a hollow fiber membrane with 0.01 microns to remove bacteria, protozoa, and waterborne impurities.
This water filter straw has been tested by the German TüV SüD Examination Institute and meets the EPA standards for water quality, ensuring that it can remove the most harmful contaminants from the water.
One of the great features of the Etekcity Portable Water Filter Straw is that it comes with a complete kit that includes:
- A foldable water pouch with 16oz (480mL) that allows you to store filtered water
- An extension tube, that you can connect to the straw so that you don’t have to lie down on the floor to drink from a lake or river
- A cleaning syringe to backwash your water filter straw after using it, to maintain it properly
- A pre-filter and 4 PP cotton pads to allow changing in case it breaks
This water filter straw can filter 396 gallons (1.500 L) of water, which is in line with the average of the competition.
- 3-stage filtration
- Complete kit included
- Good flow rate
- Independently tested
- Filter longevity
- Some customers complained that it breaks easily
If you are looking for a water straw with a long lifespan, the Waterdrop Personal Water Filter Straw is the best option. This water filter straw can filter up to 100.000 gallons of water using a 4-stage filtration process to deliver clean and fresh water.
The Waterdrop Personal Water Filter Straw filters the water through 4-stages using different media filters, allowing access to filtered water with a nice taste:
- #1: pre-filter fabric, that removes larger contaminants and impurities
- #2: hollow fiber membrane, with 0.1 microns, that removes 99.99% of bacteria
- #3: activated carbon fiber, to reduce chlorine and improve the smell and taste of the water
- #4: post polyester membrane to remove rust, sediments, particulates, and other impurities
One of the key differentiators of this water filter straw is its huge capacity, as it can filter up to 100.000 gallons of water, much more than the average of these filtration systems, which is around 396 gallons.
The Waterdrop Personal Water Filter Straw comes with a 20 oz BPA-free reusable collapsible water bag that allows multiple uses because you can drink directly from the water source using the straw, you can store filtered water in the bag to carry it with you, or you can use the bag to move the filtered water to a different container, like a bottle.
And it’s designed to facilitate the cleaning process, as you can use the water bag to backflush the straw directly, avoiding the need for a cleaning syringe.
- 4-stage filtration
- Filter longevity of 100.000 gallons
- Meets EPA standards for water quality
- BPA-free material
- Comes with a water bag
- Easy to clean
- Some customers found it difficult to drink directly from a water source with it
The Purewell Outdoor Personal Water Filter Straw is one of the best options if you value its ultrafiltration capability, as it has a 4-stage filtration process with a 0.01-micron hollow fiber UF membrane that ensures the removal of 99.9999% of impurities from the water.
This device contains not only a hollow fiber UF (Ultra Filtration) membrane with 0.01 to remove most of the water impurities, it also has a coconut shell activated carbon filter to remove VOCs, heavy metals, bad taste and odors, has active adsorption beads to remove microorganisms, and a medical-grade PP cotton to filter out larger particles and impurities. This combination of multiple filters with a UF filter can remove the most harmful contaminants from the water.
The Purewell Outdoor Personal Water Filter Straw has a longevity of 396 gallons (or 1.500 L), which is average for a water filter straw.
It has a decent flow rate of 500ml/min, so you can fill a water bottle with filtered water in less than 1 minute.
- 4-stage filtration
- 0.01-micron filter
- Available in 2 sizes
- Good flow rate
- Filter longevity
Buying Guide for Water Filter Straws
With so many options available, buying a Water Filter Straw is not an easy task.
That is why we present a curated selection of the best water filter straws for different situations, and we also created a comprehensive buying guide for water purifier straws so that you can understand the most important factors and be able to make an informed buying decision.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Water Filter Straws
When researching for a water filter straw to buy, these are the key features that you should consider:
The micron rating is really important in a water filter straw because it indicates the maximum size of a contaminant or impurity that is filtered by the device.
There is a big range of micron ratings available for different water filter straws, but the best option will have a range between 0.2 and 0.01 microns.
The smaller the micron rating the better because it means that the water filter straw is able to filter a wide range of contaminants. And bacteria can be as small as 0.2 microns, so we recommend at least selecting one product with this micron rating.
Unlike other types of water filters, water filter straws are not that expensive. But there are different available options, and some can cost 2 or 3 times more than the average water filter straw.
You should be able to find nice options between $10 and $40, but you should consider the price together with the filter longevity, to understand how much it will cost to filter each gallon of water you need.
Dimensions: Size and Weight
Water filter straws are typically small and light, so it should be easy to find a compact option that suits your needs.
But make sure you check the weight because if you plan to travel or hike long distances every ounce is important, and checking the size is also important to ensure that it fits your backpack.
Capacity & Filter Longevity
One of the most important factors to consider when buying a water filter straw is its capacity because the amount of water a straw can filter will define its longevity.
There are water filter straws available that will only be able to filter 20 gallons of water, and some will be able to filter as much as 100.000 gallons of water, which is a huge difference. That means that some will need to be replaced in a few months, and others will last for years.
Typically water filters can be certified by independent institutions to ensure that they remove the contaminants that their manufacturers claim they do.
Water filter straws can have NSF or WQA certifications, or they can also be EPA certified, which ensures that they passed the EPA standards related to the level of contaminants of the water after filtration.
Flow Rate or Filtration Speed
Flow rate, or filtration speed, is important for all water filters, but especially for a water filter straw because the water is going to be filtered while you are using it, and you don’t want that experience to be slow.
Ideally, you should select a water filter with a high filtration speed that can filter your water almost instantly.
Accessories and Compatibility
Some water filter straws will have different uses, as they can be used to drink directly from a water source or they can be used to fill containers, like a water bottle, with clean and filtered water.
So it is good to understand if the water filter straw you choose is compatible with some accessories that can help you carry filtered water in your journey.
What is a Water Filter Straw?
A water filter straw is a special type of water filter, in the form of a straw, that allows you to drink directly from a potentially contaminated water source and have the water filtered at the moment of use (POU – point of use), to ensure that you are drinking clean water.
You won’t need this type of water filter in a city environment, but if you are in the wilderness, hiking, or camping, for example, you will need to drink water from water sources that can be contaminated with different impurities, and a water filter straw will give you the peace of mind to drink that water because it will remove the harmful contaminants.
Another use for a water filter straw is in the case of a disaster, emergency, or survival situation, that you might need to drink water from sources that you are not sure of the quality of the water, so it is always a good idea to have a water filter straw available.
How Does a Water Filter Straw Work?
A water filter straw has an in-built water filter that can have different filtering media layers that will address distinct contaminants.
One usual media layer is made of an activated carbon filter that removes bacteria and other microorganisms, and another typical media layer used in water filter straws is a hollow fiber membrane that removes additional bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants as they will be stuck on the porous tubes and won’t be able to pass through the filter.
Some will have a pre-filter to remove larger contaminants like sediments, as this will prevent the finer filters from becoming quickly clogged.
To drink filtered water using a water filter straw you will need to insert it directly into the water source and suck or pull the water from the straw, and the water will be filtered while it passes through the media filters in the straw.
The Different Types of Water Purifier Straws
Unlike other types of water filters, water filter straws don’t really have different types, but one thing that can differentiate them is the number of filtration layers they will have.
There are some water filter straws with just one media filter, so just one filtration layer, which is typically focused on removing a few types of contaminants.
Then there is a middle tier that typically has more than one filtration stage, can come with accessories, and will last for a long time.
Then there are water filter straws with several filtration layers and will typically have a small micron rating that will ensure they can remove even the smaller contaminants from the water.
Water Filter Straw Benefits
There are several benefits associated with using a water filter straw, such as:
Removes Contaminants & Impurities from Your Water
The main benefit of using a water filter is having access to clean water filtered out of harmful contaminants for our health.
And this is especially important if you are outdoors and need to drink water from a contaminated source that can have bacteria, parasites, and other contaminants. Using a water filter straw will give you the peace of mind to drink from that water because the harmful contaminants will be filtered out.
Water filter straws are inexpensive, typically they can range from $10 to $40, which is not much for a device that can potentially save your life.
Portability & and Flexibility
Water filter straws are small, lightweight, and compact which makes them a great choice for having in a backpack or travel bag and transporting them anywhere you go.
They won’t take much space from your bag making them a portable option for a water filter.
And we can drink directly from a water source or combine them with a water bottle, which adds to its flexibility.
Hydration Available Anywhere
Making sure that you have access to water to be properly hydrated is fundamental, and a water filter straw will ensure that you can drink directly from different water sources and have clean water on the go.
Water Filter Straw Disadvantages
But there are also a few disadvantages associated with water filter straws, such as:
Not easy to use for everyone
With a water filter straw, you will be drinking directly from the water source or using sipping through a water bottle, which is not as direct and easy as drinking water from a cup.
Can clog up easily
Water filter straws can clog up and they won’t filter as well and quickly as before. You need to make sure that you have a replacement available if it’s near reaching its filtering capacity.
Do I Really Need a Water Purifier Straw?
If you do a city life and drink mostly tap water, a water filter straw is not the best choice to get filtered water, a countertop water filter might be a better choice, or a water bottler filter if you want a portable solution.
But if you plan to go outdoors and spend some time there, a water purifier straw will suit your needs because it will give you the ability to drink water from outdoor contaminated water sources.
Another good reason to buy a water filter straw is to prepare for emergency or disaster situations in which you and your family won’t have access to clean water easily.
Water Filter Straw Maintenance
Water filter straws are easy to maintain, and typically you will only need to backwash the device after using it to ensure that contaminants that could potentially block the filter are removed.
To backwash a water filter straw you can just blow through the mouthpiece and shake the straw to get rid of the remaining water and impurities.
Some water filter straws come with a syringe that should be used to do this backwash activity, simply by pushing clean water through the straw.
FAQ About Water Filter Straws
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about water filter straws.
Does a water filter straw filter out all contaminants?
Not really. While water filter straws can remove several contaminants, only really powerful filtration systems like Reverse Osmosis systems will be able to filter out virtually all contaminants.
You should check specifically which contaminants are removed by the water filter straw that you want to buy because they have different filtration capabilities. Most of them won’t be able to remove viruses, for example.
How to clean a water filter straw?
As mentioned before in the maintenance section, you will need to backflush your water filter straw after using it, to remove contaminants that might accumulate and block it.
Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, you may do it manually or use a cleaning syringe to do it.
Can a water filter straw be used with a water bottle?
Yes. You can drink with a water filter straw from a water bottle or any other container the same way you would drink from an outdoor water source.
But if this is how you intend to use a water filter straw, probably the best option for you is to buy a filtered water bottle instead.
Can a water filter straw expire?
Yes, even before reaching its filter capacity, a water filter straw might expire if it reaches the shelf life indicated by the manufacturer.
If that is the case, you need to replace it to ensure proper filtration of the water.
Can a water filter straw filter salt water?
No! Water filter straws are designed and built to remove contaminants from the water, not salt.
You are now aware of the main features to look for when buying a water filter straw, so you are in a good position to make a good and informed decision.
For us, the best overall choice is the Sawyer Products MINI Water Filter Straw, but all the water filter straws we covered in our article are great options, so you can’t go wrong with any of them!