While under sink water filters have been around for some time, they’ve become much more popular in recent years. But, why has this occurred? The EPA requires drinking water to have a certain quality. But, not all places in the U.S. have the same water. This means that your drinking water may be hard or have a metallic taste. Water filters help to purify your drinking water even further. And, they will even improve your water’s taste.
There are a number of different types of water filters. In this best under sink water filter article we focus on the under-sink water filter. This type of water filter is attached underneath your kitchen sink. Because this filter is hooked directly into your water supply, it may need to be installed by a professional plumber.
Despite having to get help in its installation, an under sink water filter comes with major pros. It save space on your counters and in your fridge. And, this type of water filter can handle a large batch of water at once. Plus, depending on the model you choose after reading through the below under sink water filter reviews, these models aren’t as expensive as some other types of water filters.
Under Sink Water Filter Comparison Table
|Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter|
Our Top Pick for 2019
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|Pelican 3-Stage Under Counter Water Filter|
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|CuZn UC-200 Under Counter Water Filter|
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|iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage High Capacity Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter|
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|APEC Top Tier Alkaline Mineral pH+ 75 GPD 6-Stage Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter|
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|Woder 10K-Gen3 Ultra High Capacity Direct Connect Under Sink Water Filter|
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|Express Water Alkaline Under Sink Ultraviolet Reverse Osmosis Water Filter|
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Best Under Sink Water Filter Reviews
1. Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Water FilterView Price
The Home Master TMAFC-ERP is our editor’s choice under sink water filter for a reason. It uses the highly desirable reverse osmosis treatment as its filter option. This is the best type of filtration on the market. So, you know that your water will be completely clean of contaminates with the TMAFC-ERP. Home Master claims that TDS (total dissolved solids) will be reduced by an amazing 90% with the TMAFC-ERP.
You only have to change the filters on this system every 2000 gallons of water or once per year, whichever comes first. The filters are easy to change as well. And, the built-in non-electric permeate pump actually reduces your water waste and increases production. So, the TMAFC-ERP improves your environmental friendliness in addition to cleaning your water.
Home Master is all about customer comfort and safety with their under sink water filters. The TMAFC-ERP comes with a five-year limited warranty. You do not even have to worry about hiring a plumber to install this filter because the kit comes with everything you need to get it running yourself.
One negative of the TMAFC-ERP under sink water filter is that it does not filter out iron or destroy microorganisms. Still, Home Master claims that the TMAFC-ERP is best home reverse osmosis filtration system on the market. However, this does not mean that it is the best RO system in general. But, still, you get your money’s worth with the TMAFC-ERP.
2. Pelican 3-Stage Under Counter Water FilterView Price
Pelican’s 3-Stage Under-Counter Drinking Water Filter uses a three-stage filtration process to clean and purify your water. It is made in the United States, compact, and highly effective. The three filters are a 25 micron prefilter and two catalytic GAC carbon filters. The prefilter removes a large number of sediments and other problems from the water. And, carbon filters are essential for keeping your water tasting great.
In fact, Pelican’s three-stage filters uses the latest in technology and innovation to remove every bad taste and odor from your water. This under sink water filter system is also one of the greenest on our list. It is so small that its packaging and shipping weight are far less than other products. Plus, you only need to change the filters every year, which cuts down on filter waste.
Another major advantage of Pelican’s under-counter drinking water filter is its easy set-up. All you have to do is hook it up, and you are ready to go. Pelican offers downloadable installation instructions on their website. And, when you change the filters, you just unscrew them. No tools or plumbers are necessary.
Pelican offers a limited warranty. But, their website does not specify the length of the warranty. Plus, you should read the contract carefully to make sure that the warranty applies to your situation, and that you do not do anything that will void it.
One final drawback of Pelican’s 3-stage under sink water filter is that it does not use reverse osmosis. Pelican claims that their process is better and wastes no water. However, it may not clean your water as effectively as some of the other RO filters.
3. CuZn UC-200 Under Counter Water FilterView Price
CuZn’s UC-200 Under Counter Water Filter has an unbelievable life expectancy. It will pump 50,000 grams of water or work for an amazing five years. Thus, CuZn offers a five-year pro-rated warranty and 90-day satisfaction guarantee. They clearly believe strongly in their product.
The UC-200 is a simple under sink water filter. You do not have to worry about installing a third faucet or hiring a plumber. Just connect the filter to your cold water supply, and you are ready to go. The filter system itself is quite small and compact and will fit under most sinks easily.
Like the Pelican under sink water filter, CuZn’s UC-200 uses a three-stage filtration process. Its filters are a micro sediment membrane, KDF-55, and coconut shell carbon. The three separate filters are bacteriostatic, which is a fancy term that means the water filter will not grow mold or bacteria.
If you have any problems or need extra support with the UC-200, CuZn has amazing customer support. Their specialists are happy to provide an extra install kit at no additional cost or answer any questions you may have. CuZn’s great customer service makes this under sink water filter stand above the rest.
One negative, the UC-200 does not reduce TDS readings. CuZn claims that this is so beneficial hard minerals are not removed from your water. But, this means that harmful TDS can still be present.
4. iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage High Capacity Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Water FilterView Price
The 75GPD by iSpring amps up the number of filtration stages by half. This under sink water filter systems has a whopping six-stages using reverse osmosis. Such an intense filtration system virtually guarantees that your water will be the cleanest possible. The 75GPD even produces perfectly PH-balanced water, which will improve your health and energy levels.
The drain to RO water ratio on the 75GPD is 2 to 1. What this means is that only two gallons of water are wasted during the creation of one gallon of clean water. So, environmentally, the iSpring 75GPD is a top option.
All of the components of the 75GPD are independently tested using the top national standards. In fact, this under sink water filter has been shown to remove up to 99.99% of harmful contaminates from your water. It is no wonder that iSpring includes a 30-day money back guarantee, one year limited warranty, and lifetime tech warranty for this product.
On drawback of the 75GPD is that is does not destroy microorganisms. So, this under sink water filter is not the best for well water. And, it is a conventional under sink water filter, which means you will need to drill a new hole in your sink for a third faucet. Although all of the required components are included in the purchase of the 75GPD, some people may need a plumber help to install it correctly.
5. APEC Top Tier Alkaline Mineral pH+ 75 GPD 6-Stage Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water FilterView Price
The APEC Essence Roes-PH75 is another six-stage under sink water filtration system. However, Apec has the advantage of being the U. S’s top water filter brand and a twenty-year history. The Roes-PH75 is a noise-free system. So, you will never have to worry about a rattling from underneath your kitchen cabinets.
Also, Apec includes a two year extended warranty and easy-to-follow installation instructions. They even have a number of videos to help you install the Roes-PH75 yourself.
In addition to your purchase of the water filter, you also receive a 100% lead-free faucet. This is a convention under sink water filter, so it requires a hole drilled for the included faucet. But, as mentioned above, Apec includes installation instructions that make it easy to install this system yourself.
The Roes-PH75’s six-stage filtration removes 99% of bacteria, viruses, cysts, organic materials, chemicals, and all other harmful things found in your water. It also uses food-grade cartridges. The cartridges themselves are long-lasting and can filter either tap or well water.
Apec does not include their certification information. So, there does not seem to be independent proof that their product works as described. Plus, the included modern faucet may not work well for all kitchen designs. But, overall, the Roes-PH75 is a great under sink water filter for most households.
6. Woder 10K-Gen3 Ultra High Capacity Direct Connect Under Sink Water FilterView Price
Woder’s 10K-Gen3 under sink water filter is of the simple variety. It is directly connected to your cold water supply. It does not need any plumbing to be installed. It comes with hoses that fit the standard 3/8-inch water valves. DIYers will love the Woder 10K-Gen3.
Woder does not use reverse osmosis in their filter systems. They claim that that process removes too many of the good minerals and bacteria along with the bad. Instead, they use a specially designed filter that removes over 99.99% of contaminants while still leaving all of the good minerals in your water.
Woder uses an independent company to test the 10K-Gen3 to ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards. So, you know that it will work as it claims to work. That is great peace of mind to have in a crowded and potentially over-whelming under sink water filter market.
One drawback to the Woder system is that is has to be used with treated tap water. Essentially, the water already has to be disinfected and treated before use with the 10K-Gen3. This is not a problem for city dwellers. But, it means that the under sink water filter can not be used with well water. Plus, some people may be turned off by the fact that the 10K-Gen3 doesn’t actually remove harmful material from your water, it only improves the taste and smell.
7. Express Water Alkaline Under Sink Ultraviolet Reverse Osmosis Water FilterView Price
Express Water’s Alkaline Ultraviolet Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System actually adds beneficial minerals back into your water. These include calcium, potassium, and magnesium. This under sink water filter uses reverse osmosis to remove harmful additions to your water, like lead, chlorine, fluoride, nitrates, calcium, arsenic, and bacteria.
Express Water includes a one year warranty on their reverse osmosis water filtration system, which proves how highly they regard their product. Plus, this conventional under sink water filter does not have to be activated for use. It automatically fills your water tank with filtered water. It even comes with a third faucet.
The Express Water under sink water filter uses the greatest number of stages of any product on this list so far: eleven. Each stage in the water filtration process performs a slightly different function. And, the leak stop valve will shut off flow to the filter if it senses too much water. But, the result of this intense process is the cleanest water possible.
With all of the stages and components in the Express Water reverse osmosis water filtration system, the product is slightly more complicated than others. For example, you will have to remember which filters are replaced once per year and which are replaces twice per year. Additionally, there are no indicators on the filters to let you know when they need to be replaced. So, some of the maintenance for this product relies on guesswork.
How Under Sink Water Filters Work
Okay, you’ve decided to purchase one of the under sink water filters mentioned above. But, now what. Ever wonder how the water filter actually works? Now you don’t have to. In this section we will discuss how the under sink water filter actually purifies and sweetens your drinking water.
Below we discuss many different types of under sink water filters and how they work. But, keep in mind that no matter what type of under sink water filter you have, it uses a filter to remove contaminates and bacteria from your water. Essentially, it is this process that makes your water even safer to drink and allow it to taste better.
Types of Under Sink Water Filters
Firstly, there are actually two types of under sink water filter: simple and conventional. Let’s start with the simple under sink water filter. Simple filters divert all of the cold water through the filter. It is simple to install, hence the name. This type of under sink water filter is just attached to your cold water line. And, voila, filtered cold water through your tap. However, simple filters will not work with hot water.
On the other hand, conventional under sink water filters use a separate faucet to provide you filtered water. Like the simple filter setup, conventional filters do not work with hot water. Instead, a connection is attached to your cold water pipe. It carries cold water to the filtration unit, which is then dispensed through the alternate faucet.
A major advantage of this system is that you are not always using the under sink water filter. You can choose to use unfiltered hot and cold water or filtered cold water. Conventional filter systems require the help of a plumber to be installed properly.
Types of Filters
No matter what type of under sink water filter you use, they work in a similar manner. All water filters use a specific type of filtration method. You may find under sink water filters that are activated alumina, activated carbon, ceramic, or reverse osmosis. Each of these filters employs a slightly different method that filters out the contaminates in your water.
Many under sink water filters use the reverse osmosis method for their filter. In this type of filtration, the water is forced through a membrane full of small pores. The purified water is then collected while the contaminates are taken away. Reverse osmosis under sink water filters are typically a more expensive and bulkier option. However, they have a high degree of effectiveness, which make them a great option if you can afford them.
Advantages of an Under Sink Water Filter
There are a lot of reasons to choose an under sink water filter. Most importantly, they save you precious counter space. And, they remove bad tastes and odors from your water and sink. Under sink water filters typically use at least one carbon-based filter. Carbon filters are great for removing the bacteria and trace metals that give your water a scent and foul taste.
But that’s not all, there are actually a number of health reasons for using an under sink water filter. First, sediment, chlorine, heavy metals, fluoride, arsenic, nitrite/nitrates, and bacteria/microorganisms are all filtered out of your water. Each of these comes with its own health risks, so let’s address each one separately.
Sediment is small bits of earth materials that end up in your water. These bits of material can have pollutants and pathogens attached to them. This contaminates your drinking water. Sediment is most common in well water, but it can be found in city water as well. Therefore, it is extremely important to remove as many sediments as possible.
Chlorine is a chemical that can be dangerous to humans in large doses. Under sink water filters will remove all chlorine from your water supply. Arsenic, also, is extremely poisonous to humans. It is completely removed by under sink water filters. Additionally, heavy metals can have a similar detrimental effect on your health. For example, mercury can cause blood and brain issues. Lead has a similarly infamous negative effect on human health. So, it is important that under sink water filters remove these chemicals, metals, and other dangerous substances from your water.
Fluoride and nitrite/nitrates are not completely removed by under sink water filters. However, the devices remove enough of these dangerous substances to make it safer for humans. Too much concentration of fluoride in drinking water has been linked to cancer. And, nitrites and nitrates are extremely dangerous to children and the elderly in large amounts. Under sink water filters remove the danger from these substances.
Finally, some bacteria and microorganisms can cause sickness. Some that are found in water are Cryptosporidium and Giardia. Both of these can cause digestive problems in humans and animals. Under sink water filters prevent bacteria outbreaks in your sink and around your faucet.
Obviously, under sink water filters have major advantages. The health benefits alone outweigh their potential cost. Plus, they make water easier to drink and less of a nuisance on your sinks and faucets. There are very few reasons not to purchase an under sink water filter. The real question is which product is right for you and your family.
If you’re looking to outfit your home with a few different water filtration and purification methods, consider a water distiller as well!
Under Sink Water Filter Installation and Maintenance
So, you are sold on the benefits of the under sink water filter. But, now you have a problem. You don’t know how to install this type of water filter. Because under sink water filters are more complicated to install than other type of water filters, you may need to hire in a professional plumber. These professionals can have the product installed in a few hours.
However, if you are an avid DIYer or if the cost of a plumber is a consideration, it is likely that you can install the under sink water filter yourself. The two types of under sink water filter are installed differently. Conventional under sink water filters require more installation work. You need to
- Shut off the cold water.
- Disconnect the supply line.
- Connect ¼-inch tubing to inline shut-off valve on the filter and the cold-water line.
- Attach the filter to the inside of your cabinet.
- Drill a new hole through the sink for the new filtered water faucet.
- Tighten and putty everything.
- Turn back on the cold water.
You can read more detailed instructions of this process here.
With simple under sink water filters, you follow similar steps. However, you just run the cold water supply directly into the filter. You will not need to drill a hole for another faucet since all cold water to the sink will be filtered. This type of under sink water filter is much simpler for the DIYer to install. But, both types can be done by a home owner as long as you have the proper tools and are careful to not create leaks in the line.
Under sink water filters are fairly easy to maintain. The biggest thing that you will have to do is change the filter. You should clean, sanitize, and replace the cartridges in your water filter at least once per year. Thankfully, doing these tasks are quite easy. Just follow these steps.
- Shut off the cold water.
- Open the filtered water faucet, so that there will not be a build-up of pressure.
- Remove the housing of the water filter.
- Check the O-rings for damage. You may need to replace them if they show cracks or tears. O-rings can be bought at home improvement stores like Lowes.
- Either clean or replace the water filter cartridges. Whether you replace or clean the cartridge is determined by the type of water filter you have. Read your user’s manual for more information.
- Sanitize everything while it is open and rinse thoroughly.
- Replace the filter housing. Shut off the faucet.
- Turn back on the cold water.
Best Under Sink Water Filter Buyer’s Guide
Under sink water filters have a lot of pros to offer, but there are so many available that they can be hard to choose between. We have listed seven unique products above. But, how to determine which one is right for you?
The answer is simple, read the following buyer’s guide. It will tell you the most important features to look for when purchasing an under sink water filter.
Under Sink Water Filter Stages
The number of stages that a water filter uses greatly determines the amount of harmful material it removes from your water. At eleven stages, the Express Water filtration system more than any other of the seven products. Eleven is far more than the three stages of the Home Master or Pelican.
But, more filtration stages is not always better. The reverse osmosis products use a highly proven method of filtration. They can get away with less stages because the water gets clean the first couple of passes. What you want to look out for is a non-reverse osmosis filter that only has one or two stages. Those products are likely less effective than ones with more stages.
What is caught refers to the actual materials that are caught by the filtration system. Some products remove everything, good and bad, from your water. These systems often then add good minerals back into the water (see the following section for more information). But, not all under sink water filters remove everything.
For example, the iSpring does not remove or kill microorganisms. Additionally, the CuZn does not decrease TDS readings in your water. So, if it is important to you that your under sink water filter removes any chance of harmful contaminates, you should choose a system that guarantees a 99.99% removal rate.
When the under sink water filter removes everything from your water, you no longer have the healthy minerals and bacteria. So, the water actually loses its health effects. So, some companies now create under sink water filters that add healthy minerals back into the water.
Often, the minerals that are added back into your water are calcium, potassium, and magnesium. The products from our above list that do this are the Home Master, iSpring, Apec, and Express Water. The Pelican and Woder under sink water filters do not actually remove the good minerals in the first place.
System and Cartridge Longevity
Longevity is an important consideration. It applies both to the under sink water filtration system itself and to the cartridges. Most company’s cartridges only need to be changed once per year. However, some of the systems with many stages, like the Express Water product, have cartridges that need to be changed twice a year. If you are someone who does not want too much trouble, then make sure to look for the longevity of the cartridges.
Many companies will also include the longevity expectations of the under sink water filter system itself. For example, CuZn claims five years or 50,000 gallons for their UC-200. And, Woder expects their system to last for a minimum of three years. The longevity of the entire water filtration system is important because the longer it is, the more time you have before you have to replace it.
Ease of Installation
Finally, the easier the installation, the better for most people. Not only will you likely not want to hire a plumber. But, you also probably do not want to spend hours trying to get the under-sink water filter installed. Thus, the easier installation is, the better.
In this category, Apec is the clear winner. Their easy-to-follow instructions and videos make installation a breeze. Plus, the simple type products are much easier than the conventional under sink water filters. The simple varieties on our top seven list are the CuZn and Woder.
When it comes to deciding on the best under sink water filter for your personal situation, there’s a lot to consider. That being said, be encouraged that you’re on the right path, as under sink water filters are a cost-effective way to increase the health of your family for the longterm, while also simply providing better tasting water. What’s more, as there are numerous options available with different stages and functionality, you’re bound to find a unit that fits perfectly into your budget. While a whole house water filter and water softener is an overall better option, these systems are much pricier than an under sink unit; if you’re simply looking for a relatively quick and easy way to start generating some safe, great tasting water from the tap, the units listed in the above under sink water filter reviews are great alternatives.