Home water filters can save money over bottled water.
Home water filters remove chlorine and odors to improve taste, and many make drinking water more pure by reducing harmful contaminants such as lead and arsenic. Per gallon, they're usually cheaper than buying bottled water and more convenient than filling jugs at front-of-store dispensers.
The two types of water filters are point-of-use and point-of-entry. In this report, we focus solely on point-of-use filters, the most common variety.
Point-of-use filters are available in three styles: faucet-mount, under-sink and water pitcher. Most use activated carbon to absorb impurities and odors. Faucet-mount and pitcher filters tend to be the least expensive, while under-sink models cost more and must be installed, which may require plumbing modifications.
Point-of-entry systems filter an entire household's water supply. These are usually installed in basements or outside, and experts say they're best for stopping visual contaminants like dirt, sediment and rust. However, point-of-use filters are still needed to remove microbial cysts like parasites and certain other contaminants.
For water that reeks of chlorine, homeowners can install a shower filter with a vitamin C element, such as the Vitashower SF-1 Shower Filter . Reusable water bottles (*Est. $15 to $25) with built-in filters are a great way to drink clean water on the go; check out our water bottle review.
To select the best point-of-use water filters, we analyzed lab results from several professional testing organizations and evaluated hundreds of expert and user reviews, carefully considering feedback on installation, convenience and durability. Read on to learn about our recommendations for the water filters that are best at removing bad taste and contaminants.