Faucet-mount filters screw directly onto a kitchen faucet for filtered water at your fingertips. These are some of the least expensive filters on the market, with replacements costing $45 to $65 per year. Tools and plumbing knowledge generally aren't required, and the filters don't become a permanent fixture in your kitchen. Faucet-mounted units can be convenient for households that drink more filtered water than a pitcher or dispenser water filter can provide.
The Culligan Faucet Filter FM-15A (*Est. $20) is a top pick by both professionals and consumers. It's one of the best-selling faucet-mount filters on Amazon.com; users say it installs quickly and doesn't leak. Switching to filtered water is a simple matter of pulling out a stem valve, which owners say conveniently resets back to unfiltered when you turn the faucet off.
"The real beauty is both the faucet filter and the replacement filters are less expensive than other big name brands," says one owner. Filters last for 200 gallons or about two months, and the Culligan's yearly cost is an estimated $66. Users say its biggest drawback is its slow flow. This is a common complaint for faucet-mount filters, and Culligan rates just below average.
The Brita Basic Faucet Filtration System (*Est. $19) has a slightly better flow rate and still provides excellent filtering. Although the filter indicator is supposed to change from green to red, a number of Lowes.com customers say it doesn't work well. Replacement filters cost about the same as Culligan's at about $12 but last for only 100 gallons, making the FM-15A a better overall value.