What every best Water Filters has:
- A large enough capacity.
- The proper filtering mechanism.
- A moderate to fast flow rate.
Consumer Reports editors analyze several dozen water filters in five categories, including carafes (pitchers), countertop, faucet-mounted, under-sink and under-sink reverse osmosis. Each unit is ranked on removal of lead and chloroform, as well as flow rate and clogging. Each filter is ranked against other, similar filters. Useful buying information includes pros and cons of each type of filtering system.
Thousands of users post comments on water filters and replacement filters at Amazon. Owners share how easy the filters are to install, how durable they are and which features are convenient for everyday use. Many offer helpful tips on installation and maintenance.
Walmart offers fewer water filter systems than Amazon, with Brita and PUR the top sellers. Some water filters get hundreds or thousands of user reviews, which tend to be more positive overall than those at Amazon. Walmart also carries quite a few replacement filters and cartridges.
Water filters are a popular do-it-yourself project and the water filters at Home Depot get a decent amount of feedback. GE and Whirlpool are top brands here. In addition, replacement filters often receive quite a few reviews.
Originally the National Sanitation Foundation, NSF International is an independent nonprofit that provides regulatory resources across a variety of industries. In their home drinking water section, you can learn about contaminants in water, determine if you need a water filter, get some tips on selecting the right filter, and look up products to see if they carry the NSF certification.
Like the NSF, the Water Quality Association certifies that manufacturer's claims about water filters hold up in testing. They also have links to find certified professionals for installing your home water treatment system and to learn about water quality.
This update was made in response to issues with Wirecutter's top choice, the Brita Longlast Filter. Although their top pitcher choice is also a Brita, it was specifically chosen because the Longlast Filter fits in that pitcher. A runner up is also named. Elsewhere on this site, under sink water filters are discussed, but not tested.
The top pick here is the ZeroWater 10-cup pitcher, with that selection made after 30 hours of research and testing. Five pitchers in total were tested, although one has since been discontinued. This thorough roundup includes charts and comparisons. Taste, flow rate, features and ergonomics were all taken into account.
The staff at Reviews.com evaluate 38 water pitchers and faucet water filers, narrowing it down to then test the final contenders. This update was made to address the fact that their top pick is out of stock everywhere (that's because it was discontinued last year, but, apparently, the editors don't know that yet). Still, testing is well-documented and useful in helping us make our picks.