Are you in the market for a filtration system that removes large quantities of viruses, bacteria, and chemicals? If yes, you should look for a reverse osmosis water system for your home.
About RO Water Filters
Before you begin researching the top qualities in this system, you will first need to ask – do you even need water filtration in the first place?
The primary purpose of a water filter is to remove contaminants and pollutants from water. You may expect the tap water from your sink to be clean and drinkable, so you may still question whether a filter is necessary. The truth is lead, bacteria, and pesticides get into our water more than you may think, including metropolitan and dense urban areas.
Because Reverse osmosis systems use a semipermeable membrane to remove undesired molecules and particles from your drinking water before they pass through the actual filtration stage, so RO systems take a step further than other kinds of filters
Therefore, the number one reason to invest in a RO system is to eliminate all possible contaminants that could be present in your tap water.
Check Our Comparison Table
Finding the best reverse osmosis water filter is not the easiest feat. That is why we have compiled a list of sixteen best-selling products to help you.
Each of the RO systems on our list has a good life expectancy, produces quality tasting water, and removes a significant amount of contaminants.
Reverse Osmosis Water Filters – 16 Top Reviews
16. Whirlpool WHER25 3-Stage Under Sink
|Design:||No open sump | EZ-Change indicator light | includes chrome faucet|
|Life Expectancy:||Pre and post filter: 6 months | membrane: 2-3 years|
|Performance:||3-stage filter system | no need to turn off the water supply to change the filter|
|Warranty:||1-year limited warranty|
As a contender for the best RO system, the Whirlpool WHER25 is NSF certified for contaminant removal. Though it features DIY installation instructions, you may still require a plumber if you’re not too experienced. Besides, it features an indicator light, so you always know when it’s time to change filters. The 3-stage filter does well removing lead, nitrates, arsenic, and more. It’s not just installing the WHER25 that’s so easy, but using it and maintaining it as well. The Ultra Ease Technology makes swapping out the filters incredibly simple (Whirlpool recommends that you change them at least once every six months).
The Whirlpool WHER25 is one of the best under-the-sink systems available on the market. So, there’s no need to hire a professional plumber to install it since Whirlpool designed the WHER25 for you to connect using DIY methods.
15. Brondell RO Circle
|Design:||Designer faucet | non-electric|
|Life Expectancy:||2-year filters|
|Performance:||4-stage filtration | automatically flushes RO membrane|
Firstly, this reverse osmosis system from Brondell features a sleek, modern design that won’t look out of place even if it is under the sink. Secondly, it has smart technology to save water by using a flexible reserve for consistency and a smart valve to eliminate backpressure. Thirdly, there is an automatic RO filter flushing feature to extend its life.
An LED indicator alerts you when it’s time to replace the filters – under regular use. You should expect to remove three of the filters at least once every six months. The reverse osmosis membrane filter, however, should only need to be changed once every two years.
The Brondell removes contaminants using the reverse osmosis system in conjunction with a four-stage filtration system. Each of the four filters is incredibly easy to remove and replace, and no tools are required.
14. Express Water Alkaline
|Type:||Under-sink | mounted or freestanding|
|Material:||Plastic system | steel tank | brass faucet|
|Design:||Compatible with 3/8″ and ½” under sink connections|
|Life Expectancy:||Change filter est. every 6 months|
Firstly, this model seen as the best reverse osmosis water filter is this product from Express Water. By using a 10-stage filter system, addresses numerous contaminants from pesticides to total dissolved solids (TDS). Secondly, it allows for remarkably pure water, and it produces 50 gallons per day.
One of the neat features of this Express Water Filter is the UV sterilizer chamber. This housing features stainless steel build, and its design allows it to eliminate 99.99% of bacteria, microorganisms, and viruses. So, the water will flow through the stainless chamber before coming into contact with the UV light.
As the name suggests, this filter utilizes the alkaline reverse osmosis system to make your water safe to drink. In conclusion, this system is beneficial since it helps keep the overall product affordable and also very effective at removing contaminants.
13. Olympia Water Systems OROS-50 5-Stage
|Material:||Chrome-finish faucet | stainless steel tank|
|Design:||Quick-connect fittings | fits under most sink cabinets|
|Life Expectancy:||Carbon filters 1-year | other filters 4-5 years|
|Performance:||5-stages filtration | 5 micron sediment | 5 micron carbon block (stage 2 and 3) | RO membrane | post-carbon filter|
The Olympia Water Systems OROS-50 is a 5-stage system that reportedly produces around 50 gallons daily. It is both NSF tested and certified. Moreover, this is one of the best reverse osmosis systems that comes with a thorough maintenance guide to make caring for the product over time easy.
The OROS-50 eliminates contaminants via a five-stage filtration system – a five-micron sediment filter for stage 1,5 carbon block filters for stages 2 and 3, a 0.0001-micron GPD RO membrane for stage 4, and then a post-carbon filter for stage 5. The resulting water that passes through these five stages will be thoroughly purified, high quality, and clean to drink.
12. APEC Top Tier Supreme Reverse Osmosis
|Design:||Large capacity filters | lead-free faucet|
|Life Expectancy:||2,000 gallons/up to 1 year|
|Performance:||5-stage filtration process | APEC carbon blocks|
The APEC Top Tier Supreme Reverse Osmosis Filter System is NSF certified and a WQA Gold Seal certified product. Firstly, it can remove many elements, such as arsenic and copper. Secondly, the unit features large capacity filters that help extend the product’s life. Thirdly, this device utilizes heavy-duty material that is generally clog-free, so you get the most out of your filter.
The APEC utilizes certified components to guarantee that the water you drink will be free of contaminants. One of the best standout features of the APEC is the fact that it has twice the contaminant removing capacity over other standard water filters. Besides, it also requires fewer filter change-outs, thus saving you on maintenance of the APEC. Moreover, the metal frame construction also helps reduce leaks to tube damage and ensures many years of dependable use.
11. iSpring 6-Stage Superb Taste
|Material:||Brushed nickel faucet|
|Design:||4-color tubing | spare fittings and O-rings | lead-free faucet | feed water adapters|
|Life Expectancy:||2,000 gallons|
|Performance:||6-stage system | filters down and restores essential minerals|
One of the frontrunners for the title of the best reverse osmosis water filter is the iSpring 6-Stage Water Filter System. Firstly, it is user-friendly and easy to maintain, especially with the helpful see-through 1st stage housing, which makes inspecting the filter simple. Secondly, this system does well at restoring essential minerals for more balanced alkalinity.
The iSpring has been built to meet ANSI and NSF standards, and only utilizes FDA food-grade material in the construction. The six-stage system ensures that the water will become 99% clear of all heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, sediment, and over a thousand other contaminants. Moreover, each reverse osmosis system sold from iSpring also comes with a one-year limited manufacturer warranty and a thirty-day money-back guarantee.
10. Home Master TMAFC-ERP
|Design:||3/8″ feed water adapter | shut-off valve | storage tank|
|Life Expectancy:||The filter can last 1 year | membrane can last 3-5 years|
|Performance:||Non-electric permeate pump reduces water waste | modular filter design eliminates leaks|
Making it to the top spot of reverse osmosis water systems is the Home Master TMAFC-ERP. Firstly, it arrives as a fully assembled purification unit.
Secondly, it can cut down on up to 80% of water waste while it removes around 98% of chemicals. Thirdly, it also adds minerals for better tasting and more beneficial water.
The Home Master utilizes an innovative reverse osmosis system with a seven-stage water filter designed to remove up to 98% of all chemicals, contaminants, and chlorines (like the Hahn filter). The specific minerals added to your water to make it taste better, which include calcium and magnesium.
The built-in non-electric permeate pump is also designed to increase water production by up to 50% faster. Moreover, each filter will last for two thousand gallons before needing replacement. In conclusion, it makes it one of the most efficient RO systems for growing plants.
9. Waterdrop RO System
|Material:||Strong BPA-free plastic|
|Performance:||Removes over 600,000 contaminants|
|Warranty:||Upon manufacturer request|
The first thing to notice about this Waterdrop RO system is its filtration ability. As Waterdrop states, the system can remove contaminants down to 0.0001 microns in size! That’s why it is able to remove over 600,000 various contaminants. Besides, it’s also NSF 372 certified for lead-free material.
Another nice thing is the system’s internal pump. It provides an excellent flow rate of 400 gallons per day and takes around 10 seconds to fill the cup. Also, it saves water waste by 300 percent, which directly affects your monthly water bills. It’s an excellent choice for people who are ready to invest over $500 in a filtration system.
8. APEC ROES-PH75
|Type:||6-Stage | Undersink|
|Design:||Lead-free faucet with brushed nickel finish|
|Life Expectancy:||1 year|
|Performance:||Removes fluoride, arsenic, lead, and other contaminants|
ROES-PH75 is another great choice if you want heavy-duty filtration. With its 6-stage filtration, it will provide 75 gallons of perfectly clean water every day. Also, the system works at 40-80 PSI, which is pretty decent.
This APEC filtration system is WQA certified and comes with long-lasting filters. It comes with a 2-years warranty, and all the necessary parts are included in the package. The installation is very simple, but still, installation instructions come with the package.
7. iSpring RCC1UP-AK System
|Type:||7-Stage | Undersink|
|Design:||Brushed-nickel with a rust-free finish|
|Performance:||Removes particles down to 0.0001 microns|
|Warranty:||1-year limited warranty|
If you live in an area where water is highly contaminated, then 7-stage filtration is your best choice. Also, the system comes with the Booster Pump, which allows perfect RO filtration during pressure changes.
With its 7-stage filtration, the system removes over 1,000 harmful particles. It’s an excellent choice for fluoride, arsenic, lead, and asbestos filtration. Also, the pump contains an AK filter, which restores all the good minerals that RO removes.
6. Express Water RO System
|Type:||10-stage | Undersink|
|Performance:||Removes around 99.99% of harmful particles|
This unit proves that you can get an excellent, 10-stage filtration system for a reasonable price. With its 10 filters, it successfully removes thousands of harmful particles from contaminated water. In the end, the water flows through the AK filter, which restores essential minerals to the water.
The system is customizable and comes with all the necessary fittings. Also, it’s easy to add various attachments, such as a UV water filter and a Deionization filter. It’s NSF-certified and comes with a 4-gallon storage tank.
5. Global Water RO-505
|Type:||5-stage | Undersink|
|Life Expectancy:||Filter replacement every 6 months|
|Performance:||Removes various contaminants, including fluoride and arsenic|
RO-505 provides a pretty decent filtration for the price. It costs around $150 and comes with 5-stage filtration, quick connect fittings, and lifetime technical support. Besides, it’s NSF certified and has a flow restrictor that provides backpressure for the membrane.
The system also comes with a Coconut Shell Carbon Filter, which improves water taste and odor. At the end of the system, there is an inline filter that provides additional filtration by removing leftover particles.
4. NU Aqua 5-Stage System
|Type:||5-Stage | Undersink|
|Material:||Brushed nickel faucet|
|Design:||Quick-connect fittings | Lead-free faucet|
|Life Expectancy:||3-5 years|
|Performance:||HydraCoil technology removes various contaminants|
At first, let’s mention the system’s excellent flow rate. Unlike most systems in the market, it can provide you with 100 gallons of clean water daily. It might not seem like too much, but it’s the best flow rate in that price range. Also, it takes less than 2 hours to fill the tank, and the system can support households of up to 6 people.
But that’s not all! NU Aqua comes with professional-grade Quick Connect fittings and an NSF-certified, lead-free faucet. Also, when you buy the unit, you will receive a free TDS meter. The system is covered by a 5-year warranty and provides fantastic 24/7 customer support over the telephone.
3. iSpring RCS5T Tankless RO System
|Type:||5-Stage | Tankless|
|Design:||Plastic housing | Dual-flow membrane|
|Life Expectancy:||Membrane lasts at least 3 years|
|Performance:||Dual-flow membrane saves 60% of water|
|Warranty:||1-month against manufacturer defects|
RCS5T is a 5-stage, tankless filtration system. It comes with a dual-flow membrane, which provides 500 gallons of pure water per day. Also, the membrane saves 60% of water, making it ideal for restaurants, salons, offices, and many more.
Another nice feature is a very efficient booster pump. It raises the water pressure, which directly increases the production of clean water. Also, the system is very simple to install and comes with a useful user manual and video instructions.
2. Revolution Countertop
|Type:||5-Stage | Countertop|
|Material:||High-quality, BPA-free plastic|
|Design:||5 filters packed as one piece|
|Life Expectancy:||Around 3 years|
|Performance:||Removes various contaminants, including herbicides and pesticides|
If you have enough space near the kitchen faucet, this filtration system might be ideal for you. It comes with advanced, 5-stage filtration and removes some of the tiniest particles. Besides, the system provides 75 gallons of clean water per day, which is pretty decent.
The system is compatible with over 95% of kitchen faucets. However, if you need to connect it to a garden hose, you will need to specify that when ordering. We also noted that, although it’s a countertop unit, it’s very compact and doesn’t take much space. It’s smaller than most kitchen appliances, which makes it an excellent choice.
1. iSpring RCB3P Light RO Filtration System
|Material:||BPA-free and Lead-free|
|Design:||High capacity filters | Stainless-steel frame|
|Life Expectancy:||Over 3 years|
|Performance:||Removes particles down to 0.0001 microns|
With high-capacity RO filters, this filtration system successfully removes around 98% of various contaminants. Besides chlorine, it also removes asbestos, calcium, lead, sodium, and much more.
Reverse Osmosis membranes are efficient and provide around 300 gallons of water daily. They are packed in a strong and durable stainless-steel frame and are simple to replace. Also, the system is compatible with an 11 or 20-gallon iSpring storage tank, which is a big plus.
Filters with an RO system are the most popular in the United States today for a reason. They can produce high-quality water that tastes good and is free of contaminants, so it’s safe to drink.
In the next section, we’ll discuss the primary types of RO systems on the market, and we will discuss the top qualities to look for during your purchase decision.
Types of RO Water Filters
All reverse osmosis filters work the same way by having water pass through a semipermeable membrane before the filtration stage. However, RO systems are available in a wide variety of different kinds of filtration designs. Each of these systems has its own pros and cons and fulfills various purposes and goals.
Some types of RO systems can filter water for an entire household, while others are intended for a smaller scale use. The primary types of RO filtration systems you can buy on the market today:
Countertop reverse osmosis water filters (i.e the ZIP filter) are among the easiest to install.
- Basically, remove the faucet aerator from your sink and screw the filter into the faucet.
- You can then filter massive quantities of water without ever needing to modify your plumbing.
Moreover, countertop water filters are far less likely to have clogging issues than faucet filters or pitcher filters. The biggest negative is they take up countertop space.
Also known as faucet-mounted RO water filters, these are another great choice when it comes to ease of installation. Simply unscrew the aerator from the tip of the faucet and proceed by screwing on your filter.
One of the best features of faucet filters is the ability to switch between unfiltered and filtered water. Yet, the most notable negatives are the fact they can’t fit every kind of faucet, and they also can slow down the flow of water.
A reverse osmosis water filter pitcher can be stored in your refrigerator or somewhere in your kitchen. It’s the right choice when you need to filter water for one or two people. Still, for larger families, it’s definitely going to be a little bit overwhelming filling it up all the time.
Water pitchers can also vary significantly in terms of their performance, as some are very slow and can clog easily. In contrast, others are very long-lasting and can filter through water easily.
If you’re going to buy a water filter, a reverse osmosis system could be your best bet. They are very effective at producing high-quality water free of contaminants and bacteria. So, water passes through membranes first and then through the filter to achieve this quality.
Consumer Confidence Report
All water suppliers are required to provide water quality reports to their customers each July called a Consumer Confidence Report (or CCR for short). Each CCR should include the level of contaminants detected in the waste. They also should show how those levels compare to the drinking water standards set by the EPA. If you have any concerns about the water quality in your home, the CCR will tell you the contaminants that are present.
If the CCR document from your water suppliers does indeed indicate a higher level of contamination than average, you would be wise to invest in an RO system. But even if the CCR indicates everything is within normal levels, you should still invest in a filter anyway to be on the safe side.
Water Filtration Method Comparison
All RO systems work to accomplish the same task – they use various filtering methods to eliminate sediment to create clean water. It includes particles, dirt, debris, sand, etc. Beyond that, modern-day filters also remove harmful substances in water that you can’t see, namely pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals, bacteria, and other microscopic particles that can harm you.
There are many different kinds of water filtration methods besides reverse osmosis. However, reverse osmosis is arguably the most effective option because all water is forced through a semipermeable membrane before being run through the filtration stage.
The primary different water filtration methods are as follows:
Particulate filters remove visible offensive substances from water, such as dirt, particles, sand, and other debris. While particulate filtration on its own cannot remove bacteria or chemicals or other microscopic substances, they are often the first stage in water filters. Reverse osmosis is more effective because it can remove bacteria and chemicals that particulate filters cannot.
Activated Carbon Filtration
Activated carbon filters eliminate contaminants through the process of chemical bonding. This is an excellent filtration method to use for addressing odors or tastes that are caused by substances such as chlorine. However, it still lacks the semipermeable membranes of RO filters and therefore does not remove all molecules that RO filters can.
Reverse Osmosis Filtration
Just in case it’s not already clear, reverse osmosis systems work by forcing water through membranes to remove contaminants that are larger than water molecules. This process does not remove chlorine, but it does eliminate a lot of other contaminants that carbon filters don’t.
For each gallon that is filtered, RO systems will generate multiple gallons of wastewater. Reverse osmosis systems are also a highly effective filtration method for removing parasites, viruses, bacteria, and various heavy metals such as lead.
Ultraviolet, or UV, filtration utilizes UV light to remove harmful substances such as viruses, bacteria, and cysts. However, it cannot remove all undesirable chemicals, which reverse osmosis systems can do.
Ion exchange filtration works by replacing contaminant ions by using more acceptable additives. An example would be replacing magnesium with sodium. It is a conventional filtration method used in water softeners, but it doesn’t remove all other contaminant ions entirely as RO systems can.
A filter that uses any of the above filtration methods can be a good option. Still, reverse osmosis systems are by far the most effective because they simply remove more contaminants and molecules than the other systems. It is why filters that use reverse osmosis are the most common in American homes today. Reverse osmosis filters are very effective at removing contaminants from water at a constant filtration rate.
Main Features to Recognize
Regardless of the type of RO system or filtration method you choose, make sure your reverse osmosis system has each of the following qualities:
The filtration rate may not be something you care about if you’re just using it for personal drinking water. The filtration rate refers to the amount of water that RO systems can produce each day. If your overall consumption of water outweighs the amount of water that the RO system can provide, it’s not the best choice for you. It is why paying attention to the filtration rate is essential.
The maximum filtration rate varies significantly among different RO systems today. Filters designed to produce water for a more significant number of people (such as families) should have a higher maximum filtration rate than those designed for singles or couples.
The quality of water the RO system produces is more important than the maximum filtration rate. RO systems will remove harmful contaminants from the water. The second purpose is to improve the quality of the water, meaning getting rid of any foul odors or tastes, ensuring proper maintenance of pH balance, and the keeping of any essential natural minerals in the water.
One reason why RO systems using the reverse osmosis filtration method is sometimes not the best choice; they can also remove natural minerals, such as calcium, sodium, or magnesium. Be sure to purchase a reverse osmosis water system that does not remove these kinds of minerals.
Ease of Installation and Maintenance
The filter you choose should also be easy to install and maintain. You don’t want a filter that isn’t user-friendly or requires professional installation.
Most RO systems use filter cartridges that need replacement depending on the level of use. For most, the cartridges will need replacement at least once every six months to one year. Be sure to get a filter that utilizes widely available cartridges. Make sure they are easy to install too.
RO systems will also have different maintenance requirements depending on the model. The more complicated RO systems will demand more of your time and your money. Be sure to research the maintenance requirements of the filter you are considering before you buy it.
Frequently Asked Question
Do You Need a Reverse Osmosis System in Your Home?
One may wonder what the main difference is between whole house water filters and reverse osmosis filters. And, most importantly, when should we choose one or the other?
We will try to offer an answer here:
You want a reverse osmosis water filter if your water performed poorly on water tests and has contaminants in it that whole house water filters cannot remove (some viruses, some chemicals, fluoride, etc);
Some of the best reverse osmosis filters are the ones you install under your sink to get pure water that also comes enriched with minerals.
Sometimes, an under-sink RO system is the best choice in case you do not have space or the plumbing infrastructure to install heavier, larger pieces of equipment.
Some say reverse osmosis systems are not the eco-friendliest option one can choose. However, modern technology and permeate pumps help you with your water conservation efforts while providing you with clean and safe water.
Those interested in completely cleaning their household water can consider reverse osmosis water filtration systems. Even better are those filters that add in essential minerals so that you receive quality water that also tastes good.
The reverse osmosis water filter is reliable and simple enough to use. Have you tried any of the models on our list? Tell us all about your experiences in the comment section below.