There are several types of water filters available in the market both online as well as offline. On the basis of their type of installation, water filters can be wall-mounted, placed on the table or those water filters which remain concealed under the kitchen sink or counters.
The last type of filter is called under the sink or simply under-sink water filters or counter water filters. These filters purify water using different technologies like sediment filters, ultraviolet (UV), ultrafiltration(UF),reverse osmosis(RO), and activated carbon filters.
This article provides a detailed review of five best under sink water filters along with a buyer’s guide to understand the basics of making an informed decision before buying an under-sink water filter. In the end, a list of frequently asked questions related to these, along with their brief answers is also provided.
Best Under Sink Water Filter
Here is a list of five best under-sink water filters reviewed for the benefit of the readers:
1. Neo-Pure TL3-A502 Ultrafiltration System – Chrome Faucet
- Uses 0.02-micron Ultra-fine UF filter membrane
- Better than RO systems
- IAMPO certified as per NSF/ANSI Standards
- Retains essential minerals
- Filter cartridges are readily changeable
- Has double the filtration surface area than the conventional filters
- The Chrome faucet is included in the system
- No need of a booster pump to aid filtration
- Eco-friendly and efficient as it generates no wastewater
- Requires filter replacement only once per year
- Membranes need a change only after every two years
This Ultrafiltration is better than RO systems because unlike an RO water filtration system it does not remove dissolved essential minerals and produces no wastewater, giving better water quality in an eco-friendly manner. It is undoubtedly an all in one under-sink drinking water system to get safer, great-tasting water.
Normal home water at standard pressure is all that is needed for Neo-Pure TL3-A502 Ultrafiltration Drinking Water System to purify water using its latest semi-permeable 0.02-micron UF ultrafiltration membrane technology to achieve its wonderful results. Its hollow-fiber ultrafiltration membrane extends the filtration surface area for thorough purification. It removes 90%-100% of those particles from water which is up to 5,000 times lesser in thickness than the tip of human hair.
All the suspended particles, sediments, high molecular weight impurities like lead, heavy metals, chlorine, chloramine, fluoride, pesticides, MTBE, VOCs and microbial contaminants like bacteria, viruses, pharmaceuticals, and cysts get filtered out. It allows only fresh and clean water to flow through it with no obnoxious tastes and odors while retaining essential dissolved minerals for health benefits and that great-tasting cup of coffee or tea.
This high quality, great-tasting water results from two 0.5 micron carbon blocks and a hollow fiber ultrafiltration membrane that produces no wastewater. The highly specialized filters used in Neo-Pure TL3-A502 are IAMPO certified as per NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53 and 401 as well as NSF Protocol P231 for the reduction of scheduled contaminants that apply to Microbial Water Purifiers’ category.
2. Home Master TMAFC Artesian Full Contact Undersink Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
Home Master TMAFC Artesian Full Contact Undersink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
1 used from $164.71
- A full contact technology system with unique design
- Seven stages of filtration/purification/enrichment
- Easiest RO system installation taking about 50 minutes only
- Super effective water filtration for clean and great-tasting water
- Up to 80% low wastewater generation than traditional RO systems
- Reduces Storage Tank Degradation due to re-mineralization removing acidity
- With improved filtered water flow using non-electric permeate pump
- Innovative and modular filter design avoiding bio-film and leakages
- Offers a complete, well-rounded water purification solution
- Made by an NSF listed manufacturer using NSF certified components
- Effective even in removing stubborn chemicals like chloramines
- Faucet is included with the product
- No need for special tools and extra force for annual filter changes
- Backed by a five-year limited warranty
All the traditional RO system related problems get a solution in the form of Home Master TMAFC https://www.amazon.com/Home-Master-TMAFC-Artesian-Undersink/dp/B005A3WM6C Artesian Full Contact Reverse Osmosis System. It has modified, larger fittings as well as tubing to double the flow rate than other traditional RO systems.
De-mineralized water from traditional RO systems is pure but slightly acidic which corrodes the rubber bladder in the storage tank leading to storage tank degradation and even affects the taste. The patented Home Master Artesian Full Contact technology results in re-mineralizing such acidic water not once but twice.
It has seven stages of filtration/purification/enrichment. During the cleaning step, it uses reverse osmosis, sediment, and carbon filtration. This removes up to 98-percent of heavy metals like lead, dissolved solids and chemicals like chloramines, chlorine, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and other contaminants. Its carbon pre-filters have powerful catalytic carbon filtration media to treat the very stubborn chemical called chloramines, which ordinary carbon filters can not remove.
The pH of the input water is balanced once on the way to the storage tank and next while reaching the faucet enriching it with 30-60 mg/l of calcium and magnesium minerals through a natural process, making the resulting water slightly alkaline and tastier.
The system uses a unique combination of system design architecture with flow restriction apparatus and a non-electric permeate pump to regulate pressure in the membrane chamber for best purification and lower resultant wastewater at 50 gpd rate. Home Master has a modular ‘all-in-one’ filter design with filter and its housing integrated as a unit making the entire filter disposable.
The filter change is thus quickened, simple and efficient. The problems of leakages, sediment deposits, microorganisms built up and biofilm formation associated with traditional RO systems are things of the past with this system. Plus, the filters also last long, requiring only annual changes. This is the system where filter changing requires no special tools or extra force which is normally the case with traditional RO systems because of which they are not considered user-friendly.
The system installation is quickest among all RO systems in its class and requires only 50 minutes. The system is constructed and designed using the best components certified to NSF standards with a five-year limited warranty back-up by its manufacturers.
3. iSpring RCC7AK 6-StageDrinking Water Filter System
iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Superb Taste High Capacity Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System with Alkaline Remineralization - Natural pH
4 used from $159.15
- WQA Gold Seal winner
- 1st Stage Housing is reinforced and transparent
- Uses the combined effect of GAC and CTO filters in the 2nd and 3rd stages
- Removes more than 1000 types of contaminants.
- An extra sixth stage AK restores healthy minerals and balances alkalinity
- High Capacity RO water filtration system with 75 gpd capacity
- A Lead-free Brass faucet is supplied along with the system
- Easy, do-it-yourself installation with online videos and instructions
- Affordable system with premium quality components
- Offers unique lifetime technical support by iSpring
- A one-year money-back guarantee along with a year’s manufacturer warranty
RCC7AK by iSpring is one of the favorite reverse osmosis systems in America backed by very strong customer support. It has a 6-stage, layered system filtration based on meticulously designed reverse osmosis (RO) technology removing more than 1000 types of contaminants.
The system uses the combined effect of GAC and CTO filters in the 2nd and 3rd stages ensuring extra layers of safety against harmful chemicals than other systems that use CTO singly. It has the best in class 75 gallon-per-day RO membrane capacity to economically meet the pure drinking water needs of even a large household.
The iSpring RCC7AK has a unique design that adds another Alkaline Re-mineralization (AK) stage after initial 5 stages which restores the natural mineral balance and alkalinity of the water which passes through it. The AK filter has a red mineral stone part that adds healthy minerals calcium and magnesium back into water, but also that normal RO systems can’t.
The calcite part neutralizes the slightly acidic pH resulting naturally from the RO process, thus improving the taste of resultant water. The preferable natural taste of water results from the presence of certain healthy minerals in the water which the re-mineralization restores in the right natural proportion
Most users can easily install the entire system themselves nicely under any standard kitchen sink. It can be said because all the necessary components for installation along with written and video instructions accompany the package.
Additionally, iSpring’s strong technical support can be accessed at any time for help. It is a smooth, low maintenance, silent system without any moving parts. Filters are of standard size and easily replaceable. A solid brass faucet serves as a water outlet source with a provision to connect output lines to ice maker, coffee maker, etc.
A one-year money-back guarantee along with a year’s manufacturer warranty and unique lifetime technical support by iSpring’s are other pluses of the system The system also boasts of winning a reputable WQA Gold Seal.
4. Filtrete Advanced Under Sink Quick Change Water Filtration System
Filtrete Advanced Under Sink Quick Change Water Filtration System, Easy to Install, Reduces 0.5 Microns Sediment and Chlorine Taste & Odor, Includes 6 Month Filter (3US-PS01). Manufactured by 3M.
- Very compact and affordable lightweight system
- It requires less than 30 minutes to install the whole system.
- Offers Maximum, Advanced and Standard filter choices
- Operates at a very wide range of operating pressure from 25 to 125 psi
- Outputs 1.5 gallons/minute of filtered water
- Comes with all the installation accessories along with detailed instructions
- There is a 1-year limited warranty back-up
- Meets the NSF standards 42 and 53.
- Comes with an extra filter cartridge supply
One of the most cost-effective filters available today that can remove impurities from the water like chemicals such as chlorine along with the bad taste and odor that it causes. It also eliminates particulate matter such as soil sand, silt, cysts and rust along with other unsafe impurities like heavy metals(lead), pesticides, pharmaceuticals, etc.(depending upon Maximum, Advanced and Standard filter choices).
It is, however, not effective in removing fluoride. A choice of three interchangeable water filter variants is available depending on required quality of filtration. The filters need replacement every six months or after filtering 2000 gallons of water. The flow of water is not disturbed as it can work effectively at an operating pressure of 25 to 125 psi to give an output of 1.5 gallons/minute of filtered water.
The installation of the system is very simple and quick in less than thirty minutes and it can be connected to any existing water faucet in the kitchen. All the accessories required for installation, operating and installation instructions are supplied in the package.
An extra filter cartridge along with a reminder sticker for replacing filter is also provided. There is a 1-year limited warranty back-up and it meets the NSF standards 42 and 53.
5. APEC WFS-1000 Super Capacity Under Sink Water Filter System
APEC WFS-1000 Super Capacity Premium Quality 3 Stage Under-Sink Water Filter System
4 used from $114.31
- Made using the best available components
- Comes with One-Year Satisfaction Guarantee
- It has a three-stage design for filtration
- Very wide operational range of feed water pressure from 20 to 85 psi
- Filters tap and well water equally effectively
- Supplied bundled with a lead-free faucet and FDA certified JG food grade tubing
- Lifetime support from WQA certified water specialist
- Healthy minerals are retained in filtered water
- Eco-friendly as it generates no wastewater
The APEC under sink filter is made using the best available components in the world to work equally effectively on tap as well water. It has three-stage design for filtration to filter out sediments like soil, sand, rust, cysts, etc. as well as hazardous chemicals. It is effective in removing chlorine, VOCs, other chemicals as well as bad taste and odor from water but does not remove total dissolved solids.
The water is filtered with no wastewater generation and healthy minerals are retained in filtered water. The system should never be attached to hot water to avoid any irreversible internal damages and should also be installed where no direct sunlight falls. Filters need replacement annually while operating efficiently at a feed water pressure of 20 to 85 psi.
A lead-free faucet along with FDA certified JG food grade tubing is supplied with the product. It is backed by a year’s satisfaction guarantee and WQA certified water specialist’s lifetime support.
Here are some of the important considerations for under-sink water purifier buying:
- Input/output water pressure
It is of prime concern as operational water pressure range and output water pressure varies for water filters with under sink water filters scoring better over conventional filters.
The system that provides installation by an expert technician should be preferred and all the necessary installation arrangements and power connections should be made beforehand.
Ease of maintenance, cleaning, and ease of filter/ cartridge changing need to be considered while selecting a filtration system.
- Life of filter cartridge
Changing filters frequently is cumbersome but necessary as they form the backbone of the process. A filter cartridge’s recommended life varies from 6 months to 5 years. The input water quality impacts filter life. A system with a reasonably long efficient filter life should always be selected
- Technology for purification
RO, UV or RO plus UV/UF technology combined, sediment and carbon filters based filters are available in the market. The choice of technology will be dictated by the quality of input water being available.
An RO based system is for hard water with higher levels of total dissolved solids, An RO plus UV system is recommended for an input water supply being hard and full of germs.
- TDS control/re-mineralization
This is an important consideration for RO based systems as most of the total dissolved solids are removed necessitating re-mineralization to restore taste, slight alkalinity, and healthy nutrient supply.
- Size/Storage Capacity
As an under-sink water filter has to fit under a sink its size should be such that not many alterations to existing kitchen sink set-up are required. A system with a sufficient storage capacity of 7-12 liters is enough depending upon size of the household to ensure ready supply of drinking water even during electricity outages.
- System auto cleaning
It is always advisable to go for a self- cleaning system where auto-cleaning is done by the system to avoid choking due to sedimentation or deposition of minerals like calcium and magnesium.
- Operational mode
A system with an automatic mode of operation makes sure that there are no overflows, leakages or shortages of water along with no intervention required for uninterrupted filtered water supply.
- Error Indications
System failure/error/warning alarms/ alerts/buzzers are handy to indicate when a UV lamp needs a change or a filter needs replacement or an RO membrane replacement is necessitated. Choose a system with a clearly visible/audible alert mechanism.
- Warranty and after-sales service
Always choose a brand that offers best warranty/guarantee period and conditions and backs it up with a reliable after-sales service network.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Most contaminants are removed using which filtration system?
Reverse Osmosis filtration unarguably removes most of the dissolved and un-dissolved particles irrespective of them being contaminants or not.
- Which one is better out of RO based and UF based filtration systems?
Both are membrane-based systems. RO has smaller holes in its membrane and removes even dissolved solid molecules from water, whereas UF membrane holes are relatively less small and so are incapable of removing dissolved solids. Both are equally potent systems to rid water of harmful chemicals and germs.
- Is the taste of RO water different?
As the RO systems remove dissolved minerals also it affects the taste as well as pH of the resulting water unless re-mineralization process is involved.
- Can hot water damage a water filter?
RO systems definitely get damaged by running hot water.
- What is the lifespan of a water filter or purifier?
It depends upon the quality of input water, upkeep, cleaning and maintenance of the system. The supplier recommended changing filter cartridges/membranes, gaskets, etc. ensures that they can last for years without any diminished quality of service.
With increasing population and depleting sources of safe drinking water for human beings, the need for good a water purification system can not be over-emphasized. A variety of contaminants ranging from particulate matter to chemicals and germs need effective removal to make water suitable for human consumption.
Several technologies are available for water filtration with each having its own range and limitations. The under sink kitchen filters are becoming popular among modern households due to their functionality, design, compactness, and affordability. A highly competitive branding/positioning/pricing makes selecting a product extremely difficult for a common buyer.