6 Best Countertop Water Filters of 2024

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The best countertop water filters are generally easy to install, have the advantage of portability, and use an electric pump or gravity to pass water through one or several filters, reducing dozens of common contaminants. 

We evaluate and compare water filters based on our own hands-on testing. As a WQA Certified Water Specialist (CWS) and Certified Water Treatment Representative (CWR) I’ve reviewed dozens of countertop filtration systems in my time running Water Filter Guru. Here, I’ve shared my top recommendations based on my own data-driven analysis.

Our Testing & Selection Process

The 6 Best Countertop Water Filter Systems

SystemAquaTru countertop reverse osmosis water filtration system
AquaTru
Waterdrop King Tank
Waterdrop King Tank
Epic Pure Water Filter Dispenser
Epic Pure Dispenser
RKIN U1
RKIN U1
Clearly Filtered Pitcher
Clearly Filtered Pitcher
ProOne Big+ gravity-fed water filter
ProOne Big+
Score9.549.108.908.868.788.56
Price$449.00+$249.00$75.00$749.95$90.00229.95+
CertificationsNSF/ANSI 42, 53, 58, 401, and P473NSF/ANSI 372--NSF/ANSI 42, 53NSF 42 (materials safety only)
Filter Capacity600 – 1,200 gallons3,000 gallons150 gallons792 – 1,200 gallons100 gallons1,00-1,200 gallons
Cost per Gallon$0.11$0.06$0.31$0.08$0.55$0.41
Warranty1 year1 yearLifetime1 year2 years5 years
ReviewAquaTru reviewKing Tank reviewEpic Pure reviewRKIN U1 reviewClearly Filtered reviewProOne Big review

AquaTru Performance

The AquaTru scored a 9.90 for reducing health-related contaminants in our water. In our testing, it eliminated 100% of all contaminants with possible health effects, including fluoride, lead, strontium, uranium, molybdenum, and barium.

The system also reduced 100% chlorine in our water, giving it an equally high score of 9.90 for reducing aesthetic contaminants. 

Plus, it’s been IAPMO certified to NSF Standards 42, 53, 58, 401, and P473 for the reduction of all 83 contaminants that AquaTru claims it can reduce, which incorporates a materials safety certification. It also has an NSF 372 certification for lead-free design. 

Brian installing the water tank of aquatru

Conventional RO systems waste up to 4 gallons of water per 1 gallon purified, but the AquaTru’s 4:1 recovery rate is much better and meant that we weren’t constantly emptying the wastewater tank.

The AquTru also received high scores from us for setup and maintenance – 10.00 and 9.75 respectively. Our unit arrived partially assembled and didn’t require a difficult filter priming process. We found it easy to keep up with its servicing requirements, and the display screen notified us when replacement filters were needed. 

We think the AquaTru is the best countertop water filtration system for folks who want to reduce as many contaminants as possible in their water. Anyone who sees performance certifications as a non-negotiable should find AquaTru’s extensive IAPMO certifications reassuring.

CriteriaResults
Health Related Contaminants9.90
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.90
Performance CertificationCertified for 100% of reduction claims
Filtration Rate0.04 GPM
Component QualityOutstanding
Component CertificationCertified
SetupExceptional
Servicing RequirementsOutstanding
Costs$0.11/ gallon
Warranty Length1 year
ShippingFree shipping
Returns30 days

Waterdrop King Tank Performance

The Waterdrop King Tank received a 9.51 score for contaminant reduction. Our test data showed that it had reduced 100% aluminum, chloroform, manganese, total THMs, and lead in our water, as well as 93% copper, 40% barium, and 28% sulfate. 

The separate fluoride filters also reduced fluoride by 100%, and the system reduced 100% chlorine, effectively addressing any taste and odor issues. 

Our only disappointment was that the King Tank isn’t performance-certified, which is one reason why Waterdrop’s overall contaminant reduction score was slightly lower than AquaTru’s.

We awarded the King Tank a score of 9.4 for design. Many of the other countertop water filters we tested store filtered water in a plastic tank, but the Waterdrop system limits water’s contact with plastic. It comes with a steel/glass sight spigot (many competitors sell these as add-ons), although this isn’t entirely plastic-free.

Waterdrop King tank water level spigot

Setup and maintenance were trickier with the King Tank, and its scores in these categories (6.50 and 8.50 respectively) were lower. The user manual was clear and we didn’t need any special knowledge, but the filter priming process was time-consuming and tedious. Replacing the filters wasn’t technically difficult, but we had to follow the same priming process. However, the King Tank has one of the lowest ongoing costs of all the countertop systems we tested: just $0.06/ gallon.

We recommend the Waterdrop King Tank to anyone who wants a more affordable alternative to reverse osmosis, which doesn’t waste water or use electricity, and reduces contaminants without also removing healthy minerals. 

Waterdrop Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
Overall Score: 9.10

Waterdrop N1

Another great offering by Waterdrop in the countertop water filter category is the N1. This system is a high-performing countertop RO unit, and reduced 100% of 10 health-related contaminants in our water. It’s around $150 cheaper than AquaTru’s base model and its 3:1 efficiency ratio is only slightly lower than AquaTru’s.

Read our full Waterdrop N1 review here

CriteriaResults
Health Related Contaminants9.90
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.90
Performance CertificationNot certified
Filtration Rate4 GPH
Component QualityExcellent
Component CertificationNSF/ANSI 372
SetupFailing
Servicing RequirementsWeak
Costs$0.06/gallon
Warranty Length1 year
ShippingFree shipping to continental US
Returns3 days

Epic Pure Performance

The Epic Pure’s overall contaminant reduction score was 9.00, putting it only slightly behind Waterdrop and AquaTru. It reduced 8 contaminants in our water, including 100% chlorine, uranium, copper, and phosphorous, 57% molybdenum, 41% barium, 27% fluoride, and 20% nitrate. 

Like Waterdrop, Epic hasn’t obtained a performance certification for its dispenser, which we were disappointed about. 

The system got a 10.00 score from us for its filtration rate. It filtered 0.453 gallons of water in just over 12 minutes, giving it a filtration rate of 2.23 GPH – pretty quick for a gravity-fed system. 

We couldn’t have been happier with the filter setup process. We awarded it a 9.50 in this category because assembly took less than 5 minutes – we just washed and assembled the dispenser and reservoir, then inserted the filter. We didn’t have to prime the filter, but we needed to discard the first batch of dispensed water. 

Epic Pure Water Filter Dispenser on countertop

We think the Epic Pure dispenser is the ideal countertop water filtration system for folks with smaller budgets who want a comprehensive water treatment solution without the expense of a system costing hundreds of dollars. It’s affordable to maintain, too, with a cost per gallon of $0.31.

CriteriaResults
Health Related Contaminants9.30
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.90
Performance CertificationNot certified for any reduction claims
Filtration Rate2.23 GPH
Component QualityUnsatisfactory
Component CertificationNot certified
SetupOutstanding
Servicing RequirementsOutstanding
Costs$0.31/gallon
Warranty LengthLifetime
ShippingFree shipping for the Clean Water Club only
ReturnsLifetime

RKIN U1 Performance

We awarded the RKIN U1 a 9.00 for contaminant reduction. It did a great job of removing 100% fluoride, lead, uranium, chlorine, copper, zinc, and molybdenum, and greatly reducing barium, nitrate, and sulfate. But its overall score was impacted by its lack of a performance certification. 

The system excelled in the setup and maintenance categories, with 10.00 and 9.75 scores respectively. Like the AquaTru, the U1 is a plug-and-play system, and its push-button flush feature meant that we didn’t have to worry about priming or flushing the filters manually. We estimated its ongoing cost as $0.0809/ gallon, making it slightly cheaper to maintain than the AquaTru.

The U1’s filtration rate was only a little slower than AquaTru’s, at 0.07 GPM (AquaTru’s measured at 0.08 GPM). 

As for design, we were generally pleased with the U1’s component quality, but we gave it a slightly lower score of 7.50 because of its majority-plastic design and lack of a materials safety certification. 

We loved being able to dispense hot or cold water and take advantage of the different presets on the touchscreen control panel. In our opinion, the U1 is ideal for anyone who enjoys the convenience and unique benefits of high-tech gadgets, especially folks who use a lot of hot water for cooking and beverages.

CriteriaResults
Health Related Contaminants9.30
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.90
Performance CertificationNot certified for any reduction claims
Filtration Rate0.07 GPM
Component QualityOutstanding
Component CertificationNot certified
SetupExceptional
Servicing RequirementsExceptional
Costs$0.08/gallon
Warranty Length1 year
ShippingFree shipping on orders over $175 to lower 48 states
Returns30 days

Clearly Filtered Performance

The Clearly Filtered Pitcher got a score of 8.24 for contaminant reduction. We were pleased to see that it reduced 100% fluoride, uranium, chlorine, and copper in our water, as well as 86% barium, 67% strontium, and 53% molybdenum. But it only reduced 11% nitrate and 3% sulfate, and 0.0054 PPM of cobalt actually appeared in our filtered water. 

We felt reassured by Clearly Filtered’s WQA performance certifications, although it has only been certified to reduce 3 out of the 365+ contaminants it’s claimed to reduce, so it didn’t impress us as much as AquaTru here.

The pitcher’s 2.27 GPH filtration rate, based on its ability to filter 0.5 gallons of water in 13 minutes and 12 seconds, meant that we had access to filtered water fairly quickly – something that isn’t a guarantee with gravity filters

We awarded Clearly Filtered a score of 9.70 for its design, putting it in line with AquaTru. We noted that the pitcher (which is made of BPA-free Tritan plastic) felt sturdier, better-quality, and more durable than the majority of other water filter pitchers we tested. The pitcher is also WQA certified for lead-free design and holds a materials safety certification as a component of its performance certifications. 

We think the Clearly Filtered Pitcher is a great choice for folks who want to effectively address many contaminants in their water with a smaller, more portable, and more affordable countertop filter. Its 10-cup capacity satisfied our two-person household without the need for constant refills, and we could easily carry it from room to room – it wasn’t tied to one location like the larger dispensers we tested.

CriteriaResults
Health Related Contaminants83
Aesthetic Related Contaminants99
Performance CertificationCertified for 0.82% of reduction claims
Filtration Rate2.27 GPH
Component QualityOutstanding
Component CertificationCertified
SetupOutstanding
Servicing RequirementsOutstanding
Costs$0.55/ gallon
Warranty Length2 years
ShippingFree shipping all orders
Returns30 days

ProOne Big+ Performance

The Big+ reduced 100% of lead, copper, fluoride, aluminum, and manganese in our water. However, what pulled its contaminant reduction score down was its failure to effectively address disinfection byproducts – it reduced just 47% of total THMs and 56% chloroform.

A unique benefit of this system is that it can also be used to filter untreated surface water, like river or lake water. We awarded it a 10.00 in our untreated water test because it eliminated all three bacteria types present in our test water. 

The Big+ hasn’t been performance certified, but its filter has an NSF 42 certification for materials safety. The system did better than any other countertop water filter we tested in the design category, with tens across the board. Only the filter cartridges use plastic components, so the Big+ should tick your boxes if you want to avoid plastic where possible.

We found this ProOne unit easier to set up than the Waterdrop King Tank. The process took us less than 20 minutes, and we didn’t have to prime the filters – we just ran them under cold water and scrubbed the ceramic with a scouring pad for 2 minutes each. That made maintenance easier, too, although its ongoing servicing cost of $0.41/ gallon was significantly higher than Waterdrop’s $0.06/gallon.

The system’s 0.77 GPH filtration rate was slower than the King Tank’s, so it got a lower score of 7.00 in this testing category. 

The ProOne Big+ might have let us down slightly on the contaminant reduction front, but we recommend it over the Waterdrop King Tank for anyone who values materials safety certifications and wants to avoid the hassle of priming filters.

CriteriaResults
Health Related Contaminants8.71
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.9
Performance CertificationNot certified for any reduction claims
Filtration Rate0.77 GPH
Component QualityExceptional
Component CertificationExceptional
SetupGood
Servicing RequirementsGood
Costs$0.41/gallon
Warranty Length5 years
ShippingFree shipping on orders over $69.95 to the lower 48 states
Returns30 days
  • Brian Campbell
    President & CEO, CWS, CWR

    Brian Campbell, a WQA Certified Water Specialist (CWS) and Certified Water Treatment Representative (CWR) with 5+ years of experience, helps homeowners navigate the world of water treatment. After honing his skills at Hach Company, he founded his business to empower homeowners with the knowledge and tools to achieve safe, healthy water. Brian's tested countless devices, from simple pitchers to complex systems, helping his readers find the perfect fit for their unique needs.

  • Jennifer Byrd
    Water Treatment Specialist

    For 20+ years, Jennifer has championed clean water. From navigating operations to leading sales, she's tackled diverse industry challenges. Now, at Redbird Water, she crafts personalized solutions for homes, businesses, and factories. A past Chamber President and industry advocate, Jennifer leverages her expertise in cutting-edge filtration and custom design to transform water concerns into crystal-clear solutions.

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