A countertop water purifier can filter your tap water and remove contaminants that are harmful to your health. It’s a great alternative to purchasing bottled water, which can be expensive.
It’s important to conduct a water test before buying a countertop water filter. Your local Culligan Water expert can perform a free in-home water test and consultation.
Removes or Reduces Bacteria
A countertop water filter is a pint-sized filtration powerhouse capable of removing a vast range of chemical, pharmaceutical, pathogenic and heavy metal contaminants. Depending on the model you choose, it may also remove odours and unpleasant tastes as well as heavy metals, radon and sediment.
The wildly popular Big Berkey is an example of a top-rated countertop water filter that offers full water purification, eliminating many harmful substances including dangerous pathogens. Most models on the market use black granular activated carbon to trap bacteria, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other chemicals. Some also feature an ion exchange resin that reduces heavy metals like lead and mercury.
Other types of water filters for countertops include ceramic filters that offer a more thorough filtration process than a standard carbon-based filter. They combine a porous ceramic element with silver ions, which filters particulate matter and prevents bacterial growth, as well as an ion exchange resin that reduces VOCs, heavy metals, chloramines and other chlorine byproducts. Some of these filters also eliminate Giardia and Cryptosporidium cysts, which can cause gastrointestinal problems.
Most countertop water filters come with convenient, easy-to-use features that make them a great choice for busy households. They typically come with indicator lights to let you know when it’s time for a new cartridge, are compatible with a wide variety of faucet types and are available in attractive castings to fit any kitchen decor. Some models also feature a diverter valve to easily switch between filtered and unfiltered water.
Removes or Reduces Sediment
A basic countertop water filter uses a mechanical filter to remove dirt, debris and other physical contaminants from your drinking water. These contaminants can clog pipes, cause damage to appliances and decrease the quality of your water. Some of these filters also contain a granular activated carbon filter to reduce chlorine taste and odor, as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
These systems use a series of stages to produce clean, clear water. In the first two or three stages, a sediment filter and a coconut shell carbon filter trap large particles. They then use a reverse osmosis membrane to reject most contaminants, including VOCs and microorganisms. This process leaves behind essential minerals in the water.
Some of the best countertop water filters feature a handy digital display that tells you when it’s time to change the filter. These systems also include a diverter valve to allow you to choose filtered or unfiltered water, and they’re designed to fit a variety of faucet types. They’re portable and easy to set up, making them ideal for apartments, vacation rentals and homes where plumbing alterations aren’t possible or desirable.
The best countertop water filters can be used to reduce the amount of plastic waste your household produces by reducing the need for bottled water. They can also help improve the health of your family by removing harmful chemicals, bacteria and other contaminants that are found in tap water.
Removes or Reduces Chlorine
The best countertop water filters use a combination of filter media, like activated carbon and ion exchange resin, to remove chlorine and odors from drinking water. They also reduce chemical contaminants, such as fluoride and PFAS. Some of the more advanced models even use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms.
Because they operate directly at the faucet and filter water as it comes out, countertop water filters are more convenient than pitchers, which require refilling and waiting for filtration. They’re also easier to clean, with fewer small parts and crevices to get dirty. Most have a diverter valve that lets you switch between filtered and unfiltered water. A few, such as the Aquasana AQ-4000, can even adjust their flow rate for optimal water pressure.
Some filters offer a remineralization feature that adds back in healthy minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, which are removed during filtration. These give the water a more alkaline taste and supposedly boost energy, improve skin health and slow down ageing.
Before buying a countertop water filter, check its maintenance requirements to ensure it will fit your home’s needs. Some filters need replacing after just a few months, while others can last for up to a year. It’s also worth conducting a water test, either using a kit bought online or at a hardware store. Then, choose a model that will eliminate most of the contaminants in your home’s water supply.
Removes or Reduces Volatile Organic Compounds
A countertop water filter may remove or reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs are found in many household products, including paint thinners, pest spray, glue, ink, magic marker pens and air fresheners. These chemicals have low boiling points, and they vaporize into gas when exposed to atmospheric temperatures. These vapors can seep into groundwater, contaminating rivers and lakes that supply municipal water supplies. City water suppliers are required to report on the presence of VOCs in their drinking water, and if they reach certain maximum contaminant levels, water must be treated.
The best countertop water filters will contain granular activated carbon to reduce the presence of VOCs in drinking water. They will also have a ceramic or tourmaline ball to enhance water with minerals and improve its alkalinity. Unlike pitchers that require manual pouring, some countertop models have built-in taps and dispensers for instant filtration of drinking water on demand. Most countertop filtration systems do not require permanent installation, and they are easy to move between homes or vacation rentals.
Most countertop water filtration systems are tested and certified by independent third parties, such as NSF International to ensure they meet specific criteria. Some examples are NSF 42 for aesthetic contaminants like chlorine, NSF 53 for reducing heavy metals, and NSF 401 for removing emerging contaminants like pharmaceuticals.