To the uninitiated, lack of access to clean water might seem like solely a third world problem. However, situations like the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, reminds us just how close to home it is.
According to a recent research review, about 9-45 million Americans get their drinking water from sources that violates the national Safe Drinking Water Act. This report considered historical data on water consumption from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the last three decades.
Yes, compared to worldwide standards, the U.S has relatively safe water. However, as proved time and time again, random cases of contamination can pop up in a random city at any time. The potential health risks associated with contaminated water is why more than 4 in every 10 American homes use some form of a home filtration system (according to a study by the EPA.)
Filtering water also helps to protect you against chemical contaminants. Harmful chemicals can exacerbate health conditions like stomach flu. Furthermore, severe cases of chemical contamination can lead to more chronic conditions like neurological disorders or even some cancers.
Home filtration systems or smaller localized options like refrigerator water filters, water filter pitchers, and faucet water filters can go a long way in protecting your family from these potential health hazards. These filtration systems catch contaminants like sand and debris, chlorine and organic compounds, as well as potentially poisonous metals like iron, chromium, and mercury. Water filters also help remove that chlorine taste and any foul smells.
Faucet-mounted water filters offer a convenient, cost-efficient, and environmentally friendly way to filter your drinking water at home before use.
Thanks to their two-step carbon-powered filtration system, capable faucet water filters can remove up to 70 different types of water pollutants.
How to Faucet Water Filters Work?
Faucet water filters use a filtration cartridge that uses a two-stage cleaning process to rid your drinking water of impurities and contaminants.
First Stage: Sediment Removal
The first stage handles large debris chunks like sand and rust. This filtration layer typically consists of a non-woven filtration screen with at least 0.5-micron openings.
Second Stage: Carbon Filtration
For an even more thorough clean, the second stage filtration is handled by a stub of activated carbon. Activated carbon cleans water via a process called adsorption, whereby pollutant molecules in the water line get caught inside the pore structure of the carbon substrate.
Carbon filtration can catch microbes like bacteria and fungi that escape conventional physical filters. Thanks to its active substrate, carbon also traps an array of chemicals that include chlorine, lead, pesticides, and herbicides, as well as several harmful volatile organic compounds. The active layer also helps to remove taste and odor from water.
The longer the water stays in contact with the activated carbon layer, the more contaminants get trapped in the carbon substrate. Hence, many water filters slow down the flow rate of water to ensure more exposure to the carbon layer. As a result, a filtered water line may produce a significantly slower water flow than a filterless one.
Faucet Water Filter Pros
Compared to other water filter types, faucet water filters bring several advantages that include::
Your typical water filters are big bulky things that often create a series of extra steps you must take to get drinking water. For example, with water filter pitchers, you have to fill up the container manually regularly. Moreso with refrigerator water filters, where after emptying the water reservoir, you have to wait a while for it to fill back up.
Thankfully, faucet water filters save you the added wait time. Turn on your faucet, and you get access to a never-ending stream of drinking water immediately. Another big plus with faucet filters is that their small size makes them extremely portable and an excellent road companion. Bring your faucet water filter on the road, and you will have clean water everywhere you go.
Unlike specialty home filtration system that requires complex installation processes, most faucet water filters feature a “direct hookup” setup that you can get up and running in minutes. You should be able to install these filters in little time, even if you are not tech-inclined.
Save for changing the filter cartridges every few months; faucet water filters are maintenance-free.
Faucet water filters cost a fraction of the price of other water filtration solutions. The cost of filter cartridges changes is also on the low end compared to filter changes for other water filtration systems.
These filters do not produce wastewater like other filtration solutions; hence, they conserve more water and prevent wastage. Using faucet filters with tap water is also significantly more eco-friendly than buying bottled water.
Ability to Switch Between Filtered And Unfiltered Water
Some faucet water filters let you switch between filtered water and unfiltered water with the push of a button. This feature is particularly useful if you want to compare both to check the efficacy of your filter. It is also a great way to check if the unit is due for a cartridge change.
Faucet Water Filter Cons
Choosing The Perfect Faucet Water Filter: Best Features
Cartridge Change Sensor
One feature you should look for when buying a faucet water filter is the inclusion of a cartridge change sensor light. Over the lifespan of your unit, the primary maintenance operation is changing the filter cartridge. Hence, a notifying sensor significantly improves your experience as it lets you know when a change is due and ensures you have clean water always.
A swivel head on faucet filters significantly improves convenience, especially in the kitchen sink. A fixed head is not a problem until you need some flexibility, and then it’s everything.
Design and Finish
If you are perfect decor fanatics like we are, you should take special care to select a sleek-looking faucet filter model. The ideal unit should match the aesthetics of your kitchen and blend in nicely with your other fixtures and appliances.
As part of the cleaning process, faucet filters typically slow down the water flow considerably to ensure a thorough carbon-powered clean. If substantial water flow is crucial, you should opt for one of the models that support an enhanced flow. However, slower flow improves filtration, so if it’s not a significant inconvenience, we recommend getting a slow-flowing filter.
Faucet filters are some of the cheapest water filters available. However, what you should be wary about is the price of regular filtration cartridges changes. You will need to change cartridges every 1-3 months, so units that use cheaper replacements will significantly reduce maintenance costs.
Best Faucet Water Filters
PUR 3-Stage Advanced Faucet Water Filter
If you need an outstanding filter that you can set up and have running in under 5 minutes, the PUR advanced filter is your best bet. With its sleek design, low maintenance, and durable casing, The PUR filter checks all our boxes for the ideal faucet water filter for any home.
The unit comes with 3-stage active carbon filtering and a light sensor that notifies you when a cartridge change is due.
The cartridge on the PUR provides up to 100 gallons of filtration and lasts for 2-3 months of typical use before you need a replacement.
The cleaner is super easy to install and comes with “1-click” attachment in the box that helps you set it up in minutes. Furthermore, the ease of install makes the PUR advanced an excellent water filter to bring on your travels.
PUR 3-Stage Advanced Faucet Water Filter’s excellent build and superb convenience features make it a favorite among users. Hence, it is no surprise that the model is Amazon’s best selling faucet water filter.
- Easy Install
- Accurate Filter Sensor
- Durable chassis
Brita On Tap Faucet Water Filter System
For reliable water filtration that you can trust, try out Brita On Tap Faucet water filter system. This faucet filter provides superior filtration that is capable of decontaminating any mildly polluted water source.
Of all the filters we reviewed, the Brita is also the easiest to install.
Installing the Brita faucet filter does not require any tools. Screw the unit onto your faucet, and you are ready to go.
One of the filter’s most robust features is its increased pressure setting that helps provide substantial water flow compared to other faucet filters. If reduced water flow is a significant issue in your home, you should pick this unit as it outperforms everything else in the category.
Brita On Tap Faucet Water Filter System comes with a warning light that alerts you before and when you need to change the filter cartridge.
- Consistent and increase water flow
- Fast tool-free install
- According to multiple customer reviews, the cartridge change notification light stop working after extended use
Kabter Healthy Faucet Mount Water Filter System
The Kabter faucet filter system offers an improved water filtration system that is designed to improve your drinking water instantly. The Kabter system uses an advanced KDF55 filter that is designed specifically for removing chlorine, chloramines, iron, hydrogen sulfide, and water-soluble heavy metals.
For an extended cleaning runtime, the Kabter ships with a 200-gallon cartridge that will serve you for up to 4 months before needing replacement.
Furthermore, for an easy install, the filter ships with an adapter in the box. The adapter lets you install the unit on male faucets. With female taps, you can install it directly.
For a reliable top performer at a reasonable price, the Kabter Healthy Faucet Mount Water Filter System offers excellent value for money.
- Long-lasting filter cartridges
- An easy cartridge change process
- A bit harder to install than other models
Culligan FM-25 Faucet Water Filter
Another popular choice and one of the best-rated filters on Amazon, the Culligan FM-25 is a top performer that you can trust. The cleaner comes in two sleek finishes to match your kitchen aesthetics and an ergonomic chassis that is easy to install.
You also get a full 2-year limited warranty which is unheard of in this product category.
The filter comes with a handy filtration switch button that lets you turn filtration on and off, allowing you to collect unfiltered water whenever you want to. This feature is particularly useful when you need to test if the filter is working correctly.
The Culligan FM-25 has one of the most effortless installation processes in its class.
- Excellent filtration
- Easy install
- Filtration switch
- Cartridge change notification light
- Its filter change process is more complicated than most
InstaPure F2BCT3P-1ES Faucet Water Filter System
InstaPure F2BCT3P-1ES is another high-end faucet water filtration system that offers reliable water cleaning.
Thanks to its eye-catching chrome finish, this InstaPure filter will blend right into your kitchen decor. However, its superior aesthetics does not detract from its functionality.
Like the Culligan, this filter also comes with a filtered water switch that lets you test the difference between filtered water and regular tap water.
The InstaPure filter has a sleek chassis that has everything at this price point beat. The fixture is also quite easy to install. It’s ample 200-gallon filter cartridge require changing once every three months.
Unlike other water filtering systems, the InstaPure F2BCT3P-1ES provides substantial water pressure.
- Sleek, durable chassis
- Excellent filtration
- Easy install
- Filtration switch
- Good Water Flow
- Poor hot water performance. Water that is too warm will damage the fixture.
JIANFA Faucet Water Filter
With the JIANFA, all you need is a simple twist and lock, you are all set up and ready to go. The JIANFA faucet water filter prides itself as one of the easiest water filters to install.
This model also features a long-lasting 200-gallon filter cartridge that can serve you for up to 4 months before needing a replacement.
The unit sports a reinforced KDF-55 filter that excels at catching traces of asbestos, mercury, lead, chlorine, and hydrogen sulfide. The filter is also a top performer against chlorine-resistant cysts, bacteria, and other microbes.
JIANFA Faucet Water Filter is durable, practical, and easy to install, making it an excellent water filtration choice for any home. The unit comes with a full money-back guarantee valid if the product does not match the manufacturer’s promises.
- Long-lasting filters
- Durable chassis
- Money-back guarantee
DuPont WFFM100XCH Premier Faucet Water Filter
DuPont WFFM100XCH has the lowest price of all the units on this list. However, it’s budget pricing does not detract from its performance. The filter packs a 100-gallon cartridge that you will need to change on average every two months.
The model features a premium-grade active carbon filter that removes up to 99.9% of debris and sediments, lead, chlorine, mercury, asbestos, and volatile organic compounds. The filter is excellent at neutralizing bad tastes and foul odors.
If you need a decently priced faucet water filter to eliminate most drinking water contaminants, look no further than the DuPont WFFM100XCH Premier Faucet Water Filter
The device is super easy to install, and you will be able to have it up and running in minutes.
- Excellent bang for your buck
- Efficient water filtration
- Poor installation instruction manual
Best Budget Option: iSpring DFW1 Faucet Water Filter
If you are on a shoestring budget, the iSpring DFW1 is a no-brainer. For a water filter at this low price, the iSpring boast impressive specs like a filter rating of 0.1 microns.
For under 10 bucks, you get a 300-gallon filter cartridge that efficiently eliminates traces of fluoride, chlorine, mercury, and VOCs, as well as bacteria and other microbes.
Pick the iSpring DFW1 Faucet Water Filter if you want decent water filtration and clean drinking water at a fraction of the price of other regular water filtration units.
- Great bang for your buck
- Long-lasting filter cartridges
- 1-micron filtration
- Excellent customer support
- Bland design
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How to Install a Faucet Water Filter
Most faucet filters feature a pretty straight forward installation process. They often do not require special tools and should take only a few minutes to set up.
To install your new faucet water filter, follow these steps:
Unscrew the Faucet Aerator
Remove the aerator by hand or with a wrench if it is more sturdy. Remove any washers too.
Clean Mineral Buildup
Depending on the age of your faucet, you may have metal and mineral deposits under the aerator. You can clean the buildup with warm water or with some vinegar.
Attach the Filter
Attach the filter to the faucet and twist it until it locks into place. Depending on your faucet filter’s build, you may need an adaptor to connect to a male/female faucet. For some models, this adaptor is included in the package.
Fix and Flush the Cartridge
Now connect the cartridge and turn on the tap. Let the water run for at least 5 minutes to flush out any excess carbon before tasting the water.