Countertop Water Filter Reviews and Buying Guide 2021

Is the Countertop Water Filter you Want the Best for your Needs?

Before starting shopping though, it’s worth considering what is the best countertop water filter in 2021.

It may be a foul odor, scary contaminants or a weird taste. No matter what, it is important to get the right one.

Knowing what you want to remove from the water will help you determine the kind of filter needed.

2021 Best Countertop Water Filter Reviews

To give you a better idea of what is available for the consumer, we are going to review four (4) best benchtop water filter systems.

So, to do that we went through main factors:

  • Relative size for a standard kitchen.
  • Quality of the elements.
  • Performance of the filtration process.

Of course, we know there are other factors you may find important to take into account but these are the ones to look for when buying a benchtop water filtration system.


Big Berkey Water Filter – Best for big families

Big Berkey Water FilterBig Berkey Water filter gravity alternative

  • Perfect for use in hostile environments as it can filter treated and untreated water sources.
  • 2.5 gallons filtered water capacity.
  • Sturdy tanks made of highly polished 304 stainless steel.

  • The bottom tank may overflow when full.
  • It seems the air flow is restricted when the top tank is full, reducing the water flow.
  • It can take some necessary space out from your kitchen if you have a tiny one.

The Big Berkey water filter system promises to provide you and your family with a constant supply of pure tasting water.

This gravity water filter removes impurities and contaminants from both treated and untreated water including:

  • Pathogenic microorganisms.
  • Parasites.
  • Chemical substances and,
  • Fluoride.

It comes with two (2) self-sterilizing and re-cleanable Black Berkey purification elements.

They contain active carbon, and two PF-4 Berkey fluoride filters.

These last ones were developed to remove chlorine and fluoride from your water.

Alternatively, the filters are also compatible with white ceramic option.

With a storage capacity of 2.25 gallons, this unit is perfect for households with up to four (4) members.

Larger families may find a better option with the Royal Berkey version, which produces pure water for up to six (6) people.

If you need more than that, then you can go an acquire the biggest models from 8 to 12 people.

For the variety of options, that is why the Berkey could be the best for small or large families.

Below, is a nice summary just for you to help you decide what to expect from each Berkey water filter model.

Berkey Water Filter ModelGallons capacityFilters embeddedFlow Rate (GPH)Families up to
Travel 1.522.753
Big 2.25474
Light 2.7547.55
Royal 3.25486
Imperial 4.5616.58
Crown 682612

Just like the Alexapure Pro gravity water filter, the Big Berkey can accommodate up to four (4) filters in the upper tank.

Each set of two (2) activated carbon filters have a life expectancy of 3000 gallons each.

On the other hand, the two (2) PF-4 fluoride filters only last for 6 months (providing years of dependable use).

Easy to install and maintain, this water filtering system brings an excellent value for money.


APEX Countertop Drinking Water Filter – Best flow rate

Apex Countertop Water Filtration system

  • Cost effective water filtration system.
  • Very easy to install and compatible with most standard faucets.
  • Includes alkaline beans to provide essential mineral for your body and balancing the pH of the water.

  • It works with standard faucets only.
  • It only lasts for up to eight (8) months or 750 gallons (keep as reference the amount of gallons the system filters).

This APEX water filter is simple, easy to install and user friendly.

Not many countertop versions have a five (5) stage process to treat water at home.

One of its biggest benefits is the flow rate the system delivers, regardless of the number of stages.

In addition, it connects to most standard faucets. This, in fact, is not so common to find the market.

The process is simple:

  • The stage 1 will remove heavy metals, bacteria and other microorganisms by using KDF-55 media.
  • The second and forth stage are meant to remove any potential large particles before and after the GAC.
  • The third stage is the actual activated carbon that will remove most organic and inorganic contaminants.
  • The last stage does not remove pollutants. Thanks to the alkaline beans, it adds basic mineral such as potassium and magnesium.

Aside from treating 750 gallons of water, I like the transparent casing protecting the actual filter.

Basically, you will see when the media is clogging up and you would possibly tell when is time to change it.

Complying with all NFS and FDA regulations, this countertop water filtration system comes with all the required hardware for installation.

Let’s be honest, it is a no brainer to figure out how to install the system.


New Wave Enviro – Best filtration media

New Wave Enviro water filter

  • Easy to install to any tap water system.
  • Comes with calcite that lowers or increases the pH of the water.
  • Very efficient on removing most of contaminants.

  • It does not remove fluoride.
  • Flow rate can be reduced (due to all the stages) if your municipal water pressure is low.

The New Wave Enviro is the first countertop water filter that has ten (10) stages of filtration.

What is actually interesting is the price. For those with a low budget, this could be a solution to remove most contaminants.

What is interesting is the amount of gallons that can be filtered during its lifespan (1,500).

In terms of the filtration stages, this is what is involved:

  • 1: 50 micro pad that removes most sediments.
  • 2: Silver impregnated GAC some organic contaminants and reduces bacteria growth.
  • 3 and 4: cation exchange to remove most heavy metals.
  • 5: Anion exchange to remove components that protect inorganic arsenic molecules.
  • 6, 7 and 8: iron oxide and to layers of GAC (washed and non-washed) to reduce other inorganic and organic pollutants.
  • 9 and 10: fiber pads to further remove heavy sneaky metals and sediments.

As you can see, this complex system ensures a thorough and instant filtration of water.

With the high lifespan of the filtration media, the New Wave Enviro is perfect for large families.

Although, it will be easily connected to the faucet, the flow rate could be drastically reduce after a few months.

It is great to have a few stages of filtration but a good flow rate is also important.

Space-saving and attractive, the New Wave Enviro water filter installs in seconds and needs no maintenance other than periodical replacement of the cartridge.

Backed up by a manufacturer’s warranty, this water filtration system truly deserves your attention.


Aquasana AQ 4000 – Best filter arrangement

Aquasana AQ4000 filter

  • Easy to adapt to your water kitchen tap.
  • Keeps the water important minerals for your body to absorb.
  • Small size that will take little space from your kitchen bench.

  • Loosening the caps could be harder than imagined.
  • Replacement filters are a bit expensive.
  • Water flow could be very slow.

The Aquasana AQ 400 filter is the last countertop model that makes it to the best ones in 2020.

Aquasana is another brand that takes the treatment of water seriously with their high-end systems.

In order to remove chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals, organic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and chlorine-resistant microorganisms, this system has four (4) stages.

Compared to other benchtop filtration systems such as the above reviewed, the Aquasana’s signature CLARYUM® dual filtration system has a different approach.

Two (2) parallel filters comprised by a set of GAC and the combination of ion exchange membranes with micro-filtration.

Due to the technologies involved, this filter removes up to 10% more contaminants that other similar systems.

Furthermore, it comes with the necessary gear that allows you to mount it in any kitchen faucet, garden faucet, or connect it to a dishwasher.

2021 Bench-Top Water Filter Buying Guide for Beginners

The above reviews provide no value if you don’t learn the basics of countertop filtration systems.

This buying guide has been created to answer the most common question from the public.


How Does a Countertop Water Filter Work?

If you want to enjoy clean water, finding the best countertop water filter is a must.

Any countertop water filtration system uses a multi-step process.

The filtration process

The first step is mechanical filtration to remove any particles and larger bio pollutants.

Water softening follows as calcium, magnesium, and heavy metals are eliminated via ion exchange.

The water then goes through a singular or set of activated carbon media, which removes a large number of organic and inorganic contaminants like pesticides, disinfectants and chlorine.

The flow rate and pressure

A great thing about this filtration systems is the common use of the municipal water pressure.

This is contrary to most reverse osmosis systems that need a pump to push the water through.

The flow rathe could vary depending on the number of stages and their complexity.

The final touch

To operate this systems, it has to come with a diverter that connects to the actual faucet.

For this, you have to replace the faucet’s aerator with the filter provided one.

Don’t loose the removed part just in case you have to put it back.

Common Benefits and Limitation

Let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of a countertop water filter:


  1. Most models offer great filtration at cost-effective prices.
  2. These water filters systems are compact so suitable for any kitchen configuration.
  3. A countertop filter is relatively easy to install; still you will get the manual though.
  4. If required, the filters can easely be primed to improve the flow rate – don’t do this all the time though.
  5. Compared to sofisticated systems, they can also remove a large number of contaminants from the water.
  6. If your model has a remineralization process, you will enjoy healthy, great tasting water.


  1. It may lower your kitchen’s aesthetics.
  2. Designed only for treating one point of water, not a house whole.
  3. If you have a tiny house, maybe better to get a faucet water filter system. Read our faucet filter reviews and guide to find the best one in the market.

Types of Benchtop Water Filters

There are two (2) types of countertop water filtration system:

Gravity water filter configuration

These water filters can’t be connected to a faucet. Basically, they have to be manually filled.

Due to their configuration, the flow rate is very low an may take some patience from you.

Filters are generally made of activated carbon, which removes organic and inorganic pollutants. As you can see, they could be limited.

Let’s look at the two (2) main types of such filters:


  • Ceramic gravity water filters:

This is a gravity fed filter that is contained in a ceramic shell. If you suffer from allergies, this is a great option.

Besides, they look more stylish as they have paint works done.


  • Stainless steel made:

This is the most popular among them. They tend to be bigger in size, like the ones from Berkey.


  1. No need for any electricity, which is a cost-saving.
  2. They can be placed anywhere in your home.
  3. Some models can be ported for camping.
  4. More durable, good quality materials and little to almost no maintenance.
  5. More filters can be added to increase the filtration process.


  1. The ceramic version may easily break.
  2. Cartridges can be pricey.
  3. Filtration process is slower than any other system.
  4. Some of them may generate a rubber taste after a few months (read the Big Berkey review, filters limitations section for more details).


Mechanical Configuration

This table top water filter configuration can be easily attached to your existing faucet’s aerator.

There are a variety of sizes and filtration levels on the market. Let’s consider their pros and cons:


  1. Easy installation. You just need to connect it to the faucet.
  2. You will not need to alter your countertop for the install.
  3. Good filtration rates.
  4. Some models such as the New Wave Enviro water filter can have the same efficiency as some high-end filtrations systems.
  5. Don’t use electricity, just the municipal water pressure.


  1. You will have to monitor the flow rate to know when the filter needs replacement.
  2. Only treats water at the installation point, as you can’t move it around.
  3. This unit will be noticeable and may affect your kitchen’s aesthetics.
  4. No water pressure, no filtration process.

Considerations when Buying a Bench-Top Water Filter?

We want to ensure that you get the best countertop water filter so before buying one, here’s what you need to know first:

  • Space

Depending on the distribution of your kitchen, you will need to determine the space required in order to fit correctly your countertop water filter.

Even though, the space could be an issue, remember that you have two (2) options to choose from so this should be not a worry.

  • Type

Decide whether you will go for a mechanical or gravity water filter. Keep in mind which type will work best for your family and the space available.

  • Household usage

Depending on your water demand, you will need define the volume of filtered water your household will need each day.

  • Filtration requirements

Some filters are better at removing some contaminants than others. So, you should determine your water quality via a home testing kit.

You will then be able to buy the best countertop water filtration system to treat your water.

  • End product

The water may taste different after filtration, especially if your filter removes all minerals.

A unit that remineralizes your water, such as the APEX countertop drinking water filter, will improve the taste and enhance your health (believe it or not).

Your choice of a water filter should also consider these aspects.

  • Cost

You will need to consider your budget. We advise that you purchase the one that can effectively remove the contaminants from your water.

Remember, the most expensive model is not always the best option.

  • Maintenance

Last but not least, you will need to consider the maintenance of the desired table top water filter.

While a countertop water filter is easy to install, it still requires maintenance.

You will need to change the filtration media once it gets to the recommended lifespam by the manufacturer.

The duration of your filter’s life may range from 4 to 12 months.

The price of your unit does not determine your filter cost, so beware! You also need to consider that some units have multiple filters that will all need to be serviced.

Always research the cost of a filter change and the replacement schedule before making a purchase.

Best Countertop Water Filters in 2020 Summary

In the table below, you will find six (6) best tabletop water filters that have outstanding results when dealing with filtration of contaminants.

NameAlexapure Pro Gravity Water Filter
Alexapure Pro Water Filtration system
Big Berkey Water Filter
Big Berkey Water Filter
Apex Water Filter
Apex Countertop Water Filtration system
New Wave Enviro 10-Stage Water Filter
New Wave Enviro Countertop water filter
Aquasana AQ 4000 Water Filter
Aquasana Countertop water filter
Ultrastream Water Filter
Ultrastream Water Filter
Review & GuideRead reviewReview Coming Soon!Review Coming Soon!Read ReviewRead Review
Main FeaturesCapable of holding up to 4 water filter to increase the flow rate.It is capable of filtering treated (municipal) and untreated (private well) has alkaline beads to provide important minerals that your body needs.Includes calcite, which balances the pH of the water (increases or lowers).Removes 10% more contaminants than other filters within the same class.It includes an alkaline and ionizer system to provide mineral for a good and natural taste. In addition, it includes a pH test kit.
Pollutants Removed- Heavy metals.
- Micro-organisms.
- Chlorine, Fluoride (97%)
- Organic compounds.
- Chemical substances.
- Pathogens & microorganisms.
- Fluoride & chlorine.
- Heavy metals.
- Microorganisms.
- Organic compounds.
- Chlorine.
- Arsenic, mercury, lead.
- PCBs.
- Most chemicals.
- Chlorine.
- Small to medium size particles.
- Chlorine & Chloramine.
- Microorganisms.
- Heavy metals.
- Organic chemicals.
- Heavy metals.
- Herbicides & Pesticides.
- Microorganisms.
- 80% Fluoride, chlorine and chloramine.
Flow rateDepending on number of filters added. Maximum is 2.25 gallons per hr.- 3.75 gph (2 x black carbon filters).
- 7 gph (4 x black carbon filters).
- 0.6 gph if PF-4 is combined with the black filters.
0.75 GPM (2.9 lpm).0.72 GPM (2.7 lpm).0.5 GMP (1.89 lpm)0.26 GPM (1.0 lpm).
Water Pressure (Optimal - PSI)Gravity feed.Gravity feed.65.20-80.20-80.5.
Size/designMedium size.Big size.Medium size.Medium size.Small to medium size.Small size.
Filters made ofActivated carbon with ceramic shell.- 2 x Coconut shell carbon with others.
- 2 x PF-4 Fluoride.
- KDF-55 (heavy metals, microorganisms).
- Granular activated carbon (GAC) (organic compounds).
- KDF-55
- Coconut shell activated carbon.
- Micro pads.
- Activated carbon.
- Catalytic carbon.
- Ion exchange membranes.
- Activated Carbon.
- Catalytic Carbon.
- KDF-85 filter.
Filters Life2.5 years (5000 gallons).- 6 months for the PF-4 fluoride filter (or 1000 gallons).
- 1 year for the black filters (or 6000 gallons).
750 gallons (8 months).1 year (1500 gallons).450 gallons (6 months).1 year (792 gallons).
Water sourceTap water (municipal supply).Treated and untreated water.Treated water (municipal).Municipal and private well water (less lifespam).Municipal water (chlorinated).Municipal water (chlorinated).
Warranty1 year.Life time warranty1 year.1 year.1 year.3 year.
CertifiedNSF/ANSI NSF/ANSI 53NSF/ANSI NSF/ANSI NSF/ANSI 42, 53, 401 and P473.NSF/ANSI 42, 53, 401 and P473.

Countertop Water Filter Reviews and Buying Guide Wrap Up

Finding the right benchtop water filter can be a hassle but the key is to be aware of all the considerations that will help you to purchase the right water filtration system.

  • Mechanical and Gravity

The mechanical and gravity water filter types are very convenient if your kitchen is limited in space and, the number of member to drink filtered water is low.

The gravity filtration system is a good option if you are moving house frequently (renting).

By contrast, the mechanical filtration system is another great option if the water required is higher due to the number of people living with you.

  • Cost vs Quality

No matter what countertop water filtration system you select for your needs, it is very important to remember that each model can provide different benefits.

This means, you will have to balance what you are willing to expend based on the quality required.

Maintenance is a very important phase for the filtration system lifetime. It is a good practice to maintain records of the life expectancy of the filters so that you invest on the right ones.

We are confident that this guide has provided enough informantion to help you decide which is the best countertop water filter that will give you great benefits.


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