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From advanced, whole-house water purifying systems to handy fill-and-go water bottles, these are the top water filters for true quality to benefit your health (and your preferences)!
Water filters. An important matter in this age, and yet still a point of confusion! No doubt you’ve probably found yourself here because you’re looking for the best water filter for you…
And you’re in luck! Today will be covering this topic in-depth, so we can clear up the confusion on this matter.
Using a water filter for travel and in the household is becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason…
So, let’s see which which water filters are best for different purposes, and why we should be using them more.
What Are the Best Water Filters for Drinking?
Water filters are an important item in many healthy households and for those looking to remove chemicals and toxins from their life.
You may know that water is an essential ingredient in life, and indeed a powerful detoxifier. However, many people aren’t aware of the toxins found lurking in their own water supplies.
In fact, water contaminants are often overlooked when eliminating harmful ingredients and chemicals.
Believe it or not, drinking your tap or bottled water, and using unfiltered water for washing presents its own risks. Adverse health effects have been observed from some of the chemicals found in water supply, including both minor and major ailments. Our last article dove into the details and explored exactly why to use a water filter.
Different water filters do different things, and today we will be giving an overview. Try not to miss out on some of these!
5. Reverse Osmosis Systems
The lowest item on our list is the reverse osmosis system. Whilst certainly being one of the top water filters for household or other indoor use, the reverse osmosis system has a few disadvantages along with its benefits.
Reverse osmosis (RO) works by using pressure to transport water through a semi-permeable membrane. In effect, this will filter out any particles on molecules larger than water.
First we will discuss the advantages (pros) of using a reverse osmosis system. Afterwards, it will speak about the downsides (cons), and then create a final verdict.
In Most RO Systems, These Will Be Removed from the Water:
- Heavy metals such as Lead and Mercury
- Chlorine By-products
- Some Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) (as opposed to some claims ^)
- Some bacteria, cysts, viruses, and pathogens
- Hormones and Pharmaceuticals
- Some Microplastics
As you can see, reverse osmosis eliminates and reduces a lot of different contaminants in water. However, it does also remove minerals, speak about soon.
In Most RO Systems, Variable Amounts of the Following Will Still Remain in the Water:
- VOC’s (including herbicides and pesticides)
- Microplastics (including BPA)
- Chlorine By-products (including trihalomethanes)
Additonally, Reverse Osmosis systems often waste more water than they output!
That makes them rather inefficient and perhaps costly (at least quantitatively). The remaining chemicals can have the ability to cause have multiple adverse health effects, including cancer, decreased organ function, and more. How to get around this?
Here’s a System to Remove Much More!
Fortunately, some reverse osmosis filters come with built-in carbon blocks…
Carbon block filters eliminate the above contaminants further, resulting in much safer drinking water. Because of this, it is more worthwhile getting a reverse osmosis system with carbon rather than without.
If you are interested in your own RO system, it’s important to get a quality one. Here are our recommendations.
Both of the following filters operate best with water pressures above 45 and 30 PSI respectively. To test your water pressure you call your County, water supplier, or use a pressure gauge (would you should be able to find at a hardware store).
The iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage RO Filter is one of the best on the market. It has as extremely positive customer reviews (4 / 5 stars), and has significant advantages over other filters.
In particular, what sets this apart from other reverse osmosis systems is the six stages that it uses. Most reverse osmosis filters remove beneficial minerals, however this one adds the minerals back into the water afterwards. This results in a less acidic and better tasting, healthier water!
It costs about 8p per day for the average household, so is much cheaper than bottled water. Water filters are often long-term investments, and as such save money over time
- Effective filtration
- 6 Stages (with carbon filters)
- Added minerals
- Over 1,000 contaminants removed by up to 99% (98% for lead)
- 1-Year Limited Warranty
- 1-Year Money Back Guarantee
- Positive customer reviews
- Higher price value
- Supplies a single tap
- Requires space under sink / tap
- On a 6-month to 12-month basis, sanitisation and individual filter replacements are necessary
The perfect all-in-one kitchen filter to last years and suit the whole family.
Another Option… Budget-Friendly and Still Powerful
Now, for a more budget-friendly option: a 6-stage distillation filter isn’t always the most affordable option.
I believe the next best for a price at under £100 is the Finerfilters 4-Stage. This provides some useful reverse osmosis systems for a cheaper price, but unfortunately doesn’t add back any minerals.
For a lower price, it does come with some considerable benefits, but there are some considerations. The first consideration is the said reduction of minerals. Please read the final notes on ‘2. Distillation Filters’ to see if this should be a concern.
- Effectively removes contaminants
- Up to 190 litres of fresh water per day
- 3 US Gallon holding tank
- Positive customer reviews
- 4 Stages (with carbon filter and fluoride removal)
- Membrane lasts for 1 to 2 years (replaceable)
- Removes natural minerals*
- More acidic
- On a 6-month basis, filters must also be replaced (£13.49)
* The lack of minerals may not be something to worry about for most, as we get pretty much all of our minerals from food. Particularly so if you have a balanced and well-rounded healthy diet.
That means including plenty of nutrient-dense whole foods: meat, fish, offal, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fruits, eggs, dairy, and so on (as you can tolerate).
However, there is opposing evidence considering water minerals. As it happens, water can also prove a considerable source of these important nutrients. This is something we go into more detail about when discussing distillers (2.).
4. Carbon Filters
These are some effective water filters in their applicability, as seen above. Carbon filters help to remove a range of different contaminants, and are less wasteful than reverse osmosis systems.
They find themselves an important part in different types of water filter systems, and typically filter particles from 0.5 to 50 micrometres. The smaller the size, the more removed, but the longer it takes.
What Do Carbon Filters Do?
In a list, here’s what a carbon filter can remove (^):
- Volatile organic compounds
- Chlorine byproducts (including trihalomethanes)
- Microorganisms (if larger than filter size)
- Other synthetic chemicals
- Unpleasant taste and odours
*P.S. More microplastics will be removed with a smaller filter particle size. A carbon filter with at least 2.5 micrometres as a filter size should remove all microplastics. A lot of plastic particles are larger than this, though.
Adding carbon filters to other filter systems can therefore increase the reduction of these in water.
These elegant filters work by adsorbing contaminants (trapping them on their particle surfaces), and can be highly effective due to activated carbon’s amazing surface area.
1 gram of activated carbon may have a surface area between 500 to 1500 m2 or even more! To put that into perspective, just 380 grams (with an area of 1000 m squared per gram) would have the same surface area as the area of the Isle of Wight!
As you can imagine, only a little is needed, and it typically lasts a long time.
Here Is What Carbon Alone Will Often Not Remove:
- Dissolved inorganic compounds (such as heavy metals)
- Some microplastics*
- Microorganisms smaller than filter size
Whilst you can get more complex systems which filter these, too, there are cheaper alternatives which also use activated carbon.
Top Choice in The UK:
BRITA provide a High Quality Water Filter Jug with carbon filters included. This is currently available for an excellent 31% discount.
The jug includes two filters (which lasts 4 weeks each) and is covered by a free 30-day guarantee and part replacement service.
Comes in Graphite, Blue, and White
Top Choice in The US:
Amazon.com users admittedly have an advantage. Here is another excellent option which I wish we had in the UK!
Nakii is a highly trusted company providing similar water filter jugs. The ‘Long Lasting Pitcher’ utilises carbon in a BPA-free jug which filters up to 150 gallons!
25% Discount Now Available
A More ‘Permanent’ Solution:
Carbon filters also find themselves in handy devices which don’t need replacing as often as some jugs.
One of the best carbon filter options is arguably the TAPP (2) filter (Amazon UK). In fact, it reduces more heavy metals, cysts, microplastics, and chloramines. These need replacing less often and attach straight to your tap.
You can expect a larger investment at £59.99, but the quality and durability may well be worth it.
The carbon filter made it as number (4.) due to its widespread applicability, and little waste of water. Keep reading to find out which of the best drinking water filters rank even higher! Onto the top 3…
3. (Travel) Filter Bottles
Filter bottles have made a place on this list due to the convenience they provide. You can get bottles designed to remove different kinds of contaminants from the water…
They can save money, plastic, and time.
Some of them focus on fluoride (which you’ll need depending on location), whilst others on unwelcome microorganisms such as bacteria. Most of the time, you’ll be able to find bottles that remove many types of contaminants.
The Importance of Quality:
When it comes to buying a water filter, you’ll want one that’s reliable… One that you can be thankful for…
A lot of bottles on the market require constant replacement, or at least their parts do. This is because, over time, the filters need replacing to work effectively. However, some are designed to last longer than others and do a much better job. In terms of the benefits they provide to health, different bottles remove different contaminants.
Most are designed also to be for everyday use and travelling (including hiking, camping, and sports), but I will give my verdict on the best ones for each use, to suit your interests. 🙂 So, what are your interests?
The Best Filter Bottle for General, Everyday Use:
For everyday use, a water bottle that effectively removes chemicals from tap water is likely to be the best. Commonly, these chemicals will include the following and more:
- Chlorine By-products
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) – such as pesticides and herbicides
- Heavy Metals
- Sediment and dirt
Prolonged or acute exposure to these chemicals can have many possible harmful effects.
Epic Water Filters is a company that provides all sorts of water filters, including the ‘Epic Nalgene’. This may seem like a travel bottle, but it is so much more.
A brilliant option for everyday use, many customers have had great results with this water bottle.
The filter in this bottle removes hundreds of contaminants, including much of those listed above. One of the greatest parts is its capacity, with each replaceable water filter lasting an average of 3 to 4 months, and filtering 285 litres (or 75 gallons) of water. And that’s if used regularly.
Here is a breakdown of the Customer Reviews – averaging at 4 / 5 stars:
- Effective water filter
- Great taste
- Easy to use
- Alternative to bottled water (and more environmentally friendly – 100% Recyclable and BPA-Free)
- May be prone to leaking (in some cases)
As you may expect, the fact that it has leaked for some people doesn’t give it the best rating for travel or sports.
Ideal for those looking to filter water on the go: from the tap, at work, or even streams and freshwater!
Therefore, it seems most effective for more casual use. However, other people have used it more actively without problem, including at the gym.
Additionally, it’s designed to remove bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms, meaning it’s also a great travel companion for the casual hiker or explorer who has access to natural freshwater.
The benefits of this definitely do outweigh the cons, but for those to who are a bit more active and adventurous here’s a travel filter built to shine…
The Best Filter Bottles for Travelling Use: “Water Water Everywhere and Every Drop to Drink!”
Okay, okay… So, I don’t actually mean the sea here.
For filtering salt water, travel bottles – as far as I can find – are not a viable option. For that you’ll need RO, Distillation, or something else specialised.
Continuing from above, we are now looking for a water bottle filter that is durable, and removes contaminants including microorganisms.
When hiking, travelling, or camping (etc.), bringing all your own water isn’t always practical. Finding a river, puddle, lake, or tap can be a lifesaver, but only if you can access clean water. Many natural sources of water are not safe for human consumption, and a water bottle filter can change this.
There are two different filters I would recommend for this, depending on your needs. Both of these are currently Amazon’s choice as well.
The First One Is the WaterWell Travel Filter
This filter can remove up to 99.9% of parasites from any freshwater sources. Additionally, it filters out some VOC’s and organic chemicals, and chlorine. It has very positive reviews from people having experienced it in their travels, with most of them pleasantly surprised considering their expectations.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t effectively filter salty water (including seawater), viruses, heavy metals, chemicals, or minerals. And in case you were to try, it won’t filter pool or effluent water either.
It has 4 / 5 stars on Amazon. According to satisfied customers, it has been safely used in Nepal and in Peru.
Therefore, whilst this water bottle is great for many outdoor situations, if you were travelling anywhere particularly risky or polluted, there may be better alternatives. This is particularly true if your water sources would be prone to modern contaminants.
The AquaPure Removes More Microorganisms
The AquaPure filter effectively kills more bacteria, viruses, and removes pathogens. Additionally, it does remove heavy metals, more chemicals, and faecal matter.
Customer reviews have mentioned it being used in India, Egypt, Russia, and Nepal! Other reviews of positive experiences in their travels also comment on its effectiveness and durability. In short, it is a pretty reliable product.
If you were to go for bottle for its quality and reliability, this is the one to go for. It will not filter out chlorine, but when travelling this shouldn’t be much of a concern in most cases.
The AquaPure bottle can be used effectively for sports, travelling, and emergencies. As it can filter up to 350 Litres of clean, tasteless, and odourless water, it is suitable for long or multiple trips.
2. Distillation Filters
Distillation is a process by which water is boiled and the steam collected. The condensed steam is what is used as the purified water, and anything left behind is discarded.
Essentially, this removes all impurities with a boiling point higher than that of water.
These impurities include:
- Dissolved solids
- Heavy metals
- Organic compounds (but not synthetic chemicals, including some pesticides and herbicides)
This results in very soft water, particularly when compared to any plain tap or bottled water you’ll find.
On average, this will cost you about 9p per litre – almost a 7th of the price of bottled water.
Most water distillers output around 4 litres of fresh water for every 3 kilowatt hours.
Which One to Get?
Distillation itself will not remove all of the volatile organic chemicals, and might not remove microplastics. To get rid of these, you should use a water filter that includes a carbon filter.
The top water filters for distilling are quite possibly the ‘Make Water Pure’ distillers.
The reason I recommend these is due to the outstanding customer reviews, and the fact that they comes with a 2 year warranty! Additionally, the silver stainless steel models come with 3 years worth of carbon filters.
They also come with a 4L collection jug, which can be either glass or plastic.
For the price they comes at, the effective water distillers are a brilliant investment. And if you don’t like them what have any issues, you can always return them using the warranty.
- 2 Year Warranty for FREE
- 12 Carbon Filters (3 Year’s Worth) for FREE
- High quality
- Cheaper than alternatives for long-term
- Collection jug (incl. Glass – BPA free)
- Will need periodic cleaning
- Eventually, you have to buy more carbon filters (£5.99 or less per year)
- Removes Minerals
The taste of distilled water is quite different to tap water, due to the chemicals, minerals, and dissolved oxygen being removed.
Should You Worry about It Removing Minerals?
The lack of minerals possibly isn’t anything to worry about for most, as we get pretty much all of our minerals from food… Particularly if you have a balanced and well-rounded healthy diet.
This is up for debate though, as having mineralised water does provide benefits (^). In particular, calcium and magnesium in water prove considerable in their amounts.
One option is to combine this with other types of water, to prevent an imbalance in electrolytes or minerals. This would be particularly important for infants and those with medical conditions or unhealthy diets.
Unfortunately, keeping and using multiple filters for daily use isn’t always possible or practical.
1. Multi-Stage Water Filters
Without a doubt, the most effective water filters on the market are the Multi-stage ones.
These combine the abilities and technologies of different types of filter systems to create an all-round purifier. You can even get ones that add important minerals back into the water, making them much more beneficial, too!
A top-of-the-line water filter in this respect is the 17-stage Water Purifier by Crystal Quest.
Fortunately, it provides much better positive value for money than competing filters, whilst providing very similar benefits. What gives?
For starters, this advertises itself as a Reverse Osmosis system, whereas others don’t (although they are). After all, these filters work with RO, but combine many other filtering technologies and applications.
So what really sets this apart? Well, let’s take a look into the Pros and the Cons of this filter.
Pros (The Good)
- Cheaper than competitors (friendlier to your wallet!)
- Trusted manufacturer and seller
- Improves taste and pdour
- Remineralises water*
- Pressure pump included (makes life easier with faster filtration)
- Effectively Filters: Chlorine, Chlorine By-products, Pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites), Colloids, Proteins, Fluoride*, Sediment, Heavy Metals, VOC’s, Pesticides and Herbicides, Dissolved Chemicals, and hundreds of contaminants more… (^)
- Inhibits bacterial growth
- Retains healthy pH
- 17-Stages of purification
- Up to 100 gallons per day, with a 4 Gallon Holding Tank
- 6-32 month filter life – depending on part
- 1-Year warranty (#)
Cons (to Consider)
- Additional filter parts can / should be purchased individually*
- No customer reviews
- Requires space – must be installed under the sink, though compact.
- Parts must be replaced over time – much like other systems, you will need to periodically replace filter parts.
- A licensed plumber is required for the warranty to apply (#)
* The filter itself will not remineralise the water. As a result, there are simple ways to do so! Instead, you can purchase necessary cartridges to fit into your water filter.
The natural alkaliser is used to add beneficial minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium back into to your drinking water, and lasts for up to one year.
As you can see, this filter is certainly one you can have confidence in.
It has proven effects on a great number of contaminants, lowering their concentrations to minimal levels. For the best effects, the additional cartridge is necessary, and yet this still will put you out at cheaper price than competitors would!
Using an intelligent combination of resources and tools, the water purifier can he have some remarkable results and has been well researched. If you want to make a choice and invest for the long-term advantages, this is a good choice for you.
It can also be purchased for as low as $20 per month with an easy credit application.
Summing It up… Or Filtering It down!
In modern life, much of our water is contaminated with many different chemicals, harmful compounds, and more.
Not only that, but when you’re out and about – even when hiking or in the countryside – there are much better options than bottled water (which is often worse than your tap water)!
With these water filters, you could protect your and your family’s health in the long run, and enjoy your tap water with confidence – just as it should be.
We have spoken about five of the top different types of water filters, and why they might or may not be suited for you. Some of the most popular types water distillers and filter bottles, oftentimes because of their compactness and portability.
If you enjoyed learning about water filters, or have experiences of your own, I’d love to hear them below!
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Until next time, stay healthy