The Best Faucet Water Filters of 2024, According to Tests

By Timothy Dale and Amy Lynch and Mark Wolfe | Updated Jan 26, 2024 9:40 AM

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The Best Faucet Water Filters of 2024, According to Tests

Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila

About 60 percent of Americans use a home water treatment unit of some sort, according to the Water Quality Association and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—and for good reason. Clean drinking water is an essential building block of general health. With hundreds of pollutants in drinking water, including lead and arsenic, buying and installing the best faucet water filter is one of the easiest and most important home improvements to enhance wellness.

While a variety of water filter types are available, including carafes, faucet attachments, under-sink mounts, and countertop varieties, ease of use varies. A faucet attachment is usually easy to install, mounts to any standard kitchen faucet, and filters the tap water as it flows. An under-sink model requires a direct hookup to the plumbing system, which complicates installation. Meanwhile, water carafes with filters have to be manually refilled frequently.

We researched more than 40 top-rated faucet filters and chose the following to personally test. Our selection priorities included product efficacy, customer satisfaction, and value. All of these filters carry independent laboratory certifications for water quality and superior user ratings across multiple review platforms. In our side-by-side comparison, we uncovered several reasons why the most expensive filters, and those with the top certification scores, are not always the best options. Read on to find out how our test parameters revealed the best faucet water filter for each category.

Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila

During our research, we realized that water filter certifications only tell part of the story. While it is important to know which contaminants are present in tap water in order to choose a filter that is capable of removing them, user interface is equally important. A great filter inside a clunky or leaky housing, or one that filters at a super-slow rate, quickly becomes annoying. We trusted the certified lab results for filtration data and focused our at-home testing on practicality, ease of use, durability, and value.

We used a water pressure gauge to test the incoming water pressure at the sink faucet, which was 59 pounds per square inch (PSI). We followed each manufacturer’s assembly instructions and used the same faucet to test each filter. After a 5-minute flush with cold water, we recorded the time it took to fill a 32-ounce water bottle. We performed a blind taste comparison between unfiltered and filtered tap water. We used each model for 3 days, noting any observations related to ease of use, durability, and workflow in the kitchen. Afterward, we scored each filter 1 to 5 in each of five categories: filtration, easy assembly, easy filter changes, durability, and taste.

The best faucet-mounted water filter for a specific home or family depends primarily on which contaminants are present in the tap water. Some municipalities have excellent water quality, but a chlorine taste lingers. In other places, the water may have trace levels of different contaminants. We tested a variety of faucet-mounted water filters to accommodate different filtration needs. Read on to learn how each one performed.

Our Ratings: Filtration 4/5; Ease of Assembly 5/5; Ease of Filter Change 5/5; Durability 4/5; Taste Test: 4/5

We selected the Brita Complete faucet-mounted filtration system for the top spot because it offers the best combination of certified filtration ability, ease of use, and moderate pricing. Equipped with a Brita Elite filter, it carries NSF/ANSI 42, 53, and 401 certifications to reduce chlorine taste and odor, particles from 0.5 to 1.0 micron, and an impressive 60 contaminants with known health effects. Each filter lasts through 100 gallons of use, which is good for 1 to 4 months depending on individual usage patterns.

Assembling the Brita Complete faucet system took less than 2 minutes, and the chrome finish on the plastic housing matched our faucet nicely. The filter cartridge did not require a presoak or rinse. We simply turned on the water for a few minutes after assembly to flush the system. It took 40 seconds to fill a 32-ounce water bottle from the Brita Complete system, which was slightly slower than the advertised time of 0.58 GPM, and about the middle of the pack when compared with the other filters in the test group. At just 12 ounces (weighed after wetting the filter) it was one of the lightest models as well. Overall, Brita Complete stood out as an affordable and highly effective filtration system that was easy to use. The water flowed better than that from comparably or more highly certified filters, and it tasted great.

Get the Brita Complete faucet water filter at Amazon or Walmart.

Our Ratings: Filtration 4/5; Ease of Assembly 5/5; Ease of Filter Change 5/5; Durability 4/5; Taste Test 4/5

This affordable Brita faucet water filter has a basic white plastic design that’s resistant to corrosion and rusting. It has a 0.58 GPM flow rate, and it uses an activated-carbon filter cartridge that lasts for up to 4 months or up to 100 gallons of water. The filter works with standard kitchen faucets, but it cannot connect to pull-out or spray-style faucets.

The no-tools-required assembly of the popular Brita faucet water filter makes it a perennial favorite. Highly effective at removing lead and chlorine, the Brita faucet water filter improves water’s taste, odor, and clarity. It comes with NSF/ANSI 42, 53, and 401 certifications for reduction of 60 contaminants. Since a filter does no good without regular replacement, it has a green light to indicate when the filter cartridge needs to be replaced.

In testing, this model mirrored the Brita Complete system, with slightly less filtration capability in the Brita Basic filter. The dimensions and weight of both units were identical. Assembly and system flush took about 8 minutes. It filled our 32-ounce water bottle in just 35 seconds, and the water tasted great. Boasting the second lowest price and third highest filtration score among all of our tested models, the Brita Basic earned our Best Bang for the Buck value award.

Get the Brita Basic faucet water filter at Amazon or Walmart.

Our Ratings: Filtration 5/5; Ease of Assembly 4/5; Ease of Filter Change 5/5; Durability 4/5; Taste Test 4/5

The Pur Advanced faucet water filter comes with the company’s proprietary Mineral Core filter, a blend of activated charcoal and minerals that uses ion exchange to remove contaminants from tap water. The filter cartridge can last up to 3 months or 100 gallons of water before replacement. The filter has a maximum flow rate of 0.52 GPM, and the filter cartridge removes chlorine, chloramines, lead, mercury, and more than 70 additional contaminants, including heavy metals, sediment, and rust particles.

The faucet-mount water filter is easy to install without the use of tools. Designed to fit standard kitchen faucets only, it is not compatible with pull-out or handheld faucets. Despite the filter being made from plastic, it has a sleek chrome finish so users get the look of metal but the corrosion- and rust resistance of plastic.

Those in need of effective filtration for trace chemical pollutants will want to check out the NSF/ANSI certifications for this filter, as it pulls out a wider variety of contaminants than any other model tested. The system took about 10 minutes to assemble and flush. The filter cartridge fits inside a threaded plastic housing for a sleek appearance and easy access for filter changes. We had two negative feedback points on this filter: weight and rate. The 1-pound system increases wear on the faucet base, which could lead to premature replacement. Also, the slow flow rate of 32 ounces in 59 seconds was a bit frustrating. But for the contaminants that only a PUR filter will remove, the wait and the weight could be worth it.

Get the Pur FM-3700 faucet water filter at Amazon.

Our Ratings: Filtration 3/5; Ease of Assembly 5/5; Ease of Filter Change 4/5; Durability 4/5; Taste Test 4/5

Chlorine is great for keeping pools clean, but no one wants to think about chlorine levels in their drinking water. A welcome solution to this problem could be the Culligan FM-15A Advanced faucet-mount filter. This unique model reduces not only chlorine but also atrazine, lindane, lead, particulate matter, and turbidity. It also helps improve the taste and odor for cleaner, fresher tap water.

As for its user-friendliness, this option has a flow rate of 0.5 GPM at 60 PSI, and the filter lasts for up to 2 months (or 200 gallons of faucet water). Be advised that this filter works best with water that is 40 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, this Culligan tap water filter comes with faucet adapters to work in tandem with most current kitchen faucets. However, as with the others we tested, it will not work with any drop-down faucet varieties.

We were impressed by the Culligan faucet filter’s ease of installation and its appreciable flow rate. We filled our quart bottle in 34 seconds, which was faster than most of the competition. We also found that the filter cartridge was pretty easy to change by unthreading the old one from the underside of the housing and twisting the new one in place. We did not like that using the system required two hands because the filtration valve had to be pulled out each time the water was turned on. Other models could be set to either a “filter” or “unfiltered” setting that stayed put whether or not the water was flowing.

Get the Culligan FM-15A faucet water filter at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Our Ratings: Filtration 5/5; Ease of Assembly 4/5; Ease of Filter Change 5/5; Durability 4/5; Taste Test 4/5

This Pur product is a good option for those who have a well water system because it removes up to 70 contaminants that can leach into groundwater and well water from industrial and agricultural runoff. The activated-carbon filter uses ion exchange to remove lead, mercury, and agricultural pesticides, restoring the drinking water to a safe standard.

The activated carbon filter cartridge can be used to filter up to 100 gallons of water before it needs to be changed. If the cartridge has been installed for 3 months, but hasn’t filtered 100 gallons, the manufacturer recommends replacing it anyway to prevent bacteria buildup. The plastic filter has a flow rate of 0.5 GPM.

In our tests, the flow rate from the PUR PFM150W did not match the manufacturer’s stated flow rate. At 59 PSI water pressure, it took 53 seconds to fill a quart-size water bottle, but the wait could be worth it for those dealing with contaminated water. For our relatively clean water supply, we prefer a faster flowing option. The good news is that this unit delivered some of the best tasting water among all of the tested models. The filter cartridge was super easy to change, too.

Get the Pur PFM150W faucet water filter at Amazon or Walmart.

Our Ratings: Filtration 3/5; Ease of Assembly 5/5; Ease of Filter Change 4/5; Durability 4/5; Taste Test 4/5

The Culligan FM-25 has a sleek chrome-plated finish with stainless steel plumbing connections that can operate at a flow rate of up to 0.5 GPM. The filter cartridge lasts for about 2 months or 200 gallons, depending on the water usage. The carbon-block cartridge reduces lead, atrazine, chlorine, lindane, turbidity, and bad taste, making drinking water safer for the entire family.

Its durability, straightforward installation, and ease of use earn the Culligan high marks. If the goal is performance above all other concerns, then this may be the right choice. We liked that the lightweight 12-ounce filter didn’t weigh down the faucet fixture, reducing wear and tear. And, while it is not certified to remove as many pollutants as some of the other tested models, it does the important task of removing lead while flowing at a good rate.

While some may appreciate the automatic-return valve stem, particularly when filtered water is only occasionally required, we saw it as a drawback with this filter. The user must pull out the stem to activate the filtration system each time they turn on the water. We preferred models that allowed us to leave the valve in filter mode, only to switch it off when needed.

Get the Culligan FM-25 faucet water filter at Amazon.

Our Ratings: Filtration 5/5; Ease of Assembly 4/5; Ease of Filter Change 5/5; Durability 4/5; Taste Test 4/5

Residents of agricultural regions will benefit from this faucet filtration system that can remove the traces of pesticides and other chemical pollutants that find their way to surface or groundwater sources. This Pur faucet water filter has a Mineral Core filter cartridge that can last for up to 3 months or 100 gallons of filtered water before needing to be replaced. It has a 0.52 GPM flow rate and comes in six color options. This faucet-mount filter is compatible with all standard kitchen faucets, but it doesn’t work with pull-out or handheld faucets.

Reducing or entirely eliminating lead, mercury, pesticides, microplastics, and more than 70 other contaminants, the Pur water filtration system stands out for its sleek design, effortless installation, and general durability. It was easy to install and the water tasted great, but it may not be the perfect option. In our flow test, it worked at about half the manufacturer’s stated flow rate, so be prepared to wait a little longer for that deliciously clean water.

Get the Pur PFM350V faucet water filter at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Our Ratings: Filtration 3/5; Ease of Assembly 5/5; Ease of Filter Change 4/5; Durability 5/5; Taste Test 4/5

The ZeroWater ExtremeLife faucet-mounted water filtration system features a sleek low profile design that works with most standard kitchen faucets. The high-quality carbon fiber filter is NSF/ANSI 42 and 53 certified to remove chlorine taste and odor, class I particles, and PFOA and PFOS, which are known as “forever chemicals.” It is also independently certified to reduce lead. The cartridge filters up to 400 gallons of tap water before it needs to be replaced. This unit weighs just 13 ounces.

In our tests, the ZeroWater ExtremeLife faucet filter was one of the easiest to assemble, allowed a strong 25 seconds per 32 ounces fill rate, and produced great-tasting water. We knocked off a few points because it doesn’t carry certifications for removing pesticides or pharmaceuticals, but it’s a great long-lasting option for areas with known forever chemical contamination.

Get the ZeroWater faucet water filter at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Waterdrop NSF-Certified Water Faucet Filtration

The inexpensive Waterdrop faucet water filter is constructed of white plastic and uses an activated-carbon filter that claims to be effective for up to 320 gallons. It only carries NSF/ANSI certification to eliminate chlorine taste and smell. We had hoped that although it carries minimal filtration certifications, perhaps it would be a good solution for highly chlorinated water.

Unfortunately, this faucet water filter did not meet our testing standards. We discovered that it imparted a plastic taste to the water, both after the initial 5-minute water flush and still after filtering 5 gallons of water. In our opinion, the budget-friendly cost and long-lasting filter did not justify the purchase since it didn’t perform the basic function as needed.

Before deciding on a filter, consider some important factors that can help you make the best decision, including the type of filter, material, flow rate, and installation requirements. By understanding these features, it’s easier to decide which option would be the best faucet water filter for your home.

There is a wide range of contaminants that can be present in tap water, including pesticides, microorganisms, organic compounds, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and harmful heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic. Water contaminants vary by community, and knowledge is power. Start by researching what’s affecting your own water supply through the National Drinking Water Database created by the Environmental Working Group.

Always check to make sure the filtration system removes or reduces the contaminants you’re most concerned about. Regardless of which microscopic contaminants the product is best at eliminating, faucet-mounted filters considerably improve the taste of H2O.

Faucet water filters are typically made with either plastic or stainless steel. Some manufacturers may offer a range of different finishes, but these are usually stainless steel filters that have metal plating over the original material just to give it a different look. So the decision comes down to plastic or stainless steel.

Flow rate refers to the amount of water that flows through the filter within a set time period and it’s typically measured in gallons per minute. Whole-home water filters must be capable of filtering many gallons of water per minute since most showers and dishwashers can use up to 5 GPM.

However, faucet water filters don’t have the same water pressure demands. Most of these smaller filters have a set flow rate of 0.5 GPM with very few exceptions. This is about enough to fill up seven or eight standard glasses of water in 1 minute.

The filter life is typically indicated in the product information or on the manufacturer’s website. After this time period, the filter becomes less effective until it does very little except get in the way of regular faucet use. However, the total life of one filter can differ significantly from other, even identical products. This is due to usage.

Filter life is tied directly to usage. When the faucet is left running, it wastes water and also reduces the filter life, forcing the user to replace the filter cartridge at a higher frequency. By using the filter only for drinking water or cooking water, you can extend the life of the filter, saving time and money.

When the filter starts to lose its effectiveness, the entire faucet-mounted filter system does not need to be replaced. Simply remove the filter cartridge and replace it with a new cartridge. Most manufacturers also produce cartridge replacements, so it’s easy to find a compatible option.

These cartridges typically have a lifespan measured in gallons of water that can range from 100 to 1,000 gallons, depending on the product. After a certain amount of water has been filtered through the cartridge, it begins to lose effectiveness. Some filters also come with cartridge replacement recommendations from 1 month to 3 months so it’s not necessary to try and measure the amount of water flowing through the filter.

Most faucet water filters have a plastic or stainless steel design, but this doesn’t prevent manufacturers from adding additional color and metal finishes, providing options to match the aesthetics of a home.

After sorting through the nitty-gritty details of filter types, filter materials, flow rate, and filter cartridges, there are just a few more things to consider before deciding on the best faucet water filter. The filter size, the filter-change sensor, and the replacement filter cartridges also can affect the decision on the best filter.

A faucet-mount attachment generally offers a quick installation. Unscrew the aerator and then swap in an adapter provided with the faucet-mount water filter. Models often include multiple sizes to offer options that may best fit a faucet. The body of the faucet-mount filter snaps into place.

Manufacturer instructions will cover how to check that the filter inside the model is good to go. It only takes a matter of minutes to get the best faucet water filters fully functional. Once installed, many offer the option to toggle between filtered and unfiltered water.

If you’d still like more information about what type of tap water filter is best, or if you aren’t quite sure exactly how to connect the faucet water filter system, then read on to learn the answers to these concerns and other commonly asked questions.

Whether tap water should be filtered or not is a matter of personal discretion. Filtering tap water helps to remove contaminants from the water and it can improve the taste, though filters do have cartridges that need to be changed regularly to remain effective.

Faucet filters and pitcher filters are similar in filtration capability, so the decision comes down to a few key features. Faucet filters attach to the faucet, giving an essentially unlimited supply of filtered water, though they can get in the way of regular faucet use. Pitcher filters need to be filled regularly, but the water can be kept cold in the fridge or set out on a table or a counter for easy access.

Reverse osmosis systems are generally the most effective type of water filter. They can include more than seven filtration stages and use a reverse osmosis process that allows them to remove 99 percent of contaminants from the water, including chlorine, heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides.

Faucet-mount filters can typically be removed from the faucet so you can take them with you to a new home.

A faucet water filter isn’t designed to connect to a fridge, but it is possible to connect some water purifier systems directly to a fridge. This depends on the specific water purifier and the fridge.

You’ll want to replace faucet water filter cartridges every 2 to 3 months to ensure that the drinking water is properly cleaned when passing through the water filtration system. Faucet-mount filters can last up to 4 years if properly maintained.

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.

Mark Wolfe is a writer with an extensive background in the green industry and an avid DIYer who lives in a 50-year-old home. When he isn’t writing, he spends his time upgrading, repairing, and replacing anything and everything in his home, yard, and garden. He tests and writes reviews about hand tools, lawn-care and home-repair products, and outdoor-living goods.

Additional research provided by Timothy Dale and Amy Lynch.

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The Best Faucet Water Filters of 2024, According to Tests

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