The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Water Faucet Filter

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Whether your water supply regularly comes from a well or a municipality, the best water faucet filter is a worthy investment. It ensures you have quick access to safer and cleaner water directly from your kitchen sink without spending too much.

After all, you will want to filter out the chemicals used to treat your water supply that can affect its taste and odor. Likewise, there’s still a possibility that microorganisms can contaminate the water after it’s treated. You must also consider the fact that the miles of pipe leading to your home could be old or corroded, so metal and sediments from the pipes might get into the water before it reaches your faucet.

But what are water faucet filters? How do they work? How do you choose the right water faucet filter for you? What’s the best water faucet filter? We’ll answer all that to help narrow down your choices.

What Are Water Faucet Filters?

Faucet water filters are among the POU (Point of Use) water filtration systems that can provide users with cleaner, safer water right at their kitchen sink that they can drink and use to wash fruits, vegetables, and more.

These water filters don’t require storage tanks but have a switch that you need to turn on for the filter to do its job. This means that you won’t be wasting filtered water when you need to clean your sink.

How Water Faucet Filters Work

Generally, once you install your water faucet filter in your cold water pipe and switch it on, the cold water will flow from your pipes to the filter at a rate the filter is designed to work. Then, the filter will trap the contaminants, and the filtered water will pass out of the water faucet filter.

That said, how your tap water is filtered will depend on the specific type of filter used, including activated carbon, reverse osmosis, and ceramic.

Activated Carbon Filtration

Activated carbon filters have even, well-defined micropores that adsorb contaminants or impurities from the water.

  • Fast adsorbing rate
  • Lasts three to six months
  • Retains healthy minerals
  • Can’t filter out microorganisms, heavy metals, and dissolved solids

Ceramic Filtration

Ceramic filters are known as terminal or last-layer filters because they’re usually used together with other filters. They use micropores to trap or filter out contaminants.

  • Effectively removes protozoans, bacteria, large particles, and sediments
  • Long-lasting
  • Cost-effective
  • Requires regular cleaning
  • Doesn’t filter out dissolved solids and viruses

What to Consider When Choosing a Water Faucet Filter

When it’s time for you to purchase a water faucet filter for your kitchen, you have to consider several factors. Doing so will ensure you end up with a model that works for your specific needs.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

Water Quality

The quality of your tap water will depend on your exact location and the kind of treatment the water source goes through before they’re supplied to your home. That’s why it’s important to have your water tested to see what contaminants are present.

With this information, you’re assured you’re purchasing a system with filter media that can remove 90% to 99% of the specific contaminants present in your tap water. Needless to say, there is no point in buying a water faucet filter made of activated carbon if you’re trying to filter out microorganisms.


To ensure that the water faucet filter you’re buying really works, you need to check for certifications from recognized bodies or organizations. They include the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), Water Quality Association (WQA), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and/or International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO).

Filter Lifespan

Every filter has a lifespan and will require replacement for a specific period or once you notice changes in the quality of your filtered water.

Some models last longer than others, but the indicated lifespan in the packaging or manual is just an approximation. That’s because it will depend on the water’s quality and how much filtered water you use each day.

It goes without saying that the lower the quality of your water and the more frequently you use filtered tap water, the shorter the filter’s lifespan is.

Water Pressure and Flow Rate

The amount of pressure present affects the stream of water; the lower it is, the weaker the stream. Meanwhile, the flow rate affects the delivery of water; the lower it is, the slower the water delivery is.

Thus, make sure you check the water faucet filter’s specifications to see if it will provide you with an adequate water flow rate and pressure for your needs.

Compatibility With Your Faucet

Most water faucet filters are designed to fit easily into standard faucet sizes since they come with a variety of adapters. However, there are units that won’t match the specific design or style of your faucet.

Thus, make sure you check the filter’s compatibility with your faucet for easier installation and to avoid additional costs.

Ease of Installation

Speaking of installation, water faucet filters are generally easy to install. You won’t really need the help of a professional, especially if you have DIY skills. That said, I highly recommend purchasing a unit that doesn’t require any tools, like the three best water faucet filters I reviewed above.

Additional Features

Some water faucet filter systems come with features that might not be present in other models. One of the best examples is the filter status indicator.

You’ll find models with just one light that will start to flash or change in color when you already need to replace the filter cartridge. There are also those that come with three different colors of light, each representing a specific filter status.

Overall Cost

Like any other product, water faucet filters are available at several prices, and some will be a bit costly for most buyers. It goes without saying that you must set a specific budget you want to spend on your water faucet filter.

However, affordable doesn’t always mean the best. You must also consider some factors that can affect the overall cost of your water faucet filter, including its lifespan.

While one unit might be affordable initially, you might need to replace the filter or filter cartridge more frequently than another unit that is around $20 more expensive. You must also factor in the cost of the replacement filter and regular maintenance.

3 Best Water Faucet Filters on the Market

1. PUR PLUS Faucet Mount Water Filtration System

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With over three decades of helping homes and offices ensure they consume clean water, PUR is one of the most trusted brands in the industry. The PUR PLUS Faucet Mount Water Filtration System is just one of the many products you would want to invest in. The package includes a battery, three adapters, and an owner’s manual.

Detailed Review

This PUR PLUS system has a horizontal orientation and dimensions of 5.2 x  6.8 x 2.9 inches (L x W x H). It’s made of stainless steel with a polished finish, ensuring its durability.

The system is available in six different colors: chrome, black, metallic gray, sage, sea glass, and white. It means that you can choose a colorway that perfectly fits your kitchen’s interior design.

Functionality-wise, the PUR PLUS Faucet Mount Water Filtration System combines activated carbon and ion exchange resin filters for enhanced filtration. It has an NSF and WQA certification for chlorine, DEET, lead, mercury, particulate class 1, and TTHM reduction.

Not only that but the filter is also equipped with Mineral Core™ Filter technology that helps give your filtered water a crisp, refreshing taste. 

The filter has a lifespan of up to three months, meaning that it can filter up to a hundred gallons of water. While it’s always advisable to monitor changes in your filtered water’s flow rate, the quality of water produced, and even to list the approximate gallons of water already filtered, I love that the PUR PLUS comes with a filter change light indicator.

With this feature, you’ll be alerted when it’s time to replace the filter. However, you need to make sure that the system has a battery for the light to work properly.

When replacing the filter, make sure you only use a genuine PUR filter to ensure your water supply has the same quality as when you started using the system. You also shouldn’t forget to press the system’s reset button and hold it until the three indicator lights start flashing once you are done changing the filter.

Switching between unfiltered and filtered water is also easy with the PUR PLUS’ on-off lever. Installation is also convenient as you won’t need any tools, and the system has a one-hole design. You’ll also love that the package comes with three different adapters to ensure it perfectly fits several faucet models.


  • Flow Rate: 0.5 GPM
  • Maximum Feed Water Temperature: 100°F 
  • Maximum Operating Pressure: 100 psi


  • NSF and WQA certified
  • Filters out up to 70 contaminants
  • Available in several colors
  • Tool-free installation
  • Easy to use
  • Comes with a one-year warranty


  • Incompatible with handheld or pull-out faucets
  • Might look bulky when used in smaller sinks
  • Doesn’t filter out microbes


The PUR PLUS Faucet Mount Water Filtration System is a durable, easy-to-install product that can provide you with not just clean drinking water but also good-tasting and odor-free. It’s compatible with many faucet models, except for pull-out or handheld units.

It is ideal for those living alone, couples, and small families with mid-sized to large kitchen sinks. With its long-lasting filter and warranty, you’re sure to get the most out of your investment.

However, the PUR PLUS won’t protect you and your family from any microbes present in your tap water.

2. Brita Faucet Mount Water Filtration System

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Brita is another established company that has been committed to helping provide clean, safe drinking water to every home and office for years. This Complete Faucet Mount Water Filtration System comes with a faucet attachment and filter, adapters, a user manual, and two replacement filters.

Detailed Review

With its vertical orientation, the Brita Faucet Mount Water Filtration System will work perfectly for all sink sizes, as it won’t look bulky. You can purchase it in two different colorways, chrome and white, which will match any kitchen design. It also features three different spray options and an easy-to-use lever handle.

Not only is the system made from BPA-free material, but it is equipped with Brita’s patented Advanced Carbon Block technology.

The filter uses the principle of sedimentation and is certified to trap up to 60 water contaminants, such as chlorine, asbestos, atrazine, benzene, herbicides, lead, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and TTHMs. Plus, it retains the healthy electrolytes and minerals present in your tap water.

The system is compatible with standard 55/64-inch faucets, but you can use any of the adapters included in the package if you have 13/16-inch and 15/16-inch faucets. Installing the Brita Faucet Mount Water Filtration System is also a breeze and will only take a few minutes of your time. You won’t even need to use any tools!

Like the PUR PLUS Faucet Mount Water Filtration System, the Brita has a filter status light indicator. This feature will help you determine if it’s about to reach and has reached its 100-gallon filtering capacity.

What I love most about the Brita Faucet Mount Water Filtration System are its one-click replacement design and the automatic reset and activation of the status indicator.


  • Flow Rate: 0.7 GPM
  • Maximum Feed Water Temperature: 100°F 
  • Maximum Operating Pressure: 100 psi


  • Filters out up to 60 contaminants
  • Space-efficient design
  • Easy to install and use
  • Easy to replace the filter cartridge


  • Flimsy adapters
  • No warranty


The Complete Brita Faucet Mount Water Filtration System is perfect for families, couples, or individuals on a tight budget but needs to ensure they have clean, safe, great-tasting drinking water. Its straightforward installation and filter cartridge replacement design also make it ideal for those who have zero to little DIY skills.

However, while you can save from the initial cost and from purchasing two replacement filter cartridges, you might need to replace the adapter regularly. This can add to the total maintenance cost of the system.

3. Culligan FM-25 Faucet-Mount Advanced Water Filtration System

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With more than eight decades of providing homes and offices with different filtration systems, it isn’t surprising for a Culligan product to make it to my list. The FM-25 is just one of their many famous products that you can install in your faucet.

Detailed Review

Compared to the last two faucet mount filter systems, the Culligan FM-25 won’t even look like you have a filter installed. It has a valve stem that you can use to switch from unfiltered to filtered water and vice versa.

Mounting the Culligan FM-25 Faucet-Mount Advanced Water Filtration System won’t require you to use any tools. However, you will need a screwdriver to remove some screws when replacing the filter cartridge.

It’s compatible with standard faucet nozzles, except for drop-down models, thanks to the different adapters that come with the package.

The system is equipped with Level 3 Advanced Carbon Block Filter Technology. It has ANSI and IAPMO certifications for the reduction of chlorine, atrazine, lead, sediments, nominal particulate class I, and protozoans like Giardia cyst and Cryptosporidium.

In terms of filtering capabilities, the Culligan FM-25 can filter up to 200 gallons of water, which you need to monitor because the unit doesn’t come with a status light indicator.


  • Flow Rate: 0.5 GPM
  • Maximum Feed Water Temperature: 100°F 
  • Maximum Operating Pressure: 100 psi


  • Durable, compact design
  • Easy to install
  • ANSI and IAPMO certified
  • High filtering capacity


  • Incompatible with drop-down faucets
  • No filter status indicator
  • A bit expensive


The Culligan FM-25 Faucet-Mount Advanced Water Filtration System is the perfect choice for small, mid-sized, and large families because of its long filter cartridge life. While the price tag is a bit high, especially since it lacks other features like a filter status indicator, you won’t need to replace the filter cartridge as frequently as the other two products.

How to Install Your New Water Faucet Filter

The method of installing your water faucet filter system will depend on the specific model of the unit. That’s why it’s important to read the owner’s manual and follow the steps to the T. Otherwise, you’ll end up with leaks or a loose water faucet filtration system.

That said, we can narrow down the steps into:

  1. Turn off your water supply.
  2. Unscrew your faucet’s aerator and remove any gaskets or washers present.
  3. Attach the adapter compatible with your faucet to one end of the filter system, if needed, and then attach it to your faucet.
  4. Once tight and secure, turn on your water supply and check for any leaks. If there is, check the connections to ensure you installed the unit properly and securely.
  5. If there are no leaks, turn the faucet on and let the water flow for five to 10 minutes, depending on what the manufacturer requires. This step will flush any contaminants present in your water line and “activate” the filter. Don’t worry because the filter’s capacity will only start once the “flushing” stage is done or the filter is already activated. 

Best Water Faucet Filter FAQs

1. What are the benefits of using a water faucet filter?

These best water faucet filters don’t just remove tap water impurities but also minimize heavy metal and bacteria buildup to produce clean, odor-free, great-tasting water. These filters are also cost-effective, as they’re much cheaper than whole-house filtration systems, easy to install, and reduce or eliminate plastic waste.

2. Do water faucet filters remove all contaminants?

No, they don’t, but they do remove some of the most common tap water contaminants, such as insects, suspended pollutants, rust, algae, heavy metals, pesticides, estrogen, chemicals,  and unwanted odor and taste. For greater filtration of contaminants, you’ll want to look at Reverse Osmosis systems.

3. How often do I need to replace my water faucet filter?

How frequently you replace your water faucet filter will depend on the brand and model, so checking the manual is advisable. It will also depend on how often the filter is used.

For instance, let’s compare a couple and a family of four using a similar model of water faucet filter. The filter in the couple’s faucet will surely require less frequent changing than the one being used by the family of four.

That said, you’ll usually need to replace your water faucet filters twice to thrice a year. But in case you fail to monitor your filtered water usage or the number of gallons filtered and your unit doesn’t have a filter status indicator, you can rely on two of the telltale signs that the cartridge already needs replacement.

One is that the changes in the quality of the filtered water it produces. It’s usually more turbid than it used to be and can have an unwanted smell. Another is the filtered water’s flow rate: a cartridge that already needs to be replaced will have a slower water flow.

4. Can water faucet filters be used with hot water?

No, you shouldn’t since hot water can destroy the filter. However, you can still find water faucet filters designed to be used for hot water.

5. Will a water faucet filter reduce water pressure?

Yes, it does because the filter will restrict the water flow to trap pollutants or contaminants. Plus, the water will run through the filter at a particular speed.

The amount of pressure reduced will depend on the specific model of your water faucet filter.

What Is the Best Water Faucet Filter for You?

The three water faucet filters I have introduced to you are easy to install and use and are compatible with many faucet sizes. They can reduce some of the most common water contaminants and turbidity, remove foul or chlorine odor, and improve your tap water’s taste.

Choose what works best for your budget and the quality of tap water. However, if I had to make a recommendation for you, the PUR PLUS Faucet Mount Water Filtration System offers great value for your money. Not only can it filter the highest number of contaminants, but it also comes with a 12-month warranty.

That said, if you have a handheld or pull-out faucet and filter out protozoans, the Culligan FM-25 Faucet-Mount Advanced Water Filtration System will be your best option for a faucet filter. If you want to filter more contaminants, you’ll want to look at reverse osmosis systems.

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