Most people find it hard to put up with the taste and odor of tap water. Who wants to drink water that smells like it’s from the pool?
Good news is, you don’t have to. A decent faucet water filter will get the problem solved.
The faucet mount water filter is a gadget that can be installed directly onto your tap. Water is filtered as you open it, and comes out of the tap purified. This is much faster and a whole lot more convenient than a water filter pitcher, which excels at the same job but at a slower pace.
Most faucet filters are modest in size, making them a great choice for the small home.
Why a faucet water filter
Safe, tasty water…
Most faucet mount water filters come with a decent amount of filtration materials, allowing them to remove dozens of various contaminants from your tap water.
Some can absorb or neutralize not only chlorine but also toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic. A few types are built with materials that work to increase the pH level of your water, making it more alkaline.
The result is safe, fresh, crisp-tasting water with bottle quality right from your tap.
…without plastic bottles
Did you know that most bottled water is not necessarily safer than tap water?
Also, while they can be convenient, the cost is high for both you and the environment.
The most appealing thing about bottled water is, apart from their portability, the good taste and odor. With a faucet water filter, you can have the same tasty pure water right from your tap. At a significantly lower cost, and it is also A LOT better for the earth.
Pure water immediately served
A good pitcher filter can provide sufficient clean water for drinking and occasional cooking in a small family. However, you do have to refill and wait for a few minutes before you can get a few cups of water.
If you need more than a couple gallons of pure water a day, an under tap filter is a better choice. You get clean water immediately, and a few-minutes-wait can get you a decent amount for cooking or washing.
Of course it’s not that tap filters are the answer to every water problem.
First, due to their compact size, they’re not capable of removing all the pollutants in a large amount of water. If you have serious water issues (heavy chlorination, dangerous contaminants ect), a countertop or undersink filter with large capacity and strong filtration media would be a better choice.
Second, these filters are not compatible with all types of faucets. Most modern faucets nowadays are made pull-down, which makes installation of a such a device impossible. Choosing a faucet just to go with the filter, meanwhile, does not sound practical.
All that said, when a quick, portable solution is needed, nothing can beat a good tap mount filter.
Best Faucet Water Filter Reviews 2018
The most effective ones to remove chlorine, lead, mercury, arsenic, and other toxic chemicals and contaminants from your tap water.
|Products||Capacity||Filter Life Indicator||Our Pick as...|
|200 gals||No||Best to Buy in 2018|
|PUR FM-9400B||100 gals||Yes||Best Runner-up|
|PUR FM-4000B||100 gals||Yes||Best for Removing Lead|
|DuPont||100 gals||No||Best for Removing Chlorine|
|Waterdrop||320 gals||No||Best New Faucet Filter|
*Filter life is calculated based on the average amount of water used by ONE person per month for the purposes of drinking, tooth brushing, face and hand washing, which is about 60 gallons, according to figures offered by the USGS. Actual mileage may vary.
1. Culligan – Best Faucet Water Filter to Buy in 2018
Long known as a trusted brand in household water treatment, Culligan makes some of the best faucet water filters on the market. And it’s not a self claim: this filtration device is certified by the NSF.
The Culligan FM 25 is made of light plastic with a sleek chrome finish. It comes with 2 connectors, and can easily match with most standard taps (but no pull-down, pull-out, or unusual tap heads). Installation is easy and can be done within a couple minutes.
If you use one of the spare connectors and it leaks there, call the company for a replacement, or if you prefer it fast, get a metal connector from a hardware store.
With filter off being the default, the device allows you to switch to filtered water by pulling out the knob on its side. Water flow will slow down quite a bit, but will still be sufficient for normal drinking, cooking and moderate washing.
The Culligan filter is certified by NSF International against ANSI Standard 42 and 53. It means the filter can effectively reduce health-related contaminants in drinking water, and improve the water aesthetically. It is certified to remove chlorine, lead, VOCs, asbestos, and a large number of other pollutants.
The filtration cartridge can process 200 gallons of water before it needs replacement. That could mean somewhere between 2 and 5 months, depending on how much filtered water you consume.
The general consensus is, I believe, that when it comes to filters, the less time between replacements the better. Even if you only use filtered water for drinking, which means it will take more than a year to reach the 200 gallon mark, frequent changing of the cartridge is still advised to prevent algae and bacteria development inside the filter itself.
There’s no replacement indicator on the Culligan, so make sure you have the installation day jotted down and make a schedule to change it.
2. PUR FM-9400B – Best Runner-up
If not for the fact that you have to make an inquire to get the metal connector, PUR would definitely be our first choice for a faucet filter.
Simple and compact in shape and size, the 9400B seems to be designed to make itself unnoticeable over the kitchen sink.
Like many other tap mount filters, the housing is made of plastic to reduce weight pressure on the faucet. The item doesn’t look cheap, though. Plus, it is available in black, white, chrome, stainless steel, and also platinum so it can match easily with any fancy looking faucet, sink, and kitchen decor.
Coming with a connector for standard faucet, installation of this filter is a bliss. If there’s any filtration mesh on your faucet, remove it (be prepared to see some dirt in there too – that’s what makes people even more determined to get water in their home filtered). Next, put on the connector before locking the item in its place. You’re pretty much done!
It’s not that the design is not flawless. It’s awesome when it works, but quality control doesn’t seem much of a thing and whether it leaks or not is purely a matter of luck. Many customers have complained about the plastic connector being not tight and durable enough, which is the major (but apparently not only) cause of leakage, sometimes right from the start.
If the metal connector is not already included in your package, and there’s a good chance it isn’t, call the company as soon as possible and they’ll send over one, free of charge.
PUR makes ones of the best household filters out there, and the one included in this deal is not an exception.
It’s a cartridge that covers 3 layers of filtration materials: a wrap to capture the sediments, activated coconut carbon to trap lead, cysts, carbon-based impurities, and chlorine, and a core made of healthy minerals to improve the taste of the water. The output is super crisp, fresh tasting water, as confirmed by many long term users.
This filter is certified by NSF to remove 99% of lead, 96% of mercury and 92% of certain pesticides. It can go for about 2 months, or 100 gallons of water. You will know when to change the filter: there’s a green light on the shell that will turn red when the time comes.
3. PUR FM-4000B – Best for Removing Lead
With a vertical design and a slightly cheaper price than the 9400B, but not any lesser in filtration ability, the PUR FM-4000B easily wins our nomination for the best tap mount filter to remove lead.
Coming with the filter cartridge placed vertically, FM-4000 is prefered by larger families over some other horizontal filters in this list. The reason? It takes slightly less space over the sink and reduces the chance of clunking when there’s a large pot to wash.
This particular stainless steel finish is pretty appealing too and would complement most faucets. Don’t be fooled, though: it’s made of plastic. It’s so easy to get excited at the shiny coat and then when you pick it up the thing is a lot lighter than expected. While this is definitely better for your faucet, a plastic housing makes it prone to leaking and even cracking, sometimes even before you get to change the filter for the first time.
The 4000B uses the same filter as the 9400B, with two stages of filtration that take care of sediments, cysts, heavy metals, chlorine, and one final polish that introduces healthy minerals back into the water. It’s certified by the NSF to reduce 99% of lead, which is very impressive for a filter of this size.
Filter replacement is every 1 – 3 months or 100 gallons, whichever comes first. The light indicator will let you know. It’s worth noting, however, that the light is powered on an irreplaceable battery that dies within two or three years, after which you will have to either remember the time of replacement by yourself, or get a whole new unit.
4. DuPont – Best for Removing Chlorine
Being one of the cheapest water filters for faucet on the market doesn’t stop the DuPont from proudly enjoying trust from the most critical water snobs. Tested against NSF 42 and 53, it’s proved to be the best buy when you want a small device to help remove chlorine from your tap water.
The DuPont has a plastic housing with 2 finish choices: chrome and white. At under $15, I can’t really say much thought was put into the design to make it look like a high-end product, but that’s not what a filter is for anyway.
The important thing is there’s a built-in antimicrobial product inside the housing, which supposedly prevents the development of germs inside the cartridge over time.
The item is built to stand vertically next to the tap head to save space. Coming with 2 connectors and even some plumbing tape, setup is no hassle even if you’re a noob.
DuPont uses an NSF certified filter for this set: it’s tested against standard 42 and 53. Which means the media are found to be useful in removing most of the chlorine, sediments, and heavy metals such as mercury or lead to improve not only the taste but also the safety of your tap water.
The filter included in the package is capable of handling about 100 gallons of water. When replacement time comes (which is 2 – 3 months and you have to note down the date because there’s no light indicator), you can also opt for the 200 gallon filter. It’s better to be able to not think about changing it for a good half a year.
5. Waterdrop – Best New Faucet Water Filter
Compared to Culligan or PUR, Waterdrop is a fairly new brand. As such, it seems to have learned from both the fails and the successes of its early competitors and the knowledge is reflected on its very fair products.
The Waterdrop tap mount filter is quite an eye candy, with a sleek, seamless white plastic housing. It’s placed vertically along the faucet, allowing more space over the sink for filling and washing tasks.
Interestingly, the setting is that the faucet will come between the filter cartridge and the filter leverage. This design in a way increases stability of the whole set, as it minimizes pressure on the cartridge when the leverage is turned. A smart move by the engi’s, if you ask me.
The Waterdrop cartridge included in the package offers five-stage filtration. There’re pre and post-filter stainless steel meshes for sediments, pre and post-filter PP cotton layers for small particles, and activated carbon to remove chlorine, organic compounds, and improve the taste and smell of the water.
The filter has one of the highest capacities among faucet mount filters: one single cartridge can take care of 320 gallons of water before retirement. That’s more than 3 times the capacity of the PURs, and 1.5 times that of the Culligan.
All in all, it sounds like a BIFL. Except: 1) the filter is not NSF certified, and 2) there is no indicator to tell you when a replacement is needed.
While the indicator is only a nice-to-have, the NSF certification means a bunch to us health-conscious folks, and the lack of it is the major reason why we can’t list this as the best to buy of 2018. Nevertheless, it has all the potential, and it’s probably only a matter of time before Waterdrop gets qualified and makes it to the top of the list.
Did you find the faucet filter you were looking for? Share your experience with us in the comment section.
Or discover more household water filter options.