Which water filtration system is best for drinking water (inexpensive but effective)?

Whether you are connected to the municipal or you rely on a well, you cannot be sure of the quality of your drinking water. According to the United Nations, drinking contaminated water causes more deaths than war and all other forms of violence combined. That’s why it is prudent to use a water filtration system to ensure your family drinks safe water.

Best pitcher filter Zero water pitcher filter Check Price on Amazon
Best portable water filter Membrane solutions portable filter Check Price on Amazon
Best faucet-mounted filter Waterdrop faucet filter Check Price on Amazon
Best faucet-integrated filter Appaso drinking water faucet filter Check Price on Amazon
Best under sink filter Waterdrop under-sink filter Check Price on Waterdrop
Best whole house filter iSpring whole-house filter Check Price on Amazon
Best RV filter Camco RV/Marine filter Check Price on Amazon

Questions to ask when looking for a good water filter

  • How much water do you need filtered?

If you are looking for a filter for purifying only your drinking water, then you will be ok with the slow filters. But if you are looking to filter lots of water, then you want one that is fast and efficient.

  • Where do you want to use the filter?

Do you want a portable filter for outdoor use? Or are you looking for one to be mounted on your faucet/under the sink for home use only?

  • What contaminants do you need to remove?

If a water filter is designed to remove germs, there is a good chance that it will not be effective in removing chemicals. Do not assume that any water filter is suited for all kinds of contaminants. You can search the water filter in the NSF database to see what it has been certified to remove from drinking water.

  • What’s the cost of the filter?

Water purification systems can cost anything from a couple of bucks to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. But the most important cost factor is not just the purchase but the installation and maintenance costs involved. Beware of inexpensive filters that might end up costing you way more in maintenance.

Best water filtration systems

The best pitcher water filtration system

Water pitcher filters are designed to be filled with water from the top and the water then passes through inbuilt filters before it is poured out into a glass for drinking. These are usually inexpensive and require no installation. However, they are slow so are not ideal for large volumes of water. Zero Water arguably has the best pitcher water filtration system. Read our review below;

Zero Water pitcher filtration system

The Zero Water pitcher filter was certified in 2018 by the NSF (National Science Foundation) for lead and other contaminants removal in drinking water. You can trust it to eliminate 99.6% of all dissolved solids in your drinking water. It even comes with a light-up TDS indicator which will help you to know the TDS values of your water. When compared to other pitcher filters, the ZERO Water filter does a better job by far in reducing the TDS of water. ANd you can use the meter to prove it. This pitcher will filter up to 7 glasses of water at a go and so it can do fine for small households.

  • NSF certified
  • Has a light-up TDS indicator
  • Filters up 7 glasses of water
  • Inexpensive
  • Not good for large households

The best portable filtration system

Whether you are a backpacker or traveling to some off-grid location, it is a good idea to take a portable filtration system with you. The last thing you want is to ruin your trip by getting a waterborne disease. And when it comes to portable filtration systems, most pale in comparison to the membrane solutions water straws portable filter. Here’s why;

Membrane solutions personal water filter

This portable filtration system is great for hiking, backpacking, scouting, emergency preparedness, and camping trips. You may want to have it handy when traveling overseas as well. It is 6.7” long and 1” in diameter which makes it fit in any cup or glass and you can easily slip it in a cupholder or in your backpack.

Even though small and portable, this is a robust filtration system that uses a four-stage filtration system that includes pp cotton, a coarse filter screen, activated carbon, and coconut shells. The 4-stage filtration process ensures the elimination of 99.9% of bacteria and other contaminants in the water. You can therefore count on the membrane solutions portable water filter to give you the safest drinking water in the harshest environments.

  • Portable and durable
  • 4-stage filtration to eliminate 99.9% of contaminants
  • Very easy to use
  • No need to carry water when traveling
  • not designed to be shared so you will need to buy one for each member of the team when traveling as a group

The best refrigerator water filtration system

A recent study found that refrigerator filters are very effective in removing contaminants from water. Most of these filters use activated carbon which filters out impurities thereby giving you clean and safe water. Most modern refrigerators come with a pre-built water filter. These water filters must be replaced regularly as per the manufacturer’s instructions. But they are relatively inexpensive although the exact cost is determined by your brand.

  • Most modern refrigerators come with prebuilt water filters
  • They improve the taste of water
  • They also filter water for making ice
  • Easy to use
  • Water filters have to be replaced regularly
  • You have to get a filter made for your brand and model

There is no one-size-fits-all refrigerator filter. You will have to get one for your specific brand. The following are some of the most popular filters but you can search in the box below if you don’t see your brand.

The best faucet-mounted filtration system

As the name suggests, faucet-mounted filtration systems are installed on the faucet. Faucet-mounted filters work with most standard faucets but there are some faucets that may not be supported. They also affect the flow rate of water. But the advantage is that you can easily switch from filtered to unfiltered water as you please.

Water Drop stainless steel water faucet filter

The waterdrop stainless steel faucet-mounted filtration system is NSF certified for chlorine and lead elimination in water. Most households in America unknowingly drink water that is contaminated with lead from plumbing but this can easily be avoided by installing the waterdrop faucet filter. Unlike most other faucet-mounted systems, you won’t have to be worried about the flow rate of your water because this system has a 0.5gpm. It also has a 360-degree swivel which allows you to use the faucet at any angle.

  • NSF certified
  • Easy to install
  • Eco-friendly (filters use coconut shells)
  • Uses 304 food-grade stainless-steel
  • Has a flow rate of 0.5 GPM
  • Doesn’t reduce TDS
  • Filters need replacement every 3 months (or after 320 gallons of water)

The best faucet-integrated filtration system

A faucet-integrated filtration system refers to a system that’s designed with inbuilt filters as opposed to mounting one on the faucet. These are usually more technical and you might require the help of a plumber to install them. just like the faucet-mounted ones, you can also toggle between filtered and unfiltered water.

Appaso drinking water faucet

This inbuilt faucet water filtration means you don’t have to waste space by installing an auxiliary faucet filter. The Apasso drinking water faucet combines both hot and cold water in one faucet with easy controls to toggle between the two. This saves you the trouble of having to drill through marble or granite to install a secondary Ro faucet which ultimately saves you lots of cash, time, and space. The manufacture offers a 90-day moneyback guarantee with a 5-year warranty.

  • Combines hot and cold water in one faucet
  • Eco-friendly, lead-free materials
  • Has a 90-day moneyback guarantee with a 5-year warranty
  • Has a leak-free ceramic valve
  • Easy installation
  • You might need to modify the faucet holes to fit it properly especially for older homes

The best under-sink water filtration system

Under-sink water filtration systems are installed under the sink. These systems are great for filtration large volumes of water and they are also loved because they do not waste space.  However, they might need some modifications to your plumbing especially if you live in an old house.

The Waterdrop under-sink integrated dual carbon system

The waterdrop under-sink water filtration system is arguably one of the best water filtration systems for drinking water at home. It was designed to meet the NSF standards for water quality and safety and will remove 99% of fluoride, arsenic, mercury, lead, and odors thereby giving you safe drinking water that tastes and smells great. It comes with a smart indicator that allows you to see the working condition of your filters at a glance. It is very easy to install and you can have it up and running in less than 30 minutes.

  • Very easy to install
  • Tested against NSF standards
  • Removes 99% of chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, mercury, lead, and odors
  • It has an integrated waterway design that prevents water leakages and also enables you to change the filters without stopping the flow of water.
  • Will not reduce the TDS

The best RV water filtration system

If you are an RVer, then you must use a water filter in your RV. Some of the water you will get at campgrounds and other off-grid locations are contaminated with bacteria and other contaminants. Some RVs come with preinstalled carbon filters but that can leave the chlorine taste in water. So, you may still want to get a filtration system that will give you the best quality drinking water that also tastes great. Here is our number one recommendation for all your RV water filtration needs.

Camco TastePURE RV Water Filter

This RV filtration system will eliminate chlorine, sediment, bacteria, odors, and bad taste which are the commonest contaminants in campground water. Once you install it, you can rest assured that you will always have clean drinking water from your faucets. This filtration system adopts a 2-stage filtration process which helps to prolong the life of your filter. It also has a high flow rate so you will have sufficient water in your kitchen and a continuous flow of water in your shower.

  • Designed and manufactured in the USA
  • 2-stage filtration process
  • Designed for exterior use and can be mounted for added security
  • The stand is made of powder-coated steel which makes it very durable
  • Replacement filters are easily available on Amazon and other stores
  • Not very effective in removing sulfur smell in water

The best whole-house water filtration system

Whole-house filtration systems purify all the water that enters the house as opposed to only filtering the drinking. Whole-house filtration systems should be used in areas that have hard water or for water that water has volatile organic compounds. For instance, if you use well water, it might be a good idea to install a whole-house water filtration system. Not only does it guarantee safe drinking water but it also protects your appliances from corrosion. Here is our top recommendation for whole-house systems.

iSpring 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System

As the name suggests, this filtration system uses a 3-stage filtration process to guarantee the purest and safest water for domestic use. You can trust it to eliminate iron, manganese, and other heavy metals which would do serious damage to your appliances. The 3-stage process also deals with sediment, rust, herbicides, pesticides, chlorine, industrial solvents, volatile compounds, and lots of other contaminants. And the icing on the cake is it has very easy-to-follow guides that you can use to install it without the need of hiring a contractor.

  • Has one of the most durable filters among other whole-house filtration systems
  • Easy to install – just follow the simple youtube tutorials given
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty and lifelong access to customer support
  • Does not reduce the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

Final thoughts

The best filter for you will depend on what you are trying to achieve. If you need clean drinking water in your home, you will need a different filter from someone else who is traveling overseas and needs a portable solution. We have given recommendations of the best water filtration systems for drinking water for most of these different scenarios so that should make it easier for you to decide. Although we have done extensive research to recommend filters that will work best for you, we encourage you to check customer reviews of verified buyers on Amazon to see what other customers think of the systems we have recommended.