Looking to buy a Table Top Water Filter System?
You have come to the right place!
Your family’s health tops everything else, and clean and pure drinking water is an indispensable element to ensure your family’s health and well-being.
As the name suggests, tabletop water filter systems sit on the countertop and provide clean water for the family.
They are convenient, affordable, and portable, which is why they’re one of the most commonly used home water filters.
When Should You Use a Tabletop water filter system (versus other options)?
People who don’t have a lot of space in the kitchen or tend to move a lot will find the compact and portable design of a tabletop water filtration system very convenient and suitable for themselves.
Options like under-sink filtration systems are harder to install, whereas water softeners don’t remove contaminants from your water.
Similarly, a whole-house filtration system might be too big of an investment, while a pitcher systemwill only offer a limited capacity.
A Tabletop water filter system will not only be cheaper than most other alternatives as well but also cater to your water needs most fittingly too.
What's In This Buying Guide
Table of Contents
In this buying guide, we explain what tabletop water filter systems are and how they work.
We also review some of the best tabletop water filter systems and outline some important factors you need to consider before purchasing one.
In the end, we also answer some frequently asked questions to solve any additional queries you may have.
Best Table Top Water Filter Systems
Big Berkey Water Filter
No installation required
Can filter 203 contaminants
AquaTru Countertop Filtration System
No installation required
Removes 1000s of contaminants, including lead, herbicides, drug residue, and foulodor
Best Reverse Osmosis System
Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter
Needs to be connected to a faucet
Removes 99% of the contaminants, including chloramine, radon, and heavy metals.
Best Alkaline Water Filtration System
Aquasana AQ-4000W Countertop Water Filter
Only needs to be hooked with a faucet
Removes 77 contaminants
Value for Money
The Big Berkey Water Filter has a capacity of 2.25 gallons and can remove PFOA concentration in tap water by 99.9%, including contaminants like PFDS and PFDA.
It is made with stainless steel and meets NSF standards, so you can rest assured that your money is in the right place.
The Big Berkey Water Filter has a large holding capacity of 2.25 gallons, making it ideal for small and big families alike, as it takes away the hassle of refilling the container repeatedly.
Since you don’t have to connect it to your sink, this Big Berkey filter is quite portable. It has two main purification components that are EPA approved and meet the NSF/ANSI Standard 53.
The Berkey filters present in the Big Berkey filter are some of the best ones in the market. The combination of carbon and high-grade coconut shell makes these filters highly effective.
The filters also use a carefully proportioned blend of 5 other filtration media that allows it to remove a total of 203 contaminants, including harmful viruses, pathogenic bacteria, pesticides, heavy metals, and pharmaceuticals.
Installing the Big Berkey Filtration Unit is pretty simple. It comes with a user manual that details some basic information about changing elements, checking if the filters are working well, and maintaining the unit.
Issues & Limitations
The Big Berkey Water Filtration System uses gravity to push water through the filter cartridge that removes almost all contaminants and pathogens from your water.
However, this makes the process a little slow, and you do not get clean drinking water immediately after filling up the system.
Since the Big Berkey is quite big (8.5 inches wide and 21 inches tall), it cannot feature a very compact design. You can still fit it in your RV, but you will need to make some room for it.
The Big Berkey Water Filtration System is a great choice, particularly for large families. It can remove 203 contaminants from your water, including trihalomethanes, viruses, PFNA, and PFOA.
The AquaTru Countertop System features a sleek and contemporary look and can be easily set up in your kitchen. Unlike many under-the-sink systems, it essentially requires no installation or plumbing.
All the components fit inside the machine, so the setup is easy. You just have to turn on the system, and you are good to go!
The AquaTru filters are designed to last for 600 to 1200 gallons, which means they can last for 6 months to 2 years, depending on your use.
However, don’t worry about keeping track, as the AquaTru system will notify you when it is time to replace the filters.
The reverse osmosis membrane is one of the defining features of the AquaTru filtration process.
Its 4-stage ultra reverse osmosis technology removes thousands of pollutants and foul odors from your water.
It is certified to remove fluoride, radium, iron, lead, and drug residues, making your water cleaner, better tasting, and safer than bottled water.
In stages 1 and 2, the water passes through a carbon pre-filter that removes large particles like sediment and chlorine.
In the third stage, the water passes through an ultra-fine reverse osmosis filter that removes toxic and harmful inorganic substances like lead, chromium 6, uranium, and nitrates. It also removes 99% of dissolved solids from the water.
In the last stage, water is pushed through an activated coconut block carbon filter that takes care of organic compounds like rocket fuel, PFAS, and prescription drug residues.
Issues & Limitations
Even though the AquaTru Countertop Filtration System does an impeccable job of extracting contaminants and impurities from your water supply, the amount of water it filters might not be enough for a large family.
The Apex countertop alkaline water filtration system hooks to your kitchen faucet. It filters out chlorine and nasty odors and adds healthy minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium to your water.
With its 5 filtration stages consisting of KDF-55, coconut shell activated carbon, alkaline beads, a calcite filter, and a micro felt pad, it efficiently provides fresh and healthy water.
The Apex countertop filter removes heavy metals, benzene, and pathogens from tap water and adds healthy minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
This makes the water healthier and gives it a subtle and refreshing alkaline taste.
The Apex Countertop filter involves 5 filtration stages.
The water first passes through a KDF-55 filter that removes bacteria and heavy metals from the water.
Next, it is pushed through a coconut shell activated carbon filter that filters organic compounds and substances like radon, chloramine, chlorine, and benzene.
After that, the alkaline beads add minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
Lastly, the calcite filter adjusts the pH of the water while retaining its alkalinity.
The Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter attaches to your faucet and comes with the required tools and components. The only thing you might need is a faucet adapter.
You can be very confident when buying this filter. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a limited one-year warranty covering manufacturing defects or faults in workmanship or materials.
Issues & Limitations
You need to change the filter cartridge of the Apex Countertop system every 750 gallons. While the cartridge is readily available, replacing it is a little tricky as opening the filter housing is a challenge.
Also, note that since the filtration system adds minerals like potassium and magnesium, the TDS levels will not drop.
The 5-stage Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter provides alkaline water free from toxic and harmful substances like radon, benzene, heavy metals, and chloramine.
It also adds healthy minerals like calcium and potassium to provide healthy, pure, great-tasting water.
The AQ-4000W easily attaches to your faucet and gives you an uninterrupted supply of clean and healthy drinking water.
Despite the low price, this filter does an incredible job of removing hard metals, contaminants, and bacteria.
This water filter involves 4 stages: activated carbon filter, catalytic carbon filter, an ion exchange process, and sub-micron mechanical filtration.
The Aquasana AQ-4000W is a stylish white unit with a compact frame. The product dimensions are 12 x 7 x 4 inches. This means you can put it just about anywhere, and it will fit easily.
The AQ-4000W has 4 filtration stages that remove a total of 77 contaminants from your water.
First, water passes through an activated carbon filter that reduces herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, pharmaceuticals, and MTBE from your water.
The catalytic carbon removes chloramine and chlorine.
In the third stage, the water goes through an ion exchange process where heavy metals like mercury and lead are filtered out.
Lastly, the absolute sub-micron mechanical filter gets rid of contaminants like asbestos.
The Aquasana AQ-4000W is NSF-certified, so you can count on it to do its job as advertised. This filter will also last you for almost six months, depending upon your usage.
Installing the AQ-4000W is also very easy. You only need to hook it to the sink faucet using the provided hose and diverter valve.
And in case your faucet doesn’t have a standard design of 1-3/8 inches, the filter comes with an adapter to attach the diverter valve to your faucet.
Lastly, since the AQ-4000W has a flow rate of 0.5 gallons per minute, you won’t have to wait around for filtered water.
Issues & Limitations
The lifespan of this filter is approximately six months. Although it is still better than quite a lot of filters, you can find a filter with a better lifespan at this price.
Plus, you have to be careful while using this filter. Hot water can harm the filter media and membranes of the Claryum filtration process. This could also void your warranty.
If you are not looking to spend a fortune and want a simple yet effective tabletop water filtration system, the Aquasana AQ-4000W is a good option.
Its 4-stage filtration process removes 77 contaminants, including asbestos, chlorine, chloramines, and much more, while retaining healthy minerals like magnesium.
Table Top Water Filters: Buying Guide
What Is a Table Top Water Filter System - and how does it work?
A tabletop water filter system is a simple water filtration device that sits on your countertop and is primarily used to filter tap water.
Even though it has a simple mechanism and design, a tabletop water filter still manages to do a remarkable job of filtering out contaminants, pathogens, and heavy metals.
It generally comes with a storage container that also contains a purification element or the filtration cartridge.
Some models can be attached directly to the faucet, while some need to be filled with water.
Others may also have a water storage tank that will house the filtered water. That one will make use of a spigot to pour the water for drinking or cooking.
Tabletop water filters are of different types, such as faucet or sink-top systems, reverse osmosis systems, water distillers, and water ionizers.
Reverse osmosis (RO) systems are known for their efficiency and force water through a filtration membrane that removes any impurities, usually through a three or four-step process.
They also come with some accessories that can be used to upgrade your system. An example of a great RO system is the Brondell filter.
Water distillers make use of, well, distillation. A water distiller boils the water, collects it as steam, and filters out contaminants like heavy metals left behind. The steam is then turned into pure water for you to drink.
As the name suggests, water ionizers use electrolysis to separate the incoming water stream into alkaline and acidic components. Drinkable alkaline water is known to have health benefits.
Lastly, faucet water systems are the most traditional ones and are economical and convenient.
Some might feature membrane filters, while others have ceramic filters. Some can even add healthy minerals to drinking water.
Why buy a Table Top Water Filter System over other kinds?
A tabletop water filter system is the most cost-effective option if you only need a water filtration system for drinking water or cooking purposes. It easily hooks your faucet or just sits on your countertop.
Tabletop water filter systems are available in a wide range of capacities, so you can easily find one that suits your needs.
Pitcher filters are an alternative, but they cannot be attached to the faucet or any water supply and have a limited capacity. Hence, they are not the best option for larger families.
Whole-house filtration systems are another option. They are installed at the water supply and remove contaminants from the source before it enters the house. However, these might be expensive and a little too excessive for some.
What to look for in a Table Top Water Filter System
You can find many tabletop water filtration systems with unique features from various brands, all claiming to be the best. This can make it hard to shortlist some options.
However, keeping the following factors in mind can help you find a suitable unit:
Contaminants in your water supply
Firstly, you need to assess your requirements. See how bad the water supply is and the number of contaminants present in it. You can call in a professional for that to give a more detailed report.
This will give you a better idea of the filters (and the stages) you need to get pure water.
You should factor in the capacity as tabletop units can typically hold one to two gallons of water.
Opting for a large-capacity unit is always a smart option, as that you won’t have to refill it frequently. However, if even two gallons aren’t sufficient for you, you should check out other options.
You also need to remember that table-top water filters are suitable only for a single faucet.
However, if you want clean water from multiple taps, it’s better to opt for a whole-house system.
Other factors like filter longevity and flow rate should also be accounted for.
Generally, filters need to be changed every three months to one year. Make sure replacement filters are easily available and don’t put a burden on your pocket.
The flow rate also depends on the type of tabletop system you have.
Installation of Table Top Water Filter Systems
The installation will differ, depending on the kind of tabletop filtration system that you purchase.
You will most likely have to hire a plumber for an RO system, especially if you don’t have basic plumbing knowledge or are not interested in DIY-ing.
Water distillers and ionizers are a complete system in themselves and don’t need to be particularly installed.
They just need to be filled up with water, and then their components will take care of the filtration process. Some water ionizers may require you to feed it with a water line, which is very easy to manage.
Meanwhile, other tabletop filters simply attach to your faucet. In some cases, you might have to take the help of a plumber to mount a spigot on the sink.
In other cases, you will just have to hook up the system to an initial water line.
Pros and cons
Tabletop water filters are more affordable than other alternatives like whole-house filtration systems.
They also sit right next to your kitchen sink or on the kitchen counter and don’t usually take up much room.
They also usually don’t require a time-consuming and challenging installation process, and in most cases, you can install the system yourself with the help of the instruction manual.
However, tabletop water systems are only functional for a single faucet, so they have limited use.
Moreover, depending on the specific unit you are using, it might have a slow filtration speed and low water capacity, so they might not be the best option if you have a big family or a high water consumption rate.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Like all water filters, the maintenance of tabletop water filters involves changing the filterregularly.
Prolonged usage will severely compromise the filtration capacity and affect the overall functionality over time.
Also, make sure to thoroughly wash the water storage jug or chamber frequently to get clean drinking water at all times.
Some filtrations systems require more sensitive care. For instance, you shouldn’t run hot water through them as that could damage the filtration mechanism.
For such additional information, be sure to check the instruction manual of your product.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do countertop water filters store water before drinking?
This depends on the unit you buy. Some tabletop water filtration systems have a water storage tank or jug that collects the filtered water.
Meanwhile, other filters are connected to a faucet or a pitcher of unfiltered water and purify water when you push the button to pour water into your glass.
Can I use my countertop water filter in my RV?
Yes, depending on the unit, you can use it in your RV if you have enough countertop space beside the sink.
Do table-top water filters remove all total dissolved solids?
No filtration system ensures 100% removal of contaminants or dissolved solids, but they can get rid of the most dangerous contaminants.
Most tabletop filters can usually effectively remove 95% to 99% of dissolved solids along with other contaminants from the water.
Do I need to install a faucet for my countertop filter?
Again, this depends on the kind of tabletop filter you purchase. In some cases, you don’t need to attach the filter to the faucet; you only have to fill the filter container (or jug) with unfiltered water.
Final Verdict: What is the best tabletop water filter system?
We find the Big Berkey water filter to be the best tabletop water filter system. Its high-grade coconut shells and carbon filters, along with a blend of 5 other filtration media, remove over 200 contaminants from your water ranging from pesticides to heavy metals and give you safe, clean, and fresh drinking water.