Drinking enough throughout the day is important for health and wellness. However, in many areas, tap water contains many contaminants that make it unsafe to drink. Bottled water can provide a solution for this problem, but it’s expensive and wasteful for the environment. That’s where water purifiers can come in. A water purifier can take your regular tap water and remove a good amount of the impurities, so you’re left with clean and great-tasting water to drink at any time of day. Not all water purifiers are the same, however. Water purifiers come in a wide array of different types, features, and price points.
We looked at dozens of water purifiers in order to find the best, highest-quality water purifiers at any budget, based on factors such as type, quality of materials, durability, Amazon ratings, and other considerations. We narrowed our search down to five of the top-rated water purifiers that are on the market today.
We’ve identified the APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System as the best water purifier overall. While it’s a little pricier than some of our other water purifier picks, it removes 99% of contaminants including arsenic, chlorine, lead, and fluoride and has a 50 gallon per day capacity. These features, coupled with the fact that it comes with a two-year extended warranty make it an excellent choice for buyers.
The 5 Top-Rated Water Purifiers
|Best Water Purifier Overall||APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System||4.8|
|Best UF Water Purifier||Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System||4.6|
|Best Budget Water Purifier||LifeStraw Personal Water Filter||4.7|
|Best Pitcher Water Purifier||Brita Metro Pitcher with 1 Filter||4.6|
|Best Reverse Osmosis Water Purifier||Express Water Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System||4.6|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Water Purifier Overall: APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System
If you’re looking for a water purifier that checks all the boxes, look no further than the APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System. Its five-stage filtration system, including one pre-filter, two carbon blocks, an two micro filters, removes 99 percent of contaminants, including arsenic, chlorine, lead, fluoride, and heavy metals. It’s also proven to remove bacteria and viruses. It’s intended to treat both tap and well water. It has a 50 gallon per day capacity, providing all the clean drinking water you could possibly need. Plus, it has a four gallon tank capacity. The system comes with a 100% lead-free faucet, plus FDA-certified food grade tubing and parts. It’s made with high-quality fittings with stainless steel teeth and special o-ring for a leak-proof seal. The fittings don’t require any extra lock clips to seal, ensuring an easy installation and long-lasting leak-free operation. It also comes with a two-year extended manufacturer warranty so you can rest assured in your purchase.
Reviewers love that this water purifier delivers clean, good tasting water at a great value. They like that it has a large capacity for purifying water, while also providing a high-level of purification. Many other purifiers only offer one of the other, but this system provides both. Reviewers report that it’s relatively easy to install and requires only simple tools. Reviewers also report that the taste of the water from this system is far superior to other purifiers on the market. It’s crisp, clean, and visibly clear.
APEC Top Tier 5-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System Key Features:
- Five-stage filtration system
- Removes 99 percent of contaminants, such as arsenic, chlorine, lead, fluroride, and heavy metals
- 50 gallon per day capacity
- Four gallon storage tank
- Includes a 100% lead-free faucet
- Two-year warranty
Best UF Water Purifier: Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System
Much less expensive than our top pick, the Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System is still an excellent choice. It’s extremely portable, making it deal for outdoor recreation, hiking, camping, other adventures. It uses a high-performance micron absolute inline ultrafiltration filter that weighs just 2 ounces and fits in the palm of your hand. Not only is it lightweight and portable, it’s also rated up to 1000,000 gallons, which is more than some of the most expensive filtration systems on our list. This products also comes with a drinking pouch, but can also be used to drink directly from a water source. It removes 99. 99999% of all bacteria, giardia, cryptosporidium, and micro plastics.
Reviewers love that it’s small, light, and compact. Plus, it offers an easy way to filter your water when you’re hiking or exploring the great outdoors. Reviewers also love that it’s inexpensive and extremely cost effective for the price. Reviewers also report that the device works remarkably well. One reviewer reported that the device turned murky lake water into perfectly clear and crisp drinking water.
Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System Key Features:
- High-performance micron absolute inline ultrafiltration filter
- Lasts up to 100,000 gallons
- Removes 99. 99999% of all bacteria, giardia, cryptosporidium, and micro plastics
- Includes filter, 16-ounce reusable drinking pouch, reusable straw, and cleaning plunger
- Comes in six colors
Best Budget Water Purifier: LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
At just $17.47, the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is the best water purifier for buyers who don’t want to sacrifice quality for price. The LifeStraw water filter is an essential tool for hiking, camping, travel, and emergencies. Using an ultrafiltration method made with hollow fiber membrane technology, it filters up to 4,000 liters (1,000 gallons) of contaminated water, removing 99.9999 percent of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites. It also has a high flow rate for drinking from the source. Plus, with every purchase, a school in need receives safe water for an entire year.
Reviewers love that this water purifier is lightweight and portable. It’s easy to take with them wherever they need. Plus, reviewers love that it’s inexpensive. Coming in far less than $20, it’s by far the least expensive water purifier on our list and yet has over 14,000 positive reviews. Reviewers report that the water this filter purifies tastes like the freshest spring water, no matter the condition prior to filtering.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter Key Features:
- Portable and lightweight
- Made with hollow fiber membrane technology
- Filters up to 4,000 liters (1,000 gallons) of contaminated water
- Removes 99.99999 percent of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites
- Each purchase provides a school in need with safe water for an entire year
Best Pitcher Water Purifier: Brita Metro Pitcher
If you’re looking for a pitcher water purifier, turn to the Brita Metro Pitcher. This small, clear plastic pitcher is designed to be space efficient and easily fit into tight spaces. It’s made with BPA free plastic to reduce contaminants in the water. The filter reduces chlorine, copper, mercury, and cadmium commonly found in tap water. Each Brita filter purifies 40 gallons, which lasts about two months for the average home. On average, one Brita water filter replaces 300 standard water bottles. A helpful indicator light lets you know when your water filter needs to be replaced.
Reviewers love the quality of the pitcher for the low cost. Reviewers also like the turquoise color of the container. They report that the handle is comfortable to carry, even when lifting a full pitcher. The lid also comes off and replaces easily so that refilling is a breeze. Reviewers also report that replacing the filter is quick and easy as well. They report that you can’t go wrong for the price you pay.
Brita Metro Pitcher Key Features:
- BPA free plastic pitcher
- Each filter purifies 40 gallons or about 2 months
- Holds 10 cups of water
- Each filter replaces 300 standard water bottles
Best Reverse Osmosis Water Purifier: Express Water Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
If you’re looking for a reverse osmosis water purifier, the Express Water Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System is your best bet. The first filter is a sediment filter that filters out dirt, dust, sand, and rust. The second and third stages are activated carbon and granular carbon filters which remove contaminants such as chlorine and organic compounds. The fourth stage is the RO membrane, which removes smaller particles, such as lead, arsenic, chromium, and fluoride. The fifth stage is another activated carbon filter which removes any remaining particles. It removes up to 99.99 percent of lead, chlorine, fluoride, and nitrates. It gives your water a clear natural taste. It has a fast flow rate so you can get your purified water quickly. It also has a high capacity, filtering 50 gallons of water per day.
Reviewers love that this system is a great value for the price. They report that it’s an easy installation that requires only a few simple tools. They report that the water it produces tastes great, with a clean and crisp taste.
Express Water Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System Key Features:
- Five-stage filtration
- Removes up to 99.99 percent of lead, chlorine, fluoride, and nitrates
- Fast flow rate
- Can purify 50 gallons of water per day
- Four gallon storage tank
- NSF Certified
- Includes a one-year warranty
Who Should Buy a Water Purifier
Anyone who is looking to improve their health by drinking water should buy a water purifier. Often, the tap water at your home isn’t as safe to drink as you might think. It may contain contaminants, such as chlorine, fluoride, lead, or even bacteria or viruses. Drinking bottled water can help alleviate this problem by providing access to clean water to drink. However, bottled water is expensive. Plus, using all that plastic is bad for the environment and inherently wasteful. Water purifiers offer a great solution to help make your water safe to drink and taste great. Most water filters on the market replace hundreds of bottles of water at a fraction of the cost and impact on the environment.
Water purifiers range in type, price, and size. It’s important to note that different water purifier systems remove different types of impurities and contaminants from the water. Be sure to consider what requirements are most important to you and purchase a water purifier that meets those needs.
While you’re ensuring your home has the best quality water, you may also want to rid your body of toxins, too. For that, check out our How To Detox Your Body: 5 Tips Backed By Science.
Important Features to Consider
A water purifier should remove contaminants from tap water quickly and efficiently. Here’s what to consider when selecting a water purifier:
- Type of filter. There are quite a few different types of filters used in water purifiers. The type you choose may depend on the specific contaminants the filter removes and the cost.
- Activated carbon filter. Carbon filters are one of the most popular methods on the market. As the molecules pass through the filter, the contaminants cling to the surface area because of the the activated carbon that is found within the filter. It removes contaminants, such as chlorine, mercury, copper, and pesticides found in the water, and is relatively inexpensive.
- Ceramic filter. As water flows through a ceramic filter, the porous substance traps larger particles, such as dirt, debris, and bacteria. Ceramic filters are not as effective at removing chemical contaminants as other types of filters, but they are often the least expensive.
- Reverse osmosis. With reverse osmosis systems, the water first passes through a particle filter to remove impurities, such as salt, sand and sediment. Next, it goes through an activated carbon filter. Then, the pressurized water is forced through a semipermeable membrane which traps the smallest impurities and molecules, allowing only pure water to pass through. Reverse osmosis filters are extremely effective at removing contaminants from water but are also quite expensive.
- UltraFiltration (or UF). UF water purifiers use semipermeable membranes which filter suspended solids from water. They’re most comparable to reverse osmosis filters, but are much less expensive.
- Ion exchange. Ion exchange water purifiers are particularly useful at removing limescale from water. Water flows into the filter containing magnesium and calcium ions, which initially contains sodium ions. The magnesium and calcium ions become trapped and more sodium ions are released in their place.
- Storage capacity. Pitcher-style water purifiers typically hold about six to ten cups. Counter top purifiers are usually larger, holding as much as two gallons or more. Be sure to consider the size of your family and how much water you normally drink what storage capacity is right for your home.
- Flow rate. Different types of water purifiers have different “flow rates,” in other words how fast the water is purified by the filtration method. Typically, the shorter the amount of time the water takes to run through the filter, the fewer impurities it will remove. Some water purifier manufacturers have remedied this problem by creating storage tanks that hold purified water so you can always access the water that you need.
- Portability. If you want to take your water purifier with you when you’re on the go, you’ll want to consider a portable purifier. Some are so small they can fit in your pocket. Other types of purifiers must be connected to your kitchen sink and have no degree of portability.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a water purifier and how does it work?
Water purifiers remove contaminants, particles, dissolved sediment, bacteria, and chemical contaminants, such as chlorine and mercury from water. Some water purifiers even restore healthy minerals to the water after the filtering process so the water you drink is as healthy as possible. There are a few different types of water purifiers on the market that work in different ways.
What are 3 ways to purify water?
Three ways to purify water include carbon filter, reverse osmosis and ion exchange. Carbon filters work by extracting contaminants, such as chlorine, mercury, copper, and pesticides found in the water. As the molecules pass through the filter, the contaminants cling to the surface area because of the the activated carbon that is found within the filter. The reverse osmosis system offers a multi-stage filtration of water. First, the water passes through a particle filter to remove impurities, such as salt, sand and sediment. Next, it goes through an activated carbon filter. Then, the pressurized water is forced through a semipermeable membrane which traps the smallest impurities and molecules, allowing only pure water to pass through. Ion exchange water purifiers work by purifying water on a molecular scale. They are particularly useful at removing limescale from water. Water flows into the filter containing magnesium and calcium ions, which initially contains sodium ions. The magnesium and calcium ions become trapped and more sodium ions are released in their place.
Is a water purifier necessary?
Many authorities claim that tap water in America is largely safe. However, even if the water at the your municipal plant or reservoir is tested and found to be safe, that doesn’t mean it’s safe once it reaches your tap. It must travel through old pipes that might contain lead or other contaminants. In addition, water purifiers help your water taste better than just drinking straight from the tap. For both of these reasons, it’s a good idea to spring for a water purifier, even if it’s one of the less expensive options on our list.
Do water purifiers really work?
Water purifiers really do work in removing impurities from water. Different types of purifiers remove different types of contaminants, so it’s important to look at the specific contaminants that you’re looking to remove and make sure the purifier you buy removes those. Then, you’ll need to replace the filters as recommended and you’ll always end up with purified water that tastes great.
Other Water Purifiers We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other water purifiers. Even though they didn’t make our five best water purifiers, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your home. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Pitcher Water Purifiers
- Faucet Water Purifiers
- Reverse Osmosis Water Purifiers
- UF Water Purifiers
- Other Water Purifiers
Pitcher Water Purifiers
This filter makes your water taste better by reducing chlorine taste and odor. It also removes copper, mercury, and cadmium and even 99 percent of lead commonly found in tap water.
- Filter lasts 40 gallons
- Pitcher has a 10 cup capacity
- Status indicator lets you know when your filter needs to be replaced
This water pitcher features a five-layer filtration that removes chlorine and reduces lead, cadmium, mercury, and more. You can even increase the filtration speed to filter your water more quickly or slow it down when you want a more thorough job.
- Pitcher holds 2.5 liters
- Water filter replaces 320 standard water bottles
- Slim design fits easily in your fridge
Using activated carbon fiber, this water pitcher removes 98 percent of chlorine and mercury from your drinking water, while reducing lead, rust, and sediment. The filter lasts for an incredible 150 gallons, which is up to four times more than other brands.
- Pitcher is made with ABS plastic that’s BPA free
- Holds 1.3 liters
- Purifies water faster than most conventional filters
WQA certified to reduce 99 percent of lead and twenty-two contaminants, this water dispenser ensures you’re drinking cleaner water. using activated carbon & ion exchange, the filter is able to remove three times more contaminants than other brands.
- Filter last 40 gallons
- Dispenser holds up to 30 cups of water at a time
- Unique top cap prevents unfiltered water from mixing with filtered water
Made with glass and stainless steel, this water purifier looks great just sitting on your counter top. The filter uses five stages of filtration to remove 99.6 percent of total dissolved solids, including chromium and lead.
- Uses ion exchange technology to reduce contaminants
- Water quality meter included to test your water
- Filter lasts for 120 gallons
Faucet Water Purifiers
This water purifier connects to any faucet to filter out 60 contaminants, including 99 percent of lead, chlorine, benzene, and asbestos. One Brita faucet filter provides up to 100 gallons of filtered tap water and the convenient status indicator lets you know when the filter needs to be changed.
- One click installation
- Removes 99.99 percent of cryptosporidium and giardia cysts
- Replaces over 750 standard plastic water bottles
Each faucet filter provides 320 gallons of cleaner water. Upgraded filtration technology reduces lead, fluoride, and other contaminants for highly efficient filtration.
- Filters 10 cups in just one minute
- Simple switch design allows you to easily switch between filtered water and tap water to prolong the life of the filter
- 30-day money-back guarantee and limited one-year warranty
Using activated carbon and ion exchange, this faucet filter is certified to reduce over 70 contaminants, including 99 percent of lead, chlorine, mercury, and certain pesticides. The indicator light lets you know when you need to change the filter.
- On/off lever allows you to switch between filtered and unfiltered water
- Each filter provides 100 gallons of filtration
- Easily connects to most faucets
Made of premium food grade 304 stainless steel, non-cracking, and leakage-free, this faucet water filter is a step above the rest. Made of Ultrafiltration Membrane (UF) material, this filter reduces chlorine, dirt, rust, sand, and other pollutants from your tap water.
- Easily connects to most faucets
- Filters 10 cups of clean water per minute
- Each filter purifies 320 gallons of water
Featuring the most advanced ACF filtration technology with a seven-layer filtration system, this faucet filter removes chlorine, dirt, rust, sand, and other pollutants, while inhibiting bacterial growth. Each filter lasts for 350 gallons.
- Easy to install with no tools required
- Fits most standard faucets
- Made with the highest-quality filtration media imported from Japan
This water faucet filter is made with food grade stainless steel and uses the highest-grade activated carbon fiber filtration technology to remove dirt, sand, rust, and organic contaminants. An easy-to-use lever switches the water flow from filtered to unfiltered to prolong the life of your filter.
- Each filter lasts for 320 gallons or six months
- Filters eight cups of clean water per minute
- Easily installs onto standard faucet
Reverse Osmosis Water Purifiers
This reverse osmosis water filtration system removes up to 99 percent of over 1,000 contaminants, including chlorine, fluoride, lead, arsenic, asbestos, and more. After going through the initial five stages of the filter, it goes through a final remineralization to restore alkalinity and mineral balance of water.
- Easily installed under the sink
- 75 gallon-per-day capacity
- One year manufacturer’s warranty
This reverse osmosis water filter sits right on your counter top. It removes up to 99 percent of all contaminants, including fluoride, chlorine, heavy metals, and more.
- Post filter returns a small amount of calcium and magnesium to the water
- Reduces total dissolved solids in water to zero
- Takes 15 minutes to filter one half a gallon of water
Since water is loaded and dispensed right in the front of the unit, you don’t have to deal with leaky valves or hoses with this reverse osmosis water filter. It removes up to 99 percent of all contaminants, including fluoride, chlorine, heavy metals, and more.
- No assembly required
- Filters one half a gallon of water in just fifteen minutes
- Four stages of filtration
UF Water Purifiers
This handy pump-style filter removes 99.999 percent of viruses and bacteria from water. It uses a triple filtration system, including two UF filters and a carbon filter.
- Filters 17 ounces of water per minute
- Built with high-quality ABS material for durability
- Includes a lifetime warranty
This handy water purifier fits under your sink and removes 99.99 percent of lead, chlorine, and other harmful contaminants. It features a two-stage high ultra-filtration compound filter that lasts for a long time compared to other options on our list.
- Easy installation with the 3/8-inch direct connect hoses that fits water valves under most sinks
- Each cartridge lasts for 2 years or 1,600 gallons of water
- Auto shut off switch allows you to turn off the filter
Other Water Purifiers
This water purifier uses titanium electrolysis alloy plates to remove chemicals and impurities, such as chlorine, salt, dirt, and pesticides. It features seven different stages of electrolysis and allows for precise pH adjustment options based on your preferences.
- Automatically self-cleaning after each use
- Filter indicator light lets you know when the filter should be replaced
- Easy-to-use soft button control panel
Made with high-grade 304 stainless steel, this The Big Berkey system will feel right at home on your counter top. It removes bacteria, parasites, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, and so much more.
- Each purification element has a lifespan of 3,000 gallons
- Holds 2.25 gallons of purified water
- Smaller size than the standard Big Berkey makes this the perfect option for those short on space
The nano positive filter attracts harmful particles to eliminate 99. 99 percent of viruses and bacteria while the precarbon filter reduces heavy metals, particulates, organic substances, chlorine, and more. It can be installed under the kitchen sink or attached to a faucet for versatility.
- The filters last approximately four to twelve months
- The filter replacement alarm lets you know when the filter needs to be changed
- The sleek and compact design fits in tight spaces
This water purifier reduces up to 99% of harmful contaminants with a unique three-stage filtration. The first filter removes sand and sediment, the second filter removes odors and chlorine, and the final filter reduces VOC, mercury, and lead.
- Each set of filters purifies approximately 500 gallons of water
- Slim design easily fits on your counter top
- Easily connects to your faucet or a pipe for a hassle-free installation