If you water is not clear, colored, smells or you already know there are contaminants in your water, then it is time to think about getting a water filter, at least in your kitchen.
You may not need or want to filter all the water that enters your house. A point-of-use (POU) water filter is the best solution, if you only plan to filter your drinking water. They require no - or at least less - installation than whole house filter systems and you can remove them when you move to a new home.
Types of Kitchen Water Filters
If you just needs small amounts of water per day, an inexpensive pitcher filter may work for you. They are suitable, if you need just one to two gallons per day. Most of them are made from BPA-free plastic, but there are glass models as well. See our list of available glass water filter pitchers here.
For a little bit more water, a faucet water filter, attached to your kitchen faucet, might be right for you. You always have clean water to drink or wash your vegetables. No need to remember to fill a container. They typically use an activated charcoal filter element.
Just be warned, they do not work with sprayer faucets and will reduce the water flow a bit. Read our faucet filter reviews and articles for more information.
Faucet connected counter top filters can deliver even more water. They are a good choice if you want clean water on-demand. They come with a separate housing, and can look very stylish on your counter-top.
You have the choice between models with activated charcoal filters and reverse osmosis units.
They share the same limitations as faucet filters: They do not fit every kitchen faucet and they take up counter space.
Under sink models do not have this problem, but they are a little bit more difficult to install. They come with their own faucet. Advantages are the higher filter volume, the out-of-sight installation and flexibility when it comes to choice of filters.
Gravity water filters are big containers with build-in filter cartridges. They work similar to pitcher filters, only they are bigger and filter out a far wider range of contaminants. They are very popular with people who want to remove fluoride from their drinking water. Read gravity filter reviews and guides here.
Refrigerator Water Filters
Build into or connected to your refrigerator, these filter clean the water you use to make ice. These filters need to fit the fridge model.
All these filters only work for a limited time and a limited amount of water. Then you need to replace the filter medium. Some filters come with indicators, with others you just have to keep track.
Their abilities to reduce contaminants also vary.
Before you decide
Before you decide for a certain type of filter, take the cost-of-ownership into account as well. Also, take a look at your consumer confidence report (CCR). The CCR will tell you which contaminants are in your water. Alternatively, you could take a water sample to one of the state certified labs and get it analyzed.