Products & Services
It's important to know what, if any, contaminants are in your water before you buy a filter. Then you can match the filter to the problem. Also consider how much water you consume vs. how much effort and disruption to your daily routine you're willing to tolerate. Generally, the more contaminants you need to remove, the more complicated the filter, though there are trade-offs to every choice.
Our top picks tend to be excellent at removing those impurities their makers claim they remove. Don't forget installation costs, which could be $150 to $300 for an undersink or reverse-osmosis system.
The Ratings rank filters within a type by performance.
Water filters can improve the taste of your water and they may even protect your from harmful contaminants. The devices have become simpler to install and more convenient to maintain. Our tests of various filters, including carafes, faucet-mounted models, and whole-house systems, found options suitable for removing many common contaminants. What's at stake might be more than just good taste.
A flood of new filters--everything from simple carafes to permanently mounted systems--can make removing impurities from your drinking water almost as easy as turning on the tap. Some models that connect to the plumbing are now easier to install. And across types, more filters now feature electronic indicators that signal when it's time for replacement.
Dangerous contaminants such as lead, chloroform, arsenic, nitrate, nitrite, radon, and E. coli bacteria are common in tap water. Bottled water, often advertised as a "pure" and "natural" alternative to tap water, is generally safe. But it's actually less regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency than municipal water supplies. Indeed, some bottled water is simply filtered tap water. Fortunately, our tests of water filters of various types found models suitable for removing many such contaminants.