For many, these innovative designs are an absolute essential in the home. An inexpensive yet hugely impactful investment, a water filter can not only allow constant access to purified water whenever you need, but they can significantly reduce plastic waste, therefore helping the environment. The best water filters are truly versatile when it comes to design. From counter filters for your kitchen or home office, bottles with water filters built-in, to more permanent designs that can attach to your faucet, there really are options for all. Water filters work by removing and trapping sediment and contaminants, and identifying the best water filter for you will only lead to having a more satisfying experience as you hydrate. Here, you’ll find a thorough round-up of a number of different outstanding water filters, including details on inserts and sizes. You could also consider investing in one of the best hard water kettles, to ensure the boiling water that you consume is also filtered to its best.

The 9 best water filters worth your investment

While we’ve not tried all of the best water filters in this guide, we have spent time researching and comparing only the very best designs, and included some of our favorite Homes & Gardens-approved models. Explore our top 9 water filters below so you can enjoy the taste of fresh and clean water - whether you’re on the go or at home.

How we chose the best water filters 

At Homes & Gardens we like to have hands-on experience wherever we can with products that we feature in our buying guides, as we explore in our guide to how we test.  Type: Pitcher Filter life: 60 gallons Dimensions: 9.5" x 10" inches Reasons to buy + Advanced filtration method + Excellent tasting water Reasons to avoid - Requires some charging We loved this LARQ design when we tested it, as it combines the practical elements of a pitcher with the advanced features you find in countertop filters. It has a two step filtration process, with an innovative filter that has been designed to ward off harsh contaminants and prioritize taste. Within the body of the pitcher, there is a rechargeable lithium polymer battery that works to destroy bio-contaminants at a molecular level, including viruses and mold.  Type: Pitcher Filter life: 264 gallons Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 14 inches Reasons to buy + Comes in glass and plastic + Plenty of colors to choose from  Reasons to avoid - Not the longest lasting filter out there  We love the look of the LifeStraw Home Filter Pitcher, which has a range of colors to choose from and comes in either glass or BPA-free plastic. The seven-cup design means it will fit into most refrigerator doors while still catering to the whole family.  The microfilter claims to last up to last a year with regular use and when it comes to the filtering function, there’s a two-stage process present in order to make your water taste great. Type: Under-sink Filter life: 500 gallons Dimensions: 8.25 x 4.25 x 9 inches Reasons to buy + Great price + Low running costs Reasons to avoid - DIY installation process  When properly installed: the two-stage filtration system in the AquaSana Under Sink Filter will remove up to 97 per cent of chlorine, as well as lead, asbestos, herbicides, and pesticides; dealing with upwards of 60 common water contaminants with every use, and at a flow rate of only 0.5 gallons per minute. All-in-all, owners have agreed that their water tastes exceptionally better after implementing this system.  Type: Dispenser Filter life: 120 gallons Dimensions: 5.1 x 14 x 9.6 inches Reasons to buy + Won’t take up much space + Dispenser with large capacity Reasons to avoid - Heavy to refill If you like the idea of having a lot of filtered water readily available but don’t want the DIY hassle of an under-counter or countertop filter, the Brita Ultra Max Dispenser could be for you. With an 18-cup capacity, this slimline dispenser has enough water for the entire family. It’s designed to sit on a counter without taking up too much space, but you can slide it into a refrigerator, too. As this is a large item and heavy when filled with water, there’s a spigot on the front for filling up cups or bottles, and it has a decent flow rate. Type: Countertop Filter life: 10,000 gallons Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 9.5 inches Reasons to buy + Simple installation + Well priced Reasons to avoid - No replaceable filters The Cleanwater4less Countertop Water Filtration System is easy to install, with a universal diverter valve that should connect directly to most faucets. In terms of value with this filter, it is one of the better ones on the market, and with a system rated to purify 10,000 gallons of water, it is sure to impress. The integrated filter isn’t as extensive as some other products but is said to reduce chlorine by 97 per cent, plus it can deal with volatile organic compounds and sediment.  Type: Pitcher Filter life: 200 gallons Dimensions: 10.40 x 5.30 x 10.00 inches Reasons to buy + Well priced + Good capacity Reasons to avoid - Filter itself can be tricky While filter jugs can be an expensive option, Waterdrop Lucid is one of the best value choices out there. Its 10-cup capacity is a good balance between size and portability, and the filter lasts for 200 gallons before it needs to be replaced. Lastly, this choice turns to a seven stage filtration system to improve the taste and quality of your water.  Type: Countertop Filter life: 750 gallons Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 14 inches Reasons to buy + Looks great + Clean-tasting water Reasons to avoid - Filter can be hard to replace  The Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter comes equipped with a clear filter that is sure to be a talking point for anyone in your kitchen. Much like any other typical countertop model, this choice connects directly to your faucet, and it’s fed directly with tap water. Designed to last for up to 750 gallons and removing chlorine, sediment, radon, and more, this easy-to-install option will look sensational in any kitchen. Type: Countertop Filter life: 390 gallons Dimensions: 8.8 x 10.5 x 11.9 inches Reasons to buy + Sustainable design + Removes a large number of contaminants Reasons to avoid - Larger than some other designs We love the modern, sustainable design of The Reservoir Filter by Pentair Rocean - a Red Dot Design Winner in 2021. Crafted from recycled materials - with a plant based, coconut shell carbon filter, the design can fit neatly onto a countertop, bringing both fresh, clean water and style to your kitchen. Powered by InstaClean™ Technology and certified to reduce 76 contaminants, the easy-assembly design requires no plumbing or installation. Type: Bottle   Filter life: N/A Dimensions: 9.6 x 2.7 x 2.7 inches Reasons to buy + Kills germs and viruses + Self cleaning Reasons to avoid - Quite expensive  The LARQ Bottle is slightly different from the other products on this list as it doesn’t have a filter; instead, it uses a rechargeable battery in the lid to power a UV light that kills bacteria and viruses, making water safe to drink. There are two cleaning modes: typical is for regular tap water, where you’ve got a fair idea of how trustworthy the source is; Adventure mode is a longer cycle for less reliable sources.  In the case of water filters, we haven’t had the opportunity to test every single top-rated option just yet, but water filters, jugs and bottles are on our agenda to test at home, and there’s an explanation below on who has tested the filters we have experienced ourselves. The options that we are yet to test have been chosen based on a number of criteria, including what shoppers are searching for and user reviews that give true insights into what the filter is like. We’ve also looked carefully at the sustainable credentials of each, and how long the filter will last.

Browse more water filters

Securing the optimum water filter for your home is essential for hydration you enjoy. If you’re still on the lookout for your ideal filter, then head to our recommended retailers to select your favorite:

Bed, Bath and Beyond water filters (opens in new tab)BestBuy water filters (opens in new tab)Home Depot water filters (opens in new tab)Lowe’s water filters (opens in new tab)Walmart water filters (opens in new tab)

How do I choose a water filter? 

All water filters work in the same way: tap water passes through a filter that removes contaminants. There are different styles of filter, though. Under-counter water filters are designed to fit into a cabinet and usually come with a new faucet. These give you clean, filtered water at the same flow rate as your regular faucet. Although harder to install, you get the benefit of a single faucet to use for everything, and you can quickly use filtered water everywhere, from cooking to filling a water bottle to take away. Countertop water filters work in a similar way to under counter, but they’re usually connected to your faucet. You get the same advantages as with an under-counter model, but these models are easier to install. Having a bulky device on your kitchen counter is the main downside. Pitcher water filters have everything built into a jug. You fill up the top reservoir with tap water, and it’s filtered through to the bottom as clean water. These are quick and easy to use, and you can store a jug of filtered water ready for use. The downsides are that you need a jug double the size (half for tap; half for filtered), and there’s a short wait for filtered water every time you fill up. Bottle water filters are designed for on-the-go use. They’re handy if you’re on the move and want to refill your water from anywhere.

What does a water filter remove?

Each water filter system is different, so you need to check carefully what each one offers and its particular features. It’s worth pointing out that bacteria are generally not removed by most water filters. Water filters will generally all remove chlorine and prove to be roughly 90 per cent effective. Other contaminants include volatile organic compounds (harmful chemicals), heavy metals, and sediments. 

How often should I change the filter itself?

Filters are rated: by the gallon, and most water filter systems will track how much of the filter is used. Once it’s time to replace the filter, you’ll get a warning. Cheaper systems that don’t track actual usage will tell you how long each filter will last. Typically, you should replace filters promptly, as they’ll stop working effectively, and you may as well have non-filtered water.