We all know how important it is to drink enough water. While many people have water dispensers in their fridge, some still rely on good ol’ tap water. If that’s the case, you may want to add a water filter to your kitchen arsenal to help filter out harmful contaminants like chlorine, lead, pesticides, and more.
The Good Housekeeping Institute is a champion of safety and sustainability, which is why water quality and water filters have been important to us for decades. Our Kitchen Appliances and Environmental Sciences Labs regularly team up to evaluate the efficacy of popular water filters, because ultimately, products that claim to filter harmful contaminants must work.
To find the best water filters, our experts narrowed it to the top-selling options (all NSF-certified), then collected hundr of data points and evaluated contaminant removal certifications. We also took into account how easy it was to set up the filter, how quickly it filtered, how heavy it was when filled, how easy it was to clean, and more.
Remember, no matter which water filter you opt for, it’s no good if you don’t regularly change the filter. Many picks are designed with an indicator that lets you know when it’s time to replace. If your model doesn’t have one, a slower flow rate or different-colored water are both signs that you need to change the filter.
Do you really need a water filter?
Access to safe drinking water is an issue across the globe and can even affect communities in the U.S. If you’re not sure about your water quality, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) just updated its Tap Water Database this month. It’s free and easy to search, and has information for all states. Enter your zip code or search your state to find details on your drinking water quality based on EWG standards (which are stricter than those of the government). If your tap water does exceed EWG health guidelines, it may be a good idea to consider buying a water filter.
Opting for bottled water is a short-term solution to potentially unsafe drinking water, but it creates a much larger problem with serious long-term implications. Yes, we’re talking about pollution. Americans throw away a whopping 30 million tons of plastic a year, only 8% of which is recycled. The majority ends up in landfills because there are many different regulations about what can be recycled. Your best bet is to get a water filter and a cute reusable water bottle — some even have filters built-in!