Reverse osmosis for the home is a water purifying method in which tap water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane that prevents bacteria and minerals from passing through to produce a more pure form of drinking water. The choice of a water filtration system depends on if you’re looking to rid of a specific contaminant or if you’re generally looking for cleaner tasting water. For a full description of home water filter choices see our Best Rated Water Filters of 2010.
Advantages of reverse osmosis include removal of a substantial amount of unwanted contaminants including lead, mercury, iron, chloride, and even fluoride. Reverse osmosis is a greener and ultimately more affordable alternative to purchasing bottled water due to waste as well as potential harmful chemicals found in plastic bottles. Also, not all bottled water is treated with reverse osmosis, with many brands containing mere tap water. Though reverse osmosis is more energy efficient than other water filtration systems, one disadvantage is that it uses water to make water with approximately 3-8 gallons of water used to make 1 gallon of pure water. However, it’s still considered an efficient way to get contaminant-free drinking and cooking water in your home. Most systems come with an installation kit and instructions for home installation. The following are our picks for home faucet reverse osmosis water systems.
Watts WP5-50 Premier Five-Stage Manifold Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment System
This under the counter reverse osmosis system by Watts offers 5 stages of filtration. The first stage traps particles such as dirt and sediment. Stages 2 and 3 are both carbon block which is important in removing chlorine from drinking water and will also protect the next filtering stage from the harmful effects of chlorinated water. The fourth stage is the reverse osmosis itself which will remove arsenic, lead, salt, parasitic cysts, and other harmful contaminants. The fifth stage uses a GAC filter which polishes the water as it leaves the tank and makes its’ way up to the included water dispensing faucet. The Watts system uses a 3 gallon water tank and comes with a 3 year limited warranty. The filters last for a year and are replacement filters are reasonably priced at $40.00 Amazon reviewers have given it a 4.5 star rating. This unit is NSF certified.
Sells for $183.68 on Amazon.
Purenex 5 Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
This system sold by Purenex uses the 5 stages of filtration similar to the other under the counter systems. The Purenex refills twice as fast as other systems, making an impressive 100 gallons a day of pure drinking water. The automatic shut-off valve kicks in when the tank is full to prevent excess waste. Comes with a lead-free faucet for water dispensing. High-quality filters are recommended to be changed once a year and are similarly priced at around $40. The Purenex comes with a one year warranty excluding the filters and membrane and is NSF certified.
Sold on Amazon for $155.99.
Watts 500315 Counter-Top Drinking Water Filter
In comparison to under-the-sink models, counter-top reverse osmosis filters are less expensive and have the added benefit of being portable. They are easy to install by attaching to the main faucet and sit next to the sink, which frees up space under your cabinet, but do take up that counter space. They don’t have the extensive filtration process as the bigger ones, but they still remove sediment, chlorine, and lead for a cleaner tasting drinking water. You’ll still want to make sure it has a carbon block filter and the the Watts 500315 does, accepting any 10-inch replacement filter, which are inexpensive and only need to be changed out yearly. The Watts has received a 4 out of 5 star rating by Amazon reviewers and is NSF certified.
The Watts 500315 sells on Amazon for $38.84.
Pure Water Products Countertop Model 77
Pure Waters Products is a company based in Texas who specialize in water filtration. Their counter-top model 77 is their best seller and they’ve been perfecting it since the late 80s. Pure Waters offers a lifetime guarantee and stocks all replacement parts. The model 77 is portable or can be converted to use under the sink. Filters need to be replaced yearly. They also offer a variety of styles and colors. You can also choose between their stainless steel standard gooseneck faucet or a long reach spout. Though it’s not the cheapest or the most expensive, Pure Waters uses high quality components to make what they claim to be the best water filter. All Pure Water Products are NSF certified.
You can order the Pure Water Products Model 77 here.
Countertop Superior Water Filter System
The Countertop Superior Water Filter easily installs onto your faucet with a diverter valve and uses a 1 micron carbon block filter which needs to be replaced yearly with standard 10″ filters. One advantage of a clear casing for your filter is you can see what’s being filtered. However, for some, this can also be a disadvantage. Flow rate is .75 gallons per minute. Amazon reviewers have given this model by Superior an average 4.5 stars out of 38 reviews. And as the others, the Superior is NSF certified.
Sells for $43.38 on Amazon.