Under Sink Water Filters: Your Guide for 2017

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When you grab a glass of tap water at your house does the taste make you cringe a little?

Picture this: cool, clean water, without the taste, odors, or worry of contaminants.  Under sink water filters can give you tasty, healthy water.  And they are typically easy to install–without requiring you to drop some cash on a plumber.  

Click an item in the table below to skip ahead to your most pressing question or item, or continue on to read more.

Why an under sink water filter?

Under sink filters are sophisticated these days.  They’re manufactured to handle a variety of water quality challenges.  From simple sediment removal, to heavy metal and organic chemical treatment, there is a filter that can deliver the results you need.  

One of the most common complaints about drinking water is an undesirable taste or odor.  Water filters can take away odors and taste typical of well water or city water.

Benefits of under sink water filters

Are you concerned about fluoride, chlorine, or lead in your water?  Under sink water filters can give you peace of mind that heavy metals or other contaminants in your water source will end up in the filter, and not in your body.  You can select filters, and media cartridges, to address specific pollutants of concern for you.

Do you feel as though you’re always searching to find enough counter space in your kitchen?  A bonus of these systems is that, aside from a small faucet, they are installed completely under your sink. This frees up valuable space in your kitchen.  And most of them can be installed by your average DIYer.   

Let’s compare water filters below to help you find the best under sink system for your home.  We’ve done all of the work, so you can compare these filters apples-to-apples.

Our favorite filtration systems

APEC Water Systems Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System 


This extremely popular model is a combination reverse osmosis (RO) system, with sediment filter, carbon block filters, RO semipermeable membrane, and clarifying filter.  Removes up to 99% of dissolved solids, arsenic, lead, copper, fluoride, chlorine, volatile organic compounds, odors, taste, and more.

  • Manufacturer: APEC, Model Number ROES-50-A.
  • Location of installation: Under sink installation.  Faucet included.
  • Size: 16 x 5.2 x 17.5 inches, Tank Dimensions: 11″ x 11″ x 15″
  • Water pressure required for use: 40-85 psi.  
  • Flow rate: 50 gallons per day at 60 psi.  May be city or well water.
  • Filters: 5 stage system.  First stage is sediment filter.  Second and third stages are carbon block.  Fourth stage is the TFC reverse osmosis membrane.  Fifth stage is coconut carbon refining filter.  Recommended replacement frequency of every 6-12 months for pre-filters in stages 1 through 3.  Recommend replacement frequency of every 2-4 years for RO membrane and clarifying filter.
  • Warranty and Return Policy: 30 day money back guarantee.  1 year limited warranty, includes parts.

Clean Water Today Verdict:  This is a very highly rated filter, made by a reputable manufacturer.  Satisfied customers sing the praises of the excellent contaminant filtration and great-tasting water generated from this system.  This reverse osmosis water filter is top notch in its level of treatment, with a reasonable price tag.  This system removes far more contaminants than non-RO systems, ultimately producing cleaner water.    

APEC Water Systems 3 Stage Under Counter Water Filtration System


This is a combination filter system, with sediment filter and two carbon block filters. Removes chlorine, volatile organic compounds, odors, taste, and more.

  • Manufacturer: APEC, Model Number WFS-1000.
  • Location of installation: Under sink installation.  Faucet included.
  • Size: 15 x 6 x 12”
  • Water pressure required for use: 20-85 psi.  
  • Flow rate: 1 gallon per minute.  The system can handle a higher flow rate, but this is the rate for optimal chlorine removal.  May be city or well water.
  • Filters: 3 stage system.  First stage is sediment filter.  Second and third stages are carbon block.  Recommend changing filter annually.
  • Warranty and Return Policy: 30 day money back guarantee.  1 year limited warranty, includes parts.

Clean Water Today Verdict:  This filter is highly rated by user, due to the excellent flow rate and filter life.  The system will remove less contaminants than APEC’s RO system; however, it also required a lower flow rate, which could be a bonus for those with low-flow water systems.  Users also appreciate the removal of chlorine and taste while retaining the natural mineral flavors of their drinking water.

Aquasana 3-Stage Under Counter Water Filter System with Brushed Nickel Faucet


This is a 3 stage filter system, with sediment filter, carbon block filters, Certified to remove up to 97% of chloramines and chlorine, along with 64 other contaminants.  Reduce heavy metals, herbicides, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, odors, taste, and more.

  • Manufacturer: Aquasana, Model Number AQ-5300.55.
  • Location of installation: Under sink installation.  Faucet included.
  • Size: 12 x 4.2 x 9”
  • Flow rate: 0.5 gallons per minute.  May be city or well water.
  • Filters: 3 stage system.  First stage is sediment filter.  Second and third stages include active and catalytic carbon, along with ion-exchange.  Recommended replacement frequency of every 6 months.
  • Warranty and Return Policy: 90 day guarantee.  1 year warranty for manufacturer defects.

Clean Water Today Verdict:  This is a very highly rated filter from another very reputable manufacturer.  A neat feature included with this system is the Smart Filter Change Alert.  Rather than gauging the filter life on the water taste, this system lets you know with an alert. Users say the treated water has a great taste with no odor.

APEC Water Systems Certified High Flow 90 GPD Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis System

This is a 5-stage combination reverse osmosis system, with sediment filter, carbon block filters, RO semipermeable membrane, and clarifying filter.  Removes up to 99% of dissolved solids, arsenic, lead, copper, fluoride, chlorine, volatile organic compounds, odors, taste, and more.

  • Manufacturer: APEC, Model Number RO-90.
  • Location of installation: Under sink installation.  Faucet included.
  • Size: 16 x 5-1/4 x 17-1/2”
  • Water pressure required for use: 40-85 psi.  
  • Flow rate: 90 gallons per day at 60 psi.  May be city or well water.
  • Filters: 5 stage system.  First stage is sediment filter.  Second and third stages are carbon block.  Fourth stage is the TFC reverse osmosis membrane.  Fifth stage is coconut carbon refining filter.  Recommended replacement frequency of every 12 months for prefilters in stages 1 through 3.  Recommend replacement frequency of every 3-5 years for RO membrane and clarifying filter.
  • Warranty and Return Policy: 30 day money back guarantee.  1 year limited warranty, includes parts.

Clean Water Today Verdict:  This filter is every bit as good as its relative, the APEC RO-50 model, with the added bonus of an extra 40 gallons/day of filtration.  System users enjoy the excellent filtering capability of this powerhouse of a system.  This reverse osmosis system produces great tasting water and illustrates the high quality in manufacturing we’ve come to expect from APEC.

3M Aqua-Pure Under Sink Water Filtration System


This is a robust full-flow drinking water system by 3M.  Removes chlorine taste and odor, lead, cryptosporidium cysts, sediment, some volatile organic compounds, taste, and odor.

  • Manufacturer: 3M, Model Number 3MFF100.
  • Location of installation: Under sink installation.  Faucet not included.
  • Size: 4.5 x 4.5 x 14.5”
  • Water pressure required for use: Up to 125 psi.  
  • Flow rate: 2.5 gallons per minute.  May be city or well water.
  • Filters: 1 filter, comprising submicron pleated filter and composite activated carbon block.  Filter life is 6000 gallons.
  • Warranty and Return Policy: 1 year limited warranty for manufacturer’s defects.

Clean Water Today Verdict:  If you’re concerned about maintaining your high water pressure, this filter would be a great option.  Filters are easy to change and long-lasting, so you won’t need to worry about replacing for a while.  For this level of filtration, 3M deliver a great product.  Users say that the system arrives only with a filter, so make sure you acquire the appropriate accessory installation equipment.

3M Aqua-Pure Under Sink Water Filtration System 


This is a 2 stage filter system, with sediment filter, carbon block filters, Certified to remove over 97% of chlorine, over 99% of VOCs, and several other contaminants.  Removes chlorine taste and odor, lead, parasitic protozoan cysts, sediment, some volatile organic compounds, MTBE, taste, and odor.

  • Manufacturer: 3M, Model Number AP-DWS1000.
  • Location of installation: Under sink installation.  Faucet included.
  • Size: 15-3/4 x 10-7/8 x 3-1/4”
  • Water pressure required for use: Up to 125 psi.  
  • Flow rate: 0.6 gallons per minute.  May be city or well water.
  • Filters: 2 stage system.  Both cartridges are carbon block styles.  Recommended replacement after 625 gallons treated.
  • Warranty and Return Policy: 90 day guarantee.  1 year warranty for manufacturer defects.

Clean Water Today Verdict:  For those of us who aren’t carefully monitoring our filter change-out schedule, 3M has included an automatic shut-off switch on this system as a reminder to change cartridges.  This is a good system with easy-to-change filters.

iSpring 6-Stage Residential Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System w/ Alkaline Remineralization


This is a combination reverse osmosis system, with sediment filter, carbon block filters, RO semipermeable membrane, and remineralization cartridge.  Removes up to 99% of over 1000 pollutants, including dissolved solids, arsenic, lead, copper, fluoride, chlorine, volatile organic compounds, odors, taste, and more.

  • Manufacturer: iSpring, Model Number RCC7AK.
  • Location of installation: Under sink installation.  Faucet included.
  • Size: 14.5 x 6 x 18”, Tank holds 3.2 gallons.
  • Water pressure required for use: 45-70 psi.  
  • Flow rate: 75 gallons per day at 60 psi.  May be city or well water.
  • Filters: 6 stage system.  First stage is 5 micron sediment filter.  Second stage is a granulated activated carbon.  Third stage is a carbon block.  Fourth stage is the TFC reverse osmosis membrane.  Fifth stage is another granulated activated carbon refining filter.  The 6th and final stage is an alkaline remineralization filter, comprising mineral stones and calcite media.  Recommend replacement frequency of every 3-6  months for prefilters in stages 1 through 3, along with alkaline remineralization filter.  Recommend replacement frequency of every 2-3 years for RO membrane.  Recommend replacement frequency of stage 5 filter every 12 months.
  • Warranty and Return Policy: 30 day money back guarantee.  1 year limited warranty.

Clean Water Today Verdict:  This award-winning filter basically has everything you could want from an under sink filter.  The reverse osmosis system removes a vast number of impurities and minerals.  Then, the system adds back ionized calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium for a healthy boost. This also raises the pH of the water between 0.5 and 0.8 standard units, which has been shown to offer health benefits.  The high quality of this system is reflected in the glowing reviews left by owners of this unit.

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