Top 5 Best Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filters

Introduction

You might be asking yourself Why do I need a countertop reverse osmosis (RO) filter? The answer is you probably don’t, since the majority of tap water is safe to drink from. However, if your municipal utilities are not up to game, you’ll want a water filtration system, and unless you’re the homeowner, it’s better not getting an undersink system, since that would require some permanent adjustments to you cabinets.

If you’re just renting the place, or if you travel a lot and need a portable system to carry with you, then a countertop RO system might just be the right thing for you. It’s less expensive than an undersink installation, has fewer parts, and, more importantly, it doesn’t have to work against a pressurized tank, which gives it a slightly better performance. If you can accept the smaller capacity as a tradeoff, then this is definitely the way to go.

APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP Water Filter System

Overview

The long-windedly named APEC US Made Portable Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System is pretty much what it reads on the tin, and it’s definitely our top pick for this list. It’s one of the best RO systems out there, and it’s not even expensive (though nobody would go as far as calling it cheap). Depending on how often you use it, it should pay for itself in three months to half a year, even when you factor in a filter change. You could have it professionally installed, but that would be a serious waste of money, seeing how you can do it yourself, in under a minute, probably even while talking to your in-laws on the phone.

Main Features

All jokes aside, though, the system hooks up in a matter of minutes, and it’s compatible with most standard faucets. All you have to do is replace your faucet’s aerator with the APEC outlet, and that’s it! When you want to use the filter, simply turn the switch, and it’ll start purifying. The first stage will take care of any dust, dirt and metal particles, while the second stage removes chlorines, odors, colors and cloudiness from water. The third and fourth stage take get rid of up to 99% dissolved solids (think arsenic, fluoride, lead) and residual contaminants, respectively, for a cool and pure drink of water containing no more than 5ppm of dissolved solids (compare it to about 130ppm of contaminants in unfiltered tap water).

The APEX is a US-made water filter system and highly regarded in the industry, with good reason. It’s able of pumping out up to 90 Gallons per Day (GPD), so it’s more than adequate for small households. On that note, you’re not required ta max out the capacity, but seeing as these types of filtration systems are self-cleaning, you should avoid leaving it idle as much as possible.

Specifications

Crystal Quest CQE-CT-00142

Overview

Although the primary function of any countertop reverse osmosis system is to filter water, most of the times you can expect adequate, but not great results. However, with the Crystal Quest CQE-CT-00142, you’ll have no problems reducing silt, sediments and/or any type of organic pollutants (cysts, mites, organic waste). It also does an impressive job of removing metals and other volatile contaminants, all the while keeping it budget-friendly. Granted, it’s not cheap, but then again, when it comes to RO systems, you don’t want to target the extremes, since it’ll cost you more than you expected.

Main Features

What makes the CQE-CT-00142 countertop reverse osmosis stand out among dozens of similar systems is the innovative electrochemical process that removes dissolved metals. It’s pretty much comparable to how a magnet works, though that’s an unfair oversimplification, and explaining it would take up too much space, so just trust us when we say – it works like a charm, which is another reason we like this Crystal Quest product.

The daily capacity of this puppy is about 50 gallons, which is more than enough to cover the needs of a small household, and there’ll be plenty of clean, tasty water left to water the plants. This is a 10-stage filtration system, all the better to purify any heavy pollutants such as metals, fluoride, chlorine, the works, so it’s more than recommended for areas that have to deal with consequences natural disasters (think Katrina 2015).

Specifications

ZIP Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

Overview

If you need the ultimate portable reverse osmosis water filter, then you’ve come to the right place. The ZIP Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter is easy to install without any special tools or professional help, and it’s safe and simple to use. It does cost a pretty penny, but rest assured you’ll taste where each and every of those pennies went (figuratively speaking, of course).  In a word, it’s pricy, but worthwhile, and has the best ratio of purified water to waste in its class. Moreover, it comes in three distinct and stylish color combos – Space Black, Silver White and Violet Purple, allowing you to decorate your space with as much character as a kitchen appliance can provide.

Main Features

The most unique feature of this RO system, and at the same time its one major selling point is its compact, standalone design. What we mean by standalone is that the ZIP RO filter doesn’t have to be connected to the faucet (so no more leaky diverter valves or outlets). Instead, you simply fill the supply pitcher with how much water you need, place it in the filter, and then plug the filter in (if you don’t keep it plugged in all the time) and turn the dial. In about 10 to 20 minutes, you should have a storage pitcher holding half a gallon of crystal clean water.

Another important feature of this RO system is that it has zero per cent waste water, which is unparalleled as far as these systems go. For less power than a 24W bulb uses, you get 50% recovery rate (1:1); moreover, seeing as the filter doesn’t require being connected to any plumbing, you can put it pretty much anywhere – kitchen, bedroom, guestroom, even office and classroom. Moreover, you can power it using any standard 12V cigarette lighter plug if you want to use it in your RV or motorhome.

Specifications

Reverse Osmosis Revolution RO-CTOP Purification Water System

Overview

The ROR’s RO-CTOP purification water system is an excellent inexpensive choice for folks who prefer good quality-to-price ratio than having all the possible bells and whistles. It’s well able to handle really bad water thanks to its unique 5-stage filtration system, and should pay for itself in no time (a couple of months, half a year tops). Moreover, it’s fairly lightweight and installs in under a minute, so you can even take it with you on a trip and use it in the hotel.

Main Features

This countertop reverse osmosis system fits 96% of all kitchen faucets, no matter if it sports a female or male spout. There’s a chrome metal 2-way diverter that comes with the filter that lets you easily attach it to any faucet, whether it was in your kitchen, bathroom, RV, or for aquarium. In case you want to attach it outside, all you need to do is specify so in Customer Notes, and the manufacturer should provide you with a a garden/laundry hose adapter instead of the 2-way diverter.

The 5-stage filtration system features a DI Deionizing Mixed Bed OPPM polishing filter, which essentially does what it sounds like – makes exceptionally clear water. It’s kind of a filter within a filter. The whole thing is designed and made in the US, which is pretty much a guarantee it complies to all the safety regulations.

Specifications

Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Counter Top Water Filtration System

Overview

If you’re on the hunt for an inexpensive and ultra-portable reverse osmosis system, you might as well check out the Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Counter Top Water Filtration System. As the rest of its class, the TMJRF2 Jr F2 is easy to install, and even easier to use. However, the best thing about it is how little space it takes, which makes it perfect for any sink top. Plus, its elegant design comes in two distinct flavors to match any style (Black and White).

Main Features

What sets the Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 from the competition is its incredibly compact design and minimal footprint.  This is the most lightweight reverse osmosis water filter on our list, and quite possibly on the market. This makes it easily portable, so you can take it with you anywhere, whether you’re moving away or just taking a trip to a region with questionable tap water. Moreover, it installs in under a minute, so it wouldn’t take up much from sightseeing.

This is a three-stage system, but don’t let the number deceive you (like with most things, bigger is not always better). The TMJRF2 Jr F2 is still able to produce highly pure water, getting rid of up to 93% of chlorine, fluoride and other volatile chemicals that your municipal water utilities might’ve missed.

Specifications

Conclusion

It always seems unfair to pick a favorite, but in this case, there’s no doubt – the APEC US Made Portable Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System definitely has the best quality-to-price ratio, and brings the best bang for the buck. Moreover, it has the best GPD (gallons per day) rating – 90, so it should suit anyone who needs to have the portability without sacrificing capacity. Further details and reviews can be found here.

On a similar note, the Crystal Quest CQE-CT-00142 comes with a very approachable price tag, but with almost half the GPD (50). On the flipside, it’s more than capable of tackling even really bad waters, and it should come in handy wherever this is an issue.

Conversely, the ZIP Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter, although a bit on the heavy side, is still much more independent than the rest of our list, given the fact it doesn’t have to be connected to any plumbing to function. It’ll even work on any standard 12V car cigarette lighter adapter.

Now, for those working within a budget, Reverse Osmosis Revolution RO-CTOP Purification Water System might prove interesting. It doesn’t excel in any particular regard, but keeps it balanced and above average. If it weren’t for the CQE, this would be the runner up.

Out of all the portable reverse osmosis systems we reviewed here, the most portable would be the Home Master TMJRF2 Jr F2 Counter Top Water Filtration System. Not only is it the lightest, but it’s also the most compact, so you’ll have no problems stuffing it in the suitcase and whisking it away to a hotel with… less than trustworthy tap water.

On a balance, all of the portable reverse osmosis systems on this list are worth checking out. Whether you take this or that one will depend on your needs, so we took care to include a little something for everyone. If you’re now thinking about a whole house osmosis system read our reviews on the best products on the market. If you didn’t find anything you like, we hope at least it’s given you an idea of where to start your search. Happy shopping!

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