Top 11 Best Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Systems

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You never quite know what’s lurking in your water. Ever since the crisis discovered in Flint, Michigan, however, more and more people have been questioning what’s in their water. In the case of Flint, lead was discovered in troubling amounts in their water. A reverse osmosis water filter can help you keep lead and other pollutants out of your water. What is a reverse osmosis filter and which is the best for you? This article will shed some light. 

Why You Need a Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System

In the world of purified water, you typically have quite a few choices. There are RO filtering, activated carbon filtering, and even just simple membrane diffusion filters. What makes RO any better? One aspect to consider is the popular use of an RO water filter in both the residential and military sector. Neither of these sectors would be using this type of filter if it didn’t work. 

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The filtration system works through the process known as osmosis. It takes the water and runs it across a membrane. This membrane is nonporous or has a membrane with 0.001-micrometer pores. By relying on some pressure, the water is slowly diffused over the membrane. This membrane catches all of the pollutants and only allows the water to pass through the membrane and into the storage tank for drinking water. 

Where RO Filters Are Used

In particular, RO water filters have been used to help remove the salt from saltwater sources. Considering the water demand for dry states and country, this is a powerful tool for ensuring that those people receive water. However, it doesn’t just need to be used for saltwater. In fact, it’s most commonly used in residential homes for purifying fresh water. 

Interestingly enough, an RO water filter is the go-to choice for those in the food industry. Dairy farmers, for instance, use it to produce whey protein powders. It’s also popularly used in the production of many wines. 

Why Reverse Osmosis Filters are Effective

A reason why RO water filters are so effective is that they contain a network of membranes. These are either in the spiral-wound formation or a hollow-fiber formation. With the extensive network, any pollutants or bacteria that are not caught with the initial membrane can be caught by one of the following membranes. Clearly, some form of pressure is required or else the water wouldn’t make it through the membrane network. 

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RO Filtered Water – Clean, Clear, and Healthy

One of the major benefits and features of the RO water filter design is that it’s only one-way. All water moves down a spiral-wound design. As a result, the water is unable to backtrack. If it were able to do so, it risks contaminating the filter as a whole. This spiral-wound design that promotes one-way flow further improves the purification process. Not all other purification designs prevent this backtracking from occurring. As such, the drinking water inside the storage tank may be contaminated. 

Don’t Forget to Add Minerals Back to RO Filtered Water

Reverse osmosis can strip out minerals that are critical for your body to function. Many RO water filters have special cartridges to add the minerals removed by the RO process. Read the full guide on how to add minerals back to your RO filtered drinking water to learn more.


How to Install RO Water Filters

Before you buy your RO filter, you first need to know if the installation process is going to be something you’re up for or not. The following Youtube video does a great job of leading you through the steps of two of the most popular choices for a purification system. Those steps are as follows. 

Preparation – Tools and Equipment

First, you need to ensure that you have all of the equipment necessary. You’ll need a pressure pump, RO module, your faucet, the manual for installation, and the kit for installation. It’s the kit that will provide most of the tools for the installation process. In this kit, you should find color-coded tubing, a filter wrench, a dangle-stop connector, a tank valve, a faucet connector, a drain saddle, and finally a membrane. 

In addition to the equipment, you also need the following tools. You’ll need a 1/4” drill bit, a faucet drill bit according to the size of your faucet, a Philips head screwdriver, a tubing cutter or a razor knife, channel lock pliers, and an optional adjustable wrench. 

Step One – Faucet Installation

The first step is to install the faucet. You may need to drill a new hole in order for the faucet to fit. Then you take the faucet and place the escutcheon and a rubber washer on its bottom. Insert the faucet through the hole. On a black washer, installed the washer knut and place the black washer on the bottom of the faucet beneath the sink. Tighten it until it is secure. 

Step Two – Quick Connect Fitting

The quick connect fitting is next. This is placed on the bottom of the faucet. Tighten it with your pliers. This completes the faucet installation. 

Step 3 – Drain Saddle

Next comes the drain saddle. Drill a hole in your drain pipe and attach the saddle on the pipe. Tighten it up. 

Step 4 – Inlet Feed Valve

The inlet feed valve has to be installed next. First, the water should be turned off. 
Then relieve the pressure in the faucet. The tubing on the cold water valve should be removed. The angle stop valve should be placed there instead. Then the tubing should be re-attached to the angle stop valve. 

Step 5 – Pressure Tank

Next, the pressure tank is installed. First, tape should be wrapped around the top port of the tank. Then the tank valve should be placed on the port. 

Step 6 – Module Connections

At last, we can make connections to the module. First, connect the orange tube from the angle stop valve to the port marked as “N” on the module. The green tube connects from the top port on the pressure tank to the top connector on the module. The black tube connects from the drain saddle to the flow restrictor on the module. The blue tube connects the faucet supply fitting to the post-filter fitting on the module.


Top 11 Best RO Water Filters

For those who are interested in buying an reverse osmosis water filter system, here are some of the top RO filters for you to consider. 

iSpring RCC7AK

This water filter works best at 45-70 psi. With that pressure, it effectively removes 99% of over 1,000 contaminants. Some of these contaminants may include lead, chlorine, hormones, asbestos, bacteria, and many others. This filter, in particular, includes a remineralization filter that restores certain alkaline minerals back into the water for a great taste. All of the parts are included which means you can install it quite quickly and easy. Finally, it also comes with a European-style faucet that looks elegant with any sink. 

Sale
iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Superb Taste High Capacity Under Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System with Alkaline Remineralization - Natural pH, White
  • High Capacity Reverse Osmosis water filtration for safer, healthier water. This under sink mounted water filter and water softener removes up to 99% of over 1, 000 contaminants, including lead (removes up to 98% of lead), chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, hormones, asbestos, calcium, sodium, bacteria, giardia, viruses and more.
  • Experience clean, safe, good-tasting water every time you turn on the faucet. Enjoy crystal clear ice cubes, fresher tea and coffee, better tasting foods, healthier baby formula - even better than most bottled water.
  • The RO membrane removes not only harmful pollutants but also a few helpful minerals. As a result, a standard 5 stage RO system produces slightly acidic water with a pH of 7. 0 or below. The iSpring RCC7AK includes an additional sixth stage - an Alkaline Remineralization filter which restores healthy minerals and produces a balanced alkalinity, which gives the water a more natural taste than regular 5 stage RO water.
ProsCons
Effective in removing contaminantsDoesn’t destroy microorganisms
Fits under the sink
Easy to install
Remineralization filter for great tasting water

Home Master TMAFC-ERP

This filter system provides a staggering seven different filters for water to pass through. Purified water has never been so attainable. In addition, it also adds a bit of calcium and magnesium twice during the filtering process to ensure you still receive good nutrients and minerals in your water. Finally, the pump is non-electric and permeate which means that it cuts down on water waste by 80%. For those who are anxious about how much water they consume, this filter may be a great choice for you. 

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Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Full Contact Undersink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
  • A better RO system -- Home Master Artesian Full Contact's innovative design solves the most common problems associated with traditional RO systems
  • Highly pure water -- its seven stages of filtration and enhancement remove up to 98 percent of chemicals, including chloramine, and other contaminants
  • Added minerals for great taste -- patented Full Contact technology adds calcium and magnesium minerals twice during the purification process.
ProsCons
Water-saving feature Doesn’t destroy microorganisms
Keeps good minerals in the water
Seven stages of filtration
Easy-to-change filters

APEC 6-Stage Ultra Safe

The best water feed pressure for this particular filter system is 40-85 psi. It has six chambers offering water purification. The APEC claims to remove 99% of bacteria, viruses, cysts, and other pollutants from the water. It also uses food-grade calcium cartridges which have been proven safe to consume and are added naturally within the water. One of the perks of this particular system, too, is that is noiseless. 

APEC Top Tier Alkaline Mineral pH+ 75 GPD 6-Stage Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (ESSENCE ROES-PH75)
  • Supreme quality - designed, engineered and assembled in USA to guarantee water safety & your health.
  • 75 GPD 6-stage system removes up to 99% of bacteria, viruses, cysts, organics, chemicals & more. Feed Water Pressure: 40-85 psi.
  • US made cartridge uses food-grade calcium from trusted source for safe, proven water pH enhancement. Enjoy ultra-pure drinking water with added calcium minerals for improved ALKALINITY and great taste.
ProsCons
Quiet functionality pH reading may be incorrect
Effective filtering system
100% lead-free faucet

iSpring RCC7AK-UV

Another incredible filtration system from iSpring is the RCC7AK-UV. This particular model offers seven different filtration cycles instead of six. However, it is a bit larger, and may not fit under all sinks. With claims to remove 99% of contaminants, you can have chlorine, lead, giardia, and other viruses removed from your water. In particular, this model benefits its users by including a UV-sterilization step that works with the RO process. This allows the filter to also remove microorganisms from the water. 

iSpring RCC7AK-UV Deluxe Under Sink 7-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System with Alkaline Remineralization and UV Sterilizer
  • High Capacity Reverse Osmosis water filtration for safer, healthier water. This Deluxe under sink mounted water filter and Point-of-use water softener contains 7 different stages of filtration and sterilization to remove up to 99% of over 1,000 contaminants, including lead (removes up to 98% of lead), chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, hormones, asbestos, calcium, and sodium and virtually all bacteria, giardia, viruses and other microorganisms.
  • Experience clean, safe, good-tasting water every time you turn on the faucet. Enjoy crystal clear ice cubes, fresher tea and coffee, better tasting foods, healthier baby formula & ; even better than most bottled water.
  • With its advanced 11 watt UV sterilization stage, the RCC7AK-UV is the perfect solution to purifying well water and other problem water sources containing excessive microorganisms like water from lakes and streams. For greater efficiency, our unique flow sensor switch turns the UV unit on and off automatically with water flow, saving power and lengthening the life of the UV lamp.
ProsCons
UV-sterilization for the removal of microorganismsLarge
7 chambers of filtration
99% removal of contaminants

iSpring RCC7

For those who have a smaller sinker, then the iSpring RCC7 model may be the best option for you. This model has five chambers which make for easier storage. Despite having fewer chambers than other models, this system is still able to remove 99% of the contaminants that it is faced with. It’s received Gold rank from the Water Quality Association. So, you can be assured that their claims aren’t false. The installation for this model is quite easy and can be finished in just a couple of hours. The end result of the water doesn’t contain sodium and instead tastes like what you would expect from bottled water.

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iSpring RCC7 High Capacity Under Sink 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Filtration System and Ultimate Water Softener, White
  • High Capacity Reverse Osmosis water filtration for safer, healthier water. This under sink mounted water filter and water softener removes up to 99% of over 1, 000 contaminants, including lead (removes up to 98% of lead), chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, hormones, asbestos, calcium, sodium, bacteria, giardia, viruses and more.
  • Experience clean, safe, good-tasting water every time you turn on the faucet. Enjoy crystal clear ice cubes, fresher tea and coffee, better tasting foods, healthier baby formula - even better than most bottled water.
  • Premium quality components ensure highest reliability and low maintenance for many years to come. Clear see-through 1st stage housing makes filter inspection a snap.
ProsCons
Capable of easily filtering 75 gallons a day Doesn’t remove microorganisms 
Small enough to fit in any kitchenDoesn’t add in minerals
99% removal of pollutants

APEC Water Systems RO-90

This is another model that has been certified by the WQA. Its claims to remove 99% of water contaminants has been thoroughly tested by the association. Some of the contaminants that it has been shown to remove are heavy metals, arsenic, chlorine, lead, and bacteria. One of the perks of this model is that it has larger filters that offer a larger capacity and prevents clogs from forming. It also has easily labeled filters and replacement filters. You can easily replace the parts without much of a fuss. 

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APEC Water Systems RO-90 Ultimate Series Top Tier Supreme Certified High Output 90 GPD Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System, Chrome Faucet
  • Enjoy unlimited ultra-fresh, clean, great tasting water right at home. Save money, time and hassle of buying costly, bottled water
  • Designed, engineered and assembled in USA, RO-90 is the most durable system in the industry to guarantee water safety & your health
  • Tested and certified by WQA to remove up to 99% of contaminants including arsenic, chlorine, lead, fluoride, heavy metals, bacteria, virus and 1000+ contaminants
ProsCons
Easy maintenanceMay need a permeate pump to achieve the correct pressure
Large filters to prevent clogging
Certified by the WQA
Remineralization filter for great tasting water

Whirlpool WHER25

One of the claims that Whirlpool boasts with this particular model is their ability to filter out 99% of contaminants without needing additional filter chambers. That means that you can effectively do the same job with three chambers rather than six or seven. For those with restricted space beneath their sinks, this model could be quite beneficial. This model also has filters that last for an extended period. Their membranes should be able to last for years. 

Whirlpool WHER25 Reverse Osmosis (RO) Filtration System with Chrome Faucet | Extra Long Life | Easy to Replace UltraEase Filter Cartridges, White
  • NSF Tested and Certified - Our technology removes up to 99% of contaminants including arsenic, chlorine, lead, fluoride, heavy metals and viruses.
  • Fewer Filter Changes - Whirlpool's 3-stage filter system is as effective as competitors' 5 and 6-stage filter systems. Save space and money with fewer filters to replace and industry-leading, extra-long filter life.
  • Hassle-Free Filter Replacement - Ultra Ease Technology allows you to change your filter in seconds with no open sumps.
ProsCons
Effective filtering with small unitDoesn’t remove bacteria
Can fit under small sinksDoesn’t remove pharmaceuticals
Long-lasting filters

Home Master TMHP

One problem that some reverse osmosis filters face is destruction due to its exposure to iron. This can be quite common in city water. This model seeks to protect the RO filter by including a prefilter specifically for filtering out iron before it can injure the system. With maintenance sometimes difficult to perform on filters, having this added protection is a wonderful benefit. This model also comes with a UV filter to further destroy and remove microorganisms from the water. 

Home Master TMHP HydroPerfection Undersink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
  • A better RO system -- Home Master HydroPerfection's innovative design solves the most common problems associated with traditional RO systems
  • Highly pure water -- advanced filtration and purification stages remove 98 percent of iron, chemicals, heavy metals, sediment, and other contaminants
  • Added Minerals For Great Taste -- its patented Full Contact technology adds calcium and magnesium minerals twice during the purification process. Advanced long lasting filters - 2,000 gallons or 1 year between filter changes. Purification unit - 16 Inch H x 8 Inch W x 5 Inch D. Reserve tank - 15 Inch H x 11 Inch D
ProsCons
Iron prefilterFaucet may leak
Mineralizes water
UV knocks out microorganisms

iSpring RCC1UP-AK

Another problem that may filtration systems suffer from is that they can sometimes be slow to filter. When you need a glass of water, you want it now rather than waiting for the pump to do its work. That’s where this model can really help. The iSpring RCC1UP-AK works quickly, so you don’t have to wait to receive your water. It also has a great drain ratio. Their membrane filters are also quite effective in removing contaminants due to their ability to filter out objects no smaller than 0.0001 micron. This model, in particular, is capable of filtering 100 gallons per day while still maintaining optimal membrane health. 

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iSpring RCC1UP-AK 7 Stage 100 GPD Maximum Performance UnderSink Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System With Booster Pump, Alkaline Ph+ Remineralization Filter And UV Sterilizer, White
  • iSpring Maximum Performance Line - unmatched speed, efficiency, and drain ratio. Maximum feed water temperature (F)-100. Maximum feed water pressure (psi)-80
  • Pre-equipped booster pump operates near silent; 90%+ TDS (total dissolved solids) rejection rate.
  • Filters 1,000+ water pollutants including common adversaries chlorine and fluoride
ProsCons
UV filter for additional filtrationLarge
Fast filteringFaucet may drip
Runs quietly
Remineralization filter for great tasting water

APEC WFS-1000

For a filter that requires little maintenance and long-lasting filters, you might want to consider this model from APEC. It possesses super capacity filters to treat more water at a given time. This allows the filters to be used less over time and extends its life. While it cannot remove total dissolved solids or TDS, it is capable of removing pollutants like chlorine. It can even remove contaminants like rust and dust from the water. 

APEC WFS-1000 Super Capacity Premium Quality 3 Stage Under-Sink Water Filter System
  • High quality, designed, engineered and assembled in USA system with super capacity filter for long lasting dependable filtration
  • Super capacity filters guaranteeing to remove chemicals, taste and odors. Feed Water Pressure: 20-85 psi
  • Premium long-lasting filter used to treat tap water, well water. Provide unlimited refreshing water
ProsCons
Powerful 3-stage filtration systemDoesn’t remove lead
Long-lasting filters
Clog-free

Express Water 5 Stage RO Water Purifier

One last RO filter that you might want to consider is this model from Express Water. With five chambers for filtration, this model offers 99.9% removal of all contaminants in your water. It also cuts down on the amount of work that you need to put into the use of the filter. Instead of waiting or turning anything on, the filter kicks on the moment your tank releases water. That way you always have water when you need it. In particular, this model seeks to be environmentally friendly with its use of coconut carbon filters. 

Express Water Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System - NSF Certified 5 Stage RO Water Purifier with Faucet and Tank - Under Sink Water Filter - plus 4 Replacement Filters - 50 GPD
  • The easiest change for a healthier life - Experience what water should taste like when we remove up to 99.99% of Lead, Chlorine, Fluoride, Nitrates, Calcium, Arsenic, Bacteria, and more
  • Exactly what you need - Drink the healthiest water on Earth. All our filters are specially engineered to work together, producing the safest best tasting water you'll ever drink
  • Don't waste money on professional installation - Our quick and easy to understand design means you can install and understand everything about your system
ProsCons
Environmentally-friendlyMaintenance can be quite involved
Five chambers for massive filtration
Automatic leak stop detector

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Conclusion

Clearly, there are some great reverse osmosis water filters out there for you. No one should have to worry about what’s in their water. Nor should they have to worry about the health of their child. All of these filters are great at removing the big problems that may reside in your water. How much further you purify your water beyond that is up to your personal tastes and budget. You’ll also want to keep the size of your sink in mind. Some of these models might not fit below sinks that are smaller or crammed full of other items. However, with these top 11 reverse osmosis filters listed above, you’re sure to find the perfect filtration system that works best for your needs.

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