Water Purifiers For Safer, Cleaner Drinking and Cooking

Water goes through a long journey to get to your home, and along the way it can pick up pollutants that leave a bad taste or smell. Water filters can help you remove these contaminants for safer, cleaner drinking and cooking.


Whether you use public drinking water or well water, this guide will help you find the right home water purifier to protect your family.

1. Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Reverse Osmosis (RO) water filtration removes a wide range of contaminants from tap water including lead, volatile organic compounds, PFAS, arsenic, bacteria and more. It produces bottled water quality hydration in your kitchen and eliminates the need for buying and disposing of single-use plastic water bottles.

An RO system works by using pressure to force water through a semi-permeable membrane, creating a stream of treated water called permeate and a stream of reject water called brine. The permeate is then able to be redirected to other fixtures in your home or used for gardening and washing clothes.

Your RO system begins with pre-filters that will remove sand silt, dirt and chlorine from the water before it enters the semi-permeable membrane. After it passes through the membrane, your water is then pushed into a pressurized storage tank. The RO system also includes a post filter that will “polish” the final product water, removing any remaining taste and odors that may be present in the water.

An RO system can be installed at the point of use, under a sink for example, or at a central location for larger installations like an office building or hotel. A point-of-use RO system typically includes a small pump and a storage tank to deliver water to an under the counter faucet or ice maker. An additional component, a permeate pump, is available to improve an RO systems efficiency by reducing the amount of waste water produced.

2. Water Filtration Pitcher

If you’re looking for a simple way to improve your drinking water, a pitcher filter might be just what you need. It eliminates the need for installations and lengthy changes to plumbing. It’s also easy to transport with you if you need to work, go to the gym, or go on holiday.

We tested a number of pitcher filters for our review and found that the best models remove chlorine, bad taste and odors, heavy metals, and more. They’re also free from BPA and have a space-saving design. They have larger capacities that make them better for families, and some come with a built-in indicator to let you know when it’s time to change the filter.

The ZeroWater pitcher has a five-stage filtration system that can reduce TDS up to 99.6% – but it doesn’t remove all TDS, including healthy minerals and salts. This model comes with a TDS meter so you can test your water before and after filtration.

One of the most important things to consider with any filter pitcher is how long it takes for a full batch of water to be filtered. During our testing, we found that some of the best pitchers can get the job done in a matter of minutes, while others took nearly 43 minutes to do the same thing.

3. Whole-House Filtration System

Unlike point of use filters that attach to individual taps, whole house water filter systems are installed at the source of your home and filter all of your household water. This gives you the peace of mind that every faucet, shower and washing machine in your home is delivering safe and clean water. These systems can help you achieve a variety of goals, such as reducing water hardness, eliminating chlorine and other chemical contaminants, removing sediment or even odors.

The most common types of whole house filters use a pre-filter, followed by copper-zinc and carbon filters to purify your water. The pre-filter removes larger particles of dirt and debris, such as sand, silt and clay that could otherwise make it into your water glasses or bathtub. This step also helps extend the life of the other filters by preventing premature wear and tear due to excess dirt accumulation.

Once the sediment is removed, the water passes through a filter that contains high-purity copper-zinc granules. The granules use a process called redox to exchange electrons with harmful chemical contaminants, such as chlorine, iron, hydrogen sulfide and lead, turning them into harmless byproducts that are easily trapped in the filter. This stage is followed by a catalytic carbon filter that further polishes the water for better tasting, healthier skin and hair and longer-lasting appliances.

4. Water Softener

A water softener, sometimes referred to as an ion exchange system, removes hard minerals like calcium and magnesium from your tap water. It does this by swapping the mineral ions with sodium ones through a bed of resin beads. The resulting reduced concentrations of these minerals prevent things like soap scum build-up, stiff laundry and scale.

A home water softener typically consists of three components: a control valve, a mineral tank and a brine tank. The control valve monitors the water supply to the tank and controls the flow of softened water throughout your house. The mineral tank houses the resin beads. The water supply line feeds the hard water into the mineral tank, where the water softening process occurs. The spherical resin beads are charged with a negatively charged ion (known as anions). The negative charges attract and seize the positively charged ions of the hardness minerals, thus removing them from your household water.

The spherical resin beads are periodically recharged with salt by flushing the softener with water. The salt used to regenerate the resin is known as brine. Using the correct amount of salt to regenerate the resin is essential for maintaining proper operation of your water softener and avoiding over or under salting. Using too much salt can damage your pipes and lead to elevated lead and copper levels in the water.