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12 Best Rated Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration Systems – In-Depth Reviews

I f you are a health-conscious person, you’ve probably realized by now that tap water is filled with impurities that can affect your health on many levels. From bacteria to sand deposits and even chemicals, a worrying amount of pollutants can be discovered in tap water. Although the municipality uses a series of disinfecting techniques, some of these toxic substances can reach into your glass.

Fortunately, you can take measures of your own by using a purification system, and we highly suggest reverse osmosis. It is based on a semipermeable membrane that manages to capture almost every impurity, thus delivering safer water for domestic use. The market abounds with models that state to offer the maximum performance, but only some of them are worth the money. Find out which ones in the chart below.

Alkaline water is acknowledged to boost energy and hydration among the long list of benefits it offers, and now it is simpler than ever to obtain it with a water ionizer. This type of machine uses electrolysis and the minerals in the water to increase the pH and often uses first-rate filters to reduce impurities, so it can constitute a viable alternative.



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Top 12 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter Systems Compared

Photo Product Tank Capacity (gal.) Daily Production (GPD) Number of Filters Operating Pressure (PSI) pH Range Price

1. Pelican Water PRO-RO-PC Pro 6-Stage

2 50 6 40-80 4.0-8.0 Check Price at Amazon

Editor’s Choice

2. Home Master TMAFC

3.2 50 4 40-95 4.0-10.0 Check Price at Amazon

Best for Drinking Water

3. iSpring RCC7AK

3.2 75 6 45-70 3.0-11.0 Check Price at Amazon

4. Aquasana OptimH2O

3.2 35 3 40-100 N/A Check Price at Amazon

Best for Well Water

5. APEC RO-90

4 90 5 40-85 2.0-11.0 Check Price at Amazon

6. Geekpure 6-Stage RO System with Remineralization

2.8 75 6 40-100 3.0-11.0 Check Price at Amazon

7. Aquasure AS-PR75A-BN Premier

4 75 4 40-75 4.0-11.0 Check Price at Amazon

8. Express Water RO5DX

3.2 50 5 40-80 N/A Check Price at Amazon

9. Global Water RO-505

2.5 50 5 40-80 N/A Check Price at Amazon

10. APEC ROES-50

4 50 5 40-85 2.0-11.0 Check Price at Amazon

11. Olympia Water Systems OROS-50

3.2 50 5 50-100 N/A Check Price at Amazon

Best for the Money

12. Whirlpool WHER25

3 14.5 3 40-100 4.0-10.0 Check Price at Amazon

Check out the best whole house water filters for well of the moment if you are interested in a system that can deliver clean water at each of your taps. These products have large capacities and come with state of the art decontamination layers, being able to take out not only chemicals and toxins but bacteria as well.



1. Pelican Water PRO-RO-PC Pro 6-Stage

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Specifications:

  • Installation Type: Under Sink
  • Daily Production: 50 GPD
  • Tank Capacity: 2 gal.
  • Operating Pressure: 40-80 psi
  • Operating Temperature: 40-100°F
  • pH Limits: 4.0-8.0
  • Filters: 6
  • TDS Reduction 96.5%


This high-quality model is designed by Pelican and manufactured in the US, so it gained our trust from the beginning. It meets all the standards in terms of pollutants reduction and comes with lots of features that turn it into a satisfactory purchase.

Filtration Performance

It offers 6 filtration stages, starting with the sediment filter, which acts as a strong barrier against sand, mildew, or mud, before the water goes through two carbon filters, added to neutralize gaseous compounds and smell. Then, the main stage is represented by the semi-porous membrane, which blocks contaminants and only lets clean water pass. The last two stages eliminate bad taste and whiff and remineralize the water to augment the pH value and make it more basic. In the process, over 60 pollutants are eliminated, while the system sustains a great water flow and reduces water waste by up to 50%.

Construction

The plastic construction presents great durability, being more compact than similar models and a good fit for regular under-counter spaces. The reservoir has a suitable 2-gal. volume and will hold sufficient water for regular use. The system can produce up to 50 gals. of clean water per day and works well with water pressure between 40 and 80 psi. Plus, the faucet is comprised within the price and you get to choose among three colors the one that complements your kitchenette the best.

Counterbalance the effects hard water has upon your health and your kitchen devices’ longevity with a whole house water softener.

User Convenience

Normally, the cartridges last for about six months, where you should install new ones to ensure the decontamination quality remains the same. You don’t need to remember any dates, as the LED on the filter will signal when the upkeep is in order. Plus, you get to try the system and you can return it within 90 days, no question asked, in case it doesn’t function as described.

If you are interested in seeing what other water decontamination units the company has to offer, we advise that you check out here the best Pelican whole house water filter systems and draw comparisons to reach an informed conclusion.


Pros

  • Made by a trusted brand
  • Multiple faucet designs
  • Straightforward operation
  • Small and light design
  • Lower water waste level

Cons

  • No automatic shut-off feature
  • Short warranty


Verdict

Packing high-performance filters and RO technology, this model is among the most resourceful in its class. Clean water delivery is high enough for a medium home and the recipient can hold enough to cover basic needs without having to wait for it to fill up. Besides all these, it has a lower wastewater production, so it is more cost-efficient compared to similar products.


See more under-sink water filter models here and discover different technologies that can deliver excellent water purification for your entire family.



2. Home Master TMAFC

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Specifications:

  • Installation Type: Under Sink
  • Daily Production: 50 GPD
  • Tank Capacity: 3.2 gal.
  • Operating Pressure: 40-95 psi
  • Operating Temperature: 40-100°F
  • pH Limits: 4.0-10.0
  • Filters: 4
  • TDS Reduction: 99%
  • Destroys Microorganisms:
  • Filtered Water to Waste Water Ratio: 1:1


Our next recommendation is the TMAFC model from Home Master. Before acquiring it, make sure there is enough room beneath your sink to accommodate the large container that can produce 50 gallons each day. The elegant chrome tap goes on top of the sink.

With 7 purifying phases, it is highly effective against heavy metals, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, insecticides, and other harmful compounds that can, in time, cause serious health damages. In the last part of the procedure, an extra filter alkalinizes the water by putting minerals back into it, so it can be used to make baby formula without a problem. The production reaches 50 gals. of uncontaminated water per day, and the generous 3.2-gal. reservoir will hold sufficient so that each member has access to decontaminated water without having to wait. Plus, the system includes a shut-off mechanism that activates when the reservoir is full to prevent malfunctions that can lead to water waste.

See here the complete review of the Home Master TMFAC if you want to learn more about the product before you reach a definite conclusion.


Pros

  • Long warranty
  • Comes fully assembled
  • Innovative all-in-one design
  • Double remineralization
  • Long-lasting RO membrane

Cons

  • Only one faucet color
  • Bulkier design


Verdict

A 7-stage filtration sequence, backed by a dependable construction and high performance, is what makes this model one of the most dependable options. The water is filtered and alkalinized at the end so the pH remains between optimal parameters, so you can use it to make baby food or formula. Besides all these, with the acquisition, you receive a 5-year warranty that will cover most malfunctions.


If you don’t want to put up with a pretty lengthy installation that involves connecting pipes and tubes in a rather cramped space, consider acquiring a countertop water filter. It can be mounted in less than 10 minutes and will deliver the same clear water as an under-counter model does.



3. iSpring RCC7AK

Check Price at Amazon


Specifications:

  • Installation Type: Under Sink
  • Daily Production: 75 GPD
  • Tank Capacity: 3.2 gal.
  • Operating Pressure: 45-70 psi
  • Operating Temperature: 40-100°F
  • pH Limits: 3.0-11.0
  • Filters: 6
  • TDS Reduction: 90%+
  • Destroys Microorganisms:
  • Filtered Water to Waste Water Ratio: 1:3


As the preponderance of RO units, this one also goes under the sink, along with the six cartridges, each destined to attract and dispose of a specific substance, and a 3.2 gallons container that can deliver up to 75 galls. each day. With it, you will manage to get rid of odors, sediment, and risky substances, and, in the last part of the procedure, useful minerals are further added, and the pH level is balanced.

Once or twice a year, contingent on the utilization frequency, you will need to substitute the filters to ensure the system’s functioning stays the same. The single exception is the membrane, which has a lifecycle of about 3 years. While you may need to put up a bit of effort to take away the cartridges and put the new ones in, you will get assistance for any obstacle you may come across once you register the product on the company’s website. This option will be free for 1 year. During this period, you can also return the product if you are not content with the way it performs.

Pros

  • PH filter and remineralizing filter
  • Six purifying steps
  • Low-key installation
  • Certified to eradicate 99% pollutants
  • Extended money-back warranty

Cons

  • Loosening the cartridges for periodical upkeep requires a bit of effort
  • According to some purchasers, the installation is rather complicated


Verdict

Once you have installed this system, you will instantly feel a major modification in the taste and smell of your water. This is the effect of a highly effective purifying sequence that eliminates almost all the pollutants in the water and with them their bad odors. In the end, a good mineral dose charges the water, so your body isn’t deprived of these elements.



4. Aquasana OptimH2O

Check Price at Amazon


Specifications:

  • Installation Type: Under Sink
  • Daily Production: 35 GPD
  • Tank Capacity: 3.2 gal.
  • Operating Pressure: 40-100 psi
  • Operating Temperature: 40-100°F
  • Filters: 3
  • TDS Reduction: 99%
  • Destroys Microorganisms:
  • Filtered Water to Waste Water Ratio: 1:3


The next model that convinced us about its performance is Aquasana OptimH2O. Mounting it is a breeze and, luckily, it doesn’t occupy too much space. Besides the Brushed Nickel faucet, you have the Chrome Metal and Oil Rubbed Bronze faucets, but they are more high-priced. It can deliver 35 gals. of fresh water per day. Unlike other models that have 5 or 6 filters, this one comes with only 3 filters and a reverse osmosis membrane.

However, it performs very well as it can eliminate most toxins with ease. It also reinstates essential minerals like Mg or Ca. Changing the old filters doesn’t take any particular skills as it integrates an indicator and the housing twists off effortlessly.

See here the best Aquasana whole house water filter systems if you want to check out more water purifying units produced by this trustworthy company. More complex in their operation and reliable for prolonged periods, these whole-house products are sure to comply with all of your needs.


Pros

  • Convenient filter replacement notifier
  • Reliable brand
  • Various faucet styles
  • Durable construction

Cons

  • No automatic shut-off feature
  • Only the 2-year service contract


Verdict

The bottom line, this is an efficient option to go with if you want to invest your money in a well-made purifying system. It is highly competent in eliminating the hazardous toxins usually found in drinking water and is prepared with all the obligatory components for a low-key setup and operation. Unluckily, it doesn’t comprise an automatic shut-off feature and is backed by an average 2-year service contract.



5. APEC RO-90

Check Price at Amazon


Specifications:

  • Installation Type: Under Sink
  • Daily Production: 90 GPD
  • Tank Capacity: 4 gal.
  • Operating Pressure: 40-85 psi
  • Operating Temperature: 40-100°F
  • pH Limits: 2.0-11.0
  • Filters: 5
  • TDS Reduction: 99%
  • Destroys Microorganisms:
  • Filtered Water to Waste Water Ratio: 1:3


Finding a truly reliable model might seem impossible, but you will surely appreciate this one. It can collect around 99% of dangerous impurities like bacteria, hard metals, rust, or chemicals, thus enhancing the overall quality. The entire assembly can sanitize a total of 90 gallons each day and stores it in the generous reservoir that conveniently sits under the sink. The only thing left on sight is the elegant spout with a chrome finish.

The water goes through a sequence of filters, each of them being specialized in the elimination of specific substances. Thus, when it reaches the end of the cycle, it has about 99% fewer contaminants, being safe to drink and without any bothering smell or taste. The filters have double pollutant removing capacity, so their lifespan is considerably longer, a very nice bonus, considering that you need to squeeze under the sink to replace them, which is never a pleasant job. In what concerns service coverage, once you register the product, you will receive a 2-year assurance and lifetime customer support, which is pretty generous.

Pros

  • Durable filters with low maintenance
  • Includes a chrome tap
  • Simple installation procedure
  • USA-based company

Cons

  • Not very compact
  • The water output is lower than stated


Verdict

With all the certifications required, this unit manages to increase the quality with no effort on your part. Made with safety in mind, it captures more than 1,000 known pollutants, so you will benefit from tasty and safe-to-consume water. We also appreciated that it is supported by the company for two years.



6. Geekpure 6-Stage RO System with Remineralization

Check Price at Amazon


Specifications:

  • Installation Type: Under Sink
  • Daily Production: 75 GPD
  • Tank Capacity: 2.8 gal.
  • Operating Pressure: 40-100 psi
  • Operating Temperature: 40-110°F
  • pH Limits: 3.0-11.0
  • Filters: 6
  • TDS Reduction: 99%
  • Destroys Microorganisms:
  • Filtered Water to Waste Water Ratio: 1:2


It uses the power of 6 industry-leading filters to clean the water of pollutants in a proportion of 99%. What makes it stand out among all the other models is the filtering performance it displays. Namely, it can capture particles down to 0.0001 microns, being extremely successful against toxins and chemicals. It is the number one reason for which it is a great fit for families with babies and children, as it allows the use of pure water to prepare the food. Thus, you can rest assured that besides the nutrients and minerals your child eats, they won’t be ingesting any of the risky substances like lead, mercury, or an unhealthy amount of fluoride. Furthermore, even if the multiple filtering layers do remove minerals, these will be returned by the last layer, which enriches the water with Ca, Mg, and other elements. This stage will also help create a balanced pH that can vary from 7.5 to 8.5, making the water more basic.

It will match a water pressure between 40 and 100 psi and will produce about 75 gallons per day if used at an average pressure of 60 psi. The reservoir has a volume of 2.8 gals., so it’s a bit smaller than the one offered by other models. For it to function optimally, the water that runs through it should remain between 40F and 110F.

The setup is an easy aspect, so you can turn it into a DIY project. The fittings are comprised and it matches both 1/4” and 3/8” pipe sizes. Moreover, the tubes are color-coded and you can follow the setup video on the company’s website to quickly understand where everything goes. Instructions are also at your disposal and the customer service team will assist you if you encounter any difficulties. You also receive a 1-year warranty that allows you to get free repairs in case your product comes with a manufacturing flaw that causes it not to function properly.

Pros

  • 6 purifying stages that cover a wide array of pollutants from sediments to heavy metals and germs
  • Easy fitting with the quick-push tubes that are comprised in the package
  • Remineralizes the water, ensuring a safe pH
  • A faucet is comprised in the price
  • Maintains good water pressure and can deliver up to 75 gall. per day

Cons

  • The push-in fittings are poor quality
  • The instructions that come in the box are rather unclear but the instructional video can help you make the setup


Verdict

This is a complex system with multiple stages that ensure pollutants are contained in a proportion of 99%. In the last part of the process, a good pH is reestablished by adding minerals, so the water isn’t only clean but can be consumed daily without posing any health risk. Besides the excellent performance, this unit is also easy to set up, although, at some point, you may need to replace the push-in fittings as they tend to let the water leak.



7. Aquasure AS-PR75A-BN Premier

Check Price at Amazon


Specifications:

  • Installation Type: Under Sink/Countertop
  • Daily Production: 75 GPD
  • Tank Capacity: 4 gal.
  • Operating Pressure: 40-75 psi
  • Operating Temperature: 33-105°F
  • pH Limits: 4.0-11.0
  • Filters: 4
  • TDS Reduction: 99%
  • Destroys Microorganisms:
  • Filtered Water to Waste Water Ratio: 1:3


With a clean and fairly compact design, this model can be mounted either under the sink or on the counter, reliant on your kitchen arrangement. It integrates 4 high-yield filters that lend it an accuracy of 99% in eradicating heavy metals, toxins, and other unsafe compounds that are discovered in the water. The first layer catches residues like sand and dirt, prolonging the life of the succeeding ones, namely two different carbon layers and the RO membrane. When the water moves through this stage, it isn’t only cleaned but it gets an improved taste.

Setup is particularly easy with the quick-connection fittings, but what makes it even more attractive is the additional leak-protection system, which reinforces the connections, guaranteeing that the water doesn’t drip. The modules and the tap are NSF verified and come with the guarantee that they will last. Nonetheless, even if each piece as well as the complete ensemble went through a rigorous verification procedure, the kit is backed for 3 years, just for your peace of mind.

Once you get it going, you will observe that it has a good water flow, being able to deliver up to 75 gals. per day, if used at a pressure between 40 and 75 psi. The reservoir has a good capacity of 4 gals., while the water to waste ratio is estimated at 3 to 1. The filtering also helps to adjust the pH, so the water that is delivered can be used for drinking or cooking without a problem, and its purity level makes it fit for preparing baby food as well.

Pros

  • Smooth installation
  • Anti-leak reinforcements make it a dependable model
  • High-performance filters remove a wide array of pollutants
  • The water pressure isn’t reduced considerably
  • Great service contract and lifetime technical assistance

Cons

  • Some purchasers observed that the water tastes a little sweet
  • Filters are rather expensive compared with the initial price of the product


Verdict

A top-quality model that will deliver a lot of pure water per day, it can serve a household with numerous members. The setup will take a while but there’s nothing too complicated, so even if you have no experience, you will manage to pull it through. Not to mention that you have 2 reinforcement elements that will ensure the optimal operation of the system and prevent leaks.



8. Express Water RO5DX

Check Price at Amazon


Specifications:

  • Installation Type: Under Sink
  • Daily Production: 50 GPD
  • Tank Capacity: 3.2 gal.
  • Operating Pressure: 40-80 psi
  • Operating Temperature: 40-100°F
  • Filters: 5
  • TDS Reduction: 99.99%+
  • Destroys Microorganisms:
  • Filtered Water to Waste Water Ratio: 1:3


This model provides 5 stages of sanitizing, just so you will know for sure the water at home is pollutant-free. Starting with large sediments, VOCs, dangerous metals, and minerals, this unit can deliver 50 gallons each day, with an impressive 0.8 GPM flow rate.

Among the most appreciated features, the leak-stop valve offers peace of mind as it closes the recipient once it is full. Moreover, the filters have a double sealing, guaranteeing that once the water enters the purification stages, it won’t come in contact with the exterior and the method will have maximum efficiency.
You won’t struggle too much to attach it to the waterline, as the hardware is comprised in the kit and the tubings are sorted by color. The adapters help you connect it either to a 1/2 or 3/8 in. pipe and the kit is completed by the elegant faucet. The only downside may be the 1-year service contract, which is rather short.

Pros

  • Leak-stop tap
  • All filters feature double seals for increased efficiency
  • Fast set-up
  • Packed with additional filters

Cons

  • Short warranty
  • Doesn’t include a remineralizing phase


Verdict

The system is obtainable at an inexpensive price and comprises all the compulsory fittings for stress-free operation. Not only it cleans the water, but it also delivers a good and almost instant water flow. Plus, the filters are easy to substitute and you’ve got a LED light signaling when it’s time to do it.



9. Global Water RO-505

Check Price at Amazon


Specifications:

  • Installation Type: Under Sink
  • Daily Production: 50 GPD
  • Tank Capacity: 2.5 gal.
  • Operating Pressure: 40-80 psi
  • Filters: 5
  • TDS Reduction: 99%
  • Destroys Microorganisms:
  • Filtered Water to Waste Water Ratio: 1:1


Another effective product is this one empowered with a total of 5 sanitizing steps, starting with a residue filter and ending with an inner carbon filter, all used in eliminating dirt, nasty smells, and dangerous substances. The innovation is the metal tank that can hold 2.5 gals., with a daily capacity of 50 gallons. Therefore, you will have instant access to bacteria-free water at all times.

The set comes pre-assembled and features colored tubing, so fitting it is pretty easy, even if you don’t excel at installing stuff. The lead-free spout can handle high water pressure for fast filling. To prevent leaking and back pressure, it is furnished with double-O rings and a flow restrictor. Also, it is equipped with a turn-off valve to avoid water waste.

Pros

  • The metal tank complies with safety standards
  • Money-back warranty
  • Extra filters included
  • It comes pre-installed

Cons

  • The adapter only works with 1/2″ fittings and it is difficult to find one that would work with 3/8″ types
  • Some purchasers reported the faucet leaking from the side after some time


Verdict

It is an economical yet qualitative alternative on our list. Installing and taking care of it is not very challenging – once you work out the guidelines – and it includes a nice silver faucet. Also, a set of spare filters is offered, which is a great advantage.



10. APEC ROES-50

Check Price at Amazon


Specifications:

  • Installation Type: Under Sink
  • Daily Production: 50 GPD
  • Tank Capacity: 4 gal.
  • Operating Pressure: 40-85 psi
  • Operating Temperature:: 40-100°F
  • pH Limits: 2.0-11.0
  • Filters: 5
  • TDS Reduction: 99%
  • Destroys Microorganisms:


APEC ROES-50 does an awesome job and will imply a smaller investment. Since it’s an under-sink model, it will conveniently stay out of sight without taking precious counter space. The chrome faucet is a great addition that makes it look extremely stylish. With 5 cartridges that perform five cleaning steps, you can be certain that it will manage to collect most of the undesirable elements and enhance the flavor. It boasts a generous 4-gallon reservoir, and the 50 GPD membrane quickly refills it. Whenever the reservoir fills up, it will instantly turn off to prevent spills and mess.

Besides, it is quiet, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to fit, and it delivers superior results due to the qualitative materials. Once you buy it, you will benefit from free lifetime technical assistance for any possible troubles and a service contract of 1 year, with a 30-day period for a refund.

See here a more detailed analysis of the APEC ROES-50 if you want to further analyze the system and sort out whether it is the best option for your needs or not.


Pros

  • Generous storage tank
  • Automatic turn-off
  • Durable filters
  • Affordable
  • Features a simple installation process

Cons

  • Short warranty period
  • No remineralization filter


Verdict

This is one of the highest-rated RO models that use 5 phases to certify the best sanitizing results. To prevent any disagreeable situations, the company also added a programmed shut-off. The only major negative is the short assurance offered for the product.



11. Olympia Water Systems OROS-50

Check Price at Amazon


Specifications:

  • Installation Type: Under Sink
  • Daily Production: 50 GPD
  • Tank Capacity: 3.2 gal.
  • Operating Pressure: 50-100 psi
  • Operating Temperature: 00-100°F
  • Filters: 5
  • Destroys Microorganisms:
  • Filtered Water to Waste Water Ratio: 1:4


For less money, you can always go with this product that uses a total of 5 filtering methods to ensure almost 100% water purification. The assembly goes underneath the sink to maximize utility and includes a sleek chrome spout with a generous stream. Since the tubing and wiring are color-coordinated, it will be a breeze setting it up.

It passed all the quality tests, so it can be safely used in any household. You just need to ensure a minimum pressure of 50 psi and a water temperature no lower than 40 F. Under these conditions, it can deliver up to 50 GPD. The reservoir is large at 3.2 gals. and will not cause any disruptions in the water flow. The whole ensemble is backed for 1 year, and you have the possibility of returning it within 30 days if you don’t find yourself content with the acquisition.

Pros

  • Comes with a nice chrome-finish faucet
  • Features an auto shut-off
  • Hassle-free setup
  • Great value for the money

Cons

  • Rather bulky
  • Short warranty


Verdict

In case you want to limit your expenses but still profit from a high-class system, this is a great option to consider. It was rigorously tested, so you won’t be disappointed by its performance. This unit fits below most sinks, but it’s rather bulky. Also, we would’ve wanted it to be protected by a longer service assurance.



12. Whirlpool WHER25

Check Price at Amazon


Specifications:

  • Installation Type: Under Sink
  • Daily Production: 14.5 GPD
  • Tank Capacity: 3 gal.
  • Operating Pressure: 40-100 psi
  • Operating Temperature: 40-100°F
  • pH Limits: 4.0-10.0
  • Filters: 3
  • TDS Reduction: 90-95%
  • Destroys Microorganisms:
  • Filtered Water to Waste Water Ratio: 1:5


This filter is destined to fit underneath regular sinks, and it is proficient in eliminating an impressive amount of chemicals through the included 3 cartridges. To amplify the results, a pre-filter is featured to capture large bits like sand and other fragments. The RO membrane manages to collect solids and organic matter, then the water gets to the postfilter that deals with unpleasant taste and smell.

The water spout is also comprised in the set, as well as the accessories, so the fitting is not cumbersome. All the cartridges are consumable, and there is an indicator light to notify when it’s time to change them. The pledge offered is a limited 1-year, which is a regular in the niche.

Pros

  • Hassle-free filter replacement
  • Intuitive indicator light
  • Contains a stylish chrome spout
  • Features a quiet operation
  • Complies with all safety and quality standards

Cons

  • Short assurance period
  • According to some customers, the operation is rather noisy


Verdict

A budget model, which, nonetheless, does an outstanding job, it is the right pick for a medium household. It is fairly easy to mount and the filter replacement operation is simple as well, especially as there’s a LED signaling when it’s the time for it. The only major drawback is that its operation is rather noisy, according to the customers who tried it.




How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?


The systems based on this technology have become more prevalent in people’s homes due to their proven efficiency and fairly simple fitting steps. Nonetheless, this method is rather different from a conventional decontamination system, which uses only filters to capture the impurities and let the cleaned water pass, so let’s take some time to explain how the method works.

What Is Reverse Osmosis?

As the name says, it is the reversion of something. Osmosis is a phenomenon often taking place in nature when two saline solutions come in contact. The effect is that the more saline solution attracts the one that has a lower salinity degree. It is the way plants suck water from the ground through their roots. If a semi-absorptive membrane would be placed between the two saline solutions, the less saline water would migrate towards the more saline one leaving behind the salts.

Now, how what interests is to take away the salts in the more saline solution (in this case, the unclean water), the engineers thought of a way of overturning this action, and this is how RO systems appeared.

How Does the Process Work?

This method compels the water that is filled with salts and other pollutants to go through a semi-porous membrane. In the development, about 95% to 99% of the salts are left behind in the stream of water called “brine”. The “rejected” stream is evacuated in a drain, while the permeate water is the one pouring from the tap. Contingent on the effectiveness of the system, the level of the water being recovered can vary from 50% to 85%. For instance, a system that has a recovery rate of 50 percent, will recover only 50 gals. of permeate water from the 100 gallons that enter the system.

While models with a higher recovery rate are preferable, they carry some risks of their own, as this means that the brine has a higher concentration of salts and this can lead to deposits on the membrane and make it wear off faster.

In general, compared to conventional purification systems, the RO models don’t affect the flow of the water considerably, being more fit for large ménages where the water is used not only for drinking but for cooking as well.

What Does It Filter?

Even if the RO membrane plays a highly significant step in the decontamination process, it doesn’t have a 100% efficiency. This is why, usually, these systems are formed from multiple cartridges, each targeting a specific class of contaminants.
Let’s explore now the ones taken out by the membrane.

  • Lead – this particularly harmful substance deposits in teeth and bones and can poison the body, causing dizziness, nausea, or reduced attention span. It is particularly risky for children.
  • Pesticides – long-term exposure to these substances has been linked to depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s, or even cancer.
  • Fluoride – while fluoride can help teeth decay and is often added to the water by the water authorities, in higher quantity it can cause skeletal or dental fluorosis, which can cause damages in joints and bones.
  • Chlorine and Chloramines – these substances are added to the water to kill microorganisms, but, once again, they can become dangerous the quantity used surpasses the optimal one. In this case, they can affect the digestive mucosa and cause digestive illnesses.
  • Detergents – sometimes, they end up in the tap water and not only affect its taste but cause symptoms like vomiting, throat swelling, abdominal pain, or skin irritation.
  • Nitrates – if the municipality water filtration system isn’t efficient enough, nitrates that are often found in pesticides or animal waste may end up in your drinking water, although they are more commonly found in well water. They usually affect the gastrointestinal system and can pose serious health risks for infants.
  • Sulfates – A high degree of sulfates in the water can cause diarrhea and dehydration, especially in infants.

Some of the elements we’ve enumerated may escape this decontamination stage, this is why other filters are affixed to the system. Furthermore, the RO membrane isn’t very efficient against neutralizing VOCs or other agricultural treatments.

How Efficient Is It?

It often reaches an efficiency of 99%, which is granted by the combination of the following filters:

  • Sediment filter – it is the first barrier through which the water passes and its purpose is to stop sand, dust, dirt, and other residues from reaching the membrane.
  • RO membrane – the water is purified from salts and other pollutants, as explained above.
  • Carbon block – this stage neutralizes VOCs and neutralizes the bad taste and odor released by chlorine and other elements.
  • Optional remineralization filter – enriches the water with minerals as they tend to be eliminated in the previous stages.

Considering that most conventional systems consist only of a residue filter and a carbon one, RO models can be regarded as some of the most performant on the market. And this technology is still improving, with supplementary RO phases being added so the “brine” is recycled multiple times and the volume of wastewater is reduced to a minimum.


Health Risks of Drinking Contaminated Tap Water

To better understand the benefits of the purifying systems, let’s see which are the potential health risks you expose to when drinking contaminated water. Taking the necessary measures to prevent all sorts of dangers is the wisest thing you can do. Here is what specialists say:

  • Thyroid disorders:

    water high in fluoride can seriously affect the thyroid gland. This is possible because fluoride can suppress thyroid function, being considered an endocrine disrupter.

  • Kidney issues:

    the organs in our body that are most likely to be marked by poor quality water are the kidneys. Since they filter all the fluids we ingest, deposits and impurities might be left behind. Unfiltered water can cause kidney stones and even kidney failure, especially in people who are prone to developing such health problems.

  • Skin affections:

    many water supplies in the U.S.A. contain high arsenic levels, and this chemical contaminant is known for causing all sorts of skin affections. Additionally, some specialists say it is a carcinogen.

  • Neuromuscular disorders:

    water supply contains lead, which can cause neuromuscular disorders. This metal is very toxic, so it’s best to eliminate it as much as possible. Once present in the body, lead can cause fatigue, concentration difficulties, or even severe brain damage.


How We Rated the Products

Now, let’s find out more about how the products were rated. When we searched the market for the most unfailing RO filters, we thoroughly analyzed their efficiency and durability, just to make sure you pick the appropriate model. Therefore, we took into consideration the most significant aspects, including how much water it can filter and what pollutants it can eliminate.

  • Contaminates eliminated:

    since the main purpose is to eradicate the common unwanted pollutants and deliver unlimited clean water, it is only natural to know more about this aspect. All the models selected by us can effectively reduce more pollutants, counting chlorine, copper, lead, and so on. The reduction percentage is up to 99% or even 100% in some cases, which is quite impressive. This means you will no longer have to be worried about the possible health risks you expose to when drinking unfiltered tap water.

  • Filters and cleaning phases:

    more filters don’t necessarily mean more efficiency. You will find numerous models with up to 7 cartridges, but the average number is 3. This usually includes a sediment cartridge, a carbon filter, and a RO membrane. Additional phases consist of pre and post-filters with carbon or a final phase that adds beneficial minerals that are usually lost during sanitizing.

  • Daily production:

    the amount of water a filter can provide in 24 hours is measured in gals. per day or GPD. However, keep in mind that the capacity estimated can be influenced by a series of factors, including the temperature and the pressure or the acidity. For enjoying superior results, it’s advised that you follow the requirements when installing and handling the filter. While most units deliver around 50 GPD, there are more high-rate models with 75 or even 90 GPD.

  • Dimensions:

    although not an essential characteristic, size plays a significant role if you don’t have too much space available. Considering that these systems are typically designed for under countertop installation, we aimed to pick the most compact and easy to accommodate ones. Nevertheless, it’s always good to measure how much space your future system takes to avoid any unpleasant situations.

  • Warranty:

    for more convenience and stress-free use, a reliable unit should be supported by a generous warranty that states that the manufacturer stays behind their product for a very long time. While the standard period is 1 year, some models are warranted for 5 years. Also, for some of them, you can get a refund in 30 days or even during the first year of use.

Frequently Asked Questions



Is reverse osmosis water healthy?
This filtering method reduces contaminants in a proportion of up to 99%, so the water is cleaner and thus safer to drink. So, yes, RO water is safer than regular tap water. The matter raised in this case is the pH value, which is often slightly more acidic, having the pH level of coffee or tea. This doesn’t present a health risk unless the consumer has already a gastrointestinal condition. Furthermore, some manufacturers add remineralization filters to their systems, which add minerals to the water and increase the pH until it reaches more basic values, so you can pick one of these models.

What is not removed by reverse osmosis?
Usually, RO cannot eliminate gaseous compounds and some substances used in agricultural treatments may escape the decontamination process to some degree. These are, nonetheless, addressed by the additional media, which increase the total efficiency considerably.

Is RO water better than filtered water?
RO systems frequently comprise, besides the membrane, a carbon, and a residue filter, which are the main constituents of a regular water filtering system, so the effectiveness is actually improved. This method is more efficient against heavy metals and toxins and works better for hard water, as the extra minerals are removed.

Does reverse osmosis kill bacteria?
It removes them to some degree, but this is not its main purpose. Some studies have shown that it can filter salmonella, E-coli, and even some parasites but it will not show efficiency of 100%. Nonetheless, tap water is usually treated against microorganisms by the water authority, so it is safe to drink from this point of view.

Should you add minerals to RO water?
The method leaves the water poor in minerals and this can lead to a lowered pH. If you want your water to be more alkaline, you can pick a model that will add minerals at the end of the process or increase the pH yourself by adding sodium or potassium carbonate. Contrary to popular opinion, the lack of minerals in the water doesn’t lead to deficiencies, as we take most of our minerals from food and not from the water we drink.

Is RO water good for baby formula?
It is clean from chlorine and fluoride, two substances that can affect your baby’s health, causing digestive or bone problems. Furthermore, it has a lower sodium content and it doesn’t contain lead, which is known to be extremely harmful. So, yes, you can use it safely. Just make sure to pick a system that integrates a remineralization filter so the water pH stays more alkaline.

Do RO systems waste a lot of water?
If we consider that for 1 gal. of decontaminated water to be delivered about 25 gals. are sent to the drain, then the method can be regarded as being somehow wasteful. The good thing, though, is that improvements are on their way, and the next-generation models will be able to reduce the “brine” production considerably.

What's the pH of RO water?
The pH ranges from 5 to 7 in this case, being a bit more acidic. If the system has a supplementary remineralization system, nonetheless, the pH can be increased through the addition of minerals.

Is RO water better than bottled water?
Bottled water comes with many disadvantages when compared with RO water. First, it comes packed in plastic, which tends to contaminate it. It also creates huge plastic waste, which is bad for the planet. Not to mention that the sources are not always reliable and they may be more polluted than you think. The gain with RO water is that you get to drink it fresh from the tap after it has crossed a highly performant purification system.



Conclusion

After comparing the best RO products available, it has made it a lot simpler for you to decide on a particular model. All the products made it to this chart due to their excellent performance, therefore, you can rest assured that your choice will be unfailing and secure. However, some of them are better in treating well water or come at a more accessible price, or maybe they boast some specific features. Regardless, here are the selected items that are optimal for each job:

Best Overall: Pelican Water PRO-RO-PC Pro 6-Stage

One of the strongest models of the moment, fitted with 6 purification stages and able to eliminate more than 60 pollutants, it can provide sufficient clean water for a large household. It can be mounted either under the sink or on the counter and has a more compact design compared with similar models. Furthermore, a great aspect that makes it one of the users’ favorite is that it is easy to connect and maintain, making its utilization easier than expected.

Editor’s Choice: Home Master TMAFC

This system adds extra minerals before delivering the decontaminated water to ensure that the pH is basic enough to make it safe even for users with gastrointestinal problems or babies. The advanced technology decreases water waste by up to 80% while guaranteeing a filtration efficiency of up to 99%. It has a durable plastic construction and the kit includes all the necessary elements for a quick installation. Plus, it is backed by a great 5-year service assurance.

Best Reverse Osmosis Water Filter for Well Water: APEC RO-90

We chose this one because it is so stress-free to mount and get running, which are significant aspects to consider. Moreover, it provided superior results in eliminating an extended range of toxins and deposits due to the durable cartridges. The pollutant-removal rate is 99% for common dangerous substances like lead, chlorine, and arsenic. Plus, the daily water production is impressive, reaching up to 90 GPD.

Best Reverse Osmosis Water Filter for Drinking Water: iSpring RCC7AK

It is a premium choice and is fitted with high-end filters, built to eliminate up to 99% of more than 1,000 dangerous pollutants and microbes like giardia. It is efficient in treating well and tap water with excellent results. The additional sixth stage provides alkaline remineralization and decreases the water’s acidity, providing a neutral, natural taste. Furthermore, it is very simple to put together, as the manufacturer offers written instructions, videos, and technical assistance.

Best Reverse Osmosis Water Filter for the Money: Whirlpool WHER25

Equipped with a strong 3-phase purifying technique, this unit is an excellent deal at a more than reasonable price. Not only the initial price is lower, but it also comes with fewer cartridges, so the expenses, in the long run, will be reduced. Moreover, the spare parts are surprisingly durable, with an average lifecycle of 6 months, while the RO membrane can last up to 2 years.

Markus Mackay
Markus Mackay
Our resident expert in all things AC-related, Markus is a never-ending source of knowledge regarding how these systems work. What makes him so savvy in this field is his direct experience that he acquired while working in sales. The connections he made during that period also came in handy here as Markus knows a lot of experts in this field. With each article uploaded, he makes sure to gather the expertise of his more experienced ex-peers as well, making sure to provide readers with reliable reviews and articles.

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