When it comes to picking out a water filter for your home, the sheer variety of unfamiliar terms can be enough to overwhelm. It can get to be even more of a burden when you see the price of some water filter systems, which can exceed thousands of dollars. But we’re here to help. Water filters come in all shapes and sizes. While one person might need a multi-thousand dollar system, you might get away with the cheapest water filter money can buy. It all depends on what you’re trying to do.
In this guide, we’ve broken down water filters by price range. We’ll review several different types of water filters, highlighting the cheapest models and the best bargains along the way. While we are looking for the cheapest water filters, we have reviewed all of these with an eye for quality. Our goal is to help you get the best budget water filter, not whatever lurks at the bottom of the bargain bin!
Finding A Cheap Water Filter To Suit Your Household’s Needs
No matter your budget, there is no reason to suffer with poor water quality in your home. Inexpensive water filters can do a great job at cleaning up the taste of tap water. Something like a water filter pitcher or countertop gravity water filter requires zero installation and can seriously improve the taste and quality of your drinking water.
When making a purchasing decision for any type of water filtration or purification system, it is important to keep in mind cost of replacement filters. All water filters have a limited lifetime, measured in gallons of use or time since last filter change. As filters reach the end of their lifetime, water quality and water pressure may start to decline. It is important to replace your filters, and to factor in the price and frequency of replacement when purchasing a water filter.
Find The Cheapest Water Filter By Price Range
Know your price range? Hit one of these links to jump straight to that section of the guide. Otherwise, just keep scrolling!
- Best Water Filters for $50 or Less
- Best Water Filters for $50-$100
- Best Water Filters for $100-$200
- Best Water Filters For $200-$300
- Best Water Filters $300+
Best Water Filters for $50 or Less
When it comes to water filters below $50, we have two good options: Water Filter Bottles and Water Filter Pitchers. Water filter bottles are great if you’re just looking for something for your own personal use, but they won’t do if you need to filter water for multiple people. For that, filter pitchers are a great way to ensure your home always has a supply of fresh filtered water.
These types of systems are good for purifying already drinkable tap water. If your home has serious water issues, you’ll want to look into a more comprehensive system.
Below we’ve highlighted our picks for the best water filter pitchers and a water filter bottle that cost less than $50. If you’d like to take a look at some other filtered bottles, check out our Best Filtered Water Bottles Guide. For more on water filter pitchers, check out Best Water Filter Pitcher Comparisons.
< $10 – refresh2go Water Filter Bottle
By far the cheapest way to get a water filter, the refresh2go Water Filter Bottle has an activated carbon coconut shell filter built into the water bottle’s straw. This works great for personal use, so if you’re on a super extreme budget and not worried about anybody else’s water quality, it could be the only water filter your home needs at all.
Replacement filters for the refresh2go cost about $8 for a 3-pack. They have a filter lifetime of 2 months/40 gallons, roughly 233 refills of the included 22-ounce plastic water bottle.
Definitely the simplest way to go, but for those on a true shoestring budget, this is a lifeline to tastier water. Read more in our complete refresh2go filtered water bottle review. You can also check current prices and read other customer reviews at the Amazon listing.
PUR is a fairly well known name in home water filter products. This PUR Basic Water Filter Pitcher is effectively their entry model to the PUR line of water filter pitchers, which you’ve probably seen in homes and stores. Indeed, at this extremely low sub-$15 price point, the PUR Basic Water Filter Pitcher maybe the entry level filter pitcher.
The filter relies on an activated coconut shell carbon medium. It reduces chlorine taste and odor, 97% of mercury, and lots of other common tap water contaminants. If your goal is just to improve the taste of your already potable tap water, this is an extremely affordable way to do so. For such a cheap water filter pitcher, it does a great job.
Filters in the PUR Basic Water Filter Pitcher are rated for a lifetime of 40 gallons/2 months. Replacement filters cost about $10 for a 2-pack.
Learn more or check current prices by visiting the Amazon review.
< $40 – Brita Grand Water Filter Pitcher
Brita is perhaps the most well-known name in water filter pitchers. The Brita Grand is one of their higher-end filter pitchers, featuring an electronic meter which lets you know when its time to change the filter and spacious 10-cup capacity.
The filters themselves use a Brita’s activated carbon filters, which reduce chlorine taste and odor, trap copper, cadmium, mercury, and other common tap water impurities. The Brita Grand, like most Brita filter pitchers, does a good job of taking questionable tap water and making it drinkably delicious. Filter lifetime for Brita Grand filters is rated at 40 gallons/2 months, with replacement filters costing about $12 for a 2-pack.
Check current prices, read other customer reviews, or purchase your own at the Amazon listing.
< $50 – Soma Glass Water Filter Carafe
When we set off in search of a glass water filter pitcher, we came up surprisingly empty handed. But what we did find was the Soma Glass Water Filter Carafe. This interesting water filter incorporates a coconut shell carbon water filter above a stylish glass carafe.
It’s a neat piece on your countertop or at the dinner table. However, the replacement filters are somewhat on the pricey side, with a 40 gallon/2 month filter lifetime and running about $20 for a 2-pack. They do a great job of cleaning up the taste of tap water and have been NSF/ANSI certified to standard 53 for reduction of mercury, cadmium, and copper, as well as NSF Standard 42 certified for reduction of chlorine.
Current current prices or purchase your own Soma Water Filter Carafe by visiting the Amazon listing.
Best Water Filters for $50-$100
The $50-$100 dollar range for water filters gets us into the realm of simple Counter Top Water Filter Systems. These either rely on gravity or have a very simple connection to your sink’s faucet or plumbing. These types of systems can go a long way to improving the taste, odor, and appearance of your home’s tap water.
The KOR Waterfall Countertop Water Filter is a nifty and super-modern-looking countertop gravity water filter. It is equipped with a simple tap-water only coconut carbon filter and includes 2 glass carafes with purchase. You operate the KOR Waterfall by filling up the upper 1-liter chamber, placing one of the carafes or another container at the bottom, and turning the small valve to let water run through the filter.
The filters do well at improving tap water. Filter lifetime is rated at 80 gallons and replacement filters cost $20.
This Tap Master Jr countertop water filter from Home Master hooks up extremely easily to your sink’s faucet to filter your home tap water. It can be installed with zero tools, just screwing and unscrewing it onto your faucet. Once installed, you can divert water through the 3-stage filtration process inside the Home Master.
The filtration consists of an activated alumina medium filter which reduces fluoride and arsenic, before passing through a 5 micron compression disk to trap sediment and then to a coconut shell carbon filter which reduces chlorine, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and other common tap water contaminants. A final 5 micron compression disk completes the process.
This is a high quality filter. It substantially improves the taste of tap water, is very easy to install, and offers an excellent filter lifetime of 3 months/500 gallons. Replacement filters cost around $30.
To learn more about the Tap Master Jr Countertop Faucet Water Filter, visit the Amazon listing where you can check current current prices, read other customer reviews, and more.
Best Water Filters for $100-$200
In the $100-$200 price range we have several Under-Sink Water Filter Systems which offer heavy-duty filtration for your kitchen sink. These are great for handling homes with even some of the poorest tap water, improving the taste, odor, and appearance of your water. Also available within this price spectrum are basic Reverse Osmosis Water Filters, like the iSpring below.
The CuZn UC-200 Under Counter Sink Filter may have to take the bargain for cheapest under-sink water filter. While there are some competitors which are cheaper upfront, none can even hold a candle to the CuZn UC-200’s filter lifetime. Boasting a filter that is rate to last 50,000 gallons or 5 years, the CuZn UC-200 filter is literal orders of magnitude better in the longevity department than any other filter in its price-range.
And that filter itself is no slack, either. It makes use of a 3-stage filtration process utilizing activated carbon to reduce chlorine and common tap water contaminants, a KDF-55 filtration media to trap iron, heavy metals, and some bacteria, and Micro Sediment Membranes to trap any particulates and sediment. This is a great setup for tackling the tap water in just about any area, even if your water quality is especially poor.
The CuZn UC-200 requires some minimal installation under your sink. All you have to do is reroute your cold water line through the filter unit, something that requires no plumbing skills. Once installed, it’s good to go for 50,000 gallons. This is a true set-it-and-forget-it water filter, and a top-notch option for an unbeatable price.
Learn more, check current prices, or get one of your own by checking out the Amazon listing.
This iSpring Reverse Osmosis System relies on six stages of pre-filtering, reverse osmosis, and remineralization to provide your tap with super-pure mineral water. Reverse osmosis is an extremely comprehensive filtration method which removes >99.99% of all common tap and well-water contaminants.
This system can remove chlorine, fluoride, lead, arsenic, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, VOCs, and even microorganisms like bacteria and viruses. (Note: While reverse osmosis is capable of filtering out microorganisms, iSpring recommends their 7-Stage Reverse Osmosis System which incorporates a UV sterilizer for those planning to use their system with well water or other sources of water which has not been treated with a disinfectant.) Because reverse osmosis also removes certain beneficial minerals, the final stage of the iSpring system remineralizes the water and brings it to alkaline pH.
The iSpring is simple to install with just a few hoses that run under your sink. Note that the six-stage system takes up a fair amount of room, so you will need a fairly spacious clearing under your sink to install it. The filters in the system require replacing once a year, and replacement filters run about $65 for the full pack.
Note that due to the nature of reverse osmosis filtration, the system will generate a lot of waste water which is automatically flushed down your drain. Therefore, in order to conserve water, reverse osmosis systems should only be used for drinking water. In the case of the iSpring, 2 gallons of waste water are produced for each gallon of clean drinking water.
To learn more about the iSpring 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System, visit the Amazon listing.
Best Water Filters For $200-$300
As we step up into the $200-$300 price range we start to get Whole-House Filtration Systems and more advanced Countertop Gravity Water Filters. Depending on your selection, you can purchase high quality purification systems which allow you to treat more than just tap water. For example, the Berkey systems listed below can treat water from virtually any source, removing not only common chemical contaminants but also trapping potentially disease-causing microorganisms like bacteria and cysts.
Reverse Osmosis systems are also plentiful within this price range, providing an extremely comprehensive water treatment option for your home.
The 3M Aqua-Pure is a great way to get the peace of mind that comes from knowing your whole house has a water filter. That means that any tap you turn on, the 3M Aqua-Pure is at work to clean up the water on its way to your glass, tub, or even toilet. Equipped with a 5-Micron carbon filter, the 3M can clean up common tap water contaminants and reduce chlorine.
Overall, this is a very basic whole house filter. The affordable price tag and very basic system lend it well to installing as a DIY project, though some basic plumbing skills are required to install properly. The Aqua-Pure filter decent lifetime with a rating of 100,000 gallons/1 year, and replacement filters cost about $150.
Learn more about the 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Water Filter and check current prices at the Amazon listing.
The Big Berkey is one of the large family of Berkey countertop gravity water filters. These are top-of-the-line filtration units designed to filter water from virtually any source. They can render even some of the most disgusting water potable and even delicious. Capable of filtering enough water to meet the needs of an entire household without using any electricity, countertop gravity filters are ideal for everyday use or invaluable as part of an emergency kit.
Berkey filter units can be fitted with Berkey’s standard, patented Berkey Black Filters, or setup to remove fluoride and arsenic as well with the addition of their PF-2 Fluoride/Arsenic Filter. A standard Big Berkey equipped with Berkey Black filters has an impressive filter lifetime of 6,000 gallons, or over 1,300 refills of the 4.5-gallon Big Berkey. Replacement filters cost about $100.
We have written at length about Berkey water filter systems in the past. Check out our Berkey Review Guide for a more comprehensive look at what the Big Berkey can do. You can also learn more by visiting the official Berkey website.
The APEC Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Filter is a pretty unique system. Unlike most reverse osmosis filters, it requires absolutely minimal installation and is marketed as portable. You only have to connect it to your faucet (no tools required) and set the waste water line in the sink to send the brine down the drain. For the super water-conscience, you can also collect the waste water and use it to wash dishes, water plants, or flush toilets. Like any reverse osmosis system, this APEC creates a lot of waste water, about 2 parts waste to 1 part clean drinking water.
For a water filter that requires basically no installation, the water quality from the APEC Countertop is fantastic. Reverse Osmosis removes >99.99% of common contaminants, including disinfectants like chlorine and chloramines, additives like fluoride, and pollutants like VOCs, pharmaceuticals, and herbicides. The final stage of this APEC replaces essential minerals removed during the reverse osmosis process, providing you with delicious and healthy drinking water.
Replacement filters cost about $125 and are required every 6-12 months, depending on frequency of usage.
Best Water Filters for $300+
In the $300+ price range, the sky is the limit. You have your pick of the best Countertop Gravity Water Filters, Under Sink Water Filters, Reverse Osmosis Water Filters, and even Whole-House Water Filters.
~ $400-$2,000 – Aquasana Rhino Whole House Water Filter System
The Rhino Whole-House Water Filter from Aquasana is one of the most comprehensive whole-house water filter systems available on the market. It offers a variety of options for treating pretty much every water problem your home might encounter, including heavy duty filtration suitable for treating all sorts of water supply problems, a water softener option, and a well-water package equipped with an even more heavy-duty filter and UV sterilizer.
Whole-house water filter systems like the Aquasana are the best way to make sure your home has the best water quality for both you and your plumbing’s good health. While they can represent a substantial investment and require professional installation, the filtration quality and effortless nature of using them once installed is unparalleled.
You can learn a lot more about the Aquasana Rhino Whole-House Water Filter in our complete review of the system. You can also check current prices and other details at the official Aquasana webpage or by viewing the Amazon listing.
That’s a wrap for the cheapest water filters
Didn’t find the filter you’re looking for? Don’t despair! Head over to our ever-growing Water Filters and Purifiers Review Section to find something more suitable. As you can see from the examples above, there really is a water filter for everyone, no matter how small your budget. There is no reason not to have great tasting clean water at home or where ever you go.
Thanks for reading and remember to keep hydrated!
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In this comprehensive guide to the cheapest water filters, we look for only the best bargains and the hidden gems of high-value, budget-priced water filters.
Jacob Hatch is the author and founder of Hydration Anywhere. He has been actively writing about drinking water since 2013. These days Jacob spends most of his time investigating water related news, studying environmental issues, reading health studies, and reviewing products like water bottles and water filters.