Tap water is considered safe to drink because it goes through a chemical balancing process at your local water treatment facility overseen by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, it’s not a perfect process.
Tap water can have residual chemicals or elements, including aluminum, iron, lead, copper, herbicides, and insecticides. While the EPA regulates the number of chemicals that can be found in tap water for safe consumption, you may still want to filter the water that comes through your tap by using a water filtration system.
A typical water filtration system will use an absorption mechanism to absorb contaminants in the water as it flows through the faucet.
A reverse osmosis system is different. A reverse osmosis system is a water filtration system that goes through multiple stages in the filtration process.
1. Springwell Reverse Osmosis Drinking System
The Springwell Reverse Osmosis Drinking System is the first reverse osmosis system on our list. It has four stages of filtration: sediment, carbon, reverse osmosis, and a final carbon filtration system.
The first step in the Springwell RO filter system is the sediment filtration process. This process removes sediment and other larger pieces of debris found in the water.
Carbon filtration uses activated carbon to filter chemical or mineral impurities from water, including lead, copper, chlorine, herbicides, and pesticides.
This step in the filtration system pushes the water through a membrane. The membrane catches contaminants and heavy metals and removes them from the water. Contaminants include lead, mercury, aluminum, arsenic, and many more.
Carbon filtration is used once again during this final step in the Springwell RO water filter. Just like in step two, activated carbon is used during this process to remove any remaining impurities or contaminants in the water.
The Springwell Reverse Osmosis Drinking System will filter up to 75 gallons of water per day. The RO filtration system fits perfectly under your sink.
Each filter will need to be replaced periodically to ensure it continues to work properly. The stage 1, stage 2, and stage 4 filters will need to be replaced every six months, while the stage 3 filter can be replaced every two years.
Each water filter can be changed without shutting the water off. This makes replacing the water filter quick and easy.
The Springwell Reverse Osmosis Drinking System comes with a lifetime warranty for all covered items, including fittings, tanks, housings, and valves. There is a 10-year limited warranty on mineral tanks and retention tanks that are 14” and larger. There is also a 5-year limited warranty on the solid-state electronic heads.
2. Waterdrop Reverse Osmosis Filter System
The Waterdrop Reverse Osmosis filter system is a tankless system that takes up the least amount of space. It is only 5.68 inches wide and can be placed on the counter or under the sink.
The Waterdrop RO filter system includes a carbon block filter, reverse osmosis membrane filter, and post-activated carbon filter. These three elements work together to perform a 7-stage deep filtration process. This process removes contaminants and also improves the taste of your tap water.
Contaminants are both solids and unseen chemicals or toxins that are found in the water. Contaminants include sediment, sand, rust, chemicals, and heavy metals. The carbon block filter of the Waterdrop RO filter system is made of a coconut shell which ensures the water tastes fresh and flavorful.
The Waterdrop RO filter system is made of BPA-free plastic, and the faucet is a combination of brushed nickel and chrome. It weighs 15 pounds and is only 5.68 inches wide for you to conveniently place on the counter or under the sink.
What’s included in the box:
- System cover
- Brushed nickel faucet/chrome faucet
- RO filter
- CF filter
- CB filter
- PE pipes – 60″
- Drain saddle
- Lock clips
- Main power cable power adapter 90″
- Faucet power cable power adapter 59″
The RO filter system has a flow rate of 0.28 gallons per minute or 400 gallons per day. It has a smart faucet with a built-in light indicator to notify you of the current status of the filter system. A blue light means the filter condition is perfect. A yellow light means you need to replace the filter soon. A red light means you need to replace the filter now.
3. Frizzlife Tankless Reverse Osmosis System
The Frizzlife Tankless RO System is called the TAM3 because it improves the taste, restores alkaline, and mineralizes the water during the filtration process.
Unfiltered tap water is acidic, which means it has contaminants that pollute it and reduce the pH level to below 7. Acidic water is bad for you because it contains heavy metals that can harm your body and make you sick.
The tankless RO system by Frizzlife is compact and sleek. It fits directly under your sink and measures 14.7” x 5.3” x 15.5”. Because it is tankless, you don’t have to worry about the tank adding additional contaminants to your water.
It includes a 7-stage deep filtration system that filters impurities from water through a pleated sediment filter, an RO membrane, and a carbon block filter.
One of the best features of the Frizzlife Tankless Reverse Osmosis System is the 1:5:1 Low Drain Ratio. The 1:5:1: Low Drain Ratio saves up to 450% of water usage during the filtration process. This eliminates waste and cuts down on your water bill.
The 1:5:1 Low Drain Ratio also doesn’t affect your water flow. An internal pump within the tankless RO system regulates the water for rapid and stable water flow from the faucet.
A smart display panel on the front screen of the filter system notifies you when you need to change the filters. The smart display panel also monitors the real-time out TDS. TDS stands for total dissolved solids. The smart display will indicate the real-time out TDS so that you know exactly how many TDS are being filtered from your water.
4. NU Aqua Efficiency Series Tankless Reverse Osmosis System
The NU Aqua Efficiency Series Tankless Reverse Osmosis System is designed with four stages of filtration to remove up to 99% of contaminants in your water.
The filtration stages include:
- Polypropylene and Carbon Block Filter (stages 1 and 2)
- Granular Activated Carbon Filter (stage 3)
- 600GPD RO Membrane (stage 4)
There are two types of filters in this first stage. The polypropylene filter removes solids, including sediment and rust. The carbon block filter removes contaminants that can’t be seen, including chlorine and other chemicals.
This stage in the RO filter system removes color and any residual chlorine leftover from the first filtration stage.
This stage in the filtration process is extremely important. The RO membrane removes heavy metals like copper, lead, nitrates, and many more.
The NU Aqua Efficiency Series Tankless Reverse Osmosis System can filter up to 600 gallons of water per day. It has a 2:1 pure to waste ratio. This means that you get more clean water than waste each time you use it.
The RO water filter system is tankless, so you don’t have to wait for a reservoir tank to fill with water and begin the filtration process. Instead, the water is immediately filtered as soon as it begins flowing through the system on the way to the faucet. This makes the NU Aqua Efficiency Series Tankless Reverse Osmosis System one of the most efficient options on the market. It is 400% more efficient than RO water filter systems that use tanks or reservoirs.
What’s included in the box:
- Nu Aqua 4 Stage 600GPD Tankless Reverse Osmosis System
- Installation Manual
- Stage 1 Polypropylene / Carbon Block Filter
- Stage 2 Granular Activated Carbon Filter
- Stage 3 600GPD Reverse Osmosis Membrane
- Smart Faucet
- Power Supply
- Feed Water Adapter
- Drains Saddle
- ¼” Quick Connect
- Retainer Clips
- ¼” Tubing
- ⅜” Tubing
5. APEC Water Systems RO-90 Ultimate Series
The APEC Water Systems RO-90 Ultimate Series has five stages of reverse osmosis filtration. Each filter uses super capacity filters that last 2x longer than normal RO water filters. The RO system is WQA certified with the WQA Std 58 Gold Seal Certification System. The WQA certification means that the system is certified for the safety of all the materials and parts used in the system, as well as certified for structural integrity and contaminant rejection performance.
This filter removes all the solids in the water, including rust, dirt, and other solid contaminants.
This filter is the first stage of removing chlorine, color, and other chemicals from the water.
This is another stage that uses carbon to further remove any residual chlorine, color, taste, or other residual chemicals that weren’t removed during stage 2.
This stage in the filtration process removes up to 99% of heavy metal contaminants, including lead, arsenic, and fluoride.
This is the final stage in the RO filter system. This stage removes any residual taste that has been left in the water.
The APEC Water Systems RO-90 Ultimate Series weighs approximately 25 pounds. It is just 5.25” wide and can fit underneath your sink. The product dimensions are 16” x 5.25” x 17.5”. The chrome faucet is made of food-grade tubing and is lead-free.
The system also comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty with registration.
6. Home Master TMAFC-ERP Artesian Full Contact Undersink Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
The Home Master TMAFC-ERP system includes seven total stages of water filtration to remove up to 99% of contaminants. It is also designed with a remineralization feature that adds calcium and magnesium back into the water twice during the water purification process.
- Made of BPA-free, lead-free, and NSF-certified components
- Designed with a faster flow rate to reduce waste and increase efficiency
- Filters can be changed once a year or once per every 2,000 gallons
- Easy to install; no wrenches required
- 5-year limited warranty
The system contains a tank and three types of filtration systems: a modular sediment filter, a modular artesian filter, and a modular carbon filter. These three filter systems are combined with the RO water filtration system to make seven total stages of filtration. This process removes 99% of all harmful contaminants, toxins, and pollutants found in water, both seen and unseen.
7. Waterdrop 600GPD Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
The Waterdrop 600GPD Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System combines five filters into one. The first layer of the filtration system is a polypropylene cotton layer that will catch particles as they first go through the filtration process. The second layer is the activated carbon block layer. An activated carbon block will remove the unseen contaminants and pollutants in the water, including odors and tastes from various toxins.
The third layer of the filtration system is the second polypropylene cotton layer. This layer will collect any residual contaminants within the water that has been leftover from the first two stages of filtration.
The fourth layer of filtration is the DOW reverse osmosis membrane layer. This layer has a pore size of 0.0001μm. Between this layer and the fifth layer of an additional activated carbon block filter, 99.99% of harmful contaminants are removed from the water during the filtration process.
- 1.5:1 drain ratio
- 8-second fillup time for one cup of water
- 360-degree smart faucet
- Filter reminder screen on the faucet
- TDS indicator on the screen of the faucet
- Easy installation in 30 minutes
- Tankless design for low noise and minimal space
- Automatic flushing function and leak protection system
8. Waterdrop Reverse Osmosis System for Home
The last reverse osmosis system on our list is another model made by Waterdrop. It is a 400GPD model that comes with an ordinary faucet instead of a smart faucet.
There are five stages of filtration used in this system, but instead of one filter, the system uses two.
The first filter is the CF filter. The CF filter reduces both seen and unseen contaminants in the water, including rust, particles, chlorine, taste, and odor.
The second filter is the MRO filter, and it is used to remove the harmful unseen toxins in the water like heavy metals, lead, bacteria, and nitrates.
- Fills a cup of water in 12 seconds
- Smart life filter reminder on the filter system
- Blue indicator light means the filter is perfect
- Purple indicator light means you need to replace the filter soon
- Red indicator light means you need to replace the filter immediately
- 1:1 low drain ratio saves 300% more water
- Easy to install in less than 30 minutes
- Tankless design saves space and reduces noise
As you can see from our list, there are different types of reverse osmosis systems you can choose from. There are tankless systems, and then there are systems with a tank and three or four different stages of filters. Some filters have to be changed more frequently than others, but is this a benefit or a disadvantage?
We’re here to answer all of the questions you may have when deciding which is the best reverse osmosis system for you.
First, you will need to consider the space in which you will be installing the reverse osmosis system. Do you want to place it on the counter, or will you have space underneath the sink to put the system?
If space is a concern, you will want to choose a reverse osmosis system that doesn’t include a tank or reservoir, as these will take up more space than a tankless option.
If space is not a concern, then you are free to choose either option.
You should also have your water tested before you make your selection. This will help you determine how many harmful contaminants are in your water so that you know which is the best reverse osmosis system for you.
If your water contains many pollutants, chemicals, and toxins, you may want to choose a reverse osmosis system with multiple filtration stages. Otherwise, if your water is slightly contaminated, you may be able to get by with a reverse osmosis system that uses a smaller number of filtration steps.
If you plan to drink the water that has been filtered using your reverse osmosis system, you will want to choose a system that focuses on enhancing the taste of the water.
Not all reverse osmosis systems will focus on taste. Many of them will, but not all of them. All reverse osmosis systems will focus on removing impurities and making the water as clean and filtered as possible, but this doesn’t always mean it will taste the best.
You should choose a reverse osmosis system with a stage specifically designed to improve the taste of the water. Often, this is the last stage in the reverse osmosis system. This stage often uses a coconut shell or other natural method for improving taste while also removing impurities.
If you’re going to use a reverse osmosis system for drinking water, you should find an option with a stage specifically designated for improving the taste of the water, such as the Frizzlife Tankless Reverse Osmosis System.
A reverse osmosis water filter ensures that your water is filtered through a multi-stage filtering process. Each stage of the filtration process focuses on one area of water filtration.
Ordinary water filters will only remove the solids from the water, like rust, sediment, and dirt. While this will definitely help improve tap water, it doesn’t remove nearly as many of the impurities as a reverse osmosis system will remove.
Many of the worst pollutants and water contaminants are unseen. These include heavy metals like lead, arsenic, copper, and chlorine. Some ordinary water filters cannot filter these heavy metals from the water. In contrast, a reverse osmosis system will have multiple stages of filtration to ensure that 99% of all pollutants and contaminants are filtered before you take the first sip.
Water produced by a reverse osmosis system has virtually no taste. Because all of the chemicals, like chlorine, have been removed during the filtration process, the water is left with no taste.
Some reverse osmosis water filter systems will have a stage designated to help improve the taste of the water. This means that this stage will remove the taste that chemicals like chlorine can add to the water, but it can also help create a fresh finished product, especially if the system uses a coconut shell to help improve the taste.
Everyone is entitled to drinking the purest water possible, and many times, our local water treatment facilities will balance our tap water to a near-perfect level. But this doesn’t mean that the water is perfect.
You won’t know if you truly need a reverse osmosis water filtration system until you test the water yourself. You can contact your local health department to schedule to have your water tested, or you can buy a home water testing kit to test it yourself.
Once you have tested your water, you will know exactly what is in your water that you will need to have filtered out. This will tell you if you need a reverse osmosis water filtration system.
The best way to know if you need a reverse osmosis water filtration system is to see if there are heavy metals found in your water. Heavy metals can harm you and cause you to become sick if they are ingested too much. Heavy metals include lead, arsenic, manganese, copper, and chromium. Not only can these heavy metals make you sick if they are ingested, but they can also become fatal if they are ingested in large quantities.
If heavy metals are found in your water, you will need a reverse osmosis water filtration system to remove these toxins and provide you with pure water.
As you have seen from the options we have on our list, the price range can vary between $200 and $600. It just depends on how the system is made and what it comes with that will determine the cost to install the system.
Typically, you don’t need any additional hardware or tools to install a reverse osmosis system. The kits will come with everything you need for you to install yourself.
A reverse osmosis water filter system will remove contaminants both seen and unseen. Solid contaminants are contaminants that you can see, including dirt, sediment, rust, salts, iron, and lead.
The unseen contaminants are chemicals and heavy metals that can make you sick if ingested too much. These unseen contaminants include chlorine, arsenic, manganese, copper, lead, and chromium.
A reverse osmosis system will focus on removing both solid contaminants and chemical contaminants that can pollute your drinking water without you knowing.
Yes, a reverse osmosis water filter will remove minerals from your water during the filtration process. Often, the minerals that are removed from the water are harmful because of the high number of minerals found in the water.
This is why many reverse osmosis filters contain a stage for remineralization. Minerals are healthy in moderation, and many times, the minerals in tap water are not moderated. Therefore, a reverse osmosis system will remove 99% of the minerals during the filtration process and then add a safe number of minerals back into the water during the remineralization stage of the filtration process.
The reverse osmosis water filter you choose will tell you how often you need to change the water filters within the system. Some stages require the water filter to be changed every six months, while others say you can stretch it to two years or 2,000 gallons. You will need to refer to the reverse osmosis water filter you choose to know how often you will need to change the water filters.