Best Reverse Osmosis Water Filters Of 2024 – Forbes Home

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Reverse Osmosis (RO) water filtration is highly regarded as the most convenient and effective method on the market for purifying drinking water. It works at the molecular level to eliminate up to 99% of common impurities and dangerous contaminants from water, such as chemicals, bacteria, metal, dirt and other organic compounds. Ro Membrane

Best Reverse Osmosis Water Filters Of 2024 – Forbes Home

As with any type of water filter, RO systems have many benefits and limitations. Before installing an RO water filtration system, it is important to understand how they work and where you can place them within your home to ensure compatibility and optimum efficiency.

This guide provides an explanation of the 10 best RO water filters on the market in 2024. We’ll also list the pros and cons of RO filters, explain what you need to know before purchasing a reverse osmosis water filter for your home and answer commonly asked questions about how reverse osmosis works and how they rank in comparison to other types of water filters.

The Forbes Home team is committed to bringing you independent, unbiased ratings and information. We use data and expert advice to inform all of our content. Plus, our advisory board of licensed professionals fact-checks and reviews our content for accuracy and relevancy. You can read more about our editorial guidelines and the reverse osmosis water filter methodology for the ratings below.

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Forbes’ top-rated reverse osmosis water filter for 2024 is the Home Master TMAFC Artesian Full Contact Reverse Osmosis System with 4.4 stars out of 5. We chose the TMAFC for multiple reasons, not the least of which is the 5-year warranty that Home Master places on its RO systems, representing the longest warranty available in our review without paying for extended coverage.

The system’s daily and per-minute water output is impressive, considering the large number of filtration stages. Also remarkable and convenient are the system’s infrequent filter change needs. This offering from Home Master represents a solid value in an undersink RO system that’s easy to install.

Home Master TMAFC Artesian Full Contact Reverse Osmosis System

The Home Master fronts our list of best RO water filters and leads with the highest customer rating in our top 10. The device has seven filtering stages and includes remineralization. The 14.5 lbs filter has a max TDS (ppm) of 2,000, a max flow rate of 1.000, a water production (GPD) of 75 and a 1:1 waste water ratio. The replacement cycle is approximately 12 months, but the warranty lasts for 60 months, which is well above the average 12-month warranty shared by all but one other filter on our list.

APEC Water Systems ROES-50 – Essence 5-Stage 50 GPD Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System

The APEC Water Systems ROES-50 is an affordable option that offers five filtering stages with a max TDS (ppm) of 2,000. Different stages require varying replacement cycles: Stage one to three is between six and 12 months, whereas Stage four to five is between 24 and 36 months. Its biggest drawback is that it’s slow: the GPM (gallons per minute) is 0.035. Its GPD is 50, the lowest amount shared amongst the RO filters on this list. This filter is 26 pounds and has a standard 12-month warranty.

Home Master TMHP HydroPerfection Reverse Osmosis System

This Home Master filter has nine filtering stages, includes remineralization, has a max TDS of 2,000 ppm, a max flow rate of 1.000 GPM and a 1:1 waste water ratio. It weighs 18.46 pounds and can produce 50 GPD. This RO filter has a 12-month replacement cycle with Home Master’s 60-month warranty. However; the price is steep, and it is the most expensive water filter on this list.

Best for Drinking Water Supply

Best for Drinking Water Supply

iSpring RCC7AK NSF Certified 75 GPD 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis RO Drinking Water Filter System

The highest-rated of iSpring’s RO filters, this one packs six filtering stages with included remineralization and can produce 75 GPD. It’s far from the fastest, though, at 0.070 GPM, and has a high wastewater ratio at 1:3. Its average price is in the middle of the range,and it weighs 20 pounds. The replacement cycle is six months for Stage one to three Pre-Filters and Alkaline Filter, 12 for the Inline Post Carbon Filter and 24 to 36 for the RO Membrane. This RO filter has a standard 12-month warranty.

APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP-PHC – Portable Alkaline Mineral 90 GPD Countertop Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System

This APEC Water Systems RO filter is the only one in our rankings that is transparent about the amount of time it takes to filter: about 20 to 25 minutes per gallon. At 90 GPD, this is a great RO filter for households that need a lot of water. Its max flow rate is 0.060, and it has four filtering stages with included remineralization.

You’ll have to replace the filter in six months, and it comes with a standard 12-month warranty. This system weighs on the lighter side at 9.55 lbs and comes at an average price.

iSpring RCC1UP-AK 7 Stage 100 GPD UnderSink RO Drinking Water Filtration System With Booster Pump, Alkaline Ph+ Remineralization Filter And UV Filter

This RO filter by iSpring can produce up to 100 GPD, making it a strong option for households that consume a lot of filtered water. Its max flow rate is 0.070 and it has a fair waste-water ratio at 1:1.5. Its maximum TDS is 750, and it has seven filtering stages with remineralization.

The replacement cycle is six to 12 months for PP Sediment, GAC, CTO, Post Carbon and pH Filter, 12 months for the UV Filter and 24 to 36 months for the RO Membrane. A standard 12-month warranty applies.This is one of the pricier filters, and it’s also the heaviest, coming in at 35.2 lbs.

Express Water ROALKUV10M UV Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System

This RO filter by Express Water has the most filtering stages of any on this list: a whopping 11, which includes remineralization. It is also the lightest, coming in at only 0.22 lbs. It can produce up to 100 GPD with an above-average GPM of 0.800; if your household needs a lot of filtered water, this is a powerful one. Its replacement cycle is six to 12 months for UV, ALK and DI, and 12 months for the RO Membrane and PAC. It comes with a standard 12-month warranty and an average price.

APEC Water Systems RO-90 – Ultimate 5-Stage 90 GPD High Output Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System

APEC Water Systems’ RO-90 includes five filtering stages, though no remineralization after the good minerals are stripped from the water, which may affect some of the benefits and the taste. It does, however, have a max TDS of 2,000 ppm and can produce 90 GPD at up to 0.063 GPM. Its replacement cycle is as follows: Stages one, two, three Pre-Filters every 12 months, Stage four Membrane and the Stage five Carbon Filter every 36 to 60 months.

The downside is the wastewater ratio: 3:1. The system weighs 25 lbs and comes in at an average price with a standard 12-month warranty.

Express Water RO5DX Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System

This Express Water RO filter is the least expensive in our top 10 list.. It has five filtering stages but does not include remineralization. Its max TDS is 1,000 ppm and it can produce 50 GPD at 0.800 GPM, making it among the fastest RO systems. Its replacement cycle is 12 months, as is its warranty. The wastewater ratio isn’t great, ranging between 2:1 and 4:1. The whole system weighs only 11.8 lbs and comes with a spec sheet instead of a traditional user manual.

PureDrop RTW5 5 Stage RO Water System 5-stage Mechanical Filtration Reverse Osmosis Filtration System

The second least expensive RO filter on this list, and the only one by PureDrop, this system weighs only one pound and can produce 50 GPD at 0.030 GPM. If your household doesn’t use a large amount of filtered water, this is a middle-range system that may suit your needs.

It has five filtering stages without remineralization, its max TDS is 750 and its wastewater ratio is 1:1.7. The replacement cycle is six to 12 months for Sediment, GAC and CTO, 12 months for Fine Carbon and 24 to 36 months for the RO Membrane.

RO water filters can be pricey. The amount of water you need to filter per day will affect the price of the reverse osmosis filter you buy. (A larger household and/ or lots of water usage = a larger filtration system.) If you know you won’t need a high number of gallons per day (GPD), you can reduce your overall costs — initially, and over time — with an RO system that has a lower GPD filter.

RO filtration systems rely on water pressure to function, so make sure your home can handle it before purchasing your filter. Optimum RO flow requires at least between 40 to 60 psi, and ideally no lower than 50 psi. Low water pressure will reduce the flow of water coming from your faucet, resulting in more waste and decreasing the efficacy of filtration.

How much water you use will determine the capacity of the semipermeable membrane or gallons per day (GPD) of the unit you need. The higher the GPD number, the higher the production membrane. If you’re going to use less water per day, a lower-production membrane is a better choice because it will run longer and spend less time sitting idle.

Your RO system should tell you what types of contaminants they can filter and how successful they are at doing so to produce clean great-tasting water. In addition, you’ll also want to investigate how much wastewater they produce in the process, as well as how the system disposes of it.

Determining the overall efficiency of an RO system can be somewhat tricky. While all systems produce some amount of wastewater, many types reuse the waste for other purposes. This process can confuse the actual efficiency rating.

A typical RO system makes a single gallon of purified water from about 4 gallons of unpurified water. That ratio is simple to calculate by comparing the two amounts, and the actual numbers vary between brands and types of filter systems.

However, many RO systems appear to increase their efficiency numbers by sending wastewater elsewhere in the home to be reused for things like washing that perhaps don’t require purified water. Many systems also recirculate some of the wastewater through a pump to help create pressure in the system. Neither of these methods reduces the amount of wastewater generated. However, they do make the wastewater more useful.

Depending on the purity of the permeate or purified water you desire, a higher wastewater ratio, such as 4:1 or 5:1, represents higher purity, while a lower ratio, below 3:1, likely represents a wastewater ratio that uses the waste for other purposes.

Keeping your RO filter effective means replacing the filters as needed, and the price of filter replacements can vary greatly. Before you buy, look at how easy or difficult it is to get these filters replaced (and whether that will require labor costs from hiring a professional), as well as how much the individual filters will cost, to make sure you can keep up with your RO filtration system maintenance.

RO systems make water slowly, and the speed of water flow varies greatly between systems. Highly filtered water with low contaminants takes time to produce. You’ll want to shop for a system with a storage tank that can hold the amount of water you’ll need to get through your routine so you never have to wait for it to purify. It’s also worth researching how quiet your RO system will be to avoid loud gurgling noises as it filters water, even when you aren’t using it.

A good flow rate coming from the faucet connected to your RO system is around half a gallon per minute. However, the range that the system itself can generate varies from less than a liter per minute to nearly a gallon per minute. The system’s tank stores water to reduce inconsistencies in water flow at the faucet.

For a small at-home water purification system serving a typical small family, look for models that can produce a minimum of 50 gallons of pure water per day.

Most reverse osmosis systems designed for use in the home will come with most of the fittings necessary for installation. The system will need water tubing and a connection to the house’s plumbing—often a T-fitting that fits onto the cold water line.

An under-sink or countertop system also requires its own dedicated water faucet that may or may not be included in the package.

Most importantly, the water pressure in your home must be sufficient to operate the system properly. If your home’s water pressure is below 40 psi, your RO system will require the installation of a booster pump to increase the water pressure for the system to function.

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Reverse osmosis water filter systems have a lot of good things going for them. However, there are some drawbacks to consider as well before choosing a system. Here are a few of the pros and cons of RO water systems.

The process of installing a reverse osmosis water filter is important to ensure your filter performs correctly and safely. It’s best left to a professional plumber unless you understand all the system components and are highly confident in your skills. Here is an oversimplified step-by-step of the process:

For those who desire the best quality of water in their homes, regardless of the condition of the city or well water coming into the house, a reverse osmosis water filtration system may be just what you need.

We’ve rounded up the best reverse osmosis water filters from the customer favorite and highly rated Home Master TMAFC Artesian model to the best countertop system from APEC, with its Portable Alkaline Mineral 90 GPD model.

Other frontrunners include additional systems from APEC and Home Master. APEC offers the Essence 5-Stage as an excellent budget-friendly model, and if you’re in the mood for a splurge, consider Home Master’s TMHP HydroPerfection design.

Five more models also made our list as top contenders. Each of them brings excellent features and benefits of their own. The one you choose will depend on your home and needs.

To determine the best reverse osmosis water filter ranking, the Forbes Home editorial team analyzed over 150 products. Each product’s star rating is determined by evaluating a variety of metrics, including:

How a system was rated by customers on popular sites like the Better Business Bureau, Google Maps and Consumer Affairs played into 20% of the score.

The average price of the system, as well as its price at major retailers, played into the system’s overall score.

How many filtering stages a system provides is a crucial aspect of an RO system, so it accounts for 15% of the score.

This is another important factor for a reverse osmosis system, so it makes up 10% of the score.

This refers to the Total Dissolved Solids in drinking water with your RO system and accounts for 10% of the score.

The amount of water that can be filtered in a day of continuous use accounts for 10% of a system’s score.

The system’s filter replacement cycle accounts for 10% of its score.

The length of a system’s warranty period made up 10% of the score.

Reverse osmosis is an effective water filtration method for removing many types of contaminants and impurities and is commonly regarded as the best filter for drinking water. Like all types of water filters, there are situations where they are a more effective choice, as well as situations where another type of filter may provide better results.

Some common contaminants can slip through a reverse osmosis filter, including some types of chlorine and dissolved gasses, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and organic compounds. If these are still concerns after determining your water contaminants via a water test kit, a different type of filter may benefit your water quality.

Yes, reverse osmosis filtration can help filter and eliminate the many contaminants found in groundwater to make it safer to drink. Whole-home reverse osmosis water filtration systems are more commonly found on rural homes that rely on well water.

Osmosis and reverse osmosis share similarities in that they both remove solutes from water, but there are key differences. Osmosis is the natural process of water molecules diffusing through a semipermeable membrane from a place of high water concentration to low water concentration. In reverse osmosis, water passes through a semipermeable membrane in the direction opposite that of natural osmosis when subject to additional pressure.

The cost of a whole-home reverse osmosis system will vary based on a few factors but is most closely correlated with the amount of water that needs to be generated per day, as well as the amount of pre-filtration equipment. You can expect to pay between $12,000 to $18,000 for the installed price, which includes labor and materials.

Reverse osmosis filtration systems are the best for drinking water. The many stages of the filtration process can remove up to 99% of contaminants from water.

Of the two, reverse osmosis water that’s been remineralized is the best for drinking.

While boiling water is an effective means of killing water-borne contaminants, such as organisms that can cause sickness or disease, reverse osmosis also eliminates those things from water.

Additionally, RO works more completely and faster than boiling water. Boiled water still may contain dissolved solids that reverse osmosis can remove.

However, minerals in drinking water that give it flavor and nutrients are also removed during reverse osmosis purification. Many RO systems remineralize drinking water to counteract the effects.

Having spent 30+ years in residential construction, contracting, remodeling, maintenance and home repair, Deane now contributes DIY, informational and financial content as a freelance writer and consultant for several publications. Throughout his career, he strived to assist his clients in finding the potential hidden within the walls of every home and empowering them to take control of their household repair and remodeling endeavors. Deane’s primary career goal involves sharing home-related knowledge and providing self-sufficiency tools to as large an audience as possible.

Shelby is an editor with an affinity for covering home improvement and repair, design and real estate trends. She also specializes in content strategy and entrepreneur coaching for small businesses, the future of work and philanthropy/ nonprofits. An advocate for creativity and innovation, she writes with the knowledge that content trends tell an important tale about the bigger picture of our world. Reach out to her if you want to share a story.

Best Reverse Osmosis Water Filters Of 2024 – Forbes Home

Municipal Administration NF Sheet Samantha is an editor who covers all topics home-related including home improvement and repair. She edited home repair and design content at websites like The Spruce and HomeAdvisor. She also has hosted videos on DIY home tips and solutions and launched multiple home improvement review boards staffed with licensed pros.