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Which Should I Get: Countertop vs. Under Sink Water Filter?

by Jennifer Bellini

Marketing expert, Business guru

> 2 min read

Which Should I Get Countertop vs. Under Sink Water Filter

There is a clear verdict on the tap water vs. bottled water debate, and it's tap water for the win. It’s more affordable, tastes better, and is often healthier for you as well. However, for most homes, filtration options must be considered before the tap water is safe to drink. If you get your water from a well, you’ll need to filter it before consumption, but in urban areas, your city water is already receiving treatment before it gets to your tap. 

The problem is that city water doesn’t always taste the best and often comes with a chlorine scent. Filtration can solve these issues as well. The possibilities for water filtration in your home are endless. You can opt for products that filter water at one specific tap or implement a whole house filtration system. For your kitchen sink, a countertop water filter and an under the sink water filter are your best options.


water, drop, falling, glass

Types of Water Filters 

Whether you opt for a countertop or under the sink filter, you’ll need to think about what kind of filter is most valuable to you. With both styles, there are plenty of filtration styles to choose from. 

  • Activated alumina water filter

Activated alumina filters can reduce the presence of lead and fluoride in your water supply. 

  • Activated carbon filter 

Activated carbon filters can remove unpleasant tastes and odors from your water by filtering out chlorine and hydrogen sulfide. They also physically absorb harmful chemicals from your water. 

  • Ceramic Filter

Ceramic filters are affordable and use pore size ceramic to remove debris from your water. 

  • Reverse Osmosis Filter

Reverse osmosis filters use high pressure to force water through a semipermeable membrane, leaving sediment and other substances behind. This purified water is sometimes stripped of too many minerals. 

Once you’ve determined which type of filter will be most effective for the water in your home, you can consider whether you want that filter to sit above or below your kitchen sink.

Benefits of a Countertop Water Filter 

A countertop water filter uses a diverter tube to move incoming water from the faucet into the filter. The filter sits on top of the counter beside your sink and contains replaceable cartridges, which you must maintain to maximize filtration. 

The biggest benefit of a countertop water filter is how easy they are to install. While a whole house filtration system certainly has its perks, installation time and money are significant drawbacks for many people. With a countertop filter, you can get the filtration set up in just a few minutes. 

Unlike an under the sink water filter, countertop filters come with their own spout that delivers the filtered water, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of installing another permanent tap in your kitchen. 

When you’re considering countertop vs. under sink water filters, you must also consider the costs. Overall, a countertop water filter is a more affordable option than an under the sink filter, so if you’re on a tight budget, this is the best solution for you. 

Countertop water filters are also great for portability because they’re not permanently fixed to the kitchen sink. This allows you to move the filter to other sinks in the house if you desire, or you can take it on the road if you travel in an RV or van and want to avoid buying bottled water.  

"A countertop water filter is a more affordable option than an under the sink filter, so if you’re on a tight budget, this is the best solution for you." 

Pros of an Under Sink Water Filter 

When considering countertop vs. under sink water filters, note that the under sink solution is slightly more complicated than installing a countertop water filter, but it doesn’t require any plumbing experience to do so successfully. You will have to install a special tap that dispenses the filtered water alongside your regular kitchen faucet. 

Under sink water filters come in all shapes and sizes, some with three filter cartridges and other with just one. This is a personal choice that dictates how frequently you need to switch out the filters. 

Like countertop filters, this option is affordable and saves a substantial amount of money long-term by eliminating the need for bottled water. Under sink filters are larger than countertop filters, but they’re conveniently stored out of sight, which is often more appealing than having the filter sitting out for everyone to see. 

Another huge benefit of choosing an under the sink filter is that there’s no loss of counter space. While you may lose a bit of under sink storage for your cleaning supplies, most people would agree that preserving limited counter space is a bigger priority. 

In terms of holding capacity, performance, and water flow, under sink filters are superior to countertop water filters in every way. For large households that require a higher level of filtered water output, an under sink drinking filter is the right choice.
a glass of water

The Bottom Line

While both under sink filters and countertop filters are excellent options for cleaning your drinking water at a single source, the best choice for your home will depend on your specific needs. 

If you require only small amounts of filtered water because you’re a small household, a countertop filter can work well for you. It’s convenient, easy to install, and can be removed at any time if you want to free up counter space. However, the size limitations of a countertop filter can be a dealbreaker for some. 

Most of these products can only hold a gallon of filtered water at a time, meaning if you foresee needing large quantities of filtered water on demand, it’s better to look at the under sink options. 

Not only is the level of filtration performance superior with under sink filters, but the water flow rate is faster because the filter is connected directly to your plumbing and the water line. With this filter style, you won’t find yourself waiting for access to clean, healthy water. 

If cost is your primary concern, sticking to the countertop water filters will save you the most money. Since they are smaller and less powerful, the countertop products are generally much more affordable than under sink filters. 

Ultimately, based on the benefits and drawbacks of each, you can assess the needs of your household to determine the best style for you.

Jennifer Bellini

About the Author

Jennifer Bellini is a business guru who’s spent most of her life working in her home state of Wisconsin where she still lives with her family. Her experience lends itself best to sussing out the unique problems a business may face with their water quality. She is also our lead market analyst and is the driving force behind site growth.

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