5 Best Countertop Water Filters To Remove 99.99% Of Viruses & Pathogens

5 Best Countertop Water Filters To Remove 99.99% Of Viruses & Pathogens
best countertop water filters
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If you’re looking for an effective and affordable way to have clean, virus & pathogen-free water at a moment’s notice, you may have read that a countertop water filter is the way to go.

And we agree. 

But which one to choose?

With the all the options available, how can you make sure you’re getting the best water filter without breaking the bank–and that if needed, can give you the purest H2O during a zombie apocalypse?

Well, we got you covered.

The countertop water filters on our list below are pint-sized filtration powerhouses capable of removing chemicals, viruses, pathogens, heavy metals, and even pharmaceutical threats from your water.

Note: for those who want a quick overview, we got you covered with our quick-view table:

Best Countertop Water Filters
Big Berkey Water Filter
Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System
Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter
Propur G2.0 Traveler Water Filter
SimPure Countertop Drinking Water Filter
gravity fed water filter
Alexapure Pro Stainless Steel Water Filtration System - 5,000 Gallon Throughput Capacity
Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter, Alkaline, Clear (MR-1050)
gravity fed water filter
British Berkefeld 2.5 Gallon Gravity-Fed Water Filter System- Stainless Steel with 2x ATC Super Sterasyl Candle Filters
Our Ranking
Our #1 Rated Option
Our #2 Rated Option
Our #3 Best For Treated or Tested Well Water
Our #4 Best for Tiny Spaces
Our #5 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
2.25 gallons
2.25 gallons
N/A (*connects to sink)
.9 gallons
N/A (*connects to sink)
Flow Rate
7 gallons per hour
Variable (on the slow side)
Depends on your water pressure, plenty for a large family
.18 gallons per hour
Depends on your water pressure, plenty for a large family
Filter Lifespan
3,000 gallons per Black Berkey filter
20,000 gallons (*With Super Flow Kit)
750 gallons
6 months
528 gallons
Best Countertop Water Filters
Big Berkey Water Filter
gravity fed water filter
Our Ranking
Our #1 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
2.25 gallons
Flow Rate
7 gallons per hour
Filter Lifespan
3,000 gallons per Black Berkey filter
More Information
Best Countertop Water Filters
Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System
Alexapure Pro Stainless Steel Water Filtration System - 5,000 Gallon Throughput Capacity
Our Ranking
Our #2 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
2.25 gallons
Flow Rate
Variable (on the slow side)
Filter Lifespan
20,000 gallons (*With Super Flow Kit)
More Information
Best Countertop Water Filters
Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter
Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter, Alkaline, Clear (MR-1050)
Our Ranking
Our #3 Best For Treated or Tested Well Water
Reservoir Capacity
N/A (*connects to sink)
Flow Rate
Depends on your water pressure, plenty for a large family
Filter Lifespan
750 gallons
More Information
Best Countertop Water Filters
Propur G2.0 Traveler Water Filter
gravity fed water filter
Our Ranking
Our #4 Best for Tiny Spaces
Reservoir Capacity
.9 gallons
Flow Rate
.18 gallons per hour
Filter Lifespan
6 months
More Information
Best Countertop Water Filters
SimPure Countertop Drinking Water Filter
British Berkefeld 2.5 Gallon Gravity-Fed Water Filter System- Stainless Steel with 2x ATC Super Sterasyl Candle Filters
Our Ranking
Our #5 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
N/A (*connects to sink)
Flow Rate
Depends on your water pressure, plenty for a large family
Filter Lifespan
528 gallons
More Information

So let’s get started. 

Features

  • Filters out 99.99 of potentially lethal viruses and pathogenic bacteria
  • Certified to remove more than 200 known contaminants such as heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals
  • EPA Certified for peace of mind
  • Simple design makes it incredibly easy to clean and maintain
  • Nesting tank design allows you to pack it up for more compact storage
  • Burnished stainless steel body allows it to fit in well with most settings
  • Water capacity: 2.25 gallons in each tank

OUR RATING



Our #1 Rated (For Best Overall Pick)

4.8/5

4.8 out of 5

Berkey is a name of the game when it comes to countertop water filters. The Berkey line of filters, and in particular the wildly popular Big Berkey, offer one of the best options for those who need reliable and highly-effective water treatment.

The Big Berkey is the most versatile and popular size they offer, with a combined 4.5 gallons of water storage in the filtered and unfiltered tanks. It uses the high-tech Black Berkey filters to do this. 

big berkey black filter

They’re each rated to produce 1.75 gallons per hour of flow rate and are certified to remove a vast range of chemical, pharmaceutical, pathogenic, and heavy metal contaminants. A full list of things that the Black Berkey filters can remove is Berkey.

It produces this water at a rate of 1.75 gallons per hour per filter up to four filter elements. With one to two Black Berkey filter elements, it provides enough water for up to four people, with the full four filter elements, it’s fully capable of providing for a large group.

Berkey is undeniably the most widely used countertop gravity-fed water filter. They’ve spent decades establishing their reputation, and I think that still means something. The Big Berkey isn’t the most value-priced filter out there, but it has the proven track record to back up every claim made about its effectiveness.

Specifications:

  • Flow Rate: Changes depending on the number of filter elements used, up to 7 gallons an hour with four filter elements
  • Capacity: 2.25 gallons per tank
  • Filter Lifespan: 3,000 gallons per Black Berkey filter element

Pros 

  • Filters out 99.99 of all lethal viruses and pathogenic bacteria
  • Certified to remove more than 200 known contaminants such as heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals
  • EPA Certified for peace of mind
  • Simple design makes it incredibly easy to clean and maintain
  • Nesting tank design allows you to pack it up for more compact storage
  • Burnished stainless steel body allows it to fit in well with most settings
  • Water capacity: 2.25 gallons in each tank

Cons

  • Replacement filters are highly capable but noticeably more expensive than many competitors

Our #2 Pick For The Best Countertop Water Filter: Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System (Best Value For The Money)

Features

  • A more affordable alternative to my number one pick
  • Reduces up to 99.99% of 200+ different chemical, pathogenic, and pharmaceutical contaminants
  • Nesting design makes it easy to disassemble for cleaning and storage
  • Large 2.25-gallon tank capacity
  • Filter offers extended lifespan even with daily use
  • Filters can filter 5,000 gallons before requiring replacement
  • With the purchase of the Super Flow Kit you can filter up to 20,000 gallons before filter replacements, and at a much faster rate

OUR RATING



Our #2 Rated (For Best Overall Pick)

4.7/5

4.7 out of 5

The Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System doesn’t have the long pedigree of something like the Big Berkey filter, but in just a few years it has made a name for itself as one of the best and most economical countertop filters out there.

At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking it and the Berkey were one and the same. They’re both made of stainless steel and use a pair of nesting tanks to filter water. 

Internally though there are some significant differences. It uses Alexapure’s own specialized filter elements with a silver-impregnated shell wrapped around an advanced filter matrix. 

Independent testing shows that these filters are every bit as effective as other countertop gravity-fed filters, with certified filtration of more than 200 pathogenic bacteria & viruses, heavy metals, and chemical contaminants.

Even better, the filter elements are rated to provide up to 5,000 gallons between replacement. That edges out those of the Black Berkey filters, and at a more affordable price at that.

It came very, very close to beating out the Big Berkey for the top spot on my list. In the end, the Alexapure just doesn’t have a long enough track record to show that it has the staying power of the Berkey line. It’s still a great countertop water filter, especially given how affordably priced both the full system and the filter elements are.

Need a lot of water? 

Check out the Alexapure Pro Super Flow Kit. It offers the same comprehensive filtration, but with a faster flow rate for large families or high-demand applications. 

Alexapure Pro Super Flow

Specifications:

  • Flow Rate: Varies depending on the number of filter elements
  • Capacity: 4.5 total gallons (2.25 per tank)
  • Filter Lifespan: 5,000 gallons

Pros 

  • A more affordable alternative to our number one pick
  • Reduces up to 99.99% of 200+ different chemical, pathogenic, and pharmaceutical contaminants
  • Nesting design makes it easy to disassemble for cleaning and storage
  • Large 2.25-gallon tank capacity
  • Filter offers extended lifespan even with daily use
  • Filters can filter 5,000 gallons before requiring replacement
  • With the purchase of the Super Flow Kit you can filter up to 20,000 gallons before filter replacements, and at a much faster rate

Cons

  • Flow rate with fewer filters quite slow

Our #3 Pick For The Best Countertop Water Filter: Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter (Best For Treated or Tested Well Water)

Features

  • Capable of removing heavy metals and chemical contaminants from biologically safe sources of water
  • The clear body design makes for an attractive stylistic touch
  • Capable of rapidly filtering water, based on the pressure of your water system
  • Alkaline beads in the last stage of filtration add beneficial minerals back into the water

OUR RATING



Our #3 Rated (For Best Overall Pick)

4.5/5

4.5 out of 5

The Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter is a faucet connected filter that combines a convenient mode of operation with surprisingly effective filtration. It uses a multi-stage filter that’s rated to filter out a wide range of potentially harmful contaminants.

The filter element’s housing is made of a rugged transparent polymer that lets you visually check the status of the filter and acts as an attractive stylistic touch. You can watch firsthand as water goes through the filter and immediately tell when it’s time for a replacement.

Because it connects to your faucet, the flow rate is spectacular. It quickly provides enough filtered water for a large family.

Under NSF testing, it was shown to significantly reduce levels of lead, mercury, radon, and other harmful chemicals and heavy metals. One thing to keep in mind is that it’s not certified as a water purifier. 

If your water source has suspect levels of bacteria, viruses, or protozoa, you’ll need a different filter. 

For those with tested well water, but unpleasant tastes or high levels of heavy metals, the Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter is a convenient and affordable option.

Specifications:

  • Flow Rate: Depends on your water pressure, plenty for a large family
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Filter Lifespan: 750 gallons

Pros 

  • Capable of removing heavy metals and chemical contaminants from biologically safe sources of water
  • The clear body design makes for an attractive stylistic touch
  • Capable of rapidly filtering water, based on the pressure of your water system
  • Alkaline beads in the last stage of filtration add beneficial minerals back into the water

Cons

  • Not rated to remove pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or protozoa
  • Each filter cartridge only lasts for 750 gallons of water
  • Requires pressurized plumbing to function

Our #4 Pick For The Best Countertop Water Filter: Propur G2.0 Traveler Water Filter (Best for Tiny Spaces)

Countertop Water Filter

Features

  • Best for those with next to no space
  • G2.0 filter elements are highly-effective and long-lasting for one to two people
  • Stainless steel design allows for hassle-free cleaning and maintenance
  • Small size makes it easy to use and store in any size space

OUR RATING



Our #4 Rated (For Best Overall Pick)

5/5

5 out of 5

For many, space is at an absolute premium. The Propur G2.0 Traveler is a pint-sized countertop water filter that takes up almost no space yet still offers highly-effective water filtration.

It measures just 7.5 inches in diameter and is only 18.5 inches tall. That’s smaller than most coffee makers and makes it easy to find a nook or cranny to place the Traveler within your home.

Best of all, the filter element is just as effective as those in sizeable gravity-fed countertop water filters. It’s certified to remove over 200 contaminants, including pathogenic bacteria, viruses, protozoan cysts, heavy metals, and chemicals.

There is a definite trade off to the convenient size of the Traveler. Its capacity matches its small size, with just .9 gallons held in each tank, and a positively snail-paced .18 gallon per hour flow rate. 

If space is genuinely at a premium, though, this can still be a very useful countertop water filter for one to two people.

Specifications:

  • Flow Rate: .18 gallons per minute
  • Capacity: .9 gallons per tank, 1.8 gallons total
  • Filter Lifespan: 6 months of average use

Pros 

  • G2.0 filter elements are highly-effective and long-lasting for one to two people
  • Stainless steel design allows for hassle-free cleaning and maintenance
  • Small size makes it easy to use and store in any size space

Cons

  • .18 Gallon per hour flow rate is positively puny
  • Low tank capacity doesn’t give you a ton of water at a time
  • Not the most cost-effective countertop water filter.

 

Our #5 Pick For The Best Countertop Water Filter: SimPure Countertop Drinking Water Filter

Features

  • Capable of filtering a lot of water rapidly
  • Ceramic filter removes particles down to the .1 micron level, including pathogenic bacteria
  • Stainless steel body fits well with most aesthetics
  • Easy to install to most standard faucets without interrupting regular use
  • Filter replacement is quick and painless

OUR RATING



Our #4 Rated (For Best Overall Pick)

4.5/5

4.5 out of 5

The SimPure Countertop Drinking Water Filter is a faucet connected filter designed for city and well water use. It uses a ceramic filter with .5 micron tolerances, enough to remove the vast majority of harmful contaminants.

simpure

It’s mounted inside a slender stainless steel housing and has an easy to connect attachment that slips right over the head of any standard faucet. The flow rate is exceptionally fast, depending on the pressure of your plumbing. 

Couple things to keep in mind, though. While the SimPure does use a ceramic filter, it isn’t tested or certified by the NSF or another regulatory body. 

I wouldn’t use it for water with questionable pathogen levels. You should instead use it to filter out heavy metals, potential chemical contaminants, and things that can affect your longterm health or the taste of your water.

Overall though, it’s still a good option if you’re on tested well water or city water with old pipes.

Specifications:

  • Flow Rate: Depends on water pressure
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Filter Lifespan: 2,000 L

Pros 

  • Capable of filtering a lot of water rapidly
  • Ceramic filter removes particles down to the .1 micron level, including pathogenic bacteria
  • Stainless steel body fits well with most aesthetics
  • Easy to install to most standard faucets without interrupting regular use
  • Filter replacement is quick and painless

Cons

  • Filtration claims not independently tested and verified

Best Countertop Water Filters
Big Berkey Water Filter
Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System
Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter
Propur G2.0 Traveler Water Filter
SimPure Countertop Drinking Water Filter
gravity fed water filter
Alexapure Pro Stainless Steel Water Filtration System - 5,000 Gallon Throughput Capacity
Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter, Alkaline, Clear (MR-1050)
gravity fed water filter
British Berkefeld 2.5 Gallon Gravity-Fed Water Filter System- Stainless Steel with 2x ATC Super Sterasyl Candle Filters
Our Ranking
Our #1 Rated Option
Our #2 Rated Option
Our #3 Best For Treated or Tested Well Water
Our #4 Best for Tiny Spaces
Our #5 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
2.25 gallons
2.25 gallons
N/A (*connects to sink)
.9 gallons
N/A (*connects to sink)
Flow Rate
7 gallons per hour
Variable (on the slow side)
Depends on your water pressure, plenty for a large family
.18 gallons per hour
Depends on your water pressure, plenty for a large family
Filter Lifespan
3,000 gallons per Black Berkey filter
20,000 gallons (*With Super Flow Kit)
750 gallons
6 months
528 gallons
Best Countertop Water Filters
Big Berkey Water Filter
gravity fed water filter
Our Ranking
Our #1 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
2.25 gallons
Flow Rate
7 gallons per hour
Filter Lifespan
3,000 gallons per Black Berkey filter
More Information
Best Countertop Water Filters
Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System
Alexapure Pro Stainless Steel Water Filtration System - 5,000 Gallon Throughput Capacity
Our Ranking
Our #2 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
2.25 gallons
Flow Rate
Variable (on the slow side)
Filter Lifespan
20,000 gallons (*With Super Flow Kit)
More Information
Best Countertop Water Filters
Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter
Apex Countertop Drinking Water Filter, Alkaline, Clear (MR-1050)
Our Ranking
Our #3 Best For Treated or Tested Well Water
Reservoir Capacity
N/A (*connects to sink)
Flow Rate
Depends on your water pressure, plenty for a large family
Filter Lifespan
750 gallons
More Information
Best Countertop Water Filters
Propur G2.0 Traveler Water Filter
gravity fed water filter
Our Ranking
Our #4 Best for Tiny Spaces
Reservoir Capacity
.9 gallons
Flow Rate
.18 gallons per hour
Filter Lifespan
6 months
More Information
Best Countertop Water Filters
SimPure Countertop Drinking Water Filter
British Berkefeld 2.5 Gallon Gravity-Fed Water Filter System- Stainless Steel with 2x ATC Super Sterasyl Candle Filters
Our Ranking
Our #5 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
N/A (*connects to sink)
Flow Rate
Depends on your water pressure, plenty for a large family
Filter Lifespan
528 gallons
More Information

What Are Countertop Water Filters?

Countertop water filters is a catch-all term for any water filters that sit on your counter. To ensure the water filters were top notch and filter everything you could possibly think of, I focused on gravity-fed and faucet connected models rather than something like the basic taste filter pitchers you’ve probably seen before.

Because they live on your counter they have to be compact enough and styled to the point where you don’t hate to look at them. It turns your water filtration from something that takes up space into a part of your decor.

They come in a variety of different types and styles, with gravity-fed filters such as the popular Big Berkey and faucet connected models the most popular.

Benefits of Countertop Water Filters

Countertop water filters offer significant convenience, space-saving, and portability benefits of most other options. Gravity-fed countertop water filters are the most versatile, but even those that require a connection to your faucet or plumbing are a lot easier than permanent in-line connected filters.

They take up a tiny amount of space, are easy to maintain, and offer a cost-effective way to filter water either for taste or to purify water from a suspect source.

Buying Guide

Countertop water filters are one of the easiest filter types to use, but there are some aspects you should consider when purchasing them. The most important are laid out below.

Ease of Use 

There are two broad categories of countertop water filters. These are gravity-fed filters and plumbed models.

The gravity-fed filters use a pair of water tanks with a filter element between them. The tank on top holds unfiltered water that drains down through the filter using the force of gravity. 

The bottom tank holds the freshly filtered water, without requiring you to pump or otherwise physically move the water. They’re a good option if you’re living off-grid without standard pressurized plumbing.

Plumbed models can either be permanently plumbed into a pipe or, more commonly, hooked in over your faucet to reroute water through the filter element. They’re easy to install and very convenient, but require pressurized plumbing to function.

Filter Lifespan and Replacement Cost

Unfortunately, many water filter companies seem to follow the ‘printer and ink’ model of pricing. The initial filter system is very affordable, but the replacement filters raise the lifetime cost of ownership substantially.

You should consider how many gallons of water a specific model of filter can process before it needs to be replaced and how much the replacement’s cost.

Level of Filtration

How much filtration you need is a major consideration when comparing different countertop water filters. Some, like the top-ranked Big Berkey, offer full water purification capable of removing pathogens, chemicals, and other dangerous contaminants. Other models help filter and soften water by removing potentially dangerous things like lead, chemicals, etc, but don’t remove potential pathogens.

Which one you need depends on your water setup. If you’re on properly managed ‘pure’ well water you may not have to worry about bacterial or viral threats but still want to remove some mineral and chemical agents that are dissolved in the water.

For those on city water, a basic carbon taste filter may be all you need. It helps remove chlorine and other things that affect the flavor of your water and can even help filter out lead and other metal contaminants from old or faulty pipes.

Flow Rate and Capacity

The flow rate of a countertop water filter refers to how quickly it can filter water. Plumbed models are always faster than gravity-fed, but both have limitations to just how much water they can filter at a time.

If you’ve got a larger family you should either purchase a gravity-fed filter with more capacity or consider a plumbed countertop filter.

Final Thoughts

Countertop water filters, whether gravity-fed or faucet connected, offer one of the best and most convenient ways to filter water. There’s a range of different options out there to make sure your water is safe to drink and tastes great.

You can find models, like the top-ranked Big Berkey, that provide comprehensive biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical filtering, or others, like the high-flow Apex Countertop Water Filter, that focus on improving taste and removing more pipe centric threats like heavy metals.

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