10 Best Carbon Water Filters For your Home

by Jay | Last Updated:  Last updated on November 23rd, 2022,

Tap water can be a convenient supply of drinkable water. Well, not until it starts tasting funny. The problem with tap water is that it may contain harmful substances such as sediment, chlorine, VOCs, and others that may make it taste weird or have harmful effects on the body. 

Table Of Contents

The solution to this is activated carbon water filters that can effectively eradicate unpleasant flavors and odors from your tap water while retaining the beneficial minerals. 

Best carbon water filters

Our best carbon filter water list includes the following:

Frizzlife MK99 Under Sink Carbon Water Filter

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Frizzlife Under Sink Water Filter System-NSF/ANSI 53&42 Certified High Capacity Direct Connect Under...
5,053 Reviews
Frizzlife Under Sink Water Filter System-NSF/ANSI 53&42 Certified High Capacity Direct Connect Under...
  • [Two-stage Advanced Water Filter With 0.5 Micron]: The Frizzlife MK99 Water Filtration System includes a TWO-STAGE...
  • [Fits both 1/2" and 3/8" cold water line]: Super Easy Installation. Come with 3/8" Directly Connect hoses that fit...
  • [Best Auto Shut Off Design]: Utilizing quick change twist-in installation design makes it take less than 3 minutes...

On top of our list and our overall favorite is this one from Frizzlife. It houses a two-stage filter system that removes the sediment, chlorine, and VOCs while simultaneously removing lead and heavy metals. You can rely on this to give you pure-tasting water. 

Another great thing about this is the easy installation. Connect it to the sink system, and you’re good to go! Overall, it should take around 15 minutes to do so without installing new faucets or other tools. In addition, it comes with a built-in shutoff valve, so you won’t have to turn the water off whenever you need to replace the filter.

Take note, though, that while this comes with plastic wrenches, we had to use our tools to make things easier. 

Pros

  • Built-in shutoff valve
  • Fast and easy installation
  • 2 GPM
  • 1600 gallons per filter

Cons

  • Useless plastic wrenches

Omnipure Inline Carbon Water Filter

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Omnipure K2333-KK 3/8' Quick Connect Inline GAC Water Filter
234 Reviews
Omnipure K2333-KK 3/8" Quick Connect Inline GAC Water Filter
  • Chlorine Reduction: Class 1
  • Flow Rate: .5 GPM
  • Maximum Pressure: 125 PSIG

A more affordable option and our bet for the best value is the Omnipure Inline Carbon Water Filter. It is affordable and incredibly simple while doing the job beautifully. It efficiently provides clean and pure-tasting water without any foul smell. 

As the name suggests, this connects in-line with ⅜-inch quick connect fittings. Installation is quick and easy. However, the flow rate is quite slow at 0.5 gallons per minute. But despite that, we still think this is a great filter considering its price. Plus, it has a lifespan of up to a year or up to 1,000 gallons. 

Pros

  • Very cheapThe lifespan
  • of a year
  • ⅜” quick connect fittings for easy installation

Cons

  • Low flow rate

Aquasana Whole House Carbon Water Filter

Sale
Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System - Carbon & KDF Home Water Filtration - Filters Sediment &...
734 Reviews
Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System - Carbon & KDF Home Water Filtration - Filters Sediment &...
  • Clean, Great Tasting Water From Every Tap In Your Home - Removes 97% of chlorine. Plus, activated carbon is...
  • High-Performance Filter System - Carbon & KDF filtration media engineered to maximize contaminant reduction while...
  • Cost Efficient & Long Lasting - Clean water for less than dollars0.01 a gallon - Save twice as much compared to...

The Aquasana EQ-600 is a whole-house solution that is great for households with many members. The system holds an impressive six-year lifespan of up to 60,000 gallons which will make your investment worthwhile. But note that you still need to replace the pre-and post-filters regularly or every 3 months. It has a high flow rate of 7 GPM, which the whole family can truly enjoy!

Pros

  • Enough for the whole family
  • 7 GPM flow rate
  • 6-year or 600,000-gallon lifespan
  • 6-year warranty
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Pre- and post-filter replacement required

iSpring 3-Stage Carbon Under-Sink Water Filters

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iSpring US31 Classic 3-Stage Under Sink Water Filtration System for Drinking, Tankless, High...
1,160 Reviews
iSpring US31 Classic 3-Stage Under Sink Water Filtration System for Drinking, Tankless, High...
  • [Classic Drinking Filter]:The water flows through PP sediment filtration, dual CTO carbon filtration, and the 2nd...
  • [Fresh Healthy Water Supplier]: The on-demand fast flow rate of the iSpring US31 allows it to meet the widest...
  • [Excellent Quality and Design]: Features beautiful European-designed brushed nickel all-metal faucet and clear...

This water filter from iSpring uses a dedicated faucet specifically for filtered drinking water. It offers three filtration stages to eradicate arsenic, heavy metals, lead, parasites, and bacteria. Conveniently, a filter will last about 6-12 months before a replacement is necessary. However, it can take up a large amount of space under your sink and comes at a higher price than other options.

Pros

  • 3-stage filtration
  • Has own faucet
  • 6-12 months of filter lifespan
  • Controls bacteria and parasites

Cons

  • Consumes huge space
  • Expensive

Camco TastePure RV Carbon Water Filter

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Camco TastePURE RV/Marine Water Filter | Features Flexible Hose Protector | Reduces Bad Taste, Odor,...
  • Safe Water Matters: GAC (Granular Activated Carbon) filtration greatly reduces bad taste, odor, chlorine, and...
  • Multiple Uses: Can be attached to any standard gardening or water hose to provide healthier drinking water and...
  • 20-Micron Sediment Filter: Removes particles greater than 20 microns; Protects Against Bacteria: Premium KDF...

Another affordable choice is this Camco 40043 TastePure filter. It’s versatile as you can use it in your kitchens, sinks, and even your RV! It has a hose protector to prevent kinks from taking place, so you’re sure always to have good running filtered water. In addition, this unit is easy to install and replace, which you might have to do every 3 months. Take note, though, that this filter can only remove particles down to 20 microns in size.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to install and replace
  • Hose protector prevents kinks

Cons

  • It should be replaced every 3 months can
  • only filter to 20 microns

iSpring WGB21B Whole House Water Filtration System

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iSpring WGB21B 2-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System, with 10" x 4.5" Sediment CTO(Chlorine,...
  • [Two-Stage Effective Filtration] The whole house water filter has 1st-Stage premium 5-micron polypropylene sediment...
  • [Superb Filtration Capacity] 10"x4. 5" replaceable whole house water filters can provide up to a full year of clean...
  • [Easy Installation and Filter Change] The system comes pre-assembled onto the mounting bracket for a streamlined,...

The iSpring WGB21B Whole House Water Filtration System will give off 15 gallons per minute of filtered water to each faucet in your residence. The filter cartridges will last up to a year for a family of four until it needs replacing. That’s about 50,000-gallon filter life. 

While the high flow rate and the great lifespan come at a price, we’d say that it truly is worth it and more! But there are other options in the market if you need a cheaper one that works great.

Pros

  • 50,000-gallon lifespan
  • Filters all the water in a home
  • 15 GPM flow rate

Cons

  • pricey
  • May require installation help from a professional

APEX EXPRT MR-2050 Carbon Countertop Water Filter

APEX EXPRT MR-2050 Dual Countertop Water Filter, Carbon and Mineral pH Alkaline Water Filter, Easy...
67 Reviews
APEX EXPRT MR-2050 Dual Countertop Water Filter, Carbon and Mineral pH Alkaline Water Filter, Easy...
  • Very easy to install 💧 No need to drill holes or hire a plumber for this water filtration system. Simple...
  • Better tasting water 💧 The five stages of this sink water filter effectively reduce the most common impurities...
  • Much better water quality 💧 Once the water has been filtered with KDF-55 (heavy metal reduction media) and a...

If you’re into countertop water filters, check out the APEX EXPRT. It houses different filtration stages and even increases the alkalinity of your tap water for an even healthier take. Remember, though, as the alkalinity increases, the total dissolved solids will also increase.

This unit is easy to install as it only sits beside your sink with a hose attached to the faucet. Overall, it can be an eyesore for some, but we all prefer different things, don’t we? However, we think it’s priced quite high for its performance.

Pros

Cons

  • Increases TDS
  • Unattractive hose
  • Less usable faucet
  • Expensive
  • Takes up significant counter space

Express Water Heavy Metal 3-Stage Carbon Water Filter

Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter – 3 Stage Whole House Water Filtration System...
802 Reviews
Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Water Filter – 3 Stage Whole House Water Filtration System...
  • Whole House Water Filter: Reduce harmful impurities and dangerous heavy metals from your entire home’s water with...
  • Express Water’s water filtration systems are ready to install with 1” inch standard connections. Easy to...
  • Durable Whole House Water Filter: Express Water Whole Home Water Filtration Systems are constructed with standing...

Another whole house system is this one. It comes with a three-stage filtration system and uses a carbon block, KDF, and sediment filter to ensure that your water is free from chlorine, lead, pesticides, iron, VOCs, herbicides, chromium, chloramine, viruses, and insecticides. This product is easy to install and maintain as well.

Pros

  • Easy to maintain
  • Clear housing to identify when replacement is already needed
  • Whole house system

Cons

  • Expensive pipe size conversion if the unit does not match your current ones

Home Master Sediment & Carbon Water Filter

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Home Master Whole House Three Stage Water Filtration System with Fine Sediment, Iron and Carbon,...
182 Reviews
Home Master Whole House Three Stage Water Filtration System with Fine Sediment, Iron and Carbon,...
  • Great for well water; for city water, consider model #HMF2SmgCC
  • Massive filter housings with 1-inch ports for the strongest water pressure possible - up to 15-gallon per minute
  • Multi gradient density replaceable sediment filter produces finer filtration and greater dirt holding capacity;...

This filter from Home Master is another whole house water filter with a lifespan of up to a year or about 95,000 gallons. In addition, it comes with a 2-year parts warranty for your peace of mind. However, installation is not as easy, but it truly is worth it because this unit can remove up to 95% of the contaminants in your tap water. Take note that this is also only usable for municipal water and not well water.

Pros

  • High quality
  • Long lifespan
  • Whole house system

Cons

  • Challenging to install
  • For municipal water only

Invigorated Water pH RESTORE Alkaline Water Filter Pitcher

pH Restore Alkaline Water Pitcher - Long Lasting Water Filter Pitcher with Multi-Stage Filtration...
1,258 Reviews
pH Restore Alkaline Water Pitcher - Long Lasting Water Filter Pitcher with Multi-Stage Filtration...
  • PITCHER FILTER FOR HIGH PH ALKALINE WATER - Made with premium quality BPA-free plastic, our ph Restore Alkaline...
  • CONVENIENT, MODERN DESIGN, EASY TO USE - Built in a modern anti-slip design, our restore filter jug is safe,...
  • HUGE FILTER CAPACITY AT A GREAT VALUE - Each pH Restore Alkaline water pitcher filter can filter up to 3.5 litres...

Just want a carbon filter for your drinking water? Prefer drinking alkaline water? This filter pitcher will not disappoint. Besides removing impurities from your water, this pitcher also makes your water more alkaline. Its beautiful appearance and ergonomic handle are other reasons you prefer having it in your house.

Pros

  • Comes with two water filter cartridges each that last up to 3 months.
  • Filter change reminder that notifies you when it is time to change for a new one.

Cons

  • Water spills. This pitcher has a flimsy lid; the water will spill if you fill it to the brim.

Is it safe to use carbon water filters?

Carbon water filters are safe, especially if they have had material safety rated by a third party. CTO (chlorine, taste, and odor) removal is rated for all carbon filters, while sub-micron carbon blocks remove other contaminants such as lead or cysts.

Activated carbon block filters with sub-micron ratings go above and beyond mechanical filtration to remove extra particles. Mechanical filters function similarly to a screen door, keeping undesired elements out while allowing pure water to pass through. Cysts cannot pass through a carbon block filter’s pores that are smaller than one micron in size.

Is a whole house water filter worth buying?

The entire house water filter will provide benefits and a handful of extras. The entire system eliminates chemicals at the point of entry. As a result, you will not be exposed to dangerous chlorine vapors when bathing. Please remove any sediments that could cause damage to your home’s plumbing.

The filtering system also eliminates iron, preventing rusting of your home appliances. Because all of these advantages are fantastic, it is well worth it.

Is a carbon water filter worth buying?

Carbon is dependent on finely processed charcoal. The small carbon particles give a surface area with extraordinary absorption capabilities. As a result, please keep in mind that they operate as a chemical remover.

As a result, the carbon water filters are worthwhile. They eliminate pollutants, making it safe to drink.

What are charcoal filters?

The charcoal used in water filters is not the same as the charcoal used in barbecues. Instead, water filters use activated charcoal, typically sold as loose beads or pressed into a solid block.

Charcoal activation is accomplished by superheating the charcoal at temperatures above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit without the presence of oxygen. The charcoal is then chemically treated with argon and nitrogen before being superheated again with the addition of oxygen and steam to create a porous structure. The porous structure of activated charcoal is the key factor contributing to charcoal water filters’ effectiveness.

How does a carbon filter work?

Adsorption is the process by which activated charcoal operates. Adsorption, as opposed to absorption, chemically rather than physically binds these impurities.

Adsorption binds particles to a surface in the same way that Velcro does. Because water and pollutants are polar molecules that attract one another, organic compounds link or stick to the surface of a carbon filter.

The holes in activated charcoal enhance the surface area of the charcoal by up to 2000 square meters per gram, significantly improving its adsorption efficiency.

Carbon filters have a high surface area and are extremely porous, making them good at removing unpleasant tastes, smells, and other particles from water. However, aster runs through a carbon filter; it works as a parking lot, with pores for pollutants to park in. Microns are the size of small pores.

The finer the filtration, the smaller the micron. Because of the low flow rate and pressure, pollutants have more time to park or cling to the carbon. The longer water spends in contact with the surface of a carbon filter, the more efficient the filtering.

Because the process results in forming bonds between compounds and the retention of impurities in the filter, charcoal filters must be replaced once the pores have been filled. Because cleaning and replacing charcoal filters are simple and inexpensive, charcoal filters are a popular choice for many households.

What is the purpose of a carbon water filter?

Most people are unaware that it is not just the water we drink that is important, but also the water we use to clean our clothes. Depending on the source, some water may contain contaminants that vaporize when you shower and may be harmful to your health. A whole-house water filter will encourage healthy skin and hair while assuring clean water for your family, plants, and pets.

Activated charcoal is natural and effective in removing various toxins from water, such as volatile organic compounds and chlorine, without using chemicals or stripping the water of salts and minerals, which makes it an excellent material for water filters.

As you may recall from chemistry class, carbon-based organic impurities in water are attracted to the carbon in the charcoal, which readily bonds to these impurities. Other molecules, however, are not attracted to the carbon and thus pass past the filter, depending on their molecular weight and polarity.

Please remember that a whole house water filter works throughout the house rather than installing a separate filtration system at each point of usage, which provides a lot of convenience for your household needs.

Furthermore, it eliminates compounds utilized by water treatment firms, such as chloramines and chlorine. In addition, contaminants such as lead, mercury, and other dissolved elements are removed, resulting in water softening.

Depending on the sources, such as wells that local companies have not treated, you will find it effective in disinfecting and filtering.

What are the benefits of charcoal filters?

1. It does not get rid of the “good stuff.”

Drinking water is composed of several minerals, as well as harmful compounds and contaminants, in addition to hydrogen and oxygen. While most water filters efficiently remove these contaminants, either mechanically or chemically, they frequently eliminate many essential minerals and ions our bodies require.

Because of activated charcoal’s chemical composition and structure, these filters attract and absorb harmful organic components while leaving the remaining minerals in the water. In addition, charcoal is frequently used in conjunction with another filter because it does not eliminate all diseases or bacteria.

2. It improves the quality of water.

Charcoal filters not only remove a lot of the bad stuff from water but can also add things back in to make it healthier. To improve your water quality, activated charcoal can add critical minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron.

3. It enhances the flavor.

Many individuals dislike the taste of tap water, claiming it is metallic or has an unpleasant odor. However, this flavor is frequently caused by additions like chlorine, added to tap water to remove germs and diseases found in reservoirs.

Though this is a necessary practice to preserve public health, it frequently results in individuals avoiding drinking tap water, putting themselves in danger of dehydration, or purchasing plastic bottled water, which is harmful to the environment.

Charcoal filters not only adsorb these foul-tasting compounds but are also quite good at eliminating odors, making drinking water considerably more pleasant to drink.

4. It is inexpensive.

Many water filtration systems are costly yet important investments for your home. On the other hand, charcoal filters are very cheap to manufacture, and the savings are passed on to the consumer.

5. They are simple to care for.

Although the filters must be replaced after the charcoal has been utilized, new parts are inexpensive and simple to get and install.

Every six months, your charcoal water filter should be updated. However, this depends on how much water you consume and the water quality in your location. If you’re not sure, check the quality of your water, see if the taste has changed, and see if the flow rate has dropped. If you observe any of these symptoms, it’s time to update your filter.

Is a carbon filter useful?

Carbon filters remove chlorine and other disinfection byproducts such as trihalomethanes and unpleasant tastes and aromas. Some are rated to reduce other pollutants by mechanically filtering them. If your water includes large quantities of inorganic chemicals and dissolved particles, a reverse osmosis device should be used to treat it.

Pros

  • Effective decrease of taste, odor, and chlorine
  • a large surface area
  • Health risks are reduced.
  • Other filtering systems or softeners are protected.

Cons

  • Dissolved solids and other inorganic chemicals are not removed.
  • Filter adjustments must be made regularly.

What is inside a carbon filter?

  • Wood-based media
  • Bituminous coal
  • Coconut shell

Coconut shell carbon is the most renewable of the three forms of filter media. In addition, because this carbon is derived from the shell of coconut rather than the meat inside, it does not trigger allergic reactions or tastes the water.

Wood-based carbon is created from burned wood pulverized into granules and mimics the type of carbon utilized by the ancient Egyptians. Bituminous coal is being utilized less frequently now that the media has identified arsenic traces.

When and where should a carbon filter be used?

A carbon filter can be used in a variety of situations. For example, it can be used at the point of entry (POE) to filter the entire house or at the point of use (POU) to clean water before drinking or cooking.

Some shower heads use carbon filtration to keep you from inhaling chlorine gas while in the shower. Carbon filters can also be found in a reverse osmosis (RO) or ultrafiltration (UF) system. A carbon filter applied to a UF system reduces organic and chemical particulates and lead.

If you use a water softener to soften municipally treated water, you should install a carbon filter before the water softener. The softener resin lasts longer if chlorine is eliminated before softening. Because chloramines can damage O-rings, gaskets, and rubber seals, eliminating chemical disinfectants using catalytic carbon helps water-using appliances, such as your tankless water heater, survive longer.

Buyer’s guide

Here are the essential things to consider when buying a water filter:

Water type

It is critical to test it in your home to see what products are present before installing a filter system. It will allow you to select an appropriate filter for your needs. To remove chloramines, you may sometimes need to use an aggressive system. As a result, you should choose a filtration system that is good at reducing chloramine levels.

What can carbon filters remove?

  • Sediment (5-20 microns)
  • 97-99% chlorine
  • VOCs
  • Unpleasant taste
  • Odors
  • Pesticides and herbicides

What can’t carbon filters remove?

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Minerals
  • Fluoride
  • Total dissolved substances

Whole house or countertop?

Whole house water filters will filter all the tap water in your home. In contrast, countertop water filters will only specifically filter water from the faucet it’s connected to. Assess what your home needs to finalize this decision.

Removal percentage

The majority of the carbon block filters come with another form of filtration, such as sediment filter or reverse osmosis, to increase the level of filtration. This also depends on your water quality. If your tap water is fairly clean, you can opt for filters that can remove contaminants. On the other hand, if contaminated with heavy metals, chlorine, or pesticides, you may need a more advanced system.

Price point

There are hundreds of options in the market, so all you need to do is set a budget and work around that. You should check reviews as some filters can be so cheap initially, but if they have short lifespans or durability issues, you might have to spend more in the long run.

Warranties and guarantees

Some filters come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and others may come with a 1- to 10-year warranty. Make sure to learn more about this part before purchasing your filter.

Does it meet the NSF standards?

Getting an NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) approved filter will suffice for the purpose. But, first, you can confirm that it bears the Water Quality Association (WAQ) seal. WAQ always has a quality seal on its products, with all rights reserved.

The certificates will signify that the filters have been confirmed to be of high quality after being subjected to rigorous testing by the most respected organizations in the United States.

Nonetheless, this does not imply that any filter lacking an NSF mark is of poor quality. All rights reserved, certification comes at a hefty cost that may be prohibitively expensive for small businesses.

Maintenance

More often than not, maintenance will require filter replacements. Many filters are easy to replace, so you should look more into how frequently you have to replace them. The replacement frequency depends mainly on the brand and the model, so check that.

FAQs

What type of charcoal is best for filtering water?

Activated charcoal is a far more effective filtering material and adsorbent than charcoal. Therefore, in medicine, activated charcoal is more widely utilized than charcoal.

How long does a carbon water filter last?

Activated carbon water filters have a lifespan of 2 to 6 months after the first use. Some activated carbon filters, such as reverse osmosis or whole-house systems, are protected by additional filters and can last up to 12 months.

Which is better reverse osmosis or carbon filter?

Carbon filtration is particularly effective in removing chlorine taste and odor. It also excels in capturing big particles. Conversely, reverse osmosis can remove nearly everything from your water, but it works best if the large particles are removed first to avoid premature membrane fouling.

Is plumbing knowledge required to install a carbon filter?

For countertop filters, not really, But for whole house systems, you’d need basic knowledge or hire a professional instead.

What happens if I don’t replace the cartridge?

Your water can slow down, and the filtration will not be as effective. Not replacing your filter defeats the whole purpose of even having one installed.

How many contaminants can the filter remove?

The charcoal filter and the list here have two different answers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t remove all pathogens or microorganisms, so charcoal is often used in conjunction with another filter. … This taste is often due to the additives, such as chlorine, that are added to tap water to kill bacteria and pathogens found in reservoirs.

Not all filters are the same, so you should check with the manufacturer’s site to determine this. 

Last words

There you have the best carbon filter water reviewed. Water filters are too low of a price to pay if it means you can have safe drinking water at your disposal. Besides, even if you’re short on budget, there are numerous affordable options in the market. Remember that health is wealth! 

If you click on the Amazon link or Add to Cart and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you. Last Update: 2022-12-05

Jay

Self assessed Germaphobe, specializing in everything water, water filters, health and nutrition. Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, I've acquired immense amount of knowledge when it comes to natural, biology, and everything about human anatomy.