5 Best Refrigerator Water Filters & Buying Guide

by Jay | Last Updated:  Posted on July 22nd, 2022

Not having a supply of clean drinking water is no anymore an option today. But unfortunately, due to the alarming pollution that has contaminated our planet’s natural resources, nothing that comes straight from the source is reliable.

Table Of Contents

One good example of that is water.

It is common knowledge that water contains a lot of unknown contaminants, and we cannot risk having any foreign substances inside our bodies. Therefore, having water filters in our homes is almost becoming a necessity rather than just a luxury.

Fortunately, there are already a wide variety of water filters available in the market today, and you can select from an array of choices that fit your needs and your financial capacity. One example of those water filters is a refrigerator water filter.

Bottled waters are costly and not to mention, extremely damaging to the environment. Refrigerator filters make use of readily available water directly from your supply.

This sounds like fairly new technology, and there are still a lot of things you have to know about the device so you can properly weigh your options and pick the right model that works for you.

This post will show you some of the best models of refrigerator filters out there, along with other essential information. 

Refrigerator Water Filters in a nutshell

Modern refrigerators today have a built-in dispenser for ice and water. From the device’s name, these little filters clean the water from your fridge even further to provide you with guaranteed safe drinking water.

These usually employ the activated carbon mechanism of water filtration that is effective in removing chlorine, heavy metals, and other unwanted chemicals. 

Our Take on the Top 5 Refrigerator Water Filters

1. EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter

everydrop by Whirlpool Ice and Water Refrigerator Filter 5, EDR5RXD1, Single-Pack
3,822 Reviews
everydrop by Whirlpool Ice and Water Refrigerator Filter 5, EDR5RXD1, Single-Pack
  • Make sure this fits by entering your refrigerator model number
  • everydrop Filter 5 is the only filter approved by: Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, KitchenAid and JennAir brands
  • Certified to reduce 99% of lead, offering superior contaminant reduction for you and your family

Whirlpool is a well-known appliance brand with a lot of great consumer feedback. It does not disappoint when it comes to refrigerator water filters as well. This filter model is also compatible with brands like Amana, Maytag, JennAir, and KitchenAid. 

Your water undergoes three stages of filtration with this model – particle filtration, microfiltration, and adsorption filtration – ensuring up to 99% of total lead removal and elimination of other contaminants, including but not limited to pesticides, parasites, and other forms of disinfectants or organic substances. 

The lifespan of EveryDrop Filters can reach up to 6 months and has an estimated capacity of filling up around 1,500 water bottles in that period which is a comfort to your pockets.

  • Make sure this fits by entering your refrigerator model number.
  • Everydrop Filter 5 is the only filter approved by: Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, KitchenAid, and JennAir brands.

Pros

  • 6 months before replacement is needed
  • Works well with a lot of other brands
  • Eliminates contaminants and chemicals from water
  • 3 filtration stages

Cons

  • No product warranty

2. GE RPWFE2PK RPWFE 2 Pack Refrigerator Water Filter

Sale
GE RPWFE Refrigerator Water Filter | Certified to Reduce Lead, Sulfur, and 50+ Other Impurities |...
46,383 Reviews
GE RPWFE Refrigerator Water Filter | Certified to Reduce Lead, Sulfur, and 50+ Other Impurities |...
  • It works with any refrigerator that currently uses GE RPWF or RPWFE filters. It is used in selected GE french-door...
  • GE's most advanced filtration ever. Tested and verified to filter 5 trace pharmaceuticals including ibuprofen,...
  • Premium filtration: Certified to reduce chlorine-resistant cysts, lead, select pharmaceuticals and 50 other...

On a budget but still want top-notch performance? The GE RPWFE2PK RPWFE 2 Pack Refrigerator Water Filter is your best bet regarding budget-friendly efficiency. Your drinking water will be free from contaminants, and your wallet won’t have to suffer for it.

This filter eliminates lead, mercury, cysts, asbestos, pesticides, and other chemicals from your water supply. This also means that it won’t have any unpleasant taste or odor. 

One feature that makes this model stand out is its RFID (radio frequency identification) chip that indicates when the filter needs to be replaced. Like the model above, the filter lasts around 6 months as well, with a capacity of 300 gallons throughout its lifespan. 

  • It is compatible with any refrigerator that uses GE RPWF or RPWFE filters. It is used in selected GE french-door refrigerators. Compatible with select GE french-door refrigerators.
  • GE’s most advanced filtration: Tested and verified to filter five trace pharmaceuticals. Operation Water Pressure (psi): 25 min. – 120 max.

Pros

  • 300 gallons capacity for its entire lifespan
  • With a warranty for all defective parts
  • Smart indicator for filter replacement
  • Thoroughly cleanses your water

Cons

  • Slight hassle when connecting the RFID

3. Culligan IC 1 EZ-Change Refrigerator Filtration System

Culligan IC 1 EZ-Change Basic Inline Icemaker and Refrigerator Filtration System, 1 Count (Pack of...
649 Reviews
Culligan IC 1 EZ-Change Basic Inline Icemaker and Refrigerator Filtration System, 1 Count (Pack of...
  • Provide your family with visibly clean, great-tasting water for drinking, cooking and more
  • FEATURES: Reduces bad taste and odor, chlorine taste and odor, and particulate class III; EZ change replacement...
  • COMPATIBILITY: Uses RC-EZ-1 replacement cartridge

This is perfect for households with a chlorinated water supply because this model specializes in treating your water mainly from chlorine content and its effects on the water’s taste and smell. 

Culligan IC 1 EZ-Change Refrigerator Filtration System has a unique inline filtration system that purifies your water supply before entering your refrigerator. This can also help extend your refrigerator’s lifespan and protect it from potential damages that contaminated water can inflict on it.

What makes this worth the purchase are its 1-year lifespan and 3000 gallons capacity. The manufacturer also includes a warranty of 2 years for this model. 

  • Provides your family with visibly clean, great-tasting water for drinking, cooking, and more
  • FEATURES: Reduces bad taste and odor, chlorine taste and odor, and particulate class III; EZ change replacement filter cartridge; Quick connect fittings; Twist-on/twist-off; Double water shutoff; Includes filter head with mounting hardware

Pros

  • 12 months lifespan + 3000 gallons capacity
  • 2 years warranty
  • Complete installation kit with guide
  • Inline-style filtration that filters the water before reaching your refrigerator

Cons

  • Slightly difficult installation process

4. Samsung Da29-00020b-1P Refrigerator Water Filter

Sale
Waterdrop DA29-00020B NSF 53&42 Certified Refrigerator Water Filter, Replacement for Samsung...
  • With an affordable price, this Waterdrop DA29-00020B refrigerator water filter replacement offers the best - a mix...
  • [Deep filtration] This Waterdrop WDS-F27 replacement water filter for Samsung refrigerators is certified by NSF...
  • [Perfect fit] You don't need to worry about water leaks due to improper or loose replacement refrigerator filters....

Let’s start with the drawbacks of this model first. It’s hard to find filters that go with many refrigerator models today, just like the first one on the list. Some brands make filters that only work with their refrigerators.

This water filter by Samsung is proof of that. It does not work with any other refrigerator except Samsung. You’re lucky if you already own a Samsung fridge, but if you don’t and want this filter, sadly, it won’t work for you. 

Nonetheless, the power of this filter to remove up to 90% of chlorine content, lead content, microbes, and other foreign contaminants remains efficient. As a result, you can expect maximum purity and clarity in your drinking water. 

It has the same 6 months lifespan as the average and can filter up to 300 gallons of water. It also has a built-in indicator panel that monitors how much water has been filtered, so you’ll know when it’s time to change the filter. 

  • Samsung DA29-00020B refrigerator water filter replacement is undoubtedly worth every penny for its efficiency and reliability. You can also be assured that authorities test this since it has certifications issued by the NSF. Furthermore, the carbon block replacement made of coconut shells from Sri Lanka works very well. 
  • Advance Filtration Process. This DA29-00020B water filter replacement by Waterdrop has the power to remove the majority of chlorine content in your water, taking away the taste and odor along with other foreign substances. Not only that, but it also retains the essential minerals and electrolytes the body needs from water. 

Pros

  • 6 months lifespan and 300 gallons capacity
  • Maximum elimination of contaminants
  • Digital indicator panel
  • Increases refrigerator lifespan

Cons

  • Exclusive only to Samsung brands and selected models

5. Waterdrop NSF 53&42 Certified DA29-00020B Refrigerator Water Filter

Sale
Waterdrop DA29-00020B NSF 53&42 Certified Refrigerator Water Filter, Replacement for Samsung...
  • With an affordable price, this Waterdrop DA29-00020B refrigerator water filter replacement offers the best - a mix...
  • [Deep filtration] This Waterdrop WDS-F27 replacement water filter for Samsung refrigerators is certified by NSF...
  • [Perfect fit] You don't need to worry about water leaks due to improper or loose replacement refrigerator filters....

If you have problems with heavy lead and microbial cysts in your water supply, this is the right one for you. With 53 & 42 NSF certification, Waterdrop guarantees almost 100% total removal of those mentioned contaminants to provide you with clean water while also increasing your refrigerator’s lifespan. 

This filter works with selected Samsung and Kenmore refrigerator models and uses a coconut carbon filter block for its filtration process. 

Like most filters, it also has a 6-month lifespan and 300-gallon capacity, but it has no indicator to tell you about the status of the filter, so you need to take note of the expiration date. 

  • This Waterdrop DA29-00020B refrigerator water filter replacement is undoubtedly worth every penny for its efficiency and reliability. You can also be assured that authorities test this since it has certifications issued by the NSF. Furthermore, the carbon block replacement made of coconut shells from Sri Lanka works very well. 
  • Advance Filtration Process. This DA29-00020B water filter replacement by Waterdrop has the power to remove the majority of chlorine content in your water, taking away the taste and odor along with other foreign substances. Not only that, but it also retains the essential minerals and electrolytes the body needs from water. 

Pros

  • More than 99% elimination of lead and microbial cysts
  • 6 months lifespan and 300 gallons capacity
  • Topnotch performance, giving you safe and clean drinking water

Cons

  • Only works with selected models; not compatible with all refrigerator models

A Buyer’s Guide to Choosing the Right Refrigerator Water Filter

This new technology requires at least basic knowledge and understanding of some technical concepts to grasp what it does, how it works, and whether it is right for your situation. In addition, there isn’t a size fit for these filters.

Each model is designed differently. Let us share some tips on how to wisely select the refrigerator water filter that works for you so you can make the most out of your purchase. 

Compatibility

First thing’s first. If your filter is not compatible with your fridge in the first place, then there’s no point. This is the first thing that you have to figure out. This information can be found in the user manual of the refrigerator. If this is unavailable, you can get the model number that can be found on the fridge itself.

Then, you can use the model number as a reference to find compatible filters. Usually, some older refrigerator models do not have a cartridge for water filters. In this case, you may have to opt for the inline water filter. 

Level of Filtration Required

Water quality is different in every area, so the contaminants are not the same. One refrigerator water filter also does not eliminate all kinds of contaminants, so you must choose a model that performs the kind of function you need for the quality of your water supply and what you want to be removed.

For example, chlorine-removing filters may suffice if your water quality is not that bad and you just want to eliminate the odor and taste. However, suppose your water supply is heavily contaminated. In that case, we suggest getting a heavy-duty filter that eliminates the abundant contaminants in the water, like heavy metals and organic disinfectants.

Price

People have different financial capacities. Some are on a budget, while others have some to spare. Regardless, you have to set a price range on how much you are willing to spend on this appliance to pick out the models that fall within that price range and make your way from there.

You also have to consider the filter’s lifespan. Most filters last up to 6 months, while some last a whole year. Decide if you can afford the filter replacement cost or if you’d much rather spend every year.

Installation and Maintenance

The difficulty levels in installation and maintenance vary from one filter to another aIt mainly depends on the complexity of the filter design. Depending on the model, filters are placed on different parts of the refrigerator. Some may have to be placed at inconvenient spots, so the installation and filter replacement will be a hassle for you. 

Removal of Contaminants

Most refrigerator filters are designed to remove chlorine content. But some are built for lead content and other chemical disinfectants. As we said, it varies on the great content in your water that you most need to be removed.

For example, suppose you have arsenic, potassium, nitrates, and organic compounds in your water. In that case, you will need a larger filter that conducts heavy-duty filtration like reverse osmosis or a whole house filter. 

Original Equipment Manufacturer or Generic Brand

Some filters are compatible with multiple refrigerator brands that refrigerator manufacturers do not make. These generic brand filters that go with multiple fridge models are great, but you must conduct in-depth research. You need to gather enough customer feedback to ensure that the quality of that filter is not compromised.

Certification from an authorized body is not enough to guarantee that it will work with your refrigerator model efficiently. But that does not also mean that a manufacturer-made filter is any better. One thing you should know is that generic branded filters are usually a lot cheaper than OEMs. 

Certifications and Trusted Quality

A 42 NSF Certification is a legitimate proof of reliability regarding refrigerator water filters. This means the product went through thorough quality testing and complies with set standards. Look for this certification in the model that you are planning to buy.

Warranty

The typical manufacturer warranty for refrigerator filters is 30 days. Any defect you may encounter with the product is covered within that period without any additional cost under certain terms and conditions.

Depending on how much you trust the manufacturer, you can decide whether you can take the risk of purchasing a product that does not come with a warranty. But it is well within your interest to opt for one that offers it in case any defects come up with the unit. 

Benefits of Clean Drinking Water

The body needs water for survival and normal daily functions. We have an average daily water intake required for our body to be replenished and supplied with enough fluids. However, we don’t just need any kind of water. The water we put into our bodies also needs to be safe for us. It needs to be free from foreign substances that may cause us more harm than good.

Therefore, we must ensure that the water we fuel our bodies with is clean and safe. Otherwise, we risk acquiring waterborne diseases or experiencing body discomforts and imbalances. Here are more reasons why we need to keep our water clean:

  • Clean water cleanses our body of toxins through perspiration and urination. 
  • Water improves blood circulation and muscle stamina.
  • Water helps in digestion. 
  • Regular water consumption helps in reducing the risk of acquiring some kinds of cancer.

Advantages of having a Refrigerator Water Filter

Unrecognizable man filling glass from refrigerator water dispenser

Many refrigerators in the market now come with a built-in inline water filter. If you happen to own one that does, you are lucky because you can reap the benefits of having a water filter for your fridge, such as:

Hitting two birds with one stone

Filtered water and cold water all at once? Yes, please! Sometimes on a hot day, all we want is a glass of cold water to quench our thirst and cool our bodies down, and not even the water from our faucets can satisfy us. With a refrigerator filter, you can revel in the refreshment that cool water brings and be assured that it is safe from contaminants. 

Prevent water-acquired diseases from unfiltered water

Tap water is full of contaminants. Whether heavy metals, non-essential mineral deposits, organic compounds, or microorganisms, the unfiltered water that comes directly from the main line is not entirely safe for drinking. Most of these contaminants can negatively affect our health, so the water we drink should undergo filtration. 

Efficiency 

In general, refrigerator water filters have a 6-month to 1-year lifespan before replacement is needed since they are typically small devices. Especially for low-costing filters, 6 months is the best you can get out of it. Nonetheless, these devices offer a lot for their price and have really good benefits that you can enjoy within those 6 months. 

Better-tasting water

Chlorine-free water tastes a lot better. If you ever accidentally drank swimming pool water, you must know what chlorinated water tastes like, and it’s not pleasant. Refrigerator filters are very good at cleansing your water supply of chlorine and improving the taste. 

Downsides of owning a Refrigerator Water Filter

There are always two sides to every coin. While the benefits may sound promising, this appliance also has downsides. 

Costly 

Filter replacements are around 30 to 50 dollars. For those that last only for 6 months, you need to spend this amount twice a year. Maintenance may also cost you extra. 

It cannot be used for your faucet.

The device can only be convenient if you get your water mainly from your fridge. Otherwise, it won’t do you much good if you still choose to get your drinking straight from your kitchen faucet. The device cannot be connected to your faucet, so if you need filtered water for your cooking needs, you have to get it from the fridge, and it’s going to be cold. 

May slow down the water pressure.

This usually happens when the filter is nearing the end of its lifespan. However, there may also be a slight delay in the speed of the water flow since it will take time for it to undergo the filtration process before flowing out of the dispenser. 

How it Works

Many mechanisms are involved in operating a refrigerator water filter or just water filters. The following are the steps your water goes through to come out safe and clean for drinking.

  • Large Mechanical Filter

All models have a mechanical filter that filters out the large, solid particles from your water like dust, sediments, and other extraneous matter. They are mostly made from fiber or sand, but they also vary on the model. This part cleanses your water of the mentioned contaminants, and there are even some that eliminate bacteria. 

  • Fine Mechanical Filter

The first filter is only responsible for the large sediments. There is a high probability that some particles may be left that weren’t thoroughly filtered during the first stage, such as bacteria and inorganic elements that can still pass through the larger filter. At this stage, the finer particles are eliminated. Hence the name. 

  • Activated Carbon Filter

The last filter is the most vital. All the particles left behind from the first and second filtration processes are removed at this stage. Activated carbon is very efficient in removing water impurities via adsorption, where particles stick to the carbon media instead of free flowing in the water. The carbon filter takes care of the remnants that weren’t catered to by the large and fine mechanical filters. 

Why do you need to replace the filter?

Water dispenser from dispenser of home fridge, Woman is filling a glass with water from the refrigerator.

After the indicated lifespan of the filter, it won’t be as efficient in its function anymore. So if you continue to use it beyond that period, it may not be able to do a very thorough job anymore, and you’ll find your water still reeking of contaminants even though it has gone through the filter.

  • The lifespan of Mechanical Filters

Mechanical filters are porous media that water passes through to eliminate large particle contaminants in your water. The water comes out of the other side of the filter clean while the particles stick to the porous media. That is the general principle of mechanical filters.

Unfortunately, these large particles will cling to the filter’s pores over time, rendering them incapable of functioning efficiently. And if the particles clog all these pores, the filter can no longer operate well. However, there won’t be a change in the water quality and content. 

  • The lifespan of Activated Carbon Filters

Like other filters, this one, unfortunately, does not last forever well. Treating activated carbon filters involve the use of oxygen and also makes the carbon surface uneven. So this part of the filtration it’s the final part and the one with the most vital role to play.

Since the remaining particles and contaminants adhere to the carbon surface, the space will eventually run out. There won’t be any more surfaces left for more contaminants to stick to. This is when the filter loses its efficiency.

Refrigerator Filter Installation Guide

It’s quite simple to install a refrigerator filter. Anyone can do it, and there’s usually no need for extra help or professional assistance. Units usually come with an installation kit and guide containing everything you could set up the unit. 

We mentioned that water filter placements could be in various locations on your refrigerator. Here are some possible spots they might be located:

  • In-grille filters – You can find this at the front of your fridge somewhere by the bottom part. The grille can easily conceal the filter, so it might be hard to notice. This can usually be ejected by twisting or pushing it. 
  • Canister filters – Canister filters are inside the refrigerator right above the food compartment. You can remove this with a turn. Canisters are also shorter than in-grilles, but they have a wider circumference.
  • Drop-down filters – This one typically has a dedicated container located at the top. The filter is found inside that container.
  • Slide-out filters – Lastly, this one is also found inside the refrigerator. Ejection usually just takes a 45-degree turn or a press of a button. 

The following are general steps you can follow when installing your refrigerator filter.

  1. Always read the installation guide or instruction manual that comes with the unit.
  2. Before anything else, you first have to cut off the water supply to your fridge. 
  3. Detach the water line from the appliance and attach it to the filter. Secure the attachments. 
  4. Prime the filter and check for leaks by running the water for 10 minutes. You can use a bucket to gather the water. 
  5. After priming, you can reattach the water line to your fridge and enjoy your filtered water. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it easy to replace a refrigerator water cartridge?

Yes. The procedure is usually written in the instruction manual

Is it required to replace the filter every six months?

6 months is the general lifespan of a filter for average use. Still, it also varies depending on your situation, like the quality of your water and the frequency of your usage. It may last longer, or it may already be ineffective even before 6 months. Regardless, you should replace the filter when the need arises not to compromise your water quality. 

How do you determine if the fridge already has a built-in water filter?

The ice dispenser and the water filter are usually placed together, so you won’t have difficulty locating the latter. Also, it is usually indicated in the specifications of the refrigerator. 

How can I reset the filter change indicator light?

If your filter comes with that feature, you have to reset it every time you replace the filter. Again, check the instruction manual for specific instructions for your model.

What chemicals can be removed by refrigerator water filters?

Chlorine, other dissolved solids, mineral deposits, heavy metals, and some microbes. 

Is there a separate filter for both the icemaker and water dispenser?

Perhaps it depends on the refrigerator model, but most of the time, you don’t because these filters are placed right at the water line just before it enters the appliance, so all the water that flows out of the dispenser is used to make ice is already filtered. 

Are refrigerator filters recyclable?

There is not enough information yet that tells us whether or not these filters can be recycled. So far, manufacturers have not made any claims about this. Therefore, as of now, it is best to assume that these filters are disposable. 

Conclusion

Planning to purchase a refrigerator water filter takes a lot of careful thinking and wise considerations.

However, we hope that this guide somehow gave you relevant information and helped push you in the right direction as you weigh your options on what to purchase. As a parting word, we will share with you our top recommendation:

Culligan IC 1 EZ-Change Basic Inline Icemaker and Refrigerator Filtration System, 1 Count (Pack of...
649 Reviews
Culligan IC 1 EZ-Change Basic Inline Icemaker and Refrigerator Filtration System, 1 Count (Pack of...
  • Provide your family with visibly clean, great-tasting water for drinking, cooking and more
  • FEATURES: Reduces bad taste and odor, chlorine taste and odor, and particulate class III; EZ change replacement...
  • COMPATIBILITY: Uses RC-EZ-1 replacement cartridge

In terms of lifespan and reliable quality, this is our best bet. With a lifespan of 1 year and a 2-year warranty, you are sure to get the most out of your money.

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.