Best Water Filters

Whether you use a water filter for cleaner water or tastier water, you have lots of types to choose from. But Consumer Reports' latest tests show some filters are clearly better than others.

Tom Nixon won't drink a glass of water in his own house, unless it's filtered first.

Nixon says, "You're getting the chemicals out and the added benefit, it tastes great. It tastes better than any bottled water you buy."

Tom's under-sink water filter removes most common contaminants. But it's not the only type of water filter.

Consumer Reports tested more than 40, including ones for under the sink, or on your counter-as well as faucet-mounted, reverse osmosis, and carafes.

Testers run water through the filters that have been spiked with lead and harmful organics.

They then analyze samples to see how well each filter removes the contaminants. Sensory experts also evaluate the water for taste.

Chris Regan of Consumer Reports says, "There were big differences in the filters within each category. But we found filters for every need, whether your goal is cleaner water or better taste."

Reverse osmosis filters remove the widest range of contaminants, including arsenic. But for every gallon of water they filter, they waste three to five gallons!

And they can cost upwards of a thousand dollars!

Regan says, "Our tests found that you could spend 30 dollars or less and still get cleaner, better-tasting water."

The Top rated Culligan faucet-mount is a Consumer Reports Best Buy for only $15. It installs in a snap and scored excellent at removing lead and other contaminants. But the slow flow rate can be frustrating.

You also get cleaner water from this $15 Clear 2O Pitcher. You have to hook the attached hose to your faucet, but it filters water quickly.

Either will quench your thirst for clean, tasty water.

Conspicuously absent in Consumer Reports' ratings of carafes are ones from Brita. Brita, which calls itself "the number one brand in water filtration," no longer claims that its carafes remove lead-which is a key consideration in Consumer Reports' tests.

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