Top 6 Types of Water Filters and Their Benefits

Why Filter Your Water?

There are a few key reasons to consider installing a water filter in your home. Filtered water can be used for drinking, cooking, bathing, cleaning, and more:

Enjoy Safe, Clean Drinking Water – Unfiltered tap water can contain harmful contaminants like lead, mercury, chlorine, and pharmaceutical residuals. Water filters remove these impurities to provide cleaner, safer drinking water straight from the tap.
Improve Taste and Odor – Chemicals like chlorine can leave an unpleasant taste and smell in water. Sediment and mineral buildup can also affect taste and appearance. Water filters remove odors, chlorine, and particulates for better tasting water.
Protect Plumbing and Appliances – Hard water minerals, sediment, and chemicals in tap water can damage plumbing and water-using appliances over time. Water filters reduce wear and tear.

Most Common Water Filter Types

There are several different technologies used in home water filters. Here are 6 of the most popular and effective:

1. Activated Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters use carbon material (usually derived from coconuts!) to adsorb contaminants. Water passes through porous carbon blocks or granules, and impurities stick to the surface. Excellent at removing chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, chlorine, odors, and organic compounds. Also improves taste and clarity. However, activated carbon filters are not as effective at removing heavy metals or microorganisms.


  • Removes wide range of impurities
  • Affordable and widely available
  • Effective at improving taste and odor

2. Reverse Osmosis Filters

Reverse osmosis (RO) forces water through a semipermeable membrane using pressure. The membrane only allows water molecules to pass through, filtering out contaminants. Removes up to 99% of impurities including heavy metals, microorganisms, pharmaceuticals, and dissolved solids. However, RO systems can waste a lot of water due to the filtration process.


  • Provides extremely thorough filtration
  • Ideal for high contaminant levels
  • Often added on to other filter systems

3. Ceramic Filters

Ceramic filters contain microscopic pores that block particles and microbes. Made from porcelain, diatomaceous earth, or activated alumina. Provide effective filtration of sediments, cysts, asbestos fibers, and organic chemicals. However, ceramic filters can clog easily and require regular cleaning or replacement.


  • Inexpensive and reusable
  • Easily portable for travel use
  • Do not require power source

4. UV Light Filters

Ultraviolet light systems use UV rays to neutralize microorganisms and pathogens without chemicals. Highly effective at eliminating bacteria, viruses, mold and protozoan cysts. Does not affect minerals, pH, or clarify water appearance. However, UV light filters do not remove chemical contaminants or heavy metals.


  • Environmentally friendly disinfection
  • Kills up to 99.9% of microbes
  • Long lamp life, low maintenance

5. Distillation Filters

Distillers heat water to the boiling point. Pure steam passes through to a collection chamber, leaving contaminants behind. Very thorough at removing minerals, heavy metals, chemicals, microbes, and particulates. However, distillation systems have high energy demands and operating costs.


  • Excellent purification from almost all contaminants
  • Simple process with minimal filtration needs
  • Minimal maintenance required

6. Activated Alumina Filters

Activated alumina is a porous filtering media made from aluminum oxide. It has a high affinity for absorbing heavy metals like mercury, lead, and arsenic. Also effective at removing fluoride and selenite. However, activated alumina does not remove microorganisms or many chemicals.


  • Specialized removal of heavy metals
  • Also filters sediment and particulates
  • Media can be recycled and reused

Choosing the Right Filter For You

With so many options, selecting the best water filter depends on:

Your Water Quality – Get testing done to identify contaminants if concerned. Target filtration capabilities accordingly.
Installation Requirements – Pitchers, faucets, under sink and whole house systems have different installation needs. Evaluate your plumbing system.
Budget – Costs range from $20 pitchers to $1000+ whole home set-ups. Plan costs for system itself and ongoing filter replacements.

Enjoy the Benefits of Filtered Water

Installing the right water filter provides cleaner, better tasting water throughout your home along with the peace of mind from knowing your family is protected from common water contaminants. Contact Water Filter Stuff to learn more about home water filtration solutions for your needs.

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