Which water filter to buy
Which UK Water Filter to Buy
If you’re tired of quenching your thirst with hard, poorly flavoured tap water, you have two choices:
Number one, you can opt to start drinking bottled water that slowly eats away at your budget and adds to the plastic pollution – in the UK alone, over 77 billion plastic water bottles get thrown away each year.
Number two, you can opt to buy a high-quality water filter that purifies tap water and saves you money in the long run.
It’s pretty clear which option is better for you, your wallet, and your environment.
The only issue is that water filters in the UK come in all shapes and sizes.
There are hundreds of different brands and vendors, thousands of different filtration systems, millions of different replacement cartridges, and the simple choice to just buy a water filter quickly becomes overwhelming.
Well, to help you narrow down your options and decide precisely which water filter to buy, we’ve developed this detailed guide that’ll tell you everything you need to know about the best water filtration systems.
From jugs to under sink and faucet-mounted systems, we’ll cover all filter variations and top-sellers to ensure you get the water filter that you need. So, let’s get started.
Do You Need a Water Filter in the UK?
First thing’s first; it’s crucial to make one thing clear – water in the UK is perfectly safe for human consumption.
Tap water in the UK is among the highest quality in the world, thanks to the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) and stringent rules and regulations.
The latest reports show that drinking water quality compliance with the UK and European standards stands at 99.96% in England and Wales, 99.91% in Scotland, and 99.88% in Northern Ireland.
So, if you’re lucky enough to live here, you don’t have much to worry about when it comes to drinking water.
The DWI regulates the concentration of pesticides, microorganisms, heavy metals, and nitrates, ensuring that only safe levels are present in your tap water.
Still, the fact that they are present could be a cause for concern for some.
After all, dozens of different chemicals could end up in your drinking water, chlorine (used for purification), pharmaceuticals, and hormones being just a few examples.
If you want to make your drinking water as pure and safe as it could be, especially if you have unique allergies, then using water filters is your best option.
They remove impurities, eliminate the taste of chlorine, and improve the overall water quality.
While you don’t always need them, they can be beneficial for all your household members.
What Do Water Filters Remove and How Do They Work?
Pure water is just H2O; it contains only hydrogen and oxygen molecules and nothing else.
However, you’ll rarely find pure H2O in nature, let alone in your tap.
Bacteria, minerals, contaminants, and chemicals can easily enter the water supply and affect the purity of your water.
If you live near farmland, agricultural chemicals like pesticides and fertilisers can get to your faucet and damage the water quality, even making it harmful.
While municipal water treatment plants work hard to eliminate as many contaminants as possible and get rid of dangerous microbes, they cannot filter everything out.
That’s where commercially available water filters for homes and offices come in.
They leave your water tasting better. They remove hardness and undesirable impurities, get rid of sediment, microbes, and bacteria that are as harmful to you as to your kitchen appliances and utensils.
Types of Water Filters UK
Different types of water filters work to eliminate impurities in different ways. Most commonly, you’ll encounter:
- - Mechanical filters
- - Absorption filters
- - Reverse osmosis filters
Mechanical filters are likely what comes to mind when you think about water filters.
They feature a physical barrier that separates larger particles from your water.
That barrier can be as simple as mesh fabric that removes larger debris or as complex as a ceramic filter which boasts an intricate pore-like structure that offers exceptional filtration of large and small debris and particles alike.
When buying a mechanical water filter, you’ll want to examine its label and pay attention to its micron rating.
A filter with a micron rating of 5 will eliminate most of the particles that are visible to the human eye.
That with a rating of 0.5 will eliminate particles that you couldn’t see without a powerful microscope.
Absorption filters use carbon to capture water contaminants.
Carbon has a complex internal structure with thousands of tiny nooks and crannies that effectively attract and capture contaminants and molecules like chlorine.
Carbon filters can come in granular form or the more expensive block form. They can be made from a variety of different materials, but most commonly, you’ll find wood or coconut shell filters.
Reverse osmosis filters are often considered the most effective type.
They work by using pressure to move water through a thick membrane that allows the water to pass through freely but prevents contaminants like calcium ions from doing so.
Water filtration is done through several stages and several filters, so some wastewater is produced in the process and sent down the drain.
However, you’re left with almost completely pure water that’s perfectly safe for consumption.
Which Water Filter Removes the Most Contaminants?
High-quality reverse osmosis filters are the best water filters for removing unwanted contaminants.
Their complex structure and several filtration levels will eliminate virtually every impurity, down to the tiniest microorganism.
However, you need to ensure that it’s truly a high-quality product.
Cheaper products could have problems with deteriorating parts that can end up in your filtered water.
And keep in mind that a good reverse osmosis filter might be too good at times, filtering out even beneficial minerals like magnesium and leaving the water slightly acidic in the process.
Demineralised water will seek to absorb new minerals, so when you drink it, you might lose a few minerals essential for your overall well being, not enough to suffer any form of mineral deficiency due to it, but still.
Acidic water is generally best avoided as it comes with several health risks.
In order to make up for the problems caused by purifying water too much, the best reverse osmosis filters come with re-alkalising and remineralising media that provide you with high-quality drinking water.
Best Water Filter to Remove Hormones UK
Many contaminants could end up in your drinking water aluminium, ammonia, lead, fluoride,, all kinds of bacteria and viruses, and even hormones.
Municipal water treatment plants follow stringent requirements when purifying drinking water, but there’s only so much they can do, especially when it comes to hormones in the water.
How do hormones even get into municipal water? Through discarded pharmaceuticals.
Our bodies only absorb small amounts of pharmaceuticals that we ingest.
Most of the active ingredients are actually discarded by the body and get flushed down the toilet.
Additionally, many people dispose of entire boxes of unused contraceptive pills, expired medications, and drugs by flushing them down the drain.
Synthetic hormones like oestrogen in water supplies can impact fish and marine life, pollute the environment, and enter our drinking water, affecting men, women, and kids.
The only water filter that can effectively remove hormones from drinking water is the reverse osmosis one.
It’s powerful enough to eliminate even the smallest particles from drinking water, leaving it free of contaminants and perfectly pure.
Best Water Filter Jugs UK
When looking into which water filter to buy, you’ll see countless different options, with filter jugs being the most convenient and affordable choice.
They’ll help you cut down on single-use plastics and ensure you have high-quality drinking water whenever you need it.
While they’re not the most potent filters, jugs will eliminate the most common contaminants and leave your tap water tasting better. Some will even have remineralising media to add a nice, healthy punch to every gulp.
However, not all water filter jugs are made the same. Here are your best options.
Epic Pure Water Filter Jug
Epic Pure water filter jug is one of the pricier options you’ll come across, but it’s well worth it. This 3.5-litre jug is 100% BPA-free and made of high-quality materials that’ll keep your water tasting fresh and clean.
It comes with a powerful filter that can easily remove over 200 common tap water contaminants, including fluoride, lead, hormones, pesticides and herbicides, microplastics, trace pharmaceuticals, and more.
The Epic Pure water filter jug boasts a carbon block filter that can last up to four months and handle up to 568 litres of water before needing a replacement. Filters are 100% recyclable, so you can enjoy clean water without worrying about your ecological footprint.
Brita Style XL Filter Jug
Brita is a renowned water filter manufacturer with plenty of filtration options that could suit any household. Regardless of which Brita product you get, you can rest assured you’re getting excellent quality at an affordable price.
The Brita Style XL filter jug is ideal for larger families as it easily holds 2.3l of filtered water (with 3.2l being its full capacity). Admittedly, it won’t fit in a standard fridge door, but that’s to be expected considering its capacity.
It comes with fully recyclable MAXTRA filter cartridges that last about a month and offer superior filtration. What makes the Brita Style XL filter jug unique is that it features a smart, convenient LED light which indicates whether your filter needs to be replaced. The indicator is removable, so you can take it out and safely put the lid in your dishwasher.
Brita Fill & Enjoy
If you’re looking for a bit more convenient Brita filter, the Fill & Enjoy is a great option. Its compact size makes it ideal for storing in a fridge door so that you can have perfectly refreshing water, ideal for hot, summer days.
To ensure a more comfortable fit in the fridge, Brita’s removed the unnecessary handle and streamlined the whole jug design. It’s sleek and elegant, and its full capacity stands at 1.5l, leaving room for 1l of filtered water.
The filter has micro carbon pearls that remove organic impurities, chlorine, and metals. As with most recyclable Brita MAXTRA filters, it lasts about four weeks before needing replacement. You’ll also get a non-removable smart indicator that’ll inform you when it’s time to order a new filter.
Aqua Optima Oria
Aqua Optima Oria provides you with excellent quality filter jugs at affordable prices. With your order, you’ll get the Aqua Optima Oria filter jug, a 60-day filter, and a stylish reusable water bottle that you can take with you on the go.
The Evolve filter cartridges are fully recyclable and quite powerful for the price tag they have. The cartridges boast a much faster flow and five filtration layers which will remove any impurities you might come across in your tap water.
While the Aqua Optima Oria is pretty budget-friendly, it looks, feels, and performs just as well as any pricier alternative available on the market.
ZeroWater pitchers are on the more expensive side, and their replacement filters aren’t going to make your wallet happy either. However, they bring superior value and will leave your water fresher and tastier than ever.
ZeroWater filtration systems are truly cutting-edge solutions that remove all common impurities. The brand uses 5-stage filtration and relies not only on carbon filters but ion exchange technology as well to ensure the utmost water quality. The filters eliminate lead and heavy metals, salt, minerals, and chemicals with ease and efficiency. With your ZeroWater Pitcher, you’ll even receive a water quality meter that’ll give you a precise reading of the total removed impurities.
You’ll receive 1.3l of purified water with this elegant jug that fits nicely in a standard fridge door.
BWT Vida is ideal for those who enjoy the mineral taste of bottled water. The water filter jug boasts a unique filter that removes lime inlays, chlorine, and heavy metals but infuses the filtered water with valuable magnesium, which gives it a pure heavenly flavour. Whether you want fresh, clean water for drinking, making coffee and tea, or enjoying your favourite recipes, you’ll notice a clear difference with BWT Vida filters.
The jug has a convenient anti-splash filling system that keeps your kitchen counters nice and dry and an ergonomic handle to prevent accidental drops and slippage.
BWT Vida holds 1.4 litres of filtered water, and its filters will last about a month with regular use.
Aquaphor Time is a simple, budget-friendly option with superior value. Don’t let the low price fool you, as you’re getting a high-quality product with excellent performance.
The jug’s BPA-free, durable, and reliable. It doesn’t have many of the bells and whistles of other similar products, such as an anti-splash filling system or a smart LED indicator. Still, it has everything you may need to ensure excellent water quality.
Aquaphor Time is compatible with affordable Maxfor cartridges, but you can also use Brita’s MAXTRA cartridges for superior filtration.
The jug holds about 2l of filtered water and is slim enough to fit in a standard fridge door.
Argos Home Maxtra
Argos Home Maxtra is an affordable, basic water filter jug that accepts Argos, Sainsbury's, Brita Maxtra and Maxtra+ cartridges so that you can take your pick. It has a streamlined, minimalist design, allowing it to fit inside your fridge without taking too much space.
The plastic jug is dishwasher safe, but its lid is not as it has a cartridge indicator that will ensure you don’t forget to replace the filters.
Argos Home Maxtra holds 1.4 litres of filtered water and boasts a total capacity of 2.3 litres.
The original Argos filters tend to be slow, and while they do work to purify water, they don’t alter its taste, so you’ll barely notice the difference between filtered and tap water. However, you can always upgrade your filters and use Brita’s.
BLACK & BLUM Carafe
If you’re looking for something a little bit different, BLACK & BLUM Carafe is bound to surprise you. Perfect for the artsy, hipster type, it has a gorgeous, elegant design that astonishes with its simplicity.
The water jug is made of hand-blown glass and features a natural cork sustainably sourced from Portugal. Even without a filter, it can be a perfect addition to your kitchen and wouldn’t look out of place even in the fanciest of cafes.
But a filter it does have. The Binchō-tan filter, coming from an old Japanese tradition, is an active charcoal block that attracts and absorbs tap water contaminants while infusing your water with magnesium, iron, and calcium. Each filter lasts about six months and will purify water after about an hour.
Invigorated Water pH Replenish Glass Alkaline Water Pitcher
Another “alternative” water filter jug is the beautiful pH replenish by Invigorated Water. This 1-litre glass pitcher is sustainable, eco-friendly, stylish, and boasts a convenient handle that’ll prevent slippage.
Instead of a traditional water filter we’ve all come to expect, it features a stainless steel cylinder and a small pouch that removes chlorine, heavy metals, and fluoride. Once placed inside the cylinder, the pouch works to purify your water, improve its pH balance, and infuse it with zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium, giving the water a nice mineral taste.
Each filter lasts about 100 days before it needs a replacement. While the replacements are on the more expensive side, they do an excellent job of purifying your water, making them a worthwhile investment.
Best Water Filter System UK
If you don’t want to deal with water filter jugs and pitchers and prefer to get nice, clean water straight from the tap, you’ll need a water filter system. While these systems are typically a much more expensive option, they’re more reliable and offer the best return on investment.
Take a look at some of the best water filter systems currently available on the market.
Franke StillPure Filtration System
Franke is one of Europe’s most renowned water filter system manufacturers. It produces long-lasting, high-quality products that can be used on residential and commercial properties alike.
Its StillPure kitchen faucets have a modern, elegant design and can deliver hot, cold, and filtered water as needed.
The StillPure system uses advanced ceramic filters that attract and remove contaminants such as lead, toxins, pollutants, pesticides, even viruses, bacteria, and parasites. However, it still leaves your tap water rich in magnesium and calcium.
Pro Aqua Whole House Water Filter System
Whether you’re using well water or municipal water, the Pro Aqua whole house water filter system will ensure that you’re drinking only the highest quality water. Ideal for small and large households alike, it will remove any unwanted impurities and provide you with clean, tasty water.
It features three filtration stages, each designed to handle different types of impurities.
The string-wound sediment filtration eliminates:
- and similar contaminants
The CRK filter removes:
- and other metals
And finally, the activated coconut shell carbon block filters pesticides, herbicides, organic chemicals, and more.
Brondell H2O+ Water Filter Systems – Cypress
Brondell’s Cypress is a countertop water filter system that boasts three-stage filtration with its carbon block filter, nanotrap filter, and composite plus filter. It reduces the concentration of industrial chemicals, microorganisms, pesticides, herbicides and other impurities in the water and leaves you with high-quality drinking water for the entire household.
It boasts an elegant, almost futuristic design and is compact enough to maximise your counter space. The convenient faucet attachment fits most faucets and makes installation a breeze.
Pro Aqua Whole House Water Softener
If you’re satisfied with your water quality and would just like to get rid of the excessive water hardness, Pro Aqua whole house water softener is the solution you need. While certainly expensive, it offers excellent performance and significantly improves water quality, making sure that neither you nor your kitchen appliances have to suffer from hard water.
It has an 80,000-grain capacity, saves salt, and provides amazingly soft water that’s suitable for your entire household, children and pets included.
Brita Complete Faucet Mount System
Besides producing excellent water filter jugs, Brita also manufactures high-quality faucet mount filtration systems that bring even more benefits.
It’s easy to install and even more comfortable to maintain. It’s BPA-free, boasts a powerful filter that removes 99% of impurities, and has three spray options for added convenience.
The electronic indicator will notify you when it’s time to replace the filters so that you can enjoy completely clean water without worry.
Doulton Under Sink DUO & Ultracarb
Doulton’s DUO & Unltracard water filter system is installed under the sink, making it easy to hide yet easy to reach. It has a two-stage filter that removes most contaminants commonly found in UK municipal waters.
The cleanable and reusable ceramic Ultracarb filter is excellent to ensure even the tiniest of particles get trapped and separated from your drinking water. It’s compatible with several different cartridges – limescale reduction cartridge, fluoride reduction cartridge, chlorine reduction cartridge, and more, so you can ensure that you’re getting rid of the exact impurities that concern you.