Is there anything more thirst-quenching than a big class of ice-cold water? And it’s even better when you know it’s as pure as possible. Invest in a good refrigerator water filter, and you’ll get exactly that. But how do you know which is the right filter to choose?
Here we check out ten of the best refrigerator water filters on the market. And our buying guide sets out everything you need to know in order to make the right decision.
This is a great filter with a recommended six-month lifespan. During that time, it will purify enough water to fill 1,500 plastic bottles. That makes it a far more environmentally friendly option for refilling your reusable flasks.
Frigidaire’s system will work to purify both chilled water and ice from your refrigerator dispenser. Check the model number of your fridge to make sure it will fit. Some online stockists provide a helpful automatic check when you type in your model number.
The filter carries a range of independent certifications so you can be confident in its germ-busting credentials. It will remove 99 percent of all contaminants, including lead, pesticides, cysts and pharmaceuticals.
And if you have chlorinated water and dislike the taste and smell, this is a great option. It will give the water a far more palatable flavor and odor.
Installation isn’t difficult. Simply hold the filter so that the grip is horizontal and then slide it into position. Then turn it through ninety degrees clockwise until it snaps into place.
There’s one thing to be careful of with this one, and that’s compatibility with your fridge.
Some of the newer models from Frigidaire and Electrolux are supposed to fit this filter – but beware. Somewhere along the line, the base filter part has been changed. The result is that the filter can be ejected, spilling water inside the refrigerator.
It’s possible to deal with the issue by replacing the offending part – and Frigidaire will do it free of charge if you experience this issue.
As long as it fits, though, this is a good, robust filter that will give you purer, better tasting water.
This filter from GE is another one that will deal with a wide range of contaminants.
If you have city water that smells or tastes of chlorine, it will make a big impact. The chlorine levels will be significantly reduced, minimizing the chemical flavor and odor.
It’s also a good choice if you’re worried about pharmaceuticals making their way into your water. The filter will remove any progesterone, ibuprofen, atenolol, fluoxetine or trimethoprim that’s present.
And it’s certified to reduce or eliminate a host of other contaminants too. These include certain pesticides, mercury, lead, asbestos and cysts.
As with all other filters on the list, you’ll need to make sure it will fit your refrigerator. Check your model number is compatible before you buy. (It should be on a plate on the outside of the appliance.)
The filter will last for about six months of average use. It includes a filter which will communicate with the electronics in your refrigerator to reset a timer on installation. When the six months are up, you’ll get an indicator light to show you it’s due to be changed.
You can, though, safely treat this indicator with a pinch of salt. Remember that it’s the volume of water passing through your filter that will affect its lifespan. So if you don’t use lots of water and it’s still tasting fine after six months, you may decide to hang on.
When it’s time for a replacement, the process is very easy. Just open the door and swing out the used filter far enough so that it unlocks. Then gently slide it out. It’s the same process in reverse to put the new filter in place.
If your refrigerator has a freezer at the bottom and the filter compartment at the top right, this may be a good fit. Whirlpool’s EveryDrop Filter 2 is the only filter approved by KitchenAid, Whirlpool, Amana, Maytag and JennAir.
As always, check your model number to make sure it’s compatible. This is another filter where we’ve heard of some problems with online checks though. The key thing to be aware of is that this one has an oval opening.
It extracts no fewer than 28 contaminants, including 99 percent of lead. Other nasties that will be reduced (if they’re present in the first place, of course) include pesticides, pharmaceuticals and waterborne parasites.
And if you’re fed up of tasting and smelling chlorine in your water, this filter will deal with that too.
To achieve this, it uses what Whirlpool calls triple filtration technology. This is designed to remove large, medium and small particles using a combination of particle, adsorption and micro filtration.
This is another filter with a recommended six-month lifespan. During that time, it will purify enough water to fill 1,500 plastic bottles. That makes it a far more environmentally friendly option for refilling your reusable flasks.
You will, though, need to run a fair amount of water through it to clean the filter. For some people, it’s taken several gallons before the water stops being cloudy. That’s no good if you live in an area prone to water shortages. And if you pay for your water on a metered basis, this may not be the best choice.
LG’s filter will also fit many Kenmore models, including the Kenmore Elite. And it’s a cost-effective alternative.
The focus here is on removing the unpleasant chemical flavors and odors of chlorine. If that’s the main problem with your water supply, this may be a good choice.
It will treat up to 200 gallons of water before needing to be replaced. That’s roughly six months of use for an average household.
The precise lifespan you’ll get will, of course, depend on the level of contaminants in your water to start with. If you’re unlucky enough to have lots of impurities, you’ll find the filter will degrade sooner. The best guide is the appearance, smell and taste of your filtered water.
The filter is easy to install – so there’s no need to dread changeover time. And it’s less expensive than many others on our list too. You can get a pack of two of these for about the same price as a single filter from other brands. If you’re seeking an economical option, it’s well worth a look.
Bear in mind that you’ll need to run a bit of water through the filter to flush it before drinking. Once that’s done, though, you’ll have water with a clean, crisp taste and no chlorine smell.
Kenmore’s 9990 filter will fit a wide range of the manufacturer’s models, including the Kenmore Elite. It works with models where the filter compartment is in the top left.
Install it with a compatible refrigerator, and a light will come on when the filter needs to be replaced. As with other indicators, this records time, rather than scientifically analyzing the state of the filter. So if you don’t have “average” water quality or usage levels, it won’t be an exact measure.
This is one of the priciest filters on our list, so you won’t want to throw it away before it’s finished. The best measure of filter quality is always the taste and smell of the water that’s treated. If you can detect a deterioration, you need to change the filter. You may find the water gets cloudy too.
Replacing the filter is a simple operation, taking only a few seconds. Remove the finished one by twisting and pulling it out. The new one slides into place, then twist it to lock it into position.
Run the water for a while to flush out the filter and remove any sediment that’s been loosened in transit. After a short time, you’ll find the water begins to sputter at the nozzle. That’s your sign that the filter is priming itself. Fill and dispose of a few more cups of water, and you’re ready to go.
Overall, the flushing process will use about two gallons of water. That’s a lower amount than several others on our list. So if you’re on a metered charge, it may be worth considering.
Amazon’s own brand water filter cartridges are longer-lasting than some, able to treat up to 300 gallons of water.
Despite that capacity being about half as much again as other water filters, the recommended lifespan is still six months. For most people, this is probably an under-estimate. If you don’t want to spend more than necessary, we’d recommend letting the flavor of the water be your guide.
It will provide a flow rate of half a gallon a minute. And it works effectively with water between a temperature of 33 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
It uses premium coconut shell carbon to reduce contaminants across three different categories.
To begin with, it will cut the flavor and odor of chlorine. The impressive filtration will remove at least 97 percent of that chemical.
The second category is other chemicals and pharmaceuticals. It will reduce ibuprofen by at least 94.4 percent and phenytoin by at least 95.2 percent. And anyone concerned about plastic leaching will be reassured to know that it removes over 99 percent of bisphenol-A.
The third and final category includes a mixture of heavy metals and organic materials. The filter will remove virtually all lead – at least 99.6 percent of any that’s present. Other contaminants tackled include cysts, benzene and endrin.
Installation and replacement of used filters is very straightforward. And this is an economical option too. As with other filters, you’ll need to use up a bit of water flushing it out before the first use. Some people have reported that the process is rather noisy.
But set aside that minor niggle and this is a great filter at a very competitive price.
Samsung’s water filters are another option able to treat 300 gallons before needing to be replaced. The water passes from the exterior to the inner core of a carbon block. As it travels, the pores in the carbon become smaller, trapping ever tinier impurities.
The filter will fit in Samsung fridges with side-by-side or French door style openings. Once installed, it will remove over 99 percent of a wide range of contaminants.
If you want to improve the flavor and odor of chlorinated water, this will do the job very effectively. It will also remove chemicals and some heavy metals, including lead.
And if you’re concerned about waterborne bugs, you’ll be pleased to hear that it also captures cysts like cryptosporidium. These resilient parasites will resist even the chlorine often added to disinfect water supplies. But they won’t get past the carbon filter.
When used with a compatible fridge, the indicator light will turn red when it’s time to replace the filter. Each pack also comes with a set of handy stickers. They allow you to mark the filter with the month it’s due to be changed.
You will find that the rate of water flow declines gradually as the filter ages. So if you’re finding it’s taking a long time to fill your glass, it may be time for a change.
Some people have found the filter lasts more like three months than the six months “average”. But as with any filter, its life will depend on how much water you use, and how contaminated it is.
With the Pureplus filter you’ll have the reassurance of knowing it’s been tested by two different independent certifying authorities. So if you want to be confident that your water really will be improved by filtering, it’s a good choice.
The filter packaging is made of BPA-free plastic. And it’s guaranteed against defects in materials and workmanship throughout its life of six months.
The filtration process comprises multiple layers. This removes sediment like sand and rust, as well as certain heavy metals. Anything half a micron or bigger will be captured. And the coconut shell activated carbon will make short work of the taste and smell of chlorinated water.
It’s possible to buy these in a pack of four, which makes them a particularly cost-effective choice. And they’re compatible with a range of LG, Sears and Kenmore refrigerators.
This is another filter that’s very easy to install. Simply slide it into place and twist until it locks in position. It’s the work of just a few moments.
The flow rate here is a particular bonus. It’s about thirty percent higher than comparable filters. If you want to be able to fill glasses and carafes fast, it’s a good option.
Just take note: this really is much speedier than other filters. Take care when you first use it, or you may have some splashes to clear up!
FilterLogic’s filter is compatible with a range of LG and Kenmore refrigerators, and interchangeable with many other branded filters.
Whether your water problems are chlorine-related, or you’re concerned about other pollutants, this filter can help. It’s certified to extract chlorine tastes and smells, as well as lead, mercury, benzene and cysts.
It will treat up to 200 gallons of water or last for about six months. Just remember that it’s your water quality and levels of use that will determine its exact lifespan. There are filters with higher capacity out there though.
There are, however, few that are as cost-effective as this one. A pack of three will set you back the same amount as a single filter from a more expensive brand. And there’s no skimping on materials either. The filter here is a block of premium coconut shell activated carbon.
Installation and replacement are simple, and you won’t need any tools for the job. Once the filter is in place, run the water through it for about five minutes. That will use up about three gallons. When that’s done, you won’t have any air bubbles in the carbon and you’ll get a steady stream of water.
The flow rate is good too. And unlike some other filters, we haven’t heard of any problems with leaks.
All in all, this is a great, cost-effective alternative to big brand filters. And you won’t have to compromise on quality.
Waterdrop’s three-pack of filters offers excellent quality at a keen price.
They’re compatible with a variety of LG and Kenmore refrigerators. Check the model number carefully before you buy to make sure it will fit.
The filters are certified against three separate standards.
Firstly, they’ll get rid of 97 percent of chlorine. That means that the associated tastes and smells will be a thing of the past.
Secondly, they’ll remove substances including lead, carbofuran, cysts, benzene and endrin. And finally, the materials for the filter itself are certified as being lead-free.
The filters are engineered to fit securely in your fridge, so you won’t have to worry about leaks. And you’ll have the reassurance of a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied.
The simple design is easy to install, remove and replace. No tools are required, and you won’t be left with a mess. They are, though, slightly smaller than some others. They’ll fit the models listed, but you may need to do a little jiggling to get them in.
The manufacturers suggest flushing the filter with three gallons of water for five minutes before the first use.
This is another great filter at far lower prices than the big brands. If you’re prepared to spend a few extra seconds maneuvering it into position in your fridge, you’ll get great results.
If you’re still wondering which of these refrigerator water filters is best for you, don’t worry – we’re here to help! Take a look at our buying guide to narrow down the features to look for.
Will it fit your refrigerator?
The most basic thing to check is whether the filter is compatible with your refrigerator! They may all look very similar, but different shaped bases and openings make all the difference. And if you want to use your refrigerator’s refill indicator, you’ll need a filter that will work with its electronics.
In most cases, a quick online search will be all you need to check this. But with a couple of models, recent design modifications can mean a previously compatible filter no longer fits. So make sure you read the descriptions and check reviews carefully before you buy.
What about capacity?
Most refrigerator water filters will have a recommended lifespan of six months. But it’s not time that damages your filter – it’s the amount of contaminants that collect inside it.
How long your filter will last therefore depends on how much water you use and how contaminated it is.
A better measure of capacity is the recommended water volume. A filter with a recommended level of 300 gallons will last considerably longer than one designed for 200 gallons. But it will still depend on how many contaminants there are in your water.
Automatic indicators on fridges simply count down for six months from the day the filter was installed. So just because the light has gone on, doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be changed.
A less expensive filter can be a good option here. You may be less reluctant to risk disposing of a cheaper option that still has some life left in it. Alternatively, you can wait for the flavor of your water to deteriorate. But who wants to taste that?
What contaminants do you want to remove?
Do you want to remove the taste and odor of chlorine from your water? Or are you concerned about lead or other pollutants?
Check the substances you’re concerned about against those listed as being removed by your filter. Most reputable manufacturers will have their products independently certified, and test data will be published on their websites.
And check that the filter packaging itself is free of BPA and lead. You don’t want to be adding contaminants instead of taking them away!
Ready to choose?
That brings us to the end of our investigation into some of the best refrigerator water filters on the market. We hope it’s given you a better idea of what’s available, and how the different options fit your needs.
Our top pick for refrigerators with ice and water dispensers is the Frigidaire WF2CB. It will remove 99 percent of contaminants whilst improving water flavor and odor too. And it’s easy to install and replace.
And for water only, we love theEasydrop Filter 2 by Whirlpool. It’s not cheap, but it tackles an impressive range of pollutants, so you can be confident in your water quality.
Whichever option you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy pure, chilled water from your refrigerator. That sounds pretty refreshing to us!