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Choosing a water filter for your home or office can seem overwhelming.

With all the different filter types, from pitchers to countertop gravity fed filters, not to mention the sheer number of brands available, it can be difficult to know where to start.

So if you’re looking to invest in a water filter for your kitchen, here are some simple steps to help you choose the right water filtration system for your needs and budget.

Step 1 – Find Out What’s In Your Water

The first step in how to choose a water filter system for your home is to find out what pollutants are in your water, so you’re clear on what you want to remove.

You should be able to get details from your water supplier, who carry out annual reports on the quality of the water in your area.

You can also test the water yourself, either via a home water test kit, which should give you a broad overview of the quality of your drinking water, or via an independent laboratory.

Take a look at the sort of contaminants that may be in your water for more information on this area.

Step 2 – Set Your Budget

Water filters are available from a few dollars right up to high end models, which can cost thousands to install.

If you’re on a budget and want an effective filter that doesn’t cost the earth, a simple carbon water filter pitcher is a great starting point for many people. If you want to avoid plastic, these glass ones are all BPA free.

However, if you want a more permanent water filter solution or more powerful filtration, you’ll need to decide which type of filter best suits your needs.

Your ultimate decision will likely be driven by both cost and the type of pollutants you are looking to reduce or remove.

More powerful filters, such as this one, are of course more expensive, but you can still find many affordable filter systems, such as these faucet filters that may fit your needs.

Step 3 – Decide Which Water Filter Meets Your Needs

Pitcher style and faucet water filters

Activated carbon water filters, such as those generally found in water filter pitchers, and many faucet mount water filters, can usually tackle lead, as well as contaminants such as chlorine, pesticides and some volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Reverse osmosis and countertop filter systems

However, if you wish to remove a wider range of contaminants then you’ll need to employ a more powerful water filter system. Reverse osmosis and countertop systems are common choices.

Reverse osmosis is often considered the most convenient and effective method of water filtration, since it is essentially the same method used to filter bottled water. 

Reverse osmosis filters can filter up to 99% of all contaminants that are in the water including  arsenic and fluoride. However, they do create waste water, which faucet and under sink filters don’t, plus they remove good as well as bad minerals. 

Gravity fed water filters, such as this one are another efficient option, as their slower filtration is generally highly effective.

Whole house water filtration systems

If you’re considering a whole house water filter, remember these are designed to treat water for general usage such as cleaning, bathing, showering and laundry.

Top Tip: Look For a Water Filter That is NSF Certifed

When looking for a water filter, check to see if it NSF Certified

NSF International is an independent body that examines and tests water filters, inspects the manufacturing facility and then certifies what pollutants  the filter is able to reduce/remove, from water, under certain conditions.

Still Confused About Which Water Filter to Buy?

If you’re looking for a entry level, inexpensive water filter, a carbon filter water filter pitcher is a great way to start.

Most plastic or glass pitcher style filters will effectively reduce or remove chlorine, which is often a main pollutant of concern with consumers.

A faucet water filter is another affordable option, which will give you filtered water direct from your tap.

If you’re looking for a more permanent filter that should last you a lifetime, a Big Berkey is one of the most powerful gravity fed, countertop filters you can buy. Reverse osmosis systems are another powerful and popular choice, which again should last you for many years.

Filtering water for your bath, shower and laundry

If you want your bath, cleaning and laundry water to be filtered as well, you’ll need a whole house water filter system.

If you’re happy to just filter your shower water though, a water filter for the shower may suffice.