I went on a search for a water filter to have clean and tasty water at home anytime. I read a number of articles from the National Science Foundation to Good Housekeeping to Wellness Mama. Each had done their own scientific experiments and gave their results. This turned out to be a longer journey than expected. In the end, there was no clear winner (pun intended) and it just left me with more questions.

I began my search with understanding the different kinds of water filters available.  First there is the carafe model. This is the kind of filter that you would associate with Brita water pitchers. Then there is the faucet-mounted filter. These are the kinds that you would screw onto your kitchen sink. After that you have the counter-top filters. These might have a filtered water container with a spout that sits on your kitchen counter and connects to your faucet temporarily or permanently. Another one is the whole-house filters. These start at the source of your water and filters all of the water in your home. Lastly, there are under-the-sink models that have a spout that fits next to your kitchen faucet. These come in two varieties, the normal ones and the reverse-osmosis filtering system.

There are a number of factors that I hadn’t considered before that came up. Cost is a big one. These filters range from $25 to $2000. There is the initial cost of the apparatus, but how about the cost of filters that must be replaced. The filters themselves range from $5-$400. The speed of flow differs greatly and some even boast being clog free. Who would ever want a water filter that clogs? Space is another factor that I hadn’t considered. Some filters take up half of the space under your sink or may not even fit in the first place. The on-the-counter filters can be an eye-sore out in the open.

Then there is the issue of filtering out contaminants. I thought that the reverse-osmosis filtering systems had to be the best at this. What I found is that some of the water pitchers such as the Clear 2O and Zero Water pitchers filtered out just as many harmful chemicals as the reverse-osmosis systems. A major drawback for the reverse-osmosis is that for every gallon that is filtered, it wastes 3-5 gallons of water. Unbelievable. The under-the-counter and on-faucet filters filtered out most contaminants that you would want filtered. These include lead and uranium. The whole-house filters don’t filter most contaminants. The only filters that remove arsenic consistently are the reverse-osmosis ones but you must sanitize them with bleach regularly in addition to changing out the filters.

In conclusion, I came to no conclusion. The 5 water filters that I’m looking at right now are the following- the Whirpool WHER25 $200 at Lowe’s, APEC at Home Depot for $199, Clear2O water pitcher for $30, the Zero Water 8-cup pitcher for $35 and the Pur CR-6000 7-cup pitcher for $15.