If you’re a renter, then your water filter options are limited to mostly countertop solutions. That is unless you prefer to use a water filter pitcher, though, you’ll find that the options in this guide will serve you better. Firstly, the advantage of choosing a countertop water filter is the fact that you have the option to thoroughly filter your water to mimic bottled water.

Secondly, there’s no need to make any modifications to your existing plumbing which will make your landlord happy and your security deposit even happier. The only thing you need is enough counter space to house one of the filters listed below, and you’ll be good to go. Whether you’re new to water filtration or fairly familiar with it, you’re bound to discover some helpful ideas below.

1) Countertop Reverse Osmosis System 

Let’s start with your best option. Over the years, residential reverse osmosis technology has come a long way, which is the main reason you have this option at your disposal. Considering that most bottled water companies use reverse osmosis filtration, this option produces superior drinking water that’s comparable to bottled water right on your countertop. 

When selecting a countertop RO system, there are various models available. You’ll find traditional models that create more wastewater and modern models that feature water recycling to reduce the wastewater you create. To get a clear idea of which model suits you, click here for an overview of the best countertop reverse osmosis systems on the market.

One thing you’ll surely find are that traditional systems are more affordable than the modern ones, so make sure to weigh the pros & cons of owning both types.

2) ZeroWater Countertop Water Dispenser

A more affordable alternative that also does a thorough job of filtering your water is a ZeroWater dispenser. There are 20 and 23-cup models available which serve you more than enough water to drink throughout the day.

Unlike Brita water filters, ZeroWater filters do a more thorough job of removing everything from your drinking water. As the name implies, ZeroWater filters are made to produce 0 TDS water. TDS stands for total dissolved solids, which means ZeroWater is completely blank. 

However, keep in mind that there is some controversy over whether drinking blank water is healthy, so that’s one point to consider before choosing a ZeroWater filter. Plus, ZeroWater replacement filters are not the cheapest of the bunch, and they need to be replaced more often than other options on this list. 

3) Countertop Water Distiller

Another 0 TDS water option is a countertop water distiller. Unlike ZeroWater filters, distillation is a completely different process. Instead of removing everything from your water through filtering, distillation heats the water and collects the steam before condensing it back into water. The end result is completely purified water.

One drawback to consider when choosing a countertop water distiller is that it does take hours to make a single gallon of distilled water, unlike common water filters that simply filter the water in minutes. Again, the drawback to consider here is that distilled water is devoid of minerals.

This means, it’s completely purified, yet it does not include any essential trace minerals. If you prefer that your water has a higher pH with minerals, then take the time to consider the following option.

4) Countertop Alkaline Water Dispenser 

If you’re familiar with alkaline water, then you know that people swear by drinking it, including famous athletes. The beauty of alkaline water is that is has a sweeter taste than water on the acidic side, and there’s no need to worry about drinking water that’s devoid of minerals.

When choosing an alkaline water dispenser, there are both plastic and glass models available. If you have the coin for it, you’ll probably find that drinking water from a glass vessel is more delicious than from a plastic one. 

Lastly, be sure to assess how well the filters remove impurities and how often the filters need to be changed. Also, stick with trustworthy companies that have been around a while to ensure that replacement filters are actually available when it comes time to replace.

5) Brita and PUR Water Dispensers 

Your final option is Brita or PUR countertop water dispensers. While these may not be the pick of the litter, they are the most affordable, and they do in fact do a great job of removing chlorine. If you’re currently on municipal water, then your water most likely has chlorine in it, making Brita and PUR both good choices for you.

Next, replacement filters tend to be more affordable for these two options, and you know for sure that they won’t be going out of stock anytime soon. Additionally, there are more than enough Brita and PUR models available to find one that suits your kitchen the best. Overall, Brita and PUR are the bread & butter of water filters for renters.


Depending on your budget, counter space, and taste for water, there are countertop water filter solutions here to match your needs. The key is to weigh the pros & cons of owning each system and not to limit yourself to Brita and PUR only. There’s a whole world of water filters available to you these days, so don’t sell yourself short when choosing a water filter for your apartment.


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