Tired of reaching for a glass of refreshing water from your fridge and finding it stale and unappealing? It may be time to change your refrigerator’s water filter. If you don’t have one in your fridge at all, it’s definitely time to consider installing one.
Before you start shopping, you’ll want to know more about the best brands out there. We’ve pulled our list of the best refrigerator water filters here for you to review, and we’ll also let you in on some shopping tips.
- Coconut & carbon-based filter
- Process up to 200 gal of water
- Works on old refrigerator
- Fully NSF certified
- Has compatibility verification
- Socially responsible brand
- Filters 24 different contaminants
- Filters 200 gallons of water
- Removes up to 99% lead
- Reduces 95% of contaminants
- NSF/ANSI certified
- Water flow of 0.5 gal/min
- Coconut & carbon filter
- Canister-style filter
- Purify 300 gallons of water
- Meets NSF safety standards
- In-fridge filtration
- Preserves beneficial minerals
- Heavy-duty filtration
- Filter lasts around 5 years
- Easy installation
Why Use a Refrigerator Water Filter?
Many newer refrigerator models feature a built-in water spout. This allows you to have cold water to drink whenever you want without sacrificing fridge space for a carafe. It also keeps your ice maker flush with ice cubes.
This water feature is intended for pure convenience. While many models operate without a water filter, your system will function better with one. Sediment and debris will be caught in the spout and won’t make its way through the rest of the system.
In addition to protecting your refrigerator’s sensitive mechanics from obstruction or damage, filters remove impurities from your water. This is especially important if you don’t have a whole house water filter. Your refrigerator filter can remove sediment, odors, unpleasant tastes, lead, and other contaminants.
If you haven’t been happy with your drinking water, it’s time to add or swap out the water filter. You may find that’s all it takes to get great water back in your home.
Different Types of Refrigerator Water Filters
Before you head off to grab your filter, consider the different variations.
In-Line Water Filters
You’ll see these filters mostly on older model refrigerators that don’t have a built-in filter feature. They are located outside of your refrigerator and on the water hose.
Most in-line water filters are installed directly behind the refrigerator where the water hose connects to the appliance. This does mean you’ll need to put some thought and effort into replacing your filter as you’ll need to get behind the refrigerator.
In the event that there’s a problem or leak with this kind of filter, it can be a more significant problem — a leak can also be harder to catch quickly. Not everyone is comfortable tackling this installation by themselves, so consider bringing in a professional to install it.
If you can’t find a filter internally integrated into the refrigerator, an in-line filter is an excellent option.
- Will work on any refrigerator brand or model.
- Need to be replaced infrequently.
- Not always quick or easy to replace.
- May interfere with refrigerator placement.
In-Fridge Water Filters
Some refrigerators have the water filter inside the main compartment of the refrigerator. This gives you excellent access to the filter and allows for easy changes. However, these models also take up room in the fridge that would otherwise go to your food.
You’ll find many different styles of in-fridge water filters. Most are compact and rely on a carbon filtration system to keep water pure and tasting crisp.
- Easy to change.
- Readily available.
- May be brand specific.
- Takes up food storage space.
In-Grille Water Filter
In-grille water filters are located at the bottom of the refrigerator, usually in the front grille. This location allows water to be filtered without compromising the storage space inside the fridge.
Many of these filters are larger than their in-fridge counterparts. They’re frequently capable of more heavy-duty filtration and have greater processing capacity.
- Easy to change.
- Won’t take up space in your refrigerator.
- Capable of greater filtration.
- May be hard to find.
Choosing the Best Refrigerator Water Filter
When shopping for your new refrigerator filter, the following considerations will help you determine which one is right for your situation.
Know How Much Filtration You Need
This is an important consideration. Some in-fridge filters offer only light filtering. This may be all you need if you’re on city water, which is already treated and filtered.
However, you may need a different kind of filter if you’re on well water, which doesn’t go through any processing before it makes its way into your home. This means impurities like lead, microorganisms, viruses, and bacteria can still be present.
If your water needs serious filtration, you’ll need more than an in-fridge, charcoal-based filter. You may want to consider installing a whole house water filter to prevent unnecessary exposure to contaminants like giardia and E.coli.
How Old Is Your Refrigerator?
Your refrigerator’s age will play a pretty big part in which kind of filter you need. As our technology has become more sophisticated, we’ve been able to create smaller filters that work just as well. Depending on when your unit was manufactured, it may be outfitted for a specific style of filter.
If your refrigerator is older, it’s also possible the type of water filter you need is no longer in production. If so, you may need to consider using an in-line filtering option. At some point, you may also want to consider bringing home a new refrigerator for better water quality.
It’s Not All Up To You
Some filters need frequent replacing. You may need to pencil in your filter change every three to six months. However, other models out there require more infrequent changes, like once a year or even once every few years.
Knowing how much time and effort you’re willing to commit to maintaining your filter will help you find the right option.
Whether you plan on spending a little or you’re willing to invest a greater amount, there are products out there that fit your needs. Just make sure you identify what you’re comfortable spending before you start shopping. This will help you narrow the field.
Your budget should be flexible, but don’t feel you need to spend loads for quality. Make sure your budget aligns with the other factors we’ve discussed above.
The Bigger Picture
The Best Refrigerator Water Filter Reviews of 2021
We’ve consulted professionals and homeowners alike to put together a list of our favorite options:
1. AquaCrest Refrigerator Water Filter
This model provides excellent filtration using a coconut- and carbon-based filter. It’s designed to provide you with six months of great-tasting water and can process up to 200 gallons of water before needing to be changed. It’s suitable for use with older-style refrigerator and freezer models that have the filter located in the grille.
Considered a universal filter option, this model isn’t produced by a specific company for specific refrigerators. Double-check that this item will work for your refrigerator and don’t force it into place if it doesn’t fit.
Rest assured that this product is backed with a great return policy if you’ve accidentally purchased the wrong item.
Why We Love It
Works on a Variety of Refrigerators
Finding in-grille filter options can be difficult. It’s nice that this option works well for a variety of refrigerators that use the in-grille filter. Check your brand and model number, but know this is a good candidate for older-style refrigerators and freezers.
Excellent Return Policy
With a 30-day warranty, you’ll have plenty of time to determine if the filter is working up to your standards. If it’s defective or not filtering as you expected, returning it will be hassle-free.
Natural Filtration Process
The coconut fibers and charcoal filter out contaminants and impurities, leaving you with healthy drinking water. They also absorb foul odors and unpleasant tastes for high-quality, tasty water.
Great Price Point
This isn’t a branded product, and it’s an excellent buy for someone on a budget. When it’s time to change your filter, you won’t balk at the price.
Keep In Mind
We love the versatility of this product and how it works with multiple brands and models of refrigerators. However, this same universal style can mean that it doesn’t work as well for your specific model. Double-check that your refrigerator model is explicitly approved for use with this filter and make sure your connection is secure without any leaking.
Not for Use with Untreated Water
The natural filtration process gives you exceptional drinking water if the water source has already been treated. This filter isn’t intended for heavy-duty filtration and will not address microorganisms or other contaminants in unfiltered or untreated water.
|Dimensions||1.4 inches by 1.4 inches by 9.4 inches|
|Approved Refrigerator Brands||KitchenAid, Kenmore, Whirlpool|
2. Waterdrop Plus Water Filter
If you’re looking for an affordable bulk-buy, you’ll want to consider this Waterdrop multi-pack. Installation is easy and involves applying light pressure while twisting it into place. No additional tools are needed to install this filter, and it gives you a tight, leak-free seal.
This model is suitable for a wide variety of refrigerators from different companies. It removes harmful chemicals while delivering fresh-tasting water.
Three filters are included in this multi-pack.
Why We Love It
Provides Exceptional Filtering
This product comes fully certified, boasting NSF 401, NSF 53, NSF 42, and NSF 372 certification. This all amounts to a superior filtering experience.
Though not an exhaustive list, you can expect this filter to remove 99.2 percent of the BPA found in your water. It will also take care of 99.6 percent of lead, 92.2 percent of mercury, and 97 percent of chlorine. The filter housing and components are lead-free to further protect your body from harmful contaminants.
To make things easier for you, Waterdrop offers an easy-to-use database. Enter your refrigerator model number to see if your fridge is compatible with the filter. This takes the guesswork out of the process and ensures you end up with a filter that’ll work with your appliance.
Waterdrop is committed to providing consumable water to children who otherwise wouldn’t have access to it. For every purchase made, a child in need of water is given a one-day supply of safe drinking water. A purchase means you’re not only making your water tastier and healthier, but you’re also sharing that privilege with another.
Keep In Mind
Double-Check Your Fit
Being a universal model, it’s designed to work in a variety of refrigerators. The result of this is a slightly different shape and size than some of the brand-specific models.
After it’s been newly installed, keep a close eye on it to make sure it’s at an appropriate angle and isn’t leaking.
|Dimensions||8.1 inches by 7.1 inches by 2.4 inches|
|Approved Refrigerator Brands||Amana, Maytag, KitchenAid, Kenmore|
3. EveryDrop by Whirlpool Water Filter
This is an excellent option if you’ve had difficulty finding a suitable filter. It’s the only water filter that’s approved for use with Maytag, Whirlpool, Amana, KitchenAid, and Jenn-Air brands.
This model works for refrigerators that have a bottom freezer with the filter compartment located in the upper right corner of the fridge.
Capable of removing up to 99 percent of lead in your water, it’s not only versatile but also efficient.
For best results, plan on replacing this filter every six months. This will ensure your filter is still working correctly and you’re receiving contaminant-free water.
Why We Love It
Works Against 24 Different Contaminants
With multiple NSF certifications, this filter can remove 24 different kinds of contaminants. It’s been proven to reduce lead by 99 percent and can also remove pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and chlorine. It even works on waterborne parasites, which can cause illness.
This model is capable of filtering 200 gallons of water before it needs to be replaced. That’s the same as 1,500 disposable water bottles. Using this filter allows you to save money while also being environmentally responsible.
Designed for Specific Refrigerator Models
A branded option, this filter is designed to be used with specific refrigerator models. This ensures the filter will fit as expected and helps provide an on-going, leak-free experience.
When used with a compatible refrigerator, you’ll get that custom fit you’re looking for and haven’t been able to replicate with universal options.
Keep In Mind
Flush Prior to Use
Before putting this filter in your refrigerator, you’ll need to flush it with 4 gallons of water. If you don’t do this, the filter will not function properly, and the water will continue to be cloudy after installation.
Not a Heavy-Duty Filter
This filter does a great job of removing contamination. However, it’s not designed for the heavy filtering of untreated water. If you have well water, you’ll want to use another filtering system that tackles the initial cleaning.
|Dimensions||2.5 inches by 2.5 inches by 8.7 inches|
|Approved Refrigerator Brands||Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana|
4. Frigidaire PureSource Replacement Filter
Side-by-side refrigerators can have limited interior space for food. An in-fridge filter can further complicate storage, but this option is specifically designed to work in that limited space. For the cleanest water, you’ll need to change the filter every six months.
Both your refrigerator water and ice cube water is filtered through this unit. It’s similar to another popular Frigidaire filter model, but shorter. You’ll want to double-check that you have the correct product for your refrigerator before placing your order.
Why We Love It
Reduces 95 Percent of Contaminants
Chlorine, lead, mercury, and alachlor are all reduced through using this filter. It produces healthy, clear water that tastes great and doesn’t have an odor.
NSF/ANSI certified, this filter meets the specifications of standards 42 and 53.
Marking your calendar for the next filter change is a great habit. This filter also comes equipped with an indicator light that lets you know when it’s time for a change. The light reminds you when it’s time to replace, but also lets you know if a filter change should happen sooner than expected.
Easy to Replace
A push/push style filter, this model requires little additional pressure or strength to install. Virtually anyone can easily replace it in a matter of seconds. This ease of installation also helps prevent any poor seals or improperly installed filters.
Excellent Water Flow Rate
Tired of trickling water and waiting impatiently for glasses to fill? Small filters can mean less efficient processing.
With this model, though, you can expect a water flow of 0.5 gallons per minute. This will fill your glass quickly and keep your ice cube bin overflowing.
Keep In Mind
Not Covered by Your Refrigerator’s Warranty
Though this is a brand name item, it won’t be covered under the refrigerator’s warranty. If you do encounter a problem with this product, you won’t be able to receive a refund. If there’s damage done to your refrigerator during a leak or failure, you also won’t be compensated.
|Dimensions||2 inches by 2 inches by 9 inches|
|Approved Refrigerator Brands||Frigidaire|
5. AmazonBasics Replacement Water Filter
Most refrigerators feature a long, thin water filter. If you’ve been searching for a canister-style option, you’ll want to consider this one. It not only comes certified and ready to work, but it’s also a generic brand — so it costs you less.
This is a leak-proof unit that uses coconut shell and carbon to filter out contaminants. Its more robust size allows for a more extended period of use than other filter options. It can also purify 300 gallons of water.
To keep your water filtering well, change the filter every six months.
Why We Love It
Offers Simple Installation
This model twists in and twists out, making for easy removal and fast installation. The specially designed top also works to give you a great seal that won’t leak. Clearly labeled, you won’t lose your orientation or risk over-tightening while trying to replace your filter.
Available in Multi-Packs
Looking for a filter you can purchase in bulk to keep your water fresh while saving you money? These filters can be bought in multi-packs. The price is competitive to begin with, but the multi-packs are even cheaper — the larger the multi-pack, the greater the savings.
Provides Fresh, Tasty Water
With several safety certifications, this product has been tested and proven to reduce chlorine levels. This gives you clear, great-tasting drinking water.
In addition to removing chlorine, this model reduces lead, benzene, cysts, endrin, and carbofuran. The entire filter is lead-free, so you don’t need to worry about your water becoming contaminated in your filter. It also works to remove VOCs and microbes, leaving you with delicious and healthy water.
Available in Different Strengths
Different filtration strengths allow you to choose the appropriate filter for your particular water source. This filter is available in standard, advanced, and premium, as defined by the industry standard.
Keep In Mind
You may find this filter slows down your water flow rate. If speedy filtration is important to you, you may need to consider a different option.
|Dimensions||3.4 inches by 3.4 inches by 5.1 inches|
|Approved Refrigerator Brands||Kenmore, GE|
6. EcoAqua Replacement Water Filter
Compatible with Samsung refrigerators (and others that feature a water filter built into the drawer area), this model is simple to install. When it’s time to replace your water filter, this one simply screws into place. It’s a great option for in-fridge filtration that still leaves you with plenty of food storage space.
With carbon and coconut shell, this filter uses natural materials to cleanse water thoroughly. It meets NSF safety standards and is lead-free to prevent any water contamination.
Why We Love It
Preserves Critical Minerals
Other filtration methods can strip your water of beneficial minerals along with the bad. This filter has been intentionally designed to leave the good stuff behind, so you get well-rounded water. Not only does this give you a great-tasting beverage, but it also makes your water more nutritious.
This filter is capable of processing 300 gallons of water before needing to be replaced. Many other models can only handle 200 gallons of water, which means you’re spending more money and time replacing water filters. Though this model can filter more water, we still recommend replacing it every six months for the best water quality.
An included O-ring provides an excellent leak-free seal during every change. With the O-ring, you’re also less likely to over-tighten during installation — preventing damage to your refrigerator.
EcoAqua stands behind its products. They guarantee the filters will perform reliably and as expected. The units have been thoroughly tested, and all components are made of top-grade materials.
Keep In Mind
Not a Brand-Name Filter
Though this has been specifically designed for Samsung refrigerators, it’s not an authorized product manufactured by Samsung. And so, you may not get the custom fit you’re looking for with this model. Double-check that this filter will work well for the exact model refrigerator you have.
Can’t See the Installation Point
This model installs in such a way that you won’t be able to see the connection point clearly. Because it’s recessed in the cavity, you may miss a leak due to installation error.
Before walking away from your newly installed filter, run the water for several seconds, and double-check that there’s no pooling or dripping.
|Dimensions||2 inches by 2 inches by 8.9 inches|
|Approved Refrigerator Brands||Samsung|
7. EcoPure In-Line Water Filter
Not all refrigerators are equipped to have a water filter. If yours is an older model, it may not be compatible with all the filter variations discussed here. If so, this in-line water filter is a fantastic option for you.
Easy to install, this model comes with different installation options to suit your plumbing set up.
A robust, heavy-duty model, this filter can handle more sediment-rich water than its slender, in-fridge counterparts. It can be used with both plastic plumbing and traditional copper piping as well.
Why We Love It
Many other filters require changing twice a year, or even more frequently if your water is untreated or you use large volumes. While this filter does require a little more effort to swap out, you can also install it and walk away from it. It’s designed to give you five years of delicious water and freedom from scheduling regular filter changes.
Suitable for any Refrigerator
Your particular refrigerator design may severely narrow your options for a water filter — but not with this one, which can be used with any refrigerator out there. Whether your refrigerator is brand new or a vintage piece, this filter can give you tasty, healthy water.
Can Be Stacked with Other Filters
Have you been having trouble with your in-fridge filter because it can’t handle your water source? You’ll find this product is suitable for use where you need heavy-duty filtration.
Created in the United States
This filter has been designed, engineered, and assembled in the U.S., so all components have passed strict guidelines. There’s no need to worry about harmful contaminants or chemicals used during its manufacturing that can contaminate your water.
Keep In Mind
Inconvenient to Replace
You’ll likely need to move the refrigerator to access this filter and replace it. If you have a fridge that’s built into cabinetry, this can be challenging, especially during changes. Though you’ll need to change it infrequently, it’s not an easy process when the time comes.
You’re Tying into Your Plumbing
Putting in this filter means you’re working directly with your home’s plumbing.
Other filter options only impact the refrigerator. If you do have a leak or a problem, it’s usually confined to inside the fridge. On the other hand, this model is connected to your home’s water source. A resulting leak may require a plumber, incurring additional costs.
|Dimensions||13.5 inches by 7 inches by 3 inches|
|Approved Refrigerator Brands||N/A|
|Product||Best||Dimensions||Weight||Approved Refrigerator Brands||Part Number||Filter Type|
|AquaCrest||In-Grille Option||1.4″ x 1.4″ x 9.4″||5 oz||KitchenAid, Kenmore, Whirlpool||AQF-4396701||In-Grille|
|Waterdrop Plus||Multi-Pack||8.1″ x 7.1″ x 2.4″||1.92 lbs||Amana, Maytag, KitchenAid, Kenmore||WDP-UKF8001||In-fridge|
|EveryDrop by Whirlpool||Versatile Brand-Name||2.5″ x 2.5″ x 8.7″||9 oz||Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana||EDR2RXD1||In-fridge|
|Frigidaire PureSource||Side-By-Side||2″ x 2″ x 9″||8 oz||Frigidaire||WF3CB||In-fridge|
|AmazonBasics||Canister||3.4″ x 3.4″ x 5.1″||13 oz||Kenmore, GE||AMZN-MWF-A||In-fridge|
|EcoAqua||Easiest to Install||2″ x 2″ x 8.9″||1 pound||Samsung||EFF-6027A||In-fridge|
|EcoPure In-Line||In-Line Model||13.5″ x 7″ x 3″||1 pound||N/A||EPINL30||In-Line|
Great-Tasting Water at Your Fingertips
Having water readily accessible in your refrigerator can encourage you to drink more. It’s convenient, fast, and — with the help of a refrigerator water filter — great-tasting.
Take a good look at your refrigerator model and your filtering needs. Make sure they align with the model you’re eyeing from our best refrigerator water filters list.
What’s been your experience with refrigerators and water filters? Have any tips or suggestions for the process? Please feel free to share them with us in the comments section below.