10 Best Inline Water Filters in 2020 (Expert Reviews & Buyers Guide)

10 Best Inline Water Filters in 2020 (Expert Reviews & Buyers Guide)

There was a time not so long ago that people simply trusted that their water was clean when they got it from their faucet. Eventually it was found out that the water wasn’t so clean after all, which is why nowadays plenty of people like you are searching for the best inline water filter they can get. The water filter takes out the contaminants in the water that can threaten the health of your family, and it sure can make the water taste and smell better. 

An inline water filter is when the filter essentially becomes a component of your water supply system. This can be installed in the water line to your faucet, or it can be put in as part of the line to your refrigerator water dispenser or icemaker. There are also models of water filters out there that supply to the whole house. There are even models of water filters specifically designed for RVs, or for washing machines. 

Using any of these is certainly cost-effective, especially when you consider the high cost of healthcare if you and your family get sick due to contaminated drinking water. It’s also a lot cheaper to buy a water filter than continuously buying bottled water, as that can get very expensive in the long run. 

What you have to understand, though, is that there’s a wide range of variance regarding the design and quality of inline water filters. The design may not be the most suitable for your installation needs. Even if it is, some other inline water filter with the same design may just be better.

So to help make sure you get the best for your needs, here are the best inline water filter options you can choose from.

Top 10 Inline Water Filter Comparison Chart

ModelFor which contaminantsSizeLocationLifespan
Culligan IC 1 EZ-Change Inline Icemaker and Refrigerator Filtration SystemChlorine (but can be upgraded)4 x 4 x 12.5 inchesFor Fridge or icemaker3,000 gallons
Woder 10K-JG-1/4 Ultra High Capacity Inline Water FilterChlorine and many others12.2 x 2.8 x 2.8 inchesUnder sink, or fridge, icemaker10,000 gallons
Watts Inline Water Filter 20,000 gallonChlorine, sediment, particulates10 x 2.5 x 2.5 inchesUnder sink, but can be used anywhere with adaptors20,000 gallons
Filtrete Maximum Under Sink Water Filtration System, Easy to Install, Reduces 99% Lead + Much More (3US-MAX-S01)Chlorine, sand, sediment, rust, microbial cysts3.5 x 3.5 x 14 inchesUnder sink1,500 gallons
GE FQK1K Exterior Refrigerator/Icemaker Filtration SystemChlorine, asbestos, cysts, lead2 x 10 x 2 inchesFridge, icemaker6 months
Camco 40043 TastePURE RV/Marine Water FilterChlorine, sediment, bad taste and smell, lead, heavy metals2.5 x 2.5 x 10.5 inchesRVs and boats3 months
LASCO 37-1821 Ice Maker Inline FilterChlorine, sediment, THMs2 x 10 inchesIce maker2,500 gallons
DuPont WFPF13003B Universal Whole House 15,000-Gallon Water Filtration SystemChlorine, sediment, particles13.6 x 5.6 x 5.5 inchesWhole house15,000 gallons
Omnipure K2533JJ Inline Water Filter with Quick-ConnectChlorine, bad taste and smell, cloudiness10 x 2 x 2 inchesUnder sink, ice maker, fridge1,500 gallons
Nahla Pure Ultra High Capacity, Premium Under Sink Direct Connect Water FilterChlorine and just about everything but fluoride17.8 x 6.4 x 4.6 inchesUnder sink, fridge10,000 gallons

As for the best inline water filter, this probably has one of the best filtration systems out there for you. That’s especially true when it’s time to replace the filter cartridge. The EZ Change water filter even has a really easy installation process. 

The package for the Basic water filter includes the filter head with the built-in bracket, along with the mounting screws you need. This also comes with the RC-EZ-1 filter, which can remove the bad taste and smell you may have with your drinking water. It’s especially effective in removing the taste and smell of chlorine.

However, you can also get the RC-EZ-3 replacement filter, which also removes the sediment, lead, and cysts in the water. The most advanced replacement filter you can get is the RC-EZ-4, which also deals with chloramine taste and smell, and filters out MTBE (a controversial gasoline additive), VOCs (volcanic organic compounds), and mercury. If you want to get these more advanced filters at the start, you can instead opt for the IC-EZ-3 or -4. 

These things really do work, and that’s a fact that’s been independently certified by the NSF. Just keep in mind the RC-EZ-1 is rated for 3,000 gallons and should last for 12 months for a family. The more advanced filters are only rated for 500 gallons, and they may only last a few months, usually 6. Your original purchase will include a sticker reminding you when it’s time to change the filter. 

Whichever water filter you choose, you’ll find that the EZ Change water filter system has a really easy installation system. You have everything you need to keep the water filter in place, and you also get the quick-connect fittings. You won’t need a plumber at all to install this. 

In addition, when it’s time to replace the filter you won’t have any trouble either. The water filter has a twist-in, twist-off mechanism so you won’t have to deal with any messes. You don’t need wrenches and other tools either. You just need to twist the mechanisms by hand and you’re good to go.

Pros
  • Extremely easy installation with no need for tools or additional accessories
  • No mess when putting in replacement filter
  • Interchangeable replacement filter options with different capabilities
  • The basic filter can last for a whole year
Cons
  • The more advanced filters are rated only for a few months, around 6
  • The water flow rate goes down to 0.5 GPM.

If you want the very best for your water filtration, you may just wish to go with a commercial-grade model. One such model is the Woder 10K-JG-1/4, which isn’t really all that expensive. That’s actually surprising, given that this is quite a terrific water filter system.

To start with, this uses an innovative system for filtration that’s different from the reverse osmosis model that’s very common among water filtration systems. Some people don’t like reverse osmosis models because they can also filter out essential minerals in the water. While it’s true that you can get these essential minerals from your meals, removing all the minerals tend to make your drinking water somewhat less healthy. With this system, you can still get the magnesium, potassium, and calcium from your drinking water.

This is also 99.9% effective for chlorine and other certain contaminants. In addition, it can filter out carcinogens, mercury, chromium 6, heavy metals, and lead. It can also remove bad tastes and smells. 

This has been tested by independent labs to comply with ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards. You also can have this installed by yourself in just 15 minutes, using the illustrated manual. However, it’s still a good idea to look over the installation videos online just to be on the safe side. 

It comes with 0.25-inch connections, and it fits 0.25-inch water supply lines and 0.25-inchplastic flex tubing and flexible copper tubing. In addition, it fits ⅛-inch PEX tubing. However, it will not fit braided hoses. 

This is an inline water filter that’s rated for 10,000 gallons. That’s good enough for 3 years before you need to replace it. You will, however, have to replace the whole thing.

Pros
  • Removes a lot of different contaminants
  • Can last 3 years and 10,000 gallons
  • Easy enough to install as it won’t take too much time and effort
Cons
  • Not meant for well water
  • Doesn’t fit braided hoses

If you really want a long lifespan for your water filter, this is certainly one option you can go with. This can last for 20,000 gallons, and this capacity has been NSF-certified. This can last for years before you need to replace it. 

In addition, it’s able to filter out a wide range of contaminants. It’s been certified by the WQA (Water Quality Association) to actually reduce the taste and smell of chlorine, to reduce the buildup of scale, and to improve the taste and clarity of the water.

This uses Kinetic Degradation Fluxion for treating the water, and it comes with two pieces of ¼-inch brass connectors. It works with all water supply lines with the same ¼-inch connectors. Maintenance isn’t an issue at all, though to be safe you should check it over every half a year. The 20,000-gallon capacity should last for about 5 years and keep the quality, taste and odor of your water at top level.

Read full review of Watts Inline Water Filter

Pros
  • Lasts for 20,000 gallons, which means years of use before replacement
  • No need for maintenance
  • Certified for chlorine and scale buildup
  • Makes your water taste a lot better
Cons
  • Installation can be difficult for some people
  • The filtration system isn’t as advanced as other systems

This connects under your sink, and this will suit your needs. You won’t need to change it too often, around twice every year, during which you will get full protection, in all the gallons of water you use. 

This is extremely effective in filtering out various contaminants. It’s 99.9% effective for lead and microbial cysts, while 97% effective for removing the smell and taste of chlorine. It can deal with sand and other particles that are just 0.5 microns small, unlike other water filters that can only deal to a size of 5 microns. These claims have also been certified by NSF international.

The installation is also rather easy, and it shouldn’t take you more than half an hour. The filer head has quick-connect input and output openings, to which you attach the hoses. You then attach the filter simply by turning it about a fourth of the way around, and you’re done. Just make sure everything’s snug, or else you may end up with a mess.

Using this doesn’t affect your flow rates either, as this gives you a flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute. Considering that some of the other filter systems slow down the flow rate to half a gallon per minute, this flow rate isn’t bad at all. With easy installation, these inline water filters work great, and keep your water line proper, while providing you with a good taste and odor for your water.

Pros
  • The Maximum filters can effectively filter out a lot of the contaminants in the water
  • You can use the Advanced and Standard water filters for this system if you want a cheaper replacement filter
  • This is NSF-certified
  • It can really make your water taste and smell great.
  • The flow rate isn’t bad at all
  • The installation isn’t all that complicated either
Cons
  • You need to replace the filter after just 6 months

Now if you need a filtration system for your fridge, you shouldn’t be surprised that GE offers an option you can use. Don’t worry, this’ll work even if you don’t have a GE fridge. As long as you accept that this is only good for 6 months, this should work out fine. 

The installation isn’t all that complicated, as this installs directly to the water line of fridges without a built-in filtration system. As long as you already have a water line going directly to your fridge or icemaker, the installation should be no trouble. However, the manufacturer assumes you already have existing tubing in place.

Once the 6-month time frame is over, replacing the filter with a new one is an even simpler process. That’s because this features a “twist and lock” filter. So you can twist the old filter off and then twist on the new one. It’s that simple, taking only a few seconds with no need for tools or to even shutoff the water system. 

As for the effectiveness of the water filter, this filters out chlorine, along with other contaminants including asbestos and cysts that are resistant to chlorine. This has also been certified by the NSF. Use this and finally you can get rid of the nasty taste and smell in your drinking water. You get filtered ice as well if you use this for your icemaker.

Pros
  • Works great for your fridge
  • Takes out many contaminants that other water filters may not remove
  • You get better-tasting water and ice
  • Certified by the NSF
  • Replacing the filter is extremely easy, as you basically just twist it on and off
Cons
  • Installation for this may not be all that easy for some people, so you better check out the online videos so you know what to do
  • Lasts only for 6 months

Now if you’re specifically looking for a water filter that’s best suited for your RV, then the Camco 40043 should work very well. Sure, it does have certain “disadvantages”. It’s designed to be attached to a water hose or gardening hose. But this isn’t a disadvantage since you’re not using this for your home. 

Another apparent drawback is that this is only rated for 3 months of use. For an RV, that’s not really an issue at all. That’s because it should work long enough to last the whole camping season!

This uses granular activated carbon to filter out the chlorine and sediment from the water. The water for your camp should then taste and smell a lot better. The filter is good enough to filter out particles down to 20 microns in size. This also employs KDF protection against bacterial growth, when you store this away once you’re not using it on the road. 

This comes with a flexible hose protector, which you use with your water filter. This protector prevents kinks in the water hose that can affect the water flow. This protector has an easy gripper so it can attach easily to the faucet. The water filter itself has a wide body too, so the flow rate doesn’t go down to a trickle.

This can actually be used in several ways, and not just for your RV drinking water. Even when summer is over, you can still use this for cleaning your car or for gardening. It can reduce mineral spots so your car actually looks cleaner after you wash it with your filtered water. Or if you want, you can also use it to water your plants, if you don’t want too much chlorine when watering your garden.

Read full review of Camco 40043 TastePURE RV/Marine Water Filter

Pros
  • Terrific for RVs and outdoor use
  • Can last an entire camping season
  • Protects from chlorine and sediment
  • Comes with flexible hose protector
  • Has KDF to prevent bacterial growth when not in use
Cons
  • This isn’t for long term use
  • Not for home use either

If you want to make sure that you get clean water to turn into ice cubes in your icemaker, you should try this inline water filter. That’s because it’s been specifically designed to work best with your icemaker. It’s actually billed as an inline ice maker filter. 

The Ice Makers have an installation process which is quite involved, so you better follow the manual directions closely. There are separate instructions when you’re using either copper tubing or plastic tubing. For the Ice Makers if you follow the steps religiously, you should be able to complete the installation in 45 minutes.

The filter takes out chlorine, sediment, THMs, and the cloudiness in the water. Ice makers have a great effectiveness against chlorine which has been confirmed by ANSI/NSF International. The max flowrate does set at just 0.5 GPM, but it does last to filter 2,500 gallons. That’s about 6 months for some households. 

It’s amazing what ice cubes can do for your drinks when you form them from absolutely clean water. Your cocktails turn amazing, and your iced teas, coffees, and sodas don’t suffer from contamination. Now you won’t have to ruin the taste of your scotch if you happen to enjoy them on the rocks.

Pros
  • Great-tasting drinks due to clean ice cubes
  • Certified by independent parties
  • Specifically made for ice makers
  • Can last 6 months, which isn’t really bad
Cons
  • The installation isn’t all that simple for many users
  • 0.5 GPM flow rate

This is a large-capacity water filter system that you can use for all the water that comes into your home. But this isn’t its most important feature. What’s really great is that you can buy 3 of these or more and then set them up along the line. Each housing can contain a filter, and then you can cleanse your water from a wide range of contaminants. There are plenty of water filters you can use with this whole house filtration system, and one common setup has a 15-micron filter, a 5-micron filter, and finally a carbon filter.

It’s true that you won’t find the installation intuitive. But this model has a lot of enthusiastic fans, and quite a few of them have posted detailed instructions on how to install several of these to great effect. These are very affordable, so it’s not really a problem buying several of these at once. You may even have some money left over to just hire a plumber to set everything up for you. 

This can work not just with chlorinated municipal water, but also with well water. This should last you for quite a while, and it has a 3-year warranty. Just make sure you get the right filters in the right order, and that you replace them when it’s time.

Read full review of DuPont WFPF13003B Filter System

Pros
  • A single filter leaves all the water in your house with a great taste and odor
  • Increases lifespan of dishwasher and laundry machine
  • Can work with municipal or well water
  • You have your choice of usable water filters
  • Can last for 15,000 gallons which means years of use
  • Very durable
  • Quite affordable
Cons
  • It can be very complicated to install, especially if you buy 3 of these and connect them in one system

Now if you don’t have much a budget for your inline water filter, you don’t have to stand dirty water from your faucet or for your fridge. This is perhaps the best budge inline water filter you can get, and it’s also been NSF-tested. 

This works mainly in taking out the taste and smell of chlorine. In fact, it just about eliminates the bad taste and smell in your water. This is done with the granulated activated carbon filter, which lasts for 1,500 gallons. That’s about a year for many households, though if it’s just for your ice maker then it can last a bit longer.

This actually works for ice makers, refrigerators, and under the counter systems. The ¼-inch quick-connect fittings allow you to install and replace this easily, and you won’t need tools at all. If you have a bit of DIY knowledge, it’ll be a piece of cake. 

Just make sure you read the instructions in the manual very carefully, and that’s especially true if you don’t have DIY experience. To be on the safe side, you may want to find a handyman buddy to help out. A plumber also works, but then you lose the savings you were aiming for in the first place.

Read full review of Omnipure K2533JJ Inline Water Filter

Pros
  • The water and ice have a great taste and odor after passing through this filter
  • You don’t really need tools to install this
  • This can last for a year
  • It’s been independently verified to work
  • Extremely affordable
Cons
  • For DIY newbies, the installation isn’t exactly a piece of cake
  • You have to make sure you check for leaks, and that every connection is secure

If money’s no object and you’re looking for the best premium under sink inline water filter, you can go with this Nahla Pure premium model. While the price does go into the 3 figures, you don’t really waste your money. After all, with its 10,000-gallon capacity it can take 3 years before you need a replacement. The entire system basically consists of the filter itself along with a couple of 30-inch ⅜ tubing and 3 female-to-female adapters. After the 3 years, you take off everything and replace it with a new one. 

During the 3 years of use, you get your money’s worth when it comes to filter effectiveness. This doesn’t just work for chlorine. It works for everything, with the sole exception of fluoride. It takes out 99.9% off all contaminants. This may not be NSF-certified, but it’s been tested out by Spectrum Labs (in St. Paul, Minnesota) to meet all NSF standards.

What also adds to the cost is that this is quite compact. Many of the other systems that come close to duplicating the effectiveness of this filter needs several filter housings to accommodate layers of filtration media. Now you just need this single filter to remove virtually every contaminant in the water. These include chlorine, VOCs, lead, heavy metals, and many more. It can even take out a significant percentage of chloramine. You can be very sure you’ll end up having a great taste and odor to your water.

Pros
  • Takes out virtually every contaminant in the water
  • Lasts 3 years
  • Independently tested
  • Cheap in the long run
  • Leaves you with great taste and odor in your water
  • Not really difficult to install
Cons
  • Expensive initial investment
  • Doesn’t work for fluoride (but then, what does?)

How To Install An Inline Water Filter Under The Sink

While each particular model will most likely have a manual listing the specific installation procedure for that model, in most cases the installation should be similar to the following process: 

  1. Find the cold water shutoff valve under your sink, and then turn off the water. 
  2. You then have to loosen the nut and remove the tubing from the valve fitting to disconnect the water line from the shutoff valve. You can loosen this nut by using a basin wrench. This nut holds the tubing on the faucet stem, so by loosening this you can now remove the tubing. 
  3. Now place the water filter unit on your cabinet wall nearest to the cold water line. This position should leave you with ample clearance space under the unit, so that it won’t be too difficult to remove the filter canister when it’s time to replace your filter cartridge. 
  4. Use the holes in the mounting bracket to mark your position. At these marks, you can then put in 2 screws about halfway in. (After you hang the filter in place, you can then tighten these screws completely.) 
  5. Now that you’ve marked your location, it’s time to make the plumbing connections. You may want to go with “flex lines” (flexible stainless-steel supply lines) when you’re connecting your filter. These are better than the plastic tubing that you often get with most water filter kits. These flex lines are generally sturdier, and they thread into your brass fittings. You can find these flex lines in most home centers, and you can find them available in various lengths. 
  6. Your kit should have the brass fittings you need, and you thread these into each side of the filter cap. You may have to use Teflon tape to really secure the seal. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten the fittings, but be careful that you don’t overtighten them. 
  7. Now you can thread a flex line into the fitting marked “in”, and thread another flex line into the fitting marked “out”. 
  8. At this point, you can hang your assembled filter unit on the wall under the sink, and secure the unit by tightening the mounting screws. 
  9. Find the flex line from the fitting marked “in”, and connect it to the shutoff valve. 
  10. Find the flex line from the fitting marked “out”, and connect it to the threaded faucet stem. 
  11. Once your plumbing connections are snug and secure, slowly turn your water back on. 
  12. Use the pressure-relief button to release any trapped air, and monitor the whole thing for a while to see if there are any leaks. 

How To Clean An Inline Water Filter

If you want to make sure that your inline water filter lasts as long as it’s supposed to and that it works as well as it should, you better clean it regularly. You may want to clean it at least once a year. Your manual may contain cleaning instructions specific to your water filter model, but in general the process should be similar to the following steps:

  1. Turn off the water at the shutoff valve.
  2. You can relieve the pressure by opening the faucet where your filtered water comes out. This also confirms that you’ve turned off the water. 
  3. Now it’s time loosen the filter housings. This may be done by hand, but you may need a housing wrench to get it done. While you do this, keep in mind that the filter housing will be full of water. This means you should keep it upright. 
  4. Remove all the housings and cartridges. 
  5. Look over the O-rings in the filter housings. You can clean this, although in some cases the manual may specify that you should replace these O-rings once a year. It’s always a good idea to have some backup O-rings ready just in case. Remove these O-rings and then wipe them and their grooves clean. Replace them in the groove, while you make sure you seat them properly. 
  6. Check out your filter cartridges and see if there’s too much sediment buildup. This may mean you need to replace your cartridges more frequently. You may also want to think about putting in a sediment prefilter cartridge into your water filter system. 
  7. Clean your filter housings using a brush and warm soapy water. 
  8. Clean inside the filter housing caps. 
  9. Now you need to prepare a sanitizing solution for your filter housing sumps. You need a gallon of clean water in a clean bucket, to which you can then add ⅓ teaspoon of unscented household bleach. 
  10. Use 1 cup of the sanitizing solution for the lower part of each filter housing sump. 
  11. While the sumps still have the sanitizing solution, connect these sumps together. Don’t put in the cartridges just yet. 
  12. Open the water at the shutoff valve, and let the housings fill up with water. 
  13. Close the faucet once the water starts to flow out of it.
  14. Allow for half an hour for the bleach and water to get in contact with the housings and lines.
  15. After half an hour, remove the filter housing sumps again after turning off the water at the shutoff valve. Discard the sanitizing solution. 
  16. Put in your cartridges in their proper places. 
  17. Open the shutoff valve again and take 5 minutes to flush and activate the water filters. 
  18. Look over everything for leaks, and then close the faucet. 

How To Replace An Inline Water Filter Cartridge

This is simple enough. Just look over the process on cleaning the water filter, and just put in new cartridges instead of putting in the old ones. Just remember that a filter rated for 750 gallons lasts about 6 months on average. 

Buying Guide

It’s not right that you just buy the inline water filter you can afford. While of course the price is important, it’s not the only consideration that should factor in. Here are some of the more important features you should keep in mind.

Water Filter Location and Use

Exactly how will you use the inline water filter, and where will you install it? The design of the inline water filter should suit your particular circumstances. If you’re looking to filter the water that goes to your refrigerator, then you may not find it suitable to get an under-the-sink model. Get the version that suits your situation, whether you want a whole-house filter or a water filter for your RV. 

Effectiveness

Just how well do inline water filters really work? At the very least the filter should make the taste and odor of the water better. You can check out the best inline water filters and their customer reviews to confirm that it does work. 

Inline water filters can remove a large percentage of the contaminants, with some brands claiming the removal of up to 99% or even 99.9%. That’s not always easy to confirm, but you can check if there are 3rd-party certifications to back up these claims for the inline water filters you want or have. It’s also generally better if there are more layers of filtration featured on the inline filter. 

Lifespan

How long will inline water filters last before you have to replace them? This is generally measured in the number of gallons of water it can filter during its lifespan. Some inline water filters can go with just 750 gallons, but others can last for such a long time that it can deal with 20,000 gallons of water before needing replacement. 

You can then use this factor along with the price to compute for the cost-effectiveness of the filter. Inline water filters that cost twice as much as other inline water filters but lasts 3 times as long will therefore save you money in the long run and keep the taste and odor of your water better.

Replacement Cost

As time passes, eventually you will need to replace the filter media in the inline water filter unit. How much will this cost? You should factor in this cost as well. Fortunately, in most cases the inline water filters and their replacements don’t actually cost a lot of money.  It’ll also help you out to get one that is easy to install and replace if needed.

Installation

Obviously, it’s better for you if the inline water is quick and easy to install. This is especially true if you don’t really have any DIY skills you can brag about. While you can just hire a plumber to do the work, that just increases the overall cost. The better inline water filters have an easy to install process, and won’t be a problem even if you’re not a DIY expert. 

Some of the better inline water filters may take only 15 minutes or so to install depending on how easy to install they are, and that’s great news. It’s best if the purchase package already includes all the crucial installation supplies, and that you don’t have to buy any expensive tools to complete the installation. 

Conclusion

If you still don’t have any inline water filters for your drinking water, it’s time for you to get one immediately to ensure quality taste and odor. It’s a worthwhile investment for your health, and you can finally enjoy great-tasting water and ice. Make sure you get your best inline water filter from our list so you know you’re not wasting your money and risking the health of your family.

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