Water quality issues affect most people at least once in their lives. For some, it is a temporary situation that is rapidly fixed by their municipality. For other households, it can be an ongoing issue that requires a permanent fix. Whether it is because of a poor well or because there are high-risk contaminants found in regular municipal testing, a reverse osmosis system might be the best option for some homeowners.
Finding the right system for your specific needs is easy thanks to the best reverse osmosis system reviews found here.
Every Great Reverse Osmosis System in One Chart
Maybe you have a small household that only consumes a few gallons of water every day. Or maybe you have a large family that needs access to several dozen gallons of fresh drinking water daily. The top-rated reverse osmosis systems for the home found in the chart below will help you find the best system to meet your needs today.
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||Pollutant Removal||Max Storage Capacity||Minimum Feed PSI||Price|
|iSpring RCS52 Commercial Grade Tankless Reverse Osmosis System|| 4.2 ||99%+||500 Gallons||25|| $$$$$+ |
|Home Master TMAFC Full Contact Undersink Reverse Osmosis|| 4.8 ||98%||Filter Only||40|| $$$ |
|APEC Top Tier High Flow Reverse Osmosis System|| 4.7 ||99%+||90 Gallons||40|| $$$ |
|Global Water 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis System|| 4.7 ||99%+||Filter Only||40|| $$ |
|iSpring RCB3P Commercial Grade Reverse Osmosis Water Filter|| 4.1 ||99%+||300 Gallons||25|| $$$$$+ |
|APEC 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System|| 4.8 ||99%+||Filter Only||40|| $$ |
|Express Water 10 Stage Home Drinking Water Reverse Osmosis|| 4.6 ||99%+||Filter Only||40|| $$$ |
|Hydro Logic Stealth RO-200 Reverse Osmosis Filter|| 4.1 ||98%||Filter Only||40|| $$$ |
|EcoSoft 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis System|| 4.8 ||99%+||Filter Only||45|| $$ |
|iSpring 6-Stage Max Performance Under Sink Reverse Osmosis|| 4.6 ||99%+||100 Gallons||25|| $$$$ |
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||Pollutant Removal||Max Storage Capacity||Minimum Feed PSI||Price|
How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?
Reverse osmosis water filtration is a simple and straightforward process. Not only is it safe and effective, but also most systems are fully automated and are reasonably priced. They have few moving parts that require replacement, making it a system that is easy to maintain. In many instances, homeowners can receive a better quality of water for just pennies per gallon.
This process works by taking the PSI of home water and using that pressure to push tap water through a semi-permeable membrane. Once the water supply goes through the membrane, it will then usually be stored in a connected tank that is pressurized.
This re-pressurized water will then flow through additional filters, such as activated carbon or sediment filters, to remove any lingering impurities that may remain. You can determine which product is being used in the best reverse osmosis system reviews by looking for the “post filter” specifications.
Most storage tanks are designed to work with homes that are on municipal water systems or a good well supply. This means you’ll receive a storage tank of 2-4 gallons on most systems. Independent reverse osmosis systems that deal with poor water quality may have independent storage tanks that can hold up to 300 gallons of water, but may have a maximum freshwater production level of 3-20 gallons per day.
After the water goes through the final filtration stage, it can be access through a faucet or fixture. You’re left with water that has an improved taste and clarity because impurities have been removed.
These systems will continue to generate water that is purified, even if you do not have a faucet or fixture active. It will fill the storage tank of the system with purified water that has gone through the membrane and filters. To help homes conserve water, reverse osmosis systems are equipped with an automatic shut-off valve that will stop water from passing through the membrane and block access to the wastewater drain until called upon to supply water once again.
Most reverse osmosis systems will generate wastewater to flush away the impurities that are filtered out of the water you access. Depending on the level of filtration that is used, up to 9 gallons of wastewater may be generated and flushed away down the drain.
One Important Note: Reverse osmosis systems are regulated by a flow restrictor. This helps to provide consistency in the water rates that pass through the membrane. Different systems have different control styles, but the goal of every style is to provide the best drinking water possible. Flow restrictors also maintain inlet side pressure so that drinking water can be produced instead of having the water follow the path of least resistance down the drain. This can, however, affect water pressure levels experienced throughout a home with a whole home system.
What Are the Benefits of Owning a Reverse Osmosis System?
One of the primary benefits of owning a reverse osmosis system is that these systems require very little energy to operate. This makes them a suitable water improvement system for homes that are seeking to be eco-friendly, be off the grid, or reduce energy consumption. Faucet-based systems will shut off when not being used and store purified water for use in a separate tank, making it possible to access fresh water whenever the power goes out as well.
Here are some of the additional benefits that can be experienced by homeowners who install a modern reverse osmosis system.
#1. They save space, but can be scalable. There are multiple sizes of systems available today. Some will fit under the sink and provide one faucet with fresh drinking waters. Others are quite large and can provide an entire home with the benefits of water that has experienced multi-stage filtration. Some allow you to expand with additional storage tanks so that as your family grows, your purified water access can grow as well.
#2. The water often tastes better. Reverse osmosis systems help to remove sediment and chemicals that can be found in virtually any water supply. Even with water systems that are generally of high quality, homeowners that have installed a reverse osmosis system regularly report that their drinking water is of a better quality.
#3. You choose the level of filtration you need. Reverse osmosis systems may contain between 3-7 different stages of filtration. This allows you to have a maximum level of improvement if needed. It is a way to turn even a poor water supply into a good one, though there may be high levels of water waste to improve incoming water that is of an extremely poor quality.
#4. They are extremely easy to maintain. Most reverse osmosis systems only need to be checked twice per year. Maintenance usually means replacing any filters that are in the system and cleaning or replacing the membrane. Even if you are a high capacity usage household, a reverse osmosis system may only need to be checked once every two or three months.
#5. It can save you money on a long-term basis. Even some of the most expensive reverse osmosis systems can pay for themselves over the course of a single year, depending on what your current spending habits happen to be. Some homeowners pay for bottled water instead of using an incoming water source and could be paying 10,000 times the cost of using tap water for their consumption needs. With a premium system, the amount of savings per dollar of use could be five times better this year with a reverse osmosis system.
Is a Reverse Osmosis System Better than a Water Filter?
Yes and no.
In some ways, a reverse osmosis system is more of an advanced water filtration system. Most systems include a carbon filter, a UV sterilizer, or other filtration options that can also be purchased and installed independently. The best reverse osmosis systems often incorporate the best water filters.
There are some differences that should be considered. With the membrane-based first-stage filtration, many more contaminants can be removed. This makes reverse osmosis a better option for homes that receive a poor incoming water source. Then the water can go through multiple filtration stages, just as it would with the best water filters installed, so that the quality of the water can be further improved.
For households that are not facing high contaminant levels, the installation of a reverse osmosis system might seem like overkill. If chlorine, sulfur, or basic sediment issues are the only water quality issues that need to be addressed, then one of the best water filters for the home is a better solution to consider.
If there is a specific contamination concern, however, a reverse osmosis system is the better method to use for a guaranteed result. Reverse osmosis systems are better than water filters at removing chemicals, heavy metals, and prescription drugs that may have made it through the water treatment process.
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride?
No filtration system is 100% effective in every possible circumstance. When it comes to removing fluoride from a water supply, however, there isn’t a better system outside of a distiller that can remove this additive like a reverse osmosis system.
It is able to remove many other items from the water as well. Heavy metals, such as lead, can be removed thanks to the pressurized movement through the membrane. Arsenic and other common sediment contaminants can also be removed. Reverse osmosis will also eliminate pharmaceuticals, parasites, pesticides, herbicides, and virtually any organic contaminant with high efficiency rates.
That’s the good news. Reverse osmosis will also remove the helpful minerals that tend to be in a water supply as well. You need electrolytes and certain salts for good health, such as calcium and magnesium salts and water typically provides these. The membrane of a reverse osmosis system can remove these and flush them down the drain with the bad elements.
This means hard water problems can be reduced thanks to a reverse osmosis system, especially if one is used in conjunction with a water softener. It also means that an extremely efficient system may create water products that seem “tasteless” because it has been filtered through multiple stages.
Is reverse osmosis water dangerous? This depends on currently lifestyle habits. Some reverse osmosis systems are designed to include additional electrolytes back into the water supply before it is accessed. It is also possible to maintain an electrolyte balance by eating specific foods, taking vitamins or supplements, as well as making other positive lifestyle choices.
How to Choose the Best Reverse Osmosis System
Reverse osmosis systems often require a separate faucet to use them. You may need to purchase this separately, so be sure to thoroughly read through the best reverse osmosis system reviews to know what you may need.
If you do need a faucet, then you’ll need to decide if you require an air-gap system. Air-gap systems prevent drain water from being returned to the system and being processed again, but are more complicated to install.
Households on well water should consider purchasing a reverse osmosis system that offers pre-filtration. Most applications require at least 4 stages of filtration. Municipal users with high-quality water may be able to save some money with a 3-stage system, while near-surface wells may require up to 7 stages for good results.
Any home with a water hardness level above 7 parts per million will need a water softener to act as a pretreatment for the equipment to operate correctly.
As a final step, be sure to check on the gallons per day rating of your equipment, which is often notated with the abbreviation “GPD.” A system rating of 300 indicates that a maximum of 300 gallons of drinking water can be produced. Most systems can produce between 50-75% of this rating on a daily basis, assuming that local water pressures are between 40-60 PSI.
Best Prices for Reverse Osmosis Systems
Reverse osmosis systems are usually more expensive than water filter systems, but there are still affordable options available to homeowners right now. Entry-level systems are usually priced at $300 or less and can provide a single faucet of purified water for consumption. These single faucet systems won’t produce enough water for bathing or lifestyle activities, but will provide filtered water that could be healthier than what the incoming source provides.
Whole home reverse osmosis systems are typically priced for $2,000 or less, but there are some exceptions. Although these systems are an investment for many households, it is one that can often pay for itself rather quickly. Having access to an improved quality of water can potentially reduce illness downtime, reduce or eliminate bottled water consumption, and promote reduce the need to purchase sodas, juices, and other beverage items.
Many households see cost savings appear in 5 years or less with a reverse osmosis system. Some can see savings begin in the very first year.
The Best Reverse Osmosis Reviews for Whole Home Systems
It is a virtually silent reverse osmosis system that will reduce chlorine and fluoride concentrations that are present. The membrane filters work to .0001 microns, creating a virtually clean water source. For its price, the number of benefits that come with this system is a rarity in our industry today. We found the system to be very easy to setup. The water volume that this unit produces is very good. It can fill up a glass of water straight out of the box once it has been installed.
The water availability with this unit is incredible, but it is a single-fixture unit. The tank will give you about 1 full gallon of water access at a time without a delay. If you need more than that, expect the unit to slow down considerably with your demands. It’s a system designed for cooking needs and drinking water. You will need to leave the last filter loose when installing the system so that it flushes. If you don’t follow this step, the water can taste a bit like charcoal and have a bit of grit in it. Otherwise, this is an RO system that gets the job done.
This system does reduce the number of contaminants that can be eliminated from the water supply to provide such a feature, but not by much. Many systems promote a 99%+ reduction of contaminants, while this system can remove up to 98% of chlorine and contaminants. Most homeowners should see about 2 years of use before needing to replace the membrane in the unit. Having a tank work with the reservoir bladder with this system gives you the best option. If you use this product as a tankless system, which is possible, the amount of water that can be produced daily will be greatly diminished.
This system offers a clear housing for its filters, provides a pressure gauge for routine monitoring, and the entire assembly is free of BPA. In return, you’ll receive drinking water that is up to 99% free of many common contaminants. We really liked the idea of an alkaline canister being included with an RO system. It requires frequent use to be a beneficial part of the system, however, because the water tends to sit and absorb the mineral content that is meant for distribution. You’ll want to dump the first glass of water at the start of the day to avoid a high mineral content surprise.
What makes this reverse osmosis system so attractive is its ease of installation. The tank is included with the system and measures 11x11x15 inches, which allows it to be installed under most kitchen sinks. In return, you’ll be able to access an unlimited supply of cleaner water that has reduced contaminants. Some systems use transparent filter housings, but not APEC. This would reduce the overall strength of the unit, especially when exposed to a cold-water line. The filter sets are reasonably affordable with this unit as well, with double sets often retailing for around $50.
Installation of this RO system is incredibly easy. It comes in its own free-standing frame, allowing you to place it virtually anywhere to improve your water supply. It also comes with a booster pump and oversized filters so that your water flow doesn’t suffer a devastating drop in PSI. It is designed to work with high gallon capacity tanks, but that may not be affordable for homeowners who want a good on-demand system. Any tank that is above 6 gallons in size should work for household demands with this system.
This unit is designed to provide an under-sink installation with a 5-stage filtration process. Homeowners will also receive an additional set of replacement filters in the box so that up to 2 years of purified water can be obtained. In return, more than 1,000 contaminants can be reduced or eliminated with this lead-free faucet and steel tank combination. There is the added benefit with this system that it doesn’t require a source of power to operate. It runs on water pressure alone. If your system can meet the minimum PSI demands, you’ll be able to have fresh water, even in emergency situations.
With this RO System, the rating system provides up to 99% removal rates, but some items do have lower certified rates than others with this RO system. Of specific note here is fluoride removal. The rating range for the membrane, which is manufactured by Dow Filmtec, is between 90-97%. The Water Quality Association as tested the entire system and certified a fluoride rate of 97.7%. In total, the system offers up to 90 gallons per day of purified water support. If you plan to connect your RO system to an icemaker, then you’ll need the 90 GPD to get the flow you need. It’s a good value purchase.
This system comes fully assembled, so it is extremely easy to install. It does come with a 3/8-inch feed-water adapter and shut-off valve, some ½-inch installations will require an adapter. You’ll also receive a chrome faucet and RO faucet adapter that work as expected once installed. Total water production at its peak is about 50 gallons per day. It’s more of a direct-faucet system for drinking water and cooking needs more than a whole-home system. Some homeowners may be able to hook up this model to their dishwasher for some additional benefits with the included fast-flow RO kit.
We appreciated the fact that this system can operate on water pressure systems as low as 25 PSI. This makes it a useful addition to virtually any home. The power levels are somewhat high because of the commercial-grade production value, but you’ll also receive enough purified water to use for large families. The amount of space this unit takes up is very minimal. It is small enough that it could fit underneath the average kitchen sink. Hook it up to your main supply and you’ll have whole-home benefits. This model could be the best reverse osmosis system on the market today. Definitely worth a look.
The best reverse osmosis system reviews will help you install the equipment you need to avoid home water issues with relative ease. Find the capacity you need, be sure to test your home water supply to know what contaminants are present, and then match up the best RO system to your findings. In return, you’ll have years of cleaner, fresher water to drink and use.