Best Refrigerator Water Filters in 2021

If you have a large family, a refrigerator water filter is a much cheaper way to enjoy the taste of chilled and clean water instead of bottled water. A quality water filter will remove any impurities from your water and ice that are dispensed from your fridge.

If you are looking to buy a new refrigerator water filter, you’ve come to the right place!

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the top qualities to keep in mind when choosing a water filter and my choices for the best water refrigerators on the market today.

Let’s get started!

Things to consider when choosing a water filter for your fridge

Filter quality & standards

By far, the most important quality to look for in a refrigerator water filter is filtering standards.

Refrigerator water filters remove contaminants from water by forcing all water through activated charcoal or carbon that traps particles and pollutants from traveling further. Numerous studies have found that water filters are among the most effective methods for removing contaminants.

The simplest way to know how effective your filter will be is to look at the official NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) standards the filter is certified for:

  • NSF 42: this certification covers the taste and color of water and can filter through particulates, chloramine, iron, manganese, and zinc.
  • NSF 53: this certification covers over fifty different contaminants, including chromium, volatile organic compounds, and parasites.
  • NSF 401: this certification covers over fifteen kinds of contaminants, including prescription drugs, herbicides, pesticides, and chemical compounds.
  • NSF 372 and 61: these certifications mean that your water filter’s components and materials are not contaminated with any dangerous levels of lead.

NSF 42 is the most basic certification and will allow you to drink good tasting and clean water. For most uses, this will be sufficient. However, if you live in more industrial or urban areas, NSF 53 should be the minimum you get.

Fit

A fundamental rule to remember with water filters is that not all filters fit all models of refrigerators. While the best aftermarket refrigerator water filters will fit numerous refrigerators on the market, this is still something you need to carefully research before you purchase. 

Tip:

Use the “Make sure this fits” section on Amazon’s product page and enter your fridge’s model number to check compability.

make sure it fits water filter

Price

Premium water filter brands can be really expensive, but you can also cut down on the cost by buying multi-packs. Also, check how often you need to replace the filters to calculate maintenance costs.

On average, you should expect to replace your filter once every six months. Filters that need to be replaced less frequently than that will be quite expensive. 

Ease of use

Can you install it yourself?

One of the biggest appeals to refrigerator water filters is that you should be able to install them yourself without requiring a plumber or any additional serious work.

I recommend avoiding any water filter that requires a plumber to install and/or use. The best water filters are very straightforward in their installation and maintenance processes.

What other users say

Finally, always be sure to read reviews to gather info on leaks and any tests done with the filter you are considering. Online reviews are ultimately one of the best sources for finding firsthand information on how well a particular water filter works or how long it can last before having issues.

What Are The Best refrigerator water filters For 2021?

Preview
Waterdrop UKF8001 Water Filter, Compatible with Whirlpool EDR4RXD1,...
PURELINE 9490 & LT800P Water Filter Replacement with Advanced...
EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 3, EDR3RXD1 (Pack of...
Culligan IC 1 EZ-Change Basic Inline Icemaker and Refrigerator...
Product
WaterDrop Advanced
PURELINE
EveryDrop by Whirlpool
Culligan IC-EZ-1
NSF Certifications
NSF 42, NSF 53
NSF 42, NSF 372
NSF 42, NSF 53, an NSF 501
NSF 42, NSF 53
Fit
Maytag/Amana, Whirpool, KitchenAid, Kenmore
GE, LG, Maytag, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Samsung
Whirlpool, Maytag/Amana, KitchenAid, JennAir
Attached to the waterline
Needs Changing
300 gallons
300 gallons
200 gallons
500-3000 gallons, depending on the model
Preview
Waterdrop UKF8001 Water Filter, Compatible with Whirlpool EDR4RXD1,...
Product
WaterDrop Advanced
NSF Certifications
NSF 42, NSF 53
Fit
Maytag/Amana, Whirpool, KitchenAid, Kenmore
Needs Changing
300 gallons
Preview
PURELINE 9490 & LT800P Water Filter Replacement with Advanced...
Product
PURELINE
NSF Certifications
NSF 42, NSF 372
Fit
GE, LG, Maytag, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Samsung
Needs Changing
300 gallons
Preview
EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 3, EDR3RXD1 (Pack of...
Product
EveryDrop by Whirlpool
NSF Certifications
NSF 42, NSF 53, an NSF 501
Fit
Whirlpool, Maytag/Amana, KitchenAid, JennAir
Needs Changing
200 gallons
Preview
Culligan IC 1 EZ-Change Basic Inline Icemaker and Refrigerator...
Product
Culligan IC-EZ-1
NSF Certifications
NSF 42, NSF 53
Fit
Attached to the waterline
Needs Changing
500-3000 gallons, depending on the model

1# WaterDrop Advanced – Best Refrigerator Water Filter

The Waterdrop Advanced is a premium carbon block filter designed to improve both the quality and the taste of your water.

It suits a wide range of fridges from brands like Maytag/Amana, Whirpool, KitchenAid, and Kenmore.

It is NSF 42 and NSF 53 certified, and can filter out minerals like iron and manganese as well as eliminate particulate matter and parasites.

The Waterdrop Advanced lasts for about 6 months and can safely filter about 300 gallons of water.

Specs

As you may have read in any other Waterdrop filter review, Waterdrop utilizes a renewable and activated coconut carbon block filter to ensure more uniform filtration.

It has a flow rate of 400 GDP (gallons per day), which results in a 1:1 drain rate.

According to most Waterdrop filter reviews, the Waterdrop is compatible with a wide variety of different fridge manufacturers but is still very specific, depending on the model.

Quality and certifications

The Waterdrop Advanced is NSF 42 and NSF 53 certified, which means that it can remove:

  • particulates
  • chloramine
  • iron
  • manganese
  • zinc
  • chromium
  • volatile organic compounds
  • parasites

Installation and maintenance

The Waterdrop water filter needs replacing at least once every six months, or after every three hundred gallons. It utilizes a twist and lock mechanism to be installed, and you will need to run water through the system for a minimum of three minutes to flush residue out.

The Good

  • Compatible with a wide range of refrigerator manufacturers, including KitchenAid, Whirlpool, and Maytag
  • Removes over 99.6% of lead
  • Made of lead-free materials
  • Very well constructed

The Bad

  • Even though this filter can work with a wide variety of manufacturers, it is still very specific, depending on the model, so research carefully

2# PureLine – Advanced Carbon Water Filter For Fridges

The Pure Line water filter is one of the most popular general filter manufacturers.

They make filters for fridges from brands such as GE, Kenmore, Samsung, Maytag, and LG.

However, each of their filters is independently manufactured and not rebranded or relabeled as other water filters sometimes are.

All PureLine filters have a NSF certification of 42 and 372 and are made of lead-free materials.

Change your PureLine filter every 6 months or after cleaning 300 gallons of water.

Specs

The PureLine water filter utilizes carbon block technology and two ionization layers that can extract contaminants and solids before the water reaches the carbon.

One of these layers is designed to remove even the smallest particles thanks to its electromagnetic absorption technology, and Pureline claims that it can remove over twenty-six different contaminants.

Quality and certifications

The PureLine comes NSF 42 and 372 certified, which means that no filter parts are coated in dangerous lead. The NSF 42 certification means that the filter can remove contaminants such as particulates, chloramine, iron, manganese, and zinc.

In addition to that, the PureLine is also WQA and IAMPO certified, which means that it has been independently tested and certified to remove lead, mercury, chlorine, lindane, and chromium.

Installation and maintenance

PureLine filters are usually near the top right side of your refrigerator. You will need to twist it clockwise to install and counter-clockwise to uninstall. Make sure that the arrow on the filter is in alignment with the arrow on the filter head.

Plan to flush out two or three gallons of water to remove any residue. The Pureline water filter needs replacing every six months and can filter through 300 gallons of water.

The Good

  • Comes WQA and IAMPO certified
  • Utilizes electromagnetic absorption to remove even the smallest particles
  • Independently manufactured

The Bad

  • Does not come NSF 401 certified

3# EveryDrop by Whirlpool – Water Filter For Whirlpool Fridge

The EveryDrop by Whirlpool is a triple-action water filter that comes NSF 42, NSF 53, and NSF 401 certified.

Besides the most common pollutants, it also eliminates harmful pesticides, herbicides, and prescription drugs found in the water.

Keep in mind:

The model numbers for the EveryDrop, such as EDR5RXD1 or EDR4RXD1, are just references to help you choose the right product.

To check whether the filter works for your fridge, enter your model number on the Amazon product page (see more here).

Specs

The EveryDrop water filter relies on a triple filtration system to ensure that your water is as clean as possible to drink.

The first layer removes larger particles such as debris and rust, while the second layer removes organic compounds that can give water a bad taste.

Finally, the last activated carbon filter removes contaminants such as pesticides, herbicides, chlorine, and organic compounds.

Quality and certifications

The EveryDrop comes NSF 42, NSF 53, and NSF 401 certified.

Besides being made of lead-free parts, the filter also eliminates the following:

  • larger particulate matter like debris
  • chloramine
  • iron
  • manganese
  • zinc
  • chromium
  • volatile organic compounds
  • parasites

Installation and maintenance

Plan on replacing the EveryDrop filter after every two hundred gallons or every six months, whichever comes first.

I should also warn you that the EveryDrop can be difficult to snap into place:

The catch for the button may require a lot of force to engage.

The Good

  • Utilizes a triple filtration system to ensure the water is as clean as possible
  • Comes NSF 42, NSF 53, and NSF 401 certified
  • The only filter that is simultaneously approved by Amana, Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, and JennAir brands

The Bad

  • Can be difficult to snap into place to install

4# Culligan IC-EZ-1 – Best Inline Water Filter

If you do not have a water filter built-in to your refrigerator, the next best alternative is to use an inline filter. My favorite is the Culligan IC-EZ-1.

The Culligan IC-EZ-1 has an NSF certification of 42 and 53 (depending on the model). It can eliminate iron, zing, manganese as well as remove volatile organic compounds and parasites.

The best thing about the Culligan inline water filter is that the Basic one can clean around 3000 gallons of water before it needs changing!

Specs

The Culligan is an inline water filter, meaning it is designed to sit between your water source and the refrigerator. Since it’s connected directly to the waterline, it’s suitable for most households.

The brand has three types of water filters:

  • Culligan Basic that can last up to 12 months or 3000 gallons.
  • Culligan Advanced and Culligan Premium that can last up to 6 months or 500 gallons.

Quality and certifications

The Basic filter has an NSF certification of 42. The Advanced and Premium filters come NSF 42 and 53 certified.

So while the Basic filter can remove the most common pollutants like iron, manganese, and zinc, the Advanced and Premium filters also eliminate volatile organic compounds and parasites.

Installation and maintenance

They use a simple twist on and off mechanism for installation in addition to built-in mounting brackets and screws to ensure no water leakage. For the best performance, the Culligan should be installed within three feet of your fridge in a vertical position.

As a bonus, it also comes with a cartridge change reminder.

As mentioned, all Culligan Filters can clean a minimum of five hundred gallons of water or last for a minimum of six months.

The Good

  • Very long filter life before needing to be replaced
  • A secure installation system ensures there are no water leaks
  • Has three filtration levels

The Bad

  • Requires a long flush before first use

5# Frigidaire – Water Filter for Frigidaire

The Frigidaire PureSource refrigerator water filter is a high-quality carbon-based filter to go with so long as you will be using it with a Frigidaire refrigerator.

The filter comes NSF 43, 53, and 401 certified, so it can eliminate harmful chemicals like minerals (iron, zinc), volatile organic compounds, parasites, herbicides, pesticides, and other chemical compounds.

The lifespan of the Frigidaire water filter is 6 months or 200 gallons.

Specs

First and foremost, the Frigidaire PureSource only suits certain Frigidaire refrigerator models, so you will need to be very selective about the fridge you purchase to use it for.

It uses a carbon-based filter that can remove contaminants and the taste of chlorine from your water for a more pleasant drinking experience. 

Quality and certifications

The Frigidaire comes both NSF and ANSI certified. Specifically, it is certified for NSF 43, NSF 53, and NSF 401.

As such, the Frigidaire is capable of removing:

  • lead
  • cysts
  • atrazine
  • chlorine
  • herbicides
  • pesticides
  • prescription drugs
  • particulates
  • lindane
  • endrin
  • mercury

Installation and maintenance

The Frigidaire will need to be replaced either every six months or after every two hundred gallons.

A big reason to consider the Frigidaire filter is that it’s very easy to install:

Simply push to release the old filter, and then push the new one into place. Then run water through it for at least three minutes to remove any residue.

The Good

  • Very easy to install
  • Comes both NSF and ANSI certified
  • Three different NSF certifications

The Bad

  • Only fits selected Frigidaire refrigerators

6# Samsung Originals – Samsung Refrigerator Water Filter

The Samsung Originals is an excellent carbon filter to go with, but only if you have a Samsung refrigerator (or other certain French door refrigerator models).

This filter has one of the fastest flow rates of any refrigerator water filters, making using it a breeze.

It comes NSF 43 and 53 certified and can remove minerals like iron, zinc, and manganese, as well as volatile organic compounds and parasites from your water.

The Samsung Originals filter lasts for about 6 months or up to 300 gallons of water.

Specs

First and foremost, the Samsung Originals is only designed for very specific models of Samsung refrigerators or other units that come with the French door. Make sure you find out if it is compatible with your refrigerator before buying!

The Samsung Originals uses an activated carbon function technology that effectively removes harmful contaminants and improves water taste.

The three-speed electronic controls make it very easy to control the flow of water as well.

Quality and certifications

The Samsung Originals water filter comes NSF 43 and NSF 53 certified.

It can remove:

  • microbial cysts
  • lead
  • heavy metals
  • manganese
  • zinc
  • chromium
  • volatile organic compounds
  • parasites
  • particulates

Installation and maintenance

The Samsung filter needs replacing either every three hundred gallons or six months, whichever comes first.

To install or uninstall, you need to push it in or out of the port in your Samsung fridge. Run through at least one liter of water to remove residue and charcoal dust.

An indicator will let you know when it’s time to replace the filter.

The Good

  • Comes with an indicator that lets you know when it needs replacing
  • Very fast water flow
  • Both NSF and ANSI certified

The Bad

  • Only works with certain refrigerator models (either Samsung products or specific refrigerators with French doors)

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Refrigerator Water Filters Work?

Refrigerator water filters remove contaminants (such as particles or pollutants) from the water by forcing it through activated carbon or charcoal located inside the filter.

Be sure to replace your water filters as recommended by the manufacturer. Water that passes through an overused filter can actually dislodge some trapped pollutants back into the water.

What Do Refrigerator Water Filters Filter Out?

Refrigerator water filters can filter a large variety of different contaminants, including

• iron
• manganese
• lead
• iron
• chloramine
• zinc
• organic compounds
• chromium
• parasites

Be sure to check the NSF standards – different standards can filter out different contaminants.

Just remember that no filter is perfect, and none can truly filter out all contaminants. Arsenic, for example, is a contaminant that most filters will have difficulty removing.

How to Recycle Refrigerator Water Filters?

Although most water filters are not recyclable and need to be thrown in the trash when they are ready to be replaced, some filters can be reused. Furthermore, there are websites like this you can send your filter to for it to be recycled as well.

How Well Do Refrigerator Water Filters Work?

Numerous studies have found that refrigerator water filters are among the best methods for removing chemicals and contaminants from tap water. Not only are refrigerator water filters very effective at ensuring your water is safe to drink, but they will also make it taste much better. Just make sure that you don’t overwork your filter and replace it as the manufacturer recommends.

Wrapping It Up

This covers my choices for the best refrigerator water filters that you can currently buy.

Any one of the water filters that I’ve shown you here today will provide you with many months of reliable and dependable use. Just make sure that you buy a filter with the qualities that I listed out before, and you’ll be golden.

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Maxime is a 30-year-old blogger from France who is passionate about cooking. Since he met Karmen, he has shared her interest in healthy foods and healthier cooking. Quite concerned with the impact of food on our body and health, he wants to learn and share his knowledge about making the right choices for achieving a healthier lifestyle.

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