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Best Refrigerator Water Filter

To find the best refrigerator water filters, we reviewed:
  • 1. Micron Rating
  • 2. NSF Certification
  • 3. Gallon Capacity
  • 4. Flow Rate
  • 5. Installation
  • 6. Price
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Best Refrigerator Water Filters

If you cringe when taking a sip of water, it might be time to replace your refrigerator water filter. These small but effective devices eliminate odors, taste, and clarity issues, giving you purified water as good as your favorite bottled water.

They can also solve serious water contamination problems including pesticides, herbicides, prescription medication, mercury, lead, and more. So which is the best refrigerator water filter? Check out the in-depth reviews of our top seven picks.

Our Top Picks

1. Frigidaire ULTRAWF Refrigerator Water Filter
2. PureLine’s Refrigerator Water Filter
3. Whirlpool EveryDrop Refrigerator Water Filter 4
4. Waterdrop DA29 – 0020B Refrigerator Water Filter
5. EcoAqua – EFF – 6027A
6. Culligan IC-EZ-1 Water Filter
7. Best’s Refrigerator Water Filter

Helpful Terms:

Water Quality Association: An association that rates water-related products.
NSF International: Rates and certifies products based on independent testing.
Micron Rating: The ability of a filter to remove contaminants from a liquid.

Best Overall

Frigidaire ULTRAWF Pure Source Ultra Water Filter, Original, White, 1 Count

Frigidaire ULTRAWF Refrigerator Water Filter

The best refrigerator water filter on our list, combining value with quality.

If you’re not willing to take any chances with your water, this Frigidaire ULTRAWF Refrigerator Water Filter is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) product. This means that the filter is guaranteed to fit your refrigerator (as long as you have confirmed compatibility) and is rigorously tested for performance.

Overall Score: 27/30

Micron Rating: 5/5

This filter is rated less than 1 micron, which means it filters out a lot more than just foul odors and taste.

NSF Certification: 5/5

This product is rated NSF 42, 53, and 401. The filter takes out more than 50 contaminants, including lead, chromium, and parasites. Frigidaire ULTRAWF Refrigerator Water Filter is also approved by the Water Quality Association (WQA).

Gallon Capacity: 4/5

This is a 200-gallon refrigerator filter, which is slightly less than many products we have featured here.

Flow Rate: 4/5

Some users may notice a slight reduction in flow rate when using this filter for the first time. The flow rate could certainly be better, but this is hardly surprising for a high-filtration unit.

Installation: 5/5

Frigidaire ULTRAWF is very easy to install. Simply push it into place after removing the old filter. Be sure to remove the plastic tabs before installing the filter. You will also need to run water for three minutes to prime the filter.

Price: 4/5

This Frigidaire is slightly expensive, but this is hardly surprising for an OEM product with its specifications. You can also opt for the three-pack option to earn a bulk discount.

Second-Best

PureLine's Refrigerator Water Filter​

PureLine's Refrigerator Water Filter

An expensive filter that's a good alternative to original GE and Kenmore units.

PureLine’s Refrigerator Water Filter is an after-market filter. This model easily replaces the more expensive OEM filter. PureLine’s triple-filtration technology is sure to put to rest all your water contaminants concerns. This option is an excellent alternative to original GE and Kenmore refrigerator filters.

Overall Score: 27/30

Micron Rating: 5/5

This product is rated 0.5 microns. The product claims to filter out most major contaminants including chlorine, odor, heavy metals, THM, Voc, mercury, pesticides, and 19 other major pollutants.

NSF Certification: 4/5

This product is NSF approved. However, it is only NSF 42 approved. We would have liked to see at least NSF 53 certification to back up its numerous contaminant reduction claims.

Given that this is a three-step, 0.5-micron filter, we do not doubt the claims. However, it would have been good if the product was independently tested and certified.

Gallon Capacity: 5/5

This is a 300-gallon water filter. PureLine’s Refrigerator Water Filter comes with a three-pack if you want to stock up on your filters.

Flow Rate: 5/5

You get an incredible 1.9 GPM from this filter, much better than other cheap after-market products.

Installation: 4/5

This model fits easily in the refrigerator’s filter compartment as long as you have ensured your refrigerator model’s compatibility. You need to run about three gallons of water through the filter first before noticing a difference in your water quality.

Price: 4/5

PureLine’s Refrigerator Water Filter is slightly more expensive than most generic water filters. However, it is still cheaper than most OEM filters that work just as well. The price makes sense for what this filter promises.

Third-Best

Whirlpool EveryDrop Refrigerator Water Filter 4

A solid filter from a trusted name for homes that don't mind a lower flow rate.

Whirlpool EveryDrop Refrigerator Water Filter 4 is an OEM filter designed for Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Amana, and JennAir refrigerators. This filter takes care of most contaminants in your local water supply, including pesticides, lead, and pharmaceuticals. Its triple filtration technology offers some of the best filtrations you can get on the market.

Overall Score: 27/30

Micron Rating: 5/5

We estimate this filter to have a micron rating of between 0.5 and 1 micron. Good for most local water quality concerns, including heavy metals and pesticides.

NSF Certification: 5/5

This product is backed by NSF Standards 42, 53, and 401. As we expect from OEM filters, this Whirlpool Water Filter 4 is efficient at filtering more than 50 contaminants, including over-the-counter medications, cryptosporidium, parasites, and chemical compounds.

Gallon Capacity: 5/5

This is a 300-gallon capacity water filter. You still need to change it after six months if you haven’t reached the 300-gallon mark.

Flow Rate: 4/5

The flow rate is middling at 0.7 gallons per minute. We have seen aftermarket filters that offer a far better flow rate.

Installation: 5/5

This filter is easy to install for most compatible refrigerator models. You need to run at least one gallon of water through the filter to prime it.

Price: 3/5

Whirlpool EveryDrop Refrigerator Water Filter 4 is on the expensive side. This is easily forgivable, given that this is a high-performance OEM filter.

Fourth-Best

Waterdrop DA29 – 0020B Refrigerator Water Filter​

Waterdrop DA29 – 0020B Refrigerator Water Filter

Best for homes with Kenmore or Samsung fridges seeking basic filtration.

If you are looking for an after-market water filter for a Samsung or Kenmore refrigerator, this Waterdrop DA29 is a cheaper option. This product comes in a pack of three, meaning you won’t be shopping for a new filter for the next year and a half.

Waterdrop DA29 uses a natural coconut shell carbon block for optimum filtration. The filter’s no-tool installation makes it a quick replacement job for your old Samsung or Kenmore filter.

Overall Score: 25/30

Micron Rating: 3/5

The manufacturer does not list this product’s micron rating. We estimate it at around 10 to 20 micron. It’s far from the best on the market, but will sufficiently get rid of bad taste and odor in your water. This product will do its job if you do not have serious concerns about your local water quality besides chlorine, particulate, iron, and other larger contaminants.

NSF Certification: 3/5

This product is NSF 372 and NSF 42 certified. As we mentioned, it will filter out most taste, color, and odor contaminants. Additionally, this Waterdrop fridge filter is certified for zero-lead materials and components. Please note that this does not mean the water filter will remove lead from your water.

Gallon Capacity: 5/5

This is a 300-gallon refrigerator filter, slightly above average by industry standards. It’s perfect for a large household. You still need to change the filter every six months. Each filter comes with a sticker to let you know when you installed it and when you need to change it.

Flow Rate: 4/5

You get 0.5 gallons per minute (GPM) flow rate from this filter.

Installation: 5/5

We love that this filter is straightforward to install for an after-market product. Please make sure that you have cross-referenced your refrigerator brand and model compatibility before ordering.  

Price: 5/5

Considering that you are getting a pack of three filters, this product is very reasonably priced. Higher-end filters can easily cost more per piece than this three-pack.

Keep in mind that this is a basic water filter intended for eliminating color, odor, and taste concerns. You will need a higher-end filter if you have serious water-quality problems.

Fifth-Best

EcoAqua EFF-6027A Replacement Filter, Compatible with Samsung DA29-00020B, DA29-00020A, HAF-CIN/EXP, 46-9101 Refrigerator Water Filter, 3 Pack

EcoAqua – EFF – 6027A

A good choice for homes on a clean water supply seeking a little extra filtration.

This EcoAqua is an aftermarket water filter design to improve the aesthetic quality of your water. Its activated carbon block is made out of 100% natural coconut shell, making this a high-quality water filter. You get a 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee, and it’s a perfect replacement for your more expensive Samsung refrigerator water filter.

Overall Score: 25/30

Micron Rating: 3/5

This product’s micron rating isn’t listed, but we estimate it between 10 and 20 microns. It won’t get rid of prescription medications or heavy metals, but it does remove up to 97-percent of chlorine from your water. EcoAqua is a great option if you are looking for a basic refrigerator water filter.

NSF Certification: 3/5

This product is NSF 42 and 372 certified. We like that it has been tested for lead in its components and is deemed safe for use. Again, NSF 42 certified is good enough confirmation that this filter will improve your water’s clarity, odor, and taste.

Gallon Capacity: 5/5

This is a 300-gallon capacity refrigerator water filter. You have to change it every six months for the best effect.

Flow Rate: 4/5

You won’t have a good flow rate as some of the OEM products out there. However, the flow rate is still satisfactory for most people.

Installation: 5/5 

This refrigerator water filter is effortless to install. Simply remove the old filter, push in the new filter, and turn it clockwise until you hear a click. You will need to flush the new filter for a few minutes before drinking the water.

Price: 5/5

If you do not have severe water quality issues and use a Samsung refrigerator water filter, this EcoAqua – EFF – 6027A will prove to be an affordable alternative. In fact, this is the model that I use in my own refrigerator, and so far it’s proved to be a solid choice.

Sixth-Best

Culligan IC-EZ-1​

Culligan IC-EZ-1

A solid choice for homes without an existing refrigerator water filter.

If you do not have a built-in refrigerator filter, an aftermarket in-line filter is the answer. This Culligan IC-EZ-1 is an affordable choice that fits most refrigerator brands. You connect the filter between your primary filtration system and refrigerator, water dispenser, or humidifier.

We highly recommend this product to complement an existing whole-house filter. You can buy just the filter or a complete set with an installation kit if you don’t already have one.

Overall Rating: 24/30

Micron Rating: 3/5

This is a Class III filter with a micron rating of between 5 and 15 microns. It’s sufficient for water odor, taste, and color-related issues. Culligan also offers premium filters if this option is too basic for you. Otherwise, you should enjoy clear, odorless, and tasty drinking water with this basic version.

NSF Certification: 3/5

This product is NSF42 certified. Culligan doesn’t make any superfluous claims about this filter’s capabilities besides basic filtration, so this certification is acceptable for our purposes.

Gallon Capacity: 5/5

This is a 3000-gallon water filter. You can use it for up to 12 months, depending on your water usage. Additionally, the filter comes with a reminder sticker so you won’t forget to change it.

Flow Rate: 4/5

The flow rate for this filter may be a little slow for large households. We recommend this option for smaller homes of two or three people. However, some people may not see any change in the flow rate from their old filter.

Installation: 4/5

This filter easily replaces your old one under the sink. You can purchase the filter together with an installation kit if you are installing an in-line water filter for the first time.

Price: 5/5

Culligan IC-EZ-1 is very affordable. Again, this is a basic filter that removes the taste and odors from treated water. It works perfectly as long as you have the correct expectations.

Seventh-Best

Best's Refrigerator Water Filter​

Best's Refrigerator Water Filter

Another great choice for households seeking an alternative to expensive GE filters.

This Best water filter replaces your GE filter at a fraction of the price. The manufacturer offers a lifetime money-back guarantee just if you are not sold on the filter’s performance. We recommend this option for people who don’t need high filtration besides aesthetic qualities like taste, smell, and water color.

Overall Score: 24/30

Micron Rating: 3/5

The manufacturer doesn’t list this product’s micron rating, but we estimate it between 10 and 20 microns. It’s not the most effective filter, but it makes modest claims, so the micron rating is acceptable for this category.

NSF Certification: 3/5

This filter has NSF 42 certification. We don’t expect much more than this. Except, we would have liked to see NSF 372 or NSF 61 to confirm that the filter’s components and materials do not contain lead.

Gallon Capacity: 3/5

You get under 200-gallon capacity. There is a good chance that you will need to replace this filter more often than OEM filters or other high-quality after-market filters like PureLine. It also helps if you have additional filtration between your faucet and the refrigerator.

Flow Rate: 5/5

This filter has a great flow rate and may beat your previous OEM filter.

Installation: 5/5

We loved the quick and easy installation. As long as you have confirmed that the filter is compatible with your General Electric refrigerator, installation is a breeze.

Price: 5/5

This is a cheap refrigerator water filter that you can easily replace on a whim. It fulfills its promise of improving your water’s aesthetic quality at a low price.

Choosing the Best Refrigerator Water Filters

Now that you’ve had a look at our picks for the best refrigerator filters, it’s time to find out what goes into making a purchase decision. We used this same checklist when coming up with our list of refrigerator water filters to review.

Micron Rating

The best refrigerator water filter and micron rating scale put into a chart

Micron rating relates to the filter’s pore size. Your refrigerator filter has tiny pores to filter out contaminants in your water. So, if a filter has a 20-micron rating, the filter traps contaminants larger than 20 microns in size. If a filter has a 5-micron rating, then it traps 5 microns or larger.  As a rule, the lower the micron rating, the better.

A micron is a millionth of a meter, and you cannot see anything smaller than 25 microns with the naked eye. Most basic refrigerator filters are at least 20 microns.

Parasites and bacteria are between 0.4 and 2 microns in size, so the safest bet is a 1-micron filter or less. However, most city water is treated for parasites and bacteria, so you may never need this kind of filter unless you have reason to believe that your water supply is compromised.

You may sometimes see the filtering capability listed as a Class rating rather than a micron rating.

As a quick guide:

Class I – 0.4 to 1 micron
Class II – 1 to 5 microns
Class III – 5 to 15 microns
Class IV – 15 to 30 microns
Class V – 30 to 50 microns
Class VI – more than 50 microns

Additionally, you want to watch out for the terms Absolute and Nominal when choosing a water filter. An absolute filter is considered more than 95 percent efficient. This means if the filter is five microns, it won’t allow any particulate larger than five microns through.

Nominal, on the other hand, is more of an approximated rating. In this case, a five-micron nominal filter may occasionally let five-micron particulates through.

NSF Certification

The NSF water filter rating put into a chart

The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certifies water filters based on several standards. The NSF developed international protocols to regulate residential water treatment filters. Important labels to look out for include:

NSF 42: This is the most basic NSF certification. NSF 42 deals with aesthetic effects such as color, taste, and odor. Aesthetic effects are mainly due to chlorine, total dissolved solids, manganese, zinc, and iron. NSF 42 refrigerator water filters are effective at removing these impurities and improving your water’s aesthetic quality.

NSF 53: Covers more than 50 contaminants, including parasites, volatile organic compounds, cryptosporidium, chromium, and lead.

NSF 401: Guarantees that up to 15 specific contaminants are removed from your water, including pesticides, herbicides, some over-the-counter medication, some prescription drugs, and volatile organic compounds.

NSF 61 and 372: Deal with the water filter materials rather than their filtration qualities. This standard guarantees that the product does not contain dangerous lead levels.

Gallon Capacity

The water flow of a refrigerator water filter in a chart

Gallon capacity is the amount of water the filter processes before you need to replace it. Most products range between 200 and 500-gallon capacity. 300 gallons is typical.

Note also that most refrigerator water filters are good for only six months. That means you need to replace them every 6 months, even if you haven’t reached the gallon capacity.

Higher gallon-capacity filters are better for larger households with constant drinking water or ice demands. Most of these products come with stickers to remind you when it’s time to change the filter.

Flow Rate

Water flow rate of the best water filters in graphical form in front of a refrigerator

Flow rate refers to how much water passes through the filter in a minute. This capacity is measured in gallons per minute or GPM. You want a higher GPM water filter. You won’t have to wait as long to fill up a water bottle, for example. 

Most water filters range between 0.5 and 2 GPM. Additionally, most low micron filters have a lower flow rate since they filter out more contaminants. To get around this problem, many manufactures use a two or three-step filtration design.

Here, the first filtration process takes out the larger debris, and the additional filters remove finer contaminants. As a side note, if you notice a significant drop in flow rate, it may be time to change your water filter.

Installation

You want a water filter that’s easy to install. For the most part, the installation process depends on the location of your refrigerator water filter. Many modern refrigerators have a water filter in the upper right-hand corner of the refrigerator’s interior.

Others have the filter located inside the refrigerator’s base grille. If you are buying an in-line water filter, make sure that it comes with all the tools and connections you need to replace your old one. This advice goes doubly if you are installing an in-line filter for the first time.

Also, most sellers offer a list of compatible refrigerator models for their filters. Please make sure you cross-reference your brand and model number to avoid getting the wrong filter.

Price

Refrigerator water filter price chart

The most expensive refrigerator water filters are the original equipment manufacturer brands. You can tell them apart from their brand names like Whirlpool, Frigidaire, or GE.

These also tend to be the best options since they are specifically designed for your appliance. There are, however, some good aftermarket options. Most of these offer basic filtration for aesthetic effects, but there are some high-performance options.

You will need to be particularly keen about micron rating and NSF certification with aftermarket options, regardless of the manufacturer’s claims.

For the most part, aftermarket refrigerator water filters are good quality as long as you stick with a tried and tested brand. These filters are often cheap or affordable and can offer significant savings long-term

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