Faucet Water Filters vs. Under Sink Water Filters

Author: Rory Mullan - Published: 2022/08/05 - Updated: 2022/12/22

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If you are looking for a home water filter system, you could choose between a faucet water filter or an under sink water filter. Both options are very practical, affordable, and easy to install.

But which one works best for you? To find the answer to that question, continue reading this article.

It will explain how under sink and faucet filters work, their similarities and differences, and their advantages and disadvantages.

So, here is our guide on under sink water filters vs. faucet water filters!


Here is how to choose between a faucet water filter and an under sink water filter:

  • Compatibility – Since they link to the cold water valve instead of the faucet directly, under sink water filters are typically compatible with the majority of sinks. Only conventional faucets may accommodate faucet filters.
  • Contaminants – A faucet filter may not be adequate if your water is highly polluted. Tip: Get your water checked, please!
  • Water pressure and flow – A faucet water filter can significantly reduce output pressure.
  • Durability – Over time, faucet water filters have a tendency to become increasingly brittle.
  • Installation – Choose a faucet unit for the least amount of trouble upon installation.
  • Filter life – Faucet water filters need to be changed more frequently which does raise the maintenance expenses.
  • Space – Water filters installed under the sink take significantly more room. However, faucet filters could make it more difficult to use your sink for certain tasks like washing dishes.
  • Costs – For lower initial cost, faucet filters are the way to go.

Under Sink Water Filters: What They Are and How They Work

Under sink water filters are installed under the sink, as their name implies. The filter attaches to your plumbing and purifies water before it reaches the faucet. Designed for small and large households, these models take up little space and stay out of your way.

There are many benefits to installing an under sink water filter, but also a few drawbacks. Here’s what you can expect if you install one in your home:

under sink water filter being installed


More Effective Filtration

Under sink water filters tend to provide better filtration, especially in cases of more severe contamination. For households with high levels of water contaminants, they are a good choice over faucet models.

Don’t Take Up Useful Space

Under sink water filters take up very little space compared to other filtration systems. Moreover, the space that it does occupy is typically not utilized for anything more than storing household goods such as cleaning agents.

Easy to Install

Under sink water filters are easy to install in nearly any home. Even if you don’t have a lot of space under your sink, you can still choose a single-stage model that should easily fit into your cabinet.

Large Selection of Filters

Various options of under sink filters are available, including multiple-stage setups. This can prove useful if you are trying to target specific contaminants or otherwise adapt to unique water conditions.

Easy to Maintain

Most of the time, an under sink water filter won’t require much maintenance. These systems are easy to maintain because the filters only need to be changed relatively infrequently.


Replacement Parts

A broken under sink water filter is generally more difficult to repair. Furthermore, it also might be harder to procure replacement parts, although this depends on your model.


On average, under sink water filters are more expensive than faucet filters. This includes filter replacements as well. In the case of a tight budget, you may have to spend more time researching the market.

Drilling into Your Countertop

It may be necessary to drill a hole for the faucet if you plan on using a model with a dedicated outlet. Some users may find this inconvenient and may require assistance.

Faucet Water Filters: What They Are and How They Work

A faucet water filter is an extension of your faucet that directly attaches to it. Consequently, they are easy to install and maintain, but they are limited too, for example, when it comes to their filtration capabilities.

When it comes to faucet water filters, these are the pros and cons:



The cost of faucet filters is much lower than that of under sink filters. This is particularly useful if you need to install multiple units.

Quickly to Hook Up

Filters for faucets are very easy to install. Most models are pretty simple; all you have to do is screw them on. You won’t have to mess with your home’s plumbing at any time, and no assembly is required.


Compatibility Issues

Some faucets do not support the use of a water filter, which immediately renders this choice moot. In order to use a faucet water filter, it may be necessary to replace one or more faucets, which can be expensive.

Reduced Water Flow

Faucet filters may obstruct water flow depending on the model you’re using. As a result, filling a glass or bottle of water will take longer. Besides, faucet filters may not be suitable for a home with high-pressure plumbing since they often cannot handle that pressure well.


It’s a matter of personal taste, but faucet water filters can change the look of your kitchen. The majority of models are bulky and noticeable. Once a faucet filter is installed, you may be disappointed with the final result if you’re going for a specific aesthetic.

Faucet Water Filters vs. Under Sink Systems: What’s Right for You?

Under Sink Water Filters vs Faucet Water Filters Thumbnail

How do you decide whether you should choose a faucet or an under sink water filter?

You need to strike a good balance between several different factors so you can choose the right model. Here are a few of the most important things to keep in mind when you are shopping around:

What to Keep in Mind When Shopping

Water Quality

You might not get adequate results from a faucet filter if your water is more heavily contaminated. If this is the case, you should have your water tested professionally and invest in an under sink filter that covers a wide variety of contaminants.


Most sinks are compatible with under sink water filters by default. There is no compatibility issue here as they attach to your plumbing and not directly to the sink or faucet. In contrast, when it comes to faucet filters, you need to be certain that they will fit your faucet model.


In the long run, faucet water filters are more fragile. That’s partly because of their small design, which requires manufacturers to cram everything in a smaller space, but also because they sit in an exposed space and may get hit by dishes often while you’re washing them.


Generally, a faucet model is the best choice if you want to minimize the hassle of installing your water filter. You’re ready to go as soon as you unpack it and screw it on.

Under sink water filters, on the other hand, need more work, especially if a dedicated faucet requires you to drill a hole through your countertop.

NSF/ANSI Standards

If you’re considering a water filter, you’ll be able to verify the model’s NSF certifications[1] or testing. Using this information, you can determine if it has been tested for removing specific contaminants.

Water Flow and Water Pressure

As previously mentioned, faucet water filters can significantly reduce output pressure. So, if you have a large household, you might be unable to quench everyone’s thirst with a single unit.

However, certain under sink water filters can also experience slow flow.

The bottom line is that you should check a product’s flow rate before investing.

Filter Capacity

In general, faucet water filters need to be replaced more frequently. They have smaller filter cartridges and a lower filtration capacity, so you should always have an ample supply of replacement filters on hand. Despite their lower upfront costs, this can make them more expensive in the long run.


under sink reverse osmosis system with storage tank

There is lower upfront cost for faucet filters. Nevertheless, some under sink models compensate for the initial price increase by costing less to replace the filter cartridges over time. You’ll need to do some rough calculations to figure out which version will be more expensive down the road.


Although under sink water filters take up more space than faucet water filters, most households do not actively use the space in their kitchen sink cabinet for anything other than long-term storage. As a result, under-the-sink filters are very unobtrusive and also suitable for smaller homes. On the other hand, faucet units may make it more difficult to use your sink for chores like washing dishes.


With faucet and under sink filters being affordable and easy to install, your choice will boil down to the filtration capabilities you need and how many faucets you want to filter.

Under sink water filters offer more robust filtration, but they can be expensive if you need multiple units. On the other hand, faucet filters are much cheaper but aren’t compatible with all kitchens.

Furthermore, while under sink filters are more expensive at first, they will require less maintenance over time.

Further Reading


Meet Rory Mullan

Rory Mullan Rory has joined the Water Masterz team as a contributing writer. He has covered all sorts of topics in the last several years.

Outside of his writing work, Rory enjoys photographing the Irish landscape and making music!

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