The right reverse osmosis system will remove up to 99% of contaminants in your water. Can you afford to be making the wrong choice for your household?
Finding the right one can be difficult. Models come in various sizes and with different filtering powers.
So, what should you be looking for when making your decision?
I’ve hand-picked 10 of the best and compared their features, along with a handy buying guide and frequently asked questions.
On this page:
In a Rush?
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
The Best Reverse Osmosis System with Reviews
Here's a list of the best RO systems I found:
1. Home Master TMHP Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
Incredible water quality
Tastes like bottled water
Excellent customer service
Not so Good
Can be known to leak
Wastes water at ratio of 1:1 to clean water
The Home Master TMHP’s innovative design allows it to stand apart from its competitors. By using advanced technology, its 9-stage filtering system ensures 98% of contaminants are removed.
This system also adds minerals to your water, giving it a better taste. Calcium and magnesium are added twice to your water as it passes through the reverse osmosis process.
Reviewers talk about the easy installation of the Home Master, and how the taste is unsurpassed. That’s what added minerals can do for your water! On the other hand, some customers’ systems fell subject to leaks; although the excellent customer service from the provider is sure to help should you ever encounter any problems.
If you’re looking to upgrade the drinking water in your home, the Home Master TMHP is a must-buy. Say goodbye to ever buying bottled water again – you can go one better with this reverse osmosis system!
2. APEC Water Systems RO-90 Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System
Easy to follow installation
Great tasting water
Not so Good
Some reviewers complained of a cheaply-made product
High amount of water wastage
As our best value pick, the APEC RO-90 provides great-tasting water with minimal effort required for installation. Its smaller size also means it fits perfectly under most kitchen sinks.
This system is not only compatible with faucets, it can also be hooked up to your ice maker. What’s more, the faucet that comes with the system is a beautiful chrome design. It’s also lead-free, meaning your clean water stay clean as it leaves the system into your cup (or ice maker).
The quality of the product itself has been called into question by some buyers, although the positive reviews seem to disagree. The cost of this product is around mid-range for a reverse osmosis system, and also comes with a 1 year manufacturer warranty should there be any concerns on quality.
If you live in an area which has particularly high contaminant levels in your water, this is the perfect choice for you. It removes up to 99% of 1000+ contaminants, giving you clean, safe drinking water straight from your faucet.
3. NU Aqua Platinum Series
Excellent Value for Money
Highly rated model
Very easy to install
Exemplary customer service
Not so Good
No Remineralization and Alkaline Filter (optional upgrade)
No booster pump for low water pressure houses (optional upgrade)
As the most competitively-priced model in this guide, the NU Aqua Platinum Series is bound to turn a few heads. Its 5-stage water purifying process removes up to 99% of contaminants, which means it provides similar results to other reverse osmosis systems.
What really surprised us about the NU Aqua is its extraordinarily-long warranty. The system comes with a 5 year warranty, which is unprecedented for a product that falls into such a low price bracket.
This perfectly leads us into reviews of exemplary customer service. Where many budget products fail, the manufacturer of this system clearly cares about the experience of their customers.
Buyers who left reviews, however, also mention that this system’s performance is not as good as its more expensive competing products. Nevertheless, the overall performance is reported to be great. So, if you’re looking for incredibly clean water at a fraction of the price of most reverse osmosis systems, the NU Aqua Platinum Series should be your go-to.
4. Express Water RO5DX
Extra set of filters included
Not so Good
Small output of water for the time it takes to work
A 5-stage water purifying system makes up the basis of the Express Water RO5DX. It claims to remove up to 99.99% of contaminants. It claims to create some of the nicest drinking water on Earth, and those who bought tend to agree with them.
A unique color-coded installation means you don’t have to pay out additional fees to have your reverse osmosis system professionally installed. Whilst they do this to help you make savings, the product itself is very good value for money. It’s one of the cheapest options available in today’s market.
The time it takes to work has been a concern from some of those who bought, but some systems do take longer to filter contaminated water than others. If you’re willing to wait a little for your clean water, then this shouldn’t be a problem.
If you’re looking to lead a healthier life and drink cleaner water, without having to go out of a tight budget, the Express Water RO5DX is the choice for you.
5. APEC Ultimate RO-PH90
Superior build quality
Easy DIY installation
Not so Good
The RO-PH90 is the second time APEC have featured in this guide. They’re a well-trusted and established manufacturer of reverse osmosis systems, and it’s easy to see why. Their products are well made and of good quality, as the RO-PH90 is no different.
Buyers noted the superior build quality of this product again and again. Whilst it boasts this high-quality manufacturing, that doesn’t mean installation needs to be tough.
This system provides great tasting water, with a 6-stage ultra safe filter system removing 99% of contaminants. One of the smaller products in this guide, it fits perfectly under kitchen sinks.
Some reviewers noted low pressure and cloudy-looking water coming from their systems. If this was ever the case with your system, there’s no need to worry. APEC offer lifetime support on this product, as well as a 2-year manufacturer warranty.
If you’re looking to spend a little more on a reverse osmosis system, in order to receive a higher-quality product, this is the one for you. It’s the perfect upgrade if you’re looking to replace your old system.
6. Global Water RO-505
Great quality and price
Comes with additional filters included
Not so Good
Poor customer support
The Global Water RO-505 uses 5 filters in its filtration system. Whilst this may not be the most out of the products in this guide, each of them work tirelessly to provide you with clean water.
The filters need changing every 6-12 months, depending on how frequently you use the system. However, you do receive four free filters when you purchase this product. As filter replacements can be relatively costly, this saves you money as well as time.
This reverse osmosis system doesn’t require any external power, and runs solely on water pressure. This makes it more ecologically friendly than one or two of its competitors. Plus, for the low price, its build quality really is excellent.
The RO-505 should be your chosen product if you’re looking for consistency, and reliability, from your reverse osmosis system.
7. iSpring RCC7AK
Perfect size for most households
Reasonably priced for the quality
Not so Good
Some confusion with Teflon tape when installing
Poor quality control
The intelligence of this system is what really stands out to us. The manufacturers have recognised that, during its 6-stage layered filtration, the water loses some of its healthy minerals. So, rather than just leaving these out, they’ve developed a solution. An alkaline remineralization filter restores these minerals in order to produce a balanced alkalinity, therefore giving the water a more natural taste.
When it comes to installation, the iSpring offers helpful video tutorials for those who are looking to fit this reverse osmosis system by themselves. As it’s made to fit right under the sink, it works perfectly for those who desire clean and natural drinking water. That’s exactly what you get, with 99% of contaminants being removed during the 6-stage process.
For the quality and advanced technology of this product, the price is fairly reasonable. However, some customers have raised an issue with lack of quality control due to leakages. This may be due to some confusion with teflon tape that seems to be prominent throughout reviews.
Many people want reverse osmosis systems to create fresher drinking water for their household. If this describes you, then this under-the-sink system should be your choice.
8. iSpring 100GPD
High-tec flow sensor
Not so Good
Reviewers’ products occasionally leaked
A second entry in a row for iSpring. This time, their 100GPD has caught our attention. Taking their 6-stage filtration system one step further, they’ve added one more stage to this model. That’s 7 stages through which water needs to pass, meaning cleaner and less contaminated water than ever before.
With this model, you receive a free upgrade which includes a luxury faucet. You also receive lifetime tech support, so if you have any questions about your filter system, you have the help there when you need it. You may need to bear in mind that the UV system has been reported to break, so that tech support might come in handy if this is the case with your system.
Living in an area with low water pressure can be a hindrance when choosing your reverse osmosis system. Luckily, the iSpring 100GPD works with as little as 30PSI. So, if your home has a lower water pressure, this model would still work to excellent effect.
9. Whirlpool WHER25
Easy to modify to needs
Filters easy to replace
Not so Good
Quality of materials could be better
As one of the most reasonably-priced systems in this guide, the Whirlpool WHER25 only features a 3-stage filter system. Whilst it may not include the high number of filters its competitors do, it does make for easy maintenance whilst still giving you similar results. Filters are easy to replace, plus there’s less of them. This needs to be done every 6-12 months.
This system comes with a handy DIY installation guide, helping you cut costs on installation, without cutting corners on quality. Many reviewers said the water they receive from the system tastes incredible, even when they’ve fitted the system themselves.
As most of these products are, the WHER25 fits directly under your sink. The smaller number of filters means it takes up less space, so this system is perfect if you’re limited on space but still want perfectly clean and crisp drinking water in your home.
10. LiquaGen 1OT
Easy to hook up
Not so Good
Some customers complained of leaking with this product
Poor customer service
This reverse osmosis system is a little different to the others in this guide. Whilst the others have been primarily used for removing contaminants from drinking water, the LiquaGen 10T is more focused on aquarium reefs. It does not filter for safe drinkable water.
Its 5-stage system focuses on ultra-pure filtered water. They’re certainly confident in the product, guaranteeing 0 ppm water. What’s more, this system comes pre-assembled for quick and easy installation.
This reverse osmosis system comes with a 2 year manufacturer warranty, along with lifetime support once you’ve bought.
As the beginning of our review may suggest, you should consider this product if you need a system for your aquarium. However, it’s also perfect for laboratories where pure water may be crucial for certain processes and experiments.
An additional incentive from the manufacturer, is that you receive a free auto shut-off valve and check valve if you’re using the system with a storage tank. All you have to do is let them know once you’ve placed your order.
How a Reverse Osmosis System Works
Most reverse osmosis systems work in the same way. It’s a complicated process but, in essence, they work by forcing water through a series of filters using high pressure. As the water passes through these filters, contaminants such as bacteria and micro-materials are separated from the water.
This process is repeated a number of times to ensure the most effective water purification. As the contaminants are removed from the water, they flow out of the system to prevent contamination. After the stages have been completed, clean filtered water is produced.
Do You Need a UV Purifier?
Some reverse osmosis systems include something called a UV purifier. As the name suggests, this is where ultraviolet lights help further purify the water passing through your system. A small lamp emits small levels of UV radiation, which in turn kills germs, viruses and bacteria. This radiation prevents harmful organisms from multiplying. Furthermore, a UV purifier doesn’t remove any essential minerals from the water. Instead, it simply prepares the contaminants for filtration. You should consider a system that includes a UV purifier if you live in an area with particularly hard water.
How Many Stages Should Your System Have?
Most experts recommend reverse osmosis systems with four stages: sediment filter, carbon block pre-filter, a reverse osmosis membrane and a carbon block post-filter. Whilst some systems can work with less, depending on their technology, this is a common number for systems to have. Some have more depending on their quality and price-point.
What Are the Additional Stages?
The additional stages in reverse osmosis systems are usually remineralising filters and alkaline filters. During the filtration process, your water may lose some of its essential minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. Whilst not compulsory, many manufacturers recommend them, and include them in their systems. An alkaline filter can also reduce the acidity of your water, if this is one of the reasons you are looking to purchase a reverse osmosis system in the first place.
When looking to purchase a reverse osmosis system, it’s likely you’ll encounter some technical jargon along the way. We want to make it easier for you. We’ve broken down some technical terms that many manufacturers use when defining the product specification for their reverse osmosis systems:
GPD – Gallons Per Day
Each system will be given a GPD rating. This us used to describe how much water they can produce per day. A lower-end reverse osmosis system will score between 24-36 GPD, whereas the more expensive systems can reach a GPD of 50-75. If you’re looking for a system for residential use, we’d recommend a GPD of around 50.
TDS – Total Dissolved Solids
This is a term that’s expressed in milligrams per litre of water, and represents the amount of dissolved minerals, metals and organic matter in your water. Generally speaking, the lower the number, the higher the purity of the water. These are the important numbers you should consider when looking to purchase a reverse osmosis system:
- 0-80 mg: Very soft water, ideal for drinking
- 80-150 mg: Soft, might be used for drinking
- 150-400 mg: Hard, this is where you’d want a reverse osmosis system to purify your water
- 400+ mg: Very hard, this is where your system may require a UV purifier within the system
PSI – Pounds per Square Inch
This abbreviation is used in relation to water pressure. Many reverse osmosis systems rely on water pressure in order to push the water through the necessary filtration stages. The higher the number, the higher the water pressure. The water pressure you should be looking for in order to get the most out of your system in 60 PSI. If the PSI is less than 40, you may consider a pressure booster pump to increase it.
TFC – Thin Film Composite
A TFC is a semi-permeable membrane that’s used within a the filtration process. This abbreviation is likely to come up when you’re looking at the water filters used in reverse osmosis systems.
What do reverse osmosis systems remove from the water?
Reverse osmosis systems remove over 1000 contaminants from your water. These include lead, chlorine, fluoride, nitrates, calcium, arsenic, bacteria, and more.
Can I use my reverse osmosis system for drinking water?
Yes, absolutely. The vast majority of the products in this guide, with the exception of number 10, are focused around creating delicious, clean and healthy water.
What if my system wastes a lot of water?
It’s common for these kinds of system to have significant amounts of water wastage. If this is a concern of yours, please consult the manufacturer before purchasing to ensure you’re happy with that particular model’s water wastage.
Do I need a permeate pump?
Not necessarily, but it is recommended if you want to increase the efficiency of your reverse osmosis system. The pump uses the waste water to create additional energy to push water through the system, allowing it to fill faster, and increasing the amount of clean water it can produce.
What is an air gap faucet?
An air gap faucet allows a siphon break within the faucet, which in turn ensures water drains out. This ensures the drain water won’t flow back into your system from your regular drain system.
What’s the difference between single-pass and double-pass systems?
Most reverse osmosis systems are either single or double-pass. In a double-pass system, the filtered water passes through a membrane twice. This means the water is a higher purity, whilst increasing the efficiency of your system as a whole, by retaining more water.
Wrapping it up
Choosing the right reverse osmosis system for your household is no easy task. There are a number of considerations. However, for us, the Home Master TMHP comes out on top. Thanks to its incredible water quality, alongside the build quality of the product itself, it’s a clear winner in our eyes.
If you’re looking for a reliable reverse osmosis system, and have the budget to make a long-term investment in a high-quality water filtering system, there should be no other system that catches your eye.