If you have concerns about your water quality, a water filter should be considered essential. Fortunately, you don’t need a massive system, as you can have an inline water filter fitted.
Our team of researchers reviewed 38 inline water filters to assess how they operate in a typical home. We’ve created a list of top picks and our editor’s choice, the Woder WD-10K offers a fantastic balance of great value and superb performance. However, we’ve also ranked other inline water filters at other price points to ensure a pick for everyone.
12 Best Inline Water Filters Review 2020
Our researchers deliberated for hours to find the best inline water filter. We’ve assessed the functionality and performance of each device, to provide complete confidence in your new purchase. First and foremost, we looked at what contaminants each filter can remove, which is crucial when you have specific water quality issues in your area. We also looked at the ease of installation and dimensions, which will impact how simple it is to use in your home. However, we’ve also looked at the flow rates and filter life that will determine the long-term functionality of the unit. We’ve presented our findings in a simple overview table and a list of detailed reviews. We’ve also included a buying guide to help you to make your final purchase decision.
The Woder WD-10K is our editor’s choice, it’s an ultra-high capacity inline water filter for ice maker duties and fresh tasting pure drinking water. We like this water filter because it has advanced filtration technology to remove up to 99% chlorine, chromium 6, carcinogens, trihalomethanes, lead, heavy metals and many other contaminants. Many inline water filters finish there, but the Woder WD-10K goes on to remove turbidity, foul odors and any unpleasant tastes that would impact the quality of your water.
The Woder WD-10K performs very well, but none of the essential minerals that you need in your water for drinking and cooking are removed. Any natural minerals that are great for your health, such as: trace sodium, calcium and potassium, are all left in your water in the correct ratios. The water filtered by this device is healthier than the reverse osmosis process that removes everything from the incoming water, including the essential mineral content.
The inline water filter is easy to install in around 5-15 minutes depending on your specific system. No special training, experience or tools are required and the instructions are simple. This water filter will last for 10,000 gallons or 3 years whichever comes first and it’s more suited to treating municipal water supplies.
Users like this water filter because it’s a high-quality product made in the USA
This filter offers a great deal at an affordable price
This inline water filter only works with ⅜” water supply lines
Culligan is a well-known manufacturer of some of the best inline refrigerator water filter products on the market today. The Culligan IC-EZ-4 EZ is our premium pick because it offers unparalleled water filtration for residential and commercial refrigerator applications. This inline water filter can remove a wide variety of contaminants, such as: chlorine, lead, mercury, chloroform, MTBE, cysts, turbidity, bad tastes and unpleasant odors.
The filter cartridge has quick-connect fittings that are twisted on and off easily for fast filter changes. Each fresh filter cartridge can last for up to 500 gallons and in an average home this would equate to a lifespan of around 6 months. This product includes the head assembly, an IC-EZ-4 EZ cartridge filter, a set of mounting screws and some filter change reminder stickers. The installation process is simple and you don’t need any professional assistance to get up and running fast.
This is one of the best inline water filters on the market today and it comes with a premium price tag to match. But, the Culligan IC-EZ-4 EZ can remove all class one particulates and it has a flow rate of 0.5 GPM when connected to a 60 PSI faucet. In our opinion this makes the IC-EZ-4 EZ well worth the money for those that want the best.
Many users have reported that the installation process was fast and simple
The quick connect fitting makes changing the filter cartridge simple
Some users mentioned that this product does not work well with very hard water sources
The Omnipure K2533JJ is a well-designed inline drinking water filter at an affordable price. This filter comes with a ¼” connector for easy installation with no specialized tools necessary. The K2533JJ water filter is pushed in at both ends of the water supply line and it locks and seals automatically. However, it is important to read the manual carefully and follow the well written instructions. This water filter needs to be orientated correctly to ensure that the water is flowing in the right direction for optimal filtration performance.
The Omnipure K2533JJ works very well with an ice machine or refrigerator to produce clean and pure drinking water. This product has a 1,500-gallon capacity which should last around a year in an average home and if the K2533JJ is only used to make ice it could last for much longer.
The inline water filter has a GAC or granulated activated carbon filtration media to give the water a final “polish” before it reaches your glass. Activated carbon has a high surface area, it’s extremely porous and this makes it an ideal medium to remove the taste and odor of chlorine.
Users like the easy set up procedure just check the water filter is facing in the right direction before installation
The price is hard to beat
The 1,500-gallon capacity is impressive
The water filter has a NSF Standard 42 Certification making it less capable than many other filters on our list
The PureWater PWF-IFK is a complete water filtration kit for your refrigerator, sink, ice cream machine or ice maker. This kit includes: a Pure Water filter, a pair of ¼” quick connect fittings. a shut-off valve, a 15-foot-long NSF water line and a mounting bracket with fittings. The installation instructions are easy to follow with plenty of illustrations and PureWater offers a free lifetime warranty and telephone support. This inline water filter is tested to standard 42 for taste and odor reduction and it has a service life of 1,500 gallons.
This is a very economical solution for users that want to remove the tastes and odors associated with chlorine. It’s also a versatile unit that can be located in a wide variety of locations, such as: behind the refrigerator, at the back of your water fountains, as part of an under-counter system or near the ice maker. This is a great way to improve the quality of your drinking water, beverages, ice and ice creams.
The PureWater PWF-IFK quick connect fittings are easy to use and the support is extremely helpful. The telephone support can help with any installation problems and many tips to troubleshoot potential issues.
Many users have reported that this inline water filter is very easy to install
Users have mentioned that the water tastes very pure after filtration
One user reported that it took four buckets of ice to purge the new taste of the water filter
The Filtrete 3US-PS01 may be the best inline water filter for the kitchen sink on our list. This is a comprehensive filtration system to filter your drinking water removing contaminants, including: sand, soil, sediment, rust, bad odors and that “swimming pool” chlorine taste. This water filter is very user friendly, it’s easy to install under your sink in 30 minutes or less. A dedicated faucet head is not required and the system will maintain the full water flow.
Filtrete have designed the 3US-PS01 to make the most out of the system with a prolonged lifespan. The filter is easy to change, no special tools are required and the filtered water is supplied directly to the kitchen sink faucet. The unit has an internal shut-off valve to cut down the chlorine taste and odor as much as possible.
The Filtrete 3US-PS01 measures 4” by 6.8” by 14 inches and it weighs just 2.6 lbs. This makes this unit very light, compact and easy to position during the installation process. Due to the smaller size, this also gives the user more spàce under the sink and more room to move when a filter needs to be changed. The 3US-PS01 has a capacity of 2,000 gallons which in a typical home would last around a year.
Users have reported that this is an excellent inline water filter system for sinks
This water filter is very easy to install with a screwdriver and an adjustable wrench
Some users have experienced a drop in water pressure due to an incorrect installation
The ExcelPure EP-RWF0300A is a great inline water filter for a reasonable price and it’s easy to install yourself. This filter works with both plastic and copper tubing and all the included fitting will connect to your ¼” water line. The carbon block is optimized to conform to NSF 42 and the filter media is contained in a premium grade coconut shell.
Each ExcelPure EP-RWF0300A will last for around 2,500 gallons and provide clean tasting water. ExcelPure offers a six month return policy and a lifetime warranty for defective water filter products. This makes the EP-RWF0300A a risk-free purchase for people that have had problems with products from other manufacturers
In the majority of homes, the Excelpure EP-RWF0300A filters should last for around a year. After this time, simply purchase a new unit and install it as before for great tasting water. The only basic tools required are a screwdriver and an adjustable wrench and it takes less than 30 minutes to install.
Users like the easy installation process
Excelpure includes three filters to keep their customers well supplied for at least a year
Many users reported that their water tastes very fresh and clean after installing this filter
One user mentioned that this filter is a “really good value” product
This inline water filter doesn’t remove as many contaminants as others on our list
The Camco 40045 may be the best inline water filter for RV users on our list. We like this water filter because it has the larger capacity that you need to provide ample volumes of clean and safe water for an entire season. Each filter media unit will last for around 3 months and you get a pair of filters so you’re set for 6 months in total.
Each of the filters uses a granulated activated carbon or GAC filtration media that will reduce the sediment, chlorine, foul tastes and bad odors of any incoming water source. This water filter is attached to any water hose to deliver clean and safe drinking water. This is an ideal solution for many outdoor related activities, such as: RVs, camping, boats, gardening, pets and eating outdoors.
The heart of any good water filter is the filtration media, the Camco 40045 has a 20-micron sediment filter and this removes and particulates larger than 20 microns. The premium grade Kinetic Degradation Fluxion or KDF ensures that you will get no mold or fungal growth inside the unit when it’s not in use after the season ends. This unit features a wide body for improved water flow and the outer casing is durable and robust.
Many users reported that this is a great product to improve nasty campground water
This product is easy to install and no specialized tools are required
This inline water filter can remove chlorine, aluminum, heavy metals and hydrogen sulfide
One user reported that this product cannot handle a water system failure
The LASCO 37-1821 is an inline water filter for your ice maker that inhibits the buildup of corrosion and scale in your machine and the water supply line that feeds into it. The filter removes many contaminants from the incoming water to create clean and fresh tasting drinking water. This is a six-piece kit that includes all of the ¼” compression fittings that you will need for the installation and quick filter replacements as required.
The LASCO 37-1821 filter measures 2” by 10” making it small enough to install in a wide variety of locations, such as: under a sink, behind a refrigerator, in a kitchen cabinet or behind your ice making machine. Each filter can clean around 1,500 gallons of water but this is affected by the quality of the incoming water. If your home is supplied with particularly bad water the filter may not last as long and vice versa. In an average home it’s a great idea to change the filter annually to maintain the quality of the drinking water.
One user reported that it only took 45 minutes to install this filter and that included the flushings to get the filter working at optimal efficiency
Some users have had success using the 37-1821 as an inline RV water filter too
The LASCO 37-1821 comes with a 1-year warranty
One user reported that the brass fittings could be better
The AmazonBasics EWF-8056-4 is a pack of four inline water filters to produce cleaner, healthier and better tasting drinking water. This unit will reduce the bad tastes associated with chlorine, remove sediment and any bad odors that could make the water unpalatable. The EWF-8056-4 filter media can remove contaminants, such as: bacteria, aluminum, fungus, cadmium and heavy metals. This may be the best inline RV water filter for many users because it can connect to a standard hose and it will last an entire camping season.
The AmazonBasics EWF-8056-4 features a 20-micron sediment filter with Kinetic Degradation Fluxion or KDF technology to inhibit mold and fungal growth when the filter is not in everyday use. The unit measures 10.7” by 2.5” by 2.5” making it small enough to install virtually anywhere and it’s durable enough for outdoors use. This makes the EWF-8056-4 a great filter to use on your boat, for camping or for any outdoors application where you need cleaner water.
One user reported this as a great product for a spotless car wash!
This product is backed with a 1-year AmazonBasics limited warranty
One user reported that a rubber washer is needed to achieve a good seal and this was not included with their AmazonBasics EWF-8056-4
A flexible hose attachment is not included with this product
The Membrane Solutions Quick-Connect Inline Filter is an inline water filter cartridge that’s compatible with many other filter manufacturers, such as: Samsung, Omnipure, Culligan and Whirlpool. This is an ideal filter for your refrigerator, water cooler, coffee maker, sink faucet, RV, boat, campers even drinking water fountains. The filter unit is only 10.2” long, it’s light, durable and easy to install virtually anywhere.
The filtration media is an inline coconut shell design with an activated carbon filter that’s made from 100% food grade materials. The filter is protected by an outer shell made from durable pòlypropylene for long lasting performance. Each end of the filter has sediment PP microfibers designed to prevent the loss of the carbon filter media. This ensures that the Membrane Solutions Quick-Connect Inline Filter performs consistently well over an extended period.
he two ends of the filter have built-in ¼” quick connectors that are directly attached to the water supply line. When you need to change the filter you simply turn off the water supply, disconnect the old filter and insert a new one. Just make sure you install the new filter in the correct direction shown on the outer casing and turn the water supply back on. The filter can remove particulates down to 5 microns in size, including: chlorine traces, organic chemicals, bad tastes and foul odors.
Many users have reported that this inline water filter is easy to install and change
The installation process can take as little as 5 minutes
One user noted that it took around 7-10 gallons of flushing to get the filter working correctly and make the water clear
The Watts Inline Water Filter is a basic filtration system for water coolers, coffee makers, ice makers, RV users and other applications. This is a three-piece kit that includes the water filtration unit and a pair of ¼” brass connectors. This filter is certified as lead free and has the NSF Standard 42 rating for reducing chlorine and its aesthetic qualities on drinking water. The filtered water tastes clean and fresh and it doesn’t have that “swimming pool” taste and odor that you often find in tap water.
The filter has a KDF filtration system to remove contaminants, such as: chlorine, sediment, bad odors, foul tastes and other particulates. Each filter unit will last for up to 20,000 gallons depending on the quality of your incoming water supply. It’s an easy filter to install and changing the filter is extremely simple thanks to the brass connectors. When the unit is not in regular use, the KDF filter prevents the growth of mold and fungus inside the system.
The Watts Inline Water Filter is an ideal system for both residential and commercial applications. The filter will inhibit the growth of bacteria inside your connected appliances and reduce the levels of corrosion and buildup of scale.
Many users have used this inline water filter for multiple years for hassle free filtering
This filter is not designed to remove contaminants such as heavy metals
The EcoPure EPINL30 is our best value pick and it’s one of the longest lasting inline water filter models available on the market today. This filter has a universal design that allows it to be easily connected to most brands of refrigerators and ice makers. This is also a great inline water filter for RV users to improve the quality of campground water for an entire season of use. If you ever wanted clean and fresh tasting ice for your boat or camper or at home this is a great product to choose.
This inline water filter comes with a pair of ¼” push connector fittings that allow quick installation on copper and plastic water supply lines. The installation process is very simple and a hand guide makes this process even easier. No specialized tools are required and the filter can be up and running within 10-15 minutes. After installation run several gallons of water through the filter to remove any tiny filter media particulates that may be loose inside the unit.
The EcoPure EPINL30 is a fantastic inline water filter for a very modest price. It will provide cleaner water that doesn’t taste of chlorine and is free from sediment. This is a flexible and affordable choice and many people have chosen this filter for years.
This water filter lasts 5 times longer than many of its rivals
Many users like this product because it’s fantastic value for money
Some users have noticed slight water leaks
If you want to enjoy high quality water, a water filter should be considered essential. Unfortunately, with so many filters on the market, it can be overwhelming to make a purchase decision. Here we’ve compiled a buying guide with the things to consider and answers to common questions to help you to find the best model.
How does an inline filter work?
An inline water filter is designed to be placed directly into a water supply line or in an appliance to filter the water that passes through it before it reaches the faucet or appliance. These types of filters are typically smaller than larger units and this makes it easy to install them in a wide variety of locations. Once an inline water filter is installed it will reduce the levels of chlorine, remove bad tastes and foul odors from the water supply. More elaborate models such as our premium pick the Culligan IC-EZ-4 EZ can remove other types of contaminants too.
As you can see from our list, there are many makes and models of inline water filters available. Many of these models use different filtration methods to filter the water and make it taste cleaner and fresher. However, broadly speaking they all work by following the same basic principles to clean the drinking water.
The first stage is usually some type of pre-sediment filter to remove those larger particles of sand, dirt and grit. This stage is important for two main reasons, firstly it prevents those particles from damaging more sensitive later filter stages and secondly it removes the sediment that lowers the water quality.
The next stage is typically a carbon filter stage that removes most of the contaminants. The use of charcoal or carbon to clean water goes back to the earliest stages of civilization. These materials have a porous structure and a very large surface area in relation to their actual size. This makes the surface of these materials an ideal area to trap very small contaminants in a process known as adsorption. Modern water filters may use Granular Activated Carbon or GAC to make this process even more effective and efficient. In some filters a small quantity of silver can be added to give the water filter anti-bacterial properties.
Many inline water filters have a copper-zinc and/or mineral filter to remove any remaining chlorine deposits or heavy metal particulates. This is also a good stage to remove any bacteria, cysts, viruses and microorganisms that may be remaining. A mineral filter stage will also perform some scale removal but not to the same standard as a dedicated descaler stage.
An optional stage on many types of inline water filters is a descaler or a water softener. This will use an ion exchange process using a bed of resin beads that are imbued with sodium ions. As the water passes through the water softener the calcium and magnesium ions that cause water hardness are exchanged for benign sodium ions. This does add trace quantities of sodium or salt to the drinking water but unless you are on a strict no salt diet this is a negligible amount.
The most expensive inline water filters may have a final stage to give the drinking water a final cleaning and polishing. This could be a mesh like post filter that can remove particulates down to a single micron in size. Another possible option is an ultraviolet light or UV filter that can kill any remaining bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms.
Once the water has passed through one or more of these filtration stages it will be cleaner. The level of purity and cleanliness will depend on the number of stages and the quality of the filtration systems. The resulting water will be cleaner, more pleasant to drink and healthier for everyday use.
Benefits of inline water filters
There are five main reasons why people choose to use an inline water filter over some of the other options available, they are:
They are an affordable option for both residential and commercial use.
They are easy to install and replacing them is quick.
These are durable products and they are a worthwhile long-term investment.
They are a great way to get great water filtration in a wide variety of locations.
They are a versatile option that you can install in multiple appliances or under the sink for cleaner water at the kitchen faucet.
An inline water filter is a worthwhile investment, they are efficient and robust products. Many of these products such as the Camco 40045 on our list are well suited to outdoor use with RVs, boats and campers. They will last an entire season and improve campground water that can be terrible for drinking, cooking and showering.
Features to consider when choosing an inline water filter
With so many inline water filters on the market, it can be difficult to choose the best one for your requirements. So, here we’ll explore the key features that should be considered to narrow down your options.
Where it is going to be installed
The first thing that you need to consider before purchasing an inline water filter is where it will be installed. It’s important to have sufficient space for the water filter and that it doesn’t affect your existing plumbing pipes. This isn’t a huge problem, most modern inline water filters are compact at just over 10”-12” in length but they can be heavier than they first appear. Some filters come with all the mountings that you need and it’s a good idea to check what the package includes. The area you choose needs to have enough space for the filter unit and few inches around it to accommodate the connectors and water lines. The more space you leave the easier it will be to install the inline filter and to replace the filter later.
Contaminants it removes
The next aspect of your prospective inline water filter is probably the most important one. Every water filter removes some contaminants, but some remove far more than others and this may need careful consideration. Water filters such as our editor’s choice the Woder WD-10K that remove a wider variety of contaminants cost more than basic models. A cheaper inline water filter that you install under your kitchen sink will remove the chlorine, certain bacteria and improve the overall taste and smell of your drinking water. But, if you need to remove contaminants, such as: pesticides, cysts, trihalomethanes (THMs) and heavy metals, it’s likely that you will spend more. An inline water filter with GAC or carbon block filter media will offer multi-stage filtering that will be sufficient for most users.
Each inline water filter has a loosely predicted lifespan that is measured in gallons. This is the number of gallons of water that the filter can process before it needs to be changed. However, this can only be a guideline, every location receives water from different sources and the quality of that water is a factor. There are four main factors that will determine the real useful lifespan of your water filter system, they are:
If the water quality in your area is very poor the inline water filter may not last as long and the quality will degrade sooner.
Hard water causes a buildup of scale inside your inline water filter and eventually it will become clogged.
If you use larger volumes of water the filter will wear out faster.
If your water has been pre-filtered it will be cleaner and the inline water filter will not need to work as hard so it will last longer than expected.
Eventually every inline water filter will become clogged, it will not be able to filter correctly and it will need to be replaced. There may be a number of signs that the water filter is not working as efficiently as it should. If you notice a strange taste, bad odors or a reduction in the water pressure it’s probably time to fit a new filter. The best way to check if your water is dirty is to collect some water in a clear container and leave it a short while. When you return you may notice that the water is turbid, dirty or there are large quantities of sediment at the bottom of the container.
Changing the water filter is important if you want to keep your system working efficiently. An inline water filter is affordable and it’s always a great idea to have at least one on hand for a convenient change. A replacement filter should always be the same part shown in the owner’s manual or on the manufacturer’s website. Many people simply replace their water filter at the same time each year to ensure that it’s always working efficiently.
The flow rate is measured in Gallons per Minute or GPM and this will determine the volume of water available to run your water using appliances. When you think about an inline water filter you need to calculate your water requirements before you make a final purchase. As a rough guideline: a toilet uses 5 gpm, a showerhead is 2-5-5 gpm and a dishwasher is 3 gpm. Adding up these rough figures will give you a general water requirement range for your home or other location where you want to install your inline water filter. If you need an inline water filter such as the EcoPure EPINL30 for your RV your needs are likely to be less than a home. There will be no “peak periods’ ‘ when multiple bathrooms are in use and you will have fewer water using appliances installed. However, generally speaking you need a flow rate above 10 gpm for a reasonable level of comfort.
With every inline water filter choice there is a tradeoff that needs to be carefully considered. Larger water filters tend to have more apertures and this increases the water flow for better water pressure. If you go with a smaller water filter the water flow may be restricted and it might be necessary to buy a larger canister to correct this issue. A water filter will become gradually clogged with sediment and other particles over time. This will usually take longer if you have a larger water filter system but eventually it will also succumb to water flow problems. At this point a filter change is necessary as we discussed earlier in this guide.
A typical inline water filter would be just over 10” or perhaps 12” long and 2.5” in diameter. However, they are packed with dense filtration media inside surrounded by a solid case of aluminum or more commonly polypropylene. When you lift this type of water filter you may be surprised by their weight and this could be an important factor for some people. If you have health or mobility issues you may want to choose a lighter model that is easier to lift. The inline water filtration installation and replacement for every product on our list is simple. But, the filter does need to be placed into position and this can be trickier for some users.
If you just need some basic water filtration and you need a lighter unit opt for an inline water filter that doesn’t have extended filtration. These types of water filters are usually lighter and a good example on our list would be the Watts Inline Water Filter.
An inline water filter works hard to supply you with clean and filtered water and eventually it will need to be replaced. We’ve covered this in detail above, but one thing that we need to mention here is the cost of the replacement. Some filter models may seem to be very affordable, but the replacements may be more expensive. The inline filter may be used as a kind of loss leader to draw a buyer in and get them to buy into a filtration system. So, before you commit to making a final purchase take a look at the cost of the replacements. Many users will want an inline water filter for their RV, boat or camper and it needs to last an entire season. Most of the models on our list can easily last this long and many will last for a much longer period of time. It’s always a better idea to invest in a high-quality water filter that may seem more expensive but it might have lower filter replacement costs for the medium to long term.
How easy it is to install it
Every inline water filter on our list is easy to install with a screwdriver, a pipe cutter and an adjustable wrench. Most modern water filter systems come with a manual that gives useful advice and detailed installation instructions. However, the installation process generally follows four simple steps.
Step 1: Location
The best location for an inline water filter for your kitchen is under that sink. If you want to filter incoming water for your coffee maker, refrigerator, ice maker and other appliances it should be installed behind those devices. If you’re installing an inline water filter in your RV, boat or camper, you need it at the point where the water supply enters.
Step 2: Moving Pipes
Turn off the cold water supply to the location and remove the section of cold water pipe. Then remove the section of plumbing pipe that connects the tap to the water supply valve with your pipe cutter. Then gather your supplied connectors and the inline water filter system.
Step 3: Making Connections
Connect the water filter inlet to the water supply line gap, the inlet is clearly marked with an arrow or the word “in” for easy reference. Then connect the outlet to the section of pipe leading into your location which may be marked “out” or with another arrow. The filter may contain a mounting kit to screw in place that supports the filter in place.
Step 4: Installing the Filter
Drill holes on the walls to fix the filter in place with a bracket and screw the filter into position. Leave enough space around the screws so that you can change the filter later and replace it as required. Then test the system by running a through gallons of water through it and checking for water leaks. This process also flushes loose pieces of filtration media out of the filter and makes it ready to use.
You may notice that your water has an odor, particularly if you had specific water quality issues before installation. However, in most cases, there is a gradual decrease in water pressure which indicates that the filter is becoming clogged and is restricting water flow.
NSF or the National Sanitation Foundation is a nonprofit that creates food safety and sanitation standards to promote public health. NSF certification means that the manufacturer has met the stringent NSF guidelines for its product.
As we’ve demonstrated, there are some fantastic inline water filters on the market. From the easy to set up Omnipure K2533JJ to the Culligan IC-EZ-4 EZ, which has a quick connect fitting system that makes it quick and easy to change cartridges. However, the stand out as the best inline water filter has to be our editor’s choice, the Woder WD-10K. This impressive water filter is an ultra-high capacity device that can remove up to 99% of many common contaminants. It can also be installed in less than 15 minutes with no special tools, experience or training. The filter can operate for up to three years or 10,000 gallons, making it a cost-effective solution for even busy households.