The Best Refrigerator Water Filter

If you’re looking for the best refrigerator water filter, ensure you look into its certifications, compatibility, as well as ease of installation. To help you shop, I’ve put together a list of the best fridge water filters. As well as a handy buying guide. I’ve also included some tips to help you get the right water filter for your fridge.

young girl drinking a glass of water

Every refrigerator that has a built-in water dispenser or ice maker can certainly use filtration. This is to ensure that the water is always pure, and tastes clean. Such a water filter is linked to your fridge. It minimizes chlorine, lead, and sediments found in city water. If your main source for drinking water is from your fridge, a refrigerator filtration system is preferable to a faucet or under-sink filter.

What Are Refrigerator Water Filters?

Refrigerator water filters eliminate contaminants and other particles from the water that passes through your refrigerator’s water and ice dispenser. Before the water comes out of the dispenser, it’s purified by a refrigerator water filter.

Assuming your refrigerator has an ice machine, it can also produce crystal clear ice cubes. An activated carbon block is often used in typical refrigerator water filters. It works best for eliminating chlorine and other chemicals. As well as heavy metals and other contaminants found in the water.

The most significant benefit of using a fridge water filter would be that it delivers purer water. Which also tastes and smells better. However, advanced fridge filters are not inexpensive. Replacing a filter depends on the configuration of your refrigerator. This can take somewhere between 2 to 6 months.

How Do Refrigerator Water Filters Work?

We know some people are in doubt on whether refrigerator water filters work. Well, the good news is that they do work. Water contaminants get absorbed on the activated carbon. And they get trapped in its surface pores. How long the water stays in contact with the medium, the filter medium’s volume indicates the effectiveness of the filtration. As a result, a large fridge filter tends to outperform a tiny fridge filter in general.

Our Top Picks for the Best Refrigerator Water Filter

ImageProductDetailsPrice
Best OverallEveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 4EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 4– ‎11.7 ounces
– ‎Alcohol-free
– Removes pollutants
– NSF-certified
– Replaces model numbers UKF8001 and 4396395
– 6 months filter life
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Runner Up, Best OverallEveryDrop by Whirlpool 10383251 Refrigerator Water Filter 1EveryDrop by Whirlpool 10383251 Refrigerator Water Filter 1– 9 ounces
– Reduces contaminants
– Removes Lead
– NSF-certified
– 6 months filter life
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Best for SamsungSamsung HAF-CIN-EXP Refrigerator Water FilterSamsung HAF-CIN/EXP Refrigerator Water Filter– ‎8.8 ounces
– Removes pollutants
– NSF-certified
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Best for FrigidaireFrigidaire ULTRAWF Refrigerator Water FilterFrigidaire ULTRAWF Refrigerator Water Filter– ‎10.1 ounces
– Removes impurities
– Reduces contaminants
– Extruded carbon filter media
– NSF-certified
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Best for GEGE RPWFE Refrigerator Water FilterGE RPWFE Refrigerator Water Filter– 7.8 ounces
– ‎Tool-free filter replacement
– Reduces chlorine
– Works for GE models with GE RPWF or RPWFE filters
– NSF/ANSI-certified
– 6 months filter life
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Our Reviews of the Best Refrigerator Water Filters

As you may already know, the water filter must be replaced from time to time. Shopping for a filter replacement can be very challenging. Yes, they are all similar. But some contain a more complicated filter cartridge which allow them to eliminate a better amount of impurities than their counterparts. So, if you’re having difficulties so far, let me help you find the best refrigerator water filter.

EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 4 – Best Overall

EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 4

Not sure what to replace your old filter with? The EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 4 works with several major refrigerator brands. Not only does it suit a broad spectrum of fridge models, but it’s also capable of removing an even broader range of contaminants.

This Whirlpool refrigerator water filter effectively removes pharmaceuticals, lead, pesticides, and mercury. As well as a variety of other pollutants. So it goes beyond just improving the taste of the water and eliminating chlorine. It’s definitely one of the best all-around solutions for cleaning water from the fridge dispenser. This water filter has been tested for NSF 42, 53, and 401 standards.

When I was doing my research, I found out that EveryDrop is not really the cheapest filter on the market, yet it’s not the most pricey. It’s suitable for a large selection of bottom freezers and side-by-side fridges. From Whirlpool to KitchenAid, to JennAir, to Maytag, and to Amana. For a family of four, each filter lasts 200 gallons or around six months.

Pros:

– Broad compatibility with major refrigerator brands

– NSF-certified

– Mid-range price

Cons:

– Slow water flow rate due to the design flaw

EveryDrop by Whirlpool 10383251 Refrigerator Water Filter 1 – Runner Up, Best Overall

EveryDrop by Whirlpool 10383251 Refrigerator Water Filter 1

The EveryDrop by Whirlpool 10383251 Refrigerator Water Filter 1 is an NSF-certified water filter that eliminates 28 contaminants. This includes chlorine, and lead. As well as emerging pharmaceuticals such as naproxen and ibuprofen. This filter is particularly beneficial for removing lead. It’s tested and found to reduce 99.9 percent of the metal from the water.

The Whirlpool refrigerator water filter works well with side-by-side refrigerator units. As well as fridges with top and bottom freezers. This water filter is unique. This is why it has gained approval from major manufacturers such as Whirlpool, Maytag, and KitchenAid. It’s something no other non-affiliated filter has gained.

The EveryDrop is installed differently, based on the kind of refrigerator you have. Most refrigerators have a small aperture inside the door. It’s where you can insert the filtration. You can find the installation directions in the user manual. In either case, installing the filter is simple and you can do it yourself without the presence of a plumber.

Pros:

– Excellent at lead removal

– NSF-certified

– Approved by major brands

Cons:

– Filter life may shorten for households with higher water consumption

Samsung HAF-CIN/EXP Refrigerator Water Filter – Best for Samsung

Samsung HAF-CIN-EXP Refrigerator Water Filter

The Samsung HAF-CIN/EXP Refrigerator Water Filter works best for side-by-side and french-door refrigerators by the same brand that comes with a water and ice dispenser. This water filter uses a solid carbon block to effectively remove contaminants. It’s been tested and proven to remove 97.4 percent of chlorine. The Samsung filter makes great tasting water without the odor, which we don’t like.

Aside from the above benefits, it can remove 99 percent of asbestos, 99.99 percent of cysts, and several other harmful substances from the water. And most importantly, it eliminates 99 percent of lead. This filter provides a good water flow rate while preserving healthy minerals in the water.

Installation of this fridge water filter is very simple and won’t take you a minute. You will need to replace this filter with a new one every six months or 300 gallons of filtration capacity.

Pros:

– Excellent filtration

– NSF-certified

– Provides good flow rate

– Easy to install

Cons:

– It could have been cheaper

Frigidaire ULTRAWF Refrigerator Water Filter – Best for Frigidaire

Frigidaire ULTRAWF Refrigerator Water Filter

If you’re looking for a water filter for your Frigidaire model, you may refer to the Frigidaire ULTRAWF Refrigerator Water Filter. Much like most filters, it uses carbon to eliminate contaminants from the water. It’s capable of removing chlorine odor and taste. And it’s effective at reducing lead content, pesticides, nitrates and mercury. Which, in turn, makes your water and ice cleaner and safer to consume.

Replacing your old filter with the Frigidaire ULTRAWF is simple. Just push the old filter out of its position, and snap the new one in its spot. If it’s your first experience changing the filter, you may have to consult the user handbook for your refrigerator. This is because different refrigerator models have somewhat varied filter placements.

Fridigaire has received NSF certification for standards 42, 53, and 401. Such certifications correspond to elimination of chlorine, lead, and emerging chemicals such as naproxen, linuron, ibuprofen, and TECP. Plus, it’s NSF/WQA 803 approved for sustainability.

Pros:

– Easy installation

– NSF/WQA certified

Cons:

– Priced higher than similar products

– Some customers claim water flow rate was slow

GE RPWFE Refrigerator Water Filter – Best for GE

GE RPWFE Refrigerator Water Filter

Looking for a refrigerator water filter to replace your old one for your GE fridge? The GE RPWFE Refrigerator Water Filter works well with GE french door refrigerators with GE RPWFE or RPFW filters. This filter is among the higher performing fridge filters on the market. It’s been tested and approved to NSF Standards to eliminate a variety of contaminants such as chlorine, cyst, PFOA, lead, certain medicines, and PFOS.

It’s easy to replace your old GE fridge filter, plus you won’t have to use any equipment or turn off the water. The manufacturer suggests replacing the filter every six months or 300 gallons of use. This is common for most refrigerator water filters. The GE is made to fit into an inner slot for most refrigerators. Simply remove the old filter and replace it with the new one.

Pros:

– Easy installation

– NSF-tested and certified to remove a wide range of chemicals

Cons:

– Exclusive use for GE models

– Customers report inaccurate countdown timer for installation

A Buyer’s Guide in Selecting the Best Refrigerator Water Filter

Buyer’s Guide in Selecting the Best Refrigerator Water Filter featured photo

Shopping for the best refrigerator water filter online can be a bit tricky. First, you must determine the refrigerator water filter model. Checking if it’s compatible with your refrigerator saves you headaches. You must also consider the contaminants that the water filter removes, as well as its lifespan. To find out what else you need to look into when buying a water filter, refer to our guide below.

Refrigerator Compatibility

As I’ve mentioned in the beginning, compatibility is one of the first things to look at. The refrigerator you have won’t fit with just every fridge water filter. Since refrigerators come in a wide range of connection types, most water filters are only compatible with specific refrigerator manufacturers. An incompatible product wouldn’t fit your fridge properly. And this can cause leakages.

To make sure the product is compatible with your fridge, check the model number by removing the old water filter. You can find the model number on the upper or left side wall inside your refrigerator. It can be also found on the face frame, behind the kick-plates, or behind the crisper drawers. Another way to check compatibility is to refer to the manufacturer’s manual, or their website. You can use Amazon’s part finder to ensure compatibility. 

NSF Testing and Certification

Is it NSF- tested? The National Sanitation Foundation creates food safety and sanitation standards. We recommend you look into NSF-certified products. This means the manufacturer complies with the strict standards imposed by the organization. For water filtration, you must look for these certifications: NSF 42, NSF 53, and NSF 401.

  • NSF 42 is used for improving taste and odor. It certifies a refrigerators filter’s capability to remove chlorine and certain solid particulates in your water.
  • NSF 53 certified a filter’s capability of eliminating a broader range of harmful contaminants such as cysts, and volatile organic compounds. As well as heavy metals like arsenic, and disinfection byproducts.
  • NSF 401 is used for herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals. As well as emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals.

Besides the certifications above, you may check for more NSF ratings on the label. NSF 372 certifies lead-free products. A filter with NSF 61 certification indicates that the product will not release toxic chemicals into the water.

Filter Installation

Many refrigerator filters are simple to install. And they can fit into a compartment inside the refrigerator. A fridge water filter can either be plugged into a socket and secured in place when the cover is closed. They can also be twist-locked into a receptacle. This simple installation style enables the user to replace the filter without you needing to leave the fridge door open for an extended period.

Water Filtration Capacity

The capacity of a fridge water filter defines how many gallons of filtered water and ice it can produce before it needs replacement filters. The normal filtration capacity for refrigerator water filters is 300 gallons. Certain models have a capacity of only 200 gallons. And others have a capacity of up to 400 gallons.

Replacement Frequency

The average refrigerator water filter lasts around six months before it needs to be replaced. This equates to between 200 and 300 gallons of filtered water for a household. Water filters can be costly. And many manufacturers sell them in packages of two or more for a discounted price per unit. Getting filtration systems in bulk is a great way to save money while keeping the water in the fridge fresh.

Price and Warranty

When shopping for replacement filters for your refrigerator, you can save extra cash by getting the generic ones. But keep in mind that it’s not worth putting your health at risk for a little discount. Yes, refrigerator water filters can be costly, but they are worth making sure you get the best quality possible. The warranty also determines the quality of the water filter you buy. Most filters are warranted for a lifetime.

Buying Tips: Choosing the Best Refrigerator Water Filter

Choosing the Best Refrigerator Water Filter featured photo

Knowing the compatibility or and installation, and many other factors mentioned above is not enough. If you truly want to get the most out of your water filter, consider doing diligent research on a product. Consider our buying tips below.

Is NSF Assurance Enough?

The extent to which pollutants are minimized is not supported by an NSF seal alone. The filtration results of two products with similar NSF could be significantly different. Look for the Water Quality Association (WQA) — Gold Seal Product Certification Program. This is to ensure additional quality assurance. WQA guarantees that the materials used are safe. And that package claims are genuine.

IAPMO’s Water Systems Certification Program is another third-party certification. Independent lab test results can provide more assurance. They are sometimes audited by companies themselves. The Consumer Reports group does not yet test refrigerator water filters. But you can do your own low-cost home water test. Or you can assess ad hoc testing conducted by customers who have bought the same product.

Generic vs Manufacturer OEM Brands 

Most customers prefer to buy from well-known OEM manufacturers. While others need to hunt for less expensive alternatives. Nearly every generic water filter is a rebranded item. Learning about the brand name distributor, business website, and accessible information about the parent company.

NSF and WQA  seals can be found on so many generic branded products. But they are difficult to locate in search databases. The reason for this is because NSF certificates are usually listed under the parent company’s manufacturer.  If this is the case, you could perhaps search using the product’s model number. But if the product is WQA certified, you can simply use the brand name. Keep in mind that even if a product comes with a fancy label, it doesn’t mean it’s trustworthy.

For Generic Brands, Do Diligent Research

This is very important. Read the claims made about the product. You can check them on the manufacturer’s or distributor’s site, and labeling. Check if the claims on the package correspond to the certifications they carry. And if the claims on their packaging correspond to the claims in their advertisements.

Most items come with at least one NSF certification and datasheet. But other public data sheets that are considered reliable should suffice. It’s much preferable if a product has many certifications. We won’t endorse anything that doesn’t match these fundamental requirements.

Ideal Refrigerator Water Filter Brands

There are many good water filter brands out there for your refrigerator. Most come from the same brand of refrigerator most households have. The brands that stood out to me are Whirlpool, Samsung, GE, and Frigidaire. But as mentioned earlier, you must only get the ones from a manufacturer that your refrigerator brand approves. This ensures the water filter you are buying matches the model number of your fridge.

How to Install Water Filter Replacement

The installation of a refrigerator water filter varies per filter type and refrigerator model. Filters can be installed either on the inside of the fridge door or on the outside. Others are situated at the very top of the refrigerator. To give you a general idea of how refrigerator water filters are installed, you may consider the steps below:

  1. Switch off the water supply.
  2. Detach the fittings or connections that keep the filtration in place.
  3. To remove the filter, carefully pull the water line at each end.
  4. Open your new filter, and remove it from the packaging.
  5. If the new filter needs to be installed inside the fridge, place it in the same slot as the old one.
  6. Connect the water line to each side’s inlet and outlet.
  7. To keep the filter in place, secure the connections or fittings.
  8. Turn on your water supply. Then, run water through your new filter for 5 minutes to flush it out while resting a jug below your refrigerator’s dispenser. Pour the water down the drain or save it for your pets or plants.
  9. You can now enjoy healthy drinking water!

Refrigerator Water Filter: The Advantages

If your refrigerator has an optional in-line refrigerator water filter, then you should make use of it. Using a water filter has many advantages such as:

Solving two problems with one

It makes sense to use the refrigerator dispenser if you prefer chilled water over the tap on hot days. And if your faucet has a water filter, the refrigerator water filter quells your thirst for chilly water. As well as your desire for filtered water, offering both at the same time.

Reducing potential health risks of drinking city water

You’re exposing your health to toxins such as chlorine, lead, and drugs when you drink water straight from the tap. Fridge water filters aren’t efficient enough to remove all toxins from water. But they eliminate the ones that are considered to be toxic to our health.

Improving taste of drinking water

Chlorine elimination is among the advantages of using refrigerator water filters. Even if chlorine is present in small amounts in your water, it can give it unwanted flavor and smell. Fridge water filters  eliminate nearly all chlorine off the water. It helps in preserving its natural taste.

Refrigerator Water Filter: The Disadvantages

There are several drawbacks to owning a fridge water filter. Just as there are with any other water filtration systems. Keep the following disadvantages in mind:

Fridge water filters can be costly

Replacing a fridge filter might cost anywhere between $30 and $50. And the price depends on the brand. When you consider that one filter replacement is required every six months or fewer, it’s not the most cost-effective option. As a result, if you want to get the most bang for your buck, you should seek a filter with a longer lifespan.

They don’t connect up to your kitchen sink

Although it may seem self-evident, a refrigerator water filter cannot be used on your kitchen sink faucet. Or be attached to it. Therefore, it will only be useful if you get most of your water from your fridge. Should you need to use filtered water for cooking, and any other purpose in your house, you would have to collect it from your refrigerator dispenser.

Refrigerator water filters could affect water pressure

When water passes through such a filtration system, it normally slows down. A significant drop in water pressure at your refrigerator’s dispenser shouldn’t be obvious. However, when it’s time to replace your filter, your water could become something more of a drip than a flow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which refrigerator water filter removes the most contaminants?

If we talk about percentage, the Samsung HAF-CIN/EXP Refrigerator Water Filter could be it. This filter has been tested to remove 97.4 percent of chlorine, 99 percent of asbestos and lead, and 99.99 percent of cysts. As well as several other harmful substances from the water. This is likely the filter that eliminates most contaminants.

Are refrigerator water filters any good?

Typically, refrigerator water filters use carbon. And they have a 20-micron average rating. This means they primarily get rid of contaminants that alter the water’s taste and smell. They are not guaranteed to eliminate all toxins that could harm anybody who drinks the water.

Who makes the best water filter?

The best water filters come from well-known brands. Those that specialize in refrigerator water filters. One of the best manufacturers made it to our list. And that’s the EveryDrop by Whirlpool line. Their water filter is unique, and has received approval from major fridge brands such as Whirlpool, Maytag, and KitchenAid.

Conclusion

My top vote goes to the EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 4 and the EveryDrop by Whirlpool 10383251 Refrigerator Water Filter 1. Besides being effective in eliminating contaminants, both cover a broad spectrum of fridge models. If you’re looking to buy a filter for your Samsung fridge, the Samsung HAF-CIN/EXP Refrigerator Water Filter could be the best filter replacement. It offers excellent filtration and a good flow rate.

If you’re looking for a water filter for your Frigidaire model, you may refer to the Frigidaire ULTRAWF Pure Source Ultra Water Filter. It’s effective at clearing lead content, as well as other harmful contaminants in the water. For GE users, the GE RPWFE Refrigerator Water Filter may be the one you can consider. It’s only compatible with GE french door refrigerators with GE RPWFE or RPFW filters. And much like most water filters, it removes a wide range of contaminants in the water.

There are many fridge water filters in the market today. But not all can thoroughly cleanse and purify your drinking water. I hope you find our guide helpful and check out our NSF-certified choices above. And enjoy healthy, great-tasting drinking water!