When choosing the best alkaline water filter, there are several options for you to consider. The good news is there are options for every budget. Over the past year, I’ve reviewed a wide variety of alkaline water filtration products and decided to put this detailed guide together to help you understand each type of filter.
If you’re new to alkaline h2O, the buying process can easily become overwhelming, mainly due to all the conflicting information. The purpose of this guide is to keep things simple to make your decision an easy one.
By the end of the guide, you’ll know:
- The top 6 alkaline water filters that make natural alkaline water
- How to install them and/or use them
- Replacement filter costs
- Key considerations before you buy
- Where to buy
Below is a list of the filters starting with the cheapest options all the way up the ladder to the most premium:
- Alkaline water sticks
- Portable alkaline water filter bottles
- Alkaline water pitchers
- Countertop alkaline water filter
- Reverse osmosis alkaline system
- Water Ionizers
Aside from going up in price, the level of purification also goes up for each filter type. In other words, alkaline water sticks provide the least amount of purification while RO systems and water ionizers provide the most.
#1 The Cheapest Alkaline Water Filter
Alkaline water sticks are full of alkalizing mineral balls that boost the pH of your water and provide minimal purification. The purification occurs through the reactions between your tap water and the contents of the metal stick.
It’s best to filter your water first before using a stick since it provides a low level of purification. The main purpose of the sticks is to boost the pH of slightly acidic water to a more favorable pH.
The greatest advantages of the sticks are the low cost and long-lasting mineral balls. The greatest disadvantage is they aren’t the best long-term solution for everyday use.
- For your gym water bottle
- Boost the pH of your Brita water or other filtered water
- Raise the pH of conventional bottled water
- To use while traveling or on the go
#2 The Best Portable Alkaline Water Filter
The next best option is a portable water bottle that has an alkaline water filter inside it. The most difficult part of the buying process is to find one that works and actually filters your water.
There are a lot of bottles on the market that work similarly to the sticks above, except they use mineral cartridges or mineral bags to raise pH. I recommend steering clear of these options. To get a better understanding, read alkaline water brands to avoid.
The top choices in this department are the Seychelle water bottle pictured above and the TYgo water bottle by Tyent.
Unlike sticks, the filter bottles use replaceable filters. They are less portable than sticks, however, they do a better job of purifying your water and transforming it into delicious alkaline water.
- The gym, office, travel, or anywhere on the go
- When you want to filter and boost the pH of tap water anywhere
#3 The Most Popular Alkaline Water Filter for Home
The first two options were the most portable, and now we move into the options that stay inside your home for the most part. While a water pitcher is small enough to bring to a friend or family’s home occasionally, it’s not something you bring to the gym or in your car while running errands.
The advantage of a pitcher over the first two options is superior water filtration. Pitcher filters are more powerful depending on the type of pitcher you decide to buy. Again, it’s best to avoid buying pitchers that rely on mineral bags to “filter” your water.
The best pitchers do two things: remove contaminants with the help of activated carbon and boost the pH level of your drinking water with the help of alkaline minerals. This powerful combination is what makes alkaline pitchers superior to Brita and PUR pitchers.
- Good for singles, couples, and small families who want to upgrade from a Brita or PUR pitcher
#4 Countertop Alkaline Water Filter Dispenser
The next rung on the ladder is the countertop system. These are comparable to the pitcher filters, yet more powerful because of an additional key ingredient.
The top systems, such as the Santevia Gravity Water System, include a ceramic pre-filter with a tiny micron rating. The ceramic pre-filter does an excellent job of removing water contaminants before the water enters the multi-stage filter that includes activated carbon and minerals.
Think of it as a larger pitcher filter with the addition of a ceramic pre-filter. Another advantage of a gravity system is the larger tank size. You can make gallons at a time and don’t have to worry about filling it multiple times a day, as you may have to with a pitcher depending on the size of your family.
- Best for larger families or people who drink a lot of water every day
- People who want a more powerful water filter than a pitcher
#5 The Best Alkaline Water Filtration System
If you have hard well water or municipal water high in chlorine or chloramines, a reverse osmosis system is an excellent option for your home. RO membranes have an extremely tiny pore size and remove up to 99.9% of water contaminants, including protozoa, bacteria, viruses, and common chemicals. The CDC recommends RO systems for household use.
The one downside of plain reverse osmosis water is it’s typically slightly acidic. How does this happen? The filtration process removes mineral pH buffers, which results in slightly acidic, sometimes bitter-tasting water.
Alkaline RO systems with remineralization solve this problem by adding minerals back to your water via a mineral filter cartridge during the final stage after the RO membrane. Before the filtered water flows out of the faucet, it absorbs alkaline minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium to raise pH to a slightly alkaline level.
- People with well water or hard water (there are RO systems with water softening and remineralization capabilities)
- If you’re concerned about fluoride, chlorine and other contaminants in your municipal water (RO removes them all including fluoride)
- People who want ultra-pure drinking water on tap
#6 The Top Alkaline Water Filter on the Market
Last but certainly not least is the water ionizer aka alkaline water machine. This option is the most premium, and of course, the priciest. It’s best to try one of the more affordable options first to find out if ionized water is for you.
Another way to test is to buy a case of bottled ionized water to see how it makes you feel. You may find that you love the sweeter taste and the effect it has on your physical and mental states.
What do water ionizers do? The best models on the market include extremely powerful water filters to remove water contaminants. After contaminant removal, the filtered water undergoes electrolysis to make alkaline ionized water that’s packed with antioxidants, including molecular hydrogen.
In fact, most of the benefits of drinking alkaline water come from the ionized part, not the high pH. The problem is most people aren’t aware that the term “alkaline water” is short for “alkaline ionized water.”
A key point to remember is that pH is only part of the equation. What makes ionizers superior to all the other options is they make true antioxidant ion water that the other filters can’t. Ionizers also require electricity while the other options do not.
- Best for people who want full control over pH and negative ORP
- Families who want an unlimited supply of ionized water on tap
- Acidic water from ionizers also has numerous household and cosmetic uses, e.g. to disinfect surfaces and water acid-loving houseplants
How to Install an Alkaline Water Filter
As you’ve probably already noticed, not all alkaline water filters require complicated installation. The only two options that may require a plumber are reverse osmosis systems and under-sink water ionizers, however, most people can get the job done with a little patience.
Let’s go over each installation.
#1 Alkaline Water Sticks
The sticks simply require enough time (about 15 minutes) submerged in your water to raise the pH and allow for minimal purification. Be sure to follow the instructions for the best results. To avoid damaging the stick, use plastic bottles instead of stainless steel bottles.
#2 Portable Alkaline Water Filter Bottles
Similar to the way you prepare a Brita filter by submerging it, you’ll prepare the smaller filter for your water bottle. Once it’s ready to go, mark the date that you begin using it to remember when to replace it. Unlike pitchers, filter bottles don’t include filter life indicators (yet).
#3 Alkaline Water Pitchers
Pitcher filters require minimal preparation. It’s best to start by submerging the filter to activate it before rinsing it. Next, you’ll fill a couple of pitchers and dump them out. Usually, the third full pitcher of filtered water is good to start drinking.
Most pitchers come with filter life indicators or reminders to make it easy for you to remember when it’s time to replace. Aside from the filter, it’s a good idea to wash the pitcher parts – minus the filter – with the soft side of a sponge and mild soap. Allow the parts to air dry while you activate your filter.
#4 Countertop Alkaline Water Filter Systems
Countertop gravity systems are easy enough for anyone to set up. They require several additional steps compared to pitchers, but luckily no tools required. The video below provided by Santevia shows you exactly how to install a countertop system in your home:
The second type of countertop installation is even easier:
The biggest step is attaching the diverter to your existing faucet. Once you cut the water hose to the correct length, the rest of the installation is easy-peasy.
#5 Reverse Osmosis with Remineralization
The level of difficulty jumps up a notch between the countertop system and the RO system, depending on which type of system you choose. A countertop reverse osmosis system is a lot easier to install, and the process is the same as in the video for the countertop system above.
An under-sink reverse osmosis system is trickier to install and requires a higher level of patience. For the installation to work properly, you’ll need to follow the instructions closely, use a drill, and install the filtered water faucet at your sink. To install the faucet, you’ll drill a hole in your sink. Bosch Cobalt Twist Drill Bits are good for drilling clean holes through metal sinks.
While this may sound complicated, once you finish the installation successfully one time, you’ll already feel like a pro. The couple in the video below will give you more confidence and a basic understanding of how to install an under-sink RO system:
#6 Water Ionizers
There are both countertop and under-sink versions of water ionizers, with countertop being much easier to install. Similar to a countertop RO system and the APEX countertop filter, all you have to do is install the diverter valve at your sink.
Why choose an under-sink model over a countertop model? The main reason is to save space on your counter. The second reason is newer models have smartphone-inspired touchscreens mounted on the faucets that allow you to control your ionizer above the sink.
Under-sink installation is similar to a reverse osmosis system, yet less complicated. The video below is a helpful demonstration:
You may have noticed that the ionizer requires a larger hole in your sink. A bi-metal hole saw will get the job done. Be sure to take safety precautions including wearing protective glasses when you drill the hole.
Now, let’s talk about replacement filters. Similar to the way each filter option becomes more expensive as you move through the guide, so do the replacement filters. The good news is that reverse osmosis and water ionizer filters have longer lives.
#1 Alkaline Water Stick Life
The life of a stick is measured in the number of bottles of water it can make or the number of months it’ll last. For example, Santevia’s Power Water Stick makes 300 bottles of water.
The Fresh Ball by GoFiltr lasts up to three months or 750 water bottles. Sticks range in price between $8 and $30.
#2 Alkaline Water Bottle Filter
Alkaline water bottle filters last longer than most pitcher filters. For example, the Seychelle pH20 water bottle has a filter life of 100 gallons or roughly 400 refills. Seychelle has a wide range of replacement filters ranging from $17 to $30 per filter.
The TYgo portable alkalizer has an impressive filter life of just over 200 gallons. A three-pack of filters currently costs $80.
#3 Alkaline Water Pitcher Filter
Alkaline pitcher filters last anywhere from 1 to 6 months depending on the brand. Invigorated Water’s pitcher has the longest filter life of 96 gallons while other models have a 40-gallon filter life. Be sure to check the filter life before you purchase to get a better idea of how much your annual filter costs will be.
Packs of replacement filters cost between $15 and $60. In my alkaline pitcher reviews, I compare all the top pitchers and their filters. You’ll find that you get what you pay for when you buy a pitcher with more powerful filters. I recommend choosing a pitcher that removes more water contaminants including fluoride to a higher degree.
The Seychelle water pitcher is my #1 pick in the filter category.
#4 Countertop Alkaline Water Filter
When you replace the filters in your countertop system, you replace them at different intervals. The ceramic filter has a longer life than the multi-stage filter. I recommend the Santevia gravity water system because it’s one of the few countertop systems that remove fluoride.
Here’s a breakdown of the average filter life:
- Ceramic Filter: 1 year
- Multi-Stage Filter: 4 – 6 months
- Mineral Stones: 2 years
Both the ceramic and multi-stage replacement filters typically cost around $30 to $35. The mineral stones that sit in the bottom of the filtered water tank also cost about the same.
One of the advantages of a countertop system is the low ongoing replacement filter cost compared to other filter options.
#5 Reverse Osmosis Replacement Filters
Similar to a countertop system, an RO system has varying filter life for different stages in the system. The RO membrane has a longer life than the sediment, carbon, and alkaline mineral filters.
Here’s a breakdown of the average filter life:
- Sediment Filter: 6 months
- Granulated Activated Carbon (GAC): 6 months
- Activated Carbon Block (ACB): 6 months
- Reverse Osmosis Membrane: 1 year
- Post Activated Carbon (PAC): 1 year
- Alkaline Mineral Cartridge: 6 months
It’s best to buy a complete set of filters each year as opposed to buying each filter separately. A one-year set of filters costs around $120.
The pre-filters typically have a 5-micron rating while the RO membrane has an impressive rating of .0001-micron.
- Check the sediment filter periodically to ensure it lasts a full six months. Depending on the quality of your incoming water, you may need to replace it more often.
- Keep up with replacing your carbon pre-filters to ensure no chlorine passes through to the RO membrane.
- Always use cold water because hot water opens the pores in the RO membrane, which allows contaminants to flow through.
#6 Water Ionizer Filter
There are single-filter ionizers and dual-filter ionizers. Premium water ionizers use dual filters while mid-range and budget ionizers sometimes have a single filter. Does that mean single-filter is bad? No. The main difference is that it’s advisable to use a whole house filter or three-stage pre-filter with a single-filter ionizer.
Filter life is typically 6 months to 1 year. Air Water Life replacement filter hovers around $40 and lasts up to a year.
A complete set of AlkaViva replacement filters with fluoride removal costs just under $200. As you can see, water ionizer replacement filters can be expensive.
A third example is Tyent’s set of replacement filters which cost $129. What I love about Tyent’s filters is they have a .01-micron rating. Overall, AlkaViva and Tyent filters are the most powerful and efficient on the market.
Tip: A pre-filter extends the life of your water ionizer filters and will save you money in the long run.
What is an alkaline water filter?
It’s important to note that there are three types of filters: mineralization, purification with mineralization, and purification alone.
Here are examples of each type:
- Alkaline water sticks rely solely on mineralization.
- Pitcher filters use activated carbon to remove water contaminants before adding minerals to boost pH.
- Water ionizer filters only remove contaminants. The titanium electrode plates inside the ionizer boost the pH of the filtered water without the need to add minerals.
What are the best alkaline water filter brands?
- The most trustworthy water ionizer brands are Tyent, AlkaViva, Life Ionizers, Air Water Life, Bawell, and IntelGadgets.
- For pitchers, Seychelle, Invigorated Water, Hskyhan, and EHM are the best brands.
- For countertop filters, Santevia, Zen, AQUASPREE, Cuckoo, Apex, and Nikken offer the best systems.
- The top alkaline RO brands are Express Water, APEC, iSpring, and Home Master
- Sticks are trickier because they’re the least reliable type of alkaline water filter. Santevia and GoFiltr sticks are the best options currently available.
- The top portable alkaline water filter bottle brands are Seychelle and Tyent.
How much is an alkaline water filter?
Replacement filters range in price, with countertop gravity systems being your best bet to keep replacement filter costs the lowest. Pitcher replacement filters cost roughly the same as a countertop system.
Water ionizer and reverse osmosis replacement filters are the most costly. Jump back to the filter comparison to read more about the different prices for each option.
What is the best alkaline water filter?
There’s no clear-cut best filter. However, a water ionizer makes the most powerful ionized water while a water stick makes the least powerful.
It’s also important to note that only a water ionizer makes true ionized water. Water must undergo electrolysis to become ionized water. When you invest in the other types of alkaline water filters, you miss out on pH and ORP control, which is the biggest drawback to non-ionizer options.
A gravity system is the closest you can get to ionized water without buying an ionizer. You get antioxidants, yet the number of antioxidants is significantly less. You also miss out on molecular hydrogen.
Most people start with a pitcher or countertop system before ultimately upgrading to an ionizer. Quality ionizers are built to last and come with lifetime warranties. The upfront cost is the highest, but they pay for themselves before you know it.
What’s the difference between alkaline water filters and water ionizers?
Beware of people who call water ionizers “alkaline water filter machines.” That title is misleading since ionizers aren’t technically filters.
When you purchase an ionizer, its filter is only part of the equation. When you purchase a pitcher or countertop system, the filter is more important since the filter removes impurities and boosts the pH of your water.
In the case of an ionizer, the filter is there to remove impurities before the water undergoes electrolysis.
Where to buy?
I recommend jumping back to the filter types section and following the link(s) under the filter(s) of your choice. In most cases, Amazon or the manufacturer offers the best price and top filters on the market.
Now you know all about the best alkaline water filter options for your home. It was painless, right? I know there’s a lot of information out there, and things can get overly complicated.
I made this guide to make your decision as easy as possible. Be sure to consider each of the filters types above one last time before making your final decision.