Welcome to our step-by-step guide to choosing the best generic refrigerator water filter for your home. Our guide includes the top 5 brands, how to choose a filter for your fridge, an FAQ section, and additional tidbits that’ll help you make the best buying decision.
Generic water filters for refrigerators are growing in popularity because people are tired of overpaying for expensive OEM filters. In today’s world, we have more options than ever before. There’s no need to go directly to the manufacturer for every replacement part. This is exactly the case for refrigerator water filters since they’re basic compared to more advanced home water filtration systems.
Let’s start with a comparison chart of the current best generic refrigerator water filter brands of 2019.
Top 5 Best Generic Refrigerator Water Filter Brands
- The contaminants listed in the “Removes” line are the contaminants that the filter is certified to remove in accordance with NSF/ANSI Standards. All of the filters reduce/remove additional water contaminants beyond what’s included in the NSF/ANSI Standards.
- All refrigerator filters use carbon block filtration to remove contaminants and enhance the flavor of the filtered water.
- Filters come in packs of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
NSF Standards Table
Here we provide a table of the NSF standards included in the comparison chart above to give you a clear idea of what each filter is certified to remove.
|NSF 42||Chlorine Taste & Odor|
|NSF 53||Lead, Mercury, Cyst, Endrin, Benzene, Carbofuran|
|NSF 372||Lead-Free Plumbing Materials|
|NSF 401||Meprobamate, Phenytoin, Atenolol, Carbamazepine, TCEP, TCPP, DEET, Metolachlor, Trimethoprim, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Estrone, Bisphenol A, Linuron, Nonylphenol|
In this section, we’ll go through the steps for finding a generic refrigerator filter to match your fridge.
#1 Find Your Local Water Utility
The EWG Tap Water Database is a great way to quickly find the contaminants affecting your area. Click Here to navigate to the EWG site. Once there, enter your zip code. After entering your zip code, you’ll see a list of utilities in your area.
Click on your provider, and you’ll be taken to a list of contaminants affecting your area. Once you know which contaminants you need to remove from your water, match the NSF/ANSI standards to the filter brand(s) in our Top 5 Chart. This way, choosing the right brand for your home is easy-peasy.
#2 Locate Your Refrigerator Model Number
The next step is to locate your refrigerator model number. Most major appliance brands print the model number on a plate that’s inside your fridge. You may not have noticed it before, but it’s there somewhere. Here are the places to look inside your fridge to find it:
A second option is to look inside your owner’s manual. Once you locate your model number, jot it down or save it in your phone notes.
#3 Match Your Refrigerator to a Replacement Filter
At this point, you’ve narrowed down which filter brand(s) interests you, and you have your model number. All of the top 5 brands are currently available at Amazon. First, navigate to Amazon.
Once you’re on the Amazon homepage, search the “filter brand” and your “model number.” For example, you might search Waterdrop Samsung DA29-00020B as your query in the search bar.
This is the quickest way to find the correct filter. Once you click on the filter and move to the product page, you may see an option to “Make sure this fits” with a search bar at the top of the product page. It looks like this:
Enter your model number, and Amazon will verify whether the filter matches your fridge as an additional verification step. We recommend going one step further by running a search for your model in the reviews section.
The best way to do it is to navigate to the filter reviews page. Once you’re there, you’ll see an option to run a search in the reviews. Enter your model number and hit the “Search” button like this:
This final step gives you the opportunity to see what current owners who own the same fridge have to say. Did they experience any problems such as leaking connections or are they happy campers?
That’s it! Now you know how to choose the best generic refrigerator filter for your home.
In this section, we’ll answer several commonly asked questions about generic refrigerator water filters.
Do generic refrigerator water filters work?
Yes, they do work quite well, and people are saving up to 50% or more by purchasing generic instead of expensive OEM filters. Here’s the thing, refrigerator water filters are simple in nature, unlike a multi-stage reverse osmosis system. They all rely on carbon block filtration to get the job done.
You may have already noticed that each of the filters in our top 5 are very similar. When you purchase a generic refrigerator water filter, it’s more important to focus on the brand than the filter media.
We did a deep dive into 100s of generic refrigerator water filter reviews to identify positive and negative trends. These are the 5 brands with the most positive reviews. A majority of the most popular filters for each brand received ~80% 5-star reviews and one-star reviews in the single digits. These are the ratios we look for when we recommend water filtration products.
The most common complaints are leaks and filters that didn’t fit as planned. By following our step-by-step guide above, you give yourself the best chance of avoiding any potential problems.
Are generic refrigerator water filters safe?
Considering each of the brands in our top 5 is NSF/ANSI certified, all of these brands are safe to use. Like most other products in today’s world, generic refrigerator filters are usually assembled in China. Does this mean they’re unsafe? No. Does it mean they’re the best water filters in the world? Of course not.
In general, refrigerator water filters are only so powerful. If you desire more thorough filtration, we recommend exploring other kitchen water filter dispenser options. While we do love carbon block filtration, it’s not the same as a reverse osmosis membrane or multi-stage filter. Reverse osmosis systems usually incorporate carbon block filters in 1 or more stages of the system.
Which refrigerator brands are compatible with generic filters?
Here’s a list of major appliance brands we came across during our review:
- Aqua Crystal
We’ve read more than enough verified generic refrigerator water filter reviews to know they work. We’ve also researched a long and growing list of water filtration products.
Refrigerator filters are basic in nature, and OEM filters are overpriced. People all over the country are happy with their generic filters and haven’t noticed a drop in the quality of their filtered water since switching from OEM to generic.
Do we always recommend buying generic instead of OEM? No, of course not. We examine each case individually, and refrigerator filtration isn’t rocket science. As long as the filter fits without any leakage, and the flow rate is adequate, you’re good to go.
What did you think of our guide to choosing the best generic refrigerator water filter for your home? If there’s anything you’d like us to add or we missed, we’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
You may also be interested in our detailed: