The Best Refrigerator Water Filter For On Demand Clean Water

If you are in a hurry and would just like to find our our top recommendation for the best refrigerator water filter, our top choice is the EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 4.

We recently upgraded our old fridge and got a newer model packed with features. One of the features I wanted was a water and ice dispenser. Being able to get cool water at the touch of a button has helped me stay hydrated. I love our new fridge but found that the water and ice dispenser feature meant replacing the filter every six months. Here is what I learned in my quest for the best refrigerator water filter.

What Do Refrigerator Water Filters Do?

Most modern refrigerators come with a built-in water and ice dispenser feature. You have to connect your appliance to a water line to use it.

There is a small tank inside the fridge to store water and cool it. You will find a spout and ice dispenser built-into the door of your fridge that you can use to get cool water or ice. Whenever you use the water dispenser or ice maker feature, the tank fills up with more water.

There is a filter between the water line connection and the tank that stores water. Water might sit inside of that tank for a while, depending on how often you use the water dispenser feature. Sediments have plenty of time to build up and form a scale on the sides of the tank.

If your water is acidic because of chemicals or metal pollution, those particles could damage the tank and other inner workings of the appliance in the long-term. The presence of bacteria in your water could also result in a dangerous bacteria build-up inside your fridge.

The purpose of the filter is to eliminate most of those particles before they enter your fridge. It also removes chlorine and other chemicals that could cause your water to have an unpleasant taste or odor.

I love the water dispenser feature of our new fridge because the water is always cool and refreshing. I can tell there is a filtration system because the water tastes different from our tap water.

What Happens Inside of a Refrigerator Water Filter?

If you are curious about what happens inside of a water filter, I recommend watching this YouTube video. A YouTuber cut a refrigerator water filter open to show the inside of the device.

The design and filtration media depend on the make and model of your filter, but most manufacturers use activated carbon to filter water.

Activated carbon is a common filtering media because it lasts a long time. A carbon block has countless pores that can attract undesirable particles. The scientific name for this process is adsorption.

Carbon has interesting adsorption properties because it attracts other carbon-based molecules. These molecules include living microorganisms like the water-borne parasites or cysts that can cause diseases.

Carbon will also bind to chlorine and other chemicals. Chlorine is a chemical that most water suppliers use to disinfect water and eliminate bacteria. Low levels of chlorine in your drinking water aren’t hazardous to your health, but they can cause your water to have an unpleasant smell or taste.

You can also find filters that use mechanical filtration to remove sediments and large molecules. The benefit of mechanical filtration is to eliminate the sediments that could build-up inside your fridge and reduce the lifespan of the appliance.

Some manufacturers offer reverse osmosis filters. These filters push water through a membrane that retains impurities.

Your refrigerator water filter needs to be replaced every six months or so. A mechanical filter will get clogged as it traps sediments, and a carbon block filter will become saturated and stop binding with chemicals, bacteria, and other particles.

What Should You Look for When Choosing A Refrigerator Water Filter?

The best refrigerator water filter depends on the make and model of your fridge. Most manufacturers offer a line of filters, but you can also find some universal filters that fit a wide range of appliances.

You can access your filter by removing the grille in the front of your refrigerator, but some models have a filter housing in the back of the upper-right corner inside of the fridge for easy access. 

Make sure you choose a filter that is compatible with your fridge. A filter that doesn’t fit properly will leak or not work at all. 

You can check the model number of the filter by looking at your old filter, or by looking at the owner’s manual that came with your fridge. The official website of the fridge manufacturer should have information about compatible filters.

Some fridges will work without a filter. If your fridge has a bypass valve, you can get unfiltered water via the water and ice dispenser. Not using a filter isn’t an issue as long as you don’t plan on using the water and ice dispenser, but I wouldn’t recommend drinking unfiltered water. Letting unfiltered water run through your fridge can also reduce the lifespan of the appliance since sediments will build up.

Top Five Best Refrigerator Water Filter

These are the five best filters you can use for your refrigerator. Make sure you choose one that will fit your appliance.

EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 4

Price level: $$

Technologies used: Activated carbon

This performing water filter works on different makes and models and removes 23 different contaminants. It’s a great way to improve the quality of your drinking water, and it’s easy to figure out if it will fit your fridge.

Pros:

  • The filter has obtained NSF certifications 42 and 53 for reducing levels of lead, pesticide, and some parasites.
  • A filter will last six months or 200 gallons.
  • The filter has a stainless steel housing for durability.
  • It removes a total of 23 different contaminants found in drinking water.
  • It does a great job of removing chlorine and improving smell and taste.
  • The filter has a one-micron rating and can catch small particles.
  • It works with a wide range of brands, including Whirlpool, Kenmore, Samsung, GE, Frigidaire, LG, Maytag, KitchenAid, and others.
  • It works with many bottom-freezer, side-by-side, and French-door models.

Cons:

  • This filter will not fit top-freezer models.
  • It’s more expensive than other options.
  • There isn’t a lot of information about the different filtration stages.

Click here to check price on Amazon

Samsung Da29-0020b-1P Refrigerator Water Filter

Price level: $$

Technologies used: Carbon block

This refrigerator water filter is an excellent option if you have a Samsung appliance. It’s more durable than most filters and removes a wide range of pollutants.

Pros:

  • The filter removes 99% of contaminants from your water.
  • It uses a carbon block element to eliminate asbestos, chlorine, cysts, lead, and other pollutants.
  • There is detailed testing data about what the filter removes and how efficient it is.
  • It lasts for six months or 300 gallons.
  • It has a rating of 0.5 microns.
  • There is an indicator light to let you know when it’s time to change the filter.
  • The dimensions are 2.13×2.13×8.86 inches. The filter will fit most Samsung models and should work on other brands.
  • Samsung guarantees the performance of the filter.

Cons:

  • There isn’t a lot of information about which appliances the filter will fit outside of Samsung products.
  • It won’t fit all Samsung fridges.

Click here to check price on Amazon

General Electric MWF Refrigerator Water Filter

Price level: $$

Technologies used: Carbon block

This refrigerator water filter is one of the best products available for side-by-side and bottom-freezer appliances from GE. It removes a wide range of contaminants, including pharmaceuticals that can end up in your local water supply.

Pros:

  • The filter has obtained an NSF certification for a total of 14 different contaminants.
  • It removes chemicals, pollutants, and pharmaceuticals.
  • You can find data about testing and NSF certifications.
  • It delivers a water flow of 0.5 GPM.
  • It improves the taste and smell of your water by removing chlorine.
  • It replaces five different filter models, including GWF, GWF01, GWF06, GWFA, and MWFA.
  • It lasts for six months or 300 gallons.

Cons:

  • You have to twist the filter in place, which may or may not be easy, depending on the filter’s location.
  • The filter doesn’t have a standard shape or size and won’t work on non-GE appliances.

Click here to check price on Amazon

Frigidaire WF3CB Puresource Replacement Filter

Price level: $$

Technologies used: Carbon block

I like this replacement filter because it removes a wide range of contaminants, and it’s easy to install thanks to the push to lock system. I recommend it if your filter is in a location that is hard to reach.

Pros:

  • The filter has an impressive number of NSF certifications and removes 99% of contaminants.
  • It removes lead, mercury, and other metals.
  • It also removes pollutants like pesticides or asbestos.
  • It can remove BPA and pharmaceuticals from your drinking water.
  • It lasts for 200 gallons, and there is an indicator light that will let you know when you should change it.
  • You can find detailed information about the filter’s performance on the manufacturer’s site.
  • It works with many Frigidaire side-by-side models but will fit other appliances compatible with the 2x2x9” dimensions.

Cons:

  • It won’t fit Frigidaire models older than 2009.
  • There isn’t much information on which non-Frigidaire appliances it’s compatible with.

Click here to check price on Amazon

Waterdrop NSF 53&42 Certified DA29-0020B Refrigerator Water Filter

Price level: $

Technologies used: Carbon block

I highly recommend this water filter if you are looking for a budget option. It’s a pack of three filters for the price of a single filter from a manufacturer. It replaces 20 different models of filters, mostly used with Samsung appliances. It uses a standard size and is likely to fit your fridge even if you don’t have a Samsung appliance.

Pros:

  • It’s one of the best values around.
  • A filter lasts for six months or 300 gallons.
  • The filter has obtained NSF 53 and 42 certifications for chlorine, lead, cyst, and benzene removal, among other contaminants.
  • The filter has obtained an NSF 372 certification for its lead-free design.
  • It delivers a flow rate of 0.5 GPM.
  • It can catch a majority of small particles with its one-micron size.

Cons:

  • It’s a product from a third-party manufacturer.
  • You won’t find a complete list of all the makes and models it’s compatible with.

Click here to check price on Amazon

Conclusion

I think the best refrigerator water filter is the EveryDrop filter made by Whirlpool. I feel confident recommending it because Whirlpool is a well-known manufacturer with an excellent reputation.

The EveryDrop filter is likely to fit your refrigerator since it’s compatible with a wide range of makes and models, but you should check the size of the housing just to make sure. It uses an activated carbon block to remove 23 different pollutants found in drinking water. It’s an excellent choice if you’ve never had your water tested and are unsure which chemicals or pollutants you need to target.

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