5 Best Reverse Osmosis Systems 2018 – Reviews & Guide

In a nutshell, reverse osmosis systems remove all impurities from water, so you get better tasting, cleaner, healthier drinking water. These products have been around for a while and have recently become a lot more popular due to issues regarding contaminated water (Remember Flint, MI?).

​With this recent boost in popularity, reverse osmosis systems now come in all shapes, sizes, prices, and brands, so it’s hard to choose the right one. We took a look at the 5 best reverse osmosis systems on the market now and reviewed them the best we could. We hope this helps you out!

​Top 5 Best Reverse Osmosis Systems 2018

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​PRODUCT

  • ​​Deals with more than 1000 contaminants
  • ​​Leak-free parts and installation
  • ​​Clear 1st-stage housing

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  • ​​Faster purification
  • ​​Designed-to-last filters and RO membrane
  • ​​Experienced manufacturer

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  • ​​Full Contact feature adds back calcium and magnesium
  • ​​7 stages allow for thorough filtration
  • ​​Fast water flow rate

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  • ​​Light and compact equipment
  • ​​Easy installation
  • ​​Good for small spaces

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  • ​​Transparent 1st stage housing
  • ​​Easy installation
  • ​​Combines 5-micron GAC and CTO filters

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TOP PICK

#1 ​​​iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage

​Editor rating:

  • ​​Deals with more than 1000 contaminants
  • ​​Leak-free parts and installation
  • ​​Clear 1st-stage housing

#2 APEC Water Systems ULTIMATE RO-90

​Editor rating:

  • ​​Faster purification
  • ​​Designed-to-last filters and RO membrane
  • ​​Experienced manufacturer

#3 ​​Home Master TMAFC Artesian

​Editor rating:

  • ​​Full Contact feature adds back calcium and magnesium
  • ​​7 stages allow for thorough filtration
  • ​​Fast water flow rate

#4 ​​​​APEC Water Systems RO-CTOP

​Editor rating:

  • ​​Light and compact equipment
  • ​​Easy installation
  • ​​Good for small spaces

#5 ​​​iSpring RCC7 5-Stage ​75 GPD

​Editor rating:

  • ​​Transparent 1st stage housing
  • ​​Easy installation
  • ​​Combines 5-micron GAC and CTO filters

The RCC7AK from iSpring is an undersink filter system for drinking water that comprises 6 stages and features alkaline remineralization. According to the manufacturer, this filter system can get rid of up to 99% of more than 1000 contaminants, including bacteria and viruses, giardia, calcium, sodium, arsenic, chlorine, and lead, among others.

This capacity is supposed to lead to better tasting and safer drinking water. Your ice cubes should be clear, and you should be able to use the filtered water even for preparing baby formula. According to iSpring, water processed by their system is better in terms of quality and safety than most bottled water.

What makes this product stand out is that it has a so-called alkaline remineralization filter, which reportedly adds good minerals back to your water to balance out its alkalinity. As a result, the water does not have that telling taste of RO-filtered water.

​Finally, there is an all-metal faucet of European design, and the connectors and lock are of the quick-fitting type, so installation and leaks should not be a problem. All in all, we think this is well worth the price. The remineralization filter resolves one of the worst things about RO water, so it easily wins over its competition in our opinion.

​Pr​​​​os

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    ​Balances alkalinity
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    ​Deals with more than 1000 contaminants
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    ​Leak-free parts and installation
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    ​Clear 1st-stage housing

​​​​​Cons​​​​

  • ​Complaints about housing leakage

This filter system from APEC Water Systems consists of 5 stages plus a lead-free chrome faucet. The filters are made in the US and carry NSF certification, and the entire system has a WQA gold seal certification.

The manufacturer guarantees removal of up to 99% of more than 1000 contaminants. These include lead, fluoride, chlorine, bacteria and viruses, arsenic, and heavy metals, among others. According to the company, the purification process of the ULTIMATE RO-90 system is twice as fast as that of other systems.

The first stage is a sediment filter, the second and third are carbon block filters, the fourth is an RO membrane, and the fifth is a refining coconut carbon filter. The system uses John Guest tubing and adapter, which are known for their leak-proofing, and the filters are designed to last twice as long as other systems.

Double carbon blocks are used for the ULTIMATE RO-90, and the blocks are designed to be large to allow them to remove the most amount of contaminants possible. This design also helps extend filter and membrane life.

In combination with the manufacturer’s decades of industry experience, these features make this water filter system very much worth the cash in our opinion. The filtering and refinement filters appear to be quite reliable, and we think they should last a long time given proper maintenance.

​Pr​​​​os

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    ​Faster purification
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    ​Designed-to-last filters and RO membrane
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    ​Experienced manufacturer

​​​​​Cons​​​​

  • ​No pH filter

Similar to our #1 pick, this RO system from Home Master has a great technology that makes its water better than that processed by other RO systems. It is the patented Full Contact technology, and it adds back beneficial calcium and magnesium to the water twice during the purification.

This is important, given the significance of these elements to humans, animals, and plants, and the fact that other RO systems are typically disliked because of how they strip off calcium and magnesium from water.

According to Home Master, this RO system can remove up to 98% of chemicals and contaminants from water and has a faster flow than do traditional systems. The maximum sediment is 5 NTU, maximum TDS is 2000 ppm, maximum hardness is 10 gpg, pH limit of 4-10, and maximum iron of 0.2 ppm.

The filters are designed to last long, and the filter change mechanism is easy to figure out. There are no wrenches required, and you need to change the filters only once annually or every 2000 gal, whichever comes first.

​In our opinion, Home Master’s RO system is definitely worth the price. It is noticeably more expensive than conventional RO systems, but the added benefit of their Full Contact feature is worth the premium for us.

​Pr​​​​os

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    ​Full Contact feature adds back calcium and magnesium
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    ​7 stages allow for thorough filtration
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    ​Fast water flow rate

​​​​​Cons​​​​

  • ​Very pricey

The first thing you will notice about the RO-CTOP from APEC Water Systems is that it is designed for countertop “installation” (There is virtually nothing that needs installing.). The entire system is light and relatively compact in appearance, so this is ideal if you want to get rid of pesky installation and have some extra countertop space to spare.

Similar to most other RO water filter systems, the RO-CTOP fits most standard faucets. The company explicitly states that this is not to be used with specially designed faucets or pull-out and sprayer faucets.

The entire system comprises 4 stages. The first is a quick-connect 5-micron inline sediment filter; the second is a quick-connect coconut shell activated carbon filter; the third is a high-injection RO membrane; and the last stage uses another quick-connect coconut shell activated carbon filter.

Purified water is produced at 3 gal/h, and the system can be used at a water pressure of 40-80 psi. According to APEC Water Systems, the RO-CTOP should be able to eliminate up to 99% of water contaminants and odors. It is also designed to be portable, so you can easily transport it to RVs, dorms, etc.

​Overall, the RO-CTOP is a cost-effective option for practical households and on-the-go individuals. It is light, compact, and easily portable, but it gets the job done. If you have a compatible faucet and enough counter space, you should be good to go.

​Pr​​​​os

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    ​Light and compact equipment
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    ​Easy installation
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    ​Good for small spaces

​​​​​Cons​​​​

  • ​Not undersink type

The RCC7 is our second RO system from manufacturer iSpring. This is an undersink water filter and softener that, according to the company, can remove up to 99% of more than 1000 water contaminants, such as sodium, viruses and bacteria, arsenic, lead, chlorine, and fluoride, among others. Similar to the first RO system from iSpring, this one is also reportedly safe enough even for preparing baby formula.

The system components are certified gold by the WQA and NSF/ANSI standard 58. These certifications ensure quality, durability, and therefore minimal maintenance effort. It comes with an all-metal brushed nickel faucet of European design, and the 1st stage housing is made of clear, see-through material, which makes routine quality inspection easy.

Your purchase should include the machine head with RO housing and 5th stage FT15, 3 pcs pre-filter housings, a pre-filter pack and premium RO membrane, a 3.2 gal pressurized tank, housing wrenches, 4-color tubings, spare fittings, O-rings, drain saddle, water detector, and a feed water adapter.

You should be able to install the RCC7 easily, considering that all necessary parts are already included and the connectors and the lock are of quick-fitting type. iSpring says installation should consume just a couple of hours.

​Given the fairly average price of the RCC7, we believe it is a good purchase decision. The durability of the parts and the features make this RO system just right for the price.

​Pr​​​​os

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    ​Transparent 1st stage housing
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    ​Easy installation
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    ​Combines 5-micron GAC and CTO filters

​​​​​Cons​​​​

  • ​Isolated reports about water taste and leaks

​The Winning Reverse Osmosis System

From our reviews, it is clear that the top RO system for us is the iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System. The sixth stage, that is, the alkaline remineralization filter, resolves one of the biggest problems encountered by households with RO systems. The water tends to have a distinct “filtered” taste due to the modified alkalinity, and this affects the taste of food and beverages.

 This feature, combined with the durability and longevity of the system parts, makes the RCC7AK worth its price. It may be a little more costly than many other RO systems, but the quality of the filtered water and the durability and longevity of the parts justify the little added cost.