Drinking water

The pros and cons of popular point-of-use water purification solutions

In this blog we review the pros and cons of four of the most popular water purification solutions of the kind you install directly on or near the tap. Known as point-of-use (PoU) systems, they are easy to use, simple to install and take up little space.

Point-of-use (PoU) systems are easy to use, simple to install, and take up little space. Here, we review the pros and cons of four of the most popular types of PoU water purification solutions:

  • Under-the-sink systems
  • Countertop systems
  • Faucet-mounted filters
  • Tabletop pitchers

Under-the-sink systems are installed, as the name suggests, under the sink or countertop in the kitchen, the bathroom and throughout the household, in office kitchens or even hotel rooms. The solution makes daily use more convenient as it is directly connected to the water inlet and often comes with a tank, as well as a dedicated faucet. The system often has a multi-stage purification process that includes sediment, carbon (activated) and reverse osmosis filters. Under-the-sink systems have been widely adopted in Europe and North America due to their aesthetic appeal – these units are concealed, leaving kitchen counters decluttered.


  • Convenient and aesthetic. No clutter on the kitchen or bathroom countertops.
  • Often based on advanced multi-stage purification processes, which can remove a greater range of potential contaminants.
  • The filters often only require replacement once a year.


  • Installation. Some under-the-sink system can be installed by the customer themselves and other solutions require a plumbing professional.
  • Space requirements. There has to be sufficient space under your sink for the system.

Prices normally range from 200-1,000+ USD

Countertops come in various shapes depending on their use and filter technology. They often come with a tap or faucet and multi-stage purification technology is possible, but more often they use carbon-based filters. Countertop units are extremely popular in Asian countries, including China and South Korea.


  • Minimal or no installation required.
  • Minimal costs.


  • Limited capacity compared to under the sink systems.
  • Reliability. Countertop systems with an electronic interface have a higher failure probability than under-the-sink systems.
  • Aesthetics. Countertop filters take up space and contributing to kitchen clutter.
  • Expensive running costs. You need to continuously change the filter.

Prices normally range from 50-1,000+ USD

Faucet-mounted water filters are installed directly on the faucet. The filter technology is often carbon based. These filters have been widely adopted, especially in developing regions like India and South Africa.


  • Minimal costs compared to countertops and under-the-sink systems.
  • Quite easy to install.


  • Aesthetics. The filters are often not very attractive, and they clutter the kitchen and faucet.
  • Lower efficiency compared to under the sink and countertop as the filtration process is often not as advanced.
  • Expensive running costs. You need to continuously change the filter.

Prices normally range from 25-200 USD

Tabletop pitchers need to be filled manually. While some are able to utilize a range of filtration technologies, most rely on carbon-based filters and gravity.


  • Portable. Tabletop pitchers can be taken out in the garden, for example.
  • No installation needed.


  • Efficiency. Water filtration is not as effective or secure as under-the-sink and countertop.
  • Manual refill. Need to continuously refill the pitcher.
  • Expensive running costs. You need to continuously change the filter.
  • Aesthetics. Clutters the tabletop.

Prices normally range from 20-125 USD.

There are several options to provide point-of-use water purification – countertop and under-the-sink are particularly well suited. Under-sink systems provide purified drinking water on demand, with no waiting for the filtration process to run its course, as is the case with pitchers. Under-sink systems also tend to have much greater capacity and much longer lifespans than pitcher filters.

If you want to make sure your water is clean, odor free, great tasting and environmentally friendly, use the available tap water and eliminate the need to buy bottled water with a point-of-use water purification solution.

Published on May 2020 in