9 Best Activated Carbon Filters Available On The Market

Activated carbon filters are highly porous filters made from activated carbon material. They effectively remove contaminants, impurities, and odors from air, water, and various substances.

The activated carbon has a large surface area which traps pollutants within its microscopic pores. This filtration method is commonly used in air purifiers, water treatment systems, and industrial processes to improve air and water quality by removing harmful substances. 

In this article, you’ll learn everything about the Activated carbon filters.

Activated Carbon Filter Review: How Reliable Is It?

9.5Total Score
Ease of Installation

Activated Carbon Filters: Introduction

Activated carbon filters effectively reduce taste, chlorine, and odor in water. In water treatment facilities, chlorine & chloramines are commonly used as disinfectants but can produce carcinogenic by-products. These disinfectants can persist in your drinking water, imparting a chemical taste.

Activated carbon eliminates organic compounds that contribute to unpleasant taste and odor in water. By adsorbing contaminants onto its surface, the carbon filter ensures that clean and pure water flows into your home.

Comparison Of Activated Carbon Filters

SpringWell CF Whole House Water Filter SystemRemoves 10+ contaminants, Catalytic Carbon + KDF process, 1,000,000 gallons filter lifeCHECK PRICE4.4 / 5 
Big BerkeyRemoves 200+ contaminants, Activated Carbon + Ion Exchange process, 6000 gallons filter lifeCHECK PRICE4.6 / 5 
Epic Smart ShieldReduces 70+ contaminants, Mechanical + Carbon + Ion Exchange process, 651 gallons filter capacityCHECK PRICE4.5 / 5 
Aquasana Rhino1,000,000 gallons capacity, 10-year limited warranty, High flow rate
4.5 / 5 
Clearly Filtered Water PitcherRemoves 365+ contaminants, Mechanical + Carbon + Ion Exchange process, 100 gallons filter lifeCHECK PRICE4.7 / 5 
iSpring WGB32B100,000 gallons capacity, Great filter life, 1-year warranty
4.6 / 5 
Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under the Sink SystemReduces 232+ contaminants, Mechanical + Carbon + Ion Exchange process, 2000 gallons filter lifeCHECK PRICE4.6 / 5 
APEX EXPRT MR-2050750 gallons capacity, 1-year warranty, Simple installationCHECK PRICE4.4 / 5 
Evo E-1000 Whole House Water FilterRemoves 150+ contaminants, Sediment + Coconut Shell Carbon process, 80,000 gallons filter lifeCHECK PRICE4.5 / 5 

Types Of Activated Carbon Filters

Here are the types of activated carbon filters: 

1. Carbon block filters

A carbon block comprises small granules that are tightly bound using an agent. When contaminated water enters the filter from one side, it passes through the carbon block and releases the purified water from the top. The surface area is significantly expanded by grinding the carbon into finer granules, enhancing its filtering capabilities.

Activated Carbon Filters

2. Granular-activated filters

Granular activated filters consist of activated carbon granules that facilitate smooth water flow. The water effortlessly passes through the cartridge, moving in a single direction, and comes into contact with the activated carbon.

3. Radial flow GAC filters

Radial flow carbon filters merge the advantages of carbon block surface area and the flow rate of GAC filters. However, the filter also incorporates granules to enhance the flow rate. Water enters the filter radially from the side of the cartridge. 

This combination efficiently utilizes the carbon block’s surface area to ensure improved water flow.

Top Activated Carbon Filters In The US Market

Here are the top activated carbon filters in the US market: 

1. SpringWell CF Whole House Water Filter System


  • Removes 10+ contaminants
  • Catalytic Carbon + KDF process
  • 1,000,000 gallons filter life
  • Lifetime warranty

Springwell CF is perfect for someone searching for the top activated carbon filter. It reduces contaminants in your water. This filter outperforms most other whole-house systems due to its certified KDF & catalytic carbon coconut shell filtration media.

The SpringWell model minimizes a large number of contaminants. It comes in 3 configurations, including one to three, four to six, and more than seven bathroom units.

It offers exclusive benefits to SpringWell, such as an unparalleled limited lifetime warranty and a 6-month money-back guarantee.

  • Eliminates harmful contaminants
  • Great taste of water
  • Soft skin with the water
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 6-month money-back guarantee
  • Minor issues

2. Big Berkey


  • Removes 200+ contaminants
  • Activated Carbon + Ion Exchange process
  • 6000 gallons filter life
  • Lifetime warranty

Big Berkey is perfect for someone interested in a hassle-free countertop carbon filtration system that can accommodate larger quantities of water.

This Berkey maintains secrecy regarding most materials used in its 6-filter media blend. The ceramic-style Black Berkey elements incorporate coconut shell carbon media.

Big Berkey eliminates a lot of contaminants by using its carbon elements. It comes with a 3,000-gallon lifespan. In addition, Big Berkey has a durable design.

Big Berkey is fit for a family of four individuals.

  • Capacity to supply up to 16 people with clean drinking water in emergency situations
  • Great addition to your kitchen
  • Quick filtration system
  • Durable design
  • Tasty water
  • Minor issues

3. Epic Smart Shield


  • Reduces 70+ contaminants
  • Mechanical + Carbon + Ion Exchange process
  • 651 gallons filter capacity
  • Lifetime warranty

The Epic Smart Shield is perfect for someone who wants to eliminate maximum contaminants from tap water. You get pure water on demand at an affordable rate.

The Epic Smart Shield has an IAPMO certification to NSF Standards for its performance.

The Epic Smart Shield uses a solitary filter cartridge crafted from 100% recyclable activated coconut carbon. It efficiently captures impurities through the adsorption process.

The Epic Smart Shield is officially certified by IAPMO to NSF Standards for removing contaminants.

  • Great filtration performance
  • Good value for money
  • Easy to install
  • Minor issues

4. Aquasana Rhino


  • 1,000,000 gallons capacity
  • 10-year limited warranty
  • High flow rate
  • Simple installation

Aquasana Rhino consists of a pre-filter and a main tank. It comes with an activated carbon filter within the main tank. The pre-filter employs a fine screen and removes soil & dirt particles that prevent clogging of the main tank.

It utilizes activated carbon material to eliminate unpleasant tastes, odors, and organic chemicals from your water through absorption.

Aquasana Rhino has approximately ten years of life before replacement. It has a 1,000,000 gallon filter life.

The Aquasana Rhino features a single input and output valve that simplifies the installation process and allows effortless attachment of additional systems to the main t

  • Amazing purchase for your household
  • Great tasting water
  • Low maintenance
  • Smart design
  • Minor issues

5. Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher


  • Removes 365+ contaminants
  • Mechanical + Carbon + Ion Exchange process
  • 100 gallons filter life
  • Lifetime warranty

Clearly, Filtered Water is an affordable activated carbon filter on the US market. It is perfect for a family of 4 that eliminates contaminants.

Clearly, Filtered Water employs a filtration process that utilizes activated carbon, a woven mesh screen, and a composite shell. In terms of value, it is unmatched as a carbon filter that successfully reduces over 365 contaminants while being available at an upfront cost of slightly over $80.

The Clearly Filtered pitcher is made with granular activated carbon, an adsorptive filtration technology that effectively captures contaminants. It also incorporates a woven mesh screen to prevent the carbon media from clogging by large particles and a composite shell that enhances the water’s contact time with the filter.

  • Perfect for a family of 4
  • Comes with adsorptive filtration technology
  • Built-In Water Dam
  • Minor issues

6. iSpring WGB32B


  • 100,000 gallons capacity
  • Great filter life
  • 1-year warranty

The iSpring WGB32B is a superior choice for small homes that seek the convenience of an automatic filter that eliminates the need for manual filling.

The iSpring WGB32B has a three-stage filtration process that guides the water through a sediment filter & two activated carbon filters. It effectively eliminates soil & dirt particles from the water. Thus, iSpring WGB32B prevents clogging of the subsequent filters.

iSpring WGB32B efficiently eliminates prevalent water contaminants by using a 5-micron sediment filter & two CTO coconut shell carbon block filters. Additionally, the system boasts an impressive filter life of one year.

  • Excellent all around carbon filter
  • High quality protection for your family
  • Superb customer service
  • Easy to install
  • Minor issues

7. Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under the Sink System


  • Reduces 232+ contaminants
  • Mechanical + Carbon + Ion Exchange process
  • 2000 gallons filter life
  • Lifetime warranty

The Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under the Sink minimizes more contaminants than its competitors. It is perfect for someone who wishes for advanced filtration.

The Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under the Sink offers comprehensive treatment for under-sink drinking water by incorporating an activated carbon filter, a dedicated fluoride filter, a heavy metal and VOC filter. 

Clearly Filtered comes with an exceptional lifetime warranty.

  • Compatible with any sink
  • Portable and space-saving design
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Easy to install
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Minor issues



  • 750 gallons capacity
  • 1-year warranty
  • Simple installation

APEX EXPRT effectively absorbs undesirable odors & flavors in the water while targeting numerous common organic contaminants such as fluoride & chlorine.

APEX EXPRT has a 5-stage alkaline filtration process that improves water’s pH value and quality by adding potassium, magnesium, & calcium.

APEX EXPRT comes with a simple installation process and compact size. It has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Better tasting water for less money
  • Great filter for apartment
  • Very good quality
  • Easy to install
  • Minor issues

9. Evo E-1000 Whole House Water Filter


  • Removes 150+ contaminants
  • Sediment + Coconut Shell Carbon process
  • 80,000 gallons filter life
  • Lifetime warranty

The Evo E-1000 Whole House Filter operates on a cartridge-based design that employs multiple cartridge filters and effectively reduces numerous contaminants within the entire water supply of a home.

The Evo E-1000 utilizes an enhanced form of activated carbon known as catalytic carbon filter media that enables removal of contaminants.

Upon installing this system, you shouldn’t experience any significant decrease in water flow or pressure. With a service flow rate of 15 gallons per minute, it surpasses the needs of most users, considering that the average whole home flow rate ranges from 6 to 12 GPM.

  • Good-quality carbon filter
  • Great customer service
  • Easy to install & maintenance
  • Minor issues

Key Factors To Consider When Choosing An Activated Carbon Filter

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Here are the main factors to consider when choosing an activated carbon filter: 


The flow rate is crucial in determining the speed at which you can access filtered tap water through a carbon filtration system.

The flow rate becomes even more significant when you opt for a carbon filtration system for the entire home. These systems are typically offered in various sizes that allow you to select the appropriate one based on your house size and water consumption.

Ensure to properly size the system to avoid water-flowing issues around your home.


Carbon filters can remove a lot of contaminants because they’ve been upgraded to catalytic carbon or because they’ve been combined with other filter media, like ion exchange resin.

The warranty of your filter should be more than one year.


You can compare the costs of different filters and then decide which suits your budget and needs.


The lifespan of an activated carbon filter is around 10-12 years.

Installation And Maintenance

The installation process is a significant consideration that can influence your decision on purchasing a filter.

If you’re not inclined towards DIY projects and prefer the convenience of accessing filtered water directly from your tap then, explore carbon systems that can be installed directly at your water line.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) On Activated Carbon Filters

1. What does an activated carbon filter do?

Activated carbon filters leverage their extensive surface area and countless pores to effectively eliminate harmful chemicals through adsorption. During the adsorption process, air compounds interact with the carbon, adhering to its surface and effectively removing contaminants from the air.

2. Are activated carbon filters worth it?

Activated carbon filters eliminate chlorine and its associated unpleasant taste and odor. Premium activated carbon filters can remove 95% or more of free chlorine.

3. What are the drawbacks of activated carbon filters?

One of the major drawbacks of activated carbon filters is that it doesn’t remove all the contaminants from the water.

Conclusion: Activated Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters offer exceptional performance in removing chlorine, improving taste, and eliminating odors. They come with high-quality filtration capabilities that effectively remove a significant portion of free chlorine. This ensures clean and pure water.

If you want to purchase Activated carbon filters, consider the filter’s speed, performance, price, and lifespan.

Please use the information in this article and choose your favorite activated carbon filter on the basis of your budget and needs.

I hope this article on activated carbon filters sounds helpful!

Note: Meta Description

Discover the top activated carbon filters for US buyers with my comprehensive guide. Learn the science, types, and key factors to consider when choosing the perfect filter for your needs.

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