Find Discounts on Your Favorite water Products and Save Up To 20%!

Let's Go!

What Are The Different Types Of Water Filter Cartridges? Find Out The Facts

We may earn a commission if you click on a link, but at no extra cost to you. Read our disclosure policy for information.

Tim Rhodes

This article provides you information about water filter cartridge types.

How sure are you that your water is safe?

Water is an everyday need and part of our lives.

Especially clean, filtered, and safe for drinking that our body needs to take to keep up a healthy lifestyle and to work properly.

We all want safe and pure water to drink, for household chores, or in everyday use.

But water isn’t always clean and it does a cycle of continuous flow in our environment which is known as the water cycle.

In this article, we will discuss different water filter cartridge types and how it works in water filtration.


Activated Carbon Filter 

A lot of chemical and harmful substances like copper, lead, and more found from tap water are odorless and tasteless.

Most people are unaware that they’re drinking contaminated water.

So, the use of water filters is necessary.

This is the most common among all water filter cartridge types.

Made with a variety of organic materials such as coal, wood, coconut, and more.

This filter consists of several pores that will attract and trap the harmful substance which is the process of absorption.

It’s responsible for filtering out the most harmful substances like Chlorine-based chemicals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other substances that make a foul odor and weird taste in the water.

Moreover, as it removes most toxins, it leaves the minerals needed in our bodies.

As effective as it is, there are still some impurities that can pass through carbon filters.

Its main disadvantage is that it will eventually be clogged up and needed to replace, meaning it’s a bit costly.

But still, most people love carbon filters because it’s cheap, very easy to install, long filter life, and it doesn’t use electricity.

Thanks to these filters, we can now produce much cleaner water than bottled waters that we brought from stores or even malls.

You also get to help to protect our environment from not using plastic that comes with bottled waters.

Ceramic Filter

It is a traditional method of water filtration that’s used around the world.

This type of filter uses a flower-pot shape that can hold enough gallons of water, then it goes to a filtration system and waits for the water to drop in a receptacle.

Just like the carbon filters, ceramic filters also have tiny pores that trap larger debris and bacteria out of the water.

What makes ceramic filters unique is that it consists of a silver lining that discharges positively charged metal ions that effectively removes bacteria and sediments.

However, it is a slow process of filtration, and it’s not effective in removing viruses or total dissolved solids (TDS). It needs proper cleaning and a change of cartridge.

People still choose ceramic filters because instead of a countertop water filtration system, these filters are installed under the sink or a portable filter one can use outdoors.

Another environmentally friendly water filter option because instead of buying bottled water that produces plastic, this water filter is also useful for collecting water in streams, lakes, and the likes.

Ceramic filters’ process of filtration is just like the way the Earth purifies its water.

Alkaline Ionizer Filter

Most people today remain concerned with the pH level of water, and so alkaline ionized filters became a fast-growing type of water filtration.

In this filter, a process called electrolysis that’s used which is good in “softening” the water, meaning it removes limescale.

The water will pass through some plates that are electrically charged, it will then be separated into two streams.

These two streams are alkaline and the other one is acidic.

It also consists of ion activated mineral rocks that when your water passes through it, the water will receive mineral content.

With this process, we now have your drinking water low in acidity, and it boosts up the pH level that will balance your water.

Alkaline Ionizer filter produces water that is more hydrated and healthy for your body.

It also helps to increase the body’s pH and helps to easily reduce a lot of illnesses, toxins, and conditions.

Initially, these filters are made for medical use, and later on, used for domestic.

Sediment Filters 

No one would love to drink water that has visible particles.

Sediment filters are responsible for removing particles like dirt, sand, dust, rust, and more.

It is commonly and widely used water filter in different establishments, also if the water comes from a lake or river.

This type of filter is made from wound string, rigid foam, but mostly from melt-blown Polypropylene which is great because it’s resistant to bacteria.

It comes with different filtering sizes, each has a specific particle that can remove.

How effective a filter and what it can filter are determined by a micron rating, the most commonly used is one-micron.

If the micron is lower, it means it’s a stronger filtration but can only offer a slow flow of water.

Different micron rating indicated in the following:

  • 5 micron or larger – can remove most particles that are visible to the naked eye – these large particles are then blocked
  • 1 micron – most commonly used, it can remove particles that are too small that one can’t see without a microscope
  • 0.5 micron – can remove cysts (giardia and cryptosporidium)

Unfortunately, even with a micron rating, sediment filters can’t filter out microscopic organisms and chemical substances.

It can only remove solid particles.

That’s why it’s added to other filters like Activated Carbon filter or Reverse Osmosis water filter, making it a pre-filter or the first stage in the water filtration system.

Another thing to look out for is you need to replace the cartridge regularly, which is simple and easy.

Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

In reverse osmosis filters, the process involves reversing the flow of water.

It may sound difficult to understand, right?

To simply put, the contaminated water is forced to pass through a thin membrane by high pressure.

The clean water passes through from a more-concentrated solution to a diluted solution, while the contaminants are left.

Reverse osmosis water filter works well in removing most pollutants, but it’s not effective in filtering out bacteria.

Nevertheless, it’s still popular for its ability to remove all sorts of contaminants the cleanest possible drinking water.

Another disadvantage of this type of filter is that it produces a lot of water waste.

This water waste or contaminated water goes down to the drain, while the clean water is separately going to a container or the tap.

Even though the process of filtration is really slow, it still shows a promising result.

Cleaning and changing of the filter are necessary to avoid building up of bacteria.

Another thing to consider is that reverse osmosis water filters use electrically powered pumps that can cost money.

Although there are common ones that can be used without electricity, it’s safe to consider what will benefit you more when it comes to results.

Proper cleaning may prolong the lifespan of this type of filter up to 2-3 years. 

UV Filter and Infrared Filter

Technologies nowadays evolve and developments made specially to help us more in our everyday living.

UV filters are the newest technology in water filtration.­

This process is also called ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, it filter water with UV filters is unique and environmentally friendly, it doesn’t need any chemicals or substances.

First, the water goes through a glass or a stainless steel chamber.

The water will then be exposed to an intense UV light from generated UV lamps, with a heat that is at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 °C).

Some will set up a screen to protect the lamp so it won’t cool down.

The intense heat will kill harmful organisms like bacteria, parasites, and viruses.

Although it’s effective at removing organisms, it doesn’t filter out contaminants like minerals and lead.

Third world countries mostly use this kind of filter as their water system, especially for large properties in rural areas.

The water tanks that we usually see, the area near the tank heavily rely on it mostly for clean and safe water.

UV filters are a quick and easy way to filter your water that won’t affect the taste or quality of it.

Think thoroughly about considering a UV filter because some of it is expensive and needs to work with energy.

On the other hand, an Infrared filter is commonly used in areas that don’t have a good source of clean water.

The water filtration process of the infrared filter uses heat and light that will negatively charge the water and will give it a softer feel like an alkaline filter.

Water Distillation

Zero installation of water filters is popular in today’s time because a lot of people are busy with either school or work.

Unlike the reverse osmosis water filters and alkaline ionizer filters, this process of water filtration is the simplest and has very high-efficiency.

It is also known for its ability to remove the highest level of contamination in the water such as viruses, lead, fluoride, and arsenic.

First in the process is to boil the water, where the bacteria are destroyed.

Those that can’t turn into steam, like minerals and other impurities, are left and will clean automatically or manually.

It will then capture the steam and cool it back down.

Then, in a separate container is the purified water.

Simple, easy, and effective.

With water distillation, most contaminants are removed and it also kills bacteria.

Interestingly, boiling is one of the oldest methods in water purification that’s still used to these days.

However, to produce a small amount of water it will take a long hour because it’s a very slow process.

Aside from drinking and cooking, distilled water can also be used as a humidifier, for cleaning, and in irons.

A replacement for filter cartridges is not often needed, but it’s still considered expensive because of its maintenance and its high use of electricity.

Also, its price in the market is a bit costly but the lifetime service it can give to your family is a great investment.

With proper cleaning of the filters, a water distiller can last 10 to 15 years.

Activated Alumina Water Filter

Most commonly used desiccant or a hygroscopic substance that’s used as a drying agent.

Activated alumina water filters act uniquely because instead of filtering out contaminants, this filter absorbs them.

With this filter being made by a highly absorptive porous aluminum oxide (AI2O3), the same substance found in sapphire and ruby, it’s specially designed to get rid of arsenic, fluoride, and other contaminants from your drinking water.

So, how does it work?

The tap waters need to flow first through an initialization process, which involves the back-washing and chemical treatment from the activated alumina granules.

Fluoride, arsenic, and other contaminants are then absorbed by the activated alumina.

The longer the contact between the activated alumina and water, the larger the amount of fluoride being absorbed.

But not all contaminants absorbed by an activated alumina water filter, it’ll be more effective if combined with another filter.

That said, it’s also kind of pricey.

Another thing to think about is its possibility of leaching aluminum in your water, which may be caused by a poorly set up filtration or low consideration for its pH level.

Again, like most water filters, proper cleaning is a must.

With activated alumina water filters, a regenerating agent is advisable for cleaning.

Common Setup for Home Water Purification System

Want to know what’s best for your home?

Different set up for watering purification are commonly used around the world.

But it’s always best to know what type of water filter and the joint water system that your house needs.

Knowing how each type of filter works, you can now carefully choose which to combine.

Moreover, it’s best to know the possible contaminants your water may get from your area.

The following are the suggested setup you can use for the house or a specific area of use:


Water Pitcher – composed of only one filter, so it’s either the usually activated carbon filter or a mixed with a sediment filter.

This is the simplest set up that provides the clean water you’ll need.

There’s no installation needed for you to use it after buying.

It’s also a convenient water filter because you can carry it around the house or even outdoors.

Faucet Water Filter – a well-made especially for the family that needs just the basic water filtration and steady water supply.

As its name, a faucet water filter is a convenient device that you attach to the faucet. 

Single-stage Countertop Water Filter – a filter suitable for people who don’t want to change the filter but need clean water.

You can use a countertop water filter for a very long time.

Single-stage Under Sink Water Filter – a type of filter that most people preferred.

The reason behind this is that you can hide this filter under your sink.

Making your place more pleasing.


Multi-stages Countertop Water Filtration System – if you want for a more advanced water filtration system.

By linking 2 or more water filters, you can make sure that your water is better and well-filtered.

One type of water filter can’t remove all kinds of harmful organisms and contaminants in your water, that’s why multi-stages water filtration is suggested.

Multi-stages Under Sink Water Filtration System – if you want an advanced water filter but don’t want to ruin the aesthetic of your kitchen or home, under the sink water filtration system is for you. 

Gravity Drip Water Filter – composed of a multi-layer filtration system.

Unlike most water filters that are mainly used inside our home, gravity drip water filters are used mostly for outdoor activities and for traveling.

A great choice for people that don’t have access to a kitchen or just renting a place.

Its process of water filtration is simple and easy.

You just need to pour your water into its container area and wait for a while.

After this, you have now filtered water that you can drink.

Benefits of Water Filter Cartridges

Our body needs water to work properly.

But tap water is not healthy enough for us and it can also cause disease and illnesses.

Some countries keep on using unfiltered water, and it brings life-threatening diseases to their community.

The water filter development is a great convenience to us, especially to this generation.

Clean and purified water is more accessible and portable because of these filters. 

Here are some of the benefits of using water filter cartridges:

Of course, the main goal of water filters is to produce unfiltered water.

Having safe water that you can surely drink is what we are all thankful for.

With the use of different filters, almost all the contaminants, pollutants, harmful chemicals, and microorganisms are removed even before it enters our body system. 

A highly recommended to use for our water supply.

Aside from clean water, water filters have a great contribution to protecting our environment.

Even though we know that bottled water is safe, its container is mostly made of plastic that one will throw away after use.

Plastic is one of the more pollutants that destroy our environment.

If we have a water filter installed in our house, we can just refill a reusable container. 

Good Skin

Chlorine is a substance that most water filters remove, this harmful substance is responsible for making our skin dry and dull.

Some water filters don’t only remove harmful substances but also add minerals and increase the pH level that is beneficial to our body.

Thus, giving us softer and younger-looking skin. 

Walter filters improve the taste and odor of the water.

Most people won’t drink dirty or clouded water, and if it has a foul odor.

Bad taste and foul odor usually show that the water is not clean and has potential harm in the body.

With water filters, elements that can cause harm to our bodies are finally removed. 

Surprisingly, water filters are helpful when a disaster happens near your area.

If floods or busted sewer lines happened in your area, chances of contamination in the tap water are high.

However, if you have a water filter installed in your house, your water is now protected from possible contamination. 

Water filters are great to help in saving money.

Yes, some filters may cost a lot, but it’s a one-time purchase.

Maintenance may be avoided through proper cleaning.

Also, most households store up bottled waters as a source of drinking.

Buying bottled waters is more expensive, especially if you add the delivery fee and tax from the store.

Final Thoughts 

Unsafe water can cause illnesses, disease, and can even be life-threatening if not carefully filtered.

With the help of water filters, we now have easy access to safe and clean water.

However, there are still limitations to each of these filters.

One can’t simply have the ability to filter out all pollutants, contaminants, and harmful organisms in the water.

They have different roles and a good combination of methods is a must for a water purification system.

Some filters are affordable and easy to install, while others need high maintenance and special care.

It is highly suggested that you should deeply understand how these filters work and what to combine to get the quality of water filter cartridge types you are looking for.

In a Hurry?

Take a look at the most popular and trending water products.