In the first part of this series, we discussed water quality in Hong Kong and how to choose the best one for your home and what factors to consider when making your decision. This week we look at the best brands available here in Hong Kong. Whilst there are many companies that make water filters, we tried to hone in on brands that specialize in water filters rather than general appliance brands who also stock water filters. We also worked hard to give you all the information you need to compare your choices apples-to-apples. We calculated the average yearly maintenance fee for each option based on the minimum replacement filter costs you would need to keep up for the systems to remain effective. We call out the filter type for each system so you know what you are getting. Below, the top home water filter system (listed alphabetically).
Point-Of-Use Systems: Under The Sink & Countertop Models
Aquasana – Starting From HKD 1,895
A leading name in water filtration, Aquasana has a range of filters to choose from. Their Aquasana AQ-500 (HKD 1,895), with an average yearly maintenance cost of HKD 1,330, is an under the sink filter that has a three step filtration process that can be installed yourself. Their Claryum filter is certified to NSF 42, 53 and 401 standards, meaning it will remove parasites, chlorine, VOCs, organic compounds, pharmaceuticals, and lead. Aquasana are the only filters to be certified to NSF 473, which reduces the level of compounds called perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) used in the manufacture of household goods and are being found in higher levels in drinking water in recent years. Boasting the same certifications, the brand also has a countertop model, the Aquasana AQ-4000 (HKD 998), with an average yearly maintenance cost of HKD 1,100, and a whole house filter, the Aquasana EQ-600 (HKD 17,900), that can lasts up to 5 years. They also have a shower filter, the Aquasana AQ-4100 (HKD 798), which removes chlorine and VOCs and uses coconut shell carbon.
Unique Selling Point: Aquasana filters have the most laboratory certifications of any systems we looked at.
Doulton – Starting From HKD 810
Based in the UK, Doulton has been making water filters since 1826. They have multiple models including the very well priced Doulton HCP (HKD 810). The countertop filter needs to replaced every six months, which means an average yearly maintenance cost of HKD 1,000. The system uses Doulton’s Ultracarb activated carbon filter, which removes parasites, chlorine, VOCs, organic compounds, and lead. Another countertop option is the Doulton HBS (M12) -(HKD 1,260). which fits on your existing tap and also has an average yearly maintenance of HKD 1,000. Their higher-end model is the Doulton EcoFast (HKD 3,120), an under the sink model- it’s HKD 450 for installation and HKD 1,000 for average yearly maintenance. This filter uses a four step process using a ceramic filter, activated carbon and ion exchange to remove parasites, chlorine, VOCs, organic compounds, and lead, and is both NSF 42 and 53 certified (the Doulton HCP is not certified). You can find these, as well as other under the sink and countertop models, at Green Box.
Unique Selling Point: Doulton’s under-the-sink is the most affordable option on this list.
Oasis – Starting From HKD 3,500
American brand Oasis has an under the sink water filter called the Green Filter (HKD 3,500) – it has an average yearly maintenance cost of HKD 3,916– two of the three filters must be replaced every 6 months and the third once a year. The filter is tested against both NSF 42 and NSF 53 standards (though not officially certified to those standards, see lab test results on their website) meaning it will remove parasites, chlorine, VOCs, organic compounds, and lead. The Oasis system uses a three stage filtration system: a sediment filter, a carbon filter and their remedi filter, which is responsible for removing heavy metals such as lead as well as pharmaceuticals.
Unique Selling Point: Two of the three filter casings are reusable/refillable so Oasis gets points for being the most eco-friendly.
WaterChef – Starting From HKD 2,500
WaterChef’s under the sink and countertop models use an activated carbon filter in addition to their own propriety filter and are certified to NSF 42 and 53, meaning it removes parasites, chlorine, VOCs, organic compounds, and lead. The WaterChef U9000 Premium Under-Sink Water Filtration System( HKD 4,500), HKD 5,000 with installation, and an average yearly maintenance cost of HKD 850, is sturdy and compact at only 23.5 H x 15.2″ W x 20.3″ D- a bonus in Hong Kong. The WaterChef C7000, HKD 2,500 and an average yearly maintenance cost of HKD 750, has almost the exact same specifications except it sits on top of your counter. They also make a filter for your shower, the WaterChef Shower Filtration SF-7C (HKD 1,350), which removes chlorine using an activated carbon filter- yearly maintenance comes in at HKD 760.
Unique Selling Point: WaterChef filters have an indicator light that lets you know when you need to change the filter and saves you money instead of guessing.
Free Standing/Gravity-Fed Systems: Countertop Models
Berkey – Starting From HKD 2,480
Made of stainless steel, the elegant Big Berkey Water Purifier (HKD 2,480), which can hold eight litres, and the Royal Berkey Water Purifier (HKD 2,680), 12 liters, are free-standing countertop filters. Their filter is called the Black Berkey Purification Elements. Whatever unit size you choose, you will get two of these filters and each unit can filter 22,720 litres of water. Berkey recommends replacing the filter every three years at a cost of HKD 980, making your average yearly maintenance costs only HKD 327. The Berkey system is tested again both NSF 42 and NSF 53 (though not officially certified to those standards, see lab test results on their website) meaning it will remove parasites, chlorine, VOCs, organic compounds, and lead. The Black Berkey Purification Elements filter use activated carbon and other materials to filter out contaminates and absorb heavy metal ions. They also have a shower filter (HKD 530), which will remove chlorine and lasts for one year.
Unique Selling Point: Berkey also offers an add-on PF-2 Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Filter if you are worried about fluoride (Hong Kong does fluoridates its water).
Pluvial Plus – Starting From HKD 1,600
Created here in Hong Kong, Pluvial Plus offers two different free standing filter units, both of which are 15 litres, the Counter Top Model (HKD1,600) and the Dispenser Model (HKD 1,600). You need to replace the ceramic filter once a year and the 5 stage filter twice a year, bringing the average yearly maintenance cost to HKD 885. They use a seven stage filter that includes a ceramic filter, an activated carbon filter, volcanic zeoites and other mineral stones. These work to remove chlorine, VOCs, parasites and heavy metals.
Unique Selling Point: Unlike most water filters that simply focus on removing harmful compounds, the Pluvial Plus filter actually adds minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium back into the water. This increases the water’s alkalinity, its mineral profile as well as improving its taste.
MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION: Read our full guide on how to choose a water filter for your home.
Photo courtesy of WaterChef.