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Finding the best refrigerator water filters is not the coolest thing in life: First, it has to fit your refrigerator and lifestyle needs. While some folks prefer regular water, others like to have chilled water.

Second, it must be within your budget.

Now you’re probably asking:

“How do I find a refrigerator water filter that works for me?

Well, this comprehensive article on best refrigerator water filters will help you do just that!

What is a Refrigerator Water Filter

Refrigerator water filters are gadgets that remove foreign matter and other toxins from the water that goes into your refrigerator’s ice and water dispenser. Most folks assume that their local tap water is 100% safe; however, there are numerous things that processing (treatment) plants do not clean and others that may get into the pipes along the way to their homes. The very reason why refrigerator water filters are needed!

The capacity of a refrigerator water filter is measured in microns. The lower the filter micron rating, the higher the filter can catch very tiny contaminants. All refrigerator water filters usually use granular activated carbon, with a standard rating of 20 microns.

Best Refrigerator Water Filters Comparison Table

 Refrigerator Water FilterFilter LifeUsers Ratings
Samsung model HAF-CIN/EXP Refrigerator Water Filter DA29-00020B (1 Pack)6 months or 300 gallons4.3
Frigidaire ULTRAWF Refrigerator Water Filter6 months or 200 Gallons4.3
EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 1 (Pack of 1)6 months or 300 gallons4.1
GE RPWFE Refrigerator Water Filter6 months or 300 gallons4.1
EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 26 months or 200 gallons4.1
Frigidaire WF3CB Puresource Replacement Filter6 months or 300 Gallons4.4
EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 46 months or 300 Gallons4.3
Best GE MWF Refrigerator Water Filter Smartwater Compatible Cartridge6 months or 300 Gallons4.5
3 Pack Waterdrop DA29-00020B Replacement for Samsung DA29-00020B, DA29-00020A, HAF-CIN/EXP, 46-9101 Refrigerator Water Filter6 months or 300 Gallons4.6
LG LT700P Replacement 200 Gallon Capacity Refrigerator Water Filter (ADQ36006101)6 months or 200 gallons4.6

Are there cheap refrigerator water filters (under $20)?

Cheap refrigerator water filters do exist. We have put together a quick list of options to help you find a fridge water filter under $20.

Best Frigidaire Water Filter – ULTRAWF Compatible Cartridge For Frigidaire Refrigerators & Ice Maker – Compatible with Puresource, Gallery, Professional Series Fridge, and Some Electrolux Models


The manufacturer has specially engineered this filter to work with the full range of Frigidaire compatible refrigerators & ice makers. Including a wide range of Gallery and Professional French Door and Side By Side Refrigerators.

Best Filters utilize best in class technology in removing Chlorine, Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, and Thallium from tap water. For the best performance, you are advised to replace the filter every 300 gallons of water or six months. The manufacturer includes a set of reminder stickers which are used to remind the user when it’s time to change the filter.

Crystala Frigidaire Water Filter – ULTRAWF Compatible Cartridge For Frigidaire Refrigerators & Ice Makers

Crystala Frigidaire refrigerator water filters are manufactured to be compatible with Puresource, Gallery, Professional Series Fridge, and some Electrolux Models. The filters fit the following Kenmore models: 469999 242017800,242017801 PS2364646, A0094E28261.

The filter gives a cleaner, clearer, and better-tasting drinking water through the use of an organic carbon block, triple filtration technology which reduces Lead, Iron, Mercury, and other pollutants.

With a price that is half of most brands, you get a quality and superior water filter. The filter life is 200 gallons of water or 6 Months, and it comes with a lifetime guarantee.

2 Pack Waterdrop DA29-00020B Replacement for Samsung DA29-00020B, DA29-00020A, HAF-CIN/EXP, 46-9101 Refrigerator Water Filter

The Waterdrop DA29-00020B filter is NSF certified. Ecolife manufactures this product. Ecolife have a reputation of making quality filters with exceptional performance.

Utilizing a highly efficient and revolutionary filtration system, it filters most of the impurities present in tap water.

All Ecolife filters come with a money back guarantee. They are guaranteed to be leak free when correctly installed.

The Waterdrop brand features the highest standard of pollutants and contaminants removal, including filtering out chlorine, rust, corrosion, turbidity, sediment, and cysts.

Types of Refrigerator Water Filters

Locating where your filter is installed in water and ice dispensers or an ice machine in your freezer, is the hardest part. The location of the filter depends on the type of the fridge filter. In this section we review some standard types of fridge filters and show you their location:

Grille Refrigerator Water Filters

A large number refrigerators use a long, slim filter cartridge fixed at the base of the fridge, next to the grille. Several, like the Whirlpool 4396508 filter, have a latch housing the filter that helps it blend in with the grille, in most cases making it difficult to locate. The filter can is removable with only a quarter-turn.

There are other filters located in the grille, such as the KitchenAid PUR Advanced 4396710 filter, which is fitted with a push button that dismisses the filter cartridge when pushed.

Drop Down Refrigerator Water Filters

A few refrigerator water filters are also more protected by being concealed inside a drop-down chamber/slot inside the refrigerator’s food section. The most popular are the Amana PuriClean II UKF8001AXX filters, which are usually found in KitchenAid, Amana, and Maytag refrigerators. Additionally, GE’s LG’s LT600P and SmartWater GSWF filters are placed in drop-down compartments. Sears Kenmore refrigerators which are made by made by either GE or LG may at times use drop-down filters.

Slide Out Refrigerator Water Filters

Most of the slide-out refrigerator water filters look the same as the ones found in the grille type. A few, such as the Aqua-Pure Plus DA29-00012A or PureSource2 WF2CB filter, use a button to eject the filter. In some refrigerators, you press on the filter itself to eject. In others, a steady quarter turn is needed before the filter is ejected, for example, the Bosch CS-52 filter.

Canister refrigerator water filters

These filters are compact and round barrel-shaped. They are often seen hanging down at the back of the food compartment in your refrigerator. Most filters, such as the Maytag UKF7003AXX or GE MWF, are removed by firmly doing a quarter turn of the filter. However, there are other filters, such as the Frigidaire PureSourcePlus WFCB filter, which is shielded within a plastic cup.

Removing the filter requires the use of a wrench. A rubber O-ring gasket is used in filters that have a protective cup. Replacing the gasket after every third change of the filter is highly advisable.

Inline Refrigerator Water Filters

There are other refrigerators which do not have built-in water filters. They depend on external inline filters which are joined through the water line. Despite the inconvenience of installing, they are advantageous since one can choose just about any inline water filter, it will not depend on the brand or model of your refrigerator! A good example is The GE GXRLQ water filter system which has an uncomplicated installation, consisting of a removable “twist & lock” cartridge.

Bypass (dummy) Refrigerator Water Filters

There are folks who use whole house filtration systems in their homes as a way of saving money by using bypass filters in their refrigerator. Such bypass filters do not have a filter media and only act to utilize the place of a supposedly optional refrigerator water filter. However, the fact of the matter is that most refrigerator water filter cartridges can eliminate many contaminants that would usually be missed by a whole house filter.

The truth is, not all whole house filters are similar, and there are some filters which are not as useful as others. For those who want to make the most out of their drinking water, it is necessary to use water filters designed for refrigerators instead of using dummy filters.

Refrigerator Water Filters Specifications: What are they?

When purchasing a new refrigerator water filter, you are confronted with many specifications which are confusing. What is the meaning of all these numbers? How do you I pick the best filter for my needs?

Refrigerator Water filters specifications comprise of information about the filter’s capacity and performance. The following may be included in such information:

Model or Part Number: The model or part number is either a combination of letters and numbers or a set of letters or numbers. In most cases, many different filter numbers can work on the same refrigerator model.

When shopping for another filter follow these steps:

(i)Find the filter number on the old filter already installed in the fridge,

(ii)Check on refrigerator owner’s manual for compatible filters or search on the internet using either filter part/model number or the fridge.

PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch) range: Water flowing through pipes in the home does so at force. The measure of the force at which the water flows is the water’s pressure. For items like the water dispenser inside the refrigerator to work correctly, water pressure is required. A refrigerator water filter must function within a PSI range compatible to the water supply’s force.

Find out the required water pressure range that is needed to operate the water dispenser by checking in the users manual. Most refrigerators have a PSI of between 30 and 120. However, this can differ depending on your refrigerator model.

Temperature range: Your refrigerator water filter functions within a specified range of water temperature. The filter may not run correctly if the water temperature drops below or goes above the specified range.

Gallon capacity: The gallon capacity on a fridge filter indicates how many gallons it will clean before replacement. The gallon capacity is broadly varied; it depends on the type of filter and brand. Ordinarily, if it is indicated that the filter has a capacity of 300 gallons, it means that it will clean about 300 gallons of water flowing through the filtration system. This number of gallons includes both drinking water and ice cubes.

Flow rate: The flow rate refers to the total time it will take for water to flow through the system and dispense. The flow rate is affected by water pressure, if the water pressure is low, the flow rate will be lower as well.

As a filter ages, the flow rate is affected. If in the filter’s specifications the flow rate is indicated as 0.3 gallons per minute, it means that for every one minute it will produce one-third gallon of water.

OEM: OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. All original factory parts have this number. Aftermarket parts do not have the OEM.

NSF International Certification: On some filters, NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) International certifications are listed. Mostly they are listed as certifications against Standards 42 and 53.

Standard 42 covers the filter’s capacity to reduce the presence of chlorine from tap water. On the other hand, Standard 53 covers the filter’s ability to decrease other contaminants such as chemicals, lead, and other microorganisms.

Best Selling Refrigerator Water Filters

 Samsung DA29-00020B / HAF-CIN/EXP Refrigerator Water Filter

The genuine Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Samsung DA29-00020B / HAF-CIN/EXP Refrigerator Water Filters are compatible with most Samsung side-by-side French-door refrigerators.

This original Samsung filter is professionally constructed and packaged. If you are you are looking for unmatched quality, we highly recommend this filter.


Filter Life: 6 months or 300 gallons (whichever comes first)
Flow Rate: 0.5 gallons per minute
Micron Rating: 0.5 microns
Operating Pressure: 30-125 psi
Operating Temperature: 34-100 °F
Filter Size: 8-7/8″ (Length) x 2″ (Diameter)
Country of Origin: Mexico

Contaminant Reduction
DA29-00020B meets American National Standard NSF/ANSI 401 testing for emerging contaminants in drinking water. The Samsung HAF-CIN filter cartridge replacement is also tested and certified by NSF International to meet or exceed NSF/ANSI Standards 42 and 53 for the reduction of:

  • Chlorine
  • Particulates Class I
  • Cysts
  • Asbestos
  • Atrazine
  • Benzene
  • Lindane
  • Carbofuran
  • P-Dichlorobenzene
  • Atenolol
  • Fluoxetine
  • Ibuprofen
  • Progesterone
  • Trimethoprim

More Best Selling Refrigerator Water Filters

Frigidaire ULTRAWF Refrigerator Water FilterRead Review
EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 1 (Pack of 1)Read Review
GE RPWFE Refrigerator Water FilterRead Review
EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 2Read Review
Frigidaire WF3CB Puresource Replacement FilterRead Review
EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 4Read Review
Best GE MWF Refrigerator Water Filter Smartwater Compatible CartridgeRead Review
3 Pack Waterdrop DA29-00020B Replacement for Samsung DA29-00020B, DA29-00020A, HAF-CIN/EXP, 46-9101 Refrigerator Water FilterRead Review
LG LT700P Replacement 200 Gallon Capacity Refrigerator Water Filter (ADQ36006101)Read Review

When does a Refrigerator Water Filter need to be replaced?

Usually, a fridge water filter requires being replaced every six months, though if your tap water contains higher-than-average pollutants, or if your water usage is above average, the filter may be changed in less than six months.

The longevity of the water filter is also affected by the times you make ice cubes every week. The more ice cubes are made, the lesser the shelf life of the filter.

Here are some indicators that your filter needs to be changed:

Indicator light: In most refrigerator models, there is an indicator light which will change from green to yellow, when the filter is almost in need of replacing. When that indicator light turns from yellow to red, you need to change the filter. In most models, the indicator light is located either above or near the dispensing station.

Bad taste or odor: if the dispensed water starts to taste or smell unpleasant, it is time to replace your filter.

Decreased water flow rate: When your water filter starts dispensing water slowly, it’s an indicator that it needs to be changed. Over time a water filter becomes clogged from catching contaminants. Once the filter is clogged, the flow rate decreases; water takes more time to go through both the filter and the dispensing system.

A Refrigerator Water Filter on Steroids!

EveryDrop by Whirlpool Refrigerator Water Filter 3

Filter Life: 6 months or 200 gallons (whichever comes first)
User Rating: 3.9
Certified Genuine: Yes
Flow Rate: 0.5 gpm (1.7 lpm)
Tested and certified for: Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air and Amana refrigerator systems
Pharmaceutical Reductions Certified by NSF: Yes
Total NSF Certified Contaminant Reduced: 66

What is the difference between an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) filter and an aftermarket filter?

The difference between OEM filters and Aftermarket filters is a question that buyers ask often.

An OEM part or filter in our case is one built and marketed by the same manufacturer as the original piece of equipment. These are the exact types of refrigerator water filters fitted in the refrigerator at the time of buying. In some cases, OEM is referred to as factory original.

Aftermarket parts are those that are not produced by the same manufacturer of the original equipment. However, they are built to match and function just as well as the original.

Both OEM and Aftermarket parts have advantages and disadvantages.

The most notable difference between OEM and aftermarket filters is pricing. Ordinarily, Aftermarket parts are about 60% cheaper than OEM parts.

The rationale behind this considerable price disparity is OEM filters are supplied to the market through a complex appliance parts supply chain, with numerous parties involved hence driving up the price.

Plainly speaking: the parts manufacturer sells to a distributor, the distributor sells to the retailer with a markup. Finally, the retailer sells to the consumer with a profit. All of the parties involved in the chain must gain from selling the item, which leads to higher retail price.

The primary reason why aftermarket parts are considerably cheaper than OEM parts is that they are available in numerous brands and options. Their supply chain also involves fewer parties. Mostly from a manufacturer of the component to the retailer.

Apart from price, OEM and aftermarket filters may vary in PSI range, gallon capacity, and some certifications, subject to the model of the refrigerator water filter.

Temperature range, water flow rate and capabilities for removing pollutants from water are mostly standard in OEM and aftermarket refrigerator water filters.

Highly Rated Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) refrigerator water filter

LG LT700P Replacement 200 Gallon Capacity Refrigerator Water Filter (ADQ36006101)

Filter Life: 6 months or 200 gallons (whichever comes first)
User Rating: 4.6
Certified Genuine: Yes
Flow Rate: 0.5 gpm
Pharmaceutical Reductions Certified by NSF: Yes (Standards 42 and 53)
Total NSF Certified Contaminant Reduced: 90% including Chlorine and odor

How Effective are Refrigerator Water Filters?

Currently, most refrigerators come with built-in water filters. It makes good sense to buy a fridge that will also filter your water? Although they are better than having nothing, refrigerator water filters do come with notable deficiencies when you analyze their performance against dedicated countertop or whole house filtration systems.

Does the size of refrigerator water filters matter?

The filtration medium used in almost all built-in refrigerator filters is activated carbon. These filters work using a process known as adsorption. In this process contaminants/pollutants are caused to stick to the filtration media. Activated carbon filled with holes and crevices, provides a broad surface area for adsorption to take place.

Two factors determine how activated charcoal filters efficiently reduce pollutants/contaminants: (i) size, and (ii) the time water stays in contact with the filter medium. Built-in refrigerator water filters utilize small filtration systems. Hence, there is a limited volume of filtration media used out of necessity. Additionally, because of the small size of the filter, there is a limited time that water comes into contact with the carbon. However, in much larger filter systems such as point-of-entry and countertop filtration systems, the filtration media is vast, and water stays in contact with the carbon for longer.

What Gets Filtered in refrigerator water filters?

Apart from bad odors and tastes, activated charcoal eliminates organic chemicals, benzene, chlorine, radon and several other human-made substances. Built-in refrigerator water filters do a reasonably decent job in removing these contaminants given the limited size of their filter medium. However, use of activated charcoal alone is not sufficient to eliminate all waterborne pollutants.

Carbon filters are limited or ineffective in eliminating a broad spectrum of chemical contaminants and heavy metals. Such pollutants and heavy metals include:

  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Beryllium
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Fluoride
  • Mercury
  • Nickel
  • Selenium
  • Sulfates
  • Thallium

Lead can be eliminated using very specialized activated charcoal filters, but such filters are rarely in use for refrigerator units. Reverse osmosis filters are very efficient in getting rid of lead, minerals, and heavy metals.

How convenient are refrigerator water filters?

Although a built-in refrigerator system provides some convenience, it is only usable in the kitchen. On the other hand, a whole house filtration system offers cleaner and healthier water from any tap within the homestead. It does not matter if you are cooking, washing dishes, doing laundry or bathing.

How long do refrigerator water filters last?

A filter with a limited lifespan leads to more expenses.
Filter replacement costs is another factor to consider when evaluating the effectiveness of refrigerator water filters.
Adsorption as a mechanism of filtration in charcoal filters leads up to clogging of the filter with contaminants and necessitating replacement. The rate of replacement is higher compared to a whole house filtration system. As such, whole house filters are more convenient and have lower maintenance/replacement costs.

Common Consumer Questions

Are refrigerator water filters safe?

Tap water is not safe for drinking. In most instances, it contains chemicals and other contaminants. Tests show that most filters eliminate about 92% of pollutants. Water from refrigerator filters is therefore safe for drinking.
They are easy to install and affordable. Don’t stay without one.

Do refrigerator filters remove fluoride from water?

Activated carbon filters used in refrigerators do not remove fluoride. Three kinds of filters can eliminate fluoride; they are reverse osmosis, deionizers, and activated alumina filters.

What does a water filter in a refrigerator do?

It eliminates chemicals, pollutants and other particulates from the water that goes through your refrigerator’s water and ice dispenser.

Most refrigerator manufacturers recommend that you change your refrigerator’s water filter once every six months. Although, six months the average period, replacement time can differ broadly based on numerous factors mostly usage.

In Conclusion:

When you find your refrigerator’s water filter, you will quickly know which type you have. When removing or replacing filters, you do not need to worry about spilling water since it closes the water valve on the line. When unsure about anything, consult the manufacturer’s manual of the water filter or refrigerator for directions.

Some refrigerators have an air filter that should need replacement regularly. These filters keep the air in your fridge fresh and odor-free. Don’t worry if your refrigerator does not have a built-in refrigerator air filter; there are lots of air fresheners in the market.

Refrigerator water filters are due for replacement after around six months of usage. However, if there is an odor coming from your water or it starts to taste awful, its time to replace the filter.

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