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Why water filters make a fantastic wedding gift

Give the gift of cleaner H2O, in an attractive countertop container

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ceramic water filter Walter

Wedding gift season is upon us, and we offer you this advice: Skip the stand mixers and the waffle makers this year and consider giving a water filter. Yes—a water filter.

While you’re more than welcome to consider giving any one of the several dozen kitchen and dining products we suggest in our 2019 home shopping guide—wink, wink—a water filter is an excellent idea too.

First off, nothing says “I care about your health and well-being” more than a device whose sole function is purifying a life-giving substance for consumption. If that isn’t enough, there’s the sheer beauty of many water filters in the market today.

Beyond the ubiquitous pitcher filter, there are larger “reverse osmosis” filtration systems that use semi-permeable membranes to trap a range of unwanted metals, bacteria, and other potential toxins. And then there are more glamorous countertop water filters, like the ceramic designs that gained popularity in the Victorian era when British company Doulton began producing them for the royals.

In-home water filtration systems garnered even more widespread recognition in the 1960s and ’70s as health-conscious movements swept the country. Today, as “wellness” takes over the cultural conversation, water filters are garnering more interest than ever.

The technical capabilities of each type of filter are hotly debated but, from a design standpoint, we’re most interested in Doulton-style countertop ones, often called “gravity-fed” filters for the mechanism used to extract particulates like dissolved metals from water.

Intrigued? Here are a few options—and their pros and cons—if you do consider gifting a water filter this wedding season.

Do keep in mind that water filters are not a long-term solution if you or your loved ones have substantive problems with the local municipal water supply. Independent tests conducted by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) point to under-sink systems as the best bet for filtering the broadest range of contaminants.

Walter water filter

  • $385

Ah, the Walter water filter. When it comes to good looks, you can’t beat this ceramic offering from Brooklyn-based Walter—which is why we included it in our 2019 Home Shopping Guide. The Walter water filter is available in six styles, and you can purchase Berkey-brand filter cartridges (including a specialty filter that purports to remove fluoride from water) on the Walter website.

Big Berkey water filter

  • $299

The Big Berkey has a Big cult following. Testing conducted by the Wirecutter showed that Berkey’s Black Berkey filter performs “spectacularly well” when it comes to removing heavy metals like lead from a drinking supply, but not nearly as deftly when it comes to filtering compounds like chloroform. (This is not likely a problem for you, reader, but: Buyer beware.)

Brondell H630 H2O+

  • $131

I first came across the Brondell H630 in a friend’s home in Mexico City, and the sleek countertop system has earned the stamp of approval from independent testers at the Illinois-based Water Quality Association. The folks at Brondell also tout quick installation and a filtration system on par with more complex under-sink units among the H630’s draws.

Propur brushed traveler

  • $199

Propur’s system, like the popular Berkey, has an eye-pleasing stainless steel body, but it’s available in both brushed and polished finishes. It, too, uses a gravity-fed filtration system, and, at $199, the smaller “traveler” size is the least expensive of its offerings.