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TAPP Water vs. cheap Products

by in TAPP Water 2021-10-24

Looking for a sink water filter? Finding lots of cheap water filters on Amazon but don’t know which one to buy? Here’s why you shouldn’t buy any water filter unless it’s been independently tested by a trusted lab.

Can you trust a cheap water filter for the sink?

It’s become easier than ever to manufacturer cheap consumer products in China. Therefore the Internet, Amazon and millions of small online stores provide super-cheap copies or alternatives to established branded products.

But when it comes to drinking water, don’t gamble. Many of the product descriptions on Taobao & Jingdong are simply fabricated. They claim 7 stage filters when in fact it’s a standard activated carbon filter with low quality. If it looks too good to be true then it probably is.

While testing over 30 water filters as part of the research for TAPP these are some of the issues we found with the cheap sink water filters:

  • Leakage due to low quality connections, cartridges and lack of pressure testing of the cartridges
  • Completely false promises about removal of substances from the tap water (we tested the filter water in a lab)
  • Filtering process adding metallic taste to the tap water or discolouration due to chemicals used in the filter cartridges
  • Difficult or impossible to attach to a faucet due to poor connections or missing adapters
  • Promised filters that last 6-12 months but that lost filtering effect after just a few months
  • Product manufacturer increased the cost of the cartridges after purchase or even worse went out of business which mean that cartridges were not available at all
  • Made up filtering technologies such as 7-stage filtering process with mineral stones, insufficient amounts of Ion Exchange Raisins and other materials with no proven effect

In conclusion several of the sink filters were pure placebo and others only lasted a few months of usage.

We tested several cheap water filters for you.

We compared the apparently best water filter in detail and also made two water tests. The result was terrifying. The filter has no heavy metal after installation. After two months the result was the same. So no effect on the most dangerous substances.
The material was a cheap plastic. Even the screw connections were made of plastic. For comparison, TAPP Water has the most durable plastic material and all screw connections are made of stainless steel.

After two months of use, we cut a TAPP Water and a cheap water filter. Complete filter materials are missing. Left TAPP Water, right the cheaper Taobao product.

TAPP-Water vs. cheap China Product - Filter 2
TAPP-Water vs. cheap China Product - Filter 1

The photos say everything and you can see why there is no filtering on the cheap product.

Best Sink Water Filters

So what are the best water filters for the sink if I don’t want to spend €500 or more for an under-the-sink installation?  

The best alternatives are

  • Water pitchers by well known brands that clearly state what and how much in terms of volume they filter
  • Sink faucet water filters such as TAPP since they provide the most bang for the buck in terms of volume, water quality and convenience
  • Gravity filters similar to pitchers are slow but sometimes have better filtering technology

How to select the best sink water filter

Here are a couple of simple tips:

  • Identify and clearly define your needs in terms of removal of contaminants (e.g. chlorine, lead, microplastics).
  • Always make sure the filters are independently tested by a certified lab to remove the contaminants you are concerned about and that results are published with recent source data and contact information.
  • Compare cost per volume of filtered water and not just the cost of the filter plus cartridges as this can make a huge difference.
  • Check customer reviews on Facebook, Amazon and other places.

Read our comparison of faucet water filters including Brita, PUR, Culligan and TAPP Water.

In Summary

Don’t just go for the cheapest but calculate what delivers the greatest value for your needs and select an independently tested sink water filter.

A faucet filter such as TAPP that costs €59 to buy or €89 for an annual subscription including cartridges will cost as little as €5 per month and save hundreds of dollars compared to bottled water or more expensive filters.

Don't buy cheap.

Cheap means a risk of poor material.

Your health is important!

Using the wrong water filter can damage your health.

Trust only real brands!

We found brands in Taobao that pretend to be German brands but are not registered in Germany!

Protect nature

Our plastic is made from high quality recycled material.

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