What We Like
- Very affordable for an under sink water filter
- Certified to remove unpleasant tastes and smells
- Easy to install and change filters
What We Don’t Like
- Does not filter other contaminants like lead or pharmaceutical residues
- Might negatively affect your water pressure
- Quality of the included fittings could be better
Wondering whether an under-sink filter will improve the taste of your water, but don’t want to drop $100 or more to find out?
The 3M Filtrete water filter will do the trick. It’s affordable and easy to install, and certified to remove “aesthetic impurities” like the bad taste and smell caused by chlorine.
For our review of the 3M Filtrete Water Filter, we tested and compared this simple under sink system to about a dozen other under sink water filtration system options. Combined with hours of intensive research on filter quality, we’re happy to be able to pass on everything we’ve learned.
The 3M Filtrete under sink filtration system comes with everything you need to install it on standard-sized pipes. This includes:
- The filter cartridge
- A connector
- Mounting hardware
Combine those with basic household tools, and you’ll be able to install this filter in under an hour. And since it uses your existing faucet, it won’t require any special DIY skills like some other under-sink systems do.
How It Works
The 3M Filtrete water filtration system attaches to your cold water line. It provides a simple carbon filter that reduces sediment as well as unpleasant tastes and odors.
Compared to other under sink water filters, this makes the 3M Filtrete an outlier. Most filter systems use at least two filtration stages to remove both odors and potential contaminants.
Pro Tip: this filter system focuses solely on making better-tasting water at the lowest price. If you are worried about specific contaminants in your water, there are other great filter options for that.
It’s also equipped with a 5-micron filter which will effectively reduce sand, soil, rust, and sediment. If your water is routinely cloudy, 3M’s under sink filter will clear it up in no time.
3M states that their Filtrete water filter is rated to a full 2.25 gallon per minute flow rate. This is quite impressive at first glance, as many other filter systems offer only .5 to 1 gallon per minute.
However, some owners report that their water pressure was affected after installation. Estimates of around 85% of previous water pressure seem common. So if your water pressure is already low, the Filtrete may not be the right system for you.
At 12 inches tall, 3M’s Filtrete is average-sized for an under sink filter system. It’s also quite easy to install, with one caveat. You absolutely must follow the directions to the letter when attaching the blue tubing.
Read through a few reviews on the Filtrete under sink system, and you’ll see a trend of people having problems with leaks. This is most often because the blue tubing wasn’t pushed far enough in. So when water pressure builds up, it will pop off and make quite a mess.
To prevent this problem, you have to connect the tubing fully. And this means pushing it hard into the filter bracket. Do that, and you’ll keep your kitchen dry and your nerves settled.
Aside from that detail, it’s a pretty standard installation. Follow the directions and have a few common tools on hand, and you’ll be able to set it up in under an hour.
The standard model 3M Filtrete water filter is made with activated charcoal as its sole filtering media.
This makes it more affordable than multi-stage systems, but focused only on removing bad tastes and smells. For fuller filtration of contaminants like lead, the Advanced and Maximum models are a better choice.
Cartridge replacements are reasonably priced at around $40. You’ll need to replace them every 6 months, for a yearly cost of $80.
As mentioned in the installation section, some owners have trouble with the tubing attachments for this filter system. This isn’t a problem of the build quality, so much as the directions that need to be followed for a successful install.
Aside from the tubing issues, the build quality for this filter is just okay. Most of the included parts are made of plastic, with just one metal fitting. But you won’t find another filter for this price with better quality parts. So even though it’s less durable the system is overall a good deal.
Warranty & Support
The 3M Filtrete under sink system is not covered by any warranties. This makes sense given its low price point. If you do have trouble with your system, be sure to check in with 3M’s customer service. They have a great reputation for being responsive and helpful with the Filtrete product.
Overall the 3M Filtrete water filter is the most affordable way to remove bad tastes and smells from your water. It’s easy to install if you follow the provided directions to the letter.
We’d recommend the 3M Filtrete if you’re looking for the cheapest way to get better-tasting water. But if you’re looking for a full-spectrum filter that can remove common contaminants, we’d recommend looking at a different under sink water filter.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does the 3M Filtrete Water Filter cost per gallon?
The 3M Filtrete is rated for 2,000 gallons or a lifespan of six months. At about $40 per filter cartridge, this means it costs about 2 cents per gallon.
What contaminants does the 3M Filtrete Water Filter remove?
The standard model 3M Filtrete water filter is rated only to remove aesthetic impurities. It does not remove common or emerging contaminants.
How long does the 3M Filtrete Water Filter last?
Each filter for the 3M Filtrete system lasts for six months.