What We Like
- Long filter life
- Very easy to install
- Excellent filtering certifications
What We Don’t Like
- Lacks a sediment pre-filter
- May negatively affect water pressure
- Bulky, so it may not fit under your sink
Most water filter companies pay attention to the quality of their products. But few take the next step of making their products as eco-friendly as possible. Epic leads the field in this regard, with sustainably sourced filter media and a recycling program for used cartridges.
So if you’re looking for an easy-to-install system that’s also good for the environment, Epic is probably the right choice. We tested and compared it to other under sink filter systems, and found it to be an excellent system for most people. In this review, we’ll share what we’ve learned — as well as who might want to pass on Epic and find a different system.
Compared to other under sink filter systems, the Epic Smart Shield may look like it doesn’t have all its parts. Where are the screws? Where are the fittings?
But that’s actually one of the best parts about the Smart Shield. They’ve streamlined the installation process so anyone can do it. All you need is the filter cartridge, provided connector, and included velcro.
Epic also stands out because of its compostable packaging and recyclable filters. In many areas, you can recycle it with “hard to recycle plastics” or #7 plastics
Epic also offers a great recycling program rewards, which allows customers to send 3 used Smart Shield cartridges back to the manufacturer in return for a free replacement.
How It Works
The Epic Smart Shield uses a unique solid carbon block for its filtration.
A solid block filter is how Smart Shield generates such excellent filtering performance, removing up to 99.99% of tap water contaminants.
Also unique among under sink filters, the Smart Shield is mounted with heavy-duty velcro. No tools are needed for installation!
Epic’s Smart Shield is well-decorated with NSF/ANSI certifications. Let’s take a closer look at all three:
Standard 42 certification means it’s equipped to filter out “aesthetic impurities”. If you’ve ever been bothered by the taste or smell of chlorine, the Smart Shield will take care of that.
Standard 53 certification protects you from taking in contaminants that are known to be detrimental to your health. Lead and mercury are included here, as well as common chemicals and pesticides.
Standard 401 certification is rarer, as it protects from a category called “emerging contaminants”. That includes contaminants that are suspected to be harmful but haven’t yet been regulated, like pharmaceutical runoff.
That’s all combined with selective remineralization that keeps beneficial elements in your water. Overall, it provides exceptionally pure and great-tasting water.
Reduced water pressure is a common complaint about the Epic Smart Shield.
This is the unfortunate downside of its dense filtering material. So while it provides excellent filtering performance, homes that already have trouble with water pressure may find it limiting.
In short, you want a water filter that works to make your water healthier and better-tasting. And you want it at a price that makes sense for your home budget. Keep reading, and we’ll cover each of these aspects in deeper detail.
Installing the Epic Smart Shield couldn’t be any easier. At most, you’ll need one pair of pliers — and that’s only if your cold water connector is stuck.
Turn off your water supply, unscrew the cold water side, and attach the Smart Shield’s connector.
Then use the heavy-duty velcro (included) to mount the filter cartridge to the side of your cabinet. Connect the hoses, and you’re ready to drink filtered water!
The Epic Smart Shield’s filters are made with a single block of activated carbon. This makes them incredibly effective at filtering out common contaminants.
The carbon block also gives best-in-class filter life — around a year with average use, or up to 16 months with infrequent use.
Replacement filters are fairly pricy at about $100. But since you’re only replacing them once a year, the total cost works out approximately the same as comparable under sink systems.
For a full look at everything the Epic Smart Shield filters out, check out their Performance Data Sheet.
The simplicity of the Smart Shield under sink system’s design is a big draw. With fewer moving parts, there’s much less chance of leaks or damage.
And the included parts are top quality. The whole system feels very solid and well made. Overall, it compares favorably with any other system offered at this price. But it has the advantage of being very easy to install, too.
Warranty & Support
Epic offers a 100% lifetime warranty with hassle-free returns and exchanges. This means that if you’re dissatisfied with the Smart Shield for any reason, you can return it for a full refund. For more information on their warranty and support, check out their returns and exchanges page.
Epic’s Smart Shield under sink water filter is an excellent choice for most people. We love that it’s easy to install and eco-friendly, with an extra-long filter life. But if you have limited space under your sink or sediment-heavy water, you may want to go for a different filter system.
You can find more info on the system and how to buy it here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does the Epic Smart Shield cost per gallon?
Epic’s Smart Shield is rated for 650 gallons, with filter replacements sold at about $100. This means it costs about 15 cents per gallon.
What contaminants does the Epic Smart Shield remove?
The Epic Smart Shield filter removes 99.99% of over 70 known tap water contaminants. Check out their Performance Data Sheet for a full listing.
How long does the Epic Smart Shield last?
The Smart Shield’s filter lasts for a year on average. If used infrequently, it can last for up to 16 months.