Reverse osmosis filtration systems have always been designed to be installed under your kitchen sink until a few innovative filter manufacturers have decided to challenge this idea and create the first countertop reverse osmosis water filter.

But they didn’t stop here, some manufacturers went even further and — as you will see in this article — they made these RO systems portable too!

In what follows, we’re going to take a closer look at zero-installation reverse osmosis water system that have newly surfaced on the market, how they work, and whether they’re as good as under-the-counter RO filters.

What’s in a Name?

In the intro to this article, we’ve mentioned zero installation RO filters and countertop RO filters. You can think of RO filters that require no installation as a subtype of countertop reverse osmosis filtration systems.

Not all countertop RO systems are zero installation, however, all zero installation RO systems can be countertop RO systems.

Also, countertop RO water filters are designed with less hardware in mind, therefore, they come without a filtered water storage tank, making them a direct flow system.


How it Works

Now that you’re aware of the general differences between on-the-counter RO filters and no-installation RO filters, let’s see how they operate and how you can benefit from a system like this.

The most obvious difference between a traditional reverse osmosis system and a countertop one is the location they’re installed at.

While the under-counter model installs under your kitchen sink to the cold water pipe, the countertop model attaches to your kitchen tap, except of course, the zero installation model, which isn’t attached to any water outlet whatsoever.

While countertop models will generally still rely on incoming water pressure and they’re direct flow systems, stand-alone reverse osmosis systems do not require it. They do, however, require electricity to operate.


How can you benefit from a countertop RO model?

Setting aside the differences between countertop RO filters that rely on incoming water pressure and those that don’t, here are some general ways these filters can be beneficial for you:

1.   They’re easy to install

Compared to traditional ro systems, countertop systems require a simple attachment to your drinking water faucet, and you’re good to go!

2.   They’re designed with portability in mind

If you live in a rental and you don’t plan on living there too long or you simply don’t want any major work done on your plumbing, these filters are an excellent choice, especially that you can take them with you to your next rental and set them up there.

3.   They’re direct flow systems

Traditional undersink reverse osmosis systems are equipped with a water storage tank, countertop ones have eliminated the need for one.

4.   They’re less bulky

Since they’re placed next to your kitchen tap, they’re designed to be smaller and more compact. Plus, without the storage tank, they take up less space than traditional systems.


Zero-Installation Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

Now that you know more about the benefits of a countertop reverse osmosis system, let’s our favourite subset of these filters, the zero-installation or no-installation RO filter.

The one that we carry in our online store is the Osmio Zero Installation Reverse Osmosis System. This is a stand-alone filter that plugs in an electrical socket and features a 4-stage filtration.

Compared to other filters in its category, this filter has multiple advantages. First, its design is completely different than what you would expect from a water filter. This RO filter looks more like a fancy coffee machine than a RO filter.

Secondly, it has features that go well beyond that of a RO system. Apart from filtering the water you put in it, it also boils water, allowing you to prepare tea or other things that may require boiling hot water.

Since it doesn’t require incoming water pressure, you can use it in any place with an electrical socket.

It’s easy to assemble, it features only four filter cartridges, so filter replacement is also easy, and has 0% water waste, which is unparalleled for RO filters.

And lastly, it’s easily portable, so you can take it with you if you move to another flat. Simply unplug it, place it in its box, and you’re good to go.


Which is Better?

As opposed to traditional systems, countertop filters certainly have the advantage of being less bulky and easy to place to another tap. Their pricing is also advantageous.

Of course, undersink models are much better at offering an in-depth filtration on account of having more filter cartridges to do the job.

And if you’re put off by having water stored before you can consume it, simply get a direct flow system.

Plus, plumbed-in systems have a much higher filtered water output compared to CT options, so if that’s important to you, you may want to consider this aspect too when making a choice.

In terms of pricing the zero-installation system does cost a pretty penny, but it’s also much more convenient than any other CT reverse osmosis system to date.

We could argue all day about the benefits and drawbacks of each system, but ultimately it all boils down to what you need.

Do you need a plumbed-in RO system that will filter water directly without pre-storage? Go for a tankless direct flow undersink RO system. They’re compact and well-designed, plus they don’t take up any space on your kitchen counter.

If having a plumbed-in RO filter doesn’t sound good to you, opt for one that can be installed on your kitchen tap or one that’s stand-alone.

Then there’s also the issue of getting rid of the contaminants that are making your drinking water less than the quality you want for yourself.



Finding the ideal filter for your home requires a bit of research. Portability is the one major advantage of CT reverse osmosis filters, so if you’re not moving out from your flat or home, portability may not be all that important to you.

Plumbed-in reverse osmosis filters, on the other hand, are perfect for anyone looking for a point-of-use system that is installed on the cold water line and offers a higher output of filtered water.


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