Best Taste and Odour Filters

Taste and odour filters are designed to target contaminants in tap water that alter the palatability of tap water, conferring it and often strange taste and odour. These filters are usually carbon-based, that is, they contain various combinations of activated carbon, which is one of the best filter media for improving tap water’s taste.

The most common complaint raised with respect to tap water is its strange taste and odour. In fact, many homeowners would gladly switch from bottled water to tap if not for the peculiar smell and taste of tap water. Thankfully, most residential water filters, whether under-sink filters or whole house filters, are designed to also improve the taste of municipal water, beyond their contaminant removal capacity.

What causes tap water to smell or taste bad? What can you do to get rid of taste and odour problems? Let’s see which are the best ways to get better-tasting tap water in your home.

Why does your tap water taste or smell bad?

Sometimes, you may notice an unpleasant smell when you turn on your tap or an unpleasant taste when you drink tap water. These can be caused by a number of factors including:

  • Chemical disinfectants: the use of chlorine or chloramine is a widespread municipal water disinfection method used to eliminate disease-causing pathogens and viruses from municipal water supplies. Chlorine has a strong odour that can be noticeable, especially if higher levels of chlorine are introduced to your water;
  • Sulphur bacteria: sulphur bacteria present in water produces hydrogen sulphide gas, which accounts for the sewage like smell or rotten egg smell your water may have;
  • Pipe erosion: old pipes can potentially introduce small amounts of iron, lead, copper to your tap water, which could introduce a metallic or sweet taste to your tap water;
  • Low pH levels: water with low pH can also have a metallic taste due to increased levels of zinc, magnesium and copper content;
  • Geosmin or algae blooms: algae blooms usually make water taste like dirt. While chlorine gets rid of algae present in municipal water supplies, the taste may still persist;
  • Bacterial build-up: sometimes, the bad smell of tap water could be caused by bacterial build-up in your pipes. To get rid of the bad smell, you need to flush your pipes.

Apart from these, there are other culprits that could interfere with the taste and smell of your water supply. Thus, volatile organic compounds, industrial solvents, pesticides, herbicides, sea water seepage could all alter the normal taste of water.

Of course, taste and odour issues are not the only ones making tap water less appealing. The appearance of tap water can also change, becoming cloudy or acquiring a brow-reddish colour. These too can be caused by various contaminants ending up in water supplies.

Whenever you notice any changes in the odour, taste or appearance of your water, you need to get to the root of the problem. You could start by alerting your water provider, who will carry out tests to find the cause.

Best Filters for Taste and Odour Problems

Beyond the contaminant removal advantages associated with carbon filters, carbon filters are excellent at removing unpleasant tastes and odours from your water. While these filters can be use on their own, they are usually associated with other filter media (e.g. ceramic filters) or filtration systems (e.g. reverse osmosis) for a complete and thorough filtration.

Here at, we offer both under-sink and whole house water filters for eliminating foul tastes and smells from your tap water. Here are our top picks:

DIY 4 Stage Ultracarb Home Drinking Water Filter System

Using a combination of ceramic filtration with activated carbon block insters, the 4-stage Ultracarb under-sink water filter provides a sub-micron filtration that helps eliminate bacteria, cysts, turbidity, fine particulate matter, chlorine, volatile organic compounds, lead, herbicides, and industrial solvents, providing clean and tasty water.

The filters within the system are manufactured by Doulton, a leader in ceramic filtration.

PurePro RS4000

This PurePro RS4000 filter is one of our favourites thanks to its user-friendliness, high-efficiency and 4-stage filtration process. The PurePro under-sink filter uses granular activated carbon to remove chlorine and organic chemicals, while in the last stage of the filtration process, an alkaline filter turns your water into perfectly alkalinised water through the trace amounts of healthy minerals it introduces to your water.

Osmio EZFITPRO-300 Undersink Water Filter Kit 

This easy-to-install EZFITPRO under-sink filter tackles a wide range of contaminants including chlorine, lead, insecticides, THMs, fluoride, and pathogens thanks to its 0.9 micron absolute filtration rating. This filter uses high-quality silver-impregnated Doulton ceramic filter with carbon block insert for an in-depth filtration, and no strange taste and odours in your water.

Osmio Chlorplus Whole House Filter System

This two-stage whole house filer system delivers chlorine-free and chloramine-free filtered water. The system is equipped with a sediment filter and a Pentek ChlorPlus-10BB 4.5 x 10 Inch Chloramine Filter, which is designed to filter down to 1 micron. This filter will ensure great tasting water in your entire home.

Watts Premier Triple Whole House Water Filter System

This 3-step filter systems uses a combination of sediment filter, granular activated carbon and carbon block filter, being highly effective at reducing unpleasant taste and odour causing contaminants like chlorine, VOCs and other chemical contaminants. The filters are housed in separate housings, making filter replacement very easy.

Filters in the system filter down to 5-micron and are replaceable every 6 months or after 40,000 litres.


Whether you decide on a whole house water filter or an easy-to-install under-sink filter, make sure you choose a system that contains carbon block or granular activated carbon filters. If unpleasant taste and odour issues are not the only concerns you have with your water, make sure to select a filter system that can deal with all contaminants that need to be removed from your water.


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