11 Best Water Filter Pitchers for 2021 (And Why)

Water filter pitchers have become one of the most popular ways to get clean, contaminant-free water. Compared to a full-blown filtration system, water filter pitchers are compact yet fully functional, typically portable and relatively affordable.

However, while there are thousands of water filter pitchers on the market, not all are of the same quality and value. To filter out the best from this sea of pitchers, we need to look at the quality of the filter construction, filtering capacity, maintenance, cost and overall functionality.

With that said, we’ve rounded up the 11 best water pitcher filters for 2020, to help you pick the best one for you. 

11 Best Water Filter Pitchers
$69.95
3 new from $60.00
3 used from $64.35
as of October 9, 2021 1:18 pm
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$17.00
$24.99
6 new from $17.00
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$49.97
as of October 9, 2021 1:18 pm
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as of October 9, 2021 1:18 pm
Amazon.com
$69.90
6 new from $69.90
as of October 9, 2021 1:18 pm
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Last updated on October 9, 2021 1:18 pm

Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher

3 new from $60.00
3 used from $64.35
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of October 9, 2021 1:18 pm

PROS:

  • NSF-certified to remove chlorine taste and odor
  • Removes particles larger than 2 microns
  • Has a portable and handy design
  • Good water flow
  • Long filter life (6 months/150 gallons)
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

CONS:

  • Not suitable for heavily contaminated water
  • Only designed for microbiologically safe drinking water
  • No filter life indicator

One of the most popular filter pitchers on the market, the Aquagear has impressive filtration power making it stand out from its competitors. The pitcher removes up to 2000% more impurities than most other leading filter pitchers and is independently tested to remove over 99% of chlorine, lead, chloramine, arsenic and over 50 VOCs.

The Aquagear pitcher has good capacity, holding 8 cups (or half a gallon) of water. Its filtration rate is standard, taking about 10 minutes to filter a liter. You can use a single filter for up to 6 months or 150 gallons of water, which is an impressively long filter life.

An average household would only need to change the filter twice a year, which is a significant saving compared to models with shorter filter spans. So while the pitcher is somewhat more expensive than others, it makes up for this with the fewer replacements needed.

The Aquagear filter is of hardy construction and is made and assembled in the USA. It’s 100% BPA free, recyclable and vegan, perfect for health conscious and ethically minded people. It’ll last a long time with minimal maintenance. However, the design itself is rather bulky and not very stylish,

The Aquagear filter pitcher doesn’t remove microorganisms like bacteria and viruses, so if you have heavily contaminated water it’s best to go for a more intense filtration system.

Filtration Specs

The Aquagear filter uses a 5-stage process, incorporating high-quality activated carbon from coconut shells and ion exchange technologies.

ZeroWater 6-Cup Water Filter Pitcher

6 new from $17.00
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of October 9, 2021 1:18 pm

PROS:

  • NSF-certified a variety of contaminants
  • Removes almost all TDS
  • Enhances water taste significantly
  • Compact, space-saving design
  • Has a push-to-dispense spout mechanism
  • Includes a free Water Quality Meter to test your filtered water

CONS:

  • Small capacity which requires frequent refills
  • Slow filtration on second refills
  • Lower durability and has been known to crack or break

For an affordable and effective filtration option, we recommend the ZeroWater filter pitcher. The system has 5-stage filtration that significantly removes a variety of contaminants including heavy metals and inorganic non-metals like asbestos, chlorine, cyanide, fluoride, and nitrate. It’s also NSF-certified to reduce harmful lead and chromium.

One stand out feature of the ZeroWater is that it removes almost all Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and comes with a water quality meter for you to test it out yourself. This is quite impressive, as most filter systems don’t have the ability to filter TDS.

In terms of filter life, the pitcher filters around 40 gallons of water and should be changed when the TDS meter reads 006. The pitcher has a compact design that fits into even smaller fridges. It’s non-slip grip handle is handy for easier lifting. However, it only holds 6 cups of water, so this is best for a smaller household. If you consume more water, consider ZeroWater’s larger models.

Filtration Specs

ZeroWater uses a 5-stage Ion Exchange technology that removes dissolved solids, aluminum nitrate, fluoride, zinc, and more. It is NSF-certified to reduce Chromium 3 and 6 as well as heavy metals.

Brita Monterey with Longlast Filter

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as of October 9, 2021 1:18 pm

PROS:

  • Removes 99% of lead
  • Has electronic filter change indicator
  • Long filter life (6 months or 120 gallons)
  • Good aesthetic design that comes in blue, white, green, and coffee black

CONS:

  • Handle design that may trap water
  • Very expensive

When it comes to water filter pitchers, Brita is easily the most famous name on the market and with good reason. With the Monterey, Brita offers a large-capacity stylish pitcher that can be used for years.

The Monterey is compatible with both of Brita’s water filter cartridges, but we recommend using the Longlast Filter as it filters up to 120 gallons of water and only needs changing every 6 months. The Monterey will indicate when you need to change the filter with its electronic filter change indicator.

The 10-cup capacity makes this filter pitcher perfect for larger families, allowing you to drink filtered water anytime without having to fill the pitcher frequently. Also, the Monterey’s rounded shape makes cleaning easier, and its wide handle allows easier grip when filling and pouring.

However, one thing we noticed is that the handle can collect water inside, which can be difficult to clean.

Filtration Specs

The Longlast Filter uses active filtering agents that reduce contaminants like asbestos, mercury, cadmium, copper, zinc, and 99% of lead.

Brita Metro Filter Pitcher

Amazon.com
as of October 9, 2021 1:18 pm

PROS:

  • Portable, space-saving design
  • Equipped with an electronic filter indicator
  • Comes in several colors – like red, turquoise, and white
  • NSF certified
  • Lockable lid
  • BPA free

CONS:

  • Small capacity
  • Its standard filter needs to be replaced every 2 months
  • Reservoir can be hard to remove

If you’re looking for a portable, compact and small capacity water filter pitcher, the Brita Metro is your best bet. It’s compatible with Brita’s standard or Longlast filters, giving you more versatility regarding filter life and filtration capacity.

The Metro comes with a filter life indicator that accommodates both types of filters, so you know exactly when you have to change the cartridge. This highly popular filter pitcher improves the taste, smell and texture of water, and targets many common impurities in water.

The pitcher has a lower capacity, only filtering 5 cups of water at a time. It’s ideal for a single- or double-person household, where the filter only needs to be refilled 2-3 times a day. If you have a bigger household, you might want to consider buying a pitcher with a bigger capacity, as its small size will require you to refill the pitcher more often.

We like the Metro’s efficient design with a lockable flip top lid, which makes refilling and pouring a breeze. Because the lid is lockable, the chances of it flipping open and splashing water everywhere is non-existent. Also, the Metro’s slim design allows you to place it anywhere, on your kitchen counter or in the fridge, or to even fit it in a travel bag. Choose from 3 colors to suit your taste.

The unit comes with a standard filter to get you started, but we recommend switching to the Longlast filters for better results.

Filtration Specs

The Longlast Filter uses active filtering agents that reduce contaminants like asbestos, mercury, cadmium, copper, zinc, and 99% of lead.

Nakii Water Filter Pitcher

4 new from $27.99
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of October 9, 2021 1:18 pm

PROS:

  • NSF-certified to remove chlorine and other contaminants
  • 150-gallon filtration capacity
  • Slim, compact design
  • Sleek, stylish wooden cover handle

CONS:

  • Lid makes refilling more challenging
  • Doesn’t remove fluoride
  • Very fast filtration process

The Nakii water filter pitcher stands out with its sleek, clean design and small filter cartridge. But don’t let the size of the filter fool you. This filter pitcher is highly effective and improves the taste and quality of your water. It is NSF-certified to reduce rust, mercury, chlorine, and sediments, along with any unpleasant odors and tastes.

We liked its compact design and construction, slim enough to fit on a fridge door shelf. It’s sturdily made with durable materials that can withstand daily wear and tear. The wooden cover on its handle adds an elegant, natural look to the filter pitcher.

The Nakii holds 7 ½ cups, and each filter has a 150-gallon lifespan. One controversial feature of the Nakii filter is its fast filtration process. In fact, it can filter more than 1 liter of water in just a minute. While this means that you can have clean water whenever you want it, without having to wait because you forgot to fill up the pitcher, in our experience, a slower filtration process means water that’s filtered better. 

Filtration Specs

Nakii water filter uses a patented Japanese Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF) with a micro-porous surface and a fiber-like structure. It is capable of filtering chlorine, mercury, rust, sediments, and a host of other contaminants.

LifeStraw Home Water Filter Pitcher

14 new from $76.08
Amazon.com
as of October 9, 2021 1:18 pm

PROS:

  • Eliminates all microplastics
  • Tasty, fresh water
  • Removes biological contaminants
  • Highly attractive design.
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Made from borosilicate glass
  • 7-cup capacity

CONS:

  • It has 2 types of filters to be maintained
  • The glass pitcher won’t survive dropping
  • Filter made of plastic

Brought to you by the people who created the original award-winning straw filter, the LifeStraw water filter pitcher is one of the prettiest and most effective products on this list. It’s very stylish and can easily blend into even the most fashionable dinner tables.

What makes the LifeStraw filter pitcher stand out from its competitors is that it’s one of the few, if not only, water pitcher that removes biological contaminants.  It’s NSF-certified to remove bacteria and parasites, like E. coli, giardia and cryptosporidium. It also removes heavy metals, organic chemical matter, microplastics, mercury, copper, and chromium. This gives you the next level in protection.

Unlike most water filter pitchers that are made of plastic, the LifeStraw is made of a shatter-resistant borosilicate glass that is used on test tubes and beakers. You can always take out the filter cartridge and use it like an ordinary pitcher, with infusions, fruit or ice for example.

This pitcher can hold 7 cups of water and has a filter life of 40 gallons (2 months). While it’s overall very well designed, the durability of the pitcher would have been enhanced by a rubber or silicon protector on the lower half.

Additionally, while the pitcher is made of glass, the filter housing is made of plastic and goes quite deep. If you’re buying this filter because you want to avoid your water being in long-term contact with plastic, reconsider. Unless you’re filtering 1-2 cups at a time, the plastic housing will be sitting in the water.

Overall, it’s a sleek and sustainable design that’s easy to use, clean, and maintain.

Filtration Specs

The LifeStraw contains 2 types of filters that function as one:

  1. Membrane Microfilter with .2-micron filtration removes most biological parasites. Has a life of 264 gallons of water for 1 year
  2. Activated Carbon + Ion Exchange filter that needs to be replaced every 40 gallons of water, approximately 2 months.

Brita Stream Filter

Amazon.com
as of October 9, 2021 1:18 pm

PROS:

  • Unique filter-on-pour system
  • Compact, space-saving design
  • Instant filtration process
  • Reduces chlorine
  • Electronic filter replacement indicator

CONS:

  • Quite heavy and bulky
  • Its handle design is hard to clean
  • Short filter life – 2 months

Unlike most water filter pitchers that use a filter-on-fill method, the Brita Stream boasts a filter-on-pour feature. This means that you can fill up the pitcher quickly and immediately pour filtered water.

This novel filtration style is also what enhances the capacity of the model, because the entire filter is for unfiltered water. There’s no special reservoir that takes up a lot of space. The pitcher has a 10-cup capacity which makes it perfect for larger households. The design is compact and fits in comfortably into most fridges.

The filter lasts for about 40 gallons or 2 months, and the electronic filter replacement indicator will let you know when to replace your filter. It reduces chlorine, which improves the taste and odor of city water.

Since Brita Stream filters while you pour, the water can’t move faster than the filter can handle, especially if your water supply isn’t of good quality. If there are lots of contaminants in your tap water, this might not be for you, as it tends to pour slowly in each fill cycle.

Filtration Specs

Compared to other Brita filters that are compatible with Standard and Longlast filters, this one only uses the Stream filter. It is made with a proprietary dual-layer filtration technology and activated carbon which reduce chlorine taste and odor.

PUR 11-Cup Water Filter Pitcher

6 new from $69.90
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of October 9, 2021 1:18 pm

PROS:

  • NSF-certified to reduce chlorine and lead
  • Large capacity – 11 cups
  • Low price
  • Retains mineral ions like calcium, fluoride and magnesium.
  • Has a built-in LED filter-life indicator
  • Made from BPA-free material

CONS:

  • Slow filtration process
  • Requires replacement every 2 months
  • The plastic pitcher is quite thin and brittle.

The PUR 11-Cup filter comes at a surprisingly low price for its water filtering capabilities. It’s one of the most affordable filter pitchers on our list.

The PUR 11- Cup pitcher is NSF-certified to reduce mercury, copper, chlorine, along with trace levels of pharmaceuticals and industrial pollutants from your tap water. As the name states, this model can hold and impressive 11 cups of water, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for a filter pitcher with a larger capacity at a budget price.

The filter can provide you up to 100 gallons of water or approximately 2 to 3 months of use. Depending on the quality of your water supply and consumption, you might need to change your filter more often, and the ongoing cost should be considered when purchasing.

The PUR 11-Cup is very effective at removing most contaminants in water, but its complex filtering process can a while to filter an entire pitcher. The system has been known to take a while to filter, and it can go slower as the filter reaches its maximum filtration capacity.

Another thing we noticed is that this filter pitcher isn’t very durable, and the plastic can get brittle with use. You’ll have to be careful when handling the pitcher and avoid putting too much strain on the lower area if you want it to last longer.

Filtration Specs

The complex filtration process uses activated carbon to remove small particles, chlorine, sediment, rust, copper and mercury.

Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher

Amazon.com
as of October 9, 2021 1:18 pm

PROS:

  • 100-gallon filtration capacity
  • Eliminates parasites and bacteria
  • Made from BPA-free, medical-grade materials
  • Easy to install, disassemble, and maintain
  • Has a “water dam” feature that secures unfiltered water when pouring
  • NSF certified

CONS:

  • Cannot remove viruses from tap water
  • No filter life indicator
  • The lid must be removed when refilling
  • Its replacement filters are quite expensive

The Clearly Filtered water pitcher is one of the most effective filter pitchers on the market, and when we say using the Clearly Filtered pitcher definitely gives you peace of mind that you’re drinking clean, contaminant-free water, we’re not exaggerating. In fact, if you pour red food dye into the pitcher’s reservoir, the water coming from the bottom will be crystal clear.

The system filters out an impressive 220+ toxi chemicals and metals commonly found in water, including bacteria like E. coli, giardia, and cryptosporidium, cysts, parasites, hormones, pesticides, chlorine, microplastics and lead.

The Clearly Filtered filter pitcher can hold 10 cups of water and has a 100-gallon filter life or approximately 4 months of use. This suits most households.

Probably the biggest drawback of this water filter pitcher is its price tag, and its replacement filters aren’t cheap too. Also, it doesn’t have a filter life indicator, so you’ll need to keep track manually.

But from a water quality perspective, the Clearly Filtered water pitcher is one of the best and worth your money.

Filtration Specs

The Clearly Filtered water pitcher uses a Granular Activated Carbon filter made from high-quality coconut shell carbon. It acts like a magnet to attract all and remove the over 220 contaminants this filter targets.

Invigorated Water pH Restore Filter

5 used from $30.69
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of October 9, 2021 1:18 pm

PROS:

  • Removes most common contaminants
  • Improves water taste and smell
  • Increases alkalinity of water
  • Mineralizes drinking water
  • Has easy-to-fill lid design
  • Anti-slip base and easy grip handle
  • Large capacity

CONS:

  • Filter is prone to clogging
  • Doesn’t come with pH tester

This pH Restore filter from Invigorated Water does more than simply remove contaminants. It goes a step further increase the pH level, or alkalinity, of your drinking water, making for water that’s healthy and tasty.

The system uses a complex multi-stage process that adds essential minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc in your drinking water. The resulting water is alkaline ionized which can have antioxidant properties, purported to be good for your health.

The maximum filtered water capacity of this pitcher is 8 cups, which is standard and suitable for a large household. In terms of filter life, the pH Restore lasts for 96 gallons. The pitcher itself is easy to fill and comes with a digital filter life indicator. The anti-slip base is a nice touch, which enhances the durability of the pitcher and reduces potential accidents.

Filtration Specs

Invigorated Water filter uses multi-stage filter made of zeolite, activated carbon charcoal, and ceramic ball blend to ensure addition of healthy minerals, and give you better tasting water.

Invigorated Water pH Replenish Filter

Amazon.com
as of October 9, 2021 1:18 pm

PROS:

  • Reduces common contaminants
  • Increases pH level of water 
  • Mineralizes drinking water
  • Multi-use pitcher – coffee, tea, or fruit-infused water
  • Ideal for hot and cold drinks
  • Made from borosilicate glass

CONS:

  • Very small capacity
  • Can’t control pH levels
  • It may over mineralize your drinking water if left too long
  • Requires transferring of drinking water to another container
  • The glass pitcher breaks if mishandled

If you’ve been waiting for a truly plastic free filter pitcher, this is it. The pH Replenish by Invigorated Water is the only plastic-free model on our list and comes at an affordable price too. It’s a modern, stylish design that’ll be welcome by even the most critical water snobs.

Like the pH Restore, the pH Replenish also has alkalizing properties that add minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium which increases the pH of your drinking water between 0.5 to 2.0 pH points from the starting pH level. It removes heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride, chloramine, free radicals and foul taste and odors. And it does all this stylishly.

The pH replenish filter pitcher can hold 4 cups of water, and its filter bag lasts up to 105 gallons of water or 6 months. Apart from filtering your drinking water, this pitcher can also be used to make fruit-infused water, iced tea and coffee. Simply remove the filtration bag and use for other purposes. One amazing feature is that the filter can handle temperatures from – 40°C to 400°C, making it ideal for both cold and hot drinks.

One thing to note – avoid leaving water sitting in the filter with the filtration bag in for long periods of time as this cause the water to absorb too much of the minerals.

Filtration Specs

The pH Replenish water filter pitcher is made from borosilicate glass with a stainless-steel mesh cylinder which holds the filter bag. Its filter bag contains calcium, zeolite, tourmaline, and several other ingredients that filters and mineralizes your drinking water.

What is a Water Filter Pitcher?

A water filter pitcher is what it sounds like – a pitcher with a filtration system that removes contaminants from your water. These pitchers are typically easy-to-handle, portable devices that work in two ways:

  • Filter-on-fill: This is the most common method used for water filter pitcher filtration. For this, water is poured into a reservoir in the pitcher, which is connected to the filter. As gravity pushes the water to drain from the reservoir, it streams through the filter and ends up in the pitcher. Filter-on-fill pitchers offer more contact time between the water and the filter, resulting in cleaner water. However, the reservoir does take up a lot of space.
  • Filter-on-pour: Only a few models on the market have this method of filtration. Here, the entire pitcher works like a reservoir, with the filter attached near the spout. As you pour the water out, it goes through the filter and comes out purified. This is a novel method for pitcher filtration, but it can be slower as you have to wait for the water to come through the filter every time you want to drink a glass of water.
Parts water of filter pitcher explained

Pros and Cons of a Water Filter Pitcher

Like all water filtration systems, this too has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a quick look.

Pros:

  • Affordable – Filter pitchers come at a variety of prices, from around $25 to upwards of $250, but compared to other systems like under-sink filters and whole-house water filters, filter pitchers are quite inexpensive. This makes it the perfect choice for someone on a budget who wants clean drinking water.
  • Portable – You can leave a filter pitcher on the kitchen counter, but if you want to take it to your bedroom or outside for a barbecue, it’s easily done. No other filtration system offers this convenience.
  • Effective – Although they’re small, these filters work quite effectively. They’re excellent at removing chlorine from water (the main issue most people have with city water anyway) and they also get rid of other harmful substances like lead, mercury, nitrates, nitrites, pharmaceuticals, sediment, rust, dust and a variety of others. Some systems are certified to remove up to 250 or more contaminants while more advanced filter pitchers can even remove biological contaminants like bacteria, viruses, spores and cysts.
  • Temporary – By temporary, we mean that you don’t have to make structural changes or call in a plumber to install your filter pitcher. You simply purchase it and put the parts together. This is perfect for renters or students, who may not want to splurge on a more comprehensive filtration system.
  • Enhances Water – The water that comes out of a high-quality filter pitcher significantly tastes and smells better, with a crisp, fresh feel.  You’ll be able to tell the difference.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t remove all contaminants: If you’re water supply is highly contaminated, especially with biological impurities, a more complex system would suit you better. Filter pitchers aren’t made to disinfect and purify water, they only filter water, enhancing the taste and quality overall.
  • Slow filtration rate: For a larger household that uses a lot of water, a filter pitcher will mean having to wait. If you forget to fill up the pitcher, or if the pitcher’s capacity is quite small, you may not have the water you want when you need it.
  • Shorter filter life: While an under-sink filter can last from 6 to 12 months, a water filter pitcher’s longest life is about 3-4 months. This means regular replacements and ongoing costs.
  • Expensive in the long run: While the initial cost is low, over time the number of replacements significantly add to the cost of the system. If you use more than 2 gallons (32 cups) of water a day, in the long run a filter pitcher will cost you more than an under-sink filter. Consider buying a system with a higher capacity in this case. 

Who Should Buy a Filter Pitcher?

With so many disadvantages, you might be wondering if it makes financial sense to buy a water filter pitcher at all. Filter pitchers are perfect for you if:

  • You’re a renter, a student or on holiday and don’t want to make too many changes in the place you live. You just want an easy solution for clean drinking water.
  • You’re on a tight budget and spending a lot on a more sophisticated filtration system isn’t for you.
  • Your water is relatively clean. You just want to improve its taste by reducing chlorine and unwanted smells and tastes.
  • Your household doesn’t consume a lot of filtered drinking water, so the capacity of a filter pitcher is more than enough.

If any of the above are relevant to you, then a filter pitcher may be your best solution.

How to Choose a Water Filter Pitcher?

A simple search on the internet will bring up thousands of water filter pitcher models but not all of them are created equal. When choosing a filter pitcher, there are several factors to consider to help you select a high-quality product that’ll do what it says. We’ve used the following criteria when selecting our top 11 filter pitchers and you can too.

  • Target Contaminants – One unfortunate thing about many filter pitchers is that they don’t often list what contaminants they remove, unlike other filtration systems. However, a quality model should be able tell you what contaminants it removes. Some filter pitchers are even NSF certified to remove up to a certain percentage of various contaminants, like chlorine and lead. Look for this information as it’ll indicate how transparent the manufacturers are and also whether the product is what you need for your water.
  • Filter Lifespan – While some sophisticated cartridges have a life of up to 6 months, most filter pitchers typically last for 2-3 months, depending on your water quality and usage. This correlates to about 100-200 gallons of water. Some pitchers are on the lower end and only filter around 40 gallons while others filter through an impressive 320 gallons or more. The longer the filter life, the less you have to replace them and the more you can save.
  • Filter Life Indicator: This is not essential but it’s a handy feature to have. Most filter pitchers will have an electronic filter life indicator, which will tell you when you need to replace the filters.
  • Filtration Speed: It’s a fine balance between speed and efficiency when it comes to filter pitchers. You don’t want a filter pitcher that filters too quickly because more contaminants are removed with a longer contact time between the filter and the water. On the flip side, a very slow filtration speed can indicate a clogged-up filter. Some highly effective models have a low filtration rate while other models filter so quickly you wonder if they’re doing anything at all.
  • Materials Used: The quality of the materials used for the pitcher and filter have durability and health implications. Most filter pitchers are made using BPA-free ABS plastic, while some use glass and metal. Cheaper models may be more brittle and prone to cracking and breaking.
  • Pitcher Size: The pitcher capacity can range from around 4 cups to 15 and more, depending on the filter pitcher model. Pick one that suits the needs of your household.
  • Ease of Cleaning: A filter pitcher should be cleaned out periodically to remove build up of contaminants in the device. For this, it should be easy to take the parts apart and put them back together again. Some devices trap water in their handles, which can end up developing mold and bacteria.
  • Brand: There are so many brands out there when it comes to filter pitchers, but a few dominate the market because they were among the first. Buying a branded filter gives you the peace of mind regarding the quality of the model. Big brands are able to pay the huge costs associated with independently testing their products and having them certified. Also, they’re more transparent about the mediums used in their filters and stand by their products.
  • Customer reviews: This is a very tricky one. There are no filter pitchers on the market with 100% positive customer reviews. There will always be 5-10% of customers who didn’t like the product for one reason or another. When reading customer reviews, you have to exercise some caution. Not all reviews are genuine. Glowing reviews could have been compensated for by the manufacturers, while bad reviews could be from competing filter pitcher brands or from a customer who didn’t follow the instructions. What we’re saying is, be critical about individual customer reviews.

What’s in a Filter Pitcher Cartridge?

Filter pitcher cartridges vary depending on the model, but most work with activated carbon. In addition to this, different textures and matrixes are used to trap contaminants and keep them from infiltrating into the container.

Activated Carbon is excellent at filtering pollutants out of water, typically using materials like coconut shells and husk, as well as charcoal. Most multi-stage water filters will include at least one layer of activated carbon. It has excellent filtering properties, but because they take time to filter water, they can slow down the pressure. Activated carbon typically removes chlorine, chloramine, chemicals, VOCs, herbicides, pesticides, organic compounds, bad odor and taste and water hardness causing minerals.

Activated carbon comes in two configurations – carbon block and granular activated carbon (GAC). Both are made from ground carbon, but the difference is in how efficient they are in adsorbing. Carbon block has more surface area and a better capacity to remove contaminants than GAC. 

Brita longlast water filter inside

Brita Longlast Filter. Check Price Here.

Best Water Filter Brands

We’ve already talked about the importance brand in filter pitchers, but let’s cover this in a little more detail. Remember that we’re not saying these are the only good brands on the market. Instead, we’re simply looking at these most popular brands and why they make good choices.

  • Brita: Probably the most recognizable brands in water filtration, Brita have been around since the 1960s. All Brita filter pitchers are NSF-certified and made of high-quality BPA-free plastics. The company keeps innovating and improving their filtration technology, resulting in newer and better filter pitchers over the years.
  • PUR: PUR is well-known for their faucet filters and filter pitchers and is one of the leading competitors to Brita. They’ve been on the market for over 30 years. Their filter pitchers are all NSF certified and are among the most popular filter pitcher brands on the market. They offer a wide range of models.
  • ZeroWater: A younger brand, ZeroWater have positioned themselves as a competitor to Brita, often making direct comparisons to Brita products. ZeroWater offers several models of filter pitchers which are among the best on the market. At present, this brand only focuses on filter pitchers.
  • Aquagear: Aquagear is a new player in this crowded field but have quickly distinguished themselves with their single pitcher model that’s one of the most popular on the market. The company was founded in 2014 in Southern California and has tested their products against NSF standards.

The Bottom Line

As we’ve discussed, a water filter pitcher is a highly effective and easy way to get clean, filtered drinking water without a lot of investment. With such fierce competition among the top brands vying for your attention, filter pitchers have continued to advance and improve, with longer lasting filters, better construction and improved designs. Overall, filter pitchers are a good way to remove the most obvious contaminants for better tasting, fresher drinking water. But remember that if you’re using more than 2 gallons of water a day, a filter pitcher may actually be more expensive than other filtration methods.

If you’d like a more automatic filtration system, still with a minimal investment, consider a faucet filter.

For whole house systems, read our comprehensive guide here.

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