A water filter pitcher is an affordable way to ensure that your faucet’s water is indeed clean. Clean water is perhaps the most basic thing all people need. But with almost all things that you can purchase, there are many water filters to choose from. But which water filter pitcher is best for you?
Well, we have some answers for you. We’ve done many research on these products and shared our findings below. Before you make your purchase, check out the rest of this page. You can use the table of contents just below to jump ahead to the sections that interest you most.
Brita Everyday Water Filter Pitcher Review
The BPA-free Brita Everyday water filter pitcher is a go to for most folks because of its very wide availability. And customers seem to be pretty fond of it. There are thousands of examples of satisfied users and many of them are happy using it.
Design and Size
The white and clear classic oval shaped pitcher is designed in such a way to leave you with the smallest possible footprint while still having a decent capacity. This unit is a 10-cup pitcher which is kind of the sweet spot for most folks.
The unit is constructed of mostly clear BPA-free plastic. The lid is easily removed for quick filling. Swapping out old filters for new ones is a cinch. You just grab it and lift. At first you might try to install it the wrong way, but it can only be installed in one way.
Don’t worry, you’ll know if you’ve installed the filter wrong. You must line up the groove at the bottom of the filter to the notch in the pitcher.
If you’ve been looking at lots of different water filter pitchers then you may have noticed that some of them are available in many different colors. This model is only available in white.
As far as removing stuff from the water, the filter is doing all of the work. So, in that regard, all Brita water filter pitchers are going to perform the same. This Brita model can filter out a lot of stuff, namely chlorine taste and odor, copper, cadmium, and mercury. But unfortunately there is no mention of these filters removing lead from your water.
But, perhaps that isn’t that big of a deal as lead pipes were typically used for hot water. So, if you are concerned with lead, just make sure that you always use cold water (which you should do anyway) for your pitcher.
Even if your primary concern isn’t lead, chances are you are concerned with the chlorine taste that is usually sometimes abundant in tap water. I, and many others can attest to this filter getting rid of that chlorine taste. Although, based on independent taste test, this unit doesn’t rank at the top.
When it’s time to change out the water filter, you will notice that water is filtered slower than when you first got started using it. That’s a clear sign. This model comes with an indicator sticker to help you keep track of when it’s time to change the filter.
The problem with the sticker is that it is very easy to forget about it. There are models like the Brita Atlantis that have an electric filter status indicator. This is much more convenient.
If you’re in a rush, you might notice that it takes a long time to filter the water but that’s because the filter is working. It’s important that you follow the directions. For example, when replacing a filter it’s important to flush it for at least 15 seconds.
- Removes lots of contaminants
- Easy filter installation
- Filters are available at many places
- You have to remove the lid to fill
- Can sometimes spill a little depending on how much filtered water is in the reservoir
- The lid does not cover the pitcher spout so airborne pollutants could get in
- It’s kind of awkward to hold
Clear2O CWS100AW Water Filtration Pitcher
As you come across different water filter pitchers, you might be thinking “these doggone things are all the same!” And that’s pretty much the case. But then you come across a unit like the Clear 2o CWS100AW and that notion changes a little bit. The Clear2o water filter pitcher is the most unique option on this page in my opinion.
Design and Size
The white and clear pitcher is a classic design (I’ve only seen it offered in this color). This pitcher is around the 10-cup capacity (more specifically 1.75 liters) which is really important for those looking to fit it on the refrigerator door for convenient storage. Although probably not high on your list of priorities, I did come across users whom claimed that the handle was very comfortable to hold.
A big thing to consider about water filter pitchers is that they generally take a long time to filter. You’re probably well aware of how annoying it can be waiting on the water to filter. The Clear2o speeds up this process with the quick connect hose.
The hose apparatus connects from the pitcher to the faucet and uses the faucet’s pressure to speed up the filtering process. After reading through some reviews I found that many customers really appreciated this feature and even compared it favorably to older filter pitchers that they used before.
But there is a downside to this hose connection. It doesn’t fit all faucets. So, if you’re faucet is of the spray variety you’ll have to look elsewhere for a water filter pitcher. Some customers are put off by the fact that you actually need to install the hose adapter on your kitchen faucet. Some folks have decorative stainless steel faucets and the little white adapter might not match well.
If you do decide to go with the Clear2o then you should know that the installation is simple. Anyone can do it.
A big plus with the Clear2o is that its solid block carbon filter is rated to a 50-gallon lifespan which is substantially more than most of the competition which is usually 40-gallons or lower. You can refill the pitcher almost 90 times before needing to change the filter. On top of that, it is said to remove more impurities than Brita. I’ve even come across users that claimed that the water taste much better using a Clear2o pitcher over Brita.
I like that the pitcher is completely enclosed including the spout. This means your water is better protected from airborne impurities that could be floating around while you refill your pitcher. The spout is only opened when you pour.
Another really convenient feature is the filter life indicator. Green means that the filter has some life left, while red means that the filter needs to be replaced. Simple.
- Fast refill – probably the fastest
- Solid carbon filter removes more impurities than loose carbon filter
- Lid spout only opens when pouring
- You will need to order filters online
- Have to install faucet adapter
Pur 18-cup Water Filter Dispenser Review
Another water dispenser that gets many high praises from customers is the Pur 18-cup model. This unit is a much large capacity pitcher than the Brita listed on this page. It makes this short list because it has a large capacity that might be more suitable for some households. So, before choosing this model you may want to make sure that you have the space in your fridge for it.
Design and Size
You’ll probably find that the blue accents of this Pur model is much more pleasing to the eye than the boring, bland, clear and white Brita model listed above. This unit shapes much differently than the pitchers on this page.
With dimensions of around 16 x 6 x 10 inches, you’d better make sure that you have enough space in the refrigerator for this thing. Not surprisingly, customers whom rate this water dispenser favorably are satisfied with this large size because it coincides with a large capacity. This 18-cup capacity translates to over a gallon of water.
I like that the unit is completely enclosed. This reduces the risk of germs and other pathogens getting into the water reservoir. Another huge benefit is that you won’t have to remove the unit from refrigerator to serve water. Instead, there is a nozzle, like those office water dispensers.
After researching the way that these filters I quickly came to the conclusion that it does a much better job that the its main competitor, Brita. As is the case with any water filter, the actual filter is what does all of the work.
This particular Pur filter pitcher uses the Pitcher Filter CRF-950Z, which is specific to certain models. It has a lifespan that is similar to that of the Brita listed above.
The sophisticated “Maxion” 2-stage filter technology is an activated carbon filter made from “heat treated” coconut shells. This system creates an ion-exchange that works to maximize contaminant reduction. The nature of the design creates approximately 200,000 square feet of filtration as Pur puts it “nooks and cranies” to filter your tap water.
I like that PUR draws some hard lines on how well their filters, well, filter. For example, they claim that their filters can remove up to 95% of mercury and 96% of trace levels of pharmaceuticals. They also claim it reduces microbial cyst and 21 known contaminants. This filter will also reduce the chlorine smell and taste. Still, after doing some research on their site, I couldn’t find any claims as far as percentages of lead removed.
Some complain that this filter does not remove fluoride, but it’s important to note that fluoride has a long history of safe use in drinking water. In fact, the ADA (American Dental Association) says that fluoride in drinking water can reduce tooth decay.
- Dispense water without removing unit from refrigerator
- Holds over 1 gallon of water
- Filters are available at many locations
- Dispenser is completely enclosed
- Filters slowly
- Will take up a lot of space in your refrigerator
Mavea 1018903 Elemaris XL 9-Cup Water Filtration
The Mavea Elemaris XL is a German made 9-cup capacity water filter pitcher. It is a unique offering from a company that truly stands out from rest of the pack. It is offered in vibrant colors and has a distinct design and value offering. Find out about this environmentally conscious company before you decide on a water filter pitcher.
Design and Size
If you have an appreciation for good-looking stuff, then this one will certainly get your attention. Your eyes may at first be drawn to the base. The feet are large, aesthetically pleasing, as well as functional.
The large feet prevent excess water and condensation from pooling at the bottom of the unit. And the rubber feet will prevent this model from scratching the dinner table or countertop. It is sturdy and less likely to be knocked over which could be important when using it to serve dinner guest.
I like that the Mavea comes in different colors; black, eggplant, ruby red, tangerine, and white. These fun colors are sure to get your attention and may even serve to add a splash of color as a center piece during dinner. The 9-cup capacity means that it should fit on your fridge door with ease.
If comfort is an issue, do note that attention was paid to the design of the handle to ensure that it’s comfortable to hold.
One of the unique characteristics that this filter offers is the filter buyback program. Mavea actually allows you to ship back used filters at the company’s expense (Mavea is the only company I’ve come across that does this).
The unique design of the filter allows water to flow consistently over the entire lifetime of the filter. Whereas with other filters, the filtration process slows down as the filter nears the end of its life. And also unlike other filters there is no presoaking required prior to use.
If you’ve tried different filter pitcher brands, then you may have encountered black specks. This comes from the carbon filter. While harmless, you probably don’t want to drink it. To reduce this, the filter has a micro-mesh filter.
Chlorine and other impurities change the taste of your water. You probably want water that taste like nothing. This unit is NSF certified to reduce the taste of chlorine.
During my research, I’ve come across several independent taste test and customer reviews. And from what I gather (and although this is completely opinion based) the Mavea is better in the taste department than both the Brita and the Pur. Some customers have even claimed that the Mavea also filters water faster than those two titans.
The pour through lid makes refilling your pitcher easier than any other model I’ve come across. You won’t have to use any elbow grease to remove the lid every time you need to fill it. You simply hold the pitcher under running water and the flow of the water opens up the lid. Once the reservoir is filled the lid automatically closes. But, there is one catch. If you overfill the pitcher it will leak at the handle.
The lid remains closed until you start to pour. This further protects your water from being exposed to airborne impurities like dust and pet dander.
The Mavea Smart meter measures a number of things; water hardness, water volume, and the length of time the filter is in use. Unlike other low tech filter indicators, i.e. Brita Everyday, this one automatically keeps track of when the filter needs to be replaced.
It is said to be after 40 gallons or about 2 months you will need to replace the filter. But according to some customers the reality is a bit different. Some say that the filter status indicator does not measure the amount of filtered water but rather the amount of time that has passed. In essence you could fill the pitcher leave it the fridge for 2 months and it will tell you that you need to change the filter.
- Filter buyback program
- Beautiful design
- Pour through lid
- Available in 5 different colors
- If you overfill it leaks at the handle
- Filter change indicator only keeps track of time passed rather than gallons filtered
ZeroWater 10-Cup Pitcher with Free TDS Meter (Total Dissolved Solids) – ZP-010
Out of all of the filters out there, you’re not going to find one that does a better job at removing dissolved solids from your water than ZeroWater. This is the only model that comes with a total dissolved solids meter.
Design and Size
Just like most of the other options on this page, the ZeroWater pitcher is small enough to fit on your refrigerator door. The color is a cool transparent blue. The lid stays closed until you pour. Outside of that, there isn’t much else to really love about the design of this unit.
In fact, I’ve come across more than a few reviewers that pointed out design flaws. For one, the spout is prone to spills. And don’t pour yourself a glass of water until all of it is filtered, else there will be spills.
ZeroWater makes some serious claims. One of them is that they are the only water filter that can produce bottled water quality drinking water. And a lot of emphasis is placed on TDS (total dissolved solids).
ZeroWater filters have been independently tested to remove the most dissolved solids in water than the other pitchers on this page. Numerous test show that zero water can reduce the total dissolved solids to 000 or thereabouts. There’s no doubt that this filter removes more dissolved solids than other models.
But here’s thing about TDS, according to Pelican Water Systems, “Elevated levels of TDS do not present a health problem and are actually good for you unless chemicals like chlorine and chloramines are present. Minerals such as calcium and magnesium are found in hard water and are good to have in drinking water.”
The way that ZeroWater presents this information about TDS might lead one to believe that all dissolved solids are bad for you. And that is not the case. The EPA allowable limit for TDS is less than 500mg per Liter.
The ZeroWater notion is that you’re better off having all of the TDS removed even if that means removing the good stuff too. Let’s assume that this true. But, what about taste. Water with too many total dissolved solids will taste terrible. But at the same time, most folks prefer water with some dissolved solids. According to a Canadian study, taste testers considered water with less than 300mg/L to taste great, while water with too little TDS was flat and “insipid”.
Even still, you might want water as close to zero TDS as possible. This one will do a better job of removing solids than any other on this page.
This filter is one of the slowest. The 5-stage filter will take a long time. Some have said that it takes up to 5 minutes to filter a pitcher of water.
- Removes the most total dissolved solids
- Comes with built-in total dissolved solids meter
- Top reated by many third
- Some complain that it spills easily due to poor design
- Spigot is slow
- Very slow filter
Why Should You Get a Water Filter Pitcher?
You have many options when it comes to filtering your home’s water. You could look into one of those expensive water filtration systems, they’ll undoubtedly do a better job than a simple filter pitcher. Of course, you could go with a reverse osmosis filter system, but most folks can’t afford it.
Faucet filters are convenient, but those things can actually look a little tacky. Although, the faucet filters that I’ve used seem to filter faster than the water filter pitchers. But replacement faucet filters seem to be a bit more expensive.
I like having a water filter pitcher, because I always have fresh, and really cold water on demand. Also, we like to use filtered water for just about everything that we cook as we’ve noticed that food takes better that way. For example, we’ve found that when you use filtered water for coffee it taste better and reduces scale buildup.
What to Look for in a Water Filter Pitcher?
In my opinion, owning some kind of water filter is a necessity. Whether it’s a model that attaches to your sink or a filter pitcher, you are guaranteeing you and your family cleaner water than you’d get straight of the tap.
All of the water filter pitchers on this page will filter most of the potentially harmful contaminates from your water. But there are some things that you might want to consider before plunking down your hard earned money.
- Contaminant Removal – this is probably what most people think is most important when looking for a new water filter pitcher. Removal of contaminants will result in much healthier and better tasting water. Some of the most common contaminants and heavy metals that these filters can remove are; mercury, chlorine, chromium, fluoride, cadmium, voc’s (volatile organic compounds) and copper. You may want to pay attention to the percentage of these contaminants that the filter removes. You will come across percentages ranging from 95-99.99%. Your findings will vary depending on the brand, model, and the specific contaminant. If your number one concern is having the purest water possible (from a water filter) then you can stop the search right now and go with a ZeroWater unit that meets your capacity needs. Personally, I wouldn’t rely on a simple water filter pitcher to ensure that my family and I were drinking clean water. In the U.S., for the most part, tap water is very safe to drink. And if there was a water crisis like the one in Flint, MI., would you put all of your trust in a water filter pitcher to make your water safe? I wouldn’t.
- Taste – Have you ever come across people who swear by a certain bottled water brand for the taste alone? I know people that prefer the taste of filtered water like Dasani or Aquafina over brands like Ice Mountain or Poland Springs. We love the taste that of the filtered water that our Brita produces, we don’t notice any chlorine taste. Some prefer Clear2o and others swear by their PUR pitcher. All of these units listed on this page claim to reduce chlorine taste and smell. So, I’m pretty confident that whichever unit you choose, it’ll be better tasting than your tap water.
- Capacity/Size – The capacity is a very important aspect to consider when looking for a new water filter pitcher. I can tell you from experience that a small water filter pitcher may fit into your fridge easier but you will need to refill it more often. It gets annoying at times. On the flip side, a larger capacity pitcher will take up a lot of space. So, how much room do you have in your fridge? If your refrigerator is anything like ours then you probably don’t have a whole lot of space for a big ole water filter pitcher. If you are looking for a model that will fit on your fridge door, then go for 10-cup capacity or less. A 10-cup capacity pitcher is probably all you need; it’s the right size for many households. But make sure that you check the dimensions first, don’t just assume that any 10-cup pitcher will fit on the door of your refrigerator.
- Design – Water filter pitchers come in a variety of designs and that means they will occupy the space in your fridge differently. Some are narrow and can fit on the door of your fridge. Others are boxy, and still others are oval or wide. Some come with cool features like a nozzle that allows you to easily dispense the water without having to remove the pitcher from your refrigerator.
- Price – The good news is that all of the water pitchers that I’ve come across are relatively inexpensive. Even still, you don’t want to be paying more for a filter pitcher than you have to. Typically, you can expect to pay around $20 to $40 for a good water filter pitcher. Price will mostly depend on the capacity of the unit that you purchase. Brand has a bit of an influence, but even across different brands from the more recognized options to the lesser known ones, the price range is pretty similar.
- Filter Lifespan – Filter lifespan is very important to consider. We’ve included the number of gallons you can filter with all of the units that we compared. The PUR and Brita models on this page use filters that are good for up to 40 gallons. But how will you know when it’s time to change the filter? Some models come with a sticker that you use to keep track of the month that you need to change the filter. Based on my experience, it is easy to forget to look at it. There are units out there that have a digital filter status indicator.
- Filter Availability – A big benefit of going with one of the more popular brands like Pur or Brita is that they are sold at many big retailers like Target or Walmart. This means that the filters are more readily available as well. Less popular brands like BWT, for example, won’t have their filters available at your local department store. This could be important if you are the kind of person that does most of your shopping locally.
- Lid – The best lid for your pitcher will cover the entire top of the unit including the spout. This is important as it will reduce the possible of other pollutants and germs getting into your water. Id also suggest that you go for a model that has an “easy fill” lid, this will prevent you from having to remove or touch the lid at all. I think that this will reduce the possibility of spreading more germs.
- Speed – The filtering speed will vary across different brands. Clear2o gets major points in the speed category (although it has some shortcomings in other areas). On the other hand, ZeroWater is known to be especially slow at filtering water because it has a 5-stage filtration process. I wouldn’t advise you to make your decision based on speed alone.
Which One Should You Get?
The model that you decide to go with is a personal choice. There is no consensus “best water filter pitcher” in my opinion. I think that all of these water filter pitchers will improve the taste of your water. If we’re talking about which model will filter your water the best, then it has to be the ZeroWater 10-cup.
It’s the only filter pitcher that is certified by the NSF to reduce Lead. But, do remember that most municipalities have systems in place to protect us from lead exposure. Further, if lead contamination is your primary concern, don’t count on filter pitcher to make sure that your drinking water is safe. Only use it as an additional layer of protection.
If you are concerned about hard water and want to reduce the number of solids in your water, then you have to go with ZeroWater. ZeroWater has a ppm solid particle detector. When it comes to a water filter pitcher, you probably can’t get better than this.
Tip: Only drink and cook with water that comes out of the cold tap to reduce potential lead exposure.
But ZeroWater comes with its share of drawbacks. For one, the filters don’t have as long of a lifespan as Pur or Brita. Secondly, its 5-step filter is extremely slow. With that, I think that the decision boils down to taste, convenience, speed, lid, capacity and filter life. Stuff like color matters a lot less, obviously.
All things considered, I like the Pur 10-cup best. First, you can find Pur replacement filters practically everywhere – which is convenient. And after checking out reviews, it seems as though this one does a better job than the Brita at removing chlorine taste and smell.
The price makes sense. It filters at a decent speed. The lid covers the water spout when you’re not pouring, and the filters last for 40 gallons. This model hits that Goldilocks sweet spot in my opinion.
On the other hand, if filtration speed is your primary concern, go with the Clear2o. You will be able to fill up your pitcher in no time.
If you want a gorgeous filter pitcher with several very convenient features then you should go with the Mavea Elemaris.