Having drinking water that is free of contaminants is critical. But spending money on water bottles can be a hassle and home water filtration systems can be costly. How can you make sure you are providing clean water for you and your loved ones? The answer, for many, is water filter pitchers. These handy pitchers are filled with regular tap water which is filtered into the pitcher, making it a convenient way to consume healthy water.
If you are interested in adding a water pitcher to your home, you have come to the right place. We are going to be taking a look at different water filter pitchers on the market. We will be sharing the different advantages and disadvantages of each filter. This will help to make the buying process smoother. It will also provide confidence in your purchase. Let's dive in.
Table of Contents
What Are the Most Important Contaminants That Need Filtering?
There are hundreds of contaminants that can be removed by filters. Unfortunately, these contaminants typically can't be seen, smelled, or tasted. This is why testing your water quality in the home is highly recommended. It's also recommended to have some type of filtration system in place, whether it's under the sink or a water pitcher.
The good news is that filters remove a variety of contaminants. Keep in mind, though, that not every water filter works the same. Some might be designed to remove more lead than others. Some may leave fluoride. Either way, almost all water filters will remove unwanted contaminants including the physical (microplastics), chemical (pesticides), biological (parasites), and radiological (radon).
There are a few contaminants that have a larger impact on your drinking water. Filters work hard to ensure these specific contaminants do not affect your drinking water for the best results:
- Microscopic Particles. A filter's first job is to ensure that all microscopic particles, such as rust, oils, dust, and sands, are removed from the water.
- Chlorine. Chlorine is used as an effective sanitization agent in water. Unfortunately, it can be easily detected in water by taste and scent. Combined with other substances in the water, it links to cancer risks. Chlorine also hurts gut health. The chlorine destroys "good" bacteria, which can lead to stomach issues and a weaker immune system.
- Radium. Radium is a very important contaminant that is removed by a filter. Radium is radioactive material that occurs naturally on earth. When consumed, it can lead to a slew of problems. It starts with subtle stomach issues, such as nausea and vomiting. Over time, overconsumption can lead to cancer.
- Lead. Lead is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to drinking water. Consumption can lead to lead poisoning which lasts a lifetime. It is extremely detrimental to children's health. Fortunately, most filters are designed to remove this contaminant or offer a separate filter to handle the issue.
- Arsenic. Arsenic can wiggle its way into the water supply from rocks and runoffs from certain industries. Consumption, over time, can lead to diabetes, cancer - even death.
As you can see, a water filter plays a vital role in the health of your drinking water. The good news is, most pitcher filters for water are specifically designed to remove a variety of contaminants with an emphasis on these top 5. Of course, it's important to do thorough research on the pitcher before purchasing. Double-check the capabilities of the filter to ensure it has the power to remove these extremely harmful contaminants.
How We've Judged the Best Water Filter Pitcher
We researched through a variety of water filter pitchers to find the best choice for the majority of people. We narrowed it down by water filtration capabilities, special features, ease of use, and price tag. Lastly, we made a qualitative analysis of a sampling of reviews from customers to get a better understanding of the real positives and negatives of each product.
That lengthy project lead (<< unfortunate word to end up in this article, but you get it :)) to this:
#1: Brita Everyday Pitcher (Best Value)
If there is one filter brand you have probably heard of, it's likely Brita. Brita has been around since 1966 and has continuously improved and upgraded their water filtering equipment to ensure their products are top-of-the-line. Customers rave about their products. That includes the Brita Everyday Pitcher, which ranks as our "best value" option due to price tag and features.
This is a large water pitcher with a clear design that suits any kitchen with ease. It stands just over 10 inches high and is known for being easy to use. Upon purchase, all you need to do is:
- Initially, clean the filter under running cold water for 15 seconds.
- Insert the filter into the reservoir.
- Double-check for a tight seal.
- Pour water in the top and let the filter work its magic.
After the filtration process is complete, you will be able to indulge in clean, safe, and great-tasting water. The filters are entirely BPA-free for your safety. They work to remove chlorine, which also ensures there is no odd taste or odor to your drinking water. The filter works hard to remove other impurities including copper, mercury, and cadmium. It is a 10 cup pitcher, which allows for plenty of healthy drinking water consumption throughout the day.
The Brita Everyday Pitcher replaces 300 16.9 ounce water bottles before needing to be replaced, which rounds out to about 40 gallons. This saves you time and money while also saving the environment. The filter typically needs replacement around every 2 months. The good news is the filters are relatively cheap, with a 3-pack only costing $15.
To make the filter exchange easier, the Brita Everyday Pitcher comes with a status indicator. This status indicator will inform you when the water filter is no longer working at optimum performance. From there, simply follow the steps above to replace the water filter and indulge in delicious, safe water once more.
Now, there are a few drawbacks to this product that consumers should keep in mind. Firstly, the pitcher is a bit on the brittle side. Handle with care as it can crack if it is dropped on the floor. Secondly, the reservoir does come out, but it's very difficult for this to happen. Read and follow the instructions entirely to avoid this issue. The reservoir must be cleaned to avoid mold growth.
All in all, the filtered water Brita Everyday Pitcher is a handy tool that everyone will enjoy having in their kitchen. It's priced right at just under $30. The pitcher has over 8,000+ positive reviews, with people saying "Great Pitcher!" and "Effective Pitcher That Filters Water Well".
#2: Clearly Filtered Pitcher (Best Filtered Pitcher)
If you are willing to spend a little more money for guaranteed quality, then the Clearly Filtered Pitcher is the option for you. It’s more expensive than other models on this list at just under $80, but it is worth every cent. Spending more money also means that you’re getting your hands on some incredible features that will transform tap water like never before.
Reason #1 to Choose This Pitcher: A Powerful Filter That Removes 220+ Contaminants
The Clearly Filtered pitchers have been independently tested and are guaranteed to remove all traces of fluoride, lead, and “forever chemicals” including PFAS and PFOA. But that’s not all the Clearly Filtered pitchers can do. They are also known for removing 230 other common contaminants found in tap water. That exceeds every other pitcher recommended on this list. Some of these harmful contaminants include:
- Radioactive Contaminants
- Pharmaceutical Drugs
- Dissolved Solids
Needless to say, there is a reason why this water pitcher is known for being the leading brand that removes more chemicals and contaminants than the top 5 leading brands combined. Those are test results you can trust.
Reason #2: Offers Healthier Drinking Water
The good news is that Clearly Filtered pitchers don’t remove healthy and beneficial minerals and nutrients that are found in tap water. This gives you peace of mind overall. You know you are consuming contaminant-free water that still contains the nutrients needed for a healthy, thriving body and mind.
Reason #3: Extended Lifespan
Most filters on this list have a lifespan of about 2, maybe 3 months. Well, the Clearly Filtered pitcher manufacturer knows the importance of having a long-lasting filter you can trust and depend on. That’s why their filters typically last an average of around 4 months. While this might not be the longest lifespan on the market, it’s still far longer than the leading competition.
Reason #4: Safe and Built to Last
The Clearly Filtered pitchers are not only reliable at transforming tap water into clean, healthy drinking water. The company also prides itself on protecting its customers with high-quality and safe products. That is why each of the pitchers is made using 100% BPA-free materials that do not leach chemicals. They also utilize food-grade materials that have been tested and approved for contact with water. This leads to even more peace of mind for the user.
Needless to say, this is one of the best water filter pitchers available. If you can spend more on a pitcher, let it be the Clearly Filtered pitchers. These are state-of-the-art, innovative pitchers that work to transform tap water. They remove more contaminants than other pitchers on the market and offer 100 gallons before needing replacement filters. They allow for a superior water taste that's pure and still contains healthy minerals and nutrients.
Be aware, though, that some were not satisfied with the top design of the pitcher. They say that it easily falls off when trying to pour water. A simple solution is to hold onto the top of the pitcher while in use.
#3: Seychelle pH2O Alkaline Water Filter Pitcher (Best pH Enhancing)
If you are willing to spend a little extra money for a top-of-the-line filter that can seemingly do it all, then consider the Seychelle pH20 Alkaline Water Filter Pitcher. Over 7 million filters have been sold worldwide, and it has over 500+ positive reviews on Amazon. But what all can this pitcher filter do?
The Seychelle pitcher filter is designed using Ionic Adsorption Micro Filtration, otherwise known as IAMF. This type of technology allows for the filter to remove the following contaminants:
- Aesthetic. This includes chlorine and silt that produces bad taste and odd odors as well as health risks.
- Chemical. Chemicals including trihalomethanes, DDT, herbicides, pesticides, and benzene.
- Inorganic. Inorganic contaminants include aluminum, asbestos, cadmium, copper, arsenic, fluoride, lead, and mercury.
What the Seychelle pH20 Alkaline Water Pitcher doesn't remove are the healthy minerals that our bodies need. As a bonus, this best water filter also works to enhance the pH level of your water up to 9.5. This decreases micro-clusters found in the water from 12 to 4-6. In turn, water becomes more alkalized, so it is quickly and readily absorbed. This allows for increased hydration that flushes harmful toxins from the body, allowing for more energy, improved health, and younger-looking skin.
Consuming alkaline water isn't only beneficial to your health, though. It also helps with the overall taste and smell of the water. When mixed with coffees, teas, and lemonades, the alkaline water base also helps to neutralize the overall acidity of the beverage. This results in better tasting drinks, whether it's a hot cup of chocolate or an ice-cold lemonade.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of the Seychelle pH20 Alkaline Water Filter Pitcher is that it costs less than $60. Alkalizing water treatment machines can easily cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. But with this filter for water, you can have a superior pitcher with all of the must-have benefits for less than half the price.
Worried about needing to change the filter every 2 months as the Brita Everyday Filter requires? There's no worry here. The Seychelle 8-cup pitcher offers a large capacity of 100 gallons per filter. This is a significantly longer filter life than other models on the market, specifically competitor alkaline water filter treatments.
Last but not least, this product is made in the United States and has been routinely tested to ensure the highest quality. The test results have proved that this is a reliable water filter that can cut through almost all contaminants found in tap water, from chlorine to lead, mercury to arsenic.
#4: ZeroWater ZD-018 23 Cup Water Filter Pitcher (Best Low Cost)
Most of the filters on this list will come in 7 cups or 10 cup pitcher designs. All this means is that you will have to struggle with continuously pouring water into the pitcher, waiting for the pitcher filters to remove contaminants, and doing it all over again a short time after. What if there was a way to enjoy plenty of water with a high capacity water pitcher? Check out the ZeroWater ZD-018 23 Cup Pitcher.
The ZeroWater ZD-018 23 Cup Pitcher offers you a whopping 23 cups before needing to be refilled - that's the highest amount of cups of water available on this list. It makes so many cups of water that it's designed to be great for the home or the office.
The pitcher is designed to be sleek and slender while also being easy to use. All it takes is a single push, and the spout opens for easy pouring into your favorite cup, mug, or even water bottle. No lifting is required. This is a major advantage as most of the pitcher filters on this list require the user to pick up the filter to pour cups of water. This makes it a user-friendly design.
The ZeroWater ZD-018 23 Cup Water Filter Pitcher also comes with a 5-stage filter system that completely removes total dissolved solids and transforms tap water into the best water possible. The 5-stage filter process works like this:
- Stage 1 - Here, suspended solids are removed. This includes dust and rust that can make tap water appear clouded.
- Stage 2 - Additional suspended solids are filtered out of the tap water.
- Stage 3 - Organic contaminants are removed. This includes mercury, bacteria, pesticides, and chlorine for healthy, better-tasting water.
- Stage 4- Here, inorganic compounds are removed. This includes radiological contaminants as well as heavy metals and nonmetals.
- Stage 5 - Lastly, stage 5 is comprised of removal of any remaining suspended solids.
One major advantage of owning the ZeroWater ZD-018 23 Cup Pitcher is that it is the only filter that removes 99% of TDS, otherwise known as total dissolved solids. What are total dissolved solids, exactly? Well, these include all types of contaminants including salts, heavy metals (lead), chemicals, and fluoride - all of which pollute tap water and create unsafe water quality.
The pitcher comes with over 2,000+ positive reviews on Amazon, but there are a few concerns. The pitchers tend to be a bit on the flimsy side and should be handled with care to avoid cracks. The good news is the company offers top-notch customer service and will typically replace broken pitchers without hassle. There is also the concern of needing multiple replacement filters as the filters don't last as long as most would like.
The ZeroWater ZD-018 23 Cup Water Filter Pitcher is a steal at the current price. It is recognized as the only filter to remove up to 99% of total dissolved solids as well as other unhealthy and unsafe contaminants that can be lurking in tap water. The 23 cup pitcher is also the largest pitcher on the market. All of these features combined make this one of the best water filter pitchers on the market today.
#5: LifeStraw Home Water Filter Pitcher (Best Glass Pitcher)
Water pitchers can be pricey, especially when they are made of shatter-resistant glass. But that's not the case with this design by LifeStraw. The LifeStraw Home Water Filter Pitcher costs around $50. This is a bit pricier than some other models on this list, but it's still cost-effective.
These pitchers have a unique, modern design that is made entirely of shatter-resistant glass. This means that it won't break, crack, or shatter, even when it accidentally makes contact with the floor. This is a major advantage, as the majority of filter pitchers on the market will end up cracking or breaking with a subtle drop. It's also designed with an easy-fill lid for overall ease of use.
This is notably one of the best water filter models that offer 7 cups of refreshing, healthy water. It comes with an advanced filtration design that gets rid of unwanted contaminants without getting rid of essential minerals like magnesium, potassium, and sodium. All of these are good for your well-being and should be kept in your water, however, most filters get rid of these important nutrients, unfortunately.
The LifeStraw Home Water Filter Pitcher utilizes a 2-in-1 filtering process.
- Microfiltration Membrane. The microfiltration membrane is the first filter in these water filter pitchers. The hollow fiber membranes come with a pore size of just 0.2 microns. These microns trap bacteria, parasites, and microplastics. This specific filter lasts up to a whopping 1,000 gallons, far more than the competing filters.
- Advanced Carbon + Ion Exchange Filter. Next, the activated carbon absorbs unwanted contaminants to remove chlorine, organic chemicals, bad odors, and odd tastes from your water. The ion exchange works to keep healthy nutrients in place. Both last up to 25 gallons of water and will need regular replacement around every 3 months. This is still longer-lasting than competing filters.
The LifeStraw Home Water Filter Pitcher will likely be one of the best pitcher filters you have ever owned. Aside from being a shatter-resistant pitcher, it also can remove a large number of contaminants without getting rid of the "healthy" minerals found in tap water. It's a bit pricier but well worth every cent. However, note that some reviews have claimed that the filter is far slower than other filters on the market.
Want to Really Skimp? Your Best Options Under $35
Water filter pitchers can easily range over $50. But not everyone can afford to spend that much, just to get their hands on some healthy and clean water for their home. Luckily, there are a few water pitchers that cost less than $35 without skimping on overall quality. Take a look at each water pitcher and scope out the advantages and disadvantages to find the cheapie water pitcher that is right for you.
#1 Best Under $35: Waterdrop Chubby 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher
Noted as "effective, exceptional, and long-lasting", the Waterdrop Chubby 10-Cup Pitcher is an easy choice for someone who wants to spend less yet get the biggest bang for their buck. There are a lot of reasons why this pitcher ranks as one of the best water filter pitchers for under $35. Let's take a closer look.
The Waterdrop Chubby 10-Cup Pitcher uses an effective filtration design that compiles 7 stages into a single filter. This ensures that your filtered water is completely safe from contaminants and is safe to use inside the home. The filter works to eliminate unwanted ingredients such as heavy metals, arsenic, lead, fluoride, and chlorine. The result? Water taste that is truly exceptional and free of any unwanted odors.
Don't think just because you spent less, the pitchers will be low quality. These pitchers are designed utilizing a high-grade plastic that is entirely BPA-free with your health and safety in mind. The handle is made of a rigid, natural wood that is reliable and durable. It also makes handling the pitchers far easier. The filter itself is designed with a reliable, premium activated carbon. This allows for ultra-high efficiency and reliability.
One of the biggest standout features is the filter life of these pitchers. The filter life lasts over 200 gallons before needing replacement filters installed. This equates to over 1600 16-ounce water bottles - which pales in comparison to other models on this list, including the Brita Everyday Filter.
To make things easier, you are alerted to filter life by an intelligent indicator. This ensures that you can continue consuming healthy filtered water and filters are replaced when necessary. Combined with an innovative design that fits easily in most fridge doors, this is undeniably one of the best water filter pitchers to own.
This pitcher currently ranks highly on Amazon and has 1000+ positive reviews, with the top review stating "Tastes AMAZING, is fresh, and delivers marvelous fresh-tasting water". It is so highly talked about that it was almost impossible to find any negative reviews. However, a few did claim that it was hard to get every last drop of water out of the pitcher before the filter would end up falling out. This is a very minor concern, though.
#2: Best Under $30: Nakii Water Filter Pitcher
Looking to save even more money on a top-quality water pitcher? Then the Nakii model might be the best option for filtered water. This is one of the pitchers that offers the best filter life. With up to 150 gallons before needing a replacement, it's better than the majority of other models on this list. In fact, it's stated to have 4 times the filter life of others - a major benefit at this price point!
Aside from filter life, the Nakii model comes with a filter that is made from high-quality materials to take on even the toughest contaminants. The advanced technology has the highest rate of chlorine and mercury removal out of all the pitchers on this list. It is produced in the United States, and test results have proven that this activated carbon filter absorbs and removes 98% of serious contaminants. These contaminants include harmful substances like chlorine and mercury, heavy metals such as lead, and other taste and smell destroyers such as rust and suspended particles.
A major benefit of using these pitchers is fast filtration. You get the fastest filtered water out of any other filter on the market, but don't think that equates to the inhibited performance of the filter. These pitchers are designed to be top-quality and offer superior performance and filtration, all for a low price. It also fits into any refrigerator with ease thanks to its sleek and sturdy design.
#3: Best Under $20: PUR Water Filter Pitcher Filtration System
Water filter pitchers don't always have to be pricey. The PUR Water Filter Pitcher Filtration System is under $20, but that doesn't mean that it slacks on quality. The PUR water filtration system is easy to use. Simply use the easy-fill lid to flip up the lid and pour water inside. The PUR basic pitcher filter will work to remove contaminants, offering you 7 cups of delicious drinking water that is clean and healthy.
The PUR company prides itself on making it clear that "Not All Filters Are Created Equal". They have designed their PUR filter pitchers to be more trusted and reliable than other products on the market. It is designed to remove 2 times more contaminants than the leading filter, including the original Brita pitcher filter OB03. This information was based entirely off of NSF certifications as of 10/22/2019.
PUR knows that protecting your family is key. The PUR filter works to ensure the water taste is superior by removing unwanted chlorine. It removes other harmful contaminants such as mercury and copper to improve overall water quality.
The PUR filter should be replaced after every 40 gallons or every 2 months - just like the aforementioned Brita filter. You can buy replacement filters in a 4-pack for about $35, which is a steal. PUR replacement filters are easily assembled, too. You will need to rinse the PUR filter under cold running water for 15 seconds. Insert the filter inside the reservoir and twist to lock. Fill the pour tray to the top with water and wait for the filter to do its work removing harmful contaminants.
PUR has been in the business for over 30 years. PUR has continued to enhance its filters to ensure you get the best water filter on the market. This pitcher in particular comes with 2,000+ positive reviews. The major drawback of this PUR product is that it tends to be a bit brittle. One should handle this Pur water pitcher with care to reduce the possibility of cracks.
Are Water Filter Pitchers Worth It?
Before purchasing, you might wonder, “Do I really need a pitcher for filtered water?” The simple answer is yes. If you are not going to spend quite a bit of money to have an entire filtration system built into your home water supply, then a pitcher is a great choice. They are more cost-effective than other filtration systems but still provide excellent filtering.
There are many benefits to owning a pitcher that filters water. First and foremost, it’s a cost-effective way to provide safe drinking water for you and your loved ones. They are also typically small enough to slide easily into a refrigerator without taking up too much space.
There are a few drawbacks, though. The filters found in pitchers typically take a fairly long amount of time to filter water. This means that you won’t be able to have clean water instantly. There is also the issue of needing to replace the filters somewhat regularly. Over time, the cost of replacement filters can become overwhelming.
Replacement filters are still less expensive than going out and buying plastic water bottles. It is also safer for you and the environment to use less plastic. With that in mind, a pitcher for filtered water is an environmentally-friendly and a safer choice for consuming quality, contaminant-free water.
To get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to a pitcher, it’s important to do ample research on the filters available. Some models, including PUR and Brita, offer low-priced models but they will need replacement more regularly. The replacement filters are notably fairly cheap, though they need to be replaced more often than other models.
How Often Should You Replace Filters?
Every product will have a different answer to this question. Low-priced, yet reliable pitchers from PUR and Brita will need to be replaced far more regularly than other models. For instance, the Clearly Filtered and Nakki models can provide 100+ gallons before needing to be replaced.
It is important to pay attention to the instructions when purchasing a pitcher. The instructions will state how often and when the filters should be replaced.
Verdict: Your Best Water Filter Pitcher
Let me sum this up in a few sentences for you:
If you want the best pitcher of all, pick the Clearly Filtered Pitcher
If you need a durable glass model, pick the LifeStraw Home Water Filter Pitcher
If you want to the highest quality for the lowest cost, you get the Brita Everyday Pitcher
Simple as that. Grab the right one and get filtering.