Water filter pitchers (also known as water filter jugs or water filtration pitchers) are an easy and effective way to filter your drinking water before it ever gets to your glass. Being much cheaper than something like a full fledged water purifier system and more lightweight and more affordable than a gravity water filter, all while not requiring any of the installation like a whole-house system might, the water filter pitcher is in many cases the cheapest and simplest solution to filtering your drinking water at home.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the top water filter pitchers on the market to help you find the best one to suit your needs. To get there, we’ll do some water filter pitcher comparisons and review a few different pitchers, showcasing both the positives and negatives of what is available on the market.
Quick Comparison & Reviews
We examine each of these five selection in-depth below.
Water Filter Pitchers 101: How They Work
The water filter pitcher is quite a simple device. They typically incorporate a carbon block filter through which water passes as it enters the pitcher, removing water borne contaminants and trapping them in the filter. This is suitable to eliminate common contaminants in tap water and leave drinking water pure and fresh. However, these filters are generally designed to make already potable water cleaner – that is, they aren’t made to make dirty water drinkable, rather to remove undesirable elements from your already drinkable tap water.
This means a water filtration pitcher is often the simplest way to remove water additives and contaminants commonly found in tap water, such as chlorine, fluoride, chloramines, heavy metals, and other compounds. If you don’t want the hassle and expense of installing a new home filter system, a water filter pitcher is the best way to make sure your home drinking water is as clean as possible.
Best Home Water Filter Pitchers: In-Depth Comparison
When it comes to selecting a water filter pitcher, there are a few details to look for. But aside from minor variations, most filter pitchers on the market function more or less the same way. If you have a specific contaminant in your water you are hoping to filter out, make sure to check the labeling to ensure the filter you have selected filters for that particular compound. Fluoride, for example, is intentionally not filtered by many filter pitchers. Learn more about fluoride filtering in our “Best Water Filters That Remove Fluoride” article, or find out how to test for contaminants in your water.
Other than these specifics of the filter, other features to look out for are meters to measure the life of the filter, handy for getting the most purified water possible, and the lifetime of the filter. You’ll also want to take into consideration the price of replacement filters along with the lifetime of each filter. This detail can reveal some of the cheaper water filter pitchers to actually be pricy options when it comes time to replace the filter.
Lastly, it is important to have a look at the capacity of the pitcher. This will be important depending on factors such as how many people will be drinking water from the filter pitcher, and how much fridge or counter space you can sacrifice for its presence. Typically, filter pitchers filter water when it enters the pitcher, relying on gravity to draw water down through the filter and into the pitcher. While this system works great and requires no electricity, it can mean taking awhile to fill up as you wait for the slow flow rate through the filter. This is where high capacity comes in handy!
Our Water Filter Pitcher Reviews
Without further ado, lets look at some specific filtration pitchers!
We’ll start these reviews off simple with this Brita filter pitcher. For only about $20, this Brita performs its job admirably, getting the chemical taste of city tap water out of drinking water as well as some more expensive filters. The Brita filter gets rid of heavy metals and helps improve taste, odor, and clarity of water. While it’s a pretty good filter for $20, it is more or less a “last step” for treating already decent quality tap water. If you have serious contaminants, or want to filter more difficult to tackle additives like disinfectants or fluoride, you’ll want to look into something with more heavy duty filtration.
However, if you just want an extra layer of filtration, or have tap water that tastes a little “off,” this Brita filter pitcher is an affordable way to tackle the issue. It fits comfortably into a refrigerator, is easy to wash, fills up relatively quickly and has a 10 cup capacity. The capacity is suitable for smaller families or more than enough for a single person.
Replacement filters are quite affordable at about$15 for a 3-pack on Amazon.com, and the filter is very easy to replace. The Brita Everyday water filter pitcher even includes a sticker monitor to let you know when the filter needs to be changed.
Overall, this Brita pitcher is an excellent bargain. But let’s have a look at something a bit more feature rich.
This Seychelle filtering pitcher is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Brita both in filtering capability and in price. Marketed as a “radiological water filter,” this Seychelle is supposedly capable of tackling radioactive compounds many other filters can’t remove, like Radium 226, Radon 222, Cesium, Plutonium, and Uranium. As the Seychelle website explains:
“Each radiological product filters out of drinking water up to 99.99% of the major contaminants that can be found after a nuclear event.”
Hopefully for most of us, the need to filter out even minute traces of these radiological elements will be unnecessary, but it is nice to know you have the capability. For those concerned with worldwide radiological contamination from events like the Fukushima disaster, this Seychelle can provide some peace of mind.
One thing this capability does say for the Seychelle is that it is equipped with quite the filter. In fact, this Seychelle may well be one of the most advanced filter pitchers on the market. The filter gets rid of pretty much every tap water contaminant you are likely to happen across, including heavy metals, arsenic, chlorine and chloramines, and even removing 90% of fluoride, a particularly difficult additive to get rid of due to its tiny molecular size.
The filter is installed into a high quality, BPA-free 1 gallon pitcher. The pitcher itself is pretty durable, but definitely going to take up a lot of space in the fridge. According to the manufacturer, filter lifetime is around six months or around 150 gallons. Because there is no filter meter on this Seychelle, you’ll need to keep track of each six month cycle and be sure to change out the filter to get the most from your Seychelle.
Since the Seychelle’s filter is definitely the most complex part of this filtration pitcher, it is unsuprising that replacements are a bit expensive, coming in at around $40 on Amazon.com.
So is this Seychelle worth the price tag? In our personal testing, it is a great filter pitcher. It has the most capable filter installed into a filter pitcher that we know of. It is easy to clean, easy to change filters, and makes tap water taste great. Is the Seychelle the best water filter pitcher? We would give it that title, but there is one (slightly) cheaper competitor that makes this a tight race.
Looking at this Clearly Filtered filter pitcher and especially its replacement filter, it looks remarkably similar to the Seychelle above. This is because the Clearly Filtered filter pitcher is actually manufactured by Seychelle and branded with the Clearly Filtered name. However, as similar as they look and despite the fact they come from the same manufacturer, there are a few key differences between the Clearly Filtered and the Seychelle above.
While details are sparse on the differences, the two filter pitchers contain slightly different filters which happen to look almost exactly the same. The specifications advertised are different on the filters, so there are certainly some differences, even if they look identical on the surface. Most importantly, the Clearly Filtered pitcher is not advertised as a “radiological filter,” so we can assume it is probably not as beefy in its filtration capabilities as the Seychelle. However, it does have a longer filter lifetime, adding 50 gallons to the Seychelle’s 150 to offer a respectable 200 gallon filter lifetime.
As similar as the filters might look, the pitchers are pretty different. The Clearly Filtered has a pretty small pitcher, only about 8 cups or 64 ounces, pretty tiny compared to the whopping 1 gallon Seychelle.
From this, we can deem the Clearly Filtered sort of a “Seychelle-lite:” still packed with a powerful filter capable of removing chloramines, 90% of fluoride, and other hard-to-filter contaminants, the Clearly Filtered lacks a little bit of the filtration capabilities of the Seychelle and is quite a bit smaller.
In our testing, we’ve found the Clearly Filtered to be an exceptionally great selection in filtered water pitchers. You can read our complete review of the Clearly Filtered Pitcher to learn more of our thoughts on this selection.
This offering from Invigorated Living does quite a few things none of the other filtering pitchers on this list can claim to do. Incorporating mineral balls, ion exchange resins, and activated carbon filters, the Invigorated Living water filter pitcher filters out common tap water contaminants while also raising the pH (alkalizing) and ionizing the water. For those interested in the alkalized ionized water movement, this is a great way to make sure all of your water is alkalized before drinking it, relatively cheap compared to full-blown alkalizer machines.
The filter in this pitcher is enough to handle tap water contaminants like heavy metals, some disinfectants and pesticides, and even chloramine. It is not fine enough to filter out fluoride, however. While the filter is definitely up to par for the price, it is hard to comment on many of the other claims made by the Invigorated Living advertising, such as the merits of its “micro-cluster water molecules,” and ability to improve metabolism and energy levels through alkalized water. These claims have been put to little scientific scrutiny and the jury remains out on the benefits of alkalized ionized water itself, let alone many of the other claims introduced by this filter pitcher.
One other important thing to note about this Invigorated Living is that, according to Amazon reviews, the manufacturer is soliciting 5-star Amazon reviews in return for a full refund on the purchase price of the filter pitcher. This unscrupulous practice has probably led to some of the reviews being fabricated or unreliable. However, in our testing of the product, it is of reasonable durability and build quality. The filter performs well and the water tastes good. It also does raise pH as claimed. As for the other health benefits claimed, we can’t comment.
Filter lifetime is about 2 months, and the pitcher includes a lifetime meter to help you know when you need to replace it. The 2 month lifetime is pretty slim, but replacements are only about $20 on Amazon.com.
We started off these water filter pitcher reviews with a cheap, entry-level Brita pitcher, and this entry is sort of its big brother. Making use of the same type of filter as the other, cheaper Brita we started off with, this model justifies its increased price tag by adding a bunch of neat features to the pitcher itself, even though the filtration is the same.
Which features, you ask? The electronic filter meter is handy, letting you know exactly when to change the filter. The handle is much improve on the Brita Grand water filter pitcher, making pouring easier. The lid also incorporates an advanced locking anti-spill mechanism, which works very well to prevent spills and is easy to fill. The whole thing is brilliantly simple to clean, and overall a very well-designed pitcher. The filter itself is nothing to write home about.
NEGATIVE REVIEW: ZeroWater ZP-010 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher (~$40 on Amazon.com)
Typically here on Hydration Anywhere we strive to bring our readers great products and content, so we try not to focus too much on the negatives. This article is about the Best water filter pitchers, after all. But we have to give a bad review to this ZeroWater water filter pitcher, because we had a really poor experience with the product, and looking around at fellow reviewers across the internet, we are not alone.
The ZeroWater filter pitcher makes a lot of claims and has some very convincing advertising, claiming it offers high quality filtration at a low price and even includes its own Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter, which allows you to electronically measure the purity of your water. This all seems well and good, but as soon as we started testing out the ZeroWater, something seemed wrong. First of all, there was an odd smell to the pitcher and filter as soon as we got it out of the box. This didn’t go away. Even after lots of flushing and testing, water had a weird funk to it after moving through the filter.
After about a day of testing, our filter developed a strong fish-like odor. We thought this was really weird, so started doing some research online and found out we are not alone in encountering this fishy aroma. It is a common problem people run into with the filter. The manufacturer’s website claims that this fishy smell can indicate the filter is used up, but we had hardly used ours at all. Other complaints online mention the short lifetime of the filter, in some cases as little as two weeks.
I do think the model we got was a lemon. However, problems seem to be abundant in online reviews. Overall, the product did not impress us in any way, and we would recommend avoiding ZeroWater.
That’s All the Comparisons and Reviews for Now!
Thanks for checking out this guide, and hopefully it helps you make a great purchasing decision! Getting a filtered water pitcher is an excellent way to make sure your tap water is as clean, pure and great tasting as possible. Don’t skimp on your drinking water! It is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and having clean and great tasting water is great for the body and for the mind.
Always remember that filtered pitchers are a form of final purification. They are not suitable for filtering water which is not already potable. Only use drinkable tap water in your filtered pitcher. If you attempt to filter non-potable water, you run the risk of fouling the filter and rendering it unsafe and unusable.
A final tip: never put hot water in your filtered pitcher! Heat can very easily damage the filter membrane and destroy the filtering capabilities. Avoid heating the filter element to preserve the lifetime of your water pitcher filter, and consider a replacement filter if you accidentally fill it with warm water.
Good luck and stay hydrated!
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Find the best water filter pitcher for your home with our in-depth guide containing comparisons and reviews of popular pitchers.