If you’re here reading this, you probably already know the basic reasons anyone should get a water filter. By filtering out various contaminants, they leave water cleaner and better for your health. This includes residues from even the best of municipal water purification systems.

On the other hand, if you’ve come here unsure of whether to get a water filter or not, there are a few more things to consider. You don’t have to rely on bottled water with a water filter. This means you can save on living expenses in the long run while also reducing your waste. And, if nothing else, your water will taste better—or at least be cleaner.

You’ll find that with current models of water filter pitchers, purifying your own water is more convenient and affordable than ever—all the more when you choose the right pitcher for your circumstances. That’s what this guide is here to help with.

Top Pick: Brita 10 Cup Everyday

When it comes to water purity, quality, and taste, Brita outperformed every other brand. This is not the largest pitcher on the market. It is best suited for small homes with one or two persons. This particular model filters water a bit slower when compared to others, but at the end, the quality is most definitely worth the wait.

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Everything You Could Want in a Water Filter Pitcher

So what should you look for in a good water filter? There are a number of factors, which can be summed up in the broad categories of convenience, efficacy, taste, and value for money.

An example of a pitcher that nails all of these is the Brita Large 10 Cup Everyday Water Pitcher. Its quick filtration and high capacity make it great for everyday use and its efficacy and taste stand up to other options. All this makes it well worth its price point.

That said, it’s our top pick overall. But before going into all that, we should probably explain our judging process.

5 Best Water Filter Pitchers Comparison

BrandCapacityFilter LifePrice
Brita 10 cups 40 gallons CHECK PRICE
ZeroWater 10 cups 1 month CHECK PRICE
AquaGear 8 cups 150 gallons CHECK PRICE
BWT 8 cups 2 months CHECK PRICE
PUR 11 cups 40 gallons CHECK PRICE

How We Chose the Best Water Filter Pitcher

Our review process started with a survey of reputable brands in the US market. This involved browsing online shopping portals, checking customer and industry reviews, and other sites of discussion. Once we had shortlisted enough brands, we checked their catalogs for the products that were either already best-sellers or were swiftly gaining popularity.

This initial vetting process also let us refine our criteria for the actual pitcher testing. Sifting through customer reviews gave us a good idea of what people actually look for in their water filters. While hard numbers, such as total dissolved solids (TDS) are important in lab tests, for example, in most everyday use, it’s convenience and durability that are essential criteria.

We used what we’d learned and combined it with our own experience and knowledge of water filters to developing our final testing criteria. We divided it into the following categories.

Convenience

Overall ease of use is a big factor for most buyers. After all, in practical terms, it’s hard to distinguish slight variations in taste or a slightly lower TDS score. On the other hand, a pitcher that takes a whole extra minute to filter a cup of water is something you’ll notice time and time again.

The less the water filter pitcher gets in the way of common tasks, the better it scores in this category. Pitchers with large capacities, short purification times, and good ergonomic design all rate well here.

Maintenance is also a factor. Filters that are durable, easy to clean, and require minimal parts replacements do better. On the other hand, susceptibility to wear and tear or the buildup of dirt or algae detracts from this aspect.

Efficacy

This is the most technical category, reflected in the purity of water after it’s passed through a given pitcher’s filter. This is mainly measured through TDS, as mentioned earlier.

The solutes measured by TDS cover a wide range of substances. Some of these are widely known as contaminants, such as heavy metals. Others may be residue from earlier treatments, such as trace amounts of chlorine, which simply affect taste more than anything else.

Taste

This quality is a bit subjective, but there are still some qualities that people agree filtered water should have. Common descriptors are “pure,” “crisp,” or simply “refreshing.” On the other hand, anything that seems “artificial” or “chemical”—possibly slight acidity or alkalinity—are undesirable.

Value for Money

We considered how well each of the pitchers compared to the others in terms of its overall merits, based on the above criteria, and its typical retail price.

The Testing Process

Testing water filter pitchers

Our review process included both a survey of existing analyses and our own hands-on trials. This lets us present a balanced view based on people’s typical experiences while eliminating feedback that, based on experience, was too far off the mark.

From the list of brands we’d gathered, we identified 16 water filter pitchers to focus on for our test. Out of these, we found 11 suitable for in-depth reviews. We may feature the remaining pitchers in future tests, should we find other independent sources to provide more balanced commentary.

Existing customer reviews allowed us a quick way to gather some of the more qualitative data, such as those relating to long-term convenience and overall taste. Independent expert analyses, meanwhile, gave us deeper insight into these qualitative aspects, as well as valuable quantitative data to compare.

Our own hands-on trials, meanwhile, focused on aspects that we could assess in a fairly short time—several hours spread over a few weeks using the pitchers in question. These are some of the things we focused on:

Convenience

  • How long did it take to filter a cup of water?
  • How easy was it to handle the pitcher, especially when at maximum capacity?
  • How easy was it to clean it?
  • Was it prone to spilling, malfunctioning, or other errors?

Efficacy

  • How pure was the water?
  • Did efficacy remain relatively constant throughout use?
  • We used the water purity meters that came with some of the filters, as well as one we had on hand; we averaged these with readings we found in our research.

Taste

  • How well did the water taste?
  • Did the water taste particularly unnatural? Alkaline or acidic?

 

Blind taste tests are always fun to conduct. They are also a very good and easy way to objectively determining results.

Each tester was given a glass of water from each of the five water pitchers featured on the table below. The glasses were only labeled with numbers, so there was no need to blindfold the test group.

For each glass of water we distributed a simple questionnaire asking testers to agree or disagree with the following positive descriptive terms:

  • Pure
  • Crisp
  • Refreshing
  • Tasty
  • Thirst Quenching

The group of testers was also instructed to rate each glass of water with two negative descriptive terms:

  • Dirty – this was more related to how the water looked, rather than the taste.
  • Artificial/chemical – if the water had a strong alkaline taste.

Below are the results of this test.

 BritaZeroWaterAquagearBWTPUR
CLEAN3.83.63.63.73.5
PURE3.83.73.53.33.2
CRISP3.03.02.92.92.9
REFRESHING3.53.53.43.33.4
TASTY3.33.23.33.33.0
THIRST QUENCHING3.5
3.53.43.22.9
POSITIVE SCORE20.920.520.119.718.9
DIRTY1.251.31.51.71.8
ARTIFICIAL/CHEMICAL2.42.62.72.72.8
NEGATIVE SCORE3.653.94.24.44.6

Value for Money

  • We considered the prices of each item with major online retailers at the time of testing
  • This was then weighed against their overall performance in the other tests

In order to minimize bias and inconsistency, we followed accepted best practices in carrying out tests. For the efficacy and taste tests, for example, some assessments were conducted blind. Tests also involved both participants who were fully aware of the test’s purposes, as well as those who were given a broader scope of quality to consider.

All in all, we’ve tried to present as balanced a picture as possible. In order to provide more insight, we’ve chosen an overall winner, while acknowledging water filter pitchers that performed especially well in certain aspects. You’ll find more detailed analyses in the individual reviews below.

Brita – The Best Water Filter Pitcher

brita 10 cup everyday water filter pitcher

Product Highlights:

  • Size: 47 x 5.59 x 10.94 in
  • Weight 2.29 lbs
  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Filter: NSF 42, 53 (Cadmium, mercury, chlorine). BPA-free.
  • Filter Life: 40 gallons (approx. 1-2 months)

As mentioned earlier, we found the Brita Everyday Water Pitcher to be the best overall pick. While some of the other water filter pitchers may outdo it in certain regards, we find this one to be an excellent overall choice. Anyone looking for effective and accessible filtration will find that the Brita Everyday Water Pitcher performs admirably across the board.

The Brita Everyday shines, aptly enough, in its efficiency in terms of day-to-day use. It boasts a relatively high capacity and quick filtration rate while requiring minimal maintenance. A soft grip makes it easy to handle, while a simple filtration system built into its lid makes it easy to prepare each batch of water.

It also produces considerably clear water with a good taste. Given its competitive price point, it’s difficult to beat in overall value and quality.

Convenience

With a capacity of ten cups of water, the Brita Everyday can store more water than most other available filters. This means that refills can be less frequent and that it can comfortably serve a small family through an entire meal. It also makes it a good choice for use with small office teams.

The pitcher also filters faster than most of its competitors, averaging around 40 seconds to filter one cup. This means that despite its high capacity, it doesn’t take much longer to refill.

Brita recommends changing its standard filters every 40 gallons, which means they last two months for an average household—significantly longer than its closest competitors. For further perspective, that means each filter is good for the equivalent of 300 standard 16.9oz water bottles.

Finally, the build of the Brita Everyday Water Pitcher is quite satisfactory overall. It’s easy to handle, refill, and clean. It’s quite light for its capacity but durable.

Efficacy

The Brita Everyday has only one purifier in its filter, but it’s fairly effective on its own. It meets the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Standard 42 and Standard 53 for cadmium, mercury, and chlorine. In TDS tests, it averaged around 350 parts per million (PPM).

Taste

Cadmium, mercury, and chlorine all have comparatively pronounced effects on the odor and taste of water. Because the Brita Everyday’s filter is effective and removing these, it produces water that tastes clean and fresh.

At the same time, while it produces low TDS overall, it’s worth noting that it leaves enough to allow for some variety in flavor profiles. Certain solutes can enhance flavor, which is why brands like Perrier and San Pellegrino retain certain dissolved solids.

Value for Money

The Brita Everyday Water Pitcher is very competitively priced, given its overall quality. While it doesn’t boast the absolute lowest price, it manages to outperform others in its price range.

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Best Budget Buy – ZeroWater 10 Cups

zerowater 10 cup water filter pitcher

Product Highlights:

  • Size: 5 x 5.75 x 10.25 in
  • Weight: 2.25 lbs
  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Filter: Five-stage filtration
  • Filter Life: approx. 1 month

The ZeroWater 10 Cup Pitcher maintains the brand’s quality standards even at its low price point. Its compactness and lightness also make it a good choice for those looking for a water filter pitcher that’s easy to store or take on the go. 

Convenience

Like all ZeroWater pitchers, this one takes quite a while to filter thanks to its multiple purification systems. Reaching full capacity doesn’t take too long because it’s small, but that also means it requires frequent refills.

On the other hand, because of its size and weight, the pitcher is very easy to handle, store, and clean. Their filters have a relatively short lifespan, however, as explained below.

Efficacy

ZeroWater’s five-step purification filters are the reigning standard for filtration. Their brand name comes from the fact that their filters are meant to reach levels of 0 TDS—which they frequently do. That said, to consistently meet this standard, their filters have to be replaced roughly every month.

Taste

If nothing else, this pitcher produces an extremely consistent taste because it leaves no solids at all. This means that the water tastes as pure as it can get. If you like that taste, then great. Otherwise, you’ll have to consider if you can accept it as the cost of top-notch filtration.

Value for Money

This budget model is an absolute steal, especially if you’re a fan of ZeroWater’s filtration standards. Even if you aren’t, it’s a great option for a secondary, portable filter pitcher.

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Best in Capacity – ZeroWater 23 Cups

zerowater 23 cups water pitcher - best in capacity

Product Highlights:

  • Size: 15 x 5.9 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Capacity: 23 cups
  • Filter: Five-stage filtration
  • Filter Life: approx. 1 month

At another extreme, you have the ZeroWater 23 Cup Dispenser. As the name suggests, it’s not technically a pitcher—but since it fills the same basic role in most settings, we decided to consider it anyway.

This model’s amazing capacity makes it a prime choice for certain settings, such as office pantries or other communal spaces. It’s also quite competitively priced for its size and capacity—though upkeep costs can add up pretty quickly.

Convenience

By the standards of a single pitcher, this model obviously isn’t very convenient. It’s not as portable and takes more effort to refill and clean—but given that it can match the volume of two or three pitchers, it can be rated fairly high in this regards.

That said, its filter requires frequent replacement, as all ZeroWater filters do. Being fairly pricey per filter, it can seem rather steep, but it may still be a persuasive deal for situations where high-volume filtration is a regular necessity.

Efficacy

The 23 Cup Dispenser meets ZeroWater’s quality standards. It regularly registered 0 TDS, despite the large volumes of water it has to filter.

Taste

This produces the same consistent taste you’d get from other ZeroWater products. So again, if you like the taste of totally purified water, this is definitely for you. If you prefer water with a somewhat more varied flavor profile, you’ll have to weight the taste against other benefits.

Value for Money

It’s not something we’d recommend for most households but it’s a great bargain for those situations where it does shine. Just remember to compare it against the number of other filter pitchers it would take to get the same job done.

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8 More Water Filter Pitchers

These other water filters didn’t stand out in any particular aspects but that doesn’t mean their poor choices. While we wouldn’t recommend them overall, they may suit the preferences of certain people or serve well in specific settings.

For each water filter pitcher, we’ve listed a few features or qualities that distinguish it, without going into the same detail as with the previous entries.

Waterdrop Extream Pitcher Review

waterdrop extream water filter pitcher review

Product Highlights:

  • Size: 6 x 4.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Weight: 2.45 lbs
  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Filter: Japanese ACF. NSF 61 certified (water hardness and lime).
  • Filter Life: 200 gallons (approx. 3-4 months)

The Waterdrop Extream is an easy-to-use, high-capacity water filter pitcher. Convenience is its strongest suit, but its filtration quality will leave many unsatisfied.

The wooden handle is perhaps the most eye-grabbing feature of this model, but it’s in the mundane conveniences that it truly shines. The Waterdrop Extream filters water quickly; it’s comparable, in fact, to the Brita Everyday’s filtering speeds. Combined with its high capacity, this means it takes nearly no time at all to use.

The Waterdrop Extream also has long-lasting filters. They are supposedly good for 200 gallons. In practice, we’ve found that they provide their expected level of filtration for just under three months on average.

Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of filtration quality. While it’s NSF certified for reducing water hardness, especially in terms of removing lime, it doesn’t do a great job at filtering other dissolved solids. The taste suffers as a result, too.

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Aquagear Pitcher Review

aquagear water pitcher review

Product Highlights:

  • Size: 11 x 10.8 x 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.56 lbs
  • Capacity: 8 cups
  • Filter: NSF 42, 53 (Cadmium, mercury, chlorine). BPA-free.
  • Filter Life: 150 gallons (approx. 3 months)

The Aquagear delivers reliably high-quality purification with filters that are certified by NSF standards 42 and 53, much like the Brita Everyday pitcher. Its filtration is slower, however, and matched with a lower capacity, this makes it somewhat less convenient to use.

What distinguishes the Aquagear, in fact, are a number of unique features that would be somewhat hard to slot into the categories we established.

The company claims that, on top of being BPA-free, the materials it uses for this pitcher are “100% recyclable, 100% vegan.” It also claims that it’s manufactured entirely in the USA. If you find these to align with your own ethical priorities, this might be the pitcher for you.

Beyond that, Aquagear offers a lifetime guarantee on the pitcher itself. If it chips, breaks, or malfunctions over the course of normal use, they’ll send you a new machine.

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BWT Water Filter Pitcher

bwt water filter pitcher review image

Product Highlights:

  • Size: 5 x 4.8 x 10.7 inches
  • Weight: 1.95 lbs
  • Capacity: 8 cups
  • Filter: Magnesium-infusing
  • Filter Life: approx. 2 months

The BWT Water Filter features bold colors in a striking design. The flavor of the water it releases is similarly unique, thanks to the Magnesium-infusing properties of BWT’s filters.

Overall, the BWT Water Filter is a pitcher that we’d recommend only based on individual preference. Do you like its design? And, more importantly, does Magnesium-infused water suit your palate?

At its price, it’s not a bad pitcher to start out with. If you end up liking its quirks, great. If not, you could eventually move up to another filter.

That said, the build quality on these isn’t particularly consistent. Common complaints involve the flimsiness of the pitcher body’s plastic, as well as the filter indicator’s tendency to malfunction. While the company does provide replacements, the inconvenience may not be worth the minimal amount you’d save by choosing this over other pitchers.

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PUR Classic Water Filtration Pitcher

pur classic water filtration pitcher

Product Highlights:

  • Size: 2 x 6.8 x 10.6 inches
  • Weight: 2.45 lbs
  • Capacity: 11 cups
  • Filter: “MAXION” technology. BPA-free.
  • Filter Life: 40 gallons (approx. 1-2 months)

PUR provides filtration that’s decent all around and especially good at removing traces of pharmaceutical substances. It’s not as good as most others when it comes to softening the water, however. As a result, its taste may be subpar, especially for those used to other filter brands.

Perhaps the most notable problem with PUR is how slowly its filter works. It takes around four minutes on average to filter just one cup of water—that’s just about 45 minutes every time you want to fill it to capacity.

In other respects, this PUR model is convenient enough to use. Its large capacity means less frequent refills and its filters have a decent lifespan. Its physical build is fairly durable and its mechanisms, including the filter indicator light, generally hold up well over time.

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Brita Grand Water Pitcher

brita grand

Product Highlights:

  • Size: 9 x 6 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 38 lbs
  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Filter: NSF 42, 53 (Cadmium, mercury, chlorine). BPA-free.
  • Filter Life: 40 gallons (approx. 1-2 months)

The Brita Grand is supposedly an update to the older models, but the changes seem controversial at best and regressive at worst.

This model has mostly the same features and specs as our top pick, but with worse implementation in its physical build. It’s slightly bulkier in all measures, but with no increase in storage capacity.

Furthermore, the lid—which is what’s supposed to make refilling a simple task—tends to fit poorly or malfunction. This being one of the physical build’s main points of appeal, it’s quite a problem that quality control on it is so poor.

Finally, these problems in design are magnified by the item’s cost, it’s significantly more expensive than Brita’s Everyday Water Pitcher.

There’s no real reason we’d recommend this to anyone over the Brita Everyday, seeing as it has the same selling points but with lower quality. That said, if the Brita Everyday is, for some reason, unavailable, this remains a solid choice compared to the others—if a somewhat expensive one.

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Brita Extra Large 18 Cup Pitcher

brita extra large 18 cup pitcher

Product Highlights:

  • Size: 6 x 5.9 x 16.7 inches
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Capacity: 18 cups
  • Filter: NSF 42, 53 (Cadmium, mercury, chlorine). BPA-free.
  • Filter Life: 40 gallons (approx. 1-2 months)

Brita’s take on the high-capacity dispenser isn’t quite as voluminous as ZeroWater’s, but it does bring the Brita brand’s strengths to bear at a large scale.

People who are fans of Brita’s filtering standards—very fast and sufficiently stringent—will likely prefer this over the ZeroWater dispenser. The same goes for those who prefer a bit more flavor in their water.

Apart from the difference in capacity, it holds up well in terms of ease-of-use. Its filter cartridges also last longer, meaning it requires less frequent maintenance.

Its maximum capacity puts it in a somewhat odd position for comparisons, however. Keep this in mind when considering the effort and costs that would go into its upkeep when compared to alternative models.

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Nakii Fast Filtering Pitcher

nakii fast filtering pitcher

Product Highlights:

  • Size: 4 x 8.5 x 4.3 inches
  • Weight: 1.85 lbs
  • Capacity: 7.5 cups
  • Filter: BPA-free. WQA-certified.
  • Filter Life: 150 gallons (approx. 3 months)

Nakii is a relatively new entrant in the water filter pitcher market, but their initial offerings are quite solid. The Long-Lasting Water Filter Pitcher is a solid all-rounder for those with a lower budget. It offers decent purification through quick filtration.

This model is somewhat smaller than most mainline models. This may be a point in favor for those who use smaller fridges. Given how quickly it filters water, the half-cup difference will likely barely register when you’re refilling it.

The filter lifespan is yet another point of appeal. This model’s filters are among the longer-lasting ones. This is one of the qualities attested to by their WQA certification.

The Nakii is a good choice for those who find it more accessible in terms of price or availability. It’s also a good all-around option for those who’ve had unsatisfactory experiences with Brita or ZeroWater.

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Ecosoft Water Pitcher

ecosoft water filter

Product Highlights:

  • Size: 8 x 8 x 10 inches
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Capacity: 8 cups
  • Filter: BPA-free. European food grade plastics.
  • Filter Life: 30 gallons (approx. 1 month)

Ecosoft’s brand appeal is also largely based on lifestyle and ethical preferences. Their water filter pitcher’s main selling point is in the composition of its filter.

Ecosoft’s filters activated coconut carbon shells, rather than the standard charcoal-based ones. Combined with the food grade plastics, it’s more ecologically friendly in a number of ways. This alternative filtration system is quite effective in terms of both purification and taste. Of course, as with all unique filtration systems, the taste will ultimately depend on your preferences.

Overall, the pitcher is solidly built and handles fairly well. It’s a decent choice, even compared to more prominent brands.

The low price point will also be appealing to many buyers. Note, however, that Ecosoft’s filters have a comparatively short lifespan. The savings may even out with the effort and cost of replacements and upkeep.

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In Conclusion

While we’ve provided as balanced an analysis as we could, we naturally can’t speak for everyone. The specific way we balanced our four criteria—convenience, efficacy, taste, and value for money—won’t be quite the same for everyone. Some people just care about taste, while others see purification by the numbers as a deal breaker.

That said, with the available details, you should be able to find a water filter pitcher that works well for you. And with all the benefits you’d get from any filtration method—health, taste, and even savings—any one of the models we’ve listed above would be a great deal.

Top Pick: Brita 10 Cup Everyday

Still not sure which filtration pitcher to take? You cannot go wrong with the every day Brita. This pitcher has consistently maintained the highest standards for water filtration.

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Jake is a clean water enthusiast and blogger. He has spent his university days in Chicago studying various water filtration technologies and now enjoys helping people live healthier lives when it comes to water consumption.