When you dive into the marketplace for water filters, pitchers and dispensers, you’ll find a wide variety of offerings. In an effort to find the best brand and shape that fits every lifestyle, we tested eight options — ranging from a super-small, made-for-one pitcher to a giant, double-digit cup dispenser. We put these filters through the test over the course of a few weeks, setting them up, leaving the water overnight and in the fridge, and even conducting a “water tasting” party.
After weeks of testing, one water filter pitcher stood out from the pack:
Brita Standard Everyday Water Filter Pitcher ($27.99; amazon.com) The Brita Standard Everyday Water Filter Pitcher was a cinch to set up, left water free of any odd flavoring, features a simple pouring mechanism and is ideally designed for storage within a fridge. It stood out from the other filters in nearly all areas that matter most, and its well-rounded simplicity makes this Brita filter the perfect option for anyone looking for a water filter pitcher.
Brita Standard Everyday Water Filter Pitcher
The shape and design of this modern 10-cup Brita pitcher caught our eye from the start. It’s white and understated, and the first thing we noticed was its lightweight feel — something you always want when you’re using an item daily.
This pitcher came with Brita’s Standard Filter, which lasts for 40 gallons, or an estimated two months. This, of course, depends on how many people in your home are drinking out of one pitcher. For those who want to replace their filters less often, this pitcher is also compatible with Brita’s Longlast+ Filter, which keeps water clean for up to six months, or 120 gallons. This Brita pitcher doesn’t have a digital reminder to replace the filter like the other two Britas we tested, but it does include a sticker we placed on the side. You circle when you need to replace it on this sticker so you don’t forget. All of the pitchers, with the exception of the Soma pitcher, had a reminder feature, which is fairly standard in modern water filtration options.
The most critical factor for us was taste. By far, the Brita filter made the best-tasting water. As we described in our notes during the taste test, we felt like the water was crisp, smooth and natural. In many ways, it reminded us of fancy European water you might be served at a fine dining establishment. It didn’t leave any lingering aftertaste or reek of chemicals, or have any other downfalls. Brita promises to reduce chlorine, mercury, copper, zinc and cadmium (though we did not independently test this, Brita’s filters are certified by the Water Quality Association, which you can read more about below).
Another feature of a water filter you don’t realize is super important until you try: ease of pouring. Some filters spilled everywhere. Others lost their lids. Some were just downright heavy. And not to sound like Goldilocks here, but this one was just right. It’s comfortable to hold, the lid stays in place and the pour is smooth and predictable.
The included instructions were straightforward and easy to understand. To set up the Brita, we washed the entire pitcher with lukewarm water and soap, then we ran the filter under cold water for 15 seconds. Next, we started the process of filling up the pitcher to activate the filtration.
Though Brita is still our No. 1 pick for a water filtration solution, its drawback is how time-consuming the setup process can be. For this particular pitcher, the instructions recommend filling up and emptying the water three times before using the H20 for drinking. (They also suggested using the dumped aqua to water plants, which we appreciated!) While it did take 20 minutes, which is less time than the larger Pur Water pitcher we tested, it wasn’t as fast as the ZeroWater of the same size.
To whittle down the many, many water filter options to a pool of eight to test, we chose only those certified to the ANSI/NSF industry standard. Both independent organizations, American National Standards Institute and NSF International set stringent quality standards and rigorous testing to ensure products, such as water filters, hold up to those standards.
We researched to ensure the filters we chose to test were certified by either the NSF itself or the WQA, the two main certifying labs. All filters we tested had a certification of at least Standard 42 and Standard 53, which cover chlorine and other contaminants that may leave water tasting funny.
When we had each water filter pitcher in hand, we focused primarily on performance. We measured how long it took to filter the water from the moment the tank filled up until it was safe to pour into our cup. We rated the water filtration product’s design based on the size of the reservoir tank compared to the pitcher. In other words, if the tank is significantly smaller than the overall pitcher, it takes much longer to refill.
We tasted the water from each filtration system many times and at various temperatures, including the first pour, the morning after at room temp, overnight in the fridge and several days later. We tested if the water filtration pitcher or dispenser kept the H20 cold in the fridge and if it kept it from being too warm on the counter.
Another primary category we took into consideration was the build of each pitcher. We rated how easy it was to take the water pitcher out of the box, set up the filter, fill the tank and begin enjoying the aqua. We researched how quickly and easily we could replace the filters online.
We rated the pitcher’s design based on a variety of factors, including how much space it took up in the fridge and if it offered enough cups of water throughout the day for drinking. We poured so many glasses of water, we lost count! We rated how heavy or light the pitcher was, how well the dispenser worked and the flow/stream of water. Finally, we tested how easy it was to take apart the pitcher to clean it, using warm water and soap.
ZeroWater ZP-010 ($28.74; amazon.com)
We have to admit, we’re confused by the hype with ZeroWater. Many people rave about the taste and product design of this relatively new water filtration company. However, we weren’t impressed. First, the positive: It’s super fast to set up. You just run the filter under cold water for 15 seconds, then place it in the pitcher — and you’re ready to go. We appreciated the speed from the filter to glass, but that’s about where our support ended.
The filter, though easy to use, is heavy. Like, really heavy. Even without the water inside of the pitch
We tested water filter pitchers for weeks: Here’s the best one
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