For a quick and inexpensive way to improve the taste of your tap water it’s hard to beat a filter pitcher. But with an amazing range of different designs out there, you might find yourself struggling to choose.
Don’t worry! We’re here to help.
Check out our reviews of ten of the best water filter pitchers on the market today. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about their good – and not so good – points. And then we’ll help you pick the one that’s right for you.
Brita’s five-cup water filter is a great option if you’re looking for a smaller container. It’s just the right height to fit on the shelf of your refrigerator. And it doesn’t take long to fill, holding enough for five cups.
It’s made of clear BPA-free plastic so you can see the water level. The lid and handle are classic white for a clean, fresh appearance.
The filter is great at removing the taste and smell of chlorine from your water. If your city water supply has a chemical tang, it’s an excellent choice. It will also remove some less common contaminants too. Copper, mercury, zinc and cadmium will all be captured.
Despite the more modest size of the pitcher, the filter has a good lifespan. It will treat 40 gallons of water before needing to be changed. That will last an average household about two months – considerably longer than many other filters at this price point.
And you won’t need to rely on guesswork to know when to change it. A helpful indicator light comes on when it’s time for a replacement. Changing the filter is easy and takes only a few moments.
One thing to bear in mind is that you’ll need to remove the locking lid fully in order to refill the pitcher. There’s no gap anywhere to admit water.
And if you like to deep-clean every part of your pitcher from time to time, this isn’t the best choice. Taking it apart isn’t straightforward.
But if that’s not a concern, this is a good quality, space-saving design. It’s great at getting rid of the taste of chlorine. And it’s one of the cheapest pitchers on our list.
If your water has more problems than the tang of chlorine, consider Aquagear’s filter pitcher. This will remove chlorine, sure – but it will also handle a far bigger range of other contaminants than the Brita.
The water passes through five stages of filtration. The filter pores will sift out anything bigger than two microns. That includes substances like lead, fluoride, chloramines, chromium 6 and mercury. And minerals like calcium and magnesium, beneficial in small quantities, will be left untouched.
The filter is independently tested to make sure it meets standards for contaminant removal. All the test data is available on the Aquagear website.
The filter is long-lasting too. You’ll be able to get 150 gallons of pure water before it needs to be changed. So while this is much more expensive than the Brita pitcher – about four times the price, in fact – you may find the cost evens out over time.
You’ll also get an impressive lifetime warranty. If your pitcher breaks at any time, Aquagear will replace it entirely free of charge. And if you run into any problems using it, there’s same-day customer support on hand to help.
All the materials here are BPA-free, food-grade plastic. We particularly like the fact that you can return your used filters to Aquagear for recycling.
And the company’s ethical credentials are underlined by their having set up their own charitable foundation. For every product bought, the Foundation provides six months of clean water to someone in need around the world.
There’s a lot to love about this pitcher but watch out for a few downsides. The handle is a bit flimsy, and the rigorous filtration means the process is quite slow. Finally, the fill slot in the lid is positioned in a way that makes it difficult to see if the reservoir is full.
Those minor grumbles aside, though, this is an excellent filter that’s well worth the investment.
Nakii’s handsome pitcher pairs food-grade clear plastic with a stylish wooden handle. It looks great – but there’s more to it than its aesthetic appeal. It uses innovative technology to remove very high levels of contaminants from your water.
The first layer of the four-layer structure removes sediment like sand and rust. If your water is discolored, this can improve its appearance.
The second layer reduces heavy metals like lead and mercury. It will also reduce limescale – great if you live in an area with hard water.
The third layer is hi-tech activated carbon, which will capture no less than 98 percent of chlorine. That means the associated flavors and odors will be all but eliminated.
There’s then a final post-filter to mop up any lingering contaminants. It won’t, though, remove fluoride.
The filter will treat 150 gallons of water before needing to be replaced. You won’t get an indicator light, but there’s a dial on the lid you can set to the month you’ll need to change it. You’ll also find the filter works more slowly when it’s on its last legs.
One of the best things about this pitcher is its fast flow rate – a third of a gallon per minute when the filter’s new.
This isn’t the biggest pitcher out there, so if you want large quantities of water there will be better choices. And we’d prefer the hole in the lid to be a little bigger to make filling it easier.
All in all, though, this is an attractive and competitively priced pitcher.
ZeroWater’s 23-cup design is a great option for large households or big occasions.
It stretches the definition of a traditional pitcher, with neither spout nor jug. Instead, the generous BPA-free tank has a spigot at the bottom. It’s the only option for a pitcher that will be very heavy when full, and it makes it very user-friendly.
The spigot is, though, a weak point in terms of durability. We’ve heard of cases where it’s split, or where the button has stopped working. On the other hand, when problems arise, ZeroWater’s customer service has been great, with replacements promptly received.
So much for the pitcher. What about the filter?
This uses five-stage filtration and has an emphasis on removing total dissolved solids. If you need a filter to do more than improve the taste of chlorine-tainted water, it’s a good option.
It does this primarily by adding ion-exchange alongside carbon. The result is a filtration process that will remove 99.6 percent of total dissolved solids. A monitor on the side of the pitcher will show you the levels.
The rigorous process does have some drawbacks. If your water contains trace elements of healthy minerals like magnesium and calcium, this pitcher will extract them. And some people may find the flavor of the resulting water rather “flat” for their liking.
But if your priority is water that’s free of other substances, this is one of the best pitchers out there.
If you’re looking for a pitcher with a long-lasting filter, this one from Waterdrop could be for you. The filter here will treat up to 200 gallons of water before needing to be replaced.
Here there are four stages of filtration. Like the ZeroWater model, it combines ion exchange with activated carbon. These layers are sandwiched by a sediment filter to remove particles of sand, dirt or rust, and a post-filter mesh.
The pitcher itself is made of good quality materials. There’s a comfortable wooden handle, and the body is made of plastic that’s shatter-proof and BPA-free. An electronic filter indicator counts down the 90 days until the filter needs to be changed.
Before using it for the first time, you’ll need to soak the filter in cold water for 20 minutes. That will remove any carbon dust, and make sure you don’t get black specks in your water.
Make sure you press it firmly into place before use. Like other filters, this can be a haven for bacteria if it dries out. Positioning it properly will mean that it doesn’t happen.
The water can be poured at a rate of half a gallon a minute – so you won’t need to wait for your drink. And the ten-cup capacity successfully balances having plenty of water with still being light enough to lift easily.
Waterdrop also has its own programs to bring clean drinking water to schools in Kenya. For every filter that’s purchased, a child will get clean water for a day.
So is there anything to watch out for?
Well, there are a couple of niggles, but they’re pretty minor. The first is that the wood that forms the attractive handle is unfinished, which makes it hard to clean.
The second is that the base being slightly smaller than the top of the pitcher makes it a bit precarious. There is, though, a rubberized base to help prevent it toppling over.
Levoit’s ten-cup filter pitcher has a handy gauge on the side so you can see how much water is left. It’s measured in liters, though. If you’re not familiar with metric measurements it may take some getting used to!
The shape is tall and narrow, designed to fit conveniently into the shelf inside the door of your fridge. The flip-top lid makes it easy to fill and it covers the spout too, preventing particles entering that way.
The appearance is simple and utilitarian, with a clear food-grade plastic body and white lid and handle. It does the job perfectly well, but you wouldn’t put it on the table at a dinner party.
The filtration is impressive. Water passes through five stages, beginning with a net that captures rust, sand and other sediments.
It then meets two layers of activated carbon which will improve its flavor and smell. That’s followed by an ion-exchange resin to reduce limescale and heavy metals. Finally, a lower micro net captures remaining particles.
A nice touch is the restrictor cap on the lid, which allows you to alter the filtration rate. Speed it up when you want water in a hurry, or slow it down for more thorough filtration. There’s also an indicator to show when it’s time to change the filter. And replacements are inexpensive.
We’re hard-pressed to find something not to like with this pitcher. The one issue is that the water occasionally slows to a trickle, even with the restrictor cap wide open. Removing the filter and giving it a shake before replacing it seems to help with the problem.
This ten-cup pitcher from AquaBliss is a good choice for those who dislike regularly changing filters. The extra-large capacity here means they’ll last for around four months before needing to be replaced. They’re good value for money too.
It’s another pitcher with a simple design: a BPA-free plastic body and a white lid and handle. There’s a flip-top part to the lid which allows refilling without having to remove the whole thing.
The filter will remove sediment as well as the taste and odor of chlorine. It will also reduce levels of contaminants including chloramines, copper, mercury, cadmium and zinc. It won’t, however, remove fluoride.
In addition to the long-lasting filters, the real selling point of this one is the rate of filtration. It will filter the whole pitcher in about two to three minutes. So if speed is your priority, it’s a good choice.
There’s a rubber ring on the bottom of the pitcher to improve stability, but it’s not very secure. If you choose this one, don’t be surprised if it drops off after a few uses. And the lid isn’t as tight a fit as we’d like either.
But set that aside, and this is a large, competitively priced pitcher with some great features.
Hskyhan’s pitcher is another ten-cup version. This one comes with two spare filters. Together, they will treat 100 gallons of water. Expect to change them every 60 days. The pitcher comes with an indicator that counts down the time so you don’t forget.
The filters here offer no fewer than seven different stages of filtration. And at the end of the filtration process, you’ll have alkaline water with added beneficial minerals. Unlike many other filters, this will remove fluoride, as well as chlorine, lead and sediment.
Alkaline water is generally considered to be better for people with sensitive stomachs. If that’s you, you’ll be reassured to know the filter process here increases water pH by between a half and two points.
The design is compact enough to fit easily inside most fridges. It’s strictly business, so if you want a pitcher to go straight on the table when you have guests, this won’t be it. But our only real niggle with this one is that the lid has a tendency to fall off.
This is a surprisingly inexpensive pitcher that works effectively to increase water alkalinity. If you suffer with heartburn or indigestion, it’s well worth considering.
Aozora’s filter pitcher is another one with a ten-cup capacity. Its blue-tinged plastic and almost triangular profile give it something of a space age appearance. And it’s a good shape to fit in your refrigerator.
But what about its filtering credentials? Well, the filter here will remove chlorine tastes and odors, as well as sediment and some heavy metals.
It has a reasonable lifespan of 42 gallons. Averages always need to be treated with caution, but expect that to last roughly two months. You’ll need to keep track of that yourself though, as there’s no indicator to help.
You don’t need to remove the lid to fill it. Just position it beneath the faucet and the water will open a valve. It’s filtered very quickly too.
The pitcher isn’t too heavy to lift, even when it’s full. And the spout pours nicely – though take care when you’re doing it. Tip the pitcher too fast or far, and the water in the reservoir can flow into the filtered water section.
This is a super-simple pitcher that works effectively to remove chlorine tastes and odors. It’s also the least expensive on our list, costing about the same as a few cups of artisan coffee.
If you like your water with a fruity flavor, you’ll love ProPur’s pitcher. This pitcher will hold seven cups of filtered water – and you can infuse it all with a fruity taste.
The ceramic filter here is seriously heavy duty. It will remove standard contaminants like chlorine tastes and odors, sediments and heavy metals. But it will also deal with chloramines, bacteria, volatile organic compounds and over 95 percent of fluoride. All the test data is available on the ProPur website.
So rigorous is the filtration, the manufacturers say this pitcher can be used in emergency situations with lake or pond water. If you’re looking for a gadget to take camping as well as using at home, it should make your shortlist.
There is a compromise to be made in return for this quality of filtration, and it’s speed. This is a drip filter, and it will take some time for the water to flow through. You’ll find that it gets faster after the first few uses, but it’s still slow.
The tight-fitting lid also restricts the airflow from equalizing the pressure in the filter area. We’ve heard of some people who’ve drilled holes in the lid to deal with this and speed up the flow. A less drastic alternative is to keep the lid ajar during filtering.
If you’re prepared to wait, you’ll get water you can be confident really has been purified effectively.
The fruit flavor comes from a fruit infusion tube. Just chop up your chosen fruits, pop them in the tube, and allow them to flavor the filtered water. If you prefer your water plain, just remove the tube.
Still uncertain which is the right water filter pitcher for you? Read on, and our buying guide will help make your decision easier!
Start by considering how large a pitcher you need.
If you have a big household with heavy consumption, go for something generous. Just make sure that if you’re buying a model with 20-plus-cup capacity, it has a spigot not a handle! You’ll need muscles on your muscles to be able to lift it otherwise.
But don’t be tempted to go large if you won’t use up the water quickly. Water that’s been standing around for ages won’t taste as good. And smaller pitchers will be easier and lighter to maneuver.
What contaminants do you need to remove?
Next, consider what contaminants you need to remove. If your city water tastes or smells of chlorine, look for pitchers with carbon filters. All of those on our list will greatly improve water flavor and odor.
But if you want to remove fluoride or lead, you’ll need filters with media specifically designed for those substances. So check that the pitcher you’re interested in can do the job before you buy.
Almost all of the pitchers on our list are designed to be used with water that’s already been treated. Don’t expect them to remove serious contaminants. The exception is the ProPur filter, which can be used with pond water too.
Speed or filtration?
Generally speaking, the more rigorous the filtration process, the longer it will take. So ask yourself whether purity or speed is more important to you.
If the main problem with your water is a slight smell of chlorine, a fast filtration process will probably be fine. And you won’t have to wait ages for your water to be ready.
But if you want your water to go through multiple filtration stages, don’t be surprised if it takes some time. The Levoit filter reviewed here gives you the flexibility to change the rate of flow.
Ready to choose?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our reviews of some of the best water filter pitchers on the market today. And that you’ve now got a clearer idea of the features that are most important to you.
Our favorite is Brita’s five cup pitcher. It’s small, simple, inexpensive and easy to use. And if you just want your chlorine-flavored water to taste better, it’s a great choice.
But if you want to tackle a broader range of contaminants, we love the Aquagear pitcher. It’s a very effective filter – and your purchase will help provide clean water to vulnerable people too.
Whichever option you go for, we hope you’re soon enjoyer purer, better tasting water!