The Best Water Filter Pitchers of 2019

By Julia MacDougall, April 29, 2019

Water: Without it, chances are that life wouldn’t exist on this planet. We swim in it, bathe in it, play with it, and, of course, drink it. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a community with access to safe drinking water, you probably don't think much about what’s actually in the water. However, between the Flint water crisis and reports of everything from pharmaceuticals to plastic fibers in local tap water, society is becoming more aware that we have to maintain vigilance when it comes to the quality of our drinking water.

While communities are slowly replacing old lead water pipes, they often run into financial and logistical difficulties that prevent these changes from immediately improving the water quality. In reaction to slow legal and infrastructure initiatives, people have started to look for small ways that they can protect their own drinking water. Buying water bottles is one option, but that has the downside of creating a lot of plastic (albeit recyclable) waste. One of the most cost-effective and environmentally-friendly measures is using a water filter pitcher.

We tested nine water pitchers—some with multiple filters—to determine which yielded the best tasting water, what water contaminants they reduced or removed, and which pitchers were the easiest to use on a day-to-day basis. Hydration aside, without great-tasting water, how else are you going to get the best French press coffee?

Not surprisingly, market leaders Pur and Brita stole the show. Our current favorite is the Brita Everyday 10-cup pitcher (available at Amazon for $26.99) (which includes a Standard water filter) because of its clean, neutral water taste and streamlined pitcher design. The other pitchers we tested are ranked as follows:

  1. Brita Everyday 10-Cup Pitcher
  2. Brita Grand 10-Cup Pitcher
  3. Pur Classic 11-Cup Pitcher
  4. Pur Ultimate 11-Cup Pitcher
  5. Clearly Filtered 10-Cup Pitcher
  6. Clear2O Advanced Pitcher
  7. Dragonn Alkaline Water Pitcher
  8. Zerowater Pitcher
  9. Clear2O Gravity Advanced Filter Water Pitcher
— Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Brita_Everyday_vanity Best Overall
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar

Brita Everyday 10-Cup Pitcher

Product Image - Brita Everyday
  • Editors' Choice

Brita Everyday 10-Cup Pitcher

Best Overall

Not only did the Brita Everyday 10-cup pitcher with Standard filter earn top marks in our taste test with tester feedback such as “most clean," “tasted pure," and “most neutral," but it requires very little heavy lifting—you do nothing more complicated than removing the top and filling up the reservoir with water. While it lacks some of the nice touches that are common features on more expensive pitchers, such as a filter replacement notification or a covered water spout, it’s big enough that it doesn’t require constant refilling, but slim enough that it should easily fit on most refrigerator shelves.

One Standard Brita Filter is included when you buy a Brita Everyday 10-cup pitcher. We also tried out Brita's Longlast filter in the Everyday pitcher; while taste testers thought it tasted fine, they preferred the taste of the Standard filter.

As for our testing results, we found that the Brita Everyday pitcher removed almost all traces of chlorine, slightly reduced the amount of total dissolved solids (TDS) inherent in the test water, and had little to no effect on the pH. Even better, it only took about four to five minutes to filter 3.5 cups of water; typical filtration times for all of the pitchers we tested ranged from five to 10 minutes. For a no-frills, basic pitcher that is easy to use and effective at removing common water contaminants, the Brita Everyday 10-cup pitcher is an easy choice to make.

Rated to reduce or remove: Standard: chlorine, mercury, cadmium, copper, zinc; Longlast: chlorine, lead, mercury, cadmium, some industrial chemicals, some particulates, some pharmaceuticals

Certification standards met: Standard: NSF/ANSI 42 and 53; Longlast: NSF/ANSI 42, 53, and 401

Filter replacement period: Standard: 40 gallons/2 months; Longlast: 120 gallons/6 months

Filter replacement cost: Standard: 6 filters for $25 ($4.17/filter); Longlast: 2 filters for $33 ($16.50/filter)

How We Test

The Tester

Hi there, my name is Julia MacDougall, and I’m the Senior Scientist here at Reviewed. I’ve tested a wide variety of products, including rakes, shredders, backpacks, smart thermostats, and coding toys for kids. I’ve been using a water filter pitcher for years, so I was excited to get my hands on nine water pitchers and put them head-to-head to see which ones came out on top.

The Tests

Water_filter_pitcher_testing
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar

We tested each water sample for free chlorine, total chlorine, pH, and total dissolved solids (TDS) content.

I broke the testing for water pitcher filters into two parts: the quantitative and the qualitative. For the quantitative, I used chlorine test strips, pH test strips, and TDS meters to measure the difference in total chlorine, free chlorine, water acidity, and total dissolved solids before and after each water pitcher filtered our test water. (Free chlorine measures a certain subset of chlorine products, while total chlorine includes both free chlorine and another subset of chlorine products known as chloramines, which are produced by ammonia and nitrogen.)

Water_filter_pitcher_filtration_time
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar

We recorded how long it took for each pitcher to filter 3.5 cups of water.

I also recorded the time it took for each water pitcher filter to completely filter 3.5 cups of water; 3.5 cups is close to the maximum capacity of most of these pitchers’ reservoirs. After installing each pitcher’s filter and following the directions for initial filter use, I tested the water in each pitcher four times, twice before they were loaned out for casual use, and twice after.

In addition to quantitative testing, the pitchers were also tested qualitatively by volunteers from the Reviewed office in Cambridge, Mass. Each volunteer took a pitcher home, used it daily for two weeks, and filled out a survey that asked questions about the pitcher’s ease of use, water taste, filtration speed, and ease of handling. After two weeks, volunteers then swapped their pitcher for a second pitcher, tried that pitcher out for two weeks, and filled out a second survey.

water_filter_pitcher_testing
Credit: Reviewed.com / Kate McCarthy

One round of taste testing for water filter pitchers took place on #testingtuesday!

Lastly, we had an in-house water taste test (using the same source water each time) that was organized bracket-style, in that the best-tasting water samples advanced to later rounds. A number of control samples were included in the taste test, including distilled water, unfiltered tap water, and filtered water from dispensers at our office. (Un)Lucky volunteers were asked to taste flights of different water samples and select the best-tasting water sample and, if possible, the second best-tasting water sample.

The best water pitcher filters created great-tasting water, were easy to use, and fit easily inside most refrigerators.

What Contaminants Are in Tap Water?

Water_filtration
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar

With the number of water contaminants on the rise, water filter pitchers can help you to improve the quality of your drinking water.

Contaminants in drinking water are defined as the EPA as anything other than water molecules. There’s a long list of the contaminants that can be found in tap water. Some are well-known, like lead and chlorine, and some are beneficial, like fluoride. While there are serious health risks that arise from long-term lead exposure, imbibing chlorine is thought to be much more benign, save for the fact that there may be a correlation between chlorine and bladder cancer. Though fluoride can cause health problems in extreme concentrations, it has been added to some municipal tap water in safe concentrations for nearly 70 years in the U.S., and has been shown to drastically improve dental health in children and adults. Both Brita and Pur claim their filters do not remove fluoride to any significant degree.

Other contaminants that may also be in tap water include mercury, cadmium, asbestos, copper, zinc, herbicides/pesticides, sediments, and pharmaceuticals, with pharmaceuticals considered one of the “emerging concerns” to the safety of tap water. As you might expect, it’s not a great idea to be drinking any of these contaminants in large doses or over long periods of time; a water pitcher filter rated to remove these contaminants can go a long way toward easing your mind when it comes to the quality of your drinking water.

The National Sanitation Foundation/American National Standards Institute (NSF/ANSI) have established water purity standards to let consumers know what types of contaminants are removed by a water pitcher filter. The most commonly invoked standards are 42 (reduction of chlorine smell/taste), 53 (reduction of a contaminant with a negative health effect), and 401 (reduction of emerging contaminants like pharmaceuticals). For a given product, these standards only apply for specific contaminants listed on the pitcher’s performance data sheet, which often include both type and respective amount of each contaminant that was removed in third-party lab testing.

What Affects Taste?

water_filter_pitcher_goes_into_taste
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar

Three major factors go into the taste of filtered water: minerality/TDS/pH, temperature, and the presence of contaminants.

While we all agree that water should be as clean as possible, people are split on whether water should be tasteless or have some taste. Whichever side of the debate you fall on, there are three major factors that affect your water’s taste: TDS/minerality, temperature, and the presence/absence of contaminants.

Minerality/Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)/pH

Minerality refers to the mineral content of the water, which is measured using TDS and pH. The minerals are largely inorganic salts like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. As you might expect, high TDS amounts are correlated with stronger-tasting water; the taste may be salty or bitter. pH, a measure of water acidity, is defined on a scale of 0 (extremely acidic) to 14 (extremely basic). Most water has a neutral pH of 7, but some pitchers, known as alkaline water pitchers, drastically increase the pH of the water with the aim of providing users with positive health and hydration benefits. However, the link between alkaline water and health benefits may be unsubstantiated.

On the other hand, it has been observed that water with very low TDS values lead to water tasting “flat”. We experienced this during testing when testers outright rejected distilled water, which has a TDS value close to zero, as tasting “bad” or “strange.”

Temperature

One of the largest factors in water taste is temperature. Very cold water tastes more refreshing; however, its cold temperature also numbs the tongue and prevents it from fully experiencing the water’s taste. The same thing happens when ice cream melts—the flavor is noticeably sweeter when it’s ice cream soup than when it’s solid on a cone. At warmer temperatures, the individual flavors become much more apparent to the taster.

Contaminants

In most circumstances, the aforementioned contaminants are not present in large enough quantities to affect the water’s taste. However, in large enough quantities, lead can actually lend a slightly sweet taste to the water. Its sweet taste is why lead paint chips present such a danger to small children, who just like the taste and aren’t aware of the health risks.

Why Don't Identical Filters in Different Pitchers Make Water Taste the Same?

water_filter_pitcher_taste
Credit: Reviewed.com / Jackson Ruckar

Filtered water taste can vary between pitchers, even when the pitchers have identical filters.

If the filters are the same, why are the taste test results different when those filters are placed in different pitchers? This question mainly concerns the different taste of the different Brita filters (Standard and Longlast) and Pur filters (Standard and Lead Reduction). Different pitchers are designed to work with certain filters; typically, those are the filters that come standard with purchase of the pitcher. Each water pitcher is designed to channel the water into the filter over a certain time period—that’s why the reservoirs for these pitchers aren’t identical. By substituting a different, but compatible, filter, the water will spend more or less time in the filter than its original use intended, which could affect the water's taste.


Other Water Filter Pitchers We Tested

Brita Grand 10-Cup Pitcher

Product Image - Brita Grand

Brita Grand 10-Cup Pitcher

With descriptors like “cleanest,” “no aftertaste,” and “fresh,” it’s not surprising that the Brita Grand 10-cup pitcher with the Standard filter took second place. This pitcher has a covered spout, a filter replacement notification LED, and a flip-top cover on the reservoir. The covered spout is nice, but in our experience, the spout cover may come loose and get lost. Like the Brita Everyday pitcher, this water pitcher easily fits on most refrigerator shelves.

Like the Brita Everyday pitcher, the Brita Grand 10-cup pitcher package includes a Standard filter. Again, our testers preferred the taste of water filtered through the Standard filter over the water from the Brita Longlast filter, even though the Longlast filter lasts three times as long as the Standard filter.

With this pitcher, we observed the total reduction of chlorine, a minimal reduction of TDS, and little to no effect on the pH value of the water. This pitcher was filtered water the fastest; it only took three to four minutes for this pitcher to filter 3.5 cups of water. If you want something a bit more stylish and feature-packed than the Brita Everyday pitcher, be sure to buy the Brita Grand.

Rated to reduce or remove: Standard: chlorine, mercury, cadmium, copper, zinc; Longlast: chlorine, lead, mercury, cadmium, some industrial chemicals, some particulates, some pharmaceuticals

Certification standards met: Standard: NSF/ANSI 42 and 53; Longlast: NSF/ANSI 42, 53, and 401

Filter replacement period: Standard: 40 gallons/2 months; Longlast: 120 gallons/6 months

Filter replacement cost: Standard: 6 filters for $25 ($4.17/filter); Longlast: 2 filters for $33 ($16.50/filter)

Pur Classic 11-Cup Pitcher

Product Image - Pur Classic

Pur Classic 11-Cup Pitcher

The Pur Classic 11-cup pitcher with Lead Reduction filter is hot on the heels of Brita, its main competitor. During taste testing, this pitcher’s water was described as being “clean and refreshing” and having “no aftertaste.” The most basic of the Pur pitchers, this model has a flip-top cover for the reservoir and a blinking LED filter replacement notification light. The top comes off easily, which can be both a blessing and a curse: a blessing because of easy access to the reservoir, and a curse because if you try to use the pitcher while there’s water in the reservoir, if feels as though water can spill out from the top. The pitcher is larger than the Brita pitchers, and it feels very light when all the water has filtered down, but it can feel a bit awkward and top-heavy if you try to move it when the reservoir is filled. Because of its larger capacity, it has a slightly wider profile than that of the Brita pitchers, so you’ll need a bit more shelf space in your fridge. We also found that filtration seems to have stalled at a couple points, but Pur has included helpful tips in the package that will help you get the filter up and running again.

The Pur Classic 11-cup pitcher comes with a Standard filter, rather than a Lead Reduction filter, so if you prefer lead filtration, you’ll need to buy the Lead Reduction filters separately. We also included the Pur Standard filter in our testing, but our taste testers preferred water that had been filtered with the Lead Reduction filter.

In our testing for chlorine, pH, and TDS, the Pur Lead Reduction filter showed almost identical results to those of the Brita Standard filter: total removal of chlorine, minor change in TDS, and little to no effect on the pH of the water. Because the Lead Reduction filter is filtering out more contaminants, it’s no surprise that the filtration time is longer than that of the Brita pitchers—it takes 11 to 13 minutes for this pitcher to cleanse 3.5 cups of water. If lead is a concern for you, you can’t do better than the Pur Classic 11-cup pitcher with Lead Reduction filter.

Rated to reduce or remove: Standard: chlorine, mercury, cadmium, copper, zinc, particulates, some industrial pollutants, microbial cysts, some pesticides and herbicides, some pharmaceuticals, and some industrial chemicals; Lead Reduction: lead, chlorine, mercury, cadmium, copper, zinc, particulates, some industrial pollutants, microbial cysts, some pesticides and herbicides, some pharmaceuticals, and some industrial chemicals

Certification standards met: Standard: NSF/ANSI 42, 53, and 401; Lead Reduction: NSF/ANSI 42 and 53

Filter replacement period: Standard: 40 gallons/2 months; Lead Reduction: 30 gallons/2 months

Filter replacement cost: Standard: 3 filters for $18 ($6.00/filter), Lead Reduction: 3 filters for $25 ($8.33/filter)

Pur Ultimate 11-Cup Pitcher

Product Image - Pur Ultimate (11 cup)

Pur Ultimate 11-Cup Pitcher

The Pur Ultimate 11-cup pitcher with Lead Reduction filter got mostly good marks during our taste test: Testers commented that the water was “the freshest” and “tasted like bottled water.” However, a couple of tasters noticed a minor bitter aftertaste. The Ultimate pitcher is basically the upgraded version of the Pur Classic 11-cup pitcher, but it has a few extra perks. The Ultimate pitcher is narrower and longer, but it's the same height as the Classic pitcher. The narrower profile makes it easier to fit on crowded refrigerator shelves, but the fact that it’s longer means that if your shelves are already packed at the back, you may have trouble fitting it in the fridge. On the other hand, the Ultimate pitcher comes with a spout cover, flip-top reservoir cover, and three helpful filter status LEDs: green, yellow, and red. Some of our testers thought that, like the Pur Classic pitcher, when the Ultimate pitcher reservoir is full, it can feel a bit awkward and top-heavy to move, and it feels as though the top of the pitcher may come off if it's used, but overall, they appreciated the slimmer design of the pitcher.

The Lead Reduction filter is included with purchase of the Pur Ultimate 11-cup pitcher. We also tried out the Pur Standard filter with the Ultimate pitcher, but our taste testers overwhelmingly preferred the water that had been filtered with the Lead Reduction filter.

As for our quantitative testing, the Ultimate pitcher with Lead Reduction filter performed similarly to the other Pur and Brita filters: We observed the total removal of chlorine, a minor reduction in TDS, and little to no change to the neutral water pH of 7. While not as drastic as that of the Brita Longlast filter, we did notice an increase in filtration times from about 10 minutes for 3.5 cups of water prior to casual use of the pitchers to about 12 to 13 minutes afterwards. While filtration times may be longer, the tradeoff is that you’re getting peace of mind that the filter is successfully removing or minimizing many contaminants. The Pur Ultimate 11-cup pitcher with Lead Reduction filter is one of the great great dynamic duos of water filtration.

Rated to reduce or remove: Standard: chlorine, mercury, cadmium, copper, zinc, particulates, some industrial pollutants, microbial cysts, some pesticides and herbicides, some pharmaceuticals, and some industrial chemicals; Lead Reduction: lead, chlorine, mercury, cadmium, copper, zinc, particulates, some industrial pollutants, microbial cysts, some pesticides and herbicides, some pharmaceuticals, and some industrial chemicals

Certification standards met: Standard: NSF/ANSI 42, 53, and 401; Lead Reduction: NSF/ANSI 42 and 53

Filter replacement period: Standard: 40 gallons/2 months; Lead Reduction: 30 gallons/2 months

Filter replacement cost: Standard: 3 filters for $18 ($6.00/filter), Lead Reduction: 3 filters for $25 ($8.33/filter)

Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher With Affinity Filtration Technology

Product Image - Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher With Affinity Filtration Technology

Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher With Affinity Filtration Technology

It took a while, but we finally got down to a pitcher that wasn’t made by Brita or Pur! As you can see, the Clearly Filtered pitcher has a much more extensive list of contaminants that it removes or reduces. One particular class of contaminants is important to emphasize: Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are compounds that vaporize in air and dissolve in water. VOCs include compounds like gasoline, glue, bleach, dyes, and more, making the Clearly Filtered pitcher perfect for those who have serious concerns about the quality of their tap water. The Clearly Filtered water got positive feedback in our taste tests (“smooth and pure,” “had no weird aftertaste”), but more people preferred the water from the Brita and Pur water pitcher filters. The Clearly Filtered pitcher has a really sleek, eye-catching design that is all clean lines and simplicity. It’s easy to access the reservoir, and the spout cover is effective without getting in the way of pouring the water. The only downside is that the thick handle and large filter can make the pitcher feel very top heavy, especially when the reservoir is full, so this might not be the best pitcher for those with limited hand strength. Also, we also noticed some leakage of the water around the edges of the filter, despite having the filter screwed in according to the directions; not all of the water in the pitcher may have been filtered.

The Clearly Filtered pitcher includes a Clearly Filtered filter with purchase.

We observed similar chlorine and total dissolved solids results when compared with the Pur and Brita water pitchers; that is, total removal of the former, and a slight change in the latter. However, when it comes to pH, we recorded slight, but distinct changes. While most of the water pitcher filters didn’t change the test water’s pH from its usual value of 6.5 to 7, the Clearly Filtered pitcher showed an increase in pH to 7.5 in the first round of testing, and a decrease in pH to 6.0 in the second round of testing. This may speak to the increased number of contaminants that this pitcher is removing on a day-to-day basis. Additionally, this pitcher’s filtration time, unlike those of other pitchers, actually decreased over time. In the first round of testing, it took between 10 and 12 minutes to filter 3.5 cups, and in the second round, it only took seven to eight minutes. This may or may not correlate to the leakage mentioned earlier; if more water is leaking around the side of the pitcher, then naturally it would take less time to filter the water. The Clearly Filtered pitcher is the most expensive pitcher we tested, and for those who want to remove as many contaminants as possible, it may be worth it. However, because of its higher price, large pitcher size, and mediocre taste test results, we recommend that you try your water first before investing in this pitcher.

Rated to reduce or remove: chlorine, fluoride, some microorganisms, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and some other heavy metals, radiological components, some pharmaceuticals, some herbicides and pesticides, some semi-volatile compounds, and some volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Certification standards met: NSF/ANSI 42, 53, and 401

Filter replacement period: 100 gallons/4 months

Filter replacement cost: 1 filter for $50 ($50/filter)

Clear2O Advanced Water Filtration Pitcher

Product Image - Clear2O Advanced Water Filtration Pitcher

Where To Buy

$29.17 Amazon Buy

Clear2O Advanced Water Filtration Pitcher

The Clear2O Advanced Pitcher got good reviews in our taste test, with comments like “has no extra mineral flavor” and “has the cleanest taste.” But while the water may not have a distinctive taste, the Advanced Pitcher is a complete departure from the other pitchers on this list. Rather than filling the pitcher’s reservoir and letting the water drip through the filter, the Advanced pitcher has a plumbing hookup that allows you to pump water from the sink through the pitcher’s small hose, through the pitcher’s filter, and into the pitcher, allowing for near-instantaneous filtration. The pitcher is also slightly smaller than the other pitchers on this list—its capacity is more in the range of 8 to 9 cups, but its smaller size makes it easier to handle, and the fact that it really doesn’t have a reservoir means that it doesn’t ever feel top-heavy or awkward to hold. However, the plumbing attachment requires quite a bit of extra hand dexterity and strength.

On the other hand, this pitcher only works for very specific faucet types; even with the included attachments, it took some hunting around for us to find a faucet that is compatible with this pitcher. It will not work with faucets that have built-in sprayers, but if your faucet has a removable aerator, it may be compatible. Be sure to check the product manual to see if your faucet is compatible. One other note: While this pitcher filters quickly, the filtration process involves a loud shrieking noise that takes some getting used to.

The Clear2O Advanced filter comes standard with purchase of the Clear2O Advanced pitcher.

When it came to testing, we noticed that there were still traces of chlorine in the water, but like other pitchers, TDS and pH were largely unaffected by the filtration process. As mentioned previously, though, it took less than 30 seconds for this pitcher to filter 3.5 cups of water. This filter is a perfect match for a very specific type of person—someone who needs clean water right now, and who has a compatible kitchen sink. If you can, borrow a friend’s pitcher and try it out on your kitchen sink to make sure it attaches securely; otherwise, we recommend looking elsewhere for your next pitcher purchase.

Rated to reduce or remove: chlorine, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and some other heavy metals, some pharmaceuticals, some herbicides and pesticides, some industrial waste and chemical compounds and some volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Certification standards met: NSF/ANSI 42, 53, 401

Filter replacement period: 50 gallons

Filter replacement cost: 3 filters for $30 ($10/filter)

Dragonn Alkaline Water Pitcher

Product Image - Dragonn Alkaline Water Pitcher – 3.5 Liters

Dragonn Alkaline Water Pitcher

The Dragonn Alkaline Pitcher system is philosophically different from the other products on this list. Other pitchers are designed to remove as many contaminants as possible. Alkaline pitchers filter out some chemical components, but intentionally add others like magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium, which increase the water’s pH and make it less acidic. Alkaline water is said to have positive health effects, but there is some uncertainty as to the veracity of such statements. In our taste test, a couple of people thought that the Dragonn water tasted “clean;” others liked the taste, but noticed that the water had a distinct flavor, rather than having a more neutral taste. The pitcher itself has a flip-top reservoir door, a digital readout that counts down the number of days until you need to swap in a new filter, and a spout cover. During casual use, though, our volunteers found that the pitcher was a bit unwieldy and took up a lot of space in the fridge. A second volunteer found that the pitcher’s manual was so poorly written that it was tough to understand at times.

One alkaline filter comes standard with purchase of the Dragonn Alkaline Pitcher.

During testing, we found that this pitcher does increase the pH of the water; prior to filtration with the Dragonn pitcher, the source water had a neutral pH of 6.5 to 7.0. After, the pH had jumped up to 7.5 to 8.0. It was a noticeable increase of the alkalinity of the water, but not as large an increase as some Amazon reviewers measured, where the pH was as high as 9.0 to 9.5. Additionally, the Dragonn pitcher totally removed any chlorine content. Because it is intentionally adding chemical components to the water, the filter actually increases the number of total dissolved solids in the water.

The major downside to this pitcher is that it takes a really, really long time to filter. In our experience, the shortest time it took to filter 3.5 cups of water was about 40 minutes, and the longest time was more than four hours. At the end of the four hours, most of the 3.5 cups of water had finished filtered, but not all of it. Apparently, alkaline pitchers are generally slower to filter than regular water pitcher filters, but four hours is a bit much. Other users also found similar issues with the long filtration time, to the point where they had to fill it up all the time to ensure that enough water was filtered at any given time. If you are used to regular filtered water, we don’t recommend switching right away to an alkaline pitcher system, since the taste might be very different from what you’re expecting, but people who are already fans of alkaline water might enjoy this pitcher if they don’t mind the long filtration times.

Rated to reduce or remove: N/A

Certification standards met: N/A

Filter replacement period: 2 months

Filter replacement cost: 3 filters for $35 ($11.67/filter)

ZeroWater 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher

Product Image - ZeroWater 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher

ZeroWater 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher

Like the Dragonn pitcher, the ZeroWater pitcher has a completely different aim than that of the other water pitcher filters. The ZeroWater pitcher claims to bring the total dissolved solids content of your tap water down to nearly zero. While that will certainly make your water purer, almost all tap water and regular filtered water contain some amount of dissolved solids; to completely remove those minerals can cause a noticeable change in the flavor of the water. During the taste test, some tasters found the water to be “smooth and punchy” and “neutral,” while others found it to have an unpleasant taste. The pitcher itself is large and sturdy, has a spigot at the base of the pitcher for water dispensing, and comes with a TDS meter included so that you can take TDS readings whenever you like. However, the pitcher is taller than most of the others we tested, so be sure that your fridge shelves are tall enough to fit it. Also, the filter itself is pretty heavy, so even when the pitcher completely empty, it can be tough to handle for those with limited upper body strength, never mind when it’s full.

One ZeroWater filter comes standard with purchase of the ZeroWater pitcher.

During test, the ZeroWater pitcher performed exactly as it said it would—it removed nearly all of the TDS in the test water. The usual TDS content of the water was around 350 to 400 parts per million (ppm); after filtration, the TDS content was 0 to 10 ppm. The pH didn’t change appreciably from its neutral 6.5 to 7.0, and it reduced the chlorine content to the same extent as the other pitchers. Filtration times were a bit longer, though, and it usually took between eight and 12 minutes for the ZeroWater pitcher to work its way through 3.5 cups of water. One of the volunteers who took this pitcher home also noticed inconsistent filtration times; sometimes it would take a few minutes, and other times it would sit overnight without filtering. If you want to focus on reducing the TDS in your water, ZeroWater is the pitcher for you, but its drawbacks, such as its long filtration times and larger size, may not outweigh its good qualities.

Rated to reduce or remove: Arsenic, Lead, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) content, other contaminants TBD

Certification standards met: TBD

Filter replacement period: Depends on water quality; when TDS content reaches above 5 parts per million (a reading of “5” on a TDS meter)

Filter replacement cost: 2 filters for $30 ($15.00/filter)

Clear2O Gravity Advanced Filter Water Pitcher

Product Image - Clear2O Gravity Advanced Filter Water Pitcher

Where To Buy

$25.00 Amazon Buy

Clear2O Gravity Advanced Filter Water Pitcher

While Clear2O is better known for its Advanced pitcher, which uses a special plumbing attachment to force sink water through the pitcher’s filter in mere seconds, the Clear2O Gravity pitcher is just a normal water pitcher filter that lets the water work its way through the filter in its own time. The Clear2O Gravity pitcher did well in our taste test; volunteers thought that the water tasted “neutral,” “smooth,” and “clean,” but others thought that it had a noticeable flavor, for good or ill. This pitcher is smaller than most of the others on this list; it’s easy to lift and move around, even when it’s full. It has a flip top for access to the reservoir and a spout cover. However, when people used it in their homes, this pitcher came up short in a lot of ways. While our testers appreciated the spout cover, the spout’s broad shape makes water come out in an unexpected wave, and it was easy to spill the water while trying to pour it out into a glass.

One Clear2O Gravity filter comes standard with purchase of the Clear2O Gravity Pitcher.

This pitcher performed similarly to the others on this list when it came to our lab testing; it removed chlorine from the water, and had little to no effect on the TDS content or the water’s pH. It filtered water pretty quickly, but we noticed that the filtration had slowed a bit over time; initial tests showed that it was able to filter 3.5 cups of water in four to five minutes, but after casual use, that time had increased to about six minutes. The fact that you’re more likely to spill water from this pitcher than you are to get it into a glass means that this pitcher might be more trouble than it’s worth.

Rated to reduce or remove: arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, zinc and some other heavy metals, some herbicides, some industrial waste and chemical compounds, and some volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Certification standards met: N/A

Filter replacement period: 60 gallons

Filter replacement cost: 3 filters for $27 ($9/filter)

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