Buyer's Guide & Information

Best Water Filter Pitchers Reviewed

These are the top-rated dispensers that provide reliable filtration and improve your home water.

by PlumberAndy

Buyer's Guide & Information

Best Water Filter Pitchers Reviewed

These are the top-rated dispensers that provide reliable filtration and improve your home water.

by PlumberAndy

by PlumberAndy

One of the easiest ways to experience an instant health boost is to start filtering your water. Although you might think that tap water you’ve been drinking for years is adequate, there’s actually some funky stuff in tap water. It’s time to start filtering out all those unpleasantries that aren’t doing your body any favors. There’s an easy solution, and that is to invest in a water filter pitcher.

With so many options to choose from, deciding on a water filter pitcher isn’t easy. There’s a lot to consider when looking for a clean drinking water solution, but luckily this guide is here to help you with the buying process. If you’re hoping to improve your home’s drinking water and give yourself a much-needed health boost, check out these reliable water filter pitchers for clean drinking water.

Preview

Product

Max Capacity

% of Contaminants Removed

Check Price

Epic Nano Water Filter Pitcher | Navy | 3.5L...

Epic Nano

150 Gallons

99.9999%

Epic Pure Water Filter Pitcher | 100%...

Epic Pure

200 Gallons

99.99%

Brita Ultra Max with 1 Longlast Filter, Extra...

Brita 10060258362609 UltraMax

120 Gallons

99%

Ehm Ultra Premium Alkaline Water Pitcher -...

Ehm Ultra Premium

About 80 Gallons

90%

Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher - Fluoride,...

Aquagear

150 Gallons

99%

PUR DS1800Z 18-Cup Dispenser with Basic Filter

PUR DS1800Z

40 Gallons

95%

Clearly Filtered Water Filter Pitcher |...

Clearly Filtered

100 Gallons

99.9%

Seychelle pH2O Alkaline Water Filter Pitcher...

Seychelle pH2O

200 Gallons

99.9%

Invigorated Water pH Vitality Stainless Steel...

Invigorated Water

105 Gallons

99.9%

ZeroWater (ZBD-040-1) 40 Cup Ready-Pour Glass...

ZeroWater

(ZBD-040-1)

120 Gallons

99.6%


Benefits of Using Filter Pitchers

Mind Body Green says that it’s time to start filtering your water for more reasons to count. 

The main reason, according to MBG, is that "when you drink tap (or even spring) water, you'll likely be getting more than you bargained for — chlorine, fluorine compounds, Trihalomethanes (THMs), assorted hormones, pesticides and even trace amounts of prescription drugs.”

To eliminate these harmful compounds, using a water filter is a must. Here are a few more benefits that come along with drinking filtered water:

  • Endless health benefits like skin hydration, nutrient absorption, and detoxification
  • Positive environmental impacts by eliminating the use of plastic bottles
  • Enhanced taste of filtered water compared to tap water

Purchasing a Quality Water Filter Pitcher

Type & Number of Filters

The main thing to remember when buying a water filter pitcher is that all filtration systems are not the same. Some do a much better job of filtering out contaminants than others. Most models look the same, but in terms of performance, there is a great deal of variation. These systems use either an activated carbon filter or cartridge filter to block contaminants before draining the water through.

There’s a lot of debate on which type of filter is better, but there is a strong argument that cartridge is the way to go. This is because the cartridge filter uses carbon filtration, but in a more advanced way - we'll discuss each method more in-depth later. The other factor is how many filters are contained within a water pitcher. Some pitchers provide not just one filter, but two. The more filters there are, the better able the pitcher is to filter out contaminants.

Filter Life & Filtering Capacity

The filter within a water pitcher is not meant to last forever. On average, a filter like this can last up to 6 months before it is time to invest in a replacement. But this lifespan varies between manufacturers, and also depends on how often the filter is being used. Even the same manufacturer might have different filter lifespan recommendations for each individual product.

The main determining factor of filter life is the product’s specific capacity limit. Filtering capacity varies anywhere from 40 gallons to 120 gallons. Generally speaking, a 40-gallon capacity will get you about 2 months of regular use, while a 120-gallon capacity can last up to 6 months.

Certification

The main certification to look for in a water filter pitcher is from NSF international. Here’s what the organization has to say about how it certifies products: “Choosing a product certified by NSF lets you know the company complies with strict standards and procedures imposed by NSF. From extensive product testing and material analyses to unannounced plant inspections, every aspect of a product's development is thoroughly evaluated before it can earn our certification.”

Target Contaminants

There are so many potential contaminants in common tap water, but the main ones to look out for include chlorine, lead, giardia, cryptosporidium, and trihalomethane compounds. This means you’ll want to find a water filter pitcher that targets the contaminants and works to filter them out of the drinking water. You can always count a filter to remove dangerous contaminants, but some go above and beyond to make your water as pure as possible.

Consumer Reports says that before shopping for water filter pitchers, you must do some research. It is suggested that before choosing a pitcher, you have a thorough understanding of what is actually contained within your tap water. 

“Your local water supplier’s Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) will state the levels of contaminants—such as heavy metals, pesticides, and microbes—that are present,” says Consumer Reports.

Aesthetics

Pitcher aesthetics shouldn’t be your first priority for filtered drinking water, but it can still be high on the list of considerations. Look for a pitcher that looks nice when sitting out on the kitchen table or countertop - not one that you’re ashamed to have out on display. These pitchers come in a variety of styles, colors, shapes, and sizes, so your options are essentially unlimited.

Jug Material, Portability & Size

You might think that the larger the pitcher, the better, but this is not necessarily the case. Sure, a larger pitcher will give you access to more filtered water, but it will also be more difficult to lift due to its heavier weight. Most people prefer to fill the pitcher and immediately place it in the fridge for chilled drinking water, so you also need to consider the amount of available within the refrigerator.

Household Size

Water filter pitchers vary in the amount of water they can hold, but usually, it falls anywhere between 5 and 10 cups. For a larger family, choosing a filter with a 10-cup capacity is the much better choice unless you plan on continually filling the pitcher. For a small household of one or two individuals, a small pitcher size will work just fine.

Ease of Use and Cleaning

The best water filter pitchers are incredibly user-friendly - you can typically figure out how to use them without even reading a user manual. That said, some pitchers are easier to use than others. Ease of use often has to do with cleaning and maintenance involved in keeping a pitcher in tip-top shape. Finding a pitcher that requires very little maintenance is a smart idea.

Another factor of pitcher usability is the speed of filtering. Some pitchers work to filter water much faster than others, which means you won’t have to wait around for the container to fill with clean drinking water. Flow rate isn’t necessarily that important if you plan on filling the pitcher and putting the water in the fridge to enjoy later, but it is still a factor to consider.

Cost of Replacement Filters

The cost of a water filter pitchers varies, as does the cost of replacement filters. It is essential that you not only consider the cost of the actual pitcher but also look into how much replacement filters cost. There’s no point in investing in a cheap pitcher if each replacement filter sets you back financially. The cost of the replacement is dependent on the quality of the filter, its capacity, and how long it is meant to last.

Warranty

A few manufacturers are offering limited lifetime warranty policies with their water filter pitchers, but this is very uncommon. You should be able to find one with at least 90 days of warranty coverage. Some of the best water filter pitchers come with a manufacturer's warranty of 1 year, but 90 days is relatively standard.


10 Best Water Filter Pitchers Reviewed

1. Epic Nano

Our Top Pick

Maximum Cups

About 15 Cups (1 Gallon)

Max Capacity

150 Gallons

% of Contaminants Removed

99.9999%

Contaminants Removed

Bacteria, Viruses, Cysts (Giardia & Cryptosporidium), Herbicides, Pesticides, Lead, Fluoride, PFOA/PFOS, TTHM, Glyphosate (Roundup), Endocrine Disruptors, Xylenes, and Trace Pharmaceuticals

Filter Life

Light Use: 4-6 months
Heavy Use: 2-3 months

Certification

NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53, 401, P473, and P231

Our top pick for the best water filter pitcher for drinking water is the Epic Nano Water Filter Jug. This is the best water filter pitcher in 2019, thanks to its impressive filtering capacity. No matter if you're using tap water, a private well, you live in a hurricane zone, or you're traveling around in an RV, the Epic Nano is a must-have fixture for clean drinking water.

Here’s the main reason why the Epic Nano is such an epic solution to clean drinking water: “Each premium quality filter produces 150 gallons of fresh, contaminant-free drinking water... Remove 99.9999% of all tap water contaminants. Replaceable filters are 100% BPA-free, 100% FDA-approved food-grade materials, 100% recyclable, 100% vegan.”


These are all extremely bold claims, but the Epic Nano has gone through rigorous testing, proving that it stands above the rest when it comes to eliminating bacteria and contaminants. This is the best water filter pitcher that removes everything from E Coli to Giardia. Although it can filter out all of the bad stuff, the Epic Nano also works to keep the good in your water, including minerals like calcium and magnesium. For heavy use, it is suggested that the filter is changed every 2 to 3 months.

Another reason to choose the Epic Nano is that the company strongly believes in giving back. The company is a major contributor to the Inland Ocean Coalition, which is working tirelessly to minimize plastics found in the world’s water sources. So whether you’re looking for the best water filter pitcher for coffee or the best for drinking water, Epic Nano is a worthy #1 pick.

Pros
  • Amazing filtering capacity
  • Long filter lifespan
  • Lasts longer than any other brand
  • Rigorous testing for certifications
Cons
  • The high cost of replacement filters

2. Epic Pure

Runner Up

Maximum Cups

About 15 Cups (1 Gallon)

Max Capacity

200 Gallons

% of Contaminants Removed

99.99%

Contaminants Removed

Lead, Fluoride, PFAS, Chromium 6, Pesticides, Herbicides, Glyphosate (Roundup), TTHM, Bromodichloromethane, Bromoform, Atrazine, Xylenes, Endocrine Disruptors, Hormones, & Trace Pharmaceutical

Filter Life

Light Use: 4-6 months
Heavy Use: 2-3 months

Certification

NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53, 401, & P473

Another water filter pitcher from the Epic company, the Epic Pure is the best 5-stage water filter pitcher on the market. Instead of using one, two, or three stages to filter water, it utilizes 5-stage triple capacity filters to deliver water that is 99.99% free of contaminants. Similar to the last Epic filter, this one has gone through a rigorous testing phase to earn its many certifications rightfully. This model is ANSI and EPA-certified, plus it exceeds many NSF standards. 

No matter if you’re on the hunt for the best water filter pitcher for well water or you need a drinking water solution for weekend camping trips, this is an amazing choice. You can count on it to filter out harmful contaminants like lead, copper, heavy metals, and other harmful toxins.

The new ergonomic design doesn’t hurt, either, giving this pitcher a fresh look. It uses the same great filter as before, but there have been improvements to the secure lid, flexible pour spout, and the digital reminder system.

The Epic company conducts its tests in 16 countries around the world, allowing it to meet the high global standards for safe, clean drinking water. Although it is the runner up on our list of best water filter pitchers reviewed, it is still a solid choice. The only reason it doesn’t match up to the #1 Epic Nano is that it has a slightly lower-grade filtering system. Keep in mind that this system still wins out when compared to companies like Brita and Pur.

Pros
  • Impressive 200-gallon capacity
  • Meets EPA, NSF, and ANSI standards
  • 4x longer lifespan than others
  • Digital reminders for a replacement filter
Cons
  • High cost of replacement filters
  • Not large enough for the workplace

3. Brita 10060258362609 UltraMax

Great Value Home Water Filter Pitcher

Maximum Cups

18 Cups (1.13 Gallons)

Max Capacity

120 Gallons

% of Contaminants Removed

99%

Contaminants Removed

Lead, chlorine (taste and odor), cadmium, mercury, benzene, asbestos and more

Filter Life

6 months

Certification

WQA certified

A common trend among those shopping for a new filtered water solution is to search the terms water filter pitcher Brita vs. Pur. Aside from Epic, Brita and Pur are the two most well-known filter pitcher manufacturers in the world. So which one is better? We can’t say exactly which is the best, but when it comes to Brita, the company is world-renowned for delivering high-quality, low-contaminant drinking water. It is especially effective at eliminating lead in water up to 99%.

This is especially true for Brita’s 10060258362609 UltraMax filter pitcher. This model isn't so much of a pitcher as it is a sizeable clean-water reservoir that can be conveniently placed on the shelf of a refrigerator. Its large capacity would make it challenging to pour water as you would from a traditional pitcher comfortably. Instead, it comes with a spigot that can be used to fill glasses and water bottles straight from the fridge.

The space-efficient design is one reason that this has been dubbed a great value home water filter pitcher. It can hold about 18 cups, making it the ideal choice for large households. Some people don’t love that it isn’t a traditional pitcher, but others love this feature. All in all, this is a great home-based pitcher that can deliver clean drinking water to the entire family.  

Pros
  • Long 6-month lifespan
  • Easy assembly and usage
  • Convenient for fridge storage
  • Eliminates 99% of lead
Cons
  • Difficult to lift large jug

4. Ehm Ultra Premium

Best Alkaline Water Filter Pitcher

Maximum Cups

About 15 Cups (1 Gallon)

Max Capacity

About 80 Gallons

% of Contaminants Removed

90%

Contaminants Removed

Chlorine, heavy metals, and more

Filter Life

2-3 Months

Certification

No Certifications from WQA, NSF, or ANSI

Healthline says that just a few benefits of drinking alkaline water are that “it can help slow the aging process, regulate your body’s pH level, and prevent chronic diseases like cancer.” 

Drinking alkaline water is not on everyone’s agenda, but if it’s on yours, you’ll want the best alkaline water filter pitcher, which is hands-down the Ehm Ultra Premium. This is the best small water filter pitcher that not only works to reduce toxins in water but also to alkalize it.

The pitcher can hold about 15 cups, so it’s not as large as the Brita jug, but it’s highly effective at filtering and alkalizing. 

Ehm says that it’s time to start drinking alkalized water since “not only does it have great health benefits, but it also has a fresh and delicious natural taste!”

The activated carbon + ion resin exchange filter works through a process called micro clustering, which reduces water molecule size with the help of a composite 6-stage filter cartridge.

In terms of alkalization, the Ehm water pitcher has been proven to boost water up to a pH level of up to 9.5 (depending on the water source) in minutes. Higher pH means less water acidity and more alkalinity, which is thought to be powerfully antioxidant and boost overall energy levels. Even if drinking alkalized water has never been on your list of things to do, the affordable price of the Ehm Ultra Premium makes it an easy possibility.

Pros
  • Alkalizes as it filters
  • Aesthetic appeal of pitcher
  • Shaped to fit in the refrigerator
  • High-quality construction
Cons
  • Just 90% of contaminants removed
  • Lacks certifications

5. Aquagear

Good for Removing Lead & Flouride

Maximum Cups

8 Cups (0.5 Gallon)

Max Capacity

150 Gallons

% of Contaminants Removed

99%

Contaminants Removed

Fluoride, lead, chromium 6, chloramines, mercury, and chlorine

Filter Life

6 Months

Certification

NSF Standards 42 and 53

Lead and fluoride are two of the most common contaminants found in tap water around the world. There is a great deal of debate on whether or not water fluoridation is safe and whether it’s necessary, but there is no argument about lead. So if you want to get your water as close to no-lead, no-fluoride as possible, you’ll need a filter that is good for removing lead and fluoride, like the Aquagear.

The Aquagear filter features a premium design and has undergone rigorous testing phases in the USA. It meets and exceeds the certification standards set by the NSF, specifically Standards 42 and 53 for contaminant reduction. The pitcher uses triple-capacity filters that the company claims can last 3 times longer than Brita and 4 times longer than ZeroWater filters.

Of course, if you prefer to have fluoride in your water, the Aquagear is not the ideal water filtering solution. But if you’re like many people and prefer your water to be rid of all unwanted toxins and chemicals, this is a great choice. Not many filters work to remove fluoride, but this one does while also keeping healthy trace minerals like calcium and magnesium present in your water.

Pros
  • Comes with Lifetime Guarantee
  • 5-stage filter
  • Leave healthy minerals behind
  • Long filter life
Cons
  • Small pitcher size

6. PUR DS1800Z

Best Basic/Affordable Water Pitcher

Maximum Cups

18 Cups (1.13 Gallons)

Max Capacity

40 Gallons

% of Contaminants Removed

95%

Contaminants Removed

Chlorine, lead, copper, zinc, Giardia, industrial pollutants, pesticides/herbicides, and trace pharmaceuticals

Filter Life

1-2 Months

Certification

NSF 21

The Pur DS1800Z is similar to the large Brita jug we reviewed earlier, only this model comes with a slightly lower price tag. This is what makes the Pur the best basic affordable water pitcher in 2019. This is the perfect solution if you want crystal clear drinking water stored in the fridge at all times. It has a carrying capacity of 18 cups so that the entire family can stay hydrated with 99% contaminant-free water. 

This model was designed specifically for in-fridge use, but if you prefer your water to be room temperature, feel free to leave the jug on the kitchen countertop for easy access. Even with affordable price, the DS1800Z works to reduce up to 70 contaminants from your home’s tap water with the help of an activated carbon + ion exchange filter.

The best part of all isn’t a cheap price, but the fact that Pur users can save up to $1,000 per year by eliminating the need for filtered bottled water. Not only is drinking filtered tap water the more affordable option, but it is the more eco-friendly method of staying hydrated and healthy.

There are so many reasons to choose Pur as your source for clean drinking water, one being that the company has been providing the world with healthy water for 30 years and counting.

There is just one downside to choosing the Pur DS1800Z, and that is the lifespan of the filter. Many water filter pitchers have a 100+ gallon filter capacity, but the Pur filter features just a 40-gallon capacity. This means you’ll have to change the filter out every 2 months or so, but the good news is that replacement filters from Pur are very affordable.

Pros
  • Pur recyclable pitchers/filters
  • Great tasting water
  • Carrying handle for easy refill
Cons
  • Short filter lifespan
  • Lacks durability

7. Clearly Filtered

Long-Lasting Home Water Filter Pitcher

Maximum Cups

10 Cups (0.625 Gallon)

Max Capacity

100 Gallons

% of Contaminants Removed

99.9%

Contaminants Removed

Fluoride, lead, PFOA/PFAS, pharmaceuticals, glyphosate, pesticides, and more

Filter Life

4 Months

Certification

NSF and ANSI Standards

The saying at Clearly Filtered is "Just Add Water," which is precisely how users end up with close to 100% clearly filtered water. This long-lasting home water filter pitcher is easy to use, and it is guaranteed to remove more contaminants than the top 5 leading brands COMBINED. This is a very bold claim, but the Clearly Filtered pitcher indeed eliminates fluoride, lead, PFOA/PFAS, pharmaceuticals, glyphosate, and pesticides from tap water. 

The best news of all is that it does so while retaining all the natural minerals and nutrients contained within your water, like calcium and magnesium. Pitchers with an 8-cup capacity seem to be the trend, but this one manages to squeeze 2 additional cups into the water reservoir.

The 10-cup capacity makes it a great choice for keeping the entire family hydrated. If you have a large family, though, you might consider the jug-spigot design that holds 18 cups, like the Pur DS1800Z.

The initial cost of purchasing the filter bitcher is a bit higher than average. Still, the Clearly Filtered replacement filters don't cost any more than a replacement filter from another company. Many users argue that this high upfront cost is due to the extreme durability of the pitcher itself. Paying a bit extra for a water filter pitcher that is built to last and removes up to 220 contaminants from drinking water is worth it in most people’s opinions.

Pros
  • Long-lasting durability
  • Better-tasting water
  • Filter out over 220 contaminants
  • Water maintains beneficial nutrients
Cons
  • High pitcher cost

8. Seychelle pH2O

Made in the USA

Maximum Cups

8 Cups (0.5 Gallon)

Max Capacity

200 Gallons

% of Contaminants Removed

99.9%

Contaminants Removed

Lead, mercury, asbestos, chromium 6, benzene, MTBE, VOCs, THMs, chloroform, arsenic, fluoride, and more

Filter Life

6+ Months

Certification

NSF, ANSI, and WQA Standards

The Seychelle pH20 is similar to the Ehm Ultra Premium pitcher we reviewed earlier. Both pitchers alkalize the water and increase its pH as they also work to filter out contaminants. The main difference, though, is that the Seychelle is proudly made here in the USA. The company knows better than anyone that millions of Americans drink contaminated water every day, and they’re working to change that fact.

Each and every Seychelle water filter is tested to remove lead, mercury, asbestos, chromium 6, benzene, MTBE, VOCs, THMs, chloroform, arsenic, fluoride, and more. In addition to eliminating nearly 100% of contaminants, the pH20 works to raise water’s pH level up to 9.5. Here’s what the Seychelle company has to say about alkalizing water with the pH20:

“By decreasing water microclusters from 12 molecules down to 4-6, alkaline water is more quickly and easily absorbed. This increased hydration helps flush harmful toxins from your body more quickly. The result of this healthy mineralized water: increased energy levels, improved health, slowed aging process, and restored younger-looking skin…”

Aside from all of its perks, the real draw of the Seychelle water filter is that it is made in the USA. This means that it is held to higher testing standards than filters manufactured overseas. So if you’re looking for an American-made filter with alkalizing properties, a high filtering capacity, and the ability to filter hundreds of contaminants out of your tap water, this is the one.

Pros
  • Impressive 200-gallon capacity
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Alkalizes and filters simultaneously
  • High standards for 20 years
Cons
  • Fluctuations in pH readings
  • High cost of replacement filters

9. Invigorated Water

Best Stainless Steel Water Filter Pitcher

Maximum Cups

8 Cups (0.5 Gallon)

Max Capacity

105 Gallons

% of Contaminants Removed

99.9%

Contaminants Removed

Chlorine, heavy metals (lead, copper, zinc, etc.), fluoride, and more

Filter Life

3-6 Months

Certification

LFGB Certified (Germany)

Water filter pitchers aren't always known to be pleasing to the eye, but it doesn't have to be this way. For a water filtering solution that also has an aesthetic appeal, check out the Invigorated Water pitcher. This is the best stainless steel water filter pitcher on the market, and not just because it looks good. It also ranks high in terms of filtering performance and durability.

The Invigorate Water pitcher has finally created a stunning no-plastic solution constructed entirely from stainless steel (aside from the wooden handle). This stainless steel pitcher not only filters but also alkalizes your drinking water as H20 molecules pass through it. That's why this model is referred to as pH Vitality - it raises your tap water’s pH to a level that is more optimal for health.

The real draw of choosing this model is the stunning design, but that doesn't mean it lacks functionality in any way. You can count on your water to be thoroughly filtered and alkalized. Plus, you can buy your new Invigorated Water pitcher with confidence thanks to the company's 100% satisfaction money-back guarantee. If you aren’t satisfied with the taste, alkalinity, or cleanliness of your water, you’ll receive your money back, no questions asked.

Pros
  • Adds minerals, filters contaminants
  • Stunning stainless steel design
  • Huge filter capacity
  • Money-back guarantee
Cons
  • Not ideal for fridge storage
  • Not lid security

10. ZeroWater (ZBD-040-1)

Best Glass Water Filter Pitcher

Maximum Cups

40 Cups (2.5 Gallons)

Max Capacity

120 Gallons

% of Contaminants Removed

99.6%

Contaminants Removed

Lead, chlorine, copper, fluoride, and iron

Filter Life

6 Months

Certification

NSF Certified

To top off our list of best water filter pitcher reviews, we'll focus on another model that features aesthetic appeal. Similar to the Invigorated Water pitcher, the ZeroWater ZBD-040-1 is nice to look at thanks to its non-plastic construction. But instead of stainless steel durability, this one is the best non-plastic water filter pitcher constructed from glass.

The most impressive feature of this pitcher is not the glass construction. Instead, it's the fact that this pitcher can hold a massive capacity of 40 cups of drinking water at a time. This is great for large group events, workplace settings, and family get-togethers, but it’s not all that necessary for every-day use.

The ZeroWater model does not have alkalization abilities, but it does a great job of filtering out unwanted unpleasantries with its 5-stage filtration system. It doesn’t just use carbon filtration to filter out contaminants, but it also utilizes ion exchange technology to create close-to-contaminant-free water that tastes better than what comes out of the tap.

If you’re looking for a large water filter pitcher that is not made from high-density plastic material, the ZeroWater is a great choice. Just remember that this pitcher is constructed almost entirely from glass, so it is not nearly as durable to a plastic water filter pitcher. It is not necessarily an ideal choice for families with young children in need of filtered tap water. For that scenario, you’ll want more durable BPA-free plastic.

Pros
  • Nice to look at
  • Spigot for easy water dispensing
  • Plastic-free glass design
  • Free water quality meter
Cons
  • Not ideal for families
  • Does not filter out bacteria

How Does a Water Filter Pitcher Work?

There are two common methods for water filtration used by this type of pitcher: carbon filtering and cartridge water filtering. Both function in a similar way and require a user to pour tap water into the filtering element and wait as the mechanism filters out all of the unwanted contaminants. As it does this, water will slowly trickle into the pitcher’s drinking water container. Here are the basics of each filtration method:

Carbon Filter

A carbon filter uses activated carbon, typically from materials like coconut shells, coal, wood, or petroleum pitch. Once activated, carbon has been known to absorb ions of contaminants contained within water. So once tap water passes through a carbon filter, most of those contaminants are filtered out, resulting in much cleaner, safer drinking water.

Cartridge Water Filter

A cartridge water filter uses the same technology as a carbon filter, only takes it to the next level. Aside from using a carbon filter, these use additional techniques to make water better in every aspect, including taste and purity. They use something called ion exchange resins to filter the water even further.


Contaminants Removed by Filter Pitchers

Water filters equipped with carbon filters cannot remove all pollutants from water; they are at least able to remove the most common (and most harmful) ones, including:

  • Chlorine
    Chlorine is added to water by municipal agencies to disinfect it. Although it is great for disinfecting water, chlorine has been linked to numerous health problems and diseases. Plus, chlorine can give drinking water a chemical-y taste.
  • Lead
    The EPA says that lead in drinking water is more common than you’d think. “Lead can enter drinking water when plumbing materials that contain lead corrode,” says the EPA, “especially where the water has high acidity or low mineral content that corrodes pipes and fixtures.” Luckily, filter pitchers work to remove lead from our drinking water.
  • Trihalomethane Compounds
    These compounds are typically present in water as a result of chlorine disinfecting. After chlorine interacts with the organic matter in H20, trihalomethane compounds become present. TCs are linked to several illnesses, including many types of cancer.
  • VOCs
    Short for volatile organic compounds, VOCs are typically found in pesticides and herbicides used on plants and crops. They are used for soil treatment, but unfortunately, they find their way into our drinking water supply.
  • Giardia
    Giardia is what causes the disease called giardiasis, which can last up to 6 weeks and has some terrible symptoms, like vomiting, fever, and weight loss. Giardia thrives in cold water environments, so once it is present, it can be nearly impossible to rid it from a water supply.
  • Cryptosporidium
    Similar to Giardia, cryptosporidium is an illness that is caused by a protozoan parasite contained within water. Developing the disease can compromise your immune system and even lead to death. But the good news is that a proper water filter can filter out the parasite, leaving your water cryptosporidium-free.

How Water Filters Get Certified

There is a vast difference between water filters that have been "independently tested" and those that have been officially certified by major organizations like the American National Standards Institute, the Water Quality Association, and NSF International.

Always look for a stamp of approval and certification from ANSI, WQF, and NSF. Here’s how these organizations go about determining if a water filter should receive a certification:

  • Is a water filter structurally solid?
  • Is it constructed from approved components and BPA-free plastics?
  • Are the product’s labels 100% correct and true?
  • Are the filter’s test results 100% factual?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is alkalization?

Alkalization of water refers to the process of making water more alkaline in nature, or less acidic. According to WebMD, alkaline water 

“ has less hydrogen - or a higher pH - than regular water. The lower the hydrogen level, the higher the alkaline levels.”

Drinking alkaline water is thought to have many health benefits, mainly that it reduces the body’s acidity levels.

What is remineralization?

Remineralization is exactly as it sounds; it is the process of adding minerals to a water supply. A Canadian water company called Aquatell says that the purpose of remineralization is that when water is filtered, 

"the reverse osmosis process is non-selective - it removes the 'good' stuff like calcium, and magnesium, along with the 'bad' stuff like pesticides, heavy metals, and pharmaceuticals.  The process of remineralizing the water adds back some of the good stuff."

What does BPA-free mean?

Bisphenol A is a compound that has been used in the production of plastic goods since the 60s. Healthline says that 

BPA is harmful for you mainly because it can affect several aspects of your fertility. One study observed that women with frequent miscarriages had about three times as much BPA in their blood as women with successful pregnancies.”

Preventing infertility is just one of the reasons to reduce your exposure to BPA. One way to reduce BPA exposure is to look for products with “BPA-free” labels. The best water filter pitchers are now constructed without BPA, making them BPA-free. However, there are other harmful compounds to try to avoid as well, such as BPS and BPF.

How can I test water quality at home?

There a few ways to test your home’s water supply, but the simplest is to use a water testing kit. The Spruce says that 

“if you’re looking for more comprehensive information on the quality of your water, a mail-in test kit sent to a laboratory will give you the information you’re looking for.”

There are plenty of top-rated water testing kits to choose from, but the one with the best ratings is the Essential Indicators Water Test, which can be purchased on Amazon.

When do I know its time to change my water pitcher filter?

This depends on the type of filter and its filtering capacity. You’ll see that each product has a different capacity, ranging between 40 and 120 gallons. This capacity refers to the amount of water that the product is capable of filtering. A 40-gallon capacity typically lasts about 2 months, while a 120-gallon capacity can last up to 6 months.

Under-sink vs. countertop filters, which is better?

When choosing between an under-sink or countertop filter, It’s all about personal preference. However, there are a lot of perks to choosing a countertop or water filter pitcher. First of all, there’s no need for plumbing alterations with a countertop filter or pitcher. It’s affordable and easy to maintain, and the filtering methods in the best water filter pitchers have been proven to minimize common contaminants.

Which water filter pitcher on our list removes the most contaminants?

If your main priority is to find the best water filter pitcher that removes everything from your drinking water, the Epic Nano is a great choice. It's the most reliable filter on the market, eliminating harmful contaminants through its triple capacity nanofiltration filters. This water filter pitcher can remove 99.999% of contaminants found in tap water.


Conclusion

Still on the fence about which of the best water filter pitchers reviewed is the right choice for you? Trust us when we say that you can’t go wrong with the Epic Nano filtration system. Aside from its impressive capacity to filter out nearly 100% of tap water contaminants, this model is 100% BPA-free, FDA-approved, vegan, and recyclable.

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