Best Water Filter Pitchers Reviews (Top-Rated For 2019)
A water filter pitcher is just as it sounds - a pitcher that filters your drinking water. These units feature a set of filters that trap contaminants from the water as it flows into a container.
They come in handy if you are yet to install a complex whole-house or point-of-use water filtration system in your house either because of budget constraints or when it’s simply uneconomical due to your household’s low water consumption.
This list brings you a closer look at the best water filter pitchers reviews in the market that edges the competition in terms of excellent water filtration and reliability.
1. Zero Water 10 Cup Pitcher - Best 10 Cup Water Filter Pitcher
The Zero Water is among the most affordable water filter pitchers in 2019 and a good bet for homeowners and dorm dwellers shopping on a budget.
Make no mistake though. Even at its seemingly low price, this is one of the best performers in regard to purifying your water from most of the components that make it unsafe; lead, mercury, chlorine, aluminum, zinc, and pharmaceuticals.
What gives this pitcher its competitive edge is its advanced filtration system. This is a 5-phase ionization technology system that produces water with 000 ppm. For the record, this pitcher is known for removing all the chlorine in water and approximately 99.91% of all the lead in your water supply. This is something that you’ll really appreciate if you live in an old house whose water supply lines were laid way back in the 80's.
This pitcher’s filter also does an excellent job in removing most of the water minerals that you don’t need thereby leaving you with fresh crisp-tasting water.
Interestingly, the Zero Water filter pitcher comes with a battery-powered TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) meter that keeps you posted on the quality of the filtered water. Importantly, this meter also notifies you when it’s time to replace the filter.
This pitcher has a 10-cup reservoir that might be great for 1-3 people. But what we like most is its compact size that fits in most refrigerators without a lot of struggles. On the same note, we like that it offers 2 options for pouring water.
For convenience, there is a handy dispenser at the bottom-back of the pitcher that allows you to fill a cup without necessarily getting the entire pitcher out of the fridge.
2. Big Berkey Water Filter 2.5 Gallon System - Best Water Filter Pitcher For Family
Next up is a complex system designed for a large family that requires enough supply of filtered water at the ready at all times without the need to plumb in a whole-house water filtration unit.
The Big Berkey water filter is the second largest filtration system from this American brand. It consists of a large tank that holds 2.5 gallons of filtered water and 2 black filters dubbed PF-2.
The fact that there is a ready supply of up to 40 cups of treated water with every filtration is a good reason to go with this model. But what’s more impressive is that it can filter 3.5 gallons in one hour. That’s to say that the Big Berkey can cater to small parties without issue.
The PF-2 filters that it comes with blocks and traps arsenic, fluoride, chlorine, trihalomethanes and other heavy metal ions from the tap water. It also minimizes the number of nitrates, nitrites, mercury and lead among other harmful minerals.
But what you’ll love the most about these purification elements is that they are capable of purifying approximately 6000 gallons of water in total. Generally speaking, a family of 4 plus 2 pets would need to replace the filters after 3-5 years which is quite impressive.
The assembly process is amazingly easy and you don’t need to be an expert to do it the right way. In addition, the package comes with virtually everything that you’ll need to set it up. It does not require any installation since you’ll be filling it manually. And this also means that you can transport and use it from one home to the other with ease.
Determined to help you minimize the number of plastic bottles that end up in our landfills, the Big Berkey also comes with a 24-ounce stainless steel bottle that you can use to carry water to the office.
3. Megahome Countertop Water Distiller - Best Water Distiller
Our next recommendation for the best water filter pitcher for 2019 is a distiller and a water filter in one unit. The basic idea behind water distillation is to heat water to its boiling point (212℉/100℃). At these temperatures, the water evaporates and the vapors are collected by cooling pipes where they condense into liquid before being directed into a collecting jar.
However, while most of the heavy metals are left inside the water distiller as water vaporizes, some Volatile Organic Compounds that boil at 212℉ or below follow the water as it vaporizes and collects in the condensing tubes. Therefore, they need to be filtered before the water is collected in the collecting reservoir.
That’s the basic principle behind the Megahome Countertop Water Distiller.
This unit is around 14.5 inches tall and it’s sure to fit beneath most kitchen’s cupboards. It also has a good heft to it at around 8 pounds (when empty, and around 16 pounds when filled with 1 gallon of water). This weight coupled with its 3 sturdy rubber feet means that the distiller won’t be sliding everywhere on your kitchen tops.
The Megahome water distiller can only distill 1 gallon of water at a go and the process takes 5-6 hours. This means that you can only distill utmost 4 gallons every day. This is actually its major drawbacks. But the assurance that the distilled water will be free of all lead and almost all the fluoride makes it worth the wait. For more countertop filters check out our countertop filter reviews page.
Something else that most of its users also appreciate is that the distilled and filtered water is never in contact with plastics at any given point.
It’s also very easy on your electricity bills. This distiller is rated at 580 watts and will cost you around $0.38 to make a gallon of safe drinking water using a billing rate of 12 cents per kilowatt every hour. This translates to around $12 per month and around $140 annually which is much less compared to store-bought bottled water.
4. Brita Large 10 Cup Water Filter Pitcher - Best Affordable Filter Pitcher
It’s very likely that you’ve heard about Brita. This is a Germany-based manufacturer that has been synonymous with filter pitchers since 1988 and definitely one of the best water filter pitcher brands in 2019. This brand’s pitchers are popular for 2 major reasons; performance and affordability.
The Brita Everyday that we are looking at is over 10 times cheaper than the priciest model in this list. Surprisingly, the Brita does beat most of its expensive rivals in most of the important fronts.
This pitcher features a 10-cup reservoir and this means that it’s perhaps best suited for smaller families of around 3 people.
But what will really impress you is the fact that it filters the 10 cups in half a minute. This is way shorter compared to filter pitchers that take up to 10 minutes to do the same or even 5 hours as it’s the case with the Megahome Water distiller above.
The Brita Water Filter Pitcher uses activated carbon filter that gets a really good boost from polymer beads. The activated charcoal filter removes most organic water contaminants including chlorine and trihalomethane. The replacement cycle is after every 40 gallons of water have passed through the filter or after every 2 months, whichever comes sooner.
The polymer beads, on the other hand, help in trapping and removing metals and heavy metal ions including lead and mercury.
Lastly, we also like this pitcher’s general size and shape. The Brita Everyday measures 10.94’’ (L) by 5.59’’ (W) by 10.47’’ (H) and has a classic oval shape that allows it to fit in most refrigerators with relative ease.
5. Mavea 1005722 Elemaris XL Water Filtration Pitcher
The Mavea 1005722 Elemaris XL is another popular model that you’ll come across in most water filter pitcher reviews. Similar to the Brita above, the Mavea is a German product with European styling, and that alone speaks volumes about its construction quality. Don’t just take our word for it though.
Unlike most water filtration systems that come in a single color, Mavea avails theirs in a range of hues in a bid to appeal to different lifestyles. In addition, it also comes in several size options to fit different people’s needs.
What we have here is the Ruby Red 9-cup capacity water filtration pitcher that comes fitted with this manufacturer’s advanced filter - the Maxtra.
The Maxtra is one of a kind filter that does not require presoaking for it to block and trap water contaminants. In addition, and unlike the cylindrical filters that we are used to, Mavea says that its new filter’s shape ensures that it offers consistent performance throughout its life.
Speaking of performance, the Mavea 1005722 Elemaris XL water filtration pitcher removes industrial contaminants, pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemicals. The Elemaris pitcher is also WQA certified to NSF ANSI 42 and 53 standards to minimize chlorine and its odors.
Uniquely, this pitcher is also famous for removing hard water components -magnesium and calcium- that are responsible for causing limescale.
If you are tired of pitchers that release black particles into the reservoir, this model has a solution to that and other issues that plague typical pitchers. Its filter has a micro-screen that traps minute black particles that escape from the activated carbon fiber and, therefore, leaves you with cleaner and safer drinking water.
There are 2 other things that we can’t fail to mention here: a pour-through lid that makes it easy to fill the pitcher single-handedly and a Smart meter that measures your water’s hardness level besides keeping you alert on the length of time that the filter has been in use.
Best Water Filter Picthers Comparison Chart
|Zero Water 10 Cup Pitcher||ZeroWater||8.0||10 cups||Blue and White||$||12.25 x 6 x 11.62||4 pounds|
|Big Berkey Water Filter 2.5 Gallon System||Berkey||9.0||2.5 gallons||-||$$$||17 x 11 x 11||10.2 pounds|
|Megahome Countertop Water Distiller||MegaHome||9.0||1 gallon||White||$$$||9 x 9 x 13||11 pounds|
|Brita Large 10 Cup Water Filter Pitcher||Brita||8.0||10 cups||Green||$||10 x 5 x 11||2.48 pounds|
|Mavea 1005722 Elemaris XL Water Filtration Pitcher||Mavea||8.0||9 cups||Ruby Red||$$$||10.9 x 10.6 x 6||2.4 pounds|
What Is A Water Filter Pitcher And How Does It Work?
A water filter pitcher is more or less like a jug with a system of reservoirs and filters that block and trap water contaminants from your water supply to leave you with clean and safer drinking water.
Do water filter pitchers work? Yes, they do. But it’s important to keep in mind that the contaminants removed vary depending on the model. And that’s to say that before beginning your search for the best water filter in the market, you need to ensure that it will be able to deal with the contaminants that are actually troubling you (more about this in the next section).
What Do Water Filter Pitchers Remove?
Filter pitchers generally remove water components and contaminants that you don’t need and that which make water unsafe for drinking. What each model removes differs depending on the type and the number of filters used in its construction design.
There are 2 main types of filters used by water filter pitcher brands: activated carbon filter and a cartridge filter.
Activated carbon is the most common filter and what you’ll find in most pitchers. A carbon filter is derived from a variety of organic materials including wood, coconut shells, coal, lignite, and petroleum pitch and can be in granular or block form.
Here, the carbon is activated either physically (by exposing the carbon to temperatures of between 1112-1652F in the absence of oxygen) or by chemical means through strong acids, bases, or salt.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, activated carbon filter is recommended to remove the 32 common organic water contaminants including Trihalomethane compounds (by-products of Chlorine) and all 12 herbicides and 14 pesticides that have been known to find their way into the municipal water supply.
Generally, here is a list of water contaminants that activated carbon filters remove:
- Trihalomethane compounds
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Bad tastes
- Cryptosporidium- a protozoan parasite that causes cryptosporidiosis (an illness of the gastrointestinal and respiratory system that causes watery diarrhea and coughing).
- Giardia lamblia- this is a small parasite that is commonly found in unclean water and a common cause of giardia in the USA. Giardia is a diarrheal disease that interferes with the way your body absorbs nutrients.
A cartridge filter is far more advanced than a typical activated carbon filter. Usually, these filters employ an activated carbon filter plus other water filtration technologies including ion exchange resins, mineral balls, and tourmaline.
The ion exchange resins that we are talking of here are the same that you’ll find in the best water softeners. These resin beads are responsible for trapping magnesium and calcium particles and releasing sodium into the water in exchange.
Just as the name suggests, mineral balls are balls of minerals that are infused into the water as it passes through this phase. These balls also replace important minerals and vitamins that might have been filtered out in the previous stages.
Tourmaline, on the other hand, is a crystalline silicate mineral compounded with several metal ions including magnesium, potassium, sodium, aluminum, and lithium. When used in a water filter, tourmaline makes the water mild and tasty because it increases the negative ions in the water.
To that end, you could say that cartridge filters make the best water filter pitchers for home. This is because in addition to removing the contaminants that active carbon fiber removes, they also make the water healthier by adding important minerals.
Key Considerations When Purchasing A Water Filter Pitcher
What It Removes
Keeping in mind the various types of filters that different water pitchers use plus their different capabilities, it makes sense to understand what you want to be removed from your water first and then get a pitcher that will do that.
And that means that you need to either have your water tested by an expert or do it yourself to identify the contaminants that may be available.
The expert way is definitely the best way to go since you get to understand the chemical and biological components of the water that a simple store-bought water test kit may not reveal. If you use well water, for instance, some of the common components that you need to be aware of include nitrates, nitrites, iron, ammonia, fluoride, chloride, residual chloride, phosphorus, dissolved oxygen, and arsenic.
Most inexpensive water filter pitchers will only reduce chlorine and its odors and might be just what you need if these 2 are what concerns you the most.
On the other hand, if your water is contaminated with microbiological cysts and agricultural and pharmaceutical cysts, you need to go for an advanced water filter pitcher with a complex filtering system capable of eliminating these pollutants.
Once you have identified the right filtering system depending on your water’s pollutants, the next consideration will be the size of the filter’s reservoir.
These household units are sold in terms of the number of cups that they can filter and hold. The best water filter pitcher size for you mainly depends on the number of people that it will be serving with every filtering cycle.
If you live alone, a small model that holds up to 40 ounces (around 5 cups) might be ideal. Although getting a large filter pitcher does not hurt, you’ll still need to replace any unused water at least every 2 days to ensure that it remains fresh.
For a large family, however, or if you get visitors frequently, you are free to go with a large capacity filter pitcher that can filter and hold up to 80 ounces of water. A larger pitcher eliminates frequent refills and it will also save your sanity especially if it takes some time to filter the water.
Going hand in hand with the capacity of the pitcher is the filtering speed. This simply refers to how long the filter takes to treat the water. Whether you are looking for a small water filter pitcher for one person or a giant model for a large family, this is an important aspect that will determine how long you need to wait once the initial amount has been depleted.
Filtering speed varies between different models depending on the type of filter and size and the number of phases that the water needs to go through. The time taken may vary from 6 minutes all the way to 6 hours. So, do your due diligence on this to avoid last minute frustrations.
Filter Replacement Indicator
The next consideration in this best water filter pitcher buying guide is as important as the first 3; a filter indicator. It keeps you posted on when you need to replace the filters as only then can the pitcher offer you well-treated drinking water.
Of course, most of the basic pitchers don’t offer this versatility. But the manufacturer will indicate on the user’s guide on when the filter needs to be replaced either after a given amount of time or gallons of water have been filtered, usually around 48 gallons.
Others come with a sticker that you need to stick on your calendar on the approximate date of filter replacement (around 2-3 months from the day of installation).
The advanced models, however, have an electronic meter that constantly reminds you when you need to replace the filters. These models rule the roost in terms of efficiency and offering you peace of mind.
The main idea behind a water filter pitcher is to prevent water contamination as much as possible. And a lid that opens automatically in response to the flow of water from the tap is a huge step in the right direction.
Again, not all water filter pitcher brands will offer this functionality. But those that do add 2 benefits to the mix. First, the fact that you won’t be interacting a lot with the lid means that the risk of water contamination is slightly reduced. Second, this design makes it easy to fill the pitcher singlehandedly which is quite practical for those times when your other hand will be full.
Construction Materials And Durability
In an era where our concern for health and healthy products is staggering than ever before, it’s important that you consider the type of materials that the manufacturer uses for the pitcher. Generally, you want all the components of the pitcher to be made from 100% BPA-free plastics that have been approved by the FDA.
Previous Users’ Reviews And Feedback
As good as water filter pitcher looks from the surface and no matter how convincing the manufacturer’s marketing strategies are, nothing can replace previous users’ feedback regarding the pitcher’s performance.
Most online e-tailers such as eBay and Walmart have a section where previous buyers give feedback about the quality and performance of the product.
Of course, not all comments (positive and negative) are authentic and it can be quite hard to determine who is genuine and who has been paid or hired to leave a great or bad review. Pay attention to comments that include images of the product in use.
A water filter pitcher is a great alternative to a complex whole-house filtration system. The thing with these units is that they remove most of the contaminants that make your drinking water safe without necessitating any changes on your plumbing. They are also way affordable and won’t cost you a lot to maintain too.
Besides offering you clean and healthy drinking water, the best water filter pitcher save you chunks of money that you spend on bottled water. It also helps you play your role in reducing the number of plastic bottles that end up in our landfills and oceans.
However, keep in mind that water filter pitchers don’t eliminate any bacteria and viruses that may be present in the water.