Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher
The absolute best
A rigorously tested water filter pitcher proven to remove almost all contaminants.
1 Aquagear Review
Water optimization may seem trivial to many, but not to Aquagear. This brands fully understand the importance of drinking healthy water, and it has optimized the Water Filter Pitcher to remove much more contaminants than competitor brands.
The filter gets rid of most harmful substances including heavy metals, fluoride, chromium, and chlorine. It’ll keep the good minerals like calcium and magnesium though, so you won’t have to deal with that blunt taste of filtered water most pitchers are known for.
We also like the design which is safe for filtering water for kids and adults alike. The pitcher is made from 100% BPA-free parts which are fully vegan and recyclable.
It can even handle up to 150 gallons of water before needing a filter replacement, but the filtering rate is quite slow. As long as you don’t mind filling it in the evening to have clean water in the morning, this is an exceptional filter though.
EHM ULTRA Premium Alkaline Water Pitcher
Best alkaline water filter pitcher
A water filter pitcher developed to turn tap water into healthy mineralized water.
2 EHM ULTRA Review
The EHM ULTRA Water Pitcher is a 21st-century invention designed to turn tap water into healthy alkaline water quickly and effortlessly. This type of water is praised for its anti-oxidant and natural anti-aging properties, that’s why having it readily available at home is priceless.
To achieve its results, the pitcher uses a specially formulated 6-stage filter that removes most contaminants, then adjusts the water pH to an alkaline value. The result is perfect for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, but also for anyone else who wants healthy water.
One thing we like less is that the filters are prone to clogs, and you might have to change them sooner than expected. Despite this slight drawback though, the pitcher is perfect if you want an endless supply of cheap, alkaline water.
Brita UltraMax 18 Cup Water Dispenser and Filter
Best water filter dispenser
A countertop water dispenser and filter perfect for busy households or offices.
3 Brita UltraMax Review
The only thing that can be better than a water filter pitcher is a water filter dispenser designed to sit on your countertop, such as the Brita UltraMax. It can hold up to 18 cups of water and is great for bigger families.
It comes with a standard Brita filter and can remove chlorine, heavy metals, and other impurities. The filtered water might not be as tasty as the alkaline kind, but it’s still pure enough to keep you healthy.
An awesome feature is the sticker filter change reminder that lets you keep track of maintenance. Keeping your pure water fresh during the warmer months could be a hassle though, as the filter is a bit too cumbersome to keep in a refrigerator.
Brita Everyday 10 Cup Water Pitcher
An affordable alternative
A small water filter pitcher designed to fit neatly in your fridge and give you healthy water at an affordable cost.
4 Brita Everyday Review
The Brita Everyday Water Pitcher is the little brother of the Brita dispenser above and packs similar features at a smaller scale. It can hold up to 10 cups, which is still great for a small to average household, while the compact pitcher size fits wonderfully in a fridge.
Capable of filtering the same contaminants as the UltraMax, the Everyday water pitcher comes with the same type of activated carbon filter.
A feature that stands out though is the electronic filter indicator that helps you leave the guesswork out of the game by telling you exactly when maintenance is required. Ergonomic, easy to use, and cheap, this is the best water filter pitcher for anyone on a low budget.
Water Filter Pitcher Buying Guide
Activated carbon vs. cartridge vs. alkaline water filter pitchers
Water filter pitchers are so practical and easy to use that many homeowners prefer them to the more sophisticated under-the-sink water filters, to which we have already dedicated a thorough guide. But this doesn’t mean that all water filter jugs were created equal. Various brands equip their pitchers with different types of filters that may or may not suit your needs. You can choose from the following three kinds.
- Activated carbon filters: Are the simplest filters you can find. They are usually made from coconut shell, lignite, wood, or coal, and are developed to absorb most contaminants. However, they can hardly retain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and some ions.
- Cartridge filters: Still use activated carbon but also employ other technologies such as ion exchange resins and filter beads to retain more contaminants. Some of these filters can even enrich the water with healthy minerals including calcium and magnesium. These cartridges also tend to have a longer lifespan than activated carbon.
- Alkaline water filters: In the literal understanding of the term, alkaline water filters use an electrolysis process during which water is enriched with active hydrogen molecules. According to some studies, alkaline water comes with a host of health benefits and is particularly suitable for athletes because it provides better hydration. However, the alkaline chamber doesn’t filter contaminants on its own, so most water filter pitchers with an alkaline filter also use an activated carbon or cartridge filter to purify water.
How to choose the right water filter?
The first thing you must understand about water filter pitchers is that not all can remove the same contaminants. On the other hand, based on the characteristics of the tap water in your area, some filters may suit you better than others.
Choosing the best water filter pitcher, therefore, revolves around deciding which contaminants you want to remove. Some contaminants present in most tap waters are:
- Chlorine: It is usually used as a disinfectant for the municipal water supply, but an excess of it is linked to respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders.
- Fluoride: It has been added to municipal water for decades, in an attempt to fight tooth decay. Excessive consumption of fluoride can trigger bone diseases, especially in children.
- VOCs: Are found in most pesticides and herbicides, and can contaminate the urban water supply. They can cause adverse reactions in pregnant women and are also harmful to infants and young children.
- Giardia: A common parasite that can contaminate both well and city water and that can cause respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders.
- Heavy metals: Lead and mercury can contaminate most water streams and are responsible for immune and neurological disorders. They can also cause internal organ damage.
Water filter pitcher capacity
Assessing the right capacity of your water filter pitcher depends on two factors, the size of your household and portability.
The capacity of a water filter pitcher can be expressed in either cups, gallons, or liters, but we’re going to use cups for the convenience of this guide.
According to most health authorities, an adult should drink 8 cups of water per day, the equivalent of 2 liters or half a gallon. Water filter pitchers have various capacities, usually between 5 and 18 cups. Assuming that you will top up the water throughout the day, you’ll need:
Water filter pitcher capacity
Over 4 people
However, if you’re mainly buying a water filter pitcher for camping or tailgating, a smaller size of up to 10 cups will be easier to carry alongside a tent and other outdooring equipment.
Water filter jug material
The material the pitcher is made from can greatly influence the durability but also the quality and taste of the water.
- Plastic jugs: Are the most common. They are inexpensive and resistant, but they scratch easily. Plastic can also become brittle over time, and it can be harmful to kids if it contains bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical linked to a wide range of diseases including obesity, infertility, and diabetes among others.
- Glass jugs: Are the best choice if you want to maintain the quality of the water as high as possible. However, this material is heavy, and it breaks easily.
- Stainless steel jugs: Are virtually unbreakable but can give water an unpleasant metallic taste.
Water purifier replacement filters & maintenance
Another thing you should consider is maintenance. All water filter pitchers require regular replacement of the filters. Most manufacturers will tell you after how many gallons or months to replace the filter or cartridge. However, if the water in your area is heavily contaminated, you might have to change them more often. Here are a few signs to look after:
- A drop in flow rate: Most water purifier pitchers have a low flow rate, but if you notice a sudden drop, that’s a clear sign the filter is clogged and has to be replaced.
- Nasty smells: Chemical and bacteria buildup can give a bad smell to the filtered water; this is another clear indicator that you have to replace the filter.
- Bad taste: Some water filter pitchers can give a blunt taste to water, while others can improve its taste. However, if you notice a sudden change in flavor – and not for the better – it’s time to change the filters.
We also recommend keeping a record of all maintenance performed, so you know when to replace the filter anyway if you don’t notice any of the signs above.
Other things to consider
Besides all the above, there are a few other things that can make or break the deal.
- Filtering rate: Most water filter pitchers are slow at filtering water, but there is a huge difference between 20 minutes and a couple of hours. If you don’t mind waiting, the latter could output cleaner water though.
- Jug shape: Besides filter maintenance, you will also have to wash the jug regularly. Avoid awkward shapes just because they look cute and go for a traditional pitcher. It might not be as stylish, but it’s definitely easier to clean.
- Refrigeration: Not all jugs can go in the fridge, so if you want to keep water fresh during the summer, make sure the water filter pitcher you want can resist low temperatures.
- Efficiency vs. costs: A water filter pitcher is not a one-off investment. You will have to invest in replacement filters and maintenance. Therefore, you should make sure that the one you buy can truly remove the contaminants in your area.
- Electronic maintenance indicator: Some of the best water filter pitchers have electronic maintenance indicators that save you the hassle of keeping maintenance records.