A water filter pitcher is the quickest and most budget-friendly way to remove the objectionable taste and smell from your municipal water supply. But out of the hundred options on the market, which one is best suited for your household?
I’ve ranked the ones that are true to their claims and actually make your water drinkable.
Here’s what I found.
1. ZeroWater ReadyPour Water Filter Pitcher (9.80/10)
- Best filtering ability
The ZeroWater ReadyPour Pitcher ticks all the boxes for the best water filter pitcher because of its superb efficiency in removing dirt, chlorine, lead, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), PFOS/PFOA, and total dissolved solids (TDS) from tap water.
ZeroWater uses a powerful five-stage filtration system combining a hollow-fiber membrane and ion-exchange resin to trap dozens of pollutants. The primary contaminants it targets are chlorine, chlorine by-products, lead, mercury, arsenic, iron, manganese, and fluoride.
Explore more details on the contaminants this filter can remove.
ZeroWater has many certifications to back its claims. Its five-stage technology is independently certified against NSF/ANSI 42 and 53 standards.
This water filter pitcher can hold 10 cups of water and is capable of filtering about 40–45 gallons of water before needing a replacement. You can also find 7-, 12-, 20-, and 40-cup variations of this exact model.
It has a compact design that fits easily in fridge doors and any other small space. Its unique comfort grip makes it easy for anyone in your house to hold it. Usually, small-capacity pitchers don’t have a water-dispensing feature, but ZeroWater is equipped with a push-to-dispense spigot. This makes it super convenient for children and elderly members in your home to use.
A pack of two replacement filters will cost you $34.99. If you subscribe to the monthly filter subscription program, you can get 5% off and free shipping on future purchases. You’ll also get a free TDS meter. Yes, ZeroWater is very generous. The TDS meter helps determine the quality of filtered water.
It took me less than fifteen minutes to assemble the pitcher. Plus, you can find installation guides on the website.
I appreciate this brand’s effort toward offsetting its carbon footprint by being a part of 1% for the Planet and establishing a recycling program for expired filter cartridges. If you buy from them, you’re indirectly helping the environment. Cool, right?
Zerowater offers a limited 90-day warranty on its pitchers and a 30-day warranty on its filter cartridges.
One downside to this water filter pitcher is its limited 90-day warranty. Plus, ZeroWater offers no money-back guarantee. It’s only willing to replace the unit free of charge within the warranty duration.
Another knock against this filter is that it doesn’t have a filter life indicator. You just have to guess based on the renewed yucky taste in your water.
The ZeroWater ReadyPour filter is certified to remove chlorine taste and odor from tap water and trap heavy metals, dirt, and PFOS. It’s easy to assemble, maintain, and use.
If you need a compact filter that produces 20–25 gallons of fresh, clean, and delicious water, comes with a free TDS meter, and features a dispensing spigot, get yourself a ZeroWater ReadyPour Water pitcher.
2. Epic Nano Water Filter Pitcher for Bacteria and Viruses (8.50/10)
- Big filtration capacity, removes microbial contamination
The Epic Nano Water Filter Pitcher from Epic Water Filters uses a top-quality sub-micron filter capable of banishing over 200 contaminants, including 99.99% of microbes. Although it’s a tad pricier and removes only 68% of fluoride in water, it’s still a great alternative.
Epic Water Filter’s nanofiltration removes a huge number of contaminants. Naming them all would be long winded, so here are the major ones: E.coli, giardia, cryptosporidium, chlorine, lead, PFOS/PFOA, and atrazine.
You can scan the whole list here if you want.
Epic Water is transparent about its certifications, which I really appreciate. Its products are NSF/ASI certified by a third party against the standards NSF/ANSI 42, 53, 401, P231, and P473.
The Epic Nano filter pitcher is made of BPA-free plastic and comes in a compostable package. The feature that made me fall in love with this unit is its LED filter life timer, which displays a 90-day countdown from the day you start filtering water—no need to guess the filter life or set reminders.
The pitcher itself can hold two liters of clean water and the filter is capable of filtering about 150 gallons of dirty tap water before you’ll need a filter swap. For a medium-sized family, it will easily last about three to four months. But if you’re filling it up more than three times a day, expect it to last around two months. The filter life also depends on your water quality.
The replacement filter will set you back $46. You can get a 20% discount if you subscribe to a monthly package.
Like ZeroWater, Epic Water Filters participates in several environmental initiatives, including Inland Ocean Coalition (IOC) and 1% for the Planet. It also runs a filter-recycling program.
Epic offers a 100% lifetime warranty and a hassle-free money-back guarantee on its units.
This model can only remove 68% of fluoride from your tap water. If you want to remove fluoride specifically, go for Epic’s fluoride filter pitcher here.
Another downside is that it may be a bit too expensive for some users. But considering it comes with a lifetime warranty, I’d say it’s worth it.
The biggest win for the Epic Nano filter pitcher is its ability to trap disease-causing bacteria and viruses in water, along with many other pollutants. It has 150 gallons of life that can last two to four months, which is good enough for medium to large families. If you’d like to know more about this filter, head to the Epic Water website.
3. Waterdrop Chubby Pitcher Water Filter (7.65/10)
This 10-cup Waterdrop water filter pitcher removes 97.4% of chlorine along with heavy metals. But the biggest win for this filter is its high filtration capacity, fast filtering rate, and affordability.
This Waterdrop filter is certified by the NSF against the standards NSF/ANSI 42 and 372 to remove chlorine smell and taste. This filter traps lead, iron, mercury, fluoride, magnesium, calcium, and copper in its seven-stage filtration system, which features activated carbon and ion-exchange resin.
Waterdrop proudly boasts a high filtration capacity of about 200 gallons and a 400% faster flow rate than an average pitcher. Its filter will last up to four months without any interruption. The replacement will cost you only $9.99. You can further save some dollars if you opt for the auto-delivery subscription.
The filter’s chubby BPA-free body and stylish wooden handle blend perfectly with minimal kitchen hardware.
I loved that it features a smart life indicator that glows and blinks to show the remaining filter life. To set it up, you may need to skim through the manual. Don’t worry, it takes less than five minutes.
Waterdrop offers a 30-day warranty in which you can get your defective filter replaced or returned.
Although this filter is pretty inexpensive and costs only $40 annually, it’d be nice to have longer protection than just 30 days.
Another con is it will not budge TDS levels or microbial contamination in your water.
And lastly, Waterdrop is certified to reduce only chlorine smell and odor (NSF/ANSI 42) from tap water. So, while it claims to remove lead, arsenic, and fluoride, there are no certifications to back these bold statements.
Waterdrop water filter pitcher is a durable unit that successfully removes chlorine from water. Its high flow rate and long life are the major highlights. While it doesn’t have certifications to prove that it removes heavy metals from water and provides only a 1-month warranty, it’s a decent alternative to my top contenders.
4. Lifestraw 10-Cup Pitcher Filter
The LifeSraw Home pitcher—priced at $49.95—is your next best choice because no matter how dirty your water is, its top-quality microfilter, activated carbon, and ion-exchange filter will produce only fresh-tasting water by removing bacteria, parasites, dirt, chlorine, lead, mercury, PFOS, and microplastics.
The filter is certified against NSF/ANSI 53 and 42 in LifeStraw’s own ISO-certified lab. You can find detailed test reports on its website for peace of mind.
I like its unique design with a circular base, but I found it difficult to fit in my fridge because of its conical shape. Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate this design innovation, but it should fit in my fridge. Plus, there’s no filter life indicator on this unit.
This pitcher’s microfilter filter lasts over a year and costs $24.95. However, the activated carbon and ion-exchange filters last 40 gallons, or only two months, and will set you back $16.95.
LifeStraw participates in many environmental initiatives, and that makes me happy. The brand puts in a lot of effort to offset its carbon footprint. Moreover, it provides one year of clean water to a child in need. Buying from them means you’ll be indirectly providing clean water to children with no access to drinking water.
Lastly, LifeStraw offers three years of warranty.
If you don’t mind the design, this filter pitcher is a great choice because of its efficiency against pollutants in water. Learn more here.
5. Brita Tahoe Water Filter
Brita’s Tahoe filter, priced at $36.99, is a chubby filter designed for medium-sized families. You can pair it with either Brita’s Standard filter or Elite (previously known as Brita LongLast+) filter to remove 99.5% chlorine, lead, mercury, cadmium, class-I particulates, atrazine and much more.
All Brita filters are NSF and WQA certified against NSF/ANSI 42, 53, and 401 standards.
This Brita filter pitcher features a small lever on the handle that you can push to open the lid to fill water, removing the need to lift the entire lid. It features an LED on the spout that glows green, yellow, or red, indicating the quality of water poured out of it.
One downside to Brita pitchers is that they don’t remove TDS or microbial contamination. Another issue with the filter design is the spout is always open for dust particles and bugs to crawl in.
If you opt for a standard filter (priced at $6.13), it’ll last about two months, but Brita’s Elite filter (priced at $19.99) will clean 120 gallons of water for up to six months.
In an effort to reduce pollution, Brita has set up a recycling program to recycle your expired filters.
I appreciate that they offer their customers a one-year warranty and 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee.
You can buy it here.
6. Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
Clearly Filtered features a proprietary Affinity filtration technology that removes up to 365 contaminants in water, including fluoride, lead, PFOA, and chemicals. This list, however, does not contain bacteria and viruses. A full 365 contaminants but still not bacteria or viruses is a bit hard to swallow.
The Clearly Filtered pitcher is certified against NSF/ANSI 42, 53, 401 & 473 standards. Check out its test reports here.
The filter can filter 100 gallons of water. That’s about three to four months if your water is moderately contaminated. If you have high TDS levels, expect it to last around two months.
Although it removes a great number of pollutants, its price is way too steep compared to the rest of the 10-cup pitchers on the market. This pitcher costs $90, and the filter replacement will set you back $49.50. You’ll pay $150 annually or more if your water is full of nasties.
At such a high price point, you’d expect it to at least have a filter-life indicator or a free TDS meter like ZeroWater filter, but it doesn’t feature anything extra.
Clearly Filtered provides a two-year warranty on its filter pitchers, not including the filter cartridges.
You can learn more about this water filter here.
7. Nakii Water Filter Pitcher
The Nakii water filter pitcher is priced at $22.99 and uses activated carbon to remove 98% of chlorine, fluoride, and heavy metals from tap water.
It is third-party tested against NSF/ANSI 42 standards, which proves the claim to remove chlorine taste and smell, but Nakki doesn’t have any other certification to confirm its removal of heavy metals and fluoride.
It has a filtration capacity of 150 gallons and a decent flow rate of 1.3 liters/minute.
I was disappointed to find out the wooden handle shown in pictures online was actually a cheap piece of plastic. The whole pitcher felt flimsy and low-quality in my hands.
The filtered water tastes fresh, but this filter is only good for light contamination. You can get better products with warranties at half the price.
8. Aquagear Filter Pitcher
The Aquagear filter pitcher removes chlorine, lead, microplastics, pharmaceuticals, PFOS/PFOA and other pollutants.
However, its test reports don’t show the removal of chloramine, arsenic, chromium, and fluoride. After digging deeper, I discovered that Aquagear water filter pitchers do not remove these contaminants.
The Aquagear pitcher is priced at $69.95. The replacement filters last about 120 gallons and cost around $49.95. You can get a 20% discount by subscribing to the brand’s monthly offers, but honestly, at this price, you can find better water filter pitchers that can also remove fluoride and microbial contamination.
Aquagear loves to recycle your expired filters. It sends postage-paid labels so you can mail them your filter cartridges without a cost. In addition, with every purchase, Aquagear provides clean drinking water to underprivileged children in Tanzania.
The Aquagear water filter pitcher comes with a lifetime warranty.
9. LARQ Pitcher PureVis
The LARQ filter pitcher uses a nano filter and proprietary PureVis technology to remove chlorine, lead, cadmium, microplastics, PFOS/PFAS, bacteria, and other pollutants.
It is third-party tested against NSF/ANSI 42, 53, and 401.
LARQ is expensive. It’s priced at $139, with replacement filters costing around $26, which you’d need to change every two months. You could get a discount by choosing bundle packages though.
LARQ offers a one-year limited warranty. It has a 30-day return policy that only applies to “unused” pitchers. I don’t understand the point of this because how can I test the filtered water without using it to decide if I want to return it?
Nevertheless, LARQ produces fresh-tasting water. You can explore more on the website.
Out of dozens of pitcher water filters I tested in my four-month-long research, only the ZeroWater 10-cup ReadyPour Pitcher ticked all the boxes for the best water pitcher.
This filter is certified to remove a long list of contaminants, including chlorine, lead, chromium, arsenic, iron, mercury, TDS, PFOA, and fluoride in drinking water. These claims are backed by an authentic NSF certification for NSF/ANSI standards 42 and 53.
It has a sleek, compact, and easy-to-handle design. If you have kids or elderly family members, this pitcher will suit them well because of its comfortable grip handle and push-to-dispense spigot.
If you’re interested in learning how I researched and ranked water filters pitchers, here’s a summary of my four-month research journey.
Step 1: A list of water filter pitchers
To start my research, I needed to find the most popular brands that people go for when buying water pitchers.
This was easy. I went online and explored Amazon, Bath and Beyond, Target, and Wal-Mart, and I also visited some local stores to make a list of popular brands with the highest sales. Meanwhile, I asked my friends and family to share the filter pitcher brands they trusted the most.
By the end of the day, I had a meaty list of about 20 water filter pitchers.
Step 2: Product analysis
Next, I learned and analyzed the most important features to look for in a water pitcher filter.
I tested municipal water at home to determine what contaminants a pitcher filter must remove and what technology is best suited for this purpose.
Here’s what I found.
The contaminants most commonly found in city water include dirt, chlorine, chloramines, trihalomethanes, lead, nitrates, arsenic, fluoride, PFOS/PFOA, pharmaceuticals, bacteria, and viruses.
Filtration technologies best to remove these contaminants include sub-micron filters, activated-carbon filters, and reverse-osmosis membranes.
Next, I jotted down questions to help me rank better:
- Is it NSF/ANSI certified?
- Is the brand transparent about its test results?
- Does it remove all the drinking water contaminants?
- What is the life of the filter?
- Does it have a filter life indicator?
- Is it easy to clean and maintain?
- Does it come with a decent warranty and refund policy?
Step 3: Online reviews
Now was the time to read what people had to say about the filters on my list. I read hundreds of verified testimonials, paying little attention to “anonymous comments” and feedback on brand websites because those are mostly fake.
I also explored review sites like Trustpilot, Angie’s List, and TestFreaks.
Step 4: Interviews with real customers
During the last process, I found a few customers willing to jump on a call with me and discuss their experience in detail. So, I contacted them and learned that some of the best-ranked filters also had a few cons that were not addressed online. This helped me strike a few filters off my list.
I even met a few customers in my neighborhood and tasted the filtered water myself.
Step 5: Interviews with brands
Of course, the research was incomplete without judging the customer service. I contacted the brands, asked about the authenticity of their certifications and test reports, and learned more about their warranty and refund policies. I even conveyed a few customer complaints and asked how they were planning to improve their products.
Most brands on my list were quick to respond, but a few didn’t answer satisfactorily. I’ve included that in my ranking.
Step 6: Test drives
The last phase of my research involved buying and testing the water filter pitchers myself. I tested my tap water first and then compared the results with the filtered water from each filter.
I analyzed the ease of assembling the filters as well as cleaning and maintaining them. I also noticed the material quality and shape of the pitcher. This took me a week—don’t worry, I used the filtered water to water all my plants.
Ultimately, I decided to keep the best water filter system for personal use.
Step 7: Ratings
Now that I had all the information I needed to rank the water filter pitchers, I took out a notepad and started scoring every brand against the following factors:
- Filtered water taste, color, and smell
- Test results
- Ease of maintenance
- Targeted contaminants
- Filter life
- Flow rate
- Customer reviews
- Warranties and guarantees
In the end, I was more than happy with my list of best water filter pitchers.
The Best Water Filter Pitcher
The ZeroWater ReadyPour Water Filter Pitcher takes the lead on all fronts. Its top-quality hollow fiber and ion exchange work efficiently against all pollutants commonly found in tap water.
Some of the major highlights of this filter:
- Ability to remove lead, fluoride, arsenic, PFOS, and TDS
- NSF-42 and 53 certifications
- Push to dispense spigot
- Subscription discounts
- Free TDS meter
- 90-day warranty
If you want a durable water filter pitcher that is cost effective, has a decent water capacity, and improves the taste of chlorine-laden tap water, get yourself a ZeroWater 5-stage filter today.