Best Water Filter Pitchers | 2020 Edition
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Do you want to filter your water without going through the hassle and expense of installing a full-blown filtration system?
If your answer is "yes", then you might want to consider a water filter pitcher.
This kind of filter isn't as good as something like a reverse osmosis system or a gravity water filter, but it's better than nothing. And sometimes it's just not practical to have a bigger system - like at the office, or in a college dorm, or if you're traveling.
So if you've decided to invest in a pitcher water filter, the obvious question is
WHICH ONE IS BEST?
Well, the answer can be different for different people. What is it that you hope to accomplish?
Do you just want your water to taste and smell better, or do you want something that will remove a wide range of contaminants?
It's important for you to know that all pitcher-style water filters are not created equal. You need to know what you're getting.
In this review, you'll find detailed information about some of the most popular water filter pitchers available today. I'm going to cover things like cost, filter life, overall design, and the types of contaminants that each of them removes.
All of them will make your water taste good. They all remove chlorine, odors, and bad taste. If all you care about is the taste, then I'd say go for the cheapest option.
But if you're concerned about contaminants like lead, fluoride and pesticides, you'll want to take a closer look.
Go for the one that takes care of your water issues, even if it costs a little more. Your health is worth it!
So, let's get to it.
You can click on a topic in the Quick Navigation below, or keep on scrolling to read the whole review.
Water Filter Pitcher Comparison Chart: Aquagear vs Alexapure vs Clearly Filtered vs Propur vs ZeroWater
Here's a chart so you can compare the basic features of the Top Five pitchers I've included.
Further down the page, you'll find detailed descriptions of each of the pitchers.
If you'd like to make a quick check of the current price at Amazon, just click on the image of the pitcher in the far left column.
5 Best Water Filter Pitchers
Contaminants Removed or Reduced*
chlorine chloramine lead
arsenic pesticides Chromium-6
chlorine chloramine lead
arsenic chlorine Chromium-6 fluoride
mercury pesticides VOCs
90 days (pitcher)
30 days (filter)
* This may be only a partial reduction. You have to consult individual lab test results (if available) to know exactly how much is removed or reduced.
I've also added the table below for those of you who are into numbers. It lists various contaminants and the percentage reduced by each of the top 5 brands.
The numbers came from published lab test results. Where it says "n/a", that means that there wasn't data for that contaminant. This is not a complete list, but it can give you a good idea of how the filters compare.
A printable version of the water filter pitchers contaminant reduction comparison table is available in The Safe Healthy Home's Free Resource Library.
Suggested Reading - Chlorine vs Chloramine in Drinking Water: What’s the Difference and Why Does It Matter? (The Safe Healthy Home)
Which of These is a Fluoride Filter Pitcher?
If your main concern is fluoride in your water, you'll be glad to know that all of the Top Five Picks do remove or reduce fluoride.
Read below for more details.
Presenting the 5 Best Water Filter Pitchers for 2020!
1. Clearly Filtered Clean Water Filter Pitcher (editor's choice)
First we have the Clearly Filtered Clean Water Pitcher.
This product underwent some major changes in design and performance in 2018. And I have to say, I'm impressed. It quickly became my favorite pitcher filter!
Clearly Filtered formerly used a filter made by Seychelle, but that's no longer the case.
They developed their own filtration technology, called "Affinity". It's made of a blend of filter media including carbon and other proprietary components.
It's not NSF certified, but it has been tested by an independent EPA certified laboratory in accordance with NSF Standards 42, 53 and 401 for water quality and reduction of chemicals and emerging contaminants.
According to the reports, the filter removes up to 98% of fluoride, 99.6% of arsenic, and 99.9% of chlorine. It greatly reduces heavy metals like lead (99.5%), VOCs (Volatile Organic Contaminants), and Chromium-6. Certain microorganisms, such as E. coli, cryptosporidium and giardia, are also removed up to 99.9%.
It does a whole lot more, too. Detailed reports are available at the Clearly Filtered website if you'd like to get the complete picture.
Beneficial minerals are not filtered out of the water.
Another big change Clearly Filtered made is the design of the pitcher and lid.
It still holds 64 ounces (2 quarts), but now it's made of BPA free medical grade Tritan plastic. And that includes the handle and lid!
In addition, the lid is designed to prevent any unfiltered water from escaping the reservoir and contaminating the clean water. That means you don't have to wait for all the water to drip through before you can pour any out.
You do have to take the lid off to fill it - there's no fill hole on the top. But, that's the trade-off for keeping the unfiltered water from leaking out. The lid snaps securely in place, too. It's not going to fall off when you pour.
The filter can last up to 100 gallons or 3-6 months, depending on how much you use it and the quality of your water.
You can also get replacement filters directly from the manufacturer. Clearly Filtered has a VIP Filter Program with automatic shipping that gives you a 15% discount on filters. Shipping is free.
Want to save even more?
Clearly Filtered is offering an additional 10% off your purchase if you use the code: SAFEHEALTHYHOME2020 when you checkout at their website. That's in addition to the discount on filters when you sign up for the VIP Filter Program.
Clearly Filtered Quick Summary
Warranty: Lifetime replacement warranty
Filter Materials: Proprietary blend of carbon and other materials
Biggest Complaint: Water sometimes leaks out around filter (Note: readjusting or flipping over the gasket usually solves this.)
Best Features: Reduces 200+ contaminants, including fluoride; long filter life; no spill lid; excellent customer service
Be sure to use the code: SAFEHEALTHYHOME2020 for an additional 10% off your purchase at ClearlyFiltered.com.
2. Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher (Flint, Michigan tested)
Next up is the Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher.
It's 100% recyclable, and it holds 2 quarts.
The filter life is 150 gallons, which works out to about 6 months under normal use. You'll find that the water filters through quickly at first, but it slows down a good bit as the filter gets older.
You'll know it's time to replace it when the flow slows down to a trickle.
The replacement filters are a bit on the expensive side but you don't have to replace them very often. You can check the exact current price at Amazon by clicking here.
If you want to save money on replacement filters (and who doesn't?), Aquagear has a subscription service that takes 20% off the retail price and automatically sends you a new filter every 6 months.
The subscription is only available through the Aquagear website. You can sign up when you buy a new pitcher at this link.
You can also sign up for the subscription service later at this link.
This filter is EPA/ANSI certified. It meets or exceeds NSF Standards 42 and 53 for contaminant reduction.
I checked out the independent lab testing results at the manufacturer's website, and I was impressed.
The tests showed a significant reduction in dangerous contaminants, including chlorine, lead, fluoride, mercury, trihalomethanes, DDT, and chromium-6.
You may know that Flint, Michigan has an ongoing crisis with lead contamination in the drinking water.
The Aquagear pitcher was actually tested on water from a home in Flint in March of 2016. The water sample started at a level of 0.046 mg/L (the EPA standard for lead in drinking water is 0).
After filtering with Aquagear, there was no lead detected in the sample.
So if you're looking for a water filter that removes lead, Aquagear is a good choice.
Most pitcher filters don't remove fluoride, but the Aquagear does - up to 90%. If that's important to you, then you'll want to consider this pitcher.
The filter removes heavy metals, but it leaves healthy trace minerals in the water.
The Aquagear filter is designed to be used only with water from municipal treated sources. It does not remove bacteria or viruses. So don't go putting water from a pond or stream in it, or you might end up getting sick.
You also shouldn't use it if you're on a well, unless you've tested your water for biological contaminants and you're sure it's clear.
Aquagear Quick Summary
Filter materials: activated coconut carbon and ion exchange materials.
Warranty: The Aquagear comes with a Lifetime Guarantee. If the pitcher ever breaks, they will replace it for free.
Biggest Complaints: Hard to pour; filter doesn't last very long.
Best Features: Completely removes lead; reduces fluoride and other toxins
3. Propur Water Filter Pitcher (best for emergency preparedness)
The Propur water filter pitcher is quite a bit different from all the other pitchers we're looking at. The main difference is the filter itself.
This filter is the same one used in the Propur gravity water filters, only in a smaller size.
The ProOne G2.0 M filter is made of silver infused white ceramic with ProSorb™ granular activated carbon based media. Instead of just using it once and throwing it away, this filter can be washed and reused for up to 6 months or 225 gallons.
You can use almost any kind of water in this pitcher, including well water and water from lakes, ponds, rivers, and rain. So it's great for emergency situations and camping as well as for everyday use.
Independent lab tests show that the ProOne G2.0 filter reduces or removes fluoride (about 96%), pesticides, chloramines, VOCs, bacteria, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, and more. The filter completely reduces lead in drinking water.
It does not remove beneficial minerals.
Lab test results are available at the Propur USA website if you'd like to see more.
The pitcher is easy to use. There's no need to prime the filter before using it the first time.
It holds 3.5 liters overall and 1.5 liters of filtered water. Because of the type of filter it uses, it's slower at filtering than other pitchers. This seems to be more of a problem when you first start using it. It takes some time for a new filter to absorb the water.
Scrubbing the filter element can help the surface to become more porous and absorb better, too.
To check the current price of replacement filters at Amazon, click here.
Replacement filters are also available from the manufacturer, Propur USA.
If you like to drink infused water, you might be interested in the version that comes with a removable fruit infuser tube.
To use it, you take out the tube, fill it with pieces of fruit or vegetables, and snap it back in. The tube hangs down into the filtered water chamber and infuses into the water.
Propur Quick Summary
Filter Materials: silver infused white ceramic with granular activated carbon based media.
Warranty: 90 day limited warranty on pitcher and filter.
Biggest Complaints: Hard to pour and slow filtering.
Best Features: Removes lead, fluoride, bacteria, and many other contaminants; long filter life; can use non-potable water.
4. Alexapure Water Filter Pitcher (effective and affordable)
This is a filter pitcher that I bought for myself to take on a long trip one time. Here it is sitting on my kitchen counter.
I was so impressed that I wrote an in-depth review on it when I got back home. You can read it here: Why I Recommend the Alexapure Water Filter Pitcher
Alexapure pitchers and filter elements are made of BPA free food grade plastic. And they're made in the USA by My Patriot Supply, a family-owned business specializing in products for survival and preparedness.
If you want a filter that removes major contaminants, this is a good choice. It reduces up to 99.99% of a huge array of contaminants, including arsenic, chlorine, lead, pesticides, Chromium-6, trihalomethanes, VOCs, and many more.
Fluoride is reduced by 90%. That's about the same as the other Top Five picks.
Like all the other pitchers - except for Propur - you should only put treated municipal water through this filter. It does not remove biological contaminants.
The pitcher has an attractive design with a sturdy handle and a lid that stays firmly in place when you're pouring. It holds 8 cups of water.
You generally have to replace the filters after about 80 gallons or every two months. But, depending on the quality of the water you put in, they can last for up to 250 gallons.
One drawback is the cost of replacing the filters. They are a bit on the expensive side. Click here to check the current price of replacement filters at Amazon.
Or check the price of replacement filters at the manufacturer's website (My Patriot Supply) here.
You can usually save a good bit by buying from My Patriot Supply - that goes for the filters and the pitcher. It's always worth taking a look.
Alexapure Quick Summary
Filter Materials: Activated carbon.
Warranty: 45-day no questions asked guarantee (unopened products).
Biggest Complaint: Replacement filters are expensive.
Best Features: Easy to fill; lid stays on tight; fast filtering.
5. ZeroWater 10-Cup Pitcher (5 stage filtration)
ZeroWater is one of the most effective water filter pitchers available. It doesn't remove all contaminants, but it does a better job than most of the others.
It's priced reasonably, too.
This filter is NSF certified under Standard 53 to reduce lead, chromium-6, and mercury. It's also NSF certified under Standard 42 for chlorine and hydrogen sulfide.
According to the ZeroWater website, it reduces pharmaceuticals, chloramine, pesticides, fluoride, and arsenic.
They also state that "The ZeroWater systems currently sold do not have the capability to remove bacteria."
You can use it with well water, provided you've had your water tested and it's free of biological contaminants.
It also removes 99.6% of detectable dissolved solids from the water. Those are non-organic solids that can make water taste bad. But it also includes minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium, which you might rather not have taken out.
There's a handy dispenser at the bottom of the pitcher, so you don't have to take it out of the fridge to get a glass of water. None of the other pitchers have this feature.
ZeroWater uses a 5-stage filtration system instead of the usual 2-stage filter. This allows it to take out more contaminants. But it also makes it slower than the others.
When you order the system, you'll also get a free TDS meter so you can test your filtered water for those dissolved solids. That's how you'll determine when you need to replace the filter.
The filters can last anywhere from a few weeks to 6 months depending on the quality of your water and how much water you consume.
If you notice the water starting to taste or smell funny, that's also an indication the the filter is at the end of its life.
The filters are not the cheapest, but again, they remove more contaminants than most pitcher filters. If you can find them in multipacks, you'll save a good bit of money.
If you buy one of these, you might also want to check out ZeroWater's filter recycling program.
You send in your used filters and they'll send you one $10 coupon code for every 2 filters you send. The coupons are only redeemable at ZeroWater.com, and you pay for shipping to send them in. It may or may not be worth it, depending on how much the shipping costs.
ZeroWater Quick Summary
Materials: activated carbon and oxidation reduction alloy; ion exchange
Warranty: 90 days on the pitcher; 30 days on the filter.
Biggest Complaints: Slow filtering, lid comes off easily when pouring; filters don't last long; fishy odor (not as common as a couple of years ago).
Best Features: Reduces fluoride, lead, and other contaminants; handy dispenser.
Other Water Filter Pitchers to Consider
These pitchers didn't make the Top Five list, but you might want to check them out.
Clear2O Advanced Water Filtration Pitcher (fastest filtering)
Clear2O designed this pitcher style water purifier for people who don't have time to wait around for their water to filter.
It's designed like no other pitcher filter I've seen. All the other models in this post use gravity to allow the water to drip down through the filter.
But this one attaches to the faucet and uses water pressure to force the water through the solid block carbon filter.
It only takes about a minute to fill the 9 cup capacity pitcher!
If you'd like more information, please see my in-depth review of the Clear2O Model CWS100 water filtration pitcher.
Nakii Water Filter Pitcher (perfect size for fridge door)
It reduces 97% of chlorine, mercury, and suspended solids. Lead is reduced by 50%, and it does not reduce fluoride.
Like most pitcher type filters, the Nakii should only be used with treated water.
PUR Classic 11-Cup Water Filter Pitcher (holds the most)
And it removes 99% of lead. That sounds good, but I want to point out that the EPA standard for safe exposure to lead is zero. If you have a concern about lead in your water, this really is not an adequate filter.
If you're looking for a fluoride filter, this is not the one you're looking for. It does not remove fluoride.
You should only put treated water in it, by the way, because it does not remove biological contaminants.
A nice feature on this pitcher is an LED light on the lid that tells you when it's time for a replacement. There seems to be a flaw in the design, though, because a lot of people say that it doesn't work. Hopefully PUR will work on improving it.
One filter is good for 40 gallons, or about 1 to 2 months, depending on the quality of the water you put into it.
Since they wear out in a month or two, you'll always want to keep some extras on hand. You can save yourself some money by buying them in multi-packs.
Brita Everyday Water Filter Pitcher (just the basics)
Everybody knows about Brita.
The standard filter in the 10-cup Brita Everyday Pitcher does a great job of making water taste better, but that's about all it does.
It's NSF/ANSI 42 certified for reduction of chlorine taste and odor and zinc reduction, and it's NSF/ANSI 53 certified for reduction of cadmium, copper, and mercury.
This filter will not remove fluoride, lead, chromium-6, or biological contaminants like bacteria and viruses. So you don't want to use it to filter untreated water.
You'll need to replace the filter after 40 gallons, or about every 2 months.
If all you care about is the taste and smell of your water, then this might fit the bill.
Levoit LV110WP Water Filter Pitcher (seems good, with a caveat)
LifeStraw Home Glass Water Filter Pitcher (removes bacteria and parasites)
If you're familiar with LifeStraw's personal water filtration devices, you'll want to check out their latest offering.
It's hard to find a pitcher filter that removes biological contaminants like this one does. Plus, the pitcher is made of glass!
Get the lowdown on the LifeStraw Home in this post: My Review of LifeStraw’s New Water Filter Pitcher
Santevia MINA Slim (best alkaline water pitcher)
Made by Santevia, the MINA Slim filter pitcher holds 9 cups of water, and the filter life is 80 gallons.
One of the main selling points of this filter is that it raises the pH of the water, creating "alkaline water."
It does this by adding minerals - specifically calcium and magnesium - to the water as part of the filtration process.
According to the manufacturer, the 6-stage filter reduces chlorine, lead and other unspecified contaminants.
Whether drinking alkaline water is beneficial isn't clear. There are plenty of arguments on both sides. And that's is why I'm putting this pitcher down here in the "see also" category.
If you've done the research and you've decided that you want to drink alkaline water, then maybe you'll want to take a closer look at the Santevia MINA Slim.
For more details, including my own pH testing on the MINA Slim, please see my review: Santevia MINA Slim Alkaline Water Pitcher: Does It Work?
You can check availability at Amazon here.
Verdict: Which is the best water filtration pitcher?
So, which one of these pitchers is the best? As I said at the beginning of this post, it depends on what you're looking for.
Any of these filters are going to give you better tasting water.
But, I think that if you're going to buy one, it's best to get the most bang for your buck and go for one that does more than just improve the taste.
So my personal recommendation would be either the Propur, Clearly Filtered, or Aquagear. That's because they remove or reduce more of the contaminants that I'm most concerned about.
And out of those top three, I think the Propur is the best overall in terms of contaminant reduction. I also like the fact that you can use it in emergency situations when potable water might not be available.
Clearly Filtered is great for contaminant reduction. And if fluoride is your main concern, it has a better reduction rate than Aquagear. Plus it has that no spill lid and is made of medical grade plastic. It's my personal favorite and the one I use when I'm traveling.
Aquagear is almost as good as Clearly Filtered, and you can fill the pitcher without removing the lid. So it you want that convenience, it might be the best choice for you.
Drinking more water - and drinking clean, filtered water - is an important part of enjoying a healthier lifestyle. Don't put it off!
What about you? Have you tried any of these filter pitchers? Which one do you think is the best? Let us hear from you in the comments!