Best Water Filter Pitchers of 2018
This review was previously posted as 10 Best Water Pitcher Filters of 2017. It's been updated to include some new models, and a few were dropped.
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. (Star ratings are based on my own evaluation.)
Further down the page, you'll find detailed descriptions of each of the pitchers. You can skip to the details by clicking on the product name in the first column.
If you'd like to make a quick check of the current price at Amazon, just click on the image in the first column.
5 Best Water Filter Pitchers
Contaminants Removed or Reduced*
chlorine, lead, fluoride, mercury, trihalomethanes, DDT, Chromium-6, & more
arsenic, chlorine, Chromium-6, fluoride, lead, mercury, pesticides, VOCs, trihalomethanes, & more
chlorine, chloramine, lead, fluoride, VOCs, arsenic, pesticides, Chromium-6, E. Coli, & more
chlorine, lead, fluoride, arsenic, VOCs, bacteria, viruses, cysts, pesticides, heavy metals, & more
chlorine, lead, fluoride, hydrogen sulfide, detectable dissolved solids, VOCs, arsenic, pharmaceuticals, pesticides & more
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.
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 Best Water Filter Pitchers of 2018!
Here they are, listed in alphabetical order. By the way, they are all BPA free.
Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher (most popular)
The Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher is one of the more expensive pitchers on the list. It's also one of the most effective ones, so it might be worth paying a little bit more for it.
It's 100% recyclable, and it holds 2.7 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. Last time I checked, the price was the same as at Amazon, and they offer free shipping.
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.
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
Alexapure Water Filter Pitcher (pretty darn good)
This is the filter pitcher that I bought for myself to take on a long trip last fall. 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.
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.
Clearly Filtered Clean Water Filter Pitcher (recently improved)
Next up is the Clearly Filtered Clean Water Pitcher.
This filter uses a process called "Ionic-Adsorption Micro-Filtration" to remove impurities from the water. The method was apparently invented by Seychelle, but there isn't much information available about it. Not even Wikipedia could help me out.
It's not NSF certified, but according to the manufacturer's website, it has been tested by an independent EPA certified laboratory. They state that the filter meets or exceeds the NSF Standards 42 and 53. Detailed reports are available at the Clearly Filtered website.
According to the reports, the filter removes up to 90% of fluoride, 99% of arsenic, and 87.5% of chlorine. It greatly reduces heavy metals like lead, VOCs (Volatile Organic Contaminants), and Chromium 6.
Beneficial minerals are not filtered out of the water.
Update (April 25, 2018): A representative from Clearly Filtered emailed me to tell me that the filter has recently been updated. He said, "Our new pitcher filter now lasts 100 gallons (rather than 200), but it removes over 200 different contaminants, including 50 different pesticides and radiological contaminants (Gross Alpha and Gross Beta)."
Performance data is available here.
This pitcher holds 64 ounces (2 quarts).
The filter can last up to 100 gallons or 3 months, whichever comes first.
Replacement filters are available on Amazon, but they're much less expensive if you get them from the manufacturer.
Clearly Filtered has a VIP Filter Program with automatic shipping that gives you a 15% discount on filters. Shipping is free.
The pitcher itself costs a good bit less on Amazon, so I'd recommend buying the pitcher at Amazon and then signing up for the filter program at the manufacturer's website.
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 600 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, 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.
When you buy a Propur water pitcher, you'll get one filter. Replacement filters are available from Amazon or from the manufacturer for the same price. However, you'll pay a hefty shipping price if you order from Propur USA.
To check the current price of replacement filters at Amazon, click here.
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.
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, VOCs, pesticides, fluoride, arsenic, and certain metals.
They also state that "The current system is meant to be used with municipally treated, potable water as the current filter will not remove microbiological contaminants."
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 make water taste bad.
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. You can get them at Amazon (check the price here) or directly from ZeroWater. They're less expensive from Amazon, and you can save a good bit of money by buying the multipacks.
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.
Other Water Filter Pitchers to Consider
These pitchers didn't make the Top Five list, but you might want to check them out. They're all available at Amazon.
Nakii Water Filter Pitcher (new kid on the block)
There seem to be quite a few happy Nakii owners on Amazon, but I couldn't find much information about the product apart from Amazon. The Nakii website has almost no information and simply points visitors to Amazon for details.
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. Replacement filters are available at Amazon, and you can save yourself some money by buying them in multi-packs.
pH RESTORE Alkaline Water Filter Pitcher (raises pH)
Made by Invigorated Water, the pH RESTORE filter pitcher holds a half gallon of water, and the filter life is 96 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 to the water as part of the filtration process.
According to the manufacturer, the multi-stage filter reduces heavy metals and chemicals, including chlorine, chloramine, and "some" fluoride.
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 pH RESTORE.
The Alkaline Water Pitcher (7 stage filtration)
Mineral balls in the cartridge dissolve in the water, raising the pH to a range of 7.5 - 9.5. The exact level will depend on the pH of the unfiltered water.
This filter does't remove fluoride, chromium-6, lead, or any other type of contaminant besides chlorine. All it does is make the water taste and smell better, and add some minerals.
But, for some people, adding minerals to raise the pH and make the water less acidic is important. If that's you, then this might be just what you need.
The slim design of this pitcher makes it easy to fit in the refrigerator.
You don't have to take the lid off to add water, so it's easy to fill.
It's fast filtering, too. It holds 2.5 liters, but it only takes about 3 minutes to finish.
The filter cartridge needs to be replaced every 60 days or about every 40 gallons. They're not very expensive if you buy them in multi-packs. You can check the price of a 4-pack at Amazon by clicking here.
Brita Everyday Water Filter Pitcher (just the basics)
Everybody knows about Brita. It's the filter than Stephen Curry is hawking this year.
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.
Water Fall Home Water Filter System by KOR Water (glass carafe)
When you buy this system, you get a stand, a filter, and 2 attractive 1-liter glass carafes with lids.
Having that extra carafe allows you the flexibility of making infused water in one if you like. Or you can keep one container of water in the fridge and one out on the counter. You can also buy more carafes.
It doesn't take up a lot of space. You can fit it under your kitchen cabinets on the countertop.
Filtering water is easy to do with the Water Fall. You pour water into the reservoir at the top of the stand and put an empty carafe under the filter. Turn the knob to start the process, and in 2 to 3 minutes, you have a liter of clean filtered water.
This filter is NSF Standard 42 certified for aesthetic effects. It takes out chlorine, bad tastes and odors. It doesn't remove any other kind of contaminants, but it does make city water taste a lot better!
Replacement filters are not cheap, but they have a life of 80 gallons or about 4 months. That's a lot longer than most other pitcher filters.
You can get buy the filters at Amazon. Click here to check the current price.
Extra carafes are also available at Amazon. You can find out the current price by clicking here.
Soma 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher (eco-friendly)
If you're going for looks, you'll want to consider the Soma water filter pitcher.
It has an attractive modern design and features a wood handle made from sustainable white oak.
The container is plastic, but it's made from 65% plant based materials, so it has a lower carbon footprint than other pitchers.
Soma states on their website that they use a portion of the proceeds of their sales to support clean drinking water projects in developing countries. Nice to know.
The pitcher is easy to refill. Just hold it under the faucet and the lid will open automatically when you turn on the water.
Like Brita, this one doesn't do much more than make the water taste better. It's NSF Standard 42 certified for aesthetic effects, which means it takes out chlorine, mercury, copper, and zinc.
But that's it.
It doesn't remove fluoride, lead, or any other kinds of contaminants.
Soma filters last for about 40 gallons, so that means they need to be replaced every month or so. You can buy replacement filters on Amazon. Click here to check the current price.
Replacement filters are also available from Soma, but they're more expensive.
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 or Aquagear. That's because they remove or reduce more of the contaminants that I'm most concerned about.
And out of those top two, I think the Propur is the best 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.
Aquagear has a long filter life, and Propur's filter life is even longer. That's going to save you the hassle of replacing the filter every month or two.
It's true that they have pouring issues. But I think I'd rather learn to be careful and deal with that in return for having purer water.
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!