My Review of LifeStraw’s New Water Filter Pitcher
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Isn't there a good quality water filter pitcher that's made of glass?
I've been asked this question a lot, and the answer has always been no, none that I would recommend.
The LifeStraw Home glass water filter pitcher was officially launched in March 2019 via Kickstarter.
You might be familiar with LifeStraw. They've been making personal water filtration devices for years. Everybody in my family got one as a Christmas gift one year so we'd all be prepared for emergencies.
Well, now they have made a pitcher style filter that you can use at home, the office, or wherever you want to take it.
Unlike most other pitcher filters, the LifeStraw removes biological contaminants along with chlorine, lead and other toxins.
I was able to test one in my home, and I have to say that I like it. A lot.
Keep reading to learn all the details about the LifeStraw Home so you can decide if this is the right water filter for you.
If you want to do a quick check of the price and availability at Amazon, click here.
What are the key features of the LifeStraw water filter pitcher?
Unlike most water filter pitchers, this one is made of glass. Not just any glass, though. It's shatter-resistant borosilicate glass, like beakers and test tubes are made of.
And it's a beautiful pitcher that'll look great in your kitchen or on the table.
The lid is designed so you don't have to remove it to fill the pitcher with water. What's more, it has a nice tight seal on it. That means the lid's not going to fall off when you pour filtered water into your glass.
With the filters in place, the pitcher can hold about 7 cups (56 ounces).
If you want to use the pitcher without the filter, you can do that, too. It'll hold about 12 cups (3 quarts). Just note that the lid doesn't stay on tight without the filter housing in place.
Overall, the dimensions are 11.2 x 6.4 inches. That's about an inch taller than most water filter pitchers. You might need to adjust the shelves in your refrigerator if you want to keep it in there.
Here's a picture I took of it in my fridge so you can get an idea of how much space it takes up.
Two separate filter components make up this LifeStraw system.
First is a microbiological filter that removes bacteria and protozoa from the water. It's actually a membrane microfilter with 0.2 micron pores. That's small enough to block organisms like E. coli, Giardia and Cryptosporidium from passing through.
Yes, that means you can take this on your next camping trip. It takes out the bacteria and parasites commonly found in rivers and lakes.
The second stage is a carbon and ion exchange filter. This removes chlorine, lead, and some chemicals. (See the list a little further down the page.)
Some of the parts - the lid, filter housing, and some parts of the filters - are made of plastic.
But, these are BPA free and US FDA food-safe compliant.
You can choose between white and cobalt blue.
However, that only applies to the lid and filter housing. The glass is always clear.
Which contaminants does the LifeStraw Home remove?
LifeStraw removes or reduces many, but not all, contaminants. If you're thinking about buying one of these, you'll want to know exactly which ones.
So here's a list of what it removes, according to the LifeStraw website:
- bacteria and protozoa (99.99%)
- microplastics (99.99%)
- pesticides (lindane)
- herbicides (atrazine)
- bad odors
We only know the percentage reduction of bacteria, parasites, and microplastics. The others are not published.
I asked LifeStraw about independent lab testing on this product and was told that it maintains its own R&D and testing facility. So, there is no third party test data.
They do test against international standards, including EPA and NSF, but it is not NSF certified.
What does the LifeStraw Home not remove?
According to the manufacturer's website, it does not remove the following:
- nitrates and nitrites
- beneficial minerals
It also is not effective in removing viruses. Viruses are much smaller than bacteria and would not be blocked by the LifeStraw membrane.
How long is the life of the filter?
The two filter components are replaced at different intervals.
Each activated carbon and ion exchange filter is good for 40 gallons (150 liters), or up to 2 months.
But the membrane microfilter lasts for about one year, or 264 gallons (1,000 liters).
So, you'll need some way to keep track of when to replace each of them.
Replacing the carbon filter is simple. You just unscrew the cap from the bottom of the filter housing, take out the old filter, and put in the new one.
To replace the microfiltration membrane, you push the old one out of the housing and insert the new one. Again, it's easy.
Where can I get replacement filters?
As of this writing, replacement filters are available for pre-order and will be shipping soon.
The carbon plus ion exchange filter will be sold in 1-, 2-, and 3-packs. And there will be a full filter replacement pack with both the membrane and carbon filters.
You'll be able to order them from the LifeStraw website and possibly from Amazon. I'll update this information as soon as they're available.
What comes in the box?
Here's what you get when you buy a LifeStraw Home:
- filter housing containing membrane microfilter
- activated carbon plus ion exchange filter
Is it easy to set up and use?
Yes! It could't get much easier.
Before using the LifeStraw Home for the first time, you should wash the pitcher and lid. Then you'll rinse off the housing with plain water and insert the carbon filter.
Fill the housing with water, give it a good shake, and dump out that water.
Now you can put the housing in the pitcher and fill it with water. Let it all filter through and discard that first batch. That just gets rid of any loose residue that might be hanging around from manufacturing.
And now it's ready to use.
Just add water, let it filter through, and enjoy!
How long does it take to filter water with the LifeStraw Home?
It takes about 15 minutes to filter the full seven cups.
Now, the housing only holds about 2 cups at a time, so you have to add the water in small batches. You can't fill it once, walk away, and come back expecting to have seven cups of filtered water.
Tip: It's a good idea to add more water every time you pour some out. That way you'll have a continuous supply.
Does it come with a warranty?
You may return the pitcher for a refund within 30 days of purchase.
It must be returned in the original packaging, and you pay the return shipping unless it was defective.
How does LifeStraw give back?
One great thing about this company is their commitment to helping provide safe drinking water for people in developing countries.
For every purchase you make, a school child will receive safe water for an entire school year. And when you buy a replacement filter, another school child will receive the same thing.
You can learn more about LifeStraw Doing Good here.
What are the pros and cons of this filter?
So, here's my take on the pros and cons of this filter, based on my experience and research.
The Good Stuff
- Protection from bacteria and parasites
- Strong seals; doesn't leak
- Pours without dripping
- Gives back
The Not So Good Stuff
- Slow filtering
- Doesn't remove chloramine, arsenic or fluoride
- Rather tall for storing in fridge
- Does have some plastic parts
Where can I buy a LifeStraw Home water filter pitcher?
According to LifeStraw, it should be ready for distribution in May 2019, and may be available through other retail outlets in the future.
Verdict: Best glass water filter pitcher out there!
If you want a water filter pitcher and you've decided that you must have one made of glass, then the LifeStraw Home is your best choice.
I know of no other glass pitcher filter that removes as many different contaminants as this one does.
Just keep in mind that there are a lot of contaminants that it doesn't remove - like fluoride, arsenic, nitrite, nitrate, and chloramine.
If those are of concern to you, you should probably choose another brand, even if they aren't glass. In that case, see my review of this year's best water filter pitchers for some other suggestions.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free LifeStraw Home water filter pitcher in return for my honest review. I have not - nor will I - receive monetary compensation from LifeStraw for this review. All opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the manufacturer and/or its affiliates, in any way.