6 Best Water Filter Pitchers Reviews of 2020 – (Complete Guide)

Hydration is important. According to a recent report, you should aim for drinking enough water to equal half your body weight in ounces. That is, if you weigh 180 pounds, you should drink 90 ounces of water per day. And while all liquids do count toward that goal, drinking plain water is the best way to stay hydrated. But many people don’t drink water. One of the most significant barriers to drinking enough water is that people don’t like the taste.

That’s where a water filter pitcher can help. These pitchers act to remove up to 99 percent of the contaminants that make water taste bad; chlorine, dissolved minerals, and even volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are all swept away, leaving only pure water behind. But all water filter pitchers are not built equally. Knowing the difference between what the different types of filters are will help you make the right decision about which one to get based on the contaminants in your water.

That’s where this buying guide and reviews come in handy. With our unbiased reviews, you’ll get a good starting point as to what types of pitchers are out there and what some of the best water filter pitchers available are. The in-depth buying guide will help you identify some of the most salient features of water filter pitchers and how they can work best for you, including what some of the confusing standards that many adhere to.

Water Filter Pitcher Reviews

ZeroWater ZP-006-4 6-Cup Water Filter Pitcher
  • 4 Customer Rating
  • ZeroWater ZP-006-4
  • Pitcher Capacity: 6 cups
  • Pitcher Material: BPA-free Plastic
  • Filter Type: 5-stage Filtration
  • Weight: 2.24 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers

Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher
  • 4.5 Customer Rating
  • Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher
  • Pitcher Capacity: 8 cups
  • Pitcher Material: BPA-Free Plastics
  • Filter Type: NSF 42, NSF 53
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers

Brita Everyday Water Filter Pitcher
  • 4.5 Customer Rating
  • Brita Everyday
  • Pitcher Capacity: 10 cups
  • Pitcher Material: BPA-Free Plastics
  • Filter Type: Brita Longlast
  • Weight: 2.29 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers

Levoit LV110WP 10-Cup Large Water Filter Pitcher
  • 4.5 Customer Rating
  • Levoit LV110WP
  • Pitcher Capacity: 10 cups
  • Pitcher Material: BPA-Free Plastics
  • Filter Type: 4-Layer
  • Weight: 1.96 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers

Brita 36396 Monterey 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher
  • 4.5 Customer Rating
  • Brita 36396 Monterey
  • Pitcher Capacity: 10 cups
  • Pitcher Material: BPA-Free Plastics
  • Filter Type: Brita Longlast
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers

Nakii Water Filter Pitcher
  • 4.5 Customer Rating
  • Nakii Water Filter Pitcher
  • Pitcher Capacity: 7.5 cups
  • Pitcher Material: BPA-Free Plastics
  • Filter Type: Japanese Activated Carbon Technology
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Warranty: Manufacturers

ZeroWater ZP-006-4 6-Cup Water Filter Pitcher

ZeroWater ZP-006-4 6-Cup Water Filter PitcherThe ZeroWater water filter pitcher is an extremely popular design that has been backed by numerous athletes and celebrities. This water filter pitcher claims to remove 99.6% of all dissolved solids in your water leaving behind nothing but pure and refreshing water. It does this through a patented 5 stage water filter that does not just use carbon filtering but also ion exchange to reduce contaminants.

The filters five stages remove particulates in the following order.

  • Stage 1 removes any suspended solids that may make your water appear cloudy or discolored. These can be things such as dust or even rust particles.
  • The second stage of the filter will remove any additional suspended solids at a more detailed level.
  • Stage 3 of the five stage water filter begins to remove inorganic compounds such as pesticides, herbicides, mercury, chloramine, and chlorine.
  • Stage 4 is where the removal of inorganic compounds such as dissolve metals non-metals and radiological contaminants occurs.
  • Finally, Stage 5 is another fine mesh that removes even more solids and holds the stage 4 is resin in place.

The life of this filter will depend on the amount of total dissolved solids in your water. Thankfully, ZeroWater provides you with an in-home testing kit for free that lets you see what your initial water quality is. Depending on your initial water quality and the total dissolved solids that you are beginning with your filter can last anywhere from 8 gallons up to 40 gallons or more. Because this water filter pitcher remove so many contaminants, its life is shorter than those of other water filter pitchers that may not be quite as thorough.

The water pitcher itself has a capacity of 6 cups and is made of food grade BPA-free plastic. The pitcher is only 5 in wide which means that it fits easily inside of your refrigerator door compartment. It is just shy of 11 in tall, so it will fit on the middle or bottom shelf.

Using this water filter is extremely easy. You just pour the tap water in the top where it goes through the filtration system and comes out through the bottom. The filtration speed is moderately fast oh, and it takes roughly three to four minutes to filter an entire pitcher’s worth of water. The water left behind is extremely clear and has no aftertaste. The included water Purity meter that ZeroWater provides does show that the filtered water has zero total dissolved solids.

Keep in mind that this water filter pitcher has a much shorter life than your standard Brita or any other water filter pitcher that we review. That means that you will be replacing the filters more often, and the filters for ZeroWater are not inexpensive. A single replacement filter for your pitcher will cost anywhere between 12 and $16. The overall cost per cup of purified water depends on your starting total dissolved solid number. If you are curious what your average TDS number is in your area, ZeroWater’s website allows you to plug in your zip code and find out how good your tap water really is.

Read Full Review: ZeroWater ZP-006-4 Water Filter Pitcher


  • Pitcher Capacity: 6 cups
  • Pitcher Material: BPA-free Plastic
  • Filter Type: 5-stage Filtration
    o 1: Coarse Filter
    o 2: Foam Distributor
    o 3: Activated Carbon / Oxidation Reduction Alloy
    o 4: Dual Comprehensive Ion Exchange Resin
    o 5: Ultra-fine Screen
  • Estimated Filter Life: 8 to 40 gallons+
  • Dimensions: 10.5 (H) x 4.87 (W) x 9.5 (L) inches
  • Empty Weight: 2.24 pounds

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Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher

Aquagear Water Filter PitcherAquagear offers a water filter pitcher that claims to remove 2000 percent more contaminants than British two-stage filter. This uses a 5-stage filter which meets and exceeds the NSF standards 42 and 53. For more information on those, please see the buying guide at the end of this review section. Aquagear makes the claim that their filter will remove harmful and unwanted contaminants while keeping healthy trace minerals like magnesium and calcium in the water.

Aquagear water pitcher filters are made in the United States and are 100% BPA-free and made of FDA-approved food grade materials. The pitcher and filters are 100% recyclable as well. In fact, when it comes time to replace your filters just let Aquagear know and they will send you a prepaid shipping label so that you can mail the old filter back to them. These filters have a life of approximately 150 gallons of water each. Given the pitcher’s capacity of 8 cups, that means you can fill this pitcher 300 times before needing to replace the filter.

Using this water filter pitcher is extremely easy. Like others it is a top fill. You pour tap water into the top and let gravity pull the water through the filter. The speed of the filter is medium. It doesn’t take long to fill the entire 8 cup water filter pitcher with clean and refreshing water however. The water is exceptionally clean tasting with no aftertaste when using regular tap water. However, if your tap water is exceptionally cloudy or contaminated you may still notice some residual aftertaste. It is worth noting that Aquagear tested their water filters in Flint Michigan, which allowed them to filter out 99% of harmful lead and other contaminants.

Replacement filters for Aquagear water filter pitchers are fairly expensive. A one-time purchase is $50; however, you can sign up on their website for a Subscribe-and-Save program which saves 20% off of that cost. They deliver a new filter every 6 months for $39.96. Additionally, the pitcher has a lifetime guarantee. If the pitcher should ever crack or warp, you just need to contact Aquagear and they will send you a new one.

Read Full Review: Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher


  • Pitcher Capacity: 8 cups
  • Pitcher Material: BPA-Free Plastics
  • Filter Type: NSF 42, NSF 53
  • Estimated Filter Life: 150 gallons
  • Dimensions: 10.9 (H) x 10.7 (L) x 4.9 (W) inches
  • Empty Weight: 2.3 pounds

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Brita Everyday Water Filter Pitcher

Brita Everyday Water Filter PitcherBeretta is one of the most trusted names when it comes to water filter pitchers or water filtration in general. Brita water filter pitchers reduce your tap water hardness levels, the amount of lead, Copper, and also chlorine which can affect the taste. Brita everyday water filter pitchers use a single -stage filtration method.

The Brita water filter cartridge is designed to remove larger impurities. Once these are filtered out, the granulated activated carbon, which operates via adsorption, removes the other impurities. The activated carbon in a Brita water filter is made from coconut husks. This is a 100% vegan solution, and is also perfectly safe to consume. Brita water filter cartridges do not remove fluoride, so if you are at all concerned about the levels of fluoride in your water, another solution may be best. Additionally, properly stored, a Brita cartridge has a life of several years.

The life of this Brita water filter is roughly 40 gallons. Based on average household use, that means that you will need to replace a filter about every two months. This model of Brita water filter pitcher has a water capacity of 10 cups. This means that you need to replace a filter after 64 pitcher’s worth of water. The pitcher is only 5.4 in wide, which means that it is able to be stored in your refrigerator door compartments quite easily.

Operating this filter is easy. Or the water in the top Reservoir and it will gravity filter through the Brita filter, until the pitcher itself is filled. Filtration speed is medium. And it takes roughly 3 minutes for the pitcher of water to be ready. The water is extremely clean, and has a pleasant taste.
Replacement Brita water filters are possibly the least expensive of all the water filter pitchers that we reviewed. A 3 pack is $14.97. With their longevity, and they’re inexpensive price, if your tap water is relatively clear, and relatively free of more exotic contaminants oh, this Brita water filter pitcher is probably your best option.

Read Full Review: Brita Everyday Pitcher Longlast Filter


  • Pitcher Capacity: 10 cups
  • Pitcher Material: BPA-Free Plastics
  • Filter Type: Brita Longlast
  • Estimated Filter Life: 150 gallons
  • Dimensions: 10.1 (H) x 5.4 (W) x 10.7 (D) inches
  • Empty Weight: 2.29 pounds

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Levoit LV110WP 10-Cup Large Water Filter Pitcher

Levoit LV110WP 10-Cup Large Water Filter PitcherThe Levoit water filter pitcher uses a four stage filtration method to remove impurities such as copper, Mercury, and cadmium from your drinking water. The four stages of water filtration according to the manufacturer include an upper micro net, activated carbon, an ion exchange resin, and a lower micro net.

The upper micro net is designed to remove larger particles such as sand, organic matter, and even rust. The activated carbon is granular. Activated carbon is well known for its ability to remove chlorine, which means that your water no longer has that chlorine taste. The activated carbon also removes pesticides including Endrin and any residual pollutants. After that the ion exchange resin will remove any heavy metals such as lead, copper, cadmium, or aluminum. The manufacturer further claims that while removing these harmful minerals to soften the water, calcium and magnesium are left behind. Finally, the lower micro net is the final filtration stage, designed to remove any other unwanted smaller particles from the water.

The estimated life of the water filter is 40 gallons. That means that with this water pitchers 10-cup capacity, you should be replacing the water filter after sixty-four full refills. The pitcher is made of BPA-free plastics, and has a slender 6.7 inch width. This is a little larger than most of the other water filter pitchers we reviewed, but it still does fit in a standard refrigerator door storage area. Empty, this pitcher weighs just less than 2 lb.

The water filter has a timer and indicator to remind you when it is time to change the filter. The indicator has a percentage meter as well as a day meter. The day meter shows the number of days before you should be changing the filter. You can reset the timer if you change the filter ahead of time, or if you decide not to use the pitcher for a while. The cost of replacement water filters for this water filter pitcher is extremely low. A 4-pack of filters is available for $17.99.

Read Full Review: LEVOIT Water Filter Pitcher


  • Pitcher Capacity: 10 cups
  • Pitcher Material: BPA-Free Plastics
  • Filter Type: 4-Layer
    o Upper Micro Net
    o Activated Carbon
    o Ion-Exchange Resin
    o Lower Micro Net
  • Estimated Filter Life: 8 weeks
  • Dimensions: 11.6 (H) x 6.7 (W) x 10.8 (D) inches
  • Empty Weight: 1.96 pounds

Check The Latest Price on Amazon

Brita 36396 Monterey 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher

Brita 36396 Monterey 10-Cup Water Filter PitcherThis elegantly styled water pitcher has an extremely large capacity and is certified to reduce 99% of the lead content in your drinking water. Additionally it is also proven to remove cadmium, Mercury, and even asbestos. It uses Brita has long life filter, which is certified to meet the NSF standards 42, 53, and 401.

You can use both Brita standard filters and Brita Longlast filters for this pitcher. The standard filter uses a three-stage mechanism to filter out contaminants. First a screen or mesh will filter out large contaminants. Second granular activated carbon will remove the chlorine taste and Lead from your water. Lastly, an ion exchange membrane filters out other heavier Metals such as cadmium, and copper. The Longlast filter uses much of the same process. However there is an addition of a proprietary pleated filter and other active filtering agents which helps to extend the life of the filter overall.

A standard Brita filter has a life of two months. The long last filters have the ability to filter up to 120 gallons, which is roughly six months’ worth of water. Because of the size and shape of this filter pitcher, you will likely need to store it on your primary Shelf in your refrigerator. However, some newer models of refrigerators have larger indoor compartments oh, so you may be able to store this water pitcher there.

The Brita Longlast water filters are a little more expensive than their standard water filters. Two of the long last replacement filters currently sells for approximately $20. That is in comparison to the standard Brita filters which sell for roughly three for $15. That means that with the standard filters, replacing them every two months, 12 months will cost $30. On the other hand the Longlast Brita filters will only cost $20 for the year.

Read Full Review: Brita 36396 Monterey Water Pitcher Filter


  • Pitcher Capacity: 10 cups
  • Pitcher Material: BPA-Free Plastics
  • Filter Type: Brita Longlast
  • Estimated Filter Life: 6 months
  • Dimensions: 11.0 (H) x 6.1 (W) x 10.9 (D) inches
  • Empty Weight:2.6 pounds

Check The Latest Price on Amazon

Nakii Water Filter Pitcher

Nakii Water Filter PitcherThis water filter pitcher from this company is one of the newer models and manufacturers on the market today. This company says that they use Japanese activated carbon technology which is 10 to 12 times better than other carbon filters. They say that the filter reduces 97% of chlorine, rust, Mercury, and other suspended particles. On further research, despite the Japanese sounding name, this water pitcher is made by Water Innovations USA, but there is no valid website for this company.

There are not many details on how the Nakii water filters operate, either on Amazon or anywhere else. However based on their claims, there must be at least a rudimentary iron exchange membrane or resin as well as the Japanese activated carbon system that they claim is much better. It does come with a water quality Association certification, but further research shows that it is only NSF 372 and NSF 42 compliant. This means that this water filter pitcher is only certified to remove lead and chlorine from your tap water to enhance the safety and the taste.

This water filter pitcher says that the water filters can last for up to 150 gallons. With the pulling capacity of 7.5 cups, that means you could filter 320 pitchers worth of water before needing to replace the filter. The water pitcher is designed extremely well. It is Slim enough to fit into any refrigerator door compartment that we tested. Additionally the shape of the handle and overall design is very pleasing.

This water filter pitcher is extremely fast. It was able to filter a full pitcher of water in under 1 minute. The resulting filtered water was pleasant to the taste. The filters extremely easy to use oh, and it’s also fairly lightweight.
Replacement water filters for this water filter pitcher are a little more expensive than comparable filters. Three of them can be had for $27.99 while a single-unit sells for $10.

Read Full Review: Nakii Water Filter Pitcher


  • Pitcher Capacity: 7.5 cups
  • Pitcher Material: BPA-Free Plastics
  • Filter Type: Japanese Activated Carbon Technology
  • Estimated Filter Life: 150 gallons
  • Dimensions: 10.75 (H) x 3.75 (W) x 8.25 (D) inches
  • Empty Weight: 1.8 pounds

Check The Latest Price on Amazon

Water Filter Pitcher Buying Guide

Best Water Filter PitchersNow that you’ve read the best water filter pitcher reviews, you have a pretty good idea of what types of water filter pitchers there are and how their filtration method work. Now it’s time to talk about the features that should be most important to you while you look for the best water filter pitcher for your family and loved ones. First we’re going to talk about why you should buy a water filter pitcher. After that, we will discuss the features that you should be looking at when you purchase your next water filter pitcher. Then we will cover some of the standards that the best water filter pitchers adhere to and what they mean to you.

Why Buy a Water Filter Pitcher?

If you’re looking to buy a water filter pitcher oh, it probably means that you have decided to try to live a little healthier. It could be because of a New Year’s resolution, it could be because a recent illness affected you and your family, or you could just want to start living life as the best you that you possibly can. Whatever the reason, buying a water filter pitcher is a great way to start. As we mentioned in the beginning of this article, many people don’t hydrate enough. And as we also mention, a water pitcher is a great way to start on that process. Here are two big reasons why you should look at buying a new water filter pitcher.

  • For better taste – one thing that pretty much every water filter pitcher does is remove chlorine from your tap water. Chlorine is a necessary evil when it comes to water purification. Chlorine is an inexpensive way to kill bacteria that would otherwise make you extremely sick. And in the right concentrations, chlorine is safe to drink while still being effective at killing off biological microorganisms and purifying the water. That’s one reason why one way to create emergency drinking water in a natural disaster is to add a very small amount of chlorine bleach to a gallon of water.

However, one of the drawbacks to chlorine purification is that awful swimming pool residue an aftertaste that you get. After I’ll just because something is safe doesn’t mean that it is necessarily pleasant. Thankfully, it is very easy to remove chlorine from drinking water using activated charcoal. Once you remove the chlorine, you also remove that slightly noxious aftertaste.

  • Removes contamination – More complicated water filters use multi-stage filtration to remove other contaminants from water as well. These include not just physical filtering methods but also methods to remove other chemicals.

When you need to remove sand, sediment, or silt, then you’re talking about a physical water filter. These types of physical filters in your water pitcher will be a fine mesh, or in some cases sand. It can also be pleated paper material. Pretty much anything that will trap larger particles while still allowing water to flow through.

When it comes to removing chemicals other than chlorine, that’s when you get into chemical filters. Now just because the name says chemical filter, does not mean that you’re actually adding any chemicals to your water. Instead these filters have been treated with chemicals so that they react to the presence of other unwanted chemicals in your tap water. This reaction causes the contaminants nature to change and once it is changed then active filter can remove them. The active filter in your water filter could be anything from activated carbon to an ion exchange resin.

Things to Consider When Buying a Water Filter Pitcher

Best Water Filter PitchersKnow that you know why you should buy a water filter and kind of how water filters work, let’s talk about some of the things that you should be looking at when it comes to buying the best water filter for your loved one than family. There are six essential things to us that we think you should be paying attention to most. They range from filter size to contaminant removal and filter life and cost.

  • Pitcher Size

Picture size is one of the most important considerations. Reason why is because if you’re trying to hydrate then you want to have clean filtered water available at all times. Unfortunately filters take time to work. It can take up to 5 minutes for a water filter pitcher to filter an entire picture. So if you have to wait 5 minutes before you take a drink of water, sometimes you’ll just forgo drinking water.

To solve this, one way is to ensure that your water pitchers capacity is large enough that you can always have water on hand and be ready to refill it whenever necessary. Keep in mind that just because your water pitcher is not empty does not mean that you can’t refill it at any point in time. However, if you have kids, that may be something difficult to convince them of.

As a general rule of thumb, for one to two people, a 6-cup water filter pitcher will be a good size. For 4 people, a 10-cup pitcher, and for more than four you may consider getting a larger capacity system.

  • Contaminant Removal

When it comes to contaminant removal, you should always think about having your water tested first. Once you have your water tested, then you know precisely what type of filtration you should be pursuing. There are several ways to get your water tested. One of the easiest is to get a home testing kit. These kits have you take a couple of samples of your tap water and mail them to a testing facility. From there, you can access your results online or get a physical report mailed to you.

Once you’re aware of the contaminants in your tap water, you can find the appropriate water filter to remove them. It should be noted, that you definitely want to look for water filters that correspond to the appropriate ANSI / NSF certification for your specific contaminant and needs.

  • Material

There are many possible materials that your water filter pitcher could be made of. However, in all likelihood, it’s going to be made of plastic. There are many different types of plastics, and some are better than others. Here is why.

o BPA-Free Plastics – Everyone has heard that BPA Plastics are bad for you. It is because BPA, or bisphenol A, will leach into the water from the plastic container and disrupt various hormones. This disruptive activity on your hormones can have negative reproductive, Developmental, and metabolic effects on you, your children, and your animals.

But be cautious even when buying things that are represented as BPA free. That is because many different Plastics are made of things that are made of things like BPS, BPF, BPP, and other Plastics that have BP in their names. That’s because they still have bisphenol in them, and bisphenol is not the best compound for us to ingest.

Studies are ongoing as to how safe these replacement Plastics are for us. But there are things you can do to minimize your risk. First, avoid Plastics with recycling numbers of 3, 6, and 7. Second, don’t ever put your water filter pitcher in the dishwasher or microwave. This can damage them, and lead them to leech more of the bisphenol compounds that are concerning into the water stored in them.

  • Filter Life

The longer a filter lasts before you have to replace it, the less expensive it will be to have clear filtered water. However, keep in mind that the battery filter is, the shorter its operational life is going to be. That is because you can only put so much filtration material into the small filter cartridges that come in water pitchers. And, as you remove contaminants from the water, they have to go somewhere. So even if you are doing ion exchange to remove copper, and other items, once the original ion filter resin is depleted, the filter needs to be changed.

With this in mind, another factor is how bad your water is to begin with. The worst your water is, the shorter your filters lifespan will be. In general, water filters will range anywhere between $5 for a replacement filter up to $50. Replacement times for water filters will also range anywhere between 2 months and 6 months. However, relying on a time frame is the worst way to determine when to change your filter.

Most filters now come with some sort of indicator which is helpful, but honestly, you should keep track of how many times you have filled your pitcher and use that as a timeframe instead. This will tell you if you should be changing your filter early or if you can hold off on replacing your water pitcher filter until a later date.

Keep in mind that if you have a water filter that has been sitting unused in your water filter pitcher for 4 months, it is not expired. You could have another 30 gallons worth of filtering in there. Your water filters are rated to a certain volume, so don’t change your water filter out just because it tells you it’s been 2 months since your last change.

  • Filter Type

In general, if you have it in your budget to afford a multi-stage filter, get one. That’s because the more filtration going on, the better. Especially when it comes to filtering water. Here’s a brief overview of the two most common filters that you will find in water pitcher filters.

o Activated carbon filter – Activated carbon is great for removing organic compounds from water and dechlorinating water. As we mentioned before, chlorine is routinely added to water to inhibit the growth of disease causing bacteria, molds, and algae that would otherwise flourish in water supplies. However, when you get to concentrations of chlorine that are above 0.3 parts per million, then you can taste it.

When activated carbon removes chlorine, it does so through a chemical reaction, not via adsorption. In truth, the surface of the carbon is oxidized by the chlorine to eliminate the chlorine contaminant. When chlorine is in water, it exists in two forms: hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ions.

Thanks to the interaction with the carbon, these two forms are turned into chloride ions, which dissipate easily. The same thing happens with chloramine, which is another form of chlorine that is used to disinfect water. Chloramine can be more difficult to remove without using activated carbon, but with activated carbon, the carbon breaks down the chloramine and creates chloride ions which turn into chlorine gas and dissipate quickly.

Another thing that activated carbon filters are good for is removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from water. They do this through adsorption, which is when the volatile compound runs over the carbon’s surface and becomes trapped. Because activated carbon is so pitted and has enormous surface area for its size, it can trap a huge amount of compounds that make your water taste awful.

However, when it comes to things like calcium and magnesium, activated carbon lets them go through without a hitch. If the active carbon is in granular form, then other contaminants like cysts, lead, arsenic, and other heavy metals also are unaffected. Instead, water filters rely on ion-exchange methods to remove those impurities.

o Ion-exchange Resins – Ion exchange is a purely chemical reaction where certain ions are removed from the water and replaced with other ions that we don’t mind. The resin isn’t a chemical itself and it doesn’t undergo any sort of reaction, it just provides a place where the ions can do the actual exchange. Think of the resin like a local swap meet where things happen.

The resin has a huge number of sites where functional groups of positively and negatively charged ions hang out waiting to make the swap with another ion in the water being filtered. Resin is usually in the form of small porous bead that measure anywhere from 0.5 to 2.5 millimeters in diameter.

When the resins are prepared, they are laced with an ion that we don’t mind having in our water, like sodium. When water that contains metallic ions that we don’t want in it, such as calcium or magnesium (which produce hard water scale), passes over, the sodium ions exchange places with the calcium or magnesium or other metallic ions. Thus, hard water is softened, and the gritty hard taste is eliminated.

Of course, over time, these resins run out of sodium ions, so the life of the filter is over. And when you have resins that are designed to remove more types of contaminants, you’re going to get a shorter lifespan as well. But used effectively, these resins can remove copper, iron, and any number of heavy metals, reducing the amount of total dissolved contaminants in your water.

o Multi-stage Filters – These give you the best of both worlds. A multi stage filter will usually start with a fine screen mesh or a layer of fine particulates like sand that will remove the larger particles from your water. After that, a layer of activated carbon will remove the chlorine and other organic compounds. A layer of ion exchange resin will then clean and remove more impurities, while a final mesh layer filters out any large particles that may have been missed.

Keep in mind that if your tap or well water is already fairly clean, then it is possible to choose a water filter that does more than you need it to. If you have soft water, then an ion exchange resin may not be necessary, and the added expense is just money you’re throwing away. That’s why knowing what the specific nature of your water is always good to know. Making an informed decision one way or the other is the best practice in these cases.

  • Warranty

Warranties are a nice thing to have, especially when you have a pitcher made of plastic. If something happens, and the Pitcher should crack or start to leak or even if you run into a case where the filters don’t fit right anymore, having a good warranty helps to solve all of that. Some companies offer a no-questions-asked free replacement if something happens to the pitcher. Another thing to think about are satisfaction guarantees.

These types of warranties offer your money back if you are not completely satisfied with the performance of the water filter pitcher. While these are not and should not be deal-breaker for any water pitcher that you are thinking about buying, they can add wait to one side or the other if you are trying to decide between a few different models.

Granular Carbon vs. Carbon Block Filters

Best Water Filter PitchersActivated carbon is a great material that can make your water taste great. But it comes in two different forms, and while each form does the same job, generally, a carbon block has specific advantages over granular carbon. Likewise, granular carbon has some specific advantages over carbon blocks. Read further to explore the differences between the two:

  • Granular Carbon – This is the most common form of activated carbon that you will find in water filter pitchers. That’s because it’s cheaper to produce. It is extremely good at removing chlorine from water, thanks to the extremely high surface area to mass ratio. When untreated water passes through the granular carbon, chlorine and other organic compounds are removed and adsorbed into the surface.

One of the drawbacks to granular carbon is its tendency to form channels when water passes through it. Look at how water travels downstream from the mountain to the ocean. It forms creeks and rivers, and all the water that travels follows that route. That’s how it happens in granular carbon. As the water pushes through, it forms internal channels that most of following water travels through. This means that the carbon surfaces are quickly used up and the following water isn’t purified or filtered.

Another drawback for granular carbon is that it doesn’t form a very good physical barrier to other contaminants. These include larger ions like copper and other metals. Granular carbon is good at one thing and one thing only: removing chlorine and VOCs that affect the taste of your water.

  • Carbon Block – A carbon block is made from the same material as granular carbon, but it is ground into a fine solid mesh that is anywhere from 7 to 19 times as fine as the granular form. Because the carbon is ground that fine, it can form a physical barrier to larger contaminants, including some biological pests like giardia and cryptosporidium. That’s one distinct advantage to a carbon block over a granular form.

Another advantage to the carbon block is that it resists channel formation. Because the block is fairly solid, it doesn’t shift and move around like granules will. That means that the water is forced through the entire block, going through the natural mesh that is formed when the block is made. That gives you better filtration and a more even wear throughout the entire carbon block.

A disadvantage to the carbon block is that it can get clogged easily. As the water passes through, if the water being filtered has a large contaminant concentration, then it can plug the filter with matter, forcing replacements on a more frequent basis. Additionally, carbon block filters are more expensive than their granular counterparts.

Here’s a short chart showing the advantages and disadvantages of Carbon Blocks vs. Granular Carbon.




Granular Carbon


Great at Chlorine Removal

Channel Formation

Only Removes Chlorine and VOCs

Carbon Block

Physical Barrier removes bacteria and other larger contaminants

Resists Channel Formation

More Expensive

Filter Needs Replaced More Often

Activated Carbon vs. Catalytic Carbon

More municipalities are turning to chloramine as a way to disinfect their water supplies. This is because chloramine is a more stable form of chlorine that provides equal disinfecting properties. The problem is that standard activated carbon has a limited ability to remove chloramines from water. Chloramine is also extremely rancid and both smells and tastes bad. To combat this, manufacturers have turned to a new form of carbon called catalytic activated carbon. This means that better filters are now using this catalytic activated carbon.

Catalytic activated carbon is carbon that has been modified by a chemical process to alter the surface of the carbon which makes it better at creating chemical changes in compounds that pass over it. Essentially the carbon is now a catalyst for the undesired chloramine.

Chloramine is formed when chlorine is mixed with ammonia. This compound is more stable and is able to remain in the water for a longer period of time, providing disinfecting power throughout the waters travel from municipal Supply to customers taps. Activated carbon breaks apart the ammonia from the chlorine which allows the natural oxidation power of the carbon to break down the chlorine compounds in the water and reduce it to chloride ions. Chloride ions easily dissipate and you are left with clean water that tastes great.

One of the most significant drawbacks of activated carbon is that it is more expensive and currently only specialized water filter pitchers use activated carbon. However, as more and more cities and municipalities begin using chloramines vs. Chlorine, you should find more activated carbon filters in standard water pitchers.

Filter Testing Certifications

Best Water Filter PitchersWhatever you read about water filter pitchers, you’re going to hear them say that they adhere to certain NSF ANSI standards. You may wonder what those are and why they are so important. Well this section is going to give you a brief breakdown on what the five most common standards are for water filtration and why they should matter to you.

To begin with the NSF is a third party that has developed standards for many different consumer products. Their mission, as they put it, is “to protect and approve Global human health. Manufacturers, regulators and consumers look to the NSF to develop Public Health standards and certifications that help protect food, water, consumer products and the environment.”

Whenever a new product comes to Market, it is rigorously tested and independent Laboratories according to set standards with very exacting testing protocols. In 1973, the very first NSF standard for drinking water was set.

  • NSF / ANSI standard 42 – this relates to aesthetic events. This is the least stringent NSF standard and refers only to non health-related contaminants, such as chlorine, taste, odor, and other particulates in your drinking water. When a water filter pitcher is certified in this, it means that the picture was tested and found to reduce these aesthetic impurities to adequate levels. This can also apply to whole house treatment systems as well as under the sink and faucet mounted water filtration devices.
  • NSF / ANSI Standard 44 – This standard relates to water softeners that use an ion exchange resin. This includes the removal of calcium and magnesium ions, and the replacement with sodium or potassium. This standard should be adhered to by any water filter pitcher that uses an ion exchange resin to treat your water. This will ensure to you that the replacement ion going into your drinking water is not something you should be worried about.
  • NSF / ANSI standard 53 – this standard shows that filters are certified to reduce contaminants that have an actual Health effect. While both standards 42 and 53 cover adsorption and filtration oh, this standard is intended to help reduce microbiological, chemical, or particulate substances that may be present in drinking water. These substances include cryptosporidium, Giardia, lead, and other VOCs.

o What are VOCs? – A VOC, or volatile organic compound, is a compound that is ordinarily a gas at ordinary room temperature. Some of these are known to be dangerous to human health or cause harm to the environment. For example formaldehyde is a v o c that can be present in water, and can have extreme health concerns.

A recent study by the US Geological Survey found that vocs can be present in about one-fifth of the nation’s water supply. Benzene which is a part of gasoline is known to commonly enter groundwater and contaminate the water table there. Other volatile organic compounds that are found in water include dichloromethane, trichloroethylene, and tetrachloroethylene. These are all solvents that are usually used in cleaning or dry cleaning, and can easily contaminate Water Supplies. While the overall goal is to have no volatile organic compounds in drinking water, in some cases, a maximum contaminant level of .005 parts per million is actually permissible. What this means to you is that if you do a water test and you find that your water is contaminated with a volatile organic compound, you want to look for a water filter that here’s to this NSF standard.

Here is a complete list of the 50 volatile organic compounds that the NSF is concerned with.

Disinfection By-Products




haloacetonitriles (HAN)

carbon tetrachloride













haloketones (HK)






















tribromoacetic acid









dibromochloroproane (DBCP)











ethylene dibromide (EDB)


2,4,5-TP (silvex)

heptachlor (H-34, Heptox)


heptachlor epoxide





  • NSF / ANSI standard 58 – the standard doesn’t really apply to water filter pitchers. It relates to reverse osmosis systems that use reverse pressure to force water through a semi-permeable membranes. Reverse osmosis systems are usually found and whole-house systems or in water filtration systems underneath your sink.
  • NSF / ANSI standard 401 – This standard addresses 15 contaminants that are on the rise in the drinking water supply in both the United States and Canada. These contaminants are usually Pharmaceuticals or chemicals that haven’t been regulated by either the United States or Canadian governments. In some cases they are entering the water because of improper disposal, and another case has their entry points into the waterways are unknown. Water contaminants are usually broken into two categories. The first is esthetic effects where contaminants don’t affect the health of the drinker but they do affect the taste, appearance, or odor. The second category is when the contaminant is known to negatively affect the health of the consumer when present in drinking water. An emerging contaminant is a concern. Has been raised where the contaminant has an unknown health affect , or the health effect has not been yet established. This standard is for point-of-use and point of entry systems which include water filter pitchers, countertop filters, refrigerator filters, faucet Mount, under sink, and sports bottle filtration systems. Here is a complete list of the emerging contaminants.


Average influent challenge ng/L*

Maximum effluent concentration ng/L*


400 ± 20%



200 ± 20%



200 ± 20%



1,400 ± 20%



5,000 ± 20%



5,000 ± 20%



1,400 ± 20%



1,400 ± 20%



140 ± 20%



400 ± 20%



140 ± 20%



140 ± 20%


Bisphenol A

2,000 ± 20%



140 ± 20%


Nonyl phenol

1,400 ± 20%


While a majority of regulated contaminants like arsenic and lead are measured either in milligrams or micrograms per liter, many contaminants covered by NSF/ANSI 401 are only found in trace amounts and thus are measured in a smaller increment known as nanograms per liter (ng/L). To put this in perspective, 1 ng/L is the equivalent of 1/1000th of a microgram per liter, which would be the same as 1 ounce in 7.5 billion gallons of water
Source: NSF.org

  • NSF / ANSI Standard P473 – this standard refers to the ability of a water filter to reduce PFOAs and PFOs in our drinking water. These are man-made chemicals that had been used up until the year 2000 in many industrial and consumer products. PFOA stand for perfluorooctanoic acid and PFO stands for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid. They are commonly grouped together as perfluoroalkyl substances or perfluorinated compounds..

Since 2000, companies voluntarily stop using these chemicals because exposure to unsafe levels can result in health effects that include adverse development of fetus during pregnancy, cancer, thyroid problems, adverse liver effects, and depressed immune systems. The Environmental Protection Agency stated that over the lifetime of a person they should be exposed to a maximum 70 parts per trillion for both types of contaminants in their drinking water.

To qualify for the standard, water filters have to undergo intensive testing to ensure that they meet all the requirements of NSF / NSI 53 as well as show that the system is structurally sound, that the system doesn’t add anything harmful to the water, and that the contaminant reduction claims for these compounds is true.

To make a reduction claim, the water filter has to be able to reduce these chemicals to blow the EPA Health advisory limit of 70 Park per trillion. Keep in mind that all certified products have to be retested and that manufacturing facilities are inspected annually.

By no means are these the only standards that affect water and drinking water quality. But these are the standards that apply to water filter pitchers. If you are more interested in learning more about the various NSF ANSI standards, you can read more about them on their website here.

More on Standard 42 Regarding Aesthetics

There are other testing standards and groups that keep an eye on these things as well. Here are some other testing standards that you should be aware of as well as a brief overview on what the WQA, or water quality Association, is and what it does.

  • Class One Particle Filtration – this is an offshoot of the NSF / ANSI Standard 42 that deals with the aesthetic effects of your water. As a refresher, the side effects are things that affect the flavor, color, and odor. These do not have any negative health effects. The NSF breaks the aesthetic effects down into multiple classes. So for chlorine reduction, to claim a Class 1 chlorine reduction, your filter must have a 75% or greater reduction of chlorine in the drinking water. For a class 3, you must have anywhere from 25 to 49% chlorine reduction. Here is a chart showing the three different classes.

o Class I – 75% or greater Chlorine reduction
o Class II – 50% – 74% Chlorine reduction
o Class III – 25% – 49% Chlorine reduction

When it comes to particulates, there are six different classes for performance claims for particulate removal. All of them must reduce the number of particulates by 85%. The difference is the size of the particulates that are removed. Here is a chart of the various classes with the size differences and some real world examples of things that are in that size range.

  • Class I – Reduces 85% of particles 0.5 to < 1 microns in size
  • Class II – Reduces 85% of particles 1 to < 5 microns in size
  • Class III – Reduces 85% of particles 5 to < 15 microns in size
  • Class IV – Reduces 85% of particles 15 to < 30 microns in size
  • Class V – Reduces 85% of particles 30 to < 50 microns in size
  • Class VI – Reduces 85% of particles equal to or greater than 50 microns in size


The WQA, or Water Quality Association, is a not-for-profit International Association that represents the water treatment industry. They provide a central point for consumers and businesses to meet and find the best water possible for the environment and for consumers. The WQA represents more than 2,500 manufacturers, suppliers, and dealers worldwide and maintains a list of certified water treatment products.

This list enables consumers to easily search for a water filtration product that adheres to a specific standard that they are searching for. For example, if you are looking for a product that reduces the level of chromium 6 in your water, you can simply type that contaminant into the search field and it will return several products that will suit your needs.

Getting certified by the WQA means that they have reviewed your testing and adherence to the various NSF / ANSI standards and that you qualify for their seal of approval. In many cases, this is just a way to


When you’re trying to live a healthier life and be the best you that you possibly can, hydration is a big part of that. Being properly hydrated gives you more energy, makes you feel better, and makes you look better too. But sometimes, the taste of water gets in the way. Hopefully, with our help you now have a great starting point where to find the best water filtration pitcher for you and your family.

Shopping for a water filter pitcher doesn’t have to be difficult. It may get a little complicated, especially when you start researching the different standards and figuring out what type of water filter you actually need, but in the end your body will thank you, your friends and family will thank you, and you will feel better overall. If you have any questions about anything discussed in our buying guide, please reach out to us. We are more than happy to help you on your journey to a better you.