The 10 Best Pitcher Water Filters

Updated November 10, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

10 Best Pitcher Water Filters
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 40 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. It would be nice if we could all trust local authorities to provide clean, safe drinking water, but frequent news reports from all over the world prove that's not always wise. So, for a cheaper, more environmentally-friendly alternative to bottled water, check out these pitcher filters, ranked by capacity, cost, and effectiveness. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best pitcher water filter on Amazon.

10. EcoSoft Premium

Available in five colors, the EcoSoft Premium promises to remove contaminants like chlorine, iron, and lead from your water supply in style. It's a bit cheaper than most models, both in price and in quality, which may lead to cracked plastic from even light impacts.
  • covered spout keeps dust out
  • nonslip rubber feet for stability
  • lid is difficult to insert
Brand EcoSoft
Model pending
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. BWT 8701

The BWT 8701 uses magnesium to mineralize your water and remove chlorine, heavy metals, and scale, which produces extremely fresh and natural-tasting results. Plus, it comes in three cool colors at a price that's hard to pass up.
  • beautiful award-winning design
  • won't impart black bits or particles
  • replacement filters are expensive
Brand BWT
Model WF 8701
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

8. Soma 10-Cup

The ultra chic Soma 10-Cup is thoughtfully crafted with an elegant design. It boasts a shatterproof, BPA-free plastic pitcher with a white oak wood handle, and is one of the only options on the market that uses 100% plant-based filtration.
  • sustainably manufactured
  • lid opens automatically for filling
  • filtration is extremely slow
Brand Soma
Model 102-10-01
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Lake Industries 7000

The Lake Industries 7000 stores up to 2.5 liters of fresh alkaline water infused with beneficial minerals. It is made from food-grade plastics, and has a safe particle filtering net to remove sand, dust and other impurities.
  • seven-stage filtration cartridge
  • slim design stores easily
  • materials aren't very durable
Brand Lake Industries
Model *7000
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

6. Invigorated Living pH Restore

The Australian-made Invigorated Living pH Restore comes with two long-life, multistage cartridges that include a blend of charcoal, stone, and ceramic filtration for great tasting and refreshing water day after day. It promises to enhance its contents with alkaline ions.
  • simple clear and white design
  • actively removes fluoride
  • cartridges can clog frequently
Brand Invigorated Living
Model pending
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Mavea Marella XL

The premium Mavea Marella XL boasts a distinctive European design, and comes in an array of bright, fashionable color options. It delivers great-tasting hydration with a treatment system that inhibits the growth of bacteria.
  • strong and durable bpa-free plastic
  • no pre-soaking required
  • availability of filters is limited
Brand Mavea
Model 1009651
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

4. Brita 10-Cup Everyday

The Brita 10-Cup Everyday is an iconic fixture in many homes today. Each filter can purify the equivalent of 300 standard 16.9-ounce plastic bottles, and comes with indicator stickers for tracking when it's time for a replacement.
  • high quality at an economical price
  • reduces chlorine taste and odor
  • leaks if poured soon after filling
Brand Brita
Model 10060258362050
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Pur 7-Cup LED

The Pur 7-Cup LED features a unique, premium carbon filter made from coconut shells that removes 95% of mercury and industrial pollutants, while leaving behind beneficial minerals. As a testament to the company's environmentalist ethos, all of its parts are recyclable.
  • built-in electronic sensor
  • slim space-saving design
  • thumb-activated lid
Brand PUR
Model PPT710WAMV1
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Aquagear Clear

The Aquagear Clear promises to scrub your tap water of even hard-to-remove particulates and chemicals like fluoride, mercury, and chloramines, and was tested in Flint, Michigan, for lead and copper reduction. Plus, it's 100% BPA-free and recyclable.
  • each filter is rated for 150 gallons
  • cartridges are made in the usa
  • backed by a lifetime guarantee
Brand Aquagear
Model pending
Weight 2.8 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. CamelBak Relay

The CamelBak Relay uses an innovative double-filtration technology that removes particles every time you fill it, and then again when you pour. It doesn't require frequent replacements, either, helping save you money in the long run.
  • top rack dishwasher safe
  • spillproof locking lid
  • quick-filling chamber-free design
Brand CamelBak
Model 53544
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

So What's All This Crap In My Tap Water?

The presence of impurities in tap water hit the headlines at the beginning of 2016 because of the lead poisoning scandal in Flint, Michigan, where a federal emergency was declared after it emerged that water had been contaminated with lead from deteriorating pipes - and that there was a possible link to Legionnaires' disease too.

It's scary stuff, but it's also very unusual. Over 90 percent of the water provided by community water systems in the US meets federal health standards.

So why filter water? What are we filtering out?

Filtering for taste and smell: The most common reason consumers filter their water before drinking it is that they simply don't like the way it tastes straight out of the faucet. This is usually due to chlorine, which municipal water utility companies use to disinfect water and kill off germs. By passing chlorine-treated water through a filter at home, you get all the benefits of safe, treated water without that public pool taste and odor.

Filtering for purity: Another culprit when it comes to water taste is sediment. Although almost all sediment should be filtered from your water before it reaches you, some fine particles may remain. This shouldn't pose a health risk, but won't exactly enhance your beverage either.

Filtering out minerals: You might have noticed that some of the pitchers we've reviewed here promise to filter out metals, like zinc and copper. These minerals will only be present in your water in trace amounts, but they could still impact the taste of your water, and no-one wants their beverage to taste like a tip jar.

Filtering for 'softness': If your tea kettle has ever produced a white furry build-up on the interior, or your glassware has come out of the dishwasher with spots, or if your bathtub is currently caked with white scum, hard water is probably the culprit. It also dries out your skin and hair in the shower, because this water is full of minerals. Soft water is like rain water, pure and clear. In the case of water filters, the filter traps all those minerals, turning hard water into soft water.

How Do I Get Rid Of It?

Different varieties of filter will get the different kinds of unpleasant materials out of your water. Because of this, many filter pitchers use more than one filtration process at once. Here's the lowdown:

An activated carbon filter is great at reducing chlorine and sediment, and improving taste and smell. Activated carbon includes not only our good ol' friend charcoal, but also filters made out of coconut. Through a combination of physical and chemical filtration, a good carbon filter will remove almost all the chlorine and fine particles of sediment from your water to leave you with a tasty, clean-smelling beverage. Just don't forget to change the filter regularly - otherwise you could find black particles of carbon in your glass, which would kinda negate the point of filtering it.

An ion exchange filter will reduce water 'hardness and heavy metals'. Pitchers containing this kind of filter are great if you're planning to use your filtered water to make tea or coffee, as the limescale in hard water can affect your kettle or coffee maker over time.

Of course, some filters remove more trace minerals than others. If you're concerned about the effects of trace metals like copper or zinc, check out a report on what's in your local water before picking out a filter pitcher from our list above based on what they're able to remove.

Your Glass Of Water: A History

Water is necessary for any living thing to survive, so it's no surprise that humans have been trying to make water safer and more pleasant to drink since the earliest civilizations.

Hippocrates - he of 'oath' fame - invented something called the 'Hippocratic sleeve': it sounds to us like the name of an indie band but it was actually an early, crude water purifier, made of cloth, which was used to treat water before he gave it to his patients.

In the 16th century, Sir Francis Bacon conducted the first scientific experiments in water filtration, in which he tried to use sand to filter the salt out of seawater. The bad news: obviously, this didn't work. The good news: it paved the way for further research.

A Scottish engineer pioneered the first water filtration plant, in 19th century Paisley: we'd suggest that this came about by accident while attempting a new method for distilling whisky, but that would of course be a slur against the inventive and industrious people of Scotland.

This practice of treating water became commonplace across the United Kingdom, particularly after the link between dirty water and cholera was highlighted by the physician John Snow in 1855. It was at this point that chlorine was first used to treat public drinking water.

Increasingly high-standard clean water legislation was passed over the next century in Europe and the US, culminating in America in the 1972 Safe Drinking Water Act.

Brita is arguably the oldest manufacturer of water filters still around today - the German company was founded in 1966. But numerous competitors have emerged since then, as more and more consumers have turned to household water filter pitchers to provide their choice of tasty water to the family.

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Last updated on November 10, 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.

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