Pitcher water filters are easy to use and don't require installation. You fill up the reservoir on top with tap water and wait until the water dripped through the filter cartridge.
They have a small activated carbon filter cartridge to remove bad taste and odor. Better pitcher filters can also remove lead and chloroform. Some even tackle VOCs and chromium 6.
Filter jugs are a good solution for singles or couples without kids.
Water Filter Pitcher Pros and Cons
- No installation
- Low initial price
- Many sizes and colors available
- Require frequent filter changes (1-3 months)
- Need to refill often
- Most models spill when you pour.
- Filter cartridges may get expensive over time.
Price range: $20 - 80
Pitcher Filter Buying Guide
What do you need to know to find the best pitcher filter for your home?
Here is a list of points to consider:
Most water filter pitchers use activated carbon to improve the taste and odor of your water. They mainly remove chlorine.
Some pitcher filters can do more: They remove lead, VOC's, Mercury, Cadmium or even pesticides.
These advanced filters come at a price, though. The price per gallon is significantly higher than for the simple filters.
To find out what is hiding in your tap water, you can get it tested - or take a look at your
Certification or other proof of claims
There are a lot of contaminant reduction claims online - and very little proof that they are true.
Independent lab tests or certification by WQA, NSF or other renown organizations can provide a bit more confidence. Due diligence is in order here.
The amount of filtered water a pitcher can hold varies from 4 to 10 cups. Keep in mind, that this is the amount readily availabe before you have to refill the reservoir and wait for the water to pass through the filter.
For a family of four, a 4 cup filter is barely enough to make coffee or tea in the morning.
Filter Capacity and Replacement Filter Cost
The cost of ownership varies widely.
As a rule of thump, the more contaminants a filter can tackle, the more you pay for replacement.
In order to save money, choose a filter that only solves the water problems you actually face. If you just want to remove chlorine, a simple activated carbon filter will do.
For mercury, chromium 6 or lead, the budget filters will not do the trick, unfortunately.
Overall Design and Material
Most filter pitchers are made from BPA-free plastic. It is lightweight, budget-friendly and does not break easily. Alternatives include glass and stainless steel.
Water Filter Pitcher FAQs
How Do Water Filter Pitchers Work?
Water filter pitchers use a cartridge filled with activated carbon or other material to reduce contaminants in your water.
After you filled the top reservoir with water, gravity will move it through the filter element and trap contaminants. The filtered water then drips into lower part of the pitcher.
When you pour from the pitcher, the clean water will pass by the filter and come out from the snout.
How to clean a filter pitcher?
Careful, most pitchers are not dishwasher safe.
To keep your pitcher clean, regularly take out the filter and wash the lid, reservoir and pitcher with warm water, mild soap using a soft cloth.
Rinse it carefully and dry it upside down before you re-assemble it.
How to avoid algae or mold growing in my pitcher?
Regularly clean your pitcher and keep it away from sunlight or other heat sources. Do not let a full pitcher sit for several days. Empty it, when not in daily use.
How much time does the filtration take?
Filtration time varies. The two main factors are the kind of filter you use and your water quality. Single stage filters are usually faster than their multi-stage counterparts. Water rich in sediment or minerals can block the filter over time so it takes longer to pass through.
Are pitcher water filters dishwasher safe?
Most are not as the hot water temperature and aggressive cleaning agents could damage the pitcher over time. To be on the safe side and avoid warranty problems, check the manual.
How often do you need to change the filter?
The cartridges are sometimes so expensive, that you could get a complete new pitcher for the same price. Below you can see the average cost per gallon.
|Model||Max. gallons||Max. time||Price||Price / gal.|
|Brita Longlast||120||6 months||$$||0,16|
|Brita Standard||40||2 months||$||0,15|
|Epic Nano||150||5 -6 months||$$$$||0,30|
|Epic Pure||150||3 – 4 months||$$$$||0,30|
|Invigorated Living PH001||96||4-5 months||$$||0,21|
|Invigorated Living PH002||264||12 months||$$||0,09|
|MAVEA Maxtra||40||2 months||$$$||0,85|
|PUR Basic||40||2 months||$||0,20|
|PUR Lead-Reducing||30||2 months||$||0,37|
|Seychelle pH 20||100||5 months||$$||0,25|
|Seychelle Regular||100||5 months||$$||0,20|
Are pitcher filters recyclable?
We found several manufacturers with their own recycling program. Others advice you to take them to the local recycling plant.
Even the best water filter pitchers don't cost much, but beware, continued use can get a bit expensive over time if you use them a lot.
The choice of glass water filter pitchers is still limited. But there are some.