CL's tests showed major differences in pitchers and cause for concern (see What CL Found):
- Two water filter pitchers did well at removing microplastic particles, but one only removed a modest amount and another actually added substantial amounts of plastic to the water. Some also added large amounts of carbon particles. Although not suggested in product instructions, it may be helpful with some filters to discard several pitchers of water before drinking the water, as microplastic levels appear to decline with use.
- Each did an excellent job at removing lead, cadmium, and mercury, which are toxic heavy metals. However, for arsenic, the filter pitchers removed as little as 15% to virtually all of it.
- Chlorine, which is added by many water systems as a disinfectant but can impact water taste, was removed equally well by all filter pitchers.
- Fluoride, which may be added to water systems to help protect teeth, was removed completely (which may not be desirable) by one filter pitcher, while the others removed 10.7% to 30.7% of the fluoride.
Be aware that if your tap water doesn't contain significant concentrations of dangerous compounds and you simply want to get rid of a chlorine taste, your focus should not be on removing "total dissolved solids (TDS)" because much of what you are removing is essential minerals. This also significantly shortens filter life. See Total Dissolved Solids (TDS).
Best Water Filter Pitcher? One water filter pitcher stood out for reducing microplastics, chlorine, and many heavy metals, while leaving fluoride in the water. It also had the lowest cost per cup of filtered water. See our Top Pick among water filter pitchers.