Initially Posted: 10/03/2020 | Last Updated: 10/05/2020
Water Filters Reviewed by ConsumerLab.com

Water filter pitchers compared in this review:

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Aquasana The Clean Water Machine

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Brita Soho With Longlast Filter

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PUR Ultimate 7 Cup Pitcher With Lead Removal

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ZeroWater 6-Cup Water Filter Pitcher

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Summary

ConsumerLab purchased and tested popular counter-top water filter pitchers from Aquasana, Brita, PUR, and ZeroWater.

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.
The need for frequent filter changes substantially increases cost for some pitchers: Some filters need to be changed after every 20 gallons of water, while others can last 320 gallons. As a result, the cost per cup of filtered water ranged from just 0.5 cents to more than 3 cents. See Cost.

Top Pick: 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 Top Pick.
You must be a ConsumerLab.com member to get the full test results along with ConsumerLab.com's Top Picks and ConsumerTips on how to choose and use water filter pitchers. You'll get results for 4 popular water filter pitchers selected by ConsumerLab.com based on reader requests.

You'll get all of the following information about water filter pitchers in this comprehensive review:

  • Which water filter pitchers passed or failed testing
  • Which water filter pitcher is most effective in removing contaminants from water and is CL's Top Pick for effectiveness and value  
  • How water pitchers compare on their ability to filter out microplastics, toxic heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and arsenic, as well as chlorine and fluoride
  • Why some water filter pitchers may worsen the quality of your drinking water
  • How often you should replace water pitcher filters, why they should be replaced, and how this affects cost  
  • What you need to do with your water filter pitcher before you use it and why this can make such a big difference  
  • What to look for when choosing a water filter pitcher

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