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Which water filter pitchers did ConsumerLab test?

Popular counter-top water filter pitchers from Amazon, Aquagear, Aquasana, Berkey, Brita, Kirkland (Costco), Lifestraw, PUR, and ZeroWater were purchased, tested, reviewed, and compared.

Which are ConsumerLab's Top Picks among water filter pitchers?

  • If your water is chlorinated, we selected a pitcher that gets out the chlorine (which can impair water flavor) at very low cost (less than 1 cent per cup), while leaving fluoride (for strengthening teeth) and essential minerals.
  • If you use well water high in fluoride, we selected two pitchers that can help by either reducing fluoride by 25% to 31%, at very reasonable cost, or removing it entirely.
  • If your water contains arsenic, we selected two pitchers that removes 90% or more arsenic at much lower cost than any other pitcher filter.
  • If your tap water has an earthy flavor, from high dissolved solids, we selected a pitcher that can entirely remove dissolved solids, although it will also remove nearly all fluoride.
  • To remove microplastics, we selected a pitcher that has been shown to reduce the majority of plastic particles while not dumping in many carbon particles (as many filters did).
  • To remove PFAS ("forever chemicals"), we selected a pitcher that has been shown to remove 100% and suggest some runners-up, based testing from an independent group, as we did not test for PFAS removal.

How well did water filters pitchers remove each of the following? (See What CL Found):

  • Chlorine -- which is added by many water systems as a disinfectant but can impact water taste -- was well removed except by all but one filter pitcher.
  • 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 31% of the fluoride.
  • If your water contains Lead and other toxic heavy metals -- Each pitcher did an excellent job at removing lead, cadmium, and mercury. For arsenic, some of the pitchers removed essentially all of it, while others removed as little as 15%.
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) — which includes many essential minerals — were left largely intact by most pitchers, as is generally desirable. Removing all dissolved solids removes essential minerals, can result in bland-tasting water, and reduces the life of filters. However, if your tap water has an unpleasant, earthy flavor, we found some pitchers that can eliminate these compounds or significantly reduce levels. 
  • Microplastics — Four water filter pitchers were able to remove the majority of microplastic particles. Among the others, several removed a modest amount and one actually added substantial amounts of plastic to the water. Some also added large amounts of carbon particles. Although not suggested in all product instructions, it may be helpful with some filters to discard several pitchers of water before drinking the water, as microplastic and carbon levels appear to decline with use.
  • Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS, such as PFOA and PFOS) — We did not test water filter pitchers for their ability to remove potentially toxic PFAS, bit three of the products claim to remove at least 95% of PFOA and PFOS. However, as we explain, water filter pitchers may not be the best strategy for removing PFAS from drinking water.

How do water filter pitchers compare on cost?

The cost to get a cup of water ranged more than 7-fold from just 0.7 cents to as much as 5 cents after factoring the initial cost of the pitcher and filters, replacement filters, and the number of gallons handled by each filter. Some filters need to be changed after every 20 to 40 gallons of water while others can filter as many as 3,000 gallons. (See Cost).


Avoid Counterfeits

Counterfeit water filters have been sold in the U.S. See our separate article about how to avoid buying counterfeit filters online.

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Water filter pitchers compared in this review:

View Larger Image AmazonBasics_Water_Filter_Pitchers_2024-small.png

Amazon Basics 10 Cup Water Filtration System

View Larger Image Aquagear-WaterFilterPitchers-2023-small.png

Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher

View Larger Image WaterFilter-WaterFilter-2020-small.png

Aquasana The Clean Water Machine

View Larger Image Brita-WaterFilters-2020-small.png

Brita Soho With Longlast Filter

View Larger Image WaterFilter2-WaterFilterPitchers-2023-small.png

Brita Water Filter Pitcher For Tap And Drinking Water With Elite Filter

View Larger Image Kirkland-WaterFilterPitchers-2023-small.png

Kirkland Signature Filtered Water Pitcher

View Larger Image WaterFilter1-WaterFilterPitchers-2023-small.png

LifeStraw Home 7-Cup BPA-Free Plastic Filter Pitcher

View Larger Image Pur-WaterFilters-2020-small.png

PUR Ultimate 7 Cup Pitcher With Lead Removal

View Larger Image Berkey-WaterFilterPitchers-2023-small.png

Travel Berkey Water Filter

View Larger Image ZeroWater-WaterFilters-2020-small.png

ZeroWater 6-Cup Water Filter Pitcher

You must be a member to get the full test results along with's Top Picks and ConsumerTips on how to choose and use water filter pitchers. You'll get results for 10 popular water filter pitchers selected by 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, fluoride, total dissolved solids (TDS), PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), and microplastics
  • 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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Additional Information
Tested through CL's Quality Certification Program prior to, or after initial posting of this Product Review.