The best portable water filter pitchers are the easiest way to enjoy cool, refreshing, purified water right from your refrigerator.
Unlike faucet filters and countertop water filtration systems, they don’t require any special hardware or complicated installation. And because they’re so ubiquitous, replacement filters are incredibly easy to find.
But what makes a good filter pitcher? Which brand and model is right for you? This quick guide will help you navigate the intricacies of the filter water pitcher market – and provide reviews for the best portable water filter pitchers – so you can find the right pitcher for your home and family.
What to Look for in the Best Portable Pitcher
Most people start their search by looking for a filtered water pitcher that suits their capacity needs. An individual that lives alone might prefer something small to conserve space in the refrigerator. Somebody buying for a family, on the other hand, will definitely want to consider a higher-capacity model. Water filter pitchers tend to take a few minutes to process the water after a refill, so it’s better to invest in a model that requires refills less often to ensure you have fresh water when you need it.
A common must-have condition is BPA-free plastic. Although many regulatory agencies are hesitant to classify BPA exposure as a significant threat to health until more is known about the substance, studies have shown the chemical to affect the reproductive systems of laboratory animals. Many consumers choose to err on the side of caution by going BPA-free. Thankfully, the majority of brand-name water filter pitchers already use BPA-free plastic.
Another consideration is the type of filtration. Most basic filters use 2-stage filtration, using activated carbon and ion exchange resin. These filters are effective at removing some of the most common types of contaminates found in treated municipal tap water, like chlorine and copper. Lower replacement prices are the most obvious benefit of basic filters, especially if you live in an area that already has a high quality water supply.
More advanced filters may go even further by removing lead, arsenic, and other harmful substances. Before investing in a heavy-duty filter, consider contacting your local water treatment authority to find out which contaminants often show up in your municipal water supply, or hire a testing company to determine the quality of water in your residential well.
Ready access to clean water is undeniably important for health and happiness, whether you’re an avid water connoisseur or just want to ensure the best for your family and guests. Read the reviews below to learn more about the most popular filter pitches on the market today.
Best Portable Water Filter Pitcher Reviews
ZeroWater 10 Cup Pitcher
FeaturesThis impressive ZeroWater model carries a large 10 cup capacity and includes a convenient side spout for one-handed operation, making it easy to enjoy fresh clean water without the need to remove the jug from the refrigerator.
The advanced 5-step filtration system removes up to 99.6% of total dissolved solids (often shortened to TDS) – making it one of the most effective filtration pitchers on the market.
Each pitcher comes with a meter that measures TDS levels so owners know the right time to replace the filter for best results. Not only does the meter let you know the purification system is working, but it helps consumers save money by preventing premature filter replacement. Filter replacements are easily available in packs that range from single filters to packs of twelve.
The 5-step filtration system begins with a course filter screen to eliminate particles and sediment. The second layer includes a distributor to increase the efficiency of the next three filtration stages, including the multiple layers of activated carbon and oxidation reduction alloys that eliminate chemicals like chlorine. The fourth stage filters water through ion exchange resin that removes heavy metals and other contaminants. An ultra-fine screen and non-woven membrane make up the fifth and final layer.
ZeroWater is tested to remove 99% of fluoride, arsenic, and chromium. It’s also tested to significantly reduce lead, pharmaceuticals, chloramine, and other potentially harmful substances commonly found in municipal tap water. Of course, this level of effectiveness does have a few small drawbacks – the filters must be replaced more often, and it takes longer to filter fresh water compared to brands with simpler filter systems.
- Easy to use dispense spout
- 5-stage purification system
- Reduces lead, chromium, mercury, and more
- Replacement filters are available in large packs
- Includes TDS meter
- Slower filtration than 2-stage filters
- Can taste bad once filter reaches end of life
Brita 10 Cup Everyday Water Pitcher
FeaturesAs one of the most recognizable and best-selling water filtration brands, this pitcher from Brita’s Everyday line is a reliable and inexpensive staple for basic water purification needs.
The pitcher itself features a smooth oval design, making it easy to fit into the fridge. A simple sticker indicator helps remind owners when to change the filter, which are widely available on the internet and anywhere Brita pitchers are sold.
Unlike other brands, Brita offers two types of replacement filters to choose from. The “Basic” filter is the most inexpensive option and does everything one would expect from a budget filter by reducing the amount of chlorine, copper, cadmium, and mercury in your drinking water. These basic filters use a two-stage filter system with activated carbon to screen particulate matter and ion exchange resin to attract and hold contaminants. Brita suggests replacing their basic filters every 40 gallons.
Brita also offers a Longlast filter model with a slightly altered design rated to reduce contaminants for up to 120 gallons of use. These filters use a similar two-stage filtration system, but they last longer thanks to their unique pleated design that provides a larger surface area for greater longevity. These filters are also rated to remove more contaminants than the basic model – including lead and asbestos.
- Two filter styles to choose from
- Basic filter reduces chlorine, copper, cadmium, and mercury
- Compact size fits most refrigerators
- Replacement filters are easy to find
- Uncomfortable handle
- Weak lid
PUR Classic 11 Cup Water Pitcher
FeaturesWhile PUR is better-known for their faucet filters, their purification pitchers are quickly gaining in popularity. PUR water pitchers gain high ratings for their MAXION filter technology that uses ion exchange material in addition to activated carbon made from eco-friendly coconut shells.
Replacement filters come in two varieties. The basic filters are certified to remove 96% of mercury in addition to a variety of industrial and pharmaceutical pollutants.
The lead-reduction filters are certified to remove 99% of lead and 96% of mercury, as well as reducing chlorine and filtering out certain pesticides. This pitcher’s most unique feature is the LED indicator light that lets you know when to change the filter, making it easy to ensure better quality water at all times while reducing the expense of premature replacement.
These water pitchers are simple, effective, and have a striking visual design. The easy-fill lid opens with a single press of the thumb. Its compact handle design makes it easier to conserve refrigerator space while allowing for an effortless pour. The pitcher itself occupies an area of only 10.62 inches in width and 6.62 inches in length.
- Great tasting water
- LED filter indicator
- Two filter replacement options
- Small yet comfortable handle
- Eco-friendly coconut shell carbon filter
- Brittle plastic construction
- Filters require pre-soak
Water filter pitchers aren’t complicated pieces of technology, but a little research can go a long way when it comes to picking a model that will satisfy your family’s preferences and budgetary concerns. Whether you’re looking for something inexpensive to simply freshen the taste of your water or need something more advanced to remove serious contaminants from under-treated municipal systems, there’s definitely a perfect pitcher for the job. And once you find a solution that fits your niche, you’ll never want to go back to straight-from-the-tap water.