best pitcher water filters under $35

7 Best Pitcher Water Filters Under $35: Is Brita The Best Option?

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know how important it is to take proactive steps towards drinking clean water.

You’d think that living in a first world country like the United States of America would mean a higher standard of living, and thus a higher standard of water quality. But the sad truth is that the government isn’t doing a good job at keeping up high standards for water quality.

And it’s not just unique cases like the Flint water crisis, where lead was found to be leaching from the pipes into the drinking water, causing a public health state of emergency. 6,000 to 12,000 children were exposed to the lead in the water, possibly affecting their long-term health.

No, the sad truth is that water quality in the U.S is not very good.

The U.S Government Accountability Office found that 39,000 water bodies nationwide that are contaminated by pollutants and do not meet the water quality standards set by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency(EPA).www.gao.gov

The good news is that most of this contaminants can be removed from your water for a healthier and tastier (at least in my opinion) drink.

The First Step In Getting Cleaner Water

test your water first

An important step that you should take if you want to have cleaner water is to test your water out. You can read a pretty comprehensive guide in my other article.

Most probably, your tap water has been treated and disinfected with chlorine and is safe to drink. But the chlorine in the water might be affecting the taste.

Why Use A Jug With A Filter In It?

Well, for one, it purifies the water at a low cost compared to other methods like reverse osmosis filters and countertop filters.

If you’re a college student or someone who doesn’t want to invest too much in filtering water, then this is the right choice for you.

Pitchers with water filters in them are effective at filtering contaminants from tap water. However, you shouldn’t expect any miracles from it as from the under the sink or whole house systems.

However, the main reason I do it is for the taste.

Tap water can be pretty disgusting (in my opinion) because of the chlorine added into it and mixture of other contaminants. I prefer the ‘mineral’ taste and ideally mineral water, and pitcher water filters do an excellent job at this.

I only have to add water to the pitcher before having good water to drink. Not all water filter jugs are created equal.

In this article, I’ll review all the ones that I think is worth the attention and give you my personal opinion on which one is the best pitcher water filter.

I’ll rate them based on their price, quality, ease of use, and how well they filter out contaminants. At the end of the article, I’ll let you know what I find to be the best pitcher water filter.

Make Sure Your Pitchers Are BPA-Free!

Bisphenol A, or BPA, is an industrial chemical that’s been to make certain plastics, resins, and even cans since the 1960’s. BPA can seep through the skin or into the food you eat.

This chemical has been linked to infertility, diabetes, impaired brain function, and a list of other problems. While the FDA has reported that low levels are acceptable, I wouldn’t risk the health of my loved ones or myself by using something I can avoid.

I really care about pitchers being BPA-free because why bother filtering out all that contaminants if the pitcher itself is poisonous.

All pitchers listed here will be BPA-Free, so there is no need to worry about it.

Comparison Table

ProductFeaturesOur RatingWhere to Buy

Brita Everyday Pitcher 10 Cup

10-Cup Volume, 3-stage filter, 40-gallon lifespan for filters

55%

Waterdrop Extream Water Pitcher Filter

4-stage filter, bacterial growth prevention, anti-slip base, 10 cup volume

60%

BWT Premium 7 Cup

BWT Magnesium Technology, 3 Free Filters, Fast Filtration System

90%

Nakii Long-Lasting Pitcher

4-stage filter, 150 gallons lifespan for filters, 8-Cup Volume

50%

PUR Classic Water Pitcher

Coconut Shell Material in Filter, 11-Cup Volume, Certified To Remove 22 Contaminants

65%

Clear2O CWS

Solid Carbon Block Filter, Uses Faucet Pressure For Filtration, 9-Cup Volume

70%

ZeroWater 8 Cup Pitcher

Free TDS Meter, Powerful 5-Stage Filter, 8-Cup Volume

85%

Product reviews

Brita Large Everyday Pitcher 10 Cup

Product Summary

Our Rating:
55%

Price: $

Key Features: 10-Cup Volume, 3-stage filter, 40-gallon lifespan for filters

When you think about jugs with filters in them, you’d probably think of Brita. Brita has been around for almost 40 years so they were probably the earliest company to create this product. But being a veteran in the industry does not make something the best.

Brita pitchers are BPA-free. This jug has a section on top that channels the water through the Brita filter, which then flows into the jug for you to drink.

Brita filters have a built-in mesh screen, carbon granules, and an Ion Exchange Resin. The carbon granules act like a sponge to reduce mercury and chlorine taste and odor. The Ion Exchange Resin captures cadmium, copper, and zinc.

These filters can last for 40 gallons before you need to replace them. There’s a sticker indicator on top of the pitcher, but don’t rely on them too much. You should replace them whenever two months is up.

Using the pitcher has been a little cumbersome. The lid falls off a lot, so you need to keep the pressure on it with one hand while pouring.

As a reminder, this filter must be washed by hand. You cannot use a dishwasher. You might find that the pitcher is hard to disassemble, so be careful unless you want to destroy it. It could be a problem in the long-term as mold and grime can build up in the corners.

Brita says it’s normal to find carbon flakes in your water for the first two fills, but the problem can persist for the whole lifespan of the filter. Some of the filters did not have them so it can be a mixed bag. These flakes are supposed to be harmless, but you might find them off-putting.

It takes some time for the water to filter through, around 3-5 minutes, but the filtered water is delicious. It had no chlorine odor or taste and tasted like what you’d expect from bottled water.

Pros
  • Water Tastes Great.
  • Filters Are Easy to Replace.
Cons
  • A Few Design Flaws.
  • Filter Time Takes 3-5 Minutes.
  • Black Carbon Flakes May Be In Filtered Water.

Conclusion

All in all, Brita filters are not the best product in the market. The water tastes good but there are too many issues for it to be recommended.


Waterdrop Extream Water Pitcher Filter

Product Summary

Our Rating:
60%

Price: $

Key Features: 4-stage filter, bacterial growth prevention, anti-slip base, 10 cup volume

Waterdrop Filters are based in the UK. They specialize in fridge water filters but also offer a range of jug filters. The company runs a sponsorship program where they will provide 1 child in Kenya with 1 day of clean water for every filter you buy.

This pitcher looks beautiful, having an elegant wooden handle with a clear plastic jug. The pitcher has a silicone base which prevents slipping and noise. I find this to be a helpful feature that I didn’t even know I needed. This is a useful feature for the clumsy ones out there. The pitcher also feels solid, like it could take a few drops without cracking.

Waterdrop Extream has an electronic filter monitor on the top, which is supposed to advise you when a change is needed. Hold down the button for 6 seconds, and it will indicate when a change is required. Unfortunately, this monitor does not work well and can give inaccurate readings.

Waterdrop’s filter has four stages:

  • A non-woven material which reduces rust, sediment, and suspended solids
  • An advanced ion exchange resin which reduces heavy metals, water hardness, and limescale
  • A Japanese Activated Carbon Filter (ACF) which efficiently reduces chlorine, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), and other contaminants
  • Post-filter non-woven material which removes any remaining suspended contaminants

The pitcher filters water very quickly. The website boasts a 0.5gpm fast flow rate, which is perfect for those who want to fill the pitcher and drink right away.

The Waterdrop Extream also tries to solve the problem with the Brita filter, which is the bacterial growth within the filter. According to the website, the ACF prevents the formation of biofilms, ensuring clean water throughout the filter’s lifespan.

Filters are good for 200 gallons, or 3 months. Research gave disturbing information, however. These filters turn out to be 98% efficient for the first 50 gallons but drop to 50% for the next 150 gallons. This seems a little dishonest on the part of the manufacturer if you ask me. However, 50 gallons is still a reasonable lifespan, to be honest.

These filters do not have carbon flakes in the filtered water.

One problem with Waterdrop pitchers is that it doesn’t affect the taste. The smell is gone, but the taste is the same as tap water.

Pros
  • Great Design
  • Fast Filtration
  • Filter Prevents Bacterial Growth
Cons
  • Water Does Not Taste Good
  • Filter Does Not Have A Long Life Time

Conclusion

In many ways, Waterdrop gets a lot of things right. They have a 4-stage filter that is great, and there are no carbon flakes in the filtered water. The taste is not any better, however. You should get this if you already have good tasting water but want to remove contaminants. If aesthetics is important to you, then this is also a good choice.


BWT Premium 7 Cup

Product Summary

Our Rating:
90%

Price: $

Key Features: BWT Magnesium Technology, 3 Free Filters, Fast Filtration System

The BWT caught my eye because of a unique feature it has – in addition to filtering the water, BWT pitchers mineralizes the water with magnesium. 15-20 mg of magnesium ions are added to every liter of filtered water and it is amazing.

Why am I so in love with this pitcher, you ask?

Well, I live an active lifestyle. I run twice a week. I lift hard three times a week. I also move quite a lot, opting for the healthier choice when I can, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

So, if you’re an active person like I am, then you will sweat a lot. Magnesium (and a few other minerals) are lost through sweat, so you need to have an adequate intake of these minerals. This is especially true in the case of magnesium, which is great for muscle mass, heart health, bone health, nerve function, and a whole list of good stuff.

You’d be surprised to learn that magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. If that wasn’t enough, magnesium could also improve your sleep quality. I’m sure you’d agree that magnesium-enhanced water is so amazing.

The filter also reduces copper, lead, calcium, limescale, and chlorine. It filters at a reasonable pace, so you won’t have to wait for your drink.

BWT recommends changing the filter every four weeks, which can be a short lifespan when compared to other brands, but when the water tastes this good, then you won’t mind it at all.

BWT Premium Pitchers will provide you with refreshing water. You’ll feel revitalized and refreshed whenever you have your first glass for the day.

The pitcher is not perfect though. It holds only half a gallon, so you’ll have to refill it more often. The pitcher is quite narrow which means it can topple easily. The indicator is not reliable and lasts only for less than a year.

But with filtered water that tastes so good, none of this issue matters that much.

Pros
  • Water Tastes Great
  • Magnesium Is Added into Filtered Water
Cons
  • Small Volume
  • Design Flaws
  • Residue In Filtered Water

Conclusion

In a sea of similar products, the BWT Pitchers are a refreshing and innovative product. Its flaws are not big enough to turn you away from it. This pitcher is recommended to all active people who will probably need more magnesium in their body.


Nakii Long-Lasting Pitcher

Product Summary

Our Rating:
50%

Price: $

Key Features: 4-stage filter, 150 gallons lifespan for filters, 8-Cup Volume 

Nakii is a relatively new company in the industry. The founder, Samuel, wanted to make a pitcher that is better than the rest.

Does it deliver?

Well, not quite. The pitcher itself is well made. It’s BPA-Free, FDA approved and can hold up to 8 cups. The lid has a no-spill design which actually works. However, pouring a glass of water seems to be causing the water in the pitcher to spill back into the unfiltered section.

The filter has four stages: a pre-sediment filter, a Sweden ion exchange resin, a Japanese activated carbon fiber (ACF) stage and a post-filter stage. It lasts for 150 gallons or up to 4 months.

According to the website, Nakii filters reduces 97% of chlorine, mercury, rust, sediment, and suspended particles. It also removes up to 50% of lead.

This pitcher is very similar to the Waterdrop Extream, but the previously mentioned one does not have any problems with filtered water spilling back into the top section.

I am not very impressed by this pitcher, but it does have some good feedback.

Pros
  • Good Taste
  • Filters Have A Long Lifespan
  • Filters Quickly
  • Lid Is Secure
Cons
  • Water Spills into Unfiltered Section When Pouring
  • Filter Slows Down After A Few Weeks

Conclusion

Nakii pitchers are average. The only worthwhile feature of this pitcher is the filter cartridge itself. I could not recommend this pitcher, especially when there are better products in the market.


PUR Classic Water Pitcher

Product Summary

Our Rating:
65%

Price: $

Key Features: Coconut Shell Material in Filter, 11-Cup Volume, Certified To Remove 22 Contaminants

PUR is another big name in the industry. They’ve been around for quite some time and can be considered as popular as Brita.

This pitcher holds the most amount of water among the pitchers in this list, so if you have a big family, this pitcher would be perfect for you. But the problem with the PUR Classic pitcher is the flawed design. The plastic used is not very strong and tends to crack at the handle area.

There is also an LED sensor, but it seems more like a gimmick than a useful feature. False positives are shown, and some pitchers will have faulty sensors from the start.

If only they had given the pitcher as much attention as they did to the filter because the water tastes pure, fresh, and delicious.

PUR Filters use coconut shells to make the activated carbon, a more effective due to the pores in the material. The filters are certified to reduce 22 contaminants. It removes 95% of mercury, 99% of lead, 98% of trace levels of pharmaceuticals, 92% of certain pesticides, and reduces chlorine taste and odor.

These filters last for 40 gallons of filtration or for two months. Although filter makes nice tasting water, but that means nothing if the pitcher breaks down so easily.

Pros
  • Water Tastes Pure
  • Large Capacity
  • Filters Work Very Well
Cons
  • Pitcher Is Brittle
  • LED Sensor Is A Gimmick

Conclusion

PUR makes good products. You should buy this if you have a lot of people in your household or if you like filling the pitcher less frequently. However, you should use the pitcher with care as the plastic is not the sturdiest.


Clear2O CWS

Product Summary

Our Rating:
70%

Price: $$

Key Features: Solid Carbon Block Filter, Uses Faucet Pressure For Filtration, 9-Cup Volume

The Clear20 is very eye-catching. Instead of pouring water into the pitcher, there is a pipe for you to connect to your faucet that will feed water through the filter. The pressure of the faucet pushes water through the filter, improving its efficiency and speed of filtration.

The pitcher requires an aerator faucet though. A kitchen sprayer type faucet will not work.

Clear2O comes with a quick connect attachment and 2 male faucet adapters. You might find the process of filling the pitcher a little cumbersome. Water can leak from the adapters while filling. It’s hard to fill up the pitcher without making a small mess. The pitcher does fill up quickly as the company promised.

Clear2O uses a solid carbon block filtration system. The company has a pretty good record for their filter as it gets the highest ratings from Consumer Reports.

The filter reduces over 200 harmful contaminants – chlorine, lead, mercury, sediment, heavy metals, VOCs, herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, asbestos, industrial waste, perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) are among the contaminants that are filtered out.

The filters have a life of 50 gallons or 3 months. The meter on this pitcher also works. It’s accurate and easy to use. This is a plus, especially since most other pitchers have useless sensors.

The water is delicious and fresh tasting.

Pros
  • Really Great Filter
  • Fast Filtering Speed
  • Delicious Water
  • Accurate Meter For The Filter
Cons
  • Leaks And Drips From The Filler Hose
  • Not Suitable For All Faucets
  • Hard To Disassemble and Wash

Conclusion

This pitcher is not for everybody. You’ll need an aerator faucet for it to work. It can be a little messy. But the filter is rated highly in Consumer Reports and it has a decent lifespan. You should get it if you like the faucet design that delivers quick and effective filtration.


ZeroWater 8 Cup Pitcher

Product Summary

Our Rating:
85%

Price: $$

Key Features: Free TDS Meter, Powerful 5-Stage Filter, 8-Cup Volume

ZeroWater is a company that believes in delivering the purest water. They boast the ability to bring your filtered water Total Dissolved Solids level to 0. And the way they do that is by using a 5-stage filter.

The filter has:

  • An activated carbon infused micro cloth
  • A multilayer system using carbon and oxidation to reduce alloy
  • A distributor that maximizes contact time
  • A comprehensive ion exchange alloy
  • A non-woven membrane to remove fine particles

These filters remove 99.6% of total dissolved solids, even fluoride. In fact, there is a study done where scientists compared different filters’ ability to remove arsenic from water. ZeroWater performed well above the rest.

You’ll get a free Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter which will tell you how many contaminants are in your water. Use it to find out your TDS levels before and after filtering. This removes all the guesswork and gives you concrete proof that your water is filtered. The meter is also battery powered so that you can replace them yourself.

While the water is completely clean after filtering, there is a fishy taste to the water. Turns out, the filters contain resins which release trimethylamine, a chemical causing the fishy taste. The amount of trimethylamine released is determined by the minerals and pH levels of the water, so not everyone will experience the fishy taste.

Pros
  • Amazing Filter
  • Fast Filtration Speed
  • Accurate TDS Meter Provided
Cons
  • Bad Pitcher Design
  • Lid Is Not A Good Fit
  • Water Taste Varies

Conclusion

ZeroWater Pitchers are the most effective at giving you clean and pure water. These pitchers can bring tap water’s TDS from 220-280 down to 0. Even after using the filters for a long time, the TDS levels will not go above 5.

Which is a shame that their water can taste like fish. You should buy this pitcher if you want to have the purest water you can get but be warned that you’re gambling with the taste.


Who is the winner?

So, which one is the best?

Well, the best water pitcher filter has got to be the BWT Premium Pitcher. Yes, it has its faults. However, having filtered water added with magnesium has been amazing. Not only do you get to drink tasty pure water, but you also get to improve your health while doing so.

Second place would be ZeroWater. They filter out the water most effectively, but your water source decides the flavor. This might not happen to you. So that’s why I can’t give it first place and recommend it to everyone because it’s such a gamble. You can either get tasty water or fishy water that will remind you of the wet market.

So go and get a pitcher water filter today and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.

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10 thoughts on “7 Best Pitcher Water Filters Under $35: Is Brita The Best Option?”

  1. Great review. I used to use a Brita filter. It was great. The water tasted wonderful. However, we stopped using it. We have well water now that tastes better than the city water. The Brita filter became a bit cumbersome and I think it is in the back of a closet somewhere now. I think I’d go back to using it if I moved to a place where we had city water with all the contaminants.

    1. Hi Melinda,

      Yes, lots of a time the well water is better than city water. However, the issue is that the water is hard due to high mineralization and might damage your home appliances. So, check your water in hardness and based on results have a look at softeners available.

      Eugen

  2. I like these pitcher water filters they are a great idea. We have been looking for a cheap way to filter our water.
    I like the BTW premium filter I think that is the one we will try.

    1. Hi Travis,

      Yes definitely. Also added magnesium is a great combination. You can also give a go to ZeroWater they have some nice pitchers out there.

  3. Hello there Eugen, the Water Man! This is a really great article with a lot of great insight into the different filters out there! I really liked the fact that you elaborated on them in such great detail and that you clearly laid out the ones where the water tasted bad and the material was poorly engineered making them not qualified for effective filtering. Great job! Are you an environmental engineering major by any chance or water resources engineering?

    1. Hi Evan,

      I am glad that you have found the article helpful. No, I am not an engineer just a guy who cares what is he consuming and how this impacts his health 🙂

  4. I honestly did not know there were so many choices for water filtration pitchers. I have a filtration water system in my home. So since I do, I should not have a need for one of these right? I have had the water tested, and it is good. It also tastes good. I do like the idea of the BWT Premium 7 cup adding magnesium. So that is a plus and a reason to get these particular one.

    1. Hi there,

      It depends what kind of a filter do you have. Usually, if it is a big whole house system or the one that is fitted under the kitchen’s countertop, you don’t need to buy pitcher filter. Did you use a home meter or you tested water in a lab?

      I always recommend sending a sample to a lab as this is a deeper analysis.

      Eugen

  5. I really appreciate how you break down the pros and cons of each filter. It really helps a buyer to decide. I also tend to agree with you top pick among these pitcher filters.

    Just a couple questions:

    1-do any of these pitcher filters reduce fluoride levels?
    2-have you heard of the Clearly Filtered pitcher? I’d love to hear your thoughts on that one, as well.

    Thanks

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