how effective are brita filters

How Effective Are Brita Filters? (Is Brita Worth The Money?)

Whether you are selecting a Brita filter or you are using one right now, I am sure that you have asked yourself this question.

How effective are Brita filters?

The short answer is, the company Brita has a really long history and filters will treat water to some extent. However, you get what you pay for and the performance is not the greatest. Also, compared to some of the competitors in the similar price range, Brita does not remove as many contaminants and I am convinced that you can get a better alternative for the money.

In this article, I will have a closer look to help you figure out the efficiency of their pitcher filters.

So, let’s get to it.

What Is a Pitcher Filter?

Pitcher filters are a popular way to filter water.

I think there is not a lot of things to explain. It’s literally a jug with a filter in it.

As water runs through the filter, the cartridge inside removes all the impurities.

The filtration medium is usually made of ion-exchange resin and activated carbon. This is often enough to remove primary contaminants such as chlorine, lead or any other small particles.

They are unexpensive and some of them are doing actually very well.

Although compared to the other systems such as a countertop or even reverse osmosis, the performance is not as good, the popularity of such method is high.

You can quickly move the pitcher around the house or put it into the fridge.

Personally, I am not a massive fan of pitcher filters.

Why?

Because they are quite slow regarding the purification. In addition to that, they also have a limited capacity.

The standard jug has a capacity of 8 cups and takes ages to filter.

So, you imagine the situation where you have been playing baseball for like an hour, and you are well thirsty.

You get home, and because you have forgotten to fill the jug before, you need to wait until it’s filtered.

Also, because of that you down the whole jug and need to wait for another one to filter.

I am pretty sure you are now thinking “Nah, that’s fine, so I will wait a minute.”

Okay, tell me this when you are in the similar situation.

Another thing I don’t like about them is that the cartridge lifespan is quite short and needs to be changed regularly.

I think average lifespan is something about 40-60 gallons.

For these reasons, I am not a massive fan of them.

Instead:

I prefer faucet mount filters as the water is filtered as you turn the tap, and their lifespan is higher. It’s something about 150 up to 300 gallons.

Yet, the price difference is not as dramatic.

Facts About Brita – What Is Brita?

Brita is a Germany company that manufacture water filters for over 50 years. The company was founded in 1966 by Heinz Hankammer.

FACT#1: Despite it’s size Brita is considered as family business and is privately held.
FACT#2:The company owns two brands Brita and Mavea.
FACT#3: Company was named after the founder’s daughter.

Despite its size, the company focuses only on three main products for the end costumers.

1) Pitcher filters

2) Bottles with filters

3) Faucet mount filters

However, Brita also offers water treatment solutions for professionals such as catering, coffee shops, bakeries, etc.

FACT#4: The initial serial produced filter was, AquaDeMat and serverd to demineralize water for car batteries.

Only, in the early 70s, the very first pitcher filter was introduced for the domestic use.

FACT#5: The founder of the company also came up with the idea of tea test to demonstrate filter’s abilities.

Bottom line:

Brita as the brand is with us for more than 50 years and likely to be here for a while.

Now:

Since our article is about answering the question on how effective Brita pitchers are, let’s shift into the performance section.

In this section, we will have a look at how their pitchers are performing in contaminants removal.

What Does Brita Filter Out?

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find a data sheet with the reported treatment rates for all Brita pitchers.

At least, there is a comparison table on the company website that displays all the different contaminants that are removed by different products.

As you can see from the picture above, the removal rates are not included in the table.

At least, you get the idea of what sort of impurities are filtered out.

Luckily:

I have managed to find the performance data sheet for one of their Brita Longlast filters.

I like the fact that Brita does really well on contaminants that are reported to be removed out.

Clearly, most of the contaminants are removed at the rate of 93% and more.

Generally speaking, you get an effective treatment for the reported contaminants.

In addition to that information provided by Brita, I have found two interesting research papers.

First research is comparing different pitchers on how they perform in terms of removing Arsenic.

Arsenic Treatment

Arsenic is a dangerous and poisonous contaminant, that is responsible for various disorders such as skin lesions and also it damages nervous system.

Although Brita pitcher is not reporting to remove arsenic from water, it was still used in a comparison.

So, how did it perform?

Unfortunately…

… the numbers are clear, and Brita has removed only 11% of As+3 and 2% of As+5.

The winner in this research was ZeroWater that has removed 99% of both types of arsenic.

Since Brita is not claiming to remove arsenic out fo the water, I don’t have any issue with it.

I just thought that it is quite important for you to know.

Bacteria Removal

Now:

Another thing to know is that pitcher filters are not removing the bacteria out.

This is not related only to Brita, I don’t want you to think that I am their hater. This issue is related to nearly all types of filters.

The only exception is filters that are using the KDF cartridge.

Bottom line:

Not only pitcher filters are not removing the bacteria out, but they also become a breeding ground for them.

So, if you don’t change your cartridge regularly (no later then every 6 months) and don’t give a pitcher a proper wash, you can get into trouble.

Lastly, there is one positive thing about Brita.

A second study conducted, compared water handling strategies on their performace of removing trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids.

Guess who was the winner?

Yes, you are right!

Combination of tap water filtration and Brita pitcher proved to remove both types of contaminants.

I believe that I have covered the performance and efficiency of the Brita.

You get the idea and draw conclusions yourself.

Now:

Stay with me as now I am going to have a look at different problems that are related to the customer experience and the construction of the pitcher.

Brita Problems

All the Brita pitcher are BPA-Free which is great and to be fair I don’t think many pitchers would contain BPA anyway.

But it is something that is important to know so, I have included a line on this.

There are a couple of design flaws that you might find annoying, but again this is the issue of most products.

For example:

Basic Brita 10 cup pitcher doesn’t allow you to take off the white reservoir to clean the pitcher.

After all, this relates back to the bacteria mentioned earlier. Of course, bacteria will spread in the jug if you are not able to properly wash it.

And another thing is, that the filtration rate is very slow.

To be fair, this is a common drawback that is related to most of the pitcher filter so I cannot blame only Brita for this.

The flow rate heavily depends on the number of impurities present in your water.

So, if you see that it takes ages to filter the water probably, it is not as clean as you thought and it might be a good idea to test it and get something more advanced.

Is a Brita Filter Worth The Money?

All in all, Brita will do the job for the money you are about to spend on it. It will filter the water to some extent.

The truth is:

The amount of removed contaminants is not as high as with some other pitcher filters in given price range.

I do really like the fact that even 50 years later, the company is still managed by the family and developing new products.

Unfortunately:

I believe that overall Brita is not worth the money since competitors are outperforming their products.

Read my comparison of pitcher filters under $35 and check out the pitcher filters that I recommend.

I would love to hear your experiences with Brita products, so go ahead and leave a comment below.

Feel free to comment, especially if you have a different opinion about the brand, as I would love to hear it.

Don’t forget to share the love because…

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2 thoughts on “How Effective Are Brita Filters? (Is Brita Worth The Money?)”

  1. Hey there. I am still exploring your website and I am really interested to find out more about specific filters and the way how our water is purified. Checking your tables here I can see that different filters have different potency and there is not a single one that removes all from water.

    Why is that? Is that always the case and you have to combine the filters for maximum effect?

    1. Hi,

      This table is only relevant to the Brita filters, if you want ultimate protection that removes all the contaminants listed in a table, reverse osmosis is the way to go for you.

      But yes you can combine different filters to achieve the ultimate protection, with RO you essentially need only one.

      Eugen

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