The 8 Best Water Filter Pitchers of 2022

Our top pick is the Lifestraw Home Glass Pitcher, which stands out for its heavy duty filter and elegant design.

In This Article

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Best Water Filter Pitchers

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A water filter pitcher makes it easier to have great-tasting water on hand, sans heavy metals and contaminants—and can even help you cut back on plastic bottles. Staying hydrated is essential to your well-being, so having the right water filter pitcher can help you hit your daily water goals in a cinch. 

To find the best water filter pitchers, we spent hours researching products and considering factors like materials, capacity, and filter quality to determine which ones are best for various households and hydration needs. For expert tips on shopping for water filter pitchers, we consulted Dr. Newsha Ajami, a hydrologist and the director of Urban Water Policy at Stanford University.

“I really do encourage people not to use bottled water because there are so many more regulations in place to protect water that comes out of people's taps versus what goes into bottled water," Ajami says. "So while there's this sense of, ‘Oh, the water that’s coming out of the bottles is clean and perfect,’ it's not necessarily always true. So, using these filtration systems can be a very helpful thing to do, and if people are worried [about their water] this can help them.”

Our top pick is the LifeStraw Home Water Filter Pitcher, which stands out for its beautiful design and NSF-certified filter that removes bacteria, microplastics, pollutants, and more. 

Read on for all of our water filter pitcher recommendations.

Our Top Picks
Best Splurge Water Filter Pitcher:
AquaGear Water Filter Pitcher at Amazon
Best Large Water Filter Pitcher:
Waterdrop Water Filter Pitcher at Amazon
Best Water Filter Pitcher for Well Water:
Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher at Amazon
Best Water Filter Pitcher for Removing Bacteria:
Epic Nano Water Filter Pitcher at Amazon
Best Water Filter Dispenser:
Brita Water Dispenser at Amazon

Best Overall Water Filter Pitcher: LifeStraw Home Water Filter Pitcher

lifestraw water filter and pitcher

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a trusted, stylish, and comprehensive water filter pitcher.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a filter to make their water softer.

LifeStraw makes some of the most innovative and reputable water filters around, so it makes sense that their water filter pitcher also exceeds expectations. It’s the only filter on the market that removes bacteria, parasites, and microplastics from tap water. This sleek pitcher is made from either BPA-free plastic or hand-blown borosilicate glass, which is more resistant to thermal shock than other types of glass—but keep in mind that a glass pitcher will be heavier than a plastic pitcher, especially when filled all the way. 

The activated carbon filter also has an impressive amount of certifications from the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). The NSF verified that this filter reduces heavy metals, chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), bacteria, and more from your water. That said, LifeStraw does not remove minerals from water, so if you’re looking for a filter that reduces water hardness, you’d need to use another product in addition to your LifeStraw pitcher. 

LifeStraw recommends replacing the filter every 40 gallons, or after two months. They also recommend hand washing the pitcher and filter housing, as this pick isn't dishwasher-safe. For a water filter pitcher that’s as thorough and elegant as LifeStraw’s, a little extra elbow grease to keep it clean is well worth it. 

Price at time of publish: From $40

Product Details:

  • Capacity: 7 or 10 cups
  • Dimensions: 11.25 x 5.8 inches
  • Filter Replacement Frequency: Every 40 gallons (about 2 months)
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

Best Budget Water Filter Pitcher: PUR Classic Water Filter Pitcher

PUR Water Pitcher Filtration System, 7 Cup, Clear/Blue

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who don’t want to spend a lot on a water filter pitcher.

Who it isn’t for: People who are concerned about lead levels in their water.

The PUR Classic Water Filter Pitcher is one of the most affordable water filter pitchers on our list, but it also stands out for its impressive benefits and filtration power. Of its competitors, it has the most NSF certifications, and removes cadmium, copper, pollutants, pesticides, and more from your drinking water. The pitcher is a lightweight plastic that's easy for all members of your household to handle, and the lid has a flip-up top so refilling is a breeze. This pick also features a nifty three-color LED light that gives you a heads up when you should replace the filter. 

This filter doesn't reduce lead content, which may be a deal breaker for some—to remove lead with a filter, you’ll have to upgrade to the PUR Plus filter, which is compatible with this pitcher, though it is more expensive. Their classic filters alone remove a remarkable amount of contaminants for their price point and the pitcher is so affordable you have more leeway to upgrade your filter later on. 

Price at time of publish: From $17

Product Details:

  • Capacity: 7 or 11 cups
  • Dimensions: 9.6 x 4.5 x 10.1 inches 
  • Filter Replacement Frequency: Every 40 gallons (about 2 months)
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best Splurge Water Filter Pitcher: AquaGear Water Filter Pitcher

Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want long-lasting filters that don't need frequent replacement. 

Who it isn’t for: People looking for a filter that works quickly. 

The Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher stands out for its smart design and heavy-duty filter. The pitcher has an ergonomic handle and a filter tested by the NSF that removes lead and chlorine from your tap water. While this pitcher is pricey, the filter can last up to six months, so you can save money on replacement filters. 

The Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher uses ion exchange technology to remove contaminants like VOCs, asbestos, heavy metals, and microplastics, all while retaining healthy minerals like zinc and magnesium. While this filter is comprehensive, it doesn’t purify water quickly, so you may have to wait a while until your water is ready to drink. If you don’t mind footing the cost, this durable pitcher will provide extra peace of mind knowing that your water is clean and safe to drink. 

Price at time of publish: $70

Product Details:

  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Dimensions: 11 x 6 x 11 inches
  • Filter Replacement Frequency: 6 months
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best Small Water Filter Pitcher: Brita Metro Water Filter Pitcher

brita-metro-6-cup-water-filter-pitcher

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a space-saving water filter that’s perfect for one person. 

Who it isn’t for: People with larger households. 

Brita pitchers are a household name among water filters, and their Metro Water Filter Pitcher is ideal for those with limited refrigerator space. This pitcher has a compact 5- or 6-cup capacity, so if you find yourself guzzling through water bottles every hour, or you share your water filter with the whole family, you may want to opt for a higher-capacity pick.

Brita filters use activated carbon granules to pull out contaminants from water as it seeps through the chamber. Their filters specialize in removing chlorine, which improves the smell and taste of your water, and substances like mercury, copper, and cadmium. 

Brita filters are easy to replace and come in multipacks that help save cash. There's an electronic indicator on top of each pitcher to let you know when it’s time to swap in a new filter—perfect for those who may forget to replace it. We also like how this pitcher is made from a lightweight, BPA-free plastic, so it won’t get too heavy even if it’s filled up all the way. 

Price at time of publish: $24

Product Details:

  • Capacity: 5 or 6 cups
  • Dimensions: 9.37 x 4.45 x 9.8 inches 
  • Filter Replacement Frequency: Every 40 gallons (about 2 months)
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

Best Large Water Filter Pitcher: Waterdrop Chubby Water Filter Pitcher

Waterdrop Chubby Water Filter Pitcher

Amazon

Who it’s for: People looking for a filter that will purify water quickly. 

Who it isn’t for: People with limited fridge space. 

At 10 cups, Waterdrop’s Chubby Water Filter Pitcher has one of the largest capacities you’ll find before going into dispenser territory. It’s made with plastic, which prevents it from becoming too heavy when filled, and it features a multi-stage filtration system that removes chlorine, arsenic, and fluoride from your water. 

Each filter cartridge is NSF 372 and NSF 42 certified, which means that they’re free from lead and can reduce chlorine levels in water by 97.4 percent. This pitcher also features a lightning-fast flow rate—it can filtrate 10 gallons of water in just one minute, making it an ideal pick for families or shared households. It can last for 200 gallons before needing to be replaced, so you won't have to purchase new filters often. Instead of guessing if you need a new filter, you can check the status of the indicator light on top of the pitcher. 

Price at time of publish: $36

Product Details:

  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Dimensions: 10.4 x 5.3 x 10 inches 
  • Filter Replacement Frequency: Every 200 gallons (about 3 months)
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

Best Water Filter Pitcher for Well Water: Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher With Affinity Filtration Technology

Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher With Affinity Filtration Technology

Clearly Filtered

Who it’s for: People who use well water or are concerned about various contaminants in their water.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a pitcher with an easy-to-use lid.

The Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher With Affinity Filtration Technology is one of the most impressive household filters available. It uses a gravity filtration system where water percolates through three layers of mesh, granulated activated carbon, and a composite shell. These layers allow the filter to have more contact with the water, so it can thoroughly remove contaminants. This filter is independently tested to meet NSF standards and can remove 365+ substances, including fluoride and pesticides, making it a safe choice for well water. 

The meticulous filter has one downside: It can take over 20 minutes to filter its water tank and you have to remove the entire lid to fill the pitcher, which is less convenient than a flip-up lid. However, the pitcher has a built-in water dam that prevents unfiltered water from coming out of the spout. 

Price at time of publish: $110

Product Details:

  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Dimensions: 11.25 x 5 x 10.25 inches
  • Filter Replacement Frequency: Every 100 gallons (about 4 months)
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

Best Water Filter Pitcher for Removing Bacteria: Epic Nano Water Filter Pitcher

Epic Nano Water Filter Pitcher

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who are concerned about bacteria in their water.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a less expensive water pitcher. 

While many water filter pitchers remove some level of bacteria, the Epic Nano Water Filter Pitcher takes things up a notch with its use of a sub-micron filter. This NSF-approved filter can remove 99.9 percent of bacteria and cysts lurking in tap water, as well as pesticides, heavy metals, and other contaminants. You need to replace the filter every 150 gallons, or around 3-4 months of use. 

Aside from its high-tech filter, the pitcher itself boasts a 10-cup capacity, a compact build that can easily squeeze onto fridge shelves, and a handy LED timer that lets you know when to swap in a new filter. However, this pick is not dishwasher-safe, which makes it slightly more tedious to keep clean.

Price at time of publish: $65

Product Details:

  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Dimensions: 10 x 6 x 10 inches
  • Filter Replacement Frequency: Every 150 gallons (about 3-4 months)
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

Best Water Filter Dispenser: Brita Ultramax Water Dispenser

Brita Ultramax Water Dispenser

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a high-capacity dispenser that they don’t need to lift.

Who it isn’t for: People who live by themselves and don’t have space for a large water dispenser. 

Families may prefer a water dispenser over a pitcher for its increased capacity. Enter Brita’s Ultramax Water Dispenser—it comes with either a Standard or Elite filter that you only need to replace every 40 or 120 gallons, respectively, helping to cut back on costs. The filter features activated carbon and a pleated material to remove 99 percent of lead per independent NSF testing, as well as mercury, cadmium, asbestos, and chlorine. 

Capacity-wise, this dispenser clocks in at a whopping 18 or 27 cups, which makes things more convenient for larger households since you won’t have to fill it as frequently. It also makes it easier for kids to fill up their glass of water since no pouring is required—all they have to do is lift the spigot and let the water flow into their cup. 

Price at time of publish: From $38

Product Details:

  • Capacity: 18 or 27 cups
  • Dimensions: 10.47 x 14.37 x 5.24 inches
  • Filter Replacement Frequency: Standard: every 40 gallons (about 2 months); Elite: every 120 gallons (about 6 months)
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the LifeStraw Home Water Filter Pitcher because it reduces contaminants in water and meets NSF standards for heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, and more. Plus, this filter boasts a stylish design made of durable borosilicate glass that resists thermal shock.

How to Shop for Water Filter Pitchers Like a Pro

Materials

The most common materials for water filter pitchers are glass and plastic. They both have pros and cons, so the material you choose depends on your lifestyle. Plastic weighs less than glass and is more durable, so it’s ideal for people who live with small children and don’t want their pitcher to fall and shatter. On the other hand, glass is more sustainable than plastic. If you don’t mind the extra weight and fragility, a glass pitcher is a sleek and functional addition to your fridge. 

Capacity

Water filter pitchers come in various sizes, and there isn’t one capacity necessarily better than the other. According to Ajami, “it's just a matter of how much time you have and how much water you need.” The smallest pitchers have a 5-6 cup capacity and are ideal for those who live solo or in tight quarters. Standard pitchers will fall within the 7-10 cup range. But if you need to filter a lot of water, opt for a filtered dispenser that can hold up to 30 cups of water. 

Filter

Despite the number of water filters available, Ajami says that “there's more similarity between them than differences.” Most water filter pitchers use activated carbon to remove contaminants. The most effective type of filter is a carbon block filter, which contains activated carbon shaped into bricks. These filters have more surface area that comes in contact with the water, making them more adept at removing harmful substances, but they’re generally more expensive and can get clogged with debris. 

Granulated activated carbon filters are the most common filter type, though they are less effective because they offer less surface area. While they don’t clog as easily as a carbon block filter, they often let water trickle through after they’ve lost effectiveness. If you purchase a granulated activated carbon filter, you want to stay on top of regularly swapping out the filter.

The effectiveness of carbon block and granulated activated carbon filters can vary based on how slowly water trickles through each filter. While some filters only improve the taste of water and remove chlorine, others can remove VOCs, asbestos, and other substances. 

If you’re concerned about a specific contaminant, Ajami recommends using a resource like SimpleLab (she discloses that since it’s new, their database is limited) or the EWG. These tools can help you find the potential contaminants in your water, so you can choose a filter that addresses your needs. Ajami cautions: “If there is a serious issue with the water source, pitchers cannot necessarily clean that up…just because you’re using a pitcher does not mean you’ll be able to take all the lead.”  

Questions You Might Ask 

How often should you replace your water pitcher’s filter?

There’s no set answer, as filter replacement will vary based on how often you refill your pitcher. “It just really depends where you are, how hard your water is, and what kind of purpose you're using it,” says Ajami. “If the water is from a source that is clean and doesn’t need a lot of treatment, the filter might not get as compromised as fast as somebody who has hard water.” 

Another factor that can impact how often you need to replace your filter is the number of times you refill your pitcher. Ajami notes that “it's much less about the time and it's much more about the amount [of water] that gets circulated through.” Typically, most filters will last for 40 gallons, or roughly two months of use, before needing to be changed, but it's best to check the care instructions that come with your pitcher. If you notice your filter is percolating water more slowly or that your water has a funny taste, then it's time to replace your filter. Additionally, many pitcher lids will have an electronic indicator that lets you know when a replacement is needed.

How do you clean a water filter pitcher?

It’s good practice to clean your pitcher each time you replace your filter to prevent mold growth and mineral build-up. Some pitchers are dishwasher-safe while others are hand wash only, so check the manufacturer's instructions for proper care tips. If you want to be extra thorough with cleaning, you can use mild dish soap with a toothbrush to get into the nooks and crannies. For mold growth, spray a white vinegar solution onto your pitcher and scrub with a toothbrush. 

For filters, most manufacturers recommend replacing them rather than washing them. However, Ajami says, “you can potentially backwash [the filter],” if you’re using it to improve the taste of your water. She explains that “the process of backwashing is that you push water through your filter in the opposite direction,” but it may or may not work depending on the type of filter. She also stresses that “if there are contaminants in [your water] that need to be taken care of, I wouldn't backwash it. I would just replace the filter.” 

Do all water filter pitchers remove bacteria?

While most water filter pitchers can remove contaminants such as lead, copper, and chlorine, not all possess the materials to remove bacteria. Your tap water should be treated for bacteria already, but if it’s a concern for you, you’ll want to research filters that specify bacterial removal in their products. Most filter companies will include testing reports on their website, so you can check how efficient they are at removing certain kinds of bacteria before purchasing. For bacteria removal, we recommend the Epic Nano Water Filter Pitcher, which has been tested to remove bacteria, giardia, cryptosporidium, and viruses.

Who should use a water filter pitcher?

Contrary to what you may think, water filter pitchers can benefit everyone, not just those with concerns about the quality of their tap water. Ajami emphasizes that “the water that comes out of your tap is highly tested and treated,” but mentions that your filtration needs can vary “depending on which location people are in.” If your water supply has an elevated level of contaminants, using a water filter pitcher can improve its quality for peace of mind. 

Another benefit that Ajami points out is that a water filter pitcher can soften hard water. “If [people] are cooking or boiling water, [filtered water] would leave less marks in their pots or other kitchen appliances.” Additionally, “people like water filter pitchers just because of the taste,” which is a bonus if you struggle with drinking enough water daily.  

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Jen Woo, a design, lifestyle, and culture writer and content strategist with over 10 years of experience. To write this article, she spent hours researching water filter pitchers while considering factors like materials, capacity, and filter quality to make the best possible recommendations. She also spoke with Dr. Newsha Ajami, a hydrologist at Stanford, for expert advice on shopping for a water filter pitcher.

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