Water quality is a problem for people across the United States. Turning on your tap can leave you exposed to any number of harsh contaminants—from the lead in municipal water lines to pesticides and herbicides that leach into your well. It’s enough to make a water filter pitcher a good investment for anyone. But how do you know if your choice of pitcher is doing its job in cleansing your water?
There’s no shortage of water filter pitchers out there, but not all of them work the same way or offer the same benefits. If you can’t trust your tap water and want to keep a stock of clean, fresh water in your fridge, you’ll need to narrow down your options.
Here’s a look at six of the best water filter pitchers that really work. That means going above and beyond filtering total dissolved solids (TDS). It means filtering the contaminants you’re afraid of, to deliver clean, safe, fresh water to you with peace of mind.
1. Aquaspace® Carafe® Pitchers
Nothing is more important when selecting an effective water filter pitcher than the filter itself. That’s why Aquaspace® is at the top of the list. There are multiple versions to choose from, each backed by a specialized filtering solution that provides results. For example, the Carafe® with Fluoride & Heavy Metal Reduction works to address the concerns that come with municipal water, such as lead, fluoride and trace pharmaceuticals. Meanwhile, the Carafe® with Alkaline Mineral Filter raises the pH of water while filtering it, to increase its health benefits.
All Aquaspace® Carafe® Pitchers come backed by the Aquaspace® Compound, which is highly effective at filtering just about any contaminant—without removing healthy minerals like calcium and magnesium. Moreover, these filters last up to 500 gallons, resulting in significant value for those who plan to use their pitcher on a daily basis.
2. Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher with Affinity Filtration Technology
While it might sound like a marketing gimmick at first, the Affinity Filtration Technology of Clearly Filtered pitchers is the real deal. It removes fluoride, lead, BPA and microplastics from municipal water, as well as over 270 of the most harmful tap water impurities from wells. And, like many of the other effective filters on this list, it does so discerningly, which leaves healthy minerals in the water for you to drink.
With a 100-gallon filtering lifespan, this pitcher is one you can use every day and feel good about. While it’s a bit pricier than some of the other filters on this list, it’s also one of the best values. You can even auto-schedule filter deliveries, to keep you on-track with recommended changes.
3. Invigorated Water pH RESTORE Alkaline Water Pitcher
For those who want to explore the health benefits of drinking alkaline water, this Invigorated Water pH RESTORE water pitcher does the trick. It’s first and foremost a powerful filtering system and second, an alkalizer that gently raises the pH of the water it filters. Moreover, the filters used in this system actually return healthy minerals to the water, further enhancing its benefits.
As far as filtering capabilities, this pitcher ticks all the essential boxes: fluoride, chlorine, heavy metals, TDS and more. It doesn’t necessarily remove the many chemicals that more powerful filters target, but it’s definitely a step up from untreated tap water or even general carbon-filter treatments. With a filter capacity just shy of 100 gallons, it’ll meet your requirements for everyday filtered water.
4. Aquagear Water Filter Pitchers
This pitcher does it all when it comes to broad-spectrum filtering—from lead and heavy metals to chlorine and fluoride, VOCs to pharmaceuticals, to pesticides and herbicides. On top of this, it preserves calcium, magnesium and other healthy minerals for truly effective filtering. The result isn’t just clean water, it’s healthy water. There’s a clear difference over lesser filtering systems that only use a simple activated carbon filter.
Expect the filter in Aquagear Water Filter Pitchers to last an average of 120 gallons, for everyday filtering capabilities you can count on for up to six months. A subscription system ensures you get your filters when-needed, so the pitcher’s capabilities never deplete. The one small downfall of this pitcher? It’s by far the smallest on this list, with a capacity of only eight cups.
5. ZeroWater Filter Pitcher
If you’re looking for strong filtering capabilities at a lower price point, it’s hard to do better than ZeroWater. While not as robust as some of the higher-ranked filters, this five-stage filter system far outstrips the conventional two-stage ones you’ll find in the store. It’s well-designed for anyone dealing with cloudy or foggy water caused by high TDS. One pass through this filtering system and you can expect crystal-clear results. Plus, it’s effective against other contaminants in the municipal water supply, such as lead.
The lower cost of this pitcher is offset by the frequency of the need for replacement filters. It’s only rated for 20 gallons, due to its nature as a five-stage filtering system focused on lowering TDS. It’s great of occasional use, but won’t deliver the convenience you’re looking for in an everyday water filter pitcher.
6. Pūr Water Filter Pitcher Filtration System
Most people are probably familiar with Pūr as a brand, since it’s one of the two major big-box brands. But are Pūr Water Filter Pitchers effective? They can be, depending on what you’re dealing with. If you want maximum filtration and clean water that’s also healthy, keep looking. If you’re more concerned about chlorine, lead and industrial chemicals, Pūr pitchers will do the trick.
Many people choose these pitchers because they’re accessible (as are filter replacements). That said, their costs can add up fast, since filters typically only last for about 40 gallons. Pūr pitchers do have a nifty novelty that reminds you to change the filter: an indicator light will go from green to red. All that said, don’t expect much better than the basics from an off-the-shelf brand like Pūr.