Most of us aim to drink more water, but buying bottled water isn't just expensive -- it's not good for the planet, either. Investing in a water filter pitcher is a cost-effective and eco-friendly way to make sure you drink enough water without having to worry about the contaminants often found in tap water.
Not sure how to choose the best water filter pitcher? Our helpful buying guide has all the tips you need to find the best model for your fridge. Our top pick filters out lead, fluoride, and other contaminants from your tap water and includes a lifetime guarantee so you know it's made to last.
Considerations when choosing water filter pitchers
Water filter pitchers usually feature an activated carbon filter or an ion exchange filter. Each type of filter can remove different contaminants. Some pitchers actually use both types to provide more complete filtration.
Activated carbon filters are effective for filtering out chlorine, lead, and mercury.
Ion exchange filters are effective for removing cadmium, zinc, sodium, and copper.
Most water filter pitchers feature a fine mesh filter as the first step of the filtration process, which can help filter out dirt, rust, sand, and other sediment.
Plastic is the most common material for water filter pitchers, which is convenient because it's durable and won't shatter if dropped. However, be sure to choose a pitcher made of BPA-free plastic so you don't have to worry about any chemicals transferring to your filtered water.
The size of your water filter pitcher determines how often you have to refill it. Most pitchers can hold between five and 12 cups, so choose an option that fits your household size. However, keep in mind that a high-capacity pitcher is larger in size which means it requires more space in your refrigerator. Check the dimensions to make sure there's a spot in your fridge for the pitcher you're considering.
All water filter pitchers have a spout to make it easy to pour the water into a glass. For the best results, choose a model with a contoured spout so you can pour the water in a steady, even stream. You may also want to opt for a pitcher with a hinged flap on its spout to prevent debris from falling into the water.
Each filter you use in your water filter pitcher has a certain lifespan during which it can effectively remove contaminants from the water. Choose a model with a filter that can last for a minimum of two to three months, so you won't need to change it too frequently.
It can be difficult to remember when your pitcher's filter needs to be changed. Some models have a filter replacement indicator that alerts you when a new filter is necessary. High-end pitchers often have an indicator light that flashes when it's time for a new filter, but others have a dial that you set to the date when you need a new filter.
Water filter pitcher prices
Water filter pitcher prices range from $10 to $90. A small pitcher with a single type of filtration typically costs between $10 and $25. For a pitcher that can hold up to 12 cups and has two filtering stages, you usually pay between $25 and $50. A pitcher that holds up to 12 cups and features up to six filtering stages ranges from $50 to $90.
Q. Do I have to use a filter that's the same brand as my water filter pitcher?
A. Most pitchers are designed to hold proprietary filters, so you're not able to use another manufacturer's filter in your pitcher. You should also make sure that a brand's filter is meant for your particular pitcher model so it fits and works properly.
Q. Do water filter pitchers usually have a warranty?
A. Most water filter pitchers do include some type of warranty protection. Some offer lifetime guarantees to really provide protection for your investment. You should choose a model that offers at least two to three years of warranty coverage.
Water filter pitchers we recommend
Best of the best: Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher with Anti-Fluoride and Lead Filter
Our take: The best water filter pitcher on the market because of its highly effective filtration system and long-life filters.
What we like: Can remove fluoride, lead, and other contaminants. Uses a two-stage filter for more effective filtration. Filter can last through 150 gallons of water. Includes a lifetime guarantee.
What we dislike: One of the most expensive pitchers.
Best bang for your buck: Brita Everyday Water Filter Pitcher
Our take: A dependable, budget-friendly pitcher for anyone who wants good-tasting, clean water without breaking the bank.
What we like: Made by a well-known brand that uses advanced filtration stages to remove contaminants. Boasts a user-friendly design. Can hold up to 10 cups and features a filter replacement indicator.
What we dislike: Plastic feels somewhat flimsy and handle isn't as comfortable to hold as some users might like.
Choice 3: Clearly Filtered Water Filter Pitcher
Our take: A reliable water pitcher that can filter out more than 200 contaminants from your tap water and boasts long-lasting filters.
What we like: Can get nearly four months of use out of each filter. Filters out common contaminants including fluoride, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides. Pitcher is BPA-free and has a 10-cup capacity. Safe, clean-tasting water guaranteed or the manufacturer offers a full refund.
What we dislike: Water doesn't always flow easily from the pitcher when your pour, which can cause spills.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.