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The 4 Best Water Filter Pitchers of 2024 Tested & Reviewed

We tested a dozen popular water filter pitchers and dispensers. Here are the top performers in terms of functionality, design, and usability.

By , , and ·Updated
Water test strips and test tube rack in a test for the best water filter pitchers

Water filter pitchers have become common staples in American homes. They’re portable, easy to use, and require minimal maintenance. That gives them some advantages over larger filtration systems such as under-sink or whole-house filters.

Having directly tested a dozen models and still counting, we’ve learned that the quality of these pitchers can vary significantly between brands or even between models belonging to the same brand. Here we’ll guide you through the process of finding the best one for your home.

We tested and rated. List will be updated if we find a better pitcher.

How We Test Performance

To test the filter’s effectiveness against chlorine, we fill each pitcher’s reservoir using water with a chlorine concentration of 10+ mg/L, then use test strips to check the filtered water’s chlorine level. All pitchers and dispensers we tested were able to bring the chlorine to a safe level for drinking (below 4 mg/L), but the exact level varied from one to the next.

Chlorine test, test strips, hands holding water test kit box, test tubes, water filter pitchers

We also measure the flow rate, an important capability for any filter pitcher. The time disparity is significant between different filters. While some can fill a standard 220 ml glass in less than 30 seconds, others take three to four times longer. 

In addition, we use a meter to determine the total dissolved solids (TDS) level of the filtered water, and have three testers drink and rate the filtered water in terms of taste and smell.

How We Rate Ease of Use and Design

Since the filter pitcher is something you use daily, its material and build quality are important indications of how long it will last. We also assess the filter quality and check if it has a habit of clogging. Additional points are granted for convenience features such as the filter life indicator, spigot, and refill door.

Person checking a water filter pitcher on a table along with test tubes on a rack and a smartphone timer

We assemble and disassemble each and every pitcher multiple times, taking note of how easy it is to do so. We also fill the pitcher up, move it around, dispense water from it, put it into the fridge door and the cooling compartment, and clean the pitcher. This quickly reveals any quirks that make it a challenge for the typical user.

Read our full How We Test Water Filter Pitchers

How We Picked

We use proportionally weighted scores for each component of the evaluation. Performance accounts for 50% of the total score, and is subdivided into chlorine removal, flow rate, and taste and smell components. We weigh those subdivisions at 50%, 40%, and 10%, respectively.

Ease of Use makes up 30% and Design 20% of the total score weight. These two also have subcomponents with their own weights.

Finally, each pitcher or dispenser is rated on a scale of 1-10 to help you evaluate the field at a glance. Our top picks are the ones with the highest overall scores in each category.

Ranking by
OverallScore Performance50% Design20% Usability30% ScoreOverall 50%Performance 20%Design 30%UsabilityBrita Style Fridge...Waterdrop Chubby Wa...Best OverallPUR Plus 30 Cup Dis...Brita Ultramax Wate...Best for a FamilyBrita Metro Pitcher...Best Small PitcherBrita Aluna S0500 W...Brita Everyday Wate...Aquagear Water Filt...Runner up9.19.29.08.98.69.08.28.38.48.97.38.38.39.47.07.2
Showing: 8/12 Items

Our top picks

After putting 12 models of water filter pitchers through the same tests, here are the ones we found to be the top performers:

1. Best Overall: Waterdrop Chubby Water Filter Pitcher

Gloved hand holding the Waterdrop Chubby water filter pitcher
$33.03
(Price at time of publish)
Capacity
10 cups
Filter life
200 gal
Target contaminants
chlorine, PFAS, PFOA/PFOS, odor, iron
Certifications
NSF 42 & 372

Our Rating See all our test results ↗

9.1
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%) 9.2
  • Design (20%) 9.0
  • Usability (30%) 8.9

Things We Like

  • Excellent flow rate
  • Potent filter removed most of the chlorine 
  • Elegant design with rounded corners and wooden handle

Things We Don’t Like

  • Potentially confusing replacement light color

The WaterDrop Chubby impressed us with its elegant design and ability to deliver clean, fresh water very quickly. 

In our tests, the WaterDrop filter removed more than 90% of the chlorine while maintaining a reasonable TDS value. Its flow rate was also among the fastest, taking a mere 20 seconds to fill a standard glass. With a lifespan of 200 gallons, the filter can last longer than any other of its type, including the Brita Longlast (120 gallons). We don’t think it truly needs a filter life indicator, but appreciated that the pitcher has LED lights for that purpose anyway.

Though it lacks flashy details, the WaterDrop Chubby is still a stylish and elegant pitcher. We particularly liked its signature wood handle, which gave off a warm, natural feel, and was stable even when we picked the pitcher up at full capacity. Every other detail appeared well-made, polished, and precisely fitted. The unit felt secure and solid, but was not a challenge to take apart for cleaning and maintenance.

Read our full Waterdrop Chubby Water Filter Pitcher in-depth review

2. Runner up: Aquagear 10-Cup Filter Jug

a hand holding the Aquagear water filter pitcher and pouring water into a glass, cardboard box
$52.67
(Price at time of publish)
Capacity
10 cups
Filter life
120 gal
Target contaminants
lead, chlorine, microplastics
Certifications
ISO 17025 Lab tested

Our Rating See all our test results ↗

8.3
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%) 9.4
  • Design (20%) 7.0
  • Usability (30%) 7.2

Things We Like

  • Fast flow, short wait time
  • Effective against chlorine
  • Easy to refill

Things We Don’t Like

  • Difficult to put together 
  • Awkward, squeaky handle

While its unique configuration turns out to be impractical, we can’t deny the Aquagear’s outstanding capabilities. If you can look past its gimmicky features, you’ll likely be very happy with it.

The Aquagear pitcher has a fast filter, so you’ll never have to wait more than 30 seconds to get a glass of water. It worked better than most at reducing chlorine, producing plain water with no residual scents or flavors. 

The pitcher is also made with quality materials and comes with a filter that can last 6 months. Unfortunately, its beefy-looking handle was not as stable as it may appear—picking the pitcher up even when half-full was a frustrating experience. The overflow protector, while good at preventing splashes, can be a little confusing to assemble. You will, however, get the hang of it after a few uses.

Read our full Aquagear 10-Cup Filter Jug in-depth review

3. Best Small Pitcher: Brita Metro 6-Cup Filter Pitcher

The Brita Metro Pitcher next to its package box
$22.66
(Price at time of publish)
Capacity
6 cups
Filter life
40 gal
Target contaminants
chlorine, mercury, copper, zinc, cadmium
Certifications
NSF 42, NSF 53

Our Rating See all our test results ↗

8.4
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%) 8.9
  • Design (20%) 7.3
  • Usability (30%) 8.3

Things We Like

  • Compact
  • Fits a refrigerator door bin
  • Fast flow rate
  • Versatile filter life display

Things We Don’t Like

  • Leaky filter 
  • Difficult to disassemble

As basic as the Brita Metro looks, we were surprised to find that it has all the convenient features you expect from a full-sized pitcher. It worked like a charm, too.

Featuring the Brita Standard filter, the Metro took less than 2 minutes to produce a liter of clean, fresh water in our test. The filter had no problem dealing with high chlorine levels, either. It has a modest life expectancy of 40 gallons, but we figured since it typically only serves one person, the filter can last for a few months. At a six-cup capacity, the pitcher’s small size allows it to fit in nearly any fridge door. Still, it has great features like a flap-like hatch for convenient refilling plus a filter life indicator. 

Of course, this pitcher is not without issues—namely a small reservoir and filter material that can leak out. That said, it’s still a good pitcher and is worth a try for someone who only needs a personal-size filter.

Read our full Brita Metro 6-Cup Filter Pitcher in-depth review

4. Best for a Family: Brita UltraMax 27-Cup Filter Dispenser

The Brita Ultramax Water Filter Dispenser (27 Cup) next to a glass of water
$37.20
(Price at time of publish)
Capacity
27 cups
Filter life
120 gal
Target contaminants
Chlorine, cadmium, mercury, benzene, asbestos
Certifications
NSF 42, NSF 53

Our Rating See all our test results ↗

8.6
Overall Score
  • Performance (50%) 9.0
  • Design (20%) 8.2
  • Usability (30%) 8.3

Things We Like

  • Fast flow rate
  • Large capacity, doesn’t require constant refilling
  • Flap opening allow for easy refilling
  • Durable, flexible spigot

Things We Don’t Like

  • Lack of handles on two sides
  • Opaque reservoir

The Brita UltraMax 27-cup filter dispenser is one of the earlier models of its type, but it still tested well enough to be crowned our best-ranked dispenser for families.

This water dispenser has a straightforward design, with lid flaps for easy refilling, a replacement indicator, and a two-way spigot that can be pinned for hands-free dispensing. We would admittedly prefer it to be made of thicker materials and have a reservoir that’s closer to the pitcher’s full capacity. However, we wouldn’t trade its water quality just for those improvements.  

This dispenser is compatible with both the Standard and Longlast filters, both of which have fast flow rates, are NSF-certified, and tested extremely well in our lab for chlorine removal. We also tested large dispensers from PUR and ZeroWater, but this one is the best overall for a household of up to five people.

Read our full Brita UltraMax 27-Cup Filter Dispenser in-depth review

Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Water Purifier Pitcher

Let’s take a look at the important criteria when searching for a water filter pitcher.

1. Target Contaminants

A good indicator of filter quality is whether it is certified against NSF/ANSI standards, which measure a filter’s ability to remove certain contaminants. Another indicator to watch for is whether the company is a member of the Water Quality Association (WQA).

Most pitcher filters are designed to improve only the aesthetic aspects of drinking water (taste and smell). Among these it’s good to find one with an NSF/ANSI 42 certification, which not every pitcher is.

If, on the other hand, you’re looking to get rid of certain harmful pollutants such as heavy metals, make sure the filter is certified to the NSF/ANSI 53 standard. It can be hard to find a filter of this size that’s NSF/ANSI 53-certified, though. You may want to focus on larger, more advanced filtration systems if your home water has serious contaminants.

2. Filter Life

The lifespan of a filter depends on the level of contamination and the amount of water you put through it per day. It is usually estimated by the manufacturer in normal conditions (i.e. tap water).

It’s best to choose a filter that can last between two and six months. We don’t recommend using a filter for longer than six months, even if the manufacturer claims you can do so. Within that time, moss and bacteria tend to grow inside your filter and will begin to contaminate the water.

Ideally, it’s good to find a filter with an indicator that tells you when a replacement is needed.

3. Jug Material

The water jug can be made of stainless steel, glass, or plastic.

Stainless steel jugs are the most durable, however, they don’t allow you to see the inside and add water in time. Glass jugs, on the other hand, may appear more aesthetically pleasing but can be fragile and heavy.

Plastic jugs are the most practical material option: They’re lightweight, easy to handle, and affordable. Just make sure you go with food-grade, bisphenol-A-free (BPA-free) plastics.

4. Jug Size

If you are providing drinking water for more than just yourself, always check how much water the pitcher can process at a time.

A larger capacity means you don’t have to repeatedly refill the jug and wait for the filter to do its thing. While you can still get enough water for three people using a five-cup jug if you’re diligent, a ten-cup one will save you more time and headache. A few minutes may not sound like much, but it can feel like forever if you have to stand next to the countertop waiting for it.

If refilling the pitcher at all sounds too inconvenient, an under-sink water filter may be a better idea.

5. Ease of Use and Cleaning

Look for a design that’s sturdy in all its features. The jug, lid, handle, reservoirs, and filter should all fit together tightly, preventing any leakage, especially from the upper to the lower reservoir. At the same time, the filter should also be easy to detach when the time comes to replace it.

All pitchers have a lid, but only some have an auto-open lid, a feature that comes in handy when you refill.

The pitcher will need cleaning about once a week to prevent the growth of algae, bacteria, and other unhealthy stuff inside that may pollute your drinking water. In this respect, a simple design, free of gimmicky details, can be important so you can easily clean every corner.

Our Expertise 

Anh Ngo has years of experience with Brita filter pitchers, shower filters, and whole-house filters in her own home, and has done extensive research on the different types of home water filters and softeners. As this research project’s guiding force, she was responsible for designing and directly carrying out both trial and final tests for water filter pitchers. 

In his role as the test lead for nearly all Healthy Kitchen 101 product evaluation efforts, Lap Vo has previously engaged in testing products like faucet filters, water cooler dispensers, and electric kettles. He diligently reviewed the assessments for filter pitchers, supervised the entire testing process, and contributed to the evaluation of water taste, design, and usability, alongside Nguyen Ntk.

Nguyen Ntk did more for this project than his usual brilliant camera work. His inputs as a new user, especially on assembling tricky units, helped us give the most accurate ratings and advice for the audience.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to Anh Ngo at anhngo@healthykitchen101.com.

About your guide

Headshot of Anh Ngo
Anh NgoSenior Editorial Director

Anh Ngo is a writer with 9 years experience at different media outlets, covering from public news and events to product testing and analysis. At HealthyKitchen101, she works across different departments, communicating closely with its network of writers, editors, and health, tech, and search engine experts to provide a meaningful and pleasant reading experience for visitors.

Headshot of Lap Vo
Lap VoTest Lead

Lap is Head of the Research, Testing, and Review Team (RTR Team) at HealthyKitchen101.com, where he directs and supervises the testing of kitchen gadgets and appliances.

Headshot of Nguyen Ntk
Nguyen NtkVisual Specialist

Nguyen Ntk is a graphic designer, photographer, and videographer whose philosophy centers around respecting and celebrating the beauty of reality. Through his lenses, Nguyen strives to capture the true essence of objects and events, showcasing and highlighting authentic features without distortion or exaggeration.