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Brita Ultramax Water Filter Dispenser (27 Cup) In-depth Review

The Brita Ultramax Water Filter Dispenser 27 Cup is an affordable, but highly effective water filter dispenser.

By , , and ·Updated
Tested Using Methodology v1.0
The Brita Ultramax Water Filter Dispenser (27 Cup) next to a glass of water

Overall Verdict

The Brita UltraMax 27 cup water filter dispenser comes with a powerful Elite filter that is well-built and lasts longer than most. It could easily filter out high concentrations of chlorine while maintaining an excellent flow rate. What’s more, the filter doesn’t leak material—a problem affecting many pitchers and dispensers of this type. While there is some room for improvement in its design, the Brita UltraMax is generally easy to work with. If you’re a small family or household (up to five people) looking for a fridge-fitting water dispenser that doesn’t require constant refilling, the UltraMax is a good choice.

Things We Like

  • Fast flow rate
  • Large capacity, less refilling
  • Flap opening for easy refilling
  • Durable, flexible spigot

Things We Don’t Like

  • No side handles
  • Opaque reservoir

The Brita UltraMax 27 cup dispenser comes with two handy filter options. The Standard filter option lasts 1 - 2 months while the Elite filter lasts three times as long costing only $10 more. We went with the Elite filter as it seemed a more sensible choice given the dispenser’s large capacity. For a total of under $40, the combo was very affordable.

At first sight, the filter dispenser has a slim body that appears to fit in a refrigerator  without taking too much space. Its Elite filter piece looks almost identical to the Standard filter, which had performed well in our chlorine and flow rate tests previously but unfortunately leaked filter material.

We installed the Elite filter and discarded the first tank of water as per instructions. Then, we put the dispenser through the exact same series of tests we do to determine the Best Water Filter Pitchers. Here’s what we discovered about the Brita UltraMax.

Key Specs

Capacity
27 cups
Filter life
120 gal
Target contaminants
Chlorine, cadmium, mercury, benzene, asbestos
Certifications
NSF 42, NSF 53
Product dimensions
L 13.4 in x W 5.2 in. x H 10.2 in.

Where to Buy Price at publication $37.20

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Compared to Other Water Filter Pitchers

Ranking by
OverallScore Performance50% Design20% Usability30% ScoreOverall 50%Performance 20%Design 30%UsabilityBrita Style Fridge...Waterdrop Chubby Wa...PUR Plus 30 Cup Dis...Brita Ultramax Wate...This ProductBrita Metro Pitcher...Brita Aluna S0500 W...Brita Everyday Wate...Aquagear Water Filt...8.69.08.28.3
Showing: 8/12 Items

Analysis and Test Results

9.0 Performance

The Elite filter worked like a charm against chlorine. It produced crisp, odor-free water without stripping off all the dissolved solids. The filter also took the same amount of time as some other pitchers, such as the Brita Style, to produce double the amount of clean water. If you’re tired of having to refill your pitcher constantly, this large capacity UltraMax-Elite filter combo  might just be the answer.

8.0 Chlorine

Test tube labeled Brita UltraMax XL next to test kit box and magnified results
Test tube labeled Brita UltraMax XL next to test kit box and magnified results
Woman standing, her hand pointing to the left where the Brita UltraMax XL sits on its package box, with smartphone, test tubes on a rack, and a large glass of water on the table in front of her
Before
10 mg/l
After
1 mg/l

The Brita Elite filter performed exceptionally well in our chlorine test with the UltraMax. It managed to cut down more than 90% of the chlorine from the test water, which had a concentration of 10+ mg/l (the safe level recommended by the CDC is up to 4 mg/l). 

This means whatever you tap water chlorine level, this filter pitcher can handle it. The Brita is NSF 53 certified to remove 99% of lead and claims it ‘reduces more contaminants than Zerowater and PUR’, but we have not verified the latter.

10 Flow Rate

Brita UltraMax 27 cup water filter dispenser with smartphone timer on its left side

With a similar design as the Standard filter, the Elite filter did not disappoint with flow rate. It outpaced many others in this test, producing a standard glass of water in just 24 seconds.

9.7 Taste & Smell

Gloved hand holding a water TDS meter over a paper cup labeled Brita UltraMax, next to the lower part of the water dispenser
Unfiltered TDS
70 ppm
Filtered TDS
51 ppm

All three testers agreed that the UltraMax provided water with excellent aesthetics, with two giving it a solid 10 for the crisp but sweet taste. This filter dispenser may be a game changer for those tired of the taste and smell of tap water.

8.2 Design

The Brita UltraMax’s design may not be a conversation starter—it looks as basic as it can possibly be. The tank walls may even feel a little flimsy, while the grips are not ideally positioned. However, other small details, such as the lid flap, the indentation at the bottom for drainage, and the two-way spigot, are all well designed and made. These user-friendly and convenient features set the UltraMax apart from many similar-looking filter dispensers.

In the Box

The Brita UltraMax dispenser, its package box, and the Elite filter
  • Brita UltraMax 27 cup water filter pitcher
  • 1x Brita Elite filter

The Brita UltraMax comes in a cardboard box with an Elite filter. There was no user guide or booklet, but you can consult the online LongLast filter guide, which is the old name for the Elite filter.

Dimensions

the UltraMax dispenser and figures indicating its measurements
Length
13.4" (34.0 cm)
Width
5.2" (13.2 cm)
Height
10.2" (25.9 cm)
Weight
42.6 oz (1208 g)

7.0 Build Quality

The Brita UltraMax 27 cup water filter dispenser on a fridge shelf, an avocado and glass of coffee to its left, two paper boxes to its right
The Brita UltraMax 27 cup water filter dispenser on a fridge shelf, an avocado and glass of coffee to its left, two paper boxes to its right
The UltraMax filter, front view

All Brita pitchers and dispensers we’ve tested have a decent build and the UltraMax is no exception. For its size, the pitcher walls could be a little thicker, but this seems a  compensation for a lighter weight. The lid has a slightly less polished look than other Brita pitchers, with negligible pieces of plastic flash on the inside. The reservoir, filter funnel, and spigot are all well made and all parts are BPA-free. 

There are two strong, easy-to-grip handles at the rear of the dispenser. While this makes the whole unit look slimmer, it actually require more space (for your arm or for wiggle room) when you place it in the fridge.

8.0 Conveniences

Close view of the spigot on the UltraMax dispenser
Close view of the spigot on the UltraMax dispenser
The front part of the lid of the Brita UltraMax, with the filter life indicator on it
Spigot
Yes
Replacement Indicator
Yes

The UltraMax can fit in the main section of most fridges, though it may require removing a shelf to make up vertical space in a small refrigerator. The dispenser has an easy-to-use spigot and a filter replacement indicator that works on both compatible filter types—the Standard and Elite.

9.0 Filter

Gloved hand holding the Brita Elite filter
Gloved hand holding the Brita Elite filter
Top view of the Brita UltraMax’s reservoir and filter, its lid having been removed
Filter Model
Brita Elite OB06
Filtration Process
activated carbon, ion exchange resin
Certifications
NSF 42, NSF 53, NSF 401
Filter Capacity
6 months (120 gal)

The UltraMax is compatible with the Standard and Elite filter (aka Long Last filter). They share a similar external design and are equally sturdy and easy to install. However, we went with the Elite because it can handle three times the amount of water. Given that the UltraMax’ reservoir holds 2550 ml or 0.7 gallon, you can refill it 178 times before a replacement is necessary. That’s about one reservoir per day over a period of six months. The Standard’s 40-gallon capacity would require very frequent replacement.

Apart from its ability to reduce chlorine, the Elite is also NSF certified to reduce lead, mercury, cadmium, and a number of other contaminants. We could find no black specks in the filtered water after leaving it to sit for a few days, and we thought this may be due to the ‘pleated filter design’. Therefore, this filter scored higher than the Standard filter, which repeatedly leaked materials in our tests.

8.3 Usability

Considering its size and weight, moving the Brita UltraMax at full capacity and placing it into the fridge might be a little challenging to those with short or weak arms. Other than that, this filter dispenser is comparatively easy to use, assemble, and maintain.

8.2 Assembling

Parts of the Brita UltraMax 27 cup filter dispenser: the dispenser, reservoir, filter, and lid

With very basic parts, the Brita UltraMax filter dispenser is easy to put together and take apart. The lid is slightly awkward but not difficult to assemble. Its parts are grippy and easy to work with. However, they do not fit as tightly as a pitcher would, nor do they need to because dispensing is via a spigot, not spout.

7.7 Refilling

Water being poured from a container to the Brita UltraMax’s reservoir
Reservoir Capacity
2550 ml

Instead of a small trap door like on a pitcher, the UltraMax features a lid with two flap openings. You can add water without taking the whole unit out of the fridge, by pulling the dispenser forward until you can open up the small flap. Most people take the whole unit out to refill, however,  no grippy parts on the sides makes this a little awkward. 

The reservoir has a whopping capacity of 2550 ml, and you have to refill twice before the lower tank is full.

8.8 Dispensing

Hand holding a glass under the running spigot of the Brita UltraMax
Hand holding a glass under the running spigot of the Brita UltraMax
Hand holding a glass under the running spigot of the Brita UltraMax XL 27 cup dispenser, which is placed in a fridge along with fruits and paper packages
Close view of the area near the spigot from the inside of the UltraMax dispenser, red arrow pointing at the indented part

The Brita Ultramax has a durable and well-designed spigot. It looks sturdy and secure but works both ways, allowing you to take water by gently pressing or pulling the lever. The spigot has excellent flow control and can lock in place for hands-free dispensing. We’ve experienced no splashing or leaking with it thus far. 

There’s a small area near the spigot that’s lower than the rest of the tank that works to support maximum drainage of water. However, the spigot is placed higher than the bottom of the tank and we could not empty the tank completely through it.

8.0 Cleaning

Hand holding paper tissue to clean the Brita UltraMax
Dishwasher Safe
No

While not made to survive a dishwasher, the Brita UltraMax is otherwise easy to clean. The only part is the inside of the spigot, which we recommend disinfecting routinely with mild vinegar.

Behind the review

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.

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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.

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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.