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LifeStraw Pitcher (7 Cup) In-depth Review

The LifeStraw Pitcher 7-Cup took longer than any other pitcher to filter, but it produced the best tasting water in our tests.

By , , and ·Updated
Tested Using Methodology v1.0
The LifeStraw Pitcher (7 Cup), a glass of water, the pitcher package box, a shelf full of blenders in the background

Overall Verdict

The LifeStraw 7-cup water filter pitcher features an excellent system of filters that passed our chlorine reduction and taste and smell tests with flying colors. Its design is not only elegant, but also more secure and sturdy than any other we’ve tested thus far, and we’ve tested a dozen water pitcher filters.

Unfortunately, this was not enough to take the pitcher to the top of our list. Its outstandingly slow flow rate coupled with the small capacity means the pitcher is only good for single person use. The reservoir and filters are also tricky to work with during replacement, while its silicone parts require thorough, frequent cleaning manually. That being said, it’s still only a filter pitcher and one does not have to be a rocket scientist to use it. 

This LifeStraw pitcher can be a great choice as a personal filter pitcher if pure water is your priority and you don’t mind a few small inconveniences.

Things We Like

  • Elegant look
  • Robust, durable parts
  • Great tasting water
  • Secure lid with no overflow

Things We Don’t Like

  • Slow flow rate
  • Tricky removal of filters
  • Silicone parts can be difficult to maintain

We were all eager to check out the LifeStraw 7-cup jug when it arrived. Instead of the typical rectangular body seen on other water filter pitchers, this jug has a cone shape similar to your usual non-filter pitchers. It also features a more complex water processing system than any other. The system, consisting of a carbon-ion exchange filter piece and a membrane microfilter, has been certified to remove a wide variety of harmful contaminants.

All in all, the LifeStraw looks like a promising choice. We put it through various tests to see if it really delivers.

Spoiler alert: It did, to some extent, but couldn’t make it to our Best Water Filter Pitchers list.

5.9 Performance

Featuring a carbon-ion exchange filter and a membrane microfilter, the LifeStraw was excellent at removing chlorine and producing crisp, clear water. Its faux pas is with the snail-like flow rate that would frustrate even Internet Explorer users.

9.0 Chlorine

Test tube labeled LifeStraw next to water test kit box and magnified results
Before
10+ mg/l
After
0.5 mg/l

For this test, we made chlorinated water to a concentration of 10+ mg/l and ran it through the filter jug. Of a dozen pitchers and dispensers we’ve tested, the LifeStraw was among three that could reduce the chlorine concentration down to 0.5 mg/l. Its filtration system should not have a problem handling any tap water, which typically has a much lower chlorine content (below 3.5 mg/l).

Apart from chlorine, the filters are also certified to remove bacteria, parasites, lead, mercury, and many other contaminants. We do not have the capacity to verify these claims, but the certifications appear trustworthy.

1.0 Flow Rate

LifeStraw 7 cup water filter jug next to smartphone timer
Duration
700 ml
Amount
25 minutes 31 seconds
Flow Rate
0.5 ml/s

While it was among the best performers against chlorine, the LifeStraw unfortunately also took the longest time to do its job. On average, it took between 20 - 25 minutes to process one full reservoir (700 ml), which translates to a waiting time of 7 minutes for every standard glass of water. At this flow rate, this pitcher is definitely not for big families or those who need more than a glass or two of water at a time.

10 Taste & Smell

Gloved hand holding a water TDS meter over a paper cup labeled LifeStraw, the lower part of a water filter pitcher in the background
Unfiltered TDS
70 ppm
Filtered TDS
50 ppm

Though it did not remove all of the dissolved solids (TDS), the LifeStraw produced crisp, fresh tasting water. It won the heart of all three testers who unanimously gave it a perfect 10 for the great quality and aesthetics of water it offered.

7.2 Design

The LifeStraw 7-cup pitcher is clearly made of quality materials with great fit and finish. It has a more elegant design than your typical Brita and looks nice on the countertop, but its tall, slender body proved a difficult fit in the fridge. Additionally, the lid has a smart design with a refill door and anti-overflow ridge, but lacks a filter life indicator.

In the Box

LifeStraw water jug, package box, carbon and ion-exchange filter, leaflets
  • The LifeStraw water filter pitcher
  • Membrane microfilter (pre-installed)
  • Carbon and ion-exchange filter
  • User guides and promotional materials

The LifeStraw 7-cup filter pitcher came in a pretty cardboard box with a membrane pre-installed in the reservoir. The carbon and ion-exchange filter, protected with a plastic pouch, was included in the package. The user guide is available in various languages and can also be accessed online.

Dimensions

the LifeStraw 7-cup pitcher and figures indicating its measurements
Length
6.4" (16.3 cm)
Width
5.8" (14.7 cm)
Height
11.3" (28.7 cm)
Weight
26.7 oz (757 g)

8.0 Build Quality

The upper half of the LifeStraw Pitcher

The LifeStraw is a well-built pitcher with a sleek design and strong, durable parts. Unlike others, its lid and reservoir have silicone rings to secure them to the pitcher. This not only ensures the lid doesn’t fall out during pouring, it also prevents water from the reservoir from mixing with filtered water. The handle, albeit small, is strong and easy to grip.

4.0 Conveniences

Spigot
No
Replacement Indicator
No

The LifeStraw does not have a spigot as it’s not typical of pitchers of its size to have one. Featuring a round bottom, the LifeStraw does not fit in a standard fridge door or a gallon door bin. It’s also taller than most and requires the removal of a shelf for vertical space in most types of refrigerator. There is a trap door for refilling but no replacement indicator, so it’s a good idea to keep a reminder on your phone or fridge door to change the filters, especially the carbon-ion exchange one which requires replacement every two months.

8.0 Filter

The two filter pieces of the LifeStraw pitcher including the activated carbon-ion exchange filter and membrane microfilter
The two filter pieces of the LifeStraw pitcher including the activated carbon-ion exchange filter and membrane microfilter
The LifeStraw filter reservoir, carbon-ion exchange filter, membrane microfilter, and reservoir cap
Filter Model
LSH7SPC301, LSHMFRPWW
Filtration Process
activated carbon, ion exchange, membrane microfilter
Certifications
NSF P321, NSF 53, NSF 401
Filter Capacity
40 gal (2 months) for carbon filter, 264 gal (1 year) for membrane microfilter

The LifeStraw is the only pitcher we’ve tested that features a membrane microfilter along with a carbon-ion exchange filter. Both pieces appear well-made and did not leave flecks in the filtered water like some others (such as the Maxtra+ filter on the Brita Marella) do. Clogging or clumping did not happen in the several weeks that we tested them—as slow as the flow rate was, it was steady and predictable.  The filters, however, were a little more tricky to install than most.

7.5 Usability

The LifeStraw 7 cup filter pitcher is small, lightweight, and secure in all parts, ensuring effortless refilling and dispensing. The problem lies at its long, narrow reservoir, which is challenging to detach and complicates the filter replacement process more than necessary. 

The silicone rings, though working like a charm in securing and separating the parts, are prone to mold and dirt accumulation and require more thorough and frequent cleaning than most.

6.6 Assembling

Parts of the LifeStraw Pitcher (7 Cup): the pitcher, reservoir, lid, two filter pieces, and reservoir cap

While it’s one of the most sturdy pitchers, the LifeStraw is also one of the most difficult to take apart and put together, particularly its reservoir. The reservoir is secured to the pitcher with silicone rings, and it’s smooth on the inside, so taking it out can pose quite a challenge. 

The filter pieces are secured inside the reservoir with a cap, which is also a pain to remove. Once the cap is off, the carbon filter will come out easily, but the membrane microfilter needs some pushing through the larger opening of the reservoir. Since the reservoir itself is shaped like a narrow tube, those with larger hands are likely to find the maneuvering discouraging.

7.8 Refilling

Hand holding the LifeStraw pitcher to refill under running faucet
Reservoir Capacity
700 ml

While the LifeStraw’s lid is small, its trap door is larger than most, allowing for easy, one-hand refilling. We prefer the design of the Brita Style, where the pour-through flap can be opened up so water doesn’t touch the lid, but this one works just fine. 

As deep as the reservoir may look, it’s rather small so you need more than two refills to fill the pitcher, which is a disadvantage especially considering the slow flow rate.

8.0 Dispensing

Person holding the LifeStraw pitcher and pouring water into a glass

With a height greater than most and a top-small design, the LifeStraw needs more tilting to pour water. Fortunately, its reservoir and lid are extremely secure. The lid even has a stopper that prevents unfiltered water from splashing out, so you can actually while the reservoir is still half full.

6.5 Cleaning

Ruler measuring the diameter of the opening of the LifeStraw 7 cup jug, around it are other parts of the jug
Dishwasher Safe
No

The LifeStraw’s tall and cone-shaped design, while elegant, makes it a little more challenging than most to clean. Those with big hands may have to resort to using a sponge stick to reach inside the pitcher and especially the deep, small reservoir.

Its silicone linings and the nooks and crannies on its reservoir and lids can be a pain to clean. These may develop mold or collect dust if you leave it without washing for more than a few days. We’ve detected a few spots on ours, though admittedly we left it with water inside for a couple of weeks.