What’s the best water filter pitcher? Brita vs Mavea and more

I can say I’ve tried pretty much every major filter pitcher on the market. Some work, some definitely don’t and a few work really, really well. These are the ones that work. I decided to organize the options by how they performed on a few tests, such as TDS (total dissolved solids) readings, improvement in taste (my water used to taste like a pool there was so much chlorine!), quality of material, convenience, and price. Spoiler alert if you’re too lazy to read (shame on you) – Zerowater is the best water filter pitcher I found on all counts.

The Standard Option


First up is the Brita filter. It seems like everybody has a Brita filter sitting on their counter these days. The good news – they’re cheap. The bad: they don’t really remove anything from the water. While they do improve the taste, TDS tests show that this water filter pitcher just doesn’t actually take much of anything out of your drinking water, besides some chlorine. (which is what improves the taste) If all you want is better water that doesn’t seem like it came right of a pool, the Brita water filter pitcher is for you. (Although, beware some people report charcoal in the water from their filter leaking. I must say this never happened to me, I’m just mentioning it.) If you want something a bit more than that though, then read on.

  • BPA free material: Yes
  • TDS removal: No
  • Chlorine removal: Yes

Gettin’ Fancier…


The MAVEA water filter pitcher is a bit pricier than the Brita, but it’s worth it. The style is better, the material is BPA-free (unlike the Brita), there’s no charcoal in the water, and the whole thing’s just really well-designed, from the rubber footing to keep from scratching your countertop, to the electronic indicator on top showing when you need to change your filter. I really like this pitcher, and as long as there’s nothing really bad in your water, like pesticides or heavy metals, then definitely go with the MAVEA. Great product!

  • BPA free material: Yes
  • TDS removal: Not really
  • Chlorine removal: Yes

The Best Water Filter Pitcher I’ve Found


Now here’s the gold standard of water filter pitchers. The ZeroWater is one of the few affordable pitchers that actually, truly removes the junk from your water instead of just making it not taste so much like chlorine (The ZeroWater does that too of course!) TDS tests show that the ZeroWater pitcher does actually filter out particulates from your drinking water. Now there are more expensive filters that can do this too, but the ZeroWater is definitely the cheapest water filter pitcher that legitimately removes solids from your water. This is my first recommendation every time.

  • BPA free material: Yes!
  • TDS removal: Yes!
  • Chlorine removal: Yes!

Filter and pH-Balance at the Same Time!

This one’s pretty cool too. In addition to filtering your water quite well, this pitcher actually alkalizes the water that goes through it as well. Lots of people report extra energy from alkalized water, and there’s plenty of claims that it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread for preventing cancer and all kinds of other diseases. Personally I’m a little skeptical, but some good friends of mine claim that they felt less fatigue drinking water from one of these. (I bought one after they raved about it, to be honest I didn’t feel any difference) It’s possible that you’ll only get benefits from it if your water is already overly acidic, which mine isn’t. It’s worth a shot if this is a problem for you, what do you have to lose?

  • BPA free material: Yes
  • TDS removal: Somewhat
  • Chlorine removal: Yes

Pretty and Good for the Environment!


The Soma water pitcher is fairly good when it comes to filtering out the gunk in the water, but to be honest where it really comes into its own is aesthetics. This is one pretty water filter pitcher! Lots of the other pitchers on the market are just big chunks of plastic that don’t really look great on your countertop. Not the Soma! It just looks really nice, unfortunately if you have some heavy-duty filtering to be done it really doesn’t hold a candle to more effective options such as the ZeroWater filter pitcher. But if you just want to improve the taste of your already fairly clean water with a really fine looking piece of equipment, definitely go for the Soma!

  • BPA free material: Yes
  • TDS removal: No
  • Chlorine removal: Pretty good

The Ultimate Water Filter Pitcher


The Aquagear pitcher is the bazooka of water filter pitchers. More expensive than the others, the Aquagear also filters out nearly EVERYTHING with its five stage filter. Nothing’s getting past this thing. According to Aquagear, the pores in the filter are only 2 microns across, which is really, really tiny. The filters last 3x longer than most competitors as well, so in the long run you probably save money as well. The Aquagear is my personal favorite, and it’s what I had sitting on my counter for the longest time. If you want to really exterminate the heavy metals like lead, copper, and mercury, as well as other contaminants like fluoride and chloramines, this is the water filter pitcher for you. Remember, you get what you pay for, and this filter is no exception. It’s laboratory tested to remove nearly every major contaminant found in water, and it even comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. Buy high quality and you’ll never have to buy again!

  • BPA free material: Yes
  • TDS removal: Yes
  • Chlorine removal: Yes

Final Conclusion

If you have the money and really care about super clean water, the Aquagear is definitely your best choice. (although, if you’re going to go these lengths, you might be better off checking out a more efficient method of filtration, like the Berkey countertop filter that I wrote about here.) If you only care about improving the taste of your water, go for the Brita like everyone else does, however if you want to stand out with a really nice looking water filter pitcher, the Soma can’t be beat. At the end of the day, the best option balancing out true water filtration and reasonable price is the ZeroWater. This is my recommendation for nearly everyone, you get serious TDS removal, at an unbeatable price, and what more can you ask than that? Water filtration is no longer something we can just rely on the government to do for us these days. With stories like Flint, Michigan’s lead problem, and constant contamination of water (some sources say 60% of US water is suspect!) with pesticides from big farms and other sources, it’s playing with fire to not filter your water one way or another. Water filter pitchers are a great first step toward getting control of the purity of your water supply. A little money spent right now could mean you and your family’s health later on.

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