Best Water Filters

The best water purifiers eliminate impurities and contaminants such as mercury, chlorine, pesticides, and bacteria, which can be hazardous to your health. It also helps remove bad odors and improve taste. Our evaluation criteria took into consideration water quality after use, capacity, filtration method, and filter life, as well as auxiliary features such as filter change reminders and pour-friendly spigots.

After more than 10 hours of research and 20 hours of testing, our top pick goes to the ZeroWater ZP-010. It offers the best combination of filtration power (5 stages), solid capacity (10 cups) and a water quality meter to detect purity levels.

Top 7 Best Water Purifiers Compared

 #1  ZeroWater ZP-010 10 Cup Water Filter Pitcher – Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: This water filter pitcher is a solid dinner table companion, featuring a 10-cup capacity, 5-stage water filtration using ion exchange technology versus standard carbon, and includes a water quality meter to verify its purity level. This makes it a solid choice for an individual looking to replenish throughout the day or serving a small family of 2-3 people in one sitting.

Pros
  • 5-stage water filtration
  • 10-cup capacity
  • Includes water quality meter
Cons
  • Longer to filter water
  • Non detection of lead levels

Its 5-stage water filtration is very impressive, using a coarse filter screen, foam distributor, carbon/oxidation filter, ion exchange resin, and an ultra-fine screen to eliminate particles of all sizes, as well as eliminate odors and improve the taste. It offers more intensive filtration than standard carbon filters.

Some contaminants the ZeroWater system removes include iron, lead, mercury, zinc, and copper along with inorganic particles such as cyanide and chlorine. Note, its filtration is much slower than fewer-stage filters on the list given the number of filters. It is a better option for those who filter their water well in advance of most meals.

 #2  Brita White Ultramax – Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: This water purifier packs a serious punch, with a 1.13 gallon (18 cup) capacity, flip-top lid, and spigot for easy pouring powerful filter that reduces the amount of mercury, batteries, copper and other impurities. This makes it an excellent choice for small families of 2-3 people who can enjoy a fresh cup of water in one dinner setting without having to refill.

Pros
  • Quick to install
  • User-friendly flip-top lid
  • Strong filtration power
Cons
  • Some users report issues disassembling the unit to replace the filter
  • 5-10 minutes for the water to filter down
  • Spout make leak water

Its slim design is a plus, measuring only 10.47 inches by 5.67 inches by 14.37 and weighing less than 4 pounds, making it a solid addition to your countertop or dining area. Bonus points go to its spigot, which offered some of the smoothest pouring we tested. No black flecks were observed at any point, common when using other water filters for the first time.

Installation is a breeze, with a quick 15-second flush of the filter with cold water before inserting it into the reservoir and adding water. An electronic filter indicator also lets you know when it is time to replace the filter. Filter life is solid, needing replacement every 2 months or 40 gallons, equal to 300 16.9 oz plastic water bottles.

 #3  Brita Everyday Pitcher with Filters – Best Taste

WHY WE LIKE IT: This pitcher is solid all around, filtering out odors and contaminants with a10-cup capacity and a strong filter life (every 40 gallons or 2 months of use, based on average use of 11 glasses per day). This makes it good for practically any smaller application, including pouring a nice cold glass of water for a small family, refilling a cat bowl, replenishing during a workout, or cooking your favorite meal.

Pros
  • 10-cup capacity
  • Excellent taste
  • Filter can be replaced every 40 gallons
Cons
  • Thin plastic easy to break
  • Does not fit in Stream systems

This pitcher is very compact, measuring 10.10 inches high by 10.70 inches wide and 5.40 inches deep, space-saving in your refrigerator or countertop. During testing, it took nearly 1 minute for the water to bypass all filters and fill the pitcher. Readying the Everyday is also a breeze, only requiring a simple rinse of the standard or Longlast (not included) filter with cold water for 15 seconds before inserting it into the filter and pressing firmly to seal it in place.

A filter change indicator lets users know when it is time to replace the filter, with a large “Replace” reminder beside a blinker. It also easily resets by holding and activating the status button for 2 seconds for a standard filter or 6 seconds for a Longlast filter.

 #4  Brita Metro Pitcher with 1 Filter – Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: This budget pitcher is the smallest on our list, with solid features across the board, including a 5-cup capacity and a BPA free Brita filter to kill chlorine, zinc, and other contaminants. This makes it good enough to replace 300 standard 16 oz. water bottles over a 2-month filter service period.

Pros
  • Replaces 300 16 oz. bottles
  • 2-month filter service life
  • Filter status indicator
Cons
  • 5-cup capacity may be too small for some families
  • Easy-to-break plastic construction

It measures 9.8 inches tall by 4.45 inches wide, making it an excellent refrigerator addition. Like most of our standard pitchers, it comes with a simple filter status indicator with three options – Change, Change Soon, and Good along with a reset button to hold for 5 seconds when adding a fresh filter. The LCD filter indicator battery also has a five-year life span.

Changing the Brita filter is also quick, only needing a 15-second flush using cold water before inserting the filter into the reservoir and “popping” it into place using a notch and groove mechanism. Its 5-cup capacity makes this filter one of the smallest on our list, with a slim design made for smaller refrigerators and mini fridges.

 #5  Brita Ultra Max with Longlast Filters – Best Filter Life

WHY WE LIKE IT: This filter is a sleek black contraption with 1.13-gallon capacity, featuring a BPA-Free Longlast filter and an above-average filter life (6 months, or 120 gallons of water – the equivalent of replacing 900 16 oz. water bottles). This makes it a solid choice for families with heavy usage throughout the year.

Pros
  • Outstanding filter life
  • Equal to 900 16 oz. bottles
  • Removes 99% of lead
Cons
  • Poor-fitting seal around filter
  • Some users reported spigot dribble

Its contaminant killing power is strong, knocking out lead, cadmium, asbestos, and others. Unlike the Standard filter, it also removes 99% of lead, as certified by the Water Quality Association (WQA), a national organization setting water quality standards adhered by suppliers and manufacturers of water products.Our tests saw noticeable differences in taste and clarity with 3 gallons of tap water filtered using this unit. It also has an electronic indicator that alerts users when it is time to replace filters.

Pouring is very easy using an oversized spigot with a convenient flip-top lid for refilling. Inserting the filter also takes two seconds by simply lining up the filter’s groove with the Brita pitcher’s notch. Its slim profile also makes it a perfect addition on a countertop, besides your refrigerator, or on a cupboard.

 #6  Waterdrop 320-Gallon Filtration System – Best Value

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 320-gallon capacity behemoth produces 3 months of clean water with every filter, promising to remove up to 93% of contaminants with 4 water bottle fills per minute. This faucet water filter system is an excellent choice for people who prefer a faucet-connected standalone option, as opposed to continually filling a pitcher with water.

Pros
  • Highest Capacity
  • Connects to faucet
  • 0.5 gpm flow rate
Cons
  • Below average limited 1-year warranty
  • Some users reported it does not remove chlorine
  • Only fits standard faucets

This filtration system also allows for quick toggling between regular tap water and filtered water to extend its service life. Construction is also genius, with several filtrations laters to capture differently-sized elements, including a stainless steel mesh for larger particles and other filtration layers for smaller particles. A carbon fiber filter also helps reduce bad tastes and odors.

Waterdrop’s filtration system is also compact, consuming 1/4 space of our top pick, the Brita White Ultramax which needs no extra space on countertops. Watch its faucet compatibility though – it is only compatible with standard faucets, not fancier hand-held or pull-out style models.

 #7  White Ultramax Water Dispenser, 18 Cup Capacity with Filters – Best Design

WHY WE LIKE IT: This water dispenser offers solid performance across the board, led by an 18 cup/1.13-gallon capacity, a space saving design measuring 10.47 x 5.67 x 14.37 inches, and ergonomic chops with its flip top lid and large spigot. This makes it a solid choice to accompany a full workout or serve a small family of 2-3 people without having to refill.

Pros
  • 18 cup capacity
  • Space saving design
  • User friendly pouring
Cons
  • Brittle plastic easy to break
  • Uses standard, not Longlast filter

Each water pitcher also contains several layers of filtering, including mesh screens on top, activated carbon in the middle to absorb impurities such as chlorine, and an ion-exchange resin that reduces hardness in water. Note, this uses a standard filter, not the Longlast filter of our #5 pick which eliminates more contaminants, removes 99 percent of lead, and has a longer life.

Filter life is strong, with 1 filter equivalent to approximately 300 16.9 oz plastic bottles. While filtering for the first time during testing, no black flecks are observable, which are fine carbon residue particles accumulated during the manufacturing process. An electronic filter indicator also lets you know when it is time to replace the filter with a quick reset easily performed with a long press of a button.

How We Decided

Finding the right water purifier leads to improved health by filtering out dangerous contaminants such as lead, mercury, and chlorine while also removing bad odors and improving your water’s taste.

In determining which water purifier to buy, consider its capacity, filtration power, size, and filter life. Our evaluation criteria took into account a minimum 5-cup water capacity, enough to serve a small family in one setting.

Our evaluation also prioritized water purifiers with a minimum of a 2-month filter service period or the equivalent of 300 standard 16 oz. water bottles. This minimizes the frequency needed to purchase additional filters. “Extra” feature such as filter status indicators to indicate filter changes and solid construction with an easy-to-pour spigot and ergonomic handle for quick refilling was also considered.

Best Water Purifiers Buying Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Storage capacity
    Pitcher water purifiers usually carry between 10 to 20 cups, while faucet water filters like the Waterdrop can fill up a larger case. Smaller pitchers are best reserved for individuals or small families who do not mind refilling it every day.
  2. Flow Rate
    Flow rate is the speed at which water passes through the filter. The higher the number of filters, the slower it takes to fill. Look for a purifier at least with a one-half gallon per hour, which we feel offers the best combination of convenience and speed.

FAQs

  • What is a water purifier?
    A water purifier is a filtration system that removes contaminants such as bacteria, lead, mercury, pesticides, and chlorine from water. They come in many shapes and sizes, including 5-cup capacity pitchers and water faucet models. Water purifiers can lead to impressive cost savings. For example, the Brita Ultramax’s service life offers the equivalent of 900 16 oz. water bottles and eliminates excess plastic waste clogging up our landfills.

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Ray Prince

Diehard UFC/MMA fan and all-around techie who loves to write.

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