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. We also used the same process to evaluate and choose the best kitchen appliances. Check out what we came up with.
After more than 10 hours of research and 20 hours of researching, 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.
- 5-stage water filtration
- 10-cup capacity
- Includes water quality meter
- 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. The best products always go the extra mile. For instance, check out the best air fryer that comes with additional functionalities.
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 and not among the best water filters for camping.
#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.
- Quick to install
- User-friendly flip-top lid
- Strong filtration power
- 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 researched. No black flecks were observed at any point, common when using other water filters for the first time. If you like appliances that deliver from the get-go, check out the best waffle maker.
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. This makes it right up there with the best whole house water filter systems.
#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.
- 10-cup capacity
- Excellent taste
- Filter can be replaced every 40 gallons
- 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 research, 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. You may also want to look at the best electric kettle once you get cleaner water.
#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.
- Replaces 300 16 oz. bottles
- 2-month filter service life
- Filter status indicator
- 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. The best Nespresso machine needs quality water and this one delivers.
#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.
- Outstanding filter life
- Equal to 900 16 oz. bottles
- Removes 99% of lead
- 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 research 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. This will give you great water for the best coffee maker to make delicious java.
#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.
- Highest Capacity
- Connects to faucet
- 0.5 gpm flow rate
- 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. Check out the best blenders for under $100, knowing that your water is much better.
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.
- 18 cup capacity
- Space saving design
- User friendly pouring
- 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 research, 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. The best decaf coffee will taste so much better with clean water, as will the best coffee pods.
How We Decided
Finding the right water filters and purifiers 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. If you prefer a filtration system, check out this list to find the best water filtration system for your home.
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.
Other popular brands include Katadyn and MSR. For outdoor activities, the Katadyn Hiker FILTER is a fantastic hiking, camping, or backpacking water filtration gadget capable of filtering from outdoor water sources. For a squeeze filter style bottle, check out the Katadyn Befree Water Filter. Simply fill the flask and let the EZ-Clean Membrane do the work. To discover great designs by MSR check out the Guardian Purifier and the MSR Miniworks. The MSR Guardian Purifier is another on-the-go water treatment gadget purifying the most demanding backcountry water sources. The MiniWorks EX Microfilter is one of the best-selling filters on the market with a pump filter capable of handling one liter per minute. If you would like an exceptionally portable option for traveling and hiking, check out the Sawyer Squeeze – weighing only 3 ounces, this filter guarantees you have access to clean and safe to drink water in the backcountry or anywhere in the world.
Best Water Purifiers Buying Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- 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.
- 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.