Tired of drinking tap water that leaves a metallic taste in your mouth? Sick of worrying about the quality of your municipal water after boil-water advisories (BWA) and lead content warnings? We don’t blame you. You should be able to flip on the tap and fill up a glass with confidence, but that’s not always the case. In fact, it’s not in most major cities! Instead, people are forced to filter their water in other ways.
One of the most convenient ways to enjoy clean, safe water on a daily basis is to invest in a water filter pitcher. This is ideal for apartment and condo owners who can’t install a whole-home system—and homeowners who don’t have the funds to invest in one. Filter pitchers are quick and convenient when you want a glass of water. You just need to make sure you’re choosing the best one.
Here are eight things to look for in a water filter pitcher, to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.
Table of Contents
1. Filter type
This is the most important variable and the first one to consider. The type of filter your pitcher uses will determine how effective it is at eliminating different levels of contaminants from your water. Most off-the-shelf brands only use an activated carbon filter. While this works for contaminants like chlorine, it doesn’t protect against other contaminants like fluoride or lead.
To get the most bang for your buck, look for filter media like the Aquaspace® Compound, which removes everything you don’t want in your water, while leaving everything you do want for healthy, refreshing water.
2. Filter lifespan
The filter lifespan determines how long it’s effective at cleansing water. Most filters come with both a use and time rating, and it’s best to replace the filter at whichever interval comes first. For example, the filter on the Aquaspace® Carafe® Pitcher has a 500-gallon, 12-month filter life—meaning it’s effective for 500 gallons or 12 months, whichever comes first. The better the filter lifespan, the less you’ll spend on filters.
3. Filtration rate
Filtration rate is how fast the filter works to purify the water. Be warned, though—faster isn’t always better! Some filters are slower because they do a better job at removing more contaminants from the water. Use the filtration metric to help you understand how long it’ll take for your water to become clean, not necessarily as a metric for how good the filter is (refer to filter type).
You need a water filter pitcher that’s going to hold enough water so you’re not constantly refilling it. Most pitchers range between six and 12 cups in capacity. Look for one that’s convenient enough to fit nicely in your refrigerator, as well as maintain a capacity that’s convenient for you. If there are multiple people in your home, consider a higher capacity. For individuals and couples, smaller pitchers might be enough.
What the pitcher is made from matters! If you go the plastic route, make sure it’s BPA- and PFAS-free plastic. These materials can become dangerous if they leach into the water, so it’s vital to avoid plastics made with them. If you want to avoid plastic altogether, there are stainless steel options to consider.
You’ll likely pay more for stainless steel, but it’ll stand up to a lifetime of use. There are also rarer glass pitchers, but filter options for these can be more difficult to come by or manage.
A water filter pitcher is supposed to be convenient. You want to fill it, stow it and pour from it without much hassle. Look for options that maintain this convenience in all aspects. For example, look for easy pop tops that allow for simple filling. Or, choose a model with a slide-out cartridge.
Consider a filter pitcher as a practical part of your everyday life and look at how you’ll use it. If a pitcher is complicated or has too many components, you’re less likely to use and maintain it.
While price is the first thing most people look at when buying a water filter pitcher, it’s at the bottom of this list for a reason. Cost is justified by the features and benefits a filtered water pitcher offers. If a pitcher is $75, it better have amazing filtration and great filter life!
Likewise, if it’s only a $20 pitcher, what can you really expect from it? Don’t look necessarily at price—instead, look at value. Pay more for quality products.
8. Cost of ownership
Alongside price, consider how much you’ll end up paying to own and use your choice of filtered pitcher. It’s best to look at it from an annual cost standpoint. For example, if you can expect to replace the filter four times per year and filters cost $50, your annual cost of ownership is $200. This is an important consideration when figuring out the value of an investment in clean, safe drinking water.
These aren’t the only factors to review, either. Features like an LED filter health indicator are popular considerations. Or, if you prefer alkaline water, you might look for alkalizing elements in your water filter pitcher purchase. Don’t forget to factor in these bells and whistles when comparing different filtered pitchers.
Take time to consider all variables
Now that you know what you’re looking for in a water filter pitcher, take the time to evaluate your options. Sometimes, it’s easy to strike options off the list—like a $20 pitcher that only has an activated carbon filter. Other times, you’ll need to decide between options you want more: a stainless-steel pitcher vs. a higher-capacity BPA-free plastic one, for example. Consider your options carefully and make decisions with confidence.
Having trouble deciding on the best water filter pitcher for you? Start your search with Aquaspace! There’s a reason our water filtration products are some of the best on the market today. Just compare them to the factors above and you’ll see they check all the boxes.