Pitchers are the second most preferred type of water filter after those built into refrigerators. Simply fill them in the faucet and wait for the water to flow through the cartridge. Pitcher water filters are designed to eliminate unwanted odors and flavors from water, the most important and common problem with tap water. By eliminating chlorine, the jugs make the water tastier and help you maintain your daily dose of hydration.
In our last round of water filter jug tests, one model left the rest of the package in the dust. In this most recent round, the same jar manufactured by ZeroWater maintained its shape, removing almost all total dissolved solids, or TDS, and leaving a clean tasting glass of H2O. The ZeroWater was by far the best water filter jug in the group, both in this and previous rounds of tests. This purifying water jug is quite affordable, sturdy and comes in a few sizes, all of which use the same filter.
These include a smaller 10-cup round pitcher, a 23-cup dispenser with a faucet, and even a massive 5 gallon water pitcher that can be placed in a water cooler. In our tests, the ZeroWater filter eliminated almost all of the TDS from the water we passed through it, ending up with an average reading of 0, making it our best performance by far. ZeroWater relies so much on its filter products that each model comes with a TDS water quality tester to check for yourself how well it works. We used our own tester in addition to the included one and the filter got a perfect TDS score on both.
Brita is probably the best known of the brands of water filter jugs and performed well in our tests, second only to ZeroWater in general removal of dissolved materials. The Brita withdrew about 40% of the TDS. Not a bad performance, but still significantly less than the winner. While I wasn't in love with the Brita's construction, the plastic seems a little cheap, weighing just 1.32 pounds, which is less than half the weight of the ZeroWater.
If you have small children or people in the house who can't lift a heavy pitcher, this may be a good choice. Can you see the ZeroWater filter? It's the one on the far right. As you can see in the image above, the ZeroWater filter on the far right is huge compared to others. Of course, that doesn't necessarily equate to better performance, but in this case, the ZeroWater significantly outperformed the others in removing contaminants.
ZeroWater claims to have a five-stage filter that better removes particles and prevents mold from growing with use. Based on our test results, it seems that the brand may be on to something. The ZeroWater pitcher managed to reduce all total dissolved solids in tap water, from an average initial TDS reading of 57 ppm to zero, which may help explain the name. Both Brita pitchers with the standard filter tied for second place, a reduction in TDS from 57 to 31 (a decrease of 45.6%).
The taste of the water was a little more difficult to measure, but each jar helped me reduce the slightly metallic taste of tap water. As expected, the ZeroWater jug model had the best flavor, with no discernible metallic flavor or aroma. One thing to note is that we are testing the filters here and not the launcher itself. Because most household filter jugs made by a single brand use the same filter, you can bet that no matter what size or shape of dispenser you choose, the filter should do the same job, for better or worse.
ZeroWater, for example, has a line of approximately six jugs, jugs and dispensers in various sizes, all of which use the same very effective five-stage filter. The only caveat within the brands we've tested here is Brita, which offers a LongLast filter that didn't perform as well as the Legacy Brita filters. However, keep in mind that Brita Stream jugs and dispenser use a different filter; the Brita pitcher and dispenser filter and the Longlast+ filter will not fit in them. This filter is usually an activated carbon filter (sometimes combined with KDF media or ion exchange resin), and it grabs contaminants and traps them in the medium.
Here are some issues associated with water filter jugs that may force you to reconsider your purchase. While all of these filters have their benefits, most of them need to be installed in your water line. From there, use the data from the test results to identify a water filter that is capable of reducing contaminants present. When considering buying a filter water jug for your home, remember that each model is designed for a different purpose.
Unless you have several water jugs, you'll run out of filtered water quickly, especially with a large family. Although the filter doesn't last as long as others (only 40 gallons), this jug is an excellent economical option that will remove lead and 19 other contaminants from city water, Campbell said. While tap water results varied slightly each time I filled a new glass with 16 ounces, the TDS of the water used always said 47 to 50 ppm, or parts per million. .