Aquagear vs Clearly Filtered Pitchers: Which is Better in 2023?

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Pitcher filters have come a long way since their humble beginnings. Not so long ago, there were only a couple of pitchers on the market, and they could reduce less than five common drinking water contaminants. 

Nowadays, the market is inundated with pitcher filters that can do so much more than their predecessors – and Aquagear and Clearly Filtered are two of them. 

In this guide, I’ll be comparing Aquagear and Clearly Filtered in their performance, value for money, durability, and customer satisfaction. Spoiler alert: the Clearly Filtered is the superior pitcher filter. Read on to learn why. 

🙇‍♀️ TL;DR Clearly Filtered vs Aquagear – Which is the Best?

While these are two of the highest performing water filter pitchers on the market, we have to give it to the Clearly Filtered with it’s ability to reduce 5x more contaminants than the Aquagear.

⚖️ Comparison Chart

Clearly Filtered Water PitcherAquagear Water Filter Pitcher
ProductClearly Filtered Water Filter PitcherAquagear Pitcher
Contaminants Reduced360+71
Holding Capacity10 cups8 cups
Filter Lifespan100 gallons/ 4 months120 gallons
Annual Cost$140 – $270$150 – $250
Buying Options
Discounts 10% off at 👉 Get coupon

💡 Filter Comparison

Clearly Filtered Filters

The Clearly Filtered pitcher sends water through three thorough stages of filtration, dubbed “affinity filtration technology” by its manufacturers. The pitcher offers “serious” filtration – which makes sense when you look at the filter’s contaminant reduction capabilities. 

The first filtration stage sends water through a woven stainless steel mesh screen. This reduces any large sediment and suspended particles that could clog the later filter stages. 

Next is a GAC, or granular activated carbon, filter, which uses adsorption to trap aesthetic contaminants that affect taste and odor, such as chlorine. 

The final stage of filtration is a composite shell layer, which is made of more than 7 proprietary filtration materials. Water moves slowly through this filter stage, and this longer contact time allows for the most thorough reduction of contaminants to a “superior level”.

Clearly Filtered Affinity Filtration filter
Clearly Filtered Affinity Filtration filter

Aquagear Filters

Aquagear calls its filter a “proprietary filter”, and the biggest selling point of this filter is that it lasts for up to 120 gallons – about 3 times longer than most competitor filters. 

The BPA-free cartridge is made in the USA from a blend of two types of media – activated carbon and ion exchange.

The activated carbon filter stage uses adsorption, like the Clearly Filtered, to grab onto aesthetic contaminants. The ion exchange media captures toxic metals, like lead and mercury.  

Aquagear’s filter can remove more contaminants than the original pitcher filters, and using an ion exchange media in a pitcher filter is fairly unique. But does it remove as many contaminants as the Clearly Filtered? The answer is no.

Aquagear replacement filter
Aquagear Proprietary Filter

🧫 What Contaminants Do They Remove?

The Clearly Filtered pitcher is far superior when it comes to contaminant reduction. This pitcher is capable of reducing more than 365+ harmful contaminants, including lead, fluoride, chlorine, PFOA, and PFOS. Despite such thorough filtration capabilities, the Clearly Filtered still retains healthy alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium, which contribute to good taste.

The Aquagear still offers an impressive contaminant removal, and has been tested to remove chlorine, lead, copper, mercury, asbestos, emerging contaminants like ibuprofen, PFOS and PFOA, and more. However, the Clearly Filtered can still remove 200 more contaminants, making it the clear winner of the two.

Here are the contaminant reduction capabilities of each, side by side:

ContaminantAquagear Pitcher Reduction%Clearly Filtered Reduction %
2,4,5-TP (silvex)99.97%99.90%
Asbestos                                                               99.99%99.99%
Bisphenol A99.99%99.90%
Carbon Tetrachloride99.97%99.80%
Chlorine                                                                  96.50%99.50%
Dibromochloropropane (DBCP)99.97%99.90%
Ethylene dibromide (EDB)99.97%99.90%
Haloacetonitriles (HAN)99.97%
Haloketones (HK)99.97%
Heptachlor (H-34, Heptox)99.97%99.80%
Heptachlor epoxide99.97%99.80%
Particulate Class I                           97.52%
PFOA                                                               99.99%99.00%
PFOS   99.99%99.50%
Tribromoacetic acid99.97%
Xylenes (total)99.97%99.80%
*286 additional contaminantsnot testedvaries

🚦 Performance Comparison

Clearly Filtered

If you’re after a filter that offers a quick, effective filtration performance, the Clearly Filtered will tick your boxes. Given the filter’s impressive contaminant reduction capabilities, you can enjoy a surprisingly speedy filtration process from this pitcher. Most customers are pleased with how quickly the Clearly Filtered can produce a batch of filtered water. 

The design of the pitcher itself aids the filter’s performance. There’s a dam in the top reservoir for water, which helps prevent unfiltered water from escaping from the lid when you’re pouring filtered water from the spout. This also prevents the pitcher from mixing filtered and unfiltered water, reversing the filter’s work.

Clearly Filtered water dam feature

The Clearly Filtered has been tested to meet NSF Standards, but doesn’t have an official certification. According to the manufacturer’s independent testing, the filter meets contaminant reduction requirements for Standards 42, 53, 401 and 473. An NSF certification is always preferable, but independent testing is better than nothing. 


The Aquagear’s filtration performance is certainly nothing to complain about either, and the filter is one of the best on the market for thoroughness and reliability. The Aquagear filters offer top-class filtration throughout their lifespan, even with them lasting three times longer than the standard competitor.  

When it comes to speed of filtration, the Aquagear could be better. It’s natural for a filter pitcher to take longer to filter water, as the filter uses gravity, not water pressure, to send water from the top chamber to the bottom chamber. However, the Aquagear reportedly takes up to 15 minutes to filter a batch of water, depending on the filter age and your water quality, which is fairly lengthy. 

Aquagear Water Filter Performance

Some customers mentioned that filtration can even take longer than 15 minutes, so you’ll have to be patient with this filter. The longer filtration time at least tells you that water is getting plenty of contact with the filter, which will allow for more thorough filtration. 

You might see some information online that the Aquagear is NSF certified, and that’s because of a bit of misleading data on the Aquagear website. Like the Clearly Filtered, the filter has been tested to meet certain NSF Standards, including 42, 53, 401 and P473, but it hasn’t been officially certified by the NSF, which would give it the extra edge.  

💲 Models & Upfront Cost

Clearly Filtered Models

The Clearly Filtered pitcher comes in just one model and size: the 80 ounce, or 10-cup pitcher. A single person could get a day’s worth of water from this pitcher without having to refill it once.

10 cups is a good capacity, as it prevents the filter from being too heavy when it’s full, and gives enough water for families – you’ll just have to refill it a couple of times a day. 

Priced at around $65, the Clearly Filtered is a reasonable investment considering the benefits this filter pitcher offers. The price includes an initial filter, which on its own costs $50.

Clearly Filtered Water Filter Pitcher

Aquagear Models

Aquagear has a single pitcher model: an 8-cup pitcher with a BPA-free white, blue and clear design. The pitcher can hold 2 fewer cups of water than the Clearly Filtered, which could be an advantage or disadvantage for you, depending on whether you’d prefer a filter that’s lighter to carry when it’s full, or you’d rather have those extra 2 cups and minimize your refills. 

With that said, 8 cups is still a good size for a small-to-medium family, offering enough water to last several cup refills before you need to fill the pitcher with more water. The simplistic design is also modern and understated, and should fit in with most kitchens, while the compact pitcher can be easily stored away when not in use.

The Aquagear pitcher costs nearly $70, which is slightly more expensive than the Clearly Filtered. Although the Aquagear has a smaller capacity and less impressive contaminant removal than the Clearly Filtered, its filter does last much longer, which is likely the justification for the cost. Still, I think Aquagear should drop its prices a little more for the sake of being competitive in the market. 

Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher review

📆 Filter Lifespan & Replacement Costs

Clearly Filtered

You can filter 100 gallons through the Clearly Filtered‘s filters before you need to replace the filters. This equates to about 4 months of use per filter. 

It’s worth making the most of the Clearly Filtered’s multipack filter bundles, which reduce the per-filter cost compared to buying one filter at a time.

You’ll need to be prepared to spend a little more on replacing the Clearly Filtered’s filters, compared to a traditional filter like the Brita. Even a pack of three filters (with a $10 saving) still costs $140, and a pack of six (with a $30 saving) costs a staggering $270.

Still, if you buy the six-pack, you’ll get two years’ worth of filters, so you’ll only have to make this purchase once every two years. 

While the Clearly Filtered filter cartridges are quite pricey, the cost is justified, as these filters offer the most impressive contaminant reduction on the pitcher filter market. 

Brian assembling the Clearly Filtered Pitcher


Like the Clearly Filtered, the Aquagear has just one type of filter that can be used in its pitcher. 

This filter has a 150 gallon lifespan, equating to about 6 months – a great lifespan for a pitcher filter cartridge. 

A single Aquagear replacement filter costs just under $50, which is quite a good deal considering you’ll only need to buy two filters per year. Unfortunately, Aquagear doesn’t offer any discounted filter packages – though you can “subscribe and save”, which means you only pay $40 per filter

When it comes to value for money, I think Aquagear’s replacement filter price is fair. Even if you don’t “subscribe and save”, you’ll still only pay $200 for two years’ worth of filter changes, which is $70 cheaper than the Clearly Filtered. However, we can’t forget that the Clearly Filtered reduces 200 more contaminants than the Aquagear, so its costlier filter changes make sense. 

💬 Customer Reviews & Complaints

Clearly Filtered

Customers are happy with just how many contaminants the Clearly Filtered can reduce, and, with this in mind, how speedily the filter can produce a batch of filtered water.

Customers also commented that the Clearly Filtered produces great-tasting water.

Reviewers weren’t so happy with the price of the initial filter, or the cost of filter changes. Other customers noted that the handle was a bit flimsy. 


Aquagear’s customers are happy with the pitcher’s intensive filtering, but some did mention that it takes longer to filter a batch of water because of this.

Customers also mentioned that the construction of the pitcher is both solid and durable, as well as being BPA-free. Many people said that the pitcher was easy to use, and were pleased with the lifetime warranty. 

One complaint that cropped up a number of times was that the design didn’t seem up to scratch. Despite being durable, customers said that the top chamber has a larger capacity than the bottom chamber, so if you overfill the top chamber, filtered water will end up coming back into the top chamber.

☑️ Pros and Cons of Clearly Filtered vs Aquagear

👍 Clearly Filtered – What I Like

Very effective contaminant reduction

The Clearly Filtered offers a superior contaminant reduction performance, with the potential to filter more than 270 contaminants out of water.

Relatively long filter life

You can get up to 4 months of use out of each Clearly Filtered filter cartridges, which is slightly longer than the typical pitcher filter lifespan of 2-3 months.

Good value for money

The Clearly Filtered is one of the most expensive filter pitchers on the market – but it also reduces the most contaminants. Considering just how effective the filter is, it comes at a pretty good value for money.

Fast filtration

Considering it offers such thorough contaminant reduction, the Clearly Filtered is impressively quick for a filter pitcher.

Retains water’s natural minerals

Although the Clearly Filtered reduces almost every drinking water contaminant you can think of, it retains calcium and magnesium, which give water a pleasant taste.

👎 Clearly Filtered – What I Didn’t Like

Comes in a single size and model

Being a 10-cup pitcher, the Clearly Filtered should appeal to most families – but it would still be better if the pitcher came in multiple sizes and capacities.

Costly replacement cartridges

The Clearly Filtered replacement cartridges aren’t cheap. A single replacement filter costs $50, and there aren’t massive savings for buying in bulk.

No actual NSF certification

It would be more reassuring to customers if the Clearly Filtered had official NFS certifications, rather than just independent testing.

Brian pouring filtered water from Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher

👍 Aquagear – What I Like

Good contaminant removal

The Aquagear doesn’t match up to the Clearly Filtered, but it still removes an impressive number of contaminants compared to the traditional pitcher filter.

Lifetime warranty

The Aquagear’s lifetime warranty tells you that the brand trusts in its product’s quality of design, both for the pitcher and the filter itself.

Long filter lifespan 

It’s great that you get up to 6 months of filtration with a single Aquagear filter. You only need to replace your filter twice a year, which is a big bonus.

Cheaper than Clearly Filtered

There’s not a huge difference in cost between the Aquagear and the Clearly Filtered. However, the Aquagear is slightly cheaper upfront, and it’s filter replacements are significantly cheaper, especially as you only need 2 per year.

👎 Aquagear – What I Didn’t Like

Doesn’t offer range of pitcher designs

The Aquagear, like the Clearly Filtered, comes in a single pitcher design. It would appeal to a wider audience if there were more designs and models to choose from.

Not as good value for money

Despite the Aquagear being cheaper than the Clearly Filtered, I still think it’s a poorer value for money, as the filters remove 200 fewer contaminants than the Clearly Filtered‘s.

Overfilling between chambers

The Aquagear has a design fault that means filtered water from the bottom chamber can flood back into the top chamber if you overfill the top chamber.

 Not NSF certified

As I mentioned for the Clearly Filtered, if the Aquagear had an official NSF certification, it could offer customers extra reassurance of its contaminant removal capabilities.

🤔 Should I Buy Clearly Filtered or Aquagear?

The Aquagear gives the Clearly Filtered a good run for its money. However, the Clearly Filtered is still the superior filter of the two.

Here’s why I recommend buying the Clearly Filtered instead of the Aquagear:

  • It reduces 295 more contaminants than the Aquagear, but still retains healthy minerals in water.
  • It’s faster than the Aquagear, even with the additional contaminants removed.
  • Despite being more expensive, I still think it’s a better value for money – and that’s what’s important.

I don’t think the Aquagear is a bad choice altogether. In fact, it’s one of the best pitcher filters on the market, and has plenty of positive reviews to attest to that. However, it simply can’t keep up with the Clearly Filtered.

If you want to reduce the most impurities from your water with a pitcher filter, the Clearly Filtered is the obvious choice. I think that the extra cost of the filters, which really isn’t that much more, is worth it considering the quality of performance you can enjoy.

  • Brian Campbell
    Founder, Water Treatment Specialist

    Brian Campbell is a water treatment specialist and water expert based in Denver, Colorado. He's always been obsessed with water quality, and has spent years testing all kinds of treatment devices from simple pitchers and portable devices to complex whole home systems.

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