The 5 Best Water Filter Pitchers, According to Our Testing

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The best water filter pitchers are affordable, portable, and reduce dozens of contaminants using gravity-fed water filtration. 

We use our own evidence-based testing to review and compare water filters. 

I’ve personally tested all the water filters on this list, leveraging my experience as a WQA Certified Water Specialist (CWS) and Certified Water Treatment Representative (CWR) to review each product as both an expert and a customer.

Our Testing & Selection Process

The 5 Best Water Filter Pitchers

ProductEpic Nano Water Filter Pitcher
Epic Pure
Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
Clearly Filtered
ZeroWater Ready-Pour Pitcher
ZeroWater Ready-Pour r
Santevia MINA Pitcher
Santevia MINA
LARQ Pure Vis Advanced Pitcher
LARQ Pure-Vis Advanced
CertificationsNot certifiedNSF/ANSI 42 & 53NSF/ANSI 42 & 53Not certifiedNot certified
Filter Capacity150 gallons100 gallons
25 gallons80 gallons60 gallons
Cost per Gallon$0.31$0.55$0.70$0.25$0.54
WarrantyLifetime1 yearVessels 90 days, filters 30 days90 days1 year
Read ReviewEpic Pure reviewClearly Filtered review ZeroWater reviewSantevia MINA reviewLARQ Pure-Vis Advanced review

Epic Pure Performance

The Epic Pure scored a 9.30 for reducing health-related contaminants in our water. Our test results showed that the filter reduced 100% uranium, copper, and phosphorous, as well as 92% sulfate, 57% molybdenum, 41% barium, 27% fluoride, and 20% nitrate.

The system also reduced 100% chlorine in our water, so it scored a 9.90 for improving our water’s aesthetics. 

Our only disappointment was that the filter isn’t performance certified, which reduced its score slightly.

The Epic Pure also impressed us with its setup and maintenance requirements – we awarded it a score of 9.50 for both categories. Setup was easy because the filter didn’t need priming; we just washed and assembled the pitcher and reservoir, then filtered and discarded the first two pitchers of water. 

We calculated the pitcher’s ongoing maintenance cost as $0.31/ gallon, meaning that we’d spend half as much as some of the other top-performing pitchers we tested. Replacing the filter was easy, and the 150-gallon filter capacity is one of the best we’ve seen. The pitcher has an LED countdown timer that helped us to know when to buy new filters. 

We think the Epic Pure is the best water filter pitcher for folks who want an all-rounder that can effectively reduce a range of contaminants, even though not all contaminants were completely eliminated. Anyone who wants a filter that’s affordable and easy to set up and maintain should also be pleased with the Epic Pure pitcher.

Overall Score8.90
Health Related Contaminants9.30
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.90
Performance CertificationNot Certified
Filtration Rate2.23 GPH
Component QualityUnsatisfactory
Component CertificationNot Certified
Servicing RequirementsOutstanding
Costs$0.31/ gallon
Warranty LengthLifetime
ShippingFree shipping for the Clean Water Club only

Clearly Filtered Performance

We awarded the Clearly Filtered Pitcher a score of 8.24 for overall contaminant reduction. It did better than the Epic Pure at reducing 100% fluoride, and its 100% uranium, chlorine, and copper reduction matched Epic’s results. 

The CF pitcher also reduced 86% barium, 67% strontium, and 53% molybdenum. But its score was affected by the presence of 0.0054 PPM of cobalt in our filtered water (it hadn’t been detected pre-filtration). 

There were two standout performance features that gave Clearly Filtered the edge over Epic: its WQA performance certifications and its high-quality plastic design.

The pitcher has been certified (to NSF Standards 42 and 53) to reduce 3 out of the 365+ contaminants it’s claimed to reduce, so it’s not the most impressive proof of performance that we’ve seen, but it’s still more reassuring than nothing.

Clearly filtered pitcher parts

As for design, the Clearly Filtered pitcher got a score of 9.70. The pitcher is made from BPA-free Tritan plastic and is WQA certified for lead-free design, on top of holding a materials safety certification as a component of its performance certifications. 

We timed the filtration process and recorded that the CF pitcher filtered 0.5 gallons of water in 13 minutes and 12 seconds, giving it a 2.27 GPH filtration rate. This put it slightly ahead of the Epic Pure, which had a 2.23 GPH filtration rate – but both filters got the top score here.

We think the Clearly Filtered Pitcher makes the most sense for people who are happy to pay a slightly higher upfront and ongoing cost to effectively address many contaminants in their water with a system that’s certified for performance and materials safety

Overall Score8.78
Health Related Contaminants8.30
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.90
Performance CertificationCertified for <1% of reduction claims
Filtration Rate2.27 GPH
Component QualityOutstanding
Component CertificationCertified
Servicing RequirementsOutstanding
Costs$0.55/ gallon
Warranty Length1 year
ShippingFree shipping
Returns30 days

ZeroWater Performance

ZeroWater received an 8.34 score for contaminant reduction. Our test data showed that it had reduced 100% fluoride, chlorine, uranium, barium, strontium, molybdenum, nitrate, and sulfate. It also reduced 97% copper – an excellent result overall. 

But 3.4 PPB of chloroform (a disinfection byproduct) was detected in our filtered water, which wasn’t detected in our unfiltered water. This pulled down the filter’s contaminant reduction score. The filter also greatly reduced healthy minerals in our water as part of its TDS reduction, which we weren’t impressed with.

We were pleased to see that the ZeroWater Pitcher has NSF Standard 42 and Standard 53 certifications for reducing chlorine taste and odors, mercury, lead, PFOA, PFOS, and hexavalent chromium. But we still think it could be certified to reduce more contaminants – ZeroWater claims it can reduce 24.

We awarded the pitcher a 10.00 for filtration rate. We calculated that it filtered 0.391 gallons of water in just under 9 minutes, giving it a filtration speed of 2.62 GPH (making it slightly faster than Epic and Clearly Filtered). 

Setup was easiest with the ZeroWater pitcher because it was the only pitcher that required no filter priming, soaking, or flushing. The filter arrived ready to go, so we could start using it straight away. It got the same high score (9.50) as Epic and Clearly Filtered in this category. 

ZeroWater’s maintenance requirements let it down somewhat. It has the worst capacity of any water pitcher filter we’ve tested – just 40 gallons – with some customers claiming it only lasted 1-2 weeks. Plus, its ongoing cost of $0.70/ gallon was up to triple the cost per gallon of many other pitchers we tested.

We recommend the ZeroWater filter pitcher to anyone who wants a comprehensive water filtration solution that reduces high levels of many contaminants, at the expense of a short filter lifespan and higher ongoing cost. 

Overall Score8.62
Health Related Contaminants8.30
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.90
Performance CertificationCertified for 25% of reduction claims
Filtration Rate2.62 GPH
Component QualityFair
Component CertificationCertified
Servicing RequirementsOutstanding
Costs$0.70/ gallon
Warranty LengthVessels 90 days, filters 30 days
ShippingFree shipping on orders above $60 to continental US
ReturnsNo returns

Santevia MINA Performance

The Santevia MINA pitcher’s overall contaminant reduction score was 8.12, putting it only slightly behind Clearly Filtered and ZeroWater. It reduced 7 contaminants in our water: 100% chlorine, uranium, molybdenum, and copper, 78% barium, 77% nitrate, and 72% strontium.

However, the MINA pitcher isn’t performance-certified, which affected its overall score in this category. Plus, fluoride actually increased slightly from 1.1 PPM to 1.2 PPM, telling us that the filter doesn’t effectively address this contaminant.

Santevia’s main selling point is its ability to increase the alkalinity of water, which has a few possible health benefits. When we first got the pitcher, we used a pH meter to test our water. The unfiltered water had a 7.89 pH, and our filtered water’s pH had increased to 9.94. However, when we tested the pitcher later with a lab test, pH only increased by 0.1, from 7.4 to 7.5. 

Testing the pH level of water after filtration with Santevia MINA Alkaline Pitcher

The system got an 8.50 score from us for its filtration rate. It filtered 0.383 gallons of water in just over 16 minutes, giving it a filtration rate of 1.43 GPH – around 1 GPM slower than most other pitchers we tested. 

We couldn’t fault the filter setup process. It also got a 9.50 in this category because assembly took less than 5 minutes – we just had to wash and assemble the pitcher, then hold the filter under running water for 1 minute until the water ran clear.

We think the Santevia MINA pitcher is a great fit for folks who want to go a step further than simply reducing contaminants in their water, and anyone who wants the possible taste and health benefits of filtered water with an alkaline pH. 

Overall Score8.45
Health Related Contaminants8.30
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.50
Performance CertificationNot certified
Filtration Rate1.43 GPH
Component QualityOutstanding
Component CertificationNot certified
Servicing RequirementsOutstanding
Costs$0.25/ gallon
Warranty Length90 days
ShippingFree shipping on orders over $99, except Hawaii, Puerto Rico & Alaska
Returns30 days

LARQ Pure-Vis Performance

We awarded the LARQ Pure-Vis pitcher an 8.14 for contaminant reduction. It did a great job of removing 100% uranium, barium, strontium, and molybdenum, and reducing 97% copper, 88% sulfate, and 20% nitrate. Unfortunately, it didn’t reduce fluoride in our water at all

The Pure-Vis pitcher’s UV purification stage is the biggest reason why we were drawn to the system. Microorganisms aren’t present in treated city water, but a number of studies (including this study on Brita water filter pitchers) have found that microorganisms can grow in filter media. The LARQ pitcher provides protection against bacteria growth in the filter media and the pitcher chamber, so we didn’t have to wash it out as often as the other pitchers. 

The system did well in the setup and maintenance categories, with scores of 9.00 in each. Setup was a bit more involved – we had to soak the filter for 10 minutes before installing it, charge the battery pack for the UV wand, and install the app. Maintenance required the same filter soaking and UV wand charging (but the battery lasts around 1 month on a full charge).

We estimated the filter’s ongoing cost as $0.54/ gallon, so it’s about on par with the Clearly Filtered pitcher – not the cheapest, but not as costly as ZeroWater.

As for design, the LARQ pitcher felt like it was made from the same high-quality materials as Clearly Filtered. It felt thick, solid, and durable, and more capable of withstanding long-term use than the other pitchers we tested.

LARQ Pure-Vis Advanced pitcher components

In our opinion, the LARQ Pure-Vis pitcher is ideal for anyone who has concerns about biofilm growth and microorganisms in their filter media and the pitcher vessel itself, and folks who want the reassurance of filtering and purifying their water at the same time.

Overall Score8.21
Health Related Contaminants8.30
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.90
Performance CertificationNot Certified
Filtration Rate0.60 GPH
Component QualityOutstanding
Component CertificationNot Certified
Servicing RequirementsExceptional
Costs$0.54/ gallon
Warranty Length1 year
ShippingFree on orders over $80 within the contiguous US
Returns30 days, but only if unopened

Filters That Didn’t Make the Cut

We want to close off this review with a quick mention of the other three pitchers we tested, which received lower performance scores than the rest and therefore didn’t make the cut. 

These were: 

These filters all got poorer contaminant reduction scores: the PUR Plus got 5.28; the Brita Elite got 4.29; and the Waterdrop Chubby got 4.24. 

None of the pitchers are tested or certified to reduce most of the contaminants (like uranium, fluoride, and molybdenum) in our water. So we were unsurprised when the pitchers did a poor job of reducing these contaminants. 

Our testing outcomes don’t necessarily mean that the filters are incapable of reducing contaminants; just that they couldn’t address our own water quality concerns. If we’d tested the filters with water predominantly containing contaminants they could address, the contaminant reduction scores would likely have been higher. 

That’s why testing your water before buying a filter is so important: you want to ensure that the system you choose can effectively address your unique water quality issues. 

  • Brian Campbell
    President & CEO, CWS, CWR

    Brian Campbell, a WQA Certified Water Specialist (CWS) and Certified Water Treatment Representative (CWR) with 5+ years of experience, helps homeowners navigate the world of water treatment. After honing his skills at Hach Company, he founded his business to empower homeowners with the knowledge and tools to achieve safe, healthy water. Brian's tested countless devices, from simple pitchers to complex systems, helping his readers find the perfect fit for their unique needs.

8 thoughts on “The 5 Best Water Filter Pitchers, According to Our Testing”

  1. Avatar for Brian Campbell

    Excellent comparison and very useful. Isn’t it worrying that filter jugs like EPIC PURE, Santevia MINA or LARQ increase sulfate or chloride levels after the filtering process? Does this pose any security risk? I am surprised that EPIC PURE is in position 1 in the ranking, considering this data

    1. Avatar for Brian Campbell

      Hey Sergi, thanks for the comment! While we observed slight increases in the impurities mentioned, the levels were well below the Health Guideline Level benchmark, so we did not consider them too much of a concern.

  2. Avatar for Brian Campbell
    Barbara Ondricko

    I live in Windsor Ontario Canada and our water is currently disinfected using ozonation . I am looking to upgrade from the Pur Plus system and I am particularly concerned about plastic microcontaminants that ozonation does not address. I am only interested in a water pitcher system . Thankyou for your time.

  3. Avatar for Brian Campbell

    Please help me understand why the Zero water was rated #3 when it removed almost 100% of everything that it was being tested for and the con was only that it had a expensive filter. It seems like that is the best filter hands down amongst the 5 filters.

    1. Avatar for Brian Campbell
      Brian Campbell

      The ZeroWater received an 8.62/10 when put through our data-driven scoring system. It’s overall contaminant reduction score (8.34) was dragged down due to the presence of disinfection byproducts in the filtered water. The overall score was greatly impacted by this because Contaminant Reduction is given the highest weight, and makes up 55% of the total score. It’s maintenance score of 8.25 was also lowered due to the expensive ongoing filter replacement cost of $0.70/ gallon. The Company score was also lowered due to a lack of return window. You can read the full ZeroWater review here where we dive deep into the data behind each of the scores.

    1. Avatar for Brian Campbell

      The PUR Plus is not certified to reduce arsenic. I’m not aware of any pitchers that are certified to reduce arsenic, only that have been 3rd party tested to do so

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