Brita updates its filter and pitcher selection from time to time, but two filters have remained consistent: the Standard Filter and the Elite (previously known as LongLast) Filter.
We’ve been researching and testing water filters for over a decade, so we know all there is to know about these two Brita offerings.
Here, we’ve compared these two filters and looked at their main similarities and differences.
📌 Key Takeaways:
- The Brita Elite and Standard water filters are used in most Brita pitcher filters.
- Both filters improve the taste of drinking water and remove chlorine, and both are gravity water filters.
- The big differences between the two filters are lifespan and contaminant removal: the Brita Elite lasts around 4 times as long and removes more contaminants than the Standard.
Table of Contents
🤔 What Makes The Brita Elite Filter And Standard Filter Similar?
The Elite and Standard Brita filters are similar in that they can both be used in the majority of Brita pitchers and dispensers (all except for the Stream pitchers).
Any Brita water filter pitcher or dispenser has a slot that fits both the Standard Brita filter and the Elite filter. Both water filters are the same size, so they can be used interchangeably (i.e. first, you could use the Standard Brita filter, and once you needed a new filter, you could upgrade to the Elite).
Brita pitcher filters work by sending water through the filter using gravity. Both the Standard and Elite filters are gravity filters. They’re designed to sit between the top reservoir and main pitcher body, filtering drinking water before it collects in the pitcher, ready to drink. They’re not the same as Brita Stream filters, which filter water while you pour.
The filters are also similar (although not identical) in the contaminants they can remove.
Both filters can remove chlorine, taste, and odor, as well as mercury and cadmium. We’ve discussed the differences between the filters’ contaminant removal abilities below.
⚖️ 5 Differences Between The Elite And Standard Brita Filters
Here are the top 5 differences we’ve noticed between the Standard and Elite Brita filters.
Brita has made it easy to tell the difference between the Standard and Elite Brita filters from appearance.
The Standard water filter is white, while the Elite filter is pale blue. Both filters have the same design at the top of the filter housing, which enables them to be used interchangeably as pitcher and dispenser filters, but the Standard filter is slightly longer than the Elite.
According to Brita’s website, the Standard and Elite filters for the Brita pitchers are made from slightly different materials (which gives them different abilities when it comes to contaminant removal and lifespan):
- The Elite water filter uses Brita’s proprietary active filtering agents, activated carbon, and a pleated media that holds the materials in place.
- The Standard water filter has a less secretive design: a mesh screen, activated carbon granules, and ion exchange resin. This is a pretty basic but effective design for a filter in a drinking water pitcher.
We think that Brita is deliberately vague about its Elite filter’s design because it doesn’t want its competitors leaning the secret to a long-lasting pitcher filter cartridge (more on lifespan later).
Both Brita filters remove a handful of similar contaminants from drinking water, but the Brita Elite filters remove some contaminants that the Standard filters can’t, and vice versa.
The Brita Standard water filter can reduce chlorine taste and odor, mercury, cadmium, copper, and zinc. That should improve your water’s taste, but it’s a poor selection compared to the hundreds of contaminants removed by some of the water filter pitchers available today.
Since the Elite is supposed to be the upgrade of the Standard water filter, you’d expect it to remove all the Standard filter’s contaminants, plus more. But it can’t actually remove copper and zinc.
With that said, it does remove a few extra contaminants, including lead, as well as benzene, asbestos, and particulates class II. Better, but still not even close to competing with the best.
Check out the table below to compare the contaminants removed by each of the Brita filters. And click here to learn more about which contaminants Brita can’t remove.
|Contaminant||Elite (Longlast +)||Standard|
|Particulates||99.6% (Class 1) |
|PFAS||98.1% (PFOA, PFOS)|
In terms of filter lifespan, the Brita Elite filter comes out on top. It lasts for up to 120 gallons, which Brita estimates to be around 6 months.
That means you only need two replacement filters per year if you use it to filter 11 glasses of water per day (the average family use, according to Brita).
Brita’s Standard pitcher filters have a 40 gallon lifespan, which Brita says lasts up to 2 months if you use it to filter 11 glasses of water per day.
So, the Standard filters need replacing around 4 times per year on average, and their media gets clogged or used up faster than the Elite media. Many Brita pitcher filters have an electronic filter change indicator, so you can set the timer based on the filter you’ve bought and take the guesswork out of filter changes.
Since both filters are similarly sized, we’re not sure what it is that gives the Brita Elite a longer filter life – presumably, it’s something about the filter’s design that hasn’t been disclosed publicly.
As you’d expect, given their additional contaminant removal abilities and longer lifespan, the Brita Elite water filters cost more than the Standard water filters.
The price of a single Elite replacement filter is just under $20 – around about the same price as a 3-pack of Brita Standard replacement filters.
But you’ll only need to replace the Elite filter twice per year, and a 2-pack costs slightly less – around $35 per year.
Assuming that you need 4 Standard filters per year, the cost of a 4-pack of these filters is around $25. So, the yearly cost of the Standard filters is around $10 lower – but remember the filters remove fewer contaminants.
📑 Brita Standard Vs Elite: Which Is Best?
Based on the data alone, it’s obvious that the Brita Elite water filter is better for filtering tap water than the Standard filter.
It lasts up to three times longer than the Standard Brita filter, and it removes more contaminants, including lead. Since lead is such a dangerous drinking water contaminant, we would strongly advise that you avoid the Standard Brita filters simply because they don’t offer lead removal.
With that said, Brita’s Standard offering is the more affordable choice, and if you know for certain that your tap water is lead-free and you don’t mind buying replacement filters more frequently, you might simply be looking for a low-cost solution to improve water’s taste and smell. In this case, the Standard filters might meet your needs.
Honestly, we don’t necessarily recommend any of Brita’s filters if you’re searching for the most comprehensive pitcher filters that remove as many contaminants as possible. Both of Brita’s offerings only remove a handful of contaminants, and the reality is that there are much better water filter pitchers out there.
Our top recommendation for most people is the Clearly Filtered Water Filter Pitcher. This capable filter removes more than 365 contaminants and lasts about 4 months before a filter replacement is needed. Check out our Clearly Filtered Pitcher Review here.
🔚 Final Word
Now you know the difference between the Standard and Elite filters for the Brita pitcher filters. Hopefully, you have enough knowledge to decide which of these filters is best for your tap water – if any.
If you do opt for one of the Brita pitcher filters, do your research, read up on customer reviews, and make sure you’re getting the best value out of your money before you spend it.