Waterdrop vs Brita: A Data-Driven Comparison

🤝 Our content is written by humans, not AI robots. Learn More

Waterdrop and Brita are two popular water filter brands, but which sells the best water filter pitcher? 

We got our hands on the Brita Elite and the Waterdrop Chubby pitchers and conducted hands-on testing of both filters in our own homes. In this guide, we’ve compared Brita and Waterdrop across a number of important performance factors, so you can decide which – if any – is best for you. 

The Waterdrop Chubby and Brita Elite pitchers look similar at a glance – they both have almost identical designs, and both use a gravity filter to reduce similar contaminants from water. But the filters’ materials and processes are different.

In our testing, the Waterdrop Chubby had a faster filtration rate and did a better job at reducing uranium and strontium, but it also reduced healthy minerals. The Brita Elite did better at reducing barium and copper, but its filtration performance still didn’t blow us away. 

📊 Our Testing Data

To award the final scores for the Waterdrop and Brita pitchers, we combined the data we obtained from 6 performance categories. We ranked the filters in each category with the following scores:

Contaminant Reduction4.244.29
Filtration Rate10.0010.00

Each main category score was the combined average of several subcategory scores. We’ve broken down the subcategories for each category in the table below.

Overall Score6.576.59Brita
Health Related Contaminants3.503.50Tie
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.909.90Tie
Performance CertificationNSF/ANSI 42NSF/ANSI 42 & 53Brita
Filtration Rate3.52 GPH2.92 GPHWaterdrop
Component QualityFairFairTie
Component CertificationCertifiedCertifiedTie
Servicing RequirementsOutstandingOutstandingTie
Costs$0.27/ gal$0.17/ gallonBrita
Warranty Length1 year1 yearTie
ShippingFree shipping to lower 48 states$35 order thresholdWaterdrop
Returns30 days30 daysTie

🚰 Contaminant Reduction

There were two factors that we combined to obtain our contaminant reduction scores: our own water quality testing data for the systems, and evidence of official performance certifications for their contaminant reduction abilities.

Our Lab Test Results

We tested our water quality before and after filtering it through the Waterdrop Chubby and Brita Elite pitchers. 

Our test of choice was the Tap Score city water test, provided by SimpleLab, which we used to compare the contaminants in our unfiltered water and our filtered water samples. 

water testing with tap score

We tested both filters with the same treated water source. Our water is from a shared well and contains a few contaminants that are commonly found in groundwater. 

The next table lists the contaminants we detected in our water, and how effectively Brita and Waterdrop addressed them.

ContaminantMeasurementUnfiltered WaterWaterdrop% ChangeBrita% Change
Nitrate (as N)PPM3.52.6-25.71%3.3-5.71%

Both filters were equal in this category, and neither of them did an exceptional job of reducing all the contaminants in our water. 

Health-Related Contaminants

First, we compared the Waterdrop and Brita pitchers’ ability to reduce the 8 contaminants with health effects that were detected in our unfiltered water. 


6 of these contaminants were only detected at trace levels, and they didn’t exceed the laboratory’s Health Guideline. Uranium and fluoride were the exception – uranium was detected at a concentration of 0.014 PPM, exceeding the HGL of 0 PPM, and 1.1 PPM of fluoride was detected, exceeding the HGL of 0.8 PPM.

The Waterdrop Chubby pitcher didn’t reduce any fluoride, but it reduced 49% uranium (a better result than the Brita Elite pitcher).

The filter also reduced 86% copper, 81% barium, 81% strontium, 25% nitrate, 11% molybdenum, and 2% sulfate. 

The Brita Elite pitcher also didn’t reduce any fluoride, and it only reduced 26% uranium. Additionally, it only reduced strontium by 13% molybdenum by just 7%, and nitrate by just 5%.

However, it did a better job of reducing the other contaminants, including 100% barium and 97% copper. Sulfate actually increased by 0.1 PPM, but we think this was probably just a small detection difference. 

Were we disappointed by Brita and Waterdrop’s performance? Yes, but we have to be reasonable with our expectations. Neither Brita nor Waterdrop claims that their filters can reduce the likes of nitrate, fluoride, and uranium. We think we’d have achieved a better outcome if we used the filters with water supplies containing the contaminants they’re designed to target, although we won’t know for certain until we conduct additional testing. 

That’s why it’s important to test your water first, so you can buy a water filter system that effectively addresses the contaminants you’re concerned about. 

Aesthetic Contaminants

Our unfiltered water contained around 1 PPM of chlorine, and the Waterdrop Chubby and Brita Elite pitcher did an equally effective job of reducing 100% of this chemical. 

Both filters contain activated carbon media, which is one of the most effective filtration media for reducing chlorine and its associated tastes/odors. 

Waterdrop and Brita got equally high scores in this category. 

unfiltered vs brita elite chlorine test

Minerals & pH 

We don’t usually comment on mineral reduction for water filters as this is something that typically only occurs with purification processes like reverse osmosis. 

The Brita Elite filter didn’t reduce the calcium and magnesium concentrations in our water – but the Waterdrop Chubby did

We think the Chubby filter contains a cation exchange resin, which would explain why it reduced calcium by 82%, from 25.6 PPM to 7.4 PPM, and magnesium by 79%, from 6.32 PPM to 1.32 PPM. Potassium actually increased from 0 to 57.5 PPM, and we think the cation exchange resin exchanged calcium and magnesium (alongside other more harmful ions, like certain metals) with potassium chloride ions.

The good news is that our water’s pH only decreased from 7.4 to 7.2, keeping it within the alkaline range. But we’d prefer to retain healthy minerals in our water, so we favored Brita in this testing category. 

Performance Certifications

We were pleased to see that both Waterdrop and Brita have performance certifications to support the manufacturer’s contaminant reduction claims. However, they didn’t get equal scores in this category because they’re certified to reduce different numbers of contaminants. 

The Brita Elite got the slightly better score because it has been certified by the IAMPO and the WQA to reduce 15 out of the 33 contaminants listed on the performance data sheet

The Waterdrop Chubby has an NSF 42 certification for the reduction of chlorine, tastes, and odors, so it’s only certified to reduce one contaminant out of the 6 contaminants listed on the Chubby product page. 

While we appreciate the fact that both filters are certified, we think they could do better. Some of the best water filter pitchers we’ve tested are certified for all the contaminants their manufacturers claim they can reduce, which is super reassuring. 

🚦Filtration Rate

The Brita Elite and Waterdrop Chubby use gravity to filter water, and we measured their filtration rate in gallons per hour (GPH).

See the GPH measurements for both systems in the next table. 

ProductFiltration Rate ScoreFiltration Rate
Waterdrop10.003.52 GPH
Brita10.002.92 GPH

Both filters did a great job here, but the Waterdrop Chubby was slightly faster, so it got the best score. 

We filtered 0.414 gallons of water through the Chubby pitcher in 7 minutes and 4 seconds, so its filtration rate was 3.52 GPH. 

The Brita Elite filtered 0.391 gallons of water in 8:01 minutes, which gave it a flow rate of 2.92 GPH. 

The difference between the two filtration rates is minimal – you definitely wouldn’t find that one was much slower than the other. 

We tested both systems when the filters were fairly new. With prolonged use, contaminants will clog their media, and their flow rate will likely reduce over time. 

💲 Upfront Cost

Brita and Waterdrop both offer affordable options, so they’re pretty equal in this category. But Waterdrop’s offering is slightly cheaper, so it’s best for very tight budgets. 

The Waterdrop Chubby 10-Cup Pitcher was priced at $27.49 when we got it to review, including the cost of the initial filter cartridge. 

The Brita 10-Cup Tahoe pitcher was slightly costlier at $41.99, also including the initial filter. 

There’s not much in it, and we think both Brita and Waterdrop are good choices for small budgets. 

ProductPriceFilters Included
Waterdrop Chubby 10-Cup Pitcher$27.491
Brita 10-Cup Tahoe pitcher$41.991

📐 Design

We compared the Brita and Waterdrop pitchers on the design front by getting a feel of their design quality (including their quality of build and durability) with evidence of materials safety certifications, which can be obtained alongside performance certifications from the NSF, IAMPO, or WQA. 

Here are the design scores we awarded to the pitchers. 

ProductDesign ScoreComponent QualityMaterials Safety

Both filters got identical design scores from us because they’re both certified for materials safety and are both made from similar-quality plastics. 

Filter Models

Waterdrop and Brita sell a few different systems that can be used with their filters. Brita’s offerings are more extensive.  

Waterdrop currently sells three pitchers that use its gravity filter:

These pitchers only differ slightly in design: the Chubby and the Lucid have 10-cup capacities, while the Elfin holds just 5 cups of water, and the Chubby has a wooden handle, while the other two pitchers have plastic handles and lids. There are a few different color choices for the Chubby pitcher: white, skyblue, and clear.

Brita has a back catalog of pitchers that are still available on marketplaces like Amazon, but there’s a smaller selection of pitchers and dispensers on the Brita website that use the Elite pitcher:

These Brita systems all have plastic designs, and, like the Waterdrop pitchers, their main difference is how much water they hold. Brita also sells its pitchers in various colors, including blue, black, white, and red.

holding brita elite filter next to pitcher

Component Quality 

Brita and Waterdrop got the same scores for component quality because they both have similar plastic designs. 

The Brita Elite pitcher is made from polypropylene and SAN (Styrene acrylonitrile resin), two plastics that are commonly used in water filter pitchers. They’re considered safe for their purpose, but a growing body of research suggests many common plastics used for food and water storage may leach microplastics. 

We couldn’t find any information on what the Waterdrop Chubby is made from – Waterdrop only mentions “BPA-free advanced plastics”. But we contacted Waterdrop customer support, who told us that the pitcher is made from polypropylene, a commonly used plastic that’s considered safe for food and water storage. Only the handle is made from wood. 

Filter Materials

Brita and Waterdrop’s filters contain similar media, which explains why they target similar contaminants. 

The Waterdrop filters use silver-laced activated carbon fiber media. We couldn’t find mention of a cation exchange resin, but we’re pretty certain that the filters use this media given that they reduced calcium and magnesium and increased our water’s potassium levels. 

Waterdrop chubby filter cartridge

The Brita Elite filters also use activated carbon media, but unlike Waterdrop, we’re not sure whether or not they use a cation exchange resin. The filters do reduce some metal ions, but our calcium and magnesium concentrations were retained.  

In both systems, the filter media is housed inside plastic cartridges.

Materials Safety Certification

Many of the water filter pitchers we’ve tested also have materials safety certifications to reassure customers of their design quality and safety. 

Brita and Waterdrop have obtained a materials safety certifications as components of their performance certifications, so both got top marks from us here.

⚙️ Setup

We were anticipating an easy setup process for the Brita Elite and Waterdrop Chubby pitchers because they’re both standalone gravity-fed systems.

Here’s how we scored the systems based on how long they took to install, and how easy we found the setup process. 

ProductSetup ScoreSetup Time
Waterdrop9.50Less than 5 minutes
Brita9.50Less than 5 minutes

Setup was almost identical for Brita and Waterdrop.

Both pitchers needed to be washed in warm water with dish soap before use, and they took less than 5 minutes to unbox and assemble.

The only minor difference was the filter preparation process. The Waterdrop Chubby filter needed to be soaked in cold water for 10 minutes before we could install it.

The Brita Elite filter was quicker and easier to prepare – it just needed to be held under running water for 30 seconds.

Both pitchers came with a filter change indicator light, which needed to be activated by pressing and holding the reset button.

🔧 Maintenance

Maintenance is also a similar scenario for the Brita and Waterdrop pitchers. Both use a single filter that needs to be replaced several times a year.

Brita’s Elite filter has the longer lifespan of up to 6 months, but the Waterdrop filter’s lifespan (up to 3 months) is still better than the average 2-month lifespan for water pitcher filters.  

We’ve outlined our maintenance scores for both filters in the table below.

ProductMaintenance ScoreServicing RequirementsCosts
Waterdrop9.75Outstanding$0.27/ gal
Brita9.75Outstanding$0.17/ gal

Again, Waterdrop and Brita got identical scores in this category because they’re both easy and affordable to maintain.

Servicing Requirements 

The Waterdrop Chubby and Brita Elite pitcher have two key maintenance requirements:

  1. Cleaning the pitcher and reservoir
  2. Replacing the filter

We cleaned the pitchers around once a week by washing them in warm water with soap. We only replace our filters when needed – the Chubby pitcher goes through around 4 filters a year, while the Brita Elite uses as little as 2 filters a year.

We could use the filter change indicator on our pitchers to keep track of our filter lifespans and determine when we should buy replacements. Our Brita pitcher was slightly more accurate because it measured how much water we used, while the Chubby pitcher used a countdown timer. Neither of these methods factored in our water quality.  

As with the initial filters we installed, we just had to follow the simple filter setup instructions, with no priming necessary.

Maintenance Costs

Brita and Waterdrop both have super affordable maintenance costs for their water filter pitchers.

The Brita Elite filter has the lowest ongoing cost of $0.17 per gallon. We calculated this based on Brita’s estimated filter lifespan – the Elite filter apparently lasts up to three times longer than the average water pitcher filter.

The Waterdrop Chubby pitcher is only slightly costlier in the long run, with a filter value of $0.27 per gallon.

We think Brita and Waterdrop are both great choices if you want to avoid spending a fortune on water filters in the long run, although keep in mind that you may have to replace your filters more frequently if your water quality is poor or you filter more water than the average household. 

🏢 Company

We want to know that a company is reputable and trustworthy before we invest in their products, and a good way for us to gauge the reliability of a manufacturer is to assess their warranty, returns, and shipping policies.

Here, we compared these factors for the Brita and Waterdrop water filter pitchers. See their scores in the table below.

ProductCompany ScoreWarranty LengthShippingReturns
Waterdrop8.651 yearFree shipping on economy orders30 days
Brita8.501 yearFree shipping on orders $35 or more30 days

Both got very similar scores here, but Waterdrop did slightly better because it achieved a higher score for shipping.  

Warranty Length 

Brita and Waterdrop’s 1-year warranties are two of the best warranties we’ve seen for water filter pitchers. 


Brita provides free shipping to orders exceeding $35, while Waterdrop offers free economy shipping for all orders, with no minimum spend.  

Most of Brita’s products cost more than the minimum spend for free shipping, but Waterdrop is still the better offering in this category.


Waterdrop and Brita customers both benefit from a 30-day returns policy, so they got the same scores here.

⛔️ System Setbacks & Flaws

As well as their positive features, we identified a few unique setbacks of the Waterdrop Chubby and Brita Elite pitchers that we’ve outlined here.

Waterdrop Setbacks

  • Reduces healthy minerals  – The Waterdrop filter reduced healthy minerals in our water.
  • Didn’t address many of our water’s contaminants – The filter also wasn’t an effective solution for reducing fluoride, nitrate, molybdenum, and other contaminants in our water.
  • Only certified to reduce 1 contaminant – We think Waterdrop should get its pitchers certified to reduce additional contaminants alongside chlorine.  
  • Filter needed soaking – While we didn’t find soaking the filter difficult, it meant that setup took longer than with the Brita pitcher and we couldn’t start filtering our water straight away.

Brita Setbacks

  • Only reduces a few contaminants – Like Waterdrop, the Brita Elite only reduced a select group of contaminants from our water, and did a poor job of reducing fluoride, uranium, and more.
  • Concerns about biofilm buildup in the filter – Brita Elite filters have a long 6-month projected lifespan, which makes us concerned about biofilm buildup on the media in this time, especially given that the filter doesn’t appear to contain silver (which helps prevent bacteria growth and is included in the Chubby filter). 

🆚 Waterdrop or Brita: Which do We Recommend?

We think the Waterdrop Chubby and Brita Elite are both reliable water filter pitchers sold by reputable manufacturers. We like the fact that they’re both certified, but neither of them did an exceptional job of addressing all the contaminants in our water.

Here are the specific situations when we recommend considering one filter or the other:

The Waterdrop Chubby Pitcher is Best For:

You want to spend as little money upfront on a reliable water filter pitcher.
You like the unique design of the Chubby pitcher.
You’re keen to filter your water with the fastest gravity-fed pitcher filter.

We Recommend the Brita Elite Pitcher If:

You like the reassurance of Brita’s brand and reputation.
You want a filter that’s certified to remove a few more contaminants.
You’re interested in a filter pitcher with the longest lifespan that needs the least maintenance.

Neither pitcher is the solution if you want to reduce close to 100% fluoride, uranium, or other contaminants that the filters aren’t designed to target.  

  • 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.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top