Clearly Filtered and Brita are two pitcher filters that seem to be everywhere at the moment. Both are incredibly popular water purification solutions for people who want to drink clean water without the commitment or spend of a system that connects directly to a water supply. But which is best?
If you’re looking for a review that clearly outlines the facts, helping you make a decision with confidence, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve been researching, testing and reviewing water filters for more than a decade, and I’ve written for a number of key water industry publications, including WQP Magazine and WWD Magazine.
In short, you can trust me to tell you what you need to know about a product.
While Clearly Filtered and Brita are two of the most popular filtration pitchers available, the Clearly Filtered pitcher reduces far more contaminants when compared to Brita. However Brita holds an official NSF certification comes at a significantly cheaper cost, both up front and for replacements.
If you need to reduce a larger amount of contaminants, Clearly Filtered is your best bet.
Table of Contents
- ⚖️ Comparison Chart
- 💡 Filter Comparison
- 🧫 What Contaminants Do They Remove?
- 🚦 Performance Comparison
- 💲Water Filter Pitcher Models & Upfront Cost
- 📆 Filter Lifespan & Replacement Costs
- 💬 Customer Reviews & Complaints
- ☑️ Pros and Cons of Clearly Filtered vs Brita Filter
- ❔ Should I Buy Clearly Filtered or Brita?
⚖️ Comparison Chart
💡 Filter Comparison
Clearly Filtered Filters
The Clearly Filtered filter elements use three stages of “affinity filtration technology”, which makes the filter a “serious” device – and I can certainly agree on that when it comes to contaminant reduction.
Water initially flows through a woven stainless steel mesh screen, which acts as a sediment pre-filter and prevents the later filter stages from clogging with larger particles.
The next stage of filtration is a granulated coconut carbon filter. This loose filtration layer traps aesthetic impurities, namely chlorine tastes and odors.
Finally, there’s a composite shell filtration layer. This layer combines more than 7 proprietary filtration materials, giving water a longer contact time with the filter media and ultimately allowing for a broad range of contaminants to be reduced to a “superior level”.
Brita’s filters are both convenient and effective, and can filter out a small selection of the most common tap water contaminants.
The Brita filters are made from coconut-based activated carbon media. This media uses the process of adsorption to bind to contaminants, trapping them in its pores. These contaminants build up in the filter over time, and will eventually clog the filter to the point that it needs to be replaced.
Brita also has a Longlast filter, which has recently had a redesign and now removes a broader range of contaminants. This filter lasts slightly longer than the standard Brita filter.
🧫 What Contaminants Do They Remove?
Brita’s standard filter removes chlorine taste and odor, while the Longlast filter is capable of removing contaminants like lead, benzene, mercury, asbestos, cadmium, and other contaminants.
The table below shows the contaminant removal capabilities by Brita Standard, Longlast, and
|Particulate (Class I )||99.60%||>99.9%|
The Clearly Filtered pitcher can reduce more than 360 harmful contaminants, including fluoride, lead, BPA, and PFOS. However, it retains healthy minerals like calcium and magnesium, which give water a pleasant alkaline taste.
Here is the full list of contaminants reduced by
|4-Bromophenyl phenyl ether||>99.9%|
|4-Chlorophenyl phenyl ether||>99.9%|
|Alpha - BHC||>99.8%|
|Beta - BHC||>99.8%|
|Bis (2-chloroethoxy) Methane||>99.9%|
|Bis (2-ethylhexyl) Adipate||>99.8%|
|Bis (2-ethylhexyl) Phthalate||>99.8%|
|Butyl benzyl phthalate||>99.8%|
|Cis - Chlordane||>99.8%|
|Delta - BHC||>99.8%|
|Gross Alpha (Thorium 230)||>98.0%|
|Gross Beta (Cesium 137)||>98.0%|
|Methyl ethyl ketone||>99.8%|
|Methyl isobutyl ketone||>99.8%|
|Metolachlor Oxanilic Acid||>98.7%|
|MGK 264 - Isomer a||>99.8%|
|Nitrate and nitrite||>99.7%|
|p,p’ - DDD||>99.8%|
|p,p’ - DDE||>99.8%|
|p.p’ - DDT||>99.8%|
|Perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS)||>95.0%|
|Perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA)||>95.0%|
|Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA)||>95.0%|
|Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)||>99.5%|
|Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)||>99.0%|
|Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)||>99.1%|
|Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)||>99.8%|
|Trans - Chlordane (Nonachlor)||>99.6%|
🚦 Performance Comparison
The performance of a filter measures three primary things things:
- How long it lasts
- How effectively it does its job
- The speed of filtration
With an oversized grip handle, the
It’s worth knowing that the
The Brita filter is BPA-free, and offers a similarly impressive performance in terms of speed. It takes the Brita filter about 40 seconds to fill a glass with filtered water. Brita boasts one of the fastest flow rates on the market, although, like all pitcher filters, this flow rate will slow down towards the end of the filter’s lifespan.
Brita’s standard filter is NSF certified to Standards 42 and 53, for the removal of chlorine and lead, two of the most common tap water impurities in the US.
Brita’s Longlast filter is better performing for two reasons: it removes more contaminants and has a longer lifespan. This filter is WQA certified against NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53, and 401. Having an official NSF certification is a big selling point for Brita. It means that customers can trust Brita to remove these problem contaminants – and they don’t only have to rely on Brita’s word.
💲Water Filter Pitcher Models & Upfront Cost
Clearly Filtered Models
There’s just one
For many people, this capacity pitcher will do the job. Even for bigger families, the pitcher will simply require refilling once or twice, which is a quick and easy job.
Brita provides a much bigger variation of filter pitcher models, with 15 designs to choose from.
There are pitcher models in different shapes and styles, and with differing capacities. In most pitchers, however, you can use either the standard or the Longlast filter. This is really convenient, as it means you can choose a pitcher based on your preferred capacity or appearance, and still get your preferred filter, too.
See below for the full list of Brita’s current available models:
- Monterey with Longlast Filter
- Ultraslim Stream® Dispenser
- Ultramax Dispenser with Longlast Filter
- Stream® Cascade Pitcher
- Rapids Stream® Pitcher
📆 Filter Lifespan & Replacement Costs
Clearly Filtered’s filters have a lifespan of 100 gallons, equating to just over 4 months.
You can save money by buying filters in multipacks, rather than buying a single filter whenever you need a replacement.
The Clearly Filtered replacement cartridges aren’t the cheapest I’ve seen. A single filter costs $50, while a pack of three costs $140, and a pack of 6 costs $270.
Assuming you have three filters a year, that means you’ll be spending about $135 per year on replacement filters if you get the most savings with the 6-pack.
This is more expensive than the annual cost of replacement Brita filters (see below), but keep in mind that the
Brita’s standard filter has a 40 gallon lifespan, and needs to be replaced after approximately 2 months of use.
The quality of your tap water will determine the actual filter lifespan. The more contaminants your water contains, the faster it will clog the filters.
A single Brita water filter costs about $6, but again, I would recommend buying multiple filters together to save money. A pack of 3 filters costs around $15, and a pack of 6 costs about $25. This is great value – it means you’d only spend $25 per year on filter changes if you opted for the 6-pack.
Brita’s Longlast filters are the brand’s real selling point when it comes to filter lifespan. These filters have a 6-month lifespan, or a third longer than the
As you’d expect, the Brita Longlast filters are more expensive to replace. A single filter costs around $17, while you can buy a 2-pack of filters for $30. Still, this isn’t a bad price – it’s $5 more than the standard filter per year for a filter that offers a more thorough contaminant removal.
💬 Customer Reviews & Complaints
Customers are pleased with the
Clearly Filtered‘s ability to reduce such a broad range of contaminants. Many customers also noted the impressive filtration speed, and commented that their water tasted great.
Some reviewers complained about the initial price of the pitcher and the cost of the filter changes. Others said that the handle was a little flimsy, and commented that it would be handy if
As one of the most established water pitcher brands, Brita has amassed thousands of reviews over the years, and most of them are positive.
Customers are happy with how affordable and effective the Brita filters are. The majority of reviewers agree that purified water from Brita’s pitchers tastes great, and that it’s easy to install and replace the filters.
On a negative side, some customers experienced leaking with their Brita filter cartridges, and some commented that the Brita filter replacement indicator isn’t quite accurate.
☑️ Pros and Cons of
Clearly Filtered vs Brita Filter
Clearly Filtered – Pros
Good filter life of up to 4 months
Though Clearly Filtered’s filters don’t last as long as Brita’s, they still have an impressive filter lifespan compared to the average pitcher filter life (around 2 months).
Highly effective contaminant reduction
If you’re looking for faster access to clean drinking water, the
We know that the
Retains water’s natural minerals
What’s particularly impressive about the
Clearly Filtered – Cons
Replacement filter cartridges are expensive
Only one size and model available
While Brita has several models and capacities to choose from, there’s only one
Not actually NSF certified
👍 Brita – Pros
From a trusted brand
Brita is an established, trusted brand that has been around for years. You can rely on Brita’s products because they’ve been proven to work, and Brita has offered a consistently high quality of filtration devices since the 90s.
Suitable for smaller budgets
Brita’s products are particularly attractive to people with small budgets. You can spend less than $50 per year on filter changes, and the upfront filter costs are affordable, too. If you don’t want to invest in a more expensive filtration system, Brita’s pitchers are an ideal choice.
Longlast filters have great lifespans
If you choose to buy Brita’s Longlast offering, you won’t need to replace the filter for 6 months. This is the longest pitcher filter lifespan that I know of at the moment.
Brita has the advantage of an NSF certification for Standards 42 and 53 (the standard and Longlast filters) for chlorine and lead removal, and 401 (the Longlast filter). If you’re a first-time buyer or you just want the reassurance of third-party approval, Brita’s filters are a good choice.
👎 Brita – Cons
Not as thorough as
Brita’s standard filters can remove some of the most common drinking water contaminants, and the Longlast filters go one step further, also removing emerging contaminants and chemicals. But no Brita filter can match up to the
Won’t purify water
Brita’s filters aren’t designed to purify water, and it’s not safe to run untreated water through them. They’re only designed to filter tap water.
It takes Brita longer to filter water than the
❔ Should I Buy
Clearly Filtered or Brita?
If you’ve reached the end of this article and you’re still wondering which filter to buy, I recommend the Clearly Filtered for the following reasons:
- It reduces more than ten times the number of contaminants than Brita, while still retaining water’s healthy minerals.
- It comes in a single size that most people will find easiest to pour from and most suitable for countertop storing.
- It’s pretty fast for a gravity filter, even with such thorough contaminant reduction.
Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
In short, the
I don’t think the Brita pitcher is a bad choice by any means, and it has plenty of positive customer reviews to attest to that. If you’re just looking to reduce a few more common drinking water contaminants, and you like the idea of a filter that you only have to change twice a year, then the Brita is a filtration option to consider.
But if you want to protect your family and reduce as many drinking water contaminants as possible, the
If you still don’t know what’s right for you, check out customer reviews to see what people like you think about each of the filters.