Clearly Filtered vs Brita: A Data-Driven Analysis & Comparison

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Clearly Filtered and Brita water filter pitchers are popular solutions for folks who want to drink clean water without the difficult install, 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 outlines all the facts, helping you make a decision with confidence, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve tested the Brita Elite pitcher and the Clearly Filtered pitcher in our own homes, bringing you real data across all the important testing categories.  

At the end, we’ve shared which filters we recommend for different situations, so you can decide which – if any – is best for you.

While Clearly Filtered and Brita are both solid choices from reputable brands in the water filter industry, the Clearly Filtered pitcher reduces far more contaminants when compared to Brita (according to the results of our own at-home water quality testing). However, Brita is certified to reduce more contaminants and is significantly cheaper than Clearly Filtered.

📊 Our Testing Data

We ranked the Clearly Filtered and Brita Elite pitchers by combining their individual scores across 6 different testing categories. Here are the scores we awarded to the pitchers, and how they compared:

FactorClearly FilteredBrita
Contaminant Reduction8.244.29
Filtration Rate10.0010.00

Each of our testing category scores was awarded based on our analysis of several sub-category performance factors.
Find the individual test scores for Brita and Clearly Filtered in the table below.

FactorClearly FilteredBritaWinner
Overall Score8.786.59Clearly Filtered
Health Related Contaminants8.303.50Clearly Filtered
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.909.90Tie
Performance CertificationNSF/ANSI 42 & 53NSF/ANSI 42, 53 & 401Brita
Filtration Rate2.27 GPH2.92 GPHBrita
Component QualityOutstandingFairClearly Filtered
Component CertificationNSF/ANSI 42, 53, 372NSF/ANSI 42, 53Clearly Filtered
Servicing RequirementsOutstandingOutstandingTie
Costs$0.55/ gal$0.17/ galBrita
Warranty Length2 years1 yearTie
ShippingFree shipping to all states$35 order thresholdClearly Filtered
Returns30 days30 daysTie

🚰 Contaminant Reduction

To evaluate the validity of Clearly Filtered and Brita’s performance claims, we tested the filters’ ability to reduce contaminants in our own treated groundwater supply. 

We also looked for performance certifications from official organizations, which are more meaningful and influential than third-party test data.  

Our Lab Test Results

We tested an unfiltered sample of our tap water, then filtered the water through the Clearly Filtered and Brita Elite pitchers before testing it again. 

We used the Tap Score city water test, by SimpleLab, which provided us with reports listing the concentrations of contaminants detected in our water. 

water testing with tap score

Here’s what the report detected in our water. You can also see how effectively the Brita and Clearly Filtered pitchers reduced these contaminants. 

ContaminantMeasurementUnfiltered WaterClearly Filtered% ChangeBrita% Change
Nitrate (as N)PPM3.53.1-11.43%3.3-5.71%

The Clearly Filtered pitcher got the best score from us here, which we expected given its much more extensive contaminant reduction claims. 

Health-Related Contaminants

Our unfiltered water contained 8 contaminants with possible health effects, including 2 – fluoride and uranium – that were detected in concentrations higher than the Tap Score MCL.

First, we wanted to see how Clearly Filtered and Brita compared when reducing these contaminants. 


The Clearly Filtered pitcher did a much better job of reducing almost every health-related contaminant in our water. It reduced 100% of fluoride and uranium, as well as 100% copper, 86% barium, 67% strontium, 53% molybdenum, 11% nitrate, and just 3% sulfate. 

However, we did notice an anomaly with our results: cobalt concentrations in our filtered water increased to 0.0054 PPM (from 0 PPM initially). We can’t determine a definite cause for this outcome, especially since the filter’s third-party test data says it can reduce >98.31% of this heavy metal. We’re planning on testing our filtered water once more, and we’ll update this review to let you know whether this unusual result occurs again. 

The Brita Elite pitcher reduced 0% fluoride, and it only reduced 26% uranium, so it did a poorer job of tackling the contaminants detected above the HGL in our water. It also reduced just 13% strontium, and 17% molybdenum, as well as 5% nitrate, putting it behind the Clearly Filtered pitcher in general. 

However, it did do slightly better at reducing barium by 100%, and it’s 97% copper reduction wasn’t far off Clearly Filtered’s. Our test detected an additional 0.1 PPM of sulfate in our filtered water, but we don’t think this small difference points to an issue with the filter.  

So it’s clear that Brita was less impressive statistically here, but it’s important to note that Brita hasn’t been tested or certified to reduce many of these contaminants, and Brita also doesn’t claim that its filters can reduce fluoride, nitrate, uranium, and many of the other impurities in our water. We strongly recommend testing your water before you invest in a water filter. Brita might be all you need if your water just contains a few metal ions and chlorine, while Clearly Filtered is the more comprehensive solution. 

Aesthetic Contaminants

Around 1 PPM of chlorine was detected in our unfiltered water, and the Brita Elite and Clearly Filtered pitchers both reduced this chemical down to undetectable trace concentrations. 

unfiltered vs brita elite chlorine test

We expected this result given that both pitchers use some form of activated carbon media in their filters. AC is well known for its ability to effectively reduce chlorine, tastes, and odors. 

Clearly Filtered Pitcher chlorine test

Minerals & pH 

We tested a few water filter pitchers, and we were surprised by how many of them reduced the healthy minerals in our water – even ones that claimed they retained these minerals. 

The Clearly Filtered pitcher was one of these. In our testing, it reduced calcium by 32% and magnesium by 64%, as well as sodium by 48%. 

This wasn’t the worst outcome we recorded – some pitchers with ion exchange resins reduced up to 100% of these minerals – but it was still an unexpected result, since Clearly Filtered claims that it doesn’t remove beneficial minerals. Our water’s pH actually increased from 7.4 to 8.

The Brita Elite filter didn’t reduce the calcium and magnesium concentrations in our water, which we were pleased to see. 

While a healthy person doesn’t need to obtain these minerals from their drinking water, we still prefer our water to contain trace minerals because of their taste and health benefits. 

Performance Certifications

Alongside their third-party testing data, Clearly Filtered and Brita have both obtained performance certifications for their filters. But Brita is certified to reduce more contaminants, so it got the higher score here. 

The Clearly Filtered pitcher has a WQA certification to NSF/ANSI Standard 42, for chlorine reduction, and Standard 53, for the reduction of PFOA and PFOS. That means it’s certified to reduce 3 out of the 365 contaminants that the manufacturer claims to reduce

The Brita Elite pitcher has been certified by the WQA and IAMPO to NSF Standards 42, 53, and 401, for the reduction of 15 out of the 33 contaminants listed on the performance data sheet

While Brita is best here, we think both manufacturers should get their pitchers certified to reduce tens more contaminants.  

Read our comprehensive guide on water filter certifications to learn more.

🚦Filtration Rate

The Clearly Filtered and Brita Elite pitchers are gravity filters, but both were pretty quick to filter our water in our testing.
See the filtration rates we recorded for both systems, measured in gallons per hour (GPH), in the next table.

ProductFiltration Rate ScoreFiltration Rate
Clearly Filtered10.002.27 GPH
Brita10.002.92 GPH

The Brita Elite pitcher’s flow rate was slightly faster, at 2.92 GPH, based on its ability to filter 0.391 gallons of water in 8:01 minutes.

The Clearly Filtered pitcher wasn’t far off – we calculated its filtration rate at 2.27 GPH, after it filtered 0.5 gallons of water in 13 minutes and 12 seconds. 

Filling a Clearly Filtered water filter pitcher in the sink

We think the reason why the Brita Elite is slightly faster comes down to filter design. The Elite filter uses fewer different media and is less complex than the Clearly Filtered filter, so water can follow a straighter path and filtration rate isn’t reduced as much. 

Both filters were fairly new when we tested them, so our calculated filtration rates were only accurate at our time of testing. We suspect both filters will filter water more slowly over time as contaminants build up on the media. 

💲 Upfront Cost

The Brita Elite pitcher can be used in a few different Brita filter pitchers (we’ve discussed the available models later). We went for the 10-Cup Tahoe pitcher, which cost $41.99 including the initial filter

The Clearly Filtered pitcher cost $90 for a one-time purchase of the pitcher and first filter, but we could have received a discount if we subscribed to Autoship for replacement filters.

Brita is the better filter of choice if your budget is small and you prefer to spend as little as possible on a water filter pitcher. Clearly Filtered is the more expensive option, which makes sense given its better filtering performance. 

ProductPriceFilters Included
Clearly Filtered pitcher$90.001
Brita Elite pitcher (10-Cup Tahoe)$41.991

📐 Design

Clearly Filtered and Brita both use plastics in their pitcher designs, but we identified a few key design differences between the two. 

We awarded the pitchers’ design scores as follows: 

ProductDesign ScoreComponent QualityMaterials Safety
Clearly Filtered9.70OutstandingCertified

The Clearly Filtered pitcher got the best design score from us because we felt that it had a better-quality design than the Brita Elite.  

Filter Models

Clearly Filtered sells just 1 pitcher: the 10-cup Filtered Water Pitcher. 

Clearly filtered pitcher parts

Brita currently sells a small selection of pitchers, as well as a larger dispenser, that can be used with the Elite filter:

Brita’s current available models on Amazon and other third-party websites may be slightly different. Many sites sell discontinued Brita pitchers that can usually still be used with Brita’s new filters (make sure to double-check before you buy). 

holding brita elite filter next to pitcher

Most Brita systems can be used with either the Elite filter or the Standard filter (Brita’s more affordable filter option that has a shorter lifespan and doesn’t reduce lead). They’re all made from plastic and come in a few different colors. 

What might sway you towards Brita here is that you get the choice of different water-holding capacities. For instance, if you’re a smaller household or want a pitcher that you can take with you when you travel, Brita’s 6-Cup Denali Water Pitcher might be better than Clearly Filtered’s single 10-cup offering. 

Component Quality 

The Clearly Filtered pitcher impressed us more than Brita with its design quality. 

The pitcher is made from BPA-free Tritan plastic, and it felt sturdier, better-made, and more solid than many of the other pitchers we tested, including the Brita Elite. 

Our Brita filter felt like it was made out of the same type of plastic as most other pitchers we’ve reviewed. This plastic felt thinner and more brittle, so we weren’t quite as pleased with Brita’s design quality. 

Brita says its pitchers are made from polypropylene and SAN (Styrene acrylonitrile resin). 

Both Clearly Filtered and Brita use plastics that are considered safe for food and water storage purposes, but we acknowledge that some people may be looking to steer clear of plastics as much as possible. 

You may prefer a stainless steel countertop water filter or a glass water filter pitcher, although these materials tend to make products more expensive and don’t have the portability benefits of plastic. 

Filter Materials

Brita’s filter design is a lot simpler than Clearly Filtered’s – hence why Brita only targets a small selection of contaminants, while Clearly Filtered claims to reduce hundreds. 

The primary filter media used in the Clearly Filtered pitcher filter is carbon block. This is combined with a woven stainless steel mesh screen and composite shell, which work together to reduce contaminants, prevent clogging in the activated carbon media, and extend water’s contact time with the media. 

Holding a Clearly Filtered water filter pitcher replacement cartridge

The filter is formulated with hundreds of twists and turns, increasing its contaminant reduction effectiveness. There are a few other proprietary materials used in the filter, but Clearly Filtered has chosen to keep quiet about what these are. We think that the filter may use an ion exchange resin, and possibly also KDF media, judging by the contaminants it can reduce.

The Brita Elite filters also use activated carbon media, but that’s about the extent of their commonalities with the Clearly Filtered filter elements. Carbon is actually the only filter media that Brita mentions for the Elite filters, so adsorption is the primary filtration method used to trap contaminants. 

Both systems use plastic housing to contain the filter media. 

Materials Safety Certification

Clearly Filtered and Brita are both certified for materials safety as components of their performance certifications, so we awarded them the top score here.

A bonus of the Clearly Filtered pitcher’s design is that it’s also WQA certified to NSF Standard 372, for lead-free design, which provides a bit of extra quality assurance. 

⚙️ Setup

A huge benefit of water filter pitchers like the Clearly Filtered and Brita Elite is that they’re super simple to set up. 

Still, one of these pitchers was quicker and easier to get started with than the other. See our results below. 

ProductSetup ScoreSetup Time
Clearly Filtered9.50Less than 10 minutes
Berkey9.50Less than 10 minutes

The main setup tasks for the Clearly Filtered and Brita pitchers are: 

  1. Unbox the pitcher and reservoir, then wash them out in warm water with soap. 
  2. Prepare the filter following the manufacturer’s instructions. 
  3. Insert the filter into the reservoir and fill it with water, ready to filter. 

Both pitchers were easy to set up, but the Clearly Filtered pitcher needed more initial work because we had to prime the filter with the included priming bag. But this was easy enough, and took less than 10 minutes from start to finish. 

Setup for the Brita Elite filter was quicker and easier because its filter didn’t need to be primed – we just held it under running water for 30 seconds. We also set the filter indicator light by pressing and holding the button down. 

Related Article: What to do when your Brita pitcher indicator light isn’t working

🔧 Maintenance

We were also keen to see which pitcher was the easiest and most affordable to maintain. 

Here’s how we scored the Clearly Filtered and Brita pitchers in this category. 

ProductMaintenance ScoreServicing RequirementsCosts
Berkey8.75Outstanding$0.55/ gal
ProOne Big+9.75Outstanding$0.17/ gal

In this case, Brita did best because of its cheaper ongoing spend. 

Servicing Requirements 

The primary maintenance tasks for Clearly Filtered and Brita were just repeats of our setup tasks: 

  1. Replacing the filter and following the priming/flushing instructions to prepare the new filter for use. 
  2. Washing out the pitcher and reservoir to keep them clean (we did this at least once a week). 

The Brita Elite filter has the better capacity of up to 120 gallons (Brita says this equates to around 6 months), while Clearly Filtered’s filter lasts up to 100 gallons (or up to 4 months). The lifespan measured in time is dependent on the quality of the water being filtered.  

Maintenance Costs

The Brita Elite filter is one of the most affordable filter pitchers we tested, with an ongoing filter cost of just $0.17 per gallon. The filter’s long lifespan definitely helps, here, and replacement filters are affordable despite being marketed to last up to 3x as long as other pitcher filters.

The Clearly Filtered pitcher, on the other end, is on the top end of the price scale compared to the other pitchers we’ve used. The Clearly Filtered replacement cartridges have a cost per gallon of $0.55, making the pitcher over double the cost of the Brita pitcher to maintain. 

In terms of value for money, we think both filters are pretty equal here. However, it’s worth knowing what your water contains, because you may not need to spend extra on the Clearly Filtered pitcher if you only need to reduce a few contaminants that Brita targets perfectly well. 

🏢 Company

We know the value of buying a water filter from a good company. You want to be certain that your chosen manufacturer has some form of warranty offering, and you might have specific expectations in mind when it comes to shipping and returns. 

Here’s how Clearly Filtered and Brita compare as companies. 

ProductCompany ScoreWarranty LengthShippingReturns
Clearly Filtered9.002 yearsFree shipping, all orders to all states30 days
Brita8.501 yearFree shipping on orders $35 or more30 days

Both did similarly in this category, but we gave the better overall score to Clearly Filtered because of its better warranty and shipping offerings. 

Warranty Length 

Brita’s 1-year warranty is great – in comparison, most other water filter pitcher brands we’ve reviewed offer 30-90-day warranties. 

But Clearly Filtered is the ultimate winner, warranting its pitchers for 24 months from the day of purchase. 


Clearly Filtered wins this category too, offering free shipping to all customers anywhere in the US, with no minimum spend needed. 

Brita has a minimum spend of $35 for free shipping. While most of Brita’s pitchers cost more than this anyway, it’s worth being aware that you may have to pay for shipping in the future if you plan to buy replacement filters directly from the manufacturer. 

Our Tip: Avoid Brita’s shipping fees by buying your replacement filters from a distributor or big box store, like Amazon or Walmart.


Clearly Filtered has a 30-day satisfaction guarantee for its customers, and Brita’s returns period is the same: 30 days. 

⛔️ System Setbacks & Flaws

We were generally pleased with the Clearly Filtered and Brita Elite filters for different reasons, but we also identified a few setbacks of these systems that we want to compare here. 

Clearly Filtered Setbacks

  • Reduces healthy minerals – Clearly Filtered claims that it doesn’t remove healthy minerals, but calcium and magnesium were reduced in our water during our testing.
  • Cobalt concentrations increased  – We’re concerned that the Clearly Filtered pitcher added cobalt to our water since it was detected in our filtered water test only.
  • Only certified to reduce 3 contaminants – Given how many contaminants Clearly Filtered has tested its pitcher to reduce, we think it could obtain more extensive certifications.
  • Filter needed priming – While we didn’t find priming the filter difficult, it did extend our setup time slightly compared to Brita. 
  • Expensive – The Clearly Filtered pitcher isn’t as budget-friendly as Brita.

Brita Setbacks

  • Reduced fewer contaminants – In our testing, the Brita Elite did a poorer job at reducing contaminants compared to Clearly Filtered. 
  • Potential for biofilm buildup in the filter – Brita Elite filters last up to 6 months, and we’re concerned about bacteria and biofilm buildup in the filter media given that the filters can’t be cleaned or washed. 
  • Poorer-quality design – We thought our Brita pitcher didn’t feel as sturdy or well-made as Clearly Filtered’s. 

🆚 Clearly Filtered or Brita: Which is Best?

There are many things that we like about Clearly Filtered and Brita, but we don’t think either of the two is the best solution for everyone.

Here’s our advice on when to choose one pitcher over the other:

Choose the Clearly Filtered Pitcher If:

You prefer to target a greater range of contaminants at a higher cost.
You value long warranties and want to go with a manufacturer that offers free shipping, with no minimum spend.
You want a pitcher with the sturdiest design that’s the most likely to stand the test of time, or you’re specifically looking for a pitcher made from Tritan plastic.

Go For the Brita Elite Pitcher If:

You prefer the fact that Brita has performance certifications to reduce more contaminants.
You have a smaller budget or just want to spend less money on a water filter pitcher.
You don’t want to reduce healthy minerals in your water.
  • 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.

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