Clearly Filtered and ZeroWater are two of the most popular brands for water filter pitchers in the US. If you’re caught between the two, this guide will help you determine which is best for you.
Table of Contents
- 🙇♀️ TL;DR Clearly Filtered or ZeroWater – Which is the Best?
- ⚖️ Clearly Filtered vs ZeroWater Comparison Chart
- 💡 Clearly Filtered vs ZeroWater Filter Comparison
- 🧫 What Contaminants Do They Remove?
- 🚦 Performance Comparison
- 💲 Models & Upfront Cost
- 📆 Filter Lifespan & Replacement Costs
- 💬 Customer Reviews & Complaints
- ☑️ Pros and Cons of Clearly Filtered vs ZeroWater
- 🤔 Should I Buy Clearly Filtered or ZeroWater?
- 🧠 FAQs
Clearly Filtered or ZeroWater – Which is the Best?
Clearly Filtered vs ZeroWater Comparison Chart
- Capacity: 0.62 gallons
- Contaminants removed: 360+
- Filter lifespan: 100 gallons/4 months
- Warranty: Lifetime guarantee
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- Capacity: 0.30 gallons – 0.75 gallons
- Contaminants removed: 23
- Filter lifespan: 20 gallons
- Warranty: 90/d (pitcher); 30/d (filter)
Clearly Filtered vs ZeroWater Filter Comparison
Clearly Filtered Filters
The first stage of filtration is a woven stainless steel mesh screen, which prevents larger particles from entering the filter and clogging it too quickly.
Next is a granulated coconut carbon filter, a loose filtration layer that targets aesthetic contaminants such as chlorine, tastes and odors.
The final stage is a composite shell layer, which consists of more than 7 proprietary filtration materials. This dense filtration layer gives water a long contact time with the filter media, allowing for “superior removal percentages” on a broad range of contaminants.
The ZeroWater filter offers five stages of filtration, and is designed to deliver pure-tasting water.
When you visit a product page on ZeroWater, it doesn’t actually tell you what the five stages of filtration are, which is not very helpful. You have to visit the “Why Choose ZeroWater” page to learn this information, which is a pretty bad decision on ZeroWater’s part – some customers may decide to leave the website if they can’t find the information they’re looking for straight away.
The first filter stage is a coarse filter screen, which removes large particles of sediment. There’s then a foam distributer, followed by an activated carbon and oxidation reduction alloy.
Next is the anion exchange bed. This contains both cation and anion ions, which remove dissolved ions in water and replace them with hydrogen and hydroxide ions, which combine together to produce H20 (water).
Finally, an ultra-fine screen and non-woven membrane layers remove any lingering contaminants.
Having five stages of filtration is certainly impressive, especially as the ZeroWater pitcher somehow manages to combine filter stages that are usually within their own dedicated filtration system, within a single filter cartridge.
The ZeroWater filters can reduce total dissolved solids (TDS) down to 0, and comes with a TDS meter to check that the filter is working properly.
🧫 What Contaminants Do They Remove?
When it comes to contaminant removal, the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher is an obvious winner. This pitcher filter can remove more than 360 harmful contaminants in drinking water, including lead, fluoride, BPA, and PFOS.
The ZeroWater pitcher filter, on the other hand, can remove a total of 23 contaminants – less than 10% of what the
The majority of the most common tap water contaminants are filtered out by the ZeroWater, but when deciding between the two, it’s a no-brainer. The
The table below shows the contaminants that both filters can remove:
|Contaminant||Clearly Filtered Removal %||ZeroWater Removal %|
|*247 other contaminants||not tested||varies|
Click the links below to see the full contaminant removal capability of each:
🚦 Performance Comparison
This pitcher’s oversized grip handle makes pouring easier, and a water dam inside the top reservoir prevents water from escaping through the lid when you pour clean water from the chamber below. This also prevents the tap water in the top reservoir from contaminating the purified water when you’re pouring.
A big bonus of the ZeroWater is that it’s NSF certified to reduce a number of contaminants. Having an NSF certification is a sign to customers that the ZeroWater filter has been deemed capable of offering the advertised standard of performance by a reliable, independent testing body.
The ZeroWater has been certified against NSF/ANSI Standard 42, for chlorine taste and odor reduction, and NSF/ANSI Standard 53, for lead, mercury and hexavalent chromium removal.
ZeroWater is advertised to reduce total dissolved solids (TDS) to 0, and it’s sold with a TDS meter that gives a reading of total dissolved solids after filtration. Total dissolved solids reduction can be a good sign, and the TDS meter is certainly a handy device to have. However, keep in mind that not all total dissolved solids (TDS) are bad for us.
Many beneficial minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, are seen as TDS. Removing these beneficial minerals doesn’t actually improve water quality.
I see this as bit of a shady marketing tactic, praying on people’s ignorance of the subject.
💲 Models & Upfront Cost
Clearly Filtered Models
The Clearly Filtered pitcher is available in just one capacity: 80 ounces, or 0.62 gallons. We should aim to drink half a gallon of water per day, so this pitcher can hold more than enough water for a single person’s daily water intake.
ZeroWater has a number of pitcher models and sizes to choose from:
- 6-Cup Water Filter Pitcher
- 7-Cup Ready-Pour Pitcher
- 10-Cup Ready-Pour Pitcher
- 10-Cup Ready-Pour Round Pitcher
- 10-Cup Pitcher
- 12-Cup Ready-Pour Pitcher
ZeroWater also offers larger pitcher dispensers that use the same filter cartridge but are designed to be more similar to countertop filters – they’re less portable and dispense water from a tap.
Comparing ZeroWater vs
However, unless you have a reason to need a particularly small or large pitcher, having only one choice with
📆 Filter Lifespan & Replacement Costs
You can buy
The ZeroWater filter, on the other hand, has a 20-gallon lifespan, though ZeroWater says that if the filter is used with water that has a lower TDS reading, it may last up to 40 gallons. Still, it’s a quarter of the
Replacement ZeroWater filters are a little cheaper than the
💬 Customer Reviews & Complaints
Customers are very happy with just how many contaminants the
Customers also say that the filter works speedily to filter water into the bottom chamber for drinking, and that water tastes great.
There aren’t a lot of complaints about the
ZeroWater’s customers are generally happy with the design of the pitchers, especially those with the ready-pour spout, which makes it easier to pour from them when they’re heavy and full of water. Customers say that the filter produces water that tastes great, and is just as enjoyable as bottled water. Customers also say that the pitcher is easy to wash between uses, and can be easily stored in the fridge.
However, a recurring complaint about the ZeroWater pitcher is to do with the quality of build.
Several customers mentioned that the pitcher had cracked or split, with others saying that the handle and base have sharp, unpolished edges and a poor-fitting filter change indicator.
One customer speculated that they had been given a replacement model that wasn’t the same as the one on the website, though there is no evidence to confirm the validity of this.
☑️ Pros and Cons of
Clearly Filtered vs ZeroWater
Clearly Filtered – What I Like
- Good filter life of up to 4 months
- Pitcher removes more than 200 harmful contaminants
- Greatly improves drinking water quality
- From a manufacturer with years of industry experience
- Reduces more contaminants than any other pitcher
- Fast filtration
Clearly Filtered – What I Didn’t Like
- Clearly Filtered replacement filter cartridges are expensive
- Only one size and model available
- Not actually NSF certified
👍 ZeroWater – What I Like
- Sold with a TDS meter for checking that the filter works
- Features 5 stages of filtration, including a carbon filter and an ion exchange resin
- Multiple styles and capacities to choose from
- From a reliable, trusted manufacturer
- The only pitcher to reduce TDS contaminants to 0
- NSF certified to standards 42 and 53
👎 ZeroWater – What I Didn’t Like
- TDS reduction isn’t an indication of water quality
- Misleading marketing tactics used to sell the product
- Less impressive filter life of 1 month
- Pitcher removes far fewer contaminants
🤔 Should I Buy
Clearly Filtered or ZeroWater?
Comparing ZeroWater vs
There are a few similarities between the
However, if water quality is important to you, and you want to make sure your drinking water is 100% safe to drink, you need the
Considering that the ZeroWater has five stages of filtration, it does make you wonder why it wouldn’t be capable of removing more than 23 contaminants. It seems that ZeroWater’s aim is to reduce TDS to 0 – the filter is even sold with a TDS meter so you can confirm this – without focusing on removing the dangerous contaminants and retaining the beneficial minerals.
With its longer filter life, a more thorough filtration process and more impressive contaminant reduction abilities, I would recommend buying the
Can I use both pitchers with hot water?
No. Both filters are designed for cold drinking water only.
Are both pitchers Free From BPA?
Yes, both filters are made from BPA-free plastic.
How do I know when to change the filter cartridges?
With the ZeroWater, you can use the TDS meter to analyze your water quality. If the TDS meter indicates that your water quality is getting worse, it’s a sign that you need to buy a replacement filter.
Can I clean and reuse the filter cartridges in these pitchers?
No. Both filter cartridges are single-use only, and you should recycle them and buy new cartridges when they have reached the end of their filter life.
How important is a TDS meter?
You might be wondering whether how useful the ZeroWater’s free TDS meter is. I would say that the importance of a TDS meter depends on the contaminants you want to remove. A TDS meter measures all contaminants in water, including those that don’t negatively affect water quality, such as alkaline minerals. A low reading on a TDS meter can be a good sign, but it also shows that health minerals have been filtered out, which you may prefer to retain in your water.