We set up and tested the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher on our city water supplies in Fort Collins and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Here’s what we learned about the pitcher’s contaminant removal abilities, ease of use, filtration rate, and more.
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Table of Contents
🧾 Overview of the
Clearly Filtered Water Filter Pitcher
The Clearly Filtered water filter pitcher uses gravity filtration to trap more than 365 contaminants commonly found in drinking water, including chlorine, lead, and fluoride. This water pitcher removes more contaminants than any other pitcher we’ve tested and has a WQA certification to support its performance claims, so we were keen to test it for ourselves and see how it performed when filtering our own water supply.
As a point-of-use system, the Clearly Filtered pitcher is intended as a drinking water filtration solution. The idea is that the system gradually filters water from the top reservoir into the lower reservoir. From here, you can pour from the pitcher as you would with a conventional jug. The Clearly Filtered pitcher is a standalone system that doesn’t need to be connected to a waterline or electricity, so it’s easier and more convenient to install than other point-of-use systems.
When we got the Clearly Filtered pitcher for testing, it was available in just one size: 10 cups, or 80 ounces. A new pitcher costs $90, including one initial filter cartridge. Compared to other filter pitchers we’ve tested, the price is around $20-$35 steeper, but then none of these other pitchers compare in terms of performance and contaminant removal. Clearly Filtered offers an Autoship subscription, which gives you a percentage discount on the pitcher upfront (bringing the price down to $81) and 10% savings on replacement filters (choose whether to receive the filters every 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 months). Our estimated annual spend on filter replacements was just under $140.
In our testing, the Clearly Filtered Water Filter Pitcher greatly improved the taste, smell, and overall quality of our water, offering a filtration performance that rivaled many of the reverse osmosis systems we tested. Despite being third-party tested to remove hundreds of tap water impurities, the pitcher retains healthy minerals, meaning that we still enjoyed the taste and health benefits of our water’s natural trace concentrations of calcium, magnesium, and sodium.
👍 What We Like
- Tested to remove more contaminants than any other filter pitcher we’ve reviewed
- No-install & suitable for rentals
- Easy to set up and use
- WAQ performance certified
- Retains healthy minerals
👎 What We Don’t Like
- Filter life is quite short
- Costlier than similar water filter pitchers
- Only one size/capacity to choose from
- No official performance certification
💡 First Impressions
|Certifications or Testing||NSF 42, 53, 244, 401 & 473|
|Holding Capacity||10 Cups|
|Filter Lifespan||100 gallons|
|Approx. Annual Cost||$150|
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Out of the box, the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher is a lightweight pitcher made from Tritan, a sturdy type of plastic that’s free from BPA, BPS, and other bisphenols. There’s just one size currently available, which holds up to 10 cups of water. We think this size is the sweet spot, being big enough to prevent the need for over-frequent refills, but small enough to fit comfortably inside our refrigerator door and be easy to pour from and carry around.
Our pitcher came with one initial filter (we could have also bought it a filter 3-pack or a filter 6-pack at a lower cost per filter). The pitcher itself has just two main parts: the pitcher outer body (with a pre-assembled handle) and the top reservoir and lid. We also received a reusable priming bag, which we needed for priming the filter.
Design-wise, there’s nothing about the Clearly Filtered pitcher that blew us away. It’s not trying to be the most technical or advanced system on the market in terms of its appearance or features. It doesn’t even have a filter countdown timer (something we do wish it had). The pitcher is NSF certified for lead-free design and is constructed for practicality and functionality first, which is exactly what we were looking for. Our main priority was to remove as many tap water contaminants as possible, and in this respect, the pitcher definitely delivers.
As with all of Clearly Filtered‘s products, the Clearly Filtered pitcher is backed by a lifetime limited warranty. We appreciated the reassurance of knowing that if we experienced any problems within the first 24 months of use, Clearly Filtered would replace the pitcher of charge.
🧪 Our Testing
We think performance is where the Clearly Filtered water pitcher excels. The unique design of the pitcher filters enables them to thoroughly and comprehensively remove more than 360 common tap water contaminants – plus traces of less common and difficult-to-remove impurities. The fact that it now has a WQA certification for its contaminant removal abilities is the cherry on top.
We were able to test the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher in our own homes to get our own take on how it lived up to our high performance expectations. As of yet, we haven’t been able to specifically test which contaminants the pitcher could remove from our water, but this is a project that’s in the pipeline, and we’ll update this review when we do. In the meantime, we have tested other important performance considerations, including water quality improvements and speed of filtration.
We’ve broken these down into different categories:
Our Water Quality
There are three key stages of the filtration process in the Clearly Filtered pitcher, all combined into a single filter cartridge. The manufacturer’s own Affinity Filtration technology makes its filters capable of reducing so much more than the average basic carbon filter. It’s almost comparable to reverse osmosis – though, unlike RO, the filters treat water without removing the beneficial minerals.
We were a little surprised to know that the main filtration media used in the Clearly Filtered pitcher filter is granulated coconut carbon. Activated carbon filtration technology uses adsorption to trap contaminants in the filter’s pores, but most carbon-based filter pitchers can only remove a handful of contaminants, including chlorine and some chemicals.
However, what makes the Clearly Filtered‘s filters unique is that their media is formulated with twists and turns, trapping a higher number of impurities than if water took the straight route through. This huge performance bonus makes Clearly Filtered‘s offering so much more effective than many of the other water filter pitchers on the market.
A woven stainless steel mesh screen and composite shell are also involved in the filtering stages of this system. The woven mesh screen prevents large particles from clogging up the activated carbon media and the composite shell allows water to have more contact with the media. There are also several other proprietary filtration materials that Clearly Filtered has chosen not to disclose (likely to prevent copycat pitchers from being produced by other brands).
When we learned how the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher was made, we were given one clear message: to expect the greatest improvement to our water quality after using the pitcher. And we weren’t disappointed. From our own perspective, our filtered drinking water had a noticeably improved taste and odor compared to our unfiltered tap water. The chlorine after-taste was gone, and our water tasted clean, fresh, and pure.
Since we were testing a gravity filter, we knew we wouldn’t get instant access to filtered water. Our water filtered slowly and steadily through the filter media, and in our eyes, this was a good thing – if water had filtered suspiciously quickly into the bottom compartment, we’d be concerned that it wasn’t getting enough contact time with the filter media.
That said, we did identify a few helpful design features that helped shave minutes off our wait time once we’d filled the top reservoir.
We noticed that the water dam in the top reservoir let us pour water out of the spout without unsettling any unfiltered water. That meant we could pour from the pitcher at any point without having to wait for the entire jug of water to be filtered, which took around 10-20 minutes for us (depending on how old the filter was).
We got into the habit of filling the pitcher first thing in the morning, then going about our morning chores. By the time we were ready to sit down with a drink, enough water had been filtered to fill several glasses. We topped up the pitcher up every time we poured from it, so there was always water filtering throughout the day. This worked well for our two-person household, but if you have a big family, the 10-cup capacity might be too small.
According to the manufacturer, the average filter lifespan for cartridges in the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher is 4 months. That’s up to double the average 2-3-month filter life for conventional pitchers – but could we enjoy a high-quality performance right up to the end of the filter’s lifespan?
We knew this would depend on a few factors, including the quality of our unfiltered water (i.e. the number of contaminants that the filter would need to remove, affecting how quickly the media would get clogged) and how much filtered drinking water we used per day. Remember, the 4-month filter life is an estimate by the manufacturer based on average water quality and daily use, which might not reflect your own situation.
In our own experience, we found that the filter worked well for the first 3 months, then the flow of water through the cartridge became noticeably slower for the last month. The filter wasn’t unusable, but we had to be more patient waiting for enough water to be filtered to fill a glass.
In all, we weren’t blown away in this performance category, but it met our expectations for a gravity filter of this kind.
📑 Filter Testing & Certifications
We know that for many folks, performance certifications are non-negotiable, and we get it: they offer the best reassurance that a water filter cartridge can live up to the manufacturer’s performance claims.
Recently, Clearly Filtered has obtained a WQA certification to NSF/ANSI Standard 42, for the reduction of aesthetic contaminants, and Standard 53, for the reduction of PFOA/PFOS. That reassured us that the pitcher was doing exactly what it was advertised to do, removing the contaminants that most affected our water quality.
The filter has also been third-party tested by QFT, a division of IAPMO, to remove more contaminants than any other water pitcher filter we’ve tested. These contaminants include 99.5% chlorine, 99.7% chloramine, PFAS, arsenic, lead, pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The filter can even reduce difficult contaminants like fluoride – pretty rare for water filter pitchers.
In the spirit of offering a balanced argument, we need to mention a key point to consider when reading through the testing datasheet:
Clearly Filtered can market its pitcher as being capable of removing so many contaminants because it has tested the filter for this number of contaminants. Most water pitchers are only actually tested to remove, say, two or three of the most well-known pesticides, and five VOCs. That’s not to say that these pitchers can’t also remove many more impurities in the “pesticides” or “VOCs” category – they just haven’t been tested to do so. So, Clearly Filtered has the advantage purely by testing for all of these contaminants, some of which are obscure and are not likely to be present in all water supplies.
To see the full list of contaminants reduced by Clearly Filtered, check out the table below.
|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%|
You can also check the full details on the company’s website here.
🔧Installation & Maintenance Considerations
While we’re happy to get stuck into a more complex filter install when necessary, we know that many people want something they can assemble in a matter of minutes. If that’s you, you should find that the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher ticks your boxes when it comes to setup.
After removing the pitcher and filter from the box and taking them out of their packaging, we filled the priming bag with cold water and twisted the filter onto the bag. Next, we squeezed the bag with both hands to force water through the filter. We then repeated the priming process once more. The priming bag came with our purchase and could be reused for all our replacement filters, and we personally found this process so much easier than having to soak and manually flush our filter before use, as with many of the other pitcher water filters we’ve tested.
We found the setup process to be self-explanatory, and we recommend water pitchers like the Clearly Filtered to anyone who’s DIY-averse and doesn’t want the hassle of installing a water filtration system at their water line.
As for maintenance, the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher isn’t the best water filter pitcher we’ve ever reviewed for average filter life, but it’s still better than most. The filter cartridges in the pitcher last up to 100 gallons, or 4 months. From our research, we found only a couple of pitcher filters that have a longer estimated lifespan: the Brita Elite filters and the ProOne Water Filter Pitcher filters, which can last up to 6 months.
Because these are high-quality filters, you should get your money’s worth out of them before they need replacing, but, as we mentioned earlier, there are some exceptions. If your water contains high concentrations of contaminants or you’re filtering a lot of water every day, you may need to replace the filters more frequently (as often as every 2 months).
One filter replacement cartridge costs around $45. We found that we could save quite a bit of money per filter by buying packs of cartridges – we recommend doing this if you plan to use this pitcher every day for the foreseeable future.
Our readers get 10% off at clearlyfiltered.com 👉 Click here to get your coupon.
🤔 Is the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher Right for You?
In our opinion, the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher is a good fit for anyone who wants a no-install water filtration solution that can remove as many contaminants as possible from their drinking water, and folks who don’t like to take manufacturers’ performance claims at face value and prefer the reassurance of an official WQA certification.
With that said, this water pitcher isn’t for everyone. It’s about twice the price of most other pitchers, and really, all you’re paying for is the filter’s ability to remove tens of different VOCs and chemicals that may not even be in your water.
It’s worth checking the Clearly Filtered’s contaminant removal data sheet and deciding whether you want the reassurance of a pitcher that can remove hundreds of contaminants, or whether you’re happy to spend less on a pitcher that has been tested to remove a smaller group of common impurities.
Check your most recent Water Quality Report, make a list of all the contaminants your water contains, and decide on a suitable water filtration solution from there.
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