LARQ vs ZeroWater: A Data Driven Comparison

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

LARQ and ZeroWater are two water filter pitchers with their own unique performance features: the LARQ PureVis pitcher protects filtered water from pathogens with a built-in UV wand, and the ZeroWater pitcher reduces TDS (total dissolved solids) down to 0. 

We’ve tested both systems ourselves, using our own objective performance data and subjective analysis to compare them across numerous testing categories. We consolidated our notes in this detailed LARQ vs ZeroWater comparison. 

In our testing, ZeroWater reduced the most contaminants, but its performance wasn’t perfect: disinfection byproducts were detected in our filtered water. LARQ also reduced many contaminants, but not as effectively. However, it offered protection against pathogens in our filtered water – a unique benefit that ZeroWater didn’t have.

📊 Our Testing Data

At Water Filter Guru, we’ve made it our mission to test and review as many water filters as possible. 

We currently use the same scoring system for all the water filters we assess. This involves putting the filters through a series of tests to score them across 6 different factors that impact their performance, quality, and overall value. We’ve shared LARQ and ZeroWater’s scores in the next table. 

Contaminant Reduction8.148.34
Filtration Rate7.0010.00

The table below shares a more comprehensive insight into all the data that was used to obtain the overall performance scores for the pitchers. 

Overall Score8.218.62ZeroWater
Health Related Contaminants8.308.30Tie
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.909.90Tie
Performance CertificationNoneNSF 42, 53ZeroWater
Filtration Rate0.60 GPH2.62 GPHZeroWater
Component QualityOutstandingFairLARQ
Component CertificationNoneNSF/ANSI 42, 53 & 372ZeroWater
Servicing RequirementsExceptionalOutstandingLARQ
Costs$0.54/ gal$0.70/ galLARQ
Warranty Length1 year90 days (vessels), 30 days (filters)LARQ
Shipping$80 order threshold$60 order thresholdZeroWater
Returns30 daysNoneLARQ

🚰 Contaminant Reduction

The critical performance element that a water filter has to get right is contaminant reduction. 

We wanted to see how effectively the LARQ PureVis and ZeroWater pitchers performed in this category. And that meant looking beyond their performance claims to test data that we knew for certain was real and valid. 

To do this, we tested the water filtered through each pitcher to see how they improved our own water quality. We also searched WQA, NSF, or IAPMO databases to see if the pitchers had any official performance certifications for reducing certain contaminants. 

Our Lab Test Results

We tested our water with Tap Score tests by SimpleLab, which delivered our test results in the form of an interactive report. 

water testing with tap score

Our test water was treated water from a shared well, so it contained a few contaminants that are typically found in groundwater.  

Tap Score has established its own Health Guideline Levels (HGLs), which are stricter than the federal MCLs, and we used these to evaluate the safety of the impurities detected in our water. 

You can find our test data in the next table. 

ContaminantMeasurementUnfiltered WaterLARQ% ChangeZeroWater% Change
Nitrate (as N)PPM3.52.8-20.00%0-100.00%

Both pitchers did well at reducing contaminants in general, but the ZeroWater had the overall higher % of contaminants reduced. 

Health-Related Contaminants

We started by looking at the health-related contaminants detected in our water, and how LARQ and ZeroWater compared in reducing these. 

There were 8 contaminants with possible health effects listed in our test report, and we were the most concerned about 2 of these: fluoride and uranium, which were detected at levels exceeding the HGL.

See the table below for the full list of health-related contaminants detected. 


Starting with the contaminants present above the HGLs:

  • The LARQ PureVis pitcher reduced 100% uranium, but 0% fluoride. LARQ doesn’t claim fluoride reduction, so we weren’t surprised by this outcome, even if we were a little disappointed. 
  • ZeroWater reduced 100% fluoride and uranium, which is exactly what we wanted to see. 

As for the other health-related contaminants:

  • LARQ reduced 100% barium, strontium, and molybdenum, as well as 97% copper, 88% sulfate, and 20% nitrate.
  • Like LARQ, ZeroWater reduced 100% barium, strontium, and molybdenum, and 97% copper. It also did better at reducing 100% nitrate and sulfate. 

Their performances were similar, but ZeroWater did better overall, and we recommend it over LARQ if you specifically want to reduce fluoride or nitrate. 

Aesthetic Contaminants

We used a chlorine test strip to test our water at home, and 1 PPM of chlorine was detected. This affected our aesthetic score as chlorine is considered an aesthetic contaminant – it can impact water’s taste and smell

LARQ and ZeroWater both use activated carbon filter media, so we were unsurprised (but pleased!) to see that they both reduced 100% chlorine.  

Minerals & Ions

Our preference with a water filter pitcher is to reduce contaminants that could be harmful to our health while retaining healthy trace minerals and salts. 

But some of the water filter pitchers we tested surprised us by reducing healthy minerals, even though we typically only associate mineral loss with purification systems (like reverse osmosis).

Both LARQ and ZeroWater reduced beneficial minerals in our water: 

  • The PureVis pitcher reduced calcium by 83%, magnesium by 93%, and sodium by 50%. It also increased potassium from 0 PPM to 77.3 PPM. We think it uses a cation exchange resin, which exchanges potassium with other unwanted ions (as well as these minerals). 
  • The ZeroWater pitcher reduced 100% of magnesium and sodium, and 99% of calcium. This was less surprising to us given that the filter is supposed to reduce dissolved solids, and minerals contribute to TDS. 

Mineral reduction isn’t a ranking factor in our testing.

Performance Certifications

Performance certifications give us insight into a water filter’s performance beyond what we can gather with our own data. 

We can only test a filter’s ability to reduce the contaminants detected in our own water. So it’s helpful to know what else a filter has been officially certified to reduce. 

The LARQ pitcher only has third-party testing data, which is helpful to reference but not as reassuring as official performance certifications. 

The ZeroWater pitcher has NSF certifications to Standard 42, for reducing chlorine tastes and odors, and Standard 53, for reducing mercury, lead, PFOA, PFOS, and hexavalent chromium. It got the better score in this category, although still not the best, because it’s only certified to reduce a fraction of the contaminants that the manufacturer claims it can reduce.

🚦Filtration Rate

We timed how long it took for water to be filtered in the ZeroWater and LARQ pitchers, then used this data to compare their filtration rates. 

You can see our scores for both systems in the next table.

ProductFiltration Rate ScoreFiltration Rate
LARQ7.000.60 GPH
ZeroWater10.002.62 GPH

The LARQ PureVis pitcher filtered 0.281 gallons of water in 28 minutes and 6 seconds. It had the slowest filtration rate of all the water filter pitchers we tested*: just 0.60 GPH.

In comparison, the ZeroWater pitcher’s filtration rate was over 2 GPH faster: 2.62 GPH. It filtered 0.391 gallons of water in 8 minutes and 56 seconds. It was on the other end of the scale in our testing, as one of the fastest water filter pitchers we used.

*2.30 GPM was the average filtration rate of the 8 pitchers we tested. 

Since LARQ’s filtration media doesn’t appear to be particularly advanced or complex, we’re not sure why its filtration rate was so much slower than ZeroWater’s. 

We tested both filters when they were fairly new, and we know it’s normal for filtration rate to reduce over time, as the filter becomes saturated with contaminants. This leads us to wonder how much slower the LARQ pitcher may become, and how this could affect our access to filtered water. 

💲 Upfront Cost

We noticed a big difference between the upfront cost of the LARQ and ZeroWater pitchers, too. 

The LARQ PureVis pitcher cost $139 when we got it to test. This included the first filter. (Important: we upgraded to the Advanced filter, which is more effective than the Essential filter and adds around $7 onto the total cost.) 

So far, LARQ is the most expensive water filter pitcher brand we’ve encountered. Most pitchers cost less than $100, and many even cost within $50 – including the ZeroWater 12-Cup Ready-Pour Pitcher, which cost $39.99 at the time of our review. 

While LARQ doesn’t offer much more than ZeroWater in terms of filtration and contaminant reduction, it is the only pitcher we’ve come across that uses UV light to sterilize the pitcher vessel and protect the filtered water from pathogens. 

If you think you’ll get a lot of value from this feature, then you might feel that spending $100 more than you would for ZeroWater is justified. It depends on your budget and your expectations. 

It’s also worth factoring in ongoing value for money. We think one of the reasons why ZeroWater is priced affordably is that its filter lifespan is pretty terrible (we’ve discussed this in more detail later). That means you’ll need to buy a replacement filter for the pitcher much more frequently than you would for LARQ.

LARQ PureVis$139.00
ZeroWater 12-Cup Ready-Pour Pitcher$39.99

📐 Design

The key design components of LARQ and ZeroWater are the same. Their only real differences are their water-holding capacities (LARQ holds 8 cups, while the ZeroWater pitcher we tested holds 12 cups), and the fact that the LARQ pitcher also features a UV wand. 

Here’s how the two systems compared in their design quality.

ProductDesign ScoreComponent QualityMaterials Safety
LARQ8.10OutstandingNot certified

It was close competition in this category, but ZeroWater’s overall design score was slightly higher because it has a materials safety certification. 

Filter Models

There’s only one LARQ pitcher model: the 8-cup PureVis pitcher, available in clear/blue and clear/white. 

ZeroWater’s water filter pitcher and dispenser range is much more extensive and includes:

ZeroWater might appeal to you more if you like having lots of choices or you want to upgrade to a dispenser. There’s also the option to go for the glass dispenser if you want to avoid plastics in your pitcher design.

zerowater pitcher and dispensers on countertop table

But if you’re just looking for a conventional water filter pitcher in terms of size and design materials, the LARQ pitcher should suit your needs.  

LARQ Pure-Vis Advanced pitcher components

Component Quality 

There are advantages of using cheaper plastics to make water filter pitchers: they’re lightweight, moldable, less likely to crack or shatter than glass, and help keep costs low. But plastic can also feel flimsier and cheaper than other materials, which affects the system’s quality and durability. 

We did have a few issues with the quality of some of the water filter pitchers we tested, including the ZeroWater pitcher. It’s made from BPA-free polypropylene and ABS (a terpolymer), and we noted that it felt thinner, more brittle, and cheaper than the LARQ pitcher. 

The LARQ pitcher was one of two systems (the other one was the Clearly Filtered pitcher) that felt sturdier, thicker, and better quality than the other pitchers we tested. The pitcher itself is made from BPA-free ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and SMMA (styrene methyl methacrylate copolymer), while the filter is made from polypropylene.

Issues & Setbacks With Plastics

Both water filter pitchers are predominantly made from plastic. 

We’ve done a lot of research on plastics and the potential for bisphenols and microplastics leaching, and we think this is a possibility that can’t be completely ruled out when using a water filter pitcher. 

For instance, all the pitchers we tested use BPA-free materials, but this 2020 study led by the University of Missouri noted that other bisphenols used instead, like BPS, also have serious health effects and “still aren’t safe for people to use”. 

We also found evidence that UV exposure increases the leaching or formation of “problematic plastic-associated substances”. This made us concerned about the safety of using UV light in the LARQ pitcher. But we couldn’t find any evidence that UV exposure causes plastic leaching from ABS and SMMA (the two plastics used in the LARQ pitcher). 

As we mentioned, ZeroWater sells a glass dispenser, which uses the same filter as its plastic pitchers, and you may prefer this option if you want to reduce your water’s contact with plastic (the filters themselves still contain plastic). 

Filter Materials & Media

The design of the filter used in a water pitcher affects several factors, including filtration rate, filter lifespan, and the contaminants that can be removed. 

Generally, the more comprehensive the filter design, and the more filter media that are used, the more thorough and effective the filtration process.

We noticed differences in performance between LARQ and ZeroWater, and we think this was due to their unique filter designs.  

LARQ only discloses one media that’s used in the PureVis Advanced filter: activated carbon. Since the filter reduced uranium, barium, and other contaminants that activated carbon alone can’t address, we think it also uses an ion exchange resin.

Although not part of the filter itself, we also want to mention the LARQ pitcher’s UV wand, since it’s their unique selling point and a design feature we haven’t seen on any other water filter pitcher. The filtered water gets treated with UV light, which ensures microorganisms don’t build up in the pitcher vessel, reducing the need for regular cleaning.

The ZeroWater 5-Stage Filter also uses activated carbon media, alongside cation and anion exchange resins. These media are combined with three layers of physical filtration. The filter’s comprehensive design explains ZeroWater’s ability to reduce TDS down to 0. 

Filtering water with zerowater filter

Materials Safety Certification

We put a lot of value on materials safety certifications, and they’re one of our two scoring criteria within the design category. If a filter is certified for materials safety, it tells us that a trusted third-party organization has tested the system and confirmed that its design materials are safe for their intended use. 

The LARQ PureVis pitcher currently isn’t certified for materials safety. 

ZeroWater, which does have a materials safety certification as a component of its NSF certifications, got the better score here. 

⚙️ Setup

LARQ and ZeroWater are both great choices for folks who want a water filter that’s quick and easy to install. 

The pitchers got high scores for setup, but ZeroWater was the winner in this category. Take a look at our scores below. 

ProductSetup ScoreSetup Time
LARQ9.00Around 15 to 20 minutes
ZeroWater9.50Less than 10 minutes

We followed the same setup process for the LARQ PureVis and ZeroWater pitchers, give or take a few unique setup requirements for each system.

For both pitchers, we started by unboxing and washing the pitcher and reservoir, then left them to dry.

The filter prep process varied slightly between the two. 

ZeroWater was the easiest at this stage because we didn’t have to soak it, prime it, or hold it under running water. We could just install it and use it straight away. 

LARQ’s filter was still easy to set up, but it took longer because we had to soak in water for 10 minutes. 

The ZeroWater pitcher was now ready to be used, but we still had a few additional tasks for the LARQ pitcher: 

  • We charged the UV wand overnight.
  • We also planned to downloaded the LARQ app on our iPad (it’s currently not compatible with Android devices), which allowed us to track our filter life and UV battery remotely. We could also track our water usage and make sure we were staying hydrated, which was a unique benefit of the LARQ pitcher. 
  • We set the pitcher’s filter replacement timer.
  • We filtered and discarded our first batch of water.

🔧 Maintenance

Again, maintenance differed slightly between LARQ and ZeroWater because of LARQ’s additional UV feature. 

Here’s how we scored the filters in this category. 

ProductMaintenance ScoreServicing RequirementsCosts
LARQ9.00Exceptional$0.54/ gal
ZeroWater8.25Outstanding$0.70/ gal

Despite its extra maintenance requirements, LARQ got higher scores than ZeroWater here. 

Servicing Requirements 

For both pitchers, we had to replace the filter at the end of its lifespan.

We had to soak our LARQ filter, then filter and discard the first batch of water, as we’d done in the setup process. Again, ZeroWater’s filter could be unboxed and used instantly, which was a big bonus.

However, what let ZeroWater down was its frequency of servicing.  

The LARQ PureVis Advanced filter has a 60-gallon capacity and lasts up to 3 months, while ZeroWater’s capacity ranges from 8 to 40 gallons, depending on your water quality. We saw some customer reviews that said the filter lasted only 1-2 weeks. You’ll need to invest more time and money into maintenance for this pitcher. 

We had an additional maintenance task to remember for the LARQ pitcher: charging the UV wand. The filter change light also indicated when the UV wand needed charging, so, once we’d learned what the different colors meant, we used this as guidance for all our maintenance tasks. Plus, the app also notified us when the battery needed to be charged, so there was no way to forget. 

Charging the LARQ PureVis Pitcher

Both pitchers also needed washing out occasionally. We did this once or twice a week for ZeroWater, but we only cleaned our LARQ pitcher around twice a month because its UV wand protects against pathogens in the pitcher (however, scale and other debris can still form). 

Maintenance Costs

We’ve mentioned that the ZeroWater filter pitcher was cheaper than LARQ upfront, but the roles were reversed in terms of their ongoing costs. 

The LARQ PureVis Advanced filter has an ongoing cost of $0.54/ gallon, which is around twice the price of the average ongoing spend of the pitchers we tested. Note: The Essential filter has a slightly lower maintenance cost, but there’s not a substantial difference between the two.

The ZeroWater pitcher had an even higher ongoing cost of $0.70/ gallon, making it the most expensive pitcher we’ve used so far. The main reason for this is its very short filter lifespan, meaning we were having to replace the filter up to six times as often as we were with LARQ.   

We think the LARQ pitcher has the best ongoing value for money, but if you’re looking for affordability, you may prefer a lower-spend pitcher, like Brita, Epic, or PUR

🏢 Company

We know that many folks don’t feel comfortable investing in a water filter unless they can be certain that the company behind the product is trustworthy. That’s why we also reviewed and compared the LARQ and ZeroWater pitchers based on their company offerings. 

ProductCompany ScoreWarranty LengthShippingReturns
LARQ8.351 yearFree shipping is available for orders above $80 within the contiguous US30 days
ZeroWater7.5090 days (vessels), 30 days (filters)Free shipping on orders above $60 to continental USNone

Neither blew us away in this category, but LARQ got the slightly better score overall. 

Warranty Length 

LARQ offers a 1-year warranty, which is pretty good for a water filter pitcher company – most other pitcher manufacturers warrant their products for 30-90 days. 

The ZeroWater pitcher warranty is shorter: just 90 days. The filters have a separate 30-day warranty against manufacturing defects (so don’t expect to make a successful claim if your filter lifespan is shorter than 30 days). 


Both manufacturers have the same shipping offerings: they provide free shipping to continental U.S, but only if customers spend more than $60 (for ZeroWater) or $80 (for LARQ). 

Because the LARQ PureVis pitcher is expensive, you’ll get free shipping with your initial order. But many of ZeroWater’s products cost less than $60, so you may end up paying a shipping fee. 


LARQ’s 30-day returns policy is pretty standard for water filter pitchers. ZeroWater doesn’t offer a returns policy at all, so it got the poorer score here. 

⛔️ System Setbacks & Flaws

We think it’s important to review water filters as comprehensively as we can, which means commenting on their setbacks and flaws, too. 

Here, we’ve compared the areas of improvement for the LARQ and ZeroWater pitchers.

LARQ PureVis Setbacks

  • High upfront cost – The LARQ PureVis pitcher is the most expensive water filter pitcher we’ve tested so far.   
  • Not certified – Unlike ZeroWater, the LARQ Advanced filter hasn’t been certified for contaminant reduction or materials safety. 
  • App isn’t universally compatible  – We were unable to use the LARQ app on our Android phone because it isn’t compatible. We downloaded it on our iPad instead. 

ZeroWater Setbacks

  • Didn’t remove disinfection byproducts – Our filtered water quality was impacted by the presence of chloroform.  
  • Costs more to maintain – The ZeroWater filter had the highest ongoing cost of all the pitchers we tested.  

Focus on TDS reduction is problematic – We don’t like that the primary purpose of the ZeroWater filter is to reduce TDS down to zero. We’d rather focus on reducing specific contaminants with health effects.

🆚 LARQ or ZeroWater: Which is Best?

So, after extensively testing and comparing the LARQ and ZeroWater pitchers, which do we think is best overall?

We recommend each system for different situations and preferences: 

Choose LARQ If:

You have a bigger budget and want to take advantage of a pitcher with the unique ability to protect against microorganisms and reduce cleaning frequency.
You want a plastic pitcher but still value high-quality design materials.
You want to reduce many contaminants in your water without focusing on TDS reduction.
You prefer a system with a longer filter lifespan that requires fewer filter changes.

You’ll Prefer ZeroWater If:

You see performance and materials safety certifications as a non-negotiable.
You want to spend less than $50 on a water filter pitcher, even if the ongoing spend is higher.
You want a better way to track filter performance and lifespan with the included TDS meter.
You prefer ZeroWater’s glass pitcher option.
  • 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