PUR Plus Water Filter Pitcher Review (6 Data-Driven Tests)

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📊 Scoring Data

Our team of water treatment experts conduct filter testing in their own homes, enabling us to obtain real data from our own hands-on experience with all the filters we review. We combine this data with information on the manufacturer’s website and official testing/certification data to rank a water filter across the board based on our scoring system. Our scores for the PUR Plus pitcher are shared in the table below.

CriteriaResults
Health Related Contaminants45
Aesthetic Related Contaminants95
Performance CertificationCertified for 100% of reduction claims
Filtration Rate2.82 GPH
Component QualityFair
Component CertificationCertified
SetupOutstanding
Servicing RequirementsOutstanding
Costs$0.27/ gallon
CompanyBelow Average

🎬 Video Review

🚰 Contaminant Reduction

Score: 5.28

Since removing contaminants is the main aim of any water filter system, our testing priority for the PUR Plus Water Filter Pitcher was to see which contaminants it was able to remove from our own drinking water supply. We also wanted to know whether or not the pitcher had been certified for its contaminant removal abilities, offering reassurance of its performance that the manufacturer’s claims alone can’t provide.

Our Performance Testing

Score: 4.75

To assess the PUR Plus pitcher’s contaminant removal abilities, we used Tap Score tests by SimpleLab to conduct a before-and-after filtration test for the pitcher. 

We analyzed our test results against Tap Score’s own HGL (Health Guideline Level), which is stricter than the federal MCLs and prioritizes human health.

We tested water from a community well that has a dedicated treatment plant, which contained a few impurities that are typically found in groundwater supplies. The PUR Plus pitcher can be used to filter treated groundwater water supplies, but we identified some limitations of the filter in removing some of these contaminants.

water filter pitchers baseline test overview

Health-Related Contaminants

Score: 4.50

We first evaluated which health-related contaminants the PUR Plus Water Filter Pitcher could remove from our water. 

Our unfiltered water contained trace levels of 8 contaminants with potential health effects: uranium, fluoride, copper, nitrate, barium, molybdenum, strontium, and sulfate. 

ContaminantMeasurementDetectionHGL
UraniumPPM0.0140
ChlorinePPM10.0003
MolybdenumPPM0.00260.03
CopperPPM0.1630.3
FluoridePPM1.10.8
BariumPPM0.01582
StrontiumPPM0.113
Nitrate (as N)PPM3.510
SulfatePPM8.4500
PhosphorusPPM1none
MagnesiumPPM6.32none
pH7.4none
SodiumPPM9.63none
ChloridePPM14.9none
CalciumPPM25.6none
Total Dissolved SolidsPPM137none

Some of the health effects associated with these contaminants include: 

  • Kidney damage
  • Developmental & skeletal effects
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Blood effects

Two of these contaminants were detected above Tap Score’s HGL: fluoride (1.1 PPM detected, exceeding the HGL of 0.8 PPM), and uranium (0.014 PPM detected, exceeding the HGL of 0). 

water filter pitchers baseline test

Our post-filtration test results showed us that the PUR Plus pitcher reduced uranium by 80%, copper by 98%, nitrate by 42%, barium by just 4%, molybdenum by 23%, strontium by 100%, and sulfate by just 4%.

No fluoride was reduced by the PUR filter. 

What’s important to note is that PUR doesn’t claim to, nor is certified to reduce, fluoride. The same goes for uranium (which was still detected above the HGL of 0 in our post-filtration results, despite being reduced by 80%).

The fact that our water contained these impurities influenced the low performance scores for the PUR Plus pitcher, and its performance filtering other water sources would be different. 

That’s why it’s key to test your own water, as water quality can vary drastically from location to location. Without testing your water, you won’t know exactly what it contains, and what you need to remove.

water testing with tap score

Aesthetic Contaminants

Score: 9.50

Our test kit came with a chlorine test strip so we could test for chlorine in our water at home. We couldn’t get chlorine testing at the lab because chlorine is highly volatile and would have dissipated from our water before reaching the lab.

The test showed that there was 1 PPM of chlorine residual (free chlorine) in our unfiltered water – a number we’d anticipated given that we were testing disinfected well water. The PUR Plus pitcher completely removed this chemical, and it wasn’t detected at all in our second test. 

We did a taste test of our filtered water and compared it to our normal tap water. The filtered water had a cleaner, purer taste, with no chemical or “swimming pool” tastes/odors. We put this down to the filter’s coconut shell activated carbon media – activated carbon is well-known and widely used for its ability to reduce chlorine and its associated tastes and odors. 

Minerals, Hardness, & Other Water Characteristics

The PUR Plus pitcher uses a conventional filtration process and isn’t a reverse osmosis system, so we didn’t expect it to make much of a difference to our water’s minerals and salts concentration, hardness, or TDS. However, we did see some changes that we think are worth discussing. 

In our unfiltered water, calcium, magnesium, and sodium were all present, and 90 PPM of water hardness was detected. Our filtered water test results showed us that the PUR Plus pitcher had reduced calcium by 96%, magnesium by 95%, and hardness by 95%, right down to 4 PPM.

Our water’s sodium concentration also increased by 388%, from 9.63 PPM to 47 PPM.

We think it’s likely that these results were due to the cation exchange resin, which is loaded with sodium ions that are then ‘kicked off’ the resin in exchange for calcium and magnesium ions. This was nevertheless a surprise to us given that most filters remove harmful contaminants while retaining healthy minerals that give water a pleasant alkaline taste, and most don’t increase sodium so substantially. That said, the sodium concentration was still within the EPA’s recommended range of 30 to 60 mg/L for avoiding adverse taste effects, and our water’s pH remained the same at 7.4, making it slightly alkaline even post-filtration.

View the table below to see all the contaminants detected in our water and the PUR Plus’s performance.

ContaminantMeasurementPre-FiltrationPost-Filtration% Change
ChloridePPM14.914.8-0.67%
ChlorinePPM10-100.00%
FluoridePPM1.11.10.00%
Nitrate (as N)PPM3.52-42.86%
PhosphorusPPM11.220.00%
SulfatePPM8.48-4.76%
BariumPPM0.01580.0151-4.43%
CopperPPM0.1630.0028-98.28%
MolybdenumPPM0.00260.002-23.08%
StrontiumPPM0.0950-100.00%
UraniumPPM0.0140.0028-80.00%
CalciumPPM25.61-96.09%
MagnesiumPPM6.320.32-94.94%
PotassiumPPM01.66n/a
SodiumPPM9.6347388.06%

Performance Certifications

Score: 10.00

The PUR Plus water pitcher filter cartridge is certified by the NSF to Standards 42, 53, and 401, for reducing chlorine taste and odor, mercury, cadmium, simazine, and several more. 

That’s the best outcome we could have asked for – an official certification reassures us that the pitcher filter has been tested and deemed capable of performing as claimed by the manufacturer. 

PUR only claims to remove contaminants that it has been certified to remove, which is super encouraging. 

Good to Know: As of 2023, PUR pitcher filters are no longer tested nor certified to reduce lead! Now they are certified to reduce microplastics instead. The removal of more pharmaceuticals is a bonus, too.

Compare PUR’s contaminant removal claims in the table below.

Contaminant CRF-950Z PUR PLUS PPF900ZTM PUR Filter
Chlorine (Taste & Odor)97.5%97.5%
Nominal Particulate (Class I)
(Class I, particles 0.5 to <1μm)
99.8%Not Certified
Nominal Particulate
(Class VI particles 50 to 80μm)
Not Certified99.6%
Zinc92.7%63.3%
Benzene>96.8%86.4%
Cadmium (pH6.5)98.9%90.2%
Cadmium (pH8.5)>99.3%86.7%
Carbon Tetrachloride>96.8%Not Certified
Copper (pH6.5)99.3%85.7%
Copper (pH8.5)95.9%90.1%
Mercury (pH6.5)>96.4%96.5%
Mercury (pH8.5)>96.4%88.8%
Simazine>98.3%Not Certified
Bisphenol A>99.0%Not Certified
Estrone>96.3%Not Certified
Linuron94.5%94.5%
Microplastics99.8%Not Certified
Nonyl Phenol >95.8%Not Certified
Trimethoprim 94.3%94.3%
Source: PUR Performance Data Sheet

🚦Filtration Rate

Score: 10.00

We tested how long it took the PUR Plus to filter our water to determine its filtration rate. 

The pitcher filtered 0.25 gallons of water in 5:19 minutes, giving it a filtration rate of 2.82 GPH (gallons per hour). That’s quick for a gravity filtration system – the average filtration rate in this filter category is 1.00-1.24 GPH.

That said, we performed this test on a relatively new filter, so the flow rate will likely reduce as the filter gradually becomes more clogged with contaminants. Additionally, we know that PUR’s cartridges are notorious for clogging, so much so that we even wrote a troubleshooting guide on the subject. 

While we didn’t have an issue with filtration rate during our testing, we know that other customers have experienced this problem. Sometimes, better flow can be restored by getting rid of trapped air, which can be resolved by soaking the filter in water, then tapping it to clear the air bubbles and rinsing it under running water.

📐 Design

Score: 8.80

We awarded the PUR Plus pitcher’s design score based on our own opinion on the product quality, as well as any certifications that the pitcher might have obtained for materials safety. 

We went for the 7-cup pitcher (see all the size options discussed below), which has a conventional water filter pitcher design. 

The pitcher lid has the upper reservoir built into the bottom, so when you open the lid and hold it under water, the top reservoir gets filled. This water then filters through the filter cartridge and down into the bottom reservoir, which is the main body of the pitcher.  

To access filtered water, we tilted the pitcher to pour water out of the spout, which is only connected to the bottom reservoir to prevent accidental mixing with unfiltered water. 

pur pitcher with plus filter cartridge on counter

Models & Sizes

There are a few different water filter pitcher models and sizes/water holding capacities to choose from. These are:

ModelCost
PUR 7-cup pitcher$18.49
PUR 10-cup pitcher$29.88 (only at Walmart)
PUR 11-cup pitcher$31.99
PUR Plus 7-cup pitcher$26.99
PUR Plus 11-cup pitcher$37.49
PUR Plus 12-cup pitcher$42.99 (only at Target)

Some of the models are available with different colored lids, including gray, black, and blue. We appreciate the different size options – the 7-cup pitcher is best for travel, homes with limited storage space, and small families, while the larger pitchers are best for families who want to limit how often they need to refill the pitcher.

Component Quality

Score: 8.00

The PUR Plus pitcher lids and filter housings are made of BPA-free polypropylene plastic, and the pitcher and reservoir is made from NAS (a Styrene based plastic) or SAN (Styrene Acrylonitrile). 

These are all safe plastics that adhere to industry safety standards, and we found them sturdy and durable enough for everyday use, without the risk of shattering like glass or rusting like steel. 
That said, we know some folks will want to avoid contact with plastics as much as possible, in which case, we would suggest looking for a glass water filter pitcher instead.

Certification

Score: 10.00

In our research, we found that the PUR Plus has been certified for materials safety as a component of its performance certifications. 

That’s great news – it tells us that the pitcher materials have been given the seal of approval by a reliable third-party testing organization (in this case, the NSF) for its safety based on the design materials used. 

Filter Materials

The PUR filters are made from a blend of granular activated carbon and ion exchange media. 

Activated carbon filters are commonly used in water filter pitchers because they remove a broader range of contaminants when water has an extended contact time with their surfaces. Ion exchange is often used in conjunction with activated carbon to enhance the media’s contaminant removal abilities.

We mentioned earlier that the PUR Plus is an upgrade of the PUR basic filter. Both the PUR basic and PUR Plus filters now use the exact same media, and remove the exact same contaminants. We called PUR to confirm this, and the only difference is where the filters are sold (online vs in-store), and that the PUR Plus filter is certified to reduce more contaminants than the Basic filter.

pur replacement filters in box on counter

⚙️ Setup

Score: 9.5

We evaluated the ease of setup for the PUR Plus pitcher, and how long it took us to unbox the pitcher and prepare the filter for use. 

As we’d expected from a water filter pitcher, the PUR Plus pitcher was really easy to assemble. We started by cleaning the pitcher body and reservoirs with mild dish soap. Then, we held the filter under running water for 30 seconds, then installed the filter on the upper reservoir, twisting it to lock in place. We filled the upper reservoir with tap water straight away – no need to dump the first batch. 

The entire process took less than five minutes, from the initial unboxing to filling the reservoir ready to filter our water. If you’re not a handy person and don’t want the hassle of a difficult install, the PUR Plus should tick your boxes.

🔧 Maintenance

Score: 9.75

We evaluated the PUR Plus pitcher in the maintenance category by calculating its servicing costs and assessing its ease and frequency of maintenance. 

Servicing Requirements

9.50

Maintenance for the PUR Plus pitcher is easy, but frequent. PUR pitchers need filter replacements every 2 months or 40 gallons, whichever comes first. The filters might not last this long if your water quality is particularly bad. 

Some of the PUR water pitchers have a filter change reminder on the lid. The light will change color when the filter lifespan is running out, letting you know exactly when replacements are needed.

We also washed the pitcher in hot, soapy water daily to keep it clean and prevent a buildup of limescale. All PUR pitchers are dishwasher safe, but you’ll need to remove the light from the filter change indicator in the lid before washing. 

Costs

Score: 10.00

We calculated the ongoing cost of a replacement filter cartridge in the PUR Plus pitcher to get a sense of its overall long-term value. 

The PUR Plus filters have a cost per gallon of $0.27, making the pitcher super affordable to maintain in the long run. In fact, PUR is one of the lowest-cost filters we’ve tested, which is especially impressive given its extensive catalog of certifications. 

Note: The above is an estimate based on PUR’s own filter lifespan data. Factors including your daily water usage and water quality can reduce a filter’s lifespan. Your cost per gallon will be higher if you have to replace the filters more frequently than anticipated.
PitcherCost per Gallon
Brita Elite$0.17
Santevia MINA$0.25
Pur PLUS$0.27
Waterdrop Chubby$0.27
Epic Pure$0.31
Larq Purevis Advanced$0.54
Clearly Filtered$0.55
ZeroWater$0.70

🏢 Company

Score: 7.50

We assessed PUR as a company by evaluating its shipping policy, returns, and warranty offerings.

Warranty 

Score: 7.50

PUR warrants its pitchers for 90 days, and its filter cartridges for 30 days, from the date of purchase. The warranty covers all defects in materials and workmanship (as long as the pitcher has been used correctly in compliance with the instructions in the user manual). 

Find PUR’s warranty information here. 

Shipping 

Score: 9.00

PUR doesn’t have a specific shipping policy because its products are only sold through distributors: Amazon, Walmart, and Target. Shipping depends on the distributor, so we’ve assigned a 9 for this score category based on order threshold amount. 

Returns

Score: 6.00

Again, PUR doesn’t offer returns or a money back guarantee for the Plus pitcher or any other PUR products. The distributor you buy from may offer their own returns service, which we recommend checking before you spend your money. 

Related Articles:

❔ FAQ

Do PUR Filters Remove PFAS?

No, neither the PUR Pitcher Filter nor the PUR Plus Pitcher Filter removes PFAS from drinking water

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  • 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.

  • Laura Shallcross
    Senior Editor

    Laura is a passionate residential water treatment journalist who holds an undergraduate degree in Print Journalism and a master’s degree in Creative Writing. Over a span of 5 years she's written on a range of topics including water softening, well water treatment, and purification processes.

4 thoughts on “PUR Plus Water Filter Pitcher Review (6 Data-Driven Tests)”

  1. Avatar for Brian Campbell
    Norman Cunningham

    We have the 11 cup PUR pitcher and lately the filers do not filter most of the water from the top reservoir into the bottom of the pitcher. How can this be resolved! This is not the first time this has occurred! The filter cartridges must be defective.

    1. Avatar for Brian Campbell

      Hey Norman! Thanks for your comment. Which filter elements are you using? How much water remains in the top reservoir? How long are you giving it to filter?

  2. Avatar for Brian Campbell

    I have the pure picture that I bought and I have the pure plus filter I stopped by Stewart’s Shops and bought 4 gallons of their water and I still run it through the pure plus filter everything seemed to be fine and then a couple days later I’m poured the picture into a polling bottle that I saved to carry around and I took two sips and a half hour later my mouth tasted nasty I was burping up this nasty taste I went into the bathroom and started hacking up to try to get the taste out of my mouth and all of a sudden I started throwing up dry heaves nothing was coming up just constantly dry heaving and I felt ill for like an hour and I came back and I grabbed the bottle and I smelt the bottle in it smelt so nasty almost like metal smell it was the same smell the hours tasting in my mouth so I poured from the pure plus picture into a clear bottle and I looked at it and it looked like little tiny Plastics floating around I mean hundreds of them and now I don’t even use it because I don’t know what the hell is going on the second time the next day I tried it again I reached over and took a sip and it just tasted so nasty and I look under a light and there’s hundreds of like little tiny Plastics floating around so now I don’t even use the picture and I heard Plastics is something that cannot be removed out of the body I felt ill for 4 days I’m about to contact the attorney to find out what is going on with this I pray that I haven’t done any damage in my body with plastics I mean it smells so bad you have anything to help me with this please get in contact with me

    1. Avatar for Brian Campbell

      I doubt what you are seeing floating in the water are actually plastic particles. Micro and nanoplastics are so small as to be invisible to the naked eye. How often are you completely disassembling and cleaning the pitcher? How often are you replacing the filters?

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