Santevia MINA Review: An Objective, Data-Driven Analysis

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📊 Scoring Data

Our overall score for the water filters we test is based on a weighted average of 6 different performance rankings. We’ve shared our scores for the Santevia MINA pitcher in each testing category in the table below.

CriteriaResults
Health Related Contaminants83
Aesthetic Related Contaminants95
Performance CertificationNot certified
Filtration Rate1.43 GPH
Component QualityOutstanding
Component CertificationNot certified
SetupOutstanding
Servicing RequirementsOutstanding
Costs$0.25/ gallon
CompanyBelow Average

🚰 Contaminant Reduction

Score: 8.12

Anyone’s main intention with a water filter is to reduce contaminants, so this was our testing priority for the Santevia MINA pitcher. 

We conducted our own water quality tests and looked for performance certifications by the NSF, IAMPO, or WQA to award the Santevia MINA’s overall contaminant reduction score. 

Our Performance Testing

Score: 8.36

We used Tap Score tests by SimpleLab to take a sample of our unfiltered water. We then filtered the water through the Santevia MINA pitcher and took a final water sample, so we could compare our results. 

We used Tap Score’s HGL (Health Guideline Level) to evaluate the safety of the contaminants detected in our water based on their concentrations. 

Health-Related Contaminants

Score: 8.30

We started by evaluating the health-related contaminants that the Santevia MINA pitcher could remove. 

Our test water is treated groundwater from a shared well. In our unfiltered water test, 8 contaminants with health effects were detected.

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 repeated long-term exposure to these contaminants include blood effects, kidney damage, developmental issues, and gastrointestinal effects. 

6 of these contaminants were detected in trace levels below the Tap Score HGL, but uranium and fluoride exceeded their HGLS: 

  • 0.014 PPM of uranium was detected, exceeding the HGL of 0 PPM
  • 1.1 PPM of fluoride was detected, exceeding the HGL of 0.8 PPM

Our filtered water test showed us that the Santevia MINA had done a great job of reducing 100% uranium, but we were disappointed to see that our water’s fluoride concentration actually increased slightly to 1.2 PPM, which may be due to the remineralization media containing traces of fluoride.

The MINA pitcher isn’t certified for fluoride reduction, but its data performance sheet shows that the pitcher reduced 40.5% in the third-party testing. That’s why we were disappointed to see that the filter didn’t remove any fluoride from our water. 

As for the contaminants with health effects that were detected below the HGL, the MINA pitcher reduced 78% barium, 100% copper, 100% molybdenum, 77% nitrate, and 72% strontium. We were pleased with its filtration performance here. We do wish the filter had reduced closer to 100% nitrate, but the manufacturer doesn’t claim it can reduce this contaminant, and nor has it been tested for nitrate reduction. 

One anomaly with our results was that rather than being reduced, our water’s sulfate concentrations actually increased by 98%, from 8.4 PPM to 16.7 PPM. This was still well within the lab’s HGL of 500 PPM, but an unexpected result all the same.

Our theory is that the filter’s remineralization media most likely contains sulfate minerals, which caused the increase.

Aesthetic Contaminants

Score: 9.90

We used our Hach chlorine test strip, included in our Tap Score sample kit, to find out how much chlorine our unfiltered water contained. 

Around 1 PPM of free chlorine was detected, which is typical for a treated water supply – up to 4 PPM of chlorine is considered safe in drinking water, and chlorine is the most common chemical used for water disinfection purposes.  

We tested our water again with another chlorine test strip once it had been filtered through the Santevia MINA pitcher, and this time, the chlorine levels detected were 0 PPM. 

That means the pitcher’s granulated activated carbon (GAC) element had done its job in adsorbing chlorine, and we noticed that our filtered water had a cleaner, fresher taste. 

Minerals & pH 

The Santevia MINA isn’t doing anything unique or novelty from a contaminant reduction perspective, and its main selling point is that it filters and alkalizes water by introducing healthy minerals. So we were keen to test the filter pitcher to see how it affected our water’s mineral concentration and pH. 

Our unfiltered water contained 25.6 PPM of calcium, 6.32 PPM of magnesium, and 9.3 PPM of sodium. This is pretty normal for drinking water – a USDA survey of the mineral content in residential tap water concluded that on average, the concentration of calcium and magnesium was 20-30 PPM and 10 PPM respectively. 

Given that the MINA pitcher uses remineralization media that “infuses healthy minerals like calcium and magnesium into water”, we expected to see an increase in these two minerals. But actually, both were reduced

  • Calcium decreased by 71%, to 7.4 PPM
  • Magnesium was reduced by 49%, to 3.2 PPM

Our water’s sodium concentrations also saw a 285% increase, to 37.1 PPM. 

We believe that the cause of this was the cation exchange resin in the filter, which targets positively charged ions like calcium and magnesium, as well as other dangerous contaminants like radium, barium, and strontium. We think that the resin released some of the pre-loaded sodium ions in exchange for these impurities. 

It seems that the ion exchange resin’s mineral reduction outweighed the remineralization media’s introduction of additional minerals. This meant that overall, our water’s calcium and magnesium concentrations were lower

This was a major disappointment to us given that the MINA pitcher is advertised as a remineralization filter, yet it didn’t even retain our water’s original concentrations of healthy minerals. 

As for our water’s pH, our lab test detected an increase of 0.1, from 7.4 to 7.5. This kept our water within the alkaline range, but it wasn’t quite the “up to 2.0” pH raise promised by the manufacturer. 

When we first got the pitcher, we tested our water with a pH meter. This detected our unfiltered water at 7.89 pH, and our filtered water’s pH had increased to 9.94. However, this testing was done on a separate occasion.

Before and after Santevia MINA Alkaline Pitcher filtration pH testing

Performance Certifications

Score: 6.00

The Santevia MINA pitcher isn’t performance-certified by the NSF, IAMPO, or WQA, so it got the base score of 6 in this category. 

We still wanted to compare the manufacturer’s third-party testing data with our own test results, so that’s what we’ve done here. 

According to the manufacturer’s third-party test results, it can reduce 99.9% chlorine, 40.5% fluoride, 80.0% barium, and 98.5% copper.

In our own testing, the pitcher reduced 100% chlorine, 78% barium, and 100% copper, which is pretty in line with the manufacturer’s test data. 

The only letdown was fluoride – it wasn’t reduced at all in our water. 

ContaminantTheir ClaimOur Test
Chlorine99.9%100.00%
Fluoride40.5%+9.09%
Barium80.0%78%
Copper98.0%100%

The pitcher has also been tested to remove more than 75 additional contaminants, but we can’t compare this data to our own results because none of these contaminants were detected in our water.

🚦Filtration Rate

Score: 8.50

We knew that the Santevia MINA pitcher would filter our water more slowly than a system connected to our water line, and we wanted to compare the pitcher’s filtration rate to the other popular pitchers we’d tested. 

We timed how long it took the pitcher to filter our water and noted our results. We were able to filter 0.383 gallons of water in 16:04 minutes, which worked out at a filtration rate of 1.43 GPH.

This is pretty fast for a water filter pitcher, but not the fastest we’ve seen. For instance, when we tested the Brita Elite filter, it had a filtration rate of 2.92 GPH. The PUR Plus pitcher was also faster, with a filtration rate of 2.82 GPH. 

We’re wondering if filtration might be slightly slower due to the remineralization media, which none of these other filters use.

📐 Design

Score: 8.10

We didn’t only test the Santevia MINA for its filtration speed and effectiveness – we also wanted to see, feel, and use the pitcher ourselves to form an opinion on its design quality. 

Alongside our own testing notes, we checked online to see if the pitcher had any materials safety certifications for its design. 

Santevia sells just one MINA pitcher, which has a 2-liter or 9-cup capacity and is available with a white or black lid, handle, and filter. 

The pitcher works like any other water filter pitcher. The remineralization media is included in the filter cartridge, so water gets filtered and remineralized at the same time. 

Brian pouring filtered water from Santevia MINA Alkaline Pitcher

Component Quality

Score: 9.50

The Santevia MINA pitcher is made from Tritan plastic. 

Tritan has a few advantages over other materials when used for water filter pitchers: it’s tough and durable, is lighter than glass and won’t shatter, and, according to the manufacturer, has “no estrogenic and androgenic activity”.

The most popular manufacturer of Tritan plastic is Eastman; you can read more about the safety of this plastic on Eastman’s website.

However, like many plastics, Tritan still has its risks, according to a number of studies. One study found that Tritan leached chemicals when stressed by UVA or UVC light, and could leach chemicals even when unstressed. Another study detected BPA release from two out of 10 Tritan water bottles tested, despite Tritan being listed as a BPA-free plastic. 

We know many folks want to avoid using plastic as much as possible, and in that case, it’s worth considering Santevia’s Glass Water System, which has a mostly glass design. We love the look of this system, but at $319, it’s not cheap, and it doesn’t have the portability advantage of the MINA pitcher. 

Certification

Score: 6.00

We also wanted to consider materials safety certifications in the design category because they’re a green flag when it comes to design safety on the whole, telling us that a filter has been tested and meets the standard of the testing organization. 

Unfortunately, the MINA pitcher doesn’t have a materials safety certification, so it gets a lower score from us here. 

Filter Materials

The filter cartridge that’s used in the Santevia MINA pitcher combines three filtration media: granulated activated carbon (GAC) media, ion exchange resin, and remineralization media. These media are enclosed in a plastic casing. 

Carbon media is usually made from natural materials like coconut shell and coal, while ion exchange resins are made from sulfonated styrene, methacrylic acid, and divinylbenzene (DVB). The remineralization media is made from a “mineral blend”. 

Carbon and ion exchange are commonly used by water filter manufacturers, and all the materials in the Santevia MINA filter are considered safe for their purpose.

⚙️ Setup

Score: 9.50

Given that it doesn’t need a permanent install, we expected that the Santevia MINA pitcher would be quick and easy to set up. 

And this was true: we didn’t have to prime the filter. According to the user manual, we just had to hold it under running water for 1 minute shaking it and tapping the sides until the water ran clear, before we could start using it straight away. 

We unboxed the system, then washed the pitcher and reservoir in warm water with mild dish soap. We dried the components, installed the filter, and filled the reservoir with cold tap water. Job done! We think the Santevia MINA is a great choice for folks who don’t want the hassle of a difficult install.

🔧 Maintenance

Score: 9.75

To award the maintenance score to the MINA pitcher, we analyzed the filter’s servicing requirements and calculated the ongoing filter cost. 

Servicing Requirements

9.50

The main servicing requirement for the MINA pitcher was replacing the filter, which was as easy as installing the initial filter. 

We just removed the old filter and inserted the new filter in its place. Again, no filter priming was necessary – we just held the replacement filter under running water before installing it.

The Santevia MINA pitcher doesn’t have a filter countdown timer. If you want, you can sign up to Filter Ease to receive SMS or email updates from Santevia to remind you when to replace your filters.  

These reminders are based on Santevia’s filter lifespan estimates (80 gallons or up to 2 months), so you may need to replace your filters more frequently depending on your water quality and usage. 

Costs

Score: 10.00

The Santevia MINA pitcher got the top mark from us here because it has a super affordable ongoing cost of just $0.25/ gallon. 

That makes the pitcher one of the cheaper filters of its kind – it’s cheaper than the PUR Plus filter, which has an ongoing cost of $0.27 per gallon, and the Clearly Filtered pitcher, which has a cost per gallon of $0.55. 

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

We were pleased with the long-term affordability of the MINA pitcher, even if we’d have to replace the filters quite often.

🏢 Company

Score: 7.95

Finally, we wanted to assess Santevia as a company based on its warranty, shipping, and returns offerings. 

Warranty 

Score: 7.50

Santevia’s warranty length is 90 days – the same length as most other warranties for the water filter pitchers we reviewed. The MINA pitcher is warranted against manufacturing defects and shipping damage only. 

View Santevia’s warranty information here. 

Shipping 

Score: 8.50

Santevia offers free shipping to customers spending more than $99 on orders, excluding Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Alaska, and rural areas.

We wish the minimal spend for free shipping was slightly lower given that the pitcher only costs around $50, so you’ll probably end up paying a shipping fee. 

Returns

Score: 8.00

The 30-day returns policy for the MINA pitcher is also pretty average for water filter pitchers. Santevia allows returns or exchanges if customers are unsatisfied with their product “for any reason”, as long as they have the original packaging and can provide their order number.

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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.

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