Waterdrop Chubby Review

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📊 Scoring Data

To obtain an overall score for the water filters we test, we use a weighted average of 6 different performance rankings. The table below highlights the scores we awarded to the Waterdrop Chubby pitcher in each testing category. 

CriteriaResults
Overall Score6.57
Health Related Contaminants3.50
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.90
Performance CertificationCertified for 17% of reduction claims
Filtration Rate3.52 GPH
Component QualityFair
Component CertificationCertified
SetupOutstanding
Servicing RequirementsOutstanding
Costs$0.27/ gal
Warranty Length1 year
ShippingFree shipping to lower 48 states
Returns30 days

🚰 Contaminant Reduction

Score: 4.24

We knew that our water contained a handful of harmful trace contaminants that we wanted to remove with a water filter. Contaminant reduction is the most important performance feature of any water filter, so testing the Waterdrop Chubby within this ranking factor was our top priority. 

We tested our own water supply before and after filtering it through the Chubby pitcher and combined our results with official certification data to award the pitcher’s overall contaminant reduction score. 

ContaminantTypeMeasurementPre-FiltrationPost-Filtration% Change
ChlorideInorganicsPPM14.915.96.71%
ChlorineInorganicsPPM10-100.00%
FluorideInorganicsPPM1.11.10.00%
Nitrate (as N)InorganicsPPM3.52.6-25.71%
PhosphorusInorganicsPPM11.220.00%
SulfateInorganicsPPM8.48.2-2.38%
BariumMetalsPPM0.01580.0029-81.65%
CopperMetalsPPM0.1630.0228-86.01%
MolybdenumMetalsPPM0.00260.0023-11.54%
StrontiumMetalsPPM0.110.02-81.82%
UraniumMetalsPPM0.0140.0071-49.29%
CalciumMineralsPPM25.64.6-82.03%
MagnesiumMineralsPPM6.321.32-79.11%
PotassiumMineralsPPM057.5n/a
SodiumMineralsPPM9.636.14-36.24%

Our Performance Testing

Score: 3.82

We tested the Waterdrop Chubby pitcher’s ability to reduce the contaminants found in our treated groundwater supply. We used Tap Score tests by SimpleLab to take unfiltered and filtered samples of our water, and we analyzed our results against Tap Score’s HGL (Health Guideline Level). 

water testing with tap score

The Waterdrop Chubby didn’t blow us away in our laboratory testing, but the manufacturer doesn’t claim that it’s capable of reducing many of the contaminants found in our water supply. 

Let’s dive into our test results so you can see what we mean. 

Health-Related Contaminants

Score: 3.50

We first wanted to evaluate how effectively the Chubby pitcher could reduce health-related contaminants in our water. 

8 contaminants with health effects were detected in our unfiltered water. 

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

Long-term exposure to these contaminants has been linked to a number of possible health concerns, including kidney issues, blood effects, developmental problems, and gastrointestinal effects. 

While the majority of these contaminants were found at trace levels that didn’t exceed the Tap Score HGL, we were concerned about uranium and fluoride, which did exceed their HGLs: 

  • Uranium was detected at a concentration of 0.014 PPM (the HGL is 0 PPM)
  • 1.1 PPM of fluoride was detected (the HGL is 0.8 PPM)

Let’s focus on fluoride and uranium first. Our test results showed that the Chubby pitcher didn’t reduce any fluoride. The pitcher did a slightly better job at reducing 49% uranium, to 0.0071%. However, this still exceeded the HGL of 0 PPM.

Good to Know: The Chubby pitcher isn’t certified for fluoride or uranium reduction. Waterdrop only claims that it can reduce chlorine, tastes, odors, minerals, and metal ions. So, if we tested the pitcher with a water supply that contained the impurities it was designed to reduce, we think it’d do a better job overall. But we don’t know for sure until we can conduct this testing. 

Moving on to the other contaminants detected below their HGLs: the Waterdrop Chubby reduced 81% barium, 86% copper, 11% molybdenum, 25% nitrate, 81% strontium, and just 2% sulfate. 

We expected the Chubby to do a good job at reducing copper, barium, and strontium given that Waterdrop claims it can reduce metal ions. Conversely, Waterdrop doesn’t claim that the Chubby can reduce nitrate, sulfate, or molybdenum, so even a slight reduction of these impurities was a positive outcome. 

Aesthetic Contaminants

Score: 9.90

The Tap Score test we used came with a Hach chlorine test strip, which we used to test the chlorine levels in our unfiltered and filtered water. 

The test detected around 1 PPM of chlorine, which makes sense given that our water is disinfected with this chemical. 

As we’d hoped, the Chubby pitcher reduced 100% chlorine, and our filtered water test detected 0 PPM of this chemical. The filter is predominantly made from activated carbon media, which is known for its ability to effectively adsorb chlorine, tastes, and odors. 

Minerals & pH 

We found information in the Waterdrop Chubby’s product description that says it can reduce calcium and magnesium, so these were additional contaminants that we wanted to test for in our water. 

We didn’t actually want to remove calcium and magnesium from our water since they’re healthy and give water a pleasant alkaline taste. The only reason to remove these minerals is to prevent the effects of water hardness, but this should be done with a point-of-entry water softener – it’s not helpful to remove them after water has already left your plumbing. 

As anticipated, the Chubby pitcher reduced both these minerals substantially:

  • Calcium decreased by 82%, from 25.6 PPM to 7.4 PPM
  • Magnesium was reduced by 79%, from 6.32 PPM to 1.32 PPM

Our water’s sodium concentrations also decreased by 36%, while potassium actually increased from 0 to 57.5 PPM. 

We think that the Chubby filter must use a cation exchange resin, which enables it to reduce all positively charged ions in water, including some metal ions, calcium, and magnesium. We believe that the resin contains pre-loaded potassium ions, which were released in exchange for these impurities. 

According to our lab test results, our water’s pH only decreased slightly, from 7.4 to 7.2. That meant our water was still within the alkaline range even after calcium and magnesium had been reduced, which we were pleased to see. 

Performance Certifications

Score: 6.00

We look for performance certifications as proof that a water filter can reduce contaminants as claimed by the manufacturer. 

We were pleased to see that the Waterdrop Chubby has an NSF 42 certification for the reduction of chlorine, tastes, and odors. 

Ideally, Waterdrop would have also obtained an NSF 53 certification for the reduction of contaminants with health effects, which could have included some of the other contaminants that the Chubby is claimed to reduce, like mercury and other metal ions. 

The pitcher is only certified for one of the six contaminants that Waterdrop claims it can reduce, so it doesn’t get the top score from us in this category. 

ContaminantTheir ClaimOur Test
Chlorine 97.4%100.00%
Iron100.00%Not Tested
Calcium100.00%82.03%
Magnesium100.00%79.11%
Copper100.00%86.01%
Mercury100.00%Not Tested

We’d at least like to see proof of third-party testing from Waterdrop, such as a contaminant data sheet listing all the contaminants that the Chubby has been tested to reduce, and the individual percentage reductions. But we were unable to find this on the product page or Waterdrop’s website. 

🚦Filtration Rate

Score: 10.00

Water filter pitchers are gravity-fed filters, so we knew the Waterdrop Chubby’s flow rate would be slower than a plumbed-in filter. 

We measured the pitcher’s flow rate in gallons per hour (GPH) based on our timed filtration test. 

It took 7 minutes and 4 seconds for the Chubby pitcher to filter 0.414 gallons, giving it a filtration rate of 3.52 GPH. 

That’s one of the fastest filtration rates we’ve achieved with a water filter pitcher. For instance, the Brita Elite filter had a filtration rate of 2.92 GPH, the PUR Plus pitcher came in at 2.82 GPH, and the Santevia MINA had a filtration rate of just 1.43 GPH.

While we appreciated having quick access to our filtered water, we want to point out that filtration speed isn’t necessarily a mark of performance quality. 

Our goal wasn’t to find the fastest way to filter our water, especially given that there are some advantages of extending water’s contact time with the filter media. But we still thought filtration rate was a useful point of comparison for the pitcher filters we tested. 

📐 Design

Score: 8.8

We know that for many folks, a water filter pitcher is an investment that they hope to use for years. So design was another important factor that we considered when testing the Waterdrop Chubby. 

In our testing notes, we commented on the look, feel, and practicality of the Chubby pitcher. We also checked certification databases to see if the pitcher had any materials safety certifications. 

The Waterdrop Chubby isn’t the only water filter pitcher currently available on Waterdrop’s website. There’s also the Waterdrop Elfin pitcher and the Waterdrop Lucid pitcher. 

As far as we can tell, these pitchers all use the same NSF 42 certified filter and their only difference is design: the Elfin holds just 5 cups of water (the Lucid and Chubby hold 10 cups) and the Chubby has a wooden handle.

The Chubby pitcher is sold in a few different colors: skyblue, clear, and white.

Component Quality

Score: 8.00

The Waterdrop Chubby is made from “BPA-free advanced plastics”. We reached out to Waterdrop’s customer service team, who confirmed that the plastic used in its pitchers and reservoirs is PP (polypropylene). 

Polypropylene is generally considered safe for humans and is widely used due to its high heat resistance, which makes it unlikely to leach even if it’s exposed to hot water. It’s also robust, so it has good durability and should withstand regular use.   

That said, it’s not the best solution if you want to minimize your exposure to plastic as much as possible. 

Waterdrop Chubby pitcher on counter

There’s always potential for microplastics leaching, although the studies we’ve found generally agree that this is more likely when plastics are exposed to heat and UV light. This shouldn’t be an issue if you keep the pitcher stored in a cool location away from direct sunlight. 

Certification

Score: 10.00

The Waterdrop Chubby has a materials safety certification as a component of its NSF 42 certification, so it got top marks from us in this category. 

Waterdrop also claims that the Chubby has an NSF 372 certification for lead-free design, but we were unable to find this certification on any of the testing databases we reviewed. 

Filter Materials

The filter used in all Waterdrop’s pitchers and dispensers is an activated carbon fiber filter, which is silver-laced to prevent the build-up of algae and microorganisms. 

We suspect the filter contains a cation exchange resin because of the increase in potassium and reduction of minerals and metal ions in our water, which can’t be achieved with an activated carbon filter alone. 

Both activated carbon media and ion exchange resins are considered safe to use in water filters and are widely employed for this purpose.

⚙️ Setup

Score: 9.50

We awarded the Waterdrop Chubby pitcher’s setup score based on how long it took us to assemble the pitcher and prepare the filter, and how easy we found the setup process. 

The pitcher got a high score from us because of the simplicity of the process. 

We didn’t have to prime the filter, which was a big win. However, we did have to soak the filter for 10 minutes and flush it in cold water before we could install it, according to the instructions in the user manual. This was easy, but more time-consuming than for many of the other pitchers we’ve tested, which only required us to hold the filter under running water for 30-60 seconds or simply install it immediately.  

We also washed out the pitcher and reservoir before our first use. Our pitcher came with a filter change indicator, and we pressed the button on the lid for three seconds to activate the timer.

🔧 Maintenance

Score: 9.75

Beyond setup, we wanted to see how easy the Waterdrop Chubby was to maintain. 

Servicing Requirements

9.50

Replacing the filter was our main servicing requirement for the Waterdrop Chubby. 

On average, most of the water filter pitchers we’ve tested have a short filter lifespan, and their filters need replacing around every 2 months. 

We were pleased to see that the Chubby filter has a longer 200-gallon capacity, lasting up to three months, so maintenance would hopefully be a less frequent commitment. 

Replacing the filters is simple – you just follow the same instructions for installing the initial filter. The replacement filter needs to be soaked in cold water for 10 minutes before use. 

As we mentioned, the Chubby pitcher has a filter countdown timer, which we used as a reference to know when to replace our filters. 

Note: You may need to replace your filters before advised by the filter change indicator depending on your water quality and usage. 

Costs

Score: 10.00

The Waterdrop Chubby pitcher has an ongoing cost of $0.27 per gallon – exactly the same as the PUR Plus pitcher, although not as cheap as the Brita Elite filter (which costs just $0.17 per gallon) or the Santevia MINA (which costs just $0.25 per gallon). 

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 calculated the pitcher’s ongoing cost based on the manufacturer’s predicted lifespan. We haven’t yet tested the pitcher for long enough to comment on the actual cost per gallon of our filter based on our own water quality and daily water usage. 

🏢 Company

Score: 8.65

Finally, we were keen to see how Waterdrop performed as a company based on its warranty, shipping, and returns offerings. 

Warranty 

Score: 8.50

Waterdrop offers a 1-year warranty for products that have a defect in materials or workmanship. That’s one of the best warranties we’ve seen for a water filter pitcher. 

View Waterdrop’s warranty information here. 

Shipping 

Score: 9.50

Waterdrop offers free economy shipping (4-10 business days) on all orders. Standard shipping (3-6 business days) is free for orders over $200, and express shipping (2-5 business days) costs $12.99 for all orders, regardless of spend. 

Waterdrop doesn’t ship to Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa, Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Puerto Rico, or U.S. Virgin Islands.

Waterdrop’s shipping policy can be viewed here. 

Returns

Score: 8.00

Waterdrop’s 30-day returns policy entitles customers to a full refund if they return with product within the 30-day window after their initial purchase.

  • 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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