Waterdrop vs Clearly Filtered: Pitchers Objectively Compared

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Waterdrop and Clearly Filtered sell a few different kinds of water filters. Here, we’ve shared our comparison of the Clearly Filtered vs Waterdrop Chubby pitchers. These systems are ideal for folks who want an affordable, portable, no-install water filtration solution – but which do we think is best? 

We conducted our own hands-on testing of both systems in our home in Colorado. You can find the data on Clearly Filtered and Waterdrop’s performance across our testing categories, including the contaminants they removed, their filter costs and lifespans, their filtration speeds, and more.

Waterdrop sells several different pitchers and is more affordable than Clearly Filtered, but in our testing, the Clearly Filtered pitcher did a much better job of reducing the contaminants in our water supply, and we preferred the quality of the pitcher design. 

📊 Our Testing Data

We conducted comprehensive hands-on tests to assess the Waterdrop and Clearly Filtered pitchers across six key performance categories. Below, we’ve shared our scores for both systems.

FactorWaterdropClearly Filtered
Contaminant Reduction4.248.24
Filtration Rate10.0010.00
Design8.809.70
Setup9.509.50
Maintenance9.758.75
Company8.659.00

If you want to know the exact data that went into the above scores, we’ve shared it in the next table.

FactorWaterdropClearly FilteredWinner
Overall Score6.578.78Clearly Filtered
Health Related Contaminants3.508.30Clearly Filtered
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.909.90Tie
Performance CertificationNSF/ANSI 42NSF/ANSI 42 & 53Clearly Filtered
Filtration Rate3.52 GPH2.27 GPHWaterdrop
Component QualityFairOutstandingClearly Filtered
Component CertificationNSF/ANSI 42 & 372NSF/ANSI 42, 53 & 372Clearly Filtered
SetupOutstandingOutstandingTie
Servicing RequirementsOutstandingOutstandingTie
Costs$0.27/ gallon$0.55/ gallonWaterdrop
Warranty Length1 year2 yearsClearly Filtered
ShippingFree shipping to lower 48 statesFree shipping all ordersClearly Filtered
Returns30 days30 daysTie

🚰 Contaminant Reduction

There were two separate scoring categories that we combined to evaluate the Waterdrop Chubby and Clearly Filtered pitcher for contaminant reduction: 

  1. Which contaminants they could reduce in our water
  2. Whether or not they’re certified for contaminant reduction, and if so, for which contaminants

Our Lab Test Results

We started by lab-testing our water before and after filtering it through the Waterdrop and Clearly Filtered pitchers. 

We were looking to see which pitcher could reduce the most contaminants in our water, and the highest concentrations of these contaminants. 

To measure our water quality, we compared the concentrations of the contaminants detected in our water with our testing lab’s HGL (Health Guideline Level). 

We’ve shared the data from our test reports, including the contaminants detected in our unfiltered and filtered water samples, so you can compare the pitchers’ ability to improve our water quality. 

ContaminantMeasurementUnfiltered WaterWaterdrop% ChangeClearly Filtered% Change
ChloridePPM14.915.96.71%15.54.03%
ChlorinePPM10-100.00%0-100.00%
FluoridePPM1.11.10.00%0-100.00%
Nitrate (as N)PPM3.52.6-25.71%3.1-11.43%
PhosphorusPPM11.220.00%0-100.00%
SulfatePPM8.48.2-2.38%8.1-3.57%
BariumPPM0.01580.0029-81.65%0.0022-86.08%
CobaltPPM0NDND0.0054n/a
CopperPPM0.1630.0228-86.01%0-100.00%
MolybdenumPPM0.00260.0023-11.54%0.0012-53.85%
StrontiumPPM0.110.02-81.82%0.036-67.27%
UraniumPPM0.0140.0071-49.29%0-100.00%
CalciumPPM25.64.6-82.03%17.2-32.81%
MagnesiumPPM6.321.32-79.11%10.464.56%
PotassiumPPM057.5n/a2.53n/a
SodiumPPM9.636.14-36.24%14.348.49%

Clearly Filtered was yards ahead of Waterdrop here, doing a much better job of reducing contaminants in our water supply. 

Health-Related Contaminants

8 health-related contaminants were detected in our unfiltered water, including nitrate, barium, fluoride, and uranium. 

Ideally, we wanted to reduce all these contaminants. But our priority was reducing uranium and fluoride, because these were detected in concentrations exceeding the Health Guideline Level.

ContaminantMeasurementDetectionHGL
FluoridePPM1.10.8
UraniumPPM0.0140.0
NitratePPM3.510
BariumPPM0.01582.0
MolybdenumPPM0.00260.03
StrontiumPPM0.113.0
SulfatePPM8.4500
CopperPPM0.1630.3

When we compared our test results, the Clearly Filtered pitcher was the clear winner. The pitcher reduced 100% fluoride, uranium, and copper. It also reduced 86% barium, 67% strontium, and 53% molybdenum. Nitrate and sulfate reduction was poorer, at 11% and 3% respectively. 

We did, however, have one issue with our Clearly Filtered test results. Cobalt, which has possible blood and thyroid effects, appeared to have been introduced by the filter into our water (it had not been detected in our unfiltered water). Our filtered water test detected 0.0054 PPM of this metal, which is unusual, especially given that the filter has been third-party tested to reduce cobalt by >98.31%. We’ll be retesting the pitcher soon so we can get to the bottom of why this occurred. 

The Waterdrop Chubby pitcher did a good job of reducing 86% copper, 81% barium, and 81% strontium, but it only reduced 49% uranium, 11% molybdenum, and no fluoride whatsoever. It did slightly better than Clearly Filtered at reducing 25% nitrate, and it did a similarly poor job at reducing sulfate, this time by 2%. 

Does that mean that Waterdrop is less capable as a water filter pitcher? For us, yes, but not necessarily for you.

The Waterdrop Chubby hasn’t been tested to reduce as many contaminants as the Clearly Filtered pitcher. Looking solely at our own results, they tell us that the Chubby can’t reduce our water’s contaminants as effectively as the CF pitcher. But if our water had contained only the contaminants that the Chubby could reduce, like metal ions and minerals, its performance score probably would have been higher. 

This testing outcome demonstrates the importance of getting your water tested first, so you can choose a water filter that addresses the specific contaminants that your water contains. 

Aesthetic Contaminants

Our test water was a treated groundwater supply, which had been disinfected with chlorine. 

We used a chlorine test strip to test for this volatile contaminant at home. 

1 PPM of chlorine was detected in our unfiltered water, while no chlorine whatsoever was detected in our filtered water samples, telling us that both pitchers had eliminated this contaminant.

Clearly Filtered Pitcher chlorine test

We also noticed no chlorine tastes or odors in our filtered water, which was an outcome that we’d expected given that both pitchers use carbon filtration media and the test strips indicated a complete reduction. 

Minerals & pH 

We generally prefer to retain minerals in our drinking water because they’re necessary to human health and enhance water’s taste. 

But we found that many of the water filter pitchers we tested actually reduced these minerals, even if mineral reduction wasn’t an intended outcome. 

Clearly Filtered says that its pitcher doesn’t remove healthy minerals, but our test results said otherwise. The pitcher reduced magnesium by 64% and calcium by 32% in our testing. We were surprised that the pH of our water increased from 7.4 to 8.

Waterdrop does say that the Chubby pitcher reduces healthy minerals. In our testing, the pitcher reduced calcium by 82% and magnesium by 79%, while potassium increased from 0 PPM to 57.5 PPM. We think the pitcher uses a cation exchange resin, which exchanged calcium and magnesium with potassium. 

If you follow a healthy diet, you don’t need to consume these minerals in your water as you’ll get plenty from your foods. Healthline even says that drinking distilled water (with all minerals and impurities removed) shouldn’t make you deficient because you already get most necessary minerals from your diet. Still, you may agree with us that Waterdrop and Clearly Filtered’s mineral reduction is a setback. 

Performance Certifications

We were pleased to see that Clearly Filtered and Waterdrop both have performance certifications, so we don’t have to rely on their contaminant removal claims alone. 

But neither pitcher is certified to reduce very many contaminants, so they didn’t get the top scores in this category. 

The Waterdrop Chubby is only certified to reduce chlorine, tastes, and odors, (see its NSF 42 certification here). Waterdrop also claims that the pitcher can reduce five other metals and ions, but the Chubby filter hasn’t been certified to prove this.

The Clearly Filtered pitcher is WQA certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 42 and Standard 53, for the reduction of chlorine, PFOS and PFOA. The manufacturer claims that the pitcher can reduce 365 contaminants. We think the filter’s certifications could be more extensive. 

🚦Filtration Rate

We knew that the Waterdrop Chubby and Clearly Filtered pitchers would have a slower filtration rate because they’re gravity filters, so there’s no water pressure to force the water quickly through the filter media. 

We measured the filters’ rate of filtration in gallons per hour (GPH). See how both filters compared in the table below.

ProductFiltration Rate ScoreFiltration Rate
Waterdrop10.003.52 GPH
Clearly Filtered10.002.27 GPH

The Waterdrop Chubby had a filtration rate of 3.52 GPH, based on its ability to filter 0.414 gallons of water in 7 minutes and 4 seconds.

The Clearly Filtered pitcher had a slower filtration rate of 2.27 GPH. It filtered 0.5 gallons of water in 13 minutes and 12 seconds. 

This makes sense to us given that the Waterdrop Chubby has a more basic filter design, while Clearly Filtered’s multi-stage filter has a more tortuous path and reduces the flow of water traveling through. 

Although both pitchers did well in our testing, it’s worth acknowledging that the filters were still relatively new at the time. Filtration rate typically reduces throughout the filter lifespan in a gravity-fed pitcher.

💲 Upfront Cost

In our upfront cost comparison, Waterdrop’s filter pitchers are much cheaper. 

The Waterdrop Chubby 10-Cup Pitcher was $27.49 when we got it to review, making it around one-third of the price of the Clearly Filtered pitcher, which was priced at $90. 

We think the reason for this initial price difference is pretty clear: with Clearly Filtered, you pay more upfront for the initial filter, which is tested to reduce hundreds more contaminants than the Waterdrop Chubby. 

So, in terms of value for money, we think both brands are similar here, even though Clearly Filtered is the more expensive offering. 

ProductPriceFilters Included
Waterdrop Chubby 10-Cup Pitcher$27.491
Clearly Filtered pitcher$90.001

📐 Design

From a design perspective, the Waterdrop Chubby and Clearly Filtered pitchers are pretty similar. But we still noted some differences between the two that we want to mention here. 

Here are the design scores for the pitchers. 

ProductDesign ScoreComponent QualityMaterials Safety
Waterdrop8.80FairCertified
Clearly Filtered9.70OutstandingCertified

Clearly Filtered got the higher score because we preferred the feel and quality of the plastics used in its design. 

Filter Models

The Clearly Filtered pitcher filter fits the single water pitcher sold on the manufacturer’s website: the 10-Cup Filtered Water Pitcher. There are no colors and designs to choose from; just a single design in white and clear. 

Clearly Filtered pitcher parts

Waterdrop’s sells a few different water filter pitchers that can be used with its gravity filter: 

The Chubby and the Lucid both hold 10 cups of water, while the Elfin holds just 5 cups. There are a few different color combinations to choose from, including clear, white, and blue.

Waterdrop chubby pitcher and filter cartridge

Waterdrop might be your preferred choice if you’re looking for a small water pitcher that’s portable and easy to carry, or if you prefer the wooden handle on the Chubby pitcher. Otherwise, we think Clearly Filtered’s 10-cup pitcher capacity is a good size for most families, and holds a good amount of water without getting too heavy when full. 

Component Quality 

The Waterdrop and Clearly Filtered pitchers are both made from plastic, but we noticed a difference in design quality between the two. 

The Clearly Filtered pitcher is made from BPA- and BPS-free Tritan plastic, which has been approved by the FDA for use in food contact applications and has a sturdier, thicker feel than most other pitchers we’ve used (including the Waterdrop pitcher). 

The Waterdrop Chubby pitcher is made from BPA-free polypropylene. It felt thinner and flimsier than the Clearly Filtered pitcher. 

There are a few obvious advantages to using these plastics to make water filter pitchers: they’re lightweight, affordable, pliable, heat-resistant, and durable. 

But if you don’t like to use plastics in your food and water storage solutions, you’ll need to consider whether the pros of these pitchers outweigh their cons. 

Filter Materials

Clearly Filtered is more advanced than Waterdrop, and this is evidenced by its filter materials. 

The blend of filter media used in the Clearly Filtered pitchers is what Clearly Filtered calls “affinity filtration technology”. Each filter cartridge combines: 

  • Carbon block media
  • A woven stainless steel mesh screen
  • A composite shell
  • Several unnamed proprietary materials (looking at the contaminants reduced, we think some type of ion exchange resin and/or KDF media)

The filter media has many twists and turns, which increases its efficacy in trapping particles. 

Holding a Clearly Filtered water filter pitcher replacement cartridge

The Waterdrop Chubby pitcher has a simpler filter design. It uses one primary filter media: activated carbon. The media is laced with silver, which has good antimicrobial properties but doesn’t contribute to contaminant reduction. 

Both filters use plastic filter cartridges to contain their media. 

Waterdrop chubby filter cartridge

Materials Safety Certification

Clearly Filtered and Waterdrop both have materials safety certifications, which they obtained as part of their performance certifications. 

The Clearly Filtered pitcher is also WQA certified to NSF Standard 372 for lead-free design.

⚙️ Setup

Our hands-on testing of both pitchers meant that we could do the setup tasks ourselves. 

We noted that Waterdrop and Clearly Filtered were both easy to set up and took less than 15 minutes, but there were some minor differences between the two. 

The next table shows our setup times and scores for the systems. 

ProductSetup ScoreSetup Time
Waterdrop9.50Less than 10 minutes
Clearly Filtered9.50Less than 10 minutes

Waterdrop’s filter needs to be soaked in cold water for 10 minutes before it can be inserted into the pitcher. 

The Clearly Filtered pitcher also has a 10-minute filter preparation process, but this time, we had to prime the filter with the included priming bag. 

Both filters were easy to prepare, but took longer than many of the other water filter pitchers we’ve tested, which just need a quick rinse under running water. 

We also washed the pitchers and reservoirs in warm water and soap before we used them. The Waterdrop pitcher had a filter indicator timer that needed to be set – we just pressed and held the button.  

We recommend both pitchers to folks who are looking for a quick and easy filter setup process. 

🔧 Maintenance

Maintenance for the Waterdrop Chubby filter and the Claarly Filtered pitcher was also simple and minimal. 

We awarded the following maintenance scores to the two filters.

ProductMaintenance ScoreServicing RequirementsCosts
Waterdrop9.75Outstanding$0.27/ gallon
Clearly Filtered8.75Outstanding$0.55/ gallon

Waterdrop and Clearly Filtered were equal in this category because they were both easy to maintain and had low servicing costs. 

Servicing Requirements 

For both pitchers, we had to replace the filters once they reached the end of their estimated lifespan or once the filtration rate decreased significantly.

We also washed out the pitchers and reservoirs around once or twice a week to keep them clean.

We found the Waterdrop Chubby’s filter change indicator light helpful in reminding us to replace the filters, although it only provides guidance based on a timer – it doesn’t account for differences in water quality. 

The Clearly Filtered pitcher doesn’t have this feature, so we used our own initiative and replaced the filter when the filtration speed had reduced (we also set a calendar reminder on our phones).

Maintenance Costs

The Waterdrop Chubby is cheaper to maintain than the Clearly Filtered pitcher, so it’s the best choice if you want to keep your ongoing spend low.  

We calculated the Chubby pitcher’s ongoing filter value at $0.27 per gallon.

Clearly Filtered’s cost per gallon is around double the Chubby’s: $0.55. It’s around $0.20-$0.30/gallon more expensive than many of the other pitchers we tested. 

Why do we think Clearly Filtered has the highest long-term spend? Its filters are more advanced and reduce more contaminants than Waterdrop, so you pay for the better performance.

🏢 Company

Product performance aside, we wanted to see how Waterdrop and Clearly Filtered compared in terms of their offerings as companies, including their warranties, shipping, and returns policies. 

ProductCompany ScoreWarranty LengthShippingReturns
Waterdrop8.651 yearFree shipping to lower 48 states30 days
Clearly Filtered9.002 yearsFree shipping all orders30 days

We were impressed with both companies here, but Clearly Filtered has the best offerings overall. 

Warranty Length 

Waterdrop warrants its pitchers for 1 year, which is pretty great for a water filter pitcher company. 

Clearly Filtered’s 2-year warranty is even better – it’s actually the longest warranty we’ve come across for any of the water filter pitchers we reviewed. 

Shipping 

Both Waterdrop and Clearly Filtered offer free economy shipping for all orders, with no minimum spend. Clearly Filtered offers free shipping to all states, making it slightly better than Waterdrop here. 

Returns

Waterdrop and Clearly Filtered are equal in their returns policy offerings. Both provide a 30-day returns period from the date of purchase.  

⛔️ Pitcher Setbacks & Flaws

It’s good to know the full story before you invest in any water filter pitcher, so here, we’ve compared the setbacks of the Waterdrop Chubby and Clearly Filtered pitchers.

Waterdrop Setbacks

  • Only certified to reduce 1 contaminant – The Chubby pitcher only has a certification for chlorine reduction. 
  • Reduces healthy minerals  – There was a significant reduction in the concentrations of calcium and magnesium minerals in our water. 
  • Poorer contaminant reduction performance  – The filter was less capable of reducing contaminants like fluoride, uranium, and nitrate in our water.
  • Poorer quality pitcher materials – We found that the plastics used in the Chubby pitcher felt thinner and flimsier than those used in the CF pitcher. 

Clearly Filtered Setbacks

  • Only certified to reduce some contaminants – We’d like to see Clearly Filtered get certified to reduce more contaminants given that it’s third-party tested to reduce more than 365. 
  • Expensive – The CF filter’s superior performance comes at a higher upfront and ongoing cost. 
  • Reduced minerals – The Clearly Filtered pitcher also reduced healthy minerals in our water, although not as much as Waterdrop.

🆚 Waterdrop or Clearly Filtered: Which Should You Choose?

We think the Waterdrop Chubby and Clearly Filtered pitchers are both good choices, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for everyone. Here, we’ve outlined the situations where one filter may be better for you than the other.

Go For Waterdrop If:

You’re looking for the most affordable water filter pitcher.
You want to target a few specific contaminants, including some metal ions and chlorine, rather than reducing as many contaminants as possible.
You want to choose between a few different pitcher sizes and models.

Choose Clearly Filtered If:

Your priority is to reduce as many contaminants as possible in your water, or you want to address contaminants like fluoride and uranium with a capable filter pitcher.
You prefer a pitcher made from thicker, higher-quality plastic.
You want a filter that has been tested and certified to reduce more contaminants.
  • 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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