ZeroWater vs Brita: Which Water Filter Pitcher is Better in 2023?

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Zero Water and Brita are two of the most popular gravity water filter pitchers available. When you look beyond first impressions at the Brita water filter vs Zero Water filter, each has their own features that set them apart.

📖 TL;DR ZeroWater versus Brita: Which is Best?

While both brands offer some of the best performing products on the market, some folks may prefer Brita for their brand recognition and longer lasting filters.

However for those looking for the most thorough contaminant removal, ZeroWater is better.

⚖️ Brita & Zerowater Comparison Chart

brita pitcher

Brita Grand

  • Filter: Standard
  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Contaminants removed: 5+
  • Filter lifespan: 40 gallons or 2 months
  • Warranty: 90 days
  • Price:
ZeroWater 10 Cup review

ZeroWater Pitcher

  • Filter: 5 stages
  • Capacity: 10 cups
  • Contaminants removed: 23
  • Filter lifespan: 1 – 2 months
  • Warranty: 90 days
  • Price:
Pitcher Variations138
Price Range$20 - $40$20 - $45
Filter Cartridges Included13
Filter Capacity (Lifespan)Standard: 40 gallons or 2 months
Longlast+: 120 gallons or 6 months
Stream: 40 gallons or 2 months
20 gallons or 2 months
Pitcher Capacity6 - 12 cups6 - 12 cups
Warranty1 year90 days

💡 Brita and Zero Water Filter Comparison

Brita Filters

Brita is one of the biggest names in the water filter industry, and if you haven’t tried one of Brita’s filters already, you probably have a friend who has.

Brita’s filters are so popular because they’re both convenient and effective – they filter out the most common contaminants while being low-cost and requiring no installation or major maintenance.

They’re made from a coconut-based activated carbon media, which, in the process of adsorption, binds contaminants to the filter and prevents them from passing through with water.

You can buy Brita’s pitchers in a variety of shapes and sizes, holding from 5 to 25 cups of water. There are two types of filter: the standard filter and the Elite filter (formerly LongLast). Brita’s standard filter has a two-month lifespan. The Elite filter lasts for three times as long, and needs replacing every 6 months.

Brita Standard and Elite replacement filters
Brita’s Standard & Elite filters

Related: Do Brita filters remove calcium?

Zero Water Filters

The Zero Water filter pitcher systems are similar in style to Brita’s, with a variety of styles, colors and sizes for between 6 cups and 30 cups of water.

Zero Water also has a 40-cup ready-pour countertop water filter, which is a little bigger than the rest of its pitchers. Like Brita’s filters, you don’t need to install the Zero Water pitchers – you just attach the filter and fill them up, and they’re good to go.

Zero Water’s biggest selling point is that it offers 5 stages of filtration, rather than the standard 2 stages that you can usually expect from a gravity water filter (including Brita’s offerings).

With a more thorough filtration process, Zerowater filters can remove a much broader range of contaminants than most filtered water pitchers.

In fact, ZeroWater’s filters are advertised to remove more total dissolved solids than any other water filter of its kind. The filters last for between 3 and 5 months, depending on the quality of your tap water.

zerowater 5-stage filter
ZeroWater 5-stage filters

🧫 ZeroWater vs Brita – What Contaminants Do They Remove?

ContaminantZeroWater FiltersElite (Longlast +)Standard
Arsenic III98.3%
Arsenic V98.3%
Beryllium 98.0%
Bisphenol A95.5%
Carbon Tetrachloride91.2%
Chromium 3 97.8%
Chromium 6 97.8%
Endrin 98.7%
Iron 99.9%
Nonyl phenol93.5%
Particulates99.6% (Class 1)
Tetrachloroethylene 96.1%

🚦 Zero Water & Brita Performance Comparison


Brita’s water filter is BPA-free and requires no installation before use. Being NSF certified for Standards 42 and 53, you can guarantee that Brita’s pitcher filters will remove or greatly reduce both chlorine and lead from your tap water. Brita’s filters have some of the most thorough filtration capabilities for a gravity water system, especially for a filter that’s small enough to hold in one hand.

Both Brita’s standard and Elite filters take approximately 40 seconds to filter a full glass of water. This is pretty speedy for a water pitcher filter, which relies on gravity to force water through the cartridge, with no water pressure or electricity to back it up.

Comparing the water filter for Brita with other branded water filter pitchers, Brita’s filter offers one of the fastest flow rates on the market. Keep in mind, though, that like every water pitcher, Brita’s filter will slow down significantly as it gets to the end of its lifetime.

The best performing Brita filter is its Elite filter, which has an impressively long lifespan compared to other filter pitchers. If lifespan is an important performance feature to you, you’ll appreciate that you’ll only need to change the Elite filter after approximately every 6 months.

Filling the brita pitcher with water

Zero Water

ZeroWater is NSF certified for both standards 42 and 53, for the reduction of chlorine taste and odor, and lead. When you buy a Zero Water pitcher, the system comes with a free TDS meter, which you can use to measure the level of total dissolved solids in your water.

ZeroWater’s confidence in its filters is an encouraging factor to anyone looking to try the brand out for the first time, especially as, based on customer reviews, people who used the TDS meter to test the conductivity of their water before and after using the filter pitcher recorded a noticeable improvement.

ZeroWater’s filter is small and compact, fitting a full 5 stage filtration process into a single cartridge. The filter is carefully designed to provide the most thorough filtration, and the longest filter life, for a water filter pitcher.

In terms of contaminant removal, ZeroWater is definitely one of the most impressive water filters of its kind. When tap water is added to the filter pitcher, it flows through multiple filter media, including:

  • An initial filter screen, which removes dust, rust and other sediment
  • A foam distributer, which removes suspended solids
  • A carbon oxidation reduction alloy, which filters out organic contaminants, such as some chemicals and metals
  • An ion exchange resin, which removes organic compounds from water
  • A non-woven membrane and ultra-fine screen, which eliminates any remaining sediment and suspended solids

When it comes to speed of contaminant removal, like Brita, ZeroWater isn’t the fastest filter around. But it does take the ZeroWater a little longer than the Brita to filter water – roughly just under 2 minutes to filter a full cup.

This is because ZeroWater has more filter stages for tap water to pass through than Brita’s system, which slows the flow rate down a little.

Measuring water quality with zerowater tds meter

💲 Brita vs Zero Water: Models & Upfront Cost

Brita models

Brita’s models are a fantastic variation of filtration pitchers, with 15 different types of water pitcher system available. The majority of Brita’s pitchers, while looking different in shape, style and size, can be used with either the standard or the Elite filter – though be sure to check this if you’re keen to use a particular one with your pitcher.

The full list of Brita’s current available models is listed below:

  • Monterey with Elite Filter
  • Ultraslim Stream® Dispenser
  • Ultramax Dispenser with Elite Filter
  • Stream® Cascade Pitcher
  • Grand
  • Lake
  • Wave
  • Metro
  • Soho
  • Rapids Stream® Pitcher
  • Everyday
  • Pacifica
  • Space-Saver
brita water filter pitcher models

Zero Water models

Zero Water sells a variety of different filtration pitchers, all of which use the same-sized filter cartridge. The pitchers come in all different shapes and sizes, with models to suit all filtration needs and budgets, whether you’re looking for a syetsm for your entire office or your small family. The cheapest filtration offering is the 6-Cup system, which costs $20, while the costliest option is the Bottle Filtration System, at around $70.

The full range of Zero Water models is listed below:

  • 6-Cup Pitcher
  • 7-Cup Pitcher
  • 10-Cup Pitcher
  • 12-Cup Pitcher
  • 20-Cup Pitcher
  • 30-Cup Pitcher
  • 40-Cup Pitcher
  • Stainless Steel 11-Cup
  • Bottle Filtration System
zerowater models
ZeroWater models

📆 Zero Water and Brita Filter Lifespan & Replacement Costs

Brita filters

The standard Brita filtration system has a lifespan of 40 gallons. This means you can enjoy Brita filtered water for roughly 2 months before you’ll need to buy replacement filters.

The actual lifespan of Brita’s filters depend on the quality of your tap water – the more contaminants it contains, the more quickly you’ll clog the filters, and the more regularly you’ll need to change them.

You can buy one water filter Brita for roughly $6.50, three for around $15, and six for around $25, so you’ll get an increasingly better value for your money with every extra Brita filter you buy.

It’s a good deal if you’re a big fan of the brand and you plan to use Brita’s water filter pitcher systems long into the future.

While 40 gallons is pretty good for this sort of filtering system, Brita goes one better with its Elite offering.

These filters last for 6 months, or roughly three times as long as the standard offering. If you buy a one-pack Elite , you’ll pay around $17, while a two-pack offering costs around $33.

Comparing the two filters side-by-side, you do get a slightly better deal paying for the Elite than the standard offering.

Zero Water filters

Zero Water’s 5-stage filtered water cartridges last for less time than Brita’s 40 gallons – approximately 20 to 25 gallons of tap water.

It’s likely that this is mostly down to the fact that Zero Water’s systems offer multiple stages of filtering, which inevitably causes a build-up of a wider range of contaminants.

With that said, most people seem to get at least 3 months out of Zero Water’s systems, so it really does depend on the quality of your tap water.

A single Zero Water filter costs around $15, while a pack of two costs around $30. Comparing this to Brita’s Elite offering, which lasts longer, you could say that Brita’s Elite is the better deal purely for that fact.

But it’s worth considering that with Zero Water, you pay for a more thorough TDS removal, so it really depends on whether you’re looking for a system that lasts longer or is more thorough.

💬 Customer Reviews & Complaints


Brita’s thousands of positive customer reviews suggest that the brand has been doing something right for years.

The Brita standard replacement filtering cartridges currently have a rating of 4.7 out of 5 on Amazon, based on a total of nearly 27,000 reviews.

Customers praise Brita’s offerings for their affordability and effectiveness, as well as their simple installation and use. Ther majority of reviewers are in agreement that Brita’s cartridges fit perfectly inside the system, and produce great tasting filtered water.

Brits’s water filtering cartridges have recently undergone an upgrade, and some customers found that compared to the old ones, these new cartridges can leak if you don’t push them with some force to seat them properly.

Other customers commented that Brita’s replacement replacement indicator isn’t entirely accurate, and it’s best to adjust replacement periods depending on your use and water quality.

Zero Water

ZeroWater’s products have received similarly positive reviews, with the 5-stage filtering cartridge averaging 4.5 out of 5 stars based on more than 22,000 reviews. Customers rated Zero Water’s filter highly for its water filtering abilities, and enjoyed using the handy TDS meter that comes free of charge with the system.

Many people compared the TDS readings of their water to readings from using other branded systems, and Zero Water came out on top.

One issue that some customers pointed out was that the filtering cartridges never lasted as long as advertised, with some people saying that they had to change theirs after less than a month.

It’s likely that this is down to the quality of the water – the more contaminants it contains, the quicker any filtering product will reach the end of its lifespan.

Some customers also mentioned that they received a faulty or defective product, which seems to indicate an issue with quality control.

Related: Common Zero Water Filter Problems

☑️ Pros and Cons of Zero Water vs Brita

👍 Brita – What We Liked

Long-time popular brand

Buying Brita’s products feels like less of a risk when the brand has been around for so long, and is internationally renowned for its high-quality products.

Great for any budget

Brita’s products are affordable for all budgets, so if you don’t have the cash to splash for a more expensive filtering solution, Brita’s systems will suit you well.

Optional Elite filtering cartridge

If you choose to buy Brita’s Elite offering, you’ll benefit from a system that lasts for up to 6 months, which is a lot longer than the cartridges in most water filtering pitchers.

NSF certified

Brita’s products are NSF certified to Standards 42 and 53, for chlorine and lead removal, which offers a bit of extra reassurance for first-time buyers.

👎 Brita – What We Didn’t Like

Not as thorough as ZeroWater

Brita’s systems, though offering an incredibly thorough filtering solution, don’t quite remove the level of TDS that you can get from ZeroWater’s offering.

Doesn’t offer immediate filtering

Like all pitchers, Brita’s systems take up to a minute to produce a glass of clean, filtered water, so the results aren’t immediate.

👍 ZeroWater – What We Liked

Thorough filtering process

ZeroWater’s filtering systems are incredibly thorough, removing up to 99% of all TDS. If you’re looking for the cleanest water, you’ll find it with ZeroWater.

Multiple styles available

There’s lots of choice when it comes to ZeroWater’s products. You can choose a size and a style that suits your taste and requirements.

Good value for money

ZeroWater’s systems are relatively affordable considering their thorough water filtering process.

High-quality construction

You’re unlikely to be let down by the quality of ZeroWater’s pitchers, and they’re designed to last for a long time.

👎 ZeroWater – What We Didn’t Like

Systems don’t last that long

ZeroWater doesn’t have a long last filtering cartridge option like Brita’s, and you’ll usually have to change theirs every 3 months.

Fairly slow filtering time

Because of ZeroWater’s 5-stage filtering process, it takes longer for the system to produce clean water than Brita’s pitchers do.

Should I buy Brita or Zero Water?

Comparing Zero Water vs Brita, both have their benefits, and both are popular for good reason.

In terms of design and style, both brands offer a similar selection of products, and it’s their filtering processes that really set the two apart.

You might prefer to go for one of Brita’s products if you would rather change your filtering cartridge less regularly, and opt for an internationally-well-known brand.

ZeroWater’s products may be more suited to you if you are looking for a higher TDS removal, with the addition of a handy TDS meter for testing your water before and after running it through your filtering system.

  • Brian Campbell
    Founder, Water Treatment Specialist

    Brian Campbell is a water treatment specialist and water expert based in Denver, Colorado. He's always been obsessed with water quality, and has spent years testing all kinds of treatment devices from simple pitchers and portable devices to complex whole home systems.

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