ZeroWater vs Epic Pure: Data-Driven Comparison & Analysis

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If you’re looking for a water filter pitcher that can reduce hundreds of common drinking water contaminants, you’re probably considering ZeroWater and Epic as two of the most popular filter manufacturers that fit this description. 

We put ZeroWater and the Epic Pure pitchers head to head for this review, comparing their ability to reduce contaminants in our water, as well as their design quality, filtration rate, setup and maintenance requirements, and overall value for money. 

Epic is more affordable and has a much better filter capacity than ZeroWater, but we found it easier to track ZeroWater’s filter performance and lifespan, and we appreciated its official performance certifications.

In our testing, Epic effectively reduced contaminants to below the Tap Score HGLs. ZeroWater did a better job at reducing fluoride, but it also reduced healthy minerals (Epic did not), and disinfection byproducts were detected in our filtered water.

📊 Our Testing Data

We wanted to get a clear, well-rounded insight into ZeroWater and Epic’s performance, using our own subjective testing data where possible. As with all the water filters we tested, we evaluated the two pitchers across our 6 different testing categories. The scores they achieved correlate to how well they performed in each category. See their scores in the table below.

FactorZeroWaterEpic Pure
Contaminant Reduction8.349.00
Filtration Rate10.0010.00

Here are the sub-category scores that contributed to the overall scores shared above. 

FactorZeroWaterEpic PureWinner
Overall Score8.628.90Epic
Health Related Contaminants8.309.30Epic
Aesthetic Related Contaminants9.909.90Tie
Performance CertificationNSF/ANSI 42, 53NoneZeroWater
Filtration Rate2.62 GPH2.23 GPHZeroWater
Component QualityFairUnsatisfactoryZeroWater
Component CertificationNSF CertifiedNoneZeroWater
Servicing RequirementsOutstandingOutstandingTie
Costs$0.70/ gal$0.31/ galEpic
Warranty Length90 days vessels, 30 days filtersLifetimeEpic
Shipping$60 order threshold, continental USFree shipping for Water Club membersEpic

🚰 Contaminant Reduction

Our testing priority was to evaluate the contaminant reduction abilities of the ZeroWater and Epic Pure pitchers. 

We did this by conducting our own water quality tests before and after using the filters, and by looking for unbiased evidence of the filters’ performance in the form of certifications by the NSF, WQA, or IAMPO.

Our Lab Test Results

The water we used in our ZeroWater and Epic tests was a treated groundwater supply. We used SimpleLab’s Tap Score city water test to detect contaminants in our unfiltered water, then repeated our testing post-filtration to see what the filters had reduced or removed.

water testing with tap score

We reviewed our water quality test reports in our analysis. Tap Score has produced its own guidelines for contaminants in water, known as Health Guideline Levels (HGLs), and we used these to evaluate the safety of the contaminants detected.  

Below, you can see which contaminants were present in all three water samples (our unfiltered sample and 2 filtered samples), so you can see how much each filter addressed our water quality concerns.

ContaminantMeasurementUnfiltered WaterZeroWater% ChangeEpic Pure% Change
Total THMsPPB03.4n/a
Nitrate (as N)PPM3.50-100.00%2.8-20.00%

Epic got the higher score here because it reduced all health-related contaminants to below the HGLs, and no additional contaminants were detected in our filtered water. 

Health-Related Contaminants

We were most concerned about the contaminants with possible health effects that were detected in our water. There were 8 contaminants detected, and of these, fluoride and uranium were found in concentrations exceeding the Tap Score HGL. 

Nitrate (as N)PPM3.510
Total Dissolved SolidsPPM137none

The ZeroWater pitcher did really well in this category: it reduced 100% fluoride, uranium, barium, strontium, molybdenum, nitrate, and sulfate, as well as 97% copper. 

ZeroWater would have won here if it wasn’t for one anomaly with our filtered water test results. 3.4 PPB of chloroform (a disinfection byproduct) had “appeared” in our filtered water. 

It’s highly unlikely that the ZeroWater filter itself added disinfection byproducts to our water. The most realistic explanation for this outcome is that chloroform had been present in our unfiltered water, but had dissipated when we were filling the other pitchers we tested at the same time with the water from the bucket. 

We took the pre-filtration sample only after filling the other pitchers, which may have allowed chloroform time to dissipate first. However, because this contaminant was detected in our filtered water, it tells us that the ZeroWater pitcher doesn’t effectively target this disinfection byproduct.

The Epic Pure pitcher reduced 100% uranium, copper, and phosphorous, as well as 92% sulfate, 57% molybdenum, 41% barium, 27% fluoride, and 20% nitrate. Alongside ZeroWater, it was one of the only water filter pitchers that reduced all health-related contaminants to below the HGL. 

No new contaminants were detected in our filtered water, so its score wasn’t negatively influenced like ZeroWater’s. 

Does that mean the Epic Pure filter can reduce disinfection byproducts? Possibly – but it’s also possible that chloroform had dissipated from our test water by the time we filled the Pure pitcher. 

Aesthetic Contaminants

Our water had been disinfected with chlorine, and our test strip detected around 1 PPM of this contaminant, which is normal for treated drinking water supplies. 

After filtering the water through the ZeroWater and Epic pitchers, chlorine had been reduced to 0 PPM, so their carbon filter elements both did their jobs. 

We also couldn’t detect any chemical tastes or odors in our filtered water. 

Healthy Minerals & Other Properties

We also wanted to know whether or not ZeroWater or Epic had any effect on the trace concentrations of healthy minerals in our water. 

The ZeroWater pitcher is intended to reduce TDS (total dissolved solids). Healthy minerals are classed as dissolved solids, so we were expecting that these minerals would be reduced to bring TDS down to 0. 

And that’s what happened: the filter reduced 100% of magnesium and sodium, and 99% of calcium. This affected our water’s pH slightly, causing it to drop from 7.4 to 7 (so still within the neutral range). 

We think the ZeroWater pitcher’s ion exchange resin caused this reduction in mineral ions. 

The Epic Pure pitcher didn’t reduce healthy minerals at all – in fact, calcium, magnesium, and sodium actually increased slightly post-filtration. 

Performance Certifications

ZeroWater has been certified to reduce a handful of contaminants, while Epic doesn’t have any certifications for its performance. 

The ZeroWater pitcher is NSF certified to Standard 42, for reducing chlorine tastes and odors, and Standard 53, for reducing mercury, lead, PFOA, PFOS, and hexavalent chromium. 

ZeroWater claims that the pitcher can reduce 24 contaminants (see the performance datasheet), so we’d find it more reassuring if the pitcher had a more extensive range of certifications.

Epic’s lack of performance certifications puts it behind many of its competitors – it’s one of the few water filter pitchers we tested that hasn’t yet been certified.

🚦Filtration Rate

Both ZeroWater and Epic did well in this category. We timed their filtering speeds to obtain a filtration rate measurement in gallons per hour (GPH). 

Here’s how the two pitchers compared in terms of their timings and filtration rates. 

ProductFiltration Rate ScoreFiltration Rate
ZeroWater10.002.62 GPH
Epic Pure10.002.23 GPH

The ZeroWater pitcher had the faster filtration rate of 2.62 GPH. In our testing, it filtered 0.391 gallons of water in 8 minutes and 56 seconds. This makes it one of the fastest water filter pitchers we’ve tested*.

The Epic Pure pitcher was only slightly slower, with a filtration rate of 2.23 GPH. According to our timings, it filtered 0.453 gallons of water in 12 minutes and 13 seconds.

*The average filtration rate of the 8 pitchers we tested was 2.30 GPH. 

Both filters did well here, although we expect their filtration rates to reduce over time. We tested them while they were still quite new, so their filtration capacity wasn’t hindered by the presence of contaminants/debris in the filter media. 

💲 Upfront Cost

ZeroWater has the more affordable offering when it comes to upfront cost. When we got it to test, the ZeroWater 12-Cup Ready-Pour Pitcher cost $39.99. 

The Epic Pure pitcher is more expensive at $69. It has a smaller water-holding capacity than ZeroWater too (8.5 cups compared to ZeroWater’s 12 cups), so you’re paying more for a smaller pitcher. 

But, both pitchers come with an initial filter, and Epic’s filter lifespan is much longer than ZeroWater’s. So with ZeroWater, you’ll need to pay for a new filter within a matter of weeks, while Epic’s lasts months. That’s something to note when considering value for money. 

If you’d rather spend less upfront and don’t mind shelling out for replacement filters more frequently, go for ZeroWater. Otherwise, Epic is the better choice. 

ZeroWater 12-Cup Ready-Pour Pitcher$39.99
Waterdrop Chubby 10-Cup Pitcher$69.00

📐 Design

ZeroWater and Epic have similar designs, but we did notice some differences in design quality, and their filter materials aren’t the same.

Here are the design scores we awarded the filters.

ProductDesign ScoreComponent QualityMaterials Safety
ZeroWater8.80FairNSF Certified
Epic Pure6.00UnsatisfactoryNot Certified

Neither of the pitchers blew us away with their design materials and overall quality, but ZeroWater got the highest score because it felt slightly better quality and has a materials safety certification. 

Filter Models

ZeroWater sells a range of water filter pitchers and dispensers, including: 

ZeroWater pitchers are all clear with blue and white accents. They’re mostly all made from plastic, with one exception: the Glass Ready Pour Dispenser.

zerowater pitcher and dispensers on countertop table

Epic only sells one pitcher that can be used with the Pure filter: a 10-cup jug, with a white or navy blue lid and handle. There’s also the Epic Pure Dispenser, which has a 1.7-gallon filtered water capacity. 

epic water filters pure pitcher

If you have a specific pitcher size in mind or you just like a lot of choice, ZeroWater is your best choice. But Epic’s 10-cup pitcher capacity is the most common size anyway, and the one that most people end up going for. 

Component Quality 

We found that ZeroWater had a better design quality than Epic. 

The ZeroWater pitcher is made of BPA-free polypropylene and ABS (a terpolymer). It felt a bit thinner and cheaper than some of the other pitchers we reviewed, but it wasn’t as cheap-feeling as Epic. 

The Epic Pure was probably the poorest-quality water filter pitcher we tested in terms of design materials. It’s supposedly made from Tritan plastic, which we actually had a good experience with in other pitchers (Clearly Filtered, for instance, is made of Tritan and got our highest design score). 

But Epic’s plastics felt thin and flimsy, and on top of that, we identified a design flaw with this pitcher that could be easily avoided, which further pulled its score down.  

We noticed that when we tried to move or pick up the pitcher while it was completely full, unfiltered water from the upper reservoir was able to spill into the lower reservoir. This is obviously a major issue because it means that our filtered water was getting recontaminated with the impurities we’d just removed.

While ZeroWater got the better score here, we wouldn’t recommend either system to folks who place “high-quality design” at the top of their list of priorities. 

Filter Materials & Media

ZeroWater’s filter design appears to be more advanced than Epic’s, although we can’t say this for sure because we don’t know exactly what the Epic Pure filter contains.

The ZeroWater 5-Stage Filter uses activated carbon media, cation and anion exchange resins, and three layers of physical filtration.

All we know about the Epic Pure filter is that it’s made from a blend of three types of activated carbon materials. We think the filter likely contains some other form of media, too, given that it reduces some contaminants that aren’t addressed by activated carbon.

Both systems use a plastic casing to contain their filter media. 

Materials Safety Certification

As with the performance certifications, only ZeroWater has obtained a materials safety certification. 

The pitcher has been certified for materials safety as a component of its NSF/ANSI 42 and 53 certifications. 

Epic hasn’t been certified, so it performed less favorably here.

⚙️ Setup

We know that one of the biggest appeals of water filter pitchers is that they arrive ready to use, and they don’t require a complicated install. 

Epic and ZeroWater were quick and easy to set up, but we wanted to compare their unique assembly and filter prep requirements. 

You can see our scores for both filters in the table below.

ProductSetup ScoreSetup Time
ZeroWater9.50Less than 10 minutes
Epic Pure9.50Less than 10 minutes

Our setup process for the Epic Pure and ZeroWater pitchers was similar, but ZeroWater’s was the quickest and easiest. 

For both pitchers, we washed and dried the pitchers and reservoirs before using them, then slotted the upper reservoir into the top of the pitcher. 

The next task, preparing the filters, differed for each pitcher: 

  • The ZeroWater filter could be installed into the pitcher straight away. It didn’t need to be primed, soaked, or held under running water. We also didn’t have to filter and discard any water – we could install it and start using our filtered water instantly. 
  • The Epic Pure filter could also be inserted into the pitcher without priming, flushing, or rinsing under the tap. However, Epic’s instructions said that we had to filter and discard the first two pitchers of water, which was easy but more time-consuming. 

We also set the digital filter change timer on the Epic pitcher once we’d installed the filter.

🔧 Maintenance

We compared the servicing costs and requirements for the ZeroWater and Epic Pure pitchers to score them in this category.

ProductMaintenance ScoreServicing RequirementsCosts
ZeroWater8.25Outstanding$0.70/ gal
Epic Pure9.50Outstanding$0.31/ gal

ZeroWater did worse here because its ongoing maintenance costs were much higher than Epic’s. 

Servicing Requirements 

Servicing a water filter pitcher is easy – the main task is to replace the filter. We also washed out the pitchers once or twice a week to keep them clean. 

We found both pitchers easy to maintain, but replacing the filters was a different experience for each. 

ZeroWater’s filters were the quickest and easiest to replace because we didn’t have to filter and discard any water first. 

But the filters have very short lifespans (as little as 1-2 weeks depending on your water quality/usage), so we had to replace them much more often than we did with Epic. 

Epic’s filters have a longer 150-gallon filtering capacity, so we only had to replace them every 3-4 months. But we had to follow the same filter prep steps as for the first filter, and filtering/discarding two pitchers of water added time to the otherwise quick process. 

The ZeroWater pitcher comes with a TDS meter, which made it easy for us to monitor the filter performance and lifespan. ZeroWater says the filter should be replaced when the TDS reading is 006, so we knew exactly when our filter was no longer performing optimally. 

Zerowater tds meter

Epic’s filter countdown timer isn’t as accurate – it just counts down 90 days from when the filter is installed and doesn’t account for water quality or usage. We used it as guidance but also considered other signs that we needed to replace our filter, notably a slower filtration rate. 

Maintenance Costs

The ZeroWater pitcher had the highest ongoing cost of $0.70/ gallon. We based our calculations on the assumption that our water was within the “typical” range on this chart:

Tap Water TDSContaminant LevelDescriptionExpected Capacity
000-001Meets FDA
No known municipalities.N/A
002-050ModerateNaturally occurring in only a few cities.
Can still contain dangerous impurities such as lead.
≥ 40 gallons
051-200Typical RangeMost water in the USA falls into this group.25-40 gallons
201-300HighExpect slightly lower capacity.15-25 gallons
301-400Exceptionally HighMost users will notice shorter filter life.8-15 gallons
401+ExtremeThe highest TDS water. Expect lower
capacity when reducing your water to 00.
≤ 8 gallons

We calculated Epic’s ongoing cost as $0.31/ gallon, so more than half the price of the ZeroWater filter.

ZeroWater is more expensive to maintain than Epic because it has a much shorter filter lifespan. We’d need to replace ZeroWater’s filters at least 3 times for every one time we replaced Epic’s. 

In terms of long-term value for money, Epic is much better here.

🏢 Company

Even the best product is only worth investing in if the manufacturer is trustworthy and reputable. So our final point of comparison was ZeroWater and Epic Water Filters as companies, including their warranties, shipping, and returns policies.

ProductCompany ScoreWarranty LengthShippingReturns
ZeroWater7.5090 days vessels, 30 days filters$60 order threshold, continental USNone
Epic Pure8.95LifetimeFree shipping for Water Club membersLifetime

Both brands were on opposite ends of the spectrum here – ZeroWater had the poorest offerings of all the pitchers we tested, while Epic got one of the best scores. 

Warranty Length

ZeroWater’s warranty is just 90 days for its pitchers. It has a separate 30-day warranty for its filters, which only protects against manufacturing defects (you can’t make a warranty claim just because the filter doesn’t last 30 days). 

Epic’s lifetime warranty is much more impressive. It’s actually the best warranty we’ve ever seen for water filter pitchers – only Clearly Filtered’s 2-year warranty comes close. 


ZeroWater offers free shipping to continental U.S, but there’s a catch: customers must spend at least $60 to be eligible. Otherwise, there’s a shipping fee.  

Epic’s shipping policy isn’t ideal either – only customers who sign up to get replacement filters using Epic’s Clean Water Club subscription program get free shipping on their orders. Everyone else must pay a shipping fee. 


Epic’s lifetime returns policy is the best we’ve come across. But what stopped us from awarding the best score is that certain stipulations must be met, and the return shipping fee must be covered by the customer.  

ZeroWater doesn’t offer a returns policy at all, so it doesn’t match up to Epic here. 

⛔️ System Setbacks & Flaws

We identified a few flaws and setbacks with the ZeroWater and Epic Pure pitchers, which we’ve compared below. 

Epic Water Filters Setbacks

  • Not certified – The Epic Pure pitcher isn’t certified to reduce any contaminants, which meant we had to rely on Epic’s contaminant reduction claims alone. 
  • Cheap design – We thought that Epic’s pitcher design materials felt cheap, thin, and flimsy. 
  • Time-consuming filter preparation process – We had to wait for two batches of water to filter, and discard these batches, to prepare the new filter. 
  • Design flaw causes recontamination – The Pure pitcher’s design enabled unfiltered water to travel into the filtered water chamber when we moved the pitcher while completely full. 

ZeroWater Setbacks

  • Didn’t effectively address disinfection byproducts – Chloroform was present in our filtered water, indicating that the ZeroWater pitcher didn’t effectively address this contaminant. 
  • Reduced healthy minerals – Calcium and magnesium were almost completely removed by the ZeroWater pitcher in our testing. 
  • Higher ongoing cost – We spent over twice as much on maintaining the ZeroWater filter compared to Epic. 

TDS reduction shouldn’t be a priority – We think ZeroWater’s aim should be to reduce as many contaminants as possible, rather than reducing TDS, since some dissolved solids are healthy and some harmful contaminants aren’t classed as TDS.

🆚 ZeroWater or Epic: Which Should You Choose?

ZeroWater and Epic are both solid options, and both did a great job at reducing all the health-related contaminants from our water supply. But we don’t think the pitchers are right for everyone.

Here are some of the reasons why you might prefer ZeroWater, or why Epic might be better for you.

You’ll Prefer ZeroWater If:

You think performance certifications are a non-negotiable.
You want to be able to track the filter’s performance and lifespan with ZeroWater’s TDS meter.
You have a smaller budget and want to spend less than $50 on a water filter pitcher upfront.

We Recommend Epic If:

You prefer a water filter with a more affordable ongoing cost.
You want to focus on targeting specific contaminants rather than reducing TDS.
You want a pitcher that’s backed by one of the longest warranties and a good returns policy.
  • 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.

4 thoughts on “ZeroWater vs Epic Pure: Data-Driven Comparison & Analysis”

    1. Avatar for Brian Campbell
      Brian Campbell

      I have heard that, we’ve not yet tried to replicate the test, but its on the to-do list! I’ll be really interested to see if we get similar results or not

      1. Avatar for Brian Campbell

        Not trying to rush you, but I’m right about to switch over from bottled water/jugs to a countertop filter— so hurry up and find out for us lolol (jk)

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