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The best water filter gives that crisp, refreshing water taste. It has superior mouthfeel to tap water and tastes significantly better. Many people drink bottled water because it tastes better, but filtered water tastes almost the same and is significantly less expensive. A water filter allows you to enjoy the affordability of tap water with the taste of bottled water. In our look at Brita vs Zero Water vs Pur, we’ll compare all three brands to see which is best.
Water filters give you the tastiest, cleanest water and there are several filters available. Brita is currently the biggest company and they were one of the first to market. However, other competitors have risen up, specifically Pur and Zero Water. All three have premium products and many wonder which is best.
Some use filters because they promise a more palatable water while others can’t stand the thought of lead and dissolved solids in their tap water. Regardless of your position, we’ll compare the top three brands to show you which is best.
Brita started in 1966 and they developed some of the first water filters on the market. The filters primarily use activated carbon from coconut shells and an ion-exchange resin. The activated carbon strips out contaminants that affect taste, like chlorine. The ion-exchange resin affects the water hardness, making it more palatable.
Brita holds itself to a high standard and is one of the best water filter brands. Their filters improve both taste and mouthfeel. All their pitchers are BPA free, so they’re safe no matter how much you use them.
Their filters are formed from both activated charcoal from coconuts and ion-exchange resin. The charcoal removes organic contaminants and minerals found in tap water. The resin has a large surface area that removes heavy metals and other large contaminants.
Every water filter needs time to remove contaminants and Brita is one of the fastest. A whole pitcher should be finished in about a minute or less. Simply fill the pitcher, wait a minute, and enjoy the delicious water.
Brita doesn’t have a filter indicator. Most models filter 40 gallons and last about two months, but there’s no indicator to tell you the filter’s status. You are instead given a sticker to mark when you last changed the filter. It’s not as accurate a system, but it works for many Brita customers.
When it comes to Brita vs Zero Water and Brita vs Pur, both other brands have indicators that show you exactly how the filter is doing and if it needs to be changed earlier.
Another minor issue is that Brita pitchers are more likely to spill, but this is rare and most people never deal with this.
Brita Recommended Products
Brita UltraMax 18-Cup Pitcher
Holds 18 cups of water, or over a gallon, and has an easy-pour dispenser for quickly getting water. The pitcher easily fits on any counter or in the fridge. Perfect for large families, offices, or anyone who’s very thirsty.
Brita 10-Cup Everyday Pitcher
This large 10-cup pitcher is great for families and offices. It’s convenient design is easy to lift and pour, and it’s space efficient dimensions make it simple to place anywhere. You’ll get 40 gallons of tasty filtered water, or the equivalent of 300 water bottles. The filter works fast, so you’ll have filtered water in minutes.
Brita 26oz Filtered Water Bottle
The ultimate in convenience, this 26oz water bottles goes everywhere with you. Plus, it uses the same filters as pitchers, so you get 40 gallons of fresh, filtered water. There are over a dozen colors to choose from and an enclosed straw for easy drinking.
Brita Tap Water Filter System
This fits right to your sink tap and provides 100 gallons of filtered water for drinking and other purposes. Easily turn it on and off so that you don’t overuse the filter. There are three spray options and a filter indicator that shows when the filter needs to be changed.
Pur first started in 1999 and is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of water filters. They use activated charcoal and ion-exchange resin to improve the smell and taste of tap water. The charcoal has a large surface area and is able to trap smaller contaminants, while the ion-exchange resin removes larger contaminants like lead and other heavy metals.
Pur removes 16 different contaminants from tap water and has a useful LED indicator. This shows the status of the filter and whether it needs to be changed. It can remove 87% of zinc, 96% of mercury, 97% of chlorine and much more. Pur also uses a compact design that fits almost anywhere.
The pitchers are BPA free and the filters last for about 40 gallons, trapping contaminants and preventing them from harming you. Pur is known for easy-open lids that are more convenient than most other water filters.
Pur’s filters are fairly slow and it might be a few minutes before pure water is available. This is the trade off for extensive filtering, but the results are worth it. This shouldn’t be a problem with pitchers since you can fill them and come back when you’re thirsty, but it can be annoying with some other filters.
Pure removes many contaminants, but it’s unable to remove fluoride. This is common in tap water and most people have no problem with it, but if you’re sensitive to fluoride this could be an issue.
Pur Recommended Products
Pur 11-Cup Ultimate Water Pitcher
This convenient pitcher has an easy-carrying handle and the water comes out effortlessly. The LED sensor will show you exactly when the filter needs to be changed. You’ll get 40 gallons of fresh, filtered water and the efficient design allows you to place this on any counter or fridge.
Pur Advanced Faucet Water Filter
Easily fits on your sink and filters 100 gallons of water. No tools are needed, just push it on the faucet and it will instantly fit. A switch on the side lets you turn the filter on and off (perfect for washing dishes). This filter removes 99% of lead and is perfect for a large family, office, or anywhere else.
Pur 11-Cup Classic Water Pitcher
Provides 40 gallons of filtered water and has an LED sensor for the filter. The space-saving design easily fits in the fridge or any counter, and the pitcher is effortless to pour. The filter removes over 70 contaminants and this is great for families and small offices.
Pur 18-Cup Dispenser
Pur’s large 18-cup dispenser is ideal for large families, offices, or any gatherings where there’s thirsty people. The package comes with 4 filters and each cleans 40 gallons of water. The efficient design fits on counters or in the fridge, and the easy-pour spigot lets you fill your cup in seconds.
Zero Water, or ZeroWater, is known for their 5-stage filter. When it comes to Brita vs Pur, you may have noticed that both brands have similar 2-stage filters (activated charcoal and ion-exchange resin). This allows Zero Water to remove more dissolved solids along with other contaminants.
Zero Water has many accolades not found with the other brands. Along with a large list of features the other brands don’t have, they can remove 99.6% of total dissolved solids (TDS) while other brands remove about 50%.
To prove their claim, every Zero Water filter has a TDS meter with a particle reading. When the filter is in good health, the reading should be close to 0. The filters last for about 40 gallons and should be changed when the reading is around 6 to 10.
ZeroWater has a prestigious NSF certification, which shows dedication and excellence in water filtration.
All that extra filtration takes time. There are three additional stages for water to get through, so it takes several minutes longer until you can enjoy the filtered water. It’s not ideal if you have somewhere to be, but this shouldn’t be an issue with pitchers as you can set them and come back later.
Another small issue is their TDS meter. The meter is great, but it doesn’t necessarily tell you when to change the filter. If you don’t know that the filter should be changed around 6-10 PPM, then you may change it too late. However, it’s easy enough once you know what to look for.
Zero Water Recommended Products
ZeroWater 23-Cup Water Filter Pitcher
Enjoy 40 gallons of filter water passed through ZeroWater’s patented five-stage filter. The TDS sensor shows you exactly how clean the water is, and the no-drip spigot makes it easy to fill your cup. This pitcher holds 23 cups and is made for sitting on a counter or in the fridge.
ZeroWater 40-Cup Glass Dispenser
This glass dispenser will bring sophistication to any office, counter, or wherever else you place it. Plus, it holds a tremendous 40 cups of water. The no-drip spigot lets you fill your cup in seconds. Not only that, but you get all the benefits of ZeroWater’s five-stage filter.
ZeroWater 26oz Water Filter Tumbler
All the benefits of ZeroWater’s premium filter in a handheld bottle. This tumbler goes everywhere with you and provides delicious, filtered water whenever you want it. The included straw makes it easy to hydrate yourself whenever you’re thirsty, and the tumbler takes just a minute to clean.
ZeroWater 11-Cup Stainless Steel Pitcher
This unique stainless steel water filter is highly durable and makes quite the statement. You get to enjoy ZeroWater’s powerful five-stage filter along with their TDS meter. This pitcher fits anywhere (counter, fridge, desk, etc) and is very easy to pour and use.
Water Filter Buyer’s Guide
Buying a water filter isn’t hard, but with so many choices it’s hard to know which is best. We’ll cover the exact features and aspects you should look. This will help you narrow down your search for the perfect water filter.
Filter Size and Use
Filters come in various sizes and uses. There are pitchers, bottles, and sink models. First, consider how you want to use the filter. A sink model is the most convenient since you can use the clean water immediately, but you need a nearby sink for it to work. Bottles are the most convenient for one person, but they won’t hydrate a group.
Most people prefer water filter pitchers because they usually have a 10+ cup capacity, are convenient, and many people can get water with ease. When measuring how much water you need, it’s best to estimate about 2 cups per person.
Water Filter Speed
Each brand has different filtration speeds. Brita tends to be the fastest followed by Pur and then Zero Water. It also depends on your filter type. Sink models are rapid while bottles and pitchers might need a few minutes.
If you’re not in a rush, then this may not be a major factor. However, if you want your water now and you hate waiting, then Brita will probably be your best bet.
All three brands have filters that last about 40 gallons or two months. Having a sensor lets you know exactly when the filter is ready to be changed. Brita uses stickers so that you can mark when the filter was last changed. Pur has a sensor that tells you when the filter isn’t working anymore. Zero Water uses a TDS reading and it’s best to change around 6-10 PPM.
If you want to be on top of your water, then a more advanced sensor is better for your needs. In that case, Pur or Zero Water will be best. If you don’t care as much or think the sticker system is good enough (and thousands would agree with you), then Brita is perfectly fine.
Water filters are made to remove contaminants, so this is something you’ll want to check. All three brands are effective and remove the most common contaminants, so it largely depends on how clean you want your water. Brita tends to produce the tastiest water, but Pur and Zero Water remove more contaminants.
Despite how advanced some of these filters are, most of them are easy to change. You’ll be doing this a lot (about 6 times a year), so it’s important to consider how easy it is to change the filter. Most filters only require a minute or two of your time. Just remove the existing filter, wash the new one, put it in place, and you’re all done.
Some water filter vessels are made from plastic while others are made from glass or metal. Bottles are almost always plastic and sink models are usually metal. Pitchers are often made from either glass or plastic, giving you more options for your filter needs.
Brita Vs Zero Water Vs Pur FAQ
Which Water Filter is Best?
It all comes down to what you prefer. Brita has been around the longest and many thing it makes the tastiest water. Pur filters more contaminants than Brita and has a fantastic filter sensor. Zero Water has the most extensive filtration and shows exactly how many total dissolved solids are in the water.
What Water Filter is Best?
See above for the answer. In short: Brita is the tastiest, Pur has a great filter sensor, and Zero Water has extensive filtration.
Which Water Filter Removes Fluoride?
In terms of Brita Vs Zero Water Vs Pur, ZeroWater is the only one that removes a significant amount of fluoride. Both Brita and Pur remove a little, but ZeroWater removes 99.6% of fluoride from tap water.
How Water Filters Work?
When it comes to Pur vs Brita, both filters work about the same. They both use activated charcoal from coconut husk to trap smaller contaminants like chlorine and then ion-exchange resin for heavy metals. Pur removes more contaminants due to its Maxion filter technology.
Zero Water has more stages that include activated charcoal, foam, mesh layers, and coarse filters to remove even more contaminants. It takes longer, but that’s the price of removing more solids and minerals from your water.
How to Change Water Filter?
Check your filter for exact instructions, but most filters have similar changing instructions. Remove the old filter and flush the area for 15 seconds. Place the new filter in and run at least one cycle of water through the pitcher. You may notice some black bits. This is carbon. Remove the water and you should be good to go.
What Water Filter do I Need?
It all depends on what you’re looking for. Brita has the most models and produces the tastiest water. Pur has a great sensor that tells you exactly when to change the filter and it removes more contaminants than Brita. ZeroWater removes the most contaminants, but it takes the longest to filter.
Brita, Pur, and Zero Water are all great at cleaning your tap water and providing you with even cleaner, delicious water. It’s a fraction of the price of bottled water and just as good for you. Not only that, but filters come in many shapes and sizes. From small bottles and sink models to convenient pitchers, you’ll have no problem finding a water filter that works for you.
When it comes to their differences, Brita is the fastest and tastiest, Pur removes lots of contaminants and has a great sensor, and ZeroWater removes the most contaminants with their five-stage filter. All three are fantastic, so it’s a matter of what you’re looking for and how much you want to spend.
Get one today and see how much better filtered water is. It tastes just like bottled water, but at a much lower price and significantly less plastic.