Pur Pitcher Filter
With 13 certifications—though notably not lead—the Pur Pitcher Filter trades some functionality for faster filtration.
The Pur Plus Pitcher Replacement Filter and basic Pur Pitcher Filter have some of the most extensive American National Standards Institute/NSF International (ANSI/NSF) certifications of any pitcher filters we researched. And they have been rigorously proven to remove a greater number and range of potential water contaminants than many competitors. They’re also competitively priced and easy to find; these are strong points because, like all pitcher filters, they have to be replaced regularly. The Pur Pitcher Filter can tackle a full tank of water in about seven minutes; the Lead Reduction filter is slower, averaging 13 minutes in our tests.
Pur Classic 11 Cup Pitcher
The elements that make the Pur Classic 11 Cup Pitcher stand out are its comfortable-to-hold handle, flip-top lid (for one-handed filling), and high-volume fill tank.
We also preferred the design of the Pur Classic 11 Cup Pitcher, which has several details that make it easier to use than its competitors: a flip-top lid you can fill one-handed, a high-volume fill tank (which reduces trips to the faucet), and a comfortable-to-hold, ergonomic handle.
Pur Plus 30 Cup Dispenser
A dispenser provides higher capacity and can pour while it’s filtering. So for households with more than two people, this is a better option than a pitcher.
The Pur Plus 30 Cup Dispenser is a higher-capacity option. We recommend this for homes with more than two people and for those who have difficulty lifting and pouring a pitcher full of water. Its 30-cup capacity (18 in the bottom, 12 in the top awaiting filtration) means you will always have plenty of water on hand. And, unlike a pitcher, this model can dispense water while the filter is still working.
Brita Longlast+ Filter
The Brita Longlast+ has 30 ANSI/NSF certifications and is rated to last six months—three times longer than most filters. But it’s dogged by clogging issues.
Brita Standard Pitcher and Dispenser Filter
The inexpensive, basic Brita Standard Pitcher and Dispenser Filter makes good-tasting water. But with only five ANSI/NSF certifications, it is less effective against many potential contaminants.
Brita’s best-certified filter, the Longlast+ (also branded the Elite) has more certifications than Pur’s filters. And it’s rated to perform for 120 gallons, or six months, which is three times the rated lifespan of most other filters (including that of the Pur filters and Brita’s basic Pitcher and Dispenser Filter). This can make the Longlast+ cheaper to use in the long run. However, sediment-rich water can clog its particulate filtration design. So for many people, the filter doesn’t actually last six months. Also, the Longlast+ technically has its full set of 30 certifications only when it’s used in pitchers and dispensers that directly measure how much water has been filtered (and we don’t like the design of the Britas with this ability). The Brita Standard Pitcher and Dispenser Filter costs less and clogs less often, but it has far fewer certifications than the Longlast+ or the Pur filters.
Brita Standard Everyday Pitcher
Brita’s iconic Everyday 10-cup pitcher in many ways defines the filter-pitcher category. But it has a few design weaknesses that make it less pleasant to use than the Pur Classic.
Among Brita’s many pitchers, the iconic 10-cup Standard Everyday Pitcher is our favorite because of its easy-to-clean design. But its handle is less comfortable to hold than the Pur Classic’s. And to fill the pitcher, you have to remove the lid entirely, which requires two hands.
Brita UltraMax Dispenser
Brita’s Ultramax delivers plenty of water and works as well as Pur’s dispenser. But it’s not as easy to carry to and from the faucet.
Brita’s Ultramax Dispenser comes with a Longlast+ filter. It works much like the Pur Plus 30 Cup Dispenser, and the two models are very similar in size. The Ultramax is a fine option, and for heavy-use households, it’s a great one. But the Ultramax’s handles are less comfortable to hold than those of the Pur dispenser. And its opaque upper tank can make water levels less visible than in the Pur.
LifeStraw Home Dispenser
The LifeStraw Home Dispenser filtered gallons of rust-laden water and kept on working—and it’s been reliably tested against dozens of contaminants.
We ran 2.5 gallons of heavily rust-contaminated water through the LifeStraw Home Dispenser, and although it slowed slightly, it never stopped filtering. For anyone who has experienced clogging with another water filter—including our recommended Purs and Britas—or who is looking for a solution to known rusty or otherwise sediment-rich tap water, it’s our clear pick. The LifeStraw also has four ANSI/NSF certifications (for chlorine, taste and odor, lead, and mercury), and it’s been independently tested by certified labs against dozens of other ANSI/NSF standards. The fact that LifeStraw makes these test results public and has years of experience in supplying filtration for disaster relief, developing-world water-quality initiatives, and outdoors enthusiasts, means we trust its claims. A few design and filtration-speed quibbles, which are outlined in the main discussion below, reflect why it’s not our top pick or runner-up. But if clogging is an issue or a concern with your water filtering, those minor shortcomings pale in comparison.