Review: PUR Basic, Classic & Ultimate Water Filter Pitchers

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In our opinion, PUR water filter pitchers are suited for giving you access to pure-tasting drinking water, but they’re not the best at removing a wide range of potentially harmful contaminants (although they’re better than many of the other models out there). In addition, there have been issues like premature filter clogging.

Side note: For the most thorough contaminant removal we recommend you look into the Clearly Filtered water filter pitcher. It takes care of 230+ substances including chloramines, lead, arsenic, chromium-6, herbicides, pesticides, and PFAS.

Let’s review PUR’s water filter pitchers in more detail so that you get a better picture of what you can expect from them.

PUR Ultimate vs. Clearly Filtered Pitcher

PUR Ultimate 11-Cup

PUR Ultimate 11-Cup

# of Contaminants:25
NSF Standards:42, 53, 401
Filter Capacity:40 Gallons
Warranty:90 Days

Our Rating

Clearly Filtered Pitcher

Clearly Filtered Pitcher

# of Contaminants:232
NSF Standards:42, 53, 244, 401, P473
Filter Capacity:100 Gallons

Our Rating

PUR Basic, Classic & Ultimate Pitchers – Key Features

PUR offers a total of 4 different water filter pitchers that you can use to filter your drinking water.

  • The most expensive model is the 11-cup version of the PUR Ultimate. There’s also a smaller unit which can hold 7 cups. Either comes with the PUR lead reduction filter which we’ll discuss in a bit.
  • Then there’s the PUR Classic 11-cup pitcher. It’s shipped with the PUR Faster Basic pitcher replacement water filter.
  • And lastly, we have the PUR Basic, a 7-cup pitcher which also uses the PUR Faster Basic pitcher filter.

4 different pitcher models and 2 different replacement filters? Yes and no. In fact, PUR offers 3 different filters for their pitchers.

This might sound a bit confusing right now, but it really isn’t. First of all, all PUR pitcher filters fit all PUR pitchers. In other words, they’re interchangeable so you can switch to a different filter anytime you want.

Also, all filters use a blend of granular activated carbon and ion exchange resin (MAXION filter technology) to trap contaminants. So where’s the difference? In a nutshell,

  • the PUR Faster Basic provides basic filtration only, meaning it’s certified to remove no more than 14 contaminants from water. And it does so less effectively (at lower rates) than the other two pitcher filters. NSF certifications: Standards 42, 53 and 401 for chlorine taste and odor, cadmium, mercury, simazine, and a few other.
  • the PUR Basic removes 24 contaminants in total. NSF certifications: 42, 53, 401 for chlorine (97.5%), cyst (>99.99%), benzene (96.4%), emerging contaminants like BPA (94.2%), cadmium (98.3%-98.7%), etc.
  • the PUR lead reduction filter traps the same contaminants as the PUR Basic and at pretty much the same reduction rates with the only difference being lead. While the PUR Basic is not certified for lead removal, the PUR lead reduction pitcher filter eliminates 98.5-99.3% of the heavy metal. NSF certifications: 42, 53, 401.

Personally, our go-to PUR pitcher filter is the lead reduction model for the most thorough water filtration.

PUR Water Filter Pitcher Pros

We don’t have much to add other than the fact that PUR water filter pitchers are BPA-free.

What’s more, the company has partnered with RecycleNation to make recycling PUR products super easy. You can visit PUR’s website to find a drop-off location for your used PUR products near you.
PUR Ultimate 11-Cup

The PUR Ultimate 11-Cup – learn more on


Before you can start using your PUR pitcher you need to soak the filter for 15 minutes and meanwhile hand wash the pitcher, lid, and pour tray with mild soapy water – rinse well afterwards!

After the soaking, flush the filter for 10 seconds before you place in into the pour tray. To secure the filter in place, push down and twist. Now you can fill the pitcher with water.

If you’re the proud owner of a PUR Ultimate or the PUR Classic, you should activate the CleanSensor monitor respectively filter change light by pressing and holding the reset button for 5 seconds. It’ll remind you when it’s time to replacement the filter cartridge.



Theoretically, each PUR filter is rated at a filtration capacity of 40 gallons or two months, whichever comes first. However, there have been quite a lot of complaints about premature clogging (more info below).

Like we said, PUR Ultimates and the Classic 11 feature a convenient filter life indicator that tracks the amount of time a filter has been in use. A green LED means the filter should be working perfectly fine. Yellow light indicates that the filter requires replacement soon. When you see red light you should change the filter cartridge immediately.

By the way, the price difference between the 3 filter models is smaller than you might think which is why we always recommend going with the lead reduction filter. Cost? About $10 and even less if you buy in bulk which is really affordable.


Link to the official product manual: Manual

PUR Water Filter Pitcher Cons

Probably the main issue with PUR pitcher filters is clogging. While PUR claims up to 40 gallons or 2 months per filter, numerous reviewers reported that theirs started to slow down after a couple of days and would not let any more water pass through another few days later. For others, filters last about 2 weeks.

PUR obviously knows about this problem since they’re providing instructions to solve it. Suggested fixes include shaking the filters, flushing them under tap water, soaking them, and running water through them backwards. Unfortunately, this only seems to work occasionally for people.

Other (common) issues:

  • Due to the spout design the pitchers may spill or leak when you pour water.
  • In some cases, filter life indicators didn’t work straight out of the box. Also, the battery should be replaceable. Right now it’s not so that every single indicator will stop working eventually.
  • The manufacturer warranty is a brief 90 days.

PUR Basic, Classic & Ultimate Review: Our Verdict (+ What to Buy Instead)

The majority of people using a PUR water filter pitcher are happy with their purchase saying the filtered water tastes wonderful. In our opinion, any PUR pitcher combined with the lead reduction replacement filter is a sound solution to tackle several contaminants commonly found in our water supplies. And the price is hard to beat. Thus, 3.5 stars!

That said, the only filter pitcher we trust to provide drinking water as clean and as safe as it gets is the Clearly Filtered. It’s independently tested against NSF Standards 42, 53, 244, 401 and Protocol P473 for over 230 different heavy metals, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, VOCs, water disinfectants and their byproducts, and the list goes on and on. Above that, the Clearly Filtered pitcher is built in the USA and warranted for its entire lifetime. Plus, you get a 1-month satisfaction guarantee.

Bottom line: It’s the #1 water filter pitcher on the market. You can read our detailed review here if you want.

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And that’s it for this PUR review. Questions? Fire away!

About the Author Gene Fitzgerald

Gene Fitzgerald has been with BOS since the very beginning. She is head of content creation and has fully immersed herself into the home water treatment industry only to become an expert herself. Outside of BOS, Gene loves reading books on philosophy & social issues, making music, and hiking.
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