What Is a Water Filter Pitcher?

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Water filter pitchers consist of compact filter elements that help purify your home water. All you need to do is pour water into a pitcher, let it pass through the filter media, and into the reservoir.

In less than 15 minutes, you can access clean drinking water. On top of that, you’ll save money that you otherwise would spend on buying bottled water.

Because more people prefer portable, compact filtering solutions, water filter pitchers are growing in popularity.

Stick with us, and we’ll explain the nitty-gritty details about them and how they work.

Key Takeaways

  • A water filter pitcher is a type of home water filter.
  • It’s comprised of a water jug with a built-in filter element.
  • Water filter pitchers offer a hassle-free solution to filtering your drinking water that is often inexpensive.
  • Most units successfully eliminate water impurities/contaminants that could cause aesthetic as well as health issues.

What Is a Water Filter Pitcher?

So what is a water filter pitcher?

Water filter pitchers offer a hassle-free solution to filtering your drinking water at home. They are inexpensive, user-friendly, and on top of that, operate smoothly.

You can buy them easily for $20 to $75+. However, a higher price doesn’t always indicate better quality. A few companies offer quality products with an affordable price tag.

Ideally, you should go for a model that works to eliminate exactly those contaminants found in your tap or well water supply.

Most water filter pitchers successfully eliminate water contaminants that cause aesthetic issues, including chlorine.

Plus, many premium models can trap pesticides, heavy metals, disinfection byproducts, pathogens, PFAS, and a lot more!

woman with water filter pitcher

How Does a Water Filter Pitcher Work?

In all honesty, there’s no secret formula to how water filter pitchers work.

The fundamentals of a water filter pitcher are the same as for other water purification solutions. As soon as you add water into the pitcher it enters the filter media which traps or rejects contaminants.

Some filters use chemical filtration methods, while others utilize physical filtration techniques.

A few people are skeptical about the efficacy of a water filter pitcher for apparent reasons. The amount of filter media used is pretty small after all.

And yes, the truth is, these tiny filters are built to purify only small quantities of water. Meaning, the filter cartridges require frequent replacements – every 1 or 2 months usually.

That does not mean, however, that contaminant reduction rates are mediocre. Quite the opposite, some water filter pitchers are highly effective at what they do.

Types of Water Filter Pitchers

Filter pitchers are equipped with varying filtration methods. As such, all units are not the same.

So, before you shop for a water filter pitcher, make sure you compare for NSF certifications and customer reviews.

A few prominent filter companies like Brita use snazzy words like a smokescreen to capture a stunning picture of their products. But do they deliver?

More often than not, these filters only work to eliminate chemicals contributing to your water’s foul odor and unpleasant taste. They are simple granular activated carbon-based units providing only basic water filtration.

On the other hand, going for Clearly Filtered’s pitcher, for example, that applies several filtration stages, you can target well over 365 water impurities. The combination of different filter media includes granular activated carbon, ion exchange resin, and more, all in a single cartridge.

Even more, Clearly Filtered and other water filter pitchers are NSF-tested and own certifications vouching for their quality and performance.

By the way, if acidic water is a cause of concern for you, you can go for an alkaline water pitcher. This type enriches the filtered water with healthy minerals to raise pH levels.

To conclude, it’s best to identify the contaminants in your water and choose a water filter pitcher accordingly.

Which Water Contaminants Does a Filter Pitcher Remove?

Water filter pitchers are among the most popular types of water filters for being easy to use and providing clean, refreshing drinking water free from bad taste and odor.

Even more, some models can remove potentially harmful water contaminants – think lead.

But wait, we’ll give you the full list:

Private Well Impurities

Here are the common water impurities and contaminants that filter pitchers target in well water.

  • TDS
  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Arsenic
  • Nitrate and nitrite
  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Mercury
  • Iron
  • Coliform and other bacteria types
  • Viruses

Public Water Supply Contaminants

A good filter pitcher also targets the contaminants found in public water supplies. The common ones include:

  • Lead
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium 6
  • Chlorine
  • BPA
  • VOCs
  • Fluoride
  • PFAS
  • Disinfection byproducts
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Semi-volatile compounds
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Chloramine

Water Filter Pitcher Advantages

Millions of Americans prefer using water filter pitchers as an alternative to bottled water. Truthfully speaking, the treatment solution offers tons of benefits for you and your family.

The only catch is to replace the cartridges frequently. Otherwise, the filter media will exhaust and stop treating your water.

Aside from that, the advantages of water filter pitchers clearly outweigh their disadvantages.

Read below and decide for yourself!

Improved Water Taste and Smell

As stated earlier, most water filter pitchers eliminate odor-causing chemicals, including chlorine, from your home water. As such, you get improved water taste and smell.

If you’re dubious about our claim, consider conducting a simple experiment:

Fill a glass of water from a filter pitcher and the other with plain tap water. You should notice an obvious difference in water aesthetics.

glass with water on tree stump

Healthy H2O

Nobody likes to drink dirt-laden water containing dissolved and suspended particulate matter, chemicals, heavy metals – you name it.

While unclean water tastes terrible and smells bad, it is unhealthy too. In fact, such water can contribute to many health issues.

By using a water filter pitcher, you can access clean and safe drinking water.

Low Budget

Let’s face it: Water treatment solutions aren’t always cheap.

For instance, many under sink or whole house water filtration systems easily run into $500 to $1,000.

On top of that, the installation and filter replacement costs make them even more expensive.

Likewise, bottled water doesn’t come cheap either. On average, using bottled water can cost you around $1,000 annually.

Compared to that, water filter pitchers are pretty inexpensive. You can purchase a really good one for as little as $50.

Besides, it will be a cherry on the top if you know how to shop smart for cartridge bundles. You’ll end up saving more money you otherwise had spent on replacements.


In our tech-driven world like of today, people seek nothing but ease and comfort.

Portability certainly adds to the user’s convenience, and filter pitchers are more portable and lightweight than any other type of water filters. You can carry them anywhere with you – university, office, or on a trip.

Above that, you do not need to go through a lengthy installation procedure either. And filter cartridge replacement are a piece of cake (more below).

Designed for Refrigerators

Most water filter pitchers can be easily tugged into the refrigerator.

And if you have a small refrigerator, lucky for you, you have the option to simply buy a smaller pitcher that will seamlessly fit.

The compact design of filter pitchers allows you to access cold, filtered water at any given time.

Better than Bottled Water

Surprisingly, around 17 million barrels of oil are utilized to keep up with a year of bottled water supply – only in the US. Note that this doesn’t take into account the carbon footprint of transporting water bottles to the customers.

Besides, most bottles end up in landfills and stay there for thousands of years – another reason why bottled water is notorious. As a result, it contributes to poisoning our planet.

Even more, many bottled water brands are nothing but filtered tap water.

So, by choosing a water filter pitcher and discarding bottled water, you are playing your role in saving Mother Nature. Needless to say, you are also saving a nice annual sum for yourself.

Jug Maintenance

All home appliances need maintenance to work optimally, and water filter pitchers are no exception.

Fortunately, most require little maintenance only in order to keep them functioning properly.

The most critical factor of maintenance is cartridge replacement. But when do you have to replace the cartridge of your water filter pitcher?

First of all, replacing filter cartridges at the right time largely depends on the filter media used, your water usage, and overall water conditions.

For example, being carbon based, Brita pitcher filters need replacements after every 40 gallons of filtered water. On the flip side, filter pitchers by Epic Pure can purify up to 150 gallons of water before wearing out.

Ideally, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding replacements.

If you aren’t sure about your filter’s exhaustion, there are ways to know about it. For instance, poor flow rate and bad water taste indicate that your pitcher isn’t performing well anymore and needs replacement.

Besides replacements, you need to clean your water filter pitcher to keep it safe from the growth of disease-causing organisms.

We recommend weekly cleaning.

You can use a spare toothbrush, soap, and water. However, make sure you do not use any harsh chemicals during the cleaning process.

After cleaning, let the pitcher dry. Then you can reassemble its parts and access pure drinking water right away.

If you have any questions about what a water filter pitcher is please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

About the Author Gene Fitzgerald

Gene Fitzgerald is one of the founders of BOS and currently head of content creation. She has 8+ years of experience as a water treatment specialist under her belt making her our senior scientist. Outside of BOS, Gene loves reading books on philosophy & social issues, making music, and hiking.
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