Review: ZeroWater 8-Cup Round Water Filter Pitcher

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The ZeroWater 8-Cup Round 5-Stage Water Filter Pitcher aims at reducing water TDS levels to zero.

It purifies water using a 5-stage filter process that includes media like carbon, KDF, and ion exchange resins.

Let’s learn more about the ZeroWater 8-Cup Water Filter Pitcher and see if it’s a good buy!

ZeroWater 8-Cup Round 5-Stage Water Filter Pitcher

ZeroWater 8-Cup Round 5-Stage Water Filter Pitcher

Price: $
Filter Process: Carbon, KDF, Ion Exchange Resins, Sediment Filtration
Filter Life: 20 Gallons
Storage Volume: 8 Cups
Annual Cost: ~$190-225

Overall Rating: 4.0/5.0 ⓘRating based on filtration performance, filter life, price and yearly cost, NSF testing/certification, customer support, product warranty, our testing/experience, user feedback, and other factors.

ZeroWater 8-Cup Round Water Filter Pitcher – All Specs

  • Model: ZR-0810G-4
  • Annual Maintenance Cost: ~$190-225
  • Filter Media/Process: Activated Carbon, KDF, Ion Exchange, Sediment Filtration
  • Filtering Capacity: 20 gal
  • Storage Capacity: 8 Cups
  • WxHxD: 6.5”x10.25”x8.5”
  • Weight: 2.8 lb.
  • NSF Certifications: Standard 42, 53
  • Warranty: 90 Days

ZeroWater 8-Cup – Key Features

The ZeroWater ZD-0810G-4 Water Filter Pitcher features a 5-stage filtration process:

  1. The first stage is a coarse filter that removes sediment.
  2. The second stage features carbon + KDF filter media that removes chlorine and organic pollutants, and prevents bacteria from growing in the system.
  3. The third stage is a distributor that creates enough contact time for the next filter stage.
  4. Stage 4: Here we find a combined cation and anion exchange resin bed. It removes metallic and nonmetallic compounds.
  5. The last stage is a non-woven membrane that eliminates finer particles.

All in all, the ZeroWater aims to reduce water TDS to zero (hence, the name “ZeroWater”). We will soon discuss if this is an effective approach or not.

Anyway, the brand includes a free TDS meter with each pitcher (you use this to confirm your water TDS level after filtration). And the ZeroWater ZD-0810G-4 has a filter life of 20 gallons and a 90-day limited warranty. The 8 cups water storage capacity is rather low, but it’s intended so that the pitcher doesn’t take up a lot of space – for small households.

ZeroWater ZR-0810G-4 Filter Pitcher Pros

The first pro here is that the filter uses a powerful filtration process that reduces up to 99.6% of total dissolved solids in water. It’s nice that you can confirm the reduction yourself with the free TDS meter (there’s space on top of the pitcher lid to store the meter).

Also, the ZeroWater 8-Cup pitcher is affordable at purchase and easy to assemble.

What about quality assurance? This system is certified against two NSF standards — NSF 42 and NSF 53.

What Contaminants Are Being Removed?

Below are the reduction rates for specific contaminants as provided by ZeroWater:

  • 99% antimony
  • 98% arsenic 5
  • 99% asbestos
  • 99.9% barium
  • 97% cadmium
  • 97.5% chlorine
  • 99.6% chromium 6
  • 99% fluoride
  • 95.9-99.7% lead
  • 96.0-96.7% mercury
  • 98% nitrate
  • 99% nitrite
  • 94.9% PFOA/PFOS
  • Few other (non-)metals

ZeroWater 8-Cup Round 5-Stage Water Filter Pitcher

The ZeroWater 8-Cup – learn more on

Assembly and Filter Priming

There are only five installation steps in the manual, meaning you’ll be done installing it in a few minutes. Here’s what you need to do:

Please consider these instructions as a general guideline. Always make sure to check and follow your user manual before getting started.
  1. Clean the pitcher with warm water or soapy water.
  2. Remove the lid and reservoir from the pitcher and unwrap the filter.
  3. Fix the filter to the bottom of the reservoir. Ensure it seals in completely.
  4. Add your tap water to the reservoir and cover it with the lid.
  5. Once the reservoir is empty, pour your filtered water through the spigot into a cup.

The Package (Parts)

  • ZeroWater ZR-0810G-4Water Filter Pitcher
  • ZeroWater Filter Cartridge
  • TDS Meter


ZeroWater pitchers need a lot of maintenance work because of the short filter life (20 gallons). Besides, the brand recommends replacing the filter cartridge anytime your water TDS exceeds 6, so you may have to change even more often.

In a year, you’ll spend approximately $190-225 on filter replacements (depending on if you buy in bulk). That’s definitely a lot.

Here’s how to change your ZeroWater 8-Cup Water Filter Pitcher cartridge:

  1. Remove the lid and reservoir from the pitcher.
  2. Twist the old filter to remove it from the reservoir.
  3. Twist the new filter into the bottom of the reservoir.
  4. Slot the reservoir back into the pitcher and add water as usual.


Here is a link to the official manual:

NSF and Other Certifications

The ZeroWater ZD-0810G-4 is certified against NSF standards 42 and 53. NSF 42 confirms that thit reduces chlorine, taste, and odor, while NSF 53 covers chromium 6, lead, mercury, PFOA, and PFOS.

Earlier Product Versions

This product has no earlier versions.

ZeroWater ZR-0810G-4 Pitcher Cons

We’d say the biggest problem with the ZeroWater 8-Cup Water Filter Pitcher, any ZeroWater filter in general in fact, is its short filter life of 20 gallons. You’d have to replace filters frequently, which means a lot of work and money (~$195-$225 annually). Even worse, the filter may sometimes not last more than 10 gallons. At such a low lifespan, you’ll have to buy new filters twice as often, meaning even higher maintenance cost than what we analyzed above.

Then, the filtration process can be so slow that it takes minutes to fill up a single cup (we found complaints about this). We also found a couple of complaints about the filter leaking at the handle, producing a weird smell and giving the water a “funny” (sour, metallic, lemon-like) taste after some time. Some users also complained about the poor filter design, saying pouring water through the filter was a hassle.

We also don’t like the short 90-day limited warranty.

Another problem we see is the filter’s key feature. The company wants us to assume that because the filter brings TDS to zero, it perfects water quality. But, we don’t consider TDS ideal for measuring water quality. That’s because TDS includes both good and bad impurities, meaning your water could have a high TDS level only because it contains healthy minerals like calcium and magnesium. On the other hand, some harmful contaminants are not dissolved solids. These dangerous contaminants can be in your water, and you’d still have a low TDS reading. So, a “zero” TDS reading does not necessarily mean perfectly pure water. Your water can be low in TDS and contain harmful contaminants, and it can be high in TDS and have only the good stuff.

ZeroWater 8-Cup Review: Our Verdict + Best for

Bottom line: The ZeroWater 8-Cup Water Filter Pitcher uses a mix of solid filter media. It has impressive contaminant reduction rates backed by NSF testing and certifications. The biggest downside is the low filter life, which means regular filter replacements and high maintenance cost. Then, we find the zero TDS marketing approach kind of misleading. Thus our rating of 4 stars.

Our Rating in Detail:

  • Filtration Performance: 4.0/5.0
  • Filter Capacity (Life): 2.0/5.0
  • Purchase Price: 5.0/5.0
  • Annual Cost: 3.5/5.0
  • Overall: 4.0/5.0

Comparison to Other Water Filter Pitchers

Let’s see how the ZeroWater 8-Cup compares to the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher and the Epic Pure/Nano.

Clearly Filtered Water Filter Pitcher

Clearly Filtered

Price: $$$
Filter Process: Carbon + Composite Shell
Filter Capacity: 100 gal
Total Storage Volume: 17 Cups
Annually: ~$150

Overall Rating: 5.0/5.0 ⓘRating based on filtration performance, filter life, price and yearly cost, NSF testing/certification, customer support, product warranty, our testing/experience, user feedback, and other factors.

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Epic Pure Water Filtration Pitcher

Epic Pure

Price: $$$
Filter Process: Carbon Block, Ion Exchange
Filter Capacity: 150 gal
Total Storage Volume: 14.8 Cups
Annually: $90-135

Overall Rating: 4.5/5.0 ⓘRating based on filtration performance, filter life, price and yearly cost, NSF testing/certification, customer support, product warranty, our testing/experience, user feedback, and other factors.

Get 20% Off! Use Code: BOSEpic

ZeroWater 8-Cup Round 5-Stage Water Filter Pitcher

ZeroWater 8-Cup

Price: $
Filter Process: Carbon, KDF, Ion Exchange Resins, Sediment Filtration
Filter Capacity: 20 gal
Storage Volume: 8 Cups
Annually: ~$190-225

Overall Rating: 4.0/5.0 ⓘRating based on filtration performance, filter life, price and yearly cost, NSF testing/certification, customer support, product warranty, our testing/experience, user feedback, and other factors.

Let’s start with the Clearly Filtered pitcher (review here) which is a premium model. It was third-party tested against many NSF standards (42, 53, 401, and protocol P473). The tests confirmed that the system removes over 365 contaminants (this is the most thorough water filter pitcher testing we’ve ever seen!). You can trust the Clearly Filtered to remove chlorine, chloramine, DBPs, lead, chromium-6, pharmaceuticals, semi-volatile compounds, fluoride, radiologicals, arsenic, VOCs, pesticides, and much more. The Clearly Filtered targets all these different water contaminants using granular activated carbon and various proprietary filter media.

Also, it has a 100-gallon (or four months) filter life, five times that of the ZeroWater. Plus, the system is 100% BPA-free and made in the USA. It has a limited lifetime warranty (ZeroWater is only 90 days) and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. It’s more affordable to maintain than the ZeroWater long-term but more expensive at purchase.

The Epic Pure/Nano water filter pitcher balances affordability and effectiveness. While the ZeroWater only removes dissolved solids, the Epic Pure or Nano remove a broad range of contaminants.

By the way, the Epic Pure pitcher is for tap water that contains fluoride, while the Epic Nano pitcher is designed for well water with various microbes. The two filter cartridges are interchangeable, so you can switch them later.

How do the Epic filters work? They target over 200 contaminants using a mix of activated carbon and ion exchange filter media. These contaminants include chlorine/chloramine, nitrate, arsenic, lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, VOCs, disinfection byproducts, sulfate, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, PFOA, PFOS, and more.

They are NSF-tested against standards 42,53, 401, and P473 (plus P231 for the Epic Nano). and have a high filter life of 150 gallons, more than both ZeroWater and Clearly Filtered.

Other nice features are: A timer that lets you know when to replace the filter and a BPA-free and Made-in-USA design. There’s also a lifetime warranty, a hassle-free return policy, and a company recycling program (send four filters back to receive one free replacement). Epic offers discounts for military workers, medical professionals, students, first responders, teachers, medical staff, seniors, and owners and employees of non-profit organizations.

Finally, the Epic Pure/Nano pitcher is the cheapest to maintain among the three filters. However, it’s a bit more expensive to buy than the ZeroWater (still cheaper than the Clearly Filtered).

In summary, the Clearly Filtered pitcher removes the most contaminants but is most expensive at purchase. The Epic is budget-friendly and still effective. ZeroWater is the cheapest to buy but is pricey to maintain and removes the least contaminants. We’d pick the Epic over it.

This completes our review of the ZeroWater 8-Cup Round Water Filter Pitcher. If you have any questions 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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