This Filtered Water Pitcher Is So Much Better Than My Brita (and It Has a Cool Bonus Feature!)

published Jun 5, 2024
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Pitcher pouring water in a glass
Credit: Stefania Pelfini, La Waziya Photography / Getty Images

I took the water dispenser in my fridge for granted when I was growing up. I didn’t know how good I had it until I went to college in New York City, where fridges with dispensers are virtually nonexistent (at least in all of the rental apartments I’ve seen). In my dorm room, I had a filtered Brita water bottle, and soon after I moved on to the classic full-size pitcher. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that it’s the most popular water filter brand out there, so I didn’t put too much thought into my selection.

It has served me well over the last four years, but it was certainly showing signs of wear toward the end of its life — the filter status button didn’t work, for one. At first, I was planning on buying a replacement, but then I got a chance to try out an alternative brand. I never thought that I would stray from Brita, but ZeroWater’s version offers so much more that I’m not planning on going back anytime soon.

What Is ZeroWater’s 12-Cup Ready-Pour 5-Stage Water Filter Pitcher?

Several attributes make this pitcher stand out from the rest. ZeroWater has a five-stage Ion Exchange Filter, which claims to remove virtually all dissolved solids (or TDS) from your tap water. The brand says that metals — like lead, mercury, and chromium — minerals, salts, PFOA/PFOS, and ions are mostly all removed, as proven by the included TDS meter that nests on the top of the lid. Unlike other pitchers’ status buttons that are built-in, you stick the meter in your cup, and if it reads higher than 006, it’s time to swap it out. The body of the pitcher is made from BPA-free plastic, too, and has a 12-cup capacity. Last but not least, a major bonus is the spigot toward the bottom, which you can push instead of having to lift and pour.

Credit: Morgan Pryor

Why I Love ZeroWater’s Water Filter Pitcher

If there’s one kitchen item that I use every day (and multiple times a day) without fail, it’s my filtered pitcher. Now that I’m about a month into using it, I wish I’d replaced my old one sooner. Everything about it is more convenient. For one, even though I haven’t timed it yet, it fills just as quickly as my old Brita. Their sizes and weights are comparable, slim enough so it doesn’t take over a huge part of my shelf. And speaking of shelves, the spigot is a particular standout feature, because you can have it dispense water while it’s sitting inside your fridge. Though it’s slower than pouring from the spout, it’s a great option to have when you don’t want to haul it out onto the counter.

The material on the handle provides a secure grip for maneuvering, too. I also find that maintenance is way less of a hassle. Brita’s prefilter water chamber is mostly concealed, while ZeroWater’s is entirely open once you remove the top, so checking for mildew and grime is a breeze. Even though the chamber is more accessible, the lid keeps water from sloshing over the sides when I carry it from one spot to another. The TDS monitor stays fairly secure where it nests on top, as long as you aren’t seriously jostling the pitcher around. As for downsides, the only one that comes to mind is the steeper filter cost — a Brita two-pack costs $12, and ZeroWater’s set is $35 — but this gadget’s extras and efficiency easily offset that in my book.

Buy: ZeroWater Water Filter Pitcher, $34.99 (normally $39.99)