Water Filter Pitcher Dispensers Icon Looking for the Best Water Filter Pitcher dispenser? Our 2021 reviews and buying guide is a terrific way to do just that!

updated: April 01, 2021

Are you in the market for the best water filter pitcher dispensers to filter out nasty impurities from your tap water?

If so, this article will tell you all about the top-rated ones so you can make an informed choice.

Brita Longlast UltraMax Water Filter Pitcher
Our Top Pick: Water Filter Dispensers

Without water, the earth would be utterly devoid of life. It’s the vital substance that everybody needs to ingest every single day of their existence.

One way to make sure you always have a steady supply of high-quality water is by using a filtered pitcher. Water filter pitchers offer an easy and cheap solution for filtering out dangerous impurities from your drinking water.

Your Drinking Water Contains Contaminants

Water drop drips from the tap

If you expect the water flowing from your kitchen tap to be pure and pristine, I have some bad news.

Much of the water that flows out of the average American’s tap is loaded with health-destroying contaminants. You can have a system installed underneath your sink that uses reverse osmosis.

Or, you can use a water filter pitcher.

What Are Water Filter Pitchers

Water filter pitchers are self-contained water filters that transform contaminant-ridden tap water into pure drinking water.

These pitchers consist of a lid, one or two filters, and a container.

Water Filter Pitcher stands on the table.
Water Filter Pitchers are self-contained water filters

It will usually take several minutes to filter the water through the device.

How Do Water Filter Pitchers Work

When you pour water into a water filter pitcher, it flows through the filter, where impurities are removed.

When to Install Replacement Filters

Water pitcher filters are going to stop working if you don’t regularly change the filter.

That’s because filters get so clogged with particulates, water can’t flow through anymore. Also, the activated charcoal in filters has a limited ability to trap odors and flavors before they give up the ghost.

Filter life indicator

If you see that the water is flowing slower than usual, the filter is probably clogged. This means you must replace it.

Some pitchers have an indicator that tells you when it’s time to have a brand-new filter installed. If your water is hard, you’re going to have to change the filter more frequently.

The manufacturer of your dispenser will have instructions on how often to change filters.

If your water is heavily contaminated, you’ll have to change the filters more frequently.

Who Should Buy A Water Filter Pitcher

You should consider buying a water pitcher filter if you:

Packs of bottled drinking water.
  • Spend a fortune on bottle water: It’s a whole lot cheaper buying a water pitcher filter than it is to run out every week and stock up on cases of water.
  • Want to save on space: Humongous bubblers take up precious kitchen space. A water pitcher filter isn’t that big and therefore won’t use too much room.
  • Have kids: Filtered water is the best way to protect your little ones from ingesting unhealthy contaminants found in tap water.
  • Desire a healthier lifestyle: Our bodies are made up of more than 90% water. This means that we must drink high-quality water if we want to be in excellent physical and mental shape well into old age.

Water Filter Pitcher Health Benefits

There are several health benefits to drinking filtered water:

  • Not as much lead: A quality filter can screen out most or all the lead from your water.
  • Less chlorine: Chlorine can be toxic to human beings because it’s been linked to various illnesses.
  • Eliminates the dangers os plastic: Drinking water from plastic bottles all the time could cause health problems.

Taste and Smell

Health benefits aren’t the only reason to use a water filter pitcher.

Boy shows that he dislikes the taste of water in the glass.

By filtering your drinking water supply through one of these handy devices, your water will taste and smell so much better.

According to a recent survey, 50% of Americans who drink tap water say they boil or filter it first. The biggest gripe these people have about their home drinking supply is horrible smells and tastes.

Your water can taste like metal if it has compounds like zinc, chlorine, and hydrogen sulfide in it. These chemicals can also make it smell like raw sewage flowing out of an open drainpipe on a sweltering July afternoon.

Alkaline Water

A man testing drinking water for alkalinity.

Some people believe that alkaline water has health-boosting properties.

For example, there’s evidence that it can reduce irritable bowel syndrome symptoms and prevent acid reflux. It might help you recover faster after exercise, help with diabetes, and bring down high blood pressure as well as elevated cholesterol levels.

Some even say it makes the best-tasting coffee.

There are water filter pitchers on the market that can make your drinking water more alkaline.

All Water Filter Pitchers Are Not the Same

All water filter pitchers aren’t the same because some filter out impurities better than others.

By checking out our handy buying guide, you’ll be able to find out which one is best for you!


Top-Rated Water Filter Pitcher Dispensers 2021 Ratings & Reviews

1Best Overall
This sleekly designed water dispenser is perfect for large families.

You’ll adore the Brita Longlast if your tap water has a funky aftertaste. That’s because it’ll transform your tap water into a sparkling clean stream blessedly free from contaminants.

You’ll no longer find yourself buying cases upon cases of water, ending up with a back porch full of plastic bottles you pray will be picked up by your neighborhood recycling truck. With the Brita Longlast, you’ll get the equivalent of 900 disposable water bottles without all the environmentally irresponsible waste!

ProsThe Good

The Brita Longlast UltraMax boasts a sleek design. This means it won’t take up too much valuable refrigerator space. Although the container holds up to 18 cups of water, it’s slender enough to easily fit on a fridge shelf.

With the exceedingly convenient spout on the unit’s front, you won’t be lifting it every two seconds. This makes pouring yourself a nice cool glass of water so much easier.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

The company claims that the filter is supposed to last six months. However, tap water with a lot of sediment can clog the Brita because it works primarily through particulate filtration. Many other filters remove contaminants through adsorption and ion-exchange.

This could slow the output of your unit down to a mere trickle, or it could stop working altogether within a few short weeks of being installed.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Many buyers rave about the UltraMax’s extra-large capacity and space-saving design—perfect for large families.

Lots of other dispensers would be empty after a mere two hours. However, the UltraMax lasts all day and sometimes even longer. Every single member of your family can fill their bottles up in the morning before work and school.

With this one, everyone gets a fill-up, and there’s still some left over!

Replacement Filters:
  • Brita Longlast Filter
    Brita Longlast Filters
    Price: Average

    The Brita Longlast Filters eliminates even more contaminants than a standard Brita Filter does. It’s certified to remove nasty chlorine taste and odor, as well as benzene, mercury, asbestos, and cadmium. It’ll even remove 99% of lead!

    These amazingly effective filters fit all Brita pitchers except for Stream Pitcher and Infinity Pitcher. Each filter lasts six months, which means you’ll only have to change them twice a year.

More Info

2Best Filtration
This is a moderately priced dispenser with superior filtration abilities.

The PUR Ultimate Water Dispenser has an 18-cup capacity which means you’ll always have plenty of sparkling clean water on hand for thirsty family members.

Because the PUR is a dispenser and not a pitcher, it uses a faucet which returns to the “closed” position when you let it go. The faucet is located at the bottom of the container, so you can pour yourself a nice refreshing drink of H2O even if the reservoir is full of water.

If you tried to do that with a pitcher, you’d get water all over your kitchen floor.

ProsThe Good

This dispenser is narrow and deep. This means it uses refrigerator space so much more efficiently than pitchers can. Because it extends from the front to the back of the fridge, it uses the rear half of the top shelf. Ordinarily, this part of the refrigerator is totally wasted space.

It’s certified to remove up to 22 contaminants found in water — including 95% mercury and 96% of trace pharmaceutical chemicals.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

Some customers have had the misfortune of being stuck with defective filter change indicators. These malfunctioning components tell them they need to change the filter when it’s clearly not time yet.

Other buyers complain that the container prematurely degrades, getting cracks so bad they must use superglue to keep it together.

The battery on the sensor light is non-replaceable. This means after it dies, you’ll have to manually keep track of when to change the filters.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers love how the cutting-edge technology of the unit combines activated carbon and ion exchange for superior filtration.

So many buyers are elated that for mere pennies, they have a never-ending supply of fresh, clean, and odorless drinking water with no unpleasant aftertaste.

People also liked how, by using a PUR Ultimate Water Dispenser, they can save up to $1,000 a year because they no longer have to buy bottled water. This is a purchase that’ll also keep plastic out of oceans, saving the environment in the process.

Replacement Filters:
  • PUR Water Pitcher Replacement Filters
    PUR Water Pitcher Filters
    Price: Low

    The PUR Water Pitcher fit all PUR pitchers and dispensers. They’re WQA certified to remove lead and other harmful impurities from your drinking water.

    These filters are certified to reduce three times the contaminants of Brita Filter OBO3. It’s also considered to be the leading brand among certified lead reducing filters.

More Info

3Best For Smaller Families
This perfectly sized pitcher makes healthy water a breeze.

The Brita standard 10-cup water pitcher features an easy-fill locking lid and fits perfectly on any fridge shelf. It holds 10 cups of water, which is enough to fill three 24-ounce reusable water bottles.

This incredible pitcher saves you from having to buy 1,800 single-use plastic bottles each year. It eliminates zinc, mercury, copper, cadmium, and other harmful contaminants, making your home drinking supply healthy again.

ProsThe Good

It quickly filters water for you, getting the job done in five minutes or less. That way, you won’t be waiting around all day just to get a drink.

This pitcher is the perfect compromise between capacity and usability. Anything smaller, and it wouldn’t be suitable for a family. Anything bigger, and it wouldn’t fit in the fridge.

The Brita comes with an electronic indicator that helpfully tells you when to change the filter.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

People complain that the reservoir is almost impossible to remove. This makes it difficult to clean the unit.

Other people gripe that the Brita isn’t as durable as it could be. Some customers report that when their unit fell on the floor, a piece broke off.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers who were spending a fortune on bottled water are glad that they no longer have to engage in this expensive habit ever again.

Other buyers with fancy refrigerator water dispensers are disappointed that cold water doesn’t come out of them—only room temperature water. With the Brita pitcher, they can once more get ice-cold refreshing water.

What’s more, most of the health-destroying contaminants get filtered out of it.

Replacement Filters:
  • Brita Standard Replacement Filter
    Brita Standard Replacement Filters
    Price: Low

    Brita standard water filters fit the Brita Standard 10-cup pitchers. They’re also compatible with all Brita pitchers and dispensers except Stream.

    Brita water filters are easy to replace with a pull top cap that comes right off.

    The manufacturer recommends changing them every two months or 40 gallons — whichever comes first. These filters last twice as long as ZeroWater filters.

    They’ve been scientifically proven to reduce chlorine’s taste and odor and get rid of contaminants such as cadmium, zinc, copper, and mercury.

More Info

4Best For Coffee Connoisseurs
Aesthetically pleasing and ergonomically designed.

If you want refreshing, revitalizing, clean water 24/7, you should invest in a Waterdrop Chubby 10 Cup water filter pitcher.

This pitcher is terrific at reducing lead, fluoride, arsenic, and other contaminants that can cause a whole host of health problems. It’s manufactured from high-grade BPA-free plastic. The unit comes with a sharp-looking, aesthetically pleasing, ergonomically designed handle made from natural wood.

So, you’ll not only get something that’s eminently practical, but you’ll get something that’ll look fantastic in your kitchen.

ProsThe Good

The Waterdrop Chubby uses silver-loaded activated carbon, ensuring optimal filter performance. You’ll get over 200 gallons of water before you must replace the filter.

Because this pitcher is so well designed, it’s exceedingly easy to refill it without removing the lid. The innovative spout lid prevents dust particles from contaminating your crystal-clear water.

The Waterdrop Chubby fits perfectly in most refrigerator’s doors, making it easy to get to when you have a thirst that just won’t quit.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

Some customers complain that the filter change indicator is cheaply made and is liable to break down in the first few months of using the unit.

Other users with extremely hard water say that the Waterdrop Chubby does nothing to reduce the excess calcium, magnesium, and other alkaline minerals that cause this condition.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Many customers rave about how the water that comes from the Waterdrop Chubby makes the best coffee they ever tasted. So, if you’re a coffee connoisseur, this is the unit for you!

Other buyers who have hectic lives love how fast the water filters through. That way, they can quickly fill their Nalgene bottles in the morning and then rush out the door.

More Info

5Best At Removing TDS
Innovatively designed to remove virtually all dissolved solids.

The ZeroWater ZP-010 10 Cup boasts the only water filter on the planet NSF Certified to eliminate lead and chromium. What’s more, after the pitcher does its work, you’ll have some of the purest drinking water around with zero dissolved solids in it.

The ZeroWater also has a one-hand push to dispense spout that lets you fill a water bottle without doing any lifting.

ProsThe Good

A water quality meter that lets you test your water comes with every unit. Unlike most water filter pitchers that have only one or two filtration stages, the ZeroWater has five.

This means you’ll get cleaner, better-tasting water. Carbon filters are combined with ion exchange technology to more efficiently get rid of contaminants. These filters eliminate 99.6% of total dissolved solids, which is twice as much as other leading brands.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

There are a few disgruntled customers who, while they liked the general operation of the ZeroWater, weren’t too crazy about the lid because it didn’t close properly for them.

For these users, pouring water from the unit was a frustrating experience that ends up with them getting water all over their kitchen floors.

Other people complain that the spout button broke after only a year or two of use.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Some users in parts of the country where the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) is double the EPA recommended amount love the ZeroWater. That’s because the device reduces TDS to a level where the water is safe to drink again.

Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) are minerals, salts, metals, including lead, chemicals, fluoride, and runoff.

These customers love how the unit’s filter dramatically changes the taste of the water. So, they go from water tasting like someone adding a few too many lemon wedges to it to sparkling clean water with no discernible taste whatsoever.

More Info

6Best Moderately Priced Pitcher
Removes mineral deposits better than other models.

The PUR CR1100CV 11 Cup water filter pitcher allows you to enjoy cleaner, filtered water with the utmost ease. It comes with an easy-to-fill lid to minimize spills, and a built-in filter life indicator, so you can instantly know when to change your filter.

The proprietary technology of the innovative PUR Filter PPF900Z that comes with the unit is guaranteed to remove more than twice the amount of contaminants than the Brita Filter 0B03.

ProsThe Good

This water filter pitcher does such a fantastic job, you’ll even be able to see the difference with your own eyes. For example, your coffee pot won’t ever again be covered with white crusty residue from mineral deposits.

However, what’s even better is you won’t be putting this stuff in your body anymore.

Replacing the filters on the PUR CR1100CV is much easier to do than it is any some comparable models.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

Some users have had the unfortunate experience of having the container crack after only a few months of use.

Others complain that the filter clogged after using it for a few days. However, this might have been due to unusually high sediment levels in their municipal water supply.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers love the dramatic difference the PUR CR1100CV makes in the taste of their drinking water. With this exceptionally well-made unit, these buyers don’t have to put up with nasty chlorine smells or flavors, and their water doesn’t taste metallic anymore.

This saves them hundreds of dollars a year because they no longer buy bottled water that generates an incredible amount of waste plastic, which only ends up in landfills.

Replacement Filters:
  • PUR Water Pitcher Replacement Filters
    PUR Water Pitcher Replacement 2 Pack
    Price: Low

    This is a two-pack of water filters designed to fit every PUR pitcher or dispenser on the market—including the PUR CR1100CV 11-Cup.

    These filters are certified to filter out twice the impurities of most Brita filters. They also reduce the total amount of chlorine in your water for an exceptional taste.

    You can trust PUR because they’ve been developing innovative technologies for superior water filtration for over three decades.

More Info

7Most Innovative Technology
Japanese activated carbon technology provides a superior filtration experience.

Drink water straight from your tap with great peace of mind by using this impeccably engineered pitcher.

Incredibly, each filter in the Nakaii 8 Cup water pitcher lasts for 150 gallons, which is four times more than most brands.

It boasts advanced filtration technology using Activated Carbon Fiber (ACF). In fact, Nakii was the first manufacturer in the US to use this cutting-edge technology.

ProsThe Good

The Nakii reduces lead, sediment, suspended particles, rust, unpleasant color and odor, and limescale like few other models on the market.

The Nakii is sleekly designed and will easily fit on your refrigerator door for convenient storage when you don’t need it.

Nakii only uses BPA-free plastic material in all their pitchers, which means you won’t suffer any ill effects from using their products.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

Some customers complain that the Nakii doesn’t filter out 99% of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) as the company claims. However, these individuals say there’s a significant reduction of this contaminant from their home water supply.

Other buyers say that they cannot get the filter to fit tightly enough to do its job and find that water leaks around the filter edges.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Some customers who had high levels of chlorine in their tap water were pleasantly surprised when the Nakii was able to easily remove this noxious chemical.

The chlorine was so powerful for some of these users that they could smell it several feet away as soon as the faucet was turned on. When they did laundry, the chlorine even overpowered the scent of the fabric softener!

With the Nakii, they never have to put up with the unpleasantness of strong chlorine odor and taste again.

More Info

Do You Need A Water Filter Pitcher

There’s no easy answer to the question of whether you need a water filter.

Public drinking water fountain.

In the US, public water supplies are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Suppose you want to find out what’s in your water supply. In that case, you can go online to find your local supplier’s EPA-mandated consumer confidence report. If not, you can get it from the entity that oversees your water supply.

This report will list the contaminants present (such as microbes, pesticides, and heavy metals) and their levels.

The Two Types of Water Filters

Water filters can be one of two types: carbon or cartridge.

Carbon Filters

Carbon water filters - new and damaged.

An activated charcoal carbon filter works using something called “adsorption.” Absorption is atoms’ natural tendency to stick to a surface.

The activated charcoal in the filter has a very porous surface that offers a lot of space for ions of a contaminant to enter. Once they enter, they’re trapped.

This makes the water cleaner and therefore healthier.

The porous carbon surfaces eventually get saturated with contaminants. This reduces the filter’s efficiency to almost zero. That’s why it’s crucial to periodically change your filters.

Cartridge Filters

A cartridge filter is more advanced than a basic carbon filter.

Cartridge filters contain an activated carbon filter. However, they use additional methods to boost the cleanliness of the water.

How to Change a Filter

Changing your filter should be done every two to three months and will take ten minutes or less.

Here’s how to do it:

Woman changing a filter in the water filter pitcher.
  1. Fill a container with cold water.
  2. Plunge the new filter all the way into the water.
  3. Let it soak for fifteen minutes.
  4. Drain the filter after removing it from the water.
  5. Install the new filter in the pitcher.
  6. Fill the pitcher three times—this helps to activate the carbon filter.
  7. Dispose of the water.
  8. The pitcher is now ready to use.

Water Pass-Through Rate

Water passing through the filter in Nakii water filter pitcher.

How long water takes to pass through a filter depends on your model.

This is known as the “water pass-through rate.” Some pitchers take less than 30 seconds to pass water through, while others can take up to five minutes or more.

Some manufacturers claim their longer filter times are due to proprietary technology that effectively removes 99% of lead. Pitchers that take longer to filtrate usually mean they’re doing a better job.

However, that’s rapidly changing as filtration technology improves.

Contaminants in Drinking Water

There’s a long list of contaminants found in tap water. Contaminants in drinking water are defined by the EPA as anything other than water molecules.


Although high fluoride levels can cause health problems, it has been added to US municipal tap water for almost seven decades.

Fluoride toothpaste on a toothbrush and a tap water.
High fluoride levels can cause health problems

It has been shown to drastically improve dental health in children and adults.

What Contaminants Do Water Filter Pitchers Remove

Carbon filters are effective at removing most contaminants from your home water supply.

Here’s a list of impurities activated carbon filters can eliminate:


The source of chlorine in the drinking water.

Cities and towns use chlorine to kill germs in their drinking supply.

While there are serious health risks from long-term lead exposure, ingesting chlorine is thought to be relatively benign. That is, except for a possible correlation between chlorine and bladder cancer.

Lots of people don’t like how water tastes after chlorine has been added to it.

Activated charcoal filters will capture most of the chlorine in the water. That way, you won’t taste it anymore.


The older your pipes are, the more likely your water was contaminated after being treated at the facility.

According to the EPA, there’s a high probability that houses built before 1986 have lead pipes or lead-laden fixtures and solder. These building materials were quite common once upon a time but are no longer allowed.

Flint's public water facilities.

There’s no safe level of lead exposure, and even low levels can lead to significant health problems. These include decreased kidney function, reproductive issues, hypertension, and learning disabilities.

Although many communities are slowly replacing old lead water pipes, they often run into financial and logistical roadblocks that prevent that from happening. That’s why it behooves you to find a way to protect your personal water supply.

Although buying bottled water is one option, it creates a lot of plastic waste that might or might not be recyclable. The more affordable and eco-friendly way to ensure your water is protected is by using a filtration system—like a water filter pitcher.

That way, you’ll remain vibrantly healthy—even if the city or town you live in can’t get their act together.

Trihalomethane Compounds

Trihalomethane compounds are the result of chlorine interacting with the organic matter in the water.

Because studies have linked these compounds with several illnesses, governments set limits on the amount a person can ingest. This way, they won’t threaten the life and well-being of the populace.

VOC acronym explanation.

Volatile Organic Chemicals

Usually called VOCs, volatile organic chemicals are found in most herbicides and pesticides.

These chemicals are used for soil treatment, but some of them invariably find their way into the water table, where they can cause serious health problems.


A young woman with a stomach pain.

Giardiasis is a debilitating condition that results from a sufferer ingesting giardia, which is a protozoan parasite.

Symptoms include stomach pain, severe diarrhea, and weight loss.

Some individuals might also experience fever, vomiting, and blood in their stool.

Giardia spreads through cysts, which can survive up to 3 months in cold water. Once a water source is infested, it’s difficult to completely get rid of it.


Cryptosporidium is another protozoan parasite that can be blocked by carbon filters.

This parasite can cause a gastrointestinal and respiratory sickness called cryptosporidiosis. This illness can affect the small intestine and the respiratory tract causing watery diarrhea and a nasty cough.

This is a dangerous illness for people with compromised immune systems.

A woman terrified by the number of contaminants in the water.

Other Contaminants

Other contaminants you might find in tap water include mercury, cadmium, asbestos, copper, zinc, sediments, and pharmaceuticals.

Pharmaceuticals are considered one of the “emerging concerns” to the safety of tap water. As you might expect, it’s not a great idea to be drinking any of these contaminants in large doses or over long periods.

Testing Your Water

A consumer confidence report only tells you how the water was when it left the treatment plant. If you want to know what the quality is really like, you’ll have to pay someone to conduct a water quality test.

Even if odor and taste are the only reasons for using a water filter pitcher, it’s an excellent idea to determine if there are contaminants in your drinking supply.

Water testing laboratory and its staff.
Only quality tests could reveal the real quality of the drinking water

Your local government might offer free testing kits. If they don’t, you can collect a sample and send it to a lab to be tested. This usually costs between $20 and $100.

Although most people never get their water tested, more than two out of 10 who did so discover that their home water supply has dangerously high levels of contaminants.

Are Water Filter Pitchers Worth It

If you value the health benefits that’ll come your way when your water has 99% of the impurities filtered out of it, then water filter pitchers are worth it.

The average water filter pitcher costs less than $50. This is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with clean water.

Purchasing a Water Filter Pitcher

Once you know what impurities are in your water, look for the pitcher packaging certification mark stating that it filters out these specific impurities.

A boy drinking the water from the water filter dispenser.
Most water filters eliminate unpleasant-tasting contaminants

No one filter gets rid of all of them. You’ll find that most pitchers eliminate unpleasant-tasting contaminants like zinc, hydrogen sulfide, and chlorine. Unfortunately, few of them remove lead.

The Three Certifications

There are three certifications that consumers should be familiar with when buying water filters for their homes:

  • The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Water Treatment Device Certification Program provides assurances to consumers that devices meet national standards’ design, material, and performance requirements.
  • The Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent, accredited testing organization that certifies home water treatment units.
  • The Water Quality Association (WQA) is a trade organization that tests water treatment equipment.

Daniel Pleasants is an expert on all things about home appliances. He is currently a dealer and installer of whole house water filtration systems and water softeners in the Seattle, Washington area.