Which Water Filter Dispenser is the Best Choice?

When it comes to choosing the best water filter dispenser, one model stands out from the rest. In our most recent round of tests, the ZeroWater filter jug maintained its shape, removing almost all total dissolved solids (TDS) and leaving a clean-tasting glass of H2O. This purifying water jug is quite affordable, sturdy and comes in a few sizes, all of which use the same filter. These include a smaller 10-cup round pitcher, a 23-cup dispenser with a faucet, and even a massive 5 gallon water pitcher that can be placed in a water cooler. In our tests, the ZeroWater filter eliminated almost all of the TDS from the water we passed through it, ending up with an average reading of 0, making it our best performance by far.

ZeroWater relies so much on its filter products that each model comes with a TDS water quality tester to check for yourself how well it works. We used our own tester in addition to the included one and the filter got a perfect TDS score on both. Brita is probably the best known of the brands of water filter jugs and performed well in our tests, second only to ZeroWater in general removal of dissolved materials. The Brita withdrew about 40% of the TDS. Not a bad performance, but still significantly less than the winner.

While I wasn't in love with the Brita's construction, the plastic seems a little cheap, weighing just 1.32 pounds, which is less than half the weight of the ZeroWater. If you have small children or people in the house who can't lift a heavy pitcher, this may be a good choice. As you can see in the image above, the ZeroWater filter on the far right is huge compared to others. Of course, that doesn't necessarily equate to better performance, but in this case, the ZeroWater significantly outperformed the others in removing contaminants. ZeroWater claims to have a five-stage filter that better removes particles and prevents mold from growing with use. Based on our test results, it seems that the brand may be on to something.

The ZeroWater pitcher managed to reduce all total dissolved solids in tap water, from an average initial TDS reading of 57 ppm to zero, which may help explain the name. Both Brita pitchers with the standard filter tied for second place, a reduction in TDS from 57 to 31 (a decrease of 45.6%).The taste of the water was a little more difficult to measure, but each jar helped me reduce the slightly metallic taste of tap water. As expected, the ZeroWater jug model had the best flavor, with no discernible metallic flavor or aroma. One thing to note is that we are testing the filters here and not the launcher itself. Because most household filter jugs made by a single brand use the same filter, you can bet that no matter what size or shape of dispenser you choose, the filter should do the same job, for better or worse. Our pick for the best water filter pitcher is the Aquagear water filter jug.

It's a workhorse, removing 2,000% more common pollutants than its main competitor. This includes crucial materials such as lead, chlorine, cadmium, microplastics, herbicides and pesticides. Unlike many other popular brands, the Aquagear filter uses selective filtration to retain healthy minerals your body needs such as calcium, potassium and magnesium. This large stainless steel filter cleans an impressive 8.5 liters of water so this is a filter that you won't have to constantly refill. Most companies provide an estimate of how long your filter will last so if you pay attention to how often you fill the canister you can change the filter at the end of its useful life. The Waterdrop Chubby water filter focuses on filtering contaminants such as fluoride as well as arsenic and lead.

However keep in mind that Brita Stream jugs and dispenser use a different filter; the Brita pitcher and dispenser filter and the Longlast+ filter will not fit in them. Unlike the installation of Pur filters (which clearly indicate when they have been installed incorrectly), when you install Brita filters it is quite easy to damage them. Most brands of filter jugs including Brita and Zero Water recommend replacing the filter after approximately 40 gallons but this number varies by model. Thanks to their simplicity water filter jugs are the most popular type of household water filter money can buy.