Brita Water Pitcher Review | The Need-to-Know Before You Buy

Brita Water Pitcher Review The Need to Know Before You Buy Featured image

Even when you're not in an outdoor wilderness survival situation, providing clean water for yourself and your family is of vital importance. Whether you do or do not own a Brita water pitcher, this review will let you know if you need to switch up your water filtering methods or keep the ones you already have.

Brita Water Pitcher Review

I installed a reverse osmosis water system in my house since I purchased it seven years ago. It provides clean water that tastes great, plus it removes virtually every waterborne contaminant out there. The only catch is that the filters need to be changed every so often. The last time this happened, I didn’t have a spare set of filters on hand, meaning I had to find an alternate source of drinking and cooking water.

Thankfully, I was prepared for this situation. A few years ago, I purchased a Brita® Pitcher Filter from one of my local big box retailers. I went to my garage and took it out of its packaging, then proceeded to read the instructions on how to use it. I also ordered two sets of reverse osmosis filters from another big-box retailer to ensure I would have my current system up and running in a few days. In the interim, I would have a chance to evaluate one of my backup water filtration systems.

The Pitcher

The model I have is a large unit with two chambers. The top one is where the unfiltered water goes and has a capacity of just over 1 liter. The bottom one is where the filtered water is collected and has a capacity of around 2 liters. There are other Brita configurations, including dispensers that sit inside a refrigerator. However, all of the pitchers and dispensers currently in production use the same filter.

Brita Filter Brita Water Pitcher Review | The Need-to-Know Before You Buy

The Filter

This is the heart of the Brita system. The filter contains coconut-based charcoal (activated carbon) along with an ion-exchange resin. Together, these materials reduce the amount of chlorine, copper, cadmium, and mercury in the water. It also removes unpleasant odors and tastes. According to the manufacturer, the filter is good for about 80 gallons (~300 liters) of water before it needs to be replaced.


Together, the pitcher and filter use a combination of gravity and chemistry to filter water. This sounds simple, but first, you need to prepare the filter. This means soaking the filter for 15 minutes in cold water, then rinse it under cold running water for a few seconds. After that is done, it can be inserted into the pitcher. Then, you need to fill it with water then discard the filtered water. During the first two pitchers of water, there may be small pieces of charcoal floating around in the water. This is normal and it happened to me so it’s nothing to be concerned about. After doing this twice, it was ready to be used.


Once the filter is ready, simply add water to the inner, top reservoir and let the filter do its thing. In my experience, it took around two minutes for a liter of water to completely pass through the filter. Once I filled it up, I simply put it in my refrigerator like any other pitcher and poured out water when I needed it. I had to regularly fill it up to keep it full but it was convenient for me to use.

Brita Reservoir Brita Water Pitcher Review | The Need-to-Know Before You Buy


So far so good, but how effective is the Brita Water Pitcher? Well, it does reduce contaminants but doesn’t remove them entirely. The following table shows how effective it is in reducing certain substances:

Filter Performance
Substance Average Reduction
Copper 80%
Mercury 95%
Cadmium 93%
Chlorine 97%
Zinc 66%


What is left unsaid is what it does not filter. This includes MTBE, PCBs, VOCs, Radon, Asbestos, Lead, fluoride along with waterborne microorganisms. Brita even says the following in their user manual:

“The Brita® Pitcher Filter is not intended to purify water. Do not use with water that is microbiologically unsafe or of unknown quality without adequate disinfection before or after the system…”

In other words, it is better than nothing but not a product that you would rely on in a real emergency.

Projected Costs

If memory serves, I spent about $35 for my pitcher and two filters. While this price looks attractive, the filters add up over time. A new filter costs about $8 MSRP and can filter up to 80 gallons of water, for a price of about $0.10 per gallon. The costs are less when you buy filters in multi packs. It’s not super expensive but also not a great deal for what you get.


Over five days or so, I used this pitcher mostly for drinking water. It was okay but not as compelling as I had expected. I found myself using another one of my backup water filtration systems more. I’ll write about this particular unit in my next post so stay tuned…


Fairly quick filtration, convenient size. Was able to put the pitcher in the refrigerator to keep the water cold.


Not intended for emergency use when water may contain a wide range of contaminants. Filters don’t last very long and costs can add up over time.

Bottom Line

The Brita Pitcher Filter is a good backup to have on hand if you are in an area that has a reliable supply of potable water. It makes tap water taste better but only reduces a small amount of contaminants. Not a bad product, but not really a good one either.

Overall Rating 4/10

Up Next: How To Purify Water | 5 Water Decontamination Techniques

Brita Water Pitcher Review | The Need-to-Know Before You Buy

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5 Responses to :
Brita Water Pitcher Review | The Need-to-Know Before You Buy

  1. Robert Kane says:

    The Brita filter is only good to make clean water taste a little better, it’s not a filter to make bad water good or drinkable. It takes at least a Pur filter for that. I was going to use a reverse Osmosis system for our water also, however it would cost us a fortune since we are on a pay water utility rather than a well system and a reverse osmosis uses 5 gallons to make 1, so it would be cost prohibitive for us.
    The water utility we are on is not reliable but is considered potable and it’s better than most of the local tap water, but it’s still not what I consider the best, so we use a Pur filter water pitcher system and have had good results for years, and I like that Pur filters spores and many other chemicals, viruses and bacteria.

  2. george says:

    I use a Clear2O water pitcher that uses a faucet adapter that you connect the pitcher hose to. It forces water under pressure thru a carbon block to filter the water. Been using for years.

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