ZeroWater vs Brita: Which Water Filter Pitcher is Better?

Last Updated on June 5, 2020

Review Summary

A lot of water filter pitchers look similar, and for the most part, they are. But the ZeroWater pitcher and Brita pitcher are very different if you take the time to look at the details. Brita filter pitchers remove 60 contaminants from the water they filter but don’t make claims about reducing total dissolved solids (TDS). Brita filters do reduce TDS, but not significantly. ZeroWater filters remove 99.6% of TDS, extracting almost everything to leave behind very clean drinking water. This is possible thanks to the five-stage filters that ZeroWater uses in their filter pitcher.

If you want the most thorough water filtration, you’ll probably want the ZeroWater pitcher. It’s so sure of its filtration that a TDS meter is included so you can always see for yourself. But the filters will need to be replaced more rapidly and they’re much more expensive than the Brita filters. If you want a filter pitcher with less maintenance and cheaper, easier to find replacement filters, then the Brita is probably the filter pitcher for you.

What are the differences between them?

These two products look very similar from the outside, but they perform quite differently when you dive into them. To figure out which is better, we’re going to compare them in several different categories to see how they fare against one and other.

Performance

If you look closely, you’ll see that the ZeroWater filter is pretty darn big. That’s because it’s a five-stage filter that removes 99.6% of all total dissolved solids (TDS). Brita doesn’t substantially reduce the TDS of your water. But it goes further. ZeroWater is so confident in their filter that they include a TDS meter that fits into the lid for safekeeping. But this is also the only way to test if your filter is working. We’d like to see the ZeroWater filter incorporate an LED filter meter like the Brita pitcher to make it easier for us to tell when the filter is about done. It’s pretty clear that the ZeroWater pitcher is our performance winner.

Price

The ZeroWater filter pitcher is surprisingly affordable, but the Brita filter pitcher is one of the cheapest on the market. You’ll notice a big difference when it’s time to replace your filter though. The Brita filters are inexpensive and available at stores everywhere. The ZeroWater filters are more difficult to find, so you may need to order them online. But they’re also considerably more expensive than the Brita filters. Five stages of filtration don’t come cheap. Don’t forget that you’ll have to replace them more often than Brita filters as well. It sounds like the cost is starting to multiply with the ZeroWater pitcher. In the short term and the long haul, Brita is the better value.

ZeroWater Water Filter Pitcher
Image: ZeroWater Water Filter Pitcher, Amazon

Durability

Both of these are well-built pitchers, but the Brita pitcher tends to experience cracking where the handle meets the water reservoir. We didn’t experience any of this in the ZeroWater pitcher, and only rarely heard about problems with it breaking, except for the TDS meter.

Design

Both feature a similar pitcher design, but the filters are very different, so we’ll talk about them. The Brita filter only offers two stages of filtration, compared to the five stages you get with the ZeroWater filter. That’s why the ZeroWater pitcher can remove up to 99.6% of the TDS from your water. The Brita filter may reduce your TDS and remove a few chemicals, but the ZeroWater filter strips your water for a much purer drinking experience.

Quick Rundown of Brita Water Filter Pitcher:

Brita Water Filter Pitcher
Image: Amazon

The Brita water filter pitcher is one of the most popular water filters on the market. It’s easy to find online or in local stores, and replacement cartridges are just as easy. Each cartridge will filter about 40 gallons before you’ll have to replace it. You’ll know when replacement is necessary because the built-in filter meter on top will let you know. One of the reasons this filter is so popular is because it’s dirt-cheap. It’s one of the cheapest ways to start drinking filtered water right now.

Brita pitcher filters remove 60 contaminants from your water, including chlorine and lead. They don’t substantially reduce total dissolved solids though, so there are still plenty of things that get left behind. But the Brita filter pitcher is one of the cheapest and easiest water filtration methods available.

Pros
  • Dirt-cheap
  • Replacement filters are easy to find
  • Built-in filter meter
Cons
  • Doesn’t substantially reduce TDS
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Quick Rundown of ZeroWater Water Filter Pitcher:

ZeroWater Water Filter Pitcher
Image: Amazon

ZeroWater takes its filtration seriously. So seriously that they even include a TDS meter with their water filter pitcher. It’s got a little attachment port on the lid for storage so it’s always with your water. You even use it to test when it’s time to change filters, though we’d rather see an LED indicator like the Brita has. The ZeroWater filter is affordably priced, but the filter replacements are rather pricey. That’s because they utilize a five-stage filter that removes up to 99.6% of all the total dissolved solids from your water. What’s left behind is a pure drinking experience that’s superior to what the Brita filters can provide.

Because the five-stage filter is so thorough, it fills up faster and will need to be replaced more often. Since it’s a more expensive filter, the cost is going to add up substantially in the long-term. But the ZeroWater pitcher has other nice features included, like the push-button pour spout on the rear. This allows you to get drinking water without removing the pitcher from the fridge, and we found ourselves loving this little feature.

Pros
  • Removes 99.6% of TDS
  • Includes TDS meter
  • Five stages of filtration
  • Push-button pour spout on rear
Cons
  • Filters need replacing more often
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What the Users Say

More than just our opinions, we thought it would be a good idea to hear what other users of these products had to say. We spend some time browsing forums and reviews to get other people’s opinions, so let’s see what they think.

Some people complained that the Brita required many rinsing cycles before it was usable, wasting water and time. There were users who said they needed to repeat the rinse as many as eight times. Another mention was cracking around the areas where the handle and pitcher meet. But for those who wrote in to Brita, replacements were sent quickly with no questions asked, so they get points for quality customer service.

On the other hand, people loved the taste of the water that came from the Brita pitchers. Many say that they got years of reliable use from their pitcher before deciding to upgrade to a newer version.

Many users of the ZeroWater filter were ecstatic to measure their water and see the TDS measurement. A common comment was that the water was incredibly pure and they could taste the difference over Brita filters. But it’s often said that the ZeroWater pitcher takes a very long time to filter water and the Brita pitcher is several times faster.

Most people liked the TDS meter included with the ZeroWater pitcher, but it was very common to hear of it breaking or just ceasing to function. There were also complaints of very short filter lifespans. Representatives of ZeroWater said this was due to higher concentrations of TDS in their tap water shortening the filter’s lifespan.

Conclusion

Both of these water filter pitchers are excellent products and they excel in their own ways. The ZeroWater filter pitcher is a thorough filtration device that removes almost everything from your water. It’s best for people who have the need to be thorough about their water filtration and are willing to change filters more frequently, spending more on their superior filtration abilities each time.

A Brita filter pitcher is cheaper, easier to find, and can be replaced less often so you don’t have to give it as much of your time. It’s the best choice for someone who wants a lower maintenance way to get filtered water that will save them money over other filtration methods.


Featured Image: Amazon