water filter pitcher better than brita

Water Filter Pitcher Better Than Brita

April J.
Hiker, nature lover, and clean water enthusiast.

Water filter pitchers by design are meant to make your drinking water healthier and safer. If you're looking for a water filter pitcher better than Brita, first, it's important to understand the criteria that distinguishes various filters. To begin, let's look at how water filter pitchers can make your water healthier and safer. You would expect the water coming from your kitchen tap to be clean and safe but the truth is, your drinking water in your home might have contaminants in it, and most homes in America have this issue. Not surprisingly, more than 50% of Americans who were surveyed said they either filter their water or boil it. This is according to a recent survey from Consumer Reports who based this information on a sample size of 4,225 adults in the United States. Most people who completed the survey said their biggest issue with their drinking water was the taste and the smell. There are a number of issues which can cause drinking water to taste bad or smell. The mostly likely culprits are chemicals used to treat your tap water, environmental contaminants like bacteria or high concentrations of metals that have leeched off in old pipes that were used in plumbing. Here is a quick list of common contaminants that can cause bad tasting or smelly water.

  • Hydrogen Sulfide: Causes a rotten egg smell in water
  • Dissolved Solids: Causes a earthy or musty smell in water
  • Chlorine: Causes a chemical taste in water
  • Mercury, Lead, Arsenic, or Iron: Metallic taste and smell

Water Filter Pitchers are very easy to use. Most times, you simply fill them up through the top of the reservoir and wait for the water to flow through the filter cartridge. One of the things that is not very often disclosed in the water filter industry is that gravity is one of the best water filter methods. Most water filter companies want to sell you a very expensive Reverse Osmosis (RO) system or a whole house filtration system. These RO and whole house systems generally work under pressure which causes the water to have a very short contact time with the filter media. This is why most RO systems and whole house systems have multiple filter stages. Each stage gives the filter a little more time to touch the water and try to remove contaminants as they fly by.

What Makes A Pitcher Better Than Brita?

Water Filter Pitchers on the other hand have a lot of time to make the water take a tortured path through the filter to get from the top reservoir down to the bottom reservoir where the clean water is stored. Unfortunately, most water filter pitcher companies (like Brita) use what we call a Granular Activated Carbon filter or GAC. These filters are basically carbon sand that have been dumped inside a filter casing and sealed inside with the top of the filter. They are also the cheapest filters to make and the most profitable to sell. These GAC water filters are also the fastest filters on the market, so they spend less time in contact with water, which we all know means less filtration. People may like that they get to wait less for their water, but we think clean water is worth the wait.

List of Water Filter Pitchers that use Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Filters:
1. Brita
2. PUR
3. ZeroWater
4. Nakii
5. Soma

Unfortunately, these GAC filters remove very little in the way of contaminants because the water simply flows right through the filter too quickly. I have seen this in my own testing of inexpensive water filter pitchers with GAC filters. The issue that most people in the water filtration industry have with GAC filters is that in addition to not providing a lot of contact time between the water and the filter, they also allow for flow channels to develop inside the filter over time. These flow channels happen when the water pushes the grains of carbon apart to create an easier path to travel for the water. You see this exact same action happen in a stream as the water pushes the rocks to the side over time. This allows a portion of the water going through the filter to have a very low contact time with the carbon sand inside the filter, letting contaminants pass right by the filter and into your glass.

A water filter pitcher that is better than Brita

A Better Filter: Carbon Block

In order to make a water filter pitcher better than Brita, you have to start with a better way to filter the water. We believe that carbon block filters are a much better way to filter water versus a Granular Activated Carbon filter. The carbon block filter is basically a solid block of carbon that is formed with heat and pressure. These carbon blocks can be manufactured in different thicknesses. The thicker the carbon, the longer it takes for the water to find a path through the filter to your drinking glass. In fact, once the water reaches the carbon block, it then has to take a torturous path through the thick carbon walls that contain millions of tiny layers of carbon. As the water passes through this carbon maze, the filter uses depth & adsorption filtration to achieve 1 micron contaminant removal. Adsorption removes particulates via the activated coconut carbon fiber mesh surface areas, which adsorbs contaminants such as cysts, heavy metals, chemicals, pharmaceuticals & herbicides as they pass by. Depth filtration (10 mm thick) involves the removal of heavy metals, suspended waste products and chemicals as they try to pass through the millions of layers of activated coconut carbon fiber. (For more info see Carbon Block vs. Granular Activated Carbon)

Will This Filter Be Slower Than Brita?

The two main downsides of carbon block filters are that they are slower and they are more expensive to manufacture. Also, as the carbon block filter fills up with captured contaminants, it will get slower and slower until it will not work anymore, we think that is a good thing. On the other side, a GAC filter will continue to let water pass long after its carbon sand inside the filter is no longer capturing contaminants. (yikes!) So yes, the filter inside the Epic Water Filter Pure pitcher or Epic Water Filters Nano pitcher will be slower than a Brita but this means that the water will have a much longer contact time with the thick carbon block filter. This is why we have tested our filter for the removal of close to 200+ tap water contaminants including chlorine, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, and much more. This is why we say, When you want to make a water filter pitcher better than Brita, you have to start with the filter.