The Best Water Filter Pitcher That is Safe and Non Toxic

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Best Water Filter Pitcher That is Safe and Non Toxic

There's nothing quite like a cold glass of ice water to quench your thirst. Not only does it taste refreshing, but it's important for hydration too. In fact, men should consume 13 cups of liquid every day, and women should get 9.

So, yes, downing multiple cups of H2O should be part of your daily routine. However, what you don't need--or want--are all of the contaminants and pollutants that can come with a cup of water.

Bottled drinks might seem like an appealing alternative, but there's no guarantee that what comes in those individual plastic bottles will actually be any less toxic than the stuff that comes from your kitchen faucet. Plus, plastic bottles are an environmental disaster.

Instead, seek out the best water filter pitcher. With a reusable pitcher, you can economically and effectively filter contaminants out of your family's drinking supply. Ahead, learn more with these water filter pitcher reviews and discover the best one for your needs.

Top 6 Best Water Filter Pitchers

What Is the Problem with Water?

Drinking plenty of H2O straight from the tap sounds like an economical way to get your daily hydration. Unfortunately, your municipal supply may not be as pure as you think it is.

Water can contain harmful chemicals and contaminants. Many of these are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, but the legal limits are often higher than what you'd really like to find in your water. Plus, there are plenty of contaminants that aren't regulated at all, but that doesn't mean that it's okay to put them into your system.

Furthermore, some contaminants may come directly from the plumbing in your home, which is too far along in the supply chain to be subject to EPA scrutiny.

What Chemicals and Materials Are Found in Water?

Your tap water is full of chemicals and contaminants. Every city's supply has a different spectrum of chemicals. Just a few of the many potential contaminants that you might find in your glass are listed below.

Chemical or Material

Health Hazards

Safe to Use?

Chlorine

  • Possible cancer

NO???

More research needed - We lean towards NO

Copper

  • Too much is toxic - vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and nausea
  • Possible liver damage
  • Possible kidney disease

NO!

Fluoride

  • Possible cancer
  • Possible thyroid disfunction
  • Possible reproductive problems

NO!

Possibly OK for topical application in tooth products, but we don't recommend ingestion

Lead

  • Behavioral issues
  • Delayed growth
  • Hyperactivity
  • Hearing problems
  • Kidney dysfunction
  • Reproductive problems

NO!

Mercury

  • Kidney problems

NO???

More research needed - We lean towards NO

Fluoride

No! Possibly OK for topical application, but we don't recommend ingestion

This chemical is often added to municipal supplies as a way to strengthen teeth. However, there's questionable evidence as to whether fluoride ingestion actually prevents tooth decay.

On the flip side, fluoride is a known carcinogen. Not only may drinking fluoride not help your teeth at all, but daily consumption might also lead to cancer down the road. Fluoride may even be associated with thyroid and reproductive concerns.

Unfortunately, most water filter pitchers are not really designed to reduce or remove fluoride. If this is among your top concerns, you might want to consider a more robust water filtration system with reverse osmosis filtering.

Lead

No!

Pipes made of lead are an obvious source of this contaminant, but even homes without lead pipes might have trouble with it. That's because lead can also be lingering in solder and in faucets.

Lead is especially dangerous for young children. It can cause behavioral issues, delayed growth, hyperactivity, hearing problems and other medical complications. Adults who have been exposed to lead may develop symptoms related to their kidneys, blood pressure or reproductive systems.

Chlorine

No??? More research needed - we lean towards no

This chemical is added to municipal supplies to kill pathogens. However, there is a link between chlorine and various cancers, including bladder and rectal cancer.

Chlorine actually reacts with other naturally occurring organic matter to create byproducts known as trihalomethanes. ​Chloroform, bromodichloromethane, bromoform, and dibromochloromethane are all examples of trihalomethanes.

Chloroform is classified as a "probable" human carcinogen by the US government and a "known" carcinogen by the state of California. It is suspected that trihalomethanes may also cause bladder cancer, colon and rectal cancer, birth defects, low birth weight, and miscarriage.

Less deadly, but still unpleasant: chlorine may also taint your drink with a strong taste or smell. Depending on the level of chlorine in your municipal supply, you might even feel like you're drinking straight from a swimming pool.

Copper

No!

Like lead, copper often comes straight from the pipes. Your body needs only a small amount of this element each day. Too much can be toxic, especially for infants under age one.

Mercury

No?? More research needed, we lean toward no

Mercury comes in several different forms. Inorganic mercury is the type most often found in municipal supplies. Thankfully, of all the types of mercury, this is the least hazardous to health. However, you still don't want it in your drinking supply as it can lead to kidney problems.

Nontoxic Filter Pitchers

A pitcher system allows you to fill up the container and keep it in the fridge so that a cold, clean drink is only a pour away. There is no installation work required to use this sort of filter, and the small size of a pitcher takes up little-to-no counter or floor space.

What Chemicals and Materials Usually Make Up Nontoxic Filter Pitchers?

Carbon Filter

One of the most common types of filters in a pitcher system is an activated carbon filter. This is a relatively low-cost approach to removing some contaminants, particularly chlorine. Some can also remove other compounds, including mercury and lead. However, carbon alone will not remove all contaminants; for example, this filtration system is ineffective against fluoride.

In general, carbon-block filters produce better results than granulated-carbon filters.

Ion-exchange resin

Some filtration systems use an ion-exchange system to help remove contaminants from the drinking supply. These systems are typically used in conjunction with a carbon filter because each type removes different contaminants.

An ion-exchange system swaps out the ions that are present in your drink. It filters out the ions that you don't want to consume and exchanges them for less unhealthy ones. Such a system is often used to remove fluoride, for example.

BPA-free Plastic

It is common these days for pitchers and other drink containers to be made of BPA-free plastic. Many food and drink receptacles used to be made of polycarbonate plastic, but because this material contains BPA, manufacturers now rely on other plastics.

However, it's worth noting that just because a plastic is BPA-free doesn't mean that it doesn't contain other chemicals that affect hormones. Yes, you should certainly avoid BPA, but you should also bear in mind that all plastics come with a degree of concern.

NSF Certification

NSF Certification

When shopping for a filter pitcher, be sure to look for one that has NSF certification. This ensures that products claims made by the manufacturer are true and that the unit's structural integrity is reliable.

A "Tested to NSF Standards" mark is not the same as NSF certification. This indicates that the manufacturer may have done independent testing, but it has not necessarily been certified by an accredited agency.

  • NSF-42: Certifies that a filter improves the odor and taste of the water, and reduces particulates and chlorine.
  • NSF-53: Certifies an actual reduction of metals and/or chemicals that can affect health. Each compound is actually certified separately (For example: A water filter might be NSF certified to reduce mercury and copper).
  • NSF-401: Certifies that a filter can filter microbiological and pharmaceutical contaminants like bacteria, ibuprofen, and herbicides. This is the most demanding certification and most filters do not have it.

Water Quality Association Certification

WQA Certification

WQA is an accredited organization that tests filter products to ensure that they meet industry requirements. Products that have received this certification may be marked with a gold seal logo. WQA grades filter pitchers against NSF standards.

Considering Your Municipal Supply

United States Map

The contaminants in your drinking supply are influenced by where you live. The main chemicals of concern in the municipal supply vary from place to place. In order to find the best water filter pitcher for your family, it is important to have an understanding of what contaminants you specifically need to filter from your water. You can request a copy of the annual report from your supplier to get a feel for what chemicals and pollutants are most problematic in your city.

Top 6 Non Toxic Filter Pitchers...Reviewed

Before we dive into the best water filter pitcher reviews, it's worth noting that there's no perfect solution here. All pitcher models use at least some plastic, and none removes every contaminant out there.

However, drinking from a filter pitcher is almost always an improvement over drinking straight tap water. Plus, these systems are convenient, take up minimal space and don't cost much. If a filter pitcher is what works for your family, pick the one that best meets your needs and rest assured that you are improving the quality of your drinking supply.

Aquasana Powered Filtration System

Aquasana Powered Filtration System

Price

$$$$

Our Rating

Unlike most filter pitchers, you have to plug in the Aquasana, but the result is superior, professional-grade filtration. This system uses multiple levels of filtration, including activated carbon, catalytic carbon, ion-exchange and mechanical filtration. Therefore, the filter pitcher reduces not only chemicals but also harmful germs.

Also, because the unit is powered, it can filter a full pitcher sooner than most drip-based models offered by other manufacturers.

PROS

  • Holds 8 cups
  • Professional grade filtering that uses both carbon and ion exchange resin
  • NSF 401 certified to reduce phenytoin, ibuprofen, naproxen, estrone, BPA, and nonyl phenol
  • NSF 42 certified to reduce taste and odor of chlorine, chloramine, and particulate
  • NSF 53 certified to reduce cysts, mercury, lead, MTBE, turbidity, VOCs, and asbestos
  • 1 year warranty with optional extension for an additional cost. Lifetime warranty available with signup for free loyalty program
  • More expensive filters than most pitchers but with 320 gallon life

CONS

  • ​Requires power
  • Can be noisy while filtering
  • Higher cost than most filter pitchers
  • Made of plastic

PUR 7 Cup Ultimate Pitcher Filtration System with Lead Reduction

PUR 7 Cup Water Filter Pitcher

Price

$

Our Rating

PUR has been in the filter pitcher business for a number of years, and the Ultimate model takes their original pitcher up a notch. That's because this one has not only a carbon filter but also an ion-exchange one. Unlike the base PUR models, this one reduces lead levels.

PROS

  • Filter uses carbon and ion exchange
  • Certified by WQA and NSF53 to reduce lead
  • NSF 42 certified to reduce taste and odor of chlorine and zinc
  • NSF 53 certified to reduce cysts, 2,4-D, atrazine, benzene, cadmium, copper mercury, tetrachloroethylene, and carbon tetrachloride
  • BPA free plastic
  • Medium capacity holds enough for a small family but fits easily in fridge
  • Easy to find brand
  • 40 gallon filter

CONS

  • ​Made of plastic
  • Only 90 day warranty

ZeroWater 10 Cup Pitcher

ZeroWater 10 Cup Water Filter Pitcher

Price

$$

Our Rating

This filter pitcher uses both carbon and ion-exchange filtering capabilities; in fact, it boasts a five-stage filter. The advantage of this filter is that it can significantly reduce the amount of dissolved solids present in your drink. NSF has certified this system to reduce lead, and the pitcher has also been independently certified for the removal of other contaminants.

This BPA-free plastic unit holds 10 cups.

PROS

  • Pour and push button dispensing capabilities
  • Digital meter indicates when filter needs changed
  • Five stage filter with carbon and ion exchange
  • Meets FDA total dissolved solids (TDS) standards
  • NSF 42 certified to reduce taste and odor of chlorine and hydrogen sulfide
  • NSF 53 certified to reduce chromium 3 & chromium 6, lead, and mercury
  • BPA free plastic

CONS

  • Made of plastic
  • Filter usually lasts for fewer than 40 gallons and filters expensive to replace
  • Only 90 day warranty
  • Some users report a bad taste

Brita Grand Pitcher

Brita water filter pitcher

Price

$$

Our Rating

As the big name in the filter pitcher market, Brita pitchers and their replacement filters are easy to find in any local store or online. The Grand holds 10 cups, making it a good choice for families. Brita does not have the most extensive filtration system on the market, but its easy accessibility makes this unit a good choice for those starting out with filtration.

PROS

  • ​Filter uses carbon and ion exchange
  • NSF 42 certified to reduce taste and odor of chlorine and zinc
  • NSF 53 certified to reduce copper, mercury, and cadmium
  • Large size to accommodate a family
  • Popular brand, so parts are easy to find
  • Filter reminder email program
  • TerraCycle program from Brita accepts your old filters and pitchers for recycling
  • 30 day unconditional return policy
  • 40 gallon filter or optional 100 gallon Longlast filter

CONS

  • ​Only Longlast filter reduces lead
  • Large size takes up more fridge space
  • Made of plastic
  • Only 90 day warranty

Soma Glass Carafe

Soma Sustainable Carafe & Plant Based Water Filter

Price

$$

Our Rating

The Soma Carafe is different from all other filter pitchers on the market because of its glass carafe. If you want to reduce your exposure to plastics and the chemicals that are associated with them, this might be the best filter pitcher option for you.

At 6 cups, this is one of the smaller pitchers on the market.

This video shows some of the features of this very unique carafe and how it works:​

PROS

  • Shatter resistant glass receptacle (water is not sitting in plastic!)
  • BPA free plastic components
  • Certified by WQA to reduce mercury and copper
  • NSF 42 certified to reduce the taste and odor of chlorine and zinc
  • Filters are biodegradable
  • 1 year warranty on hardware
  • 40 gallon filter

CONS

  • ​Despite glass carafe, liquid must pass through plastic filter parts
  • Small size
  • Can be a bit difficult to pour

Mavea Elemaris XL 9 Cup Water Filtration Pitcher

Mavea water filter pitcher

Price

$$

Our Rating

This filter pitcher uses both carbon and ion-exchange filtering capabilities. This pitcher has a big advantage in that it is designed not to come apart when pouring the water. It also has a spring pour spout for pouring the water into the pitcher without having to take off the lid at all. NSF and WQA has certified this system to reduce mercury, copper, atrazine, and benzene. The pitcher has also been independently tested and shown to reduce limescale.

As an overall package, Mavea would have been among one of our first choices for best water filter pitcher based on overall prices (including need to change filters), user experience, & filtering quality.​ However, Mavea dropped way down the rankings because I could not get a hold of anyone at the company to get some of my question answered. I had to contact just about every company on this list with questions, and Mavea was on the only one that did not respond. However, I still kept it on this list because it really is a great pitcher.

This BPA-free plastic unit holds 9 cups.

PROS

  • Everything stays in place when water is being poured
  • Filters do not require pre soaking
  • Filter with carbon and ion exchange
  • Company has a recycling program for the filters
  • NSF 42 certified to reduce taste and odor of chlorine
  • NSF 53 & WQA certified to reduce mercury, copper, atrazine, and benzene
  • BPA free plastic

CONS

  • Made of plastic
  • Could not find any warranty info and could not get a hold of company

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Written by Ashley

Chief editor here at Nontoxic Reboot. I'm passionate about providing you with the best and easiest ways to make your world healthier and a little less toxic.

Downing multiple cups of H2O should be part of your daily routine. However, what you don’t need–or want–are all of the contaminants and pollutants that can come with a cup of water.

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