Millions of Americans struggle with poor-quality tap water sources. While this issue may not be as severe or widespread as in other countries, the fact remains that a certain proportion of the US population is drinking contaminated tap water.
As such, it should come as no surprise that bottled water and in-home water filters have become a popular and sometimes necessary commodity. Two of the most accessible and popular brands of tap water filters include PUR and Brita.
But which of these two options removes the most contaminants, is the most cost-effective, and the easiest to use? Let’s find out by comparing PUR vs. Brita!
PUR vs. Brita Faucet Filters
Faucet filters attach directly to kitchen sink faucets, allowing users to produce instantly clean, drinkable water. This option can be far more convenient than filtered water pitchers, especially when cooking with filtered water.
However, some faucet filters can be quite bulky and may hinder efficient sink use. To find the best faucet filter, you’ll need to consider each potential faucet’s:
- Contaminant Removal Potential
It may also be worthwhile to consider any warranties or guarantees associated with your preferred filter. Additionally, reading previous customer reviews could help reveal unexpected features or disadvantages that manufacturers haven’t mentioned.
Both PUR and Brita manufacture faucet filters, and we’ll need to consider all of the above aspects to determine which brand makes the better product. Without further ado, let’s explore PUR vs. Brita faucet filters.
Design & Capacity
A well-designed faucet filter should easily attach to any kitchen sink faucet. It should also be compact enough to facilitate full sink usage. A filter alert system that warns users of failing internal filters is also a useful feature.
In terms of capacity, a quality faucet filter should handle hundreds of gallons of water before necessitating a filter change. Let’s see how both PUR and Brita measure up in these areas.
There are four distinct PUR faucet filters to choose from, and each comes with its own set of pros and cons. The most basic of this set is the PUR Classic Faucet Filtration System, and the most advanced model is the PUR Bluetooth® Ultimate Faucet Filtration System.
Though the majority of PUR filters have a horizontal, compact design, the PUR Classic Faucet Filtration System is an upright-filter option. The maximum capacity for all currently available PUR faucet filters is 100 gallons, which is a little underwhelming.
Like PUR, Brita offers four distinct faucet filter options. The Brita Basic Faucet Filtration System is the simplest model currently on offer, while the Complete Faucet Mount System with 2 Filters is one of the more complex options.
Still, all four Brita faucet filters feature a nearly-identical upright design. The filter container is hoisted above the faucet attachment, ensuring that it never collides with dishes or the sink itself. As for capacity, these faucets can handle between 100 and 200 gallons of water before requiring a new filter.
Besides improving tap water’s taste, a faucet filter’s primary purpose is to remove toxins and contaminants. Lead, mercury, chlorine, and harmful bacteria are common tap water contaminants that are—ideally—filtered out by a quality faucet filter.
All PUR faucet filters are capable of filtering out more than 70 various contaminants. No matter which model you choose, you can expect your PUR filter to remove 99% of lead and 96% of mercury. PUR filters can also dechlorinate your tap water, resulting in a less chemical taste.
All Brita faucet filters remove 60 potential types of contaminants, including lead. Brita filters also filter out benzene, asbestos, and foul-tasting chlorine. However, Brita faucet filters do not decrease mercury, copper, zine, or cadmium levels. This is woefully dissatisfying.
Cost & Lifespan
When purchasing a new faucet filter, it’s essential to consider the attachment’s initial cost plus future replacement filter costs. By considering potential upkeep and maintenance costs, you can choose the most affordable and long-lasting faucet filter.
As of this writing, a PUR faucet filter costs anywhere between $19.99 and $44.99. In general, the interior filter lasts up to 100 gallons or three months of use. A replacement filter for the two most basic faucet attachments cost $14.99, while the MineralClear® Faucet Filter costs $17.99.
As such, the total cost of owning and maintaining a PUR faucet filter (for the first year) is between $79.95 and $116.95. Every year after this will incur an approximate upkeep cost of between $59.96 and $71.96.
Brita faucet filters tend to be slightly more affordable than PUR options. The most basic model costs $18.99, while the most advanced options both retail for $36.88. Each Brita faucet filter can last about four months (or about 100 gallons), slightly longer than the PUR filter selection.
That said, Brita offers a wide variety of replacement filters for most of their products, except for their faucet filters. Though you may have purchased one of the higher-end Brita faucet attachments, one that comes with a 200-gallon capacity filter, you’ll eventually need to downgrade it to a 100-gallon replacement filter.
Each of the mountable replacement filters costs $18.99, putting total first-year ownership and upkeep costs around $75.96 and $93.85. So, even if you splurge and purchase Brita’s most expensive faucet filter, you’ll still be spending less and changing your filter less frequently than if you owned PUR’s highest-quality option.
Manufacturers tend to share only the most flattering and appealing product information, which can make it challenging to choose a faucet filter that meets all of your precise needs and expectations.
To avoid a bad case of buyer’s remorse, it’s crucial to consider warranties, manufacturer guarantees, and customer reviews. Let’s see what PUR and Brita have to offer in the way of faucet filter customer service.
PUR tends to offer a 2-year limited warranty on the majority of its faucet filters. However, to be eligible for warranty coverage, shoppers must register their product online immediately after receiving it.
Additionally, some have reported that PUR’s customer service team can be less than helpful, especially when attempting to address anything besides water filter pitchers. Due to PUR faucet attachments’ short filter lifespan, some have argued that PUR just isn’t worth the upkeep cost.
Still, PUR faucet filters can remove a more comprehensive array of potential contaminants than Brita faucet filters, and this capability may be worth the extra costs.
Brita tends to offer 1-year limited warranties on their products, which is slightly less attractive than the standard PUR warranty. That said, their customer service team has earned exemplary praise and can be reached by phone, email, or tweet.
This variety of contact options and their rapid response time are awe-inspiring, earning Brita a ton of customer satisfaction points.
PUR vs. Brita Water Pitchers
Now that we’ve analyzed PUR and Brita faucet filters, we can begin to address their water pitchers. In particular, Brita seems to offer consumers more options when it comes to water pitchers and refrigerator water dispensers. There are no less than 12 unique Brita water pitcher options currently available.
PUR offers three distinct water pitcher models from which to choose. As with the faucet filters, these offerings vary in capacity, removed contaminants, overall cost, and potential lifespan.
To help you choose the right one for your household, we’ll need to take a closer look at what both of these brands have to offer.
Design & Capacity
One of the first things to point out about water pitchers is their shape. While both PUR and Brita offer rectangular water tanks that easily sit inside your home’s refrigerator, these options are not the same as a water pitcher filter.
As such, we’ll be ignoring the larger-capacity dispensers and tanks in favor of the handle-clad water pitcher filtration systems. This decision will help narrow down your potential options while ensuring that you end up with the ideal water-filtering pitcher.
There are three PUR water pitchers from which shoppers can choose. The simplest model is the PUR Basic 7-Cup Pitcher, while the most advanced is the PUR Ultimate Pitcher Filtration System With Lead Reduction. These pitchers can hold between seven and eleven cups of water at any given time.
The PUR Basic 7-Cup Pitcher doesn’t have many frills, but the PUR Classic 11-Cup Pitcher with LED contains an LED alert system to help users remember to change their filter. The pricier PUR Ultimate Pitcher Filtration System With Lead Reduction water pitcher also includes a filter-change warning.
However, this one displays itself on a small screen built into the pitcher lid. All three of these options filter up to 40 gallons of water per filter, translating to about two months per filter.
The smallest of the Brita water pitchers hold a maximum of six cups of water, which is slightly less than the most miniature PUR water pitcher. However, this could be a boon for shoppers looking to save on fridge space with a compact option.
The largest of the Brita water pitchers can hold up to a dozen cups of water. In terms of potential filtration capacity, Brita offers users a choice. They could invest in a standard filter that handles up to 40 gallons (approximately two months), or they could choose to purchase the Longlast filter.
The Longlast filter can decontaminate up to 140 gallons of water, equating to a full six months of use. That’s incredibly convenient, especially for those who might forget to change their filter every few months. Still, Brita’s highest-capacity option only accepts Stream filters, and these are only capable of filtering 40 gallons.
Water pitcher filtration systems often remove more contaminants than faucet filter attachments. This trend is undoubtedly the case when it comes to Brita filters.
While the Brita faucet filters don’t filter out mercury, copper, or other types of harmful waterborne metals, many of the Brita water pitchers do. Somewhat strangely, PUR’s water pitchers can be less effective at removing contaminants than their faucet filters.
Though the PUR faucet filters remove more contaminants than the Brita options, the PUR water pitchers are far less satisfactory. Rather than removing 99% of lead from your drinking water, two out of three PUR water pitchers remove zero lead.
The two most affordable PUR water pitchers only remove about 14 unique substances from tap water. Bisphenol A, estrone, and carbon tetrachlorides aren’t included on the list.
Still, suppose you’re willing to spring for the heftiest and priciest PUR water pitcher. In that case, you could enjoy a 99.3% reduction in dissolved lead and an equally impressive amount of protection from dozens of other common contaminants, including mercury.
When it comes to purchasing a Brita water pitcher, you essentially have three potential contaminant removal levels. The Standard Brita Filter is capable of removing chlorine, mercury, copper, and zinc. However, it doesn’t do much to lower lead levels.
The Longlast Brita Filter is far more capable. It can remove lead, mercury, asbestos, benzene, and small bits of particulate matter. Disappointingly, their Stream filter (explicitly designed to work with Brita Stream water pitchers) removes some chlorine taste and particulates, but not much else.
As such, those who are serious about enjoying the purest, cleanest possible drinking water may need to opt for the most expensive Brita and PUR water pitcher models.
Cost & Lifespan
In addition to purchasing the water pitcher, you’ll need to buy replacement filters. PUR offers two different water filters types, though one is only purchasable as a pack of three. Brita offers three distinct filter types, and their costs and capabilities vary enormously.
Before you purchase a new water filter pitcher, you’ll want to add up your first year’s potential costs. This calculation will allow you to choose the most cost-effective option while also ensuring you enjoy high-quality water filtration.
The most affordable PUR water pitcher, the PUR Basic 7-Cup Pitcher, costs $16.99 as of the time of this writing. The largest and most effective model, the PUR Ultimate Pitcher Filtration System with Lead Reduction, costs $24.99. This makes all current PUR water pitchers more affordable than Brita water pitchers.
At least, until you add replacement filter costs. PUR provides two potential filter options. Users could opt for the PUR Faster Pitcher Replacement Water Filter, which costs $6.99 and lasts for up to two months. Or, they could choose the PUR Pitcher Replacement Filter with Lead Reduction pack of three replacement filters.
The 3-pack of filters last a maximum of six months altogether. This puts the first-year ownership costs at around $58.93 to $74.97.
The least expensive Brita water pitcher costs $19.99, and the priciest tops out at $39.99. Replacement filters vary in capability and price, with the Standard Brita Filter costing $6.58 apiece. The Longlast option comes in at $16.99, and the Stream Filter costs $6.99.
The first-year costs associated with owning a Brita water pitcher vary depending on the type of pitcher and replacement filters you choose. Still, most shoppers can expect to spend between $53.97 and $81.93. Naturally, the following years will incur fewer costs.
You can tell a lot about a company based on how it treats its customers. Choosing a new water filtration system may not just come down to the types of contaminants that the system removes or how long-lasting its filters are.
If you encounter an issue with your product but struggle to hear back from the customer service team, you might quickly find yourself feeling frustrated. Additionally, it’s vital to peruse past customer reviews before making your final purchasing decision.
Some companies are unscrupulous and may avoid mentioning crucial defects or design flaws. However, previous buyers aren’t likely to shy away from their new product’s pros and cons. Consequently, reviews can be a natural form of third-party criticism.
It might be challenging to get in contact with the PUR customer service team. Many customers have reported less-than-friendly interactions with this team, especially in terms of response time. Additionally, some PUR products that have electronic components may be doomed to fail.
For example, PUR water filters with LED filter indication lights often offer no way to replace the internal battery. Once the internal battery dies, you’re stuck with an ineffective indication feature.
The only way to resolve this is to purchase another PUR water pitcher or faucet filter. Still, the 2-year limited warranty offered on most PUR products isn’t bad.
The Brita customer service team is highly effective at responding to requests, inquiries, and concerns. You can reach customer service by calling them, sending them an email, or taking to Twitter and sending a tweet.
Brita also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of their water pitchers. If you’re not satisfied with the performance of your new product, they’ll refund you your money immediately. However, Brita’s only offers a 1-year limited warranty on its products. This option pales in comparison to the 2-year limited warranty offered on PUR water pitchers.
PUR vs. Brita: Which Is Better?
Which is better, PUR, or Brita? In fairness to both brands, the answer to this question depends on your personal preferences and your preferred water filter type.
In the contest of Brita vs. PUR filters, Brita may be the better overall option for faucet filters. The lightweight design of Brita faucet attachments and the long-lasting nature of their replacement filters ensure that Brita is the more affordable, easy-to-use choice. However, Brita faucet filters don’t remove as many contaminants as PUR faucet filters, which could be an issue for some shoppers.
If you’re interested in investing in a new filtering water pitcher, you may also want to opt for a Brita. Not only will you be able to choose from a dozen different options, but you’ll likely spend less money on water pitcher maintenance and filter replacement. Brita filters tend to last longer than PUR options, and they’re also less pricey.