ZeroWater vs. PUR: Which Water Filter Pitcher Is Better?

ZeroWater vs. PUR

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Are you tired of spending money on cases of filtered water?

Is a mountain of plastic bottles piling up in your recycling bin?

Or, maybe you recently entered your zip code into the Environmental Working Group’s tap water database and discovered that the water from your faucet isn’t as clean as you thought.

Regardless of your reason, using a water filter pitcher or a faucet filtration system at home is a wise decision.

Water filter pitchers remove impurities from your water, making it safer to drink and better tasting. Plus, they’re a more economical and sustainable alternative to bottled water.

There are dozens of water filter pitchers to choose from, but two of the most trusted brands on the market are ZeroWater and PUR.

PUR has been a leader in the water filtration industry for over 30 years, while ZeroWater is a relatively new brand best known for its innovative five-stage filter.

In this in-depth comparison of ZeroWater vs. PUR, you’ll learn how these brands stack up in terms of reputation, product options, effectiveness, ease of use, design, filter lifespan, price, and much more.

By the end, you’ll have the details you need to decide which brand is best for your home.

Okay, let’s dive right in!

Click the links below to navigate this article:

ZeroWater vs. PUR: Quick Summary

If you’re pressed for time and need a quick comparison of ZeroWater vs. PUR, these are the most important facts you need to know.

History of ZeroWater and PUR: ZeroWater launched in 2003 and is best known for its 5-stage filter that removes 100% of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in your water. PUR, which is owned by Helen of Troy Ltd., hit the market over 30 years ago and remains one of the top-selling water filtration brands today.

Product Offerings: ZeroWater has six different sizes of water filter pitchers, compared to PUR’s three water pitcher designs and two sizes. Both brands also offer replacement filters and water dispensers. PUR also has a line of faucet and refrigerator filters.

Effectiveness: Both brands reduce or remove an equal amount of contaminants, but the contaminants they target are different. Both reduce or eliminate lead, mercury, cadmium, copper, zinc, and chromium 3 (trivalent), and chromium 6 (hexavalent). ZeroWater reduces or removes 23 contaminants on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Primary Drinking Water Regulations list, while PUR reduces or removes only 12 contaminants on that list. PUR offers a special Lead Reduction filter that is certified by the Water Quality Association (WQA) to remove 99% of lead.

Ease of Use: ZeroWater is easier to use since it does not require soaking and flushing filters. It also has a spigot on the bottom of most of their pitchers that allows you to fill your water glass without having to remove the pitcher from the fridge.

Design and Special Features: ZeroWater has a patented five-stage ion exchange filter designed to remove virtually all Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) and heavy metals from tap water. It has a special water test meter to provide real-time readings on TDS in your filtered water. PUR has a three-stage ion exchange filter that’s NSF and WQA-certified and a CleanSensor™ Monitor that indicates when it’s time to replace the filter.

Filter Lifespan: There is not much of a difference between ZeroWater and PUR in terms of filter lifespan. The lifespan of ZeroWater filters depends on the levels of TDS in your local water supply. In areas where the TDS range is 051 – 200, you can expect to get between 25 to 40 gallons of filtered water from one ZeroWater filter. PUR water pitcher filters are designed to produce 40 gallons of filtered water. They recommend filter replacement every two months or when the sensor indicates such.

Price: In general, ZeroWater pitchers and filters are slightly more expensive than PUR, but the difference depends on which pitchers you compare. PUR has three price points for its pitchers, offering Basic (lowest cost), Classic (in the middle), and Ultimate (most expensive) models. You can compare the price of each brand’s most popular products in the comparison chart later in this article (skip ahead to it).

Bottom Line: PUR is the more trusted brand with a longer track record of proven results, but ZeroWater has an innovative filtering system and unique features that make the extra cost worth considering. Although they target different contaminants, independent tests show that both brands effectively purify your water. You can’t go wrong with either, but my recommendation is to go with PUR due to its long history, ability to more effectively remove lead, and lower cost.

PUR and ZeroWater pitchers and other products are available on Amazon, where you can learn more and read dozens of other reviews. Check them out at the links below:

History of ZeroWater and PUR

When it comes to the safety and purity of your drinking water at home, you want a brand that you can trust.

Fortunately, both ZeroWater and PUR have an excellent reputation in the water filtration marketplace.

Let’s quickly compare each brand’s history to better understand the foundation of their products.

ZeroWater’s Story

The story of ZeroWater started back in 2003 when Rajan Rajan and his son Mathu were living in a small Michigan town with poor water quality.

They consumed bottled water daily, which they dutifully lugged from the grocery store.

Fed up with the cost and inconvenience of bottled water, they decided to come up with a better solution.

Rajan, an engineer and inventor, worked with his son Mathu to study existing water filtration systems. They took the best elements from their findings and created the patented five-stage filtration system that ZeroWater uses today.

They named the company ZeroWater because it leaves zero Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in your water after filtering.

To build the brand and reach more customers, the Rajan family teamed up with consumer packaged goods executive Doug Kellam, who has served as ZeroWater’s CEO since 2008.

This BBB A+ rated company is headquartered in the small town of Feasterville-Trevose, Pennsylvania, and, today, is best known for its innovative five-stage, dual ion exchange filter design.

ZeroWater’s primary products are filters, water pitchers, water dispensers, and on-the-go water filtration tumblers.

Kellam evangelizes ZeroWater pitchers every chance he gets appearing on news outlets and donating tens of thousands of pitchers to disaster areas and geographic regions with poor water through corporate community outreach efforts.

PUR’s Story

The beginnings of PUR go back to the 1980s when Brian Sullivan, a 24-year old Harvard graduate and budding entrepreneur, learned of a potential opportunity fresh out of college.

A friend of his professor held a patent for a device that could desalinate (take salt out of) seawater. Sullivan ended up buying the patent, launching a business, and developing the water filtration product line over time.

Thus, Sullivan co-founded Recovery Engineering, Inc. in 1986, a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based business which creates and distributes water filtration systems, portable water systems, and reverse osmosis desalinators under the PUR brand name.

In 1999, Sullivan sold PUR to Procter & Gamble (P&G) for $265 million. In 2011, P&G sold PUR to Helen of Troy Ltd., a multinational corporation founded in Texas in 1968. Helen of Troy Ltd. is home to PUR and other recognizable brands such as OXO, Braun, Revlon, and Sure.

Today, PUR produces filtration technology for water faucets, pitchers, and dispensers.

PUR is known for its commitment to superior performance and innovation, and, in 2016, the PUR Faucet Mount Filter won a coveted Red Dot Award for product design.

Product Offerings

ZeroWater and PUR both have an array of water filter pitchers and other water filtration products. In this section, I cover how each brand compares in terms of product offerings.

ZeroWater Product Lines

The ZeroWater product line consists of water filters, water filtration pitchers, water dispensers, a water filtration tumbler, and water test meters to gauge the purity of the water.

Let’s take a look at each product offering:

  • Water Filters: Filters are available in all sizes for all ZeroWater products, including pitchers, dispensers, and tumblers. There are also mini replacement filters that fit standard Brita Pitchers (excluding Brita Stream and Brita Infinity devices).
ZeroWater Replacement Filters 2-Pack BPA-Free Replacement Water Filters for ZeroWater Pitchers and Dispensers NSF Certified to Reduce Lead & Other Heavy Metals
ZeroWater Replacement Filters. Click the image to view on Amazon.
  • Water Filtration Pitchers: ZeroWater pitchers include a filter and a water test meter. They come in various sizes, from 6-cup capacity (smallest size) to 12-cup. Unlike PUR, which only offers plastic pitchers, ZeroWater has one pitcher that features a sleek stainless steel design that fits in perfectly with a modern-style kitchen.
ZeroWater ZP-010, 10 Cup Water Filter Pitcher with Water Quality Meter
ZeroWater 10 Cup Water Filter Pitcher. Click the image to view on Amazon.
  • Water Filtration Dispensers: ZeroWater dispensers range from 20 to 40-cup capacity. There are two glass dispensers available in 30 and 40-cup sizes that sit upright like a mini water cooler.
ZeroWater ZD-018 ZD018, 23 Cup Water Filter Pitcher with Water Quality Meter
ZeroWater 23-Cup Water Filter Dispenser. Click the image to view on Amazon.
  • Water Filtration Tumbler: A 26-ounce capacity water filtration tumbler with a built-in straw and textured lid that makes it easier to grip. The filter turns yellow to indicate when the filter must be changed.
ZeroWater ZT-026Si, On-The-Go 26 Ounce Water Filter Tumbler, Silver
ZeroWater Water Filter Tumbler. Click the image to view on Amazon.
  • Water Test Meters: Each product (excluding the tumbler) comes with a water test meter. You may buy additional test meters in black or blue. They can be powered on or off and have a digital reading to indicate water purity.
ZeroWater ZP-010, 10 Cup Water Filter Pitcher with Water Quality Meter
ZeroWater Water Quality Meter. Click the image to view on Amazon.
  • Special Offerings: ZeroWater offers a 4.5-gallon jug that fits into a standard water cooler with a 6” x 6” reservoir and the splash guard removed. Aquverse water coolers, available online at BJ’s, Sam’s Club, Costco, and Sears are compatible (as long as they have a 6″ x 6″ reservoir and a removable splash guard).
ZeroWater ZJ-003-IS ZJ-003 Avanti, 1-Pack, Cool
ZeroWater Jug. Click the image to view on Amazon.

PUR Product Lines

Like ZeroWater, PUR offers water filters, water filtration pitchers, and dispensers. But they also make refrigerator filters and filtration units that you can mount on faucets.

Unlike ZeroWater, PUR doesn’t have an on-the-go tumbler or water test meters, but the Classic pitcher has an LED sensor to indicate filter lifespan and the Ultimate pitcher uses a CleanSensor Monitor to show you when it’s time to change the filter.

PUR refrigerator filters don’t have a sensor, but they recommend that you replace it every six months.

Here’s a quick rundown of the PUR product line:

  • Water Filters: Filters are available for all product lines, including faucets, water pitchers, water dispensers, and refrigerator filters. They are called MAXION filters. There are two kinds of water pitcher filters: Faster, and Lead Reduction. The Faster filter is PUR’s standard filter, and the Lead Reduction filter is specially designed to remove 99% of lead (along with all the other contaminants that the Faster filter removes). The refrigerator filters, known as EveryDrop, are the only brand-tested and certified filters for use in Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, KitchenAid, and Jenn-Air refrigerators.
PUR CRF950Z Genuine Replacement Filter for Pitcher Water Filtration System (Pack of 4)
PUR Replacement Filter. Click the image to view on Amazon.
  • Water Filtration Pitchers: PUR has three different styles of pitchers in two sizes: 7-cup and 11-cup. The three pitcher styles are called Basic, Classic, and Ultimate. Here’s how they compare:
    • Basic: Includes a MAXION filter, reduces chlorine, thumb-activated easy-fill lid, filters 40 gallons of water, and lasts up to 2 months, BPA-free. 
    • Classic: The Classic pitcher is the same as the Basic, but it also has a built-in LED indicator that tells you when it’s time to replace the filter.
    • Ultimate: The Ultimate Pitcher has everything that the Classic has, but it also includes a Lead Reduction filter, which removes 99% of lead and a CleanSenor Monitor that measures usage and indicates when it’s time to replace the filter.
PUR PPT111W 11 Cup Ultimate Water Filtration Pitcher
PUR Ultimate Water Filtration Pitcher. Click the image to view on Amazon.
  • Water Filtration Dispensers: PUR has an 18-cup water dispenser with a filter and a sensor to monitor the life of the filter.
PUR DS1811Z Ultimate Water Dispenser, White
PUR Ultimate Water Dispenser. Click the image to view on Amazon.
  • Faucet Filtration Units: Unlike ZeroWater, PUR offers water filtration systems that work with standard kitchen faucets (not compatible with pull-out or handheld faucets). PUR faucet filters are great because they filter your water right from the tap, and you don’t need to refill a pitcher continuously.
PUR (PFM400H) Chrome 1 Horizontal Faucet Mount with MineralClear Filter
PUR Faucet Mount Filter. Click the image to view on Amazon.
  • Special Offerings: The PUR Bluetooth® Ultimate Faucet Filtration Systems is Bluetooth-enabled and syncs with your smartphone through a free app from PUR. The app allows you to track things like water consumption and filter usage.
PUR PFM800HX Horizontal FM 1 MineralClear Filter, Chrome w/Bluetooth
PUR Faucet Mount Filter with Bluetooth. Click the image to view on Amazon.

It’s clear that ZeroWater has more options in terms of pitcher and dispenser sizes, but PUR has the upper hand in offering faucet filtration systems and refrigerator filters that are brand-tested and certified with many of the most respected brands of refrigerators.

Effectiveness

ZeroWater and PUR have distinct filter designs, and each brand claims its filters reduce contaminants in water significantly. 

But, before I compare the effectiveness of each brand’s filters, it’s helpful to understand what contaminants are most common in tap water.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has standards for safe drinking water. These standards are outlined, in detail, in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

For this comparison, let’s take a look at the most significant factors that influence the safety, taste, and smell of water:

  • Heavy Metals: Heavy metals are metals that are incredibly dense, toxic, and even poisonous. This category includes lead, manganese, arsenic, chromium, mercury, and cadmium.
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS): TDS is a catch-all way of describing everything in your water outside of water molecules. Essentially, it’s anything that dissolves, leeches, or melts into the water through contact with rocks and other surfaces. TDS can include but are not limited to, minerals, salts, metals (besides heavy metals), chemicals, sulfides, and runoff from factories or farms. Not all TDS are harmful or considered contaminants. In fact, helpful minerals such as magnesium and potassium are considered TDS.

TDS are measured by PPM (parts per million). On average, tap water can contain approximately 220 PPM of TDS, but depending on your area, this can increase or decrease. The EPA recommended maximum for tap water is 500 PPM.

You can check the water in your area for TDS by entering your zip code into the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) tap water database, or both ZeroWater and PUR offer similar water quality lookups on their websites (check it out on ZeroWater.com and KnowYourWater.PUR.com).

ZeroWater results show how your local water scores on the TDS meter. By contrast, the reports from EWG and PUR are extensive—breaking down the lead level, providing an overview of contaminants, showing where your water comes from, treatment facilities, and how many times your local water is treated.

The EWG report also shows you how the level of each contaminant in your water compares to the national average, the state average, and the EWG Guidelines.

Which Water Filter Removes the Most Contaminants?

To answer this question, let’s take a closer look at what each filter targets and how each filter is made.

ZeroWater has a five-stage ion exchange filter. Ion exchange means there are components in the filter that attract and remove contaminants based on their ionic charges. It’s like a magnet for the bad stuff in your water.

ZeroWater 5 Stage Filter
ZeroWater 5 Stage Filter. Screenshot from ZeroWater.com.

Here’s an overview of each filter stage:

  • Stage 1 – Coarse Filter Screen: Removes fine particles and sediment.
  • Stage 2 – Foam Distributor: Disperses water evenly through the filter.
  • Stage 3 – Multi-layer Activated Carbon and Oxidation-Reduction Alloy: Filters out contaminants and improves water’s taste. Reduces or removes chlorine, heavy metals, and prevents mold from forming in the moistened filter.
  • Stage 4- Dual Comprehensive Ion Exchange Resin: Strips away foreign ions from water molecules and purifies them.
  • Stage 5 – Ultra-fine Screen and Non-woven Membrane Layers: Remove extremely fine particles not caught in stage 1.

The goal of ZeroWater’s five-stage filter is to reduce TDS to a zero reading (000) or score on its water test meter, hence the name of the product. The filter is NSF-certified to reduce lead and chromium (heavy metals). Many popular water filtration pitchers use a two-stage filter.

ZeroWater claims to remove 99.6 percent of TDS to produce pleasant tasting water. The chart below shows ZeroWater performance against a leading two-stage filter (unknown brand) in terms of filtering 23 contaminants. Quality Filter Testing Laboratory, LLC, an independent company that specializes in water quality testing, administered this test.

ZeroWater test results
ZeroWater test results. Screenshot from ZeroWater.com

Now, let’s check out PUR.

PUR has a three-stage ion exchange filter that reduces turbidity (sediment or dirt), contaminants, and heavy metals. 

PUR Lead Reduction Filter
PUR Lead Reduction Filter

Here’s an overview of the PUR three-stage filter:

  • Stage 1 – Non-woven Layer: Strains out fine particles and dirt.
  • Stage 2 – Activated Carbon Layer: Made from high-grade coconut shells to filter out organic contaminants such as pesticides and herbicides. According to PUR, coconut shells are one of the best sources of activated carbon because its tiny pores filter out contaminants more effectively than other types of carbon filters. This carbon layer is blended with an ion exchange material to remove or reduce heavy metals.
  • Stage 3 – Mineral Layer: Last stage of filtering; water trickles down the mineral blend and into the pitcher.

PUR focuses on tackling specific contaminants rather than focusing on overall TDS levels. PUR’s filter is NSF-certified and WQA-certified and it’s the number one selling brand of certified lead filters, removing 99 percent of lead, 96 percent of mercury, and 92 percent of certain pesticides.

PUR Lead Reduction Filter Contaminant List
PUR Lead Reduction Filter Contaminant List

Based on this comparison table of ZeroWater vs. PUR water filter pitchers on PUR.com, PUR’s lead-reducing filter removes more of the 23 contaminants listed.

Wait, didn’t the test results on ZeroWater’s website show that its filter also removes 23 contaminants?

Yes, but here is the issue; the contaminants listed on ZeroWater and PUR websites differ.

ZeroWater lists heavy metals like lead, arsenic, cadmium, and chromium, and inorganic non-metals like asbestos, chlorine, and cyanide. PUR also lists heavy metals and inorganic non-metals, but also target pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, and industrial chemicals.

To compare the effectiveness of ZeroWater and PUR filters on an even playing field, I looked at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Primary Drinking Water Regulations list.

The EPA establishes the acceptable levels of contaminants in drinking water, and this is their official list that outlines how much of each contaminant is safe for human consumption.

EPA National Drinking Water Regulations
EPA National Drinking Water Regulations. Click the image to view the complete list.

ZeroWater water filter pitchers reduce or remove 23 contaminants on the EPA list, while PUR lead-reducing water pitchers only reduce or remove 12 of the contaminants.

Based on that, ZeroWater wins the round, but overall they both rank high for addressing contaminants in water—especially heavy metals.

Ease of Use

So, which water filter pitchers are easier to use, ZeroWater, or PUR?

To get started with a ZeroWater water filter pitcher for the first time, you need to:

  • Handwash the pitcher, lid, and reservoir with warm soapy water.
  • Rinse it thoroughly and let it dry.
  • Twist the filter tightly into the bottom of the reservoir.
  • Verify that the O-ring is present on your filter below the threads to prevent leakage.
  • Place reservoir/filter assembly into the pitcher.
  • Fill pitcher reservoir on top with cold tap water and attach lid; the water will begin to trickle through the filter into the bottom of the pitcher.

ZeroWater recommends testing your first glass of water to make sure the filter is working properly. Reading should be 000. When the reading reaches 006, it’s time to replace the filter.

To dispense water, you’ll either pour from the spout up top or use the spigot at the bottom, depending on the type of pitcher/dispenser. Fill times vary, but expect to wait at least ten minutes to be able to enjoy one cup of water.

Most ZeroWater pitchers feature Ready-Pour® Technology that allows you to pour the already filtered water without spilling the water that is still in the process of filtering.

Now, let’s see how easy PUR water filter pitchers are to use.

To get started with a PUR water pitcher for the first time, you need to:

  • Handwash the pitcher, lid, and reservoir with warm soapy water.
  • Rinse it thoroughly.
  • Place the reservoir into the pitcher.
  • Submerge the filter in cold water and soak for 15 minutes.
  • After soaking, flush the filter for at least 10 seconds under the tap (this helps flush out stray carbon grains).
  • Hold the filter upright over the sink and allow all excess water to drain from flushing the filter.
  • Insert the filter into the reservoir gently. Push it down and twist it clockwise to secure it in place.
  • Fill pitcher reservoir on top with cold tap water and attach lid; the filtered water from the reservoir will begin to drip into the bottom half of the pitcher.
PUR Replacement Filter Instructions
PUR Replacement Filter Instructions

Every time you start a new batch of water on the same filter, flush the filter with cold water for five seconds. When you replace your filter, be sure to reset the CleanSensor Monitor (PUR Ultimate pitchers only).

So, which is easier to use?

In my opinion, ZeroWater pitchers are easier to use than PUR.

Why?

With ZeroWater pitchers, you don’t have the added step of soaking and flushing the filter every time you need to replace it. Also, you don’t need to flush the filter every time you refill the pitcher.

Just make sure your pitcher is clean and dry when it’s time for a replacement. You can get false readings on the water test meter if unfiltered or soapy water is in the pitcher when you start a new batch of filtered water.

One downside to ZeroWater in terms of ease of use is that water takes a little longer to get through its five-stage filter. However, its Ready-Pour® Technology mitigates this issue by allowing you to pour the filtered water right away.

Design and Special Features

ZeroWater’s innovative five-stage filter and its ability to remove virtually all TDS is their main selling point.

However, ZeroWater pitchers have several other features that appeal to different consumer needs, including:

  • Ready-Pour® Technology: One of the most annoying aspects of using a water filter pitcher is waiting for all the water to filter before you can pour it. With ZeroWater’s Ready-Pour Technology, you can pour yourself a glass of fresh, clean water while the rest of the reservoir fills up without spilling.
  • Bottom Spigot: Most ZeroWater pitchers have a spigot at the bottom, so you don’t have to take it out of the fridge to get a glass of water.
  • Water Quality Meter: ZeroWater pitchers come with a water quality meter that measures TDS, so you know the exact quality of the water before you take a sip.
  • Stainless Steel Pitcher: Most water filter pitchers are entirely plastic, but ZeroWater offers one with a sleek stainless steel design.
ZeroWater 11 Cup Stainless Steel Water Filter Pitcher with Free Water Quality Meter
ZeroWater Stainless Steel Water Filter Pitcher. Click the image to view on Amazon.

PUR water pitchers have stood the test of time. They feature three stages of filtration and, like ZeroWater, employ ion exchange technology. But, besides clean water, here are a few reasons PUR stands out:

  • Pitcher Options: PUR offers three types of pitchers: Basic, Classic, and Ultimate (I talked about the differences in a previous section, click here if you missed it).
  • Certifications: PUR filters are NSF and WQA-certified. ZeroWater filters are NOT WQA-certified, not because they didn’t meet the requirements, but because they choose not to apply. Regardless, it’s nice to know that PUR has the stamp of approval from both organizations.
  • Filter Options: PUR gives you a choice between two replacement filters: Faster and Lead Reduction. The Faster Filter does not reduce lead, but it reduces copper, mercury, chlorine, and certain pesticides and industrial pollutants. The Lead Reduction filter removes 99 percent of lead, 96 percent of mercury, and 92 percent of other contaminants.
  • CleanSensor™ Monitor: The Ultimate pitchers come with a built-in CleanSensor Monitor, which changes color based on the amount of water that’s been filtered and how long the filter has been in use.
PUR CleanSensor Monitor
PUR CleanSensor Monitor

Filter Lifespan: How Long Do Their Filters Last?

Unfortunately, water filter pitchers aren’t a set-it-and-forget-it type of product. Over time, the filter loses its effectiveness, and you need to replace it with a new one.

So which filters last longer, ZeroWater, or PUR?

The filter lifespan depends on the number of people in your household and how much water each person consumes, which makes it difficult to pinpoint an exact time frame.

In moderate water conditions (TDS of 002-050), ZeroWater filters are designed to produce 40 or more gallons of water on a single filter.

Most areas in the United States have a TDS rating of 051 – 200, so you can expect to get between 25 to 40 gallons of filtered water from one ZeroWater filter.

ZeroWater provides a handy chart on their website (screenshot below) that shows how many gallons you can expect to get, based on the TDS readings in your area (find out the water quality by entering your zip code into the EWG database).

Lifespan of ZeroWater Filters Based on Water Quality
The lifespan of ZeroWater Filters Based on Water Quality

PUR water pitcher filters are also designed to produce 40 gallons of filtered water. They recommend filter replacement every two months or when the sensor (on Classic and Ultimate pitcher models) shows it’s time.

So, in terms of the filter lifespan, there’s no significant difference between ZeroWater and PUR.

What Others Are Saying

Both ZeroWater and PUR have fans and naysayers, but what do independent tests and comparisons show?

Check out these results from recent tests on water filtration pitchers:

Independent TestZeroWaterPUR
The WirecutterNot ratedBest Water Filter Pitcher and Dispenser
Good HousekeepingEasiest Water Pitcher to PourNot Rated
Cleveland 19 NewsRemoved almost 100% of TDSRemoved less than half of TDS
Reviewed.comBest Water Filter Pitchers - Eighth PlaceBest Water Filter Pitchers - Third and Fourth Place

The Wirecutter

The Wirecutter, a New York Times company, is a site dedicated to finding the best products for consumers through testing and research. They spent five years researching and testing water filters and, based on their research, recommend the PUR Pitcher replacement filter with Lead Reduction or the Basic PUR pitcher filter used in conjunction with the PUR Classic 11-cup pitcher.

The Wirecutter recommends PUR due to its 23 certifications for the Lead Reduction filter, 22 certifications (excluding lead reduction) for the Basic filter, and the simplicity of design and large fill tank for the 11-cup PUR pitcher.

Good Housekeeping

Good Housekeeping, longtime respected voice of all things home, shared the 11 Best Water Filters according to kitchen and environmental experts. ZeroWater made the cut, coming in at number seven for the Best Tumbler Water Filter. They love this portable, lead-free, and chlorine-free water bottle that cues you when to replace the filter.

Cleveland 19 News

CWM Laboratories teamed up with Cleveland 19 News to test four water pitchers, including PUR, BRITA, ZeroWater, and Great Value (Walmart brand). 

CWM is an EPA-certified lab when it comes to testing drinking water. The lab tested the pitchers on a batch of water that contained 500 PPM of TDS and specific contaminants such as lead.

The lab tested for Lead, TDS, aluminum, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, and zinc.

While ZeroWater came out on top as removing or reducing the most TDS and other contaminants, it’s important to note that they tested the PUR Basic filter, not the Lead Reduction filter.

Reviewed.com

Reviewed.com, part of the USA Today network, reviewed the Best Water Filter Pitchers.

They tested nine water filter pitchers, and PUR Classic 11-cup pitcher came in third place.

PUR Ultimate 11-cup pitcher won fourth place.

ZeroWater claimed eighth place.

They ranked the pitchers in order of water taste, contaminant reduction/removal, and ease of daily use.

Price

ZeroWater filter pitchers tend to be slightly more expensive than PUR.

It’s hard to know why, but I assume that ZeroWater’s 5-stage filter technology and unique features like the bottom spigot add to the costs.

Also, PUR is part of a large corporation, and its grander scale allows them to manufacture products at a lower cost.

While the cost of ZeroWater depends on pitcher capacity, PUR offers three types of pitchers that come with different features and price points. PUR Basic pitchers are the most cost-effective, then Classic pitchers, and finally Ultimate pitchers which are the most expensive.

The pitchers are one thing, but the price of the replacement filters is what really matters.

Remember, both brands recommend replacing the filter after 40 gallons of water or two months (even sooner if your water has high TDS levels), so you’ll have to purchase replacement filters continually.

As I already covered, the lifespan of ZeroWater and PUR filters are about the same (40 gallons or two months, depending on TDS levels), so it comes down to the cost of each filter.

In general, ZeroWater filters are more expensive than PUR, but it depends on how many you buy at a time—you save when you buy larger packs.

Click on the chart below to compare the current prices of each brand’s most popular pitchers and filters on Amazon.

Note: These prices are pulled in real-time from Amazon. You can click on the chart to check out more details and read dozens of reviews on Amazon.

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Bottom Line: Which Water Filter Pitcher Should You Buy?

ZeroWater and PUR are both innovative brands, and their products are proven to effectively reduce and remove contaminants from your water.

The truth is, you can’t go wrong with either. But it’s time to make a decision.

You should buy ZeroWater if you want…

  • A specific size pitcher (ZeroWater products range from a 3 cup tumbler to a 40 cup dispenser).
  • A 5-stage filter that removes virtually all TDS and reduces or removes 23 contaminants on the EPA list (PUR only removes/reduces 12 contaminants on the EPA list).
  • To avoid soaking and flushing the filter every time you need to replace it.
  • Extra features like Ready-Pour® Technology, bottom spigots, and a free water quality meter.

You should buy PUR if you want…

  • A trusted brand that’s been a leader in the home water filtration industry for over 30 years.
  • You’re concerned about the Lead content in your water.
  • A filter that you can attach to your faucet.
  • NSF and WQA-certified filters.
  • To be notified when it’s time to replace the filter.
  • The Best Water Filter Pitcher, according to the well-respected independent tester, The Wirecutter.
  • To save money with a less expensive pitcher and replacement filters.

If you’re looking for a nudge in one direction, I highly recommend PUR.

PUR Ultimate Water Filter Pitcher
PUR Ultimate Water Filter Pitcher. Click the image to view on Amazon.

There’s a reason why PUR has been a market leader for decades; their products work, and they work really well. 

ZeroWater is an excellent option too, and their innovative 5-stage filters have proven to be just as, if not more, effective than PUR. The main downside of ZeroWater is that it’s more expensive than PUR, especially when you consider the cost of replacement filters.

If you want to read more reviews and compare current prices, both brands are available on Amazon at the links below:

Tell us your thoughts on ZeroWater and Pur!

Have you used ZeroWater or PUR water filter pitchers? Do you agree or disagree with this comparison? Let us know in the comments below.

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