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Brita vs. PUR

By Derek Hales | Updated October 15, 2018
Home » PUR vs. Brita

Brita vs. PUR — is your glass half empty or half full? This review aims to splash some water on the truth behind which pitcher water filter is best.

We’ll look at the overall design, filter efficiency, speed of filtration, water taste, and common questions about the products.

Which water filter is best for you? PUR or Brita? Find out now!

Brita vs. Pur water filter pitcher comparison review

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Brita vs. PUR water filters—both names are well known, but is one definitively better than the other?

In their most basic form, water filtration pitchers are designed to remove contaminants from your drinking water, for a pure, crisp taste, that saves money from being wasted on disposable bottled waters.

This review is going to take a closer look at two of the most popular filters on the market: PUR vs. Brita.

PUR vs. Brita Comparison Chart

In the following table, we take a high-level look at the primary differences and similarities between the PUR and Brita pitcher filters.

Brita Everyday
  • Pitcher Capacity: 10 cups
  • Filling Tank Capacity: 5.7 cups
  • Filter Speed: 1.05 cups / min
  • Taste Test: 78%
  • Price: $
PUR Basic
  • Pitcher Capacity: 7 cups
  • Filling Tank Capacity: 3.8 cups
  • Filter Speed: 0.80 cups / min
  • Taste Test: 72%
  • Price: $

For the specs above, we compared just a single model for each Brita and PUR, however, you should note that there are a variety of pitcher types, varying in size and form factor.

You can see more PUR pitcher types here and more Brita pitcher types here.

Filtration speed is based on the Brita Everyday and PUR Basic models. For both, we filled them to their respective reservoir capacity and then timed them accordingly.

Lastly, taste tests are based on our in-house conducted tests. Jump down the page to see more on our taste tests.

Contents

PUR vs. Brita Water Filter – Which is Best?

The PUR filter removes more contaminants as compared to the Brita filter. However, during our taste tests the Brita performed notably better. Both Brita & PUR offer a variety of pitcher sizes and types. If you have a wider range of contaminants you need to remove PUR is the better choice, but for most the Brita is best.

Brita vs. PUR Design Differences

Both Brita and PUR have a few different models of water filters to choose from. For the sake of this review, we’re going to specifically be comparing the Brita 10 Cup Everyday Water Pitcher and the PUR 7 Cup Water Pitcher. From aesthetics alone, Brita and PUR look very similar.

Brita Everyday water pitcher

Brita Everyday water pitcher

Both pitchers use a similar design process. You fill water into the top reservoir, it filters through a single filter (composed of activated carbon and ion exchange resin) and that water deposits into the base of the pitcher. When it’s time to drink, the water from the base travels up the pitcher and out the spout.

PUR basic water filter pitcher

PUR basic water filter pitcher

Additionally, both pitchers have an easy-pour spout and a comfort grip handle.

There are two main design differences between these two models: the filling method and the water capacity.

  1. FILLING METHOD | The PUR water filter pitcher has an easy-fill top that allows you to fill through the top of the pitcher without removing the entirety of the lid. The Brita water filter pitcher doesn’t have the easy-fill lid, so you will have to remove the entire top lid to fill it.
  2. WATER CAPACITY | The second difference is the overall capacity. The Brita pitcher can hold up to 10 cups while the PUR filter can only hold 7 cups.

That said, both of these issues are fairly fluid, as there are some Brita water filters that do have the quick flip top, just as there are some PUR pitchers that don’t.

In addition, there are Brita and PUR filters of all sizes, from 5 cups all the way up to 18 cups. See more Brita models here and more PUR models here.

How Do Brita & PUR Filters Clean Water?

As mentioned above, both water filters rely on a single standalone filter that’s made of activated carbon and ion exchange resin.

Brita standard filter

Brita standard filter

The activated carbon reduces chlorine (taste and odor) and mercury, which improves the taste and odor of the water. The Ion-Exchange Resin captures copper, cadmium, and zinc in the water.

PUR standard filter

PUR standard filter

Brita Filters

Brita offers two main filters for pitchers, the “Standard” filter and the “Longlast” filter. Both filters are compatible with the vast majority of Brita pitchers (only the Brita Stream and Brita Infinity use different filters). The “Longlast” is supposed to last about 3 times longer than the standard filter but is also more expensive.

Brita water pitcher

Brita water pitcher (split into separate parts)

The Standard filter can be replaced for about $5 / each when purchased in bulk, like this set of six Brita filters, or closer to $11 when purchased as single Brita filter replacements.  Both filters are BPA (bisphenol A) free, but there are considerable differences in the contaminants that each filter purifies.

Brita longlast filter

Brita longlast filter

The LongLast filter does last longer but it’s also significantly more expensive.

If you don’t really care about using Brita filters for your Brita pitcher, AmazonBasics offers generic filters for even less.

PUR Filters

PUR also offers two styles of pitcher filters: Basic and Lead Reduction.

PUR water pitcher

PUR water pitcher (split into separate parts)

As the name sounds, the Lead Reduction pitcher filter filters out most everything the Basic filter does and also filters out lead. The Lead Reduction filter  cannot filter out the herbicide Linuron, select industrial pollutants, and pharmaceuticals.

PUR lead filter

PUR lead filter

Brita vs. PUR Filter Comparision

The table below breaks down exactly which impurities will be filtered out by each filter if you’re concerned about a specific contaminant.

It’s also important to note that neither brand claims to be able to filter anything beyond city tap water (for instance, country well water or water straight from a natural source, like a pond or stream).

Contaminant Brita Longlast FilterBrita Standard FilterPUR Lead Reduction FilterPUR Standard Filter
Chlorine (Taste and Odor)
Lead
Mercury
Cadmium
Benzene
Asbestos
Particulates (Class I)
Copper
Zinc
Herbicides
2,4-D
Atrazine
Linuron
Industrial Pollutants
Carbon Tetrachloride
Tetrachloroethylene
Bisphenol A
Nonylphenol
TCEP
Cyst (Parasites)
Pharmaceuticals
Atenolol
Carbamazepine
Estrone
Sediments
Nominal Particulate

Both Brita and PUR standard water filters (like the styles listed above) are designed to reduce the following contaminants:

  1. Chlorine (taste & odor)
  2. Mercury
  3. Cadmium
  4. Copper
  5. Zinc

In addition, PUR filters are designed to reduce the following contaminants (in addition to those listed above):

  1. Herbicides, including 2, 4-D, Atrazine, Linuron
  2. Industrial pollutants, including Benzene, Carbon Tetrachloride, Tetrachloroethylene, Bisphenol A, Nonylphenol, TCEP. Keep in mind that, the standard Brita filter cannot filter out Benzene (a common chemical used in the US and known to be a human carcinogen) , but the standard PUR filter can. To filter Benzene with a Brita system, you’d need to purchase the “Longlast” filter.
  3. Parasites, including Cyst
  4. Pharmaceuticals, including Atenolol, Carbamazepine, and Estrone
  5. Sediments, including Nominal Particulate, Class I

Standard Brita filters list no information on their effectiveness to filter out herbicides, industrial pollutants, select pharmaceuticals or sediments.

More advanced filters by each company can filter out, even more, contaminates, like Lead and Asbestos. For Brita, this means going with the “LongLast” filter. For PUR, this would mean the Lead Reduction filter.

Does Brita or PUR Filtered Water Taste Better?

Water taste by both the Brita and PUR water filters may vary based on the quality of the water that is filtered. As mentioned earlier, neither filter is intended to be used with well water, rural water, or any other water source besides city tap (or comparable) water.

PUR vs. Brita

Both water filters are designed to reduce chlorination in the water, which in turn improves the taste and removes any chemical odor from the water.

Of course, all of these facts are based on what each manufacturer states to be true about its pitcher. But the real question—how does it REALLY taste? This answer can only be found through tasting water processed by each filter.

Brita vs. PUR Taste Test

%

Brita Filtered Water

%

PUR Filtered Water

%

Unfiltered Tap Water

TASTE TESTING | Our taste test was conducted over about a week. During that time I asked family and friends who came to my home to try three different cups of water and rate them on a 1 to 5 scale, where 5 is the best. For our tests, we used the Brita Everyday pitcher, PUR Basic, and water straight from the tap.

Brita vs. Pur scoring

We scored our test taste on a 1-5 scale.

All water was at room temperature.

Each cup of water was poured into a paper Dixie cup and unmarked (except for a notation on the bottom of the cup so I could tell which was which when compiling the data).

PUR vs. Brita taste test

Cups were marked 1, 2, or 3, so the experimenter (me) could keep track without creating experimental bias.

WATER & LOCATION | Our test took place in Phoenix, Arizona using normal Phoenix tap water. Water in this region is incredibly hard. Nevertheless, we do not have a water softening system on the house or an RO system (reverse osmosis). So the water we used was unaltered straight from the tap.

TEST PARTICIPANTS | All participants were adult volunteers. Ages ranged from 22-60; however, most participants were 24-35. A total of 18 people participated in our taste test.

Issues with the PUR Filter

During our initial test, we noted that the PUR filter was scoring dramatically different compared to Brita. Scores during the initial test were as follows:

%

Brita Filtered Water

%

PUR Filtered Water

%

Unfiltered Tap Water

THE PROBLEM | Despite the fact that we followed PUR’s setup instructions exactly, there was a clear and distinct metallic taste on the filtered PUR water. This taste was only present on the PUR filtered water and not the tap water.

Brita vs. PUR taste test

A dramatic reenactment of the taste test

POSSIBLE CAUSE | This seemed incredibly weird to me, so I thought we might have a faulty filter (which actually may have been the case). However, before ordering a new filter I decided to run around 5 gallons of water through the PUR filter, to see if perhaps it just needed further flushing.

RESOLUTION | After doing so, we retested the three filters with additional test volunteers to see if the results were different, which they were. We felt like the second set of testing data (which is what we have up top) was more accurate. Nevertheless, we did think it was still important to point out the difficulties we experienced with getting the PUR filter to an acceptable taste.

Are Brita and PUR Filters Interchangeable?

One frequently asked question by consumers is whether or not these filters are interchangeable. While both filters look strikingly similar and do use the same design for water filtration, these filters are not interchangeable.

Subtle differences in product design help to ensure that each product can only be used with its associated, branded filter.

If you like your water pitcher but are unsatisfied with the filtration, you may want to consider upgrading filters.

As mentioned above, the Brita system works with the Standard Filter or the Longlast filter. Likewise, the PUR system works with the Basic Filter or the Lead Reduction Filter.

Brita Faucet vs. PUR Faucet Filters

For some, filling and pouring the pitcher can get old and become a tedious chore. For filtered water without the hassle of pouring and storing in another container, both Brita and PUR also offer faucet version of their popular filters.

Here is a quick 30-second summary of Brita vs. PUR faucet filter systems.

30 second summary - Brita Faucet vs. PUR Faucet Filters

Brita & PUR Faucet Filter Designs

The design is extremely similar between the two; both screw directly onto the faucet and filters the tap water through the system and out a secondary water spout. The filter size of each unit is similar, but the orientation is different. The Brita has the main filter positioned in a vertical position, while the PUR filter is oriented horizontally (in most cases).

Installing Brita on tap faucet filter

Faucet filters attach directly to your kitchen faucet.

That said, if you prefer the vertical filter, PUR does offer that option on several models as well.

Perhaps the biggest thing to note is that Brita and PUR faucet filters only work on standard faucet heads. If you have a pull-out, spray, large or oddly shaped faucet, the Brita and PUR faucet filters probably will not fit.

What Contaminants Do the Brita & PUR On-Tap Filters Remove?

BRITA FILTERS | The Brita faucet filter can remove 99% of lead, and reduce chlorine (taste and odor) and remove 52 other contaminants. See the full list of removed contaminants here. 

PUR FILTERS | By comparison, PUR’s faucet filter is certified to reduce over 80 contaminates, which also includes 99% of lead. See the full list of removed contaminants here. 

If lead is an important contaminant to address, I would recommend the faucet filters over the pitcher filters (unless you upgrade to the PUR Lead Reduction filter, as that is the only free-standing filter that is designed to tackle lead contaminants).

Brita On-Tap Filter Finishes

The Brita Faucet filter is available in both a chrome and white finish.

Brita on tap faucets

Brita on tap color finishes

PUR Faucet Finishes

If you’re looking for more color options that coordinate with your existing kitchen faucet, PUR’s faucet filter is available in black, chrome, metallic gray, stainless steel, or white.

PUR faucet filter color finishes

PUR faucet filter color finishes

Brita & PUR Smart Water Filters

The PUR Ultimate Faucet System comes equipped with Bluetooth capabilities which allow the filters to pair with the PUR app on your smartphone and track water consumption, filter usage, and other features.

PUR Ultimate Faucet filter

PUR Ultimate Faucet filter

At the time of publishing this guide, Brita did not offer a smart on-tap filter.

However, it does offer the Brita Infinity wifi-connected pitcher. This filter can be set to automatically order replacement filters from Amazon when it detects the filter needs to be replaced. It’s not quite as advanced as the PUR Ultimate Faucet, but it’s still pretty cool!

Brita smart pitcher

Brita smart pitcher

For more on smart home devices, see our full smart home products guide. Or check out some of the most convenient smart home products, including robot vacuums, robot mops, and smart thermostats.

How Long Do Brita & PUR Filters Last?

The Brita Faucet Filter can filter about 100 gallons of water (approxiamtely 4 months of daily usage) before the filter will need to be replaced. When it’s time to replace, both faucet filters have a light that will flash to notify you.

Should You Buy the Brita or PUR?

So, all things considered—should you buy the Brita or the PUR water filtration pitcher? I would call this battle of the bottles a draw, simply because there are pros or cons to each model. One may certainly be better for you, but what works for you could be less than ideal for someone else.

The points below will highlight some of the most important buying factors, in our opinion.

I would recommend the Brita Water Pitcher to people who:

  • Want to spend less money on filters – At the time of our review, Brita filters generally seemed to be less expensive than PUR filters (about $4 less on a two pack). Additionally, you have the option of buying Amazon’s generic Brita filters for even less if you want to save more in the long run.
  • Want better tasting water – During all phases of our taste test, the Brita filtered water tasted better. Of course, with that said, our sample size was fairly small (18 people). Additionally, local water sources will change the taste. However, during our test in Phoenix, Brita was the clear winner in taste.

To learn more or to buy, see Brita’s water filters here.

I would recommend the PUR Water Pitcher to people who:

  • Want a pitcher filter that can remove lead – When paired with the Lead Reduction upgraded filter, this pitcher can successfully filter out up to 99% of any trace lead in your tap water.
  • Want a pitcher that removes more stuff – According to the company’s  specs, the PUR filters are able to remove a much wider array of contaminants compared to Brita. If you’re worried about the health and safety of your tap water, the PUR may be a better choice due to this reason.

To learn more or to buy, see PUR’s water filters here.

Last Updated - October 15, 2018

The following logs all major updates and changes made to this page.

  • October 15, 2018 – Updated the page with a new comparison table at the top of the page. Cleaned up and modified a few small formatting issues.
  • July 25, 2018 – Initial version of the page was published.

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Derek Hales

Derek Hales

Editor-in-Chief

Derek Hales is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of ModernCastle.com. He is a passionate perfectionist when it comes to testing and reviewing products for the home. When he is not testing new products, Derek enjoys golf, tennis, and PC gaming. Derek lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Samantha, son, and poodle, Tibbers.