Brita vs. PUR — is your glass half empty or half full?
This review aims to splash some water on the truth behind which 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!
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.
- TDS: 396 ppm
- Filling Tank Capacity: 5.7 cups
- Filter Speed: 1.05 cups / min
- Taste Test: 83%
- Price: $
- TDS : 511 ppm
- Filling Tank Capacity: 3.8 cups
- Filter Speed: 0.80 cups / min
- Taste Test: 69%
- 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.
In our recent ZeroWater vs. Brita vs. PUR comparison we test larger reservoir types for Zero and Brita.
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, TDS and taste tests are based on our in-house tests. Jump down the page to see more on our tests.
Table of Contents
Prefer to watch rather than read? We’ve got our PUR vs. Brita video below:
A Quick Intro
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 bottled water.
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 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 consumers, Brita is better.
Brita vs. PUR Design Differences
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 similar.
Both pitchers use a similar design. 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
How Do Brita & PUR Filters Clean Water?
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.
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.
The Standard filter can be replaced fairly inexpensive when purchased in bulk, like this set of six Brita filters. Alternatively you’ll pay a bit more when you buy single Brita filter replacements. Both filters are BPA (bisphenol A) free, but there are considerable differences in the contaminants that each filter purifies.
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.
As the name sounds, the Lead Reduction filter removes 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.
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.
Reminder: 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 Filter||Brita Standard Filter||PUR Lead Reduction Filter||PUR Standard Filter|
|Chlorine (Taste and Odor)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Particulates (Class I)||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
- Chlorine (taste & odor)
In addition, PUR filters are designed to reduce the following contaminants (in addition to those listed above):
- Herbicides, including 2, 4-D, Atrazine, Linuron
- 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.
- Parasites, including Cyst
- Pharmaceuticals, including Atenolol, Carbamazepine, and Estrone
- 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.
Brita vs. PUR: The Tests
To evaluate the performance of each water filter, we look at two different factors:
- TDS (objective numbers)
- Taste (subjective opinion)
The TDS test is “total dissolved solids“, which basically accounts for anything in the water that is anything but pure water. Generally speaking, the higher the number, the less pure the water is.
The taste test was a test with a small group of individuals who blindly tested Brita water and PUR water and scored them on a 1-5 scale according to taste preference.
The TDS Test
To perform our TDS test, we use a TDS meter, which measures the number of “total dissolved solids” in the water.
Generally, a high number means less pure water, but those assumptions do come with a few caveats. Naturally occurring (and healthy) minerals in water can add to the TDS number. Similarly, the salinity in water (as is the case with softened water), can also increase the TDS number.
TDS Before & After Data
With that in mind, here were our findings:
NOTE: PPM stands for “parts per million”
- Unfiltered: 542 ppm
- 1st Pour: 530 ppm
- 2nd Pour: 555 ppm
- 3rd Pour: 511 ppm
PUR (3rd party)
- Unfiltered: 542 ppm
- 1st Pour: 509 ppm
- 2nd Pour: 498 ppm
- 3rd Pour: 405 ppm
- Unfiltered: 542 ppm
- 1st Pour: 495 ppm
- 2nd Pour: 428 ppm
- 3rd Pour: 396 ppm
During our PUR vs. Brita tests in 2019 we noticed taste improved dramatically as more water was flushed through the filter. In line with this thinking, we expected TDS to improve as more water flushed through also.
The above 1st, 2nd, and 3rd pour represent our different levels of filter flushing.
- 1st Pour – no flushing, we simply installed the filter, filled the resevoir, let it filter, and then made our test
- 2nd Pour – we filled the resevoir a few times to give it a light to moderate flushing and then tested the water
- 3rd Pour – we filled the resevoir several times, running a couple gallons of water through the filter before testing the water
In all cases, the TDS did improve as we flushed each filter, with Brita and the 3rd party PUR filter being the most dramatic difference between 1st and 3rd pour tests.
The PUR manufacturer’s filter did not dramatically improve as we flushed water through it.
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.
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
Our taste tests confirmed that Brita is the best tasting filtered water, scoring 83% out of 100%. PUR is 2nd place, at a 69%. This taste test was a follow up to our original tests in 2019, which also had Brita as the preferred water based on test.
Our taste test was conducted with a small group of my personal friends. I asked family and friends to try different cups of water and rate them on a 1 to 5 scale, where 5 is the best.
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).
WATER & LOCATION | Our test took place in Phoenix, Arizona using normal Phoenix tap water. Water in this region is incredibly hard. My home does use a water softener system, but no other RO or other water purification systems.
TEST PARTICIPANTS | All participants were adult volunteers. Ages ranged from 22-65.
Issues with the PUR Filter
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.
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?
FAQ: 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.
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.
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).
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 or Brita Long Last filter).
Brita On-Tap Filter Finishes
The Brita Faucet filter is available in both a chrome and white finish.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Buy Brita if…
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. 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 both our 2019 and 2020 taste test, the Brita filtered water tasted better. Of course, with that said, our sample sizes were fairly small. Nevertheless, our testers scores had a small deviation. Additionally, local water sources will change the taste. However, during our tests of Phoenix, Arizona water, Brita was the clear winner in taste.
Buy PUR if…
I would recommend the PUR Water Pitcher to people who:
- 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.
- June 11, 2020 – Re-did our taste test with updated filters for Brita, PUR, and a 3rd party PUR filter. We had to do a taste test for a different water filter, so we decided to do PUR and Brita at the same time to ensure accuracy with current market filters. Also added TDS (total dissolved solid) tests and analysis. Reviewed all article contents to ensure accuracy, making minor updates.
- April 16, 2019 – Improved layout and formatting of a couple of sections.
- March 14, 2019 – Overhauled page template and design.