We recommend Pur’s Pitcher Replacement Filter with Lead Reduction or Faster Pour Pitcher Filter because both are better certified than any other pitcher filters we’ve reviewed or tested. We also recommend the companion Pur Classic 11-Cup Pitcher because it features multiple design details that make it easier to use than its competitors. For larger households going through lots of water, we recommend the Pur Ultimate dispenser. Its 18-cup capacity means you’ll have plenty of water on hand. And, unlike a pitcher, it can dispense water while the filter is still working.
The heart of any water-filter system is the filter itself, so let’s start there.
Pur’s Replacement Filter with Lead Reduction (model number PPF951K) is ANSI/NSF-certified for 23 contaminants, including lead; the Brita Longlast, its nearest non-Pur competitor, is certified for 12. The Pur Lead Reduction’s certifications include lead, of course. They also include four “aesthetic” ANSI/NSF Standard 42 contaminants that affect water taste, especially chlorine; 10 ANSI/NSF Standard 53 contaminants (encompassing organic compounds including pesticides, and heavy metals including mercury and cadmium), and eight ANSI/NSF Standard 401 “emerging contaminants” that are increasingly found in US water supplies (including BPA and estrone, a form of the human hormone estrogen).
If you know you don’t have a lead issue, you might prefer the basic Pur Faster Pour Pitcher Filter (model number PPF900Z), which has 13 ANSI/NSF certifications, but not lead. The 13 are: chlorine; taste and odor; particulate Class M (particles 50 to 80 microns in diameter); zinc, cadmium, copper, and mercury (metals); benzene, ethylbenzene, tetrachloroethylene, toluene, and xylene (volatile organic compounds); and methoxychlor, an insecticide. By comparison, the Brita Dispenser Filter has five ANSI/NSF certifications, also not including lead, and the Brita Longlast has 12, including lead.
Pur’s Lead Reduction and Faster Pour filters are both rated to last for 40 gallons, or two months, between replacement, which usually totals about $65 per year. Both use the same basic technology, which is common to most filters, to remove contaminants from water. Granules of activated charcoal adsorb (bind) organic compounds, and an ion-exchange resin selectively captures toxic heavy metals, kicking out benign light metals like sodium and potassium into the water during the process. A Pur representative told us that to achieve its lead certification, the Lead Reduction filter has an additional “electro-adhesive” paper filter that sits below the main activated-charcoal and ion-exchange resin filter. Much like static cling makes your socks stick together, the filter uses an opposing electrical charge to capture dissolved metals that its ion-exchange resin missed.
In addition to superior certifications, the Pur filters have a design advantage over Brita’s filters: You really can’t…
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