Just because someone has done something for the longest, does that make them the best?
That’s the question many consumers face when looking at water pitcher filters. Brita has been in business for over 50 years, while ZeroWater only has a third of the industry experience. So which is best?
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Final Summary – ZeroWater vs Brita
While it’s a close race, we believe the Brita Grand wins by a nose. The longer filter lifespans, lower costs over time, and more known contaminants removed are what we felt earned Brita the win.
Having said that, if you run on well water, the ZeroWater Ready-Pour is going to be the best pitcher for you due to its ability to remove iron and manganese.
These are the key features we used to compare the Brita Grand and the ZeroWater Ready-Pour:
|Brita Grand||ZeroWater Ready-Pour|
|Filtration Rate||5 mins per cycle||12 mins per pitcher|
|Filter Lifespan||6 months||1-2 months|
ZeroWater vs Brita Overview
Both the ZeroWater Ready-Pour and the Brita Grand are pitchers with built-in water filters, and they share many of the same features. Here are the main things you need to know about each one.
The Ready-Pour pitcher is 10.25 inches long by 5.5 inches wide by 11 inches tall. To use it, you pour unfiltered water into the top and then let gravity pull the water through the filter. This makes it a gravity filtration system, and the purified water will collect in the body of the pitcher. The Ready-Pour pitchers have a 10-cup capacity and come equipped with a handle and spout for easy pouring.
All ZeroWater products use a 5-stage filtration system that incorporates activated carbon, KDF, and ion exchange technologies. ZeroWater includes a total dissolved solids (TDS) meter with every purchase, which gives you at-home readings of the amount of dissolved particles in your water.
TDS technically means all of the contaminants in water, but it’s also commonly used to describe the amounts of mineral salts like calcium and magnesium. While the TDS meter won’t tell you what specific contaminants are in your water or whether they’re present at harmful levels, it’s still helpful to get a snapshot of your water’s overall quality. 500 parts per million (ppm) of TDS is the EPA recommended threshold for drinking water.
The Brita Grand is 10.71 inches long by 5.43 inches wide by 10.16 inches tall. It’s also a gravity filtration system, and you use it almost exactly the same by pouring water into the top compartment and then letting gravity force it through the filter below. The purified water fills up the pitcher body, and the Grand likewise has a 10-cup capacity with a handle and a spout.
Brita makes four different filters for their pitchers, and the Grand comes equipped with the Standard filter. We highly recommend changing the Standard filter out for the Longlast+ filter, which has a longer lifespan and filters more contaminants than the Standard. The Longlast+ filter uses a proprietary blend of filtration media including activated carbon as well as pleated fiber to purify water.
This model comes with an LED indicator light that tells you when it’s time to change the filter. Green means that the filter is still working at maximum capacity, yellow means that the filter is nearing the end of its life, and red means that it should be replaced.
Now that you know a bit more about each of these products, let’s dive into their specifications. Read on to see how well they perform at removing contaminants, the lifespan of their filters, their filtration rate, and their certifications.
Every contaminant each filter works on has been listed below so that you can see what number of contaminants each filter reduces as well as by what percentage.
|Brita Grand||ZeroWater Ready-Pou|
Brita is the apparent winner when it comes to the number of contaminants removed, but it’s hard to say for sure. ZeroWater has not had their filter tested for all possible contaminants, so it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that it actually works on more than just 23 of them. The activated carbon in the filter should work on many organic contaminants, but without ZeroWater having the filter tested it’s hard to say for sure.
The Ready-Pour works better on heavy metals, while the Brita grand works better on organic contaminants like pesticide and herbicides.
Thanks to the KDF filtration media, the Ready-Pour is able to remove iron and manganese, which are two of the major contaminants in well water. Brita doesn’t work on either of those, so those consumers that are running off of a well may be better off going with the Ready-Pour. Both companies note that their products are only intended for use on water that has already been determined to be safe to drink, however, no matter the source.
Another notable feature of the Ready-Pour is that it reduces TDS, which includes hardness-causing minerals. While drinking hard water has not been associated with any negative health effects, if you use the Ready-Pour water for small appliances like your coffee pot you can actually extend their lifespans.
You can find out what contaminants are present in your water and in what amounts by getting a home water testing kit. These kits are helpful because once you know what contaminants are most prevalent in your water you can select the filter that best addresses them. Have a lot of heavy metals? Go with the Ready-Pour. Have more pesticides and pharmaceuticals? Go with the Grand.
Filter Lifespan & Durability
Filter lifespans can be measured either in months or in gallons filtered, which is also called their capacity. For a four-person household with average water usage, you can expect a 40-gallon capacity filter to last between 1-2 months.
As the name would suggest, the Brita Longlast+ filter has an impressive lifespan for a pitcher filter. Depending on your water usage and the number of people in your household, you should only have to replace the Longlast+ about every 6 months, or 1,200 gallons. The Brita Grand comes with a 90-day warranty.
In comparison, ZeroWater recommends using their TDS meter to help predict the lifespan of their filters. If your water has a TDS rating of 051-200, which is average for US households, you can expect the filter to last up to 40 gallons – or about 1-2 months. ZeroWater recommends changing the filter out when the TDS meter reads 006 or higher. ZeroWater also has a 90-day warranty on their pitcher.
The Brita Grand takes about five minutes to filter a round of water with a Longlast+ filter, though it does take multiple filtration cycles to fully fill the pitcher. On the other hand, the Ready-Pour takes about 12 minutes total to fill the pitcher. This is with a 6.5 ounces per minute flow rate, and it likewise takes multiple cycles to fill the pitcher.
There are specific industry standards that water filters can be tested against and certified for, and this an added assurance of quality. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and the Water Quality Association (WQA) are two independent organizations that certify water filtration products.
Brita Longlast+ filters have been WQA certified for NSF/ANSI standards 42, which means the aesthetic quality of water is improved, 53, which means that contaminants with detrimal health effects are removed, and 401, which means that contaminants with emerging health consequences are removed. In comparison, The ZeroWater Ready-Pour is NSF certified for NSF/ANSI standards 42 and 53.
The Brita Grand costs $32.99 for the pitcher that comes with a Standard filter, and you can get the Longlast+ filters in a 2-pack for $29.99.
The Ready-Pour also costs $32.99 for the pitcher, and it comes with one of the ZeroWater filters equipped. The replacement filters are also $29.99 for a 2-pack, but you can save some money by buying them in bulk. ZeroWater sells filters in a 2-pack, 3-pack, 4-pack, 6-pack, 8-pack, 12-pack, and 16-pack. The 16-pack is $149.99, which saves you $90 if you had bought the same number of filters in 2-packs.
Cost Comparison Over Time
Looking now at how much you would spend in a year on each product, the Brita Grand would cost you $63. That’s $33 for the pitcher itself, and then $30 for a 2-pack of Longlast+ filters. The Ready-Pour would cost you $103 over the same time. That’s $33 for the pitcher, and then a 6-pack of replacement filters for $70.
Types of Models Each Company Offers
Brita makes 10 other water filter pitchers and four total filters for them. They also make three different dispensers as well as two different faucet filters, and a water bottle with a built-in filter.
ZeroWater also offers six other pitchers as well as two Ready-Pour dispensers, two glass dispensers, and a water cooler filtration system. All of their products come with TDS meters.
Customer Reviews and Complaints Consensus
The Brita Grand has a 4.7 out of 5 star rating with 8,924 reviews and 81% 5-star reviews. Only 3% are 1-star, and the main customer complaints associated are that the plastic seems fairly brittle and that the lid does not like to stay on very well.
The ZeroWater Ready-Pour has a 4.5 out of 5 star rating with 16,628 reviews and 75% 5-star reviews. Only 6% are 1-star, and the main complaint is that the filters only lasted a few weeks for some customers.
Pros and Cons
In summary, here are the main pros and cons associated with each product across all of their different features.
Brita Grand Pros
- More contaminants verified removed
- 5 minutes per each filtration cycle
- 10-cup capacity
- Filter lifespan LED indicator
- 6-month filter lifespan
- 90-day warranty
- WQA certification for 3 standards
- 4.7 out of 5 star rating
- Lower cost over time
Brita Grand Cons
- Longlast+ filter not included
- Not ideal for well water
- Doesn’t work on TDS
- Some customers report a faulty lid and brittle plastic
ZeroWater Ready-Pour Pros
- Works better on well water contaminants
- Reduces hardness-causing minerals (TDS)
- 12 minutes to fill the pitcher
- 10-cup capacity
- TDS meter included
- 90-day warranty
- NSF certified for 2 standards
- 4.5 out of 5 star rating
- Bulk replacement filter packs available
ZeroWater Ready-Pour Cons
- Shorter filter lifespans
- Not tested for as many contaminants
- More expensive over time
- Some customers report very short filter lifespans
Both ZeroWater and Brita make excellent water pitcher filter products. The Brita Grand is best for those who want less maintenance and costs over time, but who run off a municipal water system. The ZeroWater Ready-Pour, on the other hand, is best for those on well water or who need to reduce the TDS of their water.
You can find out which filter will work best for your home’s needs by getting your water professionally tested. With certifications backing both products, however, no matter which one you end up choosing you can be sure you’re getting a quality result.