Unsure whether to choose a PUR or Brita water filter? We make the decision easier as we compare the two giants of the water filter world.
Essential for life, water is a fundamental need for survival - but there is water, and then there is water… Filtered water takes basic faucet water and gives it a bit of added luxury, removing contaminants and unwanted minerals leaving you with a cool, refreshing glass of water which is vastly superior.
In some regions water from the faucet is OK, and in other places not so much, having a strong chemical taste and odor. However, no matter where you are, filtered water is infinitely nicer, tasting fresh and pure and with no dubious scent.
The only problem is how to choose the best filter for your home. A brand that you trust is a good place to start and Brita and PUR are two of the most popular. The final decision is tough though - Brita vs Pur is no simple battle! Both brands have some major selling points so which one is the top pick?
To help you make up your mind, here’s a quick comparison of Pur vs Brita on both standard pitcher water filters and faucet filters.
Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Important Factors When Choosing a Pitcher
Before we launch right into the comparison of PUR and Brita, here’s a run-through of some of the most important factors to consider before you buy.
Sure, you’ll want a pitcher that looks good and is easy to handle but if it doesn’t deliver on what matters, then it’s fairly pointless.
The Water Quality Association and NSF International are the two laboratories which issue certification. Some PUR and Brita products are fully certified but not all of them. Be sure to check out a water filter's certification before making a decision.
Standards 42 and 53 are the main testing areas that NSF and WQA certify, and this covers heavy metals, organic compounds, chlorine and other contaminants which taste unpleasant.
A relatively new but welcome addition is Standard 401 which covers what is described as “emerging contaminants, such as pharmaceuticals, which are increasingly being identified in US water supplies.
When purchasing a water filter pitcher, practicality is also key. If it’s a nuisance you use, the chances are it will get shoved in the back of a cupboard and forgotten about. Water pitchers rely on gravity and not pressure to filter the water. This means that not only are they effective on less contaminants than other types of filters but they also can take longer to complete the filtration.
For most people the level of filtration provided is more than adequate but if you suspect your source of water contains more contaminants you may prefer something more powerful like reverse osmosis.
Likewise, if you are in a household where you’ll use lots of filtered water, the slower production rate of a pitcher may be frustrating. For average quantities however, it’s an excellent and economical choice.
PUR vs Brita Pitcher Water Filters
In the head-to-head of pitcher water filters, we’ve taken a look at two models:
Here’s a run through of the key features and how the PUR vs Brita battle measured up.
On appearance the two pitcher water filters from PUR and Brita look almost identical with a secure handle attached at both the top and the bottom and a two-tone design.
On pure aesthetics, the Brita nudges ahead as it’s available in a choice of five colors to complement the white - green, red, black, orange and all-white - while the PUR is only available with a blue contrast.
The PUR looks slightly boxier but it’s the larger of the two with an 11-cup capacity compared to 10 cups for the Brita.
The PUR can process 40 gallons of water before the filter needs to be changed. An inbuilt LED light makes it easier to keep track of this, alerting to when the filter needs to be changed. However, complete reliance on this indicator light can be a little deceiving as it’s not actually connected to the use of water in any way.
Unlike more advanced water filters in the market, the PUR indicator doesn’t measure the filtration of the water but is based on an estimated life of two months. Therefore, while the indicator light is a useful addition, you could need to replace it more quickly if you filter more water than the average person.
The Brita filter needs to be changed at the same interval; the lesser of 40 gallons or two months. However, the technology fitted to this pitcher is slightly different. While it doesn’t measure how much water is being used, it keeps track of how many times the reservoir is opened. This enables the device to calculate how much water is being filtered, and when the filter will need to be replaced.
Of course, this means it’s very important not to open the reservoir lid unless you’re actually filling the filter as otherwise the results will be skewed.
One of the most important features for a water filter is what is actually filtered and what remains within the water.
The PUR uses MAXION technology and claims to remove the maximum number of contaminants such as:
- 99% of lead
- 95% of mercury
- Reduces chlorine
- Microbial cysts
- 96% of trace levels of pharmaceuticals
In total, more than 70 contaminants are removed by the PUR MAXION filter which is NSF Certified to Standards 42, 53 and 401.
On the PUR website, there is a claim that this pitcher removes twice as many contaminants as Brita.
The Brita filters:
- Class 1 Particulates**
*These are only filtered using the Standard filter that come with the pitcher.
**These are only filtered if you upgrade to the Longlast filter which is compatible with this pitcher.
Brita is tested and certified by the Water Quality Association and is confirmed as meeting the NSF/ANSI Standards 42 and 53. This information is clearly visible on their website and the performance data is included.
Neither Brita nor PUR freely provide information about the speed of filtration or the flow rate in the marketing material. However, independent testing reveals that Brita is the speedier of the two.
PUR has a more complex filtration system, and as such testing showed that a complete filtration took approximately 10-11 minutes.
By contrast, using the Longlast filter (rather than the Standard filter) on the Brita, filtration was complete within 5 minutes. The PUR is marginally larger - 11 cups compared to 10 - but even so, that’s a significant difference in speed.
Recommended Next: Don't forget to check out our post on our favorite pitcher water filters after this! You can read it here.
The Important Factors For Faucet Filters
Many of the factors for faucet filters are the same as pitcher filters, such as contaminants removed and certification of the results.
However, there are additional features necessary such as the ability to switch between regular faucet water and filtered water. Not that there’s anything wrong with using filtered water for everything but the wear on the filter could wind up to be pretty expensive for the average household.
Ease of installation and size should be considered for practical purposes. There’s a good chance you may need to remove the filter from the faucet occasionally so a difficult installation could make it a poor choice. The size of the filter may be more of an issue if you have less space around your sink area, or you’re unable to move the faucet.
PUR vs Brita Faucet Water Filters
The two faucet filters we’re comparing against each other are:
Here’s a look at the PUR vs Brita faucet filter comparison.
Installation and use
In the Brita vs PUR faucet head-to-head, both well here. The PUR and the Brita both feature a one-click installation system with no tools required. This makes it quick and easy to install and if you have to remove the filter from the faucet for any reason, it’s simple to click back into position.
The PUR will only fit standard faucets, and comes with 4 different adaptors: 2 for internal threads, 2 for external threads. All faucet filters can feel a little unwieldy at first, but the PUR less so than many as it’s smaller than others, including the Brita.
The Brita also comes with adaptors for both internal and external thread faucets but it’s approximately two inches larger than the PUR. The larger size doesn’t allow it to filter any quicker, so doesn’t offer any advantage and for some may be problematic. Both the PUR and the Brita offer a steady flow rate from the faucet.
The Brita has three available functions: filtered water, unfiltered and sprinkle. The latest version has a slide switch as customers reported the previous rotating switch was hard to move.
The PUR offers a straight choice between filtered and unfiltered water with a switch that moves from vertical to horizontal position to differentiate.
Compared to a pitcher, the filters in a faucet mounted system tend to last much longer. For the Brita, the recommended usage is the sooner of 100 gallons or four months. If you drink bottled water, this amount is equivalent to 750 standard-sized 16.9oz plastic bottles.
A LED light is included in the Brita filter to make it easy to identify when a change is required.
The PUR Faucet Filter handles an almost identical amount of water, 100 gallons, but it’s recommended not to go beyond 3 months before changing. Similarly to the Brita, the PUR also incorporates an LED light which changes color as time passes.
In the Brita, there is just a single type of filter for the faucet so the list of what contaminants are moved is far more straightforward. These include:
- 99% of lead
- Class 1 particulates
- 1, 2, 4 - Trichlorobenzene
- TTHMs, Atrazine, Lindane, Trichloroethylene (TCE)
- Additional contaminants (total of 60 for the filter).
The same certification applies to the Brita faucet filter as is on the pitcher filter.
The PUR uses water pressure to force the water through its carbon block filter which utilizes the same MAXION technology as its filter.
Once again, PUR compare their faucet filter to Brita, and claims that their product removes 10 times more contaminants that the leading Brita faucet filter. These include:
- Class 1 particulates
- Microbial cysts
- 14 industrial pollutants including asbestos, VOCs and benzene
- 12 pesticides and herbicides
- 5 different pharmaceuticals
- Industrial chemicals
The faucet filtration from PUR is certified by the WQA and NSF and covers a total of 72 contaminants.
Recommended Article: Curious about alkaline pitchers? Don't miss our awesome guide!
Brita or PUR?
If you’re trying to choose between the PUR or Brita, it’s a battle of the most popular but probably not the best. These two giants of the water filtration world offer low cost, certified water filters that do a decent job
In the Brita vs PUR pitcher comparison, there’s a clear difference in the level of filtration on offer. PUR has a much broader range of contaminants which are filtered out, with additional 401 certification. It is recognized as one of the market leaders and it’s hard to compete with this.
However, it’s not such a straightforward choice as the PUR has a much slower filtration flow rate than the Brita. If you want to be able to use filtered water right away, the 10-minute+ wait could be a real inconvenience.
Therefore, when it comes to choosing a PUR water filter vs Brita pitcher, the final decision will come down to whether you need the fuller range of filtration or a faster filtration. Knowing the water quality in your area could help you make that decision.
If you’re trying to make a decision about the Bris vs PUR faucet, the performance is much closer. The PUR filter does still include a few more contaminants but it’s hard to see where they remove 10 times as many, as their site claims. It may be true but there’s no objective evidence which backs this up.
However, where the PUR does have the edge is over size. It’s smaller, sleeker and just as easy to install, as well as being a similar cost. For that reason alone, the PUR may be the faucet filter choice of many, and preferred to the Brita.