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PUR vs Brita Water Filters

By: Stephanie Nielsen
Last Updated:
PUR_vs Brita Water_Filters

PUR and Brita are two of the most popular and dominating brands in water filtration.

They both produce many excellent filters, especially for water pitchers.

As you look at their different products, it can be hard to tell which is best – and we’re here to help.

We’ve broken down each brand and its top products so that you can be confident in your water pitcher purchase.

Final Summary: PUR vs Brita Water Filters

Both Brita and PUR are well-established, trusted brands that make a variety of filtration products. When comparing their best water pitcher filters, the Brita Everyday and the PUR Classic, we chose the PUR Classic to be the better filter because of its higher number of contaminants removed and the higher capacity.

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We found that both pitchers perform similarly when it comes to filtration rate, cost, and customer reviews, and the Everyday does slightly better with durability and filter replacement. On the other hand, the Classic is easier to clean and has more features, and is certified for an extra standard from NSF.

 Brita EverydayPUR Classic
Most Contaminants Removed
Fast Filtration Rate
NSF and WQA Certified
Most Durable
Easiest to Clean
Longest-lasting Filters
Great Customer Reviews
Most Features
Reasonable Price

PUR vs Brita Filters Overview

PUR_vs Brita Water_Filter

PUR, formerly named Recovery Engineering, was founded in 1986 and has since produced high-quality filters for water pitchers and faucets as well as water dispensers. Brita, on the other hand, has been around since 1966 and has put their 50 years of experience to good use making filters for water pitchers, dispensers, faucets, and water bottles.

In order to compare apples to apples, we chose a water pitcher filter from each brand to represent them and compared them on key qualities like contaminants filtered, lifespan, capacity, and others. Our choice for the best water pitcher filter from PUR is their PUR Classic Water Filter Pitcher, while our choice from Brita is the Brita Everyday Water Filter Pitcher.

Dimensions and Capacity

The PUR Classic holds 11 cups of water, and there’s a 7-cup style available for those with less refrigerator space. The Brita Everyday, on the other hand, holds 10 cups and there isn’t a smaller version of the same model. As you would expect, the PUR pitcher is slightly larger with 6.75 x 11.25 x 10.63 inch dimensions, while the Brita model is 5.4 x 10.7 x 10.1 inches. Both are made with BPA-free plastic.

We think the PUR pitcher has a slight edge here as well as a good looking design.

Filter Type

Brita makes two replacement filters to fit the Everyday pitcher: the Standard and the Longlast filters. When you first purchase the Everyday filter it will come equipped with a Standard filter, but you can always upgrade when you go to replace it.

Both the Standard and the Longlast filters use granulated activated carbon from coconut fiber to remove heavy mercury as well as foul tastes and odors, with a mesh screen to filter black flecks. The Standard filter has an ion exchange resin that reduces heavy metals, while the Longlast has a pleated media as well as proprietary active filtering agents that works on lead and other contaminants.

PUR also offers two different filter types: the Faster filter and the filter with lead reduction. Both use MAXION filter technology, which similar to Brita uses blended activated carbon and ion exchange materials. MAXION filters remove heavy metals, foul tastes and odors, industrial pollutants, and pharmaceuticals, and the main differences between the two PUR filters are the lead reduction capability and their lifespan.

We think the PUR takes a slight edge again with the ability for lead reduction and slightly more contaminants removed.

Certifications

The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and the Water Quality Association (WQA) are two non-profit, independent organizations that test and certify water filtration products for different standards. These standards range from specific contaminants removed to the quality of the parts used in manufacturing, and both of these pitchers from Brita and PUR have been certified by both NSF and WQA.

Brita’s Everyday pitcher has been certified for NSF/ANSI standards 42 and 53. Standard 42 refers to the aesthetic improvement of water by removing foul tastes and odors, while standard 53 means that heavy metals with negative health consequences have been adequately filtered.

PUR’s Classic pitcher has also been certified for NSF/ANSI standards 42 and 53, as well as standard 401. This standard means that the filter reduces emerging compounds with potential health benefits such as Atenolol and Estrone.

Overall, they both match up the same in certifications.

Performance Comparison

Now that you know the basics of each product, let’s take a detailed look at how each filter performs.

Contaminants Removed

You’re getting a water filter pitcher because you want to ensure you have safe, clean drinking water for your household by removing contaminants and impurities. Below is a summary of the contaminants each brand’s filter removes:

 Brita StandardBrita LonglastPUR Faster MAXIONPUR MAXION with Lead Reduction
Heavy Metals
Lead
Chlorine
Tastes/Odors
Microbial Cysts
Industrial Pollutants
Pesticides and Herbicides
Pharmaceutical Drugs

As far as heavy metals go, the Brita Standard filter works to remove up to 94% of copper, 96% of mercury, and 96% of cadmium. It also removes 95% of chlorine and 64% of zinc – the main culprits behind foul odors and tastes. The Brita Longlast works on the same contaminants as the Standard while also removing 99% of lead and the organic and industrial pollutants benzene, asbestos, and BPA. The Longlast also works on the pharmaceuticals ibuprofen and naproxen.

In comparison, both the Faster MAXION and the MAXION with lead reduction remove up to 98.2% of copper, 96.7% of mercury, and 98.7% of cadmium, as well as 97.5% of chlorine and 86.9% of zinc. They also remove 99.99% of microbial cysts, and the pesticides/herbicides 2,4-D (86%), Atrazine (82.7%), Linuron (96.1%) and Simazine (97.1%).

Both PUR filters also remove industrial chemicals, with 96.4% of benzene, 96% of carbon tetrachloride, 96.6% of tetrachloroethylene, 94.2% of TCEP, 94.2% of BPA, and 95.9% of nonyl phenol removed as well as the pharmaceuticals atenolol (94.3%), carbamazepine (94.3%), estrone (96.1%), and trimethoprim (96.2%). The lead reduction filter is rated for up to 99.4% lead removal.

The bottom line is that MAXION filtration removes higher quantities of more contaminants. The only contaminants that the Brita Longlast removes that the MAXION ones don’t are asbestos, ibuprofen, and naproxen

Having said that, if your water only has chlorine and copper in it you’re going to get a similar performance from both brands’ filters. Whether you need the extra filtration capacity of the PUR filters depends on what contaminants are in your water – and you can purchase a water testing kit to get a breakdown of your water’s contents. If you would rather not test and just cover your bases, the PUR filter is going to be the best.

Pitcher Features

The PUR Classic pitcher comes with a filter change indicator light that lets you know when your filter needs to be replaced. The filter’s status will blink every time you pour water from the pitcher. The green light will show if the filter is still good, the yellow light will show if the filter is near the end of its lifespan, and the red light will show if it needs to be replaced.

The Classic comes with a built-in handle and a spout to make pouring easy, and the filter compartment is built into the lid of the pitcher. To replace the filter, you unscrew the old one and screw the new one back in.

The Brita Everyday pitcher also has a built-in handle and pouring spout for ease of use, and the filter is similarly built into a compartment in the lid. You swap out filters by simply pulling the old one out of the slot and pushing the new one into the groove.

Unlike the PUR Classic’s indicator, the Everyday pitcher has a sticker with the recommendations for filter changing and a mini-calendar where you can mark when your filter needs to be replaced for the next two years.

We think the PUR lighting technology is more advanced in this department.

Filtration Rate

While PUR hasn’t published the statistics on their Faster filter filtration rate, customer reviews agree that it takes about five minutes to filter the water through, as long as it hasn’t become clogged. The lead reduction filters have similar reviews for their filtration rate, and PUR’s manual suggests removing the filter and shaking it until you hear the granules shifting inside if the filtration rate drops.

Likewise, the reviews for both the Brita Standard and Longlast filters say that they take roughly five minutes to run water through the filter. Changing the filters for both brands as recommended will help make sure the filtration rate remains fast. It’s also worth noting that it takes multiple fill-ups of the filter to completely fill both the Everyday and the Classic pitchers.

Both brands have pretty much the same filtration speed.

Filter Lifespan and Pitcher Durability

The PUR Faster filter is included with the pitcher when you purchase it, and has a lifespan of 30 gallons or 1-2 months depending on your usage. The MAXION filter with lead reduction will also last for 1-2 months depending on your usage, but it is rated for 40 gallons.

In comparison, the Brita Standard filter comes with the pitcher and will last for 1-2 months or 40 gallons, once again depending on your usage. As the name would suggest, the Brita Longlast filter can last up to 6 months or 120 gallons before needing to be replaced.

As for the pitchers themselves, both the PUR Classic and the Brita Everyday come with a 90 day warranty. Reviews for the PUR Classic mostly agreed that the pitcher will last for at least a year before the plastic cracks, and the Brita Everyday reviews had many positive comments on the durability of the product.

The PUR pitcher filter change indicator runs off of a sealed battery that is not replaceable without buying a new pitcher, so if your pitcher ends up lasting several years you may eventually lose your indicator light. In both filter lifespan (for the Longlast) and durability, Brita has the edge.

Cost Comparison

For the Brita Everyday filter, the initial price is $27.99 which includes the pitcher, the filter housing, and a Brita Standard filter. As for the replacement filters, you can get a single one of the Standard filters for $6.58, or if you’d rather stockpile you can get 3, 4, 5, 6, or even 10 filters for $35.99 (the best value). The Longlast filter is available as a single filter for $16.99, or as a 2-pack for $32.99.

On the other hand, the PUR Classic filter is $29.99 which likewise includes the pitcher and filter housing as well as the PUR Faster MAXION filter. You can get a single Faster filter replacement for $6.99, or a 3-pack for $16.99. The MAXION filter with lead reduction is $10.99 for a single filter, or $24.99 for a 3-pack.

The costs are pretty similar for both brands give or take a few dollars.

Costs Over Time

So how much will each brand cost you over a year’s time? If you get the PUR Classic, you’ll spend $30 to start and the included filter will last you two months. If you stick with the Faster filter for the year, you’ll need to replace it roughly six times. You can get two 3-packs for $17 each, and your grand total for the year will be about $64.

If you wanted to use the lead reduction filter, let’s say you’ll need to replace it five times since it has a slightly higher gallon rating than the Faster filter. You can get two 3-packs for $25 each, and that will put you at $80 for the year including the pitcher – and you’ll have a filter left over for your next change.

As for the Brita Everyday, you’ll spend $28 on the pitcher and the included Standard filter will likewise last for two months. You’ll need to replace it five times over the course of the year, and you can conveniently get a 5-pack for $22. For a year with the standard filter, you’re looking at $50.

If you decide to go with the Longlast filter, you’ll need to swap out the included standard filter after two months and then you won’t need a new Longlast filter until eight months later. You can get two single filters for $22, or a 3-pack for $25 so you’ll save some money on future replacements. At the end of the year, you’ll have either spent $50 or $53 with the pitcher. 

Types of Models Each Company Offers

While we’ve chosen the Everyday and the Classic pitchers to represent Brita and PUR respectively, these two are far from the only filter options from each brand. Both companies make a variety of other products, as you can see below. 

PUR Models

pur-classic

In addition to the Classic 11-cup pitcher, PUR offers the same model in a smaller, 7-cup version. Both of the Classic models can come with either a Faster filter or a lead reduction filter included (for a higher price).

They also make a Basic model without the LED filter change indicator that only comes with the Basic filter, which removes the same contaminants as the Faster filter but has a slower filtration rate. The Basic model is not compatible with the other filters, however.

The last of PUR’s pitcher models is the Ultimate, which takes the same filters as the Classic. The main difference with the Ultimate pitcher is its design and durability. Similar to the pitchers are PUR’s dispensers, which have an 18-cup capacity and use a nozzle to dispense water when pressed. You can get the dispenser with a Basic filter, a Faster filter, or a lead reduction filter, but the basic model is likewise not compatible with the others.

PUR also offers a line of faucet filters that incorporate their branded MineralClear filtration. These filters remove 72+ contaminants, and there are two models available for purchase: the Advanced Faucet Filtration System and the Ultimate Faucet Filtration System with Bluetooth.

Brita Models

brita pitcher

Brita offers a wider variety of products and models, with ten other water filter pitchers available besides the Everyday: the Soho, the Monterey, the Cascade, the Rapids, the Lake, the Wave, the Metro, the Pacifica, the Space Saver, and the Grand – which is their most popular model. All of their pitchers are compatible with both the Standard and Longlast filters, and their capacities range from 6 cups to 12.

Brita also makes a line of water dispensers with two different models: the Ultramax and the Ultraslim. The Ultramax has an 18 cup capacity while the Ultraslim can hold up to 25, and they both use a nozzle dispensing system as well. Both will fit either the Standard or Longlast filters.

You can also find two different faucet filters from Brita: the Basic Faucet Mount System and the Complete Faucet Mount System. Both take Brita’s Faucet Mount filter, which filters out 60 different contaminants, and the main difference between the two is the filter lifespan indicator on the Complete.

Unlike PUR, Brita also makes a line of water bottle filters that come in four different sizes: 20oz, 26oz, 32oz, and 36oz. Unlike the other filters, the bottle filters only remove contaminants that cause foul tastes and odors.

Customer Reviews and Complaints

With 4,734 reviews, the PUR Classic has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars and 75% 5-star reviews. 14% are 4-star, 5% are 3-star, and only 2% are 2-star and 4% 1-star. The majority of the negative reviews say that the lid doesn’t fit properly, and the plastic is brittle so it cracks easily. The other main complaint is that the filters tend to clog more often than you’d expect.

In comparison, the Brita Everyday has 24,042 reviews with a 4.7 out of 5 star rating and 81% 5-star reviews. 12% are 4-star and 4% are 3-star. Only 2% of revives are 1-star and 1% 2-star, which gives Everyday the edge on both the quantity and quality of reviews.

The main negative reviews for the Everyday pitcher are that it’s difficult to clean, which predisposes it to mildew and algae growth. The other main complaints are that the customers didn’t notice a change in the taste of their water, and that Brita wouldn’t take returns. 

Pros and Cons

The following is a summary of the key advantages and disadvantages associated with each product:

Brita Everyday Pros

Contaminants removed: Both the Standard and Longlast filters remove heavy metals like cadmium, mercury, and copper as well as elements that cause foul taste and odor like zinc and chlorine. The Longlast filter also works on some industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals as well as lead.

Certification: This product has been NSF certified for standards 53 and 42, as well as WQA certified.

Filtration rate: Both the Standard and the Longlast take about five minutes to filter through a full round of water.

Filter lifespan: The Longlast filter lives up to its name with the six-month lifespan, which is three times as long as the other filters on the market.

Price: The Everyday is a very reasonably-priced water pitcher filter, and the costs over time are low as well no matter whether you go with the Standard or Longlast filter replacements.

Customer reviews: With 81% 5-star reviews on over 24,000 ratings, people love their Brita Everyday filters.

Brita Everyday Cons

Ease of cleaning: Many customers complained that the pitcher and filter holder are difficult to clean, and some as a result saw mildew or algae growth.

Product features: Unlike many of Brita’s other pitcher models, the Everyday does not have an electric indicator for the filter lifespan.

PUR Classic Pros

Contaminants removed: Both PUR MAXION filters remove 22 different contaminants from heavy metals to pesticides to industrial chemicals, and the lead reduction filter also removes 99% of lead.

Certifications: This product has been WQA certified as well as NSF certified for standards 42, 53, and 401.

Filtration rate: Both the Faster filter and the lead-reduction filter take about five minutes to work for each fill.

Price: The level of water filtration for the price is unbeatable, and the replacement filters are reasonable.

Customer reviews: PUR satisfies the vast majority of their customers with 75% 5-star reviews on over 4,500 ratings.

PUR Classic Cons

Durability: One of the main customer complaints was that the plastic of the pitcher tends to be brittle.

Filter lifespan: PUR does not offer a filter that lasts for more than 2 months.

Conclusion

Both the Brita Everyday and the PUR Classic model water pitcher filters are excellent products that will bring quality water to your household. The PUR Classic filter removes more contaminants and has an indicator for changing the filter, while the Brita Everyday is more durable and has a filter with a longer lifespan.

If your water has a high number of contaminants, you’re better off going with the PUR Classic. If your water requires only aesthetic improvement or has very little contaminants, either pitcher will deliver great water.

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AUTHOR
Stephanie Nielsen
Stephanie worked as a department supervisor of kitchen, bath, and appliances at Home Depot, and water filters were part of the inventory she was responsible for assisting clients with so she learned the ins and outs of matching the right filtration device to homeowner’s needs. She also worked closely with Culligan water to educate customers about whole-home water treatment and softener systems. Since leaving Home Depot and pursuing freelance writing, she has used her knowledge about water treatment devices to write about water filtration systems for RVs, water purification methods for backpackers, and home water devices.