Brita Water Filters: 3 products compared
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The Ultra Max is our pick for the best Brita water filter for families because of the large capacity of its filtered water reservoir as well as the fact that it’s easy to use. It’s a reliable unit too with regards to filtration performance as many users were pleased with the quality of the water it produces.
Brita was established in 1966 in Germany. It’s one of the top and most popular water filter brands in the world with products distributed in more than 66 countries. The company is especially famous for its variety of quality and innovative water filtration products which include water filter pitchers and dispensers, faucet water filters, shower filters, and water filter bottles.
All their products are NSF-certified and in this post, we’re going to look at the three best models from the company that you can check out.
1. Brita Ultra Max Filtering Dispenser
- SPACE EFFICIENT: The BPA-Free UltraMax Water Dispenser holds 18 cups or 1.13 gallons of water, which is great for families and fits neatly on countertops and refrigerator shelves.
- CLEANER AND GREAT TASTING: The Brita standard filter reduces chlorine (taste and odor), copper, mercury, zinc and cadmium impurities found in tap water for cleaner great tasting water for the whole family. Substances reduced may not be in all users' water
- FILTER CHANGE REMINDER: A helpful sticker indicator on the water dispenser lets you keep track of when you last changed your water filter and when it needs to be replaced. Replace Brita filters every 40 gallons or every 2 months
- Effective at filtering out chlorine (99%) and heavy metals
- Filter lasts relatively long – about 6 months
- A large filtered water reservoir ideal for families
- Easy to refill and to dispense filtered water
- Simple to set up and doesn’t take up much space
- Doesn’t filter out microorganisms and most chemicals
- Unfiltered water tends to bypass the filter
- The spout is prone to leaking
- Hard to tell the amount of water left in the fill chamber
- A bit difficult to remove the fill chamber to clean the unit
The Brita Ultra Max is a sleek-looking water filter dispenser. The black upper chamber and spigot match well with the clear reservoir giving it an attractive look that would fit any modern kitchen. The model is also available in a gray version which equally looks nice.
It takes up minimal counter space due to its tall and narrow profile. It measures only 14-inches deep front to back, 5.1 inches wide and 9.1 inches high, hence it will fit in most fridges both regular-size standard depth and counter-depth models.
The unit is lightweight when empty (3.85 pounds) but gets quite heavy when it’s full and it only has two thin, flat handles at either end which are challenging to grab making it difficult to carry the dispenser when it’s filled with water.
The overall build quality seems good and durable. The main body is made of hard polycarbonate plastic that’s 100% BPA-free. It doesn’t shatter or crack easily.
However, there’s no o-ring around the filter seat to seal against. It’s a press-fit filter and there were several complaints that it doesn’t stay in place and tends to leave a gap if not fitted tightly, so water does go through, bypassing the filter entirely.
The spout is sturdy but many users mentioned that it tends to start leaking after a couple of months while others complained that it continues dripping after it’s turned off which ends up creating a mess in the fridge or the counter.
The filtration system of the Ultra Max is NSF/ANSI certified against standards 42 and 53. The unit utilizes Brita’s Longlast blue filter which is slightly different from its standard filters. It’s a combination of proprietary active filtering agents and a patented pleated media whereas the standard filter is made up of coconut-based activated carbon and ion exchange resin.
This special filter is quite durable and effective at removing a number of common water contaminants. It eliminates 99% of chlorine taste and odor, and 99% of lead as well as other heavy metals such as mercury, and cadmium. It’s able to remove benzene and asbestos too.
The filter is also able to remove trace amounts of fluoride from the water but only less than 5% which is not that significant at all. It doesn’t remove copper and zinc as well as microorganisms like bacteria and protozoa.
However, users did agree that all the chlorine taste and odor get eliminated – the filtered water always tastes fresh and clean, plus calcium, magnesium, and other healthy minerals don’t get removed during the process.
The reservoir of the Ultra Max can hold 1.13 gallons of filtered water. That translates to 18 cups of water when filled completely, so it has sufficient capacity to meet the daily water needs of most households or anyone that requires large amounts of filtered water.
Another advantage is that the capacity of the fill chamber is around 2/3 that of the filtered water reservoir, thereby, you won’t have to refill it frequently – it takes only two refills to bring the catch reservoir below it to full capacity.
The water filters through fairly fast compared to similar water filter dispensers, taking just about 5 to 10 minutes per refill. However, it does slow down after a couple of months with some users mentioning that it can take up to 30 to 40 minutes for the water to filter through.
The fill chamber is equipped with a flip-top lid that folds back to allow for easy refilling – you don’t have to remove the entire lid. It’s a bit challenging to refill it while it’s in the fridge though as it needs a lot of clearance (about 20 inches) between the shelves to provide room for the container you are pouring from.
The fill tank is opaque too, so you can’t see at a glance the amount of water left – you have to open it to look inside. Dispensing water is easy though due to the spigot and the water comes out at a decent rate – you can fill up a 40-ounce bottle in less than a minute.
Brita has as well incorporated a little drainage channel at the bottom, right behind the spout which enables the reservoir to drain completely, hence you get almost every drop of water out of the reservoir before refilling.
Set up and Maintenance
Setting up this unit is simple as it’s only the filter that you need to install and you don’t have to pre-soak it before you can start filtering water. Cleaning it is easy too but removing the upper reservoir in order to clean the interior is a bit difficult – it appears to get stuck often which also makes changing the filters cumbersome.
The good thing though is that you won’t have to change the filter frequently like other water filter dispensers. This one can last up to 6 months (or after filtering 120 gallons of water) which is longer than the 3-4 months lifespan of similar models. The downside is that it’s hard to know exactly when to change it since there’s no filter life indicator despite Brita claiming that it has.
Should you buy the Brita Ultra Max water filter dispenser?
If you use a lot of filtered water regularly or need a water filter dispenser with sufficient capacity for a medium-sized family, then it’s a nice option to consider. It’s a reliable system for filtering municipal water but not suitable for use on well water.
2. Brita Everyday Pitcher
- The BPA-free Everyday water pitcher with filter holds 10 cups of water, enough to fill 3 24-ounce reusable water bottles
- Get great-tasting water without the waste; by switching to Brita, you can save money and replace 1,800 single-use plastic water bottles a year
- This space efficient Brita pitcher fits perfectly on refrigerator shelves, features an easy-fill locking lid and is easy to pour; Height 10.47"; Width 5.59"; Length/Depth 10.94"; Weight 2.29 pounds
The Everyday pitcher is one of the top-performing water filter pitchers on the market which is reflected in its high number of positive ratings. Many users were happy and satisfied with its filtration results as well as the compact design. It does have several drawbacks as you’re going to see, but overall it’s a decent unit which is why it’s our pick for the best Brita water filter pitcher.
- Filters out almost all traces of chlorine (taste and odor)
- Clears out heavy metals too including lead and mercury
- Has a decent pitcher capacity ideal for small families
- Water filters through relatively fast
- Easy to set up and has a compact design
- Not recommended for use on well water
- A small upper reservoir that requires frequent refilling
- You have to hold the lid in place while pouring
- It’s hard to remove the top reservoir for cleaning
- The filter has a short lifespan
The Everyday pitcher is pretty basic and plain in terms of design featuring only a white top/ handle, and clear reservoir. However, it has a slim profile, measuring 5.4, 10.7 x 10.1 inches. It can easily fit between most refrigerator shelves.
The whole unit is not heavy both when empty ( weighs 2.29 pounds) and when filled with water. Carrying it around is a little tricky though. The handle is less comfortable and doesn’t remain stable in the hand – it has a concave shape that curves away from the fingers hence leaving just the index and pinky fingers to support the entire weight of the unit.
Durability also is an issue because the plastic material used to make the pitcher is sturdy but appears to be slightly thin – some users noted that it cracks overtime or breaks easily when dropped.
There were also reports that the filter doesn’t fit snugly within its slot which causes water to seep around its outer rim and flow down into the collection reservoir below hence contaminating the already filtered water.
Almost everyone was pleased with the results they got from using this Brita Everyday water filter pitcher. Unlike the Ultra Max, this one features Brita’s standard filter which is equally certified to NSF standards 42 and 53.
The filter utilizes three stages to clean water. The first stage involves a built-in mesh screen which helps trap black flecks as water flows through it.
The second stage features activated carbon granules which effectively remove almost all traces of chlorine taste and odor in the water. The third stage is an Ion Exchange Resin and this helps clear out most of the copper, zinc, and other heavy metals like cadmium and mercury. The filter does slightly reduce the amount of TDS too.
However, it has little to no effect on lead, benzene, asbestos, healthy minerals like magnesium and calcium as well as microorganisms such as bacteria and protozoa.
It’s generally a very efficient filter for cleaning municipal water that has high amounts of chlorine because most mentioned that the taste of water is significantly improved even when the chlorine content is very high.
The pitcher of the Brita Everyday can hold up to 92 ounces of filtered water which is around 10 to 11 cups capacity. That’s enough for an individual or a small family that doesn’t use a lot of filtered water daily.
The filtration process is relatively fast too. It takes less than 20 minutes to get the pitcher fully filled with filtered water – typical filtration times for many pitchers range from 20 to 30 minutes.
One disadvantage though is that the upper reservoir is small, so you have to refill it frequently for the main pitcher to be full. You also have to take the whole lid off before you can refill it – it’s not as convenient as the Ultra Max’s flip-top lid since it’s a two-handed job.
Pouring water out of the pitcher is a challenge as well because the lid doesn’t sit tight. You have to hold it down while pouring to prevent it from falling off so that water doesn’t spill all over the place. The pouring spout has no cover also hence dust, dirt, pollen, or a bug can easily get into your filtered water.
Setup and Maintenance
You’ll have no difficulty setting up this unit. You just need to first flush the filter with water, then install it and you’re good to go. The challenge comes when it’s time to clean the pitcher, especially the interior.
The upper reservoir gets stuck inside the main pitcher over time and pulling it out for cleaning requires a lot of effort which can cause the plastic to break or crack. There reports too of mold growing in the spout as well as the bottom of the pitcher.
Changing the filter is simple once you access it but you’ll have to do it often because it has a short lifespan of only 2 months or after processing 40 gallons of water. The instruction claims there’s a filter change indicator but it’s not there – there’s only a sticker system on the lid that gives you a general estimate of when to replace the filter based on the month you install it.
Should you buy the Brita Everyday water filter pitcher?
The Brita Everyday is a suitable option if you want a basic pitcher that’s effective at eliminating common water contaminants. It doesn’t have the most user-friendly design but it will do a great job with regards to cleaning municipal water with high chlorine content.
3. Brita 7540545 On Tap Faucet
- This complete Brita faucet water filter attaches to your standard faucet making tap water cleaner and great-tasting; filtration system is easy to install; no tools required
- Get great-tasting water without the waste; by switching to Brita, you can save money and replace 1800 single-use water bottles per year
- The space efficient design attaches directly to your faucet to give you a choice of 3 convenient spray options for everyday needs – filtered water, unfiltered water and unfiltered spray; Available in white and includes an electronic filter indicator for easy replacement reminders; Height 4.86"; Width 4.69"; Depth 2.26"; Weight .84 pounds
We picked the Brita 7540545 as the best faucet water filter mainly because it is budget-friendly yet still offers great filtering performance. It removes more contaminants compared to the other water filter systems above and it’s easy to install which is something many appreciated.
- Clears out 99% of chlorine and other common chemicals
- The filter has a decent lifespan – can last up to 4 months
- Helpful status indicator to alert you when to replace the filter
- Offers three spray options
- Simple to set up and to replace the filter
- Not ideal for cleaning well water or water that’s high on heavy metals
- The plastic connector tends to loosen and break easily
- Filtered water flow rate slows down over time
- There are lots of reports that the filter life indicator stops working
The all-white finish on this Brita 7540545 might not match better with other existing appliances like chrome-finished faucets, nonetheless, it does give it a sleek, clean look. The entire unit is compact and takes up less space under the faucet hence it won’t get in the way when washing dishes.
The filter casing is sturdy but the plastic connectors that attach the unit to the faucet seem to be a bit flimsy. There were many complaints that it comes loose after a few months of use or starts to slowly split on the sides thereby causing water to leak out.
The Brita 7540545 comes with a slightly stronger filtration system than the other units above. It has the same NSF/ANSI standard 42 and 53 certifications but removes more contaminants than the others. The filter is made up of two media, a tightly-bound carbon block, and a nonwoven material.
The nonwoven material serves as a sediment pre-filter and helps to trap particles like dust, dirt, rust, and other smaller sediments. The carbon block media, on the other hand, is able to clear out 99% of chlorine (taste and odor), lead, and asbestos.
It equally gets rid of chemicals like benzene, atrazine, lindane, trichloroethylene, Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), VOCs, and microbial cysts like giardia. The majority of users mentioned that the water that comes out of the unit always tastes clean and fresh.
However, the filter doesn’t remove chloramine or total dissolved solids. It also doesn’t touch some heavy metals (like mercury, cadmium, copper, and zinc) and neither does it remove bacteria and germs. Therefore, you can only use it on treated municipal water but not well water.
The filtration capacity of this Brita model is 100 gallons which is similar to that of most other faucet filters, so you will have to replace it approximately every 4 months. The flow rate out of the unit is relatively fast as it uses the tap pressure to force water through the filtration media.
It does eventually slow down though and some even mentioned that the holes under the spout seem to enlarge over time which ends up causing the water to spray in different directions.
One feature that users did like much, however, is the three different spray options- filtered water spray (pressure setting), unfiltered water spray (pressured setting), and normal/ regular water (unfiltered). The convenience of having these three options in one unit is great because you get to choose the ideal settings based on your needs.
For instance, water flow is faster and much powerful in the unfiltered water spray setting than in the normal and filtered water spray settings making it a convenient option for washing dishes.
Moreover, the back-and-forth slider to change from one setting to another is easier to use compared to the rotating switch in Brita’s old models. It’s easier to reach and doesn’t put much pressure on the entire system – the rotating switch was always hard to rotate since it was under the faucet.
Setup and Maintenance
Many users found setting up the Brita 7540545 to be pretty simple. You just remove the aerator on the faucet and then attach the filter directly to it. The unit is compatible with almost all standard faucets except the spray style or pull-out faucets.
Replacing the filter is easy too – there’s a release button that you press and pull the filter cartridge up to remove it. Brita has equally equipped the unit with a filter life indicator that conveniently alerts you when it’s time to replace the filter. However, it appears not to be that durable as there are plenty of complaints that it stops working after two or three filter changes.
Should you buy the Brita 7540545 faucet water filter?
If you want a budget-friendly faucet filter, particularly for removing the smell and taste of chlorine, and other chemicals, then this is a nice choice. It offers a reliable filtering performance and it’s easy to install.