When it comes to water filters, PUR and Brita are two juggernauts you see everywhere. Both brands manufacture similar water filter pitchers, but there are noticeable differences between the two.

PUR vs Brita

In a head-to-head comparison, Brita produced better-tasting water. However, PUR is certified to remove twice as many contaminants. That said, Brita filters are cheaper and easier to find. Which one should you buy, though? Let’s have a look at Brita vs. PUR differences and similarities.

Pur VS Brita Pitcher

PUR Ultimate 7-Cup Water Filter Pitcher

pur-pitcher
PUR Ultimate
  • PUR’s Lead Reduction filter removes up to 99% of lead, mercury, pharmaceuticals, and other waterborne contaminants
  • Its covered pour sprout design prevents impurities from getting into the clean water
  • Its unique Filter Fit mounting system ensures a secure filter fit and guarantees unfiltered water won’t mix with your purified water

Brita Stream Rapids 10-Cup Water Filter Pitcher

brita-pitcher
Brita Stream
  • The proprietary Stream filter removes chlorine, class IV particulates and trichlorobenzene as you pour water in the glass
  • It is specifically designed for comfortable handling and fits most refrigerator doors
  • The controlled pour sprout makes it easy to refill reusable water bottles with odorless and better-tasting water

PUR vs. Brita Comparison Chart

 Brita Stream Rapids OB55PUR Ultimate PPT711W
TDS350 ppm450 ppm
Tank capacity10 cups7 cups
Filter speed/cup40 seconds230 seconds
Taste test81%77%
Filter lifespan40 gallons30 gallons
Price$$$

Design

Brita Stream Rapids and PUR Ultimate are similar in that they are both water filter pitchers. Their similarities end here, however.

Brita revolutionized its standard water filter pitcher design with a filter-as-you-pour system that enhances the filtration speed. On the bright side, this system makes it easy to refill the pitcher and pour clean water into your glass at any time. However, it also means that you’ll have to deal with a slower flow rate.

It takes around 40 seconds for the Brita Stream Rapids to filter a cup of water (8oz glass), so if you don’t want to wait, a filter pitcher with a reservoir, such as PUR, might be a better choice.

Talking about PUR, the brand stayed true to the standard water filter pitcher design. Because of the reservoir, PUR Ultimate has a lower capacity than Brita – 7 cups PUR vs. 10 cups Brita. PUR also has a slower filtration rate, needing almost four minutes to filter a cup of water. The painfully slow process may put you off if you usually forget to refill the pitcher every evening or even more frequently if you have a big family.

Both PUR and Brita feature a filter clean sensor monitor designed to warn you when it’s time to change the filters.

Check our Zero Water vs Brita water pitcher Comparisons

Both pitchers have a space-saving design that fits even on the most cramped kitchen counter or fridge from an aesthetic point of view. A slight difference in the handle makes PUR a tad more ergonomic, but overall, you’ll be able to handle both pitchers comfortably.

PUR vs. Brita: Features

How Do Brita & PUR Filters Clean Water?

Brita Stream Rapids and PUR Ultimate clean water in a similar way, but PUR removes more contaminants.

The main difference is the ion exchange technology PUR uses to trap some chemicals and deal with common hard water issues. Let’s have an in-depth look at it.

Range of Contaminants Removed

Brita Stream Rapids is a water filter pitcher designed majorly to improve the taste of municipal water. Its activated carbon filter reduces the taste and odor of chlorine, making your tap water more palatable.

At the same time, a mechanical filter traps most impurities, so your water will not only be tastier but also cleaner. However, this water filter pitcher will not remove chemicals or heavy metals, such as lead.

PUR Ultimate also uses an activated carbon filter and mechanical filtration to improve the taste of water and trap impurities. What makes it different, though, is the proprietary PUR lead filter with ion exchange technology. This technology was developed to deal with water hardness issues, but it also helps reduce certain pesticides and heavy metals.

PUR is one of the few water filter pitchers certified to NSF standards for the reduction of lead. Moreover, an advanced plated paper also traps particulates and microbial cysts.

Contaminants removed at a glance:

Brita Stream Rapids OB55PUR Ultimate PPT711W
Chlorine taste and odorParticulate and microbial cystsChlorine taste and odorCertain pesticides Lead and other heavy metalsParticulate and microbial cysts

Minerals

One of the main concerns you might have when buying a water filter is the number of healthy minerals and nutrients it might remove from your drinking water.

Minerals

Under-the-sink and whole-house water filtration systems are mostly known for removing beneficial minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and sodium. Some systems add those minerals back into the water after cleaning it, but you can’t expect a water filter pitcher to do that.

Luckily, there is nothing to worry about. Neither Brita nor PUR water pitchers reduce calcium or other healthy nutrients in the water.

PUR Water Pitcher vs. Brita Filtration Speed

While Brita might not filter as many contaminants as PUR, its most significant advantage is the filtration speed. With its filter-as-you-pour design, Brita Stream Rapids can sift a cup of water in seconds. In a head-to-head comparison test, PUR Ultimate filtered the same quantity in almost four minutes.

Brita’s faster filtration rate earns it a few points compared to PUR. Even if the latter removes more contaminants, Brita Stream Rapids conquers more hearts.

Our Test Reports

Overall, both Brita Stream Rapids and PUR Ultimate performed brilliantly. Both water filter pitchers are worth your attention, and it ultimately comes down to your needs.

Although the two water filter pitchers use different cartridges, they both perform well, and you can expect no clogging. The filters are a cinch to change on both models, and the filter change sensor monitor on both products makes it easy to leave the guesswork out of the game.

Our test reports showed satisfactory results in terms of chlorine odor and taste removal for both pitchers. The water filtered with PUR tasted only slightly better than the one filtered with Brita. With minimal taste difference but a huge difference regarding the filtration speed, we prefer Brita.

Dispensers

In some cases, you might want a water filter dispenser rather than a pitcher. That might be the case if you have kids who are not yet able to pour water from a pitcher or if you or someone in your household has arthritis or other hand or arm mobility issues.

Unfortunately, only one of the brands offers both pitchers and dispensers for the discussed model – PUR. Whether you want a dispenser for practical reasons or just because you like it more than a pitcher, PUR Ultimate is available as a dispenser, too.

You can still expect the same filtration and lead reduction technology. The filtration speed is still slow, but the dispenser has a capacity of 18 cups and a 12-cup reservoir, more than twice as much as the pitcher.

The larger capacity also makes the dispenser a more sensible choice if you like PUR Ultimate, but the pitcher is too small for your family.

Cartridges

One of the main differences between the Brita Stream Rapids and PUR Ultimate is the type of cartridge – and filter – each pitcher uses.

PUR Ultimate has a dual-action filter placed in a single cartridge. The cartridge is effortless to change, while the filter has a lifespan of approximately 30 gallons. Due to the filter’s standard construction, this water pitcher has a slower filtration rate. If you forget to refill the reservoir with tap water on time, you’ll have to wait before you can enjoy a glass of clean water.

Brita Stream Rapids owes its name to the innovative, filter-as-you-pour filter. Like PUR Ultimate, Brita Stream Rapids has a single cartridge that is a cinch to replace. The filter lifespan is slightly longer than PUR’s, requiring a change every 40 gallons.

Perhaps the major downside of Brita’s design is the cartridge position right under the spout. While this placement is essential for the filter-as-you-pour purpose, filtering the water after its level has dropped under the filter height is tricky.

However, you can refill the pitcher and pour clean water into your glass in a matter of seconds. Brita’s filter-as-you-pour cartridges are sometimes harder to find but are cheaper than PUR’s.

Size

If you have limited fridge space and want to base your choice on size, know that PUR Ultimate and Brita Stream Rapids are similar in size.

PUR measures 9.6 X 4.4 X 9.8 inches. At 9.4 X 4.6 X 9.9 inches, Brita is only slightly smaller in length, but it’s taller and wider. Considering Brita’s no-reservoir design, the Stream Rapids has a larger capacity despite the compact size. Both water filter pitchers fit seamlessly on a fridge door shelf.

Cost

While PUR might filter out more contaminants, Brita beats it in terms of costs. The Stream Rapids water filter pitcher features the newest filter-as-you-pour technology, yet it still comes cheaper than PUR. Not only is Brita more affordable upfront, but the replacement cartridges are also cheaper.

If your main goal is improving the taste of tap water, Brita could be a better choice.

User Reviews & Complaints

PUR and Brita are the most popular water filtration systems, and users are vocal about each system’s flaws and advantages.

PUR Ultimate enjoys an overall positive consensus, with the main complaints regarding the slow filtration rate.

User Reviews & Complaints

For instance, in one PUR water filter review, the user complained that filtering a glass of water takes forever. Our test results align with this complaint – waiting for around four minutes for only one glass of water is indeed frustrating.

Another negative is that the filtration speed slows down as you’re using the pitcher. In other words, the more water you filter, the slower the rate. Some customers from areas with hard water claimed they had to change the cartridge after only a few days.

Brita Stream Rapids also enjoys an overall positive consensus. The main complaint regards the design, more precisely, the position of the filter inside the pitcher. As we already mentioned, this water filter pitcher has the cartridge placed directly under the pouring spout on the inside of the pitcher. This placement makes it possible to filter as you pour.

However, this placement makes it awkward to pour water when the pitcher isn’t filled to the brim. Furthermore, you have to constantly refill the pitcher to prevent the filter from drying out. We didn’t find it too much of a nuisance, but acknowledge some users might have a problem with this fact.

Our Overall Test Report

Brita Stream Rapids and PUR Ultimate are two similar-looking but intrinsically different water filter pitchers.

PUR Ultimate does an excellent job of removing tap water contaminants. The water filtered with this pitcher is much more palatable and has no detectable odor. Not only can you filter city water with it, but this pitcher is also suitable for households using well water that may contain pesky chemicals or heavy metals.

TDS Test Report FOR Brita Stream Rapids and PUR Ultimate
TDS meter (total dissolved solids)

However, the pitcher’s filtration speed is painfully slow. If your water contains more contaminants than the average municipal water, you may also expect it to clog fast. You may even have to change the cartridges after few days or weeks rather than the advertised 30 gallons in some instances.

Recommend Reading: Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher Review

Brita Stream Rapids doesn’t remove as many contaminants as PUR, but it still does an excellent job making tap water more palatable. If the chlorine level is too high, the water might still have a faint taste and odor after you’ve filtered it, but this is rare.

Thanks to the proprietary filter-as-you-pour technology, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to fill the pitcher beforehand – you’ll have clean water on demand whenever you need it. And the filter doesn’t clog quickly either, delivering the promised lifespan. Despite the slight design flaws, Brita Stream Rapids scored high in all other aspects.

Brita or PUR: Which Should You Buy?

Now that we’ve discussed the advantages and flaws of these two water filter pitchers, the question still stands. Which is better, PUR or Brita?

It depends on your circumstances. Do you use city or well water? Are you concerned about harmful contaminants, such as lead or chemicals, or do you only want to get rid of chlorine smell and taste?

PUR Ultimate is the best choice if you worry about lead or other heavy metals in water. If you use well water that may contain microbial cysts and chemicals, PUR Ultimate will help you get rid of those, too.

However, if you only want to improve the taste of your tap water, Brita will save you hassle and money while delivering excellent results. So, while PUR might be the best choice in a few cases, Brita Stream Rapids is the best choice for most households.

References

  1. https://www.pur.com/pur/pur-ultimate-pitcher-filtration-system-with-lead-reduction-11-cups
  2. https://www.brita.com/products/rapids-stream-water-pitcher/
  3. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180517113815.htm
  4. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318449982_Effectiveness_of_table_top_water_pitcher_filters_to_remove_arsenic_from_drinking_water

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