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I Paid a Little More for This Brita Water Filter Pitcher, and It Was Worth It

The Brita Elite water filter removes more contaminants and lasts longer than the competition.
Mark Wolfe Avatar
Brita 10-cup Tahoe Water Filter Pitcher Review
Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila

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Clean drinking water is essential for life, but sometimes tap water needs a little help. Whether it’s because of a weird taste, or due to concern about contaminants, many of us turn to alternative sources, such as bottled water or home water filtration systems. But single-use water bottles contribute to plastic pollution, and a whole-house water filtration system may be cost prohibitive or simply not the right choice in some circumstances. In many cases, a water filter pitcher is the simplest, best, and most affordable solution.

The best water filter pitchers, like those sold by Pur, ZeroWater, and Brita, offer the same water-quality benefits as an in-line water filter. The replaceable filters in NSF-certified pitchers remove heavy metals, organic pollutants, and chemical contaminants, and the filtered water is just as clean as factory-bottled water, and it may smell and taste better too. It also improves the flavor of coffee, tea, and food when used in cooking, and can even increase the lifespan of appliances by minimizing limescale buildup.

I shopped around and compared specs on the Pur 11-cup water filter pitcher, the ZeroWater 10-cup water filter pitcher, and the Brita 10-cup water filter pitcher. Even at a slightly higher price, it seemed that Brita had the best water filter pitcher for me. The size was a good fit for my family (and fridge), and the 120-gallon/6-month working life of the Brita Elite filter was much longer than the competition. In the review ahead, I’ll detail the specs on this water filter pitcher, how it measures up to the competitors, and my observations after using it for about 2 years.

Brita Tahoe Water Pitcher With Elite Filter: At a Glance

Brita Elite Water Filter on counter next to pitcher
Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila

Rating: 9.2/10

PROS

  • Large BPA-free pitcher with 10-cup capacity fills three 24-ounce reusable water bottles per fill-up
  • Brita Elite filter removes 99 percent of lead, cadmium, mercury, benzene, asbestos, and other water contaminants
  • Eliminates the taste and odor of chlorine from tap water
  • Brita Elite filter only needs replacement twice a year; SmartLight Indicator tells users when filter needs changing

CONS

  • Costs a little more than the top competitors
  • Takes up fridge or countertop space that under-sink and faucet filters do not
  • Manual refills

Get the Brita Tahoe Water Pitcher With Elite Filter at:

What is the Tahoe Water Pitcher With Elite Filter?

The Brita Tahoe is a convenient way to filter tap water without installing an expensive in-line or whole-house filtration system. The BPA-free pitcher holds up to 10 cups/80 ounces of water at a time, which is enough to fill three 24-ounce refillable water bottles, with some left over. Simply top off the reservoir directly from the tap, and gravity pulls it through the proprietary Brita Elite filter. This simple system removes lead, mercury, cadmium, Class I particulates, and the taste and smell of chlorine. It is independently certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) for effectiveness up to 6 months or 120 gallons of water.

Although it works well for most users, certain limitations apply. Brita Elite filters are designed for use with tap water that is already safe to drink. They are not designed to remove bacteria, viruses, or cysts such as giardia or cryptosporidium, such as may be found during a “boil water advisory.” Also, those with rusty water due to excessive iron content may find that the Brita Elite filter does not solve the problem. Finally, anyone dealing with polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals,” cannot rely on a Brita filter to remove those. However, the new Purefast water filter cartridge from Cyclopure fits Brita pitchers and does remove PFAS.

My household water supply comes from the municipal water system. Our primary complaints about the tap water are the strong smell and taste of chlorine, as well as limescale buildup. The Brita 10-cup water filter pitcher with the Elite filter eliminated both of those problems, plus our coffee and tea taste better. We have been using it for years, and will continue to do so.

Close up of Brita Water Filter Pitcher handle
Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila

Is the Brita large water filter pitcher easy to use?

This water filter pitcher is super easy and intuitive to use. Insert the filter into the base of the reservoir, fill the reservoir with water, and wait 2 or 3 minutes for it to flow into the lower chamber. That’s it. Elite filters last much longer than other pitcher filters, up to 6 months or 120 gallons of water. An indicator light on top of the pitcher tells you when it’s time to replace the filter. Unlike other pitcher filters, the Brita Elite filter does not require a 20-minute presoak in clean water—it’s ready right out of the package. When an Elite filter is used up, it can be recycled for free through Terracycle.

What is the difference between Brita standard and Elite filters?

I used the standard Brita filter for more than 10 years before testing the Elite filter. The standard filter did a great job filtering out chlorine taste and smell, and it reduced limescale buildup, but it only lasted 2 months or 40 gallons. The Elite filter lasts three times longer. Also, the standard filter required a presoak, but the Elite does not. There are also differences in the types of contaminants that these two filters remove. The standard filter removes chlorine, mercury, cadmium, copper, and zinc. The Brita Elite filter removes chlorine, lead, mercury, cadmium, benzene, asbestos, and Class I particulates (0.5 to 1.0 micron in size).

Close up the elite water filter inside Brita Tahoe pitcher
Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila

Does the Brita Elite filter fit all Brita pitchers?

The Brita Elite filter was designed to be interchangeable with the standard Brita filter. For this reason, users of standard filters need not purchase a whole new pitcher; they can simply switch over to the Elite filter for the upgraded ability. The Elite filter does not fit Brita Stream models, however; they require the Brita Stream filter.

Brita Tahoe Water Filter Pitcher filled with water next to blue cup
Photo: Debbie Wolfe for Bob Vila

Is the Brita large water filter pitcher right for you?

The Brita Tahoe is a fast, easy, and budget-friendly solution that significantly improves the drinkability of tap water. The pitcher is right-sized for a family, and conveniently fits in the fridge. The no-soak filter works quickly and lasts up to 6 months, filtering 120 gallons of water. And the water I have filtered with this pitcher tastes at least as good as bottled water.

The large filtration capacity of this system also helps eliminate plastic waste when it’s used to refill reusable water bottles as an alternative to buying single-use bottled water. It’s incredibly cost-effective, too. Compare the filter replacement cost of less than $20 per filter to the $320 you would spend on cases of bottled water (640 bottles of water, each 24 ounces, at $0.50 per bottle), and it’s an easy choice.

For all its convenience and affordability, the Brita filter pitcher may not be ideal for everyone. It does take up countertop and/or refrigerator space, unlike an in-line water filter, and it won’t address water-quality issues in the bathroom or laundry room. For those areas, only a whole-house water filtration system will do. But for a quick and easy upgrade to the most essential water—drinking water—it is one of the best options around.

Where to Buy the Brita Tahoe Water Pitcher With Elite Filter

Get the Brita Tahoe Water Pitcher With Elite Filter at:

Meet the Tester

Mark Wolfe is a writer and product tester with an extensive background in the nursery and landscaping industry. For more than 20 years he mowed, edged, planted, pruned, cultivated, irrigated, and renovated beautiful landscapes. Now he tests and writes reviews about the latest outdoor power equipment, hand tools, lawn-care products, and other outdoor-living goods.

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Mark Wolfe

Staff Writer

Mark Wolfe is a second-career freelance writer based in Georgia and has an extensive background in the horticulture industry. Since 2020, he has contributed numerous gardening and home improvement articles to BobVila.com, along with a variety of consumer product reviews.

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