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The purification of our drinking water is more important today than ever before. With the rising pollution and use of chemicals in every aspect of our lives, ranging from healthcare to agriculture, one has no idea what might make its way into our water supplies. While the government does its best to give us access to clean water, the chemicals added during its purification may also end up spoiling its taste. Water purifiers play an important role here, by removing both, harmful contaminants and the chemicals which spoil the taste of drinking water. Two of the most reputed purifier brands are PUR and Brita. Though both brands provide pitcher and faucet filters, Brita has been dominating the pitcher filter market for quite sometime, while PUR is more popular for its faucet filters. Let us compare PUR and Brita to understand which is better.


Both, PUR and Brita have a wide range of models, which are either pitcher or faucet varieties. Regarding pitcher filters, PUR has models which can hold either 7, 11, or 18 cups of water, called its 'Classic', 'Ultimate,' and 'Dispenser' models, respectively. Brita pitchers come in three varieties - 'Dispensers', which can hold up to 18 cups of water, 'Large', which can hold 8 - 10 cups, and 'Small', which can hold 5 - 6 cups of water. PUR faucet purifiers come in two main varieties - 'Basic' and 'Advanced', depending on the efficiency of purification. Brita faucet purifiers can be either 'Basic' or 'Complete' models, depending on the finishing and price options.

Purification Process

The way these purifiers work is slightly different. While Brita water filters use a two-stage process, PUR uses either a two or three filter process. In Brita, water is first cleaned of its sediments by passing it through a filter, followed by passing the water over a block of activated carbon, which traps halogens (like chlorine) and lead, leading to a better taste and odor removal. The purifying action of PUR filters is roughly similar, except that it involves an additional third step, in which water is passed over selected minerals.

Contaminants Removed

PUR devices have a clear advantage over Brita regarding the percentage of contaminants that they remove. PUR filters claim that they remove three times the contaminants that Brita devices can. While the two are equally good at removing chlorine and heavy metals, when it comes to chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and pollutants, PUR filters have an edge. While both are roughly equal at contaminant removal, the difference lies in the details. While PUR filters can keep out 96 - 97% of chlorine, and 97 - 99% of lead, for Brita filters, these stats come out to be 91 - 94% and 94 - 95%, respectively. More importantly, PUR can remove microbiological pathogens like the cysts of Giardia and Cryptosporidium (responsible for infections), which Brita cannot.


Where the taste of the purified water is concerned, many reviews have given PUR filters an edge over Brita. This is because, PUR filters have a stage in their purification process where water is passed over filters containing trace minerals. This imparts a pleasant taste to the purified water, which makes it palatable. In fact, during tests, blindfolded candidates have rated water purified by PUR filters higher than that of Brita filters. Several PUR models also allow users to add a dash of fruity flavors like lemon, grape, and peach to the purified water, which is a definite advantage over Brita filters.


Since PUR filters work by a more complex process, they take much longer than Brita filters to do their job, whether one considers pitcher of faucet purifiers. On an average, PUR water filters take between 12 to 15 minutes for purification, which may be a problem if one is in a hurry. Brita purifiers are much faster in this aspect.


In terms of the purification capacity of one filter cartridge, there is little difference between both, as they need filter replacements after 40 gallons have been purified. The capacity of faucet filters is also the same in both; though in this case, one cartridge purifies 100 gallons of water. However, the longer purification time taken by PUR devices puts more strain on its filters, which are susceptible to frequent damage. This makes replacement more frequent as far as PUR filters are concerned.


Since PUR filters do a much better job of removing contaminants, one might expect them to be heavy on the wallet. However, there is hardly any difference between the prices of both filters, especially the pitcher variety. While PUR pitcher filters cost between $22 - 45, Brita pitchers cost around $20 - 47. But, true to their reputation, PUR faucet purifiers are costlier, at $30 - 48, as compared to the $18 - 30 cost of Brita purifiers. Also, keep in mind that, while the cost of replacement cartridges of PUR and Brita is the same ($20 for 100 gallons), PUR filters reportedly need more cartridge replacements, which can drive up the costs in the long run.

Pros and Cons

PUR Filters

It removes microbial cysts, which Brita cannot.
Its three-stage process ensures a high efficiency of contaminant removal.
It has an attractive design, which has been received well by users.
PUR faucet filters are designed for easy attachment.
The company has been appreciated for its timely customer service.
It delivers a good performance at a reasonable price.
The flavor of the purified water is better, owing to the addition of trace minerals.
All PUR models come with LED indicators, which indicate a damaged filter that needs replacement.

PUR faucet filters are quite expensive.
These filters require frequent cartridge replacements, which drives up maintenance costs.
Its complex purification process takes a long time to deliver purified water.

Brita Filters

It has a short, two-stage process, which makes operation faster.
Pitcher filters occupy less space, and can be placed at corners, or even on refrigerators.
Its filter cartridges last longer, making replacements less frequent.
Brita faucet filters are cheaper than that of PUR.

It is slightly less efficient at removing contaminants.
Users have reported leakage problems with faucet purifiers.
It is not suitable for water with microbial contaminants, as it can't remove pathogenic cysts that might cause infections.

By now, the choice between PUR and Brita may seem obvious. Since PUR is better at its purifying task, and is not particularly expensive, it is the recommended brand among the two, especially since it can keep bacterial cysts away. Despite this, both PUR and Brita have built up a formidable market reputation, and going with either one surely won't leave you disappointed.