We all know that reducing our plastic consumption is a sensible thing to do, but what if you live in a hard water area of the UK, you have lead pipes, or you simply aren't keen on the flavour of your tap water? You guessed it, you ditch the bottles and buy a water filter jug! As well as sifting out unwanted chemicals and metals, they'll remove the chalkiness of hard water, resulting in less limescale in your kettle.
To ensure you pick the best filter jug for all your hydration needs, our buying guide this time round will cover factors like capacity and what to look for in replacement cartridges. Our top 10 ranking should also help you find your pairing – available from the likes of Amazon, eBay, John Lewis and Argos, we've included BPA-free jugs both portable and extra large, as well as options with water technology and universal filters. Drink up!
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Even if you're only after a basic design to do justice to your daily brew, there are a few more things to consider than you first may think when shopping for your filter jug. Capacity, filter type, and filter lifespan are just a few of them, so read on for the specifics!
The capacity of filter jugs is measured in litres, but be aware when comparing models that the jug size listed doesn't equate to how much filtered water it holds. There's no set rule, as it'll depend on the design and shape of each, but as an example, a 2.4 litre jug may only hold 1.4 litres of filtered water – an entire litre less.
In conclusion, we'd recommend matching the filtered water capacity to your estimated daily usage, rather than the size of the jug. In regards to figures, smaller or single households (or those looking for a more portable option), can go for 1 to 2 litres, whereas larger households or those who drink a lot should opt for 2.5 litres or above.
There's another thing to consider other than how much you drink, though: larger jugs may not fit in every fridge door. If you prefer room temperature water, this won't apply, but if not, you'll have to transfer the filtered water to another container, which can get pretty old if you're having to do it several times a day. For this reason, it's important to note the dimensions to be sure.
Depending on your preferences, your pipes, and where you live, you'll want to ensure the jug you go for has the capability to filter out everything you need it to. Below, we'll get into the main varieties of filter and what they can do for your drinking water.
Most jugs use coconut shell-based activated carbon filters, which will absorb and remove metals like mercury, copper, and lead, as well as chemicals such as chlorine and pesticides. This will be sufficient for households wanting purer water for taste or health reasons, but they are not adept at removing limescale, a.k.a the culprit responsible for chalky, hard water.
Therefore, if you do live in a hard water area such as London, you're best looking for those which also feature ion exchange resin or pearls in their filters. These will ensure the removal of calcium and magnesium ions, and therefore, make for cleaner-tasting drinks (and less limescale build-up in your kettle and iron, hooray!).
Those who'd like to remove every possible concerning chemical or component from their tap water, and those living a low-alkaline lifestyle, can go for more advanced and pH-balancing water jug systems. They'll still use carbon and ion exchange to filter the basics but will often use other materials such as mesh to not only remove any potentially harmful particles but to ensure the 'good' minerals stay put.
These advanced systems can also remove or reduce fluoride, which is added to toothpaste, and to some water supplies in areas of the UK because it can help to prevent tooth decay. Although there has been no solid evidence to support the claims that too much fluoride is harmful to children, if you would like to avoid it, this could be a better choice.
This is an important one – before you buy, check the compatibility of your chosen jug's filters. These days, most companies have cottoned on to the fact they'll appeal to a wider range of consumers if they make their filters interchangeable with almost any brand's filter jug, but this doesn't always apply.
Quite simply, choosing a jug with universal filters will mean you'll always be able to hunt down the best deals online once your supply runs out; or that'll you'll be able to head to your nearest homeware shop or department store to find a suitable replacement in a pinch.
However, if you have specific requirements, such as fluoride removal, you'll have to stick to the filters your jug comes with, or hunt down their equivalents rather than buying any old replacement.
The typical lifespan of one filter is 30 days, although some of the more technical filters do exceed this – something to seek out if your usage is high or you just like the idea of not having to replace it so often. You'll usually have to pay more for these, but, then again, they can end up being more economical in the long run.
Alternatively, some jugs list the longevity in litres, which can be a better indicator for households that find they exceed the average monthly usage.
Another feature to look out for is an indicator which lets you know when it's time to change the filter – useful if, like most of us, trying to recall everything you did in the last few weeks doesn't come easily! Most jugs have a panel atop the lid displaying increments of 25%, but nowadays you'll also find those with app connectivity that alert you via your phone.
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Style Water Jug
The Latest Filter Tech in a Stylish, Affordable Package
Marella Water Filter Jug
Top Pick for a Good-Looking, Practical 2-Person Jug
pH Restore Alkaline Water Jug
A pH Balancing Jug for Low Alkaline and Fluoride Lifestyles
Liscia Filter Jug
Low Cost Filtered Water Always
Nano Water Filter Pitcher
The Jug That Filters Absolutely Everything
2.3L Water Filter Jug
Basic Design and Price With the Ability to Switch Filters
V2 Water Filter
An Eco-Friendly Jug That Uses Filter Refills
Elfin Fridge Water Filter Jug
The Perfect Space Saving Jug for One
An XL Jug for Thirsty Households
10 Cup Water Filter Pitcher
Sustainable, Elegant and Roomy
Our number one spot goes to the latest and greatest from Brita, their 'Style' jug. As you can guess, it gets its namesake from the fact it's probably their best-looking model yet! As well as a few colour choices, there are two size options, too: the XL of 2.3 litres, or the regular 1.4 litre for less thirsty homes.
The MAXTRA+ filters it uses will gradually replace all forthcoming models, so it's probably a good time to get in on the action. Using their smartest tech yet, they utilise both ion exchange and micro carbon pearls suitable for soft, hard, or any water you want to transform into your tastiest drink yet!
You may be wondering what the difference between all the Brita jugs are, or why some are better than others, and in the case of this 'Marella', a lot of it comes down to the design, and the lid – for example, the fact you can pop it open with your thumb whilst you refill, and tuck it in any fridge afterwards.
And of course, it still features the usual top-of-the-range Brita filtration technology (both carbon and ion exchange pearls), alongside a very comfortable, ergonomic handle, a reasonable capacity for a 2 person household, and good looks. Oh, and the price is right, too!
As well as filtering out unwanted compounds and chemicals, and removing odour, this clever system increases the pH of your water and uses remineralization to add minerals like calcium back in. It does so using coconut shell carbon, ion exchange and impressive-sounding zeolite, ceramic balls, and micro nets.
Since it does employ a specialist process you won't be able to throw in any old filter, but if you do end up buying some of the brand's other styles (such as their smaller jug or tabletop tank), you can use them interchangeably. And with its massive 360 litre filter lifespan, you can be as forgetful as you like!
For under £10, we think this is an excellent value jug, especially as it comes with the unique Evolve+ filter cartridge that lasts up to 30 days! The filter itself is not only 100% recyclable, it also features a patented 5-step filtration technology (try saying that one 5 times!) to reduce chlorine, limescale, heavy metals, and more.
On top of all this, this 'Lacia' model jug has a super-easy pour-through lid so you can refill without the faff, and there's also a linkable app to let you know when it's time to replace the long-life filter with a fresh one.
Boasting four times the lifespan of its competitors, the 5-stage triple capacity filters in Epic Waters' jug remove 99.9% of all tap water contaminants, including fluoride, lead, and basically everything even remotely risky. And as a bonus, it actually keeps trace minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium in the water for a healthier lifestyle.
Although the filters aren't interchangeable with any other brand, if it's total reassurance and not a speck of a contaminant you're after, you'll probably want to stick with these ones anyway! The capacity is quite generous too, even though it still fits in most fridge doors.
Amazon's own-brand products are simple: they're cheap, they're basic, (hence the name), and they do the job. Actually, this filter jug is also dishwasher-safe and has a much more comfortable handle than most, so perhaps it's better than basic!
Whilst the included branded filters do not feature ion exchange, if you do live in a hard water area you'll be pleased to know this model is also compatible with Brita's MAXTRA range. Best for 2-person households or similar, it's a good first filter jug to try out.
If you're on a plastic-free mission but feeling frustrated that you're regularly throwing away used filters, Phox's jug could be the answer. They've done away with disposable cartridges by inventing the first refillable filter system, which only needs replacing with the provided sachets every 45 days!
The 'Clean' filter version removes chlorine odours and heavy metals and softens up hard water, but there's also an 'Alkaline' pack if you'd like pH balanced water with added electrolytes. The jug itself is made from glass and BPA-free plastic, and features alerts via their app when the filter carbon needs changing.
White, grey, or blue tones a little boring for you? On the opposite end of the spectrum to our previous entry, the bright and cheery 'Elfin' by Waterdrop definitely will slot neatly in your fridge door. There are also several other colours to choose from, including green and yellow.
Looks aside, the NSF-certified cartridge ensures your drinking water is safe, and the ergonomic handle makes for easy handling! Owing to the compact design, as well as the limited capacity, we'd say it's better for personal use or small occasions like camping trips.
Our first of several Brita products, and for good reason, the Elemaris XL will provide 2.4 litres when filtered. As well as being ideal for multi-person households, it could also lend a hand for single persons trying to meet the recommended 2 litres of water per day.
Compatible with both the older MAXTRA filters and the newer, improved MAXTRA+, it reduces limescale as well as filtering chlorine and other impurities. Its triumph becomes its setback, though: unless you have a large fridge or room to spare on an inner shelf, it probably won't fit very well.
With its sustainable, natural oak handle and contemporary looks, this is a jug you can proudly bring to the table at a dinner party. Its 180 litre lifespan filter is made from coconut shell carbon with a plant-based casing – which, although eco-friendly, won't do much for hard water or limescale.
A few reviewers have commented on its rather clunky size and shape, but you could go for the 6 cup model if this 10 cup version is just too large. We'd recommend this one for occasional use rather than daily family life, though, as the filters aren't interchangeable which may catch you out if you haven't stocked up.
If you've ever lived in a hard water area, you'll know that it doesn't just make your drinking water taste pretty funky – it also spoils your cuppa, causes scale build-up in your kettle and iron, and even affects your skin and hair through your shower. But fear not, citizens of the south and east of the UK, because we've got some purifying product guides to help you out!
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