Water Filter Review: Brita, NewAir, Aquasana & Pelican

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The Good The Bad The Bottom Line
Water Filter Review: Brita, NewAir, Aquasana & Pelican

Brita Infinity Wi-Fi Connected Pitcher

Automatically Alerts Amazon to Deliver New Filters When the Old Ones Are Worn Out Holds a Small Amount of Water A  Convenient & Technologically Innovative Filtration System
Water Filter Review: Brita, NewAir, Aquasana & Pelican

NewAir WAT10W Water Bottle

Provides Clean, High Quality Drinking Water at a Very Low Cost Filtration Process is Slow Inexpensive to Buy & Operate
Water Filter Review: Brita, NewAir, Aquasana & Pelican

Aquasana OPTIMH20 Reverse Osmosis + Claryum

Removes Harmful Chemicals & Particles While Preserving Healthy Minerals Complicated to Install Extensive Filtration System Removes 74 Different Pollutants
Water Filter Review: Brita, NewAir, Aquasana & Pelican

Pelican PSE800 Whole House Filter 

Provides Filtered Water to Every Tap in Your Home Very High Upfront Costs Eliminates Pollutants & Hard Water

Water is the most important nutrient on the planet. It’s involved in every chemical and biological process that occurs in your body.  It keeps your muscles working, regulates your body temperature, distributes nutrients, removes waste, and helps digestion, which is why you need to make sure the water you’re drinking is as clean as possible. For a growing number of Americans, the best way to ensure pure drinking water is with a water filter. Water filters rid your water of chemicals, pollutants, minerals, and volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde. Though everyone agrees on the benefits, there is still a lot of discussion about how to deploy them in your home. Some people are satisfied with a simple pitcher filter or water bottle, while others prefer to filter it as comes out of the tap or enters their home. With so many different approaches, it’s not always easy to see which one will work best for you, which is why we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular water filters on the market, so you can compare their costs & benefits side by side.

Our Criteria

When evaluating water filters, we narrowed our focus to four major factors that have the biggest impact on health, ease of use, and practicality:

Filtration – How well does the filter remove chemicals and pollutants?

Installation – How easy is it to set up the filter in your home?

Lifespan – How long does the filter last?

Price – How much does it cost to buy and operate the filter?

It’s only by comparing these factors directly that you’ll be able to come to the best decision about the best water filter for your home.

How Well Does it Filter?

Water Filter Review: Brita, NewAir, Aquasana & PelicanBrita Infinity Wi-Fi Connected Pitcher
The Brita Infinity Wi-Fi Connected Pitcher uses a combination of activated carbon and ion exchange resins to remove chlorine, copper, cadmium, and mercury from your water. Activated carbon is made by burning carbonaceous materials in a temperature controlled furnace. Instead of burning, it decomposes under the heat. Coal, coconuts, nutshells, peat, wood, and lignite are all popular sources of activated carbon. It’s incredibly porous. Less than an ounce of it has a surface area of 1640 square feet. Most of the nooks and crannies in the carbon are too small to see, but they’re very effective at trapping chemicals and small particles. Pollutants get stuck in the carbon’s pores and remain there until the filter gets thrown away.

Ion exchange resin is made from organic polymers with charged ion groups built into them. The ions attract particles with opposite charges, drawing them in and trapping them in the polymer. Every time a particle is trapped, it pushed out a different particle, something harmless like sodium or potassium. Ion exchange resins are very good at removing heavy metals such as copper, lead, and cadmium, all of which can cause serious health problems if ingested.

Water Filter Review: Brita, NewAir, Aquasana & Pelican

NewAir WAT10W Water Bottle
The NewAir WAT10W Water Bottle uses a single-stage carbon filter to trap and remove sediment, chlorine, odors, and volatile organic compounds from your drinking water. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are carbon based chemicals that have a wide range of effects, including headaches, dizziness, nausea, liver damage, kidney damage, and cancer. Unfortunately, carbon filters are not very good at trapping heavy metals. The good news is that heavy metals are already heavily regulated by the EPA. In most areas, water treatment plants keep metal levels down far below the point where they could damage your health. If you live in an area with a metallic water supply, the most likely cause is old pipes or antiquated plumbing systems that shed metal particles as the water enters your home.

Aquasana OPTIMH20 Reverse Osmosis + Claryum
The Aquasana OPTIMH20 Reverse Osmosis + Claryum filter purifies your water using three different water filters. First, the water enters a reverse osmosis filter, a semi-permeable membrane that filters out dissolved solids such as fluoride and arsenic. Then the water moves through the Claryum filter, which is made up of activated carbon, catalytic carbon, an ion exchange, and a sub-micron filter. Sub-micron filters are made of hollow fibers whose pores only 0.1 to 10 micrometers wide, smaller than a grain of sand. The third filter is a remineralizer. Instead of removing harmful substances from your water, it puts healthy minerals back into it, improving its pH balance and alkalinity, in order to ensure good taste and good health.

Pelican PSE800 Whole House Filter 
The Pelican PSE800 Whole House Filter uses a 4-stage filter system. First, a pre-filter removes any debris and sediment larger than 5 microns. Then the water moves through a granulated carbon and catalytic carbon filter. Combing the two different carbon types allows the filter to trap a wider range of pollutants. Lastly, the water goes through a copper and zine oxidation filter that traps heavy metals and kills bacteria and mold spores. This process also softens your water, soaking up the calcium and magnesium in the water supply, which means less scale and mineral build up around the faucets in your home. It makes your hair and skin feel softer as well.

How Easy Are They to Set Up?

Water Filter Review: Brita, NewAir, Aquasana & Pelican

Brita Infinity Wi-Fi Connected Pitcher
The Brita Infinity Wi-Fi Connected Pitcher is the simplest to set up. Just place the filter in the pitcher and fill it up. Make sure you soak the filter and rinse it out with water first, to get rid of any lose carbon granules. They’re not dangerous if swallowed and they won’t affect your health, but they can be unsightly, floating around in your water glass. Don’t be surprised if you have to wait for a few minutes for the water works its way through the filter. That means it’s working.

NewAir WAT10W Water Bottle
The NewAir WAT10W Water Bottle is easy to set up as well and works with any top loading water dispenser. Take out the splash guard and bottle spike and put the WAT10W on the cooler like an ordinary water jug. Then fill the top chamber with water and wait for it to percolate through the filter to the bottom chamber and run down into the cooler’s water reservoir. Once the reservoir is full, it will dispense water like normal.

Aquasana OPTIMH20 Reverse Osmosis + Claryum
Installing the Aquasana OPTIMH20 Reverse Osmosis + Claryum filter is much more complicated. You need to install a separate tap (called an RO faucet), connect it to the filters, and connect the filters to a cold water line. You have to shut off the water to your kitchen sink, install a special connection on your pies, install the system manifold under your sink, secure the water storage tank, and fix the RO faucet on your counter top. Then you have to connect the faucet to the drain pipe under the sink and connect to the filter to the water line. Screw in the filters, turn the water back on, and, if you’ve done everything correctly, the water should flow through the filters and out the faucet. Given how complicated this process is, it’s recommended that you hire a professional to install the system for you if you don’t have any plumbing experience.

Pelican PSE800 Whole House Filter 
The Pelican PSE800 Whole House Filter connects directly to the main water line in your house. All the water that flows in flows through it first. Even though the system is relatively straightforward, you’ll still need a plumber to install it for you. The filters come loaded into three large, tanks and are set up in your garage or basement with a single water line running through them. The tanks are big, but slim, so they won’t take up a lot of space.

How Easy Is It to Change Each Water Filter?

Water Filter Review: Brita, NewAir, Aquasana & Pelican

Brita Infinity Wi-Fi Connected Pitcher
The Brita Infinity Wi-Fi Connected Pitcher is easy very easy to change. You just reach in and lift it right out of the bottle. Brita filters need to be replaced once every 2 months, or every 40 gallons. To make sure you don’t forget, the Brita pitcher has a Wi-Fi sensor that sends an order to Amazon when the filters is nearing the end of it’s lifespan. Amazon processes the order and delivers a fresh filter to your doorstep. Easy.

NewAir WAT10W Water Bottle
The NewAir WAT10W Water Bottle is also easy to change. Lift the top of the bottle off the cooler, unscrew the old filter, and screw the new one on. The only downside is that there is nothing to alert you when the filter needs to be changed. You have to keep track yourself. NewAir filters last for approximately 6 months and can purify about 211 gallons of water before they need to be replaced, so they only need to be replaced two or possibly three times a year, at most.

Aquasana OPTIMH20 Reverse Osmosis + Claryum
The filters in the Aquasana OPTIMH20 Reverse Osmosis + Claryum purification system have different lifespans. The Claryum filter has to be replaced every six months, while the reverse osmosis filter and remineralization cartridge have to be replaced every 12 months. Replacing the filters is simple: unscrew the old filters from the manifold and screw the new filters in their place.

Pelican PSE800 Whole House Filter 
The Pelican PSE800 Whole House Filter is big. The tanks are 5-6 feet high, so replacing them takes more effort than any of the other filters. The good news is that you don’t have to buy new tanks. You just have to buy new carbon media from Pelican and have it shipped out to you. Once it arrives, unscrew the tanks from their fittings, dump out the old carbon and pour in the new carbon. The tanks can filter 600,000-1,000,000 gallons of water before the carbon wears out and they last for approximately 5 years, so you won’t have to replace them very often.

How Much Does Each Filter Cost?

Water Filter Review: Brita, NewAir, Aquasana & PelicanThere are two costs associated with a water filter. How much it costs to buy the system and how much it costs to buy a replacement filter.

Brita Infinity Wi-Fi Connected Pitcher
The Brita Infinity Wi-Fi Connected Pitcher costs $44.99 to buy. Replacement filters are $5-$10. If you replace the filters every two months, as the manufacturer recommends, the total cost would be $30-$60 over the course of a year.

NewAir WAT10W Water Bottle
The NewAir WAT10W Water Bottle actually costs less than the Brita pitcher, only $34.95. It’s the cheapest filtration system on our list. Replacement filters cost $19.95 each, a bit more than Brita’s, but since they only have to be changed once every six months, they’ll only cost about $40 over the course of a year. The one caveat is that the WAT10W isn’t an independent unit. It’s designed to work with a top loading water dispenser, so if you want to use it, you’ll have to buy a water dispenser as well. Most water dispensers cost $100-$200, depending on which brand you buy. There’s no set up costs. Plug them in and they start working right away.

Aquasana OPTIMH20 Reverse Osmosis + Claryum
The Aquasana OPTIMH20 Reverse Osmosis + Claryum filter costs roughly $250, not including installation, which will vary depending on where you live and the rates your local plumbers charge. Replacement filters cost $30-$60 each.

Pelican PSE800 Whole House Filter 
Pelican PSE800 Whole House Filter is the most expensive system we looked at. It costs over $2000 to install it in a house with 1-3 bathrooms and over $2500 to install it in a house with 4-6. Since you’ll need to hire a plumber as well, final costs will vary depending on where you live. Because the filters are so big, they cost a lot to replace, about $200, which sounds like a lot, but spread over a five-year time span that only comes out to about $40 per year.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that if all you want is to enjoy fresh, clean drinking water in your home, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on complicated systems. The difference in water quality between Brita, NewAir, Aquasana, and Pelican is very small. Single filters are more than capable of removing the majority of harmful elements from your drinking water. What’s left behind are mostly trace elements too small to be noticeable or have any impact on your health. Filtering the water 4-5 times just isn’t worth it, not at the prices Aquasana and Pelican charge.

Between Brita and NewAir, the only difference is size. The NewAir WAT10W can hold up to three gallons of water, besides the water stored in the dispenser’s water reservoir, normally about one gallon. Brita pitchers can only hold about half a gallon. If you have a small family, or don’t drink a lot of water, this might not be an issue. If you share you home with a lot of people, you may appreciate the larger capacity, even if you have to buy a water cooler to enjoy it.

 Water Filter Review: Brita, NewAir, Aquasana & Pelican

 

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