Water is one of the most basic needs of any human or other living creature, and to get it in its most pure and safest form is something many of us are looking for. There has been much publicity as to the negative effects of purchasing bottled water, and while water straight from the tap is generally safe, in some regions it has a unpleasant taste or is filled with added minerals. That has led many people to buy a water filter that can be installed directly on their tap or a filtering pitcher. Two of the leading brands in the market are Pur and Brita. So how do these to companies compare, and which water filter is best for you?
The main function of any water filter is to remove additives or potential contaminants from the water that flows directly out of the faucet. Pur has the upper hand over Brita when it comes to the effectiveness of getting rid of the most chemicals and sediments. The Pur filter boasts a 98 to 99 percent ability to filter out lead, where Brita comes in at a rate of 94 percent. Pur reduces chlorine by about 95 percent, over Brita's 91 percent. Additionally, Pur reduces copper, methyl tertiary-butyl ether, and 2-4D among its touted 21 contaminant reduction agents. Brita is only targeted to chlorine, lead, mercury, and benzene.
One of the major downfalls of a Brita filter compared to a Pur water filter, is that only Pur is certified to remove cryptosporidium and giardia from water. This is true whether the filter used is one that is directly attached to the tap or a filtered pitcher. Cryptosporidium and giardia are both considered cysts that pollute water and, when ingested, can make you very sick. Giardia in particular is a stomach ailment that is similar to that of the flu, causing nausea, diarrhea and overall fatigue.
The taste of the water after it is filtered is another point to consider. When taste tests were issued by Consumer Reports, blind tasters preferred the water out of the Pur system. Additionally, dentists approve some Pur water filters that attach to the faucet and keep in fluoride that is present in the water, fluoride is beneficial to tooth and enamel health and longevity.
One point on which Brita comes out the clear winner is in the speed its filters work. Because Pur has a more complex mechanism comprising its filtration, it has a slower rate of flow than that of the Brita filters. Whether the water is being dripped from a filtering pitcher or streaming from the tap, the water spends more time running through the filter, which not only makes wait time for a drink longer, but also causes more strain on each filter. This leads to replacing the Pur filters more often than those of the Brita brands. So Brita, with a more instant satisfaction, doesn't cost as much annually in replacement filters.
Finally, the last point to consider is a filter that attaches directly to the tap or one that comes in a pitcher. With a faucet filter, you will need to be sure that the model you buy will fit correctly on your tap. There have been some complaints that a few Brita water filters were not compatible with all sink makes and had to be returned.
Conversely, Pur systems seemed to work with the vast majority of sink models, and come with an assortment of attachments that make it easier to outfit your faucet. Obviously, this does not apply to the filtered pitchers, as they are housed in your refrigerator.
Giselle Diamond is a freelance writer and has been writing since 1999. Diamond is experienced in writing in all genres and subjects, with distinguished experience in home and garden, culture and society, literature and psychology. Diamond has a Master of Arts in English and psychology from New York University. Diamond has articles published on both eHow and LiveStrong.