Best water filter jug 2022: Improve the taste of your tap water from just £10


Treat yourself to a new jug or filter system and get cleaner, better-tasting water

A water filter jug is a must-have. After all, we all need to drink water – and plenty of it. Our bodies are, on average, 60% water, and the average adult needs somewhere between 1.6 and 2.5 litres a day. For most of us without deep pockets or an obsession with Icelandic glacier water, that water will be coming from the tap.

British tap water is cheap, well regulated and perfectly safe to drink, but it doesn’t always taste that great. In some areas and in warmer seasons, it’s heavily treated, adding a chemical tinge. In other areas – particularly hard water areas – it might have a strong mineral or metallic taste.

A water filter can fix that, removing the impurities and regulating the chemical and mineral content, to give you water with a cleaner and fresher taste. What’s more, using filtered water in a kettle or coffee maker can reduce the build-up of damaging limescale, so that your kettle or coffee machine lasts longer and isn’t filled with the flaky white gunk. You might even get nicer-tasting tea or espresso with a thicker crema top.

And while filtering your water will add to the cost of every litre, it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can buy a water filter jug for under £15, while filters won’t have to set you back more than £3 to £6 per month, especially if you buy in bulk.

Best water filter jug: At a glance

How to choose the best water filter jug for you

    The key decision to make is which cartridge system you go for. Different manufacturers promote different systems, each with its own claims about how effectively the water is filtered and how good it tastes.

    There are some practical considerations, too. Certain cartridges need more preparation than others before they’re ready to deliver safe, tasty drinking water. If the cartridge only needs changing once a month, that might not sound like a problem – but if the job involves half an hour or more of soaking, plus three complete refills flushing through, you might find you end up not bothering to use the jug at all.

    Speed is also an issue. Some systems take their time with the filtration, keeping you waiting while you’ve got a thirst on, while others pass the water through in a jiffy.

    The market-leader is Brita, one of the pioneers in this market, with its Maxtra and Maxtra+ cartridges. However, some jugs from other manufacturers will work with Brita’s cartridges, while a range of third-party cartridge manufacturers produce their own cheaper or longer-lasting cartridges that fit Brita’s jugs. This is worth bearing in mind if you’re worried about getting tied into the one system.

    What about the jug?

    Some jugs are designed for style, others for convenience. Obviously, the former is a question of personal taste, although certain systems allow for a wide range of shapes and colours, while other designs are more conservative.

    On the convenience front, go for a capacity that suits the size of your household. Bear in mind that the headline capacity might not match the capacity of drinking water it actually holds. A 2.6l jug might sound generous, but not if you only get 1.4l of filtered water at the bottom. 2.7l to 3.5l jugs are a better fit for growing families – although check the dimensions to ensure you won’t struggle when cramming the thing into your fridge.

    Also look for features such as flip-top lids or covered spouts that make it easier to fill the jug or prevent dining table grime from getting in. Cleaning is important, too: not all jugs are dishwasher-safe and some designs may have divots or folds in the plastic that are difficult to keep clean.

    Nearly every jug will include some mechanism to remind you to change the filter. Don’t expect anything too sophisticated: most likely this will be a simple timer that goes down every few days until the 30-day average lifespan is up. A simple LCD gauge on the lid works as well here as an app so don’t let that sway your decision.

    How much is all this going to cost?

    Water filter jugs work on the classic razor blade model: the jugs themselves tend to be cheap, but the manufacturer makes its money off the ongoing cost of the cartridges.

    Some of the more exotic systems can cost upwards of £50 for the jug and around £10 per filter, but on average you’re looking at £9 to £25 for the jug and around £5 to £8 per filter. You can save money by buying multi-packs of three filters or more, and if your system uses Brita filters you can also save by purchasing cheaper or longer-lasting third-party cartridges – even supermarkets are in on the act. Just be aware that these may not always be as effective as the real deal.

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    The best water filter jugs to buy

    1. AmazonBasics 2.3L Water Filter Jug: The best budget option

    Price: £13 | Buy now from Amazon

    Amazon’s own-brand water filter jug is hard to beat on value. The plastics feel solid and the design is practical, with a flip-top lid for easy filling and a basic electronic indicator to tell you when your 30 days are up and it’s time to change the filter. Apart from the lid, it’s dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning, and it’s compatible with Amazon’s own cartridges – a steal at £10 for three – or Brita’s ever-popular Maxtra+.

    As with most cartridges these days, there’s no need to soak them before use; just fill it up and let the water run through three times over and you’re ready to go. It’s cheap, fills fast, and the water tastes clean and free of any chemical tinge. What’s more, if you don’t like the original smoke-black version, it’s now available in white.

    Key specs – Total capacity: 2.3l; Drinkable capacity: 1.4l; Features: Flip-top lid, electronic replacement indicator; Dimensions: 252 x 278 x 108mm

    2. Aqua Optima Oria: The best-value water system

    Price: £20 | Buy now from Amazon

    The Oria is a well-designed jug at a great price. For £22, you get the jug plus three 30-day Evolve+ filter cartridges, giving you three months of fresh-tasting water out of the box. The new Evolve+ cartridges have a faster flow, with five different layers of filters to remove a full range of impurities, but you can still pick up a six-pack for less than £20. That should keep your long-term costs nice and low.

    Despite this, the Oria doesn’t feel cheap, and we’re particularly keen on the pour-through lid, which has a slatted basin for easy filling, so you never have to take it fully off.

    Key specs – Total capacity: 2.8l; Drinkable capacity: 1.4l; Features: Easy-open lid, downloadable smartphone app; Dimensions: 250 x 260 x 110mm

    3. Philips AWP2915: The tough jug with long-lasting filters

    Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

    Not every filter jug is built to withstand the rigours of family life, but this cheap-as-chips Philips effort seems almost indestructible. It’s fashioned from a thick BPA-free plastic that feels a bit like Tupperware, and there’s no separate handle to pull off. The intake tank and filter slip neatly inside the main pitcher, while a thin plastic lid clamps on top. It fills extremely quickly and leaves you with roughly 1.5l of great-tasting water in a jiffy.

    There were aspects our testers expected to hate. With no flip-top or tilt-down water intake in the lid, you have to remove the whole lid to fill. What’s more, there’s no indicator to tell you when to change the filter. However, the top is so easy to remove that the first issue isn’t much of a bother, and you only need to change the filters every 60 days, with new ones costing £15 for three. Without a handle you have to grip the sculpted back of the pitcher, though, and this can be tough for smaller hands. All in all, though, this is a robust and easy to live with water filter jug at a bargain price.

    Key specs – Total capacity: 3l; Drinkable capacity: 1.5l; Features: N/A; Dimensions: 242 x 286 x 141mm

    4. Brita Marella XL: The best jug for families

    Price: £15 | Buy now from Amazon

    The standard-sized Brita Marella is a best-seller – and with good reason. It’s a well-designed 2.4l jug with a flip-up flap in the lid for easy filling, using Brita’s tried-and-tested Maxtra cartridges.

    The Marella XL takes the basic design and ups the size, with a 3.5l total capacity that delivers 2l of filtered water. It comes in a range of colours with matching tinted lids and filter compartments, not to mention some nice limited-edition designs. It’s also dishwasher-safe, barring the lid, which has a simple electronic timer to remind you when it’s time to change the cartridges.

    The Marella XL works with Brita’s Maxtra+ filter cartridges, which are designed to reduce more impurities than the previous-generation Maxtra cartridges. With these you’ll get great tasting water and, at around £12 for a pack of three, they’re not prohibitively expensive. If you’re trying to cut costs, however, you can move to third-party alternatives from Aquaphor, Amazon and others. Trying to keep a thirsty family properly hydrated? This is the filter jug to buy.

    Key specs – Total capacity: 3.5l; Drinkable capacity: 2l; Features: Flip-up lid, electronic change indicator; Dimensions: 245 x 270 x 135mm

    5. ZeroWater 10 Cup Water Filter Jug: The best jug for removing all impurities

    Price: £35 | Buy now from Amazon

    The ZeroWater is on the verge of being ludicrously expensive while the cartridges (£30 for two) have hopped straight over the border. On the other hand, if you’re serious about removing all impurities, ZeroWater’s tech is leagues ahead of most competitors.

    In fact, the manufacturer is so confident about its five-stage filtration system that it includes a digital total dissolved solids (TDS) meter so you can check your water is free from solids, or at least 99.6% of the way there. That’s significantly higher than with any rival system and on a level with the best purified bottled waters.

    The jug has a few nice touches, too, including a part-removable lid for easy filling and a spout at the back that dispenses water with a push.

    In most areas and for most people, the ZeroWater is arguably overkill, but if you’re concerned about minerals and metals in your drinking water, this jug should give you peace of mind.

    Key specs - Total capacity: 2.3l; Drinkable capacity: 1.3l; Features: Flip-top lid; Dimensions: 264 x 255 x 105mm

    6. Aquaphor Provence: The best high-capacity filter jug

    Price: £22 | Buy now from Amazon

    Aquaphor’s biggest jug has a hint of luxury about it, thanks to a graceful, curved design and the use of a special Tritan plastic that looks like glass. The good news is that it’s a lot more durable, and shouldn’t discolour or become brittle through washing or everyday use. The lid fits securely on the top of the pitcher, with a flip up central section that makes filling nice and easy.

    The Provence uses one of Aquaphor’s A5 cartridges, which filter limescale, chlorine, heavy metals and other pollutants, while the A5 Mg variant adds small amounts of magnesium on top. Either way you get clean-tasting water at a decent pace. Each cartridge lasts roughly 60 days as well, and there’s a mechanical life indicator on the top of the lid to help you keep track. It’s too big and bulky for fridge use, but the Provence is a great option for thirsty families and one of the more stylish filter jugs around.

    Key specs – Total capacity: 4.2l; Drinkable capacity: 3l; Features: Flip-top lid, mechanical replacement indicator; Dimensions: 275 x 224 x 160mm

    7. pH Restore: The best glass filter jug

    Price: £43 | Buy now from Amazon

    Not everyone wants to drink water straight from a plastic jug, and some people just prefer the look and feel of glass. The pH Restore is one of the few glass filter jugs available, and while it’s an expensive option, it includes a PH001 filter that should last through 360 litres worth of filtering – enough to fill the jug roughly 133 times. At £40 for three, however, this isn’t a cheap system to run.

    It’s a nicely made, cylindrical jug with a glass handle, mould-resistant bamboo lid and rubber anti-slip base. And while the multi-stage filter cartridge removes chlorine and the usual chemical pollutants, it’s also meant to reduce acidity and raise the pH value in areas where it's normally low. Don’t get too excited, though: UK regulations state that the pH of tap water needs to be higher than 6.5 by law, and in many areas the water is slightly alkaline. In any case, the water running through tastes smooth and clean, and you won’t find another water jug with this much style and class.

    Key specs – Total capacity: 3.7l; Drinkable capacity: 2.7l; Features: Flip-top lid, mechanical replacement indicator; Dimensions: 291 x 152 x 127mm

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