Due to all the heart-wrenching photos of plastic floating in the oceans and piled up on beaches, you've probably gotten the hint by now that single-use water bottles are no good for the environment. But even with a dozen tough-as-nails and chic reusable water bottles stocked in your kitchen cabinet, you still might not be keen on filling them to the brim with water straight from the tap.
While tap water contains beneficial substances like chlorine (which acts as a disinfectant) and fluoride (which helps prevent tooth decay), there can also be harmful contaminants lurking around, such as lead and Cryptosporidium — a germ that causes gastrointestinal upset, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (If you get your water from a public source — i.e. not your own well — the EPA will send you a report called the Consumer Confidence Report on the quality of your water and its contaminant levels once a year with your water bill.) Not to mention, a cup of faucet water doesn't always taste as pure as mountain snow. (Using tap water to wash your face might have some harsh effects on your skin too.)
Thankfully, using filtered water dispensers and pitchers can be a simple fix — and can ultimately help you meet your hydration goals. In general, these filters work a lot like a colander: When you pour water into the dispenser, it has to flow through microscopic holes before entering your cup, and any contaminants that are larger than those holes get caught in the filter — and stay out of the H2O you're about to chug. Some filtered water dispensers also contain a second line of defense, such as an activated carbon filter (which acts like a sponge and absorbs some of the lingering contaminants) or an ion exchange unit (which uses science wizardry to remove some substances that are small enough to squeeze through those holes, according to the CDC). Plus, most filters can change the taste and smell of your water for the better by removing the chlorine, certain minerals, and other naturally occurring (and completely safe) substances, according to the CDC.
To quell any worries about the safety of your water — or at the very least, make your H2O free of funky flavors and aromas — add one of these filtered water dispensers and pitchers to your kitchen. Stay hydrated, friends.
The Big Berkey
For enough filtered water to hydrate the whole family (or, tbh, your three pets), turn to The Big Berkey, which holds a mighty 2.25 gallons of H2O. The filtered water dispenser can remove up to 99.9999 percent of viruses and pathogenic bacteria, as well as significantly reduce the amount of heavy metals (including lead), microorganisms like E.Coli, and other contaminants that may be in your water, per the company. Since it sits on top of counters or stands — not in your fridge — you'll want to have some ice cubes at the ready for a perfectly chilled drink. (Then use these recipes to create fruit-infused bevies with your freshly filtered water.)
Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher
This filtered water dispenser is the key to achieving that goal of downing 64oz of water a day. The Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher holds 80oz — or 10 cups — of H2O at a time and removes 99.7 percent of more than 232 tap water contaminants, including lead, arsenic, microplastics, bacteria, viruses, and parasites, according to the company. What's more, the filter will purify 100 gallons (roughly four months' worth of water) before it needs to be replaced. Raise your glass to having one less task on your to-do list.
Hydros 8-Cup Water Filter Pitcher
Not only does this Hydros filtered water dispenser take out more than 90 percent of chlorine and 99 percent of sediment, but it's also a match made in heaven for your aesthetically pleasing IG feed. The best part? The lightweight, 8-cup pitcher fills and filters water in 60 seconds flat, so you won't have to stand over the sink for 10 minutes and risk missing a key scene in Bridgerton. It uses a coconut shell carbon filter that's certified to reduce 85 percent of particles 0.5 to < 1 microns in size. Just know that the filter doesn't remove contaminants like lead or bacteria (because lead can be as small as 0.1 microns and bacteria can be as small as 0.3), so consider a different option if that's a concern. (Related: This Water Bottle Is Literally the Only Thing That Can Get Me to Drink Enough Water)
Brita UltraMax Water Filter Dispenser
There's nothing more defeating than struggling to pour the heavy water pitcher after a gruesome arm workout. Luckily, this filtered water dispenser makes it a problem of the past. The 18-cup Brita Ultramax Water Filter fits neatly on top of your fridge shelves and has a spigot that hangs over the edge to fill your cup in a flash. Most importantly, it reduces the amount of chlorine, copper, mercury, zinc, and other impurities in the H2O and curbs those musty tastes and smells.
PUR Ultimate Filtration Water Filter Pitcher
Coming in hot at 11 cups, this PUR filtered water dispenser reduces any metals — such as lead, mercury, and copper — industrial pollutants, pesticides, tastes, and odors lingering in your water, per the company. If you struggle to remember the last time you washed your hair, let alone the last time you changed out the filter, you'll be pleased to know that the pitcher is equipped with a light that flashes when it's time to drop in a new one. Now if only it reminded you to chug some H2O every time you opened the fridge...
LifeStraw Home Water Filter Pitcher
This colorful filtered water dispenser will look right at home next to all the fruits and veggies in the fridge — and gain you some heart-eye emoji comments on your next #fridgegoals photo. The LifeStraw pitcher removes at least 99.999 percent of bacteria and parasites that may be in your water, reduces the amount of microplastics, lead, mercury, pesticides, and herbicides, and even improves your H2O's taste and smell, according to the brand. An extra feel-good perk: For every LifeStraw product purchase, a child in need receives safe drinking water for an entire school year.
Soma Water Filtration Carafe
Though it looks *just* like a pour-over vessel for your a.m. coffee, this glass Soma carafe is designed to remove impurities from your H2O. The filtered water dispenser reduces the chlorine, mercury, zinc, cadmium, copper, and other unwanted tastes or odors in your bev, while the lid opens automatically when you turn on the faucet to refill it. And if you've got butter fingers, you're in luck: The carafe is made from shatter-resistant glass, so you don't have to worry about having to clean up tiny painful shards if you were to drop it.