Water Filter Pitchers vs. Under Sink Water Filters

Author: Rory Mullan - Published: 2022/08/19 - Updated: 2022/12/22

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If you are looking for a water filtration method for your home, you’ll have a lot of options to choose from.

Two of the most popular are water filter pitchers and under sink water filters. While both are easy to use and provide a reasonable level of contaminant reduction, one of the two will probably be more suitable for your needs.

And this article will help you figure out which one that is!

We will discuss the similarities and differences between water filter pitchers and under sink water filters, including the pros and cons of each.

So, here is our guide on under sink water filters vs. water filter pitchers!


These considerations help you choose between a water filter pitcher and an under sink water filter:

  • Have your water tested for its quality and contaminants present so that you know what filtration solution is the most appropriate for you.
  • If your water is heavily contaminated, in most cases, an under sink water filter is the better choice since it can effectively remove the contamination through a more complex and effective series of filters than a pitcher.
  • On the other hand, if your water quality is relatively good, you can opt for water filter pitchers to address your drinking water needs.
  • Under sink water filters must be properly installed while water filter pitchers are ready to go. However, water filter pitchers do require more frequent filter replacements.
  • In terms of cost, generally, filter pitchers are more affordable both initially and long-term.

What Do Water Filter Pitchers and Under Sink Water Filters Have in Common? What Are the Differences?

Water Filter Pitchers vs Under Sink Water Filters thumbnail

The main similarity between a pitcher and an under sink water filter is that both remove contaminants. In both cases, contaminated water is captured and eliminated by running it through a filter (or a series of filters).

Both systems will also require some form of maintenance to keep them in tip-top shape. The most notable aspect of recurring maintenance is filter replacement. While under sink filter systems require less frequent maintenance overall, they still need your attention from time to time to ensure they are working correctly.

A pitcher filter is more compact and portable, whereas an under sink water filter is designed to be permanently installed and used at one location. While this can be convenient for smaller households with just one or two faucets to cover, people on the move may find the lack of portability a significant issue.

Water Filter Pitcher

Using a water filter pitcher likely won’t solve all your water-related problems, but it can reduce lead levels, chlorine levels, unpleasant tastes and odors – stuff like that.

Besides those built into refrigerators, pitchers are the second most preferred type of home water filter. They’re also relatively inexpensive, often costing less than $50, and are incredibly easy to use.

The following are some of the pros and cons of water filter pitchers:



The cost of water filter pitchers is relatively low. Even considering the long-term cost of replacing the filters, you will generally have to spend very little money to use a pitcher for years.

Ease of Use

A water filter pitcher is designed to be as easy to use as possible. It’s just a matter of filling the pitcher with water, letting it run through, and pouring it into a glass once it’s done filtering.

Anyone in the family can use a water filter pitcher. Even children and the elderly can use a filter pitcher, as long as the size isn’t too large, or the pitcher isn’t too heavy when full.


Water filter pitchers don’t need to be installed. You only need to take the unit out of the box, assemble its components, insert the filter cartridge, and you’re done.

Assembly just takes a few minutes and doesn’t require any specialized knowledge.


You can bring your water filter pitcher with you no matter where you go, and you aren’t limited to drinking from one specific faucet, as with under sink filters.

This makes traveling with a filter pitcher very convenient. In remote areas where fresh, clean water is not guaranteed, travelers can greatly benefit from this.


Filtration May Leave Something to Be Desired

Under sink water filters are better if you want more thorough filtration than most water filter pitchers can provide.

While there are filter pitcher models that can remove a wide range of contaminants[1], you may need to spend a little more.

Limited Filtration Capacity

Since water filter pitchers have a limited capacity, you won’t have filtered water at all times. While smaller pitchers are more convenient for users that want a portable filter, they must also be refilled more often. This can get annoying when everyone is constantly using the pitcher in a large household.


Water filter pitchers always require you to wait a few minutes after filling them before they can be used. The same problem is not encountered with most under sink models, which always provide you with access to fresh water.


You need to clean your water filter’s pitcher in order to avoid unpleasant build ups, like limescale. In some cases, it may be necessary to disassemble the model to wash it properly.

Under Sink Water Filter

under sink water filter being installed

An under sink filtration system is probably the best option for anyone household which consumes more than a few gallons of drinking water daily.

Under sink water filters are often more convenient for people who need constant access to filtered water and use filtered water for more than just drinking.

Among their advantages and disadvantages, you’ll notice the following:



An under sink water filtration system is a good choice if you are concerned about filtration quality. Filters like these can keep your drinking water supply clean by capturing and removing many contaminants.

While you can achieve similar results with a pitcher model that has multiple filtering stages, it may cost you more in the long run due to the costs of replacing the filters.

Great-Tasting Drinking Water

As a result of their superior filtration capabilities, under sink water filters can also improve the smell and taste of your water. Some pitcher filters can accomplish this as well, but they tend to be quite expensive.

Out of Sight

Under sink water filters are conveniently hidden under the sink where they won’t get in the way. Most of the time, you won’t even notice the filter. This can be very useful if you have a small household with a limited countertop area.

Easy to Maintain

Under sink filters require less maintenance than pitcher models. You’ll still need to replace filters regularly, but for the most part the filter elements will last longer.

In addition, under sink water filters don’t need to be cleaned like pitchers.


Point of Use

Filters installed under sinks are limited to the area in which they are located. You can install an under sink filter at any faucet you want, but you’re still limited to that faucet once the filter is installed.

Proper Installation Needed

Under the sink filters must be properly installed before they can be used, unlike water filter pitchers. You may require professional assistance if you need to modify your existing plumbing. While you may be able to take care of it on your own, it can be difficult, not to mention costly if you make a mistake.

Fixed Location

Furthermore, you may not find under sink models the best option if portability is your primary concern. If you travel often and need a way to filter your drinking water on the move, a water filter pitcher would be a better choice.

So, Which to Choose?

No one solution works for everyone when it comes to under sink water filters vs water filter pitchers. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options.

Before deciding on either one, you should test your water supply. Invest in a more advanced under sink model if you discover severe contamination.

Alternatively, if you travel frequently and want clean, fresh water wherever you go, investing in a water filter pitcher may be the right choice.


The right choice between an under sink filter and a water filter pitcher will ultimately be up to you.

Water filter pitchers are a better choice for those looking for a portable filtering method that’s easy to use, requires little maintenance, and doesn’t need to be installed, but they have limited capacity.

Under sink water filters, on the other hand, are great for people who want a system that can provide them with a constant supply of filtered water, and that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. However, under sink filters need to be installed by someone with basic plumbing knowledge before they can be used.

Further Reading


Meet Rory Mullan

Rory Mullan Rory has joined the Water Masterz team as a contributing writer. He has covered all sorts of topics in the last several years.

Outside of his writing work, Rory enjoys photographing the Irish landscape and making music!

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