Here's the Brita Style water filter jug review in a sentence: I thought the whole idea of a water filter was purest marketing bullshit. Then I tried one. Now I wouldn't want to give it up.
Let's quickly get something out of the way right at the top of this Brita Style review. This jug will not remove dangerous pollutants and poisons from your tap water. I'm based in the UK and there are no unsafe elements in our tap water. However I know that in the States and elsewhere, tap water can be anywhere from barely drinkable to outright dangerous. So if you live in one of those areas, I wouldn't recommend this, personally. It'll just make your poisonous water taste slightly nicer. And the same goes for anyone in the UK who thinks the water companies and government are lying to them about the safety of our tap water.
So who should buy a Brita, or indeed, any other form of filter jug, since they are largely all the same? The answer is, 'anyone who hates having to descale kettles, coffee machines, and the like, and who would like their hot beverages to taste a lot nicer. Oh and the other answer is 'anyone who wants their tap water to taste slightly nicer,' but I am not so bothered about that one personally.
Is the Brita Style the best water filter jug? For most people, I would say it probably is. The replacement filters are in ready supply and not too expensive, and its two bonus features – being able to fit in your fridge door, and telling you when its time to change filter – are both ever so handy.
Brita Style water filter jug: price and availability
Brita Style costs £31 in theory in the UK but is frequently cheaper. The Maxtra+ filter it uses needs to be changed at least once per month and replacements cost £17.95 for a pack of three. Again, this is a somewhat theoretical figure; the last time I bought any filters it cost me £48 for a pack of 12, and if you buy compatible, supermarket-brand filters, it'll cost you even less.
In the USA and Australia, Brita does not sell the Style as far as I can see, but Brita pitchers of various types are available from about $15 in the USA and from about AU$50 in Australia.
Brita Style water filter jug: design
It would be an exaggeration to say that a huge amount of design has gone into this jug, and despite its name, it's not exactly the last word in stylishness either. However, it looks pleasant enough, is made from robust, BPA-free plastic and everything fits together without causing any annoyance.
The two key 'design' elements are that this filter jug fits in the door of your fridge – brilliant – and there's a flashing 'traffic light' system on the lid that tells you when it's time to change the filter. This is more important than a lot of people think, since overused filters will actually leave your water in worse condition than when it came out of the tap, with a distinct. danger of bacteria and mould build-up.
The idea is that when the light flashes green, all is well, when it's amber – uh-oh – it's time to start thinking about getting a new one, if you haven't bulk bought a year's supply already. Then when it's red you change the filter. This sounds perfectly straightforward, and for most folk I dare say it is, but I am colour blind, as a lot of men are, and the shades of red, green and amber that Brita has chosen to go with all look pretty much the same to me. So I have delegated this whole task to my other half.
Brita Style water filter jug: performance
Well, what can I say? It filters your water. As I said right at the top of the review, Brita doesn't claim to remove serious pollutants from your tap water but it does remove sufficient amounts of dissolved metals and minerals to drastically reduce the build-up of limescale in kettles and coffee machines.
I was extremely sceptical about the usefulness of this or any other filter jug, but there is no doubt that tea and coffee taste much more pleasant when made with filtered water, and descaling of kettle and coffee machine needs to be far less frequent. Those are not life-changing benefits, perhaps, but they keep me very happy indeed as I am a simple soul. The water in London where I live is so hard, it's practically calling you out for looking at it funny and challenging you to a fight, as it comes out of the taps. Anything that softens it is a massive boon and this Brita does just the job.
The other classic way to make something taste nicer is to chill it, of course, and since the Brita Style sits in the bottom shelf of your fridge, your water is always icy-cold and extra pleasing.
What else can I tell you about the Brita Style's performance? Erm… not a lot. You have to soak new filters for a bit before using them. As I mentioned, I have delegated all this to my boyfriend, and it doesn't seem to bother him. It sure as hell doesn't bother me, for obvious reasons.
For hygiene it's advisable to clean the jug every now and then, and this is also easy thanks to the way it comes apart. You can even put it in the dishwasher if you have one.
Brita Style water filter jug: verdict
The Brita Style reduces limescale and makes water taste nicer. That's about all it does, really, but that's more than enough for me. The price of the jug is reasonable, the price of the filters is manageable, particularly if you shop around.
Brita Style water filter jug: also consider…
If you want an 'extra large' version of the Brita Style, you're in luck: this is the Brita Style XL. It does exactly the same thing as the other model but it won't fit in your fridge door.
Those who want more complete filtering of their water should consider a ZeroWater jug – the one pictured here is a the 7-cup model but they have a whole range. The filters in these bad boys remove 100% of dissolved solids, leaving you with something almost more akin to distilled water. This strikes me as total overkill for the UK and, as you would expect, the replacement filters are somewhat more expensive than Brita ones, and less easy to find. However it's undeniably also highly impressive.