When it comes to water filters, Brita is one of the biggest and most trusted names out there. Two of their most popular models for pitchers are the Elite and Longlast filters.
Both claim to reduce contaminants and improve water taste, but they also have some key differences.
This comprehensive guide breaks down the pros, cons, features, performance, and frequently asked questions about Brita’s Elite and Longlast filters to help you decide which is right for your needs.
A Brief Comparison Table
To make it easier to see how the Elite and Longlast stack up against each other, here is a quick side-by-side comparison:
|Elite Filter & Pitcher
|Longlast Filter & Pitcher
|4-6 months (<120 gallons)
|6 months (120 gallons)
|Filter Change Indicator
|Ion exchange + carbon filter media
|Heavy metals, asbestos, chlorine, benzene, particulate filtration
|Standard particulate filtration, chlorine, limescale, some heavy metals
|IAPMO (#42, #53) NSF 42, 53 (lead, cadmium, mercury)
|IAPMO (#42, #53) NSF 42, 53
As you can see, besides higher performance in key areas like metal reduction and filter life monitoring, the Elite also costs more both for the original purchase and for buying replacement filters.
Meanwhile, the more budget-friendly Longlast model still ticks all the boxes for general water filtration needs.
Brita Elite Filter Overview
The Brita Elite filter uses ion exchange technology to reduce heavy metals like copper, cadmium, and mercury, making it Brita’s most advanced pitcher filter.
- Reduces heavy metals like copper, cadmium, and mercury
- Filters 120 gallons before needing a replacement filter
- Includes electronic filter replacement indicator
- Certified by IAPMO according to NSF/ANSI Standards 42 and 53 for lead, cadmium and mercury reduction
- More expensive than other Brita models
- Somewhat slower flow rate than Longlast
The Elite filter is perfect for anyone concerned about heavy metal exposure from their water or plumbing system.
Brita partnered with Pur to develop this filter using proven ion exchange technology for superior contaminant reduction.
It’s certified to reduce copper, cadmium, and mercury, all dangerous heavy metals that can accumulate over time. The Elite filter also blocks asbestos fibers and reduces chlorine taste and odor for better tasting water.
With a filter life of 120 gallons, you can count on roughly 3 months of use before a replacement is needed. And it’ll remind you when it’s time thanks to the electronic filter indicator.
While it comes at a higher price, the Elite filter is your best choice if protecting your family from dangerous heavy metals is a priority.
Brita Longlast Filter Overview
As the name suggests, the key benefit of the Longlast filter is durability. This uniquely designed filter can handle up to six months or 120 gallons before it needs replacing.
- Lasts 6 months/120 gallons
- Great chlorine and taste reduction
- Inexpensive compared to Elite
- Faster flow rate
- Doesn’t reduce heavy metals like Elite does
- Replacement indicators less accurate than Elite
The Longlast uses an innovative cylindrical style filter with a woven fabric that captures contaminants through ion exchange.
This gives it great chlorine reduction for better water taste.
While it doesn’t reduce heavy metals like the Elite does, the Longlast filter still blocks asbestos, benzene, limescale and other common water impurities.
It meets NSF standards for Standard 42 (aesthetic contaminants) and Standard 53 (health contaminants).
If you want an affordable filter with great longevity that improves water taste and odor, the Longlast is an excellent choice. With typical household use, you’ll only need to swap the filter twice per year.
How Often Do You Need To Change Filters?
No matter which model you choose, it’s crucial to change your Brita water filter regularly to maintain performance. Here is what you need to know:
- Brita Elite
The electronic filter indicator light will flash red when your Elite filter cartridge has reached its end of life at 120 gallons used or 4-6 months since the previous change – whichever comes first. Expect to swap your filter roughly once per quarter.
- Brita Longlast
While rated for 120 gallons of use like the Elite, the Longlast filter can typically last 6 months before needing a replacement. It lacks the high-tech electronic reminder though.
Instead, you need to manually mark the month you insert a fresh cartridge using a small sticker dot included with new filters. Remember to change it every 6 months.
For both models, always keep replacement filters on hand so you can swap an expired cartridge as soon as the indicator notifies you. Continuing to use a filter beyond its usable capacity can negatively affect water taste and allow contaminants into your drinking water.
Pro tip: Subscribe to Brita’s filter delivery service so new cartridges automatically come right when you need them!
Choosing The Right Pitcher Size
Both the Elite and Longlast filters come in a range of pitcher sizes – 5 cup, 7 cup, 10 cup, or even higher capacity options.
Pick whichever complements your household’s drinking water needs.
Keep in mind that larger pitchers hold more filtered water in the fridge but are bulky and heavy to pour.
Mini pitchers work well for individuals or couples who mainly want filtered water on the go.
Here are some quick guidelines for picking an appropriately sized pitcher:
- 5 Cup – Best for 1-2 people. Provides 2-3 glasses per refill. Fits easily in fridge door shelves.
- 7 Cup – Good for 2 people or a small family. Allows 3-4 glasses before needing a refill.
- 10 Cup – Perfect for families of 3 or more. Provides 8 average cup pours. Good maximum size for most fridges.
No matter which capacity you choose, you can feel confident in Brita’s sleek, eco-friendly design. Both models come in attractive color options to suit any kitchen.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The Elite filter is considered Brita’s best option in terms of contaminant reduction and protection from heavy metals specifically. The ion exchange media effectively traps copper, cadmium, mercury and lead.
But the higher price tag means the Longlast is generally the more practical option for most households. The Longlast still provides great improvements to water quality.
So for most users, opting for the more budget-friendly Longlast filter is perfectly fine. But anyone concerned with heavy metal exposure should choose the Elite filter for maximum protection.
No. PFAS stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances – a category of man-made chemicals that are extremely persistent in the environment. Studies have linked PFAS to health concerns.
Unfortunately, none of Brita’s pitcher or faucet filters are certified to remove PFAS. Their filters rely on mechanical trapping, ion exchange or activated carbon filtration – none of which are proven methods for eliminating PFAS.
At this time, reverse osmosis filtration seems to be the most effective option for removing PFAS from drinking water. For Brita users concerned about PFAS, consider adding an under-sink or counter-top reverse osmosis system.
The Longlast filter is designed to provide great general water filtration, certified to reduce: Chlorine (taste and odor), Zinc, Copper, Mercury, Cadmium, Asbestos, Benzene, Limescale, Standard particulate filtration (like dirt, rust, sediment).
It doesn’t remove lead or heavy metals as significantly as the Elite filter. But the Longlast still improves several common water quality issues like taste, odor, limescale buildup, and other health contaminants.
Among leading water pitcher brands, Brita filters tend to perform the best for overall contaminant reduction capabilities. Within Brita’s own line of pitchers, the Elite filter removes the widest range of contaminants.
To summarize differences:
Brita Elite – Best heavy metal reduction (lead, cadmium, copper, mercury). Reduces over 15 contaminants.
Brita Longlast – Lower price point. Great longevity and water taste improvements. Reduces 9 contaminants.
Pur – Similar performance to Brita but tends to be more expensive for replacement filters. Comparable contaminant reduction capabilities.
ZeroWater – Uniquely uses ion exchange and carbon filtration for outstanding lead, chromium 6, mercury reduction. Only pitcher certified to remove dissolved solids. But filter life is short at 25 gallons.
While Brita Elite seems to come out on top by a small margin, all four major brands offer good options. Consider your top priorities – budget, contaminants in your local water supply, longevity needs etc – to choose what fits your household best!
The Bottom Line
While the Brita Longlast filter might be the practical choice for most users, weighing up cost against contaminant reduction capabilities is essential.
- What specific water quality issues do you want to address – taste, chlorine, or concerning contaminants like lead?
- Will the cheaper Longlast filtration still take care of your particular water problems?
- Is the Elite filter’s superior metal reduction worth the higher price to properly protect your household?
Be honest about your family’s water filtration needs and compare them against the two models’ features. This will ensure you pick the right Brita filter to handle those needs both thoroughly and cost-effectively long term.
And remember to maintain filtration standards through timely cartridge replacements when those indicator lights give the signal!
With its user-centric design across both models, Brita makes it simple to enjoy cleaner, great tasting water every day.
Investing just a little thought into choosing between their Elite or Longlast filter gives your family the level of health protection you want from your water, without waste or excess spending. So take the time to decide which option checks off all the right boxes in your home.