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How Many Cups in a Pitcher? Find Out the Answer

Writen by Ronald Brown

Fact checked by Natalie Bridges

how many cups in a pitcher

Adequate hydration is essential to maintaining the functions of our body. However, our tap water is not free of all contaminants, which is why the need for filtered water is necessary.

Water pitcher filters are some of the most portable water filters to date. They feature filter-as-you-pour technology that allows you to enjoy potable water on the go.

But you need to find the right size of water pitcher to keep your family hydrated throughout the day. So the question is, “how many cups in a pitcher?” Generally, a standard pitcher filter holds up to 6 – 10 cups.

Let’s find out more about how water pitcher filters work and find the right size for your family!

Table of Contents

What Makes a Water Pitcher Filter Unique?

Top-rated pitcher filters offer a high level of defense from your water contaminants using a portable filtration method.

The word “expensive” is not always synonymous with “high quality”. Compared to other comprehensive water filtration systems, pitcher filters are relatively inexpensive (typically less than 40 dollars) but do not compromise quality.

Most pitcher filters use activated carbon to reduce impurities and contaminants. But some brands like Brita filters, Aquagear, and Clearly Filtered incorporate proprietary technology to filter bad-tasting pollutants like lead, chlorine, mercury, sediments, and heavy metals.

These filters combine built-in compact filtration media with proprietary technology to provide clean and better-tasting water.

They have a simple filtration mechanism: you have to pour water into the reservoir and wait for 20-30 minutes (duration typically depends on your water quality) for it to create purified water in the container.

There is nothing simpler than this process. Many households switch to pitcher filters because of their excellent portability and convenience.

Most pitcher filters are ideally designed to fit your refrigerator so you can access cold, purified water at any time.

How Do Pitcher Filters Work?


Pitcher filters work like any other water filters, except that they provide direct access to filtered water. We pour unfiltered water into the upper chamber; it then passes through the cartridge filter to strain fine particles and generate cleaner drinking water into the pitcher.

Generally, pitcher filters use two different techniques to remove impurities from drinking water: Mechanical Filtration and Chemical Filtration. Some models even use both.

Brita Standard Every Day Pitcher Filter is just one example of this dual filtration system. It has a built-in mesh filter screen that traps sediments and prevents black flecks.

Moreover, it utilizes a combination of coconut-based activated carbon and ion exchange resins to effectively remove waterborne contaminants such as mercury, chlorine, copper, zinc, and cadmium, thus, improving the taste and odor of your home water.

Some models may also use multi-stage filtration technology. Prominent brands like the ZeroWater pitcher filter offer a sophisticated 5-stage filtration system that includes three kinds of pre-filters, an ion-exchange technology, and an RO membrane.

How Much Water Is in a Pitcher?


A standard pitcher filter contains 2 quarts of water, and 1 quart is equivalent to 4 cups. Hence, a pitcher usually holds no more than 8 cups of water.

Generally, pitcher filters come in various sizes. The overall size and model of your pitcher will always determine its holding capacity.

1. 10-cup pitcher filter

If you have a big family, choosing a 10-cup pitcher filter is a better option as it comes ready to hold enough water to hydrate your whole family throughout the day. The larger the pitcher, the less often you will need to refill it.

Most 10-cup pitcher filters on online shopping sites have a BPA-free compact design. The 10-cup Brita pitcher filter, for instance, can accommodate 3 reusable bottles worth of water, each with a capacity of 24 ounces.

In addition to that, it has a locking lid and a comfort-grip handle, making it easier to fill water in the container.

On the other hand, the ZeroWater ZP-010 pitcher can hold up to ten 8-ounce cups of filtered water or 2.3 liters.

This model allows you to efficiently dispense filtered water into your drinking glass through the push-to-pour spigot feature.

2. 7-cup pitcher filter

For a small household of one or two individuals, a 7-cup pitcher filter will work just fine. It also has a space-saving 1.75-quart design that fits neatly on the counter, bar, or refrigerator shelf space.

Many products offer these winning features, and PUR’s CR 6000 7-cup pitcher filter is one of them. It has dimensions of 4.6 x 11.3 x 10.8 inches and a 40-gallon filter.

The filter can last for about two months, depending on your water quality. The pitcher can hold seven 8 oz of water (about 2 liters), enough for a relatively small family.

It uses a two-stage filtration system that removes 96% of pharmaceutical remnants, 98% of lead, and 99.9 % of microbial cysts. It also reduces lead, mercury, and chlorine.

3. 6-cup pitcher filter

A 6-cup pitcher filter is perfect for kitchen and small office refrigerators. It is suitable for people who live alone or any family with an average water usage of 11 glasses per day.

Typically, small pitcher filters have a single type of filter and include one filter. But popular brands like ZeroWater upped their game by adding the patented 5-stage filtration technology in all pitcher sizes.

Although small in size, the ZeroWater ZP-006-4 pitcher can effectively reduce TDS and provide you with expertly filtered drinking water.

It can store and process 1.4 liters of water before it needs a refill. In addition to that, it has an easy-fill lid and non-slip grip for ease of use.

How Long Does It Take to Filter Water From a Pitcher Filter?

Pitcher filters may use gravity to filter water gradually. That is why they can be excessively slow sometimes. On average, 1 pitcher to liter is equivalent to 2-3 liters. An efficient pitcher filter can treat a quart (1L) of water in 1 minute and 15 seconds.

Depending on the brand and technology used, water pitcher filters tend to outperform each other. A 10-cup Brita pitcher can filter 1 cup of water in 40 seconds, while a 10-cup ZeroWater filter can take roughly under 2 minutes.

The type of filtration technology used determined the difference in their speeds. ZeroWater uses a 5-stage filter, which is comprehensive compared to the Brita model, which only offers 2-stage filtration.


Water pitcher filters are just one of the smart home devices today that give us pure-tasting water any time we want. Knowing how many cups in a pitcher is essential to ensure that we drink enough water each day.

A typical filter can store 6-10 cups of water. Choosing the right size of water filter will keep our body hydrated just enough to keep up with our active lifestyle! Did you find the above info helpful? Do not forget to leave a comment in the box below!

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