Mavea Water Pitcher

A clever design makes this water pitcher a great Brita-alternative when you're in the market for sweet, filtered tap water.

After more than ten years of drinking water exclusively from the tap (New York City H2O is supposed to be some of the best out there, right?), a sick cat, of all things, forced me to look into water filtration systems. He apparently needed treated water, whereas good old sink water was always fine for me. I grew up using Brita Filters, but was never a huge fan of a) the inevitable accident of pouring a pitcher that had just been filled and b) the little bits of charcoal floating inside. I went to my local kitchen shop and asked if they had something that was a Brita, but not a Brita. That's how I got my Mavea pitcher, made in Germany. It is constructed well: the pitcher has rubber treads on its base so when you set it down, it grips the counter. Plus, there's a little hinged opening on the lid where you pour in the water—once the basin is filled, it shuts closed, leaving zero guesswork. Because the lid is closed tight, I haven't had a single water explosion yet. And, of course, it filters out all kinds of gunk, so the water is delicious, and almost sweet. I think I owe my cat one.

Mavea Water Filtration Pitcher, $29.95 at williams-sonoma.com