10 Affordable and Practical Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

Now-a-days people are more focused on buying gifts with a specific purpose in mind. Gone are the days of purchasing an impractical gift just for the sake of saying you gave someone a present. We understand what it’s like to streamline our household budgets, but at the same time we are savvier about giving gifts that will be remembered and appreciated for years to come. Filters Fast offers 10 functional and reasonably priced gift-giving suggestions to consider:

Water Filter Pitchers: This gift is ideal for college students or apartment dwellers who want filtered drinking water that is convenient, portable and reusable. See our selection of space-saving water filter pitchers available from Brita, Mavea, Pur, GE, Omnifilter and 3M Filtrete.

Klean Kanteen Wine Karafe: This 27 ounce wine carafe is made from BPA free, food-grade brushed stainless steel, wine enthusiast who wants to avoid taking a heavy wine bottle or decanter on a hike, carriage ride or picnic. that does not impart any unsavory flavors into your wine or other beverages. This gift is ideal for the wine enthusiast who wants to avoid taking a heavy wine bottle or decanter on a hike, carriage ride or picnic.

Sprite Baby Shower Water FilterSprite Baby Shower: The Sprite Baby Shower is the perfect gift for parents with infants. It features a small easy-to-hold handle and uses an adapter to attach to your kitchen sink faucet to easily bathe your infant. Replacement filters are available for continued use.

Fluval C3 Aquarium Power Filter SystemThis high performance system produces optimum aquarium filtration foryour tropical fish lover. The Fluval Aquarium Filtration System is designed for quick and easy maintenance with built-in features to remind you when components need to be cleaned or replaced.

Crane Animal Cool Mist Humidifiers: These ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers features assorted fun animal designs to choose from. Crane humidifiers will help a child breathe easier at night, while preventing dry skin and chapped lips triggered by dry indoor air.

Dog It Fresh and Clear Pet Water FountainDog It and Cat It Fresh and Clear Water Fountains: Do not forget about your pampered pooch or feline this holiday season. The Fresh and Clear Water Fountains for cats and dogs, constantly recirculates water to provide a steady stream of cool, crisp and clean water for your pets. With a sleek modern design, this fountain can help to prevent recurrent kidney or urinary tract infections in your pets.

Plane Clean Air Filter: The Plane Clean Air Filter is just the thing for the frequent flyer in your family. This airplane air filter is designed to help you breathe easier while you fly. It easily attaches to the overhead nozzle in most planes and helps to remove approximately 99.5% of bacteria and viruses from the air stream.

Watersafe Science Project Kit: This gift is great for your science aficionado. This test kit compares water quality and is easy for elementary students to use, yet scientifically sophisticated enough for high school experiments or projects. Available in a 4-pack or 10-pack value set.

Klean Kanteen Sippy Cup: Kids can now enjoy their favorite drink from an environmentally safe, stylish and BPA-free water bottle. This 12-ounce water bottle can easily provide a cool drink for younger kids and comes in a marine blue or pastel pink finish.

Katadyn MyBottle Water Purifier: This gift is perfect for the hiker, camper or outdoor enthusiast. The Katadyn advanced water bottle filtration system can be used with untreated fresh water sources such as lakes, rivers and streams. This water bottle purifier includes the technology of a microbial purification filter cartridge and is ideal for emergency and natural disaster situations.

How to Choose a Water Pitcher Filter

What do you look for in a water filter pitcher? Sleek design? Advanced technology? Affordability?

Manufacturers of water pitcher filters take these factors into consideration when marketing their products.  Perhaps the most well-known pitcher filter on the market today is the Brita brand, with $5 billion in sales. Seven out of ten pitchers sold to consumers bear the Brita name. With so many alternate brands on the market, it’s only natural to wonder why.

In 2000, Brita sold sole rights to its brand to the Clorox Company. Seven years later, the MAVEA brand was launched by former Brita CEO Markus Hankammer. With a newer, contemporary, stylish design, the MAVEA Elemaris pitchers are priced at $32 to $40. Clorox-owned Brita carafes range from $11 to $32, with its latest, comparable upscale design priced at $23. (Is it safe to assume that the top priority for consumers is affordability?)

Nick Vlahos, vice president of Clorox’s Brita division thinks so. However, Hankammer argues that as these pitchers become less trendy over time, good design becomes more and more of a necessity. MAVEA pitchers have a rubber base and soft-grip handle, with a sleek design that looks great on any dinner table. MAVEA also claims to be ahead of the game in filtration technology, with a unique oval-shaped micromesh filter that prevents carbon fragments from escaping into the water. (I’m sure we’re all familiar with those tiny black dots…).

Brita and MAVEA are not the only water filtration pitchers on the market today. Many companies that manufacture water filters have pitchers somewhere in their product lines, including GE, Culligan and PUR. Each of these brands has something unique to offer. With so many options, how do you go about choosing the best one?

  • Find out what’s in your water. The reduction of chlorine taste and odor, along with chlorination byproducts, is a given with most water filter pitcher brands. Some pitchers also reduce microbiological cysts, heavy metals, pharmaceutical traces, and agricultural and industrial pollutants.
  • Pick a price point. Obviously, affordability is a major priority for most consumers. How much are you willing to spend?
  • Look for the design that best suits your needs. How much space in your refrigerator are you willing to sacrifice for a water filter pitcher? Will you use your pitcher while entertaining guests? If so, how important is appearance? Some pitchers have an opening in the lid to allow for convenient, one-handed refills under the faucet.

These steps are in no particular order. Which of them do you consider most important? (Hint: take our latest poll.)