We researched 25 of the best iced tea pitchers available today before buying and testing 9 popular and high-performing glass and plastic models of all types and styles. Finding the ideal iced tea pitcher for your kitchen can be a disappointing process, as some tend to break, crack, or even make your favorite beverage taste worse. If you're in the market for a pitcher that brews great-tasting tea, holds up to wear and tear, won't leak, and is easy to clean (and looks great doing all of this), you're in the right place.
Material: Borosilicate glass, stainless steel lid | Volume: 68 ounces
REASONS TO BUY
Easy to clean
Comes with cleaning brush
REASONS TO AVOID
Lid not airtight
Bulky in the fridge
The Hiware 68 Ounce Glass Pitcher scored well in every test metric and earned the title of our favorite pitcher. This multitasking glass iced tea pitcher checks all the boxes — it's roomy, attractive, lightweight, and easy to clean. Unlike the pear-shaped glass pitchers we tested, its cylindrical shape gives it a sturdy feel and better center of gravity when carrying it or storing it in the fridge. A big bonus for the Hiware 68 is that it can go directly on the stovetop —convenient for brewing right in the pitcher. Amazingly, the glass handle stayed cool to the touch even while the water boiled inside (which was not the case for the two other stove-safe glass pitchers we tested).
The Hiware 68's stainless steel lid includes a filter spout option as well as a fine mesh strainer (similar to the filter in a French press coffee maker) that filtered loose leaf tea with no problems. The result? Clear, perfectly brewed tea with no leaves or debris floating around. Cleaning also was a breeze; the wide mouth allows for easy handwashing with the included brush, and the whole thing is dishwasher safe. Just make sure to rinse this style of lid well right away after use, because tea bits or fruit pulp could easily get lodged in the lid parts. The lid lacks a silicone ring and isn't designed to be airtight, so those who are rough on their pitchers will find that it leaks big-time if tipped. The lid didn't result in any odor transfer between pitcher and refrigerator, though. Overall, the Hiware 68 is a wonderful choice for just about any kitchen, especially those where loose-leaf tea is a favorite.
Material: Borosilicate glass, stainless steel lid | Volume: 65 ounces
REASONS TO BUY
Comes with cleaning brush
REASONS TO AVOID
Lid not airtight
For those who want something slightly smaller and more stylized than the Hiware 68 ounce, we recommend the Artcome Glass Carafe. This pear-shaped pitcher also can be heated right on the stove burner and cleaned with the included brush or in the dishwasher. The Artcome was bumped against another glass container and accidentally tipped almost all the way over in the refrigerator, but never cracked. It has the same mesh filter-style lid as the Hiware models, filtering loose leaf tea like a champ with no floating bits in your drink.
The Artcome handle conducted a fair amount of heat when using it to boil water on the stove. It wasn't enough to require a potholder, but something to keep an eye on while heating. The mouth of the pitcher just barely fits a hand, so instead of forcing it in and potentially breaking the glass, we suggest anyone with large hands should use the brush just to be safe. It also showed a minimal amount of staining after housing strong iced coffee for 24 hours, even after a dishwasher cycle. The pear shape may not work in some refrigerator doors, but it does lend a slightly more sophisticated air to your countertop than the Hiware 68 Ounce's cylinder shape.
Thanks to the nonslip silicone sleeve and thumb indent on the plastic handle, the Takeya 2-quart Pitcher is easy to carry and pour from, even for kids (or adults with messy or wet hands). This skinny, tall iced tea pitcher has a small footprint and can be stored vertically or horizontally. If you plan to store it vertically, check your fridge shelf clearance first. In our lead tester's old-school top-freezer unit, the protruding handle on top of the already-tall Takeya's lid stuck up just enough that it barely fit in the refrigerator's tallest spaces. This pitcher is just shy of 12.5 inches tall, and we had to tilt it significantly for it to clear a bar under the shelf above. Even with all the tipping, though, we didn't encounter any refrigerator spills or leaks as long as the spout was closed tightly.
That said, there was a decent amount of sloshing when the spout was open — however, it's adjustable, so it got better after we used it a few times. One feature we were particularly excited to test was the "patented Flash Chill method," touted by the manufacturer as chilling freshly brewed tea "in seconds." The sturdy plastic did hold up to boiling water with no problems, but even with an entire tray of ice added, it still took about 30-40 minutes for our tea to chill in the fridge. (The pitcher stayed warm to the touch during that time, so we didn't worry about handling a hot pitcher.) We recommend the Takeya for anyone who has trouble handling a full pitcher of liquid, wants to let the kids pour their own drinks without worry, or who has a refrigerator that's the right size to accommodate a tall drink of iced tea like this pitcher.
For families with kids — or simply the clumsier people among us — the Pratico QuickPour Airtight pitcher is an absolute game-changer. We recommend this plastic pitcher for anyone who has unsteady pourers in the house, tends to be rough on their kitchen products, or is tight on refrigerator door space. A huge plus to the Pratico is the locking spout. The thumb slider itself can stick, but once it's engaged and locked, this pitcher does not leak even while held upside down. It can even be stored horizontally in your refrigerator if you're low on vertical space or have shallow shelving. (The only trick is remembering to put the spout lock back in the "locked" position every time you put it on its side.) The surprisingly large volume of this pitcher has a nice narrow footprint; we could see keeping a few of these with different beverages stocked side-by-side in the door of the fridge. We tested the Pratico indoors and outdoors to get a feel for its durability. The bottom did show a significant amount of scratching after sitting on concrete steps, but the sides remained in great shape even after being tossed around in a sinkful of dishes.
There was a lot of sloshing and gurgling while pouring (although only a few drips). The Pratico lid can be tricky to screw on, and it seems slightly off-kilter when it's secure — but if you force it on too tight, it may leak. While the Pratico can handle boiling water poured into it, the plastic does get extremely hot. In our lead tester's house, it took at least 45 minutes to cool down enough to handle. And with the handle attached only to the lid, you'll have no choice but to pick up that heavy hot pitcher with your bare hands if you want to move it. Overall we recommend the Pratico for those who want a large-capacity pitcher that can handle getting knocked down and dragged around.
If you're someone who plays refrigerator Tetris with groceries and likes everything in its proper place, we recommend the Komax Large Pitcher. This square plastic iced tea pitcher fits nicely on a shelf or in the door of a fridge, and its skinny shape means it will save on space and fit well among other containers. It held up to being knocked off a counter (while empty) several times and didn't show any scratches after a couple of days of repeated use. The Komax handled boiling water and cooled enough to touch in about 20 minutes. The flip-up, removable spout that sits on a corner made for a fast, steady pour with no drips.
The spout contains no filtration, so you'll need to use tea bags — or a tea ball for loose-leaf tea — if brewing iced tea right in the Komax. There were also a couple of instances where the lid popped up randomly on its own when the pitcher was very full, but once pushed back down, or if some tea was poured out, it stayed put. All pieces held up well in the dishwasher and handwashing; however, the square shape made it a little tougher to scrub every nook and cranny of the inside corners. We found the lid's silicone seal to be pretty solid, but it's not completely leakproof by any means. We also noticed some very slight fridge odor transfer to the inside after about 24 hours. We recommend the Komax for anyone with limited refrigerator space or who just wants a no-frills, durable pitcher.
Why You Should Trust Us
We started our evaluation by researching dozens of the top iced tea pitchers on the market, looking at different sizes, materials, filter/infusion components, and aesthetic styles before narrowing it down to the final products we purchased for testing. We spent dozens of hours in the kitchen, brewing batch after batch of iced tea, and running each pitcher through rigorous handwash, dishwasher, tipping, fridge storage, leakage, and several other tests. Our testing involved brewing everything from strong Earl Grey tea to blood-red hibiscus, stain-prone turmeric ginger, and light chamomile, as well as loose-leaf styles for the products that featured in-pitcher filtration. We also tested heat resistance for the items that made that claim, including the ones that claimed to be safe for stovetop use. We also let strong iced coffee sit in each pitcher for 24 hours, specifically to measure staining. We used each pitcher just like you would at home, keeping it in a crowded fridge, setting it out on the dinner table, occasionally knocking it over or dropping it, tossing it into the sink when empty, and running all the parts through the dishwasher. To test the taste and quality of the brew and odor containment, we evaluated each product with several types of tea.
Our expert iced tea pitcher tester, Dana Raidt, worked as a barista for more than a decade and has a family that is just as hooked on iced tea as she is. She's made countless batches and used probably hundreds of different types of pitchers to do so, with varying degrees of success (and plenty of smashed, cracked, and scratched pitchers and in-fridge spills to show for it).
Analysis and Test Results
Following our trial period, we ranked each product by how well it performed regarding durability, design, ease of cleaning, leakage potential, and its brewing and/or infusion function.
Though we don't factor value into our scoring, we appreciate a smokin' deal as much as you do. When a product scores high and is affordable, we certainly take note. Many of these products are in a similar price range, but we appreciate the Artcome Glass Carafe and the plastic Takeya 2-quart Pitcher for their lower price points and quality construction. The Hiware options, the Hiware 68 Ounce Glass Pitcher and Hiware 64 Ounce Glass Pitcher are two more great options that are worth a look and often found on discount.
In this metric, we measured how well the pitchers could contain liquid. (After all, that is their most important job.) We looked at drips while pouring, how much liquid spilled out if the pitcher was jostled or tipped over, and in cases where a product made leakproof claims, whether it could handle being stored on its side or held upside down.
The plastic pitchers — the QuickPour Airtight, the Takeya, and the Komax — scored well in this metric, as did the Bormioli Rocco, thanks to their tight seals. The QuickPour and Takeya both lived up to their horizontal storage claim, sitting on their sides in the fridge for several hours with absolutely no leaks. We tipped both of them completely upside down for a few seconds, and nary a drop of tea escaped.
Neither Komax nor Bormioli can be stored horizontally, but both did demonstrate much less sloshing and leakage than other pitchers when tipped over or jostled in the fridge. No pitchers had significant drip issues when pouring as long as the lid was affixed correctly, and the spout was set all the way to "open." The Takeya's spout did require some trial and error, though.
To test durability, we evaluated the strength of the handle, how easy each product was to slip or tip over when gently pushed, plus how each pitcher stood up to bumping up against other fridge items, a sink full of dishes, and the bottom rack of the dishwasher.
It shouldn't be a surprise that the plastic options fared well in this category; however, the Boqo Glass with Coaster and Hiware 68 also scored highly, thanks to excellent scratch resistance and stable designs that didn't slip or tip over as easily. The Artcome and Hiware 64 were scratch-resistant, but their pear shape could make them a little unwieldy in a crowded fridge or if little hands were to grab them.
Despite its shatterproof shell — which did live up to its name — the Delove 68 Ounce Glass Pitcher lost major points in this category. We discovered in our dishwasher testing that if you don't remove the pitcher from its shell before washing, water collects in the space between them. To let the water out, the entire bottom of the shell has to be unscrewed. Since the glass pitcher is not attached in any way to the shell, while you're unscrewing the bottom, it can easily shoot right out of the silicone casing and into a million pieces on your floor, as was our experience. There was nothing included about the waterlogging or the need to unscrew the bottom in the Delove directions (which were smaller than a business card), so we gave it a lower score.
This metric encompasses ease of storing (e.g., how many small parts there were to keep track of), aesthetics, and ergonomics, as well as how each product fits in a standard, crowded, top-freezer style fridge with door compartments.
The Delove gained points for its fun matte shatterproof shell, which comes in three color options: pink, baby blue, and black. The Boqo's unique silicone coaster not only kept it from slipping but made it look a little more modern. Most of the glass pitchers scored highly in this category as well, thanks to sophisticated looks, few parts, and sturdy handles, except for the Bormioli, which becomes unbearably heavy when full of liquid and has a handle only attached at one point — features that made us feel like we always had to carry it with two hands.
While very functional and ergonomically appealing, the three plastic pitchers, Komax, Takeya, and QuickPour, weren't exactly countertop display-worthy, but they deserve kudos for their fridge-friendly shapes (Takeya's shelf clearance issues aside).
Despite brewing with strong black Earl Grey and a stain-prone, bright-yellow turmeric tea — and letting each pitcher also hold iced coffee for 24 hours — only the Artcome showed any evidence of staining, which was very minimal and went away with a second scrubbing.
All pitchers survived handwashing. The Artcome, Boqo, and both Hiware pitchers include a cleaning brush (although the Boqo's brush was quite flimsy).
The only major cleaning issue arose with the Delove. It requires significant two-handed disassembly while cleaning, which in our tests caused the pitcher to slip out of the plastic shell and break. The sharp interior corners of the Komax could require a little extra elbow grease, but it's not a dealbreaker by any means. All pitchers and parts emerged from the bottom rack of the dishwasher intact and spotless.
Brew and Infuse Functionality
This category is what separates the true iced-tea lovers' pitchers from the rest. The Hiware 68 ounce, Hiware 64 ounce, and Artcome all excelled in this metric for their multitasking abilities: Boil the water and brew the tea (even loose-leaf) right in the pitcher, then simply cool down and store in the fridge. Of these three pitchers with mesh filters, none let any debris or leaves through, resulting in clear, perfectly brewed tea, as well as debris-free fruit-infused water and juices.
While not stovetop-safe, the Boqo, Komax, Takeya, QuickPour, and Delove all are heat-resistant, so brewing was as easy as dumping in hot water from a separate kettle or pot. However, the QuickPour took a long time to cool, and since its handle is attached to the lid — and the lid can't be screwed on until it cools off — it had to just sit there on the counter for about an hour or be iced heavily, which would dilute the tea.
The Bormioli was the only non-heat-resistant pitcher in the bunch. While brewing with this product isn't possible, it's fine if you use cold-brew tea bags or usually brew in a separate container anyway.
The Hiware and Artcome pitchers include mesh strainers for brewing and filtering loose-leaf tea.
We hope that this review has helped you narrow down your iced tea pitcher selection so you can easily and effectively brew up and serve batch after batch of your favorite cold beverage. Our recommendations are based on plenty of research and rigorous, unbiased kitchen testing for just about any scenario. We hope you've found the pitcher that's perfect for your next refreshing herbal blend or extra-caffeinated concoction.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.