Better than Brita? Elegantly-designed Soma water filter sure wants to be

My first high school job was waitressing at a restaurant in New York City. As you can imagine, things always seem to go wrong when you’re learning to undertake a new responsibility. I will never forget the one day I walked over to refill a patron’s glass of water, only to find specks of black floating in the pitcher. The customer made a big deal out of the mess, even though I hadn’t even filled his glass and it wasn’t particularly my fault the restaurant’s basic plastic filter didn’t do its job. The patron ended up taking a bottled water from the fridge, refusing to pay for the item. That cost came out of my paycheck.

Perhaps my situation was a bit more dramatic than most, but finding little black flakes in your water even after you’ve given it the Brita treatment isn’t uncommon. In fact, this very same problem is exactly the reason why Mike Del Ponte created the Soma, an elegantly-designed water filter that looks like a laboratory flask’s hippie, high tech cousin. Soma was one of the many Kickstarter success stories when it launched back in December of last year, garnering nearly 1.5 times more than its intended goal of $100,000. Just about one year later, the product is finally ready to launch and is now available for sale.

Soma water filter“We decided on a form solution that embodies what water filtration really is and does,” Soma designer Joe Tan tells Fast Co.Design. “If you translate the filtering process into a shape that describes a reducing function and its direction of movement you will arrive at the funnel.” And thus, the hourglass shape was born. The sizing is another design detail not to be missed, as it is made to fit perfectly in a refrigerator while not being too large or small to display at a formal dinner party.

The Soma’s filter doesn’t just look good, it is also eco-friendly. The filters are made with recycled coconut shells, enabling it to be 100 percent compostable. The carafe jug design is made so that the water doesn’t topple over the edge, creating drips or spills. With a $13 subscription, the company sends fresh filters every 60 days with free shipping for life. Every Soma filter profits go supports a charity to end global water crisis.

The Soma is available today for $50. Hard to argue against a beautiful product with an ecological and charitable cause.

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