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AquaTru Review & Comparison [2020]: What You Must Know Before Buying

“The human body may be 99 percent water.”

— Gerald Pollack, PhD (molecule method of calculation)

By keeping cellular water stores topped off, your brain, organs, and muscles function their best. The only problem?

  • Municipal tap water is loaded with toxicant chemicals, synthetic hormones, prescription drug residues, microplastics, and industrial waste for “fortification”.
  • Carbon block water filters like the Brita are only partially effective.
  • Bottled water is expensive, inconvenient, bad for the environment, and still not clean.

“I know that I need more water, but it’s so bland that I always choose other drinks.”

— Everyone

What if I told you that the best water filters transform ordinary municipal tap water into a clean, neutral-smelling light beverage? You’ll begin to find water pleasant,

Good reverse-osmosis filtered water is purer than bottled water and instead costs pennies per gallon. Click To Tweet

I learned everything I could from scientists dedicating their entire career to water (like Robert Slovak). I tested many of the highest-rated water filtration systems on the market. More than two years went by between my initial interest and selecting my personal in-home unit.

Initially, I favored Berkey (you’ll hear my shocking discoveries later). Here’s my full AquaTru review including its pros & cons, how it compares to popular water filters, and everything you should know before upgrading to the #1 ultra reverse osmosis system.

Understanding the Best Forms of Water Filtration

Everything you’ve wanted to know about water. Listen to 10:20 through 28:00 to learn about the two effective forms of filtration. Then at 1:25:00 he recommend his favorite filter.

Robert Slovak is one of the early pioneers in water filtration. In this winding episode he describes the dangers of most under-sink RO filters, and gives a lesson on the biological importance of water.

The two best forms of water filtration are carbon block, and reverse osmosis (RO). In the above video Robert describes the only two technologies capable of removing every type of chemical:

  1. Distillation + activated carbon
  2. Reverse osmosis + activated carbon

Each has its advantages, but for pure and convenient water, option two wins by a landslide. As he mentions at 1:25:00, AquaTru leads the market in technology and price.

Who is the AquaTru For?

Before getting too excited about the last water filtration system you’ll need, I must clarify that AquaTru is NOT for everyone.

There are two main considerations that above all may make the AquaTru the wrong choice:

  • Size of household
  • Location of use

Currently, there’s only one model. It stores a puny 0.75 quarts of clean water. This model can support 2-3 people max. While it can work in the short-term, large groups and families will struggle with the limited supply.

Like any reverse osmosis system, AquaTru requires electricity. If you’re going off the grid, planning for natural disasters, or want something portable, you should stick with a carbon filter. Reverse osmosis won’t cut it.

If you’re looking for a gorgeous centerpiece to support one to three people, look no further. While certain municipalities are notorious for their water, sadly municipal supplies always contains pollutants of some form.

To find out about the contaminants lurking in your tap water, I recommend visiting the EWG’s Tap Water Report.

How The AquaTru Works

AquaTru is a 4-stage ultra-reverse osmosis water filtration system that looks good, but more importantly, extracts more contaminants from water than any other system. The four stages ensure a long, consistent filter lifespan:

  • STAGE 1 (Pre): Pre-Filtration removes sediments and cloudiness from water.
  • STAGE 2 (Activated charcoal): Removes chlorine and chloramines.
  • STAGE 3 (Reverse Osmosis Filter): Removes toxic inorganic contaminants including lead, Chromium 6, radium, arsenic & nitrates (and many others). Does the bulk of the filtration.
  • STAGE 4 (VOC Carbon Filter): Removes toxic organic chemicals including pesticides, fertilizer, rocket fuel & prescription drug residue.

So how does it work?

Water flows from the tap reservoir, traveling through each of the four stages, and finishes in the clean water reservoir on the front. Reverse osmosis technology creates some wastewater, which flows back into the tap reservoir. They recommend discarding this wastewater before refilling as it is hyper-concentrated with contaminants.

For a 45-second walk-through of how the product works, here’s a simple animation:

AquaTru is IAMPO certified to remove 82 contaminants, approximately 15 times more than typical carbon block filters. Click To Tweet

Of the thousands of pollutants removed, rigorous third-party testing found some notable reductions:

  • Lead: 99.1%
  • Chromium: 97.2%
  • Copper: 95.2%
  • Fluoride: 93.5%
  • Radium: 96.4%
  • Chlorine: 96.6%

The unit when dry weighs 16 pounds. It holds three quarts in the clean water reservoir, and four quarts in the tap reservoir. Therefore, you can filter a maximum of 7 quarts before needing to refill.

Installation & Initial Impressions

aquatru unboxing 1
The box that arrives on your doorstep.

I’m not one for complicated setups or products that come with an instruction novel. I loathe everything between unboxing and proceeding with my day.

AquaTru makes it easy. From box to fully set up took 5 minutes flat. The approximate steps I followed:

  1. Unbox and unwrap everything
  2. Pop off the side panel
  3. Screw in each filter
  4. Place the tap reservoir and clean reservoir on top of the machine
  5. Plug into outlet
  6. Fill up the tap reservoir and discard the filtered water three times before drinking

The unit includes multiple sensors so that it stops filtering when the clean tank is full. No worrying about flooding the kitchen.

Water flows quickly from the spigot. Great for rapidly filling water bottles. Bad for shallow containers like ice cube trays. The entire system feels well-built.

My DIY at-home measurement showed that my unfiltered tap water went from 230 PPM of dissolved solids (TDS) down to 31 PPM. Though, as I explain in the Zero Water comparison, TDS does not accurately measure water quality.

What I Like

aquatru review
Sleek design, delicious, easy to setup, and effective.

Immediately I could tell the thought and deliberation behind the product. From the sleek modern shape, to the convenient LED screen, to the locking mechanisms securing the reservoirs. Team AquaTru’s obsession with detail shows.

My countertops aren’t the largest, but it still easily fits.

By now you’re probably wondering about the water itself.

I’m no water connoisseur. For most of my life, I’ve had the water-is-water palette. So I didn’t expect much. But the 7/7 I’ve blind taste-tested have favored it over my mediocre-but-drinkable New York tap. Indeed, I understand their slogan: 

”The Best Water You’ve Ever Tasted Or Your Money Back”.

In water filtration speed is the name of the game. If I wake up thinking, damn, I forgot to fill the filter last night, the product isn’t for me. I drink ~100 ounces per day, so I care about speed. This product quietly processes three quarts in about 12 minutes.

Back to the water-nerd stuff.

Like all good water filters, AquaTru is certified by the IAMPO — one of the two national certifiers. The unit meets the highest NSF standards.

You’ve surely noticed that it’s a countertop unit. No expensive and complicated installation nor plumbing required. This also makes it more portable than other reverse osmosis systems.

Since it sits on top of the counter, it’s also easier to clean than under-sink systems. You might be thinking, so what… why does cleaning a water filter matter? I thought the same until I discovered that the #1 biggest problem with RO is mold and pathogens that thrive in warm, moist conditions. So bad that I’ve even heard doctors recommend tap water over RO. Unlike other RO systems, AquaTru’s intelligent design makes cleaning, maintenance, and washing the components a cinch.

Care about the environment? Reverse osmosis technology is notoriously inefficient. Some systems waste 90 percent of the water! That’s right, 9 quarts down the drain to produce 1 quart of clean water. AquaTru is 4X more efficient than other RO systems, making it the eco-friendly choice.

But AquaTru isn’t perfect. Here are the things I’d like to see improved.

What I Don’t Like

aquatru small tank
Small (plastic) water reservoirs.

No fault of their own, but reverse osmosis technology requires electricity. Unlike carbon block filters, this potentially limits the AquaTru’s use when you need it most —During a natural disaster or when away from the house.

AquaTru’s “elephant in the room” is their single model. The 0.75 quart clean water tank is small. Prohibitively small for families or large households. I’d imagine they will eventually create a larger model, but the tiny reservoir almost turned me elsewhere.

Plastic isn’t a good material for housing consumables. It leaches microplastics, and unstudied chemicals into food and water. Various toxic chemicals go into plastic production. Including well-documented coatings like BPA/BPS. Though their product is BPA-free and BPS-free. Water belongs in glass, ceramic, or certain medals. AquaTru stores water in two plastic reservoirs.

A friend with the same unit complained about the sensitivity of the system. He said that didn’t screw the filters in properly, and the device didn’t work as expected. I agree. The precision of the AquaTru is a double-edged sword: you’ll know if it’s filtering properly, but if it stops working you won’t necessarily know why.

New to standalone reverse osmosis technology? Since it’s not connected to plumbing, all that wastewater must go somewhere. As a newbie, I had a hard time remembering that the tap water tank fills with wastewater when it’s done filtering. Every time you go to fill the AquaTru, remember to discard the water and rinse the reservoir.

AquaTru Compared to Other Popular Water Filtering Systems

Now that you know my thoughts on the AquaTru water filtration system, how does it stack up to other popular options?

AquaTruZero WaterBerkeyAquasana
Size14” x 14” x 12”2.2″ x 6″ x 11.6″21″ x 8.5″12″ x 7″ x 5″
Weight23 pounds16 ounces7.4 pounds3 pounds
Filter Life6-24 months1-2 months6 months6 months
TechnologyReverse OsmosisCarbon BlockCarbon BlockCarbon Block
Flow Rate4.5 GPH1.8 GPH1.5 GPH24 GPH
PowerElectricityGravityGravityGravity
Contaminants Removed8223Unknown*77
Removes FluorideYesYesNo*No
Removes ChlorineYesYesYesYes
Warranty12 months3 months6 months12 months
Best ForGeneralPriceCampingElectrolytes
AquaTru vs Zero Water vs Berkey vs Aquasana Comparison Table

*See independent third-party testing in comparison section.

AquaTru vs Zero Water

Of the carbon block filters, Zero Water was once my favorite. They supply a meter that “proves” it’s free of contaminants. Except as one blogger pointed out here, water low in Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) can still be contaminated. There was even a 2010 lawsuit against ZeroWater for deceptive marketing.

Filter costs add up, with replacements needed after 8-40 gallons of filtration. Replacing the filter every month didn’t work for me. I stretched them, and the water quickly rose up to 95 PPM. What otherwise appears a cheap device quickly becomes prohibitively expensive. Similar to the cartridge and razor business model where they make most of their money off overpriced filters.

Although I bought a Zero Water system long ago, today you have better options.

AquaTru vs Berkey

Berkey has a cult following behind it. I knew, because I almost fell prey. They’re decent systems. But water experts like Robert Slovak worry about their outlandish claims. Their test result claims don’t match the physics behind carbon block filters. To add to the suspicion, they are NOT third-party tested by either of the two labs used by every other water filtration company.

Indeed, independent user testing shows disgraceful results. Search the internet and you’ll find enough unsavory test results that I can’t recommend Berkey in good faith.

The unit itself is made of steel (a plus), decently heavy at 7.4 pounds, and 8.5 inches in diameter by 21.5 inches tall. The super slow 1.5 GPH flow rate means that you can expect to wait on the Berkey.

That said, if you’re looking for a camping-friendly water filter, Berkey is the classic.

AquaTru vs Aquasana

Aquasana is the unofficial Aquatru junior. At 12 inches x 7 inches x 5 inches, it takes up little space. My favorite part is that it preserves the water’s essential mineral content. Electrolytes that must be replaced in RO systems.

Its 24 GPH flow rate crushes Berkey’s.

The item is affordable and shown to remove 77 different contaminants. If you want the best value and don’t care about removing the most contaminants possible, this is your water filter.

Many Aquasana users complain about problems and later move to AquaTru.

Top AquaTru Questions Answered

Does AquaTru remove glyphosate?

While there is little scientific literature on multi-stage reverse osmosis removing glyphosate, a separate third-party test shows that AquaTru does effectively remove glyphosate!

How long do AquaTru filters last?

The life of AquaTru filters depends on the contaminants in your tap water, how much water you consume, and how well you maintain the system. Generally, filters last 6 months – 2 years or 600-gallons.

Is AquaTru NSF certified?

AquaTru is IAMPO certified to NSF standards. IAMPO is one of the two major third-party testing and water certification companies in the USA.

Is AquaTru water alkaline?

AquaTru does not produce alkaline water. Reverses osmosis filtration systems without remineralization do not impact water pH. Water naturally ranges from a pH of 5 to 8.

Buy Your AquaTru Today

The system isn’t cheap. Its surge in popularity and the company’s continued investment in R&D has actually driven the price up over the past few years.

The cost of the AquaTru depends on where you purchase it but generally fluctuates between $400 – $450.

  • Sometimes, I’ve seen it discounted 10% on their website.
  • Amazon has multiple listings, so make sure to purchase through the official AquaTru store (click below).
  • Look for it on sale around holidays.
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Use code bp for 10% off.

If you’re unhappy for any reason, they offer a 30-day-money-back refund.

AquaTru: The Best Ultra Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

There’s no debate about it, humans are mostly water. And tiny concentrations of chemicals can drastically through off your body’s functionality. That’s the entire premise behind homeopathy. Between reverse osmosis and carbon block filters:

  • RO systems are more effective, last longer, and cheaper in the long run.
  • Carbon block filters don’t require electricity, are more portable, and may leave some electrolytes in the water.

I deliberated so much over my water filter options that it drove my housemates mad. I must be completely sure, and see repeatable third-party data before I’m willing to spend on best-in-class products.

AquaTru is NSF certified to remove 82 water contaminants, the most of any filtration system. The device sits on your countertop, making it easy to clean — an important consideration since moldy water eventually plagues most RO systems. In 12 minutes, the filter turns three quarts of regular tap water into something special.

Although there are a few things that AquaTru can improve (like increasing tank size), I’m happy so far. What do you use to filter your water?

AquaTru Review & Comparison [2020]: What You Must Know Before Buying
AquaTru My Review

Water filtration is full of ineffective reverse osmosis and carbon block systems. Here's how the best products like Aquatru, Zero Water, Berkey, and Aquansana compare and why I ultimately chose Aquatru.

Product SKU: 90AT02AT01

Product Brand: AquaTru

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 385.50

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
4.5

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