“The human body may be 99 percent water.”— Gerald Pollack, PhD (molecule method of calculation)
By keeping cellular water topped off, your brain, organs, and muscles perform their best. The problems?
- Municipal tap water is loaded with toxicant chemicals, synthetic hormones, prescription drug residues, microplastics, and industrial waste byproduct “fortification”.
- Carbon block water filters like the Brita and Berkey are only partially effective. Carbon block filters last for 20-40 gallons compared to the 1,400-gallon life of RO filters.
- Bottled water is expensive, inconvenient, bad for the environment, and still not clean.
What if I told you that the best water filters transform ordinary municipal tap water into a clean, light beverage? You’ll begin to find water pleasant. Good reverse osmosis filtered water is more pure and far cheaper than bottled water.
All without destroying the environment. For the quality, this particular system wastes the least:
AquaTru’s technology is 12-times more efficient than under-sink RO systems, and 10-times more efficient than bottled-water manufacturing.— Peter Spiegel
I learned everything I could from two water-obsessed scientists. I tested many of the highest-rated water filtration systems on the market. More than two years went by between my initial interest and buying my personal in-home unit.
I almost chose Berkey (you’ll hear my shocking discoveries later). Here’s my full AquaTru review including the pros & cons, how it compares to popular water filters, and everything you should to determine if it’s the #1 reverse osmosis system for you.
Understanding the Best Forms of Water Filtration
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:
- Distillation + activated carbon
- 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.
In a hurry?
Use the exclusive AquaTru code URBAN to save 10% sitewide
AquaTru Water Purification Summary
AquaTru’s reverse osmosis system generates pure, delicious water, 99.99% contaminant-free. It’s an NSF-certified plug-and-play countertop system that doesn’t require any installation. Compared to other RO units, AquaTru is the most environmentally friendly, least expensive, and strongest purifier. Garnering it a regular spot on lists of the best water filtration systems. Ideal for renters, those without clean tap water, or looking for a bottled water replacement.
Read on to learn more.
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 notable reductions amongst the most harmful:
- 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
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:
- Unbox and unwrap everything
- Pop off the side panel
- Screw in each filter
- Place the tap reservoir and clean reservoir on top of the machine
- Plug into outlet
- 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
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
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?
|Size||14” x 14” x 12”||2.2″ x 6″ x 11.6″||21″ x 8.5″||12″ x 7″ x 5″|
|Weight||23 pounds||16 ounces||7.4 pounds||3 pounds|
|Filter Life||6-24 months||1-2 months||6 months||6 months|
|Technology||Reverse Osmosis||Carbon Block||Carbon Block||Carbon Block|
|Flow Rate||4.5 GPH||1.8 GPH||1.5 GPH||24 GPH|
|Warranty||12 months||3 months||6 months||12 months|
*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
AquaTru is cheap compared to most top reverse osmosis setups. Its surge in popularity and the company’s continued investment in R&D has actually driven the price up slightly over the past few years.
The cost of the AquaTru depends on where you purchase it but generally fluctuates between $390 – $450.
- Sometimes, I’ve seen it discounted by 10% on their website.
- Amazon has multiple listings, so avoid ineffective counterfeits.
- Look for it on sale around the holidays.
Their team is offering Outliyr like you a big discount and free filters when you click the button below.
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. Tiny concentrations of chemicals can drastically impair your vital biological processes. That’s the entire premise behind homeopathy.
Reverse osmosis and carbon block filtration are the two most popular water cleaning technologies. With major differences:
- RO systems are more effective, last longer, and are cheaper over the long-term
- Carbon block filters don’t require electricity, are more portable, and may leave some trace minerals in the water
For years I deliberated over products. Which water filter is really the best? It’s a big purchase, so I wanted to see third-party testing data first. All the while, I drank tap water.
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 RO systems eventually become microbial breeding grounds. 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. Several years later, I’m still using my AquaTru system. I constantly test the water, and I’ve only had to change the filters once. I’ve only made one change since then.
After researching, testing, and reviewing the Analemma Water Wand, I now swirl that through my clean AquaTru water for the ultimate upgrade.
What do you use to filter and upgrade your water?
AquaTru Review & Comparison : The Best Overall RO System?
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
7 thoughts on “AquaTru Review & Comparison : The Best Overall RO System?”
Enjoy your blog. I prefer Berkey though.
Have you done any testing to see if mold is an issue for the Aquatru?
Hi Ann. I haven’t but I follow the cleaning & sanitization instructions. Probably a good idea to verify regardless. Do you have a preferred testing method?
Nick, what’s your protocol for reminalizing the water filtered by AquaTru? In a different review you mentioned Quinton and Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops. How much would you add of either of them for the full AquaTru tank (0.75 gallon) of clean water?
Hey Olivia, great question! I’m not too picky about it since I make sure to get plenty of electrolytes/trace minerals throughout the day. I’ll have a large pinch of quality sea salt, a dose of ConcenTrace (I believe ~40 drops), which would amount to 1 Quinton ampoule. Basically, I try to find the sweet spot where the water’s flavor doesn’t change.
Is the under counter version of the AquaTru the same as the counter top?
Steve, good question! I haven’t used it but it looks great. Thanks for pointing that out. I will be upgrading at some point.