There are many countertop water filters in the market, each with some unique factor about them. Since we are talking about countertop water filters, an additional factor is always required; How the filter looks. With most of the filters, you can always fit it somewhere inconspicuous and forget it. But countertop filters are always in sight. It is why our first pick for countertop water filters is the AquaTru Reverse Osmosis filter. This thing’s design makes it unique, apart from the filtration and features. So here’s the detailed review of the AquaTru RO water filter.
What’s In The Box?
The AquaTru came in a decently-sized box, and everything about the box was premium, from the packaging quality to the quality of the box. After opening the box, we were greeted by plastics, manuals, and the large single-unit water filter. In no way this water filter seems low-quality or cheap. The fiberglass feels very strong, sturdy, and well-built. There was no bending when we tried to put a little pressure on it. The plastics used are also very premium. The RO unit was a little heavier than we had expected. So in terms of packaging and the build quality, the AquaTru is not cheap. Just like its price.
There is hardly any installation process here since it is just plug-and-play. The unique triangular design does help in compactness and space-saving. We tried keeping it in different places, where most families would preferably want their water filters to be, and it fits in very well.
The most common place where this filter would find itself would be kitchen countertops. However, this really shines in kitchen spaces because of its unique design. Instead of looking like some water filter, it looks more like some sophisticated machine, perhaps a new-age juicer. The bottom line is this filter is perfect for kitchens.
The same, however, cannot be said for dining spaces. The bold design is hard to ignore, so it kind of stands out. However, we also found it difficult to put it on a small dining table. While it can stay there, it would be a slight inconvenience, both in terms of looks and ergonomics. But the compact build allows it to be kept on some bedside tables and other tabletops.
This one is the star of the show is the filtration of the AquaTru Reverse Osmosis. It can filter water really well, both in the testing and on paper. The filter comes with a four-stage water filtration unit that is capable of removing more than 82 contaminants in the water, some by up to 99%. In addition, it can handle larger contaminants such as sand, silt, and clay. At the same time, it can remove microscopic contaminants, heavy metals, and dissolved chemicals. Here’s what the different units of the filter do.
The first stage of filtration is the sediment filter that is used to remove all the larger contaminants such as sand, silt, debris, and other microplastics. This stage also improves how the water looks. It turns the water from muddy to clear. And we are certain that no one likes drinking muddy water!
The second filtration unit is an activated carbon filter which is used to remove all the dissolved chemicals in the water. This stage works to remove mostly chlorine and chloramine, which are some of the most commonly found chemical contaminants. In addition, it greatly improves the smell and taste of the water.
The third filter is the most powerful and important stage of filtration. It is the reverse osmosis unit where most of the remaining microscopic contaminants are filtered out. This stage removes toxic metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury, chromium, etc. This stage also removes the nitrates, PFAs, fluoride, etc. The company claims that its RO system removes five times more contaminants than competitors. Do note that this stage requires the removal of a portion of water where the contaminants are filtered. Therefore, it results in quite a bit of water loss.
The fourth and final filtration unit is an activated carbon coconut shell filter that works wonderfully to remove any dissolved VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). It is very important as these compounds can evaporate from the water and mix in the air, which goes inside your lungs and causes damage. In addition, the removal of VOCs and other dissolved contaminants improves the taste even more.
It is what the company claims. But can it perform in real life? It is why we did this review. First, we put the AquaTru to the test to see if it could actually remove the contaminants.
Testing the Filter
To test the capabilities of this filter, we put it to a very hard and “dirty” test. Since this is a reverse osmosis filter, we did not hold back. As a result, our water sample was one of the most polluted, contaminated water samples imaginable. It was spiked with lead, arsenic, sand, microplastics, chlorine, fluoride, pesticides, insecticides (DEET), and VOCs. In short, there is no water supply in the US that has such an amount of contaminated water.
While this is not fair, we are just trying to test how strong the filter is in real life. If it can filter this sample, then there is no way it cannot filter your house’s water supply, even if your water supply is from a sewer! So let’s see how the filter performed.
The sediment filter is really magical because the muddy, turbid water that we put in came out crystal clear. It was impossible to believe that this was the same water sample that went inside. So top marks for the sediment filter. Then came the carbon filter and reverse osmosis filter.
The carbon filter worked really well. The efficiency with which it removed the chlorine and chloramine was amazing. When it came to the most taxing part of the filter, the reverse osmosis unit, we could see the machine struggling. It won’t be called a negative thing since the water sample was unholy. But we could hear the machine churning out, putting in the elbow grease removing all those contaminants.
The water finally went to the coconut shell filter, and the sample was out from the tap. It was beautiful. The dark, turbid water that went in came out as sparkling, crystal clear water. It looked and smelled completely consumable. There was not a single hint of chemical smell or any visible contaminant. But what about TDS?
It was delightful to see the TDS of the water. Before going, the TDS stood at a dangerous 640+. After the filtration, the TDS was just 77. This amount of filtration is brilliant, even for the slightly higher price range. So overall, we’d give the filtration of the AquaTru RO filter a solid 4.5 stars out of 5.
So if the filtration was so impressive, why not full five stars? It is because of the price. We will discuss the price later, but we think that only if the company could have brought down the price a little lower than what they are asking, they could have easily offered the best countertop filter in the market. But that is not the case. Also, the company claims it can remove more than 82 contaminants. While this is not a bad number, there are some filters that can remove over 1,000, at half the price—granted, they are not countertop filters, but still, a point that we considered.
What We Loved About The Filter?
- Filter Change Indicator
- Easy Installation
- Water Flow Rate
There are a lot of things about the AquaTru that push it towards one of the best countertop water filters in the market. Here are all the pros of the filter that made us absolutely love this filter.
Due to how it looks and how compact it feels in some cases, the filter can be kept in many places. It makes it one of the best countertop filters in the market. But there’s more. You can remove the water compartment where the filtered water is stored. So you can remove it and keep it in the fridge. It also is very convenient to clean the jar.
2. Filter Change Indicator
The filter comes with an LED that blinks whenever you need to change the filter. It is more useful than people think. Usually, people assume a period at which they should change the filter (mostly six months or a year). But the filter life depends on the water quality, and most of the time, the filters don’t last as long as six months. So it results in inefficient filtration.
3. Easy Installation
A whole water filter is basically a plug-and-play machine. Just get it out of the box, fit it for power supply and water, and that’s it. Finally, you are ready to get clean water. It is one of the benefits of countertop water filters.
What We Did Not Like?
While most of the things about the AquaTru are great, there are a few cons that really pushes it back from becoming the best countertop filter in the market. Here are the things that we did not like.
There is no other way to put it; the AquaTru is an expensive filter. It comes at a screeching $449. Half a grand, that’s a hefty price tag. If only the price of the filter was around $350-$380, it would have become the best countertop filter in the segment. And that is not a far-fetched number. We have seen some great filters at lower prices offering similar features
2. Water Flow Rate
This is not just the case of the AquaTru, since most of the RO filters have very poor water flow rates. It is not terrible, as it takes around 30 seconds to fill up a normal bottle. So if you are impatient like us, this might bug you a little.
AquaTru Reverse Osmosis Countertop Water Filter System is very convenient, it can be easily kept at many places, Installation seems like a Childs play as all need to be done is plug-and-play, and we are good to go. One of the most unique feature provided by this water filter is the pre installed LED, that blinks to indicate when the filter needs to be replaced, Yes it is quite pricy but the features, looks, ease in installation and the capability of removing more than 82 contaminants in the water, some by up to 99% makes it worth the price.
The AquaTru countertop filter is excellent, offering great reverse osmosis filtration. But not just that, it is also one of the best-looking filters out there, and certain features such as filter change alert and detachable water container make it the perfect choice. That is until you see the price of $449. Unfortunately, this is the only thing that stops the AquaTru from becoming the best countertop water filter.
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