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AquaTru Review: Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Purifier

Derek Hales

Written By: Derek Hales

Updated on:

Countertop RO with fantastic performance

AquaTru Classic

AquaTru Classic RO

The AquaTru Classic is a countertop reverse osmosis system. It uses a 4-stage filtration system with fantastic results. Thanks to help from SimpleLab, we were able to get laboratory testing on the filtered water. When compared to unfiltered water, the AquaTru showed the filters work incredibly well. It is the most highly purified water we have tested to date. Additionally, the filters are cost efficient, producing one gallon of purified water for just $0.12. It is easy to set up, use, maintain, and ultimately is a great option for at home water filtration.


  • Fantastic purification performance, earning a Tap Score of 96 out of 100 at the 3rd party lab (our unfiltered water scored a 44 out of 100)
  • Easy to use – put unfiltered water in, wait 10 minutes, get filtered water out
  • Cost effective filters – $0.12 / gallon of purified water


  • The tap on our system was prone to dribbling water out for a few seconds after no longer being depressed
  • More work than an inline RO system


Countertop RO; Incredibly Clean Water
  • Design - 98%
  • Performance - 99%
  • Quality - 98%
  • Usability - 96%
  • Value - 98%


AquaTru’s Classic and Connect RO systems are excellent options for at home water purification. The 3rd party laboratory scored AquaTru at a Tap Score of 96 out of 100. For reference, our unfiltered tap water received a score of 44. The AquaTru effectively removed harmful contaminants in a short amount of time and with minimal wastewater. Replacement filters are fairly priced, coming in at $0.12 per gallon of purified water.

In This Review

Purification Test | Filters | Filtration Speed | Waste Water | Filter Cost | Usability | Size | Summary

Purification Test

For our purification test, we partnered with SimpleLab, which provides a 3rd party testing service called Tap Score. They send you a testing kit and you fill it up with water and send it back. Then, they handle the laboratory testing and send you back a detailed report of the results.

Tap Score boxes
Tap Score boxes

These results include information regarding what they found in the water and how it could potentially affect your health and your home’s plumbing. In addition, they provide a score on the 1-100 scale, where 99 is the best score possible. 

They provided the service and testing kits to us for free and we have used them in the past to test other water filters.

Tap Score sample container
Tap Score sample container

To perform the test, we used softened tap water from my house as a baseline. We filled a 5 gallon bucket with water from the tap and used that same water for the unfiltered and filtered tests.

If we were to turn the tap on and off for each sample it could result in a slightly different set of contaminants and an unfair laboratory comparison.

Why You Should Test Your Water

Every water source is different. In Phoenix, Arizona, we have incredibly hard city water and water that often contaminated with uranium. As a result, it makes the most sense for us to test for common city water contaminants and radiation.

However, depending on your specific location and your type of water (city water or well water), you will very likely need to run different tests. Tap Score offers a variety of different test types that are specifically tailored to the needs of your water.

It’s always best to test your water specifically so you can understand exactly what’s in your water and the types of filters that can best purify it.

AquaTru Classic vs. AquaTru Connect

For our tests, we tested two countertop RO units from AquaTru, the AquaTru Classic and AquaTru Connect. Functionally, these units are identical, with the only difference being the app / Wi-Fi connectivity on the Connect version.

AquaTru Classic logo
AquaTru Classic logo
AquaTru Connect logo
AquaTru Connect logo

We filled both the AquaTru Classic and Connect, let them filter the water, and filled the testing kits. The final step was to mail off the kits to the lab and wait for the results. 

AquaTru Countertop vs. Undersink vs. Carafe vs. Alkaline Systems

AquaTru offers several different versions of their RO system. All AquaTru RO systems include the same 4-stage filtration system. The only major difference is the alkaline variant includes an additional filter to increase alkalinity.

AquaTru Classic96 oz.NoYesNo
AquaTru Connect96 oz.YesYesNo
AquaTru Classic, Alkaline96 oz.NoYesYes
AquaTru Connect, Alkaline96 oz.YesYesYes
AquaTru Carafe64 oz.NoYesNo
AquaTru Under SinkNANoNoNo

You can find them all here.

Lab Test Analysis

Water purification performance for the AquaTru Classic and Connect were excellent across the board. Both use the same filters and process, with the only difference being app connectivity for the Connect. 



AquaTru Classic


AquaTru Connect


Our Arizona unfiltered tap water is in the 25th percentile of city water across the US. This is largely due to the Chloroform, Total THMs, and Uranium found in the sample.

In addition, there were moderate amounts of Arsenic and Copper, as well as trace amounts of other materials. These contaminants can negatively impact health and plumbing.

In contrast, both the AquaTru’s results were far cleaner. It wasn’t perfect, as there were trace amounts of Barium, Manganese, and Sulfate still in the Connect’s water, as well as Strontium found in both. 

However, the amount of these materials remaining in the water is far less.

Unfiltered Water Lab Results

It just cannot be overstated how bad the unfiltered water in Phoenix, Arizona is. The tap water in Phoenix contains 5 contaminants that exceeded health benchmarks and the EPA’s maximum contaminant level goal.

These contaminants include:

  • Chloroform – 8.5 ppb
  • Total THMs – 8.5 ppb
  • Uranium – 0.0064 ppm
  • Arsenic – 0.0021 ppm
  • Copper – 0.509 ppm

These contaminants are seriously dangerous to your health and can impact kidney health, gastrointestinal system, child development, immune system, liver health, blood system, cardiovascular health, nervous system and more…basically your entire body and well being is at risk by drinking unfiltered Phoenix tap water.

Unfiltered water Tap Score
Unfiltered Tap Water Score
Unfiltered Water Lab Results
Unfiltered Water Lab Results

 Full laboratory reports:

AquaTru Classic Lab Results

Given how horrifically bad the unfiltered water was, AquaTru really had its work cut out. Which makes the results all the more impressive.

All 5 of the contaminants that were at dangerous levels were brought to zero.

Chloroform – Not detected
Total THMs – Not detected
Uranium – Not detected
Arsenic – Not detected
Copper – Not detected

For particularly dangerous contaminants like uranium and arsenic this is incredibly impressive.

AquaTru Classic Lab Results Score
AquaTru Classic Lab Results Score
AquaTru Classic Lab Results
AquaTru Classic Lab Results

 Full laboratory reports:

AquaTru Connect Lab Results

The results from the AquaTru Connect were basically the same as what the lab measured for the AquaTru Classic.

Chloroform – Not detected
Total THMs – Not detected
Uranium – Not detected
Arsenic – Not detected
Copper – Not detected

All major contaminants were brought to zero.

AquaTru Classic Connect Lab Results Score
AquaTru Connect Lab Results Score
AquaTru Connect Lab Results
AquaTru Connect Lab Results

 Full laboratory reports:

AquaTru vs. Brita vs. PUR vs. ZeroWater (& 7 Other Popular Brands)

We previously worked with SimpleLab to test many popular water filters for pitchers. Below is a table comparing the scores we received for those pitchers to the scores we received for AquaTru.

Water SourceTap ScoreChloroform RemovedCopper RemovedUranium Removed
Amazon Basics84100%95.8%100%

In my subjective experience, the water is noticeably better. I can both taste and see the difference.

AquaTru vs WaterDrop tea comparison
AquaTru purified water (left) / GE Fridge purified water (right)

When I make tea with water from the AquaTru, the tea turns out significantly lighter than water purified with more typical carbon based passive filtration.

The Filters

The AquaTru uses a 4-stage purification process to clean the incoming water. These filters are included in the 3 bottles installed in the side panel.

AquaTru Classic filters
AquaTru Classic filters

The first yellow bottle includes the first 2 stages: a mechanical pre-filter and a carbon filter. The pre-filter removes larger particles, while the carbon filter focuses on removing Chlorine and Chloramines. 

Inside the blue bottle is the reverse osmosis membrane, which filters out harmful inorganic materials such as lead, arsenic, or uranium. 

AquaTru Connect holding filter
AquaTru Connect reverse osmosis filter

Finally, the water will pass into the green bottle, which includes the activated coconut block filter. This removes organic compounds and helps improve the taste of the water. 

AquaTru Classic filter inserts
AquaTru Classic filter inserts

Optionally, you can purchase an additional filter, which includes a pH+ Mineral Boost Alkaline VOC filter. This will add minerals to the water, increasing the pH of the water and changing the taste.

Filtration Speed Test

As both systems are identical, filtration speed is the same on both. We filled each up and let them run, timing the entire process.

The AquaTru can filter its 12 cup water tank in 10:08. This is 1.18 cups per minute.

Water FilterCups Per Minute

AquaTru’s filtration speed is moderately faster than many other filters on the market. In 10 minutes you can have a large pitcher of RO water ready to drink.

Waste Water Test

During the filtration process, there is some waste water created. This is the same with all RO filtration systems. For our tests, we put 1 gallon of water (128 oz.) through the AquaTru.

Here are the results:

Purified Water

74 oz.

Waste Water

48 oz.

Water Lost

6 oz.

The AquaTru has a 54 : 74 ratio, meaning for every 54 oz. of waste water it produces, it creates 74 oz. of purified water. Or in other terms: 57.8% of the original 128 oz was turned into purified water. 

AquaTru Classic running
AquaTru Classic running

Reverse osmosis systems can vary on how much waste water they produce. Some of the worst have a 10 : 1 ratio meaning they produce 10 gallons of waste water for every 1 gallon of purified water, while the best RO systems promise a 1 : 1 ratio

The AquaTru is reasonably efficient with its water purification. Ultimately, we consume a small amount of water each day so a small amount of waste water isn’t a huge issue, in our view.

Filter Replacement Cost Analysis

In addition to our other tests, we also calculated how much the filter costs per purified gallon of water and compared it to other water options. 

Filtered Water SourcePrice per Gallon
AquaTru$0.12 per gallon
Brita$0.20 per gallon
Waterdrop$0.05 per gallon
Zero Water$0.44 per gallon
PUR$0.20 per gallon
EpicWater$0.31 per gallon
Amazon Basics$0.10 per gallon
LG Fridge Filter$0.28 per gallon
Water Bottles$1.07 per gallon
Water Delivery$1.40 – $4.00 per gallon

The AquaTru filter isn’t the absolute cheapest option, but it is still cheaper than most other options. This analysis does not include the initial purchase of the device or the price of the water used in the filter.

AquaTru Classic removing filter lid
AquaTru Classic removing filter lid

It is a strict comparison of the price of the filter or purified water option, and the amount of drinkable water you get from it. 

Usability Tests

Overall usability for the AquaTru is excellent. Setup is quick, controls are simple, and maintenance is straightforward.


Initial setup is incredibly quick thanks to the device being mostly set up out of the box. Here is what comes in the box:

  • AquaTru (Classic or Connect)
  • Yellow, Blue, Green filter bottles
  • Power cord
  • Manuals

Once unpackaged, you simply need to unwrap the filters and screw them into place under the side panel. After you plug in the power cord, you can move on to the next step. 

AquaTru Classic unboxed
AquaTru Classic unboxed

Before you can purify and drink the water, AquaTru recommends filling the water tank with cold water and letting it run through the filters 4 times. After cycling water through 4 times, the device should be ready to filter safe drinking water. 


Using the AquaTru is incredibly easy. There are few buttons which need to be pressed, with most of the steps happening automatically as you place the water tank back on the station. 

AquaTru Classic back
AquaTru Classic back

There is a power switch on the back, next to a small button to reset the filter counter. In addition, there is a physical tap you press to release water for a drink. 

My biggest complaint about the device is this tap. It can be a bit leaky. Each time I use the tap I need to keep the cup / pot / pitcher / etc. under the tap for several seconds after I’ve stopped pressing the tap, as water would continue to drip.

If you move the container too early, water will leak out onto the floor. In addition, if I don’t rock it back and forth a bit, it won’t fully reseal and can leak as well.

AquaTru Classic tap
AquaTru Classic tap

The other steps happen automatically. When you fill the unfiltered water tank and place it on the device, the AquaTru will start the purification process. No buttons needed. 

During the process, the front display will show the current status of the filtration process. It will also show when the filtration process is complete, as well as if the filters need to be replaced. 

AquaTru Classic display
AquaTru Classic display

In addition, the clean water tank can be removed, and placed in the fridge for cooling. Which is a nice addition to the whole system. 


The AquaTru Connect is able to connect to the AquaTru app. The app gives you real time information about the device.

AquaTru Connect App

It can show you:

  • Current filter life
  • Device status
  • Water tank capacity
  • Device statistics
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter – for both unfiltered tank and the purified water tank

Ultimately, I didn’t find the app too useful, however, for those who want real time information on their AquaTru, it is a nice addition. 


Keeping the AquaTru running smoothly is quite easy. The filters need to be replaced at different times or different amounts of water that has been run through.

AquaTru Classic pre-carbon filter
AquaTru Classic pre-carbon filter

Here’s the breakdown:

Yellow (1 & 2)

6 months or 600 gallons

Blue (3)

2 years or 1200 gallons

Green (4)

1 year or 600 gallons

  • Stage 1 & 2 (yellow): 6 months or 600 gallons
  • Stage 3 (blue): 2 years or 1200 gallons
  • Stage 4 (green): 1 year or 600 gallons

More frequently, AquaTru recommends washing the pitcher and reservoir once a week. During the filtration process the RO system can build up a film on the waste water tank over time. Washing it ensures that it performs better and creates the best water quality. 

Size & Dimensions

The AquaTru Classic and Connect are the same size. They aren’t exactly small, but they aren’t huge either.

  • Width: 12”
  • Depth: 14”
  • Height: 14”
  • Weight: 16 lbs.
  • Tank Capacity: 96 oz (3 quarts)

Should you buy the AquaTru Countertop Reverse Osmosis System?

I would recommend the AquaTru Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Purifier if you are looking for the following features:

  • Excellent water purification: The AquaTru had fantastic performance in our tests. The 3rd party laboratory tests scored AquaTru’s purified water at a Tap Score of 96 out of 100. It was notably better than any passive water filtration system we’ve tested to date. When compared to the unfiltered water, there was a massive reduction in harmful contaminants in the water. 
  • Cost efficient filters: The filters on the AquaTru are incredibly cost effective. When compared to water bottles, water delivery, or even most pitcher filters, the AquaTru is more efficient at $0.12 per gallon. That is fairly inexpensive considering the purity of the water you will be drinking. 
  • Great usability: There are a lot of little touches on the AquaTru that make it easy to use. There are few buttons you need to interact with and the majority of the purification process happens automatically. In addition, the water tanks can be easily removed, allowing you to place them in the fridge to cool the water. For those who want it, there is also app connectivity with the AquaTru Connect.

For more information or to buy the AquaTru Countertop Reverse Osmosis Water Purifier, click here.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider,, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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