When it comes to water filters, I am always researching and comparing all the varying devices out on the market, and very rarely do I find one that meets my standards or that is comparable to my current Berkey filter, however, after coming across the AquaTru filter, I found myself curious to learn more about it. The AquaTru is a true reverse osmosis filter so at first, I was skeptical to try it out but I wanted to keep an open mind because I want to always be open to new ideas!
I must start by saying, we will also be getting a full house water filter which means it will actually filter out the entire home’s water so baths, showers, sinks, and hose, will all be filtered. However, for those of you that cannot budget in whole house units at this time, I would highly suggest at least starting with a bath or shower filter as they run under $100 bucks and they still filter out quite a bit of the bad stuff! My favorites are in the link above.
How We Filter our Home Water-
Because we have recently moved though, I wanted to test our water first, to determine the contaminants in our water in order to choose the very best filter for us as your tap water can truly be contaminated with a wide variety of toxins from dangerous pesticides and herbicides to heavy metals and VOCs. For those who cannot access a water test kit, you can also use this EWG Tap Water Database to search your zip code to see which pollutants were found in your local water supply. When searching what is in your water, it’s quite shocking to see how many toxins are actually allowed into our water, the same water we are drinking and bathing in each day.
When we searched our zip, we did not have a ton of contaminants detected however I wanted to confirm that with a water test so for us, step 1 was using this water test kit as it tests for hundreds of potential contaminants in both city or well water. As soon as our results are back I will share! For now, we are relying on these countertop filters but the whole house unit cannot come soon enough. When we do get a whole-house unit, we will be getting one from Crystal Quest as that was what we had in our old house and while installation is sort of a pain, it was nice knowing it was there hard at work. If you head to their website, they have a ton of info on filters and they will also search your zip code and suggest the filter that will work best for you.
Do Basic OTC Filters Work?
Another question many of you asked was if filters like Brita are enough and while they are certainly better than no filter, they do not filter out near as much as the below two filters can. You can read a good comparison of the Berkey vs. Brita here. If either of these two filters are not in your budget at this time, I would suggest at least getting a filter from a more reputable source, for example, this water pitcher filter system is only $40 bucks and at least removes up to 99% of heavy metals.
Berkey Vs. AquaTru-
When it comes to this AquaTru filter, there are things I really, really love about it but then also, things that aren’t as ideal. I actually started out looking for reasons not to like it since I love my Berkey so much, however, the longer I researched this filter and used it, the more it quickly grew on me and now, it might be my fave? Let’s discuss my pros & cons with this new filter and my old trusty Berkey!
AquaTru Pros & Cons- I don’t want to start off with a con but one big one is that it does require power and needs to be plugged in at all times to work but, one major pro is that the AquaTru does have better testing that is certified to NSF standards. So, what do the results say? Well, the results show that Berkey filters out a tiny bit more than the AquaTru unit does for example- AquaTru removes 96.6% of chlorine whereas Berkey removes 99.9%, however, this is where the testing methods become important as we must understand the amount of water being tested as the more water the filter processes, the more the % being filtered out can drop so while it sounds like Berkey is the winner, not yet!
Another con with the AquaTru is that it comes in plastic, however, AquaTru uses Tritan plastic, the same BPA & BPS-free plastic used in best-selling food blenders like Nutri Bullet and Vitamix. Tritan has been tested at universities and independent third-party labs and the results have overwhelmingly demonstrated that it is safe and free of estrogenic and androgenic activity but if you are like me and still concerned you can always transfer the water out into a glass jar for storage.
Another perk of this device being held to NSF standards is that they also do extraction testing to make sure that no dangerous contaminants leak into the water. Based on their IAPMO testing to NSF standards, AquaTru has been certified to not leak any dangerous contaminants into the water which is really comforting to know it has been tested to that degree so while I dislike the use of the plastic, I do feel comfortable using it at this time. Another big perk of this filter is that it removes 82 different toxic contaminants including lead, fluoride, pesticides, chlorine, and drugs, yes drugs.
How it Works- Filtering out the water requires a little more work as there are two containers and they both hold much less than my current Berkey. Once the water is filtered, there is a dump tank that all of the bad water goes to and this has to be dumped after each use. You also have to lift and remove the container, fill it up and then lock it back into place versus with my Berkey you just dump and go. The Berkey is much simpler however this filter is easier to set up than the Berkey.
Clean water on left, wastewater on the right you empty.
Size- My current Berkey holds 1.5 gallons whereas this one only holds .75 gallons. This unit is also much bulkier on the counter than the Berkey, however, the Berkey is much taller so it depends on which you have the space for.
Taste- The good news is, I really like the taste of this water, it is much smoother than the Berkey water which makes me feel like it filters better even if the testing says otherwise. It just tastes cleaner as it removes everything from the water. Some express concern that removing the “good” minerals is not ideal, however, we must remember we do get much from our diet and it’s very easy to supplement back in, I add in the “Perfect Minerals” that AquaTru sells under their accessories catagory.
- Price with my discount is $299, normally $449
- Chlorine reduced by 96.6%
- Fluoride reduced by 93.5%
- Lead reduced by 99.1%
- Chromium VI reduced by 97.2%
- Copper reduced by 95.2%
- Chloroform reduced by 95%
- Must change the filter every 600 gallons to ensure proper performance.
- Removes drugs like Ibuprofen and Naproxen up to 95%
- Uses an advanced 4 stage purification system.
- Filters have a shorter lifespan than Berkey but with proven test results.
- Needs electricity.
- Tritan plastic, BPA/BPS-free housing.
- Certified to NSF standards to remove the contaminants claimed.
- The unit notifies you when filters need changing.
- They have a best water you’ve ever tasted guarantee or your money back!
Travel Berkey Pros & Cons- I have had my Berkey filter for years now and overall, I have really been happy with it! It’s a reasonable price, it’s super simple to use, it filters out almost 99.9% of common contaminants and you can travel easily with it considering no power is needed. I really love that it is made from stainless steel instead of plastic and you simply dump water in and it gets to work. While the above unit filters out Fluoride on its own, for Berkey, you do have to add those filters in, additionally, if you want them so that is one slight con.
My main complaint about Berkey, now that I’ve dug on their testing methods is that their filters are not tested at the capacity they say their filters last so while they have great results after 50 gallons, what are the results after the 1,000th gallon? This is also why they cannot ship to certain states. The reality is, the more water the filter processes, the lower the results go and you never really know because there is no notification like the AquaTru has. While the Berkey is easier to use and it’s amazing to travel with, after you have had it for a year or so, it becomes hard to know if your filter is still performing to its promised levels.
How it Works- It’s quite simple after it is set up, you just remove the top lid and add your tap water in! We have a giant craft that we keep near the spout so we simply fill it then dump it in. The Berkey setup is a much bigger pain than the AquaTru but once it is set up the Berkey is a little easier to use daily.
Size- The Berkey is fairly tall, especially if you add the stand, however, it’s pretty small in diameter so it takes up much less space than the above AquaTru. The Berkey is also prettier in my opinion but I am not sure that is a reason, alone, to buy a filter 🙂
Taste- I think the Berkey water tastes great, however, the AquaTru tastes much smoother as they are a Reverse Osmosis filter that removes even the beneficial minerals Berkey leaves. You can very much taste that difference. Berkey water is still really nice, it just is a hair less smooth because the good minerals are still in the water and you can taste that.
- Price is $278.35 with my discount, normally $293
- Chlorine reduced by 99.9%
- Copper reduced by 99.9%%
- Lead reduced by 99.9%
- Chromium VI reduced by 99.9%
- Copper reduced by 99.9%
- Chloroform reduced by 99.9%
- Fluoride reduced by 97%
- Does not need electricity.
- Removes over 200 contaminants all the while leaving beneficial minerals in the water
- Filters 6,000 gallons per filter but the filters have not been tested for efficiency at this level.
- Filters have a lifetime guarantee but again, they have not been lifetime tested.
- Stainless steel housing.
- Holds more water than the AquaTru.
- No way to know when filters need replacing besides the filtering slows down quite a bit.
- Cannot ship to CA due to their lack of testing.
I personally find myself now reaching for my AquaTru water more now that I know the testing standards, however, the Berkey is still so amazing to have for travel, the dog’s water, washing produce, etc… I still drink from my Berkey too so you really cannot go wrong with owning it, but I do think I slightly favor my new filter mostly because of how amazing it tastes! Once you taste it, it really is hard to drink anything else!
So now, how to choose? Well, I think this one is going to come down to priorities and which are most important to you and your family? For us, I am really glad that we are able to have both as if we do lose power, having the Berkey is a huge asset as we will always be able to have clean water with or without power. Additionally, I do have discounts on each unit so whatever appeals more to you, you can save a little money. Have something about these units I missed or forgot? Leave a comment below! I will continue to update this as I find relevant info!
22 thoughts on “How I Filter My Home Water”
Will you still be using these once you get your whole house filtered? Just curious. I have a filter for my entire house, but was thinking if I would need one of these just for drinking water as an extra step. Not sure if it is even needed though.
Thanks for taking the time to create this blog!! I have a Berkey filter and I love it however, I find that once I do maintenance cleaning on mine with the red dye test it fails each time. Then, I have to order new filters. This is after following all of the instructions (several times 😩) too. Do you ever have this problem?
I have the Berkey and have loved it but I also have the same concern that there is no notification to tell me when to change out the filters. Its really just a guessing game of when I should change them. I was wondering if you know of a test I can perform on the water once a year to determine if it’s still working optimally?
Thank you for this amazing review! I’ve been eyeing the aquatru! I have a Berkey and recently moved to a town with hard water and the taste is awful! I called Berkey and they said it doesn’t filter minerals but I just don’t like it so I’ve been going to the store and refilling my gallons with RO. I also recently saw an interesting thing comparing Berkey to all of the other filters and it looks like it is just as acidic. That was being compared to Kangen water though. Thanks again! 😊
Once you pick a whole house water filtration system, will you be able to write a blog on the step by step process you went through and the system you end up choosing? Everything you post and the items you vet are amazing and I truly appreciate all of the info you provide 🙂
Would also love this! We are getting ready to purchase a whole house system. Eyeing Radiant Life right now.
Hi.. So if you live in California.. you can’t buy the Berkey?
You can buy the Travel Berkey!
How long does it take for the AquaTru to make the .75 gallons of water?
Very fast actually! The tank fills within minutes, much faster than the Berkey!
Great review! Thank you! l’ve had a whole-house water filter for 13 years (got it when I saw our baby/toddler drinking her bathtub water 😂). And I agree that for drinking and cooking, we need a lot more filtered out than just what the whole-house filter does. I like that you got a water test kit to check your own water, and just wanted to let you know that we used: ionfaucet.com to see what was in our water. It’s free!! You just put in your zip code and they send you a report. We ended up buying their recommended pre-filters before we installed our Kangen water ionizer.
And by the way… your garden looks AH-MAZING!!
Are the filters recyclable? Can you mail them back to the companies to be refurbished or recycled?
Hi there! Do I have to purchase filters in addition to the AquaTru, or does it already include the filters with the purchase? Thanks!
It comes with all you need!
Have you received your water test results yet?
Hey I just received my AquaTru and I love it! Do you use added minerals? Can you recommend a brand?
How often do you have to change the AquaTru filters?
hi! okay now that its been some time which one would you pick if you had to choose just one? Im stuck! lll
I was honestly so excited for the AquaTru I ordered it on Black Friday and got the extended warranty, minerals and everything. Well unfortunately it was a good thing I did because the first unit I got was damaged internally and would leak immediately from the very bottom of the machine. Customer Service was super nice and responsive and immediately sent me a new base unit. I mailed the old one back to them with prepaid labels. When I got my new unit, I set it all up and then unfortunately again, the machine did not work. It would pump and you could hear it running, but no water came out in the filtered tank section. So again I called customer service and they said it probably is the reverse osmosis filter, so they sent me a new filter to try. Once I received that in the mail, it still did not work… same problem!! I was so so disappointed. Customer service offered to send me everything brand new again but honestly, after reading a couple more reviews, a lot of people were saying that their machines worked great for 6 months then would have all these random problems. I decided it was not worth the headache, but SO sad because I was totally looking forward to RO water.
I just ordered my Berkey travel last night so I am hoping this route will be successful!!
OB thank you for this comparison article and all the research you put in to both, it has been super helpful along the way!
Hi! Just wanted to say thank you for the aquaTru discount code! After much research, I decided to go with it. The water in my town has 16 total contaminants, 9 exceeding ewg guidelines. Reverse osmosis was the best choice in my case. Hoping to have a good experience with them. Thanks again!!