I’ve been using an AquaTru countertop water filter for several years now. Personally, I love it and it fits great with my personal preferences and lifestyle.

But there are definitely some pros & cons that you’ll want to consider before deciding whether it’s right for you, so I’m going to cover all of those for you here.

aquatru water filter dispenser review on TheFiltery.com

This review is not sponsored and the product was not gifted; I bought it myself. This article does contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. As always, we only make recommendations that are genuine.

I have the AquaTru Classic, so that’s the filter I’ll be focusing on for most of this review. But AquaTru does offer a few other products too, which I’ll briefly tell you about at the end.

AquaTru Countertop Water Filter Pros & Cons IN A NUTSHELL:


  • Can filter pretty much all types of contaminants from your water
  • Good for a variety of lifestyles & living situations
  • Cheaper than many other filters over the long-run
  • Does not require installation
  • You don’t have to change the filters very often (and you also don’t have to keep track; it will tell you when it’s time to change them)
  • Holds more water than a regular pitcher (about a gallon)
  • NSF/ANSI certified 42, 53, 58, 401, and P473 (test results here)
  • 30-day money back guarantee (you do have to pay for return shipping though)


  • Requires an up-front investment
  • Removes beneficial minerals from your water
  • Not plastic-free
  • Wastes water
  • Requires electricity
  • There is a slight learning curve compared to regular pitcher-style filters (but don’t worry: it’s not hard!)

I’ve expanded on all of these below. But if you’re already ready to buy, you can use my link to get $100 off. 💧

It filters out pretty much everything: PFAS, microplastics, lead, fluoride, etc.

The AquaTru countertop dispenser has three main “parts” to it:

  1. The base, which includes the filter compartment
  2. The back water tank, which is what you fill up from your faucet. That’s also where the wastewater goes, which you’ll dump out (more on that below)
  3. And the front water tank, which is where the clean water goes. This is the part you get your drinking water from. It has a push-button dispenser and it can be removed if you want to put it in the fridge or fill up a larger container (more on this below, too).

For the sake of time, I’m not going to talk about all of the different contaminants that are commonly found in tap water (there are a lot of them 😬). I have an entire lesson about this in my Low-Tox for Real Life Course, if you’re interested in taking a deeper dive into the topic.

For now, I’ll just say that there are a number of negative health consequences associated with drinking water that’s contaminated with things like PFAS (“forever chemicals”), heavy metals, disinfection byproducts, and more.

There are many different ways to filter contaminants from water, but reverse osmosis is one of the most comprehensive methods that can get rid of or reduce the most contaminants. It can handle pretty much everything (up to ~98 to 99%, which is standard for water filtration), including harder-to-filter chemicals like fluoride and chloramine.

BUT, there are two main downsides to reverse osmosis that are worth considering:

  1. It removes beneficial minerals from your water. That means you’ll probably want to either add minerals back in manually using something like Trace Minerals, OR you could actually just spend a little bit more ($20) on the AquaTru and add the Alkaline Mineral Boost VOC Filter.
    • You can also get the Mineral Boost Filter as a Replacement Filter. I personally haven’t tried it yet (I don’t know if it wasn’t available the last time I bought replacement filters, or if I just didn’t notice it!), but I will probably buy that the next time I order filter replacements so that I don’t have to manually add the Trade Minerals to my water anymore.
  2. It wastes water. (We’ll talk about this more in a minute.)
aquatru countertop filter dispenser review on The Filtery.com

It fits a variety of lifestyles & households

In my opinion, one of the biggest selling points about AquaTru is how it can fit into a variety of lifestyles.

As a countertop dispenser that doesn’t require any installation, it’s great for renters or folks who tend to move homes a lot.

But unlike standard pitchers, it holds more water. So, it’s better suited for larger families and you don’t have to fill it back up quite as much. Whereas a regular pitcher filter typically holds 10 cups of water, the AquaTru holds about a gallon (16 cups).

Another selling point for folks with kids is that it’s got a push-button dispenser. So the kids don’t have to try and pick up a heavy pitcher and then pour the water into their cup without spilling it.

aquatru water filter review on TheFiltery.com

One thing to note about the push-button dispenser is that when the machine is pushed back against the wall and away from the edge of the countertop, you cannot put tall glasses, water bottles, or other tall receptacles underneath the spigot.

If I have a “medium-sized” receptacle, I will just put it at an angle to fill it up, and that works just fine. But if I’m filling up something bigger, like my water bottle, I will just remove the whole canister and fill it up that way. It pops right on and off, so it’s pretty easy!

aquatru review on TheFiltery.com
Here you can see I have to take the dispenser off to fill a taller water bottle.

(Oh, and about the removable canister… I personally like room temperature water most of the time, but if you like to get yours colder, you can remove that canister part from the machine and put it in the fridge!)

aquatru countertop water filter review on TheFiltery.com

It’s easy to clean & replace the filters

Another huge thing that I really like is how you don’t have to replace the filters very often.

Again, this differs from your standard water pitcher because you usually have to swap those filters out more often—even as much as every other month depending on how much water your household goes through.

Also, with the AquaTru countertop dispenser, you don’t have to keep track of when you last replaced the filter or how much water you’ve gone through since then. Even though it’s kind of a small thing, this is actually a big deal for me personally because I literally just do not want another thing to keep track of.

The AquaTru has lights on the front of it that light up when it’s time to replace one of the filters.

Replacing the filters is really easy, too. You just unscrew the old one and pop it out, and put the new one in the same way. Then press & hold the filter reset button on the back. (Here’s a video showing you how.)

aquatru filter review on The Filtery
Here’s what the filters look like inside the machine.

The most annoying thing about putting a new filter is in that you have to dump the first two full tanks of water from the dispenser before you can start drinking it again.

You will have to clean the machine every once in a while, but it’s easy. I take the three parts apart, and then clean and rinse the empty tanks with dish soap or Branch Basics cleaner.

The part of the machine where the back water tank meets the base of the machine tends to get pretty dirty (probably because that’s where the unfiltered water goes and stuff can start growing there). So I also clean that with my Branch Basics cleaner, or if it’s looking really bad, I’ll use Force of Nature to disinfect it. It can be tough to get in the crevices, so sometimes I’ll use a cotton swab to get it thoroughly cleaned.

It wastes water…

As I mentioned, one of the main downsides to reverse osmosis (RO) filtration is that it wastes water. This is basically because of the way the RO membrane filtering system works. It leaves behind a “concentrated” form of contaminated water.

In the AquaTru countertop dispenser, this wastewater is what ends up in the back water tank after the water is finished filtering.

aquatru filter review on The Filtery

This water has to be dumped. You do not want to drink it, and you also should not “top off” the water tank with this wastewater in it and then send it back through the filter.

So, after the water has cycled through the filter, you need to:

  • remove the back water tank
  • dump the water that’s in there down the drain
  • refill the water tank back up with tap water
  • put the tank back on the base
  • the machine will automatically register the tank and start filtering a new batch of clean water

…But it doesn’t waste as much water as other RO systems

It’s not all bad news, though, because AquaTru has figured out how to produce significantly less wastewater than most other RO systems.

Where most other under-the-sink RO systems send anywhere from 3 to 5 gallons of wastewater down the drain for every 1 gallon of clean water produced, the AquaTru countertop dispenser produces 3/4 gallon of wastewater for every gallon of clean water it produces. That’s about 80% less wastewater than the standard RO system.

I don’t like wasting anything, but I definitely feel better about that number.

All of that said, I do think that if you live in a drought-ridden area, it’s worth considering something other than reverse osmosis to filter your water.

It requires electricity

Another potential downside is that the AquaTru countertop purifier requires electricity. (I believe the use of electricity is how they manage to waste less water than most other RO systems.)

This usually isn’t a problem, but it means that if you’re electricity goes out, you won’t be able to filter your water.

Usually, if I know that my electricity could go out (like for scheduled maintenance or if there’s a big storm coming), then I’ll try to make sure I have plenty of water filtered ahead of time.

If you definitely want an electricity-free water filter, then consider the AquaTru under-the-sink filter (which requires installation), or check out these pitcher filters.

Alternatively, you could look into distillation, which is one of the other other methods of water filtration that can handle almost all types of contaminants (including PFAS and fluoride, but not chloramine). Distillation does not produce wastewater and does not require electricity. It does, however, take quite a long time to filter the water.

*Oh, another quick note: when your electricity comes back on, the filter will automatically start filtering again. So if possible, you’ll want to make sure there’s no wastewater in the tank so that it doesn’t start filtering that.

About the plastic…

Now, the AquaTru is made of plastic, which is a valid concern for some folks.

But as I discussed in my guide to the most affordable water filters, this isn’t a huge concern for me personally, and here’s why:

  • It’s made from Tritan plastic, which is one of the “least bad” kinds of plastic. It’s medical-grade, free from BPA/BPS, and is one of the most inert kinds of plastic on the market. (You can read more about Tritan here.)

  • The 3 things that increase chemical leaching out of plastic are heat, acidity, and time.
    • I’m not worried about the heat aspect because the water in my pitcher will always be either cold or room temperature.
    • Water is neutral, not acidic.
    • Personally, I drink a lot of water, so the water is never sitting in my plastic filter for long amounts of time. That said, whenever I leave for a longer amount of time (like on vacation), I will dump the water in the pitcher when I get back and refill it.

  • When you weigh it all out, you’re still getting much cleaner water. Even if a small amount of microplastics may leach from the pitcher to your drinking water, it’s still filtering out a lot more contaminants (including microplastics that are already in your tap water). Personally, I still feel good about this.

Now, there are a few non-plastic water filters on the market, such as Boroux (formally known as Berkey), but so far, I haven’t been able to find one that I feel confident recommending in terms of filtration capabilities.

I’d love to see a water filter that is plastic-free, affordable, and can thoroughly filter drinking water. Until then, I’m okay with using one that’s made from safer plastic for the reasons above.

If you don’t want your filtered water sitting in plastic for any amount of time, you will probably want to consider an under-the-sink or whole-home filter. (AquaTru has an under-sink option as well, as does Aquasana and Clearly Filtered.)

Let’s talk cost

The AquaTru countertop dispenser does require a bit of an up-front investment.

It normally costs $449 for the classic, but you can get it for $100 off when you use our link.

That makes your up-front investment $349 (or $369 if you choose the remineralization filter).

The machine comes with all of the necessary filters, which means you won’t have to buy any replacements for at least 6 months after your initial purchase.

Although this is definitely an investment, the true savings come later on. In this guide, I gave you my picks for the most affordable water filters that can actually remove (or almost remove) all of the different contaminants you’re probably concerned about (aka: ones that your typical Brita filter can’t handle).

As you’ll see, there are a couple of brands (Epic and Clearly Filtered) that are cheaper up-front… BUT, you have to replace the filters more often, so the yearly cost to maintain these two are more than the AquaTru.

If you buy the AquaTru 2-year filter combo pack, it ends up being about $75 per year to maintain, whereas it’s about $220 and $274 per year (for a family of 4) for Epic and Clearly Filtered, respectively.

So, you pay more for the AquaTru up front, but you end up spending less overall after about a year and a half.

Other filtering options from AquaTru

I’ve focused on the AquaTru Classic countertop dispenser in this article because that’s the one I use (and it’s also their *star* product), but AquaTru does offer a few other options that might be worth looking into, if you’re interested:

  • They have a “Wifi connected” option, which connects to a mobile app that gives you more info about real-team filter status, water consumption tracking, and more. Smart devices are not my thing, but you may like it.

  • They have a countertop carafe, which is basically a smaller, pitcher-style version of the Classic countertop dispenser. It holds 8 cups of water and might be a good choice for single-person households.

  • And they have an under-the-sink filter, which, as I mentioned before, does require installation, but doesn’t require counter space and also doesn’t involve a plastic container.

If you have a question about the AquaTru countertop RO system that I haven’t addressed here, let me know in the comments and I will try to address it!

And to get more tips on reducing environmental toxin exposure, stay updated on the latest news, and more, sign up for my weekly email newsletter:

About Abbie

Abbie Davidson is the Creator & Editor of The Filtery. With almost a decade of experience in sustainability, she researches and writes content with the aim of helping people minimize environmental toxins in an in-depth yet accessible way.

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