I’ve never been remotely impressed with the usual suspects in the water filter pitcher space, so I was pretty psyched to see Aquasana trying something different here.
The Aquasana Clean Water Machine uses force, rather than gravity, to... force water through carbon. The result is not only best-in-class filtration, but the fastest filtration on the market. The Aquasana meets or exceeds NSF/ANSI standards 42, 53, and 401, which to greatly summarize means it filters out chlorine, lead, and emerging contaminants like ibuprofen respectively, while leaving in minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Take the deep dive here.
That all filtered out, actually using the Aquasana is a mixed bag. The system has two configurations: pitcher and dispenser, and the fact that the package doesn’t include both, and that the pitcher sells separately for $53 are two real kicks in the head.
The pitcher process is mostly magical. You drop the pitcher in and the Aquasana automatically filters you a full pitcher of water in seconds. But, there’s a pause at the end of the filtration cycle, followed by a few more seconds of filtration, and you have to train yourself to wait for that or else prepare to dry off your countertop. Additionally, the spout on the pitcher is awful.
The design of the dispenser on the other hand is a swing and a miss. A single button on top of the dispenser has to be held down continuously to fill whatever vessel you’ve got under the spout. Obviously they went this route rather having a button you could press and forget to prevent soaked floors and wasted water, but having to physically babysit the system totally negates the automatic appeal of the product. On top of that, the dispenser fork means this $130 product is BYO carafe.
Clean Water Machine filters, which filter 320 gallons, are currently going for $59 for a two-pack, before factoring in the 15% discount with Subscribe & Save, compared to the Brita Longlast Filters, which filter 120 gallons at $26 for a two-pack. The Brita two-pack has dropped all the way down to ~$17 once, but isn’t eligible for Subscribe & Save currently, while the Aquasana filters have never been discounted, yet. Keeping the math very rough, an Aquasana filter goes for about twice as much as a Brita Longlast, but filters about three times as much water.
The Aquasana has an optional app to tell you when to change the filter, but there’s an indicator light on the machine for that, so the app is pretty irrelevant. Other considerations include the fact that the Aquasana takes up both counter and fridge space, and requires a power outlet.
The Aquasana Clean Water Machine isn’t perfect, but it’s the only countertop/pitcher water filtration system we’d consider getting in to the ecosystem of at this point, and the only exciting product in this space in years.