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Waterdrop vs. Aquasana Filters

By: David Trinh
Last Updated:

In the world of water filtration, Waterdrop and Aquasana are prominent contenders, each offering unique strengths and catering to different consumer needs. 

Established in 2015, Waterdrop has quickly gained popularity with a wide range of innovative products, including top-rated reverse osmosis systems and portable filters, noted for their sleek and effective design for countertop models ( like the N1, and A1) as well as tankless under-sink models like the G3P800.

Aquasana, based in Austin, Texas, stands out for its diverse and NSF-certified filtration solutions, ranging from whole-house systems to under-sink filtration, focusing on effective contaminant removal while retaining beneficial minerals. 

While Waterdrop emphasizes technological innovation and performance, Aquasana distinguishes itself with eco-friendly filters, ease of installation, and robust customer support. Choosing between the two is a matter of personal preference and specific filtration needs.

This article delves into the specifics of Waterdrop vs. Aquasana, taking a closer look at their reverse osmosis systems and multi-stage filters and comparing features, filtration capabilities, lifespan, installation, maintenance, and more to help you make an informed decision.

Waterdrop vs. Aquasana (Reverse Osmosis Systems)

In the realm of reverse osmosis water filtration systems, the Waterdrop G3 P800 and Aquasana Smart Flow are two highly regarded models, each with distinct features and capabilities. 

To help you understand how these systems compare, here’s a detailed table highlighting their key specifications:

Waterdrop G3 P800
  • Filtration Stages: 9-stage filtration, including UV technology
  • Contaminant Reduction: Reduces up to 99.99% of 1,000+ harmful substances,
  • Flow Rate: 0.55 GPM
  • Filter Lifespan: RO filter: 24 months; other filters: 6-12 months
  • Installation: Easy DIY installation
  • Warranty: 30-day return policy + limited 1-year warranty
  • Price: $999.00
Aquasana Smart Flow
  • Filtration Stages: 4-stage filtration, including remineralization
  • Contaminant Reduction: Removes up to 99.99% of 90 contaminants
  • Flow Rate: 0.5 GPM
  • Filter Lifespan: Varies by model
  • Installation: Might require professional help
  • Warranty: 90-day satisfaction guarantee + 2-year warranty
  • Price: $449.99

This comparison reveals that while both systems excel in delivering high-quality filtration, they each have unique features that cater to different user preferences. 

The Waterdrop G3 P800 stands out with its high filter capacity and interactive display, while the Aquasana Smart Flow emphasizes eco-friendliness and a robust warranty. 

Your choice between the two will depend on what aspects of water filtration are most important to you.

Filtration Comparison

Both Waterdrop and Aquasana offer high-quality filtration, but their approaches differ. Waterdrop focuses on a broader spectrum of contaminant reduction, while Aquasana targets specific, common contaminants with an eco-friendly approach. 

The choice between the two systems would depend on the user’s particular filtration needs and priorities.

Waterdrop RO Filter

The Waterdrop G3 P800 employs an advanced 9-stage filtration process. This system is particularly noted for its capability to reduce over 1,000 types of contaminants, ensuring a comprehensive purification experience. 

Waterdrop filter replacements

The inclusion of a high-capacity RO filter, effective for up to 24 months, along with additional filters requiring semi-annual to annual replacement, contributes to its powerful performance. 

A standout feature is its interaction-based display, providing users with real-time insights into water quality, filter life, and system status.

Aquasana RO Filter

In contrast, the Aquasana Smart Flow system utilizes a robust 4-stage filtration approach, focusing on efficiently removing 90 specific contaminants, including common and harmful substances like lead, mercury, and pesticides. 

Aquasana filter replacements

While the number of contaminants targeted is less compared to Waterdrop, Aquasana’s filtration is precise and tailored toward the most critical water quality concerns. 

Additionally, Aquasana’s eco-friendly approach, with filters designed to minimize environmental impact, adds an extra layer of appeal to environmentally conscious consumers.

Filter Lifespan

Both Waterdrop and Aquasana offer reliable filter lifespan, but Waterdrop has an edge with its longer-lasting RO filter. This could be a significant factor for users looking for a low-maintenance system. 

While requiring more frequent filter changes, Aquasana maintains a consistent level of water purification with its regular maintenance schedule.

Waterdrop RO Filter

The Waterdrop G3 P800 is known for its long-lasting filters, a key benefit for users seeking minimal maintenance. The RO filter in this system has an impressive lifespan of 24 months, which is notably longer than many standard RO filters. 

Additionally, the other filter cartridges in the system need replacement every 6 to 12 months, depending on usage. 

This extended filter life not only ensures consistent water quality but also reduces the frequency and cost of filter replacements.

Aquasana RO Filter

Aquasana’s filters, on the other hand, have varying lifespans depending on the specific model. Generally, Aquasana focuses on creating durable and efficient filters, but the lifespan might be shorter compared to Waterdrop’s 24-month RO filter. 

Regular replacement of pre- and post-filters is required, typically ranging from 3 to 6 months for optimal performance. 

While this may necessitate more frequent maintenance, it ensures that water quality remains high at all times.

Contaminants Removed

Understanding the types of contaminants that a reverse osmosis system can remove is crucial for ensuring safe drinking water. The Waterdrop G3 P800 and Aquasana Smart Flow systems are designed to tackle different ranges and types of contaminants. 

Here’s a comparison table to highlight their capabilities in removing various impurities:

FeatureWaterdrop G3 P800Aquasana Smart Flow
Number of Contaminants RemovedOver 1,000 types90 Specific types
Common Contaminants RemovedTDs, fluoride, arsenic, chromium, PFOs, turbidity, nitrate, chlorine, cadmium, PFOAs, etc.Fluoride, arsenic, chlorine, lead, etc.
Filtration EffectivenessExtensive range of contaminants, suitable for diverse water quality issuesPrecise removal of specific, common contaminants
Targeted FiltrationBroad spectrumFocused
Ideal UsageAreas with various or unknown water quality concernsAreas with specific contaminant concerns

This comparison reveals that while the Waterdrop G3 P800 offers a broad range of contaminant removal, making it ideal for varied and unknown water quality issues, the Aquasana Smart Flow focuses on efficiently removing specific, commonly found contaminants. 

Your choice will depend on the impurities present in your water supply and the level of filtration you require for safe consumption.

Installation and Maintenance 

While both systems offer high-quality water filtration, the Waterdrop G3 P800 edges out with easier installation and lower maintenance requirements

The Aquasana Smart Flow, while potentially requiring more effort in installation and maintenance, offers robust performance and consistent water quality. 

Your choice between the two would depend on your comfort with DIY projects and how frequently you’re willing to engage in maintenance tasks.

Waterdrop RO Filter

The Waterdrop G3 P800 is renowned for its user-friendly installation process. It is designed for easy DIY installation, which means you don’t necessarily need professional help to set it up. This aspect can be particularly appealing to those who prefer a straightforward, hands-on approach.

Waterdrop g3p800 installed under a sink

Additionally, the maintenance of the Waterdrop system is relatively simple, primarily involving periodic filter replacements. The long lifespan of its filters (up to 24 months for the RO filter and 6–12 months for other cartridges) also means less frequent maintenance, further adding to the convenience.

Aquasana RO Filter

On the other hand, installing the Aquasana Smart Flow system might be more complex and require professional assistance. This factor might be a consideration for those not comfortable with DIY projects or those who prefer a hassle-free setup. 

In terms of maintenance, Aquasana filters generally require more frequent replacement compared to Waterdrop, which could translate to more regular maintenance tasks. However, this ensures that the system consistently performs at its best, providing clean and safe drinking water.

Waterdrop vs. Aquasana (Multi-Stage Filters)

In the segment of multi-stage water filtration, the Waterdrop Ultra Filtration and Aquasana Max Flow systems stand out with their unique features and filtration capabilities. 

To provide a clearer understanding of how these two systems compare, here’s a table that outlines their specific characteristics:

Waterdrop Ultra Filtration
  • Filtration Stages: 3-stage
  • Flow Rate: 1.5 GPM (tested under 60 psi)
  • Filter Lifespan: 6-24 Months
  • Warranty: 30-day return policy + limited 1-year warranty
  • Filter Type: Reverse Osmosis
  • Price: $189.99
Claryum Max Flow
  • Filtration Stages: 3 Stage
  • Flow Rate: 0.72 gpm
  • Filter Lifespan: 800 gallons or up to 6 months.
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Filter Type: Reverse Osmosis
  • Price: $180 -$450

This comparison indicates that while the Waterdrop Ultra Filtration system offers versatile and comprehensive contaminant removal, the Aquasana Max Flow system is geared more towards specific, efficient contaminant elimination with an eco-friendly approach. 

The decision between these two would depend on individual preferences for filtration depth, installation ease, and environmental impact considerations.

Filter Comparison 

Both the Waterdrop Ultra Filtration and Aquasana Max Flow systems offer high-quality multi-stage filtration but with different focal points. 

Waterdrop prioritizes broad-spectrum contaminant removal and adaptability, while Aquasana emphasizes specific contaminant targeting and retention of beneficial minerals. 

The choice between these systems will depend on the specific filtration needs, water quality concerns, and the user’s preference for certain types of filtration technology.

Waterdrop Ultra Filtration

The Waterdrop Ultra Filtration system utilizes advanced multi-stage filtration technology to remove a broad range of contaminants. This includes common impurities such as chemicals and heavy metals. 

The filters are designed to cater to various water quality issues, making them adaptable to different environments. 

One of the key features of the Waterdrop filters is their focus on comprehensive purification, potentially including UV purification options for enhanced safety. 

Aquasana Max Flow

Aquasana’s Max Flow filters, on the other hand, employ the brand’s unique Claryum® technology. This innovative approach to filtration targets 77 specific contaminants, including chlorine, lead, and mercury, while retaining beneficial minerals like calcium and magnesium. 

The system is NSF certified to several standards, ensuring effective removal of a wide range of impurities and providing reassurance about the filter’s quality and safety.

Filter Lifespan

The Waterdrop Ultra Filtration system offers a longer filter lifespan, reducing the frequency of maintenance and replacement costs. On the other hand, the Aquasana Max Flow requires more frequent filter changes but ensures consistent and effective filtration. 

The choice between these two would largely depend on personal preferences regarding maintenance frequency and long-term cost implications.

Waterdrop Ultra Filtration

The filters in the Waterdrop Ultra Filtration system are designed for durability and efficiency. Typically, these filters have a lifespan ranging from 6 to 12 months, depending on the specific model and usage. This relatively extended lifespan means fewer replacements and less maintenance over time, which can be a significant convenience and cost-saving factor for users. 

The longer lifespan also indicates the effectiveness of the filters in maintaining consistent water quality over extended periods.

Aquasana Max Flow

Aquasana’s Max Flow filters generally need to be replaced approximately every six months. While this might indicate more frequent maintenance compared to the Waterdrop filters, it ensures that the system continues to operate at optimal efficiency and maintains high water quality. 

Regular replacement is key to the system’s ability to effectively remove contaminants and provide safe drinking water continuously.

Contaminants Removed

In assessing the effectiveness of water filtration systems, it’s crucial to examine the range and types of contaminants they can remove. The Waterdrop Ultra Filtration and Aquasana Max Flow systems each have their strengths in dealing with different impurities. 

Here’s a comparison table that outlines the contaminants these systems are equipped to filter out:

Waterdrop Ultra Filtration
  • Filtration Stages: 3-stage
  • Flow Rate: 1.5 GPM (tested under 60 psi)
  • Filter Lifespan: 6-24 Months
  • Warranty: 30-day return policy + limited 1-year warranty
  • Filter Type: Reverse Osmosis
  • Price: $189.99
Claryum Max Flow
  • Filtration Stages: 3 Stage
  • Flow Rate: 0.72 gpm
  • Filter Lifespan: 800 gallons or up to 6 months.
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Filter Type: Reverse Osmosis
  • Price: $180 -$450

This table shows that while the Waterdrop Ultra Filtration system offers a versatile approach to contaminant removal, suitable for a variety of water sources, the Aquasana Max Flow specializes in targeting specific harmful contaminants. 

The decision between these two systems will depend on the particular water quality challenges you face and your filtration priorities.

Installation and Maintenance 

Both the Waterdrop Ultra Filtration and Aquasana Max Flow systems are designed with user-friendly installation and maintenance in mind. 

While both require regular filter replacements, the frequency is reasonable and contributes to the ongoing efficiency and effectiveness of the systems. 

The choice between the two would depend on personal preferences regarding DIY installation and the frequency of maintenance tasks.

Waterdrop Ultra Filtration

The Waterdrop Ultra Filtration system installation process is typically user-friendly and designed for DIY enthusiasts. This feature is particularly beneficial for those who prefer to handle the installation themselves without needing professional assistance. 

Waterdrop ultra filtration

The maintenance of the system is relatively straightforward, primarily involving regular filter replacements. Given the filters’ lifespan of 6 to 12 months, the maintenance frequency is manageable, making it a convenient option for most households.

Aquasana Max Flow

Aquasana’s Max Flow system also emphasizes ease of installation and maintenance. The system is designed to be user-friendly, with clear instructions and support available, making it accessible even to those who might not be particularly handy. 

Aquasanan Claryum 2 stage installed

Regular filter maintenance is required, with filters typically needing replacement every six months. This regular maintenance schedule ensures the system consistently performs at its peak, providing clean and safe drinking water.

General Performance Comparison 

Both Waterdrop and Aquasana offer impressive performance in water filtration. 

Waterdrop stands out for its broad-spectrum contaminant removal and potential inclusion of UV purification, while Aquasana excels in providing targeted filtration with an eco-friendly approach. 

The choice between the two systems will largely depend on individual needs and preferences regarding specific aspects of water filtration performance.


The Waterdrop Ultra Filtration system is known for its high efficiency in removing a wide range of contaminants, contributing to an improvement in the taste and quality of water. Its advanced filtration technology, which potentially includes UV purification, ensures effective removal of impurities and enhances the safety of the water. 

In terms of speed, Waterdrop systems typically offer a good flow rate, minimizing the wait time for filtered water. 

The system’s design and filter lifespan also contribute to its overall longevity, reducing the need for frequent maintenance and replacements.


Aquasana’s Max Flow, on the other hand, excels in its targeted approach to filtration with the Claryum® technology. This ensures the removal of specific contaminants while retaining beneficial minerals, resulting in water that is not only safe but also great-tasting. 

Aquasana systems are also noted for their eco-friendly filters, which add to their appeal for environmentally conscious consumers. 

In terms of flow rate and efficiency, Aquasana systems are designed to provide a steady and reliable supply of purified water.

Cost Comparison

When considering a water filtration system, understanding the full spectrum of costs – both initial and ongoing – is crucial. This encompasses the purchase price, maintenance expenses, installation fees, and any additional operational costs. 

Below is a comparison table that outlines these cost factors for the Waterdrop Ultra Filtration and Aquasana Max Flow systems:

Cost FactorWaterdrop Ultra FiltrationAquasana Max Flow
Initial Cost$259.99$449.99
InstallationDIY installationDIY installation
Filter Replacement CostPP filter (6-8 months): $29.99UF filter (12 months): $45.99CT filter (24 months): $35.99Claryum® 3-Stage Max Flow Filter (6 months): $79.99
Annual Costs of Filter Replacement$229.94$159.98

Although the Aquasana Max Flow has a higher initial price tag, the cost of replacing filters over time is significantly cheaper than the Waterdrop Ultra Filtration. You’ll save nearly $70 per year with the Aquasana Max Flow.

Pros and Cons Waterdrop Vs. Aquasana 

Both Waterdrop and Aquasana offer a range of effective and convenient water filtration solutions, each with unique features that cater to different needs and preferences.

Waterdrop ProsAquasana Pros
Effective Filtration: Removes a wide range of contaminants including chlorine, lead, sediment, and heavy metals​​.Affordable Range: Offers filters from $20 for simple models to around $800 for whole-house systems​​.
Easy Installation: Filters can typically be installed without a plumber’s help​​.Innovative Technology: Uses Claryum filtration to remove harmful elements while retaining beneficial minerals​​.
Cost-Effective: Generally more affordable than other water filtration systems​​.Variety of Products: Multiple filtration types including whole-house, under sink, countertop, and shower models​​.
Convenient Design: Compact and easy to use​​.Customizable Systems: Options for upgrades like salt-free water conditioner and UV filters​​.
Microdrink Technology: Allows flavor addition to water without sugar or calories​​.Good Customer Feedback: Positive customer reviews and installation recommendations​​.
High-Quality Ingredients: Natural ingredients, free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives​​.Water for Life Program: Subscription service for filter replacement at a discount and with extended warranty​​.
Variety of Flavors: Wide range of flavor options​​.90-Day Return Policy: Offers a money-back guarantee, though it starts from the order date​​.
Eco-Friendly: Packaging is 100% recyclable​​.Warranty Backing: Different warranties for various models, up to 10 years for whole-house systems​​.

It’s equally important to look at the pitfalls of both companies as well. These cons highlight some potential issues and customer experiences with Waterdrop and Aquasana water filtration systems, providing a more comprehensive understanding of their products and services.

Limited Capacity: Some Waterdrop filters may need frequent replacement due to limited capacity, which could increase overall costs​​.Fragile Components: Some components, like the UV bulb in the well water system, are fragile and prone to breaking, leading to inefficiency and additional costs​​.
Not Suitable for All Water Sources: Waterdrop filters might not be effective for extremely hard or heavily contaminated water sources​​.Installation Challenges: Installation can be tricky for some users, and a licensed plumber is required for warranty validity​​.
Potential Impact on Water Pressure: Some models may affect water pressure, though this issue can often be resolved​​.Filter Lifespan Issues: Customers have reported shorter-than-expected filter lifespans and issues with faucet durability​​.

While both Waterdrop and Aquasana offer a range of effective water filtration solutions with unique features, they also have their respective downsides. Potential buyers should weigh these pros and cons carefully to determine which brand best suits their specific water filtration needs and preferences.

Customer Reviews and Concerns 

When evaluating water filtration systems, customer reviews and concerns provide valuable insights into the real-world performance and reliability of products from companies like Waterdrop and Aquasana. 

These customer experiences can highlight key strengths and potential issues, helping inform your decision-making process



 Waterdrop vs. Aquasana: Which Should You Choose?

In the comparison of Waterdrop vs. Aquasana, there is no clear-cut winner as both brands excel in different aspects. 

If you prioritize cost-effectiveness, ease of installation, and innovative flavor options, Waterdrop might be more suitable for your needs. 

On the other hand, Aquasana is a strong contender for those seeking a wider range of filtration systems, including whole-house options, and who value NSF-certified filters and comprehensive warranties. 

Ultimately, the choice between Waterdrop and Aquasana should be based on your specific water filtration requirements, budget constraints, and preferences regarding features like filter lifespan, installation ease, and customer support quality.

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David Trinh
David is an expert in all things plumbing, heating, cooling, and water treatment. He got his start in the plumbing business working on fixing all types of home improvement issues including water leaks, broken toilets, appliance installation, and more. Over time, he learned a ton about installing and choosing the correct water treatment products for homeowners.

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