Thinking about buying a filter and considering a 3M Aquapure water filter vs TAPP faucet water filter? Buying a water filter can be a difficult decision. In this article we will try to provide an objective comparison to guide you through the decision.
3M offers a wide range of filters including under the sink, table top and for the fridge. For the purpose of this article we focus on the most purchased under the sink filter by 3M. Specifically Aqua-Pure AP-DWS1000 but the comparison is valid for most 3M filters sold globally.
TAPP Water also offers several variants of its filters and so for simplicity we are using TAPP 2 as the benchmark.
We compare the 6 most important aspects including simplicity to install and use, taste of the water, filter efficiency, flow rate, capacity and price.
One of the biggest differences between water filters is where and how they are installed. Under the sink water filters like 3M have the advantage of being hidden but with this comes a much more challenging installation. TAPP Water filters are visible but much easier to install.
Although 3M claims DIY this is really only a true claim if you’re a hobby plumber. The filters are difficult to install, usually require drilling a new hole for the faucet and even changing the cartridges once it’s installed can be difficult. Many people attempting to do the work themselves reported leakage issues after a few weeks of use. In summary under the sink filters like the 3M Aquapure requires a professional plumber.
Pretty much anyone can install in less than 1 min without tools. In case it doesn’t fit straight away adapters are provided free of charge. TAPP filters have an on/off switch to change between filtered and unfiltered water.
Winner: TAPP 2 by far thanks to its simplicity
First of all this comparison is a bit more complicated and the relevancy of specific filtration depends on your local water quality. Both 3M and TAPP Water recommend that you check your local water quality before choosing a water filter. Generally for public tap water a high quality carbon block filter is more than enough.
The under the sink 3M AquaPure filters generally filter everything activated carbon filters do including 80+ substances such as chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, etc but also heavy metals. Most of the filters have a 0.5 micron rating which provides a higher level of bacteria filtration but also reduces the flowrate (see below).
The TAPP 2 5-stage filters 100+ substances including chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, microplastics etc. In addition to this the proprietary inhibition technology vastly reduces limescale. TAPP 2 uses a 1-2 micron filter which is more than sufficient for chlorinated tap water. For non-potable tap water TAPP Water also offers TAPP Ultrafiltration with a 0.02 micron rating.
Winner: It’s a draw. Both 3M and TAPP Water offer similar type water filtration depending on what filter you choose. TAPP 2 offers the added advantage of limescale filtration.
Although taste can be subjective we’ve found that it’s very consistent when it comes to tap water. With a high quality carbon block filter people can immediately taste the difference.
Based on our tests the 3M AquaPure efficiently a remove all the chlorine taste and some common metalic taste from iron rich tap water. Overall the filtered water tastes goos to great.
Great taste has always been one of the core priorities for TAPP Water. From day one we’ve done blind tasting benchmarking different filters and bottled water. TAPP 2 almost always comes out at top. Many customers point out that the improvement in taste is almost magical for this little device.
Winner: Draw as both filters deliver great tasting tap water
This is one of the most important aspects of a good user experience. High flowrate means you can seamlessly fill up a glass of water, carafe, water kettle or coffee machine. Low water flow can be very annoying. The normal tap water flow without a filter is typically around 8-10 L/min.
According to the specification the flowrate is 2.3 L/min and our tests confirmed this at around 2 L/min. It’s acceptable but takes a while to fill up your reusable water bottle, tea kettle or pitcher.
The product is designed for a max flowrate of 4 L / min. With this it’s a small difference compared to unfiltered water.
Winner: TAPP 2 by TAPP Water with twice the flowrate
Another important aspect of water filters is how often you need to replace the cartridges, how to know when and how easy it is. The capacity of a cartridge is often not fully used as it’s critical to replace the cartridges within a certain time interval to ensure that the water is safe and tasty.
The capacity of the 3M AquaPure filter is 3750 L per cartridge and the 2 cartridges should be replaced every 6 months. The latest version has an automatic shutoff after 6 months and capacity is reached. Although the system is called easy-replace it does require you to crawl under the sink, removing everything around the filter and then unscrew and screw the filters back in.
TAPP 2 cartridges have a capacity of 1200 L and should be replaced every 3 months. The MyTAPP service included with TAPP provides continuous updates on environmental impact, cost savings and more with a reminder when it’s time to change the cartridge. It takes less than 30s to make the switch.
Winner: TAPP Water thanks the reminders and easy replacement.
Last but not least cost is an obvious consideration when choosing a water filter. In this article we checked tha latest price on Amazon.com of 3M AquaPure water filters vs TAPP Water. Prices may differ based on the local market.
The filter system including 2 cartridges cost about 230 $USD. In addition to this the average cost of installation is 120 $USD. The cartridges need to be replaced every 6 months and cost about 90 $USD. In summary the first year cost is about 350 $USD and following years about 180 $USD.
The annual pack including 4 cartridges costs about 99 $USD. Following this the cost is about 60 $USD per year for 4 cartridges if you sign up for the annual subscription.
Winner: TAPP Water costs considerably less for similar quality of water
If your priority is to get limescale-free and great tasting clean water that keeps the healthy natural minerals in your water, then TAPP Water is the obvious winner. If you don’t mind doing a somewhat complicated installation and prefer to have the filtration system under the sink, 3M is also a good option as it is one of the most reliable under the sink water filters on the market today.
Enjoy great tasting drinking water!