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The Water Machine vs Zen: Which one is the best for 2021?

For those of us who prefer clean drinking water, not all products are equal, and there are a variety of systems to choose from. And the stakes are high. If your product of choice cannot remove the contaminants within your municipal water supply, you’re wasting your money. To make an informed decision, you must do a little research to compare how well these products perform. 

The Water Machine is a state-of-the-art water purification system, not a water filter. The difference is critical. Purification removes contaminants at a much higher standard than filtration. On this page, we compare The Water Machine to a water filtration system made by Zen. After considering performance, price, and other factors, we are confident you will conclude that The Water Machine beats Zen’s products in all the important areas.

The Water Machine vs. Zen: What Contaminants Do They Remove?

The Water Machine provides performance-related data on its website, which we have imported here for a side-by-side comparison with Zen. Zen however, offers almost no data on its products. For this comparison, we chose the “Active 8-Gallon” system, because it is a countertop system intended to provide clean drinking water to a household. But we could just as well have chosen any of their desktop products, as they all use the same filters. Here is the comparison we came up with:

Filtration Efficiency (%)


* The Water Machine reduced chemicals in these categories to undetectable levels. Although some of them were specifically tested for, none were found.

** Zen’s website provides no specific information about what kinds of bacteria or pesticides/herbicides it removes at 99% efficiency.

The Results

Zen makes no specific claims on its website about what kinds of contaminants its filters remove. Zen does claim that its filters remove a number of impurities, such as pesticides, heavy metals, and chlorine, but it does not say what percentage of each is removed. One response to a question in the FAQ section reads as follows: “Although the filters in Zen Water System effectively reduce over 99% of bacteria, chlorine, herbicides, pesticides and hundreds of other man-made chemical, they do not remove fluoride.” However this response fails to reference any other part of the site where specific performance-based data are introduced. 

In other words, we have no specific information about this product. Three phone calls and an email to the company provided no additional clarity. We don’t know what kinds of pesticides, bacteria, or “man-made chemical” the company is referring to. We do know that the pores in the charcoal filter are slightly smaller than most bacteria. And the company representative did indicate that Zen does conduct testing on its filters to gauge their efficiency. However, it does not release the results of those tests to the public.

Given the lack of information, and given the stellar performance of The Water Machine when compared to its competitors, one must conclude that it provides a superior level of water purification. Zen simply isn’t in a position to make serious claims about its product. That’s a death blow to its company’s credibility, as customers buy water filters for one primary reason: health. If you cannot ascertain the ability of a filtration system to remove contaminants from your water supply, then you simply have no reason to purchase that system.

Models and Costs

Cost Comparison: The Water Machine vs. Zen

The Water Machine

The Water Machine $299.99

Replacement Filters     74.99


Active 8-Gallon countertop system $129.95

5-stage Mineral Water Filter     18.95

Annual Maintenance Kit     67.95

To compare the price of these two systems, we need to consider their longevity. When we write these comparisons, we arbitrarily assume that the user will consume 1.5 gallons of water per day. That adds up to about 540 gallons every year. However, Zen stipulates that its mineral water filter must be changed every 6 months, or every 500 gallons, whichever comes first. Therefore, we must calculate the costs of the estimate based on months and not gallons, as after six months, our “comparison family” would only have consumed 270 gallons of water. So here are figures that show how long each products’ filters last:

The Water Machine dual filter 6000 Gallons (approx. 11 years)*

Zen’s Mineral Water Filter   500 Gallons (or six months)

* assumes that owner(s) use 1.5 gallons/day

Now, the following is an estimate for the purchase of Zen products that would enable the user to filter water for eleven years. Note that the Active 8-Gallon system comes with a mineral filter, which will last for 6 months. Purchasing one replacement filter for $18.95 will last you another six months. After that, you will need an annual maintenance kit for each subsequent year. These kits contain all of the replacement parts that wear out, as well as two filters, and other materials needed to operate the system for a year.

Zen’s Active 8-Gallon countertop system     $129.95

1 5-stage Mineral Water Filter       18.95

Annual Maintenance Kits (10 @ 67.95 each)     679.50

TL   $828.40

By comparison, The Water Machine’s estimate looks like this:

The Water Machine (includes 1 set of filters)   $299.99

What does this mean? It means that if you decide to purchase The Water Machine instead of Zen’s Active 8-Gallon system, you have just saved yourself $528.41! 

Not only are you saving over $500 in filter costs, you’re enjoying a much higher quality of filtration! So when buying your next filtration system, if your goal is to save money, there is only one winner in this comparison: Buy The Water Machine! 

Pros and Cons


Zen has managed to create a countertop water filtration system which utilizes an 8-step filtration process that removes a wide array of impurities. It also adds minerals to your drinking water which can enhance your health and raise your pH level. However, the system is very expensive, and offers no guarantees as to what degree each contaminant is removed, or even which contaminants are removed. It’s one thing to be able to articulate the process your filter uses to remove impurities; it’s quite another to back those claims up with specific information and research. If a consumer cannot determine what exactly he or she is purchasing your product to do, then why buy it? 

The Water Machine

Although there is a slightly higher up-front cost of just under $300, The Water Machine outperforms Zen’s products both with respect to long-term costs and filter efficiency. The Water Machine reduces a wide array of toxins and chemicals to levels that are undetectable, while removing chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, and more. The Water Machine is glass, and easy to clean. Like Zen’s filter, it is also gravity-fed, and requires no electricity. The Water Machine’s setup and regular maintenance require less time and effort. In other words, The Water Machine beats Zen filters in all areas!

Which should I buy? Zen or The Water Machine?

After this brief product comparison, we are confident that you see the superiority of The Water Machine. Remember, unlike Zen’s products, The Water Machine is not a water filter. It is a water purification system. It removes impurities at the submicroscopic level, including dangerous chemical compounds and viruses.

If you want a product that will keep your household healthy and hydrated by removing the broadest possible spectrum of impurities from your municipal water supply, and if you want that product to last for decades with minimal maintenance, and if you want to spend less on replacement filters and only replace them every eleven years, then The Water Machine is the obvious choice.

Purchase The Water Machine today!

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