Aquasana vs Pelican Water Filters Comparison

Aquasana vs Pelican

Aquasana and Pelican are two incredibly popular water filter brands in the US, and their whole house water filters are currently some of the leading offerings in the water filtration market. Whole house water filtering is the best solution for anyone looking to benefit from clean drinking water all around their home, and not just from their faucets.

Looking at the Pelican vs Aquasana filters side-by-side, there’s a lot for each brand to boast about – but what exactly makes these whole house water filtration solutions different from one another? And how do you choose which one is most ideal for you? I’ll be covering everything you need to know in this comparison review.

๐Ÿ  Whole House Filters

Aquasana Rhino Whole House Water Filter System
Aquasana Rhino Whole House Water Filter System
  • Flow rate: 7 GPM
  • Contaminants removed: Chlorine+
  • Filter lifespan: 600K – 1M gallons
  • Warranty: 10 years
  • Price:
Pelican Premium Whole House Water Filter System
Pelican Premium Whole House Water Filter System
  • Flow rate: 12 GPM
  • Contaminants removed: Chlorine+
  • Filter lifespan: 600K – 1M gallons
  • Warranty: 12 years
  • Price:

The Aquasana Rhino comes in two different capacities depending on your filtration requirements – 600, 000 gallons for 6 years of filtration, and 1, 000, 000 gallons for 10 years of filtration.

The Pelican is a similar whole house water filter system that is low maintenance and easy to install. Like with the Aquasana, you can buy the Pelican with a 600,000 or 1,000,000-gallon capacity, depending on your filtration needs.

๐Ÿ’ก Filter Media

Aquasana uses a range of different filter media in its separate stages of filtration. The two key filters are made from a copper-zinc and mineral stone, and activated carbon, which traps contaminants in the process of adsorption. There’s also a pre-filter and a post-filter, and while there’s no information on the exact materials used in these filters, these filters generally use a granular activated carbon media.

Akin to Aquasana, there are a number of different filter media used in the Pelican whole house filter, including a pre-sediment filter with 5-micron pores to trap larger contaminants, a granulated activated carbon media, which uses the process of adsorption to bind contaminants to the filter surface, and a KDF zinc-copper media that exchanges electrons with harmful contaminants.

๐Ÿงซ What Contaminants Do They Remove?

The Rhino’s pre-filter removes sediment like dust and rust; the water conditioner removes scale; the copper-zinc and mineral stone filter reduces heavy metals and chlorine, and inhibits algae growth; the activated carbon filter removes chemicals like pesticides and herbicides; and the post-filter removes any leftover sediment and organic matter.

In the first stage of filtration, the Pelican whole house water filter removes sediment like sand, silt and debris; in the second and third GAC stages, it removes chemicals like chlorine, chloramines, pesticides and herbicides; in the fourth stage, the Pelican prevents the growth of algae and bacteria.

๐Ÿšฆ Performance Comparison

With an NSF certification for chlorine removal, the Aquasana whole house filter guarantees that you can enjoy water with a much cleaner taste. In terms of performance, this whole house filter definitely gives you a lot for your money, with a filter, purifier and descaler in one. The bigger system has a capacity of up to 1 million gallons, which is a very decent lifespan for any water filter. It has a flow rate of up to 7 GPM.

Pelican’s whole house water filter offers a guarantee of good performance, being NSF certified to Standard 42, for chlorine removal, and 61, for material safety. The filter is broad-ranging in exactly what it does – it doesn’t just improve water taste and odor by removing chlorine; it also removes heavy metals and other chemicals. It has an average flow rate of 8 GPM, just beating the Aquasana whole house filter, with a peak flow rate of 12 GPM.

๐Ÿ“† Filter Lifespan & Replacement Costs

You can either opt for the Aquasana 6,000 gallons, which costs around $650 and lasts for 6 years, or the Aquasana 1,000,000 gallons, which costs around $800 and lasts for 10 years. As for the pre-filters in both whole house water filters, they last up to 3 months, while the post-filters have a 6-month average lifespan. The key filters only need to be replaced every 6 or 10 years.

When it comes to initial price, comparing Aquasana vs Pelican whole house water filters, the Aquasana is a slightly better deal. If you buy the Pelican 600,000 for around $800, you will need to replace the filter after 5 years; the Pelican 1,00,000, costing just over $1,000, has a higher filter capacity and should last you more than double this time. The prefilter needs to be replaced every 6 to 9 months and costs just over $20 for one.

๐Ÿ’ฌ Customer Reviews & Complaints

Most customers praised Aquasana’s whole house filters for their value for money and ability to both descale and filter water, but some customers commented that it’d be nice to have clear housing for the pre- and post-filters to determine when they need changing, and others mentioned that they’d like the filters to remove fluoride.

The majority of customers were happy with the ease of installation of the Pelican system, and noticed an immediate improvement in their water quality. Some customers experienced issues with pre-soaking the carbon media, and others had leaking problems after first installing the system.

โ˜‘๏ธ Pros and Cons

๐Ÿ‘ Aquasana โ€“ Pros

  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Better value for money than the Pelican system
  • Filters water and removes limescale

๐Ÿ‘Ž Aquasana โ€“ Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not as thorough as reverse osmosis
  • A professional must install to validate the warranty

๐Ÿ‘ Pelican โ€“ Pros

  • Simple to install
  • Fairly good value for money
  • NSF certified

๐Ÿ‘Ž Pelican โ€“ Cons

  • Worse value for money than the Aquasana
  • Uses plastic fittings
  • Need to pre-soak the carbon media before use

Additional info: See our favorite whole house systems in 2021


๐Ÿ” Countertop Filters

Aquasana Countertop Drinking Water Filter System review
Pelican Countertop Drinking Filter System

Aquasana Countertop Water Filter

  • Filter:
  • Flow rate: 0.4 GPM
  • Contaminants removed: 70
  • Filter lifespan: 400 gallons
  • Warranty:
  • Price:

Pelican Countertop Drinking Filter System

  • Filter:
  • Flow rate: 0.5 GPM
  • Contaminants removed: 60
  • Filter lifespan: 450 gallons
  • Warranty:
  • Price:

๐Ÿ’ก Filter Media

The filter cartridge inside the system is an Aquasana Claryumยฎ filter, which is made from several different media in one. First, there’s an activated carbon media, then, similarly, a catalytic carbon media. Both use adsorption to trap contaminants in water. There’s also an ion exchange media and a sub-micron filtration media.

The filtration media used in the Pelican is carbon block, which uses adsorption to bind contaminants to the filter and prevent them from being able to pass through the tiny filter pores.

๐Ÿงซ What Contaminants Do They Remove?

For a relatively small filter, the Aquasana can remove an impressive amount of contaminants (over 70 in total), including pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, VOCs, chlorine, chloramines, heavy metals, and asbestos.

The Pelican is one of the better countertop water filtration systems when it comes to contaminant removal, removing more than 60 contaminants – though this does fall slightly short compared to the Aquasana’s 70 contaminants. Filtered contaminants include chlorine and chloramines, lead, mercury, cysts, PFOA and PFOS.

๐Ÿšฆ Performance Comparison

You get a great value for money with the Aquasana countertop water filter, as it has a four-stage filtration capacity in a single cartridge, making it one of the best countertop filtration systems when it comes to thoroughness of contaminant removal. With a flow rate of 0.4 GPM, it’ll ensure you can enjoy immediate access to clean water, and the system is tested and certified to NSF/ANSI Standards 42 and 53 for chlorine and lead removal.

Comparing the Pelican vs Aquasana countertop water filters in terms of performance, there’s not much difference. The Pelican is also certified for NSF Standard 42 and 53, for chlorine and lead removal, and uses a similar carbon-based filter to remove contaminants. The max flow rate for the Pelican is 0.5 GPM, only slightly better than Aquasana’s.

๐Ÿ“† Filter Lifespan & Replacement Costs

The lifespan of the Aquasana’s filter depends on your water usage, but it lasts for 400 gallons of water, which equates to roughly 6 months. The filter costs around $60 for a two-pack replacement.

Again, the Pelican water filter has the same filter capacity as the Aquasana in this case, lasting for 450 gallons or roughly 6 months. You can buy replacement filters for the Pelican at virtually the same price, too, costing just under $70 for a pack of 2.

๐Ÿ’ฌ Customer Reviews & Complaints

Customers praised the Aquasana countertop filter system for improving water taste and making it safer to drink, and being easy to install. Some customers noted that the system slows down water flow noticeably, and others were unimpressed that the filter doesn’t remove fluoride.

Customers were happy with the Pelican’s ease of installation and its ability to remove chlorine and chloramines. Some folks were unimpressed with the fact that replacement filters cost just as much as the full system, and others experienced issues with the O-rings leaking water during use.

โ˜‘๏ธ Pros and Cons

๐Ÿ‘ Aquasana โ€“ Pros

  • Money-back guarantee for authorized returns
  • NSF/ANSI certified
  • Removes over 70 contaminants

๐Ÿ‘Ž Aquasana โ€“ Cons

  • Doesn’t remove fluoride
  • Filter lifespan isn’t the best
  • Reduces water flow

๐Ÿ‘ Pelican โ€“ Pros

  • Simple installation
  • High-quality filtration process
  • Slightly faster maximum flow rate than Aquasana

๐Ÿ‘Ž Pelican โ€“ Cons

  • Doesn’t remove as many contaminants as Aquasana
  • Doesn’t filter out fluoride
  • Replacement filters are slightly more expensive than Aquasana’s


๐Ÿšฐ Under Counter Filters

Aquasana 3-Stage Max Flow undersink filter
Pelican 3-Stage Under-Counter Drinking Water Filter

Aquasana 3-Stage Max Flow

  • Flow rate: 0.72 GPM
  • Contaminants removed: 77
  • Filter lifespan: 800 gallons
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Price:

Pelican 3-Stage Under Counter System

  • Flow rate 1 GPM:
  • Contaminants removed: 60+
  • Filter lifespan: 1,500 gallons
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Price:

Aquasana’s answer to under sink filtration is the 3-stage max flow system. This water filtration system has an 800-gallon capacity and a 44% faster water flow. Comparing Aquasana vs Pelican water filtration systems for under counter systems, the Pelican 3-stage water filter is about as similar as it gets. The system is simple to install and comes with its own included faucet.

๐Ÿ’ก Filter Media

Imagine Aquasana’s under sink filter media as a bigger, 3-stage version of the countertop filter. Again, each of the filter cartridges inside the system use something called Claryumยฎ technology, which involves an activated carbon filtration media, a catalytic carbon media, an ion exchange media, and a sub-micron filtration media.

The Pelican water filter uses a three-stage filtration process with media made from a sediment pre filter at 25 microns, followed by two catalytic GAC (granular activated) carbon filters. The sediment pre filter media traps contaminants bigger than 25 microns, like dirt and rust, in its pores, while the GAC carbon filters ensure chlorine and lead-free water by trapping the contaminants in the adsorption process.

๐Ÿงซ What Contaminants Do They Remove?

The Aquasana under sink filter removes an impressive 77 contaminants, including heavy metals like mercury and lead, cysts like giardia and cryptosporidium, chemicals like pesticides and herbicides, and pharmaceuticals like ibuprofen.

Again, looking at the Aquasana vs Pelican for under sink contaminant removal, the Pelican isn’t quite as thorough, removing 60+ contaminants compared to Aquasana’s listed 77. The system can remove the likes of heavy metals, chemicals and VOCs, and is NSF certified for the removal of chlorine and lead.

๐Ÿšฆ Performance Comparison

You should see a major improvement in water quality when using the Aquasana under sink water treatment system, which is NSF certified for Standards 42, 53, 401 + P473. When it comes to flow rate, the system isn’t called “Max Flow” for no reason – if you have good water pressure, you shouldn’t notice a decrease in flow rate at all.

As mentioned above, Pelican’s NSF certification guarantees quality performance when it comes to specific contaminant removal. The filter capacity is 1,500 gallons, or 6 months, which is typical of this kind of filter and ensures longer-lasting performance if you were to compare it to other similar filters. Another performance bonus is that the filter doesn’t get rid of beneficial healthy minerals from water, which some RO systems and whole house filters remove.

๐Ÿ“† Filter Lifespan & Replacement Costs

Aquasana’s under sink filtration system will provide a means of accessing clean city water for a maximum of 6 months before you need to buy replacement filters. This is about an average filter capacity of a system of its kind. To make sure your water quality remains at its best, you should change the filter when you notice water flow decreasing (replacement filters cost around $65 for a pack of 3).

The Pelican water filtration system has a filter capacity of 1,500 gallons of water, equating to approximately 6 to 12 months depending on your usage. You can buy replacement filters online for $50 to $70, depending on where you purchase them from.

๐Ÿ’ฌ Customer Reviews & Complaints

Customers enjoyed the Aquasana for its high-quality filtration and good water flow, and the majority of users found the system simple to install. Some customers found the included faucet a little flimsy for their liking and others were annoyed with the price of replacement filters.

There are currently no Amazon reviews for the Pelican water filter, and only one review on Pelican’s website. The reviewer rated their filter 5 stars and noted that customer service was top-notch, as Pelican had sent them a replacement part when they discovered one part had arrived broken.

โ˜‘๏ธ Pros and Cons

๐Ÿ‘ Aquasana โ€“ Pros

  • Simple installation
  • Good water flow
  • NSF certified

๐Ÿ‘Ž Aquasana โ€“ Cons

  • Replacement filters are expensive
  • Chrome faucet could be sturdier
  • Pressure caused cloudy water for some users

๐Ÿ‘ Pelican โ€“ Pros

  • Doesn’t get rid of healthy minerals from water
  • Satisfaction guarantee
  • NSF certified

๐Ÿ‘Ž Pelican โ€“ Cons

  • Filter replacements are relatively expensive
  • Very little customer comments
  • Contaminant removal not as thorough as the Aquasana


๐Ÿšฟ Shower Filters

Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Water Filter review
Pelican Premium Shower Filter

Aquasana Premium Shower Filter

  • Flow rate: 2.5 GPM
  • Contaminants removed: Chlorine
  • Filter lifespan: 10,000 gallons
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Price:

Pelican Premium Shower Filter

  • Flow rate: 1..5 GPM
  • Contaminants removed: Chlorine
  • Filter lifespan: 15,000 gallons
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Price:

Aquasana’s take on the popular shower filter systems is its Premium Shower Head Water Filter. The system mostly targets chlorine, which can affect skin and hair health during showering. The Pelican shower filter is designed to remove up to 96% of chlorine from water and lasts for more than 700 10-minute showers.

๐Ÿ’ก Filter Media

There are two filter media that make up the Aquasana shower head filter: a zinc/copper media and a coconut shell carbon filtering media. The coconut shell carbon uses adsorption, while the zinc/copper uses KDF, to treat chlorine and water pH.

With three stages of water filtration, the Pelican shower filter has a copper and zinc media, a GAC (granular activated carbon) filtering media, and far-infrared emitting volcanic media. Each of these filtration stages uses a slightly different process – KDF, adsorption, and the reduction of negative ions – to improve water quality.

๐Ÿงซ What Contaminants Do They Remove?

The Aquasana shower filter removes chlorine from water, removing more than 90% of the chemical with its coconut shell carbon filtration for improved air quality during showering. It also enhances water pH for softer skin and hair post-shower.

The Pelican water shower filter removes chlorine contaminants, eliminating odors and allowing for cleaner, fresher air while showering, promoting healthier hair and skin.

๐Ÿšฆ Performance Comparison

With its unique upflow design, the Aquasana’s media is unable to channel and clog, which helps to retain a decent water pressure while increasing the water contact time in the filter, helping to produce the cleanest water possible. The system also works with most 2.5 GPM shower heads, which is an easy way to make sure your water flow stays as you like it.

For some reassurance when it comes to performance, the Pelican shower filter has been tested for NSF/ANSI Standard 177 for the reduction of chlorine by a third-party laboratory. This doesn’t mean it has an official certification, though. The system has a flow rate of 1.5 GPM, which is a little lower than the Aquasana, but still relatively good for a shower head filter.

๐Ÿ“† Filter Lifespan & Replacement Costs

The Aquasana has a 6 month filter life, or roughly 10, 000 gallons, which is about as good as you can hope for with this type of filter. The replacement Aquasana filter costs just over $40, which isn’t cheap, but you only need to buy one once every half a year or so.

Comparing the Pelican water shower filter vs Aquasana for lifespan, the Pelican comes out on top with a capacity of 15, 000 gallons, compared to Aquasana’s 10, 000 gallons. Replacement filters are a little more expensive vs Aquasana’s, costing $50.

๐Ÿ’ฌ Customer Reviews & Complaints

Customers were generally satisfied with the difference that the Aquasana had made to their skin and hair, and were happy with water flow and ease of installation. Some customers mentioned that it would be useful to have a filter life indicator to let them know when the filter needs replacing, and others highlighted the importance of using plumbing tape to prevent leaking.

Customers praised the Pelican for improving their hair and skin, and even helping with some skin conditions. Some customers felt that the Pelican needed a design refresh as it is too big and bulky to tilt and move to your requirements, and others felt that the installation instructions were a little confusing.

โ˜‘๏ธ Pros and Cons

๐Ÿ‘ Aquasana โ€“ Pros

  • Simple to install
  • Good water flow
  • Long lifespan

๐Ÿ‘Ž Aquasana โ€“ Cons

  • Replacement filters are costly
  • Doesn’t target hard water
  • Leaks without plumbing tape

๐Ÿ‘ Pelican โ€“ Pros

  • Longer lifespan vs the Aquasana
  • Third-party tested to NSF standards
  • Multiple finish options

๐Ÿ‘Ž Pelican โ€“ Cons

  • Not a water softener
  • Installation manual could be clearer
  • Unit is relatively bulky


Pelican vs Aquasana: Who Wins?

Deciding between Pelican vs Aquasana on which brand offers the best whole house water filtration solution, countertop and under sink water treatment system, and shower filter, isn’t easy to do. Both have products that are covered by a limited lifetime warranty and a money-back guarantee, both offer customer service that the majority of people are happy with, both offer a satisfaction guarantee of some sort, and both have high-quality products that give customers the peace of mind they’re looking for with a filtered water system.

The overall winner for us, however, is Aquasana. Their products tend to be a better value for money than Pelican’s, have longer lifespans, and offer a more thorough filtration. However, the difference really is relatively minor, and with both brands offering such exceptional water filtration solutions, you’ll certainly be happy with any of the filtered water systems mentioned in this review.