We Tried Cyclopure’s PFAs Water Test Kit: Results & Review

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We’ve used the Cyclopure PFAs water test kit to test samples of tap water in Steamboat Springs, CO. In this review, we’ve discussed our own experience using this test kit, including the sample-taking process, turnaround time, test results, and more. We’ve also shared whether or not we think the test was worth the money.

🧾 Overview of Cyclopure PFAs Water Test Kit

The Cyclopure PFAs Water Test Kit is the most unique water test for PFAs that we’ve ever used. 

Rather than sending a water sample to a laboratory for testing, the idea is that you collect water in the container. The container filters the water and the small extraction disc grabs the PFAs. The filtration process took around 20 minutes for us (it’s gravity-based, so things really slow down towards the end). We could then send off the extraction disc to the lab. 

The test can be used with any type of water, including municipal water, well water, and even surface water, like river and lake water. It tests for 55 PFAs compounds, which includes 21 precursors and all the PFAs currently listed under EPA Methods 533, 537, and 1633 draft.

Hand holding cyclopure pfas test collection container

Overall, our experience using the Cyclopure PFAs Water Test Kit was great, and we found the instructions clear and easy to follow. The actual sample-taking process was very user-friendly, but it took quite a long time. The 7-day TAT was pretty standard for a lab test, although it might not be ideal for you if you need to get a PFAs reading of your water ASAP. The test report wasn’t the most comprehensive or interactive we’ve received, but it was clearly laid out and provided all the most important data. 

👍 What We Like

  • Easy-to-understand instructions
  • Test is quick and easy to follow; user-friendly
  • Don’t have to send a water sample to the lab
  • Comprehensive report highlights 50+ different types of PFAs detected
  • Good turnaround time
  • More affordable than other PFAS test kits we’ve used
  • Can be used with any treated or untreated water source

👎 What We Don’t Like

  • Sample-taking process is time-consuming
  • Small risk of inaccuracy due to user error
  • Test report could be more comprehensive

❔ What Is Cyclopure?

Cyclopure is a science and environmental engineering firm that developed a water treatment media that’s effective in removing PFAs. The same DEXSORB® media that removes PFAs in Cyclopure’s water treatment systems is also used to extract PFAs from sample water in the company’s PFAs testing kits. 

The organization is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

Cyclopure pfas water test kit box

💡 Our First Impressions

Our first impression of the Cyclopure PFAs test was that it’s a little on the expensive side, but still pretty affordable for a laboratory water test. 

We got the test for $79, which is a bit steep given that the kit only detects one type of water contaminant. But we identified a few reasons for the price in our research: 

  • It’s more comprehensive than most similar tests
  • It detects multiple different PFAs compounds (50+)
  • It uses a revolutionary sampling method that eliminates the need for shipping a water sample

Price aside, the Cyclopure website provided all the information we needed in the product description. 

Quite a few water testing websites miss out a lot of important info about the testing process, but Cyclopure seems to be pretty transparent about what exactly you’re paying for and how the testing process works. We could order the kit with just a few clicks. 

🛒 The Ordering Process

Although the Cyclopure PFAs test is technically a service, we could buy it just like we’d we’d buy any other product online. There were two buying options that we could choose from: 

  1. Click “Add to cart”, then click “view cart” to be taken to the checkout page
  2. Click “Buy With G Pay”, which bought up our Google Pay details (including a pre-saved address) for faster checkout

On the checkout page, we entered the following information:

  • Our name
  • Our shipping address (to send the test kit)
  • Our email address (to receive our results)
  • Our card details
  • How we heard about Cyclopure

We could also review a summary of our order, including the cost of the test and additional shipping costs, at the bottom of the page.  

Once we’d entered this information, we clicked “Place Order” and completed the transaction. An email confirmation was then sent to the email address we’d entered within a few minutes with our order details. 

With the order process done, we now had to wait for our order to be processed and the sampling kit shipped to us. 

Cyclopure ordering process

🧪 The Sample-Taking Process

If you’ve ever used a laboratory water test before, you probably had to take a water sample and ship this back to the laboratory in a vial. 

The Cyclopure PFAs test is different. Rather than taking a sample of tap water and shipping it to the lab, you do an element of the testing at home. 

The test used a technology called DEXSORB®, which extracts PFAs from your water sample using a process known as adsorption. That means you can send off the extraction disc to the lab, rather than the water sample. 

Looking for more info about the sample-taking technology? Cyclopure has shared a couple of spec sheets for DEXSORB®, which you can find here

We received our test kit a few days after ordering it on the Cyclopure website. It was packaged in a cardboard box, which contained the following equipment: 

  • The instructions booklet
  • A report card for our sampling information
  • The returns label
  • The water collection cup with built-in extraction filter in the bottom
  • A pair of disposable blue gloves

Be careful not to damage the box – you’ll need it to return your sample. 

Unboxing the cyclopure water test kit

We followed the instructions in the booklet to take our water sample. Here’s what the process looked like: 

  1. First, we put on the disposable blue gloves (this is to prevent accidental contamination of the water from your fingers). 
  2. Next, we filled the water collection cup to the top and held it over our sink. 
  3. We then had to wait as water drained through the extraction filter in the bottom of the cup. 
  4. Once all the water had filtered through, we put the lid back on the empty collection cup and secured it back inside the box.
  5. Finally, we filled out the report card with information about our sample, including our city, state, and zip code, and the date and time that the sample was taken. 

After we’d taken our sample, we stuck the included returns label over the shipping label and took the kit to our local UPS. Cyclopure covers the returns shipping fee, which we found pretty handy and time-saving when it came to sending off our samples. 

What did we think about the overall sample-taking experience? It’s a novelty – we haven’t taken a sample like this before. The instructions are easy to follow and it’s very difficult to get it wrong. We also liked the fact that we wouldn’t have to send water back to the lab, which seems a bit risky. 

Issues We Experienced

There were a few unique issues that we experienced when following the sampling process. None of these were dealbreakers and nothing affected the results we received, but we want to mention them anyway because they’ll help you to get a clear picture of what to expect.

First, we were concerned about contaminating the bottom of the cup if we put it on a surface, so we held it throughout the filtration process. 

Having to stand around holding the water collection cup for 20 minutes was a bit boring. Maybe accidental contamination from setting the cup down isn’t an issue because the collection disc is higher up inside, but we couldn’t be certain because this wasn’t explained in the user guide.

Another unique issue we experienced was that a few small slivers of cardboard from the internal part of the test’s packaging somehow came detached. One bit of cardboard was inside the collection cup when we filled it with water. 

We didn’t try to fish it out because we were concerned about further contaminating the water. But we were worried that the cardboard might throw off the results. Luckily, it didn’t, and the only PFAs compound detected was from another source. This may have been a fluke with the packaging in the box we received, but it’s still something worth being aware of.

Plus, we noted that there was a risk of contaminating our sample if we touched the extraction disc or didn’t wear the gloves. But we think this risk is pretty low as long as you follow the instructions correctly. 

💡 TAT & Our Results

After mailing our water collection cup to the lab, we waited for our results to be sent to our email address. In the meantime, we received an email when the lab had received our kit, which gave us a few helpful bits of information about our test results. We learned that:

  • Our test results would be delivered within 10 business days
  • We’d receive an email with an attachment that identified our results

For reference, we sent our test on December 14, and we received the results on December 21. That meant our turnaround time was 5 business days. 

So no, the Cyclopure PFAs test doesn’t deliver instant results, and this wasn’t a problem for us. But if you have a reason to be concerned about dangerously high levels of PFAs in your drinking water, our advice is to drink bottled water until you get your results back. 

📊 The Report

We received a report in PDF format, which we could download to review on our computer or phone. 

The report listed the concentrations of 12 different PFAs that were tested for by the lab. 

These were: 

11 types of PFAS compounds: 

  • PFOS
  • PFOA
  • PFBA
  • PFPeA
  • PFHxA
  • PFHpA
  • PFNA
  • PFDA
  • GenX
  • PFBS
  • PFHxS

1 additional PFAs compound: 

  • MeFBSA

The report made it super easy for us to see which PFAs compounds were detected in our water because they’d been highlighted in yellow. 

Cyclopure sample test result

Only one compound was detected: MeFBSA. 

Underneath the results table, there was some regulatory information about PFAs in Colorado (where we tested our water), as well as information on the EPA’s PFAs regulations. 

This was followed by an appendix table, which listed all the PFAs compounds detected by the lab’s analytical methods, and their abbreviations. 

What did we think about the test report overall? It’s clear, simple, and told us everything we needed to know about PFAs in our water. But it’s not the most exciting report we’ve ever received. We’ve been spoiled by Tap Score, which offers interactive reports and makes every other lab testing company’s test reports seem pretty boring in comparison. 

We also wish the test report contained information about the specific type of PFAs detected in our water, its possible health effects, and how best to remove it from our water at home. 

📩 Email Follow-Up 

The email we received with our report was generic and looks like the standard email that gets sent to all customers when their test results are returned to them. 

Cyclopure water test results email

But we then received a follow-up email from the owner of the company, Frank, who reached out personally to add an anecdote about the PFAs compound detected in our water and provide some additional information. 

We’re not sure if this is something that Frank does regularly, but we definitely appreciated the insight given that our test results themselves didn’t give us any specific information about this compound. 

Frank gave an explanation of MeFBSA, which was useful since it’s not one of the better-known PFAs compounds and we’d never heard of it. He added that MeFBSA is associated with ski wax, which makes sense since Steamboat Springs is a ski town. We appreciated having this extra insight and understanding into why our water might be contaminated with this type of PFAs. 

Cyclopure water test results follow up email

🗃️ The Importance of Our Data

So, why exactly do we need the data supplied by Cyclopure?

There are a few known health effects of PFAs exposure according to emerging studies. These include: 

  • Damage to the immune system and liver
  • Birth defects and low birth weight
  • Increased risk of kidney and testicular cancer
  • Increased cholesterol

The good news is that according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), PFOA and PFOS levels have declined by 70-85% in human blood from 1999-2000 to 2017-2018.

However, as our Cyclopure test demonstrated, these aren’t the only two types of PFAs that exist. And, as the report notes, it’s possible that as these PFAs were phased out and replaced, our exposure to other PFAs increased. 

We’re yet to come across a DIY or at-home water test kit to evaluate our water’s PFAs concentrations. PFAs have properties that mean they can only be detected with specialized equipment. We were also looking for more precise testing than we could get from DIY test strips, and the Cyclopure PFAs test fit this description. 

It’s likely that a less comprehensive laboratory test wouldn’t have detected MeFBSA in our water. It’s not one of the better-known PFAs, but Cyclopure’s wide-ranging coverage meant that the compound was detected in our water. 

✅ Results Accuracy

The Cyclopure lab analysis process is validated to EPA methods and quantifies to a 1-2 PPT (parts per trillion) level of accuracy. However, it’s possible that a user error might affect the accuracy of your results. 

Some examples of possible user errors include: 

  • Not recording the sample information
  • Not following the test instructions
  • Contaminating the inside of the sample container or filter

These setbacks can be easily avoided, and they’re not unique to the Cyclopure PFAs test – there’s always a risk of accuracy issues with any type of water test that involves taking samples at home. 

Just make sure to follow the sampling instructions carefully, and you won’t go wrong. 

Holding cyclopure pfas water testing kit instructions

📲 Online Support

We didn’t personally have to use Cyclopure’s online support because our sample-taking and testing process went smoothly. But we still want to mention your options in case you need to contact the customer service team for whatever reason. 

Cyclopure doesn’t currently have a live chat setup, which we were a bit disappointed by. It’s becoming more and more common for lab testing companies to offer live chat support, but Cyclopure is still a relatively small brand, so we’re assuming that there isn’t enough demand for this service. 

To contact the company, we clicked Contact at the bottom of the Cyclopure website. This brought up a contact form, where we could fill out our name and email address, and type our question into the box. Responses are sent to the email address you entered into the box. We tried reaching out to Cyclopure using this function and received a response within just under 12 hours

The Cyclopure website also lists the following contact information for inquiries: 

🔎 Can We Trust The Cyclopure PFAs Test?

One of the key factors we consider when determining the trustworthiness of a testing company is who owns the testing labs. 

This is an especially important consideration for Cyclopure, which sells whole-home PFAs removal water filters, so it’s in the company’s best interest to make you believe that you need to remove PFAs from your water supply. 

From what we can tell, the Cyclopure tests are carried out in the Cyclopure lab. There are references to “our lab” in the product description, suggesting that Cyclopure has its own testing laboratory rather than outsourcing the testing to a third-party lab. 

But the company has a good reason to conduct the testing in-house: it uses Cyclopure’s own proprietary resin to trap PFAs substances. 

The manufacturers at Cyclopure created the entire process themselves, and there is no other company that can test for PFAs like this. So, outsourcing to a third-party testing lab isn’t an option. 

We were able to find a reassuring third-party indicator of trust: Cyclopure’s lab analysis has been validated to the requirements of EPA Methods 533, 537, and 1633 (draft). They also follow “instrument procedures for internal standardization and calibration”. 

🤔 Do We Think The Cyclopure PFAs Water Test Kit is Worth It?

In our opinion, the Cyclopure PFAs testing kit is worth it for folks who want to comprehensively test for many of the PFAs compounds that are most likely to contaminate water supplies today. We think this test is the best fit for folks who want an easy way to extract PFAs from their water at home, without the risks associated with shipping a water sample. 

It’s a great option if you have a flexible budget and you want a breakdown of the PFAss in your water. We appreciate that you don’t have to actually test your water at home, and we found the sample-taking process easy. 

That said, there are some scenarios where this test might not be right for you. If you don’t want to stand around waiting for water to filter through the sample cup, you might prefer to use a test where you can simply collect a water sample and send it straight to the lab. 

It totally depends on how much you want to spend, and your preferred sample-taking process. 

  • Brian Campbell
    President & CEO, CWS, CWR

    Brian Campbell, a WQA Certified Water Specialist (CWS) and Certified Water Treatment Representative (CWR) with 5+ years of experience, helps homeowners navigate the world of water treatment. After honing his skills at Hach Company, he founded his business to empower homeowners with the knowledge and tools to achieve safe, healthy water. Brian's tested countless devices, from simple pitchers to complex systems, helping his readers find the perfect fit for their unique needs.

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