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Waterdrop X Series Reverse Osmosis System Review

Waterdrop has changed the game again by creating the next generation of high-volume under sink reverse osmosis water systems, starting with the X Series X12.

Waterdrop X Series models
Waterdrop X Series X12 and X16

Waterdrop X12 1200G Review

We got our hands on the X12 Waterdrop X Series reverse osmosis system and after conducting a series of comprehensive hands-on tests, we are impressed with its real-world performance and new innovative technology.

The most impressive features of the X12 we found include:

  • 1200 gallon per day (GPD) throughput and the fastest speed we’ve seen
  • 3:1 filtered water to wastewater drain ratio
  • Integrated remineralization for alkaline filtered water
  • Integrated UV filter to kill bacteria
  • Integrated TDS meter and smart features in a brand new faucet
  • 11 stages of water purification filtration!

Put simply, the X Series are the fastest, most advanced filters we have tested in our lab!

Waterdrop X Series X12 RO Filter

High Efficiency

Extremely high throughput and efficiency are two of the most compelling features of the Waterdrop X12 RO system.

This water filtration system boasts an impressive throughput, delivering up to 1200 gallons of purified water daily. It’s an ideal solution for bustling homes or even small businesses that need a substantial volume of clean water or that want quantity at the fastest rate.

It also operates with remarkable efficiency, maintaining a waste-to-pure water ratio of 3:1, producing just a single gallon of waste water for every three gallons of purified water it generates. This environmentally friendly design is good for the environment and saves money on your utility bill.

In our tests, it takes about 3.75 seconds (on average*) to produce a cup of pure water with the X12. Most other tankless reverse osmosis systems on the market produce healthy water from tap water at a much slower rate.

* Testing Data: Our results of 3.75 seconds to fill one cup of water comes from using the actual X12 system. We ran 30 timed tests of filling one cup and computed the average time. The source is municipal/city water with a high input pressure and output water temperature of 66 F.

The Waterdrop X16 reverse osmosis system option is also available, which boasts a higher throughput and even faster times for filling a glass in your kitchen.

System Design

Complete filtration

The Waterdrop X Series reverse osmosis system has eleven stages of filtration that produce clean, healthy water.

These layers of filtration work together to remove thousands of dangerous chemicals, including chlorine, fluoride, phosphates, nitrates, arsenic, chromium, and PFAS “forever chemicals.”

Remineralization Stage

The process of remineralization infuses essential minerals found in natural spring water back into tap water that has been purified through reverse osmosis.

Natural materials including calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium are added to the filtered output in an attempt to restore the pH to an optimum value of 7.5.

Having an integrated mineral filter enhances the quality and health benefits of the drinking water in your home. Plus, we can taste the difference.

Ultraviolet (UV) Stage

Ultraviolet destroys bacteria that may be contaminating your water. Microorganisms are more common with well water than with municipal water sources, but older plumbing is also a concern.

Learn more about the process of UV sterilization.

Smart features

The Waterdrop X Series continues to lead the way in providing the most “smart features” of any filtration system that give you more control, information about the status of your system, and real-time data on the quality of your water.

The faucet included with this system has a built-in TDS (total dissolved solids) meter that shows you the TDS value in real-time while water is filtered. Alternative systems would require you to manually test the filtered quality with a hand held TDS meter.

The RO faucet also includes cartridge life indicator lights, so that you know right away when it’s time to order new filters. The undersink chassis also has LED status lights for each of the three filtration cartridges.

Waterdrop X Series Smart Faucet

A brand new feature we have seen before is a twistable knob on the faucet. By turning the knob, you can select the exact amount of water you want dispensed when you push down or “click” on the top.

If you are going away, you can put this system in an energy saving mode.

Small size and easy install

Because it has no bulky tank, the Waterdrop X Series X12 system takes up about 50% less space than traditional RO systems. If you want more space under your sink for storage, this is one of the more compact options available.

The overall dimensions of the tankless design are just 18.2″ x 6.25″ x 16.72″.

When you remove the cover from the front of the slim case, it is easy to access and change the internal filters cartridges.

Note that the x12 model comes with a white chassis and silver faucet. The x16 comes with a black chassis and black faucet. All of our test pictures are of the white x12 we installed.

NSF Certified

The Waterdrop company has created an RO system you can trust to reduce the risk of chemicals from your tap and produce outstanding water quality.

To prove this, they have earned NSF certifications that the X Series will improve water quality as promised from your tap water per the NSF/ANSI 58 and the NSF/ANSI 372 standards.

Simple Maintenance

Waterdrop X12 RO Filters

The three water filtration cartridges are simple to replace when the time comes. Keep in mind that any water purification product will require new filters to effectively remove harmful substances from your drinking water.

LED lights on the faucet and front of the case let you know when it’s time to order new filters (15 days of remaining life) and when to change them (0 days of remaining life). Plus, the system will beep when there are close to or less than zero days of life left.

When changing the filters, there is no need to turn off the incoming supply or even use any tools – simply twist and pull out the old filter, push in the new one, and twist it to secure it. Reset the indicator button and you’re done! See the official instruction manual for the full details.

It only takes a few seconds to replace each filter!

Like any RO system, the filters need to be replaced to maintain maximum effectiveness and efficiency:

  • The pre-sediment and carbon block cartridge (F2) should be replaced every 6 months
  • The activated carbon with Alkaline pH+ cartridge (F1A) should be replaced every year
  • The reverse osmosis (RO) membrane cartridge (X12-F3) should be replaced only every two years

The convenience of a fast cartridge replacement is a big benefit of the Waterdrop tankless design.

Easy Installation

The Waterdrop X Series reverse osmosis undersink systems are designed to be installed by anyone with DIY skills.  You don’t need to call in a plumber to install this system.

Waterdrop X12 RO Parts

The only possible challenge to consider when installing a filtered water faucet is drilling a hole in the sink or countertop. If a hand sprayer, soap dispenser, or blank cover is already available for the faucet, drilling a hole may not be necessary.

This system does require power to operate, so be sure you have a standard 110V-240V outlet available at the installation location, most likely under your kitchen sink.

There are some nice touches to help with the setup of the system. We were pleased to see that our test system has the filtration cartridges preinstalled, the water valve pre-assembled, and the faucet shipped in one piece. These helped us to get it installed faster and with less use of the manual.

Waterdrop X Series Reverse Osmosis System Pros

  • Super high 1200 gallons of filtered water output per day and less waiting to fill your glass
  • Remineralization and UV stages improve the water even more
  • Tankless design is easier to install and maintain
  • Easy maintenance – you can’t mess up the cartridge installation
  • The most advanced smart feedback systems let you know the status of filters and monitor your water quality
  • Integrated pump increases efficiency, decreases waste, and saves money
  • NSF/ANSI certified

Waterdrop X Series Reverse Osmosis System Cons

  • High price compared to many of the competitors
  • Tankless systems don’t provide good pressure to refrigerators and ice makers
  • Requires electricity for the purification process. This is normal for any tankless reverse osmosis system.

Check out our reviews of the top reverse osmosis systems to compare the Waterdrop X Series Reverse Osmosis system with other top rated RO systems we have tested ourselves.


The Waterdrop X Series reverse osmosis systems are the fastest and smartest undersink water filters we’ve seen.

While the price is a bit steep, it offers some of the most high-tech features we’ve tested. It frees up space and makes installation and maintenance a snap.

Waterdrop X12 RO Testing

You may also be interested in:

X16 Upgrade

The Waterdrop X Series X16 G1600 shares the same design features of the X12, but with more daily throughput (1600 GPD) and an even faster times to produce pure water. It is also black with a black faucet, if color is a major consideration for your kitchen.

Learn more about the Waterdrop X16.

Tools and Accessories

Our recommended accessories for this or any other RO system for home use will help you customize your RO system!