In this study, for the first time, a membrane reactor (MR) was constructed with a crystalline metal-organic framework (MOF) membrane and Cu/Zn/Al2O3 catalysts, and utilized for hydrogen production and purification through a low-temperature water gas shift reaction (LT-WGSR). Compared with the existing metal and zeolite membranes, the as-synthesized zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) membrane showed a pure hydrogen permeance of 9.2 × 10−7 mol/m2s Pa, which is orders of magnitude higher than those of metal membranes, and a considerable H2 /CO ideal selectivity of 6.13 at room temperature without any post-treatment, making it a more practical option for producing hydrogen with a MR process from a WGSR from the perspectives of productivity and scalability. Significantly enhanced CO conversions and hydrogen purities were achieved when the LT-WGSR was conducted in this ZIF-8-based MR system compared to those achieved with traditional packed-bed reactors (PBRs) under the operating conditions of interest in the present study, i.e. temperature of 120–220 °C and space velocity of 20–80 L/g·h. An improvement of ∼13.5% in the CO conversion was achieved with the MR at 220 °C and a space velocity of 80 L (STP)/g-cat·h, whereas a higher temperature and lower space velocity favoured a higher H2 recovery. The feasibility of using this ZIF-8-based MR for long-term LT-WGSRs was assessed; the structural stability of the ZIF-8 membrane must be enhanced to achieve a ZIF-8-based MR in the future.