Reverse Osmosis vs Distilled Water: Which Should You?

Why Compare Reverse Osmosis vs Distilled Water?

There are certain treatments that are somewhat effective at eliminating particular toxins from water, and then there are the ones that are godlike and can handle anything.

The two most efficient methods for treating water are without a doubt reverse osmosis and distillation. Both provide an option to drinking water from a bottle and have the ability to remove up to 99.9% of all total dissolved solids (TDS) from water, which is significant since it means that your well or city water will be as clean as it will ever be.

Both of these systems obviously have a lot going for them just based on the water composition alone. But what are the distinctions between reverse osmosis and distilled water that are important to understand? Is there a reason to prefer one water treatment method over the other if they both effectively give the same results? In this article, I’ll go through every little detail you require.

Is Reverse Osmosis Water The Same As Distilled Water?

Reverse osmosis water and distilled water are first categorized as being similar types of pure water or purified drinking water. Both reverse osmosis and water distillation systems may clean water by eliminating a variety of impurities, such as chlorine, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds to produce purified water

However, certain impurities may not be completely eliminated by distillers or reverse osmosis systems due to the nature of such devices’ designs. This might imply that, even if the water generated by both systems is still fundamentally clean, there are minor variations that are noteworthy.

For instance, reverse osmosis is less effective than other agricultural treatment agents including insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides. It could also have trouble completely getting rid of some dissolved gases and organic substances.

However, distillation isn’t the greatest method for getting rid of certain compounds, metals, and high-vapor-pressure particles like mercury, which could be able to evaporate and condense with water during the distillation process. Again, because of the low level, neither treatment method will leave these pollutants at dangerous concentrations.

Another thing to keep in mind is that many contemporary reverse osmosis systems have a remineralization filter, allowing you to access the minerals in the water that were lost during the filtration process but are beneficial to human health. In this instance, reverse osmosis water is preferred over distilled water because it is thought to be more alkaline (and frequently tastes better; isn’t as flat).

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Purified water using reverse osmosis water filters, which applies high pressure to a multi-stage filtration system. A pre-filter, an activated carbon filter, a reverse osmosis membrane, and a post-filter are often included in a reverse osmosis water filtering system.

Only water molecules can flow through the RO membrane’s microscopic holes under high pressure, forcing them to do so, whereas contaminants that are too massive must stay behind. As a result, RO can provide some of the finest impurity-free water advantages available from at-home filtering techniques.


Immediate clean water access

One of the best characteristics of a reverse osmosis process is that it is often put right at your water line. This form of filtered water solution enables you to obtain fast access to clean tap water.

Reverse osmosis filtration systems are a terrific choice if you’re searching for the most straightforward purification method that will eliminate contaminants without interfering with how you now obtain your purified water or pure water.

Optional remineralization cartridges

The majority of reverse osmosis systems now come with a remineralization cartridge as an optional extra for replenishing various minerals like calcium and magnesium that the machine naturally removes from your tap water source. If you prefer the flavor of mineral-rich drinking water or want to make sure you can benefit from essential minerals in your beverages, this is a great benefit.

These cartridges are made to blend in well with the other parts of the unit so they may be used with the reverse osmosis system.


Requires more frequent maintenance or service

First off, reverse osmosis could be just as efficient at eliminating typical tap water pollutants as distillation, but maintaining a high standard of water purification method will cost more to service a reverse osmosis system.

Once they are overly saturated with contaminants from your water supply, which typically occurs every 6 to 12 months for the carbon/pre-filters and every two years for the membrane, the various water filters and semi-permeable membrane must be replaced.

More expensive

An under-sink reverse osmosis process typically costs $300. You can spend less than that, but keep in mind that cost often corresponds to quality.

If you want the highest performing system that guarantees clean water free of the majority of impurities, you’ll need to invest a lot of money on a reverse osmosis water filter. This cost includes money spent on the replacement membrane and filters.

What is Distillation?

Boiling water to remove a variety of impurities is the second-most advantageous method of water purification, known as distillation.

The majority of contaminants don’t have the same boiling point as boiling water, so when water starts to boil during the distillation process and evaporates into steam, impurities like lead, bacteria, viruses, sediment, and arsenic are unable to take on a gaseous form and are left behind in the boiling chamber.

This evaporated water will often pass through a passageway in a water distiller before condensing (turning back into a liquid) into a fresh container.


Doesn’t need connecting to a water line

One of the few water systems that doesn’t need to be connected to your main water pipe is a distiller. This not only spares you the trouble of having to cut into your pipes, but it also lowers the cost of installation, making distilled water solutions more affordable overall than reverse osmosis systems.

You can easily drink water that is free of contaminants like dissolved solids, chemicals like chlorine, bacteria, salts, metals like lead, and other impurities that could harm your health, whether you’re at home, at work, or while staying at a vacation rental, thanks to distillation’s on-the-go drinking water solution.

The system just requires access to power, and you will need to regularly fill the machine with water, typically multiple times each day.

Less frequent maintenance

In a water distillation device, you may distill as many batches of distilled water as you like without worrying about changing any membranes or filtering cartridges. An appropriate tank for boiling water, storing the steam, and collecting the clean water at the end are all that are required for the straightforward scientific process of distillation to produce purified water.

The carbon filtration cartridge at the spout is the only component of this kind of water purification system that has to be replaced, however few people even bother because it doesn’t really make a difference once the water has been distilled.


It takes a while to obtain distilled water

A single 1-gallon batch of distilled water typically requires 4-6 hours to produce in a water distillation plant.

If you want to create a large batch of several gallons of water, it will take you a long time, and you’ll probably need to repeatedly reload the system with new water. If it’s crucial to you that a filtered water system promptly generates clean drinking water, this is a rather evident drawback.

As water must boil, evaporate into steam, and then condense into liquid condition, drop by drop, into a container, the distillation technique entails procedures that are exceedingly slow and not very efficient; even slower than gravity filtered water methods.

Additionally, it uses a substantial quantity of energy to run. However, compared to other techniques like gravity filtering, distillation does tend to deliver the most highly effective outcome, and having ultra-purified water may imply that the wait was worthwhile for you.

No quick fix for remineralization

Another drawback of a distillation system is that there are fewer techniques available than with a reverse osmosis system if you wish to add important minerals back into your water.

Distillation machines don’t have the option for this type of remineralization, but many reverse osmosis systems come with mineral filters or provide a simpler way to install mineral filters at your main water line.

If you don’t want treated water that tastes utterly bland, the simplest answer is to use mineral drops, which you can buy online, to reintroduce a little quantity of naturally occurring minerals to a batch of distilled water.

Which water tastes better? RO vs distilled water?

This subject is the subject of intense discussion. While reverse osmosis water might taste “softer” because it brings back in the necessary minerals, distilled water can taste “flat” because it lacks minerals.

Because the procedure eliminates chlorine from the tap, your drinking water has a clean flavor without a strong aftertaste, making reverse osmosis filtered water taste better than distilled water.

Compared to distilled water, reverse osmosis water has undergone an extra step. Additionally, reverse osmosis filtered water is the most cost-effective approach to obtain clean distilled water without having to purchase expensive bottled distilled water.

RO is an excellent alternative if you want something more natural than a typical tap but don’t want to spend a lot of money on distilled bottled solutions.

Distilled water tastes far better than tap water, which is one of its finest qualities, especially if your city’s water supply is hard.

Health benefits of drinking RO water vs distilled

Due to the absence of contaminants in both distilled water and RO filtered water, both are better to consume than tap or bottled water.

Because RO filtered water has extra healthy minerals added, it might be healthier than distilled water for your health.

While distilled water is devoid of any dangerous chemicals or toxins, it also lacks important elements like calcium and magnesium, the latter of which is particularly important for pregnant women.

Because it lowers the risk of pre-eclampsia, RO filtered water can be especially beneficial for pregnant women due to its high concentration of calcium and magnesium. Reverse osmosis is advantageous for individuals with thyroid issues since it can assist maintain the chemical equilibrium in your body.

But not all distilled water is terrible! According to studies, drinking distilled water can help persons with renal problems or those who are detoxifying their bodies since it removes toxins from the body. By eliminating excess calcium and other minerals that may contribute to the formation of kidney stones, for instance, distilled water can help reduce the risk of kidney stones.

Distillation successfully destroys any bacteria, viruses, and other germs that may be present in your water by heating it until it evaporates. Therefore, distilled water is frequently utilized for cleaning and sterilizing.

Reverse Osmosis Vs Distilled Water: Which is Better?

When contrasting distilled water with reverse osmosis water, their production methods make up the majority of the differences. Your choice will probably come down to whatever purified drinking water option you prefer because reverse osmosis water and distilled water virtually look and taste the same.

For instance, a distiller usually costs less than a reverse osmosis system. However, these devices may take up to 4-6 hours to generate a single batch of distilled water, making them a less practical choice—especially if you’re searching for a family-friendly source of clean water.

On the other hand, reverse osmosis systems can cost up to twice as much as distilled water dispensers, but they provide instant access to drinking water from your tap and many of them enhance the flavor and composition of water with a built-in remineralization filter.

The reverse osmosis and distillation water filtration processes are both very good for your health. You won’t need to buy bottled water if you consume reverse osmosis or distilled water since your house will be a reliable source of clean, safe drinking water.

The bad, the good, and the required pollutants are all eliminated with both methods since they allow you less control over which contaminants are removed from water.

You can get more than enough nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and beneficial salts like sodium in far bigger proportions in your meals than in any water source you’ll drink at home, so don’t worry about receiving a lot of natural minerals from water.

If you’re worried that taking minerals out of your drinking water will actually make a difference, make sure your diet is healthy since your body will benefit considerably more from minerals present in fruits and vegetables.

Almost all pollutants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), iron, chemicals, fluoride, copper, natural elements, and microbes, are removed by both RO membranes and distillation, regardless of the presence of minerals.

Without reverse osmosis membranes or distillation, you would find it difficult to produce clean water or remove contaminants with such a thoroughness.

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