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Reverse Osmosis Vs. Distilled Water: Read This Before You Decide!

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

If you want to drink pure water, then you should consider investing in a good quality RO water filter or distilled water.

Not only will you get better-tasting water, but you’ll also save time and energy.

Reverse osmosis (RO) filtration systems are generally thought of as a much better option than distilled water because they remove impurities while leaving minerals intact. 

While RO water filters are relatively expensive, they provide benefits over regular bottled water.

This guide will discuss reverse osmosis and distilled water to help you decide between them.

What Is Reverse Osmosis?

A reverse osmosis system uses pressure to force water through a semipermeable membrane. 

The membrane allows some molecules to pass through while blocking others.

These blocked particles include dissolved solids like calcium and magnesium which can cause health problems when consumed.

The process works by forcing water through an ultrafiltration membrane. A typical RO unit has two membranes – one inside and one outside.

The outer membrane removes contaminants from the incoming water. The inner membrane prevents any contaminants from passing into your drinking water.

The final result is most of the contaminants are removed from the water, but it still contains trace amounts of these substances.

For this reason, many people prefer using a RO water filter instead of plain old tap water.

What Is Reverse Osmosis Used For?

Reverse osmosis is used for purifying water in several ways. It is primarily used for removing chlorine and other chemicals from water. 

It may be used to treat water for use in swimming pools and hot tubs. Some manufacturers claim that their units can even reduce lead levels in the water.

However, the main use of reverse osmosis systems is to purify drinking water.

Why Use Reverse Osmosis?

There are several reasons why you might choose to use a reverse osmosis water purifier over other methods.

It’s More Energy Efficient Than Other Methods

While boiling water is the cheapest way to make purified water, it requires a lot of energy. It takes more energy to boil water than it does to run a refrigerator.

It Produces Better-Tasting Water

There have been reports of lead contamination in municipal water supplies. A reverse osmosis system ensures that you will always be drinking safe, clean water. 

It Provides Longer Life Expectancy

Since reverse osmosis systems don’t rely on electricity, they last longer than other methods. They can usually provide up to 10 years of service before needing maintenance.

It Works With All Kinds Of Filters

You can use a reverse osmosis system with all kinds of filters, including carbon blocks, sand filters, ceramic filters, and even iodine filters.

However, since the majority of commercial RO units come with pre-filtered cartridges, we recommend going with those first.

It Can Be Used To Purify Saltwater

Most reverse osmosis (see also ‘Is Reverse Osmosis Water Acidic?), systems are designed to handle fresh water, but they can also work well for saltwater.

Simply put, the same principle applies. When water passes through the membrane, it pulls out unwanted ions. 

Since saltwater is made up of sodium chloride, it naturally carries a large number of positive ions.

That means that when you add a reverse osmosis unit to your home, you can use it to purify both fresh and saltwater.

It Has Fewer Health Risks Than Bottled Water

Since bottled water doesn’t undergo the same filtration processes as reverse osmosis, it often contains higher levels of contaminants.

While the EPA says that bottled water is safe to drink, it recommends using only filtered or spring water.

It’s Affordable

A good-quality reverse osmosis system will cost less than $500. Most consumers find that their monthly utility bills go down after installing a reverse osmosis filtration system.

It’s Easy To Install

Once you get started, you can install a reverse osmosis filter in just a few minutes.

It’s Environmentally Friendly

Reverse osmosis (see also ‘Why Is My Reverse Osmosis Tank Not Filling Up?‘) uses significantly less energy and produces far fewer greenhouse gasses than traditional water bottling techniques.

It’s Safe For Pets

Unlike other methods of drinking water, reverse osmosis has no harmful effects on animals.

Not only that, but most reverse osmosis systems include a built-in UV light that kills any bacteria.

What Is Distilled Water?

Distilled water is pure water that has had all impurities removed from it.

The process involves heating the water until all of the dissolved minerals and salts have evaporated away. Once this happens, there’s nothing left but pure H20.

What Is Distilled Water Used For?

Reverse Osmosis Vs. Distilled Water: Read This Before You Decide!

The general rule is that if something needs to be 100% pure, then distilled water should be used.

Pure water is used during laboratory experiments where an unadulterated sample would otherwise contaminate the results.

Other industries such as pharmaceutical production may require purified water due to the nature of some manufacturing processes.

You can also drink distilled water, however, it produces much less than distillation.

Why Use Distilled Water?

It’s Clean And Pure

When distilled water is used in cooking, washing dishes, making soap, and brushing teeth, it eliminates the risk of ingesting dangerous chemicals.

It’s Free From Bacteria

Bacteria can cause illness if consumed, so it’s important to make sure that everything you consume is free from germs.

Distilled water is one of the safest ways to ensure that you don’t ingest anything unhealthy.

It Produces Less Heat

If you’re boiling water by using a kettle, pot, or pan, then you’ll produce more heat than necessary. The average household uses over 100 gallons of water per day. 

By using distilled water, you cut back on the amount of water used while still producing enough hot water.

It’s More Economical

You won’t need to buy expensive filters to remove chlorine and other toxins from tap water.

Instead, you can simply use a simple distillation set up to obtain clean, healthy water.

It Doesn’t Contain Any Chemicals

Chemicals are found in tap water because they were added at the factory. If you want to avoid these chemicals, then you’ll have to purchase bottled water.

However, when you use distilled water, you eliminate the possibility of consuming any chemicals.

It Can Be Purchased At Most Supermarkets

Most supermarkets carry distilled water, which means you can easily get access to fresh, clean water without having to spend a lot of money.

It Has A Long Shelf Life

Because distilled water doesn’t contain any chemicals, it will last for years.

Unlike tap water, which contains chlorine and other contaminants, distilled water is safe to drink even after several months.

It Works Well With Different Kinds Of Cooking Methods

Using distilled water with different types of cooking methods ensures that your food tastes good. When you cook with tap water, you run the risk of ruining your meal.

It’s Safe To Use On Plants

Distilled water is safe to use on plants because it doesn’t contain any chemicals.

Many studies are showing that chlorine is toxic to plants, so using distilled water keeps your garden healthy.

It’s Good For Pets

Pets benefit from drinking distilled water because it has no chemical additives. Chlorine can be harmful to pets, but distilled water isn’t harmful to them.

Differences Between Reverse Osmosis And Distilled Water

Reverse Osmosis Vs. Distilled Water: Read This Before You Decide!

Although both reverse osmosis and distilled water are considered to be pure forms of water, there are differences between them.

The following are the main differences between reverse osmosis and distilled water.

Reverse Osmosis Is Better Than Distilled Water

The first difference between reverse osmosis (RO) and distilled water is that RO removes impurities from water better than distilled water does.

Although RO produces high-quality water, it costs more than distilled water.

Reverse Osmosis Uses Less Energy

Unlike distilled water, which requires energy to create, RO systems do not require much energy to operate.

They also use less electricity than traditional faucet-based water purifiers.

Reverse Osmosis Produces More Clean Water

When compared to distilled water, RO produces more clean water. This is because RO uses pressure to filter out impurities from the water.

Reverse Osmosis Requires Maintenance

Compared to distilled water, RO needs maintenance. Because RO units produce higher amounts of water, they must be cleaned regularly.

Reverse Osmosis Systems Are Expensive

Compared to distilled water, RO systems cost more. However, if you’re looking for the best quality water, then this price may seem worth paying.

Reverse Osmosis Does Not Remove Chemical Contaminants

While RO filters out most of the impurities in water, it cannot remove some chemicals such as fluoride or arsenic. These chemicals can remain in the purified water.

How To Choose The Best Reverse Osmosis System

Choosing the right RO system depends on how much water you need, what kind of water you want to purify, and where you plan to install your unit.

If you have a large family, you should consider installing multiple RO systems at home.

If you only need one RO system, make sure that you choose a model that meets all your requirements.

Here are some things to look for when choosing a RO system:


First, determine how much water you need to purify. Do you just need enough water for daily activities like brushing teeth or washing dishes?

Or do you need an adequate amount of water for gardening and other outdoor activities?

Determine the capacity needed by calculating how many gallons per minute (GPM) you need.

Flow Rate

Next, decide how fast you need the water to flow through the machine.

A low flow rate will take longer to purify, while a high flow rate will reduce the time required to purify the water.

Filter Type

Reverse Osmosis Vs. Distilled Water: Read This Before You Decide!

Next, select a type of filter based on the contaminants you want removed from the water.

For example, if you want to remove chlorine from the water, then you should select a carbon block filter.

On the other hand, if you want to eliminate heavy metals from the water, then ceramic cartridge filters are ideal.

Size And Installation Location

Finally, determine the size of the RO system and where you want to install it.

Make sure that the installation location is convenient for you. Also, remember to factor in the space available for the unit.

In addition to these considerations, you should also think about the following factors before buying a RO system:


Although RO systems are expensive, they last longer and save money in the long run.

It’s worth considering this when deciding on your budget and choosing the best system for you.


RO systems are highly efficient. However, they do require regular maintenance.


Some manufacturers offer warranties on their products. Check with the manufacturer to see what warranty applies to your specific product.

Energy Consumption 

RO systems use a lot of energy. Therefore, you should buy a model that consumes less electricity.

How To Choose The Best Distillation System

Distilling water requires a bit more equipment than reverse osmosis. Distilleries are often found near natural hot springs and mineral-rich areas.

They use geothermal heat (see also ‘How Does Geothermal Heating Work‘) to boil the water, which creates steam. The steam condenses into distilled water.

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a distillery:


How much water does your area produce each year? Determining this number will help you calculate how much water you need.

Flow Rate 

How quickly can you get the water flowing through the distiller? Higher flow rates mean faster production.


What filters are used in the distiller? Ceramic cartridge filters work best because they are easy to maintain.

Carbon block filters are good for removing impurities such as iron, lead, copper, and arsenic.

Size And Installation Location 

How big is the distiller? Is there room for the distiller in your home? 


How much does the distiller cost? Compare different models to find one that meets your needs at a reasonable price.


How efficiently does the distiller operate? Look for a model that has an efficiency rating of 90 percent or higher.


Does the distiller come with a warranty? If so, check the terms of the warranty to make sure it covers any problems that may arise.


RO systems are effective ways to purify tap water. They remove almost all impurities from the water, leaving behind pure drinking water.

However, there are several important factors to consider before purchasing a RO system.

Distilled water (see also ‘How To Make Distilled Water‘) is also safe, affordable, and easy to obtain.

However, RO systems seem to provide a higher quantity and quality of purified water. 

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


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