Water distillation can help you purify your home’s water in an inexpensive, fast and effective way. In fact, depending on the unit, a water distiller can safely remove pathogens like bacteria and viruses, along with heavy metals including mercury, arsenic and lead, plus soluble minerals such as phosphorous, magnesium and calcium. A wide variety of water distiller models are available as small appliances that can be housed within your kitchen – these smaller models are common for residential or family use. Larger models are also available and are designed for industrial or commercial use.
As several types are available on the market, you’ll want to research the best water distiller that offers the right features and functionality for your specific needs. Depending on a water distiller being required for residential or commercial use, there are models equipped to provide anywhere from one to 100 gallons of treated water per day, so take the time to inventory your water needs before making a final choice regarding which unit would be most suited to your demands.
Many manufacturers offer various designs and options made especially for the home; our water distiller reviews article lists a rundown of some of our team’s favorites, which you can explore to find out which one might be the right option for you and your family.
Water Distiller Comparison Chart
|Megahome Stainless Steel Water Distiller|
Our Top Pick for 2019
Click to read review
|H2o Labs Stainless Steel Water Distiller|
Click to read review
|Mini-Classic Stainless Steel Water Distiller|
Click to read review
|Mophorn Stainless Steel Water Distiller|
Click to read review
|CO-Z 4 Stainless Steel Water Distiller|
Click to read review
|ROVSUN Water Distiller with Stainless Steel Interior|
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|H2o Labs Water Distiller with Easy-Fill Reservoir|
Click to read review
Best Water Distiller Reviews
1. Megahome Stainless Steel Water Distiller
The Stainless Steel Water Distiller from Megahome, our top pick for 2019, can produce one gallon of pure, distilled water in roughly five and a half hours at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the approved temperature for safe and thorough water distillation. The condensing coils, boiling chamber and outer shell are made of high-grade stainless steel, offering a sleek and modern distiller, both inside and out, as part of your kitchen décor. The included collection bottle is made of glass and comes with a removable lid for ease of use. Once you fill the boiling chamber and press the start button, the unit automatically turns off when the distillation process is complete. All in all, this model includes a top condensing unit, distiller body, glass collection bottle, porcelain nozzle insert, six-month supply of filters, an 8 oz. bottle of specially formulated cleaner and a main power cord. Because of the model’s design, water doesn’t touch any plastic during the distillation process, preventing any recontamination.
This unit from Megahome boasts that it is one of few water distillers on the market that’s been approved by the Underwriters Laboratory – an independent global safety science company that reviews and reports on U.S. product compliance in a variety of markets. This particular unit also comes with a one-year warranty, along with customer service support. In general, Megahome is a popular brand that consistently earns high customer reviews.
Features that users love most include the Megahome unit’s ease of use, the pure, crisp taste of the water it produces, how easy the unit is to clean, and its high-quality materials, consisting chiefly of stainless steel and glass. These features and others make it our top pick! A few downsides of the unit include no on/off switch since the unit automatically powers off once the distillation cycle is complete, which some may find bothersome, plus the fact that it needs a good cleaning after distilling about 10 gallons of water. In addition, some are disappointed in the slow filtration speed. Furthermore, it’s pricier than many other options on our list, but most agree that it’s worth the cost.
2. H2o Labs Stainless Steel Water Distiller
This stainless steel water distiller from H2o Labs is the most popular model from their Best in Class countertop water distiller line and boasts high customer reviews. This unit’s condensing coil and steam chamber are manufactured from 100 percent, grade 304 stainless steel, and comes with a 565 watt heating element. The rest of the distiller is also made of high-quality materials – stainless steel and food-grade, BPA-free plastic. In addition, this unit comes with a one-gallon glass carafe featuring an ergonomic, Easy Life handle, a year of specially formulated cleaning crystals for descaling your machine and a full year-long supply of the H2o Labs proprietary carbon pods. Additionally, it features a single-button start and automatic shutoff and is billed as a high-efficiency unit that can distill four gallons of water per day, or one gallon per cycle. This unit is relatively light – at under eight pounds it can be transported easily as you visit family or go on vacation. Adding to this, at eight inches wide by 14 inches tall, it can easily make its home on your kitchen counter without taking up too much space, or it can travel with you in an RV.
This model comes with a one-year warranty that covers all parts and labor – additional two- and three-year warranties are also available for purchase. H2o Labs offers a lifetime, full trade-in value guarantee, so if you decide to upgrade to a different model, the company will take yours back in the form of a trade.
Consumers love that this unit is both easy to use and clean, though some have reported the need to run water through multiple distilling cycles before it tasted truly “pure.” However, most reviewers found the unit highly effective from first use and appreciated the unique release of the finished water through a nozzle leading from the water reservoir. With this design (similar to the design of the Megahome unit above), the water won’t touch any metal or plastic as it leaves the container, preventing any chance of recontamination.
3. Mini-Classic Stainless Steel Water Distiller
This small, stainless steel unit sits easily on your kitchen counter and distills up to three liters of water per cycle, which takes roughly three and a half hours. This is a compact unit that should have no problem fitting in any sized kitchen, and is even a good option for use in a camper or RV. With its smaller capacity, however, it might be best for a single-person residence. Weighing in at 24 pounds, though, it’s on the heavy side, so keep that in mind if you plan on traveling with your water distiller.
The Mini-Classic CT is made of top-quality stainless steel; it is air-cooled and includes an automatic shutoff function when a distillation cycle is complete. In addition, this model includes the capability to shut off if the unit begins to overheat. The boiling chamber is removable for easy filling and cleaning, and this model features continued self-sterilization.
This water distiller also includes an activated carbon post filter, which helps improve taste and ensures that any gaseous carryover is filtered out. Each Mini-Classic CT includes a one-gallon glass container with a handle and pour-through lid, which fits nicely in the refrigerator. Additional containers can be purchased separately.
Users particularly liked the fact that this unit is fairly quiet while it runs; while it produces a bit of white noise (that some users actually appreciate), it doesn’t produce enough sound to interfere with normal home activities. Adding to this, perhaps its greatest advantage is that it is ready to use right out of the box – there’s no need for any type of assembly or installation, which is especially good for first-time users of water distillers. This unit is on the slower side, though, in terms of production– the three-and-a-half-hour filtration time was a challenge for some.
4. Mophorn Stainless Steel Water Distiller
This water distiller from Mophorn will allow you to distill up to six gallons of water per day and includes a 1.1 gallon BPA-free plastic container. This model is easy to use and comes with a budget-friendly price tag – it features a one-button start, automatic shut-off and built-in thermometer to prevent overheating, as it automatically shuts off when the temperature reaches 320 degrees Fahrenheit. It also works a little faster than some of the other units listed in this rundown, but also uses more power. This is a relatively quiet unit, and is designed with large openings so that make both filling the boiling chamber and cleaning it a breeze.
The Mophorn 750W takes about four hours to distill one gallon of water and includes the unique feature of also being able to distill alcohol. With a digital display screen, the unit allows for temperature adjustment, which lets you distill brandy, whisky, vodka or other distilled liquors at home.
This is a small unit at 9 inches by 15 inches, with an elegant design that would look appropriate in most kitchens, fitting easily on the countertop. It weighs in at 13 pounds and features a white baked-enamel body and 100-percent stainless steel inner tank.
Reviewers were particularly drawn to the budget-friendly price and speed of the distillation process. However, the plastic water collection container might be a turn-off for some users who prefer a glass container. A few consumers also reported that the machine unexpectedly broke down not long after first use for a variety of mechanical reasons.
5. CO-Z 4 Stainless Steel Water Distiller
This unit from CO-Z is a nice, budget-friendly model that you may want to try if you’re venturing into distilling water for the first time. With a relatively fast water distillation rate, this unit can produce roughly a quarter of a gallon of water in about an hour. At this rate, it should be able to distill six gallons of water per day. The CO-Z 4’s internal steam chamber is made from stainless steel, but its accompanying one-gallon water container is plastic, which emerged as a con for some users. However, the plastic used is food-grade and BPA-free, which may help to provide peace of mine for some.
Like many of the units listed, this CO-Z model includes a few safety measures to prevent accidents – for example, it comes with surge protection and also features a thermostat that prevents the distiller from overheating during the distillation process. In addition, the machine will shut off if the water level gets too low or if the temperature rises above 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Overall, this unit offers a good user experience as it is both easy to use and easy to clean.
Weighing in at 9.6 pounds, the CO-Z 4 is a little bulkier than some of the other models we’ve listed, but still relatively portable for travel use. Users like the speed of this particular model, though the chief downside they report, which we alluded to above, is the plastic water container used for collecting the finished water. Many people who choose water distillers have strong environmental concerns, so the plastic reservoir could be considered a disadvantage. In addition, some users report that the machine puts out a great deal of heat.
6. ROVSUN Water Distiller with Stainless Steel Interior
ROVSUN has equipped this mid-line model with some of the most desirable water distiller features, including a stainless steel interior and reasonably fast distillation speed, without blowing up your budget. The 750W, high-powered model allows you to distill up to six gallons of water per day and, like many of the other machines we review, includes a built-in thermostat that helps keep the unit from overheating and has the ability to shut it off automatically. This ROVSUN distiller offers easy assembly and cleanup and runs rather quietly in the background of your home.
This model is made from high-quality materials: it offers a white, baked-enamel body, and the inner tank and condensing coil are made from 100 percent stainless steel. In addition, the water container that comes with the unit is made from food-grade, BPA-free plastic and includes a handle for ease of use.
The ROVSUN design offers several options for where this unit can live within your home; it’s also easily portable, giving users the option to take it on vacation, inside an RV, etc. Each unit comes with a one-year seller’s guarantee, and the company supplies special chamber-cleaning powder in order to help descale your machine when necessary, along with charcoal sachets for filtering.
Users particularly liked the value of this model and also reported that assembly, use and cleaning were all quick and simple. Adding to this, there are numerous reports that customer service is prompt and supportive. There are some reports of an oily residue inside the distiller, along with a poorly written instruction manual, as areas of struggle. As with some other models, the plastic container can be an issue for some users.
7. H2o Labs Water Distiller with Easy-Fill Reservoir
With a modern design and advanced functionality, this water distiller by H2o Labs is touted as one of the most convenient countertop water distillers on the market. With a daily capacity of four gallons – one gallon in approximately five hours – it’s a little on the slower side, but makes up for that with convenience and portability.
H2o labs designed this unit to be simple to operate and energy efficient, along with being relatively lightweight for portability. This model comes with a lift-out, easy-fill water reservoir that features a continuous water-feed valve. Adding to this, it also features an automatic shutoff function at the end of a distillation cycle. While it isn’t as sturdy as some of the stainless steel options we’ve reviewed, it does consistently provide good quality distilled water for a reasonable price.
All plastics used in this model are food-grade and BPA-free. As it is mostly plastic, this particular unit is lightweight, which makes it an ideal option for seniors or others who may have challenges lifting heavier models. In addition, it’s ready to use right out of the box – no assembly or installation required. One unique feature is the machine’s stick-resistant boiling tray, which helps cut down on scale buildup and makes the unit easier to clean. This machine can effectively run for six distillation cycles between cleaning.
There’ve been a numerous reports that the unit is easy to set up and use, and that the customer service experience is largely positive. Some reviewers report a struggle with the lack of a spigot on the water container and many, at the end of the day, would still prefer a stainless steel version over the plastic of this model.
How Water Distillers Work
At its heart, water distillation is about strategically applying heat. Because water boils at a lower temperature than most of the minerals and contaminants it might contain, like heavy metals, bacteria, salt, calcium and phosphorus, water heated to its boiling point transforms into water vapor, leaving all other molecules behind.
The separated water vapor can then be routed through a condensing coil into a reservoir where it can safely reconstitute as liquid as it cools, leaving behind any contaminants.
The distillation process is as old as the earth itself; it’s part of the basic water cycle. Water on the surface of the earth is routinely heated to its evaporation point by the sun, and as a result, it becomes water vapor, which forms clouds. Once atmospheric temperatures drop to an appropriate point, that water vapor cools, returns to liquid form and falls back to the earth as rain. When water reaches the surface of the earth again, the process starts all over.
Humans have been distilling water as far back as c. 200 – and likely even farther. Historically, societies have used water distillation to transform salty seawater into drinkable freshwater. In fact, some sources indicate that ancient Greek sailors converted seawater to drinkable water by hanging sponges over buckets of boiling seawater, then wringing the freshwater out of the sponges to drink.
Today’s most common water distillers are small enough to fit on a kitchen counter and function as basic, single-stage distillers. In addition, most water distillers are extremely easy to use; they don’t involve complicated installation and are basically ready to start distilling once they’re plugged in.
The basic process goes as follows:
- Tap water is placed into the boiling chamber of a water distiller.
- A heating element applies heat to the boiling chamber, which causes the water to boil.
- Once boiling, the water converts from liquid form to water vapor.
- The water vapor is allowed to rise from the boiling chamber and exit through a vent.
- Minerals, contaminants, salt, etc., because they have higher boiling points, are left behind as solid elements in the boiling chamber.
- The water vapor then passes into a condenser, where it can be cooled by a fan or by other cool, distilled water.
- As the vapor cools, drops of water reconstitute. Depending on the unit you’re using, you may also have a carbon filter that the water can pass through in order to remove any residual gases.
- The distilled water can then be collected in a separate container or reservoir.
Advantages of a Water Distiller
Distilled water is considered the purest, safest type of potable (drinking) water. Distillation is especially helpful for residential areas that don’t receive municipally treated water – particularly where well water is concerned, users often face high concentrations of metals and contaminants. Distilled water has been highly purified and is about 99 percent free from harmful substances like debris and bacteria, which provides numerous health benefits. When drinking distilled water, your body no longer is forced to process unusable inorganic materials, leaving it free to function more efficiently. This can also lead to higher vitamin absorption, and some studies also have indicated that drinking distilled water is good for your skin; because it is free of any harmful dissolved substances, it can aid in the blocking of microscopic pores on the surface of your skin.
In general, distillation effectively produces highly treated drinking water, reducing measurable levels of metal, sediment and biological contaminants, as they are unable to travel with the water as it converts to water vapor. In addition, a distillation system that also includes activated carbon filtration can address other contaminants that lead to unpleasant tastes, odors or colors in your water – elements like magnesium or chlorine, for example.
Other advantages associated with distilled water include increased energy, heightened mental performance, weight loss, improved skin appearance, a reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression, relief from dizzy spells and headaches, improvement in allergy, asthma and arthritis symptoms, improved digestion, protection of joints, enhancement of immune function, and more.
You can rest assured knowing the following about the distilled water your chosen unit will help you produce:
- It’s free of pathogens – most bacteria and viruses are killed during the boiling process, and any that aren’t are left behind when liquid water converts to water vapor.
- It’s free of carcinogens – distillation can remove most chemicals, and any volatile organic compounds that might boil at temperatures lower than water are removed through the filtration process.
- It helps your body detox – by drinking additive- and mineral-free water, you help your body flush out minerals, harmful chemicals and other toxins that otherwise can build up in cells and particularly around joints.
- It’s fresh – if you buy distilled water by the gallon, you’re getting a product that may have been sitting inside a plastic bottle on a store shelf for weeks or months at a time. And because distilled water is so pure, it can easily soak in the taste and odor of the plastic containers in which it’s stored. In addition, store-bought distilled water usually is produced in large batches by industrial distillers, which may affect its freshness and purity. That being said, if you’re using a home unit to distill your drinking water in real time, the taste and odor will be fresh and clear and offer with the most superior health benefits associated with distilled water.
- It’s absolutely pure, with no unnecessary contaminants – Even though the water that comes through your tap may have been municipally treated, it’s not uncommon for tap water to pick up sediment as it travels from a treatment plant to your home; in addition, tap water often contains a chlorine residual. The distillation process removes all of these extra elements from your water. Distilled water will contain no iron, salt, fluoride or any other unnecessary mineral or compound.
Distilled Water vs Purified Water vs Spring Water
It’s easy to get confused about the differences among distilled water, purified water and spring water. In this section, we’ll attempt to help clear up some of that confusion.
As we’ve established, distilled water is pure, fresh water with all chemicals, trace elements, sediment, etc., removed through a process that closely mimics the natural hydrological cycle. It is one type of purified water, but not the only type. Additionally, distilled water can come from any source; it’s the distillation process that defines it.
Water labeled as “purified” is also defined by its treatment, but it’s a broad, umbrella term that indicates that this water may have been treated in a variety of ways. For example, distilled water is a type of purified water – the distillation process has purified it by removing contaminants, metals, sediment, etc. However, all purified water isn’t distilled water. “Purified” simply means that the water has undergone an extra purification step – that may be distillation, reverse osmosis or deionization – and purified water can come from any source.
On the other hand, water touted as “spring water” is defined by its source rather than the process by which it’s treated; in order to be labeled as “spring water,” the source should be an underground spring that is theoretically protected from contaminants. However, spring water often includes a wide range of water purity levels and may contain many of the same extraneous elements found in tap or well water. Furthermore, some studies have indicated that many spring water brands are actually tap water that’s been bottled and marketed to consumers. Be careful as well about any spring water labeled as “100 percent pure” – the claim of purity actually applies to the source and not necessarily to the water itself. In effect, 100 percent of the bottle’s contents should have come from an underground aquifer source rather than a surface water source, which is where most municipal water supplies come from.
Water Distiller Maintenance and Cleaning
Once you’ve decided on a water distiller, it’s relatively easy to clean and maintain. Keep in mind that all the contaminants left behind in the boiling chamber can have an adverse effect on your distiller over time. It’s a good practice to periodically clean the unit in order to dissolve any hard water scales that might accumulate and to remove any sediment that’s been collected through the distillation process. In addition, you’ll lower the chances that the distiller suffers from mold growth in the long term. If you’re also using a carbon filter, you should establish a schedule for replacing it according to manufacturer recommendations. A note regarding hard water: if it’s a problem through out your home, you might want to look into purchasing a water softener system.
Most units are designed to be cleaned quickly and easily – you can mix about ¼ cup of white vinegar with ¼ cup of lime or lemon juice to make a powerful cleanser. First, turn off the power to your unit. Then, simply use either a scrub brush or clean cloth to clean the lid of your unit with the solution you’ve made. If the lid is removable, you can also soak it in warm water with a bit of vinegar and lime/lemon juice added. Then just rinse and dry, and you’re ready to use the distiller again.
To clean the boiling chamber, mix ½ cup of warm water and ½ cup of either lemon juice or vinegar and fill the chamber, making sure the water level is above any mineral deposits by a couple of inches. Let the solution sit in the chamber overnight, then rinse thoroughly and dry.
One of the most important points to remember is that you should use natural elements like vinegar and lemon to clean your water distiller instead of commercial detergents. These detergents can easily leave behind traces of chemicals within the boiling chamber, which then could make their way into your drinking water, defeating the purpose of distillation.
Best Water Distiller Buyer’s Guide
Home water distillers are easy to find, either online or at brick-and-mortar retailers focused on home goods. However, before deciding on the water distiller that’s best for your home, there are several factors you should consider.
First, consider how you’ll want to use your distiller on a day-to-day basis. How much water do you need to meet your family’s needs? If you simply want to distill water for your family to drink, a small, countertop version – like any of those reviewed here – is likely to be sufficient. A good recommendation is to plan for two gallons per person, per day, within your household for drinking water. However, if you’re looking to distill all the water that flows into your home – not just your drinking water – you’ll need to consider a larger commercial unit that is designed to process 1,000 gallons or more per day. Many people also enjoy cooking with distilled water, watering their plants with it, giving it to their pets to drink or using it for their aquariums. Think carefully about all the ways your family can benefit from using a distiller and plan accordingly.
Second, consider the costs and the return on your investment. For example, if you’re currently spending a large amount of money on purchasing bottled water, investing in a home water distiller can reduce your water spending over the long term as you replace bottled water with water you’ve distilled.
Some estimates show that a gallon of water distilled within your home averages around 25 cents, compared to an average cost of around a dollar for one individual bottle of water. While the initial cost of a water distiller can be quite the investment, you will be able to quickly recoup those costs with bottled water savings. Budget versions like the ROVSUN Water Distiller, the CO-Z 4 or the Mophorn Water Distiller, all reviewed above, are especially economical.
You might also consider the speed at which your distiller will deliver pure, fresh water. Larger distillers are able to distill water faster, simply because their heating elements are a higher wattage – the increased speed lets you enjoy your distilled water with a shorter waiting time. For example, the CO-Z 4 and the Mophorn Water Distiller have been favorably reviewed in terms of distillation speed.
Another consideration is the energy required to power your water distiller. A good estimate to count on is 3KWH of energy per gallon of distilled water produced. So if you know how much your family is likely to distill per day, month, etc., that can help you calculate the effects on your power bill.
Think as well about where you’d like your water distiller to live. Small, countertop versions can easily fit within your kitchen space, but larger, more powerful units may need to be installed in a garage, basement, etc., with remote water lines to the kitchen and other areas throughout your home. Any of the models we’ve reviewed here can fit well within your kitchen décor without taking up too much space. For example, the Megahome model is particularly stylish, while the Pure Water Mini-Classic is especially compact.
The good news is that with so many options available, you’re sure to find something that meets your needs for production level, energy use, size and budget. In fact, if the countertop style of distiller is what you’ve set your sights on, consider also learning about the best countertop water filters.
Distillation can be an effective water treatment addition to your household, providing clear, clean water up to 99 percent free of any impurities. The best water distillers are constantly improving in terms of capability and ease of use, which makes them an increasingly popular and cost-effective product for residential use. If you’re looking for a way to encourage your family to drink more water, purchasing a unit found on this water distiller reviews article or another model on the market can be an effective first step.