Distilled Water Vs Reverse Osmosis

Which is better water distiller or reverse osmosis filter? And why?


Dave is a fan of reverse osmosis but I have never heard him mention distillation.


In my opinion distillation is the way to get the purest water as it removes organics and nitrates but it also strips the water of valuable minerals. I have heard that due to its pure state it 'leaches' the minerals out of the body. But is it really the case? Wouldn't adding sea salt to the water or eating dark green leafy veggies compensate for the loss of minerals?


The other negative aspect of the distiller is the relatively high maintenance cost, after all it is energy intensive process; typically 0.5-1 kWh for 1 l. The distiller costs around £150 here in the UK.




  • I heard that RO water is acidic, and you want your water to be alkaline to keep your body more alkaline. Some RO kits have an extra alkalizer filter that helps out with that though.

  • Thanks! After reading your post I looked into water alkalinity of different purification systems, and found that distilled water is typically pH 7 (surprise surprise) or even slightly alkaline.


    I also found that distilled water leaching minerals out of the body is a complete myth. Here's the sorce: http://www.energiseforlife.com/distilled-water-questions.php

  • edited May 2013

    I read on this thing that the alkalinity of distilled is actually closer to 6, so slightly acidic and this is an article that seems pretty skewed towards distilled water. It also discusses how alkaline water might actually be bad for your stomach, so I'm looking into it a bit more.


  • L8FL8F
    edited May 2013

    Love my Berkey filter. Removes lots of stuff, tastes amazing, and leaves minerals. Can purify pond water. I guess it is a favorite among survivalists, but I bought it for the taste. The filters last years. The fluoride ones last 6 months or so more. Quiet, sits there, and gravity does the filtering.

  • StevoStevo Upgrade in Progress ✭✭
    My friend sent me this link explaining why you can't filter Fluoride out of water.

    The website is far from credible looking, but the chemistry is explained. I wish I paid more attention at school so I could verify it.


    If this is true, maybe electrolysis is the only way...
  • I did some research inspired by you guys. The pH of distilled water  indeed is around 6 because carbon dioxide from air rapidly dissolves in the water. The acidity however is irrelevant (not talking about extremes but pH range of 6-8), as when the water reaches stomach, it mixes with the stomach acid which is pH 1, so it becomes highly acidic anyway. Adding a pinch of baking soda should neutralise the water before drinking if it is of concern but it is not necessary.


    I also went through the article from Steven's friend. It talks about hydrogen fluoride (boiling point 90-110 C) being the fluoride in the water supply, therefore distillation wouldn't be effective to remove it as water also boils at 100 C, but I'm more inclined to think that it is the different fluoride salts rather than HF that are dumped into the tap water. And boiling points for those are petty high, at least 300 C. So, distilled water should do the trick for fluoride removal.

  • HF i a gas at room temperature (bp is lower than rt). Both destillation and reverse osmosis gives very pure water. And as you say pH of pure water is irrelevant. It is more theoretical than practical question since you basically can not messure pH of pure water since it lacks buffer capacity.

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  • pure water is real poison. think about how it can't conduct electricity, and how this is going to affect your ability to think.

    spring water is best, filtered well water is ok, RO is a little too clean..

  • My friend sent me this link explaining why you can't filter Fluoride out of water.

    The website is far from credible looking, but the chemistry is explained. I wish I paid more attention at school so I could verify it.


    If this is true, maybe electrolysis is the only way...




    Fluoride testing kits are relatively cheap.  Once I get around to installing my new bone fluoride filter I plan to put it to the test.  Activated alumina uses the magnetic properties of fluoride to pull it out, and bone filters use actual bone tissue to absorb it similar to the bones in your body.  These are the only types of filters I know of other then RO that claim to remove it.

  • Doesn't the acid in your stomach break down the ph to the requirements that your body needs? Sorry guys haven't read the links posted above (if that is covered there already).
  • edited February 2015

    your body is an endless pool of acid and base, and in reality it is not the main driver of chemical reactions. the charge is! if you notice "acid" has a very strong positive charge (H+) while bicarb has a negative charge (hco3-) your body will do whatever it has to to maintain this neutrality. (such as hiding potassium in the cells of Diabetic ketoacidosis patients)

    unfortunately in the USA, this concept is alien since the normal teaching of acid  base includes a bunch of rules and no explanation for them. i had to re learn acid base after nursing school because this ph theory often left important parts missing such as lactate,ketones, albumin(yes proteins is a weak acid), ect..

    for example google "anion gap" and you will come up with this rule [Na+] + [K+]) − ([Cl−] + [HCO3−])---and the normal range is 8-16.. but what you will have a hard trying to find out is what makes up 8-16. anyways let me stop ranting.


    i will always go with distilled water since i know it is 100% pure, but i will always some lemon and salt to it for minerals. RO systems are more expensive and required changing expensive filters. 


    i got my water distiller from http://myaquanui.com/ and i love it. looks good and doesnt stink up the the water like my cheap megahome one.

  • your body is an endless pool of acid and base,[...]


    Thank you for this post. Concerns about the alkalinity of water may be discounted if our bodies produce the ions needed no matter the pH of incoming foods and drinks. This post <A HREF="http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2014/03/24/dont-believe-the-hype-10-persistent-cancer-myths-debunked/">says that yes, the environment around cancer can become more acidic but this is due to the energy use by the cancer cells rather than the environment predisposing one to cancer cell proliferation.

  • @Trejdevins said:
    Which is better water distiller or reverse osmosis filter?

    Yes, it's certainly a big discussion about which is better R.O. or Distillation! I am going to add a full discussion of it on my new blog, to add what's already there.
    As for distillation leaching minerals, it takes all the baddies from you, it prevents calcified stones and nasty illness; there's thousands upon thousands of testimonials about better health and even curing numerous illnesses. I have some recommended books on this. But you're bang on that you can get your mineral needs from your food! I get my minerals from the fruits and veggies that I eat. You won't go mineral deficient drinking distilled water, I've never heard of a single case of that, and there's quite a lot of people now who have been drinking it for years on end.
    If you have any doubts about drinking distilled water just add a little lemon juice or apple, celery, salt, these are organic minerals, rather than the unsuitable inorganic minerals. Also, That way you know whats in your water. You do not know whats coming out of the tap or in the plastic bottles.

    I actually reckon a distiller is much cheaper to maintain than my previous attempts to lug glass bottled water in week in and week out; it's also much easier to do than R.O. It's saves me a lot of money now. Water Distillers are the easiest way to get pure water, easiest method of water purification, least amount of mainteneanvce, hassle, setup, just clean once in a while and replace filters that are cheap.

    Yes, Distilled water is slightly acidic, how it should be. Often, older people have problems with low stomach acidity and they are having to take meds to increase their stomach acidity. If we stopped persisting in ingesting so much alkaline foods and drinks it would help. Simple school science reminds us of what happens when you add an alkaline to an acid. The stomach NEEDS to be at a certain pH to break down our food. You cannot break down your food properly otherwise, you can just imagine the complications afterwards. Coincidentally, living food is acidic, ie raw foods, but it turns alkaine inside you, as it gets assimilated. And guess what about cooked foods? Yep, alkaline, not great for your stomach acids and breaking down of it.

    Donne a tonne of research for my new blog, feel free to check it out, (check my profile). I'm a chemist too, and school teacher, so I'm quite interested in the details about this debate. Am still investigating so i'm open to more ideas. ...

  • @Stevo said:
    My friend sent me this link explaining why you can't filter Fluoride out of water.

    I totally agree with Trejdevins on this.
    I liked the video link in question, lots of informative stuff but something in my chemistry brain didn't sit right with Hydrogen Fluroide description. I can definitely confirm that HF is a gas at room temp! So of course it can be separated from water. This was the only point used in the whole video to suggest that distillation doesn't work; but his point is absolutely wrong. I teach this stuff to college kids, HF is defo a gas at room temp.
    And I also found out that HF is not the common fluoride in tap water. A wiki search shows that Fluoridation is normally accomplished by adding one of three compounds to the water: sodium fluoride, fluorosilicic acid, or sodium fluorosilicate. And all of these have different boiling points to water.

    The reason i did all this searching is because it just didn't make sense that my Fluorine meter showed that there was no F in my freshly distilled water, how can that be if distillation can't get rid of fluorides... So, i looked it up, as you see above, and pleased as to what i unveiled.

    I have contacted the creator of that video to ask some questions, chemist to chemist, but still awaiting an answer... I will post my next findings on my new blog, of which you can see the link to in my profile.

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