There are many different methods of filtering water. Surprisingly, one of the most effective is also the oldest, and the simplest! It’s called water distillation, and it involves a very simple process of boiling water to produce steam, and distilling that steam back into purified water. If you’re looking for a water distilling unit for your home, this guide will help you find the best water distiller for your needs.
Quick Picks for the Best Water Distillers of 2019
Price Range: $$
The Megahome is perhaps the best water distiller on the market in 2019. It’s made of durable, nontoxic stainless steel, and the collection container is glass. Thus, it’s one of the only models where the water never makes contact with any plastic components. So, if your concerned about the potential for plastics to leach into your water, this unit can eliminate those fears. The entire unit is also certified to be safe by Underwriters Laboratory (UL), an independent testing facility.
This distiller is efficient in that it doesn’t use much energy – however, it’s not the fastest unit. It is designed to filter one gallon per 5.5 hours, so it’s best for small families or single folks.
The Megahome comes with a 1-year warranty, and the backing of an established and highly trusted manufacturer. If you look at water distiller reviews, you’ll notice that this unit consistently earns very high ratings from customers and experts alike.
Price Range: $
For those on a tighter budget, the Mophorn 4L Pure Water Distiller is one of the best water distillers available. It’s priced at around 1/3 of the price of more luxury models, but it still does a great job of purifying and distilling water.
The unit has a 4L capacity (just over 1 gallon), and distills at a rate of 1 liter per hour (around 1 gallon every 4 hours). This capacity and speed make it ideal for 1-2 people. It’s also a countertop unit, but its compact design makes it easy to fit in most kitchens.
Looking at water distiller reviews, this unit consistently earns great ratings. For the price, it’s tough to beat.
Price Range: $$$
The Waterwise 3200 is a luxury countertop water distiller at a very reasonable price. It offers a relatively high capacity of 1 gallon, and completes a 1-gallon cycle in 4 hours. Once a cycle is complete, the unit will power itself off automatically.
It filters directly into a BPA-free serving pitcher, which makes it convenient to pour water for drinking or cooking. It’s rated to effectively remove arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, nitrates, mercury, viruses and more.
In water distiller reviews, this unit routinely earns excellent marks. It’s a popular choice for a home water distiller, and it comes from a company that’s been manufacturing water purification systems since 1977.
The easiest way to make distilled water is to use an actual water distilling machine. These machines make things very easy, as essentially all you need to do is throw in some tap water and press a button or two. That said, do note that water distillers take a long time to complete a cycle – usually around 3-5 hours.
Wondering how to make distilled water without a distiller? For small quantities, this may make sense (although it’s probably easier to just buy a bottle of distilled water at your local supermarket). Here’s how to distill water on a stovetop:
- Fill a large stock pot half way with water
- Put a glass bowl in the water, checking to see if it floats
- If it floats, proceed to next step. If it doesn’t float, place a cooling rack under the bowl to support its weight in the pot.
- Turn stove on to medium heat and wait until water is boiling
- Turn the pot’s lid upside down, and cover the pot with it
- Fill the lid with ice
- Continue boiling until distilled water collects in the bowl; refill ice if necessary
This may seem like an odd process, but the science is pretty simple: the iced lid creates a hot/cold barrier, which leads to condensation. As the condensation stacks up, it starts dripping into the floating bowl.
Water distillation is one of the oldest water purification processes in existence. It’s also one of the most effective. The dead-simple process involves boiling water to produce steam, and condensing that steam back into water. While simple, the benefits of water distillers are significant:
Effective Filtration – While many different types of water filtration systems exist, few are as effective as water distillation. The CDC notes that distillation systems have a very high effectiveness in removing bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, as well as common chemical contaminants including arsenic, chromium, lead, sulfate and more.
Reduced Contaminants – Tap water can contain a surprising amount of contaminants. Some are only mildly harmful, while others can be quite dangerous. Water distillers can help remove these contaminants, leaving you with cleaner, healthier water.
Cost Savings – Distillers are often a lot cheaper than reverse osmosis filtration systems, and they produce similar results. Plus, the ongoing cost to run the machines is minimal – you just need to pay for the electricity used to run them. The models we recommend are energy-efficient, so they don’t require much power to run. And compared to buying bottled distilled water, getting a home water distiller can save you a ton of money!
Do keep in mind that distilled water can absorb minerals from materials it comes into contact with. So, it’s best to store distilled water in glass or stainless steel containers. If you use plastic, make sure it’s BPA-free.
Another thing to be aware of is that distilled water has a different taste than bottled or tap water. It has a very “flat”, plain taste that some people don’t like. If you’ve never had distilled water before, you may want to buy a bottle and see if you like the flavor, before investing in a home water distillation system.
Capacity: We considered the capacity of each unit, meaning the amount of water that they can hold at once. It’s important to have a decent capacity, otherwise you’ll have to constantly refill it. Keep in mind that most units we recommend are on the smaller side. If you have a large family, you may need to invest in a larger unit.
Flow Rate: Distillation is a fairly slow process. On most units, it takes between 3 and 5 hours to filter a gallon of water. There are no fast distillers, short of industrial-size, expensive units. However, we tried to pick models with reasonably high flow rates, to accommodate the drinking water needs of a family.
Filter: Distillers don’t truly need a carbon filter, as contaminants have already been removed. However, running the already-distilled water through a filter can help to improve the taste. We picked models with post-filtration setups.
Materials: Since the distilling process involves high temperatures, it’s important to use materials that can stand up to heat without leaching toxins into your drinking water. Thus, units with stainless steel and/or glass components are usually best.