Water distillers use a simple method of purification to produce highly sanitary water for drinking and cleaning. By turning water into vapor and then recondensing it, these devices are able to catch a large number of common contaminants—many of which can pose a danger to health—such as lead, heavy metals, protozoa, and bacteria.
Here’s our review of the best water distillers available right now. We’ve taken into account product efficiency, popularity, and price, to provide you with the most up to date and helpful information out there.
How does distillation purify water?
Distillation uses the principle of evaporation to purify water—a method so simple that it’s seemingly been around forever. Alexander of Aphrodisias describes the distillation of seawater in 200AD! Contaminated water is heated, turning it into steam and leaving inorganic compounds and microorganisms behind. As the steam cools, it condenses back into water and is collected in a separate reservoir.
Water distillers with an NSF/ANSI Standard 62 certification use this process to remove minerals, metals, and micro-organisms from water. These include:
- Sodium, sulfate, nitrate, and arsenic,
- Calcium, magnesium, and zinc,
- Bacteria, viruses, and cysts.
Chemical solutes that are able to boil and condense like water can make it, to some extent, through a distiller. This means that many common organic compounds such as chlorine will need to be prefiltered before distillation—easily achieved with a cheap carbon filter.
It’s worth pointing out that not all water drinkers will want to remove minerals from their supply. Calcium and magnesium can give water flavor, as well as micro-nutritional benefits, so many look to retain these elements in their eight glasses. However, water should not be considered a significant source of these minerals in a balanced diet—plus, many won’t be using distiller devices for the purposes of drinking water.