What’s the Difference? Distilled vs. Purified Water

What’s the Difference? Distilled vs. Purified Water

With all of the varieties of bottled water and water filtration systems currently available, it can be overwhelming to know which water is the best to use as everyday drinking water.  Understanding the differences between distilled vs. purified water can help clear things up a bit.

In some respects, all water is the same – it all contains two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule.  The differences are in the minerals and chemicals that are also found along with the water.  Sometimes these minerals and chemicals are naturally occurring, while other times they are added for a variety of reasons.  Some of these are harmless, some are helpful, and some are dangerous when consumed in large quantities.

Distilled water is water that has gone through a specific process to remove all minerals and contaminants.  The water is boiled, and then the water vapor is cooled and collected.  Because the minerals and contaminants are heavier than the water vapor, they are left behind as the vapor forms. When the vapor is cooled, the water that remains is pure.  Distilled water is great for using any time minerals in water might cause stains or build-up – for example in your iron for ironing your clothes, or in cleaning products.  Unfortunately, distilled water doesn’t taste good, and may not be very good for you due to its lack of mineral content.  This makes it a less than ideal choice for daily hydration.

The term “purified water” is not as specific as distilled water; in fact, technically speaking, because the distillation process is a form of purification, distilled water would fall into the category of purified water.  Most of the time, purified water refers to water that has undergone some form of purification process, though there are no established standards for the actual process that is used.  It could mean that the water has been forced through a charcoal filter, treated with ultraviolet light, deionized, or ozonated.  Each of these processes removes some of the contaminants found in the water, and can make the water safer for drinking.

Different than distilled or purified water, electrolyzed or ionized water is usually in a category of its own, although it can include the benefits of purified water through the use of a one or two stage filtration process. The advantage of ionized water is the ability to control the water’s pH levels to maintain alkalinity while adding antioxidant properties.

In order to determine which water is best to drink, it’s important to research the type of process used for purification, consider the benefits of ionization and alkalinity, and decide which water is right for you.


7 thoughts on “What’s the Difference? Distilled vs. Purified Water

  1. Excellent points – thank you for sharing! I think the differences between distilled and purified water are worth noting, because most people don’t understand them.

  2. I still do not know the difference. Drinking distilled water will leach minerals out of your body as it grabs what it can as it passes through. Not having fluoride in the water will make it better in lots of ways for drinking, including reducing headaches, etc., but that has nothing to do with the differences between distillation or purification. Is water that has gone through reverse osmosis and/or some ozonated process the same as distilled? I still do not know. Do these processes take out all the minerals?

    1. Hi David! The processes are not the same as distilled and those processes do not remove the minerals from the water. Thank you for reading!

  3. I now know the differences between waters! I suffer from kidney stones which is the main reason that brought me to doing research on differences of water due to learning that distilled water is better for people who suffer kidney stones cause it flushes the kidneys out cleaner then any other water because it does not have minerals which is one key element to developing kidney stones! thank you for the research provided to me! after doing rescearch on kideny stones i was lead to the different water made and this site was very helpful as i also suffer headaches at times! Distilled water is very beneficial in my situation.

  4. I use a CPAP machine, so distilled water would be more advantageous for the operation than filtered or bottled drinking water?

  5. life needs water.
    Had a fish that always had bottled “spring water.”

    Then 1 day, when it was the usual time for cleaning. I used distilled water.

    The fish died in 20 minutes.

    I should of stuck to the water I was using before…

    Distilled water=death for fish.

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