by Peter Lombardi
Quality Specialist, Consultant
> 4 min read
Plenty of consumers swear by distilled water. But whether the H2O is for drinking or special applications such as healthcare uses or cleaning, buying distilled water can get expensive. Fortunately, there’s a solution: a home water distiller you can keep on or under your countertop.
Here, we’ll explore all the reasons you might want to buy a distiller plus offer recommendations on the best water distillers available. From our top choice (the Best-in-Class Stainless Steel Water Distiller) to the runner-up options, we’ve got seven distillers that are excellent picks. We’ll also compare different types of water so you can determine what’s best for your needs.
Top Choices on the Market
Pure Water Mini-Classic CT
How to Pick the Perfect One for Your Needs?
You can find many distilled water brands on supermarket shelves.
Ok, but what is distilled water—and why is it so popular?
In short, distilled water is steam-distilled by boiling it into a vapor. Then, the distillation machine recaptures the water and condenses it into a liquid.
Basically, your countertop machine:
- Heats up and boils the water
- Separates the gunk you don’t want to drink
- Produces clean, ready-to-sip water
Distilled H2O is a form of purified water, and it removes lots of heavier toxins from your water-based beverages. Since the vapor rises, the bits of impurities remain behind—out of your water supply.
Things to Remember
Our countertop water distiller comparison highlights the features of each option, but what’s best for you? Here are a few things to consider.
1. Start with Size and Speed
Your water consumption will likely be the driving force behind your purchase. For larger families or folks who need distilled water for their medical devices, for example, a higher-capacity machine might be preferable.
At the same time, speed might matter if you go through a lot of water or have unpredictable needs. Of course, faster usually means more electricity—so if you want low power draw, you’ll need a cooler-running (read: slower) machine.
2. Availability of Additional Purification and Filtration
It’s unlikely that you’ll find a distilled water filter on most units. Generally, water distillers rely on steam distillation to separate toxins from your H2O.
That said, some come with activated charcoal filters or even tablets or sachets. If you want additional filtration or remineralization for flavor (and adding nutrients post-distillation), then keep an eye out for filter options.
3. Looks Might Matter When Choosing a Countertop Model
If you plan to keep your distiller in the garage or otherwise out of sight, what do looks matter?
In contrast, if you hope to keep your distiller handy on the countertop, you’ll want to ensure it fits in with your coffee pot and toaster.
4. Materials (and Food-Safe Status) Used
Most water distillation companies know that consumers care about what comes in contact with their food and drink.
After all, you want distilled water because it’s safer and cleaner than alternative forms of water. Right?
So, the best water distiller for your needs will feature food-safe materials. Food-grade stainless steel parts, glass or ceramic collection jugs, and plastic-free designs are a priority for most folks.
Know what materials you want and choose your distiller accordingly.
There are plenty of reasons why folks use distilled water—but what are the benefits of using a water distiller?
Here are some of the highlights of investing in a water distiller for home use:
- You save money since you skip store-bought and bottled water
- No running to the store when your water runs out
- Distilled water doesn’t leave grime and mineral deposits in your coffee pot or other appliances
- Distilled water is flavorless—it has no minerals, toxins, or anything else but hydrogen and oxygen
- Steam distillation removes inorganic compounds (like lead, nitrates, iron, and more)
- The boiling process kills many microorganisms like bacteria and viruses
- Distilled water lacks the chlorine taste of most tap water
- Your distiller also removes fluoride, which many people don’t want in their drinking water
- You’re able to distill water when you need it—instead of buying bottles that sit in the pantry
- You can have water that’s safe to use for medical applications, such as in continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines or for cleaning medical supplies
- Most distillers auto-shutoff after processing your H2O
- Drinking distilled water means you’re not getting an improper balance of nutrients—you can add in only the minerals you want
- With a steam distiller, you can skip boiling water to ensure it’s safe to drink
- Many models use food-grade steel, so there’s no plastic touching your water—ever
- Your water doesn’t need to be stored in plastic containers
- Distillers don’t require filters—the boiling and distillation process does all the work
- Distillers come in countertop styles, so no replumbing your home or retrofitting the water filtration
- A distiller can effectively treat your hard water, so you have “soft” water for any household purpose
- There are no chemicals added to your drinking water—unless you want them!
What is It for?
Plenty of people drink distilled water. It doesn’t have a harsh flavor, there are no toxins or impurities, and you won’t miss the fluoride or chlorine content.
But other than drinking, what else do people use distilled water machines for at home?
Just about everything!
Distilled water is ideal for cooking, especially since it won’t leave scale on your pots and pans. That also means those hard and potentially toxic minerals won’t wind up in your stomach.
But distilled water is also excellent for use in healthcare applications. For example, many hospitals use distilled water for handwashing, since there’s a lowered risk of any biological hazard lurking in the tap.
Hospitals prepare food for patients using distilled water. Plus, they sterilize medical tools and devices in the water, too.
At home, people use distilled water in medical devices such as CPAP machines and humidifiers. Distilled liquid doesn’t gunk up tubing or the inner workings of your equipment.
You may also choose to give your plants distilled water to avoid over-mineralization. This way, you don’t wind up accidentally poisoning your indoor plants with the wrong balance of nutrients. Plants that get distilled hydration might even stay greener—skipping those burned-out leaf edges—for longer.
Fish aquariums benefit from neutral distilled water. Your aquatic friends are likely sensitive to changes in the water pH, plus exposure to minerals. With the right water—read: free of impurities—you can add whatever minerals your fish species require without worry over overdosing.
Finally, many people use distilled water for batteries and in their vehicles. Since the distillation process removes minerals and impurities, the water is gentler on vulnerable battery parts. Thus, you can expect batteries to last longer with distilled H2O.
Of course, any product that includes a label stipulating “distilled only” is a device you can use this cleaner water for.
How to Distill Water
Although there are machines to do the job for you, it’s common to wonder: how can I distill water at home?
Of course, learning how to make distilled water seems like a simple process.
Distillation means boiling water until it evaporates, right?
So, you only need to evaporate water, then capture the condensed water. But that means a high enough temperature to boil the water and create a vapor. Then again, you’ll also need to separate the minerals and other remnants from your fresh water.
Many consumers who want to distill water at home use their ovens, catching water vapor in a complex range of steps that involve hot surfaces, ice cubes, and multiple pieces of dishware.
So, on second thought, distilling water might not be as simple as it seems on the surface.
Plenty of people boil water to attempt to neutralize biohazards. For example, many CPAP users boil the water that goes into their medical devices.
A CPAP machine involves a hose which creates air pressure in the user’s throat—keeping their airway open. But keeping the airway moist is also crucial, hence the clean water vapor coming in with the air.
That said, most experts say that boiling the water isn’t enough to remove impurities.
For any application of distilled water—whether drinking, washing hands, cooking, or watering plants—you can’t guarantee removal of any impurities unless you collect the remnants separate from the final product.
Ultimately, using a machine to distill water is often simpler and less time-consuming than steam distilling on your own. You won’t need to worry about catching the water vapor (while avoiding burns at the same time).
You also won’t need to stand over a hot stove or oven, run water tests to check for chlorine or fluoride, or transfer boiling water from one container to another.
vs Purified Water
Deciding what type of water to drink or use around the house depends on your tastes and preferences. That said, the comparison between distilled and purified water is straightforward.
Distilled water has no minerals, flavoring, heavy metals, and is free of many toxins.
Purified water is either processed in multiple steps or filtered to remove contaminants. Generally, tap or groundwater is processed in sand filtration, reverse osmosis, or even ion exchange steps.
Purified water can still have flavors—and heavy metals or toxins—depending on what level of filtration is applied. But overall, distilled and purified water tend to have similar properties.
vs Deionized Water
While distilled water lacks heavy metals and other contaminants, deionized water is processed even further. As the name suggests, deionization removes all the ions from water, meaning it has no charge.
The process for deionizing water involves running it through “electrically charged resins” that remove salts from the water. The result is a flavorless water that’s very similar to distilled products.
That said, when it comes to distilled vs. deionized water, getting distilled is much easier and less expensive than deionizing. And you can drink deionized water—though research suggests that it might cause more electrolyte loss than other water types.
vs Spring Water
While distilled water undergoes a basic chemical process, spring water doesn’t. Spring water is collected at various sources—including municipal ones as well as natural springs—and undergoes minimal processing.
Therefore, spring water contains many minerals—which gives the water a distinct flavor. Of course, beyond flavor preferences, there’s also the fact that spring water contains much of what distillation aims to remove.
If you want “clean” water without any types of trace minerals or other impurities, spring water isn’t the best choice. Of course, if you deal with excessive electrolyte loss, spring water could be a good alternative.
vs Filtered Water
Filtered water can vary widely depending on where you buy it (or what filtration you use at home). Generally, filtered water starts with standard tap water. Then, it’s filtered through various types and sizes of filters.
The result is water that contains fewer minerals, toxins, contaminants, and flavors. So, does that mean filtered water is safer to drink than distilled?
When you’re buying filtered water at a store, you won’t know to what micron level a filter was able to sanitize the water.
Plus, filtered water can still taste like chlorine, depending on how the manufacturer processes it.
vs Distilled Water
Though other types of water (such as filtered or purified) can be “cleaned” via reverse osmosis, not all are.
Reverse osmosis is a purification process where larger molecules and ions are removed from water. Unfortunately, much of the water is wasted, so you don’t get as much as you pour in. Some sources say that for every gallon of clean drinking water you get, four gallons go to waste.
Inefficiency isn’t the only challenge with reverse osmosis systems. You need to keep close tabs on the filters within your system—and check for leaks often.
How Does It Work?
Steam distillation seems complicated, but the process is straightforward. Your distiller separates healthy, fresh water from toxins and impurities like heavy metals.
So, how does a distiller work? Your countertop machine:
- Heats up a coil (typically steel) inside the water reservoir
- The water boils at a high heat, creating steam
- The machine captures the steam as it rises
- The condensed (recaptured) water exits the machine into your carafe or glass
- Any impurities or toxins stay behind, since they cannot be evaporated
You’ll clean the machine to remove those toxins before processing another batch of water—and that’s it!
How to Install It
The good news about distilled water equipment, especially, is that they’re easy to “install.” In fact, most distillation machines are countertop options that don’t require any installation at all.
Of course, if you want a more permanent setup than one next to your microwave in the kitchen, you can place your distiller in the garage or basement. If you choose a type that connects to a reservoir, you can even keep producing distilled water around the clock.
Keep in mind, however, that not all systems are receptive to reservoirs or larger storage jugs. And, some systems require you to press a button each time you want to start the distillation process. That might mean your “manual” distiller remains manual, even if you purchase accessories for it.
For most distillers, you need to put the pieces together as the manufacturer instructs. You’ll run a cycle or two to clear any gunk out of the system before it starts processing clean, ready-to-drink water.
Then, you just need to follow the directions to de-scale the equipment whenever you begin to see buildup inside the reservoir. In short, buying and setting up a water distiller is far easier than many other filtration methods.
Here are some common FAQs to help you learn more about distilled water.
a. Is distilled water good for your kidneys?
Often, kidney stones are a result of mineral buildup. But distilled water is safe to drink—and the lack of heavy minerals means less work for your kidneys.
b. Is boiling water the same as distilled water?
Boiling water is similar to distillation—but it doesn’t separate out potentially harmful impurities. Boiling only serves to kill bacteria and other organisms.
c. Can babies drink distilled water?
All water in the U.S. meets FDA water quality standards, so technically, any type of water is safe for babies. Generally, you should mix infant formula with low-fluoride water—so distilled water fits the bill.
d. Does distilled water have chlorine or fluoride in it?
The distillation process effectively removes chlorine and fluoride. You shouldn’t taste—or smell—anything except pure water
7 Best Water Distiller Reviews 2021 (UPDATED)
Here are the reviews of the best products for distilling water on the market.
1. Best-In-Class Stainless Steel Water Distiller with Glass Carafe, Porcelain Nozzle Insert and Most Effective VOC Removal
- Activated Carbon Pods Filtering Media
- Easy and Safe to Use
- 2 Year Warranty
- Durable and Portable
Power Consumption: 580 Watts
Power Source: AC 120V/60Hz
Stainless Steel Countertop-Friendly Construction
H2OLabs calls their stainless-steel distiller “best in class” for a reason. Its stainless design is not only healthy (it uses Grade 304, high-quality steel), but also space-saving on your countertop.
The water distillation unit is jug-shaped instead of boxy, and the glass carafe looks more like your coffee pot. In short, it’s a kitchen-friendly design that’s less industrial than alternative stainless selections.
Small Heating Element—For a Reason
As H2OLabs explains, the 565-watt heating element offers enough power to distill your water without boiling it too rapidly. But why? Because heating water a bit slower prevents contaminants from mixing into the distilled product.
Activated Carbon “Pod” Filters
Your home water distiller comes with activated carbon pods—an entire year’s supply—to ensure a fresh flavor in your distilled water.
- Year’s supply of filter pods included
- Smaller heating element for reduced cost and slower boiling
- Streamlined countertop sizing
- Porcelain nozzle insert and food-grade stainless steel
- One gallon produced every six hours
- The fan cord is a little too short
- The glass carafe has chrome bands on it, rather than steel—though the chrome doesn’t touch your water, this is a bit of an aesthetic drawback
2. Megahome Countertop Water Distiller, White, Glass Collection
- Removes 99% of impurities
- Eliminates Toxins
- Safe, Sensible, and User-friendly
- BPA-free Plastics
- Made from High Grade 304 Stainless Steel
- no installation required and Easy to Operate
Power Consumption: 580 Watts
Power Source: AC 120V/60Hz
Stainless Steel Interior
With Megahome’s home water distiller, your water never touches plastic. Instead, the interior boil chamber, upper steam dome, and stainless condensing coils are purely stainless steel.
Plus, the collection bottle is glass with a porcelain-lined nozzle—so no plastic there, either.
Optional Charcoal Filters
Six optional use activated charcoal filters help remove toxin buildup in your water. You can use these if there are toxins like chlorine in your water to prevent dangerous vapors from entering the air.
Simple to Operate
There’s nothing complicated to deal with here:
Just fill the boiling chamber with water and press the button. The unit automatically shuts off after it processes a gallon of water.
Occasionally, you will need to change the charcoal filters (about once every six months). Sometimes, you’ll need to use either citric acid or vinegar to de-scale the boiling chamber—but that’s it.
- Distills one gallon every 5.5 hours
- Distills at 212 degrees for optimal toxin removal
- Included charcoal filters
- No plastic inside or in the collection bottle
- Electrical costs may be high depending on your local rates
- Machine can be loud, depending on where you keep it
3. Pure Water Mini-Classic CT 120v Counter Top Distiller
- Made In USA
- 2-Year Warranty On Electric Components
- Removes 99.9% Of Contaminants Like Viruses, Bacteria, Chlorine
- Stainless Steel Body With A Glass Jar For Water Storage
Power Consumption: 800 Watts
Power Source: AC 120V/60Hz
Short Distillation Time
In just 3.5 hours, Pure Water’s Mini-Classic water distillation unit processes about .8 gallons of water. The speedy distillation time could mean less energy consumption—especially if you drink a lot of water.
Stainless Steel Construction
With both a stainless-steel design and a glass jar for water storage, Pure Water is aiming to keep plastic out of your drinking water.
Removable Boiling Tank
Whether you’re filling this home water distiller or cleaning it, the removable boiling tank makes the job straightforward. Since descaling is often necessary for even the best there is, having a removable tank is handy.
The upright, square design also helps keep your counters clear, unlike alternative options with a large footprint.
- Produces nearly a gallon of water in under four hours
- Steel and glass design
- Removable boiling tank for quick refills and easy scrub downs
- Made in the USA
- No safety shutoff feature—even without water, the unit will attempt to heat up if you push the button
- Not the most visually appealing option—looks a bit industrial
- The taste may not be for everyone; there is a slight flavor leftover after distillation
4. CO-Z Water Distiller Machine for Home Countertop Table Desktop, 4 Liter
- Automatically Switch off when temperature exceeds 350ºF degrees to prevent burn-out
- High Grade 304 Stainless Steel Materials
- coconut shell based activated carbon
Power Consumption: 750 Watts
Power Source: AC 110-120V
As CO-Z explains, it offers the only FDA-approved water distiller on Amazon. The stainless-steel interior (high-quality 304 steel) and food-grade BPA-free water container rank highly as far as food safety and health.
The compact design lets you leave this home water distiller out on the countertop for convenient distillation anytime. But—you can still process almost a gallon every four hours, so its capacity is high enough for a family to use.
While white wouldn’t be our first choice for a color scheme, you can’t deny that the shape and size of the unit is handy. It’s also lightweight so you can move it around easily.
No Filtration Necessary
You don’t need to replace cleaning cartridges—the system doesn’t have add-ons or additional filtration.
- Automatic shutoff when the temperature reaches 300 degrees
- FDA-approved components (including 304 stainless steel)
- You can process up to a gallon every four hours
- The steel reservoir is easy to open and clean
- The decanter is plastic, and the design isn’t aesthetically pleasing
- Processing time is quick, but you’ll need to keep an eye on the carafe to avoid overflow
- Some users probably prefer additional filtration such as activated charcoal
5. VEVOR Countertop Water Distiller 745W Stainless Steel Purifier Filter with Handle 1.0 Gal 4.2L Glass Container Perfect for Home Use, Sliver
- Automatically shut-off Function
- highly efficient in Power Consumption
- effective heat dissipation
- user-friendly and portable design
Power Consumption: 750 Watts
Power Source: AC 110-120V
Quiet Efficiency for Overnight Distillation
VEVOR’s water distillation unit runs quietly so you can keep processing water overnight without disturbing your sleep. It can handle up to six gallons of water per day and automatically shuts off after processing one gallon.
Small Profile for Saving Space
VEVOR’s is another countertop water distiller that can fit just about anywhere. It looks like a coffee pot and takes up a similar amount of space.
You can also choose different color options, which is a fun twist on a very utilitarian product.
Super Portable No Matter Where You Take It
The weight is only about 12 pounds, making it easy to move around, too (plus, it has a carrying handle for ultra-portability). Still, it can hold almost a gallon (.88 gallons) in the jug, and it processes the water quickly.
- Carrying handle and lightweight design make it easy to move around
- Low noise production so you can distill water overnight
- 304-grade stainless steel touches your water, not BPA or plastic
- Processes four liters in as little as three hours
- The waterspout does not line up well with the jug’s lid
- Some units seem to have subpar welds, leading to aesthetic issues
6. Durastill 8 Gallon Per Day Manual-fill Water Distiller with 4.5 Gallon Reserve Tank
- volatile gas vent system
- 316 Alloy stainless steel evaporator
- Convenient Faucet with Water Level Gauge
Power Consumption: 1000 Watts
Power Source: AC 115V
High Capacity and Robust Design
While other units have low production in comparison, Durastill’s might be the best water distiller for households with high water needs. The unit can distill up to eight gallons per day at one and a half gallons per cycle and withstands heavy use.
Faster Distillation Than Most
A 1000-watt heating element means you get fast water distillation with high capacity without having to install a whole-house unit. There is no reserve tank, but you can install one or choose whichever glass bottle you want to pair with the machine.
Optional Accessories for Easier Filling and Water Storage
You can combine the Durastill 8-gallon unit with any size water collection container plus an available water supply.
- Automatic shutoff ensures the machine won’t overheat when the boiler is low
- High-capacity distillation for households, businesses, and more
- Cleaning is straightforward—load the packets of citric acid and run the unit for a set amount of time
- Durable steel construction
- Not the most economical option on the market
- You must refill the reservoir manually after every 1.5 gallons to achieve 8 per day
- No reservoir comes with the unit—must add your own
7. ROVSUN 4L Countertop Water Distiller Machine Stainless Steel Home Pure Water Purifier Filter, 750W Distilled Water Maker with Glass Container, 1L/H
- BPA-free plastics ensures healthy water
- ventilation holes for overheat protection
- Auto-off when temp is over 320F
- Anti-skid & scratch-resistant rubber feet
Power Consumption: 750 Watts
Power Source: AC 110V
Food-Grade 304 Stainless Steel Components
Like similarly competitive models, ROVSUN’s Countertop water distiller features 304-grade steel that’s completely food-safe. The shockproof glass container is a nice touch, too—and it’s very thick, which means it’s more durable than other options.
Low Noise and Consistent Output
You can distill about a liter per hour with this unit, so around a gallon every four hours. The highlight is its low noise output; you can even distill water overnight, leaving the system to shut off automatically when it finishes a cycle.
Activated Charcoal Sachets Included
Many consumers prefer activated charcoal in their distilled water for additional defense against toxins. Charcoal can also help with flavor, depending on what’s in your water.a
ROVSUN includes charcoal sachets for water treatment in the package, plus chamber cleaning powder to make de-scaling more convenient.
- Operates quietly so you can distill all night (or day)
- 304-grade steel and glass components for food safety
- Charcoal sachets included for removing more toxins
- Small footprint fits on countertops well
- An interior plastic house is susceptible to buildup
- You can’t remove the lid to the carafe; it’s fixed in place
- No “off” switch to stop the cycle; it stops automatically
Best-in-Class Stainless Steel Water Distiller
Switching to distilled water is a decision many people make—both for their health and because of the flavor properties of the water. If you want a near-tasteless water supply that won’t create mineral buildup in your household and medical appliances, distilled H2O is the way to go.
For the best and healthiest distilled water, you can’t go wrong with a home option that fits on your countertop, cuts out plastic parts, and saves you money on energy costs.
When it comes to home distillation, our top choice is the Best-in-Class Stainless Steel Water Distiller because it uses high-grade steel components, a low-energy heating mechanism, and comes with activated carbon pods so you can further customize the flavor of your water.
No matter the reason you choose distilled water, you can feel confident about choosing H2O Labs’ home distillation equipment to deliver high quality and quick steam distillation.
About the Author
Peter is a Los Angeles based water quality specialist, and works as a surveyor for businesses and communities looking to be informed and active about the quality of their water. He shares his expertise with 64 oz. to ensure everything is accurate, and to prevent the spread of misinformation about water contaminants.