RO vs UV Water Purifier – Best for you in 2023

by | Oct 27, 2023

RO vs UV Water Purifier

Clean and safe drinking water is a basic necessity for a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, the tap water in our homes is not up to the standards, giving rise to the need for water purifiers. Consequently, water purifiers have become an inseparable part of the Indian home.

Selecting the correct water purifier for your home is equally important. We comprehensively discussed the various steps you should take to select the perfect water purifier for your home.

The most popular water purifier types are RO and UV. People often get confused between these two and select the wrong one. And for this very reason, we bring to you this well-researched article that will help you make the right choice.

Let us first understand what exactly RO and UV water purifiers are.

What Are RO Water Purifiers?

RO water purifiers use Reverse Osmosis technology to purify water. The process involves passing water under a certain pressure through a semi-permeable membrane. As a result, pure water is obtained, which is entirely fit for drinking. It is also used in the desalination of water.

Ro water purifiers can filter water with a TDS value of up to 2000 easily. All the impurities, including bacteria, heavy metals, mud, salt, etc, can be removed from water using RO water purifiers.

The only drawback of RO water purifiers is their relatively high cost. Regardless, they are the most popular water purifiers in the market. Most water purifier brands offer RO water purifiers as their flagship product. 

What Are UV Water Purifiers?

UV water purifiers use ultraviolet light to kill viruses and bacteria in the water. The ultraviolet light damages these microorganisms’ DNA, eventually killing them. UV purifiers do not affect the taste of water but cannot remove other impurities, such as heavy metals.

A UV water filter is optimum for water with a low TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). If the TDS of water is more than 200, the use of UV water filters is not recommended.

UV water purifiers cannot remove the dead microorganisms from water, which is its major drawback. UV technology is practically used in combination with RO systems and not alone. 

You should only go for a UV water purifier if the TDS of your water is very low and you are on a tight budget.

Combined usage of RO and UV technologies can also be seen in various products on the market. All the bacteria killed by the ultraviolet rays are easily removed along with other impurities using RO technology.

RO vs UV: A Detailed Comparison

We’ve already discussed above that RO water purifiers are comparably better than the UV water purifiers as RO water purifiers are much more useful in most of the cases.

We have already established that RO water purifiers are far better than UV water purifiers in all aspects except their price point. If you want a better quality, you need to pay for it. However, if the TDS of your water is reliably less than 150, there is no need to waste money on RO systems.

Additionally, RO purifiers require much higher maintenance than UV purifiers. The semipermeable membrane and filters require cleaning or even replacement after a particular time. Poor maintenance of RO purifiers leads to hazardous TDS levels.

Let’s answer specific questions that may come to your mind based on the above analysis.

Is UV required with RO?

Yes, UV is required with RO. A purifier that has both UV and RO capabilities is the best combination.

RO membranes remove germs, but they don’t have the power to kill them. UV lamps kill bacteria and viruses.

Which is better: UV or UF or RO?

RO is the best water purifier according to modern technology. UV and UF are suitable only for water having a TDS lower than 150.

However, combining RO, UV, and UF technologies results in the best water purifier.

To know more about UF purifiers, refer to our previous article, Under Sink Water Purifiers.

Is UV purified water safe to drink?

A UV water filter is optimum for water with a low TDS (Total Dissolved Solids). If the TDS of water is more than 200, the use of UV water filters is not recommended.

How To Choose The Best Water Purifier For Home?

There are multiple factors to consider before choosing a water purifier for your home. Among these, your budget is the only factor that is independent of water-based requirements.

The other essential factors to consider before buying a water purifier are:

1. Type of Water:

Before choosing a water purifier, you must know what type of water you receive at home and how much to purify it. The TDS of water is crucial in selecting the correct water purifier.

WATER TYPESOURCETDS (ppm)
Municipal WaterRivers, lakes, etc.1-200
Ground WaterTube Well or Borewell200-2000
Multiple SourceMixed SourcesVariable

After determining the type of water you receive, you must know the different types of water purifiers and their functions.

2. How do I know which Water Purifier is best?

The best Water Purifier for you largely depends on the TDS of the water you receive at your home. 

TDS or Total Dissolved Solids is the total dissolved substances concentration in water. TDS comprises inorganic salts and some amount of organic matter.

What is the best TDS for a Water Purifier?

Between 50 and 150 ppm

The ideal Water TDS level is between 50 and 150 ppm (less than 300 ppm). A high   TDS level is not suitable for health. High TDS levels can have technical impacts and an imbalance in the taste and odor of drinking water.

You can select the best water purifier for you based on the TDS values given below:

TDS Value (in PPM)Type of Water Purifier Needed
50-200 UF, UV, UF+UV
250-500RO, RO+UV
>1000RO + UV

3. Water Purifier’s Storage Tank Capacity:

Many places may not have a constant electricity supply for the water purifier to function in real-time. A storage tank with an appropriate capacity must address this issue.

Most water purifiers come with an in-built storage tank of different capacities. Pick the storage tank with a capacity that suits your household.

Number of PeopleStorage Tank Capacity
25 liters
48 liters
8>10 liters

Summing Up

RO (Reverse Osmosis) purifiers are far better than UV (Ultraviolet) water purifiers. However, RO + UV water purifiers give a better result than any of these can separately.

A purifier that has both UV and RO capabilities is the best combination. RO membranes remove germs, but they don’t have the power to kill them. UV lamps kill bacteria and viruses.

Now that you are armed with extensive knowledge about various water purifying technologies choose the best water purifier to healthily hydrate your loved ones and yourself.

Read More: How to Save Water

Bhuwan Bhatia

Bhuwan Bhatia

Bhuwan Bhatia, an engineering graduate with a diverse background, has been passionate about entrepreneurship since age 13. Founder of edtech startup Technoshaala, Bhuwan now focuses on leading his innovative water management startup, FLOTAA, in Kanpur to create sustainable solutions.
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