Water distillers are a great way to improve the quality of water at home, and it’s also used for things like steamers, dentistry and CPAP machines. While it can be an acquired taste… the best water distillers can save you a considerable amount of money in the long run.
The 20-Second Review
If you don’t have time for a buying guide and want to skip ahead to our water distiller reviews, there are a few things you’ll need to know. If you become torn between two distillers, look at the build quality and how much water it can produce each cycle. The selection of reliable models is also sparse, and there are a lot of rebranded machines in the wild, so pay close attention to warranty as well.
If you’re new to distillers, it can be a bit confusing at first as they are simple devices without many features to set them apart. Going in cold can be an expensive mistake, so it pays to know what you need to look for before choosing a water distiller that’s right for you.
How Water Distillation Machines Work
There are several different ways to remove impurities from your tap water, and we’ve already told you about the wonders of reverse osmosis filtration systems. A water distiller works in a completely different fashion as there are no filters involved – for the most part. It’s much more of a low-tech approach.
The best water distiller machines are simple to use as you just need to pour water into a tank where it’s boiled by a heating element. As steam is produced, it comes across a condensing coil which traps the impurities. As the steam is cooled, clean water is produced,sediment is left behind, and you get distilled water. It can’t remove everything but can handle bacteria, minerals, and organic chemicals along with a slew of other nasty substances.
It’s important to note that distilled water is not “purified” water like you’d get from a classic water filter although some systems have post or pre-filters. A good machine will definitely lower your TDS readings, but it won’t alkalize your water and strips minerals from your water.
Size & Style
Every water condenser on our list has the same basic parts with a few exceptions. Style is something that helps set them apart along with size. Larger machines can produce double or triple the water of a countertop unit but may need to go in a garage. All distillers produce a degree of heat as well, so placement may be more important than you think… especially if the fan is noisy.
Big distillers are generally more expensive as well, but some allow you to upgrade. That means you can add pumps and holding tanks to expand your machine as needed. With countertop water distillers, you might be surprised by how much water they can produce given their size. They are usually slower but can come with features you won’t find on larger models and are cefinitely more portable.
When it comes to style, your options are limited. Big distillers are stainless with an industrial look and won’t necessarily fit in next to your fridge, so you’ll need to consider placement beforehand. Smaller distillers that sit on a countertop blend in easier although there are only two specific styles to choose from and a lot of copycat models.
If they look the same and have the same specifications but a different name, it’s probably rebranded so check the warranty length and internal parts
Stainless steel is by far the most popular material found in water distillers, and you don’t want to buy a machine that doesn’t have a stainless boiling tank. The condensing coil should be high-quality stainless as well along with any part of the machine that comes in contact with the water.
If plastic is used, you’ll want to look for the BPA-free tag and pay attention to what the carafe or water container is madefrom. Glass is your best bet, but cheaper models will use shatterproof plastic. The spout that the water comes out of is critical as well if you truly want to clean things up. Ceramic and stainless are the ideal options spouts.
Always check the quality of the welds on larger machines out of the box, even if it’s easier said than done. There are only a few pieces that can fail or cause issues in simpler systems, but welds are one of them, and the heating element is another. The latter affects every electric distiller and usually can’t be replaced unless it’s a high-end model which is where our next section comes into play.
We always advise our readers to pay close attention to the warranty, and that’s extremely important with water distillers. Unfortunately, most distillers only come with a 1-year guarantee which isn’t ideal for appliances that run for 5 hours at a time and can put off quite a bit of heat.
The warranty is a little more important for countertop water distillers as they are harder for the average consumer to work on. Extended warranties are an option on some machines as well, and something you should seriously consider.
Whether you’re buying the best water distiller on the market or a budget-friendly machine, you’re going to have to clean it regularly. It’s something most consumers are well aware of, and usually not difficult to pull off with the top models. There are an abundance of cleaning products that make things simple as well, but it’s not the only area you may need to consider.
In recent years, manufacturers have added filtration to their water distillers. It’s usually an activated carbon filter although high-end machines may have a post or pre-filter. While that’s a great feature to have, you’ll need to replace that filter eventually which adds to the cost of maintaining the machine. Those filters may not be easy to acquire, so check on their availability beforehand.
The same rule applies to replacement parts. In our research, we found you’re usually out of luck with countertop models aside from a few basic components. With industrial machines, there are plenty of parts available, and the boiling tank is by far the most expensive part to replace. Most components will only set you back around $50 bucks.
Ease of Use
Nobody wants to shell out hundreds of dollars for a machine that’s complicated to use. Thankfully, that’s not the case with water distillers as we explained at the beginning of our guide. Some have a few more creature comforts, however, including automatic shut-off. That’s the most important thing to look for, but a simple LED light to let you know its running is a handy, but overlooked feature as well. If you want a timer, don’t hold your breath…
With more expensive models, things open up a bit, and you can find automatic machines. You can hook these distillers straight to a water line so you’ll never need to refill the boiling tank. Unless you have a robotic helper, you’ll still need to retrieve your distilled water, but automatic systems are the only way to go if you need a lot of water daily. Holding tanks are highly recommended as well if you plan on purchasing a workhorse of a machine.
One More Thing…
There aren’t too many stats to keep track of with water distillers given the nature of their design. That said, there are a few things you’ll want to remember starting with gallons per day, otherwise known as GPD. This tells you how much water a machine can produce in 24 hours although it can vary depending on a variety of circumstances. Quality control is one of them.
While not a technical spec, occasionally you’ll see us talk about quality control when we come across an issue that’s common enough to mention. It’s somewhat of a broad term and comes into play when users have experienced problems arising from the manufacturing or shipping process. It can be something as small as a scratched cover or a larger problem like a faulty heating element. It’s also something that shrank our initial list from around 20 machines to only a handful.
Cycle time is something you’ll hear manufacturers talk about, even if they don’t actually provide you a number in some cases. It lets you know how much water your distiller produces in one working cycle which also varies to a degree by the style and size of the machine.
The Best Water Distillers
Pure Water Mini-Classic
- Stainless Steel
- Counter Top
- Made in USA
Best for Countertop
H20 Labs Best-In-Class
- Stainless Steel
- Most Effective VOC Removal
Best for Portable
- 8 Gallon/Day
- 10 Gallon Reserve with Remote Faucet System
- Stainless Steel
- 6 Gallon per day
Best for Budget
- 12 Gallon per day
1. Pure Water Mini Classic CT Distiller
The Best Countertop Water Machine
Pure Water is a company that specializes in water distillation, and they have over a dozen distillers in their arsenal including several industrial models. Our top choice is the Mini Classic CT however, as it’s made to sit on a countertop and built to last a lifetime.
This water distiller is a little larger than others at 13.75”W x 9.8”D x 15.75”H with a weight of 24 pounds. It’s still portable and comparable to toting a Keurig around considering the self-contained design of the Mini Classic CT. As with most machines of this nature, it’s effortless to use but even easier to clean and maintain.
Pure Water built this unit from high-quality materials including 304 Stainless Steel for the boiling chamber and tray where the filter pillow resides. Your cleaned water never comes into contact with plastic and the unit uses self-sterilization when it’s running. The air-cooled system can automatically shut itself off when the cycle is complete, and we love the fact it has a safety shut-off in case it happens to overheat.
As for the cleanliness, the company utilizes purity vents which let compounds escape along with a post-filter. It’s active carbon, which improves taste and smell, but they will need to be replaced every 3 months at around $20 bucks a pop. On a positive note, every component that could fail on this machine is affordable to replace including the heating element and condenser.
The Mini Classic CT is an 800watt system that can distill 0.8 gallons of water every 3 ½ hour cycle. The 1-gallon boiling chamber is removable, and the gallon glass jug sports a pour-through lid and handle. It sits nicely in the fridge,and additional containers are available if you prefer to stock up. You’ll get a 15-year warranty on all stainless parts and 2 years on electrical.
While this system is a bit more expensive than countertop water distillers with similar specifications, it will outlast others and has a warranty that can’t be beat. We also love the fact replacement parts are cheap, tanks aside, and that it’s made in the USA with excellent customer service.
2. H20 Labs Stainless Steel Water Distiller
A Stylish Portable Water Distiller
When your space is limited, sometimes you don’t have room on the counter for larger distillation machines. That’s where devices like the H20 Home Water Distiller come into play as the 300SS is small but very effective.
This stainless still pitcher has a design you’ll become familiar with quickly when looking for the best water distiller. It’s essentially a large metal canister that plugs into a socket and uses heat to and a condensing coil to produce cleaner water. The tank and other critical parts are made from 304 including the full-length condensing coil.
While there are some plastics used in this distiller, they are BPA-free. The company also used a porcelain nozzle insert to ensure your purified water doesn’t come into contact with anything that would affect its quality or purity. It’s easy to operate with a single push button but has an auto-off feature along with fail-safe fuse. It’s not quite as easy to clean as larger models however as the boiling chamber is fixed inside the unit.
At 8”W x 14 ¼”H with a weight of 8 pounds, the 300SS is portable and light. The stainless steel chamber holds a gallon of tap and produces around 4 gallons per day with users reporting cycle times of 4.5 - 5 hours per gallon. A 565w heating element handles the heavy lifting while activated carbon pods take care of the rest. A pack of six replacement pods will last a full year and are under $20 bucks.
There aren’t any killer features on the H20 Labs 300SS, but it performs as intended and is one of the best home water distillers. On the downside, the warranty is only good for a year which is disappointing considering it’s not exactly cheap. This distiller comes with a 1-gallon glass carafe, a pack of carbon pods and cleaning crystals. It’s also available in white if stainless doesn’t match your décor.
3. Durastill Automatic Water Distiller with Remote Faucet System
The Best Water Distiller Machine
A drawback of distillation systems is speed as they can only go so fast and you generally need to keep an eye on things. One way around that is with an automatic system like the Durastill 3040RFS, which keeps a clean supply of distilled water at the ready and can send it almost anywhere you’d like.
Before we dig into the features, this isn’t a distiller for everyone. You can buy four Mini Classic CTs for the price of one 3040RFS, and it’s not something you’d want to sit in your kitchen. Fully assembled, it’s 39 inches tall with a weight of around 65 pounds excluding the remote faucet system. While large, it’s still easy to move around and very sturdy thanks to a stainless steel support frame and a set of caster wheels.
On that note…
The build quality of this machine is exceptional with plenty of stainless where it counts. There is a 316 SS evaporator, and the 1000watt Incoloy heating element is top-tier as well. The tap on the remote faucet system is also stainless along with the holding tank and pulsation eliminator tank. It connects directly to the water line for continuous operation, so you’ll only need to fill this beast if you choose to use manual mode.
As for the features, the Durastill 3040RFS produces 8 gallons of water per day and has a 10.6-gallon holding tank. It has a float control feature with automatic high level control and a volatile gas vent system to deal with VOCs. Cleanup can be a bit of a hassle because of its size compared to countertop water distillers, but the self-sterilization is nice to have on hand.
The Remote Faucet System is the other big draw for this unit and comes with a pulsation eliminator tank to ensure a steady flow. A 1.4 GPM pump is included as well and only runs when water is being drawn towards its intended destination. In a nutshell, it can send distilled water to an icemaker, sink or anywhere else so you’ll always have a fresh supply of water on demand.
Whether you just need a lot of distilled water or want to send it to a different area, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck with the 3040RFS. As it connects directly to your water line, it can run unattended, and the only thing you’ll need to do is clean the tanks and replace filters as necessary. This distiller comes with pre, and post-filters and includes a 1-year warranty, but an extended warranty is optional and well worth the price.
4. VEVOR Stainless Steel Water Distiller
The Best Budget-Friendly Distiller
VEVOR doesn’t make dozens of water filtration devices like some companies, but they produced a winner with their slick stainless distiller. While it shares plenty of similarities with other countertop models, there is one huge difference.
As with many water purification devices, there are products with designs so similar it’s hard to recognize one from the other. That’s the case with the VEVOR Water Distiller which looks just like the one from H20 Lab and a dozen other companies from a design standpoint. Well, the unassuming and optional digital display is a game changer as it allows you to adjust the temperature.
If you want to distill alcohol, you need to control the temperature, and this unit allows you to do just that. It’s a dual purpose machine with a 750W heating element and a body made from 304 stainless steel. The inner tank, cap, and coil are stainless as well along with the inlet and outlet. We couldn’t find any mention of BPA or plastics, but we assume the models with stainless models digital panels are good to go given the quality of the machine.
Other features of the VEVOR distiller include a 1.06-gallon inner tank, temperature protection, and the ability to distill 6 gallons per day. It comes with a shockproof glass container and has a handle on the top in case you want to take it on the road. That would be very easy to do considering it only weighs around 11 pounds which makes it perfect for consumers on the go.
The VEVOR distiller is an affordable alternative to other canister style systems and the fact you can control the temperature is the icing on the cake. If you don’t plan on using that feature, there are cheaper models with the same design but no digital panel. This particular distiller is available in red or silver while the variants come in red, silver, gold or white.
5. Durastill 12 Gallon Per Day Manual Water Distiller
An Excellent Choice for Families
Do you have a large family or use distilled water for other things besides drinking? If so, countertop models aren’t going to cut it but this distiller will. It’s another stainless beauty from Durastill, and this one can do 12 gallons a day.
Our first option from Durastill was large and impressive. This one is just as capable but considerably cheaper and doesn’t require nearly as much clearance at 13”H x 20”W x 13”D. It also works with any 115v outlet, so you won’t need to call in an electrician to hook this one up although you may need to pick up an adapter for the Durastill 46A depending on your outlets. As for the production rate, you’ll get 1.5 gallons each cycle, and it automatically shuts down when the boiler needs filled.
From a design standpoint, this distiller is the same as the 3040RFS. That means it’s made from stainless and has an Incoloy heating element although this one has a higher rating at 1500w. The gas vents are still present along with self-sterilization, but you will have to fill the A46 up manually. There’s no water line connection, and you won’t get a holding tank, but you can add one later is this one is easy to upgrade.
The Durastill 46A can provide a household with an ample amount of distilled water as long as you’ve got something to store it in. The build quality is excellent, just like the 3040RFS, but this one only weighs 37 pounds. You’ll get a 1-year warranty with this distiller and a post-filter but will need to furnish your own storage. If you prefer glass to plastic, we’re fans of these 1-gallon jugs from New Wave Enviro.
The best water distiller can strip out dissolved solids and bacteria with ease, and while they are slow, they are incrediblyeffective. We hope you found a machine to suit your needs in our water distiller reviews, but if you feel we missed a top model, let us know in the comments section below!