Purified Vs Distilled Vs Tap Water: What’s The Difference?

Water is an essential resource for our daily lives, and we rely on it for various purposes such as drinking, cooking, and hygiene. When it comes to the quality of water, there are different types available, each with its own characteristics and purification methods.

In this article, we will explore the differences between purified water, distilled water, and tap water, shedding light on their unique properties and benefits.


Water is vital for our survival, and it’s crucial to ensure the water we consume is safe and clean. Various methods are employed to purify water, including purification systems, distillation, and the use of tap water. Let’s delve into each of these types and understand their unique characteristics.

Tap Water: The Basics

Tap water refers to the water supplied to our homes through municipal water sources. It undergoes a treatment process to remove impurities and make it safe for consumption. The treatment typically involves filtration, disinfection, and the addition of chemicals to maintain water quality during distribution.

Purified Water: Understanding the Process

Purified water undergoes a more rigorous purification process than tap water. It is treated to remove impurities such as chemicals, contaminants, and microorganisms. The purification methods can include filtration, activated carbon adsorption, reverse osmosis, and distillation. The goal is to achieve a higher level of purity, free from any harmful substances.

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Distilled Water: The Distillation Process

Distilled water is produced through the process of distillation. It involves heating the water to create steam, which is then condensed and collected as distilled water. This process effectively removes impurities, minerals, and any potential contaminants present in the water. Distilled water is considered one of the purest forms of water available.

Comparing Purified, Distilled, and Tap Water

  • Composition: Tap water may contain minerals, chemicals, and additives, depending on the water source and treatment process. Purified water goes through additional filtration processes to remove impurities, while distilled water is free from minerals and most impurities.
  • Purity: Tap water meets safety standards but may still contain trace amounts of contaminants. Purified water offers a higher level of purity by removing a wide range of impurities. Distilled water is considered the purest form, as it is free from minerals and impurities.
  • Taste: Tap water can vary in taste depending on its source and treatment. Purified water often has a neutral taste since most minerals and impurities are removed. Distilled water can taste flat due to the absence of minerals.
  • Uses: Tap water is commonly used for daily activities like drinking, cooking, and bathing. Purified water is suitable for drinking, cooking, and specific applications where impurity-free water is necessary. Distilled water is commonly used in laboratories, medical equipment, and certain appliances that require mineral-free water.
  • Availability: Tap water is readily available in most households through the municipal water supply. Purified water can be purchased in bottled form or generated at home using purification appliances or filtration systems. Distilled water is also available in bottled form or can be produced using a home distillation apparatus.

Choosing the Right Water for Your Needs

When deciding which type of water to use, consider the following factors:

  • Safety: Tap water is generally safe for consumption, as it undergoes regulated treatment processes. However, if you have concerns about the quality of your tap water, you may opt for purified or distilled water for added assurance.
  • Purity Requirements: If you require water for sensitive applications like medical purposes or laboratory experiments, distilled water is often the preferred choice due to its high level of purity. Purified water can also meet the requirements of many applications.
  • Taste Preference: Some individuals prefer the taste of tap water, while others find purified or distilled water to be more enjoyable due to its cleaner and neutral taste.
  • Convenience: Tap water is the most convenient option as it is readily available from faucets. However, if you prefer the convenience of bottled water, both purified and distilled water can be easily obtained from stores.
  • Environmental Impact: Tap water has a lower environmental impact compared to bottled water, as it reduces plastic waste. If sustainability is a priority for you, consider utilizing tap water or investing in a water filtration system at home.

The Environmental Impact

The choice of water also has implications for the environment. Bottled water, whether purified or distilled, contributes to plastic waste and requires energy for production and transportation. Opting for tap water or using reusable water bottles can significantly reduce your environmental footprint.


In summary, the difference between purified, distilled, and tap water lies in their purification processes and resulting composition. Tap water is treated to meet safety standards, while purified water undergoes additional filtration processes to remove impurities.

Distilled water is produced through the distillation process, ensuring the highest level of purity. The choice of water depends on factors such as safety, purity requirements, taste preferences, convenience, and environmental considerations.

9. FAQs

Is tap water safe to drink?

Tap water is generally safe for consumption as it undergoes treatment processes to ensure its safety. However, water quality can vary depending on the location and infrastructure. If you have concerns, consider using a water filtration system or opting for purified or distilled water.

Can I drink purified water every day?

Yes, purified water is safe to drink and can be consumed daily. It undergoes thorough filtration processes to remove impurities and contaminants, providing a higher level of purity compared to tap water.

Is distilled water the same as purified water?

No, distilled water and purified water are different. While both undergo purification processes, distilled water goes through the additional step of distillation, which removes minerals and most impurities. Distilled water is considered one of the purest forms of water.

Does purified water taste better than tap water?

Purified water often has a neutral taste since most minerals and impurities are removed during the purification process. Some individuals prefer the cleaner taste of purified water compared to the varying tastes of tap water.

Which water has the least environmental impact?

Tap water has the least environmental impact as it reduces plastic waste associated with bottled water. Using reusable water bottles or investing in a water filtration system at home can further minimize environmental impact.

In conclusion, understanding the differences between purified, distilled, and tap water allows us to make informed choices about the water we consume. Whether you prioritize safety, purity, taste, convenience, or the environment, there is a suitable option for your needs.

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