Best Home Water Distiller Options for 2018
[This updated post was originally published as Best Home Water Distiller Options for 2017.]
Imagine never having to going to the store again to buy distilled water, and never having to recycle another plastic water jug.
Sounds too good to be true?
Having your own water distiller makes it easy to have a constant supply of pure water at home. Think of all the time and aggravation it would save you.
So maybe you're convinced that this is the way to go, but you're not sure what to look for or what your options are.
Well, let me help you out.
In this review, we'll take a look at four of the best selling distilled water machines available for home use in 2018. We'll talk features, prices, and pros and cons, to help you find the water distiller that's right for you.
To start off, I've made a table that has some basic information about my top four water distiller picks. You can make a quick check of the current prices at Amazon directly from that table.
Further on down the page you'll find more details about each of the distillers, plus some FAQs about water distillation.
You can jump right to the topic that interests you most in this quick navigation, or keep scrolling to read the whole review.
Top 4 Home Water Distillers
Water Distillers Comparison Table
Full 304 stainless steel interior;
UL Listed & Approved
Removable boiling chamber;
Programmable; Removable boiling chamber
Top quality stainless steel construction;
Removable boiling chamber
3.5 hours/3 liters
Collection Container Material
15 years on stainless parts;
2 years on electrical parts
Country of Origin
Pure Water Brand Mini-Classic CT™ Countertop Water Distiller
Let's start with the most expensive distiller on the list, the Pure Water Mini-Classic.
Pure Water is an American company that makes distillers for laboratories, medical facilities, organic food processing, and other commercial applications.
They also make a few distillers for home use, including two countertop models. The Mini-Classic Countertop Distiller is the smaller and more convenient of the two.
This unit has a solid build and excellent performance. Because it has a removable boiling chamber, it's easy to fill and easy to clean.
Is it fast?
Well, it takes about 3.5 hours to complete the distillation cycle. That's faster than most distillers, and the fastest of the models in this review.
I do want to point out that the volume of one "batch" is not a full gallon. It's 3 liters, which is about 0.8 gallons. The glass container holds a gallon, but it won't be filled up all the way at the end of the cycle.
When it's done distilling, the machine shuts off automatically. It never boils completely dry, which protects it from damage. There's also a safety shut-off that will turn the unit off it it should ever overheat for some reason.
One of the best things about this distiller is the stainless steel construction. You know it's going to last. In fact, Pure Water has a 15 year warranty on the stainless steel parts plus a 2 year warranty on the electrical parts. You don't find many appliances with a guarantee like that.
Watch this video to see the Pure Water Mini-Classic in action.
Waterwise 8800 Countertop Distiller
The Waterwise 8800 has the convenience of electronic controls and an LCD monitor. You can program the distiller to start whenever you want it to, just like you would with a programmable coffee maker.
A filter indicator tells you when it's time to replace the carbon filter. And, the display tells you if the boiler or pitcher are not positioned correctly. That means no accidental overflows.
The outside of the removable boiling chamber is plastic, but the inside is stainless steel.
And the collection pitcher is made of BPA free polypropylene plastic.
Now here's a really nice feature -
You can pull out the collection pitcher in the middle of the cycle if you need some water. It'll stop the dripping until you put the pitcher back in place. That's how a lot of coffee makers work.
If you want, you can buy an extra pitcher. That way you can keep one in the fridge while the other is hooked up to the distiller. Click here to check the price of the Waterwise 8800 replacement pitcher at Amazon.
It takes about 4 hours to distill one gallon of water with this machine. That's a good rate compared to others.
And when the cycle is complete, the unit shuts off automatically.
This distiller comes with a 1 year warranty. At the manufacturer's website, they say that their distillers "typically provide three to five years of uninterrupted, trouble-free service."
Keep that in mind - the manufacturer doesn't expect it to last more than 3 to 5 years. That doesn't mean that it won't last longer. But it's not designed to last a lifetime.
The Model 8800 has been tested to NSF/ANSI Standard 62. This standard covers contaminant reduction as well as material safety, structural integrity, and total dissolved solids (TDS) reduction.
Here you can see both the Waterwise 8800 and 9000. It's a long video, so I skipped right to where she starts talking about the model 8800. At 7:06, she moves to the model 9000. The video is from the Hallelujah Acres Canada YouTube channel.
Waterwise 9000 Countertop Distiller
Next up is the Model 9000 by Waterwise.
It has a blue collection jug made of Tritan copolyester plastic. There's a handy spigot on the jug, so you can put it in the fridge or set it on the counter and dispense water from it. Easy for the kids to get their own water!
Like the 8800, the 9000 holds one gallon of water, but it takes a little longer to complete the distillation cycle. The total time is about 4-1/2 hours. It also has an automatic shut-off.
This model has a delay start on the fan. It allows the water to reach the boiling point before turning the fan on to cool the steam. That makes it more energy efficient since the fan isn't running unnecessarily.
The 9000 has a removable boiling chamber. Only the bottom is stainless steel. The rest is made of BPA free polypropylene plastic. That means that the water is in contact with plastic while it's boiling.
Waterwise says, however, that the materials have been tested to ensure that they are non-leaching. The 9000 is WQA certified to meet their S-400 Standard for structural integrity, performance, and material safety.
But, if the plastic is still a concern to you, then you might want to go with a different distiller.
Oh, and one more thing - Waterwise offers a 1 year warranty on the 9000.
MH943TWS Megahome Water Distiller, Glass Collection
The Megahome Model MH943TWS distiller is the least expensive of the bunch, but it accomplishes the same thing that all the others do.
It's a simpler setup and takes up less space on the counter. That's because the condensing coils and fan sit right on top of the boiler.
The boiler is made of stainless steel on the inside, and the outside is enamel coated steel. Water goes through a glass-lined nozzle from the boiler to the glass collection bottle, so the water never touches plastic at all.
It takes about 5.5 hours to distill one gallon of water with the Megahome. That makes it the slowest of my top four picks.
And, yes, it does have an automatic shut-off. You can start it before bedtime and wake up to a gallon of pure distilled water.
Megahome offers a 1 year warranty on parts and labor and a 30-day return policy.
This video clip from Chris at HealthyConsumer.com shows the Megahome distiller in black. It's the same distiller - just a different color.
If you'd like even more details about the Megahome distiller, please click here to read my in-depth review.
Water Distillers: Frequently Asked Questions
What can distilled water be used for?
Distilled water is used for a whole lot of things besides drinking water.
- in small appliances like irons and diffusers to prevent mineral buildup
- car batteries
- hydroponics and water for house plants
- ice cubes
- coffee, tea and juice
- brewing beer
- CPAP therapy machines
- neti pots
How do water distillers work?
Water distillers may have different bells and whistles, but they all work in basically the same way.
First, you put tap water into a boiling container. Turn on the machine, and it slowly brings the water to a boil.
As the water boils, it turns into steam. Contaminants are left behind in the boiler as the steam rises. Condenser coils collect the steam, and it reverts back to water. The purified water then drips into some type of collection bottle.
The whole process mimics the hydrologic cycle in nature, only on a much smaller scale.
All commercial water distillers have an additional activated charcoal filter that removes any last traces of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that might have survived the process. That filter will have to be replaced from time to time.
Which contaminants does distillation remove from water?
Water distillers eliminate most kinds of contaminants, including:
- biological contaminants like bacteria, viruses and cryptosporidium
- dissolved solids (minerals, salts, metals, etc.)
Doesn't distillation take beneficial minerals out of the water?
Distillation does take out all the minerals, including the good ones. Does that matter?
Well, most experts agree that it's not a problem because we get the vast majority of the minerals we need from our food, not from water.
Some people say that taking all the minerals out can make the water taste "empty" or "flat". It might take a little getting used to.
If you want, you can put minerals back into the distilled water by adding a pinch of Himalayan pink salt, or a squeeze of lemon juice, or bottled mineral drops.
What are the disadvantages of water distillers?
Distillers are excellent water purifiers, but they do have a few negative points that you'll want to keep in mind.
- They are very slow. It can take up to 6 hours to distill one gallon of water, depending on the model.
- Distillers give off a lot of heat because they're boiling water the whole time. This might be nice in the winter, but in warm weather, it might make it uncomfortable in your kitchen.
- The fan makes a constant noise while the machine is running. This may or may not bother you.
- A distiller boiler needs frequent cleaning to avoid a buildup of the minerals and gunk that are left behind.
Verdict: What's the best water distiller for home use?
All four of these distillers are going to give you great tasting pure water.
If you're trying to decide which one to buy, the key questions to ask yourself are:
- How much do I want to spend?
- How much distilled water do I need every day?
The longer the distillation cycle takes, the less water you'll be able to produce in a day. Megahome is the slowest, Pure Water is the fastest, and the two Waterwise models are somewhere in the middle.
If you're on a tight budget, then the Megahome would be the best choice. It's the least expensive, but it does perform well and it has a decent warranty. I like the materials, too, and the fact that the water doesn't touch plastic.
For those who don't object to BPA free plastic, then the Waterwise distillers might suit. The 8800 has that nice programmable LCD display, and the 9000 has the convenient spigot in the collection jug.
So, which is the best distiller? Overall, I'd say that the Pure Water Mini-Classic is the number one choice. It has the most solid build and it's the fastest of the four. The manufacturer has a good reputation, and the warranty can't be beat. It think it would far outlast the others.
If you can afford the initial investment, I'd say go for the Pure Water Mini-Classic.
Pure Water Mini-Classic
Do you want to take one more look at the features and check the current prices at Amazon? Just click here to go back up to the comparison table.
If you have a question about any of these distillers, feel free to leave it in a comment below. I'll do my best to find the answer, if I don't already know it.