Is reverse osmosis better than filtration

One common question asked by friends who have seen my home reverse osmosis system is whether RO system is better than normal water filtration. Since it is such a common question, I thought asking it on the blog will be beneficial to more people who might have the same question as my friends.

In summary, one process is not better than the other as both have its pros and cons.  It is better to understand the strengths and weakness of each system to find the one that is best suited for you.


Comparison Chart

Comparison Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration
Filtering Strong Moderate
Taste Slightly Acidic No Change
Water Usage High Low
Price High  Moderate


  • Filtering: RO has more powerful filtering and is able to remove pretty much most of the unwanted minerals in the water. Water filtration, on the other hand, is able to remove only certain minerals, chlorine, odor etc depending on the type of filters. My own RO system can improve the water quality such that it has less than 10 PPM of TDM. I don’t think normal water filtration system can accomplish this. If you want clean water, RO definitely provides a more powerful option.
  • Taste: Although reverse osmosis provides a more powerful filtering than normal water filtration, it comes at a cost. Even the good minerals are removed and that may affect both the taste and the PH balance of the water. A solution is to add a remineralization filter into your RO system so that the result water is clean but still maintains its taste and PH level.
  • Water Usage: Reverse osmosis is essentially a system that uses water to clean water. As such, the wastage is pretty high and is usually in the ratio of 1:3. Water filtration is much more water efficient and doesn’t waste too much water.  If you like the filtering power of a RO system but don’t like wasting water, you can read my tips on how to reduce waster wastage when using reverse osmosis.
  • Price: A home RO system is usually more expensive than a water filtration system.  On average, the price of a RO is around USD300 to USD 500 while a water filtaration system is below USD300.  Of course, with improvements in efficiency, we might see the price of RO dropping to the level of water filtration pretty soon.



By understanding what core differences between a home reverse osmosis system and a water filtration machine, you will be in a better position to see which one meets your needs. I personally choose a RO because I want the cleanest water possible. That might not be the case for you so you need to see which type of water filtering system is best for your home.

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