There are so many types of filtered water available for drinking and cooking, and it can be hard to know the differences between them.
With all the different choices - including mineral, purified, distilled, deionized (and even ionized) water - buying a water filtration system (or just a bottle of water) can be slightly overwhelming.
Which filtration system is right for you and your family? In this article, we’re going to focus on two types: is deionized water the same as distilled water?
Let’s find out if deionized water is the same as distilled — and if either type of filtration system is a good fit for your home.
Deionized water vs. distilled water
Is deionized water the same as distilled water?
No. Deionization and distillation are two processes that remove substances from water.
What is deionized water?
Deionization is a process that removes ions from water. The process forces water through filters made from electrically charged resins, including a cation and anion resin. The cation resin filter contains positive ions, and the anion filter contains negative ions. These filters contain polymer beads that are either positively or negatively charged.
Before the deionization process, the water is usually filtered through reverse osmosis (RO), which can remove larger solids and contaminants.
Types of Deionization
There are three types of deionization, including co-current, counter-current, and mixed bed deionization.
Co-current deionization uses gravity to pull water downward through the filter. Deionization chemicals and water enter the filtration process from the top of the filter.
With counter-current deionization, the water enters the filtration system from the top of the filter and the chemicals enter from the bottom.
Both co-current and counter-current deionization utilize two separate resin filters, one for positively charged ions and the other with negatively charged ions.
Mixed-bed deionization uses one resin column that contains both positive and negative ions.
Deionization only removes the ions from water and doesn’t filter the water. Installing such a system could be expensive — especially if it’s for home use.
Benefits of Deionized Water
Despite the fact that deionization doesn’t remove all impurities from water, it does offer some benefits.
Hospitals and doctors' offices use deionized water to sterilize materials. Since minerals in water can harm hospital equipment and tools, it’s important to use water that has been demineralized.
Using deionized water for cleaning can prevent streaking or scratching surfaces. Minerals can damage surfaces, including glass and metal, so using deionized water can make sure that cleaning processes don’t cause any harm.
But is it necessary to install a separate water filtration system just so you can have deionized water for cleaning? Probably not.
There are plenty of cleaning products that don’t contain minerals and will do an excellent job cleaning without depositing minerals on your windows or countertops.
Manufacturing of Goods
Many goods are manufactured using deionized water, including beauty products, food, pharmaceuticals, and cars.
Added minerals in these products isn’t always ideal and can mess with the specific formulae, so many manufacturers need to use deionized water when processing these goods.
Deionized Water Downsides
While deionized water is a great go-to when filling your aquarium or cleaning your home, demineralization isn’t necessary, especially when it comes to your drinking or cooking water.
In some respects, it is a poor choice for drinking water, because deionized water doesn’t contain minerals, which can affect the taste and texture of water.
Do I need deionized water in my home?
Probably not. Considering that the best uses for distilled water are for cleaning or filling an aquarium, you probably don’t need to deionize your residential water.
Even installing an under-the-sink deionization system simply for cleaning or aquarium purposes probably isn’t necessary.
What is distilled water?
Water distillation is a process that filters water by heating it until it becomes a vapor before allowing it to cool and liquefy. Impurities are separated from the water during vaporization.
Benefits of Distilled Water
Consuming heavy metals, such as lead and nitrate, can lead to adverse health effects. Nitrate is odorless and tasteless, and consuming too much of it may lead to an increased risk of cancer or gastrointestinal issues.
Nitrates and heavy metals can be removed from water through distillation, deionization, or reverse osmosis.
Like deionized water, distilled water doesn’t contain minerals. That makes it ideal for cleaning or manufacturing. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s an ideal choice for drinking or cooking.
Distilled Water Downsides
While distilled water does provide some benefits, it’s probably not necessary to distill the water you use in your home. Unless you have an aquarium or want to clean your home with distilled water, its benefits don’t outweigh its downsides.
Distilled water may absorb the chemicals from whatever container it’s stored in. If you’re storing distilled water in plastic bottles (as most people do), the water could absorb any chemicals from the plastic bottle.
Since most people don’t distill water to drink it, this isn’t usually a problem.
If you’re only planning on using your distilled water to clean, you won’t need to worry about plastic bottle chemicals. Yet, you probably wouldn’t want to use distilled water stored in plastic bottles to fill your aquarium.
Few Proven Health Benefits
There are so many types of bottled water and water filtration systems on the market. Mineral water, spring water, RO, and activated charcoal filtered water may all offer a wide range of health benefits.
Not only do many types of filtration systems remove impurities, such as organic compounds, forever chemicals, and heavy metals, but some filtration systems add minerals back into your water, which can affect the taste and texture. Distilled water, on the other hand, has few proven health benefits, making it an inferior choice to the other filtration options available.
Removing minerals from your water isn’t ideal if you’re planning on drinking or cooking with that water.
Minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, iron, and zinc, can make your water taste better and improve its texture. These minerals may also offer health benefits.
Wisewell’s water filtration system removes some of the most unwanted materials, such as volatile organic compounds, chemicals (including forever chemicals), bacteria, viruses, and heavy metals. Yet, our Maifan stone filter also adds minerals back into your water, improving its taste and texture.
What’s the difference between deionized and ionized water?
Another type of water you may have seen on grocery store shelves is ionized water. This water has a higher pH than other types of bottled water and may offer some health benefits.
Unlike deionized water, ionized water adds ions to the water. Ionized water contains minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, iron, and zinc, which improve the texture and taste of water. It may lower blood pressure and neutralize the pH balance of the stomach.There is still, however, a lot of discussion about whether ionized water is worth the cost (and hype).
Deionized and Distilled Water Vs Filtered Water
So, which type of water is best? It depends on what you’re planning to use the water for.
Deionized and distilled water may be different, but they both remove minerals from water that could contaminate manufactured goods or damage metal or glass. They are two different processes that demineralize the water in a way that could affect taste and texture.
If you want clean, filtered, delicious water for home or office use, you probably don’t need to purchase deionized or distilled systems. Filtered water may be a better choice for you, and there are several types of residential water filtration systems that remove impurities and add minerals back into your water. The best water filtration systems use several types of filters.
When it comes to filtered, delicious drinking water, these filters used in tandem arguably offer more benefits than either distilled or deionized water. For a deeper dive into Wisewell’s Full Spectrum Filtration, click here.
Q&A: What is deionized water?
Nitrate in Drinking Water
The Positives and Negatives of Ionized Water
Does Your Water Need More Ions?