RO vs UV vs UF – Difference Between Water Purifiers | Explained!

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Planning to buy a water purifier? But confused between the technical terms like RO, UV, UF? Here, I’ll explain the difference between RO vs UV vs UF water purifiers in simple terms.

Our human body contains about 70 percent of water. To maintain the water balance, the human body requires to consume 2 liters of water daily.

However, the majority of the people do not have a source of pure drinking water, and they consume from whatever source they can get their hands on.

Water Pollution
Water Pollution

These impure water results in many diseases like Cholera, Typhoid, Diarrhea etc . Therefore, compromising with your health by drinking unfiltered and impure water is not a good option.

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Nowadays, there are many water purifiers available in the market that filters the impurities from the dirty water and makes it safe for drinking.

If you are also planning to purchase the best water purifier for home or office, but confused about buying the best one, then, don’t worry, we are here providing detailed information regarding the purifiers.

There are various types of water purifiers in the market today, and a majority of people are confused between them. So, let’s clear this confusion and make the things crystal clear for you.

First of all, you need to know the meaning of the terms RO, UV and UF. These are all standard technologies used in water filtration. RO is Reverse Osmosis, UF stands for Ultra Filtration, UV means Ultra Violet.

Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Before knowing what Reverse Osmosis is, we must understand the concept of osmosis.


Osmosis is a natural phenomenon where a weaker saline solution tends to move towards a strong saline solution. Absorption of water by the roots of plant is one of the best examples of osmosis.

Reverse osmosis is the process of osmosis in reverse. Osmosis takes place naturally, which does not require energy.

But to reverse the process of osmosis, the power is needed to make the solution more saline.

reverse osmosis

In this process water is forced to pass through a semi-permeable membrane which allows the movement and flow of molecules of water but doesn’t dissolve salts, bacteria, and organics.

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Therefore, you require to push water through the reverse osmosis membrane by applying pressure, which is higher than the osmotic pressure.

Ultraviolet (UV)

Ultraviolet Filtration Process
Ultraviolet Filtration Process

UV Water Purifier uses ultraviolet rays to kill Bacteria, Virus, Protozoa, Parasites and all other types of microorganisms present in the water. When the water moves around the UV light it kills the Bacteria, Virus, Cysts and other germs in the water and gives you pure drinking water.

But the only problem of this type of water purifier is that it cannot remove the dead bodies of all these germs from the water.

Ultra Filtration (UF)

UF Water Purifier works in a similar way to a Reverse Osmosis water purifier. But they use membranes with larger pores. Ultrafiltration purifier does not require electricity to operate. They works on gravitational force.

Ultra Filtration Process
Ultra Filtration Process

This purifiers are also capable of removing Bacteria, Virus and other microorganism from the water.

But the only problem with the UF Water Purifier is that It cannot remove the dissolved salts from the water. Only RO Water purifier is capable of removing TDS from the water.

These are all methods used to make water hygienic. All these techniques have their own importance. Although, they differ in working and functions, but there are some similarities as well.

So, let us make these things clearer through the given table. We hope, your mind will be clear, just like purified water. And you will be able to choose the best water purifier after going through these filtration methods.

Now let’s proceed and check out the similarities and differences between RO vs UV vs UF.

Difference Between RO vs UV vs UF

Attributes RO (Reverse Osmosis) UV (Ultra Voilet) UF (Ultra Filtration)
Filtration Cleans all the Germs and Microorganisms from the water Eradicates all the Germs and Microorganisms but they couldn’t remove their dead cells Cleans all the Germs and Microorganisms from the water
Working Electrical energy is required to pump the water pressure Works with the reasonable power of water Works with the force pressure of water
Purification Electrical energy is required to purify Electrical power is needed to purify Does not require any electricity
Membrane Yes No Yes
Impurities Removes all the dirt including dust, sand, etc Does not filter the impurities Removes all the dirt including dust, sand, etc
Dissolved Solids Lower the level of substances by 90 percent Do not reduce the absorption of substances Do not cut the concentration of substances

Now you can identify from the table which one is better according to your requirements.

Final Words!

In the end, I would like to conclude by saying that there is no doubt that Reverse Osmosis works better than the other technologies, but you cannot completely rely on RO for drinking water.

It would better if you choose a water purifier that is a combination of these two or three technologies to ensure 100% pure drinking water.

I hope that after reading this, you will not have any doubt in your mind. However, for better understanding, you can also go through the individual articles on these technologies on our site.


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