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RO Vs UV Vs UF – Difference Between RO, UV and UF Purifiers

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With an increase in water pollution, even tap water is not suitable for drinking. Contaminants present in water include bacteria, cysts, virus, dissolved salts and other heavy metals. Drinking contaminated water can lead to several health complications including diarrhea, stomach infections, cholera, etc.

So, purchasing the best water purifier is no longer a luxury but a necessity for healthy life. However, while purchasing a water purifier – we often encounter technical terms like RO, UF and UV.

If you want to make the right decision, you should first understand the benefits and drawbacks of RO, UV, UF purification technologies.

For analyzing which purification technology is suitable, you have to understand basic terminologies like TDS (total dissolved salts). If the TDS levels are higher than 500ppm, then it indicates that water is contaminated with pesticides, fertilizers, and heavy metals like arsenic, nitrates and fluorides.

Difference Between RO, UV and UF Purifiers

Below is a table representing primary differences between RO, UV and UF water purifier.

Water Purifier

What is RO Water Purifier?

Water purifiers with RO technology will remove impurities and pollutants using reverse osmosis process. They have a partially permeable membrane (0.0001 micron) for purifying the water. When the water passes through this filter, only water molecules will pass through it and pollutants will not pass through the filter because of their large size. So, you will get pure water from other side of membrane.

RO Purifier

This process is capable of removing several contaminants including mud, salt, bacteria, virus and other dissolved toxins including arsenic, fluoride, cadmium and fluoride. This is the reason, RO water purifier is considered the most efficient and reliable option.

What is UV Water Purifier?

Ultraviolet purification is the reliable technology for killing bacteria and virus present in the water. Water will run through a chamber containing UV lamp where it will get disinfected. When the water passes through the light, microorganisms receive a lethal dose of UV light (254-nm wavelength) which attacks their DNA and deals with their reproductive capability.

UV Purifiers

Just like RO, UV water purifier also needs electricity for operation. However, it doesn’t require any additional power for boosting pressure of tap water. It can just work fine with general normal tap pressure.

Though, UV water purification system can kill the bacteria, virus and germs, they cannot dispose the dead bodies from the water. And moreover, it cannot remove TDS in the water.

Ultraviolet purification is a cost-effective and reliable water purification methods as it is chemical free. And it doesn’t have any effect on color and taste of the water. Apart from these effective features, UV water purifiers are also portable and easy to maintain.

What is UF Water Purifier?

Similar to RO purification technology, Ultrafiltration also comes with semi-permeable membrane. UF membrane has larger pores (appx. 0.01 microns) while RO membrane has very small pores (0.001 microns).

UF technology doesn’t need electricity for filtration. Using the membrane, UF water purifiers can eradicate large particles, suspended solids and molecules present in the water. Though this purifier is capable of eliminating microorganisms and bacteria, it cannot remove dissolved salts.

UV Purifier

Unlike RO purifier, UF cannot change hard water into soft. So, we recommend to use a water purifier with RO and UV combination with UF technologies, especially if you are unsure of TDS levels present in the water.

If the water levels have high dissolved salts or if you are unaware of the TDS levels, then RO water purification system is the right choice.


Over the last few years, water pollution has increased rapidly to an alarming rate. Just boiling the water will not remove chemicals or dissolved salts present in the water. This is the reason why people are preferring to invest in a water purifier.

Well, water purification technology has increased a lot in the last few years. With different technologies like RO, UV, and UF, it becomes confusing to choose the right one among them. To help you choose, we have provided enough information on these technologies in this article.

We hope the information provided above help you choose wisely. If you still have any queries, we recommend writing to us in the comment section below. We will reply at our earliest convenience.

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