Daily Deals 💰💰💰

Save up to 40% on your favourite water products while supplies last. Order Now!

Daily Deals 💰💰💰

Save up to 40% on your favourite water products while supplies last. Click to Order Now!

Water Filter vs Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration (Guide)

Published by: Paulo Baker

Water Filter vs Reverse Osmosis

A water filter is an essential component in any household. Our health directly depends on the quality of water we drink regularly. This is why it is important to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing a water filter for your house.

There are various kinds available in the market and it’s simple to get confused about which one to choose.

If you are confused between water filter vs reverse osmosis filtration systems, this article is just for you. 

What is a 3 stage water filter?

There are various kinds of water filters available in the market and each one has a different mechanism for the filtration process. There can be many stages through which the water has to go, for the completion of the procedure. One of the widely used water filters is an activated carbon water filter

In such a filter, a special kind of charcoal that is treated with oxygen is used to filter contaminated water. The process in which water is filtered through this method of filtration is called adsorption.

A gram of activated carbon has a surface area of 3,000 m2 (32,000 sq ft). The more the surface area the more contaminants it can adsorb and the better it can filter the water. 

The alien and harmful particles in the water are attracted to and trapped in the carbon which is porous in nature. This is how a carbon filter works.

An activated carbon filter is easy to use. It is also environmentally friendly and cost-effective in the long run. The installation procedure is simple and easy as well. 

What is a Reverse Osmosis Water Filter?

The Reverse Osmosis water filtration system is probably the most famous among all the systems available in the market. This kind of system uses a procedure that is a slight bit more complicated than the stages water filtration system. The RO filter uses the osmosis system which is also a process of great importance to the human body. But, it just reverses the process.

In the reverse osmosis system, a solution which has a high concentration of solutes in it is made to pass through a semipermeable membrane. And they are transferred to a solution which has less amount or low concentration of solutes.

A massive force is generated to push the water through the membrane. A Reverse Osmosis water system is easy to use. However, it is often difficult to install and might need some professional help.  

Difference Between Water Filter vs Reverse Osmosis System?

The activated carbon filter and the RO water filter are distinctly different from one another. The basic differences in cost, durability and ease of use have already been discussed. Therefore, in this section, we will talk about the most important difference between the two – the components that each one removes from the water that is to be filtered.

In the case of the Activated carbon filter, the contaminants that are removed are…

  1. Organic contaminants, herbicides, pesticides and the like.
  1. VOC, PCB, fuel oil, radioactive components, solvents and other chemical components.
  1. Chlorine. This is an extremely harmful component (which is added to water for treating it) that is removed by the activated carbon filters.
  1. Activated carbon filters also remove the bad odour and taste of tap water

In the case of a Reverse Osmosis water filter, the components that are removed are…

  1. Mineral components present in hard water. 
  1. Organic chemicals which are extremely harmful to the blood.
  1. Disease-causing bacteria and viruses such as Salmonella, E.Coli, Hepatitis virus and Rotavirus.
  1. Salts, Nitrates and heavy metals such as copper and lead.

3 stage water filter v/s RO water filter

The major differences between these two have been stated above. Now, when it comes to comparing these, several factors are at play. One needs to identify them and categorize through their needs –

Perform a water test 

To understand the kind of filtration process that will be most suitable for your household, you need to check the quality of water that you already receive.

By doing so, you will get to the different components that are present in the water. It will also reveal the sort of contaminants that are present in it.

Once you have this relevant information you can go ahead with selecting the kind that will be the aptest for the quality of water in your household. 

Consider your causes

Once you are aware of the kind of water you have, you can move on to the other important criteria for selecting a water filter. The first thing is the space required. You have to carefully consider the space you have for a water filter.

If you have some space by the sink, you might consider going for a Reverse Osmosis filtration system that can be installed just beside the sink. 

However, if you want a filtration system that will cater to the whole house and not be limited just to the kitchen, you might consider the other form of filtration procedure. The cost is also an important issue which needs to be considered. Compare the prices and decide for yourself the most cost-effective one depending on your household. 

Even after a thorough comparison, you might not be able to stick to one of the filtration systems. In this case, you can also opt for a dual system consisting of both the carbon filter and the Reverse Osmosis system. This will be more beneficial and cater to all the needs of you and your family. 


To summarise, one must study each of the filtration systems carefully to understand and analyse which one will be best suited for the individual and their family.

Several factors are at play and it is essential that one considers each of them carefully before making a decision.

Now that you have all the necessary information about the differences between the two processes at hand, we hope you can judge for yourself and choose the one that is appropriate for your needs and conditions.

Photo of author

Article by:

Paulo Baker

Paulo is a senior writer at Dash Appliances, where he research, writes, and reviews home and commercial water filters. Paulo is covering home-related things like water filters, vacuum cleaners, and more since 2019. When he's not researching and testing, he's traveling and playing golf.

Leave a Comment