While municipalities supply RO-purified water to homes in their jurisdiction, most of the Indian population depends on groundwater, wells, rivers, and lakes for consumption. Since the water quality is debatable, water purifiers have become essential.
This article compares the prominent water purifier brands in India. We have tested and reviewed almost every water purifier brand in India. For example, Kent, Pureit Aquaguard, Livpure, AO Smith, and V-Guard are India’s popular and stand-out water purifier brands.
This comparison should simplify matters as we focus on various aspects like the purification process, design, water taste, water wastage, after-sales service, and maintenance. But, before we discuss the water purifier brands, let us understand how RO purification works and why it is the best possible solution to remove heavy metals and salts from source water.
Why RO water purification is the best?
Groundwater, rivers, and lakes can be contaminated with heavy metal salts, human and animal waste, industrial pollutants, etc., which can harm human health. These salts are dissolved in water, hence the name TDS (Totally Dissolved Solids). The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines state that TDS levels over 300 ppm in the water source are unsuitable for human consumption. Considering the Indian situation, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has stipulated the maximum permissible TDS levels as 500 ppm.
RO water purification is the globally accepted standard for removing TDS from water. The RO water purification process works on the principles of Reverse Osmosis, where the contaminated water passes through a semipermeable membrane that does not allow compounds with molecular weight more than 20 to pass through. Thus, you get pure water without any TDS after RO water purification.
Is RO water safe to drink?
Yes. RO water is safe to drink because it contains no dissolved contaminants. It is as good as pure distilled water. However, does the RO-purified water taste good?
The answer is negative because the RO water purification process removes good and bad TDS. It means the membrane does not allow essential minerals like zinc, calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium to pass through. As a result, RO-purified water does not have essential minerals. So, it does not taste good, and neither does it have any nutritional value.
So, what is the solution?
The solution is replenishing essential minerals lost during the RO water purification process. Water purifier manufacturers do that in two ways.
One is by using TDS controllers where they introduce the source water bypassing the RO membrane purification process into RO-purified water, which subsequently passes through other purification channels like UF membrane, post-RO activated carbon filters, and UV purification. As a result, the water produced at the end of the cycle contains essential minerals.
However, the downside is that this process is not recommended when the source water has toxic metal contaminants like arsenic, mercury, and lead.
The alternative process uses Mineralizer cartridges with mineral granules that leech on the essential minerals as the RO-purified water passes through them. This is a better method of replenishing essential minerals. However, it is expensive because the mineralizer cartridges get exhausted soon and require frequent replacement. Each cartridge costs between Rs 300 to Rs 1000, depending on the brand. It increases the annual maintenance charges.
All Kent RO water purifiers are equipped with TDS controllers. Aquaguard models also contain TDS controllers.
On the other hand, other prominent brands like AO Smith, Livpure, Pureit, and V-Guard offer mineralizers. Some brands call it a mineral enhancer, while others call it a mineral balancer. This feature is also known as Taste Adjuster in models like Aquaguard. However, the objective is the same: restoring essential minerals to RO-purified water.
Kent has introduced a new range of water purifier models, Kent Supreme Alkaline, with an alkaline booster cartridge, like the mineralizer cartridge described above. In addition, this water purifier has a TDS control valve that performs like a TDS controller mechanism. So, this model has both these features to restore essential minerals and make the water alkaline.
With this background in mind, let us compare the most popular water purifiers available on the Indian market based on the following factors.
While RO is the most widespread water purification method, other processes include ultraviolet lamp treatment (UV), ultrafiltration membrane (UF), activated carbon filtration (pre- and post-RO filters), sediment filters, and microfiltration. Generally, a water purifier offers multiple purification processes, like RO+UV+UF, UV+UF, etc. Users must select the right combination depending on the TDS levels in the source water.
Here are some of the top water purifier brands and models. We shall look at some of the best-seller models on Amazon.
|Water Purifier Model||Purification process|
|Aquaguard Sure Delight NXT||RO + UV + Taste Adjuster (MTDS)|
|Aquaguard Sure Delight NXT (non-RO)||UV + UF|
|Aquaguard D Pure Copper + Alkaline||RO + UV + UF + TDS Controller + Copper + Bio-Alkaline|
|Aquaguard D Pure Zinc Copper||RO + UV + TDS Controller|
|Kent Gold Optima Gravity||UF technology (non-electric)|
|Livpure GLO PRO ++||RO + UV + Taste Enhancer|
|Aquaguard Marvel NXT||RO + UV + UF + Taste Adjuster|
|Kent Supreme Alkaline||RO + UV + UF + Alkaline Booster + TDS Controller|
|Aquaguard Aura||RO + UV + UF + Taste Adjuster|
|HUL Pureit Eco Water Saver||RO + UV + MF|
|V-Guard Zenora||RO + UF + Mineral Balancer|
|HUL Pureit Vital Plus||RO + UV + MP|
We can see that RO water purification is the best for purifying water in India. However, manufacturers of water purifiers produce non-RO appliances to cater to specific user requirements.
The use of the terms Taste Adjuster, Taste Enhancer, Mineral Balancer, TDS Controller, etc. The common objective is replenishing essential minerals lost during the RO water purification process.
Have you noticed water purifier manufacturers use terms like 6-stage, 7-stage, and 8-stage purification? What does it mean? It means that the source water passes through multiple stages of purification. Usually, it comprises a sediment filter (placed outside the machine), pre-filter, pre-RO activated carbon filter, RO membrane, UF membrane, UV lamp chamber, post-RO activated carbon filter, and TDS controller/mineralizer.
Generally, RO water purifiers have many stages of purification, whereas UV/UF purifiers do not. That is one of the reasons why RO water purifiers are more expensive than non-RO water purifiers. Therefore, it makes sense for users to determine the TDS levels in source water before purchasing a water purifier for their home. It can save you a lot of money initially in the pricing difference and later through less maintenance.
Each water purifier model has its unique design. Kent water purifiers differ from other models because they have a transparent body. You can see the different filters and RO membranes in a Kent water purifier. Other models have concealed designs that do not allow you to view the filters and membranes.
The tap design has developed over the years, with models like V-Guard and Aquaguard having stylish taps. Kent has persisted with the same tap design for a long time. Some water purifiers have LED indicators to display the on/off, water purification process, storage tank level, etc. These aspects are consumer conveniences that keep changing with time.
The latest water purifiers from AO Smith have facilities to deliver hot water. The AO Smith Z9 series delivers water at different temperature levels, depending on user preferences.
Kent has introduced a new concept, an in-tank UV-LED feature, to purify water at the final stage before its dispensation. This feature is helpful because it takes care of water contamination that could occur during its storage stage after passing through all purification processes.
Another crucial aspect of the design is the storage tank capacity. Usually, a 6L water storage tank is sufficient for small families. However, an 8L or 10L storage tank is better suited if your family has four members or more. Almost all water purifier manufacturers have models with varying storage capacities. Users can choose according to their requirements.
We have discussed the water taste in RO water purifiers and the significance of TDS controllers and mineralizers in replenishing the essential minerals lost during RO water purification. Besides, most water purifiers contain activated carbon filters that absorb organic compounds and eliminate foul odor from water. UV lamp purification helps kill harmful bacteria like E. coli in human sewage.
Some of the best water purifiers in this category include HUL Pureit, AO Smith, and Livpure whose water taste is equivalent to bottled mineral water we procure from shops.
Water wastage is observed in RO water purifiers alone. The non-RO water purifiers do not waste any water.
The thumb rule is that RO water purifiers waste four parts of water while purifying one part. So, the water wastage in obtaining one liter of RO-purified water is four liters. However, the wastage ratio depends on the TDS levels in the source water. A water source with TDS levels of 1500 ppm will have more water wastage than a water source with 600 ppm TDS. Secondly, the input water pressure decides the quantum of water wastage. The standard inlet water pressure must be at least 40 psi to ensure optimal RO water purification.
HUL ECO Series Models uses a unique proprietary technology to push more water through the RO membrane, reducing water wastage. Studies show this model is the best in reducing water wastage (up to 60% recovery). AO Smith RO Water purifiers are also good at water savings.
Kent uses a different technology known as Zero Water Wastage, which recycles the rejected water to the overhead tank and reduces water wastage to the minimum. This Zero water wastage concept is not suitable for people living in rented houses, apartments, and gated communities.
Water purifier brands like Aquaguard, and Livpure use innovative water-saving technologies to reduce water wastage but water wastage is inevitable in the RO water purification process. The choice boils down to which model wastes less than the others.
All water purifier brands provide after-sales services to their customers. It includes installing the machine and maintenance during the warranty period, which is usually one year. Generally, you do not need to replace the membranes and filters within the first year. So, the after-sales service is usually restricted to regular maintenance.
The after-sales services provided by the manufacturers depend on the location. For example, the after-sales services in metros like Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, etc., are good because all manufacturers have service centers at these prominent locations. But consumers in smaller towns like Surat, Warangal, Tiruchirappalli, etc., might encounter problems with after-sales services because they depend on third-party service providers.
So, after-sales service is a location-specific issue. Much depends on the proficiency of the third-party service providers because complaints about poor after-sales services are generally received from these second-tier towns.
RO water purifiers require more maintenance than non-RO counterparts because they contain more components. Secondly, RO membranes and other filters and cartridges in RO water purifiers require frequent replacement. For example, an RO membrane can usually filter up to 6000 liters of water. So, even if we consume 20 liters of water daily, you will need to replace the RO membrane after 300 days on average.
In contrast, UV lamps last longer and can work for two to three years. Replacing all the filters with the RO membrane is advisable to ensure optimum utility. Users must replace their worn-out filters and membranes with genuine spares. Though more expensive than the local brands, they extend the appliance’s longevity. So, the maintenance costs can vary from one brand to the other.
This comparison table can simplify matters.
|Brands||Approximate Maintenance Charges|
|Kent||RO membrane – Rs 2700 to Rs 3250 |
UF membrane – Rs 650 to Rs 1075
Other filters – Rs 450 to Rs 775
Sediment filters – Rs 250 to Rs 300
Electrical components – depends on the circumstances.
Labor charges – Rs 300 to Rs 450
|HUL Pureit||RO membrane – Rs 2000 to Rs 2500 |
Germ Kill Kit – Rs 600 to Rs 1100
Other filters – Rs 450 to Rs 800
|Aquaguard||RO membrane – around Rs 2500 |
Entire RO filter kit – around Rs 4000
|Havells||RO water filter kit – starting from Rs 2500|
|Livpure||RO membrane price – starting from Rs 2599 |
Maintenance cost – around Rs 5499
|AO Smith||RO membrane – starting from Rs 3500 |
The entire filter kit – around Rs 4500
Maintenance costs – around Rs 4000 to Rs 5000
We recommend consumers take out an AMC for their water purifiers, especially RO ones. The manufacturers offer dedicated AMC services in top-tier cities. However, third-party AMC service providers offer services at comparatively cheaper prices. However, taking an AMC from the manufacturing brand is always beneficial because it guarantees replacement by genuine spare parts.
This comparison table should put things in proper perspective.
|Brand||AMC package per annum|
|Kent||Rs 2000 to Rs 6000, based on the brand model|
|HUL Pureit||Rs 1999 to Rs 5499, based on the brand model|
|Aquaguard||Depending on the model, the AMC starts from Rs 2137|
|Havells||Comprehensive Plan – Rs 2250 to Rs 14250 for a 1-year plan, and Rs 4050 to Rs 25650 for a 2-year plan. |
Semi-comprehensive Plan – Rs 1250 to Rs 10500 for a 1-year plan, and Rs 2250 to Rs 18900 for a 2-year plan.
|Livpure||RO maintenance plan for Rs 5499|
|AO Smith||Plans start from Rs 2500|
However, We advise consumers to check the official websites of the respective brands to know the latest rates for filters, membranes, and AMC costs.
We have discussed the various purification processes and concluded that RO water purification is the best for removing contaminants like heavy metals and dissolved solids. UV is suitable for destroying germs and bacteria from the water. TDS controller mechanism and mineralizer cartridges enhance the water’s taste by replenishing the lost essential minerals. Other filters and membranes play roles in purifying water and making it healthy for consumption.
Though we do not have any favorites regarding the best water purifier brands, our studies show that the top brands of water purifiers are as follows.
- HUL Pureit ECO Water Saver – the best overall because of excellent water savings.
- Sure from Aquaguard Delight NXT – A reasonable budget RO water purifier
- Kent Supreme Alkaline – Ideal for water with high TDS levels
- Pureit Vital Max – A compact design and good at water savings
- AO Smith Z9 – Delivers hot and cold water.