RO vs UV vs UF Water Purifier | Find the Difference!

The choice of water purification technology depends on the quality of the source water. High TDS levels require RO, whereas UF should be ideal for suspended impurities. UV is ideal for neutralizing bacteria, viruses, and harmful microorganisms.

Here is a Quick Comparison table for RO, UV, and UF Water Purification technologies

RO Water PurifierUV Water PurifierUF Water Purifier
Requires Electricity to operateRequires Electricity to operateNo Electricity required
Filters all the Bacteria and Viruses from the Water.Kills all Bacteria and Viruses but their Dead Bodies remain in the Water.Filters all the Bacteria and Viruses from the Water.
Requires Electricity to Boost the Tap Water PressureUV Water Purifiers can work with Normal Tap Water Pressure.UF Water Purifiers can work with Normal Tap Water Pressure.
Can Removes the Dissolved Salts and MetalsCannot remove Dissolved Salts and MetalsCannot remove Dissolved Salts and Metals
Size of membrane: 0.0001 MicronNo membraneSize of membrane: 0.01 Micron
Suitable For High TDS Water above 300ppmSuitable for Low TDS Water below 300ppm.Suitable for Low TDS Water below 300ppm.

Water purifiers use different technologies to purify water. Much depends on the type of contaminants in the source water. So, you must be careful when selecting the ideal water purifier for your home.

RO UV and UF Filters in Purifier
RO UV and UF Filters From Livpure Glo Water Purifier

A wide range of choices, including RO, UV, and UF, is available. This article compares the different technologies and helps you select the best water purifier.

Consider the following real-life situations.

A – Households in coastal areas depending on groundwater OR people living in industrial areas and depending on river water or wells for their water consumption requirements.

Groundwater has high TDS or salt deposits, making it unfit for direct consumption. Besides, people living in industrial areas contend with heavy metal impurities in their water sources. These impurities include mercury, lead, and arsenic.

Vguard Zenora TDS in source water
High TDS Water above 600ppm

Water with TDS levels over 300 ppm (500 ppm as per Indian safety standards) is not fit for human consumption. Since these contaminants are dissolved in water, boiling the water or using other water purification methods is insufficient to remove the impurities. Reverse osmosis is the only solution under such circumstances. Therefore, such people must use RO water purifiers.

B – City residents who have access to RO-purified water from municipalities or water with low TDS levels

Many municipalities or gated communities in cities have RO water purification plants to purify water before supplying it to their residents. Under such circumstances, the water can collect impurities from rusted pipes on its way to the homes. Therefore, the water can have suspended contaminants that require ultrafiltration. Therefore, UF water purifiers are ideal for such homes.

C – People depending on water sources with high chances of contamination by human or animal waste

Vguard Zenora design

Water contaminated by human or animal waste contains high levels of harmful microorganisms, bacteria, and disease-causing viruses. Ultraviolet water purification is perfect for such homes because UV radiation can kill these microorganisms and ensure pure, hygienic water for consumption.

These three real-life situations give you a fair idea of which water purification technology is ideal for purifying water for human consumption.

Reverse Osmosis vs Ultraviolet Radiation vs Ultrafiltration

RO UV UF filters

Water contamination can be of different types. For example, it can include suspended contaminants or dissolved impurities and salts. In addition, there could be microbial contamination. Accordingly, you can select the ideal water purification technology.

The choice of water purifier depends on the nature of the contaminants in the water source.

RO water purifier

  • Check the TDS levels before selecting your water purifier. If the TDS levels exceed 500 ppm, you can use an RO water purifier straightaway.
  • If the TDS levels are less than 500 ppm, but the water has heavy metal impurities, an RO water purifier is the ideal solution.

UF water purifier

  • If TDS levels are less than 500 ppm and the water source has mud, dirt, or other visible suspended impurities, we recommend using a UF water purifier.

UV water purifier

  • A UV water purifier is best suited for purifying water with low TDS levels, no suspended impurities, and high chances of bacterial contamination.
RO water purifiers parts
RO water purifiers parts

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is UF better than RO?

No. RO is a better water purification technology because it can deal with dissolved contaminants, whereas UF can handle suspended impurities alone.

2. Is RO better than UV and UF?

RO is the most efficient among the three water purification technologies because it can remove dissolved impurities and make the water hygienic.

3. What is the pore-size difference between RO and UF membranes?

RO membranes have a pore size between 0.0001 to 0.0002 microns, whereas the pore size in UF membranes is bigger at 0.001 to 0.002 microns.

4. Can UF remove TDS from the water?

No. UF cannot remove dissolved salts from water.

5. Can RO kill bacteria and viruses?

No. RO membranes cannot kill bacteria and viruses but prevent them from passing through if their size exceeds 0.0001 microns.

6. Is RO without UV water good for health?

RO water purifiers work best with UV radiation because UV can kill pathogens and make the water hygienic. In addition, RO water purification can trap the dead bodies of bacteria and viruses and prevent them from contaminating the water.

7. Which type of water purifier is recommended for the home?

It depends on the water source. Generally, an RO plus UV water purifier is the best.

8. Is RO water good for your health?

No. RO water does not have essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, etc. Hence, it is not suitable for daily consumption.

9. What are the disadvantages of RO membranes?

RO membranes are expensive and difficult to maintain. Besides, these water purifiers require water to flow at a specific pressure. So, it can require the installation of a separate pressure pump.

10. Does UF and UV water purification waste a lot of water?

No. UV and UF water purification does not result in water wastage, whereas all RO water purifiers do.

Chaithanya Vanjari
Chaithanya Vanjari
I'm Chaithanya Vanjari, the Creator and Editor-in-Chief at KitchenArena. With a decade of experience in evaluating large appliances like air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, and various small home devices, I possess the technical expertise needed to thoroughly review and understand the operational complexities of these appliances.


  1. After the filtration collected water showing 852 TDS in Ro/uv/ uf filtration filter. Is this water drinkable?

  2. TDS of water supplied to us is approximately 100. We are planning to buy combo of UV+UF Also a normal filter attached outside to it. We want to refrain from buying RO. Is it a good decision?

    • Yes, you can go with the UV UF water purifier. The TDS levels in your water is Good and there is no need to for an RO water purifier.


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