Behind the Label: Is Bottled Water Distilled?

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Wondering whether bottled water is distilled? Can you use bottled water in situations that require distilled water?

Find out everything you need to know in this guide.

πŸ“Œ Key Takeaways:

  • Not all bottled water is distilled.
  • Most bottled waters are sourced from natural springs or treated in filtration systems or with purification processes – not water distillation.
  • Bottled distilled water isn’t the best drinking water because it’s not very tasty and lacks healthy minerals. Most people buy distilled water in bottles to use in a CPAP machine or for other non-drinking purposes.

πŸ€” What Is Distilled Water?

Let’s begin with a super quick definition of distilled water, since it’s important to understand how water qualifies as “distilled” before we start looking at bottled drinking water.

Distilled water is a type of purified water that has had all its dissolved minerals and impurities removed as a result of the distillation process. It’s one of the purest forms of water because it’s essentially just hydrogen and oxygen.

To make distilled water, normal tap water is boiled until it evaporates. This evaporated water vapor leaves the boiling chamber (where the impurities are left behind) and travels down a cooling corridor before condensing in a separate location. This condensed water is free from all impurities, including organic and inorganic minerals, salts, metals, chemicals, pathogens, and more.

Illustration of the distillation process

πŸ”Ž Are All Bottled Waters Distilled?

No, all bottled drinking water is not distilled.

There are several different types of bottled waters:

  • Bottled spring water
  • Bottled filtered water
  • Bottled purified water
  • Bottled alkaline water
  • Bottled aquifer water

The majority of bottled waters are spring water and aquifer water, meaning that they come from an underground source and are naturally filtered – but not purified – before they’re sourced and bottled. These waters don’t undergo any purification processes, although they might be filtered to make them safe to drink, depending on their natural quality.

Some brands take water from a normal municipal (tap) water supply and filter or purify this water to improve its quality. These manufacturers may remove contaminants with a simple filtration method, such as a carbon filter, or they might use a more comprehensive purification process – typically reverse osmosis, but sometimes distillation.

Pouring water from glass bottled water

πŸ“‹ Which Bottled Water Brands Sell Distilled Water?

There are a few bottled drinking water brands that sell distilled water. You should be able to find many of these at your local store or online.

These include:

  • Pure Life Distilled Water
  • Snugell Distilled Water
  • Resway Distilled Water
  • RPI Distilled Water
  • Smartwater Vapor Distilled Water
  • Mars Wellness Distilled Water
  • Ice Mountain Distilled Water
  • Arrowhead Distilled Water

A few of these brands, including Smartwater and Arrowhead, also sell non-distilled water products, so check that you’re definitely buying distilled water (this should be displayed clearly on the bottle label) before you spend your money.

Also note that some brands sell “purified” water, but that doesn’t mean the water is distilled. Only buy the water if it’s labeled as “distilled” or “vapor distilled”.

πŸ“‰ Why Isn’t Bottled Distilled Water Popular?

We think the reason why bottled distilled water isn’t super popular is that the process of distillation isn’t practical or convenient for large-scale water purification.

Distillation takes hours and uses a lot of energy. It involves boiling water until it evaporates, leaving the impurities and dissolved solids behind, then cooling the water vapor until it condenses into a separate container. This boiling, evaporation, cooling, and condensing takes hours, and requires constant energy to boil the water and cool the vapor.

Other purification processes, like reverse osmosis (RO), are much quicker to produce purified water and make more sense in a large-scale manufacturing situation.

We think that’s why most manufacturers choose to purify their water with other means, so they can still use the “purified water” status without having to manage the water distillation process.

Keep in mind that distilled and purified water are not the same, so don’t assume that bottled drinking water product is distilled unless it specifically says so on the label.

Inspection of bottled water processing plant

🧐 Is Distilled Water The Best Bottled Water?

No, distilled water isn’t necessarily the best bottled drinking water you can buy.

While distilled water has the advantage of being free from all possibly dangerous pollutants and contaminants, it’s also lacking in beneficial minerals. Plus, distilled water has a “flat” taste that isn’t very pleasant.

Drinking distilled water is safe, so you could drink bottled distilled water exclusively if you wanted to, as long as you were getting good amounts of certain minerals (like calcium and magnesium) in your diet.

But if you’re an avid bottled water drinker and have certain taste preferences, you’ll probably prefer a spring water product with natural minerals. You can drink distilled water, but most people buy bottled distilled water for other uses, like filling their steam iron or pickling/canning foods.

πŸ“‘ Final Word

So, not all bottled waters are distilled. If you specifically need distilled water, read the label carefully and check the manufacturer’s website before you buy the water.

Remember, it’s safe to drink distilled water, but it’s not necessarily the healthiest or tastiest water type you can buy in bottles.

If you want to drink water that’s definitely safe but still contains healthy minerals, your best bet is to filter your own tap water at home. This gives you more control over what you remove from your water – and it’s much more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than going through tens of plastic bottles every week.

❔ FAQ

Can I use bottled water instead of distilled?

No, you can’t use bottled water instead of distilled in a situation that calls for distilled water – unless the bottled water is definitely distilled . Most bottled water products aren’t distilled, so you can’t substitute bottled water for distilled water because it may contain impurities and pollutants that are dangerous for your intended purpose.

Is purified bottled water distilled?

Not necessarily. If a bottled water product is “purified”, it may have been treated with another purification process, like reverse osmosis. Some manufacturers also say that their water is “naturally purified” (for instance, if it’s sourced from a very deep aquifer or spring), but this isn’t the literal definition of purified and the water will usually still contain trace amounts of minerals, metals, and other contaminants. Look for the words “distilled” or “vapor distilled” on the bottle to be certain that the water is distilled.

Is Aquafina water distilled?

No, Aquafina water isn’t distilled. Aquafina is a purified water product that, according to the manufacturer, is treated with rigorous purification techniques, including RO and other filtering/purification methods. There’s no mention on Aquafina’s website or on its product labels of the water being distilled.

Can I use bottled water in my CPAP?

CPSP machines require distilled water, so you should only use bottled water in your CPAP if the water is definitely distilled. Check the bottle label or look for more information on the manufacturer’s website if you’re unsure.

  • Laura Shallcross
    Senior Editor

    Laura is a passionate residential water treatment journalist who holds an undergraduate degree in Print Journalism and a master’s degree in Creative Writing. Over a span of 5 years she's written on a range of topics including water softening, well water treatment, and purification processes.

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