Reverse Osmosis vs. Water Softener: Which Is Better for Drinking? - Water Wisdom - Mayu Water Blog

Reverse Osmosis vs. Water Softener: Which Is Better for Drinking?

Photo of Cameron-Leigh Henning
By Cameron-Leigh Henning
Nevena Radulović - Editor for Mayu Water
Edited by Nevena Radulović

Published January 16, 2023.

A close-up of water being poured into a glass from a glass jug

A new year usually means new goals too, especially when it comes to your health. One of the ways to ensure you're staying on top of your health is by drinking cleaner water in your home. Two common options for improving your home water quality are reverse osmosis filters and water softeners.

However, these play two different roles in the water treatment process. While reverse osmosis systems filter the water with the use of a membrane, water softeners soften the water by removing certain minerals. Choosing between reverse osmosis and a water softener can be confusing, so we've outlined the essentials of each method to help you make an informed decision.

» Reverse osmosis vs. water softener: learn whether you need both

Reverse Osmosis

Man pouring water into a glass jug from a tap with an RO filter

The reverse osmosis system works to purify your water by using a semi-permeable membrane to filter any contaminants in the water. This filter pushes water under high pressure through the membrane, where its tiny pores remove up to 99% of lead, asbestos, and 82 other contaminants like chlorine, mercury, arsenic, microplastics, salt, herbicides, pesticides, dissolved minerals, and other chemicals. The reverse osmosis system is also a great idea if your water has an unpleasant taste or smell, in addition to being effective at softening hard water.

Benefits of Using a Reverse Osmosis System

  • Better-tasting water: RO water typically tastes better than tap water because the reverse osmosis system filters out the minerals and contaminants that make the water taste bad.
  • Removed chemicals: Reverse osmosis is highly effective at removing unwanted contaminants in drinking water. It works to filter out most bacteria, parasites, chemicals, heavy metals, and organic compounds thanks to its efficient filtering membrane.
  • Healthier water: RO water has various health benefits because it contains no harmful contaminants that could cause health issues, like parasites and heavy metals.
  • Environmentally friendly: Reverse osmosis is one of the greenest solutions for filtering water because it doesn't use any chemicals to clean the water, and there's no single-use plastic involved in the process.

However, despite the benefits outlined above, reverse osmosis water results in water that's completely free of minerals, even those minerals from tap water that may be healthy. As there are some essential minerals your drinking water should have, reverse osmosis water should be remineralized to add these back. As one of the healthiest ways to remineralize your RO water, consider using Essential Mineral Drops to get the job done.

By adding minerals to your water in the form of drops, you'll be opting for a simple way to ensure you're getting all the health benefits your body needs from your drinking water.

MAYU Minerals | Essential Drops

4.9/5(818 reviews)

Water Softener

Water softening

Water softeners work to reduce the hardness of your water by removing certain minerals like calcium and magnesium that cause the water to be hard and replacing them with ones that make it softer. As opposed to reverse osmosis, water softeners do preserve some minerals in water that are good for you.

Water softeners use an ion exchange process. The resin beads inside the water softener trap calcium and magnesium molecules and replace them with sodium and potassium. Once the resin beads are full of calcium and magnesium, a very concentrated sodium or potassium solution removes the hard minerals from the beads.

Benefits of Using a Water Softener

  • Good for appliances: Soft water is an appliance-friendly solution, as it prevents the damaging effects of hard water on dishwashers, heaters, ice makers, coffee machines, and washing machines. Hard water causes scale to build up on the inside of these appliances, which reduces their efficiency and lifespan.
  • Shinier dishes: Hard water causes a cloudy appearance on dishes as soon as they dry. Water softeners resolve this problem by removing the minerals that cause this cloudy film. Softer water also fuses more efficiently with detergents and soaps, meaning there's more cleaning action.
  • Reduced clogged pipes: The calcium and magnesium minerals in hard water form a scale build-up that eventually clogs your pipes. This can cause irreversible damage to your plumbing system, whereas soft water has no detrimental effects on pipes and plumbing.
  • Softer hair and skin: Water softeners are very beneficial for your skin and hair if you use soft water for showering or bathing. The minerals that make water hard prevent it from being completely soluble in soaps, resulting in soap residue. Using soft water means your skin holds moisture easier because it contains fewer minerals that usually prevent this absorption. What's more, soft water will balance the pH of your hair, making it softer and shinier.

» Compare different water types: learn which is the healthiest for you

RO vs. Water Softener: Choose the Healthiest Option

Both reverse osmosis and water softeners are useful in their specific areas. While water softeners don't work to purify water, they do prevent other serious issues like plumbing damage. However, when it comes to drinking water, reverse osmosis systems are better for filtering it from harmful contaminants, but they also remove the essential minerals that your body needs.

That's why it's important to remineralize your reverse osmosis water with drops like Mayu's Essential Mineral Drops, which will provide you with a simple and convenient way to ensure you're drinking the healthiest water available.

MAYU Minerals | Essential Drops

4.9/5(818 reviews)