Water Softening Equipment

What Is the Difference Between Activated Carbon Water Filters and Reverse Osmosis Systems?

Water filtration has become a basic necessity everywhere these days. The two most leading types of water filtration is the activated carbon water filter and the reverse osmosis filter. They are both very different in their technologies and have different levels of their drinking water quality. In this article, we compare between reverse osmosis vs. carbon filter and go in deep in their specifications.

Carbon water filter vs. Reverse osmosis

Activated carbon water filters

The carbon water filter is ubiquitous these days and is useful in the removal of chlorine from the water. A high-quality activated carbon filter is much better than a low-end reverse osmosis filter. A high end activated carbon filter can clear up to 99.99% of chlorine content in the water and will also remove all volatile organic compounds and heavy metals. Carbon filtration will not remove viruses, Arsenic, and dissolved salts. Carbon water filter is much healthier to consume than unfiltered tap water. The filters are pretty inexpensive to buy and are easy to install and maintain compared to more sophisticated water purification systems.

Reverse Osmosis water filters

The reverse osmosis filters make use of what is known as membrane technology. It makes uses of the process of osmosis to filter the impurities by passing through a semi-permeable membrane, and the system has many stages of purification. The various stages are:

  • Pre-filter to remove the sediments
  • Carbon block filtration to remove the chlorine
  • A semi-permeable membrane to separate water from other elements
  • Post filter to improve the flavor of the water

As the water is pushed through the semi-permeable membrane, the contaminants are left behind, and therefore the resultant water will be pure and clean. When comparing carbon filtration vs. reverse osmosis, we see that reverse osmosis filters have the ability to clean pollutants like Arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, dissolved salts, heavy metals, mercury, nitrates, parasites, and viruses.

The Reverse osmosis is known to create the purest form of water, removing almost as close to 97% of all impurities in the water. This gives you clean water which can be used for drinking and cooking. This is commonly used in restaurants, but now it is increasingly being seen in houses as well.


Despite the same functionality, the activated carbon filter is a much cheaper option. It clears your water to an extent, but for the purest form of water, you will need to get the reverse osmosis water filtration system.

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