Reverse Osmosis vs. Ultrafiltration: A Fun Look at Two Filtration Systems

by | Dec 7, 2022 | Water filtration

Reverse Osmosis vs. Ultrafiltration


Reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration are two very popular methods of filtration. But what’s the difference? And which one is better for you? In this post, we’ll take a deeper look at both systems.

Reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration are both processes used to purify water, although they have significant differences. Reverse osmosis allows water molecules to pass through a semi-permeable membrane while leaving other impurities behind. On the other hand, ultrafiltration uses hollow membranes with tiny pores to filter out undesirable elements while allowing water and dissolved solids to pass through. The reverse osmosis process requires much higher pressure than ultrafiltration when filtering out contaminants, so it is more energy intensive and more costly. Ultimately, reverse osmosis offers greater purity in comparison to ultrafiltration, but at the cost of higher energy consumption and price tag.

Let’s dive into each system:


Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Reverse Osmosis has become the pinnacle of water filtration, and for good reason. This process sees water pass through a semi-permeable membrane with tiny pores that are 0.0001 microns small. This means that all harmful salt, chemicals, and pesticides have no chance at making it through the filter membrane into your drinking water. Unfortunately, this high quality comes at a cost – it is significantly slower than other methods of filtration and the system required can be rather pricey. Still, many people choose Reserve Osmosis due to its dependable results and guaranteed freshness.


Ultrafiltration (UF)

Ultrafiltration is the cream of the crop when it comes to water filters. This advanced filtration system can remove impurities in tap water that regular systems may miss, such as bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. Ultrafiltration systems provide users with an extra layer of protection – ensuring they’re drinking the cleanest and safest water possible. When shopping around for your own Ultrafiltration system, you’ll need to make sure that you’re comparing models with equal capabilities, so make sure to look closely at claims made by manufacturers. Ultrafiltration can be a big investment, with some premium devices costing hundreds of dollars, but for many households the added peace of mind makes it worth it!


When you have a reverse osmosis water filtration system, there are actually plenty of opportunities to enhance and optimize water quality with the help of additional media. Specifically, options like granular activated carbon, potassium permanganate, and sediment filters can provide significant water-purifying benefits. Granular activated carbon can reduce chlorine levels, odor, and water discoloration. Potassium permanganate does its part by reducing iron and hydrogen sulfide levels in water. Finally sediment filters can be incredibly efficient for removing any type of impurity found within water in order to bring out crystal-clear water that tastes great!

When it comes down to it, reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration both have their advantages and disadvantages when used for home water filtration purposes. Ultimately, the decision as to which type of system is best for you will depend on your individual needs and budget constraints. No matter which option you choose, however, you can be sure that your family will be drinking clean, safe water!