4 of the Best UV Water Purifiers Homeowners Trust in 2024


We’ve spent 60+ hours of research and testing to identify the best UV water purifiers for home use—so that you don’t have to.


Updated: January 5, 2024
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Jeremiah Zac
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Editor's Choice for Best UV Purifier
  • Point-of-use UV filter
  • Flow rate: 2 liters per minute
  • Max PSI: 100
  • UV dosage: >16 mJ/cm²
  • Certification: NSF/ANSI-55
  • Warranty: One year
Click for Best Price!

Our team of experts independently researches and tests products to bring you our best recommendation. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our affiliate disclaimer here.



There are 50+ different UV water purifiers available for you to purchase online today.

Most of them will eliminate pathogens from the water supply as designed, but some are much more effective than others.

We’ve taken the time to select those that are well worth the investment, and that will keep you and your family safe from harmful pathogens.

And we’ve come to our conclusion by researching and testing the different models according to flow rate, UV light intensity, bulb longevity, additional filtration capability, and company reputation.

That’s right, we’re water fanatics and have been for over eight years. And this review of the best UV water purifiers is a testament to our expertise and passion.





Best UV Water Purifier Comparison Chart


ArrowMAX 2.0

  Point-of-use
➤  UV dosage: 16mj/cm2
  Flow rate: 2 Liters per min
  Max PSI 100


Aquasana Whole House UV
Aquasana Rhino Whole House UV Filter

  Whole-house filter + UV
➤  UV dosage: 40mj/cm2
  Point-of-entry
  Flow rate: 7-15 GPM
  500,000 Gallon Capacity
  5-Year Warranty


Springwell UV Purifier

  UV dosage: 30mj/cm2
  Flow rate: 15 GPM
  3-Year Warranty


Crystal Quest UV

  UV only
  Flow rate: 15 GPM
  3-Year Warranty







What are the Best UV Water Purifiers I Should Buy?







Our Top Pick





  • Point-of-use UV filter
  • Flow rate: 2 liters per minute
  • Max PSI: 100
  • UV dosage: >16 mJ/cm²
  • Certification: NSF/ANSI-55
  • Warranty: One year

Image

Acuva Technologies is a water purification manufacturer and distributor based out of BC, Canada. Specializing in UV purification via LED light, Acuva Technologies provides effective purification solutions for homes, RVs, and boats.

The ArrowMAX 2.0 UV-LED water purifier is their most popular residential purification unit, offering 120,000 liters of clean water in its lifetime.

As a point-of-use unit, this UV purifier is meant to be installed at the faucet from which water will be dispensed as opposed to purifying water for the whole house. This makes it useful for small homes, RVs, and boats.

With a flow rate of 2 liters per minute, the ArrowMAX 2.0 is capable of sustaining a high flow of clean, drinkable water consistently. It’s assembled in a high-quality polymer casing with a stainless steel UV reactor.

Acuva also provides pre-filters which are installed prior to the UV purifier, ensuring the removal of sediment and other particulates.

The Acuva package includes the UV unit, smart faucet, carbon pre-filter, and power cord & necessary fittings.

The Acuva unit installs cleanly and easily under the faucet

  What we like most about the Acuva Arrowmax 2.0

As a point-of-use unit, the Arrowmax provides excellent purification of microorganisms and sediment for a single exit point. So, for single faucets, boats, RVs, cabins, and small homes, you'll have everything you need in a single package. The addition of the pre-filter and smart faucet removes the need to purchase any additional filters.

  What we don't like

With a flow rate of 2 liters per minute, this unit is on the lower end of flow rate speeds, thus making it more specialized for point-of-use applications.

  Is it for you?

If you need a reliable UV purification for a single point-of-use and not for the entire household, the Arrowmax provides everything you need to start drinking clean, pathogen-free water.











  • Point-of-entry
  • UV dosage: 40mj/cm2
  • Whole House Water Filter
    • Sediment Filter
    • Copper-zinc for scale reduction
    • Activated Carbon Filter
    • Post Filter
    • UV-purifier
  • Flow rate: 7-15 GPM
  • 500,000 Gallon Capacity
  • 5-Year Warranty


Aquasana Whole House UV

Aquasana is a manufacturing company based out of Austin, TX, and specializes in innovative filtering technology.

The Aquasana Whole House Rhino is a complete home water treatment system that not only removes pathogens via powerful UV purification but also softens water, removes sediment, and provides re-mineralization via carbon filtration.

The activated carbon filter removes heavy metals such as lead and mercury, and organic chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, and industrial solvents. The pre-sediment filter removes larger particles such as sand and silt.

The UV filter eliminates any trace of harmful microorganisms that may lurk in the water supply.

An additional salt-free water conditioner may be added to reduce water hardness for well owners.

The Aquasana Rhino stands at 57" high from the ground level and extends about 10" from the wall

The Rhino package consists of a whole house filter, pre-filter, post-filter, UV-filter & monitor, and all the fittings.

The UV unit is 16" in length and 4" in diameter

Filter replacement is easy, removing only the component itself and leaving the rest of the system undisturbed

  What we like most about the Aquasana Rhino

The Aquasana Rhino is expertly built to transform potentially harmful water into safe, clean, great-tasting water for your entire family. While the build and design are certainly top-of-the-line, one of the best parts about Aquasana would have to be their exceptional customer service team of knowledgeable staff who are always available for consultation.

But what makes the Aquasana Rhino great is that it's much more than just a UV purifier. It eliminates the need to figure out if units from varying manufacturers are compatible with each other. The Aquasana Rhino provides all of your UV, sediment, carbon filtering, and water softening needs into one, very efficient unit.

Throw in a variety of customization options and a 5-year warranty on all products, and it's no wonder Aquasana is one of the best water filtration systems available, period.

  What we don't like

The entire system connects to a mounting bar which rests fairly low to the ground. While it isn't an issue that affects performance in any way, any maintenance done on the system will require you to crouch down, which can be a bit uncomfortable.

  Is it for you?

For homeowners who rely on well water and are concerned about harmful microorganisms from the ground but would rather have all their purification needs met with one unit, the Aquasana Rhino w/UV filter combines everything you need to provide safe, great-tasting water for your whole family.











  • Point-of-entry UV-purifier
  • Flow rate: 15 GPM
  • UV dosage: 30mj/cm2
  • Operating pressure: 10-150 PSI
  • Operating temp: 36-120 F
  • 3-Year Warranty

Springwell UV system

The Blackcomb 5.1 UV purifier by Springwell is a very powerful pathogen disinfectant that can be attached to a standard whole house carbon filtration system. The 30mj/cm2 dose is powerful enough to kill 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and pathogens including Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

What sets the Blackcomb 5.1 apart from other UV purifiers is the “future-proof” expandability port in the splash-proof case for future upgrades and options. A colored user interface allows for easy visual identification of remaining lamp life and any error or fault codes and even incorporates QR codes to access information and videos via the internet.

  What we like most about the Springwell UV filter

Springwell's smart UV monitor provides you with consistent data to indicate how efficient the UV lamp is working and when the bulb needs to be changed. Additionally, the UV lamp of 30mj/cm2 is one of the most powerful UV lamps available.

  What we don't like

The lack of a sediment pre-filter means you'd need to purchase one separately.

  Is it for you?

For those who want the most powerful UV purifier for eliminating tough pathogens such as Crypto and Giardia, the Blackcomb 5.1 is about as powerful as you can get.











  • Point-of-entry UV-purifier
  • 6 GPM Flow Rate
  • 110V or 220V
  • 9000 hr lamp life
  • 3-Year Warranty
Crystal Quest UV

The Crystal Quest UV purifier is a great add-on to any home filtration system. Providing clean water at a rate of 6 gallons per minute and 110V, this UV lamp is powerful enough to provide bacteria, virus, and protozoa-free water for the entire house.

  What we like most about the Crystal Quest UV filter

Crystal Quest's UV filter has a long-lasting bulb and is an efficient and economical method for purifying water via ultraviolet radiation.

  What we don't like

A flow rate of 6 GPM makes this slower than other models and ideal for smaller homes and cabins.

  Is it for you?

This UV purifier is an ideal addition to a water purification system that eliminates heavy metals and sediment but doesn’t kill microorganisms. It may be potentially useful for well water with suspected pathogens.
















Things to Consider When Purchasing a UV Water Purifier



UV ballast

UV light is effective against all microorganisms; however, there is no guarantee of 100% destruction of microorganisms. Nevertheless, a 99.99% reduction is possible, given that the UV unit is maintained properly and certain conditions are met.


Water Quality

Some contaminants absorb or scatter UV light which will affect the transmission of UV rays through water, thus reducing the amount of UV radiation that reaches the microorganisms.

These contaminants commonly found in surface water supplies include iron, manganese, fulvic and humic acid. Thus, disinfection with UV is most effective when used to treat water purified by filtration, which removes such contaminants.

Microorganisms may also be protected by the shadow of dirt, suspended solids, and other forms of floating debris. Water hardness should be at a level that is less than 7 grains per gallon, and the level of Total Dissolved Solids should be lower than 0.3 ppm.


UV dosage

The effectiveness of an ultraviolet (UV) lamp is determined by its energy output, measured in megajoules (mj) per square centimeter (cm2). This parameter is important when evaluating UV filters for well water, as higher energy output translates to better disinfection of bacteria and viruses.

For example, a UV purifier with a dosage of 40mj/cm2 will be more powerful than one with a dosage of 16mj/cm2. However, a lower dosage doesn’t necessarily equate to lesser effectiveness in removing microorganisms. The speed at which water flows through the UV lamp (also known as the flow rate) plays a role in the lamp’s effectiveness. The UV lamp is much more effective at killing microorganisms when water moves slower. Therefore, a higher flow rate will require a higher dosage, and a lower flow rate will require a lower dosage.


Flow Rate

UV units usually have a maximum flowrate capacity and may have a minimum flowrate too. Water with a very high flow rate will most likely pass through the system without being exposed enough to UV light.

On the other hand, water with a very low flow rate may result in overheating of the UV lamp, leading to damage. The flow rate needs to be neither too high nor too low. UV units also work best with constant-flow recirculation systems.

Flow rate for ultraviolet purifiers is measured in Gallons Per Minute (GPM). This is the rate at which contaminated water can flow through the system while being effectively purified. A typical whole-house UV purification system will purify water at 12GPM.


Existing filters

Some UV units are sold as standalone units without any additional filters. These units will only address microorganisms in the water supply but will not remove any other contaminants such as lead, arsenic, sand, silt, pesticides, or pharmaceuticals. Therefore, standalone UV purifiers are best used when added to a preexisting water filtration system or combined with other filtration components such as am activated carbon filter or sediment prefilter.

Some UV units are sold in conjunction with an entire water purification system. As in the case of the Aquasana UV Rhino, the unit includes a UV purifier, activated carbon filter, and sediment prefilter. This system will address microorganisms as well as physical and chemical contaminants.


Wattage

In order to generate the required UV-C, short-wave radiation, the ballast needs to be of a certain wattage. For most households, a 55 Watt, 120 Volt system is enough.


Warranty

Warranties vary between manufacturers, but there is typically a difference between the lamp warranty and the warranty of the other mechanical components. Because the lifespan of a lamp is about one year, it is expected to be replaced annually; therefore, the lamp's warranty will usually be a year. Manufacturers may have different warranties for the other parts, such as housing, and especially if the unit contains other purification systems.

UV purifiers' effectiveness depends on certain qualities of the water, such as hardness, turbidity, and temperature, so be sure to read the terms of the warranty to make sure you don’t void it unknowingly.


Portable UV Units

While water filters are the most common purification device used outdoors, a portable UV device could be useful in conjunction with it.  Portable water filters are effective in eliminating sediment and large bacteria but not all microbes.

UV light will eliminate all microbes but not sediment. A portable filter and UV device such as the SteriPen can make for a great combination when traveling outdoors.








What is UV Radiation?



UV light

UV radiation is invisible electromagnetic radiation in-between visible light and X-ray in the electromagnetic spectrum. UV is naturally present in sunlight, accounting for up to 3 - 5 percent of the sun’s rays in terms of solar energy.

There are three subtypes of UV radiation: UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C, which are long-wave, medium-wave, and short-wave, respectively.

While over-exposure of our skin to UV radiation may damage living tissue and increase our risk of skin cancer, there are many benefits of UV.

UV plays a crucial role in the formation of vitamin D and may help treat skin conditions such as eczema. We also use UV for the disinfection of water due to its germicidal properties.







Understanding How UV Water Purification Systems Work



UV system

UV purification systems disinfect water by sterilizing harmful microorganisms with a UV lamp. These microbiological contaminants include viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, which pose health risks.

The UV lamp emits UV rays with the optimal wavelength, typically 254nm (UV-C). The emitted UV rays penetrate the outer cell membrane of these microorganisms, passing through the cell body to disrupt the DNA.

The DNA is altered by the absorption of UV-C radiation, which breaks the internal chemical bonds and prevents reproduction.  As a result, the microorganism becomes sterile and unable to replicate.


How Are Microorganisms Eliminated?

UV does not kill microorganisms. It inactivates them and prevents them from replicating to produce colonies by attacking their DNA.

The DNA of these microbiological contaminants is coded primarily for the purpose of replication.

The ability of these harmful active microorganisms to replicate, multiply, and form colonies results in waterborne diseases such as Cholera, Typhoid, Dysentery, and Guinea worm disease.

However, when these harmful microorganisms are rendered inactive by disinfectants, they can enter our systems and pass through without causing any harm.

Disinfectants can be of two forms – chemical and physical. UV radiation is a form of physical disinfectant that does not alter the chemical nature of water, making it favorable for disinfection. Chemical disinfectants such as chlorine react with water, thus altering its nature and changing its taste and odor.






Video: How do UV Water Purifiers Work?

What this informative video by Fresh Water Systems explaining how UV water purifiers work.







  • Portable UV purifier for outdoors
  • Works well with filtration device

This portable UV filter is excellent for outdoor travel and will compliment a water filter by ensuring microbe-free water. Reusable for up to 8000 liters, this unit comes with 2 disposable batteries and a neoprene case.


View on Amazon
SteriPen







Advantages and Disadvantages of UV Water Purification



blacklight bulb

Advantages

  1. Purification with UV is very effective. It destroys up to 99.99% of microorganisms present in the water. UV is comparatively more effective than chlorine against viruses.

  2. UV is environmentally friendly and user-friendly. UV is a green alternative to chlorine, and it has no disinfection byproducts. There is also no risk of overdosing, and no potentially harmful chemicals are required.

  3. There is no change in the taste and odor. Unlike chemical disinfection methods like chlorine, which changes the taste and odor of water, UV does not. The chemical structure of water remains the same after treatment with UV.

  4. It is very economical and has very low power consumption. The initial setup cost is relatively low and as well as the operating costs compared to other methods of disinfection, including ozone and chlorine. Hundreds of gallons can be treated at a very low rate in terms of operating costs.

  5. Maintenance is simple and easy. Periodic cleaning is required, as well as an annual replacement of the UV lamp. The installation of the system is also a simple task.


Disadvantages

  1. For the system to effectively disinfect, the water needs to be pretreated to remove debris and dirt. The water needs to be clear and of high quality for a high UV transmittance.

  2. As power is required to operate, the system will not work in the event of a power failure.

  3. UV can only eliminate the microorganisms in the water. Contaminants such as heavy metals, salts, and chemicals cannot be removed with UV, so other methods of filtration are required to ensure the removal of all contaminants from the water.


Best Practices

Because UV purification eliminates microorganisms and not sediment, it is best when used in conjunction with a filtration device. A simple water filtration system installed in the sink will trap heavy metals, salts, and sediment that the UV purifier will not catch.

Another option is to consider a reverse osmosis filtration system that incorporates a UV purifier. These combination systems offer the benefits of both RO and UV. Read our full article on the best reverse osmosis systems for home use.






Components of a UV Purification System 



Ballast for UV

UV purification systems have four main components.


The Reactor Chamber

The reactor chamber is the part of the system that houses the UV lamp and the quartz sleeve. The chamber also controls the flow of water going through the system. Stainless steel is usually used to build the reactor chamber, but some chambers may be manufactured with other materials, such as plastic.


The UV Lamp

The UV lamp produces UV-C radiation which is known to be germicidal. UV lamps contain a bead of mercury which plays a crucial part in the production of UV-C light rays.

UV lamps have filaments that produce an electrical current that heats up the mercury and causes it to evaporate in the air space inside the UV lamp. The evaporated mercury then creates electrical arcs that produce UV-C with various intensity levels, which disinfect water.


The Quartz Sleeve

The quartz sleeve is a long, cylinder-shaped tube made of quartz glass. The sleeve protects the UV lamp placed inside from directly touching the water. The lamp transmits UV light into the water through the tube. As contaminants can cloud the sleeve, you have to clean it whenever the UV lamp is replaced to avoid a decrease in functionality.


The Controller Unit

The controller unit acts as the brain of the UV purification system. The unit controls the electrical output of the UV lamp and powers the lamp to produce the UV-C radiation needed to destroy microorganisms.

Controllers may vary in terms of complexity depending on the requirements of the system. Some are a simple cap fitting over the end of the lamp, while others have more elements – lamp-change timers, low-UV alarms, and trouble-indicating lights to alert the owners in the event of a system failure.











Maintenance Tips for Home UV Water Purification Systems



Replace the UV Lamp Annually

Although UV lamps do not burn out like fluorescent lamps, they will solarize. As the lamp solarizes, it loses its intensity to around 60% of that of a new UV lamp which decreases the UV dosage. New lamps generate a dosage of 60,000 µW-s/cm2 which drops to about 36,000 µW-s/cm2 (the minimum required dosage to effectively eliminate microorganisms) after a year.

To prevent a decrease in the effectiveness of the system, you will have to replace the UV lamp annually. Keep in mind that frequently turning on and off the lamp (less than once every 8 hours) will shorten its life span.


Monitor the System’s Performance Regularly

To ensure that the system is functioning properly, you will have to sample water and test for bacteria count on a regular basis. You can sample the water before and after purification with the system and then compare the bacteria counts to determine whether the system is effective.


Clean the Quartz Sleeve

Deposits of minerals and debris will eventually form on the surface of the quartz sleeve. This will, in turn, reduce the penetration of the transmitted UV radiation through the sleeve and into the water. To remove these deposits, the quartz sleeve needs to be cleaned regularly, depending on the water quality. Minimal cleaning will be required for water pretreated via reverse osmosis, distillation, and deionization.


Monitor the System’s UV Dosage Regularly

UV light intensity meters can be used to indicate the penetration of UV rays through the quartz sleeve and the water. The intensity level determines whether the UV dosage, thus indicating when you need to clean the sleeve or replace the lamp. A high UV dosage will have no negative impact on the purity of the water. However, a low UV dosage indicates that the system is not adequately disinfecting the water.

As maintaining UV purification systems is simple and easy, you can do the maintenance by yourself.  If you do, however, encounter any difficulties, you may contact a water treatment professional to assist you with the process.




Conclusion



Ultraviolet radiation is one of the most efficient ways to inactivate life-threatening microbes in the water. The UV light renders their DNA ineffective almost instantly. Because UV purification doesn't remove sediment, it is best used alongside a proper filtration system. Whether using UV light to filter water for a house or for traveling outdoors, you can assure that waterborne diseases will not be a threat.



Editor's Choice for Best UV Purifier
  • Point-of-use UV filter
  • Flow rate: 2 liters per minute
  • Max PSI: 100
  • UV dosage: >16 mJ/cm²
  • Certification: NSF/ANSI-55
  • Warranty: One year
Click for Best Price!


Thank you for taking the time to read our article on the best UV water purifiers. We'd love to hear your feedback in the comments section below. If you've found this article to be useful and are interested in learning more, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.


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I'm Jeremiah, the owner of World Water Reserve. I'm a writer and researcher with a particular interest in sustainability and rural living, water scarcity, and innovative water purification methods. I utilize my multimedia and communication experience in the NGO and humanitarian fields to bring light to important topics. My passion is to educate others on the reality of the global water crisis and on ways to sustain themselves and their families in the midst of it.
Jeremiah Zac