Saveourh2o is supported by its audience. When you purchase via our links, we may get a commission. Learn more

The Best Water Purification Tablets for Emergencies & Outdoor Use

Writen by Ronald Brown

Fact checked by Natalie Bridges

Even military men use the best water purification tablets. In remote areas where access to clean water is hard to come by, these tablets come in handy. They can help purify and clean water for drinking. These purification tablets are also for survivalists, emergency preppers, and anyone looking to have clean water anywhere.

best water purification tablets

They are also easy to use, affordable, and with long shelf life. But then, it can be hard to find what is for you in these purification tabs without an idea of what to compare. In the following, we’re featuring the top suggestions that you can choose from.

Although water purification tablets offer convenience like no other water treatment methods can, choosing the right product could be a hit or miss. You might want to consider the following top three factors to land the best purification tablet for your needs.

  • Purification Time: Water purification tablets vary in purification time, from super-quick 30 minutes to an arduous four-hour wait. Although waiting is better than not killing the germs in your drinks, some situations call for quick-acting solutions. Hence, would you choose a tablet that gets your water ready in half an hour, or are you willing to kill time?
  • Germs Killed or Inactivated: Like any other product, no two water purification tablets are identical. They might kill the same water-borne disease-causing germ, but one eradicates more microbes than the other. It is also worth noting that some formulations are ineffective against Cryptosporidium, while others have a broad-spectrum-like antimicrobial activity.
  • Taste/Odor Effects: Killing microorganisms with a disinfectant can naturally impact the water’s aesthetic qualities. Although it’s expected for some tablets to change the taste of drinks, you would still want a pleasant experience. Hence, a water purification tablet that does not impart unnecessary odor and flavor to your water is ideal.

Also, we’re writing about the things to check when finding a purification tablet. Keep reading and learn more about purification tablets for water.


Top-Rated Products

Best Overall

Potable Aqua Water Tablets


Editor’s Pick

Aquamira Water Treatment


Best Value for Money

Aquatabs Water Tablets


Table of Contents

Top-Quality Water Purification Tablet Reviews

1. Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets

Water is essential. Water that is safe for drinking is even more critical because it is something that our bodies use. Thanks to water purification tablets like the portable Aqua Water tablets with PA Plus, access to safe drinking water is made easier and more convenient.

You can surely trust these water treatment tablets because even the military uses them and other organizations. The Potable Aqua water purification tablets are designed and proven to disinfect and filter contaminated water and turn it into water that is safe for human consumption.

When you purchase this, you’d be getting two kinds of tablets. The first one is the drinking water tablets that are responsible for making the water bacteriologically appropriate for drinking. The second bottle is the PA Plus tablets, which will be responsible for removing or at least neutralizing any aftertaste in the water. It will also improve the overall color of your water. The whole process takes 35 minutes to complete.

The usage of the water purification tab is simple too. It will just require you two tablets of the germicidal tablets and two of the PA Plus, and these should be enough to clean one liter of water. You don’t need to worry about bacteria or Giardia lamblia anymore because these tablets are effective in getting rid of these health-threatening parasites. You can rely on it in purifying microbiological water, too.

Another thing that you’d love about these tablets is you can take them everywhere you go. It is small, and it doesn’t require plenty of space. It is space-efficient and weighs almost nothing at all. What’s best is it doesn’t need any cables or additional accessories to make it work. It is something that you should always have with you when you go camping, hiking, or when visiting places where water quality and taste are not reliable.

Although the PA Plus should remove the aftertaste of Iodine, expect that there is still a slight taste of Iodine since it is still considered chemically treated water. Overall, these purification tablets are reliable and competent. It is a good practice to carry a stash with you because these tablets are useful in times of emergency. The purification tabs can very well be the reason for your survival and improve water taste.
What We Like
  • Used by the Military and other emergency organizations
  • Effectively removes contaminants and impurities
  • Processing time is only 35 minutes
  • Easy to use and might improve the taste
  • Convenient purification to carry around
What We Don’t Like
  • Slight iodine aftertaste after treatment

2. Aquamira Chlorine Dioxide Water Treatment

Aquamira might not impress hardcore mysophobes, but it has sufficient germ-killing power to make it the preferred water purification tool for backpacking enthusiasts and emergency preppers.

Some folks might be wary of this product’s liquid formulation, preferring a tablet for optimum convenience. However, I must point out that liquid preparations are equally effective and effortless to use.

Travelers and backpackers only need to mix seven drops of Bottle A with seven drops of Bottle B and wait five minutes to activate the compound. They can then pour this solution into a quart of water, stir or shake it, and wait for the product to do its job.

The germ-free water is ready to drink within 15 to 30 minutes. That is a lot better than the four-hour wait for the best water purification tablets. Solid preparations require time to dissolve in the water before they start purifying (i.e., killing the germs).

I am also glad this treatment liquid has an EPA registration. And if I am to refer to CDC’s guidelines, this kit’s chlorine dioxide can kill viruses, bacteria, and Giardia while showing moderate effectiveness against Cryptosporidium.

Although the kit only contains two fluid ounces (an ounce each for the solution and the activator), it can purify up to 30 gallons. That is impressive for a tiny two-bottle disinfectant.

My only concern about this water sanitizer is its impact on the water’s aesthetics. Some users reported noticing a distinct smell, and the water’s taste was “different,” a bit like chlorine.

Still, I recommend this formulation to anyone wary about drinking germ-contaminated water. It is a reliable and quick-acting system for killing microorganisms that give people tummy aches and other health problems.
What We Like
  • Kills viruses, bacteria, and cysts with chlorine dioxide
  • Quick-acting effects within 15 to 30 minutes
  • Effortless to prepare and use (mix and wait)
  • 30-gallon capacity
  • EPA-registered
What We Don’t Like
  • Not odorless and tasteless

3. Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets

Aquatabs has gained a lot of popularity thanks to their 100% effectiveness in purifying water. You’d find strong confidence in purchasing this product because it is proven to remove harmful bacteria, microorganisms, and viruses safely. These clean water tablets follow the principle of chlorination, known to be the most effective way of public health improvement.

Based on all the available Aquatabs reviews online, it is no wonder that this product has remained widely accepted for the last 20 years because it could gain the trust of its consumers when it comes to water purification. Aquatabs quickly dissolve in water and are composed of 16.88% Sodium Dichloroisocyanurate producing 2.6ppm of chlorine. These tablets make a powerful treatment against Giardia, bacteria, cysts, and viruses.

You don’t have to be wary of having to ensure string aftertaste or water after using Aquatabs because it doesn’t have any aftertaste. It doesn’t have any odor or color that might make you a little doubtful if it was a successful treatment. What makes it even better is it has a five-year shelf life, so extended stays in foreign and remote areas would pose no problem.

Carrying it around won’t pose as a problem either. It barely weighs anything, and it can easily fit inside your pocket, your wallet, your pouch, and your backpack compartment. It is also highly recommended that you stash some in your emergency preparedness kit or your emergency relief pack because you’d never know when you’d need it.

With a standard certification from NSF/ANSI and being recognized by agencies around the world, you can’t get wrong with the Aquatabs.

The only drawback here is it takes a little while for the filtration process to be completed. You’d need to allocate half an hour before you can safely drink your water. Peace of mind and access to safe drinkables are just two of what Aquatabs tablets can offer you. This is an excellent purchase with an effectiveness rating of above average, which makes it a life-saving tablet when the need arises.
What We Like
  • The long shelf life of 5 years
  • Passed the NSF/ANSI standards
  • Tested to remove bacteria, viruses, cryptosporidium, and Giardia
  • Easy to carry and transport
  • No aftertastes
What We Don’t Like
  • Wait time on the filtering process takes 30 minutes to complete

4. Coghlan’s Drinking Water Tablets

The Coghlan’s drinking water tablet is a germicidal tablet that is perfect for emergencies where you don’t have access to clean water that is suitable for drinking. These treatment tablets can make most water become bacteriologically fit for drinking.

Coghlan is a brand that is committed to making the outdoors more enjoyable and comfortable. They have several products solely dedicated to hiking, fishing, camping, and RVing, and now, with these tablets, you can surely be sure that your outdoor fun won’t be interrupted because of any drinking water issues.

These tablets use compounds of Iodine, so after treatment, you don’t need to worry about a possible unpleasant taste or smell. You can easily tag these tablets along with you and won’t even feel that you have them with you. It weighs nothing at all and barely takes up any space so you can easily keep it inside your wallet, purse, or knapsack. It is also highly recommended that you keep a couple of these tablets in your emergency preparedness kit or bag for any challenging survival times.

What makes this reliable is it is proven to be extremely effective against Giardia, viruses, and other contaminants found in water. Another benefit you get from this is the efficiency of its filters, as it can screen down to a nominal 1 micron. This is additional proof that there would be no impurities left in your water thanks to the power of Coghlan’s drinking water tablets.

Heads up, though, that this brand might be a wee more expensive compared to other brands, and it is only designed to filter a total of 25 quarts of water. You get the quality that you pay for, and these tablets are nothing but short when it comes to success and reliability. Overall, the tablets are highly-rated if you might have read it in a water purification tablets review.
What We Like
  • No aftertaste
  • Effectively removes contaminants and impurities
  • Can efficiently screen down to 1 micron
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Ease of use
What We Don’t Like
  • Pricier compared to other purification tablets

5. Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets

With Potable Aqua, you are sure that your water will always be safe, and you’d readily have access to clean water whenever you want a safe drink. You will find this as a perfect travel companion, especially if you are keen on going to remote areas and taking pleasure in the outdoors.

These water tablets to purify water will convert questionable water to bacteriologically suitable water to drink when needed. The process is also straightforward. You just must add two of these tablets to a liter of water. Note that when you just added the tablets, you need only to cap the water bottle or water container loosely.

After five minutes, shake your water container so the screw threads can be moistened. After this, you can proceed to tighten the cap of your bottle. Give it half an hour for the Aqua germicidal tablets to take effect and disinfect your water. After this process, you can proceed to enjoy your newly purified drinking water.

With such a convenient and easy way to use it, it is highly recommended for outdoor activities like camping, traveling, and hiking. It is also a good idea for you to include it in your emergency kit or bag for any untoward situations. Based on the reviews and tests, the Aqua Germicidal water purification table is very effective for protecting against Giardia lamblia and other bacteria, especially when directions on how to use it are diligently followed.

Depending on the overall water quality, a bottle contains 50 tablets, so you have 20 days to use for every purchase.

Heads up, though, that this tablet has an active ingredient of Iodine, so it would have been nice if a notice or guideline advising the consumers that it’s perfectly normal for untreated water to turn slightly yellowish-brown. First-time users might freak out, but now that this is a natural chemical reaction. This is nice to carry along with you even if you have access to clean and safe drinking water because you’d never know when you might need it. It is a useful and worthy purchase.
What We Like
  • One bottle has 50 tablets
  • The wait time of 35 minutes and water purification is done
  • Perfect for outdoor activities and emergency purposes
  • Easy to carry and transport
  • When used as advised, it is effective against Giardia lamblia
What We Don’t Like
  • No heads about possible watercolor change

6. Katadyn Water Purification Tablets

One of the proven water disinfection tablets is the Katadyn Micropur MP1. A highly suggested must-have when you’d be spending time outdoors and visiting areas where the quality of drinking water is questionable and unreliable.

Designed to purify water from whatever available resources, this treatment tablet when used as directed, can be very efficient when it comes to eradicating bacteria, viruses, cryptosporidium, and Giardia. Each tablet is good for one liter of water. When you add these tablets to the water to be treated, it releases Chlorine dioxide, which is a known effective agent against cysts, viruses, and bacteria. What’s best is the tablets don’t leave any aftertaste. It even improves the overall quality, odor, and taste of the treated water.

You can quickly bring this along regardless if you have plans to leave the country or stay outdoors. It is good to carry it around with you, and since it doesn’t take much space and is practically weightless, it shouldn’t be a problem. It can be your lifesaver in emergencies. These easy to use drinking water purification tablets are bought per pack with each pack containing 30 tablets; and for your additional peace of mind, these products were able to meet EPA requirements and standards when it comes to microbiological water purifiers, so reliability and effectiveness are already a guarantee.

The downside of this tablet is its filtering processing time, which is longer than the rest of the competition. The water should be ready and safe for drinking after 4 hours. These tablets are the perfect choice for access to safe and healthy drinking water when the water supply is not that reliable. It works and is very cost-effective.
What We Like
  • One pack has 30 packets of tablets
  • Passed the EPA standards for microbiological water purifiers
  • Tested to remove bacteria, viruses, cryptosporidium, and Giardia
  • Easy to carry and transport tablets
  • Improves the overall quality, odor, and taste of the treated water
What We Don’t Like
  • Wait time on the filtering process takes 4 hours to complete

7. Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets

Another smart choice when looking for effective purification tablets is the Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide tablets. A single pack contains 30 tablets. You’d be pleased to know that these tablets have 2.6 times the oxidizing capability compared to chlorine. This would make you more confident in drinking the water treated by these purification tablets knowing that it can effectively remove and protect you against bacteria, viruses, and cysts. Your drinking water is safe from microorganisms like Cryptosporidium and Giardia lamblia with Potable Aqua chlorine.

Additionally, the combination of active components in the water purifying tablets creates a reaction in the water, thus creating chlorine dioxide. The disinfectant is EPA’s acceptance of microbiological purifying standards when it comes to the reliability of questionable water being converted to water that is safe for human consumption. Also, there is no aftertaste after the treatment with the Potable Aqua chlorine.

You’d like how each tablet is individually wrapped. Hence, it is very convenient to stash and carry around during travels, outdoor adventures, and any activities you may have. It doesn’t require a lot of space, and it barely weighs anything. Hence, it is very convenient for you to simply have it inside your purse, backpack, and emergency disaster packs.

The shelf life for these tablets is four years, and for use, you would only need one tablet for every 1 liter of water. These Potable Aqua chlorine tablets are something that hopefully you won’t need to use. Still, just in case, it should be enough to keep you afloat and hydrated.

One minor setback for the Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide water purification tablet is the wait time for it to complete the purification process is quite long compared to its competitors. The whole process takes 4 hours. The wait time is not a deal-breaker at all. You won’t want to compromise your safety in purification so that you can rush the process.
What We Like
  • No aftertaste
  • Effectively removes contaminants and impurities
  • Easy to carry around
  • The shelf life of 4 years
  • Meets EPA standards
What We Don’t Like
  • Long processing time of 4 hours

8. Rothco Water Purification Tablets

Currently used by the Military, the Rothco Chlor-Floc purification water tablets come in powder form and transform the dirtiest water into one that is safe and ideal for drinking. When protecting the freedom of the US, having an upset stomach because of bad water is the least of the soldiers’ concerns. This packet of powder is reliable and has proven to be the answer to bad water concerns.

You would surely appreciate having a few packets of these in your emergency knapsack and bag, especially if you are to spend time in a remote place or would be going backpacking, camping, hiking, or areas where boiling water is not feasible. Although the whole purification process takes about 7-10 minutes, you can be sure of safe water afterward. For this, you will have to do it the military way of using a cloth or a bandanna to sift any of the undissolved pieces of the Rothco Chlor-Floc before you can drink the water.

Filtered water using this product would be free and rid of Giardia, viruses, and bacteria. You would only need 1-2 packs for every 1 liter of water, so the 30 packets in every purchase can last you about two weeks. The process is also straightforward. You pour the contents of the purification pack into your bottled water and shake it for a bit. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, and after that, you can pour it over a shirt, bandanna, or even a coffee filter into another container and satisfy your thirst.

The only major drawback of this kind of purification is it has a short shelf life, so you must be vigilant and check the expiration date and make frequent replacements. Indeed, this one is a necessity, especially if you are outdoors or in a foreign location without an assurance of safe drinking water. It is super transportable as it doesn’t take up much space and weighs almost nothing at all.
What We Like
  • One pack has 30 packets
  • The wait time of 7 minutes and water purification is done
  • Perfect emergency purposes
  • Easy to carry and transport
  • Dissolves easier
What We Don’t Like
  • Short shelf life

9. CamelBak Cleaning Tablets

Sometimes we are too focused on getting the harmful components out of our water supply that we fail to provide the same attention to the bottles that hold our water. It defeats the purpose of having water treated to make sure that it is safe for consumption when the actual storage space of your water is not even safe and clean.

This is where cleaning tablets and other cleaning kits come into play to ensure that all your accessories in water consumption are safe and clean. Right now, one of the highly popular ones is the Camelbak cleaning tablets that can ensure that your water bottles and reservoirs are meticulously cleaned and without any odor or aftertaste.

These water filtering tablets self-dissolve easily and are designed for practicality to be broken in half for the sake of water vessels with a smaller spout and opening. After the tablet completes its task, it leaves zero films, odor, or residue. This cleaning agent is also free from fragrances, preservatives, and phosphate, so you can be confident that you are cleaning your water reservoir with the highest and safest components.

You will receive a total of 8 cleaning tablets but note that this cleaning tablet is only compatible with Camelbak water reservoirs and bottles. It is specially designed for this brand, so you must be using the same brand to achieve satisfying results.

One thing you must consider about this cleaning tablet would be the price, as it is pricier than other cleaning tablets and agents. This cleaning tablet works great and is a great buy too. It is worth the purchase and effectively cleans any Camelbak.
What We Like
  • Eight cleaning tablets in a pack
  • Can be broken into two to accommodate smaller water containers
  • Does not leave any residue, film, or odor
  • Easy to carry and transport
  • Self dissolves quickly
What We Don’t Like
  • Only compatible with Camelbak water containers

10. Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets

Everybody, including you, would like a water purification tablet that is easy and safe to use. More than that, you’d also want it to be 100% effective. You can rest easy because the Aquatabs water purification tablets are what you are looking for. These tablets are iodine-free tablets that can effectively kill microorganisms that are in the water. These include but are not limited to viruses, Giardia, bacteria, and cysts. They can help clean microbiological water and make it drinkable.

You would feel and know that it is working because of its quick-acting effervescent formulation. This fizzy process will have your drinking water ready for consumption in as little as 30 minutes after using the tablets. You’ll be extra pleased knowing that after the water is treated, you won’t be able to smell or taste anything unpleasant to add to your discomfort.

Also, it is a total confidence booster knowing that Aid Agencies are also using the Aquatabs during times of emergencies. The Defense Forces and various NGOs have been using this for over 20 years already. This is a testament to its efficiency and that the water results after treatment are free of bacteria, viruses, Giardia, and cysts. These tablets are produced to meet international standards for human use in drinking water through the NSF/ANSI standard certifications. Each pack contains 30 tablets enough to treat about 60 quarts of water.

One thing that might convince you to use these tablets is that with your purchase, you are also unknowingly donating 600 liters of water to Benin, Africa. Yes, Aquatabs has committed that every purchase will warrant the company purifying 600 liters so everyone can soon have access to clean and safe potable water.

Easy to fit in your camping bags, emergency disaster kits, and relief packs not to mention inside your pocket; the only con for this product is there is still a very faint aftertaste after being treated. It is a great buy and something you can always keep handy as you’d never know when an emergency will arise. This water purification pill is proven to be highly effective and trusted by global organizations, plus the fact that it is for an excellent cause too.
What We Like
  • Used by NGOs and global relief agencies for emergencies
  • Effectively removes contaminants and impurities
  • Processing time is only 30 minutes
  • Supports a good cause for Benin, Africa
  • Easy to carry around
What We Don’t Like
  • Faint aftertaste

Outdated Products

PURINIZE Water Purifying Solution (Outdated)

Natural water treatment to get rid of water contaminants is one of the options you have if you don’t want chemicals to treat your water. The Purinize water purifying solution is the only treatment that naturally purifies and clears your water without the need for chemicals. This makes it all the safer and healthier for you and your family.

You will find it very valuable that it uses the trademarked formulation of flocculating and coagulating salts that can eliminate 200+ water impurities including viruses, bacteria, protozoa, industrial and agricultural chemicals, VOCs, heavy metals, and disinfects among others. This makes it highly suitable for emergencies, travels, camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities that might involve a lack of safe and consumable water supply.

Since it is 100% non-toxic, it doesn’t have any chlorine dioxide, Iodine, or chlorine components, unlike most of the water purification tablets on the market. Overall, it won’t have any aftertaste and, instead, can help in improving the overall color, taste, and clarity of your water. It is also safe for everyday use as it has successfully passed the standards of EPA and NSF / ANSI.

All you need is 20 drops for every gallon of water, and you just must wait for the magic to work and get that water to be treated. Another thing that you’d like is since all the ingredients are natural, the shelf life is indefinite. There’s nothing that would expire so you can have this handy and smartly stashed on your backpacks or emergency kits. It is easy to use, and there are no complicated processes required from you to make it work.

The only minor downside here is that once opened, you must ensure that the lid is tightly in place or you can possibly put it inside a Ziplock to prevent any leaks. Also, it takes 1 hour for the whole process to be completed. This is your lifeline to safe and drinkable water, so it is highly recommended to have one handy, especially if you doubt water sources. It works better than expected, and the simplicity of the product is so refreshing.
What We Like
  • 100% all-natural, no chemicals
  • Removes bacteria, viruses, cryptosporidium, and Giardia
  • Easy to carry and transport
  • Successfully passed the standards of EPA and NSF / ANSI.
  • Indefinite shelf life
What We Don’t Like
  • Watch out for possible leaks once the bottle is opened
  • 1 hour wait time for the filtration process

Coleman Potable Aqua with PA Plus Chemical Water Treatment Treats (Outdated)

With most households and individuals keep a stash of these water treatment treats. One of the popular choices today is the Coleman water treatment treats. You will find this product unique because each order comes with two bottles. One with a white cap is responsible for removing Giardia, cysts, and other microorganisms found in water. The second bottle, which is the PA plus, comes with a yellow cap and is tasked with removing the color and taste of Iodine in the filtered water.

Note that you don’t use both tablets at the same time. You’d need to have your water purified first using the tablet from the white-capped bottle and then afterward use the second tablet from the yellow-capped bottle. Each container would have 50 tablets.

This pack is highly recommended to be brought along when you go and explore the outdoors or when traveling, and access to water that is safe to drink is not guaranteed. This water purification on the go will keep you from getting sick from bad water. It is effortless to carry around. It requires very little space, and it doesn’t contribute much to the weight that you’d have to take.

You must read and follow the directions on the bottle to ensure effectiveness in the water purification process. Potable and fully filtered water should be ready in 30 minutes. It’s longer than other water tablet treatments, but the results are worth the wait.

One setback of the Coleman Portable Aqua tablets, though, would be a faint aftertaste, which is a little bit expected because it is water that is chemically treated. You might need a little getting used to when it comes to the feeble taste. These tablets are an excellent purchase and one that you can rely on when the going gets robust and clean; drinkable water becomes a challenge. It works as a promise, and this is something you should be carrying around with you.
What We Like
  • Water purification on the go
  • Removes bacteria, viruses, cryptosporidium, and Giardia
  • Easy to carry and transport
  • 30 minutes of filtering time
  • PA plus eliminates the color and taste of Iodine
What We Don’t Like
  • Faint aftertaste after the treatment

Aquatabs AQT100 Water Purification Tablets (Outdated)

When it comes to reliability and effectiveness, you can ease your worries because the Aquatabs AQT100 water purification tablets have been providing clean and safe drinking water for the last 20 years. You’d be sure that it won’t last that long if it has not proven to be a source of safe water for emergencies like tornados, hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes.

After just half an hour of using these Aquatabs purification tablets, you can drink with confidence knowing that even if your water came straight from the rain or collected from a lake or river, the Aquatabs will do their primary job of removing and killing unpleasant microorganisms in your water. You don’t need to worry about cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and other water-borne illnesses because these tablets will filter them for you. Note that these tablets are ideal with pre-treated or raw water.

To add a level of confidence for you as a potential shopper and user, all major peacekeeping agencies, aid groups, and NGOs use the Aquatabs in treating water during emergency circumstances. These organizations trust the purification efficiency and results of these tablets for everyone’s consumption. One pack of this budget-friendly water treatment consists of 100 pieces of pills and is more than enough to treat and clean 200 quarts of water.

Using the water purifying tabs is very straightforward and comfortable too. One tablet is good for one liter of water, and surprisingly, there is no strong aftertaste after the treatment. Aside from having access to clean water, by using these tablets, you also help lessen plastic waste when you go enjoy your outdoor adventures.

One minor hiccup about the Aquatabs would be the packaging. The blister packs can be a little frustrating. Your survival is your responsibility, so if you want trusted and reliable water treatment tablets, then this purification item can be for you.
What We Like
  • Established water treatment for the last 20 years
  • Used by NGOs and global relief agencies for emergencies
  • Effectively removes contaminants and impurities
  • Processing time is only 30 minutes
  • No aftertaste
What We Don’t Like
  • Packaging can be improved

What Is A Water Purification Tablet/ Who Is This For


Unpurified and unclean water carries several illnesses and diseases. These range from harmless diarrheas to contracting various deadly viruses, pathogens, protozoa, and the like.

However, thanks to modern technology, there are now numerous ways to purify water. These methods include desalination, osmosis, distillation, and UV purification, usually used in households or businesses. Of course, while these may be effective, they are not precisely portable due to their set-ups’ bulk and girth.

This is where water purification tablets, such as well as water treatment tablets, come in. Like the systems mentioned above, these tablets aim to filter out and purify water as it contains chemicals that kill different contaminants and viruses. However, since they are in tablet form, they are quite portable and convenient to have around.

You will just need to drop a tablet into a specific volume of water and viola, you will get safe and potable water.

Because of this, water purification tablets are mostly used by hikers and campers. Water purification tablets provide a quick-easy solution to water problems.

Moreover, these tablets are also quite handy to have during emergencies. Places that have been affected by floods, hurricanes, droughts and the like tend to have difficulty accessing clean water. With water purification tablets, people can easily use them to survive.

How Does It Work

Water purification tablets, such as chlorine tablets for drinking water, provide a quick-easy solution for filtering and purifying water. They contain chemicals used to kill numerous types of bacteria, viruses, pathogens, and the like.

These water purification tablets work by dissolving an active component in the water, which in turn kills numerous disease-carrying contaminants and viruses. Some of these viruses and contaminants include but are not limited to Giardia, E. coli, Cryptosporidium, Shigella, Salmonella, and the like. They might also be able to improve the taste of water.

To get its benefits, you just need to pop a tablet in a specific water volume, as indicated in the tablet’s instructions. Once they are dissolved, you will need to shake the container for about 10-15 minutes before letting it sit. It ensures that all the ingredients and chemicals in your tablet can evenly spread in your water.

Most water purification tablets work after 30 minutes, while some can take longer, like four or more hours. Make sure you carefully read the instructions and labels indicated in the box.

It’s recommended that before you add the tablets to your water that you remove all the larger debris and particles you see. Once you do, you will find the pills working more effectively.

You should keep your container’s lid a bit open. As such, when you shake it, some of the liquid can hit the container’s opening and cap, which will also purify it from germs and bacteria.

What Are The Different Types Of Water Purification Tablets


Water sterilizing tablets mainly differ in the ingredient used to purify the water. These are currently the common types available in the market.


Iodine water tablets are known for effectively eradicating several common viruses, pathogens, and bacteria.

After dissolving the water purification tabs in the water, allow the solution to sit for at least 30 minutes. The water’s temperature and quality also play a part in the efficacy of the purification process. Remember to get rid of all the particles in your water and that cold water takes longer to purify than warm.

Iodine water tablets have a shelf life of 6-7 years. However, these tablets can induce a specific metallic taste in your water.

Keep in mind, however, to consult your doctor if you are suffering from thyroid infections, are pregnant or are over 50 years before using Iodine as a purification method.


Chlorine water tablets work by destroying the microorganism from the inside. As such, it’s a highly effective solution against common viruses and bacteria. They also have a long shelf life of 5 years.

For common bacteria, allow the solution to sit for at least 30 minutes. If you are dealing with Giardia and similar pathogens, then let the water purification tabs sit for at least 45 minutes.

On the downside, bleach tablets for water purification tend to produce a bleach-like smell in your container. Thankfully, you can mitigate this by keeping the container open to allow air to pass through.

Chlorine Dioxide

Out of the three, chlorine dioxide tablets are the most effective ones in the market as they can eradicate a wide range of bacteria and viruses. They also have lesser side effects compared to the two.

These tablets rely on oxidation wherein the ingredient infiltrates the bacteria’s membrane and destroys the inside. These are so powerful that it can even penetrate the cells of Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

If stored safely, these tablets can last up to 4 years. On the downside, chlorine dioxide tablets tend to be more expensive.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Water Purification Tablets

Water purification tablets provide another method of filtering out and purifying your water supply. Like all products, it also has its advantages and disadvantages. This section will list all of them thoroughly.



The more common purification methods tend to be quite bulky due to their design and systems. As such, they are not precisely travel-friendly or portable.

Water purification tablets, on the other hand, solve this problem for you. Since they are in tablet form, you can easily store and take them with you everywhere without needing other supplies. As such, you can have clean and safe water in any situation.

Easy to Use

Since they come in water purification tablet form, these are also quite easy to use. You just fill your container with the designated amount and place the tablet inside the water. Allow the solution to sit for at least 30 minutes for the ingredients to settle. After that, you’ll have safe potable water in your hands.


Like any other purification method, water purification tablets aim to kill and eradicate viruses, bacteria, pathogens, and other microorganisms found in your water supply. With this, you’ll be able to avoid ingesting harmful contaminants in your system.


Water purification tablets are cheaper when compared to standard purification models. Moreover, these tablets can also last for a long time if you correctly and safely store them.

Great for Emergencies and Outdoor Use

Water purification tablets enable the user to access safe potable water in any given situation. As such, it’s no wonder that many hikers and campers tend to use this whenever they are outside.

Water purification tablets, such as potable aqua water purification tablets, are also useful for emergencies and natural disasters. During these times, clean water is difficult to access. With these tablets, people can still drink clean water.


Side Effects

While they are safe, water purification tablets do tend to produce some side effects. For example, iodine and chlorine tablets tend to leave a strong smell and taste in your water. However, these can easily be remedied using quick and simple methods.

For safe and best results, however, please always consult with your doctor first before using these tablets.

Narrow Range

Keep in mind that the tablets only target the chemical side of the water. This means that it does not remove particles, sediments, and even some chemical pollutants. As such, you might need to first filter your water supply before using the tablet.

Buying Guide


Water purification tablets provide a quick and easy solution when it comes to purifying your water supply. Due to their size and design, they are quite portable and convenient to carry and use. As such, these tablets are quite popular among hikers and campers as well as in humanitarian operations.

Because of this, there are numerous types of water purification tablets available in the market. This array of choices can make it quite challenging to choose, especially when you are a beginner.

However, you don’t have to worry. This section will list down all the factors you need to consider when looking for military water purification tablets in the market.


As mentioned above, water purification tablets come in numerous types and forms. The most common types available are the Iodine, chlorine, and chlorine dioxide types.

What type you will get will depend on the strength you need. In terms of efficacy, chlorine dioxide tablet is the strongest as they can eradicate a wide range of pathogens, viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms. Moreover, the water purification tabs also produce the least side effects compared to the two different kinds.

However, if you are just looking for a quick fix, Iodine and chlorine tablets are enough.

Time to Purify

Of course, you would want a water purification tablet that purifies your water quickly.

Most water tablets in the market only need at least 30 minutes to work. It’s most suitable if you purchase this type since it’s the quickest, enabling you to have clean water faster.


It concerns more on the user’s taste and preferences. Some water purification tablets come in the bottle while there are some come in individual wrappers.

Most users tend to choose bottle variations since they are easier to carry and use. However, ultimately, it’s up to the user’s preference and choice.

Side Effects

Water purification tablets are safe to use. However, some people might experience some side effects from the water purification tabs. For example, chlorine and iodine water tablets tend to alter the taste and smell of your water supply. Some users even report experiencing headaches, stomachaches, and the like.

Some people, such as those with thyroid problems, pregnant women, or those over 50 years, should also take care of using these tablets since it might cause some issues. For your safety, it’s best to consult with your doctor or physician first before you use any tablets, such as Oasis water purification tablets.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is the water purification tablet safe?

Yes, water purification tablets (also known as water decontamination tablets) are safe. Otherwise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will not recommend chemical disinfection of water in travel and emergency applications.

However, children can mistake purification tablets for candies, while older folks might think they are vitamins or medication.

It is worth noting that these tablets contain chlorine dioxide, chlorine, or iodine, and these substances can be irritating. These formulations must be dissolved and not “eaten” whole.

Otherwise, folks who ingest them can get mouth and throat irritation that borders on a burning sensation. Tummy aches, vomiting, and queasiness are also common.

Although these tablets are life-saving in survival situations, practice caution while storing them in your home, keep them away from kids and snacks or other foods to avoid unintentional ingestion.

Water purification tablets vs boiling: which is better?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that boiling kills ALL waterborne pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, protozoa (i.e., Cryptosporidium and Giardia), and other microorganisms.

The key here is to bring the water to a rolling boil for at least a minute to ensure all organisms are eradicated. Meanwhile, the rolling boil should last three minutes if you are camping at places 6,500 feet above sea level or higher.

Meanwhile, water purification tablets can only kill certain microorganisms. Their germ-killing action depends on the water’s pH, cloudiness, temperature, contact time, and more. The strength of water storage tablets also varies across manufacturers.

For instance, chlorine and iodine-based water purification are ineffective against Cryptosporidium while low to moderately effective against Giardia. Meanwhile, these formulations are effective in killing viruses and bacteria.

On the other hand, chlorine dioxide can kill viruses, bacteria, and Giardia, but has low to moderate effectiveness against Cryptosporidium.

The only advantage of water purification tablets over boiling is convenience, notwithstanding the price.

How long does it take for water purification tablets to work?

How long a water purification tablet works varies among manufacturers. For example, Aquamira can deliver purified water within 20 to 35 minutes (five-minute initial chemical reaction time and 15 minutes waiting time or 30 minutes if the water is turbid).

Some products might take four hours to purify the water. You can ask Reddit forum members or post a question on other online communities if you want to know how long it takes for a specific tablet brand to work.

However, the manufacturer will likely supply such information already.

What are the most trusted water purification tablet brands?

A few of the most trusted purification tablet brands are Katadyn, Potable Aqua, and Aquatabs. The rest featured earlier are also top-rated by users themselves. You might want to check them out if you’re looking for quality purification tablets.

Do water purification tablets work?

Bulk water purification tablets work on the premise of altering or interacting with the chemical composition of microorganisms. Depending on the active ingredient of the water purification tablet, they can inactivate or kill bacteria, viruses, and other germs. Iodine and chlorine are two of the most common chemicals used in these tablets.

Others use a proprietary blend of chemicals to inactivate or kill different microorganisms. Some products use copper and silver nanoparticles.

To some extent, these tablets do work to purify water. Everything depends on the active ingredient and the existing microorganisms in water. For example, some products are effective against certain species of bacteria and some viruses strains.

However, they may be ineffective against Cryptosporidium species and other parasitic organisms. Some products are only effective against a specific type of germ. For instance, the tablet is effective against Giardia lamblia and no other microorganism.

Do water purification tablets kill viruses?

There is a growing body of knowledge showing the effectiveness of water purification tablets in the killing of viruses. However, the exact mechanism of viricidal activity remains unclear. Microbiologists suggest that water purification tablets can interfere with the protein structure of viruses.

A change in viral proteins can prevent certain viral strains from entering cells and altering the genetic material of the cell. In a way, these chemicals do not directly kill viruses. They only rob these microorganisms of the ability to enter host cells. It is also worth noting that different compounds can exert varying effects on infections.

How many water purification tablets do I need?

Everything depends on the specific formulation of the water purification tablet, such as Katadyn water purification tablets. It is the main reason why one should always pay attention to the directions of use printed on the packaging of these products.

The general recommendation is to dissolve a certain number of water purification tablets in a recommended volume of pre-filtered water. For example, a product can call for one water purification tablet for each liter of water. If you are going to purify 2 liters, then you will need two water purification tablets.

The ratio of water purification tablets to the volume of water is dependent on the active ingredient. For instance, a 1:100 chlorine-to-water solution is ideal in emergencies requiring the disinfection of drinking water. On the other hand, using a 2% tincture of Iodine will require five drops of iodine tincture for every quart of water.

One also must consider the length of time of water purification. Some products require at least 4 hours for the water purification tablet to ‘purify’ drinking water. Other brands require only about 30 to 45 minutes of waiting. It can impact the total number of water purification tablets that you need to prepare for an entire day.

How long do water purification tablets last?

There is no standard shelf life for water purification tablets. Some can retain their effectiveness for up to 5 years from the date the product was manufactured. Some products may have a shorter shelf life of 2 to 3 years or longer shelf life of 6 to 8 years. The shelf life of water purification tablets tends to depend on the additional ingredients used in the formulation. The quality of manufacturing processes can also have an impact on the overall shelf life of the tablets.

Water purification tablets come in airtight, sealed packages. It is essential to open only the number of tablets that you are going to use in purifying a specific volume of water. Storing these tablets in a dry and cool place and away from extreme temperatures is very important. This helps safeguard the shelf life of the product.

How to use it?

Different brands of water purification tablets observe mixing and waiting times before one can safely drink the tablet-purified water. In general, water purification tablets follow the same steps of use.

First, one must remove any sediment from the water. You can do this by filtering water using basic methods. The easiest is to cover the mouth of a container with a clean cloth that will serve as a sieve. Pour the water in the container and through the fabric. Any sediment will get trapped in the material. Another way is by allowing the sediments to settle at the bottom of the container. You can then slowly pour the water into another container.

Second, add the correct number of water purification tablets for a specific volume of water. Mix this well until you can no longer see tablet particles. Let the water stand for at least half an hour before drinking.

How to care & clean?

There is no need to clean water purification tablets as these are consumable items. It is always essential to maintain the integrity of the tablets. These tablets come in secure and sterile packages. One should always store them in a safe and dry place to safeguard the integrity of the packaging.

At the same time, correct storage ensures the potency of the active ingredient of the water purification tablet. It is wise to secure these products in an airtight container. It will protect it from degradation as a result of potential exposure to the elements.

Where can I buy water purification tablets?

If you’re looking for “purification tablets near me,” you do not have to worry much because these purifying tablets are at Walmart, Amazon, home depot, and Lowes. In online marketplaces, you can also choose these tablets where to find a broad selection of them.


There you have what to know about the best water purification tablets. Check for the things to compare when shopping around for one. Refer to the top picks for the most recommended products on the market. We’re hoping that this buying guide can help you figure out and weigh your options thoroughly. Buy purifying tablets today!

5/5 - (5 votes)