5 Best Water Purification Tablets For Survival [2021 Guide]

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5 Best Water Purification Tablets For Survival [2021 Guide]

Most parts of Earth experience water shortage, where there is limited access to ‘usable’ water, especially for consumption.  A lot of sources of groundwater and running water are easily contaminated by mining and all other polluting industries.

Fortunately, it is possible to purify water within a short time thanks to water purification tablets. The tablets are small, cheap, lightweight, and easy to use. However, with so many models in the market, it can get exhausting to find the best water purification tablets for your needs. Here is a comprehensive review to help you make your selection.

Top 5 Water Purification Tablets

Here are the top 5 water purification tablets that can improve the quality of water.

1.     Katadyn Micropur MP1 Tablets

Potable Aqua Tablets
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Potable Aqua Tablets
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Katadyn Micropur MP1 tablets are one of the most sought-after water purification tablets out there. For starters, these tablets work effectively to eliminate viruses, bacteria, cysts, protozoa (giardia, cryptosporidium), and parasites.

The Micropur MP1 tablets use sodium chloride in fighting the said contaminants. For a price of $15, you get around 30 tablets, with each tablet having the capability to treat 1 liter of water. However, you may want to note that it can take up to 4 hours to completely purify the water.

One of the best features of these tablets is the shelf life. You can bring the sachet of tablets anywhere or you can transfer them to a small container. It won’t melt easily in the storage since it has a 4-year shelf life. Besides, the package is very durable and easy to open.

Another reason why these tablets are our top pick is that they cause no irritation on the skin or in the throat. You’ll also notice an improvement in the water’s odor as the purification takes place. This is because they have the best flavor compared to all other crypto-fighting tablets. Additionally, it is noteworthy to mention that the tablets are EPA registered.


  • No irritation on skin and throat
  • Can fight microorganisms
  • Weighs less than an ounce
  • Affordable
  • EPA registered


  • Cannot remove sediments or toxins
  • Total purification can take 4 hours

2.     Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide

Potable Aqua Tablets
2,199 Reviews
Potable Aqua Tablets
  • One pack of 30 Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification Tablets for...
  • Emergency water purification tablets for drinking water are effective...
  • Water treatment tablets, providing water purification for camping, hiking,...
  • Water treatment tablets with Chlorine Dioxide improves taste and clarity of...
  • Water treatment tablets with Cholorine Dioxide offer emergency water...

If you are looking for water tablets that are not too strong in smell or taste, then the Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide tablets may be worth considering. These tablets are similar to Katadyn’s in terms of reaction.

They are more of an all-around purifier and can destroy bacteria and protozoa (giardia). Although the intended results can be expected quicker than most purification tablets, they are not suited to purify viruses, cysts, and cryptosporidium.

Potable Aqua tablets comprise 8 mg of titratable iodine and 20 mg of tetraglycine hydroperiodine. It takes 2 tablets to purify 1 liter. To use, drop them in a container filled with 1 liter of water, shake it for 5 minutes, and let it settle for 30 minutes.

While these tablets may have a shelf life of 4-years, they are rendered unusable once they turn yellowish or green in color. Aside from that disadvantage, some users indicate that they suffer a light, scratchy throat after using this tablet. Nevertheless, there is no odor incurred or weird aftertaste during the purification.

Potable Aqua tablets are preferable for military use because of their quick reaction and it is recommended to use them for emergencies only.


  • Takes 30 minutes to be effective
  • Ideal for emergencies
  • The smell and taste is not too strong
  • Durable packaging


  • Cannot remove viruses, cysts, and cryptosporidium
  • Needs 2 tablets for purifying 1 liter of water
  • May cause a scratchy throat
  • Unusable when it turns color

3.     Aquatabs Purification Tablets

Aquatabs Purification tablets
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Aquatabs are great purifiers that use chlorine as the main ingredient. These tablets are best known for fighting protozoa (giardia), cysts, bacteria, and viruses. On the other hand, these tablets cannot cryptosporidium.

Once used, it will take 40 minutes for 1 tablet to purify 0.75 liters of water. However, you’ll find that there is a weird aftertaste after the purification, mainly because of chlorine.

Even though the shelf life of this product is 5 years, the container is another story. After tests were done to determine the durability of the packaging, it was established that the opening can be opened easily and thereby introducing moisture inside.

Regardless, this product is really good for water purification. One package contains 100 tablets. Furthermore, it is only right to mention that this product is WHO-approved and has NSF 60 certification.


  • Can fight most microorganisms
  • Can purify as quick as 40 minutes
  • Lightweight
  • NSF 60 certification
  • WHO approved
  • Package contains 100 tablets
  • Easy-to-open packaging
  • Great value for money


  • Cannot purify cryptosporidium
  • Has a weird aftertaste
  • Not-so-durable packaging

4.     Expedition Research TAC-H2O Water Purification Tablets

The Expedition Research LLC TAC-H2O tablets seem to be a great fit for those who love staying indoors. Although there seems to be no claim for which particular group of microorganisms the tablets can remove, they are guaranteed to be an effective purifier.

One tablet weighs 49 mg and can be enough to treat 5 liters of water at most. A single package is claimed to be able to purify 500 liters of water. The purification process is fast and the water will be purified to its extent in just 30 minutes.

One great feature of these tablets is the Mylar pouch. It is waterproof and sunlight-proof due to its 4 layers of packaging. It also has a resealable zip, making it easy to store or get the tablets.


  • One tablet can purify 5 liters of water at most
  • Very durable packaging
  • Can take effect fast
  • Highly effective
  • Features a resealable zip


  • Can leave a trace of chlorine scent after purifying
  • No indication of the microorganisms the tablets can remove

5.     Aquamira Water Purifier Tablets

Aquamira tablets are another set of water tablets that are renowned for their strong reaction. These tablets are capable of getting rid of bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites, and protozoa (giardia, cryptosporidium).

Since the solution can be so strong, it is advisable to leave it for 4 hours of purification. Because of their strong reaction, it is advisable to allow the purification process to complete before taking the water. Each pack contains 20 tablets and one tablet is enough to purify 1 liter of water.

Since they come stored in a small resalable foil pouch, there can be a bit of chlorine odor accumulated. Most people wonder whether these tablets are safe due to their highly reactive nature. Well, it is fitting to acknowledge that the tablets are EPA-registered.


  • EPA registered
  • Can fight microorganisms
  • Weighs less than an ounce
  • Resealable package


  • Has a strong reaction
  • Total purification can take 4 hours

Types of Water Purifiers

The simplest water purification process is boiling, after which the water goes through the process of ‘distillation’.

While there are numerous ways of purifying water, portable water purifiers are more preferred because they are effective and great for immediate use. Here are the different types of water purifiers available in the market today:

  • Chemical tablets

These are solid products that break down when submerged in the water. They are similar in size to a coin. A purification tablet takes effect when dissolved properly and forms a solution with the targeted water.

  • Chemical drops

Chemical drops function similarly to chemical tablets. The liquid drop will form a solution with the targeted water. The major difference is that this product does not undergo a dissolving phase and the ratio can be possible only with a liquid dropper.

  • UV Light

The UV light comes with a wand or pen design. It is meant to expose the targeted water with its light. It is best used when the water passes or settles in a close-lid container.

  • Flocculation

This refers to a certain gel that is used to surround contaminants. It will then merge and form a bigger chunk that can easily be removed using a piece of equipment with a net.

What Do Water Purifiers Remove?

Obviously, water purifiers improve low-quality water. However, the improvement levels will depend on the chemical process being applied. Regardless of how effective a water purifier is, here is the extent to which it can remove.

  • Sediments

These refer to the solid, non-living objects that are found in water. They happen to be by-products of human activities and are a result of natural disasters or human’s irresponsibility. Common examples are dirt, sand, feces, garbage, silt, and pieces from plants and dead animals. The usual purifier applicable for these components is flocculation.

  • Biological Organisms

Tons of biological organisms can be found in groundwater, running water, and even seawater. They can be attached from sediments and toxins or brought naturally.

Examples of these organisms that water purifiers can remove include algae, bacteria, protozoa, cysts, and viruses. The appropriate purifiers for biological organisms are chemical tablets, chemical drops, and UV light.

  • Toxins

Toxin refers to non-living material, toxic materials that are way smaller than sediments and form a harmful mixture with water. Examples of these are toxic chemicals, wastewater, and heavy metals. Removing them may involve several purifier types such as flocculation for removing solid particles and electricity-based purifiers for further transformation.


A purification tablet is a useful option to improve water quality. Compared to boiling water, it uses less energy to take effect and can work in a matter of minutes. Of course, this depends on the amount of water needed to be purified. These tablets are surely beneficial in remote areas where clean water services are scarce.

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