Water Purification Tabs – Do They Work?

Water purification tabs are a quick way to purify water on the go if SHTF. Here’s where to get them and what brands to trust.

When implemented in proper quantities, these tablets can be an excellent alternative water purification source. They can get rid of microorganisms like viruses and bacteria pretty effectively.

In this post, we shed light on some of the most effective water purification tablets on the market. We also highlight the factors you need to take into consideration before buying such tablets.



1.  Katadyn Micropur MP1

Katadyn Micropur MP1 Water Purification Tablets (30 Count)
435 Reviews
Katadyn Micropur MP1 Water Purification Tablets (30 Count)
  • Ultralight tablets provide fresh drinking water anywhere you go
  • Effective
  • Fresh tasting water-no unpleasant taste

The Katadyn Micropur MP1 tablet kills viruses, bacteria, cysts, and protozoa like Giardia and Cryptosporidium. It contains chlorine dioxide, which is one of the strongest antiseptics for water purification.

These tablets have a five-year shelf life, so they won’t go bad any time soon. In addition, each tablet is wrapped in a waterproof strip pack to reduce corruption.

These tablets have no unpleasant aftertaste, unlike other chlorine and iodine-based tabs. The tablet is made to kill any pathogen that has the potential to leave an odor. Each tab purifies a liter of water.


  • There’s no chlorine taste
  • Kills protozoa, bacteria, viruses, and cysts
  • One package purifies 20 liters of water
  • They have a five-year shelf life


  • Takes up to four hours to purify water completely.


2.  Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide

Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification Tablets - 30 Count
2,071 Reviews
Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification Tablets - 30 Count
  • One pack of 30 Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification Tablets for Drinking Water
  • Emergency water purification tablets for drinking water are effective against bacteria, viruses and cysts, such as Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium when used as directed
  • Water treatment tablets, providing water purification for camping, hiking, traveling and emergency water preparedness situations, with no aftertaste

The Potable Aqua tablets don’t have a strong odor or aftertaste, and their packaging is quite durable. The ability of these tablets to kill most pathogens is impressive. They can be used to treat bacteria, cysts like Giardia and Cryptosporidium, as well as viruses.

It’s also worth noting that Potable is a well-known brand used by the military and international relief organizations such as WHO, so you know you’re getting your money’s worth.


  • They have a five-year shelf life
  • Kills bacteria, viruses, Giardia Lamblia
  • Fulfills an Environmental Protection Agency standard
  • No smell, bad taste, or aftertaste


  • Takes up to four hours to completely purify the water


3.  Aquatabs Blueahead NaDCC

Aquatabs is one of the world’s most trusted water purification tablet brands. It’s been the go-to for emergency groups and NATO for 20 years and purifies three billion gallons of water annually.

Aquatabs tablets have a light aftertaste and smell of chlorine. In just 30 minutes, it kills Giardia, bacteria, and viruses. It will be perfect in emergencies or during outdoor activities like hiking.


  • Take about 30 minutes for purification
  • They have a five-year shelf life
  • The tabs come pre-packed individually
  • Kills viruses, bacteria, and Giardia
  • Extremely light, easy to use, and affordable


  • Doesn’t protect against Cryptosporidium
  • Mild chlorine taste and smell


4.  Potable Aqua With PA+Plus

Coleman Potable Aqua with PA Plus Chemical Water Treatment Treats 25 qts
24 Reviews
Coleman Potable Aqua with PA Plus Chemical Water Treatment Treats 25 qts
  • Makes questionable water bacteriologically suitable to drink
  • Proven effective against Giardia Lamblia when used as directed
  • PA Plus Tablets remove iodine taste and color from water

Not only does this package offer you water purification tabs, but also neutralizing tablets that help eliminate taste and color from treated water.

Two Potable Aqua tablets can purify one liter of water, and two PA Plus neutralizing tabs can neutralize any remaining iodine when the purification process is complete.

These tablets require a 30-minute wait time to thoroughly eliminate all bacteria from the water and make it safe to drink. Despite their efficiency, however, Potable Aqua With PA+Plus tabs don’t kill Cryptosporidium.

Be sure to check whether or not you’re allergic to iodine before buying these tabs.


  • Dual-action mechanism
  • Kills Giardia Lamblia, bacteria, and viruses
  • Removes bad taste and makes purified water look clear
  • It takes about 30 minutes for purification


  • It doesn’t protect against Cryptosporidium
  • Stains soft-bodied vessels such as hydration bladders and soft bottles


5.  Aquamira Drops

Aquamira Water Treatment (2 oz.) Without Droppers
320 Reviews
Aquamira Water Treatment (2 oz.) Without Droppers
  • All new glass bottles. (Optional Dropper Tips available for accurate measuring of small dosage.)
  • Kills odor causing bacteria and enhances the taste of stored potable water. Controls the buildup of slime in water storage containers.
  • Once treated with Aquamira Water Treatment, and left sealed, stored water has a 5 year shelf life.Treatment has a 4 year shelf life from manufacturing date.

Both NGOs and survivalists trust Aquamira. Aquamira drops include Chlorine Dioxide, which can eliminate bacteria, viruses, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium.

If you’re on a limited budget, chlorine dioxide treatment is an excellent option. The bottles are capable of treating up to 30 gallons of water.

According to Aquamira, the treatment can take up to four hours, which is far too long. It gives the water a slight sterile taste, or some say it tastes like citrus.


  • They have a four-year shelf life.
  • Made in plastic bottles that are easy to squeeze
  • Purifies 30 gallons of water per packet


  • Long wait time of up to four hours


6.  Purinize

PURINIZE - The Best and Only Patented Natural Water Purifying Solution - Chemical Free Camping and Survival Water Purification (8 oz)
222 Reviews
PURINIZE - The Best and Only Patented Natural Water Purifying Solution - Chemical Free Camping and Survival Water Purification (8 oz)
  • ✭100% non-toxic. Free of chemical disinfectants like chlorine, chlorine dioxide & iodine with NO chemical after taste.

Purinize drops are known in the market as the only non-chemical liquid water purifiers. They are made mostly of mineral salts and are completely natural.

These drops are one of the most user-friendly water purifiers available. They’re effective against viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. They also remove heavy metals and industrial chemicals.

Purinize naturally purifies water without the use of any additional water disinfectants. It removes more than 200 impurities. It also doesn’t leave behind a bad taste.

If properly stored, these drops have a limitless shelf life. They can purify up to 15 gallons.


  • No expiration date
  • Portable and easy to use
  • Protects against viruses, bacteria, and protozoa
  • Kills over 200 impurities.
  • Leaves no aftertaste.


  • It eliminates Cryptosporidium in around four hours
  • For good results, you have to pair it with a filter because of its natural composition


Things to Look For While Choosing Water Purification Tabs


Aside from discovering water purification tabs that work, here are several key features to look for before making a purchase.


Safety Comes First

There’s no doubt that the best water purification tablets are those that kill most pathogens in the water. Sadly, some of these tablets contain chemicals that can trigger allergies, so make sure to test your tablets of choice before embarking on a journey in the middle of nowhere.


Pathogen Protection

Water purification tablets are primarily meant to kill common pathogens, which are the primary cause of many waterborne infections. Purification tabs aren’t created equally, though.

Some tablets can kill bacteria, but they aren’t guaranteed to eliminate cysts or viruses. Others, per contra, may be able to kill all three.



If you want to travel or hike light, strips are the best purification tabs for you.

If you don’t mind carrying a little more weight for a longer backpacking or camping trip, consider keeping enough tablets in a bottle (glass bottle preferred) or a waterproof strip.

Purifying drops will also be a good option.


Taste, Aftertaste, and Smell

Water purification tablets, as previously stated, use chemicals to purify the water. This can result in a harsh taste, aftertaste, or smell. Luckily, some of them are hardly noticeable.


Time Taken to Purify

This is controlled by the chemicals being used. Some of the best water purifying tablets work in as little as thirty minutes.

On the other hand, some tablets take up to four hours to clean our water properly.


The Expiration Date

We advise choosing the tablets with the longest shelf life. You can safely keep such purification tabs without worrying about their future usability, unless you intend to use all of your tabs soon.

pouring water to a glass

Water Purfication Tabs – Conclusion


Water tablets are among the best items to have on hand in case of an emergency. Be sure to always choose a purifying tablet that is suited for you.

Our top pick is the Katadyn Micropur MP1 tabs. They’re super compact, so you can keep them in your bug-out pack until you need them.

They also have a five-year shelf life and can eradicate the most resistant pathogens, such as Cryptosporidium, without leaving an unpleasant taste in the water.

Their only downside is that they take a few hours to purify the water. If you want an alternative that’ll purify quicker, consider Potable Aqua With PA+Plus or Aquatabs Blueahead NaDCC.