The world of water filtration can be very confusing sometimes. There are a lot of systems to choose from and people have a hard time choosing the right one for their home.
In Australia, there are two main market leaders, both of which offer innovative products. These are Billi water filters and Zip water filters. Both companies are well-known for being industry leaders, but the debate of Billi vs. Zip is constantly brought up.
Zip was the first company that manufactured the water drinking system that produces boiling water back in the 1960s and they have a much larger market share than Billi. However, Billi is the first company that managed to combine instantly chilled and boiling tap water in 1900 and they’re Zip’s direct competitor, despite the smaller market share.
But since both companies have a lot to offer, the question still remains:
Is Zip or Billi better?
Let’s find out.
A little history behind the two brands
Both Zip and Billi are Australian-owned companies. The headquarters and manufacturing for Billi are located in Melbourne and as for Zip, they’re based in Sydney. This means that with both of these brands you can be sure that the products you’re buying meet the quality control in Australia.
Zip has been selling their instant water systems since 1947 and they’re a privately owned business that started its story in 1962. This was when Michael Crouch AO purchased a kitchen and bathroom heater manufacturer from Sydney called Zip heaters.
He saw a lot of potential and slowly started expanding operations and making innovative changes which are how they came to release their over-sink boiling water heaters in the 1960s.
In 1970, they installed the first boiling water faucet in the world. Five years later, the company came out with the first-ever on-wall instant boiling water heaters that had an increased capacity and enhanced energy efficiency. Over the years, they never stopped coming out with new and more innovative products.
As for Billi, they have been in this industry for more than 30 years. While they might not have been in the game for as long as Zip, they are world-famous for combining functionality and performance with contemporary aesthetics. They also use eco-technology methods.
The company has come a long way after they created their first system that had the ability to produce both chilled and boiling water. Nowadays, they are always looking for new ways to meet the needs of their users which are ever-changing.
Historically, both of these companies have achieved great things, have decades of experience and amazing products to show their progress, and both have a lot to offer.
What factors should you consider when choosing Billi vs. Zip?
The reason why the discussion of Zip vs. Billi taps is ever-present is that these two brands have a lot in common. However, there are still some differences between them and factors you need to take into consideration when you’re trying to decide which brand to buy from.
Even though the cost is important, you shouldn’t make your decision on price alone. You also need to take these factors into consideration:
- Filtration quality
- The system’s under bench size
- Different tap design options
- Capacity for chilling and boiling
- What kind of sales support and warranties you will get after purchasing
Also, one important thing to mention is that Zip filters will fit only Zip taps and Billi filters will fit Billi taps only. Therefore, when making a choice between the two brands, keep in mind that once you’ve decided to use one of them, you must also use its filters.
Zip water filters come in various design options including the square design (Cube), gooseneck style (Arc), and the all-in-one tap (Celsius). Their Celsius model can dispense boiling, chilled, cold, and sparkling water, all from one tap. Billi water filters, on the other hand, doesn’t have as many design options.
Both brands have the most popular tap colour options for their products such as rose gold, brushed chrome, polished chrome, matte black, and glossy black. If you’re someone who wants to have a choice between lots of attractive colours, both Zip and Billi will meet your needs.
If you’re looking for a model that won’t require a separate hot water supply, Billi’s Quadra Plus system will do the trick, but it will require two separate taps. Zip has models that can meet these requirements with their all-in-one model but also with their two-taps models.
Finally, if you’re installing your system as a stand-alone tap that has a separate bench-mounted drain, these two brands will offer different drain kits. The drain kit offered by Billi is a rectangular shape while the one offered by Zip is round.
All in all, both of these companies produce beautifully designed products.
Water contamination can happen anywhere and tap water isn’t always safe to drink, which is why so many Australians choose to buy a filter. And naturally, the most important thing you need to look at with any filter is how well it can filter out all of the contaminants found in tap water.
Both standard systems sold by Zip and Billie come with one single filter that has two filtration options. Both Billi water filter cartridges and Zip water filter cartridges are capable of filtering out:
- Bad taste and odour
You can usually find standard systems in homes as they are perfect for residential use. However, they shouldn’t be installed in an office workplace or a similar heavy use environment because of their limitation on capacity. For these types of environments, it’s better to use a larger micron filter.
A standard system that is used frequently can easily become blocked and require more frequent changes, which will significantly increase the maintenance costs. However keep in mind that you should replace your water filter regularly, just not that often.
If you’re looking for something that will help you reduce the metals and fluoride in your drinking water even further, you can look into adding a pre-filter system. This system can be added to both Zip and Billi taps.
The biggest difference: chilling and cooling
As you have probably noticed, so far Zip and Billi water filters have been pretty similar. They both have great designs, come in various colours, and filter out all of the necessary contaminants.
However, they have one big difference, which is usually what causes customers to make their decision, and that difference lies under the bench. To be more specific, it’s their under bench boiling and chilled water tap.
Zip units come with air-cooled condensers, and the units sold by Billi typically come equipped with a water-cooled condenser. Both of these systems show great performance in all environments, but it’s important to note that water is more efficient at transferring heat than air.
Air-cooled designs don’t use water, and some people claim this is more environmentally friendly. However, any air-cooled unit will heat up the cupboard where it is placed and require more use of the air-conditioner, which isn’t great for the environment. So it may be hot to replace Zip water filter.
Of course, both of these systems will do the job efficiently.
Who is more innovative?
Both of these brands have been called innovation leaders over the decades and sometimes it even seems like a dead race.
For example, Zip water filters were all the rage when the company invented the instant boiling water system in the 1960s. But Billi beat them in the innovation game when they created the boiling and chilled under bench unit which is now considered standard for corporate kitchenettes nationwide.
Both of these companies have similar ranges nowadays even though they offer dozens of different products, but if we focus strictly on innovation, Zip is currently in the lead. This is because they recently released two new products.
The first is the Zip HydroTap All-in-One. Aside from providing the chilled, boiling, hot and cold water we expect from these types of systems, it also dispenses instant sparkling water. All of this from one tap.
The second one is the Zip Touch Free Wave, which has become very popular in office spaces during the pandemic as it allows for touch-free water dispensing. There are 22 different Touch Free Wave models, all of which come with six water options:
- Chilled and boiling
- Boiling and ambient
- Chilled and sparkling
- Chilled, boiling, and sparkling
So, is Zip or Billi better?
At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you’re looking for. If price is important to you, Billi taps are usually cheaper than Zip taps, especially models that are for residential use.
When it comes to range and variety, both Zip and Billi provide an array of different models that will fit well in all spaces, from small homes to large workplaces.
If you’re looking for something that can withstand heavy use and produce sparkling water, Zip is the obvious choice. They offer a refillable 2.6kg CO2 bottle for their commercial sparking system range while Billi only offers the standard 1kg CO2 bottle.
Finally, Zip is a much larger company and they offer a three-year warranty on most of their water systems while the warranty for Billi’s products lasts for 2 years.