Abstract Glass has been the preferable choice of material for its use as a condensation surface in solar distillation as it gives higher water production than other materials. However, it is not certain which property and subsequently which phenomena are responsible for higher production of water. In this paper, we study the influence of different condensation surfaces on the total water production in solar water distillation. From our results, we conclude that the contact angle is the most important parameter for choosing the material of condensation surface inside a solar water distiller. Subsequently, we also conclude that the reflection of solar irradiation from the surface is the most important phenomenon affecting the differences in water production from solar distillation.