Bottled Water vs Filtered Water: Pros and Cons

The US has some of the cleanest drinking water in the world. Nevertheless, millions of people get sick from contaminated drinking water every year. As such, many people opt for bottled and filtered water to avoid contaminants.   Bottled water vs filtered water is an important choice for many homeowners. Whereas bottles are cheap but inconvenient, a filtered water system is convenient but more expensive. So, the team at Core Plumbing put together this article to discuss the pros and cons of bottled water and filtered water. 

How Does Filtered Water Work?

Filtered water is tap water that passes through a filtration system. Filtering methods depend on the type of filtration mechanism. Common filtration systems use carbon, reverse osmosis, and ion exchange to remove water contaminants. 

Pros and Cons of Filtered Water


  • Convenience

The best thing about filtered water is its convenience. You don’t have to worry about buying water bottles or loading your water cooler. Instead, you can just fill your glass with water like you would from the tap. You won’t find yourself running out of drinkable water at an inconvenient time.
  • Cost-Effective 

A filtered water system is more cost-effective in the long run. After the initial installation, you won’t have to pay for drinkable water, aside from periodic filter changes. If you drink a lot of water every day, a filtered system will quickly pay for itself. Read our blog to learn how long whole-house water filters last
  • Environmentally Friendly

Compared to bottled water, filtered water is much more environmentally friendly. Filtered water produces no waste, which means fewer bottles end up in landfills or the ocean. Also, forgoing bottled water reduces fossil fuel from plastic production. 
  • High-Quality Water

Modern filtration systems are very efficient and use advanced methods to purify water. Moreover, different types of filtration systems are better for certain pollutants. For example, reverse osmosis filters are effective for minerals, while microbial filters are good for microorganisms. 


  • High Upfront Costs

The biggest con for filtered water systems is the upfront cost. A whole house water filtration system can cost upwards of $2,000 or more. A single-tap filtration system will cost about $500-$600 to install. You’ll need to put up some money for a quality filter.
  • Changing the Filter

If you have a filtration system, you will need to change the filter periodically. You can tell the filter needs changing if your water starts tasting strange, has a cloudy appearance, or you can see particles. Filter lifespan depends on the type of filter, water consumption, and the number of pollutants in the water. In some areas, you’ll have to replace the filter about every three months.

Pros and Cons of Bottled Water


  • Portability

One of the best things about bottled water is how portable it is. You can bring plastic water bottles virtually anywhere. You can also get larger bottles of water for water cooler systems. Water coolers only require a power outlet to work. 
  • Low Upfront Costs

Since they don’t require installation, bottled water and water coolers have a cheap upfront cost. All you need is a cooler stand and some bottles. However, water bottles can be expensive in some areas. 
  • Relatively Safe

Bottled water may not be as clean as filtered water, but it’s usually much cleaner than tap water. Most companies filter water before bottling it, removing minerals and contaminants like chlorine or bacteria.


  • Waste

The main downside of bottled water is the amount of waste it produces, especially if you buy single-use plastic bottles. Single-use plastic creates a negative environmental impact, so many would not consider disposable plastic bottles an environmentally-friendly choice. Also, plastic production produces large amounts of greenhouse gas. 
  • Health Concerns

Recent studies have shown that many bottled water brands contain not-insignificant levels of microplastics and other synthetic contaminants. The environmental and health impacts of microplastics are not fully understood, but there is evidence that they can damage organs, weaken your immune system, and leach harmful chemicals into your body. 
  • Costs More the More You Drink

Bottled water might be the more economical choice when you do not frequently drink water. If you drink a lot of water daily, then the costs can start to add up. Assuming an average intake of 120 oz. a day and a $1.50 average cost for a 20-oz bottle of water, that comes out to a bit over $250 a month.

Which Is Better: Bottled Water or Filtered Water?

Both bottled and filtered water are safe and popular alternatives to drinking tap water. Overall, we would say that a filtered water system is better in the long run, but bottled water can be the right solution in some places. Consider these factors when deciding between bottled vs filtered water:
  • Do you care about convenience? If you want to drink water whenever you want and don’t want to deal with waste or storage, then a filtration system is probably the better choice.      
  • Do you want to be environmentally friendly? Many homeowners care about being more environmentally friendly. Plastic bottles are bad for the planet, so a filtration system makes sense if you want to reduce your environmental footprint. 
  • Do you need portability? If you are on the go all the time, then the portability of bottles matters. You can also move a water cooler around your home. 
  • How many people are in the house? If you need water for several people in your home, getting a filtration system might be the better option. It is the most cost-effective over time. 

Water Filtration Systems in San Diego

If your tap water quality is poor, a San Diego whole-house water filtration system makes a lot of sense. Bottled water is expensive, and tap water can have problems. When it comes to bottled water vs filtered water, a filtered water system can be the best choice for your house.  If you are interested in learning more about Core Plumbing and our whole-house filtration systems, contact us online or call us at (858) 293-4110 today!