Filtered tap water vs. bottled water, which one is healthier?

What is filtered water?

Filtered water is tap water that has been purified so that it tastes better or also to make it safer to drink. The way the water is filtered and its quality depends on the type of filtration system used. Based on the chosen technology filtered water can show significantly different results.

We explain the two most common Systems below, charcoal filters and reverse osmosis. If you would like to read more about purification systems and how they work check out our blog posts  How do water filters work? and Which filter is best for me?


Charcoal filters

Activated charcoals are extremely porous, and chemically bond too much of the bacteria and chemical material in drinking water. This takes care of some of the impurities in your water, but mainly filters chlorine. 

However, charcoal does not chemically bond to all materials, so there are a number of impurities that will pass through the activated charcoal. Additionally, the charcoal must be replaced after a time, as the pores get clogged and don’t bond with any materials when full.

These filters are used often in low end household devices such as water pitchers or tap filters. 

Reverse Osmosis

A reverse osmosis filter system separates clean water from impure water by passing it under high pressure through a porous membrane. This method reduces close to 100% of harmful bacteria, organic material and dissolved solids in water while using very little energy.

It does, however, take a longer time to complete the process. These systems ore usually quite complex and complicated to maintain. 

Check out the subscription offer from Osmosys, the service includes a high end intelligent reverse osmosis system and maintenance for a low monthly payment. High quality home water filtration never has been easier. 

Pros of filtered drinking water

There are many reasons why filtered water is a great choice for home or office. Here are some of those reasons.

Odor-free water

You have probably noticed a funny smell in tap water. That odor in tap water is chlorine. Municipalities add chlorine to tap water to kill bacteria in city water. 

Even the simplest water filters remove chlorine from your water. So there is no smell when you pour yourself a glass of water or take a long hot shower if you use a charcoal filter in your bathroom.

Filtered water is healthy

Filtration takes out certain chemical and physical particles that are not good for humans to ingest.

Herbicides and pesticides that are used in farming make their way into our lakes and rivers when it rains. A reverse osmosis filtration process removes even these tiny particles that are harmful.

However, natural water does have healthy minerals that are good for us. Some filtration systems are able to leave these good minerals in the filtered water or ad them specifically. That way, you and your family can drink the healthiest water possible.

Check out more about contamination in your tap water here

Filtered water is budget friendly 

Even though the cost for a filtration system might seem high upfront, it quickly becomes a money-saving investment in a short amount of time.

Filtered water tastes the same (or better)

Did you know that many large bottle water retailers are actually using filtered tap water in their bottles?

Overall, 24% of the bottled water available is filtered tap water.

While many people assume bottled water tastes better, countless blind water taste tests show the oposite. The majority prefers the taste of tap water to major bottled water brands including Evian.

So if tap water tastes the same as big brands of bottled water, then filtered water tastes even better than both of those since it removes contaminants from tap water.

Enjoy filtered water on demand

One of the best advantages of filtered water is that you can get it when you need it.

You don’t need to buy in bulk to keep it in stock. And you won’t run out of it. With just the flick of a button or lever, you have contaminant-free drinking water.

Fill jugs for parties or other get-togethers to make it easy for guests to refill their glass. Have some glass or aluminum portable water bottles on hand so you can take your delicious filtered water wherever you go.

Some people like to keep some reusable bottles filled up in the fridge. If you enjoy cold water, this is a great way to have it right when you want it.

Cons of Filtered Drinking Water

Now let’s look at some of the cons to filtered water. All of these have to do with cost and maintenance and not with the quality of water.

Initial cost can be high

We’ve already touched on this a little bit. The cost to buy and have a filtration system installed can be costly.

But, if cost is your biggest concern, there are other options on the market like renting a machine. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a system if you can’t afford it. Try for example the service from Osmosys which includes free installation and maintenance. 

You will need to replace filters

Once you have purchased your filtration system, the other recurring cost is with water filters. You will need to replace filters periodically.

How often and how much a new filter will cost depends on the filtration system you have. Many filters last for several months or even a year before they need to be replaced.

The cost of a new filter is still less expensive than buying bottled water.

Pros of Drinking Bottled Water

Now that we’ve looked at filtered water, let’s turn our attention to bottled water. Here are the pros of buying and drinking bottled water.


Bottled water is convenient. It allows you to bring water with you wherever you go. Upstairs, out in the backyard and in your car. You can grab a bottle and be on your way.

Plus, if you forgot to grab one from home, you can easily buy one from any store, restaurant or gas station.

Saver to drink than tap water

People are worries about drinking tap water. Bottled water is a safer choice since it is tap water that has been filtered.

The chemicals and contaminants that appear in tap water are removed from bottled water.

Tastes better than tap water

Bottled water tastes and smells better than tap water. Is bottled water filtered then? Yes.

Bottled water is filtered before it is bottled and sold. Filtered water removes chlorine and other chemicals that can create a bad smell and taste.

You can enjoy the same taste of bottled water at home with your filtration system.

The down side of Drinking Bottled Water

The cons of bottle water heavily outweigh the benefits of convenience and taste. In fact, the EU is fighting to ban bottled water. 

Why are so many organisations worldwide fighting bottled water? Read on to find out.

Ethical implications

A  documentary called Tapped takes a long, hard look into the big business of bottled water.

This film examines how an industry has worked to privatise and sell back a resource that should never have become a commodity.

Turning water into a commodity for profit affects the people who live in an area. It reduces their access to a basic human right.

Environmental impact

Plastic is one of the leading environmental hazards on the planet. Even though plastic is recyclable, sadly 80% of water bottles aren’t recycled. 

One million water bottles are purchased worldwide every minute and the numbers are increasing. Most end up in landfills while millions end up as litter. It takes 700 years for a single water bottle to start decomposing. 

All this plastic comes back to us in the form of microplastics, Bottled water drinkers could be drinking the equivalent of a credit card of microplastics every two weeks

Additionally we have to consider the carbon footprint of production and transport water from the bottling plants to the resale stores.

It all comes with a price

We’ve talked about this in the filtered water section already. Even if you don’t care at all about the ethical and environmental impacts of bottled water, this one should make you sit up and pay attention.

Even if you don’t realise in average 3 person household in Spain spends more than 500€ on bottles water a year. 

The bottom line

We hope you are now able to distinguish the pros and cons of bottled water vs filtered water.

Both types of water including bottled water and filtered water are generally safe to drink in Europe. Therefore the choice is really about eliminating risk and thus improving long term health prospects. With a water plant in your house you are in control of the water quality.

Remember, there are many types of filtration systems that you can choose from. From under the sink models to ones that filter water at the point of entry into your home. If you’re looking to add a water filter or search for a replacement, use our blog for more information.

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