Bottled Water vs. Water Filters: Pros & Cons

If the water quality in your area isn’t ideal, you have two choices to supply good-tasting drinking water for your home: a filtration system or use bottled water. Which is right for you?

Water Filters big

Bottled Water (for a home dispenser)


  • Convenience. Bottled water delivery ensures that you will always have a fresh supply when you need it.
  • Taste. Most bottled water is filtered to remove contaminants, and many brands add trace minerals to enhance taste.
  • Sustainability. The 5-gallon bottles most services use are reused again and again. However, delivery trucks do have some environmental impact.


  • Cost. Before you subscribe to a water delivery service, run the numbers. It might be cheaper to buy your own 5-gallon bottles and refill at the grocery store.

Water Filters


  • Quality. Though results vary by brand and filter type, most high-quality filters do a good job of removing common contaminants.
  • Convenience. Many water filter cartridges are available online, and some manufacturers offer subscription services to ensure that you’ve always got a fresh filter when you need one.
  • Sustainability. Filters are far less wasteful than single-serving disposable water bottles, and there are no delivery trucks to generate emissions like with water delivery. Many manufacturers offer filter recycling programs, some with drop-off locations in grocery stores. Contact your water filter manufacturer for more information.


  • Inconsistency. Filter performance diminishes with use and as it does, water quality and taste can diminish as well.
  • Frequent filter changes. If you are using well water or if you have very hard water, high iron or other water quality issues, you may need to change the filter more frequently to get the best quality. Not all filters remove all contaminants. If the water quality in your area is particularly poor, some filters may not be up to the task.

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