Boiled Water Vs. Filtered Water

Last Updated on September 8, 2023 by Nigel Pearson

Boiled and filtered water are effective ways to ensure your drinking water is safe. Boiled water is a more straightforward and cost-effective way to purify your water, while filtered water provides an extra layer of protection against potential contaminants. Depending on your needs and preferences, either method could be beneficial in ensuring you have access to clean drinking water. Boiling is an age-old method of purifying water, while filtering is a more recent technological advancement.

Is It Necessary To Purify Your Drinking Water?

Yes, it is necessary to purify your drinking water. Boiling and filtering are two methods that can be used to make sure your drinking water is safe from bacteria, parasites, and other contaminants.

Boiled Water

Boiled water is a popular method for purifying water, requiring minimal effort and cost. Boiling water kills many bacteria and contaminants in your water, making it safer to drink. However, boiling does not remove all potential contaminants from the water.

Boiled water
Boiled Water Filtration

How Good Is Boiled Water For Consumption?

Boiled water is good for consumption. It is a popular method to ensure drinking water is safe, as it kills most microbes and other contaminants. Boiling the water removes some of the chlorine and other chemicals used by local municipalities to treat drinking water and any bacteria and protozoa present.

However, boiling does not remove viruses such as hepatitis—a poliovirus, and rotaviruses, as these are much smaller than bacteria. Boiling water is also known to reduce the mineral content of drinking water. Boiled water can be stored in a thermos or jug for several days without any significant loss in quality or taste.

Does Boiling Water Remove Chlorine?

Boiling water can remove some of the chlorine presents in it, but not all. While boiling water can reduce chlorine levels, other chemicals and contaminants will remain. Boiled water is not a suitable replacement for filtered water when removing more than just chlorine. The boiling process does nothing to remove particles, bacteria, and other unwanted material from the water.

How To Boil Water?

  • Step 1: Fill a pot with the desired amount of water.
  • Step2: Place the pot on the stove and set it to high heat.
  • Step 3: Once it reaches a rolling boil, allow it to boil for 1-3 minutes, depending on your altitude and local regulations.
  • Step 4: Turn off the heat, remove the pot from the stove, and allow the boiled water to cool before use.
  • Step 5: Pour the boiled water into a clean container for storage or use it immediately.

 Benefits Of Boiling Tap Water

  • Kill pathogens: Boiling tap water will kill most, if not all, pathogenic microorganisms in the water. This can significantly reduce your risk of contracting a water-borne illness and make drinking water safe for consumption.
Kill pathogens
Kill pathogens
  • Affordable solution: Boiling the water is an easy and cost-effective way to make your water safe for drinking. All you have to do is bring the water to a rolling boil for at least one minute and let it cool before drinking.
  • Saves Time: boiling water saves Time, while filtering water requires more steps to get clean and healthy drinking water.

Disadvantages Of Boiling Tap Water

  • Can’t drink immediately: Boiling tap water takes Time, so if you’re in a pinch and need to drink it right away, boiling won’t work.
  • Unfiltered contaminants: Boiling tap water does not filter out contaminants and heavy metals. The result is that when the boiled water cools down, these harmful contaminants are still present.
  • Health risks: Some of the chemicals and contaminants in tap water can cause health problems. Boiling the water will not remove these dangerous materials, including lead, arsenic, mercury, nitrates, and other industrial-related pollutants.
  • Flavor: Boiled water can often have an unpleasant taste caused by trace minerals that are not removed by boiling. This can be unpleasant and leave the water with a metallic aftertaste.
  • Doesn’t remove TDS: Boiled water does not remove Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) from water, which can remain in the form of salts, metals, and other minerals. These substances may affect both the taste and smell of boiled water, as well as its color.

Filtered Water

Filtered water takes this process further by using a filter system that removes many particles, bacteria, and chemicals that boiling alone cannot remove. Some filter systems can even be used to soften hard water. Filtered water can be beneficial in ensuring all potential contaminants are removed before drinking, although it is more costly than boiling and requires regular Maintenance on your filtration system.

Filtered water


What Is Filtered Water?

Filtered water is any water that has gone through a filtration process to remove impurities from the water. This can be done in several ways, including reverse osmosis systems, activated carbon filters, ultraviolet light filtration, and distillation. These processes are designed to remove contaminants such as lead, chlorine, bacteria, and particulate matter from the water.

Filtered water also removes Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) from the water, making it taste and smell cleaner than boiled water. In addition, filtered water can also improve the water’s clarity. The filtration process can vary depending on the type of filter used, but all should provide you with clean, safe drinking water.

Ways To Filter Tap Water

  • Ultra Violet (UV) Filters: UV filters use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and germs in the water. The process is fast and will not alter the taste of your drinking water, making it an ideal option for anyone looking for filtered tap water without wasting any time.
Ultra Violet (UV) Filters
Ultra Violet Filters
  • Reverse Osmosis: It forces contaminated water through a semi-permeable membrane, capturing contaminants as it passes through. Reverse osmosis also eliminates chlorine, pesticides, and other organic compounds.
  • Activated Carbon: This filter uses activated carbon particles to trap contaminants like chlorine, lead, and other heavy metals. In addition to trapping contaminants, it also can remove foul odors and tastes from tap water. Activated carbon filters are particularly effective in reducing levels of volatile organic compounds like herbicides and pesticides.
  • Ion Exchange: Ion exchange works by exchanging cations (positively charged ions) with hydrogen or hydroxide ions in the filter medium. This polarity switch causes contaminants to be attracted and removed from the water. The filtered water is then free from the contaminants that were previously present.
Ion Exchange
Ion Exchange process
  • Mechanical: The mechanical filtration process can help to reduce chlorine, chloramines, and heavy metals like lead and copper. The most common type of mechanical filtration is a carbon filter. Carbon filters are usually made from activated materials that attract impurities and trap them in their tiny pores, thus cleansing the water for safe drinking.

Advantages Of Filtering Tap Water

  • Much faster process: Filtering tap water is much faster than boiling it. This means you can enjoy your filtered drink more quickly than waiting for boiled water to cool down and be safe to drink.
  • Removes varied types of contaminants: Boiling water is an effective way to eliminate specific contaminants, such as bacteria, parasites, and viruses. Boiled water can also help remove lead from sources that are not protected or maintained correctly.
  • Can be more reliable: Boiled water is less reliable than filtered water in terms of safety for drinking. Boiling water requires energy and Time, and it can be challenging to ensure that the entire volume of water has been adequately boiled to make it safe for drinking. In contrast, filtered water offers a more reliable option for obtaining clean drinking water because it removes specific contaminants before making it available for consumption.
  • Multiple options to choose from Boiled and filtered water are two of the most common drinking water types. Both methods offer different benefits, so it is essential to consider both options when deciding.
  • Enhances the Taste of Water: Filter water tastes better than boiled water. It has a cleaner, fresher taste because it removes chlorine and other impurities that can affect the flavor of drinking water. Boiled water won’t necessarily remove these particles, so its taste may be off-putting to some people.
  • Energy-Saving: The process of boiling water takes energy and Time. Filtering water eliminates this step and saves Time, energy, and money.

Disadvantages Of Filtering Tap Water

  • Can Be Expensive: The cost of purchasing a water filter can add up quickly, especially if you need to replace the filters regularly. Additionally, depending on your chosen filtration method, ongoing costs such as electricity or Maintenance may be associated with the system.
  • Can Be Difficult to Install: Installing a water filtration system can be difficult and time-consuming. It requires plumbing knowledge and often a professional installation to get it working correctly.
  • More Maintenance Required: When it comes to filtered water, the filters need to be changed every few months to keep the system running efficiently. This requires a bit more maintenance than simply boiling your water.

Does Filtered Water Need Boiling?

Yes, filtering water, while better than drinking untreated water, does not make it safe to drink without boiling. This is because even the best home filtration systems do not remove all impurities from the water and may introduce some contaminants during the filtering process. Boiling further purifies the water by killing harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites that may be present. Boiling also removes chlorine and other chemicals from the water that can leave an unpleasant taste.

Comparing Boiled and Filtered Water

Boiling water has been used since ancient times and is a highly effective way of making water safe to drink. Boiling kills bacteria, viruses, and parasites in the water, making it safe to consume. In addition, boiling water helps remove heavy metals like lead and copper, as well as certain chemicals like chlorine and fluoride. Boiling is a relatively inexpensive method of purifying water and requires no special equipment or filters.

Filtered water is another popular option for treating drinking water. Filters are designed to remove specific water contaminants, making drinking safe. Different levels of contamination can be removed from the water depending on the type of filter used. For example, carbon filters effectively remove chlorine and other chemicals from the water. Reverse osmosis systems can also remove more difficult contaminants like lead and arsenic. Filtered water may also taste better than boiled water, as many filters are designed to enhance the flavor of the water.

Boiled Water Vs. Filtered Water. Which Is Better?

Several factors must be considered regarding which type of water is better, boiled or filtered. Boiling water kills bacteria and other contaminants, making it safe for consumption. However, boiling does not remove solid particles such as arsenic and lead, so the water may still contain these contaminants. Additionally, boiling can also affect the taste and odor of the water.

On the other hand, filtered water goes through a process where contaminants are removed. This is usually done by passing it through a membrane or filter which traps particles so that only clean drinking water passes through. Filtered water removes more contaminants than boiling, including heavier metals like arsenic and lead, and can also improve the taste of the water.

Which type of water is better depends on what contaminants are in your tap water. If tap water contains heavy metals like arsenic or lead, filtered water may be a better option as it will remove these contaminants. However, if your tap water is of good quality, then boiling should be sufficient to make it safe for consumption. Ultimately, the choice between boiled and filtered water comes down to personal preference.


What happens when water is efficiently filtered?

When water is filtered, it passes through a fine mesh or other material that captures the pollutants and contaminants like dirt, dust, lead, chlorine, and more. Depending on the type of filtration system used, this will result in significantly cleaner and clearer water than you would get with boiling alone.

How can water purifiers help in supplying pure drinking water?

Water purifiers are designed to filter out contaminants from water, resulting in clean and pure drinking water. They can filter particles as small as 0.5 microns so that even the most minor impurities cannot pass through.

What do we achieve from boiled and filtered water?

Boiling and filtering kill harmful bacteria, parasites, and other microorganisms that can cause cholera and dysentery. They filters trap contaminants and impurities in a mesh or carbon filter while allowing clean, healthy water.

How does boiling tap water change the taste of water?

Boiling tap water can significantly change the taste of water, as it removes chlorine and other mineral deposits that may affect its flavor. Boiled water is also known to reduce the number of contaminants in the water.

Does it make sense to drink filtered water if you cook with tap water?

Yes, when cooking with tap water, you should use filtered water instead. Toxins and impurities from tap water can be transferred into food during cooking processes such as boiling or steaming. Using filtered water for your cooking needs can reduce the toxins and impurities absorbed into your food.

When purifying water by boiling and filtering, what is the proffered order?

It is generally recommended that water be filtered first and then boiled. This is because the filters are designed to capture contaminants such as protozoa, bacteria, and parasites, which can cause severe illnesses if consumed. Boiling water removes most organisms but does not eliminate chemicals, pharmaceuticals, or heavy metals.


difference between Boiled water and filtered water - infographic
difference between Boiled water and filtered water – infographic

Ultimately, boiled water and filtered water both have their advantages. Boiled water kills bacteria and other microorganisms that can make you ill and remove essential minerals from the drinkable water. Filtered water helps to reduce contaminants like chlorine, lead, and mercury but requires a filter system to be installed or maintained. Both boiled and filtered water are safe for drinking when done correctly.

No matter which method you choose, always ensure that your drinking water is safe and free of contaminants before consuming it. Depending on your needs and preferences, boiled and filtered water can effectively ensure this.

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