Best Iron Filter for Well Water

Iron is one of the most common contaminants that is found in well water. Not only is it a nuisance – causing stains in your showers, sinks, and toilets – it can also damage your appliances and even cause negative health effects.

The good news is that you can readily find many different filters that work on iron, but how do you know which ones are best?

We have spent countless hours testing, researching, and reviewing various products from the top manufacturers to find the best iron filter for well water.

Best Iron Water Filters Compared

IMAGE PRODUCT FEATURES  
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#1 SpringWell Whole House Iron Filter
  • Flow Rate (GPM): Up to 20
  • Iron Removal (PPM): 7
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#2 Pelican WF8 Iron & Manganese Filter
  • Flow Rate (GPM): 15
  • Iron Removal (PPM): 10
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#3 Softpro Iron Master Filter
  • Flow Rate (GPM): 10
  • Iron Removal (PPM): 30
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#4 Air Injection Silver AIS10-25SXT
  • Flow Rate (GPM): 7-10
  • Iron Removal (PPM): 10
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#5 AFW Filters Iron Pro 2
  • Flow Rate (GPM): 2.4-4
  • Iron Removal (PPM): 4-7
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#6 Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House
  • Flow Rate (GPM): 15
  • Iron Removal (PPM): Not published
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#7 iSpring WGB22BM
  • Flow Rate (GPM): 15
  • Iron Removal (PPM): 3
CHECK PRICE

Things to Consider When Comparing Iron Filters

When looking at different products we wanted to be able to compare them apples-to-apples specifically for iron, so these are the main criteria we took into consideration:

 

Ability to Remove Iron & Other Contaminants

The best iron filter for well water is going to be able to remove iron, but many filters go above and beyond by reducing other common and potentially harmful contaminants as well.

These are the different filter types used in well water systems, and the impurities they work on:

Filter TypeContaminants Removed
Air injection oxidizing (AIO) filterIron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide
KDF filterHeavy metals
Carbon block filterOrganic chemicals, foul tastes and odors
Sediment filterSilt, suspended particles, rust
UV filterBacteria, viruses, protozoa

Filter Lifespan & Capacity

The capacity of a filter refers to the number of gallons of water it is rated to filter before needing to be replaced, so it’s a direct measurement of the filter’s lifespan.

How long that translates to is going to depend on your household’s size and water usage, but a filter with a 1,000,000 gallon capacity will always last longer than one with a 100,000 gallon capacity in the same house.

Flow Rate

The flow rate is the water pressure that comes out of your fixtures and appliances. Some filters leave your pressure relatively untouched, while others can have a significant impact on flow. Too low of water pressure is one of the most common customer complaints when it comes to water filters.

Ease of Installation & Filter Replacement

Some systems make it easy to DIY the install – saving you the cost of paying a plumber. For others, it will actually void the manufacturer’s warranty if anyone other than a licensed professional does it. How often you have to replace the filter cartridges is also something to consider.

Certifications

All manufactures make claims about their products’ performance, but some back them up by having those claims tested by independent organizations. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and the Water Quality Association (WQA) are the two main labs that certify different products for meeting pre-set industry standards.

You can see our guide here for more information on certifications.

Price

We made sure that all of the filters on our list are offering the best value for their price tags – no matter where they fall in the price range. When comparing different filters, you’re also going to want to look at the price of replacement filters and other maintenance requirements.

 Best Iron Filters for Well Water Reviewed

Now that you know what to look for in a great filter, these are the seven best iron filters we found using the criteria above:

1. SpringWell Whole House Well Water Filter System – Best Overall

 

Why This is Our Top Pick

This SpringWell Whole House Iron Filter is the best iron filter on the market for private wells that have issues with manganese or hydrogen sulfide in addition to iron. With this filter you will get clean, non-staining, great-tasting and smelling water with zero drop in pressure.

Clearly Filtered

Main Features & Benefits

Contaminants removed – Using AIO filtration, this system removes virtually 100% of iron up to 7 parts per million (ppm), manganese up to 1ppm, and hydrogen sulfide up to 8ppm.

There is not a sediment filter built into this system, so SpringWell does recommend adding one if you have water with heavy particulate contamination.

Filter lifespan & capacity – This filter has an unlimited capacity, and it comes with a lifetime warranty from SpringWell which is a big standout for this product.

Flow rate – For 1-4 bathrooms, this system has a flow rate of 12 gallons per minute (GPM), which should be more than enough pressure for most households.

Ease of installation & maintenance – With a lifetime warranty on the filter this is the definition of a maintenance-free system. As for the installation, SpringWell includes a comprehensive manual and video guide for those who would like to DIY it.

Certifications – While this product has not been NSF or WQA certified, SpringWell is an established and trusted brand in water filtration.

Price – The $2009.59 price is well-worth the high level of iron and other contaminants removed. Also, the maintenance-free design means you won’t have to spend money in the future on filter replacements so it’s worth the upfront investment.

Who It’s Best For:

Overall, we recommend this filter for anyone who has a well and needs to filter out iron, manganese, or sulfur. We have been very impressed by SpringWell’s customer service and quality of filters – and if you want the best well water filter produced by a top company then this is the one you need.

Pros

  • Removes up to 100% of iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide
  • High 12 GPM flow rate
  • Maintenance-free design
  • Bluetooth connectivity to the electronic control valve
  • Automatic backwash regeneration cycle
  • Lifetime warranty with a 6-month money back guarantee
  • DIY installation
Cons

  • Electronic set up reported as complicated by some users
  • No sediment filter included

2. Pelican Water Iron and Manganese Filter System WF4

 

Why This is a Top Pick

The Pelican WF4 is an all-in-one, whole house filter system for well water designed to remove iron, manganese, and other contaminants from your water supply. It also has one of the higher capacities for iron reduction of the filters on the market.

Waterdrop-G3

Main Features & Benefits

Contaminants removed – The system uses 4-stage filtration to oxidize and remove iron up to 10ppm in addition to manganese and particles larger than 5 microns. The chlorination system disinfects the water, and the chlorine along with any other organic chemicals is removed with the final activated carbon stage.

Filter lifespan & capacity – This filter has a lifespan of 600,00 gallons, which translates to roughly six years. It comes with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Flow rate – The flow rate is a strong 10 GPM.

Ease of installation & maintenance – The manual details the installation process for those who want to do it DIY. The sediment pre-filter will need to be replaced every 6-9 months, and the chlorine injector pump seals will need to be swapped out every 3-6 months.

Certifications – This product has been WQA Gold Seal certified in addition to NSF-certified for standards 61, meaning it is made with quality parts, and 42, meaning it improves the aesthetic quality of water. You can trust that Pelican’s product will work as marketed.

Price – This is one of the more expensive models on the list at $3,300. The chlorine pump seals are $75 each, while the sediment pre-filter replacements cost about $15 each.

Who It’s Best For:

The Pelican WF4 is not the cheapest iron filter on the market, but you get what you pay for with its fantastic filtration performance and brand reliability. For someone looking to reliably remove high levels of iron and manganese and who isn’t concerned with spending a little more, this system is a great option.

Pros

  • Removes iron up to 10ppm as well as manganese, microorganisms, and organic chemicals
  • 10 GPM flow rate
  • 5-year warranty with a 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Can be adapted to your home’s needs by adding other filters
  • DIY installation
  • Digital control interface
  • Automatic backwash regeneration cycle
  • NSF and WQA certified

Cons

  • Expensive
  • More maintenance than some other systems

Use Exclusive Code: WATERTECH at checkout for 10% off Pelican Products!

3. Softpro Iron Master AIO Filter System

 

Why This is a Top Pick

Our #3 pick is the Softpro Iron Master Filter that is designed to remove iron, sulfur, and manganese from well water. This model could easily be in the top 2 since it has the largest iron filtration capacity – up to 30ppm – at a very affordable price, but its lower flow rate gets it the bronze.

Aquasana RO

Main Features & Benefits

Contaminants removed – The AIO filter technology with Katalox media removes iron up to 30 ppm, manganese up to 7ppm, and hydrogen sulfide up to 5ppm. It also has the ability to remove arsenic up to 120 ppb with additional features.

Filter lifespan & capacity – Depending on the iron content of your water, this filter can last between 4-7 years before needing to be replaced. The capacity in gallons has not been published by the manufacturer.

Flow rate – The flow rate for the 1.0 cubic foot model is 6 GPM, which is better suited for smaller households. You can get the filter in a larger size which will boost the flow rate, but it’s more expensive.

Ease of installation & maintenance – While you can DIY the install, several customers have reported that it isn’t as easy as some of the others. There is no ongoing maintenance aside from replacing the main filter as needed.

Certifications – This product has been NSF certified for standard 61 for the quality of its parts, and it has also been IAMPO and ISO certified (two other independent organizations).

Price – At $999, you won’t get higher-quality iron filtration for a better price. The replacement Katalox media is $300, but that only has to be swapped out every 4-7 years.

Who It’s Best For:

If you’re someone on a tight budget and looking for the best iron filter for well water for the value, then this unit is one we recommend for its filtration capacity and price point.

It’s best for those who have a lower household size or water usage, but you can still get a larger version for a reasonable price otherwise.

Pros

  • Up to 30 ppm of iron removal in addition to manganese, hydrogen sulfide, and arsenic
  • Low maintenance
  • NSF, IAMPO, and ISO certified
  • Lifetime warranty on the filter housing
  • Automatic backwash regeneration cycle
  • Digital control interface
  • Fantastic price

Cons

  • Some issues reported with installation
  • Low flow rate
  • No sediment filter

4. AFW Air Injection Silver AIS10-25SXT

 

Why This is a Top Pick

It’s a cheaper alternative to our other top picks and does a good job of filtering out iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide using AIO technology.

pelican undersink

Main Features & Benefits

Contaminants removed – This system removes iron up to 10ppm, hydrogen sulfide up to 6ppm, and manganese up to 2ppm using AIO filtration. While it does not have a sediment filter, AFW says that the AIO Turbidex media will naturally clear most sediment.

Filter lifespan & capacity – While the filter’s capacity has not been published by the manufacturer, you can expect to get 2-4 years out of the filter media before it needs to be replaced.

Flow rate – With a flow rate of 7 GPM, this filter will work best in households with lighter water usage.

Ease of installation & maintenance – This model is able to be DIY installed easily, and there is no maintenance aside from replacing the main filter media.

Certifications – The parts for this model have been NSF certified for standard 61.

Price – If you’re looking for a budget version compared to SpringWell or Pelican, this is a great product to consider at $909. The Turbidex replacement media only costs $79 as well.

Who It’s Best For:

This product is best for those who want a similar performance to the SpringWell while paying half the price, but who can also afford to take the hit on their flow.

Pros

  • 10 ppm of Iron reduction, 2 ppm manganese, and 6ppm hydrogen sulfide
  • Low maintenance
  • Great price
  • Simple installation
  • Digital control head
  • Automatic regeneration cycle
  • NSF certified parts

Cons

  • Low flow rate
  • Loud regeneration cycle

5. AFW Filters IRON PRO 2 (Water Softener + Iron Filter)

Why This is a Top Pick

The AFW Iron Pro 2 is a great choice for anyone looking to combine a water softener and iron filter in one unit.

A lot of private wells contain both iron and hardness-causing minerals like magnesium and calcium – which can be removed with an ion exchange water softening system like the 64,000 grain capacity one used in this model.

Main Features & Benefits

Contaminants removed – This combined system uses a fine mesh resin to remove iron and manganese up to 6ppm while removing 75 grains per gallon (gpg) of hardness (calcium and magnesium).

Filter lifespan & capacity – The filter resin will last from 2-4 years depending on your water usage and the amount of iron in it, while the softener system will need salt added periodically – also based on your usage.

Flow rate – You should get enough flow to meet your home’s needs with 10 GPM.

Ease of installation & maintenance – You can DIY this install easily according to the customer reviews. Due to the water softener you will have more maintenance than some of the other systems, but it’s a small price to pay for less mineral scale.

Certifications – The parts for this system have been NSF certified for standard 61.

Price – The price for a dual-system model is incredibly low at only $693. The replacement resin will be around $300 and there’s the cost of adding salt to factor in, but it’s still very reasonable.

Who It’s Best For:

If you have well water with both a high grains per gallon rating and iron present, this is the best combined iron filter and water softener system on the market. Especially for the price.

Pros

  • Water softener up to 75gpg and iron filter up to 6ppm
  • Good flow rate
  • Super-low price
  • Long-lasting resin
  • Digital interface
  • Automatic regeneration cycle
  • Simple to install
  • NSF certified parts
Cons

  • More maintenance than a filter alone
  • Won’t work for those with very high iron levels

6. Express Water Iron & Heavy Metal Whole House Filter

Why This is a Top Pick

This 3-stage system from Express doesn’t have quite the capacity of the other filters on our list, but it’s still a budget-friendly option and offers an excellent flow rate. It also works on a wider range of contaminants than some of the other models.

waterdropblack

Main Features & Benefits

Contaminants removed – The combined sediment, KDF, and carbon block filters remove contaminants larger than 5 microns while reducing iron, hydrogen sulfide, lead, copper, mercury, chromium, aluminum, arsenic, chlorine, chloramine, pharmaceuticals, VOCs, sediment, rust, and compounds causing bad tastes and odors.

Filter lifespan & capacity – The system comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, and the filter cartridges for each stage have a capacity of 100,000 gallons, or 6-12 months.

Flow rate – The flow rate for this filter is 15 GPM, which ties for the highest on our list.

Ease of installation & maintenance – There’s more maintenance associated with this system due to the smaller capacities of the filters, but the filters are simple to replace and installation is relatively simple.

Certifications – This product has been NSF/ANSI certified for standard 61.

Price – The price of this system is only $450, and the replacement filters are $149 for all three. While this is less of an up-front cost than most of the other models, the costs over time could come out to be more than the others depending on your water usage.

Who It’s Best For:

Since Express doesn’t publish their iron removal specifications, you’ll probably want to go with another filter if your water has over 2-3ppm. Having said that, for those with lower iron levels that need good flow and would prefer to spread the costs out over time, this is still a worthy contender.

Pros

  • Removes many different contaminants
  • Stellar 15 GPM flow rate
  • Low initial costs
  • 1-year warranty
  • Simple installation
  • Filter lifespan gauges
  • NSF/ANSI certified parts
Cons

  • Exact specifications not published for iron and other contaminants
  • More maintenance and ongoing costs

7. iSpring WGB22BM Iron Manganese 2-Stage Water Filter

Why This is a Top Pick

This 2 stage iron manganese water filtration system combines an iron and manganese filter with an activated carbon block filter. It has a great flow rate, and it’s also easy on the wallet.

Main Features & Benefits

Contaminants removed – The catalytic media filter removes iron up to 3ppm and manganese up to 1ppm. The CTO carbon block filter also removes up to 99% of chlorine and up to 95% of herbicides, industrial solvents, pesticides, and other organic chemicals.

Filter lifespan & capacity – Both filters are rated for up to 100,000 gallons, or roughly one year depending on your usage. The iron-manganese filter can be as low as 50,000 gallons depending on how much of each is in your water, however.

Flow rate – This filter, like the one from Express Water, also has a 15 GPM flow rate.

Ease of installation & maintenance – This system likewise requires a fair bit of maintenance to replace the filters, but swapping them out is easy and so is doing the initial install.

Certifications – The parts for this product have been certified for NSF standard 61.

Price – The base price of this model is $398, which is the lowest on our list. The CTO replacement cartridges are $36.20 each, and the iron-manganese filter is $99. This makes this all around the most budget-friendly filter.

Who It’s Best For:

The iSpring model is unique in that you can choose any combination of their available filters. If you have well water that is free of most organic chemicals but has a heavy metal problem, you can swap out the CTO filter for a KDF one instead. If you’re concerned about sediment, you can use a sediment filter along with the iron-manganese one.

All in all, this system is best for those who want the cheapest way to remove iron from well water while still maintaining flow. You can see our iSpring water systems review for more information about the company.

Pros

  • The iron-manganese filter removes iron up to 3ppm and manganese up to 1ppm while the carbon filter removes chlorine and organic contaminants
  • Interchangeable filters with different media means you can customize the system to your water’s needs
  • 15 GPM flow rate
  • For the quality, you won’t find a better price
  • Simple installation
  • The parts have been NSF certified
Cons

  • The cartridges have a low capacity of just 50,000-100,000 gallons or up to 12 months depending on your iron levels
  • The connections can be leaky if you forget to use teflon tape

Top Iron Filters Feature Comparison Table

ProductIron RemovedFilter LifespanFlow RateCertificationsPrice
SpringWell Well Filter7ppmLifetime12 GPMN/A$$$
Pelican WF410ppm6 Years10 GPMNSF & WQA$$$$
SoftPro Iron Master30ppm4-7 Years6 GPMNSF, ISO, & IAMPO$$
AFW Silver-1010ppm2-4 Years7 GPMNSF$$
AFW Iron Pro-26ppm2-4 Years10 GPMNSF$$
Express Water Well Filter??ppm6-12 Months15 GPMNSF$
iSpring WGB22BM3ppm6-12 Months15 GPMNSF$

Iron Filter for Well Water Buyer’s Guide

Now that you know our top choices for the best iron filter for well water, this is some of the other information you’ll need to make the best purchase for your home’s needs.

What Is an Iron Filter & Who Needs One

An iron filter is a type of water filtration system that removes iron from your well water. The vast majority of homeowners with well water will have iron in their supply, but you can find out exactly how much by getting your water tested.

You can purchase water testing kits that will break down the ppm of iron in your water in addition to hydrogen sulfide and manganese – the other two most common well water contaminants, and many other organic and inorganic chemicals as well. Knowing what contaminants you’re up against will help you pick out the best filter to tackle them most effectively, and you can see our review of the best testing kits here.

If you have more than 0.3ppm of iron, the USDA recommends getting an iron water filter for your well. If your water tests under that amount, you’re still likely to need another kind of filter for whatever other contaminants are in your water but it won’t have to be an iron filter specifically.

The Science of Iron

By learning a bit more about what iron is and how it behaves, you’ll be better-equipped to deal with it in your water supply.

Types of Iron

There are 3 types of iron found in well water:

1. Ferrous
2. Ferric
3. Colloidal
4. Bacteria-associated

Ferrous iron is a water-soluble form of iron that stays dissolved in your water. It’s entirely clear, and you can’t tell it’s there without testing for it – except by the taste of your water and the red-orange stains it leaves. This is the kind of iron that has to be removed by special filters like the AIO or KDF systems.

Ferric iron is an oxidized form of iron, which turns it into a solid particulate that can be filtered by simply passing through a sediment filter. Ferric iron is essentially rust, which can change the color of your water, and it’s more noticeable since it’s in solid form.

Colloidal iron is the same form as ferric iron, but colloidal particles are much smaller – down to 0.01 microns in diameter. Most sediment filters remove particles down to 5 microns, so this form of iron can be easily missed by most filters. The good news – colloidal iron is not as common, and while you can find ultrafiltration systems that will remove it, most households can let it be and still stay below the 0.3ppm mark.

Bacterial Iron:
There are some species of bacteria that use iron as an energy source. These bacteria oxidize ferrous iron to its ferric form, and then they form annoying patches of rust, bacteria, and slime that sticks it all to your well’s pipes, pumps, and other plumbing fixtures. You usually have to chemically treat your well to remove them, but fortunately iron bacteria are less common than having just iron in your water.

Iron in Your Home

Iron is what gives blood its metallic taste, which you probably already know if you’ve ever accidentally bitten your lip. When iron is present in even moderate levels in your well, it gives your water that same metallic taste.

As you probably also know already, rust stains everything. It’s the iron in your water that causes the orange-red stains in your sinks, showers and toilets, not to mention your other appliances from your water heater to your coffee maker.

The most noticeable improvement from having an iron filter for your home is going to be the reduction of those reddish stains, and water that tastes better overall. In fact, that’s what most of the customer reviews love about the iron filters on our list.

Iron and Health

Iron, along with calcium, magnesium, manganese, and other naturally occurring minerals are completely normal to find in your well water. While these cause no harm and can even be beneficial to health in small quantities, excessive levels of iron can lead to health issues down the line.

Certain medical conditions such as hemochromatosis – which causes the body to increase absorption of iron – can lead to complications with the heart, liver, and pancreas if iron consumption is not limited.

Some skin conditions like eczema, for example, can also be aggravated by high iron levels and it can even cause extreme reactions in some cases. At the end of the day, using an iron filter is an investment in your health as well as your home.

Terms to Know

These are the common acronyms and terms that the manufacturers use to describe their products’ specifications:

  • Ppm: parts per million – or the milligrams of a substance per liter, is a measurement of the level of a particular substance in water.
  • Gpg: grains per gallon – hardness-causing minerals are measured as “grains”, so while iron would be measured in ppm, minerals like calcium and magnesium would be measured in gpg.
  • GPM: gallons per minute – this is how water pressure is measured and it’s commonly referred to as the flow rate.
  • Capacity: the number of gallons of water a filter can process over its lifespan
  • 4-stage, 3-stage, etc: refers to the number of filtration steps present in each system. An example of a 3-stage system might be a sediment filter, a KDF filter, and an activated carbon filter.

 

How Iron Filters Work

Iron filters targeting ferric iron are simple – they have pore sizes that are large enough for water to pass by but too small for ferric iron particles to follow.

On the other hand, since ferrous iron is dissolved, it must be oxidized to ferric iron by adding an electron to make it no longer water-soluble. Then it can be easily removed.

Types Of Filters

The main types of filters used to remove iron are air injection oxidizing filters (AIO), iron & sediment filtration media beds like KDF-85, ion exchange water softening media, and sediment filters.

AIO filters oxidize iron and other metals by passing the water through a pocket of compressed air. This forces the iron to become oxidized to ferric form, where it then travels to the filter bed below and becomes trapped. Eventually both the oxygen in the air pocket becomes depleted and the filter bed becomes clogged with particulates, which is why these filters have a built-in regeneration cycle.

During the regeneration cycle, there is a backwash of water through the filter bed that flushes out the accumulated particles and the air pocket is also replaced with fresh, oxygenated air.

KDF filters use catalytic media made of copper-zinc granules that oxidizes dissolved iron to its ferric form by adding electrons to the particles as they come into contact with the media. The ferric iron is then captured by the filter bed, and media must be replaced eventually as it gets used up. A backwash cycle can help prolong the filter life by removing the built-up ferric particles.

Most salt-based water softener systems use ion exchange media – sodium and potassium salts – to swap out the hardness-causing minerals in your water like calcium with salts like sodium. This process prevents mineral scale from forming in your home’s pipes and fixtures, and it can also work on small amounts of iron as well.

If you have less than 1ppm of iron in your well water, you can get away with using a standard water softener to remove it. If you have any more, you’ll either need to get a dedicated iron filter or increase the grain capacity of your water softening system – i.e. from 32,000 grains to 64,000.

Sediment filters, in addition to picking up the iron that’s already in ferric form, are great at stopping the other suspended particles in your water that could clog your filters and shorten their lifespan. It also works for those that the other filter types just aren’t designed to catch.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Iron Filters

These are the main pros and cons of using dedicated iron filters for your well water supply:

Advantages

  • Reduces iron down to safe, USDA-approved levels
  • Depending on the filter type used, can also work on other heavy metals like manganese and harmful contaminants like arsenic
  • Improved taste of water
  • Reduced red-orange staining

Disadvantages

  • Iron filters are often specific for iron and only a handful of other contaminants – if you well has other pollutants you’ll need additional filters
  • Like with any water filter, there can be a negative impact on flow rate
  • Some iron filters don’t come with a dedicated sediment filter, so you may need to add one
  • The backwashing regeneration cycle can be noisy on some models

 

What to Look For in An Iron Filter

These are the main features you’ll want to look for when considering an iron filter for your home:

Filter Lifespan

The longer the filter lasts, the less maintenance and upkeep you’ll have to do. Longer-lasting filters are also less likely to cost you as much money over the lifetime of the system. The lifespan of the filter (or filter cartridges) is usually written on the packaging or on the manufacturer’s website, and it can vary greatly depending on the filter capacity and the water use of the household.

Water Flow

You’ll want to get a system that won’t reduce water pressure beyond your household’s flow needs. This is going to depend on the size of your home, the number of people living in it, and your average usage, but to get an idea of what your flow needs might be you can reference the chart below:

ApplianceFlow Rate (GPM)
Bathroom Faucet
0.5 GPM
Kitchen Faucet
0.5 GPM
Shower
2.5 GPM
Dishwasher
1.0 GPM
Clothes Washer
1.5 GPM

The maximum amount of flow you will ever need is if every fixture and appliance is running at once. This will almost never be the case, but it can give you a high-end estimate of your water pressure needs.

Type of Filter Media

Filter media is the material within a water treatment system that interacts with the water supply and removes contaminants. This could be as simple as a fine mesh to remove dirt and sediments, or it could be KDF or activated carbon which are known to be effective at removing heavy metals and organic compounds, respectively.

Knowing what’s in your water ahead of time by testing it will let you best choose the filter or combination of filters that will work best for your water. For example – if you have iron and manganese as well as herbicides and pesticides in your water, an AIO filter isn’t going to address all of those. You’d also need to add something like an activated carbon block filter.

Installation

Most filtration systems are simple enough nowadays that a competent homeowner can install their new filter themselves with minimal fuss. This saves the cost of needing a professional to install the system.

Most manufacturers make their user guides and manuals available on their websites, which means you can read up on how to install a filter before you buy it and even speak to their customer care teams if you have any questions. Some manufacturers like SpringWell even include how-to videos on their websites.

Maintaining Your System

Routine maintenance of a water filter system is especially important when dealing with an iron filter. Although maintenance is fairly straightforward, no two filters are alike and so they all have varying maintenance requirements.

When it comes to a water softener it can be harder to accurately predict ahead of time how often the pre-filters will need changing or how regularly you will need to top off the salt. The best advice for this is to do your research and select a softener that fits your home’s needs, and then monitor your salt consumption over a few weeks or a month.

This will allow you to gauge how quickly you are consuming salt and get into a routine of filling up when needed. Whether you’re using a filter, softener system, or both, it’s important to maintain your system as the manufacturer recommends to ensure that the warranty remains valid and to stave off the need for repairs.

Filter Replacements

Depending on the water filter you choose, you can expect to change the filters anywhere between 3 months and 20 years. Generally, you should expect correctly sized and properly fitted pre- or post-filters to have an average lifespan of 6-12 months.

You’ll also want to make sure you can easily access any replacement filters or media. Most manufacturers will have them for sale where you bought the original system, and you should check how long it takes to ship them so you can plan accordingly.

Iron Filter FAQ’s

These are some of the common questions other consumers have asked when looking for the best iron filter for well water:

Q: What are the most trusted iron filter brands?

A: Some of the most popular and trusted brands in iron and general water filtration are SpringWell, Pelican, AFW, iSpring, HomeMaster, and Aquasana.

Q: What is the difference between a water softener and an iron filter?

A: A water softener removes total dissolved solids from the water, which includes minerals like calcium and magnesium and up to 1ppm of iron in most cases. This causes your water to be “softer”, which means it won’t form mineral scale.

An iron filter doesn’t work on minerals, but removes iron and potentially manganese, hydrogen sulfide, or other contaminants. It won’t reduce the hardness of your water, but some filters like the SoftPro Iron Master can remove iron up to 30ppm.

For more detailed information see our filter vs softener comparison here.

Q: What removes iron from well water?

A: There are three main filter types used to remove iron: air injection oxidization (AIO) media, kinetic degradation fluxion (KDF) media, and sediment filters for rust. Some water softeners use ion exchange systems that will also remove iron up to 1ppm.

Q: How much is an iron filter for well water?

A: This largely depends on the number of contaminants removed and the lifespan of the filter. The most expensive filter on our list, the Pelican WF4, is about $3,300 but it also removes more contaminants than the other filters and it has media that will last for about six years.

The iSpringWGB22BM, on the other hand, is only $398 – but it doesn’t work as well on iron and other contaminants and you have to replace the filters every 6-12 months.

Q: How long does an iron filter last?

A: Depending on the model, you can find iron filters like the SpringWell Well Filter that never need to be replaced and come with a lifetime warranty. On the other hand, the filters in models like the iSpring WGB22BM will need to be replaced every 6-12 months.

Conclusion

 

Having looked at all 7 of the best iron water filters, we can’t get away from the Springwell Whole House Iron Filter as the best filter for a well water supply.

It removes up to 7ppm of iron as well as manganese & sulfur, and it comes from Springwell – a market-leading brand in the filtration industry. If your home suffers from high iron levels in the water supply, you won’t go wrong with Springwell’s well filter.

A special mention also goes to the Softpro Iron Master, which has the largest iron filtration capacity at a very affordable price. Overall, we recommend Springwell first and then the Softpro or Pelican system for the best iron-specific filter.

You can see our review for the best overall whole house water filters for well water here, if you’re also concerned about some of the other contaminants in your well water and want to see which filters can remove them.

Stephanie Nielsen
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