Instead of purchasing multiple filters why not just buy one whole house water filtration system that provides you with the purest water to every outlet of your home.
It’s a much smarter investment.
Having said that, it can be hard to tell which whole house water filter systems really work, which ones won’t kill your flow, and which ones are just trying to sell you junk.
We spent countless hours researching, testing, and talking with customers to get you the real scoop on which whole house water filters are best.
We break each one down in our review below, and our buyer’s guide contains the main things you need to know to determine which unit is the best whole house water filter for your home.
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Best Whole House Water Filtration Systems
#1 SpringWell CF1
#3 SpringWell WS1
#4 Aquasana Rhino
#5 SoftPro Carbon Filter
Main Criteria to Look For in a Whole House Water Filter System
These are the five criteria we used to evaluate each whole home water filtration system, and they’re the main things that will determine if a system is right for your home.
The water filter type a whole house system uses is going to determine the contaminants it removes, and these are the most common filters used in whole house water filter systems:
|Filter Type||Contaminants Removed|
|Carbon block filter||Organic chemicals, foul tastes and odors|
|KDF filter||Heavy metals|
|Sediment filter||Silt, suspended particles, rust|
|Air injection oxidizing (AIO) filter||Iron, manganese, hydrogen sulfide|
The best whole-house water filter system is one that removes the contaminants particular to your water, and you may get a water testing kit to identify which pollutants are most prevalent in your supply.
If your water contains germs or viruses, get a UV filter attachment with your water filter purchase.
Filter Lifespan & Capacity
Another thing to look at is how long it takes before you need to replace filters in water systems.
This is known as the water filter life or filter longevity. This can be anywhere from 6 months for pre-and post-filters, to years for the main one.
Similarly, capacity refers to the number of gallons a filter can process over its lifespan. Ease of filter replacement and cost are other things to consider as well.
If you’ve ever tried to take a shower with a very poor flow, you know how frustrating it can be to have to wait on your water.
The water supply, or the water pressure, that comes out of house water filter systems is one of the biggest things that affects customer satisfaction with a particular system.
The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and the Water Quality Association (WQA) are two independent entities that certify water filters for water purification and other products for meeting standards like the reduction of specific contaminants or using parts of a certain quality.
Certification shows that brands put their money where their mouth is when it comes to claims about their products. See our guide to water treatment certifications here.
When looking at the whole house water filter systems, you have to take three factors into consideration to make sure it is cost-effective:
- The upfront cost of the water filter
- The installation costs of water systems
- The costs down the line from replacement filters and other maintenance
- Potential water waste
When shopping for a whole-house filtration system, keep in mind that it must be cost-effective and include the installation expenses as well as expected water filter replacements. These are the costs that most people overlook when purchasing.
Best Whole House Water Filter Reviews
We have used the criteria above to narrow down all the highly-rated whole house water filters. Out of all of them, these ten are the best for filtering water in your home.
Each one has specific qualities that make it stand out from the others, and each one provides high-quality filtered water for your needs.
1. SpringWell Water CF1 – Best Overall Whole Home Water Filtration System for City Water
Springwell’s CF1 model is our pick for the best whole house water filter and it’s also one of the best value whole house water filter system choices to improve your filter water quality.
The CF1 has consistently received stellar consumer reviews, and Springwell uses innovative 4-stage filtration technology in their water filter to go the extra mile to bring clean water to homeowners.
It’s also easy to install and low maintenance, and you can add a salt-free softening system if you would like.
Without altering water pressure or energy consumption, this house water filtration system treatment removes harmful contaminants such as PFOA, PFAS, and PFOS.
Springwell is an American-based company that backs its goods with an industry-leading 6-month money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty, so you have nothing to lose.
This combination of cost-effectiveness and high-quality filtration in a whole house filter system is the main reason we love this water filter.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed – This water filter model features a four-stage proprietary ActivFlo water filter system. It contains a catalytic coconut shell carbon filter and certified KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion) filtration media to remove harmful water contaminants like chlorine, chloramine, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and other organic chemicals.
For a more complete list of the contaminants the CF1 filters, click here.
Filter lifespan & capacity – The filter system comes with a pre-filter that needs to be replaced every 6-9 months, and then the main water filter media itself has a 1,000,000 gallon capacity. This means it gives you a 10-year filter life before it needs to be replaced, depending on your household’s water usage.
Flow rate – The operating water pressure is between 25 and 80 PSI, and it has a 9 GPM (gallons of water per minute) flow capability. This is a little lower than some models, but it should still be sufficient for most medium-sized houses.
Certifications – This water filter has not been NSF or WQA certified, but SpringWell is a trusted brand in water filtration.
Price – At $1016 for the system, you’re getting superior performance for a relatively low price. If you’re handy with plumbing, you can DIY the installation to save money by not having to pay for a plumber.
Who It’s Best For:
The SpringWell whole-house water filter system is great for people who want a high-quality filter to remove hazardous pollutants from their city tap water at an affordable price.
For more in-depth information, also see our complete Springwell Water Filtration Review.
- The four-stage water systems use an activated carbon filter and KDF filtration media to remove foul tastes and odors as well as organic chemicals
- 1,000,000 gallon filter capacity and 10-year lifespan
- Maintains a good flow at 9 GPM (doesn’t negatively affect water pressure)
- 6-month money-back guarantee and lifetime warranty on the parts
- DIY-friendly to install and save money
- The reasonable price point for the quality
- Can add on a softener system as well
- One of the larger filters on the list
- It will not work great for most well water
2. AquaOx – Most Effective Whole House Water Filtration System
AquaOx takes the silver medal for being the most effective whole-house water filter system with the largest capacity.
The whole house water filter works for both municipal water and well water and removes the most contaminants of the filters on our list.
What makes Aquaox one of the leading whole-house water filter systems on the market is the robust 7-stage filtration process it features which includes pre-sediment, KDF, Garnet, Catalytic Carbon, and activated carbon filters as well as the overall lifespan and capacity of this unit at 2,000,000 gallons or 20+ years.
This filter is made in the USA, features a 10-year no-hassle warranty, and it’s pretty easy to install.
Overall, if you’re searching for the most efficient premium whole-house water filtration system with the greatest capacity and aren’t concerned about cost, the Aquaox is your best option for clean water.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed – The AquaOx water filter features a filtration system with 7 stages: the pre-sediment filter, KDF 55, KDF-85, garnet, centaur catalytic adsorptive carbon, activated coconut shell carbon filter, and filter-AG stages. This allows it to remove foul tastes and odors, heavy metals like lead, iron, mercury, organic chemicals, and microorganisms.
You can see the full list of contaminants the AquaOx works on here.
Filter lifespan & capacity – With a 2,000,000 gallon capacity, you won’t find water filter media that lasts longer. This offers a filter life of at least 20 years and works for up to four bathrooms.
This water filter requires no maintenance, so you won’t have to clean or replace any filters other than the main 7-stage filter near the end of its lifespan. This water filtering system may also be installed DIY.
Flow rate – There’s no compromise on flow capability at 15 GPM. You can rest assured you’ll have plenty of water pressure for all of your home’s needs.
Certifications – The AquaOx has been certified by both NSF and WQA for NSF/ANSI standards:
- 42 – meaning it removes aesthetic contaminants,
- 53 – meaning it removes contaminants with known health effects,
- 61 – meaning it uses certified components.
Price – You get it all with this system – and you also pay for it. Going from $3,500 to $4999, you’ll save some money by not having to do filter replacements down the line but it won’t offset the initial cost.
For a limited time, Water Tech users can receive $500 off of this model. Enter the code: watertechadvice at checkout.
Who It’s Best For:
It’s great for those searching for the most powerful overall home water filter, as well as the highest water quality attainable. Keep in mind that this top-of-the-line whole-house filtration system will set you back a significant amount of money.
You can see our full Aquaox Review here.
- The 7-stage water filter removes a wide variety of contaminants and works for both well and municipal water
- 2,000,000 gallon capacity and 20-year lifespan
- Maintenance-free operation
- Exceptional 15 GPM flow
- NSF and WQA certified
- 12-month money-back guarantee and 10-year warranty
- Very expensive
Enter Code: watertechadvice at checkout for $500 off!
3. SpringWell Water WS1- Whole House Water Filter For Private Wells
Springwell’s WS1 Filter System is our top solution for pure water from private wells.
If you’re someone who has determined you have iron, manganese, or hydrogen sulfide in your well water supply this is one of the top models on the market for you.
This unit features a 4-step air injection oxidizing filter system which works by oxidizing iron, manganese, and sulfur from your water and then filtering it out in subsequent stages of the process.
The filter system also requires no maintenance and causes no drop in water pressure keeping the flow around 12-20 GPM while other whole house water filters are usually in the range of 6-7 GPM.
To top it off, Springwell is a well-known American company that makes high-quality water filters with a 6-month warranty and an excellent money-back guarantee for its most expensive model.
If you have well water and want to see our specific review for this issue, check out our best whole house water filters for a well water guide.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed – Using AIO filtration, this model removes nearly 100% of iron up to 7ppm, H2S up to 8ppm, and manganese up to 1ppm – which are the three most common well water contaminants. The built-in sediment filter also removes suspended particles and debris.
Filter lifespan & capacity – The media in the WS1 should last for 20+ years of filter life, which translates to a roughly 2,000,000 gallon capacity even though SpringWell doesn’t publish that specification.
Flow rate – With a 12 GPM flow capability, this water filter system does a great job of making sure there’s no drop in flow for quality water.
Certifications – These SpringWell water filters have not been NSF or WQA certified but Springwell is a trusted brand in the filtration space.
Price – The $2,204 price tag is slightly elevated, but it’s worth it for the high flow rate and near-complete water clearances of most well-water pollutants. Like the AquaOx, there are no ongoing expenses associated with filter changes because of the maintenance-free design.
Who It’s Best For:
If you have a home with a private well, then this Springwell whole-house water filter is a great choice.
You can also check out our review of Springwell’s WS models for well water here.
- The 4-stage water filter removes up to 8 ppm of H2S, up to 7 ppm of iron, and 1 ppm of manganese
- Maintenance-free design
- 20+ year lifespan
- High flow rating at 12 GPM
- 6-month money-back guarantee & lifetime warranty on parts
- Bluetooth interface for remote monitoring through an app
- Can add a water softener system
- More expensive unit
- You may need a plumber to help install
4. Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000 – Best Whole House Water Filtration & Softener System
Suitable for both municipal water supply contaminants and hard water minerals, the Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000 is a 3-stage whole house water filter system combined with a salt-free softener.
The Rhino has been one of the most popular whole-house water filters for a while now because of Aquasana’s high-quality water filter technology and the ability to customize the models to your exact specification.
The Rhino comes in 600,000 gallons of water and a 1,000,000-gallon capacity model with a decent flow rating of 7 GPM.
One of the best features of these water filters is that Aquasana has gone through independent testing to certify that it removes 97% of chlorine as well as reduces lead, mercury, herbicides, pesticides, and VOCs.
With a price tag of around $1700, the ability to add a water softener and UV (or ultraviolet) light filter, and a highly trusted brand, you can see why the Rhino is one of the best picks.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed – Using a combination of KDF-55 media and granular activated carbon post-filter, this system reduces herbicides, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds (VOC)s in addition to nitrates, 97% of chlorine, and heavy metals like iron, lead, and H2S.
It also prevents the growth of bacteria and algae, and the sediment pre-filter works on suspended particles. You can see the whole list of contaminants removed here.
Filter lifespan & capacity – This model has a 1,000,000 gallon capacity, which is a filter life of about 10 years depending on your water usage.
The pre-and post-filter will need to be replaced regularly, however. The pre-filter lasts up to six months with city water, while the post-filter lasts up to 12 months on city water.
Flow rate – The water flow is a bit lower than the others at 7 GPM, which may still be enough for a 4-person household with low usage.
Certificates – NSF has certified this product for standard 42, which means it improves the aesthetic quality of water.
Price – The Aquasana Rhino combo system goes for $1,552, which is less expensive than some of the other models and you get the added benefit of the water softener. The pre-filters come in a 4-pack for $29.95, while the post-filters are sold individually for $29.95 as well.
Who It’s Best For:
The Aquasana whole-house water filter is a great choice for customers who are looking for a three-stage water filter system that also serves as a whole-house water softener.
It’s a great option for individuals who are concerned about chlorine, heavy metals, or other pollutants in their water and want the freedom to construct their own solution.
- Takes care of all your water filtration and softening needs in one whole house system
- Works on both municipal water and well water
- Filters microscopic particles from rust, sediment, industrial solvents, pesticides, silt, water-soluble metals, lead, and 97% of chlorine
- Long-lasting, the KDF media has a 10-year or 1-million gallon lifespan
- NSF certified
- No backflushing which means no wastewater generated
- A low flow capacity of just 7 GPM
- Filter replacement for the pre-and post-filters can be expensive
- A sediment pre-filter and post-filters need to be replaced every six months
- One of the heaviest units
- You may need a plumber for filter changes or installation if you don’t get the install kit
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5. SoftPro Whole House Upflow Carbon Filter
The SoftPro Carbon Filter is another good whole home water filtration system that competes with our top picks.
The main filter in this system is a catalytic back-washing activated carbon filter which is a type of processed activated carbon that removes 99% of chloramines, chlorine, VOCs, and other chemicals.
Besides the catalytic carbon filter, it also has a KDF sponge made from copper and zinc which helps remove heavy metals as well as a 5-micron sediment pre-filter to help remove sand and sediment before going through the main filtration process.
Another benefit of this system is that it includes an automatic backwashing system that operates without using chemicals or salt.
The filter has a capacity of 600,000 or 1,000,000 gallon options and usually lasts for around 5 years.
Overall, it’s a decent whole-home filtration system for someone looking for a lower-cost option to remove chlorine and chloramines.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed – This model removes 99% of chloramines, chlorine, VOCs, and other chemicals as well as a high % of pesticides, herbicides, petroleum, lead, copper, zinc, and sulfur.
Filter lifespan & capacity – It has a long filter capacity of 600,000 to 1,000,000 gallons or approximately 5 years before needing filter replacement.
Flow rate – Has an average flow rate of around 7-10 GPM
Certifications – This model has not been certified.
Price – The price of this filter is $1400 and it often goes on sale for around $1049.
Who It’s Best For:
For someone on municipal water who wants to save money while also eliminating chlorine and chloramines, as well as other contaminants, the SoftPro Carbon whole house water filter system is an excellent alternative.
- Long filter life
- Auto backwashing function
- Chemical-free purification
- Good for well water
- Not easy to install
- No NSF certification
- Not a lot of details on the manufacturer’s site
6. Pelican PC 600- A Trusted Water Filter Brand
Pelican’s PC 600 or 1000 is one of the market’s top whole house filtration systems for municipal water thanks to its combination of the catalytic granular activated carbon filter and KDF-55 media.
The PC 600 works in homes with up to three bathrooms, and the PC 1000 system will work in homes with 4-6 bathrooms.
Pelican has certified this filter by NSF to remove 97% of chlorine and other contaminants and it’s also very easy to maintain plus install.
It also offers an 8-12 GPM flow rating which is average.
One of the benefits of the PC is that when you purchase from Pelican you are buying with a company that has been one of the leaders in water treatment for quite some time, so the trust is there.
Stainless steel is used in the Pelican tanks, which is not only resistant to corrosion and high temperatures, but it doesn’t break when dropped as readily as plastic.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed – The sediment pre-filter removes all particles larger than five microns, including sand, silt, sediment, and other debris. The granular activated carbon filter works on chlorine, chloramines, and VOCs, while the KDF-55 media reduces water-soluble heavy metals.
You can see the full list of contaminants removed here.
Filter lifespan & capacity – The PC600 has a 600,000-gallon capacity which is guaranteed by Pelican to last at least five years. The sediment pre-filter, on the other hand, will last for 6-9 months. The upgraded system for 4-6 bathrooms, the PC1000, has a 1,000,000 gallon capacity.
Flow rate – The operating water pressure ranges between 20 and 80 PSI, and the water flow is 8 GPM for the PC600 and 12 GPM for the PC1000.
Certifications – This model has been NSF certified for standard 42, which means it reduces chlorine and bad tastes/odors in water.
Price – If you’re looking for high-quality water on a budget, you’ll like the $1027 price tag.
Who It’s Best For:
The Pelican whole-house water filtration system is a fantastic option for people who have city water and are searching for a filter that doesn’t require electricity or generates gallons of water wasted. It’s also great for those who don’t want to break the bank on their whole house filter.
- Activated carbon and KDF-55 media reduce many chemicals found in city tap water supplies
- Can get a higher-capacity system for larger houses
- 5-year guarantee and limited lifetime warranty
- Easy install and maintenance
- Doesn’t use wastewater
- Requires no electricity – unless you add a UV (ultraviolet light) filter upgrade
- Great price
- Doesn’t work as well on well water
- Lower flow rate
7. Filtersmart FS1000
The powerful Filtersmart FS1000 is ideal for homes with 1-3 bathrooms, delivering great flow while using activated coconut shell carbon media to remove a wide range of contaminants. If you have four to six bathrooms, they have a larger upgrade option as well.
Filtersmart is a newer firm in the water filtering industry, and while the FS1000 model isn’t anything special when compared to other similar models we’ve seen, it is well-built and affordably priced.
It has a similar flow rating at 12 GPM, comparable filtration capacity, and lacks certification.
The filter tank is composed of stainless steel, which is not only resistant to corrosion and high temperatures, but it does not break when dropped as plastic does.
Overall, it’s a good water filter at a low cost.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed – The activated carbon block filter removes chlorine, chloramine, VOCs, herbicides, pesticides, THMs, and industry solvents as well as other contaminants. For the full list of contaminants removed, click here.
Filter lifespan & capacity – This filter is rated for 1,000,000 gallons and comes with a five-year guarantee. The sediment filter should be replaced every 6-8 months.
Flow rate – The maximum water flow is 12 GPM, which should be more than plenty for a 3-bathroom house and will ensure you don’t experience any drop in pressure.
Certifications – This product has not been certified by NSF or WQA.
Price – This filter is easy on the wallet at $1000, and a 4-pack of the sediment pre-filters is $88.
Who It’s Best For:
This Filtersmart product is a great option to consider if you want a filter capacity that produces quality results without impacting flow.
You can also see our full Filtersmart reviews page here.
- Carbon filters remove many organic contaminants as well as chlorine and chloramine
- 12 GPM flow rating
- 1,000,000 gallon capacity and rated for at least 5 years
- No electricity required
- Great price
- Lifetime warranty
- Likely needs a plumber to install
- Not recommended for well water – does not remove iron, hydrogen sulfide, or manganese
- No independent certifications
8. iSpring WGB32B 3 Stage Whole Home Filter
The iSpring WGB32B is a 3 stage filtration system that is good for any water supply. The base system uses a polypropylene sediment filter in addition to two carbon block filters to remove a large number of contaminants while maintaining flow and effectively reducing the taste of chlorine.
It removes agricultural and industrial solvents, chemicals, and VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds.
One of the best things about this system is that you can customize it to your water’s needs and filter changes are easy.
If you’re on municipal water and chlorine is your biggest concern, you can stick with the 2 CTO filters. If you’re concerned about lead, you can replace one of the CTO filters with an ion-exchange lead reduction filter.
Similarly, if you’re on well water you can swap one of the CTO filters for a catalytic carbon filter media that reduces both iron and manganese and for increased filter capacity.
This unit is a good budget option to consider because it offers customization at a low cost and uses multiple sediment filters to get good results.
Overall, if you are looking for cheaper house water filtration systems, this is a model to take a look at.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed – The CTO carbon filters remove up to 99% of chlorine and up to 95% of herbicides, industrial solvents, pesticides, and more. A high-capacity polypropylene reduces particles down to 5 microns.
Filter lifespan & capacity – These CTO carbon filters are rated for 100,000 gallons or one year. The sediment filter, on the other hand, is only rated for 10,000 gallons but it can last for up to six months depending on the amount of sediment in your water. Swapping out the filters is very easy, and you do not need a plumber for installation and maintenance processes.
Flow rate – With one of the top flow ratings on the market at 15 GPM, you can be confident that this filter won’t put a dent in your water pressure.
Certifications – This product has not been NSF or WQA certified for contaminant removal, but the parts have been certified for standard 61.
Price – The initial price of this model is $401, which is the second-lowest on our list.
Who It’s Best For:
This 3-stage filter is ideal for homeowners who want to clean up their home’s water supply on a budget. Choosing this iSpring whole house water filter means consumers can access a system with easy installation and a lower cost compared to most other models.
See our iSpring water systems review for more information about the company.
- A carbon block filter and sediment filter removes up to 95 percent of sediments and chlorine, herbicides, pesticides, and industrial solvents
- The customizable nature of the system means you can target your water’s specific contaminants
- The 15 GPM flow rating is exceptional
- Able to be DIY installed
- The parts have been certified
- The price can’t be beaten for the quality
- The unit is quite large and will only fit in a house with sufficient space
- The cartridges have a short lifespan of just 100,000 gallons of filtered water (12 months), which is low
- If you forget to use Teflon tape at the connections, you may experience leaks
9. Home Master HMF3SDGFEC
The Home Master HMF3SDGFEC whole house filter offers a flow capacity of up to 15 GPM. These water filtration systems work on both the top well contaminants and organic impurities.
Specifically, it removes up to 95% of iron, manganese, sediment, and chemicals.
At the low price tag of $500 and the ability to be a pretty effective well water filter, the Home Master is a good option to consider if you’re dealing with non-chlorinated well water.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed – This Home Master system combines a sediment filter with granular activated carbon and an iron reduction filter. Together they remove iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide for up to 3ppm combined, in addition to sediment and turbidity, pesticides, and herbicides, it will remove chlorine and other organic chemicals down to 1 micron in size.
Filter lifespan & capacity – The capacity is based on the carbon filter, which is slightly lower than the other models at 95,000 gallons. It can still last you a full year in a 4-person household if you only have moderate usage, however.
The iron reduction filter will last anywhere from six months to a year, and the sediment filters will also last from 6-12 months before needing to be replaced.
Filter changes are also pretty easy to take care of.
Flow rate – The maximum water pressure is 90 PSI, and as mentioned this system also delivers a 15 GPM water flow.
Certifications – The Home Master has not been certified by the NSF or WQA.
Price – The initial price of the system is $503.85, which is lower than many of the other models. Having said that, the carbon filter replacement cartridge costs $83.35, the iron filter replacement costs $117.37, and the sediment replacement filter costs $34.49.
Who It’s Best For:
The Home Master HMF3SDGFEC whole house water filters are an excellent choice for homes running on well water. However, if you’re looking for a whole house water filter for your city tap water, the HMF2SMGCC filters are worth considering as well.
- Removes iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide up to 3ppm combined and also removes other organic chemicals
- Excellent flow rating at 15 GPM
- Very reasonable price
- Two-year limited warranty on the filter housing
- Easy to maintain
- Lower capacity than the other models means more maintenance
- It is difficult to install DIY
10. 3M Aqua Pure Whole House Water Filter
For homeowners who want a low-cost and hassle-free filter to improve their tap water, the 3M Aqua-Pure whole house water filter system is another unit to consider.
The 20 GPM water flow is suitable for households of any size, and the water filter is certified to improve the quality of your water.
It also features a scale inhibition system that protects pipes and appliances and its carbon filter captures sediment down to five microns reducing the taste of chlorine.
It has a 100,000-gallon capacity (which is very small) and it doesn’t remove heavy metals or chemical contaminants, but if you don’t need that capability, it’s a good value filter.
Main Features & Benefits
Contaminants removed – These water filters remove particulates larger than 5 microns in addition to chlorine and other bad tastes and odors. The Aqua-Pure filter is also marketed to reduce scale formation, but if water hardness is a top concern you would be better off going with a true water softener system.
Filter lifespan & capacity – This filter lasts for 100,000 gallons or roughly a year. There are no pre-or post-filters.
Flow rate – You won’t find a filter that preserves flow better at 20 GPM.
Certifications – NSF has certified this system for standard 42, meaning it improves the aesthetic quality of your tap water.
Price – The price of the initial system is $291.15, while the replacement cartridges are $191.14. This makes this system the cheapest to start off, but the cost does add up with the yearly replacements.
Who It’s Best For:
If you have city water that removes harmful pollutants effectively and just want to clean up the odor while also improving the taste of your water, this is an excellent filter for enhancing aesthetics.
- Removes high levels of chlorine, particles larger than 5 microns, and helps to reduce scale buildup
- The 20 GPM water flow is exceptional
- Easy installation and filter replacement
- Low up-front cost
- Mainly improves the taste and odor of water, and doesn’t work on other harmful contaminants and heavy metals
- Only a 100,000-gallon capacity
- Costs can add up over time
Whole House Water Filtration systems Feature Comparison Table
|Product||Filter Type||Filter Capacity||Flow Rate||Certifications||Price|
|SpringWell CF1||Catalytic Carbon, KDF-55||1,000,000||9 GPM||N/A||$$|
|AquaOx||Catalytic and Activated Carbon, KDF-55 and -85||2,000,000||15 GPM||NSF & WQA||$$$$|
|Springwell WS1||AIO||2,000,000||12 GPM||N/A||$$$|
|Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000||Activated Carbon, KDF-55||1,000,000||7 GPM||NSF||$$$|
|Pelican PC600||Activated Carbon, KDF-55||600,000||8 GPM||NSF||$$|
Whole House Water Filter Buyer’s Guide
In our guide below you can learn everything you need to know about whole-home filters to make the best decision based on your home water needs.
What is a Whole House Water Filter?
A whole house water filter is a filter that treats all the incoming water that enters your home through its main water line.
This means that all the water in your home including sinks, showers, kitchen appliances, bathtubs, and any other water outlet will produce filtered water.
Whole house water filters are considered point of entry water filters because they filter water at your home’s main entry line.
There are a number of different types of whole house water filters which focus on filtering different contaminants based on the type of filter media they contain.
How Does a Whole House Water Filter Work?
A whole house water filter system attaches to your main water line’s point of entry.
When the water from your city or well supply runs into your incoming home water line the water passes through a filter or a set of filters before reaching appliances, faucets, and other water-using fixtures throughout your home.
This ensures that all the incoming water is filtered using the media in your whole home filtration system.
For a more detailed explanation check out our how do whole house water filters work page.
What Do the Best Home Water Filters Remove?
There are many different types of whole house water filters and they each remove different contaminants depending on what filter media they contain. The best systems will remove a wide variety of the most common water contaminants.
The main contaminants found in city water supplies:
The main contaminants found in well water:
- Hydrogen Sulfide- produces the notorious rotten egg smell
Other potential contaminants in both (but more likely found in well water):
- Herbicides and pesticides
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
- Parasites, viruses, bacteria
- Industrial solvents
In order to find out what contaminants are in your water specifically, you should educate yourself on water testing and purchase a water testing kit that will break down the types and amounts of each contaminant.
That way you can target your whole-house filter purchase to the one that will best meet your needs.
Most of our top models above will filter out a wide range of water contaminants for both city and well water.
Why Use a Whole Home Water Filter?
There are several reasons to invest in a whole house water filtration system, from health benefits to improving the lifespan of your appliances.
Protect Your Health
The main reason homeowners decide to purchase whole house water filters is to keep their family members safe from illnesses associated with different contaminants like lead, pesticides, industrial run-off, bacteria, and more.
It’s not uncommon to find reports of excessive amounts of harmful chemicals in a city’s water supply.
Extend the Lifespan of Your Appliances
Cleaner water is also essential for your appliances. If the system has a filter that removes sediment, less sediment means less damage to the parts of your washing machine, water heater, dishwasher, etc.
Maintain the Color of Your Clothing
Do you ever notice that your clothes come out of the washing machine looking less clean than they started?
White garments are particularly susceptible to stains due to dirty water.
Receive Better Results
You could fit a filter just on your kitchen faucet, but this would only provide you with clean drinking water – you’ll still be showering and washing dishes with contaminated water.
Adding individual filters to all your appliances and faucets could be an alternative, but this would be more expensive than installing one whole house filtration system.
More Sustainable & Eco-Friendly
By installing a whole home water filter instead of using bottled water you are also helping the environment since the use of plastic plays a role in harming our oceans and ecosystems. Not to mention it’s also a hassle to constantly purchase and store bottled water containers.
See a full list of whole house water filter benefits here.
What to Look Out For When Choosing Your Home Filter System
There are significant differences between whole-house water filters, and when choosing the right one for you it’s necessary to think about your water quality issues and home specifications.
1. Make Sure the Specifics Match Your Home Water Needs
If you conducted a water test to determine which contaminants are in your water supply you will first need to find a home filter cartridge that removes the contaminants your water contains. Then you will need to make sure that the filter size, capacity, maintenance needs, and price fit your household.
See our cost breakdown guide here.
Depending on your home setup you may also need to look at factors like the dimensions of the system, the ease of installation and filter replacement, and the size of the inlet piping.
Make sure the specs match your home size and water issue and find the best price that fits those needs.
2. Figure Out The Right Type or Combination of Filters Needed
Think about what kind of whole house water filter would suit your needs. For instance, if your water source is well water that contains high quantities of iron, you’ll need to choose a filter system that removes iron.
If you have hard water as well as contaminants, you may need the best whole-house water filter and softener combo in one unit like Aquasana’s Rhino.
If your water contains bacteria or viruses, opt to include a UV filter attachment with your purchase.
The goal is to match the correct types of filters to your water contaminant needs.
3. Size The Filter Correctly
You need to determine the right size for the filtration system.
Large systems tend to offer a greater water flow, which is always beneficial for large houses. However, small homes and condos rarely require the same high flow – and it’s usually challenging to find space to fit a larger filtration system so it’s best to find a unit that fits those requirements.
4. Look at What Micron Rating is Ideal for Your Water
One additional consideration that may change how you want to set up your home’s filtration is the micron rating.
The micron rating tells you what size particles are filtered out of the water.
For instance, a portable water filter for hiking and camping has low micron ratings – down to as small as 0.1 microns. That’s because they need to remove tiny particles that could be dangerous to your health like microbial cysts.
In contrast, whole-house systems may only need a 5-micron filter. The exception is when the particles in your water are tiny, in which case you may need as low as 1 micron instead of 5 microns.
However, if you choose anything lower than this, your water flow pressure will drop considerably.
Suppose you require a tiny micron rating due to the incoming water’s low quality, but you’d rather not sacrifice your flow capacity.
In that case, a solution could be to purchase a standard whole house water filter and install an additional point-of-use filter where water needs to be extra clean – such as the kitchen sink.
That will keep the flow high enough to meet your needs on appliances like the washing machine and shower while still providing the cleanest drinking water at your kitchen tap.
If you need more help choosing your filter we created a step-by-step guide to choosing a whole home filter.
Whole House Water Filter Installation & Maintenance
You may be asking yourself if installing and maintaining a whole house water filter is going to be a pain in the butt.
Basically, if you have some amount of plumbing or handyman experience working on your house then you should totally be able to install a new home filtering system without any issues. Most of the time the manufacturers include detailed instruction guides in the purchased kit and it’s not too complicated to set up.
On the other hand, if you have very little experience with handyman tasks then we definitely advise you to call a plumber to install your system. You don’t want to screw up your water line if you have no idea what you’re doing.
We go into detail on our whole home filter installation guide here.
In terms of maintenance with whole home filters, they really don’t take much time or effort to maintain besides a few routine tasks. Below are the basic steps to maintaining a home filter system:
- Install the filter correctly
- Implement a regular cleaning routine every few months (check for leaks and other issues)
- Change the filter cartridges on time (most have to be changed every 6-12 months)
Check out our whole house filter maintenance guide to learn more.
Whole House Filters vs Reverse Osmosis Systems
While most whole house filters efficiently provide filtered water to your whole home, reverse osmosis filters are very inefficient and generate a lot of wastewater when used to filter a whole home.
Instead, reverse osmosis systems are most often used at individual faucets or fixtures for clean drinking water.
The reason reverse osmosis systems are popular is because of their effectiveness. They remove the most amount of contaminants from water including healthy metals, bacteria, chemicals, and most of the impurities whole house systems remove but the downside is they create a lot of waste and are very inefficient.
A good option to consider for the most complete water treatment solution in a home with very poor water quality is using a whole house filter on the point of entry and a reverse osmosis filter under your sink for drinking water.
Just make sure to pick a reverse osmosis system that adds back in healthy minerals if you want that benefit.
Whole House Filters vs Water Softener Systems
Water softeners are point-of-entry systems that remove total dissolved solids (TDS) from the water like calcium and magnesium, which prevents scale buildup.
Most regular filters (including whole home) don’t remove TDS or minerals like calcium and magnesium, while most softener systems don’t remove heavy metals, chlorine, and other contaminants that whole home filters do.
Many people install both a water softener and a whole-home filter in one unit to take care of both contaminants and hard water minerals if their water quality is poor and some people decide to purchase one or the other or even both individual units.
Whole House Filter Additional FAQs
When other homeowners are looking for the best whole house water filter, these are the main questions that they’ve been asking.
Q: Do I Really Need A Whole House Filter? When Are They Not Needed?
A: If you get your water from a well, then you definitely need a whole house filtration system. While your city’s municipal water supplies should meet set standards for health and purity, you may want to remove some particles like fluoride or chlorine that remain, even though they’re at safe levels.
If you get your water tested and you find that there are no contaminants over recommended levels, then you may not need a whole house filter.
Likewise, if you’re only interested in increasing the quality of your drinking and cooking water, you can use a point-of-use filter on your kitchen faucet.
See our guide on determining if you need a whole house water filter for more information.
Q: Are Whole House Filters Worth It?
A: Yes, we believe they are. What’s the price tag for peace of mind? What’s the value of your family’s health? More tangibly, you’ll see real dollar savings since your appliances will have extended lifespans.
If you’re someone who thinks they want to create a DIY whole-house water filter to save a few dollars then make sure you are ready to deal with the hassles that come with that process.
Q: Can I Drink The Water Filtered By The Whole House Filter?
A: Yes! Better quality drinking water is one of the main benefits of whole house filtration systems.
Q: Do You Need to Replace Filter Cartridges in a Whole Home System?
A: Yes, you will likely need to replace your water filters after a certain period of time depending on the brand of filter your purchase. Usually, whole home filters last a long amount of time (years) before needing to replace the filter cartridges.
You can see our best whole house water filter cartridge page here for replacements when needed.
Q: Do Whole House Filters Need a Lot of Maintenance?
A: As long as you purchase a high-quality filter they usually don’t require too much maintenance. If the filter has any malfunctions we usually hear people reporting about issues like leaking problems, the filter getting stuck, backwashing problems, or a pressure drop that needs to be fixed.
Q: What’s The Difference Between a Whole House Filter & Under Sink Filter?
A: A whole house filter filters all the incoming water to your house (including all faucets) while an under sink filter just filters water under you kitchen sink at one point of use. See our under sink vs whole home filter guide for more information.
Q: Is it Possible to Turn Off a Whole Home Water Filter When Traveling or When You Don’t Need to Use it?
A: Yes, you can disconnect your filter or create a bypass temporarily to turn off the filtration system when it’s not needed.
So, Which Whole House Water Filter Do We Recommend?
If you want the best whole-house filter system for city tap water at an affordable price, go with the SpringWell CF1 model.
If you are looking for the highest quality and largest capacity and aren’t concerned with price, go with AquaOx.
Lastly, keep in mind that a whole house filter is an investment in quality filtered water that can last you for a long time and keep your family safe, healthy, and clean.
So we recommend weighing the pros and cons before choosing one of our top picks and not skimping out on this purchase.