13 Best Whole House Water Filters – (Reviews & Guide 2021)
Whole house water filter systems are some of the most popular filtering solutions currently used throughout the country. These systems are so popular because they’re effective, and because they produce high-quality water.
But did you know that the best whole house water filters are also more environmentally friendly to use than other filtering systems?
In the following article, we take a closer look at how whole house water filters work, at the advantages and disadvantages of using them. We also present the best whole house water filter reviews and explain why each of them made it to the top of the list.
See The Quick Comparison Chart
What Is a Whole House Water Filter?
Well, since you’re looking for a whole house water filter, you probably heard about them from a friend or family member. Some of you might actually be using a whole house water filter right now without knowing it.
So, what is a whole house water filter?
As you might expect, a whole house water filter is a filtration system capable of filtering all the water that enters your house. These systems are also called Point Of Entry (POE) systems because they are usually installed before the water reaches your heater, thus filtering both the cold and the warm water. This means that every time you open a faucet, filtered water will come out of it. Actually, filtered water will be delivered to your shower, washing machine, and even your toilet.
You may be looking for a point of use filters like a top-notch countertop water filter or an efficient refrigerator water filter. We have also covered them.
Why a Whole House Water Filter System Is a Necessity
One of the main reasons people turn to whole house water filtration systems is the quality of their water. Even if you’re connected to a municipal water supply, the water reaching your faucet might have dubious quality and you will need a water filter. One of the first things you can notice about the water is if it’s chlorinated or not.
Chlorine has been used for decades as a water disinfectant in water treatment facilities. Some people are so used to drinking chlorinated water that the absence of it might seem strange at first. Even though chlorine is a pretty good disinfectant and it will remove most of the bacteria and other microorganisms in the water, it can actually bad for you. Recent studies have shown that ingesting large quantities can be dangerous to your health.
Another reason you should avoid chlorinated water is that it has bad effects on your skin and hair. Your skin can be excessively dried when you wash it with chlorinated water, and your hair can take a dull aspect. Using a whole house water filter will reduce the amount of chlorine you’re exposed to, so it will have a positive effect on your skin’s and hair’s health.
Using a whole house water filter is also more environmentally-friendly than using other types of filters or even buying bottled water.
Unlike other water filtration systems, a whole house system does not produce wastewater. This means that all the water entering the filter will come out of it in the same quantity.
When you’re buying bottled water, you’re actually growing your carbon footprint. First of all, bottled water comes in plastic bottles. Not all the plastic we use is recycled, so lowering the amount of plastic you buy is beneficial for the environment. Second, the bottled water is many times produced in one part of the country and consumed in another. This means it was most likely transported via trucks from one state to another. The transport increases the bottled water’s carbon footprint.
It doesn’t matter if you’re connected to the municipal water supply, or if you take the well water from your backyard, the water you use could be better. One of the best ways to tell if a whole house water filtration system is necessary is to test your water source. You can do that by either using a home water test kit or just by examining it closely using your senses.
Depending on the answers you get from the tests, you can notice one of the following facts.
If you notice only one of the previous facts, you should use a whole house water filtration system. You can go for a point of use solution like an under sink water filter, faucet water filter or a shower filter, too.
Best Whole House Water Filters Comparison Chart
SpringWell Water Whole House Water Filter System
Filtersmart Whole House Water Filter FS1000
AquaOx Whole House Water Filtration System
SoftPro Carbon Filter
iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System
Aquasana 10-Year, 1,000,000 Gallon Whole House Water Filter
Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Whole House 3-Stage Water Filter
Pentair Pelican Whole House Water Filter System
Best Whole House Water Filter Reviews (Updated List)
Care to know how a whole house filter works? We prepared a short buying guide explaining how these systems work, what they’re good for, and what you should look for in a model before buying one.
When we talk about whole house water filtrations systems, our top pick has to go to SpringWell who offers one of the highest-rated and best-priced systems in the industry. The SpringWell Whole House Filtration System is a 1,000,000 gallon system utilizing 4 stages of filtration, premium coconut carbon, and KDF media. It removes harmful chemicals such as chlorine, lead, and heavy metals. It will also remove contaminants including chloramine, VOCs, pesticides, haloacetic acids, bad odor, taste and controls the growth of bacteria.
One of the biggest advantages of the SpringWell system is the innovative technology used to filter more contaminants out of your water by increasing contact time with the media. Most importantly, SpringWell offers a 6-month satisfaction guarantee as well as a lifetime warranty on all parts and pieces.
The SpringWell System comes with an easy installation kit as well as a guide on installing it yourself or hiring a professional.
Read the full review: SpringWell water whole house water filter
Here is a whole house filter that combines effectiveness and longevity. The FilterSmart system will give you about 1,000,000 gallons of cleansed water during its lifespan. This is because of the top class coconut activated carbon filter which lies inside those tanks. Jacobi processes the carbon, and this is a sure sign of quality. The system also features a sediment pre-filter which will remove all the large particles and debris from the water before it makes its way to the coconut filter.
It has to be noted that the pre-filter will have to be changed every 8-10 months. The size of the tanks depends on the set you want to pick. The regular option is the one that covers 1-3 bathrooms. FilterSmart, however, allows you to cover 4-6 bathrooms with a bigger filter.
This product takes care of all the chlorine and chloramine that your water might have but will additionally remove herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, and many more. Enjoy soft skin and healthy hair every time after a shower.
Read the full review: Filtersmart FS1000
If you decide to go with the AquaOx whole house water filter, you need to be prepared to spend a sizeable sum of money. Nut it all might be very worth it because what you get is quite impressive.
First of all, you will never spend a dime on new filters and replacement cartridges. The system has its backwash mechanism, which refreshes the filtration and allows the unit to keep doing what it does best.
Additionally, the 7-stage filtration guarantees purified water without heavy metals, sediment, and pesticides. The drinking water from every tap at your home will be softer and fresher. This is turn, will affect your health in the best way possible.
The Fleck Digital head is an excellent addition to the unit as it allows you to customize the way it works. When it comes to size, you got 2 options – regular and XL. The latter will give you a GPM of 37 and will be able to cover a large home with at least 4 bathrooms.
The only thing the system will not remove from your water is fluoride. There’s a 7-year warranty on the product.
Read the full review: AquaOx Whole House Water Filter
This innovative whole house filter promises to remove up to 99% of harmful contaminants in your water, including chlorine and volatile organic compounds. The machine backwashes without chemicals or salt. As its name suggests, the SoftPro filter uses a catalytic carbon filter process to eliminate chloramine, which can cause unwanted taste or odor to your water. Throughout this process though, the water maintains all its minerals unchanged. The device can be ordered in one of four different sizes, from 1 cubic foot to 2.5 cubic feet.
An undeniably attractive offer coming with a lifetime warranty and an option to pay in installments, part of the proceeds of your purchase will go towards providing clean drinking water to families in Nicaragua and Africa, making you a part of the global effort to transform water quality.
This is a very effective water filtration system, and with a 1,000,000 gallon water filter, this is considered a low-maintenance unit. The model we’re presenting here comes with the pro-grade install kit. This kit includes brass fittings, a pre-filter, a post-filter, and all the supports and shut-off valves you will need for the installation.
One of the advantages of choosing this model is the increased longevity of the water softener cylinder. The cylinder has a filtering capacity of 1,000,000 gallons, so it should last for 10 years or more, depending on your water consumption. The easiest way to keep track of the consumption is to write down the original value of your water meter and check it over from time to time.
Another advantage of using this model is the pro installation kit it comes with. All the components included in this kit are top-notch, so you shouldn’t have any problems with leaks or faulty parts.
Read the full review: Aquasana 10-Year, 1,000,000 Gallon
This is one of the most popular whole house filtration systems, and it has a very good price-value ratio. The water filter has a filtering capacity of up to 15 gallons per minute, depending on your water pressure.
One of the advantages of using this filter is the high-quality sediment filter. This filter is very efficient, and it will remove any particle larger than 1 micron from the water. The resulting water will be crisp and clean, and it will pass through an activated carbon filter before reaching your faucet.
The activated carbon filter has good longevity, which is always a good thing. The filter has a filtering capacity of 100,000 gallons, enough to last for up to a whole year or even two, depending on your water consumption.
Read the full review : Home Master HMF3SDGFEC
This is another effective whole-house filtering system. The filter is capable of removing up to 95% of the contaminants in your water, including chlorine, sediment, herbicides, pesticides, rust, and other chemicals.
One of the advantages of using this filtration system is its 100,000-gallon activated carbon filter. The filter has a great filtering capacity and it should remove most of the contaminants from your water for a long time. Some households use this volume of water in a year, while others do it in two.
Another advantage is the 1” input and output ports the system uses. These ports allow up to 15 gallons of water to pass through the system and be filtered each minute, so you shouldn’t notice a sharp drop in water pressure when you install the system.
Read the full review: iSpring WGB32B
Here is another unit that comes in two models. The PC600 is the one with a lower capacity of 600,000 gallons and can cover up to 3 bathrooms. Its counterpart is the PC1000 with 1,000,000 gallons and a capacity to cover up to 6 bathrooms.
The unit is fully certified and will get rid of 97% of chlorine. The water in your home will feel softer on your skin, and it will also be excellent for cooking and drinking. The water purification takes place in 4 stages. All of this ensures that your water will be free of sediments and dirt, chloramine, pesticides, as well as zinc and copper.
Unfortunately, the system will not filter out iron, making it less suitable for households that rely on well water. If you want a system that filters iron they can find one here : Pelican Iron Filters
The instructions could be more clear, but at least the set comes with everything you need for a DIY installation.
Use this code to get discount : WATERMAG
The iSpring WGB21B 2-Stage Whole House Water Filter serves to keep the water in your entire household clean and healthy. The installation process is relatively straightforward, which means that you will be able to perform it yourself. It comes pre-assembled from right to left, but you could switch the bracket the other way round. Note that this is not a water softener to take care of the hardness in your water. It is designed to remove sediment, chlorine, as well as bad smells. The capacity of this unit is about 50,000 gallons.
Although a filter could serve a family of four for a year, it is good that you replace it every six months for optimal performance. You could install shutoff valves at the beginning and end of the system, so you don’t have to drain all the water in the house to replace filters. The good thing is that with this filter you won’t experience a noticeable drop in pressure.
The next product on our list is the Express Water Whole House Water Filter. Its first advantage is that it has a three-stage filtering system that eliminates more contaminants. They come in the following order: Sediment Filter goes to the right, the Kinetic Degradation Filter is in the center, and the Activated Carbon Block is on the left. Each one of those takes care of various particles.
The Sediment Filter removes sand, rust, and dirt, while the KDF and the ACB eliminate different chemical elements that are damaging to the water. The estimated time for the filter to have clean water for the whole house is 30 minutes. It is difficult to determine the lifespan of the filters because it depends on the water quality and the number of people in the family. Usually, a family of four would use a set of three filters for a full year. After that, you will need to replace them. The housing itself is reliable and durable.
The Home Master 2-Stage Filter is an effective unit that is capable of removing any particles larger than 1 micron from your water source. The filter uses a four gradient density filter to deliver a finer filtration than other models, and you will be able to notice the difference in the water’s taste and clarity.
This is a very efficient water filter, and it will stop most chemicals and sediments from entering your water, including heavy metals, chlorine, chloramines, and other contaminants.
The catalytic carbon filter used by this system has a water filtering capacity of 95,000 gallons, so it should provide filtered water for a year or more, depending on your consumption.
One of the advantages of choosing this type of filter is that it comes with a 2-year warranty. This extended warranty period is proof of the manufacturer’s trust in this product.
This is another popular whole house water filter, and after taking a look at its price and comparing it with its filtering capacity, we’re certain you’ll also be inclined to like it.
One of the advantages of using the 3M Aqua-Pure is its huge flow rate. Unlike other water filters that ensure a good flow rate of 15 gallons per minute, this model actually goes the extra mile and delivers one of 20 gallons of filtered water per minute. This is a huge water flow, so you shouldn’t experience a drop in water pressure even if you use more faucets at the same time.
Another advantage is its low maintenance. This system uses water filters that should last for a year or more in a typical outset, and changing them is very easy. You just have to twist them off and twist new ones in their place.
The iSpring WGB22B Whole House Water Filter functions through two stages to remove contaminants from the water in your entire household. It is installed at the main water supply to treat all the water you use. Professional installation is not required, but you must have some basic skills with plumbing. What you can do is create a filter bypass with a shut-off valve and union joints on inlet and outlet pipes.
One element that is missing in this construction is a drain because the unit is quite heavy when full of water. As for performance, the filter eliminates sediment, chlorine, rust, pesticides, herbicides, and other contaminants, except fluoride. Note that this unit does not pass for both a filter and a softener. In your system, first place the filter and then the softener. A single filter can purify 100,000 gallons before it needs to be replaced, which will happen every 3 to 6 months.
The Ultimate Whole House Water Filter Buyer’s Guide
Not all households need the same whole house water filters. Even though all models work in the same way, the presence or absence of additional filters will influence the types of contaminants a certain filter will remove from the water. However, there are some things you should take into consideration, no matter how many filters the system uses.
Different whole house water filters will produce a different amount of filtered water each minute. Since all the water entering your home will be filtered, this will be the same amount of water reaching your faucets, showers, appliances, and toilets. Smaller households might manage using a water filter capable of producing only 10 gallons of water per minute, but larger ones surely won’t. If you know your household usually consumes large volumes of water at the same time (in the morning before going to school or work, or before going to sleep) you should buy a unit capable of producing a better water flow.
Different filters block different contaminants. Depending on the results of your water tests, you should buy a unit that will be effective on the contaminants already present in your water. If there is high heavy metal contamination, a normal unit with a copper-zinc mineral filter might suffice. However, if you have high bacterial contamination, you might need a unit with a UV filter.
Depending on the water test results and your household’s water consumption needs, you should take into consideration the following things before buying a whole house water filter.
This feature is very important because most whole house filter systems need little maintenance. Changing the water filter is one of the few operations you need to make constantly. Not all the filters that can be used by a water filter have the same longevity. Sometimes you can opt for a 100,000-gallon filter, or you can choose a 1,000,000-gallon filter for the same system. Depending on your household water needs and consumption, you should choose a filter that offers good longevity and a decent price.
You should also take into account your household’s water consumption. It might seem like a good idea to choose a cheap filter, but if your household uses a lot of water, you might have to change it once every month. This might actually make the multiple cheap filter changes more expensive than fewer changes of more expensive filters. On the other hand, if your household does not use a lot of water and you choose a filter that might last more than 5 years, it can get clogged up and not work properly in the end. Balancing your household’s consumption with the filter’s longevity is essential if you want to buy the right kind of filter.
Depending on the water testing results, you have to choose the right micron rating for your filters. The best filters available will block anything larger than 0.35 microns. As you might expect, they are more expensive than the filters that block only particles larger than 1 micron. A micron is a thousandth of a millimeter, so it’s already pretty small. If you don’t have a highly contaminated source, a 0.35-micron filter might be overkill.
How Does a Whole House Water Filter Work?
Whole house water filtration systems might employ different mediums to filter out the contaminants in your water, but the basic principle they use remains the same. Here is a short explanation of how these systems work.
The filter is usually attached to the main water line before the electric tankless water heater, so all the water is entering the home will be filtered.
When the water enters the filtration system it will first encounter a sediment prefilter. This filter is specially designed to remove the larger particles in the water, like silt, sand, rust, debris, or sediment.
However, this is not its only role. This filter also plays a key role in keeping the next filters functional for a longer period of time. Without this filter, the other filters would need more frequent changes.
After the water exits the sediment pre-filter, it has to get through the activated carbon filter. This is one of the most important components of the filtering system, as it has a crucial role in removing a lot of contaminants. Activated carbon offers a huge porous surface. This surface is lined with nooks and crannies, and the contaminants in the water are attracted to them through a natural process called adsorption.
This filter is very effective, and it will remove most of the chlorine, what’s left of the sediment, any volatile organic compounds (VOCs), along with the foul smells and tastes from the water. Sometimes the activated carbon filter will also be treated with special substances to have different properties. Some manufacturers impregnate a small amount of silver in the carbon filter to give it an antibacterial capacity.
When the water exits the carbon filter, it passes through a copper-zinc and mineral filter. This filter is also very important to the filtering process because it removes most of the contaminants remaining in the water at this point. This filter will remove what’s left of the chlorine, heavy metals, and it also has a good effect on bacteria and other microorganisms usually found in the water. The filter also does a pretty good job at diminishing the scale in the water.
This is an optional step, and some water filters might not have it. However, some models pass the water through a water softener or a descaler. Some manufacturers use ion-exchange technology to achieve this. Find out the top-rated water ionizers for your home with our review and buyer’s guide.
When the water enters an ion-exchange filter, it will pass over some resin beads. These beads are filled with sodium ions. When the magnesium and calcium particles will encounter the ion-filled beads, they will replace the sodium ions. This will make the water softer, but it will also make it a bit salty. Other manufacturers use a salt-free water softener to maintain the water’s neutral taste.
This is another optional step, but it’s more frequent than the water softener. The post-filter plays an important role in producing high-quality water. When the water reaches this post-filter, it’s usually filled with very small particles because the larger ones would have already been filtered out. The post-filters role is to stop these small particles from reaching your water. These filters look like a mesh full of holes, but the size of the holes is what matters. Some post-filter holes are as small as 0.35 microns, but most of them measure 1 micron.
Another optional but very efficient component is the UV filter. This filter is able to kill any remaining bacteria, viruses, or microorganisms that might have escaped the previous filters. If your water source has high bacterial contamination, using a UV filter will solve the problem.
Whole House Water Filter Systems Installation & Maintenance
Whole house water filtration systems are not very difficult to install, but some people who are inexperienced with DIY projects might want to call for professional help. Here’s how you install a whole house water filter;
You can also check out our informational post on DIY water filtration systems.
It is important to maintain home water treatment systems regularly and changing water filters is a crucial part of it. Changing the filters can vary between models, but most follow the same principle.
We’re confident that after reading our whole house water filter reviews and the comprehensive buying guide we prepared, you’re ready to make an informed decision about which system better suits your needs.
Finding the best whole house water filter is not equivalent to finding the most expensive one. Each water filter is better at removing some contaminants and less effective at removing others. That’s why you have to know what the filter is supposed to block, so you can choose the right model.
Using a home test water kit, you can determine the contaminants present in your water in about half an hour. With this information in mind, you will be able to find the right model in no time whatsoever.
If you don’t believe a whole house filtration system is the right option for you, check our other buying guides for more information about water filters.
David is a retired engineer, professional homeowner and a DIY addict. He has been installing home appliances, fixing leaks and doing home improvement projects for the past 30+ years. As an environmentally conscious person, David is extra sensitive to the usage of water resources and consumption of clean and healthy water. He started Water Filter Magazine in order to create an awareness and to share his experience on household water appliances with others .
Hi, I’m from Paradise CA and have two standing townhouses that survived the big fire. The biggest issue for moving back is the water. Everyone is up in arms about it and we aren’t getting clear answers from our irrigation district. At this point they seem to be most concerned with benzene. Apparently, if heated to a level high enough for steam it’s toxic. There are also supposedly heavy metal contaminants.
I have a few questions for y’all.
1. Will an in home test be sufficient or should I use a water testing company? And what kind of tests should I make sure they perform?
2. My townhouses are two bedrooms and two bathrooms with about 1,300 square feet each, with one person per unit. How do I know what capacity filter to get?
3. Will any of these filters eliminate the toxic benzene?
4. I have VERY sensensitive skin. Is hard or soft water what I need and how do I find a filter of that kind?
5. From the article I read, it seems that the filtration system will be near where the water heater is. Is that correct?
I really appreciate any help you can give me on these questions. 🙂
Thank you very much for this write up. I’m currently in the market for a whole house filtration system. Was looking at the Pelican 4 stage system and was hoping it would have been one of your reviews.