I recently had a whole house filtration system installed, and the choices were a bit confusing — to say the least.
After doing a TON of research, reading the latest house water filter reviews, and talking to a handful of installation companies I put together this guide to help you choose the best whole house water filter for you.
Let’s face it… the water flowing out of our sinks isn’t the cleanest.
While most cities in the US have stringent cleaning standards, they can’t filter everything out. Water treatment facilities also tend to add high levels of chemicals like fluoride and chlorine.
If you want to get your drinking water clean and pure — just as nature intended — you need to do more filtering. Water filter pitchers are an inexpensive way to filter water quickly but need to be filled often and, obviously, don’t filter the water running over your toothbrush or the water you might use to cook with. Small water filters also tend to miss a lot of water contaminants.
To quickly, efficiently, and more effectively filter the water into your home and improve your water quality, you need a whole house water filter.
If you want pure, clean water in your home and have been considering a whole house water filter, read on for a closer look at the best whole house filters, plus an in-depth look at how to sort through the many water filtration systems available.
The Best Whole House Water Filter for You
The best whole house water filter for your home really comes down to your needs and budget. With so many different types of filters available, you must consider what you need before you even begin to look at filters.
Do you want a filter that will get rid of the high chlorine content in your water?
Or do you need a filter that will eliminate the strong sulfur taste in your well water?
Once you know what you need… it’s time to think about budget and installation.
Do you have space for a whole house water filter?
And can you afford the system your home needs?
With those factors in mind, let’s take a look at our top picks for a home filtration system.
Best Whole House Filter: AquaOx
If you’re looking for one of the best whole house water filtration systems, it’s hard to go wrong with the AquaOx. AquaOx is a leader in water filtration industry.
The AquaOx can handle city water sources along with the heavy demands of filtering well water. Filter out everything from common contaminants to viruses and bacteria with this filter.
This whole house water filter catches just about everything with a catalytic carbon filter media, coconut shell carbon filter, a sediment filter, and more.
With a large, high flow capacity, the AquaOx whole house filter can process up to 15 gallons of water per minute — ensuring that water gets to you quickly and efficiently. This filter is also rated for use with up to four bathrooms, so it’s suitable for large homes or big families.
Perhaps the most appealing thing about this filter: it’s rated for up to 2,000,000 gallons of water. This makes the AquaOx one of the longest lasting filters on the market.
Another great thing about this filter… it’s made in the USA. So you can feel great about supporting American workers with your purchase and get a 12-month money-back guarantee while you’re at it.
Who It’s Best For:
The AquaOx is the best all around whole house water filter. Whether you’re on a city water source or have to rely on well water, this filter can filter out harmful contaminants, chemicals, and more.
AquaOx Features & Benefits:
- 7 stage water filter process including: sediment pre-filter, KDF 55, KDF 85, garnet, centaur catalytic adsorptive carbon, activated coconut shell carbon filter, and finally filter-AG.
- Innovative Double Vortech technology
- AquaOx offers customers a 12-month money-back guarantee in addition to a generous 10-year warranty
- This filter is self-cleaning and comes equipped with an automatic backwashing system
- Long filter life with capacity of 2,000,000 gallons
- Water flow rate of 15 GPM
- Never replace a filter or cartridge: The AquaOx comes equipped with a backwash mechanism that eliminates the need for filter changes.
- No maintenance required for life of the filter.
- Can be used for well water or regular tap water.
- Average filter lifespan of 2,000,000 gallons or 20 years.
- The AquaOx is one of the more expensive models on the market.
- No replacement filter available once capacity has been met.
Best Filter for City Water: SpringWell CF1
The Springwell Water CF1 is another great choice for a whole house water filter. This whole house filter is specifically designed to filter out the contaminants found in city water sources. With a catalytic coconut shell carbon filter and certified Kinetic Degradation Fluxion (KDF) media, the Springwell Water CF1 can handle just about anything that comes through your pipes.
The four stage filtering mechanism included with the SpringWell CF1, uses a catalytic coconut shell carbon filter and certified KDF media to clean incoming water. This combination helps remove chlorine, chloramine, PFOA, PFAS PFOS, herbicides, haloacetic acids, pesticides, and many other contaminants and chemicals.
This unit is very easy to install and is designed to be very low maintenance. A 20 year warranty also provides excellent protection for home owners.
A salt-free water softening system can also easily be added to the Springwell Water CF1.
Who It’s Best For:
As I mentioned, this whole house filter is a great pick for any home on a city or municipal water supply.
SpringWell CF1 Features & Benefits:
- Filter up to 1,000,000 gallons of water.
- Water flow rate of up to 9 gallons per minute
- Removes many contaminants including: chlorine, chloramine, PFOA, PFAS PFOS, pesticides, herbicides, haloacetic acids and more from tap water.
- Salt-free water softening system can also easily be added.
- Long filter life of up to 1,000,000 gallons — roughly 20 years of use.
- Simple installation can be preformed by many DIYers.
- Great price for a high water quality whole house filter.
- Generous 20 year warranty.
- Filter system is very large and may not be a fit for some homes.
- No replacement filters available.
- Water softener not included.
Best Filter for Well Water: SpringWell Water WS1
If your home relies on well water, it’s hard to go wrong with the SpringWell Water WS1 water filter system.
This whole house filtration system does a great job of removing iron, manganese, sulfur, and other contaminants from well water. It also eliminates the unpleasant rotten egg smell that plagues the water in many homes using well water. The SpringWell Water WS1 can also help to eliminate orange or black staining in sinks and tubs.
The SpringWell WS1 whole house filter is easy to install and comes complete with a set of bluetooth enabled electronic controls that allow the user to quickly adjust the water flow, backwash cycles, and more. A flow rate of up to 12 GPM ensures that pressure will remain high throughout your home.
Who It’s Best For:
The SpringWell Water WS1 whole house filter system is an excellent choice for homeowners with well water who are ready to get rid of unpleasant smells, tastes, and staining.
SpringWell Water WS1 Features & Benefits:
- Specifically designed to filter out contaminants frequently found in well water, like iron, manganese, sulfur, and more.
- Like other SpringWell Filters, this unit is designed to be easily installed and user friendly.
- Water flow rate of 12 gallons per minute for great water pressure.
- Electronic control system built into the filter.
- Removes the contaminants that frequently cause well water to smell and taste poorly.
- High flow rate of 12 gallons per minute.
- Generous lifetime warranty.
- Easy to use and install.
- Unit is more costly than many whole house water filters.
- Very large filter will require an ample amount of space to install.
Best Water Filter for Lead: Aquasana OPTIMH20
If you’re concerned about lead in your water, you’ll want to check out the Aquasana OPTIMH20 whole house water filter system. Lead in water can be dangerous and this filter does an excellent job of removing 99% of all lead and cysts from water.
The Aquasana OPTIMH20 whole house water filter is also very effective at removing other contaminants and chemicals like chlorine, chloramines, PFOA and PFOS, and much more. A salt-free water conditioner and UV filter can also be added at an extra cost to help eliminate even more contaminants.
Unlike some of the other whole house water filters we’ve already looked at, this water filter does come equipped with a removable filter media that does need to be changed occasionally. The polypropylene sediment filter and carbon block primary filters are designed to filter about 100,000 gallons with a flow rate of 8 gallons per minute. An easy to see LED light on the top of the filter quickly and clearly lets you know if the filter is in good condition or needs to be changed.
Who It’s Best For:
The Aquasana OPTIMH20 is one of the best whole house water filters for anyone who’s concerned about lead in their home water supply. This filter will help remove up to 99% of lead in your home’s water supply.
Aquasana OPTIMH20 Features & Benefits:
- Filters 99% of all lead and cysts from water.
- Also filters many other common contaminants and chemicals like chlorine, chloramines, PFOA and PFOS, and others.
- Easily change filter when needed.
- Two stage filter with a polypropylene sediment filter and carbon block included.
- Flow rate of 8 gallons per minute
- Filter can be easily changed by home owner.
- House filter system status indicator built right into the filter.
- salt-free water conditioner and UV filter can be added.
- No back-flushing, so no wasted water.
- Filter only lasts for 100,000 gallons.
- Flow rate is lower than some house water filters at just 8 GPM.
- Does not include a water softener.
Best Affordable Whole House Water Filter: Pelican PC
The Pelican PC whole house water filter system is a great simple water filter that won’t break the bank. While it’s not the cheapest filtration system on our list, this filter provides excellent value for the price. Filtration is on par with many higher priced models at a fraction of the cost.
The Pelican PC whole house filter is easy to install and requires no additional connections — like an electrical connection. This unit also does not waste any additional water. Installation can be done inside the home or outside if necessary.
This filtration system is capable of removing up to 97% of chlorine and other chemicals and contaminants. Up to 1,000,000 gallons of water can be filtered over the course of about 5 years.
Who It’s Best For:
The Pelican PC whole house water filter system is a great choice for anyone looking for a high quality whole house filter that’s more affordable for most homeowners. Eliminate most contaminates for much less.
Pelican PC Features & Benefits:
- Simple whole house water filter system design and installation.
- Long filter life of 600,000 to 1,000,000 gallons of water over 5 years.
- Removes up to 97% of chlorine along with many other chemicals and contaminants.
- 90 day money back guarantee and full 5 year performance guarantee, plus lifetime warranty
- Flow rate of 8 to 12 gallons per minute.
- Easy installation process can be completed by many homeowners.
- Lifetime warranty and generous shorter term guarantees.
- Affordable pricing makes this one a great value.
- Great at removing chlorine and other common contaminants.
- Main filter is very large.
- Doesn’t filter quite as many contaminants as some competitors.
Best Multi-Stage Filter: Aquasana 1000 Rhino
The Aquasana 1000 Rhino is one of the best multi-stage whole house water filters — designed to filter out a variety of contaminants. This filtration system can also easily be added to, with a simple to add UV filter and salt-free water conditioner available.
The Aquasana 1000 Rhino whole house water filtration system passes all incoming water through several different filters, ensuring clean, great tasting water that’s free of chemical like chlorine as well as many of contaminants like herbicides, pesticides, and VOCs.
This filter is also designed to filter up to 1,000,000 gallons of water or stand up to about 10 years of use in an average home. The pre and post filters do need to be changed a bit more often depending on the water source though.
Who It’s Best For:
The Aquasana 1000 Rhino is a good choice for anyone looking for a good all around multi-stage filter that will remove most common contaminants — including chlorine.
Aquasana 1000 Rhino Features & Benefits:
- 1,000,000 gallon filtering capacity in main water filter.
- Three stage water filter design with pre and post carbon filters designed to help remove more contaminants.
- 90 day money back guarantee and an Aquasana 10 year manufacturer warranty.
- Flow rate of 7 gallons per minute.
- Premium installation components included.
- 3 stage whole house water filtration system designed to catch as much as possible.
- Filtering capacity of 1,000,000 gallon.
- Other Aquasana filtering pieces can be easily added — including a UV filter.
- Low flow rate of 7 gallons per minute means lower water pressure.
- Pre and post filters need to be changed relatively often.
Best Budget Whole House Water Filter: iSpring WGB32B
If the high cost of the average whole house water filtration system is a little intimidating, check out the iSpring WGB32B. This three stage water filtration system is a budget friendly, simple to install system that can quickly improve your water quality.
Unlike many of the best whole house water filters which are usually comprised of one very large filter, this filter passes water through three smaller filters than can be quickly and easily changed.
The first filter is designed to remove sediment from water, follow by two carbon block filters capable of removing up to 99% of chlorine and 95% of herbicides, pesticides, and other contaminants.
The iSpring WGB32B is also more compact than most whole home water filtration systems, making it a good pick for smaller spaces.
Who It’s Best For:
As we mentioned, the iSpring WGB32B is a good pick for anyone wanting outfit their home with a whole house water filtration system on a budget.
iSpring WGB32B Features & Benefits:
- Three stage water filtration system design is compact and offers easy installation and maintenance.
- Carbon block filters remove 99% of chlorine and many other common contaminants
- 100,000 gallon filtration system capacity provides most home with about 12 months of filtration
- Flow rate of about 15 gallons per minute.
- Compact design is a good fit for homes with less space.
- Budget friendly filtration system price with great water quality.
- Easy, lower cost filter changes.
- Installation can be performed by most home owners.
- Filters must be changed more often than many models.
- Does not filter quite as many contaminants as other filtration systems.
Best Filter with UV: Pelican Whole House Water Filter with UV
For a whole house water filtration system with the added benefit of UV treatment, check out the Pelican Whole House Water Filter with UV. This filters uses a large activated carbon filter, then runs all water through a UV system that kills harmful bacteria and microorganisms found in many water sources.
While the average water filtration system removes common contaminants and chemicals, a UV filter really takes the process to the next level by removing dangerous microorganisms that may have been missed by the water treatment plant — or that were picked up as your water made its way to your home.
This Pelican whole house water filtration system can process up to 1,000,000 gallons before you’ll need to change the filter. Pelican also gives users a lifetime warranty and a 5 year guarantee to protect your investment.
Who It’s Best For:
Pelican Whole House Water Filter System with UV is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to add the protection of UV filtering to their filtration system.
Pelican Whole House Water Filter with UV Features & Benefits:
- UV filter kills 99.9% of all bacteria and viruses in your water supply.
- Activated carbon filter eliminates other common contaminants and chemicals.
- 1,000,000 gallon capacity means filter will last about 10 years for most homeowners.
- Sediment pre-filter included also.
- lifetime warranty, 5 year guarantee, and 90 day satisfaction guarantee all included from manufacturer.
- UV filter ensures very pure and clean water.
- Three filtration steps included.
- Generous manufacturer warranty and guarantees.
- Easy maintenance.
- Affordable price for UV filter.
- UV filter requires an electrical connection.
- Ample space is required to install all three filters.
- Water softener not included with this whole house filter system.
Best Water Filter Warranty: Filtersmart FS1000
The Filtersmart FS1000 is another great whole house filtration system for most homes on a municipal water source that comes with an excellent lifetime warranty covering all components.
This filter has a filtration capacity of up to 1,000,000 gallons. And one of the great thing’s about Filtersmart’s warranty is that the filter is actually guaranteed to filter the full 1,000,000 gallons of water — so you know you won’t have to replace the filter for quite a while or Filtersmart will back you up.
A coconut shell-based activated carbon filter removes contaminants like chlorine, chloramine, VOCs, herbicides, and others. In addition, this filter allows comes equipped with a sediment pre-filter designed to trap larger contaminants.
Who It’s Best For:
The Filtersmart FS1000 is a great choice for anyone who values a good warranty.
Filtersmart FS1000 Features & Benefits:
- Primary coconut shell-based activated carbon filter and sediment pre-filter.
- Removes chlorine, chloramine, VOCs, herbicides, and much more.
- Flow rate of up to 12 gallons per minute.
- Guaranteed water filtration capacity of 1,000,000 gallons.
- Simple design that can be easily installed.
- Excellent lifetime warranty and filter life guarantee.
- No electrical connection required for system to operate.
- Pre- filter can easily be changed when needed.
- Like many filters, the main filter is quite large.
- Does not filter fluoride.
Best Budget Water Filter for Well Water: Home Master HMF3SDGFEC
A great option for the budget minded homeowner using well water is the Home Master HMF3SDGFEC.
This Home Master filter is a three stage unit that moves water through a sediment filter and series of two carbon filters that remove about 95% of many common contaminants from well water including chlorine, iron, manganese, sediment, and more. Since this filter does a great job of removing many metals like sulfur and manganese, it’s perfect for well water.
The Home Master HMF3SDGFEC is also a relatively compact model that’s simple to install in smaller areas.
Who It’s Best For:
The Home Master HMF3SDGFEC has a three stage filter system that’s designed to remove heavy metals, sediment, and other contaminants from water — making it a great choice for homeowners using well water that don’t want to spend too much on a filter.
Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Whole House Filter Features & Benefits:
- This Home Master includes a three stage filtration system capable of removing most heavy metals from well water.
- Filter water quickly at up to 15 gallons per minute.
- Filters up to 95,000 gallons of water before filter change.
- Simple and compact design can be installed in smaller spaces.
- Filters heavy metals that make well water smell and taste poorly.
- Also removes sediment and other common contaminants.
- Budget friendly price most homeowners can appreciate.
- Does not remove chlorine or chloramines.
- Not a great choice for municipal water — designed for well water only.
- Does not include a water softener.
How to Install a Whole House Water Filter
Once you’ve picked the filter that’s right for you, it’s time to get it installed!
Like we mentioned above, if you have some experience with DIY projects around your home and are comfortable working with water lines, you can probably install a whole house water filtration system.
But if not, you’ll be much better off calling a plumber. If you break or damage a water line, you may end up having to call a plumber anyway and pay far more than you might have by simply having a plumber do the work in the first place.
Now that you know what you’re in for… here are the basic steps to install a water filter.
First, you’ll need to find your main water line and shut off the water coming into your home. You must shut off the main water line before working on any pipes in your home.
Next, turn on a few faucets around your house and drain as much water out of the water supply as you can.
Once your pipes are ready, decide where you want to install the filter. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions and check the components involved. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of space so everything fits.
After you’ve found your spot, begin marking where each component will go and where cuts will need to be made in the water lines. Have a few buckets available to catch any water that may still be in your pipes.
Once everything is clearly marked, it’s to make your cuts. Cut the section of pipe where the filter will be installed with a pipe cutter.
Next, begin by installing the sediment filter along with the main filter and other filtering components. Be sure to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for a detailed look at the necessary steps.
It’s also a good idea to install shut off valves before and after the filter. These can be very handy when changing filters or performing any maintenance on the system.
Once everything is in place, inspect all connections carefully and, again, check the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines to make sure everything is installed properly and that all connections are secure with your new water filter system.
With everything in place and double checked, turn your water supply back on inspect everything for leaks.
If you don’t see any leaks, you’re water filter is now ready to go!
You should now have fresh, clean water at every source in your home.
Finding the Right Filter System for Your Home
Picking the best whole house water filter for your home can be tough… if you don’t know where to start.
Remember to begin with your needs and budget in mind. With so many different models available, you’re sure to find the best whole house filter that’s just right for your home.
What is a Whole House Water Filter?
Like the name says, a whole house water filter is designed to filter all of the water used in a home.
Unlike the filters found in some refrigerators or under some sinks — which only filter water at one source — whole house filters ensure that every drop of water used in your home has been cleaned of contaminants. This means you can take a shower free of chemicals like chlorine and have great, freshwater at every tap in your home.
How Water Filters Work
As you’ll see, some house water filter systems function differently than others. But all whole house filters perform the same (or very similar) function: remove water contaminants from drinking water as it enters your home.
To make this happen, a whole house water filter attaches directly to the main water supply line as it enters your home. This ensures that the water flowing to each of your fixtures is clean and ready to use.
Some filters pass all incoming water through several different filters, while others may only use one. Either way, you’ll get clean, ready to use water at every source throughout your home. All of the filters we’ve looked at use a fairly simple house filtration system that requires little to no maintenance — besides an occasional filter change for some.
Get Rid of Chemicals and Water Contaminants
Even though the water in your home may have come from a water filtration plant, it still may not be as clean as you’d think. Many filtration plants miss a lot of sediment in water and more is often picked up along the way. Rust particles are also common in many home water sources.
Water filtration plants also add chemicals to drinking water. Chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals are often pumped into water as it’s treated.
Whole House Water filters can also help remove many contaminants from your drinking water, like:
- Herbicides and pesticides
If your home gets water from a well, it can still be loaded with plenty of unpleasant stuff. You may not have chemicals added to your water, but well water is often full of heavy metals which can make water stink, taste funny, and stain your fixtures.
Water filters for well water can help get rid of:
- Heavy metals including: iron, manganese, lead, mercury, sulfur, copper
- Herbicides and pesticides
- Parasites, viruses, bacteria and other harmful substances found in well water
Why Your House Needs a Home Water Filter
The great thing about a whole house water filter is the simplicity of the system.
While you may pay a bit more upfront, a whole house filter means that you don’t need to worry about where you’re getting your water from.
Want clean filtered water to fill your coffee pot?
Just use the kitchen sink rather than worrying about pulling a filtered pitcher out of the fridge.
A whole house water filter also ensures that your family isn’t regularly bathing or brushing their teeth with water that’s loaded with chemicals like chlorine, or contaminants like pesticides that are often found in water. Some filters even remove fluoride — a chemical that many are growing increasingly wary of.
Whole house water filtration systems are a great way to improve the health of your family by removing harmful substances from the water you use every day. Cleaner water can also help extend the life of your appliances and keep your clothes and dishes cleaner.
What to Look For When Shopping for a Water Filtration System
Whole home water filters come in many shapes and sizes. While shopping for the best filtration system for your needs, it’s really important to think about what your needs and priorities are.
A home that relies on well water will have very different filtering requirements than a home in a city, receiving regular tap water.
The size and number of bathrooms in your home are also another major whole house water filter consideration. Bigger homes will need a bigger filter or a filter with a better flow rate.ff
There are a few major factors to consider when shopping for a filter. Make sure you understand each and how they’ll affect the water quality in your home.
When shopping for a water filter, you’ll notice that there are really just two types of filters.
The first type of filter available are large, heavy duty filters that are designed to last for a long time. These filters typically have a lifespan of about 1,000,000 gallons of water — or 5 to 10 years of use. These filters usually also feature a carbon block filter, designed to catch most major contaminants.
The other type of filters are smaller filters with one, or several, removable canister style filters that need to be changed more often. The filters in these models often need to be changed every 6 months to 2 years. This second type of filter is often much more affordable than the heavy duty style models, but do not filter out quite as much.
Most home water filters have at least two stages: a sediment filter and a primary filter. Some filters have multiple stages though, with various filters designed to catch different types of contaminants.
Water filters can even include UV filtration designed to kill bacteria and microorganisms, salt conditioning filters, and other special filters designed to get your water just the way you want it.
Be sure to consider what you want to remove and the necessary filter stages needed when shopping.
No one likes low water pressure.
So, be careful when shopping for a filter to look at the flow rate. The flow rate is usually calculated in gallons per minute or GPM.
Filters with flow rates close to 15 gallons per minute will ensure that all of your fixtures have adequate water pressure.
Micron Rating & Filtering Capabilities
Another factor to consider is how much and what contaminants can be filtered by the water filter you’re interested in.
Many water filters have a micron rating which indicates how small of particles can filtered from water. Most whole home filters have micron ratings from around 1 to 5 — which is more than adequate for most homes.
The other filtering factor to be aware of is what type of contaminants and chemicals can actually be removed from water by the filter. If you want water free of chlorine and similar chemicals, be sure to check the filters you’re researching.
Installing a whole house water filter is a bit more involved than other types of filters designed to be used in a fridge or on a sink. If you’re an experienced DIYer and are not afraid to work with water pipes, you can probably handle installing a filter in your home.
But, if you’re not, installing a home water filter is usually a very simple job for a plumber to perform.
Price is obviously a major concern for anyone shopping for a home water filter. Thankfully there are a variety of models designed to fit many budgets and needs.
The heavier duty models do cost a bit more, but last much longer and filter more contaminants, so be sure to look at your budget and decide what’s right for you.