City and well water often contain contaminants like chlorine and sediment. Fortunately, there’s a way to ensure only filtered water gets into your home: by using a water filter for the whole house.
To help you pick a suitable filter, we’ve developed a comprehensive whole house water filter consumer report. Below, we list the best whole house water filter systems. We also explain the pros and cons, features, installation process, maintenance and price for each product.
Our Top Picks for Best Whole House Water Filter Systems
Best Whole House Water Filter Systems Reviews
Unlike other water filter options, whole house filters remove contaminants from water as soon as it enters your plumbing system. Whole house filters also use the best water softeners to remove metals like copper and lead. Here are our best picks for whole house water filter systems.
Why we chose it: Express Water’s Whole House Water Filtration System is feature-packed, easy to install and budget-friendly at around $450.
- Anti-scale water filter
- Three-stage filtration process
- Charcoal, sediment and whole house carbon water filters
- Easy-to-replace water filter cartridges
- 1-year warranty
- On-demand expert support
- 3/4-inch FPT inlet and system outlet are tapped loosely
Made with high-quality food-grade materials, this system is built to last. All of the components are covered by an Express Water Promise, and the three housings are made from food-grade PCE and ABS plastic. Each housing is also connected with high-capacity flow connectors.
This system filters out particles in three stages. Here’s how it works:
- Sediment: The first filtration stage is the sediment filter. This filter prevents coarse contaminants like rust, sand and dirt from harming your appliances and other filters.
- Phosphate: The second filtration stage is the polyphosphate (PHO) filter. It prevents the formation of corrosion and scale and also removes silt, algae, dirt, sediments, rust, sand and existing scale. It also works as a water conditioner.
- Carbon block: The third-stage filter is the activated carbon block (ACB), which captures carbon, chlorine, turbidity, chemicals, pesticides and pharmaceuticals. This stage focuses on the drinkability and taste of your water.
Thanks to its three-stage filtration system, this system makes water fresher and softer. It also removes all traces of metals and chlorine from water.
Express Water’s Whole House Water Filtration System was designed to be easy to install. The manufacturers have included a freestanding frame, so you can choose an unmounted or mounted installation. The following features also make setup simple:
- Free lifetime support
- Standard 1-inch connections for high flow and easy adaptability
- Pressure gauges that make it easy to see the state of the filtration system
Maintenance is also simple. If the filters break, you can buy them from the manufacturer or Amazon. You can also contact Express Water’s support team for help.
The Express Water Whole House Filtration System is typically priced at $450.
Why we chose it: Aquasana Rhino’s high-performing water filtration system can reduce chlorine and more.
- Produces great-tasting water
- No chemicals are added
- Easy filter replacements
- Can remove up to 97% of chlorine
- Reduces herbicides, pesticides, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and more
- 90-day guarantee, 10-year limited warranty and 10-year filter life
- Several complaints about taste
- May decrease water flow
Aquasana Rhino is your best bet for removing chlorine. It’s been independently tested to remove up to 97% of chlorine in water.
Other features include:
- A five-stage filtration process that removes and reduces at least 75 contaminants
- An activated carbon filter for reducing organic chemicals like pesticides, herbicides and more
- An upflow dual tank design that increases contact time with contaminant-grabbing media
- A divider valve with a flow rate of up to 11.8 gallons per minute
- An optional UV filter that sterilizes 99.99% of bacteria, viruses and chlorine-resistant cysts
- Bacteriostatic media that prevents algae and bacteria from growing inside the system
- Strong and safe materials molded from food-grade material
Aquasana Rhino’s five-stage water filter doesn’t add any chemicals during the filtration process, leaving you with pure water throughout your home.
However, several customers have complained that their water remained hard and off-tasting after installation.
The Aquasana Rhino is relatively easy to install, but may require some extra steps due to its many stages. If you need help, consider hiring a plumber.
You can clean Aquasana Rhino’s exterior with warm dishwater. Remember to rinse with clean water afterward. You can’t use chemical cleaner on the exterior.
Check the pre-filter sediment at least once a month. Replace it if you notice a significant drop in water pressure. The average lifespan of a sediment pre-filter is two to three months.
As for the optional post-filter, you should replace it once or twice a year. If you have the UV filter stage, you must replace the bulb annually.
Aquasana provides customization options to address any concerns you may have. It also has a 90-day guarantee and a 10-year limited warranty.
Depending on the vendor, the Aquasana Rhino can run anywhere from $1,100 to $1,600 — making it more expensive than the average filter. Upgrades such as the Salt-Free Water Conditioner and UV filter cost around an additional $1,400 each.
Why we chose it: The SoftPro Water Systems Upglow Carbon Filter boasts state-of-the-art carbon filters, giving you bottled-water quality.
- Environmentally friendly
- Catalytic carbon media can last up to 10 years
- Removes up to 99% of all contaminants
- Lifetime warranty
- Relatively expensive
- Poor quality control
The SoftPro Water Systems Upflow Carbon Filter’s upflow design allows for better circulation and increases filer contact time. As a result, this system cleans water more thoroughly than most systems, effectively improves water taste and removes odors.
SoftPro also uses reverse osmosis to produce soft, silky water that’s great for your skin and hair. This means you can use less shampoo, soap, detergent and more.
This filter is capable of removing the following:
- Hydrogen sulfide
- Heavy metals
The SoftPro Water Systems Upflow Carbon Filter also boasts a seven to 10-year lifespan and easy-to-change filter media.
This product is available in two sizes: one for four to six bathrooms with a 14 GPM flow rate and another for one to three bathrooms with a 9 GPM flow rate. The smaller size is ideal for most standard homes.
The installation process for the SoftPro Water Systems Upflow Carbon Filter is similar to other systems on this list. However, it does not come with everything you need to install the system. The basic kit only includes:
- A mineral tank that is pre-loaded with catalytic carbon media
- An upper filter basket
- An upflow valve head
- A distributor tube
- A protective neoprene tank jacket
- Support gravel
You will have to purchase connections, fittings and additional piping to connect your unit to your water line.
Some customers have noted SoftPro’s seeming lack of quality control. Depending on the vendor, you may receive a filter system with missing or damaged parts and upside-down delivery of the cylinders.
The system is contained within a single tank, so you only need to connect one unit to your water line. If you have limited DIY experience, it might be best to call a plumber can help you install the system.
This product comes with a limited lifetime warranty on the control valve. It also has an extensive warranty for all parts except for filtration media and accessories such as spacers and seals. Softpro provides a lifetime warranty for the tanks.
Most vendors sell this system for $1,000 to $1,200.
Why we chose it: GE’s whole house water filter does a great job of removing odors and chlorine at an affordable cost.
- Affordable cost
- Easy to install
- Transparent housing makes it clear when it’s time to change the filter
- Filters water at the main supply
- Few sizing options
- Cheap look
- Must replace filters frequently
GE Appliances Whole House Water Filtration System is powerful yet cost-effective. It’s also incredibly easy to use.
For this system, water flows into one side of the system through the cloth filter. Then, it flows to the rest of your home. The filter removes the following from the water:
Additionally, the National Sanitation Foundation guarantees that the system’s heavy-duty filtration removes aesthetic impurities and sediment such as cloudiness, bad taste and strange smells. As a result, you’ll get noticeably clearer and cleaner water.
The GE Appliances Whole House Water Filtration System is one of the easiest filters to install. The kit includes all of the mounting hardware required to set up the filter.
If your filter breaks, you can easily buy one online. To replace a filter, turn off the water flow, unscrew the housing and replace the old filter with a new one.
This system is our budget pick for a reason. Most vendors charge under $100 for this system. However, note that there are additional long-term costs for this filter. Filter replacements typically cost $30 every three months, amounting to $120 annually.
Why we chose it: iSpring’s whole house water filter is feature-packed and budget-friendly. It has a 100,000-gallon capacity activated carbon filter. It is also much cheaper than most filtration systems with similar features.
- 100,000-gallon capacity activated carbon filter
- Certified by the NSF to remove particles larger than 5 microns
- Excellent at removing sediment, chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, rust and up to 95% of water contaminants
- Equipped with three-stage filtration
- Lackluster customer service
The iSpring 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration system is a feature-packed filter that only costs a fraction of what more expensive models do.
This system is made of top-notch materials. The first-stage high-capacity polypropylene sediment filter can achieve filtration down to 5 microns, and the second- and third-stage CTO carbon block filters are made from top-quality coconut shell carbon.
This system is designed to give you clean and soft water. It removes up to 95% of rust, sediment, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, industrial solvents and other contaminants as well as 99% of chlorine from water.
iSpring provides clear and easy instructions so you can install its 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System on your own. As with other systems, however, you may need to call a plumber for assistance if you’ve never worked on a plumbing project before.
This system requires minimal maintenance. To change the filters, all you have to do is drain the water in the system and twist off the housings.
For more information, check out iSpring’s YouTube channels where you’ll find many maintenance videos for consumers. You can also contact iSpring for help if you encounter any issues.
Most vendors sell the iSpring 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System for $500 to $600.
Why we chose it: Pentair’s Whole House Filtration System is a low-maintenance filter for city dwellers. You can choose from two models to meet your apartment’s unique demands.
- Two different models to choose from
- Certified to reduce 97% of chlorine
- Powerful carbon media for removing organic compounds
- Copper and zinc oxidation media removes chlorine and extends GAC media’s life
- Certified for structural integrity and material safety
- Limited user reviews due to its relative newness
The Pentair Whole House Filtration System has the following main features:
- A 5-micron pre-filter system: This system reduces silt, debris, sand and sediment in the water supply down to 5 microns. The pre-filter usually lasts six to nine months before requiring replacement.
- Copper and zinc oxidation media: This stage reduces chloramines, chlorine and other disinfection byproducts. It also extends the carbon filter’s lifespan.
- GAC media: Pentair uses a high-quality mesh blend of coconut-shell-based activated carbon for its whole house filters. The GAC media filters common contaminants like chloramines, chlorine and industrial solvents.
You also have the option to add on the Pentair Whole House Filtration System with UV. UV disinfection can eliminate molds, bacteria, viruses and other contaminants, including pathogens that have developed a resistance to chemicals like chlorine. This doesn’t affect the color, taste or odor of your water, but may help with shinier hair by reducing its chlorine content.
The Pentair Whole House Filtration System can be difficult to set up. It requires many steps, including:
- Media soaking
- Sediment filter installation
- Carbon water filter system tank installation
- Bypass valve operations
However, Pentair has a detailed step-by-step installation guide for this system. If you’re experiencing any problems, you can give them a call or get a plumber.
The Pentair Whole House Filtration System requires cleaning and care after five years. You can order replacement media on Pentair’s website.
As for the sediment filter itself, you should replace it every six to 12 months depending on how much sediment is in your water.
Most vendors sell this system for around $2,000, making it one of the more expensive picks on the market and our list.
Why we chose it: The SpringWell CF+ Whole House Water Filter System is a great pick for well water uses. It delivers great results even with terrible initial water quality.
- Comes in three sizes
- Targets and removes harmful contaminants like chloramine, chlorine, PFOA, pesticides and more
- Salt-free water softening
- Lifetime warranty and six-month money-back guarantee
- Great customer service
The SpringWell CF+ Whole House Water Filter System is a budget-friendly, low-maintenance option for well water.
This system comes in three sizes: one to three bathrooms, four to six bathrooms and another for commercial use. All of them have the same four-stage filtration for removing common harmful contaminants. The main differences between the three filters are flow rate and filter capacity.
SpringWell’s system uses three different types of filters to remove 99.6% of chlorine, chloramine and other organic contaminants. As a result, you get sparkling clean water. The water the system produces will also keep your skin and hair soft and healthy.
Unfortunately, this filter doesn’t remove fluoride.
This whole house system is extremely easy to install. You just need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you need any help, SpringWell’s excellent customer service will lend you a hand.
You should change the pre-filter every six to nine months. Other than that, this system doesn’t require much maintenance.
Vendors typically sell this system for around $1,000.
Other whole house water filter systems we considered
Besides these seven products, we also considered a few other whole house water filter systems. Our honorable mentions are listed below.
US Water Systems BodyGuard Plus
- Improves indoor air quality
- Easy to set up
- Filter replacements are expensive
The US Water Systems BodyGuard Plus system uses a professional-grade interceptor filter to disinfect your water. It removes a wide spectrum of contaminants, including bacteria, chlorine, chromium 6 and bacteria.
3M Aqua-Pure AP900
- Easy maintenance
- Stainless steel head for corrosion resistance, installation and long life
- Does not work in heavy iron deposits
- May break down after frequent use
This 3M whole house water filter is a powerful and easy-to-maintain system for producing great-tasting and refreshing water. It is manufactured from FDA-compliant materials that are safe for drinking water and food.
APEC Whole House Water Filtration System
- Pre-assembled complete system that is ready to mount
- Can reduce sand, dirt, silt, rust, iron stains and chlorine
- May come with missing parts
The APEC Whole House Water Filtration System is a three-stage system designed for water with odor, light sediment and staining concerns. It can filter up to 80,000 gallons of water before needing a cartridge change.
Best Whole House Water Filter System Guide
Now that you know our best picks for whole house water filter systems, here’s an overview of what a whole house water filter is and how it works. We’ll also cover the benefits of having a whole house water filter system.
What is a whole house water filter?
A whole house water filter is a filtration system that’s installed where your primary water line enters your home. Because it’s installed at the entry point, it filters all of the water in your house, including water for showers, faucets, dishwashers and washing machines.
How does a whole house water filter work?
Whole house water filters work by filtering, trapping, absorbing, adsorbing and rejecting unwanted contaminants from your water supply. They do this by using multiple filter stages, such as:
- Pre-filtration stage: This stage removes unwanted matter from your water before it reaches the primary filter. It makes water cleaner and reduces the likelihood of buildup in later filter stages.
- Main treatment stage: This is when water passes through the primary filter. Depending on your choice of whole house water filter and the contamination levels of your water supply, you can choose any of the following options as a primary filter:
- Kinetic degradation fluxion systems
- Sediment filters
- Carbon-based filters
- Ultraviolet light filters
3. Post-filtration stage: This stage removes any sediment traces and organic matter left in water after it leaves the primary filter.
The benefits of installing a whole house water filter system
Installing a whole house water filter system provides many benefits, including:
Water often contains metal, chloride and other harmful substances due to pollution or impure sources. A whole house water filter and softener can remove or significantly reduce contamination.
Contaminants can create off-tasting and strange-smelling water. The most common reason for metallic-tasting water is a high concentration of manganese and iron. A first-class whole house water filter system can create great-tasting water by removing contaminants like these.
Easier on the skin and hair
With a whole house water filter, you can bathe and shower without harmful contaminants seeping into your skin and hair. As a result, your skin and hair will be softer and healthier.
Fewer plastic water bottles
Around 91% of plastic bottles aren’t recycled. Since a whole house water filter system allows you to drink straight from the tap, you won’t need to buy bottled water. Therefore, with a whole house water filter, you can reduce your ecological footprint.
With a whole house water filtration system, you can also avoid the costs of bottled water, which are thousands of times more than tap water. For example, in Minnesota, tap water costs $0.0058 per gallon, while the average wholesale price of domestic bottled water is approximately $1.18 per gallon.
How to install a whole house water filter system
Most homeowners should hire a plumber to install their whole house water filter systems. However, if you’re a DIYer with the right expertise, you may be able to install your whole house water filter system yourself. Follow these steps to get started:
Decide where to install the filter
First, you need to decide where to install the filter. Measure the amount of water line you will need to remove. You must have enough space for the system itseld, as well as bypass valves, shut-off valves and other fittings.
Turn off the water supply and drain the system
Next, open your home plumbing fixtures to drain as much water as possible. This will reduce pressure in your plumbing.
Remove a section of the pipe and sand the burrs
Cut a section of the water line pipe. Let it drain before proceeding. Then, sand the burrs.
Begin installing the filter
You can now mount the system to the wall. Note, however, that some models can stand on the floor in their frame. If you’re mounting the system on the floor, ensure the wall behind it can support the system when it’s full of water.
Check water quality and pressure
Before you use the water, check the water quality and pressure by flushing the system. Go to the nearest water faucet and turn on the cold water. The flush water will be blackish and cloudy. Run the water until it becomes clear. Keep it running for five more minutes before turning off the faucet.
Best Whole House Water Filter Systems FAQ
How often should you change your whole house water filter?
You should change your whole house water filter according to the system’s instructions. Typically, this is every 12 months or whenever you notice a decrease in flow rate.
How much is a whole house water filter?
It depends on your chosen brand and model, but most whole house water filters cost anywhere from $300 to $5,000.
How do you clean a whole house water filter?
If you don’t want to use bleach, you can clean your filter by soaking it in vinegar for several hours. You can then rinse it with clean water.
How We Chose the Best Whole House Water Filter Systems
Below is an overview of the main factors we used to choose the best whole house water filter systems.
We looked through whole house water filter reviews to filter out products with low ratings and over 5% of negative reviews. As a result, all of our picks are highly rated.
Ease of installation
We also considered each system’s ease of installation. Generally speaking, all of the filter systems on this list are easy to install, especially for experienced DIYers. However, some are easier than others. All of the systems on this list come with detailed installation instructions.
We only picked systems with first-class filtration features that do not significantly affect water pressure. All of our chosen products also boast:
- High-quality food-grade materials
- High filtration capacities
- A variety of filtration media, including carbon-based and sediment filters
We only picked products that are easy to maintain. All of the systems on this list have easy-to-find replacement filters and responsive customer service. This means you can call customer service if you need them to help you fix your whole house water filter system.
Summary of the 7 Best Whole House Water Filter Systems of 2023