Whole house water filters are increasing in popularity among many American households thanks to their efficiency and reliability when installed in big-family houses. A high-quality system will serve up to eight family bathrooms and kitchen faucets without significant fluctuations in the water flow rate.
We reviewed five products and found SpringWell House Water Filter to be the best overall thanks to its generally affordable price tag and a large capacity of 1,000,000 gallons. This system filters your water in four stages to eliminate sediments, chlorine, and heavy metals. The filtration media include KDF and premium coconut carbon.
We tested and reviewed more than 50 products before shortlisting the ones highlighted in this Best Whole House Water Filter buying guide. Our technicians spend more than 30 hours on each product, testing flow rate variations, micron rating efficiency, certification standards, and installation processes.
For all the products in our list, check all the features you would like in a standard or premium whole house filter. We also leverage expert reviews and positive customer feedback to gauge the long-term performance of these products.
Our best product overall is easy to install and replace. You could also opt for the best runner-up product if you want value for your money. Most customer reviews on this product indicate that you’ll hardly need a filter replacement for up to 12 months, depending on your consumption patterns.
Other products include the best UV filter for removing viruses and bacteria, best for heavy metals for removing lead and copper, and best for well water or water softener if you live in an area prone to salt.
Keep reading to discover the Best Whole House Water Filter specifications, buying guide and considerations, and where to buy these products.
Best Whole House Water Filter Products
- SpringWell Whole House Water Filter System– Best Overall
- Pelican PC 600 Premium Whole House Water Filter System– Best Runner-Up
- FilterSmart Whole House Water Filter– Best for City Water
- Home Master HMF2SmgCC Whole House Water Filter– Best for Tap Water
- 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Sanitary Quick Change Water Filter System AP903– Best Budget
Best Whole House Water Filter Reviews
1. SpringWell Whole House Water Filter System
Many homeowners shy from buying whole house water filters thinking that they are too expensive and will leave a dent in their pockets. SpringWell House Water Filter System comes with a relatively affordable price tag.
The price includes free shipping and a 51% factory discount if you buy the product from the official manufacturer’s website. Most importantly, you don’t need to pay the full price at once. The manufacturer has a partnership with Affirm to offer a direct financing option, including monthly installments. Thus, you can pay for the product as you consume, which is also okay if you have quality reservations.
This system filters your tap water in four stages, providing maximum contact time between water and the filtration media. The first stage features a KDF filtration media, which removes excess chlorine and sediments found in municipal water supplies.
The second filtration stage features a coconut shell for removing most organic contaminants like herbicides and pesticides. The last filtration stage will remove any sediments, sand, silt, and clay that may pass the first stage.
Every purchase comes with a six-month money-back guarantee to enhance 100% customer satisfaction. This feature is ideal if the water filter doesn’t meet your standards and needs. Remember, this product doesn’t work well in condos and apartments. Even so, that doesn’t affect its efficiency, reliability, and durability in standard applications.
- Price – $$$$
- Warranty – Lifetime warranty
- Filter Life – 6 to 9 months
- Flow Rate – 9 to 17 GPM
- Capacity – 1,000,000 gallons
- Certification – NSF certified components
- Micron Rating – 5
- Made in the USA
- 6-month money-back guarantee
- High capacity of 1,000,000 gallons
- The manufacturer doesn’t include a replacement filter
- It may not be ideal for apartments
2. Pelican PC 600 Premium Whole House Water Filter System
PC 600 Premium Whole House Water Filter System will be a go-to option if you want a product that ships the same day and takes less than five minutes to install. This product comes with an easy-to-read user manual for interior or exterior installations.
You don’t need drains or drillings to install this system. It has a Standard 42 NSL certification that guarantees the removal of excess chlorine and sediments prevalent sediments found on old plumbing systems.
The 600,000-gallon capacity ensures that your family accesses ready-to-drink water at steady flow rates of up to 8 GPM. The premium, deluxe model of this brand, can support high flow rates of up to 12 GPM, with a maximum capacity of 1,000,000 gallons.
This product features a carbon filter media that leverages the reverse osmosis filtration technique to improve water taste by eliminating odors. The replacement filter comes with an incredibly affordable price tag compared to competitive brands.
The manufacturer gives a limited lifetime guarantee on tanks and parts. Thus, you can get profit-free servicing and replacements within the five-year performance guarantee period. Even though the manufacturer doesn’t highlight any monetary refund, this whole house water filter comes with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee to address any quality issues that may emanate from the production or supply lines. Most importantly, it doesn’t waste water, nor does it need an electrical connection to function.
- Price – $$$$
- Warranty – Limited lifetime
- Filter Life – 6 to 9 months
- Flow Rate – 8 GPM
- Capacity – 600,000 gallons
- Certification – NSF/ANSI-certified material safety
- Micron Rating – 5
- It ships the same day
- 90-day satisfaction guarantee
- Indoor or external installation
- The warranty terms are on certain components
- It is relatively costly
3. FilterSmart Whole House Water Filter
Do you consider free or subsidized shipping cost when buying household items? The manufacturer shipped FilterSmart Whole House Water Filter to our doorstep at no extra shipping costs besides what we paid as the initial price.
This brand comes with a lifetime warranty on profit-free parts, including tanks and valves, to guarantee 100% customer satisfaction. The warranty terms are on quality issues emanating from the manufacturing or supply line. The stainless steel cover is resistant to corrosion to ensure your system exhausts its longevity.
A unique feature that stood out for us is the coconut shell-based technology that gives you instant clean water free of contaminants and odor. The carbon filter features adsorption pores that will remove chlorine, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), Synthetic Organic Compounds (SOC), Trihalomethanes Chemical Compounds (THMs), pesticides, industrial solvents, and herbicides. This makes this product the best option for city water, where you’re dealing with all sorts of pollutants from industries and landfills.
This system comes with a pre-filter and a mounting bracket for an easier installation process. The sediment pre-filter removes sediments and pipe buildups; hence ideal if you’re dealing with old copper plumbing. We found that this water filter will give you a flow rate of 12 GPM when connected to about one to three bathrooms and 15 GPM when connected to about four to six bathrooms.
- Price – $$$$
- Warranty – Lifetime warranty
- Filter Life – 8 to 10 months
- Flow Rate – 12 to 15 GPM
- Capacity – 1,0000,000 gallons
- Certification – NSF-listed
- Micron Rating – 1
- Best filter for city water contaminants
- Coconut-based carbon filter
- It is ideal for big families
- It is relatively costly
- It doesn’t filter virus and bacteria
4. Home Master HMF2SmgCC Whole House Water Filter
Home Master HMF2SmgCC Water Filter is the best product for chlorinated tap water. It has a micron rating of one to filter up to 95% of contaminants, including sediments, heavy metals, and excess chlorine.
We also found it to improve water taste by eliminating odors and chloramines. This water filter is simple to install and maintain to save you time and money. The mounting bracket comes with bolts, a housing wrench, and a step-by-step installation guide in the user manual.
What we love in this product is the filtration technology, which happens in three stages. Each filtration stage has a different micron rating to deal with specific contaminants. For instance, the first stage filtration features a multi gradient depth polypropylene with a 25-micron rating to remove sediments from your drinking water.
The second filtration stage involves a 5-micron rating inner layer carbon filter, while the last 1-micron rated filter removes soluble heavy metals like lead and copper.
This product has a lifespan of about six months to a year, or 95,000 gallons of water, whichever comes first. However, the manufacturer recommends a complete replacement once you notice a significant drop in the water flow rate.
The flow rate varies depending on the number of outlets. Thus, you may experience lower flow rates if you have a household of more than five members, but that doesn’t mean you’ll need a replacement.
- Price – $$$$
- Warranty – 2-year limited warranty
- Filter Life – 6 to 12 months
- Flow Rate – 15 to 40 GPM
- Capacity – 95,000 gallons
- Certification – Certified frustration-free
- Micron Rating – 1
- Two-stage filtration system
- It removes soluble heavy metals like lead
- Oversize filters to enhance efficiency
- The water flow rate is not stable
- It doesn’t remove the iron and sulfur smell
5. 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Sanitary Quick Change Water Filter System AP903
Lastly, we found 3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Sanitary Quick Change Water Filter to be the best budget product in our review list. This water filter gives you clean, better-tasting water by removing sediments, odors, and up to 85% Chlorine without breaking the bank.
The carbon block technology will filter your water without introducing any toxins. The manufacturer notes that it can help enhance the lifespan of your other water appliances like dishwashers, heaters, and clothes washers.
We found the 20 GPM flow rate to ensure access to clean drinking water across all fixtures. The installation process is pretty simple, and you’ll hardly need a plumber when replacing it after 12 months. The manufacturing process includes a head assembly that comes with a mounting bracket. It is compatible with existing copper plumbing pipes. You shouldn’t worry about pipe buildup, thanks to the five-micron rating to filter sizable particles.
This water filter features 304 stainless steel construction material, resistant to corrosion for longevity and durability. The stainless steel comes with a 25-year limited warranty; suppose you experience quality issues. You can use this product to filter tap water (town municipal supply) or non-chlorinated water. However, it doesn’t filter bacteria and viruses from water. In that case, this water filter may not be ideal if you live in an area prone to waterborne diseases.
- Price – $$$$
- Warranty – 25 year limited warranty
- Filter Life – 12 months
- Flow Rate – 20 GPM
- Capacity – 100,000 gallons
- Certification – NSF Standard 42 Certified
- Micron Rating – 5
- It is relatively affordable
- 304 stainless steel construction
- NSF Standard 42 Certified
- The filter may not last for a year
- The water pressure fluctuates
What is a Whole House Water Filter?
A whole house water filter gives you ready-to-drink water by removing toxins like heavy metals, excess chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, and sediments. You’ll install a whole house water filter at the main Point of Entry (POE) before the water reaches other fixtures, faucets, or appliances like water heaters.
How a Whole House Water Filter Functions
Different brands will have varying filtration techniques, but the common ones are reverse osmosis and UV treatment. Reverse osmosis technology is prevalent on carbon-based and KDF filter media.
This filtration technique will eliminate sediments and prevalent contaminants like excess chlorine and heavy metals for cleaner, better-tasting water. On the other hand, the UV filtration technique will be best for removing microorganisms like viruses and bacteria.
Why Do You Need a Water Filter In Your Home?
Unless you’re drinking from bottled water, you’re running a risk of contracting waterborne diseases if you rely on untreated tap or well water. Remember, you don’t have control over the well water source or the piped municipal water treatment processes. Notable toxins that may bypass the treatment process at the municipal level include old pipes with leaks or sediment buildup. Well water may also be prone to organic contaminants like herbicides and pesticides.
A high-quality water filter removes these toxins to give you an endless supply of clean water. Better-tasting water improves your consumption patterns for general wellbeing. Remember, adequate clean drinking water means better skin and eye health.
Buying Guide for the Best Whole House Water Filter
Have the following considerations in mind before buying a whole house water filter:
Target of Filtration
As noted, different brands come with varying filtration media to remove specific contaminants. You’d want a system built specifically to deal with your water supply, whether it’s in the city or the countryside. Prevalent water contaminants emanate from the source and the plumbing system it travels through before reaching your home.
Your filtration targets can be:
1. Tap Water
It isn’t uncommon to come through excess contaminants in state-approved tap waters, whether you live in the suburbs or low-life neighborhoods. You might want to take a sample of your tap water to a local lab to discern the type of contaminants in your supply. Buy our best filter for tap water if you’re dealing with the following contaminants:
- Carcinogenic Volatile Organic Compounds like benzene
- Radioactive elements like radium and uranium
- Heavy metals like lead, copper, and arsenic
- Excess disinfectants like chlorine, fluoride, and chloramine
- Disinfection by-products like chloroform
2. Well Water
Well water can either be from a private or communal source. If you have a private well, send a sample of the water to a local laboratory to determine the type of contaminants present. The most prevalent contaminant in well water is iron.
Even though this metal doesn’t have a significant health effect, it causes an odd taste and smell in your drinking water. Buy our best filter for well water if you’re likely dealing with the following toxins:
- Organic chemicals like herbicides and pesticides
- Radionuclides like uranium
- Clay and silt sediments
- Heavy metals like copper, arsenic, and antimony
- Microorganisms like viruses and bacteria
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Whole House Water Filter
Whole house water filters will serve you well if you consider specifications that match your expectations, budget, and water needs. Each product reviewed above is unique and will give an exemplary performance in various situations. Some also have a higher price tag because of the technological features that enhance ultra-filtration performance. Consider these factors when making a purchase, whether online or in physical stores:
1. Consumption and Filter Capacity
Your main consideration should be the consumption or filter capacity of a specific product. The maximum capacity should reflect your household’s consumption rate. Averagely, a single person uses up to 250,000 gallons of water every year. If your family has about four to five people, you’ll need to buy a whole house water filter with a maximum capacity of up to 1,000,000 gallons.
Some brands also have the capacity feature to represent the filter’s lifespan. Thus, the higher the capacity, the more you’ll enjoy the system’s longevity to see your money value. A small household of about one or two people can do well with a capacity of 500,000 gallons. Most of the above-reviewed products have a capacity of 1,000,000 gallons.
2. Types of Filters
What is the best filter? Besides micron rating, you’d want a high-quality filtration media that doesn’t allow contaminants to pass through. We discovered that coconut-based carbon filter media has the best reverse osmosis filtration technique to remove sediments and particle contaminants. It can also remove prevalent organic toxins like herbicides and pesticides.
On the other hand, KDF filtration media proved to be the best in enhancing taste by eliminating odor and excess chlorine concentration. It will help if you buy a whole house filter system with multiple filtration media for efficiency.
3. Filter Longevity/Lifespan
A filter media with a longer lifespan will save you money and resources associated with unnecessary replacements and maintenance schedules. However, kindly note that most manufacturers don’t give a specific lifespan. Instead, they’ll tell you when to consider a replacement, say after six to nine months or when you start experiencing fluctuating water flow rates.
Even so, the flow rate fluctuation can still be due to multiple users at a time. If you’re dealing with heavily polluted water, your filter media may not outlast the recommended manufacturer’s lifespan.
The size of a whole house water filter system is purely aesthetic and will depend on individual preferences. Don’t confuse big size with efficiency or functionality. Similarly, don’t mistake a small size for defectiveness. Watch out for specifications because the size will only determine your installation point.
Manufacturers don’t design these whole house water filters for mobile operations, and size doesn’t matter unless you want to maximize space. Even so, a small-sized water filter will likely give you an easy time when installing compared to big models that may require professional plumbing.
5. Micron Rating
Micron rating will determine whether you’ll get the most out of your whole house filter. If a product filters your water in more than one stage, it will help if each stage features a different micron rating. Different filtration stages with the same micron rating don’t make any difference from a single-stage micron rating.
Watch out for products with a lower micron rating of about five or below. This rating guarantees the removal of nearly all contaminants, including silt, clay, and mineral sediments.
6. Water Flow/ Pressure
The water flow rate choice will depend on your household’s size. A bigger family will need a filter with a flow rate of at least 25 GPM. Even so, different faucets may still experience varying flow rates depending on the fixture’s size and the number of users at a time.
If the kitchen faucet is open together with the bathroom sink, you may experience relatively low flow rates of about two and three GPM, respectively. Smaller families of about two to four people will still have a good experience with smaller water filters of 10 GPM, or even lower.
Certified water filters will give back your money’s value through longevity and durability. The most reputable certification to watch out for in whole house water filters is the NSL listing. However, it will help if you’re keen because some products will have certified components and not the product as a whole.
Such water filters may not guarantee the quality of water coming out at different fixtures. Moreover, “NSF-listed” is quite an ambiguous term and may represent a specific contaminant. Here are the prevalent NSF certifications:
NSF Standard 58 – prevalent in products with reverse osmosis filtration technology. This certification guarantees Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), lead, copper, and arsenic filtration.
NSF Standard 55 – certification for Ultra Violet (UV) whole house water filters. It guarantees pathogenic bacteria, microorganisms, and virus filtration.
NSF Standard 53 – you’ll find this certification in water softener filters. It accredits health-related contaminants filtration like cyst and lead.
NSF Standard 44 – this certification guarantees hard mineral reduction. It is available in water filters capable of barium and radium 226/228 reduction.
NSF Standard 43 – this certification is for aesthetics reduction, mostly odor. It also guarantees chlorine reduction for better-tasting drinking water.
The Bottom Line
High-quality whole house water filters like those seen above will give you clean, instant drinking water for up to 12 months before replacing the filter. Most of them attract fewer maintenance costs, and you don’t need to worry after installation. Even so, don’t forget to double-check a product’s specifications and whether the certification is for the system as a whole.
The more the certifications, the more likely you’ll get the most out of your whole house water filter in efficiency and durability. You can buy these products from Amazon or official manufacturer websites.