Best Sediment Filter for Well Water and City Water in 2022 (The Only List You Need)

Protect your other water treatment systems from harmful sediment with these top rated filters.

Hey there, well owner! Welcome to our best sediment filter for well water guide.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans dealing with the side effects of sediment-heavy well water, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ve reviewed and compared a selection of the best well water sediment filters currently available.

Feel free to spend unwisely on a sediment filter that just doesn’t live up to your high standards for performance and quality – but we strongly recommend investing in a superior quality filter that will exceed your expectations with its consistently impressive contaminant removal abilities.

#1 is our favorite, but #2 is the best spin-down filter, and #5 is our recommended option for small budgets.

This guide is split into two sections:

  • A review section, which features everything you need to know about the best sediment filters available today.
  • A buyers’ guide, covering the things you should consider before buying a sediment filter for your well.

🥇 Best Sediment Filters for Well Water

📊 Comparison Chart of Sediment Filter for Well Water and City Water

ProductRKIN CBS 5 Micron Sediment Whole House Filter
RKIN CBS 5 Micron Sediment Whole House Filter
Rusco Spin Down Separator
Rusco Spin Down Separator
SoftPro Spin-Down Sediment Separator Filter
SoftPro Spin-Down Sediment Separator Filter
iSpring WSP50ARB
iSpring WSP50ARB
Culligan WH-S200-C
Culligan WH-S200-C
AO Smith Whole House Water Sediment Filter
AO Smith Whole House Water Sediment Filter
Ranking1st2nd3rd4th5th6th
Ratings5/54.5/54.5/54/54/54/5
Price$$$$$$$$$$$
TypeCartridgeSpin-downSpin-downSpin-downCartridgeCartridge
Micron Rating51006050Depends on cartridgeDepends on cartridge
Filter Life12 months12 months2 – 4 months6 months
Flow Rate20 GPM25 GPM1 – 100 GPM35 GPM4 GPM4 GPM
Max Pressure125 PSI125 PSI150 PSI140 PSI125 PSI
Annual Cost~$50~30~$20~$70~$20
WarrantyLifetime1 year1 year2 yearsLimited 1 year

⭐ Reviews – Sediment Filter for Well Water 2022

Key Features:

  • Effective cartridge filtration – The RKIN CBS uses a filter cartridge to trap sediment in well water. There’s a key benefit to this: the filter doesn’t require backwashing or flushing to remove accumulated sediment. You simply replace the cartridge when needed.
  • Filters down to 5 microns – This sediment filter should trap even the smallest sediment with its 5-micron filter media. What’s in it for you? Almost guaranteed protection against sediment damage in your plumbing, pipes, and appliances.
  • Multi-use filtration – We’ve made this guide for well water sediment filters, but the RKIN sediment filter works with well water AND city water, so it’s got you covered in all scenarios.
  • Good filter life – For a cartridge filter, the RKIN CBS has one of the best lifespans we’ve seen. The filter should be changed every 12 months, or earlier if your water usage or sediment content is higher than average.

Best For: Folks looking for the best cartridge sediment water filter that money can buy – with certified components and an impressive lifespan. We think the RKIN CBS is best for everyone because it offers more thorough sediment removal than any other cartridge sediment filter at a more affordable price.

Pros:

  • The 20 GPM (gallons per minute) flow rate is ideal for a whole house filtration system. The average flow rate for a family home is 6-12 GPM, so the RKIN CBS shouldn’t reduce your water pressure at all.
  • The folks at RKIN understand the importance of affordability. The filter costs less than $250 upfront and the annual spend is less than $50.
  • RKIN Water Systems is one of the most reliable, customer-friendly manufacturers with over a decade of glowing reviews and positive feedback. RKIN customers benefit from US-based technical support, and the CBS is backed by a 1-year money-back guarantee.
  • Don’t want to get sick from your water filter? You’ll be happy to hear that this RKIN model uses patented bacteriostatic technology that prevents the growth of bacteria throughout the filter’s lifespan. 

Cons:

  • Because the RKIN CBS has a 5-micron filter media, we don’t recommend this filter for removing large sediment particles. If you have physical grains of sediment in your water (50 microns or higher), they’ll clog the filter cartridge really quickly, significantly shortening its lifespan.
  • You’ll need to change and throw out the old filter cartridge after every 1 year, so this RKIN model isn’t the best choice on the market if you want to minimize your environmental impact.

Key Features:

  • Spin-down filter design – As a spin-down sediment filter, this Rusco system spins water in a centrifugal motion, pushing dirt and debris to the outside of the housing, where it settles at the bottom of the filter.
  • 100-micron filtration – With a 100-micron rating, the Rusco Spin Down Separator is designed to do the heavy lifting, removing big chunks of dust and debris from water. If you have noticeable sediment particles in your well water, this is the filter to go for.
  • Long lifespan – The unit has a valve that sends water back into the filter for flushing, helping to maintain its impressively long filter lifespan. You’ll just need to replace the screen element 6-12 months.

Best For: Anyone looking for the best, most adaptable spin-down sediment filter on the market. The Rusco can be used to remove rust and sand from well water sources – but it can also be used for other purposes, such as farming and gardening.

Pros:

  • What makes the Rusco special is that it can handle more than just sediment. It can also reduce rust and metals in water, helping to further improve quality and taste.
  • This filter has a respectable flow rate of 25 GPM (that’s 5 GPM higher than the RKIN model) and a maximum pressure of 125 PSI, so you can enjoy the same fast water flow from your faucets and showers after you install this unit.
  • This Rusko model is one of the best space-saving sediment filters we tried, with a small and unobtrusive design and a <2-pound weight. It’s compact enough to install in small spaces, whether alone or before a large whole house filter system.
  • You’ll struggle to find another sediment filter that costs less than $30 to maintain per year and has the very besst warranty available today. Plus, there are no cartridges to replace, which is a huge bonus.

Cons:

  • We don’t recommend this filter for small sediment particles (under 20 PPM) – they’ll just slip straight through with the water.
  • You’ll need to take the filter apart and clean it with a scrubbing brush from time to time. Some people might actually prefer to replace a filter (as with the RKIN cartridge filter) than bother with regular cleaning duties.

Key Features:

  • Spin-down filter design – Like the Rusco model, the SoftPro filter has a spin-down design. Spin-down filters push sediment particles to the bottom of the filter, where they can be flushed periodically.
  • 60-micron filtration – With its 60-micron filter pores, the SoftPro Spin-Down Sediment Separator Filter is a great choice for water containing fine sand and silt. Fine sand is about 62 microns, and silt is 8-37 microns, depending on the grain size.
  • Multiple sizes available – We’re pleased that SoftPro offers four sizes for its filter, with flow rates of 5-90 GPM depending on which size you choose. We recommend the 1.5-inch filter for families of three-to-four.

Best For: People with sediment that they can see (such as fine sand and silt), but isn’t too large for a 60-micron filter to handle (such as gravel and some dirt particles). The SoftPro filter is a good middle-ground option that should tackle the majority of sediment issues apart from the very worst.

Pros:

  • It’s great to see an affordable option on the market. The smallest SoftPro filter size costs less than $100, proving that you don’t have to break the bank for high quality. Plus, the annual cost is less than $20. Steal.
  • Because this unit features a ball valve, you can quickly and simply flush away the collected sediment. We’re certain that you won’t mind this maintenance task since SoftPro makes it so easy.
  • If you’re a sucker for a certification, you’ll be pleased to know that the SoftPro sediment filter is manufactured from NSF-listed, FDA-grade materials. What does that mean? You’re spending your money wisely because the parts that make up the filter are all third-party approved.

Cons:

  • SoftPro hasn’t shared vital information about the filter’s lifespan. You usually have to replace the mesh screen every 6-12 months, so we can only assume this information is in the user manual (not available online).
  • This filter’s 1-year warranty puts it behind its top competitor.

Key Features:

  • High-tech spin-down filter – The iSpring WSP50ARB is a spin-down filter with a few high-tech benefits. Instead of manually flushing the filter, you can program it to automatically flush with the digital control screen.
  • 50-micron filtration – This filter’s 50-micron design is a good choice for removing small, visible sediment particles from water, like silt and fine sand.
  • 12-month filter life – You get a respectable 12 months of use out of the WSP50ARB before you need to replace the mesh screen.

Best For: Tech lovers who enjoy having the smartest version of everything on offer, or anyone who wants to put in minimal time and effort in maintaining a sediment filter, and is happy to pay extra for this benefit.

Pros:

  • The clear selling point of the iSpring WSP 50SL is its high-definition touch screen-powered automated flushing module. Simply select between auto, semi-auto, and manual to pre-set a schedule for manual or automatic flushing. Not a fan of routine maintenance? Pick automatic – your work is over.
  • We know quality when we see it, and every BPA-free component of the WSP 50SL is clearly built to last. Included in the package is everything you need for installation: lead-free brass fittings, a 50-micron stainless steel mesh filter screen, and transparent housing.
  • With this iSpring filter’s 25 GPM flow rate (that’s 5 GPM faster than our top-pick spin-down filter, the RKIN), you won’t notice a drop in water pressure in your home after installing this unit.

Cons:

  • We think this iSpring model is well worth the $250 price tag, but it’s significantly costlier than the other filters on this list, so it’s bound to be too expensive for some people. Also, the 1-year warranty is pretty underwhelming considering the additional tech features on offer.
  • We read reports from customers who wished the filter was available in multiple sizes and micron counts – especially people wishing for a 100- or 200-micron option. For the price, you’d think the filter could be available in more than one size.

Key Features:

  • Cartridge filter design – The Culligan WH-S200-C uses a cartridge-based filter, meaning that it traps contaminants in a filter media that needs replacing periodically. The housing (not the filter media) is WQA certified to meet NSF Standard 42, for structural integrity, 61 for material safety, and 372, for low lead compliance.
  • Compatible with various Culligan filters – What’s important to know about this filter is that you’re just buying the sediment cartridge housing, not the cartridge itself. The housing is compatible with the Culligan R50-BBSA, CW25-BBS, CP5-BBS, CW5-BBS, and RFC-BBSA. This chart compares the available filters.
  • 2-4-month filter lifespan – The average filter lifespan (depending on the filter cartridge you go for) is 2-4 months, which doesn’t compare to the 12-month lifespan of our #1 RKIN sediment filter.

Best For: We recommend the Culligan WH-S200-C for small families with small budgets. In our opinion, this filter is the best budget cartridge sediment filter because it offers a fantastic value for money with its durable, certified components and convenient features.

Pros:

  • If you appreciate the flexibility of switching things up, you’ll love that the Culligan WH-S200-C is compatible with four different Culligan filters. Choose between 5 and 50 microns depending on your filtration needs.
  • We were pleased with the unique features on offer in this filter, including the clear filter housing that lets you watch the system at work and know with just a glance when the cartridge needs replacing, helping you to stay ahead with filter purchases. There’s also a handy built-in bypass valve and a battery-operated filter change timer to make maintenance super easy and convenient.
  • The 2-year warranty is pretty good (and beats the RKIN filter’s 1-year money-back guarantee), especially for the unit’s affordable price. It’s reassuring to know that you’re covered in the event of filter damage or quality issues.

Cons:

  • Although this filter costs significantly less upfront than its competitors, you still need to pay for the separate filter cartridge, so the savings aren’t huge. Plus, the annual spend ($70) is higher than the RKIN’s annual spend ($around $50).
  • The 4 GPM flow rate just doesn’t match up to the 20-25 GPM flow rates offered by the best sediment filters on this list. The 2-4 month filter lifespan is pretty average, too.

Key Features:

  • Includes 5-micron filter – The AO Smith Whole House Water Sediment Filter comes with a 5-micron filter, which is ideal for treating small sediment particles. We recommend combining multiple filters (such as 5-micron, 10-micron, and 20-micron) if you have issues with sediment of various sizes.
  • 1-year warranty – You’re free to try this filter at no risk for the first year. If there are quality issues, you should be covered by the warranty (terms and conditions apply).
  • Half-year lifespan – The included filter in this unit lasts up to 6 months.

Best For: People looking for a great value, fast-flow sediment water filter that has flexible uses. We recommend this filter if your well water contains small sediment particles that are invisible to the eye.

Pros:

  • The AO Smith Whole House Water Sediment Filter is the only sediment filter on this list to have an official NSF certification for performance. The filter is certified to Standard 42 for the removal of particulate class V – a nice bonus on top of its sediment removal abilities.
  • Considering this filter costs just $50, its durability and design quality are excellent. The unit has sturdy, leak-preventing metal inserts, rather than plastic threading, and a built-in valve that’s smooth to operate.
  • We were pleased with the simplicity of installation and maintenance for this system. No need for a plumber – the bypass valve lets you instantly divert water away from the system, and the built-in pressure relief button makes it easy to swap out filter cartridges.

Cons:

  • We read complaints from customers about the quality of the mounting bracket.
  • AO Smith could be clearer about how this filter works and what exactly you get with this product.

🎭 The Competition

Keen to know the competition for our shortlisted sediment water filters? Here’s a list of products we’ve reviewed previously, but no longer make the cut:

🧾 Sediment Filter for Well Water Buyer’s Guide: How we Selected and Shortlisted the Best Sediment Filters on This List

Before you buy the best sediment filter for well water, you need to know which important features you prioritize. We used these features as our criteria when choosing the sediment water filters in this guide.

Water Source

Your exact well water source, and your geological location, determine the contaminants your water likely contains – and the type of sediment water filter you need to remove these contaminants.

Testing your water will tell you exactly which contaminants are in your water, which will help you to decide on the best sediment filter for well water in your own home.

A water test will also tell you whether you could benefit from installing any other whole hose water filter units alongside your sediment filtration system.

tap score water test report

Type of Sediment

Not all sediment is the same. There are various types of sediment that get into your well water, and you can’t rely on all of the best sediment filters to remove all types – and sizes – of sediment entirely.

Some people may only need a single sediment water filter, such as a 5-micron filter for small, invisible sediment, or a 100-micron filter for large, visible particles of sand and silt.

If you have varying sizes of sediment in your water, you may need to combine several whole house sediment filter sizes, beginning with the largest-micron filter first. You might also need a whole house water filtration system to remove additional contaminants alongside sediment.

Your Water Pressure

The normal water pressure of a medium-family home is between 40 and 60 PSI. You can measure your water pressure using a pressure gauge.

Check that your water pressure is suitable for installing a sediment water filter before you actually do so. Excessive pressure could cause damage to the inside of the system, while low pressure could affect the flow of water through your pipes due to the friction caused by the filtration process.

Many of the best sediment water filters are designed to handle a water pressure reading of up to 150. Some sediment filters have different-sized filter housing and filtration media for various family sizes. Be sure to check before you buy if you have specific requirements.

Filter Capacity

The capacity of a water filtration system is the maximum gallon output of a system, or how many months or years you can expect a filter to last.

So, filter capacity tells you two things:

  • How many gallons per minute of filtered water the system can produce.
  • How many total gallons of water the system can produce before it needs to be flushed (in the case of spin-down sediment filters) or replaced (in the case of cartridge water filters).

The average gallon-per-minute capacity of the best sediment filter for well water is 20-25 GPM. This is more than double the average whole home water flow rate in your main water pipe, so you shouldn’t notice a drop in flow after installing the filter.

As for overall capacity (lifespan), most sediment water filters last 6-12 months, depending on the system type. Spin-down sediment water filters have the advantage, here, as they’re designed to last for 1-2 years before the mesh screen needs replacing. Cartridge filters have a shorter filter lifespan of around 6 months before the entire cartridge needs replacing.

whole house sediment filter install

Micron Rating

We’ve already briefly mentioned micron rating, but let’s look at it in more detail.

A filter’s micron rating is the maximum particle size of the contaminants it can trap. So, the lower the micron rating, the smaller the contaminants that a filter can trap.

A filter that has a 5-micron rating will be capable of removing much smaller sediment than a 100-micron filter.

BUT, the 5-micron filter will become clogged at a faster rate because it’s trapping every single contaminant down to 5 microns in size, while a 100-micron filter only traps contaminants down to a (much larger) size of 100 microns.

That’s why it’s important to test your water to find out what sort of sediment you’re dealing with. You can then decide on a filter – or multiple filters – to remove all the sediment from your well water supply.

Installation & Maintenance

Installing any whole house water filter at your main water line is moderately challenging. You’ll need to cut into your pipe and potentially do some soldering.

The good news is that most manufacturers design their sediment filters for simple installation. You don’t need to be a plumber or a DIY expert to install a whole house sediment filter.

Still, if you’re really not a handy person, you might consider hiring a professional (or enlisting in the help of a willing family member) to save you the job.

In terms of maintenance, filter changes or manual flushing are usually necessary, depending on the type of sediment water filter you buy. Check your user manual to learn more about maintenance requirements.

Additional Features

Some of the best sediment filters for well water come with additional features that help to improve their performance and lengthen their lifespan.

Automated flushing is one of the best additional features to look for in a spin-down sediment filter. When a filter has automated backwashing or spin-down capabilities, it’ll automatically clean out any build-up sediment every couple of weeks or so.

Spin-down filters with no automated backflushing element will need to be manually flushed, which takes a bit more effort.

RKIN Dragon Self-Cleaning Spin Down 90 Micron Sediment - Installation and Maintenance

Warranty

A good warranty is a sign that the manufacturer is confident in the quality of their filter, and offers the reassurance that you’re covered in the event of a manufacturing fault or quality issue.

Most manufacturers offer at least a 1-year warranty for sediment filter housing. Some of the best sediment water filters have 3-year, 5-year, or even limited lifetime warranties.

Make sure you’re aware of a warranty’s terms and conditions – including whether or not you need to register online to be eligible – before you part with your cash.

💭 What Is a Well Water Sediment Filter?

A well water sediment filter is a type of filter that removes large suspended particles in well water, including sand, dirt, dust, and rust.

Sediment filters are commonly known as pre-filters when they’re included in whole home systems such as reverse osmosis filters. They remove the large particles found in water that can clog up a carbon filter or RO membrane and reduce its inefficiency.

Spin-down and cartridge-based filters are the two most common types of sediment filters for well water.

🤔 Why Do I Need a Sediment Filter for Well Water?

Well water typically tests a lot higher for sediment than city water – hence why sediment filters are typically marketed for people with private wells.

While city water is treated and sent on its way through pipes into our homes, well water is untreated water that’s typically sourced from an underground aquifer. This water often contains sand, silt, and small particles of dirt, dust, and rust.

Well water with a high level of sediment may have a poor taste. Sediment particles also damage your water pipes and affect flow rate and water pressure over time.

Sediment filters are used to protect your pipes and appliances (including your well system and your whole house water filter system) from sediment damage, reducing the costs involved in maintenance and repairs.

🔠 Types of Sediment Filters

There are two types of well water sediment filters available today: spin-down and cartridge. Both are installed at the home’s point of entry.

Spin-down and cartridge sediment filter explained

Spin-down

A spin-down sediment filter removes large chunks of sediment by spinning water in a centrifugal motion to the bottom of the filter, where the sediment particles are trapped.

Spin-down sediment filters do the heavy lifting. They’re designed for treating dirty water with large chunks of sediment and sand.

How does it work?

This type of filter looks like a large pipette, and typically has a clear exterior so you can see the build-up of sediment inside.

Spin-down filters come with a flush valve, which allows you to quickly and easily remove the collected sediment without having to take the filter out of its filter housing or remove it from your water line.

What are the perks of spin-down filters? They’re easy to install, low-maintenance, and they don’t affect water pressure as noticeably as some other sediment well water filter types. They come in multiple sizes and can handle water flow from 20 GPM to 150 GPM.

Cartridge Filters

Cartridge filters are either installed at a water line in their own filter housing, or they share the housing of a large multiple-stage filter system.

A cartridge filter has a smaller pore size, so it’s best suited to treating water containing fine sediment particles that are invisible to the eye.

There are two popular types of cartridge filters: spun cartridge and pleated cartridge filters.

sediment water filter

How do they work?

Spun-cartridge

Spun-cartridge filters get their name because of their design. They’re cylindrical shaped and made from multiple layers of spun, melted polypropylene. When water passes into a spun-cartridge filter, it encounters a more thorough filtration because of the multiple stages of media it has to travel through.

The very outside layer of a spun-cartridge filter is the most porous. It has the highest micron level and can trap the largest particles first, such as grains of sand and dirt. As water continues to travel deeper into the filter, each layer has a lower micron level, making this type of filter capable of removing small-to-medium sediment of various sizes.

Pleated

Pleated cartridge filters are also named for of their design. The media inside the filter has a pleated, folded design with a high micron rating, enabling the filter to trap large particles, like dust, sand, silt and rust.

Pleated cartridge filters aren’t typically as effective as spun-cartridge filters because they only consist of a single high-micron design throughout. This means’ at removing smaller contaminants from water – but they’re a worthy addition to any whole home water filtration system as a pre-filter.

The small particles that slip through a pleated filter can be filtered out by additional filter stages with smaller micron ratings, such as activated carbon filters.

⚖️ Which Type of Sediment Filter Should I Use?

Since both cartridge and spin-down sediment filters have their benefits, how do you know which one is best suited for you?

This all comes down to the quality of your water source. You can find out exactly what contaminants your well water contains, and to what level, by using a basic water testing kit. You can then look for filters that are particularly effective at targeting the sediment issues you’re facing.

water testing with tap score

❔ Frequently Asked Questions

Is well water sediment bad for your health?

No, well water sediment isn’t usually bad for your health. However, a high presence of sediment may indicate a flaw with your well, which could cause other contaminants, like bacteria, to get into your well system. That’s why it’s important to test your water if you notice any unusual changes in quality.

Are sediment filters capable of removing iron?

Some sediment water filter types can remove iron, while others can’t. You can rarely rely on a sediment filter alone if you have high iron levels. While sediment filters are effective at reducing suspended rust particles in water, they can’t remove soluble iron particles. If you’re keen to eliminate iron from your well water, use a sediment water filter alongside a whole house filter that is specifically designed for iron removal.

How do you know that a sediment filter is working?

The quickest and easiest way to know if a sediment filter is working is to test your tap water for sediment beforehand (which you can do with a test kit purchased online), then test it again after installing the filter.

Is it better to get a 1 micron or 5 micron size sediment water filter?

The size of the sediment filter you choose depends on what your water contains. 5 microns tends to be the best filter size for most small sediment particles, while a 1-micron filter may become too clogged too quickly if used to treat sediment. If your water contains visible sediment, aim even higher than 5 microns – perhaps 50 microns, or even 100.

When should I opt for a spin-down sediment filter instead of a fine micron sediment filter?

If you have a heavy load of sediment in your well water, you’ll benefit most from using a spin-down filter. That’s because spin-down filters can trap large particles of sediment and sand that could otherwise clog a typical filter and render it ineffective almost immediately.

What’s the average lifespan of a sediment filter?

The average lifespan of whole house sediment filters depends on the quality of your water and how much sediment you’re dealing with. Every 3, 000 gallons of water, or 6 months, is the most common period between filter changes. But some sediment filters can last much longer than this – up to 6, 000 gallons of water (every 12 months) or more. You’ll usually be able to tell when a filter needs changing because your water flow will slow right down.

Are sediment filters worth it?

Yes, sediment filtration systems are worth it for people with a high sediment water content. A whole house sediment water filter protects your pipes, plumbing, and appliances from clogging and abrasive damaged caused by sediment. This can extend the lifespans of your water-using appliances and save you hundreds of dollars on repairs and replacements.

Where do you put a sediment filter for well water?

The best location for a sediment water filter is along the main water supply line where it enters your house. Make sure the filter housing is upstream of your water storage tank and any other water treatment systems, like water softeners.

Do you need a sediment filter for well water?

You need a sediment filter for your well water if it contains sediment – it’s that simple! Test your water to find out what it contains. You may already be able to see the sediment in your water, and in that case, you definitely need a sediment filter. If your water contains little to no sediment, congratulations: you won’t need to invest in a sediment filter.

How Often Should I Change My Sediment Filter?

You should change a whole house sediment filter once every 6 to 9 months. Some filters can last up to a year or longer. The best way to know for sure when your sediment water filter needs changing is to monitor your water pressure. If the pressure drops, it’s a likely sign that you need to change your filter.