The best whole home water filtration system for municipal tap water is the SpringWell CF. These are our top picks based on contaminant removal capability, capacity, quality, customer satisfaction, and of course affordability.
DROP Whole House Backwashing Filter
Looking for the best whole house water filter?
In this whole home water filter buyers’ guide, we’ve shared the POE filters that we’ve found, after extensive research, testing, and comparison, to be better than any of the other filters available today. We’ve ranked the filters based on their contaminant removal abilities, durability, ease of use, customer feedback, and overall value for money.
Table of Contents
- 🥇 Best Whole House Water Filters
- 📊 Comparison Chart of Whole House Water Filters
- ⭐ Reviews – Whole House Water Filters 2023
- 📚 Methodology: How We Picked The Best Whole Home Filtration Systems
- 📝 12 Factors To Consider When Choosing Between Whole House Filtration Systems
- ✅ 5 Specific Whole House Water Filter Buying Guides
- 🚰 What Is A Whole House Water Filter?
- 🤔 Do I Need a Whole House Filter System?
- 💡 Types of Whole House Water Filters And How They Work
- ⚖️ Pros And Cons Of Whole House Water Filters
- ❔ Frequently Asked Questions
🥇 Best Whole House Water Filters
- Best for Municipal Tap Water: SpringWell CF
- Best Cartridge Based: Kind E-1000 Whole House Water Filter
- Premium Pick: DROP Whole House Backwashing Filter
- Best for Well Water: SpringWell WS
- Budget Tank System: SoftPro Whole House Upflow Carbon Filter
- Best Whole House Sediment Filter: RKIN CBS 5 Micron Sediment Whole House Filter
📊 Comparison Chart of Whole House Water Filters
|System||SpringWell CF||Kind E-1000||DROP||SpringWell WS System||SoftPro System||RKIN CBS 5
|Capacity||1M gallons||80K gallons||1M gallons||n/a||600k or 1M gallons||12 months|
|Flow Rate||9-20 GPM||15 GPM||5-8 GPM||12-20 GPM||6-15 GPM||20 GPM|
|Annual Cost||~$40||$120 - $300||n/a||<$150||~$40||~$50|
|Warranty||Lifetime||Lifetime (limited)||5 years||Lifetime||Lifetime||1 year|
⭐ Reviews – Whole House Water Filters 2023
In our opinion, the SpringWell CF is the best overall whole house water filter for municipal water available today.
We think this affordable system is the best-value filter of its kind because it has a massive 1,000,000-gallon capacity and can reduce high levels of a range of harmful contaminants – including a few contaminants that are notoriously difficult to remove (chloramine, PFAS, and more).
|SpringWell CF Configurations||Price|
- Broad contaminant removal – The SpringWell CF uses certified KDF and catalytic carbon coconut shell filtration media to improve water quality and almost completely remove chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals, PFOS and PFOAs, herbicides, pesticides, and more.
- 4 stages of thorough filtration – This whole house water filtration system combines 4 stages: a sediment filter, KDF filtration media, a coconut shell carbon media, and a final stage that eliminates channeling while still giving the water plenty of contact time with the filters.
- Potential for DIY installation – If you’re familiar with plumbing, you’ll be able to install the SpringWell whole house water filter system yourself.
- 6-month money-back guarantee – You can buy the SpringWell CF risk-free, with the opportunity to return it within 6 months if it isn’t right for your home.
- Three size options – Flow rate isn’t an issue with this SpringWell unit as there are three sizes available: one for 1-3 bathrooms, one for 4-6 bathrooms, and one for 7+ bathrooms.
We installed and tested a Springwell CF system in a home in Arvada, Colorado. Here are the results of the CF filter using mytapscore.com.
See the full lab test results report here.
See our full lab test results report here.
|UV Water Purification System||$1100.99||Boil water advisory protection|
|Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System||$442.23||Drinking water|
|Easy Installation Kit (Single Tank)||$157.49||Clack connectors add-on|
Anyone looking for one of the best value-for-money whole house water filter systems, manufactured by a trusted brand and backed by impressive lifetime warranty coverage.
- We think that overall performance is the biggest benefit of this SpringWell model. The system doesn’t just make basic aesthetic improvements to water’s taste by removing chlorine – it also removes dangerous trace contaminants like VOCs, PFAS, and pesticides.
- It’s also great to see that the SpringWell CF uses all NSF-certified, USA-made components, so you can guarantee the quality you’re looking for.
- If you don’t want the hassle of cartridge changes, you’ll appreciate that this system is tank-based, so it’s relatively low-maintenance – you don’t need to do anything aside from occasionally changing the sediment filter.
- The 6-month money-back guarantee and lifetime warranty are exactly what we want to see when we’re investing $1,000+ in a whole-house water filter.
- While the system is low-maintenance on the whole, the sediment filter will still need to be replaced frequently (every 6 to 9 months).
- Not all parts for installation are included, so you’ll need to buy the necessary parts separately.
Read the full review: SpringWell Whole House Water Filter System Review
Kind E-1000 Whole House Water Filter
If you prefer to spend less money upfront on a cartridge-based whole house water filtration system, we think the Kind E-1000 Whole House Water Filter can’t be beaten.
This multi-stage system combines a long-lasting sediment pre-filter and catalytic carbon block filter to remove tens of contaminants from city water. It’s around 30% cheaper than the SpringWell CF but requires more maintenance (in the form of filter changes).
- Thorough contaminant removal – The two combined filters in Kind E-1000 Whole House Water Filter give tank-based systems a run for their money, removing contaminants including chlorine, chloramine, dirt, debris, rust, and more.
- Washable sediment pre-filter – The system’s sediment pre-filter is washable and reusable, so you can save money and avoid buying unnecessary filter replacements in the long run.
- Catalytic carbon block media – The Kind E-1000 Whole House Water Filter uses catalytic carbon media, one of the most effective and commonly used media in whole house systems, capable of removing chlorine, chloramine, some heavy metals, PFAs, pesticides, and more
- 80,000-gallon lifespan – The cartridges in this whole house water filtration system last for up to 80,000 gallons. That’s just 20,000 gallons less than our top cartridge-based system for well water (see below).
Anyone with a smaller upfront budget who wants an effective way to remove chlorine and chloramine from their city water.
- We think the Kind E-1000 Whole House Water Filter is one of the most capable cartridge-based whole house water filters, removing tens of contaminants from our water without affecting flow rate. Cartridge-based systems don’t have to use basic filter media, as proven by the advanced catalytic carbon media used in this system.
- It’s good to see that this whole house water filtration system has a flow rate of up to 15 GPM and is suitable for homes with up to 6 bathrooms, so one system is inclusive to everyone.
- The filter system has a simple, two-cartridge design, and we found it easy to install the unit at our water line as it only requires two connections.
- Solid carbon block media doesn’t produce carbon dust, so you won’t get black flecks in your filtered water.
- The Kind E-1000 Whole House Water Filter is an incredibly promising filter that undersells itself. We’d love to see more information on the website about how the filters work including test results (we obtained some of our info through a direct call with the company).
- Increased yearly cost due to cartridge replacements.
Read the full review: Kind E-1000 Review
DROP Whole House Backwashing Filter
If you’re on the hunt for a high-end, premium whole house water filter with all the latest tech features, you can’t go wrong with the DROP Backwashing Filter.
This smart water filtration system uses a Jacoby catalytic carbon filter to remove numerous organic solids, including sediment, chlorine, chloramine, pesticides, THMs, and other chemicals. It’s the most expensive on this list, with a starting price of around $2,000 (almost double the price of the SpringWell CF), but it offers unique benefits that you simply won’t find elsewhere, including connection with the DROP Hub and smart leak detection capabilities.
- Comprehensive Jacoby catalytic carbon filtration – The DROP Backwashing Filter uses Jacoby catalytic carbon filtration to remove chloramine, chlorine, THMs, pesticides, and other chemicals commonly found in domestic water supplies.
- Choice of two sizes – There are two system sizes to choose from: the F-15, with 1.5 cubic feet of media and a 5 GPM flow rate, and the F25, with 2.5 cubic feet of media and an 8 GPM flow rate.
- Remote control via smart app – You can connect the DROP Backwashing Filter to the DROP smart app, letting you monitor and control the system from anywhere. You can also receive push notifications, emails, or SMS messages with important system information.
- Smart leak detection –If you pair the system with the DROP Smart Hub and Leak Detectors, you’ll have the peace of mind of having constant knowledge of the state of your plumbing system – and you’ll be the first to know if a leak occurs.
- Long-lasting filter media – The filter media has a lifespan of around 1 million gallons and is periodically refreshed by its backwashing cycle, which flushes the media to remove excess debris and chemicals.
|DROP Backwashing Filter Configurations||Price|
|1.5 cf w/10x54 vortech tank||$1912.20|
|2.5 cf w/13x54 vortech tank||$2498.40|
People who want a smart whole house water filtration system that they can connect up with a smart home system for leak detection, remote monitoring, and more.
- It’s good to see that the DROP Backwashing Filter uses catalytic carbon filter media, since this is an upgrade from the less capable activated carbon filter, giving the ability to remove additional contaminants including chloramine.
- Installing anything at your main water line carries the risk of leaks, and we appreciate that you can buy smart leak detectors (at an additional cost) that pair with the system and alert you if water is detected. DROP filters are currently the only filters in the world that can be paired with smart leak detectors.
- If you hate maintenance, we think you’ll be happy with the lack of work involved in keeping this system operating. It backwashes automatically, and there’s no need to replace filter cartridges – like the SpringWell CF, the media in this unit has an excellent 1-million-gallon lifespan.
- If you want to enjoy the smart leak detection, you’ll need to spend extra on the DROP smart leak detectors.
- The upfront cost is just under $2,000, so this isn’t a cheap filtration system.
The SpringWell WS is our top pick for the best whole house water filter for a well supply.
This tank-based system uses air injection/oxidation to remove up to 8 PPM of hydrogen sulfide, 7 PPM of iron, and 1 PPM of manganese. It also has an excellent flow rate, starting at 12 gallons per minute (GPM) for the smallest model, so it shouldn’t interrupt your water supply.
- Four thorough stages of filtration – The SpringWell WS’s filtration stages include a sediment filter, an air induction oxidation filter, greensand media, and an automatic backwash stage.
- Two sizes available – You can choose between two system sizes: 1-4 bathrooms and 4+ bathrooms, so flow rate should never be an issue.
- Automatic backwash –The electronic control valve allows you to set and forget the automatic backwash cycle.
- Virtually no maintenance required – The SpringWell WS doesn’t use cartridge filters and doesn’t need chemical top-ups. You just need to change the sediment filter every 6 – 9 months.
- Free installation kit optional – SpringWell is one of the few brands to offer an installation kit free of charge, including everything you need to install the system.
Well owners who want to remove a selection of common well water contaminants with a highly-efficient system from a trusted brand.
- Air injection is our preferred method of well water treatment because it’s low-maintenance and chemical-free. The SpringWell WS doesn’t add chlorine or other taste-altering chemicals to your water, and it backwashes automatically, taking the work off your hands.
- We were impressed with this system’s capable performance. It’s an all-rounder, removing 8 PPM of hydrogen sulfide, up to 7 PPM of iron, and 1 PPM of manganese, rather than focusing on only one of these contaminants – and it has a great starting flow rate of 12 GPM.
- Conveniently, you can connect the system to SpringWell’s Bluetooth app, which lets you view and amend settings from your phone.
- We like the upgrade options, including the option to add SpringWell’s UV filter, which can kill virtually 100% of microorganisms, including viruses.
- The SpringWell WS is expensive compared to other similar filters, and you’ll likely have to pay additional costs for the unit to be professionally installed.
- You’ll need to source your own fittings and pipings for installation, and the fittings that come with the system are plastic.
SoftPro Whole House Upflow Carbon Filter
Based on our research, the SoftPro Whole House Upflow Carbon Filter is the best whole house water filter for small budgets.
This a long-lasting, low-maintenance whole home carbon system can filter 600,000-1,000, 000 gallons of water over approximately five years. It costs around 20% less than the SpringWell CF and is only slightly more expensive than the Kind cartridge-based system on this list – impressive, given that it requires less maintenance thanks to its long-lasting media.
- Catalytic carbon media – This whole house filtration system uses catalytic carbon, which works by using adsorption to trap harmful contaminants in the filter media and prevent them from passing through with the smaller water particles.
- Removes common municipal water contaminants – The SoftPro Whole House Chlorine+ Filter can remove chlorine & chloramines, as well as pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from water.
- Additional KDF sponge and sediment pre-filter – Also included with this SoftPro unit is a KDF sponge, which uses oxidation and reduction to remove heavy metals, and a 5-micron sediment pre-filter, which can remove sediment like sand and dirt from water.
- Relatively easy installation – The system comes with an upflow valve and male threaded connections, filter media, and tank. It’s easy for a person with DIY experience to install this system.
Folks with small budgets who want to spend less money upfront on a capable tank-based whole house filtration system without compromising on performance quality or durabilitu.
- Affordability is the obvious benefit of this SoftPro unit. Costing around $850, it’s one of the cheapest systems we’ve reviewed. Even the upgraded system for larger homes can’t be classed as expensive – it’s still less than $1,000.
- You don’t get a shorter lifespan from this system as a consequence of spending less, either. The media should last between 600,000 and 1,000,000 gallons, or around five years.
- The SoftPro Whole House Chlorine+ Filter doesn’t require power to run. It also produces no wastewater, making it one of the more efficient systems available.
- We appreciate that you can choose between two systems depending on the size of your home, and how much water you need. No need to upgrade if your situation doesn’t call for it.
- There’s currently not much specific info on the manufacturer’s website about the filter.
- We also couldn’t find any evidence of third-party testing or certifications.
Read the full review: SoftPro Whole House Upflow Carbon Filter Review
RKIN CBS 5 Micron Sediment Whole House Filter
We’ve found that the RKIN CBS 5 Micron Sediment Whole House Filter is the best whole house sediment filter for well water.
This heavy-duty cartridge filter means business: it has a large 12-month capacity and a maximum flow rate of 20 gallons per minute (GPM), and removes all sediment particles down to 5 microns.
- 5-micron cartridge filtration – The RKIN CBS 5 Micron Sediment Whole House Filter uses a cartridge filter that removes sediment down to 5 microns, including sand, silt, clay, and other debris.
- 12-month filter capacity – The filter lasts up to 12 months before you need to replace it.
- 20 GPM max flow rate – The generous 20 GPM maximum flow rate means you shouldn’t notice a reduction in your water flow regardless of your household size.
- Lifetime warranty & 1-year guarantee – You don’t have to gamble your money when you buy this sediment water filter. It’s backed by a lifetime warranty, and RKIN offers a 1-year satisfaction guarantee that protects your purchase.
Anyone who needs to protect their plumbing with a quality, reliable whole house sediment filter that can remove the majority of sediment down to 5 microns.
- We appreciate that the RKIN CBS 5 Micron Sediment Whole House Filter is a single-cartridge filter that eliminates the complexities of other sediment filter types. You simply replace the filter once a year to keep it performing as required.
- The 12-month filter life is another benefit of this system. There’s only one cartridge, so maintenance is simple and affordable.
- There’s no better way to protect your home’s plumbing and appliances than with a whole house sediment filter, and this RKIN unit is one of the most reliable and consistent systems we’ve reviewed.
- This filter has a relatively low micron rating, so it’ll become quickly clogged if you use it to remove very large sediment of around 50-100+ microns (excess sand, gravel, etc.).
- You’ll have to throw out the old filter cartridge once a year when you replace the filter, so it’s not the lowest-maintenance or most environmentally friendly option.
📚 Methodology: How We Picked The Best Whole Home Filtration Systems
Wondering how we selected the water filtration systems that are featured in this guide? Below, we’ve discussed our methodolody, including how we reached our decision, and the factors we considered when deciding.
Step 1: Researching All The Products Available
First, we took to Google and researched all the whole house water filtration systems we could find. We made a list of these filters, noted their main features, and compared these features.
From this early comparison stage, we were able to reduce our list by half, simply by eliminating the filters with slower flow rates, poorer filter designs, and other features that were lacking compared to their competitors.
Step 2: Reading Customer Reviews
Our next step involved reading customer reviews to see what real people had to say about certain filters. We used customer reviews to get a better understanding of the general user experience with a filtration system.
Customer feedback tells you much more than a manufacturer will ever reveal – manufacturers obviously want to sell their products, while customers have no bias and will be honest if a filtration system doesn’t live up to their expectations for whatever reason. We halved our list of water filters once more after reading customer reviews, eliminating those that had repeated negative feedback for important, non-negotiable features.
Step 3: Conversations With Manufacturers
Next, in order to learn more about our list of water filters beyond the information available online, we posed as regular customers and reached out to manufacturers to discuss their products directly. This helped us to further compare features that weren’t discussed in the product description (for instance, some manufacturers don’t publicly share a complete list of contaminants that their filters can remove).
Our conversations with manufacturers also helped us to get an idea of the brand’s quality of customer service. We were able to cut another handful of filtration systems from our list with the additional product information we received from this stage of the process.
Step 4: Personally Testing Our Shortlisted Filters
Finally, we purchased and personally tested our final list of water filtration systems in our homes. We allowed for at least 60 days of testing for each filtration system to get a comprehensive understanding of how the system performed, how it improved our water quality, and any positive or negative aspects of performance that we could only learn through personal testing.
We used the following metrics when testing and reviewing our shortlisted filters:
Contaminants Reduced: 30%
The whole purpose of a POE filtration system is to reduce contaminants, so, unsurprisingly, system performance was the most important factor we considered when shortlisting the filters for this list.
Even the best water filter for POE installation isn’t worth discussing if its price is unattainable. For that reason, price was also valued when choosing the filters to feature in this guide.
Flow Rate: 20%
When you’re installing a water filter at the main water line into your home, it needs to deliver a flow rate that won’t disrupt your water pressure. That’s why flow rate was another metric that we used to rank the systems in this guide.
Filter Lifespan: 20%
The longer the filter lifespan, the better a system’s value for money, so filter lifespan was something else we specifically looked for when choosing the filters for this list.
Installation & Maintenance Requirements: 10%
Many people want to be able to install a POE system themselves with relative ease, and most folks would prefer a low-maintenance filter. That’s why we considered installation and maintenance as important metrics when producing this guide.
📝 12 Factors To Consider When Choosing Between Whole House Filtration Systems
There are a number of important features to keep in mind when you’re choosing which whole house water filtration system is best for your home.
Your Water Source (City Vs Well Water)
First, start by determining your water source, and how this may influence the contaminants you want to remove with a whole house water filtration system. None of the whole house water filters we reviewed are designed for both city and well water.
In our research, we found that most whole house filters are designed for municipal water supplies, and can remove common city water contaminants, including chlorine, pesticides, and lead.
If you get your water from a private well, a well water filtration system is a better choice for you.
Your Water Consumption/Filter Capacity
Also consider your average daily water consumption and the filter capacity you need based on this.
A filter’s capacity is the gallons of water it can filter during its lifespan. The higher the water filter capacity, the longer-lasting the system.
The capacity of a filter usually depends on the manufacturer and the quality of the product:
- The average capacity for a tank-based whole house water filtration system is 1,000,000 gallons, or 10 years.
- The average capacity for a cartridge-based whole house filtration system is 80,000 gallons – still great, but likely requiring a set of filter changes at least once a year.
No filter system lasts forever, so no matter what model you go for, you’ll have to replace the filter media or cartridges as advised in your user manual.
But if you want a high-capacity system that requires as little maintenance as possible, go for a tank-based whole house water filter system.
|Brand||Filter Capacity (in gal.)||Flow Rate|
|SpringWell CF||1,000,000||9-20 GPM|
|Kind E-1000||80,000||15 GPM|
|SoftPro System||600K or 1,000,000||6-15 GPM|
Contaminants You Want To Remove
Not all whole house filters remove the same contaminants. Make a list of the contaminants you want to remove from your water supply before you start shopping for a whole house water filter system.
At the very least, a whole house water filtration system for city water should target chlorine, improving your water’s taste and smell.
More advanced systems can also reduce chloramine, volatile organic compounds, pesticides, and PFAS. However, even the best whole house water filter systems can usually only remove around 10-15 contaminants. If you want to remove as many contaminants as possible from your water, there are point-of-use filters that remove hundreds of impurities, which may be better for you.
If you don’t already know what your water contains, search online for the most recent Water Quality Report from your local water utility. This wlll give you a breakdown of the different elements in your drinking water. You can also test your water using a water test kit, which will give you more comprehensive results that are specific to your water quality as it reaches your home.
Once you know what’s in your tap water, you can determine what you want to remove.
System Footprint & Space Available
Make sure you have plenty of free space to install your chosen filtration system somewhere along your main water line.
Not only will you need enough space to store your water filter unit, but you’ll also want easy access to the unit whenever you have to change a filter or perform system maintenance.
Our advice is to measure your available install space and compare your measurements with the dimensions of a whole house water filter system before you click “buy”.
Some system types may be best for certain situations, depending on space. For instance, if you don’t have enough vertical space for a tank-based unit, a cartridge-based system will be better because it’ll take up much less room.
Most whole house water filters have a micron rating, and this is important to consider when selecting the right filter for your home.
A filter’s micron rating is its ability to remove contaminants based on their micron size. The average micron range for a whole house water filter system is 0.5-50 microns.
Micron rating is important to know because it gives you a clearer understanding of what contaminants can be removed by the filtration process. If the micron rating is too low, an excess of impurities will build up in the media, greatly reducing its lifespan. If the micron rating is too high, smaller contaminants will be able to slip through the filter media.
Most systems have at least two separate filtration stages – a sediment filter stage with a higher micron rating, and a carbon filter with a lower micron rating. This allows them to tackle contaminants of various sizes.
Make sure to budget accordingly for the upfront and ongoing costs of a whole house water filtration system.
The average cost of a whole house water filter unit for city water is $700-$1,800.
Well water systems are more expensive due to their more complex technology, and usually cost $1,400-$2,88 on average.
There are budget-friendly options if you want to keep your upfront costs as low as possible. Cartridge-based systems cost around the $700 range and are cheaper than tank-based units. However, the compromise is that the ongoing costs are higher because you’ll need to pay for annual filter changes.
👨🔧 Check out this article to learn about all the costs involved with operating a whole home system.
|System Type||Average Cost Range|
|Whole House Systems||$1,000 - $4,000+|
|Well Water Systems||$1,000 - $4,000+|
|UV Disinfection Systems||$500 - $1,500+|
|Reverse Osmosis Systems||$4,000 - $10,000+|
Water Pressure/Flow Rate
Your water pressure, and your required system flow rate, are two other factors to consider when shopping for whole house water filter systems.
Flow rate is measured in gallons per minute, or GPM. The average flow rate of a whole home filtration system is 12-20 GPM.
It’s important to choose a system with the right flow rate for your water demands. If the flow rate is too low, you’ll experience a drop in water pressure that could affect the efficiency of your fixtures and appliances. If the flow rate is too high, you’ll have spent more money than necessary on an oversized filtration system.
Most manufacturers offer at least two system sizes for their whole house filters: a smaller size for most homes, and a larger size, with a faster flow rate, for bigger homes.
Alongside flow rate, make sure your incoming water pressure is adequate for the system you plan to buy. This is especially important if you use a well water supply – the water pressure from a well is often lower than from a city water distribution system. You need to have a fast enough flow of water to travel through the filtration system and back into your plumbing without a substantial pressure drop.
👨🔧 Related: Do whole house water filters reduce water pressure?
Flow Rate Calculator
You can easily get an estimate of your flow rate by filling a 5-gallon bucket and using the calculator below.
Enter the number of seconds it took to fill a 5-gallon bucket:
If you want to be certain that a whole house water filtration system can remove certain contaminants, look for third-party testing or certifications.
Some whole house water filter systems are certified by either the WQA or NSF/ANSI.
Common NSF certifications for these systems are:
- NSF/ANSI 42: for the removal of chlorine, taste & odor
- NSF/ANSI 53: for the reduction of contaminants with health effects, like lead
- NSF/ANSI 401: for the reduction and removal of emerging contaminants, like pharmaceuticals or PFAS
If a system is NSF certified, it means you can trust it to live up to its performance claims, which is good to know from a buyer’s perspective.
However, NSF testing is a lengthy, expensive process. In our opinion, third-party testing from a certified lab (which is cheaper and easier to obtain) offers the same reassurance of a water filter's performance quality.
If you can't find test data for your preferred POE water filter system online, contact the manufacturer and ask for this information to be emailed to you.
Ease Of Installation/Maintenance
Read up on the installation and maintenance requirements for your chosen POE water filtration system and check that you're comfortable with the tasks required before you click "buy".
Most whole house water filter systems have a complex installation process. If you're not a confident DIYer, you'll probably need to pay for a local plumber or handyman to install the system for you.
The average cost to hire a professional to install a whole house water filter system is $250-$600, depending on the scope of the project.
|System Type||Labor||Average Installation Cost|
|Whole House Systems||2 - 5 hours||$200 - $500+|
|Well Water Systems||2 - 5 hours||$200 - $600+|
|UV Disinfection Systems||2 - 3 hours||$300 - $500+|
|Reverse Osmosis Systems||2 - 5 hours||$200 - $500+|
You'll save money by installing the system yourself, but we only recommend this if you have some plumbing knowledge. The last thing you want is to install the system incorrectly and cause permanent damage to your plumbing system - which could end up costing more to fix than the cost of a professional installation.
Maintenance depends on the system you buy. Cartridge-based filters require the most frequent maintenance because they need regular filter changes. However, swapping out the old filters with replacement filters is usually easy and doesn't require a professional.
Tank-based POE water filtration systems require the least amount of maintenance - just sediment filter replacements and replacing the filter media every 7 years or so.
|Brand||Media Replacement Frequency||Average Cost/Replacement|
|SpringWell CF||10 years||$330|
|Kind E-1000||9 months||$120-$300|
|SpringWell WS System||10 years||$150|
|SoftPro System||5 or 10 years||$100|
|RKIN CBS 5||1 year||$50|
Filter Media & Number Of Filter Stages
Different whole house filtration systems use different media to filter contaminants out of a water supply. Consider which filter media types you prefer, and your preferred number of filter stages, when shopping around.
Common filter media in whole house water filters are:
- Granular activated carbon (GAC) media - Removes chlorine, chloramine, pesticides, and some VOCs
- Catalytic carbon media - Removes chloramine and hydrogen sulfide
- KDF filter media - Reduces chlorine and heavy metals (depending on the type of KDF used)
- Sediment filtration media - Removes sediment like silt, sand, rust, and dust
Activated carbon filter media is one of the most affordable and reliable filter types, so most whole house systems for city water are carbon filters that might be combined with additional filtration media, like sediment and KDF filter media.
No matter what type of whole home filter you opt for, a good warranty is essential.
Most whole house water filter systems have a warranty of 5-10 years, and some of the best systems come with a money-back guarantee (usually around 6-12 months) to further protect your purchase.
Lifetime warranties are often the best warranties on offer for whole home water filtration systems. This means that you’re covered throughout the entire lifespan of the system – although, of course, this could range from 1 year to 10+ years, depending on the model.
Always read a warranty’s terms carefully and make sure you understand them before spending your money.
|Kind||Limited lifetime||120 days|
|DROP||5 years||30 days|
|RKIN||1 year||30 days|
Bypass Valve, Extra Filter Stages, & Other Considerations
Here are a few other considerations that you may need to make when deciding between whole house filters, depending on your situation:
- Look for a system that comes with a built-in bypass valve, which you can use to divert water away from the unit. That means you can stop filtering your water if needed (e.g. during servicing or repairs), but you'll still have access to an unfiltered water supply.
- You might need to install a pre-treatment system depending on your water quality. For instance, if you have sediment-heavy well water, you might need to protect our filtration system with a sediment water filter. Or, if your water is acidic, you might need to install an alkalizing filter upstream of the system.
- There are a few post-filtration stages to consider, too. If your home has hard water, consider installing a water softener or a salt-free water conditioner. Or if you're concerned about bacteria and other microorganisms, install a UV filter. Some people choose to install an additional filtration system at a specific point of use in their home, such as an under-sink filter to provide more thorough drinking water filtration.
- It's best to stick to whole house water filtration systems with universal, not proprietary, components - these are easier to maintain over the years.
✅ 5 Specific Whole House Water Filter Buying Guides
- Best Carbon Whole House Water Filters
- Best Whole House Reverse Osmosis Systems
- Best Whole House Water Filter Cartridges
- Best Whole House Water Filters for Fluoride Removal
- Best Whole House Water Filters for Lead Removal
🚰 What Is A Whole House Water Filter?
A whole house water filter is any water filtration system that's installed at the main water pipe in your home.
Whole house filtration systems are point-of-entry (POE) systems, meaning that they treat your water supply almost as soon as it enters your home, providing filtered hot and cold water throughout your plumbing system.
There are a variety of whole house water filtration systems available, including tank-based systems and cartridge-based systems, for both city water and well water supplies.
🤔 Do I Need a Whole House Filter System?
It’s your choice whether you decide to install a whole house water filter system. You can benefit from this type of filtration system if:
- Your water contains a high level of impurities
- Your water is chlorinated
- Your water is cloudy or has small particles floating in it
- Your water tastes or smells strange
The main reason to install a whole house water filter system is to treat your entire water supply, rather than just your drinking water.
If you want to benefit from filtered water in your faucets, showers, washing machine, dishwasher, and all other appliances and fixtures, a whole house water filter system is best. If you just want to filter your drinking water, you may as well save your money and buy a point-of-use system.
💡 Types of Whole House Water Filters And How They Work
There are several types of whole house water filtration systems available today:
Single-tank whole home water filters consist of a single tank containing a filtration media.
These usually contain carbon, KDF, or a combination of media types, targeting a range of contaminants such as chlorine, chloramine, PFAS, pesticides, and THMs.
There are also single-tank POE water filters for well water. These use a filtration process such as air injection to reduce iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide.
Most single tank systems come with a sediment pre-filter to protect the media.
Single-tank systems are larger and take up more room than cartridge filters, but they require less maintenance because their media lasts for years, and they automatically backwash to flush away the contaminants.
Whole house cartridge filters consist of a series of filter cartridges and are designed to remove a broad range of contaminants from drinking water.
Most cartridge filter systems include a granular activated carbon filter that can remove chlorine, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, and more. A cartridge-based whole house water filter system typically also features a carbon block filter and a sediment filter.
Using multiple types of cartridge filters allows this type of whole house water filter to target a bigger range of contaminants than a single carbon filter.
Some units only have a single filter. For instance, whole house sediment filters use just one filter stage (although they can be installed as pre-filters for multi-stage systems).
A notable disadvantage of cartridge filters is that they require more frequent filter changes (usually once a year), so they cost more in the long run.
⚖️ Pros And Cons Of Whole House Water Filters
Here's a quick overview of the pros and cons of a whole house water filtration system:
- They protect your entire home's water supply from contaminants
- That means you can improve the taste of your tap water and make it safe to drink, as well as improving the quality of water used in your showers, appliances, and more
- Many systems are low-maintenance and need one filter change per year at most
- You can save money by supporting appliance efficiency and preventing plumbing damage
- There are different system types for different situations
- You can pair the systems with additional water treatment solutions, like UV filter and water softener systems
- No need to buy bottled water - your own tap water will taste great
- Most systems have a high flow rate and won't reduce your water pressure
The most notable disadvantages of these systems are:
- They're expensive. Most POE filter systems cost at least $750 upfront
- You may notice a subtle drop in flow rate/water pressure
- They're difficult to install (and expensive to hire a plumber to do it for you)
- If you rent your home, installing a whole house filter system is probably against your rental terms
- These systems don't remove as many contaminants as some POU filters, which can remove hundreds of drinking water impurities
❔ Frequently Asked Questions
Is a whole house water filter a good idea?
A whole house water filter is a good idea if you're prepared to pay more money upfront for this system and commit to the necessary maintenance to benefit from filtered water around your entire home. There are only a few reasons why this filter might be a bad idea - if you rent your home and making changes to your plumbing are against the rental terms, or if you can't afford to spend $750+ upfront on a system.
Is it worth it to get a home water filtration system?
Yes, we think whole house water filtration systems are worth it for anyone who has a large upfront budget and specifically wants to filter the water in their entire home, rather than just their kitchen tap water. A POE water filtration system isn't worth it for you if you can't afford the upfront cost or you only want to improve your drinking water quality.
What do whole house water filters cost?
On average, whole house water filters cost $700-$1,800 upfront and around $0-$300 per year to maintain. Upfront cost depends on the system size and complexity, and ongoing costs depend on the type of whole house system you buy (for instance, cartridge-based systems require annual filter changes, while tank-based systems auto-backwash and are virtually maintenance-free).
Where does a whole house filter get installed?
A whole house filter gets installed as close as possible to water's entry into your home, upstream of your hot water heater. Depending on your available install space, this could be in a closet, garage, basement, or outside (with weather protection if needed).
How long does the average whole house water filter last?
The average whole house water filter lasts 10+ years. You'll need to maintain the system within this time to help extend its lifespan. This includes replacing the filter cartridges or media as outlined in your user manual.
What's the difference between whole house water filtration systems and reverse osmosis systems?
The main difference between whole house water filters and reverse osmosis filters is their contaminant removal abilities. Most whole house filters can remove a small selection of the most common drinking water contaminants, while reverse osmosis systems can remove almost all dissolved solids, resulting in pure water.