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Best 10-Inch Whole House Water Filter Cartridge

Scott Winfield
Last Updated on
by Scott Winfield

Whole house water filter cartridges can be used in various water filtration systems to provide households with clean, safe, and healthy water.

Some of the water treatment units that use filter cartridges include point of entry (POE), reverse osmosis (RO), ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, and carbon filtration systems.

Typically, these cartridges are 10 inches long and come in various materials and filtration types. Their purpose is to remove impurities and contaminants from the water supply from entering your home’s plumbing system.

Ten-inch cartridges may seem identical from the outside but have unique characteristics and features that make them more or less suitable for your whole house system.

To help you make an informed decision, we have researched and picked the top 5 cartridges on the market. Our comprehensive reviews highlight each product’s strengths and weaknesses, providing valuable insights to help you choose the perfect match for your filtration system.

Best 10-Inch Whole House Water Filter Cartridge
Ronaqua 5-Micron Activated Carbon Block Water Filter Cartridge
  • Filtration Media: Activated Carbon
  • Lifetime: 4 – 6 months
  • Price: $12.99
iSpring F3 Triple Water Filter Pack
  • Filtration Media: Sediment filter, GAC carbon filter, and CTO carbon filter
  • Lifetime: 6 months
  • Price: $29.99
Pureplus PPL Cartridge
  • Filtration Media: Polypropylene media
  • Lifetime: 3-6 months
  • Price: $37.68
Pure Plus 10 4.5
  • Filtration Media: Activated carbon and polypropylene media
  • Lifetime: 3 – 6 months
  • Price: $94.29
Pureplus CTO10
  • Filtration Media: Activated carbon block
  • Lifetime: 3 months
  • Price: $26.66

10-Inch Whole House Water Filter Cartridge

Ronaqua 5-Micron Activated Carbon Block Water Filter Cartridge – Best 5-Micron Filter

Ronaqua 5-Micron Activated Carbon Block Water Filter Cartridge
  • Filtration Media: Activated Carbon
  • Lifetime: 4 – 6 months
  • Great against chlorine and chemical contaminants
  • Eco-friendly unit
  • Easy to install and use
  • Fails short against dirt and sediment particles.

If you live in an area with a lot of chlorine in the water supply, this cartridge would be a great choice. The activated carbon media is a fantastic asset against chlorine, and it also helps remove herbicides and pesticides, as well as bad tastes and odors.

Ronaqua’s cartridges are also capable of removing hydrogen sulfide and other chemical byproducts frequently found in water.

The filtration media is made of 100% pure coconut shell, while the cartridge casing is of BPA-free and food-grade plastic materials, which makes both of them eco-friendly.

The actual dimensions of this cartridge are 9,8 inches instead of 10, but that shouldn’t be a problem since it easily fits into any standard 10 by 2.5-inch slot. Just ensure that the rubber seal sits over the top of the casing, and you shouldn’t have any issues.

The manufacturers recommend changing the cartridges 2 or 3 times a year, meaning they have an average lifetime of around 4-6 months.

While Ronaqua’s activated carbon filter works great against chemicals and neutralizes bad tastes and odors, it’s not a good idea to use it with sediment-rich water.

Carbon filters can’t handle sediment particles, as they can clog the filter or damage the membrane, so you’ll need to replace the cartridge much sooner than the estimated 6 months if you use it with sediment-rich water.

iSpring F3 Triple Water Filter Pack – Best Multi-Stage Filter

iSpring F3 Triple Water Filter Pack
  • Filtration Media: Sediment filter, GAC carbon filter, and CTO carbon filter
  • Lifetime: 6 months
  • The three-stage filtration process removes most contaminants from the water
  • Fits into most 10-inch casings
  • Affordable package deal
  • Not compatible with single- and two-stage filtration systems

The iSpring F3 triple filter pack comes with 3 separate cartridges, all containing unique filtration media designed to eliminate a variety of contaminants from your water. So, these items are an excellent choice for three-stage filtration systems with 10×2.5 inches slots.

Fortunately, the 10-inch long and 2.5-inch wide cartridges are popular, so your unit will probably be compatible. However, to be on the safe side, we recommend reading the instruction manual for your whole house unit to check what cartridge dimensions you should be looking for.

iSpring F3 model uses three separate filtration media to eliminate many different contaminants.

  • The sediment filter catches and removes sediment, dirt, sand, silt, rust, and scale particles.
  • The GAC carbon media removes chlorine and improves taste and odor.
  • The CTO carbon tackles chlorine, sediment, and other particles that might have passed through the previous two filtration media.

The iSpring F3 cartridges all have a lifetime of 6 months, which is considered average and in line with most products on the market.

One downside of the iSpring F3 is that it’s incompatible with single- or two-stage filtration systems. If you’re using a three-stage filtration system, then this product is the ideal pick for you. However, anyone needing a single cartridge would be better off with one of the other products on our list.

Pureplus PPL 10 5-Micron Well Water Pleated Sediment Filter Cartridge – Most Compatible Filter

Pureplus PPL Cartridge
  • Filtration Media: Polypropylene media
  • Lifetime: 3-6 months
  • Price: $37.68
  • This filter cartridge is compatible with many filtration systems
  • Lasts between 1 and 2 years, depending on the water quality in your area
  • Each cartridge is priced at around $9.42, which is very affordable
  • The flow rate could be better

Rather than a single cartridge, the Pureplus PPL is a package deal that includes four. Considering that each has an estimated lifespan of around 3 to 6 months, roughly 13,000 gallons capacity per cartridge, you’ll get one to two years of use with one purchase.

Your water’s condition determines how long the cartridges last, as polluted water makes them less effective. However, even if they last just one year, the low price of $37.68 for four cartridges makes them worthwhile.

The cartridges hold a sediment filter with a polypropylene media that’s BPA- and lead-free. This filtration media removes rust, sediment, sand, and other large dirt particles.

Additionally, the cartridges have a 95% success rate with all contaminants they’re effective against.

If you have a filter casing that fits a 10-inch by 2.5-inch cartridge, this is one of the better options for your home. The cartridges are compatible with several Whirlpool filter models, many Amatek filters, and other filtration systems. Because of its compatibility, the Pureplus PPL model is considered a universal fit for whole house filtration units.

One of the only cons of the Pureplus PPL is its low flow rate of between 2.5 and 5 GPM (gallons per minute). A flow rate of 5 GPM is average at best, but that wouldn’t have been an issue if it didn’t drop below that number based on the water quality. Households with highly polluted water will have problems with the water pressure if they use these cartridges.

Pureplus PP 10BB-CC 5 Micron 10 X 4.5 Inch Cartridge Filter – Best Double Duty Filter

  • Filtration Media: Activated carbon and polypropylene media
  • Lifetime: 3 – 6 months
  • Price: $94.29
  • Very effective at removing both sediment particles and chemical contaminants
  • The sediment layers protect the activated carbon media, ensuring it doesn’t get clogged or damaged
  • Long lifespan of between 1.5 and 3 years when you consider all 6 filters
  • Works only on very specific water treatment units with a 4.5-inch wide cartridge casing

Another Pureplus cartridge makes its way to our list, and this one is significantly more powerful than the Pureplus PPL 10 sediment filter.

The Pureplus PP model is capable of absorbing and removing both sediment particles and chlorine from your water.

While most other 10-inch cartridges remove either sediment particles or chemical contaminants, the Pureplus PP 10BB-CC is effective at removing both, making it a rare find.

The cartridge is divided into 4 parts. There’s a 10-micron, 7-micron, and 5-micron layer crammed into the same cylindrical cartridge, guarding the activated carbon filtration media in the center.

Dirt and sediment particles like sand, silt, and clay pass the micron filters first and get absorbed before the water reaches the carbon center. This is a massive improvement over regular carbon filters since they’re usually exposed to sediment particles that may clog or damage them.

The activated carbon media in the middle removes chemical contaminants like chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, etc. It’s also responsible for eliminating foul odors and tastes.

All the cartridge components are made of eco-friendly materials, which are BPA- and lead-free.

The Pureplus PP also lasts between 3 and 6 months. However, unlike the previous model from the same brand, the PP model has a 30,000 gallons capacity – more than double the PPL’s capacity of 13,000 gallons. This likely has to do with PP’s ability to handle highly polluted water, something the PPL model struggles with.

The downside of this product is its size. The item is 4.5 inches wide, whereas most standard whole-house cartridges are only 2.5 inches. This limits its usability to water treatment units that can accommodate the width.

Pureplus CTO10 Carbon Water Filter – Most Thorough Filter

Pureplus CT1010
  • Filtration Media: Activated carbon block
  • Lifetime: 3 months
  • Price: $26.66
  • Removes more contaminants than other filters
  • Protected against damage from sediment particles
  • Excellent 3-month life expectancy
  • Gets clogged at a much quicker rate than larger micron filters

And the final filter on our list is yet another Pureplus cartridge.

The Pureplus CTO10 is the only 1-micron filter on our list, making it the most effective model regarding the number of contaminants it removes. Most whole house units have either 5-micron or even 20-micron filters that eliminate only contaminants with large molecules and sediment particles.

The CTO10, on the other hand, stops almost anything that passes through your water pipes. The activated carbon block media absorbs and removes chlorine, herbicides, pesticides, and other chemical contaminants. It also improves the quality of the water by eliminating bad odor and taste.

You also get a decent absorption of sediment particles on the outer layer of this cartridge, so it’s not as vulnerable to damage by dirt or sand as some other activated carbon filters.

That being said, it still won’t be able to effectively clean water with a lot of debris; you’ll need another filter to do the heavy lifting.

The CTO10’s capacity is around 13,000 gallons of water, roughly 3 to 6 months, the same as the Pureplus PPL 10.

One-micron filters are great because they remove much smaller contaminants from your water than any other filter cartridge. But, unfortunately, this comes at the expense of their longevity. Since the filter absorbs more contaminants, it stands to reason that it will get clogged much faster.

Still, if you live in an area with many contaminants, this item is an excellent pick since it removes the most common water contaminants with a good success rate. Just remember to replace it regularly.

What Is a 10-Inch Whole House Water Filter Cartridge?

Whole house water treatment units use cylindrical casings attached to the water pipes to remove contaminants. The water flows into the casing and is cleaned by the filtration media inside on its way to your tap.

A 10-inch whole house water filter cartridge is simply the filter that goes into this casing and works to remove the contaminants from the water. The 10-inch part refers to the casing size that these models fit into.

They don’t strictly need to be 10 inches exactly since smaller cartridges can also fit inside most 10-inch filter casings. In fact, a lot of “10-inch” filters are more accurately estimated at around 9.8 inches.

How Do 10-Inch Whole House Water Filter Cartridges Work?

Ten-inch filters are cylinders with specific filtration media inside. Once the cartridge is installed inside the water treatment unit’s casing, water will run through it. This means the water will flow through the specific filtration media inside the cartridges, eliminating many contaminants.

The clean water then flows out of the filter casing and back into the pipes, where it goes to the kitchen, the bathroom, and any other room in the home to which the water pipes are connected.

The cartridges absorb contaminants until the filtration media is full. Then, you need to replace it and start over.

Types of 10-Inch Whole House Water Filter Cartridges

Ten-inch filter cartridges are categorized by two different criteria – micron size and filter media.

All the cartridges on our list are classified as either 1-micron or 5-micron filters. The micron denotes the size of the openings in the filtration media that water passes through. Smaller micron filters have smaller holes, so 1-micron filters catch much smaller contaminants and more of them than their 5-micron counterparts.

But as a tradeoff, 1-micron filters get clogged much more quickly and generally have shorter filter life due to how many more contaminants they absorb. So essentially, both types have their benefits and drawbacks.

The same can be said about the filtration media that 10-inch filters use.

Sediment filters remove dirt, soil, sand, and other sediment particles from your water, but they’re pretty useless when it comes to chemical contaminants.

The activated carbon media eliminate chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, pesticides, herbicides, and other chemical contaminants, but sediment particles may easily clog or damage them.

There are also 20-micron filters that don’t get clogged easily but aren’t very effective at removing anything other than very large sediment particles. As for reverse osmosis membranes, they excel at sediment removal but aren’t effective against chemicals.

What we’re trying to say is that every 10-inch filter has its advantages and disadvantages.

The Advantages 10-Inch Whole House Water Filter Cartridge

We discussed the pros and cons of different 10-inch filters. But some shared advantages make them superior to other filtration systems in specific circumstances.

First, these filters are straightforward to install. You need to open the filter casing, remove the old cartridge, and slot in the new filter. After that, all it takes is a bit of elbow grease and ensuring that the cartridge’s top is adequately sealed and doesn’t leak.

Second, 10-inch filters are cheap. As you might have noticed, even bulk buying several 10-inch filters will cost you $94 at most, so they’re incredibly convenient in terms of long-term maintenance and cost.

Third, you can store several of them in your home for a very long time if you don’t unseal them. They’re very compact and easily fit in a drawer or pantry somewhere in your home.

The Disadvantages of 10-Inch Whole House Water Filter Cartridge

Very few 10-inch filter cartridges can pull double duty and remove chemical contaminants and sediment particles from your water. As such, you’ll need to prioritize either removing one or the other.

This isn’t much of an issue if you only have one type of water pollutant, but a lot of the time, you’ll probably need to get a second filter that removes the contaminants that the cartridge can’t.

Speaking of universal filters, the only item on our list that removes both sediment particles and chlorine from the water is the Pureplus PP 10BB-CC, which only fits in 4.5” casings.

Before you buy a cartridge for your whole house unit, make sure that you measure out the exact dimensions since 10” units aren’t all the same width, and you can accidentally get a model that doesn’t fit your filter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s answer some common questions people have about 10-inch filters.

What is the cheapest 10-inch whole house water filter cartridge?

This is a difficult question to answer, as many cartridges on our list come in large packs rather than as individual filters.
If you’re looking for a single cartridge, the Ronaqua’s 5-micron model will only cost you $12.99.
If you want to buy in bulk, the best option would be the Pureplus PPL 10 5-micron package since you’ll pay $9.42 per cartridge or $37.68 for all 4.

What is the average price of a 10-inch whole house water filter cartridge?

Individual 10-inch cartridge filters generally go from around $10 to $30. Buying them in bulk reduces their cost, but you must store the unopened cartridges in a dry place until needed.

How do you install a 10-inch whole house water filter cartridge?

Ten-inch models usually come with a circular plastic wrench to unscrew the top of the filter casing from the bottom.
First, turn off the water and use the wrench to remove the bottom of the casing where the filter is located. Next, pour out any water that might still be inside before moving on to the cartridge.
The cartridge should still be attached to the top of the filter casing and the pipes that lead into it. Twist it to make it come off. Once the old cartridge is removed, place the new one in the same place and twist it in the other direction to attach it.
If the cartridge is attached to the top of the casing, you just need to get the bottom of the filter casing and attach it to the top again.
Once finished, turn the water back on and check for leaks.
The installation process is straightforward compared to many other filtration systems, so it should only take 10 or 20 minutes.


The Ronaqua 5-Micron Activated Carbon Block Water Filter Cartridge is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a reliable carbon filter for chemical contaminants.

The iSpring F3 Triple Water Filter Pack provides everything you might need for a multi-stage filtration system.

The Pureplus 5-Micron Well Water Pleated Sediment Filter Cartridge is an excellent sediment filter, and it’s compatible with many different filter models.

The Pureplus 5-Micron 10 X 4.5 Inch Cartridge Filter is ideal for chemical contaminants and sediment particles, but only if your filter casing is wide enough.

The Pureplus CTO10 Carbon Water Filter is the one you get if you want to remove all contaminants from your water supply, but make sure that you change it often because it’ll get clogged pretty soon after you install it.

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Scott Winfield
Scott Winfield
My name is Scott Winfield and researching and writing about water filters and other strategies to purify water has become my full time passion in recent years. I'm glad that you found our site and you can look forward to authoritative and well researched content here to help you get the best in water.
  1. bought a CT1010 model with carbon filter for chlorine smell. installed it JUNE 5th, woke up this morning water in basement, the plastic housing split down the side ,can I get new housing or will another cartridge holder work from another brand. HELP

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