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The 5 Best Whole House Water Filter Systems (2024)

Scott Winfield
Written by Scott Winfield
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Whole house water filter systems are the most effective way to provide clean water to multiple taps and faucets in a house. They have higher flow rates than many under-sink or countertop systems, and they can effectively filter out up to 99% of the contaminants found in both city and rural water supplies.

The best whole house water filter system to buy in 2024 is the Springwell CF1, which uses catalytic carbon + KDF media filtration to remove impurities such as bacteria, viruses, chlorine, chloramines, PFOA, PFOS, PFAS, pesticides and herbicides from tap water. Springwell CF1 also comes with 1 million gallons capacity, and 1 – 7 bathrooms options.

If you’re interested in a whole home water purification and water softener system combo, you’ll be far-fetched to find a better deal than the Kind Water Systems E-3000 model, which offers a carbon filter & salt-free water softener at a considerably lower cost than other water filter models.

In this guide, We evaluated water purification filters using factors such as contaminants removed, NSF certification, bathroom size, water flow rate, durability, warranty, and customer reviews.

Best Overall
SpringWell CF1 Whole House Filtration System
  • Capacity: 1,000,000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 9 GPM – 20 GPM
  • No. of Bathrooms: 1- 7
Best For Well Water
Springwell WS1
  • Capacity: 1,000,000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 12-20 GPM
  • No. of Bathrooms: 1-4, 4+
Best Cartridge-Based
Kind Water E-1000
  • Capacity: 80,000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 15 GPM
  • No. of Bathrooms: 1-6

1. SpringWell CF1 Whole House Water – Best for Tap Water

Best overall
SpringWell CF1 Whole House Filtration System
  • Capacity: 1,000,000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 9 GPM – 20 GPM
  • No. of Bathrooms: 1- 7

The SpringWell CF1 home water treatment system uses a four-stage filtration process to remove 99.6% of impurities including chlorine, PFOA, PFOS, and PFAS from tap water. These contaminants are more commonly found in the urban water supply than in rural areas. If you live in a city and you’re worried about these contaminants, the CF1 could give you some peace of mind. 

It can comfortably supply water to homes with 1-3 bathrooms, and it has a long-lasting filter with a water capacity of 1 million gallons. 

Another thing we really like is the fact you can pair this device with a UV water purifier (to remove viruses) or a reverse osmosis system (to remove fluoride).

Springwell CF1 Whole House Filter
Springwell CF1 Whole House Filter

4-Stage Filtration Process

When you’re in the market for a whole-house system, the most important features to look out for are its filtration process and the filters it uses. Here’s how the CF1’s 4-stage filtration works: 

Springwell Home Filter System
Springwell Home Filter System

Low Maintenance

Despite the complexity and efficiency of its filtration process, the SpringWell CF1 requires minimal maintenance. You only need to replace the 5-micron filter every 6 -9 months to keep the system working effectively. This is a big benefit as replacement filters for the CF1 can cost more than $300! We sure wouldn’t want to be paying that out too often, and we’re certain you wouldn’t want to. 

Water Pressure and Flow Rate 

Another benefit of the Springwell CF1 home water purification system is its low effect on water pressure. It maintains a 9 GPM flow rate, which is ideal for houses with 1-3 bathrooms. For houses that have more, the Springwell CF1 comes with upgraded flow rate options; 12 GPM flow rate for 4-6 bathrooms and 17 GPM for 7+ bathrooms.

Another benefit of the Springwell cF1 home water purification system is its low effect on water pressure. It maintains a 9 GPM flow rate, which is ideal for houses with 1-3 bathrooms. For houses that have more, the Springwell CF1 comes with upgraded flow rate options; 12 GPM flow rate for 4-6 bathrooms and 17 GPM for 7+ bathrooms.

That said, the Springwell CF1 also has some disadvantages. For a product that’s made of high-quality material overall, having plastic made fittings is quite disappointing to say the least.

Update: Springwell just launched a cartridge-based water filter with almost similar offerings to the CF1 home water system we reviewed. It’s a cheaper cost and space saving alternative: Check it out.

Pros
  • The best system for tap water in urban areas as it effectively filters out contaminants commonly found in city water supplies
  • The 9 GPM flow rate model can comfortably provide water to homes with 1-3 bathrooms but you can upgrade to more powerful models if you live in a larger home
  • Requires little maintenance and its filters don’t need to be replaced too often, which is great news for your bank balance
Cons
  • Plastic fittings which aren’t as durable as stainless steel fittings. This might mean you need to replace certain parts every now and again, which isn’t a huge issue, but it’s not ideal

2. SpringWell WS1 – Best For Well Water

Best for well water
SpringWell WS1 Whole House Well Water Filter
  • Capacity: 1,000,000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 12-20 GPM
  • No. of Bathrooms: 1-4, 4+

If your home is supplied by well water, you’ll need a stronger filtration system than you would if it was supplied by the municipal water supply. This is because well water typically has high levels of iron and sulfur. 

The SpringWell WS1 really impressed us with its ability to reduce 99% of iron and sulfur in our water. We consider it to be the best well water filtration system.

Springwell Well Water Filter System
Springwell Well Water Filter System

Effective Sulfur and Iron Filtration

Private wells are breeding grounds for contaminants like hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs), iron, and other chemicals, and the four-stage filtration process of the SpringWell WS1 is very effective against them.

The main difference between this unit and the CF1 is that the Springwell WS1 is an Air Injection Oxidizing Filter System that uses a bed of green sand fusion instead of a KDF to filter water. The pocket of air oxidizes hydrogen sulfide, iron, and manganese, and the green sand fusion backwashes all contaminants out of the bed via an Empress Vortech Tank.

NSF Certification

All whole-house filter manufacturers claim that their filters are highly efficient at removing contaminants from water. But, unless you have access to a lab, you can’t really verify these claims. 

That’s why it’s often best to choose a filter system that’s NSF-certified. This means the system has been independently tested by a third party to evaluate its filtration capabilities. 

One of the things we like about the WS1 is that it’s certified to NSF/ANSI standard P473, which means it’s shown that it can effectively reduce the levels of PFOS and PFOA in water. This is another reason the WS1 is ideal for homes with well water, as PFOS and PFOA are highly prevalent in private well water supplies. 

Wireless Connectivity

Wireless connectivity isn’t a must in a water filter, but the WS1’s Bluetooth head still seriously impressed us. It attaches to the top of the system and connects to the SpringWell app, which allows you to control your system’s settings from your smartphone. This includes things like backwash cycles and air draw, and you can also monitor the filters so you know when they need to be replaced. 

We love the convenience of controlling the WS1 from the app—it removes any stress from monitoring its performance.

Pros
  • The best system for well water, as it effectively removes iron and sulfur
  • Improves orange and black staining common in homes supplied by well water
  • Eliminates that nasty “rotten egg” sulfur smell from your water
  • No maintenance required
  • No drop in water pressure
  • Well water test kit add-on available
Cons
  • Costly investment at the beginning but its lack of maintenance means that it’s not overly expensive in the long term

3. Kind Water E-1000 – Best Cartridge-Based Whole House Filter

Cartridge-based
Kind Water E-1000
  • Capacity: 80,000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 15 GPM
  • No. of Bathrooms: 1-6

The Kind Water Systems E-1000 is the best cartridge-based whole-house water filter. It uses high-performance catalytically-activated coconut shell carbon block filter technology to remove impurities, chlorine, chloramines, dirt, and sediment.

We found the system easy to install, and it requires little maintenance. Plus, it has a washable pre-filter, which makes it an ideal choice if you’re looking for powerful, hassle-free filtration. Like the SpringWell CF1, it’s a really good option if you live in a city because it’s effective against contaminants commonly found in the urban water supply. 

Key Features:

Pros
  • 120-day satisfaction guaranteed return policy
  • Very easy to install
  • Doesn’t take up much space under the sink and it can be installed outside if you need to save space
  • Lifetime warranty on filter housings
  • High-Performance carbon block filter makes it’s a good option for homes in the city
Cons
  • A much shorter filter life than the other models on the list
  • We were slightly disappointed that there’s no option to pair this filter with an RO system, which means we just have to live with the fact that it won’t remove fluoride

4. Kind Water E-3000 – Best Water Filter & Softener Combo

Kind Water Systems E3000
  • Capacity: 80,000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 15 GPM
  • No. of Bathrooms: 1-6

The Kind Water Systems E-3000 is the best whole-house filter and softener combo due to its ability to purify and soften tap water at a cheaper price than other options. The E-3000 is very similar to the E-1000—but this one comes bundled with a salt-free water softener. This system is an excellent option for homes with up to 6 bathrooms, and it’s very easy to install and maintain.

Aside from the salt-free water softener, the main difference between Kind Water Systems E-1000 and E-3000 is that the E-3000 is a three-stage filtration unit instead of a two-stage system.

Key Features:

Pros
  • Made from NSF-certified components meaning these components have been independently tested in a third-party lab
  • Can handle up to 75 GPG of hardness
  • Doesn’t take up any floor space and can easily be moved if necessary
  • No carbon dust is produced and no carbon pre-soaking is required
  • DIY Installation without the expense of hiring a plumber
Cons
  • Doesn’t remove arsenic or fluoride
  • You need to pay to replace the sediment and carbon filters annually

5. Aquasana Rhino Whole House Filtration System

Aquasana Rhino
  • Capacity: 1,000,000 gallons
  • Flow Rate: 7 GPM
  • No. of Bathrooms: 1-3

The Aquasana Rhino really impressed us with its ability to prevent bacterial build-up as a result of its bacteriostatic media. It also removes up to 97% of chlorine and reduces the presence of VOCs, mercury, lead, herbicides, and pesticides. These contaminants are widespread in rural water supplies so the Rhino is a good option if you live outside of the city. 

Key Features:

Pros
  • Add-ons available for salt-free conditioner, UV filter, and pro-grade installation kit
  • Bacteriostatic media that prevents bacteria and algae from forming and increases the longevity of the system
  • Certified to NSF standard 42, which tests how well the system eliminates aesthetic impurities like tastes and smells
  • Removes up to 97% of chlorine present in water
  • 10-year filter life and 10-year limited warranty
Cons
  • Costly (especially if you include add-ons)
  • Professional installation required for warranty

Buyer’s Guide

Evaluating whole house filters requires a lot of research and data-gathering. Consider the following criteria before making your purchase:

Key Considerations

NSF Certification

The National Sanitation Foundation, founded in 1944, is the organization that sets standards for food safety and sanitation. Following NSF directives, water filter brands know the rules and safety guidelines to implement in the factory.

These rules, or rather sanitation guidelines, help ensure that materials used in the foodservice industry is truly safe. It also translates to items used in the home, like systems engineered for purifying, softening, or filtering water. 

Having a certification from the NSF means that the numbers and figures a brand boasts of have truly been subjected to tests and confirmed true. Therefore, you should only consider water filter systems that are NSF-certified and compliant with all technical requirements.

Contaminant Reduction Capacity

Consider a water treatment device that can remove the following contaminants:

We examined these filters by looking at how many contaminants they effectively removed. Not only does the removal of these particles help your water taste better, but it also improves the smell and your overall health.

System Capacity/House Requirements

Depending on how big your house is, different water filter sizes may be necessary. The number of bathrooms will also impact how well these systems work. 

Ideally, you should go for a filter that matches the size of your home. Consider each water dispenser in the house and how many gallons per minute (GPM) are dispensed when making a purchase.

Water Filter Systems (Best to Worst)Number of Bathrooms
SpringWell CF11-7
Kind Water Systems E-10001-6
Kind Water Systems E-30001-6
Softpro Carbon4-6
SpringWell WS4+
iSpring WGB32B1-3
Aquasana Rhino1-3

Water Flow Rate

If your water filter’s flow rate is too low, you’ll experience annoying disruptions in the water flow across the house. Your filters should match the flow rate of your home’s water dispensers. 

A shower has a flow rate of about 2.5 to 5 GPM. Dishwashers are around 5 GPM, and toilets are about 3 GPM. Knowing the flow rate will help you pick the right system to keep up with the required needs.

Filter Micron Ratings

Micron rating determines the filtration capacity and efficiency of your water filter. Here are a few things you should know about micro ratings:

Maintenance Requirements

Water filters are typically built to last for years. However, as with most things in life, proper maintenance is necessary to extend its lifespan.

You should consider getting a low-maintenance water filter system especially since you’re going to be using the device for many years.

System Cost

Of course, the price is a major factor when we’re out shopping for anything. Whole house water filters aren’t cheap, so, you should consider getting one that fits your budget.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average price of a whole house filter?

A whole house water filter costs $1,000 – $5000, although some budget water filters sell for as low as $500.

Where should a whole house filter be installed?

A whole house water filter should be installed beside or near the primary shut-off valve. It is a point-of-entry system and therefore, should be installed on your main water line. The main water line is often located in the basement, garage or outside the house. If you’re replacing an old water filter system, you can simply remount the new system in its place.

What is the average lifespan of a filter?

Parts of your water filter system will need to be replaced somewhat regularly. A good rule of thumb is to replace the filters in your system every 3 to 6 months. 

Some systems have long-lasting filters that often don’t have to be replaced. This is usually true of newer models that have more advanced technology. Multi-filter systems will also require less maintenance or regular replacement.

Regardless, more often than not, brands specify when a certain filter should be changed, either in instruction manuals or during your purchase. Most of them even have their subscription-based filter programs. Should you subscribe to those, you’ll get new filters even before the old one is worn.

What are the best home water filtration system brands?


● SpringWell
● Kind Water
● iSpring
● Aquasana

These brands have proven to be some of the most effective, efficient, and affordable brands. SpringWell is arguably at the top of the list since its products can provide highly effective filtration processes at reasonable price and low maintenance costs.

Which whole house filter removes the most contaminants?

The Springwell CF1 whole house water filter removes 99% of PFOS, PFAS, chloramines chlorine, fluoride, nitrates and arsenic. For maximum filtration, consider pairing your whole home filter with a reverse osmosis filtration system, which effectively removes 99% of fluoride.

How many microns is best for a whole house filter?

A 5-micron rating will filter the majority of water contaminants. Since some smaller filters can have problems with clogging, a dual-filter system is often the solution.

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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.
6 Comments
  1. I notice that there is no mention of fluoride removal by any of these water filter systems. Can anyone tell me where I can find a filtering system that will also filter the added fluoride in my water supply?

    1. Hi Rebecca, the whole house systems generally do not feature the methodology/technology to also filter or treat the fluoride in the water. This is typically where point-of-use systems like the under-sink or counter-top systems that feature reverse osmosis come into the picture when fluoride filtering/treatment is required. There is at least one whole-house system in the market that does that function, but we didn’t feature it in our list as it doesn’t make it to our top list overall. Those readers that are especially concerned about fluoride, they will for example get a SpringWell whole-house system and then install a SpringWell RO point-of-use system at the kitchen sink for drinking water.

  2. When you evaluated whole home water filtration systems did you include Kind Water Systems? They have a 5 micron pre and post filtration, a carbon filtration/treatment (an activated block carbon), and a softening step that uses calcium and magnesium. If you look at multiple vessel filtration units (i.e. Aquasana), Kind Water Systems looks the same on the surface, but Aquasana uses a KDF filter. Have you compared the 2 brands? If so, was there a reason that Kind Water Systems did not make your top 7 models?

    I think that having the water treatment in separate vessels like Aquasana and Kind Water Systems instead of a single vessel like Springwell allows one to replace sections without replacing the whole system.

    I would like your opinion on GAC (granular activated carbon) vs. a carbon block.

    Finally, is it a valid claim by water filtration/treatment systems that the hard water scale in pipes and nozzles in the shower and sink will clear up and disappear over time? If this is the case, then a future re-piping could be prevented by adding a water filtration/treatment system.

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Dale, yes, we are are aware of Kind Water Systems. They’re relatively new to the scene compared with some of the other more established brands. We do have them on our list of future articles to closely review their products. Early appearances are good about what they’re offering, but given so many excellent choices from long-established brands, as a consumer, we wouldn’t feel there’s a need to forego one of the existing choices for something that very likely isn’t going to be dramatically better.

      We do believe that GAC systems work quite well and they’re a very reasonable choice in systems vs. a more traditional carbon block. The trade-off is that GAC will likely more often have a higher flow rate (gpm) than a traditional carbon block. The latter will likely filter better, but at a cost of less flow. If the flow is good enough from a system with a traditional carbon block, that is probably the better option.

      Regarding filtered/treated water eventually clearing scale, we view that with a healthy measure of doubt. If you have hard formed scale on fixtures and other surfaces, just using better water going forward very likely won’t make that scale go away anytime soon. It depends on the level of scale and the duration that it’s been deposited and sitting there. Generally speaking, only in more extreme circumstances of the hardest water that has been in place for man years will you need to replacing plumbing in a household. The best course of action is to get water treated as early as you can and not let the scale build up over too long a period of time.

  3. Our house is on a community well. We believe the developer should put a filtration system on the well and if he does not, we will install one at our home. The iron and manganese levels are near or slightly exceed the allowable limits. We think the ispring model is best for our house and perhaps the Springwell would be better at the well head. Another site indicated that the Ispring is effective in filtering out iron and manganese. Your review indicates this model is not as effective at filtering sediments and we are not sure which sediments are not filtered as well. We have 2.5 bathrooms so the Ispring seems to fit our family size. Do you believe the ispring will be effective for us to remove iron and manganese? Thanks!

    1. Hi Marc, if you’re referring to the iSpring WBG32B, we in fact indicated that it’s quite excellent at sediment filtration. It’s not as effective at removing other contaminants than the other systems. Yes, the SpringWell systems are consistently excellent and favorites of our readers. The WS model would be especially good at the well head and for filtering iron and manganese. If you can only do one system, sediment is a concern, and you indicated iron & manganese levels are not a big issue, then the iSpring will likely do well as a choice.

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