Public water is monitored and treated, but if you’re among the 45 million Americans relying on a well, you’re on your own. From testing to filtration, guaranteeing the safety of what your family drinks is up to you.
So whether you need the best sediment pre filter for well water or the best well water filtration system for bacteria, we have you covered..
Springwell WS is our best overall pick with a 4.9/5 rating and well over 1000+ positive reviews.
|Best Well Filtration Systems|
Coupon Code: QWL5
|Pentair Iron & Manganese||
So let’s get to it…
Best Picks For Well Water Overall:
- Best Overall: SpringWell WS
- Best for Iron: SoftPro Iron Master
- Best For Sulfur: US Water Systems Matrix Infusion
- Best For Manganese: Pentair Iron and Manganese filter
- Best Cartridge filter: Express Water Heavy Metal Filter
- Best Sediment filter: iSpring 3-Stage
⭐ 9 Best Whole House Water Filters For Well Water Reviewed:
We’ve spent countless hours researching proven NSF Certified filtration systems so you don’t have to waste your time on reading outdated and misleading reviews — Heck, some of these systems can be operating using your phone.
#1 SpringWell WS Whole House Well Water Filter — Best Overall
If you want a system that’s practically set and forget – look no further than SpringWell WS well water filtration system.
What you’re getting is a system that’s best-in-class at removing high levels of Iron, manganese and sulfur all while NOT slowing your faucet to a trickle.
- User-friendly digital interface
- Certified components
- Satisfaction guaranteed
- Lifetime warranty
Use Coupon Code: QWL5 to save!
What we like best
I love how simple this system is to use in our tests for performance, ease of use and water quality – 5/5 stars in our book.
You can simply monitor your system from your phone, make needed adjustments to backwash based on YOUR needs and the regeneration process eliminates the gross rotten-egg smell.
So say goodbye to bad odors, tough-to-clean stains on your laundry & bathroom fixtures and hello to fresh crisp tasting water with its multiple filtration stages.
Springwell WS carries a 4.9/5 rating with well over 1000+ positive reviews.
- We really love being able to have complete control of our system through Springwell’s app.
- The system app monitors: Flow rate, battery life, daily water usage, peak flow, and regeneration.
- The digital display is really simple to program.
- No drop in water pressure what so ever with this system.
- Since this system is air injection oxidation, this system requires very little maintenance and therefore can be set to run on a daily regeneration cycle.
- The sediment pre-filter does need to be changed every 6 to 9 months, or depending on water quality and usage.
- The filter media will last up to 25 years with little to no maintenance
- Those that can’t stand odors, rusty looking looking water and for those that just want a system that works without shocking your well water, for a great price!
- The flow rate on the WS1, serving homes with 1–4 bathrooms, is an unbeatable 12 GPM.
- The Air injection system effortlessly removes Up to 7 PPM of iron, 8 PPM of hydrogen sulfide and 1 PPM Manganese – highest among the competition.
- Higher-than-average initial cost
- If you’re looking to fix hard water issues or to filter bacteria & viruses – this system won’t cut it for you without additional costs.
- Wish the fittings were not metal and not plastic – not a deal breaker by any means.
SpringWell WS Product Updates:
- Improved UV filter purification add-on that is capable of 15 GPM and a 30mj/cm2 that’s the highest ratings we have seen for UV filters.
- Free installation kit
Use Coupon Code: QWL5 to save!
Read our Full Review: Springwell WS Review
#2 Aquasana Rhino UV Well System — Best For Hard Well Water
Aquasana’s well water filtration system is perfect for anyone looking to solve three problems with their water:
Bacteria, taste and limescale with a all-in-one system that’s pretty simple to use.
Although the system looks intimidating at first, let me tell you that it’s the complete opposite and in fact, filter changes take less than 10 minutes to do.
- Microorganism-free water
- Quick filter changes
- Conditions water without removing beneficial minerals
- Clog-free upflow tank design
- High-quality brass fittings
Best For: Those that are looking for fresh tasting water and to help reduce lime-scale buildup for a decent price.
Not Best For: This system isn’t that great if you have high levels of Iron in your water. However, it does a great job at removing common well water contaminants.
- Aquasana whole house water filter isn’t the best way to filter iron from well water, but it produces gallons of the cleanest, freshest-tasting water imaginable for pennies per day.
- We like the fact that the water conditioner doesn’t give you that slippery feeling that a salt-based system gives.
- The UV purifier kills pathogens for the highest possible level of purity — it’s the best filter for overall contaminant removal.
- It has the best activated carbon filter for removing more taste impurities and hazardous substances than the competition.
- If water purity is your priority, you’ll be thrilled with the Aquasana — it’s the best for complex quality issues.
- If you have heavy sediment issues, you’ll be happy to know that Aquasana upgraded there pre-filter to accommodate these issues effectively.
- The post filter catches and impurities not caught in the media.
- We also like the simplicity in tank changes.
- What ever the post filter doesn’t catch, the UV filtration system will zap bacteria and viruses in its path.
- Updated divider valves improve water flow up to 15 GPM.
- May decrease flow rate at the tap
- Full warranty requires professional installation
Aquasana Product Updates:
- Carbon filter media upgrade
- Larger pre & post media
- Updated divider valve for increased water flow
#3 Pentair — Best For Manganese & Bacteria
The Pentair Iron & Manganese whole house water filter for well water combo is like having a water treatment plant in your home.
If you’re having problems with Iron, Manganese, hard water, bacteria and odors — this is the system you need.
Pentair makes water tastes as good as fancy bottled brands without the sticker shock.
- Makes pathogen-contaminated water safe
- Removes iron up to 10 PPM
- NSF/ANSI Certified
- Exceptional customer service
- Eliminates brown/orange stains
- Crisp & Clean water
Best For: Those that have tested for having bacteria in their water supply and for those that want to completely stop scrubbing black/orange stains from their sink basins.
Not best for: Those on a budget, this is a top of the line system that comes with a steep price. I would lean towards Springwell WS with their similar addons for a better price.
- We like that it’s NSF 61 & 42 certified and the premium activated carbon filter removes odor and taste impurities — no other model makes water safer or better tasting.
- We like that there’s two options to choose from (1-3 or 4 – 6 bathrooms) in filtration so that you’re not overpaying for what you don’t need.
- We also like that how easy the system is to manage backwashing cycles that we can set daily or just let the system detect when it’s time.
- You will also like how well this system tackles Iron.
- This system is perfect for anyone with a septic system as the system doesn’t create any waste water.
- We like the valve kit that makes it easy to swap out tanks.
- The sediment pre-filter is rated at 5 microns.
- Cost significantly more than similar brands
- Noisy operation
Pentair Product Updates:
- Updated sediment filter to 5 microns
- Two models to choose from
#4 SoftPro Iron Master — Best Iron Filter for Well Water
If iron’s the problem, the SoftPro Iron Master is the solution. It’s advanced Air Induction Technology (AIO) uses air as a natural oxidizer, boosting iron removal to maximum levels — no other whole house water filter system comes close.
Components are independently certified, competitively priced and come with a lifetime warranty on the control valve and tank.
Bar none, it’s the best way to filter iron from well water.
- Removes iron up to 30 PPM
- Reduces manganese and hydrogen sulfide
- Multiple filtration stages
- Programmable control valve
- Quiet operation
- 60 day money back
- Quick connect hoses
Best for: Those with high levels of Iron and for those looking for a quiet system for a great price. The Katalox media lasts 5–10 years under average well conditions and the system is designed for easy installation & maintenance.
Not best for: This system doesn’t come with a sediment pre-filter and If you have high sediment issues, the components in this system will wear out quickly. You can purchase one separately.
- If thick orange stains dirty your toilet bowl or cling to your shower door, nothing cleans it up faster than the IronPro.
- If too much iron is your problem, SoftPro is the only system you need. This system removes up to 30PPM of Iron without any added oxidizers.
- Three size options so you’re not overpaying for what you don’t need
- This system will not slow down your water pressure.
- This system is also chemical free and that’s perfect if you’re on a septic system.
- Updated divider valves improve water flow up to 12 GPM, so there’s really no issues with running multiple faucets at once or appliances.
- No sediment pre-filter
- Not that great for sulfur (rotten-egg smell).
- It’s also not the best for dealing with sulfur odors — it removes less hydrogen sulfide than similar models.
SoftPro Product Updates:
- Updated valve to 1″ to provide better GPM water flow throughout your home.
Read our Full Review: Softpro Iron filter review
#5 US Water Systems Matrixx InFusion – Best For Sulfur in Well Water
If your well water smells like “low-tide” then I have good news for you. The Matrix Infusion system by US water systems, has the best filter for well water that has a rotten egg smell on the market today by removing up to 30PPM of Sulfur — that’s a big deal!
- Automatic backwashing
- multiple filtration stages
- Simple installation
- No filter replacement needed
- NSF Certified Parts
- Tackles Odors
- BlueTooth tech
Best for: Those looking for a solution to remove sulfur and improve their overall water quality at a great price — This has always been an issue for many in Central Florida and Ohio, so check them out.
Not best for: If you’re on a strict budget, the added costs can bite you as the cost to run this system is roughly $250 – $400 per year for hydrogen peroxide.
- You can get this system programmed and up in running in less than 30 seconds!
- What I also love, is the fact that it uses 30% less water during the backwash process over comparable systems and you can also monitor your system with their app straight from your phone or tablet.
- Another benefit, is that this system only uses about $2 of electricity per year thanks to it’s 12-volt operating system — I think you’ll change the battery in your Tv’s remote more often than this system.
- If you like how much sulfur this system reduces, you’re going to really love the Smart-leak detection add-on that no other well water filtration system offers.
- Smart leak detection can be setup in key areas of your home (bathrooms, laundry, kitchen, etc.) and if the system detects a leak or excessive water use, the system will shutoff your water flow – some owners have saved $500 off of their homeowners insurance using this detection system – great add-on.
- You have multiple options in water flow rates: 10, 15, 20, and 25. This helps keep costs low by only getting what you need.
- We like that we’re getting a commericial grade system for residential use.
- Filter media has a shorter life-span when compared to other media types.
- The additional costs over comparable air injection systems.
US Water Systems Matrixx Product Updates:
- Updated backwashing feature
- Leak detector – system will shutoff water flow in event of a leak detected in your home to prevent flooding.
- Smart-valve tech – gives you control of your system from your moblie/tablet. Great update US Water Systems!
#6 iSpring 3-Stage Well Water Filtration System
iSpring’s whole house water filter system for wells removes problem contaminants in well water with ease.
It’s dual carbon block filters are particularly effective at refining taste, reducing sediment and a host of chemicals, from chlorine to pesticides that make water look, smell and taste bad.
- Improves water’s taste and appearance
- Generous-capacity filters
- Performance-certified components
- Won’t decrease water pressure
- DIY-friendly installation with basic plumbing skills
Best for: Those worried about water pressure, pesticides, chemicals and most common water contaminants. Maintenance is painless.
Not best for: If you have bacteria & viruses in your well, this isn’t the system for you and we would recommend a system that has UV light. This system also can’t be installed outside.
- Some multi-stage systems have you hopping every few months, but with the iSpring, you can fill more than half-million reusable water bottles between filter changes.
- Low cost of ownership is good news for both your wallet and the environment, making the iSpring a bargain.
- iSpring’s whole house water filter system for wells removes problem contaminants in well water with ease.
- It’s dual carbon block filters are particularly effective at refining taste, reducing sediment and a host of chemicals, from chlorine to pesticides that make water look, smell and taste bad.
- Premium filter cartridges are third-party tested and meet NSF safety and performance standards — reinforced housings eliminate leaks.
- If your water tastes like it came from a swamp, iSpring’s multi-stage well water filtration system takes taste to a whole new level.
- The sediment pre-filter eliminates turbidity and protects your plumbing, while two top-quality carbon block filters join forces to remove the maximum number of taste impurities for the freshest-tasting water possible.
- No filter change indicators
- Higher-than-expected price for carbon-only filtration
Ispring Product Updates:
- CTO carbon block filters for enhanced water quality
Read our Full Review: Ispring 3-stage Review
#7 Express Water Heavy Metal Whole House Well Water Filter
Express Water’s triple-stage whole house water filtration system for well water captures more than 80 contaminants from well water with ease.
The KDF 85 media stops microorganisms in there tracks so that makes water safer and tastes as fresh as premium bottled brands for pennies on the dollar.
- Removes heavy metals, Iron, Chlorine and pesiticides
- Removes Lead & Arsenic
- Quick filter swap outs
- Tool-free filter changes
- No backwashing and media to think about.
Best for: Those looking for a low-maintenance system to remove heavy metals and microorganisms – It’s an all-around system for your well water at a decent price.
Not best for: This system isn’t good for removing dissolved ferrous iron from your system like many other 3-stage cartridge water filters do.
- This system is built for the busy family that doesn’t want to think about changing their filters out every 6 months.
- Independent pressure gauges for each filter cartridge tell you when it’s time for maintenance.
- The KDF filter cartridge is engineered for maximum contact time with water contaminants, so lead reduction levels are the highest possible.
- Lead is toxic, especially for children, so quality filtration is critical. Systems that depend on reduction in water quality to indicate when maintenance is due won’t cut it with lead because, unlike sediment and chlorine, it’s tasteless and invisible. Replacing filter cartridges on time is critical for performance.
- Express Water makes maintenance simple with gauges that tell you when each cartridge is spent — you’ll know your system’s status at a glance.
- You’ll pay few dollars more for this system than similar models — KDF85 media isn’t cheap — but the reassurance of superior lead filtration is priceless if you have kids in the house. This well water filtration system lets you drink with confidence.
- Shorter-than-average warranty
- Doesn’t remove ferrous iron.
Express Filter Product Updates:
- High flow capacity connectors
#8 Culligan WH-HD200-C Whole House Heavy Duty Well Water Filter System
Culligan’s whole house well water filtration system tackles the toughest sediment problems, removing dirt, sand, rust and silt particles from 1–50 microns depending on the size cartridge you choose.
- Budget-friendly price
- Flexible filter choice
- Heavy-duty construction
- Battery-operated filter-change timer
- Integrated bypass valve
Best for: Those with heavy sediment issues in their well water. This system handles dirt, sand, rust and silt particles from 1–50 microns — pretty impressive!
Not best for: Those that have more than a sediment problem, I would lean towards Ispring’s 3-stage for more overall water contaminant removal.
- Culligan’s whole house well water filtration system tackles the toughest sediment problems, removing dirt, sand, rust and silt particles from 1–50 microns depending on the size cartridge you choose.
- Carbon filter that can also reduce chlorine taste and odor impurities.
- Engineered for safety and durability, it’s NSF certified for structural integrity and low-lead compliance.
- DIY or professional installation is a breeze and filters are backed by a two-year warranty and Culligan’s commitment to service.
- The best solutions are often the simplest. If your well water is safe from organic materials, why drop your hard-earned cash on a do-everything well water filtration system when all you need is a whole house water filter that removes the most common contaminants found in well water – sediment.
- Equipped with a transparent cartridge housing, you can watch your filter work in real-time, trapping large particles that can damage your appliances and ruin drinking water quality. The next glass you fill will be noticeably clearer.
- The beauty of this model is that you get the convenience of whole-home filtration without breaking the bank. For the same price as a filter pitcher, the Culligan improves your water quality home-wide.
- Filter cartridges sold separately
Culligan Product Updates:
- Filter life monitor
Read our Full Review: Culligan sediment filter review
#9 3M Aqua-Pure Well Water Filter & Softening System
3M’s Aqua-Pure AP904 is a two-in-one well water filtration system and conditioner.
It combines the best in mechanical filtration with a top-quality activated carbon filter and a polyphosphate-based scale inhibition system to control sediment and taste impurities while protecting plumbing and appliances from limescale buildup.
- Sanitary filter changes
- NSF Standard 42 certified
- Won’t reduce water pressure
- 25-year warranty on the head
Best for: Those looking for an affordable solution to hard water and and quality well water filtration — an all-in-one system.
Not best for: This system won’t remove hard minerals or reduce TDS (total dissolved solids).
- A cinch to install, the corrosion-resistant stainless steel head and generous fittings ensure a brisk flow rate, so you’ll never have to wait for clean water.
- With a 100,000-gallon capacity and 25-year warranty, it’s an economical alternative to a water softener.
- We find It offers most of the benefits of a water softener for a fraction of the cost — it uses no salt or electricity and produces no wastewater — plus it removes foul tastes and odors so your water smells and tastes as pure as it should.
- Worth noting is the simplicity of cartridge replacements on this model.
- Filters and housings are integrated so there’s nothing to clean — you won’t need the usual bucket and mop, and your hands won’t get dirty. It’s a minor feature, but anything that makes maintenance less of chore is always high on our want list.
- The Aqua-Pure costs more than some comparable whole house water filter systems, yet the price pales in comparison to purchasing a filter and softener separately and is offset by its overall quality and industry-leading warranty. It’s worth it — consider it an investment.
- Higher initial cost than similar models
3M AquaPure Filter Product Updates:
- Sanitary quick change that allows you to easily swap out filters with having the need for a filter wrench.
Compare All 9 Well Water Filtration Systems
(Mobile users: Swipe to scroll)
Compare Brands & Models
#1 SpringWell WS Well System
#2 Aquasana Rhino w/UV
#3 Pentair Filter Combo
#4 SoftPro Iron Master
#5 Matrixx Infusion System
#6 Ispring 3-stage System
#7 Express Water system
#8 Culligan WH-HD-200
#9 3-M Aqua-Pure system
||Air Injection Oxidation + Sediment||Air Injection Oxidation + Sediment||Chemical Oxidation||Air Injection Oxidation||Chemical Oxidation||Multi-stage carbon block||Multi-stage carbon block/kdf filter||Sediment||Carbon Block|
|Capacity||1M gal.||1M gal.||600,000 gal.||~$150 gal.||500,000 gal.||100,000 gal.||100,000 gal.||24,000 gal.||100K gal.|
|Flow Rate||12-20 GPM||12-20 GPM||7 GPM||12 GPM||9-20 GPM||9-20 GPM||15 GPM||8 GPM||20 GPM|
|Warranty||Lifetime||Lifetime||1 year||7 years||Lifetime||1 year (limited)||1 year||2 year (limited)||25 year (limited)|
Whole House Well Water Filtration Buyers Guide
Of the 60-million plus private well owners in America, more than half have serious water quality issues that could benefit from filtration. But choosing the best whole house water filter for well water is both a challenge and an investment, so you want to get it right the first time. There’s a lot to learn, and we want to help. Let our comprehensive buying guide be your key to choosing the best system for well water.
Why You Should Test Your Well Water
Although your well water may look clean and smell great, you should still test it to ensure that the minerals found in the water are safe for consumption. It’s important to know what minerals are in your water because certain ones can be good for you while other ones are known to cause health problems.
If you don’t regularly test your well water, you’re at risk of ingesting harmful minerals in your everyday drinking water. Knowing the exact content in your well water will give you peace of mind that it’s safe to drink.
Having your well water tested by a professional lab is the best way to go – have a look at some top rated water testing kits here.
Common Contaminants Found in Well Water
Well water is generally thought to be a safer and healthier source of drinking water than municipal water supplies, but this is not always the case. Wells can be contaminated by a variety of factors, including surface water runoff, pesticides and herbicides from agricultural operations, septic systems, malfunctioning well pumps, and corrosion of well casing and piping.
The most common water contaminants that are found in well water include:
- Coliform Bacteria
- Heavy Metals (such as lead)
- Radionuclides (such as uranium)
|Noticeable Changes||Test Your Water For:|
|Corroded pipes or plumbing||Corrosion, pH, lead|
|Stained Laundry or plumbing fixtures||Iron, copper, manganese|
|Foul taste or odor, rotten egg smell||Hydrogen sulfide, corrosion, metals|
|Salty taste||Chloride, total dissolved solids, sodium|
|Scaly residues, soaps don’t lather||Hardness|
|Water appears cloudy, frothy or colored||Color, detergents|
|Dump, junkyard, landfill, factory, gas station or dry-cleaning operation nearby||Volatile organic compounds, total dissolved solids, pH, sulfate, chloride, metals|
|Rapid wear of water treatment equipment||pH, corrosion|
|Recurring gastro-intestinal illness||Coliform bacteria|
|Nearby areas of intensive agriculture||Nitrate, nitrite, pesticides, coliform bacteria|
|Gas drilling operations nearby||Chloride, sodium, barium, strontium|
|Odor of gasoline or fuel oil, and near gas station or buried fuel tanks||Volatile organic compounds|
|Household plumbing or service lines that contain lead||pH, lead, copper|
Why You Need a Whole House Water Filter for Your Well Water
Municipal water is continually monitored and disinfected. The EPA sets strict limits for hazardous substances from toxic chemicals to disease-causing bacteria, so the public is assured what they drink is safe. But private wells have no regulatory safeguards. While many homeowners believe their supply is immune from contamination because it comes from underground where it’s filtered naturally through the soil, the truth is — unfiltered well water is risky.
More than 60 million Americans get their water from private wells, but at least 20 percent are contaminated. In a 2009 study, the USGS found one in five had harmful levels of hazardous substances from toxic chemicals to disease-causing bacteria. Others had hard water — high levels of calcium and magnesium that are healthy but take a toll on clothing, plumbing and appliances.
A water test can tell you what’s in your water today, but because contamination risks in your watershed from landfills to industry change over time, there’s no guarantee it will stay the same. Only a well water filtration system can protect you both now and in the future.
Types of Well Water Filtration Systems
There are two broad categories of whole house water filter systems for wells. Point-of-use systems treat water from a single tap for drinking and cooking — examples including filtration pitchers and under-sink filters. Whole-house well water filters water as it enters your home, guaranteeing that water from every tap is as pure as possible.
Filters are further categorized by filtration method — each targets different water contaminants. The best whole house water filter for wells are typically multi-stage, utilizing several types of filters to achieve maximum contamination reduction.
Whole House Filters for Well Water
|Brand||KDF Carbon Filter||Oxidation||Adsorption||UV||Softening or Conditioning|
|Pentair Iron & Manganese Combo||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|US Water Systems||✔️||✔️|
There are seven basic types of whole house water filters:
They work like strainers, removing large suspend particles too large to fit through their microscopic pores. They’re ideal for reducing taste and aesthetic impurities, making water clear and more pleasant to drink. In a multi-stage system, they protect other types of filters prone to sediment clogs, but they don’t remove chemicals, bacteria or minerals.
Carbon filters work by adsorption, permanently trapping organic contaminants in their pores. A single gram of carbon has a surface area of 32,000 square feet, making it the ideal filtration medium. The amount and quality of granules determines a filter’s efficiency and lifespan.
Carbon filters excel at removing select heavy metals and chemicals from disinfectants to pesticides, refining both the taste and safety of water. Like sediment filters, they’re also used as pre-filters to protect delicate reverse osmosis membranes.
Reverse Osmosis Filters
Reverse osmosis filters purify water by forcing it through a semi-permeable membrane. Pores are significantly smaller than those in sediment filters, removing the tiniest particles sediment and carbon filters can miss. RO systems eliminate the highest percentage of contaminants possible, but they’re slow, and they create wastewater. They remove some but not all pathogens.
KDF — Kinetic Degradation Fluxion — filters contain high-purity copper and zinc granules to reduce organic contaminants in water via oxidation-reduction. It’s used primarily to reduce chlorine and higher percentages of dangerous heavy metals like lead.
UV filters use ultraviolet light to treat microorganisms by rendering them unable to reproduce. Bacteria that can’t multiply cannot cause disease. It’s the highest level of pathogen treatment on the market short of chlorination.
Hard minerals are healthy for the body, but they cause limescale buildup in pipes leading to high utility bills and appliance breakdowns. If hard water is a problem, softeners are the only cure. Their sole mission is to remove minerals via ion exchange, trapping them in resin to be flushed away.
Salt-based softeners are effective but increasingly unwelcome in ecologically sensitive areas because the briny wastewater they produce is bad for the environment.
Water conditioners, also know as descalers or salt-free softeners, change the chemical composition of calcium and magnesium so they can’t form limescale. They’re not quite as effective as traditional softeners, but they’re inexpensive to use, produce no wastewater, and they do not remove beneficial minerals. Water conditions are welcome everywhere.
Which contaminants does a well water filtration system remove?
|Filter Type||Contaminants Removed|
|Air Injection Systems||Iron, Manganese, Hydrogen Sulfide|
|Carbon Block Filter||Organic chemicals, unpleasant tastes & odors|
|Sediment Filter||Silt, rust, metals and suspended particles|
|KDF Filter||Heavy metals|
|UV Filter||Bacteria and viruses|
The contaminants a whole house water filter removes depends on the combination of filtration methods used.
Sediment filters remove any debris larger than its pores, including:
Carbon filters reduce:
- Select heavy metals
- Chlorine byproducts, including bromate and haloacetic acid
- Industrial solvents and more
The level of reduction depends on the quality of the whole house water filter systems you choose. Carbon block filters have more surface area and are considered superior to granular activated carbon (GAC) filters for most applications.
Reverse osmosis systems are the gold standard for filtration. When equipped with sediment and carbon pre-filters, they virtually eliminate all of the above organic contaminants plus:
- Some arsenic
- Select microorganisms
KDF filters remove:
- Hydrogen sulfide
Manufacturer often pair KDF and carbon filters for maximum lead removal. KDF also inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi, keeping filters cleaner and enhancing their longevity.
Water softeners remove only minerals, including:
- Iron less than 5 PPM
They reduce no chemicals or pathogens.
High levels of iron in well water cause tough orange stains in your toilet and tub, but what’s worse, it can clog pipes and give water a bitter, metallic taste. There are two types of iron found in wells — ferric iron, large particles of rust you can see and ferrous, or dissolved iron.
Sediment filters remove ferric iron, but only a water softener reduces ferrous iron. The catch is that ferric iron can damage softening media, so it must be removed first. The best iron whole house water filter system will come complete with an inline sediment filter.
Not all softeners can remove large quantities of iron. If you have levels above 5 ppm, the best way to remove iron from well water is with a special softener equipped with oxidation technology that turns ferrous iron into ferric iron and confines it in a separate tank.
How to Filter Coliform Bacteria in Well Water
Coliform bacteria rarely cause disease, but it suggests other more dangerous types of fecal bacteria could be lurking in your well. So while RO and carbon filters remove coliform bacteria, only chlorine or UV light protect you from microorganism like E. coli.
Home chlorinators are ideal for heavily chlorinated wells — it’s like having a private treatment plant in your basement — but they’re not cheap, and they require a fair amount of maintenance. UV filters are a simple and economical alternative.
How to Filter Arsenic from Well Water
Arsenic is a chemical element. It’s found in nature and can contaminate underground water supplies in select areas. Most water whole house water filters and even softeners remove arsenic to some degree, but it’s less than most homeowners would prefer given its toxicity — even RO systems remove less than 90-percent.
The overall risk of arsenic contamination is low for most people, but if you live in an area where it’s a concern, the best well water filtration systems would be a salt-based softener or RO system with an added active alumina cartridge for optimal reduction.
What to Look for in a Whole House Water Filter For Wells
Consider these key features when shopping for whole house filtration systems:
Contaminant Filtration Capability
The best well water filter is the one that removes target contaminants without breaking the bank. What are target contaminants?
Target contaminants are substances tests show are in your water now or could be in the future. Is there a landfill in your watershed or a large farm that uses pesticides? Do you live in an area where frequent floods could introduce bacteria to a shallow well?
A water test and a little research into the risks in your area will help you identify target contaminants. All that’s left to do then is to determine your budget and choose a whole house water filter that removes the most substances for what you can afford.
Filter media type determines which substances are removed. If you need the best way to remove iron from well water, your choices are limited, but if lead is the problem, you could choose from carbon, KDF or RO filtration. As a general rule, the best well water filter system is one that removes target contaminants for the lowest cost, but peace of mind counts, too.
Whole-home filters treat every gallon your family uses, but systems can be cost-prohibitive, and they may not be an option if you rent. Point-of-use filters treat only the water you drink and cook — eliminating most, but not all, health risks for a fraction of the price. Only you can choose a system you’re comfortable with.
Non-RO water filters produce water on demand — there’s no maximum daily number of gallons they will filter — but reverse osmosis systems are limited. Quality filtration takes time, so they can only produce so much in 24 hours. Consider your family’s usage and choose only systems that meet your needs. Fair warning — whole home RO systems cost so much they’re impractical for most homes. If you need RO capability, shop for a point-of-use system.
|Springwell WS||1,000,000 Gallons||Up-to 20 GPM|
|Aquasanna EQ||500,000 Gallons||7 GPM|
|SoftPro IronMaster||600,000 Gallons||10 GPM|
|Pentair Iron & Manganese||600,000 gallons||7 GPM|
|US Water Systems||500,000 gallons||10 GPM|
|Express Water||100,000 gallons||15 GPM|
|Ispring||100,000 gallons||15 GPM|
A common complaint about whole house well water filters is that they reduce water flow at the tap. No one wants their shower to turn into a trickle every time the kids flush the toilet.
Flow rate, measured in gallons per minute, determines how many water-using activities your family can do simultaneously without noticing a reduction in water pressure. If the flow rate is too low, it’s unlikely you’ll be satisfied with your filter long-term.
Since most water-using household activities require 2–3 gallons per minute, a minimum flow rate of 6 gpm is a must for a family of four. Most systems average 6–7 gpm, but some run as high as 20 or more.
Well Pump Flow Rate
You might not be aware of this important detail. However, it’s very important to know what your “effective flow-rate” is, so that you can purchase the right size whole house filter system for your needs.
How to Calculate Your Well Water Flow Rate
1. Make sure all water faucets indoors is closed off and not running.
2. Grab a 5 gallon bucket and locate your spigot nearby your well pump.
3. Begin filling up your 5 gallon bucket and set a timer on how many seconds it takes to fill up.
4. For example: 5 GPM would be roughly 60 seconds to fill up a 5 gallon bucket. See our chart below.
|Seconds To Fill 5 Gallon Bucket||Well Pump Rate||Seconds To Fill 5 Gallon Bucket||Well Pump Rate|
|76-100||3 GPM||61-75||4 GPM|
|51-60||5 GPM||43-50||6 GPM|
|38-42||7 GPM||34-37||8 GPM|
|31-33||9 GPM||28-30||10 GPM|
|26-27||11 GPM||24-25||12 GPM|
|22-23||13 GPM||21||14 GPM|
|20||15 GPM||19||16 GPM|
|18||17 GPM||17||18 GPM|
|16||19 GPM||15||20 GPM|
|14||21 GPM||13||22 GPM|
|12||23 GPM||11||24 GPM|
A filter’s micron rating reflects the size particles it will remove — the lower the number, the finer the molecules it excludes. The best sediment filter will have a micron rating no lower than five — meaning it filters contaminants larger than five millionths of a meter. Sediment pre-filters that block more than tend to clog.
RO membranes have much lower micron ratings — between 0.01 and 0.0001 microns — for comprehensive filtration. They’re capable of removing even the smallest bacteria, but only because sediment pre-filters catch larger particles first.
Average flow-rates of household appliances and fixtures
For those that don’t know, the average American household uses roughly 300 gallons of water per day, according to the EPA.gov.
I know what your thinking…300 gallons of water per day? sure.. However, if you think about how many times you flush the toilet, run the sink, do laundry, shower and run the dishwasher — the gallons of water used do add up.
Calculate your own daily water usage by checking your water meter in the morning and at night and take the 7 day average to help understand your water usage, or have a look at our chart below:
|Fixtures & Appliances||Flow-rate (GPM)|
|Washing Machine||3-5 GPM|
Professional Well Water Filtration Installation Costs
|System Type||Labor||Average Installation Cost|
|Well Water Filtration System||4 to 8 hours||$500 to $1200+|
|Reverse Osmosis System||4 to 8 hours||$500 to $1200+|
|UV Disinfection System||4 hours or less||$350 to $600|
|Softener or Conditioner||4 hours or less||$500 to $1200+|
There’s more to consider when buying a whole house water filtration system than its initial cost — maintenance is a factor. Capacity — the number of gallons a system can treat before filters should be replaced — plays a significant role in long-term ownership costs. Let’s look at an example.
A $500 filtration system with a activated carbon filter and sediment prefilters that need changing every three months at $60 each will cost $240 to operate annually. A similar model with extra-capacity filters that are changed every six months reduces yearly maintenance totals to $120, saving you $1200 over ten years.
Cost isn’t everything when it comes to whole house water filters — capability matters. But when features are equal, why not keep your money in the bank?
For most homeowners, the best well water filtration systems is the one they need to think about least. Complex systems requiring continual or technically challenging maintenance are a hassle.
Dependent on the well water filtration system you choose, you will need to replace the filter every 6 to 12 months. This can be a costly and time-consuming process, so it is important to consider these factors before you make a purchase.
You’ll need to decide if you’re willing to spend a little bit more upfront to eliminate some of these annual costs.
|Filtration Type||Annual Filter Replacement Cost on Average|
|Well Filtration System||$125 – $275+|
|Cartridge Based System||$150 – $350+|
|Tank Based System||$50 – $150+|
|Reverse Osmosis||$150 – $300+|
|Chemical Injection System||$50 – $250+|
|UV Disinfection System||$75 – $350+|
|Chemical Injection System||$75 – $400+|
Look for these helpful features:
- Tool-free filter changes
- Extended life cartridges
- Filter change indicators
- Bypass valves that allow filter swaps without shutting off the main water supply
For water softeners, choose salt-free models unless you have the hardest water. What you’ll save in salt and utility costs more than outweighs the marginal difference in performance.
Independently certified whole house water filters are guaranteed to perform as advertised, but are they worth the extra cost? NSF and Water Quality Association certification programs are voluntary and costly for manufacturers, so not all companies participate. Instead, most assemble systems from certified components.
If you stick with a reputable brand, certifications are a point in a product’s favor, but they shouldn’t be the sole determinant of quality.
Read our guide on “What NSF Certified Means Exactly.”
Cheap water filters can seem like a bargain, but what happens after the sale? Does the company support installation? Will it help troubleshoot performance? Are replacement parts available? What about the warranty? A whole house water filter is an investment. Choose to work with companies that respect what you’ve spent.
Understanding Warranties and What To Look For
This is an important step for any buying process — understanding the type of warranty you will get. There’s nothing worse than to come home to a leaky water tank and to find that the most expensive part isn’t covered under their “limited lifetime warranty.”
So it’s very important to read the companies full terms of service before making a large purchase — this goes for anything in life, really.
So choose the right company/brand that stands behind their filtration systems with a iron-clad warranty and generous return policy.
|Filtration Brand||Warranty||Money Back Guarantee|
|Springwell||Lifetime||6-month money back guarantee|
|Aquasanna||6 years||90 days|
|Pentair Iron & Manganese||5 years||60 days|
|Ispring||1 year||30 days|
|3M Aqua-Pure||5 years||30 days|
Money-back Guarantees – What You Should Know
Money-back guarantees are to be expected, especially for how much these filtration systems cost. Having the ability to test drive your filtration system for longer than 30 days would be ideal so that you have time to decide before committing long term.
However, not all trial periods are equal and some product return policies might leave you with less money than you started with, so it’s important to read the terms & conditions.
30/60/90 day trial periods are all great and dandy, however, if they have restocking fees you’re not going to be to pleased. You also want to be sure that you will not be responsible for return shipping — depending on the water tank size, this could be a huge cost.
Well Water Filtration FAQ’s
Which company makes the best well water filter system?
No one can predict every consumer’s experience, but select brands have an undeniable reputation for quality, durability and customer care. These are our top picks:
Best Carbon Filter
iSpring makes the industry’s best carbon filter for well water. They use only the highest quality block carbon for maximum filtration efficiency and filter life.
Best Sediment Filter
Express Water’s food-grade multilayered sediment prefilters are safe, efficient and long-lasting. Replacements are affordably priced.
Best Iron Filter
The best way to remove iron from well water is with a specially designed water softener. SoftPro Iron Master systems use air injection system to maximum iron removal up to 30 ppm— three times more than the competition. It’s the best iron filter with the highest levels.
Pelican makes perhaps the best whole home iron filter for wells with bacteria. It chlorinates water and removes up to 10 ppm of iron — it’s not cheap, but it makes heavily contaminated water biologically safe to drink.
Other manufacturers we trust include:
The EQ-WELL-UV-PRO-AST Filter System is our pick for the most comprehensive system. It conditions water, filters maximum contaminants and includes a UV filter for one low price.
SpringWell has twenty years of experience in the filter industry. Their 1,000,000-Gallon Whole House Well Water Filter System is a top performer and our best budget pick. Quality catalytic coconut shell carbon filter and KDF media target the highest number of organic contaminants, and it’s virtually maintenance-free for low long-term cost of ownership.
What does the best whole home well water filtration system cost?
Unless you’re on a strict budget, we urge you to consider value over the initial price. Capable whole-home systems start as low as $300, but they tend to require more maintenance over the long haul. Better systems cost two to three times as much initially, but you’ll save money and spend less time worrying about filter changes.
Expect to pay as much as $2000 for systems that filter and condition water. Still, these all-in-one units are typically more cost-effective than installing a filter and softener separately, and components are made for each other — there’s no worry about system compatibility.
What type of filter do I need?
If you need reverse osmosis capability, choose an under-sink filter. Filter pitchers make water taste better but only in limited quantities. Under-sink models provide plenty of healthy water for drinking and cooking plus filling travel bottles for pennies on the dollar.
Otherwise, we recommend whole-home water filters. Many are as inexpensive as point-of-use systems while offering the highest water quality throughout your home — you’ll never have to worry about which bathroom faucet the kids are drinking from.
Can install a well water filter myself?
Most of today’s whole house water filters are engineered for DIY installation. Under-sink water filters require no technical expertise, and manufacturers go out of their way to make it easy with color-coded components and video instructions. It incentivizes sales.
Whole-home systems are also do-it-yourself friendly, but installation requires cutting into the main water line, so comfort with basic plumbing is helpful. A few companies request professional installation in change for a full warranty. Consider the cost — $350– $550 — when pricing out systems.
How are whole house well water filters installed?
The process varies based on the model, but for a whole-home system, you’ll have to:
- Shut the water off at the inlet
- Plumb the system into your water line
- Restore water and check for leaks
For under-sink systems:
- Turn the water off at the sink
- Assemble the filter with cartridges in place
- Connect the cold water line to the filter
- Connect the filter to the faucet
- Restore water and check for leaks
How do I maintain a whole house well water filter?
For standard water filters, maintenance is as simple as changing cartridges per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Select RO systems may require annual storage tank cleaning that’s time-consuming but not difficult to do.
For systems with integrated salt-based softeners, replace salt as needed in the brine tank and backwash the system weekly to prevent the growth of bacteria in the softening tank. Salt-free conditioners need only a backwash.
UV lights should be changed precisely as directed. They can lose purifying strength without becoming noticeably dimmer. Most last a year.
Do I have to filter well water?
It isn’t necessary to filter well water if testing shows no worrisome contaminants. Yet many homeowners choose to because it enhances taste or softens water and safeguards appliances. Others just feel safer protecting their family against the unknown. Remember, only a water test can tell you what’s in your water, but only a filter can protect you from what’s in it.
How often should I replace a whole house well water filter?
Filter components should be changed as directed, but with proper care, frames, housings and fittings can last a lifetime. A few high-capacity models with single disposable tanks are discarded when they’ve reached capacity — usually a million gallons or more. But these models require no maintenance and can be the ultimate value for homeowners who want a fix-it-and-forget-it filter.
What water filter works best with well water?
This will come down to having a proper water test to see what contaminants you will need to remove. Having said that, the SpringWell WS does a great job at handling most common contaminants found in well water.
Where do you put a sediment filter for well water?
A sediment filter should be connected to your main water line before your filtration media tank. This will ensure all heavy metals don’t enter your tank.
What micron filter is best for well water?
In most cases, you’ll find the best sediment filter options for well water have micron rating of 5 to 50. However, for very fine sediment, look for a range of 1 to 5 microns.
The best whole house water filter for well water is one that brings you peace of mind — fewer investments can impact your health more. If your water isn’t as pure as it should be, a well water filtration system is a simple, cost-effective solution. It’s a gift to yourself and your family that can last a lifetime.