Our homes are the main source of our water. With water being so important in our daily lives, why compromise on quality?
A whole house water filter removes up to 99% of contaminants from your water. What’s more, that’s the water everywhere in your home.
From every faucet: cleaner, healthier, tastier water. From more efficient household chores to cleaner drinking water, there’s no denying the power of choosing the right water filtration system.
We’re under no illusion, however, that there’s a lot to consider. What capacity do you need? Do you need a high flow rate?
We’ve covered it all in this buying guide. From our in-depth reviews on our favorite models to detailed information on what you may need and commonly asked questions, it’s all in here.
We’ve taken out the guesswork. Read on to see our favorites, and how a whole house water filtering system can help you.
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In a Rush?
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
The Best Whole House Water Filter with Reviews
1. Aquasana Rhino
- Great tasting, healthy water
- Doesn’t require salt, electricity, or back flushing
- Capacity to handle larger households
Not so Good
- Some customers received poor customer service
- Relatively difficult installation
If being our best pick doesn’t convince you, maybe its whole host of features and outstanding customer reviews just might. As a three stage water filter, the Aquasana Rhino is known for its incredible filtering power and great tasting water.
It removes up to 97% of chlorine, and with a jaw-dropping 1 million gallon capacity, it can handle large households with even bigger water demands. It requires no salt, electricity or back flushing. With a flow rate of seven gallons per minute, it may not be the most powerful in this guide in terms of flow rate, but it has the right amount to work efficiently and without problems.
The salt-free descaler and pro install kit also means fitting can be done without the need for extra parts, and maintaining this whole house water filter a breeze. Some customers did struggle using the installation kit, so it’s worth speaking to a professional if you’re short on experience.
If you need to address your home’s water, and you have a big household that uses a ton of water, there’s no better option for you that the Aquasana Rhino.
2. Express Water Heavy Metal
- Great value for money
- High flow rate
- Minimal water wastage
Not so Good
- Doesn’t come with extra filters
If you’re looking for the negatives of this system, they’re difficult to come by. It has nothing but four and five star reviews on Amazon, and it’s easy to see why.
The Express Water Heavy Metal produces great-tasting water with excellent efficiency. It removes a seemingly never-ending list of contaminants, meaning your health can only benefit from using this system.
Good-looking and modern, its freestanding stainless steel frame means its no eyesore. Plus, a clear first stage housing lets you easily monitor your system and see when you need to replace your filters. Which, for the record, isn’t very often, as a relatively high capacity of 100,000 gallons means it’s more than capable of meeting high water demands.
With all the necessary certifications, and a respectable one year warranty (pluss free lifetime support), this whole house water filter from Express Water is a great choice for both smaller and family homes.
3. Aqua-Pure AP903
- Easy to install
- Excellent value for money
- Great flavored drinking water
Not so Good
- Some reviewers’ filters only lasted about a month
- May leak after heavy use
Aqua-Pure’s AP903 whole house water filter is the perfect combination between cost-effective and efficient. While providing excellent value for money, the quality of water and features such as quick-change cartridges mean it’s good enough to stand with the higher-priced models.
Its high flow rate of 20 gallons per minute ensures efficiency, and whilst it only has one stage it still filters out a whole host of contaminants from your water. Its capacity of 100,000 gallons compares favourably against other models, especially at this price.
With that being said, with the lower price there are of course some occasional drawbacks. A small number of customers’ filters only lasted around a month, and some did experience leaks. However, a huge 25 year warranty ensures you can raise these concerns with the manufacturer and get all the help you need to get your filter back to perfect in no time. Because trust us, this water filter is difficult to beat when it’s working perfectly.
If you’re looking for a low priced whole house water filter, but still want great tasting water and the peace of mind of a great warranty backing you up, the Aqua-Pure AP903 is the best system for you.
4. iSpring WKB32B
- Keeps healthy minerals in your water
- Great water quality throughout the home
- Excellent customer service
Not so Good
- Large system, so requires a lot of space
- May require professional installation
A premium water filtration system, which also keeps healthy minerals in your water. The iSpring WKB32B is one of the most advanced whole house water filters you can buy in today’s market. Its two stages feature a sediment filter and carbon block, to get the most out of your water.
With a 100,000 gallon capacity, the WKB32B removes up to 98 percent of sediment, chlorine, chloramines, chemicals, heavy metals and other contaminants that create unwanted colors, foul tastes and unusual odors in your water. All this, whilst keeping the right amount of healthy minerals in your water.
It meets all of the necessary NSF and ANSI standards, giving you peace of mind if you’re filtering water for your family every day. It also comes with a one year warranty, so should you have any problems, which not many customers did, then you know you’re covered.
The WKB32B is a fairly large system, so you’ll need a larger home or a lot of free space to put it, plus professional installation if you’re short on experience. Aside from that, we’re talking about a near-perfect filtering system that will give you and your family clean, healthy water for years to come.
5. Apex MR-3030
- Works great with well water
- Great tasting and clear water
- Very reliable
Not so Good
- Difficult to replace filters
- Slow support from manufacturer
The MR-3030 is a whole house water filter from leading brand Apex. While the filter capacity may seem small, this doesn’t affect their longevity or performance. Their large size, as well as the addition of a 20 inch pre-filter means that they do half to work whilst still producing a water quality that’s up there with the most expensive models.
This product is reviewed by customers to be very reliable. Although we couldn’t find much in terms of warranty information, it seems that there’s no issue with faulty parts or this system not working as it should.
Installation is simple for the Apex MR-3030, meaning with a little DIY experience you could save on the cost of hiring a professional. With fully NSF certified materials and a high flow rate of 15 gallons per minute, this system doesn’t exactly come cheap, so you may wish to save money on installation costs if you’re confident in doing it yourself.
If your home has especially hard water, such as well water, then this is the choice for you. It strong sediment pre-filter gets rid of larger contaminants, leaving your system to produce clean healthy water for you and your family.
6. Home Master HMF2SMGCC
- Removes up to 95% of contaminants
- Easy maintenance
- Simple to install
- High quality water
Not so Good
- Space-consuming due to its size
- Some customers received mixed results
Great for city water with chloramines or chlorine, the Home Master HMF2SMGCC has a list of features (almost) as long as its name. A coconut shell carbon filter purifies up to 95,000 gallons of water before needing to be replaced — this is enough to provide a full year of clean water for a family of four.
A steel mounting bracket makes for easy installation, which is a key feature listed in many customers’ reviews. Not only is it easy to install, but maintenance is just as simple. The 10 gallon per minute flow rate is paired with oversized filters. This reduces the frequency of maintenance required to save money, time and inconvenience.
The Home Master also produces great tasting water. Multi-gradient density filters mean finer filtration and greater dirt-holding capacity, as well as being easily replaceable. However, when it comes to buying this system, you’ll need to consider its size. You’ll need a fair amount of space to hold this water filter, so ensure you have the room required otherwise you’ll struggle.
For family homes, this is the ideal choice in terms of cost, ease of maintenance and installation, and of course quality of water.
The Benefits of Filtered Water
The benefits of filtered water is an important consideration if you’re looking to invest in a whole house water filtration system. As well as health benefits, there are many environmental and cost-associated factors you can consider.
- Filtered water helps your body absorb healthy nutrients more effectively
- It can aid in weight loss
- Your skin will feel more hydrated
- Great for detoxifying your body of unwanted contaminants
- Protects your body from disease and leads to better health overall
- Develops immune system, especially in children
- Drinking filtered water from home means you spend less money on bottles water. This saves you money, as well as reducing the amount of plastic wastage from the amount of water you drink
- It tastes better than regular tap water, which is especially true in areas with higher levels of “hardness”, which is used to describe the level of hard minerals and unwanted contaminants such as chlorine and calcium in your water
These are all important considerations if you’re looking for better health and less environmental impact from your water.
How Does it Work?
Whole house water filters may filter your water in different ways, depending on the system. However, in all of the models in this guide the process remain fairly consistent. Here’s a brief introduction into how these systems work.
A whole house filtration system attached to your home’s main water line. This means that any water entering your home will already be filtered, making it suitable for whatever its intended use.
The first step is a sediment pre-filter. This removes large particles such as sand, rust and other sediments from your water before it enters the full filtration system. This also means the other filters in your system will require less frequent changes, as the larger contaminants have already been removed. Therefore, this increases your system’s overall lifespan.
Once it’s been through the initial filtering process, the water then passes through a carbon filter. Activated carbon features a huge porous surface which attracts various contaminants in the natural process of adsorption. Throughout this process, contaminants such as chlorine, as well as any small remaining sediment, will be removed from your water.
The final filter, known as the mineral filter, removes most of the remaining contaminants. It gets rid of remaining chlorine and heavy metals, whilst also removing smaller bacteria and microorganisms that can be found in some water. This is what removes the scaliness that can be found in your wate, which causes water spots once water has dried.
The above depends on the number of stages, which is why the number of stages often means a variation in price. One or two stage systems do in fact purify your water, but they may struggle when it comes to large volumes of water or water with especially high levels of contaminants.
Choosing the Right Filter Capacity
Generally speaking, the higher the capacity, the less time you’ll need between filter changes. This is of course dependent on the amount of water you need. The capacity also has an affect on price, so choosing the correct one is crucial for getting the most for your money.
For example, the Aquasana Rhino has a huge 1 million gallon filter capacity. This wouldn’t be necessary unless you have a large home with upwards of 5 residents, and at least two or three bathrooms. Otherwise, you’d be unlikely to use that vast amount of water.
The same goes for the lower capacity models. If you’re in a home of 1-2 residents that only has one bathroom, a low capacity is ideal. You’ll ensure a more efficient water filtering process while still keeping maintenance relatively low.
It depends on your needs. If you’re unsure, manufacturers can also offer help on choosing the correct model variation for your home.
Micron Ratings Explained
A micron rating describes a filter’s ability to remove contaminants, normally relevant to the size of the particles. Micron ratings can be compared to the following:
- 50 microns – Diameter of a human hair
- 40 microns – Lower limit of visibility of a human eye
- 25 microns – White blood cells
- 8 microns – Red blood cells
- 2 microns – Bacteria
In general, the smaller the micron rating, the better the filter is in terms of performance. This is especially true for harder water, such as well water. However, with a lower micron rating also comes a less-efficient flow capability.
This is where sediment pre-filters come into play. They’ll remove the larger particles, so they don’t block up filters. This leaves them available to remove the smaller-sized micron contaminants.
If your water isn’t especially hard, you may not need the lowest micron rating. For well water, it’s suggested you use a sediment pre-filter alongside a low-rated micron filter.
Flow rate is given in GPM (gallons per minute). The Flow rate you need is dependent on the number of residents in your home, as well as the number of rooms you use water from. This is usually given in number of bathrooms, as these use the most water.
Here’s a guide on the flow rate you may need for your home.
|# of Residents||1-2 Bath Rooms||2-3 Bath Rooms||3-4 Bath Rooms||4-5 Bath Rooms|
|1-2||5 GPM||7 GPM||10 GPM||12 GPM|
|2-4||7 GPM||10 GPM||12 GPM||14 GPM|
|5-6||10 GPM||12 GPM||14 GPM||18 GPM|
|7-8||10 GPM||12 GPM||14 GPM||18 GPM|
|9-10||12 GPM||14 GPM||18 GPM||20 GPM|
Do I need a carbon filter?
A carbon filter is not a necessity in whole house water filters, which is why you’ll see many one or two stage systems without them. However, for purer water in larger households or areas with well water, it is recommended.
What do whole house water filters remove?
Water filtration systems remove harmful minerals, chemicals, bacteria and other microscopic organisms. These can cause poor taste, discoloration and strange smells in your water, and even lead to health issues if not removed for a prolonged period of time.
Where should it be installed?
Your water filtering system needs to be installed next to your main water line. This ensures any water entering your home has contaminants removed and is safe for its intended use. The size of this area will make a difference, as many whole house water filters differ in size, meaning some may not fit if it needs to be installed in a confined area.
Wrapping it up
A whole house water filter makes an instant difference to the quality of your water. Contaminants are removed, leaving you with pure, tasty water that keeps you and your family healthy. In the long-term, it reduces your plastic wastage and saves you money.
The Aquasana Rhino deservedly comes out on top in this list. Whilst its price may also be on top, the huge 1 million gallon capacity, paired with a 10 year warranty and three stages to maximize water quality, there’s no better system on the market right now. It’s also a relatively small and light system, which means it will fit in many different spaces depending on your home’s size.
Perfect for households with upwards of five residents, the Aquasana Rhino ticks all of the boxes when it comes to quality, reliability and versatility. It doesn’t get any better.