Water Filter IQ

Reviews of the Best Whole House Water Filters of 2020

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Reviews of the Best Whole House Water Filters

Best Whole House Water Filter

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After reviewing every filter in the market, we selected the Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Whole House 3-Stage Water Filter the best whole house water filter. It’s affordable, well built, has a good flow rate, and is easy to install.

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If your tap or well water smells, leaves water spots or feels rough on the skin, a whole house water filter can be an ideal choice for you. This is especially true if you draw water from a well.

In this guide, we looked at the best whole house water filters in the market to help home owners select the right system for their house.

Our whole house water filter reviews are composed by experts and backed by real-world experience and testing.

Whole House Water Filters: Our Top Picks

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Whole House Water Filter Reviews 

Best Overall – Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Whole House 3-Stage Water Filter

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We selected the Home Master HMF3SDGFEC whole house water filter for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a 3-stage unit with three filters. Water contaminants that escape the first filter in the first stage won’t escape the second and third stages respectively.

Secondly, it’s quite affordable considering the fact that a similar model costs a tad higher than it. And thirdly, it has a large filter capacity of up to 100,000 gallons. A family of four would enjoy the unit for a pretty long time before replacing the filters.

The unit has a flow rate of 15 GPM. This is arguably one of the best flow rates you’ll find on whole home water filters. It comes with large filter housings that have 1-inch ports. The 1-inch ports ensure that the water pressure is always strong.

To ensure longevity, the unit comes with a filter that has a lifespan of about 12 – 13 months. For a family of four, this is a pretty long time before you change the filters.

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Features We Love

  • 15 GPM flow rate.
  • Strong mounting frame.
  • 100,000-gallon filter capacity.
  • 3-stage filtration process.
  • Filters iron, carbon, manganese and other sediments.
  • 1-micron filter.


  • This unit comes with a 1-micron filter in the 3 stages. The 1-micron filter is capable of removing up to 95% contaminants in the water.
  • A good flow rate of 15 GPM ensures that there is enough clean water for everyone in the house. Additionally, the water pressure isn’t affected at all.
  • The 100,000-gallon capacity filters which can last for up to 12 months for a family of four.
  • It unit comes with a strong mounting frame and is not difficult to install.


  • Not to be used for treating city water.

The filter is designed to remove up to 95% of the contaminants in water. The contaminants that can be removed by the filter include iron, manganese, sediments, chemicals, and chlorine.

Installation wise, the Home Master HMF3SDGFEC whole house water filter is not difficult to install. However, the installation still requires the expertise of a professional to get it done. To make installation easier, Home Master included a steel framed mounting bracket. This frame is sturdy and strong enough to support the weight of the unit even when it’s filled with water.

One thing we didn’t like about the Home Master HMF3SDGEF whole house water filter is that it cannot be used for treating city water.

Best Value – iSpring WGB32B 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System

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Who doesn’t like products that add immense value to their lives? Certainly not us. The iSpring WGB32B 3-stage whole house water filtration system offers you immense value for buying it.

It’s similar in design with the Home Master HMF3SDGFEC whole house water filter. However, a glaring difference is visible. The blue filter housing is in contrast with the white filter housing of the Home Master unit. Furthermore, the iSpring unit has a flow rate of 15 GPM as its counterpart.

This iSpring whole house water filter removes impurities such as chlorine, rust, dissolved pesticides, sediments, and other impurities that make water unfit for use. It does this through its 3-stage filters which have a micron rating of 5, 5, and 1 micron respectively.

Given the micron size of the filter in this unit, you should expect up to 96% cleanness in the water. The first stage filter in this unit is a polypropylene sediment filter. This is quickly followed by a CTO carbon filter.

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Features We Love

  • Filters 100,000 gallons of water.
  • Long lasting filters
  • Lead-free rating for internal metal fittings.
  • 3-stage filter system
  • A good flow rate of 15 GPM.


  • The unit has an impressive flow rate of 15 GPM.
  • Up to 100,000 gallons of water can be filtered by the unit before the filters are changed.
  • The 3-stage filter system decreases the presence of contaminants in the water.
  • Installation is quite easy when compared to the Home Master unit we reviewed above.


  • A 1-micron filter or less for the 3-stages would have been much better.

The iSpring whole house water filter is not difficult to install but a DIY geek would find it easier than someone who is just trying to save a couple of bucks with no prior experience.

We love the fact that the unit is able to filter up to 100,000 gallons of water. This is a good whole home water filter for households that are up to 4 in number. The filters on the unit will most likely last the household for up to 12 or 13 months before a replacement is made.

The internal metal fittings in this unit have a lead free rating. Lead-free ratings have been a prerequisite for internal fittings in units like this since January 2014.

Budget Pick – Watts WH-LD Premier Whole House Water Filtration System

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Often at times, we are forced to buy items that don’t meet our standards because we are on a budget. But being on a budget isn’t an excuse for buying a product below our standard. The Watts WH-LD whole house water filter is a budget water filter system for homes. We shared our thoughts about the unit below.

The Watts WH-LD whole home water filter is just like the two units we’ve reviewed above. It sports a few additions here and there that set it apart from the rest.

First, it is one of the cheapest whole house water filter systems on the market. Secondly, it is easy to install – if you follow the installation guide provided in the box. Little wonder a lot of people are attracted to it. A couple of minutes is all it takes for a DIY newbie to install the unit.

It is available as a 5-stage model but the 1-stage variant is the most popular given its relatively low price.

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Features We Love

  • It’s affordable.
  • 1-stage filter.
  • Easy to install.
  • 20 GPM flow rate.


  • This is the best whole house water filter that is affordable.
  • Installing this unit is a piece of cake.
  • The 20 GPM flow rate is quite impressive given its price range.
  • A bypass valve is present on the unit and this ensures you don’t have any problems changing filters when due.


  • The 50-micron sediment filter is a huge turn-off. However, it can be easily replaced with another 1-micron or 5-micron filter.

The Watts WH-LD whole house water filter is equipped with a 50-micron filter. This, apparently, is a huge turn off for our team here at AvidWater. C’mon, a whole lot of contaminants can pass through that filter.

In order to solve the problem, we replaced the 50-micron sediment filter with a 1-micron filter. Problem solved! It did cost us a few bucks, however, it didn’t push us beyond our $100 budget.

Changing the filters on this unit has been made easier by the presence of a bypass valve. The valve is also present in the units we reviewed above. Depending on your needs, a water softener can be installed alongside this whole home water filter.

However, the water softener should have a flow rate that is 10 or above. This will ensure that there are no issues with pressure since the unit has a flow rate of 20 GPM. Don’t install a water softener if it’s not necessary. Better still, test the water for hardness before installing a softener.

Best For Well Water – DuPont WFPF13003B Universal Whole House 15,000-Gallon Water Filtration System

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The DuPont WFPF13003B whole house water filter is a unit designed for homes with well water as their water source. It’s designed to filter a maximum of 15,000 gallons of water before the filter is replaced.

This whole house water filter is a 1-stage system that costs a tad higher than the Watts WH-LD whole house water filter. Both share the same features. As a matter of fact, this unit is probably as easy to install as the Watts WH-LD model is.

This DuPont whole house water filter is also compatible with RVs. It’s also a breeze to fix onto your RV. Replacing the filter when it’s clogged is a simple task. Besides the unit uses a general filter which is also found on other whole house water filter systems.

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Features We Love

  • Easy to install.
  • Very affordable.
  • Can be installed on an RV.
  • 1-stage filter system.
  • Filters up to 15,000 gallons.


  • The unit filters up to 15,000 gallons using the 1-stage filter.
  • It is easy to install.
  • Very affordable.
  • Comes with its installation kit.


  • Lower flow rate can cause pressure to drop.

One of the biggest undoings of DuPont on this whole house water filter system is that they designed it to have a flow rate less than 5 GPM – it’s actually 1 GPM. For households with large water needs, the Aquasana whole house water filter would serve you better than this model.

The DuPont whole house water filter would definitely be better off installed in an office where water needs aren’t as high as in the home.

Out of the box, the unit comes with a 10-micron sediment filter. If you aren’t a fan of it, simply replace the filter with a 5-micron or 1-micron model.

Best Large Capacity – Aquasana 10-Year, 1,000,000 Gallon Whole House Water Filter

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Lastly, here’s a whole house water filter that can filter water for the next five houses in your neighborhood, literally. It’s not every day we get to see a whole house water treatment system with such power as this unit.

For the records, this unit is capable of filtering up to 1 million gallons of water, thus, it is suitable for large households. The 1 million gallon capacity filters are not only the goodies you’ll enjoy when you use this unit.

There’s a 10-year filter on this whole house water filter. There’s no denying that if the unit is properly maintained, it will surpass that 10-year period. Did we even mention that the warranty on it is 7 years more than the warranty on the other units on this review?

One minor downside of owning this whole house water filter system is that it is very large. Therefore, it is important to make necessary arrangements for installation space before purchasing the unit.

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Features We Love

  • 1-million gallons of filtration capacity.
  • 10-year filter warranty.
  • Sold with several add-ons.
  • Pro installation kit for installing the unit.
  • A flow rate of 20 GPM.


  • Large households can use clean water without being concerned about a drop in water pressure.
  • The unit has a flow rate of 20 GPM.
  • It can be installed alongside a UV filter or a water softener.
  • The unit has a filter capacity of 1 million gallons of water.
  • Comes with a pro installation kit.


  • This whole house water filter is quite pricey.
  • It’s not easy to install.

The unit doesn’t come cheap. This stems primarily from the fact that it is sold with different extra add-ons. You can either buy the unit with a 4-year, 5-year, 6-year or 10-year filter. Furthermore, you can opt for the model with the UV filter and the water softener. A Pro Kit (The Installation kit) is also sold alongside the product if you intend to DIY.

However, we strongly advise that you don’t install the unit yourself. Get a professional to install the unit. Moreover, it doesn’t come cheap especially when you’ve selected a few add-ons to accompany the unit.

Owing to its large size, the unit is often shipped in parts and in separate boxes. The filters in this whole house water filter eliminate up to 97% of contaminants in water. They are capable of removing pesticides, chlorine, lead, etc. from the water.

When the unit is installed alongside a UV filter, up to 99% of the contaminants in the water are annihilated.

The flow rate of the unit stands at 20 GPM. Therefore, you won’t experience any pressure issues.

Whole House Water Filter Comparison Table

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Reviewed but Not Recommended

In order to compile our lists, we must consider all available whole house water filters available in the market. Below are the filters we reviewed but decided not to recommend them on our list:

iSpring WGB22B Whole House Water Filter

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Although a solid and well reviewed water filter, we didn’t select the iSpring WGB22B for our recommended list because we feel that for the same price, you can get a 3 stage filter such as the Home Master 3 Stage filter.

The benefit to a two stage filter vs a three stage is the replacement filter cost, but for a marginal price different you can increase the power of the filtration, which in our view outweighs the difference in cost.

We are a fan of iSpring and recommend many of their filters, but we don’t think this one is positioned correctly in the market.

ExpressWater 3 Stage Whole House Water Filter

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ExpressWater is an up-and-coming brand in the water filtration space. Their 3 stage whole house water filter is well reviewed online although the total sales are limited.

Although this filter is likely to perform as well as the other 3 stage filters on our list, we feel that given that the brand is not well known, the price cannot be justified, and so we do not recommend it.

We expect that if this filter is to succeed in the market, it must drop the price significantly.

APEC 3-Stage Whole House Water Filter (Iron/Chlorine Filter)

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The APEC 3-Stage Whole House Water Filter is one of the most powerful water filters available in the market, but is also one of the most expensive to install both upfront and in water filter replacement costs.

The majority of people in the world do not needs iron and chlorine removed at the house level, and is better suited to be removed only for drinking water. As such, for the majority of people, this water filter is overkill.

If you do happen to find yourself in a situation where your local water source is highly contaminated, only then should you consider a filter like this.

Bluonics Dual Whole House Water Filter

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The Bluonics whole house water filter is competing in the budget space, performing basic filtration at the point of entry. It’s performance is roughly in line with the other budget filters on our list.

We don’t recommend it because we don’t really see it’s position in the market. It is more expensive than comparable filter with a more unknown brand. We feel the price should be much lower for it to be competitive.

If you are looking for more of a budget filter, go for the dupont model, which is less expensive and more reliable.

Whirlpool Whole House Water Filter

The whirlpool whole house water filters in the market are extremely expensive and not readily available for online purchasing. They are sold in retail locations at a significant markup and do not perform any better than their online counter parts

Buying Guide: What You Must Know While Shopping For The Best Whole House Water Filter For Your Home

The following are some of the things you should bear in mind as you shop for a new whole home water filtration system.

Consider The Type of Filter.

Only a handful of buyers know that there are two categories of whole house water filters. They are

  1. The Heavy Duty Filtration Systems which are designed to last for a long period of time before any maintenance is done. A typical example is the Aquasana 10-year whole house water filter which is equipped to run for 10 years and to filter up to 1 million gallons of water.
  2. The Standard Whole House Water Filters: They include the single stage, double stage, and three stage whole house water filters that require filter maintenance once every 12 or 13 months.

We reviewed both types of whole house water filters. A look at your household would help you decide which type to go for.

What’s Your Budget?

Set aside some hundred dollar bills if you have a household that is up to four. For larger households, you’ll need a bigger budget.

Installation Space

Take a look at the space available for installing the unit in your home and note it down. It should be decently large on all sides. Next, take note of the dimensions of the unit and compare it with the space you have in your home. You surely don’t want to call 911 each time you want to change the filters on your unit.

Note The Flow Rate

The flow rate determines greatly the amount of water pressure in the house. If the pressure is high, water will run fast from all faucets in the house and vice versa. A flow rate of 10 GPM is moderate. 15 GPM and 20 GPM are the best, no doubt.

Filter Micron Size

Take note of your filter’s micron rating. 1 micron will perform better than 5 microns and 10 microns. If you have a two or three stage system, install a 5-micron filter before the 1-micron filter. This will prevent sediments from clogging the 1-micron filter.

Is a whole home water filter system worth it?

Whole house water filter systems, while somewhat expensive up-front, can save you a tremendous amount in the long run.

  • More cost effective than water filter pitcher replacement filters
  • Increased longevity of water based appliances (washing machine, dishwasher etc.)
  • Reduced risk of water-born illnesses, doctor’s bills and prescriptions
  • Less limescale build-up in pipes, faucets and shower heads.

In our view, the potential cost savings and risk reduction makes a whole house water filter system well worth it for any home.

Benefits of Having A Whole House Water Filter Installed In Your Home

It’s no news that one of the benefits of having a whole house water filter is to make water cleaner and fit for other purposes. But that’s not all. In this section, we’ll take a look at the benefits of having a whole house water treatment systems in your home.

Increases your chances of staying healthy.

Audrey Hepburn once said, “water is life, and clean water means health”. Drinking and using clean water is a sure way to increase your chances of staying healthy. This stems primarily from the fact that clean water is devoid of contaminants that cause sickness.

These contaminants include bacteria, parasites, and chemical contaminants like chlorine, salts, and pesticides. A gradual intake of these toxins into the body can be disastrous and injurious to family health. Therefore, if you want to remain healthy, you should ensure you have a residential water filtration system installed in your home.

Makes water fit for drinking, cooking and washing.

If your home or municipal water is contaminated, a whole house water filtration system is a must-have. It makes water fit for cooking, drinking, and washing.

The filters in these water filtration systems have small filter holes which measure as little as 0.35 microns. It’s impossible for most contaminants to pass. Moreover, one can install an under sink water filter to further the purify water. This is where reverse osmosis and UV water filters come into the picture. Check out our reviews on both.

It’s cost-effective.

Imagine spending $120 each (excluding installation costs) to fix a point of use water filter in your home. It seems like a nice idea, no doubt. However, it isn’t as cost effective as having the best whole house water filter system installed.

The cost concerns emanate from installation costs for each, the cost of the products as well as the cost of replacement of parts which may wear out easily. In addition, you save on drinking bottled water and you help to keep the environment clean.

This is not the same as a whole house water filtration system incurs a once-and-for-all cost. By the way, there are whole home filter systems which are quite affordable.

Fewer maintenance hassles.

If you own a point of use filter system, you have nothing to worry about with regards to maintenance. Whole house water filters require little or no maintenance at all. In fact, the much you are required to do is to change the filters when it is dirty.

This is in contrast with the hassles of changing all the filters in each point of use filter. Besides you need to replace the parts of the unit as often as possible.

How To Change The Filters In Your Whole House Water Filter

Changing the filters in your whole house water filter system is a simple task. You certainly don’t need a professional to help you out on that. Most of the filters have a lifespan of about 12 to 13 months, so you should expect to do this at once in a year or two.

We’ve shared a step by step guide on how to replace the water filters in your whole home water filter.

How often should you change the filter?

Generally, these filters can stay for up to 12 months before they require replacement although the size of your household can influence this date.

However, some whole house filtration has filters with a 6-month lifespan. Locate the filter lifespan on the product manual. Better still, you should check the filters if you notice a drop in the water pressure or notice slight impurities in the water.

Preparing to Change the Filter

Get the following and keep them beside you.

  • Bucket.
  • The new filter for your units. Make sure it has the same or a lesser micron rating as the one you’re about to remove.
  • A mop to mop up any water spills on the floor.
  • A filter wrench.
  • A pair of rubber gloves.
  • Torchlight.
  • Hot water for rinsing the filter compartment (housing).

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Turn Off The Shut-Off Valves: Locate the two shut off valves on your filtration system. You’ll find one before the filter system and the other after the filter system. This is useful for restricting water flow from both directions.
  2. Drain The Water: Open any water faucet and drain the water in the pipes. Your sink tap will do the trick. If your filter system has a pressure release button, press it. Check the owner manual.
  3. Put your bucket directly under the filter compartment you want to change its filter. This will collect the little water that’s going to spill.
  4. Use the filter wrench and loosen the filter compartment till you can turn it with your hands. Then use your hands to remove it completely.
  5. Slowly remove filter compartment, pour the water in it into the bucket, remove the main filter, and set them aside.
  6. Use hot water to rinse the filter compartment and rinse continuously till it’s clean.
  7. Put the new filter into the filter compartment. Apply silicone grease to the O ring and put the filter compartment with your new filter back into position. Screw it in place with your hand before using a filter wrench.
  8. Turn off the shut-off valves and hit the pressure release button on your system. Open your sink tap and allow the water to run for a few minutes before turning it off.

Whole House Water Filter FAQ

How to install a whole house water filter?

There are 3 basic steps to installing a whole house water filter. First, you shut down the main water line at your home’s point of entry. Second, you connect the included piping from the water filter to your point of entry. Third, you run a short test by turning you main water on for 10 seconds with a single faucet running.

What is the best whole house water filter?

For the majority of households, the best whole house water filter is the Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Whole House 3-Stage Water FilterIt’s effective, affordable, easy to install and well reviewed by customers.

How to make your own whole house water filter?

Making your own whole house water filter is theoretically possible, however with such affordable solutions in the market, we don’t recommend it. For less than $30 up-front cost, you can have a professionally built unit with all the correct attachments right out of the gate. Otherwise you could cause major damage to your home’s water line.

How often to change a whole house water filter?

This varies by household size and the specific water filter you use, however a good rule of thumb is the filter should be changed once per year for the average 3 stage whole house water filter.

How to choose a whole house water filter?

The most important factor is the quality of your income water source. Municipal water sources can opt for a less expensive and less effective filter. Well water or other potentially contaminated sources will need a smaller micron filter size, which are more expensive.


If you find that your water tastes bad, leaves water spots, has a strange smell or any other concern about your water, it’s a no-brainer to invest in a whole house water filtration system for you home.

A whole house water filter remains the preferred choice for homeowners intending to provide clean water in their homes.


  • Hey Walt, thanks for putting together this guide. I have a question, I have well water that is very hard and the county told me is at risk for various bacteria and other risks. What do you think my setup should be in terms of whole house water filter, water softener, drinking water etc? Hoping you can help…

    • Hey James, thanks for your question. First, let’s get the water softener question out of the way: Do you find that your water leaves a lot of spots on your glassware or that your soap doesn’t get very “sudsy”? If so, you may want to look at a water softener, but know that won’t help reduce any risks of illness from contaminated water. If you are drawing water from a well, then a whole house water filter is a must, especially if you’ve been advised by the county that the well water may not be safe. I’d recommend going with the Aquasana 10 year, which is the best value long term and does the best job of filtering water for an entire house. That said, I’d also look at a drinking and cooking water solution with a Reverse Osmosis setup, which will guarantee safety of your drinking water. Hope this helps!