The 7 Best Whole-House Water Filters for Well Water (2024)

Mick Hartman
31 min readApr 17, 2024

My family and I love our well water. It’s there when we need it and it’s completely free. It’s also clean and delicious. Of course, it didn’t come this way. I had to install the right filter. Thankfully, I have experience in this field and could easily find the right one.

In fact, I have just over two decades of experience in the world of water filtration and treatment. For this review, I also consulted with one of our in-house water treatment experts, James Layton, to sift through the many well filters on the market and find the best of the best.

Together, we scoured user manuals, debated the upsides and downsides of different filter technologies, calculated ownership costs, compared data and test results, spoke to manufacturers, and ran tests on their customer service operations.

All in all, we looked at more than 40 different products and narrowed the list down to just seven.

Spoiler alert! Here’s my #1 pick: The SpringWell WS1 is my top choice for whole-house well filters because of its superior ability to filter out the most common well water contaminants (sulfur, iron, and manganese) while also tackling sediment. I also love SpringWell’s lifetime warranty and six-month money-back guarantee.

Best Whole-House Water Filter for Well Water: Top Picks

Factors We Consider: Expert Reviews by Real World Experts

To conduct this review, I worked alongside our team of experts to systematically review and compare the different options on the market and narrow them down to the best of the best.

The review process we use at Drinking Water combines qualitative and quantitative analysis that looks at the specific use of each filter and the technology they employ, as well as water testing data, total cost of ownership, warranty details, customer service, and more.

Our rigorous water filter testing methodology helps save you time and give you confidence that what you’re buying is the best.

However, if you’re brand new to the world of well water filtration, we strongly recommend you read our guide on the subject to fully appreciate the results and expert insights within this review.

Afterwards, come back to check out the products we recommend.

Best Overall Well Filter (Sulfur, Iron, and Manganese)

SpringWell WS1 Whole House Well Filter System

The SpringWell WS1 Whole House Well Filter System is the best whole-house well water filter on the market thanks to its superior ability to remove the most common well water contaminants out there: sulfur, iron, and manganese. It tackles sediment that can clog your system, and it’s controlled by an intuitive mobile app, all backed by an industry-leading lifetime warranty.

Highlights include:

  • Air induction oxidation (AIO) combines with greensand filter media to remove up to 8 ppm of sulfur, 7 ppm of iron, and 2 ppm of manganese.
  • Provides completely silent and chemical free filtration.
  • Bluetooth control head and mobile app provide unique insights into your water system and allow you complete control over your system.
  • An efficient backwashing cycle helps reduce water waste.
  • Greensand fusion filter media uses freshwater backwashing and can last 25 years or more.
  • Available in three models with different flow rates to accommodate homes of all sizes.
  • Comes with excellent customer service.
  • Backed by SpringWell’s industry-leading lifetime warranty and six-month money back guarantee.
  • The included sediment pre-filter could be larger.
  • Doesn’t address nitrates, herbicides, pesticides, or microbial contamination.

Who it’s for

The SpringWell WS1, while the best overall well water filter, is designed most specifically for well water with high concentrations of sulfur, iron, and manganese. Due to its ability to remove large quantities of sulfur and iron, the WS1 is suitable for water supplies of nearly all contaminant levels.

While it does much more than just a sediment filter, it comes equipped with a 152-micron spin-down filter to remove larger particles of sediment before entering the well filter.

Why it’s the best

The SpringWell WS1 is the best well filter on the market because it is the most effective. It’s as simple as that. It combines two tried and true filtration methods to tackle iron, sulfur, and manganese.

The first is air induction oxidization (AIO). AIO involves filling the top of the filter tank with an air pocket and spraying the water over the air. As this happens, the iron, sulfur, and manganese oxidize into solid particles that can then be filtered out of the water as if they were sediment.

After this, the water passes through a greensand fusion filter media, which traps the already oxidized sulfur, iron, and manganese molecules while also filtering out any that still remain.

If you have ferric iron in your water (insoluble iron that you can see, i.e., rust), the greensand fusion will catch that too.

The water then passes to your home completely free of these contaminants, eliminating odors (rotten egg smell from sulfur) and stains (reddish brown and black from iron and manganese).

Overall, this greensand fusion filter media is a big upside of this product.

Traditional greensand filters need to be periodically backwashed with a chemical called potassium permanganate. This charges the sand particles in such a way that captures sulfur and iron.

But the fusion-bonded greensand used in this filter can be regenerated with freshwater. It’s also designed to last longer. You can go 25 years or more with this media even under extreme iron and sulfur conditions.

Most other well filters on the market use one or the other filtration technique, AIO or greensand. But the SpringWell WS1 uses both, resulting in superior filtration.

All in all, the WS1 can filter out up to 8 ppm of sulfur, 7 ppm of iron, and 2 ppm of manganese, which is enough filter power to treat even the most contaminated water supplies. There are filters out there that can handle higher levels of these contaminants, but they cost more and, in most cases, aren’t needed.

Another standout feature of the WS1 is the Bluetooth-enabled control head. It connects to your phone via the SpringWell Water Smart App and gives you complete control over your filter and your water system.

You can track usage, manage backwashing and regeneration cycles, and spot issues with your plumbing. For example, it can detect drops in water pressure from leaky pipes, allowing you to fix them before they become too serious.

There’s also the SpringWell warranty and money-back guarantee. Tanks, valves, fittings, housings, bypass valves, and in/out heads are covered for life. And if for some reason you’re not happy with it after you purchase, you have six months to return it for a full refund. No questions asked.

Some things to keep in mind

The SpringWell WS1 takes the prize as the best overall well filter, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best for everyone. It’s specifically designed to handle the most common well water contaminants: sulfur, iron, and manganese. It does this extremely well, and because they’re so common, this filter is the best for most people.

Other common well water contaminants include nitrates, herbicides, and pesticides, which typically come from agricultural runoff, naturally occurring fluoride (rare but still possible), salt (common in areas near the coast), and microbes, aka viruses, bacteria, cysts, protozoans, etc.

This is why it’s so important to test your water before you buy a filter, especially well water. If you suffer from high levels of nitrates but buy a filter specifically for sulfur, you will have wasted your money. We’ve got options throughout this review that deal with specific well water contaminants, so be sure to find the one that makes the most sense for you.

Something else to keep in mind with the WS1 is that the sediment filter is a spin-down filter with a micron rating of 152. This will catch all the big stuff, but it won’t catch the smaller stuff. If sediment is a big issue in your well, or if you notice it remaining after installing the WS1, you will want to upgrade to a 5-micron sediment filter, either as an additional pre-filter or a post-filter.

Final thoughts

If you’ve tested your well water and found high levels of sulfur, iron, or manganese (or you can see or smell it in your water), the SpringWell WS1 is definitely the best option for you. It’s super effective, comes with high-tech control options, and is backed by an excellent warranty and guarantee.

If you want even more details, I’ve written a separate review of the SpringWell WS1 you can check out. I also have separate reviews on the best filters for sulfur and the best filters for iron.

The WS1 still tops these lists, but there are some additional options for you to review.

For those ready to take the plunge into cleaner water, get the SpringWell WS1 here.

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Best Well Filter and Softener Combo

SpringWell WSSS1 Well Water Filter and Salt-Based Softener

The SpringWell WSSS1 Well Water Filter and Salt-Based Softener is the best well filter and softener combo on the market. If you struggle with common well contaminants and also have hard water, this is the product for you. Superior filtration meets efficient and effective softening in a well-built unit that’s backed by an excellent warranty.

Highlights include:

  • Air induction oxidation (AIO) technology combines with greensand filter media to provide superior filtration removing up to 8 ppm of sulfur, 7 ppm of iron, and 2 ppm of manganese.
  • Provides completely silent and chemical-free filtration.
  • The 32,000-grain capacity salt-based softener can handle even very hard water in homes with up to four people (larger models available).
  • Bluetooth-enabled control heads give you complete control over your system and also manage backwash and regeneration cycles to reduce water usage and waste.
  • Comes with excellent customer service.
  • Backed by SpringWell’s industry-leading lifetime warranty and money-back guarantee.
  • It’s only equipped to filter sulfur, iron, and manganese, not other potential well contaminants, such as nitrates, herbicides, pesticides, bacteria, viruses, etc.
  • The salt-based softener requires periodic salt refills, though the cost is low and the control head minimizes waste.
  • The included sediment pre-filter only captures large particles (152 microns and larger).

Who it’s for

The SpringWell WSSS1 well filter and salt-based softener is for well owners who have high levels of sulfur (rotten eggs smell) or iron (reddish brown and black stains) and who also have hard water.

This is really two separate products sold as one: the SpringWell WS1 whole-house filter and the SpringWell SS1 salt-based softener. If you have different contaminants in your water besides sulfur, iron, and manganese, you can still get the SS1 alongside whichever filter you purchase (alternative options are discussed elsewhere in the review).

Why it’s the best

The SpringWell WSSS1 is my top choice for a well filter and softener combo because it combines the best well filter on my list (the WS1) with one of my favorite softeners, the SS1 salt-based softener from SpringWell.

The WS1 beats out the competition because it combines two different filter technologies, air induction oxidation (AIO) and greensand, to remove high levels of sulfur, iron, and manganese. It works by first spraying your water over an air pocket inside the filter tank to oxidize these chemicals.

The greensand filter then catches these oxidized particles and also removes anything else that might be left behind. Most other well filters designed to handle these contaminants use only one of these filter technologies, limiting how much they can remove. And since the conditions inside your well are changing all the time, it’s best to have more filtration power than less.

As for the softener, SpringWell uses the tried-and-true ion exchange method that passes the water over a charged resin and exchanges calcium and magnesium (hardness minerals) for harmless sodium. This completely eliminates scale buildup, streaks and spots on dishes and glasses, poorly lathering soap, and that irritating feel on your skin.

Both of these units are controlled by separate Bluetooth-enabled control heads and managed via a smartphone app available for both Apple and Android. You can monitor water usage in your whole home, spot problems before they become too serious, and manage regeneration and backwash systems. Both are also designed to backwash/regenerate based on actual water usage instead of doing so at set intervals. This ensures it’s actually needed and saves water.

Lastly, SpringWell has a lifetime warranty on tanks, valves, fittings, and in/out heads and a six-month, no-questions-asked money-back guarantee that’s impossible to beat.

Some things to keep in mind

The SpringWell WSSS1 is an excellent product I would recommend to anyone. But keep a few things in mind.

First, it’s specifically designed to remove sulfur, iron, and manganese from your water. If you’ve tested your water (which you should do yearly as a well owner) and found other stuff in there, you’ll need a different filter featured in this guide.

Also, this salt-based softener uses ion exchange. This means your softened water will have a little extra sodium in it. But even if your water is very hard (15 grains per gallon), we’re talking about 30 mg of sodium in an 8 oz glass of water. For comparison, a boiled egg has around 80 mg of sodium even before you add salt to make it taste better.

For me, this is a nonissue. If you’re on a zero-sodium diet, you may want to consider a salt-free water conditioner. Salt-free conditioners are inherently less effective against very hard water. Alternatively, you could also add a reverse osmosis system after your softener to catch the sodium.

Salt-based softeners also regenerate with a brine solution (salt and water) that results in some wasted water (maybe around 10 gallons a week). You’ll also want to double-check local regulations because some areas restrict the use of salt-based softeners for environmental concerns.

If you can’t have or don’t want a salt-free conditioner, I’d recommend the SpringWell WSSF1, which is the same well filter featured here with a salt-free conditioner. I wrote a separate review of the WSSF1 you should check out if you’re interested, and I’ve also got a whole article on water softener alternatives you can read.

Lastly, before you buy a water softener, consider the capacity you need. The WSSS1 has a 32,000-grain capacity. This is good for four people using 75 gallons per day of water with 15 grains per gallon (gpg) of hardness.

If you have more people or harder water, you’ll need to upgrade to 48,000-grain WSSS4, which has a 48,000-grain capacity. Higher capacity options do exist if you need them but not as pre-packaged combos on SpringWell’s website. You’ll need to call and speak with a customer service rep to build what you need.

Final thoughts

Look no further than the SpringWell WSSS1 if you have sulfur, iron, and/or manganese in your well water and also suffer from hard water. Superior filtration meets effective, efficient water softening that can all be controlled with your phone. Add in the SpringWell warranty and you’ve got a product that’s tough to beat.

Want some more information? Check out my complete review of the SpringWell WSSS1. I also have an entire article on the best whole-house water filter and softener combos if you’re interested.

But if you’re ready to go and want to upgrade your water, get the SpringWell WSSS1 here.

**** Coupon code ****

Best for Salt, Fluoride, and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

SpringWell Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System

The SpringWell Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System is the ideal solution for well owners who have high levels of total dissolved solids (TDS), specifically salt or naturally occurring fluoride.

Highlights include:

  • Removes 90%–98% of total dissolved solids (TDS), including salt, fluoride, lead, arsenic, nickel, iron, calcium, and magnesium.
  • Four-stage filtration sends water through two pre-filters (sediment and carbon block) before the reverse osmosis membrane and then another carbon block post-filter will remove herbicides and pesticides from your water.
  • A low-profile design means this product fits right under the sink.
  • Easy quarter-turn filter design makes changing filters super easy.
  • Priced reasonably among other solutions for high-TDS water supplies.
  • Filters need to be changed somewhat frequently, adding to the total cost of ownership.
  • Water needs to be softened to protect the RO membrane, which is a separate system.

Who it’s for

The SpringWell Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System is for you if you have high levels of total dissolved solids (TDS) in your water.

Due to the super small pores in the membrane, this filter is extremely efficient at removing solid particles dissolved in water. It’s an excellent solution for those who have high levels of salinity in their water (common in coastal areas) or naturally occurring fluoride.

It’s also effective against bacteria, viruses, and protozoans, removing up to 99.99% of these microbes.

It’s also great if you have or are concerned about heavy metals, such as lead, arsenic, or nickel, in your water supply.

You’ll also find the SpringWell RO system right for you if you want to filter these contaminants out at just one faucet in your home, saving you money compared to a whole-house unit.

Why it’s the best

The SpringWell RO system stands out as my top choice for a few reasons.

First, it’s got a compact, low-profile design that fits easily under your sink. The 3.2-gallon storage tank is small enough to stay out of the way but large enough to provide you with all the water you need. In total, the unit can produce up to 75 gallons per day, more than enough for even large households.

Here’s how it works: When you draw from the tank, the system kicks on and produces more clean water so you always have it at your fingertips when you need it.

Price is another reason the SpringWell reverse osmosis filter is at the top of my list. As a point-of-use system, it’s quite reasonable compared to other water filtration systems.

Maintenance is also pretty easy on this filter system.

In total, it’s got four filters: two carbon block filters, the RO filter, and a sediment pre-filter. They all need to be changed at various intervals (every two years for the RO filter and every six months for the others). But when the time comes for this, it’s super simple. The ¼ turn filter design means you can remove old filters and install new ones with one hand and no tools.

SpringWell does offer a lifetime warranty on its RO system, but there are quite a few limitations to it based on water quality, which we’ll discuss in a moment.

Some things to keep in mind

The first thing you’ll want to keep in mind with the SpringWell reverse osmosis system is that it’s a point-of-use water filter. This means it supplies clean water to one faucet in your home. It actually comes with its own littler faucet that connects directly to the tank and is where you’ll get your filtered drinking water when you need it.

If you’re looking to use RO as a whole-house filtration system, there are plenty of options. But they are going to be a lot more expensive than this unit. I have an entire review dedicated to whole-house reverse osmosis systems where you can explore some of these options.

For most people, RO makes the most sense at the point of use because the main concern is drinking. If you have high TDS in your water, such as salt, it’s not a huge deal in the shower. Simply filter at one spot and use that as your water source for drinking and cooking.

If you have hard water (high levels of magnesium and calcium), you will need to soften it using a water softener before sending water into your RO unit. If you don’t scale, buildup on the membrane will ruin it and significantly shorten its lifespan. The manufacturer also recommends the feed water have no more than 1 ppm of iron, which may require a separate system if you have iron in your water.

Lastly, maintenance can get a bit pricey on this unit. Three of its four filters need to be replaced every six months. At the time of writing, these filters were about $40 each on average, which translates to about $240 a year in filters, plus another $100 for the RO replacement every two years.

Final thoughts

The SpringWell Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System is an ideal choice if you have high levels of total dissolved solids (TDS), especially salt or naturally occurring fluoride, in your well water.

Four-stage filtration including an RO membrane will remove the vast majority of harmful contaminants from your water in addition to these dissolved solids. And as a point-of-use system, it’s affordable and fits entirely under your sink.

If you want to read about other options, check out my entire review on reverse osmosis systems for well water.

Otherwise, if you’re ready to upgrade your water, get the SpringWell Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System today.

**** Coupon code ****

Best for Microbial Contamination

Aquasana Rhino Well Water With UV

The Aquasana Rhino Well Water with UV whole-house filter is an excellent option if your top concern is existing or potential microbial contamination. It can also filter out small amounts of other contaminants, such as heavy metals (lead, aluminum, nickel, mercury, arsenic, etc.), herbicides, and pesticides. Because of its all-around functionality and modest purchase price, it is also a solid budget option.

Highlights include:

  • Four-stage filtration combines with included UV purifier to trap and kill microbial contaminants in your well water.
  • Effective against heavy metals such as lead, aluminum, nickel, mercury, arsenic, etc.
  • 10-year filter life helps keep total cost of ownership low.
  • Bacteriostatic properties keep filters clean and safe, extending their lifespans.
  • Proprietary filter design makes it easy to swap filters when the time comes.
  • Option to add on a salt-free water conditioner if you also have mildly hard water.
  • Several components require frequent replacing (pre-filters and UV lights), which can be a nuisance to keep track of.
  • Not effective against many common well water contaminants, such as iron, sulfur, and manganese.
  • No salt-based softener addition is available.
  • Includes no smart features.
  • The warranty is limited to just five years.

Who it’s for

The Aquasana Rhino Well Water with UV is best for well owners who have or are concerned about microbial contamination in their wells. The combination of activated carbon pre-filter, KDF media to keep growth down inside the filter, and a final-stage UV purifier means bacteria, viruses, cysts, protozoans, etc. don’t stand a chance of making it into your drinking water supply.

Thanks to the activated carbon pre-filter and KDF media, the Rhino is also effective against herbicides and pesticides, as well as heavy metals, such as lead, arsenic, mercury, nickel, and aluminum, though this is not really its intended purpose.

The Rhino is only effective against very low levels of sulfur, iron, or manganese. This is not the primary function of this filter.

Why it’s the best

The Aquasana Rhino Well Water with UV is the best well filter for microbial contamination because it tackles these contaminants from a number of angles. The 5-micron pre-filter catches sediment and other larger contaminants, the activated carbon filter catches most bacteria and viruses, and the KDF media inhibits bacterial growth inside the filter, keeping it clean and extending its life.

The water then passes through a post-filter (stage four) that catches anything left behind before passing through a UV filter, which uses high-powered ultraviolet light to zap any remaining microbes dead on the spot.

The result is water that is 99.99% free from microbial contamination.

Because of the inclusion of KDF media, the Rhino will also effectively remove some heavy metals from your water supply, such as lead, aluminum, or copper. This is an added bonus but not the true intention of this product.

I personally like the design used by Aquasana. The single-tank system makes it super easy to swap out the main filter, which only needs to happen once every 10 years.

If you suffer from mildly hard water, you can easily add a salt-free conditioner to your system for some extra money, though do note this is not the same as a true softener. It will prevent scale buildup but not address other issues hard water presents.

Lastly, for everything you get — four-stage filtration plus UV purification — this is a very modestly priced unit and well worth the money.

Some things to keep in mind

The first thing I want to bring up regarding this Aquasana well filter with UV is that if you have persistent microbial contamination in your water, you may want to look deeper into the issue than just installing a filter.

For example, what is the condition of your well cap and pipe? If it’s cracked or compromised in any way, it’s likely allowing surface runoff to enter your water, which could be the source of your microbial contamination.

If your well is already contaminated, you might want to consider shock chlorination as a one-time solution.

However, if you live in an agricultural area, runoff from nearby farms and cattle grounds could result in persistent microbial contamination.

At any rate, a well filter such as this one is a great way to achieve peace of mind. But you may want to look at some of these other issues at the same time.

Concerning the actual product, remember the focus of this product on microbial contamination makes it ineffective against sulfur, iron, and manganese. It’s also not going to do anything against nitrates, which could also be present if your microbial contamination is coming from agricultural runoff.

This is yet another reason it’s so important to test your water supply before buying a filter, and yearly after that. Conditions change and you need a filter that matches your actual water quality.

The modest price of this unit is intriguing, but it can partially be explained by the lack of smart features. Of course, the simplicity of this system means they’re really not necessary.

Also, keep in mind that maintenance for this product is constant. The pre- and post-filters will need to be replaced every two to six months depending on which one you get, and the UV light needs to be replaced once a year. The main filter media will last 10 years, but you will need to stay on top of the rest of your system to keep it running smoothly.

Lastly, Aquasana offers a five-year warranty on their products. This is much better than what you see elsewhere (one year is common) but not as good as the lifetime warranty offered on SpringWell products.

Final thoughts

The Aquasana Rhino Well Water with UV is an ideal choice if you’re dealing with constant microbial contamination or are even concerned about it. It can also handle heavy metals, herbicides, and pesticides but not nitrates, sulfur, iron, or manganese.

If you need a filter that tackles these contaminants but are also worried about microbes, check out the other products in this review and then consider adding a UV filter as a final stage in your water treatment system. I’ve reviewed all the best UV water purifiers on the market if you need some help.

For readers ready to say goodbye to microbes in well water, get the Aquasana Rhino Well Water with UV here.

Best for Nitrates

Crystal Quest Nitrate Whole House Water Filter

The Crystal Quest Nitrate Whole House Water Filter is the best option on the market if your well water supply has high levels of nitrates. Though it lacks some bells and whistles, it’s effective and affordable and specifically designed to tackle these pesky agricultural by-products.

Highlights include:

  • Proprietary Eaglesorb resin is specifically designed to capture high levels of nitrates in your water supply.
  • Automatic backwashing cycles ensure the continued function of your unit.
  • Additional sediment pre-filter and a carbon block post-filter can also handle herbicides and pesticides, other common contaminants from agricultural runoff.
  • The tank comes in either stainless steel or fiberglass.
  • Easily combines with salt-based water softener.
  • Not effective against iron, sulfur, or manganese, common well water contaminants.
  • Requires regular salt refills and discharges sodium-rich solution as waste.
  • Limited one-year warranty.

Who it’s for

The Crystal Quest Nitrate Whole House Water Filter is an excellent solution for well owners living in an agricultural area where there are high levels of nitrates in the groundwater.

It’s also effective against herbicides and pesticides, which are often found alongside nitrates in water due to their use in agricultural applications. But if you have these in your water and not nitrates, you don’t need this filter. A standard carbon block filter will do just fine. This particular unit is specially designed to handle nitrates.

If after you test your water, you find you don’t actually have nitrates or herbicides and pesticides, then this filter won’t do much for you.

Why it’s the best

The Crystal Quest Nitrate Whole House Water Filter is the best because it’s an affordable option designed to remedy a very specific water quality issue. Not every owner is going to deal with nitrates and other agricultural by-products, but those who do need a tailored solution.

This unit looks and works much like a traditional water softener. The filter is filled with a charged resin that attracts nitrates and removes them from the water supply. Periodically, the system is backwashed with a brine solution to recharge the resin so it can continue to filter out nitrates. The base unit has a 48,000-grain capacity. This is more than enough for residential use.

Another thing I like about Crystal Quest’s nitrate filter is you can buy it with a stainless steel or fiberglass housing. The stainless steel version looks super sleek, but the manufacturer points out it can rust when exposed to humid environments and salt (present thanks to the brine backwash). If you expect to store your filter in this type of environment (or you just want to save some money), get the fiberglass version.

Included with the nitrate filter is a sediment pre-filter to catch dirt, dust, sand, clay, etc. This will have to be replaced every six months or less depending on how much sediment is in your water. It also comes with a carbon block post-filter, which will catch a great number of contaminants, though the most relevant for this application are herbicides and pesticides.

Lastly, if you also have hard water (somewhat common for wells), you can add a softener to your system and use the same brine tank, which helps make for a more compact overall unit that tackles two different problems at once.

Crystal Quest offers both a 48,000- and 60,000-grain softener so you can find the right capacity for your home. The higher the water use, and the higher the hardness of your water, the more capacity you will need.

Some things to keep in mind

One important thing to remember about the Crystal Quest Nitrate Whole House Water Filter is that it is specifically designed for nitrates and other agricultural by-products. If you have sulfur, iron, or manganese in your water, this won’t be your solution. If you do have these contaminants as well as high levels of nitrates, there are other filters on this list you should get in addition to this Crystal Quest unit.

Also, this product lacks some of the high-tech bells and whistles found on some of the other models I’ve reviewed, such as a programmable backwash cycle and Bluetooth control head. Instead, automatic backwashing occurs at regular intervals. You can set this based on your water consumption, but it makes for a slightly less efficient system compared to those that backwash based on actual water usage.

As a salt-based solution, a little bit of sodium will be added to your water. But very, very little. It will be unnoticeable for pretty much everyone. However, the backwashing solution, which is kept in a separate brine tank, does get flushed down the drain. Some areas do have limitations on briny discharges, so you may want to double-check before purchasing.

Lastly, the warranty on all Crystal Quest products is just one year. Considering the investment, we’d like to see more.

Final thoughts

Nitrates in high levels can make your well water unsafe to drink, but the Crystal Quest Nitrate Whole House Water Filter is an excellent solution that will remove these nitrates and deliver crystal clear drinking water.

Thanks to carbon block post-filtration, it’s also effective against herbicides and pesticides, which are often found alongside nitrates due to their agricultural applications. But because of the specific focus of this filter, it’s only useful if you have these contaminants, which is why you need to test your water. And as a well owner, you should be testing it once a year.

If you have tested and know you need to remove unhealthy nitrates, then get the Crystal Quest Nitrate Whole House Water Filter now.

Best Sediment Only Filter

SpringWell Sediment Filter Canister + 5 micron filter

The SpringWell Sediment Filter Canister + 5 micron filter is my top choice for a sediment filter for well water. If the only challenge you have with your well water is sediment, this is the best option for you.

Highlights include:

  • Ultra-fine 5-micron filter catches and removes nearly all sediment particles in your water.
  • Super simple design is easy to install and maintain.
  • Easily pairs with a larger whole-house filtration system.
  • Premium build quality makes for longer-lasting products.
  • Larger model is available for commercial applications.
  • Very affordable compared with similar products.
  • The 5-micron filter can get clogged if you have large particles of sediment in your well water.
  • The filter needs to be replaced every six months.

Who it’s for

The SpringWell sediment filter is for you if you have high levels of sediment in your well, such as dirt, dust, sand, clay, etc., but don’t really have any other contaminants to worry about.

If you do have other well water issues to deal with, this filter can be an effective pre-filter that serves as the first stage in your home water filtration system.

Why it’s the best

This SpringWell sediment filter takes home the prize as the best sediment filter mainly for its simplicity and price. There really isn’t a whole lot to this filter. It comes in a sturdy blue housing that mounts to a wall and connects to your main water line where it enters the home so that the water at every faucet is properly filtered.

The standard model can handle 20 gallons per minute, which is more than enough for even very large homes. Some people worry about pressure dropping with filters, but this is most certainly not the case with this filter.

If you need this filter for a commercial application, there is a larger model that can handle 35+ gpm, which is a ton and way more than is necessary for residential use.

When it comes time to change the filter, all you do is use the included wrench to loosen the bottom of the canister, take the filter out, and then pop a new one in. And that’s it.

Like most SpringWell products, this filter is backed by a lifetime warranty and a six-month money-back guarantee, though there’s really no reason why you would need to use either.

Lastly, it’s quite affordable. It provides all these benefits at a price that will fit pretty much any budget.

Some things to keep in mind

The main things to keep in mind about the SpringWell sediment filter is that it’s a very simple product designed for a specific purpose: trapping sediment.

If you’re worried about microbial contamination or heavy metals in your well, this will not do the trick. In such cases, this is an excellent pre-filter that can remove sediment before sending water to another filtration stage.

Also, the 5-micron filter size is great for catching all the small stuff. If you have exceptionally large sediment in your water, it’s going to clog up this filter and require you to change it out more frequently than the recommended six months.

If this is true for you (as determined by a water test), you’ll want to put a spin-down filter in front of this one to catch all the big stuff before the water gets to the 5-micron filter.

Considering each replacement filter costs around $40–$60, not doing this can cause the cost of ownership on this filter to go up pretty quickly.

Final thoughts

If all you need is to remove sediment from your water, or you’re looking for a high-quality pre-filter for your whole-house filtration system, the SpringWell sediment canister + 5 micron filter is an excellent choice.

Simplistic design combines with affordability to make an excellent product. I’ve done a comprehensive review of all the best sediment filters for well water if you want to check it out.

But if you know this is what you need, you can get the SpringWell sediment canister + 5 micron filter here.

The Bottom Line: The Best Whole-House Water Filter System for Wells

The best whole-house water filtration system for well water ultimately depends on what’s in your well. The SpringWell WS1 Whole House Well Filter System is my top choice and is going to fit the needs of most people. It tackles the most prominent well water contaminants: sulfur, iron, and manganese.

However, if you’re dealing with other contaminants, you will want to get a filter that matches those needs, such as the Aquasana Rhino Well Water with UV for microbial contaminants or the Crystal Quest Nitrate Whole House Filter for nitrates.

If you haven’t already tested your water, or you’re new to this whole process, we’ve got lots of resources to help you understand what to do next.

Research Methodology: How We Test and Review Products

With so many options to choose from, finding the best water filtration system for well water is not super easy. To do it right, you need a system. At Drinking Water, we use a seven-point research methodology to thoroughly analyze each and every product out there. We combine qualitative and quantitative data and source information from a wide variety of places.

All of this allows us to systematically narrow a massive group of choices down to a manageable list you can use.

Feel free to read all about how we review water filters. But in the meantime, here’s a summary of what goes into our reviews:

Use analysis

The first step in our process is to categorize the different options on the market based on their best use. This is particularly relevant for well water filter reviews such as this one since well water varies so widely and we need to be sure the products on the market can do the job you need it to do.

Learn more about how we conduct our use analysis.

Tech check

Beyond categorizing products based on their specific uses, we do a deep dive into the technology of each filter to make sure it can handle the job the manufacturer claims it can.

This industry is full of a lot of jargon, buzzwords, and, at times, pseudo-science, so we speak to industry professionals, scour existing literature, and even run tests ourselves to make sure the technology being used is suitable for the application at hand.

Learn more about the tech check portion of our review process.

Water test data

There’s nothing more important to a scientific investigation than data. Nothing beats empirical evidence when trying to prove or disprove claims. Therefore, when we’re reviewing data, we go out of our way to collect as much data as we can. Sometimes we get it from the manufacturer and then verify it on our own, but we can also get it from some of our other trusted partners.

When needed, we’ll run our own tests.

Learn more about how we collect and use water test data.

Installation test

While we don’t necessarily consider the need for professional installation to be a dealbreaker, we do look at what’s involved when we’re doing our reviews. We examine the materials provided by the manufacturer and compare it with what we know about installing water filters.

We give priority to companies that go out of their way to help you do it yourself or make it clear when a professional is needed.

Learn more about how we run our installation tests.

Cost-of-ownership analysis

As you probably know, whole-house water filters aren’t always cheap. In fact, they pretty much never are. Considering what’s at stake — clean drinking water for you and your family — it’s worth the investment. But we don’t want you wasting your money.

When we review products, we spend time calculating the overall cost of ownership of each product. This includes energy use, replacement filter media, maintenance costs, etc.

Learn more about how we conduct our cost-of-ownership analysis.

Warranty check

Because these products can be expensive, we give higher priority to companies who stand by what they sell and offer meaningful warranties. Of course, with warranties there are always fine print and limitations. We know you don’t have the time to search through all that, so we do it for you so that you know exactly what you’re getting before you make a purchase.

Learn more about how we do our warranty checks.

Customer service test

Lastly, when we recommend a company, we want to be sure we’re sending you to someone who is going to be there for you when you need them to. This is especially important considering the long-term commitment of buying a whole-house water filter.

Learn more about our customer service test.

Before You Buy a Whole-House Water Filtration System

If you’re new to the world of residential water filtration, let me introduce you to Johnny Pujol, a water quality engineer at Tap Score, one of our trusted partners.

According to Pujol, “With well water there is no regulatory oversight, so it’s up to each well user to ensure the water they are drinking is safe for their health. This means testing at least once a year because well water changes over time. Using laboratory testing is crucial since it’s the only way to get accurate results for low levels of toxic contaminants.”

As a private well owner, you are entirely responsible for the water that comes into your home. And if you’ve gotten to this point, you realize you need to filter it. But water filtration is a complex field that requires a focused approach to be successful.

In essence, filters are designed to filter different things out of the water. Some filters, such as carbon block filters, are really good at catching a lot of different contaminants. But no one filter is able to completely filter everything out of your water.

With a private well, there’s no way to know exactly what’s in your water without testing, and this means there’s really no way to know which filter is best for your home without testing.

To give you an idea, here are some of the more common contaminants in well water:

  • Hydrogen sulfide: Produced by sulfur bacteria, which aids in decomposition, hydrogen sulfide can get in your water and make it smell like rotten eggs. It’s not a health concern unless found in extreme levels, but the smell alone is an intolerable nuisance for most people.
  • Iron: Found in both insoluble (ferric) and soluble (ferrous) forms, iron can give your water a metallic taste, and turn it brown. It can also leave behind nasty stains on your tubs, sinks, sidewalks, etc., as well as on your clothes.
  • Manganese: Not harmful in low doses, manganese will also leave black streaks and stains on your fixtures, appliances, and clothes.
  • Magnesium and calcium: Known as hardness minerals, these are not harmful to consume, but they can be very annoying. Hard water prevents soap from lathering, which makes cleaning difficult. It also leads to scale buildup on your fixtures and appliances, lowering their overall lifespan. Many people also find it irritating on their skin.
  • Nitrates, herbicides, and pesticides: If you live in an agricultural area, chemicals used to promote crop growth can seep into groundwater and taint your well water. In very low levels, nitrates do not pose a risk. But above 10 mg/L it’s not safe for babies. Above 40 mg/L and the water is no longer drinkable.
  • Volatile organic compounds: This is a catch-all term for compounds that vaporize at room temperature and dissolve in water. Solvents, fuel oil, and industrial cleaners are some of the more common VOCs, though the list is endless. They can leak into wells from nearby industrial or agricultural applications, spills, leaky tanks, and more.
  • Bacteria, viruses, and protozoans: Often grouped together as “microbes,” these can make you sick. Wells are sealed to prevent these organisms entering the water supply, but the seals sometimes break, letting microbes into your water. It’s imperative you remove these before you drink water from your well.

Other well water contaminants include tannins, naturally occurring fluoride, arsenic and other heavy metals, and much, much more. Well water can sometimes also have a very low pH, which means it’s acidic and must be neutralized in order to drink.

The list just goes on and on.

The point of saying this is not to scare you. There are solutions available. Lots of them, many of which are on this very page. But to make sure you’re spending your money wisely, you need to test your water.

If you haven’t tested your water yet, start by bookmarking this page. Then, order yourself a test kit. When you get the results, come back to this page and you’ll be able to find exactly what it is you need to ensure your well water is clean and safe for you and your family.

For those who have already tested their water and are ready to find a solution, let’s get into it.

Back to product recommendations

Dive Deeper: In-Depth Water Filtration Guides

If you want to read even more about whole-house water filtration and treatment for private wells, here are some additional resources on this site:

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of water filter is best for well water?

The best water filtration system for well water is one specifically designed to filter out the contaminants present in your well water supply. Our top choice is the SpringWell WS1, but it’s designed to filter out sulfur, manganese, and iron. If you don’t have these in your water but have something else, the best filter for you will tackle these specific contaminants.

What is the best way to filter well water for drinking?

The best way to filter well water for drinking is to install a whole-house water filtration system. This filters water before it enters your home and ensures the water you get from each and every tap inside your house is properly filtered and safe to drink.

Do you need a whole-house filter for well water?

Most well water requires some sort of filtration, but you don’t necessarily need a whole-house filter for well water. While it’s preferred, you could also install a point-of-use water filter that delivers clean drinking water to one tap in your home. They are generally less expensive but also require you to remember to only drink from that one location.

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