Whole-house or point-of-entry (POE) filters are the ultimate in-home water treatment. They give you complete confidence that all of the water entering your home, whether it’s for the shower, laundry machine, or kitchen tap, meets the safety and aesthetic standards you need.

As for what those standards are—it really all depends on your water source. Drawing your supply from a private well? Then you’ll probably want to consider a multi-stage filter that includes mechanisms for removing bacteria and protozoa. Concerns about water purity? Then a reverse osmosis POE system might be for you. Perhaps you’re on city water, and are simply interested in premium taste and water softness across your whole home? 

Whatever you’re looking for from a POE filter, these systems provide the cutting edge in water treatment technology. Here are the best whole house water filters available to buy today.

Sale
Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System - Filters Sediment & 97% Of Chlorine - Carbon & KDF Home Water Filtration - EQ-1000, 10 Yr, 1 Million Gl
  • Clean, Great Tasting Water From Every Tap In Your Home - Removes 97% of chlorine and reduces harmful contaminants like lead, mercury, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, and more
  • High-Performance Filter System - Carbon & KDF filtration media engineered to maximize contaminant reduction while leaving healthy minerals in your water; This system will NOT reduce Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
  • Cost Efficient & Long Lasting - Clean water for less than $0. 01 a gallon - Save twice as much compared to other brands on purified water for 1 million gallons or 10 years
  • Easy Maintenance - No draining or back flushing needed - Easily replace pre and post filters every 3 months for best filtration and flow rate
  • Top-Grade Install Kit & Components - System includes filter tank, 20" pre-filter, post-filter, brass fittings for 1'' or 3/4'' pipes, bend supports, and shut-off valves – Item may ship in more than one box and may arrive separately
3M Aqua-Pure Whole House Sanitary Quick Change Water Filter System AP904, Reduces Sediment, Chlorine Taste and Odor, and Scale
  • CLEARLY GREAT WATER: This whole house water filter reduces sediment build-up, chlorine taste and odor as well as scale – helping to increase the life of hot water heaters and appliances (dishwashers, clothes washers, etc.).
  • EASY TO REPLACE: Sanitary Quick Change (SQC) design allows for fast and easy change-outs of the 3M Aqua-Pure AP917HD-S Replacement Water Filter Cartridge without having to contact the filter media or the need for a filter wrench.
  • 100,000 GALLON CAPACITY: Replacement cartridge has an activated carbon filter with nominal heavy duty particulate reduction rating of 5 micronss and a 100,000 gallon capacity at high flow rates of 10 gpm and even at intermittent peak flow rates of 20 gpm.
  • FLOW RATE: 1” inlet and outlet connections to help a plumbing professional with easy installation and peak flow rates up to 20 gpm to meet the water pressure demands of most homes.
  • CORROSION RESISTANT: 304 stainless steel head can be installed on existing copper pipes in the home. It consists of a corrosion resistant material that provides long service life. Fitting Type: NPT Female
APEC 3-Stage Whole House Water Filter System with Iron, Sediment and Chlorine Filters (CB3-SED-IRON-CAB20-BB)
  • 3-Stage system designed for water with light sediment, odor & staining concerns
  • 1st stage 30 micron reusable sediment filter is designed to reduce dirt, sand, silt & rust
  • 2nd stage high-capacity iron filter reduces red, orange & brown iron stains & metallic taste
  • 3rd stage 25 micron carbon filter delivers chlorine-free water to every outlet in the home
  • Pre-assembled complete system ready to mount, for years of cleaner water throughout the entire home

Remember

  • Not all whole-house filters are built equally. What contaminants a point-of-entry system can and can’t remove depends on the filter mechanisms which make up each stage of the filtration process. In general, expect to choose from any combination of sediment filters, reverse osmosis membranes, ultraviolet purifiers, carbon filters, and water softeners. Include all five, and there aren’t many water sources you couldn’t turn into a drinkable liquid!

  • Add the costs of installation, labor, and maintenance to the base price of a whole house filter, and prices can quickly escalate. For this reason, it’s important to be selective in what you’re looking for from a POR system, in terms of filtering power and price-point.

  • While many whole-house filters are primarily designed to target water taste, there are other, more wallet-friendly ways to improve the flavor and smell of your tap supply. Pitcher, countertop, and under-sink models will all filter for taste at a fraction of the cost. So, if you are interested in a whole-house system simply to improve taste, be sure to know your options.

Culligan WH-HD200-C Whole House Heavy Duty Water Filtration System, Clear
  • Whole house water filtration system with 1" stainless steel reinforced inlet/outlet connectors
  • Perfect for residential homes, helps protect appliances and pluming from sediment and scale
  • Features bypass shut off valve, integrated bracket design and battery operated filter change timer
  • Reduces: sediment, rust, scale, dirt, coarse sand, sand, fine sand, silt, bad taste, odor, aesthetic chlorine taste and odor (depending on filter cartridge)
  • The WH-HD200-C housing has been tested and certified by WQA against NSF/ANSI 372 for low lead compliance, CSA B483.1 and NSF/ANSI 42 for material safety and structural integrity requirements only

What is a whole-house filter—how do they differ from kitchen filters?

Unlike a water filter found inside your kitchen, whole-house filters are designed to treat your supply before it ever hits your tap. Generally, these systems are installed at the earliest possible point in your plumbing, where the main line enters your home, or after the pressure tank if you source your water from a well.

As said above, a whole-house filter may make use of a range of filtering mechanisms. But they also might use the same filtering process as most kitchen filters—that is, activated charcoal that adsorbs organic compounds like chlorine and Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs).

But even if a POE filter is filtering water in the same way as a standard Brita filter, the POE cartridge is going to be a lot bigger, meaning that water spends far more time in contact with the filtering element. Plus, that carbon may also be structured in a highly dense carbon block and treated with materials such as zinc, which allows whole-house carbon filters to expand their filtering credentials.

Why invest in a whole-house filter?

Even in highly developed countries, not everybody can trust in their local water supply. The EPA estimates that a little over 90% of Americans have access to regularly monitored clean drinking water from public sources, with over fifteen million people on private wells. Amongst private well users, a significant proportion are responsible (willingly or not)  for ensuring their own water safety.

Plus, as the lead pollution issues at Flint, Michigan, and other high profile cases have shown, there’s always a risk that public water treatment infrastructure may fail. For many people, this isn’t a chance they’re willing to take—and with the technology available to produce safe drinking water at home—more and more of us are making the decision to invest in a POE system.

For some homeowners, the need to install a whole-house filter is less of a choice than a necessity. For those private well users, getting the majority of their supply from groundwater significantly ups the probability of contamination, as pollutants seep into the earth from landfills, fuel runoff, farming, industry, and other urban causes.

Water softening

For many people, installing a whole-house water filter provides a suitable opportunity to add a water softener into their plumbing. Hard water (water with high magnesium and calcium levels) can cause a number of niggling issues in daily life, such as refusing to create soap suds, leaving mineral stains on kitchenware, and making hair and skin feel coarse.

Worse, calcium deposits from hard water can build up in pipes and appliances over time, reducing efficieny—although mineral-rich water may be slightly better for your health than soft water, as McGill University discusses in this article.

Most water softeners function by attracting and replacing the magnesium and calcium in water with sodium chloride (salt). The system will wash the active component in saltwater before running the tap supply through, using a process called ion exchange to soften it. Here’s our blog on What exactly is ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ water? for more info.

Purification vs filtration

It’s worth pointing out that not every component of a whole-house system actually filters your water. While ‘filter’ is a reasonable catch-all term, components using processes such as ultraviolet radiation are actually purifying water rather than filtering out contaminants.

UV systems are intended for use on water containing microorganisms—protozoa, bacteria, and viruses not safe for consumption. By blasting them with UV rays, these products deactivate pathogens, disrupting their cellular structure, but they don’t remove them from the water supply. This is why you’ll almost always see a UV purifier paired with some other form of filtration in a whole-house system.