A filter with a big blue housing will last ages. But picking the best big blue filter for well water is easier said than done.
Not all water filters are designed for use with well water because of the unique cocktail of contaminants that come direct from groundwater. So let’s narrow it down. With over 25 years of experience as a water purification expert, I’m here to provide you with expert analysis and guidance.
I’ve spent 10 months researching and testing various big blue water filters, talking to plumbers, and reading user manuals to find the best ones.
Here’s what I found.
1. Kind Water Big Blue Filter: 9.70/10
- Ideal Big Blue filter system for homes of all sizes
- Exceptional satisfaction guarantee and money-back guarantee
Kind Water’s E-1000 big blue filter is equipped to effectively filter the water supply for homes of all sizes and stands out from the competition with its exceptional satisfaction guarantee and money-back guarantee.
The Kind Water big blue water filter comes with the sturdy, leakproof big blue filter housing you’re looking for.
Its filter media cartridge is designed to remove sand, clay, dirt, herbicides, pesticides, nitric acid, lead, PFOA/PFOS, and other organic chemicals. You can easily find the list of contaminants this carbon filter can remove on Kind’s website and check out if it has the capacity to treat the type of pollutants present in your well water.
If you have bacterial contamination, you can get your water filter customized with a UV sterilizer. Or if you’re suffering from hard water issues, you can include a salt-free water softener in your arrangement.
This filter uses only certified components and is manufactured in the US, which says a lot about its durability and quality. According to the website, the Kind Water filter system is NSF certified against NSF/ANSI standards 42, 61, and 372.
Kind Water won’t ditch your warranty just because you decided to play handyman and install this system yourself. I’d say that’s really…kind. See what I did there? It’s pretty effortless to set up yourself, and it comes with comprehensive installation instructions.
I like that Kind Water’s sediment filter is washable and reusable, so you can extend its life and save some bucks.
But what really struck a chord with me is the lifetime warranty and 120-day satisfaction guarantee, during which you can return your unit or get a full refund. It’s great to have decent protection if you’re spending over a thousand dollars on a whole-house filtration system.
One knock against this filter is that it’s not designed to remove every single contaminant that could infiltrate well water. For example, it won’t remove heavy metals like iron and manganese, or serious well water contaminants like arsenic.
You may need to install a water softener or point-of-use reverse osmosis system depending on what you’re dealing with. I recommend having your water tested to know if you have any harmful contaminants to worry about.
However, carbon filters like the one in this water filter do a good job of removing organic compounds, microbial contamination, and some hard minerals, which are all common problems in well water.
The Kind Water big blue filter is an excellent choice if you want to eliminate organic pollutants, industrial chemicals, and microbial contamination originating from landfills and septic systems. With its impressive 15 GPM flow rate, you can simultaneously use multiple taps without experiencing any pressure drop.
You’ll appreciate the generous lifetime warranty and 120-day satisfaction guarantee. If you’re a fan of certified whole-house filters like myself, purchase the Kind Water whole-house filter here and begin clearing your water of lead and other concerns keeping you up at night.
2. US Water Systems Big Blue Triple Filtration System: 8.50/10
- Ideal for commercial applications due to its high flow rate.
- One year money-back guarantee so you have time to make sure this product is doing what you need.
US Water System’s big blue filter system has an enviable 25 GPM flow rate and super affordable price tag to make it one of the best whole-house water filters for well water.
What makes this filter unique is its super strong flow rate of 25 GPM, which is how this system is suitable for commercial applications as well as residential. At under $500, this is outstanding.
The big blue housing features all the benefits consumers have come to love about big blue, including ribs that make it even more resistant to water hammering. I appreciate how US Water Systems has engineered this product with remarkable precision, ensuring a lifetime free from leaks.
A leakproof seal and a buttress-thread design not only enhance the overall quality of the housing but also guarantee its durability. Plus, the housing is made of NSF-certified polypropylene, which provides safety against aggressive chemicals.
It’s quite easy to install if you have basic plumbing skills, which cuts down the cost needed to hire a plumber. And since the system uses standard-sized filter cartridges, you can even install off-brand cartridges to suit your needs.
US Water Systems is associated with WQA and has a A+ BBB accreditation. It tests your water and gives you the best solution based on the contaminants in your water.
You’ll also get an industry-leading 365-day satisfaction guarantee on the unit the company recommends based on your water test results. US Water Systems offers the longest money-back guarantee you can find on the market right now.
Although it offers a big satisfaction guarantee, the warranty on the US Water Systems big blue filter won’t knock you over. If you’re investing in a whole-house filter, you’d expect your system to have at least some warranty.
Even though the filter housing is made of certified materials, I couldn’t find any certifications on its filter cartridges, and since certifications are so common these days, it makes it look like the company is hiding something.
Water filter cartridges should typically last around a year for a four-person household, but US Water Systems is not very transparent about how long its filters last, which is a bit suspicious.
And lastly, this filter is not designed for microbial contamination in private wells. You’ll have to install another filter at the point of use to remove microbes from your drinking water.
US Water Systems’ big blue filter might be the filter for you if you have a large, multi-unit home/property and need to filter the entire water supply effectively and effeciently. If you’re okay with it not having certifications or a competitive warranty and can trust the year-long money back guarnatee, you can get the US Water System’s Big Blue filter here.
3. Crystal Quest Big Blue Whole House Water FIlter: 7.70/10
- Improves alkalinity and adds essential minerals
- Add-on leak detector hels prevent water waste
- More expensive than other comprable options
The Crystal Quest big blue filter is a standard “big blue” water filter that offers the added benefit of improvin your water’s pH and adding essential minerals to improve alkalinity. But because of these extra features, it’s more expensive than other models and only worth it if you want these extra perks.
What makes Crystal Quest’s big blue filter unique is an alkalizing filter that improves the pH of water. It neutralizes water acidity and also adds essential minerals in controlled concentrations. If you’re an enthusiast of alkaline water, this could be a deal maker.
The filter works effectively against the rotten egg smell that comes from hydrogen sulfide, pretty common in well water.
I like that Crystal Quest offers add-ons like a leak detector, which can halt the flow of water if it senses a water leak.
If you prefer not to drill holes for filter installation, you’ll like that this filter can be placed on a lightweight floor-mounted stand, sparing your walls from damage.
One big knock against the Crystal Quest big blue filter is its price. Besides the initial cost, which is actually quite reasonable, you will end up paying up to $500 on its annual cartridge replacements, which is higher than both Kind Water and US Water Systems. Plus, the stand is over $100 extra, which is a bit silly.
Crystal Quest offers just a one-year warranty, but unlike Kind Water and US Water Systems, you can’t install this unit yourself if you want the warranty. It’s only valid if you have a licensed plumber install your unit. This means you’ll need to allocate extra funds for hiring a plumber.
And lastly, its flow rate is incomparable to the huge flow rates offered by Kind Water and US Water Systems. In fact, at 4–6 gpm, this flow rate is not just inferior, it’s bad. US Water Systems’ filter has a higher flow rate and lower price.
The Crystal Quest big blue filter provides pure and clean water, but it comes with a hefty price tag because of its extra features. Additionally, given its high cost, one might anticipate a more robust warranty. However, regrettably, you only receive a 1-year warranty, with the condition that a licensed plumber must install your unit.
If a whole-house ionizer isn’t for you and you think you might like a small ionizing machine to go with your Kind Water whole-house filter for well water, check out my review of the best water ionizers.
4. Express Water Iron & Manganese Filter System
Express Water’s three-stage whole-house water filter system comes in five different variations, featuring a different filter media for each specific set of water contaminants.
If you’re on a well water supply, you’d most likely be dealing with iron, manganese, and other heavy metals. Express Water’s iron and manganese well water system is a great option for controlling the concentration of these pesky metals. Express Water is also well suited for lead, VOCs, and other organic pollutants.
One thing that makes this system unique is the transparent housing for the sediment filter, which allows you to visually inspect the sediment filter’s condition. When it’s full of dirt, silt, and other large particles — what sediment filters are designed to do — you know it’s time to change it. And you can see it working to protect the rest of your filter system!
Unfortunately, Express Water isn’t forthcoming with certification information about this well water filter system. The website displays test results for Express Water’s reverse osmosis system but remains silent on other filter cartridges. This leaves me questioning whether the other filters have undergone testing or certification at all — or worse, failed them.
Another concern is the relatively short filter lifespan. If your water quality is fairly good, Express Water filters water for 6–12 months. If your water is fairly contaminated, you’ll be buying replacement filters every few months.
Although you can find a comprehensive installation guide on the website, Express Water still recommends hiring a professional plumber to install the filter.
5. NuAqua 3-Stage Whole House Filter
The NuAqua whole-house filter, which can remove a host of well water contaminants, including sulfur, disinfectant by-products, and lead, is equipped with a high flow rate 15 GPM and suitable for up to five bathrooms.
Like US Water Systems, this, too, is a standard-sized filter that can fit off-brand big blue cartridges. It comes in a stainless-steel frame that makes it easy to mount or set up right on the floor.
The NuAqua filter also includes pressure gauges for each filtration stage. The gauges allow you to monitor the system’s performance and replace the cartridges when the performance begins to wane.
The 20-inch filter cartridges are easy to install and replace. Like Kind Water, NuAqua also provides a 120-day satisfaction guarantee, but you’ll only get a one-year limited warranty.
What appears somewhat suspicious is the absence of any certifications or test reports displayed on the website. Given that every brand is pursuing NSF certification, NuAqua should consider doing the same.
6. APEC Three-Stage Whole House Filter
The APEC big blue, like the Kind Water unit, has a washable and reusable sediment filter. But with a rating of 30 microns, it falls short of the 5-micron filters found in the top contenders on my list. In fact that’s quite big and a lot of sediment will make its way through.
However, this filter is good for heavy metals and hydrogen sulfide, so it’ll do a good job of keeping your water safe and tasting good.
You might find this filter attractive because of its price point, but be aware that you’ll need frequent filter replacements, which only add up to the total annual cost, ultimately making it an expensive choice.
The build quality of the APEC big blue filter is top-notch, though. These filters are manufactured with durable polypropylene, making them resistant to any damage caused by high water pressure, and assembled in the US.
The APEC website lacks clear certifications, though. However, since the big blue housing is the industry standard size, you can use any whole-house cartridges.
7. iSpring Whole House Water Filtration System
Like many big blue filters, the iSpring three-stage whole-house filter has a sediment filter as its first filtration step. But pay attention to which model you’re getting. You can end up with a 100-micron filter, which won’t do you much good.
One nice thing is that this filter can reduce iron and manganese concentration to 0.01 PPM.
The unit’s flow rate ranges between 4–8 GPM, which is relatively low compared to my top contender. But considering its price, it’s decent enough for a small house with one to two bathrooms.
While the brand asserts that its filters can endure for 12 months, you’ll need to replace them sooner than that, especially if you have more than mildly contaminated well water. However, like US Water Systems, iSpring’s big blue filter housing uses standard-sized cartridges, which means you can also fit off-brand cartridges.
iSpring is all about DIY installation. You can easily assemble and install this filtration system without needing a professional’s help.
Downsides to consider, in addition to frequent filter replacement, include a lackluster customer service department and only minimal removal of hard water minerals. For extreme hard water, you’ll need to install a water softener.
8. Aquaboon 3-Stage Filters
The Aquaboon three-stage whole-house water filter is a popular model that features a spin-down filter to extend the system’s lifespan. Aquaboon calls this filtration system “portable,” which I think is a pretty odd flex. Where will you be taking it?
Aquaboon big blue filter housings can fit standard-sized cartridges from many brands, such as Aquapure, Pentek, iSpring, and American Plumber.
The instructions for installation were not great, but I was able to find my way around it once I contacted their customer service. You’d also need a lot of Teflon tape to keep it from leaking, which is an additional chore.
I couldn’t find any certifications or warranty on this unit, which is why I had to rank it so low. In fact, the company’s page instructs customers to contact the company directly for more info about warranties. Odd. You can return this filter system within 30 days of receiving it if you’re not satisfied.
The Bottom Line
Look, big blue filter housings are all pretty much the same. They’re made of strong plastic and they fit a wide variety of cartridges. It’s what’s beyond the big blue that matters. And after 10 months of research, I can firmly declare that Kind Water is the top contender among big blue filters for well water.
It removes a variety of contaminants found in well water like debris, clay, rust, PFOS/PFOA, herbicides, pesticides, organic pollutants, microbial contamination, and hard minerals. You can customize it with a UV filter and a salt-free softener according to your needs.
This filter is NSF certified against NSF 42, 62, and 372 standards and is built in the US. Installation is quite straightforward, and you can install it yourself without sacrificing your warranty. With a strong flow rate of 15 GPM, you will never face a drop in water pressure again.
And what’s best is that Kind Water provides a whopping lifetime warranty and 120-day satisfaction guarantee.
I bet you’re curious about how I picked my eight favorite big blue water filters from the sea of options out there. Well, let me break it down for you in this section.
Step 1: A list of big blue filters for well water
To kick off my research, I began by compiling a big list of the most well-known big blue water filters available in the market. I combed through online platforms like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and various discount water filter dealers, and even checked out a few local marketplaces. I specifically selected the ones with the highest sales and most reviews.
To further fine-tune my list, I sought input from my family, reached out to some friends, and even had a chat with a local plumber.
Step 2: Product analysis
Before I started rating these products, I wanted to get a better grasp of the topic. So, I did some digging to find out what big blue filters are and why they’re worth considering. I also learned how long a filter cartridge should last and what contaminants it can remove from the water.
The term “big blue” comes from the fact that the filter housing is, well…big and blue. These systems can accommodate larger filter cartridges, usually 4.5 inches in diameter, compared to the standard 2.5-inch cartridges.
Water filters used to come in a standard 10” size, so when the big blue filters emerged onto the market, with their taller sizes and larger ports, they took the industry by storm. Now, these filter systems can accommodate not only bigger homes with larger families, but industrial facilities as well.
After I understood big blue filters, I searched for other quality factors that determine the best filter for a household. Turns out there are many, including filtration efficiency, flow rate, durability, filter life, micron rating, and NSF certifications.
This led me to the difference between well water and city water. A lot of these filters are designed for both, but some filters focus on chlorine and chloramines, which aren’t a problem for well systems. I needed to make sure each model was an appropriate filter for well water.
Step 3: Online reviews
Next, I went to legitimate review websites to check out what real customers were saying. It took some time, but I was able to jot down the good and bad stuff about each filter I had my eye on. I even got in touch with a few folks who’d used them to help with the next part of my research.
While I was digging around, I stumbled upon a bunch of fake and paid reviews. That was a red flag, albeit a common one, and I removed those brands right off my list. No room for shady marketing tricks in my research. I needed the truth.
Step 4: Interviews with real customers
To avoid those fake reviews, I reached out to a handful of customers directly to get the lowdown on their experiences with these filters. Some were super happy with their water filters, while others had a lot of bad things to say about the brand they had gone with.
This part of the process turned out to be very informative. In fact, a few awesome folks even invited me over to their places so I could see the filters in action. Big thanks to them.
At the end of this step, I removed a few whole-house water filter systems with the poorest efficiency from my list.
Step 5: Interview with companies
While I was chatting with customers, I noticed that some of them weren’t happy with their filters and had a tough time reaching out to the manufacturers to address their concerns. That got me thinking: Maybe I should reach out to the brands on my list and evaluate their customer service as part of the ranking process.
I sent out some pretty tough questions to these brands via email, digging into their certifications, warranties, and product quality. Some brands came through with prompt responses, but others totally ghosted me. And you bet I factored that into my ranking.
Step 6: Test drives
Now, onto my favorite part! I rented some big blue whole-house water filtration systems and purchased others, and we got to work setting up a testing scheme in my home. The setup process was a bit tedious, but thanks to my friend Paul, we managed to get it done. Thanks Paul, you’re the best.
Over the course of three months, I put each filter on my list to test using well water. During this period, I closely monitored their filtering efficiency, flow rate, ease of maintenance, and installation process. To check the quality of the filtered water, I also used an at-home water testing kit.
Step 7: Ratings
Now that I had all the information I needed to rank my products, I donned my spectacles, fired up an Excel spreadsheet, and began inputting all the details. I assigned scores to each filter based on the following criteria:
- Test results
- Filtration performance
- Filter design
- Filter cost
- Ease of maintenance
- Ease of installation
- Flow rate
- Customer reviews
- Certifications and warranties
The Best Big Blue Filter for Well Water
Big Blue water filters are known for their strong flow rate and leak-free durability, serving a wide range of uses from homes to industries. Kind Water’s big blue water filter housing excels in all these aspects, making it the top choice for the best Big Blue filter. And to top it off, Kind’s filter cartridge is excellent at removing inorganic and organic contaminants from your water.
Here are a few features that this Kind Water filter offers:
- NSF=certified components
- 15 GPM flow rate
- Removal of dirt, herbicides, pesticides, microbes, VOCs, PFOA/PFOS, and organics
- Easy maintenance
- Lifetime warranty and 120-day satisfaction guarantee
Choose Kind Water’s whole-house well water filtration system for a hassle-free solution to eliminate common pollutants from your private well water from a company you can trust.
If you liked this review, you should read my other water filtration system reviews. Big blue aren’t the only filters out there. Read my article about the best whole-house filters for well water for more information about whole-house filtration. And you should probably read my well water filters buying guide. There’s a lot of stuff in there you should know about well water.
Looking for different choices when it comes to well water filters? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at these reviews that highlight the best well water filters for your needs: