If you’re one of the many homeowners relying on a well for their water supply, you likely know that while well water can be a pristine source of hydration, it often comes with its own unique set of challenges.
From sediment and iron to sulfur and bacteria, ensuring your well water is clean, safe, and palatable must be a top priority.
That’s where inline water filters come to the rescue! I’ve researched inline water filters and created this list based on expert reviews, customer feedback, and my own tests.
Whether you’re looking for a cost-effective option or a high-capacity filter, this list has an inline filter for you. Let’s dive in.
1. Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under the Sink Water Filter System: 9.45/10
- Overall best inline water filter
- Price: $495
The Clearly Filtered three-stage water filter is the best inline water filtration system on the market. Its three-stage filtration removes over 365+ contaminants, including heavy metals, pollutants, pathogens, and chemicals.
First of all, the Clearly Filtered Water Filter System works. Its three-stage system includes a sediment pre-filter effective at removing larger particles, such as sand, silt, and rust, commonly found in well water. This pre-filter does a good job protecting the subsequent filters and prolonging their lifespans.
The second stage features an activated carbon filter. Carbon filters attract contaminants like a magnet, which is how this system removes heavy metals, some volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and certain odors and tastes from your tap water.
The third stage of this system utilizes Clearly Filtered’s proprietary Affinity Filtration Technology. This dual-filtration approach applies a combination of mesh, granular, and block filtration to remove fluoride without removing essential minerals. You may not think you have to worry about fluoride on well water, but that’s not true.
The Clearly Filtered three-stage filter system is easy to install. In fact, my installation took less than 30 minutes. It comes with all the necessary hardware and instructions to install the system, including the filter unit, tubing, and connectors, so you can set up the system without purchasing additional hardware.
Unlike under-sink reverse osmosis systems, this inline water filter is designed to filter water without wasting it. You also don’t need to remineralize the filtered water, since the filter retains the necessary minerals like calcium and magnesium.
While Clearly Filtered carries out its own independent tests, this inline filter is also tested by the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) to ensure it adheres to industry standards.
The Clearly Filtered inline filter used to cost $550. However, with Clearly Filtered’s “Autoship & Save 10%” feature, you can save 10% on all replacement filter purchases, all at the discounted price of $495. This subscription service automatically delivers replacement filters to customers on a regular schedule so they never have to worry about running out of filters.
Customers can choose the delivery schedule that works best for them, whether that’s every three months, six months, or some other interval. For your peace of mind, the manufacturer also throws in a lifetime limited warranty and a “no questions asked” 30-day worry-free trial, which means customers can return the product for any reason within 30 days.
Into every life a little rain must fall. As such, there are a few drawbacks to the Clearly Filtered filter.
First of all, the replacement filters can be expensive, particularly if you don’t sign up for the autoship subscription service. Since the filter cartridges in the Clearly Filtered filter system have a lifespan of six months, which is average, the expense could build up.
Second, some customers have reported that the Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Water Filter System reduces the flow rate, particularly for cold water. You may need to adjust your well pump’s pressure settings. However, this is due to the superior filtration. The better the filtration, the slower the flow.
Lastly, I can’t deny this system is not among the cheapest on this list. But water filters are an investment, especially for those who can’t rely on the city to treat their water.
Overall, the Clearly Filtered three-stage inline filter system is highly effective at filtering well water. In addition to its three stages, it’s easy to install and it won’t take up a lot of space or waste water.
If you like the 30-day free trial, lifetime warranty, and hassle-free filter replacements, purchase the Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Water Filter System today.
2. Waterdrop Under Sink Ultrafiltration Water Filter: 9/10
- Best for long filter life
- Price: $97.79
The Waterdrop Under Sink Ultrafiltration Water Filter can last as long as two years.
The Waterdrop under-sink water filter has a filtration capacity of up to 24,000 gallons, which means that it can provide safe and clean drinking water for up to 24 months before needing to be replaced. You read that right. This is one of the longest filter lifespans in the inline water filter market.
The Waterdrop’s four-stage filtration process starts with a sediment pre-filter. This protects the other filters in the system and helps them last longer. The ultrafiltration membrane has a filtration accuracy of 0.01 microns and removes up to 99% of contaminants, including bacteria, viruses, lead, and other impurities.
The activated carbon filter removes hydrogen sulfide and its resulting bad taste and odor from the water, while the post-activated carbon filter further improves the taste and quality of the water by removing any lingering chemicals.
This inline water filter is designed for easy DIY installation and comes with all the necessary hardware and instructions. In fact, Waterdrop claims you can install this filter within three minutes without any professional assistance. I have a curious dog who likes to “help,” so it took me five.
At under $100, this system is more than reasonably priced for the performance it delivers. It also comes with a one-year warranty and lifetime customer support. This presumably assures customers that the system is backed by manufacturer confidence.
While the Waterdrop Under Sink Ultrafiltration Water Filter has an extended filter life of up to 24,000 gallons, or 24 months, replacement filters can be expensive if purchased outside the manufacturer’s website.
Also, this filter may not remove all contaminants, including TDS (total dissolved solids). It’s advisable to test your well water before you make a purchase. Certain contaminant levels may require a more sophisticated system.
While the one-year warranty and lifetime customer support are welcome at this price point, they don’t come close to the lifetime warranty and hassle-free filter replacements you get with the Clearly Filtered inline water filter. And what is “lifetime customer support” anyway? Does that just mean you can call them and they’ll talk to you? Awesome. But will they fix your unit for free?
Overall, the Waterdrop under-sink water filter is an effective and well-priced water filtration system that is easy to install and comes with an extended filter life. With its ability to remove a wide range of contaminants and provide safe and clean drinking water, this system is a great investment for anyone looking for a reliable water filtration solution.
If you are looking for an inline water filter that will be the last line of defense against the contaminants in your well water, the Waterdrop Under Sink Ultrafiltration Water Filter is a worthy choice.
3. Epic Smartshield Under-Sink Water System: 8.8/10
- Best value for money
- Price: $108.00
The Epic Smartshield Under-Sink water filter can remove sediment as small as 0.5 microns and has a long filter life.
This inline filter uses a 0.5-micron ultrafiltration membrane to remove up to 99% of contaminants, including lead, hydrogen sulfide, cysts, mercury, turbidity, VOCs and other impurities. Unlike other inline water filters that remove beneficial minerals, the Epic Smartshield retains naturally occurring minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
This system has been third-party tested by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials, IAPMO, to ensure it removes over 70+ contaminants in water without a drop in filtration capacity.
The system has a long filter lifespan of up to 9–12 months, which is better than average. And when it is time to replace the filters, a Clear Water Club Subscription allows customers to save on replacement filters. Just by paying the initial cost of $108, customers can save up to 20% on replacement filters for their Epic Smart Shield system.
This subscription service delivers replacement filters to customers on a regular schedule, so you never have to worry about running out of filters. It also comes with a one-year warranty.
The Epic Smart Shield under-sink water filter system may not remove all contaminants in well water. It’s advisable that for efficient filtration, you install a whole-house water filtration system between your well system and your Epic inline water filter.
Another downside is that depending on the level of contamination in your well water, you might need to change filters more frequently than the stipulated 9–12 months, taking the filter lifespan down to just average. For average lifespan but better filtration, go for the Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Filter.
The Epic Smart Shield system is an affordable solution for keeping well water contaminants at bay. It may not have the filtration capacity compared to the first two entries on this list, but coupled with a whole-house water filtration system, it can provide highly filtered water at the faucet while retaining the necessary minerals.
The Clear Water Club Subscription is a convenient and cost-effective way to keep your Epic Smart Shield under-sink water filter system running smoothly.
If you’re in the market for an effective and affordable inline water filter, the Epic Smart Shield under-sink water filter system is a good choice.
4. Pureal Hybrid Home Under Sink Water Filter System
The Pureal Hybrid Home Under Sink Water Filter System applies a five-stage filtration process that includes sediment, carbon block, mineral ball ceramics, KDF, and polyphosphate filters. This makes it highly effective at removing a wide range of contaminants, including rust, dust, bad taste, odor, heavy metals, and scale.
The system has a filtration capacity of up to 20,000 gallons, which means it can provide clean drinking water for up to two years before needing replacement. It has a fast and stable water flow rate of up to 1.5 gallons per minute, minimizing flow rate loss commonly seen with water filters.
The Pureal inline water filter has been third-party tested to NSF 42 & 372 standards, ensuring it meets strict standards for performance and safety. Like most inline water filters on my list, it’s available with a one-year warranty.
There are a few cons to consider before purchasing this filter. It occurred to me during the testing phase that this $79.99 inline water filter shares the same filtration ability with the Epic Smartshield. However, they don’t offer any discounts or filter replacement programs.
Some users have also reported that the Pureal water filter reduces the pressure of their water at the faucet. This can be a concern for those who need high water pressure for certain tasks, or those who just don’t have a lot of patience.
Overall, the Pureal Hybrid Home Under Sink Water Filter System is a cheaper alternative to the Epic Smart Shield, but if you really need a more precise filtration solution as well as an extra-long filter life, there’s always the Waterdrop Ultrafiltration System.
5. Watts Inline Water Filter
The Watts Inline Water Filter uses granular activated carbon (GAC) technology to remove common water contaminants, including hydrogen sulfide and sulfur bacteria, and sediment. They work by adsorbing impurities onto the surface of the carbon particles.
While the primary focus of this filter is improving taste and odor by removing chemicals and other organic compounds, it may not be as effective at removing certain heavy metals or specific contaminants as other specialized inline water filters.
It’s a very popular inline filter with over 2,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, which shows that most users are satisfied with its performance. However, there are a few cons you need to consider.
Some customers have reported issues with the installation process and compatibility with certain water lines which can be a concern for those who are not experienced with DIY installations or have specific water line requirements. Others have reported that the filter may need to be replaced more frequently than other filters. The flow rate can also be lower than expected.
The Watts Inline Water Filter is certified by NSF 42, but for true peace of mind, you may be better off with the Clearly Filtered system.
6. ICEPURE Under Sink Water Filter System
The ICEPURE Under Sink Water Filter System has a filtration accuracy of 0.5 microns, which makes it highly effective at removing a wide range of contaminants, including sulfides, sediment, and other impurities in well water.
This manufacturer claims this inline water filter has a filtration capacity of up to 22,000 gallons and can last as long as three years. I’m skeptical. Considering its high flow rate of 2.5 GPM, it’s no wonder it lasts so long; it’s not filtering anything. In contrast, the Waterdrop has a flow rate of .75 GPM.
After extensive research, I’ve concluded that the Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Water Filter System is the best inline water filter for well water on the market.
It uses a three-stages of sediment, activated carbon, and fluoride removal filters that remove a wide range of contaminants, including sulfides, sediment, fluoride, and other impurities present in well water.
Other amazing features and benefits include no demineralization, a lifetime warranty, third-party testing, quick installation, a 30-day worry free trial, and hassle-free filter replacements.
While you might need to replace the filters frequently based on the contaminant level in your well water, thanks to the Clearly Filtered subscription, you’ll get your filter replacements exactly when you need them.
If you’re in the market for an effective inline filter for your well water, stop buying bottled water and buy the Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Water Filter System today.
This section describes how I ended up with this list of the six best inline water filtration systems.
Step 1: A big list of all available products
To begin my research process, I needed to identify the major brands in the inline water filter industry. This meant hours of scouring popular retail sites and putting up a list of the most popular brands in each platform.
I also compared inline filters with other water filters on the market to ensure I understood which features I needed to look out for in an inline filter. To broaden my scope of research, I also spoke with a few water treatment specialists. In the end, I had accumulated a list of over 20 distinct models of inline water filters.
Step 2: Online reviews
Reading consumer reviews for the most popular inline filters in the US was the next step. This included filters with various filtering capacities and features, including activated carbon filtration and remineralization features.
Analyzing user feedback is critical if you want to know how a product actually performs outside of its marketing. Therefore, I spent many hours exploring websites such as Consumer Reports, Amazon, and manufacturer websites trying to figure out what users had to say about the products on my list. After removing the products with a high number of unfavorable reviews from my list, I was able to whittle down the list to 13 models.
Step 3: Product/service analysis
I needed to ask myself important questions about the items I was researching if I wanted a greater understanding of the qualities and features to look for in inline water filters. Here are some examples:
- What type of contaminants do inline water filters remove?
- How do inline water filters compare to other water filtration systems?
- Does the use of an inline water filter affect water supply?
- What are the common filter media used in inline water filters?
- Do inline filters remove foul water taste and odor?
- How long does it take to replace an inline water filter cartridge?
- Do you need to hire professional help to install an inline water filter system?
- How does a granular activated carbon filter differ from other filtration technologies?
With questions like these, I was able to establish some baseline criteria, and any inline water filtration system that did not meet at least 80% of the requirements on my checklist was ruled out.
Step 4: Speaking with real customers
Online reviews can be scammy. It was time to contact real consumers to find out how they liked these filters. So with the help of a few friends, I devised a questionnaire survey that covered a 10-mile radius around our home. We talked to our neighbors and also to shoppers at the local malls and home improvement stores.
I also sought advice from numerous water treatment retailers and professional plumbers. It was a costly and time-consuming endeavor, but it paid off in the end.
Step 5: Interviews with manufacturers
I was interested to know whether any third-party certifications or independent testing had been performed on these inline water filters. Certifications are common, so any system that doesn’t have one is immediately sus.
I contacted each manufacturer and requested certification confirmation for each model on my list. After a week, just a handful had replied to my email. Those that did not respond had their models removed from my records.
Step 6: Test drives
This would be the most important test I ran so far. In order to speak with authority on the subject of inline water filters for well water, I needed to carry out my own tests. This meant acquiring all the inline water filters in my list and testing each out for a week.
So I contacted a few water treatment resellers in my area and rented a few systems. Of course not all systems could be leased out, so I had to fork out some money to purchase the remaining systems.
Next, I tested each unit using my own well water, paying close attention to the quality of the filtered water. This whole endeavor took the better part of three weeks. In the end, I had a list of six products that checked all the boxes on my quality test list.
Step 7: Ratings
For the final step, I needed to rank the six models on a spreadsheet based on the criteria I had developed:
- Water quality after filtration
- Flow rate
- Filter capacity
- Filter life
- Contaminant removal efficiency
- Warranty and customer support
- Offers and discounts
- Inline water filter reviews from users
- Ease of installation
- Availability of replacement cartridges
The Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Water Filter System is the best inline water filter for well water on the market. This highly effective and affordable water filtration system will provide safe and clean drinking water for homeowners who rely on well water as their primary source of drinking water.
Some of its key features include a three-stage filtration process that includes sediment, activated carbon, and fluoride removal filters, a filtration capacity of up to 10,000 gallons, and easy DIY installation.
Additionally, the Clearly Filtered filter system is certified by the NSF, ensuring that it meets strict standards for performance and safety. The lifetime warranty, free trial period, and hassle-free filter replacements are a welcomed bonus.
With its ability to remove a wide range of contaminants and provide safe and clean drinking water, this system is a great investment for anyone looking for a long-term water filtration solution.
If you are looking for an inline water filter for well water that is hassle-free, effective, and fits snuggly under your kitchen sink, check out the Clearly Filtered 3-Stage Under-the-Sink Water Filter System today.
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