6 Best Whole-House Iron Filters for Well Water: Reviewed & Ranked (2024)

Reviewed by: James Layton
Updated on:
March 7, 2024

I’ve teamed up with James Layton, our water guru with over 25 years’ experience in the water treatment industry, to conduct a thorough review of over 30 iron filters for well water and came up with a list of the top six products that deliver on their promises.

Our meticulous seven-point review methodology means our recommendations truly are the best. The SpringWell WS Series earns the top spot as the best whole-house iron filter system for well water. But it’s not your only option. Perhaps the best budget system or the best for extreme iron levels is more your speed. For background on iron filters, check out our “before you buy” section before committing to a system. Here are the best iron filters for the whole house.

Best Overall Whole-House Iron Filter: SpringWell WS Series 9.7/10

  • Effectively removes traces of iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide
  • Works on ferrous, ferric, and organic iron.
  • Bluetooth remote monitoring and control make management easy.
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty and money-back guarantee.
  • Installation and maintenance are simple and straightforward.
  • Greensand backwash keeps the filter media clean.
  • Two available models fit small or large homes.
  • Not a solution for extreme iron
  • Limited additional contaminant removal

The SpringWell WS Series Whole House Well Water Filter is the best iron filter on the market because of its efficient iron removal and modern digital and Bluetooth control, all backed by a lifetime warranty. 

PROS

Here are five reasons why the SpringWell WS Series is the best iron removal solution for most private well owners:

Pro 1/5: Effective iron removal 

The number one benefit of the SpringWell WS Series Whole House Well Water Filter is its superior iron removal. It features an AIO (air injection oxidation) system designed to effectively remove up to 7 ppm (parts per million) of ferric, ferrous, and organic iron, 8 ppm of hydrogen sulfide (sulfur), and 1 ppm of manganese from well water. 

Here’s how it works: AIO systems maintain an “air pocket” at the top of the tank. As water passes through, the air pocket oxidizes the iron, sulfur, and manganese, which turns them into solid particles. The greensand fusion filter bed traps the particles, and the backwash cycle then flushes the greensand clean of the contaminants so it’s ready to catch more. 

Say goodbye to metallic-tasting water and stains on your fixtures, laundry, and dishes — the WS Series takes care of these nuisances effortlessly.

Pro 2/5: Bluetooth remote monitoring and control

The second feature that stands out on the WS Series is the Bluetooth control head that connects to your phone via the SpringWell Water Smart App.

With this techno-savvy feature you can remotely monitor and control the system’s operations. That includes managing backwashing cycles to optimize efficiency, monitoring water pressure and your entire water system, and checking and changing the settings on your valves, all from your smartphone or tablet. It is user friendly and intuitive, making it easy for even the technophobes among us to operate.

This “set-it-and-forget-it” system lets you control and manage the system from anywhere, which helps you concentrate on other important tasks. If you enjoy the convenience of technology in other aspects of your life, the SpringWell WS Series lets you carry that over into your water treatment management as well.

Pro 3/5: Two different models with different flow rates

A third benefit to the SpringWell Whole House Well Water Filter is that it’s available in two sizes — the WS1 and the WS4 — so you aren’t limited to a system that’s too small or too big for your home.

The main difference between the two models is their size and flow rate. The WS1 is suitable for one to three bathrooms and has a 12 gpm (gallons per minute) flow rate, while the WS4 is designed for homes with more than four baths and comes with a 20 gpm flow rate. Both models use the same highly effective AIO filtration technology. 

Since most US homes have between one and three bathrooms, the WS1 is the perfect size for most people. But if you have higher water demands or a particularly large home, the extra model in the WS4 means you can still achieve clean water throughout your home without compromise. Visit the SpringWell WS Series page to learn which model will suit your home.

Pro 4/5: Easy maintenance and installation

Fourth, installing and maintaining the SpringWell WS Series won’t give you trouble. A DIY-friendly installation and virtually no maintenance make it a top choice for modern water treatment. 

Installation is straightforward, courtesy of the detailed installation instructions and YouTube video tutorials. All the necessary components arrive with the system ready to be installed right away. As for maintenance, the WS Series is virtually maintenance-free. It automatically backwashes and regenerates without manual assistance. In addition, it features a slow-release mechanism for compressed air before the backwash cycle begins, eliminating the loud bangs common in similar systems. The best part is that the filtration media can last 15–20 years before it needs replacement. 

If you want to avoid complex installation, on-going filter replacement costs, and regular filter changes, you’ll appreciate that the WS Series whole-house water filter has none of that fuss.

Pro 5/5: Lifetime warranty

The fifth and final pro of the SpringWell WS Series well water filter system is its robust lifetime warranty and six-month money-back guarantee. Finding a whole-house filter for your well system isn’t easy or cheap. The last thing you want is to go through all of that only to run into maintenance issues a year or two later.

You don’t have to worry about that with SpringWell. Its lifetime warranty covers the tanks, valves, housings, and other covered items, ensuring that the filter lasts and performs well throughout its lifetime. This warranty is subject to certain limitations and responsibilities, but it’s the best warranty in the industry. Additionally, the system is backed by a six-month money-back guarantee, so you can even return the filter for a full refund within this period in the unlikely scenario that you’re not satisfied with its performance. 

The warranty and guarantee prove SpringWell is confident you will love the WS Series whole-house well water filter and that it will last longer than other leading models.

CONS

While the SpringWell Whole House Well Water Filter boasts impressive features, it’s essential to consider a couple of drawbacks:

Con 1/2: Not a solution for excessive iron levels 

First, while the SpringWell WS Series effectively removes iron, sulfur, and manganese from well water, it may not be the best solution for very high levels of iron.

The SpringWell WS Series is capable of removing up to 7 ppm of iron, 8 ppm of hydrogen sulfide, and 1 ppm of manganese from water. While this makes it effective for 90% of households with private wells, there are certain areas in the US, such as eastern North Carolina, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Eastern Pennsylvania, where well water may contain higher-than-average levels of iron. 

It’s important to test your water first before purchasing this system so you know exactly how tough of a system you need. If your test confirms high levels of iron, you may need to invest in the SoftPro Iron Master AIO Water Filtration System, which can filter up to 30 ppm of iron.

Con 2/2: Doesn’t address other harmful contaminants in well water

Second, despite the fact that it’s called a whole-house well water filter, the WS Series does not address other harmful contaminants that may be present in well water, such as bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, radionuclides, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), or minerals that cause hard water. It does come with a sediment filter that protects the latter stages from clogs due to large sediment, but that’s the extent of its additional filtration.

Therefore, users may need to consider additional water treatment solutions. A water softener can help reduce water hardness, while a reverse osmosis system can effectively remove a wide range of contaminants, including pesticides, heavy metals, and VOCs. A UV purifier can provide an additional layer of protection by inactivating microorganisms present in the water.

If you have hard water, have a look at our review of the best water softeners. We also have reviews of the best reverse osmosis systems and the best UV purifiers that can help you customize your water treatment. 

OVERALL: 9.7/10

The SpringWell WS Series is the best overall iron filter for well water because it combines effective iron removal with the latest digital features and an industry-leading warranty. 

Its combination of AIO and greensand takes on iron while also tackling manganese and hydrogen sulfide. The interactive Bluetooth control adds a touch of modern convenience, and the lifetime warranty and money-back guarantee showcase SpringWell’s confidence in its product. While it may not be the solution to extreme iron levels, the WS Series’ robust performance, longevity, and minimal maintenance make it the go-to for the majority of homeowners dealing with iron in their well water.

Don’t compromise on quality — take the first step toward cleaner, iron-free water by investing in the SpringWell WS Series Whole House Well Water Filter today.

OR…

If you’d like more information about the WS Series from SpringWell, read my full review of the WS1 and WS4.

Best Iron Filter for Extreme Levels of Iron: SoftPro Iron Master 9.5/10

  • Removes up to 30 ppm of iron in well water.
  • Also removes manganese and hydrogen sulfide.
  • Raises the pH of acidic water.
  • Digital control valve features the latest tech.
  • Installation and maintenance are simple and low-key.
  • Includes a lifetime warranty and 6-month guarantee.
  • Three models are available to fit households of all sizes.
  • Costly Katalox Light replacement media
  • Limited contaminant removal

The SoftPro Iron Master AIO Water Filtration System is the best solution for extremely high-level iron removal in well water because it can eliminate up to 30 ppm of iron with its cutting-edge Katalox Light filter media.

PROS

Here are six reasons why the SoftPro Iron Master AIO Filtration System is a popular choice for homeowners dealing with high levels of iron, sulfur, and manganese in their well water:

Pro 1/6: Effective water treatment

The first and most important task of any filtration system is to effectively and reliably filter what it promises, and the Iron Master delivers. It uses a combination of AIO filtration and high performance Katalox Light media to effectively remove 30 ppm of iron (more on that later), 7 ppm of manganese, and 5 ppm of hydrogen sulfide in well water.

The AIO system works by supplementing oxygen to incoming water via a bubble of compressed air. The oxygenated water then passes through a Katalox Light media bed, where the iron, sulfur, and manganese are removed. As a bonus, the system also raises the pH of acidic water to 7.0 or higher, restoring healthy minerals and producing a balanced alkalinity, which is beneficial for overall water quality.

If your water test reveals not only very high iron concentrations but other contaminants as well, you’ll appreciate the effective and reliable filtration of the SoftPro Iron Master whole-house filter.

Pro 2/6: Programmable control valve with LCD screen

The second advantage of the SoftPro whole-house system for iron is a programmable control head with an LED intuitive interface for easy customization and monitoring.

The control valve, known as the SoftPro Elite, serves as the central brain of the system, managing various functions to ensure efficient water treatment. It initiates automatic backwashing cycles to clean the filter media, schedules regeneration cycles, and allows users to monitor system performance and detect anomalies. You can also adjust the settings yourself through the LCD control panel, including the vacation-mode feature, which pauses regeneration while you’re away and will only do so after seven days to keep bacteria from growing in the tank.

This smart valve updates extreme iron filtration for the 21st century user. If you like smart tech features, you won’t go wrong with the SoftPro Iron Master.

Pro 3/6: Lifetime warranty

The third pro of the SoftPro Iron Master AIO Filtration System is a robust limited lifetime warranty, along with a six-month money-back guarantee.

This warranty covers both the control valve and tank, ensuring they are free from defects in materials and workmanship, and demonstrating the manufacturer’s confidence in the quality and durability of its product. If you’re not completely satisfied with the Iron Master system, you can return it within six months of purchase for a full refund.

Prone to buyer’s remorse? When you purchase the SoftPro iron-removal system, you don’t have to worry about that.

Pro 4/6: Easy installation and maintenance

The fourth fine feature of the SoftPro Iron Master AIO Filtration System is that it’s designed for easy installation and little maintenance. If I say that a lot, it’s because when you spend hundreds on a home appliance and using it is complicated and stressful, you want to know beforehand. Trust me.

The Iron Master system comes with a quick-connect hose that simplifies the installation process, and users can typically complete the process within a few hours with basic DIY plumbing skills. Maintenance is easy too; the Katalox Light media can last 5–10 years between replacements, and all you need to do is periodically check for any leaks, as you would with any water-using appliance, and monitor the system’s performance using the digital control valve.

The SoftPro Iron Master offers straightforward installation and minimal maintenance, allowing you to enjoy clean, iron-free water hassle-free.

Pro 5/6: Model availability

The fifth distinguishing feature of the SoftPro Iron Master AIO Filtration System is that it’s available in three different sizes to suit various household needs.

The system is offered in 1.0-, 1.5-, and 2.0-cubic-foot versions, each designed to accommodate different water quality issues and consumption patterns. Each system caters to flow rates of 5, 7, and 10 gpm respectively, so clean water can reach every tap in your home no matter how big or small it is.

When it comes to household water treatment, it’s essential to match the system with the specific needs of your home. With three sizes to choose from, the SoftPro Iron Master makes that an easy task.

Pro 6/6: Removes up to 30 ppm of iron

The final and most notable feature of the SoftPro Iron Master is its extraordinary iron removal capabilities. This system can remove up to 30 ppm of iron. For reference, iron in well water rarely exceeds 10 ppm, except in a few unlucky parts of the country. If that’s you, your luck is about to change. 

The Katalox Light media is engineered with a unique manganese oxide coating, which far exceeds the performance of Birm, Greensand Plus, and manganese greensand. This media has a larger surface area designed to attract and filter out more iron particles, as well as more sulfur and manganese, from the water as it passes through the filter bed. 

There are not many iron filters that can do this. If you’ve tested your water and found iron levels higher than 7 ppm, you need this whole-house filter. No other system on this list can filter as much lead as the SoftPro Iron Master can.

CONS 

While the SoftPro Iron Master is a great solution for eliminating high iron content in well water, there are two things you need to consider before purchasing:

Con 1/2: Costly Katalox Light replacement media

The Iron Master’s first drawback is that SoftPro’s Katalox Light replacement media is more expensive than traditional media. You might be shocked by the high replacement cost at first.

However, for just over $200, you can replace the Katalox media in your system, and it will last 5–10 years. Compare that to a $30 replacement filter that lasts 6–12 months, and it’s actually not that expensive after all. Not only that, but if you have iron in your water as high as 30 ppm, you probably don’t mind how expensive the replacement media is because you’ll do anything not to have to scrub those stains off of all your sinks, tubs, and fixtures.

Still, if a couple hundred dollars every 5–10 years is too much, perhaps the SpringWell WS Series, whose media can last up to 20 years, might be a better option.

Con 2/2: Does not remove other contaminants in well water

Lastly, the Iron Master, like the SpringWell WS Series, is a specialty filter. It’s unbeatable against iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide, but it won’t tackle every contaminant in your well water. For other impurities, like hardness minerals, bacteria, or other organic chemicals, you might need additional filtration systems.

If you’re battling very high levels of hydrogen sulfide, the Iron Master might not be the silver bullet. It’s good, but it caps out at 5 ppm. Most wells don’t come close to these levels, but this is yet another reason to make sure to test your well water before choosing a whole-house filter. 

OVERALL: 9.5/10

The SoftPro Iron Master is the best whole-house solution for extremely high iron levels in well water because it can filter far more iron than similar systems, up to 30 ppm. With its AIO/Katalox Light technology, lifetime warranty, and user-friendly LCD control head, it’s a compelling choice if you have unusually high levels of iron. 

If you’ve got very high levels of iron and want a system that can handle as much as 30 ppm, check out the SoftPro Iron Master AIO Water Filtration System today.

Best Budget Whole-House Iron Filter: iSpring Water Filter System 9.3/10

  • Effectively removes up to 3 ppm of iron and 1 ppm manganese.
  • Addresses many other contaminants common to well water.
  • Comes with hassle-free installation and maintenance.
  • Interchangeable filters make the system customizable.
  • Lifetime free tech support helps you manage any surprises.
  • Price point meets all budgets.
  • Short warranty period
  • Few advanced features
  • Only suitable for mild levels of iron
  • Doesn’t address hydrogen sulfide

The iSpring Whole House Water Filter System is the best budget-friendly iron removal filtration system due to its ability to eliminate traces of clear water iron, ferric iron (rust), manganese, and other common contaminants at a more affordable price than other top options.

PROS

Here are four reasons why the iSpring Whole House Filter is a good option for users who want efficient iron removal at an affordable price:

Pro 1/4: Comprehensive filtration

The first notable point I want to make about the iSpring whole-house system is its thorough filtration. It removes iron and manganese, but it doesn’t stop there.

The first stage is a high-capacity 5-micron polypropylene sediment filter that removes sediment, silt, sand, rust, and other large particles from the water, protecting and extending the life of the subsequent filters. The second stage, a carbon block filter, removes pesticides, herbicides, industrial solvents, and more. The third and most crucial stage is specially designed to reduce iron (up to 3.0 ppm down to 0.01 ppm) and manganese (up to 1.0 ppm down to 0.01 ppm).

If your water test shows mild levels of iron and manganese in well water and you want a filter that will deal with that as well as additional impurities, the iSpring Whole House Filter can do so without breaking the bank.

Pro 2/4: Convenient setup

The second unique pro of the iSpring Whole House Water Filter is its user-friendly setup, from installation to maintenance. It’s designed with DIY installation in mind, arriving with everything you need for the job, including DIY-friendly instructions. But the convenience of this system extends far beyond installation.

Since the system uses standard “big blue” filter housings, the swappable cartridges mean your filtration options are flexible and you can easily deal with changing water conditions. In fact, these housings can often hold filter cartridges from multiple brands, so you can deal with changes in the industry as well. The iSpring filters need to be replaced at regular intervals, usually every 6–12 months, depending on your water quality, but changing them out is a cinch.

This means that if you want the luxury of simple installation, easy maintenance, and more filtration options than you can imagine, you should get the iSpring Whole House Filter System.

Pro 3/4: Lifetime free tech support

The third thing to like about the iSpring whole-house iron filter system is that it comes with lifetime free tech support, providing customers with ongoing assistance and guidance. All you have to do is activate your warranty and you’re automatically signed up for tech support.

This support is designed to help you with any technical questions, troubleshooting, or concerns you may have regarding the installation, operation, or maintenance of the system. Customers can access this support by contacting iSpring directly via phone or email, and the company’s knowledgeable and experienced technical team is available to provide expert advice and solutions to ensure the optimal performance and longevity of the filtration system.

While iSpring may have included this feature as a red herring to distract from its short warranty, luddites and technophobes will certainly appreciate it, and it’s an undoubtable pro to this iSpring whole-house iron treatment system.

Pro 4/4: Affordable price tag

The fourth and best benefit of the iSpring whole-house iron filter system is that it’s available at a super-competitive price.

Since most whole-house systems tend to cost more than $1,000, it’s a bonus to find one that goes for less than half that. Especially considering the system’s ability to remove iron and manganese alongside other contaminants, the price tag of the iSpring is unbeatable. However, remember that the SpringWell system has no regular filter replacements, and the iSpring’s filter replacements cost more than $100 once or twice a year, so you may catch up to the cost of fancier systems sooner than you’d think, so keep that in mind if long-term budget is important too.

If a low up-front cost is your main priority in a whole-house filter than can remove iron, the iSpring Whole House Filter System fits the bill.

CONS 

The iSpring whole-house iron filter has compelling features at a great price, but there are four trade-offs to its affordability:

Con 1/4: Short warranty

First, the iSpring iron filter system comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty, which is short compared with the warranties of the above iron filters.

The limited warranty of this system may be a concern for some customers who want long-term protection of their investment. However, the low price point may mean this really isn’t a dealbreaker for many consumers. Additionally, the system comes with lifetime free tech support, but that may not amount to a hill of beans if the system needs repairs and you’re stuck with the costs.

If you look for good warranties when investing in household products, the SpringWell WS Series or SoftPro Iron Master each offer a lifetime warranty. 

Con 2/4: Lacks advanced features

Second, this system is quite basic. There aren’t any fancy buttons and screens that you’ll find in advanced filters like the SpringWell WS Series or the SoftPro Iron Master.

If you enjoy the modern convenience of remote monitoring and adjustments via a smartphone app, the ability to customize settings based on your specific water quality needs, and automatic backwashing cycles that maintain optimal performance, then this system is too barebones for you.

However, if you want an affordable system that just removes iron from your water and you don’t care about the bells and whistles, the iSpring whole-house water filter is worth considering.

Con 3/4: Most effective with low levels of iron

Third, while the system is effective at reducing iron and manganese, its performance is limited compared to other whole-house iron filters, such as the SpringWell WS Series and the SoftPro Iron Master.

The SpringWell WS Series can remove up to 7 ppm of iron, 8 ppm of hydrogen sulfide, and 1 ppm of manganese. And the SoftPro Iron Master AIO Water Filtration System is capable of removing an impressive 30 ppm of iron, making it better suited for households with extreme levels of iron in their well water. The iSpring, on the other hand, is only effective up to 3 ppm of iron.

It is important to consider the specific needs of the household and the iron levels in the water when selecting a filtration system. A lab test will help you determine your level and type of iron contamination so you can purchase the right system for your home.

Con 4/4: Doesn’t address hydrogen sulfide

Finally, the iSpring Whole House Water Filter System is not designed to remove hydrogen sulfide from well water — which often goes hand in hand with iron and manganese — despite its ability to reduce iron and manganese.

The iSpring iron and manganese reducing filter targets these elements, but the system lacks a component dedicated to hydrogen sulfide removal. Hydrogen sulfide requires specialized filtration methods such as aeration, oxidation, or chemical treatment for effective removal. 

Therefore, users seeking to address the rotten egg smell in their well water may need to explore alternative filtration systems, such as the SpringWell WS Series

OVERALL: 9.3/10

In the budget space of well water iron filters, the iSpring Whole House Water Filter System stands tall. 

Its three-stage process, tackling 3 ppm of iron and a parade of other contaminants, earns it the crown. Add in the user-friendly interchangeability of filter cartridges, and you’ve got a filtration MVP. 

If you want effective filtration of your well water against low to moderate levels of iron at a great price, the iSpring Whole House Water Filter System is the go-to choice for efficient, cost-effective iron filtration.

Honorable Mentions

US Water Systems Flexx Oxi-Gen Aeration Iron and Sulfur Water Filter

The Flexx Oxi-Gen Aeration Iron and Sulfur Water Filter from US Water Systems caters to homeowners who want efficient removal of iron from their well water. Its innovative design, which uses air injection oxidation, is effective against iron concentrations of up to 8 ppm.

This filter can also remove hydrogen sulfide up to 6 ppm and manganese up to 0.5 ppm. Its user-friendly features include a programmable electronic control head and a meter for monitoring flow rate. The system’s eco-friendly design minimizes water usage because it doesn’t need a full backwash every night. Most iron filters must run a nightly backwash cycle to replenish the free air at the top of the tank. The Oxi-Gen’s innovative design allows it to pull air into the system at any time (to refill the oxygen) without requiring a full backwash, saving thousands of gallons of water every year.

While the SpringWell WS Series and SoftPro Iron Master shine with lifetime warranties and a six-month money-back guarantee, the Flexx Oxi-Gen offers a 10-year warranty on the carbon tank and seven-year warranty on the carbon filter valve and valve electronics, which is decent but not the best.

It didn’t secure a top spot due to its shorter warranty, lower capacity for hydrogen sulfide and manganese removal, and high price tag. However, it still earns a place on our list for its notable iron removal capacity and quality craftsmanship.

Learn more about the Flexx Oxi-Gen Aeration Iron and Sulfur Water Filter

US Water Systems Flexx Infusion Iron and Sulfur System

The US Water Systems Flexx Infusion Iron and Sulfur System is suitable for homeowners dealing with high levels of iron and sulfur contamination in their well water.

One of its key strengths is its unique hydrogen peroxide infusion technology, which efficiently tackles 20 ppm of iron, 1 ppm of manganese, and 30 ppm of sulfur without the need for harsh chemicals or frequent backwashing. Unlike other chemical-based oxidants, hydrogen peroxide does not produce harmful disinfection by-products, making it safer for both human health and the environment. 

Additionally, the system features a programmable valve that is fully integrated with a smartphone via Bluetooth. The valve is also fully adjustable, with cycles that can be set for the time of day, time of regeneration, and backwash frequency.

However, while it effectively addresses high iron and sulfur levels, the Flexx Infusion system carries a higher price tag compared to the SoftPro system, requires specialized installation skills because it employs technologies like the injection pump and meter, has a short seven-year warranty, and is optimally suited for treating water with specific pH ranges (between 6 and 9), meaning it may not perform as well outside of this window. You also have to contend with frequent hydrogen peroxide refills, which increase ongoing expenses.

While it may not be the absolute best choice for every situation, it still offers significant benefits and deserves recognition for its contributions to residential water treatment. If you have high sulfur and iron content, the US Water Systems Flexx Infusion Iron and Sulfur System is worth your consideration.

Home Master 3-Stage Whole House Multi Gradient Sediment, Iron, and Carbon Filter 

The Home Master 3-Stage Whole House Multi Gradient Sediment, Iron, and Carbon Filter is for users who want basic iron removal. Like the iSpring whole-house system, it can remove up to 3 ppm of both ferrous iron and ferric iron.

The system’s four-layer gradient filter is capable of removing sediment from 25 to 1 micron, providing thorough filtration. Additionally, the radial flow iron and GAC carbon filters contribute to the removal of iron, sulfur, manganese, VOCs, TOCs, herbicides, and pesticides, ensuring high water quality throughout the home.

One thing we like about this product is that, since it uses the standard Big Blue filter housings, you can interchange the filter cartridges with others from different manufacturers if you want to save money and customize the filtration process.

While the Home Master system is a good option for well water filtration, it did not make it to the top of our list due to a few limitations. One of its main cons is that it has a relatively lower iron removal capacity compared to the SpringWell WS Series and the SoftPro Iron Master, which can handle up to 7 ppm and 30 ppm of iron, respectively. Other drawbacks are the system’s relatively short two-year warranty period, lack of smart monitoring capabilities or programmable control heads, and low hydrogen sulfide and manganese removal capacity (less than or equal to 3 ppm).

Despite not being ranked among the best, we included the Home Master system as an honorary mention due to its emphasis on sediment removal and its capacity to address a wide range of contaminants, such as herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals, making it a considerable option for homeowners with low levels of iron well water.

You can check out the Home Master 3-Stage Whole House Multi Gradient Sediment, Iron, and Carbon Filter here.

Bottom Line: The Best Whole-House Iron Filters for Well Water

The SpringWell WS Series Whole House Well Water Filter is the overall best whole-house iron filter for well water. It effectively tackles both ferrous and ferric iron, lasts almost forever, and comes with a lifetime warranty. 

For extreme iron, the SoftPro Iron Master AIO Filter is the best, removing a remarkable 30 ppm of iron, while the iSpring Whole House Water Filter System is the best budget option for those who want basic iron removal without breaking the bank.

To know for sure which one is for you, have your well water tested. For the vast majority, the SpringWell WS Series will be the most practical choice, but if it’s not, you can trust Drinking Water to have a solution. In fact, we’d love to hear from you. If you have high iron or experience with it, please leave a comment or question below and we’ll get back to you!

Research Methodology: How We Test and Review Products

Reviewing and testing over 25 iron filters for well water can be a daunting task without a well-structured plan. 

That’s why we applied our rigorous seven-point research strategy, tailor-made for water filters. This meticulous approach combines qualitative and quantitative analysis, allowing us to sift through a vast array of options and pinpoint the true cream of the crop. 

By employing this comprehensive strategy, we’ve ensured our recommendations are not only the best on the market but also cater to the practical needs and preferences of homeowners dealing with iron-laden well water.

You can learn more about our water filter product testing methodology. In the meantime, here’s a summary of the factors we consider.

Use analysis

Once we’ve created a list of the products we need to review, we need to establish the best use scenario for each product. Most manufacturers usually portray their products as exceptionally capable in all aspects, often resulting in an exaggeration of the product’s capabilities.

To get past the initial step, a product must successfully pass our specialists’ inspection to confirm its eligibility as the proper filtering solution for the intended purpose. In this case, it must be able to remove significant amounts of iron from well water.

Learn more about how we conduct a use analysis.

Tech check

The next step involves scrutinizing the technology incorporated in these water filtration systems. 

In this case, our team looked at the various technologies behind these iron filters to make sure they did exactly what the manufacturers claimed. Additionally, we conduct thorough comparisons of the diverse implementations of these technologies to confirm the product in question meets the necessary standards for the task at hand.

Read more about our tech check.

Water test data

Most manufacturers throw around claims about how their product has passed a certain quality test or undergone third-party testing to underscore its efficiency. At Drinking Water, we understand these claims are sometimes made to impress customers and often have no real value. That’s why we conduct our own investigations to verify these claims.

Learn more about how we verify water test data.

Installation test

We consider every aspect of the purchasing process, including post-purchase experiences. 

While whole-house filters are relatively easy to install with basic plumbing knowledge, manufacturers can either simplify or complicate the process. To ensure we recommend only the best products, we conduct installation tests on all products that pass the initial stages of our review process.

Learn about how we conduct installation tests

Cost-of-ownership analysis

Some members of our team are well owners, and we recognize the importance of balancing the up-front and long-term costs of these systems. 

During our review process, we considered all these costs to narrow down our list to the best options. When recommending these products, we clearly indicate which option is the most cost effective and when you can expect to incur additional costs.

Here’s more information on how we run the cost-of-ownership analysis.

Warranty check

In addition to analyzing the cost of ownership, it is essential to ensure the manufacturer can support its product. 

Before featuring a product in our reviews, we conduct a thorough examination of the warranty to understand precisely what is covered and what is not. This comprehensive approach allows us to provide informed recommendations based on the manufacturer’s commitment to their product.

Learn more about how we conduct warranty checks.

Customer service test

We recognize that after-sales service is a crucial aspect of the purchasing process. Customers need assurance that the manufacturer will provide support when issues arise. To ensure we recommend products with reliable after-sales support, we conduct tests on the company’s customer service operation to test its quality and what customers can expect. This includes reaching out to service reps and comparing the resources they provide to their customers. 

Read more about how we run customer service tests.

Before You Buy a Whole-House Iron Filter for Well Water: Understanding Iron and Well Water

Have you ever noticed a reddish-brown tint in your well water or experienced a metallic taste? Chances are, it’s due to iron contamination. 

The Earth’s crust is 5% iron. It enters groundwater when surface water dissolves iron in rock formations as it seeps through the Earth’s layers. In this section, we’ll explain the types and impact of iron in well water, exploring its effects on health, water quality, and the overall well-being of both you and your plumbing system.

The Different Types of Iron in Your Water

Not all iron is created equal, and understanding the types that might lurk in your well water can make a significant difference in treatment. From the notorious brown tint caused by ferric iron to the subtler effects of ferrous iron, each type poses unique challenges. 

Ferrous iron

Ferrous iron, often referred to simply as “clear water iron,” might not be visible to the naked eye, but its impact on your well water is significant. This type of iron dissolves in water, leaving it seemingly clear at first. 

It mostly comes out of the faucet clear but turns reddish or brown when it reacts with air. While not harmful to health in low concentrations, ferrous iron can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. Iron can stain clothing, appliances, and fixtures, affecting both the aesthetic quality of your water and the lifespan of your plumbing infrastructure.

Ferric iron

Ferric iron, also known as “red water iron,” or rust, is the culprit behind that unmistakable reddish-brown tint in your well water. Unlike its counterpart ferrous iron, ferric iron is already oxidized, giving water a rusty appearance. 

While it’s not harmful to your health, it can leave unsightly stains on your clothes, fixtures, and appliances. Ferric iron isn’t just a cosmetic issue; it can also impact the overall quality of your water and the well-being of your plumbing system. This type of iron tends to settle and accumulate in pipes and water-using appliances, causing clogs and reducing the efficiency of your plumbing.

Iron bacteria

Iron bacteria are small living organisms that naturally occur in soil, shallow groundwater, and surface waters. These bacteria combine iron and oxygen to form deposits of “rust,” bacterial cells, and a slimy material called biofilm that sticks to well pipes, pumps, and plumbing fixtures.

Iron bacteria can also create unpleasant odors resembling fuel oil, sewage, or rotten vegetation. While iron bacteria are not known to cause disease, they may indicate the presence of other microorganisms that can cause disease. They can also lead to reduced well yields due to biofilm clogging, rusty slime buildup in toilet tanks, premature corrosion of well components, and biofouling in the aquifer near the well.

To prevent iron bacteria — and any other microbes — from entering a well, it’s important to ensure the well casing is capped, watertight, and extends at least one foot above ground.

Test Your Well Water Before Buying an Iron Filter

Here’s the deal: It’s not just about iron levels in the water. Private wells can contain varying levels of contaminants, such as heavy metals, hard water minerals (like calcium and magnesium), organic chemicals, sediment, bacteria, viruses, and even parasites. 

Due to their specialized nature, whole-house iron filters may not be able to handle all these contaminants at once. That’s why it’s important to get to know your water. Water varies, and a simple test tells you what’s in it. 

“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,” says Johnny Pujol, a water quality engineer at Tap Score, one of our many trusted partners.

Get your water tested here.

For future reference, bookmark this page and share it with family and friends to improve the quality of their well water too. Testing is paramount.

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Dive Deeper: In-Depth Water Filter Guides

If you’re looking for more information about well water treatment equipment or well water in general, here’s a list of resources to help you along the way:

Frequently Asked Questions

Do whole-house water filters remove iron?

Not all whole-house water filters are designed to remove iron from water. The effectiveness of a water filter depends on its specific design and the type of filtration media it uses. Iron can be present in water in different forms, such as ferrous iron or ferric iron, and the removal method may vary. 

Some whole-house water filters are specifically designed to target iron and use specialized filter media or treatment processes. It’s important to test your water supply before investing in a filter to get the right system for your home.

What kind of filter removes iron from well water?

There are several types of filters that can remove iron from well water, including air-injection oxidation systems, aeration systems, chemical injection systems, greensand filters, and reverse osmosis filters, all to varying degrees. These filters are designed to treat different levels of iron alongside other impurities, providing customized solutions for homeowners with specific water needs.

What is the best way to remove iron from well water?

The best way to remove iron from well water depends on the specific water conditions and the user’s preferences. Some popular methods include air-injection oxidation systems, such as the SpringWell WS Series Whole House Well Water Filter, which can remove up to 7 ppm of iron, and catalytic carbon filters, like those used in the iSpring Whole House Water Filter System, which can remove up to 3 ppm of iron.

How long does a whole-house iron filter last?

The lifespan of a whole-house iron filter varies depending on the specific system and its usage. Generally, these filters can last anywhere from several months to several years, and even a decade or more. Regular maintenance and following the manufacturer’s guidelines for backwashing or media replacement can extend the system’s lifespan.

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Tunde Folorunsho

I am a WHO trained water resources and environmental engineer. This write up is very informative and precise technical presentation.

Last edited 6 months ago by Tunde Folorunsho
James Layton

Thank-you Tunde!

Greengenesisbd

You have brought up a very superb points, thanks for the post.

James Layton

Thank-you!

Kari

We have well water. It was tested and the report says no bacteria and it is soft. We do have iron. It causes red marks on the side of the house when we water the lawn and flowers with the sprinkler system. What filter will stop this problem? The Home Depot guy said to get a water softener.

James Layton

While a water softener can help with low levels of dissolved iron (ferrous iron), it won’t do the job in your case. You need a dedicated iron-removing filter. Check out the descriptions in the whole-home iron reviews. This will help you determine what is right in your case. The correct-sized filter will convert the dissolved iron into solid particles, which are captured in the filter. The filter automatically flushes the media, removing the iron particles and continuing the iron-removal process.