5 Best Whole House Water Filter & Softener Combos (2021 Review)

Do you want to find the best whole house water filter and softener combo?

Whole house water filters coupled with a softening system can purify your entire homes water and reduce hard mineral buildup at the same time.

In this product review, I will go over...

  • My #1 top pick for the best whole house water filter and softener combo
  • The difference between salt-free and salt-based softeners
  • How an activated carbon filter works

Let's get started with this guide!

top best rated whole house water filter and softener combo reviews

My Overall #1 Rated Pick

top best rated whole house water filter and softener combo reviews aquasana
  • 10-year filter and conditioner
  • UV light for anti-bacterial filtration
  • Carbon & KDF filter
  • Remove up to 97% of chlorine
  • Back flushing & draining not required

My overall top pick for the best whole house water filter and softener combo goes to Aquasana. This system is rated for 10-years of use, and it includes a pre-filter, post-filter, carbon filter, KDF filter, and salt-free conditioner. It features a UV light that will inhibit the growth of micro-organisms such as algae and bacteria. This whole house water filter can reduce chlorine up to 97%. Since the conditioner is salt-free, it will reduce scale in your plumbing but back flushing will never be needed.

ImageProduct
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Aquasana
  • 10-Year Filter
  • UV Light
  • Carbon & KDF
  • 10-Year Filter
  • UV Light
  • Carbon & KDF
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Aquasure
  • Salt-Based Softener
  • Carbon & KDF
  • Casion Resin Filter
  • Salt-Based Softener
  • Carbon & KDF
  • Casion Resin Filter
View on Amazon
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Filtersmart Combo
  • Coconut Shell Carbon
  • 5-Yr Chlorine Removal
  • Filter & Softener Combo
  • Coconut Shell Carbon
  • 5-Yr Chlorine Removal
  • Filter & Softener Combo
View on Amazon
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Tier1 Essential
  • Carbon & KDF
  • Reduces Scale
  • 97% Chlorine Removal
  • Carbon & KDF
  • Reduces Scale
  • 97% Chlorine Removal
View on Amazon
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AFWFilters
  • Reduce Hardness
  • High Mesh Resin
  • Digital Valve
  • Reduce Hardness
  • High Mesh Resin
  • Digital Valve
View on Amazon

Top 5 Best Whole House Water Filters & Softener Combos

My top picks for the best whole house water filters and softener combos include salt-free softeners as well as one true salt-based softener. These whole house water filters include activated carbon filters to remove chlorine as well as herbicides and pesticides. One filter system is designed to remove iron and heavy metals. Check them out below...

  1. Aquasana (Top Pick)
  2. Aquasure
  3. Filtersmart Combo
  4. Tier1 Essential
  5. AFWFilters

Introduction

Whole house water filters are a great way to increase the quality of your home's tap or well water. These filter systems are installed just after your home's main water shutoff valve, and it feeds filtered or purified water to every plumbing fixture throughout your home.

So-called point-of-entry filter systems will give you clean—better than bottled—water throughout the home, without a need to install a filter underneath each sink.

And installing a whole house water filter can become a bit complex, and it isn't always a DIY job. That's why I created my own contractor search tool that will provide you free quotes from trusted plumbers who have been pre-vetted. 

Activated Carbon Filters

There are numerous types of whole house water filters, but perhaps the most common is the activated carbon filter.

The activated carbon is a highly porous substance and it can capture chlorine molecules that can affect taste and smell. The activated carbon filter is proven option to remove certain chemicals such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), herbicides, pesticides, and other substances.

Read Also: What Are The Best Whole House Water Filters To Remove Chlorine And Fluoride?

Sediment Filters

Another very common type of filter for these systems is sediment filters. These filters are designed to remove sediment from the water such as and, debris, grit, and other large molecules from entering your home's piping.

These sediment filters are frequently the first filters in a filtration system which helps prevent the downstream filters from getting clogged. Using these so-called pre-filters, they can greatly extend the longevity of the more expensive filters in your whole house water filter system.

Hard Water Minerals

A common problem among residential water is the presence of 'hard minerals' such as calcium and magnesium. The usual sources of these minerals is when ground water seeps through limestone, chalk, or gypsum.

Unfortunately, if the content if these minerals are high, it can cause scale buildup in your pipes. When the minerals bind to your home's plumbing, it can restrict the water flow throughout the home, and even lead to costly pipe damage.

Hard water minerals can also lower the efficiency and damage home appliances such as your dishwasher, washing machine, coffee maker, and ice maker.

Hard water minerals can also leave ugly white residues on your plumbing fixtures.

Read Also: What Are My Top Picks For The Overall Best Whole House Water Filters?

top best rated whole house water filter and softener combo reviews (1)

Salt-Based Water Softeners

The most common type of water softener is a salt-based softening system. These whole house water softeners use a dual tank system composed of a softener tank and a brine tank. The softener tank is filled with sealed resin beads that have a negative charge.

When your homes water goes into the softener tank, the negative charge of the resin beads pulls out the hard minerals from the water. Sooner or later the softener tank will need to be flushed with the salt water from the brine tank.

And after this regeneration process, the softener tank can start removing minerals again from the water after being re-charged.

Installing a whole house water filter can become a bit complex, and it isn't always a DIY job. That's why I created my own contractor search tool that will provide you free quotes from trusted plumbers who have been pre-vetted. 

Read Also: What Are The Best Iron Filters For Well Water?

Salt-Free Water Softeners Or Conditioners

Salt-free water softeners don't actually remove hard minerals from water that salt-based systems do. In essence, they convert the hard minerals into a crystalline form so that they don't stick to your plumbing or appliances.

The nice thing about salt-free systems is that the maintenance is almost nothing. You don't have to periodically fill the brine tank with heavy bags of salt. And these salt-free systems don't even require electricity to work.

No draining or back flushing is ever required.

The downside of salt-free water softeners is that they will never outperform true salt-based water softeners.

Read Also: What Are The Best Whole House Water Filters To Remove Chlorine And Fluoride?

What Is The Best Whole House Water Filter And Softener Combo?

Here are my full reviews of the best whole house water filters together with their pros and cons. Check it out below...

The Aquasana system is a high quality whole house water filter and conditioner combo unit.

The carbon and KDF water filter will remove up to 97% chlorine as well as herbicides, pesticides, and heavy metals.

The UV light and KDF filter will also inhibit the growth of microorganisms such as algae and bacteria.

And Aquasana has included a salt-free conditioning system that will reduce scale in your plumbing and appliances without the harshness of salt.

There is also no need for back flushing or draining with the conditioner.

The whole system includes a pre-filter, post-filter, fittings, valves, filter tank, and conditioner tank.

Pros

  • 10-year filter & softener combo
  • UV light for anti-bacterial filtration
  • Carbon & KDF filter
  • Remove up to 97% of chlorine

Cons

  • Expensive
  • May require professional installation

This whole house water filter and softener combo made by Aquasure includes a true salt based conditioner.

The salt water softener is rated at 64,000 grains and will remove hard minerals like iron and magnesium that can damage your plumbing and your skin.

Aquasure uses an activated carbon filter made from coconut shells that will reduce chlorine, herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals from the water.

The KDF filter uses copper-zinc granules that effectively removes heavy metals, odors, and VOCs. The KDF also inhibits bacterial and algae growth.

This premium water filter features a digital head that is fully customizable and is backlighted.

Pros

  • 64,000 grain salt-based softener
  • Carbon and KDF filtration
  • Casion resin filtration to reduce total dissolved solids
  • Includes sediment pre-filter

Cons

  • Large and cumbersome system
  • Short power cable

The Filtersmart Combo is a premium whole house water filter and salt-free water softener.

This Filtersmart system uses NSF certified carbon from natural coconut shells.

With this water purification, you can get softer skin and hair, as well as boosting the quality of your tap water to better than bottled.

And since the conditioner is salt-free, you will never have to buy heavy bags of salt.

This filter system will remove chlorine, VOCs, SOCs, THMs, pesticides, and herbicides.

The Filtersmart system will remove chlorine to virtually zero for 5-years or 1,000,000 gallons of water.

Pros

  • Filter & softener combo
  • Chlorine removal for 1-mil gallons
  • NSF-certified coconut shell carbon

Cons

  • May not be as effective as salt based softener

The Tier1 Essential is a whole house water filter and softener combo that has very little maintenance.

The whole house water filter will remove up to 97% of the chlorine in your water—making the water taste and smell better.

And the maintenance is so small compared to traditional softeners, back flushing and draining is not needed.

The carbon and KDF filter technology will not only reduce chlorine but other contaminants such as VOCs, herbicides, and pesticides.

This water filtration and softener combo includes a flex connector, steel nipple, and a ball valve for installation.

Pros

  • Filter & softener combo
  • Carbon and KDF filter
  • Reduces chlorine up to 97%
  • No back flushing or draining

Cons

  • Pricey
  • More challenging install

This is a high quality whole house water filter and softener combo made by AFWFilters.

This filter combo features a whole house water filter made of high mesh resin that will remove iron and other heavy metals from the water.

The AFWFilters system also comes with a Fleck 5600SXT digital metered valve for incredible filtration efficiency.

The softener system will remove hardness from your water up to 70-gpf, iron up to 7-ppm, as well as other grit like sand.

If you want to remove scale from your water as well as rust or other heavy metal contaminants, then this combo whole house water filter is a good choice.

Pros

  • Filter & softener combo
  • Removes iron and other heavy metals
  • Reduces hardness by 70-gpf
  • Reduces iron by 7-ppm

Cons

  • Not for chlorine reduction
  • Heavy

My #1 Top Pick: Aquasana

My overall top pick for the best whole house water filter and softener combo goes to Aquasana. Here's why...

#1. 10-Year Filter

Ignoring the sediment pre-filter that needs to be regularly changes, this whole house water filter system is rated for 10-years of use or up to 1-million gallons.

#2. Salt-Free Descaler

The Aquasana system comes with a salt-free conditioner that will help prevent scale buildup in your plumbing and appliances. And since it is salt-free, there is minimal maintenance with no need for back flushing or draining. The conditioner is also less harsh that salt based softeners.

#3. Carbon & KDF

The carbon and KDF filters will remove up to 97% of chlorine as well as VOCs, pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals.

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Arie Van Tuijl

Arie Van Tuijl

I am a licensed home inspector in two U.S. states and the founder of Home Inspector Secrets. After performing hundreds of inspections, and seeing thousands of house defects, I realized people would love to have an online resource dedicated to home maintenance. I write detailed home guides and product reviews sprinkled with inspection tips. You can read my bio here.

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Home Inspector Secrets is an online resource for owners, buyers, and sellers to understand all aspects of home maintenance. We have detailed home guides, product reviews, inspection advice, and much more.