Written By: Andrew Miles
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At WaterFilterCast.com, we understand that choosing the right water filter system for your home or business can be daunting. That’s why we strive to provide accurate, unbiased information and product recommendations to help you make an informed decision. We are proud to be led by Andrew Miles, a retired 30+ year master plumber who has dedicated his career to ensuring the safety and quality of water systems. Andrew’s expertise and experience in the plumbing industry have been invaluable in guiding our team to select the best water filtration systems available. We are committed to providing our visitors with high-quality products and exceptional analysis and hands-on reviews. Trust us to help you find the right water filter system for your needs.
Over my 30-year career as a master plumber, I’ve had the chance to install hundreds of water softener systems in residential homes. So I’ve seen the good and the bad and how these things hold up. So, In this guide, I will discuss all the essential factors to consider when searching for the best water softener & filter combo systems for you. I even added my in-depth reviews of a few of my favorite water softener and filter combination systems.
Once you have reviewed this guide, I’m confident you will have all the knowledge to decide which system is best for you.
- Whole House Water Filter And Softener Combo System Reviews
- 1. SpringWell Whole House Filtration & Softening Combo (Best for those on municipal water supplies)
- 2. EVO/Kind Water E-3000 (Easiest To Install)
- 3. DROP City Smart Water Softener Review
- 4. Filtersmart Whole House Water Filter & Salt-Free Softener Combo (Best For Long Lasting Filters)
- 5. Aquasana Whole House Filtering System And Softening Combo (Best or Compact Spaces)
- Whole House Water Filter and Softening Combo System Comparison
- How Does a Whole House Water Softener and Filter Work?
- What are the benefits of a water filter and softener combo?
- How to Choose a Whole House Water Filter and Softening Combo System
- Frequently Asked Questions
Whole House Water Filter And Softener Combo System Reviews
1. SpringWell Whole House Filtration & Softening Combo (Best for those on municipal water supplies)
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This Springwell system is impressive. It works incredibly well for those living in cities and dealing with municipal water supplies heavy in fluoride and sodium. One noticeable thing was the water pressure after the installation was not as affected as many other whole-home water filters and softeners.
As consumers, we all love to have choices when buying something for our homes. The Springwell system has numerous options allowing you to customize your water experience. You can choose between a salt-free or salted water-softening unit. The salted system is cheaper but still provides excellent benefits.
You can also choose a system with enough capacity for your entire home. Springwell has different size units based on the number of bathrooms in your home. This ensures that you will have enough water pressure throughout the entire home.
- Ideal For: Who Live in Cities, Subdivisions, & Rural
- Flow Rate: 15 GPM
- Capacity: 1,000,000 Gallons
- Key Features: UV Water Purification System
Why We Love It
- Although most people prefer salt-free systems, we liked that you could choose between that option and not.
- After months of regular usage, we saw no calcification or limescale build-up on any appliances.
- The odors and tastes associated with chlorine were removed, and the water tastes great!
Keep In Mind
The mounting bracket was made of metal, but it should be sturdier.
2. EVO/Kind Water E-3000 (Easiest To Install)
The EVO/Kind 3000 system has a whole range of options and benefits to choose from. But what impressed us the most was that even with their most basic option, you get all the most crucial purification elements. They use a carbon-activated filter to remove odors, tastes, and bacteria from the water supply and combine that with a dedicated sediment filter. This combination is lethal when it comes to getting rid of pesky impurities.
EVO (now called KIND Water) created its unique softening compound, which prevents scale build-up and damage to your pipes and appliances. This is invaluable; long-term erosion in pipes and appliances can cause massive headaches and even bigger bills.
- Ideal For: Whole House Softening & Filtering
- Flow Rate: 8 GPM
- Capacity: 650,885 Gallons
- Key Features: 25-80 PSI
Why We Love It
- This system is straightforward yet effective at removing hardness particles and impurities.
- The lead removed from this water was the best we have seen so far.
- This system has three levels (Basic, Standard, and Premium), but you get carbon and sediment filtration regardless of which you choose.
Keep In Mind
This is not the best choice if you rely on a well for your water.
3. DROP City Smart Water Softener Review
I was recently introduced to DROP, so I had to try one on one of my rentals. I’m really impressed with the overall quality of the system. Installation was on the easier side, and the water was high quality.
- 2-in-1 Tank for the Water Softener and Water Filter
- Provides text messages, emails and/or push notifications system information to your
- Allows you to view Water Usage Data and Usage History.
- 5 Year Warranty.
The City Water Softener from DROP is an excellent combination water softener and filter system for homes supplied with municipal water. This system offers a range of features and benefits, including removing unwanted chemicals like chlorine and chloramine and a patented piston design that can shut off water to the home. When paired with DROP Leak Detectors through the DROP Hub, the system provides top-of-the-line water softening, home leak protection, and a water conservation system in one.
- Ideal For: Those Who Live in Cities, Subdivisions
- Flow Rate: 5 – 8 GPM, depending on tank size
- Capacity: 27,000 – 40,000 Grains, depending on tank size
- Key Features: Smartphone control and monitoring
What We Like:
- Provides both water softening and chemical removal in one system
- Uses catalytic carbon and high-performance ion exchange resin to filter water
- Patented piston design allows for shutting off water to the home
- Battery backup keeps settings in place in the event of power loss
- Uses less space by having 1 tank instead of 2
- Made in the USA
What We Didn’t Like:
- Requires the use of the DROP Hub for full functionality
- May not be suitable for well water, as it is specifically designed for municipal water supplies
4. Filtersmart Whole House Water Filter & Salt-Free Softener Combo (Best For Long Lasting Filters)
We love so many things about the Filtersmart water filter and softening combo. The first thing was an easy installation. Many companies advertise that everyone can install their product but rarely is that the case. With the Filtersmart system, installation took less than an hour.
The long-lasting filter capacity makes this system virtually maintenance-free.
When it comes to water quality, the Filtersmart system checks every box. It will work well with city water supplies and well water as well. It is perfect for well water because this combination unit can remove total dissolved solids and tiny bacteria that many filters miss, unlike standard water filters.
- Ideal For: 1-3 Baths
- Flow Rate: 7 GPM
- Capacity: 1,000,000 Gallons
- Key Features: NSF certified
Why We Love It
- The installation is easy for anyone, regardless of plumbing experience.
- I like the longer, more slender tanks; they can easily fit into virtually any space and stay entirely out of the way.
- The water filter capacity is 1,000,000 gallons, which is good for nearly an entire year.
Keep In Mind
We noticed that the coconut-shell-activated carbon took a few priming days before it was ready to go.
5. Aquasana Whole House Filtering System And Softening Combo (Best or Compact Spaces)
Aquasana has been a leader in the effort for cleaner water for the last decade. They have consistently provided us with quality products from pitchers to whole home filters and softeners like this. This whole home water filter and softening combo is a great product that gives homeowners peace of mind that their water will be clean and healthy. For city-slickers, this system is great for removing large amounts of chlorine, lead, and fluoride from your water supply.
Its unique up-flow technology is cool because it slows the water down as it goes through a few of the filters. This allows the filters to ensure they are not missing any toxins trying to sneak their way through. The price tag makes this one of the most affordable systems we have seen thus far.
You would have no idea this was an ‘affordable’ system because the water quality matches the expensive combo systems.
- Ideal For: Who Live in Cities
- Flow Rate: 7 GPM
- Capacity: 1,000,000 Gallons
- Key Features: Salt-Free Descaler Tank
Why We Love It
- As water flows through the different filtering stages, there are areas where water flows upwards, which is excellent for filtering because it moves slow and gives the filters more time to work.
- The salt-free technology is excellent for your pipes and home appliances, with no limescale build-up.
- The option UV looks great and is easy to install with the system.
Keep In Mind
If you do not use a licensed plumber to install the system, it will void the warranty.
Whole House Water Filter and Softening Combo System Comparison
|System Name||Ideal For||Flow Rate (GPM)||Capacity||Key Features||Pros||Cons|
|SpringWell Whole House Filtration & Softening Combo||Who Live in Cities, Subdivisions, & Rural||15||1,000,000 Gallons||UV Water Purification System||– Choice between salt-free or salted system- Customizable based on number of bathrooms- Removes chlorine odors and taste||Mounting bracket should be sturdier|
|EVO/Kind Water E-3000||Whole House Softening & Filtering||8||650,885 Gallons||25-80 PSI||– Effective at removing hardness particles and impurities- Excellent lead removal- Three levels of filtration||Not suitable for well water|
|DROP City Smart Water Softener||Those Who Live in Cities, Subdivisions||5 – 8 (depends on tank size)||27,000 – 40,000 Grains (depends on tank size)||Smartphone control and monitoring||– 2-in-1 tank for softening and filtering- Smartphone notifications- Made in the USA||Requires DROP Hub for full functionality<br>Not suitable for well water|
|Filtersmart Whole House Water Filter & Salt-Free Softener Combo||1-3 Baths||7||1,000,000 Gallons||NSF certified||– Easy installation- Long-lasting filter capacity – Suitable for city and well water||Coconut-shell-activated carbon takes a few days to prime|
|Aquasana Whole House Filtering System And Softening Combo||Who Live in Cities||7||1,000,000 Gallons||Salt-Free Descaler Tank||– Up-flow technology for better filtering- Affordable with high water quality- Salt-free technology prevents limescale build-up||None mentioned|
How Does a Whole House Water Softener and Filter Work?
The beauty of a whole-house water softener and filter combo is its simplicity. They are not over-complicated machines that have hundreds (or thousands) of moving parts. When installed correctly, you will not even know that it is there.
These combination systems are designed to be connected to the main water supply as it enters your home. By connecting the main water supply to your new whole-home softener and filter, you redirect the raw water into your machine, where the filters and softeners do their job. As water flows into the filter and softener combo, it usually reaches a sediment filter first. This is there to remove any larger particles of rock or rust; this helps tremendously with your water’s appearance and taste. From there, the water will go through several more filtering stages where bacteria, protozoa, and other common contaminants will be removed.
Once the water is finished with all the filtration stages, it is now time for the softener to do its job. As the filtered water reaches the softener, water is typically run through a carbon-activated compound (or salt.) This process will remove any particles that the filters missed and target limescale and other compounds that can cause harm to your appliances and water pipes. If your system has UV light, that step is usually last, and this will take the filtered and purified water and use UV rays to remove any more bacteria that could have snuck through the water filter and softener.
Once this process is complete, the water will be discharged back through your existing water lines, and this now filtered and softened water will be coming out of all your faucets.
What are the benefits of a water filter and softener combo?
Alone, a whole home water filter can provide numerous benefits to you and your family’s home. Same with a water softening unit. But a combination of the two is the right formula for providing clean, purified water to your entire home, with the added assurance that our appliances and pipes are clean.
Whole-home water filters are a great device for providing your home with clean, purified, and safe water for drinking. But what they do not is look out for the pipes and your appliances.
The water softener was designed to remove hardness particles from your water. These particles are known to cause issues within your appliances and pipes and can cause them to erode and ultimately destroy them from the inside.
By combining a quality whole-home water filter with a water softener, you are getting the best of both worlds.
Water softeners tend to work better when they are dealing with fully filtered water. Since the water softener is working at maximum capacity and does not have to worry about filtering contaminants, it does a better job targeting dissolved solids and bacteria. These toxins can sneak through your filter and wreak havoc on the piping and appliances in your home.
The phrase “Best of Both Worlds” could not apply more here. With a whole home water softener and filter combo, you are getting the cleanest water possible to benefit your health and the health of your home.
How to Choose a Whole House Water Filter and Softening Combo System
What Type Of Whole House Water Filter & Softener Combo Do I Need?
First, you want to do your best to ensure your purchase combination system is safe and reliable. You want to ensure that it can remove every water toxin you are dealing with. Many people fail to investigate the size and longevity of their chosen water filter and softener combo.
You will want to ensure you understand how much water your household uses daily. This will be based on the number of people you have and the number of rooms in the house with a water supply. Many combination systems have a pre-sediment filter level which is the first stage of the process.
These filters have a maximum amount of water they can handle before they become ineffective. The longevity of these filters can range from 6-12 months, depending on usage. Ensure you look at all filters with the system and they can handle all your water supplies without constantly changing the filters.
My Water Quality
This is the most critical step when searching for the best water filter and softener combo. You will know exactly what is floating in your water by performing a simple water test (they can be found online). Knowing this will allow you to combat those contaminants with the best filters possible to remove them.
Each filter has different characteristics. Some filters are better at removing certain toxins than others. You can determine the best filter to combat your specific water makeup by comparing a filter’s ability to your water test.
Filter Process And Stages
You will want to investigate the number of stages and the filters’ process. Because some filter and softening combos take longer to run water through their system, you will want to ensure that the system you purchase can handle enough water daily for your home.
Just because there are more filters to one system does not necessarily mean it is the best filtering system possible. While researching water filters and softening combos, ensure that you check their flow rate and each stage’s ability to remove toxins.
Does it meet NSF Standards?
I am sure you saw that I mentioned the NSF in this article. The NSF is a 3rd-party testing company that will thoroughly test products like a water filters and softening combinations to ensure they receive a quality product.
The NSF has different quality standards within a filter or softening system. For example, if a product is labeled as NSF certified for standard 42, the NSF has tested and proven that the product can remove chlorine effectively. The more certifications and standards a system has, the more peace of mind you should have about buying it.
Regarding water filtration, pH is an important thing to consider. Many systems will not work with water that is considered acidic. If a water’s pH level is seven or below, it is considered acidic and not the safest water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. You will want to ensure that the water filter and softening combination you buy can do one of two things.
You will want to see if the system can handle acidic water. Most of them can, but it is still something you need to be on the lookout for. The other thing to consider is if the filter can increase the water’s pH level. This is a valuable aspect of a filter, and if a stage increases pH, then it is a good thing.
Water Flow And Pressure
Many people are worried that a whole home water filtering system will slow down their flow rates throughout the home.
Luckily, we no longer see massive drops in flow rates. You will want to investigate a specific system’s flow rate because some will be available in stronger flow rate models.
Typically, water filter and softener combos can be requested based on the number of bathrooms in your home. The more bathrooms, the higher the flow rate. Nothing stops you from ordering a 7+ bathroom combination system for your 2-bath home.
Several water filter and softener combos offer a UV light stage with their system. These are usually optional, but they do a fantastic job removing stubborn bacteria and invisible protozoa that other filters cannot remove. If you can swing the additional costs and do not mind that the UV light will always need to be plugged in, we highly suggest installing them.
One of the best aspects of a water filter and softener combination is the lack of maintenance. Most symptoms are now designed to handle up to 1,000,000 gallons before any filters need to be changed, or any maintenance must be performed. Ensure you check the longevity of all filters and ensure it is enough to keep up with your family’s water usage.
Installation & Maintenance
This has long been a hot-button issue with water purification systems. Many folks are intimidated by any amount of plumbing work, which has turned them away from considering a whole home water filter and softener combo.
Fortunately, most systems are now made with the consumer in mind. Engineering departments have steered their focus toward making systems installation-friendly. However, you still want to read reviews and hear other homeowners about the installation process. Some are easier than others.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will my water filter and softener combination last before replacing the unit?
Short answer, forever. Many companies that make a water filter and softener combo design these systems to have a lifetime warranty. You will still need to replace the sediment filters, but the unit itself should last forever.
How often will I need to change my sediment and other water filters?
This will depend on the filter you choose. Many will need to be changed once or twice per year, while others will have longer ratings than that. Ensure you investigate a filter’s exact capacity before they need replacing.
Is a UV light required for water filtering and softening?
No, you can still obtain amazing water without the UV light stage. They are a great option for those who can afford them but require electricity and some cleaning. The light is usually covered by a quartz tube, which will need to be cleaned 1-2 times per year.
A whole-house water filter and softener combo is right for you if you want to combine the best of both worlds for your home water supply. By choosing one of these systems, you are capturing all the water purification elements that filters provide and are removing hardness particles thanks to the softening unit.
These combination units are becoming increasingly popular because they offer such great benefits, are easy to install for most homeowners, and require virtually no maintenance once they are in place.
With water filtration technology continuously evolving, you will notice thousands of products on the market. I understand that this can be intimidating. But this should not stop you from being able to achieve purified, delicious, and safe water in all parts of your home.
Installing a water softener and filter combo is wise for every home. There are so many quality options on the market today that you are bound to find the right one for you and your home. The most important advice I can give is to do the research and weigh your options by going through our ultimate buying guide. Make sure to consider the size of the system and the space required for it as well; many folks forget that little detail!
We sincerely thank you for reading this guide and hope you learned everything you need (and more) about the best whole home water filter and softener combos in the market today.