Best Whole House Water Filter and Softener Combo Reviews (Summer 2022)

Best Whole House Water Filter and Softener Combo Reviews_SpringWell, Pelican Water, Crystal Quest (1)

Does the water in your house smell like eggs or taste funny? Do your clothes look dull; is your glassware and shower door filmy? You have hard water. Even worse, your home’s water pipes might be teeming with invisible bacteria and viruses. It might be worth considering a whole house water filter and softener combo. Actually, it’s a great idea!

Regulated US drinking water systems fail to meet state and federal safety standards if the (EPA) water testing limits are too high. Further still, smaller rural drinking water sources and wells don’t fall under EPA regulations. 

We’ve researched and reviewed the five top-rated best whole house water filter and softener combos. In this article, we’ll explain the differences between each water filter and softener combo, how water filters and softeners perform in your home, and how important a whole house water filter and softener are for a healthier lifestyle. 


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5 Best Whole House Water Filter And Softener Combo Reviews


1. Best Whole House Water Filter And Softener Combo for City Water: SpringWell Water Filter With Salt Based Water Softener OR Salt-free Water Softener Springwell Whole House Water Filter and Water Softener Combo Reviews

SpringWell Water Filter and Salt Based Water Softener Combo System

Freshnss Reviews SpringWell Water

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SpringWell water filter and softener combos use a proprietary ActivFlo filtration system to allow your home’s water to contact and pass through the filtration media (filters) to ensure the cleanest, freshest, healthiest water.

Stage one pushes the water through a KDF media to remove harmful chemicals. Stage two uses catalytic carbon media to filter out contaminants, pesticides, and VOCs. Stage three tackles the contact time the water remains in the tank, and finally, stage four uses a five-micron filter to clear the water of sand and sediment.

Once the Springwell CSS filters the water, the innovative salt-based softener kicks in using a process known as ion exchange. A valve on top of the water tank, lined with a resin bed, softens one gallon at a time. 

When the resin bed becomes saturated, the tank purges several times to remove any trapped minerals. Once flushed from the system, the freshwater flows back through the resin bed while sodium and potassium chloride ‘change places” with the harmful minerals that cause hard water. A fresh gallon filtered and softened triggers the system to start over again.

The innovative Springwell 4-stage filtering process guarantees high-level performance. You can expect better-tasting food, no more scaly build-up, and softer and healthier skin and hair. Clearly, the SpringWell CSS is the best whole house water filter and softener combo for city water.

Warranty: Lifetime on tanks and valves, plus a first 6-month guarantee or your money back

Pros:

  • Premium certified components
  • Multiple contaminant filters
  • Fully adjustable Bluetooth enabled 5-cycle meter control

Cons: 

  • Necessary to refill brine tank

Springwell Whole House Water Filter and Water Softener Combo Reviews_Salt Free FutureSoft SoftenerSpringWell Water Filter and Salt-Free FutureSoft Water Softener Combo System

Freshnss Reviews SpringWell Water

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SpringWell recognizes the aging municipal water storage architecture and increased findings of highly contaminated local water sources. Springwell water filtration designs and dedication to using the latest technology ensure they build the very best whole house water filter and softener combo for your home.

The SpringWell CSS salt-free whole house water filtration and softener combo. Remember, the most contact time means the best water filtration and softening. Springwell’s salt-free design uses the highest-quality carbon filters. The tank is built with a unique up-flow design, eliminates clogging, and allows for smaller more efficient filters and a smaller footprint overall.

The good news is, that water passes through the same rigorous filtration protocols as the SpringWell CSS salt-based model. The filtration process includes the 5-micron pre-filtration sediment catcher, and the KDF chemical removing filter. Next, the water moves through the stage three catalytic coconut shell carbon media and the stage four FutureSoft hard-to-soft water converter filter.

No electricity is needed to operate the Springwell CSS water filter and salt-free water softener, and the filters never need to be replaced, making this Springwell the best whole house water filter and salt-free water softener combo for city water.

Warranty: Lifetime on tanks and valves, plus a first 6-month guarantee or your money back

Pros:

  • Calcium-crystal soft water conversion
  • Filters out 99.6% of chlorine and other contaminants
  • Easy to install 
  • Dependable gallon per minute (GPM) rate 

Cons: 

  • Older homes require a 90-day “clean-out” period
  • Potential for professional installation

2. Best Whole House Water Filter And Softener Combo for Well Water: SpringWell Well Water Filter With Salt Based Water Softener OR Salt-free Water Softener 

Springwell Whole House Well Water Filter and Water Softener Combo Reviews_Salt based water softenerSpringWell Well Water Filter and Salt Based Water Softener Combo System

Freshnss Reviews SpringWell Water

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High levels of Iron are a common culprit found in well water. The SpringWell WSSS whole house water filter and softener combo uses the latest and greatest technology and packs it into an economically and very environmentally-friendly well water system.

Installing a SpringWell All-in-One (AIO) System means removing high ppm levels of Hydrogen Sulfide, harmful Iron, and Manganese. Springwell’s daily auto-backwash continually removes the grit and accumulated contaminants while the filter’s unique regeneration processes clean the tank’s resin filter beads while oxygenating the water with fresh air pockets.

As the sodium solution exits the brine (salt) tank the hardness of the water entering the house “regenerates” into fresh, clean healthy water for drinking, bathing, and running electric water-powered appliances. 

You will truly benefit from a Springwell WSSS whole house water filter and softener combo. The salt-based water filtration system is scientifically designed to work at keeping hard water build-up from dulling your clothes, causing itchy skin and dry hair, and long-term benefits include less costly plumbing repairs and a call to the professionals. 

The secret to fresh, software water is in the system’s ion exchange. An electronic metered valve measures the water intake per gallon. Each gallon of water is run through a cleaning cycle. As the tank reaches its limit, the resin filter beads go to work, removing the lime scale and high levels of metal and POCs. 

Each water filter cycle requires several back flushes to trap the minerals and then exchange them for sodium and potassium, which softens the water. The hard water exits the system, the salts are replenished in the resin bead filter and only the healthy soft water enters your home. 

Warranty: Lifetime on tanks and valves, plus a first 6-month guarantee or your money back

Pros:

  • Specifically addresses removing Sulfur, Manganese, and Iron
  • Rigorously tested for optimum performance
  • Maintenance-free contaminant removal

Cons: 

  • Multiple back flushes

Springwell Whole House Well Water Filter and Water Softener Combo Reviews_FutureSoft salt-free water softenerSpringWell Well Water Filter and Salt-Free FutureSoft Water Softener Combo System

Freshnss Reviews SpringWell Water

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Homeowners that rely solely on well water must use a water filter. If you’re considering filtering your home’s well water salt-free, SpringWell’s Air Injection Oxidizing (AIO) Filter system is an impressive and relatively low-cost investment in terms of its ability to filter and soften your well water. 

What’s the secret to healthier water? The SpringWell AIO system maintains a unique “air pocket” on the top of the water filter tank. During each cycle, when the system is filtering your home’s well water, oxygen goes to work instead of salt. 

As the water passes through the air pocket, Iron, Sulfur, and Manganese are oxidized – oxygen is added to the water; bonding to harmful chemical electrons, removing them before entering the resin-lined water filter tank for a thorough “washing.”

In addition, Springwell’s proprietary Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC) process converts the incoming water to keep all hard water minerals from sticking to any surface in your home. The oxidized iron, sulfur, and manganese are backflushed before entering your plumbing and faucets!

The SpringWell WSSS AIO System includes an intuitive automatic electronic control valve programmed to turn on and off, so you can set it, and forget it. 

An added feature of the WSSS model is Springwell’s unique auto-control valve and patented piston to help trigger the oxidation process at exactly the right time for each incoming gallon. 

ActivFlo technology keeps the process reserved to one tank, and that means most flow rates are compatible. This highly cost-effective water filter and softener combo requires minimal downtime, and guarantees a perfect backwash, making the Springwell WSSS AIO the best whole house salt-free water filter and softener combo!

Warranty: Lifetime on tanks and valves, plus a first 6-month guarantee or your money back

Pros:

  • Unique AIO filtering system
  • Rigorously tested for optimum performance
  • Maintenance-free contaminant removal
  • Easy to read LED tank monitor

Cons: 

  • A lower home flow rate may not completely filter out metals

3. Best Value Whole House Water Filter And Softener Combo: Crystal Quest SMART Water Filter With Salt Based Water Softener OR Saltless Water Conditioner Crystal Quest SMART Whole House Water Filter and Water Softener Combo Reviews_Salt Based Water Softener

Crystal Quest SMART Water Filter and Salt Based Water Softener Combo System

Crystal Quest Water Filter and Softener Combo

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Shopping for a whole house water filter and softener by Crystal Quest is a mix and match experience. Crystal Quest builds for tap and well water filtration and softening. 

Choose between a standalone or combo fiberglass or stainless steel water filter construction, then add your choice of a salt or salt-free water softener and 1 million or 1.5 million gallon capacity.

Crystal Quest’s impressive 6-stage water filtration process includes two stages of SMART Multimedia. Stage one incorporates coconut shell granulated activated carbons (GAC).

Stage two consists of catalytic GAC, a relatively new media, which increases the life and adsorption capacity of the media and removes herbicides, pesticides, petroleum, and pharmaceutical by-product.

Stages three and four incorporate Crystal Quest’s patented Eagle Redox Alloy® (ERA) 6500 & 9500. Ion exchange resins infused with additional GAC work to reduce lead & mercury. ERA also extends the life of the GAC media and helps prevent the growth of bacteria.

Finally, in stages, five and six ceramic and tourmaline balls oxygenate and increase the water alkalinity to achieve a balanced pH between 6.5-8.5.

Filtered water leaves the tank and enters the water softening tank. The ion exchange process in the resin filter removes the magnesium and calcium ions. The hard water passes through the resin beads and regenerates in the brine tank, renewing the media to transform your hard water into soft water. 

Pros:

  • Scientifically formulated 6-stage water filtration
  • 29% increase in water heater efficiency
  • 70% savings on household detergents and soaps
  • Extended your appliance’s life by 30%
  • Affordable UV Water Sterilizer & Leak Detector Smart Valve Add-ons
  • Easy-to-use and read LED controls

Cons: 

  • Considerable investment

Crystal Quest SMART Whole House Water Filter and Water Softener Combo Reviews_Salt-Free Water ConditionerCrystal Quest SMART Water Filter and Saltless Water Conditioner System

Crystal Quest Water Filter and Softener Combo

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The Crystal Quest whole house water filter and water softening salt-free system includes the patented and proprietary 6-stage water filtration system and a lot more advanced technology than the competitor brands. 

Maintenance of a traditional salt-based water softener system requires the periodic purchase of a brine solution or backwash solution. Unlike the conventional water softener, the Crystal Quest salt-free conditioner saves you the extra expense and switches up the way it softens your water without removing the calcium and magnesium particles.  

The filter media in the conditioner chamber changes the calcium’s chemical composition, which means no limescale and no harm to your pipes and appliances. Crystal Quest’s ion exchange technology occurs on a nano-molecular level. 

It transforms minerals into mechanically stable nanoparticles. The harsh calcium rinses away, so your clothes stay brighter, your skin and hair softer, and your dishes and glassware sparkling clean!

Whether you choose a traditional Crystal Quest SMART whole house water filter and softener or the SMART salt-free water filter and softener, it’s clear you’re investment is worth every penny. No matter your water source, the Crystal Quest SMART is the best whole house water filter and softener for tap and well water.

Pros:

  • Patented 6 stage SMART water filtration technology
  • Does not require salt and is minimal maintenance
  • Easy to set up LED control valve
  • Extend appliances life
  • Eliminate scale buildup and remove existing buildup

Cons:

  • May required professional installation

4. Best Whole House Water Filter And Softener Combo for Iron Removal:  SoftPro Elite Well Water Softener Well Water & Pro Iron Filter PackageSoftPro Elite Well Water Softener Well Water & Pro Iron Filter Package_Whole House Water Filter and Water Softener Combo Reviews

SoftPro Elite Well Water Softener Well Water & Pro Iron Filter Package

Freshnss Water Filter and Softener Combo Reviews

Investing in a water softener treatment system saves a typical household up to $517 per year. But you don’t just save money with the SoftPro Elite Water Softener for Well Water

The water softener system saves salt, by pre-making only 70% of the brine before regeneration to maximize the resin media. That means less trips to the store! SoftPro Elite’s onboard computer calculates an exact amount of brine top-up to save 30% of the salt, in the tank, for each softening cycle.

You’ll experience high efficiency from the SoftPro Elite too. If the total capacity of the water in the tank drops below 3%, the system kicks in with a 15-minute recharge to allow the softener to keep running safely until your designated pre-set regeneration time. The time you program the SoftPro to operate remains static in the computer’s memory until you decide to make changes.

SoftPro recommends conserving as much capacity in the tank as possible, by remembering to add only treated soft water to the brine tank. Raw untreated hard water can corrupt the system.

The savings keep adding up with the SoftPro. If you take a vacation and no water is used for up to seven days, the system automatically refreshes. This process prevents bacteria growth. And, when you return home, you’ll have a fresh tank of soft water.

As we’ve mentioned, well water has the tendency to carry high levels of harmful iron. Add a full-featured, high-efficiency, Pro Iron Package to your SoftPro Elite Water Softener for Well Water

The smart control valve and 1″ ports on the iron filtration tank maintain high flow rates and are guaranteed to reduce high-level amounts of iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide.

Advanced Air Injection Oxidation (AIO) utilizes air as a natural oxidizer to boost as much iron removal as possible.

Pros:

  • Save up to 38% of annual operating costs
  • Pays for itself within 3.5 years
  • Reduce weekly cleaning time up to 4 hours per week
  • Innovative Vacation Mode activates every 7 days
  • Auto-reserve for all day soft water 
  • SoftPro’s complimentary water analysis report

Cons: 

  • Considerable investment

5. Best NSF Whole House Water Filter And Softener Combo for Municipal Water: Pentair Pelican Whole House Water Filter & Salt-Free Water Softener Alternative ComboPentaire Pelican Water Filter and Softener Combo Reviews

Pelican Whole House Water Filter & Salt-Free Water Softener Alternative Combo

Freshnss Reviews Pelican Water

Not all whole house water filters and softener combos are created equally. Nor are they compatible with all types of water sources. Meet the Pelican Whole House filtration system; great for your city water, not so great for your well water. Here’s why. Its main function is to filter out chlorine. This is great, except there are many more contaminants to consider.

Pelican’s chlorine filter and Natursoft water softener “alternative,” provides the best of both worlds. Acting as a water aroma remover, taste refresher, and water softener Pelican guarantees the extended lifespan of your water-using appliances. 

A mixture of chlorine and hard water can cause a lot of issues in your water. It wreaks havoc with your health and over time, wears down your water-powered appliances. 

Avoid itchy skin. Eliminate the soap scum and scale build-up. Keep healthy water at your tap with a certified reduction of 97% of chlorine.

With the Pelican durable stainless steel dual-tank water filter and Natursoft water softener alternative, combo water management in every room where your water flows is as easy as installing the system and turning it on.

The Pelican is easy-to-use, reduces chemical taste, odor of chlorine and hard water effects. And, unlike traditional salt-based softeners, this salt-free alternative improves your water experience without the hassle or maintenance of salt refills. 

But, the Pelican doesn’t cooperate with well water sources. It is specially designed for city water sources.

Pros:

Cons: 

  • Must purchase an installation kit

Best Whole House Water Filter And Softener Combo Buyer’s Guide


Before purchasing a whole house water filter and softener you should do a bit of research to determine your water quality. Is it too acidic, have high levels of contaminants; and what is the source of your water? How is it treated and what is it treated with before it makes its way into your plumbing? 

Knowing this data helps you understand the type of water filtration system and the filters the system utilizes to achieve the best results – pure, clean, healthy, tasty water for your home, family, and pets.

Your Home Water Quality

If water filtration and softening were a mathematical equation, it would look something like this:  Test + composition + percentage of hardness = the right filtration system.  We recommend starting by testing your home’s water as a jumping-off point to find the ideal water solution. 

Knowing exactly what levels of harmful metals, POCs, pesticides, and bacteria are swimming in your tap or well water, and determining the current Ph balance will inform you of the right model of whole house water filter and softening combo. Do the math!

The water flowing through your plumbing, into your tap, faucets, and appliances comes from two sources. Groundwater is collected from rain and snowfall, and surface water is “borrowed” from streams and lakes. 

Groundwater supplies 95% of US households and is chock full of healthy minerals! But don’t get too excited; it can also contain harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Rainwater becomes acidic when it comes in contact with carbon dioxide in the air, and precipitates around specks of dust and airborne bacteria which can lead to eye and respiratory irritation.

A call to the manufacturer’s customer support center or to your local water municipality is helpful too!

Filter Process And Stages

Defined simply, water filtration is the process of “pushing” water under pressure through a series of media layers. Popular media layers include activated carbon, catalytic carbon, ion exchange resin beads, silica sand, mineral stones, and infrared ceramic beads.

As the water moves through these different layers of media, the largest particles are trapped and removed. As the water washes through the final media layer, the water is either purified or filtered, softened, and ready to drink! 

Meets NSF Standards

It is easy to take the safety of your water, food, and consumer products for granted. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) ensures industry standards and safety regulations. The NSF holds companies accountable to these standards when producing the vast array of products we use daily.

Look for the NSF “seal of approval.” If you see it on your whole house water filter and softener combo system, you know it was rigorously tested ​​by the respected leader of global independent product testing organizations. 

PH Range

The scientific definition of pH range is “the measure of how acidic or alkaline (basic) a substance is, measured on a scale from 0 to 14. pH testing measures the concentration of hydrogen ions in your water.

Acidic water indicates a high concentration of harmful heavy metals, while alkaline water may contain fewer good minerals and higher contaminants.

If the test measures between 10-14, your water is more acidic; 0-5, basic, 6-8 denote being in the perfect range, and 7 is perfectly neutral.

Determine your water’s pH before purchasing a whole house water filter and softener. Your pH will inform the amount of media layers and the type of softener tank to buy and help you decide if you want to add a UV filter. More info on the use of UV filters is listed below.

Water Flow And Pressure

At the core of successful water filtration and softening is water flow and pressure, or pounds per square inch (psi). Water flow is determined by water pressure. More water is forced through the plumbing if the pressure is high, causing a greater water flow.

High water pressure overworks the filter, potentially causing microns of unfiltered particles, bacteria, and VOCs to enter your home. 

Conversely, if the water pressure is too low, the water passing through the system can take hours to filter and cause interruptions in your daily water-supplied routines. 

UV Technology

A popular choice in advanced water filtration technology and contamination removal is ultraviolet (UV) filtration. A UV light is an affordable and easy to install addition to your whole house water filtration and softener system.

Installation And Maintenance

The key to a successful whole house water filter and softener combo system is 1) knowing your plumbing, and 2) feeling confident that if the instructions from the manufacturer say “easy to install” you read them front-to-back. If the manufacturer’s website offers a DIY installation video, even better!

Depending on the age and material composition of your plumbing you’ll want to ensure all of the pipe fittings and connections are secure before powering up your water filter.

A Few Installation Facts To Keep In Mind:

  • A filter mounting bracket needs to be secured to a wall or floor joist.
  • Install the filtration system to your existing plumbing near the horizontal run by your shut-off valve
  • Always read up on the manufacturer’s installation recommendations to get an understanding of the model’s clearances and dimension specifications. 

When in doubt call a plumber and ask for a low-cost installation estimate. You are spending your good-earned money to improve your lifestyle, so, do it right the first time.


FAQs


Is it Easy to Install a Whole House Water Filter and Softener Combo?

Before installing your whole house water filter and softener combo, determine, if you need an installation permit. If in doubt, can your local water municipality. If you think the installation might be a bit too complex, call around for quotes for a professional plumber. 

If you’re more of a DIY kind of person, walk through the places in your home that are easily accessible and close to your plumbing’s water intake. 

Places to scout in your home should include something proximal to your main water shut-off valve, either in your basement or on the outside perimeter of the house. You might also find the shut-off valve in your utility close

How Does a Whole House Water Softener and Filter work?

A whole house water filtration system works to remove contaminants, VOCs, bacteria, silt, sediment, and more by using multi-chambered filters aka media before the water flows through your pipes and into your faucets, showers, and appliances. 

Adding a water softener adds extra layers of filtering, and helps removes the minerals which cause hard water to build and scale on dishware and water-powered appliances. 

How do salt-free water softeners work? (Salt Vs Salt-Free Water Softener)

Salt-free water softeners replace the traditional sodium cleaning process with a combination of crystallization filtering water conversion and a unique resin bead-lined water filter tank.

What are the benefits of a water filter and softener combo?

Water filters are beneficial for the initial water cleansing process. Dirt and sediment are trapped through layers of carbon-based filters and then pass through fine “mesh” micron filters which catch up to 99% of the harmful and volatile VOCs, metals, bacteria, and chemicals. 

After the water is filtered it passes through the water softener system. At this stage, the filtered water is oxidized. Resin bead filters, charged with sodium or potassium ions, replace themselves with the hard water calcium and magnesium ions. 

Do I Need a Water Softener if I Have a Whole House Filter?

For obvious reasons, yes, however, if you aren’t experiencing hard water issues, test your water and then determine how having the water softener might help make your water safer, cleaner, and healthier. 

Do I Also Need a Water Softener For Well Water?

Yes, the added protection of a water softener for your well water is like having an extra insurance policy. 

Do Water Softeners Help For Sulfur, Manganese, Iron, and Tannins

Definitely consider a water softener if sulfur is present in your water, and if your water tests for high levels of metals, the water softener is a great addition, considering it is the last water filtering system before the filtered water enters your plumbing, faucets, and appliances.

How Much Does a Water Filter and Softener Combo Cost to Install and Maintain?

Standalone tank-style water softeners, which are compatible with the whole house water filters we recommend in this buyer’s guide are approximately $1,500 to $3,000. Keep in mind you’re paying for larger capacities and more filtering media on the high-priced models.

How Often Will I Need to Change Water Filters and Water Softener Filters?

Technology has advanced enough in the water filtering industry that most current whole house water filters don’t need filter changes! Read the fine print and contact the customer support team when you decide on the water filter you want to purchase. You’ll want to calculate additional annual costs into your budget. 

Salt-powered water softeners need a recharge depending on the quality of your hard water and the flow rate.

If you’re concerned about bacteria growth, and build-up, and to prevent clogging, and keep your flow rate and water pressure from slowing down, go by the standard rule of thumb, and change your water filters, and water softener filters either every 3-6 months, or 9-12 months depending on the number of media, size of the filters, and the manufacturer’s recommendation. 

Is UV Light Required for Water Filtering and Softening?

UV light is a safe, proven, chemical-free way to kill up to 99.9% of all microorganisms living in your tap and well water. UV filters are an especially great addition for well water filtration, or if you want that extra filtration protection—UV is not a required process of the whole house water filter and softener combo experience. 


Final Thoughts on Buying a Whole House Water Filter And Softener Combo

It is important to learn about the source that supplies the water to your home. How is the water treated? How old the pipes are that bring the water into your home? You should know the answers to all of these questions.

The obvious answer is, “the city tests, treats, and provides your water. They follow the legal limits and protocols to remove contaminants set by the EPA.” Unfortunately, that isn’t enough. 

You should also know that your water is:

  • Coagulated & flocculated – chemically manipulated to remove oils
  • Carbon filtered to remove sediment 
  • Run through 4 filters: Pre-, Membrane, Post-, and Polishing
  • Disinfected
  • Sampled Tested daily and approved for consumption

That makes it safe to drink, right? Maybe. Add a whole house water filter and softener combo to your home’s water intake. It’s a healthy and sensible way to live a better life.

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