Reverse osmosis systems are the only way to reduce the total dissolved solids in your water that standard activated charcoal filters will leave behind. Another benefit to these systems is they will save you from needing bottled water, which is convenient and great for the environment.
We’ve chosen nine different reverse osmosis systems to review for you so you can see the pros and cons of each. By reading over these reviews, you’ll see what problems we had as well as what worked. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide, where we take a closer look at how these devices clean the water.
Join us while we take a close look at whole house reverse osmosis systems and discuss flow rate, filtration stages, weight, flushing, and more to help you make an educated purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||iSpring RCS5T Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System||
|Best Value||APEC ROES-PH75 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System||
|Premium Choice||WECO 0500GAC-CAL-UV RO Water Filter System||
|iSpring RCB3P Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System||
|Waterdrop WD-G3-W Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System||
The 9 Best Whole House Reverse Osmosis System – Reviews 2021
1. iSpring RCS5T Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System – Best Overall
The iSpring RCS5T Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System is our pick for the best overall reverse osmosis system. This unit features five-stage filtration that combines traditional activated charcoal type filtering with reverse osmosis. It can filter up to 500 gallons per day, and it works to minimizes wastewater. The filter is easy to replace when called for, and it automatically flushes itself when needed. It also comes with a booster pump to help increase the flow rate without putting extra pressure on your home appliances. The easy to read pressure gauge keeps you informed about the condition of the membrane, and it comes with a 360-degree swivel faucet.
The only real downside to the iSpring RCS5T Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System is that it’s challenging to install because it’s complex and heavy.
2. APEC ROES-PH75 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System – Best Value
The APEC ROES-PH75 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System is our pick for the best whole house reverse osmosis system for the money. It features six-stage filtration that combines activated charcoal with reverse osmosis to deliver the cleanest water possible. It removes a wide range of contaminants, including chlorine, VOCs. Lead, arsenic, and more. It includes a faucet and can provide up to 75 gallons of purified water each day.
The only real downside to the APEC ROES-PH75 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System is that it is difficult to install.
3. WECO 0500GAC-CAL-UV RO Water Filter System – Premium Choice
The WECO 0500GAC-CAL-UV RO Water Filter System is our premium choice whole house reverse osmosis system. It has five 100-gallon per day filter membranes that deliver 500 gallons of clean water each day. It has an activated charcoal prefilter and also utilizes a UV disinfection system to remove organic contaminants. A pH neutralizing filter helps keep your water at the right pH, so contaminants can’t grow. A booster pump helps raise the pressure to push the water through the membrane at a faster rate, and internal pressure sensors regulate how much the pump operates.
We found the WECO 0500GAC-CAL-UV RO Water Filter System to be extremely difficult to install, in large part due to the nearly impossible to follow instructions, and we do this type of work all the time. It’s also quite heavy weighing more than 70 pounds.
4. iSpring RCB3P Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
The iSpring RCB3P Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System can produce up to three hundred gallons of clean water per day. It uses a three-stage filtration system that combines the powerful reverse osmosis system with activated charcoal to produce cleaner, better-tasting water. One of the biggest advantages of this system is that it comes installed in a freestanding steel frame, so you don’t need to install it or hang it on the wall.
The downside to this device is the canisters. It’s hard to replace the filters because the o-ring comes unseated, and if it’s not seated correctly, it will leak. Even when we were able to position the o-ring correctly, the unit would still leak slightly around the connections.
5. Waterdrop WD-G3-W Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
The NSF certifies the Waterdrop WD-G3-W Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System for TDS reduction. Certification means a third party tested the device and found it does lower the Total Dissolved Solids as it claims. It’s easy to install, and you can have it filtering water in less than five minutes. The filter is also easy to change, and it features a unique design with many layers, including an activated carbon prefilter, to help get your water as clean as possible. We also found this model to produce less wastewater than many of the other brands.
The biggest downside to the Waterdrop WD-G3-W Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System is that it doesn’t get the water clean enough. The filter is too porous, and while it does lower the THD as claimed, we found the water still had a taste and slight odor. Testing showed the water was still high with some contaminates. The faucet included in the package is extremely flimsy, and we were afraid when we used it that it might break. The system also requires manual flushing from time to time.
6. Watts Premier WP531411, RO-Pure with Chrome faucet 4-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
The Watts Premier WP531411, RO-Pure with Chrome faucet 4-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System features a compact design, especially for a reverse osmosis filter, and you can mount it under the sink or another similar small area. It features four-stage filtration with pre and post-carbon filters that help remove contaminants as well as improve the taste. It’s easy to install and only requires a couple of connections, and all instructions come with it. Filter changing is where this brand shines, and its one of the few that doesn’t make you shut off the water to change it. A push-button system allows you to change the filter without leaking or turning off the water.
What we didn’t like about the Watts Premier WP531411, RO-Pure with Chrome faucet 4-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System was the finicky drain saddle. This device falls out of place at the slightest bump, and when it does, it adds a lot of noise to the system. We also noticed the faucet started dripping after a few weeks.
7. Waterdrop G2 RO Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
The Waterdrop G2 RO Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System is a compact unit that does not use a storage tank to hold the filtered water, and it makes it as needed. It includes two filters to make sure you get started drinking fresh water immediately, and the filters last about four months, which is longer than many of the activated charcoal types. This unit is capable of producing up to 400 gallons of water per day.
We found two flaws with the Waterdrop G2 RO Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System that we need to bring to your attention. The first is that you need to allow the water to run before the filtration kicks in, which means you can waste up to a half-gallon each time you need it. The second problem is that the filter allows more and more impurities to remain in the water as you use it, long before it’s time for a filter change.
8. Whirlpool WHER25 Reverse Osmosis (RO) Filtration System
The Whirlpool WHER25 Reverse Osmosis (RO) Filtration System is a reverse osmosis system built by a well-known appliance company. This band features three-stage filtering for cleaner water. The prefilter uses activated carbon to help reduce contaminants and improve taste before the water moves through the membrane filter. An LED indicator alerts you when it’s time to change the filter.
Unfortunately, the Whirlpool WHER25 Reverse Osmosis (RO) Filtration System didn’t come with all the required parts, and we needed to make several trips to the hardware store to get it installed. Once we had the parts, it was still a challenging install, even though the directions were pretty straightforward. When we finally got it running, we noticed the water was very slow coming out of the faucet and would take several minutes to fill a coffee pot.
9. iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Superb Taste High Capacity Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System
The iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Superb Taste High Capacity Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System is the last brand of whole house reverse osmosis water filtering systems. This model features five-stage that remove most contaminants from your water. It has three prefilters that include an activated carbon filter that will help remove large contaminants from the water. It also helps reduce chlorine levels, which protects your membrane and extends its life. The compact design will fit under your sink or and small space in your home, and the DIY installation is easy to complete and includes step by step instructions.
We didn’t like that you can only use iSpring filters in the iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Superb Taste High Capacity Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System. There are many great filters on the market, and it’s common to choose filters based on your unique situation. Another thing we didn’t like was that the canisters develop tiny pinholes in the bottom and begin to leak.
Let’s look at some of the most important things to look for when choosing your next whole house reverse osmosis system.
How it Works
Reverse osmosis works by pushing water through a membrane filled with tiny holes that only allow water molecules to pass. Often, the pressure is required from a booster pump to help push the water through the membrane. Water that passes is pure and contains no contaminants. Water that does not pass through is brine. Brine is wastewater that is not suitable for drinking.
One of the first things you will want to consider before you purchase a whole house reverse osmosis filtration system is how much water the device can deliver. Most systems measure flow rate in gallons per day, and most of the ones on our list deliver between 75 and 500 gallons per day.
A single person or a couple will likely find 74 gallons per day sufficient. A larger family might struggle with that amount and require a larger unit. You will need to try to figure out how much water you need before settling on a specific model. Since we are discussing whole house units, you’ll need to remember that showers and laundry add quite a bit to your daily water use, but one of the biggest offenders is the toilet. A toilet can use three or more gallons of water every flush, and if your osmosis unit is refilling, it can put a lot of stress on a 75 gallon per day machine.
The number of stages a filter has is often a way to tell how good the water will be. However, more stages mean more maintenance and more filter changes, and the additional stages will also take up more space and add weight. Multistage filters usually employ an activated carbon prefilter. This prefilter can help take some of the filtering duties off the more expensive membrane. It also removes chlorine, which can damage the sensitive membrane. You might even have a post-filter carbon stage, and other types of filters to further reduce the strain on the membrane.
Installation is important to look at because some of these systems are quite complex and difficult to install. Some systems come prebuilt and only require you to connect the waterline while others require mounting on the wall and following hard to read instructions. We tried to mention brands that gave us a difficult time installing them as well as those that didn’t.
One thing that is the same with all reverse osmosis systems is that they waste some water. How much water they waste varies greatly from brand to brand, but most fall between 1:1 and 1:5. When the package reads 1:1, it means for every gallon of clean water. One will be a waste. 1:5 means that for every gallon of clean water, five will be waste.
We highly recommend trying to find brands that are close to 1:1 to reduce waste and cut down your water bill.
We recommend our pick for the best overall. The iSpring RCS5T Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System features five-stage filtration and can produce up to 500 gallons per day with little waste. It’s easy to change the filter, and it comes with a booster pump and a faucet. The APEC ROES-PH75 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System is our pick for the best value, and it’s perfect for anyone that wants something as good as our top choice but doesn’t require as much water. This unit features six stages of filtration but only delivers about 75 gallons per day.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading over our reverse osmosis reviews and have found a brand that you like. If we have helped you learn a little more about reverse osmosis and how these devices work, please share these whole house reverse osmosis system reviews on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: nata-lunata, Shutterstock
Pete has been working in the trades since high school, where he first developed a passion for woodworking. Over the years, he has developed a keen interest in a wide variety of DIY projects around the home. Fascinated by all sort of tools, Pete loves reading and writing about all the latest gadgets and accessories that hit the market. His other interests include astronomy, hiking, and fishing.
As the founder of House Grail, David’s primary goal is to help consumers make educated decisions about DIY projects at home, in the garage, and in the garden.
- 1 A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- 2 The 9 Best Whole House Reverse Osmosis System – Reviews 2021
- 2.1 1. iSpring RCS5T Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System – Best Overall
- 2.2 2. APEC ROES-PH75 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System – Best Value
- 2.3 3. WECO 0500GAC-CAL-UV RO Water Filter System – Premium Choice
- 2.4 4. iSpring RCB3P Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System
- 2.5 5. Waterdrop WD-G3-W Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
- 2.6 6. Watts Premier WP531411, RO-Pure with Chrome faucet 4-Stage Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
- 2.7 7. Waterdrop G2 RO Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
- 2.8 8. Whirlpool WHER25 Reverse Osmosis (RO) Filtration System
- 2.9 9. iSpring RCC7AK 6-Stage Superb Taste High Capacity Under Sink Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System
- 3 Buyer’s Guide
- 4 Conclusion