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Water Filtration System Costs 2024: Whole House & Under Sink

Water filtration system

Even though the water in your home has been treated and is considered safe to drink, it can still be loaded with contaminants that aren’t conducive to great health. Old water pipes are corroded and release metals like lead and copper into your water. Chemicals from water treatment such as chlorine and fluoride can ruin the taste of your water and aren’t exactly beneficial for your health.

Luckily, it’s easier than ever to get clean and pure drinking water, even in the comfort of your home. Water filtration systems are becoming more accessible and affordable than ever. While you could go the route of a small filter pitcher, an under-sink or whole-house filter system provides far more convenience by allowing you to pull filtered, clean water straight from your tap.

Of course, small-scale water filtration such as filter pitchers tend to be quite affordable. Larger systems can be pretty pricey though. Depending on your needs, you could spend as little as $200 or well over $4000. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the costs associated with under-sink and whole-house water filtration systems to help you determine which is the better bet for your budget and your home.

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Whole House Versus Under Sink Water Filters

Either of these filtration systems will provide you with an essentially endless supply of clean drinking water straight from your faucet. However, there are some major differences between these systems that make each one preferable in certain situations.

Whole House Water Filter

whole house water filter system
Image Credit: Maksim Safaniuk, Shutterstock

A whole house water filtration system will filter water as it’s coming into your home, ensuring that all of the water in your home is completely filtered and pure. This can provide a ton of benefits. First and foremost being that you’ll have filtered water coming from every tap in your home. You’ll be showering in filtered water, drinking it, using it for your clothes, and even cleaning your dishes with filtered water.

One of the big benefits here is that since your water is devoid of excessive minerals thanks to the filtration, it won’t leave the crusty white residue behind that you’re constantly cleaning off of your sinks and showers. The water will be softer on your skin and can even help reduce issues with skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema. Furthermore, those minerals break down soap, and without them, you’ll have an easier time cleaning dishes with less soap and your clothes will be cleaner as well.

Of course, there are some drawbacks to whole-house filter systems as well. For instance, these tend to be expensive. While you might be able to get a very basic whole-house system for under $1000, the fancy systems with all of the bells and whistles can cost several times more. You also have to consider the cost of installation since installing a whole house system can be rather labor-intensive and requires skills that are likely beyond those of your average DIY enthusiast.


  • Filters water through the whole house
  • Cleaner clothes
  • Cleaner dishes
  • Good for skin conditions
  • Reduced buildup on faucets and showerheads
  • Can be prohibitively expensive
  • Usually requires a professional to install

Under Sink Water Filter

Reverse osmosis water purification system at home_chekyravaa_shutterstock
Image Credit: chekyravaa, Shutterstock

The biggest advantage of an under-sink system compared to a whole-house filter is cost. Under-sink filter systems are usually much cheaper than whole-home systems. After all, they only have to filter water to a single faucet, which is one of the downfalls of such a system. With an under-sink system, you won’t get the benefits of showering and washing your clothes in filtered water. However, your dishes will still be easier to clean, provided the system is installed on your kitchen sink. You’ll also have unlimited access to filtered drinking water straight from the faucet, which is one of the main draws of such a system, in the first place.

Not only are under-sink filter systems cheaper, but they’re also far less complicated. This makes them easier to install, so if you have some basic DIY skills, you can probably install an under-sink system on your own. Naturally, this saves you even more money since you won’t have to pay for a professional to install your filter.


  • Cleaner dishes
  • Affordable pricing
  • Easy to install – can be installed DIY
  • Only filters water to one sink

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Types of Whole House Water Filters

One of the reasons that prices can range so drastically on whole-house filter systems is that there are several different types of filters you could use. The following four whole-house filters are the most common and popular types.

1. Carbon Filters

Carbon cartridges and a glass of water on a wooden background
Image Credit: ivan kislitsin, Shutterstock

Of all the whole-house water filters, carbon filters are the most prevalent. They’re affordable to install, and replacement filters are cheap as well. You could spend as little as $600 installing a carbon filter system on your home, though prices can certainly climb from there.

2. Reverse Osmosis

Domestic reverse osmosis filter
Image credit: tetiana_u, Shutterstock

Reverse osmosis uses a membrane to filter your water and can strip virtually every contaminant from your water, leaving you with completely pure water. The downside is that they’re rather wasteful, wasting several gallons of water for each gallon of clean water produced. Reverse osmosis systems can be had in under-sink form for as little as $250, but for a whole house RO system, you should expect to spend no less than $1,000, though you could easily spend several times more.

3. Ionization

Alkaline Ionized Water on white_food impressions_shutterstock
Image Credit: food impressions, Shutterstock

Ionization systems reverse the charge of minerals in your water using low-frequency electromagnetic pulses. Once their charges are reversed, the minerals are removed. Ionization systems cost between $1,000-$2,000 on average.

4. Ultraviolet

7Express Water Ultraviolet Reverse Osmosis

Ultraviolet systems utilize UV lights to kill off microorganisms like bacteria, protozoa, cysts, and more. While they’re excellent for killing organisms, these systems do not remove sediment and particles from the water, so they’re generally paired up with other types of filter systems. For just a UV filter system on your whole house, you’ll be looking at spending $800-$2,000.

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Under Sink Water Filter Costs

If you’re shopping on a budget, then an under-sink filter system is probably going to seem more appealing to you. These systems are affordably priced, costing $200-$1,300 on average, though it’s possible to get yours for even cheaper. Specialty under-sink systems like reverse osmosis can cost a bit more, though they still fall within this general price range. Thankfully, these systems are generally simple enough that homeowners can install them without needing to pay for professional assistance, which would greatly increase the overall cost of the system.

Whole House Water Filter Costs

Whole-house water filter systems cost considerably more than under-sink systems. In fact, prices for whole-house systems start pretty close to peak costs for an under-sink system. Granted, you’re getting a myriad of additional benefits with a whole house system, which is why so many people are willing to fork out the higher investment.

On average, a whole-house filter system will set you back $1,000-$4,200. A basic system using just charcoal filters will be your cheapest bet and could set you back as little as $600, though you’d have to be able to install it yourself. Reverse osmosis and other specialty systems can cost an awful lot more, so expect to spend a few thousand if you want more than just your standard charcoal filtration system.

Unless you’re very handy or you get a super basic whole-house filter system, you’ll probably need to hire a professional to install it. In some cases, special plumbing may be necessary, which incurs even more costs. This price might be offset a bit by the bottled water you no longer need to purchase, but there’s no question that a whole-house filter system will cost you a lot more than an under-sink filter.

reverse osmosis water filter system
Image Credit: Numstocker, Shutterstock

Which Is a Better Choice for You?

The truth is, both of these systems are excellent choices. You really can’t go wrong with either one. If you currently have unfiltered water coming through your tap, then you’ll find either system to be highly beneficial. However, for most people, one will definitely be preferable for one reason or another.

Cost is often the biggest factor here. Under-sink systems are cheaper, so if you’re price shopping, start looking for an under-sink filter. You can save even more by installing it yourself, which is much harder on a whole house system. But under-sink systems only filter water to one faucet, so you’re missing out on other benefits such as cleaner clothes, healthier skin, and less residue around your faucets. Still, you’ll have an endless supply of clean and healthy drinking water with both filter systems, so it’s mostly a matter of convenience and preference. Both systems will meet your needs for clean drinking water.

Related Read: Reverse Osmosis System Cost: Whole House & Single Tap Cost Analysis

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You could spend many thousands on a water filtration system, but on average, you’ll be spending between $150 and $4,000 for either an under-sink or whole-house filter system. Systems that filter only a single faucet will be on the lower end of the spectrum while prices for whole-home filter systems start nearly as expensive as some of the highest-end under-sink systems. But having filtered water throughout the entire home has many benefits. You’ll just have to decide if those benefits are worth the increased cost over a single-sink system.

Featured Image Credit: FOTOGRIN, Shutterstock


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