Seven years ago I didn’t even know what iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide were. Fast forward to today and I’ve researched and reviewed over fifty different water filter systems, including dozens of whole house water filters.
To choose the best iron filter for well water, you need to match the system to your water’s quality. Then look for a flow rate high enough for your needs, and a distributor offering a generous warranty and customer support.
The best whole house water filter for well water without chemicals is the SpringWell Well Water Iron Filter. It’s an extremely thorough filtration system for up to 7PPM of iron and also comes with a lifetime warranty and a 6-month money-back guarantee. For very high iron levels up to 20PPM, try the Matrixx inFusion from US Water Systems.
Our top six whole house iron filters for well water
Best Air Injection System
Best for High Iron Levels
Best Budget Iron Filter
Best Iron Filters for Well Water
- Springwell Well Water Filter: Iron Removal Air Injection System
(Best Air Injection System) > See review
- Matrixx inFusion from US Water Systems
(Best for High Iron Levels) > See review
- Pelican Water Iron & Manganese Water Filter
(Best alternative chemical injection system ) > See review
- Tier1 Whole House Water Filtration System for Iron, Manganese, and Hydrogen Sulfide Reduction
(Cheapest Air Injection System) > See review
- AFWFilters Iron Pro2 Fine Mesh Water Softener
(Best Water Softener for Iron Removal) > See review
- iSpring WGB32BM 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System
(Best Budget Iron Filter System) > See review
We’ve also written a buyer’s guide to help you sort through all the best iron filters for well water on the market. Jump to the section you need using the table of contents below.
Clean drinking water here we come!
Six Best Whole House Water Filter Systems for Well Water Reviewed
Here are six reviews. Each of these five well water filtration systems is suitable for specific water quality, household size, or budget.
Springwell Well Water Filter: Iron Removal Air Injection System
Best air-injection well filter
- Price: $$$$$
- Iron Filtration: air-injection oxidization
- Iron level: up to 7PPM
- Also removes: manganese, hydrogen sulfide,
- Flow rate: 12GPM (1 – 4 bathrooms) / 20GPM (4+ bathrooms)
- Warranty: Lifetime warranty / 6 month-money back guarantee
Our favorite air-injection oxidizing iron filter for well water is the Springwell Whole House Well Water Filter System. It’s best-suited for removing both ferrous iron (clear water) and ferric iron(red water) up to levels of 7PPM of iron. So it’s suitable for all but the very worst iron-contaminated water.
This is a single-tank system. One advantage of this is that it’s extremely efficient, doesn’t use chemicals, and requires virtually zero maintenance. So once installed you don’t need to do anything else.
SpringWell’s Air Injection Oxidizing Iron Filter System can also remove hydrogen sulfide and manganese. It works by injecting water with oxygen. This is a natural process that doesn’t use chemicals. So this is a great way to get cheap, safe drinking water without buying bottled water.
The lowest flow rate option is 12GPM. This is more than adequate for three-bathroom houses. So even if everyone decides to take a shower at the same time, you’ll still have decent water pressure.
Unless you’re experienced, you’ll probably need a plumber to install it. If you do plan to go it alone, SpringWell’s installation guide is the easiest to follow on this whole list. It features full-color pictures with simple instructions. This will make your life a lot easier.
We also love that there’s an easy-to-use Bluetooth app to control the system. You can change valve settings and start cycles directly from your smartphone. As I’m a bit of a data geek, one thing I think is especially cool is being able to check up on your water usage and pull up historical data.
One reviewer said that their water was orange and awful smelling before installing this system. And even though installation took some work, it was worth the effort in the end because now they have clean, fresh-tasting water without the worry of staining clothes, appliances, or plumbing.
Another said that the backwash is quiet, so it doesn’t disturb people when running a cycle in the early hours.
It’s worth noting that this system doesn’t remove tannins.
Get one of the best deals on a whole house iron filter for well water with an industry-leading 6-month money-back guarantee. Check it out on SpringWell’s website.
Matrixx Infusion Iron & Sulfur Removal System
Best for very high iron, iron bacteria & sulfur
- Price: $$$$
- Iron Filtration: hydrogen peroxide injection
- Iron level: up to 20ppm FE
- Also removes: sulfur, manganese, silt, sediment
- Flow rate: from 10GPM (1 – 3 bathrooms) to 25GPM
- Warranty: Lifetime (tank), 10 years (carbon filter valve & electronics),
5 years (injection panel)
For higher levels of iron than air-injection systems can handle, our pick is the Matrixx Infusion iron filter system. It’s a great all-in-one system that eliminates iron up to 20PPM – so you can finally get rid of those stubborn orange stains in your bathroom. It uses H2O2 injection, which means it oxidizes (removes iron & sulfur) much more effectively than chlorine or air injection.
Continuous injection technology injects hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which oxidates the iron so effectively that it can deal with extreme iron levels (up to 20PPM). Most experts consider this method the best way to remove sulfur smells, so if you’re noticing a bad ‘rotten-egg smell’ in your water, the Matrixx Infusion is a great option.
One of our favorite things about the Matrixx Infusion is that the price doesn’t go up excessively if you need a higher flow rate (which does happen with some other manufacturers). Four options are available (10, 15, 20, & 25GPM), and you’ll only pay roughly 15% extra to upgrade to the largest model suitable for over seven bathrooms.
We downloaded the WaterLogixx app, which controls the valve and allows you to monitor the system. US Water Systems claims you can program the system in 30-seconds, but if you include installing the app and getting familiarized, it takes more like ten to fifteen minutes to get everything set up. There are also plenty of options for tracking your water usage and the system’s performance.
A professional is recommended for installation, as you’ll want to be sure you comply with all local plumbing and electrical regulations. However, the manual has clear step-by-step instructions written in plain English. And each step has pictures to make it easier to follow.
One downside of the model would be the initial price. Yes, the system is on the higher end, but the price is on par with other similar models. And for the level of performance and support you’ll receive from US Water Systems, it’s justifiable.
You should also factor in costs for topping up the hydrogen peroxide (which you should check and top up as required). When we enquired, US Water Systems estimated that an average family would use 20-30 gallons per year. If you use US Water Systems’ OXIPRO 7 brand expect to pay around $340 a year, although you may be able to save on that by shopping around for alternative brands.
While more expensive to run than air-injection or chlorine-based systems, the Matrixx Infusion is a powerhouse for removing iron, manganese, and sulfur. It’s also more suitable for a wider pH range than other models. So if nothing else has worked for removing orange stains and discoloration, check out the Matrixx Infusion at USWaterSystems.com.
Pelican Water Iron & Manganese Water Filter
Best alternative chemical injection system
- Price: $$$$$
- Iron FIltration: greensand-plus & chlorine injection
- Iron level: up to 10PPM
- Also removes: manganese, sediment, chlorine, bad taste & odor
- Flow rate: 10GPM (1 – 3 bathrooms)
- Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty (tank & parts)
The next best iron filter for well water with very high levels of contamination is the Pelican Water Iron & Manganese Water Filter. There are four stages of filtration, making it one of the most thorough and effective systems for removing iron on this list.
It uses greensand plus iron filtration, and chlorine injection which means it’s a complete system for filtering ferrous iron (clear water), ferric iron (red water), and iron bacteria. And it can handle water with iron levels up to 10PPM, which is way higher than most water sources across the U.S.
There are two models with flow rates high enough for either 1 – 3 bathrooms (10GPM) or 4 – 6 bathrooms (15GPM). Choose the correct sized whole house filter system, and you won’t need to worry about water pressure.
So how does it work?
First, there’s a sediment filter to remove dirt and debris. Then there’s a chlorine injection pump that disinfects, removes odors, and oxidizes iron.
Next, The Pelican Greensand tank traps the iron with a filter media and gravel under the bed and then flushes it out with the backwash system. This upgraded version of greensand  improves iron filtering for well water, removing more iron and manganese than regular greensand.
Finally, there’s a carbon block filter that removes chlorine odor and taste from your well water. As well as any remaining sediment and particulate matter.
Yes, the price is higher than some of the other whole house filters for iron. But this is the highest-quality and most thorough system for removing iron that we’ve found.
This Iron and Manganese filter is ready to go out of the box. And you won’t have to spend extra money on additional filters or add-ons as it does just about everything. The instruction manual is extremely detailed with many technical diagrams (which I find hard to understand). So unless you’re experienced, having a plumber install the system is probably best.
We love that this system is built to last. The manufacturer states that you can expect it to last from 10 – 15 years. The only maintenance needed would be topping up the chlorine tank when it gets low.
However, a downside that some people mentioned was the chemical feed pump being loud at times. This could be an issue for those who want a completely silent home water system. Mostly, these will be installed in a basement or outside, so this won’t be an issue for the majority.
We also ought to mention the price. This is one of the higher-priced models on the list, but you’re paying for the reputation of the Pelican brand for high quality and excellent customer support.
If you’re fed up with stains on your clothes, sinks, and toilets, check out the Pelican Iron & Manganese Water Filter over at PelicanWater.
Tier1 Whole House Water Filtration System for Iron, Manganese, and Hydrogen Sulfide Reduction
Cheapest Air Injection System
- Price: $$$
- Iron Filtration: air induction oxidation & granular activated carbon filter
- Iron level: over 4PPM
- Also removes: manganese and hydrogen sulfide
- Flow rate: 5.8GPM (1 – 2 bathrooms)
- Warranty: 5-year limited warranty
The Tier1 Whole House Water Filtration System is the best budget choice for an Air Induction Oxidization (AIO) system for iron removal. It’s suitable for iron levels over 4PPM but only filters ferrous (clear-water) iron. This is the most common type of iron in water, so should be suitable for most people. It also has a sediment pre-filter which makes it even better value!
The flow rate is lower than some other systems (5.8GPM). But given the lower price and the fact that most households only have two or three bathrooms anyway, this should be more than enough.
First, there’s a sediment filter that removes dirt and rust before iron particles get to the iron filter. This is really important since dust, dirt, and debris can clog up the iron filter.
Next, the air induction oxidization starts. The system uses compressed air to add oxygen to the incoming water. Then it has a bed of carbon media that both filters the water and creates a physical barrier. When the air is used up, it starts to regenerate.
The regenerated iron is carried out by the flowing water and away from the system through a drain. The process repeats itself when there is enough air again, so it works continuously. This also means that it only regenerates when it needs to, so you’re not wasting water or energy.
This process is also removing hydrogen sulfide and manganese.
The whole thing is controlled from the Back Washing Control Valve that sits on top of the iron filter tank. It’s simple to adjust cycle times or track your water usage statistics. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to use complicated smartphone apps, then this is all done directly from the system. Easy!
The instruction manual is detailed but pretty technical. So just like the other systems, I do think it’s best if an experienced plumber installs this. Especially if you are not familiar with your state’s plumbing standards and regulations.
The Tier 1 Whole House Iron Filter for Well Water is the best budget choice for an air induction oxidization (AIO) system for iron removal. This is a simple and effective way to remove ferrous iron levels over 4PPM from your drinking water with no chemicals. Head on over to Amazon and see what great value it is!
AFWFilters Iron Pro2 Fine Mesh Water Softener with Fleck 5600SXT Digital Metered Control
Best Water Softener for Iron Removal
- Price: $$
- Iron filtration: water softener
- Iron level: 4 – 7 ppm (ferris only)
- Also removes: hard minerals, manganese, sediment, rust
- Flow rate: 16GPM
- Warranty: 10 years (tank) / 5 years (control unit)
If you have BOTH hard water and high levels of iron in your water, the Iron Pro 2 is a high-quality water softener that can deal with both. It can remove iron from 4 – 7PPM, while also eliminating scale from your water.
Having hard, iron water means your showers, toilets, and pipes are constantly full of scale and red stains. So this system could save you hours of scrubbing.
It can only remove ferrous iron and a small amount of ferric iron (the red-water iron). So if you have high ferric levels, look to another iron filter for well water on this list instead (the Pelican is a good option!)
Many people also prefer the taste of iron-free, soft drinking water that you get with this water softener.
As it’s got a flow rate of 16GPM, you can use this in a larger house with more than three bathrooms without any pressure drop.
The Iron Pro 2 system is a water softener that can remove hardness (up to 75GPG), ferrous iron, and manganese (6ppm) from your well water. The 64,000 Grain capacity of this system gives it a longer-lasting phase than other systems on the market which can be beneficial for people with very hard well water.
The Iron Pro 2 is installed in the same way as any other water softener. The plumber will need to drill a hole for the bypass valve and route cold water through it from your main supply line. We couldn’t find the manual online, but the YouTube video is easy to follow. So if after watching it you feel confident, you may be able to install it alone.
One thing to watch out for is that it isn’t clear which pipe sizes this system uses. So you may have to take a trip or two to the hardware store to match up all of your connections.
As it’s a water softener, you’ll need to check the salt around once per week. And top it up with new salt when necessary.
If you’re in the tricky situation of having hard, iron well water, then The Iron Pro 2 can get rid of both. Check out more details now.
iSpring WGB32BM 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System
Best Budget Iron FIlter for Well Water
- Price: $
- Iron Filtration: catalytic media cartridge (chemical-free)
- Iron level: up to 3ppm
- Also removes: chlorine, chloramines, sediment
- Flow rate: 15 GPM (up to 5 bathrooms)
- Warranty: 1-year manufacturer warranty
The iSpring WGB32BM 3-Stage Whole House Water Filtration System is a great iron filter for well water. If you’re on a tight budget, this is the iron filter that you want to go with. The system costs around 1/4 of most other iron filters, but it can only remove up to 3PPM of iron from your water (which means if you have high levels of iron contamination, this isn’t going to work).
The WGB32BM offers a three-stage water filtration system. Stage 1 houses the 5-micron polypropylene sediment filter which removes dirt and other large particles from the water. Stage 2 contains a 5 micron CTO coconut shell carbon filter that can remove up to 99% of chlorine, bad tastes and odors, pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals.
The WGB32BM’s third stage is where the (iron-reducing) magic happens! It’s an iron and manganese reducing filter, which also removes heavy metals found in well water sources. The FM25B Iron/Manganese Reducing Filter only comes with the WGB32BM. So make sure you’re buying the right model as they each look similar.
For such a cheap system the flow rate is surprisingly high. 15GPM is usually enough for most large households with multiple bathrooms.
I’d say installation requires a medium level of plumbing experience. If you’re a dab hand with a hammer and a screwdriver, the installation videos provided will help you get the job done. Else, a plumber should get this up and running in an hour or two.
As it’s a three-stage cartridge system, some may assume that it can soften water and reduce total dissolved solids (TDS). It can’t!
Another downside of a cartridge-based system is that you’ll need to change them regularly. The stage 1 sediment filter and the stage 2 carbon filter block cartridge should be changed every 12 months or 100,000 gallons. For the iron and manganese filter, you’ll need to change roughly every 6 months or 50,000 gallons.
If you’re on a budget, have low levels of iron or manganese, and are looking for cleaner, better-tasting water, then this is the filter for you.
The Ultimate Guide to Deciding Which Iron Well Water Filters Are Right for your Well
Choosing an iron water filter for wells can be a daunting task. With so many iron filters on the market and different types of iron filtration, it’s hard to know what factors are important when choosing one.
This section will walk you through the considerations that need to be made before purchasing an iron water filter for wells.
What kind of water quality do you have?
To choose the right kind of iron filter for your well, you need to know what kind of water quality you have.
The iron water filters available on the market work differently depending on what kind of iron you’re dealing with. One type of iron filter, for instance, will not remove certain types of iron that another might take care of. Some can remove hydrogen sulfide and sediment. Others can’t.
There are three main kinds of iron found in water . They are
- ferrous iron (clear-water iron);
- ferric iron (dirty, red-water iron);
- and organic iron (can be clear, or yellowy-brown).
Your choice of iron filtration method will depend on which of these are present in your water. How deep your well is will have an impact on this.
Iron water filters have different treatment capacities, so you need to know how much iron is in your well water before choosing a filter.
Iron levels above 0.3 PPM are usually considered offensive in water . It’s unusual to find water sources above 10 PM in water, but it can happen. Make sure to choose an iron filter that matches the iron levels in your water.
There could also be high levels of other substances in your water like chlorine, nitrate, or fluoride. Or you may need an acid neutralizer for your well water to reduce pH. If this is the case you may need to consider an additional stage of filtering, to work alongside your iron filter.
Most iron filters for well water will come with a sediment filter installed as a pre-filter, if not you should add your own.
Tannins can also be a problem, and require separate filtration solutions.
So if you’ve noticed discoloration or black sediment in well water, look into getting a water quality test carried out so you can be sure.
What type of whole house iron filter should you choose?
Once you know your water type, you can choose an iron filter based on your water quality test results.
For very high levels of ferrous iron, a manganese greensand filter is usually the best choice and can be effective for levels up to 10 to 15 ppm . Water softeners and air injection oxidization can also remove ferrous iron, but only at lower levels.
For ferric iron, manganese greensand filters, and chemical oxidation can both be effective.
For organic iron, a chemical oxidant injection system with additional filtration may be needed.
If you have hard water, or additional contaminants many manufacturers sell combos (eg. a water filter and water softener combo that work together).
The flow rate is how much water your iron filter will produce in one hour. Larger homes or families with more people may need a higher flow rate iron filter.
Flow rate is usually measured in GPM (gallons per minute).
If you don’t have a large enough flow rate you’ll experience poor water pressure. And this will get worse the more water appliances that are in use at the same time.
Broadly speaking 7-8GPM is enough for a small house with one or two bathrooms. For three bathrooms you need around 10 – 12 GPM. For four or more bathrooms, consider a system capable of 15GPM.
Consider if your water filter will be installed inside or outside.
If you’re installing your iron water filter outside, you will need to consider casing to protect it from the elements.
Iron filters that have cartridges need to be changed regularly, so make sure there is nothing obstructing access. It’s a good idea to select a position near the main water shut-off valve.
If you’re not comfortable doing the installation yourself it’s worth hiring a plumber to do it for you. This will save time and protect your investment in your iron filter system.
The great thing about most iron filters is that they don’t need any maintenance.
Greensand and air-oxidization iron filters can be set to have an automatic backwashing process, so you do not need to worry about maintaining the system.
Cartridge-based iron filters will need regular changing. And water softeners need regular salt top-ups.
The lifespan of iron filters will depend on the kind you have.
Greensand and air injection iron filters are long-term systems, with a system expectancy of somewhere between 15 to 20 years. Greensand media is expected to last from four to eight years, but it’s easy to replace .
These systems are usually installed outside though, so they need protection from harsh weather conditions such as rain or snow.
Cartridge iron water filters can last for up to five years if needed. Although most only last between 6 months and a year. They’ll often be much cheaper, but you should factor in the cost of replacing these iron filter cartridges around twice per year.
Chemical oxidization systems and water softeners usually last about ten to fifteen years, as long as regular maintenance is carried out
What is iron in water and why remove it?
Iron is a naturally occurring mineral in groundwater and well water. It’s not usually harmful to drink, but iron can cause staining and bad taste from tap water or well water that has high iron content.
The three main types of iron present in water are:
- ferric iron;
- ferrous iron;
- and organic iron.
When iron dissolves it forms ferrous iron (Fe+), which reacts with oxygen to form ferric iron (Fe++). Ferric iron cannot dissolve into the water so the next step of oxidation releases two hydroxyl ions per one Fe++, turning insoluble ferric iron back into soluble ferrous ions. This process creates hydrogen gas bubbles as part of what we call “rusting”. And these bubbles can give off an unpleasant odor when they release through drinking faucets or clothes washers .
Organic iron comes from the breakdown of organic matter in water, such as decaying leaves and animal waste. This iron is considered non-toxic but it does not dissolve well so it often forms black particles that can clog a filter cartridge or other parts.
If you have iron in your drinking water, it’s probably causing some kind of negative effect. So that’s why you’re considering an iron filter for your well water.
Health effects of iron in water
What are the health effects of too much iron in drinking water?
For some people, iron causes skin issues. Iron can make skin dry, red, and flaky.
Some people find iron in water causes their scalp to itch or become irritated.
Iron may also be associated with causing acne breakouts for some people.
Iron overload (hemochromatosis)
Some people have a genetic disorder called hereditary hemochromatosis  that makes them unable to break down iron properly and this leads to health problems such as liver disease or diabetes. This condition is rare though.
If iron in water is affecting the way you feel, or if your child seems to be experiencing iron overload symptoms such as pale skin and dark circles under their eyes, it’s worth asking a doctor for iron tests.
Side effects of iron overload include hair loss, fatigue, and joint pain.
Iron bacteria may grow
Iron bacteria thrive in iron-rich environments like well water, and they can’t survive without iron. They’re not dangerous for humans though. This is because the amount of rust that these organisms produce is only enough to have a mild effect on iron levels in drinking water (it’s unlikely you’ll experience symptoms).
However, iron bacteria can help other types of bacteria grow. And of course, these can be dangerous for humans.
Bad-tasting, unappetizing water
Iron has a metallic taste that can be unpleasant. Iron also reacts with oxygen to form iron oxide, which is the substance in water that turns it brownish yellow and gives it an earthy smell. This iron oxide causes a bad odor through clothes washers or faucets too.
This isn’t a health problem as such. But it probably means you’ll want to drink less water. And we all know how important it is to drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
Effects of Iron on Household Fixtures and Appliances
Staining can occur when iron oxidizes, causing iron particles to deposit on surfaces like sinks and toilets.
Iron can also clog water pipes and cause an unpleasant odor as it rusts the metal inside of those pipes. Iron clogging may reduce your water pressure.
In addition, iron can cause corrosion in water heaters and appliances like washing machines or dishwashers.
Frequently asked questions
What is an iron filter for well water?
An iron filter is a device that attaches to the wellhead and removes iron from water as it comes out of your pump. Iron filters for well water usually attach directly to the pipes coming in (point of entry).
How does iron get into my well water?
Iron is a common contaminant in groundwater, and iron can cause health problems if it builds up over time. Iron usually gets into well water as iron oxide from the soil or bedrock just below your wellhead.
How do iron filters work?
Most iron filters work by oxidation. The iron filter contains iron oxide in the form of a powder or granules, which reacts with well water to remove iron from it as you pump water into your home. Air injection and water softening are also common ways to remove iron.
Do I need an iron filter?
Iron filters are usually recommended for water sources containing over 0.25 parts per million iron. Ultimately you need to decide how much iron is too much for you and your family.
Do whole house water filters remove iron?
Not all whole house filters will remove iron. You’ll need to choose a system that is designed specifically for removing iron.
What other contaminants can iron filters remove?
Iron filters can usually also remove hydrogen sulfide, manganese, and iron bacteria. Some systems come with several stages that can remove sediment, dust and debris, chemicals, chlorine, and other common contaminants.
Say goodbye to stains and unpleasant drinking water
Iron in well water clogs pipes, tastes bad, stains clothes and surfaces, and can even have some negative health effects for some people.
A whole house iron filter can solve all of this. And also eliminate hydrogen sulfide, manganese, and sediment from your well water.
The best overall whole house filter for removing high levels of iron in well water is the Pelican Water Iron Filtration System.
I hope this has helped you choose the best filter for your iron-contaminated well water. Enjoy!