Best Water Softeners Reviews & Comparison
Hard water comes with several minerals that are both inimical to human health and destructive to the plumbing system of your home. It contains such minerals as calcium, manganese, and lime scale, all of which can also ruin your appliances if left to their own devices. Hard water can contain various chemicals and organic pollutants. The dangers hard water exposes your plumbing system, and the health of your family members and yourself to necessitate that you look for and invest in a formidable water softener to rid the water off all these harmful chemicals and minerals.
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Soft water has several advantages over hard water. It prolongs the lifespan of your appliances, it heats and flows much faster, and best of all, it makes for quick, hassle-free and effective cleaning. In deciding on the best or most suitable water softener to buy, keep in mind that there are two common types on the market: salt-free and traditional salt-based water softeners. Each of these has its fair share of pros and cons, and your choice of either should be based on your individual circumstances. In the next section, we take a look at the factors you need to take into consideration before buying a water softener. Irrespective of your choice, don’t compromise on performance. Pick one that can effectively stop the build-up of minerals like calcium and one that’s easy to install.
10 Best Water Softeners
1. iSpring RCC7
The water softener is lightweight and compact and fits relatively comfortably in tight and awkward spaces around the house. No point in rearranging things or installing a different plumbing system to accommodate it. In fact, so compact is the iSpring RCC7 that you can use it from under the sink cabinets.
The entire body of the machine is constructed with robust brass that’s lead-free and has a brushed nickel finish. Consequently, the water softener is resistant to rust and corrosion and can last for several years with proper care and use. The DIY installation is yet another reason to want to consider this high-quality and high performing water softener. You don’t need professional assistance in getting the system up and running in no time at all.
The fact that it has a Water Quality Association (WQA) gold seal should be enough to clue you on its high-performance and effectiveness and softening the hardest water. To remove all the harmful health threats associated with hard water, the water softener takes the water through 5 different stages. The first three stages are for removing all the large contaminants from the water in a move aiming at preventing them from damaging the filtering membrane of the water softener. The 4th stage has these teeny tiny holes, measuring roughly 0.0001 microns, that blocks all other contaminants in the water as it passes through. After the last two stages, you end up with the softest water for both domestic and commercial use.
Another way the iSpring RCC7 can meet the high water demands of a large house with several occupants is by having a rating of 75 gallons per day. The rating ensures that irrespective of the number of house occupants, the system will still address their water needs adequately. The system also comes with a 12-month limited warranty; another 12-month money back guarantee and a lifetime of technical support.
Only a handful of water softeners out there on the market can effectively emulate the performance of the iSpring RCC7. Its high performance and reliable put it on a league of its own. Plus, it’s easy to use, it’s built to last for several years on end while producing the user with trouble-free performance. With this product properly installed in your home, the days of having to put up with hard water are long gone.
- Durable construction
- Installation is a simple DIY
- High-quality faucet
- It’s very cost-effective
- Softens water thoroughly
- Operates quietly and smoothly
2. Fleck 5600SXT
The unique design and its working separate it from its closest competitors in a field that is always fiercely competitive. For instance, it comes with a flow meter whose engineering provides for the efficient management of the household's water consumption, and invariably regenerating in accordance with the ever-growing water needs of the household. The system goes overboard in reducing the percentage concentration of salt in the water in addition to preventing excessive wastage of the same.
The design aims at enhancing usability so that each and every member of the house can use it relatively effortlessly. To this end, it sports a time-saving and convenient LCD display to help the user keep track of the softener status.
Additionally, the screen helps you to quickly and accurately troubleshoot any and all performance issues that may arise in the course of using the water softener. As the LCD display mostly throws error codes, pinpointing and rectifying the problem is usually very easy. The easy-to-use and model user interface of the also makes adjusting the various settings such as programming the different cycles a quick and easy endeavour.
The icing on the cake is the hassle-free and quick installation procedure. The Fleck 5600Xt is a DIY installation, meaning that you really don’t need any professional assistance with setting up and getting the water softer running. The quick setup guide contains comprehensive and easy-to-understand instructions and tips for installing the water softener without spending too much time or effort on the project. To further simplify the process, the manufacturer even provides you with a brine tank and brine well. You’re also always free to call for professional assistance if you find the task be daunting, though.
In conclusion, the Fleck 5600Xt is an ideal choice for homeowners looking for the best value for their money. It has unrivalled reliability and performance and is also quite affordable. Plus, the fact that it comes from the US gives you quality and performance assurance. Its huge capacity, perfect digital control valve, and generous warranty mean it's a cut above the rest.
· Has a 48,000-grain capacity
· Quick and easy installation
· Comes with lifespan extending 10% cross-linked resin
· Has WQA certification
- A little expensive
3. Iron Pro 2
It is perfect for softening the hardest of water meant for use by the biggest homes and other commercial establishments around the world. It comes with an impressive 64,000-grain capacity to adequately serve all the members of the household. The prowess of the water softer in removing iron from your water and without clogging it really ticks with households who need a hassle-free and straightforward operation. The manufacturer claims it is capable of removing up to 75 grains per gallon of water hardness, thereby leaving your water soft and easy to use on everyday household tasks like washing and cleaning. The beauty of the water dispenser is that it's not just a water softener that removes iron and water hardness, it also removes other harmful minerals like manganese, sediments and even rust.
As you would also expect, the machine sports a handy Fleck 5600SXT digital control valve to help you monitor your rate of water consumption and to allow for the automatic regeneration of water when the need arises. The regeneration process only uses a small amount of water and salt, which adds to the economic characteristics of the water softener. You don’t have to put any effort in the process as it adjusts itself in response to changes in the amount of water the family uses.
If the high-quality construction and exceptional performance don’t convince you, maybe the fact that the digital valve and the tank have 60-month and 120-month warranties respectively will do the trick. Such generously long warranties should give sceptical minds a peace of mind and the confidence they need to side with the model. To the warranties add a spectacular 30-day satisfaction guarantee, and now you have every reason to get the Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener.
The bottom line is that the Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener performs exactly as advertised. In fact, it easily meets and exceeds performance and longevity expectations. Some of its major highlights include a huge capacity, sturdy construction, and efficiency. It is, therefore, a solid choice for large families experiencing an iron problem. You'll never look back.
- Boasts impressive water softening capabilities
- Come with a digital metred valve for quick and efficient regeneration
- Has an easy-to-use LCD display and intuitive touchpads
- The installation process is a breeze
- The instructions manual is a little ambiguous
4. Aquasana 10-Year Whole House Filter
It is guaranteed to provide you with several years of faithful and reliable service, thanks to its estimated lifespan of 10 years, which also translates to roughly 1,000,000 gallons of use. It is an economical choice that won’t require replacing every two years or so, as is the case with cheap, off-brand models on the market. In case the water filter misses the teeny tiny bacteria and viruses, you can trust the UV filter to stop them right in their tracks. The advantage of using a UV filter as opposed to chlorine, even though they are equally formidable in their performance, is that it does not have any side effects that might trigger life-threatening allergies and side effects. It's, therefore, a much safer option.
It won’t escape your attention that it comes with a considerably premium price tag. However, the high price is both fair and justified considering that it’s commensurate with the performance, ease of use, and durability of the machine. It has a long lifespan of 10 years of 1,000,000 gallons of use. To this add the fact that it combines the functions of a top-notch water filter and water softener is a compact and durable package.
In all, the Aquasana softener is a multi-functional unit but also comes with an expensive price tag. It does more than just soften your water. For users in search of the best performance, durability and a tool that combines different functionalities in an impressive package, grab the water softener the soonest you can.
- Works with all types of household water
- Effectively reduces chlorine and calcium levels
- Has a generous 120-month warranty
- Changing the filter and maintaining the system is very easy
- The water softener is cost-effective
- Lacks the effectiveness of reverse osmosis
- Requires professional installation
5. Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Softener
As mentioned above, it works by emitting an electromagnetic wave that descales water as it passes through the supply pipes. It does this by using two cords that the homeowner has to attach to their house’s incoming water supply pipe. The water softener subsequently subjects all the water passing through to a dynamic magnetic field which in turn works by changing the adhesive structure of properties of the lime scale. The result is healthy water that does not deposit itself on the walls of the water pipes and other equipment. Keep in mind that the system works exceptionally well with all other water pipes with the notable exception of those made from lead and iron.
Users searching for a hassle-free and easy-to-use water descaler will immediately love the Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener. The installation and maintenance procedures are very straightforward. The system neither requires you to do any plumbing nor regularly add salt, as is the case with cheap, off-brand models on the market. The water descaler simply hooks up quickly and easily with the existing plumbing ad starts filtering and descaling your water without the need to use any salts or additional chemicals. In addition to descaling your water by preventing the accumulation of limestone that’s capable of irreparably damaging your tubs, sinks, showers and other fixtures, the system also does a pretty good job filtering the water by getting rid of calcium, magnesium, and manganese compounds.
Overall, it is a solid choice for homeowners in need of an affordable yet effective descaler for protecting their appliances from lime scale accumulation but lack the requisite knowledge for installing the system. Unlike traditional water softening systems, the water descaler does not use any salts or chemicals yet succeeds in stopping minerals like calcium, magnesium, and manganese from bonding to different surfaces. Plus, the installation process is a breeze. If you need an affordable yet high performing salt-free softener, don't hesitate to purchase it.
- Anyone can install the water softener
- It’s a salt-free system
- Very cost effective
- Removes only the hard minerals, not the healthy ones
- Prolongs the lifespan of household appliances
- Compatible with metal and plastic pipes
- Effectiveness drops with time
6. Fleck 5600 SXT
With a 48,000 grain capacity, it is more than capable of handling all the water needs of a big house with several occupants. The water softener comes with a 10 percent crosslink resin whose special design and formulation allow it to continue working effectively for quite a long time. As a result, the entire system will be able to also last for just as long, even with minimal maintenance. Other components or accessories that make up the entire system include a tank, a control head, a brine tank and a float.
Additionally, it regenerates water using a meter-based system, a process which is also automatic. It does this by analysing the household's water consumption patterns or rate and decides on the most appropriate time to regenerate. The process helps you save lots of water as it encourages constructive use. The controller comes with an inbuilt LCD display with large and clearly marked buttons to help you quickly, accurately and effortlessly customize it in accordance with your preferences. For additional convenience and peace of mind, the water softener also incorporates a 48-hour power backup, so there is no interruption with the water softening process at all times.
The other features that makes it one of the best water softeners on the market are the durable construction of its poly-glass tank and the ability of the black brine tank to accommodate up to 250 pounds of salt comfortably. The manufacturers also thoughtfully include a safety float with the system to prevent it from overfilling. On the off chance that it does, there is a second measure, the overflow drain that will stop the water from creating a mess.
The efficiency, durability, and practicality of the Pentair Fleck 5600SXT are not questionable. Plus, it is an affordable water softener that brings together all the premium features you would find in top-end machines for a lot more money. Installing and programming the water softener is both simple and straightforward, meaning that even those who are not technologically savvy can get it up and running. It’s definitely worth investing in.
- Comes with WQA certification for quality and safety
- Package contains the installation kit for easy and quick installation
- Uses minimal salt
- Very customizable settings
- Sport high-end construction quality
- Produces clean and tasty water
- A little pricey
- Difficulty installing resin beads
7. Watts Water Quality/Condition M7002
A unique selling point is the custom design of its flow valve that makes it possible for the system to regenerate without having to connect and disconnect the water softener. Such incredible convenience not only saves the users some effort and time but also reduces the need for a large space. Another exceptional feature of the water softener worth highlighting from the onset is the factory-installed drain line flow restrictor. Its work is boosting the rate of regeneration and increasing the capacity of the Watts RV-Pro by up to 55 percent.
It comes with a resin with a capacity of up to 1/3-cubic feet. In addition to this, it works efficiently with different types of salts, including table salt, which saves you the trouble of going out of your way in search of a specially-formulated salt, as is the case with most water softener. Since the water softener is made in the US, you can rest assured it passes, if not exceeds, all industry performance and longevity expectations. That should give you peace of mind and the confidence you need to start using it immediately it arrives at your doorstep.
For users planning on hitting the road or who do so frequently and have had to put up with hard water, the Watts RV-Pro will be of great assistance. It quickly and effectively handles all the hard substances in your water like magnesium, calcium, and iron while the regeneration process will take care of any accumulations. It’s safe to say the performance of the water softener is at par if not better than some more expensive brands out there. And the installation process is quite simple as you have everything you need. The only drawback is the absence of automatic regeneration.
So there you have it, outdoor enthusiasts. If you are planning on heading out with the RV this weekend, simply grab yourself this softener. Its portability and ability to work with common table salt make it a solid choice. Additionally, it effortlessly accommodates a water flow rate of 4 GPM without a drastic drop in pressure. It's an efficient choice, performance-wise, considering it boasts a 10,000-grain capacity and a corresponding 1/3 cubic feet of resin. With all these features, the Watts RV-Pro is guaranteed to be an instant hit with RV owners and outdoor enthusiasts.
- Meets and exceeds international safety and quality standards
- Quickly and effectively eliminates all pollutants in your water
- Compact and lightweight design
- Produces clean, great tasting water
- Comes with a professional installation kit
- Small grain capacity
- Not ideal for domestic use
8. Morton® System Saver® M30
Far from your expectations, the manufacturer's incorporation of a single tank does not affect in any way the efficiency. The water softener still manages an impressive water flow rate of 11 gallons per minute. To further debunk the myth that a small profile equals poor performance, the machine also uses just about half of the salt that conventional salt-based softeners need to function optimally. It is, therefore, one of the best water softeners for individuals living in small or compact-sized houses or one with few occupants, considering its 30,000-grain capacity.
The regeneration process is also efficient and quick. The process, as mentioned earlier, uses just 50 percent the amount of salt that conventional water softeners use, making an ideal choice for the cost-conscious users keen on preserving the environment. The intelligence of the regeneration process makes it yet another reason to go with the water softener. The system monitors your water usage patterns and regenerates accordingly, thereby reducing water wastage.
For all your soft water needs, you can count on it to handle them efficiently and effectively. It comes with all the bells and whistles to make short work of softening the hardest water and has an intelligent regeneration process that helps the user save lots of water and money. It’s as attractive as it is compact and provides the user a generous 120-month warranty on the tank. If you need an affordable water softener with a high capacity tank capable of handling the hardest water for a small to medium-sized home, don’t look any further than the Morton System Saver 30,000 Grain Water Softener M30.
- Compact design takes up minimal floor space
- Needs 50 percent less salt for regeneration
- Boasts exceptional water softening capabilities
- Not very portable
- Costly spare parts
9. On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable
Unlike other water softeners on this list, the water softener is however considerably costly. However, considering all its positive attributes, which far outweigh the downsides, we are of the opinion that the premium price is justified and should be overlooked by users in need of a smooth, trouble-free and effective performance.
The softener is a multifunctional product that doubles up as a water conditioner and softener; an economical choice for users who need the services of both. Given its multi-functionality, the water softener can produce more than twice the volume of gallons that cheap, off-brand models produce. Consequently, it is easily one of the water softeners for domestic use on the market currently.
It also regenerates efficiently and quickly. It uses just two boxes of common salt to complete a process that lasts a paltry 30 minutes. The result is approximately 1600 gallons of soft water for use by an average family over the course of the next 40 days or so. The process removes all the hard minerals in the water, including but not limited to calcium, manganese, and lime.
The compact design takes up the least amount of space possible. It is a solid choice for a family that lives in a small house or one with few occupants. It installs easily and rather quickly on tight spots. To further aid mobility and portability, the water softener has a handy handle for carrying it from one place to another, and because of its ergonomic design, you won't strain your finger or risk hand fatigue. Also, the mouth opens widely to allow you easily refill the necessary salt for regeneration and it comes with a high-end resin for increased longevity. Another important convenience feature is the inlet hose that that full 360-degree swivelling capabilities for easy and seamless connection.
To summarize, the On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable is a prudent choice for users in search of a portable, high performing yet affordable water softener with a 16,000-grain capacity. It is conveniently compact to allow you install it quickly and effortless in the most suitable location around the house without taking up too much storage space. Both the installation and regeneration processes work seamlessly, and the water softener is both affordable and easy-to-use.
- Combines functionalities of a water conditioner and softener into one
- Comes in a compact and space-saving design
- Very portable
- Has top-end resins for efficient regeneration
- Installs easily and quickly
- It’s not electricity-dependant
- It’s expensive
10. WaterBoss 220 22000
The performance is off-the-charts. For one, it is capable of softening up to 70 GPG of water hardness in a surprisingly efficient, quick and effortless manner. The system is similarly renowned for its prowess at reducing up to 10mm iron in the hardest water, and going as far as filtering out all dirt and sediments in the water to a maximum of 20 microns. As a result of the meticulous performance of the water softener, the entire household gets to use water that not only meets but also exceeds all health and safety standards. Keeping away harmful bacteria and other teeny tiny water elements has never been easier and more efficient as it is with this softener.
Unlike the vast majority of water softeners on this list, it carves out a path for itself by coming in a lightweight and compact design. The patented design ensures it does not take up too much space and that you can install it even when there are space constraints. No point in rearranging your home just to ensure a water softener fits perfectly in a designated space.
Other attractive features include a 36-month warranty that also covers the electronics. There is also a 120-month warranty that covers the media tank and the outer cabinet. Such long warranties should give the user peace of mind and the confidence to use the water softer as much as they can safe in the knowledge that all defects and malfunctions resulting from manufacturer’s use of low quality products or a shoddy manufacturing process will be taken care of.
With a 36,400 grain capacity and a factory-installed 20-micron water filter, it does an astounding job keeping you and your appliances from destructive and harmful water contaminants. Its metre based regeneration system uses the least amount of water. In spite of being compact, it remarkably softens water up to 90 grains per gallons, meaning that it’s quite efficient. Couple that with the fact that it’s affordable and has a 10-year warranty on the tanks and cabinet and another 36-month warranty on the electrical system and you have yourself one of the best water softeners on the market.
- Features a compact and lightweight design
- Comes with a factory-installed and effective 20-Micron filter
- The regeneration system is automatic, saving user time and effort
- Works quietly and smoothly
- Cleaning and maintaining the unit is a breeze
- Somehow bulky
- Not ideal for large households
Criteria for Choosing the Best Water Softeners
Type of Water Softening
The market is home to several types of water softeners, and your first step should be to determine the type that best suits you. You’ll have to choose between salt-based, salt-free, and less commonly an ion-exchange water softener. As their names suggest, the salt-based systems use salt to effectively soften the water while salt-less ones use other methods other than salt. The ion-exchange models have several advantages over the first two, though.
For one, they are more specialized at removing hard minerals from the water while simultaneously regenerating beneficial contents. Additionally, they are low maintenance and cost way less compared to the other two.
Size and Capacity
A second paramount consideration for potential buyers out there and reading this – that’s right, we see you – is the system’s size. Your choice, again, should be determined by your individual needs. In your decision, keep in mind your household’s water demand and usage patterns as well as the hardness of the water. Large families living in homes with multiple bathrooms with obviously need more water, hence a higher capacity water softener compared to a smaller family.
A third very important consideration when shopping around for a water softener is certification. Certification by international bodies like the NSF International is almost necessary, irrespective of the size and water holding capacity and the type of your preferred water softener. Additional certifications include a Water Quality Association (WQA) gold seal. These international bodies are tasked with ascertaining whether or not your product has met industry standards for water treatment or not. You can use this information to gauge the safety of the unit.
Ease of Installation and Maintenance
Unless you’re the billionaire next door, you’re obviously interested in keeping costs down as much as possible. Consequently, it would be prudent to invest your hard-earned cash on a water softener that you can install all by your lonesome without calling for the professional assistance of calling the company repeatedly seeking their assistance in setting up the system. Most water softeners are simple DIY installations, and yours should not be any different. On a similar note, make sure the maintenance costs are not exorbitant, as is the case with some high-end water softeners. If you find the cost and availability of spare parts to be discouraging, it would be prudent to look further afield for a system that won’t be problematic to run and maintain for the several years that you’ll be using it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I care for and maintain my water softener?
A: Like most machines you use around the house, the XX also needs thorough and frequent care and maintenance to prolong its shelf-life. The first step towards achieving this is by regularly topping the salt levels. Adequate salt levels make for a smooth and trouble-free operation at all times. On a similar vein, refrain from using salt the manufacturer has not recommended. Unless the brand recommends it, there is a high chance it could damage and shorten the life of your water softener. Thirdly, ensure the water flows smoothly by regularly checking for any blockages in the system. A salt bridge, among other things, can affect the regeneration process. Lastly, make a point of regularly cleaning the bed of the resin and tank.
Q: What do manufacturers mean by regeneration?
A: To put it simply, regeneration process by which the water softener softens, or gets rid of all the hard minerals separated from the water in the course of the water softening process. The process, therefore, prevents the minerals from settling at the resin bed, which would otherwise lead to accumulation.
This buying guide provides useful insights into the working of a water softener and why it’s an indispensable tool for families who have to put up with hard water. The products featuring on the list of the Best Water Softening are nothing but the best on the market currently. They guarantee you clean, usable water without breaking the bank. In addition to preventing hard minerals like calcium and lime scale from negatively affecting your health and reducing the lifespan of your appliances, they also ensure you can do your laundry and other cleaning projects in a quick and effortless fashion. Plus, they are affordable, easy to install and use. We hope you find the most suitable one.