Procrastination is not your best plan when dealing with hard water; nobody wants to see the plumber more than his friends. Soap scum and stains in your clothes is something you might blame it on your life partner.
So when you experience itchiness in your skin, or you notice limescale on your faucets in addition to cleaning problems, you need to be aware that the issue needs more attention from you, and your wife has the right to complain. And if one of these problems rings a bell, you better take some action and try to get the best water softener before it costs you a lot of money and comfort.
Trying to find a water softener online is overwhelming and frustrating. There are a lot of suppliers out there who promise you to fix it all, providing you with features and deals. However, you always step back because you read a negative comment or review, and you become skeptical about the whole process.
In this buying guide, we cut the fruitless talk, and we go straight to the point. After reviewing dozens of products, we reveal the 10 best water softeners in the market today. You will be able to choose the one that meets your needs and budget, and you can compare, analyze, and decide. It is the ultimate buying guide that you have always needed.
- Best overall – AFWFilters 5600sxt-48k-10 Water Softener
- Best salt-free – FutureSoft® Salt-Free Water Softener
- Best value for money – AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener
- The Best Water Softeners Review: We Do The Leg Work And YOU Decide!
- Pentair WS48-56sxt10 Fleck water softener, Black
- SpringWell Futuresoft Salt-free Water Softener
- AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener
- Nuvo H20 DPHB Home Salt Water Softener System
- iSpring ED2000 Whole House Water Softener
- Fleck 5600SXT Review – 48,000 Grain Water Softener
- Tier1 Essential Series 48,000 Grain High Efficiency Digital Water Softener
- Fleck 9100SXT Dual Tank Water Softener
- Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System
- Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener
- Why do you need a water softener?
- Salt-based Vs Salt-free Water Softener System
- What Do You Need To Look For To Find The Best Water Softener?
- The Installation Process
Best overall – AFWFilters 5600sxt-48k-10 Water Softener
- Flow rate: 12gpm
- Long-lasting water softener
- Easy to install and manage
- Nature friendly
Best salt-free – FutureSoft® Salt-Free Water Softener
- Good value for money
- Flow rate: 12gpm
- Nature friendly
Best value for money – AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener
- Affordable, excellent value for money
- 2 in 1 (soften water and filter iron)
- Flow rate: 15gpm
- 64k grain capacity and up to 80k
The Best Water Softeners Review: We Do The Leg Work And YOU Decide!
Pentair WS48-56sxt10 Fleck water softener, Black
Let’s face it; the best solution for hard water problems is a salt-based system. For that reason, AFWFilter 5600sxt 48K is our pick for the best water softener.
Pentair stands out for its effectiveness and simplicity; for instance, the ion exchange process is a game-changer when it comes to preventing limescale buildup and protecting your appliances.
Like every salt-based water softener, this system regenerates after it uses a certain amount of water and when it reaches its maximum capacity that you set.
Simply put, the cycle is based on demand and a timer, saving you from a lot of hustle.
A small LCD screen that comes with the package makes it easy for you to use the water softener system. It displays the current status and shows whenever something is not right where to look.
Unfortunately, it is a bit difficult to do this yourself, so this is going to save time for the plumber if something goes wrong.
Many users claim that the instruction manual is a disaster. It shows no pictures or illustrations, and it is hard to understand; as a result, they had to call a professional plumber.
- The regeneration cycle is based on demand and a timer.
- 10% crosslink resin, which means durability (15+ years)
- Effective and simple to use.
- NSF certified.
- The instruction manual is not clear, you will probably need a plumber to install it
Since this is an investment, you can rest assured that the quality-price ratio is excellent, and this product worth every penny you are willing to spend.
This system is probably the most reliable water softener you can get, a product that will not make your life harder.
SpringWell Futuresoft Salt-free Water Softener
The conventional method that uses ion exchange is powerful. Still, it takes time and effort to handle it correctly at first, plus you have some maintenance to do every once in a while.
Spring well future soft is the best salt-free water softener system in the market, it is easy to install, and you have to replace the filter once per year. You don’t need bags of salt, brine tanks and all these kinds of equipment.
This system uses a physical process called TAC, which stands for template-assisted crystallization. To put it in simple words, the system converts hardness causing minerals in the water to hardness crystals that won’t stick to anything in your home. Thus it prevents hard water scale buildup and protects your appliances and water heater.
Another feature to keep in mind about this product is that it is more a conditioner than a water softener. It does not actually “soften” water and get rid of minerals, it neutralizes the water.
In addition to the parts needed for installation, the package offers you a bypass valve plus lifetime warranty on all parts and tanks. You couldn’t ask for more.
Although the price is higher than salt-based water softener systems, many users think this is a good investment. However, they did not like the fact that they need to use a water filter system to remove iron and other contaminants before they use Springwell Futuresoft.
- No cleaning cycles
- No salt needed water wasted
- No electricity needed
- Never needs replacement
- Lifetime warranty
- Higher price than salt-based water softener system
- You make sure to filter water and remove iron and other contaminants before you use the system.
The quality-price ratio is excellent. The system neutralizes water and keeps the good minerals, it saves you money by protecting your appliances and pipes, and it is nature friendly. Is it worth your hard-earned money? YES, it’s worth it.
AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener
The hardness of water is not always the only problem. Iron can also cause some significant issues; For example, iron can reduce water pressure, clog pipes, or it can even ruin the taste of tea and coffee even if the iron measures 3ppm or less.
Fleck iron pro is a water softener and an iron filter; you get 2 in 1 package. This system can come with up to 80000-grain units, which is the highest on the market for a whole house water softener.
The package contains a bypass valve to make maintenance a lot easier, a plastic cone to keep your resin inside your water softener, and prevent it from spreading in the pipes.
The digital 5600sxt metered control head allows you to program the water softener so the system can regenerate automatically when it needs to.
Depending on how many people are in your house and usage rate, The resin can last five years or more.
The instruction manual, though, is not easy to cope with, many customers complain about the instruction sheet, so we recommend getting help from a professional plumber, or call for assistance.
- Fleck 5600sxt digital metered valve
- Iron filter and water softener
- Resin can last for five years or more
- 64k grain unit capacity that can go up to 80k
- The package includes a bypass valve
- instructions are not clear
Fleck iron is a valuable product, the price is arguably high, but the quality-price ratio is great, which makes it a great option for many.
Nuvo H20 DPHB Home Salt Water Softener System
Nuvoh2o is a decent water softener that uses the power of citrus. This salt-free system balances the PH of your water. It makes citrus charge binds to the scale causing ions and hard water, isolating them so that the minerals are incapable of forming scale.
In addition to its effectiveness, this water softener does not take too much space. It is easy to install, and it comes with a 20-inch cartridge that you can use for no more than six months. The life of the cartridge can go up to 50.000 gallons of water.
The bypass valve that comes with the package will be beneficial for maintenance purposes. The installation of this system is super easy. However, there is one thing to mention, NUVOh2o does not filter iron or other minerals, so for well water, a filter is a must.
This water softener system is not expensive, very effective, and produces some good results. The money-back-guarantee makes the deal even better. However, you need a filter if you have well water, many users found this a discouraging fact.
- Installation is easy
- Reasonable price
- No salt needed
- Flow rate 12-15 which is good
- 20-inch cartridge
- Improves water
- You need a filter for well water
- You have to change the cartridge every once in a while.
When it comes to quality-price ratio, you get what you paid for, no more or less, but overall, it is a pretty good water softener.
iSpring ED2000 Whole House Water Softener
If you are concerned about minerals in the water not to be wasted and the work that comes with salt-based systems, Ispring Ed 2000 is the perfect solution for you.
The system is eco-friendly and uses a computer chip to send electromagnetic waves through the pipes. Ispring ED 2000 proves to be very useful; it prevents limescale buildup and does not remove the minerals; thus, you have a better water quality.
To install this device, look for an electric outlet near the pipe, wrap the coils around it and plug the device in. It is as easy as that.
This device can be affected by iron, You might need an iron filter for ISpring to work properly and effectively if you have high iron content, so you better check that out first.
- No salt needed
- Easy to install
- Does not take space
- Iso 9000 quality standard certification
- Lifetime tech support
- You need an iron filter for high iron content
This product is not the cheapest in the market, and not the most effective to treat hard water; however, it shows some impressive results, so you might want to give it a try.
Fleck 5600SXT Review – 48,000 Grain Water Softener
It is time to introduce fleck 5600sxt BR8. The hardness of water is nothing to worry about when this system takes the lead. The ion exchange process will save you money and provide you with soft water, which is the point of buying a water softener in the first place.
The quality of new water will extend the life of your appliances and make cleaning easier. This water softener removes a small amount of iron (under two ppm), and it can recharge itself.
Make sure to test the hardness of water beforehand. Once you do that, enter the numbers in the program, and it will automatically treat a certain amount of water-based on the data you provided.
This softener is a metered on-demand system, so the regeneration is systematic.
Drainage tubing, though, is what makes people unhappy. They have to buy it after they have purchased the softener and found out that it is not included in the set, nobody likes unexpected additional costs.
- Reasonable price
- Recharges automatically
- Removes small amounts of iron
- Regenerates automatically
- Extend the life of your appliances
- No drainage tubing
- Needs filter for a high amount of iron
This is one of the best whole house water softeners that you should take into consideration. Again, we choose the best in terms of price and quality, and this product is good enough to be on your list.
Tier1 Essential Series 48,000 Grain High Efficiency Digital Water Softener
Tier1 water softener is another salt-based system worth adding to this list. If your main goal is to take care of hard water problems, then this product will never let you down.
Fleck 5600sxt metered valve explains the price of this product. In addition, the unit is manufactured in the USA, and this is something a lot of people might find valuable.
The digital metered valve is convenient. It allows you to program the flow rate and water pressure. It also gives you the ability to control the regeneration cycle, whether by a timer or for a certain amount of water.
This system is manageable, effective, and can be worth your money.
The quality price-ratio for this water softener is not bad at all, however many users find that it is overpriced. For a basic product that comes with 48k grain capacity, they claim that they can get better products.
- This water softener is effective.
- The regeneration cycle is based on demand and a timer
- You can install it outside and save space.
- The package includes everything for the installation.
- The price is a bit high
- 48k grain capacity for this price is not very promising.
Every user has his/her own experience with a product, the price might be a bit high for them. However, they may have been expecting too much, so it is up to your judgment and needs; they were complaining about the price, not the system itself, which is not the case for every product.
You still did not find a water softener you like, keep reading!
Fleck 9100SXT Dual Tank Water Softener
Meet the giant, the heavyweight class of water softeners, and the largest one in this review: Fleck 9100sxt dual tank.
The first thing to mention is that you get two tanks, the capacity of each one is more than any system in this list; each one comes with 9600-grain capacity.
Softening water process is at its best performance; in other words, you will never run out of soft water. Even in the regeneration cycle, The 9100sxt control valve is programmed to start with a tank while the other keeps providing your house with soft water, when the operation is done, it switches the tank.
Fleck 9100sxt makes this system very effective, the control you have over a huge unit like this is incomparable.
Wait, there is more, The fleck 9100sxt head comes with a 5 years warranty, as for the tanks, you get 10 years warranty for each, in addition, the installation is not complicated just because you have dual tanks, it is as easy as a single tank system.
There is not much to say about this softener other than it takes space, some of us lack space for this huge system.
- 96K capacity for each tank
- Fleck 9100sxt head
- Flow rate: 20gpm
- Very powerful and effective
- It costs a good amount of money to replace the resin
- It is huge, It will need space for installation
- Every piece of it is heavy
Extremely high water flow, high-quality LCD display, alternating regeneration tanks, fleck 9100sxt, and a reasonable price, if there is something you can complain about I am all ears because this beast makes the difference.
Keep reading for the best water softeners that you may like.
Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System
The name is fancy, and what this water softener does is even more interesting. Aquasana Rhino is a salt-free whole house water filtration system and a softener.
The softener is designed to remove chlorine taste, soften water, and make it as pure as it can be. The water you will get will be perfect for your family.
UV filter comes with the package. It is a water purifier that can treat microbiologically unsafe water, a perfect solution for well water. The quality of water will improve and the procedure will ensure the usability of water for the whole house.
Contaminants, bacteria, chemical content, and minerals are nothing to worry about. You just need to plug in the UV light and let it do its magic. It does not take too much electricity, though, it is just like a normal lamp.
Salt-free water softeners are maintenance-free. All you need for Aquasana rhino is to replace the polyphosphates after 5 years of use. It is not a complicated task. As for prefilter and postfilter, you need to replace them every 6 months.
You need a professional plumber to install the unit, so adding the cost of the plumber services to the amount of money you spent on this softener is not an easy pill to swallow.
- UV filter
- It removes bacteria and other contaminants from your water
- The unit is not heavy
- The softener is easy to use
- High price
- UV filter needs electricity
The price of this unit is considered high, and if you take into account what it does for your water, it would be a low price to pay.
How about taking a look at other interesting water softener systems? Carry on
Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener
The softeners on this list might be too complicated for you. It takes too much work and money, plus you are probably worried about your appliances, and pipes and that’s all! We have got your back, Eddy water descaler can serve this purpose.
This electric device produces and sends electromagnetic waves through your pipes, the interaction of these waves with water prevents limescale from sticking to your pipes.
To install this device, wrap the coils around the pipes and plug it in an electric outlet, and VOILA, your appliances will thank you for that.
Do not install this device outdoors as it is not waterproof. It will not function properly and can cause a fire in your house.
12 months money-back guarantee, and a lifetime warranty. They are not joking about this product; they are all in. So, if your priority is to prevent scale deposits that can damage your appliances, then Eddy water descaler is a suitable option.
Many users claim that this device is not effective; it does not soften water. Eddy is a water softener alternative; if your water is not treated, don’t expect magic to happen. This device prevents scale buildup and protects your appliances if you have city water that is not high in iron content.
- Lifetime guarantee.
- No plumbing costs.
- Keeps minerals in your water.
- No salt or maintenance.
- The price is reasonable.
- It must be installed inside the house.
- It is a water softener alternative.
Those are the best water softeners in the market today, and yet, it is hard to choose even from 10 water softeners. Keep reading to see how to choose and why you need a softener in the first place.
Why do you need a water softener?
City water contains high amounts of dissolved minerals in some places more than others, such as calcium and magnesium.
The hardness of water is high means your water has an unreasonable amount of dissolved minerals, and this is where some problems arise.
The leading cause of film residue in your skin after you take a shower or wash your hands is hard water. Soap reacts with calcium and produces insoluble soap curd. As a result, you have a hard time when cleaning or doing the dishes.
When hard water is heated, solid deposits of calcium carbonate are created. This will raise the cost of heating, and you will end up losing your water heater.
The scale buildup will clog the pipes at some point, fixing your appliances and plumbing fixtures, in this case, is something you have to deal with.
What can you do to prevent this mess?
Hard water treatment is your way out; in other words, you need the best water softener system to make sure you get softer water and healthy skin.
Besides, the money you will spend on a whole house water softener system is worth it, and it will simply cost you more money in the long run if you neglect the issue.
The most common types of water softeners in the market are salt-based water softeners and salt-free water softeners.
Let’s now take a closer look at what each one does, and how can you tell which whole house water softener is best for hard water treatment.
Salt-based Vs Salt-free Water Softener System
Salt-based Water Softener
The ion exchange is the procedure that salt-based water softener uses to soften water, a classic method that proves its effectiveness.
This system requires salt to function, so you have to add salt every now and then. If you are a busy man, this work can be disturbing because you have to keep an eye on the softener.
Salt-based softeners leave sodium in the water; there is nothing to worry about because the sodium concentration won’t affect your health.
When the hardness of water is very high, you eventually need more salt. In this case, you better be careful if you have a family member who is on a strict low sodium diet; salt can be a health risk. Potassium is an alternative in this case to get the same results.
The ion exchange removes minerals that cause hard water, protecting your appliances, hair, and skin.
The price of salt-based softeners is reasonable and affordable. The quality-price ratio is what makes them popular in the first place.
Salt-free Water Softener
You don’t need salt for this system to work; it is effective and maintenance-free. However, this system is less effective than salt-based systems. The reason is that it does not tackle the root causes, which are the minerals.
Salt-free water softeners reduce the chance for minerals to form buildup, but the minerals are still there. A salt-based softener removes minerals from water to prevent limescale buildup while salt-free systems keep the good minerals while serving the same purpose.
The price of salt-free water softeners is high compared to salt-based systems. The process is different between the two, salt-free is maintenance-free and appears less complicated. It does not make annoying noise and it is easier to manage, which may explain the high price.
Some other water softeners use different methods for the same results. For instance, magnetic water descaler produces magnetic waves through your pipes, it does not change the water, it is not hard to install and it is a good alternative for other systems mentioned above.
What Do You Need To Look For To Find The Best Water Softener?
You will probably find other whole house water softeners out there that will promise you the same results at a lower price. Here is what I want you to keep in mind when you consider any kind of water softener system:
- Look for a brand that has been on the market for a long time. The flaws will at least be clear, and in most cases manageable because the more people complain about something, the less popular it becomes.
Popular modules are the easy cut for you because people already tried them. So you have got enough information to base your decision on after you do your research.
- You need to buy a water softener that can be easy to maintain, easy to handle. Taking apart the whole softener to replace a single component is a lot of work. Plus, you may make a mistake when you reassemble the softener.
- In case you decided that a salt-based water softener is your choice, resin capacity should be your primary concern. The more water you consume the larger the capacity. The consumption of water depends on how many people you have in your house.
The second thing is the bypass valve. Maintenance is something you will do once in a while in case of a salt-based softener, the bypass valve will allow you to skip the softener until you finish and then connect it again, simple isn’t it.
You have two options when it comes to regeneration sitting, you can get a timed water softener, which means it will regenerate after a certain period of time, or a metered water softener. The latter measures the maximum amount of water that it can process then regenerate accordingly.
Now we will take a look at how you can install your water softener:
The Installation Process
First of all, you want to make sure that you can do the task with ease, in case you have a doubt, you better call a professional plumber. If you are confident about the matter, let us dive in and see how you can do it.
The good news is that all water filtrations have the same installation process, once you learn the principles behind it, you will install the softener without any help.
- Choose a place for your water softener near your main water supply.
- Shut off the main water supply.
- Cut the pipe and install elbow fittings; attach the inlet of the bypass valve to the main pipe, and the outlet to the pipes that provide the water to your house.
- Connect the hose to the drain.
- Connect the overflow tube with the brine tank. Always refer to manufacturer instructions in case you get confused.
- Plug the system in an electric outlet and turn the water back on to your house.
- Check for any leak in your bypass valve then open it to let the water flow.
You are now ready to use your water softener.