Removing water hardness is not one of those easy peasy tasks, but the benefit of getting rid of the hardness of water can be worth it in the end. One of the best ways to get this done is by using a water softener.
Doing this helps solve most problems with the laundry, plates and dishes, and skin. Purchasing one of the best water softeners will also help maximize the amount of water available. But you can’t just head to the market to purchase just any product that crosses your path.
Thus, we’ve rounded up the top 6 best water softening systems based on their ease of use, maintenance needs, cost, expected life, and efficiency. But before we take you behind the scenes, let’s consider some of the critical factors to consider when trying to pin down the right model for your home.
Best Water Softener Reviews – Top 7 Picks of the Year
1. Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener
The Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener is our top choice from Fleck, which is known for offering high-quality water softener.
When it comes to filtering hard minerals, this product does a better job of up to 50 grains of minerals per gallon. This should be enough to remove the hardness of the water. This model is best used for a family of up to 6 people to soften sulfur-rich water.
It comes with a 5600 SXT control valve, and it is easy to set the SXT to regenerate, provided you know the grains per gallon. This model makes use of the programmed gallon per grain to perform regeneration automatically.
This product features a fine mesh resin to filter iron and Mediaguard to help filter manganese and sulfur. Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener captures manganese, sulfur, iron, magnesium, and calcium and flushes away. Even better, it comes with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty, which shows a high level of confidence in this product.
backlit LCD display
48 hour internal power backup
Durable tank with a long warranty
Might require you to purchase an adapter
2. Pentair WS48-56sxt10 Fleck water softener
Next is Pentair WS48-56sxt10 Fleck water softener with detailed instruction on a USB drive, a sanitizer pack, and lubricant. Also, it includes a hardness test strip to ensure your softener is properly set.
This product comes with a 10% cross-linked resin for long-lasting use. This whole house water softening unit helps get rid of hard water scale building up and minimizes soap efficiency using its practical Fleck 5600SXT Digital on-demand control valve.
More so, the high capacity resin helps remove magnesium ions and calcium ions, causing hard water, which also extend your plumbing and appliances’ life. Also, you can set when it needs to regenerate based on your water usage.
backlit LCD display
Meter based regeneration
Durable poly-glass tank
The instruction could be clearer
3. Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System
This whole house water filtration system requires a professional to install to ensure every outlet in your home delivers clean and great tasting water. This unit removes 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, 97% of chlorine, and lessens the number of harmful contaminants like pesticides, herbicides, mercury, lead, VOCs, and more.
Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System comes with a high-performance filter system combining with UV purifier and SCM salt-free technology to ensure minimal contaminant content and leaves only healthy minerals.
This unit is cost-efficient, helping you save twice and long-lasting. Also, it’s easy to maintain since it doesn’t need to backflush or to drain. More so, it’s easy to replace pre and post filters for best flow rate and filtration.
Long-lasting and cost-efficient
Includes conditioner tank, filter tank
Get rid of germs, bacteria, and other metals
Poor customer service
4. Eddy Electronic Water Descaler – Water Softener Alternative
One of the exciting features of this product is its 12-month 100% money-back guarantee. Not just that, it includes a lifetime repair or replaces warranty, which assures customers of longevity. Further, this product is easy to install on plastic or metal pipes.
The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler – Water Softener Alternative helps get rid of limescale accumulation and dissolve previous deposits. This option is a no salt alternative and helps soften water without changing the hardness of your water. More so, it helps retain the healthy minerals in your water supply.
Even better, it comes with a maintenance-free design and environmentally friendly. Also, it does not include salt and shows great skin and hair improvements.
12-month money-back guarantee
Requires NO plumbing changes
Durability could be better
5. On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener
When it comes to compact RV softener, then On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener could be just what you are looking for. It’s designed to work well for RV/marine owners. It comes with a 16,000 grain per gallon and makes water softer than most products on the market.
This water softener regenerates with two boxes of common table salt and offers up to 1600 gallons of soft water up to 40 days.
What’s more? It comes with a compact, space-saver design with higher flow rates and low-pressure drop. On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable 16,000 Grain, RV Water Softener features an easy-to-carry handle on top and wide-mouth opening for easy addition of salt.
Easy to store
360-degree swivel for easy connection
Instruction could be better
6. Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener
This product is an all in one option as it combines both iron filters and water softener features. This unit offers a high flow for whole-house use. This unit has 64,000 grain capacity, with a fine mesh resin designed to help remove a high amount of iron and long life.
The Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener is easy to use and offers incredible efficiency. A 5-year warranty backs this equipment.
All in one option
Ease to use
The water quality is not impressive
7. APEC Water Systems WH-SOLUTION-15 Whole House Filter & Salt-Free Water Softener Systems
This product is designed for up to 6 bathrooms. It delivers high quality filtered, softened water to your entire home. It does not require regeneration, electricity, or backwash. This combo makes it easier to maintain and cost-efficient.
It offers spa-quality water at every outlet without harsh abrasive chemicals. Also, it prevents scale buildup and ensures longer pipes’ lifespan.
Designed for 3-6 bathrooms homes
Salt-free water conditioner
No need for regeneration
Cost-efficient and maintenance-free
Plumbing connection is a bit difficult
Things to Consider When Shopping a Water Softener System
Water softening systems work differently and come with a wide range of different features. Each softener is built for a specific circumstance in mind. For instance, there are systems designed for people traveling in an RV; others are meant for household use.
Not only do they differ in terms of functionality and capacities, but the water softening system also features a varying level of technology and is made out of a lot of different materials. Plus, some models are programmable and come with LCD displays, whereas others might just be manually operated.
Therefore, it’s important to understand some key features to ensure that you make the right choice.
Softener Grain Capacity
Softeners can’t work forever without the need to regenerate. The process of regeneration depends on the model and the kind of resources being used. The grain capacity of a water softener is the amount of hardness grains it can soften before the next regeneration cycle maintenance.
Each system comes with different grain capacity. Some models, especially portable options, have a low grain capacity, usually lower than 40,000, and won’t be able to process lots of hard water. But for people with a large home and high water requirement, a water softener with high grain capacity up to 300,000 is an ideal choice.
Type of Media
Typically, most products have salt as part of the medium to soften hard water. The saltwater solution allows the resin beads to trap unwanted, toxic materials, and harder minerals from the water.
Some water softening systems now use varying resins, which means you don’t have to add salt to the bed periodically. These systems use filters and other solutions to achieve the same results. Besides, these kinds of filters are highly sought after due to the convenience they offer.
Water flow rate
This factor has to do with the number of gallons of water allowed to flow through the system in a minute or hour. The flow rate depends on the number of people and how much water will be consumed within the house.
For example, homeowners with multiple showers running at once, then you should purchase a water softener with a higher flow rate to ensure a sufficient supply of soft water through the showerheads.
While this factor seems obvious, it’s often ignored when trying to purchase the right water softener system. As said earlier, these systems differ in several ways, including their dimension. There are some products with a big and bulky design, which means you need to ensure you have got enough space to install such a big-size version.
On the other hand, there are other compact-sized products, which are designed for homes with limited space. These product units will work well with lower floor space since they require less than 10-inch floor space.
For DIYers, this is something you want to consider before purchasing a product. Some products weigh up to 100lbs while others come with a lightweight design under 10 lbs. So don’t forget to check to avoid buying a heavier unit, which will only make installation a lot tricky and overwhelming.
Softeners are bought to help improve your house water quality, which means extra care needs to be taken to avoid defeating the purpose of owning one in the first instance. It’s important that it is made with long-lasting and hard wearing materials.
This assures you that the softening system will serve you for many years to come. Opting for poor quality material will not only damage your water but also get damaged by water. Thus, you need to consider a system with an anti-corrosive feature to ensure the product is not susceptible to rusting.
Also, water softeners come with the different installation process, which includes different connecting methods, plumbing inlet stages, and many more. Another consideration is whether or not you plan to do it yourself or get professional assistance.
However, most products on our list come with a DIY installation option. Nevertheless, there are ones that might require professional help, especially the bigger, bulkier models.
If you love your product to come with some additional features, then going for equipment with LCD display and touchscreen feature can make your experience with it incredible. Having an LCD, let’s you know when the salt is low, or the equipment is operating at a very low temperature – and when regeneration is necessary.
Even more, coming with touchpad controls makes operating the equipment a lot easier. Plus, its programming option allows adjusting the settings easier and effectively.
Needless to say, before purchasing a product, the warranty is another vital factor to consider. Nobody wants to have to change their water softening system every year or so. Therefore, it’s vital that you consider a product that offers long-lasting use up to a decade.
So, if a softener system comes with a short warranty, this can be a good indication that the manufacturer is not looking to stand by their product. While compact-design options usually come with 5 – 10-year manufacturer’s warranties, options with cheaper price tags have a lifespan about 2 -3 years max.
But for those going for a full house water softening system, then you shouldn’t settle for short warranty periods. At the very least, the equipment should come with a long warranty, especially for the tank.
We’ve reviewed the top 7 best water softeners on the market. Now, it’s up to you to make the right pick.