Hard water can ruin your shower, leave a film on your dishes, and destroy your water-based appliances years faster than normal. Why? Because hard water contains 69 mg or more of dissolved calcium and magnesium which are too many hard elements for silky smooth water.
Unfortunately, hard water won’t go away on its own and needs a lot of help in the form of a water softener. Once you get one and hook it up to your water, all your water problems will disappear for a cost, but over time will cut down on so many other expenses. We did all the work and found the best options to save you time and energy researching for hours. Take a look below.
Best Water Softeners
With such a wide variety of softeners available, picking the right one for your family can mean hours and hours of daunting research. To help you save time and cut through the clutter, we present our picks for the best water softeners:
The Fleck 5600 SXT offers an on-demand digital metered water softener with a 64,000 grain 2 cubit feet high capacity resin pre-loaded tank. That’s a gigantic tank ready to give you a luxurious shower plus six other family members too. Don’t let the helium tank appearance or the digital meter scare you as these all promise to make your problems go away.
AFWFilters provides installation tips and videos so you can install the system yourself without having to spend extra money for a specialist to come out and set it up for you for a small fortune. Attach this system to where your water enters the house to stop the problem where it starts with high capacity resin beads that stay in the system to soften the water.
Connect with a bypass and 1inc connection to your plumbing which allows for bypass without shutting off the main water supply. The set also comes with a standard brine tank with a safety float to prevent accidentally overfilling the tank. Also, the microprocessor with an LED screen means you will never lose programming during a power outage and comes with valve status and memory backup.
Lastly, the set automatically reconditions as needs so you don’t need to do as much work. Follow the instructions for simple programming to ensure that the system operates at full capacity which is 64,000 grain capacity with 2.0 cubic feet so the whole family to benefit, even large families!
This water softener works best for families of 4 or less but can accommodate more as it removes up to 8ppm of clear water iron. The Whirlpool WHES30E comes with an NSF certification to reduce hard water so your house can operate better without buildup. What you will love about this set is its ability to calculate automatically how much salt and water it requires to regenerate and use only the necessary amounts to save you money on both salt and water. This allows you to help the environment too with less waste.
It comes with a 1-year warranty for parts and labor and you can extend it to 2 years when you buy 3 bottles of water softener cleanser (WHEWSC sold separately). You should clean the water softener every four months with this simple product. Installation is easy enough to do so you can save money on a professional. The set includes a step-by-step installation kit.
Finally, the set doesn’t take up much space as it only measures 19 x18 x 43 5/16 of an inch. It requires an electrical outlet but works with 110 or 120 volts and includes a 24-volt transformer. The 30,000 Grain softener removes up to 95 gpg of hardness so your skin and dishes can take a break!
Families of 3-5 people with a 40,000-grain water softener. This is enough to get rid of the scale on your dishes, sink, showers, clothes, and wash machines too. The OMNIFilter reduces hardness, scale, iron, calcium, and lime so you can feel like you again and stop aging your skin and appliances. Includes an electronic screen for easy setup and monitoring too.
The set includes a digital display, drain tubing, bypass valve, and all the fittings to set this up yourself without hiring someone. It also uses Smart Reserve technology to anticipate daily water usage for full efficiency and dependability. Also, it includes a pre-installed bypass and drain line.
What you will love about the system is the 1-2-3 easy setup. Just set your time, water hardness, and the salt setting to finish the process! It measures 15.5 x 15.5 x 58 inches to take up only the necessary amount of space. Use with both well water or city water. The weight is heavy enough at 127 pounds to not get knocked over no matter where your water source is located in your home.
Pentair Residential Filtration reduces rust, sediment, chlorine, odors, and other impossible to see substances from household water. This allows for a better clean, better-tasting water, better-looking water, without resorting to bottled water for almost everything with a flow rate of 11 gallons per minute.
4. Aquasure Harmony Series 48,000 Grains Water Softener with High-Efficiency Digital Metered Control Head
The Aquasure Harmony Series Water Softener comes in three sizes to accommodate your family size including 32,000 grains 48,000 grains, or 64,000 grains to supply softened water for up to 6 people households. Check your water hardness before deciding which to get for your home.
This system comes equipped with Aquatrol Advanced Digital On-Demand Meter Control Head to get your water softened when you need it for showers, dishes, laundry and more. It also features a time-delayed option and metered and manual double backwash for optimal regeneration, cleaning, and production. Like the others, this one monitors needs and lessens your water bill and salt replacement.
Aquasure is made of heavy-duty fiberglass lined polyethylene tank which resists corrosions and a durable bypass valve pre-filled with high-quality resin. All this to prevent iron, magnesium, and other hard minerals from damaging your water. It even connects easily with intuitive parts ready to make your life easier and softer.
Last of all, the LED screen allows for three types of regeneration including time clock delayed control, meter immediate control, and meter delayed control. You have all the control of your system at the push of a button for tailored performance and easy to see settings. A durable set to support your family’s water usage.
Though the Tier1 Everyday Water Softener takes up a lot of space in your basement or garage, it can soften water for up to 5 family members with the 48,000-grain high-efficiency digital water softener. With resin to produce negatively charged beads, water passes through to remove hard minerals to carry them out on the beads and give you softer water.
Add in the brine tank with common salt to create a brine solution to further reduce harsh elements from your water. From here, water goes through a 3-phase regenerating cycle including a backwash phase, recharge phase, and finally a regenerated phase. This is why you need a mineral tank size of 10 x 54 inches to give your water the highest quality and softness available. Inside, find a 1.5 cubic feet of resin.
The whole system provides an iron removal of 3ppm with a flow rate of 11.2. It takes two hours to regenerate which means you will have a minor interruption in service. Don’t worry, this will all make sense as you adjust the cycle times on the user-friendly LCD with normal English wording instead of fancy jargon.
Finally, the company suggests you hirer a professional for installation, though those with experience should be able to handle it on their own. If you need help, they offer both English and Spanish technical support. The resin tank inside will need replacement in a couple of decades.
6. Discount Water Softeners Genesis 2 Duo 48,000 Grain Water Softener and Whole House Chlorine Filtration and Removal System
The Discount Water Softener Genesis 2 Duo set works like the others to remove hard elements from your water and comes in three size options but for a higher price as it comes with a lifetime warranty to ensure you never have an issue with saltwater again. Pick the right size for your family including 32,000 grain, 40,000 grain, or 48,000 grain to work for up to five people households.
This set can save your 8,280 pounds of salt and 32,400 gallons of water, that’s a lot of money! Also, it offers 7.4 GPM (3.5 GPM Backwash Rate) 1.25 Cu. Ft. 10% Crosslink (Highest Durability and Capacity Resin) 1.25 Cu Ft of Catalytic Carbon 3/4″ and 1″ unique bypass with integrated turbine meter. All this will still reducing tank sweating and the ability to hold up to 200 pounds of salt so you don’t have to replace it often.
Do not use this system with well water or non-chlorinated water. The Genesis Premier On-Demand High Flow control value has electronic sensors, adjustable cycles, and takes up less space using a catalytic carbon for chlorine and chloramine removal in a separate tank to improve performance. Using up-flow brining, the system also saves up to 30% more salt than backwash systems.
With a simple design and easy programming and installation, this set is one you can truly forget about as you won’t have to reprogram or reset the time and memory as it remembers your setting even when you forget them. Finally, it measures 52 x 18 x 56 inches to take up less space in your home.
7. APEC Water Systems FUTURA-10 Premium 10 GPM Whole House Salt-Free Water Softener & Water Conditioner
The other systems above operate with salt but this one offers salt-free water softening and conditioning. First, though, pick from a few options based on your bathroom size with the choices of 1-3 bathrooms or 3-6 bathrooms. You can also pick from with filters or without filters. The 1-3 bathroom set allows for 10 gallons per minute flow rate.
Futura-1o prevents scale build-up and improves the lifespan of pipes and appliances without harsh chemicals or salt. The system is easy to install and works for years without maintenance as it does not require electricity, backwash, or drainage for wastewater, nor do you need to replace the salt. As the system also conditions water as well as softens it, you don’t have to worry about slimy feeling water or spots on your dishes.
The system is suitable for water hardness levels below 25 grains or gallons. It’s also 100% safe for plants and helps to reduce health risks and your cardiovascular system with less salt. Instead of salt, the Futura neutralizes minerals by converting them into scale resistant crystalline form. These are harmless, neutral, heat resistant, and stable without attaching to pipes or heaters or causing lime deposits.
Finally, install and maintain the system easily. Connect the compact single tank system to your home’s main water supply line. That’s it, seriously. No bags of salts, but it has a tank that measures 9 x 9 x 48 and weighs 60 pounds. You may still need a bottle of finish jet dry.
The Sania’s Yarna Electronic Water Descaler System is the most economical and space-saving system on the list. It works completely different the others on this list as it does not require a large tank but instead, just a little bright blue two-inch pipe and some copper tape. This innovative system gets rid of hard water that can ruin your clothes, skin, and appliances.
Either glue or screw the tiny pipe to the outside of your house near the main water source pipe. Thread the copper tape cables around the pipe and attach some extra cables to make sure they stay in place and turn it on. That’s it! This treats the water by using electric impulses you can control with a computerized microchip. The signal-frequencies are transmitted via the copper coils around the pipe.
The bands interact and form a frequency-field that changes the crystals in the water as they flow by and reduce them to minuscule sizes that won’t harm your appliances. No more blocked pipes with buildup or malfunctioning machinery. This system can even cut down on rust and heating costs.
Moreover, Yarna does not rid water of calcium or magnesium, which are necessary for a healthy body, but reduces their damage by reducing their size. Try for a year with a full money-back guarantee if you don’t like the system. What’s not to love though? No giant tank, no salt, increased health, improve appliances, all with a minuscule price!
Lastly, with no tank to hold water and scale deposits, you don’t have to worry about bacteria buildup. This system doesn’t eliminate but changes the size. Consider pairing with an under-the-sink water filtration system (link-back to the last article).
Instead of buying a water softener and filter, buy the combo set by Filtersmart. The price on this set is a doozy, but worth it because it offers so many elements and does so much with quality material and is environmentally friendly. Pick a system based on how many bathrooms are in your home, either 1-3 or 4 bathrooms. You can also pick just the filter or just the softener.
The salt-free system keeps important nutrients in your water without adding sodium to your water which is eco-friendly as there is no leftover residue, recharging, back-flushing, or corrosive pipes. This set includes a water filtration system as well as the water softening system with no maintenance except one replaced filter every ten months. All without giant bags of salt!
These filters do not require electricity and do not waste water while still reducing limescale formation on pipes, faucets, and appliances. The set includes the water filter pipe and identical-in-appearance water softener types both of which are easy to install. A perfect pair for fully clean water without removing beneficial ingredients while cleaning your water.
The last water softener does not require salt like the last few. Instead, it uses a 3-in-1 cartridge that doubles the amount of water softening for up to 95% softer water. Hansings Water Softener and Filtration System also reduces 99.5% of chlorine, odor, and bad tastes from water for a two in one system all with an economical price tag.
The water softener part is made of food-grade material with no phosphorus and a neutral pH balance to deactivate scaling elements and therefore their formation into buildup. Using a radical flow design, the filtration works for an area of up to 150 square inches and hinders calcium crystals and scales. The parts are made of stainless steel and are leak-proof, acid and alkali-resistant, and temperature-resistant.
The softener uses mounting brackets to screw into the wall and offers a total capacity of 280,000 grain with a long use cartridge. The whole set comes with a five-year warranty. Finally, you can use the set with both well or tap water to remove contaminants and buildup from your water.
Questions About Best Water Softeners
What exactly is hard water?
Hard water is water with a high mineral content as compared to soft water. Primarily, the minerals are calcium and magnesium with the occasional bicarbonates and sulfates. To determine if you have hard water, use either soap or toothpaste to see if they lather. In soft water, both lather easily but in hard water, they won’t lather well.
Does a water softener make your water safe to drink?
No, a water softener conditions your water but does not make it drinkable. You must have drinkable water to use a water softener. If you want to make your softened water more palatable than you will want to get a water filtration system too. Check out our article on the best under-the-sink water filtration systems (link-back to the last article).
Which style of system works better, a salt or salt-free water softener?
This is a personal decision but overall the salt-free makes a much better option. Not only do the salt-free options take up less space but they also create less waste and keep valuable minerals in your water. Be careful if you get a water filter that it does not take those nutritional elements either.
The salt-based models eliminate the elements completely and require more maintenance as they need new salt about every 8 weeks or less, depending on the tank size. With the salt-free, there is no leftover waste and no need for salt or potassium to use as a filter. So the salt-free options require only the upfront cost and no extra maintenance.
Here is a good YouTube video that explains more about maintaining a water softener.
Wrapping Up Best Water Softeners
The best water softener requires little to no work and makes your water softer. This helps to protect your water-based appliances, your skin, and your health. If you choose the Yarna Electronic Water Descaler System you get these benefits with the easiest setup and a microchip for the absolute newest technology. You also keep all of your essential elements for your health without adding salt which can cause harm to your health in high quantities. Overall, this is the most functional and cost-effective option.