Did you know that if water contains dissolved calcium and magnesium of at least 60mg it is classified as hard water? Did you know that softening hard water you will be diminishing problems likes stained dishes, ashy skin, and spotty laundry?
If you are looking to have an easier time consuming water, you need to get your hands on the best water softener. People who live in hard water infested areas, have finally found a way to make their water softer using a highly functional water softener system.
Over the last several years, hard water has been mercilessly damaging and corroding home pipes and other home appliances that use water such as the coffee maker, dishwasher, etc. hard water also damages the skin of those who live in such areas. It also ruins the hair and makes it look drab. So, you can see why a water softener is important!
That is why we created this list of best water softeners for 2019. We keenly picked the ones that are best quality and will give you the right value.
Top 10 Water Softeners in 2018
Tier1 Water Softener—Best Electronic Water Softener
- 48000-grain capacity
- High-density salt tank (polyethylene)
- User-friendly LCD display
- WQA gold seal
- Adjustable cycle times
- Digital meter control valve
- Brine safety valve
- Installation kit that comes with a brine tank, mineral tank, a bypass valve and adapter
On our list, our top choice is the Tier1 Digital water softener. It is the best electric water softener because it has the best efficiency when making hard water soft. We found that it is very user-friendly despite the fact that it has electronic features.
It comes with a fitted LCD display that shows the regeneration mode, time, and the number of gallons remaining. It also comes with a WQA gold seal which indicated that the water softener is of very good quality.
This softener is perfect for homeowners who want to get a water softener that they can easily operate. The only downside is that you may experience challenges when you are adding the adapter.
- The softener is made easy to operate by the fitted LCD display
- You can regulate the softener operation based on what your water needs are thanks to the digital metered valve.
- When attaching the adapter, you may encounter minor difficulties.
This water softener is particularly ideal for those who don’t want to strain so much trying to soften hard water. This means that it is most ideal for home owners.
ABCwaters Built Fleck Black Water Softener—Best Optimal Performer
- 48000 grain maximum capacity
- Installation kit
- 10-inch black mineral tank pre-loaded with resin
- 36-inch black brine
- 5600sxt Fleck digital valve 5-year warranty
- 10% upgraded cross-linked resin system
- Two tanks with 10-year warranty
We added this product to our list because ABCwaters tagged this product as their quality. At first it seemed like it was just their marketing strategy until you take it for a test drive. It comes with a custom made and unique Fleck 5600sxt digital valve which is one of the features that make it live up to the expectation.
It is different from other softeners because it comes with a 10% upgraded cross-linked resin system. This makes the softener have an extended lifespan. It also comes with an installation kit with items like a small part kit, a sanitizer packet, a silicone lube, and a 4ft 3/8 inch brine line.
It also comes with a hardness test strips and installation guide to make the installation process easier for you. This water softener is perfect for those who are looking for a softener that comes with its own kit.
- No need to buy an installation kit because it comes with one
- Has an extended lifespan thanks to the 10% upgraded cross-linked resin system
- WQ certified
- Not so many people can afford it because it is a bit pricey
Iron Pro 2 Combination Softener–Best Water Softener Plus Iron Removal System
- 64000 maximum grain capacity
- LCD display with a touch pad control
- Complete brine tank with a float assembly and a brine well
- Digital metered valve
- 1-inch stainless steel bypass valve
- 10-year warranty on tank and a 5-year warranty on control head
This water softener doesn’t just soften hard water, it does more. It goes a step further and integrates an iron filter to remove iron. This means that Iron Pro 2 eradicates ferrous iron while also removing the hardness minerals from the water.
If your household has iron impurities and hardness minerals in your water, this is the best solution for you. This product also comes with a digital metered valve. The valve regulates the regeneration process. This means that the system can only regenerate water when and only when there is need for it.
However, if your household water usage increases, it will regenerate even more to keep up. The same will happen if your household water usage decrease so that it can regenerate less to save water.
Even though it performs two functions all at once, it still has a sleek design. It comes with an LCD display with touch pad controls. It comes with a 1-inch stainless steel bypass valve which means that it can easily be removed and reconnected when you are installing and maintaining it.
- Has a digital metered valve that regulates regeneration and allows you to get amount of water you need when you need
- It softens water and removes iron impurities at the same time
- The stainless steel bypass valve is easy to remove and replace
- LCD display and touch pads make it easy to operate
- The installation manual may be a little hard for the homeowners to grasp
Fleck 7000sxt Water Softener– Best for Homes with High Water Needs
- 48000 capacity
- High flow softener
- Pre-loaded with resin
- Digital metered valve
- Double backwash
- 10-year warranty on the tanks and 5-year warranty on the tanks
- Soft water brine tank refill
This is the 2nd Fleck softener on our list. This 7000 valve has been designed for use in light commercial and residential contexts where the demand for water is really high. We love this product because it appreciates that people with large homes need a larger capacity of water softener without resisting the flow of water. With this water softener people with large homes will be able to cater for their high water needs without any significant pressure loss.
It also comes with advances electronic features like a flexible programming, optical positioning, a soft water brine tank refill, and double backwash. It also has connect clips on the valve which makes maintenance easy.
- Preferable for people with high water needs, softens the water with no pressure loss
- Comes with connect clips on the valve that make maintenance easy
- Easy to install
- Price is a bit high
Triple Action Poly Water Softener–Best 3-in-1 Salt-Free Solution
- Salt-free softener
- Permanent stainless steel filter
- Rust-resistant and high-impact poly filter housing
- 5 oz. of polyphosphate siliphos crystals
Triple Action Poly softener performs three actions. It performs as a water softener, water conditioners, and a water filtration appliance. It first filters the water before breaking down the calcium into aragonite crystals. When the siliphos crystals are added that’s when the third and last step occurs, it helps keep aragonite crystals suspended.
In the three-way process, first process involves water filtration. It comes fitted with a 50-micron stainless steel filter. When the water is passed through the filter, the impurities in the water are removed. The clean yet hard water then moved to the 2nd stage.
In the second stage, the water is conditioned. It has an electro-mechanical core that conditions the water. The core breaks down the calcium in the hard water to form aragonite crystals. This means that the aragonite will not accumulate in the pipes because it’s a milder form of calcium hence no corrosion. After the conditioning of water, softening is the next step.
This water softener has polyphosphate siliphos crystals (10.5 ounces) that complete the water softening and purification process. This happens when the aragonite crystals are suspended in the conditioned water. It rounds them up and keeps them perpetually suspended. In this third stage, the water is filtered, conditioned, and softened.
- The stainless steel filter is permanent so you don’t have to keep buying filters. It can also be easily removed for cleaning
- It filters and softens water which means that you don’t have to buy separate systems for softening and filtration
- Putting the pieces together maybe challenges because all the fixtures are too close together.
- Aquasana Whole House Filter–Salt-Free Softener
- Pre-grade installation kit with SimplySoft tank, filtration tank, 20-inch pre-filter, brass fittings, and bend supports
- UV Steri-light filtration system
- Comes with sub-micron post filter, a 0.75 inch pipe, and shut-off valves
- High-performance filtration and softening for 10 years or one million gallons.
This is a combo product, a combination of a salt-free water softener system and a filtration system. It uses purely natural means to prevent the build-up of scale in the pipes, while still leaving behind important minerals.
If you use this product, your water will remain salt-free because it doesn’t need salt or another chemical additive. It uses a UV Sterilight filtration that’s kills off all the viruses and bacteria in the water. It also kills off bacteria like E.coli, giardia, and cryptosporidium.
It is a perfect filtration and water softening system for all homeowners. Homeowners with large households will find it very ideal. It is also meant for those who prefer naturally purified and salt-free water.
- Sodium-free so anyone can consume the water
- De-mineralizes the water without removing any important minerals
- Simultaneously takes care of all the water filtration and softening needs
- Most expensive in our list because of the filtration system
Eddy Water Descaler Water Softener–Fairly Priced Electronic Softener
- A lifetime warranty to repair and replace
- Doesn’t sue salt or any other chemical additive
- Comes with standard cables suitable for pipes with 1.5-inch diameters
This water softener is very unique. It is like the traditional salt-less and salt-based softening systems. It doesn’t use salt or any additive, instead, it softens water by emitting an electromagnetic wave.
It has two cord attached to the home’s incoming water supply people that apply the waves. That way, when the water passes through the pipe, it becomes subjected to a dynamic magnetic field.
The field changes the adhesion structure of the lime scale to make sure that it doesn’t stick to the pipes or other fixtures. It can work on all types of water pipes expect those that are crafted from iron and lead.
- Compact and easy to install
- It is extremely cheap when compared to other softener
- Low maintenance since it requires no additives
- After six months, it stops being effective because the scale begins to build up again. However, it becomes easier to remove
Morton System Saver Water Softener M30–Compact Design
- Deluxe single disk rotary valve
- Compact design
- Installation kit comes with copper connectors, washers, and bypass valve step down conversion nuts
- Immediate regeneration button
- Installation items can fit 3/4 –inch copper plumbing pipes
- Electronic technology monitors the water usage
This product has a very compact design. It is different from the average water softener, but it promises all the functionalities of the conventional water softeners. For instance, this softener comes in a single tank while most of the rest come with a two-tank system.
However, the producers of the Morton System assure us that the single tank doesn’t make the product less effective. It actually has a flow rate of over 11 gallons/minute. Compared to other salt-based softeners, it uses 50% less salt. This softener is well-suited for people with small and compact-sized houses.
- Best options for those with small homes because it just takes up 1.3 square feet floor space
- Uses 50% less salt than other systems due to its compact size meaning you don’t have to worry about salt water
- Expensive replacement parts
- Limited handling capacity
Aquios FS-220 Filtration System and Salt-Free Water Softener–Softening and Filtration System for Homeowners
- 40000 gallon usage
- 5-microns carbon block filtration system
- Uses siliphos, a non-salt additive
- 20-year warranty on the valve and the housing
Homeowners looking for a softening and filtration system may find this product perfect for them, it combines both characteristics effectively. It effectively removes impurities like sediment and chlorine from your water.
It also helps minerals that cause water hardness such as calcium and manganese from sticking to your pipes and other fixtures. Seeing as it’s a salt-free water softener, it doesn’t remove the hardness minerals from your water. Instead, what they do is prevent the minerals from accumulating in your fixtures.
This product is able to prevent the build-up of scale in the pipes with the help of siliphos, an additive. The additive impeded the mineral build-up in your pipes. After some time the minerals just flow through the fixtures instead of sticking there. You will also won’t experience decline or loss in flow rate.
- Uses a non-salt additive
- Is a filtration and a softening system at the same time
- Best warranty so far–20 years
- Not effective for large households
EcoPure EP7130 Softener–StandOut Water Softener
- 30000 grain capacity
- NSF Certified
- Installation key
- Low salt indicator light
- Bypass valve that fits a 1-inch pipe thread
- Auto sense technology
- 10-year warranty on the tanks, 3-year warranty on the electronic parts, and 1-year warranty on the manufacturer’s parts
Last on our list we have this product which has a single-tank. It is also NSF-Certified. It has an initiated regeneration system which makes it very unique. According to the manufacturers, this system regenerated the water based on your need for soft water and the water hardness.
Water regeneration with this system takes place only when initiated which allows you to save a considerable amount of water and salt. It also comes equipped with simple electronic features like the low salt indicator light which lets you know when to replenish salt in the softener. This water softener is perfect for houses with 1-5 members.
- Low salt indicator light that reminds you whenever you need to replenish salt in the system
- It is NFS Certified which gives us confidence that it’s a quality product
- Initiated regeneration system that saves your energy and maintenance costs. Also allows you to conserve water.
- Manual maybe a bit difficult to understand
Water Softener Buying Guide
Why You Need A Water Softener
Many houses across the globe need water softener because. However, at the very minimum, it comes down to the type of water you and your family use. If you consume your water from a Municipal water supply, the water has a number of minerals that make it hard. Hard water contains a larger amount of dissolved magnesium, calcium, iron, and other particles.
Why is Hard Water Bad?
The minerals in hard water leads to some diseases and a number of domestic inconveniences. When the water running through your pipes is hard water, you will be forced to thoroughly maintain your pipes and faucets.
Hard water also can be traced on your faucets and dishes in form of soap scum. Anywhere you let the water dry, it leaves a cloudy film behind. You will also feel it on your skin because it makes the skin a bit drier and itchy.
Also causes build up in your pipes because the minerals are left behind as lime scale inside your shower heads and pipe. It also threatens water heaters because it is one of the reason heating elements in water heaters are affected by lower efficiency. Hard water also causes corrosion and rust.
Hard water will also make your shampoos and soap so foamy because it reduces the lather, it also makes your laundry visually unpleasing because the clothes will feel stiffer once you wash them with hard water. You will see white spots on them making them less vibrant.
Benefits of Water Softening Systems
Not only are water softening systems a convenience, it also affects your budget positively and your healthcare starts to add up good result. Some of the benefits include:
- It will make you skin, hair, and clothes softer. Soft water will treat the skin gently and improve the overall cleanliness to your clothes.
- Soft water machine will prevent the buildup and hence prolong the life of your home appliances as well.
- Since the appliances will start to work, it means that they will be using less energy when they are operating and so your energy bills will also be lower.
- Soft water system will make the water soft allowing the detergents and soaps to be more effective. This also means that you will have to use more than you require.
- When hard water becomes soft, there will be no cloudy residue left which means that your surfaces will begin to be stain-free
How a Water Softener Works
If you don’t own a water softener, you may want to find out how it works before you buy a new one. The most popular water softener is the salt-based water softener and it works through an ion exchange process. In the process the hard water minerals are replaced with softer minerals that make the water softener.
The system comes with two tanks, water tank, and a brine tank. You need to make sure that you install it where your household water passes because then it passes through the tank filled with resins.
The resins is the most effective treatment for hard water because it is charged with sodium ions or potassium ions. The ions allow the system to strip the hard water effectively making sure that minerals responsible for water hardness isn’t left behind.
What to Consider Before Buying a Water Softener System
Type of Softener
The first thing you should do if you want to buy a softener is determine what type of water softener you want to use for your water softening needs. There are many types of water softeners in the market today, both salt-based and salt-free types.
Many homes prefer salt-based softeners because salt successfully softens the water. Salt-free models are less popular among homeowners. However, both models perform perfectly. The model you buy will be influenced by your personal preferences.
Water Softener Certifications
You also need to make sure that the softening system you want meets all the required standards of a water treatment equipment. This helps makes sure that the system is safe for home use and that it works exactly as the manufacturer claims.
The most important softener in this case is the NSF International and WQA (Water Quality Association. If you already own one, check it has any certification.
Once you decide on the type of model you water to buy and confirmed that it has a certification, the next thing you should consider the size or the capacity of the model. This is because you have to make sure that the system meets all your water softening needs.
Regeneration process involves the rising of the resin beads from the hard minerals in water softening system and prepares them for the softening cycles. So before you buy a water softening system, you consider the regeneration process length. When the duration is shorter, the regeneration is better.
The recommended is two hours or less if you are looking to ensure the water in your home is softer. The good thing is that some of the latest models in the market have an auto-regeneration technique making the soft water available when you are ready.
Portable or Standard Model
Consider whether you want to use the softener outdoors, for example if you are going camping. In this case, the portable model is the best option for you. They are much easier to transport to any location. Portable systems are also very affordable and they soften the water well.
If you want a system to install in your existing home, the standard model is the best option for you. They are however, more expensive than the portable models and will be able to handle higher water volumes quickly and efficiently compared to the portable models.
The water softeners in the market vary in price. This means that you have to consider your budget because you have to find a model that fits your budget. Make sure that the price completes the features and functions of the model.
There are so many water softeners in the market, so many brands. However, they don’t all have the same manufacturer quality. You also have to make sure that the brand is efficient enough to match your water softening expectations and needs. To be on the safe side, you can also limit your options to the popular brands.
Water softener also qualify as machinery and home appliances meaning that they can potentially prone to fail sometimes. Make sure that the softener you intend to buy has a manufacturer’s warranty. This makes sure that you are not making a risk-free investment. Look for the ones that have more than one year warranty.
How to Take Care and Maintain a Water Softener
Water softening systems require little maintenance but need to make sure that you regularly checkups to make sure that it has an extended period of time. Here are some of the tips:
Regularly Refill the Salt
The water softening systems require salt to operate efficiently and so you have to check and refill the salt regularly. The softener keeps executing your tasks so every time you add the salt it will get consumed in the brine tank. You need to add more salt if you want the operation process to be smooth. However, you need to make sure that the salt in the brine is already consumed before refilling.
Consider the Kind of Salt to Use
If you want to extent the salt’s lifespan and keep it off damage, you need to carefully consider the type of salt you want to use. This will also allow the system to remain efficient. The manufacturer will advise you on the type of salt you should use for the system.
We highly recommend the purest salts because they prevent the formation of salt bridging and mushing which can affect the unit performance.
Regularly Inspect the System for Salt Mushing and Salt Bridges
Salt mushing and salt bridges cause havoc in salt-based water system because it causes blockages that affect regeneration process. If you find a salt mushing and bridges in your softening system you can use a broom handle to break it. You can also dissolve the blockages in the brine tank with water.
Regularly Clean The Brine Tank and Resin Bed
Once in a while, you should make a point of cleaning your entire system once or twice each year. This will allow you to easily remove impurities in the two tanks that might affect the performance and functionality of your water softener.
Like we mentioned, some people consider hard water safe for general use but it has negative effects on appliances and humans. Getting a water softener for your water is important if you would like to avoid these effects.
Water softeners will help turn hard water into soft water by eliminating the effects caused by hard water to your water pipes, appliances, skin, clothes, and hair. This means that you will cut some of the life costs and reduce any unnecessary expenses which makes life easier for you and your family.
Don’t give hard water a chance to ruin your life so make sure that you get the top-best water softeners for your water. We hope that our review and buying guide helps you pick the right softener for your home.