Best Water Softeners 2019 | Comprehensive Guide

Alex Freeman
Jun 15 · 10 min read

This ultimate guide contains every bit of information you need to help you choose the best product that suits your needs and budget. Make sure you check out reviews of five best water softeners currently on the market as well as our extensive guide below the reviews. Enjoy!

Water is classified as “hard water” if it contains dissolved calcium and magnesium in it up to 60% and a quality water softener can reduce the mineral content and soften the water to a great extent. If you are looking for the best water softener, please take a look at the article below as we’ve provided every bit of information you need to know about water softeners.


Why use a water softener?

The name sums it pretty much; it helps in softening the water by removing the mineral content in it. Even though many people believe that removing minerals from the water also removes all the healthy items from the water, still those mineral contents can be dangerous. Hard water can clog your pipes and halt the water flow and leave water spots. It also helps in scale-buildup, which causes your water heaters to use more electricity than average to heat the water, thus increasing your electricity bills to a great extent. Even when you wash your hands or body in hard water, some people may find their skin dry and scratchy for some time due to the presence of soap scum in the water. When you wash your hair with hard water, it will make them sticky and dull, and that is the reason most of the households use a water softener. You can easily find softeners for washing machine, dishwasher, showerheads and all kind of home appliances.

Check out current top five systems on the market. You can scroll below if you would like to learn more about the benefits and different types of systems.


Top 5 Best Water Softeners

Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener

The Fleck 5600SXT is one of the best water softeners in the market that removes the calcium and other minerals in the water to convert hard water into soft water. It comes with a compact design and is highly effective in the removal process, and the best part is that it is also available at an affordable price. It is based on the ion exchange process to remove all the hardening minerals in the water and mainly helps in extending the lifetime of your pipes and other appliances.

The system comes packed with everything you may need in a water softener system including the tank, resin, control head along with brine tank equipped with a safety float as well. It also comes attached with a bypass valve fitted with a one-inch yoke that enables you to connect the plumbing connection easily.

FLECK 5600SXT also boasts an easy to read LCD that provides you all the information about the system status and error codes as well. But one thing to remember is the installation can consume a lot of time, and if you don’t have any experience in installing this kind of systems, then you may probably seek the help of a plumber or see the videos available on the internet to complete the installation process.

The water softener system is perfect for a family of 2–6 people, and once you start using the system, you may see that you’ve started to use much less soap and shampoo. And using soft water also ensures your bathrooms and toilets stay clean for a long time. The system assures a flow rate of around 12 gallons per minute that is quite enough for households with multiple bathrooms. The safety float ensures that the tank is not overfilled at any point in time.

Product Highlights

• Complete Water Softener system

• On-demand metered system

• LCD Display and touchpad controls

• Safety floats prevent water overfilling

• High-efficiency valve

What we like

• 5 years warranty for the valve

• 10 years warranty for the tank

• Top of the line softening technology

• Comes in various sizes from 16000 to 64000 grain

What we don’t like

• Resin is not of the best quality

•Sulfur is not removed

Whirlpool WHES30E 30,000 Grain Water Softener

The WHES30E is another popular grain system from the house of Whirlpool and is one of the few softener systems available in the market that comes with a decent outlook that you don’t need to hide the system in your backyard or your basement.

According to Whirlpool, the system is best suited for a family of 1–4 people as the flow rate stands at 7.6 gallons per minute, which is enough for a family of four. The softener system NSF / ANSI Standard 44 certified for hardness reduction in the water. The system can comfortably treat water with a maximum hardness level up to 95 gpg (grains per gallon), which is considered to the hardest level of water.

According to laboratory test results, the Whirlpool WHES30E system can easily remove 8ppm of iron content in the water. But please remember that it will only remove the clear water iron content and not the red-water iron content as well as organic iron content and other bacterial content in the water.

The 30,000-grain water softener system comes with compact design encompassing both the resin and brine tank into a single unit. The system not only works great for households but can also be used in small offices and shops too.

The system comes with an electronic valve that monitors your water usage and starts the softening process only when needed. This helps in conserving salt and water to a great extent. There is also a low-salt indicator that alerts when the water is low in salt content, and it is time to refill the brine tank.

The system only measures 18 x 19 inches and a height less than 43 inches, which makes it very compact and only occupies less floor space in your basement. The system also comes attached with one-inch fittings that allow you to connect the plumbing lines easily. And all you need is a standard power outlet to keep the system running.

Product Highlights

• Effective salt-saving technology

• Energy efficient

• Space-saving single-tank design

• Ideal for a family of 1–4 people

What we like

• NSF Certified

• Removes up to 8ppm of clear water iron

• 1-year full warranty for parts and labor

• 10-year warranty for the tanks

What we don’t like

• Split resin tank

• Leaky bypass valve

Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener iron filter Fleck 5600SXT digital metered valve 64,000 grain

When it comes to water softening systems, not every one of them available in the market softens water as well as removes the iron content in the water. But you can bet on the Iron Pro 2 Combination system that effectively does the job. The iron filter ensures that manganese is eliminated, ensuring that your crockery and clothes don’t have any stains. And scale buildup in the water is also removed entirely so that the lifetime of your pipelines and appliances increases considerably.

The 64,000-grain ion replacement resin ensures that all kinds of scale forming are prevented along with magnesium, calcium, sodium, and salt crystals making your water perfect for washing and cleaning purposes.

When compared with timer-based systems, the meter-based system provides is highly economical as you never need to worry about your water discoloring at any point in time. The system monitors your data usage and kick starts the regeneration process whenever required. You can also manually set the system to initiate the regeneration process at a specific time.

Product Highlights

• Best meter-based water softening system

• Removes iron as well

• Comes included with a bypass valve

• High-efficiency valve

What we like

• 5 years warranty for the valve

• 10 years warranty for the tank

• 30-day satisfaction guarantee

What we don’t like

• Installation manual not up to the mark

• Expensive

Tier1 48,000 Grain High-Efficiency Digital Water Softener for Hard Water

The Tier1 48,000 Grain is another high-quality system that softens hard water effectively. It comes in 2 colors, black and blue and also comes with an easy to read LCD and digital meter control. It is a complete water softening system for your household that comprises of the brine tank, mineral tank, control valve with bypass valve, brine tubing, drain line, etc. The system is energy efficient as it can reduce your electricity bills to a great extent.

The digital meter control enables you to set the required water pressure and water flow rate. The water softener system ensures that both magnesium as well as calcium phosphate is removed from the water but won’t disturb all the essential minerals in the water.

Product Highlights

• Digital meter control valve

• Energy efficient design

• Complete control over regeneration cycles

What we like

• Set regeneration for both time-based or quantity-based

• The complete water softener system

• Space saving design

What we don’t like

• Expensive

On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener

On the Go Portable is another top-quality salt-based water softening system that is specially designed for RVs (Recreational vehicles). The system is lightweight and compact so that it doesn’t much space inside the vehicle but highly effective in converting hard water to soft water.

The system is perfect for frequent travelers, campers, RV owners, along with people living in small apartments. With the water softening system in your vehicle, you can considerably save money that you spend on buying clean water during your travel. When compared with other water softener systems, the On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT can generate 40% more soft water.

Product Highlights

• Space saving design

• Produces 40% more soft water

• Installation guide included

What we like

• The double capacity softener system

• Easy to carry handle

• Specially designed for RVs / Marine models

What we don’t like

• Weak Shut-off valve


Benefits

Lowers Your Energy Bill

One of the significant advantages of using a water softener is that it considerably helps in reducing your electricity bills to a great extent. It is a known fact that when you use soft water to wash all your utensils like coffee pots, dishes, etc., they function more efficiently when compared to washing with hard water. Similarly, a water heater consumes less energy when heating soft water when compared to heating hard water. This is because hard water contains a large quantity of scale buildup that takes water heaters a longer time to heat the water.

Increases the lifespan of your Pipes

Hard water clogs your water pipes and causes galvanic corrosion in the pipes which means that the lifespan of the pipes gets greatly reduced. But when you use soft water, there is no option for clogging or corroding the pipes and hence the lifespan of your pipes is increased.

Environmental Benefits

When you are using soft water, it means that your appliances are using less energy and reduces your carbon footprint to a great extent.

Minimizes the Use of Soaps

When you use soap and shampoos with hard water, it requires more usage of soap and shampoos to create lathering. But it is just the opposite with soft water as it requires 75% less soap and shampoo when using soft water.

Soft water brightens cloth

Another major benefit of soft water is that it makes your cloth bright and white whereas washing clothes with hard water can make all those minerals get trapped in between the fabrics and can cause them to look dull and stiff.


Types of Water Softeners

A salt-free water softener is one of the most commonly used systems as they come with filters which don’t use any chemicals. And by that, it means the mineral content in the water is not affected to any extent. But these type of softeners is mostly recommended for use for softening very hard water.

Ion exchange softeners are not suited for drinking water as these softeners contain a huge amount of sodium. These softeners are mainly used to exchange the ions in the water with sodium or potassium ions and make it soft so that it can be used in washing machines and dishwashers.

Magnetic softeners are another kind of water softeners that makes use of magnets in the water pipes so that the magnetic field created will alter the water properties. But once the magnetic field is removed, the water will become hard again in 48 hours.

Reverse osmosis softeners remove up to 98% of impurities from the water through the reverse osmosis process. Here the softeners make use of pressure created to remove all the impurities through a semi-permeable membrane.


Conclusion

Hope the information we’ve provided above has given you everything you need to know about the best water softeners in the market and how to choose one for your water softening needs. As always, we are open to feedback, so feel free to post your comments and suggestions.

Alex Freeman

Written by

12 year experience in plumbing and I like to share my expertise with everyone. Avid writer and motor sport enthusiast. Have two awesome golden retrievers!