Best Water Softeners Reviews: Our Top Rated Buyer’s Guide
Having a water softener has become one of the most important factors in a home. Hard water has a high mineral content which at the time of mixing with soap solutions, they leave this soap scum in your homes and bodies causing clogged pipes, dry hair and skin, itchy skin, stains in your sink, toilets and showers, scale in water fixtures and smelly water among a lot of other issues and side effects around your house. You can always soften or condition your water, depending on the water filter you use, removing all of these issues from your home and body but it is pretty important to know which one you should choose and how to do so. This is why we have gathered the best home water softeners and reviews to help you figure out what is the best water softener to buy, avoiding the whole headache of losing a lot of money and time testing different filters that will not fit your needs.
Table of Contents
- Best Water Softener Comparison Table
- Different Types of Water Softener
- Top 5 Best Rated Water Softeners
- Other Quality Water Softeners
- Features You Should Be Looking For In A Water Softener
Best Water Softener Comparison Table
Digital controls for an easy set up and informative display
Flow meter that measure the used water to regenerate as needed
Built in bypass valve
50 micron sediment filter
Keeps the beneficial effects of calcium and other minerals
Salt-free whole house water softener
Doesn't require electricity
Salt-free whole house water softener
2 filtration stages water passes through
Water is cleaned from the source, not within the system
Stainless steel head that allows an easy installation
Easy client installation
Reverse osmosis technology
Removes chlorine smell and taste from drinking water
It connects to the primary kitchen or batch water faucet
No chemicals used
Air injection whole house system which removes more iron and sulfur
Reverse Osmosis technology that removes 99% of contaminants
Different Types of Water Softener
The best way to get rid of hard water in your house is having a whole house water softener system but there is actually more than just one type of water softener you can choose from. Here are 4 types so you can compare water softeners and start figuring out what will be your best option.
Ion Exchange Water Softeners
The way ion exchange softeners work is that hard water mineral ions (calcium and magnesium) are replaced with either sodium (salt) ions or potassium ions by making hard water go through a resin bed. When this resin is filled with hardness minerals, the system will go through a regeneration process flushing brine solution through it and washing hardness minerals down the drain. This is the most effective type of water softener, it will prolong your appliances lifetime and eliminate the build up scale in fixtures, the soap scum in showers and stains in toilets and showers, but many people choose not to use this type of water softener in their drinking water since this softened water has a high salt content and it can increase the sodium in their bodies causing many health issues.
Salt-Free Water Softeners
Let’s start by clearing out the fact that these are actually not water softeners themselves but they are water conditioners which means they won’t work well with really hard water. But these type of water filters are the most preferred by the consumers specially for drinking water since it doesn’t use any chemicals, salt or potassium to soften hard water. These water conditioners change the molecule structure in hard water and changes these molecules from scale building to non-scale building molecules. These can also be a little bit less expensive since it requires less maintenance and since it doesn’t use salt to soften the water, you will also be saving some money with this part. You can also view our top 5 salt free water softeners here.
Magnetic Water Softeners
This process consists in placing magnets outside the pipes around them (sometimes inside the pipes) before water enters pipes, these magnets will pull or alter the ions found in hard water. The bad thing is that softened water will return to being hard water 48 hours after leaving the magnetic field. It’s still unknown how this really works and there have been many studies made on these systems to try to figure out how is it exactly that magnets affect hard ions softening water and to be able to prove this system’s effectiveness but these have been inconclusive and not that successful, making this type of water softeners not reliable or recommended and this is why they are not that common in households.
Reverse Osmosis Water Softeners
Reverse osmosis softeners work by forcing water through a semipermeable membrane in order to form a less concentrated solution straining microscopics contaminants and removing them from your water. These type of water softeners, although they are pretty common and are used by most of the salt-based systems, many people choose to use other type of technology since reverse osmosis uses too many chemicals.
Top 5 Best Rated Water Softeners
Choosing the best water softener can be a very difficult and exhausting process, but looking at water softeners reviews can really help clear out all the options that will not fit your needs and expectations, and sometimes also all the water softener ratings can also help clear out all the bad options. And let’s be honest, some water softening systems can be very expensive so with this top 5 list, we will show you the best options according to the consumers and you will be able to choose what is really the best water softener for the money.
This water softening system uses ionic exchange technology which as mentioned before, is one of the most effective and the best type of water softeners in the market. The system has a regeneration process that is meter based, which means the water use is measured so that the system will only regenerate softened water when it really needs to and when the water use increases, the system will regenerate softened water more often so that it can keep up with the water use and provide softened water to your home at all times. The installation of the whole house water filter doesn’t take that long and is not that difficult, but it does require at least some plumbing skills and knowledge, I would really recommend some professional do the job if your knowledge is very basic, we won’t want to make a mess and have to pay extra money on any type of repairs.
This is also a whole house water filter, it includes and built in bypass valve that will make it easier for you to access the unit and make your filter changes whenever it is required or whenever you need to shut it down. This valve will allow a pretty easy maintenance and the system doesn’t even require for you to shut it off to be able to do so, which for me is an amazing feature, it saves time and effort. The ports on this system’s lid will fit all standard plumbing but the installation will also require some plumbing experience or a professional doing the job although it’s also pretty simple and will take up only about 30 minutes to an hour.
This whole house water softening system uses salt free technology which is ideal for all those people who are a lot more concerns on the sodium content in their drinking softened water. Although this water softener is not that effective in removing these hard minerals, it does keep only their beneficial effects conditioning water. This type of water filter doesn’t require any maintenance and nor making any changes to your plumbing, it is also a lot less expensive than salt-based water softeners and with the no-maintenance feature, it will save you a lot more money such as the money you would have to spend buying salt for conventional water softeners. This system will work with almost all types of pipes, the only ones that it doesn’t work with are lead and iron piper.
This is also a salt-free whole house water softener but the difference between this one the the Eddy softener, is that this one doesn’t require any type of electricity for it to work so this is a plus for this system, you will not only be saving money on so much maintenance and salt, but also on electricity. This is a great water softener but there are 2 main reasons why it’s not at the top of our list. First, it’s a lot more expensive than other water softeners and even though this system will save you money in the long run, it will not be affordable for most of us. And second, there have been many complaints about the filters needing to be replaced a lot more often than usual so this can affect the whole saving money part of the salt-free softener. But it’s still a great water conditioner and will do the job it’s designed to do effectively and efficiently.
This whole house water softener puts water through 2 stages in order to soften it in a pretty efficient way. The first stage is a 5-micron carbon block filter which is a lot more effective that other types of carbon since it’s formed into a solid block. This block filter will remove at least 90% of sediment and chlorine, eliminating with it the odor and taste in water, and it will also remove other organic and harmful chemicals such as pesticides. And the second stage is a manganese and iron reducing filter which is amazing for heavy metals which are mostly found in well water sources. Changes in hard water have been shown immediately after the filter is installed in some of the consumers and it has been pretty successful with its functions.
Other Quality Water Softeners
We have gathered some other 5 great quality water softeners that include not only whole house systems but also under sink and drinking water filters and are from some pretty good brands that will confirm their effectiveness in softening water. These other options are:
Features You Should Be Looking For In A Water Softener
Although there are different types of water softeners and a lot of functions to choose from such as drinking water filters, shower head filters and whole house filters, there are some main factors you should always look for in a water softener no matter what type of softener you choose or where you decide to install it. You can watch this video of an overview of different types of water softeners and it’ll really help you see how they will look in your home and a little bit of how they work:
Here we have listed some of the main features you should be looking for in a water softener:
Size and Capacity: One of the size factors you need to look at is the physical size, you need to make sure the unit won’t affect your living space. But there’s one more important factor about your water softener’s size and it’s the number of hardness grains it can remove from water in between the regenerations. To be able to figure out the capacity of the unit you need, there’s an easy equation: the average number of gallons used per person per day is 75, normally the grains per gallon are 10. What you need to do is multiply 75 times the amount of people that live in your house, and then multiply that result time the grains per gallon which in this case is 10. In a family of 4, the capacity you will need in your water softener is 3,000.
Economy: This part is a major factor in purchasing a water softener. You first have to take a look at whether you would want a salt-free water softener or a salt-based water softener, it is true that salt-free water softeners will save you some money since you don’t need to purchase the salt, but some require electricity and a lot of filter changing. Salt-based water softeners are a bit more expensive to purchase and you need to be purchasing also the salt but there are many salt-based water softeners that don’t require that much maintenance which will balance that salt expense in comparison to the filter changes in many of the salt-free water softeners. Another factor you need to take into consideration is the installation, you have to figure if you are willing to pay a professional for the installation of this system or if you want an easy DIY installation.
Regeneration: You should also consider how the system regenerates. There are 2 types of regeneration, timer regeneration and demand initiated regeneration. The systems that are on a timer regeneration are set to regenerate at a specific schedule, normally it’s every 4 hours. Demand initiated regeneration measures the water use to regenerate as needed depending on your usage which can help save not only water but also salt.
The whole process of choosing between so many different types of water softeners, brands and designs can be very difficult. I recommend you read the reviews of each product before making a purchase to see how the system has worked for other people and how the installation process was for other people, this will help you trim down the options that won’t fit your needs and be able to focus a lot more on the really great options.
Also, make sure you are sure of what you need, whether it’s a salt-free or salt-based water softener, or a whole house system, an undersink filter, showerhead filter, etc. We also have some shower head water softeners reviews for you to view and see if this would be a good fit for your home as well. Just make sure you are choosing a water softener that fits absolutely all your home needs and preferences.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com