Are you noticing that your water bill is gradually increasing? Do your skin and hair feel dry do your clothes appear to be gray or faded? Are your glassware is breaking and becoming brittle? Do you see stains in your bathtubs and sink scales in your appliances? And finally, does your piping need a lot of repairs repeatedly?
If you answered yes to more than one question above, then this is a sign that you need a water softener.
A water softener in simple terms flushes out magnesium calcium and other chemical ions that are causing the problems.
There are plenty of best water softeners around by different manufacturers that make the selection of the right model confusing.
That said, I have prepared this guide of best water softeners to help you choose the right model according to your need and budget.
Without further ado let’s get started…
Best Water Softener Reviews 2020
Here’s the list of our top models to help you choose the right one for you.There are various factors involved to make the best water softener, So what are those factors that each model should possess? We covered all these factors for each model we have selected in this list to help you purchase the best water softener according to your budget and requirements.
|ABCwaters 64k-56SXT-FMABC||148 Pounds||64,000 Grain|
|Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000||12 Pounds||1,000,000-Gallon|
|Fleck 5600 SXT||180 pounds||64,000 Grain|
|Morton M30||80.4 pounds||30,000 Grain|
|Aquios AQFS220||7.5 pounds||40,000 Gallons|
|Eddy Electronic Water Descaler||1.46 pounds||N/A|
|Pelican PSE1800||69 Pounds||1-3 Bathrooms|
The ABCwaters 64k-56SXT-FMABC is our top model that is perfect for you if you are facing well water plagued with red water iron. Plus, the ABC water 64k-56SXT-FMABC effectively removes treat not just to clean the water, but also red oxidize water iron.
It features an IRON MAN system that allows it to filter both types of iron and this system is digitally controlled by the most reputable vale. This IRON MAN system uses high-quality fine mesh resin to treat up to 64,000 grains.
Another huge advantage of this water softener is the ability to treat manganese which creates black slimy stains and hydrogen sulfide for causing rotten egg smell. For treating iron the resin capacity is 6 ppm and for manganese up to 6 ppm.
For larger families, the ABCwaters 64k-56SXT-FMABC is the ideal product. It’s highly recommended if your family consists of 5 to 7 members through its a maximum capacity of 2.0 cubic feet. The package brings everything necessary for installation, including the on-demand Fleck bypass valve and 1″-yoke connection.
- High capacity
- Good for a large family
- Uses Fleck reliable wave
- Expensive price tag
Aquasana is a well-known name that specializes in making quality softeners and Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000 is one of their great water softeners that I am going to discuss. Before moving forward, a quick heads up for you. If you are looking for a simple water solution that requires less maintenance and effectively treat water with high levels of chlorine then this is the one you are looking for.
Aquasana Rhino EQ-1000 is a whole house water filter system that doesn’t require to be installed at specific output, unlike another system. You can install it on every water output point allowing you to clean drinking, bathing, and cooking water for your entire family. Having filtered water can result in many health benefits, better tasting food, and better feeling skin.
The Aquasana Rhino is perfect at removing chlorine from the water. Aquasana claims of removing 97% of chlorine from water. Additionally, it can also deal with other harmful containments in water like heavy metals, organic chemicals, and industrial solvents.
The Aquasana Rhino comes with 10-years of warranty or a lifespan of 1,000,000 gallons filtration. This much longer warranty is solid proof that your money spent on this product is going to worth something. After this much time, a replacement tank that costs around 3/4 of the cost of Aquasana Rhino can be used as well.
But that’s not all…
Aquasana Rhino also comes with a 90-day money back guarantee to allow you to get a complete refund if you are not satisfied with the product results. Plus, the 10-year warranty is only available if the system is properly installed by a professional.
The professional grade kit that comes along the system includes the post filter that is responsible for removing containments like cysts and organic particles. Similarly, there a Brass fitting, 20″ pre-filter which is twice the size of a regular filter, and shut-off valves.
The pro kit is a great addition, longer life filters are going to maintenance. A post filter refines the filtration process resulting in more clean water. And, the whole system becomes more user-friendly and easy to maintain with the brass fitting and shut off valves.
For city water supplies, the pro kit is not necessary, but for private good supplies, it’s surely recommended. Basically, the city water is chlorine where the private water isn’t which is more susceptible to bacteria, organic matter, and cysts.
Plus, Aquasana is designed to tackle every water concern. the regular chlorine specialist system is great for city water supplies, and a special model comes that can deal with harmful chloramine and another one that takes care of well water.
Overall Aquasana Rhino is an effective whole house unit that is NSF certified for reducing chlorine and has an attractive design. The price tag is very expensive, but the filtration is top-notch compared to any other model out there.
- Clean all household water
- 10-year warranty
- Cheap filters
- Maintenance is easy
- Not as effective as reverse osmosis
Here we have Fleck 5600 SXT a moderately-priced unit that really screams high class and convenience because of the super user-friendly design.
The huge advantage of Fleck 5600 SXT is the upgraded paddle wheel meter which highly increases the water dispersion. The 64,000 Grain model request 1 bag of salt in a month if you have a family of four members, for the maximum capacity of the brine tank is 4 bags.
The manufacturer does offer a range of choices for the Grain capacity with Fleck 5600 SXT ranging from 16,000 to 64,000. A great advantage is an informative display that allows you to control the unit as it ‘s a touchpad unit and the whole set up process a pleasant experience.
The Fleck 5600 SXT is perfect to remove hardness from water. This is achieved through a process which not only takes care of Magnesium but also the low level of iron. Even though the prime objective of Fleck 5600 SXT is not to remove iron from the water.
Plus, it also doesn’t remove sulfur, and for that, you need an air injection system installed before you install the water softener.
The biggest advantage of Fleck 5600 SXT is that it comes pre-loaded with resin instead of having you to load it yourself. The flow meter in this water softener allows you the measure how much water you have used.
The flow meter will also regenerate on its own, which not only save salt but also reduce the waste.
A shortcoming of this model is that the resin in the softener is just 8%. And regarding installation, the manufacturer gives you exclusive service. In addition to that, they send you a video recording explaining how to install.
A huge advantage of Fleck 5600 SXT is that you are never worried about the money you spend, as it comes with a 10-year warranty on the tanks. The valve also holds a 5-year warranty which is great. Plus the responsive customer support is always ready for you.
Overall, Fleck 5600 SXT is an excellent water purifier that comes with a handful of features and offers amazing performance for cleaning water for your family. The price tag is somewhere between expensive and inexpensive, but the long warranty totally makes it worthy as your money won’t go wasted.
- Long 5 years warranty of valve and 10 years for tanks
- Top class technology
- Metered control head
- Resin comes pre-loaded
- Huge capacity
- The resin isn’t the best
- Removes only low level of iron
The Morton M30 comes with an interesting product designed to address some specific needs. For small families where not a log of water is used, Morton M30 is a great product. Although it’s smaller in size, you can install it anywhere you wish. Plus, there’s no secondary brine tank and the whole design of the softener is very simple.
The Morton M30 is fairly small and lightweight and measures about 43 inches tall and 17 inches wide. Its proportions will definitely save some extra space in your home. Being a small size water softener, you should be looking for a higher rpm when it comes to water flow. It offers 11 gpm water flow which is decent for this size, nothing to be negative about.
The softener maximum limit is 30,000 grains allowing you to clean 3 gallons in each regeneration cycle. As it features look-ahead technology so this number can go up and down sometimes. It will actually foresee the amount of water you will use and according to that, it will plan the regeneration cycles.
The Morton M30 allows you to take advantage of soaps and detergents. Since the water won’t have much limescale, you can deal with the dishes with a small amount of water. Plus, the stuff you clean with this water will be spotless. Your laundry will be better, whiter, and fresher than previous.
The Morton M30 is an effective water softener that removes iron from the water. It all depends on using the right salt. You can also reduce the amount of iron if you install a Morton Rust Remover with your system. Also, remember that chlorine and its respective taste won’t be removed.
When Morton M30 regenerates, the built-in bypass valve makes sure you get to use the water right after that. The package includes the bypass valve so there’s no need to worry about spending extra money. You might need to buy 1 more regular valve so that you can finish the second connection.
The only tricky part with Morton M30 is the installation of the unit. A better option would be calling a professional for this job. Because a beginner with modest knowledge will likely struggle to install the unit properly. You can also install the water softener outside, but it’s important than to live in warm weather. The problem with this water softener is that when it freezes, it’s not good for it.
Assembly is another issue for some consumers. There you can get help from the responsive customer support as they are always available at your disposal. This goes even for questions related to maintenance.
Overall, Morton M30 is a great water softener that is smaller in size and perfect for a small family consisting of 4 to 5 members. It’s an affordable unit that offers incredible performance and being a small unit it can be installed anywhere.
- Compact design no extra parts except cartridges
- Electronic look-ahead for allowing the machine to know the amount of water you are going to use
- Removes iron from water
- You can use less soap and detergents
- Bypass valve comes with the unit
- Customer service is responsive
- Requires professional to install or can get the leak
- Will freeze outside if too cold
- The 30,000 grain is less
- Water flow is not very strong
Aquios AQFS220 is a salt-free water conditioner & whole house filter that comes with a standard 5-micron carbon filter that takes care of dirt, chlorine, and other impurities and improves the water taste.
This water softener is designed to tackle water with a maximum hardness level of 22 grains per gallon. To condition, the water it uses non-salt, food-grade and FDA approved additive that only removes impurities without disturbing the minerals of water like sodium or potassium.
As Aquios AQFS220 is a salt-free conditioner so it has some advantages over salt-based water softeners. For example, No salt means no refilling the brine tank with salt bags which is time and money-efficient. You will never run out of the conditioned water. Salted conditioners make water slimy feel on your skin whereas non-salt doesn’t. Salt-free is more eco-friendly because no sodium or potassium are removed or pushed into our supply system that makes the environment better.
A shortcoming to Aquios AQFS220 is that they false-claim anti-scaling effects where there are not evidence of that. One thing is for sure, the polyphosphate additive is most effective at a pH-range between 8 to 10.
Another concern is that some customers said that water pressure reduces at a considerable rate. The common reason for this can be the filters getting clogged. While the new cartridge can take the proper supply, but it can be unacceptable sometimes.
So you may need to replace the cartridges more frequently which is not a big issue, but the increasing cost is.
Overall, Aquios AQFS220 is a great water softener that makes the water better for drinking, skin, and your hair. It can handle all impurities efficiently while keeps the water consistent with sodium and potassium.
- Non-salt softener
- Added cost with replacements
Eddy Water Descalers is a new alternative to salt water softeners that uses electromagnetic waves rather than sodium to minimize scaling effects of calcium, magnesium and manganese salts in hard water. These minerals stick inside the pipes forming limescale deposits which result in reduced water flow that affects the plumbing systems of water heaters, washing machines, and other household appliances negatively.
The electromagnetic waves applied through two coils to the incoming water supply to deal with adhesion properties efficiently and send them to the surface where they can be flushed easily.
But, water minerals are not destroyed with this process, it keeps all the healthy minerals retained in the water.
The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is designed to be used for both well and tap water and can effectively tackle different types of pipes, except for those crafted with galvanized steel.
The maximum allowed diameter is 1.5″ and you can expect the maximum hardness level of up to 20 gpg and more.
If you don’t know about Eddy this company was founded in 1999 in London. At that time people of London were suffering from water problems. The engineered came with an electronic descaler, the Eddy ED1503P, by this company.
The 3-coil unit was updated to a 2-coil system in 2003 that is designed for more stubborn applications and now is used as a standard unit.
The prime advantage of Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is that its completely environment-friendly. As it’s non-salt water so you don’t have to worry about the freshness of water and you will always get freshwater freed from impurities.
Similarly, no salt means it saves you the extra cost of salt, so no more salt bags not only save money but time as well.
The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler compared to other salt-based or non-salt water softeners come at a very lower price tag that everyone can afford easily.
Another advantage of Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is that the lifetime repair and replacement warranty keeps you less worried about your money spend on the unit. You also get 12-month money back guarantee and a full refund incase you are not satisfied with the performance of the product.
A shortcoming to Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is that it might not fit for all users. Many users reported that it did nothing in terms of reducing hardness stains or scaling on faucets and pipes.
Overall, Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is an excellent alternative to salt-based and non-salt water softeners, it’s better, and cost-effective and gives better results efficiently and effectively that makes it a worthy investment of your money.
- Electromagnetic system for reducing hardness
- Some users report that it doesn’t work well
The Pelican PSE1800 is another whole house non-salt water softener also known as water conditioner by Pelican.
Pelican PSE1800 is responsible to provide clean and great-tasting drinking water removing impurities like chlorine, and other germs from the water and keeping all minerals intact to help you get all the benefits from the healthy water like keeping your hair and skin moisturized and not leaving deposits in pipes of your different home appliances like water heater, and washing machines.
The Pelican PSE1800 is capable to deliver water for up to 3 bathrooms, which is the most of all other water softeners we mentioned in our list.
The Pelican PSE1800 features a separate 5-micron sediment pre-filter that is responsible for removing larger particles, followed by 2 stages of catalytic granular activated carbon media combined with 1 stage with copper and zinc oxidation media.
If you don’t know the carbon takes care of chlorine content to improve water aesthetics plus some other chemicals like pesticides.
The oxidation media, on the other hand, takes care of bacteria and also helps in reducing chlorine contents plus some heavy metals from the water to make it lighter and worthy of drinking.
The big advantage of Pelican PSE1800 is that it not only provides cleaner water but also maximizes the longevity of the softening stage.
Pelican claims that Pelican PSE1800 is 99.6% effective in scale reduction to remove deposits from your plumbing system and appliances. It can actually reduce 11 to 6 grains per gallon.
As Pelican PSE1800 is non-salt water softener, so that advantage you get is that you don’t have to worry about salt bags that save money and time. Plus, beneficial minerals like magnesium remain in the water to maintain water health.
What’s more interesting is the longest 5-year warranty that makes you feel comfortable for the money you spend on this unit. In case something happens you can always get a replacement for the unit.
The Pelican PSE1800 requires no programming but you need to change sediment pre-filter every 6-9 months that doesn’t cost that much. The maximum capacity of Pelican PSE1800 for 5 years is of improving 600,000 gallons of water.
A caution to consider, Pelican customer service is not helpful always, which they should be if they sell premium-priced products. A shortcoming to this water softener is that pre-soaking the carbon filter is really frustrating. For installation, you may expect additional costs because not everything comes in the package.
Overall, Pelican PSE1800 is a great non-salt water softener that can help with scale reduction and can give you pure water removing all impurities while preserving the important minerals in the water. It can solve all your hard water problems efficiently compared to a salt-based water softener.
- Non-salt conditioner
- Doesn’t brings all tools for installation
- Pre-soaking the carbon filter is hard
Best Water Softeners Buying Guide
There are plenty of best water softeners out there and choosing the one that suits your budget and requirements can be challenging with limited knowledge.
This buying guide helps you identify everything you need to know while purchasing your water softener like the types of water softeners, and the features they should have.
That said, let’s get into it.
How to pick the right one for your need?
Let’s look at various factors that matter when choosing a great water purifier.
Grain rating is a conventional method to check water softeners. The source supplies water that contains calcium, magnesium, and other mineral particles. A water softener will state how many grains it is capable to remove to regenerate. Whereas regeneration is a process when salt water rinses the filter or mineral grains to keeps the filtration continues. The freshwater takes care of salt, while all the impurities are sent into the septic system.
So what grain rating water softener do you need ?
It depends on the hardness level of the water, plus the number of people going to use it.
The water level hardness can be determined by the effects it leaves on your water heater, basins, and appliances pipes.
A regular water purification comes with 40 grains per gallon can be ideal for you.
Let’s say you spend 80 gallons of water in a day doing laundry, dishes, and cook, for one person, then depending on your family you can multiply that number with a total number of your family. For instance, if you have 4 members in your family, your family water consumption will be 320 gallons per day. So the water softener should be doing 12,800 grains or hard water in a day.
But, another thing you should be considering is how often the water softener should regenerate? It may use 30 gallons of salt and water, but you can get a higher capacity water softener that regenerates less which can save you some cost.
Hard Water Effects
It’s your preference to choose a water softener that has higher grain capacity or you need one the regenerate more often, so there are the signs to look for
Slightly hard water ?
- Dishes dry with mineral spots
Hard water ?
- Faucets show calcium deposits
- Sap scum sticks to shower walls
- White clothes come out of the washer looking dingy
Extremely hard water ?
- Dries out your skin
- Makes you dull
- Leaves stains in sinks and basins
- Clogs pipes and water supply tubes
Flow Rate of Water softener
The flow rate of a water softener also matters which is the number of gallons a water softener can supply in a minute. A shower in our bathroom requires 2 gallons of water on average, a dishwasher machine requires 1.5 gallons of water, and a faucet 1. When all of these are running at the same time the water supply demand definitely becomes higher.
To tackle hard water a water softener with higher grain rating be good. But it should have the option to program it for more grains per gallon to deal with different situations.
Like if you more people in your home that is going to definitely raise the water consumption requiring more water flow. So you typically need a 4 gallon per minute for ware for 1-2 persons.
2 people = 5 GPM
3 people = 6 GPM
4 people = 7 GPM, etc.
Additional hard water problems
There are not only mineral grains in the supplied water, but there are also many other impurities like iron, sulfur, manganese and many others. The iron causes orange stains, sulfur causes hardboiled eggs smell, and the manganese causes black stains. Make sure to get a water softener that is capable to handle all these.
A water softener may require other materials in the resin tank to deal with iron, sulfur, and manganese. A common element that is used for these impurities is KDF-85. But it’s not limited to these materials only, it can also deal with bacteria and algae that might present in your water.
Water Softening Technology Options and Pricing
Water softeners are of different types and work differently than each other. Conventional models or salt-based water softeners are designed to deal with hard water, but your water supply gives you soft water, then you can get the non-salt models.
Conventional Water softener
The conventional models use salt for water purifications, small beads called resin filter mineral grains from the tap water, and salt water cleanses the beads when they reach their filtering capacity. Usually, salt-based models or conventional water softeners are expensive.
Salt-free Water softener
Salt-free water softeners can be electronic, magnetic, filtering, or coating.
Electronic and magnetic water softeners suspend hard mineral grains effectively sending them towards your drainage. Electronic models make water germs free using electromagnetic wave. Such models are also expensive.
Filtering water softeners crystalize mineral grains and never let them stick to pipes or clog the sink. Coating softeners also crystalize the grains but not only that they coat them with polyphosphate for better results. These type of models differ in the price range.
Let’s put it to an end. You have all the information to choose a high-quality water cleaning unit that is according to your requirements and budget. We explained many water softeners and a buying guide in great details. You have all the best models with pros and cons explaining the right model for you. You have the buying guide that illustrates important points for you to make the informed decision. So that’s it for this guide, take care.That’s all for this water softener guide, I hope you would be able to pick the best water softener after reading the buyer guide and product reviews that suit your budget and your requirements.Learn How Does a Water Softener Work ?. Read Best Lightweight Stroller Reviews