Nowadays we focus more and more on water quality. Purification stations already do what they can to filter the water, but often people want even cleaner water.

Therefore they can use a water softener. It’s best comparable with a water purification system on a small scale. Such a water softener will help purify your water from chemicals, chalk and other impurities. They are mostly used to prevent calcification of household appliances such as dishwashers.

In this article you will find the best water softener system for home usage. First you’ll see a comparison table of the top 5 water softeners so that you can compare the most important features side by side. This table together with the individual water softener reviews that you can find below should help to find the best water softener for your needs.

The 5 Best Water Softeners Compared

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Water Softener Reviews

NuvoH2O Manor Complete Salt-Free Water Softener

This salt-free water softening system will help you fight hard water at home. Thanks to the chelation process hard minerals will dissolve and so they won’t be able to attach themselves to the inside of your appliances.

It has a capacity of 60,000 gallons which is a lot. If you know that 10,000 gallons is perfect for 1 person, you can say that this would be powerful enough for a household of 6 persons.

The water it produces will be clean and usable for all kinds of purposes.

Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener

This is according to use the best water softener for personal use. It has received a lot of positive reviews and high rating which isn’t a coincidence. It works very well against scale build up and you won’t have any hard water anymore.

For those who don’t know the industry, Fleck is an established brand in water softening which a very good reputation. Their products are excellent and the Fleck 5600SXT isn’t any different.

It will successfully remove calcium and magnesium ions by exchanging them. This is thus a traditional water softener. It has a resin core and thanks to a control valve you can control the regeneration process. It will adapt its regeneration frequency to your water needs which is a really cool feature.

It’s an advanced piece of technology which includes an SXT digital controller with a beautiful LCD screen and a user interface that is user-friendly.

The water softener brine tank has a warranty of 10 years and can hold up to 250 pounds of salt.

This popular water softener from Fleck is ideal for household of 3 to 6 persons as the many positive reviews confirm.

WaterBoss 220 Grain Water Softener

The WaterBoss 220 didn’t steal his name. It has a capacity of 22,000 grain removal and is sufficient for an average household.

Another asset is that it looks nice and doesn’t take a lot of space. It’s a very efficient water softener because for the little room it takes up it can soften a lot of water. Also it can regenerate the resin core in only 18 minutes which means less squandering of water.

At maximum power the WaterBoss can soften up to 70 grains per gallon. This water softener can also filter sediment, dirt and even iron particles. The WaterBoss 220 will deliver clean and soft water usable for every purpose.

It has clear instruction on how to install the water treatment system at home. You’ll be able to use it in no time.

Morton Salt Company 34M Water Softener

The Morton MSD34C is a water softening unit that will condition water for the whole household with ease. The compact design makes it ideal if you don’t have a lot of room to place your water softener. This is thanks to the fact that the brine and mineral tank are combined.

This water softening device is very economic in its use salt. So it will save you money because you’ll only need half the amount of salt compared to other water softeners.

To soften water this machine switches the harder calcium and magnesium ions with softer sodium ions.

It has intelligence built in so it will know when to regenerate based on your water usage pattern. It’s a smart water softening system.

It’s a very user-friendly water softener that is the best in its price class. It has a capacity of up to 34,000 grains.

Aquasana EQ-SS20 SimplySoft Salt-Free Water Softener

If you’re looking for one of the best water softeners that isn’t pricy then the Aquasana EQ-SS20 might be a viable option. This device uses the Slow Phos Technology for conditioning of the water so that your appliances and plumbing is protected against scale buildup. This patented technology doesn’t use sodium and is very friendly for the environment.

To soften the water this system uses a salt-free technology and thus alters the ionic charge of the hard minerals so they can adhere to plumbing and scale buildup is prevented.

It’s the best water softener in its price range according to the many positive remarks and reviews.

Aquasana is a popular brand that also produces shower filters besides house water softening systems.

Reasons why you should use a water softener

In certain regions water contains a lot of chalk (calcium) and other elements such as magnesium and metals. This is called hard water. There are several reasons why you should not use hard water:

  • It harms appliances that use tap water such as dishwashers and heating boilers. Because of the calcium in the water calcification of your piping and appliances will occur. As a consequence they will not last long and quickly break down.
  • It makes the fabric of your clothes less soft so that it will feel less pleasant to wear it.
  • After a while you will get dry hair and dry skin.

To make your tap water less harmful for household appliances it is best to send it through a water softener that produces soft water where impurities are filtered out. This will prevent damage to your household appliances.

Hard Water Explained & How To Test For It

Hard water gets his name from the fact that it contains a high number of minerals. Most common are calcium and magnesium and almost every tap water faces this problem. However there is a solution by softening the water by means of a water softener.

So what is the origin of hard water? Water falls from the clouds in the form of rain. This is condensed water that has gone through a natural filtering process making it soft. But then it seeps through the soil and it picks up calcium (chalk), magnesium and other minerals. This is why our house water contains these minerals.

There are people saying that this tap water containing those minerals is much healthier because it contains essential minerals for our body. Also people claim that the taste of hard water is better than that of soft water.

In the first respect it looks like you shouldn’t soften your water. However there are also some disadvantages. You can notice this while doing domestic tasks and using water for these chores. You’ll notice that your clothes will get rough and that it will leave spots of calcification on faucets, showerheads, dishes, cutlery and inside household appliances. This last aspect will lead to a higher energy consumption and eventually break down your appliances. Luckily you have ways to counter this like using a Calgon tab for your dishwasher. But if you want to prevent damage to all your appliances you’re better off with a water softener to kill hard minerals at the source of the water.

The hardness of water differs from region to region and it can be measured. This is the first thing you need to do before buying a water softener. The 2 common ways to measure it are in parts per million (PPM) and grains per gallon (GPG). In the United States the average GPG is between 3,5 and 10,5 GPG. If the test shows it’s below 3,5 GPG then there will be probably no negative effect of your water.

It’s very easy to a hardness test of your water. You can do this by using a test kit or by using some stuff most people have at home. So there’s certainly no need in buying a test kit although it will give you more elaborate results.

Let’s start with the “do it yourself” test. You’ll need liquid soap and a plastic bottle. Fill the bottle halfway with tap water and put in some drops of liquid soap. Put the cap on the bottle and start shaking. If you see soap foam then you don’t have hard water. If you only see a soap film then you definitely have hard water and should look into buying a water softener.

The test above is a good first test, but if you want to get into the details of the hardness of your water then you’ll better get a testing kit for hard water. They will test for all sorts of water pollutants. This will give you a better view on which solution would work best for you: a water purifier or a water softening system.

Working of Water Softeners

As already stated above, a water softener can best be compared with a small scale water purification system. It purifies water from hard minerals like calcium and magnesium that can have negative effects. Most of the time they are placed in basements or garages where the water enters the house.

To find the best water softener for your needs you will first need to know how much soft water you need. If depends on the number of people in your household and the usage of water. You should look at one that is powerful enough to provide softening of water for the whole family. Don’t buy a water softening system that is too powerful for your needs as this will cost you a lot more. Once you know this you can start looking for a water softener that best fits your needs.

The working is fairly simple. They destroy minerals in hard water like calcium and magnesium softening your water. The machine specifics will mention how many grains they remove. Most types of water softeners will use salt for this filtration process, however there are also salt-free softeners and those that use potassium chloride as alternative to salt.

Different Types of Water Softeners

We can distinguish water softeners by the substance they use to make the water softer. Most of them use sodium chloride for this process which is the same as salt. Others use potassium chloride and there are even salt-free water softeners.

There are also other water softeners that don’t use a substance to soften the water such as electronic and magnetic water softeners.

The type that uses salt works by ion exchanges between hard minerals (calcium, magnesium,…) and sodium when the hard water passes through the resin core. After a while it will be clogged by these minerals and it will need regeneration salt to regenerate the resin core so it keeps on working properly.

With salt-free water softeners use TAC (“Template Assisted Crystallization”) to crystallize the hard minerals so they won’t clog pipes and appliances. This doesn’t really soften the water, but it does prevent damage. This type of descaling water is different, but these machines are still called water softeners because they have the same positive results.

Magnetic water softeners use a different method of softening the water. They use special magnets that alter the charge of the minerals in the hard water so that they can’t adhere themselves to your appliances.

Electronic water softeners use the same method as the magnetic devices. The sole difference is that they use wires that are wrapped around the pipes so that when water passes through it charge of the ions are modified. Clogging is prevented, but the water isn’t really softer because it still contains the hard minerals.

If you really want to soften your water and get the hardness of it down then you should go for a traditional water softener that uses sodium chloride or potassium chloride.

Should I get a water softener or not?

To decide if you should get a water softener or not, you should check the hardness of your water by testing it. As we saw above this test is simple and inexpensive.

If your test confirms that you have hard water, you should try to find out the hardness level. That will help you tell if you really need a water softener or not. If the hardness level is high you’ll need a more powerful water softening unit.

A water softener can be quite expensive. But it’s a necessary cost as your household appliances will last so much longer with a water softener. And let’s not forget the health benefits of clean filtered water. So you rest assure it’s worth the money you invest. Also always look at the best water softener for your needs. If you have a lot of appliances using water and the hardness (GPG) is high buy a water softener that is up to the job.

The Final Conclusion

We have explained hard water, how you can measure it and the different types of water softeners and their working.

We also mentioned multiple reasons why it’s important to use such a device in case you have hard water. Scale and other minerals are harmful and water softeners can give you a solution.

There are several water softener reviews on this website and we listed our top 5 above with a clear comparison table so that you can find the best water softener for your household that’s still inside your price class.