Top 8 Water Softener Companies – The Definitive Guide for 2023 (2023)

There are solutions. A variety of companies offer water softening solutions that can help remove some of the minerals. These solutions can be as simple as pouring salt into the dishwasher.

However, some are more complex but more efficient. These solutions include electronic descaling systems that can treat the entire home. Knowing which company to choose or which products to use can be a minefield. That's why we created this guide to help you.

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Here you'll find loads of information about hard water and how to treat it, as well as an overview of the best water softener companies. So you can buy the best softener for your home and your needs.

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How to choose a water softener?

Before we list the best water softener companies, here's a quick guide to choosing the water softener that's right for you. Please read or skip to the list I chose considering the following factors.

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💧1. test your water

You need to get an accurate reading of the dissolved minerals in your water. You can do it at home with aTest Equipmentwhich you can buy online or at a hardware store.

The kit gives you the hardness of your water in parts per million (ppm) or milligrams per liter (mg/l). They are essentially the same and have the same value.

You need the value in grains, so you have to do some math. The formula is:

☑️Hardness in ppm/ 17.1 = Hardness in grains.

Therefore, if the mineral content of your water is 130 ppm, you should do the following calculation:

☑️130/17.1 = 7.6 grains.This would mean that your water is moderately hard.

A warning:You can send a sample of your water to a laboratory for a complete chemical analysis.Not only does this show you the hardness of the water, it also gives you an overview of the chemicals and contaminants in the water.

💧2. Choosing the Right Size Water Softener

You can't just pick any old water softener.You need to make sure that the fabric softener you choose can handle the amount of water you consume every day.

You must also decide how often to regenerate the system.This shouldn't be more than every three days, but more than once every two weeks.

If you have a dual tank system, the recovery time will be less of an issue as you will still get soft water. However,One-tank systems are less practical, so you'll need to choose a recovery time that suits your lifestyle.

Capacities of salt softening systems are expressed in grains.The number tells you how many grains the system can process before it needs to regenerate.The taller the grain, the more water it can hold before regenerating.

The problem persists, what size do you need? Well, you're going to have to do a little more math.

To determine the capacity of your water softener, you need to set up the following equation:

☑️Capacity = number of people + 1 (for equipment) x hardness x 80 gallons x days between regenerations

Hardness is the number we calculated earlier, expressed in grains, not parts per million.

If you ran a test that detects iron in water, you need to adjust the formula so it looks like this:

☑️Capacity = number of people + 1 x (hardness + 5 x ppm iron) x 80 gallons x days between regenerations.

Let's look at an example with the following information:

  • 5 people in the house.
  • Hardness 9 grains per gallon.
  • 2 ppm of iron
  • 7 days between regeneration cycles.

So your calculation would look like this:

  • Capacity = (5 + 1) x (9 + 5 x 2) x 80 x 7
  • Capacity = (5 + 1) x (9 + 10) x 80 x 7
  • Capacity = 6x19x80x7
  • Capacity = 63,840 gpg.

With that calculation complete, you can now look for water softeners with a capacity of at least 63,840 gpg.

💧3. Budget

Higher grain water softeners tend to be more expensive. You can counteract this by reducing the time between regeneration cycles. This gives you a lower capacity system.

Generally,Water softeners can cost anywhere from $500 to $2500. This figure does not include the cost of adding salt every month or the amount of money wasted on water used to regenerate the system.

However, in the long run, water softeners save money as they prevent or reduce damage to plumbing and appliances, saving you the cost of replacing your plumbing or dishwasher.

If you cannot afford a water softening system, consider one of the salt free softening systems. They are generally cheaper to install and require little or no maintenance.

However, they are less effective at protecting your equipment than salt-based systems.

The best water softener companies

Since water softeners are very expensive and also create an ingestible product, you want to make sure you can trust the manufacturers.

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There are quite a few names in the water softener industry that are in good shape and have a lot of consumer trust.Let's look at each of them individually so you can see what each one has to offer.

The brands we recommend: summary

  • swirl: Whirlpool has been making water softeners for almost 30 years and therefore has a lot more experience in the matter compared to many other water softener companies.
  • Energy in general:General Electric has many variations when it comes to water softeners.
  • Strudel: Eddy is more of a perfectionist, they have created a salt-free alternative to regular water softeners, and they only have a top notch product.
  • Aquasana: Aquasana offers more than just a water softener. Your product is more like a holistic all-purpose water filtration system.
  • pelican: If you like a wide variety of options, Pelican is the company for you.
  • collect: In addition to manufacturing water softeners, they also offer other services such as: B. Water quality inspection, chiller supply, salt supply and well water change. So Culligan is sort of a one-stop shop.
  • kinetics: What's unique about Kinetico is that its water softener uses no electricity, just the power of moving water.
  • Some: Unlike other companies on this list, Fleck exclusively manufactures water softeners.

1. Whirlpool

Whirlpool has been around for over a hundred years and in the water softener game for over 30 years. They are a household name with a fully established customer service team capable of resolving any issue.

The company offers emollients from 18,000 gpg to 48,000 gpg, so it can be run in any home.

Most of the softeners that Whirlpool offers are single-tank designs, although they do offer this.WHES3T double tank with 33,000 grainsFor homes that want consistently soft water.

Innovation in hydromassage water softeners

Whirlpool's single tank softeners feature 6th Sense technology, which monitors your water usage and schedules regeneration for days and times when you use the least water. This means that the regeneration process does not affect your normal water consumption.

Let's take a look at one of Whirlpool's water softeners.

💧WHES33 33.000 Grain Wasserenthärter

This water softener is a single tank machine. Thanks to its high degree of granulation, it is ideal for apartments for 1 to 5 people.

the machine isNSF certifiedThat means it's proven to reduce hard water issues like buildup and lack of equipment.

(Video) Best Water Softener 2023 - Top 5 Picks

Like other Whirlpool water softeners, this unit features 6th Sense technology. Not only does this program regenerate at the least disruptive times, it also measures the right amount of water and salt for regeneration.

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This water softener has an optional 5-year warranty covering the tank and parts. It's not the longest warranty we've seen.By the way, it is half the guarantee that Whirlpool offers on it.Pro series.

Other than that, this is a high-quality machine that is loved by many users. It's efficient, cheap and durable. This device will serve you well for years to come. It's a handy unit that requires little more than the monthly salt replenishment.

Another great feature of this water softener is that it caninstall it yourselfIf you wish. There is plenty of online support to help you with the installation. This means you can save a significant amount of money by not having to hire a plumber!

2. General Electricity

General Electric is one of the most recognizable and popular names in home appliances. They are an all-American company that manufactures quality equipment designed to provide unparalleled service.

GE's line of water softeners currently consists of 5 different units. All are single tank builds but range in capacity from 30,000 gpg to 45,000 gpg.

Of all the companies that make water softeners, GE probably has the smallest choice in terms of power range.Their fabric softeners are really geared towards single family homes with 4 to 6 occupants.

All GE water softeners are NSF listed andWQA certificate. These are two of the most respected water quality organizations and their seal of approval is a hallmark of a quality machine that truly reduces water hardness.

GE Smart Water Water Softener Rating After 5 Years

Some GE softeners include built-in sediment filters. This is ideal if you have particularly sandy water.

The vast majority of GE fabric softeners also include SmartSoft technology, which predicts the amount of soft water needed based on usage history. It also adjusts salt and water levels for the regeneration cycle based on need. This will save water and salt over time.

Let's take a look at one of GE's water softeners.

💧GE GXSH45V 45,000 Grain Water Softener

This water softener can handle water hardness up to 160 gpg. That would be extremely hard water! Most places are much lower than this level, but it just goes to show that this softener can handle the hardest water in the US!

The system softens 9.5 gallons of water per hour, which is more than enough for a family of 4-5 people.

This softener does not have a built-in sediment filter. If you are using municipal water this shouldn't be an issue. If you use well water, you should also invest in a filtration system.

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The SmartSoft system ensures that your fabric softener is regenerated at the most convenient time for you and your family. It monitors your water consumption and selects a time when you use less water.

One of our favorite features is the salt indicator.This gauge on top of the device tells you how many days you have before you run out of salt. This takes the guesswork out of maintaining your system.It also means you have enough notice to go out and get some salt before you leave! This is always appreciated!

You can install this softener yourself, reducing the cost of hiring a plumber. The instructions provided are clear, simple and supported by a video. Most customer reviews talk about how easy the system is to install.

This device is covered by GE's 1-year limited warranty, which covers all parts and accessories against defects in materials or workmanship. After that, you get a 10-year warranty on the brine and resin tank and a 3-year warranty on the electronic monitoring system.

3. vertebrae

Eddy is a London-based company specializing in electronic water softeners. that is aWithout saltHard water treatment method. However, you must remember thatthis will not remove minerals from your water. It just changes the way they interact with tubes, devices and surfaces.

Swirl softeners are much cheaper than salt softeners and much smaller. They require no installation as they work by sending an electrical current through two coils.

All Eddy fabric softeners are made in the UK but conform to US standards. This includes product performance and electronic parts.

How does the electronic water softener work? water conditioner? Alternative water softener? For and against?

One of the best things about swirl softeners is that they are so much better for the environment. The electric method does not require water or sodium to backwash the chambers. Thus, there is no waste of water and excess sodium is not thrown down the drain.

Eddy's is a one trick pony company in the sense that they only have one product, the Eddy Electronic Descaler. However, the quality of this product is wonderful. Let's take a closer look.

💧Eddy electronic water softener

The first thing I love about this product is the price. It's a few hundred dollars cheaper than most salt-based fabric softeners. If you're looking for something inexpensive to reduce the effects of hard water, Eddy is a very good option.

Installation is very easy. Two bobbins are supplied with the machine. These should be wrapped around the water inlet pipe.It doesn't matter which way the pipe is pointing or which way the water is flowing. You just need to wind the threads.

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After wrapping the wires, peel off the stickers on the back of the electrical box and stick them on the nearby wall. You can then connect the color coded wires.

The final step is to plug the device into an outlet and voila! No messing around with plumbers, no big bulky units. Another great thing about Eddy Softener is that it is maintenance free. No need to replenish salt or pearls, no need to clean chambers.

The Eddy descaler comes with a 12-month money-back guarantee, which is absolutely fantastic! This suggests that the company is very confident in its product! You also get a lifetime repair or replacement warranty on the entire device.This is amazing once again. It's the best guarantee of any company on this list.

The only thing to remember is that, as a fabric softener, this machine does not remove calcium or magnesium. It just keeps these minerals from sticking to surfaces. This will help extend the life of your appliances and pipes, but it won't remove the soapy taste or smell from your water.


Like Eddy, Aquasana does not offer water softeners. They are best known for their larger and more complex filter systems.These systems reduce particles, pollutants and chemicals in the water.

Aquasana offers whole-home salt-free water softeners and under-counter reverse osmosis systems. Reverse osmosis systems remove calcium and magnesium from the water, but only from the sink where the system is placed.

Water Filtration Rethought: Introducing the Aquasana Motorized Water Filtration System

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A standalone softener is a wonderful piece of equipment. It's a real workhorse that can process 7 gallons of water per hour. It can be integrated into a filtration system or used as a stand-alone element.

Let's take a look at the water softener for the whole house.

💧APEC WFS-1000 Salt Free Water Conditioner

The salt-free water treatment system consists of a 46" tank, a 10" pre-filter and all the necessary accessories for installation. You will need approximately 27 inches of pipe to install this system.

The manufacturer specifies the capacity of this system in years.They offer a 6-year shelf life and a 6-year warranty.It shows that they have a lot of confidence in their product and it also gives you peace of mind. Who doesn't love a system that requires no input for a full 6 years?

One of the main selling points of this product is the fact that it does not use salt. This means you don't have to carry around big bags of salt every month to refill the brine chambers.

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Most importantly, sodium-heavy water is not released back into the environment. Water with a high salt content can cause soil and water imbalances and is difficult to purify for consumption.

The system works by turning calcium and magnesium particles into harmless crystals that simply disappear from your plumbing system.It does not remove minerals, so it may still have a soapy taste.

One of the best things about this device is that it comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. If you're not satisfied, you can return it for a refund, no questions asked. While we're talking about warranties, let's take a look at this 6-year warranty. It covers parts and accessories due to defects or manufacturing defects.

However,The biggest problem with this warranty is that it is only valid if a qualified plumber installs the system. Unfortunately, this means that installing the system will not save you an iota of money.

Having to spend money on a plumber after spending nearly a thousand dollars on this system sucks. We prefer having the option to install it yourself, especially since the instructions make the process easy.


Pelican was acquired by Pentair in 2020. By this time, Pelican was already an established name in the water treatment industry.

They currently offer a wide range of filters and water softening systems for purchase. Whether you want a standalone shower filter or a complex whole-house filtration system, Pelican has a solution for you.

Pelican claims to be "America's #1 water softener alternative". This is an interesting claim as they sell a salt based softening system as well as other alternatives.

Your salt softener is available in two sizes. The first is suitable for 1-3 bathrooms, and the second for 4-6 bathrooms.It's a bit of an odd way to measure it, especially when almost every other company only says capacity per grain.

Pelican Advantage Series Salt Based Water Softener

NaturSoft's water softener alternative is also available in the two sizes mentioned above. It's marginally cheaper than your salt system, but still well over a thousand dollars in price.

This is truly the defining characteristic of Pelican water purification systems. They are very expensive! You get excellent quality for the price, but for many the price is prohibitive, which is why they are one of the best water softener companies in the world.

Let's take a look at his "alternative" system.

💧Alternative to NaturSoft water softener

First, Pelican says the NaturSoft system is the only water softener alternative independently tested and found to be 99.6% effective. Effective at what you might ask? Well, it is 99.6% effective in preventing limescale build-up.

Like other salt-free alternatives thatNaturSoft does not remove calcium and magnesium from water.It suspends the calcium and magnesium in the water so they don't stick to surfaces.

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The calcium and magnesium are still there and will still interact with detergents, soaps and oils as you are used to. To be fair, this problem is not limited to Pelican alternatives. It's a common theme with all types of unsalted water softeners.

Unlike salt systems, this system does not require electricity to function. Power failures do not stop water flow or restart programs. You also don't have to waste water on backwashes, saving you money in the long run.


Culligan was founded in Illinois in 1936. In the 80 years since then, Culligan has become an international leader in water purification and softening.

The company now operates in 90 countries around the world and offers a wide range of filtration, softening and dispensing solutions for residential, commercial and office spaces.

The brand is popular here in the United States, where it sells hundreds of thousands of units a year. They sell individual filters or softeners as well as integrated filter and softener systems.

They also offer a range of related services including water quality checks, chiller delivery, salt delivery and well water changes.

The salt supply system is especially useful for people who buy a salt softener. This means you don't have to walk to Lowes or similar place to get a bag of salt.

In terms of products offered, Culligan offers two salt softeners, a salt free alternative and a portable water softener replacement system.

Introducing Culligan Aquasential™ Smart HE Water Softener

Salt systems are designed for a wide range of water hardness levels. The top model has an intelligent monitoring system that regulates salt and water consumption in the regeneration process.

You can also set the desired hardness for your home with a spin. This is great for people who don't like the "slippery" feeling associated with soft water.

What's really interesting is the portable replacement water softener system. In some places, salt-based softeners are banned due to the environmental impact of disposing of water containing soda.

In these locations, Culligan offers a portable changing system. Water softener tanks can be delivered to your property for a monthly fee. These are installed by the technician and you have access to soft water for your home. At the end of the month, the technician will return to replace the tanks with new tanks.

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This system is great because it completely minimizes the amount of maintenance you have to do.It also means you can have beautifully smooth water, even in tight areas.

Let's take a look at the high-end salt softener.

💧1 Inch High Efficiency Culligan Water Softener

This system has a smart brine tank. This monitors your water consumption and ensures you have enough soft water for your needs. It also helps to schedule recovery for times when you are likely to use less water.

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Another thing we like about this system is that the outer shell is completely waterproof and weatherproof. That means you can install it outdoors. For those without a basement, this is a godsend. Culligan fabric softeners offer excellent value for money. They offer monthly payment options that can go as low as $33.

Culligan systems also come with remote diagnostic systems that alert a Culligan technician to any faults or maintenance issues.They will contact you to arrange service or maintenance for you.


Kinetico was founded in 1970 and has developed non-electric automatic water systems. They were industry leaders and pioneers in research and development in this field.

Since then,Kinetico has expanded to over 100 countries around the world. They offer complete systems as well as individual filters and softeners.

Kinetico's main selling point is the fact that its systems do not require electricity to operate. Everything is powered by the movement of water. This means no expensive electrical parts to break or need replacing.

Kinetico systems are incredibly efficient. They can handle large volumes of water and still deliver exceptional results.Their products last for years, offering you great value for money and superior reliability.

Kinetico currently offers three different water softeners. Two are dual-tank systems, while their smaller compact system is ideal for smaller homes.

Let's take a look at the dual tank system.

💧Kinetico Signature-Serie

This system contains two resin tanks and a brine tank. They are all waterproof and weather resistant, which means you can install them both outdoors and indoors.Like many other softeners, this one can monitor water usage and schedule regenerations only when needed.

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As a dual tank system, this device will always supply your home with soft water. When one tank is regenerating, the other supplies the water. This is perfect for busy families who want 24/7 access to soft water.

This system is highly efficient as it only regenerates when needed. This means that water and salt are not wasted on unnecessary backwashes.

The Signature system can handle medium to hard water. If you have particularly hard water then you should look into the Premier series.


Fleck is owned by Pentair, which also owns Pelican. He has a well-established name and following in the United States.

Fleck started with just one thing, water softeners. Unlike Eddy, which literally only has one product, Fleck offers a range of water softeners. They have now expanded to water filters as well. Therefore, it deserves a place on the list of the best water softener companies.

Its range includes a variety of capabilities designed to manage a variety of homes. They also have a variety of single and dual tank options to suit your needs.

Fleck products start at $600, but can go as high as $31,000! You can really customize the service you receive based on your water hardness and your budget.

Of course, if you need to filter and soften your water, you can buy one and create your own filtration and softening system. It may not be as sophisticated and coherent a system as some of the other companies, but it works well.

What we love about Fleck systems is the sheer number of options you have. Most companies only offer a handful of water softeners, sometimes just one or two. Fleck has about 12 different fabric softeners to choose from.

Let's take a look at the Fleck 5600 SXT water softener. It is one of the smallest fabric softeners that is suitable for home use.

💧Fleck 5600 SXT metered water softener

One of the most popular water softeners on the market, the 5600 SXT is available in a range of capacities from 26,000gpg to 70,000gpg. For larger capacities, you pay an additional cost for additional materials.

One of the best things about this system is that it has a built-in capacitor to provide memory.This means that even if there is a power outage, the machine will remember its settings and routines. This saves you from going down to the basement to reset everything!

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There is a 5-year warranty on the device's valves and a 10-year warranty on the tanks themselves.This shows the company's great confidence in the product.

Unlike other fabric softeners, there is no smart sensor. You get a range of adjustable times on the on-board computer, but they don't adjust for your water consumption.As a single tank system this is a bit frustrating as your water will be restricted when the tank needs to be regenerated.

Still, it's worth investing in Fleck products. They are incredibly reliable, durable, and affordable.

What is hard water?

As mentioned above, hard water is water that contains a lot of dissolved minerals. The minerals that cause problems are calcium and magnesium.

Hard water occurs when the water supply flows through or over limestone, chalk, or gypsum deposits. These rocks are rich in calcium and magnesium, which are highly soluble in water.

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Hard water is a geographic problem. It only occurs in areas where these rock deposits are present. Unfortunately, about 85% of the US has hard water, so you may need some help managing your water.

Water is considered hard when it measures between 7 and 10.5 grains per gallon. It is considered too hard if it exceeds 10.5 grains per gallon. Between 3.5 and 7 grains per gallon is moderately hard water.You may not need to soften this water. It depends on which end of the scale your water falls on. Water below 3.5 grains per gallon is considered soft and does not need softening.

Why is hard water a problem?

As already mentioned, hard water is not harmful to health. In fact, the calcium in your water can actually be beneficial for your body.

The problem with hard water is the scale it leaves behind. This debris can cause significant damage to your plumbing, equipment and belongings.

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💧 Water pipes

You typically don't see your waterlines, which means you typically don't know if a problem is developing until you hit a tipping point.

If you live in a hard water area, always assume a problem is developing in your facility. You see, every time water flows through them, minerals are deposited. This mineral deposit builds up over time and can wreak havoc on your pipes.

The first signs of mineral deposits in your pipes will not be noticeable. However, if the deposit starts to grow and takes up too much of the area in the pipe, you may notice a drop in water pressure or blockages.

There are products you can pour down the drain to descale your system, although many people swear by vinegar. If deposits are not controlled, the tubes can eventually rupture under the added weight and pressure of the minerals.

💧 Appliances

Mineral deposits can also build up on equipment. Anything that uses water is a risk. This includes your dishwasher, washing machine, water heater, shower, sink and water heater.

Debris can collect in any tubes or hoses connected to the unit. This makes it difficult for water to flow in and out. But deposits can also form on the heating elements of your devices. As mineral deposits build up on the heating elements, the device becomes less effective over time. If you don't check this, mineral deposits can damage your devices.

Appliances such as water heaters or furnaces are most at risk for mineral deposits as they tend to have standing water. Water that has been standing still for a long time presents an opportunity for minerals to stick to the appliance.

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💧 Skin and hair

If you live in a hard water area, you're familiar with dry, itchy skin caused by minerals in the water.

Both calcium and magnesium are drying agents. Even when transported in water, they can leave the skin and hair completely dry. Because they deprive the skin and hair of its natural hydration.

Hard water can also leave a soapy scum all over your body and anything else it comes in contact with. This foam is irritating and can clog pores, which can lead to acne, eczema, and dermatitis.

When it comes to your hair, calcium and magnesium coat the hair and prevent moisture from entering the follicles.

💧 Clothes and dishes

One of the most obvious signs of hard water that you're likely to notice is foam buildup on your dishes and clothes. Even after the wash cycle, you will find stains or streaks on glassware or cutlery. It's irritating and uncomfortable to look at and hold.

Hard water can also damage your clothes over time. Part of the problem is the fact that calcium prevents the detergent from working properly. This means stains and dirt build up on your clothes even after you wash them.

Hard water also sticks to clothes, leaving them dry and soapy. Scabies can also affect the color of your clothes, especially white.

hard water signs

You may already know that you have hard water. If you've lived in the area for a while, chances are you've already dealt with some of the problems associated with hard water.

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If you are still not sure. Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Layers of foam or white film on the body, clothes and dishes after washing.
  • Slow flow of water over time.
  • Mineral residues in components of electronic devices.
  • A soapy smell or taste in the water.
  • Dirty residues accumulate in faucets and showers.
  • Piping that requires constant maintenance or attention.

If you want to check the hardness of your water, you can do so atthis map.

Is it worth softening the water?

The short answer is, absolutely! You will see many benefits for your home and your body. Before choosing the best water softener companies and buying a part, you need to know if installing it is really a good thing.

💧 Tubes

One of the biggest benefits of a water softener is reducing scale in your pipes.You may notice better water flow or an increase in water pressure when the pipes are no longer clogged with scale.

The biggest benefit, however, is that your pipes stay safe and functional longer. Replacing your plumbing or equipment due to damaged pipes can cost a bomb. Purchasing a water softener can minimize your financial loss!

💧 Appliances

Softer water also extends the life of your equipment by significantly reducing the amount of mineral deposits. This means that sticky faucets or encrusted showerheads and radiators are a thing of the past.

💧 Clothes

Softer water helps extend the life of your clothes and fabrics. When there is less limescale in the water, detergents and soaps can lather more, allowing them to clean clothes better.

You can also say goodbye to stiff and chalky clothes. Soft water does not leave residue on fabrics like hard water.

💧 Dishes

If you soften the water, you'll find that your dishes will be cleaner when they come out of the dishwasher or sink. The soap film that usually sticks to everything will disappear.

💧 Skin and hair

If you wash your hair and body with softer water, you'll find that some of the irritation caused by dry skin disappears. It can also help your hair feel healthier and more nourished. Conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and acne can improve when caused by hard water.

Therefore, choosing the best water softener companies gives you all these benefits.

How is water softened?

Household water softeners tend to be the best option for most homes. These units connect to your home's water supply and remove minerals before water enters your home.

Various types of water softeners are available in the market. We'll look at them in a moment.

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First, a word about filtration. Filtration does not remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium from the water. Filtration systems are designed to remove contaminants and sediment, but not minerals.

The only filtration system that can remove minerals is a reverse osmosis (RO) filtration system. RO filters are expensive, especially if you want a whole house filter. They are also much slower than most other types of filtration systems. This means you need to buy a bigger RO filter to meet the demands of your home.

Water softeners can be used in conjunction with a filtration system to provide your home with the highest quality crystal clear water. The best way to ensure your water is as soft and clean as you need it to be is to use a household water softener and reverse osmosis filter under the sink.

Water softener removes minerals from water, protecting your pipes, appliances, clothes, hair, skin and dishes. The RO filter targets water used in the kitchen sink, particularly water used for cooking or washing food. This water is free of sediment, chemical and mineral impurities.

This is ideal because it keeps the cost of RO filters as low as possible as you only need a small one for under the sink. However, you will still receive purified water for drinking and cooking.

Different types of water softeners

The best water softener companies only focus on 4 types of water softeners, learn all about them below.

💧 Based on sal

Two types of salt-based water softeners are available in the market today. Both work on the same ion exchange premise. There are two chambers in the standard water softener. One is filled with resin beads, the other is filled with salt.

Water enters the system through the first chamber. Pearls are negatively charged, while calcium and magnesium are positively charged. When water enters the chamber, the positively charged minerals are attracted to the negatively charged spheres. This attraction is strong enough to retain the minerals as the water moves forward.

The water then exits the chamber and flows into your home. The water coming out of the system is soft, but contains a little more salt after passing through the spheres.

You might be wondering where salt comes from. Well, there is a second camera in this system. It's called a brine chamber.

The brine chamber is filled with water and salt to create brine. Periodically, the brine is washed through the resin beads to remove accumulated calcium and magnesium.

The sodium in the brine is positively charged, which means it is also attracted to the resin granules. To maintain balance, calcium and magnesium ions are released from the beads and washed down the drain with the remaining brine.

The spheres are now regenerated and ready to soften more water.

This salt-based method is clean and efficient. The only problem is the regeneration process. The water cannot be softened while the pearls are being rinsed in brine. To reduce the interruption of water consumption, the regeneration time is usually programmed for the night.

It's not foolproof, but it works for most families. Of course, that means you can't leave washing machines or dishwashers running overnight.

Top 8 Water Softener Companies – The Definitive Guide for 2023 (16)


To counteract the inconvenience of having to wait for the regeneration process to end, you can purchase a two-tank water softener system.

With these plasticizers, the science is exactly the same. The beads are used to remove calcium and magnesium from water by ion exchange. These beads are then washed with saline to remove calcium and magnesium ions.

The difference is that there are two bead chambers. When one regenerates, the other is used to soften the water, so there's never any downtime.

💧 Water softener

This is a method that does not use salt to treat water. It is not technically a fabric softener as it does not remove calcium and magnesium. Instead, water-soluble materials or chemicals such as polysaccharides are used to change the behavior of minerals.

When treated with a water softener, hard water minerals can no longer adhere to surfaces and cause fouling. The advantage of salt-free methods is that the sodium level in the water is much lower than with a traditional salt-based softener.

💧 Electronic

Electronic fabric softeners work similarly to traditional fabric softeners, except they use electricity and magnetism instead of chemicals.

An electronic softener has a small box that is installed near the water line entry point. There are two wires coming out of this box. These are wound around a section of tube to form two coils.

When current flows through the two coils, a small magnetic field is created. The magnetic field interacts with mineral atoms, changing their structure from square to circular. This prevents minerals from sticking to surfaces and forming scale.

💧Sal vs Sin Sal

There is much debate about whether salt-based or salt-free systems are generally better. Most people prefer salt-based systems because they really soften the water.

While fabric softeners are good at what they do, they don't remove calcium and magnesium and therefore don't completely prevent problems caused by hard water. In particular, they are not particularly good at preventing scale build-up on equipment over time.

Fabric softeners are good for people following a low-sodium diet because no salt is added to the water.

Salt-based fabric softeners are not harmful and the amount of sodium added to the water is practically negligible. However, for people who need to control their sodium intake, any small amount can have an effect.

(Video) Ultimate Guide To HARD WATER And WATER SOFTENERS!

final thoughts

When you're looking for a water softener, all the options can become overwhelming. That's why it's important to clean up the mess and do some research on the best water softener companies before making your purchase. We hope this article helps you understand the different types of plasticizers and gives you an idea of ​​which companies to trust.


What is the most reliable brand of water softener? ›

10 of the Best Water Softener Systems of 2023
  • SoftPro Elite Water Softener.
  • SpringWell Salt-Based Water Softener.
  • US Water Systems GreenWave Salt-Free Water Conditioner.
  • Fleck 5600 SXT Grain Water Softener.
  • AquaOx WS (Water Softener)
  • Fleck Iron Pro 2 Water Softener.
  • Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener.
Jan 13, 2023

Why not to buy a water softener? ›

Cons of Soft Water

The process used to make the water soft also makes it more volatile, which means it picks up more unwanted elements from your pipes. These elements can include lead, making it potentially more dangerous. A water softener wastes up to 120 gallons of water for every 1,000 gallons.

How do I know which water softener to buy? ›

Multiply the water hardness by the water usage in the home to determine what size water softener is needed.. For example, a home that uses 225 gallons of water per day with a water hardness of 10 grains per gallon requires a water softener with a capacity of 2,250 grains per day.

What works better than a water softener? ›

If your goal is only to reduce the presence of harmful contaminants, a water filter is a better solution than a water softener. When your home's water is run through a quality whole house water filter, you are reducing harmful contaminants like chlorine, chloramines, harmful VOCs, and more.

Is it bad to buy too big of a water softener? ›

Is an Oversized Water Softener Bad? An oversized water softener will certainly have the capacity to make sure that every gallon of water you use is appropriately treated for hardness. On the other hand, going too big can result in “channeling,” which occurs when there isn't enough water to fill the entire softener.

Why is soft water a problem for plumbers? ›

Since soft water contains very few dissolved minerals, it tends to leach minerals off other surfaces, including your metal plumbing pipes. This can result in pitting and pinhole leaks in metal plumbing pipes.

What is the downside of salt water softener? ›

Here are some cons of salt-based water softeners:

Softeners require regular maintenance of adding salt and at time a conditioner to keep the resin working properly. Failing to do so can result in premature fouling rendering the system useless. The cleaning cycle is long and a lot of water is being wasted in this method ...

Who should not drink softened water? ›

There are two specific situations where the use and drinking of softened water is inadvisable. These are: In the reconstitution of infant formula powders, as softened water could affect its fine nutritional balance, or; For anyone on a medically prescribed low sodium diet.

What is the downside of a water softener? ›

Disadvantages of home water softening

Can corrode your pipes. The corroded metal from the pipes can end up in your water. This can contribute to elevated lead and copper levels in drinking water. Potential health effects from additional sodium.

Are some water softeners better than others? ›

The difference between a good water softener and a bad one is the efficiency in which these hard water minerals are removed. High-efficiency softeners use much less salt and water needed to regenerate, reducing waste and energy costs.

Do I need a carbon filter with my water softener? ›

In addition to protecting the water softener, the carbon filter removes many of the impurities that are compromising your home's water quality. Some of the many benefits you will enjoy thanks to the addition of a carbon filter include: Water that is free of particulates and other contaminants.

Is there a difference in brands of water softener salt? ›

In short, yes. Different types of salt have different purposes and effects. For example, solar salt is typically used in water heaters, while evaporated salt is often used in water softeners. Each type of salt has its own unique properties, so it's important to choose the right one for your needs.

What is a good size water softener? ›

Households with three people or fewer typically need a softener with a grain capacity of around 20,000 units. Households with four or more people typically need a softener with a grain capacity of 30,000 units or more.

Does it matter what type of water softener you use? ›

When picking a water softener, it is important to know just how hard your water is as each model is designed to treat a specific range of hard water levels. You need to ensure it has the capacity to treat your specific hard water symptoms.

Which softener smells longest? ›

Best smelling fabric softeners: the results
  • MOAM Organics Eco Friendly Fabric Softener.
  • Method Pink Freesia Fabric Softener.
  • Ecover Apple Blossom & Almond Fabric Softener.
Apr 10, 2023

What is the life expectancy of a softener? ›

A water softener should last 10 to 15 years. If your unit is facing more wear and tear, it could be due to improper maintenance or particularly hard water. If you'd like to extend the lifespan of your water softener, one option is to add a pre-filter.

Should I replace a 20 year old water softener? ›

While they can last much longer if well maintained, water softeners have a typical lifespan of between 10 and 15 years. If your water softener was installed more than a decade ago, replacing it may be the right option.

Is it better to get a higher grain water softener? ›

Don't purchase any softener that can't achieve at least 3333 grains of softening per pound of salt. And ideally, look for a very high efficiency softener that can achieve 5000 grains per pound of salt like the high efficiency Aquatell Citymaster softener.

Does the higher number on a water softener mean softer water? ›

In short, the answer is No. Your softener will perform best if it is programmed based on the true hardness and iron levels in your water supply. When setting your hardness number, you are telling the softener how many hardness minerals are in your raw city/well water.

What size water softener for 2 people? ›

Determine the proper water softener based on your hardness and number of people in your house.
Hardness in Grains Per Gallon1 to 2 people*3 to 4 people*
11-20 GPG32,000 Grain40,000 Grain
21-30 GPG32,000 Grain48,000 Grain
31-40 GPG48,000 Grain64,000 Grain
41-50 GPG64,000 Grain80,000 Grain
4 more rows

Is there an alternative to a water softener? ›

The most common alternative to water softeners is called a water conditioner and offers a viable way to reduce the damage hard water can cause throughout your home through a process distinct from the process used by water softeners.

Are water softeners bad for high blood pressure? ›

In summary, sodium in softened water is not a significant contributor to your intake. Health professionals actually consider soft water a "very low sodium" beverage that is unlikely to affect blood pressure at all.

Is soft water bad for your hair? ›

“Soft water can actually make your hair greasy and flat,” Lee says. “The soft water will make your hair hold on to your products which can also cause buildup.” This can be particularly difficult for people with fine or oil-prone hair.

Are there side effects of drinking water from water softener? ›

The bottom line is that water-softening systems are safe. Most people can drink hard or soft water with no side effects. Higher sodium levels may be of concern to some; however, drinking bottled water and using soft water only for laundry, dishwashing, and bathing is a simple fix.

Is salt free water softener better? ›

as we mentioned though, saltless water softeners don't remove the hardness minerals from water. If your home's water is slightly hard, a saltless system may work for you; however, a traditional water softener that uses salt is the best option, in most cases.

Can you drink water from a salt water softener? ›

You can drink softened water, but it's important to check the hardness level beforehand. If it's below 400 ppm, then it's safe to drink. If it's above 400 ppm, then you will need to place a reverse osmosis filter to get rid of the sodium levels.

Which is safer to drink hard or soft water? ›

Hard water will contain higher levels of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals, while soft water will contain higher levels of sodium (salt). Both soft and hard water are considered safe to drink, but there are benefits and downsides to consuming each kind of water on a daily basis.

Can dogs drink softened water? ›

The softening process slightly raises the sodium content of the water, but it's still suitable for drinking. Softened water is safe for most pets – and people – to drink.

Can you drink hard and soft water? ›

The bottom line. Most people can safely drink hard or soft water with no side effects. Higher sodium levels in soft water may be a concern for some people, but that can be managed with a potassium-based softening system.

How many years does a water softener last? ›

A water softener should last 10 to 15 years. If your unit is facing more wear and tear, it could be due to improper maintenance or particularly hard water. If you'd like to extend the lifespan of your water softener, one option is to add a pre-filter.

Do water softeners have a lifespan? ›

While they can last much longer if well maintained, water softeners have a typical lifespan of between 10 and 15 years. If your water softener was installed more than a decade ago, replacing it may be the right option.

How long does a 40 lb bag of water softener salt last? ›

While the average family will go through a 40 lb bag about once a month or so, your amount will vary. Another factor to consider is how often your water softener regenerates; if it's nightly, then the average family may go through a 40lb bag every 10 to 14 days.

What is the healthiest salt for a water softener? ›

Sodium chloride (NaCl) and potassium chloride (KCl) are equally effective salt options for water softeners combatting the effects of hard water. Though potassium chloride, the more expensive option, is an effective alternative for those with sodium-related health concerns or living in areas with sodium restrictions.

What are the disadvantages of salt based water softener? ›

Here are some cons of salt-based water softeners:

Softeners require regular maintenance of adding salt and at time a conditioner to keep the resin working properly. Failing to do so can result in premature fouling rendering the system useless. The cleaning cycle is long and a lot of water is being wasted in this method ...

How much does it cost to install a water softener? ›

The average price to professionally install a whole-home water softener is $1,500, including both materials and labor. Depending on the type of system you choose, the process could cost as little as $500 or as much as $6,000. You'll also need to budget between $10 and $50 per month for system maintenance.

How long does it take to install a new water softener? ›

Make plenty of time: Installing a water softener doesn't take a full day, but the process can range between two and four hours. This depends on the water softening system you chose, the age of your plumbing and other factors.

How long do salt blocks last in water softener? ›

If your water softener is non-electrical block salt, you do not usually need to have it serviced until after 10 years, after which we would recommend a water softener health check every couple 1-2 years, to ensure your softener is working as it should.

Should a water softener run every night? ›

Ideally, if your water softener is sized and programmed correctly, it'll regenerate about every three to five days, but at least once every 14 days. If it regenerates every night, it's just too small.


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