Hard water poses plenty of issues to people all over the world, as it contains large amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium particles, and other dissolved minerals, organic pollutants, or some chemicals that lead to domestic inconveniences and even health problems. Today we offer you a list of suggestions highlighting the best water softeners to consider this year. Moreover, we will present you with five water softener reviews so you can make an educated choice.
A water softener also shields your plumbing from particles, making the system more efficient and ensuring that you drink and use clean, safe water.
To offer you this list of best water softeners, we checked each product against experts in the field who have participated in testing the one or more of the top rated water softeners listed here. Moreover, we asked the forums, gathered conclusions, and discusses with the users. Our research led us to this article on the best water softeners for you to try this year.
Here are our top picks in the best water softeners for home or business!
|Product Name||Size||Weight||Flow rate||Price||Capacity||Best for|
Fleck 5600 SXT
|27 x 17 x 62 inches||20.8 pounds||12 gpm||$||48,000 grains||Whole House Use|
|54 x 10 x 10 inches||21.2 pounds||12 gpm||$||48,000 grains||Well Water|
OneFlow + Salt-Free Softener
|19.3 x 9.2 x 9.2 inches||15 pounds||15 pounds||$||N/A||Eco-Friendliness|
On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable
|22 x 9.5 x 9.5 inches||32 pounds||10-12 gpm||$||16,000 grains||Travel|
iSpring RCC7P-AK Dual Filter+Softener
|14.5 x 5.2 x 19 inches||34 pounds||12+ gpm||$||N/A||Under Sink Water Filter + Softener|
After a quick view of the five best water softeners we chose, next, we will talk about their features, pros, cons, and purchase suggestions. We’re here to help you decide which one is best suited for your home.
Fleck 5600 SXT
|Efficiency||Works great for families of 2-3 people dealing with very hard water that contains minerals, iron, and sulfur, among others.|
|Additional features||If you introduce your estimations regarding grains/gallons of water hardness correctly, it will perform regeneration automatically. It also comes with a fine mesh resin to filter iron and the branded KDF-85 Mediaguard to remove manganese and sulfur.|
|Warranty||Standard 5-year warranty for the control head and 10-year warranty for the resin and brine tanks.|
The Fleck 5600 SXT 48,000 Grain water softener comes from a big name in the industry. It filters water of up to 50 grains of minerals/gallon, successfully removing calcium, magnesium, iron, sulfur, and manganese.
It features the branded 5600 SXT control valve, allowing you to program the softening capacity (grain/gallons) and set the SXT to regenerate, as you need it.
Why choose the Fleck 5600 SXT Best Whole House Water Softener?
The Fleck 5600 SXT is the best whole house water softener on this list.
Ideal for a family and easy to install, this water softener will keep your water clean, safe, and great-tasting, while eliminating the water stains and smell problems in your home.
Here are some more things you need to know about this water softener:
- The package contains the tank, control head, resin, and brine tank. Plumb it in, add the salt, and enjoy clean, safe water!
- The device boasts a flow meter to measure the water used and the needed regeneration, thus saving salt and reducing waste.
- The head offers digital controls with an informative display and easy setup.
|Easy installation||Make sure you buy the system from the manufacturer and not some shady third party, as you may encounter problems|
|Low maintenance overall||Some complained about the system feeling a bit flimsy, so you may need Teflon tape to avoid leaks|
With its fair price, easy installation, and high water softening capacity, the Fleck 5600 SXT is the best whole house water softener on this list. It works great for apartments and homes dealing with iron and sulfur in their water. A great choice overall, mainly due to the excellent warranty offered by the manufacturer.
ABCwaters Iron Man Series
|Efficiency||Works great for families of 3-5 people dealing with very hard well water containing iron and manganese.|
Comes with an upgraded 10% cross-linked resin system that extends its lifespan. Features a WQA certification. The Fleck valve is pre-programmed for the US.
|Warranty||5-year warranty. Both resin and brine tanks come with 10-years warranty.|
The ABCwaters ABC48K-56SXT-FM Iron Man Series mixes the best of both worlds when it comes to big brands and reputable manufacturers: ABCwaters Iron Man Series and Fleck’s 5600 SXT valve.
With a 48,000-grain capacity and an upgraded high-capacity fine mesh resin, the water softener addresses a family of 3 to 5 members. If you rely on well water, you probably deal with plenty of iron. It is the best water softener for well water on this list, so let’s check out its specs and features!
Why choose the ABCwaters best water softener for well water?
The ABCwaters ABC48K-56SXT-FM Iron Man Series for well water lives up to the expectations, and then some! Probably one of the most eco-friendly best water softeners on the market, the ABCwaters/Fleck units include the finest quality materials and boast designs that lower annual power consumption.
They also use less salt, which is better for the environment. Here are some more things you need to know about this water softener:
- The units arrive fully assembled and ready for plumbing.
- The installation kit contains silicone lube, a hardness test strip, a sanitizer packet, 4 ft 3/8 inches brine line, small parts kit, and an install guide written by ABCwaters technicians.
- The water softener features 2 American made tanks for resin and brine, respectively – both backed by a ten-year warranty.
- The best type of salt to use with this water softener is salt pellets.
|Full installation kit containing a water hardness test||Pricey|
|Excellent customer support and post-sale assistance||Some needed a professional plumber to put things into place and in motion|
The ABCwaters Iron Man Softener may be a bit pricey, but it will keep you, your plumbing, home appliances, surfaces, body, and health safe from hard well water. If iron and manganese are your primary concerns, this water softener meets your needs and exceeds your expectations. Works well for larger families of up to 5 people, saves money and resources (water and salt especially), and represents a substantial investment in the long run.
Best for: eco-friendliness
Salt-Free Scale Prevention and Water Filtration System
- Salt-free water softener and filter
- 10 gpm flow rate
- prevention of scale build-up lasting up to 250, 000 gallons
- 50, 000 gallons filter capacity
- 19.3 x 9.2 x 9.2 inches
- 15 pounds
|Efficiency||Uses Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC), attracting and converting hardness minerals into harmless, inactive microscopic crystal particles. Reduces scale build-up in water heating devices, pipes, and fixtures. Improves water flow and helps with the life extension of appliances. It is salt and chemical-free, making it a great alternative to water softening (ion exchange) or scale sequestering devices.|
|Additional features||Certified by the Water Quality Association (WQA) to NSF/ANSI Standard 372 for lead-free, carbon block has NSF/ANSI 42 certification, and anti-scale media is certified NSF/ANSI Standard 61.|
|Warranty||Upon request from the manufacturer.|
We mentioned Watts when we talked about the best whole house water filters.
The manufacturer does not fall short on quality when it comes to devices able to prevent scale, soften the water, and filter it to boot.
OneFlow+ is a salt-free dual device, combining water filtering with water softening, boasting the considerable advantage of saving you money in the eco-friendliest way possible.
Why choose the OneFlow + Salt-Free Scale Prevention and Water Filtration System?
The OneFlow+ Scale Preventer and Filter is one of the top-rated water softeners in the “non-traditional” and “eco-friendly” departments.
You should know that this device also saves you money in the long run (about $300 annually for a 4-person household using 75 gallons of water/person/day).
The TAC technology converts “hard” minerals into harmless particles that stay suspended in water and flow through the system rather than sticking to pipes.
TAC technology does not add or remove minerals from the water, allowing the useful ones (calcium, potassium, and magnesium) to remain in their soft version.
The added benefit is that the system does not burdens the environment with sodium. Here are some more things you need to know about this water softener:
- The installation kit contains the OneFlow+ housing and head assembly w/pressure relief valve, OneFlow+ scale reduction cartridge, 20 micron radial flow carbon block cartridge (Filters come preinstalled), Outlet Connector, (2) 1-inch NPT inlet/outlet adapters, (2) inlet/outlet adapter locking pins, easy to install Mounting bracket, and multifunction tool.
- The device does not require access to a drain or electrical outlet. It allows simple installation on the floor (or mounting to a wall with the included mounting bracket).
|Eco-friendly solution to traditional water softeners and filters||Not a traditional water softener|
|Flexible and easy installation|
|Saves money in the long run|
The OneFlow+ Scale Preventer and Filter work well for small/medium families who want to drink and use clean, safe water daily, without concerning with maintenance and hidden costs. Moreover, this water softener, albeit non-traditional, address those users who want to make a positive and significant impact upon the environment. The device saves money for a family while also protecting our planet – it uses no electricity, and it does not sustain drain water waste or the use of sodium.
On The Go
|Efficiency||Regenerates with two boxes of common table salt in half an hour. Provides you with soft water up to 1600 gallons or up to 40 days.|
|Additional features||It comes with a compact, space-saving design. It allows high flow rates with very low-pressure drops.|
|Warranty||Upon request from the manufacturer.|
The next installment on our list of water softener system reviews is a portable water softener – and one of the best water softeners in its class.
Are you a road-trip aficionado, a camper, or an RV travel buff? Perfect! On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT, portable water softener for travelers is the largest compact RV softener on the market, able to produce twice the gallons compared to the standard models.
Why choose the On the Go OTG4-DBLSOFT portable water softener?
When do you need the softest water you can get? When you are not at home to use your water softener, filter, and so on. For this reason, the On the Go OTG4-DBLSOFT portable water softener is a must-have for any RV users out there!
It shows significant improvements in the reduction of water hardness, eliminating surface stains, improving water’s taste, and lowering the negative impact of hard water on your appliances, clothes, and skin.
Here are some more things you need to know about this water softener:
- The device uses a standard garden hose connection between park faucet and the RV/Marine. It requires no tools or electricity and has a compact design for secure storage in the storage bay or dockside locker.
- The water softener prevents hard water and rust stains and scale build-up. It improves water taste and odor, increases the lifespan of appliances, and protects dry skin while increasing lathering of soaps.
- The patent-pending design includes hardness test strips, storage inlet/outlet caps, handle, and more.
|Best water softeners in their class||It may not soften 100% tough water found in RV parks|
|Significant water softening results||It is a bit heavy so don’t let children handle it|
|Affordable and easy maintenance|
If you spend most of your free time in the RV traveling, the On the Go OTG4-DBLSOFT portable water softener is a must-have for your everyday water consumption and needs. It shows significant hard water reductions on surfaces, clothes, and skin, and offers a cheap and easy to maintain alternative to other models in its class. The riveting users’ reviews are a clear indication this water softener lives up to your expectations.
Best for: under sink water filter + softener
Reverse Osmosis Drinking Filtration System
- Reverse Osmosis filtration and softening
- 12+ gpm flow rate
- 5 microns GAC & CTO filters
- Removes over 1000+ different kinds of contaminants
- 14.5 x 5.2 x 19 inches
- 34 pounds
|Efficiency||Filters up to 99% of 1,000+ pollutants including chlorine, fluoride, lead, arsenic, pesticides, pathogens, sulfur, THMs, PFOA and PFOS. Restores healthy minerals and a natural alkaline balance, offers a more natural taste.|
|Additional features||Features a PP sediment filter, a carbon KDF (GAC) filter, and a carbon block (CTO) filter. They remove large contaminants and protect the RO membrane from chemicals like chlorine and chloramines. Compliant with FDA standards (CFR-174, 177) and NSF/ANSI standards.|
|Warranty||30-day money back guarantee, one-year warranty, and lifetime tech support to all products.|
The last name on this list of best water softeners to consider this year is the iSpring RCC7P-AK Under Sink 6-Stage RO Dual Filter+Softener.
The iSpring is a large brand with a solid reputation in the whole house filter systems. This model, however, packs a big punch regarding water filtration, water softening, reverse osmosis, and price.
It is the best water softener for the money and the best water softener that goes under your sink, turning your drinkable water into a spring of health.
Why choose the iSpring RCC7P-AK Under Sink 6-Stage RO Dual Filter + Softener?
The biggest problem with hard water in apartments and homes is that it stains the very dishes we want to clean.
It is also almost impossible to drink, and it leaves our skin looking and feeling like sun-dried tomatoes.
Most of the times sink water smells funny. Our pipes, clothes, and appliances fare poorly with hard water.
And if our water also contains pollutants, chemicals, and contaminants, then we need this dual water filter + water softener to render our water clean, safe and providing only the healthy minerals.
Here are some more things you need to know about this water softener + water filter:
- DIY installation by most users, the entire system fits nicely under a standard kitchen sink.
- The device features a noiseless booster pump that ensures optimal pressure to the RO membrane at all times; it means you will have more pure water, produced faster, and with less water waste.
- Re-mineralization restores just the right proportion of healthy minerals.
- The RO membrane provides clean water to a large family.
|Best under-sink dual water filter + water softener||You may need a whole house water filter if water hardness is through the roof|
|DIY installation backed up by stellar technical support|
|Best water softener for the money|
|Built-in booster pump raises low incoming water pressure|
If drinking water, stained dishes, dry skin, and bad-tasting or bad-smelling water are your main concerns, then the iSpring RCC7P-AK Under Sink 6-Stage RO Dual Filter+Softener is the device you want to consider this year for municipal or well water. It has few competitors in the filtration department. However, if you test your water hardness and you want to make dramatic changes to your home’s water hardness, you may want to look for a water softener boasting a significant grain number.
A water softener as a standalone device works best when you want to intervene upon the hard water in your area that does not also require filtration.
Understanding the Water Softeners’ Tech Specs and Features
Now that we finished the water softeners reviews, we want to make sure you understand a few things about them, because we saw plenty of misconceptions running around, confusing even the experts.
For starters, as we mentioned on a previous occasion when we discussed the best whole house water filters to consider this year, a water softener and a water filter are not the same things. On the contrary, they work best together.
People living in areas with polluted and hard water combine the two systems (water filter first and water softener second) to make sure they drink and use clean, safe water.
Now that we made this clear let’s focus on the tech specs and features you should consider before you buy any of the best water softeners we analyzed today.
- Size: Just like water filters, water softeners have to fit in their designated places. Some are large (industrial size), and you have to make room for them. Some are small and slick enough to fit under the sink or in your bathroom to treat water, so it does not stain, smell, or taste funny.
- Weight: It is an essential factor especially when you have to install the device by yourself or carry it around.
- Flow rate: The standard for proper water flow rate in a home for a family is around 10-15 gallons per minute (gpm). Water softeners should not interfere with the water flow rate in your home.
- Softener Capacity: Measured in grains, it describes the amount of water hardness it can remove before it needs to regenerate. A “grain” of hardness represents 1/7000th of a pound of dissolved particles (calcium, magnesium, etc.). As you can figure out, the higher the grain number, the more efficient the water softener.
- Salt Water Softeners vs. Salt-Free Water Softeners: The majority of water softeners you find on the market are salt-based. A great advantage is they completely remove calcium, magnesium, etc. from your water before you even turn on the faucet. The downside is you have to pay attention to stock on the salt they need to work correctly. Salt-free water softeners do not use chemicals to soften the water (thus appealing to health buffs and environmentalists), but they do not remove particles in the water, they neutralize them. In other words, they still expose you to water hardiness, even if it is in a neutral state.
- Additional features: Some of the best water softeners also come with other characteristics that might convince you to buy the particular item.
- Warranty: Measured in years and usually offered by the manufacturer.
Remember to contact the manufacturers in case you have more questions about these top-rated water softeners.
If you want to learn the hardness of your water and what is the best water softener for your home, we recommend you purchase a water hardiness kit and use it following the instructions.
For instance, iron may be the biggest problem with your water, so you should focus on getting a water softener designed to remove iron.
Let’s revise, in short, the benefits of having a water softener to counter the adverse effects of hard water:
- Healthier water to drink;
- Softer skin and hair;
- Stain-free surfaces;
- More efficient water-using appliances from an energetic point of view;
- Significant reductions in the amounts of soaps and detergents you use.
What are the Best Water Softeners You Use?
As you could see, we tried to cover most needs when we put together the water softeners reviews of today. We have
- one for overall use;
- one dedicated to well water;
- an eco-friendly version;
- a water softener for travelers;
- and one for those concerned about the water they drink.
Now it is time for you to tell us what the best water softeners are in your opinion and experience. Do you use a water softener in combination with a whole house water filter? Are you happy with your current water softener or do you plan to change it this year? We would love to hear from you!
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