Water is a vital resource, but it can also be the source of various problems, especially when it comes to home appliances and plumbing. Hard water, which is water that contains high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium, can result in scale buildup, clogged pipes, and damaged appliances. A water softener is a device that can help mitigate these issues by removing the minerals from the water, making it “soft.”
When it comes to finding the best water softener for your home, there are several factors to consider. First, you need to determine the size of the unit you need based on your household’s water consumption. You also need to decide if you want a salt-based or salt-free water softener, as each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Salt-based water softeners are the most common type and use a process called ion exchange to remove the minerals from the water. They require regular maintenance and the addition of salt to the system, but they are generally more effective at removing minerals and extending the life of your appliances.
Salt-free water softeners, on the other hand, use a process called template-assisted crystallization to alter the structure of the minerals in the water, making them less likely to stick to surfaces. These units require less maintenance and are generally better for the environment, but they may not be as effective at removing minerals as salt-based systems.
In this article, we spent countless hours researching and testing various water softeners to identify the ones that are the best fit for different households. We considered factors like size, type, ease of installation, and overall effectiveness. Whether you’re looking for a salt-based or salt-free system, we’ve got you covered.
Best Water Softeners
We understand how hard water can be a nuisance to deal with in your home. That’s why we’ve researched and compiled a list of the best water softeners to help you combat the negative effects of hard water. Our team has tested and evaluated each product based on their efficiency, durability, and affordability. Below are the top water softeners that made it to our list.
If you’re looking for a professional-grade water softener that delivers ultra-softened water to every outlet throughout your entire home, the Aquasure Harmony Series is the perfect choice.
- Perfectly designed for 3-4 bathrooms
- Protects your appliances
- Automatic digital metered control head
- It’s a bit heavy at 120 pounds
- Some customers reported issues with installation
- It’s a bit pricier compared to other models
We were impressed with the Aquasure Harmony Series’ ability to reduce water hardness and eliminate scale buildup. It’s also rated to treat 48,000 grains of hardness by removing skin-damaging hard minerals like calcium and magnesium that clog up the skin pore and cause irritation.
The automatic digital metered control head comes with a fully programmable backlit digital display, which allows you to easily customize your auto-flush intervals depending on your incoming water quality and water usage. It also allows for easy monitoring and hassle-free maintenance.
One of the things we loved about the Aquasure Harmony Series is its premium quality. Every Aquasure Water Softener is constructed with a high-strength, corrosion-resistant, fiberglass-lined polyethylene tank, durable bypass valve, and prefilled premium-grade resin. Besides the 30-day money-back, Aquasure stands behind its products by providing a 5-year extended manufacturer warranty and lifetime free US-based tech support when you activate your product online within 60 days.
Overall, if you’re looking for a high-quality water softener that delivers excellent results and protects your appliances, the Aquasure Harmony Series is definitely worth considering.
If you’re looking for a water softener that can also filter out harmful contaminants, the Whirlpool WHESFC Pro Series is a great option. It’s a 2-in-1 system that can remove hard water minerals and harmful contaminants for families of 1-to-5 with one single-tank system instead of buying 2 separate systems.
- The WHESFC Pro Series Hybrid has a 31,000 grain capacity, an above average hardness removal rating of 120 grains per gallon, and an iron removal rating of 3 ppm which helps reduce reddish-brown stains on drains and water using appliances.
- This whole home filtration system reduces sediment, chlorine taste, and odor from the water used throughout your entire home.
- The WHESFC is a smart water softener, meaning it uses demand-initiated regeneration technology to produce soft water as your home needs it, reducing salt costs over the life of the system.
- The unit is quite large and may not fit in smaller homes or apartments.
- It requires professional installation, which can be costly.
- The system can be noisy during the regeneration process.
The Whirlpool WHESFC Pro Series is a great investment for homeowners who want to enjoy the benefits of soft water and filtered water throughout their entire home. The system is efficient, easy to use, and can help save you money on salt and water costs over time.
The WHESFC Pro Series Hybrid cleans its own filter as needed, so you will never have to replace the filter. Additionally, it uses up to 25% less salt and water than previous Whirlpool models by monitoring your water usage and only regenerating when necessary. Older timer-based models regenerate on a set cycle regardless of how much water you’ve used, which can result in unnecessary water and salt consumption.
Overall, we highly recommend the Whirlpool WHESFC Pro Series – Softener/Whole Home Filter Hybrid to anyone in need of a reliable and efficient water softener and filtration system for their home.
If you’re looking for a reliable way to soften your water, the Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000 grain water softener is a great option for families of 1-6+ people. With its demand initiated regeneration, it will only regenerate based on your hardness level and how much water you actually use, resulting in significant salt and water savings.
- Removes up to 10 ppm of clear water (ferrous) iron
- NSF certified to reduce hard water symptoms such as embarrassing stains, build up on your Plumbing and Faucets and spotting on dishes
- Calculates how much salt and water is required to regenerate and only uses what is necessary, resulting in a significant reduction in salt and water usage
- The system may vary by up to 1/2″ from an existing water treatment system, including existing Whirlpool models
- The tank is heavy, and the delivery may not be reliable
- The screen may have initial problems
We highly recommend the Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000 grain water softener for its effectiveness in eliminating mineral stains and its ability to help your water-using appliances last longer by allowing them to run more efficiently. It also helps keep your hair and skin feeling healthy and soft.
The demand initiated regeneration feature of this water softener ensures significant salt and water savings. Additionally, it comes with simple-to-program electronics and includes a low salt indicator light and works on city water or well water.
One downside of this product is that the system may vary by up to 1/2″ from an existing water treatment system, including existing Whirlpool models. The tank is also heavy, and the delivery may not be reliable.
Overall, the Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000 grain water softener is an excellent investment for those looking to improve the quality of their water and protect their appliances.
If you’re looking for a reliable and easy-to-install water softener, the Kenmore 350 Water Softener is a great option for you.
- Reduces hardness minerals and clear water iron up to 90 GPG and 8 PPM, respectively, resulting in cleaner and softer water for your home.
- Built with IntelliSoft Technology that adjusts to your water needs, saving you money in salt, water, and energy bills, and ensuring you never run out of soft water.
- Compact design makes it easy to install in tight spaces, and the advanced display board allows you to easily monitor salt levels and current water flow.
- May require additional plumbing if replacing with older Kenmore models with shorter valve heights.
- Some customers have reported missing installation instructions and hook-up parts.
- The instruction manual could be more detailed.
We recently installed the Kenmore 350 Water Softener in our home, and we’re very pleased with the results. Our water is now noticeably softer and cleaner, and we’ve noticed improvements in our hair, skin, and clothing. The compact design made installation a breeze, and we appreciate the advanced display board that allows us to easily monitor our salt levels and water flow.
One thing to note is that if you’re replacing an older Kenmore model with a shorter valve height, you may need additional plumbing to install the Kenmore 350. Additionally, some customers have reported missing installation instructions and hook-up parts, so be sure to double-check your package upon arrival.
Overall, we highly recommend the Kenmore 350 Water Softener for anyone looking to improve the quality of their home’s water.
AO Smith Whole House Water Softener Alternative – Salt Free Descaler System for Home – Works with City & Well Water Filters – 6yr, 600,000 Gl, AO-WH-DSCLR Whole House Salt-Free Descaler
If you’re looking for a water softener alternative, the AO Smith Whole House Water Softener Alternative – Salt Free Descaler System for Home is worth considering.
- The AO Smith Whole House Water Softener Alternative uses a salt-free system to reduce scale buildup in pipes and plumbing without the need for cleaning, backwashing, salt-bags, or electricity.
- The system works effectively on water for use in drinking, cooking, showering, and bathing, making it perfect for households of 4 or more people.
- The Whole House Descaler is engineered to work with both well and city water systems, providing versatility for different households.
- The system will not reduce TDS, sulfur, or iron, so it may not be the best choice for households with high levels of these contaminants.
- The installation instructions may be limited in scope, making the installation process more challenging for some users.
- The system may not be as effective as traditional water softeners for some users, depending on the severity of their hard water issues.
Overall, the AO Smith Whole House Water Softener Alternative – Salt Free Descaler System for Home is a cost-efficient and long-lasting solution to reduce scale buildup in pipes and plumbing without the need for salt or electricity. However, it may not be the best choice for households with high levels of TDS, sulfur, or iron.
The system includes a Whole House Descaler, shut-off valve, hose adapter, and nipple, as well as a limited 6-year warranty. The system is designed to reduce scale buildup for up to 6 years or 600,000 gallons, making it a great investment for households looking for a low-maintenance water softener alternative.
Installation may be challenging for some users due to limited instructions, but with a little patience and research, it can be done. Overall, we recommend the AO Smith Whole House Water Softener Alternative – Salt Free Descaler System for Home for households looking for a cost-efficient and low-maintenance solution to reduce scale buildup in their plumbing.
When looking for the best water softener for your home, there are several factors to consider. Here are some key features that you should look for to ensure that you get the right product for your needs.
Water Hardness Level
The first thing to consider is the hardness level of your water. You can test this by using a water testing kit or by contacting your local water supplier. Knowing your water hardness level is important because it will help you determine the capacity and size of the water softener that you need.
The capacity of the water softener is another important factor to consider. This refers to the amount of water that the unit can soften before it needs to be regenerated. The capacity that you need will depend on the size of your household and your daily water usage.
The regeneration cycle is the process by which the water softener cleans itself and recharges the resin beads. Some units have a timer-based regeneration cycle, while others use a demand-initiated regeneration cycle. The latter is more efficient because it regenerates only when necessary, based on your water usage.
Type of Water Softener
There are two main types of water softeners: salt-based and salt-free. Salt-based water softeners use ion exchange to remove hard minerals from the water, while salt-free water softeners use a different process called template-assisted crystallization. Salt-based water softeners are more effective at removing hard minerals, but they require more maintenance and use more water.
Other features to consider when choosing a water softener include the type of control valve, the warranty, and the price. A digital control valve is more precise and efficient than a manual valve, while a longer warranty provides added peace of mind. Keep in mind that a higher price does not always mean a better product, so be sure to compare features and prices before making a decision.
By considering these key factors, you can choose the best water softener for your home that will provide you with soft, clean water for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the top-rated brands of water softeners?
There are several top-rated brands of water softeners available in the market. Some of the popular brands include Fleck, GE, Whirlpool, Morton, and Aquasana. These brands offer a range of water softeners with different features and prices. It is important to research and compare the products before making a purchase.
How do I choose the right size water softener for my home?
Choosing the right size water softener depends on the size of your household and the level of hardness in your water. A general rule of thumb is to multiply the number of people in your household by 75 gallons to determine the minimum capacity of the water softener. It is recommended to consult with a professional to determine the appropriate size for your specific needs.
What are the benefits of using a water softener and filter combo system?
A water softener and filter combo system can provide several benefits for your home. It can remove hard water minerals, improve the taste and odor of your water, and reduce the amount of chlorine and other contaminants. This can result in softer skin and hair, cleaner dishes and clothes, and prolong the lifespan of your appliances.
Which water softeners are recommended for well water systems?
Well water systems may require a different type of water softener compared to municipal water systems. Some of the recommended water softeners for well water include the Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener, the Aquasana Rhino Whole House Water Filter and Softener, and the SpringWell Whole House Water Filter and Softener.
What type of salt is best for my water softener?
There are different types of salt available for water softeners, including rock salt, solar salt, and evaporated salt. Evaporated salt is considered the purest and most effective type of salt for water softeners. It is recommended to use high-quality salt to prevent clogging and buildup in the system.
Are there effective alternatives to traditional water softeners?
There are some effective alternatives to traditional water softeners, such as salt-free water conditioners and magnetic water softeners. However, these alternatives may not be as effective as traditional water softeners in removing hard water minerals. It is recommended to research and compare the products before making a purchase.