9 Best Water Softeners of 2022 – Tested Reviews & Buying Guide

Last Updated on 2 years by Todd

Dry hair and skin, limescale build-up on the sink and tiles, rusty showerheads, and white spots on your dishes. These are all symptoms that you need a water softener. More than 85% of the US population is being supplied with hard water, which not only damages the heating element of your water heater but also reduces its lifespan. Water softeners are lifesavers in such a scenario.

The best water softeners efficiently remove heavy minerals such as calcium and magnesium from your water so that they won’t cause limescale build-up. Different brands are manufacture different types of water softener systems that convert hard into soft water.

Best Water Softener

To narrow down your research we have selected 9 of the best water softeners and tested them personally to write a genuine review. You can also learn a lot from our water softener buying guide.

So if you want to treat your household faucet and appliances with soft water, then this is the right guide. Stick to this article, we promise, it will be beneficial.

Let’s get started.


Best Water Softener of 2022

1: Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 – Best Water Softener

Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Best Water Softener

So let’s get started with our top pick Fleck 5600SXT best water softener. Fleck 5600SXT is manufactured by a US-based Pentair Residential Filtration Company especially known for producing a line of amazing water softeners for ages. It is specially designed to provide clean and soft water for large households.

This system works on mechanism of an ion-exchange system which I personally like. I feel like that ion exchange system is one of reliable systems to eliminate 100% of calcium and magnesium compounds from water. Definitely when there is no hard mineral in your water, automatically your appliances and plumbing will be protected.

Jeff been looking for a water softener ever since he moved in. He need one because the old one broke. Several companies came to give estimates. They are all in the range of $2500-$3700. Then he searched the internet and found Fleck 5600SXT. I personally read reviews that it is good. I wanted to hire a plumber to install, but they did not show up. I decided to install it on my own after watching YouTube’s video. I made correct decision.

Water strips water testing good wate value water softener

During the analysis of Fleck 5600SXT, I observed that it has got a great capacity. It can deliver up to 12 grains per minute (GPM) of soft water within two minutes. My household comprises of 8 members and it is more than enough for a family of 6-8 members.

Fleck 5600SXT is one of the most efficient water softener systems and it’s because it features metered base regeneration system. This type of regeneration system measures how much water is used and regenerates only when it needs to be. This way it saves your water from waste. The benefits of using this is efficient, provide good value for money and Easy to install. These Amazing features sets fleck 5600 sxt apart from its competitors.

Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Best Water Softener for money

You will find a small digital controller with a backlit LCD display that shows all the relevant statistics. As per manufacturer statement, Fleck has a resin bed of 1.5 cubic feet high with 48000 salt pellets that can efficiently hold up to 250 pounds of salt. This way it produces soft water with a flow rate of 12 GPM.

It is so easy to install Fleck 5600SXT that you don’t even need to hire a plumber. You can install it on your own within 2 to 3 hours. All thanks to its quick connector hoses that offer ease of installation.

  • Regeneration system: metered based
  • Flow rate: 12 GPM flow
  • Installation: easy
  • Weight: 95 pounds
  • Grain size: 48000
  • Ion- exchange system
  • Suitable for 5-7 people
  • No need for a power supply
  • Extends the life of pipes and other appliances
  • It can be installed within 2 hours without hiring any plumber
  • It is a durable and robust water softener
  • It cannot eliminate sulfur compounds efficiently

Fleck 5600SXT is no doubt one of the best and efficient water softeners that are a must-have for a midsized family. It is space-saving and ideal for small houses. But if your water contains sulfur-containing compounds, then you should look for the next option.

2. Pentair WS48-56sxt10 – Best Whole House water softener System

Pentair Best Whole House water softener System

So for the next water softener system, we get our hands on Pentair Ws48-56SXT10, we got really amazed by its performance. Of course, WS48-56SXT10 is from banner of Pentair which has got four decades of experience in water solutions.

Alex installed this himself, but you’ll need two people to help with resin. Put a cloth on the floor when pouring out resin. Clean up after yourself when you are done so that no one else has to clean it up for you. To make installation easy, get the sharkbite connector and teflon tape. Wrap a thin layer of teflon tape onto threads on the valve. Clean copper pipe, cut it to size, push in one end of the sharkbite connector and thread in other end onto the copper pipe.

The first thing I noticed was water filter/softener, which makes showering more pleasurable and relaxing. I had no issues connecting everything up and it went together very smoothly. The goods were delivered in two boxes, which arrived on separate days.

It features a big mineral tank that has a resin bed of about 1.5 cubic feet long. In this model of water softener, Pentair uses highly effective 10 % crosslink resins which is more than the previous model. That’s all because of its high capacity resin that you get uninterrupted soft water supply.

Luckily, Pentair WS48-56SXT10 effectively removes iron from your water. So if you are using well and want to get rid of that unwanted iron, then Pentair WS48-56SXT10 can fulfill your wish. Like Fleck 5600 Sxt it also provide Incredible Value, good price, smooth install, quality material, great custom care service and lot of happy customers.

Upon testing the Pentair water softener we realize that it has got an amazing capacity. Its resin bed is efficient enough to filter out hard minerals up to 48,000 grains. Besides this, it removes twice more iron as compared to other conventional water softeners.

As far as the durability of Pentair WS48-56SXT10 is concerned, its mineral and brine tank are made up of poly glass material which is corrosion resistant and comes with 10 years of warranty. I think you would not need any other water softener for ages if you install Pentair in your home. It can be installed easily without using extra tools. That’s not a big problem.

Like other salt-based water softener systems, Pentair WS48-56SXT10 features a metered-based regeneration system that regenerated when it needs. One drawback that we have observed while using Pentair WS48-56SXT10 water softener, during the regeneration process, it uses comparatively more salt and water than other systems.

  • Top-quality crosslink resin
  • Poly-glass tanks
  • AFW filter’s 48000 grain
  • Meter based generation system
  • Back-lit LCD
  • User-friendly touch-based control panel
  • Suitable for the whole house
  • High capacity 10% crosslink resin
  • It has an overflow system that can stop water flow from unintentional spills.
  • It uses more salt and water during regeneration

So when iron-free, clean soft water is your ultimate need, get your hands on Pentair WS48-56SXT10. It is best for households that use well water.


3. Iron Pro 2 Combination 5600SXT- Best Water Softener for Iron Removal

Iron Pro 2 Best for Well Water with Iron

If you are facing severe iron problems in your water, then mark my words, Iron Pro 2 is the only water softener that you will need. It is best for well water. Usually, well has a very high amount of iron, calcium, and magnesium that leaves red, black, or brown stains on your laundry.

So iron pro 2 assures no more stained laundry. Last year, we bought a house. We live in a small city that gets its water from natural wells. The iron in water is really high. I am not sure how the city can even charge us for it because it has so much iron in it. The water softener in house was old and under-powered, and it was regenerating every few hours to keep up.

We spent weeks looking at different brands and models before deciding on the Iron Pro 2. The equipment was sent in a number of boxes. One contained resin tank, one brine tank, several with the resin, and one with just valve control/computer combination. These instructions were somewhat vague in some areas but may be interpreted by anyone with common sense.

Besides this, this amazing water softener can remove up to 2 ppm of sulfur which results in completely odorless water. So no iron, no sulfur, and no more hard water. Iron pro eliminates the need of installing two devices that are filter and softener. It is a softener with a high-efficiency filtration capacity. It provides soft water with a flow rate of 13gpm.

When it comes to handling thanks to its bypass valve which makes the maintenance process a cup of tea for everyone. It has an amazing grain capacity of 64,000 along with fine mesh resin. This fine mesh resin is the real player that is responsible to remove ferrous iron. Its  fabulous product, good unit with excess capacity, Does filter water beyond expectations, Easily Assembled and Works GREAT and tons of happy customers.

Like other water softeners, it features meter based regeneration system which is far more economical than the other types of regeneration. It uses around 60- 120gallons of water in a single regeneration process. Iron Pro 2 water softener is indeed a great option for health-conscious people you will have a constant supply of pure and filtered water.

One drawback that we observed in Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener, it requires huge space for installation. It has an 18” wide and 33” tall cylindrical brine tank which requires good space; it’s a large water softener. Also, it’s a bit difficult to install and above all its installations instructions are not clear to follow.

  • The product weighs 119.5 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 14 x 7 x 21 inches.
  • Product capacity: 64,000
  • Bypass valve mechanism
  • Installation: easy
  • Great value for money and includes a bypass valve.
  • The resin will last at least 5 years.
  • Iron removal plus water softener
  • Instructions are difficult to follow
  • Needs huge space for installation

Iron pro 2 combination water softener plus water filter is one of the best whole house water softener that not only soften but also get rids of unwanted dirt, sediment, and harsh chemicals.


4. On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT – Portable RV Water Softener Review

OTG4-DBLSOFT – Portable RV Water Softener

If you are looking for a compact and small-size water softener then On the go OTG4-DBLSOFT is here to quench your thirst. The cherry on the top it’s a portable water softener.

Yes, you read it right! On The Go Portable Water Softener is a brand that is ideal for RV and boat enthusiasts.

We had extremely hard water, which was reduced to essentially 0ppm. I’m not sure if the capacity ratings are correct. This has more than twice capacity of the smaller version but isn’t certified for twice as much water.

Since I already had a larger diameter unit, I’m glad I upgraded to bigger one. This is the one to get if you camp for lengthy periods. The smaller unit is preferable since it charges faster (shorter flush times) if you’re more of a weekender or less. This purchase was very satisfying. I can now drink tap water freely, and there are no more white deposits on all of my pots/pans/glasses.

It is a 16,000 Grain Water Softener that is not only is easy to use but also makes a huge difference in the quality of your water. Its user manual has straight and clear instructions. Since it’s a portable water softener, you don’t need to install it permanently at any place. For temporary use, its installation is pretty easy.

This compact and space saver design provide 40% more soft water than any other model in the market. You can expect it to soften 500 to 1,600 gallons of water before it could need regeneration. This water softener system does not require any electricity nor does it have any electronic components. That’s the best thing about it.

Not only for small households, but you can use it on your road trips in your RV. Let me tell you it’s salt-based water softener and requires regeneration too. You will need simple two boxes of table salt for its regeneration and it takes only 30 minutes to do soThis Water softener is Awesome softener for your RV, Got rid of 100% hardwater and Works wonderfully.

Besides this, OTG 4 water softener is compact and portable and comes with a carry handle. Just because of its carry handle, one can easily lift this 32 pounds of water softener.

It’s easy to handle, easy to assemble, easy to store, and comes with a high-grade premium resin medium that can last 5 to 8 years. Not only this, but it will also allow high flow rates with a very low-pressure drop.

Portable RV Water Softener Review

It also comes with strips to test water hardness and has a wide opening to pour the salt.

  • Brand On The Go Item
  • Weight 32 pounds Package
  • Dimensions 23.4 x 11 x 10.8 inches
  • No electricity requires
  • Compact & Portable
  • Full cradle base for a stable position
  • Fast and quick regeneration
  • Wide opening for easy addition of salt
  • Compact and lightweight water softener
  • Shut off valve is of poor quality which may leak at any time.

The compactness and space-saving design along with its performance is only reason we have added OTG 4 water softener on our best water softener list. it can be installed at any tough and congested place easily. Ideal for small families and adventure lovers.


5. Fleck 64k 5600SXT – Best Home Water Softener

best water softener for home

The Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener has a sophisticated design that is easy to use and you also get the Upgraded Paddle Wheel Meter to enhance its performance.

Fleck 5600SXT water softener system is ideal for the house and can work great for a four-person household and only requires a bag of salt every month. it is the best home water softener that you can use. I had been putting off purchasing a softener for a while. I received several quotes for installation, which came out to around $2,500. I came across this softener and watched the install video, which convinced me that it was not difficult.

Laurie said: I placed an order for the product and was in touch with seller throughout the process. The installation is quite simple! It took me approximately one hour and 15 minutes from beginning to end. My dishes still appear cleaner, and there are no more stains around my drains. In a few weeks, I’ll have the eater re-tested and update this post. So far, it’s been an excellent bargain from a fantastic vendor.

It comes in 2.0 cubic ft. that is pre-loaded with resin and has a grain capacity that ranges from 16000 to 64000 grain. This system really gets rid of the hardness in water by removing magnesium compounds and only removing a low level of iron. Installing Fleck 5600SXT at your home gives you a sustainable household softening system. It is equipped with Fleck 5600 SXT Metered control valve to eliminate scale buildup and reduce soap efficiency in hard water.

It has an on-demand meter regeneration system which means that it has the capacity to regenerate water according to your demand.

Fleck 64k 5600SXT – Best home water softener

Long Warranty:

If you are looking for what is the best water softener system, You should try this, because it comes with a very long warranty and the customer service is also on point to provide professional assistance if needed.

  • Item Weight: 180 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 48 x 12 x 12 inches
  • Capacity: 64,000 Grain
  • Included Components: complete system
  • Installation: easy
  • It comes with a 5-year warranty on valve and a 10 year on the tank.
  • Includes a Metered Control Head.
  • Grain capacity ranges from 16000 to 64000 Grain.
  • It comes with pre-loaded resin.
  • It does not remove sulfur compounds from water.

The Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener is a 5-star product that is inexpensive and has the most popular Fleck made valves.


6. Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000 – Best Water Softener for the Family of 6

Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000 - Best water softener for family of 6

The Whirlpool Corporation is an American company that is multinational and is leading world in manufacturing home appliances.

I personally like WHES40E and the reason is its demand-initiated regeneration which regenerates only when it’s necessary. Therefore it decreases the use of water and salt. Apart from this, it has Salt Saving Technology which monitors the salt level and minimizes salt wastage. It has a low-level salt indicator light that starts blinking when the system detects low salt levels.

The Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000-grain water softener is best for families of 1-6+ people. It is efficient enough to remove 125 grains per gallon of hardness. Therefore it effectively removes mineral stains, decreases the use of detergent in washing process resulting in softer, better clothes, keeps hair and skin healthy.

Besides this, WHES40E saves energy and results in better performance of your water-using appliances like washing machines or dishwashers. When it comes to durability Whirlpool WHES40E Water Softener is designed in such a way that it will last for years, if you take care of it properly. This Water Softener is Easy to self install and it works very well, Great replacement for Kenmore, Nice All-in-one package, BIG bang for the buck, Great softener for home and easy set up and Easy To Maintain and Work On.

NSF certified water softener:

Moreover, it provides maximum performance while using the least amount of water and salt. The best part is, it is an NSF-certified water softener, which means it will give you pure soft water as per the standard of NSF.

  • Item Weight 95 pounds.
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 18 x 48 inches.
  • Product Color: Off-White.
  • Included Components: Softener system, bypass valve, installation kit, and instruction manual.
  • No Batteries Required
  • NSF certified
  • Reduces salt and water consumption
  • Removes up to 10 ppm of clear water
  • Not suitable for large families.

Due to its high flow rate and high hardness removing capability Whirlpool WHES40E is best for mid-size families. Its not suitable for big families. This water softener reduces salt and water consumption.


7. AFWFilters WS-96k-91SXT – Best Water Softener on a Budget

WS-96k-91SXT Best water softener on a budget

Next pick in the list of a top-rated water softener is Fleck 9100SXT best known for heavy-duty business due to some of its extra properties that could hardly be found in any other water softener

Trust my words, you don’t need to wander anymore if you need a heavy-duty water softener. AFW WS-96K-91SXT is one of them. 9100SXT is specially designed with a dual alternating tanks system. This is simply amazing. These dual tanks not only give extra space to speed up process but also share the load between one another.

jullie said: So, I had a large home improvement store come out, to do water testing and propose to install this product for $7,000. I bought this system and followed youtube installation without problem.

Besides this, the two tanks give it quite enough space of 96,000 grain capacity in each tank. Impressive, isn’t it? Fleck 9100SXTworks on the Ion exchange system, uses Sodium which can easily remove calcium and magnesium from hard water. It does not end here! It can remove all hardness-causing minerals so no more limescale build-up.

When it comes to the flow rate of Fleck 9100SAXT, it has a strong flow rate that is of about 20GPM. It can easily provide pure and soft water to a large family of 10 members. All thanks to its heavy-duty resin. Let me tell you, its resin is too heavy and it’s very costly to replace it.

It has great customer reviews and some users said, So far so good will update after receipt and installation, Excellent customer support, Important tips when installing, works perfectly, Save money and buy this system and install yourself.

Apart from this, Fleck 9100SXT has a specific characteristic that it can regenerate water according to your consumption. Now you don’t need to worry about heavy consumption problems.

 Soft Touch digital metered head: 

Fleck 9100SXT is a must-buy water softener. One of the reasons is it’s digital metered which allows you to keep a check on water supplies and storage. Its LCD gives an extremely soft touch which makes it the most efficient and powerful water softener.

  • Digital Metered Head
  • Dimension 14 x 14 x 65 inches
  • The dual alternating tank system
  • Flow rate: 20 GPM
  • Grain size: 96,000
  • Weight: 95 pounds
  • Installation: easy
  • Long-lasting and heavy-duty water softener
  • Impressive flow rate
  • Can remove little iron as well
  • Best for large families
  • Changing resin is a tough and expensive job.
  • It requires huge space

Fleck 9100SXT is a heavy-duty water softener with impressive grain size. It efficiently removes all the culprit elements from your water making it soft and tasty to drink.


8. AFWFilters Fleck 64k – Best Water Softener for Well Water

Best Water Softener for Well Water

Fleck 64k water softener is the most convenient and efficient water softener for a mid-size family that money can buy. It eliminates scale buildup, ion, calcium, and magnesium from hard water and provides you soft water that you can enjoy every day.

Jason said: I’m very pleased with my purchase. I used it with an Aquasana whole house 3-stage filter (particle filter, main carbon filter, and post-filtering). We reside in a country where the water is surprisingly clean to start with. It’s quite hard and almost acidic.

We don’t have to be concerned about iron since there’s no need for one. The softener was urged to be installed first and then filter. The most interesting feature of Fleck 64k is that it has an easy-to-use digital meter. Now you don’t need to worry about learning complex programming. Fleck 64k digital meter works with only a few buttons and gives you complete control over-specification.

Fleck 64k features an on-demand meter system that uses a flow meter to manage all your water consumption and regeneration demands. Besides this Fleck 64k features a robust paddle wheel system meter. Its amazing paddle wheel system gives quite better performance than those of turbine-style water softeners.

Fleck 64k is designed in a way to remove iron from hard water with the help of its amazingly designed iron fleck water softener. Furthermore, it comes with a 64,000-grain capacity to gives you spectacular results in terms of pure and clean mineral-free fresh water. Believe me, buying this water softener will benefit your entire household.

Stephen said: Great Product – Should have purchased long ago.

Carsten said: Very happy! Very Large – watch Youtube videos for easy install instructions.

Sears said: works awesome-so easy to install.

Fleck 64k mesh resin design removes enough amount of iron. Moreover, it can remove hardness up to 75 Gpg. Installation of Fleck 64k is a simple job you will get a USB along with a water softener that has all the installation instructions. Just follow it and install it. It won’t be wrong if I say that this water softener is the most efficient and durable one.

  • Product weight 20.8 pounds
  • Product dimension 52 x 12 x 12 inches
  • On-demand digital meter
  • Size 64,000 Grains
  • Paddlewheel system
  • Produces high-quality water by removing hardness up to 75 Gpg.
  • A perfect blend of durability and performance
  • easy to use digital meter
  • A very compact design that can be easily moved
  • The bypass valve needs improvement

We call AFWFilters Fleck 64k one of the best water softener consumer reports as it has got amazing hardness removing capacity.


9. On The Go OTG3NTP3M – Portable Water Softener

9. On The Go OTG3NTP3M - Portable Water Softener

If you need a portable water softener then hold on! We have reviewed the best portable water softener for you, which is of high-end quality. Portable Water Softener Pro 16,000 is designed as well as assembled in California.

This was a really simple machine to set up, and it worked wonderfully. It made a significant impact on the hard water in our park. Others have come to check it out and have also purchased one.

The first thing I’d consider is whether to get bigger size, but because I want to keep weight down for traveling, we went with the regular model. On extremely hard water, we can maintain full time residence for 5-7 days between generations. Let me further open it for you:

Portable Water Softener Pro has a 16,000-grain capacity and allows you to enjoy up to 2000 gallons of softened water. It has a durable and compact design. This easy-to-carry Water Softener can also be used for commercial car wash units and it is built from NSF Approved Components.

Apart from this, if you install it in your home, it will also protect your appliances from harmful minerals, which in turn increases the life span of your equipment. Not only this, but it will also prevent rust stains and, gives odorless water of better taste.

It also allows dishes to be cleaned better by improving the performance of your dishwasher and clears out the buildup in your pipes. WS-P-16 provides 40% more soft water than any other standard unit in the market.

The WS-P-16 is a compact space-saving design that enables it to be installed at any compact space. Portable water softener 16000 is a mind-blowing softener that gives an outstanding performance. Some of the users said abut this, If you’re an RVr you need this!, Works great and easy to set up, Pays for itself for hot tub owners, Well worth the money, Happy coach and happy wife, happy RVing life.

  • Item Weight is 34.4 pounds
  • No battery required
  • Dimensions : 10 x 10 x 20 inches
  • Compact space-saving design
  • Easy to carry and space-saving design
  • Ideal for home and commercial use.
  • Comes fully built and ready for use.
  • Connecting it is a complicated process.

For your long road trips, the WS-P-16 portable water softener is a great choice. It is an NSF-certified softener that provides 40 % more soft water than the other units. iSpring RCB3P RO Water Filtration System is the best residential water softener system.


How does Water Softener Work?

How to Choose Best Water Softener System – Ultimate Buying Guide:

Finding what is the best water softener can be quite a tedious task when don’t have complete knowledge. So it’s necessary to bombard yourself with required information about the product. With so many different options available in the market, it becomes a hectic task indeed, to go for one best-rated water softener that meets your requirements as well. Consider Following Things before buying the best quality water softener system.


Difference between a water softener and a descaler:

Water softeners soften the water by changing the chemical composition of water. On other hand, water descaler changes charge on hardness causing elements and therefore they behave differently. Water descaler doesn’t add salt to your water whereas water softeners do.

For your convenience, we have come up with a brief and concise buying guide that will surely help you in making a proper decision about the best water softener. Read on to know which water softener is the best for you.

Water Softener Comparison Chart:

Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener (Best Overall)


Grain size: 48000

Flow rate:12gpm

Type: salt based water softener


Pentair WS48-56sxt10 Fleck water softener


Grain size: 48000

Flow rate:14gpm

Water consumption: 3.5GPM

Type: salt based water softener


Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener (Best for Well Water with Iron)


·         Grain size: 64000

·         Flow rate:13gpm

·         Metered based regeneration system


On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable 16,000 Grain


Grain size: 16,000

Type: salt based water softener

Ideal for RV and marines



 Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Metered Whole House System


Grain size:16000-64000

Flow rate:16 gpm

Easy to install


 WHIRLPOOL WHES40E 40,000 Grain Water Softener (Best For Home)


Grain size: 40000

Demand initiated regeneration

Removes 10ppm of water

 AFW Filters WS-96k-91SXT Fleck 9100SXT Dual tank water softener


The dual alternating tank system

Flow rate: 20 GPM

Grain size: 96,000


AFW Filters Fleck 64k water softener


Grain size:64000

Removes hardness up to 75gpg


Portable Water Softener Pro 16,000


Grain capacity: 16000

Provides 20000 gallons of soft water

NSF approved


The first and foremost step while buying anything is to see how important that particular product is for you. Like if I am buying a car or any other vehicle, I first have to identify the primary purpose of buying it.

Ask yourself, do you really need the best water softener in your home?

Generally speaking, hard water is one that has a higher number of total dissolved solids. These solids include different compounds of calcium and magnesium.

Hard water is not dangerous, but yes, you will have to face specific problems with hard water. Common problems are choked pipeline after prolonged exposure to hard water, skin irritation, hair fall, stubborn stains on the tiles, and other sanitary items.

If you are facing any one of the above mention solutions, then a water softener is your ultimate need. You should definitely buy it.

You can also get an idea of your hardness from this US water hardness map. If you are located in an area where water is harder than 3gpg, then surely you need a water softener.


Now once you have analyzed that you cannot live further without a water softener, ask yourself, okay, fine! Which type of water softener do I need?

Let me tell you; there are many different types of water softener available in the markets. These are purely categorized based on their mechanism of action.

Let’s have a look!

Well if you are short of time, check out our quick comparison between salt-based and salt free water softeners:

Comparison Table Between Saltbased and Salt Free Water Softener

Salt based water softener Salt free water softener
They soften water by removing minerals like calcium and magnesium via process called ion exchange They soften the water by crystallizing calcium and magnesium
It reduces lime scale build up, reduces soap consumption, prevents stain on tiles, dishes and laundry It only reduces lime scale build up in your plumbings
Bit tricky to install Easy to install
Require time to time maintenance Maintenance cost is almost zero
Adds salt in your water Do not add anything in your water
corrosive Non-corrosive
It wastes water during regeneration There isn’t any concept of regeneration

Salt-based ion exchange system: 

These are most common and conventional types of water softener systems. They utilize Salt for softening water, and the method that is used in softening procedure is ion exchange.


This type of water softener system comes with two tanks. The first tank is used to clean away water with help of a resin bead that is there inside the tank, whereas second tank, which is called the “brine tank,” contains Salt. At the bottom of brine tank, you will see some water, which is called salt brine.

This water has to be flushed away into resin tank to clean and wash all those ions that were responsible for making your water hard, which are then sent to your wastewater drain system.

Now comes the important part; that is how it works. 

It follows the ion-exchange system, which will remove all metal particles and contaminants from your water with help of the resin bead.

The water from your main water supply line enters into first tank that has resins beads. In contrast, the water flows from there, calcium, magnesium, and other contaminants get stick to the resin beads, and this way, you will get soft water that enters your home.

That’s the whole process.

Its maintenance and regeneration are quite simple as it has two tanks.

The downside of Salt-based ion exchange water softeners:

  • Expensive
  • You will require Salt for the maintenance of this water softener system

Salt-free softener

As indicated by their names, they do not require Salt for work. Frankly speaking, they are not the true softeners; instead, you can call them water conditioners. The reason behind calling them water conditioners is they do not remove any hard minerals from the water. Rather they prevent these hard materials from building up limescale inside the pipelines. You can say that instead of eliminating these hard materials from the water, a salt-free softener neutralizes them so they won’t stick together. This way, you will find less or no stains on the plumbing and faucets. Water Softener Cleaner can be used to flush out the dirt particles.

These softener systems are super easy to install, and maintenance cost is almost zero.


Salt-free water softeners work through a process of template-assisted crystallization (TAC). Such water conditioners have a tank of TAC media which has tiny polymer beads with different nucleation sites. This TAC is responsible for neutralizing chemicals in water and making it soft to use.

The downside of Salt-free water softeners:

  • Not as effective as salt-based water softeners because you still have those harsh chemicals in your water that are responsible for making limescale build-up.
  • They require electricity to be operated and show results in a while.

Dual tank system:

Now, these are the real players of water softener system. It features two-tank that is one is an iron tank, and other one is a brined tank. They are heavy-duty type of water softeners. You can use them in a place where there is abundant water consumption.


Their working is almost similar to the salt-based ion-exchange water system. Still, here you will get two tanks that mean you will get an unlimited supply of soft water even during in regeneration process. When one tank is regenerating other tank will be functional to provide soft water

This type is ideal for industrial use, where you require a constant soft water supply with no break.

The downside of Dual tank water softeners:

  • It requires a huge space.

 Magnetic Descaler:

Magnetic descalers are the advanced version of salt-free water softener, which requires an electric current to work. Magnetic descalers are plug-in devices that wrap around the pipeline, which creates a magnetic field. And hence changes the electromagnetic properties of calcium and related compounds. So these compounds are repelled by the pipe.

The downside of magnetic descaler water softeners:

  • Magnetic descalers are quite controversial, and they are under research.

So keeping in mind your need, budget, and your space, choose the type of water softener that you will buy.


As you have decided the type of water softener now comes to the most crucial point, that is what capacity will be your required.

Let me tell you from capacity I meant the size of a water softener. How many grains of hardness can be removed by the water softener before it requires regeneration?

You will find different types of water softeners whose capacity ranges from 8000 to 80000, and it all depends on the size of resin beads.

  • The 1.0 cubic foot of resin unit can hold 32,000 grains peak
  • The 1.5 cubic feet of resin unit can hold 48,000 grains peak
  • The 2.0 cubic feet of resin unit can hold 64,000 grains peak

You can calculate the capacity by yourself using this formula:

Capacity = number of people x hardness level x 80 gallons x days between regenerations


Safety certifications indicate that this particular water softener is safe to use, and it can efficiently remove certain elements.

Make sure the softeners have a Gold seal from the WQA (water quality association) this means the softener has passed all the rigorous testing and can be used safely


Now comes to another most important point that is your pocket. There are multitudes of water softeners available in the market which can fit into pocket of any person. You will also get some costly water softener systems, and at the same time, you will get some cheap systems as well. Usually, higher grain water softeners are a bit expensive than low grain ones.

If you are talking about a whole house water softener, you can get them easily under 1000 $, but for industrial water softeners, you will have to spend thousands of your bucks.

You can also do a water softener comparison, to find the perfect choice for you.

Salt-Based vs Salt-Free Water Softener:

Salt-Based Water Softener:

Salt-based water softener relies on salt that is sodium for removing the hardness of water. This type of softeners removes hard minerals like calcium and magnesium through the process of ion – exchange. Salt-based water softeners have a resin bed that has positively charged particles. The resin bed holds hardness causing negatively charged ions and releases the positively charged ions into the water.

Benefits of Salt Bases Water Softener:

  • Hardness-causing minerals will be totally removed from your water if you use a salt-based water softener.
  • This type of water softener will genuinely remove the limescale buildup from your sanitary tiles, sink faucets.
  • The salt-based water softener requires fewer repair and maintenance jobs. They are long-lasting and durable types of water softeners.
  • It produces soft and silky water that makes your skin, hair, and nails healthy and shiny.


Salt-Free Water Softeners:

As the name suggests, it doesn’t require salt for removal of hardness-causing minerals. It means that water is softened not by ion-exchange process rather it uses a different technique. This technique is known as Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC). In this process, hardness-causing elements change physical form that is they turn into crystals. So that they won’t stick or adhere to any surface. Technically this is not a softening process rather it’s a water conditioning process as hardness-causing minerals are still there in water but in a different form.


  • You don’t need to go for monthly cleaning cycles as salt-free water softeners do not capture minerals.
  • Salt-free water softener does not use any chemicals for softening water.
  • Water wastage is quite minimal with a salt-free water softener.
  • They are comparatively less expensive than a salt-based water softener.
  • Hardness-causing minerals are still there in your water but it would not cause any limescale buildup.


  • It is not a water softener rather it’s a water conditioner.
  • Your water won’t feel soft and silky neither it will make your hair and skin silky and smooth.
  • A salt-free system takes a little bit of time as compared to a salt-based system that starts immediately. A salt-free system uses electricity.

How to Clean Hard Water Stains?

Since hard water has a high amount of hard minerals. When such water comes in contact with tiles, sink, and faucet and leaves as it is. The water evaporates leaving behind a grimy residue that is sometimes difficult to remove. But we have a solution- white Vinegar. Use a generous amount of white vinegar to remove these hard water stains from your tiles, faucets, and plumbing. All you have to do is mix an equal part of white vinegar and fresh water in a spray bottle. Liberally spray this mixture on a stained surface and let it sit for 15 minutes. After that wipe it with a clean microfiber cloth. Viola, stains are no more! Do this exercise weekly to have a clean and stain-free bathroom if you have hard water in your pipelines.

How to Clean Hard Water Spots?

Hard water spots are relatively easier to clean. They are fresh form of any stain and do not require any special treatment. You can even clean them with a normal scourer and bathroom cleaner. Gently scrub stain with a scourer, it will vanish immediately.

How to Clean Hard Water Stains that Have Been There Forever?

Hard water stains that have been there in your washroom for a long time are difficult to remove. Removing such stains is indeed a tough job. For this you can do several tricks:

  • Make a paste of baking soda and vinegar and apply it to problematic area for 15 minutes. After that wipe it off with a clean microfiber cloth.
  • Make a thick paste of hydrogen peroxide and cream of tartar and apply it to stained area and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then scrub it off with a damp scourer and see the result.
  • Apply fluoride toothpaste to affected area and let it sit for few hours. Then clean it using a clean cloth.
  • You can even use WD-40 to get rid of these stubborn hard water stains.

By following above guide, you can find the best water softener in Canada UK, Arizona, las vegas, Calgary, for bathroom, for city water.

What Causes Hard Water?

Most people experience hard water because they use city water. Large water companies supply city water that pumps water from underground sources to homes. If you live in a rural area, you may have hard water because your water is pumped from wells instead of being pumped from underground sources.

The hardness of the water in your home depends on where your water comes from. Most city water is hard, while most well water is soft. If you live in an area with a lot of rain, your water will have a higher amount of dissolved minerals. This will cause your water to be harder than usual. When your water has many minerals, the minerals are left behind after the water is pumped through your pipes. This causes the pipes to rust.

How do I choose the right water softener?

Water softeners are an easy way to make your water clean and safe. You can reduce the minerals in your drinking water, which can cause issues like mineral buildup in your pipes, and it can also prevent your water from becoming cloudy.

Here are some things to consider when choosing your water softener:

Price: Water softeners are typically priced on a per-gallon basis. This means that you will need to buy the number of gallons of water you use per month to determine how much you will spend on your water softener.

Size: If you have a large family, you may need to look into purchasing a larger water softener.

Benefits: You may need to consider the benefits of a water softener over time. Do you have a septic tank? If so, you will need to purchase a water softener that is compatible with your septic system.

Warranty: You should purchase a water softener that comes with a warranty so that if something happens to go wrong, you can get it replaced at no cost to you.

Your budget: If you have a smaller budget, you may want to consider a less expensive water softener. However, if you have a larger budget, you may want to consider a more expensive model.

Your water usage: If you have a large family, you may need to consider a larger water softener.

Your home: If you have a septic tank, you may need to consider purchasing a water softener compatible with your septic tank.

The Environment: If you are concerned about the environment, you may want to consider a water softener that uses less electricity.

Are salt-free water softeners better?

The most significant advantage of a salt-free water softener is that you will be able to drink more water. This is because you will not be consuming any sodium chloride. This will allow you to drink more water and stay hydrated.

It will also be easier for you to maintain your body weight as you will not be consuming any sodium chloride. Sodium chloride can help to increase your appetite and your body weight. You will also be able to consume more water. This will allow you to drink more water and stay hydrated.

Another advantage of a salt-free water softener is that it will help to prevent corrosion. Sodium chloride can create a salty taste in your home. If you have a salt-free water softener, you will not have to worry about this. However, it will take more time to clean a salt-free water softener than a regular one.

Best Water Softener Brands:

When you are looking for water softeners, look for specify brands as they are highly reputable and deliver products with superior performance. Here are some of the best water softener companies.

Pentair Pelican:

Pelican is one of the leading names in providing clean and sustainable water solutions to homes, businesses, and industries all over the globe. They have whole house softeners, water filters, water filtration plants for industries that produce clean and pure drinking water. Pentair Pelican water softening systems are eco-friendly and cost-effective.


Aquasana was founded somewhere in 1997 and since then it has gain popularity because of manufacturing affordable and durable products. It has a vast line of products that includes whole house water filters and water conditioners, under the sink and countertop water filters, shower and replacement filters along with parts and accessories. Aquasana brand is famous for creating environmentally friendly products. All their water filter components are designed for minimal waste. Even their filter cartridges and cases are made up of recyclable parts and materials. When it comes to water softeners, Aquasana does not have a wide range but yes, in Descaler, Aquasana has vast varieties of salt-free solutions for your home.


Fleck is the sister company of PENTAIR, which is one of old and leading players in providing hard water solutions. The main motive of Fleck is to manufacture and designed cost-effective and highly reliable water softening products. Besides this, Fleck promises to make water softening solutions an accessible option for everyone in society and that’s the reason Fleck is one of the affordable water softener brands. Fleck offers NSF-certified Salt-based water softeners.


A trustworthy and highly reliable name- whirlpool that doesn’t need any remarkable introduction.

It’s a Michigan-based company that has been serving its valuable clients for ages by manufacturing different home and water appliances. Whirlpool is famous for offering excellent customer service. There isn’t any such thing like silly question at the customer support center of Whirlpool. You can ping them any time of day and team will always help you out.

When it comes to water softeners Whirlpool water softeners are highly reliable and easy to maintain. Whirlpool water softeners have integrated self-cleaning filter screens which are ideal for water with sediment issues. All the softeners and water filters of Whirlpool are NSF certified.


A place where you will get multiple solutions to your drinking water-related problems. With more than 20 years of experience spring well has expertise in manufacturing and designing all types of water softeners and water filters. It has a really vast range of products which include salt-based and salt-free water softeners, whole house water filtration units, Reverse Osmosis system, replacement and sediment-water filters along with many others. Interestingly, spring well utilizes certified parts and accessories in creating softeners and filters.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I know which water softener to buy?

You can use this simple formula to select which water softener is best for you.

Capacity = number of people x hardness level x 80 gallons x days between regenerations

What is the best water softener system?

Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 grain water softener is considered as one of best water softener systems. It is easier to install and maintain. If you have iron in your water, Fleck 5600SXT can effectively remove it.

What size water softener for the family of 4?

A family of 4 needs about 300 gallons of water per day because they need 75 gallons each. If the hardness of water is 10 grams per gallon, then daily softening requirement is 3000 grains.

What size water softener do i need for a family of 5?

What size water softener do I need for a family of 5? A family of five can use 375 gallons per day. With a hardness level of 10 gpg, they would need to remove 26,250 gpg each week.

What size water softener for family of 2?

A family of 2 needs about 150 gallons of water per day because they need 75 gallons each.

How long do water softeners last?

Water softeners usually last 10-20 years. A single tank electric water softener could last 12 years. Kinetico systems can last 20 years or more.


There are many people in world that uses hard water on a daily basis to get their day-to-day job done. Obviously, they would be well aware of the side effects of hard water. Using a water softener system will avoid all those side effects and you will have pure and soft water from every faucet of your home. So what are you waiting for? We have reviewed the best water softener and grab one of your choices and enjoy soft and crisp water.

If you ask us we would recommend Fleck 56000SXT 48000 grain water softener and the reasons are:

  • It has a great capacity
  • Best for a mid-sized family
  • It 100% removes calcium and magnesium

If you have a large family of more than 10 members then Fleck 9100SXT is our recommended product for you as it has a grain capacity of 96000.

Trust me! If you love your family, install a water softener in your house. I bet you, and they will appreciate your decision.