9 Best Water Softeners of 2021 – Tested Reviews & Buying Guide

Recently I had to shift my home because of a job posting. The house was quite small with all the required necessities. In short, I was quite satisfied with this house except for one thing. That is, we got hard water from the town municipal. That was the only problem I was facing until the day I met my friend. He told me about water softeners. From that day, I started searching for the best water softeners and bought one for my home.

But wait, let me tell you something,

Trust me, this was the best decision of my life to install a water softener system at home. With the help of this system, we get 24 hours of soft water supply. Not only this but also we have observed it decreased in soap consumption because of using soft water.

Best water softeners 2021

Best Water SoftenerThe market is loaded with zillions of water softener, which are of different types, sizes, and capacities. What to choose and what not to choose becomes a tedious task. For your convenience, we have surveyed the market and choose the 9 best water softener for you.

THESE BEST WATER SOFTENERS ARE OF TOP-NOTCH QUALITY WITH EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE.
If you did not find a water softener of your choice and budget, then our water softener buying guide will help to select one best for you. In case you might be asking yourself, what’s best for you?

Stick to the article to know more!
You will be bombarded with lots of amazing water softeners of 2021.
Let’s start!

List of Top water softeners of 2021

Water SoftenersRatingPrice
Fleck 5600SXT 48,000
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pentair WS48-56sxt10
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Fleck Iron Pro 2 Water Softener
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Fleck 5600SXT 64,000
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
WS-96k-91SXT Fleck 9100SXT
⭐⭐⭐⭐
Fleck 64k water softener, 64,000
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Portable Water Softener Pro 16,000
⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

So let’s get started with our top pick Fleck 5600SXT best water softener.

Fleck 5600SXT 48000 Best Water softener

Fleck 5600SXT is manufactured by US-based Pentair Residential Filtration Company especially known for producing a line of amazing water softeners for ages.

Fleck 5600 is specially designed to provide clean and soft water for large households. It can provide soften water up to 6 to 8 family members. It has the capacity to deliver up to 12gpm of soft water within two minutes.

Furthermore, it has an on-demand control valve system which makes it super-efficient to eliminate hard water components and reduces soap efficiency by providing clean and pure soft water for your entire household.

Besides this, it uses an ion- exchange system which is the most reliable chemical system to extract 100% calcium and magnesium compounds from hard water. Because of this, the reduction of calcium and magnesium from hard water extends the life of your plumbing and appliances.

Fleck 5600 has another amazing feature of the metered based regeneration system which enables you to keep a check when it needs regeneration. Also, it allows you to customize regenerations settings multiple times.

Buying fleck 5600 water softener allows you to operate several machines including sinks, showers, and dishwashers at a time.

It comes with 48,000 salt pallets and fine mesh resin along with a brine tank capable to hold up to 250 pounds of salt.

 Easy to Install: 

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.

Specifications:

  • 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
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • It cannot eliminate sulfur compounds efficiently

2: Pentair WS48-56sxt10 Fleck water softener (Best For Well Water)

Another water softener system in our list belongs to one of the trustiest softening manufacturers Fleck and Pentair. Their WS48-56sxt10 water softener contains amazing features that will give you un-interrupted soft water supply.

Pentair WS48-56sxt10 water softener

It has a resin tank with a capacity of 1.5 cubic feet along with top quality crosslink resin to deal with all kinds of iron issues. Besides this, the cross linked resin also reduces soap efficiency along with removing scale buildups.

Furthermore this high capacity resin filter’s up to 48,000 uses an ion exchange process to remove calcium, magnesium, and other ions from hard water. When it comes to grain the upgraded resin has the capacity to deal twice more iron compare to those conventional models.

It comes with the most advanced and completes system including poly glass tank best known for corrosion-resistant, brine tank, and Fleck WS48-56sxt10 control head. Hence it won’t be wrong if we say that it is one of the best whole house water softener or best home water softener and filtration system.

Besides this, the poly-glass tank used in this water softener is made up of one of the reliable manufacturers which give you 10 years of warranty. This assures you that this product is a durable and long-lasting one.

It has an amazing meter based regeneration system which by the time keeps you informed about water consumption. Moreover, it only regenerated water when it needs.

AWF will give you clean and pure water which is not only best for washing clothes and utensils but your face skin will feel healthy and smooth enough.

Buying this WS48-56sxt10 water softener system will give you more enjoyable and relaxing showers.

Specifications:

  • Top-quality crosslink resin
  • Poly- glass tanks
  • AFW filter’s 48000 grain
  • Meter based generation system
  • Back-lit LCD
Pros
  • It has an automatic bypass valve to control head
  • Top-quality crosslink resin can deal with all kinds of iron problems
  • It has an overflow system that can stop water flow from unintentional spills.
Cons
  • The online manual needs to be upgraded

3: Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener

Fleck is a US-based brand, owned by US Water Systems. They are best known for high-quality water softeners with great warranties. Their products are of high quality and durable one.

Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener iron filter Fleck 5600SXT digital metered valve 64,000 grain, 64k for whole house

Their iron pro 2 combination water softener contains digital metered control heads and valves which makes it high performing water softener. it also performs best for well water with iron.

Let’s talk about its worth mentioning feature that is. This water softener will filter out iron compounds so this means you will be getting soft water which is free from harsh elements. Indeed it gives you great value for your money.

This way you will get iron-free water up to 6-8ppm.

Iron Pro 2water softener will also remove magnesium and calcium ions. Getting rid of dust and sediment is also part of its water filtration process.

Here’s the deal! This amazing water softener can remove up to 2 ppm of sulfur which results in completely odorless water.

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.

 Great choice for Health conscious people: 

Iron Pro 2 water softener is indeed a great option of health-conscious people you will have a constant supply of pure and filtered water.

Specifications:

  • The product weighs 119.5 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 14 x 7 x 21 inches.
  • Product capacity: 64,000
  • Bypass valve mechanism
  • Installation: easy
Pros
  • Great value for money and includes a bypass valve.
  • The resin will last at least 5 years.
  • It also gets rid of dust and sediment.
Cons
  • Installing process is not clear

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

If you are looking for a large water softener then OTG 4  is here to quench your thirst. Let me introduced you to one of the largest and water softeners in my list.

On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener

On The Go Portable Water Softener is a brand that is ideal for RV and boat enthusiasts.

The On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable 16,000 Grain Water Softener is easy to use and makes a huge difference in the quality of your water. Its user manual has straight and clear instructions.

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

Moreover, this mind-blowing Water Softener uses simple table salt; it’s easy to handle, easy to assemble, easy to store and comes with a high-grade premium resin medium which cans last 5 to 8 years.

Not only this, but it will also allow high flow rates with a very low-pressure drop.

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.

 Strpis to Test Water Hardness: 

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

Specifications:

  • Brand On The Go Item
  • Weight 32 pounds Package
  • Dimensions 23.4 x 11 x 10.8 inches
  • No electricity requires
  • Compact & Portable
Pros
  • It has a compact design that can be installed anywhere in a house.
  • This water softener system can produce 40% more soft water compared to any other competitor in the market.
  • The reliability of this product makes it the best water softener system out there.
Cons
  • This water softener system does not include a sediment filter.

5: Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Metered Whole House System (Best For Iron)

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 64,000 Grain Water Softener

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.

This water softener system also comes in 2.0 cubic ft. 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 the 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 reduces 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.

 Long Warranty: 

If you are looking for what is the best water softener, 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.

The Fleck 5600SXT 64,000 Grain Water Softener is a 5-star product that is inexpensive and has the most popular Fleck made valves. These valves measure water usage and regenerate only when it’s needed the most.

Specifications:

  • Item Weight: 180 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 48 x 12 x 12 inches
  • Capacity: 64,000 Grain
  • Included Components: complete system
  • Installation: easy
Pros
  • It comes with a 5-year warranty on the 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.
Cons
  • This water softener has a steep price tag and salt does not filter out sulfur and only filters out a low level of iron

Also Read About

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

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

Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000 Grain Water Softener

The Whirlpool WHES40E 40 000 Grain Water Softener has a Demand Initiated Regeneration which results in only regeneration when necessary therefore decreasing the use of water and salt.

It also has Salt Saving Technology to minimize salt usage. It also has the ability to remove a maximum of 125 GPG of hardness.

The Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000-grain water softener is best for families of 1-6+ people. It removes mineral stains, decreases the use of detergent in the washing process resulting in softer and better clothes, and keeps hair and skin healthy.

Besides this, WHES40E saves energy and results in better performance of your water-using appliances like washing machines and 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.

 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.

Specifications:

  • 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
Pros
  • Easy to install.
  • Easy to use.
  • Removes up to 10 ppm of clear water
Cons
  • A little bit expensive

7: AFWFilters WS-96k-91SXT Fleck 9100SXT Dual tank water softener

Our second 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

AFWFilters WS-96k-91SXT Fleck 9100SXT water softener

If you really looking for heavy-duty water softener reviews then you don’t need to wander anymore.

9100SXT is specially designed with a dual alternating tanks system which gives extra space to speed up the softening process. Besides this, the two tanks give it quite enough space of 96,000 grain capacity in each tank.

Fleck 9100SXTworks on the Ion exchange system and uses Sodium which can easily remove calcium and magnesium from hard water.

It does not end here! It can remove all ion contained in hard water along with scale buildup.

It gives an extremely strong flow rate of 20 GPM. When it comes to flush 9100SXT gives a quite quick and strong flush. Besides this, it can provide soften water up to 10 family members.

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: 

Another amazing feature for which you must buy this product is that it has a digital metered head which allows you to keep a check on water supplies and storage along with LCD. Its LCD gives an extremely soft touch which makes it the most efficient and powerful water softener.

Specifications:

  • 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
Pros
  • Dual tanks gives enough 96000 grain capacity for each tank
  • Best water softener for heavy duty business
  • Resin removes scale buildup and ion along calcium & magnesium
Cons
  • Required more space to get installed

8: AFWFilters Fleck 64k water softener

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 a mineral content free water that you can enjoy every day.

AFWFilters Fleck 64k water softener

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 on-demand meter system uses flow meter to manage all your water consumption and regeneration demands.

Besides this Fleck 64k features 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 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.

Fleck 64k mesh resin design removes enough amount of iron. Moreover, it can remove hardness up to 75 GMG. It won’t be wrong if I say that this water softener is the most efficient and durable one.

Specifications:

  • Product weight 20.8 pounds
  • Product dimension 52 x 12 x 12 inches
  • On-demand digital meter
  • Size 64,000 Grains
  • Paddlewheel system
Pros
  • It produces high-quality water by removing hardness up to 75 GMG.
  • It has easy to use digital meter than can be operated with only a few buttons
  • A very compact design that can be easily moved
Cons
  • Bypass valve needs improvement

9: Portable Water Softener Pro 16,000

Are you looking for 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

Portable Water Softener Pro 16,000 is designed as well as assembled in California.

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 unit and it is built from NSF Approved Components.

Not only this, if you install it in your home, but 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. It also provides 40% more soft water than any other standard unit in the market.

 Portable Water Softener: 

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.

Specification:

  • Item Weight is 34.4 pounds
  • No battery required
  • Dimensions : 10 x 10 x 20 inches
  • Compact space-saving design
Pros
  • The Portable Water Softener Pro 16,000 is both portable and durable.
  • Ideal for home and commercial use.
  • The Portable Water Softener Pro 16,000 comes fully built and ready for use.
Cons
  • Connecting it is a complicated process.

Related Posts.

How to Choose Best Water Softener – Ultimate Buying Guide:

Finding what is the best water softener can be quite a tedious task when you have improper knowledge. So it’s necessary to bombard yourself with the 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.

  • ASK YOURSELF: WHY DO YOU NEED IT?
  • WHICH TYPE OF WATER SOFTENER DO YOU NEED?
  • WHAT CAPACITY OF WATER SOFTENER YOU WILL REQUIRE?
  • LOOK FOR SAFETY CERTIFICATIONS
  • YOUR BUDGET!

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.

How does Water Softener Work?

STEP 1: ASK YOURSELF: WHY DO YOU NEED IT?

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 water softener is your ultimate need. You should definitely buy the best. 

You can also get an idea of your water 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.

STEP 2: WHICH TYPE OF WATER SOFTENER DO YOU NEED?

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

Let me tell you; there are a few different types of water softener available in the markets. These are purely categorized based on their mechanism of action. They Differ in the working method for Water softening. 

Let’s have a look!

Salt-based ion exchange system: 

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

Working:

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

This water has to be flushed away into the 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 the metal particles and contaminants from your water with the help of the resin bead.

The water from your main water supply line enters into the 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 their work. Frankly speaking, they are not the true water 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, 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.

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

Working:

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

Working: 

There 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 the other tank will be functional to provide soft water

This type is ideal for industrial use, where you require 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 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.

STEP 3: WHAT CAPACITY OF WATER SOFTENER YOU WILL REQUIRE?

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

STEP 4: LOOK FOR SAFETY CERTIFICATIONS

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

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

STEP 5: YOUR BUDGET!

Now comes to the another most important point that is your pocket. There are multitudes of water softeners available in the market which can fit into the pocket of any person. You will also get some costly water softener systems, and at the same time, you will get some cheap system 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.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1) 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

2) Will a water softener makes water safe to drink?

Yes, to some extent. Water softeners remove hard compounds from the water, but they don’t promise to remove bacteria and different pathogens from the water. For this, you will need to have a water softener that has a water filtration plant too.

3) Why is salt added in the water softeners?

Salt is necessary for the proper functioning of salt-based water softeners.
Salt ions attract the calcium and magnesium compounds in the water and then dispose of them on the resin beads.

4) Does the salt enter into the water?

Yes, after softening, you will feel a bit of salty taste in your soft water. This is because of the trade of salt and mineral ions in the resin beads.

5) Are water softeners noisy?

Not at all, they make very little noise. The only sound you hear is of the water movement. That’s it.

Final Verdict:

Hard water is just water that can only make your job done, but if you want to get your job done efficiently and effectively, then you should use soft water. Water softening plants are the best option to convert hard water into a soft one. You will be surprised to see the fantastic result of these water softeners.

Thus, We recommend Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener is the best water softener system for you. We hope that by now, you must have chosen one appropriate water softener for your household according to consumer reports. Trust me! If you love your family, install a water softener in your house. I bet you, and they will appreciate your decision.

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