Many people do not understand the purpose of water softeners and what they offer. There are multiple benefits that come with having a water softener, including healthier drinking water. Water softeners are machines that use a process called ion exchange to remove hardening minerals in the water like calcium and magnesium.
By removing hardening minerals like calcium and magnesium, water softeners change the quality of your water. Households with hard water can benefit a lot from having water softeners because hard water can cause plumbing issues.
Aside from this, installing the best water softener in your home can help with keeping your clothes soft. The properties of soft waters let you maintain your clothes’ quality because it contains fewer minerals compared to hard water.
If you are thinking of buying a water softener, you may find that there are multiple options online. This article will review the best water softeners and list their features to help you choose which water softener is right for your home.
Best Water Softeners:
- Springwell FutureSoft Salt-Free Water Softener
- SoftPro Elite High-Efficiency City Water Softeners
- Springwell Salt-Based Water Softener System
- Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener System
- Pelican Advantage Series Saltwater Softeners
Why Do You Need A Water Softener?
People who have hard water in their homes can benefit from having water softeners. Hard water contains hardening minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can cause a change of taste and smell in your water.
Below are some of the benefits you can get from having a Water Softener:
Protect Your Water Pipes
Hard water contains hardening minerals like calcium and magnesium. These minerals can cause a buildup on your water pipes and clog them. On the other hand, soft water does not contain hardening minerals that may clog up your water pipes.
Better Bath Quality
If you have hard water in your household, you may notice that your soap does not lather. The reasoning to this is that hard water contains minerals that prevent the soap from dissolving while soft water does not include these minerals.
Maintain the Quality of Your Clothes
Another benefit of having soft water is maintaining the quality of your clothes. The minerals in your hard water can cause the colors in your clothes to fade. Soft water ensures that the quality of your clothes are maintained for a longer period of time.
Having soft water can also help you clean faster. Cleaning products and soaps dissolve quicker with soft water which help you clean faster. Eliminating the hardening minerals in hard water can also prevent further scale buildup in your household.
Maintain Your Appliances
Soft water can help maintain your appliances. Having soft water prevents scale or flaking on your appliances. Grime and flaking on your appliances can make them inefficient and lower their lifespan.
5 Best Water Softener [Full Reviews]
If you would like to install water softeners in your household but do not know where to start looking, below are the five best water softeners online that you can look into for your home. We will also provide you with the features each water softener has.
If you prefer a water softener that does consist of salt, the FutureSoft Salt-Free Water Softener is perfectly suitable for you and your household. This water softener uses a process called Template Assisted Crystallization.
This process does not use the traditional sodium-based system to remove the hardness minerals in your water. Instead, FutureSoft changes the hardening minerals into minerals that would not cause decay or buildup on your appliances. The water softener also saves you the effort of filling up the water tank with salt and cleaning them because of salt buildup.
The innovative system of FutureSoft also lets you retain the minerals in your water that are necessary for your health without sacrificing the life of your appliances. Because this water softener does not use a salt-based system, it does not produce any water waste.
The FutureSoft Salt-Free Water Softener also helps people who live in older homes to reverse the damage of corrosion. Your old water pipes will begin to clean and improve the efficiency of your water line. This process can take up to 90 days to complete.
Features and Benefits
- Does not use salt and sodium in your water.
- Reverse corrosion damage on your appliances.
- Prevents further mineral buildup on your appliances.
- It does not produce any water waste.
- You do not need electricity to operate the water softener.
- You never need to replace your water softener.
- FutureSoft Water Softener protects your pipes from corrosion and prevents the need for plumbing or fixes.
- This water softener does not cause a drop in your water pressure.
- Does not use a salt-based process.
- This water softener does not create water waste.
- FutureSoft does not produce water with sodium content.
- It can reverse the damage of corrosion to your appliances.
- This water softener converts the hard minerals in your water into non-stick minerals to prevent mineral buildup.
- This water softener does not cause a drop in your water pressure compared to other traditional water softeners.
- You do not need to replace your water softener.
- There is no need to fill up your water tank with salt.
- This water softener protects your water pipes from corrosion.
- Hard minerals like calcium and magnesium are still present but just converted into minerals that do not cause corrosion to your appliances or plumbing.
- The water softener does not exactly soften your water. Instead, it conditions it, which doesn’t change the water quality.
- If you are looking to buy a water softener for improved taste, a salt-free water softener may not alter your water taste.
FutureSoft Salt-Free Water System uses an innovative water conditioning process called Template Assisted Crystallization. This process converts the hardening minerals like calcium into minerals that do not cause corrosion and scale.
If you are living in an older house and have old pipes and a corroding water line, FutureSoft can help clean your water pipe and improve its efficiency. This water softener not only prevent corrosion but also reverses the damage of corrosion from your water pipes.
However, FutureSoft may not alter the taste of your water a lot because it does not produce sodium. Instead, your water will maintain its minerals, which are also nutritious to your body. This water softener does not cause any drop in your water pressure either.
FutureSoft does not use salt, which allows people who have a low-sodium diet to have soft water without excess sodium. Aside from this, the water softener does not produce any water waste and does not require replacement.
SoftPro Elite High-Efficiency City Water Softener uses smart design to a new level. This water softener uses an Upflow system that drives hardening minerals like calcium up through the resin, which lessens resin waste and improves efficiency.
Using an Upflow regeneration system lets you replace only the depleted resin. Aside from this, the system also performs a short regeneration if the water in the upflow system drops to 3% until it can regenerate at the scheduled time.
The most distinct feature of this water softener is it does not consist of a lot of salt compared to other traditional water softeners. Using this water softener can reduce your water waste by up to 64% and salt waste by up to 75%.
SoftPro Elite also contains other smart design technology like Vacation Mode. If the water softener notices that there is no water use for seven days, it will automatically refresh to prevent bacteria growth.
Features and Benefits
- Uses an Upflow system to reduce salt and water waste.
- It contains a Vacation Mode feature that automatically refreshes the softener when there is no water usage for 7 days to prevent bacteria growth.
- This water softener saves water because it only needs backwashing after the 5th regeneration.
- There is no need to wait for the system to perform a full regeneration because the water softener will detect when capacity goes below 3% and perform a quick regeneration.
- Your soft water will last the entire day because SoftPro Elite’s soft water reserve will last for up to a day of usage.
- SoftPro Elite contains a self-charging capacitor that can keep your date and time up to date for at least two days.
- Save up to 64% water and 75% salt.
- Reduces water and salt waste by using an Upflow system.
- It only regenerates the depleted resin, reducing salt use.
- Has 110,000 grain capacity.
- You only need to add treated soft water to your brine tank.
- It uses a high-flow control valve.
- 6 months of a money-back guarantee.
- NSF, ANSI, IAPMO, and ISO-certified.
- It contains a soft-water quick regeneration feature to provide unlimited soft water use.
- It has a vacation mode feature that automatically refreshes your machine to prevent bacteria growth if there is no water use for 7 days.
- No need to refill your tank with salt often because it uses precise brining methods.
- You do not need to clean the bed for each regeneration. If you have clean water, you only need to do a full backwash after the 5th regeneration.
- The water softener has a self-charging capacitor that can keep your device up to date for up to 2 days.
- You need electricity to operate the water softener.
- Additional upgrade options like the carbon filter can be costly.
SoftPro Elite High-Efficiency water softener uses a smart design and innovative technology to bring efficiency to the next level. This water softener uses an upflow system that can help reduce salt and water waste.
The upflow system also reduces salt use, and this water softener reduces the need to fill up your tank with salt often. You can save up to 64% water and save up to 75% of salt if you install this water softener to your household.
SoftPro has multiple certifications that ensure its quality. It contains a high-flow control valve and 110,000-grain capacity. You also have additional upgrade options like carbon filters and advanced water alkalizer.
SoftPro Elite also contains a smart technology design that does a quick regeneration whenever your capacity runs lower than 3%. Aside from this, if the machine detects no water use for 7 days, it does an automatic refresh to prevent bacteria from growing inside.
The Salt-Based Water Softener System boasts a sleek design to improve the quality of your water. This water softener uses a traditional ion exchange process that uses salt to remove hardening minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Even though the Salt-Based Water Softener uses the traditional ion exchange process, the system it uses is more efficient. The resin inside the tank is washed with the brine, and the system automatically regenerates, removing the need to do it manually.
The Water softener also has a Bluetooth feature that lets you adjust your system’s cycles and regeneration. Aside from adjusting your settings, you also have a 5-cycle meter control that can help you save gallons of water per year.
Using the app for the water softener also lets you monitor your water usage. The Salt-Based Water Softener system does not cause a drop in water pressure, unlike other water softeners in the market. You can also upgrade your purchase and add add-ons like a UV purification system.
Features and Benefits
- Efficient ion exchange system that uses salt to improve water quality.
- This water softener does not change your water pressure or cause it to drop.
- The salt-based water softener has an automatic regeneration system that replenishes the resin in your tank.
- The water softener connects to Bluetooth, where you can monitor and change your softener’s settings directly using your phone.
- It has a 5-cycle meter control that is convenient and easy to use.
- You do not need to manually regenerate the system.
- Soft water provides healthier skin.
- It gives a comprehensive installation video for people who would like to install the unit themselves.
- It has a sleek, space-saving, and compact design.
- Save more money because of water usage monitoring in the water softener’s app.
- Easily regenerate or do a full backwash with a tap on your phone.
- Maintain your appliances and water pipes with soft water.
- They have a lifetime warranty on the tanks and valves of your unit.
- Get cleaner food and reduce cleaning time because of the soft water.
- Uses traditional ion exchange to improve the quality of your water.
- Provides the smooth taste of soft water.
- It helps maintain the quality of your appliances and pipes.
- Has a lifetime warranty on tanks and valves
- It uses certified materials.
- Buying directly from the manufacturing factory gives you more savings.
- Provides a six-month money-back guarantee.
- Easy and convenient to set up the Bluetooth feature.
- The Water Softener app lets users monitor and change their water softener settings directly using their mobile phones.
- The system has automatic regeneration to provide you with a constant soft water supply.
- Does not cause any drop or change in your water pressure.
- Has a 5-cycle meter control to save more water.
- People with a low sodium diet may have trouble with the additional sodium content in the water.
- You may need to refill the tank more often compared to other water softeners.
The Salt-Based Water Softener System uses the traditional ion exchange process to provide users with quality soft water. The unit comes with an innovative Bluetooth+ system that is easy and convenient to set up using a Bluetooth head.
Easily control and monitor your unit using the mobile application that comes with your unit. You can view and manage your valve settings directly using your mobile phone. Aside from this, the app also lets you control your backwash and regeneration cycles.
The Ion exchange systems used by the Salt-Based Water Softener are more efficient and produce less water and salt waste than other water softeners. The unit also includes an automatic regeneration system, so you do not have to wait for your soft water supply.
The Salt-Based Water Softener does not lower or change your water’s pressure and helps you save more water by giving you constant monitoring options. And lastly, the unit has a sleek and compact design made with certified materials.
The Fleck 5600SXT is a newly improved unit that surpasses its predecessor. The unit has a metered control design that is convenient to use daily. You can also increase the unit’s regeneration frequency depending on your water demand
Fleck 5600SXT also uses smart regeneration technology. The smart regeneration technology operates the unit only when you need it. This effect reduces salt use and the need to refill your tank often. The unit only has one part in the water stream, and everything is processed digitally.
This water softener unit also features advanced programming that gives you numerous modification options. The Fleck 5600SXT also has a bigger port that improves your water flow and prevents your water pressure from dropping.
You can easily monitor the process of your water treatment with the system diagnostic feature of the unit. This unit also contains a battery backup so you can enjoy your soft water without electricity for two days.
Features and Benefits
- Simple and convenient metered design.
- Contains smart regeneration features that only operates when the unit is needed, saving salt.
- Provides multiple control settings, including water flow and pressure.
- Monitor the process of your water treatment using the diagnostic feature in the unit.
- The Fleck 5600SXT has a bigger port that improves your water’s flow rate and prevents water pressure from dropping.
- If you have a power outage, the unit has a backup battery that can last you for two days.
- You only need to set up your unit once with no additional gears or dials included in the unit.
- The unit fully operates digitally and only uses one part in the entire water pipeline.
- The newly improved unit is more resistant to chlorine and has an increased lifespan.
- Simple and easy-to-understand metered design.
- Increases regeneration depending on water demand.
- Save on operational costs by using the day-override system feature of the unit.
- Maxim control over their settings and options.
- The unit uses a smart regeneration feature that only operates when water is on-demand, saving salt.
- It has a big port that improves your water flow and reduces water pressure drop.
- It lets you monitor your water treatment process digitally.
- Includes a battery backup in case of power outages.
- No additional set up of gears and dials.
- Everything operates digitally.
- It has an upgraded lifespan.
- It has a 6-month money-back guarantee.
- Has a 5 or 10-year warranty.
- It has a lower grain capacity of 64,000
- People with a low sodium diet may have trouble with the additional sodium content in the water.
The Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener uses a simple and easy-to-use metered system to provide its users with quality soft water. The unit utilizes a traditional sodium-based system to improve the quality of your water.
This water softener also includes smart regeneration features, which makes it operate only when you need it. This effect lets you save more salt and electricity. The unit uses digital systems to process your water and lets you monitor the treatment process using the diagnostic feature.
You can also have soft water even without electricity for two days because the unit has a backup battery in case of a power outage. The unit also contains advanced programming that lets you control your unit settings however you want.
Aside from this, the water softener also includes a big port that improves your water flow rate and prevents the reduction of water pressure. And lastly, the unit is also improved to withstand chlorine even after long periods.
People who would like to have high-capacity tanks can look into the Pelican Advantage Series. This water softener has a large tank size perfect for large families or high-water demand. The water softener also has a high resin capacity for continuous water supply.
This unit uses a metered head design that is easily customizable and programmable, depending on your preferences. This water softener unit also improves your water flow and includes a standard bypass and uses a chrome tank jacket.
The Pelican Advantage Series is heavy-duty and uses a solid microprocessor that lets users control their unit directly in the front panel. You can also choose to select one of the 36 already pre-programmed cycles that are integrated into the unit.
You only need to use treated water to refill your tank, and it also offers a double backwash feature to remove the dirt in your tank. This water softener unit also includes three modes of operation where a regeneration cycle will immediately start when water reaches zero.
Features and Benefits
- It contains a large tank and resin capacity, perfect for people who have high water demand.
- It uses a convenient meter design that lets users program their preferred settings.
- Improves your water flow rate.
- The unit includes a standard bypass.
- Has a meter immediate option where your unit will immediately regenerate when the water reaches zero.
- Has a meter delayed mode where you choose a preset time for when your unit can regenerate whether your tank is at zero or not.
- Also contains a double backwash feature.
- Large tank and resin capacity
- Convenient to use metered design
- Improves water flow rate
- Has a 7-year warranty for the metered head
- Double backwash feature
- Includes a standard bypass
- Metered Delay Mode
- Metered Immediate Mode
- Time Clock Delayed Mode
- Has 36 pre-programmed Modes
- May use more salt compared to other water softeners.
- May have higher operational costs.
The Pelican Advantage Series is a heavy-duty water softener with a large tank and resin capacity. This water softener is perfect for people who have high water demand in their households.
The water softener also includes a standard bypass and a double backwash feature that removes the dirt from your tank. The water softener also improves your water flow so you can have consistent soft water on demand.
The Pelican Advantage Series contains multiple programmable options according to your preference. There are 36 pre-programmed selections you can choose from. You can also choose when your unit will begin its regeneration process.
Lastly, the unit uses heavy-duty materials that will last for a long time. However, depending on your water use, you may need to refill your tank often, and your unit will only start its regeneration process when your tank becomes zero.
Types of Water Softener?
There are six types of water softeners, and each type works differently.
Below are the types of water softeners and how they change the quality of your water:
● Traditional Salt-Based Water Softeners
The most common and traditional way of changing the quality of your water is using salt. Salt-based water softeners work by using resin to attract the hardening materials like calcium and magnesium.
After attracting the hardening materials, your water softener will replace them with minerals like sodium to improve their quality and taste. This process is called ion exchange. However, traditional salt-based water softeners need maintenance often.
● Salt-Free Water Softeners
People who cannot have excessive sodium in their diet can opt for a salt-free water softener. These water softeners use a conditioning method that prevents hardening materials from sticking on surfaces.
However, this type of water softener does not exactly remove all of the hardening materials in your water and may not change your water quality. Salt-free water softeners do not need any maintenance, and some do not generate electricity to operate.
● Compact Water Softener
If you are a traveler or on the road often, a compact water softener may be more suitable for you. Portable and compact water softeners let users have soft water even when they are on the road.
These water softeners do not need constant regeneration compared to the traditional system. Most compact water softeners use the traditional ion exchange process, but they may not be suitable for users with high water demand.
Water softeners can also come in a showerhead form. It is more convenient for people who would like to benefit from it in terms of their skin. Instead of installing a whole water softener unit for your entire home, it can be accessible simply through a showerhead.
This option is more affordable compared to other water softener systems, and you do not need to pay extra for plumbing because they are easy to install. The only downside is that you can only have soft water in the shower and not for your entire household.
● Reverse Osmosis Systems
You may have heard of Reverse Osmosis Systems when looking to buy water softeners or filters. While both reverse osmosis systems and water softeners remove the hardening minerals in your water, Reverse Osmosis Systems re-introduces healthy minerals in your water as well.
Reverse Osmosis Systems make your water healthier to drink. However, they typically require you to have soft water only on your tap. These systems can also be expensive to buy upfront.
● Water Softeners That Use Magnets
The concept of using magnets to change the quality of your water is pretty new. However, this type of water softener does not exactly change the quality of your water. Instead, just like salt-free water softeners, they change the hardening minerals and prevent them from sticking on surfaces.
This water softener alternative is easy to install and more affordable compared to traditional water softener systems. However, just like salt-free water softeners, it does not remove the hardening materials in your water, and it also requires electricity to operate.
How to Choose Your Water Softener?
There are multiple types of water softeners available online. With many options to choose from, it can be hard to find the perfect one for you.
Below are some of the features you can look out for when buying the perfect water softener for your household:
● Grain Count
Depending on the hardness of your water, you may need a higher grain count. A grain means the hardness of a gallon of water. The grain count measures the presence of hardening materials like calcium and magnesium.
You need to check the level of hardness your water contains to understand which water softener is perfect for you. You can do this by multiplying the number of people you have in your household by eighty and then multiply it by the number of grains you have in your water.
The answer to this calculation is the maximum grain capacity your water softener should have. A bigger household may require a higher grain count capacity water softener. While a water softener with lower grain capacity is more affordable, it may not be enough for your household needs.
● High Flow Valve
Great water softeners offer a high-flow valve. This feature is important if you have a high-water demand. Not having a high flow rate could mean that you would not have a constant water supply for everyone in your household.
Keep in mind that some of the water softeners in your market can also lower your water pressure. Look out for water softeners that have a high flow valve, so you do not need to worry about your water pressure dropping.
● Gets Rid of Iron
Iron is another component found in water that causes corrosion and speeds up the process of rust. High iron content in your water can reduce the lifespan of your appliances. Find a water softener that removes iron to maintain the lifespan of your appliances and pipes.
Iron in your water can also change its taste and color. You will notice a distinct odor in your water if it contains iron. This effect can cause your water to taste unpleasant. You can test the amount of iron in your water by using a testing kit.
● Operational Costs
Another factor you have to consider when buying water softeners is the operational cost. Having to refill your tank with salt often or high electricity use can add to your overall household bill.
To avoid this, you can try to find water softener alternatives that do not use electricity. Most water softeners also use an energy-saving system. Having smart regeneration features saves salt and water consumption in the long run. You can also find water softeners that only operate when you need them to save more energy.
How to Install Your Water Softener?
Depending on the type of water softener you bought and the skills you have when it comes to plumbing, you may need to hire additional help from a professional plumber. You can also find informational videos online if you would like to install the water softener yourself.
What You Need (Typical Salt-Based Water Softener):
- 2 One-inch NPT female connector
- Tubing for connecting your water softener and water pipe
- Drain Tubing
- Teflon Tape
- Tape Measure
- Pipe Cutter
- Power Cord and Outlet
Areas to Install Water Softeners
Depending on your house and space, you can install your water softener in different places. Placing your water softener also highly depends on the softener you have.
- Basement Installation
- The earliest water entry point of your household
- Slab Foundation
Keep in mind that to use a water softener for all of your water supply, you need to install them before your water heater. Placing the water softener before your water heater also prevents it from being damaged by hot water.
Lastly, feeding soft water on your water heater lets you control your water temperature throughout the house. You also need to keep in mind the amount of power your water softener needs.
- Before starting the installation, you need to turn off your household’s water supply in the mainline.
- Turn off your water heater and all the power that leads to your water heater.
- Using a pipe cutter, cut into the mainline.
- Install your elbow fit into the mainline.
- Measure the number of pipes you need from the mainline to the water softener.
- Use compression fitting to attach the pipes to the unit.
- Locate where you want to drain the unit and clamp the hose into the unit.
- Switch the valve to bypass and get rid of any dirt in the water.
- Turn on the unit and let it backwash to clean out the tank, and you can start using your water softener system.
Keep in mind to follow your manufacturer’s instructions, and if you do not have a lot of experience in plumbing, it is better to hire professional help.
Another factor to be aware of is if you are using a well. Well water typically contains more hardening minerals like magnesium and calcium, so you need to install a salt-based system for that.
There are multiple benefits to having a water softener. If you have hard water in your household, it can cause your appliances to corrode and rust. Hard water reduces the lifespan of your appliances and water pipes, leading to more repair.
Soft water, on the other hand, has better taste and reverses the damage of corrosion in your appliances. Find a water softener that is right for your household by calculating the maximum grain count you need.
Another factor to consider is the efficiency and features of the Water Softener. Great water softeners can help you save more water and salt by having smart regeneration features. If you have experience with plumbing, you can also install the system by yourself simply by following your manufacturer’s instructions.