In a world where pure water is hard to find, drinking quality at just the right taste and stepping up your level of hygiene can almost be a pipedream.
And although we commend the effort water treatment plants make in making water as clean as possible, their technologies aren’t yet to the standards that can remove harmful minerals and toxins while improving the taste and quality of water.
Fortunately, you can soften water right from the comfort of your home without losing its taste or quality. All you need is the best water softener and you’re good to get started.
With the right model, you can remove calcium, magnesium, and iron buildup that form chalky films on dishes, deposits on faucets, and dryness on skin and hair.
Having examined up to a dozen options currently in the market, and put them to real-world testing, the options below are worth the investtment.
Best Water Softener Reviews
1. Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Filter
Iron Pro 2 Combination is a powerful water filter for large families and those who get their water from a well.
Beyond the robust design that stands up to weather elements for the longest time, the Abundant Flow Water Systems builds this for exceptional performance and the best results possible.
Primarily, you’ll love the Iron Pro 2 Combination because it takes mineral-packed water, softens it, and then deliver it in its purest form for consumption without altering taste and quality.
From a design standpoint, the brand has no doubt given this water filter the right touchup. Even the inclusion of a bypass valve goes a long way to make the model easy to maintain. And as you use the system, the plastic cone will reduce the risk of resin entering your house.
With a maximum capacity of 80,000 grains, the Iron Pro 2 Combination is one of the largest models of the brand. Given such a sizeable grain capacity, and its efficiency in removing iron, calcium, and magnesium from water, the unit is ideal for a family of up to 8 people.
What’s more? It’s quite effective in removing toxins such as sulfur, sediment, and rust from the water.
To make the device even more performance efficient, the brand includes an automatic regeneration mechanism, which is a handy feature that you can use if you intend to run the system for an extended period.
Quite too often, the regeneration will take place whenever the unit hit a certain water level, or if set to run for a certain period. While the Iron Pro 2 Combination is effective in softening water, it may not work well if the water contains too much iron.
If that’s the case, you may need another pre-filter for the water softening process to be effective.
- Effective in removing minerals and sediment from water
- Includes a bypass valve for easy system maintenance
- Largest grain capacity at a reasonable price point
- Needs a pre-filter to remove a higher level of iron
- The user manual is difficult to read
2. Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener with Brine Tank
Even if you come from an area where water isn’t super hard, the benefits of a water softener make the device worth the investment.
So if you’re ready to bring a model home and you need one that can last and perform well, you may want to consider the Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener with Brine Tank.
From a user’s perspective, Fleck 5600SXT saves on salt and water. If you’re the kind of person that doesn’t need additional sodium in drinking water, and you prefer to use potassium instead, this one should work well for you.
After softening, and possibly filtration depending on your preference, the soft water looks clean and tastes better than that softened with salt.
The model uses a metered control valve to remove magnesium and calcium during an ion exchange process, making the water soft and ready to use. And given that it functions based on a meter-based regeneration process, the model will only regenerate if necessary.
Fleck 5600SXT includes a safety float that guards against overfilling. And the integrated overflow drain prevents any possible water mess, saving on potassium, salt, and water.
Fleck 5600SXT is easy to install and the process takes roughly two hours give or take. Only remember that you have to fill the brine tank with water before the initial recharge.
While the resin of this water softener comes already pre-charged, installing it can be somewhat a hassle. Again, you can’t fill the brine tank with potassium.
The element doesn’t dissolve well as initially expected and tends to form a solid mass at the very bottom of the tank.
Assuming you’ve already run into this problem after initial use, a simple solution is to use a relevant tool to break up the solid mass and then re-charge the unit until the solid fully dissolves.
- Includes a New Pentair Scan and Service App that gives you all the water softening details of the machine
- Comes with additional parts such as a safe float and paddle wheel so you won’t have to buy them independently
- A decent capacity that suits a medium family very well
- Low salt alert makes a lot of noise
- You must have basic plumbing skills to configure, otherwise hire the service of a plumber
3. Tier1 Essential Series Digital Water Softener
Tier1 isn’t such a popular brand in the water softening and filtration market yet. But their Essential Series Digital Water Softener is no doubt a promising deal. Available in a black and blue model, this gets a quality build that can last for months.
Water full of magnesium and calcium phosphate is damn so hard that it easily reduces the cleaning power of solid and liquid detergents. And the hard water combined with the soap isn’t going to be easy only on your skin, especially if you itch from time to time.
The brand gets the design of this water softener just right. First, the structure itself is compact and therefore ideal if you’re limited on pace.
The brine tank has just the right size to hold at most 5 salt packs. Included in the design is an LCD screen with a digital meter color valve that’s ideal for changing water’s flow rate and pressure.
See also: Do I just pour salt in my water softener?
From our analysis, the biggest problem we’ve seen with the design is that it doesn’t feature a waterproofing element. As such, you can’t install it outside or in an area with cold temperature, as doing so would ruin the performance of the device.
With Tier1 Essential Series Digital Water Softener, you can soften the hard water in minutes and end up with water that you can easily consume.
So whether you want to give your hair a special treat or you have sensitive skin that hard water shouldn’t touch, use this water softener for a good treat.
Tier1 has a capacity of 48,000 grains for both the black and white model. So the amount of hard water that it can filter before it regenerates should be enough for small and medium families.
- A compact design that takes up less space
- You have full control over the softener’s regeneration cycle
- Efficient and suitable for small and medium-sized families
- It doesn’t feature a waterproof structure
How Do Water Softeners Work?
While water softeners feature different builds and varying features, their working mechanism isn’t different at all. Some models are built to neutralize the unwanted minerals from the water.
This makes it difficult for minerals such as iron and magnesium to bind together and dissolve in water. Others work by drawing the minerals from the water through the ion exchange mechanism.