Best Water Softeners Reviews & Buyer Guide 2021

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 build up 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 buying right now.

Top 3 Best Water Softeners reviews 2021

In this list, each product has its outstanding advantages, in terms of price, quality, durability, and efficiency.

Not only can you get to know some top models in the market, but you will also understand how to choose a suitable system for your situation.

1Iron 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 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 grain, the Iron Pro 2 Combination is one of the largest models from 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
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2Fleck 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 icon exchange process, making 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 an 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.

The addition of a bypass valve is helpful to make the maintenance much more manageable. The plastic cone is also useful to reduce the risk of resin entering your house as you use the system.

This softener also has an automatic regeneration mechanism, which is essential if you want to use it for a long time. The regeneration will happen when the system has used a certain level of water or run after a certain period.

You can control it through the touchpad. The durability is impressive since you can rely on the resin for more than five years.


  • 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 safe float and paddle wheel so you won’t have to buy them independently
  • 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
Buy on Amazon

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3Tier1 Essential Series Digital Water Softener


The 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 black and blue model, this gets a quality build that can last for months.

Here’s why:

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 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 digital meter color valve that’s ideal for changing water’s flow rate and pressure.

From our analysis, the biggest problem we’ve seen with the design is that it doesn’t feature 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’s 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
Buy on Amazon

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Best Water Softeners

2 Easy Steps To Choose The Best Water Softener

With all the above factors considered, here is a comprehensive guide to help you make the best decision when choosing water softeners:

Step 1: Know the Hardness Level

You can use soap to check your hard water. Pour several drops into a bottle of pure water and shake it fast. After 15 seconds, check the amount of foam and bubbles in the bottle.

Then, replace the pure water with your tap water. This time, if the amount of foam is still the same as pure water, then you are using soft water. If more soap is needed to have a similar amount of foam, it is hard water.

Besides, a less complicated way is to bring your water to check at a professional laboratory. You will get specific information about the hardness level of the water.

Step 2: Determine The Grain Capacity

The average use of your family will affect the size you need. If you get something not suitable for large families, you may suffer from a lack of soft water when necessary.

Typically, a family of 4 people will use more or less than 2,000 liters daily. So, they may need a water softener of 15,000 – 60,000 grains.

What Else to Consider about Water Softener?

Once you understand different types of water softeners, you are ready to start looking for the best water softener for your family.

Facing thousands of options on the market, you will need to know how to get one.

Here are several essential factors that you have to consider when choosing water softeners.


One of the fundamental factors is the resin capacity. You can know your demand by calculating the average amount of water you use daily.

It is also affected by how large your family is, higher throughput means that your softener will need fewer regeneration times.

Typically, the lowest capacity is 16,000l, and you get several units that come up to 96,000l.


It is essential to think about the available space in your house when you choose a water softener. Otherwise, you may end up struggling with a massive machine in a small area.

Some dual tank systems go with a big brine tank, and you will need to allocate a big area for them. To make sure that it is a wise investment, you can ask the manufacturer for the dimensions before purchasing. Or you may do it on the Internet.

Bypass Valve

The bypass valve is another vital factor you need to pay attention to. The primary purpose of it is to enable water to bypass the softener.

For example, when you want to fill a pool, soft water may be unnecessary, so the valve is very helpful. The valve needs to be easily found and operated, not causing any difficulty for even beginners.

Fleck is a brand that has done very well in terms of the bypass valve. It provides water softeners with the most reliable valves that are simple to use as well.

Regeneration Setting

Regeneration setting can have significant impacts on your use of water softeners. You need to choose between a metered or timed water softener.

The metered system allows the resin to regenerate when you have used a certain level of water. The number is up to you. Meanwhile, the timed system repeats the automatic regeneration process after several days.

The disadvantage of this type is that when the amount of water used exceeds the previously planned amount, you will possibly suffer from a lack of soft water.

Besides, if you are away for a long time, the timed softener still regenerates, leading to wasted water and salt.

Installation and Maintenance Price

Low costs for both installation and maintenance are something which all of us want. You can save your budget by researching and asking professionals for advice before going into the market.

Make sure that you get a softener with minimal maintenance costs, even though its price may be a little bit higher. A low-quality product which requires maintenance too often only makes you broke in the long term.


The price of a water softener can range from $500 to $2,500.

Even though having the same capacity, the cost of a salt-based softener is often higher, especially when you have to consider its maintenance costs. But it is a worthy investment if you are struggling with high hardness water.

In case you have a tight budget and the problem is not so serious in your area, getting a descaler is a great idea. Last but not least, check other factors, such as certifications or automatic features, to make sure that you are getting a satisfying product.

Salt-Free Water Softeners Reviews

The Bottom Line

So, you have finished reading our reviews on the best water softeners on the market. Have you made your own decisions?

Overall, most softeners have their specific advantages and disadvantages. You ought to consider them carefully before making the decision.

Remember that it will affect you and your family every day.

If you find this post is useful, do not hesitate to share it with those who seek for the best water softeners but can not make a choice yet.

Best twin tank water softener.