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9 Best Water Softener Reviews 2019: Whole House Water Systems for Home

    Hard water is a widespread problem in our country. Apart from unsightly stains on glasses, cutlery and fixtures, calcium and other minerals can leave deposits in your plumbing system as well as household appliances and cause major leaks if the accumulation keeps on building.

    While this is not a health issue, water hardness can be particularly frustrating and installing a high-quality water softening system is the best and oftentimes only solution.

    How to find the best water softener? Well, you came to the right place!

    On This Page You Will…

    Our Reviews of the Best Water Softeners – Top Rated System Picks

    Choosing a Water Softener that Fits Your Needs Best – A Brief Buying Guide

    Skip Straight to Reviews!

    With so many options to choose from it can be quite challenging to pick a water softener that really fits your needs.

    So before we dive into our water softener reviews, this brief buying guide shall help you make a decision.

    stony path to best water softener

    Water Softening Method

    When people talk about residential water softeners they usually mean traditional salt-based softening systems that rely on a process called “ion exchange” to replace hardness minerals (mainly calcium and magnesium) in water with sodium or potassium.

    If you are on a tight budget or worried about the extra salt dose, especially if you are on a low-sodium diet, you might want to consider a salt-free water softener a.k.a. water conditioner.

    These devices apply different technologies such as chelation or magnetism to alter the adhesive nature of the hard water ions and thus prevent scaling. However, most if not all of them will not actually remove any hardness minerals from your water.

    All in all, ion exchange water softening systems are considered the industry standard and the preferred choice for the majority of home owners due to their unmatched performance. Saltless water conditioners are often better than nothing but nowhere near as effective.

    Cost

    How much a water softener costs depends on its type, size, brand and features.

    Simply put, you can spend anywhere between $350 to $3,500 USD (and more). The price for a standard ion exchanger ranges from $350 to $1,000 USD. Water conditioners are usually a bit cheaper.

    And don’t forget that you have to add another $200 to $500 USD for the installation and also take into account running costs (salt, water, sewer, etc.).

    water softener salt bright

    We know, this sounds like a lot right now, but remember that a water softener that functions properly will pay for itself down the road – when in 10 or 15 years your water heater and plumbing system are still in great condition.

    Water Softening Capacity

    Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon (gpg). If your water reads 10 gpg and your family uses 400 gallons of water per day on average, then your new water softener would have to remove 10 x 400 = 4,000 hardness grains each day.

    But after hours of operation a salt-based water softening system needs to regenerate. This involves washing out and draining away all the hard water minerals that have accumulated in the resin tank.

    Now, the number of hardness grains that an ion exchange water softener can remove between two regeneration cycles equals its capacity. Depending on what system size you choose, capacities can range from 8,000 all the way up to 80,000 grains and even higher if necessary.

    If, for example, you want to limit regeneration to one cycle per week which is considered the optimum, your hypothetical water softener has to have a minimum capacity of 7 x 4,000 = 28,000 grains (assuming that there’s no iron or manganese in your water).

    In other words: You need to buy a large enough system that’s capable of handling your water hardness level and water consumption. But don’t go over the top, because bigger means more expensive.

    As a general rule, the lower the capacity, the more often a water softener has to regenerate and the lower its salt efficiency.

    Water Flow Rate

    Water flow is measured in gallons per minute (gpm) and determines how many soft water outlets you can use at the same time without losing water pressure.

    Obviously, if you live in a larger household you want to buy a water softener with a higher water flow rate (trust us, a trickle of a shower is the last thing you want).

    A low water flow rate can also cause hard water to bleed through the system at times of peak usage.

    Typical Water Use of Modern Outlets

    • Faucets: 1.0 gpm
    • Toilet: 3.0 gpf (gallons per flush)
    • Shower: 2.0 – 2.5 gpm
    • Dishwasher: 6.0 – 16.0 gpl (gallons per load)
    • Washing Machine: 25.0 gpl (gallons per load)

    For medium to large families with 2 or more bathrooms we recommend a minimum flow rate of 12 gallons per minute. Single households shouldn’t go below 7 gpm.

    flow rate

    Water Softener Regeneration

    There are basically three different methods for how a water softener can regenerate:

    • Metered – Metered a.k.a. demand-initiated regeneration is what digital systems use to trigger their regen process based on previous water output. This is the most cost and environmental-friendly method, since no more salt and water is being used than is absolutely necessary. Just to clarify: You do want metered regeneration!
    • Timed – Timer-based regeneration means that you set a specific regeneration time yourself – ideally at night when no one is awake. The system will then backwash, recharge and rinse at specific time intervals, always using the same amount of salt and water regardless of your prior water consumption. Thus, if you use more water than usual you might run out of soft water prematurely. Using less means wasting salt and water.
    • Manual – Manual regeneration is inconvenient and therefore only common with portable units. You have to add salt directly into the media tank and give it time to displace the hard water minerals sticking to the resin.

    Certifications

    Look out for NSF/ANSI certifications that substantiate a manufacturer’s performance claims.

    Standard 44 was established for cation exchange water softeners and covers things like:

    • Material safety
    • Structural integrity
    • Salt efficiency (system must remove a minimum of 3,350 hardness grains per pound of salt)
    • Water efficiency (system must waste no more than 5 gallons of regenerant water per 1,000 grains of hardness removed)
    • Reduction of water hardness

    Basically, a Standard 44 certification gives you peace of mind that your system is quality and safe. Another certification to look out for is the WQA Gold Seal.

    Seller + Warranty

    First of all, buying online gives you the largest selection of products and at the best prices.

    However, if you prefer to buy locally make sure to get quotes from more than one company for comparison.

    In addition, beware of sellers trying to pressure you into making a rushed decision. You want someone reputable and accredited with good customer feedback. Local water treatment professionals should also know what the water is like in your area and be able to tell you what works and what doesn’t.

    Lastly, pay attention to warranties – some companies provide separate warranties for different system components – and other after-sale services. A money-back guarantee wouldn’t hurt either, but not every seller is going to offer you one.

    Municipal Regulations

    Check if your local authority has banned the use of salt-based water softeners.

    Other Considerations

    • A digital control head allows for simplified configuration, monitoring and troubleshooting.
    • A built-in bypass saves you from the hassle of having to installing one.
    • A unit that is easy to service is likely to last longer – think components that are easy to access and take apart.
    • If you have the space choose separated over combined resin/brine tanks.
    • Look out for proven concepts, so products that have been around for a few years to rule out potential bugs. But don’t go too old or you might end up with prehistoric technology.
    • Last but not least, universal rather than proprietary components are better for finding replacements parts.

    Best Water Softener System Reviews (for Well Water) 2019

    banner price range $300-$600 brand comparison

    Best Water Softeners from $300 to $600

    In the $300 to $600 price range, we found some really powerful water softening systems. While the sub $300 division is dominated by salt-free water conditioners, salt-based ion exchangers are more common here. Some are designed to be portable, others come combined with filtering capabilities.

    In rare cases, salt water softeners in this price range lack the capacity to handle the water demand of larger families and very high levels of water hardness. So, if you live in a household with 7 or more people, you might want to jump to the next section where we review systems with even higher capacities.

    1. Fleck 5600SXT – Best Whole House Water Softener

    Fleck 5600 SXT Hard Water Softener

    Fleck 5600SXT - Best Whole House Water Softener

    •    Price: $$
    •    Water Tech: Ion Exchanger
    •    Water Flow Rate: 12 gpm
    •    Capacity: 48,000 Grains
    •    Bypass Valve:
    •    Metered Regen:

    Let’s kick off our water softener reviews with the Fleck 5600SXT!

    What We Like

    The Fleck 5600SXT – Made in USA – is the first proper whole-house ion exchange water softener we came across in our reviews. It is the perfect choice for small to medium sized homes (2 to 6 people). The softener has a 12 gpm flow rate and can handle medium to very hard water.

    Configuring and monitoring the Fleck is a breeze thanks to the user-friendly head unit that is fully digital. The system also comes with metered regeneration. This means that regeneration automatically kicks in as soon as a certain amount of water has passed through the valve. This prevents salt + water wastage and ensures that you have a supply of softened water basically all the time.

    What about installation? As with most water softeners, you don’t have to call in a plumber, but don’t expect it to be easy. The entire process could take a couple of hours. Fortunately, instructions are clear and only basic plumbing skills are required.

    And don’t hesitate to contact customer service. The folks there are knowledgeable and eager to help. Another option is to check out one of the useful installation videos on YouTube when you are stuck.

    If the dozens of positive customer reviews are anything to go by, this is the best whole house water softener on Amazon.

    By the way, the Fleck brand is owned by the company Pentair.

    More features:

    • Can be used for iron water treatment with a maximum clear-water iron (ferrous) concentration of 2 ppm; red-water iron (ferric) won’t be affected
    • 4 modes of regeneration (immediate, delayed meter, delayed time, or day of week)
    • Double backwash (optional) for water that’s extremely hard or has high iron content

    What We Don’t Like

    For one, a few parts are cheaply made. We would have preferred stainless steel over plastic.

    We also would have preferred an acoustic alarm over the warning light that flashes when the water softener runs low on salt. This is not that big of a problem, though. The average family should be fine checking the salt level every other month.

    Furthermore, some customers received no instruction booklet with their shipment.

    Our Verdict

    As we mentioned at the beginning of this section, very large households (7 people and more) may want to go for a system with an even higher softening capacity. For small and mid-sized homes, we highly recommend the Fleck 5600SXT as your best option for countering medium to high levels of water hardness. 5 stars!

    2. Aquios AQFS220 Full House Water Softener + Water Filter

    Aquios AQFS220 Water Softener

    Aquios AQFS220 Full House Water Conditioner + Filter

    •    Price: $$
    •    Water Tech: Salt-Free
    •    Water Flow Rate: 12 gpm
    •    Capacity: 40,000 gal
    •    Bypass Valve:

    What We Like

    This is a salt-free water softener – a big advantage for those who don’t want any sodium added to their water. Instead, the Aquios AQFS220 uses an FDA-approved polyphosphate to change the properties of hard water minerals to prevent scaling. Maximum water hardness level: 22 (30) grains per gallon.

    How does the additive work? It’s supposed to keep the calcium and magnesium suspended in the water and, according to Aquios, also dissolve scale deposits that may have accumulated in your home’s water system over the years.

    Choosing a salt-free water conditioner has multiple benefits, such as:

    • No more lifting of heavy salt bags
    • You will never run out of conditioned water
    • No water is wasted for backflushing
    • No slimy feel on your skin that “properly” softened water often leaves
    • Salt-free is more eco-friendly
    • The water is healthier to drink

    That being said, with a theoretical water flow rate of 12 to 15 gallons per minute the Aquios works great for small to large homes. Your family can easily draw water from multiple faucets and shower simultaneously without losing pressure (more on this below).

    The unit is also fairly easy to install – even for those who do not consider themselves gifted do-it-yourselfers. The whole setup shouldn’t take more than 2 hours.

    As far as maintenance is concerned, all you have to do is replace the softening/filtering cartridge once it has reached its capacity. Easy!

    Speaking of filtration, we also like the fact that the AQFS220 combines descaling with carbon filtration to remove chlorine (NSF Standard 42 certified) and other impurities like sediment for improved water taste.

    Did we mention that this water conditioner is covered by a limited 20-year warranty?

    What We Don’t Like

    Unfortunately, we were not able to find any lab report or certification to verify the claimed anti-scaling effects. What we know is that the polyphosphate additive is most effective at a water pH-range from 8 to 10. This might explain why some users do not see any softening benefit. Generally speaking, a traditional salt-based water softener is more effective.

    Above that, using the Aquios AQFS220 many customers saw a significant drop in water pressure and flow rate after about one month – due to filter clogging. Thus, cartridges have to be replaced much more frequently which is inconvenient and adds to the cost.

    And finally, a handful of reviewers complained about leakages and bad support.

    Our Verdict

    All in all, the Aquios AQFS220 does its job for the price, IF all water conditions and requirements are met. In this case, it’s a good option though a tad expensive. For comparison, the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler which we reviewed further down the page costs much less.

    However, taking into account that the Aquios also functions as a carbon water filter, the price-performance ratio appears somewhat more reasonable.

    Just remember that a salt-free water conditioner is not as effective as a good old salt-based system. 3.5 stars!

    3. On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable Water Softener

    On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable Portable Hard Water Softener

    On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable Water Softener

    •    Price: $$
    •    Water Tech: Ion Exchanger
    •    Water Flow Rate: 3-4 gpm
    •    Capacity: 16,000 Grains
    •    Bypass Valve: Not Needed

    What We Like

    For RV owners, we recommend the On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable. It is small enough to be stored comfortably, yet has the power to handle all your water needs while on the road.

    With a 16,000-grain capacity it can soften water well without having to regenerate too often. Plus, the 3-4 gpm water flow rate is just perfect for an RV’s plumbing system.

    The bad news is that you have to regenerate manually. The good news is that it’s a quick process that should take no more than 10 minutes. You don’t even have to keep replenishing any resin bed. Just keep some table or rock salt at the ready.

    What We Don’t Like

    Yes, this water softener is portable. But that does not mean it’s easy to carry it around. In fact, weighing around 32 pounds the OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable is a beast to lift. You may need a helping hand to get it into your RV. Thankfully, it comes with a handle to make the lifting a bit easier.

    We also consider the manual regeneration a minor inconvenience, especially when compared to whole home softening units that regenerate fully automatic.

    Our Verdict

    The On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable is easily one of the best portable water softeners we have seen (check list price here). If you are looking for a unit you can use in your RV, your car wash business or anywhere away from home, this is your best option.

    4. WaterBoss 700 Residential Water Softener System

    Water Softener Reviews: WaterBoss 700

    WaterBoss 700 Water Softener

    •    Price: $$
    •    Water Tech: Ion Exchanger
    •    Water Flow Rate: 8 gpm
    •    Capacity: 22,100 Grains
    •    Bypass Valve:
    •    Metered Regen:

    What We Like

    Believe it or not, the WaterBoss 700 is a quite powerful water softening unit that can comfortably serve small to medium-sized homes with up to 4 people.

    With 22,100 grains capacity, the system can handle hard water with as much as 70 grains per gallon which is a lot. And if you have ferrous in your water, up to 10 ppm should not pose a problem, says the manufacturer. On a side note, the system is made in the USA.

    We also like the on-demand (metered) regeneration which is a big salt, water & money saver. Plus, it helps the environment.

    As if that was not enough, the WaterBoss 700 has an integrated 20-micron pre-filter that traps sediments to expand the system’s lifespan.

    Lastly, the unit operates quietly and allows for an easy setup for two reasons:

    1. We have a factory-installed bypass valve.
    2. The compact design is made for installation in tight corners.

    Granted, you still have to spend your afternoon connecting the parts and adding salt into the brine tank, so set aside an hour or two. But you don’t have to be an experienced DIY plumber.

    Programming the water softener is nice and easy. Simply use the LCD display to set your water hardness level among other things.

    All there is to do in terms of maintenance is to inspect and clean the brine tank + air check/draw tube once a year (or whenever you notice sediment in the tank).

    What We Don’t Like

    What we don’t like? First and foremost that too many customers have complained about WaterBoss water softeners for our liking.

    Failing resin tanks, flooded basements and complete system breakdowns are only some of the issues. In addition, in a few cases WaterBoss refused to honor the cost of repairs which should fall under the 3 to 10-year warranty.

    Bottom line: Almost half of the customers are unhappy with their purchase.

    Our Verdict

    As mentioned before, the $300 to $600 price range is where you find medium capacity water softeners for small to mid-sized homes. And the WaterBoss 700 would be a close contender for the top position, if it worked as intended.

    However, while some customers are very happy with how the system performs having zero issues, most are rather disappointed to say the least.

    Although we love the compact size, the relatively easy installation and the overall softening effectiveness, it’s probably better if you go with a different brand.

    banner price range over $600 brand comparison

    Water Softeners over $600

    If your budget allows, head over to this price range for some of the most powerful and top-rated water softening systems the market has to offer.

    The majority are ion exchangers as opposed to salt-free water conditioning systems. They are designed to provide enough soft water for large households with exceptionally high grain capacities and water flow rates.

    Higher costs are an obvious downside. Especially branded systems can easily go over the $1,000 mark and, due to their size, installation is oftentimes challenging and time consuming and might even require the help of a plumbing professional.

    5. Iron Pro 2 80,000-Grain Water Softener + Water Filter

    Iron Pro 2 Hard Water Softener

    Iron Pro 2 Water Softener for Well Water

    •    Price: $$$
    •    Water Tech: Ion Exchanger
    •    Water Flow Rate: 18 gpm
    •    Capacity: 80,000 Grains
    •    Bypass Valve:
    •    Metered Regen:

    What We Like

    This combination of a whole house water softener with a fine mesh resin for high iron removal is the ideal fit for large families on private wells.

    The Iron Pro 2 with its 80,000-grain capacity can handle all levels of water hardness and the high flow rate ensures adequate water pressure even with your dishwasher, washing machine and multiple showers running simultaneously.

    An all-digital fully programmable head makes the system easy to use and monitor. The meter-based regeneration helps to save water.

    This feature is particularly important for such a big system when you consider that 100 or more gallons of water can be used up per regeneration cycle – learn more about this amazing product feature here.

    What We Don’t Like

    Carrying out the installation is not for amateurs. There are pipes to be cut and fittings to be made. Sounds scary? Then we advise you to call in a plumber.

    If you decide to do the installation yourself to save a buck, expect to spend at least several hours before everything will be place. Of course, the unit comes with a user manual to help you navigate the numerous bits and pieces you have to match together.

    Our Verdict

    We really like the Iron Pro 2 water softener. It has infinite capacities (at least that’s what it feels like) and is fairly easy to use once installed. For large homes that have a super high demand for softened water this unit is worth the price tag.

    6. Nuvo DPMB Manor Soft Water Conditioner

    Nuvo DPMB Manor Water Conditioner

    Nuvo DPMB Manor Water Conditioner

    •    Price: $$$
    •    Water Tech: Salt-Free
    •    Water Flow Rate: 15-18 gpm
    •    Capacity: 50,000 gal
    •    Bypass Valve:

    What We Like

    Those of you who are no fans of salt-based water softening systems will love the Nuvo DPMB, although it is one of the most expensive water conditioners on the market.

    Instead of removing calcium and magnesium, it uses chelation with special cartridges to reduce water pH-levels and bind the hard mineral ions. This prevents them from forming scale on surfaces which has earned the system an NSF Standard 169 certification for scale control.

    And even existing scale can be dissolved over time. But there is a catch: For the chelation to work your water pH has to be 7.2 or higher (the higher, the better). The citric acid which is the chelation agent will be ineffective below that threshold.

    The manufacturer also advises against the use with well water.

    In our opinion, the Nuvo DPMB is best for mild water hardness levels where the main concern is scale reduction and the given requirements are met. In cases of severe water hardness, you should consider going salt-based.

    Anyway, there definitely is no water softener or water conditioner out there that is easier to set up than the Nuvo – no programming involved. And it’s compact so it’ll fit in any corner.

    One chelation cartridge lasts 50,000 gallons or 6 months. In other words, maintenance is kept to a minimum.

    The ideal home size is 4+ residents. You can expect a flow rate of around 15 to 18 gallons per minute, so plenty of water.

    The last thing we want to mention is the 90-day money-back guarantee and the limited lifetime warranty for peace of mind.

    What We Don’t Like

    It is important to note that there have been numerous complaints from unhappy customers, especially those living in areas with extreme water hardness, regarding the effectiveness of this system. They basically saw no improvement in their water after having used the Nuvo for a month or longer.

    The reason for this is that their water was too acidic in the first place, so the chelation agent did not have any effect – at least that’s our guess. Nuvo clearly has to better educate their customers on this matter. Otherwise, they will continue to waste their money on something that is doomed to fail.

    Above that, replacement cartridges are quite pricey when compared to regular softening salt that you can purchase at less than a tenth of the cost.

    It can also happen that your water turns bluish for a couple of days when using the water conditioner for the first time (only with copper piping). It’s not harmful to your health, but looks strange nonetheless.

    Our Verdict

    If you want to stay away from a salt-based water softener for the added sodium and your water pH-level is above 7.2, this water conditioner makes a decent choice with a super high flow rate and capacity.

    banner price range under $300 brand comparisons

    Water Softeners under $300

    Last but not least, at the lower end of the price spectrum we have water softeners for less than $300. The majority of them are water conditioners and therefore salt-free. They rely on technologies such as magnetism for descaling.

    If you are still searching for a salt-based water softener in this price category, expect small point-of-use units ideal for RVs. While they usually work just as effectively as more expensive systems, they often require manual regeneration and have smaller capacities of 10,000 grains or less.

    7. Eddy Electronic Water Descaler – Water Softener Alternative

    Eddy Electronic Water Descaler | Water Softener System Reviews

    Eddy Electronic Water Descaler

    •    Price: $
    •    Water Tech: El.magnetism
    •    Water Flow Rate: -
    •    Capacity: -
    •    Bypass Valve: Not Needed

    What We Like

    Before we talk about the many advantages of the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler, it is important to understand that it is not a conventional water softener, but a water conditioner.

    The device generates an electromagnetic field to change the adhesion properties of hardness minerals causing them to bind to one another instead of the surfaces they touch.

    This prevents scale from accumulating in your plumbing as well as appliances, and on your glassware, sink, faucets, etc. The electromagnetic waves applied through two coils placed around your incoming water supply line can also cause existing deposits to dissolve over time.

    And yes, the Eddy water descaler works on both tap and well water and is effective on all pipes, except for iron and galvanized types. The maximum allowed diameter is 1.5″.

    By the way, installation is really easy, no plumbing required. The same goes for configuration and maintenance. It’s fit and forget! You just need to have a power source nearby for electricity.

    According to most users, the system is quite effective once installed. They saw less or even no scale formation at all. You can expect great results at water hardness levels of up to 20 gpg and more.

    Another aspect that we wanted to point out is that in the treatment process zero chemicals are being used. In fact, nothing is added nor removed from your water – one less thing to worry about.

    This also has the benefit that all healthy minerals are retained; making your water slightly sweeter and healthier than water softened the “usual way” (and it’s why you won’t see a drop in TDS).

    No salt etc. also means no recurring costs. The costs of electricity are negligible.

    More Pros:

    • Highly affordable
    • Lifetime repair and replacement manufacturer warranty
    • 12-month money-back guarantee for a full refund if you are not happy with the product
    • CE and FCC certified to U.S., UK and EU standards

    What We Don’t Like

    As with most conditioners, the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler does not seem to work for everyone. The good news is that the manufacturer stands to the return policy.

    Our Verdict

    We would recommend this water descaler as doing exactly what is promised: Reduce scaling. So if you are looking for a way to tackle those ugly and hard-to-scrub deposits that hard water leaves behind, definitely check out the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler.

    It may not be a genuine water softener, but accomplishes a lot at a fraction of the cost. 4.5 stars!

    8. Aquasana SimplySoft Salt-Free Water Softener

    Aquasana SimplySoft Water Softener for Hard Water Supply

    Aquasana SimplySoft Salt-Free Water Conditioner

    •    Price: $$
    •    Water Tech: Salt-Free NAC
    •    Water Flow Rate: 7-10 gpm
    •    Capacity: 6 Years
    •    Bypass Valve:

    What We Like

    No salts or harsh chemicals are involved in the working of the Aquasana SimplySoft water conditioner meaning that nothing will be added to your water.

    The unit may not work the same way as the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler, but delivers the same results:

    It alters the adhesion characteristics of calcium and magnesium in water, thus forcing them to bind to each other instead of surfaces of your plumbing system and water heater.

    And that’s not all: Even your skin will feel softer and not as dry after showering. The unit also comes with a pre-filter that helps removing other water impurities.

    What We Don’t Like

    The installation part can be a bit challenging as instructions are unclear at times. It should also be mentioned that if you do the install yourself your warranty will void automatically.

    Another drawback is that not all users saw reduced scaling after adding the Aquasana SimplySoft to their home.

    Our Verdict

    For families of up to 5 people, this is a great and affordable water conditioner. However, if you are looking for a water softener in the real sense you need to get a salt-based system.

    9. Watts Water M7002 Flow-Pur RV-Pro Portable Water Softener

    Watts Water M7002 Flow-Pur RV-Pro Water Softener for Hard Water Supply

    Watts Water M7002 Flow-Pur RV-Pro Water Softener

    •    Price: $
    •    Water Tech: Ion Exchanger
    •    Water Flow Rate: 3-4 gpm
    •    Capacity: 10,000 Grains
    •    Bypass Valve: Not Needed

    What We Like About this Water Softener

    When it comes to compactness, the Watts RV-Pro is a clear winner. It may not be as powerful as other whole house water softening systems, but it softens water just as well.

    The portable unit was designed for RVs where water usage is low. In this case, the 10,000-grain capacity is enough to handle even exceptionally hard water.

    What We Don’t Like About this Softener

    The Watts RV-Pro is easy to use and carry around. But the sacrifice for the simplicity is the lack of automation. This means that you have to do the regeneration manually in an interval of 1 to 4 weeks based on the amount of water you use.

    Additionally, you are limited to using one or two outlets at a time.

    Review – Our Verdict

    If you spend a lot of time in your caravan, this 10,000-grain water softener makes a useful addition. Yes, it is small, but effective.

    Of course, you don’t have to own an RV to be able to use the Watts RV-Pro. For instance, one customer bought it for his car washing business to avoid unsightly spots on clean cars.

    10. Magnetic Water Conditioner

    Magnetic Water Conditioner - Hard Water Softener

    Magnetic Water Conditioner

    •    Price: $
    •    Water Tech: Magnetism
    •    Water Flow Rate: -
    •    Capacity: -
    •    Bypass Valve: Not Needed

    What We Like

    The last of our water softener reviews features another magnetic water conditioner which is extremely easy to install. 60 seconds may be a bit overstated, but it should take no more than five minutes to have the device up and running.

    And unlike a system that uses salt, you don’t have to worry about regeneration. Nor does the system require any maintenance – simple to install, even easier to use.

    What We Don’t Like

    Magnetism as a way of descaling water is still a controversial topic. Just don’t expect amazing results especially if you live in a place with excessively hard water.

    Our Verdict

    Searching for the best home water softener, this is not our top pick. The technology is premature and may not bring you the results you are looking for. The price is unbeatable, however, and if all you want is descale water of medium hardness it might actually work.

    Other Water Softener Reviews

    In section 1, we reviewed some the best water softeners the market has to offer. But there is more…

    Water Softener Companies – Who’s Best?

    The following are popular and lesser-known water softener companies and manufacturers. They are listed in no particular order.

    Fleck (Pentair)

    Fleck owned by Pentair is the go-to home water softener brand for many. Fleck SXT control valves are among the best selling on the market.

    GE

    GE Appliances got acquired by the Haier Group in 2016. But it remained a trademark of the General Electric Company. Haier manufactures GE appliances like water softeners under a trademark license. The GE water softeners we reviewed are all pretty solid.

    Culligan

    Headquartered in Rosemont, IL, Culligan provides water treatment solutions for homes, offices, commercial places and industrial applications. This includes a filtered bottled water delivery service.

    The company works with a franchise business model. Local experts act as representatives. These experts help potential new customers to have their water tested and come up with treatment solutions. For water softeners, the service also includes system installation, setup, maintenance and repair.

    Personally, we would not buy a Culligan water softener due to mainly negative customer feedback.

    WaterBoss

    WaterBoss, Inc. is another supplier of water softening and water filtration equipment. The company was established in 1990 and currently offers 3 different water softener models for residential use. They are not our favorites, though.

    Genesis

    Genesis water softeners are sold by Discount Water Softeners, Inc. The actual manufacturer remains unknown, however, due to proprietary reasons. What we do know is that all models are engineered and assembled in the U.S., and their performance is decent.

    Whirlpool

    Who hasn’t heard of the Whirlpool Corporation? It’s the world’s leading major home appliance company and a Fortune 500 enterprise. Brands owned by the Whirlpool Corporation include Whirlpool , KitchenAid, JennAir, Maytag and Bauknecht.

    When it comes to water softeners, there is the Whirlpool Pro Series and the WHES Series. You can find reviews of the latter on BOS.

    Kenmore (Sears)

    Kenmore does refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves, dryers, water softeners and many more types of home appliances. All products are sold by Sears, the owner of the Kenmore brand. While Kenmore is a little more than 100 years old and first appeared on a sewing machine in 1913, Sears was found more than 130 years ago.

    All in all, Kenmore water softeners are good but not phenomenal.

    Morton

    Back in 1848 when Morton Salt, Inc. was founded, the company focused on selling seasoning salt. Only since 2002 does Morton sell their own salt-based water softeners. But, again, they are not our favorites.

    Other Manufacturers

    Other water softener companies/manufacturers include

    • American Water Technologies
    • Hellenbrand Water Conditioning
    • Kinetico

    Examples for manufacturers of salt-free water conditioners are

    • Aquasana
    • Pelican
    • ScaleBlaster
    • Calmat
    • Aquios
    • Eddy Electronic
    • Nuvo
    • RainSoft

    Water, Water Everywhere – Further Reading on Water Softeners

    Further articles on BOS answer the following questions among others:

    • How can you tell if a water softening system would make a worthy addition to your home?
    • What are the pros and cons of water softeners?
    • How to choose a water softener? After all, there are a few things you need to know and consider if you want a system that really suits your needs.
    • What’s better, renting or buying a water softener?
    • How does a water softener work? And what’s inside of it? #IonExchange
    • What’s the correct way of sizing a water softener? (Choosing the right size for your new water softener is key if you want to avoid unnecessary trouble.)
    • Can you install your water softener yourself, or is it better to hire a professional who does everything for you?
    • What goes into maintaining a water softener?
    • How to troubleshoot and repair a water softener?
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    If you have any questions about water softeners please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

    And don’t forget to come back to this page from time to time, as we are going to add new water softener reviews occasionally.

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