A water tap.

10 Best Water Softeners in 2021 (In-Depth Reviews)

Are you the kind of person to dislike tap water? Do you find yourself wondering if there is anything you can do to improve the water quality in your own home?

Installing a water softener in your home can be the answer to these questions. Water softeners work to remove the calcium, magnesium, and other contaminants from “hard water” – making it so the water in your home your family uses to cook, clean, and shower with will be of better quality. They will not make any changes to your water supply or your water flow, and you will have clean water in your home. They are fairly easy to install and can drastically improve your family’s life. Water is life, so not why have the best water you can have?

Other than the obvious health benefits, there are also some financial benefits to installing a water tank in your home, since hard water will cause scale buildup that can damage your hot water tank as well as other water-using appliances. This means your appliances, as well as your pipes, will also have a longer lifespan.

To help you in your quest for better-quality water, we have compiled this list of the 10 best types of water softeners featured in the upcoming year. Hopefully, this buying guide will help you choose which water filter is ideal for you and your home.

In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

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10 Best Water Softeners (In-Depth Reviews) – Overview

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1. The SpringWell FutureSoft Salt-Free Water Softener

The industry’s top pick for 2020/2021 for your home water softener is the SpringWell FutureSoft Salt-Free Water Softener. This is a great system that is both eco-friendly, low-maintenance, and boasts fast and free shipping, so there is very little hassle with this one.

Reviewers say that this water softener works great and that both the installation and maintenance processes are fast and easy. Although the traditional water softener systems typically feature salt as a way of softening your water, this salt-free option turns out to provide less maintenance, since you do not have to keep refilling it, and it helps the environment by not adding salt or other types of chemicals back into the environment. Water softener reviews also say that installation is easy; however, if you are not a plumber or you are not too confident with your plumbing skills, you should probably call a professional to do it for you.


Features of the SpringWell FutureSoft Salt-Free Water Softener:


  • Salt-free
  • Chemical-free
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 100 percent satisfaction guarantee
  • Produces no waste
  • Does not release harmful salt brine into the environment
  • Requires no electricity
  • Never needs to be replaced
  • Does not decrease your water pressure
  • Fast, free shipping
  • Self adjusts to meet the hardness of the water


2. Pelican Water 15 GPM Whole House Water Filtration and NaturSoft Salt-Free Softener System

The Pelican Water 15 GPM Whole House Water Filtration and the NaturSoft Salt-Free Softener System works by neutralizing the minerals present to prevent them from sticking to surfaces, rather than removing them from the water. This is also a salt-free system, making it more environmentally friendly than traditional salt-based systems. It also works without the need for electricity.

Pelican is one of the leading water filtration companies in the United States, and this seems to be one of their best and most popular water softening systems.


Features of the Pelican Water Systems Salt-Free Water Softener:


  • Salt-free
  • Requires no electricity
  • Inhibits bacterial growth
  • Easy to install
  • Maintenance-free
  • Eco-friendly
  • Wallet-friendly


3. The Whirlpool WHES30E 30,000 Grain Water Softener

The Whirlpool WHES30E 30,000 Grain Water Softener is NSF-certified (National Science Foundation). It reduces the effects of hard water such as staining, pipe, and faucet buildup, and even spots on dishes. It is also a very high capacity water softener.

Whirlpool water softeners use demand-initiated regeneration, meaning that the system will regenerate based on your water’s hardness level combined with how much water your household actually uses. This means that this system will help you save water and salt.

If you prefer further coverage than the one mentioned above, the parts and labor warranty can be extended through a full two years with the purchase of three bottles of Whirlpool water softener cleanser. This has to be done within the first year of owning your system. All in all, this is a long-lasting and reliable system.


Features of the Whirlpool WHES30E 30,000 Grain Water Softener:


  • NSF-certified
  • Removes up to 8ppm of clear water iron
  • Self-calibrates the amount of salt needed
  • It tells you when salt needs to be refilled
  • One-year manufacturer’s warranty on parts and labor
  • Three-year limited electronics warranty
  • 10-year limited warranty on the system’s tanks
  • Easy to install


4. The Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener

The Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener has a digital meter water softener system, typically used for medium to large households. The digital interface makes it very easy for anyone to use; however, very little maintenance is still needed with this model. This is a salt-based unit with a 48,000-grain capacity, which is quite a significant capacity for many many gallons of water.

Within this system, there is a poly glass softener tank, brine tank, control head, and long-lasting 8% crosslink resin. An installation kit that includes complete instructions and a video. It is therefore really easy to get this system up and running. The regenerating process is also automated, so no problem there. This system also features a meter where you can check how much water you are using.

The only downside of this system is that it is quite large, meaning that you will have to have a fair amount of space for it in your home.


Features of the Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener:


  • Easy to operate
  • Regeneration is fully automated
  • High-efficiency valve which saves salt
  • Economical
  • Easy to set up
  • Keeps track of water usage
  • LCD displays the status of the system
  • 10-year warranty on the tanks
  • 5-year warranty on the valve


5. The Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener and Iron Filter

The Iron Pro 2 is not only a great water softener, it is also an iron filtration system. The iron filter feature works to eliminate red staining in your sinks, your toilets, and your bathtubs which are caused by a buildup of iron. This means your house will be cleaner and require much less scrubbing of stains, which is a great relief. This system is especially useful for well water, as it tends to be infamous for its high levels of iron.

The Iron Pro 2 also removes magnesium, manganese, calcium, sediment, sand, and rust from your water during the filtration process. It will also filter out up to 2ppm of sulfur to eliminate unpleasant odors.

This system has a bypass valve that allows for easier maintenance and a plastic cone designed to keep the resin from entering your pipes when the system is not working. 

Reviewers do point out that for this system, you will need to hire a professional to install it if you do not have plumbing experience. 


Features of the Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener and Iron Filter:


  • Water softener and iron filter all in one
  • Eliminates red staining in sinks, toilets, and bathtubs caused by iron
  • Flow rate at 15 gallons per minute
  • Bypass valve that allows for easier maintenance
  • Automatic regeneration
  • Lasts for five years or more
  • Easy to use
  • Five years warranty


6. Aquasure Harmony Series 48,000 Grains Water Softener with High Efficiency Digital Metered Control Head

The Aquasure Harmony Series Water Softener will treat 48,000 grains of hardness from minerals like magnesium and iron. This system also features an advanced digital on-demand meter control head, plus a pre-filled premium grade resin, an in-and-out bypass, and a one-inch NPT male adapter.

Featured, time-delayed, metered, and manual double backwash for optimum regeneration, cleaning, and performance. It works for a household of up to five people and can handle from two to four bathrooms, which means it has a good capacity.

It is advised that you get a professional to install this system unless you have plumbing experience.


Features of the Aquasure Harmony Series Water Softener:


  • Well-made
  • Aesthetically good
  • Great price
  • Easy and intuitive
  • Five-year manufacturer’s warranty


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

The On The Go Water Softener is the largest water softener on the market. It is, however, also a compact system. It produces 40% more soft water than other units which are comparable in size. They were originally designed for RVs but they work for other smaller living spaces. This system also prevents rust stains and a scale buildup in pipes, fixtures, and appliances.

The On The Go Water Softener system uses a wide opening that allows the salt to be added easily, it has a flexible carrying handle for portability, and it also features an in and out headset and bypass for easy maintenance of the system. 

Since this system is a portable water softener, its only downside is that it is not recommended for larger homes, so depending on the size of your home and your water hardness you might need to get a different system.


Features of the On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT Portable 16,000 Grain RV Water Softener:


  • Produces 40% more soft water than similarly sized units
  • Ideal for RVs, tiny homes, and tiny apartments
  • Prevents rust stains
  • Easy to add salt
  • Portable
  • Easy maintenance
  • Filters 500-1600 gallons of hard water before it needs to regenerate
  • Maximum pressure at 120 psi
  • Compact size at 10×22 inches
  • Great price


8. Eddy Electronic Water Descaler

The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is the more affordable and easy to install water descaler on this list. It can be great if you are looking for something cheaper which is still of good quality. You can install it yourself and it requires little maintenance. Although this system will not alter the chemical hardness of your water, it will prevent scale buildup in your pipes, fixtures, and appliances without the need for salt.

The Eddy Electronic Water Softener and Descaler uses an electromagnetic wave to alter the adhesion properties of the minerals that cause hard water. The magnetic waves travel through magnetic coils that are wrapped around your existing water pipes.

If the hardness level of your water is average or low, and your pipes are PVC, this system is a good option for you. However, if your water is extremely hard, over 20 GPG, you should likely look for a different system. This system also uses magnetism which will not work if you have metal pipes.


Features of the Eddy Electronic Water Softener and Descaler:


  • Very affordable
  • Can be installed without plumbing knowledge
  • Small and compact
  • Weighs less than two pounds
  • Eco-friendly
  • Does not release salt and other chemicals into the environment
  • Uses low electricity
  • 12-month 100% money-back guarantee
  • Lifetime warranty


9. The YARNA Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System

The YARNA Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System removes excess calcium and magnesium from your water without the need for salt and other chemicals. This system works by crystallizing the hard water minerals in your water. This means they are unable to build up and will not cause scale.

This unit was designed with impulse bands that can be wrapped around any type of pipe, including metal. It will remove limescale, meaning that your appliances, plumbing, and fixtures will last longer.


Features of the YARNA Electronic Water Softener and Descaler:


  • Easy to install
  • Good price
  • Maintenance
  • Eco-friendly
  • No salt or other chemicals used
  • Uses very little electricity
  • Does not require the purchase of additives
  • 1-year 100% money-back guarantee


10. The Aquasana SimplySoft Salt-Free Water Softener and Whole House Water Filter

The Aquasana SimplySoft Salt-Free Water Softener and Whole House Water Filter is a salt-free system that is not only a water softener but also a water filter. The whole house water filter will work to remove pesticides, heavy metals, fluoride, chlorine, and more from your water at the point of entry. There is also an optional UV filter for this system that will remove bacteria and viruses, making this a truly amazing and complete system.

This whole house water softener has a unique upflow, dual tank functionality that allows water to stay in contact with the filter media longer, providing more time for the filter to do its job. Also, since this system is salt-free, it will protect your pipes, appliances, and fixtures from scale buildup and corrosion without increasing the sodium content of your water or removing essential minerals. This process is also more eco-friendly. Changing the filters is only required at 10,000 gallons.


Features of the Aquasana SimplySoft Salt-Free Water Softener and Whole House Water Filter:


  • Salt-free
  • Softens as well as filters your water
  • Optional UV filter that removes bacteria and viruses
  • Easy maintenance
  • 10-year warranty


Our Winner:

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The SpringWell FutureSoft Salt-Free Water Softener is a salt-free, chemical-free, eco-friendly system and our absolute favorite. It has a lifetime warranty in case something breaks and fast, free shipping. The best feature of this SpringWell product, however, is that it uses absolutely no electricity. It is the best for the environment, and your wallet!


How Do Water Softeners Work?

Water softeners work to remove minerals in your water that could cause it to be hard. Hard water refers to water that contains higher than average amounts of minerals such as magnesium and calcium.

Hard water will cause a white film to build up on your bathroom fixtures and shower doors. It will also cause white spots on your glassware. Your clothes may look yellow or dingy. It can also cause your skin to become dry and itchy, and make hair look dull.  Appliances like coffee makers, dishwashers, and washing machines will not last as long as they were advertised.

Essentially, water softeners will remove the calcium and magnesium ions found in hard water by exchanging them with sodium (or potassium) ions. Once all the ions are fully exchanged, the water softener undergoes a regeneration process to flush the system of excess ions and recharge with new sodium ions.

Your water softener’s resin tank is filled with thousands of tiny beads called “resin beads.” When hardness minerals come into contact with these beads, they bind to them and are removed from the water that leaves the tank.


What Are the Advantages of a Water Softener?

Water softeners can provide fantastic benefits to your health, the cleanliness of your home, and the longevity of your pipes, water heater, and appliances. These systems can also help you save money in the long run.


Benefits Of A Water Softener


  • Improved quality of drinking water
  • Reduced cardiovascular and reproductive issues caused by hard water
  • Improvement of your skin health
  • Improvement of your hair health
  • Your shampoos and conditioners will be more effective
  • Household cleaning products will be more effective
  • Reduced amount of cleaner needed (up to 70 percent)
  • Dishes and glassware will be cleaner
  • Clothes and towels will be cleaner, softer, brighter, and whiter
  • No more stains in your fixtures, toilets, tubs, and showers
  • Appliances such as your water heater, dishwasher, and washing machine will last longer
  • Appliances will be more effective, making your electricity bill lower
  • Your pipes, faucets, and showerheads will also last longer
  • Your pipes, faucets, and showerheads will clog much less


Final Verdict:

Essentially, installing a water filter in your home can be a great investment that you will see a return on in the future. Water is one, if not the, most important thing in your house and it is important that we treat it with the respect that that status deserves. High-quality water can be a complete life-saver. Whether you are looking for a water softener because you live in an area where your city water is especially hard and contains hard minerals or you are simply trying to be careful and do what you can to improve your and your family’s quality of life, having a water filter can be a fantastic home addition.

Since this is such a useful product, it is also important that you search for it accordingly. If you decide to get a water softener, but you get the incorrect type for your house, you will just be wasting money. So take your time, go through the list, and see what kind of water softener is the kind for you.


Bonus tip: While you are at it, check out this Youtube video explaining the difference between hard and soft water!


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Joshua Perkins

Joshua spent ten years as a water systems technician in California before settling down with his wife and two young children in Nashville in 2018. Through all of his experience, he learned the benefits and shortfalls of so many different types of water filtration systems, from pitchers to whole-house installations. He started Water Filter Authority in 2019 to empower other families to make the right decision for their long-term health and wellness.