10 Best Water Softeners Consumer Reports 2022

Does your water taste off? Are you having difficulty finding pure, good water?

Even though the water you use has no harmful germs due to being treated by a city treatment plant but doesn’t necessarily mean that the taste and mineral content is to your liking.

Not only for drinking but many people prefer soft water for household activities such as laundry, cleaning, etc as well.

So, want to say goodbye to your hard water-related problems? Are you tired of maintaining faucets and pipes because of hard water?

A simple solution to your problem is a water softener. It is a much-needed commodity for many households as it comes along with many benefits.

That is why we have compiled a list of the top 10 best water softeners consumer reports with their detailed reviews.

10 Best Water Softeners Reviews

If this has helped you make up your mind, then you should definitely check the following list of the top-rated dishwashers in the market right now.

1. Aquasure Harmony Series Water Softener

Editor’s Pick
  • Pre-loaded resin
  • Easy to read backlit digital interface
  • High-capacity salt tank
  • One button manual regeneration

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When it comes to water softeners featuring the latest technology and advanced operations, the Aquasure Harmony is considered a worthy contender.

A perfect choice for homes with up to five members and four bathrooms, the Aquasure water softener has 48,000-grain capacity and an engineered high-quality 8% resin which offers longevity.

The model guarantees spot and scale-free water along with a user-friendly interface with its advanced built-in digital control console. This allows you to save countless gallons of water by offering precise backwashing when it’s needed.

Its 48,000-grain capacity makes sure that your water is free from excess minerals like calcium and magnesium. It also reduces scale and spot buildup with the help of its highly efficient operations including its three types of regeneration.

These include meter immediate control, meter delayed control, and clock delayed control. This makes sure you have optimized performance and full control of the system.

The softener also comes along with a high strength and durable tank which is made of corrosion-resistant fiberglass lined with polyethylene, a 1-inch bypass valve, and high-grade resin.

Finally, with Aquasure you get to use a highly efficient digital control head which can calculate the amount of water it backwashes and treats. This decreases the need for salt replenishment.

Pros

  • Easy and quick connect
  • Reduces salt use and wastewater
  • Maintenance without turning off the water with a bypass valve
  • Fewer refills due to high-capacity salt tank
  • Offers full customization

Cons

  • Salt tank is heavy to move when full

2. Fleck 5600SXT Grain Water Softener

Best Value
  • Loaded mineral tank
  • Upgraded paddlewheel meter
  • 64,000-grain capacity
  • Programmable flow meter

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When you want top-notch performance from a water softener system, then you can’t ignore the Fleck Grain Water Softener who outperforms many more expensive water softeners.

The first thing you’ll notice is the digital programmable head which allows you to program the system for regeneration purposes. The head is equipped with an LCD which has a simple yet user-friendly interface that allows you to operate the unity easily.

Based on your water needs, the unit utilizes a smart detecting system that detects the water consumption schedule.

The Fleck 5600SXT is equipped with a dual tank system which includes the brine and the water tank. Having an adequate capacity of up to 250 lbs pellets of sodium chloride, the brine tank offers good storage and also prevents the overflowing of the tank with a safety float.

The capacity of this water softener is quite commendable with a 10 x 54-inch water tank which is large enough for consumption needs. Other features that are admirable include the upgraded paddle wheel meter.

This feature is responsible for improving water dispersion while it needs around one bag of salt per month since it is a 64000-grain softener.

With Fleck 56000SXT, you wouldn’t have trouble storing memory as its built-in capacitor allows you to store memory for up to 48 hours. Moreover, through programming, you can also adjust the cycle times.

Pros

  • Offers premium quality resin material
  • User-friendly experience with touchpad control
  • Comes along with pre-loaded resin
  • Uses a smart detection system
  • Has an upgraded paddle wheel meter

Cons

  • It lacks drainage tubing

3. Iron Pro 2 Combination water softener

Best Budget
  • Four modes of operation
  • LCD display and digital control
  • Turbine-electronic flow meter
  • Fine mesh resin

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Iron Pro 2 is a very appealing option when you require good improvement to your water quality. It comes with a number of features among which the first one is easy digital control.

Many consumers are annoyed with complicated operations and the use of their water softeners. However, Iron Pro 2 offers a user-friendly interface with touchpad digital control with very few moving parts.

It also features an LCD display with a backlight so that you can read the state of your system at any time of the day. It lets you know about the number of days to regeneration and the volume of water that is remaining for treatment.

The most notable feature of the Iron Pro 2 is the four modes of operations which are extremely convenient. These include delayed meter regeneration, day of the week regeneration, immediate meter regeneration, and delayed time clock regeneration.

Along with performing these operations flawlessly, the system is also equipped with special fine mesh resin. This resin is responsible for reducing common fouling by iron particles and efficiently treats water with iron levels from 0.5ppm to 5ppm.

To prevent overfilling, the system has a brine tank that comes with an overflow outlet which can easily be linked to the backwash drain. The unit offers double backwash for improved efficiency.

Pros

  • Can treat up to 16GPM of water
  • Offers 64000-grain capacity
  • 48-hour memory backup
  • One rapid and one slow backwash
  • Accurately measure the water through a turbine-electronic flow meter

Cons

  • The system is too large for limited spaces

4. Tier1 Essential Series Digital Water Softener

  • Fully adjustable cycle tiles
  • User-friendly LCD display
  • Pre-filled 8-percent cation resin beads
  • Programmable regeneration cycles

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The Tier1 48,000 is one of the more advanced water softeners in the market with high-efficiency operations and ease of operation.

Ideal for a family of up to four people, the Tier1 biggest advantage is its easy programming and user-friendly LCD display. This allows you to process information easily and you can have complete control with programmable regeneration cycles over the softening process.

From the programmable regeneration cycles, you can choose either metered or timed schedules. It also offers the big convenience of regenerating the system through the manual bypass valve without turning off the water.

If we talk about the design, then it’s extremely user-friendly as well. The unit is ideal for tight places as it comes with a lower-than-average footprint. Moreover, it guarantees speedy and easy installation through comprehensive instructions and quick-connect fittings.

The Tier1 is equipped with a head, preloaded resin tank, and brine tank along with the appropriate tubing required for installation. Its sturdy build offers 48,000-grain capacity with 1.5 cubic feet prefilled with 8-percent cation resin beads.

Pros

  • Saves up to four sq ft of floor space with a low-profile head
  • Reduces salt consumption and water waste with metered regeneration capability
  • Easy to use digital display with Fleck head
  • Comes with tubing required for standard installation
  • Speedy and easy installation

Cons

  • Manual bypass is a less convenient feature

5. DuraWater 80k water softener

  • Includes a bypass valve
  • Brine tank with float system
  • Includes AFWFilters install kit
  • Comes with 10% crosslink resin

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The DuraWater softener is your go-to product if you require something powerful and durable. With its 80,000-grain capacity, you can expect quick and improved operation.

This water softener system is equipped with a Fleck 5600 SXT control head which offers a user-friendly interface and easy digital controls.

It is quite easy to maintain and install as well. This is due to the AFWFilters install kit which comes along with the unit. The kit includes a system sanitizer packet, hardness test strip, and silicone lubricant. With this kit, installing a water softener has never been easier than this.

The feature which sets it apart is the upgraded 10-percent crosslink resin. For longer resin life and improved durability, the DuraWater comes along with the commercial-grade resin.

If we talk about the parts and the design, then DuraWater’s complete system includes a brine tank, control head, water tank, and 2.5 cubic feet of 10-percent resin.

The brine tank measures 18-inch x 40-inch which is equipped with an overflow and float line. These two prevent accidental overflows.

The unit also consists of a threaded yoke connection and a bypass valve. Without turning off the main water supply, the bypass valve allows the system to be turned off or serviced.

Pros

  • Comes with an LCD display touchpad
  • Consists of 10-percent cross-linked resin
  • Brine tank equipped with safety float
  • 80,000-grain maximum capacity
  • Includes an AFWFilters install kit

Cons

  • Its size is not appropriate for small spaces

6. Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener

  • Digital meter controller
  • Pre-filled resin tank
  • Pre-fitted bypass
  • Automatic self-cleaning

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Is your regular water softener not doing much for your large household? Why settle for less when you can have the W2B800? Ideal for a family ranging from one to ten members, the Water2Buy can generate up to 1060 gallons of soft filtered water each day.

Not only that but the unit has to offer many notable features as well. Starting with its construction, the unit measures up to 225 x 500 x 1100 mm which means that is ideal for installing in basements or garages.

This unit is quite slim, modernly designed, and is made of corrosion-resistant high-strength fiberglass with a polyethylene tank. It also includes a premium-grade prefilled ion X resin and adjustable water hardness.

One of the features which many large families would appreciate about this softener is its water capacity. The unit can hold up to 3680 liters of water. And this water is provided throughout your home with optimal water pressure with the help of the pre-fitted bypass valve.

Another notable feature of the Water2Buy water softener is the automatic self-cleaning. You don’t need to do anything for maintenance as the unit is capable of performing a regeneration cycle itself when needed.

Pros

  • Suitable for large families
  • Tank capacity can hold up to 39 kg of block salt
  • Slim, elegant, and modern design
  • Easy to install in smaller spaces
  • Can hold up to 3680 liters of water

Cons

  • Waste, overflow, and connection hose are not provided

7. Whirlpool WHE 30 30,000 Grain Softener

  • Water flow indicator
  • Demand initiated regeneration system
  • Do-it-yourself installation kit
  • Intuitive and simple interface

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If you are a household of one to four people who require a moderate amount of water, then the Whirlpool water softener is an ideal choice. This water softener is considered a high-end appliance that offers efficient operation.

Starting with its rigorous cleaning capabilities, the Whirlpool can remove up to 8ppm of clear water iron. Moreover, it offers a 30,000-grain capacity filter which is more than okay compared to other models.

When it comes to ease of installation and use, this water softener comes along with a do-it-yourself installation kit which means that anybody can give it a go. This unit requires little to no maintenance and you only need to look out for the salt level.

Another key feature is the demand-generated regeneration which means that the unit will refill the tanks only when it’s running low. This saves both salt and resin.

Not only that but it also uses a low salt light technology. This enables the unit to calculate how much water and salt are required for regeneration. It saves a significant amount of salt and water by using only when necessary.

Pros

  • Uses demand-initiated and salt-saving technology
  • Single-tank modern and elegant design
  • Comes with an easy-to-use touch interface
  • Saves a significant amount of resin, water, and salt
  • No trace of minerals is left after the softening process

Cons

  • Has a limited capacity tank

8. Pentair WS48-56sxt10 water softener

  • High-capacity brine tank
  • Overflow system
  • High-capacity resin
  • Easy installation

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When you want a unit, which can handle twice as much iron as regular water softeners, then the Pentair is the model you turn to. This 48,000-grain capacity water softener offers efficient cleaning with upgraded features.

The complete system consists of a durable brine tank, an advanced Fleck control head, and a superior corrosion-resistant poly-glass tank. The backlit interface is extremely user-friendly while your settings are protected for up to 48 hours with an internal power backup.

The unit uses 1.5 cubic feet of premium quality 10% crosslink resin preloaded in the resin tank. This high-capacity resin is the hero in removing calcium and magnesium ions through ion exchange technology.

The brine tank in the unit can hold up to twice the amount of salt compared to other models. Not only Pentair brine tank requires less maintenance, but it also comes with a safety float. This prevents the unit from overfilling in case of a malfunction.

When it comes to ease of operation and control, the Pentair consists of the latest Fleck 5600SXT digital control. Combined with a user-friendly LED display, the digital controller offers smooth operation.

You’ll be relieved to know that the Pentair also comes with an AFW install kit which means that it’s a piece of cake installing the unit.

Pros

  • Easy and straightforward installation
  • Comes with overflow system for accidental spills
  • Fleck controller head with automatic bypass valve
  • Touch-based control panel
  • Adjusts according to the water level

Cons

  • Often needs replacement of salt pallets

9. Watts Premier 7100638 Water System

  • Water filtration system
  • Salt-free scale prevention
  • Effective template-assisted crystallization technology
  • Long-lasting cartridge

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The Watts Premier is a complete system like no other. The system uses an environmental-friendly physical water treatment technology. This technology is responsible for extending the life of the appliance, protecting pipes, and providing better quality water.

The most celebrated technology used in the unit is the TAC (Template Assisted Crystallization). This technology has been rated as the most effective against scale prevention by WaterReuse Research Foundation. It helps in reducing scale build-up on fixtures, heating devices, and pipes.

The technology works by attracting and converting dissolved water hardness minerals into microscopic crystals. These crystals flow to the drain through the plumbing system without scale build-up.

Another notable feature of the Watts Premier Water System is the efficient filtration system. You get better-tasting water at every tap with an integrated radial flow high-capacity carbon block filter. It reduces odors, bad tastes, and chlorine.

The system offers a remarkable high-capacity cartridge that is easy to change. This single cartridge can last up to three years or 250,000 gallons.

You can easily benefit from the additional accessories which come along in the kit. These include a 20-micron radial flow cartridge, two outlet/inlet adapter locking pins, mounting bracket, multifunctional tool, house, and head assembly, and more.

Pros

  • Little to no maintenance
  • Extends the life of appliances
  • Protects pipes and fixtures from scale build-up
  • 20-micron water filter provides better-tasting water
  • Uses TAC technology for preventing mineral buildup

Cons

  • Does not remove iron and other contaminants proficiently

10. Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System

  • Prevents limescale buildup
  • Treats the water with electric impulses
  • Clean and easy installation
  • Lower heating costs

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The Yarna Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler is a water descaler system that prevents minerals like magnesium and calcium from building up inside pipes. It prevents that through electric impulses.

This patented water descaler uses electric impulses generated in the electronic unit for treating water. These are controlled by a computerized microchip while signal frequencies are transmitted via the Ultra Flat Impulse Bands.

The biggest advantage of using Yarna is that you get to keep the healthy minerals in the water while eliminating the chances of buildup. Moreover, this unit does not use salt like most water softeners.

The Yarna uses customized isolated copper impulse bands. These bands firmly connect to the pipe firmly as they are flexible and thin. That is why they offer to maximize direct-contact-ratio and minimal spacing loss.

This feature-laden unit offers highly efficient operation along with low power consumption. You’ll be surprised to know that the unit only consumes four watts of energy.

These features are easily enjoyable especially if the unit is easily maintainable and installed. Installing the Yarna is a straightforward process as it is compatible with almost any type of pipe.

Pros

  • Prevents limescale buildup
  • Does not remove healthy minerals from the water
  • Little to no maintenance with easy installation
  • Consumes energy as less as four watts
  • Does not have a GPG limit

Cons

  • It cannot be installed outdoors

An Ultimate Water Softener Buying Guide For Consumers

The following factors should be kept in mind before buying the best water softener for your household.

What size do you need?

The size of the water softener matters because it is going to be installed at the point where the water first enters your house. The size of the softener should be able to handle your household’s daily water usage.

Moreover, you should also be considerate of the capacity and the time lengths between regenerations. This is because frequent regenerations cause a lot of water to get wasted due to backwash and that depends on the size of the softener.

According to a rough estimate, a water softener giving 34 gallons per minute is more than enough for a family of five so you should choose accordingly.

Knowing your Capacity

The filtering capacity of the machine depends on your household’s water usage and the number of family members. Therefore, you need to calculate your house’s average water usage capacity before choosing a water softener.

You can consider the average numbers which say that a person uses 80 gallons of water on average per day. This means that a household of two would use 160 gallons, four family members would use 320 gallons, and so on.

By knowing the hardness level and per-day usage of your house, it gets easier to choose a water softener based on how many grains of hardness you will need to remove per day.

Grain Rating and Flow Rate

To determine the grain rating you must know the hardness of your water. Since grain rating refers to how much hardness the softener can handle, you should have your water tested to choose a softener based on the rating.

Grain rating leads you to grain capacity which is defined as the maximum number of grains of water hardness the softener can remove before regeneration. Each unit has its own grain capacity which depends on factors such as water usage, flow rate, and so on.

Before deciding on a water softener, you should determine the flow rate as well. It depends on the amount of resin used on the softener and the grains per gallon. Therefore, you should know how many gallons per minute your unit can treat.

Certification and Additional Features

It is important to buy a water softener that has certain certification for the operations it performs. Since it’s about the water you use, the unit you would be buying should be certified to remove certain elements.

For instance, if a water softener has a Gold Seal from WQA (Water Quality Association) then it indicates the high-quality of the water.

Apart from certifications, you should also focus on additional features such as automatic features, user-friendly digital controllers, an installation kit, and more.

Ease of Installation

You don’t want to buy anything which takes a lifetime in installing. Therefore, the smart choice is to go for a unit that is easy to install and maintain.

Many units come along with installation kits which claim that anyone can install them within 10 minutes.

Make sure your unit comes with all the necessary tools, accessories, and a manual for easy installation.

Conclusion

To get rid of the effects of hard water, a water softener should be installed in your household according to your water usage and capacity.

The articles extensively reviewed some of the best water softeners in the market which provide value for money.

FAQs

What are the best water softeners by consumer reports?

Here is the list of best water softeners consumer reports and reviews 2022.

  • Aquasure Harmony Series Water Softener
  • Fleck 5600SXT Grain Water Softener
  • Iron Pro 2 Combination of water softener
  • Tier1 Essential Series Digital Water Softener
  • DuraWater 80k water softener
  • Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener
  • Whirlpool WHES30E 30,000 Grain Softener
  • Pentair WS48-56sxt10 water softener
  • Watts Premier 7100638 Water System
  • Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System

What is meant by the grain capacity of a water softener?

The rated capacity of a water softener is defined as the maximum number of grains of water hardness can the unit remove before the regeneration cycle. Various units offer different grain capacities depending on the model.

How would I know how hard my water is?

The only way to be sure is to conduct a test. Testing your water’s hardness is an important step before you buy a water softener. You can either do it by yourself through water-testing kits available at home improvement stores or you could have professional conduct.

Do all water softeners use salt?

Most water softeners use salt to reduce the hardness in water but not all do. There are many units that are saltless water softeners that use different methods such as magnetic waves, ion exchange, or electromagnetic waves to condition water.

What is meant by regeneration?

The water softener goes into its regeneration cycle with the resin bed inside the softener gets coated with hardness particles over time. The resin bed is rid of the hardness particles by mixing the salt in the tank with incoming water during regeneration. Once regeneration is done, the unit will continue to provide a steady supply of soft water.

Do water softeners use too much electricity?

Water softeners are quite easy on your power bill. They use energy as low as a digital alarm clock. Some advanced models use as low as four watts of energy.

Does the water softener remove harmful germs and bacteria?

Water softeners generally treat hard water by removing the elements which cause the hardness. It typically does not work as a water purifier or filter. The water coming to your house should be naturally free of harmful bacteria and germs. However, there are some models that come with additional features such as a water filtration system.

Does water softener improve the taste of the water?

Depending on what is in your water, a water softener improves the taste of the water to some extent. For instance, a water softener can remove foul taste because of excessive iron in the water by removing the iron particles.

Water hardness can cause excessive limescale buildup in your pipes and heating devices. It can also cause the water to taste foul or even irritate your skin.

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