Last Updated on October 20, 2020 by Terry Ohara
First things first. A water softener is basically a unit whose purpose as the name states, is to soften water by eliminating potential minerals that are known for making the water hard. For instance, water softeners remove the presence of Calcium and Magnesium Ions by using an exchange with Potassium Ions and Sodium.
Moreover, by doing this, water softeners will prevent the occurrence of a buildup of scale which means your home appliances life-expectancy can be drastically enhanced.
Nowadays, more and more users are keen on purchasing water softeners because of many reasons, but in general, their best reason is first of all to drink water that will be free from contaminants along with the fact that they are affordable in comparison with purchasing water bottles.
In this article, I will try to offer you the best water softeners that you can find on the market, and at the same time, make sure that the price of the listed articles is going to match the budget of a variety of different customers. That’s why, tighten your seat belts because we are getting into action right now!
The 5 Best Water Softeners
5. AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 5600SXT
The AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 5600SXT, would be a really good option for you, especially the water your household uses is prone to having iron, and this unit is explicitly designed to help you deal with such things!
The Pro 2 5600SXT measures 14 x 7 x 21-inches, weighs approximately 119.5 pounds and sports a solid yet durable construction that is accompanied by a digital metered valve, and a Bypass Valve that measures 12 x 48 -inches, so from the moment you get the package you will have everything needed that will guarantee you an easy installation and a reliable performance.
One of the biggest highlights regarding its design is the presence of a digital metered valve. This is a great addition if you ask me, due to the fact that digital metered water has a backlit LCD display that will drastically enhance your user-experience since you will be able to program it and use all of its features.
In general, this unit is fairly easy when it comes to installation, however, the process may require some technical knowledge and basic tools in order to set it up correctly. In fact, the AFWFilters has released how-to videos with the intention to make the installation process as effective and easy as possible, but if you do really face difficulties, then you should consider hiring a professional that will do the job for you.
On the downside, some users have reported that the installation instructions delivered with the package aren’t clear, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone will have troubles, since the key factor may always be having at least a minimal technical knowledge.
The AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 5600SXT employs a Fine Mesh Resin which is surely a great addition, due to the fact that this part plays a key role in removing high levels of iron while ensuring that your home appliances will not suffer as well!
In addition, this unit has a capacity of up to 64,000 grain which makes it be a highly suitable option for large homes, since its capacity can easily serve more than 4 members of a family at a time.
I would also like to mention that this unit is capable enough to remove water hardness of up to 75 gpg, up to 6 ppm of sediment, Manganese with a rate of up to 6 ppm, as well as Iron with a range that stretches from 6-8 ppm!
But that’s not all! The water you will be drinking from now on will not have an odor as well which I absolutely favor. As a matter of fact, this unit can also remove Sulfur with a rate of up to 2 ppm, so when we combine all these things into one, I think that you will love having such a quality product.
Maintenance and Cost Efficiency
First of all, I’d like you to know that this unit can be used for a really long period of time which by default, means that once you purchase it, there won’t be a need of purchasing another one and spend an additional amount of money. To be more precise, the manufacturer rates this unit at 5 years of use, and even though this may vary in practice due to many factors, the life-expectancy will still be long!
Maintenance should not represent a problem for you, but I’d advise you to clean its exterior from time to time in order to preserve its original look, even though it is not mandatory because the AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 5600SXT is designed to look well and to last for years.
- Ideal For Whole House Use
- Long-Lasting Filters
- Eliminates Scale Buildup
- Installation Instructions Could Be Better
I strongly recommend you consider this product, especially if your household is large and you require a proper water softener that can deliver a truly reliable performance!
4. Pelican NS6
The Pelican NS6 has been on the market for a couple of years, but since its release day, even today, it is still being purchased by thousands of customers because of its highly-effective performance that makes it suitable for small, medium and large families!
From a design perspective, this unit features a Stainless Steel construction which is surely a great thing, due to the fact that this unit will resist stains, oxidation, and rust while being used for years.
In addition, the Pelican is available in two editions including the one we are currently reviewing which can offer consistent performance for 4 – 6 bathrooms, and the NS3 version which is for 1-3 bathrooms, so feel free to switch because they do not really differ in terms of performance.
Before we move to the next section, I’d like to note that this particular model measures 59.5-inches in height, 21-inches in width and is 19-inches deep, so it won’t really occupy a chunk of space in your bathrooms.
The Pelican NS6 comes with all the components you will require in order to install it properly, and this includes a Sediment Filter, Bypass Valve, Mounting Kit, 2x O-rings, 2x Split Rings, 2x Quick Connect Nuts, along with an installation manual which is awesome.
Speaking of the installation itself, there are few steps you should do and they aren’t complex at all.
First of all, start with assembling the sediment prefilter unit. This stage requires removing the blue filter housing, removing the plastic cover from the filter cartridge itself and the final step is to insert the cartridge into the filter housing.
The second step is to install the pre-filter, and this includes closing the main water from your supply valve, taking advantage of the included mounting bracket and attach the filter cover to it, mounting the bracket to a wall and once you do this, you should screw the blue filter housing back on. This can be done with your own wrench, or with the included filter wrench.
This unit is DVGW-Certified, which means that it can prevent up to 99.6% of Scale, something that does not often happen with products in this price range.
Furthermore, the NS6 also keeps care of your clothes, home appliances and the most important thing, your skin, and hair due to the fact that it makes them appear more moisturized and natural, so you shouldn’t worry about anything!
When it comes to the flow rate, this unit has a maximum flow rate of up to 15-gallons per minute which means that it can serve homes with 4-6 bathrooms without any problem. On the other hand, the NS6 also matches the NSF/ANSI 61 standards, which is awesome, and to be honest, I’m not surprised why do users purchase this product.
Maintenance and Cost Efficiency
Considering the fact that the Pelican NS6 has a stainless steel construction, by default, this means that you will unlikely notice a difference with the unit’s look and performance even if you’ve been using it for a couple of years!
In addition, this model requires almost no maintenance because all you would have to do is to change the pre-filter cartridge once or twice a year depending on the use, so as you can see, this unit is both cost-efficient and easy to maintain.
Before we end to the next section, I’d like to note one thing, and that’s the fact that according to those who have already purchased the Pelican NS6, this unit does not waste gallons of water during the softening process which is yet another good reason that should convince you on an eventual purchase.
- WQA certified according to NSF/ANSI Standard 61
- Quality Performance
- The pressure release button on the pre-filter may leak after some time
If you’re living in a large house and require quality, 2-in-1 water softener and conditioner, then I’d recommend you take this unit into a consideration!
3. Tier1 Everyday Series
The Tier1 Everyday Series water softener has been heavily praised by thousands of customers on the market, and I’m sure that you have noticed this name popping up numerous times as you were searching for a water softener. Well, today you will finally learn what makes this unit different from the other and what are the benefits you receive in a return with this product.
First of all, I would like to make one thing clear regarding this unit, and that’s the fact that this model is available in two editions including the 32,000-Grain version and the 48,000-Grain version, so feel free to switch if you require the edition that has less capacity anytime you want, since both of them perform mostly the same.
Moreover, this particular model measures 15.5 x 15.5 x 66.5-inches, weighs approximately 10.4 ounces and sports a well-made, blue-colored construction that houses a user-friendly, LCD display that will drastically enhance your user experience because it has many included features.
Furthermore, thanks to the incorporated turbine meter that can be found in the bypass valve, this unit won’t occupy a large amount of space, so you won’t have any difficulties placing it in your preferred place.
The Tier1 Everyday Series 48,000 Grain comes with everything that promises an easy installation, such as a pre-filled mineral tank with 1.5 cubic feet of Cation Resin, a control valve, 3/4-inch water line connections, brine tubing, brine-tank, and various mechanical components that will significantly reduce the installation time-frame.
Furthermore, there is an intuitive user-manual included as well, so all you would have to do is to follow each step and by doing this, you won’t really have to hire a professional to do this for you.
This unit has proved itself as a highly effective in terms of reducing Scale build-up which as most of us know, is a #1 contributor in causing damage to our appliances. Once the damage is done, we often have to pay an additional amount of money in order to repair them, well from now on, this won’t be a thing.
Now, let’s take a look at its specs. This model can offer a maximum flow rate of up to 11.2-gallons per minute, works under an operating pressure that ranges from 20-120 and operates with temperatures that stretch from 40-120°F.
Another great thing about this unit is that you can adjustable the cycle times according to your preferences, but what’s even better is that Tier1 Everyday Series packs a so-called 3-phase regenerating cycle, so let’s briefly explain each of the stages.
1st Stage: Is also known as a “Backwash” phase, which reverses water flow with the intention to flush dirt out of the tank and ensure that the tank will be as clean as possible.
2nd Stage: This stage is called “Recharge” ensures that the presence of concentrated sodium-rich salt solution will be carried from the brine tank through the mineral talk. To be more precise, this stage prevents sodium from collecting on the beeds, replaces both, the calcium and magnesium and ensures a proper flush along the drain.
3rd Stage: This part is mainly focused on eliminating excess brine and refilling the brine tank.
Maintenance and Cost-Efficiency
The Tier1 Everyday Series 48,000 Grain is truly a cost-efficient water softener due to the fact that it is reasonably priced for the benefits you get in return. On the other hand, it doesn’t require putting much effort in terms of maintenance since all of its components are designed to offer long-term use while maintaining the level of consistency on the highest levels.
- Includes a Digital Meter Control Valve
- Easy To Install
- Highly Effective Performance
You should definitely consider the Tier1 Everyday Series 48,000 Grain as your next purchase,because this unit justifies its price tag and offers even more value for its cost!
2. Fleck 5600SXT
The Fleck 5600SXT is currently among the best water softeners that you can find on the market, and the reason is fairly simple. This unit merges a well-made construction, high-capacity, and a strong performance that can justify even the most demanding customers!
Design-wise, this model boasts an all-black, space-saving construction with an unusual shape which, therefore, plays a huge role in preserving as less space as possible!
In addition, this water softener comes with a backlit LCD display that has dedicated button controls of which you can take advantage in order to program its performance according to your preferences, and personally, I love these things.
Before we move to the next section I’d also like to note that the interface and the touchpad controls are straightforward so you won’t have any troubles when it comes to adjusting this unit.
The Fleck 5600SXT comes with a standard 1-inch MNPT thread and a Bypass valve, and each of them will drastically ease the installation process since with the first component you can quickly install this water softener to your plumbing, while with the latter will prevent the system from shutting off the main water supply.
For your information, other components include a Fiberglass resin tank, brine tank, Top basket ( that prevents a loss of resin), Brine line.
Furthermore, you will be given an installation manual, but please note that there is an online video tutorial as well, so feel free to follow the steps and avoid paying money for hiring plumbers.
In practice, it may take up to 2 hours in order to have it installed properly according to some customers.
The Fleck 5600SXT has a 48,000-Grain capacity which translates in 1.5 cubic feet, and it is powerful enough to output a flow rate of about 12-gallons per minute which is great!
I would also like to mention that the peak is 28-gallons per minute, and If we take a closer look at its flow rate, I can easily say that up to 6 people can taste the benefits of having this product.
In practice, this water softener can also ensure that the presence of Calcium Sulfate and Magnesium will be drastically reduced if not completely eliminated.
According to those who have already purchased this product, the Fleck 5600SXT does its job pretty good when used with moderate and even hard water, so I think that you will notice the chance once you decide to purchase this product.
Maintenance and Cost Efficiency
The Fleck 5600SXT is not the cheapest water softener that you can find on the Internet, however, considering the fact that this unit comes with many useful features including an LCD screen and has a large-capacity, I think that this model is not overpriced.
On the other side, you should keep an eye on the maintenance from time to time, because by keeping care of the unit, you can also prolong its life expectancy. To be more precise, all you would have to do would be to pay minimal attention to the brine tank. This consists of topping up with salt when the levels are getting low and nothing more.
- Automated Maintenance
- Easy To Install
- Extremely Effective
- Justifies Its Price Tag
- Plastic Parts. We Prefer Stainless Steel Instead.
With all of its flaws and positive sides, I’d still recommend you consider this product as your next purchase, and if you ever decide to purchase it, you will unlikely be disappointed!
1. SpringWell Futuresoft CSF1
The SpringWell Futuresoft CSF1 is relatively new on the market, but since its release date, it has quickly established itself as a top choice for every customer who wants to invest in a premium, salt-free water softener that does perform exceptionally good. That’s why, let’s get straight into action and find out what makes it different from the other water softeners!
Aesthetically-speaking, the Futuresoft CSF1 looks extremely beautiful thanks to the combination of black and blue which makes this unit appear indeed elegant!
For your information, this unit is available in two editions on Amazon, including the version which we are currently reviewing (1-3 Bathrooms) but if you live in a large household do not restrict yourself on getting the other version which can match the needs of a household with 4-6 bathrooms.
The Futuresoft CSF1 comes with an easy installation kit which includes a mounting bracket of which you can take advantage and attach it to any wall, and a bypass valve which will let you attach the softener on a separate route instead of laying on main.
In addition, there are MNPT fittings which are really convenient, since by using then you will prevent water leakage. You can also find a spanner wrench, an 0-ring, and a Pre-filter housing along with a sediment filter, so as you can see, installation is going to be butter-smooth.
Before we move to the next section I’d like to clarify one thing regarding the installation. Most of the users do not face difficulties when it comes to installation, however, if you lack basic technical knowledge, do not hesitate to hire a professional. Even though there may not be a need, it is better to have it properly installed instead of dealing with undesirable scenarios.
This particular model uses a so-called Template Assisted Crystallization technology which does not require use of salt and Ion exchange. According to the manufacturer, this process converts any kind of hardness-causing minerals in your water into a hardness crystal that will not stick to any surface in your home, and by doing this, your home appliances will be safe from damage.
Moving on, this unit packs 3 filtration stages which is awesome, so let’s briefly explain each of them.
- 1st Stage: This stage captures Sediment, Slit, Clay and Sand and prevents them from reaching into your organism.
- 2nd Stage: Here, the KDF Media effectively eliminates a variety of different chemicals such as Chlorine and makes sure that even Heavy Metals will not be spared during the filtering process.
- 3rd Stage: At this stage, we can taste the benefits of the Coconut Shell Carbon Media whose primary job is to remove contaminants such as VOCs, Pesticides, Herbicides, along with both, Chloramine and Chlorine.
Maintenance and Cost-Efficiency
When it comes to the maintenance, the Futuresoft CSF1 offers a virtually maintenance-free experience, due to the fact the only thing you should do would be a simple filter replacement after 12 months.
Furthermore, this unit is not the cheapest, however, it can still be categorized as a cost-efficient because it does not require electricity, and when we add the fact that it can last up to 12 months, it means that you will save a lot of money during this period, so purchasing a new filter will not be a problem at all. Definitely one of the best water softeners out there.
- Softens Your Skin & Hair
- Removes Harmful Contaminants
- Protects Your Appliances From Scale
- Easy Maintenance
The Futuresoft CSF1 is a must-have product, so give it a try and assure yourself of its quality!
How Does Soft Water Affect Your Health?
Drinking softened water generates numerous positive health benefits including healthier and soft skin and hair. Softened water ensures that you will receive the essential minerals in your body on one side, while on the other, they will eliminate the presence of dirt and chemicals from interfering with your organism and causing harm.
How Does a Water Softener Work?
Water softeners incorporate an Ion Exchange process which replaces Magnesium and Calcium ions in your water with Sodium Ions. During this process, as hard water flows through the reservoir, resins that can be found in the tank, release sodium into the water. When this process ends, or better said, once the Ion exchange is done, the soft water comes through the water softener tank and activates the resins to become ready to soften more water.
Advantages of Water Softeners
The advantages are many, but let’s name a few of them.
- Cleaner Clothes – since hard water minerals are known for preventing your detergents from cleaning your clothes properly, this leads to unproperly cleaned clothes. That’s why, water softeners come into action and prevent these scenarios from becoming a reality.
- Cost-Efficiency – According to numerous studies, it is shown that using a water softener can actually be a good thing, even though they cost a bit more. The reason behind this is the fact that you will spend less on hygiene ( cleaning your clothes) as well as on electricity or gas.
- Protects Your Home Appliances – Hardwater and build-up of minerals are known for damaging your home appliances, so, water softener serves as a buffer zone between the water and your home appliances while enhancing the security as much as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Are water softeners worth it?
A: Yes they are. Even though they are expensive, I think that they are worth the investment.
Q: Do water softeners save money?
A: Of course they are. Just take into consideration the fact that they keep care of your home appliances and the fact that they do not run on electricity!
Q: Is soft water safe for consumption?
A: Once again, the answer is, yes. There isn’t an official report which states that drinking softened water is harmful, hence, you can drink it without having to worry about anything. In fact, softened water doesn’t contain high levels of Sodium which are known for causing problems with people that have problems with blood circulation.