Water Softeners

SOFTENERS AND CONDITIONERS

Water Softener Reviews

Water Softeners use salt to tackle hard water issues such as scale build-up that can damage your plumbing and appliances. Read on to find out if you need one for your home and how to make the best selection.

What is a Water Softener?

Water softeners are systems that address hard water through a process known as ion exchange. Essentially, they grab the ions hard water minerals (calcium and magnesium) and replace them with harmless sodium ions. Through this process, the water is softened by removing hard minerals.

How Do Water Softeners Work?

As hard water flows into the system, it passes through a bed of resin beads that have a negative charge from sodium ions. Since the hard water minerals calcium and magnesium have a positive charge and opposite charges attract, they will be drawn to the resin beads as hard water passes through the system. The beads grab the hard water minerals and swap them with harmless sodium ions, so only softened water passes through to your home. Since water softeners rely on sodium for the ion exchange process, homeowners will need to add salt to the system on a regular basis. They also require electricity to function.

Buyer’s Guide for Water Softeners

Choosing the best water softener system for your home requires more than comparing key features of products and reading reviews. Here’s some background information to help you better understand water softeners.

Softeners

product

A. O. Smith - 35,000-Grain Water Softener System - AO-WH-SOFT-350

Expertly engineered, simply functional - protect your home from the effects of hard water.

Learn More about the A. O. Smith - AO-WH-SOFT-350
Best Price*

System

$479.00

Performance

Certified

NSF/ANSI 44

Integrated Pre-Filter

Yes

Power Loss Protection

Yes

Salt Technology

Yes

Best Price*

System

$479.00

Performance

Certified

NSF/ANSI 44

Integrated Pre-Filter

Yes

Power Loss Protection

Yes

Salt Technology

Yes

Other Benefits:
  • 3/10 year warranty
product

WaterBoss - WaterBoss 700 Water Softener - 700

This compact whole-house water softener includes a built-in self-cleaning dirt and sediment filter. Save money by using less water and salt. Compact design for small spaces.

Learn More about the WaterBoss - 700
Best Price*

System

$579.00

Performance

Certified

NSF/ANSI 44

Integrated Pre-Filter

Yes

Power Loss Protection

No

Salt Technology

No

Best Price*

System

$579.00

Performance

Certified

NSF/ANSI 44

Integrated Pre-Filter

Yes

Power Loss Protection

No

Salt Technology

No

Other Benefits:
  • 5/10-year warranty
product

Whirlpool - 18,000 Grain Compact Home Water Softener - WHES18

This compact water softener system is equipped with the latest technology in water softening. Designed with Demand Initiated Regeneration, this softener only regenerates brine and water when it needs to, unlike older systems that operate on a timer. This new way of softening not only provides your home with soft water, but also saves on energy and water costs. The shorter design of this small water softener system is perfect for smaller households. Connects to plumbing up to 1” in diameter.

Learn More about the Whirlpool - WHES18
Best Price*

System

$567.76

Performance

Certified

NSF/ANSI 44, 372

Integrated Pre-Filter

No

Power Loss Protection

No

Salt Technology

Yes

Best Price*

System

$567.76

Performance

Certified

NSF/ANSI 44, 372

Integrated Pre-Filter

No

Power Loss Protection

No

Salt Technology

Yes

Other Benefits:
  • 1-year warranty
product

GE - 30,000 Grain Water Softener - GXSF30V

Easy to use up-front electronic controls with status light indicator.

Learn More about the GE - GXSF30V
Best Price*

System

$499.00

Performance

Certified

NSF/ANSI Standards 44, 372, CSA B483.1

Integrated Pre-Filter

No

Power Loss Protection

No

Salt Technology

Yes

Best Price*

System

$499.00

Performance

Certified

NSF/ANSI Standards 44, 372, CSA B483.1

Integrated Pre-Filter

No

Power Loss Protection

No

Salt Technology

Yes

Other Benefits:
  • 1-year warranty
product

Durawater - The Fleck 5600 SXT Metered Softener - 5600-sxt-48kFM

This complete water softener comes with Fine Mesh Resin 10 x 54 Black USA Mineral Tank loaded with 1.5 cubic foot of Fine Mesh Resin Black Brine Tank with Safety Float 1 inch Noryl Plastic Bypass Fleck 5600SXT Metered Control Valve. Eliminate the hard water that causes scale buildup and reduced soap efficiency with our complete whole house water softening unit with high efficiency Fleck 5600 SXT Metered control valve. Fine Mesh Resin remove iron from the water as well as it Removes Hard Water - Using ion exchange process this system removes the calcium and magnesium that cause hard water. By eliminating hard water you extend the life of your plumbing and appliances! Meter Based Regeneration - This system uses a meter based regeneration process. This means that the water you use is measured and the system only regenerates when it needs to. If water needs increase the system regenerates more often to keep up. Fleck 5600 SXT Metered Control is the most popular controller from Fleck and is built on the tried and true 5600 valve. The standard square brine tank included with this system is 14 x 14 x 34 and can hold about 250 lbs. of salt. The included safety float prevents overfilling and the overflow drain acts as an additional backup to avoid water messes. Installation only takes 1-2 hours with some basic plumbing skills.

Learn More about the Durawater - 5600-sxt-48kFM
Best Price*

System

$765.00

Performance

Certified

-

Integrated Pre-Filter

No

Power Loss Protection

No

Salt Technology

Yes

Best Price*

System

$765.00

Performance

Certified

-

Integrated Pre-Filter

No

Power Loss Protection

No

Salt Technology

Yes

product

AquaSure - 48,000 Grains Water Softener - AS-HS48D

Introducing the Aquasure Harmony Series 48,000 Grains Whole House Water Softener, (AS-HS40D), ideal for homes or businesses with 3-4 bathrooms and up to 5 people. Whether your water source is city, municipal, or well water, our system uses a highly effective ion exchange process to remove hard water minerals, delivering impeccable softened water throughout your home. Equipped with an automatic digital metered control head to ensure precise automatic backwashing and regeneration, helping you to conserve water while maintaining optimal system efficiency. Say goodbye to the negative effects of hard water, such as limescale buildup, soap scum, dry skin, and brittle hair.

Learn More about the AquaSure - AS-HS48D
Best Price*

System

$549.50

Performance

Certified

-

Integrated Pre-Filter

No

Power Loss Protection

No

Salt Technology

Yes

Best Price*

System

$549.50

Performance

Certified

-

Integrated Pre-Filter

No

Power Loss Protection

No

Salt Technology

Yes

Other Benefits:
  • 5-year warranty

Water Softeners vs. Water Conditioners

Water softeners and conditioners are two solutions for addressing hard water that have a few differences.

Most notably, these systems work through different processes. Water softeners remove hard water minerals through ion exchange. Water conditioners don’t remove hard water minerals, they alter their chemical structure to make them harmless. Both options will address hard water, so your decision may come down to other differences between the systems.

Typically, water conditioners can only tackle minimally hard water. If your home has very hard water, you will likely need to use a water softener.

Beyond how they work, the largest difference between water softeners and conditioners is the maintenance and resources they require. Water softeners rely on sodium to perform ion exchange, so you’ll need to fill the system up with large salt bags on a regular basis and the system will also requires electricity which can add to your utility bill. As an alternative, water conditioners don’t require salt or electricity to work so they are seen as low-maintenance and more eco-friendly.

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*Product performance claims and prices were taken from publicly available information on Amazon, are accurate as of 1/3/2024, and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Cost per gallon is calculated as replacement filter price/capacity. Not all contaminants will be listed in charts. If you find information that is inaccurate, please send the correct info with supporting documentation to info@waterfiltercomparisons.com, and we will address any errors. As an Amazon Associate, Water Filter Comparisons receives a commission on purchases made through our Amazon links.