Best Water Softeners 2016 – Comprehensive Guide

When you step out of the shower does your hair frequently dry, breaking off, or hard to comb through? Does your skin feel dry and sometimes itch? Well, this happened to me too, and I could not take it anymore, I knew I needed to invest in a water softener for my home, but I had no idea on how to find the best water softeners for me.

The Soft Water Zone takes the guesswork out of choosing the best water softeners for hard water in your home as per your specific requirement. We provide water softener reviews with comparison and ratings so you can make the best choice for you and your family. Whether you’re installing a water softener for the first time or replacing an old one, we can help. Before we go further, check out top 10 water softeners comparison.

Top 10 Water Softeners Comparison

Top 5 Best Water Softeners Reviews with Ratings

Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener Review

Fleck 5600 Water Softener
  • System Type: Salt Based
  • Grains Capacity:  48000
  • Suitable For: Household of 3 to 4 members

The Fleck 5600SXT is just the water softener system you need to eliminate hard water in your home. This water softener will not only help to eliminate hard water, but will also help to increase the efficiency of soaps used throughout your household. This system is a high efficiency and high capacity system which uses the ion exchange process. Choose the Fleck 5600 if you want to extend the life of your appliances and plumbing while providing better quality water for your family. The appliance is user friendly being easy to install, with a user friendly interface and touch-pad controls.

Features of the Fleck 5600SXT

The Fleck 5600 SXT is a digital whole house model featuring an on demand valve and fully programmable cycles. This system is suitable for a household containing between 3 and 6 individuals in an area that has moderate to very hard water.

  • Digital On-Demand Control Valve. This 5600SXT valve comes with a 5 year warranty and has been tested and proven to provide results for up to 27 years of continuous usage. The appliance also features a bypass valve with a 1” threaded plumbing adapter.
  • Meter Based Regeneration. This feature allows the system to regenerate only when necessary based on the amount of water you use. This is an ongoing monitoring that is automatically done by the system and if your water needs increase and your regeneration rates need to increase, the process is taken care of by itself.
  • Interface. This is very user friendly featuring a backlit LCD display, 48 hour internal power backup and touchpad controls. These allow for the user to easily install, adjust and otherwise work with the 5600SXT with little plumbing knowledge thanks to its fully programmable cycles.
  • Output. This system is suitable in homes with three to six individuals. It is most suitable for areas with a water supply that is considered moderate to very hard. It provides adequate treatment with a flow rate of up to 12 gpm.

Advantages of the Fleck 5600SXT

  • No Overfilling or Overflow. With an included safety float, the Fleck 5600SXT will not overfill. In addition, there is also an overflow drain that allows for water drainage in the unlikely event that the system malfunctions and starts to overfill the tank. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about water messes with this system in place.
  • Suitable for Larger Households. This system provides adequate amounts of softened water with a good flow rate to service a household consisting of up to 6 people. It is an ideal choice if you don’t have a regularly large household but if you entertain guests often throughout the year as well.
  • Warranty Backed. The 5600SXT valve is backed by a 5 year warranty and the brine tank is separately backed by a 10 year warranty. This protects your purchase and gives you the opportunity to save money down the line if your system malfunctions.
  • Installation is a Breeze. With just a little bit of plumbing knowledge and some help from the internet, the average homeowner can install this system on their own. This helps you to save a buck from not having to get a plumber.

Things to be Aware of

If you are using potassium in the brine tank, you won’t want to fill it up all the way, as potassium will form a mass at the bottom of the tank and won’t dissolve well.

Bottom Line

The Fleck 5600SXT is a good choice when you need a water softener; it has a high capacity, is easy to install and is backed by multiple warranties. It's one of the best  water softeners available on the market.

Eddy Electronic Water Descaler Water Softener Review

eddy electronic
  • System Type: Magnetic System
  • Grains Capacity:  Not Applicable
  • Suitable For: Low/ Medium level of hard water

The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is a great choice if you find that you have lime scale on your faucets, sinks and showers. The water being supplied to your home or business contains calcium, magnesium and manganese compounds which are responsible for lime scale. As such, using this water forms hard deposits of the minerals on your pipes, sinks, faucets and inside your appliances. This causes a reduction in water flow over time and also reduces the efficiency of your furnaces and water heaters.

Features of the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler

The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is a no salt system which provides an alternative to salt based water softener systems. This is a magnetic system which maintains the healthy minerals such as calcium particulates in water which is beneficial for human beings.

  • Electro-Magnetic Wave System. This technology works by installing coils around your pipe where your water comes into your home. The coils produce an electro-magnetic wave, which forms a magnetic field. It is this magnetic field that alters the lime scale’s adhesion properties without altering the chemical hardness of water so that beneficial particulates can be retained.
  • Buyer’s Protection. The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler comes with a 1 year 100% Money Back Guarantee as well as a Lifetime Repair or Replace Warranty. These are risk-free guarantees, as your purchase is protected on multiple levels giving you the opportunity to purchase with confidence.
  • Can Be Used with a Variety of Pipe Types. The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler can be used on all types of pipes except from iron and lead pipes, making it a versatile option.

Advantages of the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler

  • Easy to Install. This electronic water descaler can be easily installed by the customer on all metal and plastic pipes, with iron and lead pipes being the only exception for installation.
  • Keeps Beneficial Minerals. This water descaler removes the minerals that cause limescale while preserving beneficial minerals such as calcium, which is beneficial to the human body in a variety of ways.
  • Guarantees. The Eddy comes with money back guarantee and repair and replace warranties which protect your purchase, while providing you with the confidence to make your purchase. For items purchased on Amazon there is a $30 restock fee if the item is returned.
  • Salt Free System. This system does not use salt to remove hard minerals. This means you don’t have to contend with added sodium in your drinking and cooking water.

Things to be Aware of

The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler uses a static magnetic field and as such its efficiency is determined by the velocity of the water. This means that when the water flow is low these are not as efficient in provide descaling properties.

Bottom Line

The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is a cost effective unit which is easy to install by the customer. Remember that this is a descaler and not a water softener so your expectations should be gauged by this. For lines with a lot of previous build up you will have to wait a bit longer to start seeing a difference as the appliance works to get rid of the excess buildup.

On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT Water Softener Review

On the go otg4 dblsoft
  • System Type: Salt Based
  • Grains Capacity:  16000
  • Suitable For: Frequent travellers

Just because you are always on the go doesn’t mean that you have to accept hard water. With the On the Go OTG4-DBLSOFT you can have great water wherever you go. This system is a softener and conditioner with double the output of the standard portable water softener on the market. It is also the largest of its type currently on the market. This is a salt based unit that runs on two boxes of your table salt and which regenerates in just 30 minutes, providing you with up to 1600 gallons of water good for as long as 40 days.

Features of the On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT

The On The Go OTG4 is a high capacity, high efficiency and high output system. It does all of this while being portable and operates with minimal maintenance. It is built just for RV/Marine owners who need a 16,000 grain unit.

  • High Output. The OTG4 produces two times the amount of softened water than the largest standard model RV portable water softener on the market. It does all of this providing water for up to 40 days in the amount of 1600 gallon. Regeneration is quick in less than 30 minutes and inexpensive with just 2 boxes of table salt.
  • Design. The design of the OTG4 helps it to provide space savings so that it can be installed in the smallest place in your RV/Marine. With its small size, the manufacturer ensured they gave it a large mouth so that it could be easy to add salt. With 360 degree swivel capabilities the inlet hose can be easily connected. Made with a cap & plug to prevent leakage the OTG4 is definitely travel friendly.
  • Connections. The OTG4 uses a standard hose connection, which allows the user to connect it to a park faucet and to your RV or Marine motor. This can all be done without the use of tools and electricity, and with its small size it can be stored easily in a dock side locker or in a storage bay.

Advantages of the On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT

  • Easy to Install. This water softener needs no tools or electricity for installation and use. It can be connected to an outdoor faucet with a standard hose connection and then connected to your RV just the same. With a compact design it can be stored anywhere; in a storage bay or in a dock side locker based on your vehicle.
  • Easy Maintenance. The OTG4 regenerates in just 30 minutes with two boxes of common table salt. With just these two boxes and 30 minutes of regeneration, the system is ready to produce an output of 1600 gallons of softened water, which can last you for 40 days. It features a large mouth which makes addition of salt a breeze.
  • Portable. This portable model comes with a carry handle on the top which makes it very easy to move around. Its small size at just 22 inches in height and 9.5 inches in diameter makes it easy to carry even for your younger passengers.

Things to be Aware of

As this works with plastic hose fittings, which are not the strongest, you should ensure that it is in a fixed position with no chance of tipping over.

Bottom Line

The OTG4 is definitely what you need if you are looking for a portable water softener for your RV, as it will provide you with high efficiency and capacity while being easy to install and easy to maintain.

Clearwave CW-125 Water Softener Review

clearwave cw125
  • System Type: Salt Free
  • Grains Capacity:  NA
  • Suitable For: Low level hard water

The Clearwave CW125 is a great choice if you are looking for a water conditioner that runs on a salt-less system. Remove lime scale and hard water buildup without adding sodium to your water supply, and benefit from easier cleaning of your surfaces whether they are metal, plastic, glass or ceramic while reducing the stains and scaly crust buildup from your faucets, toilets, pipes and appliances. This revolutionary product works to condition your water without having to use the chemicals required in other types of water softening systems with the use of electromagnetic waves.

Features of the Clearwave CW-125

The CW 125 uses electro-magnetic waves which attack the unwanted particles in hard water. The system works on the entire water system and helps to reduce your problems caused by hard water.

  • Electro-Magnetic Waves. This is the technology that conditions your water. Scale and buildup is caused when magnesium and calcium particles stick to each other and to the surface of anything that your water touches. The electro-magnetic waves prevent the minerals from sticking together and so they flow along with water and do not stick thus not causing any buildup on your surfaces.
  • Hot & Cold Water Friendly. The technology used in this water conditioner makes it suitable for use all throughout your house on both your cold water and hot water systems and appliances.
  • Salt-Free System. This system has a salt free design which is good if you are concerned about sodium levels in your water.

Advantages of the Clearwave CW-125

  • Makes Cleaning Easier. With no hard water, cleaning becomes easier whether you are cleaning metal surfaces, glass surfaces, plastic surfaces or ceramic surfaces. It increases the efficiency of your dishwasher and other cleaning appliances that use water, as well as other kitchen cooking appliances.
  • Easy Installation. Set up is easy and any householder can manage to do it themselves. Just follow the included instructions, plug it in and you will have improved water flowing through your pipes.
  • Removes Build-Up. After running for a week you will be able to see an improvement in water flow and all connected appliances, and you will also be able to see improvement in temperature in your heating system. This can improve the condition of your filters leading to less maintenance of your plumbing system.
  • Helps Save You Money. With this system installed you will get more out of your cleaning soaps and detergents. This means that your clothes will be cleaned more efficiently and you can use less detergent and save money. The same can be said of a dishwasher and the quality of the washed items at the end of every wash cycle.

Things to be Aware of

The only time you should have problems with this system is if it not properly installed, so just make sure your installation is on-point.

Bottom Line

The Clearwater CW 125 salt free water conditioner provides you with all the conditioning you need for your home. Not only will it provide you with good water quality going forward but will also help to remove any buildup that is already there.

ScaleBlaster SB-75 Water Softener Review

Scale Blaster SB75
  • System Type: Salt FREE
  • Grains Capacity:  NA
  • Suitable For: Indoor Installation for large house

Solve all your hard water problems with no salt, no chemicals and no maintenance with the ScaleBlaster SB-75 Water Conditioning System. The water conditioning system is very innovative and is easy to install even with no plumbing skills. The unit will remove and prevent future lime-scale deposits in the pipes in your household. It will help to protect the life of your washing machines, water heaters and dishwashers and will also prolong their lives. Your laundry will be better done, your hair will feel better, cleaning will provide better results when your water is treated by this unit.

Features of the ScaleBlaster SB-75

The ScaleBlaster SB-75 is ideal for households as large as 4000 square feet. It provides water softening for levels of hard water up to 19 grains at a rate of 325ppm. This is suitable for indoor installation only but requires a small space for installation.

  • Computerized Operation. The ScaleBlaster SB-75 is an innovative, state of the art water conditioning system that uses no salt or chemicals and requires no manual maintenance. This makes it a healthy alternative for persons on a low sodium or salt restricted diet.
  • Indoor Installation. This unit is designed to only be installed indoors, and it's not a problem since the unit is small and requires minimal space to be properly installed. Installation also requires no plumbing so that also increases the ease of which this can be installed inside.
  • Maintenance. No maintenance is required for this unit due to the technology which it utilizes to condition water. Since it requires no plumbing, this greatly reduces the need for maintenance so you will never need to manually regenerate this unit once installed.

Advantages of the ScaleBlaster SB-75

  • Water Conditioning. This water softener conditions water at the higher end of the hardness scale, up to 19 grains which is on the end closest to being extremely hard.
  • Easy to Install. With no plumbing required, this means you can get it done by yourself and all you need is a small space inside your home and the included instructions to get this water softener up and running.
  • Great for Larger Homes. This high capacity unit provides all your water softening needs if you have a bigger home. What’s even better with no maintenance necessary it provides unlimited supply of soft water once installed.

Things to be Aware of

As we mentioned, this ScaleBlaster is designed for indoor installation only, which can cause a problem for some applications – hence the unit is only suitable for in home use.

Bottom Line

The ScaleBrlaster SB-75 is ideal for larger households and provides the advantages of easy installation, no plumbing and no maintenance while providing top quality soft water. What else could you cask for in a water softener? This is definitely one of the best  valued water softener on the market and a good pick so you can go ahead and make your purchase with confidence.


By now we have come to know that hard water is nothing but amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in raw water with small quantity of other minerals. Water pick up these minerals when passes through ground rocks and soils. Due to the presence of these unwanted minerals in water, it has many effects on our everyday life. Here are some of the effects of hard water.

  • SPOTS ON DISHES Hard water has substantial effects on dishwashers and dishes. It causes the dishes not get cleaned properly and dishwashers also can not effectively clean your dishes properly. The while spot/ stain build up on dishes are not good for getting heated while cooking foods. The life span of dishwashers get short due to scale on its wall. The hard water in the dishwashers do not heat up to proper temperature to cleans dishes thereby increase amount of cleaning materials required while washing up. Scale that build up on water using appliances shorten the life span.
  • HEALTH PROBLEMS  Hard water has not adverse health effect as per the WHO statement in Geneva Conference. Read this potential health effects of hard water to know the health problems on account of using hard water.
  • SOAP SCUM  Soap scum build up on dishes is due to chemical reaction between fatty acid of soap and calcium of hard water. Not only it gives dirty look to the utensils but also the dishes with soap scum become less pron to temperature. 
  • PLUMBING PROBLEMS The fittings of plumbing systems due to continuous flow of hard water become more pron to deterioration and need frequent replacement.
  • FAILURE OF APPLIANCES Water using appliances are more likely to fail due to scale build up inside the parts of appliances like washing machines, electric motors etc.
  • DAMAGE OF CLOTHS Clothes do not properly clean due to presence of hard water. The soap with hard water is not able to work normally. The clothes also get damages on account of reaction between minerals of hard water and fatty acid of soap.




Salt-based systems are the most effective type of water softeners on the market. These remove the hard minerals from the water by replacing them with soft minerals – salt. These systems have a brine tank to which you will need to add sodium ions to over time in order for it to work. You need to regularly replace additive i.e salt to make these type of water softener operate.

These water softener systems are not suitable for drinking water because of the sodium content. These appliances, however, give you the option to leave one or two taps in your home with hard water so you can use this water for cooking and drinking purposes. Here are the PRO'S and CON'S of the salt based water softener systems.


  • Very effective for reducing hardness
  • Suitable for highly hard water
  • Increase the life of plumbing items
  • Improve the effectiveness of detergent


  • Not suitable for drinking purpose
  • Reduces the taste of water
  • Need more maintenance
  • Add periodic expenses


Salt Free water softener systems are very complex and use nanotechnology to soften water. Not only do these systems soften your water after being installed, but they also work to remove scale and build-up in your pipes and appliances. These systems greatly reduce the hardness of water by altering the water’s atom structure. These additive free water softeners  are also called salt less or no salt water softeners.

These systems are advantageous if your water is not extremely hard. They are not suitable for water having hardness more than 75 gains per gallon. They are also quite large and take up more space than other types of water softeners. The salt free water softeners are environment friendly but they have some limitations also. Look at the  the PRO'S and CON'S of the salt free systems.


  • Salt like Additive Not Required
  • Descalers provide healthy water
  • No salt or chemicals added to water
  • Demand low maintenance
  • Mostly don't requires electricity
  • Ecologically better choice


  • Only works in running water
  • Not suitable for highly hard water
  • ​Not for hardness 75 grains per gallon
  • Comparatively slow process


These systems work with a special membrane and are more of a water filters than an actual water softener, as they remove impurities from water.The water is pushed through the special semi-permeable membrane which will only allow water to go through. This unit shuts off automatically when the water tank is filled with softened water and will only start again when there is a need for more water. Due to how they work, these are often called water filters and not water softeners, but they do get the job done.

The best part about these appliances is they do not use additive so no salt is required to run them. If you are particularly need to convert hard water to soft one, this type of water softener are not advisable. They are good as water filter but NOT as water softener. Here are the PRO'S and CON'S of the reverse-osmosis system.


  • Salt like additive not required
  • Compact size
  • Very useful for photo & print shops
  • Effective at desalinating water


  • Not effective in hardness reducing
  • Reduces beneficial nutrients also
  • ​Wastes large amount of water
  • Comparatively slow process


Magnetic systems are very small, inexpensive and easy to install, and very easy to maintain. As such, they are gaining popularity in the water softening market. This system works by placing wires or magnets around the pipes in your home. This creates a magnetic field that paralyzes the hardness of your water; however, this is not permanent, and only lasts up to 48 hours before the water goes back to being hard. As such, these systems are recommended for areas where water hardness is medium to low.


  • Small in size and inexpensive
  • No maintenance required
  • Installation is very easy


  • Effective for maximum upto 48 hrs
  • Suitable for medium or low hard water
  • ​Wastes large amount of water


There are different type of water softener systems available in the market from different reputed water softener manufacturers. You may be in confusion to choose the best water softener for your house. Here are some suggestions:

When choosing your water softener, a salt based system is always the best option, especially if you are in an area with extremely hard water. Here are some important aspects to look for in your water softener.

  • How Hard is Your Water? This is one of the first things you need to know so you can effectively choose the right water softener for your needs. Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon (GPG). In the US, GPG ranges from 3 to 20 typically, with 3 being relatively soft and 20 being extremely hard. On average, water hardness in the United States is around 10, but to get the GPG for your area you can purchase a water softening testing kit and then test for your GPG yourself. This is done very easily and so there is no need to get a professional to do the testing.
  • How Much Water Do You Use Per Day or Week? This is the next piece of information that you need to help you choose the right water softener. In the United States, the average household uses 80 to 100 gallons of water each day. To find out the average of your household, you simply need to multiply the average (90) by the amount of people in your household. You will use this number to determine the capacity of the ideal water softener for your household. You have water softeners with capacities from 15,000 to 100,000. Don’t choose one with just the capacity you need, it is always wise to go up in capacity a little more. A smaller tank than you need will cost you more with multiple regenerations per week.
  • How Many Grains of Hard Water Will You Need to Remove on a Weekly Basis? This will help you ensure that you the amount of water grains removed are not more than the capacity of your water softener. For this calculation you will multiple your household’s daily water usage by the GPG of your water. In this way, regeneration will not occur more than once per week, which will help you save on purchasing salt for your system. This goes hand in hand with the amount of water you use per day or per week. A larger system will cost more upfront but for maintenance and regeneration you will spend less over time.
  • What Maintenance Does it Require? Maintenance requirement of water softener systems depend upon type of water softener you select. While salt based softener requires replacement of salt at a certain interval depending upon how much water it filters, the salt free softener does not need so. Another requirement is consumption of electrify. The salt free softener need replacement of filter cartridge after a certain period. So you need to calculate ongoing cost and servicing requirement while selecting a water softener for you.

​Water softeners are useful in reducing unwanted salt and minerals from water thereby improve the effectiveness of detergent and increase the life of plumbing materials. The house hold utensils get free from staining. Select a suitable water softener based on good features and maintenance requirements that are justified to you.


Water softeners are used to help soften water and remove harsh minerals before filtering into the home. Water is always wasted during this process, and turned to waste. Some minerals in city water are more harmful than others and this is what makes water softeners essential. There are several companies that make water softeners so it becomes hard to choose one or the other, here is a list of the top brands that will help you decide:

  • Kenmore- Grain Hybrid Water: This product is a water softener and a whole home filer in one. There is no filter to replace and it comes with LED light instructions while providing an extra layer of carbon to work out harsh chemicals found in water.
  • Aquasana Their water softeners are all salt free softeners which makes water softer, healthier, and better for the skin when compared to typical salt based softeners. Transforms larger materials into harmless microscopic minerals safe to consume.
  •  Fusion NLT:  Water Softeners- uses 75% less salt and saves over 65% of filtrated water, lasts longer than any previous product, wastes less water than any other softener.
  • Goedekers: Electrical light up controls that allow you to manually adjust how much iron, or minerals are taken out of the water, the filter maximizes the hard water count taken out of the water.
  • Water Inc: Offers a unique European design that is small and can compact into any space, easy detachable lid, salt based product, easy to install and uninstall for replacements.

​These are the top five brands that offer water softeners that provide clean, mineral free water. Some salt based, others salt free and are each chosen for the list based upon the variety of wants and needs all customers will look for when buying a water softener. Please choose one based on your preference.

best water softeners

As you probably know, a good water softener can help to get rid of the hard minerals in your home’s running water through something called an ion exchange process. The hard minerals that a water softener can remove include magnesium and calcium; minerals that are absorbed from the earth into your water at its source. These same minerals can cause problems like hair breakage and dry skin. A good quality water softener primarily works as a hard water to soft water converter.

By removing these unwanted/ extra minerals from your water, the water softener reduces the buildup of residuals in your pipes and home appliances as well as helps your detergents and soaps to lather well, thereby not leaving a buildup on your dishes and not leaving your clothes and hair looking dull.

Reading this page will help you know more on hard water issues as well as important points to consider before buying the best water softener for your home. This is obviously a comprehensive guide to take a perfect water softer buying decision.

Most of the water softening system will consist of a brine tank and a water tank. One of the tasks is comprised of resin beads which have an electrical charge, which is opposite to that of magnesium and calcium. Therefore as water flows through the tank, an exchange process takes place where the hard minerals are replaced with soft minerals, namely potassium chloride and sodium. These minerals must be added to your water softener to ensure that they are regenerated so your appliance can continue to work over time.