In this guide we’ll take a look at the best water softeners.
I’ve compared efficiency, size, extra features and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What is the Best Water Softener?
More Detailed Water Softener Reviews
Water2Buy W2B200 Water Softener Review
The Water2Buy W2B200 Water Softener is the best water softener for families of up to 4 people. This softener can generate around 1,250L of filtered, soft water every day. It’s engineered for both city and well water, with a digital control to ensure it consumes less salt and water.
This softener measures 220 x 525 x 650mm, and it’s suitable for installation in the garage, basement or kitchen. It connects to the mains supply and softens the water in your entire home. It’s built to last, with a high strength casing and an adjustable water hardness.
This water softener quietly takes care of itself, regenerating when needed. It comes with all you need to get it set up, and it connects to a Water2Buy easyConnect app.
Eddy Electronic Water Descaler Water Softener Review
The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler Water Softener is the best value water softener, capable of reducing limescale in both home and business settings. This softener is very easy to install using either metal or plastic pipes.
This softener can emulate softened water without altering or ridding your water of any healthy minerals. It’s far more cost-efficient than traditional salt-fed water softeners, and it’s very compact.
If you’re looking for the best value water softener, the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler Water Softener is my top recommendation.
BWT WS555 Hi Flow Electronic Demand Water Softener Review
The BWT WS555 Hi Flow Electronic Demand Water Softener is a cost-effective softener that’ll help protect your appliances from limescale. It’ll also lead to softer laundry, as your soap suds will rinse away easily, leaving cleaner and softer clothing!
This water softener has a 14L capacity and it’s very easy to set up. Hard water passes through a cylinder containing ion exchange resin, which absorbs the minerals, and the softened water is guided into your household water supply.
This softener automatically regenerates when needed. It’s very easy to install, with an installation kit included. The compact design ensures it fits in your kitchen cupboards.
BWT WS455 Hi Flow Electronic Demand Water Softener Review
The BWT WS455 Hi Flow Electronic Demand Water Softener is a family sized water softener, with the added benefit of a compact design. This softener measures 48 x 27 x 53.2cm so it can fit into most kitchen cupboards.
This softener is very easy to install, with an installation kit included. It’s cost-effective, prolonging the lifespan of your appliances, and cause softer laundry and skin. You’ll spend less time cleaning sinks, taps, showers and baths!
This softener is suitable for a family of 4, and it has a low salt reminder, so you’ll never be without softened water. If you’re looking for the best compact water softener, the BWT WS455 Hi Flow Electronic Demand Water Softener is my top recommendation!
Water Softener Buyer’s Guide
Hard water is a common problem around the UK, and water that’s too hard can cost you more money long term. Hard water can lead to mineral stains on glasses, lower water pressure around your home, and a greater amount of limescale on your appliances.
Many people opt to soften their water using a home water softening system. There’s a range of systems on the market to choose from and finding the best one can be tricky.
Not sure what to look for when it comes to the best water softener? Take a look at this buyer’s guide.
Water softening systems work by running hard water through a resin, coated with sodium ions. The sodium replaces the magnesium and calcium in the water, leading to softer water. The water is then guided into your water system.
A system with large pipes will need a water softener that can process water faster, so the efficiency will depend on the system you have. Single cylinder systems can struggle with a large water demand, while twin cylinder systems are more efficient, as one tank can regenerate while the other provides soft water.
Salt-free softeners are another good option, but they don’t technically remove the hard minerals from the water. Instead, they prevent the minerals from sticking to surfaces and building up in your pipes. So, while they are called ‘softeners’, they actually prevent scaling. These are preferable because they don’t add salt to the water, but they aren’t quite so efficient.
Water softening systems designed for home use are available in a range of sizes, but you’ll need to purchase a system based on how much water your family gets through.
The best water softeners have a compact design that can fit in a kitchen cupboard, while larger systems will need to be installed either in the garage or basement.
Extra features can make the softener easy to use. Most modern softeners have a metered regeneration, so it’ll start a regeneration only when needed, based on how much water you use. Others are timer-based. These regenerate at a certain time, regardless of whether the softener actually needs regenerating.
A digital control unit or App control is another great extra feature. These allow you to easily monitor your water softening and can also alert you when your system is running low on salt.
Water Softener FAQ
How does a water softener work?
Most home water softeners work by using a salt-based ion exchange system. Hard water is fed into a tank containing resin. As the water comes into contact with the resin, sodium ions replace the calcium and magnesium ions. As it’s calcium and magnesium that makes water hard, replacing these ions with sodium make it softer. The water is then fed back into your mains supply.
Once the sodium ions have been depleted, the softener will need regenerating. For this to happen, brine solution is passed through the resin tank. All the hard water ions dissolve into the water and the resin is recharged.
As already mentioned, salt-free softeners don’t replace the ions. Instead, they use either citric acid or polyphosphate to keep the hard water ions soluble.
How to install a water softener?
Installing a water softener is a relatively straightforward process, and they can usually be installed under the kitchen sink. However, many people prefer to have a professional install their water softener, as you will need to cut into the pipes.
To start, position the water softener where you would like it. The inlet should be attached to your water supply pipe, and your outlet should head towards the water heater. Shut off the water supply valves and drain any excess water from your pipes.
You’ll need to cut into the water supply line using a pipe cutter, then install the bypass valve. Connect the inlet/outlet ports, then connect the drain hose to the drain valve fitting. An overflow connection is an additional safety measure which can be routed to the drain.
If you are inexperienced or unsure, please contact a professional to help you install your water softener.