7 Best Water Softener Systems For Every Home

Updated: Mar. 23, 2024

Dealing with hard water issues? We found the best water softener options on the market to improve your water quality.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
Learn more.


Mineral-rich water, also called hard water, might sound like a good thing, but there are many reasons to remove naturally occurring minerals from household water, which is exactly what the best water softener does. These minerals can cause buildup and stain faucets, sinks and showers, making them difficult to clean. They also make water taste and smell strange. Water softeners can help by removing these minerals before the water comes out of your tap.

Most water softeners are rated in “grains per gallon,” which tells us how well they can handle the yucky stuff called “hardness” in water. An average softener has a rating of around 75 to 100 grains per gallon, but a higher number means it’s better at keeping your water free from hardness, which can be tough on appliances and pipes. Not sure where to start? We curated a list of the top picks on the market to help you choose the best water softener for your needs.

The Best Water Softeners

1 / 6

Best Overall

AFWFilters Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener

This AFWFilters complete kit earns our top spot as the best water softener. The simple, efficient system eliminates scale, water spots and soap scum with its impressive 64,000-grain mineral removal capacity. It includes a pre-loaded tank with two cubic feet of ionized resin beads, ready to start collecting minerals.

Designed with user convenience in mind, it incorporates a built-in capacitor to save programmed settings for up to 48 hours during power outages, so your specifications won’t be lost. This smart water softening system also saves salt and energy by only supplying purified water as needed.


  • High 64,000-grain mineral removal capacity
  • Digital metered control measures water usage and regenerates as needed
  • Standard brine tank with safety float prevents accidental overfilling
  • Smart design for salt and energy conservation
  • DIY-friendly installation with helpful video tips
  • Excellent customer support via phone and email


  • Heavy (200 pounds) may require assistance in installation

Shop Now

2 / 6
Water softener

Best for Well Water

Whirlpool Pro Series Whole Home Filter Hybrid

Many wells are bored into rock, which means lots of minerals in the water. This Whirlpool Pro Series is ideal for those reliant on well water because it boasts a sizable 31,000-grain capacity and an above-average hardness removal rating of 120 grains per gallon.

Designed to purify water for households of one to five people, it efficiently removes minerals while reducing harmful contaminants such as sediment and chlorine. Its unique self-cleaning feature cleanses the filter every two weeks, eliminating the need to constantly replace pricey filters.


  • High hardness removal rating combats the mineral-rich nature of well water
  • Efficient 2-in-1 system combines water softening and filtration
  • Self-cleaning filter for low maintenance
  • Whole home filtration reduces sediment, chlorine taste and odor
  • Easy-to-clean
  • Eco-friendly demand-initiated regeneration technology minimizes water use


  • Not suitable for homes with more than five people
  • May not be ideal for larger households with higher water consumption

Shop Now

3 / 6

Best Salt-Free Water Softener

Eddy Electronic Water Descaler

Most water softeners use salt and ionized resin beads to collect minerals from incoming water, but not everyone wants to purify their water this way. Fortunately, there are alternatives—salt-free water softeners. Although there’s ongoing controversy over whether these work, the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler has excellent reviews and costs less than $200.

Like all non-salt softeners, it doesn’t actually remove the minerals from water. Instead, it promises to change the minerals’ form via a complex electromagnetic wave, allowing them to exist in the water without staining or scaling. Basically, it removes the damaging effects of limescale so that it no longer deposits itself on your clean surfaces or inside pipework and appliances.


  • Eco-friendly alternative to salt-based water softeners
  • Affordable
  • 12-month satisfaction or money-back guarantee
  • Lifetime repair or replacement warranty
  • Easy DIY installation


  • Not effective on lead pipes
  • Outdoor installation requires a weatherproof enclosure (not included)

Shop Now

4 / 6

Best Budget-Friendly

Tier1 Essential Series Digital Water Softener

Even the cheapest salt-based water softeners are serious pieces of equipment, so expect to spend at least a few hundred dollars. This Tier 1 unit, priced at less than $500, offers an exceptional value with a 48,000-grain mineral removal capacity, a space-saving design and impressive energy efficiency. Additionally, its LED display makes it easy to monitor and adjust.


  • Complete water softener system that doesn’t break the bank
  • Compact design occupies minimal space
  • Fully adjustable cycle times
  • Easy-to-use LCD showing the time of day, mode and gallons remaining
  • Premium-grade resin helps reduce soap scum and limescale


  • Cannot be installed outside
  • No low-salt indicator

Shop Now

5 / 6

Best Value

Aquasure Harmony Series Whole House Water Softener

While high-quality water softeners are generally not inexpensive, if minerals in your water are a serious problem, it’s worth the investment. That said, it’s important to gauge your water needs and buy accordingly. This Aquasure unit stands out as the best water softener in terms of cost and features.

It’s offered in three models (32,000, 48,000 or 64,000-grain capacity) to allow you to choose the one that best suits your needs based on your home’s size and the number of occupants. Priced affordably compared to similar designs, it comes equipped with features like digital on-demand meter control, two cubic feet of pre-filled resin, a five-foot brine line and a 14-foot drain.


  • Best balance of cost and features
  • Automatic digital metered control head for easy monitoring
  • Fully programmable display allows for customization based on water usage
  • Hassle-free maintenance
  • Lifetime of free US-based tech support
  • Constructed with a high-strength, corrosion-resistant, fiberglass-lined polyethylene tank
  • Includes durable bypass valve and pre-filled premium-grade resin


  • Only a five-year warranty

Shop Now

6 / 6

Best Portable

On The Go Double Standard Softener & Conditioner

Water softening isn’t limited to homes, many people traveling by boat or RV on extended vacations also like to soften their water. That’s when portable softeners, like this On The Go version, become extremely useful. With a 16,000-grain softening capacity, it may not match the power of permanently installed units, but it offers a considerably more affordable option.

Standing at 22 inches tall and 10 inches wide, it can accompany you almost anywhere. It effortlessly regenerates with two boxes of common table salt in less than 30 minutes and provides soft water for up to 40 days, depending on usage.


  • Compact, space-saving design allows it to be installed in the tightest places
  • Requires no tools or electricity
  • Easy to carry handle on top
  • Large mouth opening for easy salt addition
  • High-grade premium resin


  • Brass fittings for the head are sold separately

Shop Now