Monday, 23 September, 2019

Best Water Softeners – Full Comparison


Looking for a water softener? I took care of the research for you! After several hours reviewing the different characteristics of the softeners on the market such as Kinetico water softener and fleck water softener used in the USA, I selected 5 best water softeners, 2019 models.

In my opinion, the Eddy Water Descaler electronic water softener is one of the best in this selection because it is easy to install and environmentally friendly.

Want to know the other models I recommend? Continue reading this comparison. And if you have a serious limescale problem, take a look at my buying guide to help you choose an effective water softener for your home.  

Best Water Softeners 2019

NameRatingMain Feature Price

1. Pure Action
4.2Little price Check Price

2. WinArrow WA550
3.5Easy to use Check Price

3. Eddy Water Descaler
3.8Easy to install Check Price

4. Fleck 5600 SXT
4.3Very solid system Check Price

5. Whirlpool WHES30
3.8Quality of manufacture Check Price

The best cheap water softeners

I present in this section devices that are not strictly speaking water softeners, but rather shower filters equipped with a function that makes the waterless calcareous. If your hard water problem is not very serious and you just need a system to have less drying water for your skin while showering, then you can opt for one of two products in this range.

Pure Action: the best cheap


The Pure Action is an anti-limescale and anticlore filtering shower head. Its vitamin C filter also purifies water from harmful substances such as fluorine, chloramine, heavy metals, and other components that can be harmful.

It is not pleasant to come out of the shower with dry skin and hair or to have itching due to dry skin. If you are concerned about this type of problem, I advise you to use a filter shower head like this one.

The Pure Action makes it possible to filter the water while preserving its minerals while delivering a lemon scent. 

This citrus scent perfumes your bathroom and brings a fruity note to your shower, which is not to displease. But I see you coming, that it is not an excuse to stay longer in the shower!

The diameter of each small hole reserved for the jet is only 0.3 mm. The jet is therefore particularly soft. Its installation is easy and compatible with most water pipes (standard 1/2 “thread). It does not require specific equipment.

You receive with your order 4 lemon refill cartridges. These refills allow you use for 5 months! In the interior of the head, there are 4 types of filter balls (calcium sulfite, tourmaline balls, stones Maifan and natural zeolite).

In addition to purifying the water, its design is particularly original and ecological, but also easy to maintain. Users, believe that the result is the appointment: skin and hair softer!

  • Little price
  • Easy to use
  • Refills included (lemon scent)
  • Original design
  • Instructions in English
  • Deposit of yellow liquid possible


WinArrow WA550: the easiest to use


If you live in an area with moderately hard water, WinArrow’s WA550 filter will make a difference in your showers by eliminating substances that irritate the skin and dry the hair.

This chrome finish shower filter measures 8.5 x 8.5 x 11.7 cm (W x D x H) and weighs 390 grams. It is to connect to your shower fitting, at the water inlet to filter the water from the shower.

Relatively compact, it comes with a teflon tape that’s really practical to install. And to ensure the solidity all and avoid any risk of water leakage, do not hesitate to put 10 rounds of Teflon. The WinArrow WA550 is also very easy to install, and even if it weighs a little on the showerhead, it stays in place without being too intrusive or cumbersome.

The set is solid and includes a filter cartridge, easy to replace as well. Simply unscrew the structure from top to bottom. This filter cartridge can be used for 6 to 8 months (after 40,000 to 45,000 liters of water used) depending on the manufacturer, which is very long.

The WinArrow WA550 comes with standard ½ inch fittings that can be easily attached to your shower head. Side features, the WinArrow WA550 can filter both cold water and hot water, is equipped with a filter KDF-55

Its different levels of filtration eliminate chlorine, heavy metals, pesticides or bacteria, among other harmful substances. Its activated carbon filter removes traces of toxic gases and ammonia. And at the end, a stainless steel wire mesh rids the water of its particles and turbidity.

Performance level, the manufacturer guarantees the disappearance of the taste and smell of chlorine from the water after installing the WinArrow WA550. With the improved water quality, you will see a marked improvement in the condition of your skin and hair in the coming weeks. Better, the filter does not affect the water pressure.  

Nevertheless, this WinArrow shower filter has some disadvantages including the limited effectiveness of the device as a water softener.

If you have a moderate hard water problem, this one can do the trick. But if you live in a region seriously affected by the problem, then I recommend you opt for a slightly more elaborate system, certainly more expensive, but more effective.

Moreover, if you are tall, take into account the extra few inches that the WinArrow WA550 will add to your shower head. And last thing to note: the installation guide is only in English, so if you have trouble with this language, the implementation of the device can also be problematic.

It still remains a product quite correct if you do not think to spend a fortune for a whole system of water softener. It is effective if your water problem is not too important and above all, it is rather powerful to rid the water of chlorine, which is not negligible for the price!

  • Little price
  • Easy to use
  • Low efficiency


The best mid-range water softeners

If you have a moderately hard water problem and you do not necessarily want to invest in a device that is too expensive to fix, look for water softeners in this price range. Their main advantage: they are less bulky, easy to install and use. Among the effective devices at the right price, here is the device that I recommend.

Eddy Electronic Water Descaler: the best mid-range


The Eddy Water Descaler is a wonderful invention of a leading UK company in the design of water softeners. And this product is also popular as a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional water softeners.

The design of this electric water softener is incredibly simple. There is nothing to adjust, nothing to change or special maintenance to do. And the simplicity that characterizes this device makes it a good choice of softener for home use.

The Eddy Electric Water Softener is compact and easy to handle. Its dimensions are 17 cm x 4 x 8.9 cm and it weighs barely 900 grams.

This model is easy to install: you have no plumbing work to do to set it up. The water softener can be placed on metal plastic plumbing (except lead and iron).

Standard cables in the package can be used on 38 mm diameter pipes. If you have larger pipes, you can purchase the extended coil set for 32 to 60 mm pipe.

If you have done a little research on the types of water softener market, you have certainly come across this electronic model that offers a very nice alternative to traditional options. At the base, it does exactly what traditional devices do, but differently.

Indeed, the Eddy Water Descaler system uses magnetic fields to combat the effects of hard water. It does not remove the substances that cause the accumulation of limestone but suspends their operation (it paralyzes somehow!).

To do this, two rolls of thread are wrapped around your main water inlet hose. Magnetic waves, through water, will block hard ions by disintegrating the crystals responsible for white residues on the plumbing.

In this way, limestone has no chance of clinging to the inside walls of your pipes. Magnetic field technology will solve the problem of water hardness without altering the number of dissolved solids in the water. More specifically, it will not change the chemical composition of the water, but how it will react to the contact of your pipes and appliances.

Owners of medium-sized homes living in an area where water is heavily laden with limestone can, thanks to the Eddy Water Descaler, get rid of the buildup of limestone that ruins the aesthetics of your faucets and efficiency of your piping. The Eddy Water Descaler electronic softener is perfect for moderately hard water.

It is an environmentally friendly product that can be used both at home and at the office. Magnetic waves, at the heart of the device, have no adverse effect on the environment.

And unlike other models of water softeners, it does not require regeneration cycles, which greatly facilitates its use. Better, it does not rid the water of its essential minerals for health!

As revolutionary as it is, the Eddy Water Softener still has one drawback: its limited capacity. Indeed, it can technically soften only water whose hardness does not exceed 10 GPG (that is to say water containing at most 171.18 mg of limestone per liter).

But because it does not require a filter to change or regeneration that can cost a fortune in other water softeners, the Eddy Water Descaler is a great option to consider. It does not harm the environment, and is not energy hungry. It is therefore an economical solution to solve your hard water problems.

  • Compact size
  • Easy to install
  • Ecological
  • Inhibits only the accumulation of limestone
  • Limited efficiency


The best high-end softeners

The two devices I present in this category are those that will solve your hard water problems no matter how severe they are. They are mainly resin water softeners, reputed to be the most efficient on the market, but also the most expensive.

Fleck 5600 SXT: the best high end


Located in Worsley in Greater Manchester in the UK, Pentair Ltd., the owner of Fleck is one of the best-known companies in the water softener industry. And the Fleck 5600 SXT with an electronic console is one of the most popular families of 4 to 6 people. The digital console comes with its unique specifications, making it easy to install and use this system.  

Composed mainly of two blocks, a tank and a salt container, this system is rather imposing compared to other water softeners on the market. Occupying a total space of 114 x 32 x 50 cm (H x W x D), I recommend before you buy it, make sure you have enough room to install it.

The tank is American made. It is made from Polyglass with high durability since the manufacturer announces longevity of up to 15 years. The salt container, meanwhile, contains up to 60 kg of Purolite resin.

The SXT display is a great addition from the manufacturer, it is the latest piece of technology that Pentair has added to its air softeners. It is equipped with interesting features such as a touchpad, an LCD screen, an easy-to-use interface, and a 48-hour emergency power supply.

Finally, to stand out from other water softeners, the Fleck 5600 SXT has a safety float designed to prevent overflow. The high-end device requires, the device is not likely to cause a flood at home despite the amount of water flowing through the system.  

The other features of the Fleck 5600 SXT make it an excellent water softener for a family of 6 to 8 people. Starting with its fully programmable cycles allowing the user to choose the best time when the device must enter the regeneration phase.

By programming the system, you will have pure water when you need it, and when you do not need water, the system regenerates itself.

The bypass valve included in the system also ensures that you do not run out of the water every time the system is in full regeneration. Better, if you already have a bypass valve installed in your home, you do not need to buy a second one.

And since Fleck 5600 SXT is a salt-based water softener, regeneration is essential. But Pentair has automated this procedure, which you can put in place and let it run.

On the other hand, I recommend protecting the tank from direct light as this predisposes it to algae formation over time and then slows down the water softener operation. But once in place, this tank will take care of your hard water problems in no time: the water (tap and shower) softens and becomes clean for consumption!

The only complaint I make him is certainly his price. But in return, this model water softener is available in several formats, allowing you to choose the device with the capacity that best suits your family and the state of your water.

The Fleck 5600 SXT is one of the most efficient and recommended systems on the market for effectively dealing with hard water problems.

  • Very solid system
  • Easy to use console
  • Effective on very limestone water
  • High price


Whirlpool WHES30: the most reliable


Whirlpool is an Irish company that has made a name for itself by selling high-tech equipment at low prices in the UK and Europe. Guaranteeing the good quality of their water softeners, Whirlpool ensures the trust of its customers by providing in addition to an installation manual, YouTube videos, and good customer service.

The brand’s WHES30 softener is one of its bestsellers. At rightly seen its features and performance!

It is a white and blue two-tone device with a touch of blue on its lower part as well as the tank enclosed inside. Its dimensions are 44 cm deep, 23 cm wide and 64 cm high for a weight of 18 kg.

It is designed to fit under the kitchen sink, being very compact and space-saving. This remains an important factor to consider if you have a small kitchen and do not want this appliance to take up all the space below your countertop.

The Whirlpool WHES30 is compatible with most conventional heating systems and must be installed on the cold water inlet, near a source of electricity and near a waste and overflow drain. You can install it without using a plumber if you have basic DIY knowledge and connection hoses, drain kit and overflow protection.

Everything needed to install it is included in the package. The only thing you have to buy would be braided hoses. And the device can use any type of saltwater softener with easy access thanks to its large removable lid.

Among its best features, the Whirlpool WHES30 has metric control, a bypass valve, and a huge 7-year warranty. Being a water-based water softener, it is sodium ions (salt) that will replace the calcium and magnesium ions to soften the water.

The Resin Bead Reservoir must be placed over the assembly to ensure the effectiveness of the assembly. Its salt regeneration system will refresh the resin beads that soften the water.

Regeneration can be programmed so the unit requires very little maintenance and since the Whirlpool WHES30 is a salt-based electric water softener, this process takes only about 30 minutes.

In terms of performance, it is considered the most profitable way to obtain fresh water continuously for 24 hours. This is based on the actual flow of water and not on a time-based system where water consumption can change.

This water softener is suitable for a house of 1 to 4 people and can produce an average of 1250 liters of fresh and clean water per day. For the regeneration of resin beads, some users have found that the WHES30 consumes less salt than other devices. As a reference, the water softener uses about 25 kg of salt in 2 months (5 to 6 weeks).

If I have to find him a negative point, it would be his instruction manual that does not provide enough information. But you can easily find demo videos and other resources on the Internet to get you out, so it’s not a big disadvantage.

In addition, consider providing an adapter for French plugs, the plug provided with the water softener meets the English standards.

But overall, it is a water softener that is effective in removing limescale buildup. It is also reliable and robust, making it one of the most recommended water softeners on the market.

  • Quality of manufacture
  • Easy installation
  • 7 year warranty
  • Instruction manual not detailed enough
  • High price



It is useless to demonstrate the utility of water on a daily basis. However, few people question how it is purified.

A water softener has the function of turning hard water into more drinkable water containing less harmful substances. This guide will cover all the points to consider if you want to buy this type of device.

The benefits of a water softener

Hard water is water that contains calcium and magnesium salts, mainly bicarbonate, chlorides, and sulfates. Any water that contains more than 17.12 mg / l of calcium and magnesium salts is considered hard water.

However, water with a hardness level of 59 mg / l can still be used in the home. On the other hand, water containing more than 121 mg / l of minerals is too hard and unfit for consumption.

Even though hard water is not necessarily bad for your health, it can damage household appliances that run on water, plumbing, clothes and anything else that regularly comes in contact with water.

Fortunately, this problem can be solved by purchasing and installing a water softener at the appropriate size and capacity.

And if you went through a professional?

“If you want professional installation, several factors are decisive in the price of your water softener. For an entry-level model, you can count on prices from 700 Dollars. For the placement of a water softener in a house of 4 people with average water consumption, you can count on an average price between 1000 and 2000 Dollars. Of course, in addition to the above-mentioned factors, the installer you have chosen also plays an important role in calculating costs. That is why it is advisable to ask several quotes to different companies that install water softeners. This way, you can easily compare prices and discover the most advantageous offer. 

The different types of water softeners

Resin water softener

This type of water softener passes water through two tanks: one containing resin beads and another filled with salt. This is the most common system and it is based on an ion exchange to soften the water. Specifically, sodium ions will replace the ions responsible for the hardness of water (calcium and magnesium).

While some people avoid drinking water because of the addition of salt, the system is still very effective at softening the water. Resin softeners are indeed the most popular and recommended if you have severe problems with hard water.

Also keep in mind that this system is often bulky and needs to be installed next to evacuation to unload the salt container. Depending on the design of the system, you can use both powder and bulk salt.

Kinetico water softener & Fleck water softener

Reverse osmosis water filtration systems have become popular in recent years for those who want a cleaner, healthier water. Reverse osmosis involves removing dissolved contaminants and minerals from the water by forcing them through a filter.

By installing a reverse osmosis system, you will benefit from tasteless, odorless, colorless water that is free of chemicals. Likewise, it removes minerals that make the water too hard, so you’ll have fewer corroded pipes in your plumbing.

As a water softener, the reverse osmosis system is a little less efficient than a resin apparatus, for example. In addition, the yield is a little low because the device makes only 5 to 15% of the filtered water (with the remainder discharged into the sewers).

Magnetic water softener

Clipped on the water inlet pipe, the electronic or magnetic softener creates a magnetic field that alters the water molecules, making the water softer. Magnetic water softener systems are not only the most compact solutions but also the most environmentally friendly.

Needing neither installation nor tank, this type of water softener requires virtually no maintenance. Likewise, this system is relatively easy to set up.

As a disadvantage, this type of softener is reserved for a low to medium hardness level. If you have water with a hardness of more than 171 mg / l, this system is certainly not efficient enough.

Water softener without salt

This system uses nanotechnology to alter the molecular structure of water to soften it. It is a softener for moderately hard water.

Effective at removing limescale deposits from your pipes, this type of softener also ensures that the dissolved minerals will not make the water hard again, making the situation worse.

Similarly, the maintenance of a water softener without salt is easy and most importantly, you do not need to install it near the pipes. This system is also more environmentally friendly than a resin softener, but a little less efficient.

Types of valves

There are several types of valves. First of all, you have the chronometric valve that regenerates the resin at a fixed interval, regardless of the amount of water used in the fireplace. These are the first models that have been put on the market.

But you also have volumetric valves that allow regeneration once all the water that can be softened is consumed. This system allows you to constantly estimate the volume of water that remains to be softened thanks to the mechanical counter.  

The best-known softening methods are CO2 and salt softening, but there are other lesser known methods, such as electronic water softeners that soften water with electronic pulses. released in the water. The appliance must be connected to an electrical circuit in this case.

The capacity of the water softener

The effectiveness of the device depends on this feature: a larger tank with large filters will last longer without maintenance than a smaller one. Of course, I do not need to tell you that this will drive up the price, not just of the filtration device, but the filters themselves.

To determine the right water softener capacity for your home, multiply the number of people in your home with the number of liters of water each uses per day. One person uses an average of 30 liters of water a day.

Then multiply this number by the hardness coefficient of your area to estimate the amount of limestone to filter each day on your water. Then opt for a water softener capable of dealing with this amount – an advertised capacity (expressed in ppm or mg / l) higher than the figure you found.

The effectiveness of the water softener

You must consider the ability of any device you buy to soften the water. In addition to taking into account the size of the tank, the amount of salt it contains, you must consider the time taken by each salt supply before having to restock.

Also remember to see what people who have already used the device you intend to buy say, especially those who live in the same area as you.

The dimensions

You are definitely looking for a device that will meet the needs of your home without being too big or too expensive. The actual size of the device is only a problem if you are restricted in the space you have.

But what matters most is the ability of the unit to make the water less limestone without having to go through frequent regenerations.

In the case of a water softener resin, the ideal would be to opt for a device that will be able to last at least 3 days before reloading.

Orders and features

Most water softeners feature automatic controls that regulate basic functions such as regeneration cycles or the amount of water to be treated. However, there are some models of water softeners on the market that are controllable by the user.

There are several features, but the most common ones are the water softener timer and the request-initiated regeneration function. The first allows regulating the regeneration cycles with a certain delay while the other establishes the moment when it is necessary to recharge the resin tank.

Regeneration of a softener

When the water softener is running, the hardness particles will accumulate on the resin bed of the unit. And when this buildup reaches a certain level, the water softener automatically starts mixing the salt in the tank with several tens of liters of water to rid the resin of the particles that have settled.

This process will then flush the tank so that the unit can again soften the water. It is the regeneration of the water softener, which will then take more or less 30 minutes to operate.

Conclusion: which softener to choose?

In conclusion, when choosing a water softener, you must consider two main criteria. First, the hardness of the water in your area and the number of people in your home.

In Belgium, you can check the SWDE website for the hardness of the water and whether a water softener is needed. In France, you can obtain information on water quality on the website of the Ministry of Health.

Hard water contains more calcium and magnesium salts. Although these elements are naturally present in the water, a large quantity can favor the formation of “tartar” or “limestone”. The amount of limestone present in the water is measured in TH (Hydrotimetric Title).

Two models are available on the market: you can choose a manual or automatic model. But note that automatic softeners are easier to use, you do not have to monitor the water used, for example.

Major brands are recognized on the market as Fleck, a brand mentioned in this article with the Fleck 5600 SXT.

For people who do not want to invest in a 75 L model, I recommend the Fleck 5600 SXT of 20, 25 or 35 L delivered with the complete kit of accessories (kit of analysis and assembly). The average life of a device in this range, correctly sized and maintained, is estimated at 15 years.

Last little tip: as scaling is favored by high water temperatures, do not exceed 0 ° C.

Test Result: Best Water Softener 2019