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Best Water Softeners - Reviews 2020 - 2021

Written By Danica
Last Updated October 7, 2021
Product
Our Favourite
Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener | Efficient Digital Meter Softener for 1-10 People | 100% Limescale Removed
Our Runner Up
Water Softener - Crown by Harveys (with 22mm FULL FLOW Installation Kit + FREE SALT!!!)
BWT WS555 Hi Flow Electronic Demand Block/Tablet Water Softener, Blue, 14 Litre
Colour
‎White, Green
White
Blue, Grey
Ideal number of people
10
-
6
Capacity
90-litre
508-litre
14-litre
Adjustable Water Hardness
Dual Tank
Bypass Valve
Features
Family-sized water softener. Generous usage time. Adjustable water hardness. Pre-fitted bypass valve. Durable design. Great water flow rate.
Large capacity tank. Non-electric system for ease of use. Free salt and pipes included. 5-year warranty. High salt efficiency.
Great brine tank capacity. Electronic memory system. Available in tablets or blocks. Smart water monitoring. Salt reminder for a top-up. Compact design. Affordable. Simple installation.
Product Weight
25 Kilograms
-
22.55 Kilograms
Product Dimension
50 x 22.5 x 110 cm
46 x 21.2 x 49 cm
‎48 x 27 x 60.2 cm
Customer Rating
Our Favourite
Product
Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener | Efficient Digital Meter Softener for 1-10 People | 100% Limescale Removed
Colour
‎White, Green
Ideal number of people
10
Capacity
90-litre
Adjustable Water Hardness
Dual Tank
Bypass Valve
Features
Family-sized water softener. Generous usage time. Adjustable water hardness. Pre-fitted bypass valve. Durable design. Great water flow rate.
Product Weight
25 Kilograms
Product Dimension
50 x 22.5 x 110 cm
Customer Rating
Our Runner Up
Product
Water Softener - Crown by Harveys (with 22mm FULL FLOW Installation Kit + FREE SALT!!!)
Colour
White
Ideal number of people
-
Capacity
508-litre
Adjustable Water Hardness
Dual Tank
Bypass Valve
Features
Large capacity tank. Non-electric system for ease of use. Free salt and pipes included. 5-year warranty. High salt efficiency.
Product Weight
-
Product Dimension
46 x 21.2 x 49 cm
Customer Rating
Product
BWT WS555 Hi Flow Electronic Demand Block/Tablet Water Softener, Blue, 14 Litre
Name
Colour
Blue, Grey
Ideal number of people
6
Capacity
14-litre
Adjustable Water Hardness
Dual Tank
Bypass Valve
Features
Great brine tank capacity. Electronic memory system. Available in tablets or blocks. Smart water monitoring. Salt reminder for a top-up. Compact design. Affordable. Simple installation.
Product Weight
22.55 Kilograms
Product Dimension
‎48 x 27 x 60.2 cm
Customer Rating

Short On Time?

Our Recommended Best Water Softener Is The Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener!

Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener | Efficient Digital Meter Softener for 1-10 People | 100% Limescale Removed
  • The W2B800 provides complete limescale-free water for a family of 1 - 10 and can generate approximately 3680 litres of filtered soft water every day. It is engineered for both city and well water. This softener is equipped with an efficient digital meter control so it consumes less salt and water.
  • The size is 225 X 500 X 1100 mm and is suitable for installation in a garage or basement. It connects to your mains water supply and softens water in the entire home. Do allow space for hoses when planning your install. A power source is required, however only a tiny amount of power is consumed annually (Approx 20 euro/pounds).
  • Built to last, high strength corrosion resistant fiberglass, polyethylene tank, adjustable water hardness, and prefilled premium-grade ionX resin. The pre-fitted bypass valve will maintain optimal water pressure throughout your home. Use the free Water2Buy easyConnect app for easy setup.
  • Automatic self cleaning: The water softener quietly takes care of itself performing a regeneration cycle automatically when needed. This Meter Softener measures your water usage and only regenerates when necessary, making it more efficient. It regenerates at 3am when the water supply is not in use, so there is no impact on normal water usage. Approximately 90 litres of water is used during a regeneration.
  • What’s in the box: Water softener, Manual, UK power supply, EU power supply, 1inch (28mm) High FLOW connection fittings, bypass valve (pre fitted), bypass lever, silicone

The Best Water Softener Reviews & Buying Guide

Depending on where you live, you may suffer from harder water than other people, which means that your water sources contain higher levels of calcium and magnesium than others. 

Hard water is not typically a problem to ingest, but it can reduce the lifespan of washing machines, damage plumbing systems and ruin laundry products. This is where you can get a water softener to help make your water softer. 

Typical water softeners range in different sizes according to litres of water that they have to soften and operate in different ways with some salt-based and others salt-free.

So to make your choice easier, we have put together a list of the best water softener types on the market and reviewed them below to help you decide on the best water softener for your home.

Our Favourite Water Softener -

The Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener (Editor's Pick)

This Water2Buy water softener can support a family household of up to 10 people with its 90-litre regeneration capacity, producing up to 3680 litres of filtered soft water every day. 

Feature-wise, the water softener uses an efficient digital meter control which stops the wastage of water softener salt and makes sure the device only regenerates when necessary, taking place around 3 am which stops the disruption of any water supply throughout the day. 

Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener | Efficient Digital Meter Softener for 1-10 People | 100% Limescale Removed

For design, the water softener comes with adjustable water hardness and a pre-fitted bypass valve that keeps the best pressure from your device. It is made from corrosion-resistant fibreglass for durability and uses an easy installation process thanks to its Water2Buy easy connect app. 

The water softener is reported to come with a 7-year warranty for buyers confidence. 

Conclusion 

To conclude, this Water2Buy water softener is very durable thanks to its solid build and can produce large amounts of softer water for your home thanks to its big size. 

Its digital meter control makes the long-lasting model a fantastic product to run economically and the fully automatic unit needs a tiny amount of maintenance with salt to keep it running. 

Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener | Efficient Digital Meter Softener for 1-10 People | 100% Limescale Removed

Negatives of the Water2Buy water softener are its installation kit which can be difficult to use, some have also said that the softener comes with the wrong hose sizes making installation frustrating. 

Pros 

  • Family-sized water softener. 
  • Generous usage time. 
  • Adjustable water hardness. 
  • Pre-fitted bypass valve.
  • Durable design. 
  • Great water flow rate. 

Cons 

  • Poor installation kit included. 
  • Not compact. 

CHECK THE CURRENT PRICE


Our Runner Up! - The Water Softener - Crown by Harveys 

If you are looking for a water softener that operates with twin tanks for uninterrupted soft water, this Crown By Harveys model could be worth checking out.

Main features of the water softener are its non-electric meter system which monitors how much water usage your household has without any complicated electronic programming. It comes with a 22mm hose installation kit, bypass valve and a water test kit. 

Water Softener - Crown by Harveys (with 22mm FULL FLOW Installation Kit + FREE SALT!!!)

Maximum flow rate of the water softener is 40 litres per minute and its 508-litre capacity can produce high water quality with 65% salt efficiency. There is a 5-year warranty and labour guarantee on the machine. 

Conclusion

For people who want soft water 24/7, this dual tank softener by Harveys truly is one of the best salt-based water softeners on our list. 

The Harvey's Crown water softener is easy to use with its block salt system and reduces levels of water hardness within just a couple of days of installation. Its regeneration cycle never stops soft water supply either. 

Water Softener - Crown by Harveys (with 22mm FULL FLOW Installation Kit + FREE SALT!!!)

Drawbacks of the Harvey water softeners model is the price which is more expensive than other softeners on our list, the model additionally would have to be installed by a plumber due to its non-electric design.

Pros 

  • Dual tank system for uninterrupted flow of water 24/7. 
  • Large capacity tank. 
  • Non-electric system for ease of use. 
  • Free salt and pipes included. 
  • 5-year warranty. 
  • High salt efficiency.

Cons 

  • Very expensive. 
  • Needs to be installed by a plumber. 

CHECK THE CURRENT PRICE


BWT WS555 Hi Flow Electronic Demand Block/Tablet Water Softener 14 Litre

The BWT water softener uses a salt-based watering system and comes with a 14-litre capacity making it suitable for a household of up to 6 people. 

Its design uses an electronic memory system as well as smart water motioning for better efficiency and automatic regeneration according to the usage patterns of the house. The generous 14-litre resin volume capacity allows for enough softened water between regeneration periods too. 

BWT WS555 Hi Flow Electronic Demand Block/Tablet Water Softener, Blue, 14 Litre

Installation-wise, the BWT softener is very easy to install and is a compact model that can easily be stored in a kitchen cupboard. It's available in both block and tablet design which makes it easy for users to top up and has a 5-year warranty as well as 2 years labour at the home warranty. 

Conclusion

Overall, this compacted design water softener by BWT is a good choice if you are looking for a water softener that has an affordable price and simple installation, allowing you to DIY it at home. 

BWT WS555 Hi Flow Electronic Demand Block/Tablet Water Softener, Blue, 14 Litre

The 22mm pipes also allow the water softener to have excellent pressure. 

Downfalls of the BWT water softener are its lid which just balances on top of the machine and can get knocked off easily. The drain pipe of the softener is also said to not be flexible which makes it harder to install for plumbing systems. 

Pros 

  • Great brine tank capacity. 
  • Electronic memory system. 
  • Available in tablets or blocks. 
  • Smart water monitoring. 
  • Salt reminder for a top-up. 
  • Compact design. 
  • Affordable. 
  • Simple installation.

Cons

  • The plastic lid design is faulty. 
  • Poor drainpipe system. 

CHECK THE CURRENT PRICE


Tapworks NSC11PRO Water Softener Easyflow Metered 

The Tapworks water softener has a compact, easy-to-install design and features an 11-litre capacity, making it suitable for up to 7 people. 

Feature-wise, the water softener has adjustable hardness and comes with an easy set-up system, meaning all you have to set is the time and hardness of the water. The metered system of the softener makes sure regeneration is done only when needed stopping salt from getting wasted. 

Tapworks NSC11PRO Water Softener Easyflow Metered - Full Installation Kit +Hoses

It can be used for both vented and unvented plumbing systems as well as 22mm and 15mm plumbing, the polythene design stops salt from deforming and its backlit LCD makes the model easy to set. 

Conclusion 

Overall, this Tapworks water softener is a good choice if you are looking for a smaller softener that isn't too large and easy to run. 

The running costs of the model are low thanks to its metered system and the easy to fit water softener can be used with combi boiler installation too. 

Tapworks NSC11PRO Water Softener Easyflow Metered - Full Installation Kit +Hoses

Downfalls of the softener have to be the installation instructions which are reported to be vague in some places, the LCD light panel is said to stay on all the time too.

Pros 

  • Compact design. 
  • Great flow capacity. 
  • Easy digital control with LCD. 
  • High level of efficiency for salt consumption. 
  • Quiet operation. 

Cons 

  • Poor installation instructions. 
  • LCD light stays on all of the time. 

CHECK THE CURRENT PRICE


Monarch Midi FreeFlow Water Softener 

This Monarch water softener is suitable for households with 4-7 people and has a high flow rate of up to 83 litres of water per day. 

Top specs of the softener are its metered control which regenerates only when needed with mini top-ups, the model can be fitted to a 15mm mains water supply and has easy installation with a rapid hi-flow bypass valve included. 

Monarch Midi FreeFlow Water Softener Ultimate Series Includes 15mm Hoses

It's compact 28mm shorter design can be fitted in any cupboard and it has a low-pressure drop thanks to its intelligent water monitoring. 

Conclusion 

Overall, this water softener from Monarch is great when it comes to water pressure and reducing the level of water hardness in your home. 

Monarch Midi FreeFlow Water Softener Ultimate Series Includes 15mm Hoses

The salt usage of the Monarch Midi FreeFlow water softener is also very low making it more efficient and economic to run long term. 

Pros 

  • High flow rate. 
  • Easy installation. 
  • Compact. 
  • Intelligent water monitoring. 
  • Low water pressure drop.
  • Regeneration only when needed.

CHECK THE CURRENT PRICE


Which Is The Best Water Softener For Your Home?

To conclude our reviews of the best water softener, the top water softener on our list for reducing the level of water hardness and producing a generous litre of water per day has to be the Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener. 

Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener | Efficient Digital Meter Softener for 1-10 People | 100% Limescale Removed

This water softener is excellent for larger households thanks to its generous capacity and produces a generous amount of softened water per day. We also like this softener as its smart meter control makes the meter water softener more economical with salt usage. 

As a runner up, we would also suggest checking out the Crown by Harveys water softener, this model unlike other brands of water softeners uses a non-electronic system making it more simple to run with convenient installation. 

Water Softener - Crown by Harveys (with 22mm FULL FLOW Installation Kit + FREE SALT!!!)

The dual tank system also means you never have to wait with water regeneration, the only reason we didn't place this model as our number one was due to it being a very expensive water softener. 

What To Look For In The Best Water Softener (Our Buying Guide)

Now we have compared and reviewed some of the best water softeners out there on the market, let's get into how to choose the top model. 

In our extensive buying guide below we will cover whether or not you need a water softener, how a typical water softener works, the benefits of using the correct water softener as well as the top features you should be looking out for in your model. 

We will also cover how to install your domestic water softeners yourself and some FAQs in case you get stuck. 

Let's get into it!

Do I Need a Water Softener?

Not every home needs to invest in a water softener, you can usually get a feel for whether you need a form of water softener by checking the calcium carbonate levels of your water supply, you can do this via a testing kit or by asking your local water supplier. 

Anything above 180ppm (parts per million of calcium concentration) means your water supply is very hard, anything between 80ppm and 180ppm would benefit from a water softener. 

There are also some other sure signs that you need a water softener in your home, we will list some of them below. 

BWT WS555 Hi Flow Electronic Demand Block/Tablet Water Softener, Blue, 14 Litre

  • You have dry skin/hair - High calcium levels in your water can lead to dry itchy skin as well as hair!
  • Laundry looks dull - The high mineral content in water can make white clothes look grey and coloured clothing lack vibrancy.
  • Soap is not lathering - For people who use bar soap, you might notice it takes a long time to get a lather.
  • You have issues with your plumbing - The high amounts of minerals in hard water can reduce the efficiency of your plumbing system and clog up pipes, even damaging pipes in the longer run. 
  • Limescale on kitchen items - Chalk-like crusty deposits around appliances such as your kettle is a big indicator that your water system is hard.

How Water Softeners Work 

Now we know whether or not you need a water softener, we can get into how these devices work to soften water so as you can understand what you are buying. 

  • Step one - Once connected your hard water containing calcium and magnesium flows into the water softener’s mineral tank where it will be softened.
  • Step two - This water then goes through the mineral tank’s resin beads, made from polystyrene and charged with a sodium ion. The resin beads have a negative charge and the calcium/magnesium have a positive.
  • Step three - Because the negative minerals are attracted to the positive resin beads this removes them from the water and release a salt ion instead.
  • Step four - After removal the soft water now flows into your home without the high levels of minerals, eliminating stains and hard water.

The Regeneration Process 

Tapworks NSC11PRO Water Softener Easyflow Metered - Full Installation Kit +Hoses

Eventually, the resin beads inside of your tank will need regenerating to function properly this will happen automatically in the electronic water softener and will depend on how many people are in your house and the size of your tank, you will need to manually feel the brine tank with salt to maintain the softener. 

What Are The Benefits Of a Water Softener? 

Water softeners have a huge range of benefits if you are suffering from hard water, we will list a few below if you are on the edge about investing in a high-quality water softener. 

  • Durable appliances. 
  • Lower water bill. 
  • Softer skin and hair. 
  • Reduce limescale and stains on the showerhead. 
  • Brighter laundry. 

Top Features To Consider In Your New Water Softener

Finding a water softener is not an easy task, once you have narrowed down the best models you need to ensure that it has the specs and features you need for your home to make sure it functions properly and is value for money. 

To help you out, we have listed the essential features and specs to be looking out for in your new water softener below. 

  • Grain rating - This refers to the amount of water that your softener can soften before it needs regeneration, this is measure in grains. To work out what you need you have to find out how hard your water is and how much water your household uses daily, then multiply both figures together and you will see the grain rating your softener needs to be able to remove each day.
  • Flow rate - If you choose a water softener that is too small and has a low grain rate it will also have a lower flow rate, this could mean you can't use multiple faucets at once, so make sure your flow rate is high.
  • Size - Some water softeners can be massive, so if you planning to have yours installed underneath your kitchen cupboard then you need to ensure you avoid a larger water softener system that will take up more room.
  • Type of softener - For our guide, we will focus on salt softeners and dual tank softeners, although you can find salt free and magnetic water softeners too. Dual tank softeners are often more expensive and do not interrupt water supply for regeneration, making them better for large families while salt-based softeners do not have this and use the traditional salt ion exchange system to eliminate hard minerals.
  • Controls - Some water softeners have LCD's where you can manage the softener, adjust the hardness of water and see how much salt you have left, these make it easier to maintain your softener.
  • Ease of installation - If your looking to install your softener DIY then you should make sure that the instructions are easy to follow and everything is included in your installation kit, some softeners might need to be fitted by a professional plumber.
  • Metering system - For efficiency, some softeners have a meter water softener check which helps the device workout when regeneration is needed and prevents too much salt and water from being used. How

How to Install Your Water Softener

Some water softeners will need to be fitted by plumbers, but if you are feeling up to it you can indeed install your water softener with some plumbing experience. 

Monarch Midi FreeFlow Water Softener Ultimate Series Includes 15mm Hoses

We've outlined the basic steps for installing your softener below but we always recommend contacting a plumber if you get stuck along the way. 

  • Step one - Install the bypass - Water softeners that include a bypass valve allow you to shut off the water if needed temporarily. To install it you simply have to push the bypass valve onto the back of the unit then secure the valve. 
  • Step two - Tie to the water supply - Depending on the installation of your model you can either tie it in using flexible pipes or hard pipe into the water system which you might need a plumber for. To install your softener the flexible way shut off your water supply and drain the pipes. 
  • Step three - Now cut as section of the water supply line and install your adapters for the fittings, this will either have to be soldered or push on according to the fittings. Connect the flex lines to the supply pipes then make sure the house side pipe is on the outlet of the softener, tighten with pliers.
  • Step four - Connecting the drain tubes - Two drain tubes should come with your softener, one for the generation and the over as an overflow, you will likely need an air gap fitting for this. Attach 1/2 inch of your flexible fitting onto the drain elbows then to the drain location you want. 
  • Step five - Now start the water supply system by opening the valve slowly, you will need to open a cold water tap in your house while doing this to release air. Plug your softener in, set the time of day and hardness level of your water then add the salt, this will all be in your manual.
  • Step six - Do a backwash - It is important to run a backwash cycle at this point as removes air from the system and loosens resin beads in the mineral tank, you can then adjust according to the manual by checking the water level in the brine tank.
  • Step seven - Enjoy your soft water! 

FAQs About The Best Water Softeners

How do I work out how hard my water is? 

To check how hard your water level is you can use a test or try the soap test which involves seeing how quickly your water creates soap suds. The best way would also be to contact your local water supplier for a specific measurement. 

Should I get a salt free water softener? 

Salt-free water softeners are categories of water softeners that do not use salt to soften the water, they instead condition it or descale the water through a chemical process, the pros of this are that they cost less to run but they can be more expensive upfront.

Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener | Efficient Digital Meter Softener for 1-10 People | 100% Limescale Removed

How much does the typical water softener cost? 

The water softener can cost anything between £300-£600 and you also need to consider plumber costs if you are not planning to install it yourself.

Is there an alternative to water softeners?

If you are looking to soften water in your home without a water softener you could also try ionic showerheads, physical water conditioners and a Reverse Osmosis System which passes water through a membrane to remove the minerals.

Does an electronic water softener differ from others? 

Electric water softener models operate with an electric timer while non-electric unit types use a meter system to function that turns as the water flows through.

Our #1 Water Softener Model For Fixing Your Hard Water Problem

Our number one water softener from our best reviews is the Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener thanks to its large size and high flow rate, making it perfect for large households who want an efficient water softener. 

CHECK THE CURRENT PRICE

We recommended checking out the Crown by Harveys water softener too because of its dual tank water system which means you never wait for the regeneration, giving a constant supply of softened water, this softener is a little expensive, however.

CHECK THE CURRENT PRICE

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