Best Water Softener Reviews, Comparisons & Ratings 2017 – The Ultimate Guide to Choose the Best Water Softener System

Last Updated on: March 29th, 2017 – Best Water Softener Reviews 2017If you have come looking for the best water softener system or water softener reviews, then congratulations – you have landed on the right website. We here at Water Softener Guide, review the best water softener systems with comparisons & ratings and often update this page with the latest discounts available for these water softener systems. Without further ado, let’s have a look at the top water softener systems available on the market in 2017!

From the Experts' Desk: Best Water Softener of 2017 - Fleck 5600SXT

Fleck 5600SXT with 48k grains capacity has been voted as the best water softener system of 2017. It's a whole house system that has been proven to be most effective in treating moderate to very high hard water.  Suitable for homes with upto 3 bathrooms and 6 family members. Click the link below to get the best price on Fleck 5600SXT water softening system.

Fleck 5600SXT Review

Best Water Softener of the Year

According to a recently conducted survey, around 85% American homes suffer from the dreads of hard water and 30% of them use a water softening system to get rid of it. Hard water basically means it has got high mineral contents in it. When water goes through deposits of limestone and chalk made of Calcium and Magnesium carbonates, it dissolves the ions of these minerals to become “hard”. It generally contains Calcium and Magnesium ions in the form of Chlorides, Bicarbonates, and Sulphates. Below is an image showing the water harness levels of different cities across all the states in United States. As you can see; Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Antonio and Tampa are the cities with highest water hardness scales. So if you live in one of these cities, it's highly likely that you have hard water in your home or apartment. We highly recommend you to get a water softener system in that case. Check out our Water Softener Reviews to choose the best system for your home.

Hard Water in the US

While hard water may seem to be fine to drink, it has got a whole lot of negative effects in your home and in industrial environments. Costly breakdowns in boilers, cooling towers, and other such kinds of equipment are caused due to hardness in water. In the domestic environment, hard water is known to reduce the formation of suds when using soap, form limescale in water heaters and kettles, and cause other such nuisances. As such, water softening becomes essential to control the adverse effects of hard water. In this article, we will try to put forward some working solutions to deal with your hard water problems, and help you choose the right water softener system for your home. Navigate through the different sections of our site below and find the best water softener reviews:

Top 5 Best Water Softener Reviews, Comparisons and Ratings - Updated for January 2017

  • The Fleck 5600 SXT Digital Metered Water Softener System
  • Type – Salt Based
  • Grains – 48,000
  • Result: Soften Only
  • Suited For – Medium households
  • Users rating: 5 of 5 stars

  • The Fleck 7000 64,000 Grain Metered Water Softener System (with bypass valve)
  • Type – Salt Based
  • Grains – 64,000
  • Result: Soften Only
  • Suited For – Large households
  • Users rating: 4.9 of 5 stars

  • The Watts RV PRO-1000 Portable Water Softener
  • Type – Portable Salt Based
  • Grains – 10,000
  • Result: Soften Only
  • Suited For – RV’s or small apartments or condo’s
  • Users rating: 4.9 of 5 stars

  • The Eddy Electric Water Descaler
  • Type – Magnetic
  • Grains – N/A
  • Result: Descaling
  • Suited For – Small households which have low to medium levels of hard water
  • Users rating: 4.9 of 5 stars

  • The Nuvo H2O Manor Complete Salt Free Water Softening System
  • Type – Salt Free
  • Grains – N/A (Equivalent to 60,000 grains)
  • Result: Soften / Filter
  • Suited For – Medium households that want a salt free water softening system
  • Users rating: 4.4 of 5 stars

Effects of Hard Water

As you read above, hard water is the raw water which contains all kinds of minerals and ions, mainly calcium and magnesium. As water passes through the ground rocks and soils, these minerals are picked up by it. Hard water could cause a number of problems in your daily life. A few of them are:

​Spots on Dishes

Hard water forms spot marks on your glassware after they are washed using dishwashers.

Health Problems

Using hard water has impact on quality of your skin and hair. Many people suffered hair loss because of this problem. 

Soap Scum

Showers and sinks start showing soap scum marks because of the reaction between your soap and the minerals found in hard water.

Plumbing Problems

Lime-scale and matter will build up in your plumbing fixtures due to hard water. When hard water runs through them over a prolonged period of time, the build up keeps increasing. It eventually blocks your pipes easily and causes a weak water flow.

Appliances Fail

Appliances that heat water are easily affected by hard water. Kettles, dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters eventually have a reduced life span when you use them with hard water. This is caused because scale and matter slowly build up in these appliances. It could be very costly for you to replace them from time to time.

Damage to Clothes

If clothes are continuously washed in hard water, they start forming a greyish tinge over time. Moreover, they also become scratchy and hard. Your clothes lose their life and start looking old and feeling crusty.

Water Softening and Water Softener Systems

Water softening is the process of removing magnesium, calcium, and the other metal cations present in water to make it hard. As a result of the process, you get soft water that can be easily used in your houses or industries. It helps you get rid of all the negative effects hard water could have on your day to day activities.

85 %
of people have hard water
30 %
of these people use a water softener

So, the question here is how you would figure out which water softener you should use. Finding and selecting the best water softener based on your requirements is not an easy task. You need to make enough research for this.

Recommended for you to read: Water Softener Prices​ Compared

Water softeners come in different types and categories, and each works differently for softening the water. It is up to the user to choose from the various brands, features, sizes, and price ranges. You will find the best Water Softener Reviews on our site which might help you to choose the right system for your home.

Also Read: Water Softener Installation Guide

Water Hardness Test

In order to select the best water softener, one needs in-depth knowledge about how a water softener works. For this, first you should understand the main issues of hard water and how it affects you. You need to be clear about how hard your water is. Here are some points you need to consider to confirm that your water is hard:

  • First of all, check if you are suffering from any of the negative effects o hard water mentioned above like soap scum build-up, plumbing problems, and so on. If you are not sure of it, the following steps could help you confirm it:
  • Take a clean and empty plastic bottle and remove its cap.
  • Fill the bottle half way.
  • Add around 10 drops of your dish washing liquid in to it.
  • Shake the bottle for 5 seconds.

Here are the possible deductions you could make from this experiment:

If you find that a soapy solution is formed quickly, you can relax that your water is not terribly hard as such. You could go for a magnetic, salt-free or reverse osmosis system for your requirements.

If you find a milk-curd like or a soapy film over the surface of the water, then you have real problematic hard water. You will require a salt based water softener.

  • If you want real accuracy and confirmation, you could always get a water hardness testing kit and check it out.

Once you have gotten a brief idea of how a water softening system work, you might want to check out our Water Softener Reviews to select the best system for your home. Head over to the reviews' section for more details.

Water Softener Systems and Water Softener Reviews

For your household requirements, there are 4 different kinds of water softener systems available. They are whole house water softener systems and can be used easily. Each of them has its own method of softening the water. You need to select which one is ideal for your home based on the features. Here are the 4 types of water softening systems available for you:

Reverse Osmosis System (Water Filter, Not Water Softener)

The reverse osmosis system uses pressure to push the hard water through a semi-permeable membrane especially designed for the purpose of removing impurities. It is a special membrane which allows only water to go through it, and holds back the impurities. Hard water impurities are not able to go through it, thus giving you soft water output. The system fills a tank full of soft water, and then shuts off the supply till you need more water.

NOTE: A reverse osmosis system basically works as a water filter rather than a water softener. So, if you need a very strong water softener to reduce the hard water, it is not advisable to choose this type of system. They differ from water softeners in a number of ways. But some systems provide water filtering along with water softening, like the Fleck 5600SXT with Iron Pro 2. So if you are looking for softening along with filtering, then you might want to consider buying such a system. Go to our Water Softer Reviews section for more detailed information.


  • ​Filters the water, and removes excessive iron.
  • Additives are not required
  • Running costs are low
  • Compact Size
  • Budget-friendly


Salt Based Water Softeners

In this system, a process is used to replace the hard water ions by soft water ions. The soft water ions used in salt based systems are sodium or salt ions. You need to have a brine tank or a salt chamber, which needs to be topped up occasionally for the proper working of this system. Salt based systems are not recommended for drinking water as the quantity of sodium in the softened water could be high. It is also possible to use this system and leave certain taps with hard water in order to use for drinking and cooking purposes.

Salt based systems are not recommended for drinking water as the quantity of sodium in the softened water could be high. It is also possible to use this system and leave certain taps with hard water in order to use for drinking and cooking purposes. A regular regeneration is required for salt based systems. This is done when all the hard water ions have built up in the chamber, and they need to be flushed out for proper working. Timer regeneration, meter regeneration, and manual regeneration are the three kinds of regeneration methods generally used. Meter regeneration is found to be most effective and popular as it means that your water softener will regenerate based on the usage of water. The salt based system Fleck 5600 SXT stands at the top on our list of the Best Water Softener Reviews. Fleck is clearly a renowned brand in the water softening space, and our experts also recommend their different models to anyone looking for a quick solution to water hardness.  You can check these Fleck Water Softeners for detailed information on different models currently available.

NOTESalt based systems are found to be the most effective systems for removing the hardness of water.


  • Helps you save money in the long term
  • You get maximum benefits from the soft water
  • Reduces the problems of hard water all the time
  • It needs little to no maintenance at all


  • Since they are large machines, a lot of space will be required for installation
  • A drain is required nearby for the brine tank to discharge
  • Initial costs are high

Salt-Free Water Softeners

These days, salt free systems are gaining popularity, even though they are not as effective as the salt based systems. Nano-technology is utilized in this complex process used by the salt free systems. Two main things happen: 

  • ​The existing scale and matter build up in the pipe caused due to the hard water is removed completely.All the build up that is found in pipes adds to the hardness of the water. When you use salt free water softeners, you will no longer find any sort of scale and matter build up.
  • The atom structure of water is altered so that the hardness of water is greatly reduced.

NOTE: Salt free water softener waters are not as effective as salt based systems. The best choice is still Fleck 5600SXT if you have high scale of water hardness at your home.


  • Additives like salts are not required. As such, running costs are lower and maintenance is easier
  • It is 100% environment friendly
  • The scales in your existing plumbing system are removed
  • Installation does not require a drain


  • It is not suitable if your water is over 8 GPG’s in hardness
  • All the hardness in the water is not eliminated
  • It is quite expensive

Magnetic Water Softeners

Magnetic systems are small and inexpensive, hence making them quite popular. But, the efficiency of water softening is not that good. The magnets or wires used in these systems alter the structure of the water. They are placed around the water pipes to create a magnetic field which soften your water. For about 48 hours, the hardness of the water is seen to be paralyzed. After 48 hours, water reverts back to its original form of hard water.

NOTE: You could use this system if the hardness of your water is from medium level to low level.


  • Since additives are not required, running costs are low and maintenance is easier
  • Installation is easy
  • It is not very expensive
  • Installation does not require a drain


  • It does not offer you a permanent solution as the water reverts back to hard water after a duration of 48 hours
  • The process is not suitable if your water is over 8 GPG’s in hardness
  • The process of softening the hard water is not 100% effective

Water Softener Reviews - Which is the Best Water Softener System?

Selecting the best water softener suited for your requirements is highly essential to get maximum benefits from your system. Do remember that in case the hardness of your water is over 8 GPG’s, then it is recommended that you use a salt based system. We have listed here some of the top rated water softening systems. Check our Water Softener Reviews.

Best Water Softeners of 2017 - Comparison Chart

Product NameImageTypeGrainsSuited ForPrice
Fleck 5600 SXT fleck_5600sxtSalt Based48,000Medium householdsclick-for-best-price
Fleck 7000 SXTFleck 7000SXTSalt Based64,000Large householdsclick-for-best-price
Watts RV PRO-1000 Watts RV PRO-1000Portable Salt Based10,000RV’s or small apartments or condo’sclick-for-best-price
Eddy Electric Water DescalerEddy Electronic Water DescalerMagneticN/ASmall households which have low to medium levels of hard waterclick-for-best-price
Nuvo H2ONuvo H20 ReviewsSalt FreeN/A (Equivalent to 60,000 grains)Medium households that want a salt free water softening systemclick-for-best-price

The Fleck 5600 SXT Digital Metered Water Softener System

The Fleck is one of the top rated products in the water softener market. It is a popular choice and a best seller for medium to large households. It is a salt based system, which offers the best water softening process. The performance is known to be great, and it can handle all kinds of water easily.


  • Best Rated Water Softener of 2017. ***
  • Over 150+ 5 star reviews on Amazon.
  • Extremely efficient. 99.5% of the users reported an end to their hard water problems after using the Fleck 5600SXT system.
  • Whole House System. Will work efficiently across your whole water system, for medium and large homes with over 3-4 bathrooms.
  • Treats upto to 12 gpm flow rates, 3-6 people in home and moderate to very hard water
  • Digital Control Head with Bypass valve and Plumbing Adapter of 1" thread.
  • Digital metered system. 
  • Cost friendly but extremely efficient in removing hard water
  • Lifetime warranty and service support
  • Capacity of 48,000 Grains. Very suitable for medium and large households with upto 6 people.


  • A bit heavy but extremely effective.
  • It is an overkill for smaller homes
  • If used incorrectly, the running costs of salt pellets will be high. So, we recommend users to go for the Nuvo H20 or the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler, which are both salt free water softeners and requires very less maintenance.


  • ​Families that have up to 6 people with around 3 or lesser bathrooms of standard size
  • People who are looking for a system that is of the “set and forget” type – since it has a meter based regeneration system it regenerates automatically based on your water usage
  • Areas that have moderate to high levels of hardness in water – if you find your water to be harder that a biker on steroids, then this is the best option for you


  • ​Very small households – as this would seem to be too bulky
  • Very large households – if you have over 3 bathrooms, or your water usage is too high, you will have to look for a system with a higher performance and size
  • People on sodium restricted diets – softened water from salt based systems have a higher content of sodium which is not suitable if you have a sodium restricted diet

The Fleck 7000 64,000 Grain Metered Water Softener System (with bypass valve)

This is another popular water softening system manufactured by Fleck. The Fleck 7000 water softener has a capacity of 64,000 grains. As such, it is a really powerful system which is much similar to the previous one, but with a higher capacity suited for larger households.If you have a large household that uses a lot of water, you could use this product. It is also suited for light commercial applications. This system comes with a handy bypass valve and a smart computer system which helps in keeping your costs low when the usage of water increases.


  • Very efficient water softening system
  • Capable of handling high usage
  • It helps you save money by ensuring that the system runs only when it is required
  • The bypass valve turns the system off and on with the flick of a switch


  • It is a very large system that could be an overkill for smaller homes
  • It is quite expensive
  • Since it is too heavy, the installation is a bit tough


  • Large households – if you have more than 3 bathrooms or your water consumption is to high, go for this
  • Households concerned with running costs – It has a smart processor which ensures that the system runs only when it is required and only to the most efficient schedule
  • Small office buildings – it is very effective


  • ​Small households – If you have less than 3 bathrooms, this system will be an overkill. You could look at smaller ones.

The Watts RV PRO-1000 Portable Water Softener

The Watts RV pro system is designed especially for RVs. It is a portable system that you could carry with yourself wherever you go. No matter how hard the water is, your portable water softening system will handle it all.This system has a manual regenerating process which lacks a few features. But, being compact in size and highly powerful, it is quite popular and useful. You could give this a try if you are not yet ready to invest in a permanent whole house water softening system.


  • Can be easily transported, or is mobile
  • Pellet salt or table salt could be used for operation
  • Warranty is huge
  • Not very expensive
  • Hard water softening process is highly effective


  • Size is limited – ideal for smaller families
  • The hose fitting cannot be rotated
  • It needs more work to operate as manual regeneration is required


  • RV’s – It was made especially for road travellers
  • Small households – this is a good and super cheap alternative for people in small households or flats


  • Larger households – you will require a larger and more powerful system if you have more than one bathroom in your house

The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler

This system is typically referred to as a water softening alternative. But, actually, it is a magnetic-based water softening system. This system is really easy to install, small and compact, and does not require any maintenance at all. As far as the costs are concerned, the eddy electric water descaler is really cheap and budget-friendly. It comes with an unbeatable warranty, and also a money back guarantee. This product has got mixed customer reviews as it is not suitable for all kinds of households. You need to check out the reviews thoroughly to confirm if it could suit you before buying one.


  • Small and compact in size
  • Installation is easy and quick
  • Cheap and budget friendly
  • You get all health benefits of drinking hard water


  • Being a magnetic system it only delays the effects of hard ward water and does not eliminate the hardness totally
  • It needs to be installed inside
  • If your water hardness is over 10 GPG, then it will not work


  • Households with water hardness level below 8 GPG – you could go for this product if you have constant water hardness issues
  • Consumers who are environmentally conscious – this is an environment friendly system


  • Very large households – if you have more than 2 bathrooms, you need a bigger system
  • Households with water hardness levels above 8 GPG – a salt based water softener will be required in such cases

The Nuvo H2O Manor Complete Salt Free Water Softening System

The Nuvo H2O Manor Complete Salt Free Water Softening System has got amazing customer reviews which prove how effective it is.Even though salt based systems are most effective for water softening, this salt free system has too many benefits hat make it really efficient and popular. It has an iron-clad money back guarantee and also a huge warranty. Check out the features and reviews to purchase one for yourself.


  • No salt or additives are required
  • Installation is easy and quick
  • It is very easy to use and operate
  • It is a small and slim system
  • It comes with great warranty and money back guarantee


  • If water hardness level is more than 10 GPG, it is not suitable
  • Some customers have negative reviews when their water is too hard
  • You need replacement filter cartridges 1 or 2 times in a year


  • ​Customers who are looking for a simple solution – it is easy to install, use, run, and operate, making it a sort of set and forget system
  • Households that have space limitations – this is a slim and compact system which can be installed anywhere
  • People who want great taste drinking water – since this system does not use any salts or additives, it makes your drinking water taste perfect
  • Green consumers – it is an environment friendly solution to soften hard water


  • Households that have water hardness level over 10 GPG – this could work but only if you keep changing the filter more often, which is costly
  • Households running water from the well – sediments are commonly found in well water, which could clog up this system

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