Best Water Softener

Best Water Softener

Trying to find the best water softener for your home can be confusing!

Do you choose a Salt/Salt-Free System, an Electronic Descaler, a Magnetic Softener, a Water Conditioner or one that utilises Reverse Osmosis?

The choices are endless and the price ranges are vast.

Get Informed about Water Softeners!

I want to give you a quick rundown on the types of products on the market and how they use different techniques to soften or condition water. It is imperative that you identify your needs and then choose a system to meet these needs.

The table guide below gives you an overview of the features of the leading water softeners and conditioners.

Underneath the table is information on the techniques used to soften or condition the water and the pros and cons of each technique.

Ultimate Water Softener Comparison Guide

We have filtered out the best water softeners on the market today

ProductWater SoftenerTypePriceRating
Fleck 5600SXT 48000 grain water softener digitial sxt metered whole house systemSalt-Based$$$$5/5
Metered water softener with 3/4″ Fleck 5600SXT controlSalt-Based$$$5/5
Metered water softener with 3/4″ Autotrol 255/460i controlSalt-Based$$5/5
North Star NSC40UD1 Ultra Demand Water SoftenerSalt-Based$$$5/5
Magnetic Water Softener Double Power DuplexSaltless (magnetic)$5/5
Trillium Worldwide TWI-5001 Mineral Magnet IISaltless (magnetic)$5/5
Magnetic Water Softener & ConditionerMagnetic$4/5
Scale Sentry Scale Prevention Salt Free Water ConditionerSalt-Based$$$$4.7/5
nuvoH2O Manor Complete Salt-Free Water Softening SystemChelation$$$$4.2/5
Clearwave CW-125 Salt Free Electronic Water ConditionerSaltless (electric)$4.2/5
Aquios FS-236 Full House Jumbo Water Filter/SoftenerSalt-Based$$$4/5
Aquasana EQ-400 Chloramines Whole House Water Filtration SystemSalt-Based$$$3.9/5
Eddy Electronic Water Descaler – Water Softener AlternativeSaltless (electric)$3.9/5
nuvoH2O Manor Complete Salt-Free Water Softening SystemChelation$$$3.8/5

Included in the matrix above are 5 columns

  • Softener/Conditioner Pictures
  • Softner/Conditioner brand and name/model – (click to view more details or to purchase)
  • Type of Softener/Conditioner – Salt or Saltless
  • Price – These are approximate prices on are subject to change frequently based on availability, special promotions and other factors. Generally speaking $ = under 400, $$ = 400 to 600, $$$ = 600 – 800 $$$$ = 800 – 1000 $$$$$ = 1000+
  • Rating – The average user rating on can be very helpful in deciding if people are satisfied with their purchase.


Salt Water Softener Systems

These are arguably the most effective and common type of water softener systems.

METHOD: Salt is used to remove calcium, magnesium and other metal cations that harden the water.

BENEFITS: Reduced calcium can eliminate lime scale build up that causes blocked piping.

PRICE RANGE: Salt Water Systems tend to be on the more expensive side compared to other softeners and conditioners. This is simply because they are considered the most effective. Therefore, if it’s affordable, it’s best to do it right the first time and invest in a good Salt Water System.

LIFESPAN: Approx. 20 years (depends on usage)

SUITED FOR: Residential and Commercial


  • Considered more effective than Saltless Systems
  • Scientifically proven to work
  • Eliminates scale build up in piping
  • Eliminates soap scum
  • Gives softer, smoother feel with soap


  • More expensive
  • Need to maintain a supply of Water Softener Salt
  • Creates waste that is bad for the environment and may need to be disposed of in an approved manner
  • Water Softened drinking water may not be suited for people on a low-sodium diet

Saltless Water Softener Systems

These systems can also prevent build up and scaling on the inside of your pipes without the use of water softener salt that is needed in traditional Salt Water Softeners.

METHOD: Uses various methods to reduce the impact of hard water on your plumbing including electric pulses, magnetic treatment or filters through a type of medium. However, these systems are not designed to remove minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

BENEFITS: Can eliminate lime scale build up that causes blocked piping.

PRICE RANGE: Salt Water Systems tend to be on the more expensive side compared to other softeners and conditioners. This is simply because they are considered the most effective. Therefore, if it’s affordable, it’s best to do it right the first time and invest in a good Salt Water System.

LIFESPAN: Approx. 20 years (depends on usage)

SUITED FOR: Residential and Commercial


  • Lower cost
  • Can eliminates scale build up in piping
  • Suitable for  drinking for those on low-sodium diets
  • No need for storgage of salts and disposing of waste
  • Eco Friendly


  • Considered less expensive than Salt Based Systems
  • Lacks solid scientific evidence
  • Doesn’t change post-tap texture

 How To Find a Water Softener That Meets Your Needs

Above you will find a comparison chart of many of the top Water Softeners on the market today.

Rather than being influenced by flash websites and YouTube videos promoting their own products, look at the options in this guide and read the comments from other consumers just like you to help you make the appropriate buying decision.

The Ultimate Water Softener Comparison Guide above will help you find the perfect softener.

Interestingly, most of the products purchased through Amazon offer a lengthy warranty as well as a 100% money back guarantee. I have found this guarantee to be essential in purchasing a Water Softener, because it ensures that you will eventually get the right product even if you don’t get it right the first time. It’s a fast, easy and efficient process. Especially if you’re like me and have better things to do than shop around all day comparing various products and prices from stores all over town.

Review of the Top 3 Water Softeners

I have heard great feedback on all of the Water Softeners and Conditioners above. They’re all going to more or less achieve what they have stated they will. It really just comes down to personal preference in relation to price, ease of use, environmental friendliness and most importantly, effectiveness.

However, there always has to be winners! And, speaking to family and friends, as well as other consumer feedback, I have filtered out what I believe to be the best 3 options.

 North Star NSC40UD1 Ultra Demand Water Softener

Demand Water Softener

Based on overall rating and state-of-the-art features, it’s hard to go past one of North Star’s premier products. Boasting better water flow rates and reduced pressure loss, the North Star NSC40UD1 is well suited for today’s home applications. One of the main benefits of this system, as with many new systems, is that water is softened on an ‘on-demand’ basis, rather than a ‘timed’ basis. This significantly reduces salt usage. Furthermore, the system learns your water usage patterns and therefore gets more effficient as time goes by. The easy to read display also allows you to keep track of time, hardness, percent remaining capacity, current flow, total daily usage and average daily usage. Overall, a fantastic unit and tops our list as the best water softener.

 nuvo H20 Manor Complete Salt-Free Water Softening System

Water Softening System

Okay, so this system is a bit different. You knew it as soon as you saw it. It utilises an innovative eco-friendly process known as ‘chelation’ whereby the metal ions causing hard water (calcium and magnesium) are bound to the chelating agent in an FDA-approved, proprietary formula – keeping minerals soluble and unable to cause hard water problems. Despite being saltless, it is amazingly effective and potentially the future of softening systems – although I know some may disagree. There is no doubt that this system is more expensive than most units, but doesn’t require the additional purchase of salt (just a change in cartridges approximately every 6 months). Also, it take up much less space than salt water softeners and doesn’t waste water.

Magnetic Water Softener and Conditioner

Water Softener and Conditioner

As you know, I am not a huge fan of Saltless Water Softener Systems (despite having included two in my top 3!). The main reason is because they can be deceiving. Why? Well, because they are not water softeners. These magnetic conditioners are simply designed to reduce the impact that Hard Water has on your plumbing and pipes. However, it will not alter the ‘after-tap’ effects of Hard Water and does not permanently convert it to Soft Water, like a traditional true-to-label water softener will. The reasons I have included it in the top 3:

  • It’s very affordable to buy and maintain
  • It’s very easy to install
  • It’s eco-friendly
  • Have had excellent feedback on its effectiveness
  • Will increase the lifespan of your plumbing and pipes

However, I still can’t help but see this as a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. A very low cost option… but will it perform? If you’re not concerned with the after-tap feel and effects of hard water and are simply looking to improve the lifespan and effectiveness of your plumbing, then this may be the answer.

I would be interested in your feedback.

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