best water softener featured

Water softeners are an essential household appliance in the UK, as hard water can cause a range of problems such as limescale buildup on appliances and reduced soap lathering for cleaning and bathing. Hard water contains high levels of dissolved minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium, which can lead to these issues. Water softeners work by removing or replacing these minerals, transforming hard water into soft water and ensuring a more efficient and enjoyable home experience.

Water softeners come in various types and sizes to suit different homes and budgets. The most commonly used water softeners in the UK are ion exchange softeners, which replace the calcium and magnesium ions in hard water with sodium ions to make it soft. There are also salt-free softeners and magnetic softeners, which offer alternative methods of softening water without the need for salt. Choosing the right water softener for your home depends on factors such as your water hardness level, the size of your home, and your budget.

Top pick
Waterdrop 10UA Under Sink Water Filter System
Our score: 5/5


BWT WS455 Hi Flow Electronic
BWT WS455 Hi Flow Electronic Water Softener
Our score: 5/5

Honourable Mention

AQUACREST 5KDC Under Sink Water Filtration System
Our score: 4.5/5

When selecting the best water softener for your needs, it’s crucial to consider its capacity, efficiency, ease of installation, and maintenance. It’s also essential to assess the water softener’s environmental impact, as less salt usage and reduced water wastage will contribute to a greener household. The goal is to find a suitable water softener that provides optimum performance and longevity, ensuring you get value for your investment.

To help you find the perfect water softener for your UK home, we’ve researched and tested a range of models, taking into account the essential factors mentioned above. Our recommendations aim to make the decision process easier, ensuring that you can enjoy the benefits of soft water without any hassle.

Top 10 Best Water Softeners

Product NameService Life & CapacityEfficiency and Regeneration ProcessSize and Space RequirementsFiltrationInstallation
Waterdrop 10UA12 months or 30,000 literseffectively reducing the presence of chlorine, heavy metals, and other impurities9.1L x 9.1W x 31.2H cmSedimentationEasy and quick installation
BWT WS455 Hi Flow10 litresProduce irresistibly soft, silky, luxury water18.9L x 10.6W x 20.9H cmNot specifiedEasy to install, includes installation kit
AQUACREST 5KDC20 literseffectively reduce 97.6% of chlorine, taste and odourNot specifiedActivated CarbonSimple installation, no drilling required
Waterdrop 10UB-UF12 months or 30,000 litreseffectively reduces chlorine, taste and odour9.9L x 9.1W x 31.2H cmReverse OsmosisEasy installation, push-to-connect fittings

1. Waterdrop 10UA Under Sink Water Filter System

A highly efficient and user-friendly water filtration system, ideal for improving the taste and quality of your tap water.

Top pick


Overall, I highly recommend considering the Waterdrop 10UA Under Sink Water Filter System if you are looking to improve the taste and overall quality of your tap water. Its high efficiency, user-friendliness, and long service life make it a worthwhile investment for a refreshing and healthy drinking experience.

Our score: 5/5

Having personally used the Waterdrop 10UA Under Sink Water Filter System, I can confidently attest to its high efficiency and user-friendliness. This filtration system is an excellent solution for individuals who want to improve the taste and quality of their tap water.

The Waterdrop 10UA employs innovative multistage filtration, effectively reducing the presence of chlorine, heavy metals, and other impurities in the water. The premium materials used in its construction are lead-free and WQA certified, ensuring a safe and healthy drinking experience.

One feature that truly stands out is the ultra-long service life of the Waterdrop 10UA. Each filter can last up to 12 months or filter approximately 30,000 litres, depending on the water conditions. This makes it a practical and cost-effective choice for many households. Installation is quick and easy, thanks to the system’s push-to-connect fittings and twist-and-lock design. It’s important to note that the Waterdrop 10UA is designed to work best with municipal water supplies and should be connected to a cold water supply for optimal results.

While the Waterdrop 10UA is generally designed for easy installation, some users may require additional fittings to connect the unit to their specific plumbing setups. Despite this minor inconvenience, the Waterdrop 10UA remains a popular choice due to its effectiveness and long-lasting performance in enhancing water quality.

Among the listed water softeners, the Waterdrop 10UA stands out as a compelling choice. While the other products offer their own unique features, the Waterdrop 10UA offers a combination of advantages that make it the best choice. With a water softening capacity of 30,000 litres, it can effectively handle a significant volume of hard water before requiring regeneration.

Additionally, its easy and quick installation process ensures a hassle-free setup. The inclusion of sedimentation filtration adds an extra layer of water purification. Moreover, the compact size of 9.1L x 9.1W x 31.2H cm allows for convenient placement in various spaces.

These features, combined with its competitive pricing, make the Waterdrop 10UA the ideal option for those seeking efficient water softening, reliable filtration, and easy installation in their homes.

Based on the user reviews of the Waterdrop 10UA, there is additional information provided by the users that complement the manufacturer’s claims. The positive feedback highlights the ease of installation and noticeable improvement in water quality. Users have reported a significant reduction in chlorine taste and chemical odours, making the water clearer and tasteless.

The inclusion of PTFE tape and necessary fittings has been appreciated by customers, simplifying the installation process. Some users have also mentioned the convenience of replacing the filter, especially in comparison to other filter systems. However, there are a few negative remarks as well. One user mentioned that the fittings included with the product were of lower quality, resulting in a slight leak.

Another user noted that the supplied fittings were not easily compatible with existing plumbing and recommended considering the purchase of the recommended tap. Despite these minor drawbacks, the overall sentiment is positive, with users praising the Waterdrop 10UA for its easy installation, improved water taste, and cost-effective solution that eliminates the need for bottled water.

The Good:

  • Ultra-long service life of up to 12 months or 30,000 litres
  • Innovative multistage filtration reduces impurities and heavy metals
  • Easy installation with push-to-connect fittings

The Not So Good:

  • Works best with municipal water supplies
  • Connection limited to cold water supply
  • May require additional fittings for some plumbing setups

2. BWT WS455 Hi Flow Electronic Water Softener

The BWT WS455 is an excellent choice for families looking for a compact and efficient water softener.


Overall, the BWT WS455 Hi Flow Electronic Water Softener is a fantastic addition to any household, as it not only extends the lifespan of your appliances but also enhances the quality of your water. With its easy installation, compact design, and efficient performance, this water softener is definitely worth considering for your next home upgrade.

Our score: 5

After personally using the BWT WS455 Hi Flow Electronic Water Softener, I can wholeheartedly recommend it as an excellent option for families seeking a compact and efficient solution to tackle the challenges of hard water.

This water softener offers a powerful and efficient performance, specifically designed to cater to the needs of families. With its generous 10-litre capacity, it can handle the demands of daily water usage without any hassle. What’s more, its compact design allows it to fit neatly inside a kitchen cupboard, saving valuable space and keeping it out of sight.

The installation process of the BWT WS455 is incredibly straightforward, thanks to the included installation kit and the low-voltage transformer that conveniently plugs into a nearby electrical socket. Once set up, the user-friendly digital control panel provides easy monitoring and control over the salt usage, giving you full command of the softening process.

While the BWT WS455 does come with a slightly higher price tag, its performance and convenience make it a worthwhile investment, particularly for households located in hard water areas. The only minor drawback is that the included fittings could be of better quality, so you might want to consider using your own. Additionally, depending on your family’s water usage, you may find yourself refilling the salt more frequently than expected.

Compared with the Waterdrop 10UA, the BWT WS455 Hi Flow offers a different set of advantages. While the Waterdrop 10UA boasts a larger water softening capacity and sedimentation filtration, the BWT WS455 Hi Flow excels in other areas. With a more compact design of 18.9L x 10.6W x 20.9H cm, it conveniently fits into kitchen cupboards, saving space.

The inclusion of an installation kit makes setup a breeze, and the low-voltage transformer can be easily plugged into a nearby electrical socket. These features contribute to its user-friendly installation process. Additionally, the BWT WS455 Hi Flow’s easy-to-use electronic control system adapts to individual lifestyle needs.

These unique attributes make the BWT WS455 Hi Flow an appealing option for those seeking a space-saving water softener with convenient installation and customisable control.

Based on the user reviews of the BWT WS455 Hi Flow, there is additional information provided by the users that complement the manufacturer’s claims. Positive feedback highlights the effectiveness of the softener in reducing limescale, making cleaning easier, and providing a noticeable improvement in the water’s softness. Users have praised the product’s performance and durability, appreciating its well-made construction and ease of installation.

The helpfulness of BWT’s customer service and their prompt response to issues have been positively mentioned. However, there are also a few negative remarks. One user found the fittings to be larger (22mm) than expected, causing difficulty in fitting them into a 15mm domestic system.

Another user mentioned that the lid of the softener felt flimsy, although it did not require frequent handling once salt was added. Overall, users are satisfied with the BWT WS455 Hi Flow, praising its effectiveness, customer service, and durability while noting some minor issues with fittings and lid construction.

The Good:

  • Family-sized capacity
  • Compact design fits in a kitchen cupboard
  • Easy installation and setup

The Not So Good:

  • A bit on the pricey side
  • Fittings could be better quality
  • May require frequent salt refills

3. AQUACREST 5KDC Under Sink Water Filtration System

The AQUACREST 5KDC is an efficient and easy-to-install filtration system for those wanting superior water quality in their home or office.


Overall, the AQUACREST 5KDC Under Sink Water Filtration System is a fantastic investment for those who prioritise clean and safe water for various purposes, such as drinking, cooking, washing, and even pet feeding. Despite a few limitations, the ease of installation, efficient filtration capabilities, and value for money make it a worthwhile purchase for anyone seeking superior water quality in their home or office.

Our score: 4.5

Having recently installed the AQUACREST 5KDC Under Sink Water Filtration System in my home, I can confidently say that it is an efficient and user-friendly solution for achieving superior water quality.

Since installing this filtration system, I have noticed a significant improvement in the taste and overall quality of our tap water. What impressed me the most was how simple and straightforward the installation process was. I was able to complete it within minutes without the need for any drilling or cutting of hoses.

The filtration efficiency of the AQUACREST 5KDC is remarkable, thanks to its utilisation of high-quality coconut shell activated carbon and KDF. This combination ensures that the water is effectively purified, providing clean and refreshing drinking water. Furthermore, the long service life of the filter offers great value for money. I have experienced consistent water flow, with a glass filling up in a matter of seconds.

While the AQUACREST 5KDC has numerous advantages, it’s worth noting that some users may need to purchase additional adapters to connect the filter to their specific sink setup. Additionally, it does not reduce the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), which may be a drawback for certain individuals. However, in my personal experience, the water quality has improved significantly, and I am highly satisfied with the results.

Compared with the Waterdrop 10UA, the AQUACREST 5KDC offers distinct advantages that cater to different preferences. While the Waterdrop 10UA boasts a larger water softening capacity and sedimentation filtration, the AQUACREST 5KDC shines in other aspects. With a capacity of 20 litres and activated carbon filtration, it effectively reduces chlorine, taste, odour, and other impurities.

The AQUACREST 5KDC also emphasizes good value for money, with a service life of 12 months or 18,927 gallons, reducing the frequency of filter replacements. The simple installation process, which does not require drilling or cutting hoses, adds to its appeal. The versatility of this system allows it to be installed in various settings, including kitchens, bathrooms, and offices.

These features make the AQUACREST 5KDC an attractive choice for those seeking efficient filtration, long-lasting performance, and hassle-free installation at a reasonable price point.

Based on the user reviews of the AQUACREST 5KDC, there is additional information provided by the users that complements the manufacturer’s claims. Positive feedback highlights the ease of installation, with users recommending to fit and tighten the flexi hoses first before adding the filter. The high-quality braided metal tubing and metal connectors are appreciated by users, as they provide a sense of durability and reliability.

Users have also praised the product for providing filtered water through the tap, eliminating the need for monthly filter changes like traditional jug filters. However, there are a few negative remarks as well. Some users have reported issues with the supplied fittings, noting that the nuts on the screw fittings are captive to the threaded connectors, making installation difficult and causing the hose to twist and bunch up.

This led some users to purchase separate connectors for easier installation. There have also been reports of the filter not completely removing certain tastes or smells, such as the TCP taste or a mildew-like damp taste. Additionally, the availability of spare elements for the filter has been mentioned as a concern.

Overall, users have found the AQUACREST 5KDC to be a convenient and effective under-sink water filter, although some experienced challenges with the supplied fittings and encountered taste-related issues.

The Good:

  • Efficient filtration with high-quality coconut shell-activated carbon
  • Great value with a service life of 12 months or 18,927 gallons
  • Simple installation without drilling or cutting hoses

The Not So Good:

  • Fittings may require adapters for some setups
  • May not entirely eliminate the chlorine smell for some users
  • Does not reduce Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)

4. Waterdrop 10UB-UF Ultra Filtration System

The Waterdrop 10UB-UF is a reliable choice for those looking to improve their water quality and taste with easy installation and long-lasting performance.

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Overall, the Waterdrop 10UB-UF Ultra Filtration System is an excellent solution for those seeking a highly efficient water filtration system that is easy to install and maintain. With its long-lasting performance, it ensures a constant supply of clean and great-tasting water, making it an ideal choice for your home or office.

Onze score: 4.5

From my own experience using the Waterdrop 10UB-UF Ultra Filtration System, I can assert with confidence that it’s a dependable option for enhancing water quality and taste, thanks to its easy set-up process and enduring efficiency.

This filtration system offers a convenient and efficient solution for households in the UK. With its ultra-long service life, it provides clean and pure water for up to 12 months or 30,000 litres, depending on the municipal water supply. The multistage filtration system effectively reduces chlorine, taste, odour, heavy metals, and chemical impurities, ensuring that the water you consume is safe and healthy.

Installing the Waterdrop 10UB-UF is a breeze, thanks to the innovative push-to-connect fittings that require minimal effort. The package also includes a dedicated, lead-free brushed stainless steel faucet, providing easy access to fresh and clean water throughout the day. It’s important to note that this filtration system should only be connected to a cold water supply, which might be a limitation for some users.

The activated carbon used in the Waterdrop 10UB-UF is derived from natural coconut shells. While it is generally safe, some users may have allergies to coconut. It is recommended to check for any potential allergies before making a purchase. Additionally, although the installation is designed to be quick and easy, some users may still require professional assistance for a precise fit.

Compared with the Waterdrop 10UA, the Waterdrop 10UB-UF offers a different approach to water treatment. While the Waterdrop 10UA focuses on water softening with its sedimentation filtration, the Waterdrop 10UB-UF stands out with its reverse osmosis filtration method. With a water softening capacity of 8,000 gallons, the Waterdrop 10UB-UF is specifically designed for efficient filtration rather than high-volume softening.

The Ultrafiltration membrane with a filtration accuracy of 0.01 μm effectively removes bacteria and contaminants. The system also includes a dedicated faucet made of lead-free brushed stainless steel for access to clean water. Like the Waterdrop 10UA, the Waterdrop 10UB-UF offers easy installation with push-to-connect fittings.

The choice between these two models ultimately depends on individual needs, with the Waterdrop 10UB-UF excelling in advanced filtration and providing pure, fresh water for those seeking an additional layer of purification.

Based on the user reviews of the Waterdrop 10UB-UF, there is additional information provided by the users that complement the manufacturer’s claims. Positive feedback highlights the ease of installation, with users expressing satisfaction with the straightforward process and the clear instructions provided.

The product is praised for its excellent water flow and taste, with users reporting that the filtered water is indistinguishable from natural bottled water. Users have also mentioned that the installation can be completed within a short timeframe, typically around 30 minutes, once the necessary drilling is done.

There are no significant negative remarks in the reviews provided. Overall, users are pleased with the Waterdrop 10UB-UF, appreciating its ease of installation, improved water taste, and efficient performance.

The Good:

  • Ultra-long service life
  • Innovative multistage filtration
  • Premium dedicated faucet

The Not So Good:

  • Allergy warning for coconut shell-activated carbon
  • To be connected to cold water supply only
  • May require professional help for exact fit

5. Uooker Faucet Water Filter Tap

Upgrade your home water system with the Uooker Faucet Water Filter Tap for safer, cleaner and better-tasting water.


Overall, my hands-on experience with the Uooker Faucet Water Filter Tap has been largely positive, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to those seeking to enhance their home water quality. Despite its few limitations, its filtration proficiency, water-saving design, and adaptability to various tap sizes make it a worthwhile investment.

Onze score: 4.5

Having personally installed the Uooker Faucet Water Filter Tap in my own home, I can firmly attest to the transformative change it brings about for safer, cleaner, and better-tasting water.

The Uooker Faucet Water Filter Tap, a splendid modification to any domestic water system, incorporates a six-layered filtration mechanism. This feature remarkably purifies both hard water and well water, making it much more agreeable to consume and utilise. These filters are highly proficient at extracting impurities such as rust, silt, and a host of microorganisms, thereby enhancing your water quality and offering tangible health benefits.

What I particularly admire about this filter is its contribution towards water conservation. Its splash-proof design, coupled with uniform-sized filter holes, ensures minimal water usage while upholding everyday convenience. It comes with three varying sizes of interface, made from pliable rubber, which proves to be handy in adjusting to different tap sizes. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to measure your tap size before committing to a purchase.

It’s worth mentioning, though, that the Uooker Faucet Water Filter Tap doesn’t fit all tap designs or types, so it’s essential to confirm your tap dimensions prior to buying this item. Additionally, replacing the filter’s non-woven material every six months to a year might be viewed as a minor hassle by some users.

The Good:

  • Filters out chlorine, heavy metals, and pollutants
  • Splash-proof and water-saving design
  • Three available interface sizes

The Not So Good:

  • Limited compatibility with taps
  • Requires periodic filter replacement
  • Not suitable for all water types

6. Philips Instant Water Filter – 3L capacity

Upgrade your water filtration experience with this fast-flowing, easy-to-use, and eco-friendly Philips Instant Water Filter.


Overall, the Philips Instant Water Filter is a great option for those who want quick, efficient, and eco-friendly water filtration. Despite its initial plastic taste and slow dispensing as the filter usage increases, the overall performance and convenience outweigh these minor drawbacks.

Our score: 4.5

The Philips Instant Water Filter is a fantastic kitchen addition for those who value quick and efficient water filtration at the touch of a button. With its 3-staged instant filter, it effectively reduces chlorine, lead, pesticides and other particulates, ensuring that every drop is fresh and clean. The usage-based filter lifetime indicator helps you optimise the filter’s performance and reduce time spent guessing when to replace it.

One drawback of this product is its bulky design, which might take up more space than other more compact water filters. However, it is designed to fit in your fridge door, allowing you access to chilly filtered water on demand. Another issue faced by users was an initial plastic taste and smell which dissipates after some time.

The Philips Instant Water Filter is battery-powered and can be recharged using a USB Type-C cable. This means you can set it up anywhere without worrying about finding an outlet. In terms of environmental friendliness, this water filter helps you reduce your reliance on single-use plastic bottles, as one Micro X-Clean Instant filter can save over 300 plastic bottles.

The Good:

  • Instant filtration technology
  • 3-staged instant filter
  • Usage-based filter lifetime indicator

The Not So Good:

  • Bulky design
  • Initial plastic smell and taste
  • Slow dispensing as filter usage increases

7. New Long Blue Magnetic Water Conditioner Softener

The TurboMag New Long Blue Magnetic Water Conditioner Softener is a decent choice for those wanting to improve water quality and reduce limescale build-up.

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Overall, if you are seeking a convenient and cost-effective way to improve your water quality and reduce limescale build-up, the TurboMag New Long Blue Magnetic Water Conditioner Softener is worth a try. However, keep in mind that results may vary depending on the hardness of your water supply.

Our score: 4.5

I recently tested out the TurboMag New Long Blue Magnetic Water Conditioner Softener, and I must say it was fairly simple to install on my water pipes. The instructions were clear, and I had no difficulty fitting it into place.

After using it for a few weeks, I noticed a definite improvement in tap water taste, which was fresher than before. Additionally, the limescale build-up in my kettle was not as evident, which leads me to believe that the device is effective in reducing limescale deposits, as advertised.

However, there were a few downsides as well. I live in a moderately hard water area, and while my results were positive, I read that some users in very hard water areas did not notice a substantial improvement in water quality. It is worth considering your location and water conditions before making a purchase.

Another point to note is that while the device has a sleek design and solid construction, the TurboMag does not come with batteries or any way to power it. This may be a concern for some potential buyers.

The Good:

  • Easy to install
  • Reduces limescale build-up
  • Freshens tap water taste

The Not So Good:

  • Inconsistent performance
  • May not work well in very hard water areas
  • No batteries included

8. PeiDog 2 Pack Faucet Mount Filters

The PeiDog Faucet Mount Filters are an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their home’s water quality and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.


Oveall, the PeiDog 2 Pack Faucet Mount Filters provide an efficient and user-friendly solution for purifying tap water and promoting a healthier lifestyle. Despite some minor drawbacks, the benefits of improved water quality and easy installation make them a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to enhance their home’s water supply.

Our score: 5

The PeiDog 2 Pack Faucet Mount Filters are incredibly efficient in removing impurities like chlorine, heavy metals, and sediment from tap water. Their strong filterability ensures the protection of your family’s skin and overall health, making them a valuable addition to any home.

Installing the PeiDog faucet filters is a breeze, requiring no additional tools or professional help. The 360-degree rotating faucet design allows for easy access and flexibility when using your sink. This feature proves particularly handy in tight spaces or when filling larger containers.

One potential drawback of the PeiDog Faucet Mount Filters is the need to replace the cartridges frequently, depending on your water source’s quality. However, the cartridges are easily replaceable, and the filter’s design enables you to visually gauge when it’s time for a new one. Also, it’s worth noting that this model may not fit all faucet styles, so it’s essential to double-check compatibility before purchasing.

The Good:

  • Effective filtration for improved water quality
  • Easy to install and replace cartridges
  • 360-degree rotating faucet design

The Not So Good:

  • Cartridges might require frequent replacement
  • May not fit all faucet types
  • Limited colour options

9. AquaHomeGroup 15 Stage Shower Filter

Upgrade your shower experience with better water quality using the AquaHomeGroup 15 Stage Shower Filter.


Overall, the AquaHomeGroup 15 Stage Shower Filter is an excellent choice for upgrading your shower experience by softening water and removing unwanted contaminants. Give it a try, and you may notice a significant improvement in your skin health and shower experience.

Our score: 4.5

This AquaHomeGroup 15 Stage Shower Filter is designed to significantly improve your shower water quality by effectively removing chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, and other sediments. With this shower filter installed, bathing becomes a more pleasant and safe experience for both children and pets. It even helps combat dry, itchy skin and dandruff.

The shower filter is compatible with wall-mounted, handheld, rainfall, and combo showerheads, offering versatile home use. It also helps to remove rust and iron, enhancing your overall shower experience. Despite the number of stages it features, water pressure remains consistent, and scale build-up is reduced. This means less residue on your bathtub and a softer, more comfortable shower.

One drawback of this product is that, during the first use, the filter may generate black water caused by activated carbon dust inside the filter cartridge. However, running water through the filter for 20-30 seconds can easily resolve this issue. Another minor inconvenience is that the installation process may require additional O-rings, although they are included in the package. Lastly, the chrome finish may not match all bathroom colour schemes, but it still provides a sleek appearance.

The Good:

  • Effective removal of chlorine, fluoride, and heavy metals
  • Compatible with various showerhead styles
  • Maintains consistent water pressure and reduces scale build-up

The Not So Good:

  • Initial black water output during first use
  • Installation may require additional O-rings
  • May not match all bathroom colour schemes

10. ZeroWater Replacement Water Filter Cartridges

A top choice for those seeking pure and clean water, with its advanced filtration technology and NSF certification.

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Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable and efficient water filter, the ZeroWater Replacement Water Filter Cartridges are worth the investment. Their superior filtration technology, alongside NSF certification, assures you of the purest and cleanest water possible. Just be prepared to change the filters frequently, especially if you live in an area with harder water.

Our score: 4.5

I recently started using the ZeroWater Replacement Water Filter Cartridges and have been thoroughly impressed by their performance. These filters utilize a five-stage dual ion exchange system that effectively removes almost all dissolved solids, including lead and chromium, from tap water. As a result, the water I drink tastes pure and refreshing.

The filters are easy to install in my ZeroWater jug, and the international product terms did not cause any issues. I love the fact that these filters are NSF-certified, which gives me peace of mind knowing that my water is contaminant-free. I have also noticed that since using these ZeroWater cartridges, I no longer need to descale my kettle. Consequently, there has been a significant reduction in limescale buildup.

However, I did find that the filters are quite pricey, and the taste of the water changes when it’s time for a replacement. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that the filter lifespan can vary depending on the quality of tap water in your area. I suggest testing the water regularly and changing the filter when the reading goes above 006ppm.

The Good:

  • NSF certified to remove lead and chromium
  • Five-stage dual ion exchange filter
  • Efficient filtration system reducing more contaminants than conventional filters

The Not So Good:

  • Filter replacements can be expensive
  • Water may taste strange when filter needs replacing
  • Filter life varies depending on water quality

Buyer’s guide

a man in hat testing out a water softener

Alternatives to Using a Water Softener

An alternative to using a water softener is to address specific water quality issues through alternative methods. While water softeners effectively reduce water hardness, there are alternative approaches depending on the specific concerns. For example, if the main concern is the presence of chlorine or other impurities in the water, a point-of-use activated carbon filter can be installed to effectively remove these contaminants.

Reverse osmosis systems can provide comprehensive filtration, removing a wide range of impurities, including minerals that contribute to hardness. Additionally, some individuals may choose to use citric acid or vinegar rinses for certain applications, such as in laundry, to mitigate the effects of hard water. It’s important to consider the specific water quality issues and consult with water treatment professionals to explore the most suitable alternatives to water softeners.

Type of Water Softener

There are three main types of water softeners: ion exchange, salt-free, and magnetic. It’s essential to understand their differences before purchasing one.

  • Ion exchange softeners use a resin bed to replace hard water minerals (calcium and magnesium) with sodium. These are the most common and effective type, but require regular replenishment of salt.
  • Salt-free softeners are water conditioners that prevent scale buildup without using salt. They leave beneficial minerals in the water, making them suitable for those on a sodium-restricted diet. However, they may not be as effective in extremely hard water areas.
  • Magnetic softeners are compact devices installed onto the main water pipe, which use a magnetic field to alter hard water minerals’ structure. While they are low maintenance and inexpensive, their efficiency is still debated among experts.

Size and Capacity

Water softeners come in various sizes and capacities. To determine the right size for your home, consider your water hardness level and daily water usage. A larger capacity water softener will require less frequent regeneration, saving you time and effort.

Bypass Valve and Controls

A bypass valve allows you to maintain water flow even during regeneration or servicing, ensuring an uninterrupted water supply. Additionally, modern water softeners have sophisticated control systems, including timer-based, metered, or smart controls. Choose a system that fits your preferences and budget.

Installation Requirements

Check whether the water softener you plan to purchase requires professional installation or if it’s a DIY-friendly system. Take note of any additional plumbing, electrical, or drainage requirements, and ensure your chosen location can accommodate the unit and its connections.

As you go through these critical factors, remember to compare different water softeners’ performance, energy efficiency, and maintenance requirements, to select the one that offers the most value.

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