The 5 Best Water Softeners for 2022 – Reviews by Consumer Reports

Do you want to make water-based appliances more durable and long-lasting? A water softener is the perfect solution! It will provide soft, clean water for your family as well as improve the flow.

It can be frustrating dealing with hard water in your house. It can make your skin sensitive and strip your hair of its natural oils. Your skin will become dry and clogged over time, leading to bigger problems such as eczema and acne.

Water pipes and water-dependent machinery start to rust and become clogged with soap residue from hard water minerals. They lose efficiency and consume more energy.

Why not invest in the? best water softener? This review of Consumer Reports can help you make an informed choice.

The 5 Best Water Softeners for 2022 – Reviews by Consumer Reports

Let’s take a look at the five best water softeners for your house.

1. Whirlpool WHESFC Pro Series – Softener/Whole Home Filter Hybrid

Whirlpool WHESFC Pro Series – Softener/Whole Home Filter Hybrid, Gray

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Since 1911, Whirlpool is a household name in America. It is constantly innovating to create solutions for you and your family to get the best water quality.

Their water softener technology aligns to their mission statement: Constant pursuit for improving life at home.

Whirlpool employs a one-tank system for removing hard water minerals and harmful contaminants. This is ideal for families with five members. The majority of other systems require two tanks to achieve the exact same quality, which can prove costly.

The Whirlpool water-softener system has a 31,000-grain capacity. It can remove 120 grains per gallon of hardness. The iron removal rate is three parts per million. This prevents the formation of reddish brown stains on drains or appliances.

The system removes bad odors and chlorine taste from water by filtering out sediments.

The WHESFC uses demand-based tech. It adjusts salt usage by assessing the daily water requirements of your household. This smart innovation reduces salt costs.

Older models didn’t use this technology and regenerated the water at a fixed capacity every day. This led to inefficient water use and salt use.

The Whirlpool home filter combination is easy to install and you don’t have to worry about changing the filter. It cleans the filter as needed.


  • Single-tank
  • Filters can be replaced without any effort
  • Scale is lower than other water-based devices
  • 10-year warranty


  • Professional assistance is required for setting up


2. AFWFilters Fleck 550sxt Metered On-demand 48,000 Grains Water Softener

Fleck 5600sxt Meter On-demand 48,000 Grain Water Softener with brine tank, bypass and 1″ adapters

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Flecks is a top-selling company with this AFWFilters watersoftener.

It is a digital product with smart regeneration. It is a digital metered product that saves salt water.

The water softener device can be set up quickly and without professional help.

It uses an innovative process called ion exchange to remove harmful minerals. It removes calcium and magnesium to produce soft, clean water suitable for consumption.

Scale buildup is a problem with most water appliances, including dishwashers, washing machines, and heating devices. This reduces their lifespan, and requires constant repairs.

AFWFilters has a unique system that eliminates hard water buildup. This system ensures a better performance of other devices.

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Flecks uses a highly efficient and durable resin in all its water softening machines.

It can hold up to 250 lbs of salt in its gigantic square brine tank 14″ x 14″ x 34″. It also has a unique overflow drain, which helps reduce water mess in the case of an overload.

You won’t have to worry about water spilling once you buy your Flex 5600 digital softening device. It has a safety valve.

This machine is easy to install without the need for professional assistance. You can install this machine in two hours if you have basic plumbing knowledge.


  • It’s easy to set-up
  • Overflow drain prevents spills
  • Best after-sales service
  • Safety valves


  • Heavy-weight


3. Aquasure Harmony Series 48,000 grains Water Softener (48,000 Grains).

Aquasure Harmony 48,000 Grains Water Softener, with High Efficiency Digital Meter Control Head (48,000 Grain)

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The Aquasure Harmony water softener’s unique design will help you save hundreds of gallons of water.

The installation is as easy as it can be, nothing you cannot do with your partner’s help. All you need are basic plumbing knowledge, and a few hours spare. You will be amazed at the water quality.

Let’s see what features make it ideal for your household and how you will benefit from it. It eliminates hard water buildup in your home by removing it.

Aquasure Harmony series water conditioners guarantee pristine water in every area of your home.

Softened water can have a positive effect on your family’s skin health. Untreated water may cause skin irritations and blockage due to minerals like iron and magnesium.

Aquasure Harmony Series water-softener comes with a rust resistant fiberglass-lined polyethylene tank, and an exquisite-grade resin. Aquasure’s Aqua-trol can be easily adjusted to meet your residential needs.


  • It is easy to install
  • Eco-friendly
  • Made from high-quality materials



  • Maintenance is expensive
  • Patients on a low-sodium diet are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease


4. Pentair WS48-56sxt10 Fleck Water Softener

Pentair WS48–56sxt10 Fleck water softer, Black

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Advanced technology is used in the WS48-56sxt10 to ensure that the system delivers 100 percent of its treatment capability before it regenerates.

It provides a constant supply of soft water to your entire home without salt or water wasting.

It is easy to set it up and all controls can be selected automatically to reduce the hassle. The valve will take care of the rest.

Many reviewers believe Pentair to be the best water softener available on the market. Customers were delighted to see the improvement in their skin and how it prolongs the life of washing machines, dishwashers and water heaters.

This best home water conditioner features a 5600Sxt digital controlled head and 1.5 cubic feet of upgraded 10% crosslinking resin.

The system is 130 pounds in weight and measures 10x10x54inches.

This system will not let your down, it is certain. Pentair offers a 5-year warranty on the valve and a 10-year guarantee for the tank made of durable poly glass. Consumer reviews suggest that this hard water softener can be safely used for up to 27 years.

The USB drive comes with detailed instructions. It also contains a hardness tester strip, a grease and a sanitizer.

Smart meter-based regeneration allows you to save precious water. It detects how much water is being used and then regenerates according to it. It is one of your best investments.


  • 10-year long warranty
  • Includes hardness test strip


  • It is difficult to determine the salt level
  • Maintenance costs are more expensive


5. AFWFilters Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener

Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener Iron Filter Fleck 5600SXT Digital Metered Val 64,000 grain, 64k For Whole House

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This water softener is one of the most popular systems due to its ability to remove iron through fine mesh resin.

You should look for a product that can remove iron and hard water, which can cause rust stains to your appliances. Ferrous iron can cause unwanted repairs and decrease the durability of household appliances.

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The AFWFilters are 2.5 cubic feet in volume and contain 10 percent resin. It can remove up to 6ppm of iron and has a grain capacity that is 85,000

The system measures 13.x54 inches and can be incorporated with the 5600SXT valve.

It is easy to install and takes up very little space.

It removes iron as well as manganese, which can lead to black stains.

The bypass valve makes it easy to fix the problem, which is otherwise impossible due to the need for a complete shutdown of water supply.

The safety float within the brine tank prevents accidental salt overflow. This minimizes wastage and reduces the need for clean ups.

AFWFilters also have courteous, friendly staff eager to help you out if you’re stuck during the installation process.


  • Efficient after-sale service
  • Easy installation
  • Safety float
  • Also, remove iron
  • Large families will love this product.


  • Salt uses more salt than other water softener systems



How does a water softener function?

Three main components make up a water softener system. They work together to remove any unwanted minerals, monitor flow, and clean the unit.

Let’s see how these components work to provide your household with fresh water.

The Mineral Tank

This is the most important place to do your job. The mineral tank is filled up with thousands of tiny resin beads.

Water seeps through the resin beads as soon as it enters the mineral chamber via the main pipeline. They become stuck with all the harmful minerals, such as calcium and magnesium.

Finally, the tank is empty and the water softened through the outlet pipe is pumped to your home.

The Control Valve

The control valve monitors the water level in the mineral tank. The control valve uses a meter to measure the water consumption each day.

Many thousands of tiny resin beads can interchange sodium ions with mineral ions when hard water passes through the tank. The effectiveness of resin beads decreases over time and they are unable to remove minerals.

The control valve intelligently initiates a regeneration process before the beads lose their ability to perform the desired function.

It works by using a pre-set maximum capability already fed into it. This capacity is determined by the number of family members, water hardness and water-based appliances in your home.

Without the control valve’s unique function, water softeners would be unable to perform efficiently.

The Brine Tank

The brine tank is a small chamber that attaches to the mineral tank. Brine is water that has been saturated with potassium or salt.

After the tank has been half full, you will need to add water softener salt to the brine tanks. You should ensure that the salt does not lump and that it can move freely.

You must determine the water hardness level before purchasing salt for your system. You will need more salt if the water is too hard. Get the best water softener salt to increase your systems’ efficiency.

Users may choose to purchase potassium chloride for their tanks when they are not satisfied with the taste of salt water. Potassium chloride is three times more expensive than sodium chloride so be aware of the cost.

How does salt help the water softening process? The salt becomes positively charged when it dissolves in water. This water is then flushed into a mineral tank to replenish the resin beads’ positive charge.

The water system won’t be able to function unless the brine tank remains full of salt.

How to Size a Water Softener

To minimize salt costs and maximize the softener system’s efficiency, it is essential to measure your house. It all depends on two factors.

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Water Hardness Level

You must know the water’s hardness level to get the most out of your purchase. Any estimate guesses made by you will only reduce the system’s efficiency. Just call your city’s water board or get a test kit to get an exact figure.

Water hardness levels can vary from 10ppm to 200ppm. The harder the water, the higher the number. A large water softener is required for hard water.

Water usage

Your daily water consumption is another important factor that will help you choose the right water softener.

The amount of water you use will depend on how many people live in your house.

Check Your water bill should reflect your consumption volume.

For a family of four you can multiply 4 x 75gallons. This means that your family consumes 300 gallons per days or 2100 gallons each week.

Multiply this number by your water hardness level and you will get an estimate of how many grains of hardwater your system will need before it can regenerate at the end of each week.

If you want to reduce your salt costs, professionals recommend that you buy a water softener with a larger capacity than you actually need.

How to Install a Watersoftener

If you have basic plumbing knowledge, you can install a water-softener yourself.

Locate the Best Place to Install

First, you must determine where the system will be installed. You can replace an existing water softener system on the same spot. If you’ve never had a watersoftener before, it’s time to take a look around your home and find the perfect spot.

It is best to place it as close to the inlet pipe as possible. This will protect other pipes in your house from damage from hard water.

Next, check if the pipeline can supply water to the outdoors. You will need to make adjustments to ensure that the water softened indoors is not used outdoors.

Turn off main water supply

Before installing your water softener you need to shut off the main water supply valve. To drain excess water, turn on a few taps in the house.

Turn off the water heater

Next, shut off the electricity supply to your water heater to ensure safety.

Fix Connections

Finally, make sure to use the adapters or fittings included in your water softener systems to make any necessary connections. Attach your water softener and the drainage tube to your existing pipeline.

Ensure you don’t place the water softener more than 30 feet far from the drain, or it will lead to unnecessary load on your system.

Also, plug the power wire into an electric socket.


Then, add salt to your brine tank. Depending on your preference you may use crystals or pellets.

Restore water supply

Gradually, turn on the main water supply. Keep an eye out for leakages and repair them if necessary.

Adjust Controls

Before turning on the power, you must first check the water hardness and water use. Now you are good to go.


If you live in an area that has hard water, water softener systems will be essential. Softened water improves your appliances’ overall lifespan, makes cleaning easier, and is gentler on skin, body, and hair.

It’s time to go ahead and make the purchase that will make your life easy.

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