See here the list of Top 10 best water softeners. Read the buying guide and other important factors before making a selection for you or any of your dear ones

SaleBestseller No. 1
Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener Digital SXT Metered Whole House System
  • Fleck 5600sxt Digital on-demand Metered Water Softener with paddle wheel meter (BR5600SMS-SXTPW), Made in the USA.
  • Black Structural 10x54" PG 2.5T (CH30579-03010203-30), 14"x34" black square brine tank with safety float, made in the USA
  • Includes Fleck bypass valve (60049) and 1" male threaded yoke connection (18706-01)
Bestseller No. 2
Whirlpool WHES40E 40,000 Grain Water Softener-Built in USA-Salt Saving Technology-NSF Certified,...
  • Whirlpool WHES40E water softener is ideal for households of 1-6+ people and removes up to 10 ppm of clear water (ferrous) iron
  • NSF certified to reduce hard water symptoms such as embarrassing stains, build up on your Plumbing and Faucets and spotting on dishes
  • Whirlpool water softeners automatically Calculate how much salt and water is required to regenerate and only uses what is necessary, resulting in a significant reduction in salt and water usage
Bestseller No. 3
Whirlpool WHES30E 30,000 Grain Softener | Salt & Water Saving Technology | NSF Certified | Automatic...
  • Whirlpool WHES30E is ideal for households of 1-4+ people and removes up to 8ppm of clear water (ferrous) iron
  • NSF certified to reduce hard water symptoms such as embarrassing stains, build-up on your plumbing and faucets as well as spotting on dishes
  • Whirlpool water softeners automatically calculate how much salt and water is required to regenerate and only use what is necessary, resulting in a significant salt and water savings
Bestseller No. 4
Pentair WS48-56sxt10 Fleck water softener, Black
  • Fleck 5600Sxt digital metered control head
  • 1.5 cu. Ft. Upgraded 10 percent crosslink resin
  • Easy to install with AFW install kit as pictured included, reliable long lasting water treatment
Bestseller No. 5
Eddy Electronic Water Descaler - Water Softener Alternative
  • 12 month 100% "no quibble" Money-Back Guarantee + Lifetime Repair or Replace warranty.
  • Easy customer installation on metal or plastic pipes. Helps prevent build-up of lime scale and dissolve existing deposits.
  • No salt alternative to a water softener. Emulates softened water without changing your water hardness. Retains healthy minerals in your water supply.
Bestseller No. 6
Purolite C100E Resin C-100E Cationic Replacement for Water Softener 1 CuFt Bag Media
  • Made in United States
  • Package length : 18.0"
  • Package width : 14.0"
Bestseller No. 7
Whirlpool Water Softener Cleanser Formula 16oz, Pack of 2
  • Whirlpool Water Softening Cleanser Formula, 16 Ounce Bottle
  • Maintaining your water softener system by preventing buildup will help maintain the systems performance over time
  • The cleanser is designed to help remove harmful deposits from the water softeners resin bed, valve and system which will help your house system operate at peak efficiency
SaleBestseller No. 8
Fleck 5600sxt Metered On-demand 48,000 Grain Water Softener with brine tank, bypass and 1" adapters
  • Fleck 5600 SXT Digital On-Demand Metered Water Softener with upgraded paddle wheel meter
  • 1 inch Bypass Male Threaded Noryl Plastic
  • Metered On-Demand Ultra Efficient Water Softener Saving You money On Salt and Water
SaleBestseller No. 9
On The Go OTG3NTP1DS Double STD Water Softener
  • Comes with full manufacturer warranty
Bestseller No. 10
AFWFilters 5600SXT Water Softener, 48k, Black, Bypass with 3/4" Connection
  • HIgh Capacity long life 8 percent crosslink resin
  • Durable paddlewheel meter
  • Metered regeneration works on demand

Legend: ° dH – degree of German hardness | mmol / l – millimoles per liter
(1), (2), (3) – hardness levels

Determine hardness: The degrees of hardness of tap water vary in Germany depending on the region. Often the water in cities is particularly high, while the waterworks in rural areas provide soft water. However, this tendency can not be generalized. A call to the service hotline of the responsible waterworks is usually sufficient to get the exact degree of hardness of the water in-house. A rough orientation provides in advance the water hardness directory.

1. Hard water in everyday life

Of course, the water does not really feel harder at higher levels of lime on the skin, but it is less clear and different in its use. The differences between soft and hard water in everyday use can be found out here:

Soft water: It contains hardly any minerals (eg lime) and therefore protects fittings, washing machines and other equipment that come into contact with the heated water and water vapor. On the other hand, it causes excessive foaming when using detergents and removes soap residues only slowly.

Hard water: It contains a large amount of calcium and magnesium, from which the human body can benefit from internal use. However, the minerals affect the taste of hot drinks such as tea and coffee and dull the hair. In addition, they lead to calcifications on fittings and kitchen appliances and claim garments with each wash in addition.

1.1. Soft or hard?

As is often the case with water hardness, a good middle ground is also available. While soft water prevents annoying calcium deposits, protects our clothes and our hair, hard h2O provides us with drinking water containing important minerals such as magnesium and calcium. As an ideal value, a water hardness between 8.3 and 8.4 ° dH is declared, which is at the limit of soft to medium-hard water (hardness range 1-2). Softer water not only protects the faucets from calcium deposits, but also protects the hair.

2. The benefits of a water softening system

The computer unit of a water softening system can be integrated into the housing or attached externally. But now to the actual water softening system test. As mentioned above, a water hardness between 8.3 and 8.4 degrees German hardness (dH) is recommended. This measurement corresponds to a hardness level of 1-2.

However, in most cities in Germany the measured values ​​clearly exceed the optimum: up to 20 ° dH can be recorded depending on the region and a majority of the cities settle for values ​​in the hardness range 3. At this point, a water softening system makes sense. But what is actually a water softening system? In the following chapter, you will learn more about the design, operation and operation of the devices.

2.1. External construction of a water softening system

Water softening systems are large appliances, which often remind of their structure to a spin dryer or a dryer. When viewed from the outside, they consist of a large container and a small on-board computer. The latter is either attached to the outside of the container in a highly visible manner or is optimally integrated into the overall appearance. The inner structure is a bit more complex, because this is where the real miracle takes place: softening the water.

2.2. Inner functioning of water softening systems

To “intersect” water

So that the water softener does not purify the water to 0 ° dH and robs it of any minerals, it also has a control unit that regulates the ratio of soft and hard water. The previously decalcified water is, before it is discharged into the water lines, as far mixed with inflowing hard water until a value of 7-8 ° dH is reached. All water softening technology is located inside the large tank of the plant. It is based on different chemical processes, which is why it is also spoken of chemical water softening systems.

The centerpiece is a sphere or column equipped with a resin housing. Here the hard tap water is purified from the superfluous minerals. For this purpose, the water is conducted past the housing and past the resin which absorbs those positive calcium ions responsible for the formation of insoluble compounds. For this reason one speaks also of the exchange resin or of the ion exchanger. While the positive ions are subsequently collected in a separate tank as waste, the previously purified water is refreshed by new, non-hardening minerals, such as sodium and potassium. The necessary supply of alternative minerals is also in the tank housing.

2.3. The correct operation of a water softener

Water softeners are fully automatic devices that do not need to be readjusted at each water treatment pass. Before the first mission, however, it is important to feed the on-board computer with the most important information. You can find out which ones here:

Water hardness: Ask your local water company for the hardness of your region and enter the value into the computer. Only with this information, the system can decalcify the water to the optimum degree of hardness. Regeneration time: The exchange resin must be renewed regularly in order to continue to absorb the calcium ions. At what exact time this regeneration takes place, you can stop at the beginning. Since the regenerative process (about 15-20 minutes) temporarily lowers the performance of the plant, it is advisable to take a time outside of active household use, e.g. at 2 o’clock in the morning.

Product tip: In order to be able to benefit from sufficiently soft water at any time of the day or night, some brands offer duplex systems with two built-in ion exchangers. Thus, the regeneration phases of a resin column are bridged lossless through the use of the other column.

3. Purchase criteria for water softening systems

Depending on the size, a water softening system can supply between 2- and 10-person households. Before you buy a water softening system, we advise you to be sufficiently informed about your own consumption habits and the specific features of the offers. In fact, the first purchase of a decalcification system is a costly affair. The largest and best water softening systems offer manufacturers only from 1,000 euros upwards.

Even cheap water softening systems are not available under several 100 euros. In order to reduce at least the follow-up costs to a minimum, the choice of the right system size is crucial. It is also important to keep an eye on the advertised consumption of regenerating salt. You will find more about this in the following sections.

3.1. Choose the right size

The appropriate water softening system should on the one hand not more water than required and on the other hand no less water than needed to prepare. To meet the varying demands of single and multi-person households while accommodating varying consumption habits per individual, manufacturers of these lime converters produce models of different sizes: small systems for private individuals, medium sized devices for two to four household members and high performance types for whole family houses.

Purchasing advice: Do not just make sure that the water softening system has sufficient capacity. Also, avoid buying equipment that performs well beyond your claim to control your upkeep costs. The Grünbeck plant has a low salt consumption of 0.6 kg per regeneration phase.

3.2. Keep an eye on salt consumption

Every water softener needs a supply of regenerating salt. The softener salt serves as a source of sodium and potassium, which are added to the purified water as a mineral bomb. Each user has to take care of the level of the mineral salts independently and thus bears the costs of the water softening system. For this reason, a decalcification system with a low salt consumption of less than 1 kg per regeneration phase is generally recommended.

Purchase advice: Not only the consumption has an influence on the amount of the expenses, but also the type of salt. For decalcification systems there are three categories of “water softening salt”: rock salt (cheap), solar salt and evaporated salt (normal price ratios).

Advantages of rock salt:

90% sodium chloride content – regulation of the water balance in the body
attractively priced

Deposits in the container with frequent use – only suitable for a few users

Compared to rock salt, solar and evaporated salts dissolve better, which is why hardly any residues remain in the tank of the water softening system. For this reason, both variants are priced higher. While evaporated salt even has a sodium chloride content of almost 100 percent, solar salt contains just under 85 percent.

4. Questions and answers about water softening systems

4.1. How often does the descaling unit have to regenerate?

How often the decalcifier needs to be regenerated, i. The capacity of the system depends on two factors: daily water consumption and water hardness. While you get the information about the degree of hardness of your water supply uncomplicated at your local waterworks, the calculation of domestic water consumption is slightly more expensive. Whomever a staggered bill is sufficient, but the Internet finds numerous offers for free calculators and formulas, such as here.

Example for calculating the capacities of the plant:

Initial situation: 4-person household, daily consumption per capita of 100 liters, 400 liters per day in total, hardness 10 ° dH

Formula: daily water consumption (in liters) * degree of hardness (in ° dH): number of people = capacity

Example calculation: 400 liters * 10 ° dH: 4 persons = 1,000 liters

At a hardness of 10 ° dH and 4 people in the household with a daily water consumption of about 100 liters, the system must be regenerated after 1,000 liters, i. after 2-3 days.

4.2. What is the difference between a descaling unit and a water filter?

Water filter in the test

Stiftung Warentest carried out a test for water filters in 2015 and stated: “no one filters well”. The water was still hard even after filtering, instead germs formed on some filters. You will find the complete test in issue 05/2015. While a decalcification unit supplies a whole household with decalcified water, water filters are only sufficient to purify the drinking water from the line of calcium.

The filters can either be used as table filters in the form of their own water cans or installed as limescale protection directly on the faucet. For washing machines or the shower they are not suitable. For example, the water softening system is more like a domestic variation of a domestic water system, while water filters have only the capacity of a small watering can. 4.3.

4.3. Which water connection do I need for a new lime converter?

To install the decalcification system on your domestic water connection, you usually need a connection nominal width of 1 inch. In rare cases, however, the pipe size is based on a 2-inch outside diameter according to DIN EN standard. Check in advance exactly the information of the manufacturer in the product description. Further tips for connecting a chemical water softening system can be found in the following article using the example of a Grünbeck plant.

4.4. What does DVGW-certified mean?

Behind the abbreviation DVGW hides the independent and non-profit German Association of Gas and Water e.V., which sets technical standards and regulations for a reliable gas and water supply. On this basis, the association also makes the certification of products and companies that meet the high standards.

If your chosen water softening system is a winner of a product with DVGW-CERT certification, you can be certain of a high technical standard of the device. However, the honor of the certificate is reflected in the purchase price in most cases. For a water softening system that has been tested by DVGW, you have to reach far deeper into your pockets.