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Top 10 Best Water Softeners
- Water2Buy W2B800 Meter (Editor’s Choice)
- iSpring RCC1UP-AK Drinking Filtration System (Luxury Choice)
- Water2Buy W2B200 (Best Value)
- BWT WS455 Hi-Flow Electronic Demand Block/Tablet Blue
- EcoPlus Whole House
- iSpring RCC7P-AK Boosted Performance with Alkaline Remineralisation
- Tapworks AD11 Meter
- ScaleWatcher 2 Star
- Harvey’s Crown
- BWT WS355 Standard Electronic
Much of the UK is subject to hard water, meaning the water supply has a high calcium carbonate content. This can lead to limescale build-up in appliances, affect the quality of clothing once it’s been washed, and reduce the efficiency of boilers.
Water quality can have such an impact on your life, from whether it is the unsightly watermarks that appear on your taps and stainless steel surfaces to limescale build-up in your kettle and on your showerhead. Water hardness can also impact how your washing feels and even your skin and hair when washing it. Just as importantly, limescale build-up in your water pipes can also impact your heating efficiency and its cost to run.
If you’ve decided to combat the problem by purchasing a water softener system, you may be overwhelmed by the range of options available, which can make choosing the right unit for your needs difficult.
There are three categories of water softener solutions, excluding filter systems that use reverse osmosis to purify water, including salt-based, salt-free and electromagnetic systems. Each has its pros and cons, which we provide more detail on in our buyer’s guide. So why not read through our top ten products and our buyer’s guide to find the best water softener in the UK right now?
How we Compared Water Softeners
To find the right water softeners, we considered multiple factors, including:
Our team independently examined and compared hundreds of products to help satisfy different needs. We spent our time researching water softeners and consulting customer reviews to ultimately bring you what, in our opinion, are the best options on the market right now.
To find out more about our editorial process, take a look here.
Water Softener Reviews
The Water2Buy W2B800 water softener system is an excellent yet budget-friendly purchase if you need to soften the water coming into your home. Once connected to your water supply, it will provide sufficient softened water for a family of up to ten people, demineralising over 3680 litres of water daily.
This best water softener UK is designed to be installed in a garage or cellar as it is too large to fit under a kitchen sink, and once installed, it will noiselessly work away in the background providing you with soft water. The dimensions of this water softener are 22.5 cm x 110 cm x 50 cm, and it requires a power source and room for the water hose as well as the unit itself. Another thing we love about this water softening system is that it is very economically efficient, there is a digital meter control, and it will cost less than £20 a year to run.
This domestic water softener has a delay timer for it to start a regeneration cycle at 3 am to prevent it from causing any disturbance to you and your water supply while it self-cleans, and it only uses 90 l of water to do so. Additionally, a bypass valve prevents any water pressure loss so that your water is kept at optimum pressure at all times!
- Self-cleaning mode
- Capacity to provide soft water for a household of up to ten people
- It does not affect water pressure
- Low energy consumption
- Inexpensive to run
- It does not come inclusive of an installation kit, and the right size hoses can be difficult to source
- The instructions may not be clear and easy to follow
- The app does not configure or control the water softener; it just takes you to set up information
The iSpring RCC1UP-AK really pulls out all the stops in water softening! It uses reverse osmosis to remove up to 99% of the most common water contaminants such as calcium, fluoride, chlorine and lead as well as having a further three pre-filters and an ultraviolet sterilisation phase as well!
Reverse osmosis works by the water molecules being forced through a membrane which traps and removes the impurities from the water. This water softener also includes a pump to always ensure that the water is effectively pressurised through the membrane, regardless of the water pressure in your home.
In addition to removing 99% of impurities, this water softener also replaces ionised minerals back into the water using an alkaline remineralisation filter, giving the water back its alkaline balance. Additionally, this system is aimed at self-installation and uses colour-coordinated tubing and push and click together fittings for ease of use. It is designed to fit in an under-the-sink cupboard.
- Seven-stage filtration
- Removes up to 99% of contaminants
- Uses an alkaline filter to replace lost minerals
- It fits under your kitchen sink
- Reverse osmosis filter and pump to overcome water pressure issues
- It may be complicated to install for someone with no plumbing experience
- There are reports of the UV light being installed backwards on some items, causing it not to work
- The flow of water may not be as fast as may be expected with a pump included
This compact water softener UK stores offer is small enough to fit under your kitchen sink but can still produce 1,250 litres of drinking water a day, suitable for a family of four. Its dimensions are 22 cm by 52.5 cm by 65 cm, and it weighs just 22 kg.
The unit is designed for self-installation and has an inbuilt self-clean mode that will activate at 3 am when needed to prevent impact on your water provision. The regeneration uses approximately 37 L of water, and by measuring your water usage, it will only do this when required.
The tank is corrosion-resistant and constructed from high-strength fibreglass and polyethylene, and a pre-fitted bypass valve will help maintain the maximum flow rate of water around your home. Additionally, this is a cost-efficient water softener to run, costing only in the region of £20 a year, and it is also one of the least expensive water softening systems for homes in our review.
- Compact but filters sufficient water for a family of four
- Has automatic regeneration, which enables the unit to work continually with minimal input from you
- Supplies up to 1,250 litres of softened water each day
- Suitable for DIY installation
- Inexpensive to run
- The installation kit is sold separately and comes at an additional cost
- Removing the shelf at the bottom of the cupboard may be necessary to fit the unit in under the sink
- The recommended hoses may be very stiff to use, and washing machine hoses may be more pliable and easy to use
This unit by BWT will deliver filtered soft water to your home through a simple installation in your kitchen units. Additionally, it includes the installation kit you need as part of your purchase, unlike some other available water softeners.
It has a 10 l capacity, making it perfect for a family household, and it will transform how you experience water usage in your home, from how it tastes to how it feels in the shower or how your clothes feel after washing!
This water softener uses ion exchange resin beads which attract and then withhold the hard minerals from your softened water. The water softener periodically carries a regeneration cycle using brine to clean it to ensure that it is working at its optimum performance.
Its dimensions are 53.2 cm by 48 cm by 27 cm, and it weighs 22.5 kg.
- Automatic cleaning cycle
- Ten l capacity
- Will fit in a kitchen cupboard
- Includes the installation kit within the unit price
- Uses resin beads to collect the hardness minerals
- Requires a flow rate of 10 l per minute to effectively remove the hardness from the water, which may be quite high
- The fittings may be a bit flimsy
- At the upper end of our top ten water softeners for cost
This Water Filter Man EcoPlus Whole House Water Filter System is unique in that it doesn’t use chemicals or salt or remove minerals from the water during the softening process. Instead, it uses a process known as ‘Template Assisted Crystallisation’, which transforms the hard minerals in the water, such as calcium and magnesium, into minuscule crystals.
The EcoPlus salt-free softener is well suited to smaller homes of up to four people and for those who want to benefit from water purification as well as softening. The filter doesn’t need replacing for around three years and has been tested to be 99.6% effective in descaling hard water and protecting pipes and appliances from limescale build-up.
This is a wall-mounted water softener that will go perfectly in your boiler cupboard or in the utility room and provides filtered water to the whole house. Its dimensions are 48 cm by 37.2 cm by 34.6 cm, and it weighs 10.14 kg.
- No softener, salt or chemicals required
- Compact design that is wall-mounted to save on space
- It doesn’t affect the water pressure
- Long-lasting filters
- Removes 99.6% of hardness minerals
- Plastic fittings are supplied, and these may not be as long-lasting or robust as metal ones
- It may be prone to leaking from the fittings supplied
- May not be equipped to cope with very hard water areas
Unlike most water softener systems with five stages, the iSpring RCC7P-AK water softener has a sixth stage which uses a filter for alkaline remineralisation, returning the healthy minerals to the water and ensuring it has a balanced pH level.
There are three pre-stage filters, with stage one being in a transparent casing, so you can see the sediment being removed from your water and know when it is time to change the filter. These are followed by the reverse osmosis filter, where only water molecules are small enough to get through the filter, and virtually all other contaminants are trapped. A further ultraviolet stage follows before the sixth and final alkalinisation stage takes place.
The water softener is small enough to be installed in a kitchen cupboard, and all fittings are included when you buy and have been designed to be easy to connect and completely leak-proof! Additionally, a 1-year warranty is included when you purchase this water softener, so you have peace of mind of having support in that first year.
- 1-year warranty
- Six -stage process
- Compact enough to fit in a kitchen unit
- Returns good minerals back to the water and reduces acidity
- Reverse osmosis makes this 99.9% effective at removing contaminants
- If your water pressure is higher than 45 PSI, then this filter may not be suitable
- It may be costly to purchase and maintain if you are not a comfortable DIYer and need to employ someone to fit and change filters for you
- The pump may be loud enough to hear if it is installed in a kitchen unit
This metered water softener by Tapworks is designed to help save you money over time while also providing cleaner and softer water from day one. The Tapworks AD11 water softener can soften up to 2,266 litres of water each day, with high water flow rates achieved through a high-flow valve. The water softener unit can provide water softening for a household of up to seven people and is compatible with almost any heating and water system, from a combi boiler, to vented or unvented or a pressurised or a mega flow system.
The AD11 salt-based water softener includes all the valves and Flexi connections you’ll need to install it, so it’s quick and efficient to get started with and has simple controls on the backlit LCD for ease of use. It also has a remote diagnostics facility, so if you have any issues with your water softener, it’s easy to resolve them.
- Smart technology monitors your water usage to adapt to your needs
- Includes a 48-hour power loss back-up
- Easy to use and maintain, with simple installation
- LCD control panel
- High-flow valve
- The instructions may be high-level
- The LCD panel is always lit
- At 50 cm, the hoses may be too short for easy installation
Designed to last up to 20 years, the ScaleWatcher 2 Star unit is easy to install without the need to hire a plumber and is compact, so it won’t take up a whole kitchen unit! Additionally, it is also the most cost-efficient water softener in our top ten! The electronic water conditioner uses patented audio frequency signals to dissolve the minerals in hard water, but the low electricity consumption means it’s cheap to run at only £5 per year!
The 2 Star model is lightweight, so it can be mounted to a wall easily; the unit should be mounted close to a power supply and can be up to a metre away from the pipe. The electric water softener will have an impact within six weeks, and unlike salt-based systems, you don’t need to keep an eye on salt levels or replace any filters.
For complete peace of mind when you buy, this water softener comes with a 10-year warranty!
- 10-year warranty
- Uses radio signals for 98% efficiency in descaling hard water
- Low running costs of around £5 per year
- No need to purchase softening salts or change filters
- Inexpensive to purchase
- Some water softener reviews mention that they have not seen a noticeable difference from using one
- Does not work to remove other impurities from water
The Harvey’s Crown Water Softener is a non-electric block salt water softener to supply the home with an unlimited and constant supply of soft water. Unlike an electronic water softener, you do not need to factor in the running costs of the unit, just the cost of the block salt, as it relies solely on water pressure to function, so there’s no need for electricity.
The small size of this hard water softener makes this an ideal addition to the home, easily fitting into a kitchen cupboard at only 46 cm by 21.2 cm by 49 cm. Additionally, the fittings can be positioned on either side of the softener to suit your plumbing requirements, making installation straightforward.
The installation kit is included when you purchase this unit which is not the case with many water softeners! Additionally, the two tanks mean that the softener can be regenerated while still supplying soft water to your property.
- Clear instructions for easy installation
- Softener salt based
- Includes a water hardness test kit
- Does not require electricity to work
- Installation kit included
- You may need a plumber to carry out the installation
- At the top end for the price out of our top ten water softeners
The technically advanced BWT WS355 Standard Electronic Water Softener has a digital control system with an easy at-a-glance indicator to show the capacity remaining so you can ensure a continuous supply of softened water.
When required, the system performs an automatic regeneration sequence where the contents from the brine tank wash the beads made from resin, which collect the hardness minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, from your water. The system uses less salt by only regenerating the part of the bed that has been exhausted.
This unit has been designed for standard flow plumbing systems, with an installation kit included with the system. The WS355 also has a memory backup facility which allows it to restore all of the key settings should a temporary power outage of up to 72 hours occur.
- A family-sized water softener that’s small enough to fit in a cupboard
- Includes a 15 mm fitting kit for convenient installation
- Has a rotary valve for maximum dependability
- 2-year labour and 5-year parts warranty
- Uses smart technology to regenerate only when required
- You may need a plumber to carry out the installation
- At the top end for the price out of our top ten water softeners
What to Consider When Buying a Water Softener
Hard water is a known problem creator in almost all homes. It causes spots on glassware and crockery, a film on shower curtains, and build-up in pipes and appliances that rely on water to run. So which water softener is it best to buy for your home? There are three main types of water softeners that you will come across, so we have provided some useful information on each below:
Salt-based water softeners use sodium to replace hard water ions to soften the water. These units need a tank for resin beads as well as a salt chamber or brine tank, which should be kept topped up to keep them working effectively. A process known as regeneration refreshes the resin beads, which in turn softens the water. These systems are low-maintenance as they’re typically timer or metre-based. The units can be larger and need to be installed near a drain so that the salt tank waste can be drained off.
Salt-free units use Nano-technology to change the atomic structure of the water in order to soften it, usually in moderately hard water areas. If limescale has already built up in the plumbing system of your home, this form of a water softener is highly effective in removing this from the plumbing to make sure the situation doesn’t get any worse. The running costs of salt-free systems are usually lower, they are easy to maintain, and there is no need for them to be installed near a drain. They’re also considered to be eco-friendlier, but they might not be as effective in delivering soft water.
Electromagnetic water softeners are the smallest units available, so they’re ideal for space-saving, and they work by using magnetic wires around the water pipes to change the structure of the water molecules to soften the water. This type of system is ideal for low to medium-hard water and is also environmentally friendly. Electromagnetic systems are easy to install and are low maintenance, as well as being cheap to run.
Water Softeners Features to Consider
Salt – Most water softeners work through the use of salt to remove minerals in the water. Water softener salts usually come in either salt ‘cake’ form or in crystalline form. Some filters will be able to function with any form of salt, while others will specify the type of salt needed, so this should be checked beforehand, so you can choose the most practical option for you depending on the mineral content of the water in your local area.
Capacity – Larger tanks that have larger filters will typically last for a longer period of time without requiring any maintenance than smaller tanks. This impacts how much the unit will cost to run, not just for the device but also for the filters it will use.
Efficiency – Efficiency is key to any unit you decide to purchase for the best water softening effects. Some important factors are the size of the reservoir, the quantity of salt it can contain and, therefore, how long each supply will last before it needs to be topped up, as well as how long the filters will last before they need to be replaced.
Mineral-dense water can cause serious problems to a building’s plumbing and to water-based appliances like dishwashers and laundry machines, as well as causing the body to accumulate potentially harmful amounts of minerals or the skin to become sensitive or dry.
By now, you already know the different types of water softeners available in the market. Apart from just understanding how the systems work, you should look at the other considerations.
We hope that you have been able to choose the best water softener UK stores have to offer from our best water softener reviews and by reading through the information in our buyer’s guide. However, if you are still undecided, why not consider our editor’s choice – the Water2Buy W2B800 water softener?
The Water2Buy W2B800 water softener system is a fantastic yet budget-friendly purchase if you need to soften the water coming into your home. Once connected to the cold water supply on your plumbing system, it can supply soft water for a household of up to ten people!
This best water softener UK is designed to be installed in a garage or cellar as it is too large to fit in a cupboard, and once you have completed the easy installation process, it will soften water to your washing machines, taps and showers, providing you with the best water to drink and use.
The dimensions of this water softener are 22.5 cm x 110 cm x 50 cm, and it requires a power source and room for the water hose as well as the unit itself. Another thing we love is that the water softener manufacturers have developed this water softening system to be very cost-effective, as it costs less than £20 a year to run.
This water softener has a delay timer for it to start a regeneration sequence at 3 am to prevent it from causing any disturbance to you and your water provision while it self cleans, and it only uses 90 l of water to do so. Additionally, unlike with some home water softeners, a bypass valve prevents any water pressure loss so that your water is kept at peak flow at all times!
Paul is the type of person who never met a problem he couldn’t fix. He can always be found tinkering with something in his house, even if it isn’t broken! His tips and tricks are often shared on our site. He’s the one you call when something breaks because he has been known to improvise fixes for everything from leaky faucets to malfunctioning dryers.