A water softener can make a huge difference to the comfort of your household, especially when you live in an area with particularly hard water!
Think of how much easier life would be without the constant build-up of limescale, the roughness on your skin, and the expense of replacing electrical appliances like kettles before their time.
A water softener passes hard water through a cylinder that contains ion exchange resin, which attracts and retains the hardness minerals and leaves only the soft water to flow through your pipes.
All that’s needed to keep these machines running smoothly is a bit of salt.
Best Water Softeners for the Home in the UK
1. Water2Buy W2B200 Water Softener
Dimensions: 42 x 22 x 65 cm
Capacity: 1250 litres
Needs salt? Yes
The Water2Buy W2B200 water softener is the ideal product for families of between one and four people and is created to generate soft water while consuming less salt.
This handy product can be installed in many places in your household, including garages and kitchens.
The machine does need to be connected to both a water main and a power source but will successfully soften the water throughout your entire house.
The water softener is made using high-strength fiberglass and has a polyethene tank and a prefilled premium-grade ionX resin.
In addition, the machine is will clean itself automatically and will only regenerate the water when necessary.
This will happen ideally when the machine is not in use, which will ensure that your household’s overall water usage is not negatively impacted.
The machine will make some sounds during regeneration, similar to the sounds made by a dishwasher.
There is a useful app that will efficiently guide you through the set-up process, but you will need the installation kit in order to get the machine set up properly.
This installation kit is sold separately, and many users have commented that it is both expensive and not particularly user-friendly.
Several users also mentioned that the machine appears to be using the salt much too quickly, which can cause costs to accumulate quite swiftly.
2. Waterdrop Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System
Dimensions: 43.9 x 14.2 x 35.3 cm
Capacity: 1514 litres
Needs salt? Yes
The Waterdrop Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System is designed to dramatically reduce the hardness of your water while simultaneously filtering out any contaminants that may be making their way into your household’s water, such as chlorine, metals, chemicals, odours, and bad tastes.
In addition, the machine reduces both calcium and magnesium and creates softer water that is excellent for both skin and hair.
The machine also has filter life indicators that will inform you when the filters are in need of replacement.
It also ensures that your plumbing system will last longer, and, thanks to a tankless design, takes up considerably less space than similar products, although will require both a power source and access to the water main.
The water filtration system has its own pump and can produce a full cup of fresh, safe water in less than 15 seconds.
The system is easy to install and can be done without the help of a plumber (but will require a drill) in around half an hour. Replacing the filters is also an effortless process that takes only minutes.
Most users have only good things to say about the Waterdrop, with small mentions of the flow rate being slower than expected.
Overall, most users are impressed with the efficiency and effectiveness of the product.
3. BWT WS455 Hi-Flow Electronic Demand Block/Tablet Water Softener
Dimensions: 53.2 X 48 X 27 dm
Capacity: 10 litres
Needs salt? Yes
The BWT WS455 water softener can be easily installed in most kitchen cupboards and will work with both block and tablet salt.
The company advertises free installation when you buy their product, along with an excellent warranty.
It has a convenient electronic control system that is easy to use and has an advanced memory function that can successfully project the best times for regeneration based on your general water usage patterns.
This water softener has been specifically created for plumbing systems in the UK and is designed to make the water feel soft and luxurious.
This machine is the priciest option on the list, but the company points out that the product is long-lasting and efficient, which will protect your appliances and save you money in the long run.
The majority of users have found the product to be extremely useful and mentioned the benefits of the free installation.
Some users have mentioned that the lid is quite flimsy but that this does not affect the overall effectiveness of the machine.
4. Little Plumber LP1 Water Softener
The Little Plumber LP1 water softener is the most affordable option on our list and also takes a very different approach from the other products.
This water softener uses low-frequency radio waves that break down, remove and prevent limescale in your pipes. It can even increase the temperature and pressure of the hot water in your house.
The benefits of this type of machine are that it does not need to be connected to the water main.
It will require a power source but no plumbing skills! All you need to do is wrap the product’s coils around your most convenient cold-water pipe at least ten times.
This little machine is designed to make the water softer so your skin, hair and appliances will no longer feel the harsh effects of consistent exposure to hard water.
The water softener can take up to seven weeks to be fully functional, so patience is going to be necessary.
The product was originally created in the US but has been in production in the UK for over 20 years now, which ensures that the water softener is highly successful on UK water.
It is also the most environmentally conscious option on the list since it doesn’t require the salt that the others use to function.
Most users said that the product was highly efficient and easy to install, but a handful of users commented that they felt that the LP1 made little difference to their water situation and that they still had a noticeable limescale build-up.
5. Monarch Midi FreeFlow Water Softener
Dimensions: 56 x 46 x 26 cm
Capacity: 160 litres per person per day
Needs salt? Yes
The Monarch Midi FreeFlow water softener is another of the pricier options on our list and has a sleek and modern design that would look good in any kitchen.
This machine utilises new technology that makes it both fast and efficient to use, and it swiftly eradicates any existing limescale and prevents any from building up in the future.
The product boasts both a higher flow rate and a lower pressure drop than other similar products in the UK, and the Opti-Brining technology ensures that the machine only regenerates resin that has already been used.
It also does a mini top-up regeneration in only eight minutes.
The water softener is ideal for families of between four and seven people and is very quick and easy to install into most traditional, vented plumbing systems.
It is also a sustainable option as it uses up to 24% less water and 12% less salt yearly than similar products.
How to Narrow Down Which Water Softener Is Best for You
Narrowing down the many water softener choices can be a challenge, but the various options on our list are each unique and have very different things to offer.
Whether you’re looking for a lower price point or a smaller and more compact machine, there will be an option here for you.
Want an option that is more sustainable?
If you are looking for a water softener that uses salt but is more sustainable then the Monarch Midi FreeFlow water softener is the best option for you. This machine uses 12% less salt than similar products and is quick to regenerate.
If you’re looking to move away from salt completely then your best option would be the Little Plumber LP1 water softener, which uses low-frequency radio waves to remove the limescale from the pipes. This machine is long-lasting and doesn’t require much electricity to function.
Looking for the lowest price?
Water softeners can seem very pricey when you first look into them, but when you really think about it, they can be a real investment. Without limescale, your appliances are likely to last much longer, and you’d spend much less money on cleaning products!
There are still a number of price points within this list though and if you’re looking for something affordable but still efficient then the Water2Buy W2B200 water softener would be the best option to consider.
This water softener is mid-range and made from high-quality materials. It even self-cleans and will fit into most kitchen cupboards. The only downside is that the installation kit is not included in the price.
If space is an issue, then there are two water softeners that would be the best to look into. The first is the Little Plumber LP1 water softener which is incredibly compact and doesn’t need to be connected to the water system of your house.
This machine will need to be plugged in but otherwise only needs to be wrapped around a convenient pipe. It doesn’t even require salt so there will be no consistent fee to keep it running.
The second option that doesn’t take up much space is the Waterdrop reverse osmosis water filtration system, which is up to 70% smaller than similar products.
It can be easily tucked away and has an eye-catching design that would look pleasant in any kitchen. It does require both a power source and access to the water main.
There are many different styles of water softeners, and each type will have different aspects that are convenient for different households.
If we had to pick just one to recommend to most people, it would be the Water2Buy W2B200 Water Softener, which can be used to soften the water throughout the entire house.
If you live in a hardwater area and feel the impact of the constant exposure to the harsh water on your skin and your appliances, then a water softener could be a necessary and life-changing investment for you!
An adventurous book lover with an animal obsession and a proclivity for travel and spontaneity. Used to passionately despise cleaning but has grown to enjoy it thanks to learning all the best tricks and shortcuts to guaranteeing a stress-free routine and a spotless home.