A lot of residents in most parts of the UK have to bear with hard water in their households. The water hardness across the UK is mostly as a result of grit, limescale and residue accumulating in their plumbing systems.
Hard water is a nuisance when it comes to doing your laundry using your washing machine. Additionally, you may need to spend a lot of time in the bathroom scrubbing the walls and floors to keep them tidy always.
Furthermore, the accumulation of grit and limescale is a huge hindrance to the normal operation and efficacy of your home boiler system. That is why you need the best water softener like the Water2Buy W2B200 Water Softener .
However, the greatest challenge when shopping for the best water softener is finding just the right water softener for your home because there so many in the market. This post rounds up some of the best water softeners in the UK market to make shopping easier for you. Read on to learn more.
The best water softener UK reviewed at a glance are:
- Water2Buy W2B200 Water Softener
- Eddy Electronic Water Descaler
- Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener
- BWT WS555 HiFlow Electronic Demand Block/Tablet Water Softener
- ScaleWatcher 2 Star | Electronic Water Softener and Scale Inhibitor
- Water2Buy W2B500 Water Softener
- BWT WS455 Hi Flow Electronic Block/Tablet Water Softener
- M1D2 Water Softener
- EcoPlus Whole House Water Filter System & Salt Free Water Softener Alternative
- iSpring RCC7 High Capacity Under Sink 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Filtration System and Ultimate Water Softener
Best Water Softener UK Review
Water2Buy W2B200 Water Softener
- Easy to use installation kit.
- Features a streamlined treatment design.
- No need to use a lot of salt to get clean or soft water.
- Quick and quiet self-cleaning feature.
What stands out?
Water2Buy is one of the leading water softener brands in the UK and the W2B200 model is an expression of their superiority. It stands out as the best pick in this roundup because of the number of outstanding features it packs.
One of the most outstanding features about is the fact that it doesn’t require a lot of salt to run. Despite being relatively lightweight, it delivers impressive performance compared to other water softeners.
With the capacity to deliver up to 1,250 litres per day, it is an ideal pick, especially for one in its price range. Also, it has a compressed design, which is why it is lightweight in nature. This also means that it is easily compatible with many systems.
You can use the different programmable settings to make it meet your water softening demands. Therefore, it will be up to you to calibrate it to your desired level of water hardness. It is also possible to schedule it to self-clean at your convenience.
Eddy Electronic Water Descaler
- An ideal no salt alternative to a water softener.
- Easy customer installation.
- Softens water without altering TDS.
- Ideal for reducing limescale in businesses and homes.
What stands out?
If you live in area that is prone to limescale and you are looking for the best water softener alternative that won’t alter the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), this descaler is a great alternative.
The descaler produces a complex electromagnetic wave that subjects your water to a magnetic field that is ever changing as the water passes through the coils. That is how the descaler is able to change the limescale adhesion properties depending on how hard your water is to avoid scale build.
Therefore, you won’t have to deal with limescale deposits on your clean surfaces or inside your piping work or appliances like washing machines. Moreover, it is highly economical and an eco-friendly salt-based water softener softening option compared to many other products in the UK market to get softened water.
Although it’s not recommended to use it on lead pipes, it can work with any other type of pipework. It is also important to mention that it comes with a 12 month money-back guarantee.
Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softeners
Best Value for Money
- Built to last.
- Features automatic self-cleaning.
- Ability to regenerate when all salt is used up.
- Can clean during the night when it’s not in use.
What stands out?
Inasmuch as the W2B200 is a great pick, if you want value for money, the W2B800 is the ideal option for you.
The water softener is very capable of handling medium to large households without any hassle. In fact, it can clean water for use by up to 10 people. This means that it can clean water capacity of up to an impressive average of 3,680 litres every day.
Moreover, despite being able to handle that much water, it still manages to operate quietly and efficiently, removing 100% limescale. You don’t have to spend so much on salt because it doesn’t use much salt to clean or get soft water either.
If you have one of those combi boilers at home, this would be an ideal value pick for you. It doesn’t interfere with your home’s water pressure, ensuring that you enjoy a continuous supply of soft water at the right pressure.
It is impossible not to mention that it also has an automatic self-cleaning mode. Because of the installed smart technology, it sets to clean itself during the night when everyone is asleep. This means you won’t have to wait to get soft water during the day and clean drinking water.
BWT WS555 Hi Flow Electronic Demand Block/Tablet Water Softeners
- Easy to install.
- Features a compact design.
- It comes with an installation kit.
- High efficiency at low running costs.
What stands out?
With over 10 years of innovation and research, BWT remains among the leading manufacturers of water softeners, which is why the WS555 makes it to this roundup.
The WS555 features an impressive compact design, which makes it relatively easy to install, especially in kitchen cabinets in a matter of minutes. It has a 14-litre resin volume capacity that guarantees that you will use it for a good period of time before it calls for regeneration.
If you don’t mind spending a little more to get a high-efficiency level water softeners, this would be an ideal product to consider, especially to use block salt. That is all thanks to its electronic control softening system that is brilliantly designed.
As the unit operates, the brining process simultaneously takes place to ensure that there is reduced salt wastage to keep the running costs on the low.
However, it would be ideal to keep in mind that if your home is located in an area that has a flow rate of less than 10 litres per minute of water supply, it might not be the most effective option for you. Such water supply areas significantly reduce its efficiency.
ScaleWatcher 2 Star | Electronic Water Softener and Scale Inhibitor
- You don’t have to change filters of buy softening salt.
- Low annual running costs of about £5
- Uses 98% efficiency radio signals to descale hard water
- Comes with a 10-year warranty and money-back guarantee.
What stands out?
The ScaleWatcher is a 2 Star unit that is designed to offer you up to 20 years of service. Furthermore, it is designed in such a way that you won’t need to hire the services of a plumber to help you install a water softener.
Also, it features a compact design to allow you install it even in the tiniest of space to ensure that you have enough space savings at home.
Moreover, it uses patented radio frequency signals to ensure that it dissolves any calcium and magnesium minerals in the water with 98% efficiency. Despite using audio frequency to soften your water, it doesn’t use much electricity, which keeps your running costs at the lowest every year. It is even possible to spend less than £5 a year with a 10-year warranty.
The lightweight design makes it ideal to wall mount. However, make sure that you mount it near a power outlet but around a metre away from the pipework to get softer water.
Water2Buy W2B500 Water Softener
- It has no bearing on water pressure.
- Suitable for households having 4-7 people.
- It features 3am self-cleaning cycle.
- It is compatible with most UK boilers.
What stands out?
The W2B500 is in ideal pick for households with a big number. The most outstanding aspect about these water softeners is the fact that you can you can choose to use them indoors or outdoors. Therefore, you can have filtered water anywhere around your home without greatly affecting the water pressure.
Furthermore, it has a very intuitive system that effects self-cleaning at 3am. This means that you don’t have to interrupt your daytime schedule. The fact that it runs quietly in the night it won’t disturb your sleep schedule, especially if you are a light sleeper.
Inasmuch as the system is suitable for a wide range of households, it may be a bit challenging to set up the softener’s regeneration cycle. But once you get the rinse, brine and backwash options right it could serve you best.
It is also recommended that you take care when refilling the unit because the lugs located at the top tend to be a bit flimsy and could easily break.
BWT WS455 HiFlow Electronic Demand Block/Tablet Water Softener
- It I suitable for a household of around 4 people.
- Intelligent water monitoring
- It can easily adapt to your water usage schedule.
- Compact and easy to install
What stands out?
If you are looking a tablet or block water softener that can easily accommodate your small family, this could be a great place to start as well.
The compact design makes it easy to install in a standard UK kitchen cupboard. Furthermore, it comes with a full set of installation kit to ensure that you have an easy time setting everything up. Once you finish installing it, you won’t have to worry about running costs because it requires minimal maintenance.
Once your entire setup is up and running, it uses smart technology to monitor your water usage, which allows you to watch how much water your home uses. Moreover, it can intelligently adapt to how much water your household uses using a smart electronic system. Therefore, it will soften more hard water at such a time when you need to use more water and less when you need less.
However, if your home’s flow rate is higher than 10 litres of water per minute, it might struggle softening your water. If you need a water softener system for a bigger household, it may be a good idea to go for a larger unit.
M1D2 Water Softener
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- Efficiently balances design style and performance
- Features a meter control
- Up to 56% salt saving
- Comes with a 7-year guarantee
What stands out?
The water softener boasts of proven performance, coming with features that make it stand out among the rest.
It comes with an easy view control panel plus a back lit display to allow you clearly see what is going on with your water softener system and the settings you input. Furthermore, it features an easy push button setup, which means it will only take you a couple of seconds to set it up.
It has a massive 17kg salt storage capacity. This means you won’t have to keep adding salt to your softener anytime soon.
The water softener also comes with a unique self-protect programme that delays any form of regeneration cycle until 2am, stores data in case of an abrupt power outage, initiates any additional regeneration if need be and intelligently adapts to your water usage patterns at home.
EcoPlus Whole House Water Filter System & Salt Free Water Softener Alternative
- It doesn’t affect your household’s water pressure.
- Easily wall-mountable to save on space.
- Ability to soften and descale up to 750,000 litres before requiring replacements.
- It has a high flow rate with dual tank.
What stands out?
Unlike many other water softeners in the market, the EcoPlus water filter system doesn’t have to remove or replace chemicals available in your water to soften it. Instead, the EcoPlus softener uses the Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC) process to convert the calcium and magnesium minerals present in your hard water into tiny crystals.
The compact design is ideal for installation in smaller homes that accommodate a maximum of four people. Furthermore, you won’t have to replace anything for about 3 years. The 99.6% water softening effectiveness in descaling hard water makes it the ideal system to use while protecting your home’s pipework.
iSpring RCC7 High Capacity Under Sink 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Filtration System and Ultimate Water Softener
- Utilises high capacity reverse osmosis to soften and filter hard water.
- Easy DIY installation.
- Features a brushed nickel and all metallic faucet.
- Includes a clear see-through 1st stage housing
What stands out?
The RCC7 is a very economical, reverse osmosis-based and 5-stage filtration system that has capacity to remove virtually every contaminant present in water making it clean for use.
It is backed by a superior iSpring service and quality to ensure that you have years of trouble-free use.
Furthermore, the 1st stage reinforced transparent housing makes it easy to inspect the sediment filter and see any contaminants after they are removed. Therefore, it will be easy to know just when you need to remove or change the filter before it starts running into problems.
It also allows for peace of mind experience because of the push to connect settings together with its colour coordinated tubings to make the installation process relatively easy.
Water Softener Buying Guide
What to Consider when Buying
Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when looking to buy a system to soften water in your home.
Water softener solutions
There are different types of water solutions, including:
- Salt-based water softeners : These salt-based water softeners utilise sodium and a brine tank to get rid of hard water ions to soften water. However, these salt based systems have to have resin beads and a brine tank or salt chamber to ensure effectiveness.
- Salt-free systems: These systems use nano-technology to alter water’s atomic structure to soften it. They are ideal for use in places with moderately hard water supply.
- Electromagnetic systems: These salt-free systems are quite small, making them ideal for smaller spaces. They use magnetic wires to alter the molecules thereby softening water.
Type of salt
Most softeners work using salt. It is important to keep in mind that this isn’t just any ordinary salt. It is a specially formulated salt that functions to remove any contaminants in hard water.
However, before you go ahead and buy salt to soften the water, you should make sure that the salt can work to soften the type of water flowing through your plumbing system. If you don’t know, just carry out a test then use the result to buy the right salt to extract the minerals, often in block salt.
Although salt cakes are mostly recommended, they may not always be ideal for some mineral compositions.
Essentially, when you buy a water softener with a bigger capacity and bigger filter, you won’t have to worry about maintenance for a longer time as compared to a smaller capacity softener with a small filtration system to get softened water.
Therefore, if you have a big hard water problem, you may need to dig deeper into your pockets to get a larger capacity water softener to have your water softened.
Before you buy any water softener, make sure it is efficient enough to handle your hard water problems at home. Therefore, you have to consider the salt capacity it can accommodate, the size of its reservoir and how long one supply of salt can last.
Also, you should factor in the duration it will take you to change your filters. You may be tempted to go for a cheaper softener but it may end up being very costly in the long run.
Inasmuch as it is wise to install a softener that includes a bypass system, ensure the bypass valve in the system. It will allow you to turn off water flowing through it for maintenance without disrupting the flow.
Ease of installation
Always go for a water softener that is relatively easy to install as compared to systems that may require you to run into extra costs just to seek the services of a professional plumber to do the installation for you.
Check out our post here on How to Install a Water Softener if you are ever considering a DIY installation.
How Does Water Softening Work?
It basically works via ion exchange to eliminate magnesium and calcium. When hard water flows through the mineral tank, it passes through resin beads that are charged with the ions; thus, attracting them and removing them from the water.
How is water softening beneficial?
Yes, it is. It helps prevent the accumulation of limescale inside fixtures, appliances and plumbing system. Furthermore, it lengthens the lifespan of your appliances, keeps your surfaces clean and reduces how much detergent or soaps you use.
How Much Does It Cost To Install a Softener?
Generally, installing a water softener will cost you anywhere from $400 to $4000. The difference is price depends on the type of softener, the size of your home, complexity of installation, materials used and labour.
Which water softener is best?
The best water softeners are what work best for your water every day use and can accommodate the amount of water per day that you use. However, a great overall pick is the WaterBuy W2B200 water softening system or the Tapworks AD11 Water Softener .
Is there an alternative to a water softener?
Yes. There are plenty of alternatives to water softeners. In this case, the Eddy Descaler would be an ideal pick.
Although all these best water softeners reviewed in this roundup are great picks, the WaterBuy W2B200 Water Softener is the best overall pick to avoid scale build. What really sets this system to soften water apart is the fact that it is very compact and lightweight and that is why you would probably have an easy time installing it.
Also, it offers a range of settings that you can easily adjust to suit your lifestyle and water pressure and its ability to soften hard water.