What is the Best Water Softener: Top Picks for Every Home in 2024

What is the Best Water Softener: Top Picks for Every Home in 2024

Dealing with hard water can be a challenge for many UK households, leading to limescale build-up and affecting daily comfort. With over a decade of expertise in water treatment systems, I'll guide you through selecting the ideal water softener for your home. This article offers thoroughly tested recommendations, ensuring effective, hassle-free solutions to enhance your water quality and protect your appliances.

Our Selections

1. Water2Buy W2B500 Water Softener

The Water2Buy W2B500 Water Softener is a fantastic investment for families of 1-8, effectively removing limescale and providing soft water for the entire home.

I recently installed the Water2Buy W2B500 Water Softener in my home, and it has made a significant difference in our water quality. This water softener is suitable for both city and well water, making it an adaptable choice for various households.

One feature that stood out to me was the automatic self-cleaning and regeneration process. The softener silently cleans itself and regenerates only when necessary. Since it accomplishes this task at 3 am, our household water usage wasn’t impacted at all. However, be advised that it requires a power source to function, and consumes 70-80 litres of water during its regeneration.

Although the Water2Buy W2B500 is quite sizeable, the benefits it provides are well-worth the effort. If you are looking for an effective water softener with clever engineering and an efficient design for your family, the Water2Buy W2B500 Water Softener is the ideal choice.

The user reviews of the Water2Buy W2B500 mention additional information not stated by the manufacturer. The users recommend getting the latest setup data for the softener from the Water2Buy website, as the setup in the supplied manual is out of date. They also suggest obtaining the water hardness from the local water authority’s website for an accurate setup. The reviewers mention that there is a mixing valve on the AS800, which needs to be gently turned anti-clockwise to its full travel to get soft water.

The unit’s display and user interface are not the best, but it works efficiently. The users report that the unit is quiet when softening water or idle, and the noise level during regeneration depends on the mains pressure at the time. They also mention that the unit can still provide water during regeneration, although it won’t be softened. Overall, users are satisfied with the W2B500 water softener, citing it as reasonably priced, effective, and relatively easy to install with some plumbing experience.

Overall, the Water2Buy W2B500 Water Softener is a great investment for families, effectively removing limescale and providing soft water for the whole home. It features automatic self-cleaning and regeneration, minimizing water usage and disruption. Although it requires a power source and consumes water during regeneration, the benefits outweigh these drawbacks. User reviews praise its reasonable price, effectiveness, and relatively easy installation for those with plumbing experience.

Our score: 4.5/5

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2. Water2Buy W2B180 Water Softener

For households of 1 to 6 people, the Water2Buy W2B180 offers an efficient lime-free water softening solution, making it a valuable addition to any home.

After using the Water2Buy W2B180 Water Softener, I was quite impressed with its performance. This product is designed for both city and well water, and it’s amazing how it provides completely lime-free water for my household. I also appreciate its efficient digital counter, as it helps in reducing salt and water consumption.

Installation was a bit challenging at first, but the compact design of the water softener (220x525x650mm) made it possible to install it in my garage without taking up too much space. The build quality is very good, and it’s made of high-strength corrosion-resistant materials, ensuring it will last for years to come. The added bonus of the Water2Buy easyConnect app made the setup process simpler.

One of the standout features of the Water2Buy W2B180 is its automatic self-cleaning. It takes care of the regeneration cycle silently and efficiently, ensuring normal water usage is not interrupted. Also, I found it very reassuring that it only regenerates when needed, which saves both water and power. Overall, I highly recommend this water softener for those looking to improve their water quality at home.

The main difference between the two models lies in their capacity. The W2B180 has a capacity of 1250 liters/day and is suitable for households of 1 to 6 people, while the W2B500 has a higher capacity of 1417 liters/day, making it ideal for families of 1 to 8 people. Both models regenerate automatically at 3 am to minimize the impact on water usage, with the W2B500 using slightly more water (70-80 liters) during regeneration compared to the W2B180 (37 liters). In terms of size, the W2B500 is larger, which might be a consideration if space is a concern. Overall, both models are efficient and reliable, but the choice between them should depend on the household size and daily water consumption needs.

Overall, the Water2Buy W2B180 Water Softener is an excellent choice for households of 1 to 6 people. Despite some installation challenges, its compact design and high-quality materials make it durable and space-saving. The automatic self-cleaning feature ensures uninterrupted water usage and reduces salt and water consumption. With the ability to generate 1250 liters of filtered water daily, the Water2Buy W2B180 is highly recommended for improving home water quality.

Our score: 4.5

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3. DVA 12 Litre Manual Salt Regeneration Water Softener

The DVA 12 Litre Water Softener is worth considering for its effective performance and easy manual salt regeneration process, ideal for commercial use.

I recently had the chance to try the DVA 12 Litre Water Softener for my commercial dishwasher and glasswasher. I was pleasantly surprised by its efficient water softening capabilities, which significantly reduced limescale buildup in my appliances.

Setting up the water softener was a breeze, and the manual salt regeneration process allowed me to control the frequency of regeneration based on my appliances’ usage. However, I did find myself wishing for an automatic regeneration feature, which is not included in this model.

On the downside, this water softener is not suitable for domestic use, so I wouldn’t recommend it for a home setup. Additionally, it requires regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance, which may be slightly inconvenient for busy users. Regardless, the DVA 12 Litre Water Softener proved to be a valuable addition to my commercial appliances.

Overall, the DVA 12 Litre Water Softener is a great choice for commercial use. It effectively reduces limescale buildup in appliances like dishwashers and glasswashers. Its easy manual salt regeneration process and simple setup provide control over regeneration frequency. Although not suitable for domestic use, the water softener is a valuable addition to commercial setups despite the need for regular maintenance and the absence of an automatic regeneration feature.

Our score: 4.5

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4. BWT WS555 Hi Flow Electronic Water Softener, 14 Litre

I recommend the BWT WS555 water softener for its compact design, ease of installation, and effective water softening capabilities.

Having recently installed the BWT WS555 Hi Flow Electronic Water Softener, I immediately noticed a significant difference in the water quality at my home. The compact design allowed me to keep the unit hidden in a kitchen cupboard, making it a convenient addition to my home.

The installation process was quite straightforward, and the included installation kit made it even simpler. However, I had to make some adjustments for the high-flow fittings, as they didn’t align with my UK water pipes. Once installed, the unit has been functioning seamlessly, and the salt blocks are easier to handle than tablet variants, allowing for a cleaner process when it’s time for a refill.

While the 14-litre capacity suffices for my 4-bed home, it might not suffice for larger households with higher water consumption. Overall, the BWT WS555 has improved my water quality significantly, and I haven’t had to worry about limescale or other hard water issues since its installation.

Overall, the BWT WS555 water softener is highly recommended for its compact design, easy installation, and effective water softening capabilities. It fits conveniently in a kitchen cupboard and uses salt blocks for a cleaner refill process. Although the 14-litre capacity may not be enough for larger households, it has been effective for my 4-bed home. Since installation, the water quality has significantly improved, eliminating concerns about limescale and other hard water issues.

Our score: 4.5

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5. DVA Water Softener for Commercial Dishwasher & Glasswasher

If you’re looking for a cost-effective and efficient water softener for your commercial dishwasher, the DVA Water Softener is an excellent choice with exceptional results.

I installed the 8 Litre DVA Water Softener in our pub, and the results have been remarkable. Since adding it to our glasswasher, we’ve seen a significant reduction in mineral build-up on our glassware, setting a new standard for our establishment.

Regenerating the system is simple – just add the recommended amount of salt and it’s ready for use. While some may find manual regeneration a bit of a hassle, it never bothered me as I prefer having control over the process.

Although the DVA Water Softener is designed specifically for commercial dishwashers and glasswashers, it’s essential to bear in mind its limitations. It’s not suitable for whole-house water softening or non-commercial uses. Overall, the DVA Water Softener delivers exceptional results, mastering the art of providing spotless glassware within a commercial environment at a reasonable price.

Overall, the DVA Water Softener is a cost-effective and efficient solution for commercial dishwashers, providing exceptional results for spotless glassware. However, it’s limited to commercial use and not suitable for whole-house water softening. Despite these limitations, the DVA Water Softener impressively delivers cleanliness at an affordable price, making it an excellent choice for commercial establishments.

Our score: 4.5

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6. Monarch Water Ultimate Midi HE Water Softener

The Monarch Water Ultimate Midi HE Water Softener is a must-have for those struggling with hard water in the UK, offering efficient functioning and added benefits to your home.

Having used the Monarch Water Ultimate Midi HE Water Softener in my own home, I experienced a noticeable improvement in water quality, which in turn protected my appliances and made cleaning tasks more manageable. Its sustainable design helped me save water and salt usage while still delivering excellent results.

The easy installation and user-friendly digital control panel made it simple for me to set up and monitor its performance. The impressive warranty – 7 years for parts and 2 years for labour – offered peace of mind when investing in the product.

While it has its limitations, such as only using tablet salt and suitability for very hard water areas, the benefits it brings to a household far outweigh the drawbacks. Overall, the Monarch Water Ultimate Midi HE Water Softener is an excellent addition to any UK home, especially those facing hard water challenges.

For comparison, our top pick, the W2B500 is a salt-based ion exchange system with a 1417 liters/day capacity, suitable for families of 1 to 8 people, featuring automatic self-cleaning and regeneration at 3 am. The Monarch Midi HE, suitable for 1-7 people in hard water areas, uses Opti-Brining technology and offers a 7-year parts and 2-year labor guarantee. While the W2B500 provides a higher capacity, the Monarch model stands out for its advanced features and extensive warranty.

In user reviews of the Monarch Water Ultimate Midi HE Water Softener, users report a couple of issues that are not mentioned by the manufacturer. Firstly, they mention that the salt holding chamber is relatively small and holds less than half of a standard 25-kg bag of tablet salt. Secondly, they state that the ‘salt-refill’ alarm is overly sensitive and can be triggered even when there is enough salt in the chamber, resulting in a continuous, annoying beeping alarm. The user had to call Monarch customer service to disable the alarm, but they found the customer service to be very helpful. Apart from these issues, the users are satisfied with the water softener and has noticed a significant improvement in water quality.

Overall, the Monarch Water Ultimate Midi HE Water Softener is a highly efficient and beneficial solution for UK households struggling with hard water. It offers improved water quality, protects appliances, and simplifies cleaning tasks. While limited to tablet salt and not suitable for very hard water areas, its easy installation, user-friendly controls, and comprehensive warranty make it an excellent choice for addressing hard water challenges.

Our score: 4.5

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7. BWT WS355 Electronic Water Softener, 14 Litre

I highly recommend the BWT WS355 Electronic Water Softener for its efficiency, compact design and user-friendliness.

I recently installed the BWT WS355 Electronic Water Softener in my home, and it has been a game-changer for my family. The compact size of this water softener makes it perfect for fitting inside a kitchen cupboard, saving valuable space. The easy installation, which included a helpful installation kit, allowed me to have soft water running in my home within a few hours.

The WS355’s family size is ideal for providing soft water consistently, and I noticed the difference immediately in the quality of my water. From showering to washing dishes, this water softener has improved the overall water usage experience in my home.

Although the outlet hose might not fit every standard connection, with a little adjustment, I was able to make it work for my setup. I also learned that occasional maintenance is necessary to ensure optimal functioning, but the BWT customer service and support have been excellent whenever I needed assistance.

Overall, I highly recommend the BWT WS355 Electronic Water Softener for its efficiency, compact design, and user-friendliness. The perfect family size and convenient installation make it an excellent choice for improving water quality. Despite minor drawbacks like a rigid overflow connection and outlet hose compatibility, they can be easily overcome. With the WS355, I’ve experienced a significant improvement in water usage, and BWT’s customer service has been excellent.

Our score: 4.5

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Buyer’s guide

Finding the best water softener in the UK can be a tad challenging, but I’ve got your back! Let me walk you through some important factors to consider, as well as some helpful tips for making your decision.

1. Size and Capacity

First and foremost, consider the size and grain capacity of the water softener. This is important because it will determine how well the system can handle your household’s water usage. You’ll want to choose a unit that has the right capacity to handle your daily water consumption efficiently.

2. Type of Water Softener

There are several types of water softeners to choose from, including salt-based, salt-free, magnetic, and reverse osmosis systems. Each of these has its pros and cons, so I recommend researching which type will best suit your needs and preferences.

3. Installation and Maintenance

When investing in a water softener, it’s vital to think about the installation process and ongoing maintenance. Look for a unit with an easy installation process or one that comes with professional installation services. Maintenance is crucial as well, so ensure the system you choose is easy to maintain and has clear guidelines on how to do so.

4. Budget and Additional Features

Set a budget for your water softener purchase and keep an eye out for any additional features that may be beneficial. These extra features could include advanced programming options, touch screen controls, and Wi-Fi capabilities. However, make sure these features justify the cost and won’t compromise the core functionality of the water softener.

5. Warranty and Customer Support

Finally, ensure the water softener comes with a reliable warranty from the manufacturer. This will give you peace of mind in case any issues arise. It’s also important to have access to efficient customer support should you require any assistance or have questions about the product.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can confidently choose the best water softener for your UK home. Good luck!


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