Water is an unquestionably essential part of our lives, which is why having a good water softener system like the premium, ultra-safe 5-stage APEC ROES-50 reverse osmosis drinking water filter system from APEC Water Systems is such a smart option to have in the home. From diet to dishes, we use water more times than we realize throughout our daily routine. Because it’s such an important part of our lives, it’s important to maintain and regulate the water functioning in the system throughout the home. It’s no secret that was is able to get minerals from the ground, which makes the water hard. Hard water not only causes soaps and detergents to lose some of their effectiveness, but it also causes soap cud to coagulate and manifest over time into a clog that is a much better problem than just having hard water.
The fix is to simply get a water softener that takes hard water and all of the problems that come with it completely out of the equation. According to our results, the best pick for this particular situation would be the ROES-50 from APEC offers long-lasting technology that cleans and removes up to 99% of the contaminants found commonly in water, such as chlorine, arsenic, fluoride, lead, other heavy metals, viruses, and bacteria. The list of benefits for water softeners goes on, but there are individual benefits to the different water filtration systems you buy. While most water softeners have all of those benefits above, the APEC ROES-50 reverse osmosis drinking water filter system also has the added benefit of providing water that has a refreshing, crisp taste that rivals that of a sip out of bottled water. In fact, some say that the ROES-50 provides water that’s superior to bottle water, making the drinking water experience that much more enjoyable. Made in the USA, the water system by APEC has a one-year satisfaction guarantee, though it’s designed to last much longer than that.
Of course, there’s also the step-up pick, which is the Aquasana EQ-1000-AMZN whole house water filtration system from Aquasana that includes a pro kit. It’s priced a little higher than the model from APEC, which is why it’s only in second place.
For a more affordable option, on the other hand, there’s also the budget pick: the mean, filtering machine known as the AQ-5200.55 2-stage water filter system also by Aquasana. It’s just designed for under the counter use, but it’s a step in the right direction of filtering all of the water in your home. The EQ-1000-AMZN has the added benefit of not needing any electricity, salt, or back flushing to work. Meanwhile, the AQ-5200.55, which comes out as the budget pick, has the added bonus of being one of the most affordable water filtration systems available. Plus, it comes in brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, or chrome depending on your preference, giving you options for what you want to put in your home.
Table of Contents
- Benefits of Water Softeners
- How We Picked the Best Water Softener
- Jen’s Top Pick
- Our Second Pick
- Budget Water Softener Pick
- Specialized Picks
- The Competition
- Commonly Asked Questions About Water Softeners
Benefits of Water Softeners
There are a range of benefits to water softeners in general, many of which easily answer the question “Why would I need a water softener system in my home?” Not only does a good water softening system reduce the soap curd that can build up in drains and sinks, but it also makes your skin softer, hair shinier, smoother, and cleaner, and improves the look of your skin and hair overall. The softened water provides a richer later to all of your shampoos and soaps, which means you no longer have to use as much soap and shampoo to clean yourself as you used to. It makes anything it comes into contact with shinier and cleaners, including glassware, silverware, tiles and other materials around the house, mirrors, cars, plumbing fixtures, and much more.
Clothes become softer when you’re washing them with water that’s been run through a water softening system. Not only that, but fabrics also last longer, white stay whiter and brighter for longer, and clothes in general look more vibrant with softer water being used on them. Plus, a water filtration system is the best way to preserve the life of all water appliances, including ice makers, coffee machines, and especially dishwashers. You save money on the energy costs to those appliances, as well. Really, a water filtration system allows you to save hundreds each year, earning any money you spend on it back within just the first year of using it. You save money this way because you don’t have to waste time waiting on water to heat up as quickly when it’s no longer hard water. It can improve efficiency by upwards of 20% for most households.
How We Picked the Best Water Softener
Choosing the best water softener for your individual household is a tough task if you don’t know where you’re looking. Fortunately, we have a team of experts on the case, so we were able to pick the best water softener based on a number of variables.
Narrowing down the search results as we go. For most situations, the products that have the most customer reviews will typically give you the most information you need in order to decide whether you want to buy it or not. When we were choosing the best water softener, we looked at how many stars each product had on a scale of one to five. Obviously the products with a higher rating were considered for our pick, while the ones that were rated lower were ruled out.
Second, we looked at all of the individual features and benefits that each water softener could offer. These features range from making the water taste like bottled water to being compact and easy to take with you anywhere. The features you’re looking for in a water softener may differ, but for us, we were looking for a water softener that delivers a fresh, crisp taste, gets rid of most or all of the contaminants naturally present in tap water, and one that’s typically fairly low maintenance. We feel that those particular features are important for most water softening systems.
Third, another important variable is the number of cons that come with whichever water softening system we choose. Obviously the best water softener is going to have the least amount of cons, or the pros that come with the water softener at least make the cons worth it. We looked for the water softener with the most amount of features and benefits with the least amount of negative attributes.
Finally, the additions and accessories that come with a product are also something to consider. We looked at what else we would be getting for each water softening system if we decided to make a purchase. Some had additional filters, some had additional parts for just about everything in the filtering system. When we were picking the best water softener, we looked at each product and examined all of the bonuses, additions, and accessories that would come with it.
Top Pick: APEC ROES-50
Jen’s Top Pick: APEC ROES-50
It’s not hard to see that there aren’t a lot of editorial reviews, other than this one, regarding water softeners. There are reputable, reliable sources to gather information about water softening systems themselves, but it’s hard to find somewhere that can dually recommend products and explain the details about the products. Because we provide you with informative knowledge about water softeners themselves, we spent a lot of time trying to pick the best one. The 5-stage ROES-50 water softener and filtering system came out number one on our list for a number of reasons.
We looked at the reviews and ratings all the products had before we decided on anything. It’s affordable, even though it’s not our budget choice. An authentic water softener, it’s built in the USA from each individual part up.
While it’s wonderful that the ROES-50 has outstanding reviews and customer ratings, it’s affordable, and authentic, one other very important variable to consider is how well the product works in general and what individual benefits it can provide. The ROES-50 is able to remove 99% of all contaminants in the water, including fluoride, lead, arsenic, and literally thousands more. It provides you with a refreshing, crisp taste for your water, guaranteeing your health and water safety.
The one-year satisfaction guarantee that’s offered for the ROES-50 is not a bad addition to the purchase, either. It’s also WQA-certified, passing all inspections and requirements before it ever reaches your home. Basically, with a tank the size of 11” x 11” x 15”, you get a noise-free, trouble-free system that is designed to last. The long-lasting filters help water stay cleaner for longer. Not to mention the other benefit of receiving a lead-free chrome faucet with the purchase, along with FDA and NSF certified JG food grade tubing. The high-quality, quick-connect fittings make the install easy and convenient. The fittings that come with the water softener also remove the need for any additional steps or lock clips to seal the leak.
It’s low maintenance, which makes your job long term when installing a water softener in your home that much easier. There’s a certain level of maintenance required for any water filtering system you get, and for the ROES-50, all you have to do is change the three Essence pre-filters in the system every six months to a year.
The crisp flavor and APEC using the same filtration technology as companies that produce bottled water completely rules out the need for you to purchase bottled water anymore. This means that you can reduce plastic waste and pollution, free up your home of the clutter of empty water bottles, and still enjoy the taste that you get when you drink fresh bottled water.
So, as you can see, there are plenty of variables to choose from as to why we selected the ROES-50 as our top pick. The water filtering system with five individual unique stages that allows water to be fully filtered, you really can’t get much better than that.
Second Pick: EQ-1000-AMZN
Step-up Pick: EQ-1000-AMZN
Coming in second place on our list, the EQ-1000-AMZN is a high-quality water filtration system for the entire house. Had it been a little more affordable, comparable to the one by APEC, then it could have easily climbed to the number one spot based on the benefits that it provides and the many features that it offers.
The EQ-1000-AMZN removes up to 97% of the chlorine in the water, exceeding NSF standards. It’s designed to last at least ten years, or up to one million gallons of water. As a bonus, this particular water filtering system doesn’t require any salt, back flushing, or electricity in order to function.
It comes with a copper-zinc kdf, a pre-filter, an activated carbon, brass fittings, and a post-filter along with the system itself, so you’ll have everything you need to install it and get started. The transition to switch you home to water that’s completely fresh and clean is well worth the initial effort.
Another reason this ranked in as our second pick was the more limited number of customer reviews that the EQ-1000-AMZN had.
While the product usually lands on getting a 10-year filter and a pro kit, you also have the option to get other sizes from Aquasana that better fit your situation. There’s a 10-year filter, salt-free softener, and premium whole house filter, there’s a 10-year filter, salt-free softener, and a UV softener, and there’s also filters that last a shorter amount of time. The 5-year filter is specifically designed for well water, and there’s also a 4-year chloramines filter.
Chemicals that vaporize when put into direct contact with shower steam can reduce your indoor air quality greatly. Fortunately, this water filtering system reduces the chemicals that would vaporize in shower steam, improving your indoor air quality exponentially.
Not only does the EQ-1000-AMZN remove contaminants in the water and filter your home of any harmful chemicals that could be present, but it also provides a great-tasting, health drink for water throughout the entire home. You get a refreshing flavor that tastes like bottled water without ever having to purchase bottled water again.
Budget Pick: Aquasana AQ-5200.55 Under Counter Water Softener
Aquasana AQ-5200.55 Under Counter Water Softener
The AQ-5200.55 comes in as our budget choice for water softeners. It’s a 2-stage water filter system that goes under the counter or sink, and it comes in either chrome, brushed nickel, or oil-rubbed bronze. While it may be our budget choice, the fact that it’s the most affordable doesn’t make it any less beneficial. In fact, this particular water filter system gives you a 25% faster flow rate in whatever sink you use the water filter system on.
The AQ-5200.55 removes unnecessary contaminants in the water, including up to 97% of chloramines and up to 97% of chlorine. It was designed with convenience in mind, which is why it just takes a simple quarter-turn to replace the filters, taking away the need for lines to be disconnected. Plus, you don’t have to guess when you’re going to need to change your filters anymore – instead, you can just check the performance indicator and go from there.
The stylish design has your other kitchen décor in mind, which is why there are three different style options for this particular water softener. It’s designed well and built to last you a few good years. Add that on top of the outstanding price for the overall water filter system, and it’s easy to see why we chose this as our budget pick. It’s simply too good of a deal for us to pass up.
Sometimes you may not be able to get or you may not need a general water softener. Instead, you need a water softener for your situation in particular, whether you need it for just one section of the house or the whole house, hard water or water that’s just heavy in iron, or you may even need a water softener for a well or some other water system alternative. Whatever the reason, we’ve collected a number of water softeners that are perfect for every situation you might come across.
Best Water Softener for Well Water: Kenmore High-Efficiency Water Softener
Kenmore High-Efficiency Water Softener
The Kenmore High-Efficiency Water Softener is perfect for well water and ideal for larger homes and families. It measures 48” x 21” x 17”, and has key features that some are unable to pass up. Those key features include a high-quality water monitoring system, a lighted LCD screen that makes it easy to read, and an ultra-flow valve so you don’t have to worry about your flow rate dissipating. It’s high-efficiency, saving you money on energy costs.
Best Water Softener for High Iron: 365 36400 Grain Water Softener
365 36400 Grain Water Softener
The 365 36400 Grain Water Softener from WaterBoss is a high-demand water softener for a high-demand job – removing contaminants like high amounts of iron already present in water. It’s got a built-in 20-micron filter for the entire house, including dirt and sediment. That, mixed with the whisper-quiet operation, makes the water softener from WaterBoss the best water softener for high iron situations.
There are some potential contenders that we considered for the number one or number two spot on our list, but they just didn’t make the cut. That’s no reason not to mention them altogether, though. Instead, we felt that it would be better to list the competition as well, so that you can see other products of similar quality while also understanding why we chose what we chose for our first and second spot.
The Competition: HMF3SDGFEC Water Softener
Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Water Softener
The Home Master HMF3SDGFEC Water Softener is a 3-stage water filtration system that removes iron, carbon, fine sediment, and other contaminants in the water. It has a 100,000-gallon water capacity with a replaceable coconut shell-shaped carbon filter. The excellent purification system in place helps remove up to 95% of iron, sediment, magnesium, harmful chemicals, and other unwanted contaminants in the water.
The Competition: Aqua-Pure AP903 Water Softener
Aqua-Pure AP903 Water Softener
Another reliable brand is Aqua-Pure, and they offer the AP903 which has a high-flow rate of up to 20 gallons per minute. FDA and CFR certified, the non-corrosive stainless steel material that the system is made out of allows for an easy installation. You can also feel reassured that you’re not consuming any harsh iron from the material that the product is made out of. The cartridges were designed for an easy twist-off process. This means when it’s time for maintenance or replacements, you don’t need any additional tools to get the job done – you don’t even have to provide direct contact based on the way this whole house water filtration system was made.
The Competition: Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener
Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener
Fleck offers a 48,000 grain water softener that has a metered system for the entire house. Called the Fleck 5600SXT, this particular water softener can treat up to 12 GPM flow rates, which means it covers a household of about three to six people. It can clean moderate to extremely hard water, so it’s perfect for just about every situation.
The Competition: Fleck Iron Pro 48,000 Water Softener
Also offered by Fleck is the Iron Pro 48,000 Water Softener and Iron Filter that treats the whole house up to 48,000 grains, as the name implies. The fine mesh resin was designed for a long life span and high iron removal. It’s even comparable to the water softener by WaterBoss, which we picked as the best water softener for high iron in our Specialized Picks section.
The Competition: Aquios FS-234 Whole House Water Filtration System
There’s the Full House Water Softener and filter system from Aquios. It has a commercial-grade water conditioning and filtration system with a six-month cartridge life. This intelligent, all-in-one system requires no maintenance, electricity, or programming in order for it to run smoothly and quietly.
The Competition: H20 DPHB
Nuvo H20 DPHB Water Softener
Nuvo is a popular brand that makes high-quality water softeners like the H20 DPHB Home Salt Water Softener System. With a water flow between twelve and fifteen GPM and a capacity to clean about 50,000 gallons, it has the ability to filter a household of two or less. It uses a 20-inch replacement cartridge that’s salt-free, which completely eliminates any existing damage to the scale. The water softener system by Nuvo is a reliable system, so it’s a mid-grade water system that may be the perfect fit for your household, depending on your individual variables in place.
Commonly Asked Questions About Water Softeners
It’s no surprise that you may have some questions when it comes to water softeners and water filtration systems. Fortunately, we do our best to answer as many of the common questions as we possibly can so that you’re never left wondering.
How Can I Tell How Hard My Water is?
There are a few ways to determine if you’ve got hard water or not. You could get your local water board, who should have that information on record, or you could just carry out a hard water test yourself. It’s fairly simple, and it’ll save you in the long run.
What Does Softened Water Taste Like?
While some say that softened water has a salty taste, the additional sodium and sodium chloride in the water once it’s been filtered and softened isn’t remotely noticeable – as long as you have a good enough water softening system. Those that say they have softened water that tastes salty simply don’t have a water softener with a good enough quality about it.
Can Softened Water Help with Skin Conditions?
There are many that have various dry skin conditions that swear by softened water. In fact, studies have found water that’s been softened to be beneficial to the skin. Some doctors even recommend that you install a water softener in your home if you have eczema or other dry skin conditions, as it greatly improves the overall look and feel of your skin, including the affected skin.
Is Softened Water Safe to Drink?
Softened water is safe to drink. In fact, just because you’re using a water softening system doesn’t mean that you’re not getting all of the essential minerals you get from consuming water. You’re still getting all of the minerals you would get from water that you actually need whether you’re using a water softener or not.
Can a Water Softener Be Used with Lead Pipes?
It’s actually recommended that you don’t use a water softening system along lead pipes, as it may lead to the consumption of lead; in turn, that can lead to lead poisoning. You should always change your lead piping out for an alternative material when installing a water softener.
Can I Move with My Water Softener?
If you have a water softener, chances are it was pretty easy to install. It’s going to be just as easy to uninstall so that you can take it with you when you move. So, in short, yes, you can move with your water softener.
It’s easy to see why any number of water softening systems would be a wonderful addition to your home. There are countless benefits, including the most important, which is to rid your home of water with harmful materials. While it’s true that we hold the candle first and foremost to the APEC ROES-50, there’s also the EQ-1000-AMZN and the many others we listed throughout the Specialized Picks and The Competition sections. If you’re wanting to get started but have a low budget, the AQ-5200.55 is an excellent beginning tool to start converting your home to one using a water softening system all throughout the home. Even if you’re on a budget but willing to get a water softener that’s a little pricier, it is worth it long term. Always keep in mind that using a water softener does save you money in energy costs to certain high-energy appliances, so it benefits you even in the end.