Best Water Softener Reviews UK 2020 – Top 10 Compared

Last Updated On September 11th, 2020

Many residential locations across the UK suffer from some degree of hard water. This troublesome issue results in accumulated residue and grit on the surface of bathtubs and sinks, as well as causing damage to plumbing and appliances in the home. Today we will talk about the top 6 water softener reviews so you can spend less time scrubbing your bath.

Hard water doesn’t only pose a problem for your washing machine but it also means you have to scrub your bathroom more frequently. Sometimes, more mineral-dense hard water can contain toxic substances, so using the best water softener is crucial to keep both you and your home healthy. But with so on the market, how are you to know which water softener is best for your needs? Let’s discuss further.

Water Softeners Compared

Editor's Choice
Water2Buy W2B200 Water Softener | Efficient Digital Meter Softener for 1-4 People | 100% Limescale Removed
Family Choice
Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener | Efficient Digital Meter Softener for 1-10 People | 100% Limescale Removed
Best for Smaller Households
Water2Buy W2B110 Water Softener | Timer Control Softener for 1-4 People | 100% Limescale Removed
Best Electronic Control System
BWT WS555 Hi Flow Electronic Demand Block/Tablet Water Softener, Blue, 14 Litre
Water2Buy W2B200
W2B800 by Water2Buy
Water2Buy W2B110
BWT WS555 Hi Flow
1250 litres
3680 litres
1250 litres
10-50 litres per minute
Limescale Removal
7 years
7 years
7 years
5 years on parts, 2 years on labour
Editor's Choice
Water2Buy W2B200 Water Softener | Efficient Digital Meter Softener for 1-4 People | 100% Limescale Removed
Water2Buy W2B200
1250 litres
Limescale Removal
7 years
Family Choice
Water2Buy W2B800 Water Softener | Efficient Digital Meter Softener for 1-10 People | 100% Limescale Removed
W2B800 by Water2Buy
3680 litres
Limescale Removal
7 years
Best for Smaller Households
Water2Buy W2B110 Water Softener | Timer Control Softener for 1-4 People | 100% Limescale Removed
Water2Buy W2B110
1250 litres
Limescale Removal
7 years
Best Electronic Control System
BWT WS555 Hi Flow Electronic Demand Block/Tablet Water Softener, Blue, 14 Litre
BWT WS555 Hi Flow
10-50 litres per minute
Limescale Removal
5 years on parts, 2 years on labour

Top 10 Best Water Softener Reviews

1. Water2Buy W2B200 (Editor’s Choice)Water2Buy W2B200

Water2Buy is known as one of the leading brands of water softener, and it really shows with the W2B200. This water softener system boasts a number of benefits and features that make it stick out from the crowd, making it a great choice if you suffer the woes of hard water.


It requires very little salt to run, which is great if you are trying to watch your budget. Furthermore, even though it’s relatively lightweight, especially compared to other manufacturers, it is pound-for-pound one of the more powerful water softeners you can get. It is able to provide up to 1,250 litres of water per day, which makes it a good option if you struggle with very hard water and have found other water softeners to be a disappointment.

It has a lightweight, compressed design as is compatible with most heating systems which means it can be easily fitted almost anywhere in your house. This makes it one of the best domestic water softeners, although a few customers found it to be a little tall compared to some models. With this streamlined shape and programmable features, you should find that it is easy to use once it’s been set up.

It has a number of settings which can be programmed to meet your particular needs. Because of this, you can calibrate it for the level of hardness in your water, as well as set it to clean itself at a time that suits your personal schedule.

Having said that, the sheer level of settings means you may find that it takes a little while to set up, and you will need to be aware of the exact level of water hardness in your area for best results. This can be slightly confusing if you aren’t used to setting up a water softener system.

  • Streamlined water treatment design
  • Quiet, quick self-cleaning feature
  • Can be programmed for water hardness and optimal cleaning time
  • Great drinking water because not much salt is needed to clean the water
  • Simple to use installation kit
  • Set-up can be quite complicated due to the volume of options
  • A few people found it too tall for small spaces
  • Recommended hoses are a bit stiff, which can make installation frustrating

2. W2B800 by Water2Buy (Family Choice)Water2Buy W2B800

While the W2B200 is great for the likes of apartments and small houses, the W2B800 is a size up from that, being able to handle larger houses. In fact, this model can accommodate the volume of water softening required for up to 10 people, up to an average of 3680 litres of water per day. This makes it a great option if you live in a busier household.


This water softener promises to remove 100% of your limescale without being noisy or requiring large amounts of salt. It is completely compatible with Combi boilers and almost all German heating systems, so you shouldn’t have any trouble with installation kit suitability. Furthermore, it will not interfere with your water pressure, so you can enjoy a supply of soft water without sacrificing on pressure.

In line with most other water softeners from the same company, it boasts a quick, quiet automatic cleaning mode, so it won’t take too much time to cleanout. Smart technology means that the cleaning cycle automatically starts at night time, so you won’t be disturbed during the day, and your water will be fresh and ready to use by the time you wake up. This clever technology also means that once it’s out of salt, it’ll begin to start cleaning itself more often, thus ensuring you don’t suddenly find yourself with lower water quality.

That being said, it does take time and effort to set up, as it can be quite confusing. You will also need to buy the connection hoses and waste/overflow kits separately. Because of this, installation is probably best left to someone with a lot of experience, which can be inconvenient if you are not one of these people. Furthermore, some parts may need more regular replacement, meaning it can end up being more expensive to run long term.

  • Quick, quiet and automatic cleaning
  • Cleans at night-time when not in use
  • Able to connect to most water supply systems
  • Great for drinking water because it doesn’t require too much salt
  • Regenerates once all the salt has been used up
  • Installation kit is not ready out of the box, you must purchase additional parts first
  • Confusing installation process which isn’t suitable for novices
  • The overflow hose may need replacing regularly

3. Water2Buy W2B110 (Best for Smaller Households)Water2Buy W2B110

As they are so popular, it shouldn’t be too surprising that this company is featuring again in our review. The W2B110 is one of their smaller water softening systems, which is a more fitting choice for smaller households with lower water usage.


One of its best features that have been carried over from other water softener products from this company is its economic value. Once it’s been set up, it requires very little salt and you will find it is cheap to run. Furthermore, similar to other water softeners we have discussed, its cleaning feature is also relatively quick and will take place at night, so you’ll have no problem with water first thing in the morning or during the day.

That being said, compared to the W2B200, this model is a lot more compact and takes up a lot less space, meaning that it’s the best water softener if you live in an apartment, or a small home. It can be easily fitted under the kitchen sink, without taking up all your storage capacity. Though it’s still sizable enough to provide a lot of softened water, up to 1,250 litres a day, it is still considered small when compared to some of the company’s other water softeners.

Like many other water softeners, the instructions for this home water softener are clear and concise; however, many people found installation frustrating. Because of this, you’re probably better off letting someone with a lot of experience installing it.

  • Small water softener which fits almost anywhere in the house
  • Salt tablets last a long time, meaning no need to constantly refill
  • Quick, quiet and automatic cleaning
  • Perfect for single people or couples
  • Economical electricity usage
  • Can be a nuisance to install
  • Not suitable for larger homes or families
  • Some people complained it was noisier than expected

4. BWT WS555 Hi Flow (Best Electronic Control System)

BWT WS555 Hi FlowBWT is one of the best-known manufacturers of water softeners. This model from their WS range is the result of 10 years of research and technological advancement.


Boasting a compact, easy-to-install design, the BWT WS555 is simple to set up and will fit any UK kitchen styles in just a few minutes. The 14-litre resin volume capacity ensures a generous usage time before requiring regeneration. Additionally, its flow rate capacity of 10-50 litres per minute is capable of serving even a busy family home.

While it is quite expensive, the WS555 operates at a high-efficiency level, thanks to its cleverly-designed electronic control system. Brining takes place proportionally as the unit works. This is to reduce the wastage of salt and water and keep your running costs low.

Ideal if you live in an area with very hard water, this model will keep your water supply tasting pure and your laundry soft and fluffy. However, keep in mind that if your flow rate is less than 10 l/m, its effectiveness will be slightly reduced. The WS555 is manufactured from durable materials and designed to last. It’s a fact reinforced by its accompanying 5-year warranty on parts.

  • Generous 14-litre resin volume capacity
  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Designed to fit both modern and traditional kitchens
  • Flow capacity of between 10 and 50 litres per minute
  • High efficiency ensures low running costs
  • Lid is a little flimsy and falls off often
  • Hardness isn’t removed as effectively if you have a slow flow rate of less than 10 l/m
  • Quite expensive

5. Crown by Harvey’s (Luxury Choice)Crown by Harveys

This Crown water softener is one of the most expensive water softening systems on our list, but due to their reputation for high-quality products, many customers view Harvey’s water softeners as more of an investment than a purchase.


Compact, easy to use, and light on maintenance, it’s definitely one of the more user-friendly water softeners that you’ll come across. This water softener comes complete with both an installation kit and a water hardness testing kit, which makes your setup process super easy.

This is especially true if you are not sure how hard your water really is, and means you can feel confident you will get the best results as soon as it is installed, without having to adjust it later. The internal unit can also easily be turned around, so the input & output can be on either side of the tank. Because the design of this twin tank water softener makes it quite deep in size, this feature is particularly useful if you are short on space.

Harvey’s Crown water softener has also focused on the economic value of this water softener, choosing to make this model run on water pressure only, with no electrical supply required. This is a better alternative to an electric water softener if you are watching your household bills, but it could cause a problem if you live in a low-pressure area.

A starter softener salt pack is also included for convenience, but you will likely have to source Harvey’s block salt for future replacements, as those from other manufacturers often don’t fit.

  • Easy to reverse the input/output mechanism for flexible install
  • Simple to set up
  • It runs solely on water pressure, ensuring economical value
  • Includes a water testing kit so you can be sure of water hardness level
  • It comes with a compact design twin tank so can handle a higher volume of water
  • Not as effective if you have low water pressure
  • Block salt from other manufacturers may not fit
  • Deep in dimensions compared to others

6. Eddy Water DescalerEddy Electronic Water Descaler

While not technically an electronic water softener, the Eddy Water Descaler is another great option, which provides most of the same features as the other water softeners, plus a few more. Essentially, this descaler removes all of the metal in the water that causes limescale, while not removing any of the vitamins or other healthy minerals contained within it.


Because it’s an alternative approach, this electronic water softener is super-easy to install and is also eco-friendly; so you’ll be having a much smaller impact on the environment. Having said that, though, it doesn’t remove as much from the water as other water softeners. It simply ensures that the limescale won’t collect in, or damage, any of your piping. This approach also has more of an economic value than most water softeners, with less electricity used and no salt needed, but may be too gentle if you want more highly-purified, soft water.

In comparison to a typical water softener, it uses a magnetic field to help ensure that any limescale causing elements don’t make it to your sinks or showers. While it doesn’t really get rid of the hardness of the water, it does alter its makeup so that limescale shouldn’t stick to any of your sinks or showers. This is so that calcium and magnesium, which can have health benefits, can pass through relatively unaltered.

Furthermore, this salt-free water softener doesn’t work well with lead pipes; so you may need to replace a lot of the connecting pipes or find some other work-a-round which can be inconvenient.

  • A healthier alternative to water softeners as minerals are retained
  • It doesn’t require salt, so is easier to use
  • It’s an eco-friendlier approach to dealing with limescale and hard water
  • Economically better than water softeners
  • It’s extremely easy to install, so anybody could do it
  • It doesn’t work well on lead pipes
  • It needs to be installed very close to a power supply
  • Compared to a typical water softener, it doesn’t remove as much limescale

7. AquaHouse Alternative System

AquaHouse Alternative SystemThis non-salt based water softener by AquaHouse is the alternative you are looking for to prevent limescale. It works very well for small/medium households, and can easily be fitted anywhere due to its compact size.


Once the system is installed by a plumber and connected to your cold water pipes, it will not just prevent scaling with 99.6% effectiveness, but it also actively descales the pipes to improve water flow rate. It should be noted that this product isn’t compatible with hot water inlet pipes.

Because it is a chemical-free and salt free water softener, this eliminates the ‘slimy, slippery water’ feeling you may experience with salt-based water softeners. Therefore, this model is a great option if you find this sensation unpleasant when using salt-based models. Instead, it uses a process known as Template Assisted Crystallization, which breaks down the hardness in the water and transforms it into microscopic crystals that cannot disrupt or damage your water system. The lack of requirement for salt means this unit requires less maintenance and wastes less water, as well as conserving the beneficial minerals found in your water supply.

With regard to flow capacity, the AquaHouse is capable of supporting homes where the water flow rate rarely reaches more than 8 litres per minute. While it can sustain a peak flow of 20 litres, it is not highly recommended that the water softener is put under this strain for long periods. Therefore, if you expect to regularly exceed this, you may be better off opting for another model.

While it offers a 3-year guarantee for fixings and system parts, it should be noted that this guarantee doesn’t cover the filters.

  • Salt and chemical-free water softener
  • Low maintenance
  • Reduces water wastage
  • Actively descales pipes
  • 3-year water softening guarantee on fixings and system parts
  • A plumber is required to fit
  • Not suitable for hot water pipes
  • Filters are not covered by the guarantee

8. Best Water Technology WS455

Best Water Technology WS455If you are thinking of buying a block salt or tablet water softener, this is one of the best products in the market. Capable of producing enough softer water for up to 4 people, the WS455 makes a great choice if you are finding yourself suffering from the woes of limescale and reduced water pressure.


This unit will easily fit into a standard kitchen cupboard and includes a full installation kit to make set up quick and simple. Once installed, the WS455 requires very little maintenance. However, if you find yourself experiencing any issues, it offers free commissioning to assist you with any problems you may encounter.

Once up and running, water consumption is monitored using smart technology, enabling you to keep an eye on the water usage of your household. This unit also intelligently adapts to the routine of you and your family – using an electronic control system to learn when it is likely to be used the most. This means you can rest assured that you will always have soft, limescale-free water no matter your daily schedule.

Like many similar models, this water softener requires the use of block salt or tablets. However, this model utilises a smart “proportional brining” system – which means that it only regenerates the resin which has been used. This helps to reduce the amount of salt and water wastage, so you’ll get more for your money.

However, this model will struggle to manage high flow rate of over 10 litres a minute. If you have a very busy household and multiple bathrooms in use at once, you may need to opt for a bigger unit.

  • Low maintenance water softening design
  • Compact and easy to install
  • Intelligent water monitoring
  • Adapts to your water usage schedule
  • Produces enough soft water for 4 people
  • May struggle with very high flow rate
  • Maximum pressure of 5 bars – not suitable for business or industrial purposes
  • Some users complained the supplied fittings were low-quality

9. Water2Buy W2B500

Water2Buy W2B500If you are looking for a water softener suitable for a larger family household, this model from Water2Buy water softening system could be just what you need. The W2B500 Meter Water Softener is a self-cleaning, water filter that can provide up to 1415 litres of soft healthy filtered water per day. It is ideal for a household of between 4 to 7 people and is fully compatible with most United Kingdom boiler systems.


It can be used for both indoors and outdoors water softening to provide filtered water throughout your property without adversely affecting your water pressure. This means you can still enjoy a refreshing power-shower, without having to worry about troublesome limescale. Its intuitive system is also designed to self-clean at 3 am, so it won’t interrupt your daily schedule. The cleaning cycle is incredibly quiet, too – perfect if you’re a light sleeper.

Whilst this Water2Buy softening system is compatible with the vast majority of households, according to some water softener reviews, setting up the regeneration cycle may be a bit confusing. The backwash, brine and rinse options can be tricky to get right. Furthermore, the manual is not much use with this and appears to conflict with the information on their website.

Additionally, extra care must be taken when refilling the unit as the lugs on top tend to be quite flimsy and prone to breaking easily. The unit comes complete with 3/4″ BSP fittings and spare 15mm couplings should you need them. It is worth bearing in mind that you may have to purchase extra parts to install the unit, depending on your current set up.

  • Gives up to 1417 litres of soft filtered water a day
  • Suitable for households of 4–7 people
  • Quiet self-cleaning cycle at 3am
  • Does not affect water pressure
  • Quick and easy to install also fits most UK boiler systems
  • Setting up the regeneration cycle can be difficult to master
  • Some of the plastic parts may be easily damaged
  • Extra parts may be required to install the unit

10. Tapworks AD11

Tapworks AD11The Tapworks AD11 Water Softener Meter monitors overall water usage while also eliminating all limescale from your home using smart technology.


Specially designed to reduce carbon emissions and therefore limit the carbon footprint of your home, this unit still manages to offer high flow rates and an impressive soft water capacity of 2266 litres per day at 300ppm. Therefore, the Tapworks AD11 Water Softener is ideal for environmentally conscious individuals.

Once installed, the volume of softer water provided is more than enough to supply a home or small office servicing 4 to 7 people. The water softening controls are easy to use and an integrated 48-hour power loss back-up system ensures you will still have access to softer water in the event of a power cut.

In terms of size, the Tapworks AD11 Water Softener is compact enough to hide away underneath a standard kitchen sink – so you shouldn’t have any issues in this regard. The brine tank capacity is 37 kilograms. However, you should be aware that this is only compatible with salt tablets or pellets.

It is also worth noting that the fittings provided with this unit are 22mm. So, if your pipes are standard 15mm, you may need to recruit the help of a plumber to install.

  • Accurately monitors water usage using Smart Technology
  • Generous 2266 litre capacity at 300ppm
  • Suitable for households or small offices of 4–7 people
  • Reduces carbon emissions
  • 48-hour power loss back-up system
  • 37kg brine tank
  • Does not come with standard 15 mm pipes for installation
  • The product uses only tablets or pellets and not granular softener salt
  • May require a plumber to fit the unit

What Is Hard Water?

“Hard” water is the common descriptor of water flitration through certain types of sedimentary formations, most notably large deposits of limestone, before reaching the level of the local water table. It is particularly common in areas which boast large limestone and other sedimentary rock formations close to the surface of the Earth.

As a result, when this water is drawn upon for drinking and other everyday household and commercial purposes, it picks up unusually large quantities of minerals. These minerals end up being left behind as a residue which accumulates over time.

Common Minerals In Hard Water

limescale on plumbing

The most common minerals to be found in hard water are manganese, calcium and magnesium. These minerals can cause a variety of problems when excessive accumulation occurs. Most often they leave a gritty film on your bath, shower head, and sink, as well as any dishes, glasses, and tableware which are washed using the hard water.

Such accumulation is difficult and time-consuming to scrub free, and often requires the use of special cleaning agents in order to do so. However, the effects of hard water are not limited to the visual experience of stains. It also produces a gradual build-up of chalky, gritty residue within the pipes and hoses which transport water and sewage into and out of your house, as well as those which carry water to all of the various outlets and appliances you use.

Effects Of Hard Water

The effect of this residue build-up can be compared to the buildup of plaque in an unhealthy person’s arteries, and can eventually lead to catastrophic failure of the water distribution in your home, as well as costly damage to appliances such as dishwashers or washing machines.

As if this wasn’t troubling enough, hard water also contains other dangerous ingredients. One of the more common of these is tiny rust particles, but hard water sources near an industrial or commercial area may also include trace amounts of arsenicas well as other toxic compounds. These can causeskin problems and can pose as a health risk over time.

How Do Water Softeners Work?

The troublesome minerals which are suspended within hard water have already passed through an extensive, natural filtration system, as well as the various water filtration place within your local water supply system. They consist of extremely fine particles, which cannot be reliably filtered out by a simple screen. Instead, additional ingredients are needed to enable this mineral filtration process to work, by means of a chemical process known as “ionization.” Most water softener systems will use salt to enable this process, usually in the form of specially formulated block salt or tablets.

The System

A hard water softener system is made up of a tank, which is filled with thousands of tiny resin beads. These beads are extremely small, but they’re much larger than the individual mineral particles which the water filtration seeks to trap. Importantly, they are large enough to be caught within a standard water filter. When a specially formulated salt is added to the water softener filter tank, it reacts with the resin beads and creates electrically charged ions.


The salt particles bond with the resin beads, and because they are electrically charged, they interact with the minerals suspended in hard water when it enters the tank. The electrical charge attracts the minerals, which results in them being pulled towards and becoming attached to the salt particles, and in turn to the resin beads. Therefore, when the beads are caught by the filters in the hard water filtration system, the minerals are trapped as well, and “softened” water escapes through, coming out the other end.

Points to Consider When Purchasing a Water Softener

There are a few things you should consider when choosing the correct water softener for your needs. As part of our water softener buying guide, we discuss the most important points to bear in mind below:

Type of Salt

As was previously mentioned, most water softeners operate via the use of salt. This is a form of a specially formulated salt which serves to remove minerals from hard water based upon its composition. However, the type of salt you should use depends upon the type of hard water you are suffering from. If there is a known hard water problem in your area, there should be information available as to the type of mineral present in your water. However, if there is not, there are easy ways to get your water tested and find out.

Once you have the results, you will need to purchase the correct type of water softening salts which are formatted specifically to extract these minerals, and the amounts thereof, which are present in your local water table. Water softener salt normally comes in crystalline form, or in small salt “blocks”.

It is important to note that some water filtration are only designed to handle a variety of salt or another. In general, cakes are highly recommended but they may not always be a practical solution depending upon the mineral content of your water.


This ties into efficiency but generallyman installing a water softenerspeaking, it’s worth mentioning that a larger water softener system with a larger water filter will last longer without maintenance than a smaller tank will. This correlates directly to an increase in the expense, not only of the filtration device but also of the filter itself. That being said, for a substantial hard water problem, the additional cost may be worth it, to cut down on ongoing maintenance and the number of replacement filters which must be purchased.


You must bear in mind the efficiency of whatever water softener system you purchase in order to produce your desired effect. Take into account the size of its reservoir, the amount of salt it can accommodate, and therefore approximately how long each supply of salt will last before needing to be replenished. Also, consider how long the filters are likely to last before they need to be changed.

It may turn out that a more expensive water softener will work better for you and your home than one which appears, on the surface, to be more affordable. This is because a cheaper model may require greater investment over time in order to consistently achieve the same level of efficiency as a more expensive model.

ConclusionWater2Buy W2B200 best water softener

Whilst all of the above water softener reviews showed great choices, in our opinion, the best has to be the Water2Buy W2B200.

We were really impressed with its lightweight, compact design, which allows for easy installation in small spaces. We also liked how this water softener offered a myriad of different settings, which can be adjusted to suit your location and lifestyle.

It is powerful enough to deal with even the hardest of water. This high-quality water softener can produce up to 1,250 litres of water a day, while also remaining economical and highly efficient. Furthermore, the self-cleaning system automatically takes place overnight, so as not to disturb your availability of soft water during the day, and the amount of salt it requires is lower than its competitors.

Overall, if you are in a hard water area and find yourself tired of dealing with the consequences; we think that the W2B200 is the best water softener on the market today.

Additional Resources

42 Responses

  1. Dear Bradley

    Your bestbuyuk website has come to my attention as a customer bought one of our Scalewatcher water conditioners as a result of your water softener review. Firstly congratulations on a very clear website and excellent content. I wish you every success. I very much appreciate you listing our product but want to point out that nowhere in the text does it mention that it’s a filter you show and Scalewatcher are not softeners they function in a different way, specifically ours is a water conditioner, ie the calcium is still in the water but it is effectively in suspension. I also note there is no statement of warranty but we give a 10 year warranty and a 6 month performance warranty. I also notice that you don’t list the Harvey water softener which in my opinion is outstandingly the best in the UK even though it is the most expensive.

    We have sold electronic water conditioners for over 20 years and would be happy to co-operate with any information you require.

    It may be worth noting that about 98% of houses in the country have no scale protection and whilst water softeners seem to be known to people the total sales in the country are relatively low at 150,000 units leaving approximately 22 million homes still with no scale protection. We have filled a bit of this gap with our water conditioner and there are others such as catalytic and other inline devices but they don’t treat the whole house. I’m not sure how you monetise your site but if there is a commercial opportunity to promote our product we would be happy to look at it.

    Best regards
    Michael Burrows
    MD Fast Systems Ltd

    1. Thanks for your feedback Michael, I have updated the warranty for you and also added the Harvey water softener as it does seem great! Really appreciate you taking the time to post this, it’s very interesting and useful information 🙂

      1. Hi Bradley,

        Thanks for the comparison.. I am looking for a good water softner. can you please tell me that what is the speciality of Twin Tec S3. When I enquired they said it will cost £1400 including installation. Thank you Bradley. Waiting for your reply
        With regards Antony

        1. Hi Antony
          The Twin Tec S3 is definitely a great one to consider. First, you never have to worry about the interrupted supply regardless of big-sized family because its twin cylinders work independently and continuously. Second, it provides you the high-quality soft water. Basically, the huge amount of minerals such as magnesium and calcium in hard water will be collected by a thing called “resin” which sits inside the device. The interesting thing about this softener is that it self regularly flushes salt through the resin to clean it. All you need to do is refill the salt, which can give you a rest. What a pity that the cost is a bit high compared to other softeners such as the Water2Buy. I guess the reason is it is tailored for the UK. Hope that you can find a suitable one for your need.

    2. Hello Michael I have seen the link of the scale watcher but the problem is these products doesn’t work as shown in the picture because on Amazon the picture of the scaled kettle,which is totally wrong and also I have installed this kind of device at my house since three years and it doesn’t do anything and they were offered by Thames water supply on high cost .which was a rip off

  2. I cannot find a record of Which ? testing the water treatment system that you recommend. Can you direct me to the correct information?

    1. Hi Stephen,

      Thanks for visiting! I’m sorry, are you asking for recommendations for water testing kits?

  3. I have EWT gold series unit which I did a lot of research on before buying. 15 years warranty and gold seal standard. Best unit we’ve had and uses next to no salt

  4. Bradley, thank you for the excellent reviews. Can you tell me if there are any water softeners that don’t require the use of salt? There seem to be some systems available in the US and I wonder if they have been tried and tested here in the UK?
    Thank you in advance.

  5. Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC) devices.
    Will these devices actually soften the water? Would it replace my existing salt water softener & provide SOFT water for washing, reducing soap consumption?

    1. Hi Terry,

      Thanks for dropping by! A Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC) device is a little different from a water softener but it is definitely effective in removing impurities froom your mains.

    1. Hi Dennis,

      Absolutely! There has been a lot of speculation about the salt content in softened water but what they don’t know is that the sodium content in a glass of milk or a can of soda is a lot higher than that in a glass of softened water. Thanks for visiting my site!

    1. Hi George,

      Unfortunately we haven’t looked into the Kinetico ones, as you can see we are big fans of Water2Buy models. We are updating our content all the time though, so we may look into Kinetico next time.

      Thanks for comment,

  6. Hi Bradley, thanks for the informative article. I am looking for a water softener for the shower as the hard water is making my hair fall out. Any advice on what would be the best one for just the shower? Thank you.

    1. Hi Ranjani,

      I’m sorry to hear that, Water2Buy have quite a good FAQ that I think covers this question. Take a look here.


  7. Dear Bradley

    Many thanks for this very helpful article !
    I live near Southend-on-sea (Essex). I am interested in buying water2buy softener but don’t feel confident installing it myself. The water2buy company itself doesn’t seem to provide details of the local installers. Any suggestions as to how should I go about it?


    1. Hi Colin! A water conditioner is any system that changes water quality for the better. While water softeners are a specific type of water conditioner that reduces water hardness. Halcyan works by changing mineral molecules in your water. Although it is of note that this means replacing a length of your existing pipes next to your water inlet. I hope you’ll be able to find what suits your home best.

  8. Hi Bradley. I’ve been reading up on the Halcyan water conditioners too. I’m not keen on the idea of a salt softener because I’d have to have it for the entire house including the kitchen and I’ve heard that softened water isn’t so nice to drink. I’m therefore considering the Halcyan conditioner. as I don’t think it would change the taste of the water but should help reduce limescale. What is your view please?

  9. Hi, my plumber advised to buy water 2 buy and on the day of installation he found out that I have a Worcester Bosch Combi boiler and advised against fitting it as it is salt based . Combi boilers have aluminium something and and the softener would corrode it . Is this the car, if so what are my options for a family of 4 .
    Thank you

    1. Hi CC. It has been thought that softened water may increase corrosion within an aluminium boiler heat exchanger. You might want to explore other alternative water treatments available on the market. Good luck!

  10. Hi Bradley,
    I’ve just moved into a house with a NoCalc cartridge system fitted, but the cartridges are empty and I’m trying to decide whether it’s worth forking out for new ones or not. They’ve either been empty for a long time, or perhaps this system isn’t that effective. Looking online there are very few reviews and they appear to be 50/50 on whether it is a good system or not. Have you come across this one? Any thoughts on how it works or if it works?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi JJ. You are right. Sadly, there are very few reviews about it. Different areas have different hard water compositions so I’d suggest to go around your neighbourhood and ask what water softener they use and how it works for them. Bonus part, you’ll get to meet your neighbours and maybe even gain a friend or two. Good luck!

  11. Hi Bradley, great site, helpful information. We’re looking at a softener for a 4 person house. Pls can you explain any benefits you see of the Water2buy models vs an Ensign model? Are there known quality differences, or is it more a case of marketing and cost?

    1. Hi Mark. It all boils down to what you need. Ensign has one solid model. On the other hand, water2buy has different variants to suit the size of your household. Why not give each one a try and see which is good for you. Water2buy has a 30-day money back, FREE return while Ensign has a 1-month minimum commitment home trial and 100% rebate.

  12. I have had a Harvey water softener installed now for over 10yrs.
    Just recently it has stopped working, I have poured hot water into the salt chamber in the hope it would, if any salt is causing it , but to no avail. What would stop it from doing(or not) ?
    IT has given me a good service, it is the BEST!

  13. Hi Bradley,
    We have an East Midlands Water Company EMS15 water softener. It was fitted eight years ago. From installation to present day, not a single problem – just lovely soft water and our bathroom fittings and shower screens are nearly as perfect as the day they were installed. I would highly recommend this softener but you don’t mention it or any of the East Midlands Water Company range. Are you paid by any of the other softener suppliers?

    1. Hi Harry’s mum! Glad to hear you are having a great experience with East Midlands Water Company EMS15 water softener. Our readers will surely appreciate your first-hand experience with it. We continuously update our list so we may look into it next time. Thanks for the suggestion!

    1. Hi kanchan biswas. Your area has about 300ppm or higher so it’s definitely very hard water. You can try looking for a local company that serves specifically in your area.

  14. Hi Bradley! I’m looking to buy a water softner… I have kinda shortlisted EWT. Please can you suggest if this is a good buy against Harvey’s and twintech.

  15. With this review I want to address the issues with this so called “ water conditioner “ unit, to all the future customers of Halcyan Water.
    Please everyone, please do not believe what this company is claiming for the products they are selling.
    I had one for just over one year, in fact I still got it. Didn’t had a chance to be changed or most preferably refund from Halcyan.
    This unit “pipe” is doing absolutely nothing in my household, still developing limescale everyday. It is so useless and do expensive at the same time. For example, you are Cleanning your bathroom on Sunday, Monday morning you taking a shower and after that in the evening you can see immediately those white spots all over your bathroom glass doors and all metal fittings. You wash your glasses after dinner, on the following morning they are covered with white spots. This unit is not doing any good, it’s so pity.
    Don’t rely on after sale support as well. They always will come with a twisted combination of words. Sort of, did you installed properly? Did you clean your bathroom and kitchen often? Ooo maybe the issue is because you have a very hard water in your area ( which they know before due to sale the unit to you) I don’t see how you can win. I want a refund which I didn’t receive, the unit is not working, but is on your expenses installation and de installation.
    Please stay away from Halcyan water unit, otherwise will straggling like me!

  16. I want to buy a water softener for our septic system. However, I don’t have much knowledge about this product, so can you recommend some good systems for me. I am looking for a reasonable price and its capacity. Thanks so much!

  17. I bought Abundant Flow some days ago and it was very easy to install if you have some reasonable plumbing skills and some time. The directions were very clear and easy to follow. I chose this dual tank system for a cottage on a private well so we would never be stuck with unsoftened water at a place that can vary widely with water demands depending on the headcount on any given weekend. No leaks on startup and has cycled flawlessly several times since I installed it. The quality of the components seems very good to excellent. Glad I made this purchase. I considered Kinetico (at a much higher total cost) but got nervous with all the reviews I read about spotty post-installation service and very high costs for replacement parts. So glad I went with Fleck.

  18. This spring, I invested in an Infinity T4, (Harvey technology I believe), and the results are amazing. I’m using far less detergent and shampoo, plus the shower screen takes seconds to wipe over with a dry towel. No more film on my tea and coffee, and no kettle limescale flaking off into the boiled water. The total cost, including installation, came to £1400, but was worth it. A quick phone call to my supplier, and new block salt is delivered a few days later. You cannot taste any salt in the water, and incidentally, I availed myself of the option of having a separate tap for unsoftened water, which I use for cold drinks.

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