The Best Water Softener 2020
Choosing a water softener can be a hard choice - especially when you look online! Nowadays most water softeners are sold through what's called an exclusive dealership. That means that select companies in the UK are given the latest models to distribute at a fixed price.
What Are The Different Water Softener Brands & Models?
There are a few different brands that are well know in the UK including Monarch, Harvey & Kinetico. But not all models that you will find online are the latest models - and older models are ... well... outdated and unreliable.
Beware of Old Models & Systems Sold Online
If you look online and find cheap water softeners that are electric and single tank - the chances are you're being ripped off and not getting the best value for money. Today the newer water softener models are non-electric and fully automated.
For example, Kinetico & Harvey models have automated smart systems. They measure your initial soft water usage and then automatically regenerate at the best time based on this. Monarch systems however are electric - so they already use more energy, and they need to be programmed. Despite making them less reliable it also makes them way less efficient. They also have a much lower capacity and operational pressure - which isn't great if you have more than 1 person using the water in your home.
Monarch Electric Water Softener
★ 1/5 Stars
The Monarch softener is a softener that is readily sold online because it is so out dated it is not included in the exclusive dealership program. You might get this softener at a great price but a single tank electric system is not suitable for all homes, is harder to use, and is less efficient.
Pros: Cheap and easy to find online.
Cons: Out dated, inefficient & difficult to use.
Harvey Crown Water Softener
★★ 2/5 Stars
The Harvey Crown water softener is another low rated system that is outdated. This model is again no longer sold amongst the exclusive Harvey dealership and so is often flogged online for the cheapest price possible. These softeners tend to come without any warranty. Due to their age and out of date technology they can be unreliable and can often cost people more in the long run when issues arise. Although more efficient than an electric softener and the Monarch range, they are less efficient than newer models from Harvey due to their capacity. They also may again struggle in homes with 3-5 people and can result in water pressure drops when members of the household use water at the same time.
Pros: Cheap and easy to find online. Non-electric and twin tank.
Cons: Out dated, inefficient & unreliable.
If you're buying a water softener from Kinetico - the chances are it will be a reliable system. The essentials 8 is a good starter system for small homes or flats. It is a single tank, non electric system that uses tablet salt. The system has a small flow rate of 36L so is made for smaller homes with 1-2 people max. It is however geared for very hard water. It works of tablet salt which is less efficient than the latest block salt models. It takes a longer time to regenerate and also uses more water than most modern systems at 25 litres of water per regeneration.
Pros: Cheaper than twin tank systems. Non-electric. A good starter system for one bed room properties.
Cons: Small flow rates so only unsuitable for small homes. Could be more efficient. Only comes with a 12 month warranty.
The Sumo 1 is a good reliable model from Kinetico that trumps the Essentials 8. Despite having a similar price this model can support a slightly higher flow rate of 40L. This model is small in size and a single tank non-electric system that uses block salt vs tablet. This means it is more efficient and uses around 100g less salt per regeneration, with a quicker regeneration time. It also has a slightly higher operational pressure, meaning it can support homes that have varied pressure systems.
Pros: Flow rate of 40L. Non-electric and block salt fed. A good system for families of 3-4 and homes with 1-3 bathrooms.
Cons: Only comes with a 24 month warranty. A single tank means you will loose your soft water supply during regeneration.
The S4 is the newest model from Harvey that is highly exclusive to their dealership. That means you can only get it directly from suppliers and have to enquire for price matching.
This S4 is the smallest water softener made - so great for small spaces. Due to the high flow rate of 56L and pressure of up to 8 bar, this model is great for properties with 3 bathrooms and families of 6-8 people. It's twin tank design allows for a 24/7 supply of soft water and has one of the most efficient regenerations at 11 minutes using 300g of block salt. You'll also find the latest resin technology that is patented and allows for the best ion exchange rate. Meaning you'll have one of the most efficient models on the market.
Pros: Twin tank, non electric and block salt fed. Has a high flow rate, great for various pressures, one of the most efficient systems on the market. Comes with a 10 year warranty.
Cons: May not be suitable for large families of 6+ people and homes. Price is higher than other less reliable and efficient models at £1450.
When it comes to reliability - Kinetico is by far the best brand to by. Their systems really are some of the most tested and robust models that have very few issues and last a long time! Kinetico can almost be considered a top designer when it comes to softener brands and you get what you pay for in this case - the best. Although higher in price - it is most certainly worth it when investing in water softener.
The premier compact is a similar design to the S4 being a twin tank block salt fed system. This product however can come in two models HE and HF. HF is suited for normal and high pressure systems and HE for specific low pressure systems. It also has a soft water rinse and actually cleans itself with soft water to prolong its life.
Pros: Twin tank, non electric and block salt fed. Is from the most reliable brand in the world. Has a high flow rate, one of the most efficient systems on the market. Comes with a 10 year warranty.
Cons: May not be suitable for large families of 6+ people and homes. Price is higher than other models at £1595.
If you have a large family and large home the best softener for you is the Premier Maxi! The maxi is a semi commercial system designed to support large water usage and higher pressures. Like the compact, when it comes to reliability - Kinetico is the top brand to buy from. In fact they have even supplied to Buckingham Palace, Savoy Hotel, NHS Hospitals and Thames Water.
Pros: Suitable for large homes with 4+ bathrooms and 8+ people. Considered semi commercial. Twin tank, non electric and block salt fed. Is from the most reliable brand in the world. Has a high flow rate, one of the most efficient systems on the market. Comes with a 10 year warranty.
Cons: Price is higher than other models at £1645.
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- Hazel George