. The Best Water Softener 2022 | Read This Before You Buy ....

The Best Water Softener 2023

The Best Water Softener 2023

Choosing a water softener can be a hard choice - especially when you can only find old, American or dated reviews online. In this article, we will outline everything you need to know to help you find the best water softener 2023. 

Why you need a water softener – what are the effects of hard water?

Around 60% of the UK has hard water, meaning over half of the country are experiencing the effects of hard water damage. If your home has hard water, you may find yourself constant cleaning limescale from your surfaces and taps and dealing with broke appliances or boiler and heating issues. Hard water causes permanently damage to your hot water system and boiler. It can even make energy bills 20-64% more expensive! Hard water can be very costly over the years, you may find yourself paying for:

  • Repairing bathroom and kitchen damages. Due to limescale. Limescale can block taps, sinks and shower heads in a matter of months. Newly renovated homes beware!
  • Replacing appliances. Dishwashers, kettles and washing machines can become damaged and broken by limescale. Hard water can even shorten their lifespan by 50%.
  • Boiler repairs. Hard water blocks pipes and damages boilers. Boilers can be very expensive to replace and could cost you up to £2000.
  • Replacement of blocked taps and shower heads. Hard water can reduce water pressure in the home by blocking taps and shower heads.
  • Cleaning products & descalers. Hard water leaves white deposits in the home, which can stain surface and screens. It can also cause dirt and scum build up in your bath & shower. Removing limescale requires constant cleaning and expensive cleaning products.
  • Extra washing powder & showering products. Hard water does not react well with soap and surfactants. It cannot create a lather. It needs around 50% more product to effectively clean. When washing laundry – clothes can often appear dirty even after washing.
  • Higher energy bills. By insulating the inside of pipes, limescale build-up needs more energy to heat. This makes your home heating systems less efficient and more energy is required.
  • Hard water cause eczema, dry skin & hair – the reaction of hard minerals with soap, leaves mineral deposits on the skin during and after showering. These minerals can damage the outlet layer of the skin, making it more sensitive.

A water softener can remove limescale permanently and protect your home for the future.

Watch Out for Electric Eddy Descalers & Water Softener Scams

You may have come across descalers and water conditioners online. These products claim to remove limescale – but at a price of £150 - £200 there is certainly a catch. Be aware, home descalers and conditioners such as Eddy Descalers - are NOT water softeners. To put it simply, they cannot produce soft water and they cannot remove hard water minerals from your water. A water descaler holds the minerals in the water. By installing a descaler you can temporarily lessen the impact of hard minerals on your plumbing system, but cannot remove existing limescale. You therefore, will not experience the benefits of soft water. A water softener is the only system that removes hard water minerals and existing limescale - softening the water for the entire home.

Different water softener brands: which water softener brand is the best to buy?

When doing a Google search, you may come across many different brands, many of which coming from the USA. In the UK, the best brand is Harvey Water Softener, with Kinetico a close second. In fact, these brands can be hard to come by because they are sold through an exclusive dealership. That means only select companies in the UK are given the latest models to distribute at a fixed price. 

Why are Harvey the best? Harvey are the biggest in the UK and have been around the longest and are renowned for their quality. Harvey machines offer a better specification in comparison to all other systems. For example, their latest products, such as the Harvey TwinTec S4, have the best specification and highest efficiencies on the market today. With better flow rates, efficiencies and pressure ranges than other competitor brands and models. 

How much should you be paying for a water softener?

You should be paying around £1100-£1600 for a high-quality water softener, said to last 10-20 years. Yes, you can find very cheap systems online. However, these machines are often dated and have poor efficiency. As a result, what may seem like a cheap investment – will end up costing you more in running costs.

Electric Vs Non Electric Systems

Many of the cheaper water softener brands found online are electric. Electric water softeners can do the job but can also have drawbacks, including contributing to energy & electricity bills. 

Many electric systems are single tank - meaning they will not produce soft water when they regenerate. For that reason, they often need to be programmed & timed to regenerate in the early hours of the morning. Many older electric systems are not automatic and will regenerate at the set time, regardless if they need to - which can waste salt and water. Issues can also arise in cases of power cuts and short circuiting, the system may need reprogrammed and reset. You will also by law be required to service the machines every 1-2 years - or the warranty will become invalid. This adds additional service & call out charges.

For that reason, when purchasing an electric water softener, you should always consider the efficiency and overall running costs of the machine. This includes the amount of electricity, water and salt the system uses. Other issues that can occur with electric systems are: size and installations where you will need an electric plug socket underneath the kitchen sink.

Non-electric systems are fully automatic. They don't require electricity and automatically measure your water usage - regenerating only when they need to. They have the best efficiency and lowest running costs.

What to look for in a water softener: the specification

When choosing the best water softener in the UK you should be looking for:

  • A Good Brand: You should invest in a trustworthy and well-reviewed brand. There are several - Harvey being the best.
  • Non-Electric Vs Electric: You should be looking for a non-electric system. These systems cost less to run, are easier to use and install and don't require servicing every 2 years.
  • The Model: Look for a model made in the last 5 years - older models do not have the same efficiency and technology. You should also look for a twin tank system if you have 2 or more bathrooms.
  • Flow Rate & Capacity: The flow rate determines how much soft water can be delivered at once. If you live in a home with more than 2 bathrooms and 2 people, you should look for a flow rate over 50L/min. 
  • Efficiency: It's all good and well purchasing an older water softener for a cheap price ... But if it is less efficient, you'll pay more over time for the upkeep. It is important to look at how much salt and water the softeners use per regeneration.
  • Warranty: Look out for a good warranty. Warranty can often be an indicator of how long the system will last and it's quality.
  • Size: Make sure you have enough room! Dated and cheap or electric softeners are often big and bulky in size.

The Best Water Softener 2023

There are two main water softeners that can be considered the very best on the market today: The Harvey TwinTec Series 4 and the Kinetico Premier Compact.

The Harvey TwinTec S4 has an unrivalled efficiency and flow rate and has an extremely competitive price. This is the best priced Harvey model, with the same specification as newer models and Harvey products. You'll experience a high flow rate, a resin that lasts longer and the most efficient water softener money can buy. It has the lowest salt and water usage, with great running costs. It also comes with a 10-year warranty.

The Harvey S4 specification compared to the Kinetico Premier Compact can be found below and it may be important to note the Price difference is £1149.99 Vs £1695. 

Harvey TwinTec S4 Water Softener

★★★★★ 5/5 Stars

The S4 is the one of the newest models from Harvey, an exclusive dealer model. You can only find it online from very few supplied. NE Water Softeners, provide the best price on and offline.



  • Very small in size and compact, 
  • has a twin tank, 
  • is non electric and block salt fed. 
  • The S4 also has a high flow rate of 56L/min, 
  • it is suitable for various pressure systems, 
  • one of the most efficient systems on the market. 
  • Comes with a 10 year warranty.  

The price is highly competitive at just £1199.99 including an installation kit (use code: HARVEY).

Cons: May not be suitable for homes with more 5+ bathrooms if there are 4+ family members. 


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 4-6 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.



Harvey TwinTec S4

Kinetico Premier Compact

Max Flow rate



Pressure min/max

1 – 10 Bar

1 – 6 Bar

Salt usage per regen



Water usage per regen



Regeneration time

11 min

11 min

Salt Efficiency



Max Water Hardness

600 ppm

500 ppm


10 years parts, 2 labour

10 years parts, 2 labour





Kinetico Premier Compact Water Softener

★★★★ 4/5 Stars


Kinetico are a very popular brand in the UK. Their systems are robust and offer a similar specification to Harvey machines such as the TwinTec Series 4, HV4 and MiniMax M3.


  • Twin tank system, 
  • 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 with over 3 bathrooms. Price is substantially higher than other models at £1695. The design does not allow for easy salt replacement.


The Premier Compact is a similar design to the S4, being a twin tank block salt fed system. 


Harvey XL2 Water Softener

★★★★★ 5/5 Stars

harvey twintec HVx

If you have a large family and large home the best softener for you is the Harvey TwinTec XL2. The system is the same as the HVX and MiniMax Major models. The XL2 has one of the highest flow rates and is great for large homes.



  • Suitable for large homes with 4+ bathrooms and 8+ people.
  • Considered semi commercial. 
  • Twin tank, non electric and block salt fed. 
  • Has a high flow rate of 80L/min, one of the most efficient systems on the market.
  • Comes with a 10 year warranty - unlike HVX.


The XL2 is a semi commercial system designed to support large water usage and higher pressures. It has a flow rate of 80L/min - so there is no risk of pressure or water flow drops. 


Kinetico Premier Plus Water Softener

★★★ 3/5 Stars

kinetico premier plus water softener

If you have a home with 4 bathrooms the Kinetico Premier Plus may be something you have looked at.



  • Suitable for large homes with 4 bathrooms.
  • Considered semi commercial 
  • Twin tank, non electric and block salt fed 
  • Comes with a 10 year warranty.

Cons: Despite being a larger system - this softener has a max flow rate of only 56L/min (premier compact has a flow rate of 51L/min and the Harvey S4 56L/min).

Price is higher than other models at £1995.

This softener may not be suitable for very large homes with 6 bathrooms.


The Premier Plus is essentially a similar system as the Premier Maxi but a new design . It is considered a suitable for a families with 4 bathrooms.


Sumo 1 Water Softener

★★★ 3/5 Stars

Kinetico sumo water softener

The Sumo 1 is single tank water softener designed for 1- 2 bathroom small homes or flats.



  • Max flow rate of 40L/min 
  • Non-electric and block salt fed
  • A good system for families of 2-3 and homes with 1-2 bathrooms.

Cons: Only comes with a 24 month warranty.

A single tank means you will loose your soft water supply during regeneration.


This model is small in size and a single tank non-electric system that uses block salt vs tablet. This single tank system is not advisable for homes with multiple bathrooms and occupants.

Installing a Water Softener 

If you purchase an installation kit with a water softener, this should give you or a plumber everything you need to carry out the installation. If you aren't familiar with plumbing systems then all you'll need is 1-2 hours of a plumbers time. To find out more about water softener installation, click here.

Need More Information?  

Get free expert advice from our team or download our free water softeners buyers guide. Click here to download the guide.


Click to Call us 0203 1486773
Click to Email us sales@newatersofteners.co.uk



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1 comment

  • Most interesting reading, totally spoilt for chose.

    - John Man

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