Best Water Softeners and Treatment Systems

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by Greg Chick Water Treatment Systems Contributing Editor

Water treatment systems are designed to solve specific, varying problems, so consumers need to determine their precise treatment needs before shopping for a water treatment system. Some common issues that require water treatment include hard water, chemical and/or virus removal, UV treatment and water quality.

Compare Water Treatment System Reviews

Pelican Water
Read 732 Reviews

Provides whole house water filters, salt and salt-free softeners and UV disinfection starting at $791.80 or $1,366.20 with UV protection. Shower filters and accessories also available. Limited lifetime warranty included.

toll freenumber(386) 256-1203
Read 1,014 Reviews

Features water softeners, drinking water filters and specialty items that operate without electricity. Priced from $500-$5000. Units have single or multiple tanks, flow rates of 22.7 to 87.0 L/min and come with limited warranty.

Home Makeover Systems
Read 334 Reviews

Offers water softeners and conditioners. Its saltless softener water system is non-electric and applies downflow and double backwash methods. Uses diagnostics for consistent water quality and comes with lifetime warranty.

toll freenumber(844) 326-6757
RainSoft Water Treatment Systems
Read 2,315 Reviews

Offers water conditioning systems, whole-home filtration and drinking water systems. Systems have battery backup and Wi-Fi app connectivity. All systems come with a limited lifetime warranty.

Read 193 Reviews

Offers whole home, commercial and industrial water filtration and softening systems along with water delivery that starts at $9.99. Its most advanced softener features smart sensors that allow you to customize water softness.

Discount Water Softeners
Read 165 Reviews

Carries 3 brands of water filters and softeners that bear the NSF seal. Economy softeners start at $439 and run on either upflow or backflow technology, use less salt and water and come with 5-10 year or lifetime warranty.

Pur Water Filters
Read 519 Reviews

Sells faucet and pitcher filtration systems and filter replacements. Faucet filters are priced $19.99-$44.99, and pitcher filters are $7.99-$24.99. Its faucet filters eliminate more than 70 contaminants, 99% of which is lead.

Hague Quality Water
Read 86 Reviews

Provides water treatment, water softeners and filters. Price range for filters is $59-$159. Softeners feature multi-compartment tanks and use electronic injection and laser welding. Major items come with a 25-year warranty.

Brita Water Filters
Read 185 Reviews

Sells filtration products, such as pitchers, water bottles, faucet filters, dispensers and replacement filters. Wi-Fi-connected pitchers are priced $19.99-$47.99. Standard pitcher filters use coconut-based activated carbon.

Read 16 Reviews

Offers no-salt, no-chemical hard water conditioning solutions. Features a high-quality coconut fiber filter free from harmful chemical additives and an advanced reverse osmosis for drinking water that retains the good minerals.

Read 14 Reviews

Offers 4 water treatment systems for residential application and 3 for commercial operations, available through dealers. They work without electricity and feature no-salt filtration and green technology.

Quality Water Treatment
Read 30 Reviews

Features various brands of water softener, filter and UV purification systems. Softener prices start at $712.50. Most systems have optimal flow rate and use upflow technology. Offers 5-10 year or lifetime warranty.

LifeSource Water System
Read Reviews

Offers whole house water systems, softeners and filters. Filtration systems require no salt or potassium, no monthly servicing and no filter changes. Tanks have a 10-year limited warranty and 3 years for automatic timer valves.

Martin Water
Read Expert Review

Features filter systems, drinking water systems, specialty treatment systems and water softeners. Softeners have single or dual tanks, run on electricity or water power and regenerate on demand. Carry 1-10-year warranties.

What is a water treatment system?

Water treatment systems are used to improve the quality of the water in a household, business, restaurant or elsewhere. If a municipality’s water treatment system is not sufficient, or if a consumer is relying on water from a well source, then a home water treatment system becomes a viable option for cleaner, safer water. One example of this is softening hard water, which involves removing harmful contaminants or filtering out sediment or other particles. This allows previously unsuitable water to become drinkable and fit for household chores and other daily activities. Other water treatment systems remove unwanted chemicals from water.

How does water treatment work?

There are a variety of household water treatment systems that work in different ways. Water softeners remove magnesium and calcium in order to soften water. Reverse osmosis systems uses a semipermeable membrane to remove large particles from water. Other filtration systems can target specific problem areas, like high sediment or a chlorine taste, and focus on removing the offending substances. No matter how they work, all water treatment systems have the same aim of producing high-quality water for consumers and their families.

How to choose a water treatment system

1. Decide what contaminants to target

Water treatment systems remove a variety of different contaminants from water. The specific contaminants present in your water will help determine which type of water treatment system you want to buy.

  • Bacteria: Bacteria often lives in well water or other untreated water. Water treatment systems with UV radiation, distillation or reverse osmosis disinfection methods kill the bacteria that infect water and might make drinkers sick.
  • Minerals: Large concentrations of minerals result in hard water. Water softeners that use an ion-exchange resin are the natural solutions to hard water, though you can also rely on water treatment systems using active carbon filters, reverse osmosis, filtration and distillation.
  • Multi-contaminant removal: Some of the contaminants removed by water treatment systems include heavy metals from construction projects or damaged pipes that cause water to taste metallic, sediment that has gotten into a water supply through construction work and makes water appear muddy and brown; and chlorine added by public water companies to disinfect water sources, which gives water a strong chemical taste.

2. Compare home system options

Water treatment systems remove contaminants from your water as it flows into your house or as you use it.

  • Point of entry systems: Point of entry water treatment systems are able to treat all of the water entering a home or business and are installed after a water meter or storage tank. This ensures that all water used within the house, whether it comes from a faucet, showerhead or laundry machine, has been treated. Point of entry systems are also known as whole house water treatment systems.
  • Point of use systems: These water treatment systems are used where people directly access the water, like a kitchen sink or a showerhead.
  • Multi-system installations: Multi-system installations allow for several different types of water treatment, such as treating hardness with water softeners and removing pollutants via reverse osmosis.

3. Determine the source of your water

Where your water comes from will determine what sort of treatment it must undergo in order to be suitable for everyday use. Water treatment systems can treat water coming from a range of different sources.

  • Groundwater and water from lakes and rivers: Most water coming through the tap in your home originates underground or from a freshwater body. This common type of water is used for drinking and bathing in homes and businesses all over the United States. It is possible that this water has high levels of particulate matter or is overly chlorinated.
  • Brackish water: Brackish water is water that is part saltwater and part freshwater, which is often collected in estuaries. Brackish water can be collected and treated by water treatment companies to desalinate (using reverse osmosis). Then it can be used for irrigation or watering gardens and lawns.
  • Surface water: There are water treatment systems companies that specialize in treating surface water, which is collected rainwater or water at the top of a natural body of water. These companies collect the fresh surface water and use treatment to remove algae, bacteria and solids from the water in order to make it safe to drink or bathe with.

4. Choose if you want to be eco-friendly

All water softeners do have wastewater that can be hazardous. In this sense, no water treatment system is 100 percent eco-friendly. Still, there are options for consumers looking to reduce their impact on the environment.

  • Green filtration companies: There are some water filtration companies that filter water with the environment in mind, and they only use green materials and products.
  • Eco-friendly options: Some water treatment systems companies offer customers eco-friendly products and services, like salt-free treatments, which use significantly less water to filter water than a traditional salt-based system.
  • Traditional water treatment systems companies: Many water treatment systems companies use traditional technology and products, and they are not particularly focused on environmental-friendliness.

5. Understand maintenance requirements

Performing proper maintenance on your water treatment system is a must if you want it to continue working, and it’s always wise to follow best practices.

  • No maintenance required: Some water treatment companies handle all maintenance for water treatment systems, including installation and regular check-ins and updates.
  • Minimal maintenance: There are some water treatment systems that require minimal maintenance from customers, like checking filters to see if they are clogged or dirty or watching monitors on filters that change color when they are ready to be replaced.
  • Customer maintained: Some water treatment systems require complete maintenance by the customer. This might involve tasks like replacing filters regularly or adding salt to water softeners.

Types of water treatment

person filling a cup with water

The type of water treatment system you need will depend largely on what you want to achieve. Certain methods only remove physical impurities, others chemical impurities, while some remove both. The most common types of water treatment systems include:

  • Water softeners
    Water softeners take hard water and make it soft. Hard water has a high level of minerals making it unpleasant to drink or use. Water softeners remove certain minerals, including calcium and magnesium, to soften the water.
  • Water conditioners
    The term “water conditioners” applies to a wide variety of products that remove impurities from water. They do not, like water softeners, specifically reduce water hardness. Some remove chlorine, improving the flavor of water.
  • Activated carbon filters
    Activated carbon filters use beds of activated carbon to remove contaminants from water. This is done through the process of chemical absorption, where contaminants are trapped within the porous structure of the carbon filter. Carbon filters remove chlorine, taste and odor from water. If you feel that your home’s water has too strong of a taste that you would like to neutralize, a water treatment system with a carbon filter might be a good choice.
  • UV filters (Ultraviolet)
    Companies that use UV technology utilize UV rays to disinfect water and kill bacteria. If your water source is a well or another source that might host harmful bacteria, then a UV filter water treatment system will serve you well.
  • Distillation
    Distillation is not as commonly used as it was in the past, but it does have a long history and is an effective method of treating water. The water is boiled and, as the water turns into steam, it is collected, leaving contaminants behind.
  • Reverse osmosis
    Some water treatment systems rely on reverse osmosis, a process in which dissolved inorganic solids (such as salts) are removed from a solution (such as water). This is accomplished by normal household water pressure pushing tap water through a semipermeable membrane. A reverse osmosis system is a good choice if you want to remove particulate matter from your water. It also makes water taste more neutral.
LabelCompany nameLogoContactSummary
Best UV Disinfection(386) 256-1203
  • Whole house water filters, water softeners and UV disinfection
  • Starting at $790
LabelCompany nameLogoContactSummary
Best Water SoftenerRead Reviews
  • Water softeners, drinking water filtration systems and specialty solutions
  • Starting at $500
LabelCompany nameLogoContactSummary
Best RO SystemRead Reviews
  • Water conditioners, purifiers, drinking water filters and reverse osmosis systems
  • Starting at $200
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Expert reviews for water treatment system companies

RainSoft Water Treatment Systems

RainSoft Water Treatment Systems is a company that offers residential customers water and air purification services. The company is headquartered in Elk Grove Village, IL, and they serve customers throughout the world.

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Pelican Water

Pelican Water Systems is a salt free water treatment system company that was founded in 2007. The company, headquartered in Deland, Florida, specializes in filtration more than softening, although they do both. They are well known for creating drinking water that tastes fresh and clean.

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Discount Water Softeners

Discount Water Softeners has been offering commercial and residential water treatment solutions for over 25 years. It sells, services and installs water softeners, iron filters, reverse osmosis systems, sulfur filters and more. Consumers can order products online with free shipping, as well as take advantage of multiple online sales and specials.

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Quality Water Treatment

Quality Water Treatment offers customers water treatment equipment and parts at discount prices. They also offer free lifetime technical support for all products purchased through their website. Choose from products like water filters, whole-house water treatment systems, water softeners and more.

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Kinetico Water Systems offers water softeners and reverse osmosis systems for your home. Kinetico was among the first companies to offer nonelectric, fully automatic water treatment systems. Kinetico’s systems are powered by moving water, which keeps your cost down for operation and repairs.

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Culligan got its start in 1936 and is now the leader in home water delivery as well as in-home, commercial and industrial water filtration and treatment services. It is different than most water delivery services because it doesn’t make or bottle the water it delivers; instead, Culligan specializes in water treatment systems and softeners. Water delivery services from Culligan start at $9.99 per month.

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Easy Water has been treating water for homeowners for more than 25 years. The company has an environmentally-friendly focus, using natural products to treat water, and they are headquartered in Fishers, Indiana.

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LifeSource Water System

LifeSource Water has been treating water for customers across America since 1984. They use a healthy and natural process to get rid of hard water, remove bad taste or odors from water and eliminate scale left behind by water in showers, tubs and sinks.

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Martin Water

Martin Water Conditioning treats water in Pennsylvania and the rest of the Mid-Atlantic. The company has been in business for more than 40 years, and they are headquartered in Myerstown, PA.

  • Certified employees: The company has more than 40 employees who are certified with the Water Quality Association, so they are knowledgeable experts about water treatment.
  • Spot-free car rinse systems: In addition to treating drinking water, the company also has a system to treat water with which customers wash their cars, to ensure water does not leave spots on the car after the wash.
  • Environmentally informed: Martin has four water system operators that are certified with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, which means they are informed about eco-friendly and sustainable water treatment practices.
  • Free water analysis: The company offers prospective customers a free water analysis test to see if their water needs conditioning, filtration or treatment.
  • Agricultural water treatment: Martin Water specializes in treating water near agricultural areas that might be affected by herd, livestock and poultry operations.
  • Best for: Homeowners with hard water, homeowners near a compromised water supply, developers or managers managing large commercial properties and rural customers using well water.
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Profile picture of Greg Chick
Greg Chick Water Treatment Systems Contributing Editor

Greg Chick has worked as an entrepreneur for over 40 years with a background in plumbing, irrigation, pools and water heating. He is a member of Green Plumbers USA, International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials and American Society of Plumbing Engineers. Greg works to educate residential consumers about quality plumbing products.