7 Best Whole House Water Softeners for Well Water: Buyer’s Guide

by Jay | Updated on December 22nd, 2022

Almost all houses have a hard water supply. Because you’re reading this right now, you likely have this problem, or you might know someone who does.

Fortunately, with the aid of the advancement of technology, there are now ways by which we can remedy this dilemma. As a result, you can finally say goodbye to those annoying stains on your tile surfaces and your fresh laundry, and dry skin and hair texture brought by exposure to hard water. 

well water

In the following post, we will be narrowing down our top picks for budget water softeners, along with some updated information on hard water, soft water, and water-softening technology. 

Our 7 Top Picks for Whole House Water Softeners for Well Water

It wasn’t an easy search, but we finally narrowed down the list for the water softeners that caught our eye and impressed us. Let’s begin.

1. Fleck 5600sxt Metered On-demand 48,000 Grain Water Softener

As far as water softeners are concerned, the preferred type is usually salt-based. Because of that, we put this model at the top of the list. The Fleck 5600 SXT Digital On-Demand Water Softener is one of the top players in salt-based water softening. It’s safe to say that it’s quite a heavy-duty system because of its capacity to handle medium to very hard water. In addition, its 12 gallons per minute flow rate can cater to households that have up to 6 residents. 

Many consumers highly favor this because it’s very user-friendly as it comes with a digital display screen that is simple to navigate. Regeneration is automatic. Monitoring of salt levels only needs to be done once a month. 

Its grain capacity is 48000, and its salt capacity is 250 lbs. As a result, it can smoothly run for up to six months before it needs to be replaced. 


  • Can cater to households with up to 6 members
  • Easy installation and operation
  • Certified by NSF
  • Good customer service


  • Some parts are made of plastic material

2. Aquasana Whole House Water Filter System

Now for a little change, this model is not a salt-based system. Instead, it works differently than other systems because it uses a crystallization method that chemically alters the minerals in hard water to prevent them from forming the limescale that causes buildup. 

This model uses the Scale Control filter media for its salt-free water-softening process. Many consumers find this filter media efficient because it only eliminates the contaminants that are harmful to your water while retaining the essential minerals, unlike reverse osmosis systems.

You can expect maximum eradication of chlorine, inorganic chemicals like mercury, volatile compounds, and other industrial chemicals. To summarize, this system serves a dual purpose: water softener and water filter

You should be aware that the system does not significantly impact the reduction of total dissolved solids. Filter replacement is usually every six months, but it still varies on your water quality. In addition, the large capacity can accommodate large households.

It has a 7-gallon per-minute flow rate that’s already good for supplying two showers, one faucet, and one appliance. This model packs a lot for its price, so it’s definitely worth the investment. 


  • Easy maintenance
  • Long lifespan
  • Does not use salt
  • Added water filter feature


  • A bit pricey

3. Pentair WS48-56sxt10 Fleck Water Softener

Pentair’s model has a feature that allows users to monitor the system metrics through a digital meter control panel. The Fleck valve is among one the highlights that add to its efficiency and durability. It also has a 10% cross-linked resin for further water treatment and helps add to the unit’s lifespan. 

The method it uses for hard water treatment is ion exchange, wherein the calcium and magnesium ions are replaced with sodium and potassium ions as the water passes through the resin. 

Paired with the digital controls is the updated SXT controller. The manufacturer gives you 5 years of warranty, albeit its claim of a 27-year total lifespan. You also get a 10-year warranty for the storage tank. 

The installation guide is already included inside a flash drive which the user can easily follow to set up the unit. The product is also easy to carry, which makes the entire installation process a breeze.


  • Easy installation
  • Long lifespan
  • Technologically innovative
  • Has a pre-included water testing kit


  • The brand is not that well-known and trusted

4. Iron Pro 2 Combination 64,000 Grain Water Softener

30,000 to 45,000-grain water softeners are generally the most common choice for the average household, but those still need higher specifications. As you have read from the model name, Iron Pro 2 has an outstanding 64,000-grain capacity.

Without a doubt, this model can smoothly supply the entire house with soft water. In addition to that, this model also comes with a bonus iron filter, making it a dual-purpose system.

The fine mesh resin ensures maximum elimination of unwanted particles and extends its lifespan. Like the one listed above, it employs the Fleck 5600SXT digital meter valve with the SXT controller. 

It takes care of various water contaminants such as chlorine and manganese content and calcium and magnesium ions to reduce the risk of scale buildup. 

Because of its heavy-duty job, you can expect the unit to be slightly heavy and large. However, it comes with an installation guide, and you can set it up with a little help. The manufacturer also gives you a 5-year warranty for the unit and the parts. 


  • Able to supply to the entire house
  • Long lifespan
  • Latest technology
  • Easy installation
  • Comes with an iron filter


  • Price

5. Whirlpool WHES30E 30,000 Grain Softener

If you have less than 5 people living with you and do not want the hassle of salt regeneration now and then, then this model brought to you by Whirlpool might be what you’re looking for. 

You can be assured of its quality since it has a certification issued by the NSF. Therefore, expect this product to wash your hard water problems away. 

Its design does not resemble those of the standard water softener units. Instead of the cylindrical tank, it has a rectangular shape but does the job with an iron-removing filter.

Another unique aspect of this unit is that it can calculate the amount of water and salt required for regeneration, so you do not need to do it yourself. This helps preserve the water and salt by putting only the exact amounts so as not to waste any. 

Small disclaimer: the unit is large and heavy despite its small capacity. You have to allot quite a large space for it. 


  • Impressive quality
  • Easy installation
  • Long lifespan
  • Less tendency of water and salt wastage


  • Large and heavy unit

6. ABCwaters Built Fleck 5600sxt 48,000 Black WATER SOFTENER

This is the third model we featured with a Fleck 5600sxt digital valve. Many have testified that this model lasts a bit longer than others. 

Brine and mineral tanks are included in the product. It packs a 48,000-grain capacity and 12gpm flow rate, just enough for 2-5 residents. 

The system also uses a 10% cross-linked resin which is slightly higher than most models, which means that it has a longer lifespan than the rest. 

Quality is not compromised with this model. Aside from the premium quality material that the unit is built with, the power consumption also makes it environment-friendly. It does not consume a lot of salt as well. 

The unit is pretty much user-friendly and easily programmable with the buttons. However, you can install this unit yourself, and basic plumbing knowledge would make it easier. 


  • Topnotch quality
  • Easy installation
  • Certified by WQA
  • Great customer service


  • Heavy and bulky

7. Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain Water Softener

For our final pick, we chose another Fleck product. Being the last on the list does not make it the least regarding performance. This model might embody what a modern water softener system is. You can find a lot of excellent reviews for this product online. 

As you can see, it also employs the Fleck 5600sxt digital meter and a digital valve that maximizes its function for a less frequent regeneration and helps preserve salt and water.

It starts at a 12 GPM flow rate but can extend up to 28 GPM, catering to a water supply good for 4 to 6 people. A pre-included brine tank simplifies the installation with a complete user manual. After that, anyone with at least basic plumbing knowledge can handle the installation.


  • Quality you can trust
  • Easy installation
  • Maximum efficiency
  • The right price for its features


  • Incomplete instructions, especially for system programming
person in green long sleeve shirt washing stainless steel sink

Whole House Water Softeners for Well Water Buyer’s Guide

No two water softener models are the same. However, this is an important purchase on your part, and we want to help you ensure that you know what you are spending and that you get the most out of your money.

Determine these things first before you go water softener shopping. 

Grain Capacity

This refers to the number of hard water grains a system can eliminate before it reaches its maximum capacity and is advised for regeneration. This should be one of the first things you need to figure out. To know what works best for your situation, you should have at least an idea of your daily water consumption. 

Low grain capacities are around 40,000 more or less, and large grain capacities can be as high as 300,000 and more. 

Large capacities may seem promising but may prove unnecessary if you do not need that much soft water supply. However, the good thing about those with high capacities is that it takes a long time before regeneration needs to be done, so it saves you the hassle of refilling it with salt frequently.

Media Type

 There are two main types of water softeners:

  • Salt-based 

This kind of water softener makes use of salt (brine solution).

  • Resin-based

This one does not need salt to work. Instead, it utilizes resin beads with soft water ions that replace the hard water ions from the original water supply. 

Water Flow

The water flow rate is an important factor to consider regarding water filters. This is usually expressed in gallons per minute or GPM. 

This is largely dependent upon the demands of your entire household. Know the number of water outlets you have and consider the possible outlets that could be used simultaneously in different areas of the house. 

You do not need a unit with a large flow rate if you live alone or if only a few people live with you. However, the same cannot be said for families with many members. 

Operating Temperature and Pressure

Some water softeners have limits in terms of the optimal temperature and pressure at which they can operate efficiently. Any less or any greater than the limit can diminish the system’s ability. 

The pressure and temperature of the plumbing system in your home need to coincide with that of the water softening system to ensure compatibility and full function. You can also increase the well water pressure in your home to match the system. 

Types Of Softeners

Water softeners can come in manual or automatic systems. Automatic systems already have a built-in valve right by the filter column. Manual systems do not have that feature, so you are going to do all the heavy work by yourself when the time comes that the system needs to be regenerated.

Hard water is a very common problem experienced by many from all across the world with various sources of water supply. 

Heavy-duty filters may not work efficiently in removing dissolved solid content in areas where the water supply is full of solids. But there are specialized water softeners designed for those kinds of situations. 

These are some specifications of water softeners that you ought to know more understandably.

  • Low maintenance:  The best device does not need constant attention. It is always preferable when a system does not need to be regularly tended to, especially for people with busy schedules.
  • Efficiency: It is no question that we all want something worth the investment. An efficient system should offer a lot for its price. 
  • Convenience: This is also related to maintenance but has a lot to do with the ease of operation and installation. 

Benefits of having water softener systems in your household

Hard water is not necessarily a bad thing. However, you will find that constant hard water usage can lead to long-term hassle. Below are some reasons you might want to consider having a soft water supply in your household.

  1. Fewer repair costs

As we have mentioned, hard water is filled with mineral deposits that can lead to pipe clogging over time. You won’t have that problem with soft water.  Thus, you do not need to worry about future repairs that you may need to have. 

  1. Less risk of leaking

Aside from clogging, hard water can also cause appliance damage, resulting in leakages or malfunctioning. It may also reduce the lifespan of your appliances. The limescale buildup also forms discoloration on plane surfaces, hard-to-remove stains, and unpleasant odor in your sinks, faucets, bathtubs, and other water outlets. 

  1. Prevention of skin irritations

Many people have bad experiences using hard water for their baths and showers. The reason for this is that the content of hard water has a slightly negative effect on your skin condition and your hair.

Although it may be uncommon, some still experience this problem. If you have a similar complaint, this may be due to the quality of your water supply, so you might want to consider water softening systems.

  1. Save your laundry and kitchenware.

Your laundry and your kitchenware are the ones that are most exposed to your water supply.  And if you have hard water problems, your laundry will most likely have stains and odor, as well as your kitchenware. Having soft water eliminates this problem. 

Determining the right unit and size for your household

You need to consider two main factors when choosing the right filter.

  • The amount and components of hard mineral deposits
  • Average daily water consumption of your entire household

From this information, we can figure out the stream rate and water consumed daily. The average stream rate of residential buildings is usually 5 GPM.

A higher stream rate means a higher flow rate and, therefore, will require a larger mineral tank to accommodate the influx of water. Unfortunately, this also means that the resin will have a heavier workload and will take a lot more time to filter as the more hard water content is subjected to it. 

Maintenance of water softener systems

While many manufacturers of these systems take pride in the generally long lifespan of their units, a product will not last as long as it should without proper maintenance. Here are a few guidelines on how to keep your system running smoothly for a long time.

Monitor the brine tank from time to time

The brine tank of a water softener contains all the salt and water solution. Therefore making it an essential component of the entire system. This is the source of the brine solution that is utilized by the resin beads that perform the water-softening process. Therefore, you must regularly track the salt levels in your brine tank at least once a month. 

Depending on the unit, you must maintain the required salt levels inside the tank. Then, in the event of salt bridging, you must pour some hot water into the brine tank and stir it with a rod to distribute the salt evenly.

Manual cleaning of the brine tank

Some low-cost units will require you to conduct a regular brine tank clean-up, but usually, you only need to do so twice a year.

Empty the tank. Shut off the water flow using the bypass valve before doing so. 

Wash the tank with soap and lukewarm water and rinse.

Fill it with 1 gallon of water and pour in 50 ml of bleach. Leave it for 15 minutes.

Dispose of the water and bleach solution and thoroughly rinse the tank.

Now you can refill the tank with the required salt and water solution and set it back up again.

Friendly reminder

The brine solution is just salt and water. However, you cannot just use any salt. Remember to refer to the user manual or instruction guide with your water softener unit since most manufacturers indicate what kind of salt is compatible with it.

Frequently asked questions

The prices of these products Are also related to their functions. Aside from that, some parts of a water softener system are generally costly, paired with the added tax.

Is soft water healthy?

Soft water is generally a good choice for drinking water. However, if you use a salt-based softener, the resulting water product may not benefit you due to the added salt content. We suggest seeking advice from a health professional.

Is a digital water softener better?

If you want to save yourself the hassle of manually operating the system, you can opt for the digital variant since this is much easier to navigate and control. They are also generally more efficient and cost-effective.

How much time does it take for regeneration?

This usually varies from model to model and whether the system is salt-based. The time it takes for regeneration can be between a few minutes to a few hours. You can find this information in the product manual.

Is the resulting water from the water softener safe for drinking?

The hardest water level usually determines the amount of salt in the filtered water. Even so, the salt content of the resulting water is not harmful to the health and is typically safe for drinking unless you are on a special diet requiring you to consume less sodium. You can replace the salt in your brine solution with potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride. But make sure to consult with the manufacturer of your unit first before making any modifications.

What happens if the water softener runs out of salt?

For salt-based water softeners, having a regular salt supply is essential to keep the ion exchange going smoothly. Without the salt, there will be no sodium ions for the resin to utilize, so it won’t be able to soften the water. Not to worry, if this happens, you need to add more salt to get it back up and running.

How long does it take to acquire soft water after installing the system?

Again, it varies on the unit. But generally, it only takes two weeks at most for softeners to be able to perform at full capacity after installation. 

How often should a water softener run?

Refer to the user manual or consult with the unit manufacturer. Water softeners have different operating capacities. Therefore, it isn’t the same for all units. 

How often should resins be changed?

Resins typically last for several years, but according to some manufacturers, the efficiency decreases by 5% yearly. Therefore, resins are only 50% efficient after a decade of usage. Therefore, replacing your resin after around 12 years is recommended at least. 


A water softener is a solution you are looking for to solve your hard water problems. You can reap many benefits from having soft water, starting with healthier skin and hair condition, cleaner laundry, and an overall lesser expense at plumbing and appliance repairs. 

The bottom line, it all still depends on whether you can purchase the perfect unit for your situation. We sincerely hope this guide helped you with your decision and educated you. 

Allow us to make a final say about our best bet:

Starting from its outstanding grain capacity of 12 GPM, the Fleck 5600 digital controls, and a certification issued by the NSF, this is a top-tier product that can cater to the needs of a large household.


Jay is a health and wellness enthusiast with expertise in water quality and nutrition. As a knowledgeable advocate for holistic well-being, Jay successfully manages Type 2 Diabetes through informed lifestyle choices. Committed to sharing reliable and authoritative insights, Jay combines firsthand experience with a passion for enhancing health."