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Water can be classified as “hard” if it contains at least 60 mg of dissolved magnesium or calcium, and that’s why you need a water softener filter cartridge to remove this water hardness.
In some regions, this number can go as high as 180 mg.
Defeating the hardness of water is not such a tough task, but the rewards of it are great.
You will be needing only one device and all those problems with spotty laundry, ashy skin, and stained dishes will be gone.
Once you get your hands on the best water softener filter cartridge on the market (provided in the list below), you will surely have an easier time consuming your municipal water.
- IN A HURRY? HERE’S OUR FAVORITE PICKS…
- 10 Best Water Softener Filter Cartridges Reviewed
- 1. ABCwaters built Fleck 5600sxt Water Softener and Upflow Carbon Filtration - 48000 Capacity
- 2. Poly Triple Action Water Softener
- 3. iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner
- 4. Genesis 2 Premier 40,000 Grain Water Softener
- 5. Iron Pro 2 Combination Water Softener Iron Filter Fleck 5600SXT
- 6. Nuvo H2O Dphb-a Home Water Softener System
- 7. ABCwaters Water Softener and Upflow Carbon Filtration
- 8. Tier1 Essential Series 48,000 Grain High-Efficiency Digital Water Softener
- 9. AFWFilters Built Fleck 48,000 water softener system with 5600sxt digital metered valve 1" yoke
- 10. AFWFilters WS-96k-91SXT Fleck 9100SXT Dual Tank Water Softener
- Final Thoughts
IN A HURRY? HERE’S OUR FAVORITE PICKS…
Last update on 2022-09-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
10 Best Water Softener Filter Cartridges Reviewed
Since you are here, scroll down and check out some of the top water softeners in the industry with reviews that we have compiled for you.
Not only will you get to see the finest products in this niche, but you can also learn all about water softeners from our buyer’s guide given below.
Our list opens up with a budget-friendly option, high quality, whole house water softener systems, this might be exactly the product for your house.
Controlled by the popular Fleck 5600sxt digital valve meter as mentioned on the product page on amazon.
It’s popular for its lower annual power consumption and easy usage, which makes this product worth buying.
With a 48000 grain capacity, the system is designed to remove the majority of “hard water” culprits.
You might need to add a whole house water filter inline and before this softener, if you are concerned about other trace minerals such as iron, etc.
This water softener filter cartridge comes with two preloaded American made tanks with 10 years warranty each and many add-ons.
A considerably added value is its supporting resources provided along with this – installation videos and a kit plus a simplified installation guide.
This is not a water filter so keep in mind that it will not get rid of chlorine and its smell in your water.
Its main goal is to soften your water and this means that calcium and magnesium sulfate will be removed from the water.
A misconception is that it removes iron which hardens your water, this product doesn’t remove iron.
Don’t be surprised if the water is a little bit cloudy just after installing it.
This might continue over a few minutes or even hours.
The resin needs some time to do its magic for you on water.
And let’s not underestimate the level of the company’s customer support, which is quite well.
Pros & Benefits:
- The Fleck technology
- The rich install kit
- Features a bypass valve
- Significantly softens water
- Great customer care
- Almost 10% more cross-link resin
This softener has deserved the right to line up along with other high-quality products of the same niche.
It is compact in size, practical, and with a reliable and durable body, which makes it worth buying.
On its product page, the company mentioned that it’s completely salt-free, which is a good point for this.
We aren’t going to consider any grain here and this is the main difference from all other products in this class.
It can be installed anywhere, either outside or inside because waterproofing isn’t an issue but the freezing is, so keep a note for that.
The hard water is softened by the very special chemical combination between polyphosphate and the screen filter.
This means that magnesium and calcium carbonates will be completely removed from the water while molecular calcium will remain intact.
Again this can’t remove iron and chlorine from the water, which is not its function.
Its salt-free technology, however, is better than limescale.
You will notice a significant change in the softness of your hard water.
You can expect very decent working and long-lasting work without a lot of issues here in this unit.
This is important, and it is backed by the manufacturer’s warranties/guarantees.
You will get a 6 month satisfaction guarantee which means you are getting a full refund if you return the product during the period, additionally, all parts have 5 years of warranty from the company.
When it comes to its handling and installation, again the product behaves well.
Pros & Benefits:
- BPA-free plastic body
- 6-month guarantee and a 5-year warranty on all parts
- Media is completely replaceable
- Removes calcium carbonate
- Features salt-free softening technology
- Can be installed anywhere as long as it doesn’t freeze
The iSpring ED2000 is a fantastic value for money water softener.
ISpring ED2000 solves most of the hard water problems without the need for chemicals, salt, or maintenance.
It keeps all healthy minerals in the water by preventing scale deposits from forming and allowing the existing scale to break down.
It’s not the cheapest nor the most expensive on this list, but it’s quite an interesting unit.
This water softener filter cartridge uses a microcontroller chip that sends electromagnetic waves through the pipes and thus reduces the chances for mineral and limescale build-up in the pipes and tanks.
What this means is that it doesn’t really ‘soften’ your water.
It doesn’t eliminate the good minerals like calcium and magnesium from it but removes their carbonates.
This product is easy to install and handle once installed, this can be installed on different materials – PEX, copper, even CPVC, etc.
Also, another good thing about this is that it can be installed both vertically and horizontally.
This comes with a year warranty and lifetime tech support, which makes it perfect for buying.
This unit has an ISO 9000 Quality Standard certification, this reduces energy consumption with an average one year payback period.
High or moderate iron content might reduce the effectiveness of the unit, and you might need an iron removal filter along with this.
The device needs to be installed near an electric switchboard.
This may limit your location options for installing the unit.
Unlike other saltwater softeners, this one does not change the chemical composition of water.
Pros & Benefits:
- Lifetime tech support
- Your water keeps the beneficial minerals
- The product doesn’t load your water with sodium
- The product has an ISO 9000 Quality Standard certification
- Easy to install
- Durable and long-lasting
If you are searching for a water softener filter cartridge with high performance and best quality, then you can rely on the exclusive Genesis Premier Upflow On Demand metered digital water softener.
It is a premier water softener filter cartridge that sets a completely new standard and helps save up to 75% on salt and 64% less water.
Genesis Premier On Demand Upflow control valve with its unique electronic sensors, adjustable water cycles, and proven seal and spacer design Direct Flow design allows for better and efficient operation with fewer moving parts Reverse Flow Regeneration.
Automatic System Refresh flushes stagnant water after around 7 days of non-use, preventing bacterial growth in the usable water.
The unit doesn’t include the PEX tubing needed for the installation of the softener.
Being a water softener doesn’t expect fluoride and chlorine removal from this.
The good thing about this unit is that it comes with 18*33 tanks which can hold up to 300 lbs of salt.
According to the company, the family of 4 will save around 8,280 lbs of salt and 32,400 gallons of water in a year.
The product comes with variable grain capacity, so go and select the right one for your household.
Coming to its customer support, that is quite great, they give you lifetime tech support which makes the product worth buying.
Ideas of the quality of the product can be estimated from the data available on the product page, which claims 1M sales with absolutely 0 return.
Pros & Benefits:
- Relatively easy to install
- Reduces the most common contaminants found in water
- Easy to handle
- Comes with multiple grain capacity
- Automatic system refresh
- Long-lasting and durable
When you select this softener for your home, you get an extra feature of iron filtration, so you can go for it.
This way you are getting a two in one product and the value truly skyrockets, additionally, the flow rate of the product is rather strong as it stands at around 15 gallons per minute.
The product comes with the highest capacity of 80,000 grains that means a full house water softening system.
The unit is equipped with the well-known Fleck 5600sxt, which saves you a large amount of annual energy consumption and ease of use.
Except for magnesium, calcium, and iron this softener also removes sulfur, sediments, and dust up to 2ppm approx.
The installation process, though, might be a bit confusing even for the experienced ones.
The product comes with a warranty of 5 years, which is more than enough.
Most importantly, the system will automatically regenerate, this is a must as it will prolong the life of the resin significantly.
It can be manually set to regenerate either after a fixed amount of gallons have been used or after a predefined amount of time has passed.
This unit is also long-lasting, generally, it lasts for approx 5+ years, which gives another reason to buy this unit.
The only bad thing about the unit is that it is 100% plastic built.
Pros & Benefits:
- Proven valve brand
- Also filters out iron
- An 80 000 grain model is available
- Includes a bypass valve
- The Resin will last for at least 5 years
This water softener filter cartridge is a decent and efficient one, with a flow rate of 12-15 gallons per minute, that is enough for softening your daily water.
Amongst its main benefits is the salt-free cartridge and easy installation, it will improve your water’s quality significantly – the taste will be better and corrosion also will be reduced.
The set contains everything you need to mount the product in your household, it also features a unique bypass valve.
In addition to this, it has compact dimensions.
There are few restraints that you must consider as the inlets are only 1-inch in diameter, so check the size of your pipes.
Since this is a basic unit, it doesn’t handle water that well – you will need an additional filter for that.
The cartridges will need to change frequently if your family is too large.
However, the size of the softener is very modest as it stands at 5 x 5 x 24 inches, it comes with the Nuvo H20 DPHB Home Water Softener System, you get a lot of space-saving.
The life of this cartridge is around 50,000 gallons, this means that a family of two or three will be able to use it for around 6 months without replacing it.
The cartridges are also salt-free, which leads to several health consequences.
Your water will taste quite better and your skin will feel moisture/less dry, this is due to the salt-free cartridge and not because the product filters your hard water out.
It is a softener and you can count on this to remove some buildup since you don’t have any salt here and no resin, you are to expect to change cartridges frequently.
Pros & Benefits:
- Decent value
- No salt
- Installation is easy
- Water’s quality improves
- The set contains everything you need to mount the unit
- The flow rate is good – 12-15 GPM
The main advantage of the ABC Waters 5600SXT Fleck is that it is a combination of a water softener and a filter.
This feature makes the product more powerful and long-lasting because the water softener will not function by itself.
The product which comes before the softener in this softening system will remove some of the harmful elements from the hard water before it passes through to the softener cum filter.
The company promises the life of the product up to 6 years, for a family of 2-5 members, with a hardness level up to 20 GPG.
The advantage of this filter cum softener is that it comes with a unique carbon filter that comprises the whole softening and filter system.
Thus, the softener in the system reduces the hardness of the hard water, while the filter removes chlorine, magnesium, and calcium from your water.
Although the description on the product page states that it also comes with a water hardness test and a unique installation bag, the product does not seem to include these.
If you are going to install it outside, then waterproofing is required for its electrical wirings.
Installation/replacement and handling of the unit is quite simple, which makes the unit worth buying.
To boot the unit, rinse it, and then throw filtered water twice or thrice if you notice some sort of odd smell after some time of using this, that might mean that you have to change your filter.
The unit doesn’t reduce the flow rate of your water as its flow rate is 12 GPM, which is quite good.
Pros & Benefits:
- Healthier water
- On-demand fleck
- No stains on dishes
- Softener and filter in one unit
- Long-lasting filter
- Easy installation
This is another usual looking item but it does have a few advantages that are worth mentioning.
The unit is manufactured in the USA only, so availability is not an issue and this is also a strong argument as to why you might want to explore it.
This LCD on its Fleck valve gives you not only convenience but also gives you security.
By using the digital LCD meter control valve, you can decide exactly on the water flow rate and the pressure that you will get out of your outlet.
The grain capacity of the unit is about 48,000 grain and if you are comfortable with the importance of water softener capacity, you realize that this number isn’t ideal.
The unit removes calcium and magnesium carbonate/sulfate and reduces the hardness of water very effectively.
As mentioned on the product page, the product is very energy efficient and can save a lot of electricity at your household.
The unit has a compact size, 15 x 34 Inch Mineral Tank & 14 x 42 Inch Brine Tank, which gives another reason to buy this.
The company is very good at customer services, they give lifetime tech support along with their product.
Pros & Benefits:
- Can be installed outside
- Full control over regeneration cycles
- The set includes everything you need
- Durable and high-quality product
The Fleck 5600sxt is a digital metered product, the on-demand valve is the latest 5600 model that is exclusively made with fully programmable water cycles for more reliable and efficient results.
The installation process of the product may be somehow difficult if you are replacing your old water softener.
You need to adjust the hardness settings to get the best results for your household.
The unit includes 1-inch Noryl threaded plastic bypass that is compatible with standard plumbing and flex lines already fitted in your home.
The unique feature of the unit is that it has a built-in capacitor to keep memory up to 48 hours and programming will not be lost if the power is lost for a while.
The unit uses a microcontroller monitor that measures and remembers your actual daily conditioned hard and soft water usage.
It also can regenerate automatically when required, based on your actual conditioned water needs over some time.
With its easy to install and maintain DIY instructions that come with an AFW Filters kit including a USB drive, sanitizer pack, test strip, and lubricant this water softener is very easy to handle and install.
Another good reason to buy this product is a warranty of 5 years.
Pros & Benefits:
- Removes iron
- Has a 64,000-grain capacity
- Comes with a 5-year warranty
- Removes hardness, rust, sand, manganese, and more from your water supply
- High-quality built
We end this list with a premium quality softener with some extraordinary properties.
This unit is the largest device in our list and can handle some heavy-duty businesses.
The unit comes with 2 tanks, alternating dual tanks will give you top class service when it comes to softening your water.
The unit comes with a capacity of 96,000 grains, so no worries about that, it’s really large.
Another great news about this is that even though the processing of your water is thorough, the flow rate will be pretty high, it stands around 20 GPM at maximum.
Also, let’s not leave the presence of the Fleck 9100sxt, this presents you with great opportunities to freely control your water softener.
It keeps all your essential elements of the soft water and removes almost all components that are responsible for the hardness of the water.
Another good thing about this is that it regenerates based on water flow not according to the time.
In the end, this unit is a complete package for all your house needs, you must go for this.
Pros & Benefits:
- Big capacity
- The flow rate is strong – 20 GPM
- Heavy duty product
- Resin removes buildup and softens your water
- Fleck 9100sxt head
- Efficient and reliable
All the good things come to an end suddenly and the same is true with our list of the best water softener filter cartridges and their reviews for 2021.
Our team worked hard to write these reviews for you and bring you the best water softeners.
You can select your water softener filter cartridge from the above list, they all are efficient and reliable.
Some are good at prices and others are good at quality and durability.
As always we are open to your suggestions and feedback, so feel free to give us honest ratings.