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The Best Water Softeners of 2024


If you’ve noticed reduced soap spots on your favorite dishes, hair and skin that feels dry and dull, and unsightly mineral deposits around sinks and showers, you likely have a hard water problem. That means it’s time to choose one of 2024’s best water softeners. Here are our top picks for this year:

  • Smart High-Efficiency Water Softener
  • Select Series™ Water Softeners
  • Smart High-Efficiency Municipal Water Softener
  • Smart High-Efficiency Softener-Cleer
  • Smart HE Twin Softener

Learn more about each water softening system and decide which is best for your home.

Top Water Softeners for 2023

From your average water usage to your water source to your area’s water hardness level, you have a lot to consider when choosing a water softener. But even once you’ve figured all of that out, you’ll still have multiple systems to pick from.

At their most basic level, water softeners should address the high levels of calcium and magnesium that cause hard water, bringing benefits including:

  • Sinks, showers and other fixtures without hard water spots and mineral buildup
  • Reduced amount of shampoos, cleaners and detergents needed for cleaning and bathing
  • Laundry that looks brighter for longer
  • Improved water pressure and lifespans for water-using appliances due to lack of scale buildup

Some systems offer additional features and functions, address multiple water problems, or can handle a higher grain capacity, which means they’re better for high-hardness areas. That’s why it’s important to do your research and understand all your water softening options.

Here’s a look at the best water softeners of 2023 and which might be right for you:

Smart High-Efficiency Water Softener

If you’re looking for a highly efficient way to eliminate hard water problems in your home, this water softener system could be a perfect fit. With its extra-large capacity and compatibility with multiple home plumbing sizes, our Smart HE Softener is third-party certified and backed by an extensive warranty. It’s also the world’s most efficient water softener, providing savings on salt, water and energy.*

Better yet, this smart system puts you in control of your soft water experience, allowing you to:

  • Use the Culligan® Connect App for low salt notifications, remote bypass and maintenance alerts
  • Track water usage and set goals for conservation
  • Customize your water’s softness and feel

Using Aqua-Sensor® technology, this water softener system can even adapt to changes in water hardness or an increased volume of hardness minerals and adapt accordingly.

Smart HE Twin Softener

This twin water softener does all the same things as our Smart HE system, from addressing hardness minerals to smart insights via the app to letting you control your water’s softness levels. However, the twin design makes it better able to serve homes with high hardness levels or high-volume water usage. Two independent mineral tanks provide a continuous supply of soft water; when one tank is exhausted, the second tank takes over while the first regenerates. If you need one of the hardest-working softeners on the market, this might be your best choice.

Select Series™ Water Softeners

Solid and easy to use, the Select Series systems offer all the basics of hard water management plus a few additional features. With third-party certifications, robust warranties and multiple options for different plumbing sizes, these softeners offer an easy and affordable way to treat hard water in your home.

Smart High-Efficiency Municipal Water Softener

Want to improve the quality of your drinking water while you soften it? You might be interested in our Smart HE Municipal Water Softener. It doesn’t just reduce hard water minerals; it also has a built-in water filter system to address chlorine — a common issue in municipal water supplies.

Smart High-Efficiency Softener-Cleer

For different water filtration options, take a look at our Smart HE Softener-Cleer. This water softener system is certified for iron reduction and can even address low levels of sulfur. And, like the rest of our Smart HE line, it can also communicate with the Culligan Connect App, allowing you to track water usage and set goals, control your softening levels and more.

Water Softener FAQs

Before choosing any water softening system, you should know what problems you’re dealing with, what to expect and how to know if you have hard water in the first place.

Here are some of the most important questions and answers about water softening:

Does Everyone Have Hard Water?

Hard water is mostly caused by calcium and magnesium. As water from natural sources travels through the environment, it picks up these dissolved minerals and carries them right to your tap. That means water hardness levels may vary depending on local geographic features.

Anyone could potentially have hard water. However, it’s particularly common for private and community well water users.

How Do You Know if You Have Hard Water?

A professional water test and consultation is the best way to get the information you need on your home’s water hardness levels. If you work with Culligan for free in-home water testing, you can also learn about other potential water quality issues, including chlorine and iron — all in about 30 minutes or less. Your local water expert will interpret this information and recommend the best water softener and/or filtration system for your needs.

How Do Water Softeners Work?

When water flows into your softener, it’s full of hard mineral content, which is positively charged. Your system is full of resin beads with a negative charge that will attract this content. The minerals essentially stick to each resin bead, so they’re removed from your water supply. The resin beads are regularly rinsed with a sodium solution so they can continue to pull hard water minerals out of your water. That’s why a traditional water softener needs salt.

You may have heard about a salt-free water softener. It’s important to know that systems with this name don’t technically soften water; they condition it. They are not removing hardness minerals but rather restructuring them so they aren’t as likely to build up and cause problems for you and your home. Because these systems don’t use sodium, they are the best softener alternative for areas with brine restrictions. However, the process does not deliver as many benefits as a traditional softener.

What Should You Expect From Water Softener Installation?

When it comes to water softener installation, professional service is the way to go. Trying to handle this yourself could lead to leaks and other costly issues. Instead, let the experts turn off your water supply, reroute your plumbing, connect your system, fill the brine tank and even program your new system.

Do Water Softeners Need Maintenance?

Most water softening systems don’t require much care beyond regular salt refills and cleaning as needed. A smart system can remind you to do this, and you can even schedule softener salt delivery service to make things as convenient as possible.

Get the Best Water Softener for Your Home

You have a lot to consider when it comes to water softeners, from smart features and added filtration options to water usage and hardness To pick the best system for your home, you should always start with a water test to help uncover what issues you may have to determine the right solution.

Ready to get started? Schedule your free, in-home water test and consultation today.

*HE Softener when configured with proportional upflow brining with Aqua-Sensor®

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