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Is there a difference between water filters and water softeners? And do you need both? The answer to this question is not as straightforward as one might hope. There are many different types of filters, each with their own benefits and drawbacks, while some people may find that they only need a certain type of filter. On the other hand, some households may find that they can get away without both by simply installing a quality filtration system in place of either one. This article will help you decide which product is right for your home!

Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium ions in addition to dissolved solids such as silica, bicarbonate, chloride, sulfate and sodium salts. In homes with very soft or pure water supplies (e.g., distilled or reverse osmosis), this can cause build-up on surfaces from the constant flow of minerals into your home’s plumbing system through bathing, dishwashing and laundry appliances – you may have noticed it most often when washing dishes by hand!

Hard water can clog pipes and damage appliances. It reduces the effectiveness of soaps, detergents, shampoos and other cleaning products. Soap scum forms easily on surfaces exposed to hard water which causes a dulling effect on dishes and laundry. This increases your need for more soap or detergent when washing up – not something that you want!

  • How water softening works

In a water softener, salt is added to the incoming supply line which then runs through the unit. Inside the machine, brine (salty water) is formed and it’s this that removes calcium and magnesium from your home’s plumbing system by way of an ion exchange process. The softened water flows out into your home while the salt solution or waste product exits via a separate pipe at a lower pressure so there may be some noticeable difference in temperature if you live in colder climates where it would freeze during winter months.

It’s important to note that some water softeners can also remove iron, manganese and hydrogen sulfide, which are all common causes of brown or yellow staining on laundry.

  • How water filtration works

Water filtration devices and systems work by drawing water through a filter that has been designed to trap or eliminate specific contaminants.

Most filters require you replace them periodically, often monthly depending on the severity of your water supply’s contamination levels. More advanced carbon block filters can last for up to six months before needing replaced while some other types may need replacing every couple of weeks. It all depends on how much usage they get and what type is installed in your home! There are also whole-house systems available where several different kinds of filters come together in one unit which help purify not only drinking but bathtub and showering as well.

This option might be ideal if you have a larger property with multiple bathrooms, bedrooms or even a swimming pool.

  • Which is better?

There isn’t a definite answer to this question as it depends on your household’s individual needs and how much water you use in your home. For some, both may be necessary but for others, one or the other might suffice depending on the quality of their drinking water supply. To decide if either option is right for your home, you should contact the water supplier servicing your region to determine what contaminants are present in your drinking supply. You can then compare this with customer reviews of any specific filter or softener that has caught your eye online and see if it’s likely to be suitable for use in your household.

It may also help to speak directly with a reputable plumber who is familiar with various types of filtration systems and their benefits but always keep personal preferences in mind when making decisions on which type will work best for you!

What’s the Difference Between Water Softening and Water Filtration?

The Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System is amazing if you’re looking to soften up your hard well water supply without having to use chemicals or salts but it’s not as powerful so don’t expect long-term results with this unit – it works best if paired with another type of system like an ion exchange one.  Water filter vs. Water softeners are both great products that do different things depending on what kind of hard water problem you have in your home! If scale buildup/corrosion is your issue then choose the water filter system like the Whirlpool WHES30E 30,000 Grain Softener which will keep your pipes free of buildup and corrosion. If you want to soften up hard well water (and enjoy soft bath/showering water) then go with a salt-free alternative like the Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System since it doesn’t use chemicals or salts!

We strongly recommend either product depending on what kind of hard water problem you have in your home – choose a salt-free electrolytic solution if scale buildup is an issue for you but go with ion exchange type systems if it’s corrosion that you need to worry about!

  • Both two systems have different water treatments:

water softeners remove minerals from water, while filters reduce contaminants. This process makes hard water softer and more enjoyable to use in your home for showers or drinking supplies; however, the best way to improve health is by using a reverse osmosis (RO) system which can also help you save money over time on bottled water!

  • Both two systems have different technology:

water softeners use salt and other chemicals to reduce the effects of hard water, while filters like reverse osmosis (RO) utilize a membrane with tiny pores that can remove harmful compounds. This process is more environmentally friendly than using salts or chemicals but also helps improve health by reducing chlorine and other impurities which lead to dehydration and joint pain.

  • Both two systems have different results:

water softeners help make water feel softer on skin as well as hair during showers; however, they don’t always filter out all contaminants from drinking supplies! Water filtration removes 99% of chemical pollutants including fluoride over time which contribute to poor health such as bone loss, muscle fatigue and even cancer in some cases whereas traditional methods like salt-based water softeners can actually increase these risks by introducing harmful chemicals into the body.

  • Both two systems have different prices:

water softeners and filters both work to improve health in their own way but also come with a range of costs! Water filtration products like reverse osmosis (RO) are more affordable over time since they don’t require ongoing maintenance or costly replacement cartridges, however; salt-based water softening units may seem cheaper up front for people who only need basic supplies such as faucet attachments that fit onto most kitchen sinks. Both types of devices will need some type of installation which requires hiring professionals unless you’re confident enough in your DIY abilities! If this sounds too complicated, check out our homepage where we have a full range of filters and softeners available for purchase with free shipping over $49 in the USA.

  • Both two systems have different maintenance needs:

water softeners require ongoing maintenance by adding salt or other chemicals over time, however; filters like reverse osmosis (RO) do not need any additional additives and will last for a much longer period of time. These systems only require regular filter changes which can be purchased online through our website at no extra cost! The best way to improve your health is using a filtration system that doesn’t introduce harmful chemicals into the body but also uses an affordable technology such as RO instead.

Best water filter

Waterdrop 10UA Under Sink Water Filter System, NSF ANSI 42 Certified, Direct Connect to Kitchen Faucet, 8K Gallons High Chlorine Reduction Capacity, Ideal for Renting, USA Tech

Waterdrop 10UA Under Sink Water Filter System, NSF ANSI 42 Certified, Direct Connect to Kitchen Faucet, 8K Gallons High Chlorine Reduction Capacity, Ideal for Renting, USA Tech

The Waterdrop 10UA under sink water filter system is NSF/ANSI 42 certified, comes with a 1-year limited warranty, and offers efficient chlorine reduction.

A great advantage of the Waterdrop 10UA Under Sink Water Filter System is its easy installation process – only requiring 3 minutes to complete! The ability for this product to reduce heavy metals, sediment, chemical impurities as well as provide chlorinated reduction makes it perfect to drink filtered water at home or in your office. With the help of an innovative filtration design involving active carbon blocks and KDF media that keeps your filters sanitary during their service lifetime of 8 years or 8000 gallons.

The quality of water that is filtered down to a level below 0.005 microns makes the Waterdrop Under Sink Filter System an excellent choice for homes with well-water, city water or even rainwater! The included faucet can be installed on your kitchen sink without any extra tools and you will get cleaner tasting beverages as well as food prepared in boiling or steaming hot conditions since this model comes equipped with a dedicated spout for dispensing cold drinking water only.

  • No need for installation tools, easy to install
  • Filter life of 8000 gallons (30.000 liters) or up to eight years in service time
  • NSF/ANSI 42 certified filtration capacity that reduces sediment and other contaminants by 99%+ leaving clear water behind in your glass
  • KDF media utilized as an active carbon block keeps the filter sanitary when in use over its entire lifespan
  • None.
APEC Water Systems ROES-50 Essence Series Top Tier 5-Stage Certified Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System

APEC Water Systems ROES-50 Essence Series Top Tier 5-Stage Certified Ultra Safe Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System

Peak ROES-50 Essence Series is a top tier 5-stage water system certified by WQA to provide nonstop, cold refreshing crisp tasting crystal clear ultra safe drinking water. Eliminate up to 99% of water contaminants with Premium long lasting filters that remove chlorine, taste, odor, VOCs as well as heavy metals and 1000+ other harmful contaminants. The ROES-50 is both lead free and comes with designer faucet for unmatched style and performance.

The APEC ROES-50 Essence Series is one of the best reverse osmosis systems you’ll find on the market today. It offers superb water filtration capabilities, high grade components and a sleek design which will complement most countertops out there. This model reduces up to 99% of all contaminants including heavy metals like lead or copper as well as other harmful chemicals such as chlorine, fluoride, arsenic etc. The filters are NSF certified for reducing newer issues that may arise during recent years due to various environmental changes – it removes sediment down to 0.01 microns filter size while also possessing an impressive flow rate of around 50 gallons per day! All in all this system can be installed under your kitchen sink with no tools required and the easy installation will probably take you around 30 minutes to complete.

  • Top tier quality, performs great and offers a high level of contaminant reduction that makes it perfect for drinking water at home or in your office
  • NSF certification on every stage of filtration including sediment filters down to 0.01 microns size as well as carbon blocks with GAC & KDF media capable of reducing chlorine, taste, odor and other chemical substances present in tap water
  • High flow rate at around 50 gallons per day which allows fast filtering while also taking up less space under the sink compared to similar models – this is one of APEC’s more compact RO systems out there!
  • None.
Brita Standard Metro Water Filter Pitcher, Small 5 Cup 1 Count

Brita Standard Metro Water Filter Pitcher, Small 5 Cup 1 Count

Brita Small Metro Water Filter Pitcher is a budget friendly choice for homes or office kitchens that are short on space. This model reduces chlorine taste and odor as well as copper, mercury and cadmium with the help of its filters therefore delivering better tasting water for drinking, cooking or making beverages. The Brita Standard Reduces lead content in tap water by removing up to 90% of contaminants found there while also being BPA free so you can enjoy clean filtered water without worrying about harmful chemicals leeching into your beverage!

The Brita Standard Medium pitcher contains one filter which lasts around 40 gallons before it needs replacement – this equals roughly two months if you use the recommended amount of pitchers daily. It’s made from high grade materials that are BPA free and dishwasher safe for easy care. In terms of quality the Brita Standard is a great choice if you’re looking to buy your first water filter pitcher however it’s recommended to get one with more capacity since this model only contains enough filtered water for around four cups at once!

  • Great price point makes this an affordable pick while still delivering good contaminant reduction compared to some other models on our list – removes chlorine, bad taste & odor as well as copper, mercury and cadmium
  • Budget friendly option perfect for kitchens or offices where space might be limited
  • Small filtration capacity due to its smaller size.
ZeroWater 20 Cup Ready-Pour Dispenser Water Filter Pitcher

ZeroWater 20 Cup Ready-Pour Dispenser Water Filter Pitcher, clear

This sumptuous pitcher filters 20 cups of water that is refreshingly clear, with a battery indicator to let you know when your filter needs replacing.

It’s easy to pour out the most amount of cleanest tasting water at any time through ZeroWater dispense. You can buy this filtered beverage dispenser for use in offices or families – it looks great with either decor!  Want everyone at work to drink more fresh filtered brew? Stick one on your desk and thank us later. This high quality item includes a meter so you’ll know how often it’ll need changing – don’t skimp on this important task, or you might end up serving up less than desirable water!

ZeroWater is best known for its state of the art filter that it uses in all of its pitchers. With this brand, you’re always getting some of the cleanest filtered water out there on the market without wasting money or space on unnecessary equipment – just buy one pitcher and enjoy delicious water at your convenience! It’s also NSF certified to reduce lead content down to 0 ppm  which means you’ll be serving up only pure filtered water with no added chemicals or contaminants.

  • Large capacity of 20 cups filtered comes in a stylish design that is perfect for the kitchen
  • Comes with an NSF certification to reduce lead content down to 0 ppm – great way to get clean tasting water without worrying about chemicals or contaminants leeching into your beverage
  • More expensive compared to other models on our list.            
Brita Extra Large 18 Cup Filtered Water Dispenser with 1 Standard Filter, Made without BPA, UltraMax, Black

Brita Extra Large 18 Cup Filtered Water Dispenser with 1 Standard Filter, Made without BPA, UltraMax, Black

Now if you’re looking for a water dispenser that’s great for your entire home or office, then this BPA free Brita UltraMax is the perfect choice. It holds an impressive 18 cups of filtered water which means less trips to fill it up – just set it out on the counter and let everyone get access to clean tasting water whenever they need one! The Brita Extra Large has received many positive reviews from customers who love its large capacity as well as easy handling at such a low price point.

The filters included in this model typically last about two months before needing replacement so make sure you keep track of how often they require changing (the indicator will tell you when), especially if multiple people are using it every day! This option is definitely best for those who are looking to buy their first water dispenser but don’t want something too large or expensive – it’s easy one-handed handling makes this Brita great for anyone that wants filtered beverage access at home.

  • Large 18 cup capacity combined with an ultra slim design make this a perfect fit in any kitchen where space is limited
  • Comes with an indicator meter so you’ll know when the filter needs changing (usually every two months) – stay on top of maintenance and enjoy fresh tasting water throughout your day!
  • None.

Best water softener

H2oEliteLabs EWC-Max I Electronic Water Conditioner, Salt-Free Hard Water Softener Alternative, Whole House Descaler, Protects Against Limescale Buildup

H2oEliteLabs EWC-Max i 0-35 GPG

The H2oEliteLabs EWC-Max I Electronic Water Conditioner, Salt-Free Hard Water Soften is the best way to get scale and calcium hardness build-up out of your home and in your appliances. It uses environmentally friendly and maintenance free technology that improves water quality without using chemicals or salt – just set it up and enjoy clean water through your shower, laundry machine and more!

This model is currently one of the best sellers on our list with rave reviews from customers who love how well it softens their hard water. Its high tech design means you’ll be enjoying cleaner dishes as well as healthier skin in no time at all plus less cleaning due to fewer mineral deposits left behind after washing clothes or doing the dishes. The H20 ElieteLabs Electronic Water Conditioner requires a simple installation process that anyone can handle themselves so don’t worry if you’re not too experienced with home repairs because this unit comes included with warranty coverage for any defects within 90 days of purchasing.

  • No more scaling or clogging in your home appliances
  • Enjoy healthier skin and hair after just one shower with softer water that’s free of scale build-up
  • Environmentally friendly design means you can enjoy clean tasting, healthy water without adding chemicals to the environment.
  • None.            
On The Go OTG3NTP3M Portable Water Softener

On The Go OTG3NTP3M Portable Water Softening Device

The On the Go OTG3NTP3M Portable Water Softener is a must-have for anyone looking to reduce soap scum and scale buildup in their shower, bathroom sink, and kitchen basin. It’s also great for those who need a compact water system that doesn’t take up too much space. Produces 320 -800 gallons (with hardness of 10-25 grains). Features easy to carry handle, large-mouth opening, quick and easy regeneration, and tool-free hook-up. Compact size with larger capacity than other portable water softeners means you don’t have to worry about your family’s bathing or grooming routines being disrupted because somebody forgot to regenerate their unit.

This model is perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much time or money on their water softener but still wants a quality product that works well – great value without the high price point! The On-the-Go OTG Portable Water Softener has one of the highest customer satisfaction rates in our top ten list with many customers happy enough to write positive reviews about how well it’s worked for them over time. This particular model has been around longer than most others so you can be sure they’re tried and tested by thousands of users just like you which means reliability won’t be an issue as long as proper care is taken when using/maintaining this device (check out included instructions extended use).

  • Compact design means that you can enjoy all of the benefits of soft water without sacrificing too much space in your home.
  • Unlike other portable models, this one is designed to be low maintenance so it’s easy for anyone to use – just set up and forget about it!
  • None.       
AFWFilters 5600sxt Metered On-demand 48,000 Grain Water Softener with brine tank, bypass and 1

AFWFilters 5600sxt Metered On-demand 48,000 Grain Water Softener with brine tank, bypass and 1

The AFWFilters 5600sxt Metered On-demand 48,000 Grain Water Softener combines high capacity resin with a metered control valve that eliminates scale buildup and increased water hardness.

This complete whole house water softener unit has Fleck’s most popular digital on demand style of water softening. It comes with the needed high capacity resin tank so you can enjoy cleaner, fresher tasting drinking and cooking water without having to worry about scum outlines in your sinks or baths due to calcium build up. The brine tank, bypass and all needed adapters are included with your purchase so you can get up and running in no time at all!

  • Comes with everything you need to enjoy cleaner water straight out of the box – no installation necessary!
  • Keeps working even if power goes out because it has its own backup battery storage system that takes over until normal service is restored plus long enough life span for multiple blackouts/power surges before needing replacement.
  • Environmentally friendly design means you don’t have to worry about adding chemicals or salts into the environment in order to soften your hard well water supply.       


  • None. ​​​​
Whirlpool WHES30E 30,000 Grain Softener | Salt & Water Saving Technology | NSF Certified | Automatic Whole House Soft Water Regeneration, 0.75 inches, Off-White

Whirlpool WHES30E 30,000 Grain Softener Salt & Water Saving Technology NSF Certified Automatic Whole House Soft Water Regeneration, 0.75 inches, Off-White

The Whirlpool WHES30E 30,000 Grain Softener is NSF certified and uses salt water to regenerate itself so you don’t have to worry about the environment or your utility bill.

This particular model has an automatic self-cleaning system that doesn’t require any upkeep from users – just set it up, let it work for a few hours with some regularity (every seven days) and enjoy soft water all year long! The hard minerals in your water are trapped inside of the resin tank which means they never touch anything else but fresh clean drinking/showering water. This device also features a 0.75 inch brine injection port plus a built-in bypass valve so you can continue using hot water without having to worry about scale build-up or corrosion.

  • Environmentally friendly design means you don’t have to worry about adding chemicals or salts into the environment in order to soften your hard well water supply.
  • Built-in bypass valve and brine injection port allow for continued use of hot water without having to wait/worry about system regeneration like with other units that rely on a power source (grid) as opposed to saltwater which is always available no matter what happens!       
  • None.
Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System - Alternative Water Softener Salt Free for Whole House, Reduces the effects of Limescale

Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System by YARNA

The Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System is a salt-free water softener alternative that uses electrolytic impurities to make your hard well water safe for use.

This unique system acts in the same manner as traditional ion exchange systems but it does so without using any chemicals or salts which means you don’t have to worry about adding anything harmful into your environment! The unit has an automatic self-cleaning mode and can be customized down to adjust hardness levels (up to 21 grains) so everyone in the household gets perfectly clean, clear, fresh tasting drinking/bathwater no matter what their individual preferences are. There’s also no need for maintenance with this device – just set up once and turn it on when you get low water pressure or cloudy looking bathwater and enjoy super-clean, clear, fresh tasting drinking/showering water all year round!

  • Environmentally friendly design means you don’t have to worry about adding chemicals or salts into the environment in order to soften your hard well water supply.  
  • Capacitive Electrolytic technology uses unique self-cleaning system that never needs maintenance so you can just set it up once for good results every time!          
  • None. ​​​​

Frequently Asked Questions

How to maintain a water softener?

There are three different types of maintenance that need to be performed for your water softener:

  • Daily Maintenance involves regularly checking the brine solution tank and making sure it has enough salt in it. This is because over time, less and less salt will dissolve into the liquid (due to use) which means you’ll eventually end up with no molecules left inside. Not having any dissolved salt present means there’s nothing stopping scale buildup/corrosion from occurring – so make sure not to neglect this step!  
  • Salt Conversion takes place every few years or when you notice a significant drop in performance (not as much softened water production). With time natural minerals like magnesium and calcium build up on the resin beads causing them to become less effective at softening water. To maintain your system’s performance, simply swap out the old beads for new ones and you’ll be good to go!
  • Filter Replacement is needed every few months or so depending on how often you use it – a filter can’t catch everything that comes through so after a certain amount of time, buildup will start happening again which means your filtered water won’t flow as freely anymore. Just change the filters when this happens to enjoy maximum results from your unit!
How does a salt free electronic descaler work?

The Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System works by sending high frequency electrical currents into hard well water supply in order to break up those pesky mineral ions (and remove them from the water). This is how it cleans scale buildup off of pipes/faucets etc. – by breaking down minerals into smaller pieces that are much easier for your plumbing system to remove!

How long does a water softener last?

Water softeners are meant to last for several years but it depends on how much use they get. If you’re using your system regularly then it should be good for around five years max – if not, expect only two or three!

If you want a more accurate timeframe of when to replace the resin beads in your water softener unit (the ones responsible for removing natural minerals from hard well water), simply count up all the times you’ve opened and closed the valve over its life span so far – this is equal to one bead replacement cycle because every time you open/close that valve, some ions will go back into solution.

How to filter water at home?

There are two main types of home water filters:

Point Of Use (or POU) systems filter out contaminants from a single tap in your house. This is the best kind to get if you have particularly bad problems with contaminated or smelly well water because it can remove all kinds of nasty stuff! Point Of Entry (or POE) filtration systems go inside your plumbing system and clean up everything that enters into your household – this means every faucet/tap, toilet etc. gets great tasting clean water without any chemical after-taste whatsoever. These tend to be better for homes where only select rooms will have hard well water since it covers more ground but costs slightly more than a point use unit.


So, now that you know what water softening and filtration is all about, it’s time to choose which option will work best for your needs. There are many benefits of both water treatment options (softeners and filters) but ultimately the choice between them depends on your personal preferences – do you want more control over how much salt is in your drinking water or would you prefer a filter with no maintenance required? If cost is an issue, think carefully before choosing a water softener because they can be expensive. However if price isn’t as big of an issue then consider investing in one because there’s evidence showing that softened water may reduce symptoms like dry skin and eczema-related itching due to its higlyh mineralized content.