Morton offers a range of affordable water softeners to fit different household sizes and water hardness ratings. With so many different models to choose from, it can be challenging to decide which one is right for your home.
That’s why I’ve gone tested these water softeners, talked to existing customers and industry experts, and researched the specs and features — to help you make the right choice. In this Morton Water Softener review, I’ll provide you with an in-depth analysis of each of the leading models in Morton’s inventory.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of which Morton water softener is the best fit for your home.
Morton Water Softeners at a Glance
- Best for high grain capacity and tech features: M45C Demand Control 45,000
- Best for combination water softening and filtering: MHY Water Softener + Filter
- Best no-frills water softener: M34 Elite 34,000 Grain Water Softener
- Best for being smaller than the M34 and bigger than the M27: M30 Premium 30,000 Grain Water Softener
- Best for small homes and mildly hard water: M27 Ultra 27,000 Grain Water Softener
- Best for small urban homes: M20 Select 20,000 Grain Water Softener
Morton Brand Overview
Morton has been in the salt business for over 170 years — you’ll surely recognize the logo — the little girl with the umbrella — from the salt container that was no doubt always in your pantry growing up.
Morton’s water softeners are known for their eco-friendly, space-saving, single-tank design that’s easy to install. They now offer convenience features, such as remote monitoring and self-cleaning filters.
Morton’s water softeners come with a decent warranty — not the best, but decent. You get only one year on parts unless you extend it by buying and using the Morton MWSC Water Softener Cleanser, and ten years on the mineral and salt storage tank.
They are available in different capacities, ranging from 20,000 to 45,000. If your water is moderately hard, these systems will do their job perfectly. However, if you live in an area with very hard water, or if you have a very large home or small apartment complex, you may need to consider other options, since these don’t exceed 45,000.
Still, there may be a Morton water softener for you. Below I’ll tell you which Morton model is best for you based on what features stand out for each one.
1. M45C Demand Control 45,000 Grain
The Demand Control M45C is Morton’s innovative solution for tech-savvy homeowners seeking precise control over their water softening.
I’ll level with you. I wrote a list of the eight best water softeners, and this model from Morton was not on it — in fact none of them were. The website claims it’s for “high water hardness ratings,” but according to this scale, the M45C is only suitable for slightly or moderately hard water. Here are some pros and cons of the M45C.
- Demand Control technology prevents wasted water.
- Wi-Fi capability allows users to manage the device from a smartphone.
- Includes integrated convenience features, including a self-cleaning sediment filter, low salt level indicator light, and remote water shutoff capability.
- 12 ppm (parts per million) of clear water iron removal protects the water softener and resin beads.
- Low price makes soft water a possibility for homeowners on a tight budget.
- Sediment filter inside the unit makes it good for those on well water, which often has high sediment concerns.
- DIY installation is a breeze with Morton’s installation kit and instructions.
- Limited availability and purchase options
- Extra costs for remote shutoff valve
- Only suitable for slightly and moderately hard water
- Unimpressive warranty compared to other brands
- Only 8% cross-linked resin instead of superior 10%
- No overflow protection safety feature
My favorite thing about the Morton M45C is the on-demand regeneration. While it’s not particularly unique among water softeners these days, it’s absolutely essential to avoid wasting water and degrading your resin bed. It regenerates based on your water usage rather than an automatic, arbitrary schedule.
Unlike other models, this smart system allows remote management through Wi-Fi connectivity, offering upgraded convenience. It’s designed for those who want real-time monitoring and adjustment options at their fingertips. This system also has a self-cleaning sediment filter which means a longer lasting water softener system and no filter replacements.
Just keep in mind that 120 ppm of hardness minerals is average. If you have moderately hard or very hard water, this is not the water softener for you. (However, we do appreciate Morton for disclosing its capacity in ppm, since most water softener brands don’t advertise this number.)
Another downside of this water softener, and all of Morton’s water softeners in fact, is that the resin is only 8% cross-linked polystyrene as opposed to the leading 10%, which lasts longer and softens better than 8%.
At the end of the day, this model is much more affordable than some of the models on my list of the best water softeners. It’s not my favorite budget water softener, but it’s a decent choice for those who need an ion exchange water softener and can’t afford the best.
The Morton M45C will, in all likelihood, soften your slightly hard or hard water and do so in a relatively eco-friendly way. And it’s nice that you can control it via an app and that it comes with a sediment filter. But you can find many more features from other brands if you’re willing to pay a bit more.
2. MHY Whole Home Water Softener + Filter
Morton’s MHY model is ideal for homes dealing with hard water minerals as well as bad odors, chlorine, and sediment.
- Incorporates a built-in self-cleaning sediment filter.
- An additional carbon filter offers versatility for various water conditions.
- A low-salt indicator helps you keep on top of your salt level.
- As a water softener and filter combo, it’s more affordable than combo models from the competition.
- Look-ahead technology optimizes regeneration cycles for efficiency.
- Power interruption protection ensures uninterrupted operation even in unforeseen circumstances.
- Low grain capacity not ideal for very hard water conditions
- Carbon filter not effective against nitrates, viruses, bacteria, or fluoride
- Iron removal limited compared to other models
- Limited availability
- Only 8% cross-linked resin
- No remote shutoff valve or other safety features
- No Wi-Fi or app-based management
The Morton Whole Home Water Softener + Filter’s self-cleaning filter removes chlorine, taste/odor, and sediment without the inconvenience or added expense of changing filters. If you’re looking for a combo system and want to save money, it’s worth considering, but getting it will be a hassle. And the carbon filter isn’t useful against some serious water contaminants.
If you live in an urban area and you just want a system that removes disinfection by-products (like trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids) and also removes hard water minerals from your municipal water supply, the Morton Whole Home Water Softener + Filter (Model MHY) can do the job for you.
However, there are other combination water softener systems that offer more value for money, especially if you’re dealing with highly contaminated water.
3. M34 Elite 34,000 Grain Water Softener
The M34 stands out as an option for those seeking reliable water softening without unnecessary complexity.
- Eco-friendly demand-initiated regeneration prevents unnecessary water and salt consumption.
- Iron removal capability will protect the resin bed from degradation.
- Low-salt indicator light makes upkeep easy.
- M34 doesn’t include some of the advanced features present in higher-tier models
- Not suitable for very hard water
- Not Wi-Fi enabled
- Only 8% cross-linked resin
- No remote shutoff or other safety features
- No sediment pre-filter to protect the system from buildup
The Morton M34 Elite Water Softener is a practical choice for those with medium-sized homes and mildly hard water who prioritize efficiency and affordability. However, it’s important to note that the M34, while efficient, lacks some advanced features found in higher-end models, such as a built-in self-cleaning sediment filter, so it’s not suitable for well systems.
But if you’re seeking additional functionalities and are willing to invest in a more comprehensive system, the M45C is only about $150 more and you can control it with your phone.
4. M30 Premium 30,000 Grain Water Softener
The M30 is suitable for small to medium homes with mildly hard water, but since it’s smack in between the grain capacities of the M34 and the M27, I really don’t see the point of it.
- Its low capacity is better for a smaller home than overpowering with a large unit.
- 7 ppm of iron removal will protect the resin bed from corrosion.
- Power interruption protection maintains your setting in case of storms or other power loss causes.
- Look Ahead Technology anticipates regeneration needs.
- Few features compared to other models in its class
- No low-salt indicator
- Not suitable for very hard water
- Only 8% cross-linked resin
- No shutoff valve or safety features
- No sediment pre-filter
- Way too expensive
Morton says that the Saver M30 system is suitable for well water, but since it doesn’t have a sediment pre-filter, I wouldn’t advise using this, or any water softener without a sediment filter, with a well water system.
Starting with this system and continuing with the M27 and M20, Morton has removed the low-salt indicator. What’s more is that you can only buy this from EcoPure, which jacks up the price so much that this model is actually more expensive than the M45C. That’s crazy.
Overall, the Morton M30 is a bare-bones system for households with moderate water hardness levels. However, it’s essential to note that the M30, while offering reliable performance, lacks some advanced features found in other brands in its class, such as this SoftPro Elite 32,000 capacity water softener.
At its price point and place between the M34 and the M27, it just doesn’t make sense to buy the M30.
5. M27 Ultra 27,000 Grain Water Softener
Tailored for small homes or apartments with one or two people, the M27 offers a compact design without compromising its softening capabilities.
- Provides an affordable solution for small households dealing with hard water.
- Demand regeneration enhances efficiency.
- Flexibility of recharging options allows you to optimize regeneration cycles.
- No built-in sediment filter
- Lack of advanced features
- Only 8% cross-linked resin
- No low-salt indicator
- Not effective against very hard water
The Morton Ultra 27,000 Grain Water Softener (Model M27) is an affordable water softener with all the necessary features for basic water softening. But it’s lacking in features that make water softening an easy process for homeowners. For about $30 more, you can get the M34 and get a low-salt indicator light.
6. M20 Select 20,000 Grain Water Softener
The M20 is ideal for strict budgets and small urban homes with one to two people and low-to-average water hardness levels.
- Compact design saves space.
- Has the same eco-friendly and convenience features as the M30 and M27.
- The M20 is an extremely affordable option as water softeners go.
- Basic features
- Only 8% cross-linked resin
- Limited capacity for larger households
- No sediment pre-filter
- No safety features
- No low-salt indicator
The M20 Select is a compact and cost-effective solution for individuals or couples seeking efficient water softening. Its space-saving design is ideal for smaller living spaces, ensuring effective softening without sacrificing room.
This compact Morton water softening system is equipped with the basic functionalities you would expect from a modern system, including on-demand regeneration, which saves salt and water, options for recharging tonight/now, which allow users to choose when the system regenerates, and a power interruption protection feature.
However, it’s important to note that the M20 Select water softener, while offering compact efficiency, has limited capacity and lacks some advanced features found in higher-end models. If you have larger water softening needs or specific requirements, this won’t cut it.
What I Like About Morton Water Softeners
Having extensively tested all Morton water softeners, I am impressed by several notable features. One of these is Morton’s commitment to offering models for all household sizes (well, except really big ones).
Another notable feature is the demand regeneration technology incorporated into all Morton models. Unlike timed regeneration, this technology adapts the regeneration process based on actual water usage, promoting resource efficiency. This not only ensures optimal performance but also reduces salt and water consumption, making it an environmentally friendly choice.
The single best thing about Morton water softeners is the prices, except the M30, which is mispriced in my opinion. Most of these water softeners are as cheap as they come. If water softening has been outside your budget for a long time and you just can’t take the scale buildup and drab hair and clothes another day, it’s fair to say one of these units is your solution.
Among the various models, the Morton M45C, in my opinion, offers the best value for money. With its high 45,000-grain capacity, Wi-Fi connectivity for remote monitoring, and sediment pre-filter, it strikes a perfect balance between advanced features and cost-effectiveness.
What You Might Not Like About Morton Water Softeners
While Morton water softeners have many positive attributes, it’s important to acknowledge some limitations.
One notable drawback is the relatively lower grain capacities. For households with higher water softening needs, these models might be less suitable, not even the M45C. Additionally, in areas with very hard water, Morton water softeners may have a limited effect.
Another aspect worth considering is the absence of a lifetime warranty, which is a standard with some other brands. When it comes to home appliances, which you have to buy a lot of and can malfunction frequently, a lifetime warranty provides an unbeatable peace of mind. Morton doesn’t have one.
Another downside to Morton’s salt-based water softeners is that the features just aren’t cutting edge. Only the M45C comes with Wi-Fi capability and the option for remote shutoff, only the M45C and the MHY have sediment pre-filters, and none of them come with overflow protection or 10% resin.
For users looking for more efficient softening solutions, comprehensive warranties, and the best in modern technology, exploring alternatives may be worthwhile. For those who prioritize budget above all else, Morton may be your best bet.
No research is complete without a plan. Before I sat down to write this review, I devised a plan for my research process. Below is a list of steps I followed to write an expert and reliable review:
Step 1: A list of Morton water softeners
First, I needed to figure out how many Morton water softeners are available in the company’s catalog. I wanted to know how each of these water softeners compares to other brands and how they function to meet the needs of a variety of homes and water quality.
I made sure to comb the Morton website, reading all the fine print, but I also read all the user manuals. That’s where the really important stuff is, not on the sales page.
Step 2: Product analysis
Before embarking on this review, I needed a road map to guide me while I conducted my research. This required asking questions about each model’s features as well as water softeners in general:
- What type of regeneration cycle does each water softener use?
- How durable is the resin tank?
- What are the advantages of an integrated brine tank in compact water softeners?
- What amount of clear water iron does each model remove?
- How does a Morton softener compare to others on the market?
- How intuitive is the control panel in Morton’s water softeners?
- What is the average salt consumption of this Morton softener?
- How much waste water or brine solution do Morton softeners produce?
- Are Morton System Saver salt pellets easily accessible?
- Does the use of a Morton salt-based water softener system reduce pressure in a household’s water supply
- Do Morton water softeners have any filtration, sediment or otherwise?
- What protection and safety features are included?
- Is the warranty appealing?
Step 3: Online reviews
Following the answers to these questions, it was time to read the user reviews, which are important but ought to be approached with caution. So, I went through hundreds of online Morton water softener reviews on websites such as Menards, CostCo, Walmart, EcoPure, the Better Business Bureau, and Consumer Affairs.
Step 4: Interviews with real customers
I needed to reach out to real consumers who had firsthand knowledge of Morton water softeners. A questionnaire survey was the only way to go. So I reached out to users via direct message online. Since these systems are only for sale from Menards, EcoPure, and in some cases, Walmart, it’s a bit harder to find users in person.
I was, however, able to contact a few water treatment specialists to find out what they and their customers thought of Morton’s water softener lineup.
Step 5: Interview with the manufacturer
For this step, I placed a call to the Morton customer service department, as well as those of some of the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), and pushed them for answers about some of the negative online reviews that were leveled against its water softeners.
I wanted to observe the demeanor of their customer service personnel while under pressure. The service rep was very calm and answered every question that I had.
Step 6: Test drives
This was the most critical part of the research process. If I was going to remain authoritative in my review, I needed to have firsthand experience with each salt-based softener.
Therefore, I rented each system myself, tested them for a few weeks, and observed the systems’ regeneration cycle, the quality of soft water they produced, the ease of use, and the salt and water usage.
Step 7: Final rankings
Finally, I had enough information to sit down and write my review of the Morton brand of water softeners. But first, I had to gather and organize this data in a spreadsheet using the factors listed below:
- Grain capacity
- Regeneration technology
- Smart features
- Warranty coverage
- Flow rate
- Ease of installation and maintenance
- Performance and efficiency
- Safety and protection
- Additional filtration
After reviewing all the Morton water softeners, I can confidently say that they are a good, affordable choice for households with mild to moderate water hardness levels.
They are easy to install, have low salt usage, and come in different models to suit different household sizes. The demand regeneration feature ensures that the system only regenerates when necessary, which saves salt and water.
Out of all the Morton water softeners, the Morton M45C Demand Control 45,000 Grain Wi-Fi Water Softener offers the best value for money. It has a maximum water hardness removal capacity of 120 gpg, removes up to 12 ppm of clear water iron, and it has look-ahead technology, demand regeneration, recharge options, and power interruption protection.
It also has Wi-Fi connectivity, which allows you to monitor and control the system from anywhere using your smartphone.
However, consider the drawbacks. All models exhibit lower grain capacities compared to softeners from other established brands, which limits their effectiveness for larger households or areas with extremely hard water.
The absence of a lifetime warranty might be a concern for those seeking long-term assurance, and while the M45C stands out, it’s essential to acknowledge that the market offers alternatives with more advanced features at competitive prices.
Alternatives to Morton water softeners
Morton may not be the best water softener brand for homeowners with hard or very hard water, but it’s good if you’re on a budget and your water is only slightly or moderately hard. If you’re looking for a water softener with slightly more oomph, though, here are some alternatives.
SpringWell Salt-Based Water Softener
The SpringWell Salt-Based Water Softener is a compelling alternative to the Morton M45C, particularly for users who prioritize low maintenance and hassle-free operation. Unlike the M45C, SpringWell’s system features a dual-tank design, ensuring continuous soft water supply during regeneration cycles.
Additionally, SpringWell employs a proprietary controller for regeneration, offering advanced customization options you can control from your phone. While the M45C boasts smart technology, the SpringWell system has that and more.
If you depend on a private well for your water supply, the SpringWell Well Water Filter + Salt Based Water Softener Combo provides the best protection against extremely hard water and dangerous contaminants. What’s more, all Springwell systems are covered by a lifetime warranty.
US Water Systems Matrixx Smart Metered Water Softener
The US Water Systems Matrixx Smart Metered Water Softener is a high-tech system that uses a smart meter to monitor water usage and regenerate only when necessary. It has a high-capacity 10% crosslinked resin that can handle water hardness levels up to 110 grains per gallon.
The system also has a built-in sediment filter, which removes sand, silt, and other particles from the water before it gets into your softener. The US Water Systems Matrixx Smart Metered Water Softener is intended for households with moderate to very hard water and those who want a high-tech system that saves salt and water.
SoftPro Elite Water Softener
The SoftPro Elite Water Softener serves as a premium alternative to the M45C, appealing to users who are looking for top-tier features and performance. The best thing about the SoftPro Elite is that it removes iron and manganese as well as calcium and magnesium ions, so it’s ideal for homes on a well water system.
It offers models with grain capacities ranging from 24,000 all the way to 80,000, and it comes with a host of eco-friendly features. Where the M45C offers adjustable settings, the SoftPro Elite provides even greater customization with its user-friendly LCD display.
Here, you will find a curated assortment of insightful reviews we have collected with care for you to peruse.