The best softener SpringWell offers is easily the SpringWell Salt Based Water Softener, but we can also recommend a salt-free option, as well as combo systems for both city water and well water. Don’t just take my word for it — check out the details below:
1. SpringWell SS1, SS4, and SS+ Salt Based Water Softeners
The SpringWell SS Series Salt Based Water Softener is the best of all those I reviewed thanks to its effectiveness, modern and eco-friendly features, and its industry-best lifetime warranty.
Here are six reasons the SpringWell SS Series is an ideal choice for users who want the best solution to hard water:
Pro 1/6: Highly efficient softening performance
The SpringWell SS Series Salt-Based Water Softener uses ion exchange to remove hard minerals, preventing limescale buildup in appliances, as well as soap scum and dry, itchy skin. It comes with a resin tank and a smaller brine tank. The specialized resin, made of negatively charged polystyrene beads, attracts the positively charged calcium and magnesium ions, pulling them out of the water. The hardness ions are then exchanged for sodium or potassium ions, and a backwash cycle from the brine tank flushes the calcium and magnesium down the drain during regeneration. If you’re familiar with water softeners and ion exchange, you’re no stranger to this process.
But what’s special about the SpringWell SS Series is its durable, state-of-the-art resin. When it comes to ion exchange resin, nothing beats 10% crosslinked. Polystyrene ion exchange resin is crosslinked with a 10% divinylbenzene (DVB) compound, an organic agent that improves the performance of polystyrene. This robust construction renders it highly resistant to chlorine and other chemicals, surpassing the industry-standard 8% crosslinked resin. A 10% crosslinked resin not only lasts 50% longer but also works 10% more effectively.
With this level of performance, you don’t have to worry that your water is too hard to be softened effectively, even if you’ve got the hardest water in the country. The SS Series’ three different sizes can handle water hardness from up to 32,000 grains all the way to 80,000, or “very hard water.” If you’re looking for a salt-based water softener with top-of-the-line performance and high capacity, the SpringWell SS1 won’t disappoint.
Pro 2/6: Innovative Bluetooth control head
SpringWell salt-based water softeners are equipped with an innovative Bluetooth control head that makes your softener super easy to use. Many water softeners you just plug in and connect to the plumbing and hope for the best. But with SpringWell, the control of your device is at your fingertips.
The control head allows users to manage cycles and monitor the system’s performance using their smartphones. Through SpringWell’s Water Smart App, homeowners can access real-time data, adjust settings, and initiate regeneration cycles with ease. The system’s adjustable meter control can also be customized through the Bluetooth control head. Meter control means the system measures your water usage and regenerates only when needed, but it doesn’t just have a mind of its own; you can adjust it.
Whether you’re tech-savvy or simply seeking a more convenient way to interact with your water softener, the Bluetooth control head simplifies the user experience. If you love the modern convenience of controlling your household appliances from your phone, get the SpringWell SS Series Salt Based Water Softener.
Pro 3/6: Low operational costs
That meter control I mentioned above also saves you money by reducing water and salt use. Unlike traditional, time-based regeneration systems, the SS Series calculates the exact amount of water passing through the system. This ensures that the water softener regenerates only when necessary (on average every 14 days), depending on your water usage.
By adapting to your usage patterns, the SS Series minimizes unnecessary regeneration cycles, reducing the amount of brine water that is flushed down the drain and cutting down on salt refills. By measuring your water usage, the SS Series also lets you monitor not just your water softener but your whole plumbing system. Any changes to the norm can indicate an issue that otherwise may have been overlooked, allowing you to address them before they worsen. These low operational costs may end up going much farther than just salt.
Speaking of salt, the SS Series also uses less salt per regeneration than traditional salt-based water softeners. SpringWell estimates that, on average, you’ll need to refill the bring tank every one to two months with a 40 lb. bag of salt, which you can get at any home improvement or big-box store for less than $10. If you don’t want to spend loads of money on water and salt after already investing in a water softener, the SpringWell SS Series will help you cut costs.
Pro 4/6: Easy installation and maintenance
Installing the SpringWell Salt Based Water Softener will be no trouble for people with even the most basic DIY skills. If you can read instructions, you can install this system. One thing that prevents some homeowners from installing high-tech water treatment systems is the cost or hassle of installing them; it can be daunting to imagine yourself elbow deep in plumbing fixtures. But what if I told you it’s not actually that complicated?
The system includes all the necessary accessories for a straightforward setup. The manual, which comes with instructional diagrams, is easy for the average user to comprehend. For users with irregular plumbing setups or specific space constraints, the DIY installation might pose some challenges, but SpringWell provides access to extensive tech support to assist in such cases. Overall, the average person shouldn’t have difficulty installing SpringWell’s SS Series water softener.
In terms of maintenance, this salt-based softener has minimal requirements. You’ll need to add salt every one to two months, but the 10% crosslinked resin can last up to 20 years depending on your water quality. The system’s efficient metered regeneration further contributes to low maintenance by saving on both salt and water consumption. The tanks themselves are constructed with a sturdy and durable build, so you can be confident it’s not going to give way after a few years. If you want a water softener that is easy to install and maintain, check out the SpringWell SS Series.
Pro 5/6: Three models available to suit homes of all sizes
The SpringWell SS series includes three salt-based water softener models to accommodate homes of all sizes: the SS1, SS4, and SS+. All three models excel at softening hard water. The only difference between them lies in capacity and flow rate. The SS Series can soften mildly hard water in small homes or very hard water in large homes, and everything in between.
The SS1 has a resin capacity of 32,000 grains and a flow rate of 11 gallons per minute (gpm), making it ideal for mid-sized families with slightly hard water or small families with moderately hard water. On the other hand, the SS4 is designed for larger families with moderately hard water and features a 48,000-grain capacity and a flow rate of 13 gpm. The SS+ is suitable for very hard water in large homes or businesses and has a 20-gallon-per-minute water flow and an 80,000-grain capacity.
What this means is that you don’t have to pay for a system with more capacity than you need or one that can’t even do what you need it. When choosing between these models, you should have your water tested and consider your household size to ensure the selected model aligns with your specific needs. There’s no point buying a water softener that’s either too big or too small for your family. If you want a water softener whose capacity isn’t limited to one size, it’s the SpringWell SS Series you want.
Pro 6/6: Robust warranty and money-back guarantee
SpringWell’s salt-based water softener comes with a lifetime warranty on tanks and valves, which protects against manufacturing defects, and a six-month money-back guarantee. This warranty and guarantee setup is far better than most warranties on water softeners.
After you’ve purchased a large home appliance, you tend to worry it will break on you. You don’t have to worry about that with the SpringWell SS because if it does, SpringWell will sort it out. It’s important to note that the warranty doesn’t cover normal wear and tear, damage caused by improper installation or maintenance, or any issues arising from water quality changes or fluctuations. Despite these limitations, the warranty underscores SpringWell’s commitment to product quality and customer satisfaction. Additionally, SpringWell offers a six-month money-back guarantee, so customers can return the water softener within six months of purchase if they are not completely satisfied.
The lifetime warranty and money-back guarantee provide users with the flexibility to try the product risk-free. You can trust it won’t break and if it does, SpringWell will back you up. If you prioritize warranties for your household appliance investments, SpringWell’s SS Series won’t disappoint.
While the SpringWell SS Series is a reliable and user-friendly water softening solution, you need to consider the following two factors before purchasing:
Con 1/2: Financial investment
The average cost of a water softener is about $1500, but the range is $500 to as much as $6,000. That being said, the SpringWell falls somewhere in the middle.
This is no budget water softener. You’ll often find sales on SpringWell’s website, and it can cut the cost by as much as 40%, but the MSRP is higher than average. You should consider the up-front cost when thinking about installing a water softener.
The SpringWell’s modern features and 10% crosslinked resin make it well worth the investment, though. While this price might not work well for budget-conscious consumers, it’s important to weigh it against the long-term benefits and cost savings that the system provides over its lifespan. If you don’t mind investing in a high-tech water softener that will last as long as a generation, the SpringWell SS Series is a solid choice.
Con 2/2: Brine discharge and water waste
Brine discharge from salt-based water softeners can have an environmental impact, particularly in terms of increased sodium levels in freshwater ecosystems and the potential for salt contamination in soils and groundwater, as well as by wasting water. How much water is wasted depends on your water softener, water quality, and water usage, but the average is about 25 gallons per regeneration. The SS Series, though, with its metered regeneration, aims to reduce the amount of water that is wasted by the water softening process. Still, it won’t be zero.
This sodium-rich wastewater is released into the sewage system or your septic tank and eventually ends up in rivers, lakes, aquifers, and other bodies of water. This can have adverse effects on aquatic life, especially in freshwater ecosystems. For households on septic systems, the salty wastewater can seep into groundwater, potentially polluting drinking water supplies. If you want a system that doesn’t discharge wastewater, SpringWell also offers a salt-free system that doesn’t waste water.
We can recommend the SpringWell SS Series Salt Based Water Softener due to its exceptional combination of advanced features, efficiency, and reliability. The system’s high-capacity resin tank, 10% crosslinked resin, and innovative Bluetooth control head set it apart from other water softeners.
While some consumers might consider it a big financial investment, this smart system optimizes regeneration, minimizing both salt and water usage, ultimately contributing to long-term cost savings. The initial cost is also offset by its robust lifetime warranty and six-month money-back guarantee, giving you peace of mind and protecting your investment. If you’re ready to enjoy the benefits of softened water while minimizing resource usage, buy the SpringWell SS Series Salt Based Water Softener today and stop living with hard water.
We’ve written a more detailed analysis of the SpringWell SS Series, which you can check out for more information.
2. SpringWell FutureSoft FS Series Water Softener Alternative
The SpringWell FutureSoft Salt Free Water Softener Alternative is an excellent water softener alternative because it prevents scale buildup, has three models to suit homes of all sizes, and comes with SpringWell’s industry-leading lifetime warranty.
If salt-free is your jam, the FS Series is the one to choose for five reasons:
Pro 1/5: No salt or chemicals
The FS1 FutureSoft uses a process called template-assisted crystallization (TAC) to neutralize 95% of hard water minerals without the use of salt or chemicals.
Unlike the SpringWell SS Series, which relies on ion exchange to remove hard minerals in water, the TAC process neutralizes these minerals by turning them into crystals that cannot build up as scale deposits. The resulting water is conditioned rather than softened, since the minerals remain in the water but in a form that doesn’t adhere to pipes, appliances, or fixtures. This conditioning process prevents scale without the need to constantly purchase and add salt or potassium chloride.
Besides the hassle of pouring salt into a brine tank, a salt-free conditioner also eliminates salt in the water supply, an avoidable side effect of salt-based water softeners. Let me be clear about this because there are a few misconceptions about salt intake and water softeners. The amount of salt a water softener adds is rather negligible and depends on how hard your water is. So it’s only an issue if you have extremely hard water and if the amount of sodium in your diet is extremely limited. That being said, some people just don’t want salt added to their water supply or washed down their drains as briny wastewater. If that’s you, you should opt for SpringWell’s Salt Free Water Softener Alternative.
Pro 2/5: Environmentally friendly
The reason many people are turning to salt-free systems is that traditional water softeners have a larger environmental footprint. In fact, they’re banned in some localities. The FutureSoft system doesn’t have that problem. In fact, it offers several notable environmental benefits.
First, unlike traditional salt-based softeners, it doesn’t release excess salt brine into the environment, where it could endanger local biodiversity and increase the salinity of groundwater and other water sources. Second, the system does not require the backwash cycle that salt-based systems do, so it eliminates water waste and reduces the strain on water treatment facilities. Third, it saves energy. Compared to its salt-based sibling, which needs electricity to power the control valve, the FutureSoft system does not require electricity. That means it can save you a few bucks on your electric bill and it won’t be affected by power outages (unless it’s connected to a well pump, that is).
This combination of eco-friendly features helps reduce the system’s carbon footprint and contributes to a more sustainable water treatment process. If you’re in a state or county where salt-based water softeners are banned, you still have options for treating hard water. To condition your hard water without impacting your local ecosystem, give the SpringWell FutureSoft a try.
Pro 3/5: Straightforward installation and low maintenance
The SpringWell FutureSoft’s “template-assisted crystallization” might sound super sciency, but you don’t need to worry that it’ll make the installation and maintenance super complicated by extension. Installing and operating the FutureSoft system is easy if you have even the most basic DIY skills.
The package includes everything you need, including comprehensive instructions that simplify the installation process. Users with irregular plumbing setups or limited DIY experience should consult a plumber to ensure proper installation, but most people will be able to install the FutureSoft lickety-split. The system is designed to be user-friendly, and with SpringWell’s technical support available by phone, any installation or operational challenges can be addressed promptly.
One impressive aspect of this system is that it requires virtually no maintenance. It can run for six years (one million gallons) without replacing the media. The 5-micron sediment pre-filter also protects the main conditioning tank from clogging and ensures the longevity of the system. (The sediment filter also further contributes to water quality by removing visible particulate matter, such as dirt, sand, dust, and debris.) However, the sediment filter does need replacement every six to nine months, depending on your water quality. It’s extremely easy to replace.
Modern homeowners have enough going on without having to worry about coddling their water treatment systems. If you want an effective salt-free system that’s easy to install and has low maintenance requirements, the SpringWell FutureSoft FS Series is it!
Pro 4/5: Great warranty and money-back guarantee
To further instill confidence in its product, SpringWell offers a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty and a six-month money-back guarantee for the FutureSoft system. Most manufacturers usually cover their systems for a maximum of 5–10 years, and some offer no money-back guarantee at all, so finding one that offers this level of coverage is like a breath of fresh air.
This warranty covers the valves, FutureSoft media, tanks, fittings, and housings from manufacturer defects. Of course, problems arising from physical damage, negligence, improper handling, misapplication, modifications, or failure to follow manufacturer instructions during transportation, installation, and use are not covered under this warranty. If you choose to return the product within the stipulated six-month guarantee period, you will have to pay for the return shipping. Nonetheless, this exceptional warranty proves that SpringWell is confident this product will perform and last.
These two features provide users with long-term peace of mind, underscoring the manufacturer’s commitment to the durability and performance of the FutureSoft system. If you hesitate to invest in household appliances that aren’t backed up by good warranties and guarantees, you don’t need to hesitate with the SpringWell FS Series.
Pro 5/5: Model availability
Like the SS Series salt-based water softeners, SpringWell wants you to find a model of salt-free softener alternative that meets your home’s specific needs. That’s why the SpringWell FS Series is offered in three models, each designed to cater to specific household sizes and water flow requirements.
While the FS1 model is perfect for most homes with one to three bathrooms, users have a choice of two other models. The FS4 model is best for larger households with four to six bathrooms, while the top-of-the-range FS+ model is designed for homes or businesses with seven or more bathrooms. All models provide top-notch performance without compromising on water pressure.
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to hard water. For a line of salt-free alternative water conditioners that can cater to homes of any size, check out the SpringWell FS Series Salt Free Water Softener Alternative.
There are three drawbacks you need to consider before purchasing the FutureSoft salt free system:
Con 1/3: Doesn’t soften water
Despite its effective conditioning of water to prevent scale buildup, this salt-free system will not actually soften your water. It’s essential to understand that while it addresses issues like scale buildup, it doesn’t remove the hardness minerals.
This means that if your hard water problems are making it hard for you to wash your laundry and dishes because your soap won’t lather, you’ll see no change. If your skin is affected by hard water, expect it to continue. But your pipes and appliances will be protected from the impacts of scale buildup, so that’s something.
If your primary concern isn’t scale buildup but hard water’s other effects, the SpringWell Salt Based Water Softener is a better choice.
Con 2/3: Not suitable for well water without pre-filtration
If your home is on a well water system, you’ll need to install a whole-house filter as a pre-treatment if you don’t already have one. Well water obviously varies from region to region and home to home, but it pretty much all has the same basic impurities that could mess with the FutureSoft system.
Impurities such as hydrogen sulfide, oils, copper levels exceeding 1.3 milligrams per liter (mg/L), or high concentrations of iron and manganese can damage the system.
Users relying on well water with these characteristics should carefully consider the additional steps required to make the system compatible. Luckily, the WSSF salt-free softener and whole-house filter combination, which I review below, is capable of handling well water with ease.
Con 3/3: Spotting issue with older plumbing
Homes with older plumbing may experience spotting issues during the first few months of using the SpringWell FS1. This is because the system’s unique TAC technology changes the chemical structure of hard water minerals, which can cause spotting in areas where water evaporates, such as showerheads, faucets, and countertops. However, this issue is temporary and can be resolved by flushing the hot water heater after the first month of use.
The SpringWell FutureSoft FS Series is a great option for salt-free water conditioning thanks to its TAC technology that neutralizes 95% of hard minerals without the use of salt or chemicals.
While it’s crucial to note that the FutureSoft system doesn’t actually soften water, it’s an eco-friendly and low-maintenance alternative to conventional water softeners backed up by a lifetime warranty and six-month money-back guarantee.
If you’re tired of buying salt packets and want to experience the best salt-free water conditioning on the market, the SpringWell FutureSoft system is the ideal choice. Its proven effectiveness, environmental advantages, and hassle-free maintenance make it a valuable investment for any household. For the latest in salt-free water conditioning technology, you need the SpringWell FutureSoft Water Softener Alternative.
Learn more about salt-free conditioning with SpringWell in our in-depth SpringWell FutureSoft review.
3. SpringWell MMV 2-in-1 Filter and Salt Softener Combo System
The SpringWell MMV combines the contaminant removal of the SpringWell CF Series Whole House Water Filter with the softening prowess of the SS Series Salt Based Water Softener to provide a compact but effective 2-in-1 water treatment solution for city water supply.
Here’s are four reasons why the SpringWell MMV would be a great addition to your home:
Pro 1/4: Comprehensive multistage filtration and softening in one
The SpringWell MMV 2-in-1 is a great system because it effectively removes 99% of contaminants and eliminates hard minerals with one device. First it filters, then it softens.
Initially, the water flows through a 5-micron sediment filter that will remove any large particles from dirt, silt, etc. This stage is nice because many city filters don’t offer this, under the assumption that city water doesn’t contain sediment. It can, though, and sediment can clog your system and damage your hot water heater. After sediment pre-filtration, a KDF media removes chlorine and its by-products, as well as lead, mercury, copper, nickel, chromium, and other dissolved metals. Next, the water goes through catalytic carbon media to further remove herbicides, pesticides, PFAS, VOCs and more. The upflow design of the filtration stages enhances contaminant removal by allowing water to flow upwards through the filters, preventing clogging, ensuring even filter use, and extending the lifespan of the system. After this comprehensive filtration, the salt-based water softener removes minerals from the water using the traditional ion exchange technology you’ll find in the SS Series Salt Based Water Softener.
This level of quality filtering and softening in one system is super convenient. These days, homeowners have gadget after gadget, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. With a two-in-one system, you eliminate just one more thing from your plate. If you like the idea of filtration and water softening together, get the SpringWell MMV 2-in-1.
Pro 2/4: Bluetooth control and monitoring
The SpringWell MMV is equipped with a state-of-the-art Bluetooth control head, which allows seamless programming and management of the system’s settings directly from a mobile device via a user-friendly Bluetooth app.
Once connected, users gain real-time insights into the system’s performance, enabling them to track water usage patterns, monitor and adjust regeneration cycles, and receive alerts or notifications promptly. This feature allows you to stay in control, address issues promptly, and enjoy softened and filtered water with greater peace of mind. The control head also includes an automatic shut-off function, which prevents potential flood damage to your home in the event of leaks.
All this means that if you run a busy household, managing your water treatment system won’t get in the way. You’ll have time to run your errands and spend with loved ones without worrying about leaks or emergencies from your SpringWell MWV 2-in-1.
Pro 3/4: Compact design for easy installation and maintenance
The MMV 2-in-1 filter and water softener features a space-saving design that integrates the whole-house filter media with the salt-based water softener system media into one tank, eliminating the need for two separate tall tanks. All you need space for is a media tank and a brine tank, just as you would with the SS Series Salt Based Water Softener.
This means you can enjoy the benefits of a whole-house filter and softener without the hassle of buying and installing a separate system. This innovative design is great for homes with limited installation space, especially in urban areas where space is at a premium. The system comes with a range of accessories to simplify the installation process, including a detailed guide that provides step-by-step instructions, and SpringWell encourages users to contact their customer support team if any issues arise during the installation process. Maintenance is also easy. First, the sediment filter is easy to swap out. You’ll need to replace it about every six to nine months, but replacements aren’t expensive. Even better, the KDF media in the filter can last 10 years, and the softener media can push on for 20 years depending on your water quality and proper maintenance.
These days it’s not just about how well something works. You also need to consider how it fits into your home and your routine. Because the MWV is a two-in-one system, it streamlines how you operate your water treatment device. If you like the idea of a filter and softener in one, the SpringWell MWV is a great option.
Pro 4/4: Robust warranty and money-back guarantee
The MWV 2-in-2 system comes with a lifetime warranty on tanks and valves and a six-month money-back guarantee. Competing systems from other brands may offer one- or six-year warranties, but those will only get you so far. SpringWell’s warranty lasts throughout the long life of your water softener/filter combo.
This warranty offers enduring protection against manufacturing defects or issues related to the core elements of the filtration system. Also, during the first six months, users can thoroughly test the system and return it for a full refund if they’re not satisfied with its performance. However, the warranty does not extend to damage caused by negligence, unintended use, shipping, or improper handling, and if you choose to return it, you’ll have to pay for the return shipping, which is pretty standard.
These two features collectively demonstrate SpringWell’s commitment to ensuring customer satisfaction and the durability of its products. If you like products with lengthy warranties, the SpringWell MMV is your best choice.
While the SpringWell MMV is a compact and reliable water treatment solution, here are two things to look out for before purchasing:
Con 1/2: Not suitable for well water
This MMV system, while effective for municipal water treatment with moderately hard water, may not be the right system for treating well water. It is primarily designed to address common issues found in municipal water supplies, such as chlorine, chloramine, heavy metals, organic contaminants, and mild to moderate levels of hardness.
Well water often presents a unique set of challenges, including elevated levels of metals, like iron and manganese. These metals can accumulate in the system’s filtration media and resin bed. Over time, this buildup may clog the media pores, which can lead to decreased water flow and compromised filtration as the catalytic carbon media’s ability to remove organic contaminants (like chlorine) may weaken. In this situation, you’re better off getting either the SpringWell WSSS or the SpringWell WSSF, which offer better protection against excessive iron and manganese levels in well water.
Con 2/2: Limited softening ability
Another aspect to consider is that this combo system is capped at 48,000 grains. While most SpringWell systems have three models (based on grain capacity), it’s not clear why the MMV only has two models. I imagine it’s because the resin tank needs space for the extra filtration media. This limitation means the system is optimized for households with moderate to low water hardness levels. It’s not the system you want if you have heavily contaminated, very hard water in a giant home. However, the 32k capacity base model is enough for the needs of most urban households with one to two bathrooms. If you’re looking for a water softener that can accommodate large homes with very hard water, you might be better off with a separate system, like the SpringWell SS+ model, which can soften water in homes with seven bathrooms or more.
The SpringWell MMV 2-in-1 filter and salt softener combo system is a comprehensive water treatment solution designed for smaller households seeking to remove contaminants and hard minerals from municipal water supplies.
Combining multistage water filtration with a salt-based water softener, the MMV offers an innovative approach to achieving clean and soft water without the inconvenience of multiple systems. While it comes with a host of benefits, it’s crucial to note that the system is suited to municipal water systems with mild to moderate hard water issues, not well water systems with very hard water.
Despite these considerations, the SpringWell MMV shines with its space-saving design, effective filtration, and user-friendly features. If you value a streamlined look, innovative technology, and a lifetime warranty, the SpringWell MMV 2-in-1 is a solid choice for transforming your household’s water quality.
You can learn everything you need to know about this two-in-one softener and filter by reading our SpringWell MMV review.
4. Softener and Whole-House Filter Combos
The great thing about SpringWell is it knows water treatment needs tend to vary from house to house. To make it easier for homeowners to address myriad softening and filtering demands, SpringWell lets you save money by purchasing whole-house filters and water softeners together.
SpringWell CSS Water Filter and Salt-Based Water Softener Combo
The SpringWell CSS water filter and salt-based water softener combo system combines the SpringWell CF Whole House Water Filter and the SS Series Salt Based Water Softener. It features a five-stage water filtration process that removes sediment, chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, VOCs, “forever chemicals,” such as PFAS and PFOA, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and hard minerals from city water.
The CSS also features a Bluetooth control head that lets you monitor and adjust the system via a mobile app. While it’s designed for straightforward DIY installation, it’s a bulky system that requires more space than a compact system like the MMV above. The pre-filter needs replacement every six to nine months, while the main filter can last for 10 years, or one million gallons. The robust lifetime warranty and six-month money-back guarantee offer users long-term protection and flexibility. And if you need an extra layer of protection, optional upgrades like a UV sterilizer and reverse osmosis are available.
While the CSS is a good choice for households using municipal water, it’s not suitable for well water sources. Well water contains higher levels of manganese, iron, and hydrogen sulfide than the CF1 is equipped to handle. If you’re on well water, you’ll want to go with the WSSS or WSSF. Additionally, the salt-based softener’s regeneration process consumes water and salt, which may impact the environment and present additional costs, however small.
Despite these shortcomings, this combo system is a great option for people seeking a comprehensive water treatment solution for municipal water. One reason to purchase this system instead of the WMV is that you can customize it for larger homes and extremely hard water, whereas the WMV, however convenient, is more suited to smaller homes with mild to moderately hard water. If you need a system that can treat and soften your very hard water and you have the space for it, check out the SpringWell CSS Water Filter and Salt Based Softener System today.
See our reviews of the SpringWell CSS1 Water Filter and Salt Based Water Softener Combo System and the SpringWell CF1 Whole House Water Filter for more in-depth details.
SpringWell CSF Water Filter and Salt-Free FutureSoft System
The SpringWell CSF Water Filter and Salt-Free FutureSoft Combo System combines the CF Whole House Water Filter with the FutureSoft Salt Free Water Softener Alternative. The CSF uses the same four-stage filtration process as the CSS city water filter. The sediment pre-filter, KDF filter, catalytic carbon media, and high-capacity carbon filter work together to remove 99% of contaminants, while the FutureSoft system steps in to neutralize hard water minerals so they don’t adhere to surfaces and plumbing. This avoids the environmental impact associated with the discharge of excess salt into water systems by salt-based water softeners while still protecting your pipes, fixtures, and appliances from scale buildup.
Just like the CSS, the CSF is particularly suited for homes connected to the municipal water system, not well water. Also, this system doesn’t actually remove hard minerals. It just renders them inactive so they can’t cause scale. Still, the SpringWell CSF is a great option for those looking to soften water without using salt. It’s for users who prioritize eco-friendly and low-maintenance water treatment solutions. Plus, the lifetime warranty and six-month guarantee provide assurance that SpringWell stands behind its products.
If you’re looking for a thorough filtration solution for your city water and want to avoid using salt and chemicals to reduce your environmental footprint, the SpringWell CSF Water Filter and Salt-Free Water Softener Combo System is the best choice.
For more information, read our in-depth review of the SpringWell CSF Water Filter and Salt-Free Water Softener Combo System.
SpringWell WSSS Well Water Filter and Salt Based Water Softener Combo
The WSSS Well Water Filter and Salt-Based Water Softener Combo System combines the SpringWell WS Whole House Well Water Filter System with the SS Series Salt Based Water Softener. The WS Series features air injection oxidation (AIO) technology, which effectively removes impurities, including 7 parts per million (ppm) of iron, 8 ppm of sulfur, 1 ppm of manganese, methane, VOCs, and carbon dioxide from well water. This process involves injecting air into the water, which oxidizes these contaminants into solid particles that are then adsorbed and removed by a greensand filter.
The benefit of air injection is that it doesn’t introduce chemicals, such as chlorine, into the water. After passing through the AIO system, the water enters the SS1 Salt Based Water Softener, which completely softens water by removing hard minerals with ion exchange. Well water is also known to harbor other dangerous contaminants, including bacteria, protozoa, viruses, and heavy metals. Therefore, we highly recommend investing in the optional UV purifier and reverse osmosis system for crystal clear drinking water at the tap. You’ll also need to invest in a sediment filter since SpringWell somehow forgot to add it to the mix.
The WSSS is equipped with Bluetooth monitoring and control, comes with a lifetime warranty and six-month money back guarantee, and since it releases only a small amount of air during regeneration, it’s designed for quiet operation. The AIO system doesn’t need any maintenance because it regenerates itself with the surrounding air and the greensand media lasts 5–10 years. However, you do need to fill up the water softener brine tank every couple of months. The SpringWell WSSS is suitable for homeowners who rely on well water and face challenges such as iron, sulfur, and manganese, as well as high levels of water hardness.
If you need a system that handles all these contaminants from well water without breaking a sweat, invest in the SpringWell WSSS Well Water Filter and Salt-Based Water Softener Combo System today.
Read my review of the SpringWell WSSS combo system for more information.
SpringWell WSSF Well Water Filter and Salt-Free Water Softener Alternative Combo
The SpringWell WSSF Well Water Filter and Salt-Free Water Softener Combo System combines the SpringWell WS Series Well Water Filter and the FutureSoft salt-free conditioner. The WS Series’ AIO technology removes iron, hydrogen sulfide, manganese, excess carbon dioxide, methane, and VOCs, improving the water’s taste and odor using air oxidation and greensand. The FutureSoft conditioner neutralizes hard minerals in water without the need for salt, preventing the buildup of scale without adding sodium to the water. It also has no regeneration or backwash, which means it doesn’t waste any water. This is particularly beneficial for users looking to avoid the environmental and financial drawbacks associated with salt-based softeners.
Unlike the WSSS, which doesn’t have any pre-filtration options, the WSSF comes with a 100-micron spin-down filter that removes dirt and debris from the water to protect the water conditioner from large particles. While it’s a welcome addition, a 5-micron sediment filter would’ve made more sense because it removes even smaller particles. The WSSF includes SpringWell’s high-tech Bluetooth control head that allows you to monitor and adjust your whole-house filter’s settings via your smartphone. You can even monitor your water usage, start a greensand backwash cycle, and more.
While it’s smaller than the WSSS because it has no brine tank, this system still needs adequate space for installation. Maintenance is virtually nonexistent. The FutureSoft system doesn’t need frequent backwashing or regeneration and the system itself can last for 20 years before the TAC media needs replacing. SpringWell backs the WSSF with its lifetime warranty and six-month money-back guarantee. Keep in mind that the SpringWell WSSF doesn’t remove hard water minerals, only crystallizes them, so it’s best for mildly hard water. If you want to completely eliminate water hardness, the SpringWell WSSS will give you what you need.
If you’re in the market for an eco-friendly and low-maintenance approach to well water treatment, the SpringWell WSSF Well Water Filter and Salt-Free Water Softener Combo System is a great choice for people with mildly hard well water.
Read our full SpringWell WSSF review.
The Bottom Line: SpringWell Water Softener Review
SpringWell produces dependable and effective systems for a wide range of water-softening needs. Whether you’re talking mildly hard city water or very hard well water, large home or small home, salt or no salt, SpringWell has a system that you can customize to precisely meet your needs.
With unparalleled efficiency in eliminating hard minerals and preventing scale buildup, the SpringWell SS Series Salt Based Water Softener stands out for its performance and durable design. It’s the go-to solution for those seeking optimal water softening results. For those inclined to a salt-free alternative, the FutureSoft Salt Free Water Softener Alternative offers chemical-free water conditioning, ensuring a gentler approach without sacrificing effectiveness. The MMV 2-in-1 Filter + Salt Softener Combo System offers a compact 2-in-1 solution for smaller families with mild to moderately hard water.
But if you need a bigger combo system, SpringWell can accommodate you. The CSF and CSS combo systems excel at filtering and softening or conditioning municipal water supplies, providing comprehensive water treatment for urban settings. For well water users, the WSSS and WSSF combo systems specifically address the unique challenges of well water, offering an ideal solution for households relying on private wells.
Have thoughts or questions about these water softeners? Please share your comments or reach out with any inquiries. Your water quality journey begins with the right information — let us guide you towards the best choice for your home!
Research Methodology: How We Test and Review Products
To accurately review the SpringWell water softener options, I followed Drinking Water’s tried-and-true seven-point research methodology. For a more in-depth explanation of our review process, see our post on how we review water filters. Meanwhile, here’s a brief summary:
Our review process begins by understanding the unique strengths of each water filtration or softening system. Given the diverse range of treatment systems on the market, we aim to identify their specific strengths and intended purposes. This means discerning which systems are most suitable for treating city water versus well water, which helps us tailor our recommendations to the distinct needs of users in these different scenarios.
Check out how we conduct user analysis.
The next step involves a thorough examination of the technologies integrated into each product. Despite the use of similar technologies across different systems, manufacturers often employ marketing buzzwords to accentuate their products’ superiority. Our role is to cut through this marketing jargon, scrutinize the technologies, and verify whether they genuinely deliver on their promised performance.
Read more about how we do tech checks.
Water test data
Most water treatment systems typically undergo third-party testing by organizations such as the Water Quality Association (WQA) or the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). In cases where external data is unavailable, we conduct our own tests to quantify the actual performance of the system and validate or challenge the manufacturer’s claims.
Here’s how we check water test data.
The complexity of installing whole-house systems is a crucial aspect we assess. Recognizing that intricate installations can be daunting, especially for users lacking DIY expertise, we prioritize systems that are user friendly. If any challenges arise during testing, we make sure to recommend professional assistance to guarantee a hassle-free installation experience for users.
Find out how we run installation tests.
Considering the long-term financial implications for homeowners, our cost-of-ownership analysis aims to strike a balance between up-front and long-term costs. We evaluate such factors as financing options, installation costs, filter/media lifespan, replacements, water usage, waste, and electricity consumption. This comprehensive analysis helps us determine the most cost-effective options for our readers.
Acknowledging the importance of a reliable warranty in building customer trust, we scrutinize the terms and conditions of warranty policies. We want to recommend systems with robust warranties, ensuring that our readers are well informed about warranty coverage and can make confident and informed choices.
Read more about how we perform warranty checks.
Customer service test
We recognize the pivotal role of customer service in any business. To that end, we conduct thorough tests to assess the efficiency of customer service departments. This evaluation ensures that the relationship between customers and manufacturers endures for the lifespan of these durable water treatment systems.
Read more about how we perform customer service tests.
Before You Buy a Water Softener: A Few Important Steps
Before purchasing a water softener, you need to carefully consider several factors and take several steps to ensure you choose the right system for your specific needs. Here are a few things you need to do before you decide on a water softener:
Test your water.
Testing your water supply before buying a water softener or any other water treatment system is crucial because it provides valuable insights into the specific composition and quality of the water. In other words, a water quality test tells you what you need to treat your water for.
It’s also important that you get your water tested by an accredited laboratory so you can get the most accurate and detailed results possible.
Each water source is unique, and factors such as mineral content, hardness, contaminants, and pH levels can vary significantly. Conducting a comprehensive water test allows you to identify the specific issues you need to address. For instance, testing can reveal the hardness of water, helping users determine whether a water softener is necessary to prevent scale buildup and improve the overall quality of water for daily use. Testing can save you money on unnecessary water treatments as well as preventing home damage or health issues from improperly treated water.
Understanding the specific characteristics of your water supply empowers you to make informed decisions, to choose water treatment systems effective, efficient, and reliable. Take your water treatment into your own hands and get your water tested today.
Consider the effects of hard water.
Hard water can have various undesirable effects in a household due to its high mineral content, primarily calcium and magnesium. Here’s a detailed list of the effects of hard water:
- Scale buildup: Hard water leads to the accumulation of scale, or mineral deposit, on plumbing fixtures, faucets, and appliances. This can reduce water flow, damage pipes, and decrease the efficiency of water heaters.
- Appliance damage: Appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters can suffer from reduced efficiency and a shortened lifespan due to scale buildup. The heating elements in these appliances may become less effective, leading to higher energy consumption and costs.
- Reduced cleaning efficiency: Hard water makes cleaning tasks less effective. The minerals in hard water interfere with the lathering of soap, making it harder to remove dirt and stains. This affects laundry, dishwashing, and personal hygiene.
- Soap scum formation: Hard water reacts with soap to create soap scum, a sticky, insoluble residue. Soap scum can accumulate on bathroom surfaces, shower doors, and bathtubs, making cleaning more challenging.
- Dry skin and hair: Washing with hard water can leave a soapy residue on the skin and hair, leading to dryness and irritation. Shampoos and soaps are also less effective in hard water, requiring more product for better results.
- Stiff and dingy laundry: Hard water can make laundry appear dull and feel stiff. The minerals in hard water react with detergents, reducing their effectiveness and leaving behind residues on clothes.
- Stained fixtures and dishes: Hard water can cause water stains on dishes, glassware, and plumbing fixtures. These stains are often caused by mineral deposits and can be challenging to remove.
- Clogged showerheads: Mineral deposits from hard water can clog showerheads, reducing water flow and leading to uneven water distribution during showers.
- Increased energy costs: The buildup of scale in water heaters and pipes reduces their efficiency, leading to higher energy consumption. Water heaters, in particular, may require more energy to heat water effectively.
- Pipe damage: Over time, hard water scale can accumulate in pipes, causing blockages and reducing water flow. This can lead to plumbing issues, including clogs and pipe damage.
- Glassware etching: Hard water can cause etching on glassware, making it appear cloudy or scratched. This effect is especially noticeable on glassware that goes through a dishwasher.
Understanding these effects highlights the importance of addressing hard water issues through water softening solutions to ensure improved water quality and the longevity of household appliances.
Know the difference between a salt-based softener and a salt-free water softener.
Salt-based and salt-free water softeners are distinct systems designed to address the issue of hard water, but they employ different mechanisms for achieving softness, and they solve the problem to different degrees. A salt-based water softener, often referred to as an ion exchange softener, operates by removing hard calcium and magnesium minerals with resin beads that attract and exchange sodium ions for calcium and magnesium ions. This removal creates soft water and eliminates the problems outlined above. However, regular regeneration with salt is required to recharge the resin beads, and this process results in the discharge of brine as wastewater. As a result of these environmental implications, salt-based water softeners are banned by some state and local governments. However, ion exchange remains the most effective method for softening hard water.
Salt-free water softeners, also known as water conditioners, use alternative technologies, such as template-assisted crystallization (TAC) or electromagnetic waves, to change the structure of minerals without removing them from the water. These systems do not eliminate the minerals but transform them into crystals that do not adhere to surfaces, preventing scale formation. Salt-free softeners are considered maintenance friendly because they don’t require regular salt additions or produce brine discharge. While salt-free conditioners can effectively prevent scale, they don’t deliver the same degree of water softness as salt-based systems and are not suitable for extremely hard water. The choice between salt-based and salt-free water softeners depends on individual preferences, water hardness levels, and environmental considerations.
Dive Deeper: In-Depth Water Filter Guides
For more help deciding which water filter is right for your specific needs, check out the guides below:
- 11 Best Whole-House Water Filters
- 6 Best Under-Sink Water Filters
- The 6 Best Fluoride Water Filters
- Best Whole-House Well Water Filter
- The 7 Best UV Water Purifiers
- 7 Best Whole-House Water Filter and Softener Combos
- Berkey vs Reverse Osmosis: Which Is Best for You?
- The 8 Best Big Blue Filters for Well Water
- The 7 Best Reverse Osmosis Systems for Well Water
- Waterboss Water Softener Reviews
- NuvoH2O Water Softener Reviews
- Kinetico Water Softener Reviews
- Whirlpool Water Softener Review
- SoftPro Water Softener Review
- Clack Water Softener Review
- Pentair Fleck 5600SXT Review
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most reliable water softener?
What makes a water softener reliable, besides its ability to soften water, includes its durability, low maintenance, updated technology, and warranty. Determining the most reliable water softener can also depend on water hardness, specific needs, and individual preferences, but the most effective method of eliminating hard water is ion exchange. SpringWell offers several reliable models of salt-based, ion exchange water softeners. Its systems incorporate advanced technologies for efficient water softening, and SpringWell offers one of the best warranties in the business. You’ll be able to rely on a SpringWell water softener.
What brand of water softener is best?
The best brand of water softener depends on its ability to produce high-quality products that do what they claim to do, as well as offering excellent customer service, fair prices, and dependable warranties. While there are many water treatment brands that produce effective water softeners, they don’t all come with good warranties. SpringWell is a well-regarded brand known for producing high-quality water softeners, but it also backs these systems up with an industry-leading warranty, which bumps them up to the top in my book.
Where are SpringWell water filtration systems made?
SpringWell water filtration systems are proudly manufactured in the United States. The brand emphasizes American craftsmanship, ensuring that its products meet stringent quality standards. Knowing the origin of the systems provides users with confidence in the manufacturing processes and the quality of materials used in SpringWell water filtration systems.
Are salt-free water softeners any good?
Yes. Salt-free water softeners are a suitable option for individuals looking to avoid the ongoing expense of purchasing salt or the environmental implications of ion exchange. While they don’t technically “soften” water, salt-free systems, such as SpringWell’s FutureSoft Water Softener Alternative, use alternative technologies like template assisted crystallization (TAC) to prevent scale buildup. The effectiveness of salt-free systems may vary depending on water conditions, but they are considered good alternatives for those seeking low-maintenance options.