Water Softeners

10 Best Water Softener Resin [2022] | Top Picks Reviewed

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Best Water Softener Resin Review: Almost every household in the United States has a water softener at their home. Hard water is a problem common to everyone.

To soften the hardness, water softeners replace calcium and magnesium with salt and sodium that helps in making more soap lather and increase the life expectancy of your appliances.

While water softeners work very efficiently in treating hard water, you will need the right resin to keep its performance high.

The amount of resin in a water softener tank defines the grain size of the unit. That Means! The higher the grain size, the better will be the performance.

There are a lot of resin provider companies out there that make finding the best water softeners resin a bit complex. To help ease your difficulty, we have done all the research for you.

We bring you the best water softener resin review having the finest quality resin available in the market. 

Before moving on to the detailed review, let us have a look at the quick comparison table:

Quick Comparison – Best Water Softener Resin

10 Best Water Softener Resin in our View | A Review

This detailed review carries authentic and factual information based on extensive research and thorough testing procedures.

We have selected 10 best water softener resins and divided every product into major specs, pros, cons, and features.

A comprehensive buying guide at the end of this article will help you better understand how to choose the right resin for your water softener.

1. Resintech MBD-30 Nuclear Grade Mixed Bed DI Resin

Resintech MBD-30 Nuclear Grade Mixed Bed DI Resin - Key Features
200 Reviews
Resintech MBD-30 Nuclear Grade Mixed Bed DI Resin - Key Features
  • 5 lb bag of nuclear grade DI resin
  • Country of Origin: United States


5lb size | nuclear grade DI | 8% crosslink | standard ion exchange resin | gel-type polymer | hydrogen/ hydroxide ionic form | up to 62% water retention 
  • Easy to usenAvailable in green and blue colorsnBest for residential usenAffordablenHigh-capacity performancenReliable choicenSpherical shape beads
  • Not designed for commercial use

Resintech MBD-30 is one of the top resin products currently available in the market. This high-tech resin is a mixture of hydrogen and hydroxide that helps it change its colors from deep blue to amber blue when the resin’s capacity is exhausted.

So, if you are looking for a resin that can last long without wasting any more of your salt usage, this one is the right choice. The price of the resin is also very affordable for the size in which it comes in.

Your pockets will not be burdened with its cost and it will provide great value for the money. The crosslink size for the resin is 8% that is less than other resin types having a 10% cross-link.

However, with the water retention capacity of 52 to 62% this crosslink size works perfectly to soften the hardness level of your water. 

2. AFWFilters SOFRES1 Water Resin 1 cu. ft. Bag Replacement Softener

AFWFilters SOFRES1 Water Resin Replacement Softener - Key Features
361 Reviews
AFWFilters SOFRES1 Water Resin Replacement Softener - Key Features
  • High capacity resin, brand varies
  • 1 cu. ft. bag


8% cross-linked | 1 cubic. Ft resin | 12 to 15 years life | USDA, NSF, FDA approved | polymer structure | screen size: US 16-50 mesh | pH range: 0-14
  • Easy to usenEasy to replace nLong-lastingnCertified and approvednSatisfaction guaranteenPerfect for large familiesnHigh-capacitynAlso removes sediments
  • ExpensivenConcerns for plastic taste in water

If you are looking for an efficient and smart resin for your water softener, AFWFilters SOFRES1 Water Resin 1 cu. ft. Bag Replacement Softener will give you the bang for your bucks.

This resin is quite pricey than others, but its long life and multi-functional technology make it worth every penny.

The 1 cubic resin bag can be shipped to you in a single bag or different smaller bags so that you can carry them easily. This resin can last easily for 12 to 15 years with easy replacement. 

The best thing about the SOFRES1 is that it is approved by the USDA, NSF, and FDA. Along with that, the resin works in compliance with the U. S. Food and Drugs Code of the Federal Regulations section 21 paragraph 173. 25.

It is ideal for large families because of their longevity. You can also use this resin in iron filter tanks because it also removes sediments like dust, rust, silt, and excessive minerals like magnesium and iron. 

3. Purolite C100E Resin C-100E Cationic Replacement for Water Softener

Purolite C100E Resin C-100E Cationic Replacement for Water Softener - Key Features
915 Reviews
Purolite C100E Resin C-100E Cationic Replacement for Water Softener - Key Features
  • Advantages - Efficient regeneration - Good kinetic performance - Low extractables


Exceeds EEC requirements | Premium grade beads | Gel polystyrene crosslinked with DVB | Particle Size Range….300 – 1200µm | Capacity, Na+ Form (min.)…1.9 eq/l (41.5 Kgr/ft3) | polymer structure | high cat-ion mechanism 
  • Works with all water softenersnValue of money nCan be used both in residential and commercial unitsnApproved and certifiednChemically and physically stablenLong-lastingnAffordable nEasy to use and replace
  • Expensive nThe packaging is difficult to open

With an 80% customer satisfaction rate, Purolite C100E Resin C-100E Cationic Replacement for Water Softener stands tall on number three in the list of best water softener resin.

The resin is compatible to work with almost all the water softeners. This premium-grade resin is second to none in its quality when it comes to removing iron from the water while softening it.

It is designed to last long, make more lather, and retain the life of your appliances.

The resin meets and exceeds the requirements of EEC and performs under the U.S. Food & Drug Administration Code of Federal Regulations section 21, paragraph 173.25; for use in the treatment of foods for human consumption.

Nothing can be more satisfying than knowing that the resin you are using is physically and chemically stable. 

4. 1.5 Cubic Feet of Water Softening Ion Exchange Resin Cation

1.5 Cubic Feet of Water Softening Ion Exchange Resin Cation - Key Features
58 Reviews
1.5 Cubic Feet of Water Softening Ion Exchange Resin Cation - Key Features
  • 1.5 Cubic Feet of Resin Cation Premium Grade Softening Resin Strong Acid Cation Exchange...
  • The cation resin is a high purity, premium cation resin designed for the treatment of...


Gel polystyrene sulfonate cation exchange resin | Removes hardness ions, e.g. calcium and magnesium, replacing them with sodium ions | thermotolerant | 105 cross-linked | 20 years life expectancy
  • Comes with a funnelnEasy usage and replacementnValue of money nLong-lastingnFor residential and commercial usenLab-tested quality nDurable packaging nHigh-purity and capacity
  • Very expensive

When you want the best, you need to get ready for spending more. In our list of best water softener resin, the 1.5 Cubic Feet of Water Softening Ion Exchange Resin Cation by LiquaGen Water Technology is the best choice.

The size of the resin is 1.5 cubic feet that come packed in two bags with a free pouring funnel. With the help of the funnel, you won’t need additional assistance from the resin replacement. 

The working mechanism of the resin is a strong acid cation exchange technique that is ideal for the removal of iron, magnesium, and other water hardening components.

The 10% cross-linked resin provides more stability in the physical and chemical properties. This resin is undoubtedly very pricey, but with its long life expectancy of 20 years and exceptional performance, people cannot resist investing in this one. 

5. Water Softening Resin Softener Media 100% Ion Exchange Replacement

Water Softening Resin Softener Media 100% Ion Exchange Replacement - Key Features
223 Reviews
Water Softening Resin Softener Media 100% Ion Exchange Replacement - Key Features
  • Works for any residential 32,000 Grain Water Softener
  • In stock and ready to ship


Uniform particle with good hydraulics characteristic | NSF, FDA certified | pH range for 0-14 | screen size: 15-60 mesh | Particle Size Range: +1.2 mm, -0.3 mm | 100% ion-exchange technology | 8% cross-linked
  • Perfect for 9u0022 X 48u0022 sized tanksnHigh-quality performance nExcellent stabilitynValue of moneynReasonable price nLong-lasting nThermally stablenCertified and approvednPerfect for all standard grain using softeners
  • Only designed for residential use

Aquatrol has never failed to make it to every list of the bests when it comes to the Water Softening Resin Softener Media 100% Ion Exchange Replacement.

With the introduction, if this resin, you will forget all your worries about the hardness and harshness of the water. The resin uses a 100% ion-exchange technique with an 8% cross-linked design that means, you can use the water for all your needs.

The resin features great physical and chemical stability along with being thermo-tolerant 

Not only this, but the resin is also approved and certified by NSF, FDA, and performs in compliance with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) CFR 21, Title 173.25.

The best part is that it is very easy to install and replace. The durable packaging of the resin comes with a user manual guide as well. Through these instructions, you can easily make the resin bed without any hassle. 

6. CATION-50-BOX HI-Capacity Water Softening Resin

CATION-50-BOX HI-Capacity Water Softening Resin - Key Features
11 Reviews
CATION-50-BOX HI-Capacity Water Softening Resin - Key Features
  • Standard Mesh Cation Exchange Resin provides for economical softening capabilities of both...


The capacity of up to 33,000 grains per ft3 | 15 lbs | 40-70 mesh screen size | 45 to 50% moisture retention | pH range stability 0-14 | Polymer Structure Polystyrene 8% cross-linked | Conventional gel polystyrene | strong acid cation exchange resin | 90% bead count with sulfonate ionic form | ½ cubic feet
  • AffordablenValue of moneynLong-lasting nHigh-grade performance nIdeal for residential and commercial usenGreat physical and chemical stabilitynStandard mesh sizenCompatible with standard softenersn10 years life expectancy
  • Funnel and tank are not included

The amazing CATION-50-BOX HI-Capacity Water Softening Resin is just what you need to invest in when you want a long-lasting resin for your softener.

This one is surely going to satisfy you in every way with its high-efficiency in softening water, removing the additional minerals, and balancing the pH range accurately. 

The ½ cubic feet resin can easily work with a water softener with as much as 33,000 grains. The mesh size is great for a typical 8% cross-linked that is further enhanced by the polymer structure and strong ion-exchange technique.

These resin beads can last as long as 10 years because of their high-potential conventional polystyrene gel technology.

7. Tier1 IER-100 Ion Exchange Water Softener Resin

No products found.


0.88 cubic feet | high-capacity gel polystyrene | acid cation exchange | reduces limescale buildup | ion exchange technology | 10% crosslink 
  • Great value of moneynHigh-quality resin nEasy cleaningnEasy to use and replacenSuitable for both residential and commercial usen100% no worry guaranteenExtends the lifespan of your appliances nInspected and tested
  • Pressure decreases after some years

Tier1 IER-100 Ion Exchange Water Softener Resin comes in a 0.88 cubic feet package, carrying high-quality resin beads that will make your water soft and fresh as if coming right from a spring.

This resin uses ion-exchange technology with a 10% crosslink to reduce limescale buildup and eliminate all the water hardening components from the water.

You can use softened water for drinking, cooking, brewing coffee, bathing, and washing clothes. 

The quality, quantity, and long life of this resin make it an ideal choice to be used in both residential and commercial spaces.

Hard water not only affects your health but also decreases the life of your appliances. With these resin beads, your water softener will perform even better and your appliances will work even longer. 

8. One (1) Cubic Foot, 50 lbs, single bag, Water Softener Ion-exchange Resin 


Virgin resin regenerated into sodium | removes hardness, soluble calcium, and iron | 8% crosslink cation |1.0 cubic feet size | ion exchange resin | meets NSF/ANSI standard 61
  • Impressive longevitynEasy to replacenEasy to installnCan last for up to 10 yearsnEffective resultsnTastier waternAffordablenValue of moneynReady to use
  • Storage issue

The next one in our list is the One (1) Cubic Foot, 50 lbs, single bag, Water Softener Ion-exchange Resin by Hydrotec. There is a lot to explain about this product no matter how simple it is to use and replace it.

With great longevity of 10 years, you can use the resin beads as soon as you open the package. Once open, you might face some trouble storing it.

However, with the right storage backup arranged, you can get the most of its amazing benefits. These 8% cross-linked cation virgin resin beads are regenerated into sodium so that calcium and iron are also removed along with the lowering of hardness level.

These resin beads use food-grade ion-exchange technique and are certified by NSF/ANSI standard 61 for water treatment. 

9. Fine Mesh High-Capacity Water Softener Resin


0.5 cubic feet | 8% crosslink | mesh structure resin | 45 to 50% moisture retention | polystyrene sulfonate ionic form | pH range: 0-14
  • Effective resultsnLong resin lifenEase of usenEasy to replacenNo mess, ready to use resinsnPure drinking and cooking waternBetter skin and hairnAffordable nFixes low water pressure of the softener
  • Not for commercial use

When the water pressure of your softener is becoming low and you are feeling that it is not working as effectively as it should, it’s time to replace the resin.

Fine Mesh High-Capacity water softener resin should be your ultimate choice when you are searching for a powerful and high-capacity resin package for your water softener.

These 0.5 cubic feet resins are 85 cross-linked and are easy on the budget.  The mesh structure of the resins makes it easier for them to remove all the unwanted minerals and harmful contaminants from the water alongside softening it.

For reducing the extreme levels of hardness in your water, this resin package will suit you best and that too at a reasonable price. 

10. AFWFilters Birm 1 cu. ft, black

AFWFilters Birm 1 cu. ft, black - Key Features
28 Reviews
AFWFilters Birm 1 cu. ft, black - Key Features
  • 1 cu. ft. birm filter media used in iron filter tanks
  • Removes iron, manganese, general filtering of dirt, rust, sediment


Removes extra minerals such as magnesium and iron | removes contaminants and sediments such as dirt, mud, dust, rust, and silt | 1 cubic feet | 3.5 GPM flow rate | granular freeboard | backwash rate: 10-12 GPM | Removes iron up to 8ppm | removes manganese up to 6ppm | treats ferrous and ferric 
  • High-quality resinnBest for residential usenValue of moneynEfficient performancenBudget-friendlynLong-lastingnPurified and better-tasting waternReduces red and orange color of water
  • Doesn’t come with a funnel

Our final pick for today is AFWFilters Brim 1 cu. Ft water softener resin. These tiny resin beads are ideal for maintaining uninterrupted water flow and pressure for your water softener.

What we like the most about this resin package is that it has different flow rates for both softening and backwashing the softener.

With a granular freeboard, the resin is able to treat all types of iron including ferric and ferrous, and reduces the changed color of the water. Now, you will get only purified and softened water free from bad color, odor, and taste.

You might need to buy an extra funnel with this one, otherwise, this works perfectly for a small family

Buyer’s Guide for Water Softener Resin

Research Thoroughly

The most important thing to start off the journey to find the best water softener resin is to up your research game.

You can choose one of the two recommended ways. However, it is preferable to try out both for refined research.


Try to look out for the right thing by yourself because no one can understand your needs better than yourself.

Pro Tip! Surf the internet and search for the top-selling brands and products that fit your requirements.

You can also visit the market to have a close look at how these resin beads look. Compare both online and market rates to make a decision.


If you are always busy, you won’t want to get stuck in the research for the best quality resin.

However, you will still want the best. In such cases, you can ask your trusted acquaintances, friends, and relatives to help you out.

Ask them about their experience with the water softener resin they are using. It is always a good idea to buy the product people are already using and have good remarks about it.


You need to be very careful and aware of the fluctuating prices of water softener resin.

Resin beads come at different prices depending on their longevity, size and cross-linking percentage.

The more cross-linked the resin is, the higher the price gets. However, that is not the only way to determine the cost.

If you are looking for a resin package within your budget, then there are premium-quality resins available in the market within $100.

If you have the budget to spend more, you can always go for the advanced ones.


Cross-linking is the process of ion exchanging that helps in softening the hard water.

Buying Tip! You should never miss the cross-linking percentage while buying a nice and reliable resin bag.

The high cross-linked resin of 10% can easily last up to 20 to 25 years while 8% cross-linked resin will last to 10 to 15 years. 

Ease Of Use 

Filling up the tank with resin is the most troublesome task of all, which is why you should always consider the ease of the resin installation.

The best ones come handy with a filling funnel that makes it easier for you to pour the resin into the tank. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • How much does resin last?

The best quality resin beads can easily last for 20 to 25 years. However, household resin bought in a budget can easily last for 10 to 15 years. 

  • How relevant is the crosslink?

The higher the crosslink is in a resin, the more it is able to remove contaminants and soften water. 10% is the highest crosslink scale that removes almost all the impurities from the water. 

  • Do the beads go bad?

Technically, yes! The beads are made of plastic and if no regular cleaning of the tank is provided, the beads will make your water taste like plastic. 

  • How to clean y resin tank?

You can simply unplug the water softener; unscrew the valve and use bleach and water to clean it. 


Every water softener resin that we have discussed above is best in its own way. One is best for the price, while the other is best for its capacity.

You just need to concentrate on what you are looking for in a resin bag and set your eyes on the one best suited to your needs.

You will definitely find the best water softener resin for you!

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Last update on 2024-06-19 at 00:35 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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