Water Softeners

10 Best Compact Water Softeners in 2021 Reviewed [Don’t Overspend]

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Are you struggling with hard water problems, but can’t install a water softener just because you don’t have enough room for it?

Don’t worry, we can help you find the best compact water softener which you can install even in the tightest places.

Quick Comparison Table – Editors Choice for the Best Compact Water Softeners

People living in small apartments and RVs have to face major difficulty due to hard water because they can’t install a regular water softener in such congested places. 

Why can’t we install regular softener in small places? A regular water softener requires an area of 4 by 1.5 feet and a height of 6 feet, plus some additional space is required for the tank and salt storage. As most small houses don’t have enough extra space for these things, so it becomes impossible to install a softener in such places.

But thanks to the advancement, water treatment companies have managed to find a solution for these problems and have introduced compact water softeners so that the people living in small houses don’t have to face hard water issues anymore.

However, as the demand for compact water softeners is rising, so is the competition. The market has overflowed with varieties of compact water softener and many brands have stepped in. Due to this, choosing the right compact softener has become complicated for people.

That’s why, to help you choose the right option, we have searched and analyzed the most popular brands of compact water softener and picked up the top 10 products that are taking the market by storm. So let’s begin with their review.

But before going any further, let’s have a quick look at these products first. 

10 Best Compact Water Softeners in Our View | Reviewed

As you have had already taken a look at the products that we have included in our list, now it’s time to read their detailed review

1. On The Go OTG3NTP3M Portable

- Key Features
  • Removes Dirt, Paint, Rust, And Scale
  • Package length: 7.0"

Specifications

Grain capacity: 8000 grain | Generation time: 20-30 minutes | Dimensions: 7 x 19.5 x 7.3 inches | 360-degree Swivel | prevent rust stains and avoid scale build-up | Hardness Test Strip included | item weight: 18 lbs. | Back flush adapter | Flow rate: 4 GPM
Pros
  • Highly compact and easy to store
  • Efficiently removes hardness along with dirt, paint, and rust
  • Improves rough and dry skin
  • Has a high flow rate with a low-pressure drop
  • Includes hardness strip
  • Also suitable for RV and Marines
Cons
  • Some parts are made of plastic
  • The packaging is not good

The best part of this water softener is that you can install it even in the smallest apartments. Not only that, but this softener is also suitable for any model of RV and Marine. 

When it comes to the additional features, this softener carries a large mouth opening so that the addition of salt becomes easy and totally mess-free.

Along with this, to provide you with an easy inlet hose connection it also features an inlet shut-off control valve of high flow rate with a 360-degree swivel. Due to this shut-off high flow valve, the quality of water is slightly more improved as it gives a slow rinse to the water. 

This doesn’t end here, this product uses only 2 boxes of common table salt to regenerate within 15 minutes and you can enjoy the softened and conditioned water for up to 20 days. 

The softener is meant to reduce all the hardness by eliminating highly charged ions of calcium, magnesium, lead, radium, and other heavy metals with premium positively charged resin. You can even buy the best water softener resin from here if you need one.

It helps prevent those embarrassing spots on dishes, rust stains, scale build-up, and eventually expands the lifespan of plumbing fixtures and faucets. The system also includes a hardness measuring kit so that you can know the hardness level of your water.

This is for sure one of the best water softeners you can rely on as it is easy to use, easy to store, and above all, provides you with softened and improved quality of water.

2. Fleck 5600SXT 48,000 Grain

- Key Features
752 Reviews
- Key Features
  • Fleck 5600sxt Digital on-demand Metered Water Softener with paddle wheel meter...
  • Black Structural 10x54" PG 2.5T (CH30579-03010203-30), 14"x34" black square brine tank...

Specifications

Grain capacity: 48,000 grains | Flow rate: 12 GPM – 28 GPM | 1.5 cubic high capacity 8% cross-linked resin | Digital Control valve | Brine Tank included | Water Consumption: 103 gallons | NSF certified |Product Compactness: 27 x 17 x 62 inches | Voltages used: 120 volts | 48 hours of internal power backup
Pros
  • Metered based regeneration process
  • User-friendly interface
  • Eliminates calcium, magnesium, and other heavy metals
  • Safety float prevents overfilling
  • Easy and quick installation
  • Compact and patent design
Cons
  • Some fittings have to be bought separately

Installing this unit can give you that luxurious soap lather that you were longing for. It prevents your plumbing from scale build-up, rust, and corrosion, as it efficiently removes calcium, magnesium, and other heavy metals with its 48,000 grains or 1.5 cubic feet 8% cross-linked high capacity resin. 

The softener has the capacity to treat from moderate to very hard water. So now, you won’t have to face those ugly stains on your dishes, shower head, and faucets. The feature which separates this softener from all the others is a “digital on-demand meter” and an “SXT controller”.

The digital metered regeneration measures the water that we are using and thus only generates the water that we need and not even a drop more than that, and in this way it  helps you save water wastage.

The SXT controller of fleck is built on “tried and true” 5600 valves. In addition to this, SXT also features a backlit LCD display and a touchpad controller which makes it easy for the user to operate and control the regeneration process manually. 

The system also includes a standard square brine tank that is featured with a safety float to prevent overflowing and overfilling of water in the tank. The kit comes with a Fleck bypass valve, 1″male threaded yoke connection, and a paddlewheel meter. 

Its installation is really easy, it doesn’t require any professional plumbing, all you need to have is basic plumbing knowledge and you can install it yourself within 1 to 2 hours.  The manufacturers offer a 5-year warranty on valves and a 10-year warranty on the tank.   

3. Whirlpool WHES30E 30,000 Grain

- Key Features
604 Reviews
- Key Features
  • Whirlpool WHES30E is ideal for households of 1-4+ people and removes up to 8ppm of clear...
  • NSF certified to reduce hard water symptoms such as embarrassing stains, build-up on your...

Specifications

Flow Rate: 7.6 GPM | Grain Capacity: 30,000 grain | Tested to remove 8 ppm of iron | Hardness Removal: 95 grains per gallon | Water Pressure: 125 psi | Water capacity: 320 gallons of water per day | NSF Approved | Automatic Regeneration | Item Compactness: 19 x 18 x 43.5 inches
Pros
  • Compact and portable
  • Automatically calculates the water usage
  • Removes embarrassing stains from shower, faucet, and dishes
  • High gallon capacity
  • Eliminates highly charged ions along with 8 ppm of ferrous
Cons
  • A few people have complaint about split tanks
  • Broken display found in few cases

When you are looking for a budget-friendly option for your small house, this water softener is beyond compare. It offers much more than the standard softeners at a comparatively affordable price. 

The best thing about this water softener is that it automatically calculates the amount of salt and water that is being used in regeneration and consumes only what is needed, thus resulting in salt and water saving.

It uses 30,000 grains to treat the water for up to 40 days and eliminates 8 ppm of clear water ferrous which can’t be seen with the naked eye. It efficiently removes lead, radium, mercury, magnesium, calcium, other heavy metals, and negative ions with its premium prefilled resin.

It can effectively work on the municipal water as well as “well water”. You don’t have to worry about its installation as it is super easy and you can do it yourself,  No need to call for a plumber.

The system includes an installation kit, a ready to connect 1-inch male pipe thread, a standard brine tank, and a bypass valve. It comes with a 10-year limited warranty on tanks and a 3-year warranty on electronics. 

4. GE Appliances 30,400 Grain, GXSF30V

- Key Features
  • Electronic controls - Easy to use up-front electronic controls with status light indicator
  • Grain capacity - 30,400

Specifications

Grain Capacity: 30,400 grains| Removes 7 ppm of Irons | Water Consumption: less than 20% | Hardness Removal: 95 grains per gallon | electricity consumption: 60Hz | item weight: 80 pounds | Compactness: 22.44 x 14.44 x 43.25 inches | Days to empty indicator
Pros
  • Space-saving design
  • High grain capacity
  • Lightweight and portable
  • No wastage of water
  • Efficiently removes radium, calcium magnesium, and other highly charged ions
Cons
  • Causes brine discharge
  • Limited warranty

Now when it comes to GE water softener, let me tell you it doesn’t have lots of unique features to offer like the other water softeners do, except it is super compact and can be installed even in the RV’s.

But the reason people are loving it and it has been included in the list of top 10 products is its ability to remove 95 % of the heavy metals and ions including calcium and magnesium with the premium charged resin at such an affordable price.

You can’t expect a cheap water softener to show that much efficiency. The system uses 200 lbs. of common table salt per 40 days which means you won’t have to spend separately on potassium chloride. 

This Softener also features easy to use electronic controls so that users won’t have to go through complex steps to operate it. Moreover, it also carries an LED indicator to let you know how much salt and water has been consumed during regeneration.  

The LED also indicates how many days are left until the tank is fully empty so that you can refill the tank when it is the right time. The system also includes a permanent memory so that even the power goes out it can carry on from where it left.

By installing this feature, you can enjoy spotless dishes, save energy, and eliminate the scale build-up for sure.

5. EcoPure EPHS Conditioner

Sale
- Key Features
  • SALT SAVING TECHNOLOGY: Autosense Technology is an exclusive feature that calculates how...
  • SOFTENING AND FILTRATION IN ONE: The EPHS is NSF-certified to reduce hard water levels...

Specifications

Grain capacity: 31,000 grains| Item Weight: 92.8 pounds | Compactness: 16.5 x 19.75 x 48 inches| reduces taste and odor of chlorine | Integrated carbon water filtration system | NSF Certified | includes NPT male pipe thread included
Pros
  • Reduces stains, and spots from dishes, showerheads, and faucets
  • Autosense technology senses how much water and salt is needed to regenerate
  • Easy set-up and easy to maintain
  • Compact and space-saving design
  • Also reduces sediments and contaminants
  • NSF certified
Cons
  • Some parts are made with plastic

The best thing about this softener is that it’s not just a softener but a 2 in 1 water filter too. So now you can take advantage of eliminating contaminants along with the hardness.

The softener efficiently removes calcium, magnesium, lead, mercury, radium, dirt, paint, iron, chlorine odor and taste, and other heavy metals and sediments.  The system is designed on an auto salt saving technology which allows the softener to automatically sense and calculate the amount of salt that is required to regenerate.

This feature will help you save water and salt by using only the quantity that is needed.  It doesn’t matter if you live in an urban/Ruler area or gets your water from wells, because this water softener is compatible with both city and well water sources. 

You don’t have to worry about its connection as it comes with a standard 1” NPT male pipe thread so that connecting the softener with the main hose will become easy for you.

The maintenance and operating of this softener is super easy as it carries simple to operate electronics, you can control it manually as well as automatically.

The system also features an ability to clean itself and an LED salt indicator light to let you know when the softener runs out of salt. 

In case you are looking for just a replacement for your old water softener, then let me tell you that EPHS replacement is compatible with your Kenmore water softener.  

6. Aquasure Harmony Series 48,000 Grains

- Key Features
  • Reduces hardness in the water, and eliminates scale, spot build up for the entire home.
  • Rated to treat 48,000 Grains of Hardness by removing skin damaging hard minerals like iron...

Specifications

Flow rate: 12 GPM | Grain Capacity: 48,000 grain | Digital Metered Control Head | 1″ NPT Male Adapter | manual double backwash | Premium prefilled resin | Product Weight: 120 pounds | Compactness: 10 x 10 x 60 inches | Voltage Consumption:  120 Volts | 
Pros
  • High flow rate
  • Optimized electronic controls
  • Space-saving
  • Relieves skin-damaging
  • Built with high strength corrosion resistant fiberglass
  • Completely eliminates hardness causing minerals
  • 3 different types of regeneration included
Cons
  • Installation is time-consuming
  • The hose might get a break if not handled properly

This compact, space-saving water softener is popular among the people because of its extremely high grain capacity. With a capacity of 48,000 grain, this water softener helps the people suffering from skin-damaging issues by relieving their pain.

It efficiently removes all the skin-damaging minerals like magnesium and iron that clog the pores of the skin and causes acne. 

Moreover, it also eliminates all the other heavy metal, highly charges ions, and other hardness causing minerals thus giving you spotless, stainless dishes and showerhead and preventing any scale buildup in your plumbing.

The softener features a digital electronic control head to make the operating process easier and convenient. In addition to this, the system is equipped with the high-quality premium charged prefilled resin, an in and out bypass valve, and a 1” NPT male adapter thread.

It also includes both type of backwash controls: metered and manual to provide you with an optimized regeneration. In the end, it possesses the ability to automatically clean its brine tank and a 5 year of warranty.  

7. Hardless NG Lotus Whole House Water Filter and Water Conditioner

- Key Features
  • 💧 CLEAN & FRESH WATER - Provide your household with clean and fresh tap water every...
  • 💧 WHOLE HOUSE WATER FILTER SYSTEM - No need to buy individual filters for all your taps...

Specifications

Flow rate: 30 GPM | Certified by IAPMO, NSF, and UPC | 5-Stage Water Filtration System | Salt-free Regeneration | limescale and sediment reduction| Compactness: 4.5 x 6.7 x 10.5 inches | compact and space-saving design
Pros
  • Highly compact
  • Also removes contaminants and sediments
  • Does not require salt
  • Softens the water by 5 stage generation
Cons
  • You have to replace them after every 6 months

Again, if you are looking for a 2 in 1 water softener + water filer, then Hardless can be your second option after Aquasure if you are looking for a budget-friendly option.

Though this water softener is the smallest in size as compared to the rest, it has got much more than meets the eye. The most interesting thing about this filter is that it works by a 5 stage softening process.

The first stage is the TIL ROD stage. In this stage, the filter starts to soften and condition the water with highly charged premium resin.

The second stage consists of phos crystals. These crystals change the structure of the minerals to prevent limescale build-up.   

In the third stage, the water is sprayed through the 25 microns of mesh filters. The purpose of this mesh filter is to eliminate the remaining heavy metals.

 The 4th stage consists of a 2-micron filtration process. It is meant to further purify the water and eliminate any sediment left.

In the last stage, the water is passed through the magnetic bands which further softens and conditions the water for the last time and makes it ready to use.

8. Portable RV

- Key Features
  • PREMIUM PRO FEATURES: Wide 10-3/8" base for maximum stability on uneven surfaces. High...
  • PREMIUM VALUE: This Portable Softener & Conditioner produces twice the gallons compared to...

Specifications

Brand: Pro+Aqua | Grain Capacity: 16,000 | Water capacity: 2,000 gallons per 40 days | Reduces Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Lead, Radium, and other Heavy Metals | Generation time: 30 minutes | Compactness: 10″ x 19.5″ | NSF Certified | Item weight: 34.3 pounds
Pros
  • High grain capacity
  • Produces twice the gallons of water compared to standard softeners
  • Eliminates calcium, magnesium, and other heavy metals efficiently
  • Certified by NSF
  • Can be stored in the tightest places
  • Compatible with all RV and Marie models
Cons
  • Some pieces have found to be leaking

If you are looking for a compact as well as portable water softener that can also go well with your RV’s and Marines, then this softener can be the best option for you. It holds the most space-saving design and can even be stored in the storage bay of your car.

But being small in size doesn’t mean that it compromises on its softening qualities. In fact, this water softener produces 40% of softer water than any other unit of this size. It uses its premium charged resin to remove all the highly charged ions including calcium and magnesium.

The best part is that this unit does not need any installation. It comes pre-filled, pre-arranged and ready to use and does not need any electric tools for its operation. The kit includes a female to female adapter, a regenerating kit, and one pre-filter to remove contaminants along with hardness.

9. Mobile-Soft-Water Portable Softener

- Key Features
  • Compact, space saver
  • Mobile softeneing

Specifications

Grain capacity: 3200 grains | Water Capacity: 320 gallons | NSF 61 Certified | item weight: 14 pounds | Compactness: 6 x 6 x 16 inches | Pressure: 150 psi | Cross link styrene resin | removes calcium, magnesium, soluble iron, and other heavy metals |
Pros
  • Compact
  • Portable
  • Highly efficient at removing scale build-up
  • High water pressure with a low-pressure drop
  • Also removes soluble iron up to 8 ppm
Cons
  • May leave a salt mark on dishes initially
  • Morton salt tabs may cause some problem

Another best option to look forward to if you are planning to go for vacation is this portable and compact water softer. As the name suggests, this system provides you with mobile water softening facility.

You can install it in your RV, or just carry it with yourself in the mountains as it regenerates without electricity. When it comes to the ability of this water softener, it can treat any type of water whether it is municipal water or water coming from “well resources.

The system includes a brine tank, a head assembly, and in and out garden hose connection so that you can easily connect it with the main water supply. The brine tank is filled with highly charged resin which can treat and soften almost 5 gallons of water in just one minute. 

Moreover, the whole unit including a male hose connection is made with NSF 16 approved material which makes it extremely environmentally friendly.

10. Mobile-Soft-Water Portable 16,000 Grain (TM) Unit with Tank

- Key Features
  • 16,000 grains Total Hardness Removal Portable and Manual
  • Removes Total Hardness and Soluble Iron

Specifications

Grain Capacity: 16,000 grains | treatment capacity: 5 gallons per minute | Item weight: 33 pounds | 8% cross-link styrene resin | Water capacity: 16,000 gallons per month | water pressure: 150 psi | LEAD FREE USEPA, NSF61 Certified
Pros
  • Compact and portable
  • Removes 100% hardness along with soluble iron
  • Suitable for recreational Vehicles
  • Certified by NSF
  • Generates without electricity
Cons
  • One year limited warranty
  • May produce a strong odor in the tank

Basically, this water softener was meant for RVs and car washing applications, but it can also be installed in a small house and will provide you’re with efficient results.

It uses ½ cubic foot of highly charged premium resin that eliminates the total hardness of your water and gives you 5 gallons of softened water in just one minute.

Moreover, it comes with lots of other benefits such as it regenerates without electricity, thus saves a lot of voltages, uses common table salt (only 2 boxes), is extremely easy to use as it has no complex operating controls.

You can take it almost anywhere due to its mobility and portable design and all of above, it carries an in and out a garden hose to make the main water connection easy. The system kits include a brine tank, a top head, and an installation manual to help you out with the installation process.

Buying Guide for Compact Water Softener

Buying any product involves a lot of concentration and care. You have to be wary before buying anything and must do the complete research work before visiting the market so that nobody can befool you in buying the wrong product when you already know what you have to purchase.

So, it’s always better to take a look at the buying guides of the related product so that you have a proper idea of what you are looking for.

That’s why to guide you on how to buy a compact water softener, we have provided you with a detailed buying guide for compact water softeners. Because buying the compact water softener is different from when you go into choosing the best water softeners in general.

You must give this buying guide just a glance so that you can know even better about the things that you should keep in mind before purchasing a compact softener. So let’s begin. 

Test the Hardness Level

The first and the most significant thing to keep in mind before purchasing a water softener is to test the water hardness level of your area. If you haven’t done that, then you can never be sure about the capacity of grains you need to soften your water.

And as a result, you will end up bringing the wrong product with low grain capacity which won’t be able to soften the water to the fullest extent 

Consider Your Needs

The other thing to consider is what you really need. Is your water only hard, or are there some other issues too, like contaminants and sediments? Because if there are, then you shouldn’t go with only a water softener, because it is not going to solve your problem completely. 

In this case, you must buy a water filter. But buying the both can be a costly choice, so you can opt for a 2 in 1 water filter plus softener. It will remove all the contaminants along with eliminating the hardness.

Look Over Your Budget

The most important thing of all always keeps a check upon your budget. Don’t go for something that is beyond your reach as it will only cause more problems.

So if you have a low budget but still need a water softener desperately, then you must go for a softener that only offers one feature that is softening the water only.

You should not think about the additional feature like digital controls, designs, styles, and facilities, etc., because the softener with these features requires hundreds of dollars.   

Salt-Based or Salt-Free

Another important thing is to consider the type of regeneration process a softener is offering. There are two basics regeneration processes: salt-free and salt-based.

Though salt-free softener will appeal to you more as you don’t have to buy and add additional salt in it, we suggest you go for a salt-based softener as they are proven to be more efficient and productive.

You should choose the salt-free softener only when you are going on vacations and you need a portable solution that does not require any hectic work. 

Features to look for in a Compact Softener  

Their compactness

Of course, the first and the most important feature to look for in a compact softener is the level of compactness they are offering.

First measure the space where you want to install the water softener, after that look for a softener that fits in that criteria of compactness.

Don’t bring home any softener that is even an inch bigger from your installation place as it will just cause you more trouble.

They should be low maintenance

Compact water softeners should be low maintenance, because if they are high maintenance, then it will become difficult to care for them in such a small space. Because high maintenance softener requires a lot of space for their service and cleaning. 

Should be Easy to Install

When choosing a compact softener, it is better to go for the one that does not require any special installation.

Installing a softener in a small space can become a really difficult and hectic work because no one can bear to stand in too congested place for 5 to 6 hours. Therefore, the softener that can be installed in just a few minutes is more appreciable.

Must contain Prefilled High Charged Resin

Your softener must contain a highly charged premium quality resin. You should never compromise on the quality of resin because the elimination of all ions and metal depends upon the standard and quality of resin used in the softener.

It is Always Better to go for the Brands

When buying a product that is more related to your health just like water softeners, it is suggested to purchase them from renowned brands because Brands offer faithful guarantee and warranty on these things as compared to the local ones.  

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) for Compact Water Softeners

  • Does a compact water softener remove sulphur? 

Generally, water softeners do not remove sulphur, but the ones which have 2 in 1 quality of water softener and filter, they are able to remove the sediments also. 

  • How often should you regenerate?

It is suggested to follow the regeneration process after every 7 to 11 GPG.

  • Can I use a compact water softener for a large family?

No, a compact water softener is meant for the small houses and small families. They don’t have much grain and water capacity to fulfill the needs of bigger families. 

  • How many people can depend on a compact water softener?

 Generally, an average compact water softener is enough to carry out the water need of a family of 4.

  • Can you use a Compact Water Softener in RV?

Compact softeners can be installed in small apartments, RVs, Marine, and Automobile washing shops.

  • How much salt does an average compact water softener consume?

An average compact softener uses approximately 2 boxes (750g) of table salt. However, some softeners require absolutely no salt for regeneration. 

Conclusion

I hope that after reading this review, you are now able to decide which one is the best option for your small house. All the softener discussed above are the ones that stands at the top of the list of compact water softeners. These are the best units of years 2020-2021, and any of them will satisfy you for sure. 

Though all of them are unmatchable and each of them carries a unique characteristic which make them rise high in the completion. However, the one we liked the most from these ten is On The Go OTG3NTP3M, the reason is that this one is the only water filter that takes just 20 minutes to regenerate.

Last update on 2021-04-10 at 18:25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Hi, I'm a clinical psychologist and inclined towards best buying practices for home and kitchen things. Critical towards choosing the best product and honest with my feedback. I'm a seasoned writer having more than 4 years of experience in multiple niches as well.

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