Best Water Softener UK 2024

A warm welcome to Water Filter Geek. Today, under the microscope, is the Best Water Softener UK.

Since you’re here, you probably know that water softeners are an increasingly popular solution for the problems caused by hard water. Hard water is water which contains too high a quantity of dissolved minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and iron.

Millions of people in the UK are affected by hard water, particularly in the South East of England.

Some of the signs you have hard water are:

  • limescale build-up on kettles, pots, taps etc
  • appliances breaking down faster than they should
  • increased pipe and plumbing problems
  • laundry that is stiff instead of soft

And the problems caused by this can be significant to anything in your household that comes into contact with water. Your hair and skin can suffer (the hard water residue minerals can cause your hair to be dryer, less soft and pliable; and it can clog your pores and cause or worsen eczema).

Luckily, water softeners are here to help. In fact, the best ones can not only prevent the problems mentioned above (like giving you back healthier, smoother skin and hair), they can save you money on heating bills and reduce your usage of expensive washing powder/detergents.

In this guide, we’ll look at which water softeners on the UK market will meet your specific needs. We’ll discuss exactly what features you’ll need and we’ll review the pros and cons of the various models available. And we’ll answer all the common questions that crop up when you consider your choice of water softener.

See price on Amazon for the WS555, and the W2B200.

Best Water Softener UK

Here Begins The Best Water Softener UK

If you’re in a rush here are the best models, and their specifications:


Water2Buy W2B200

BWT MODELBWT WS555Water2Buy W2B200
DIMENSIONS60.2 x 48 x 27cm44 x 22 x 65cm
FOR HOUSEHOLD SIZEUp to 6 peopleUp to 4 people

Water softener sales have skyrocketed in the last 5-10 years and especially the last 3-4 years.

Is that because of an epidemic of water becoming so much harder?

Not really, the reasons for water being too hard, and especially in certain areas, are geographic, inherent to the nature of the minerals and water supply.

So the demand has always been there.

Why has there been such a huge increase in sales then?

Well, because of 3 things:

  • A major fall in price
  • Ease of purchase
  • Ease of installation/maintenance (due to technology advancements)

It’s not so long ago that you’d need to pay around £1000 for a quality water softener system. You could only buy from a few makers, it wasn’t even that easy to find out the price you’d have to pay – they’d insist on sending a rep to your house to give you a quote.

Now, it’s so much easier to buy a water softener. The modern sellers have Apps to help you install it, full manuals. Millions of people have been able to install in themselves, but of course you can get a plumber/handyman/your cousin Bob to do it if you prefer!

The water softeners we recommend in this Guide have many customers that describe easily installing the water softener and within 30 minutes (!), they’ve seen massive differences in the quality of their water.

Water Softener Reviews UK

Let’s get to our reviews of the top performing water softeners…

The No.1 Water Softener in the UK


This is the best water softener on the UK market.

Here are our likes and dislikes from our testing.

What We Liked
  • Good service and aftercare (European manufacturer)
  • Set and forget (with smart tech as of 2022)
  • WRAS approved
  • Provides the best quality water on the market
  • Small enough for the kitchen cupboard
  • Good warranty (7 years)
What We Didn’t Like
  • Too big for under the sink
  • The lid comes off quite easily sometimes


  • Softened water for 1-6 people
  • 14 Litre capacity
  • 60.2x48x27cm
  • 22mm installation kit

Here’s the best place to buy it, on Amazon.

Our No.1, the BWT WS555 is high-quality water softener, the best performing on the market. It’s the one we’ve heard the best feedback about, the most cases where people had really hard water and this softener pretty much instantly cured it.

It’s also a low price for a premium product, you’d be paying around £1,500 for a softener with this quality a few years ago.

Let’s check out what we liked and what we disliked about this water softener.

We Liked

European Manufacturer

In terms of the company you’re buying from, BWT are pretty much as good as it gets. They’re Europe’s leading water technology firm, over 30 year history. They’re an Austrian company, highly respected in the water industry for the quality of their products.

So for their water filtering technology and the quality of their components, BWT are as good as it gets.

It’s a smart water softener, so it has state-of-the art technology. BWT claim you’ll get “luxury” water – that is soft, silky, smooth.

We know what you’re thinking, “uh, water is water, right?”…

And that’s true, but there’s also no doubt that people are seeing a huge difference in the quality of their water since using the WS555.

And if you’re someone that’s experienced hard water, you’ll know the effect it has on your skin and hair, and that’s before we get started on your appliances and pipes that get limescale and scum on a daily basis.

Smart tech lets you set and forget

It has in-built smart water monitoring, so it won’t waste water when it performs its processes. Older models (and less high-tech ones) of water softener are much less efficient and can waste water.

The electronic control system allows you to choose the water hardness level required as well as the regeneration time. All water softeners need to go periodically go through a regeneration process. How often depends on the water hardness and how much water flows through it every day. The electronic control system is automatically set to do this at 2am but you can change to whatever time you need.

WRAS Approved

What does WRAS approved mean?

WRAS stands for Water Regulations Advisory Scheme means that the product has passed a series of tests to certify that it fully complies with the UK Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations and Scottish Bylaws. That means it’s suitable for carrying or receiving water from the UK mains water supply.

WRAS is the standard that prevents the contamination, over-consumption, waste, misuse of water supply. Products like showers, valves and boilers, for example, go through this product approval to confirm that they’re mechanically suitable and produce sufficient water quality.

The best quality water

The WS555 is your best bet for completely removing the harmful effects of hard water from your home.

  • rejuvenating your plumbing system – the softness and quality of the water produced gradually dissolves any limescale that has built up over time. So it doesn’t just prevent any future buildup of scum, it’s also able to remove any pre-existing scum.
  • keeping your appliances limescale-free and longer-lasting. The soft water that this softener reliably and consistently produces means you’ll no longer have that nasty stuff on your appliances.
  • fresher, softer clothes after laundering – the softness of the water lets the soap drain more completely and the fibres are softer and nicer to the touch.

Small enough for a kitchen cupboard

Why is this BWT’s biggest selling model?

Because it has the biggest capacity of BWT’s models (with enough water water for up to 6 people) that can still fit into most people’s kitchen cupboards.

The dimensions are: 48 x 27 x 60.2 cm. So you can check to make sure it’ll fit into your cupboard. You may be thinking it’ll easily go directly under your sink, but check that, it may need to go in another kitchen cupboard (more on that later). And make sure you account for the fact that you need space for the pipes coming out as well!


It’s a 5 years parts warranty, so if any of the softener parts have any issues within 5 years, you’re covered.

And it has a 2 years labour at home warranty to they’ll pay for any labour required to fix any issues within the first 2 years.

For some people this type of high-end aftercare will be the reason they’ll choose the BWT softener.

We Didn’t Like

Poorly designed lid

There’s a lid that sits on top of the unit, and quite a few people have found that it’s fumbly and seems ill-fitting for its purpose.

It’s just a bit surprising since the rest of the unit is well made.

Too big for under the sink

Some people would ideally want their water softener under their sink. It just seems like the right place, assuming that’s suitable for the water system in your home.

But, unless you have an unusual amount of space there, there’s a good chance it won’t fit. You’ll have to find space in another kitchen cupboard.

Want to know more? Here’s our full review of the BWT Water Softener (WS555, WS455, WS355).

Or, see it on Amazon here.

The No.2 Water Softener in the UK

Water2Buy W2B200

This is the second best water softener on the UK market.

Here are our likes and dislikes from our testing.

What We Liked
  • Large capacity
  • Relatively small size
  • Easy to install (for most people), if you follow the video rather than the manual
  • Well-renowned manufacturer
  • Works quickly to soften the water
  • Price is low considering the quality
What We Didn’t Like
  • Poor instruction manual, not easy to follow
  • Capacity is suitable for small families only, bigger families may find it’s too small


  • Limescale-free water for 1-4 people
  • ~1250L of filtered water per day
  • 44x22x65cm
  • 22mm connection fittings

If you’re keen, here’s the best place to buy it, on Amazon.

The Water2Buy is the top seller on the UK market, and by a distance.

Why? Well, let’s discuss.

We Liked


You’ll get up to 1250 litres of softened water per day. For most people, that’s far more than you’d ever use (unless you have an enormous hot tub you want filled with softened water!).

If you don’t know how much water you use, the average for the UK is around 150 litres per person per day.


It’ll comfortably fit into your kitchen cupboard. Though, be warned that the average person will not have enough space to put it directly under the kitchen sink.

When planning where you’ll put it, make sure to make allowances for the hoses that’ll need to be connected as well.


It’s easy to install, the vast majority of people will be able to do it themselves. The water softener comes with a good User Manual that describes all aspects of installation. Or, if you prefer, you can download their App that gives these instructions also.

A good manufacturer

Water2Buy is an established brand, their water softeners have been on the UK market since 2012. They’ve sold well, garnered excellent online reviews. Their products have a good reputation for wearing well, not breaking down – though of course, no product of this type can be 100% perfect.

All in all you can be confident this is an investment in your water quality that will pay off for many years to come.

After making sure you have somewhere to put this, that you can trust the quality, and that you can install it, the biggest question is simply this:

Tons of success stories

The answer is a resounding yes. Many thousands of people, some with extreme cases of hard water, have had highly successful results.

They’re reaping the benefits of their newly soft water – they’ve seen the difference in being able to lather soap properly, limescale doing a long-overdue disappearing act, and improvement in their skin and hair.

Low Price

If we had to sum up why this water softener is the No.2 in the UK, it’s this:

It does the same job as the highly expensive water softeners on the market, with proven results, and at a fraction of the price. Simple as that.

So while the BWT model is the best (and therefore has to be No.1), this Water2Buy softener is still high quality, at exceptional value.

We Didn’t Like

Hard to follow instruction manual

While people have tended to have a highly successful experience with this softener, those who’ve tried to install using the instruction manual haven’t had such a good experience.

It’s not particularly well-designed or well-written, and as a result it’s not easy to see exactly what you have to do at each step.

Our advice?

Stick to the video, if you’re installing it yourself. It’s a world of difference.

Not suitable for larger families

While it’s got more than enough water capacity for a household with 3-4 people, any more than that and you may be found wanting.

If you’ve got 5 or 6 people in your household, the BWT WS555 may be more suited to you.

Anything else I need to know?

It comes with 22mm connection fittings – make sure that’s the right size for your system.

Want to know more? Here’s a full Water2Buy review (W2B200).

Or check specifications and price on Amazon.

How to choose the right water softener for you

How large is your household?

A household of up to around 4 people using an average amount of water will find that the W2B200 has enough capacity for their needs. But if those 4 people are using a lot of water or the household has 5 or 6 people then the WS555 will be the one for you.

Here’s how you can calculate your water usage. FYI, an average person’s water usage in the UK is around 145 Litres per day.

Summary of The Best Water Softener UK

It’s a good time for purchasing a water softener here in the UK, what with recent changes to the market. It’s much more open now and that has allowed price to come down.

At the same time, technology is the best ever. Being able to choose the exact level of water hardness you need by the turn of a dial wasn’t always the case! Now you can set it to the exact level you need.

The modern regeneration systems deal with the regular maintenance required, so for most people it’s just a case of filling with salt, when required. Though you’ll still want to check things from time time and make the occasional adjustment.

We’ve discussed the criteria to make the Best Water Softener UK in 2024 and shown you the best models on the market. (For issues other than water hardness, check out the best reverse osmosis system UK or for the simpler task of chlorine removal, check out the best inline water filter UK).

May we wish you all the best on your journey to softer, healthier water.

best water softener systems

If it’s for you, check out the BWT WS555 on Amazon.

If you prefer the Water2Buy W2B200, it’s on Amazon here.