5 Best Water Softeners For Well Water (200-400 ppm Hardness)

Of all the water sources, the well water is the worst. Essentially, water from a well is the most likely to be contaminated, has high mineral content, and, above all else, is likely to have high water hardness. In short, well water is bad-quality water, and installing the best water softener for well water is the first thing you need to do.

well water traveling through the layers of earth
The deeper the well, the harder the water. Well water can reach very hard water levels (200+ ppm).

In fact, the US Geological Survey recommends several water treatment options, such as:

  • Water softeners for well water (to remove calcium and magnesium ions that cause water hardness).
  • Well water filtration system (removes impurities).
  • (Optional) Distillation system.
  • (Optional) Disinfection to remove microorganisms that might be pathogenic (bacteria viruses). Some water softeners for well water come with an optional UV filter for disinfection.

You might be wondering: Do you have to install all these systems to get high-quality water from a well? It’s recommended to do as much as possible.

This is the rule of thumb in most cases:

The most important device to install to purify well water is a specalized water softener for well water. To get the best water quality, however, invest in all-in-one water purification system that includes water softener + water filtration system + UV filter (optional).

The main device is a well water softener. Homeowners often seek an all-in-one solution for water purification. That’s why you will also find:

  • All-in-one water softener + filtration combo.
  • Optional addition of a UV filter to eliminate or deactivate pathogenic organisms like bacteria and viruses.

Well water needs a water softener with boosted key specifications (such as higher grain capacity to soften harder-than-average water from a well). At Waternity Lab we’re all about the specs; we have removed the guesswork and created a list and comparison of the best water softeners for well water (both softener-only as well as softener-filter combos).

You will find the list below, with a review of every water softener for well water. But first, let’s check the key specifications that a water softener for well water should have compared to a standard water softener.

Specifications You Want From Water Softener For Well Water

Not any water softener system is good for well water. That’s because well water has a higher content of Ca2+ and Mg2+ ions that contribute to water hardness. These minerals clog piping via limescale built-up and can cause skin irritation issues.

Here’s the deal with well  water:

  • It usually has 200+ ppm water hardness (needs to be reduced to below 60 ppm).
  • Has high contamination grade (that’s why investing in an all-in-one water softener + filtration combo makes sense).
  • Can have high iron content (to reduce iron content, you will find the best water softeners for well water with iron in the table below).

The key specification to check is the grain-capacity. With the city water, you can get away with 22,000 and 32,000-grain water softeners. For well water, this capacity should be increased; look for above 40,000-grain water softeners.

Additionally, look for high water flow softeners, especially if you have higher water usage (4,5,6,7 person homes). High GPM flow will prevent the reduction of water pressure.

Examples Of Bad And Good Water Softeners For Well Water
Wrong choice of water softener for well water: 22,000-grain softener with only 7 GPM maximum flow rate.

Correct choice of water softener for well water: Minimum 40,000-grain water softener with minimum 10 GPM flow rate. An even better option is a water softener + filtration combo, with a UV filter.

Water softeners for well water with iron have to have especially high grain capacity (preferably over 60,000-grain capacity).

With that in mind, let’s look at the best water softeners for well water, according to specifications.

Top Well Water Softener Systems (Comparison Table)

Water Softener Filtersmart FS1500 Combo SoftPro Elite High-Efficiency Fleck 5600SXT Softener Aquasana Rhino Whole House SpringWell SS1 Model
Type: Best Well Water Filter + Salt-Free Combo Best For High Iron Content Cheapest Well Water Softener Best Combo With UV Filter Small Softener For Well Water
Flow Rate: 12 GPM Up to 32 GPM Up to 15 GPM 7 GPM 11 GPM
Capacity: 1,000,000 gallons Up to 110,000-grain cap. Up to 64,000-grain cap. 1,000,000 gallons 32,000-grain cap.
Price: $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$
Average Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 4.7 out of 5 stars 4.6 out of 5 stars 4.6 out of 5 stars 4.4 out of 5 stars

Reviews Of The Best Water Softeners For Well Water

Based on the specifications, we can determine which well water water softeners are better than others. In the reviews of the best water softeners for well water, we’ll look at the type, flow rate, capacity as well as price and average review rating of each device:

#1 Filtersmart FS1500 (Best Water Softener For Well Water + Filter Combo)

best water softener for well water
Type: Best Well Water Filter + Salt-Free Well Water Softener Combo
Flow Rate: 12 GPM
Capacity: 1,000,000 gallons
Price: $$$$
Average Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars

Filtersmart FS1500 is the best water softener, specifically for highly contaminated well water. The key is that Filtersmart offers the best salt-free water softener (1st tank) with an additional water filtration system (2nd tank).

As far as water softener itself is concern the 1,000,000 gallon capacity is essential. Well water does have a higher mineral content (harder water) than ordinary city water. That’s why the massive capacity is needed.

On top of that, a massive 1,000,000 gallon capacity needs a powerful water flow in order to function properly. Filtersmart FS1500 is designed to produce the maximum flow rate of 12 GPM. That means that, despite very thorough water softening, the water pressure in your faucets won’t be affected.

The water filtration that comes with the water softener is essential as well. Well water has a number of contaminants that should also be filtered out. Filtersmart FS1500 has a Jacobi carbon filtration system that filters out:

  • Chlorine.
  • Pesticides.
  • Industrial solvents.
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as SOCs and THMs.

All in all, the reason why Filtersmart FS1500 is the best water softener for well water is the capable softener combined with a powerful filtration system.

Filtersmart FS1500

  • Salt-free water softener doesn’t need salt, and is combined with water filtration system
  • Doesn’t only take care of hard water; it also eliminated common well water contaminants
  • You have all-in-one system (buy 1 device instead of 2 devices)
  • Massive 1,000,000 gallon capacity with 12 GPM water flow
  • Because it’s an all-in-one, it has a higher price tag than standalone well water softeners

#2 SoftPro Elite High-Efficiency (Best Water Softener For Well Water With Iron)

well water water softener with 2 tanks and all attachments
Type: Best For High Iron Content
Flow Rate: Up to 32 GPM
Capacity: Up to 110,000-grain cap.
Price: $$$$
Average Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars

For iron, you usually need a thorough salt-based water softener. Two conditions are essential for every water softeners for well water with high iron content:

  1. High capacity (preferably over 40,000-grain capacity).
  2. High water flow in order not to lose water pressure (above 10 GPM).

SoftPro Elite excels at both of these specifications. It has wide range of capacities from 24,000-grain (not appropriate for high iron content) to 110,000-grain (excellent for high iron content). What is more, the big 110,000-grain capacity unit has water flow rate of 32 GPM. This is pretty much the biggest GPM you can get on the market.

On top of that, this is a high-efficiency water softener for well water. That means it has an upflow regen cycle that saves more than 70% of water for the regeneration cycle and doesn’t cause as many problems as a standard-efficiency downflow water softener.

Based on the level of water hardness, you can choose from the wide variety of SoftPro Elite water softeners for well water. That, and the good reputation SoftPro softeners enjoy, makes the SoftPro Elite the best standalone well water softener.

SoftPro Elite

  • Best standalone well water softener
  • Incredible range with powerful devices (perfect for high iron content water); Up to 110,000-grain capacity and up to 32 GPM water flow
  • It’s high-efficiency type of salt-based softener; lower water costs and eco-friendly
  • You have to measure well water hardness to pinpoint the correct grain capacity

#3 Fleck 5600SXT (Cheapest Well Water Softener System)

well water fleck softener with brine tank and prefilter
Type: Salt-Based Well Water Softener
Flow Rate: Up to 15 GPM
Capacity: Up to 64,000-grain cap.
Price: $$$$
Average Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Fleck 5600SXT is probably the most well-known water softener on the market. It is a standard water softener; salt-based with a downflow regen cycle. It has a good reputation in terms of reliability and longevity.

What is important for well water, you can choose a model that has up to 64,000-grain capacity. That is more than enough to reduce even 300+ ppm hard water from a ‘bad’ well. On top of that, the 15 GPM water flow rate guarantees that you don’t experience a fall in water flow.

It needs to be said that Fleck 5600SXT is the test-and-tried old school water softener, appropriate for well water. There are more modern softeners out there but those either don’t have the needed capacity for well water softening or are much more expensive.

The price of the Fleck 5600SXT is also a significant factor when you’re trying to reduce the well water hardness. This standard device does cost less than $1,000 while the modern devices can cost well over $15,000.

Fleck 5600SXT

  • Tried-and-tested standard water softener (downflow regen cycle)
  • Very capable to reduce even 300+ ppm well water hardness with up to 64,000-grain capacity and 15 GPM water flow
  • Incredibly affordable because you don’t have to pay for modern technology additions
  • It’s a downflow salt-based model; you have to use salt and it uses quite a lot of water
  • Old-school model that’s not modernized with ‘fancy’ features

#4 Aquasana Rhino (Best Combo With UV Filter)

one tank aquasana rhino water softener with filter and uv filter attached in one system
Type: Best Combo With UV Filter
Flow Rate: 7 GPM
Capacity: 1,000,000 gallons
Price: $$$$
Average Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Aquasana Rhino is one of the best water softeners overall. Even in the list of the top water softeners of any kind, it ranks quite high. The best part of Rhino is that it’s a water purification platform; you can add or remove parts like the water filter, softener, even UV filter.

Where does well water softening comes in?

Well, the Aquasana Rhino has that coveted 1,000,000 gallon capacity. If you need to soften very hard water (like well water), that’s ideal. The drawback of this all-in-one platform is the limited 7 GPM water flow rate. Because the whole system softens and purifies water so thoroughly, it’s can decrease the water pressure. That’s why you have to have high water pressure to install Aquasana Rhino.

That does come with some advantages, however:

  • You get a salt-free water softener which is the best kind for well water.
  • Water filtration system will eliminate contaminants commonly found in well water.
  • UV light filter is an advanced feature; it will reduce or kill off bacteria and viruses.

In fact, the Aquasana Rhino is the only well water softener combo system that comes with the UV light filter. That’s why it’s most appropriate for households would truly want to drink and use pristine crystal-clear water.

Aquasana Rhino

  • All-in-one platform; salt-free water softener, filtration system, and UV light filter
  • Has the desired 1,000,000 gallon capacity, perfect for well water softening
  • System that purifies your water the most; in addition to reducing water hardness, you can filter out well water contaminants as well as bacteria
  • Lower water flow rate (7 GPM) can reduce water pressure
  • Higher price point because it’s an all-in-one water purification system, not a standalone well water softener

#5 SpringWell SS1 Model (Small Water Softener System For Well Water)

one tank in neopren and brine tank of springwell ss1 water softener for well water
Type: Upflow Water Softener System
Flow Rate: 11 GPM
Capacity: 32,000-grain cap.
Price: $$$$
Average Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars

SpringWell has the best reputation in the world of water softeners. The SS1 model is a salt-based upflow regen water softener that is capable the deal with less hard well water.

It has a 32,000-grain capacity and can produce the maximum water flow rate of 11 GPM. These specs are not enough for a big household that draws water from a very hard water source. However, if you have a smaller household and the water hardness is somewhere around 200 ppm, the SpringWell SS1 model will do quite well.

Here the thing:

Everybody wants a SpringWell water softener. They are not exactly perfect for well water. But if your well water is not terrible, you can get a SpringWell device to help you reduce the water hardness below 60 ppm.

Additionally, despite being a SpringWell softener, you won’t spend a fortune on it because of slightly lower specifications. Ordinarily, you’re looking to spend over $1,500 for bigger SpringWell softeners. The SS1 model, however, is more moderately priced.

SpringWell SS1 Model

  • Smaller well water softener appropriate for 3-4 person household
  • Still has quite high specs; 32-grain capacity and 11 GPM
  • SpringWell is the best-reputation brand
  • Not appropriate for larger households
  • Not appropriate for very hard well water (300+ ppm)

Verdict Of Well Water Systems

Well water needs high capacity and high water flow rate devices. Here the softening ‘power’ is everything.

Above is a list of the most powerful water softeners that are capable of dealing with very hard water.

If you have any questions in regards to how to treat hard well water, you can pose it in the comments below.

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