Best Water Softener for Apartment [Updated for 2024]

Why You Should Invest in The Best Water Softener Systems for Apartment and Condo Life

One of the numerous difficulties of apartment living is hard water. It can result in expensive plumbing repairs and harm to pipes and equipment.

Any residence can suffer from the annoyance of hard water, but apartments suffer the most because of their constrained resources and available space. Fortunately, there are many choices that can successfully lessen the effects of hard water.

We have prepared a thorough review of the top water softening systems for apartments in this article, going through their features, advantages, and disadvantages.

Reviews – Best Water Softener for Apartment 2024

Portable Water Softener by SoftPro – Top Salt Based


  • Water Softener Type: Salt-Based
  • Dimensions: 21.5 x 6 inches
  • Process: Ion Exchange
  • Grain Capacity: 8K or 16K
  • Flow Rate: 5 GPM
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Our best-value water softener for apartment living is the Portable RV Water Softener from SoftPro. This salt-based water softener costs slightly over $250 and contains a strong, effective 8% crosslink resin.

This is the greatest option for anyone seeking for a portable water softener that is suitable for apartments and employs the incredibly efficient salt-based softening process to remove limescale problems.

The portable RV water softener system from SoftPro regenerates using common table salt or potassium chloride and is portable and lightweight. The appliances are protected from scaling and connecting is simple. It makes use of an 8% quality resin that is strong and effective. It is also reasonably priced. It is long-lasting, portable, and can be stored when not in use.

Scale is eliminated using the traditional salt-based softening method using the all-in-one, single-tank SoftPro Portable RV Water Softener. This system is a wonderful option if you want the best defense against harsh water.

This water softener system comes in two different system sizes: one with an 8,000 grain capacity for a single user and the other with a 16, 000 grain capacity for two users. You can buy the SoftPro Portable RV Water Softener with confidence because it has a lifetime warranty and lifetime support.


  1. In our testing, we discovered that this SoftPro model is not only strong and long-lasting but also lightweight, compact, and simple to stow out of sight (we also appreciate that SoftPro assembles its systems in the US).
  2. One major benefit of using this system is that you may top it off with table salt, which is strictly prohibited with conventionally sized water softeners. Potassium chloride is an alternative if you’d rather avoid using any form of salt.
  3. We were pleased with how little maintenance the SoftPro Portable RO Water Softener required. To keep the softening resin safe, you only need to occasionally replace the spin-down sediment filter in addition to salt top-ups.


  1. This SoftPro unit is not for you if you want a water softener that requires no maintenance.
  2. The system installation process requires some work. Even with quick-connect hoses, you could require assistance from a family member who is skilled in DIY if you have trouble with it.

Yarna Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler: Top Rated Electronic Descaler


  • Water Softener Type: Water Descaler
  • Process: Electric
  • Dimensions: 7 x 2 x 2 inches
  • Flow Rate: 15.4 GPM
  • Warranty: 1 year

The Yarna Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler is our top selection for the best electronic descaler for apartment living. This reasonably priced substitute for salt-based softeners is simple to install and needs minimal maintenance.

It is intended to reduce scale building in pipes and appliances. Suitable for anyone looking to purchase the best salt-free softening alternative that requires little to no maintenance, is simple to install, and can reduce scale while preserving healthy minerals.

The Yarna Capacitive crystallizes magnesium and calcium minerals using a salt-free electronic descaling technique, keeping them in the water while preventing them from scaling on surfaces.

The majority of pipes up to 1 inch thick, including those made of stainless steel, copper, plastic, and iron, can be installed using this Yarna model. The Yarna Capacitive is easy to install and has no permanent connections, making it suitable for apartments. Additionally, there are no upkeep requirements for owning this system.


  1. When we owned the Yarna Capacitive, we appreciated the absence of fuss or obligation. The system doesn’t require salt top-ups, regeneration, or the installation of a bypass valve.
  2. In terms of scale reduction, the Yarna Capacitive is among the best electrical descalers we’ve used. We observed a clear decrease in limescale in our fixtures and water-using appliances over the course of four weeks.
  3. With a price of roughly $300 (we’ve seen it dip to under $250 during sale seasons), the Yarna Capacitive is an excellent deal in our opinion and requires no costly maintenance or upkeep. If you’re hesitant to attempt an electronic descaler, this device comes with a first-year guaranteed return policy.


  1. After installing this system, you’ll notice a tiny rise in your electricity bill because you’ll need to connect the Yarna Capacitive to your electricity.
  2. It could take up to three months for this descaler to start working noticeably depending on the quality of your water.

On The Go Portable Double Standard Water Softener


  • Type: Salt-Based
  • Process: Ion Exchange
  • Dimensions: 22 x 9.5 inches
  • Grain Capacity: 8K (Standard) or 16K
  • Flow Rate: 5 GPM
  • Warranty: 1 year

The On The Go Portable Double Standard Water Softener is the water softener system for apartments that came in second place. This portable 16,000-grain device regenerates in about 30 minutes and eliminates scale formation and rust stains.

Best for apartment owners who have iron-rich hard water. Scale and rust buildup in pipes and water-using appliances is avoided by this water softener.

The largest yet most portable RV water softener on the market, the double standard water softener machine produces twice as many gallons as other standard models. It is a 16,000-grain unit that fits perfectly and provides about 40% more soft water than other products on the market.

It regenerates in under 30 minutes using two boxes of regular table salt and produces softened water for up to 1600 gallons or up to 40 days.

The hardness of your water supply will affect how many gallons the device produces. Its small size (22′′ H x 9.50′′ dia. ), combined with a space-saving design, enables installation in confined spaces.

It has a large mouth opening for convenient salt addition, high-grade premium resin, a travel-friendly version with a cap and plug to avoid any leakage, and is designed for rapid & simple regeneration. These are some of its distinctive features.

It requires no equipment or electricity, connects to your RV or boat using a regular hose, and can be conveniently stored in a storage bay or dockside locker. It provides minimal pressure drop while providing large flow rates.

The water softener system produces soft water that reduces scaling, prevents hard water and rust stains, enhances flavor and odor, prolongs the life of appliances, and relieves rough, dry skin while enhancing soap lathering.

The system is portable and offers a cap and plug option to stop leaks. When necessary, a back-flush adapter is provided for an immediate reverse connection.

This item includes a handle, a back-flush adapter, a high pressure 4′ drinking hose, water hardness test strips, storage inlet/outlet caps, and a full cradle foundation for a very secure and sturdy placement.


  1. We appreciate that the On The Go water softener is a comprehensive system that includes all the components you would anticipate receiving as well as a few extras. A drinking water hose, inlet and outlet hose adaptors, a secure base, a carry handle, and water hardness test strips are all included in the set.
  2. This water softener was one of the most effective in our testing for removing scale and rust, providing two advantages in one.
  3. This water softener system was simple to install, use, and maintain, in our opinion. Just two bags of table salt are required for regeneration process.


  1. The On The Go water softener hasn’t received much customer feedback yet because it’s a relatively new product.
  2. Regenerating this system manually requires some work.

Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener


  • Water Softener Type: Water descaler
  • Process: Electromagnetic
  • Dimensions: 6.69 x 1.57 x 3.54 inches
  • Max Hardness: 20 GPG
  • Flow Rate: 10 GPM
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Our runner-up electronic water descaler recommendation for apartment living is the Eddy Water Descaler. The Yarna Capacitive is slightly more expensive than this descaler, which also has a 12-month money-back guarantee.

Excellent for those seeking the least expensive salt-free descaler without sacrificing performance. The Eddy Water Descaler is the second most effective electronic descaler on the market, only after the Yarna Capacity.

The hardness minerals are retained in the water by the Eddy Water Descaler’s electromagnetic wave, which modifies their adhesion characteristics and stops them from forming scale.

This electronic descaler may be installed on metal and plastic pipes that are up to 1.5 inches thick, which is 0.5 inches thicker than the Yarna Capacitive’s maximum insulation thickness. If you’re not sure about electronic descalers, you may try the Eddy Water Descaler risk-free thanks to its lifetime replace or repair warranty and 12-month money-back guarantee.


  1. The capabilities of the Eddy Water Descaler really astonished us. Up to 20 GPG of water hardness can be handled by this system.
  2. We installed this Eddy model in a matter of minutes without the aid of any special knowledge or abilities. It is appropriate for apartments and rental properties since it wraps around your main water line with two coils.
  3. We adore the fact that the Eddy Water Descaler requires no maintenance and that the sole expense of ownership is a slight rise in your electricity bill.


  1. You can still notice some scale because the Eddy Water Descaler doesn’t physically eliminate hardness minerals.
  2. Because the descaler keeps the magnesium and calcium, it can be challenging to determine whether it is functioning.

Pro + Aqua Portable Water Softener Pro: Great Budget Pick

Our top pick on our list for a cheap water softener for apartment living is the Pro + Aqua Portable Water Softener Pro. With a high-capacity resin and NSF components, the device has a price tag of about $220 and provides all the benefits of a typical salt-based softener. It’s good for anyone searching for a typical water softening that works well and is less expensive, smaller, and easier to install than a POE salt-based machine.

A high-capacity resin is used in the Pro + Aqua Portable Water Softener Pro, a conventional salt-based water softener, to soften water. With two boxes of salt, the system regenerates in under 30 minutes.

Depending on the hardness and purity of your water, this little, portable water softener’s 16,000 grain capacity translates to around 2,000 gallons of softening between regenerations. The Pro + Aqua portable water softener system has high flow ports and a 5 GPM flow rate while minimizing pressure loss.


  1. We appreciate how easily this system operates. The unit only needs to be manually regenerated once every one to two months using water and two boxes of table salt.
  2. In our tests, the Pro + Aqua water softener significantly decreased lead, iron, radium, and other heavy metals in addition to effectively treating water hardness.
  3. One of the best-built portable softeners we’ve used is this one. The tank is built of fiberglass and polyethene, and the premium resin used in its construction has earned NSF certification.


  1. Some people experienced leakage problems.
  2. There is no handle included with the item for carrying.

Pro Tips

We’ve described our process for gathering information and testing the goods in this guide in this section. Additionally, you can use the information we’ve given to decide if a water softener for apartments is right for you.

Is an Apartment Water Softener Necessary?

We are unable to advise you on whether you should or should not acquire a water softener for your unit. The Environmental Protection Agency does not regulate hard water since it poses no health risks, and water hardness varies between states.

However, installing an apartment water softener is definitely worth thinking about if you believe you have hard water and you’ve noticed substantial limescale damage in your property. This will safeguard your plumbing and water-using equipment.

Who This Guide is For

This Best Water Softener for Apartment guide is suitable if:

  • You are an apartment dweller. The items included in this manual will interest tiny families who live in apartments or rental homes.
  • A small to medium budget applies to you. Apartment water softening systems are considerably less expensive than traditional POE softeners, but they still cost $200 to $400.
  • Your water is between fairly hard and hard (and potentially iron, too). All of the apartment softening systems on this list are great for different ranges of hardness, and many of them target iron as well. However, if your water is particularly hard, they probably won’t work.
  • Options are available to you. You can evaluate the technology of the several types of softened water systems we’ve discussed and decide which one best suits your needs.
  • You’re looking for a temporary to a permanent fix. The systems in this manual are easy to deconstruct and transport with you if you move, but they can be utilized for decades.

How We Select Great Softener Systems for Condos and Apartments

Our investigation was limited to portable or non-invasive systems because this guide is intended for apartment owners looking for a soft water option.

We selected the softeners on this list based on their capacity to reduce scale buildup, customer reviews, and overall cost-effectiveness.

Could It Prevent Scale?

Your pipes and plumbing are better protected from mineral damage by a water softener in your apartment that is more effective at preventing scale. More than 95% of scale can be avoided by most apartment water softeners, and in our tests, the top systems on this list all significantly reduced mineral buildup.

In our investigation, we identified a small number of water softeners and electronic descalers that distinguished themselves from the competition and provided the most consistently dependable scale reduction. These systems won out over those that delivered a result that was less reliable or efficient in our opinion.

What Did Customers Say?

We examined consumer evaluations in addition to our own product testing to gauge the general user experience with a particular water softener.

During the study phase, we studied hundreds of customer reviews, which improved our comprehension of the overall customer perception of a water softener’s usability, long-term durability, and maintenance needs. Any comments—whether favorable or unfavorable—that were made repeatedly by different consumers were noted.

Is It Worth The Money?

In order to decide whether a water softener is worthwhile investing in, we combined its overall features, including its capacity and durability, ability to generate softened water, warranty, user comments, and potential third-party testing data.

Systems that provided great performance at the lowest cost made the cut.

How We Tested

In order to assess a system’s usability, drawbacks with regular usage, and if it lives up to a manufacturer’s claims, we tested the goods in this evaluation using both professional industry test findings and our own in-house real-world testing.

This method has replaced the one we previously used to test our own water, which had restricted results in comparison to tests carried out by businesses in a testing facility.

Apartment Water Softener Systems Buying Guide

We’ve covered everything you need to know about apartment water softeners here, including what they are, how they operate, and how to pick the best one for your requirements. At the end of this article, we have also provided answers to your frequently asked questions about apartment water softeners.

What Is Hard Water?

Water with a moderate to a high concentration of dissolved calcium is referred to as hard water. The hardness scale uses grains per gallon (GPG). In addition to parts per million (ppm), milligrams per liter (mg/L) can also be used to assess hardness (PPM).

Measuring Hard Water

Using an at-home test kit is the most affordable and straightforward approach to determine the hardness of your water. It is not necessary for you to precisely know how soft or how hard your water is to the nearest unit because hard water is not unsafe. For this reason, if you’re only curious to find out if you have hard water, we advise using an at-home test kit.

Consider employing a lab test to find out how hard your water is if you’re deciding between a salt-based and saltless water softener for your flat. The findings of lab testing can help you choose the best method to treat your water depending on the calcium and magnesium concentrations in your water, how they relate to regional or national norms, and more.

Frequent Hard Water Issues

If you’ve been living with hard water, you most likely have experienced the following:

  • The white or gray residue known as limescale can be seen on your faucets, showerheads, sinks, coffee machine, and bathtubs.
  • Shampoo, dish soap, and soap don’t lather properly in your water
  • Your water tastes rich in minerals.
  • White stains or markings on stiff laundry
  • spotting on your cutlery or glassware
  • appliances or piping that is harmed or leaking
  • Dry or itchy skin or hair

What Makes an Apartment Water Softener?

A whole house water softener system that is appropriate for use in an apartment or rental property is known as an apartment water softener.

Water softeners for apartments are simple to install and need little maintenance. They are a wonderful alternative for rentals because they are small, compact water softeners that can be fitted in small locations and don’t need to be permanently installed.

How Does an Apartment Water Softener Work?

In order to prevent scale buildup, an apartment water softener either physically removes calcium and magnesium or modifies these minerals. To produce soft or descaled water, various techniques can be used.

Ion exchange is a technique that portable RV water softener devices utilize to add salt to water and remove equivalent amounts of calcium and magnesium.

Comparison Between Whole House Water Softener vs Apartment Water Softeners

Apartment water softeners are compact, lightweight devices intended for use in RVs or small homes for families of one to three people who use less water.

Large, whole-house water treatment systems, known as conventional or whole-house water softeners, soften gallons of water at a time.

Apartment water softeners and whole-house water softeners differ primarily in that they:

  • While whole-house softeners have many tanks, apartment softeners are modest and portable. Even water softeners with two resin tanks and a brine tank, known as dual-tank water softeners, exist.
  • While whole-house softeners may treat up to 10 gallons of hard water per minute, apartment softeners only create about 5 gallons of soft water per minute.
  • While whole-house softeners are appropriate for large families who use a lot of water, apartment softeners are best for persons with low or moderate water consumption.
  • Apartment softeners are appropriate for rental properties because they are simple, temporary applications to install and don’t interfere with your water supply line connection.
  • Water softeners for apartments cost around one-fifth as much as water softeners for entire homes.

Pros and Cons of Apartment Water Softeners


  1. A water softener for an apartment can save you money because it is far less expensive than a whole-house system, costing only about $250.
  2. You can choose from a variety of softening techniques, including saltless softening and conventional salt-based softening.
  3. The biggest benefit for renters may be that installing an apartment water softener unit doesn’t require cutting into your water supply. Therefore, this kind of whole house water softener system is perfect for those who are unable to alter their property permanently.
  4. The majority of apartment water softener systems are very good at handling problems with hard water. Rust stains may also be removed by some techniques.
  5. Water softeners for apartments are compact and space-efficient. You can bring some of them with you to your RV or vacation home because they are portable as well.
  6. There is not much upkeep needed for these devices. While salt-free electric systems can treat thousands of gallons of soft water and require no maintenance at all, salt-based systems need to be topped off with saltwater every two months or so.


  1. A water softener unit for an apartment is not a heavy-duty water softener. Large residences with significant water usage and hardness cannot utilize this system.
  2. Compared to conventional timed or metered water softeners, apartment softening systems aren’t quite as automatic. You must manually add a saltwater solution to the devices since they lack a separate brine tank from which to extract salt.
  3. Salt-based apartment water softener systems are not totally self-operating; they only produce softened water for as long as you maintain them.
  4. The effectiveness of saltless electronic apartment water softeners in de-scaling water is difficult to demonstrate. You cannot use a test to compare the hardness levels of your water before and after installing these descalers because they don’t actually alter the quality of the water.

Alternatively, learn more about the top rated water softener systems for your home here.

Factors to Consider When Buying an Apartment Water Softener

Make sure you know exactly what you want before making a purchase of an apartment water softener. When looking for salt-based or salt-free water softeners for your flat, keep the following in mind:

How Hard Your Water Is

You should test your water to determine how hard it is before deciding which type of apartment water softener will work best for you. You should have enough information about your GPG hardness from an at-home hardness testing kit to make an informed purchase.

If your water has a hardness of 10 to 12 GPG or more, portable salt-based water softeners are your best option because they can handle high hardness levels.

You can choose between salt-based water softeners and salt-free water softeners to successfully treat your apartment’s water if it is moderately hard to hard (4–9 GPG).

Technique for Treating Water

Apartment soft water systems typically come in two flavors: salt-based and electric, electromagnetic, or magnetic. Both offer water purification options that are distinctively their own.

Electromagnetic waves are created by magnetic/ electronic descalers, which change the adhesion characteristics of calcium and magnesium and stop them from adhering to surfaces as scale. Calcium and magnesium ions may be visible in your water as sand-like particles, but they won’t stain your pipes or appliances and will remain in your water.

Ion exchange is a method used by water softeners to replace sodium with calcium and magnesium ions. Hardness minerals can only be totally eliminated by a water softener. Look for portable softeners instead of whole-house systems if you want a whole house water softener that will fit in your apartment because they take up much less room.


Before purchasing a whole house water softener for your flat, it’s important to take your budget into account.

The good news is that compared to standard-size whole-house water softeners, apartment water softeners are smaller and less expensive. Portable water softeners and electrical descalers typically cost $200 to $300.

Also take into account how much you can afford to spend annually on water softener maintenance. Being completely maintenance-free, a salt-free water descaler is a fantastic choice for those on tight budgets.

Portable water softeners are inexpensive to run because they only require periodic topping off with table salt. Spend between $30 and $100 annually on salt.

Unit Capacity and Size

Compared to the conventional whole-house water softener or conditioner, apartment water softeners are more portable and compact.

While electromagnetic descalers are single equipment with a coil or magnets that wrap around your main water supply line, salt-based portable softeners are integrated systems that do not require a separate brine tank and resin tank.

However, you shouldn’t automatically assume that an apartment water softener would fit in your home if you have a lot of space restrictions. Carefully assess the space you have available, including for additional room needed for installation and maintenance, and then compare the results to the specifications of your preferred water softener.

Another thing to think about is your water softener’s capacity, or how much soft water it can create before the resin runs out. The water softener system will need to run a regeneration cycle less frequently the larger the capacity. The typical capacity of portable softeners is 2,000 gallons, or 40 days.

When it comes to capacity, magnetic water softeners are the best choice. Since these systems only employ electricity and magnets to create soft water, they have a limitless capacity.

Installation and Maintenance Tips

The type of system you select will determine the installation and maintenance needs for your apartment’s water softener.

Simply connect the input and outlet ports to your water supply to install a portable salt-based softener. Even simpler to install is an electromagnetic descaler; all you have to do is mount the power unit to your wall and wrap the coil around the water pipe.

You must mix the salt and water for system regeneration yourself with a portable softening system because it lacks a separate brine tank (salt tank). Adding salty water to the resin is the main maintenance chore associated with having a portable salt-based water softener. The system will then replenish itself, which takes roughly 30 minutes.

Since electronic water descalers are salt-free softeners, they don’t require constant salt replenishment to function. These systems don’t require any upkeep either, making them a wonderful option if you don’t want the headache of any maintenance at all.

Both apartment water treatment options—a descaler or a water softener—are less complicated to install and maintain.

Water Flow Rate

The amount of water delivered to your home depends on the water softener’s flow rate.

The flow rate of portable RV water softener systems is typically 2 to 5 GPM (gallons per minute), which is adequate for a one- or two-person apartment with a single bathroom. When shopping for softeners, opt for ones with a flow rate of at least 4 GPM if you frequently use several water-using appliances at once.

Because they don’t intercept your water line, saltless water softeners that employ electromagnetic waves to soften tap water have no effect whatsoever on flow rate. These softeners are worth taking into account if your home already experiences poor water flow.


Finally, we firmly advise against purchasing an apartment water softener unless it comes with a warranty. The top systems on this list all have a limited lifetime guarantee, so in the event that something goes wrong, you are covered for the duration of the system’s life.

Additionally, we advise searching for systems that provide money-back guarantees. The electromagnetic descalers in particular feature 12-month money-back guarantees that let you send the goods back if you’re not satisfied with it inside that time frame. If you’re hesitant to spend money on a softening system, seek for one that comes with a warranty.

Apartment Water Softener System FAQs

Can water in an apartment be softened?

Yes, using a portable water softening device or an electronic water descaler is the best approach to soften water in an apartment. You don’t have to purchase a sizable unit that takes up valuable space, though this might not be an option if your landlord forbids plumbing system modifications.

Compared to conventional salt-based water softeners, portable softeners are far more compact and minimally intrusive.

Can a water softener be installed in a rental apartment?

You can install a water softener in a rented property, but the conventional method might not be allowed because of the transient nature of tenancy.

The greatest option for tenants wishing to lessen hard water accumulation in their homes is a portable water softening system because it is simpler to remove and can be taken with the tenant when they move out. This is especially advantageous for people who are renting short-term or plan to travel around a lot during their tenancy.

Which is better for an apartment – a water softener or a water descaler?

A water softener will likely be necessary to achieve good results if the water hardness score in your apartment is greater than 7 GPG (grains per gallon). However, a water descaler would be the most suitable and cost-effective option for removing magnesium and calcium ions from hard water if hardness is less than 7 grains per gallon.

Which method is best for softening water in an apartment?

A portable water softener or an electric water descaler are the most effective ways to soften the water in an apartment. Compact and simple to install, portable softeners are perfect for flats. On the other hand, the electric descaler uses technology for reducing limescale to minimize calcium and magnesium deposits in water pipes and fixtures.

This technique makes it possible to soften hard water in a way that is more economical and environmentally friendly.

How long should it take a water softener to regenerate?

For water softener regeneration cycles, an interval of 80 to 90 minutes would be suitable. To maximize efficiency, this window minimizes idle times while permitting adequate regeneration to take place. The ideal regeneration frequency relies on a number of variables, including water hardness, daily demand, resin type, and the physical properties of the ion exchange material.

How do on-the-go water softening systems operate?

The way portable water softeners work is by lowering the amount of magnesium and calcium ions, which are what give hard water its hardness. By replacing the calcium and magnesium ions present in the incoming hard water with positively charged sodium ions in a specific resin bed, a process called ion exchange is used to achieve this reduction.

The magnesium and calcium ions are discharged into the solution while sodium ions build up on the resin beads’ surface during this exchange.

How can I soften the water in my apartment?

Installing a water softener that is suitable for apartments is the greatest option to reduce the hardness of the water in your flat. As an alternative, you might boil your water to get rid of any short-term hardness. There are only ways to remove limescale stains; there is no other do-it-yourself water softening techniques.

Do electric water softeners work?

Electric water softeners, also known as “descalers,” do indeed function. They don’t get rid of the hardness minerals in water, but they block them from clinging to surfaces, which prevents scaling. Because they are simple to install and are not permanent, electric water softeners are frequently utilized in flats.

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