Water Softener vs Water Filter - How These Two Water Systems Differ?

Water Softener vs Water Filter - How These Two Water Systems  Differ

Many households have wanted to get better water for the whole house – like laundry, showering, and cooking – everything that involves water at home. How can a home guarantee its water with a safe and clean water system?

Underground water is the most known source of water for municipal systems. This water is identified to have a higher percentage of minerals compared to surface water. In this article, you can get a basic understanding of the method behind each system is important for deciding on a home water filtration system.  

Not only will you find some real and easy-to-understand reviews on the water filters and softeners, but you will also be able to take advantage of the many informational pages that have been added. 

Water Softener Systems and Water Filter Systems – What’s the difference?

 What are the main differences between a water filter and a water softener? Which system is more necessary and important for my home? These are a few of the questions that a smart consumer often asks when considering a whole house water filter.

 To make an informed decision between these two different water treatment systems, you must understand how each of these systems works. Here are some of the main differences between water softening systems and water filtration systems you need to know.

  • Both two systems have different water treatments.

Water Softeners are supposed to remove hardness-causing minerals and contaminants from water, like magnesium and calcium.

Water filters are known to treat contamination and remove impurities from water, like heavy metals (lead, copper, cadmium, mercury), pesticides (herbicides, insecticides), dirt, and sediment from your drinking water.

 Therefore, you can say that a water softener is also a whole house water filter. The term ‘water filter’ covers a wide range of products that includes more than just water softeners.

 Other whole house filters include iron & sulfur removal filters, sediment filters, back-washing carbon filters, and fluoride adsorption filters. These are completely different systems that perform essential water decontamination functions. 

  • Both two systems have different technology.

Water softeners use salt and ion-exchange resins to remove calcium and magnesium from hard water, preventing limescale damage in your home. Resin beads present in tanks attract these minerals, replacing them with sodium ions giving you soft water.

 On the other hand, water filters can use various water purification techniques to treat contamination and remove impurities such as lead and pesticides from your drinking water.

Pollutants are removed from water by the use of advanced media beds. The processes followed are oxidation, catalytic conversion, micro-filtration, ion exchange, and adsorption.

  • Both two systems have different maintenance needs.

Salt-based water softeners need to be maintained regularly. One of the main maintenance tasks that need to be done is restocking consumable salt. Non-salt-based systems need lesser maintenance, but they are often damaged by trace amounts of oil.

Magnetic systems have the least maintenance requirements and can be installed for cheap, but they are ineffective against metallic dissolved materials.

 While water filtration systems don’t need much maintenance, but they are more expensive to install. If all you need is to make the water less hard, using water softener systems will be more cost-efficient.

Which one is better for my home?

 Perhaps you've had the same questions.  Let's have a closer look at what each of these solutions does and how they can help out around the house.


A Water Softener is a filtration system that removes high concentrations of calcium and magnesium that cause hard water. When water flows through a Water Softener, the system filters out these hard water minerals, and the softened water then leaves the water softening system to flow through plumbing.

It also typically used salt as the primary chemical agent in modifying the properties of water, while filtration can cover many more methods to change the water.

Water Softener vs Water Filter - How These Two Water Systems  Differ

 What are the Key Features?

  • It acts like a traditional “bar magnet” – one end is positive, and the other is negative. Calcium and magnesium, the two key culprits of hard water, are both positively charged molecules. And, as the hard water pumps through the softening system, it passes through a filter filled with negatively charged resin beads.
  • It will completely remove both of these elements (calcium and magnesium) before water is run through your system. These are salt-based water softeners.
  • They will neutralize these elements by way of electromagnetic waves before the water comes out of your faucet. Since these do not eliminate the hardness minerals from the water, they are also called water conditioners.
  • It helps prolong the life of your appliances and the plumbing in your home. You will probably find it tastes different.

At home, you’ll need a Water Softener if…

  • Mineral-like crust built up around your faucets or on your shower head
  • Soap scum build up in your sinks or on your shower walls
  • Irritated or dry skin and dull hair after showering
  • Stiff clothing after a load of laundry

The Benefits of Having a Water Softener at Home

The water softener is most important to protect your home to prolong the lifespan of pipes and home appliances from scale buildup and clogging. Compare to water treated with a water softener versus untreated hard water has many benefits:

  • Cleaner and shinier silverware, glassware, mirrors, tiles, cars, or any plumbing fixtures;
  • Softer skin and clean, smooth hair;
  • Uses less soap and shampoo because of the rich lather softened water and soap produces;
  • Softer clothes without hard minerals trapped in the fabric. Fabrics last longer, and whites stay whiter without the dingy gray caused by hard water;
  • Save money on monthly energy costs and damages to appliances.

Is it safe to drink water from a water softener?

 While many consumers use a water softener to enjoy its benefits, there is confusion about whether softened water is safe to drink. Some consumers are concerned with some of the risks.

  1. Health

    - Soft water is harmful to certain individuals that are sensitive to heightened salinity or sodium levels. Studies have shown that significantly decreasing sodium intake can lower your blood pressure
  2. Risk in Plants

    - Plants can be extraordinarily sensitive to sodium levels. As a result, supporting plants with soft water, which is naturally high, can stunt their growth and cause blockages in the plant's root system. Distilled, tepid water is best for plants.
  3. Washing Issues

    – Soft water cannot very useful for washing skin because you will have a difficult time removing soap from skin and shampoo from hair. Hence you'll use more water when you shower.


Water filters are designed to remove various impurities from water, and it uses two different techniques in getting rid of these contaminants. Physical filtration is straining water to remove larger impurities. It is a piece of thin gauze or a very fine textile membrane.

 Another technique is chemical filtration which involves passing through an active material that removes impurities chemically as they pass through. Water filters are the best way to ensure that you're drinking clean and great-tasting water.

Water Filtration generally refers to the methods or systems that remove contaminants from water that includes:

  • Metals such as arsenic, iron, or copper
  • Industrial and pharmaceutical byproducts like pesticides or hormones
  • Sediment and other organic troublemakers

 Key Features:

  • Water Filters are affordable and come in various forms, such as a pitcher that can sit on your countertop or in the fridge and a faucet mount that filters water straight from the tap.
  • They're a must-have for camping or hiking trips, so you'll have safe drinking water when you need it. 
  • The group of water filters includes mainly reverse osmosis (RO) systems, activated carbon filters, and microporous filters. Depending on which type is used, contaminants are either trapped in a system and then removed by cleaning or filtering cartridge replacement or getting flushed down the drain straight away.

Water Filters: How do they work?

Black Berkey Purification Elements Replacement Filters

We can all agree that in water filtration, contaminants are trapped and then either removed through system cleansing or contained in a cartridge membrane that needs replacing after a certain period.

Water Filter such as Berkey Water Filters provide contamination removal. This water filter is used worldwide to set the international standard for water filters used in clean or hostile filtration environments.

Black Berkey® Elements dramatically reduce trihalomethanes, inorganic minerals, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, VOCs, petroleum products, perfluorinated chemicals, rust, silt, sediment, radiologicals, and more.

Black Berkey® Elements have been tested by accredited third-party labs that have reported that the elements meet ANSI/NSF (Std. 53) protocol, and address over 200+ typical contaminants found in drinking water sources.

 Here's Why You Need a Good Water Filter

 Water is very important that sustains all forms of life. The water that comes directly from the faucet, the tap water, may already be undermining your health without you noticing it. Even the  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  has tested the water, and they said that more than ninety percent (90%) of the water supply in the United States is safe to drink. Still, they are not entirely free from various impurities.

You have to consider that the water flowing from your tap at home is not entirely clean and safe. Before it reached the faucet in your home, it has already traveled through miles of pipeline and carried lots of contaminants along the way. That is why you need a water filtration system to improve the water quality for the family.

Here are a few reasons why a water filter is necessary:

  • To remove chlorine.
    Chlorine is an effective disinfectant, but it can make your drinking water smell and taste unpleasant. It could also react with other metals found in the water, therefore, forming a hazardous compound.
  • To remove Fluoride.
    An excessive amount of fluoride can be toxic, especially to children. High fluoride consumption is directly associated with gastrointestinal problems, low fertility, thyroid and endocrine-related ailments, and even cancer.
  • To remove lead from the water.
    You can be intoxicated when the lead is ingested into your body. Ask the health authorities if your main source of water is a well. It is recommended that you will need to have the water tested at least once a year.

The Water Filter System that Suits Your Home

With Berkey Water Filters, it will provide you more than effective water filtration systems.

  • It is gravity-fed, so no need for electricity or water pressure
  • A user-friendly, cost-effective, and freshwater source for your home

Choose a System for your Home

It is sometimes a pain in the head and inconvenient when you buy the wrong product. Imagine being all mesmerized by the product displayed in the store and getting all excited to buy it. Then, you finally decide to give in to your desires, buy the product, and bring it home. Only then do you realize that it is not the most suitable for your needs.

Big Berkey  2.25 gallon Water Filter Special Set with 2 Black Elements and 2 Fluoride Filters (Limit one unit per order) - The Berkey

 You need to decide today whether you go for water softeners or water filtration. But deciding between the two depends on the problems you are having at home. 

  • If there is a lot of calcium and magnesium dissolved in it and your household appliances start to build up scale, you deal with hard water, and a softening system is likely the best solution.
  • If chlorine affects your water's smell and taste or if you’re worried about contaminants such as lead and pesticides affecting your family, a water filter is best.

When it comes to cleaner, healthier water, it is easy to see why many households choose systems that can filter chemical impurities.

Deciding on a water filter or softener should depend on the current condition of your water. In a nutshell, a water softener protects your possessions while a water filter protects your health.

The bottom line here is; the choice is up to you. What has been mentioned in this article is not just giving you an opportunity but also making sure you are armed with the necessary information withal before you hit the purchase button. The difference between both systems has been explained intrinsically, which might best suit you.

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