Water Filter VS Softener VS Purifier – What’s The Difference?

Water Softener VS Water Filter

For a lot of people, water filters and softeners are pretty much the same thing. They go through their lives unenlightened, holding this belief until they find themselves in a situation where they must decide between a water filter and a softener; only then do they realize the two are surprisingly different.

As you’ll soon find out…

Since you're reading this, I'm guessing you already know that water softeners and filters are two different things. But, since you're reading this, I'm also going to guess that you're not sure exactly why.

That's okay.

In this article, we're going to look at a comparison between water softener vs water filter, discuss the merits of each, and hopefully help you decide which of the two is right for you.

Let's get started!

Water Filter

When they think of water filters, the vast majority of people think of those plastic jugs you can get to run your water through like a sieve before drinking it. Though it is very basic and usually pretty flimsy, that is indeed a water filter and if the only thing you're looking for is pure drinking ​H2O, stop reading now and go out and get one.

However, the term 'water filter' can be applied to a great deal of products with a great deal of prices. Should you want more than just clean drinking water, whole house water filters are available and can be found both online and in stores.

A whole house water filtration system works in much the same way as its tiny plastic counterpart, only on a larger scale. It traps dirt, grime, and whatever else the water may be contaminated by and removes it systematically, beginning with chlorine and ending with miscellaneous waste.


  • Several varieties
  • Reduced levels of chlorine
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Wide price range


  • Broad interpretation means deciding to purchase a water filter leads to even more decision making.
  • Wastes a lot of water.
  • Wide price range.

Water Softener

I'm not going to say whether I lean towards a water softener or a ​filter. What I will say, however, is that the water softener's process is by far the more intriguing of the two.

A water softener works by trading the minerals found in unprocessed water for sodium in a process known as "ion exchange".

Ion exchange takes place in the mineral tank, which is essentially the mission control of a water softening system. Filled with resin of a negative charge, the mineral system allows it to pass through ​the system while the negatively charged beads attract the positively charged minerals in the water. By the time water exits the mineral tank, it is softened and free of contaminants.


  • A whole house system is easily fitted.
  • Less hard water means less staining in showers and baths.
  • Saves Energy


  • Prices can enter the thousands.
  • The need for salt means you have a constant expense.
  • Soft water doesn't have a pleasant taste and can have a negative effect on health.

Water Filter VS Water Softener

Now that we've looked at what separates water filters and ​softeners, let's head over to Amazon and take a look at one of each, both of similar rating and cost.

Home Master Whole House Water Filter

Home Master Whole House Water Filter

This water filter goes far beyond the picture you fill with ​H2O and leave on your countertop for a couple of minutes.

A whole house water filter, this Home Master product will leave you with clean water coming from every faucet in your house without a drop in ​pressure.

Its 95,000 gallon capacity provides a full year of clean, filtered ​H2O.

With an average of five stars from Amazon reviewers, the Home Master Whole House Filter has been praised for it's simplicity to install and maintain along with it's near 100% removal of contaminants.

Grab this at a GREAT DEAL running only ​until the end of November 2020!

Fleck 5600 SXT -

Representing the softeners in the battle of comparisons between water softener vs filter is the Fleck 5600 SXT.

Like the Home Master ​filter, the Fleck 5600 is relatively easy to install into your home. On top of that, it is equipped with an LCD display and touch pad to make managing it is as effortless as possible.

However, the Fleck 5600 SXT is a little bit more expensive than its ​filter counterpart, which you will find is a common occurrence between filters and softeners. It also lacks the five-star average of the Home Master ​filter, but still boasts an impressive four-and-a-half stars.

Those who have chosen the water softener over a ​filter have delighted in the Fleck 5600's durability and sturdiness, seemingly supporting Fleck ​softeners' claim that it can function for up to twenty-seven years.


This brings our study of water softener vs water filter to an end. A couple hundred words later the only clarity we have is that it is nearly impossible to pick a clear winner between the two.

This is not down to any failure on my part (I insist), but rather due to the fact that water filters and ​softeners offer different services and so the "winner" will vary depending on the needs of the buyer.

As you probably know by now, choosing between the best water softener and the best water filter is an exhausting task, made all the more arduous by the ridiculous amount of research needed to make an informed purchase.

However, it is comforting to know that if you power through to the chart and settle on a product, either filter or softener, you will not have to do this again for a very long time. Remember to only invest in the REAL DEAL and get them using our links!


I'm Patricia Baker, a kindergarten teacher turned stay at home mom. I enjoy researching and writing product reviews as a way to help other consumers (like myself) make informed decisions. signature

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