Water Softener and Water Filters – What are the differences

Both of the water softeners and water filters cure the water in your residence, and if you are not familiar with the divergences among them, it would easily confuse you for each other as these products are very different from each other. Both of them perform separate functions, even though they both treat water. A water softener is a kind of a water filter, yet a water filter is not at all times a water softener.

Here, we will go a little deeper inwards to find out what purposes they serve. Afterward, we will clarify the distinction between both of them. Also, we will figure out the expected scenarios in which we can take benefit from them. Conclusively, you will be familiar with their uses and you will know in which situation you need to use which one of them.

Purpose of Water Softeners

Calcium and magnesium are the main sources of making water hard. So, water Softeners helps in the removal of unwanted minerals like calcium and magnesium. Because softener’s aim is on treating minerals so, they do not specifically attack the impurities that water filters treat. Water softening is a completely different process than water filtration.

Water softeners can improve the lifespan of your water utilizing machines and assists you to save on maintenance by removing extra minerals from water which are calcium and magnesium. With the use of clean and treated water, you would witness a lot cleaner washed crockery and clothes.

Purpose of water filters

There are several processes of filtration of water to cure pollutants and remove impurities like lead, pesticides, and waste from water. To remove the contaminants, the most commonly used techniques are sediment filtration, reverse osmosis, and activated carbon. The water filtration system is generally mounted under the sink and cleans the water coming from the kitchen tap.

Let’s see the difference between the two from different aspects:

Water treatment

Water softeners are intended to eliminate contaminants and minerals such as calcium and magnesium that cause hardness in water.

On the other hand, water filters are supposed to remove impurities and contamination from water, such as heavy metals (cadmium, copper, and mercury, lead), pesticides (insecticides, herbicides), sediment, and dirt from the drinking water.

So, the water softener can be termed as an entire house water filter whereas the water filter involves a broad collection of tools that includes many products other than water softeners.


Water softeners make use of ion exchange resins and salt to eliminate magnesium and calcium from hard water, avoiding limescale loss in your house. Within the tank, resin beads attract minerals and contaminants and replace them with sodium ions resulting in soft water.

Water filters, on another hand, use various water purification methods to remove impurities and pollutants like pesticides and lead from drinking water. Various latest meds beds are used to remove contaminants from water. Further processes include oxidation, micro-filtration, catalytic conversion, adsorption, and ion exchange.

Maintenance needs

Water softeners with salt have to be cleaned regularly. The primary maintenance job that you have to do is refilling household salt. In contrast, water softeners without salt require much less maintenance but are frequently spoiled by low oil amounts.

Water filters don’t need maintenance but they come with the costly installation.

Final Thoughts

Many people get muddled between a water purifier and a water softener. Keeping in mind the quality of water at your home, you need to decide which tool you require for your home. For cleaner washing, a water softener is used and for clean drinking water, water purifiers or filters can be used.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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