What are is the best compact solution to soften water in an apartment? You would think with how common hard water is that there would be a bunch of solutions to this problem but honestly, because most water softeners are too big to fit in anything but the corner of a laundry room, a garage, or attic it’s a problem that actually needs to be attacked a little more creatively. To explain why I am going to recommend my solution to hard water it’s worth taking a few seconds to understand what hard water is and what causes it.

“Hard water” is water that contains a high level of dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium. This can result in several problems, including the buildup of limescale, soap scum, and reduced effectiveness of soaps and detergents.  

A water softener is a device that removes the minerals that cause hard water through a process called ion exchange. It replaces the hard minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, with sodium or potassium ions, making the water “soft.”

The typical solution is to send the water through a large volume of sodium or potassium and allow this natural exchange to happen. For someone that can afford a big house and the $1000-1500 traditional or salt-free water softener sure go for it but that is not us. We are normal people that have an apartment/condo and would prefer not to spend 1k to give up one of our only cosets in our house.

The first option you might look at is to just get a compact water softener to use up even more of your valuable cabinet space but at least you’re not losing a closet the problem is that on testing we realized quickly that those smaller compact units although they don’t really take up to much space they also don’t really fix the problem.

Why we recommend water descalers to solve the issue of hard water in your apartment

Water descalers alter the structure of the minerals via electromagnetic waves. They are effective in reducing the build-up of scale and soap scum from your water giving you at least 80% of the benefits of an expensive bulky water softener but with three benefits that make them specifically well suited to soften water for your apartment or condo.

  1. They are very small with wires that wrap around your water line, tiny enough that space they take up is not going to be a factor at all. You can even hide them behind a plumbing access panel in your wall.
  2. They install easily, we are talking DIY if you are handy or an hour of a handymans time if you’re not.
  3. Last but not least we are living in apartments here because that is what we can afford not because we are rich. They are cheap in the 200-300 dollar range and if installed by a professional you are not going to be much over $400 so that is a win-win for all of us common folk living in compact spaces.

Our Top Choice is the Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System OR Eddy Electronic Water Descaler

Wait did I just recommend two products?! Yes. We bought one of each and installed them as supplies to two separate bathrooms for a month to see which one worked better. We thought we were being so clever to be able to definitively recommend one to you and stand out from our competition by actually trying the thing we were going to recommend. They are both effectively the same thing. Our results were that they both worked and based on the results we got I would simply click the links to both product’s Amazon pages and just buy whichever one costs less when you need it

Here are some of the features of both of them:

  • Easy installation, no plumbing required (but we do recommend installing it before the hot water for your whole apartment)
  • Works on all types of pipes, including copper and plastic
  • Low maintenance, no chemicals or salt required just hook it up and forget about it.
  • Will improve the lifespan of appliances and plumbing fixtures by simulating the effects of ionic exchange water softeners.

What We Like About the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler and Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler Systems: One of the best things about these descalers is that they’re low maintenance. Unlike water softeners, which require the addition of salt or potassium, a descaler does not require any chemicals or salt. You install it, power it up and forget about it.

What We Don’t Like About Descalers: While they’re effective at preventing limescale buildup, they may not be as effective as a traditional water softener at completely removing minerals from the water… but you don’t have space for one of those so let’s just move on.

Easy to installMay not completely remove minerals from water
Works on all types of pipesMay take time to see the results
Low maintenance
Improves lifespan of appliances and fixtures

Overall, both the Eddy Electronic Water Descaler and the Capacitive Electronic Water Descaler System are great options for anyone looking to reduce limescale buildup and improve the lifespan of their plumbing and appliances. They are easy to install, low maintenance, and can be used on all types of pipes. They are compact, they get the job done and are by a wide margin the best compact water softener system for your condo or apartment.