10 Best Water Softener Resins 2023 Reviews & Ultimate Guide.



If you’ve come to this page, you’re looking for the best water softener resins for removing iron, magnesium, and calcium from hard water.

It’s also fair to say that you don’t want to spend endless hours scouring hundreds of websites for the top-rated water softener resins that fulfill your unique requirements.

You’ve come to the right place!

This page has all of the information you’ll need to make an informed decision about which water softener resin to purchase.


Best Water Softener Resin Reviews

1. Best Overall-Purolite C-100E Cationic Resin

Purolite C-100E Cationic Resin Replacement for Water Softener 1 CuFt...
  • Advantages - Efficient regeneration - Good kinetic performance - Low...

The C100E Purolite Cationic Resin is a highly rated water softener resin that is suitable for well water with high iron content.

This sodium Purolite c100e replacement resin is a polystyrene heavy acid cation exchange resin with an 8 percent crosslink.

It comes in a one-cubic-foot bag weighing 49.9 pounds. The resin beads are either transparent or amber in color. More importantly, they are high-quality, pure beads.

They work by forming a polystyrene sulfonate cation exchange resin gel. The resin effectively neutralizes the water’s complexions, leaving you with clear water. Purolite C-100E Cationic Resin increases the performance and reliability of your household appliances by softening the water.

That is one of the reasons why Purolite C-100E resin is the best for use in a household. It also works great for industrial water. And you can be confident in its safety, as it meets U.S. Food and Drug Administration codes.


  • Removes the aftertaste in hard water.
  • Can work with the hardest water, making it suitable for camping and trips
  • Has the best chemical stability
  • Its kinetic performance is great


  • Water quality affects the longevity of this product
  • 8% crosslink does not last so long

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2. AFWFilters SOFRES1 Water Softening Resin Replacement

1 cubic foot, single bag of High Capacity 8% cross like Cation, Water...
  • Water Softening Resin Certified NSF 61 for Drinking Water System for...

AFWFilters SOFRES1 comes in bead form with an 8% crosslink that contains divinylbenzene. For this reason, it works best in water that is not chlorinated and without iron.

The resin removes hardness integrations in water (calcium and magnesium) and replaces them with sodium ions through the ion exchange mechanism. If you’re worried, you’ll be glad to know that USDA, NSF, and FDA have approved it for compliance with resin guidelines and standards.

That said, continuous use of SOFRES1 will deplete the resin bed – which is typical for most water softener resins. When this happens, regenerate the bed with table salt, and you will have pure water again.

A significant advantage of the product is that it can be shipped either as a single package or with two halves. If you choose the latter, you will receive two bags that weigh about 44.6 pounds each. The single package weighs twice as much.


  • For optimum efficiency, the beads are spherical.
  • Lifespan of 12 to 15 years.
  • It’s compatible with all popular water softeners.
  • It’s easy to replace the resin in your water softener.


  • Ineffective in water with extremely high iron content
  • It’s likely that it’ll change the taste of your water.

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3. Water Softener Resin for Iron – LiquaGen Ion Exchange

LiquaGen (1/2 CU FT) - Higher Grade Ion Exchange Resin Cation for...
  • 26 Pounds of Resin Cation Premium Grade Softening Resin Strong Acid...
  • DOMINANT HYDRAULIC QUALITIES:- LiquaGen Water Softener Resin has...
  • CHEMICAL AND THERMAL STABILITY: This resin media is insoluble in...
  • APPLICATIONS: The cation resin is a high purity, premium cation resin...
  • ION EXCHANGE PROCESS: An ion-exchange resin is a polymer or resin...

LiquaGen is one of the high-quality resins for water softener manufacturers on the market if you’re looking for the best water softener resins for iron removal.

Many people use a lot of money on resin replacements and still don’t get the best results. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to have an expert substitute your water softener resin with LiquaGen.

Their DIY method makes it simple to substitute your water softener resin on your own, for just the cost of the resin.

This black-colored resin comes in bead form and uses robust and high-quality acid cation replacement. It comes in a 1.5 cubic foot bag that weighs about 75 pounds.

With 10% crosslinking, LiquaGen is excellent for removing excess iron molecules in water. The high crosslinking forms a fine-mesh resin that effectively traps complexions. Also, the resin replaces magnesium and calcium ions with sodium ions.

Calcium and Magnesium ions, in case you didn’t know, are the most common causes of water hardness. So you want to get rid of these two from your water supply. What are the benefits of using LiquaGen substitute water softener resin? To begin, you can use it to soften water for domestic use in your home. It is highly useful for food, washing, and drinking water.

In industry, this resin purifies water used for food processing, beverage treatment, and more. In other words, it is a multipurpose – water softener resin.

It should be noted, however, that LiquaGen’s efficiency can decrease over time. In which case you can find that the water is still hard. To keep this under pressure, regenerate the resin bed with table salt.


  • High-quality product evaluated at an affordable price.
  • The available funnel makes it easy for you to replace the resin
  • Lasts a very long time-12 to 15 years
  • Effectively treats water with high iron concentration
  • Has excellent chemical stability


  • It’s hard to hate this resin, but its 0.5 cubic foot alternative is quite expensive

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4. oceanic water systems-100% ion-exchange high capacity.

Water Softening Resin Upgraded 10% Cross Linked 100% Ion Exchange High...
  • Higher Grade 10% Cross Link Cation Resin. Water Softening - Strong...
  • An ion-exchange resin or ion-exchange polymer is a resin or polymer...
  • The cation resin is a high purity, premium cation resin designed for...
  • Perfect funnel for loading resin: Amazon ASIN: B01M9CLYB6 (funnel not...

 First of all, this 100% ion-exchange high-capacity replacement softener resin is 10% crosslinked. It is not a heavy package. It only weighs about 50 pounds (about 23 kg) and comes in a 1.0 cubic footbag.

With its 10% crosslinked strong acid cation, this oceanic water system resin works best on chlorinated water and does not contain iron. If your water is disinfected by chlorination, you might want to add this resin to your shopping list. This method of water treatment is used by the majority of municipalities and towns.

The resin comes in microbeads that are 0.5-1 mm in diameter and are yellow or white in color. This makes them sufficiently porous. The tiny beads have a wide surface area, which helps them to capture ions in hard water and replace them with other ions. The ion exchange process is this.

Where would you use the resin from oceanic water systems? It’s suitable for extracting toxins from food and beverage water. It can also be used for food production and drinking water.


  • It has good selectivity and thermotolerant property.
  • Excellent physical and chemical stability
  • High capacity, strong acid cation
  • It has a long service life
  • Fairly affordable


  • One of the hardest resins to change
  • No mention of the product with a charging hopper

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5. HydroTec Systems Ion Exchange Resin

HydroTec Systems Cation Sodium (NA+) Form One (1) Cubic Foot, 50 lbs,...
  • New 1cuft Resin
  • Regenerated into Sodium (Na+) Form
  • Ready For use
  • Removes soluable calcium and soluble iron
  • Removes Hardness

 HydroTec Systems has straw-colored beads of 8% crosslink with DVB for optimum performance. It works with the cation ion exchange media in sodium form. The resin is packaged in a one cubic foot bag that weighs pounds.

Although it is not made in the USA, this water filtration resin meets NSF (National Science Foundation) standards. This means it is (without a doubt) safe to use in the treatment of drinking water.

HydroTec systems work best if your softener is more than five years old or if the water has a high iron content. Use the entire bag in your water softener system at the same time to get maximum benefits from the product. This strategy improves the longevity of the resin to 10 or more years.

Another important benefit is that it is quick to substitute. You don’t have to call “the man” if you do it yourself.


  • You can set it up or modify it yourself.
  • Compliant with U.S. safety standards, so it is safe to use.
  • Suitable for domestic water treatment
  • The food-grade resin ensures that the water you drink is extremely pure.


  • Becomes wet as soon as you open the bag

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6. KATION-50-BOX HI-Capacity water softener resin from Amanzi.

CATION-50-BOX HI-Capacity Water Softening Resin
  • Standard Mesh Cation Exchange Resin provides for economical softening...

Now, this is a 50 box resin from Amanzi. That is to say; its mesh number is 50, not 100 like AMANZI cation 100 box. With a robust acid cation exchange of 8% crosslink, it is undoubtedly as good as any standard cation resin on the market. But instead of getting a one cubic foot bag (as is the case with most resins), this offering comes in a half cubic foot bag that weighs about 23 pounds.

Don’t get your hopes high with this resin, as it is a 50-box. Therefore, it is more suitable for home use than industrial applications. All in all, it replaces hardness integrations like calcium and magnesium with sodium ions like any other resin.

Note that water quality will be affected if the resin bed is depleted. But this should not worry you because you can regenerate it with sodium or potassium chloride solution.

The resin will continue to work well provided there is little or no iron and chlorine in your water. It is a standard quality resin product that meets the required federal guidelines for drinking water consumption in terms of safety.


  • It is easy to replace the need to hire a professional
  • The 10-year service life guarantees you longevity
  • Very suitable for household water softener systems
  • It is standard cation exchange, therefore provides soft water quite well
  • With 8% cross-linkage, this resin is chemically stable


  • Not ideal for industrial use

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7. Tier1-IER-100 – Ion Exchange Resin Exchange

This resin is one of the most robust on the market, with a 10% crosslink. It has a lifespan of up to ten years.

It is made of high-capacity gel polystyrene, a robust acid cation exchange suitable for most water systems. This includes both commercial and residential systems.

Unlike other resins, this comes in a 25-gallon bag weighing 53 pounds. The bag takes up 0.883 cubic feet of the resin bed. If you feel that is more than you need, you can order half of it. Such options ensure that you only get the amount you need or the amount you can afford.

How does the replacement resin work? It saturates hard water and removes all elements that cause hardness. When all is said and finished, you’ll have soft water that won’t stain your clothes or trigger scale accumulation on your appliances. More importantly, you can drink it, cook with it, and so on.


  • Multipurpose resin that can be used for both commercial and residential purposes.
  • It is a durable resin with a life expectancy of up to 10 years
  • Increases the longevity of your equipment.
  • With 10% crosslinking, its chemical stability is excellent


  • Price is on the higher side

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8. AMANZI cation 100 box halo capacity

Amanzi CATION-75-BOX HI-Capacity Water Softening Resin

Amanzi resin comes in 50-box and 100-box sizes. You’re probably curious about the figures. They’re concerned about the resin’s scale. Mesh count is a common cation measurement scale in which 100 is more refined than 50.

So the “100-box” label means that the spherical beads in this resin are super delicate. They are smaller than cation resins. Most standard cation resins have a mesh count of 50.

The Cation 100 box from AMANZI. It works best in water with a high chlorine content. This resin also handles iron, and it will possibly outperform other standard resins.

It is ideal for use in most standard water softeners since it is a standard 8 percent – crosslink. It comes in a one-cubic-footbag kit. The resin can last between 10 and 15 years in terms of durability. The exact time will be determined by the hardness of your water, the product’s life cycle, and a few other variables.


  • Lasts longer than the average water softener resin.
  • It’s easy to use, so you don’t need professional help
  • Has a fine mesh that ensures efficient water filtration
  • Removes chlorine and iron content in water
  • It has good chemical stability


  • You need to buy a funnel separately to charge it

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9. AFWFILTER Birm 1 cu. ft, black

Birm Media - 1.0 cu ft
  • 1 cu. ft. birm filter media used in iron filter tanks
  • Removes iron, manganese, general filtering of dirt, rust, sediment
  • This media CANNOT be shipped to California.

This is another high-quality resin, although a little different than the rest. The product is black and comes in a one cubic foot bag that weighs 53 pounds.

It is specifically designed to remove excess minerals such as iron and manganese. If your water contains iron, the iron combines with oxygen to form rust. Fortunately for you, AFWFILTER filters iron out of the water (through Birm media).

Sediment, rust, and dirt are also eliminated. As a result, it is most definitely the strongest resin for iron. Depending on the hardness of the water, the beads will last between 4 and 8 years. It can be used in iron filter tanks without affecting the purity of the water.

An additional advantage is that you can easily replace this resin. You will need little to no effort to keep your water soft throughout the four or even eight years.

While it is an excellent water resin for residential use, AFWFilters Birm Iron Filter Water Resin is not recommended for commercial purposes.


  • You can easily replace the filter media
  • Makes an excellent choice for residential purposes
  • It can dissolve suspended materials
  • A proven long-lasting efficiency
  • Offers an excellent price-performance ratio


  • You must purchase a charging hopper separately
  • Unsuitable for commercial use

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10. aquatrol ion-exchange replacement

Water Softening Resin Softener Media 100% Ion Exchange Replacement - 1...
  • Works for any residential 32,000 Grain Water Softener
  • In stock and ready to ship

Water softener resin from Aquatrol is suitable for softening residential water. A 32,000-grain residential water softener is recommended. This resin is 8 percent crosslinked and contains both divinylbenzene and polystyrene, and is built in amber beads. It comes in a one-cubic-foot pack that weighs 50 pounds.

Aquatrol beads form a fine mesh resin that effectively traps extra complex ions in water when used together. Simply stated, this resin can be used to dissolve contaminants such as sulfur and iron. The best part is that it has no impact on the resin bed’s lifespan.

There’s more good news: Aquatrol beads work with almost all ordinary water filters. However, it’s always a good idea to check your softener’s manual for compatibility. You should even work out the correct number while you’re at it.

How long will you be able to use Aquatrol water softener resin? That, of course, is dependent on the hardness of your water. It has a 10-year average lifetime, but if your water isn’t too hard, it can last up to 20 years.


  • A funnel is used to assist in the loading of the resin.
  • Has a long life expectancy of 10 to 20 years.
  • It is chemically and physically stable.
  • One of the most cost-effective water resins available.
  • The resin is compatible with a wide range of home water softeners.


  • When used with some water softener systems, it is inefficient.Therefore, it is essential to read the plasticizer manual before placing your order.

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As seen in the comparison table above and the resin list, there are two major forms of water softener resin.Fine mesh resin and regular ion exchange resin are the two options.

Ion exchange resin in its most simple form

This form of resin is extremely useful for both purifying and softening water. Between 3 and 5 p. m., they extract dissolved iron from water. Sodium chloride, common salt, or potassium chloride may all be used to regenerate this form.

They effectively eliminate other organic impurities and heavy metals such as copper and lead from water, in addition to iron. The beads are typically spherical and thin, resembling sand grains.

Resin with a Fine Mesh

Since these resins are so small compared to regular ion exchange resins, they typically need a separate growing screen or gravel bed with small slots. This is achieved to avoid the resins from moving away from the water softener as it is being regenerated.

They can extract dissolved iron up to 10 times better than normal ion exchange resin, so if you have a lot of it, this is what you need. They’re also successful at removing excess chlorine. This form also has the benefit of containing activated carbon, which improves the smell, feel, and taste of water.

Resins with a ten percent and eight percent crosslinking ratio

You should note that there are two types of cation resins: eight percent crosslinking and ten percent crosslinking, now that you know the different types of resins for water softening.

The connection between the cores of the resin beads is the crosslinking. Water softener resins use crosslinked divinylbenzene to make the beads tighter. Higher crosslinking is more expensive than lower crosslinking. The lower crosslinking resin beads are more prominent and expand more than the higher crosslinking resin beads.

The lower crosslinking resin beads are more efficient at softening water because they hold more water, but the higher crosslinking resin beads have a longer life.

8% Crosslinking: this can last up to fifteen years, although it depends on water quality, so you should expect a ten-year life instead. They are used more often than the 10% – crosslinking. They can dissolve iron at a rate of 3 to 5 p. P. M. and are ideal for water with little iron or chlorine.

10 percent crosslink: This crosslink is stronger and lasts longer than the 8 percent crosslink. They’re great for chlorinated water. Specialty resins with a crosslink percentage of 10% or higher are ideal for public water sources. The only drawbacks of this crosslink are the higher pressure drops it produces and the fact that it costs more than the 8% crosslink. Fine mesh resins are also referred to as 10% crosslink resins due to their similar properties.

Are you looking for a substitute resin?

What factors do you think about when selecting the right resin for your water softener system?

  • You would need to consider the chlorine content in your water. If your water contains about five ppm of chlorine, a resin with 8% crosslinking is much more advisable as it can soften city water. If the chlorine content is higher than five ppm, you should opt for 10% crosslinking or OK mesh resins.
  • You should also consider the iron content in the water. High levels of iron in the water would require 10% ige crosslinking or fine mesh resins, while lower levels would require 8% ige crosslinking.
  • It’s also important to know where your water comes from. If your water comes from a well, the right resin for well water with 10% crosslinking or fine mesh resins should be purchased. A crosslinking rate of 8% should suffice if it comes from a municipal or public source.
  • Your budget is also essential. Your financial situation is also crucial. The 8 percent crosslinked resin is perfect for you if you want to save a lot of money on your purchase. If not, fine mesh resins or 10% crosslinked resins are an option.
  • If you plan to use the water softener resin for a very long time, the 10% crosslinking or fine mesh resins will last longer than the 8% crosslinking resins.

How does it work?

Water softeners are systems that remove minerals that make your water hard and soften your water. Water softeners are devices that soften the water by extracting minerals that make it rough. Soft water is safe to cook, drink, and clean with, and it helps to avoid the formation of limescale and soap scum. It also keeps your clothes from fading and your pipes from corroding.

Resins are necessary for water softeners to work. The hard water in the tank emerges from the control head of the water softener and passes through the resin bed’s beads.

Resins are necessary for water softeners to work. The hard water in the tank emerges from the control head of the water softener and passes through the resin bed’s beads. The beads would then replace the water’s harmful mineral content as it passes through with potassium or sodium ions. After that, the resin bed would still soften the hard water and make it suitable for use.

How do I replace the resin?

  • To begin, switch off the water supply and unplug the water softener from the plumbing.
  • You would need to remove the caps that hold the control head in place by carefully unscrewing them. Put the softener tank in a safe place.
  • Fill a bucket or a self-draining tub with water, resin beads, and gravel if you have one.
  • Using the water from your garden hose to flush out any leftover resin beads.
  • Stand the tank upright, and remove the riser tube.
  • Before pouring the fresh resin through the funnel, put it in the product tub’s opening and fill it with gravel.
  • On the product tube, there will be tape. Take it out and replace it with the control head.
  • You will also need to reconnect the unit to the piping and turn on the water supply.
  • Regenerate the unit.
  • Check the taste after a while.

What is the amount of resin needed for the replacement?

The size of your water tank and resin tank will determine this. Before purchasing water softener resin, you must first determine the size of your water tank. The scale is generally used in the form of a sticker on certain tanks. You’ll know how many cubic feet you need until you know the capacity of your tank.

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