Water Softeners: Rental vs. Buying – Pros, Cons & Monthly Cost

Using a water softener is the best way to soften water. However, high-quality water softeners are quite pricey and many people cannot afford the costs. The good news is that you can get a water softener even if you cannot afford it as some dealers offer their water softeners for rent. Is it better to buy a water softener or rent one? This article is going to help you answer this question as it shares the pros and cons of renting vs. buying.


What to consider when renting or buying a water softener

The cost of renting a water softener

Pros and cons of renting a water softener

Pros and Cons of buying a water softener

Why it is better to buy a water softener in most cases

Things to Consider When Renting or Buying a Water Softener

There are some things to consider when determining whether to rent or buy a water softener. Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to making such a decision. You should consider the following when evaluating whether to rent or buy a water softener:

The Cost

This is among the most important factors to consider when considering whether to rent or buy a water softener. Can you afford the cost of buying and installing a good system? And, can you afford to repair your water softener in case it leaks or break down?

Talk to Your Landlord if you are a Renter

If you rent the house you live in, then it is important to contact your landlord before installing a water softener. Some landlords don’t allow their tenants to install a water softener. To get a house softening system up and running, you need to cut into the main water line. So, before thinking about installing a house softening system, talk to your landlord. 

How Long You Will Stay 

If you rent the house you live in, consider how long you are planning to stay in the house you are living in. For instance, if you are planning to move to Europe next year, it may not be a good idea to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars in a new high tech system. If you have not decided if and when you are going to move out, then it may be better to rent a water softener than buy it.

If you are a homeowner, then it is important to know that adding a water softener to your property can increase the value of your property. This is a positive thing even if you are not planning to sell your house. 

The Cost of Renting A Water Softener Per Month

The cheapest salt-free water conditioner can cost 300 dollars. This kind of softeners is costlier. A good system starts at about 450 dollars when you buy it on the internet.

While it is difficult to determine an average price, most of the house systems cost between 500 and 1,000 dollars. Their prices depend on the system’s softening capacity. To this, you have to include installation expenses if you will not set it up all by yourself. Between 200 and 500 dollars looks realistic. 

What Is the Cost of Renting a Water Softener? The cost of renting a water softener varies depending on the company and the system. There are offers with monthly rates of 23.49 dollars for a salt-based system that costs 1,415.99 dollars. A certain rental plan offers a WaterBoss PROPLUS 380 that costs 1,199 dollars for a rental fee of 26 dollars per month.

We don’t whether these monthly fees included costs like installation and maintenance costs. Have you decided whether to buy or rent a water softener? If so, read our water softener reviews to make an informed decision and get the most value for your hard-earned money.

Rent to Own

Rent-to-own plans are often more expensive as they mostly include a special arrangement for you to receive a refund of your renting fees in case you decide to buy the water softener in question within the first 3 to 6 months of using it.

Pros and Cons of Renting


You don’t have to worry about one-off purchase cost- There are no huge initial purchase expenses when it comes to renting to own. The only expense is the installation cost.

Low commitment- One of the best things about leasing is the fact that it is low-commitment. This is beneficial for two reasons: First of all, if you run out of money or the water softener or water it provides don’t convince you, you can return it.

Secondly, if municipal or state laws are changed and suddenly you aren’t allowed to use a water softener in your area anymore, you can return the system knowing that you did not waste a lot of money on something that is worthless and takes up space in your basement or garage. 

You can try the softener before you buy it- Rent-to-own plans offer you an opportunity to try a water softener before buying it.

No need to worry about repairs and maintenance- A water softener requires costly and time-consuming maintenance. This also applies to repairs. These two are done by the rental supplier who will do everything for you. Besides, costs are covered up to 100% if you are not responsible for any damage. So, if the water softener you rented is not working optimally, call the rental company.

Trained technicians will repair the water softener within the shortest time possible- Regardless of the problem your rented water softener is encountering, the problem will be diagnosed and repaired by experienced and skilled technicians. They will do the job within the shortest time possible. In fact, they can repair it on the same day. 


Quite Costly- If you rent a water softener for a long period of time, you will pay more than you would have if you had bought a water softener. For instance, if the cost of renting a system is 25 dollars per month and its buying price is 1,000 dollars and you rent it for at least 3 ½ years, you will end up paying more than you would have if you had bought it. Plus, you are not the owner of the system.

Limited choice- If you go online and look for a water softener to buy, you will get a wide variety of options. However, with renting, you will have to choose what is available.

Used Equipment- If you rent a water softener, you will have to get a unit that is not new. While this isn’t a problem when everything works optimally, it can be a huge problem if it doesn’t.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Water Softener


You are the owner of the softener- When you buy a product, you become its owner. You can do what you want to do with it and nobody can take it away from you.

Many options to choose from- There are hundreds of water softeners to choose from. This means that you will likely find one that suits your needs.

Added value- A water softener provides value as it softens water throughout the year. Besides, it increases your property value as it is a good investment that will attract potential buyers.

Bottom line: A house with a water softener in an area with hard water makes a great selling point. 


The initial costs can be quite overwhelming at first- This is the biggest drawback of buying a water softener. Financing can be a viable solution. The payments you make every month remind you of renting but it is more sensible.

It is the responsibility of the owner of the water softener that their water softener works safely- As the owner of the water softener, it is your responsibility to ensure that your water softener works without causing a threat to the health of your family members. You need to maintain the system and in case anything goes wrong, you will either have to repair it all by yourself or look for someone to help you do it. Keep in mind that most of the softeners on the market come with a 5 or 10- year manufacturer warranty that has its buyers covered.

Makes more sense

It is difficult to say that buying a water softener is better than renting or vice-versa because as we said earlier, it always depends on the individual circumstances. However, considering the fact that a good water softener is low-maintenance and it will last for more than 10 years unlikely to require expensive repairs in most cases it is more sensible to buy instead of renting a water softener.

Assuming that it costs between 20 and 30 dollars per month to rent a water softener and a comparable model can be bought from an online retailer for 600 dollars including shipping, the investment will pay off in more than 2 years. Above that, the longer you use your own unit, the cheaper it becomes.

Only if you cannot afford a new softener anytime soon and it is important for you to protect your household appliances and plumbing system from scaling now, or if you need a system for a short period, renting can be a good option.Also, if you choose to lease, look out for rent-to-own deals. Otherwise, you will be paying for something that you don’t own. Last but not least, get yourself a hardness test kit and find out how hard your water is. This may help you make an informed decision.

More Resources

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