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Water Softening Systems Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Softener Type (Salt-Based Ion Exchange Softener, Salt-Free Water Softener), By Type (Twin Cylinder, Mono Cylinder, Multi-Cylinder), By Operation (Electric, Non-Electric), By Application (Residential, Commercial, Industrial), and Regional Forecast, 2021-2028

Last Updated: April 29, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI106548



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The global water softening systems market size was valued at USD 2.37 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow from USD 2.51 billion in 2021 to USD 3.95 billion in 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period. The market is surging with the rising water quality concerns and increased industrial applications, the technological advancements, awareness of health benefits, and environmental considerations to drive the market growth.

The impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with water softening systems witnessing a positive impact on demand across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a stellar growth of 6.1% in 2020 as compared to the average year-on-year growth during 2017-2019. The sudden fall in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.

The process of removing magnesium, calcium and other kinds of metal captions from hard water is known as water softening. A water softening system is any instrument, container, material, or a chemical facility used to remove magnesium ions, calcium ions, and other types of metal cations from the hard water to obtain soft water.

It is often used to lessen the water hardness generally caused due to the precipitation of contaminants or gripping pollutants from water using ion-exchange resins or lime softening, reverse osmosis membranes or nanofiltration. Hardness of water is a hazardous problem since the deposit of minerals in hard minerals can interfere with heat transmission and result in boiler tube collapse. Soft water cuts down on the number of extra soaps and detergents needed for laundry and cleaning and extends the life of appliances such as water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines.

A brine tank, a mineral tank, and a control valve, are the three parts of a water softening system. These three operate together to remove minerals from hard water, clean the system via restoration, and regularly monitor water flow. A water softener reduces the need to restore corroded scaly faucet heads, water heaters, and the significant time taken to wash the soapy residue. A water softener saves energy, time, and money while protecting the house and property.


Low Mortgage Rates & Increase in Residential Construction to Contribute Toward Moderate Growth during COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on several industries. The mining equipment industry also witnessed a major downfall. The demand for these machineries dropped significantly due to supply chain disruptions. Even water softening manufacturers witnessed lack of raw materials due to import-export and travel restrictions. Additionally, due to the extreme COVID-19 situation, the key players have also experienced significant changes in their manufacturing operations.

The market witnessed decline in growth in the pandemic period but is expected to hit back during the forecast period while the industry is facing challenges to maintain the global economy across several sectors. In addition, owing to the active contribution of the key players and governments to improve the debts that occurred and working on several approaches to embrace the market's growth.  

However, this pandemic also triggered the low mortgage rates in the U.S., which led to an increase in residential construction & demand for these systems. Furthermore, through its infrastructure bill, the government's drive for housing is projected to enhance the water softening systems market growth by instilling a positive attitude toward residential buildings.


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Accelerated Automation in Water Treatment to Boost Market Growth

The latest developments in water treatment technology and a push toward sustainability are expected to create significant growth possibilities during the forecast period. Furthermore, variation in industrial filtration, equipment, & water treatment processes, mostly driven by the water treatment sector's increased automation, would continue to promote market expansion. For instance, a few developments, such as salt-free water softener, are currently making their way to the market. Continuous testing is being carried out to develop these devices to achieve a better and more secure result.

However, the water softening industry will continue to grow in the future. Aside from the commercial and residential sectors, the manufacturing industry is expected to develop at a rapid pace, thereby increasing the water softening systems market share globally.


Growing Environmental Concerns & Rising Investments in R&D to Propel Market Growth

The global market is driven by increased investments or expenditure in R&D and the use of new technologies in production along with the growing infrastructure projects, including installing a water softening system. Additionally, the rising economy of developing modernization and urbanization initiatives in both developed and developing countries is further contributing to the water softening system market growth.

Moreover, key manufacturers are developing technologically advanced systems to minimize water waste as environmental concerns grow. These devices aid in reducing chlorine and hard mineral content in water, allowing them to be used more efficiently. Additionally, several manufacturers have used demand-induced regeneration to create effective regeneration water softening devices. Therefore, these cutting-edge technologies are intended to benefit both the market and the environment.

Furthermore, the pharmaceutical, semiconductor, food & beverage, and healthcare industries have all seen a rising requirement for ultra-pure water in recent years, which is expected to surge the demand and contribute toward the market growth in future.


Low Penetration in Rural Areas & Stringent Environmental Laws to Hamper Market Growth

Lower penetration rate in rural areas is one of the main obstacles to market expansion, and could be a hurdle across several emerging economies. In addition, the lack of awareness in rural regions regarding the harmful effects of hard water on appliances and the advantages of using soft water could hinder the market growth during the forecast period.

Additionally, conventional water purification methods such as cloth straining, slow sand filtration, chlorinating, boiling, and ceramic filters are preferred by rural customers, resulting in lower rural spending on these softening systems as compared to urban consumption. Furthermore, strict environmental rules and systems could increase the compliance costs, impacting the price trends of these systems.

Hence, strict environmental regulations and low protrusion in rural areas are challenging the water softening system market.


By Softener Type Analysis

Salt-Based Ion Exchange Softener Segment to Witness Major Growth Owing To Filtration Process

By softener type, the market is segmented into salt-based ion exchange softener and salt-free water softener.

Salt-based ion-exchange softener segment is expected to have progressive growth during the forecast period. These softeners can remove calcium and magnesium ions from hard water by replacing calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions. An ion exchange happens within the resin tank of salt-based water softeners, lowering the mineral count while raising the total salt content of the water.

A salt-free water softener is anticipated to witness stable growth in future. It is attributed to offering features that change the magnesium and calcium chemically so as not to stick to surfaces and create scale. These softeners do not remove hard water and do not trap hard water minerals. There is no need for salt or a regeneration cycle to flush the minerals down the drain.

By Type Analysis

Holding Capacity in Twin Cylinder to Dominate Market

By type, the market is segmented into mono cylinder, twin cylinder, and multi-cylinder.

Twin cylinder segment will dominate the market during the forecast period. It is attributed to having two tanks, one of which regenerates while the other takes over. Due to this, twin tank cylinders can soften water 24 hours a day, making them more efficient than single tank softeners.

Mono cylinder segment is projected to witness stable growth during the forecast period. This is attributed to its suitability for applications requiring a predetermined volume of water and a method that allows for system renewal. This system will provide a determined volume of water before requiring an automated regeneration.

Multi-cylinder segment will exhibit second-highest growth in the market due to its responsive flow technology as switch tanks on and off in response to the building's water demands. MTS systems use up to 50% less salt and regeneration water than traditional single tank softening systems.

By Operation Analysis

Electric Softener Utilization in Electric Segment to Exhibit Major Growth in Market

By operation, the market is segmented into electric and non-electric.

The electric segment is expected to depict exponential CAGR during the forecast period. It is the original softening system for water that uses an electric timer to recognize when the resin bed underneath the tank needs to be renewed. As a result, the timer initiates the water softener method by draining the resin bed with salt and water at a predetermined time each day to start the softening method. Additionally, the regeneration process of an electric water softener is controlled by an electric time clock, which is commonly used in combination with a water meter.

The non-electric segment is anticipated to have considerable growth in the future. It comprises two tanks connected by a module that simplifies the control of backwashing, brining, and water transferring & rinsing from one tank to the other when required.

By Application Analysis

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Rise in Usage of Water Filters in Residential Segment to Hold the Highest Market Share

By application, the market is segmented into residential, commercial, and industrial.

The residential segment is expected to develop at the fastest rate due to increased water filters used in this sector. The market for water softeners is growing due to an increase in demand for clean and safe drinking water in residential areas.

Moreover, the commercial segment is growing considerably owing to the removal of large quantities of calcium carbonate, magnesium, and specific ions in hard water. In commercial water systems, the hard water deposits limescale, which can create plumbing troubles. Therefore, its filtration process extends the lifetime of plumbing & other appliances.

The industrial sector is projected to have significant growth during the forecast period due to the amid rapid urbanization surging as appealing pockets for sales. These softening systems are in high demand as government-funded public health, sanitization, and cleaning programs boost sales.


North America Water Softening Systems Size, 2020 (USD Billion)

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The report's scope comprises five major regions, North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and South America.

North America is predicted to emerge as the region with the largest water softening systems market share during the forecast period due to the industrial sector's rapid growth. Additionally, the high prevalence of water-borne infections in this area necessitates water softeners. Furthermore, rising demand for multifamily housing projects and rising consumer awareness about water filtration and environmental concerns, such as the usage of clean water, water recycling, and reuse, will fuel the market growth in this region.

Moreover, the U.S. is expected to grow significantly due to the substantial rise in the U.S. and Canadian investments in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and automobile industries. In addition, this country controls one of the world's safest water supply lines. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 90% of Americans drink tap water from community water systems treated to meet safe drinking water standards. Additionally, the health risks caused by pollutants in drinking water further encourage manufacturers to focus on product improvements and technical advancements to prevent diseases such as gastrointestinal sickness and neurological abnormalities.

Asia Pacific is expected to exhibit exponential growth due to increasing consumer awareness of unsafe beverages & emerging health issues due to its consumption. In addition, due to infrastructure limitations, municipal corporations in India and China cannot efficiently handle hard water. Therefore, residential customers have begun to choose point-of-entry equipment, such as softeners, propelling the market. Also, increasing urbanization in the region and improving public infrastructure, such as healthcare, transportation, and sports facilities, are expected to boost the water softening systems market expansion throughout the forecast period.

Furthermore, Europe is anticipated to show stable growth over the forecast period. It is attributed to the strict water treatment laws and an increasing need for softeners in various industries, such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and refineries, which are expected to drive the market. In addition, increasing governmental and private sector investments in the area for sustainable development are expected to be a trend in the market in future.

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The Middle East & Africa and South America are expected to exhibit considerable growth during the forecast period. This is attributable to the initiatives taken by the governments to increase nature-friendly and sustainable products. In addition, rising urbanization and growing industry are significantly contributing to market growth. Additionally, growing financial institutions assist in developing water treatment technologies, which might boost the industry in this region.


Leading Players Emphasize on Product Innovation with Advanced Technologies

Manufacturers are concentrating their efforts on educating the public about water quality to boost sales and community well-being. Other techniques include product developments, strategic alliances, and manufacturing facility expansions. Leading players are concentrating on providing models that are equipped with cutting-edge technology. It is, therefore, resulting in strategic mergers and acquisitions for long-term growth potential. This results in augmented demand for AGVs across several industries.


  • EcoWater Systems LLC (Minnesota, U.S.)

  • Culligan International Company (Illinois, U.S.)

  • Kinetico Incorporated (Ohio, U.S.)

  • Hydroflux (Sydney, Australia)

  • Envicare Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (Maharashtra, India)

  • Wychwood Water Systems Ltd. (Witney, U.K.)

  • Harvey Water Softeners Ltd. (England, U.K.)

  • Pelican Water Systems (Florida, U.S.)

  • BWT AG (Mondsee ‎, Austria)‎

  • Marlo Incorporated (Wisconsin, U.S.)

  • Monarch Water Ltd. (Norfolk, U.K.)

  • Atlas Filtri (Llimena (PD), Italy)

  • Watts Water Technologies Inc. (Massachusetts, U.S.)

  • Feedwater Limited (England, U.K.)


  • March 2021:  Kinetico Incorporated, a pioneer in quality water systems, teamed with Mike Holmes, a well-known professional builder, constructor, and television personality, to raise awareness about the necessity and demand for safer, better water in homes and business settings.

  • May 2021:  Culligan International participated in National Drinking Water Month to raise awareness about its products and how water quality affects health and well-being.


An Infographic Representation of Water Softening Systems Market

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The market research report provides a detailed analysis of the type and application of the product. It provides information about leading companies and their business overview, types, and leading product applications. Besides, it offers insights into the competitive landscape, SWOT analysis, and current market trends and highlights key drivers and restraints. In addition to the aforementioned factors, the report encompasses several factors contributing to the market growth in recent years.

Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period



Value (USD Billion)


BSoftener Type, Type, Operation, Application, and Region

By Softener Type

  • Salt-Based Ion Exchange Softener

  • Salt-Free Water Softener

By Type

  • Twin Cylinder

  • Mono Cylinder

  • Multi-Cylinder

By Operation

  • Electric

  • Non-Electric

By Application

  • Residential

  • Commercial

  • Industrial

By Region

  • North America (Softener Type, Type, Operation, Application, and Country)

    • U.S. (By Application)

    • Canada (By Application)

    • Mexico (By Application)

  • Europe (Softener Type, Type, Operation, Application, and Country)

    • U.K. (By Application)

    • Germany (By Application)

    • France (By Application)

    • Italy (By Application)

    • Spain (By Application)

    • Benelux (By Application)

    • Nordics (By Application)

    • Russia (By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (Softener Type, Type, Operation, Application, and Country)

    • China (By Application)

    • Japan (By Application)

    • India (By Application)

    • South Korea (By Application)

    • ASEAN (By Application)

    • Oceania (By Application)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By Application)

  • Middle East & Africa (Softener Type, Type, Operation, Application, and Country)

    • Israel (By Application)

    • Turkey (By Application)

    • GCC (By Application)

    • North Africa (By Application)

    • South Africa (By Application)

    • Rest of Middle East & Africa (By Application)

  • South America (Softener Type, Type, Operation, Application, and Country)

    • Brazil (By Application)

    • Argentina (By Application)

    • Rest of South America (By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

As per the information provided by Fortune Business Insights, the global market value stood at USD 2.37 billion in 2020.

By 2028, the global market value is expected to reach USD 3.95 billion.

The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.7%, exhibiting moderate growth during the forecast period (2021-2028)

North America is expected to hold a dominant market share, with its value standing at USD 0.77 billion in 2020.

Within the type segment, twin cylinder is expected to be the leading segment in the market during the forecast period.

Growing environmental concerns & rising investments in R&D to propel the market growth.

EcoWater Systems LLC, Culligan International Company, Kinetico Incorporated, and Hydroflux are the key market players.

The major players in the market constitute 70% - 75% of the market, which is majorly attributed to their brand name and presence in multiple regions.

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