Culligan Water Softener Reviews and Buying Guide

This write-up reviews each of the four series of and three models Culligan water softeners, including the applications, specifications, and features, to help you make an informed decision.

Culligan is an American company that manufactures top quality water treatment products for home and industrial applications. Top-of-the-line features, reliability, and almost unparalleled water conditioning properties make Culligan an excellent choice for any user. Feel free to check out the different series below to find the best water softener for your home.

Culligan Water Softener Reviews

Culligan HE Series

The HE (High Performance) is Culligan’s entry-level series of water softeners for home use, though entry-level for Culligan is high-end in price and performance for other manufacturers. The models in this series soften water to reduce scale buildup and hard water spots, which can be lifesavers for home appliances like hot water boilers.

Culligan HE Series

You’ll find daily monitoring of all the water softener parameters in every model. There is a remote display that allows you to customize the water softness including completely bypassing the softener. One of the features that make this baseline series truly stand out is the fact that they are completely safe to install outdoors.

There are four models in the basic HE Series, they range from 9 to 14 inches of media tank diameter (which holds Culligan’s proprietary CULLEX ion exchange resin). Every model can be ordered in different configurations as well. The basic 9-inch model, for example, has the ability to deliver 9 gpm (gallons per minute) flow rate and remove 30 gpg (grains per gallon) of total hardness. The quick recharge time of only 68 minutes is typical of Culligan water softeners.

Every model in the series also benefits from the Culligan Aqua-Sensor which tracks water hardness variations and ensures smooth operation.


  • Needs electricity to operate

Best for: If you’ve always wanted a Culligan water softener, this series may be affordable enough.

Culligan HE 1.25 Series

This Culligan series is one step above the standard HE reviewed above. It offers the same daily monitoring features and exceptional water conditioning properties except it can accept up to 1.25” pipes (therefore the name) versus the regular HE’s 1” limit.

The 1.25 Series features four different models (10 to 16 inches) which are equipped with a 1 ¼ -inch reinforced thermoplastic valve. The models in this series can handle up to 99 gpg of hardness and deal 5ppm of iron max.

Culligan HE 1.25 Series

Needless to say, the service flow rate varies depending on the model. The 10-inch model, for example, delivers 14.9 gpm. But if you go for the 16-inch model this jumps to 22.0 gpm. Both numbers are rated at 15psi pressure drop.


  • Suitable for large households
  • High flow rate


  • Needs electricity to operate

Best for: If you are looking for a softener that can deliver ample softening capacity and great flow rate, you should check the HE 1.25 Series.

HE Municipal Water Conditioner

As its name suggests, this HE Municipal Water Conditioner is designed to deal with different municipal water conditions – it’s like an HE water softener with a water filter built-in. In terms of softening ability, this model is equivalent to the HE 1.25 series as it can accept up to a 1-1/4” pipe.

Culligan HE Municipal Water Conditioner

These Culligan softeners are designed as an all-in-one solution. First, it filters the water for impurities before sending it to the ion exchange resin to soften the water. The filter removes sediment and chlorine from the water. The extra-large capacity is ideal for big households that need to manage challenging water conditions.


  • Combo water filter and softener
  • Great for removing chlorine
  • Extra-large capacity
  • Effective for difficult water conditions


  • Needs electricity to operate

Best for: Households that are troubled by difficult water conditions would benefit the most from the HE Municipal water conditioner.

HE Softener-Cleer Water Conditioner

The HE Softener-Cleer is almost like the HE Municipal water conditioner except it’s based on the regular HE series of water softeners (accepts up to 1” pipe) and the filtration stage treats water odor and unpleasant taste instead of chlorine. If your water has that rotten egg smell (caused by sulfur), this is the one to get.

Culligan HE Softener-Cleer Water Conditioner

Same as the HE Series, the HE Softener-Cleer can benefit from the optional remote display that allows you to control the filter and bypass valve. In addition, this one features the so-called Soft-Minder meter which keeps track of your water consumption per day and provides diagnostics. In case you don’t go for the optional remote display, the display on the tank is backlit for easy readout.

This advanced water conditioner is equipped with a motorized-piston valve which is non-corrosive and more reliable than the much cheaper rotary valves. The sulfur removal is achieved by the built-in Culligan Chlorine Generator, which releases trace amounts of chlorine to purge the system of bacteria known for reducing sulfate to hydrogen sulfide – the source of the rotten egg smell.


  • Soft-Minder meter
  • Removes odor and unpleasant taste
  • Advanced valve


  • Cannot be used outdoors

Best for: This water conditioner improves the taste of water and is capable of handling challenging water conditions in small to medium-size households.

HE Twin and HE Progressive Flow Water Softeners

What if your water is so hard that it can’t be softened by any water softener? You buy two of them!

That’s the concept behind the HE Twin and HE Progressive Flow water softeners. The HE Twin and the HE Progressive Flow and joined together to form a dual-tank design. Again, this is sold as a model and not a series. You get the usual benefits of daily monitoring and automatic adjustment if the water condition changes.

Culligan HE Twin and HE Progressive Flow Water Softeners

Like the standard HE and HE 1.25 series, this twin water softener can be installed outside without any problems. And it is perfectly suitable for large homes with the ability to connect up to a 1¼ -inch pipe.

This model has the ability to remove up to 5 ppm of iron in the water. The Quadra-Hull brine tank has 4 layers of wall to handle the workload for two ion exchange tanks, as well the elements if you install this system outside.


  • Two water softeners in one
  • Excellent iron removal properties
  • Suitable for large households


  • Not very affordable

Best for: If your water is so hard that nothing else works, try this one.

Medalist Series

If you are looking for a flexible and efficient filtration and softening system, you should check out the Medalist Series. This series features cutting-edge conditioning technology and durable construction that can perfectly integrate with your plumbing.

This is one of two Culligan series of water softeners that can work in case of a power outage. In addition, it comes with the Guest Cycle function that delivers super soft water at a touch of a button. However, it should be noted that Medalist Series fits only ¾-inch pipes, which doesn’t make it exactly suitable for larger households.

Culligan Medalist Series

But what the series lacks in larger fittings it compensates for with other advanced features. You don’t have to worry when you refill the units because they come with the Dubl-Safe brine refill valve. As hinted, the ACCUSOFT Microprocessor allows the models to run even if there is no power.


  • Works without power
  • Compact softening solution
  • Advanced softening functions
  • Fairly affordable for a Culligan


  • Not suitable for larger homes

Best for: The Medalist Series of water softeners are a good option for small households with moderate water conditions.

Gold Series

The top-of-the-line Culligan Gold Series features cutting-edge automatic water conditioning systems that can fit any homes. The Gold Series models can work even if there is no power and they come with the same Guest Cycle like the Medalist Series. But the greater versatility sets these water softeners apart for the Medalist Series.

Culligan Gold Series

In terms of compatibility, the Gold series can accept ¾ to 1¼-inch pipes. The automatic models adapt to water condition changes without any input from the users. There are four different models in the series that range from 9 to 14-inches.

The different models can deliver flow rates of up to 10.8 gpm. The 10-inch model, for example, is rated at 9.9 gpm and can handle water as hard as 99 gpg.

The recharge time varies from 52 to 68 minutes, the lowest of which is achieved by the 14” model.


  • Suitable for larger homes
  • Up to 10.8 gpm flow rate
  • Swift recharge times
  • Automatic operation


  • Premium pricing

Best for: This automatic Culligan series is for those who prefer ease of use above everything else.

How Does Culligan Compare to Other Brands?

One of the things that you will immediately notice with Culligan is the number of series and models, one of which is certain to fit your needs. Unlike some other brands, almost all of the Culligan water softeners can be installed outside.

Each of the series comes with a set of advanced features that increase the functionality and durability. There is also the option to get a remote display so you can control the softener from anywhere in your home.

The bottom line is that Culligan water softeners are widely regarded as the best. The price tags predictably match the reputation, which is why the company has a leasing arm for you to lease a model at a much lower upfront cash outlay than if you were to buy one.

Culligan Water Softener Installation

This comprehensive video could solve all the questions about Culligan Water Softener Installation:


1. Which Culligan series to choose?

The choice depends on several factors. You should consider your water consumption and water analysis. It is advisable to consult your local Culligan dealer to get a quote and first-hand information about the series. Culligan products are tightly controlled. They are usually not advertised on the internet.

2. Can Culligan filter out chromium 6?

The simple answer is yes, it can. Some water supplies have been discovered to contract traces of hexavalent chromium or chromium 6 which has been suspected to be carcinogenic. However, you should verify the exact Culligan series that is the most effective in removing this element.

3. Why Should You Invest in Culligan?

Besides the obvious benefits of owning a premium water softener, Culligan can also affect the price of your property. You should consider Culligan water softeners as a property upgrade which won’t be overlooked in case you decide to sell or rent. In addition, having a high-end softener such as Culligan saves you a lot of trouble if you decide to replace or upgrade other fixtures in your home.


Culligan specializes in water treatment products and holds the greatest number of patents in this area. This is one of many things that keep the company one step ahead of the competition.

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