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The Best Straw Sippy Cup To Choose For Your Little One

Sissy Cup

Choosing a sippy cup for your child may seem like an easy task, but there are many things to consider! There are different types of sippy cups, with some being easier to clean, some being less likely to spill, some meant to transition children from using a bottle, and some that can be used by older kids. Which one is the best straw sippy cup? In this article, we've picked out ten to review, to make your choice a little easier.

Comparison Table

Best Straw Sippy Cup FAQ

1. What Is A Straw Sippy Cup?

2. When Should My Child Start Using The Best Straw Sippy Cup?

3. What Are The Benefits Of The Best Straw Sippy Cups?

How We Reviewed

We wanted to provide a diverse list of straw sippy cups so that there is something for everyone, regardless of budget and preferences. We compiled our list by comparing the many straw sippy cups on the market and considering what each offered, looking at things like ease of use and cleaning, design, and customer satisfaction. Once we had our list, we reviewed each cup based on its features, price, and availability.

Overall Price Range

at the top of the children books is a baby cup with red straw

Image by Annie Spratt from Pixabay

The price range of straw sippy cups can start around $5 and go up to over $20. Straw sippy cups at the lower end of the price range may be more basic in design, will be made of inexpensive materials, and could be harder to clean than straw sippy cups at the higher end of the range. However, the appeal of the inexpensive cups is that children will often lose them and leave them behind, so you may not want to invest $20 or more on this item.

The price of each straw sippy cup was given a rating of $, $$, or $$$, where $ represents a price at the lower end of the range and $$$ represents a price at the higher end of the range. Prices with a rating of $$ are mid-range.

What We Reviewed

  • Philips Avent My Bendy Straw Cup
  • Thinkbaby Thinkster
  • Munchkin Click Lock Weighted Straw Cup
  • OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup
  • Nuby No-Spill Cup with Flex Straw
  • b.box Sippy Cup with Innovative Weighted Straw
  • Foogoo Vacuum Insulated Straw Bottle
  • nuspin kids 8 oz Zoomi Straw Sippy Cup
  • ZoLi BOT 6 Ounce
  • Lollaland Lollacup
Philips Avent My Bendy Straw Cup, 10oz, 2pk, Pink/Purple, SCF792/22
  • This straw cup is recommended by U.S. pediatric dentists
  • Allows for healthy oral development
  • 100 percentage Leak proof

Features

This is one of the best straw sippy cups out there for many reasons. Parents like them because they are 100% leak-proof, with a 30-day money-back guarantee by the company. These cups have a short straw that encourages children to use their natural tongue and swallowing movements. They are BPA-free and dishwasher safe. The straw can be flipped down to close the cup. Kids love these cups because they come in multiple mix-and-match colors, have detachable handles for easy gripping, and feature bendable straws.

These cups are not clear and do not feature measurement indicators, making the tracking of fluid intake difficult. This could be problematic for parents transitioning their children from bottles. However, this cup is recommended by over 80% of pediatric dentists because it allows for healthy oral development, which may be enough for parents to overlook difficulties in measuring fluid intake.

Thinkbaby BPA Free No Spill Sippy Cup, Orange (9 ounce)
  • Free of BPA, lead, PVC, nitrosamines, phthalates, PET and biologically harmful chemicals
  • No-spill spout features cross-cut design that mimics breastfeeding
  • Extra soft, medical grade silicone spout provides easy transition from bottle feeding

Features

This cup features a soft, silicone straw that has a life span of two to three months. The straws are designed so they will not spill if a child turns the cup upside down. It has removable handles with grooves for easy gripping. Some users complained that the cup was harder to clean than other cups and that the silicone straw was difficult to put back through the lid when reassembling the cup.

Munchkin Click Lock Weighted Straw Cup, 7 Ounce, Blue, Pack of 1
  • 7 ounce capacity for water, milk or juice
  • Weighted straw allows your toddler to hold the cup at any angle
  • Handles are easy for little hands to hold; BPA free

Features

The best feature on this sippy cup is that when you twist it close, it audibly locks into place, helping to prevent leaks. Parents liked it because the one-piece spout was easy to clean. They also liked that it is virtually spill-free, even when tested by adults. It comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so if it leaks, the company will replace it.

This cup lacks handles, but its hourglass shape with textured sides make it easy for toddlers to handle. It has a weighted straw that will stay in place if children hold the cup at different angles, though some parents felt the straw required too much sucking power.

OXO Tot Transitions Straw Cup with Removable Handles, Pink, 6 Ounce
  • Almond-shaped, spill-proof straw conforms to tot's mouth and minimizes mess
  • Straw valve opens as soon as tot's lips touch spout for easy drinking
  • Hinged cap closes to create a leak-proof seal and is removable for thorough cleaning

Features

This cup has removable handles and an hourglass shape that make holding easy when not using the handles. This is one of the best straw sippy cups for younger children just learning to use them because it has a straw valve that opens up as soon as the child's mouth is on the straw. They do not have to suck very hard to get a drink.

The valve stays closed when the child isn't drinking, helping to prevent spills. The cup has a hinged cap that can be closed when not in use, keeping the straw clean. The whole thing can be taken apart easily for washing by hand or in the dishwasher. According to the company, this cup can be used by infants as young as four months old.

Nuby 2-Pack No-Spill Cup with Flex Straw, 10 Ounce, Colors May Vary
  • 12Months+ Only .Colors may vary. You will receive one of the following sets: Yellow and Green, Blue and Orange, Pink and...
  • When drinking, the Touch Flo straw valve requires a squeeze and suck action to allow the liquid to flow,, the valve...
  • The Touch Flo valve in the silicone straw opens when child applies pressure and sips through the straw.

Features

For toddlers over the age of twelve months, this is one of the best straw sippy cups. The straw is designed with a valve that opens when the child sucks on it but stays closed when it is not being used. This way, the liquid is only released when a child is drinking, and not when the cup is being carried around. The straw is silicone, meaning it is gentle on a child's lips and gums. The straw reaches down to the base of the cup, encouraging children to hold it upright to drink from it. The cup itself has a fun, curvy design with grooves to help children hold on to it.

Some parents said that it could be a little harder for children to drink from this cup because they must suck to open the valve, but since this cup is designed for children over a year old, this is not a common complaint.

b.box Sippy Cup with Innovative Weighted Straw, Apple
  • Tots can drink at any angle thanks to the innovative weight straw that moves with liquid, whatever angle the cup is...
  • Encourages independence with easy-grip handles and simple flip-top lid.
  • The perfect cup at home or on the go and is an ideal transition to milk in a cup.

Features

This simple cup has a weighted straw that allows children to drink from it without spilling, even if they tilt the cup at an angle. It has a flip-top that can be flipped closed when not in use. This cup is made of six parts, which can allow for a thorough cleaning, but also makes cleaning and reassembly more of a hassle.

Features

This may be the best straw sippy cup for families on the go. Designed by THERMOS for children eighteen months of age or older, it keeps drinks cold for ten hours. It has a lid that easily pops open when the child pushes the button and an easy-to-use straw. It is made from stainless steel, making it much sturdier than most of the best straw sippy cups on this list.

The rubbery bottom means it is more likely to stay where children set it, instead of tipping over. While the straw leaks mildly if the cup is tipped upside down, closing the lid of the cup makes it leakproof for travel. Drawbacks include the fact it is heavier than most sippy cups, and that it requires a straw brush for proper cleaning. However, for those looking for a sturdy container that will keep liquids cold all day, this is a great option.

nuspin kids 8 oz Zoomi Straw Sippy Cup, Safari Animals Style
  • Easy to drink from, simple to clean, and durable
  • Valve-free straw for easier sipping and reduced risk of baby bottle tooth decay
  • Made of FDA Grade Silicone and Polypropylene; Free of BPA, Phthalates, PVC, Nitrosamines, Latex, and Lead

Features

This cup has a removable straw that locks into place when inserted through the opening in the lid. The lack of valve makes it easier to sip from than some valved-straw options and also makes it better for thicker liquids such as smoothies. Parents loved that it is smooth and easy to clean. One complaint was that it isn't leak proof. Also, some children can push the straw all the way into the cup, requiring an adult to fix it before they could continue drinking.

Features

Like many of the best straw sippy cups, this one comes with a valve-free straw and a lid that flips down to hide it. It has two handles that are attached to the lid. The straw is weighted, allowing children to drink while holding the cup at different angles. Parents report that the straw is easy to drink from. Also, because it reaches to the bottom of the cup, children can drink every last drop. The straw is thinner than some and does not detach from the weight, so it can be a little difficult to clean. However, the company sells replacement straws, which come with a straw cleaner.

Lollaland Weighted Straw Sippy Cup | Lollacup - Sippy Cups for...
  • SAFE: First and foremost Lollaland emphasizes safety above everything else. All straw cup baby materials are FDA...
  • FUNCTIONAL + FUN: Lollaland's Lollacups are perfectly sized for all ages from infants, to babies, to toddlers. These...
  • MODERN: Kids sippy cups shouldn't only be about super hero and princesses. Simple, modern designs should have a place in...

Features

One thing that both parents and toddlers love about this cup is the design. The lid looks like a bird! It comes in various colors, which can be mixed and matched. It has a weighted, valve-free straw, and removable handles. It is dishwasher safe and it comes with a straw brush for extra cleanliness. The lack of a valve means it is not leak proof when the lid is open, but closing the lid will stop any leaks when traveling. The lid is easy for children to open and close on their own. Parents also report that, unlike some strawed cups, the liquid does not squirt out the top of the straw when the temperature changes.

The Verdict

Pink Tomme Tippee Sippy Cup

Image by Mabelle Imago from Pixabay

With so many choices available, it can be hard to decide which straw sippy cup to buy. However, we have a few recommendations to help you out with your decision.

Best For Beginners

Kid's Choice

Most Affordable

Best For Long Trips

The Best Thermos for Coffee and Other Liquids

one of the best thermos in the market

Are you tired of your coffee going cold before you even have a chance to take a sip? We've all seen it happen. It's frustrating dealing with mugs and water bottles that lack insulation, as whatever liquid is inside is super-susceptible to temperature change. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix–all you need is a good thermos. In this article, we are going to look at many thermoses and, ultimately, determine which is the best thermos on the market right now. If you don't have a good thermos already, now is the time to pay attention. You've been missing out. Keep reading to see what we found!

Product FAQ

1. What Makes the Best Thermos?

2. Do I Need a Thermos?

How We Reviewed

thermos

image via: pixabay

We did quite a bit of research to find what we believe are the top 10 thermoses out on the market today. This required us to learn the characteristics of each thermos as well as what users had to say about them. After compiling all the data we found, we decided that the most important parameters to judge them by were their abilities to keep beverages/food cold or hot as well as their functionality.

Overall Price Range

The thermoses we reviewed for this article range in price from $15-$38. In general, the more expensive thermoses were able to hold more liquid or food than the less expensive ones. They were also able to maintain a stable temperature for longer.

What We Reviewed

Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Stainless Steel Travel Mug , 16 oz., Black
  • Our Lids Are Sealed – AUTOSEAL technology is leak and spill proof (Yes there is a difference!)
  • For the Long Haul – Drinks stay hot up to 5 hours and cold up to 12 with THERMALOCK Vacuum Insulation
  • Lend a Hand – Easy one-handed drinking from this travel coffee mug with the push of a button

Features

The first thermos we want to introduce you to is a travel mug by Contigo. Contigo has been pushing the boundaries with their mugs, especially with the introduction of their patented AUTOSEAL technology. Their specially designed mug caps are leak and spill-proof, so if you happen to accidentally knock your mug over, you have nothing to worry about. These are made out of stainless steel and will hold 16 oz. worth of liquid, but if you need more room, there are also 20 oz. and 24 oz. versions. Some may appreciate the fact that these come in 20 different colors, allowing you to pick your favorite shade if desired.


They will keep beverages hot for 5 hours or cold for 12 hours, meaning your coffee will last you until lunchtime and your cold beverages will stay cold all day.

Thermos Stainless King 16 Ounce Food Jar with Folding Spoon, Stainless Steel
  • THERMOS vacuum insulation technology for maximum temperature retention, hot or cold, keeps liquids hot for 7 hours and cold for 9 hours. Product Size (W x D x H): 3.7 x 3.7 x 5.5 inches
  • Durable stainless steel interior and exterior
    Cool to the touch with hot liquids, sweat proof with cold
  • Compact and insulated stainless steel serving bowl; full size folding stainless steel spoon included
  • Wide mouth is easy to fill, eat from and clean

Features

If you need a food container that will help with temperature regulation, Thermos has just the right container for you. Their stainless steel 16 oz. food jar is perfect for these occasions. It is large enough to hold a generous portion of food and even comes with a detachable spoon to eat with; thus, if your main meal is a soup, this is all you'll need to bring to the table with you. It has an extra wide mouth, making it easy to pour food into, and stays cool to the touch regardless of what is put inside. You get to choose from 6 different colors–green, red, black, blue, and silver.


This thermos will keep your food hot for 7 hours or cold for 9 hours. If you're looking for the best thermos to keep food in, you'll want to check this one out.

Stanley Classic Vacuum Bottle
  • 18/8 stainless steel won't rust; naturally BPA-free
  • Insulated lid doubles as 8oz/236mL cup
  • Leak proof and fully packable. Dimensions- 3.80 L x 4.50 W x 14.25 H inches
  • Lifetime Warranty

Features

Stanley is a brand that has been around since 1913, and with more than 100 years of experience under their belt, their engineers have had plenty of time to design what could possibly be the best thermos. Their classic thermos is made for travelers who need their food/liquids kept hot or cold for extra long periods of time. With 1.4 qt. of available space, it is large enough to accommodate several people at once. You'll enjoy the capacity this thermos provides, especially if you are out camping or hiking with a group of people. The entire group can easily share this.


As stated earlier, this thermos is meant to regulate temperature for a long time. It will keep liquids hot for 28 hours, cold for 28 hours, or iced for 150 hours. In addition, the cap it comes with doubles as an 11 oz. cup.

Hydro Flask Water Bottle
  • DESIGN IN MIND: With it's easy-access wide mouth, the sleek design holds the same volume of liquid as other leading water bottle brands. Also, safety is top-of-mind, as the bottles are made out of non-toxic BPA-free plastics & 18/8 food-grade stainless steel.
  • SLIP-FREE GRIP: Unlike other leading water bottles, Hydro Flask has a powder coat, which gives you a solid grip. The Powder Coat works with the premium TempShield insulation, which prevents condensation from forming on the outside of the bottle, to give you exactly what you want in an everyday refreshment delivery system.
  • INSULATION INNOVATION: The double-walled, vacuum insulated TempShield Insulation, the same technology used in all Hydro Flask products, will ensure that your beverage of choice maintains its temperature for many hours to come. Hot drinks up to 6 hours, and cold drinks up to 24 hours.

Features

Another great thermos of note is Hydro Flask's vacuum insulated water bottle. But, is it the best thermos? It certainly seems like it could be, as you'll reap many of the same benefits from it as you will other similar insulated containers. With this thermos, you'll enjoy a rock-solid stainless steel body with a powder coat that helps you keep your grip while carrying or sipping from it. When sipping, you need not worry about losing heat or cold from opening it, as it has a flip top that lets you drink from its internal straw. You get 15 different colors to choose from.


Hydro Flask's thermos comes in 4 different sizes–12 oz., 16 oz., 18 oz., and 20 oz.

Thermos Stainless King 40 Ounce Beverage Bottle, Midnight Blue
  • Made with Thermos patented vacuum insulation for maximum temperature retention, hot or cold
  • Designed to keep liquids hot for 24 hours, and cold for 24 hours
  • Durable stainless-steel interior and exterior keep bottle cool to touch with hot liquids and sweat proof with cold liquids
  • Lid doubles as insulated serving cup; twist and pour function allows you to pour without moving the stopper
  • With an ample 40-ounce capacity, the bottle offers plenty of sustenance on the go

Features

We previously saw that Thermos has a container meant for food, and right here is their thermos designed for beverages. You might ask–how is this thermos any different from their food jar? While the food jar has a cap that you have to unscrew in order to get to what's inside, this one has openings on the cap which allow you to pour liquid out without having to open the entire thing. This helps preserve the temperature of whatever is inside, ensuring that beverages stay hot or cold even if you decide to pour some out. In addition, the main lid can be used as a serving cup.


This is one of the best Thermos bottles to have around if you need a big beverage container. It will hold 40 oz. of liquid and comes in 6 different colors.

Thermos Stainless King 24 Ounce Food Jar, Midnight Blue
  • Thermos vacuum insulation technology for maximum temperature retention, hot or cold, keeps liquids hot for 14 hours and cold for 24 hours, package may vary.
  • Durable stainless steel interior and exterior. Product Size (W x D x H): 3.7 x 3.7 x 7.2 inches
  • Cool to the touch with hot liquids, sweat proof with cold
  • Compact and insulated stainless steel serving bowl
  • Wide mouth is easy to fill, eat from and clean

Features

When Thermos's 16 oz. food jar just isn't big enough, you can always upgrade to their 24 oz. food jar. This is the big brother to their 16 oz. thermos, and you'll quickly realize that while it is nearly the same, it offers greater benefits. On the similar side of things, both containers have wide mouths and are made of stainless steel. As far as differences, the most obvious one is the fact that this container is capable of holding much more inside. It doesn't come with a detachable spoon, but most people will see this is a small tradeoff for how well the jar can regulate temperature.


This thermos will keep your food hot for 14 hours and could for 24 hours, which is significantly longer than the 16 oz. version. If you're going to need your food to stay hot or cold for an extra long period of time, this one will be of more use to you than the smaller one.

Zojirushi SM-SA60-BA Stainless Steel Mug, 20-Ounce, Black
  • Stopper disassembles for thorough cleaning
    20oz. capacity with 1-1/2" opening
  • Compact design takes minimal space while maximizing capacity
  • New pictograph lock. Stainless steel vacuum insulation keeps beverages hot or cold for hours
  • 5 year warranty on heat retention
  • Made of BPA-free plastic and stainless steel. Easy-to-clean nonstick interior

Features

Another best thermos candidate that flies under the radar for many is the Zojirushi SM-SA60-BA mug. It doesn't get enough love, unfortunately, because people don't recognize the brand. However, it's definitely worthy of a shout out, and you may even decide that it is the best thermos for you. It's a 20 oz. (although there are smaller sizes available) stainless steel mug with a slim design, making it easy to fit into cup holders and stash and tight places. Its unique lid seals tightly to prevent leakage, and a button on the side pops it open when you are ready to pour your beverage out.


The manufacturer does not openly offer details on exactly how long this mug's temperature regulation lasts, but it will keep your beverage hot or cold for several hours.

Contigo AUTOSEAL Chill Stainless Steel Water Bottle, 24 oz, SS Monaco
  • THERMALOCK double walled vacuum insulation keeps drinks cold up to 28 hours
  • One hand operated AUTOSEAL button seals the lid between sips to eliminate spills and leaks
  • Protective spout cover keeps dirt and germs off mouthpiece for cleaner drinking

Features

We've already taken a peek at one of Contigo's thermoses, and their relevance concerning containers of the sort doesn't stop there. They have a whole line of different mugs and bottles available for almost every occasion. This particular container is designed to be a water bottle, but we believe it deserves to be on this best thermos list. It features Contigo's trademark AUTOSEAL technology that prevents spills and leaks between each sip you take. One nice feature they added to this bottle is a handle at the top that rests as part of the bottle when not in use and can flip up when you need to carry the bottle.


This is a 20 oz. bottle that is able to keep your water cold up to 28 hours, and we believe you'll agree with us when we say that that is absolutely fantastic! Contigo gives you 12 color options to choose from.

Thermos Vacuum Insulated 16 Ounce Compact Stainless Steel Beverage Bottle
  • Thermos vacuum insulation technology locks in temperature to preserve flavor and freshness to keep beverages hot for 12 hours or cold for 24
  • Durable 18/8 stainless steel interior and exterior withstand the demands of everyday use
  • Convenient twist and pour stopper makes serving simple
  • Built-in stainless steel cup lets you enjoy your beverage anywhere
  • Light and compact design for effortless transport and storage; stays cool to the touch with hot liquids and is condensation-free with cold

Features

Like Contigo, Thermos also has an entire line of bottles made for use in different situations. As we've already seen, they have beverage bottles as well as food jars. This is another stainless steel beverage bottle by Thermos that is compact and able to fit into most cup holders and other tight places. It has a very simple design with no noticeable bells and whistles to note, but sometimes simple is better. What you get is a sleek silver bottle with a lid that doubles as a cup, and the standard bottle holds 16 oz. of liquid. If that isn't enough for you, Thermos also offers larger versions of this same bottle.


With this bottle, you'll be able to keep your beverages hot for 12 hours or cold for 24 hours. That will last you pretty much all day long.

Rtic Stainless Steel Bottle (36oz)
  • Designed to keep beverages cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 6, our water bottles feature double wall construction with an extra interior copper layer for superior performance.
  • Constructed from premium grade, 18/8 stainless steel that’s non-toxic, non-leaching and BPA free.
  • 100% leak proof cap with a three finger grip.
  • Extra wide opening for easy filling, drinking and cleaning.
  • Vacuum insulated to keep liquids and beverages fresh.

Features

Last but not least is a stainless steel canister by RTIC. This beverage bottle looks like a tank, and we bet running over it with a semi-truck wouldn't even put a dent in it. It has a very basic design that is completely fool-proof in every way. All it is is a bottle with a lid that completely unscrews to reveal what is inside. There is no spout to drink out of; you just open it up and pour your drink out. One nice touch they added to the cap is a semicircle-shaped handle that allows for a 3-finger grip on the bottle. This one will hold 36 oz., but there are other sizes available (18 oz. and 64 oz.).


Although basic, RTIC's bottle still holds up very well. It will keep your beverages warm for up to 6 hours and cold for up to 24 hours.

The Verdict

After breaking down each of these thermoses and then piecing all the details we found together, we decided that the Stanley classic vacuum bottle is the best thermos out right now. The reason is simple–it simply cannot be beaten. We are talking about a canister that will keep your liquid hot or cold for up to 28 hours or chilled for up to 150 hours. Temperature regulation is the most basic function of a thermos, and it surpasses all the other mugs in this regard. In addition, it's well-constructed and has a cap that doubles as a drinking cup.


The Stanley classic vacuum bottle is so practical and efficient that we decided to go ahead and give it a perfect 5/5. As a thermos, it delivers so much that we could not ask for more. If you're in need of one, this is our top choice and recommendation for you. Better times are just a thermos away. You don't have to let your water get hot and your food get cold when you're on the move.

How to Size a Water Softener in 5 Easy Steps

How to size a water softener like the AFWFilters WS48-56sxt10 Fleck water softener

Image from Amazon

Water is a basic requirement for living. What you may not realize is that the quality of your water can affect the quality of your life as well. If you have hard water, you may be spending more on detergents, lotions, and even appliances and maintenance costs. A water softener may provide the solution you need. Read more to discover more about softeners and how to size a water softener properly.

What Are the Benefits of a Water Softener?

Tier1 48,000 Grain High Efficiency Digital Water Softener for Hard Water

Image from Amazon

Before you size a water softener, let’s discuss the benefits of a water softener. As many as 85% of homes in North America are affected by hard water. Water containing calcium, iron, and magnesium can cause a variety of issues in your home. You may have clogged shower heads which require frequent cleaning to remove mineral deposits or replacement of shower head. You could also have stains on tubs, showers, sinks, and toilets which can be difficult to remove. You may see mineral buildup on pipes, which decreases the flow of water. You may notice inefficiency of 

of the hot water heater as caused by mineral buildup, leading to increased utility bills or frequent replacement of appliances. Finally, you may observe the inefficiency of your washing machine, leading to more detergent used and therefore, increased spending.

Common Signs of Hard Water

Before you size a water softener, let’s discuss how you know if you have hard water. If you live in an area where water is supplied to you from a municipality (this could be a city or a county), you can call your local water district and ask about the hardness of your water. If your water is supplied by a well, you can have your water tested by a professional, or you can buy a testing kit to do it yourself. These tests are available at many hardware stores, big box stores, and online. Here are some other signs that you may have hard water in your home.

  • Dishes that are hazy or often spotted
  • Stained sinks, tubs, toilets, and showers
  • Appliances that require frequent replacement
  • Clogged pipes
  • Dry skin
  • Clothing stained yellow or with a grey tint, even after washing

How Does a Water Softener Function?

Before you discover how to size a water softener, let’s discuss how a water softener works.

  1. Hard water containing minerals like calcium, iron, and/or magnesium enters the water softener treatment tank.
  2. Resin bonds with the minerals.
  3. Water is processed through a resin bed.
  4. Water is strained and resin is trapped.
  5. Soft water travels through the softener.
  6. Soft water exits the softener to the home for use.

What Exactly Is Water Softener Regeneration?

Before you explore how to size a water softener, let’s discuss the term “regeneration.” You may hear or see this term when shopping for water softener systems. As the water softener system works, the resin bed becomes covered in the hardness particles. To rid the system of these particles, the water softener must perform a regeneration cycle. The regeneration cycle allows water to be mixed with salt and particles to be removed from the bed. Now the water softener is ready to process the next batch of hard water to and create more soft water for use in your home.

How to Size a Water Softener 101

Now we are ready to calculate how to size a water softener for your home. To do this, we need to determine the daily softening requirement. The daily softening requirement must be calculated using your water hardness and water consumption.

Step 1: What Is My Water Hardness?

The first step in figuring out how to size a water softener for your home is to determine the water hardness. Your water hardness is determined by the amount of calcium and magnesium in your water. Water hardness may be measured in milligrams per liter (mg/L), parts per million (ppm), or grains per gallon (GPG). GPG is the most common way to report water hardness. However, some tests measure water hardness in mg/L or ppm, so you must perform a conversion by dividing the measurement by 17.1 to get the GPG measurement.

You must know the hardness of your water to properly program the water softener system. In addition, water hardness is a factor in determining the size of the system that is needed for your family.

What about Iron?

Step 2: What Is My Water Consumption?

The second step in figuring out how to size a water softener is to determine the water consumption of the home. You can view your water bill to determine your water usage. Most water utility companies bill this service monthly. If this is true in your case, your bill will reflect the usage for members of the family living in your household for the month. Remember to divide your monthly usage by the number of days in the month to get your daily requirement. If you have a well which supplies your water or you do not have access to your water bill, you can calculate an estimate of your daily usage. Multiply the number of people living in your household by 80 gallons per day. This is a conservative estimate for gallons per day usage of water. Some experts recommend using a 100 gallon per day usage estimate if you like to take long showers, for example.

Step 3: How Do I Calculate My Daily Softening Requirement?

The third step in figuring out how to size a water softener is to determine the daily softening requirement. Multiply the hardness level found in step 1 by the daily water consumption found in step 2 to get the daily softening requirement. This calculation tells you the number of hardness grains per day that need to be removed from your water by the water softener.

Step 4: How Do I Calculate My Total Grain Capacity?

The fourth step in figuring out how to size a water softener is to determine the total grain capacity. The water softener removes the hardness grains until it reaches its capacity and must regenerate. Regeneration must occur because all the resin inside of the water softener has saturated and can no longer bind to any more mineral ions. The regeneration process removes the minerals and recharges the resin. Most water softeners must perform the regeneration process every 6 to 7 days. To calculate the total grain capacity, you must take the daily softening requirement obtained in step 3 and multiply it by the 7 days required for each regeneration process.

Step 5: What about the Efficiency of the Salt?

The fifth step in figuring out how to size a water softener is to consider the efficiency of the salt you are using. Simply put, you want to perform a partial regeneration of the water softener resin bed rather than 100 percent regeneration because it is more efficient to do the partial regeneration. Doing a full generation would require a lot more salt (which would cost more money), and the efficiency per pound of salt is lower. One way to determine the efficiency of the salt is to look at the rating on the water softener. This number is a rating which shows how many hardness grains a water softener can remove with the least salt under real-world circumstances. Many experts recommend looking for a water softener with a National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) certification rating.

Sample Calculation

Here is a real-world example of the calculations discussed above. In this example, the water hardness is 120 ppm.

Step 1a:

Find water hardness. 120 ppm / 17.12 = 7.00 GPG

Step 1b:

Account for iron in water (if necessary). 2 ppm iron X 4 = 8 GPG 7.00 GPG + 8 GPG = 15 GPG

Step 2:

Find water consumption. 4 people X 80 gallons per day = 320 gallons per day

Step 3:

Calculate daily softening. 15 GPG X 320 gallons per day = 4,800 hardness grains per day

Step 4:

Calculate total grain capacity. 4,800 hardness grains per day X 7 days = 33,600 grains per week

Step 5:

Consider salt efficiency. View a chart with grain capacities and water softener tank sizes to determine the correct size water softener for you.

Conclusion

Hard water can wreak havoc on the systems in your home. It can lead to frequent appliance replacement due to minerals on the appliance mechanisms. It can cause a buildup on pipes that restricts the flow of water. It can also lead to stains in your bathroom and kitchen. It can cause mineral accumulation on your dishes and glasses, leaving an unattractive film. It can also affect the condition of your skin and hair, causing dryness, itchiness, and mineral buildup. Installing a water softener system is a very easy way to control the minerals in the water used by your family members every day and increase the longevity of your household appliances.

Clack Water Softener Review: Is It Worth Buying?

ABCwaters Clack Water Softener

It's probably safe to say that most of us don't appreciate how much we depend on having regular access to clean water. Of course we need it to drink, but it's also crucial to our showers and toilets, dishwashers and washing machines, and everything from mopping the floors to watering the lawn. It's also crucial for a lot of industries and commercial businesses. Hard water doesn't perform the way we need it to, and water softeners are the answer to this problem. The Clack water softener valve makes your softener, and your water, work better for you.

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water is fresh water with lots of minerals in it; particularly calcium and magnesium. Hard water gets that way from absorbing these minerals in the aquifers it drains into after it falls as rain. Hard water can be a nightmare to deal with. It's not unhealthy or dangerous, but it will cost you money, whether you need softened water for your home, commercial building, or industrial use.

What's the Problem with Hard Water?

stream

Image via Pixabay 

Hard water is tough on appliances. The minerals in the water can gum up the works in a dishwasher, hot water heater, washing machine, or anything else that needs water, shortening the useful life of every machine that uses it.

Hard water also builds up in faucets and pipes. Water flow becomes restricted over time, making everything less efficient. You'll need to replace all these pipes and fixtures more often if you have hard water.

Hard water also makes cleaning a pain. Anything you try to clean, wash, rinse, or wipe down with hard water never seems to come clean as it should. And hard water can make it impossible to use local water for industrial applications.

​The Solution

Having a water softener can protect you from all this. However, it may not always be necessary to have a water softener running day in and day out. In that case, having a metered valve like the Clack water softener valve allows you to get the most efficient use possible out of your softener, saving water and salt while still getting the softened water you need.

​​Replacing a Water Softener Valve

If you've just gotten a Clark water softener valve, here are the basic steps involved in replacing your old valve:

  • Shut off all water
  • Disconnect the old valve start with power, then brine tubing, then drain hose, and finally in and out water lines
  • Unscrew the old valve
  • Remove the distributer tube from the resin tank
  • Put a new distributer tube into the resin tank so it is touching the bottom
  • Glue the new tube and wait for it to dry
  • Twist your new tube into place on your new valve
  • Screw the new valve onto the resin tank
  • Attach a bypass yoke pipe
  • Reconnect water lines, then drain line, then brine line, then power
  • Turn the water on
  • Start up the valve
  • Set the valve to the correct date and time
  • Allow the system to regenerate for 10 to 15 minutes

What Is a Clack Water Softener?

Clack water softeners are a series of controls and valves that come in different units suitable for controlling water softeners in any type of application. You can get them small enough for an apartment or single family residence all the way up to sizes large enough for commercial buildings or even industrial applications.

Product Specs

Pricing

How It Compares

ABCwaters Clack 32k 32,000 Portable Water Softener, Great for Rv's &...
  • Portable RV / Boat / Car washing water softener with XXL capacity!
  • Completely Portable! Great for carpet cleaning and pressure washing!
  • Regenerate in minutes with table salt or rock salt. Clack in/out head with bypass! 1" connections

Ease of Use

Using the Clack water softener valve is nearly effortless. Once you automate it, the valve will regulate each filtration and softening cycle and can be set with nine different injector sizes with varying draw rates. This should manage nearly any filtration/softening job you need done.

Assembly Time

The Clack water softener valve is quite easy to install if you're even just a bit handy. It's also simple to repair, and finding replacement parts is not difficult.

Efficiency

The Clack water softener is one of the most efficient on the market; it uses less salt and wastes less water than nearly anything else you can get.

Warranty

You get a 5-year warranty on all Clack softener and filter controls. This covers material and workmanship under normal use. This warranty is fine, but you can get better with other units.

Pros

  • Very efficient
  • Easy to control
  • Ideal for regulating your filter use
  • Programmable

Cons

  • Can be hard to find replacement parts
  • Expensive

Fleck 5600SXT Water Softener Valve Digital Metered On Demand...
  • Fleck 5600SXT Digital Water Softener Control Head, battery backup
  • Compact Turbine meter & cable included free of charge. Metered on demand water softener valve. Digital meter for highest...
  • For water softeners only, we have others if you need something for filter only system

Fleck is another big name in the water softener valve world. They have been around a long time and have earned their reputation for dependable quality. This unit can handle 48,000 grains, has a flow rate of 12 GPM, and weighs just under 100 pounds. The LCD display has two days of backup power, and you can choose from four different operational modes or continuous flow.

Ease of Use

This is as easy to use as anything you could buy. Once it is fitted to your system, it's not something you need to think about. There's very little maintenance required, and what is required is simple to do.

Assembly Time

This one is fairly easy to do by yourself. With a bit of skill, you should be able to do it in two hours or less. It has its own bypass valve, which saves you at least one expense in installation.

Efficiency

This is one of the most efficient systems on the market for a medium sized household or smaller business operation.

Warranty

Fleck offers a 10-year warranty on their tanks and a 5-year warranty on their control heads, which is one of the best offers you'll get in the industry.

Pros

  • Quality materials
  • Easy to install and program
  • Durable

Cons

  • Bit bulky and heavy
  • Must constantly replace salt pellets

AFWFilters 9100sxt Fleck 9100 SXT Digital Water Softener Control Valve...
  • Fleck 9100 SXT Twin Tank Replacement Control Valve Automatically switches between dual tanks
  • 9100 Digital SXT valve to fit on twin tank softener, quality tested construction, 5 year
  • 5 cycles water softener replacement valve, easy to use, dependable

This is a Fleck unit that will work for larger water volumes and is made to run night and day, if necessary. The advanced micro-processor in the control valve has a 48-hour backup power supply in case you lose power. This one can be a bit more complicated to program than some other units, and for best results in programming it, you'll need to know the precise details of what's in your water.

Ease of Use

Once it's up and running, this is easy to use; but programming takes some time and knowledge that you might not have. You'll also need to keep on top of when to rinse and refresh it.

Assembly Time

On the one hand, installation isn't really hard for the generally handy person. You don't need specialized plumbing knowledge to do it. On the other hand, you'll need to get some extra parts in order to finish installation, which is a bit of a pain.

Efficiency

You'll get plenty of use out of this machine, and it can handle between 10 and 25 gallons per minute with very little waste.

Warranty

Fleck offers a 10-year warranty on their tanks and a 5-year warranty on their control heads, which is one of the best offers you'll get in the industry.

Pros

  • Durable
  • High-capacity
  • Easy to program
  • Regenerates as needed

Cons

  • Very heavy
  • May need extra parts for installation

This meter comes with a distributer, bypass adaptor, distributor piping, an elbow joint, and a barb elbow to make installation easy. It can be used both indoors or outdoors, and the single motor means you don't need solenoids to run it.

This one has a rather unique design with no dynamic seals. That means there's very little that can wear out and start leaking. You can adjust it to run five or eight cycles, and it features excellent precision sensors so you can know exactly what's going on and plan for the future.

Ease of Use

Many people love their Autotrol because it's fairly easy to use: but most of all because it's easy to fix. It has more moving parts than the Fleck, which means things can go wrong. But it also is a lot simpler and cheaper to repair.

Assembly Time

The Autotrol are pretty standard and easy to install.

Efficiency

Autotrol does the job, but with more moving parts it's more likely to give you a problem at some point than some of the other brands we've considered.

Warranty

You get just a one-year warranty against defects under normal use with this product.

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • High capacity flow
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Very heavy
  • Short warranty
  • More moving parts than some

Fleck 5600 SOFTENER Valve Rebuild Kit - Includes Piston (60102-10),...
  • Fleck 5600 SOFTENER Valve Rebuild Kit - Includes Piston (60102-10), Seals & Spacers (60125), and Brine Valve (60032)
  • 5600
  • black

Hankscraft's design offers metered demand control and programmable cycle times. It will default to the typical industry standards, but you can easily program any and every detail to get the performance you want from it.

This unit is lighter than other units with comparable flow rates and is exceptionally easy to program. It has auto reset, a 72-hour battery backup, and a special quick disconnect drain. It is highly energy efficient.

Ease of Use

This is a very simple design that offers complete control over your softener and every setting. The controls are intuitive but will also give you excellent performance even if you don't adjust them.

Assembly Time

This is a simple set to install, and since the company has been around a while it's pretty easy to find replacement parts.

Efficiency

This unit doesn't work quite as efficiently as some of the others. It doesn't have the same sensors as the Fleck or Clack that ensure you're never wasting water or salt.

Warranty

You get a 5-year warranty on this unit and all its parts.

Pros

  • Very inexpensive
  • Programmable
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to find parts

Cons

  • Not as efficient as others
  • Less durable than some

Conclusion

For a long time, Fleck and Autotrol have been considered the industry leaders when it comes to water softener valve meters. Clack is the new kid on the block; but there are some good reasons to prefer it.

In many ways, the Clack water softener valve has the best of all the others. It has few moving parts, is cheap to repair, and is extremely reliable. In comparison with all the other valves on our list, we give the Clack 4.5 out of 5 stars.


Featured image from Amazon

Is Flavored Water Good For You? Here Is What To Know

A man drinking bottled water on a sunny beach

Health experts often encourage us to drink ample amounts of water because of its amazing health benefits. However, some people are ambivalent to drink plain water because of its bland taste. Therefore, for these individuals, flavored water seems like a more appealing alternative. Flavored water is any bottled mineral, spring, or purified water containing fruit, spice, or herbal flavors. Is flavored water good for you? We wanted to find out, so we conducted our own research and here is what we know.

The Importance Of Water


A scoop water on a person's hand

image source: pexels.com

Water helps us to regulate the body's temperature, and it is vital for proper circulation of nutrients within the body. When dehydration occurs, fatigue, low energy, and sleepiness set in.

Is Flavored Water Good For You?


The standard bottle of flavored water contains water, 13 grams of sugar, natural or artificial sweeteners, and flavorings. This means consumers are drinking water saturated with lots of sugar. Individuals suffering from kidney disease may find these types of water to be harmful to their health.

Functional water is also a form of flavored water with ingredients such as botanicals, vitamins, minerals, and oxygen added to it. If flavored water is sodium-free and sweetened with artificial sweeteners, it will have fewer calories. It may be a better beverage option for children regarding weight management. Although soda has mostly water content, it contains far more sugar than flavored water.

An important negative aspect of flavored water is the fact that it causes tooth erosion and dissolves tooth enamel. To avoid dental issues, dentists recommend consuming beverages quickly, avoiding direct contact with teeth. Or, brushing teeth right after having flavored drinks to deter loss of enamel. Drinking flavored water chilled and with a straw eases the possibility of damage to teeth.

Most water manufacturers sweeten flavored waters with some form of sugar. Whether it is high fructose, corn syrup, cane sugar, agave syrup, or artificial sweeteners, the sugar content renders flavored water without nutritional value. It is still better to drink than soda which causes morbid obesity. Even waters with zero calories have artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame.

The best type of flavored water to look for are those with zero calories, zero sugar, zero sweeteners, zero preservatives, no artificial flavors, colors, or dyes. Is flavored water good for you when it has zero calories, zero sugar, and zero sweeteners? Absolutely, these are the flavored waters you do not mind exchanging for regular water.

The Truth About Flavored Water


A pouring water from bottle to a glass

image source: pixabay.com

There has been so much conflicting information concerning flavored water that we seriously pondered and researched the question, "Is flavored water good for you?" According to the Food and Drug Administration, they consider flavored water to be soft drinks. The sugar alternatives in these beverages such as saccharin, manitol, sorbitol, lacticol, and xylitol make these waters dangerous. The sugar substitutes cause health issues like gastric distress and yeast overgrowth in the body.

Clinical research has determined that flavored water has the potential to create serious side effects in individuals suffering from mood disorders, depression, and bipolar disorder. Some other side effects caused from drinking flavored waters regularly are vision problems, chronic fatigue, insomnia, stomach cramps, hives, convulsions and seizures.

What Are The Benefits Of Flavored Water For The Body?

How is flavored water good for anyone when there is sufficient research confirming the dangers of drinking them frequently? Flavored water promotes weight loss because it has fewer calories. It is a good way to get children and adults interested in consuming more water. It tastes better than regular water, decreases food cravings, flushes toxins from the body, enhances the appearance of the skin and complexion, fights infection, and prevents heart disease and arthritis. Flavored water is diabetes-friendly.

Ingredients In Flavored Water

Flavored water contains potassium, phosphorous, sodium, caffeine, fructose, electrolytes and small traces of vitamins.

What's The Difference Between Flavored Water And Sparkling Water?

Compared to flavored water, sparkling waters are made with carbonated water or seltzer. They have greater quantities of sodium, which in the long run may not be good for health.

Is Sugar-Free Flavored Water And Flavored Water The Same?

Sugar-free water contains aspartame and the preservative sodium benzoate. Aspartame is also sweeter than sugar but has fewer calories. There are some flavored waters which have sugar alternatives but there are a few that have none, nor do they have preservatives.

Plain Water vs. Flavored Water

Infused Water vs. Flavored Water


How Is Weight Loss Achieved By Drinking Flavored Water?

How is flavored water good for you regarding weight loss? The flavored water makes it possible to lose weight when dieters switch out their 150-calorie bottles or cans of soda for flavored bottles of 5-calorie or no-calorie water.

Healthy Brands Of Flavored Water


A man holding a bottled water in a store

image source: flickr.com

Here are some of the flavored water brands we highly recommend:

  • Cascade Ice Organic Sparkling Flavored Water - it has zero calories, zero grams of sugar, no sweeteners, zero carbs, is sodium-free, and gluten-free
  • Viva Fruit Flavored Sparkling Water - it has zero sugar and zero calories, and includes vitamins and antioxidants
  • Core Water - it has 5 calories per serving, less than 1 gram of sugar, is gluten-free, kosher, vegan and loaded with antioxidants
  • Verday Chlorophyll Water - it includes wheatgrass, arugula, and spinach; it has zero calories, is non-GMO, has no artificial sweeteners and no artificial colors
  • Hint Flavored Water - it also has zero calories, zero sugar, zero sweeteners, zero preservatives, and no artificial flavors

Is flavored water good for you when the brand is organic? Yes, because it usually means there are no harsh chemicals, sugar substitutes, or preservatives.

What Are The Harmful Effects Of Sugar Substitutes In Flavored Water?


Is flavored water good for you even though it contains sugar substitutes? Sugar substitutes in flavored water cause migraines, memory loss, dizziness, cancer, hypothyroidism, breathing problems, lung problems, toxic liver, toxic kidneys, diarrhea, eczema, bloating, nerve damage, nausea, phobias, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, birth defects, depression, irritability, and decreased vision. Because of these pressing health ailments, one should only consume sugar substitutes once in a blue moon.

How To Make Your Own Flavored Water


It is by far healthier and more economical to make your own flavored water. Adding herbs, vegetables, and fruits such as cherries, raspberries, mango, lemon, lime, mint, sliced cucumbers, jalapenos, ginger, vanilla extract, and pineapple is a perfect way to make flavored waters more nutritious. There are certain herbs, that when added to water, give it healing properties. For instance, cinnamon bark lowers LDL (bad cholesterol levels), and improves motor functions within the body.

Basil water is beneficial to people with diabetes, arthritis and asthma. It lowers blood sugar and relieves sinus congestion. Vanilla extract in water soothes nausea and calms anxiety and stress. Lemon water detoxifies, sage water creates feelings of calm and serenity, and cucumber water reduces cancer risk and heart disease and is very hydrating. Orange water is immune-boosting while mint is soothing. Is flavored water good for you when used with natural fruits, herbs, and spices? Yes, because it has natural sugars instead of artificial sweeteners. Is flavored water good for you when it is homemade? Yes, because the ingredients are more natural.

Summary


A person drinking a bottled water

image source: pixabay.com

In conclusion, flavored waters are part of the beverage marketing trends to make water more palatable to generate more revenue. Therefore, creating and planning these waters to appeal to beauty afficionados, the fitness-conscious, and the health-obsessed makes monetary sense. These waters are expensive since they have become fashion statements or confirmation of healthy living and affluent lifestyles.

The fact of the matter is, compared to pure water, their weight loss benefits are marginal and they are seldom beneficial towards health goals. Those who are health-conscious should continue to drink their daily allowance of water remembering they are also fulfilling their hydration quota by considering other beverages such as water from food, teas, coffee, and fruit juices to suffice their water intake.

For years they told us 8 glasses of water per day would keep us healthy, alert, and bright. Yet, there are so many drawbacks to drinking too much water. For instance, too much water consumption can lead to low sodium levels, a condition called hyponatremia which is fatal. An over-hydrated body may experience confusion, water intoxication, brain fog, stomach cramps, nausea, bloating, and organ failure.

For satisfying thirst, allow your body to be your guide. The new recommended daily allowance for water consumption is 15 cups and this includes the water we consume from fruits, vegetables, and other drinks besides water.

Whether one consumes plain water, flavored water, sugar-free water or sparkling water, the goal should always be to drink more of which is better for our health. According to our findings nothing is better than pure water. Although health concerns may be our focus, occasionally it makes meal times more interesting when we change our water intake to include other drinks such as flavored waters and seltzers. Have we solved the question "Is Flavored water good for you?" It is good to not be too concerned about caloric intake and stay mindful not to overindulge.