The UK’s best and worst places for a bubble bath revealed!

Big bubble baths are affected by your location and water

New figures have revealed the best and worst places in the UK to enjoy one of life’s most simple pleasures – a bubble bath.

The findings, compiled by the team here at Harvey Water Softeners, link to new figures showcasing the hard water levels for towns and cities across the UK, with Edinburgh being deemed the best place for a good soak after a long day at work due to its extremely soft water.

At the other end of the spectrum, residents in Ipswich will be sad to hear that having the UK’s hardest water means it’s a lot harder to get those big bubbles.

With the lowest reading in the UK of 23 milligrams of calcium carbonate per litre – the metric used to measure the severity of hard water – the Scottish capital was deemed to be the best place for bubbles followed by Plymouth (25mg/l) and Glasgow (28mg/l). Ipswich was deemed to be the worst place for a soak due to having the highest concentration (368mg/l) closely followed by Hull (358mg/l) and Stevenage (356mg/l).

Softer water contains fewer minerals allowing products such as bubble bath, soap and shampoo to lather better meaning you can create bigger bubbles more easily. With fewer products, it’s cheaper too. As well as being closely linked to quality of a bubble bath, these figures also highlight the areas most at risk to dry skin and hair, damage to household appliances as well as other things such as poor water pressure in showers and the need to use more detergent when washing clothes.


The full rankings are as follows:

Location Water Level (mg/l) Location Water Level (mg/l)
Edinburgh 23 Bath 267
Plymouth 25 Exeter 268
Glasgow 28 Bournemouth 270
Manchester 30 London 274
Birmingham 44 Grantham 278
Sheffield 45 Brighton 279
Cardiff 60 Southampton 291
Liverpool 65 Portsmouth 301
Middlesbrough 80 Oxford 302
Stoke 96 Northampton 304
Newcastle 130 Bedford 305
Derby 132 Milton Keynes 312
Coventry 141 Basingstoke 320
Gloucester 172 Norwich 321
Nottingham 189 Cambridge 322
Bristol 194 Winchester 326
Leicester 201 Reading 338
York 240 Luton 342
Peterborough 247 Stevenage 356
Lincoln 255 Hull 358
Chelmsford 261 Ipswich 368


Hard water is caused by a number of external factors related to the makeup of land in different parts of the UK. While rainfall is naturally soft, once it hits the earth it begins to percolate through the rock, calcium, magnesium and other minerals, these can be absorbed and can alter the chemical balance within the water.


Due to the chalk and limestone regions surrounding many areas hard water is most synonymous with the southern and eastern regions of the UK.

Stuart Carter, meditation and mindfulness coach at Simply Mindfulness, said: “The most important thing about a warm bubble bath, after the relief and immediate de-stress, is the message that you’re telling yourself. We don’t take time-out often enough, and by spending—no, scratch that—by investing this time in yourself, you’re sending the important message that you matter, that you are good enough, exactly as you are.

“We may be tempted to see a bubble bath as wasting time, but it’s nothing of the sort. We are addicted to ‘doing’ in this busy world… and when we spend a little while just ‘being’ it gives us time to digest the events and emotions of the day and that’s hugely beneficial to our mental health and resilience.”

Whether you’re relaxing with some well deserved me-time or spending time with your little ones, bubbles are key to turning a basic wash into a bit of fun or just providing that added luxury after a hard day at work. Getting the most out of your bathtime can have really positive effects on your wellbeing. While the impact of hard water is predominantly felt in regions across the South and East of the UK it’s interesting to note the spread of towns and cities across these areas when it comes to the severity of the situation whether that’s a scummy ring around the bath, limescale or the impact on genera cleaning.

Those living in softer water areas such as Scotland and the North West should be thankful for their natural water supply which is great for your skin and hair, helps your appliances to last for longer and is key to a great bubble bath!

Find out more about the bathtime benefits of soft water here.

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