Table of Contents
- 1 Top Saltless Water Softener – (Recommendations)
- 2 Do Salt-Free water softeners work?
- 3 Salt Based Water Softeners vs. Salt less Water Softeners
- 4 Best Salt Free Water Softener Reviews – (Updated List)
- 4.1 1. FutureSoft Salt-Free Water Softener
- 4.2 2. Pelican NaturSoft Water Softener Alternative Using Salt-Free Technology
- 4.3 3. Aquios AQF220 Whole House Salt-Free Water Softener and Filter System
- 4.4 4. APEC Water Systems Whole House Salt-Free Water Softener
- 4.5 5. Tier1 Essential Certified Series Saltless Water Softener
- 4.6 6. Aquasana Salt-Free Water Conditioner
- 4.7 7. OneFlow + Salt-Free Scale Prevention and Water Softener System
- 4.8 8. AO Smith Whole House Salt Free Water Descaler
- 5 Types of Salt-free Water Softener
- 6 Advantages and disadvantages of No salt water softener
- 7 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED
- 8 Conclusion
Salt-Free water softeners are quickly becoming one of the most popular water softening solutions to date. There is a multitude of reasons why they are so popular and as this technology evolves, you will see advancements that make them even more effective than they currently are.
The unique thing about saltless water softeners is that they are completely maintenance-free and do not require any electricity. These things are ultra-appealing to consumers when compared to salt-based systems because there is no need to add salt every few months and there is no need to discharge water with no salt water softener.
As salt-free technology has evolved, more and more systems are coming into the market and it can be daunting to choose the best salt free water softener for you. Throughout this guide, we will tell you all about our favorite systems and answer some questions in our buying guide that will help you choose the perfect system for you.
Top Saltless Water Softener – (Recommendations)
Last update on 2020-10-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Do Salt-Free water softeners work?
The evolution of the salt-free water softener has made it easier and easier to rely on a salt-free system for all your water softening needs. While it is true that there are several aspects of the salt-free system that are not as effective as the traditional salt-style water softener, they can be relied upon if you are looking to ensure that your water stays healthy.
Salt-free water softeners work entirely differently than their counterparts. The salt-free water softener does not necessarily remove the hardness particles from the water but rather conditions the water not to be able to bind to surfaces.
One of the biggest issues you will see with hard water is the scale buildup on appliances and in your water pipes. Salt-free water softeners will not remove these hardening particles from the water, but it will rather convert them to a hardness crystal that cannot bind to surfaces like water pipes and shower heads.
Overall, the salt-free water softener works if you are looking to improve the longevity of your pipes and appliances. It also does condition water so that minerals are still in the water supply but by not binding, it is better for ingestion. You will not notice a drop in grains or TDS counts with a salt-free system, but overall, it does have positive effects on your water supply.
Salt Based Water Softeners vs. Salt less Water Softeners
Since the salt-free water softener became available, this has been a hot-button question in the water filtering community. There are many advantages of the tried and true salt-based system but do not sleep on the salt-free water softener option; it has excellent benefits as well.
Saltless Water Softener
Saltless water softeners are most known for being entirely maintenance-free. Compared to the systems that rely on salt, they are much more user-friendly.
Gone are the days when you need to constantly check your salt tank, realize you are running low and then head to the hardware store and spend big money on salt. Because the hardening particles are not being removed by salt, there is no need to discharge any water with these systems either. You will not waste any energy or water with a salt-free water softener, which is a big draw for many people.
Because the salt-free system does not require an ionization process like the salt-based system, there is no electricity required to run these systems. This is great because you are not only saving money on the electric bill, but you are also conditioning your water naturally so you will waste any unnecessary energy.
Salt Water Softener System
If you are dealing with a municipal water supply that is high in contaminants such as lead, chlorine, or other heavy metals, the salt-based system will be the best solution to combat this.
The salt envelops water contaminants as water is brought through the system and removes these contaminants while allowing the clean water to make its way through. You will also notice that the water will produce more suds and bubbles in the shower and will help keep your skin moist and free of dryness.
Salt-Based water softeners are extremely popular for their ability to help appliances and faucets stay clean from scale build-up. Chlorine and other insoluble contaminants can leave sticky mildew and residue in your water delivery system, and the best way to combat this is with a solid water filtration system, like a salt-based water softener.
By keeping pipes and faucets clean of scale build-up, your appliances will last much longer than without a softening system.
Best Salt Free Water Softener Reviews – (Updated List)
1. FutureSoft Salt-Free Water Softener
- This water softening solution does not require any water to be discharged, nor does it produce any salt brine that needs to be expelled.
- The salt-free system will prevent over 99% of scale build-ups without needing salt or any other chemical to accomplish this.
- It will never need to be replaced and does not need electricity to run.
- You will see an improvement in how clean your dishes and glassware are after installing this system. Water spots are greatly reduced.
The salt-free water softening system that SpringWell offers is loaded with everything one could want out of a salt-free system. It comes with everything you need to install the system by yourself, which will save money and allow you to provide your entire home with clean water sooner.
The installation package includes the mounting brackets and pre-filter supplies, so you do not have to go out of your way to find an add an additional sediment filter.
In terms of performance, the SpringWell system is one of the highest-rated salt-free systems on the market for a reason.
The included pre-filter does a great job with water supplies that are high in sediment like sand, gravel, and other larger contaminants.
As water is brought into the system after the pre-filter, the softening system will condition the water to “break-up” hard water particles, which means that these hard water particles cannot attach to anything like pipes or faucets. The steep decline in scale build-up is worth the price of this unit; it virtually removes all of it!
What We Like:
- Unlike other water softening solutions, the SpringWell system keeps a steady water flow rate to all your faucets.
- There are 3 different sizes that you can choose from based on the number of bathrooms in your home. We like this flexibility a lot.
- We noticed an immediate improvement in the amount of scale build-up on showerheads and sink faucets.
- There are several add-on options that you can choose from when purchasing the SpringWell system. One of these is a UV-light addition that helps combat bacteria in your water.
- Installing this system is much easier than comparable systems. SpringWell provides in-depth instructions and a ton of online support.
What We Didn’t Like:
- It does not work great with well water supplies; this will require additional parts to be added.
2. Pelican NaturSoft Water Softener Alternative Using Salt-Free Technology
- This system is entirely maintenance-free and does not require electricity to operate.
- The Pelican system includes the whole home saltless water filtering unit along with a pre-filter that will remove sediment and other large contaminants.
- Between the salt-free water softener and the pre-filter, it will effectively remove hardness particles like calcium and magnesium.
- You will see an immediate improvement in the amount of limescale in pipes and faucets.
- It is certified by NSF/ANSI 61 and 42, which confirm that the system is well-built and is structurally sound.
The Pelican Natursoft system is one of the most sophisticated water softening systems on the market that does not rely on salt. It combines the salt-free water re-ionization process with a pre-sediment filter that is rated to handle anything that is larger than 10 Microns.
This combination allows homeowners to improve their overall water quality and helps your appliances last longer. The most important appliance that you need to worry about limescale with is your hot water heater.
Most water heaters feature a device that helps descale water is it flows into the water heater, but even the best water heaters have trouble avoiding residue build-up on these nodes.
This system will elongate the life of your water heater and every other appliance in your home. The combination of the salt-free system and sediment filter will stop the limescale build-up within your pipes and water supply.
The installation process is simple and straight forward, thanks to Pelican’s in-depth instructional videos and detailed instructional booklet.
What We Like:
- The installation process with the Pelican Natursoft is among the easiest we have reviewed so far; anybody could do it!
- Pelican offers a ton of technical support and did a wonderful job with their installation manual.
- We love that there is zero wastewater with this system. With other water filtration and softening systems, it requires water to be discharged.
- After the water goes through the entire process, the valuable minerals will remain in the water supply.
- There is virtually no maintenance involved with the Pelican system. Just make sure to check that pre-filter, and you will gain these benefits for years to come
What We Didn’t Like:
- While installation is simple, it may require an additional adapter to make the system to fit your water lines.
3. Aquios AQF220 Whole House Salt-Free Water Softener and Filter System
- This system is smaller in size than most and easily installs to your home’s main water line.
- It comes with a 5-Micron filter and salt-free softening features that break up hard water molecules.
- The system is designed to allow water to sustain a high-pressure flow rate without the need for electricity or maintenance.
- The 5-Micron filter will handle up to 40,000 gallons of water before needing to be replaced, which is typically about 6 months.
- There will be a significant reduction in chlorine with this salt-free system.
The Aquios Salt-Free water softener is one of the most affordable options on our list. With a price tag coming in under $500, you are getting great value for the price with this system.
It combines the water ionization process that you will find in most salt-free systems with a 5-Micron filter that can remove chlorine and other large sediments.
The water softening process takes hard water particles into the device and sequesters them, which does not allow them to stick to a surface. This is a great feature if you are trying to remove scale build-up and lime deposits from your pipes and appliances.
The 5-Micron filter boasts a 40,000-gallon maximum capacity and will retain a solid water pressure throughout its life.
If you are looking for a water softening system that does not require any maintenance and does not require water to be discharged, this is the system you should have your eye on.
Once it is installed, you will not have to worry about any softening system maintenance, just keep an eye on the filter. Additionally, because it does not require electricity, it is free to operate, and you will not see any increase on your monthly water bill!
What We Like:
- The size of this filtering and softening combination is great if you are dealing with a tight space or are looking to minimize your water filtering footprint.
- It comes with a 20-year warranty on the housing and all valves, which is longer than many other comparable systems.
- The amount of limescale build-up in shower faucets was greatly reduced after this system was installed.
- We really appreciate that the water flow remains steady after installation. It is better than most systems.
- Aquios provides superb videos of their installation process online for all users to see.
What We Didn’t Like:
- We noticed that water spots began to show on glassware quickly after installation, putting into question its longevity.
4. APEC Water Systems Whole House Salt-Free Water Softener
- You can choose between a 1-3 bathroom or a 3-6-bathroom model; the latter allows for more faucets to run simultaneously.
- APEC also offers this system with a variety of upgrades, including filters and more.
- There is an included 10-year warranty on the softener and all components, which is standard across the industry.
- It will work in homes where the source water supply has less than 25 grains per gallon of sediment and contaminants.
- The treated water is safe for consumption by pets, humans, and is also safe to use on your plants.
One of the biggest complaints we get with salt-based water systems is the additional sodium that homeowners experience in their water supply. While some sodium is good for you and your drinking water, there is a point where you do not need any more sodium in your water.
The APEC salt-free water softener does not only avoid salt pellets all together; it does a wonderful job of disrupting sodium and other chemicals that may sneak their way into your water supply.
The APEC system is not only easy to install, the company is a joy to work with. They do a great job of providing environmentally conscious water solutions to not only their salt-free softeners but all their products.
Some folks have complained to us that their untreated water has a somewhat slimy feeling to it, and if you are dealing this, you know exactly what I am referring to.
With the APEC system, this will go away, and you will notice that the odor and taste of the water will improve because of it. Overall, the APEC system and all their optional accessories are a great solution for your water softening needs.
What We Like:
- We appreciate that there is no wastewater or discharge with the APEC water system. Many RO solutions require this.
- There is a distinct drop in the amount of scale build-up and residue in pipes and on showerheads.
- The water quality has improved, especially when it comes to soaps and shampoos, producing more oxygenated bubbles and suds.
- APEC offers a lifetime support program from their team of experts, which is a phenomenal addition.
- Regardless of which size system you go with, they both have produced a consistent water flow rate throughout our testing phases.
What We Didn’t Like:
- Hard water stains on dishes and glassware have yet to improve.
5. Tier1 Essential Certified Series Saltless Water Softener
- This salt-free water softener is certified by NSF/ANSI 61, which confirms that there are positive health effects from implementing this system.
- The salt-free tank is made from a resin blend and is combined with a sediment filter to remove larger contaminants.
- There is a 100% “No-Worry” guarantee that Tier1 provides to all folks that buy their products.
- The Tier1 system does not require any backwashing cycle, nor does it need electricity to run.
Tier1 is an extremely popular salt-free water softener for a variety of reasons that would make any homeowner happy. For starters, I believe that this is the only water softening device that we have reviewed that is certified by NSF/ANSI for standard 62, which ensures that you are getting a device that will improve your water quality.
Before installing this system, you will know that you are about to improve your entire home’s water quality. Speaking of installation, this is one of the easiest systems to install that we have reviewed thus far. It is a simple yet effective product that will immediately improve your water quality.
One of the things we appreciate the most about this system is the wonderful job it does removing chlorine from your water supply.
After installing, we saw virtually zero traces of chlorine, which is one of the toughest contaminants to deal with for salt-free water systems.
In addition to chlorine, it also does a wonderful job dealing with metals such as iron, magnesium, and copper. The pH level of the water is also something we like to be aware of, and the Tier1 System does a great job of maintaining a pH between 6.5 and 8.5.
What We Like:
- The entire system only needs 3 square feet of space within your home; it is a very compact system.
- There is an included sediment filter that is proven to remove sediment before it enters your salt-free softener.
- We were really impressed with the ease of installation and the quality of each component.
- Water testing has proven that this system helps remove organic compounds, pesticides, and other invisible contaminants.
- There is a massive difference in the amount of limescale and other mildew buildup within your pipes and showerheads.
What We Didn’t Like:
- The valve on the sediment filter is plastic; we always prefer steel or brass.
6. Aquasana Salt-Free Water Conditioner
- This salt-free solution comes with a 6-year expected lifespan, 6-year warranty, and 90-day money-back guarantee.
- It is the smallest salt-free water softener that we have reviewed so far. The entire system is only 27” wide and 46” tall.
- It has an advertised flow rate of 7.0 Gallons Per Minute (GPM,) which is great for such a small package.
- Aquasana offers a Scale Control Media (SCM) technology that transforms dissolved solids into harmless particles.
- There is a filter included that is designed to remove sediment and other large metals.
We are a huge fan of Aquasana water purification products on this site, and the salt-free water softener they provide is up there with the best.
First off, we are huge fans of the size of the unit. It is so small and compact that you will be able to fit it into virtually any space you could want to install this system. While the instructions are not the best in the business, the installation process is simple because there are so few parts to this system.
In terms of water softeners that do not rely on salt, the Aquasana has some of the best water testing results that we have seen.
Most notably, the chlorine is completely removed from your water supply, which is a tough contaminant to kill. We were also very impressed with the flow rate of all the faucets throughout the house. This is one of the biggest complaints that we get, is the reduction in water pressure after installing any water softening or filtration system.
What We Like:
- The size of the unit is awesome if you are dealing with a small space.
- We were very impressed with the water testing levels regarding the chlorine count. It was virtually zero.
- There are several optional add-on features that you can add to the system, all of which are very effective and affordable.
- The taste of the water improved immensely after installation. The odor was removed, too!
- There is virtually no maintenance with this system, aside from filter changes, the entire system requires zero attention.
What We Didn’t Like:
- The installation guidebook is pretty bare; it has no words, just diagrams, which can be confusing.
7. OneFlow + Salt-Free Scale Prevention and Water Softener System
- The OneFlow system uses a unique Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC) process that suspends hardness particles from attaching to your pipes.
- It includes a media cartridge that helps fight scale buildup for over 250,000 gallons of water.
- There is no electricity or water discharge required to operate this system.
- In addition to the media cartridge, there is a 50,000-gallon carbon block sediment filter that helps remove larger Micron contaminants.
- OneFlow is certified by NSF/ANSI for multiple standards including, 372, 42, and 61.
The OneFlow salt-free softener is one of the most popular salt-free solutions available on the market. Due to its small stature, it is easy to fit into even the smallest spaces you could imagine.
Do not let this fool you though; even with its small size, it is one of the most effective salt-free softening solutions that we have seen to date. Looking at it from afar, it is one of the simplest designs that we have seen, but there is a lot going on in that cartridge.
By combining both the TAC process that is unique to the OneFlow system and the 20-Micron sediment filter, you get great results for both water testing and the main benefit, which is scale buildup. Because there is no electricity required, this system will also save you around $300 per year in operational costs based on your typical 4-person household and a 75 gallon per day maximum.
What We Like:
- This is the smallest system that we have reviewed thus far. It can fit into your trailer, cabin, or home with ease.
- The installation kit includes everything one would need to install this yourself.
- Due to the TAC technology, the system does not add anything to the water, but it does allow useful minerals like calcium and magnesium to remain in the water.
- We were very impressed with the taste improvements of the water from all faucets.
- The sediment filter has a capacity of 50,000 gallons, which is longer than a lot of comparable systems.
What We Didn’t Like:
- The filter replacement costs are higher than most comparable systems.
8. AO Smith Whole House Salt Free Water Descaler
- The AO Smith system is a small, resin-lined water softening solution that does not rely on salt or any other chemicals.
- It is designed to last for up to 6 years or up to 600,000 gallons.
- There is a 6-year warranty on the entire system, which is a nice touch by AO Smith,
- The system will not remove TDS amounts, but it will disrupt them so that water is healthy for cooking, cleaning, and bathing.
- It comes with an included shut-off valve, hose, and adapter. All you need to install the system yourself.
We love AO Smith products and this salt-free water softener is one of their best products. It is a small, compact system that does a wonderful job removing sediment buildup and limescale from your appliances and water pipes.
It does a beautiful job maintaining a stable pH balance within the water supply and will make any water supply healthy to drink and for everyday usage.
The one thing that sticks out about this system is its ability to work with a water supply that relies on a well. Many salt-free water softeners have a maximum amount of grains per gallon that they can manage, and the AO Smith does not have this shortfall.
Well water is among the most difficult water supplies to deal with, and out of all the systems that we have reviewed, this is the best one that we have found.
Overall, the AO Smith salt-free conditioner is among the most reliable systems that we have seen to date.
What We Like:
- AO Smith is one of the most respected brands in the industry, and this system has proven to be reliable.
- It works well with any water supply, including well water systems, which is a bonus for a salt-free water softener.
- Installing the system is extremely simple for any homeowner; the instructions are crystal clear.
- It comes with a carbon block filter as well as the internal softening process that removes sediment and limescale buildup.
- We saw an immense improvement in the cleanliness of our glassware and dishes.
What We Didn’t Like:
- We have run into issues with leaking around the fittings.
Types of Salt-free Water Softener
There are multiple different options to choose from when deciding on the best salt-free water softener for you. It is important to remember that salt-free water softeners are an option that allows for water to be conditioned to reduce lime-scale and other build-ups.
Therefore, saltfree water softeners are often combined into other water filtration styles that allow you to choose the best solution for you. These things include multi-stage filtering options and electronic water descalers that are considered to salt-free water softeners.
There are several water softening solutions available that allow you to combine the salt-free water softening descaling qualities with water filtration that will remove contaminants in your water.
This is a very good solution if you are short on space or wish to improve the water quality outside of the re-ionization process that the salt-free water softener will accomplish. These systems will combine the ionization process with several filters that do a better job of removing solids and other heavy metals.
In addition to all the other water softening options available, another solution that works well as salt-free water softening option is the electronic descaling devices. These systems are attached to the water pipe.
As water flows through, they provide a jolt of re-ionization that breaks up water molecules into smaller parts, so that contaminants will be removed from the water molecule. Because the electrical destabilizes the ions, the water contaminants minerals do not have anything they can attach to. These help a ton with reducing limescale buildup among your appliances and pipes.
Advantages and disadvantages of No salt water softener
There are several advantages one can gain from installing a salt-free water softener, otherwise known as a descaler.
The system is proven to be effective at removing scale from your water and helping elongate the life of your appliances. Most importantly, the water heater. Water heaters are expensive and if you are running untreated water through there consistently, you are leaving yourself open to issues with erosion and water pipe scale build-up.
Because a salt-free water softener conditions the water at a molecular level, a simple descaling device will help save your appliances from an early visit by the plumber.
The other thing to remember is that salt-free water softeners are entirely maintenance-free. They do not require the lugging around of salt bags and the constant refilling either. Simply install and if you saltfree system includes a filter or two, make sure those are clean and replaced and that is it!
In terms of disadvantages, there are some things that you may need to consider before installing a salt-free water softener.
For starters, the descaling properties of the salt-free system only work with water that is running. The tiny amount of energy that is produced from the running water is required for the descaling to take place.
The ions within the water need to be moving in order for them to be re-ionized and therefore, this water softening solution will only work on running water. Additionally, there are some limitations to the hardness of the water that salt-free systems can handle.
Most systems will not be effective if your ground water exceeds 75 grains per gallon. If this is the case, you will need a more sophisticated solution or a combination of a salt-free system and pre-filter system.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Are salt-free water softeners effective?
Depending on your expectations, best non salt water softener can be highly effective. They are best at removing limescale build-up from your pipes and appliances, but it is important to remember that this water softening solution does not technical remove contaminants. It conditions the water at a molecular to be safer for consumption.
What is the most trusted salt-free softener brands?
We review a lot of water softening systems and have a great insight into the best brands. When it comes to salt-free water softeners, we highlighted plenty of brands in our reviews earlier on in the article. Pelican seems to be one of the most popular, and it has great reviews by nearly all users. We also really liked installing the OneFlow system; it is simple, affordable, and highly effective.
Do salt-free water softeners remove iron?
Technically, no it does not remove anything from the water on its own, but with a solid filtration combination system, it will remove iron and other contaminants. With a salt-free water softener, it will still be healthy for consumption, but the contaminants will still be there in theory. The re-ionization process will disrupt the molecular structure, but it will technically not remove it.
Are salt-free water softeners healthy?
Overall, they are healthy. The water you consume from a salt-free water softener will be healthy to consume and healthier for your hair, skin, and nails. There are other ways to improve the water to be even healthier with a combination of salt-free conditioning and water filters.
How much does a salt-free water softener cost?
This will depend on how sophisticated the system you choose is. There will be more a higher cost associated with systems that have more features, but on average, a salt-free water softener will cost anywhere from $400 upwards to over $1500 for the top of the line system.
Salt-free water softeners are an overall excellent solution to help elongate the life of your appliances and improve the overall quality of your water.
When choosing the best salt-free water softener for you, there are several factors that you should consider, including the quality of your raw water and what you hope to achieve out of your new system.
The total dissolved solids (TDS) and grains per gallon of your water supply will greatly affect which system you should go with.
However, we are confident that the information provided to you in this article will help you find the perfect salt-free system for you.
Between our in-depth reviews and the information outlined in the buying guide, all the information you to choose the best system is right here. We thank you for tuning into this article and wish you the best of luck in your search for the perfect salt-free water softener.