Water Softeners

10 Best Salt-Free Water Softeners Reviewed (2022 Update)

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Are you just tired of your regular softener because it snatches away all the goodness of minerals from your water?

If that’s so, then not to worry anymore. Because we have found the right solution for you. Bringing you the review of the 10 best salt-free water softeners that will completely eliminate your hard water problems, yet leaving all the vital minerals still inside the water.

As you already know that the presence of calcium, magnesium, and other heavy metals makes your water hard. To eliminate this problem we use water softeners. Water softeners remove these minerals using salt, hence giving us soft and smooth water. But as we know that calcium and magnesium are the most vital minerals for humans, so removing them is not a good thing at all.

This means we must look for such a solution that will though eliminate the water hardness, yet still keeping all the minerals inside. But how will this happen? Well, thanks to the advanced technology, it has managed a third option: salt-free water softeners.

Typically, salt-free softeners are not really softener. Rather than that, they are conditioners that do not remove the hardness by eliminating minerals, instead, they shields or coats these minerals, makes them insoluble in water, thus keeping them from accumulating in the pipes and preventing from all hard water-related issues.

So if you too want all the essential minerals still inside your water, then salt-less softeners are the ones meant for you. But as the need for salt-free softeners is continuously rising high, therefore more and more companies are stepping in the grounds.

So due to this over a flooded variety of salt-free softeners, it becomes really difficult for one to spot out the right product.

Therefore, to make the job easier for you, our experts have tested several trending salt-free softeners and chose the top 10 best brands out of them. Now here we are sharing the review of these 10 best products with you, so let’s begin.

But first why not have a little bit of a sneak peek at the quick comparison table:

Quick Comparison – Our Pick for the Best Salt-Free Water Softeners

Best Salt-Free Water Softeners | Detailed Review

As you have already been introduced to the products included in our list, we must now begin the detailed review of each of them:

1. Nuvo H2O Dphb-a Home Water Softener System

- Key Features
891 Reviews
- Key Features
  • The Home Water Softener System is ideal for homes that are smaller than 1,500 sq. ft. and...
  • Prevents hard water scale buildup. Removes existing hard water scale. Compact design -...


Flow Rate: 12 to 15 GPM | Softener Life: 50,000 Gallons or 6 Months | 20 inch Cartridge | Salt – free Cartridge | Significantly Removes Corrosion, Scale Build-up, and clear water iron | Bypass Valve Included | Certified Frustration-Free | Uses Revolutionary Technology to deal with the hard water
  • Uses no salt
  • No electricity required
  • No wastage of water
  • Easy installation
  • Everything that is needed for the installation is already included in the kit
  • Offers 20 inches cartridge
  • Good for skin and hair
  • Requires a water filter to work with the well water.
  • The price is a little bit on the high side.

Nuvo H2O Dphb-a water softener lies at the top of our list mainly because of its remarkable features which it offers to its customers.

Starting from the first one, this water softener has got something that no other brand offers and that is 20 inches cartridge instead of 10 inches. Moreover, it comes with an extremely compact and space-saving design with a dimension measuring 5 x 5 x 25 inches. If you’re interested in compact softeners, you can see our top 10 picks.

Thus you can install it even in the tightest places. The most significant feature of this water filter is that it uses the new revolutionary technology to lower the PH of your water.

It follows the process of chelation in which all the hardness-causing ions, particularly calcium and magnesium are attached to a chelating agent, after that, these minerals become soluble and are unable to cause hardness in the water.

These softeners do not use even the slightest amount of salt, wastes not even a little bit of your water, and uses no electricity for operating.

After using this salt-free water softener, we assure you ain’t gonna suffer those embarrassing stains on your dishes and those stubborn scale build-ups in your plumbing anymore. 

2. Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt-Free Water Softener and Filter System

- Key Features
123 Reviews
- Key Features
  • SCALE PREVENTION: Prevents and removes lime-scale accumulation by sequestering hard...
  • CORROSION INHIBITION: Forms a protective coating on metal surfaces and provide corrosion...


2 in 1 conditioner + Filtration System | Flow Rate: 12 to 15 GPM | Capacity: 40,000 Gallons | uses Salt-free Technology | NSF Certified | Coconut Carbon Black Filtration Technology | specifically removes chlorine along with dirt, silt, sand, slut, and other sediments | prevents and removes limescale accumulation | uses 5-micron standard filter | 20 years warranty | system lifetime: 6 months
  • Salt-free conditioning and softening
  • Removes impurities along with the hardness
  • High flow rate with a low-pressure drop
  • Compact design
  • No water wastage during backflush
  • An eco-friendly solution
  • Prevents skin and hair diseases
  • Might experience a drop in water pressure
  • May need to change cartridges more often

Unlike other water softening systems, this softener works by an entirely different phenomenon. Instead of removing the hardness causing minerals like that of calcium and magnesium, this water softener uses natural and commercial technology known as polyphosphate (Siliphose).

It ensures that these minerals don’t build up or accumulate in plumbing and fixtures including showerheads, faucets, and water heaters.

Siliphose slows down the process of mineral accumulation and enables hardness causing minerals to easily pass through the pipes and fixtures, thus preventing scale build-up in plumbing and leaving your water with all the beneficial minerals present in it.

Unlike salt-based water softeners, the water conditioned from this water softener will not have that slippery texture. The system is a 2 in one combo, which means that it will not only soften and condition your water but will also remove all the impurities and sediments from it including sand, dirt, silt, chlorine, etc.

It uses coconut carbon black filtration technology rated by 5-micron standard which absorbs all the hardness causing mineral and makes them insoluble in water to provide you with the best water quality.

3. APEC Water Systems FUTURA-10 Premium Whole House Salt-Free Water Softener

- Key Features
13 Reviews
- Key Features
  • Designed for 1-3 bathrooms homes with 10 gallons/minute flow rate, FUTURA-10 effectively...
  • Easy to install and lasting for years, this maintenance-free system does not require...


Flow Rate: 10 GPM | Hardness Suitability: 20 GPG | 10 Years long Warranty | Prevents Scale Build-up | Weighs: 60 Pounds | Uses Ceramic Media | Works without electricity | Satisfies the needs of 1-3 bathrooms | Backwash system
  • Super easy installation
  • Maintenance-free
  • No electricity required
  • Drainage for wasted water
  • Plants friendly
  • Good for heart
  • Does not treats hardness above 25 grains per gallon
  • Does not remove sodium
  • Not for bigger houses

This salt-free water softener system is the best for your cozy little house. A point that you must keep in mind is that if you have a really large family, let’s say 5 to 8 people, then this water softener is definitely not for them as it only fulfills the need of a medium-sized family or house.

But when it comes to the performance of this little guy, then you must not go on the size, as it has so much to offer to its users. This system uses the most advanced ceramic media to get rid of the hardness. It attracts all the minerals and neutralizes them.

In this way, it prevents the water from losing vital minerals while still decreasing the PH of the water.  The softener prevents the plumbing and fixtures from limescale build-up and hence increases the lifetime of appliances and plumbing.

Moreover, the system uses almost no chemical at all which means it is a great option to practice good health. With being low on chemicals, this water softener is 100 % safe for plants, kids, and those with cardiovascular problems.

The system is super easy to install and requires no maintenance at all as it does not require electricity to operate, has a built-I backwash, and wasted water drainage so you don’t have to keep checking on it after every hour.

4. Filtersmart Whole House Water Filter System & Salt-Free Water Softener

- Key Features
33 Reviews
- Key Features
  • GET THE HEALTHIER OPTION: Enjoy softer skin and hair. We use all natural coconut shell...
  • BETTER THAN BOTTLED: Get clean, delicious water at every tap without the waste created by...


2 in 1 Filter and softener combo | Flow Rate: 12 GPM | Water Capacity: 1 million gallons | goes with 1-3 bathrooms | Carbon Black Filtration Technology | removes hardness along with chloramine, chlorine, herbicides, VOCs, and many other sediments | works without electricity | prevents limescale a corrosion build ups | NSF certified
  • Eco-friendly (no wastage of water or electricity)
  • Extremely large filtration capacity
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Good flow rate
  • Also removes contaminants along with the hardness
  • Built-in bypass valve offers easy installation
  • Softer and smoother skin
  • Though the installation is easy, still it requires a plumber
  • Does not remove fluoride

This salt-free water softener has got everything you can expect from an ideal water softener. It reduces and ultimately eliminates the hard water problem like those of scale build-up and corrosion.

Once using this softener, you won’t have to face those shameful and embarrassing white stains on your dishes and plumbing fixtures.

Again like the above-mentioned softeners, this system along with reducing the hardness of water also purifies the contaminants and chemicals present in water which mainly includes THMs, VOCs, SOCs, pesticides, homicides, chloramine, chlorine, and some of the other factory wastes.

The system is also completely eco-friendly as it does not cause any electricity or water wastage. Moreover, it also comes with the easiest and lowest possible maintenance, it only requires you to change the pre-filter sediment after every 8 to 10 months, which is not a very big deal indeed. 

5. HQUA 5000E Electronic Salt-Free Water Softener

- Key Features
838 Reviews
- Key Features
  • Efficient Water Softening: The HQUA 5000E electronic water descaler effectively removes...
  • Long Lasting and Durable: The descaler's durable construction ensures long lasting...


Hardness Level: less than 25 GPG | Energy Consumed: 4 watts | 3 light indicators included| Capacity: ideal for 6 to 7 people | prevents limescale, rust, corrosion| uses electromagnetic waves to soften and condition the water | Dissolve mineral deposits from your plumbing using carbon dioxide | weighs: 2.275
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Works greatly even on curved and plastic pipes
  • Environmentally friendly (no chemical added)
  • Super easy plumber-free installation
  • Not a typical softener, rather it is a Descaler
  • Uses electricity

Talking about this salt-free water softener, I don’t know if it would be okay to call this system a softener as it is not really a softener.

It is a Descaler, which means it does not remove or attracts the hardness causing mineral, instead cause them to dissolve into the water by magnetizing them.

Magnetizing the water with electromagnetic waves will keep the minerals from attaching to other surfaces, hence helping in preventing the mineral deposits. Like all the other salt-free softeners, this softener also helps us remove those ugly lime and rust stains from faucets, showerheads, other fixtures, and crockery.

Though this water softener has lots of benefits and features to offer, still it has a little drawback, which is that it can only treat the water with a hardness level of fewer than 25 grains per gallon.

So if your water has a much higher hardness level, then you should probably not go for this one. Yet the rest of the things are okay. It has such an easy installation that you won’t be needing to call any plumber. And once set for working, this Descaler is gonna show appreciable results. 

6. Tier1 Essential Certified Series Salt-Free Water Softener

- Key Features
27 Reviews
- Key Features
  • Quality Whole Home Filtration: Salt-free alternative that prevents costly damage to your...
  • Operational Convenience: No control valve to program, no backwash waste cycle, no...


Easy to operate programs | includes resin tank along with scale inhibiting media | adds a 4.5-inch sediment filter for contaminant removal | NSF and ANSI approved | Carbon and KDF filtration technology | includes UV disinfection |
  • Eco friendly
  • No backwash cycles
  • Now the electricity required
  • Inhibits scale build-up
  • Easy to install and easy to maintenance
  • Also includes a sediment filter
  • Offers low capacity
  • Not suitable for bigger families

Tier 1 water softener is again one of the very few softening systems that we have included in our lists.

The reason was that Water Filter Inc. the manufacturers of Tier 1 has been providing their customers throughout with the most trustworthy products and have again come up with the most reliable solution for the hard water problem.

The salt-free version of Tier 1 water softener helps the users experience the same texture of water as that from salt-based softener, but with more added health benefits.

Tier 1 salt less water softener gives the same results that the best water softeners can give like eliminating the limescale build-up and prevention of mineral deposits, but it does all these things by still keeping all the essential minerals within.

Like all the other salt-free softener tier does not remove calcium and magnesium from the water but still makes the water softer and condition along with removing contaminants like dirt, sand, silt, and toxins by using three different types of filtration stages i.e. Sediment filtration, KDF an carbon black filtration and in the end a UV disinfection stage.

7. Poly Salt-Free Water Softener


Salt-free | Compact Design | Use Polyphosphate beads | Removes heavy scales and mineral deposits | Stainless steel exterior |
  • Affordable
  • Space-saver
  • Get rids of all the hardness without using salt
  • No expensive cartridges needed
  • Does not offers advanced features
  • Needs an iron or a whole house filter to precede

Though this water softener has not much to offer and therefore there is not much for us to write about this. But still, we have included this conditioner in our top 10 lists because of its effectiveness and efficiency.

Even so, the softener is not decorated with all the advanced and modern features which many other salt-free softeners offer, but this water softener can give you all the benefits of a traditional salt-free softener but at a far much less price.

You can never expect such a cheap on price product to show this much efficiency. Poly Salt-Free Water Softener eliminates all the hardness of water without removing the essential minerals and leaves you with soft and smooth water which no longer causes mineral deposits in the plumbing pipe.

The only negative thing with this softener is that you will have to buy either an iron water filter or a whole house water filter to precede.

8. Pelican Salt-Free Water Softener Alternative & Conditioner

- Key Features
19 Reviews
- Key Features
  • Prevents hard water scale in plumbing and appliances while keeping beneficial minerals
  • Simple installation; system comes ready to install inside or outside (in non-freezing...


Offers 99.6 % of scale protection | designed for 1 to 3 bathrooms | 5-micron pre sediment filtration system added | WQA tested | NSF and ANSI 61 Certified | Stainless steel body to protect against rust and corrosion | NO electricity required |
  • Eliminates all the hardness in water
  • Removes scale build-up and mineral deposits in pipes
  • Operate without electricity
  • No water wastage
  • Also, perform filtration along with softening
  • Bypass valve included for easy installation
  • Customer services are not always good
  • Might be a little heavy due to the steel body

Pelican water softeners are not new in the industry. They have been providing their customers with a solution to their problems for years. That’s why they have built a place in their customer’s hearts. And now they have brought something even better than ever.

It’s not a traditional water softener but an alternative to it. It does not remove the minerals from the water, yet creates a coat on them which makes them insoluble as described above, it then helps in removing scale-build up and mineral deposits from plumbing pipe thus maintain good water pressure.

Apart from helping with hard water issues, out also carries out the filtration process with a 5-micron standard pre sediment filter. This pre sediment filter ensures that there are no residues of chlorine left in the water along with dirt, sand, silt, and other contaminants.

The filter uses no salt for regeneration, moreover, it also doesn’t require electrical energy to get started, thus saving your electricity bills.

9. Tier1 Essential Certified Series Whole House Salt-Free Softener

- Key Features
27 Reviews
- Key Features
  • Quality Whole Home Filtration: Salt-free alternative that prevents costly damage to your...
  • Operational Convenience: No control valve to program, no backwash waste cycle, no...


2 in 1 filter and softener combo| Eliminates scale build-up and mineral deposits | removes 97 % of all sediments including chlorine, chloramine, lead, mercury, pesticides, herbicides, and VOCs | scale control salt-free technology | carbon black and KDF filtration media | Resin tank included
  • Works without electricity
  • 3 stages of filtration
  • Extends the life of all appliances and plumbing
  • Suitable for big households
  • No draining or back flushing required
  • Low maintenance
  • Easy and quick installation
  • Does not removes TDS

This water softener of Tier 1 is similar to the model discussed above except for a few distinct features like the former was for a small family whereas this one is for a bigger household with more members. 

The softener solves the problem of hard water with the help of scale control salt-free technology. Just like using all the other softeners on our list, this one also efficiently eliminates the hardness, prevents the scale build-up, and removes the hard mineral deposits from the plumbing pipes.

Just like the best softening systems, this one also filters the impurities along with dealing with hardness. It uses three different stages of filtration to a variety of contaminants.

The first stage is of sediment filter, the second stage consists of carbon black and KDF filtration media and the last one consists of UV disinfecting filtration.

Using this softener will save you from facing those embarrassing and intolerable stains on dishes, glasses, showerheads, faucets, and other plumbing fixtures.

10. iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner

- Key Features
1,896 Reviews
- Key Features
  • [Improve Water Quality] Solves hard water problems without the need for chemicals, salt,...
  • [Reliable Descaler] Descales your entire water system and prevents scale buildup in pipes....


Treats the areas with highest hard water with 10 to 19 grains | Compatible with pipes of any material like PEX and PVC | 1-year money-back guarantee | lifetime customer support | Descales the whole system | causes the existing scale to break down| leaves the essential mineral within the water | Maintenance-free
  • Prevents scale build-ups
  • Best for people with salt restriction in diet
  • Healthier and glowing skin
  • Extends the life of appliances
  • Works on any type of pip, even the PEX, and PVC
  • Low maintenance
  • Easy installation
  • Might take a long to show apparent results

The last one on our list is again a Descaler. This alternate of water softener uses an electromagnetic field to magnetize the water passing through the pipe and treats the hardness issues just like the former discussed earlier.

The Descaler comes in a smart, compact, and sleek design. It uses not even the slightest bit of salt or any other chemical to treat the hardness. It generates an electric field around the water pipe, agitates the water molecules causing the release of carbon dioxide.

This whole process facilitates the dissolving of the mineral into the water, thus preventing them from sticking at the surfaces and cause build-ups. The system also decreases energy consumption as it offers an average one-year payback period.

Moreover, the systems come ready to install, you don’t have to put great effort into its installation. Maintaining and caring for the Descaler is not a big deal at all as it does not use any salt or chemical for the regeneration process.

When installed, this system gives you those stainless and spotless dishes, faucets, showerheads that you’ve always longed for.

Buying Guide for Salt-Free Water Softener

We all understand this good enough that buying anything without proper research leads us to a wrong decision and we end up with a product that is of no use. Therefore it is recommended for the buyers to gather as much knowledge and information about the product as they can.

Keeping this in mind, we have also provided our customers with a buyer’s guide on salt-free water softener, so that when you step out in the market you can find exactly what you need.

Important Aspects to Consider before Buying a Water Softener

It is not only a product’s quality and performance that you must consider while purchasing it, there are several other aspects related to it. Without identifying them you can never make a strong and valuable decision.

1. Your Needs

The most important aspect to consider is to identify your needs. Just knowing that you have hard water issues and you need a softener to solve it isn’t enough.

There are many other things related to it like identifying how much water is being used in your house because if you don’t do so, you would end up bringing the wrong water softener that won’t be able to generate enough water for your family.

2. Your Budget

Another most important aspect on which most of the purchasing depends upon is your budget. All salt-free water softener is not available at the same price. Some start from only a couple of hundred dollars while some even cross the ends of thousands of dollars.

So first you must know how much budget you have in your pocket for a softener. After that, keep in mind all your basic needs, this way you will be able to find the most suitable softener that also goes well with your budget.

3. Measurement of Water Hardness Level

Measuring and testing of water’s hardness level plays an important role in choosing the softening system. You must have a clear idea of which type of water processing unit you need.

Is it the water softener or a water filter, because sometimes it happens that people misunderstood and takes their contaminated water as a hard one and bring home a water softener? So first check the presence of hardness in your water.

If the results are positive, it means it is the softener that you must go for. After that measure the hardness level of your water to make sure how much grains and microns you require in your water softener for their removal.

Available Types of Salt-free Softeners – Which one to choose

Salt-free Water softeners come in four different types based on the technology used in them. 

1. Polyphosphates softening Technology

In this type of salt-free water softener, a chemical named polyphosphate has been added into the water in order to remove its hardness. These softeners mainly help in preventing scale build-ups in pipes and fixtures. 

The polyphosphate molecules create a coat on large ions and minerals thus keeping them from accumulating into the plumbing pipes and other surfaces and also makes them insoluble, thus preventing these minerals from causing hardness in water.

The only problem with this softener is that requires regular cleaning intervals and refills. Also, they do not remove clear water iron and chlorine present in the water.

2. Complete filtering and softening solution

This type of salt-free water processing system not only softens your water but also removes all the unwanted contaminants and sediments. You can call it a 2 in 1 softening solution. 

For the people suffering from the problems of hardness in their water along with dirt and impurities, this water softening system is just going to work great. 

You won’t have to buy a separate unit for filtration, plus you won’t be needing any extra space for installing the filter, thus saving money and space

3. Magnetic conditioning Technology

A magnetic salt-free water filter helps you get rid of those stubborn mineral deposits in pipes, and scale build-up in fixtures by attaching small magnets all over pipes, the moment water passes through these pipes, the magnets magnetize all the water, thus conditioning and softening the passing water.  

4. Electromagnetic conditioning Technology

These systems work with the help of electricity. Electromagnetic softeners create and send an electromagnetic wave throughout all the plumbing pipes and magnetize all the hard mineral grain, thus preventing them from attaching other surfaces.

Feature to look for in a salt-free Water Softener

When purchasing a salt-free water softener, there are several important features that you must look for in them. Though the first one is being salt-free itself.

1. Their Maintenance

Salt-water filters are generally low maintenance as you don’t have to worry about the addition of salt before every regeneration cycle, however, some of the salt-free water filters do require high maintenance like cleaning, refilling of polyphosphate, and cartridge replacement. 

Now the one you must get for your home should be of the lowest maintenance because a high maintenance salt-free water softener not only requires energy and time but also demands a lot of money in your pocket for service. 

2. Grain Capacity

Now when it comes to the grain capacity of water conditioners, choose the one with the highest grain capacity.

A grain capacity is typically a measurement of the ratio of hardness grains your systems are able to handle before the need for the next regeneration arises.

So the more grain capacity your water softener has, the lesser it goes into regeneration and longer the life of your softener will become. Therefore, it is always recommended to go for the high grain capacity which must be only as minimum as 60,000 grains.

3. Flow Rate

A good flow rate of softener is another important feature to look for. A flow rate identifies the grains and gallons of water being provided to the user within a minute. 

Though flow rate for every household differs according to their needs, however, we have measured a general value of flow rate required that might be 7 GPM for a family of 2-3, 15 GPM for a medium-sized family consisting of 4 to 5 members whereas big households and offices must go for the flow rate of 22 GPM. 

4. Certifications and Approvals

Last but not least, one of the most important things that you must never forget to look at is the certification and approval of the product.

Any water-related product whether it is a water softener, water filter, bottled water, etc., must be approved by NSF and should meet all its standards. This is because a certified product is more trustworthy to use than the one which you don’t even know is safe.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) for Salt-Free Water Softener

  • Can you install salt-free water softeners with a well?

Unluckily, no. salt-free water softeners are typically meant for the water resources that are really high with hardness. Whereas well water is most likely to contain moderate or no hardness at all, therefore salt-free water softeners don’t go very well with well water.

  • Can these systems be installed outdoors?

You should never install any water softener outdoor unless it is allowed by the manufacturer because outside weather can have really bad effects on the product’s life duration.

  • How long will salt-free softener take to remove the scale?

Typically, it takes almost six months for a salt-free water softener to completely remove all the scale residues for your home.

  • Does salt-free softener remove iron?

Though salt-free water softeners are not typically meant to remove the ferrous, however, some of them offer this facility but only to a limited extent.

  • Is the water from salt-free water softener safe to drink?

Water softened by a salt-free water softener is absolutely safe to drink. In fact, the water from such softener is even healthier than regular water softener because unlike other softeners, this softener does not remove healthy minerals from the water.

Final Verdict

I hope that after reaching the end of this review, you are now able to make a worthy decision of buying a salt-free water softener. 

Buying something related to your health is no doubt the most difficult task, no one would ever want to take any risk with their lives. But we assure you that the above-mentioned products are completely free of any risk and have major benefits for your health. So it is worth giving them a try.

And just for the record, if someone had asked me to give a vote to any one of the above water softeners, I would have probably gone for Aquios AQFS220 because this one contains the most ideal and unique features and is a complete set of perfection. 

5/5 - (6 votes)

Last update on 2024-05-22 at 05:55 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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