Hard water comes with many challenges, such as scale buildup in the plumbing systems. Scale buildup can clog the pipes or introduce secondary pollutants that pose a danger to your loved ones. The long-term effects of using hard water for basic home applications include damaging appliances. In the long haul, you’ll either drain your pockets on repairs or new purchases. Fortunately, installing the best salt free water softener in your home can put all these worries to an end.
We tested seven salt-free water softeners and found SpringWell Futuresoft Salt-Free Water Softener to be the best product overall, followed by Pelican NS3 NaturSoft® Water Softener Alternative as the best runner-up product. All products listed on this buying review are pretty consistent in quality and high performance.
We do deep research on the internet to shortlist the products with the highest positive customer reviews. Our team tracked a couple of long-term users to get more details about first-hand experiences. Our technicians spend more than 24 hours on each product, testing its efficiency in different applications, including commercial and residential. We also installed the products to see how long it takes and whether DIY solutions can get the job done.
Our best product overall serves you with a capacity of 1,000,000 gallons. The tank medium has lifetime longevity to give back your money’s value. The best runner-up water softener is a go-to product for DIY installations. Other products on this buying guide include the best whole house water softener, the best money value, the best budget, the best filtration, and the best quality.
Best Salt Free Water Softener Products
- SpringWell Futuresoft Salt-Free Water Softener– Best Overall
- Pelican NS3 NaturSoft® Water Softener Alternative– Best Runner-Up
- Tier1 Eco Whole House Water Softener Alternative– Best Whole House
- Aquasana Salt-Free Water Conditioner– Best Money Value
- NuvoH2O Home Water Softener System– Best Budget
- Aquois AQFS220 Full House Salt-Free Water Softener and Filter System– Best Filtration
- SoftPro Elite Salt-Free Water Softener– Best Quality
Best Salt Free Water Softener Reviews
SpringWell Futuresoft Salt-Free Water Softener is the best product overall on this buying review, thanks to its high performance. This system can prevent up to 99.9% scale buildup and reverse the effects of hard water such as rusting and corrosion.
Most importantly, it does this exemplary job without interfering with your plumbing fixtures’ pressure or flow rates—the system self-adjusts to water hardness. Thus, you don’t need to do any programming after installation.
You’re looking at an eco-friendly system that treats your water in four filtration stages. Water flows into the system through a 5.0-micron rated sediment filter that traps large particles.
The second filtration stage features a KDF bed to trap heavy metals such as copper and zinc. The filtered water then flows through a coconut shell carbon bed that removes organic contaminants. The last filtration stage has an innovative flex bed to eliminate channeling.
- Capacity – 1,000,000 gallons
- Warranty – Lifetime warranty
- Certifications – NSF/ANSI certified
• All Installation Components: Even though this system’s installation requires a plumber” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener sponsored”>professional plumber, it comes with all components needed to get the job done in the shortest time possible. The packaging includes a bypass valve, a mounting bracket, a spanner wrench, and tightening fittings.
• Softening Tank: This system comes with a relatively durable softening tank backed with a lifetime warranty. This tank features stainless steel construction for longevity. It also comes in multiple sizes, giving you a variety, depending on your needs.
• Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC): The SpringWell water softener leverages TAC technology to alter the hard water ions. This process prevents the ions from precipitating and sticking on the surface of the tank.
- Lifetime warranty
- 6-month money-back guarantee
- Four filtration stages
- Relatively expensive price tag
- It requires professional installation
Pelican NS3 NaturSoft® Water Softener Alternative makes the best runner-up product on this buying review, thanks to its long-lasting performance. The tank medium has lifetime longevity, backed with a limited lifetime warranty.
You’ll need to change the filtration medium after six or nine months, depending on usage and contaminants removed. This product is ideal for big household applications, in about four to six bathrooms.
Like other high-quality salt-free water softeners, this system also alters hard water ions through crystallization to prevent scale buildup. It also reverses the effects of hard water on plumbing fixtures, heaters, and other water appliances. You’ll likely experience zero rusting and corrosion on your systems.
- Capacity – 4 to 6 bathrooms
- Warranty – Limited lifetime warranty
- Certifications – NSF/ANSI Standard 61
• Simple Installation Process: You’re looking at a ready-to-install system that doesn’t require you to pay a professional plumber to get the job done. Moreover, you can install it indoors or outdoors if you can protect it from freezing weather. You can buy an insulating jacket.
• Treats Water for All Uses: Besides limiting the hard ions from precipitating, this system purifies your water in three stages, removing sediments, chlorine, and organic contaminants. You get to enjoy ready-to-use water for drinking, laundry, cleaning, or even watering the garden.
• Eco-Friendly: This water softener system doesn’t require electricity to work, hence zero-carbon print. Moreover, it doesn’t waste water and can save up to 700 gallons every year. It guarantees you a greener living space.
- Size variety
- Hassle-free maintenance
- Prolonged lifespan
- Relatively expensive price tag
- Additional costs for brass fittings
You can go for Tier1 Eco Whole House Water Softener Alternative if you’re looking for a system that guarantees whole-house applications without interfering with the water pressure or flow rates.
You can install this water softener in a home of about one to three bathrooms. It comes in blue and black options, giving you a variety to match your home décor.
Tier1 water softener alternative comes at a relatively affordable price tag. Besides the 50% discount on all whole-house systems, the manufacturer provides free shipping costs with a guaranteed return policy—the product ships on the same day of placing the order during business days.
- Capacity – 1 to 3 bathrooms
- Warranty – Limited warranty
- Certifications – NSF/ANSI standard 61
• Quick Installation: This water softener comes with a pre-loaded tank, which doesn’t require any valve programming to function. Furthermore, the packaging includes all the components needed for installation. You only need to connect it to the water lines, and you’re good to go.
• Pre-Filtration System: Tier1 water softener alternative comes with pre-filters that trap and remove large particles. The media include a sediment filter and an activated carbon block to eliminate chlorine and organic pollutants.
• Guaranteed Customer Satisfaction: Every successful purchase comes with the Tier1 Guarantee® for price, quality, and fit.
- Relatively affordable price tag
- Hassle-free maintenance
- Quick installation process
- Short-lived filtration medium
- Limited size options
Aquasana Salt-Free Water Conditioner is the go-to option if you’re looking for a product that guarantees your money’s value for years. Third parties satisfy this system as frustration-free, meaning you only need to install it, and you’re good to go.
The manufacturer gives a 50% discount on all whole-house systems. This product being one, you’ll likely save a lot if you hurry to get one while stocks last.
Every purchase comes with complementary after-sale services that enhance customer satisfaction.
For instance, you get up to 60 days of money-back guarantee; suppose the system comes with manufacturing defects. You can also return the product if the supplier delivers the wrong model.
- Capacity – 3 to 4 users
- Warranty – Limited warranty
- Certifications – NSF/ANSI listed
• Prolonged filter longevity: Once you install this water softening system, you’ll forget about filter replacements for about six years. This longevity saves you time and resources than systems that require you to replace the filtration medium twice a year.
• Scale Control Media (SCM) Technology: This technology leverages water flow to alter the hard ions, preventing scale buildup. You’ll likely experience improved longevity for plumbing fixtures, heaters, and other water appliances.
• Smart Design: This system features dual-storage tanks with up-flow technology to increase the contact time between water and the medium. This smart design guarantees the total breakdown of calcium and magnesium ions.
- Prolonged longevity and durability
- 90-day money-back guarantee
- The best money value product
- Not ideal for apartments
- Users experience different capacities
You can buy NuvoH2O Home Water Softener System if you want a product that saves you money in all aspects. Besides the relatively affordable price tag, this system comes with a filtration cartridge that requires a replacement after six months, or 50,000 gallons, whichever comes first.
This system has altitude compliance of up to 1,000 feet above sea level. Thus, you can install it in apartments within this height for use by one to two residents. Even so, you can still install it at 2,000 feet above sea level to serve up to four users.
This system softens your water by lowering the pH level using chelation technology. This technology causes the hard mineral ions, primarily calcium and magnesium, to crystallize on the chelating agent. The agent contains a NuvoH20 proprietary formulation that keeps the hard ions insoluble to prevent scale buildup. You can use the treated water for drinking, cooking, watering plant, or even cleaning.
- Capacity – 50,000 gallons
- Warranty – Limited warranty
- Certifications – Certified frustration-free
• Simple Installation Process: We did the job in ten minutes, meaning you can have this system up and running in half an hour. The packaging comes with all the items required for quick installation, including a user manual, a housing wrench, a mounting bracket, a mounting backplate, and a couple of screws.
• Restores Water Heaters and Plumbing Fixtures: You’ll no longer need to worry about the effects of hard water once you install this system in your residential home. It reverses the effects of hard water, such as rusting and corrosion, to restore your plumbing fixtures and water appliances.
• Improves Water Quality: This system comes with a carbon block filtration media that traps chlorine and large particles to improve the quality of your drinking water. Odd-tasting water with foul smells will be a thing of the past thing.
- Relatively affordable initial price
- Steady flow rates of up to 15 GPM
- CitraCharge dishwasher booster pods
- Unclear warranty information
- It requires an electrical power supply
Aquois AQFS220 Full House Salt-Free Water Softener and Filter System made it to this buying review as the best product with superior filtration. You’re looking at a high-quality water softener that gives a revolutionary approach to water treatment.
It blends commercial-grade water conditioning technology with a 5.0-micron rated filtration media to deliver a constant supply of ready-to-use water in on-demand applications. Thus, it makes a good bet for whole-house use.
The water treatment process is high-tech to ensure zero wastage of resources and pressure loss. This system is easy to use since it doesn’t require electricity, programming, or maintenance. You’ll only need to change the filtration medium after 40,000 gallons or six months, whichever comes first.
- Capacity – 40,000 gallons
- Warranty – 20-year limited warranty
- Certifications – Certified frustration-free
• Eco-Friendly Water Softener: This system doesn’t require electricity or any pressure system to improve its flow rates. It doesn’t use salt to neutralize the hard water ions from your source. Thus, it guarantees nearly zero carbon print for a greener living space to reverse the effects of climate change.
• Whole House Application: You can install this system at a Point of Entry (POE) in a residential home of up to six bathrooms. The product doesn’t interfere with the pressure or flow rate in your plumbing system. However, its application might not be ideal in apartments.• Scale Prevention and Corrosion Inhibition: This system sequesters hard mineral ions to prevent precipitation or the formation of scale flakes. Moreover, it forms a resistant coating around the metallic surfaces of your plumbing pipes to prevent rusting and corrosion.
- It inhibits corrosion
- Superior filtration technology
- Up to 98% chlorine removal
- Limited color option
- It is quite heavy
Lastly, you might want to try SoftPro Elite Salt-Free Water Softener, the best quality product on our review list. This product makes the best choice for any big family in need of a water softener with hassle-free maintenance needs.
You can use it in a house of up to five bathrooms served by a water source of up to 17 GPG hardness. Moreover, this system will serve your home for up to six years without any replacement or repair. Once you install it, you only need to enjoy its longevity.
This system can help save up to 1,000 gallons of water every year. Thus, it is an eco-friendly product that guarantees zero wastage of resources. The manufacturer gives a lifetime warranty on manufacturing defects and profit-free parts. The live customer support service gives you peace of mind, knowing that technical assistance is always a call away.
- Capacity – 1 to 5 bathrooms
- Warranty – Lifetime warranty
- Certifications – NSF/ANSI listed
• 99.6% Scale Prevention: While this product doesn’t remove hard ions from your water, it leverages innovative Scale Control Technology (SCT) to dissolve the ions, making them inactive. Thus, these ions get to flow through your plumbing system without forming scale deposits.
• Water Filtration Media: This system features a 5-micron rated filtration media that trap chlorine and sediments to enhance taste and odor. The filter traps large particles that could clog the plumbing system or damage your water appliances.
• Protection Jacket: Every successful purchase comes with a neoprene jacket to protect the tank against humidity and extreme temperatures. The jacket is easy to clean and requires few maintenance needs.
- The packaging includes a free installation kit
- The best quality product
- It comes with a filtration cartridge
- Limited size variety
- You might need a plumber
What is a Salt-Free Water Softener?
Salt-free water softeners are popularly known as water conditions. As the name suggests, these systems alter the prevalent positive ions in hard water through a physical process called crystallization. The magnesium and calcium crystals build up in the system before disintegrating to give conditioned water on the other end. Salt-free water conditioners do not remove the hardness minerals but alter them to prevent scale buildup.
How Does a Salt-Free Water Softener Work?
Salt-free water softeners leverage template-assisted crystallization (TAC) to alter the hard mineral ions in your water. Water flows into the system through a TAC medium that features tiny polymer beads covered in nucleation site craters. These craters trap magnesium and calcium as the hard water flows through the TAC medium. The continuous flow of hard water forms small micro-crystals that eventually build up before disintegrating from the medium into the water.
The disintegrated micro-crystals are relatively stable and will flow through your plumbing system in their crystalline structure. Thus, you won’t experience scale buildup inside the pipes or around water appliances.
Salt-Free Water Softener Vs. Salt-Based Water Softener
A salt-free water softener should be a go-to option if you’re worried about scale build ups around your plumbing system and water appliances. As noted, these systems only condition magnesium and calcium ions but retain the hardness properties in your water. Thus, salt-based water conditioners outperform them when it is about softening the water. On the brighter side, these systems are relatively durable and will prolong the lifespan of your water appliances.
Advantages of the Best Salt Free Water Softeners
The top benefits of installing a salt-free water softener in your home include:
- They maximize small spaces
- Conditioned water without spending on energy bills
- Save up to 700 gallons per year
- Retains the healthy water minerals
- Low maintenance or repair needs
- They give salt-free water
Drawbacks to Salt-Free Water Softeners
- They don’t give you soft water
- They require patience to show results
- Not as effective as salt-based water softeners
What Should You Look for When Buying the Best Salt Free Water Softener?
It will help if you consider the following before buying this product:
Complementary After-Sale Services
You should always watch out for brands that offer complementary after-sale services to guarantee 100% customer satisfaction. These services may include free shipping and installation, a money-back guarantee, discounts for first-time buyers, and lifetime technical support for registered customers.
Calcium and magnesium ions only make a fraction of your residential water source concerns. Thus you would want a system that does more than altering the hard water ions. Watch out for water softening systems that come with superior filtration technology to trap other pollutants.
Prevalent contaminants probably present in your water source, including chlorine, heavy metals, chloramines, and dust.
Do you need an alternative water softener?
The best salt free water softener doesn’t remove hard water ions. Instead, it alters the ions, preventing them from precipitating to form scale buildup. In that case, you can settle for a salt-based water softener if you want to terminate hard water ions from your plumbing system. However, these systems leave a carbon print and may attract expensive maintenance costs.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Salt-Free Water Softener
Picking the best salt free water softener can be a daunting task if you’re purchasing a whole house system for the first time. It can even be more difficult if many homeowners recommend multiple options that may all seem to function optimally. Consider these factors to handpick a water softening system that meets your needs and aesthetic preferences:
You need to consider the entire cost of having the system up and running, including installation. You can go for brands that offer installation services or packages the system with all the components required for a quick setup.
Also, kindly note that models from superior brands will likely cost more than generic products. Even so, the expensive price tag usually guarantees a product’s quality, efficiency, and reliability.
The only way to verify a manufacturer’s claim is by checking whether third-party certifications vouch for the same. For instance, a product described as safe for human use should come with NSF/ANSI standard 61 certifications for lead-free components.
The NSF/ANSI certifications have various standards, and the manufacturer will always indicate what a product qualifies for. Other certifications that guarantee quality include IAPMO and WQA.
The manufacturer can indicate a system’s capacity in two ways. It can be the amount of water in gallons or the number of users/bathrooms (showerheads). Either way, the higher the capacity, the higher the likelihood of having a good experience.
Remember, a high-capacity water softener will serve a whole house without disrupting flow rates or pressure in the plumbing fixtures. While most water softener systems will give you an average capacity of 100,000 gallons, some brands offer high capacities of up to 1,000,000 gallons.
Warranty information guarantees a product’s quality and high-performance consistencies. Most products come with limited warranties, with a few reputable brands offering up to a lifetime warranty. However, kindly read the warranty sheet to understand what it covers.
For instance, the warranty can be on the whole system or individual parts. Some manufacturers will also give a one-year warranty on free labor for servicing and repairs (even if the whole system comes with a lifetime warranty).
Installation and Maintenance
Most consumers choose to leave installation jobs to professionals, even though they can do it in a simple DIY process. Watch out for brands that include all the components needed for installation in the packaging, including a user manual with easy-to-read instructions.
The manufacturer should also indicate the type of installation, whether it’s indoor or outdoor. Most of the systems on this buying review come with hassle-free maintenance. You’ll hardly need any servicing or repairs in the first couple of years after installation.
System Control and Features
While many people prefer a system that comes with an intuitive user control panel, it may not be a good choice if you’re a busy or forgetful person. Remember, programmed settings can get lost due to power supply interruption.
Thus, you can go for a system that doesn’t require valve programming, especially if you’re a first-time user. Some features to watch out for in a system include the tank’s medium lifespan, installation requirements, and filtration technology.
Lastly, you would want to consider a system’s flow rate before installing it in your line. Watch out for a water softening system that can keep up with your water usage. A typical whole-house requires relatively high flow rates of 10 GPM to 15 GPM.
A product with a different flow rate from your water line will affect the efficiency of your appliances. It may also cause power shortage in the showerheads, especially when all bathrooms are in use simultaneously.
The Bottom Line
The effects of hard water can be frustrating, especially if your plumbing fixtures clog every time. You can end this stress by installing our best salt free water softener for up to 6 bathroom applications.
A high-quality water softener system guarantees a prolonged lifespan for appliances and low carbon print since you’ll unlikely need electrical power connectivity. All the products listed on this buying guide are of high quality and are affordable to maintain.
However, each brand is unique. Leverage our buying guide to get the best fit for your water softening needs. Check the latest prices and place your order by clicking individual product links.