I’ve had a salt-free water softener for years, loving the way it keeps my baths and washes smoother without removing the minerals. The conditioning of water has kept its health benefits AND saved me a lot along the way!
But I also know that people use salt-based water softeners, which are also known for its benefits. How are they so different though, and which one should you be using? I’ll be talking about the two main types of water softeners to help you out: The Salt-Based and Salt-Free Water Softener. Read on!
When Should You Actually Buy a Salt-Free Water Softener?
If you live in an area with very hard water that conditioning can’t solve, then a salt-based softener is best for you. It will completely remove all minerals that cause hardness, providing the soft water you need for washing and bathing.
However, if you require salt-free water for consuming or bathing, then salt-free water softeners are recommended. These are also best used for homes with low levels of hard water and if you want to keep the healthy minerals!
So, if you’re looking for something that will give you water without any contaminants or minerals for efficient washing, then I would recommend the salt-based water softener. But if your household doesn’t have “too hard” water and you’re on a budget, then a salt-free water softener system is still a good choice and if you want a very low maintenance water softeners then you should go for a fleck water softener.
As for me, since my water in the area isn’t as hard as others, I went for the salt-free water softener. Having the quality one does the job in keeping my water safe to use and wash with. With that being said, my relatives also have salt-based water softeners, which they enjoy and reap the excellent benefits of, too. Again, it all depends on your preference and water hardness.
The Best Salt-Free Water Softeners In the US: 2020 Reviews
Based on research and tests, these are the best salt-free water softeners this 2020:
1. NuvoH2O Salt-Free Water Softening System
Nuvo is one of the leading brands when it comes to water softener systems, and the H2O Studio Complete System is one of them. It’s made best for couples and small families, having the capacity of up to 25,000 gallons, also with the exceptional water flow enough to satisfy the household. It works as advertised and offers the conditioned water that reduced limescale buildup around the bathrooms and sinks.
- Quick and most efficient conditioning of water
- Performs well and cleans out piping system
- Adequate water flow for small families
- Some complaints of experiencing a glitch
- A bit difficult to install at first
|NuvoH2O-Complete Salt-Free Water Softening System,Budget friendly!||16 Reviews||$528.95||Click here to Activate the Best Price|
2. Aquasana EQ-SS20 SimplySoft Salt-Free Water Softener
Aquasana is well-known for their water softening products, with the EQ-SS20 SimplySoft Salt-Free Water Softener being a popular choice. It offers a capacity of up to 50,000 gallons, conditioning water with an excellent flow for up to six months. It’s strong and can withstand heavy use, still conditioning the water enough to reduce limescale.
- Trustworthy brand for salt-free water softeners that work amazingly
- Conditions water quickly and effectively reduces limescale
- It has the smart design for easier access and installation
- There are some complaints of not receiving the complete package
- Not made for larger households for its smaller capacity
|Aquasana EQ-SS20 SimplySoft Salt-Free Water Softener||13 Reviews||$290.14||Click here to Activate the Best Price|
3. Pelican Salt-Free Water Softener and Conditioner
The Pelican Salt-Free Water Softener and Conditioner effectively keeps the minerals from forming into hard water. It’s done this efficiently in my household and is also one of the most effective ones that help condition water to the point it removes limescale buildup, providing silky smooth water! There’s no hassle in installation and maintenance, also requiring no electricity as it operates. It’s simple yet does the job well.
- Easy setup and installation, no need to use electricity
- Efficiently conditions water and provides silky soft water
- Customer service answers quickly and professionally
- Leaves a bit of a residue on certain appliances
- Will break or leak if left under the heat
|Pelican Salt-Free Water Softener -Best for hard water||19 Reviews||from $1,605.00||Click here to Activate the Best Price|
4. Eddy Electronic Water Descaler
The Eddy Electronic Water Descaler is an excellent alternative, with a bright design and efficient electric system. I also like the fact that it can descale the entire water system, emulating soft water without the use of salt. Besides this, it’s maintenance-free and easy to install, offering the competitive warranty to ensure that you have a salt-free water softener to last.
- Lessens the hassle of cleaning appliances regularly
- Comes with a good warranty and customer service
- Simple and easy to install by yourself
- Might experience temporary loss of hot water pressure as it continues to clean
- Softens water, but not enough to see major improvements
|Eddy Electronic Water Descaler- Lifetime Repair or Replace warranty||467 Reviews||$199.99||Click here to Activate the Best Price|
5. Aquios FS-220L Whole House Water Softener
Aquios is another reputable brand to trust, with their FS-220L Whole House Water Softener System being a good purchase. It conditions your water and really make a difference, with water feeling smoother and descaling your pipes to make it easier to clean and maintain. I also appreciate the fact that it has a slim and compact design that does NOT use electricity, so it’s even easier to maintain and truly built to last.
- Slim and compact design to install easily anywhere
- Good water pressure and efficient conditioning good for six months
- No need to maintain and stays working for long
- Customer service doesn’t answer quickly
- Some complaints of the fittings leaking
|Aquios FS-220L Whole House Water Softener/Filter System, VOC Reduction||16 Reviews||$429.00||Click here to Activate the Best Price|
6. OneFlow+ Salt-Free Scale Prevention and Water Filtration System
If you’re looking for something exceptionally effective, then the OneFlow+ System is a good choice. Though it comes at a slightly more expensive price, you’ll be surprised with how efficient it is in conditioning, actually making it feel like our home doesn’t have hard water. It’s saved us a lot of money in the long run for its price and maintenance-free features.
- Less water spotting on showers, sinks, and dishes
- Water tastes better and contains the healthy minerals
- Saves money and effort from maintenance
- More expensive compared to other salt-free water softeners
- Might be confusing to install at first
|OneFlow + Salt-Free Scale Prevention and Water Filtration System||11 Reviews||$543.51||Click here to Activate the Best Price|
7. Scalewatcher Nano Original Electronic Descaler
The Scalwatcher Nano Descaler offers superior limescale control without the need to maintain or spend any more after the initial investment. Furthermore, it comes with everything you need for installation down to when you use it, making it easy to setup yourself. I saw results within two to three weeks, with limescale slowly disappearing and everything being more manageable to wash.
- Comes in a complete package to install and use yourself
- You can see results within weeks in sinks and faucets
- It helps even very hard water levels
- It requires electricity so you need to plan your setup
- Some complaints of slightly stained dishes
|Scalewatcher Nano Original Electronic Descaler | US Patented Hard Water Softener/Conditioner...||25 Reviews||$210.99||Click here to Activate the Best Price|
8. iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Water Conditioner
If you want to focus more on getting a compact design, I recommend the iSpring ED2000 Water Conditioner. It’s able to condition even very hard water levels up to 19 grains, allowing it to condition your water to soften it better. The system is also small enough to fit in small enclosures and there’s no need to maintain or for plumbing!
- Comes with a money-back guarantee and lifetime customer support
- Can be used for homes with very hard water levels
- Small design to install effortlessly without plumbing or maintenance required
- Change and improvements are a bit slow to appear
- Instruction manual is hard to understand at first
|iSpring ED2000 Whole House Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner||127 Reviews||$145.98||Click here to Activate the Best Price|
9. Triple Action Salt-Free Water Softener
The Triple Action Poly Salt-Free Water Softener is simple yet does a great job in conditioning hard water levels. It’s a bit bulky for a salt-free water softener system, though still considered as compact and lightweight, easy to setup wherever you need it as it has a wall bracket to place. It’s not a miracle device, but it does help with limescale and lessening stains.
- Simple design and performance to decrease limescale
- Fast and efficient customer service
- High flow rate and treats hard water levels of up to 25 grains
- Design seems a bit bulky
- Installation of the wall bracket is a bit tricky for some
|Poly-Salt-Free-Water-Softener- Triple Action||53 Reviews||$627.15||Click here to Activate the Best Price|
10. Tier1 Compatible Salt-Free Water Softener
The Tier1 Salt-Free Water Softener is convenient and efficient, with this model being made best for up to three bathrooms. It’s not only conditioned water but filtered it to keep appliances clean and working well. Furthermore, you’re able to drink from the tap and still get the minerals you need without much of the hardness level!
- No maintenance or controls required after installation
- Filters out chlorine and reduces limescale
- Slim design that stays in place anywhere it’s set up in
- May not work for areas with very hard water levels
- It’s not the best for large households
What Are Salt-Free Water Softeners?
Now that you know about the salt-based water softener, how does the salt-free water softener system work?
With a salt-free water softener, it doesn’t remove the hard water minerals but transforms them chemically. This is done so the minerals won’t cling on to the surface and precipitate to scale. Take note that the hard water minerals aren’t destroyed or replaced, so there are NO salt or regeneration cycles that happen to purge the minerals.
So with that being said, the minerals aren’t removed but simply changed. They remain in the water and are simply conditioned. The process is done through electricity and not through replacing the tank with anything (such as salt).
Why Use a Water Softener, Anyway?
Why is it important to soften or condition your water in the first place? Here are some of its excellent advantages:
No More Limescale
With a salt-based water softener, you can enjoy scale reduction. We all know that mineral buildup from hard water can clog and damage your pipes, including your water-using appliances! Because of this, the water affects the plumbing system, decreasing the water pressure and efficiency in drainage. With a good water softener, you won’t have to worry about clogs or hassling yourself with expensive plumbing problems anymore.
When you bathe with hard water, you may end up being uncomfortable with the curd made by hard water and soap, sticking to your body! Plus, soap and shampoo won’t lather well, leaving you feel sticky and your hair brittle. That will change when you use soft water to bathe.
Easier To Clean and Wash
Lastly, you will have a better time washing with purely soft water. This is because hard water will be creating the weird, sticky curd that sticks to your faucets, sinks, or even your shower stalls, plates, and other things washed! With soft water, you’ll be saving time having to clean AND spend on cleaning products. Another huge plus is that you’ll be able to wash clothes efficiently and increase your clothes and beddings’ lifespans.
Benefits Of Using a Salt-Based Water Softener System
Comparing both, they each have their own benefits to reap. Let’s start with the salt-based water softener system:
- Salt-water softeners systems completely remove all minerals and components which cause hard water. This means you are assured soft water and can reap the benefits it has to offer.
- It’s known to improve your energy efficiency, as heating hard water uses 30% more energy compared to soft water!
- There’s no worry about hard water because it completely converts it to soft water without the need to wait. You’ll always have soft water on demand, regardless of how hard water is in your area.
Benefits of Using a Salt-Free Water Softener System
What about the salt-free water softener? These are also highly beneficial and recommended for many, as they have the following benefits:
- They are more eco-friendly compared to salt-based ones, as they don’t use salt at all, which affect the ecosystem.
- You won’t need to purchase salt bags for your water softener, which saves you money and effort in maintaining your water softener.
- The minerals are conditioned, but still there, which are still needed for drinking!
- These softeners still provide similar benefits to actual water softeners, especially if your water’s hardness levels aren’t high.
Salt vs. Salt-Free Water Softener System: Key Differences
Still a bit confused with what type of system to use? Here are the similarities and differences of both a salt based and salt-free water softener system to take note of:
Installation and Maintenance
Regarding installing and maintaining, the salt-free water softener takes advantage. They are incredibly easy to install, and you can do it yourself with some help at home. You also won’t need to spend on maintenance besides replacing cartridges or other parts, if needed. As for a salt-based water softener, you’ll need to take care when maintaining it because it goes through a more complicated process.
When using a salt-based water softener, you are ensured that all minerals like calcium and magnesium are COMPLETELY removed even before you turn on your faucets or use water That means you won’t have any limes came buildups, your dishwasher or washing machines will last longer, and your water has a slicker feel when washing or drinking. You have the best quality of water!
A salt-free water softener system neutralizes contaminants but it isn’t as effective and still puts your appliances at risk of limescale. Plus, salt-based systems have quicker results regarding filtration and softening because it doesn’t use electricity, compared to the salt-free water softener. However, salt-free water softeners are a great choice for its minerals and salt-free components, which still condition your water to reduce the consequences of using hard water.
Cost and Expenses
This is where the salt-free water softener wins. They are less expensive than its salt-based counterparts when bought, AND you won’t have to worry about any added expenses because you won’t need to purchase salt or resins to replenish the system.
Choosing The Best Water Softener For You
Feel like you’ve made a choice on whether you should get a salt-based or saltless water softener? There’s more to it than choosing the main type you need! To help you out, here are tips and factors to consider when selecting an efficient water softener for your home (either salt-free or salt-based):
Brands and Certifications
There are many brands and water softener models available to choose from, like the Pelican, NuvoH2O, or the Aquasana. The Fleck 5600SXT water softener is also an excellent choice, along with more of the brand’s reputable models. Make sure that you choose trusted brands that ensure quality and efficient packages.
Additionally, make sure that you buy a water softener system that’s certified to the NSF/ANSI 44 Performance Standard. That way, you know that what you are getting is efficient.
Size and Water Usage
You will need to calculate and figure out the right size of your chosen water softener, which is based on your household’s needs. To get accurate information, you can check out your latest water bill to get exact measurements. For those without that info, multiply the number of people living at home by 75 gallons of water a day.
Now, you’re going to need to measure your water’s hardness from the local water utility or test it yourself. After you get that information, multiple how much water you use daily with your water’s hardness. You’ll then get the number of grains you’ll need per day.
Ease Of Installation And Use
Lastly, I would recommend that you get a water softener that’s easy to install and adjust according to your needs. If you are plumbing-savvy, then look for with easy-to-follow instructions and informative manuals so you can save money and set it up yourself. It’s also best to find a water softener that’s easy to adjust and replenish (if you choose a salt-based water softener and need resins).
Wrapping It Up
Through learning about the different types of water softener systems and brands, you’ll be able to find the best one the whole family can benefit from, may it be the salt-based or salt-free water softener. This all depends on your area’s water situation and what you think your household needs best for bathing and washing.
I hope that this article on the salt based and best salt-free water softener system helped you know more about how soft water can benefit your home today. So don’t wait any longer and check out more salt based vs salt-free water softener reviews to find the best system you’re looking for!
If you have any questions or would like to share your tips and experiences with water softeners, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.