Traditional water softeners function by eliminating minerals from the water supply in your home, reducing the presence of magnesium and calcium that cause scaling and build up of soap scum in your shower, bathtub, and sinks. Mineral-rich “hard” water also dulls laundry colors and leaves fabrics rougher and dingier.
Obviously, “softer” water is more desirable to preserving your plumbing, bathroom fixtures, and clothing. However, traditional salt-based softeners require the regular resupply of softener detergents or salt to maintain softer water, and the minerals removed from the water supply have to be routinely purged in order to keep the system functioning.
It’s not all bad news though: there are salt-free alternatives to water softeners that neutralize the minerals in the water without purging them, preventing scaling and soap scum buildup without the need for system purges and re-filling salt supplies. Another distinct advantage to salt-free water softeners many people are unaware of is that it can actually improve your cardiovascular health.
Water softeners that use salt additives can actually increase your body’s overall sodium intake when you drink water from your tap, thus increasing your risk of heart attack, stroke, and arteriosclerosis. If you are at risk for any of these health issues, you may want to consider a salt-free water softener over traditional salt-additive models simply to preserve your existing health while reducing the mineral content of your water.
Let’s take a look at the five best whole house salt-free water softener solutions available on the market to make softer water and longer lasting plumbing a reality for your home.
With their longstanding reputation for high quality water filtration systems, Aquios also offers salt-free water softener solutions that work in tandem with their home water filter systems that purify water to make it more suitable for drinking.
Their FS-220 model is a commercial grade system that requires no electricity, does not drop water pressure.
It comes with a 6 month replaceable cartridge that can descale up to 40,000 gallons of water. It’s also got a 20 year guarantee against failure, and is designed to minimize the amount of space it takes up in your home while eliminating drops in water pressure normally associated with home filtration and water softener systems.
This is definitely a high end option for homeowners that want a premium system that both descales and filters their water for high drinkability and reduced mineral hardness.
- Salt-free full house water filter and descaler
- Combined filter and descaler saves space
- Compact design
- Converts up to 40,000 gallons
- All-in-one systems can cause greater drops in pressure than standalone systems
- Cartridge replacements can be expensive
- No built-in change filter alert
2. Ecofine Hard Water Wonder Salt Free Conditioner
The most compact solution for hard water in your home, Ecofine’s offering takes up less space and works effectively on hot or cold water.
Using electrical current to neutralize the minerals in water, this model takes up very little space and requires very little power to operate.
Best of all, it actually reduces and eliminates existing deposit buildup in bathroom fixtures, pipes, and sinks. Installation is in-line, so it has a minimal impact on water pressure, and it plugs into existing electrical outlets for power which eliminates the need for hardwiring.
This is an excellent water softening solution for smaller homes or second homes that need a water softening solution that doesn’t need regular filter exchanges, takes up very little space, and uses a minimal amount of energy.
- Filterless water softener
- Low energy usage
- Works with hot or cold water
- Reduces and eliminates mineral deposits
- Uses no detergents, salt, or chemicals
- Small size limits capability
- Requires a nearby outlet to work
- Not a good fit for larger homes
- Not recommended for high volume use
3. FountainHead SALT FREE WATER SOFTENER
The premium offering from FountainHead, this 4.5 liter 15 gallons-per-minute water softener and conditioner can easily provide for a multi-resident home with soft water.
It uses no electricity, requires no routine maintenance, and does not need to be drained. Because this unit has no need for salt to soften the mineral contents of your water.
It is easier on the environment and your budget, and it is a far greener alternative to dealing with mineral rich water in your home than traditional water softener systems that require electricity, drop water pressure, and must have salt added on a regular basis in order for them to function.
The unit is also extremely easy to install with only two connectors to manage, and it fits well in limited spaces. This is definitely a high end option for buyers who want an effective salt-free solution to treat the water throughout their home that will last for years and require no replacement parts or maintenance.
- Space saving design
- No filters to exchange
- No power required
- Reduces and eliminates existing scaling deposits
- Never needs to be drained.
- 4.5 liter size is somewhat limited
- May not be sufficient for larger households depending on use
- Water quality in potential homes can affect effectiveness
4. Nuvo H20 DPHB Home Salt Water Softener System
Offering a standalone salt-free water conditioning system, Nuvo’s H20 DPHB Home Salt Water Softener System is an extremely efficient water softener with a host of features and premium benefits.
With a 12-15 gallons-per-minute flow using 1-inch ports, this unit does not alter the existing flow of water in your home.
One of the major issues with salt-free water conditioners in the past has been that they often caused a significant loss in water pressure after installation, but Nuvo’s innovative design as all but eliminated pressure loss issues that plague other salt-free water conditioners.
Additionally, the filtration cartridges are good for up to 50,000 gallons, and this is one of the few salt-free water softeners that actually has an impact on existing scaling, not just preventing further scaling.
This water softener is an excellent choice for homeowners who are seeking a salt-free water softener solution who do not want to give up the efficiency and power of a traditional salt-based water softener.
- Efficient water flow with no pressure loss
- 50,000 gallons per filter
- Replaceable 20-inch filter
- Actually helps eliminate existing scaling damage
- Protects your home and the environment from the harmful effects of salt in a water softener system
- Cannot be installed outdoors
- Filters may not last as long as advertised
- Limited effectiveness in removing existing scaling
5. PurHome Premier Salt-Free Softener PS-1000
Intended for homes with up to three bathrooms, the PS-1000 from PurHome is designed to be a whole house water softening solution.
Pur established themselves in the water conditioning world with their Brita filter portable filtration units, and they have learned a thing or two over the years about treating potable water for everyday use.
One of the unique features of this unit is a washable sediment pre-filter that helps keep larger mineral deposits out of your water. The unit also requires no electricity, does not backwash, and conserves water.
Best of all, it is extremely easy to install in your home: all you have to do is connect the in/out valves inline, and you are ready to go. This is a good pick for homeowners who are interested in a high capacity system for a high volume water usage home.
- Low maintenance
- Washable pre-filter
- Electricity free
- No need to backwash in order to purge the system
- Replacement filters can be costly
- Limited effectiveness
- Does not reduce or eliminate existing deposits
The Final Verdict
Personally, before purchasing any one of these excellent units, I would get a water quality evaluation done for my home. Knowing the existing hardness and mineral content of your water will help you make a more informed decision in the long run, and you will be more satisfied with the unit that you purchase.
For my money, the Fountainhead Salt Free Water Softener Conditioner is the way to go. It offers the best performance for the money, and it is a snap to install.
I also need to watch my sodium intake in order to maintain my current level of renal and cardiovascular health, so knowing I am not adding any more sodium to my diet through my drinking water definitely offers me greater peace of mind. I also like the idea of not needing to change filters, clean parts, or do any routine maintenance on the regularly used components in my home, so this is truly my ideal solution.
If you are in the market for a water softener that is most likely to meet all your needs, check out the Filtersorb SP3 from Fountainhead and buy the water softener that offers both quality and peace of mind.