Shopping for a Salt-Free Water Softener?
You’re in the right place.
Salt-free water softeners are becoming increasingly popular because people are concerned about the amount of salt added to their drinking water by traditional water softeners.
Saltless water softeners crystallize hard minerals like magnesium and calcium present in your water to prevent scale build-up in your pipes and appliances.
Most saltless water softeners use TAC or Template Assisted Crystallization, which is a salt-free water treatment technique. They also include a sediment pre-filter that removes dust and dirt particles from your water filtration unit.
You can also find salt-free water softeners with an SCT or Scale Control Technology that prevents 99.6% scale build-up.
Most salt-free water softeners are NSF/ANSI certified to Standard 61, which performs impartial and factual testing on the health effects and performance of the system.
You can also find saltless water softeners that are NSF tested to remove up to 97% chlorine and other harmful pollutants like lead and pesticides from your water.
So, if you want a cost-effective water softener that is low maintenance and prevents scale build-up in your plumbing and household appliances, a salt-free water softener is perfect.
What’s In This Buying Guide
- 1 What’s In This Buying Guide
- 2 Best Salt-Free Water Softeners
- 3 1. Best For Scale Prevention: SpringWell FutureSoft Salt-Free Water Softener
- 4 2. Value For Money: Yarna Salt-Free Water Softener
- 5 3. Most Durable: SoftPro Elite Salt-Free Water Conditioner
- 6 4. Most Innovative: Aquasana Rhino Filter/Softener Combo System
- 7 5. Most Practical: Tier1 Salt-Free Water Softener System
- 8 6. Easy To Install: US Water Systems GreenWave Salt-free Water Conditioner
- 9 Salt-Free Water Softener Buying Guide
- 10 Frequently Asked Questions
- 11 Final Verdict: What is the best salt-free water softener sold today?
In this guide, we recommend and review the best salt-free water softeners available online.
We also discuss the key factors you should consider before buying a salt-free water softener and how you can benefit from them.
We also answer a few frequently asked questions to help you make a more informed decision regarding which salt-free water softener to purchase.
So let’s begin by reviewing our list of top picks for a range of needs and budget:
Best Salt-Free Water Softeners
- Best Scale Prevention: SpringWell FutureSoft Salt-Free Water Softener
- Best Value: Yarna Salt-Free Water Softener
- Most Durable: SoftPro Elite Salt-Free Water Conditioner
- Most Innovative: Aquasana Rhino Filter/Softener Combo System
- Most Practical: Tier1 Salt-Free Water Softener System
- Easy To Install: US Water Systems GreenWave Salt-free Water Conditioner
SpringWell FutureSoft Salt-Free Water Softener
- Best Scale Prevention
6 x 35 (H) inches without head, 6 x 39 (H) inches with head
Yarna Salt-Free Water Softener
- Best Value
7 x 2 x 2 inches
SoftPro Elite Salt-Free Water Conditioner
- Most Durable
9 x 48 (H) inches
Aquasana Rhino Filter/Softener Combo System
- Most Innovative
9 x 48 (H) inches
Tier1 Salt-Free Water Softener System
- Most Practical
48 x 24.5 x 12.5 inches
US Water Systems GreenWave Salt-free Water Conditioner
- Easy To Install
13 x 58.5 inches
1. Best For Scale Prevention: SpringWell FutureSoft Salt-Free Water Softener
The SpringWell FutureSoft salt-free water softener promises 99.6% scale prevention without using any salt or chemicals. With this salt-free water softener, you also increase the lifespan of your household appliances because it eliminates clogging issues or build-up in your pipes.
- Includes a lifetime warranty
- Provides 99.6% scale prevention
- Does not lower water pressure
- Filter needs to be replaced only once a year
- Challenging to test for soft water after use
Unlike salt-based systems, the SpringWell FutureSoft salt-free water softener does not release salt or brine into the environment or waste any water.
The SpringWell FutureSoft salt-free water softener requires no electricity to operate and works using TAC or Template Assisted Crystallization, a common salt-free water treatment technique.
It features a stainless steel softening tank with a bed of media that crystallizes hard water ions to produce scale-free water. The tank capacity is ideal if you have 1 to 3 bathrooms in your home. Plus, this unique system does not affect the water pressure or flow rate.
Once installed, the SpringWell FutureSoft salt-free water softener replaces hard water while retaining the beneficial minerals. Remember that this process may not give a slick feel to the water as a salt-based water softener does, but it still works effectively.
This saltless water softener includes a pre-sediment filter that removes dust, dirt, and other particles from the water filtration unit.
The SpringWell FutureSoft salt-free water softener also comes with a mounting bracket, a spanner wrench, a bypass valve, and fittings required for easy installation.
Plus, you can take advantage of the company’s lifetime warranty if you are dissatisfied with your purchase.
- Bathrooms: 1-3
- Tank Width: 6 inches
- Tank Height: 39 inches (with head)
- Flow Rate: 12 GPM
- pH Range: 7.0-9.5
- Hardness GPG Max: 81
- Operating Pressure: 20-80 PSI
- Salinity, Max PPM: 35000
- Free Chlorine, Max PPM: 3
- Recommended Operating Temperature: 34-120 F
2. Value For Money: Yarna Salt-Free Water Softener
The Yarna salt-free water softener is an affordable solution that prevents minerals from forming scale deposits and hard water spots in your plumbing and appliances.
- Reasonably priced
- Efficiently prevents the formation of scale deposits
- Easy installation
- Takes 3 months to start taking effect
The Yarna salt-free water softener is a water descaler that uses electric impulses to treat your water. These electric impulses are produced in the system’s electronic unit and ultimately change the crystals in hard water flow. These crystals prevent limescale build-up that damages your appliances.
Unlike other water softening systems that need to be hooked up to the main water line, you can install this saltless water softener on a pipe with a diameter of up to 2 inches. It uses ultra-flat impulse bands that then transmit signal frequencies through the pipe and into the water.
Since the Yarna salt-free water softener does not eliminate calcium and magnesium, your hard water remains pretty much the same as before, but with the benefits of soft water. Plus, it does not waste any water or use salt.
It can take up to 3 months before you notice a difference in water, depending on the scale of limescale deposits present in your plumbing.
But once the Yarna salt-free softener does take effect, you get cleaner faucets and pipes and see a significant improvement in overall water quality.
While Yarna promises high performance and customer satisfaction, it also offers an excellent warranty with the purchase of its salt-free water softener. If you are not happy with this water softener for any reason, you have a year to return it and request a full refund.
- Dimensions: 7″ x 2″ x 2″ (180 x 50 x 50mm)
- Maximum Hardness: No limit; works with any hardness level
- Power Source: External (wall adaptor)
- Enclosure Material: ABS
3. Most Durable: SoftPro Elite Salt-Free Water Conditioner
The SoftPro Elite salt-free water conditioner uses Scale Control Technology (SCT) to prevent 99.6% of scale build-up by targeting and dissolving hard water ions.
Plus, this salt-free water conditioner system’s upgraded media last for 6-10 years, making it an overall durable and worthy investment.
- No water wastage per gallon
- Includes a free installation kit
- Comes with a water filtration cartridge
- Uses SCT technology to remove 99.6% of scale
- Difficult to install
- Only available in one size
The SCT process used in the SoftPro Elite salt-free water conditioner transforms crystal particles into minerals so that they do not stick to surfaces but have no effect on water quality.
The SoftPro Elite salt-free water conditioner features a softening tank with a chlorine and 5-micron sediment pre-filter. This filtration media effectively removes large sediment particles that damage your home’s plumbing and appliances.
Remember that you need to replace the sediment filter every 3 months to maintain steady water pressure in your home.
This SoftPro water softener includes a washable neoprene jacket that you can use to protect the outside of the tank from cold temperatures or humidity. With this saltless water softener, SoftPro also offers a free installation kit that includes quick-connect hoses.
The SoftPro Elite salt-free water conditioner is a cost-effective and eco-friendly system, ideal for homes with 1 to 5 bathrooms, and works effectively with a water hardness of 17 GPG. It is extremely low-maintenance because it does not require drainage for wastewater or any electricity to run.
SoftPro warrants the Elite salt-free water conditioner against any defective material or issues with workmanship if you are the original consumer. This manufacturer’s warranty includes a lifetime warranty on the valve and tank but not for the media.
- Mineral Tank Size: 9 (L) x 48 (H) inches
- Bathrooms: 1-5
- High Flow Rate: 12 GPM
- Resin Capacity: 5 liters
4. Most Innovative: Aquasana Rhino Filter/Softener Combo System
The innovative Aquasana Rhino filter and softener combo system features an up-flow dual-tank design that quickly removes media from your water and prevents clogging.
It is also NSF tested to remove up to 97% chlorine and other harmful contaminants like pesticides and lead from 1,000,000 gallons of water.
- Low maintenance
- 10-year warranty
- Softener and filter in one
- 1,000,000-gallon capacity
- Features SCM salt-free technology
- NSF tested to remove 97% of chlorine from water
- May decrease water flow rate
- Professional installation required to get the 10-year warranty
The tank is designed to facilitate busy households by maintaining steady water pressure. Plus, the bacteriostatic media prevents algae or bacteria build-up inside the system.
This salt-free water softener removes heavy metals, pesticides, and other harmful contaminants from your water with the help of a sediment pre-filter, an activated charcoal filter, a carbon-zinc filter, and a mineral stone filter, a post-filter, and a salt-free conditioner.
This unique filtration process of the Aquasana Rhino filter and softener combo system is carefully sequenced to provide a high-potency formula.
With this system, you can also add a UV filter to sterilize 99.99% of bacteria and viruses from your water. Plus, the SCM or Scale Control Media salt-free technology prevents scale build-up in your appliances and plumbing, resulting in clean water for your home.
The sediment filters of the Aquasana Rhino filter system must be replaced every 3 months, while the other filters last up to 12 months. The Rhino water softener is extremely easy to install and maintain because it requires no backflushing or electricity.
The Aquasana warranty covers defective parts and materials of the Rhino filter and softener combo system. However, to qualify for the 1,000,000-million gallons or 10-year warranty, you need to hire a qualified plumber to install the system in your home.
- Dimensions: 9 (L) x 46 (W) x 54 (H) inches
- Capacity: 1,000,000 gallons
- Maximum Flow Rate: 7 gallons per minute
- Warranty: 10-year limited warranty
5. Most Practical: Tier1 Salt-Free Water Softener System
The Eco Series Tier1 salt-free water softener system promises high performance and uses the TAC or Template Assisted Crystallization to prevent limescale build-up in your plumbing.
The entire system only requires a space of up to 3 square feet, making it highly convenient if you have a small space.
- Easy installation
- No backwash phase
- Up to 7 GPM flow rate
- Available in only one size
- Resins only last 3-5 years
- Pre-filter must be changed every 2 months
The Tier1 salt-free water softener presents an effective solution to prevent damage to your plumbing and increase the longevity of household appliances like your water heater, dishwasher, and washing machine.
The Eco Series Tier1 salt-free water softener works mainly by altering the form of calcium and magnesium in water and turning them into crystalline particles that do not stick to your appliances and pipes.
This low-maintenance water softener is easy to install and comes with preloaded media, so it does not require electricity to operate. It features a free sediment pre-filter that you must replace after 2 months to avoid clogging the softening tank.
Plus, this salt-free water softener does not require a control valve or expensive salt refills to function.
The Tier1 salt-free water softener is NSF/ANSI certified to Standard 61 for health effects, which means you can expect high performance from this system.
This salt-free water softener comes with all the essential installation components, including an 8-inch x 44-inch resin tank with a scale media blend, a sediment pre-filter, mounting bracket, ball valve, and Flexi-connectors.
- Dimensions: 48 x 24.5 x 12.5 inches
- Size: 1-3 bathrooms
- Batteries Required: No
6. Easy To Install: US Water Systems GreenWave Salt-free Water Conditioner
The US Water Systems GreenWave salt-free water conditioner is easy to install because of its simple and detailed user manual. You can choose between two outlet/inlet sizes, which makes setting up even simpler.
- Zero wastewater
- Available in four sizes
- Uses the NAC conditioning technique
- Does not require electricity to operate
- May not eliminate scale completely
- Sediment pre-filter not included
The US Water Systems GreenWave salt-free water conditioner uses NAC, or the Nucleation Assisted Crystallization method, to soften water. The NAC process neutralizes hard minerals from water instead of removing magnesium and calcium through ion exchange.
The softening tank of the GreenWave salt-free water conditioner is available in four sizes. It also features an advanced vortech distribution technology that evens out the water flow, resulting in increased efficiency.
The GreenWave salt-free water conditioner improves the water quality throughout your home and also prevents scale build-up in your plumbing and appliances. Plus, it does not use electricity or produce any water waste.
The highlight of the US Water Systems GreenWave salt-free water conditioner is the simple and quick installation. You can install this salt-free water conditioner in 10 easy steps with the help of step-by-step instructions and detailed images in the user manual.
- Dimensions: 13 (W) x 58.5 (H) inches
- pH: 6.5-8.5
- Max Service Flow (GPM): 25
- Inlet/Outlet Connection: 3/4 inches or 1 inch QC
- Water Pressure: 15 minutes, 100 max (psi)
Salt-Free Water Softener Buying Guide
What are Salt-Free Water Softeners and How Do They Work?
Salt-free water softeners do not require any salt to work. Instead, they use a process called TAC or Template Assisted Crystallization that crystallizes hard minerals in the water.
This chemical transformation prevents scale build-up and these hard minerals from sticking to the surface of your appliances, plumbing, and laundry.
Some salt-free water softeners use a resin bed to achieve this crystallization. Systems that feature a resin bed work by attracting hard water minerals and sticking to them.
Salt-free water softeners are low maintenance as they do not need backwashing or brine solution replacement. Plus, they use less water, and most do not need electricity to operate, making them cost-effective in the long run.
It is important to note that salt-free water softeners do not soften hard water or remove calcium and magnesium. This is the reason why salt-free water softeners do not result in slippery water texture.
Why Buy a Salt-Free Water Softener Vs. Salt-Based?
There are a few things to consider when deciding between a salt-free water softener and a salt-based one.
A saltless water softener is ideal if you have a busy lifestyle and want a cost-effective system that requires little to no maintenance.
Salt-free water softeners crystallize hard water minerals and prevent them from sticking to your expensive appliances and plumbing. Plus, most of them require no electricity to operate and are easy to install.
A salt-based water softener may give you softer water, but it uses sodium ions to replace hard minerals in your water, which might be a health concern for some.
It also requires you to top up your water softener system with salt every 6-8 weeks to perform effectively. Plus, they are more expensive than salt-free water softeners.
What to Look for When Buying a Salt-Free Water Softener
A few key factors you need to consider when buying a salt-free water softener for your home include:
Your salt-free water softener’s capacity is a crucial factor and depends on the size of your family.
Most salt-free water softeners are available in two sizes: one that is good enough for 1 to 3 bathrooms and the other for 3 to 5 bathrooms, which is more suitable for big families.
If you live in an area with extremely hard water, investing in a large-capacity salt-free water softener system proves to be more effective because it works faster in less time.
Water Flow Rate
The water flow rate is another critical factor to consider when buying a salt-free water softener. You can determine the required flow rate by monitoring the amount of water used in your home every day.
A steady flow of water ensures that your household appliances work efficiently. A low water flow can decrease water pressure while you shower or wash your dishes, especially when using multiple machines simultaneously.
System Control and Features
A salt-free water softener with innovative system controls and advanced features like a digital control panel makes it extremely easy for you to use and monitor the system’s performance.
You can find saltless water softeners that feature a touch display and a backlit screen that make it easy to get notifications regarding changing the media and access other system information.
Most salt-free water softeners feature either an NSF/ANSI Standard 42 or NSF/ANSI Standard 61 certification. These third-party certifications relate to the system’s structure and provide impartial testing based on the product’s performance.
Most salt-free water softeners are durable and last up to 6 years before you need to replace them, depending on how much you use them.
However, if you buy a high-quality saltless water softener and maintain it well, it can serve you for as long as 10-15 years.
You can find a versatile salt-free water softener that offers innovative features to ensure optimal convenience.
For instance, a softener and filter combo system prevents scale build-up and simultaneously removes hard metals from your drinking water.
You can also opt for a saltless water softener with a versatile dual-tank that prevents clogging while maintaining water pressure.
Plus, while most salt-free water softeners include a sediment pre-filter that you need to replace every 3 months, some offer multiple filters like an activated charcoal filter or a post-filter that you can replace after 12 months.
Ease of Use
Most salt-free water softeners are relatively simple to use and do not require electricity to operate. You only need to install them next to your water heater and use the controls to navigate the system.
Plus, with saltless water softeners, you do not need to worry about adding salt to your system every few weeks.
Most saltless water softeners feature sediment pre-filters that you must replace every 3 months. You can also find cheaper water softeners with filters that must be replaced after 2 months. Some high-quality salt-free water softeners have filters that last up to 12 months.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Saltless Water Softeners
While saltless water softeners offer many benefits that set them apart from traditional salt-based systems, there are also a few disadvantages of investing in one for your home.
The most significant advantage of salt-free water softeners is that they are extremely low maintenance. They do not use electricity to operate, nor do they require any backwashing or drain connections, which saves energy costs.
They are also easy to install because they comprise either a cartridge or a tank. Plus, with a salt-free water softener, there is no need for brine or salt.
Salt-free water softeners are eco-friendly since they do not produce any wastewater. Plus, they use TAC media that needs to be replaced only once in 3-5 years.
Another excellent benefit of salt-free water softeners is that they crystallize hard minerals in your water to prevent them from attaching to the surface of your laundry, pipes, and expensive household appliances. This results in little to no scale build-up in your plumbing and longer-lasting machines.
Saltless water softeners don’t soften hard water. So, you can face issues like cloudy dishes, faded clothes after washing, dry skin and hair after showering, and calcium build-up on your heater.
Salt-free water softeners also prove to be ineffective if you live in an area primarily supplied with well water because it consists of high levels of manganese and iron.
Saltless water softeners cannot transform these ions, which is why they end up flowing into your plumbing and forming scale build-up.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning your salt-free water softener system’s exterior is pretty simple. You only need to wash it with warm soapy water and then rinse it clean with fresh water. Do not use any chemical products on the housing to avoid damage.
Salt-free water softeners require minimal maintenance because they do not require electricity to operate.
They are also quite simple to install; however, you must ensure that all fittings are secured tightly to avoid leakage.
It is recommended that you install your saltless water softener in an area not exposed to direct sunlight as this can weaken the components.
Plus, you must replace its pre-filter every 2-3 months to avoid a decreased water flow rate and ensure your water softener’s longevity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Option is Better: Salt or Salt-Free Water Softeners?
Whether a salt-based water softener is better than a salt-free one depends on your personal preferences.
As discussed, saltless water softeners transform the hard minerals present in your water instead of removing them, which means they do not actually soften hard water.
However, they provide a low-maintenance, cost-effective and eco-friendly solution that prevents scale build-up in your appliances and home plumbing.
Salt-based water softeners replace hard minerals in your water with positively-charged sodium ions. The resin bed in these water softeners attracts and removes calcium and magnesium from your water, leaving behind soft water.
Soft water results in cleaner dishes, sparkling clothes, healthier skin, and softer hair. However, salt-based water softeners require salt replacement every 6-8 weeks and are more expensive than salt-free water softeners.
Is It Safe to Use Salt-Free Water Softeners?
Salt-free water softeners are considered safe because they crystallize hard minerals in your water, preventing them from sticking to the inside of your pipes. This crystallization results in decreased scale buildup and longer-lasting plumbing and household appliances.
However, salt-free water softeners do not remove hard minerals to soften water as salt-based water softeners do.
Are Salt-Free Water Softeners Effective?
Salt-free water softeners effectively condition hard water by chemically transforming calcium and magnesium to prevent them from attaching to your appliances and plumbing. However, they do not remove hard minerals or soften the hard water in your home.
Minimal scale build-up in your pipes after a week means your salt-free water softener is effective.
Does a TDS of 150 ppm Indicate that my Water Softener Is Working Correctly?
TDS or Total Dissolved Solids refer to the ions and materials dissolved in water. You can determine the quality of your drinking water by checking its TDS levels.
A TDS level of 50 to 150 parts per million (ppm) is considered excellent, and a level between 150 and 250 ppm is good. Anything above 500 ppm means your water’s palatability is relatively poor.
Final Verdict: What is the best salt-free water softener sold today?
In preparing this guide we considered dozens of models before selecting our top 6 picks.
The one system that stands out the most to us is the Aquasana Rhino filter and softener combo system.
This innovative system features a softener and filter combo that is NSF-tested to remove 97% chlorine from 1,000,000 gallons of water.
Its SCM salt-free technology prevents scale build-up in your plumbing and household appliances and ensures you get clean drinking water. Plus, the dual tank is designed to remove media from your water and avoid pipe blockage.
The Aquasana Rhino filter and softener combo system has a highly effective filtration process that uses a sediment pre-filter, a carbon-zinc and mineral stone filter, an activated charcoal filter, a salt-free conditioner, and a post-filter to remove heavy metals and other harmful pollutants from your water.
Plus, if you hire a professional to install your system, you can take advantage of the company’s outstanding 10-year warranty.