Water softener tablets and filter with a blue background.

Best Salt-Free Water Softeners (Saltless) Reviews of 2021

There are several different types of water treatment systems available out there. If your home has hard water, it can directly affect your pipes as well as your water-based appliances and shorten their lifespan. Softened water will help prevent limescale buildup and take care of your water problems. While salt-based water softeners use an ion exchange process, salt-free water softeners work more closely to a water conditioning process, meaning they will leave certain minerals in your water, such as calcium and magnesium, that are beneficial to your bone health. If you are interested in the scientific process that salt-free water softeners go through in order to help soften your water, here is an article by the University of Nebraska Lincoln.

Homeowners around America have decided to go for salt-free water softeners instead of salt-based ones for their energy efficiency, their eco-friendly design, their ease of maintenance, their longer warranties, and their added health benefits. For this reason as well as more, we have devised this handy buying guide that should help you choose which is best for you and for your family. Every product has a direct Amazon link for your convenience, so you can get started on this process today if you so desire!

In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

Overview
Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener and Filter System - New Model
Title
Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener and Filter System - New Model
Price
$415.21
Rating
Overview
Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener and Filter System - New Model
Title
Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener and Filter System - New Model
Price
$415.21
Rating

Best Salt-Free Water Softeners (Saltless) Reviews of 2021 – Overview

Here are the top 5 picks (keep scrolling for more details and picks 6-10).

Overview
Best Overall
Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener and Filter System - New Model
APEC Water Systems FUTURA-15 Premium 15 GPM Whole House Salt-Free Water Softener & Water Conditioner
Tier1 Essential Certified Series Salt Free Water Softener 1-3 Bathrooms
Aquasana EQ-1000-AST-UV-AMZN Whole House Filter System-Water Softener Alternative w/UV Purifier Salt-Free Descaler, Carbon & KDF Media Sediment & 97% of Chlorine-1,000,000 Gl-EQ-1000-AST-UV
Lowest Price
AO Smith Whole House Salt Free Water Descaler - Water Softener Alternative - 6yr, 600,000 Gl - AO-WH-DSCLR
Title
Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt-Free Water Softener
APEC Water Systems FUTURA-15
Tier1 Essential Certified Series Salt-Free Water Softener
Aquasana EQ-1000-AST Whole House Water Filter System
AO Smith AO-WH-DSCLR Water Descaler
Price
$415.21
$1,400.74
$548.10
$2,235.00
$299.00
Rating
-
-
Best Overall
Overview
Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener and Filter System - New Model
Title
Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt-Free Water Softener
Price
$415.21
Rating
Overview
APEC Water Systems FUTURA-15 Premium 15 GPM Whole House Salt-Free Water Softener & Water Conditioner
Title
APEC Water Systems FUTURA-15
Price
$1,400.74
Rating
Overview
Tier1 Essential Certified Series Salt Free Water Softener 1-3 Bathrooms
Title
Tier1 Essential Certified Series Salt-Free Water Softener
Price
$548.10
Rating
Overview
Aquasana EQ-1000-AST-UV-AMZN Whole House Filter System-Water Softener Alternative w/UV Purifier Salt-Free Descaler, Carbon & KDF Media Sediment & 97% of Chlorine-1,000,000 Gl-EQ-1000-AST-UV
Title
Aquasana EQ-1000-AST Whole House Water Filter System
Price
$2,235.00
Rating
-
Lowest Price
Overview
AO Smith Whole House Salt Free Water Descaler - Water Softener Alternative - 6yr, 600,000 Gl - AO-WH-DSCLR
Title
AO Smith AO-WH-DSCLR Water Descaler
Price
$299.00
Rating
-

 

Best Overall
1. Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt-Free Water Softener

Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener and Filter System - New Model
113 Reviews
Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener and Filter System - New Model
  • SCALE PREVENTION: Prevents and removes lime-scale accumulation by sequestering hard minerals and inhibiting precipitation and the formation of scale deposits.

The Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt-Free Water Softener is an especially great water softener because it comes with an included water filtration system (which will improve the quality of your drinking water) and it is suitable for your whole house (meaning it can cover all your faucets, showerheads, and pipes). This product prevents the formation of scale in your water lines and fixtures as well as inhibits corrosion. It can take care of particles larger than 5 microns and can filter through up to 40,000 gallons of water. This salt-free water softener is very easy to install, requires low maintenance, and is budget-friendly. It is, however, not recommended for households with very high levels of water hardness. This product has also been said to leak if it is not installed properly and attached correctly to your pipes.

Features of the Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt-Free Water Softener:

  • Includes a water filter
  • Prevents scale formation in water lines and fixtures
  • Inhibits corrosion
  • Improves the quality of water
  • Filters particles larger than 5 microns
  • Suitable for the whole house
  • Easy installation
  • Low maintenance
  • Friendly price
  • Not ideal for households with substantial levels of water hardness
  • Leaks if not correctly installed
  • A standard pore size of 5 microns
  • Filters up to 40,000 gallons of water

 

2. APEC Water Systems FUTURA-15

APEC Water Systems FUTURA-15 Premium 15 GPM Whole House Salt-Free Water Softener & Water Conditioner
27 Reviews
APEC Water Systems FUTURA-15 Premium 15 GPM Whole House Salt-Free Water Softener & Water Conditioner
  • Designed for 3-6 bathrooms homes with 15 gallons/minute flow rate, FUTURA-15 effectively prevents scale buildup and prolongs lifespan of pipes and home appliances without the use of harsh chemicals or...

The APEC Water Systems FUTURA-15 is another very easy-to-install product that will take care of corrosion of your water lines give you safer water. This water softener does not require maintenance, so you will not have to worry about taking care of it. It has a good water flow rate, a great aesthetic; however, unlike the Aquios product above, it does not come with an integrated water filter. Although similar to the Aquios product above, it is not recommended for households with high levels of water hardness.

Features of the APEC Water Systems FUTURA-15:

  • Prevents corrosion of water lines
  • Easy to install
  • Provides safe water for different uses
  • Does not require maintenance
  • Good water flow rate
  • Great aesthetic
  • No integrated water filter
  • Not for households with high water hardness levels

 

3. Tier1 Essential Certified Series Salt-Free Water Softener

Tier1 Essential Certified Series Salt Free Water Softener 1-3 Bathrooms
44 Reviews
Tier1 Essential Certified Series Salt Free Water Softener 1-3 Bathrooms
  • CERTIFICATIONS: The scale reducing media has been tested and certified to NSF/ANSI 61 for health effects

The Tier1 Essential Certified Series Salt-Free Water Softener does provide the inclusion of a water filter, which can take care of chlorine (which will take care of the odor of your water as well as your water taste) as well as other particles. It is very easy to install and requires very little maintenance. There is no backwashing necessary with this water softener. It has a very high maximum water hardness level capability. This salt-free water softener is both ANSI (American National Standards Institute) 61 certified and NSF (National Science Foundation) certified. Unfortunately, however, the integrated water filter is not a very powerful one and can only remove some particles, not all.

Features of the Tier1 Essential Certified Series Salt-Free Water Softener:

  • Inclusion of a water filter
  • Conditions water to prevent scaling
  • Can filter the chlorine and other particles
  • Backwash not necessary
  • Very easy to install
  • Hassle-free maintenance
  • High maximum water hardness level capability
  • Removes odor from chlorine
  • ANSI 61 and NSF certified
  • The filter is only useful in removing some particles
  • Not a true softener

 

4. Aquasana EQ-1000-AST Whole House Water Filter System

Aquasana EQ-1000-AST-UV-AMZN Whole House Filter System-Water Softener Alternative w/UV Purifier Salt-Free Descaler, Carbon & KDF Media Sediment & 97% of Chlorine-1,000,000 Gl-EQ-1000-AST-UV
  • Clean, Great Tasting Water From Every Tap In Your Home - Removes 97% of chlorine, 99. 9% of viruses and bacteria and reduces harmful contaminants like lead, mercury, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, and...

The Aquasana EQ-1000-AST Whole House Water Filter System is another whole house softener system that is also another combination of a water softener and a water filter. This salt-free water conditioner has a 10-year service lifespan and boasts hassle-free maintenance and a budget-friendly price. Although the entire system’s lifespan is quite long, the filters on this system have a short service life, meaning you will have to replace them more often than with other products. At the same time, although you will receive everything you need for installation when you order this product unless you have the necessary plumbing skills, you might want to call in a plumber for the installation process.

Features of the Aquasana EQ-1000-AST Whole House Water Filter System:

  • Excellent combination of water conditioner and filter
  • 10-year service lifetime
  • Includes everything you need for installation
  • Hassle-free maintenance
  • Good value for money
  • Requires necessary plumbing skills for installation
  • The filters have a short service life

 

Lowest Price
5. AO Smith AO-WH-DSCLR Water Descaler

AO Smith Whole House Salt Free Water Descaler - Water Softener Alternative - 6yr, 600,000 Gl - AO-WH-DSCLR
  • Salt-Free Scale Prevention - The AO-WH-DSCLR naturally reduces scale build up in pipes and plumbing using a salt & chemical-free system. No cleaning, backwashing, salt-bags or electricity required.

The AO Smith AO-WH-DSCLR Water Descaler is a reliable descaler (saltless water softener) that can work whether your water supply comes from city water and well water. It is easy to install (just connect it to your main water line), requires zero maintenance, and boasts a quite durable construction. It does, however, not come with a filter as some others on this list, and does require replacement of the entire unit upon reaching the end of its service life.

Features of the AO Smith AO-WH-DSCLR Water Descaler:

  • Reliable descaler
  • Works with both city and well water
  • Easy installation
  • Maintenance-free
  • Durable construction
  • Does not come with a filter
  • Requires replacement of the whole unit upon reaching its service life

 

6. YARNA Water Descaler System

Capacitive Water Descaler System - Alternative Water Softener Salt Free for Whole House, Reduces the effects of Limescale and Rust formation [CWD30, Max 2" Pipe]
  • HOW IT WORKS BETTER: Yarna CWD30 water descaler whole house that treats water with electric impulses which are generated in the electronic unit & are controlled by a computerized micro-chip. The...

The YARNA Water Descaler System is a very efficient descaler system that will retain beneficial minerals in your water, such as calcium and magnesium. It boasts a straightforward installation process that works with different types of water pipes. It is also possible for you to use one of these devices only for your entire home.

Features of the YARNA Water Descaler System:

  • Straightforward installation
  • More efficient than electromagnetic descalers
  • Retains beneficial minerals in the water
  • One device works for the entire house
  • Works with different types of water pipes
  • Not a real water softener

 

7. Pelican Water Systems Whole House Water Filter & Softener

Pentair Pelican Whole House Water Filter & Water Softener Alternative (1-3 Bathrooms)
  • Includes sediment pre-filter system with mounting hardware Bacterial static media inhibits bacterial growth Energy efficient; does not waste water and requires no electricity

The Pelican Water Systems Whole House Water Filter & Softener is another water filter and water softener combination that can take care of your drinking water’s bacteria ad other impurities (such as chlorine), provide high-quality, clean water, and prolong the life of your water-using appliances (such as washing machines and dishwashers). This product is very easy to install albeit it can be a bit expensive, so perhaps it will not be the best option for families on a budget.

Features of the Pelican Water Systems Whole House Water Filter & Softener:

  • Provides impressive water quality and taste
  • Filters bacteria and other impurities
  • Prolongs the life of water-using appliances
  • Removes chlorine odor
  • Easy installation
  • A bit expensive
  • Water conditioner, not a softener

 

8. Watts Premier OneFlow & Salt-Free Scale Prevention

Watts OneFlow+ Salt-Free Scale Prevention and Water Filtration System Bundle With OneFlow+ Combo Filter Pack OFPCOM
  • ONEFLOW+ WATER FILTRATION: The OneFlow+ System uses Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC) rated most effective scale prevention technology by WateReuse Research Foundation (Evaluation of...

The Watts Premier OneFlow & Salt-Free Scale Prevention prevents the buildup of sediments as well as the formation of scale. It also eliminates the chlorine smell from your water and improves the lifespan of your water appliances. It is easy to install and boasts good value for money. This salt-free water softener also boasts template-assisted crystallization technology.

There are a few issues with this system, however. Its filters have a decently short lifespan, meaning you will have to replace them more often than with other products on this list. At the same time, the filters also have a larger pore size, meaning they are able to filter through fewer contaminants than others on this list.

Features of the Watts Premier OneFlow & Salt-Free Scale Prevention:

  • Prevents the buildup of sediments and the formation of scale
  • Eliminates chlorine odor from water
  • Template-assisted crystallization technology
  • Improves the lifespan of water appliances
  • Easy installation
  • Good value
  • Short actual filter life span
  • Large filter pore size

 

9. Aquios Jumbo Salt-Free Full House Water Softener

Aquios Jumbo Salt Free Full House Water Softener and Filter System - New Model
  • Salt-Free, Eco Friendly, Full House Water Softening and Water Filtration Treatment System

The Aquios Jumbo Salt-Free Full House Water Softener prevents as well as reduces the formation of scale while improving the quality of your drinking water with its built-in water filter. It is another whole house system that can take care of all your soft water needs. It has a compact design and boasts hassle-free maintenance. This water softening system does, however, have a tendency to leak if it is not installed properly, so you might want to get a professional to do it for you.

Features of the Aquios Jumbo Salt-Free Full House Water Softener:

  • Prevents and reduces scale formation
  • Improves the quality of water
  • Hassle-free maintenance
  • Compact design
  • Comes with a built-in filter
  • Does not ‘soften’ water
  • The tendency to leak if not installed properly

 

10. iSpring ED2000 Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner

Sale
iSpring ED2000 Whole House Water Descaler System, Alternative Electronic Salt-Free Hard Water Conditioner Softener, Reduces Limescale Prevent Deposits Build-up
  • Solves hard water problems without the need for chemicals, salt, or maintenance, while keeping healthy minerals in the water by preventing scale deposits from forming and allowing existing scale to...

The iSpring ED2000 Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner is very easy to install and very easy to maintain. This water softener system protects the integrity of your water appliances and retains the natural chemistry of your water, all while boasting a great eco-friendly design.

Features of the iSpring ED2000 Electronic Descaler Water Conditioner:

  • Protects the integrity of water appliances
  • Retains the natural chemistry of water
  • Easy to maintain
  • Very easy to install
  • Eco-friendly design

 

Our Winner:

Overview
Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener and Filter System - New Model
Title
Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener and Filter System - New Model
Price
$415.21
Rating
Overview
Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener and Filter System - New Model
Title
Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt Free Water Softener and Filter System - New Model
Price
$415.21
Rating

Our favorite on this list is the Aquios AQFS220 Full House Salt-Free Water Softener. It is a fantastic salt-free water softener that comes with a water filter too, so it can take care of the impurities in your water. It can filter through particles larger than 5 microns and it works for your whole home. It is budget-friendly, easy to install, and a great product overall.

Which Is Better? A Salt-Free Water Softener Or A Salt-Based One?

Rehydrate and refresh.

There are two different types of water softeners – salt-free water softeners (also called water descalers or water conditioners) and salt-based water softeners (the most common type of water softeners). While salt-based models require more maintenance, since you have to fill them up with potassium or salt to make them work (regenerate, since they need sodium ions for the regeneration cycle), salt-free models are more hassle-free and can be more ideal for busy families. Salt-free models also do not produce wastewater, making them a more eco-friendly option for environmentally conscious families.

At the same time, however, salt-free models do not actually remove the hard minerals in your water that make it hard water – calcium and magnesium – and only prevent them from sticking to your pipes. Because of this difference, they are often said to not be real water softeners. As was mentioned in the introduction, however, most people seek out a water softener not for their interference with the chemicals and minerals in your drinking water, but for their ability to help their water-based appliances and their pipes last longer and their prevention of scale buildup.

There are also some health benefits to having a salt-free water softener. Both calcium and magnesium can help improve the health of your bones. At the same time, not using a salt-based water softener will also reduce the level of sodium in your blood. These salt-free systems are also more long-lasting, normally have a longer warranty, and are also more eco-friendly than their salt-based counterparts. They also have a higher capacity (more gallons per minute or GPM) and are less likely to decrease your water pressure.

Bonus tip: Check out this video on how salt-free water softeners work!

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Joshua Perkins

Joshua spent ten years as a water systems technician in California before settling down with his wife and two young children in Nashville in 2018. Through all of his experience, he learned the benefits and shortfalls of so many different types of water filtration systems, from pitchers to whole-house installations. He started Water Filter Authority in 2019 to empower other families to make the right decision for their long-term health and wellness.