Best Salt-Free Water Softeners of 2021 | Reviews & Top Picks

Best Salt-free Water Softener Reviews
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Too tired of cleaning those stubborn stains from your bathroom floor, sinks, and you wonder what’s causing it. Let us break it to you; those stains are caused by minerals in the water. Salt-free water softeners make changes in the ions of these minerals such as calcium and magnesium and prevent them from creating scaling in the lines and appliances. It is necessary to know that these salt-free water softeners are basically water conditioners.

Get one today and get rid of efforts about carrying big bags of salt and loading them into your softener. We have prepared this article to help you choose a perfect salt-free water softener.

Best Salt-free Water Softener
Spring Well SF1 (Best Overall)
  • Flow Rate: 15 GPM
  • Diemensions: 58 x 10 inches
  • Weight: 60 Pounds
  • Warranty: 10 Years
Spring Well CFS1 (Most High-end - Comes with Whole House Filter & Softener)
  • Flow Rate: 12 GPM
  • Diemensions: 39 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 89 Pounds
  • Warranty: 10 Years
Tier1 Water Softener (Cheapest)
  • Flow Rate: 5 GPM
  • Diemensions: 48 x 24.5 x 12.5 inches
  • Weight: 91 Pounds
  • Warranty: 1 Year
  • Flow Rate: 18 GPM
  • Diemensions: 26 x 8 x 8 inches
  • Weight: 33 Pounds
  • Warranty: 5 Years
  • Flow Rate: 7 GPM
  • Diemensions: 30.2 x 9.5 x 9.4 inches
  • Weight: 14 Pounds
  • Warranty: 6 Years

Best Salt-Free Water Softener Reviews

1. Tier1 Essential Certified Series Salt-free Water Softener

Tier 1 Essential Certified Series Salt-free Water Softener

Why take the risk of using the hard water full of contaminants when you can get a system that easily removes large sediments. Tier 1 salt-free water softener makes its way on our list for its long lifespan and performance.

The water softener is certified by NSF/ANSI against standard 61 for removing the solids from the water, making it one of the ideal choices. The softener being salt-free eliminates the risk of regeneration. The salt-free water softener by Tier 1 is rated to be one of the most reliable by its customers.

Installing this softener will free you from pouring the salt in your softener again and again. You can install the softener by yourself, and you do not need rocket science for it.

You can easily use this for your home with 1-3 bathrooms. Besides the benefits of removing the possibility of water scaling, soft water makes your skin and hair more healthy and shiny.

The softener gives you a water flow of 7 gallons a minute, eliminating your worries about reduced water flow. The resins that help the water to be softened needs to be replaced every 2-3 years.

The whole system is made with a water softener and a sediment filter. The sediment filter stops any large particles from going further into the main softener.

You can get this softener with other filtration systems if the system doesn’t make your water soft. The conditioning part of the softener eliminates the risk of your water lines scaling and finding their way into the water.

What we like
  • Easy to Install
  • Excellent performance in softening the water
  • Low maintenance
  • NSF certified
  • High water flow
  • Suitable for homes with 1-3 bathrooms
  • Doesn’t require electricity
What we don’t like
  • Only removes large particles
  • Resins need to be changed every 2-3 years

2. Nuvo H2O Whole House Salt-Free Water Softener System

Nuvo H2O Whole House Salt-Free Water Softener System

A salt-free water softener that makes the water soft and reduces 95% chlorine from the water; for that reason, Nuvo H2O Manor makes its way on our list. The system uses the process called chelation that binds the minerals in water so that it stops minerals from merging with other elements that cause scaling.

The system has exceptional performance in removing any bad taste or smell from the water, which as an end result, makes your water taste delicious.

The whole system works in two filters, a water filter that removes fluoride, chlorine and other contaminants and a water softener that makes the water soft.

It is third-party tested and verified for its excellent performance in making the water soft and being eco-friendly. The softener does not need any salt or electricity to operate. Moreover, it doesn’t produce any water waste.

Installation of this system is hassle-free, and you won’t be needing a plumber for it. It doesn’t take much out of your time, and you can refer to the instruction manual for the process.

Although you will be required to change the filter cartridge every 4-6 months, it entirely depends on the use and quality of the water.

The 10-micron sediment cartridge removes large sediment from the water, increasing the life of your water softener. It is most ideal for families with 2-3 bathrooms, delivering you perfectly soft water that is healthy for your skin, hair, and health.

What we like
  • Easy installation
  • No salt required
  • Easy to use
  • Retains minerals
  • Third-party tested and verified
  • Prevents scale buildup
  • Extends the life of water heater, plumbing, etc.
What we don’t like
  • Requires filter change twice a year
  • Expensive than other systems
Read More:

Best Whole House Filter for Well Water

Best UV Water Purifiers of 2021

Best Hot Water Dispensers in 2021

3. Spring Well Whole House Salt-free Water Conditioner & Descaler

Spring Well Water Filter and Salt-free Water Softener

Using soft water has its benefits, and these benefits include healthy skin, hair, and better health. Spring Well presents you with one of the most dependable salt-free whole house water conditioners and descalers.

The conditioner and descaler not only improves the health of your skin but also improves your overall health. Imagine bathing with water that is better than bottled water.

The system uses ActiveFlo technology makes the system work so efficiently that it does exceptional filtration in one compact filter. The system is excellent in removing bad taste or odor from the water.

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The whole water softening system includes 4 stages of filtration, removing sediments and metals from the water. When you install this system in your house, it even removes pre-existing scaling in your pipelines from previous hard water usage.

If you have 4-6 washrooms in your house, Spring well’s salt-free water softener is one of the top choices for you. The system reduces chlorine by 99.6% with other contaminants from the water.

You will need to change the filter cartridge every year. Moreover, you will have to connect the system with an electric outlet and waterline.

The system keeps the minerals in your water intact, so it can benefit your bones as well. The system is one of the most expensive systems in the market, but it is also designed in a way that gives you the highest result in softening the water.

What we like
  • Installation is easy
  • Keeps minerals intact
  • Removes Chlorine
  • 4 stage filtration in one cartridge
  • Makes your water even better than bottled water
  • Removes pre-existing scale and prevents further scaling
  • Low maintenance
  • Doesn’t require salt
What we don’t like
  • Expensive
  • Needs electricity to operate

4. Spring Well Water Filter and Salt-free Water Softener

Spring Well Whole House Salt-free Water Conditioner

What if we tell you that there is a water softener system you can purchase that will make your water’s quality better than bottled water? Yes, we are talking about Spring well water filters and salt-free water softeners.

The system filters include a KDF filter and the highest quality catalytic coconut shell carbon filter, which removes any large sediment as well as bad taste or odor from the water, all the while making it taste amazing.

What we like about this system is that it not only prevents scaling from happening but also removes any existing scaling from your home’s waterline.

Installation of the system can be a bit tricky and require a good amount of time because of two-component installation, according to customer reviews.

But it is a do-it-yourself installation process, and you will not need to spend service costs on a plumber for installation. There is an installation guide that comes with the system that will help you in the process.

If you have a house with 4-6 bathrooms, this salt-free water softener can be on the list of ideal choices for you. Spring well uses proprietary ActiveFlow filtration, with its 4 stage design allowing the system to filter the water with most contact between filtration media and water.

More than this, the system is salt-free, so if you get this system, you are free from refilling the salt in the system.

You will receive all the parts necessary for installation, as well as a limited warranty on the system. It is a long-lasting system and worth every penny you spend on it.

What we like
  • Do it yourself installation
  • Filters and softens the water
  • Ideal for a house with 4-6 bathrooms
  • Salt-free system
  • Comes with warranty
  • Cost-efficient
  • Easy to use
What we don’t like
  • Expensive
  • Challenges in installation

5. AO Smith AO-WH-DSCLR Whole House Salt-free Water Descaler

AO Smith AO-WH-DSCLR Whole House Salt-free Water Descaler

The main purpose of this system is to prevent scaling in your water lines. The best part of this descaler is that it does not require any salt, cleaning, or even electricity to operate. Some of the customers have rated it one of the most reliable salt-free descalers. It even works very efficiently with well and city water.

The capacity of the descaler before it requires change is about 6,00,000 gallons, making it perfect for big homes with many bathrooms.

Installation of the water descaler is extremely easy, and the system includes a hose adapter and a shut-off valve. An instructional manual will assist you in installing the system, making it really easy for you.

It is advised that you should get a pre-filter with the descaler to get better results and to maximize the descaler’s performance.

If there is a pre-filter installed before the descaler, it will also extend the lifespan of the descaler by removing sediments from the water before the water passes through the descaler. When the duration of the descaler ends, you will need to replace the descaler.

It is necessary to know that it does not remove the TDS from the water. If you want to remove TDS from the water, always get the pre-filter that removes TDS from the water. Do not worry about spending money so soon after purchasing the AO Smith salt-free water descaler as it comes with a 6-year warranty.

What we like
  • Easy to install
  • Easy maintenance
  • Lasts up to 6 years or 6,00,000 gallons
  • Does not need salt
  • Comes with warranty
  • Removes pre-existing scale and prevents scaling
What we don’t like
  • Needs pre-filter to reduce contaminants
  • It is not actually a water softener
  • After 6 years or 6,00,000 gallons, the whole system needs replacement
  • Some consumer also have complained about the system being noisy

How does the salt-free water softener work?

The water softening process involves the ion exchange process removing calcium and magnesium from the water, but the salt-free water softener, or should we call it a water conditioner, crystalizes calcium and magnesium in order to prevent any scaling. All the salt-free softener follows a method of template-assisted crystallization (TAC). In this process, the water passes through TAC media magnesium, and calcium ions are caught by the nucleation site. When these hard minerals are removed from the water, it prevents any scaling from happening in waterlines.

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Different Types of Salt-free Water Softeners

Deciding on getting a water softener is one thing, and deciding which type of softener to get is another. Here’s a list of different types of water softeners you can choose from,

Whole house salt-free water filters

The whole house salt-free water filters system not only softens the water but also removes contaminants like chlorine, bacterias, and other contaminants as well. When you install a system like this in your house, every tap and shower in your house dispenses pure softened water. Replacing plumbing lines is extremely costly, and if there’s scaling in your plumbing lines, it will cost you a fortune. But if you have a whole-house salt-free system installed, all of these expenses can be avoided.

Polyphosphate water softener

Like its name, the polyphosphate water softener uses polyphosphate to soften the water. This kind of softener does not remove chlorine from the water. The only focus of this softener is to change the properties of Calcium and Magnesium to make the water soft.

Electro-magnetic water softener

If you are looking for a compact softener, an electro-magnetic water softener might be the right choice for you. The softener uses radiation to change the properties of magnesium and calcium to make the water soft that is healthy for your hair, skin, and body. The setback of this type of softener is that it does not remove or reduce the TDS from the water.

Magnetic water softener

The magnetic water softener has the same process of softening the water as the electro-magnetic water softener. The biggest advantage of the magnetic water softener is that it does not need electricity to operate. The strong magnets are attached to your waterline, where they charge the changes in the calcium and magnesium, stopping them from accumulating in faucets or pipelines. It is important to know that this type of softener is basically a descaler that just stops the scaling of pipelines.

Based on the water quality and the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water, you can choose the most suitable type of water softener.

Problems Caused by Hard Water

  • The hard water reduces the lifespan of the appliances in your house that uses water, like a washing machine, water heater, and even your refrigerator.
  • Creates buildup in the faucets that eventually develops a stubborn white deposit that is difficult to wash off. Sometimes you might have to change the faucet because of that reason.
  • The hard water, when mixed with the water, gives different reactions. Besides your skin, the hard water will leave unwashable stains in your showers, bathtub, or sinks.
  • Did your glasses used to be crystal clear, and now they seem kind of foggy? That is because of the hard water. The calcium and magnesium in the water cause the buildup on the surface of your crystal clear utensils.
  • The hard water also causes problems with dry skin because the hard water prevents the soap from completely dissolving into the water.
  • If we are talking about dry skin, how can we forget to talk about the dull laundry? The hard water makes it tough for the detergent to do its work of cleaning the water difficult.
  • Even your kitchen sink gets blocked by the constant use of hard water.
  • The hard water even makes it hard for the shampoo to lather on your hair. When you wash your hair with hard water, it takes away the natural shine of your hair.
  • There are many more negative effects hard water has on your appliances and health.

Factors to consider when choosing a salt-free water softener

Salt-free Water Softener

Cost of the softener

It is important to set a budget before you purchase the system for your house. There are really expensive water softeners available, and there are also those that cost way less—depending upon the way of functioning and the process of the softener.

Size of the softener

Depending upon the size of your family, you can choose a softener that works efficiently. Before you choose a softener, make sure to compare the capacity of the softener. Make sure that the softener you choose has the same or more capacity you need.


There are systems that last for 8-10 years on one purchase, and there are the systems that need filter change every 6-12 months. Although, the systems that last longer cost more than the systems with a short duration. The filter that lasts longer doesn’t even require any effort in maintenance.

Filter components

There are softeners available that not only softens the water but also removes or reduces contaminants in the water. It is advised that you can get the water checked in laboratories to know what kind of contaminants are there in your water, and based on that water report, you can choose a softener that has the most suitable filter components with it.


If there is a warranty with your softener, you are most likely to have trust in the system. The warranty makes it easy for you to trust the brand, and your issues can be solved without the worry of wasted cost.

Operating cost

When you get a salt-free water softener system, sometimes it needs to be connected to the electricity; sometimes, the water just passes through the water line to filter and from the filter to your faucet without any other assistance. If you prefer to have a softener without any kind of operating cost, you can choose a system that doesn’t need to require electricity or any other assistance in working.

Installation & Maintenance

Installation of the softener is really easy, and almost every model has an instructional manual that you can refer to for a do-it-yourself installation.

  • What you have to do is, turn off the water supply before you start the installation process.
  • Identify the place where you want your softener to be installed, also check if there’s a pre-filter that needs to be installed. Make sure this space is in a safe place.
  • Install the mounting rings if they came with your softener system.
  • Make an incision on your waterline where you want to install the softener. If there are pre-filters, do the same for them.
  • Install the system the same way it is suggested in the manual instruction of that specific softener. Some softeners will just need you to install a bypass valve with the softener.
  • Once the system is installed and secured, turn on the water supply and check for leaks, if any.
  • Open any tap in your house and let air push through from the system.
  • Your softener is ready to do its work.
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Maintenance of the softener is very easy and effortless. Some of the softeners don’t even need any kind of maintenance to operate. The softener is salt-free; hence, it does not require salt to operate, and you are free from refilling the salt in the softener. The softener does not even require any drain connection or storage tanks.

Salt-free water softeners are really low maintenance, and you will not even require any kind of plumber services. Some systems come with a lifetime warranty. There are softeners that will be installed in your house that will last up to 8-10 years without requiring any kind of maintenance. Although, if you purchased the softener that includes pre-sediment filters or any other kind of filters that purifies the water, you would need to replace those on a timely basis. Different filters have different lifespans to operate, and you can keep track of this cycle and replace the filter cartridge accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is hard water?

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Basically, hard water is water that has a high amount of minerals in the water. Mostly you can identify hard water based on the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water has many side effects on your skin and hair, as well as overall health.

Q. Does salt-free water softeners make the water safe for me to drink?

That depends on the count of minerals that are left in the water. Salt-free water softeners crystalize minerals like calcium and magnesium in the water, and they are not completely removed from the water, making it safe for you to drink. But it is advised that after drinking the softened water if you face any stomach issues, you are to avoid drinking it.

Q. What does it mean by hard water scaling?

When hard water passes through the water lines, the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and Magnesium hydroxide (Mg(HO)2) creates a build-up. After a certain period, this build-up increases and blocks your water line. This build-up is known as hard water scaling.

Q. How much the salt-free water softeners cost?

The salt-free water softener costs something between $300 to $4000, all depending on the size and functions of the unit.

Best Salt-Free Water Softeners of 2021 | Reviews & Top Picks

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