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Best Water Ionizer & Alkaline Water Machines

Best Water Ionizer & Alkaline Water Machine 2019: Top Picks Reviewed

Want to enjoy the benefits of alkaline ionized water at home without buying expensive bottled water?

You’ve come to the right place.

In this in-depth buying guide, we review the best water ionizers you can buy online.  We also explain everything you need to know about home water ionizers and alkaline water machines, including how they work, their health benefits and how to install one.

       


Why You Need A Water Ionizer

water ionizer

You’ve probably heard about ionized alkaline water. Maybe you’ve even seen it sold as bottled water at the store.

What exactly is it?

Here is a simple explanation.

‘Ionized’ means that it contains mineral ions. Water in nature is always ionized because it contains dissolved minerals such as magnesium and calcium.

Ionized water can be acidic or alkaline. Mineral ions like magnesium make water alkaline whole carbonate ions that result from carbon dioxide dissolving in water make water acidic.

A water ionizer uses a process called electrolysis to produce both alkaline and acidic ionized water. I’ll explain shortly how exactly it works.

The alkaline water is the one that’s beneficial for you. It has a higher pH than normal tap water (usually 8 or higher), has higher alkalinity and negative Oxidation Reduction Potential or ORP.

The PH part is not that important. What you want to focus on when buying a water ionizer is the alkalinity.

This refers to its ability to neutralize acid.

High pH water does not necessarily have high alkalinity. For water to be sufficiently alkaline, it must have alkaline minerals (which are already present in natural water) and a negative ORP.

ORP (Oxidation Reduction Potential) is a measure of the antioxidant strength of alkaline water.

Antioxidants prevent oxidation in the body, which has all sorts of health benefits from boosting the immune system to anti-aging effects.

The lower or more negative the ORP of alkaline water, the better. It means the water has higher antioxidant potential.

Ionized alkaline water does two things in your body: it neutralizes stomach acid (which helps with conditions like acid reflux) and it prevents oxidation.


How a Water Ionizer Works

A water ionizer uses an electricity-powered process called electrolysis to create ionized alkaline water.

The unit hooks up to your faucet although some units can be connected directly into the plumbing.

Water passes through a filter first to remove a range of impurities. It then goes through charged electrodes.

(The electrodes are made from titanium plates coated with platinum. That’s why good water ionizers are generally expensive.)

The electrodes attract the charge that is opposite their own. This separates the water into alkaline and acidic components.

So you can get both acidic and alkaline water from a water ionizer.

While alkaline water is the best for drinking, acidic water has its uses too.

It’s antibacterial properties makes it good for cleaning, sterilizing surfaces and skin care. You can use it as an antiseptic on wounds, as a mouth wash and for washing your hair.

Slightly acidic water is also good for watering plants.


Why Drink Alkaline Ionized Water?

ionizer water

The (academic) jury is still out on exactly how alkaline ionized water interacts with your body.

But a few studies and plenty of anecdotal evidence suggest that alkaline ionized water is, in fact, good for you.

One study found that drinking alkaline ionized water for several weeks improved the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.  

Another found that it is helps prevent reflux by denaturing pepsin, which is the main cause of reflux.

Yet another study in 2016 shows that drinking ionized alkaline water after exercise lowers blood viscosity, spreading oxygen around your body quicker and more efficiently (Caveat: this study was funded by Essentia, a maker of alkaline water).

There are additional studies that suggest drinking ionized alkaline water is therapeutic for people with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.    

Most of these studies are small, and that’s why most experts will not say definitively whether this type of water is good for you.

But many people who rely on alkaline ionized water do report numerous benefits. According to them, it lowers blood pressure, helps with weight loss, improves skin quality, prevents kidney stones and reduces reflux.

The best part about ionized water is that it is completely safe. As long as you know the source of the water and it goes through a filter, drink away.

Ionized Water vs. Bottled Water 

I don’t recommend buying bottled alkaline ionized water for two reasons.

One, it has fewer benefits than freshly produced water from an ionizer. The main reason for this is that the ORP value doesn’t keep.

If water is left sitting for more than a few days, its ionization (and thus ORP) reduces by more than half.

So bottled water will not have the same antioxidant benefits as water fresh out of an ionizer.

Two, cost.

Normal bottled water is expensive over time. Alkaline ionized bottled water is even more expensive and the costs add up quickly for a large family.

In fact, the money you spend on bottled water over 1-2 years could easily cover the cost of a good quality water ionizer.

By investing in a water ionizer, you are saving money while also giving your family convenient access to healthy water.


4 Types of Water Ionizers Compared

alkaline water ionizer

Electric Water Ionizers 

These are the most common types of water ionizers. They are also the best at creating healthy and beneficial alkaline ionized water.

That’s because they produce more molecular hydrogen than other types of ionizers.

Molecular hydrogen is one of the most effective antioxidants.

As I explained, electric water ionizers use electrolysis to create ionized alkaline water (as well as ionized acidic water).

Charged plates separate water into alkaline and acidic streams.

Hydrogen Water Machines

Another way to get molecular hydrogen into your drinking water is by using a hydrogen water machine.

It’s cheaper than water ionizers though most do not add as much molecular hydrogen. But they still add enough to confer the health benefits of antioxidant water.

Note : that hydrogen water machines do not produce alkaline water. They simply add hydrogen to water.

So you don’t get two streams of acidic and alkaline water like in a water ionizer. Just one output of hydrogen water.

Here are a few other key differences between hydrogen water machines and electric water ionizers.

  • A hydrogen machine is cheaper since it doesn’t contain expensive platinum electrodes.
  • A hydrogen machine is cheaper and easier to maintain. It doesn’t contain the complicated electronics and components of an electric water ionizer.
  • A hydrogen water machine doesn’t give you options for different types of water such as neutral, alkaline and acidic. It only produces one water stream that is very slightly alkaline.
  • A hydrogen water machine is the best option if you want ionized water without the added alkalinity.  

​Hydrogen Gas Generators 

These units generate pure molecular hydrogen. The gas is pumped through a tube and you breath it in.

You can also use it to enrich drinking water with hydrogen, turning it into a potent antioxidant.

You do this by inserting the output tube into a bottle or jar of water. You can also enrich any other liquid other than water including juices, soups and foot soak solutions.

Non-Electric/Natural Water Ionizers

These types of ionizers are ideal if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to electric water ionizers.

They use filters that add minerals to water to ionize it and increase its alkalinity.

While you’ll save quite a bit of money opting for a natural water ionizer, you won’t get the same results as you would from an electric ionizer.

Water from an electric ionizer has a higher concentration of molecular hydrogen and beneficial mineral ions, making it generally healthier for you.

Another downside of a non-electric unit is that it needs recharge time, which ranges between 30 and 60 minutes. This is inconvenient for a family that needs constant supply of alkaline ionized water.

The only time a natural water ionizer is the best option is when you are on the road. That’s because you get this ionizer in form of a pitcher.

This provides easy access to ionized water when you are camping, staying in a hotel or going on a road trip.


Best Water Ionizers Compared

Tyent UCE-11 Ionizer
  • Tyent UCE-11

  • MOST POWERFUL
  • Dimensions: 18.5 x 17.5 x 8"
  • Weight : 18 pounds
  • pH levels : 1.7 to 12.0
  • Filtration Capacity : up to 2000 Liters
  • Price: $$$$$

Life Ionizer MXL 9
  • Life Ionizer MXL-9

  • TOP RATED
  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 6.2 x 15"
  • Weight 15.15 pounds
  • pH levels: 2.0 to 11.5
  • Filtration Capacity : up to 2000 Liters
  • Price: $$$

Air Water Life Aqua Ionizer Deluxe 9.0
  • Air Water Life Deluxe 9.0

  • BEST VALUE
  • Dimensions: 16.6 x 12.4 x 8.7"
  • Weight : 12.05 pounds
  • pH levels : 3 to 11.5
  • Filtration Capacity : 4000 Liters
  • Price: $$$

Aqua Ionizer Deluxe
  • Aqua Ionizer Deluxe 5.0

  • BUDGET PICK
  • Dimensions: 16 x 13 x 9"
  • Weight: 10.2 pounds
  • pH levels: 5.0 to 11
  • Filtration Capacity: 4000 Liters
  • Price: $$

Bawell 1195 Premier
  • Bawell 1195 Premier

  • BEST FOR
    COUNTERTOP INSTALLATION
  • Dimensions: 7.9 x 4.7 x 12.6"
  • Weight : 10 pounds
  • pH levels : 3.2 to 10.0
  • Filtration Capacity : 6000 Liters
  • PRICE: $$$$

Pure Hydration Antioxidant Water Ionizer
  • Pure Hydration

  • BEST NATURAL WATER IONIZER
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 6 x 13"
  • Weight : 12.6 pounds
  • pH levels : 9 - 9.5
  • Filtration Capacity : About 800 Gallons
  • Price: $

Bawell 2195 Platinum Machine
  • Bawell 2195 Platinum

  • BEST ELECTRIC IONIZER
  • Dimensions : 11.8 x 6.2 x 15.2"
  • Weight : 11.02 pounds
  • pH levels : 2 to 12
  • Filtration Capacity : 5000 Liters
  • Price: $$$$

Water Ionizer & Alkaline Machine Reviews

Most Powerful:  Tyent UCE-11

Tyent UCE-11

If you want the best of the bunch and don’t mind paying more for it, the Tyent UCE-11 water ionizer is for you.


The Tyent UCE-11 is expensive, but its performance, versatility and features are unmatched.

This water ionizer uses 11 large plates that deliver ORP levels as low as -1050 and a pH range between 2pH and 12pH.

Two large filters remove most of the contaminants from the water, ensuring you get safe and healthy ionized water.

The UCE-11 ionizer also comes with a nifty touch screen control through which you can access all the settings.

You can choose among 3 alkaline levels, 3 acidic levels and neutral-pH water (perfect for baby food or taking medicine).

The unit installs under the sink. Installation is straightforward, you can easily do it yourself.  

Overall, this is one of the best water ionizers sold today.

Our only complaint is the price tag. The replacement filter cartridges are not cheap either.

Pros

  • Excellent performance – delivers alkaline ionized water with ultra-low ORP levels and high levels of molecular hydrogen.
  • Easy to use via touch screen and dial.
  • Versatile – you can select up to 9 different types of water.
  • Easy under sink installation.  
  • Integrated high performance dual water filters.
  • Filter life indicator.
  • Overflow water protection.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Replacement cartridges are also pricey.

Best Features

1. 11-Plate System

The number of plates in an ionizer is an indicator of its efficiency and performance. The more the plates the faster the system discharges water.

More plates also drive a more efficient electrolysis process, resulting in lower OKR water with extra-high levels of molecular hydrogen.

With a plate count of 11, the Tycent UCE-11 has one of the highest number of plates, making it one of the most powerful water ionizers in the market.

2. 750 Watts of Power

The Tyent UCE-11 doesn’t just top the list when it comes to the number of plates; it’s also one of the highest-powered water ionizers.

At a max wattage of 750W, the system delivers a powerful electrical current to the electrodes. This increases operation efficiency and produces higher quality ionized water.

Something else that’s good to know: the Tycent UCE-11 uses an SMPS power supply system. It stands for switched-mode power supply.

It’s a bit of a technical topic (you can read more about it here).

All you need to know is that it delivers higher efficiency, more consistent power output and increased longevity for the surrounding components.

3. Wide pH Range with Multiple Levels of Acidity and Alkalinity 

The ionizer can produce water with pH as low as 2pH and as high as 12pH. To take advantage of this range, the control unit allows you to select from nine types of water.

  • 3 levels of acidic water.
  • 3 levels of alkaline water.
  • Neutral pH water.
  • High acidity water (turbo mode).
  • High alkalinity water (turbo mode.)

For drinking, they recommend you start with the first level of alkaline water. As you get used to ionized alkaline water, gradually go up to level 3.

At this level, the water has a pH of 9.5 and is chock full of molecular hydrogen, the powerful antioxidant in ionized alkaline water.

4. Low ORP Levels 

The exact level of ORP will depend on your water source and your settings. But the unit is capable of delivering water with ORP levels as low as -1050.

Remember, the lower the ORP the more powerful an antioxidant the water is.

5. Smartphone-inspired Touchscreen Plus Dial

With all these features, it’s easy for the Tycent to get all chaotic and confusing in its buttons and controls.

That’s not the case, because this water ionizer comes with a brilliant smartphone-style control touchscreen.

You select what kind of water you want, see the filter life remaining, reset the filters after you install new ones, activate voice mode (great for accessibility) and turn on eco mode.

The screen is not the only way to control the system.

For everyday use, the dial on top is more convenient to use. It’s also handy if you cannot use the touchscreen because your hands are wet.

To use the dial, you rotate it. You’ll see different items on the screen being highlighted. When you get to the setting you want, you simply push the dial down to select.

6. Turbo Mode for Cleaning and Sterilizing 

Turbo mode delivers highly acidic (pH 2.5-3.8) or alkaline (pH 10.0-11.8) water. Do not drink this water.

You should only use it for cleaning and sterilizing. The acidic water is perfect for disinfecting surfaces and sterilizing objects. The alkaline water is good for removing stains form upholstery and fabric.

7. Automatic Self Cleaning

Scale deposits on the plates can affect performance.

The system automatically cleans the platinum plates every now and then based on your water usage. This prolongs the life of the plates and maintains high operational efficiency.

If you live in a hard water area and don’t have a whole house water softener, the manufacturer recommends running a manual cleaning cycle once a day.

The cycle runs for 15 seconds.  

8. Eco Mode 

In eco mode, the system will go into sleep mode if it is left unused for a few minutes. The screen will also switch off.

To wake the system, just tap the screen.

Turn off eco mode if you want the screen to stay on all the time.

9. Customization 

You can select precisely how strong you want each level of alkalinity or acidity to be.

For example, if you feel that level 1 alkalinity is not strong enough, go to customization settings and increase percentage strength.

Other customizable settings include time, volume and language.

Issues & Limitations

1. Installation

Like any under sink water system, be it an RO system or a water filter, the Tyent takes time to install.

You can definitely tackle it without hiring a pro but block at least 1-2 hours for the project.

Luckily, the manual has very detailed instructions and they have a few helpful videos on their website.

2. High Price

Other than the difficult installation procedure, the high price tag and the pricey cartridge replacements are the only issues I could think of.

Avoid this one if : you are looking for a budget water ionizer.

The Bottom Line

The Tyent water ionizer is perfect for families and individuals looking for the absolute best water ionizer for their kitchen and don’t mind paying more for it.


Top Rated:  Life Ionizers MXL-9 

ionizer for water

The MXL-9 is a slightly cheaper alternative to the Tyent UCE-11.

It doesn’t have as many features or as much tech as the Tyent but it offers the same powerful water ionizing performance.

It also provides a wide selection of options including 8 different types of water.

What we love most about the MXL-9 is that it can be installed undercounter or as a countertop water ionizer – whichever works best for you particular situation.

Another unique feature is the integrated UV sterilizer that kills bacteria and germs in your water.   

As with the Tyent system, our main issue is the cost. The replacement filters are not pricey too.

But then again, you are not going to get a better water ionizer for less money.

Pros

  • High performance water ionization.
  • Versatile water options – 4 alkaline, 3 acidic and 1 neutral.
  • Convertible unit – you can install it on the counter or undercounter.
  • Dual filters plus UV sterilization.
  • Easy to install and operate.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Replacement filters are also not cheap.

Best Features 

1. Convertible

Most water ionizers can only be installed under the counter. While that works fine for most homes, there are cases where it’s not possible.

The MXL-9 can be installed undercounter or on the counter top, letting you choose what works best for your kitchen.

2. High Performance 9-Plate System
life water ionizer

For the price, the MXL-9 goes all out to deliver the best ionized water.

It uses 9 large titanium plates that have been dipped eight times in platinum.

To ensure the best performance, the plates have a special Matrix Grid design that increases ionization efficiency without slowing down the flow rate.

Furthermore, the system uses the SMPS power supply system (the same one in the Tyent ionizer) that is more powerful and efficient than a standard power supply system.

Combined, these features deliver ORP levels of up to -800 and a wide pH range between 2.0 and 11.5.

The ionizer also adds plenty of antioxidant molecular hydrogen to the alkaline water, ensuring maximum health benefits.  

3. Eight Different Water Options 

Through the easy to use control panel, you can select up to 8 different types of water depending on your needs.

4 levels of alkaline water: Ideal for drinking and removing stains from fabric and upholstery.

3 levels of acidic water: Great for washing the skin, sterilizing surfaces and cleaning fruits and veggies.

Neutral pH water: Purified neutral water that is ideal for baby food, cooking and taking medicine.

4. Dual Filters Plus UV Sterilization

To make sure the water is clean and safe for your family the MXL-9 system passes water through two filter systems before it is ionized.

  1. A scale filter for hard water and an activated carbon filter for chlorine and chemicals.
  2. A vitamin C ceramic filter to remove chlorine and chloramine, an activated carbon filter to remove residual chlorine and a KDF filter to remove heavy metals and VOCs.

Each filter has its own remaining life indicator. When either filter’s lifespan is up, the unit stops working until you replace it.

The filters are super easy to replace using a 1-click, no-tool process.

In addition to the two filters, there is a built-in UV sterilization system that kills the harmful microorganisms – bacteria, viruses and cysts – which pass through the other filters untouched.

Issues & Limitations 

1. High Price

The MXL-9 is one of the more expensive water ionizers in the market. Don’t forget to also factor in the cost of the replacement filters, which are pricey.

You’ll need to replace each filter about once a year.

But as I mentioned, you will not find a better unit for less money. The extra features and high performance water ionization are completely worth it.

Avoid this one if: You are looking for a budget water ionizer.

The Bottom Line 

The MXL-9 water ionizer is perfect for anyone looking for a high-performance water ionizer with proven reliability. Also ideal for those who would like a system they can install under counter or on the counter.


Best Value:  Air Water Life Aqua Ionizer Deluxe 9.0

premium alkaline water pitcher ionizer

If you want the performance of a high-end water ionizer without the high price, I recommend getting the Air Water Life ionizer.


It costs about half the price of high-end systems but still provides an impressive selection of features and options.

These include 7 water settings, a built-in activated carbon filter and a control touchpad among others.

Of course, the Deluxe 9.0 lacks some of the bells and whistles found in pricier water ionizersBut when it comes to what matters most, water ionization, it’s just as good.

The 9-plate system can produce seven different types of water with a pH ranging from 3.0 to 11.5. For the alkaline water, ORP levels can be as low as -860 to ensure maximum antioxidant potential.  

Pros

  • Great value – high performance and plenty of features for less money.
  • Versatile – 7 water settings.
  • Easy to use touchpad.
  • Easy to install and maintain.
  • Can be installed on or under the counter (undercounter installation requires a separate kit).
  • Integrated water filter with replacement reminder.

Cons

  • Uses only one activated carbon filter (most ionizers have two or three filters). Filtration performance is not as good as in other more expensive ionizers.

Best Features

1. 9-Plate System

Despite being cheaper, the Deluxe 9.0 has the same number of plates as the MXL-9 water ionizer. That means you get the same high quality ionized water but for much less money.

The 9 plates, which are made from titanium and coated with platinum, deliver ionized water with pH between 3 and 11.5.

For maximum health benefits, the lowest ORP level for the alkaline water is -860. The exact ORP will depend on the water pH you’ve selected as well as the water source.

Good to know: These plates are self-cleaning, which increases their lifespan and maintains efficiency during ionization.

2. Seven Water Settings 

You get the same versatility that pricier water ionizers are known for. You can select from 7 water settings. They include:

4 levels alkaline water: Good for drinking and brewing tea and coffee.

2 levels acidic water: Good for cosmetic use and cleaning.

Neutral pH purified water: Good for baby food/formula and taking medicine.

One thing I like about this ionizer is that it doesn’t use numbered levels to indicate different water settings. These can be a bit confusing on other water ionizers.

Instead, it actually shows you what you should use each type for water for. Rather than levels 1-4 for alkaline water, here are the settings you select rom:

Cooking – 9.5pH to 11pH

Brewed tea/coffee – 9.5pH to 10pH

Daily drinking – 8.5pH to 9.5pH

Initial drinking (for people new to alkaline water) – 7.5pH to 8.5pH

As for the acidic water settings, there are two presets: Cosmetic (6-7pH) and Cleaning (5.5-6.5pH).

Labelling the different pH levels this way is more intuitive than using numbers.

water ionizer pitcher
3. Activated Carbon Filter 

The integrated activated carbon filter is enough to get the worst of impurities out of the water. It also improves taste and smell by removing chlorine and other chemicals.

The filter is good for 4,000 liters or around a thousand gallons. That’s about one year of use for an average family.

You’ll get a filter replacement reminder when the current filter’s life is up.

Note: This ionizer does not remove bacteria and germs or TDS (total dissolved solids). So make sure your water is free of harmful microorganisms. This system is also not ideal for well water (unless you have installed a whole house well water filter that removes TDS).   

4. Easy to Use Touchpad

The control panel is easy to use. It consists of a responsive touch pad and an LCD display.

The display shows current settings such as type of water being dispensed. It’s also where you will monitor your filter life.

5. Convertible 

This is a countertop water ionizer. But if you’d prefer to install it under your counter, it’s possible. You just need to purchase a separate undercounter installation kit.

Issues and Limitations 

1. Single Filter

The main limitation of the Deluxe 9.0 is the filtration system. With only one filter, it doesn’t do as good a job as other more expensive water ionizers.

Some customers complained that their water still has a slight smell and odor even after going through the water ionizer.

2. No UV Sterilization

The Deluxe 9.0 doesn’t have a way to kill harmful microorganisms. Something like the UV lamp in the MXL-9 would have been a great addition (though it may have made it more expensive).

But as long as you use potable water whose source you know (ideally chlorinated city water), you should be okay.

Avoid this one if: You use well water or you are concerned that your water contains harmful bacteria and germs. If you use well water and would still like to install this unit, I strongly recommend you first install a whole house well water filter.

The Bottom Line

The Deluxe 9.0 is perfect for families looking for high performance water ionizer that’s significantly less expensive than higher-end brands like Tyent and Life Ionizers.


Budget Pick:  Aqua Ionizer Deluxe 5.0

air water life aqua ionizer deluxe

Water ionizers are generally expensive.

Even a 'best value' pick like the Aqua Ionizer Deluxe 9.0 still costs well over $1,000.

Luckily, you are not out of options if you are looking for a pocket-friendly system.

Aqua Ionizer also makes a smaller unit called the Deluxe 5.0 which costs less than $600 and doesn’t skimp on that many features.

You still get 7 water settings, an integrated active carbon filter and self-cleaning plates.

That said, there are only 5 plates, the pH range is more limited, minimum ORP level is higher and the filter has a shorter lifespan.

But if you are looking for a water ionizer for a small family and don’t need acidic water, then the Deluxe 5.0 is a great choice.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Takes up little space on the counter.
  • Can be installed undercounter (requires a separate installation kit).
  • 7 water settings.
  • Integrated filter.
  • Self-cleaning plates.

Cons

  • Shorter filter lifespan.
  • Higher ORP levels.
  • Limited pH range.

Best Features

1. 5-Plate System 

The Deluxe 5.0 has four plates less than the Deluxe 9.0. This makes a big difference in terms of ionization performance.

The Deluxe 5.0 has a more limited pH range. It starts at 5pH while most other ionizers can produce water as low as 2 or 3pH.

The water also has slightly lower ORP levels. The minimum attainable ORP is -600.

But this is to be expected from a budget system like this one. If anything, it’s more than I expected for the price.

You still get alkaline water (the system goes to 11pH like many others) and the ORP levels are low enough to provide antioxidant benefits.  

2. Seven Water Settings

You can select from 4 different levels of alkaline water, 2 levels of acidic water and neutral pH purified water.

The Deluxe 5.0 doesn’t use the same intuitive labels used in the newer Deluxe 9.0. Insteadit indicates that the alkaline water is good for wellness while the acidic water is good for cosmetic use.

I think it’s still better than using numbered levels.

3. Integrated Carbon Filter

The activated carbon filter removes a wide range of impurities from water before it is ionized. It also removes chlorine and other chemicals that give water an unpleasant smell and taste.

The 4,000-liter (about 1,000 gallons) filter is good for up to one year before you need to replace it.

Note: that the filter is not ideal for well water or water containing harmful microorganisms. Only use it with chlorinated city water.

If you have well water, consider installing a whole house well water filter first to remove total dissolved solids.

4. Easy to Use Co​​​​ntrol Panel

The control panel is well laid out with buttons for different water settings, a manual wash button and a small display indicating current system status.

Issues and Limitations 

1. Limited pH Range

The limited pH range means the ionizer does not produce strong acidic water, which is the best for cleaning and disinfection.

But this is not a big deal if you are only interested in alkaline water. The Deluxe 5.0 can go up to pH 11 like most other water ionizers.

2. Higher ORP Levels

ORP levels are higher than in pricier ionizers (-600 compared to -800 or lower for other systems) but still low enough to provide plenty of antioxidant benefits.

Avoid if: You want a water ionizer that produces strong acidic water. Also not ideal for homes that receive well water (unless you’ve installed a whole house well water filter).

The Bottom Line 

The Deluxe 5.0 is perfect for: Anyone looking for a budget water ionizer. 


Bawell 1195 Premier Alkaline Water Ionizer

bawell platinum water ionizer

This is another good choice if you are looking for a mid-range ($1,000-2,000) water ionizer.

The Bawell 1195 uses 5 plates that produce water with pH 3.2 to pH 10.0 and ORP levels between -420 and +600. The pH range is split into 6 different types of water: 3 alkaline, 2 acidic and one neutral.

Pros

  • Wide pH range with 6 water levels.
  • Easy to use control panel.
  • Easy countertop installation – it’s compatible with most types of faucets.
  • Built-in compartment for vitamins and minerals.

Cons

  • Limited ORP levels – only goes to -420 compared to -800 and lower for most ionizers.
  • Countertop installation only (cannot be installed under the sink).

Best Features 

1. 5-plate System 

Most water ionizers at this price range have at least 7 plates. It’s disappointing to see that the 1195 has only five.  That said, it still generates ionized water.

The plates are titanium and coated in platinum. They produce water with pH ranging from 3.2 to 10.0.

This is a more limited range than other ionizers in this price range, as most produce water with pH 3 to 11. But the range is broad enough to provide 6 levels of water pH.

2. Six Water Options

There are three levels of alkaline water, 2 levels of acidic water and 1 level of filtered water. As with other features, the 1195 falls short compared to other ionizers in the same price range.

Most provide at least 7 water options.

But six is good enough for most people’s needs. 

3. Intuitive Control Panel

The water settings are laid out in a neat column starting with level 3 alkaline water. There are labels that conveniently guide you on how to use each type of water.

The first three alkaline levels are all labelled as ‘drinking water’. Filtered water has the label medicine’ and the two acidic levels are labelled simply as ‘weak’ and ‘strong’.

An indicator light next to each label lights up showing which type of water you are currently using.

Below the water options is filter indicator that lights up when the current filter has reached the end of its life. Press the ‘Reset’ button next to the indicator when you put in a new filter.

4. Integrated Filter  

The exact filter replacement period varies from household to household depending on water consumption and level of impurities in water.

But for most families, the 1,585-gallon filter lasts about one year.

The filter removes sediment, chemicals, heavy metals and chlorine from water.

But it does not kill bacteria and germs nor does it remove dissolved solids like iron and magnesium common in well water.  

5. Easy Countertop Installation    

This is a countertop-only water ionizer. Unlike some of the other systems we have reviewed, you cannot install it under the sink.

So if you are looking for an under sink water ionizer, this is not it.

It’s easy to install. You just need to hook it up to your faucet.

Unlike most countertop water treatment units that work only with standard faucets, the 1195 ionizer can connect to pull out or sprayer faucets as well using the included universal adaptor.

6. Option To Add Minerals and Vitamins 

This is a unique feature to this unit.

Inside the ionizer there is a small compartment where you can put minerals and vitamins that you want to add to your water. They can be in solid or liquid form.

Note: that the minerals and vitamins themselves are not included.  

Issues and Limitations

1. Performance

For the price, we expected the 1195 water ionizer to have at least 7 plates. This would have likely lowered the ORP levels below the currently attainable -420.

2. Fewer Water Levels

It would also have been nice to have one or two more water levels beyond the 6 that are available.

Avoid this one if: You are looking for a low budget or a high-end system. The 1195 falls somewhere in the middle.

The Bottom Line

The Bawell 1195 ionizer is perfect for: Anyone looking for a good quality water ionizer that costs less than $2,000.


Best Natural Water Ionizer: 

Pure Hydration Alkaline Antioxidant Water Ionizer

portable water ionizer

Natural water ionizers are generally not as efficient as electric ones. But they are cheaper, and you still get high quality alkaline water with plenty of antioxidant molecular hydrogen.

This particular one costs less than a fifth of high-end water ionizers.

Despite its compact size, it does a lot. It has two filters to remove impurities from water, one filter to soften hard water and another filter to increase the pH and alkalinity of water.

It installs on the countertop though you can buy a conversion kit for undercounter installation if that works better for your situation.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Easy to install.
  • High water filtration performance.
  • Produces alkaline water with low ORP and high levels of molecular hydrogen.

Cons

  • Plenty of filters to replace every 3-6 months – not cheap.
  • No water options.    

Best Features 

1. 4 Filter Cartridges  
alkaline ionizer water filter

The best way to describe this system is as a ‘water filter and ionizer’ rather than just an ionizer. That’s because it does more filtering than ionizing.

Inside the unit are four filter cartridges. One of them increases water pH / alkalinity. The other three are traditional water filters.

Cation resin cartridge: Filters scale out of hard water.

Carbon and silver block cartridge: Removes sediment, rust, chlorine and various chemicals.

Alkaline/hydrogen infusing cartridge with activated carbon: Increases water pH and alkalinity. It lowers ORP levels and adds molecular hydrogen to increase antioxidant benefits. Activated carbon further filters out impurities from water.

Solid activated carbon with KDF mineral cartridge: Additional filtration by carbon. This is also where water ionization takes place by adding minerals to water.

2. Natural Ionization 

If this is not an electric ionizer, how does it work?

It’s actually pretty simple.

As water passes through the alkaline cartridge, magnesium adds hydrogen to the water. This increases pH and lowers ORP, resulting in alkaline antioxidant water.

The mineral cartridge then adds natural minerals to the water to further increase pH and alkalinity.

By the time the water comes out of the other end, it is filtered alkaline and ionized water.

The process doesn’t work quite nearly as effectively as electrolysis in a traditional ionizer but it comes close. You still get a healthy dose of molecular hydrogen in the water.

The pH also goes down low enough for you to enjoy the benefits of alkaline water. Most users report a consistent pH of 9-9.5.  

3. Easy Countertop Installation

The ionizer connects to your faucet using an adaptor. It’s a 10-minute installation process that you can easily do yourself.

If countertop installation is not possible (maybe because of space of type of faucet) the manufacturer sells a conversion kit that you can use to install it undercounter.

Note: This water ionizer does not use electricity, so you don’t need to have an accessible outlet near the counter or under the sink.

Issues and Limitations 

1. Limited Pe​​​​rformance

Being a natural water ionizer the Pure Hydration alkaline water machine is limited in performance compared to an electric ionizer.

You only get one pH option (there’s no acidic water) and ORP levels are higher than in an electric system.

2. Frequent Replacement of Filters

Another issue is with filter replacements.

As if four filters are not expensive enough to replace, none of them lasts beyond 6 months. So you are going to be buying replacements quite often and the costs are going to add up.

Avoid if: You prefer an electric water ionizer.

The Bottom Line

The Pure Hydration ionizer is perfect for: Anyone looking for a good quality natural water ionizer.


Bawell 2195 Platinum Alkaline Water Ionizer Machine 

Bawell 2195

This is the more powerful sibling to the Bawell 1195 reviewed above.


It’s slightly more expensive but still falls into the mid-price range.

It’s a great choice for families looking for a high-performance electric water ionizer that costs under two grand.

Compared with the 1195, the 2195 delivers a lower ORP minimum (-800), two filters instead of one and a wider pH range (2.0-12.0).

You also get more water settings and an efficient SMPS power supply system.

Our only complaint is that you cannot install it under the counter, although you can connect it directly to your cold water line.

Pros

  • High performance 7-plate system.
  • Dual filtration.
  • Easy installation.
  • 8 water levels.
  • Low ORP levels.
  • Convenient voice alerts.

Cons

  • Cannot be installed undercounter.

Best Features

1. High Performance 7-Plate System 

The 2195 uses two more plates than the 1195. That has a significant impact on performance.

It results in a wider pH range between 2.0 and 12.0 (though the system is programmed to stay between 3.0pH and 11.5pH) and lower ORP levels of up to -800.

This is pretty great considering it costs about half the price of high-end water ionizers.

2. 8 Water Options 

The 8 water levels are intuitively labelled to make it easier to select the right one. Instead of levels 1, 2 and so on, you get the following:

  • Weak Alkaline
  • Medium Alkaline
  • Strong Alkaline
  • Ultra Strong Alkaline
  • Purified Water
  • Weak Acidic
  • Medium Acidic
  • Strong Acidic
3. Easy to Use Control Panel 

The control panel is one of my favorite features in this water ionizer. It’s easy to use and everything is laid out so well.

It also provides extra information that other ionizers don’t show.

For instance, for each water level you can see the exact pH and ORP. That’s super helpful.

The screen also shows the remaining life for each of the two filters.  

4. Dual Filtration

Unlike the 1195, the new Platinum 2195 uses two filters to make your water safer.

Each filter lasts about a year or 1,320 gallons. You can track how much life is remaining on the touchscreen.

When the filters are about to approach their gallon capacity, you’ll get a voice reminder.

5. Easy DIY Installation

The 2195 easily connects to your existing faucets. It works with any faucet that has a removable aerator including sprayer and pull out faucets.

You cannot install the ionizer under the sink but you can connect it directly to the cold water line. You’d have to make a hole in the sink and run a hose through it to the ionizer.

If you space on the counter to place the ionizer, you can also hang it on the wall using the built-in wall mount. But do not put it under the sink.

Issues and Limitations 

No Under Sink Option

The only gripe we have with the 2195 water ionizer is that you cannot put it under the sink. The manufacturer is adamant about it.

Even if you connect it to the cold water line, you still have to place it on the counter or mount it on the wall.

Avoid this one if: You are looking for a budget water ionizer. Also not ideal if you want an under counter unit.  

The Bottom Line  

The Bawell 2195 Platinum water ionizer is perfect for: Anyone looking for a high performance water ionizer that costs less than $2,000. 


How We Evaluate & Compare Water Ionizers

Water Filtration & Ionizers

Here are the main factors we consider when evaluating and comparing water ionizers. The form the basis of our 5-star ratings.

Number and Type of Plates 

Generally, an ionizer with more plates performs better than one with fewer plates. That’s because there is a larger surface area and more power for the electrolysis process.

This results in ionized water with a wider pH range, more molecular hydrogen and lower ORP values.

We rate ionizers with more plates higher.

As for the type of plates, we only consider platinum-coated titanium plates. These are the only types of plates that are proven to provide the best ionization.

pH Range 

Highly rated water ionizers have a wider pH range; ideally a minimum of 2-3pH and a maximum of 10-11pH.

A wide range means the system can produce acidic water (great for cleaning and sterilization) and alkaline water (great for drinking).

Minimum ORP 

The ORP correlates to the water’s antioxidant potential. The more negative it is, the better.

Our ratings are partly based on the lowest ORP a water ionizer can achieve. The best usually get to -800 or lower.

Less pricey models achieve ORP values of -400 to -600.

Water (Alkalinity) Options 

Having versatile water settings allows you to take full advantage of an ionizer’s capability.

The most important thing we look for how many types of water you can get. We recommend electric ionizers that provide at least 6 types of water. We rate higher those that can provide up to 8 options.  

Another setting we look for, though it’s not that common, is turbo or power boost. This temporarily maxes out the amount of power delivered to the ionizer to make very acidic or very alkaline water.

Ease of Installation 

We only recommend water ionizers that homeowners can install themselves with just the basic tools. If a system requires a pro to install, the extra cost is not worth it.

We also check whether the water ionizer provides both under-counter and countertop installation. This versatility earns the models extra points.   

Integrated Filter 

This is a must-have. Water ionizers with one filter are okay but we rate higher those with at least two filters. They do a better job removing impurities.  

Other Considerations

Flow rate: The water ionizer should have a decent flow rate to make it easier to use but not too fast that it compromises filtration performance.

Plate cleaning: Automatic cleaning is the best. It keeps the system at peak performance.

Control panel: We check how easy it is to navigate the control panel and select different options. Features like voice prompts and energy saver/eco mode result in a higher rating.

SMPS power supply: Water ionizers with this type of power supply have higher ratings. They use less energy but have higher performance.

Extra features: We look for bonus features like flood alarm, ORP and pH readings on the screen, silent mode/mute button and filter life indicator.  


How To Select The Right Water Ionizer For Your Home or Office

how to make alkaline water ionizer

We recommend that you consider the same factors we did when selecting the top picks. Here are the ones that matter most.

1. Number of plates 

The minimum number of plates you should consider is 5. If you have the budget, invest in a premium system with 7-11 plates. You’ll get a better pH range and water with higher antioxidant potential.

2. Type of plates 

Only go for platinum-coated titanium plates. These are the best and the only acceptable ones for effective water ionization.

3. Self-Cleaning Features

Look for a water ionizer with a self-cleaning feature. This prevents mineral and bacteria buildup on the plates, which could lower performance.

4. ORP and pH range

Lower ORP values are better. The best water ionizers produce water with an ORP of at least -600. As for pH range, look for a system that can produce acidic water of at least 2-3pH and alkaline water of at least 10pH.

5. Integrated Carbon Filter

These are absolutely essential. They clean up the water, ensuring you are drinking safe water. They also eliminate unpleasant tastes/odors and ensure the system is working at its best.

6. Water Settings 

Unless you want to buy a natural water ionizer (which has only one water setting), look for an electric ionizer that provides 6-8 water options. These options should include neutral pH filtered water in addition to acidic and alkaline water.

7. Countertop vs. Undercounter Installation 

Look for the one that is right for your situation. Some water ionizers allow for both types of installation using a conversion kit. Either way, make sure the system is easy to install and that you don’t have to hire a pro.

8. Price 

The amount of money you are willing to spend will determine what kind of features and ionizing power you can get.

At the higher end ($2,000+), brands like Tyent provide powerful ionization with plenty of features. 

Mid-range ($1,000-$2,000) brands have fewer plates and slightly higher ORP values. In the budget range (under $1,00), you’ll find natural ionizers and low-powered electric ionizers.


How To Install a Water Ionizer

Here are some general tips on water ionizer installation. Check your manual for instructions regarding your particular model.

Check (ideally before ordering) whether it is a countertop or undercounter model. Countertop models have an outlet hose hanging from the side.

Most water ionizers are designed for easy countertop installation though some can be converted into undercounter units. These instructions are for countertop installation.

  • Remove the existing aerator from your faucet. You should be able to unscrew it with your hand. If it’s too tight, use an adjustable wrench to remove it.
  • LisCheck if you need an adaptor. With standard faucets, you can usually attach the water ionizer directly. For non-standard faucets, you’ll probably need an adaptor. Almost all water ionizers come with at least two adaptors and washers.t Element
  • If you need an adaptor, put it in before you attach the water ionizer diverter.  
  • Insert the diverter into the faucet and hand-tighten it. The diverter has a lever that allows you to direct water to the ionizer or let it come out of the faucet as normal.
  • Insert the water inlet tubing into the diverter. You’ll likely need to unscrew a nut from the diverter and fit it over the tubing. After pushing the tube inside the diverter, re-tighten the nut to secure the connection.
  • Place the main unit near the sink and run the tube from where it is attached to the faucet to the inlet port of the water ionizer. Cut off the tubing to remain with the right length but make sure you leave some slack to allow you to rotate the faucet without ripping out the tube.    
  • Push the inlet tube into the inlet port.
  • Cut another length of tubing for the drain. This is where the acid water will come out. Insert it into the drain port and run the tube to your sink. Some ionizers come with a suction cup you can use to attach the drain tube to the side of the sink.
  • Cut another length of tubing for the drain. This is where the acid water will come out. Insert it into the drain port and run the tube to your sink. Some ionizers come with a suction cup you can use to attach the drain tube to the side of the sink.
  • If the outlet hose is not already attached to the top of the ionizer, go ahead and do so following the instructions in your user manual. This is where the alkaline and neutral pH water is going to come out.
  • Connect the unit to a power outlet.
  • Turn on the water and turn the diverter valve to redirect water to the ionizer.
  • Let the water run for a few minutes. The control screen will show that the ionizer is running a system cleaning. It will indicate when it’s ready to begin operating.
  • Do a final check for leaks especially at the faucet and in the inlet and drain ports.

Care and Maintenance

water ionizer

Most water ionizers are self-cleaning. Every now and then, they reverse the polarity of the plates to release built-up minerals and salts.

But most still recommend a manual cleaning every few months or once a year using citric acid or white vinegar.

Even if yours doesn’t call for a manual wash, you may still need to do it if you live in a hard water area to avoid too much calcium build up.

Each water ionizer has a different manual cleaning process. Check your manual for the right instructions.

You also need to regularly replace the filters in your water ionizer. How often depends on their capacity. Most filters last for about one year but check your manual for the right replacement period.


Frequently Asked Questions About Water Ionizers

water ionizer

Does a water ionizer remove fluoride? 

Yes it does. Fluoride is removed in the acidic water that drains into your sink.

Electric ionizers can remove around 85% of fluoride in your water. Some models can remove up to 99% using a combination of electrolysis and filtration.

Is ionized water alkaline? 

An electric water ionizer produces both acidic and alkaline ionized water, which are split into two different streams in most models.

Does ionized water kill bacteria? 

No it does not. That’s why it is essential that you only use biologically safe water (treated city water is the best) with a water ionizer.

Also make sure the water ionizer you are using has built-in filters to remove contaminants.

Can ionized water be harmful?

Yes, if it is too acidic or too alkaline. Avoid drinking water at both pH extremes.  

Generally, you should only drink water with a pH between 7 and 9.5-10 pH.

How do I start drinking alkaline water? 

Start slow. Do not begin at the highest level. Otherwise, your body will react with some unpleasant symptoms.

Start with the lowest level available in your unit (7-8pH) and stay there for a few weeks before moving to the next alkaline level.

Can I store alkaline ionized water? 

Most bottles do not preserve alkaline water properly. Within no time, the water loses its beneficial ORP and pH properties.

If you have to store alkaline ionized water use vacuum-sealed stainless steel bottles. These keep out air, thus preserving the water’s pH and ORP.

Alternatively use mason jars. Fill the jar to the brim to make sure there’s no air inside then seal carefully with the lid.

Can I use ionized water for cleaning? 

Acidic ionized water is great for disinfecting and sterilizing surfaces such as the kitchen counter and the toilet seat.

Alkaline ionized water is effective at removing stains from fabric and upholstery.

Is ionized water safe for my skin? 

Yes, you can use acidic ionized water (3-4 pH) to cleanse your skin and hair. It will restore your skin’s natural balanced pH and prevent problems like acne.


How To Get The Best Deal on a Water Ionizer

life water ionizer

For one, shop online rather than going to a store. Prices online tend to be lower than in brick and mortar stores.

You’ll also get a wider variety of options online, including some budget products you might never have found in a local store.  

Keep an eye out for special offers and discounts during various holidays and occasions including Black Friday and Christmas.


Detailed Comparison of The Best Water Ionizers

Disclamer: All links below go to Amazon.com

PRODUCTDIMENSIONSPRICEWEIGHTCOLORCERTIFICATIONS 
Tyent UCE-11
Tyent UCE-11
18.5 x 17.5 x 8 inches$$$18 pounds
SilverISO9001, ISO14001, KFDA, and CE
Life Ionizers MXL-9

Life Ionizers MXL-9<br />
12.5 x 6.2 x 15 inches
$$15.15 pounds
Black and Silver
ISO14001, KFDA, and CE
Aqua Ionizer Deluxe 9.0

Aqua Ionizer Deluxe 9.0<br />
16.6 x 12.4 x 8.7 inches
$$12.05 pounds
BlackETL
Aqua Ionizer Deluxe 5.0

Aqua Ionizer Deluxe 5.0<br />
16 x 13 x 9 inches
$10.2 pounds
WhiteETL
Bawell 1195 Premier

Bawell 1195 Premier<br />
7.9 x 4.7 x 12.6 inches
$$10 pounds
SilverISO9001, ISO13485, ROHS, and CE
Pure Hydration Alkaline Antioxidant
Pure Hydration Alkaline Antioxidant<br />
11 x 5.5 x 12.5 inches
$$13.1 pounds
BlackNSF
Bawell 2195 Platinum
Bawell 2195 Platinum<br />
11.8 x 6.2 x 15.2 inches
$$$11.02 pounds
GrayISO9001, ISO13485, ROHS, and CE

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Ed Carmichael

Ed is a water specialist in Tampa, FL. He built CleanerSofterWater.com to help his friends and family learn about DIY solutions to common water quality issues in the home.
Ed Carmichael