“What’s the best water ionizer?” I hear that question more than any other. The fact is, there really isn’t an overall “best” water ionizer – but there are a few “stand out” counter top water ionizers that seem to win out with customers based on features, function, performance and style.
When it comes to choosing the “best water ionizer” – you can’t go wrong with a Jupiter Athena, Tyent 9090 or Chanson Miracle MAX – the main differences in these units is style, available functions and price.
To help you decide I’ve outlined these three units and their key differences here along with the results of my personal tests of each unit. I’ve been very impressed with them all – here’s a closer look at the differences in style and fuction…
I wasn’t expecting to like this unit as much as I do. With smaller plates than most top of the line models and lower wattage too, I just wasn’t expecting the performance I got when I tested this unit.
Using straight, unfiltered tap water in St. Petersburg, Florida this unit produced water with a high pH of 10.7 and an ORP of -760. That’s without adding any minerals – The Athena has a mineral port where you can add mineral pellets to boost performance.
The Athena has 9 presets – 4 alkaline, 4 acid and one neutral setting with a voice announcement when the unit starts producing water. This lets you know the level of water that is being produced. The unit defaults to your last setting – so whatever water you’re getting when you turn it off will be the same water you’ll get when you turn it back on.
I have to say – of all the water ionizers I’ve used over the years I think the Athena has more visual alerts for each setting than any other water ionizer. If you’ve selected an acidic level, almost every light on the screen is going to be red – you can’t miss it. When using an alkaline setting, you’ll see blue everywhere on the screen. Smaller icons on the screen help you know which level of alkaline or acidic water you’re producing – and there’s always the initial voice alert.
Jupiter Athena from IonWays also produced good levels of acidic water. The strongest acidic pH came from the acid drain hose while the unit was set to produce the strongest alkaline water – which is the case with every water ionizer I’ve used. With this model, the lowest pH I’ve been able to achieve has been between 3.5 and 4.0.
The onboard flow control knob on the front of the Athena lets you increase or decrease the strength of the water by increasing or decreasing the rate at which water is flowing through. This onboard flow control also means you have the option to bypass the standard faucet installation. Instead, with an extra installation piece, you can connect the Athena’s water supply line directly to the cold water line below the sink. No adapter hanging off or your faucet, no hose running from the faucet to the unit.
Jupiter products, sold through IonWays, are known to be some of the best for handling hard water – rated to effectively handle water hardness as high as 14ppm. The DARC cleaning system in the Jupiter is one of the best for preventing buildup on the plates after long term use which can prolong the effectiveness of the unit.
The Athena will set you back $2,195 and replacement filter cost will be between $160 and $220 a year – depending on the quality of your source water and just how much water you are producing. You can expect to change the filters in your Athena about every 6 months.
I have many, many happy Tyent customers. They like the style options available – white or black casing with stainless steel front panel – and the fact that the unit is so thin – which means it takes up less working space on the counter.
The Tyent 9090 TURBO Extreme has 8 total presets, including the hidden Turbo setting: 4 alkaline, 3 acid and one neutral – all you really need. I tested the Tyent TURBO 9090 and was able to get alkaline water as high as 12.0 and acid water – from the dispenser hose, not the acid drain hose – as low as 2.0 with the unit in TURBO mode. Results will always vary based on your source water.
The thing I personally like best about the Tyent products is the way the advanced touch-screen control panel works. Once you are satisfied with your initial power settings, you never have to toggle between the acid/alkaline levels. You just touch the button for the level of water you want and that’s what you get.
All of the basic presets are fully adjustable – meaning you can increase or decrease the amount of power used for ionization at each preset level. The advanced settings mode is intuitive and easy to use – voice and visual alerts let you know where you are in the system. To be so slim and low profile, the 9090′s control panel offers a lot of adjustment options.
Other water ionizers will default to the last setting used or the last “safe for drinking” setting at each use. If you want to produce water at a different level you have to press the alkaline or acid button to get to the desired level. Once water is supplied to a Tyent water ionizer, the on/off mechanism is your selection of the type of water you want to produce. Just touch the icon for the level of water you want.
For the record, Tyent was the first company to go beyond the sales pitch about their product and actually send me a unit at their cost, putting their money where their mouth was about how their products performed. Since that time I’ve been impressed again and again as they’ve produced upgraded models like their TURBO 7070 and their latest, the MMP-9090 TURBO Extreme.
The Tyent 9090 will set you back $3,495 at full retail but smart shoppers should be able to find them on sale for less. The dual internal filters will last between 6 and 9 months, depending on how much water you are producing. Replacing both internal filters will cost between $99 and $120 – depending on whether you choose .01 micron Ultra or .1 micron Standard replacement filters.
Don’t let its size fool you – the Miracle MAX from Chanson USA packs a real punch and has a lot of features that helped this model make it in my personal top 3 picks for countertop water ionizers. This compact 7-plate water ionizer has enough power and technology to produce a broad pH range. I’ve been able to get alkaline water at up to an 11.5 pH and acidic ionized water as low as a 2.3 pH. Results will always vary based on your source water.
The Miracle MAX has 8 available presets: 4 alkaline, 3 acidic and one neutral. This model is adjustable, allowing you to customize the presets based on your source water. You also have onboard flow control – allowing you to produce stronger or milder ionized water by increasing or decreasing the rate at which water flows through the unit.
My favorite feature on the Miracle MAX is the onboard mineral port. Users in areas with stubborn source water can add either calcium or salt to the mineral port to boost ionization. Strong acidic water can be particularly difficult to produce in some parts of the country. The ability to add salt to the mineral port increases the likelihood that you’ll be able to produce the strongest levels of acidic ionized water, regardless of your source water.
Like my two other top picks in this category, you’ve got both audio and visual alerts for every day to day function. The display screen gives you all the information you need about the Miracle MAX’s overall performance – remaining filter life, the level of water you’ve selected and flow rate are all displayed. You can adjust the volume from the side control panel and the onboard flow control valve means this unit can also be connected directly to the cold water line below the sink – no adapter or hoses hanging from your faucet – no risk of someone accidentally running hot water through the Miracle MAX.
Chanson offers a triple-bank prefiltration system for all of their models. This system will add around $200 to your original purchase price but your annual cost to replace both the filter inside the Miracle MAX and the filters in the prefiltration system is about the same as the cost to replace the internal filters in the other models I’ve chosen as personal favorites here. The prefiltration system offers the added benefit of effective fluoride removal.
This model is available in two different colors – white or black with silver. The full retail cost for this model is $2,195 and you’ll spend around $200 a year on replacement filters if you opt to pay the extra for the pre-filtration system designed specifically for city water with fluoride.
For more information on these “Top Picks” please visit the store pages for each of these models or call (727) 498-4826 – custom packages are available.