15 Best Alkaline Water Machines – Water Ionizer Reviews and Buying Guide 2020

Water has been long hailed as the ultimate beverage, and it seems that there’s nothing better we could provide our bodies with than some H20. However, even when it comes to water, there are both the good and the bad kinds. Though tap water is mostly neutral, in some parts of the US, it is often more acidic than it should be, and thus more harmful. In that case, the best solution is to take a leap of faith and invest in your health. In other words, it’s time to look into getting an alkaline water machine.

Unfortunately, not all water ionizers are made equal, and brands will sometimes try to cut corners to make the units more enticing for those looking for health on a budget. Our job today is to show you the pros and cons of some of the most popular alkaline water machines, as well as explain why alkaline water should become your priority.

To start off, let’s see the contenders and what they have to offer. Once we’re done with the reviews, we’ll go through some of the most frequently asked questions, as well as describe how these machines are able to turn regular tap water into an antioxidant powerhouse.

Table of Contents

Top 15 Alkaline Water Machines - Water Ionizers of 2020

1. Tyent ACE-13 Above-Counter Water Ionizer (Editor’s Choice)

Unlike UCE-11, which we’ll talk about a bit later, the Tyent ACE-13 is a countertop model and thus has a few advantages, such as a higher number of solid/mesh hybrid titanium platinum plates (13 in total) and one additional alkaline setting (four alkaline, three acidic, one turbo for both types, and one neutral). It can be fully adjusted too and comes with 99 presets per each level.

Focusing once again on user experience, Tyent has included a 4-inch TFT LCD, which boasts various customizable options and the ability to turn on ECO mode to conserve power. The display can also show information in multiple languages, and there are even volume adjustment and several quantity options, which can even be customized in 0.1-liter increments.

Other than that, Tyent sticks to tried-and-tested innovations, such as its dual filtration system with UF ceramic and carbon block filters, automatic cleaning system, and hydrogen boost technology. As for its performance, it matches UCE-11: the max negative ORP is up to -1050, and the pH range is 1.7-12.0.

PROS

  • Thirteen powerful plates
  • Max negative -1050 ORP
  • pH range of 1.7-12.0
  • Advanced TFT LCD technology
  • Hydrogen boost technology
  • ECO mode and customizable quantity options
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS

  • Tyent doesn’t offer a warranty outside of the US for this model

2. Life Ionizers Next Generation MXL-13 Convertible Water Ionizer

According to the brand, the MXL-13 is the world’s first 13-plate ionizer, which does speak volumes about the unit’s power and potential performance. In fact, its specs confirm that it’s a worthwhile investment, provided you have enough space under the counter for it.

The max negative ORP for this unit is an incredible -903, and its total range is 1.7–12.2 pH. It also comes with an 800 Watts XL Power™ SMPS and has a superb flow. It’s possible to get about five to six liters of water from it in just one minute.

As for the design, it resembles the two other units on this list, MXL-9 and MXL-5, and it offers both under-counter and countertop installation. It utilizes Life MicroMembrane™ Technology and customized filtration pre-filters, as well as Molecular Hydrogen XL technology, which increases the levels of hydrogen found in the water. Additionally, it comes with the Ultraviolet XL Sterilization System that should destroy any bacteria and other pathogens.

PROS

  • Durable thirteen platinum-coated plates
  • Max negative -903 ORP
  • pH range of 1.7–12.2
  • Ultraviolet sterilization
  • MicroMembrane™ Technology
  • Up to six liters per minute flow rate
  • Convertible unit (countertop or under-counter installation)
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS

  • Expensive filters
  • Takes up a lot of space (oversized unit)

3. Tyent UCE-11 Under-Counter Extreme Water Ionizer

With a streamlined design and weighing just over 12 pounds, the Tyent UCE-11 is a top-of-the-line ionizer that combines superb build with a few technological innovations.

As far as the construction goes, the machine comes with eleven solid/mesh hybrid medical-grade titanium platinum plates. Furthermore, it uses dual ultra-filters to get rid of any gunk found in the water and hydrogen boost technology, supported by increased amperage, to produce high-quality alkaline water.

Its performance is also impressive. At max negative -1050 ORP and with a pH range of 1.7-12.0, it easily outperforms most of the units found on this list. What’s more, it offers automatic cleaning, too, as well as a range of fully adjustable presets (99 in total for each level). As for the power settings, it has three alkaline and acidic settings, as well as one turbo (both types of water) and one neutral.

Unlike some other models, this unit also utilizes smartphone touchscreen technology, which makes it rather easy to use.

PROS

  • Eleven durable plates
  • Max negative -1050 ORP
  • pH range of 1.7-12.0
  • Convenient one-touch technology
  • Hydrogen boost technology
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Sleek design and easy installation

CONS

  • Cartridges last for about six months only and are expensive to replace

4. Air Water Life Aqua Countertop Ionizer Deluxe 9.5

Out of all the Air Water Life ionizers we’ve reviewed, the 9.5 takes the cake because of its design and additional capabilities. The unit was redesigned in 2019 to follow in the footsteps of its competition. Thus, now it comes with antioxidant boost technology, which increases the level of molecular hydrogen found in the water.

As for its other features and performance, it doesn’t disappoint there either. It offers over twelve different pH levels and a range of 3.0 to 11.5. On top of that, its max negative ORP is -900, and it has nine energy-efficient plates.

The cleaning features are rather impressive; the unit will clean itself after every use when the water stops by reversing the poles of the plates. Then, it automatically cleans itself once you shut it off. You’ll have to clean it manually after a year, though.

Finally, it’s good to note that the power supply makes this unit very attractive since it allows for more negatively charged antioxidant production. It can utilize up to 400 watts.

PROS

  • Nine plates
  • Antioxidant boost technology (more molecular hydrogen)
  • Max negative -900 ORP
  • pH range of 3.0-11.5
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS

  • Some users say that the water tastes strange after only a day

5. HealthyWiser Convertible Alkaline Water Ionizer

In the world of water ionizers, this HealthyWiser alkaline water machine tops many charts, mostly due to its modern looks and sleek exterior. Fortunately, it also offers a lot more than meets the eye.

Inside, there are nine titanium platinum-coated plates in total, which allow for the production of nine levels of water. Four of these are alkaline, another four are acidic, and one of them is purified water. Thus, no matter what your needs may be, it’s likely that this ionizer will deliver exquisite results. It’s a rather versatile unit that offers 400 programmable pH and ORP levels, not to mention a pH range of 3.0 to 11.5.

As for the build, it’s safe to say that it’s almost impeccable. The hose that comes with the machine is made of stainless steel. Furthermore, to make the water as pure as possible, the unit employs a dual-filtration system, and it auto-cleans itself to ensure no scale destroys the quality.

To top it off, the company has equipped it with a large LCD screen, and the ionizer also supports voice messages.

PROS

  • Nine quality-made plates
  • A vast range of pH and ORP options
  • pH range of 3.0-11.5
  • Sleek contemporary design
  • Large LCD screen
  • Voice automation
  • Dual-filtration system and auto-cleaning settings

CONS

  • The brand doesn’t indicate the ORP levels
  • On the higher end of the price spectrum
  • Five-year warranty

6. Life Ionizers Next Generation MXL-9 Convertible Water Ionizer

The Life MXL-9 has almost the same design as the MXL-13, but there’s a huge difference in its performance: it’s a bit less effective than its cousin.

To start, it comes with a total of nine plates that have been dipped eight times into platinum to ensure lifelong durability. Furthermore, it has a 504 Watts XL Power™ SMPS and can reach up to -811 ORP.

Though the pH range of 2.0–11.5 is a bit less than what MXL-13 offers, the lifetime warranty is still here, and so are the MicroMembrane™ Technology and Molecular Hydrogen XL technology, among others. Overall, there are lots of water options to choose from, and you won’t have to worry about any costly repairs. Plus, since it’s a convertible model, it’ll certainly fit well into any kitchen.

PROS

  • Long-lasting nine platinum-dipped plates
  • Max negative -811 ORP
  • pH range of 2.0–11.5
  • Convertible unit (countertop or under-counter installation)
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS

  • Expensive filters
  • Larger than some other ionizers on the market

7. Life Ionizers Next Generation MXL-5 Countertop Water Ionizer

Compared to some other units on this list, the Life Next Generation MXL-5 is a rather affordable solution to getting exquisite alkaline water at home.

This sleek unit comes with five XL Matrix grid titanium-dipped plates, which are a decent option for an at-home ionizer. It’s a countertop model too, so there won’t be any need to deinstall the sink, and for even more convenience and quick changes, the one-click filters have been placed on the top of the machine.

As for the ionized water it can produce, this alkaline water machine can reach up to -507 OPR and has a 3.0–9.8 pH range, which should be enough for novice users. Moreover, since the brand doesn’t give up so easily on its top-of-the-line innovations, it utilizes the same Life MicroMembrane™ Technology and Molecular Hydrogen XL technology, customized filtration pre-filters, and the Ultraviolet XL Sterilization System.

PROS

  • Durable grid plates
  • Offers more hydrogen in water than other brands
  • Ultraviolet sterilization
  • MicroMembrane™ Technology
  • No-fuss design and medium size
  • Easy to install

CONS

  • Only five plates in total
  • Somewhat limited pH range and negative OPR level
  • Expensive filters
  • Limited warranty (seven years)

8. Cosan/USA Pure Hydration Next Generation Convertible Water Ionizer

Designed to fit both on and beneath a counter, the Pure Hydration Next Generation Water Ionizer promises nothing less than the utmost convenience. However, that’s not exactly why we’ve added it to this list.

As a matter of fact, this unit possesses one of the most sophisticated filtration systems we have ever seen. Its 0.2-micron precision filters should remove a whopping 99.9% of all the pollutants found in tap water. Also, while ionizing the water, it enriches it with molecular hydrogen, thus boosting its health benefits.

However, since the design is based on using all-natural carbon block proprietary mineral technology, it requires no electricity. The unit actually has four stages of reduction, or in other words, four different means of filtration, to ensure the water has a 9 to 9.5 pH level every single time you make it. These four stages are split into using:

  • Granular activated carbon
  • Solid activated carbon block, infused with silver
  • Solid activated carbon block, infused with magnesium
  • Spun fiber cartridge

 

Overall, though it may not be able to compare to the top-of-the-line designs by other brands, this unit is a fantastic, affordable, and all-natural option for those who are unsure whether they’re ready to make a huge investment.

The only thing to remember is that the filters will have to be changed more often than with some other machines. However, since this is a smart unit that even has a germ-free touchless on/off infrared sensor, you can bet that it will alert you when it’s time to replace them.

PROS

  • An all-natural filtration unit
  • Inexpensive filters
  • pH level of 9 to 9.5
  • Four stages of filtration
  • Easy to install and convertible
  • Doesn’t waste water
  • 1,000 ppb–1,400ppb hydrogen range

CONS

  • Non-adjustable pH range
  • Max negative ORP -400 to -450

9. Air Water Life Aqua Countertop Ionizer Deluxe 9.0

Design-wise, the Aqua Ionizer 9.0 is rather similar to the 9.5. However, the differences become evident once you take a look at some of its specs.

For one, this unit can be used with both hot and cold water, and it offers an output of four liters per minute. Its performance is enhanced by the nine plates it comes with, which allow for seven water options, a max negative ORP of -860, and a pH range of 3.5–11.5.

The cleaning system is the same as the one that comes with Aqua Ionizer Deluxe 9.5, and so is the warranty. If we were to split hairs, the only major difference, apart from pH and ORP values, is the 9.5’s antioxidant boost technology.

PROS

  • Nine plates, which offer a broader pH range (3.5–11.5)
  • Max negative -860 ORP
  • Both hot and cold water use
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Convenient cleaning system

CONS

  • The filtration system could be improved (water tastes like charcoal)
  • Can sometimes switch randomly to acidic water mode
  • The filter has to be changed after about 4000 liters

10. Bawell Platinum Countertop Alkaline Water Ionizer Machine

Bawell calls their 2195 model their most advanced alkaline water machine, which makes sense given its range of features, overall power, and superb design.

For one, the sleek exterior and the LCD display of Bawell’s ionizer make it a welcome addition to any kitchen. But all of that would be for nothing if it weren’t for its fast water output (one gallon every 30 seconds), pH range of 2.0 to 12.0 (pre-programmed 3.0-11.5), and max negative ORP of -800. Furthermore, the machine uses an internal two-stage filtration system to get rid of water pollutants, and it comes with seven medical-grade titanium platinum-coated plates.

The machine uses an automatic reverse cleaning system, which starts after each start-up and shut-down. There are also five power settings overall, and each has eight pre-programmed levels, from weak alkaline to strong acidic water.

The fact it won’t work in Europe at 220 Volts is a bit of a let-down. On the bright side, though, the machine comes with a lifetime warranty and a 60-day money-back guarantee.

PROS

  • Capable of a 2.0-12.0 pH range
  • Max negative ORP -800
  • Super-fast water output
  • 35 different presets in total
  • BPA-free plastic components
  • Automatic reverse cleaning
  • Dual internal filtration
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS

  • Countertop installation only
  • Can sometimes leak
  • Vague installation instructions

11. Air Water Life Aqua Countertop Ionizer Deluxe 7.0

The Air Water Life Deluxe 7.0 alkaline water machine is one of the most compact countertop units on this list since it weighs only 10 pounds. However, just because it’s small doesn’t mean it’s not powerful enough to produce high-quality alkaline water.

Of course, its performance isn’t as high as what more expensive units offer. The max negative ORP is -800, and it has a pH range of 4.0–10.5. Still, it does come with seven multi-layer, platinum-coated titanium plates, which do offer more versatility.

The preset water settings include four alkaline, two acidic, and one non-ionized purified option. Furthermore, it has a backlit display that offers all the information you may need, and the built-in carbon filter should last for up to a year. And as for its cleaning system, it is almost identical to what the newer versions have as well. The warranty, unfortunately, isn’t; this unit is covered for five years only.

PROS

  • Backlit display
  • Elaborate cleaning cycles
  • Max negative -800 ORP
  • Seven durable plates

CONS

  • Five-year warranty
  • Tricky to install on non-standard size faucets
  • Some users state that the water tastes of chlorine
  • Cold water only
  • Limited pH range

12. IONtech IT-757 Advanced Alkaline Countertop Water Ionizer Machine

In comparison to some other units, the IT-757 is a rather affordable countertop alkaline machine that will do its job well with minimal hassle on your part.

Design-wise, this alkaline water machine stands out from the competition with its sleek silver exterior and colorful soft-touch buttons. It even comes with an easy-to-read LCD display that will show all the necessary information you might need to know about the water, such as the flow rate, pH level, type, processing status, etc.

When it comes to its performance, it doesn’t disappoint, although it is somewhat weak in comparison to some more expensive models. It offers seven pH levels, out of which four are alkaline, one is purified, and two are acidic. Furthermore, there’s an electrolytic intensity setting, which does allow the user to slightly adjust the level, as well as a fantastic cleaning system.

After each usage, the machine will automatically start its 10-second cleaning cycle, which should keep the chamber scale-free. On top of that, once 7.9 gallons of water has been processed, it will alert the user that the machine is due for a full cleaning cycle. That one lasts for two minutes — you’ll know when it’s done as the music will stop playing!

The pH range available with this ionizer is 4.5–11, and it offers max negative ORP of -850. It comes with five platinum-covered titanium plates.

PROS

  • Colorful LCD display and soft-touch buttons
  • Sleek exterior
  • Max negative -850 ORP
  • Two different cleaning cycles (10-second and full)

CONS

  • Two-year warranty
  • Only five plates
  • No bells and whistles
  • ORP may diminish over time
  • The pH range could be broader

13. Air Water Life Aqua Countertop Ionizer Deluxe 5.0

Those who haven’t yet figured out whether alkaline water is the right choice for them may be looking for a unit that doesn’t require a considerable investment. Thus, to them, we’d recommend the Aqua Ionizer Deluxe 5.0

Since it’s rather compact and weighs only 8 pounds, this space-saving unit will surely find a lovely home in anyone’s kitchen. However, its quality shouldn’t be underestimated because of its size. Though it cannot compare to some larger, expensive models, its performance is pretty decent for such a small machine. It offers a pH range of 4.5–10 and -600 ORP. On top of that, it utilizes the same cleaning system as Aqua Ionizer Deluxe 7.0, so maintenance won’t be an issue at all.

As a downside, it comes with five plates only, can be used with cold water exclusively, and has a five-year warranty.

PROS

  • Decent pH range of 4.5–10 (for a starter unit)
  • Good starter ORP of -600
  • Quite affordable
  • Simple to use
  • Compact and lightweight

CONS

  • Only five plates
  • Cold water use
  • Five-year warranty

14. IONTech IT-750 Under-Sink Alkaline Water Ionizer

For those who’d like to hide their ionizer but still have all the controls within reach, the IONTech IT-750 may be the right, quality-made choice.

This unit comes with a dual spout faucet that has a five-button control panel and can be conveniently attached to the sink. The buttons are all soft-touch, and there are even indicator lights (red for acidic and blue for alkaline).

As for the performance of the unit, it’s unlikely that you’ll be disappointed, even though it doesn’t have a massive number of plates. There are only five of them, but they allow for a max negative ORP of -850 and a decent pH range of 4.5–11. In total, there are six pH levels, four of which are alkaline, while the other two are acidic and purified.

One of its more impressive features is the safety setting, which will prevent users from accidentally ingesting acidic water. On top of that, the unit is on par with some more expensive models when it comes to its cleaning system. The machine automatically cleans itself after each use for 10 seconds. Once the production exceeds 13 gallons, it will alert the user to press the “Clean” button to start the full cleaning process (lasts only two minutes).

Finally, the machine also comes with a highly efficient activated carbon and coconut fiber filter, which should last for about six months. Unfortunately, though, the warranty lasts two years only.

PROS

  • A compact unit that frees up counter space
  • Comes with a dual-spout faucet
  • Max negative -850 ORP
  • Exquisite (and fast) cleaning system (after each use + after 13 gallons)

CONS

  • Two-year warranty
  • No add-ons that boost the water quality
  • Only five plates
  • The pH range could be better

15. Chanson Miracle 7-Plate Countertop Water Ionizer

Hailed as one of the best alkaline water machines on the market by many ionized water enthusiasts, the Chanson Miracle 7-Plate ionizer promises chemical-free alkaline and acidic water for anyone who’s looking to not only disinfect their home but reap all of the health benefits.

The machine itself is equipped with seven solid titanium nano-plated with platinum plates, which should be able to offer a max negative ORP of -865. Depending on the source water, the pH range stands at 2.5–11.7.

One of the best features of the unit, according to the manufacturer, is its optimal performance. It is able to produce seven different levels of water by using only 150 watts. As such, this is a more Earth-friendly ionizer that ought to remain cost-efficient in the long run.

The remaining filter life will be shown on the (somewhat small) LCD screen to ensure users change it when needed. In general, the filter should last for about 9000 liters, which comes up to 10 to 12 months. As for its self-cleaning features, the unit will automatically flush water once it’s turned on and clean itself after you shut it off. When it’s in need of a full cycle, it will prompt you to push the Self-Cleaning button.

Unfortunately, even the brand itself says that this is a good unit if you’re aiming at light commercial use. It’s likely no match for some more expensive and rather innovative machines on this list. Still, it does come with auto-adjust settings, which will take into account the water quality in your area and make sure you never miss a filter change or a cleaning cycle. On top of that, Chanson offers a lifetime warranty on the unit.

PROS

  • Seven durable, quality-made plates
  • Max negative -865 ORP
  • pH range of 2.5-11.7
  • Automatically adjusts the cleaning cycle and the filter life to the water quality
  • Lifetime warranty

CONS

  • The filter removes only basic chemical components; you’ll need a pre-filter for best results
  • Only for light commercial use

What Is Alkaline Water?

Today, alkaline water is all the rage, and it owes much of its popularity to celebrities who swear by its health benefits. But what is alkaline water exactly, and how is it different from the regular tap water most of us use?

To explain that, we ought to first see what pH is. In layman’s terms, the pH level of water (or any other liquid, for that matter) refers to how acidic or alkaline it is. This number is expressed via a scale of 0 to 14. The lower the number, the more acidic the liquid or solution; when something is over pH 7 (which is considered neutral), it is alkaline.

But that’s not the only thing that matters here. In order for alkaline water to do its magic, it also needs to have alkaline minerals and a negative ORP (oxidation reduction potential). The ORP is what determines how antioxidative the water is.

The gist of the popularity of alkaline water comes down to the fact that it could help neutralize the acid found in the human body. That, in and of itself, comes with various health benefits.

We’ve all heard that drinking water, in general, is an excellent way of staying healthy. But given that most tap water has a pH level of 7, alkaline water could be a better solution overall.

How to Get Alkaline Water

Is alkaline water something that we can only get with a water ionizer? Of course not! In nature, alkaline water is made when water flows over rocks. For example, spring water often has various minerals that actually make it more alkaline.

Since not many people have spring water in their backyard, alkaline water can be made at home with a water ionizer, or it can be bought in pre-packaged bottles. Artificially created alkaline water requires electrolysis in order to boost its pH level.

Other than that, there are pitchers and bottles for those who don’t require much alkaline water on a daily basis. These would be a viable alternative if an alkaline water machine is out of someone’s budget, provided they’re made well (BPA-free and with a long-life filter cartridge).

Is Alkaline Water Good for You?

Although further research is still needed, various studies have shown that drinking alkaline water doesn’t come with significant side effects. In fact, here are a few of the health benefits many people have been able to identify:

Ultra-Hydrating Properties

Since the water molecules in alkaline water are smaller than in regular one, it has been said that it has ultra-hydrating properties. The cells are able to absorb them quickly, which means that anyone who’s dehydrated at the moment can get a quick pick-me-up with a bottle of alkaline water. Gym rats and those who have been fighting a losing battle against dry skin can rejoice then; alkaline water could hydrate their bodies from within, giving them more energy and rejuvenated skin.

Immunity-Boosting

Those who drink alkaline water might be surprised by how many immunity-boosting benefits it comes with. For one, it can neutralize the acid in the bloodstream, which would boost oxygen levels and give them more energy. At the same time, alkaline water is able to improve metabolism and detox the body. Most of the acidity in a human body comes down to a poor diet, environmental toxins, and stress. By drinking alkaline water, one may be able to eliminate all that waste and reap additional benefits.

Healthy Bones

Since alkaline water is often packed with minerals such as calcium and magnesium, it could have a positive effect on bone health. Furthermore, it has been said that it may lubricate joints and muscles, so it’s a great workout drink as well, given that it can essentially boost one’s performance.

Free Radicals Prevention

Since alkaline water happens to be full of powerful antioxidants, it may play a role in preventing the growth of cell-damaging free radicals. These often lead to premature aging, so it’s expected that alkaline water may help someone look youthful for longer.

Less Acid Reflux

Finally, one of the best and most famous benefits of alkaline water is its ability to soothe acid reflux. Water with a pH level of 8.8 has been presented as a viable solution for pepsin, the leading cause of acid reflux. In essence, alkaline water can render this enzyme permanently inactive, which makes it an excellent therapeutic alternative to medications for those who suffer from reflux disease.

Safety Precautions — Are the Machines Safe to Use?

Just like with anything on the market these days, there are some things you should consider before getting an alkaline water machine.

First of all, not all of them are made equal, so don’t expect to get the best machine for the lowest price. That said, there are some great ones on the list above that don’t cost an arm and a leg, not to mention that they should last you for years to come.

Second, when it comes to water ionizers in general, scientists are at odds. Even though research shows that one could reap many health benefits with an alkaline water machine, the quality of the source water is a major concern.

Thus, many of them would recommend using a reverse-osmosis filter system first to ensure all the most common, dangerous contaminants, such as lead, arsenic, and a variety of viruses and bacteria, are removed. Additionally, to stay on the safe side, users should check mineral levels frequently to make sure they’re giving their bodies the purest and healthiest version of water possible.

Top Water Ionizers: Key Features

As said, not all water ionizers are quality-made, and to make the right choice, we ought to know which features to look for. These are the essential components we should pay attention to when shopping for an alkaline water machine:

Plates

The quality of the plates is the cornerstone of a good water ionizer. Overall, the better the plates are, the better the water will be. Thus, there are a few factors to take into account here:

Material

Overall, the best ionizers will have platinum-coated titanium plates. These two materials ensure that the electrolysis is entirely safe and that the end result — the water itself — is safe to drink.

Titanium is used in space shuttles, as it’s an extremely durable material that’s able to resist erosion. Platinum, on the other hand, is here because it has beaten all other types of metals in regard to its ability to ionize water. Unlike gold, for example, platinum is able to effectively catalyze electrolysis.

Type

Today, users can choose from grid, mesh, flat, and slotted plates. The least favorite of them all is the slotted design, as time has shown such plates are just not effective enough at ionizing water and are often low-quality.

  • Grid and mesh are the clear favorites, as they provide the water with more surface to flow over, and are generally made of the best materials. Grid plates are also drop-forged, which makes them all the more durable.
  • Flat plates, albeit a decent option, just don’t have the edge surfaces that allow for the energy to travel alongside them. The plates should have some sort of texture to them to ensure the ionization is effective.

That doesn’t mean that flat plates are entirely useless; they do offer a level of ionization that most people would be happy with. However, water made with grid or mesh plates is often more antioxidative and stronger.

Size and Number of Plates

The size of the plates, as well as the number of them, make a difference when determining the quality of many water ionizers. More surface area and more plates mean that the ORP value will be higher, and the pH value and health benefits greater. The more plates there are, though, the more expensive the unit will be.

However, for beginners, going for a machine that has five to seven plates is more than reasonable. This is the optimal number that would allow for a good enough pH level, and it’s likely that it wouldn’t require much maintenance or power.

Built-In Water Filter

To make the water inside the ionizer clean enough to be ionized in the first place, many manufacturers have turned to built-in water filters. But, as you might have guessed, these won’t last forever. In general, you will have to change the filter roughly every six to twelve months, and it may cost a certain amount of money.

Thus, before getting an ionizer, it’s crucial to check the quality of the filter too. If it’s not that good, the water will obviously come with fewer health benefits. And if you don’t take care of it in time, it’s expected that you’ll be drinking low-quality, dirty water!

ORP and pH Range

As said, the higher the pH level is, the better the antioxidative properties of the ionized water. But that doesn’t mean acidic water cannot be used around the house. It’s possible to clean and disinfect surfaces around your home, as well as treat some skin conditions such as eczema with acidic water (only mildly acidic, though, so as not to harm the skin), and then use the machine to produce alkaline water for cooking and drinking. A good ionizer should come with various water options, which offer the greatest range of pH levels possible.

As for the ORP, it’s best to go for the lowest value. Oxidation is a natural process that can happen in a human body just as it can happen to an apple, for example. When you cut open an apple, it will start going brown once it comes into contact with oxygen. The same happens when we cut ourselves; the cut reacts with the oxygen found in the air.

What Free Radicals Do to Us

Now, to keep our body healthy, our cells, which have been affected by the oxygen in case of a cut, for example, have to change. They usually die or have to be replaced by fresh new cells.

However, in some cases, these cells suffer damage in the process and actually turn into free radicals. From then on, FRs actually cause further cell damage because they’re unstable — they’re missing an electron. Thus, they lead to premature aging and various diseases. They don’t destroy cells, but they’re damaging them and making them reproduce unnaturally.

In layman’s terms, FRs are going all through our bodies and hunting for their missing electron. They attack healthy cells, which do have electrons and try to steal them from it. And if they do succeed, those cells turn into other FRs, prolonging the vicious cycle.

To that end, alkaline water delivers one of its most significant benefits: oxygen reduction potential. It’s expressed in millivolts (mV), and it should have a negative value. The lower it is, the greater the benefit.

Regular vs. Ionized Water

Regular tap water usually has a positive charge — +200 to +600 mV. Thus, it cannot help reduce oxidation by any means, and drinking regular water is unlikely to reverse aging (the main thing that free radicals influence).

A quality water ionizer, on the other hand, usually offers water with an ORP rating of at least -250 to -400. Hence, it can neutralize those free radicals and prevent them from wreaking havoc inside our bodies, i.e., making us more susceptible to both aging and diseases.

Bottom line? The best alkaline water machine will be able to deliver high pH water with a low ORP rating. That kind acts as a powerful antioxidant; during its production, it acquires hydroxyl ions. These are the oxygen molecules that have an additional electron to them and that once ingested, go on a hunt for free radicals to neutralize them. In return, our bodies get an oxygen boost and thus more energy.

What to Consider When Shopping for a Kangen Water Machine

Apart from the features set out above, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind while browsing water ionizers (also known as Kangen water machines, popularized by Enagic). Some may be more important than others, but to reach an informed decision, we suggest making them a part of your shopping checklist:

Installation Process

When looking to make alkaline water at home, it’s a good idea to choose a water ionizer that won’t require any real tech-savviness. Luckily, most people won’t need to spend hours setting up their machines — as long as they get a countertop one.

Ionizers that go beneath the counters, on the other hand, are usually more time-consuming, as their design is a bit more elaborate. But since most of us cannot influence that, at the very least, you ought to check if the machine in question has a decent user manual. Alternatively, if the brand has tech support, you could call them to see if you’ve attached everything correctly.

Power Supply

Some older models by Kangen are likely to use outdated technology, so those units may not come with an SMPS power supply. All the more modern machines, however, will have it — and that is excellent news.

The switched-mode power supply offers plenty of benefits, including the overall cost. However, its efficiency and performance are why most manufacturers opt for it. It provides the optimal amount of stable power supply needed to ionize water at home, not to mention that it doesn’t waste much energy since it has a regulator that controls and stabilizes the output voltage.

Ionizers that come with a high wattage and a great number of textured plates often deliver the best ionization potential. Still, do know that the greater the power consumption is, the more wear and tear the machine will go through. If the amperage and wattage are extremely high, the ionizer might not last long. Anything less than 150 watts is not ideal, though, so aim for at least 200 to 250 watts.

Cleaning Method

Tap water in most parts of the US is full of minerals, which will, over time, form scale. When that happens, the pH level of the water can drop, so it’s necessary to clean the ionizer thoroughly. Luckily, most manufacturers have decided to make it easier on their customers and included a self-cleaning system into the design.

In most cases, the system in question refers to an acid wash. The cleaning cycle will start after a designated number of liters has been ionized. If there’s a timer, it will show how many liters of water has been processed, and once it’s time to clean the scale, the machine will switch to acidic water. It will pour the water over the plates to wash them off, which could take about twenty seconds.

Unfortunately, that means that you wouldn’t be able to use the ionizer while it’s cleaning itself, and all that water will go to waste. Thus, some more expensive units utilize a different type of technology — continuous cleaning. This sort of system will actually reverse the polarity of the plates in order to get the minerals off them. The whole process lasts mere seconds, and the most advanced systems don’t even use any water at all, so there’s no waste.

As for when the cleaning happens, it will depend on the machine. Sometimes, it will begin cleaning itself before you use it. Other units, however, may have a system that starts up the cycle after the ionizer has been shut off.

The reversed polarity system is a better option since it wastes less time and water. It helps keep the scale at a minimum, too, since it doesn’t depend on the number of liters the machine has processed. However, such machines are often more expensive.

Countertop, Under-Counter, or Convertible

As you may have predicted, we’d recommend going for a convertible model out of sheer convenience. If you get a countertop or an under-counter unit, you’ll be stuck with it forever. In case of any future kitchen remodels, for example, you would have to take the ionizer into account and adjust the design accordingly. With a convertible unit, though, you can pick your preferred setup.

UV Light

Some alkaline water machines are likely to come with a UV light. This is a great feature to have, as the light will be able to further “cleanse” the water by removing any viruses or bacteria found in it.

Warranty

Finally, before handing over your hard-earned money, remember to check the warranty on your chosen water ionizer. These machines aren’t usually super-affordable, and the more design features they have, the higher the price will be. Since they’re expensive, any repairs that might be needed in the future will cost quite a bit of money. Therefore, aim for a lengthy warranty (at least ten years).

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does an Alkaline Water Machine Work?

At first glance, your water ionizer seems like a simple machine. However, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Once the machine is connected to a water supply (directly to a faucet or under the counter), it filters the water first. During this process, chlorine, organic waste, bacteria, odors, and other nasty things found in regular water are thoroughly removed.

The second part of the process is where the real magic happens, or rather, where electrolysis finally starts. Inside the machines, there are platinum-coated titanium charged plates. These are separated by a membrane that only lets energetically charged atoms and molecules through. In this case, those are alkaline mineral ions (positive charge) and carbonate ions (negative charge).

At the end of the process, the machine will let two streams of water out: acidic and alkaline. The first will go into the sink, whereas the second will run through the faucet. But for that to happen, the electromagnetically charged plates have to separate those ions. The positive ones gather at the negative plate to produce alkaline water, while the negative ones go to the positive plate and create acidic water. Once they pass through the membrane, the water goes into two separate chambers and then through two different streams.

How Do I Store Ionized Water Properly?

The antioxidant properties of the alkaline water you’ve made at home will start diminishing after about 18 to 24 hours. Thus, it’s imperative to store the water properly and use it as soon as possible, i.e., within three days. The longer it is stored away, the more it loses its value. After just one day, it can lose as much as 72% of its antioxidant value, while its pH level may go up by 0.5 pH.

To store the water, it’s never a good idea to use aluminum containers. Instead, you ought to use airtight stainless steel or glass containers. Mason jars would be a good option, for example, or vacuum-sealed stainless steel bottles.

Since the negative ORP will diminish if the water is in contact with air, it’s crucial to fill the containers to the very top. Once filled, they should be kept in the refrigerator.

Should You Drink Alkaline Water Every Day?

Since alkaline water is, in general, a better option than tap water, there is no harm in drinking it every single day. However, before making a hard switch, you have to let your body adjust. Simply diving in headfirst and drinking eight or more cups a day could lead to some adverse side effects, such as an upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting. Thus, it’s best to start small with one or two cups; once your body adjusts to it, you can increase the consumption.

It’s good to know when to drink the water too. Although sipping it throughout the day is a fantastic way of staying hydrated, many people actually start their day by drinking one cup of it. If they have planned a workout, they may also take some of it before, during, and after to improve their performance.

But, what you shouldn’t do is drink it at mealtime. Even regular water is not a good idea then, but there’s an even more significant concern with its alkaline counterpart. Our stomach has to be acidic enough to digest food, so by drinking it — we may disrupt the natural digestive process and slow it down. To stay on the safe side, you should stop drinking alkaline water about 30 minutes before a meal and wait about two hours after to continue.

Is Distilled Water Alkaline?

The difference between distilled and alkaline water comes down to the process behind them and minerals. To get distilled water, we have to boil it, whereas to get alkaline water, we do need a machine, a bottle, or a pitcher with an appropriate filter.

The production is entirely different, and consequently, so are the results. By boiling the water, we will not only remove contaminants but minerals too. Thus, distilled water isn’t a viable alternative to tap water in the long run.

Water doesn’t like to be void of any minerals, so it will leech onto anything it comes in contact with. In the case of distilled water, it will absorb carbon or some other acidic minerals found in the air. Even worse, it will try to absorb alkaline minerals found in the human body as well.

In contrast, alkaline water ionizers have water filters that let good minerals come through while removing the contaminants. Without them, electrolysis wouldn’t be possible at all.

Final Thoughts

Have you already decided which water ionizer would be perfect for your household? There are many choices today, and all of the brands are vying to reach the top by opting for various sales tactics and upgrading their units to include the latest technological breakthroughs. Hopefully, we’ve made the decision a bit easier on you with our alkaline water machine reviews, as well as our extensive buying guide.

Now, all that’s left is for you to consider whether there is enough evidence to support the claims of alkaline water enthusiasts. In our experience, though further research is needed, alkaline water has been proven to be a healthy alternative to regular tap water that, when used correctly, doesn’t come with any consequences. However, for it to actually bless you with all of its potential health benefits, you need a quality machine — and that, of course, may require a sizable upfront investment.

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