Enagic vs AlkaViva, Which Brand is Best?
Enagic ionizers hold a fantastic reputation within the alkaline ionized water community. Yet, as we explained in our breakdown of Kangen water and the Enagic brand, they don’t really offer any tangible benefits for their high price.
However, excluding price, there’s no doubt that many Enagic water ionizing machines have a good reputation for a reason. So, let’s take a look at how they stack up against another powerhouse brand, AlkaViva.
Ensuring a Fair Comparison
To compare both of these brands across all of their products isn’t overly viable as many of their models fall in different categories. Therefore, to keep the test as fair as we can, we’ll focus on one model from each brand.
Representing Enagic will be their top-performing ionizer, the infamous LeveLuk K8. AlkaViva on the other hand will be represented by the Vesta H2, a very similar model that marks the peak of their H2 technology.
All the statistics mentioned will be gathered from the manufacturers themselves to ensure no foul play. However, the opinions stated will of course be our own and will result from our own experiences with each product respectively.
Pushing beyond a simple statistics comparison, each ionizer will be compared across a range of categories. This will help to paint a clearer picture of the entire experience they offer.
The categories we will assess are:
- Performance Results & Specifications
- Installation Procedure
- Internal Water Filtration
- User Experience & Interface
- Construction & Design
- Cleaning & Maintenance
- Certifications & Approvals
Now that the rules are set, let’s see which of these two top of the range ionizers will come out on top.
Performance Results & Specifications
To start any comparison it’s always a good idea to turn to hard statistics. However, statistics are always a variable factor with ionizers, as the results achieved will depend on the quality and components of the source water.
Therefore, the performance statistics we’ll look at will primarily be guidelines for what can be achieved. All the same, let’s see how the LeveLuk K8 and Vesta H2 stack up.
AlkaViva Vesta H2
Enagic LeveLuk K8
pH 2.5 - pH 11.5
pH 2.5 - pH 11.5
Maximum ORP Level
-900 +/- mV
-850 +/- mV
Maximum H2 Level
At a glance, it’s clear that both of these models are closely matched. Very little separates them, but that’s not a massive surprise considering their reputation.
Looking at the statistics as a whole, the Vesta H2 seems to have a slight advantage. Across the board, it either matches the LeveLuk K8 or exceeds it, which makes sense, as it has an extra electrode plate.
However, since some of these statistics are a generalisation, we can’t conclude too much from them, as they can fluctuate quite heavily. Although that’s not to say we can’t conclude anything.
For example, it’s very telling that the LeveLuk K8 has no given measurements in relation to molecular Hydrogen. Admittedly, this feature is a key area for the Vesta H2, but the lack of quoted measurements implies inferiority.
Beyond implication, our own testing has shown quite a large gap between the two machines, and since Enagic have no figures of their own for us to compare, we’ll have to give that as an advantage to the Vesta H2.
Therefore, the victor of the Performance Results & Specifications category is the AlkaViva Vesta H2. Although, the margin of victory is undoubtedly small.
Moving on from the exciting world of statistics, let’s talk about installation.
At the end of the day, an ionizer can be amazing, but, if it’s nearly impossible to install, it makes no difference. To their credit, both the Enagic and AlkaViva ionizers do well here, making for another close contest.
Focusing on specifics, the LeveLuk K8 has more parts for the installation and assembling the provided diverter on the tap takes a bit more skill. The Enagic diverter is also bulkier than the minimalist stainless steel option that comes with the Vesta H2.
Additionally, the Vesta H2 has a wider selection of installation options available, including an undersink solution (although you need to buy an additional kit for that). Variety isn’t necessarily better, but having options can make life easier.
However, despite a fair few positives, the Vesta H2 isn’t perfect. In particular, it can throw first-time owners off by not showing any change of status when it is connected to an active power supply.
Many people mistake this “empty screen effect” as a defect, but, in reality, it’s a feature built in to reduce energy wastage. However, it is confusing, as the ionizer will only power on when water is actively running through it.
Overall, picking a winner here is challenging. The Vesta H2 is quicker to install, has a wider range of install options and won’t throw any problems if the instructions are followed accurately.
On the other hand, the LeveLuk K8 takes a bit more, work, but it doesn’t have any confusing quirks that can be mistaken for critical faults when using the instructions as guidelines.
In our opinion, the small flaws on both sides balance each other out. So, the Installation Procedure category ends in a tight draw.
Internal Water Filtration
As part of the production of high-quality alkaline ionized water, it’s important to ensure that it is free from unwanted contaminants. Therefore, modern water ionizers are equipped with internal filters to remove such contaminants.
However, the quality of these filters varies drastically between brands. In the case of the Enagic LeveLuk K8 and the AlkaViva Vesta H2, the gap in quality between their internal filters is seemingly quite huge.
For the LeveLuk K8, finding specific information out about the filters is no easy task and we had to dive deep to find anything useful. What we uncovered told us that the single filter inside the ionizer has a capacity of around 6000 litres and that it should remove a minimum of 95% of Chlorine from the source water.
AlkaViva, on the other hand, provides detailed information about the Vesta H2’s internal filters readily. In total, there are two separate filter cartridges found in the unit. Each has a capacity of around 3,800 litres and they run down at the same rate.
Having more cartridges to replace, each with a shorter expected lifetime may seem like a weakness. However, it’s this two filter set-up that allows for an insanely high level of filtration quality, targeting a massive array of contaminants, all of which can be seen in an independently tested performance report.
Therefore, when both options are compared, this is a landslide victory for the Vesta H2. Admittedly, the LeveLuk K8 filters are cheaper and last a bit longer, but in a battle of quality, and considering the price difference at the initial purchase, those small perks aren’t enough to even earn a draw here.
By a fair margin, the victor of the Internal Water Filtration category is the AlkaViva Vesta H2.
User Experience & Interface
Moving beyond filtration, the best water ionizers should be easy to understand and use for even the least tech-savvy individuals. Therefore, a clear interface and straightforward operating requirements are critical factors.
Starting with the LeveLuk K8, it offers a touch screen interface, which is neatly laid out with bright and well-defined buttons. The home screen shows 6 primary buttons, each of which is clearly labelled for the type and strength of alkaline or acidic water they produce with supporting icons.
Beyond the buttons, the screen is a bit limited on space to display much else, but it does feature a final button, which opens into a submenu for further customisation. This allows for quick modifications if they are desired.
Overall, the LeveLuk K8 has a very slick interface and it’s very easy for beginners to get started with and understand. It is sometimes a bit slow to respond, but the options it offers are very clear and well presented.
On the other side of the fence, the Vesta H2 offers a very different interface. Like the K8, it responds to touch, but the buttons are separate from the LED panel. As a result, the panel can display an array of useful information such as flow rate, remaining filter life and the selected power level.
However, while the additional information is a definite perk, the different power levels on the Vesta H2 are less clearly defined. Simply listed as “Alkaline 1” or “Alkaline 4”, they are tougher to understand without turning to the manual.
On top of that, modifying settings in the Vesta H2 is less straightforward. However, it has been set-up to not need any customisations for standard use. Therefore, this minor setback has little impact on the majority of users.
All in all, deciding a winner here is tough. The Vesta H2 provides a superior experience once you know how to use it, but the LeveLuk K8 is ideal for beginners and has a very clear interface.
As a result, the victor of the User Experience & Interface category is the Enagic LeveLuk K8. Although, once again, the margin of victory is minute.
Construction & Design
On top of the interface and experience offered, an ionizer must be well built inside and out. Any cutbacks to save on cost always show up eventually, and when a product costs a four-digit figure, failures aren’t an option.
First off, it’s always important to check the materials used in the electrode plates. Every brand will claim their plates are superior and will quote jargon manufacturing terms to make them sound special.
The reality is that the jargon has almost no genuine importance, all that matters is the materials. Good ionizer plates should be made of Titanium and coated with a layer of Platinum. Plates made just of Titanium are no good as they wear with use, releasing Titanium ions into the water supply.
Luckily, both the LeveLuk K8 and the Vesta H2 use this combination. Both also use a lot of buzzwords to describe the process, but ultimately they both use their own smart ways of ensuring high-grade Titanium is covered in a very even coating of Platinum.
While nothing separates them in regard to their plates, there are some differences when it comes to the construction of the membranes that lie between the plates.
The LeveLuk K8 uses a standard style of membrane commonly seen throughout most water ionizers. The Vesta H2, on the other hand,
Overall, a small advantage leaves the Vesta H2 ahead here. As a result, the victor of the Construction & Design category is the AlkaViva Vesta H2.
Cleaning & Maintenance
A well-built ionizer should also be able to keep itself free from scale with reasonable success. Unfortunately, no self-cleaning process offers absolute protection, but some are better than others.
In this regard, AlkaViva holds the patent on the finest self-cleaning technology method we’ve experienced. They call it DARC (Dual Automatic Reverse Cleaning) and the 2nd generation version found in the Vesta H2 is very impressive.
It works by reversing the polarity of the electrode plates with each use, drastically reducing the amount of scale that clings to their surface. As an added bonus, the DARC II mechanism also doesn’t have any running time.
The LeveLuk K8 instead uses a more traditional cleaning system that also reverses polarity, but only after 10 minutes of running time. This gets around the patent, but it’s less efficient.
Additionally, the cleaning process runs for 10 seconds when the 10-minute limit has been hit. So, no matter how thirsty you may be, you’ll have to wait for it to finish first.
However, no matter how good the internal cleaning system, it can’t fully prevent scale build-up. Therefore, both Enagic and AlkaViva recommend carrying out a deep citric acid clean every other year to keep their ionizers in peak condition.
With little to separate them on maintenance, it’s clear that the small advantage afforded by the DARC II cleaning system in the Vesta H2 will be the decider.
Therefore, with the help of a very useful patent, the victor of the Cleaning & Maintenance category is the AlkaViva Vesta H2.
Certifications & Approvals
Oddly enough, many ionizer manufacturers seem more bothered with the certifications they can earn than the overall quality of their products. Of course, certifications have their place, but their value is often overrated, especially considering most of them are simply achieved by paying for them.
All the same, meeting certain certifications is important to ensure an ionizer is genuinely safe to use. So, let’s see how Enagic and AlkaViva compare in this area.
Now, Enagic, in particular, pride themselves highly on their certifications and the LeveLuk K8 has plenty. Like most ionizers, it is certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. However, as an added bonus it is also certified for ISO 13485.
Likewise, the Vesta H2 carries certifications for ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. However, instead of ISO 13485, it has a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) medical quality certification.
Both of them also hold a host of other accreditations and approvals, but most of the others are for show or for meeting basic regional standards. Enagic especially likes to flaunt their collection, but we can’t see the value in judging ionizers by how many certifications have been purchased for them.
Honestly, since both models have the necessary ISO accreditations and are both approved for medical application there’s no strong ground to separate them. So with no obvious victor, the Certifications & Approvals category ends in a draw.
Although, when considering multiple ionizers, always give the difference in their certifications the least weight in your decision.
Our Final Thoughts
After a thorough and fair comparison, it seems reasonably clear that the Vesta H2 has a bit of an advantage over the LeveLuk K8. Out of all 7 categories, it won 4 of them, drew 2, and only lost once.
Of course, we have to give credit where credit is due. The LeveLuk K8 put up a very good fight and most categories were decided on minor details. The only big difference between them was the quality of their filters.
However, these results do make it abundantly clear how little stands to be gained by paying out for an Enagic ionizer. Despite coming up short, the LeveLuk K8 typically costs around £3500 in the UK. That price will vary between different representatives, but, even at a theoretical price of £3000, it’s still staggeringly expensive.
The Vesta H2, on the other hand, is far from cheap but comes in at £1799. You can nearly buy two of them for the average price of one LeveLuk K8!
Does that mean that Enagic ionizers are bad? Not necessarily, but their prices are definitely tough to justify. So, if you take nothing else from this article, don’t feel pressured to pay outrageous prices for a water ionizer. You don’t need to.
Even if you don't feel that the Vesta H2 is a good fit, check out the many other models available in the market and do your research before committing to splashing out on an Enagic product. As, in our experience, it is never really worth it.