Ionophore-based ion selective optical nanosensors that operate independently of the sample pH are developed here by the use of electrically charged solvatochromic dyes as signal transducers. A series of dye molecules with a D-π-A structure was synthesized and characterized in various solvents and incorporated into ion selective nanospheres for K+, Na+, and H+. Since dye leakage was greatly suppressed when the solvatochromic dyes were encapsulated in the nanosphere core, ion sensing nanospheres were explored for cellular ion imaging in Dictyostelium discoideum live cells but spontaneous dye loss resulted in undesired staining of cells. The in vitro analysis of potassium in human plasma was successfully demonstrated with this approach. A theoretical model was developed for the response of the ion selective nanosensors containing charged solvatochromic dyes. The nanosensors exhibited a tunable response range, high sensitivity, and good stability.