Berkey Water Filter Review {Updated July 2024}

Interested in the Berkey Water Filter? Water plays an important role in the body since it is a vital nutrient and all the systems within the body that range from vital organs to the cells, require water to function. More importantly, water also carries nutrients to all the cells in the body while helping our bodies to assimilate minerals, glucose, vitamins, and many other important substances.

best water filters

But in many cases, water contains unhealthy compounds including PFCs, pharmaceutical residues, heavy metals, and pesticides. This might sound disturbing and worrying, but removing these harmful contaminants and toxins when you use the right water filter is possible.

Choosing a water filtration system to match up to the needs of your family and your home is not the easiest task since there are many factors to consider and so many different brands to choose from. While there may be several water filter options available on the market, one of the more popular options is the Berkey water filters. In this review, we will cover everything you need to know about these products to help you make the best decision for your health and your home.

Royal Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter

Berkey Water Filter Review

What Is A Berkey Water Filter?

The Berkey Water Filter is one of the water purification systems made to remove 99.9% of harmful contaminants found in tap water. In emergencies when you are advised to boil water, a Berkey Water Filter is the best option to clean your drinking water. If you are in the wild and you only have river water as a source of drinking water, the Berkey can also safely filter this type of water too. The Berkey brand also sells water bottles and fluoride filters that help you to filter water when you are on the go, and they even sell showerheads.

How Do The Berkey Water Filters Work?

The Berkey countertop filters have increased in popularity over the years since they are cost-effective water-filtration solutions that do not require installation. These are systems that sit on your countertop, where the unit gradually filters water over time.

The Berkey Water Filter is a stainless steel cylindrical unit that includes two chambers. When adding water into the chamber at the top, it will pass through the different purification elements that trap contaminants, making sure that only purified, clean water passes into the chamber at the bottom.

This type of filter uses two technologies or methods to filter tap water. These include absorption and microfiltration. Microfiltration involves the use of microscopic pores inside the filter that are big enough to let water molecules through, but small and effective enough to trap and block contaminants. The absorption technology eliminates large amounts of contaminants present in the water using gravity, pulling them downward through this system.

Benefits Of The Berkey Water Filters

  • No Need For Electricity Or Water Supply

The Berkey water filtration systems do not require a connection to electricity or water, making them suitable for many situations. You can use this system in your home or while you are away on vacation. Since they do not require a supply of constant water or electricity, they will carry on working even when there is an issue with the water supply or power cuts.

  • Removes Many Contaminants

Not every countertop water filtration system can filter fluoride and microorganisms, but Berkey filters can achieve this and much more.

  • Portable

The Berkey water filters are also available in several sizes to match up to the requirements of any home. Since they are portable, it is easy to move them around, for example, you can take them with you on vacation or when you leave home for college.

Drawbacks Of The Berkey Water Filters

  • The Filters Need To Be Primed

Before using your water filter, you will need to prime it, which can become slightly overwhelming, particularly if it is your first time. All these systems come with priming tools, but the “learning curve” can be challenging since you have to work out the correct water pressure.

  • Not NSF Certified

Perhaps the biggest drawback about the Berkey Water Filtration Systems is the fact that they aren’t NSF certified. Results obtained from filtering water with the Berkey systems have been thoroughly tested by independent manufacturers, but customers would probably trust Berkey’s more if they had secured an NSF certification.

  • Slow Filtering

Since these systems are essentially gravity filters, the Berkey is generally slow, while the dripping process does take some time. If you have forgotten to top your system up, you will have to wait to get more filtered water.

  • Manual Refilling

Since these systems are not connected to your water supply, the upper Berkey filter chamber needs to be filled manually.

What Type Of Contaminants Does A Berkey Water Filter Remove?

Berkey water filters are effective at eliminating many different types of contaminants, including the more common such as herbicides, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and pesticides. These filters also lower fluoride levels in the water, but some tests have discovered that removing fluoride efficiently is not the same once the filter has filtered a couple of hundred gallons.

Berkey Water Filters also work on sediments and rust and remove chloramine and chlorine, which is important if you live in a home that receives city water. This has to do with most municipalities adding chlorine to water that is distributed to residents. When chlorine is removed from the water, Berkey filters are effective at removing the bad smell and taste from your drinking water. Unlike the reverse osmosis system, the Berkey system uses a carbon-based filter which means they don’t filter all the minerals out of your water.

Will My Water Really Taste Better?

The taste difference between bottled, filtered, or tap water versus Berkey water is truly unmatched. You won’t get any hints of a metallic aftertaste or a mildew taste. It just tastes and smells like exceptionally clean water.

Is A Berkey Water Filter Worth The Investment?

Many reviews about the Berkey Water Filtration systems indicate that these products are well worth the money you plan to spend. The peace of mind provided in emergencies, the ease of use, and the taste and smell of pure and clean water are truly priceless.

When comparing the prices of buying bottled purified water, the Berkey Water Filter is far more economical. For example, if you are buying cases of water at $5, and you need at least 2 a week, that works out to $560 per year. The Berkey Water Filter will cost around 50% less than these costs, and you only have to make a one-time purchase.

How Long Will It Last?

The Berkey container should last forever, while the filters require changing far less frequently when compared to many other popular filters. Each filter generally lasts up to 3,000 gallons, which means if the Berkey has 2 filters you can get away with 6,000 gallons before you have to buy replacements. The Berkey Filters website claims that this means that a family of 4 would not have to replace these filters for up to 4 years.

On occasion, you might need to clean the filters to wash away contaminants that build-up or become trapped along with the outer parts of your filter. The manufacturer recommends every 6 months, or if you start noticing significant increases in the filtering time.

Setup And Assembly

The initial setup and assembly is not everyone’s favorite part when it comes to the Berkey. In theory, it sounds pretty simple and easy with 2 containers that fit together, followed by screwing the fluoride filters and filters together.

But the priming part can be painful, and you probably will end up spilling water everywhere. It is also very helpful to have 2 people to position the filters when cleaning or replacing the system.

The instruction can also appear overwhelming to begin with, but you should be fine if you follow the step-by-step guide. Priming will be the part that takes up most of your time since you will need to throw away the first two to three batches of water until all the dust is removed from the filter. But once the system is set up you are good for a long time to come.

Berkey Bundle Options

There are many options available to assist you when it comes to finding a Berkey System to match up to your family and home. The first consideration is to decide on a size and then you can choose the filter number and any add-ons that you think will work for your situation.

Travel Berkey

Travel Berkey

If you live in a small space with only 1 to 2 people, this model will work for you. Check out our Berkey Travel Filter Review here.

Big Berkey (2.25 Gallons)

Big Berkey Gravity Fed Water Filter

This size is the most popular and works for homes with 1 to 4 people.

Berkey Light (2.75 Gallons)

Berkey Light

This is the only model that is made from BPA-free co-polyester rather than stainless steel. This is a slightly lower-cost and lightweight alternative. One of the benefits of this system is that you can monitor the water level to know when the filter needs a top-up.

Royal Berkey (3.25 Gallons)

Berkey Water Filter Review

This is also a popular size that works for families of 4 and up.

Imperial Berkey (4.5 Gallons)

Imperial Berkey

This is the ideal unit for larger families. This model uses as many as 6 filters at a time for much faster filtration.

Crown Berkey 6 Gallons

Crown Berkey

This is the biggest option that accommodates up to 8 filters. This is the ideal unit if you are looking for faster filtration.


Every unit includes 2 black filters, while the bigger units can accommodate more. It is also possible to attach a fluoride filter that is not available with the more basic packages but still recommended.


Over and above the fluoride filters and extra filters, there are also a few handy accessories to choose from. Many people choose the stainless steel spigot and stand (as an alternative to the plastic one that these models come with).

If you would like to monitor the water level inside the lower chamber, the “sight glass spigot” is a great accessory that comes with a nifty water-level gauge. It is important to note that this spigot is plastic so you won’t be able to use this part with the stainless-steel spigot.

How To Assemble, Maintain And Use A Big Berkey Water Purification System

Assembly of these water filtration systems won’t take a lot of time and most are simple to install. Without previous experience or plumbing knowledge, you should be able to assemble as well as install your water filter within 30 minutes, which should include enough time to clean the system. Having to change the water filter is usually the part that some people do not have any experience with. It is done simply by holding your filter against one of your water faucets and using the supplied gasket, forcing the water to flow through your filter. This is a necessary process to make sure your filters are ready and clean to filter pure and great-tasting water.

When you attempt this step it is important to follow the manual step by step. It is also suggested to change out the water at least 3 to 4 times before you start using your system. This will ensure that the first water that you decide to drink from your filter is going to be of premium quality. If you are struggling with this part of setting up your water filtration system you can refer to the video on the Berkey website before you get started. The help section is not that sophisticated, but it can provide you with a better understanding of the best way to set your filtration system up.

Big Berkey Water Filter: Specifications

  • Made from highly polished 304 stainless steel. It also includes 2 purification elements that use the latest technological advancements.
  • The storage capacity is 12.3 liters or 3.25 gallons.
  • 23-inches in height.
  • 9.5-inches in diameter.
  • These units are highly portable. The chamber at the top nestles nicely into the chamber at the bottom for easy transport. These units also only stand 15.25-inches in height.
  • These units are fantastic for fluoride removal. This system comes with 2 Arsenic and PF-2 Fluoride filters inside the chamber at the bottom.
  • Upon testing, the system had a flow rate of around 4.0 Gallons per hour.
  • These water purification systems include a lid, nuts, washers, a rubber gasket, and 2 blocking plugs.
  • The entire system is available at an affordable price, well within the price range of what most consumers expect from high-quality countertop water filtration systems.

Why Choose Berkey

There are so many other water filtration systems on the market, so why should you choose Berkey? Well, the Berkey products are not just water filters but also water purifiers. This means that they are also effective at removing and eliminating waterborne viruses.

The Berkley Water Filter includes an efficient micro-filtration that traps viruses and toxins. These filters also add ion charge that keeps chemicals and heavy metals out. The gravitational flow of these systems helps to filter out even more contaminants since it takes longer for the water to drip through into the filter.

Berkey’s effectively filter out a lot more than many of the other popular water filters currently available, including Chromium-6. They also have several laboratory tests that back these claims up.

There are also various sources that you can safely buy your Berkey Water Filter. is currently the biggest Berkey dealer in the U.S. This business is a family-operated and owned company since the 1990s.

How Often Will You Need To Replace The Filters?

Every filter can filter up to 3,000 gallons of water before you have to replace it. Most of the systems can take 4 filter elements, yet they function just as well on 2. This means that the Berkey you choose will need the filters changed after using between 6,000 and 12,000 gallons.

Depending on how much water you use in your home and how many filters the system features, you will generally need to change the filters every 3 years if you have a 2 filter system, or 6 years if you have a 4 filter system.

Is It Possible To Repair A Berkey Water Filter Should Something Go Wrong?

You won’t necessarily need to replace the entire filter system should something go wrong, which is also highly unlikely. However, it is possible to purchase most of the Berkey Water Filter parts separately so that you can repair or fix anything that might have gone wrong with your system. It is important to note that this is very unlikely since all these systems are durable and extremely well built.

How Effectively Does A Berkey Reduce Fluoride Added To Municipal Water Supplies?

Some of the municipalities add fluoride to the water supplies. If you have concerns about the fluoride content in the water that supplies your home, a Berkey water system is one of the best options for effective fluoride removal. However, this will mean purchasing fluoride filters that are compatible with these systems. These filters attach to the black filter at the bottom so that it can filter these specific chemicals out of your water.

On a side note, some people had their water tested after installing one of these filters and discovered that the fluoride was not completely removed from their water. This could be due to several reasons, including the quality of the water overall, faulty filters, how old the filters were when the tests were conducted. If you have any concerns or further questions relating to these issues, it is highly recommended to contact the company directly to gather further information.

Berkey Tips

Here are a few tips you can use once you have purchased your Berkey Water Filtration System:

  • Make sure you have someone else to help you when you are assembling your unit.
  • Buy a stand for your unit, unless you already have a space for the filter (at the edge of one of your counters).
  • Buy more filters if you can. Two are fine and will work fine, provided you are not impatient and you don’t mind waiting for your water. It is also suggested to buy the fluoride filters too.
  • Avoid overfilling the top, since these units are prone to flooding. Unless you buy the water gauge (which actually only works with the plastic spigot), it is better to allow the water that has filtered to empty completely before you refill the top.

Final Thoughts

The Berkey Water Filter Systems are just about guaranteed to match up to the needs and requirements of just about every family across the U.S. If you are interested in a fantastic long-term water purifier at an affordable price considering the quality of these products, the Berkey is a definitely a worthwhile consideration. All the products are also backed by countless positive reviews.

The 2 black base Berkey filters in these units only need replacing every 3 to 4 years for a family of 4 that use around 5 gallons of water every day. If you have decided to buy the PF-2 Arsenic and Fluoride filters, the overall cost will increase a bit every year, but these are really worthwhile additions.

Due to the water quality that you can achieve from one of these water purifiers, the costs should not be something you should overlook, especially when you compare these systems to having to constantly buy bottled water or other popular water filtration units and systems.

There are also several Berkey Water Filter reviews that you can find online written by many satisfied users that reinforce the quality of these products. Whether you decide on the Travel Berkey, Big Berkey, Imperial Berkey, Berkey Light, Royal Berkey, or Crown Berkey, you can be sure that you will be satisfied and provide you and your family with safer, purer, and cleaner drinking water.

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