Berkey Water Filter Review

After having used my Berkey Water Filter for over 8 years, I am bringing you a FULL review. Check it out below!

We have fancy water bottles to motivate us to drink our water every day, but more important is the quality of the water in those bottles.

One of the best ways to ensure we’re getting clean water is with a water filter. My time-tested favorite is the Berkey Water Filter.

*Affiliate Disclosure: I do have affiliate links in this blog post. If you purchase something from my link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.  This comes at no cost to you, but is paid by the company.  I do not take becoming an affiliate with any company lightly.  If I am, it’s because I believe in the company and their product. 

What Is The Berkey Water Filter?

The Berkey Water Filter is considered the gold standard in gravity-fed water filtration. It is a revolutionary water purification system designed to provide clean and safe drinking water. This innovative filtration device removes contaminants, impurities, and harmful substances from treated untreated water sources.

The Berkey is a free-standing stainless steel container that sits on your counter. The black filter elements are housed in the steel container and are the key to its exceptional performance. The filters work together to eliminate a wide range of pollutants while retaining the minerals your body needs. 

The Black Berkey Filters work through absorption, adsorption, and microfiltration, to produce the Berkey’s innovative filtration process.

Related Content: The Ultimate Filtered Water Guide

Berkey Water Filter
My Big Berkey does take up a fair amount of space – but it is so worth it!

How Does The Berkey Water Filter Work?

All you have to do to start the filtering process is pour water in the upper chamber and allow gravity to take over. 

The filtering elements will go to work trapping and reducing harmful contaminants. Once the water reaches the lower chamber, flip the spigot and enjoy a refreshing glass of clean water.

Berkey Water Filter Features

The Black Berkey Element was created to get rid of or greatly reduce 200+ contaminants commonly found in tap water or other freshwater sources. It has also been tested by State and EPA accredited laboratories to exceed NSF/ANSI Standard 53.

According to Berkey’s site, the Berkey filters out over 99.8% of THM’s, chlorine, over 99.99% pharmaceutical contaminants, arsenic, petroleum products, E. Coli, PCB’s, viruses, most heavy metals, over 96% of lead, over 75% of glyphosate. 

It is believed, although it hasn’t been tested, that the Berkey also filters out micro plastics. This is based on the logic that if the Berkey can reduce viruses down to the nanometer scale, it must also be able to remove micro plastics which are bigger in size. 

In addition to the Black Berkey Elements, you can also get the PF-2 Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Elements. You may want these extra elements, if you are on city water that’s been treated with fluoride or if you’re concerned about arsenic. 

You may be wondering why you would need the Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Elements if the Black Berkey Elements filter out arsenic?

I had the same question.

What I discovered is that the carbon in the Black Berkey Elements makes it less effective at removing arsenic over time. 

Likely the elements would stop filtering out arsenic long before its 3,000 gallon lifespan, hence the need for the PF-2 filters.

Nothing but pure, clean water when you use a Berkey Water Filter!

Berkey Model Variations

All of the Berkey water filters include:

  • The Berkey Filter Priming Starter Kit
  • Two Black Berkey Elements except for the Go Berkey Kit which includes one Black Berkey Element and one of the Royal Berkey Water Filters which includes 4 elements.

Big Berkey Water Filter 

  • Top selling model
  • Great for small or medium sized families.
  • Serves 1-4 people.
  • Holds 2.25 gallons
  • $384.00

Go Berkey Kit w/ Black Berkey Primer

  • Great to include in an emergency kit or just to take with you on the go.
  • Sport Berkey water bottle
  • Holds 1 quart
  • $241.00

Travel Berkey Water Filter 

  • Smallest model, compact and portable.
  • Serves 1-3 people
  • Holds 1.5 gallons
  • $344.00

Big Berkey System with Stand 

  • Great for small or medium sized families.
  • Serves 1-4 people.
  • Holds 2.25 Gallons
  • $436.00

Royal Berkey Water Filter with (4) Black Berkey Elements 

  • Great for active households and smaller groups.
  • Serves up to 6 people.
  • Holds 3.25 gallons
  • $615.00

Royal Berkey Water Filter 

  • Great for active households and smaller groups.
  • Serves up to 6 people.
  • Holds 3.25 gallons.
  • $449.00

Imperial Berkey Water Filter 

  • Great for small to medium-sized groups.
  • Serves 4-8 people.
  • Up to 16.5 gallons per hour.
  • $496.00

Crown Berkey Water Filter

  • Great for medium to large-sized groups.
  • Serves 6-12+ people.
  • Holds around six gallons.
  • Filters up to 26 gallons per hour.
  • $528.00

Berkey Light Water Filter

  • Constructed of a non-BPA/BPS co-polyester
  • Serves 1-5 people
  • Holds 2.75 gallons
  • $319.00

Related Content: LMNT Review

As long as you stay on top of refilling your Berkey, you will always have filtered water ready to go!

Berkey Water Filter Review 

I have owned a Big Berkey water filter for 8 years and it’s been one of the best investments I’ve made in my health. I mean clean drinking water is kind of a must and Berkey is one of the best water filters on the market in my opinion.


  • It’s effective at removing just about every pollutant that you can think of.
  • The water is sitting in steel not plastic.
  • It’s simple to use.
  • If you have space, you can set it next to your sink and refill with the sink hose.


  • It does take up precious real estate on the counter.
  • It takes awhile for the water to run through the filters so you have to stay on top of refilling the Berkey or you may have to wait for your water.

In comparison to the chlorinated water served at restaurants, the Berkey produces tasteless water. It just tastes like fresh, clean, refreshing water.

Whenever a recipe calls for water, I’m using filtered water. I also fill up the water tank in my espresso machine with filtered water and of course use it in my cold brews or French press in the winter. Did I mention I also take it with me on roadtrips?

Are Berkey Water Filters Worth It?

The Berkey is 100% worth it. 

For what the Berkey offers, it is definitely worth a few hundred dollars. At some point, you may want to do a whole house filtration system, but even then, I still recommend owning a Berkey because you can take with you on vacation or take with you on camping trips, or if you need to purify that tanked rain water!

My Berkey has been so worth it!

Berkey Water Filter FAQ’s

How fast does the Berkey filter water?

Filtration speed varies depending on the size of the Berkey, filters and the number of contaminants. The average Berkey water filter flow rate is about one gallon per hour with the standard two Black Berkey Filter Elements. For each additional pair of Black Filters expect the time to be cut in half.

The gravity flow filter system that Berkey uses allows for longer contact time between the water molecules and the filters providing better results than quicker conventional pressurized water filtration methods.

How long do the Berkey filters last?

Black Berkey Filters – Berkey recommends replacing their Black Berkey Filters every two to five years as a general rule of thumb.
Fluoride Filters – Berkey recommends replacing Fluoride Filters every 1,000 gallons or one year, whichever comes first.

How do you clean the Berkey?

I wish I didn’t have to add one more item to my cleaning checklist, but filtered water necessitates it. At the first signs of a slow flow rate, it’s time to clean the filters, for household use this is usually around 6 months. 

Berkey also recommends cleaning the chambers and spigot on a monthly basis, I can’t say that I hold to this cleaning schedule.

1. Remove the spigot, unscrew the fluoride filters (if you have them) and the black carbon filters.
2. Use a 3M Scotch Brite pad to scrub along with some non-toxic soap to scrub down the chambers and the spigot. 
P.S. – The stainless steel chambers are dishwasher safe.
3. Reassemble!
4. Or if it’s time to clean the black filter elements, continue on with the cleaning process by placing the elements under running water with the exit hole pointed up.
5. Gently scrub the black surface of the filters for several minutes. Do not use any soap on the filters.
6. Air dry all of the parts.
7. Reinstall the filters.
8. Reassemble your Berkey and you are good-to-go.

The filters usually last up to 100 cleanings before it’s time to purchase new filters. 

Which is better Brita or Berkey?

While Brita pitchers offer greater portability and come with a lower initial cost, Berkey filters remove a broader range of contaminants, have exceptional durability, and prove to be more cost-effective over the long run. See the table below:

Do you have a Berkey Water Filter? Share what you love about it below!

If you liked this post, check out these past posts:

Cheers, Suzi


Suzi is a wife, and mama who is passionate about sharing her natural lifestyle with those around her. She created Gurl Gone Green to show how our everyday decisions, from what we use on our face, home and the food we eat affect us more than we know. She loves holding space where people can weed through the marketing clutter to find truth, and ultimately make the best decision for their families.


  1. Breanna

    With everything going on with berkey, I’m wondering which site you are purchasing from now? Or do you recommend a different filter?

    • Suzi

      Hi Breannna,

      Great question! I’ve been researching a new filter and will share when I land on one once I’ve tested appropriately.


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