Trusted by 21,000,000 Americans, Berkey is a known brand with great reputation all through these years. One of its most trusted products is the Big Berkey water filter. In fact, it is their best selling filter. The filter can store a whopping 2.25 gallons at once making it ideal for up to 4 people. Its compact size gives any household the option to have multiple of this unit installed in one home.

Big Berkey Water Filter

Royal Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter with 2 Black Berkey Purification Elements
  • Purifies up to 4 gallons per hour
  • Filter Life: Up to 3,000 gallons per filter element
  • Holding Capacity: 3.25 Gallons

The Big Berkey water filter is a great addition to your home and even RVs. It fares well with medium-sized households since it has a capacity that works well for up to 4 people. Plus, you can opt to install more than one in your home. It is made of an FDA-approved and BPA-free stainless steel with a cylindrical body that promises you durability and longevity.

This water filter is quite hard to beat as it has been tested to remove up to 99.999% of viruses and 99.9999% of pathogenic bacteria. Add to that its capability to reduce the following:

  • Trihalomethanes
  • Protozoa
  • Inorganic minerals
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Heavy metals
  • Pesticides z
  • VOCs
  • Petroleum products
  • Perfluorinated chemicals
  • Rust
  • Silt
  • Sediment
  • Radiologicals

Key features


This filter from Berkey is available in different sizes to match your needs. From tiny ones for travel to bigger ones for your countertop, name it, they have it! The specific one in this review is a 19.25” tall and 8.5” wide and specifically works best on your kitchen counter. Its stainless build definitely adds to the durability of this product so you can enjoy your investment for longer.

Purification elements

The Big Berkey comes with a couple Black Berkey purification elements which have been tested to exceed the NSF and ANSI standard 53 as deemed by an EPA-approved laboratory. Thus, you can trust it to really clean your water out. These are microporous filter that does not work exactly like some carbon filter.

Purification elements
Berkey Authentic Black Berkey Purification Elements - Berkey Water Purifier Replacement Filters (Pack of 2)
  • POWERFUL PURIFICATION- Berkey systems equipped with Black Berkey Purification Elements purify water—not just...
  • ECONOMICAL, LONG-LASTING- A pair of Black Berkey Purification Elements lasts for up to 6,000 gallons before needing...
  • INDEPENDENT TESTING- Berkey by NMCL uses several independent third-party labs to test a broad range of potential...

Portable and no tubing

The gravity-fed filters do not require any pipe connection to work and can be placed anywhere in your home. It saves space and is convenient.


Because of its topnotch purification elements, the Big Berkey can definitely filter and purify water simultaneously. It’s a great alternative to a reverse osmosis system because of its ability to filter a wide range of contaminants. However, the lack of pressure of water flow may decrease its filtration when compared to systems that utilizes high water pressure. Another downside is that you’d need to wait for three hours to filter a new set of water, but remember that this has a 2.25-gallon capacity which should be enough for up to 4 people.

Installation and maintenance

This unit needs no installation actually. To maintain, you just need to flush out the filters to remove any sediments or substances that may otherwise cause some nasty taste. To do so, fill the tank then let the water sit for at least two hours. Drain (don’t drink!) then use as per usual.

A single filter has a 6,000-gallon lifespan per pair which is amazing, especially once you learn that other filters only have a 500- to 700-gallon lifespan. This decreases the hassle of having to replace and saves you money in the long run too!


We were able to assemble the unit for as quick as 30 minutes! It’s nothing tricky. Maybe the  only thing that may be new to some users is learning how to charge filters which is simply done by holding the filter against a faucet with the use of a gasket supplier allowing the water to force through the filter. This is to make sure that the filters are as clean as possible! 

Quick tip: you may watch assembly videos on their website to make the assembly session a lot faster and easier.

Who should invest in this unit?

As discussed, the capacity of this unit is great for a household of 1 to 4 members. With a GPH of 3.5 and outstanding filtration capacity, you can rely on it to give you purified and filtered water. The unit is lightweight and does not require installation so it’s easy to carry around. Now if you have a family of more than 4, you can simply purchase more than 1 unit and use them at the same time. The company allows up to 4 units per house.

Reasons why you need this product

Easy to use

The Big Berkey is a gravity-fed filter, thus, there is no need for tools, electricity, or plumbing to make it work. Simply connect it to any faucet in your home, add water, and then purification will begin. After assembly, using this is almost effortless.


With its compact dimensions and weight, you can easily carry the unit around. The upper chamber lies within the lower chamber and has a total standing height of around 13” only making it great for travels as well.


Again, since this is a gravity-fed filter, it has no attachments to any external units that may otherwise introduce contaminants to it making maintenance a lot easier and less frequent. Plus, the stainless steel design paves the way for its cleanliness even without regular cleaning.

Outstanding filtration

As previously mentioned, it can remove up to 99.999% of viruses and 99.9999% of pathogenic bacteria. Plus, it can dramatically decrease other contaminants as well. If these numbers do not impress you, I don’t know what will.

Durability and value for money

Purchasing the unit may not be the cheapest in the market. But if you consider that you won’t have to keep replacing it due to its impressive 6,000-gallon capacity, you’ll definitely save some cash in the long run. Plus, the durable build and system will ensure that you can enjoy the fruits of your investment for a long time.


It’s no brainer that using filters such as this is a lot more helpful to the environment than buying hundreds of water bottles per year. As per the Earth Policy Institute, it takes about 17 million oil barrels to produce the yearly demand for bottled water in America alone. Not convinced yet? In 2018, the Container Recycling Institute stated that ¾ of the 70 billion plastic water bottles purchased by Americans ended up in landfills or incinerators. In short, switching to water filtration systems rather than buying water bottles can help our environment immensely.

Berkey water filter alternatives

Now if you’re still not convinced in purchasing the Big Berkey water filter, here are other choices from the company:

Travel Berkey Water Filter

Travel Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter with 2 Black Berkey Elements and 2 PF-2 Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Elements
  • 1.5 GALLON CAPACITY- The portable Travel Berkey System effortlessly filters water for about 1-3 people each day....
  • FLUORIDE AND ARSENIC REDUCTION- Berkey PF-2 Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Elements are designed for use in...

As the name implies, this is a compact and portable option that’s great for travels. It comes with a 7.5 x 7.5 x 19.0 inches,a weight of 6 lbs, and a capacity of 1.5 gallon at a time. If you think its size might be sacrificing the performance, well think again. It comes with 2 Black Berkey filters and 2 Fluoride filters to turn your untreated water to a clean and safe one. You don’t believe us yet? Experts have tried using water straight out of  a dirty pond and the filtered water still exceeded the American standards. This product also allows filtration of 2.75 gallons of water per hour.

Royal Berkey Water Filter

Royal Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter with 2 Black Berkey Purification Elements
  • Purifies up to 4 gallons per hour
  • Filter Life: Up to 3,000 gallons per filter element
  • Holding Capacity: 3.25 Gallons

If you’re a household 6, a Big Berkey may be too small but buying 2 units may be too much. This is where the Royal Berkey water filter comes into play. It’s a bigger option with a 3.25-gallon capacity that will work great for 6 people. It filters 14% faster than the Big Berkey but the top quality and effective purification remains the same.


Can the black filters in the Big Berkey remove lead?

Absolutely! It was tested to have the capability to remove up to 95% lead.

How often should the water filter be replaced?

In normal water conditions, a tank that is filled 2-3x per day should last for about 6-9 months before a replacement is needed.

Which is better between the Big Berkey and a reverse osmosis filtration system?

When it comes to filtration effectiveness, the reverse osmosis filtration system undoubtedly wins. However, with its almost perfect filtration comes the loss of healthy minerals in your water. The Big Berkey is actually pretty smart since it only removes contaminants that are detrimental to your health.

Can the Big Berkey remove salty taste in water caused by water softeners?

Despite the topnotch purification, Big Berkey cannot totally eradicate salty taste in your water.

Is the Berkey Care lifetime warranty still applicable even if I buy through Amazon?

Yes. Amazon is Berkey’s official retailer so all the benefits and warranties are definitely applicable.

Can Big Berkey water filters work on any type of water?

Yes, of course. The Big Berkey water filter is one of the best in the market for a reason. As discussed, you can even filter water straight out of a pond and the unit will still do it effectively.

Why are Berkey water filters banned in California?

In California, it’s a part of their regulation for manufacturers to reveal proprietary information. This means that they have to reveal their industry secrets. Although California promises confidentiality, it’s still something Berkery does not want to risk. That’s pretty understandable! However, the Berkey Light and Travel is okay to purchase.

Last words

Berkey is a reputable brand and their water filters are loved by loyal clients for obvious reasons. They are truly world class and you can rely on their systems to give you a great investment.  

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