The Berkey: Our Must Have Water Filter

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Have you been considering purchasing a Berkey Water Filtration System and you are looking for an honest review from someone that has used one for a while? I hope that this article will aid you in your decision-making process!

Have you ever considered getting a Berkey or are looking for a clean source of water for your home? The Berkey is an absolute must-have in my kitchen! #berkey #berkeyfilters #waterfilters #waterfiltersystem #selfsufficiency #selfsufficient #cleanwater

The Berkey Water Filtration System

Over the years I’ve had many different kitchen tools and appliances. Even a George Forman Grill has graced my countertop at one point. I’m sure many other homemakers out there understand this issue….there is just something about kitchen tools and appliances that draw us in.

If it can help us, wonderful! If it saves time, great! If it saves money, even better!

But it seems like, after a while, the newness fades and the appliance or tool falls to the back of our cupboard or drawer, only to be pulled out again during spring cleaning to be placed in the yard sale.

I have one staple in my kitchen that has stood the test of time. It’s durable, saves us money, helps improve our health, and we’ve taken it to every single home that we’ve ever lived in. From the small farmhouse and even into the RV. I really, truly love this thing and if I had to only have one “tool” in my kitchen, this would be it.

What am I referring to? My Berkey Water Filter of course!

I learned about Berkey about 10 years ago, around the time that I began the Little House Living website. I had been searching for different things that would help us in a self-sufficient lifestyle and I’d heard so much about the Berkey that I had to try it.

Berkey Water Filter

What can the Berkey do that other filters can’t?

A Berkey Water Filter removes greater than 99.9% of lead, arsenic, iron, mercury, chlorine, BPA, chloramines, Pharmaceuticals, Petroleum Contaminants, Methylcyclohexane-methane, Pesticides, Heavy Metals, Coliform and e-Coli, Atrazine, Fluoride, plus many more. (You can see their full lab results here.)

Over the years, we’ve had many different types of water…city water, well water, rural water, and we’ve used the Berkey with all kinds. I myself have trouble with some water, especially when we are traveling, and I am allergic to chlorine so having safe water is a must. Even after traveling all over this summer and having water from various cities, wells, or just about any source, I did not have a single stomach ache from the water that we drank after it was filtered through our Berkey.

There was one point during the summer that we had to use some of the worst well water that I’ve ever seen. Depending on the day, it was either grey or yellow. It stained our shower within 2 days and I had to constantly keep up with cleaning in the camper just to try and keep the orange glow out. However, any water filtered through our Berkey System was crystal clear and tasted wonderful.

Big Berkey Water System

How does a Berkey Water Filtration System Work?

The Berkey contains 2 chambers, an upper and a lower. The upper chamber contains 2 black elements to filter the water. Any water that needs to be filtered is poured into this upper chamber.

The lower chamber contains filtered water. The water is filtered through a gravity drip system and no electricity or batteries are required.

A set of 2 elements will filter roughly 6000 gallons of water before they will need to be replaced. That means if you drink 2 1/2 gallons of water per day (average for our family), the filter set will last about 6 years. If your system seems to be slowing down in the meantime, you can clean your filters using a gentle scrubbing pad and then re-priming the filters before use again. You will also want to clean the upper chamber of your Berkey about once a month, especially if you have very hard water.Using the Berkey Water Filter

About the Berkey and Its Practical Application

We keep our big Berkey water filter right next to our dining table in our dining room for easy access during mealtimes. I also use the filtered water from the Berkey in any baking or cooking that I need to do. We have extremely hard well water here at our new home and it tastes and smells perfectly clean after being filtered by our Berkey Water System.

The Berkey is made from high-quality stainless steel and only weighs a few pounds when empty (The Royal Berkey is 8 pounds.) It comes with an easy to use spigot. The Royal Berkey can filter 4 gallons per hour with the standard 2 black elements (double that with 4 elements but only 2 are required for proper filtration).

We have a Big Berkey (2.25) gallons for our family of 5. Of course, I bought it when we were a family of 2 and we didn’t need so much water so things have changed a bit now but it still works very well for our family. On occasion, we do have to fill it more than once a day. A Big Berkey would be perfect for a family of 4 if you have more family members, I would recommend the Royal Berkey (3.25 gallons).

The Berkey comes with a 2-year manufacturer warranty but when purchased through The Berkey Filters Store, it is extended to a lifetime warranty on all the new full-size stainless steel systems.

I hope that this berkey water filter review helps you make an informed decision about Berkey Water Systems. It truly is one of my absolute kitchen must-haves and I know that it will be for many years to come.

Want to get a Berkey Filtration System of your own? Little House Living readers can use the coupon code LHL to get 5% off your purchase! Just head over to their website and enter the coupon code at checkout.

Royal Berkey Water Filter


Do you have a Berkey or is it still on your wishlist?

Me Bio

Please note, Berkey has not paid for my opinion of their product. Any thoughts or opinions on the Berkey system are totally my own, based on experience. We honestly love this system and know you will too.

This post on the Berkey Water Filter was originally published on Little House Living in November 2018. It has been updated as of January 2023.

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    1. I would love to have a Berkey. We live in the country and chemicals are used around us on crops. I sure would love one of these. I could rest a lot better.

  1. Glad to hear you love it so much! One of these and a couple of the Berkey filter bottles have been on my wishlist for awhile now.

  2. I’ve been thinking about one of these! We drink tons of water.

    The next thing that wud interest me after this wud be the filter sport bottle for everyone in our home.

    Thanks so much!

  3. This would be great to have. I hate the taste of our town water but hate plastic bottled water. It would also be handy for the little kids to get themselves water.

    1. This is from the Berkey FAQs page….
      “Berkey purification systems do not remove the beneficial minerals from the water, but they do extract harmful heavy metals such as lead and mercury as well as sedimentary minerals such as iron oxide.”

  4. My husband & I just discussed purchasing one soon. We have hard well water & I have heard nothing but amazing things.I hate that we buy bottled water, when we can get from our well for free!

  5. I live in Michigan – we are surrounded by the largest amount of fresh water in the world…..and it is all contaminated 🙁 We are currently living in an area with large amount of heavy metal and PFOS contamination. For us, the other product would be the shower filter because breathing in the fine mist with the contaminants is a known way of exposure.

  6. I have wanted to try one of these for YEARS and just haven’t bitten the bullet yet. I would LOVE to win one. Thank you for the opportunity!

  7. I think its great your doing a giveaway I have been interested in this for years as well.I think the shower filter sounds great especially after you mentioned your coloring of your well water in the shower.

  8. I would love to have this system. I drink a lot of water and could really benefit from having one of these. The sport bottle would be nice too.

  9. I have looked at these for quite a while. My sister bought one and I really was surprised at the difference it makes. It is on our list of things we are saving for.

  10. We have horrible well water at our house. This sounds like we could actually use it and stop buying gallons of water!

  11. My husband and I would love one of these. Right now we use a Zero Water filter, but the filters only last a week with the city water running through them. The water always tastes great, but it’s way too costly to keep up with.

  12. I think the Berkey base would be handy to have. I think it would be best for my family have the Berkey raised up away from the edge of the counter. On the edge it would be too tempting for the little grands to play with the spigot!

  13. My husband and I are considering purchasing a Berkey because we will be ministering full time, across the country and living in an RV. I realize how important pure water is to our health and don’t want to compromise!! I so enjoy your posts, thank you for your investment into the lives of others!

    1. I would highly recommend it! When we were traveling this summer to various mission locations in the US we definitely had a lot of locations with questionable water. I was so thankful to have this.

  14. We drink a lot of water in this house and I hate having to buy the bottled stuff all the time. The area where we live doesn’t recycle. We do have city water but the amount of chorine is so high I can’t stand to drink it. I have been looking into the Berkey with a great deal of interest. Between buying bottled water and filters for the filter pitcher we own, I think it would pay for itself in no time.

  15. The sports bottle would be great to get cuz I buy spring water in small bottles and the gallons of water also every week. I drink tons of water every week and use in hot choc, soup, etc. I won’t drink the city water cuz I can smell the chlorine in it and it gags me! ?
    Have a great week!

  16. I so glad you posted this! I’ve had my eye on a big Berkey for a while and am so looking forward to getting one soon! I’ve been budgeting a little aside each month and putting my Christmas money towards one!

  17. I have been interested in one of these for a long time! Some water upsets my stomach as well, you are the only other person that I have heard that has the same issue! I thought it was just me!

  18. Must be nice to not get stomachaches from water. Even 99% of the bottled affects me the same way. Thanks for the giveaway.

  19. Great giveaway. I would be interested in learning more about a shower filter. I wonder if it would help my skin feel better?

  20. We have had a portable Berkey for a few years. Took it to AZ when we went there to winter. I didn’t know you were suppose to clean the upper chamber so we will have to do that. I wondered about the floride. Don’ t you have have to buy a different fluoride filter for that or is that just for the older models? I love my Berkey! Nancy

    1. I was doing a little research while writing this article and here is what their website says:

      Q: Do your Black Berkey elements reduce fluoride in the water?
      A: Yes, the Black Berkey Purification Elements can initially reduce Fluoride up to 99.9%.
      However, the efficiency of removing Fluoride begins to lose after a few hundred gallons. So, to reduce fluoride in your water effectively, you will still need to use post filters that work in conjunction with the filters in your system which is called the Berkey PF-2 Elements. A set of Berkey PF-2 elements can remove Fluoride for up to 1,000 gallons.

  21. I have seen the Berkey mentioned several times in the last couple of years. Would love to own one; we have very hard water in AZ! I may look into a showerhead.

  22. Thank you so much for this article. I’ve been looking at the Berkey system for a while and now I want one more than ever! Wonderful information. Just what I was looking for.

  23. Husband and I have been talking about getting some kind of water filtration system, especially since I drink so much water nowadays. This Berkley sounds great for us! I would love the sports bottle.

  24. Thank you for the giveaway!!! I would love to win a Big Berkey and would love to try their shower filter as well.

  25. I live within a mile of a golf course and can’t drink the water here. Do you know if the Berkey filter helps with nitrates?

    1. Here is more info from their website:
      ALSO REMOVES OR REDUCES: Arsenic (>99.9%); Escherichia coli (E. Coli) (>99.999%); Fluorene (>99.9%); Manganese (>99.9%); MBAS (>96.67%); Nitrites (>95%); PCB’s (>99.9%); Petroleum Products (Gasoline, Diesel, Crude Oil, Kerosene, Mineral Spirits, Refined Oil- All >99.9%); Selenium (>99.9%); Thallium (>99.5%); Rust; Silt; Sediment; Turbidity; Foul Tastes and Odors.

  26. The water filter would be so great. Berk ey system sounds like what I really need. Thanks for the info. I would love to win it.

  27. I live in the country and have a well for drinking water. I buy water because I don’t always trust the well water. Would love to win this!

  28. This is my first time to hear about these. I am wanting a water filter of some kind. I’m not sure which one I am most interested in. Thank you for sharing about this and the giveaway.

  29. My parents used a Berkey at their lakehome. When they moved back to city living the Berkey did not come with them. I think it was part of the lakehome sale. I sure wish I could win one! Thanks for the giveaway offer!

  30. After a diagnosis of cancer and completing treatments I have learned the importance of nutrition, water, and exercise to promote a healthy life style. This water system would be so awesome to have on the farm. Thank you for considering me.

  31. A Berkey system has been on the wish list for some time now. For now, I’ve been buying spring water (a verified source), since we drink a lot of water, and coffee too. The shower system looks interesting as well!

  32. I have been wanting to order a Berkey for some time now. We buy so much bottled water and every time I am like I will buy one soon but something always seems to come up that I need to spend them money on. Would love to win but I know I will purchase one ASAP.

  33. Great info on this water filter! I have been looking at one our well water tastes great but it’s very hard! The filter in the fridge only does so much.

  34. Thanks for the in depth review.We have hard water, this is a better alternative to buying bottled water.

  35. I would love one, especially for camping. The shower filter would also be great in the camper as well. I am allergic to chlorine as well.

  36. My family could really benefit from a Berkley. Where we live strongly suggests buying our drinking water and with a family of 4 it gets kind of pricey, if you can imagine.

  37. So glad to see this! I struggle with allergies and sustainable water daily. This just might be the ticket. Now to figure out how to pay for one when broke ????

  38. I would love to win this. I currently use a a water cooler for drinking and cooking. At age 64, having had several back surgeries, it’s hard for me to lift the jugs up to place on the base. (Culligan) can do it for me, but that costs money I don’t have.

  39. I think the Berkey stainless steel sport water bottles would be neat! Thank you for the awesome chance to win!

  40. We have been looking to buy one of these for a while now. It sure would be good to own one, any water could be drinkable with this water filter.
    We would like to win one, and I have also been on Facebook too. Gotta try, the best way I know how. Thanks for offering this to win.

  41. What a great give away!
    Hard to choose just one product, but I’d probably choose the shower filter.
    Though winning a water filter would be just fine too 😉
    Thank you! Lorie

  42. My brother and his wife have a Berkey because they have terribly high iron but the Berkey filters out all the bad flavor. I’m sold!

  43. I have been looking into getting a Berkey recently so this post was extremely timely and helpful to me! I’m liking the sports bottles as well for my family on the go! I’ve heard such great things about the Berkey and your review just adds to that! Thank you Marrissa!

  44. Thanks for the review. I’ve thought about buying a Berkey for a few years now, but wasn’t sure if it’s worth it. I’m interested in the shower filter, too.

  45. I’ve been researching these filtration systems for some time now, and have several friends that own them. All I’ve heard are GREAT reviews!!! Living in Las Vegas, we can’t drink our tap water without filtration, which my family currently can’t afford (plus it’s a rental so we can’t install anything) so we have to buy 5 gallon bottles of water for our family of 5 weekly. We’re HUGE water drinkers too! This would be an amazing thing to own!!
    So kind of you to offer it as a gift!

  46. This appliance looks wonderful. I’d love to have it to be sure about the water quality at home. Thanks for the opportunity!

  47. Some friends of mine and I bought one of these for a missionary couple getting married. I have heard great things about them!

  48. Your blog is delightful, very useful, well written and of great variety! I’m originally from a small town in South Dakota so that makes all you write about even more endearing. i would love to win a Berkey water filtration system. The other product would be the sports bottle. Thank you for a great giveaway!

  49. Wow! This is an amazing giveaway! I have wanted a Berkey filter for to filter our hard well water for quite awhile, but haven’t bought one because of the price. The shower filter is a great idea, too.

  50. I would LOVE to win the Berky System! We live in a house built in 1910, and lately, I have been worried about our water. Who knows what’s in the pipes, solder, etc.? We have been looking at systems, but couldn’t decide! This system sounds good, to me! Thank you so much for the contest!

  51. I think this water filtration system sounds wonderful! I would also be interested in the sports bottle.

  52. I would LOVE to get a water system such as this! If not a system then a water bottle from them would be amazing, I think.

  53. We have extremely hard well water also, it loves to eat metal fixtures. The taste also varies through the year. The Berkey looks like it would be great for our family.

  54. Would love to win a Berkey! It is very nice looking and handy for trips. Hopefully it can help with my health conditions I currently have. Would love to feel better knowing I have clean and fresh water to drink! Would like to try the Sports Bottle on the go too! Thank you for the opportunity and good luck to everyone!

  55. Someone I know just mentioned their Berkey and how much they use and enjoy it. That reminded me of a photo I saw of LHL’s Berkey on a photo of their RV tour. Can’t wait to read more about it. I appreciate the review and giveaway. The larger size would be great for our family of 6. Water bottles are always needed.

  56. I am so tired of spending so much on those refrigerator filters! They are so expensive and you really never know how long to use them. This would be awesome! I would love one of these!

  57. Love your emails! Your updates are the only ones I read without fail every week. Thanks for the detailed description and the opportunity to win this Berkey Filtration System!

  58. this system sounds awesome no matter where one lives!! I am currently on city water but looking to relocate to our eastern shore where most sites are on wells. this berkley system is perfect for me 🙂 I would love to have one

  59. Thank you for reviewing this product. I have been wanting one for a long time. Winning one would be fantastic.

  60. I have just recently learned about Berkey – it would be such a blessing here on our little farm. Our well water isn’t awful, but this would certainly put my mind at ease about what we are drinking. Thank you for the great review and the opportunity to win one!! God Bless!

  61. The shower filter interests me. We have horribly mineral laden city water in our town and it affects everything from my dishwasher to my hair!

  62. My family has moved to western MD where NO ONE drinks their well water. I really dislike buying water in plastic and am not confident using the small filtration pitchers. This would be a blessing to my family!

  63. would so love to win this, been wanting one for a long time, i dont drink enough water cause it is so bad here .. would love the sport bottle also

  64. My husband has been wanting one of these for as long as I can remember! Would love to be able to win one for him!

  65. Thank you! I have wondered what might be a good one to use without investing in a whole house system. This sounds like just the thing.

  66. I love the aesthetic of your blog and the wealth of information you share. Thank you for this giveaway. How i have longed for a Berkey!

  67. I have been interested since first learning about them from you a couple of years ago. It is top of my wish list 😀
    I would also be interested in hearing about the sports bottle.

  68. We are moving soon to another state due to a death in the family. We have lived in our current house for 25 years, and have a very deep well with great water. One of my top concerns is that our new house won’t have as great of water as we’ve had here for 25 years. This would certainly help!

  69. I’m so glad that you posted about this. My grandparents recently fell into some poor health and my mom and I went back to the farm to help. They have a very old, not well cared for plastic berkey, that had green algea in the top chamber, and the plastic was cracked. My mother and I became very concerned about this, since they are on a well, and live a mile down hill from a rendering plant.. their water is not very good. My grandfather insisted that it was fine, and after a struggle, purchased a new one, just like the one you have. We were still very skeptical and alarmed until I saw your post. Thank you for setting my mind at ease.

  70. I have wanted a Berkey for years! Now that we are on well water it is even more important. Thank you for this opportunity.

  71. I have always wanted one of these but never had the funds.
    I have heard they are the best!
    My son has had history of health issues so I researched these & they are at the top of the list to buy.
    I’m sure whoever wins a Berkey will absolutely love it! 🙂
    Thanks for having the contest.-
    God bless

  72. I have wanted one of the Berkey water filtration systems for years, I have had open heart surgery at 27, stoke at 26 and many other problems since then, now I deal with constant nausea and vomiting. We got a zero water filtration system and it has helped but even my doctor recommended a berkey water filtration system. Gonna cross my fingers hope I win

  73. This is a great review! I have always wanted a Berkey, my friends have one and I tried it out. I think it is a vital part of the homestead and for preparedness. Thanks for this great post!

  74. Just ordered one on Tuesday. Our water is deep red without our softener and basically tastes like your chewing on a iron pipe. But so tired of bottled water. So giving the Berkey a try. Glad you’ve used it so long makes me feel better for spending the money.

  75. Hey Merissa, thanks for sharing this informative article. i want to buy a water filter. Your suggestions look good to will be very helpful to buy a good filter for use i think. But will you please tell me, among those filters which one will be good to use from your choice?
    Thanks in advance.. 🙂

    1. It depends on how large your family is. We personally have a Big Berkey and ideally, I would like a Royal Berkey because of how often we fill it. We are a family of 5 and use the water for drinking and for cooking.

  76. I have the same Berkey as shown in your photos above. I have had trouble with my filters – they “fall over” inside the upper tank due to their seals coming loose. When I contacted Berkey they would not stand behind their filters. (I didn’t have record of my receipt or date purchased) And even though they were knew, in the Berkey box as they were delivered, they admitted to having a bad “batch” a few years ago, but still would not replace. They are now way too expensive for me to replace so I have a Berkey water system with NO filters.
    Any suggestions?

  77. Nice! The information I got through this blog has really helped me in understanding this topic.

  78. Thank You so much Merissa!! We just purchased ours today through the link that you provided. Great price too! We decided on the Royal Berkey. We are so releived that we purchased this product and we know we will use it all the time and that it was a wise purchase. Thanks again for this information.

  79. We just recently purchased my Berkey and we LOVE it. We have treated water and to have a system that filters all the “stuff” out is awesome!

  80. We had one of these for about 15 years. We live in an apartment now and it doesn’t fit on our counter. We use a Pur now. I want to buy a Burkey again when my husband and I move to Texas on our 20 acre land in 10 years.

  81. This is a great review! I’ve been looking for a filtration system and this seems awesome. I’m hesitant abt the stainless steel however…do you know if there are any other chemicals such as aluminum in the coating?

  82. I have had a Berkey for almost 30 years. Love it!! We currently have a whole house filter system and when the guy can out to test the water, I explained that I wanted him to test my Berkey water as well. He said he’d never seen such clean water. Thrilled that if there’s ever an emergency, I have my Berkey. I even keep new filters stored just in case.

  83. Thank you. Your review is very well done.
    I did buy the travel berkey as recommended for one person household. I find it a tad small as I also use mine for cooking water. Lasts about 3/4 way through the day.
    Do you have a priming tip for the Berkey? I know the recommended methods but simply does not work for me and finally I came up with the idea of using a squeeze bottle with a long tapered tip on it. (the kind used for hair dye) That was not too bad, but I then resorted to something with more pressure and that was an empty and unused plastic syringe thingey what had come with one of my herbal tonics. (Honestly, I had the worst time priming the filters before I came up with that idea.)
    Now I find the water flows through very quickly so I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. (takes less than an hour to empty top tank).