Berkey Water Filter vs Aquasana vs Pur vs Brita

This table compares the Berkey Water Filter system to the Aquasana, Pur, and Brita water filters.

2 Important Points to Note

  1. While the Berkey filter system costs the most up front, it's less than half the price of its competitors over 5 years of use. The cost per year is even cheaper if you calculate beyond a 5 year horizon. The reason for this is that the Aquasana, Pur, and Brita systems require frequent filter replacements; at least once per year. Conversely, the black berkeys that come standard with our Berkey systems will last approx 6000 gallons; avg 5 years.
  2. The Black Berkeys remove more contaminants than the mainstream consumer systems, and they typically remove chemicals and contaminants to much higher levels.

So What's The Key Takeaway?

Higher quality filter ingredients result in longer life and better removal rates. It's that simple!

The business model of Aquasana, Pur, and Brita is based upon the consumer having to frequently purchase filter replacements. This creates a steady stream of recurring revenue for these companies.

Berkey water filter simply does not subscribe to this sort of business practice. Many times our black berkey filters will last upwards of 10 years. Only the PF-2 fluoride filters will require more frequent replacements (approx every 1.5-2 years). This is because the ingredients used by the PF-2's has a limited lifespan, and longer lasting effective filter ingredients for fluoride removal has not been found.

  Berkey Water Filter vs Aquasana vs Pur vs Brita
  BerkeyBerkeyAquasanaPurBrita Brita
Filter Model Big Berkey w/ Black Berkey Elements (set of 2)PF-2 Fluoride and Arsenic Filters [Post Filter for Black Berkey] (set of 2)Countertop AQ-4000Faucet 3 Stage FM9700Faucet Filter w/ Advanced FeaturesPitcher Filter
Retail Price $258 $119.99$49.99$29.99$25 (avg)
Replacement Filter Cost $107 / 6000 Gallons$54.95 / 1000 Gallons$49.99 / 500 Gallons(RF-9999) $19.99 / 100 Gallons$19.99 /100 Gallons$7.99 / 40 Gallons
Cost / Gallon 1.8¢ / Gal5.5¢ / Gal10¢ / Gal20¢ / Gal20¢ / Gal20¢ / Gal
Replacement Filter Cost / Yr 1 $13.89 / Yr$42.90 / Yr$78 / Yr$156 / Yr$156 / Yr$160 / Yr
1st Yr Cost 2 $258$55$170$190$170$177
2nd Yr Cost $0.00$55$78$156$156$160
3rd Yr Cost $0.00$0$156$156$156$160
4th Yr Cost $0.00$55$156$156$156$160
5th Yr Cost $0.00$55$156$156$156$160
5 Year Total Investment $258$220$560$658$638$657
Aluminum > 99.1% NoNoNoNo
Copper > 99.9% NoNoNo> 96%
Iron Reduces Iron NoNoNoNo
Lead > 99.9% > 99 %> 99%> 99 %> 98%
Mercury > 99.9% > 99 %> 92%No> 95%
Pathogenic Bacteria Undetectable Levels NoNoNoNo
Cysts Undetectable Levels > 99.99 %> 99.9 %> 99 %No
Parasites Undetectable Levels > 99.99 %NoNoNo
E-Coli Undetectable Levels NoNoNoNo
Arsenic see PF-2's Reduced 5NoNoNoNo
Fluoride see PF-2's > 99.75%NoNoNoNo
Chlorine BDL4 > 99 %> 98 %> 99 %> 96%
MTBE BDL4 > 99 %> 96 %NoNo
THM's BDL4 > 99 %> 98.5 %NoNo
Nitrates and Nitrites Reduced 5 NoNoNoNo
VOC's BDL4 > 99 % NoNo
Alachor BDL4 > 98 %> 99 %> 99 %No
Atrazine BDL4 > 97 %> 95 %> 92 %No
Benzene BDL4 > 99 %> 97 %> 98 %No
Lindane BDL4 > 99 %> 92 %> 99 %No
Radon 222 BDL4 NoNoNoNo
  1 Based on water usage of 15 Gallons / week (between drinking and cooking)
  2 1st Year Cost includes purchase of initial system
  3 2 PF-4's last 6 months of use or 1000 gallons (whichever comes first) 
  4 BDL = Chemicals or Contaminants are reduced to Beyond Detectable Limits
  5 Level of reduction dependent upon number of competing conatminants in source water

Here are some other points to consider when comparing these different water filter systems.

With the Berkey, you will need to make room in your kitchen for placement. They start with the smallest Travel Berkey at 1.5 gallons, and go up to the largest Crown Berkey at 6 gallons. The most popular system is the 2.25 gallon Big Berkey. This system is 9.5" in diameter and 21" in height.

The Brita system is smaller and can fit into your refrigerator, so always gives you cold water. Many Berkey owners who prefer drinking cold water, transfer their filtered water into a refrigerator water pitcher to make up for this, or they figure a way to fit the smallest Travel Berkey into their fridge.

The Pur and Aquasana systems will either go under your sink or attach to your faucet.  These are consdered in-line systems, so they filter on-demand....meaning, when you turn the faucet on, the water is forced through the filters in real time.

The downside to pressure filtration like the Aquasana and Pur is that the water is in contact with the filter itself for a very short period of time. Since the Berkey water filter is a gravity filter system, the water filters much slower and is in contact with the filters for a significantly longer period of time as a result.

As with everything in life, there are always pros and cons. If you're looking for the lowest lifetime cost and highest quality of filtration, then the Berkey is hands-down the best.

However, if you don't have the up front funds for a Berkey, then one of these other options can be a nice alternative.

At the end of the day, any water filter is better than no water filter, so happy and healthy drinking!!