This is a comparison of Berkey vs Brita water filters. I’ll outline which one filters water better, which one costs less, and which is a better filter overall. This information is coming from someone who has personally owned both a Berkey and a Brita water filter.
Filtering the contaminants out of your water is important, and the good news is that there is no shortage of water filters on the market. Unfortunately, not all water filters are created equal. In this post, I’ll be comparing the Big Berkey water filter against the Brita Grand.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. See my full disclosure here.
- Berkey vs Brita: Which Should You Buy?
- Berkey vs Brita Comparison Chart
- Berkey vs Brita: Filtering Capacity
- Berkey vs Brita: Cost Comparison
- Berkey vs Brita: Filtering Capabilities
- Berkey vs Brita: User Experience
- Berkey vs Brita: Certifications
- Pros and Cons of Berkey vs Brita
- Is a Berkey Water Filter Right For You?
- Is a Brita Water Filter Right For You?
- 10 Things to Look for When Buying a Water Filter
- Why You Should Filter Your Water
- 5 Alternatives to Buying a Water Filter
- Berkey vs Brita Conclusion
- Shop This Post
- More Clean Living Content
- Pin it For Later – Best Water Filter System
- About Me
Berkey vs Brita: Which Should You Buy?
Winner: Berkey Water Filter
Based on the categories discussed below, Berkey is a far superior product to Brita and will save you money in the long run. Although Brita is more portable and has a lower up-front cost, you’ll spend much more per gallon using Brita, and will only reduce contaminants not eliminate them. If you want to invest in a long-term water filtration solution that eliminates rather than reduces contaminants, Berkey is the way to go.
Berkey vs Brita Comparison Chart
|Big Berkey||Brita Grand|
|Holding Capacity||2.25 gallons||10 cups|
|Filter lifespan||3,000 gallons||40 gallons|
|Flow rate||1.6-6.0 gal/hr||0.4-0.6 gal/hr|
|Amazon Reviews||about 4.7 stars||about 4.7 stars|
|Filter cost per 6,000 gallons||$166||about $475.50|
|Cost per gallon||$0.02||$0.12|
|Where to buy||Berkeyfilters.com||Amazon.com|
Berkey vs Brita: Filtering Capacity
This category looks at the amount of water that each filter holds, as well as how fast each can filter water. This is important during daily life – isn’t it the worst when you need water but have to wait forever for it to filter?
Black Berkey water filters have a flow rate range of 1.5 to 6.0 gallons per hour and a holding capacity of 2.25 gallons.
- Tip – Add more water to the top canister, the pressure will speed up the flow rate.
Brita has a holding capacity of 10 cups and a flow rate of between 0.4 and 0.6 gallons per hour, making it much smaller and slower to filter water than Berkey.
Winner: Berkey filters are the clear winner in the filter capacity category, having a much larger holding capacity as well as flow rate.
If you have a large family, drink lots of water, use water for baking, and/or host guests, Berkey is your best bet in this category.
Berkey vs Brita: Cost Comparison
This cost comparison will look at the unit itself, as well as replacement filters based on cost per gallon. The specific units I’ll compare are the Big Berkey and the Brita Grand.
Unit cost: The Big Berkey costs $387 and comes with 2 black Berkey filters which filter up to 6,000 gallons. You have the option to purchase the Big Berkey with 4 replacement filters instead of just 2 for $547 which ends up saving you more money.
Replacement filter cost: $166 for 6,000 gallon capacity.
Cost per gallon: about 2 cents.
Unit cost: The Brita Grand with 2 filters is $47.48 right now; this will only filter about 80 gallons of water.
Replacement filter cost: To filter the same amount as the Berkey, you’d need to purchase 150 Brita filters which would cost about $936.75.
Cost per gallon: about 12.5 cents.
Winner: Berkey wins again in the cost comparison vs Brita. Up front cost is much higher with the Berkey, however, over time, you’ll spend much more using a Brita filter.
Berkey vs Brita: Filtering Capabilities
If you’re looking for a water filter, the filtering capabilities is likely the most important category you’ll be observing when comparing Berkey vs Brita.
|Bisphenol A (BPA)||X|
|Chlorine – Taste and Odor||X||X|
|Fluoride||with optional PF-2 filters|
|Coliform and e-Coli||X|
|Gross Alpha emitters||X|
Berkey filters are capable of removing 100% of pathogens found in drinking water. Additionally, Berkey filters remove over 200 contaminants found in tap water. The best part is that they preserve the good minerals found in water.
Although not NSF certified specifically, their filters have been rigorously tested by state and EPA laboratories to confirm these results (see more about this in the ‘Certifications’ section below).
Brita filters are capable of removing certain contaminants like pharmaceuticals but do not completely eliminate other common contaminants found in tap water. Brita filters are able to reduce heavy metals like copper, mercury chlorine, lead, herbicides and pesticides, and sediment but do not fully eliminate them.
Winner: Berkey filters win in the very important category of filtration capabilities, removing 200+ contaminants commonly found in drinking water vs Brita’s 10+ contaminants.
Berkey vs Brita: User Experience
What’s it like using each filter – are they easy to handle, and does the product last? These are questions that should be weighed when comparing filters. Let’s see what customers of each have to say.
Common complaints of the Berkey systems are the large real estate they take up on kitchen counters and difficulty cleaning and priming. Lastly, Berkey isn’t sold in certain states like Iowa and California due to not being NSF certified (see the section below).
Despite the few complaints, Berkey filters have a very high rating on Amazon of about 4.7 stars out of 5. People like the peace of mind when it comes to filtering contaminants, the taste of the water, and the quality of the product.
Common complaints regarding the Brita filter are that the product is flimsy, the lids leak and wont stay on, and funky taste in the water.
Similar to the Berkey, despite the several complaints, overall people like the product and rate it 4.7 out of 5 stars on amazon. People seem to enjoy that it’s easy to maintain and clean and that it’s portable and easy to put in the fridge.
Winner: Tie. Both filters have similar ratings on Amazon, and both have common complaints. The benefits overall seem to outweigh the complaints for both products.
Berkey vs Brita: Certifications
Berkey Water Filters do not have NSF/ANSI certification because they choose not to pay the high costs for those certifications.
Per Berkey, “the independent lab tests we have, test for far more contaminants than the applicable NSF/ANSI certifications. Secondly, the fees for NSF/ANSI certifications are very cost-prohibitive for what is being tested. Avoiding unnecessary costs helps us to provide the Berkey System and products for the best price.”
All Brita water filter systems have the NSF certification. According to NSF, the filters meet the NSF-53 and are therefore certified as safe for use.
Winner: Brita wins the certifications category. Even though Berkey has their own rigorous independent studies that far surpass the NSF certification, NSF is the certification esteemed in the United States.
Pros and Cons of Berkey vs Brita
- Removes more contaminants
- Preserves beneficial minerals while taking away the bad
- Quality product design
- Lifetime warranty
- Higher filter capacity
- Faster flow rate
- Longer-lasting filters and parts
- Long-term water filtration system
- Fluoride filter option
- Not NSF certified
- High up-front cost
- Not portable
- Takes up a lot of real estate on the counter
Brita Grand Pros
- Cheaper up-front cost
- NSF certified
- Portable pitcher
- Easy to maintain and clean
- Filters over 10 contaminants
Brita Grand Cons
- Contaminants reduced not eliminated
- Short 90-day warranty
- Lower filter capacity
- Slower flow rate
- Filters don’t last as long
- Flimsy product/leak issues
- Plastic housing
- Must replace filters every 2 months regardless of how much water you’ve filtered.
Is a Berkey Water Filter Right For You?
Based on the categories discussed above, Berkey is a far superior product to Brita and will save you money in the long run. However, there are some things you should consider before purchasing a Berkey water filter.
- Is the up-front cost in your budget right now?
- Do you want a water filter that completely eliminates contaminants vs just reducing them?
- Is a larger filter capacity something you need?
- Will the faster flow rate benefit you and your family?
- Do you want filters that last years without the need to replace them?
- Are you ok with the filter sitting on your countertop?
- Do you want a water filter that leaves the beneficial minerals while taking out the bad contaminants?
If you answered yes to any/most of these – the Berkey water filter is right for you! I have a 10% discount for your own Berkey water filter below. The best place to purchase Berkey is straight from their website.
Is a Brita Water Filter Right For You?
Although Brita did not win this comparison, it’s certainly still a good water filter and might be the right fit for you right now.
- Do you need a low up-front cost filter for the time being? Or perhaps a backup filter?
- You’re fine with a filter that doesn’t completely eliminate contaminants but is NSF certified.
- You want a filter that fits inside of your fridge, or kitchen cabinet.
If you answered yes to any/most of these questions, then the Brita water filter might be the right fit for you!
You can purchase a Brita water filter in many places, but it looks like Amazon has the best price right now.
10 Things to Look for When Buying a Water Filter
- How it effectively removes contaminants – and does it eliminate or just reduce?
- Flow rate – how fast does it filter water?
- Filter capacity – how much does it filter at any given time?
- Quality of filtered water – does it preserve the beneficial minerals?
- Maintenance and maintenance costs – what’s required in terms of maintenance and how much will it cost you?
- Up-front cost vs long-term costs – how much will the filters cost you over the span of a year?
- Longevity of the system – how long will the filtration system last and is there a warranty?
- Set-up and water testing – is it easy to set up and use? Does it offer a solution to test the water? Berkey has a red dye test.
- Usability – will the system integrate well into your lifestyle?
- Lab testing/certifications – What lab tests or certifications does the product have that back up its claims? Are they in-house or independent studies (you want the latter)?
Why You Should Filter Your Water
Tap water is toxic – it’s littered with contaminants from pharmaceuticals to heavy metals. EWG has this great resource where you can type in your zip code and get a list of the contaminants in your water. For example, for my zip code, this is what we have in our water:
5 Alternatives to Buying a Water Filter
Note that each of these methods for filtering water without a water filter will not get you the same results as using a water filter – they will just help to remove some of the contaminants in your water.
- Boil your water – bring your water to a rolling boil for 1 minute, then let it cool and use.
- Water tablets – such as sodium dichloroisocyanurate, chlorine dioxide, iodine, tetraglycine hydroperiodide
- Let it sit out – set a glass of water out on the counter (or outside) for 24 hours and the chlorine will evaporate.
- Activated charcoal – can absorb and store toxic compounds, smells, and germs while reducing fluoride and heavy metals. However, it doesn’t appear to be very effective at removing bacteria, viruses, or hard water minerals.
- DIY filter – layering a mix of gravel, play sand, and activated carbon in a bucket with a hole drilled in it and water plumbed through it can filter some contaminants.
Berkey vs Brita Conclusion
Both the Berkey and the Brita water filters have benefits and downsides to each. However, the Berkey water filter is a better product than the Brita water filter when comparing cost, filtration speed, filter capacity, and contaminants removed.
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- Berkey water filter (we use the Royal because we drink an insane amount of water!)
- Brita water filter