British Berkefeld vs Berkey

Best Selling Berkey

Best Selling Berkefeld

Both the British Berkefeld and Berkey are portable water purification systems that use gravity to push water through their filter cartridge to remove water contaminants. These two water filter systems are different from most countertop water filters because they don’t require fitting them to your sink faucet. Instead, they require filling up with water as left for the filter to do the work, just like a pitcher does.

Both of these gravity water filters can be store wherever you want around your home, which makes them versatile. However, several people frequently ask us about the best gravity water filter between the British Berkefeld and the Berkey.

Certainly, this is a good question. For that reason, we compare these two gravity water filters and see which one best suits your home water purification purpose.


The Berkey is a portable water filter designed for easy carrying around the house or on a field trip. Its filtration takes place in the stainless steel container when filled with tap water. With the force of gravity, water is forced through the filtration cartridge fitted in the storage tank.

  • Capacity and Size

The Berkey water filter comes in different capacities and sizes to cater to all users in different situations like camping, hiking, home, and small office usage. The concept and functionality are the same in all Berkey models. However, the larger the system, the more cartridge can be fitted to speed up the filtration process, especially where large amounts of purified water is needed.

  • Pathogen Removal

When it comes to pathogen removal from your water, Berkey water filters stand out from its competitors. It is said to have a pathogen removal of 100% to a non-detachable level. Conventionally, the pathogen can only be removed by UV light. But the Black Berkey water filter removed it without the use of UV light.

  • No Tubing

The Barkey water filters are all gravity-fed, therefore, they don’t require any connection to sink faucets or pipes. So, without any tubing required, you can place it anywhere in your home. As such, it frees up space near the sink where you could otherwise install a conventional countertop water filter.

  • Certification

The Berkey water filter surpasses the NSF/ANSI Standard 53. The Black Berkey filter is tested and approved in an EPA-approved laboratory and found to remove several water contaminants than any water filter in the industry. As such, it raised the standard of filtration in the water purification industry.

  • Filtration Capacity

Berkey filtration systems use the Black Berkey filter, a micro-porous filter that contains pores of less than 2nm in diameter. The micro-porous filter is cleanable and can filter out bacteria like viruses and pathogens in your water.

Also, it features a PF2 Fluoride filter that absorbs fluoride, arsenic, and some heavy metal ions that often lurk in the water. The PF2 Flouride filter is one of the great water filters that remove fluoride. Berkey claims that the filter can filter up to 99% of 20 water contaminants.

  • Installation

The Berkey water filters follow a simple installation process. But before you install your Black Berkey filters for about 20 seconds on the running tap water as a start.

Since you are not required to drill and connecting water from your sink faucet or tap, you only need to screw the two Black Berkey filters with an option of PF2/PF4 fluoride filters on your stainless steel filter unit. For the easy installation process, this setup video can come in handy.

  • Maintenance and Replacement

The Berkey water filter doesn’t need frequent replacement of its filters. The Black Berkey filters are re-cleanable and can last longer. Two Black Berkey water filters can last up to 6000 gallons, while a pair of PF2 filters can do 100- gallons of water or 2 years. However, you require approximately $80 as an annual maintenance cost.

  • Warranty

Berkey water filters come with 6 months limited warranty on the manufacturer defects. However, if you register when you buy your Berkey water filter, you will be eligible for Berkey Care Lifetime Warranty. Moreover, the Black Berkey filters come with 2 years prorated warranty on the manufacturer defects in 6 months intervals.

  • Drawbacks

The Berkey water filter doesn’t come without some drawbacks. The Black Berkey filters require frequent cleaning, which eventually affects the flow rate of the system. Moreover, since the filter system is gravity-fed, the flow rate is slower when compared to pressure-led filters. As such, it is recommended that you fill up your Berkey water filter when empty and not when you are thirsty.

Regardless of its portability, the Berkey can be a little bulky when filled up with water.

British Berkefeld

The British Berkefeld gravity water filter features two polished stainless steel containers, just like its competitor Berkey gravity water filter. Water is filled on the top container containing the filters.

As such, only clean, purified water drips from the filters into the lower container. The upper chamber is slightly narrower than the lower and features a ridge just above its base. For easy storage and transportation, the upper container is open to effectively slide into the lower container, protecting the filter candles and saving space.

When in use, turn around the upper container to be supported by the ridge. That way, it can sit securely on top of the lower chamber. The four holes at the bottom of the upper container are for filter elements known as the ‘candles.’ The more the candles, the more water is filtered in a particular period. However, you can block the unused holes with rubber grommets.

The lower container has one hole where the tap is fitted. The rubber ring is for making the entire water filter stand securely to filter on. A lid covers the top container to prevent dirt, insects, and other contaminants from entering the water.

  • Use

The upper container is filled with untreated tap water to a level covering the candle filters and below the top. Be careful when filling the upper container so you don’t let untreated water overflow or splash down the sides to get into the lower container to contaminate the already filter clean water.

The tap at the lower container should be closed. This is because water can filter through the candles and drip into the ground or the container that collects the clean that may overflow your cup. The clean filtered water can be drawn off at the tap for immediate use or filled into bottles for later use.

The filter rate of the British Berkefeld will slow down like water on the top container drops. Therefore, it is recommended to top the upper container to maintain the flow rate, especially when you want to filter more quickly.

  • Capacity and Size

The British Berkefeld comes in different capacities and sizes, just like its competitor – Berkey. When the upper container is filled with water, it filters to the lower container for access on-demand or later. You can fill the upper and lower container to cater to a large number of people. This makes the British Berkefeld ideal for home, office, camping, and party usage. So choose a standard or large model depending on where you want to use it.

  • Pathogen Removal

The British Berkefeld water filter is fitted with ceramic water filters designed to reduce pathogen bacteria like salmonella, cholera, E-Coli and salmonella typhi (typhoid) up to 99% from your water. The filters also remove chlorine, turbidity like rust, dirt, and silt up to 96% and 98% reduction respectively. It eliminates lead metal up to a 99.2% reduction.

  • No Tubing

Like the Berkey water filter, the British Berkefeld does not need tubing as some water filters do. All you need is to pour water into the upper container for it to filter out into the lower container. As such, you won’t trouble yourself how you will have it installed in your home, office, or camping site.

  • Certification

The British Berkefeld Ceramic filters are NSF Listed Component and are manufactured to meet the NSF benchmarks 42 and 53 for materials. Compared to the Black filters in the Berkey model, the Ceramic filters are inferior. This is because they don’t reduce pathogens 100% as the Black Berkey filters do.

  • Filter Capacity

The British Berkefeld uses Ceramic filters to remove contaminants from your water. They can remove pathogenic bacteria, cysts, and organic chemicals that may lurk in your water.  Unlike the Black Berkey filters that remove chlorine, these only reduce chlorine, turbidity, particulate, and sediment from your tap water. Sediment and silt should not be smaller than the 2µ in your water. Very fine sediments of around 1µ can still pass through these filters.

The ceramic filters may not remove discoloration from dissolved minerals and chemicals. However, the unpleasant taste, smell, or coloring from organic chemicals will be considerably improved by absorption into the activated carbon material.

  • Simple Installation Procedure

The installation for the British Berkefeld is essentially simple and straightforward like the Berkey water filters. All you need to do is clean the ceramic filters to remove any sediment that might give your water an unpleasant taste or smell. As such, fill the upper container and let the water filter through the system for some hours. Drain the water away from the lower container without drinking. Ideally, you can use the water for your pets or plants to avoid waste. By now, your gravity water filter is ready to use.

  • Maintenance and Replacement

Unlike the Berkey water filters, the maintenance for the British Berkefeld is hassle-free. The containers are made from high-quality surgical-grade stainless steel for optimum corrosion resistance. The material makes cleaning and maintenance for this gravity filter easy. Moreover, the ceramic filters are self-sterilizing thus won’t require much of your effort.

However, with the activated carbon inside the filters, you can replace them at regular intervals of about 6 months to prevent the creation of harmful microorganisms whenever extreme absorption is attained at 2000 liters.

Even though ceramic filters have been in use for over 100 years now, they are still as efficient as before. Regardless, with modern technology filters like the Black Berkey can be more effective in filtering your water.

  • Drawbacks

The British Berkefeld equally comes with a few drawbacks that are unique to its design. One of the main drawbacks is that the ceramic filters are not as powerful in getting rid of contaminants as the Black Berkey filters do. The ceramic filters are designed to meet the filtration class and not exceed it.

The ceramic filters come with activated carbon inside them, which creates dangerous microorganisms when their absorption capacity is exceeded. As such, the filters need replacing after every six months.

However, the main drawback is that the ceramic filters are an old innovation that is outdated. Modern filter technologies like Black Berkey Purification Elements have emerged and are more effective in removing contaminants rather than reducing them.


Q: How frequently should I clean the water filters?

A: You can clean them as frequently as possible if the water you are using is dirtier. Therefore, try to let your water stand in a covered container so that dirt can settle at the bottom. You can then carefully top-up your filter container from the clean water near the top. You can also consider getting cleaner water from cleaner sources if you share the source with animals or other people who may make it dirt before you fetch it.

Q: What should I do to maintain my water filtration system well?

A: Consider washing the lower chamber at least once per month with soapy dishwater. If you live in areas with hard water, hard water causing minerals to build up the limescale after extended use. To remove the limescale, soak the affected area with vinegar or a mixture of vinegar and water in a 50-50 % ratio and wait for about 15 minutes. Wipe it away with a soft brush, wash with soapy water and rinse with clean water.

Q: How long can water sit in the holding chamber after filtration?

A: It is recommended that you don’t let the filtered water sit in the holding container for more than three days. If this happens, pour out the old water and re-filter a fresh collection for use.

Q: Does the British Berkefeld or Berkey affect the pH of the water?

A: No. The pH of the filtered water is the same as the unfiltered one if it is from the same source.

Q: How durable are these gravity water filtration systems?

A: The exterior containers of both of these systems are made from high-grade surgical stainless steel that is polished to ensure they are rugged enough to handle camping trips in tough terrains yet elegant enough to complement your deluxe home décor.

Q: What happens when the carbon becomes exhausted in the British Berkefeld water filter?

A: Once the carbon is exhausted, it will be unable to reduce the chemicals contaminants, foul smell, and taste from your source water. Regardless, the ceramic shell filter will continue eliminating pathogenic bacteria and turbidity.

Q: When should I clean my British Berkefeld filter candles?

A: If you realize the filtration rate has significantly slowed down, yet the upped container is full to the brim, it is most likely that dirt is blocking on the surface of the filter candles. As such, they are ready for a thorough clean.

Q: Will my British Berkefeld filter out viruses?

A: No. The viruses are way too small to be stopped by all normal filters like the ceramics in the British Berkefeld. However, the filters should still attain a significant reduction. This is because the viruses are often associated with infected cells or attached to other organisms that can be filtered.


Both these two gravity water filters are excellent performers with a long proven reputation and a high number of satisfied customers. However, the Berkey lasts longer and removes a wide variety of water contaminants. Also, they have the benefits in their capacity as they get rid of a larger number of these contaminants at a very high rate.

It is important to keep in mind that if you own the British Berkefeld with the ceramic filters and want to address some of the missed contaminants like lead, you can consider the PF-4’s, a version of the Black Berkey filters. They are capable of removing a majority of the contaminants that may be harmful to you at higher rates. If fluorine and arsenic contaminants are your concern, you can consider buying the Black Berkey with PF-2’s filters that are efficient at removing these contaminants.

Your home, office, or camping site should have a portable gravity water filter intended for daily usage. Clean purified water is, without a doubt, very essential for human consumption. So, by owning either the British Berkefeld or the Berkey gravity water filter, you are many steps away from drinking contaminated water that can be harmful to your health. There you have it, which gravity water filter can you consider having for your day to day water purification?

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