Berkey Water Filter Review

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Today I’m going to share about one of my favorite kitchen items, my Royal Berkey Water Filter! I’ve owned my unit for two years, and it has proved to be a simple, affordable, and practical solution to water filtration for my family. One reason why it has taken me so long to write about is that I just don’t think about it… filling the unit and using the water has become an automatic routine in our house, and we are constantly reaping the benefits of having clean drinking water around the clock.

Most people know that they should be concerned about the contaminants they may be exposed to in their water (especially with crisis in our public water systems becoming more common, like what has happened in Flint, Michigan!). While in the United States we generally have water that is free from some obvious pathogens and contaminants, a lot of our municipal water comes with other chemicals that are hazardous to our health (like heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride, pesticide residue, and other nasty stuff… even prescription drugs!). Even if you are on a well, like me, you may have to deal with a high pathogen load and the presence of heavy metals.

There is no question that everyone should consider the impact that water filtration will have on their health, especially those of us who have autoimmune disease. Just think of it this way… if you don’t filter your water, your body has to do the hard work of detoxifying all of those contaminants!

Once you go down the road of deciding to get a water filter, it is easily to get overwhelmed with the options. To be honest, I procrastinated getting a filter for nearly a year because I was bogged down with all of the options. I kept hearing about the Berkey, however, through others in the natural health community and decided to look into what all the fuss was about. I’m glad I did, because we’ve been enjoying clean water at a very affordable price and almost no maintenance since the day I bought the unit.

Three things I love about Berkey Water Filters:

  1. They are effective at filtering and produce tasty water. The reason why you want a water filter is to get contaminants out, right? The Berkey systems include a set of “black” carbon filters, as well as the option to filter out fluoride with their PF-2 filter. Want to see how the Berkey compares to other household filters? Check out this chart. Oh, and the water tastes wonderful. Their filters are guaranteed to remove:
    • 99.9% of viruses,
    • 100% pathogenic bacteria, parasites and cysts,
    • 99.9% trihalomethanes (like chloroform)
    • 99.9% inorganic minerals (like chlorine)
    • 95% heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, copper)
    • 99.9% volatile organic compounds
    • 95% fluoride removal (PF-2 filter only)
  2. The filters are able to be cleaned and last a long time. Each “black” carbon filter lasts for 3,000 gallons and are able to be cleaned up to 100 times (I clean mine monthly, which only takes a few minutes in the sink). I’ve had my unit for two years, and I still have at least another year to go on my original set of filters. At the rate I use filtered water (8-10 gallons/week), I spend about $2 a month on filters.
  3. The countertop design makes them portable and easy to use. If you don’t have a permanent living situation the Berkey is a flexible, portable solution to water filtration. It sits on the countertop instead of being plumbed in, which can be a big commitment if you are on the move.

If you are going to pick up a Berkey, it is important to consider the amount of water you use in your kitchen. I have the Royal Berkey (the 3 gallon model) and use filtered water for everything — drinking water, coffee/tea, cooking (like soup and broth making), and for giving to my pets, and find that we refill our unit every other day or so (which is perfect for our needs). If you are single, you might consider a smaller unit (like the Big Berkey, the 2.25 gallon model). The biggest feedback I hear from owners is that they wished they got a size up, especially when large families are involved!

Another thing to consider is if you need their PF-2 filter, which removes fluoride. Since I am on well water, I purchased a model without this filter, but if you are on municipal water that is fluoridated this would be a necessary option for you.

If you’d like to read more about Berkey Water Filters, you can check out this website. Here are the links to the various models on Amazon:

About Mickey Trescott

Mickey Trescott is a co-founder here at Autoimmune Wellness and a co-teacher of AIP Certified Coach. After recovering from her own struggle with both Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue, and multiple vitamin deficiencies, Mickey started to write about her experience to share with others and help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. She has a Master's degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Nutrition, and is the author of three best-selling books--The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook, and The Nutrient-Dense Kitchen. You can watch her AIP cooking demos by following her on Instagram.


  • Linz says

    I just started researching Berkey last night. I read that many people tested their water after using the Berkey filter and still found a very substantial amount of fluoride. I’m curious if you tested yours and had better results. I want to make sure it lives up to its claims before purchasing. Thanks!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Linz! I am on well water and don’t have or need a fluoride filter. I did notice that their website stated that the filter removes 95% of the fluoride, so not all of it. If you are interested in this feature I might contact them to see what their product specifications are and what they can guarantee if you know you have a lot of fluoride in your water.

    • shawn says

      Tested the TDS and surprisingly I found that
      the INPUT TDS of water = 28 ppm
      Out put water from Berkey = 276 ppm
      was wondering where this is coming from?

  • Suzanne says

    Love my Berk, but you are correct. I wish I had sized up. I have a travel, and it works just fine though. I have taken it with me a few times for longer vacations too, which is nice. I’d be interested to know about the fluoride as the previous posted requested as well.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Suzanne – you can see my comment there, but Berkey states that their filters remove 95% of fluoride, so not 100%.

  • Brenda Gardener says

    In February I purchased the Propur water filter in a small traveller size and couldn’t be happier.
    Their filter also removes all the nasties and it is the fluoride removal that I am happiest with.

  • Chris says

    How much did you pay for yours? Where did you buy it?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Chris! You will see the model I bought through the links up above – I bought mine on Amazon.

  • Jess says

    Thank you for this! I’ve been reasearching off and on for the last few years on a solution for water filtration. You are right, it’s so overwhelming! I think this will have to be our next big purchase. I’m glad to hear its affordable long term. I also love that it’s not a plastic container.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Jess, I agree, so nice that it isn’t plastic! I really love mine.

    • Kimberly says

      I purchased my travel Berkey 1 1/2 yrs ago for 3 ppl. I fill daily and use for every thing. I love, love, love it and so glad I purchased. It has an amazing taste that now I am a water snob!! So well worth the money.

  • Amanda Patrick says

    We recently purchased a Berkey Light and just love it. It took me hours and hours of research to pick a filter and I’m so pleased with our choice. The water is delicious and I love that the whole unit is portable so we can take it with us on trips. Most people don’t know how horrible their tap water is but I’m not having my kids drink pesticides, heavy metals and fluoride. Thanks

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Happy you like it! Its been a huge hit in our family as well 🙂


    I saw that the system is not NSF certified. Does that bother you at all? It is so confusing to find the right filter at an affordable price. I want to make sure it lives up to its claims.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Jessica, NSF is just one type of private testing. Berkey has lots of other third party testing that shows the efficacy of their product, so no it doesn’t worry me.

  • Lynn says

    We’re building a new house and we’ll have a well, and have been wondering about softening or not. Do you soften to some taps but not to your drinking water tap? What is your reason for the Berkey with well water? I understand from their website that softened water should not be used in the Berkey. Many thanks.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hey Lynn! Well water can differ so much, it is really important to have yours tested to see what you are dealing with. We have two wells on our property, one with perfect, clean water with very low minerals and great for drinking (this well serves a family member’s house) and the second with high sediment and iron-eating bacteria (of course, this is the one that serves our house). We do have issues using this water in our house as the plumbing and appliances get a iron residue and need more frequent cleaning, and the water isn’t great to drink (although it isn’t toxic, persay). We decided to forgo a whole house softener for complex reasons, mainly relating to a water pressure issue we have, and use the Berkey to filter our drinking water. Hope it helps!

  • Timothy Goodness says

    Just wanted to say that fluoride has been leaching into our ground water for decades now. It is in many home wells because of this. I’m sure if you look hard enough you can find information, perhaps even a map of the areas most effected in the nation.

    I bought a Berkey about four years ago, we are very happy with it! Our town water out of the tap smells of chlorine, after being filtered it tastes better, and as no smell. We do use the top and bottom filters to remove the maximum amount of additives and contamination.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Timothy! Thanks for the tip. We had our well water here on the farm tested and it doesn’t have any fluoride, but a good warning for others who are on well water.

  • Rebecca says

    Hi Mickey,
    I’ve recently been looking into the ph level of water. Do you know if that is addressed with this filter?
    Thank you for all that you do!!!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Rebecca,
      As far as I know, the Berkey filter does not affect pH.

    • Mike says

      When we bought our Royal Berkey the first thing we did was test the pH. Our municipal town water registered a 5 on the pH scale. After filtering through the Berkey it raised our pH level to about an 8.25!! It had a substantial effect on ours!

      • Mickey Trescott says

        Thanks for sharing your experience Mike!

  • Marlene says

    I researched the Berkey but my biggest concern is that they do not have their products independently tested and that’s the only way I know if it is doing what it says its doing. When I called Berkey they just gave me the run around.

  • JayRay says

    I bought a Propur 2.5 years ago. I was extremely happy with it UNTIL it started rusting! I contacted them (and sent pictures) one month after the warranty expired. They agreed it was in usual, and then asked if I would like to buy a new one. NO WAY!!! I’ll be replacing it with a Berkeley as soon as my budget allows.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Jay, wow, sorry to hear, and I would not have purchased another one either! I’ve had my Berkey for 3 years now and not a trace of rust.

  • Aoife says

    Anyone know if these are available to buy in Europe?

    • Weronika says

      Yes they are. Our big berkey gets to us on Monday, we are in the States but we will be moving back to Europe some time in the future and I googled berkey Europe and they sell then there. Also company we bought it here from confirmed they sell them in Europe

  • nikki says

    Are there any stores where I can see their products in person?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Nikki – I am not sure, I’ve never seen one in a store. This would be a great question to reach out to Berkey directly and ask them!

  • Angela says

    Hi, I’ve got a Big Berkey, since 11 yrs, I am very happy with it. I have changed the filters 3 times since buying it. I clean the filters once a month as residue builds up on the outside. I live in the Middle East and we have water tanks on our roof. Although they say the Municipal water is potable the water sits in a tank and sand seems to get into it. I bought it in the UK and brought it back with me, I have glass water dispensers which I fill up with filtered water so I dont have to filter water for a couple of days.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Angela, I have to clean my filters monthly as well – we live on a farm and have a lot of sediment in our well water.

  • Christian Cristobal says

    I bought a big berkey, 2 black filter and 2 flouride filter. But i only used it twice because the taste of water that filtered taste like metal. I dont know if its the filter causing metal taste. The company were i bought my berkey water filtration is CONCIOUS WATER here in Canada..

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Christian, that doesn’t sound right – I would contact the company you purchased from for some support. The water from both of my Berkeys tastes clean and fresh, not metallic at all.

    • Angie says

      You have to run a few gallons through and discard upon first use. The instructions clarify this. Don’t drink your first few batches!

    • Susy says

      Hi Christian, I had the same problem because I didn’t rinse the fluoride enough. Just rinse/prime the fluoride filters again. You’ll have great tasting water. I’ve found the berkey to be a great filter. Very happy. It’s easy and I like it better than all my previous under the sink units. We use a big berkey for a family of 3 and fill once a day.

  • Brian Scott says

    Hi Mickey, Nice post. Is it true that if you do not filter any water through the fluoride filters for 3+ days that they are no good? I was just advised this from a rep at Berkey. I cannot imagine this to be the case when you spend $150+ on filters. The rep told me that the filters would have had to been bagged and refrigerated if not in use for more than 3 days. Well, that is NOT good considering I just bought these less than 2 months ago and would be throwing this money away.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Brian! I don’t have or use flouride filters so I don’t know. Chatting with them directly is your best bet!

  • Maria says

    Hello! We bought our Berkey last summer and clean it every month. Thus month I noticed a discolored spot at the bottom of each chamber and it looks like rust. I already contacted the company for a replacement. My concern is, if this is in fact rust, how dangerous can it be. There are four of us at home including a 5 and 7 year old and drink Berkey water everyday.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Maria – that sounds troubling, but unlikely, since the units are made from stainless steel which doesn’t rust. I’ve had my unit for 5 years and haven’t had this issue. Will you let us know what you hear back?

  • Michael Schwartz says

    What concerns me is that the links you provide for the Berkey go straight to Amazon and you are in a relationship with them to make money as a sort of “affiliate” where you get paid for units sold. The fact that there lacks independent testing data also is a concern and makes me think the Berkey’s may not be what they are decribed as. Thanks

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Michael! You can see our affiliate disclosure in the sidebar as well as in the drop-down at the very beginning of this post. Yes, affiliate marketing is one way we support the site, but we only recommend products we use and love ourselves.

  • Emily Koch says

    I have been researching the berkey for days now. I’m still worried about the fact that some people tested their water and it didn’t filter out what it claimed. Especially the coliform bacteria. Has anybody test their water ? I’m also concerned about the metals in the stainless steel leaching into the water. It will be an expensive purchase for us and I want to make sure that it’s actually going to protect us from heavy metals and pesticides etc. Any advice would help thanks.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Emily! All I can provide is my personal experience and research I’ve done for this article here. If you need any further info or testing, I’d suggest reaching out to Berkey or getting some tests run.

  • Liora says

    HI! Anyone have a shower filter recommendation – I need the BEST because my daughter has autoimmune disease and we are taking every step (jet fuel in shower water has autoimmune effects) THANKS!!

  • Nicole says

    Thanks Mickey! My doctor recommended this filter too. What are your thoughts on the fluoride filter?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Nicole! I have never used the flouride filter since we have well water.

  • Hello! We bought our Berkey last summer and clean it every month. Thus month I noticed a discolored spot at the bottom of each chamber and it looks like rust. I already contacted the company for a replacement. My concern is, if this is in fact rust, how dangerous can it be. There are four of us at home including a 5 and 7 year old and drink Berkey water everyday.

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Saba! That isn’t good, and I’m glad you contacted Berkey. I used my filter for 6 years to filter well water and never had the inside of the chambers rust, but I am sure it is possible if they get a nick or something to allow water to penetrate the metal. Hoping they sort it out for you!

  • Kayla Waller says

    What is your take on the current situation with Berkey? Do you still back them as a recommended product? If not, are there any alternative water filters you would recommend?

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