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Zerowater vs Berkey Compared: Which one is Best?

Published by: Paulo Baker

Zerowater vs Berkey

Are you looking to buy a gravity water filtration system for your house? If yes, you must have come across Zerowater and Berkey, both of which are well-known for manufacturing top-notch gravity filters. 

We’re sure you must be looking for a water filter that provides good quality, healthy drinking water to you and your family. It can be challenging to pick the right option when both the brands are renowned and have tough competition. 

We’ve made this guide to make the decision process easier for you by comparing their major features and discussing their respective pros and cons. 

Keep reading to find out everything about Zerowater vs Berkey water filters.

What are Gravity Filters?

Gravity water filters are filters that eliminate viruses and unwanted particles from tap water with the help of gravity. These filters usually contain 2 containers. The bottom filter stores filtered water that you can use through the output hose attached to it, while the top filter holds unfiltered water. 

Gravity water filtration process

Different types of gravity filters are available in the market, and they differ in terms of the number of components they remove. 

One of the main advantages of using gravity filters is that these filters are extremely simple. They don’t require water faucets or whole house filtration systems to provide safe and clean drinking water.

About Berkey Water Filtration Systems 

Berkey has been a renowned brand in the industry since the 1990s. Berkey water filters come with two stainless steel tanks known as chambers. Both these tanks are placed on top of one another. 

Berkey filters also contain Black Berkey filtration elements inside them. These elements include micropores that trap all the contaminants found in water. 

Berkey Water Filters
Berkey Water Filters

The micropores get a hold of both microscopic and big impurities such as bacteria, viruses, sediment, silt, and sand. 

Berkey water filters successfully remove up to 200 contaminants from tap water. These filters also have a good filter capacity. The biggest Berkey water filter can hold up to six gallons of water, followed by the Imperial Berkey, which has a water holding capacity of 4.5 gallons and so on. 

All the Berkey models function similarly, but they differ in their tank’s water-holding capacities. 

Berkey water filters are well-known for their long life and the number of contaminants they eliminate from water. These systems last for years before their filters require replacements. 

How to Clean a Berkey Water Filter

The Black Berkey elements inside the filter also last for up to four years, and you get two of them, so they serve you for about 8 years in total. Moreover, these water filters have standard spigots that you can use to access clean drinking water. 

Berkey makes gravity filters, and hence, they use the gravity filtration process to clean the water. The stainless steel chambers ensure that the filters don’t get rusty and that the purified water doesn’t start getting contaminated again. 

Lastly, Berkey water filters are also highly durable. 

About Zerowater Water Filtration Systems 

Zerowater boasts about its filtration systems that completely remove TDS from tap water. Zerowater filters come as pitchers with the filter element fit inside them. The filter element traps all the contaminants while tap water passes through it to get filtered. 

The best part about Zerowater filtration systems is their compact design, and it is also easy to install them. These filters clean the tap water thoroughly and do a tremendous job removing all the impurities. 

Given that they have a compact design, these filters don’t take up much space in your home. Their filters also come equipped with a quality meter using which you can measure its effectiveness. 

Zerowater water filtration systems are also gravity filters. 

What Contaminants do Zerowater vs Berkey Filters Remove? 

Both Zerowater and Berkey gravity water filtration systems effectively remove most contaminants from water. Let’s quickly discuss the contaminants that are removed in the process. 


These filters are designed to remove 23 contaminants from water: 

  • Nitrite
  • Arsenic-3
  • Arsenic-5
  • Cyanide
  • Chromium-3
  • Copper
  • Chromium-6
  • Manganese 
  • Nitrate
  • Barium
  • Fluoride
  • Chlorine 
  • Beryllium 
  • Silver
  • Antimony 
  • Cadmium
  • Mercury
  • Zinc
  • Selenium 
  • Thallium 
  • Lead
  • Asbestos
  • Iron


These filters are designed to remove over 200 contaminants from water. Some of them include:

  • Pesticides
  • Insecticides 
  • Herbicides 
  • Viruses 
  • Bacteria
  • Chlorine
  • Aluminum 
  • Copper
  • e. Coli
  • Lead
  • Cobalt
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Beryllium 
  • Antimony 
  • Fluoride 
  • Haloacetic acids
  • Endocrine disruptors
  • Cadmium
  • Iron
  • Barium
  • Trihalomethanes
  • Nitrites 
  • Mercury 
  • Monochloramine
  • Bismuth 
  • Vanadium 
  • Chromium-6
  • Arsenic
  • Molybdenum
  • Zinc
  • Glyphosate
  • Nickel 

Warranties and Certifications 

Zerowater triumphs over Berkey in terms of certifications. Water filters can get tested by organizations such as the Water Quality Association and the National Sanitation Foundation to ensure that their filtration systems meet the industry standards. 

NSF Certification

Zerowater water filters have various NSF/ANSI certifications, including standards 53 & 58. Their water filters also have the NSF standard 42 certifications which means that these systems improve the smell and taste of water.

Moreover, Zerowater filtration systems are PVC-free, and they come with a 5-year warranty for their replacement filters and pitchers. 

Talking about Berkey, it is certified by NFSI, EPA, UL, WQA, FDA, and SCAQMD. However, Berkey water filters are not certified by NSF. Additionally, Berkey filters come with a lifetime guarantee for all its parts, with an exception for regular wear and tear or corrosion. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Berkey vs Zerowater

In this section, we’re going to look at the respective pros and cons of Zerowater and Berkey water filtration systems: 

Advantages of Berkey Water Filters

  • Filters over 200 contaminants from water. 
  • Made of stainless steel, making them durable. 
  • Berkey’s containers have a large water holding capacity. 
  • These systems come with Long-lasting filters.
  • Berkey water filters come with a lifetime warranty. 
  • Berkey filters are suitable for big families. 
  • They are easy to transport and compact in size. 
  • The filtered water tastes great. 
  • You get filtered water in no time. 
  • The installation process is easy. 

Disadvantages of Berkey Water Filters

  • Berkey filters don’t have NSF/ANSI certifications. 
  • The initial upfront costs of a Berkey are high. 
  • These filters don’t have self-sterilizing technology, so there is a possibility of bacteria growth. 
  • Berkey filters don’t reduce TDS. 
  • Your water may taste rubbery. 
  • Some customers have complained about defects in the product. 
  • The Black Berkey elements are costly. 

Advantages of ZeroWater Water Filters

  • Zerowater’s filtration systems have NSF/ANSI certifications. 
  • The filters have a large capacity. 
  • You won’t have to invest in additional filters to remove specific impurities. 
  • Zerowater filters come with a 90-day warranty. 
  • Impeccable customer service. 
  • Easy to carry around. 
  • Convenient to store. 
  • The upfront cost of a Zerowater filtration system is low. 
  • These filters effectively remove TDS from water
  • The installation process is easy. 
  • It comes equipped with a TDS meter. 
  • It has a very compact design. 
  • These filters are highly efficient. 
  • It comes with cheap filter elements. 

Disadvantages of ZeroWater Water Filters

  • Replacement filters for these systems are not easily available at stores, as they’re mostly available online. 
  • The filtration rate of these filters is slow. 
  • Due to their compact size, the capacity of these filters is also reduced. 
  • Filters need regular replacement and maintenance. 
  • These filters have a relatively short life. 
  • The maintenance cost of Zerowater filtration systems is higher in the long term. 
  • There have been complaints about customers reporting flakes of chrome in the clean water. 

Type of Filters Used

Berkey water filtration systems use Black Berkey filters with 5  types of filtration media to produce clean and healthy drinking water. These filters use ion exchange, activated carbon, and microfiltration. 

Zerowater water filters also come equipped with a 5-stage system. This system uses KDF, ion exchange, and activated carbon technology to provide you with safe drinking water. 

Conclusion — Zerowater vs Berkey

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably looking to compare Zerowater and Berkey to determine which one is the better option. Truth be told, each of these water filtration brands has its respective benefits and drawbacks that differentiate them from each other. 

While Berkey has filters that don’t need to be replaced in short spans of time, Zerowater’s water filters thoroughly eliminate TDS and impurities from tap water. 

Moreover, Zerowater water filtration systems are compact, while Berkey filters take more space. Therefore, the ideal water filter between Zerowater and Berkey for your home will depend on your preferences and requirements for the same. 


How to clean Berkey water filtration systems?

To clean your Berkey, use white vinegar with water now and then to get effective results. Moreover, every Berkey model comes with slightly different instructions for cleaning the system. It would help if you went through the user manual to check those institutions before you proceeded with the cleaning process.

Do Zerowater filters remove fluoride from drinking water?

Yes. Zerowater filtration systems are built to remove contaminants from water, including fluoride, nitrite, cyanide, nitrate, and chlorine, among others.

Are Berkey water filters able to eliminate heavy metals?

Yes. Most Berkey water filtration system models can easily eliminate heavy metals from tap water.

From where can I buy the Zerowater filtration system’s replacement filters?

Replacement filters for Zerowater water filtration systems can be bought online. Moreover, you can also buy the replacement filters from any authorized retailer of Berkey.

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Article by:

Paulo Baker

Paulo is a senior writer at Dash Appliances, where he research, writes, and reviews home and commercial water filters. Paulo is covering home-related things like water filters, vacuum cleaners, and more since 2019. When he's not researching and testing, he's traveling and playing golf.

1 thought on “Zerowater vs Berkey Compared: Which one is Best?”

  1. Berkey vs. ZeroWater ZeroWater’s NSF certification and cheaper price are its main advantages versus Berkey.
    However, Berkey outperforms ZeroWater in terms of water filtration performance, eliminating 232 impurities as opposed to 29. Be aware that while Berkey can lower bacteria, viruses, and cysts, it falls short of its rival in terms of TDS elimination.


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