Gravity Water Filters
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Comparing Gravity Water Filters: Phoenix vs. Berkey

Which water filter should I choose?

If you’re reading this, then chances are you appreciate the importance of clean, purified drinking water. Choosing a reliable and simple way to obtain filtered water saves time and money – as well as being kinder to the environment. With various options on the market, choosing between the best gravity water filters can feel like a baffling task. If you’ve started to read around the subject, then chances are two names have cropped up repeatedly: Phoenix vs. Berkey. Let’s unravel the pros and cons, so you can choose which system is best suited to your needs.

What is a water purification system?

Both Berkey and Phoenix manufacture water purification systems. But what exactly are they, and what makes them differrent from other water filters? Well, first of all they are gravity fed systems, which means they don’t require power. This makes them simpler eliminates the need for any energy input. Because of this, they are ideal for everyday use in the home or office, in addition to providing a secure emergency back-up if water supply is intermittent.

These gravity-based water filtration systems are based on a simple premise. They each feature two large, stainless-steel chambers, connected by two carbon filter elements. Untreated water in the upper chamber flows through the filters before gathering in the lower chamber. At this point, the water has been eliminated of anything unpleasant and is ready to be consumed. The water filter isn’t connected to a mains water supply, so it doesn’t require a plumber to get started.


In this category, both Berkey and Phoenix water filters perform similarly. They are made from 304 stainless steel, and both brands use a spigot tap. However, the Phoenix comes standard with a stainless steel tap! These durable and resilient materials ensure the longevity of your filtration system, and stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion. It’s also resistant to heat, so even on a hot day your water will not heat up unduly. Stainless steel is also hygienic, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing.

Filter efficacy

Clearly, the capabilities of the filter itself is crucial. We all want to know that the water we are drinking is safe, free from germs and other impurities – and we want it to taste good, as well. What’s more, we don’t want a filter system to strip our drinking water of the essential minerals found naturally, and which provide health benefits.

Both filter systems provide reassuring results in this respect.

Let’s look at the statistics, starting with Berkey. The manufacturers claim its purification system eliminates:

  • 99,9% of viruses
  • 99,9% of bacteria
  • Most heavy metals
  • Pesticides
  • Chloramine
  • 99,9% of pharmaceuticals.

Phoenix, on the other hand, removes in excess of:

  • 99,9% of bacteria, including (but not limited to) E.coli, Salmonella, Terrigena and Cholera.
  • 99,9% of parasites such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia
  • 98% of Chlorine
  • 98% of heavy metals (including lead). This is important since certain older pipes which carry water into households may be made from lead.
  • 98% of pesticides and other chemical contaminants.

It is evident that both systems are reassuring, and the filtered water they produce will be safe to drink.

Filter Composition

Berkey and Phoenix have very comparable filter composition. Both brands don’t release their exact formula and/or composition but both brands use activated carbon derived from coconut shells as their main core of the filter elements. In addition, both brands impregnate their cartridges with Silver to prevent bacterial growth.

Fluoride Removal

Activated Carbon loses its capacity to remove Fluoride fairly quickly (after 200-300 liters). Therefore, additional filters are required to remove Fluoride completely. Luckily, Phoenix has recently introduced its POSTreat fluoride reduction filter elements. These filter elements remove 95% of natural Fluoride from your drinking water. In case you consider a Berkey, opt for the PF-2 or PF-4 filter elements if you want to remove Fluoride.

Size options

On paper, this is one area where Berkey wins hands down. There are six options to pick from, starting from the smallest – the Travel Berkey (5,7 liters), which Berkey suggests is suitable for a couple or someone living alone – through to the largest, the impressive Crown Berkey (a little more than 27 litres). The latter would work for a large family or even a busy office with more than 10 people.

There are fewer options with the Phoenix Gravity water filters. Currently, Phoenix offers four models. Namely;

Having said that, this streamlines the decision-making process – often not a bad thing! – and Phoenix have found that these two sizes should suit most households, with both fitting perfectly onto kitchen counters. The larger specification would also work well in a small office.

Price considerations

The importance of price is, of course, crucial in choosing a filtration system that is designed to last for many years. There are two factors to consider: the initial outlay of the purification tank, and ongoing costs which, in this case, is the replacement of filter cartridges. Over the lifespan of the purification system, this can run into the thousands, so it is worth paying attention at the beginning.

If we compare the similar-sized systems, you can expect to pay between €405 and €570 for the 8.5 litre Berkey system (depending on the number of filters in the model), in contrast with around €180 for the similar-sized Phoenix model. The cost of filter cartridge replacement is also significant; two Berkey cartridges come in at around €183, compared to €70 for the Phoenix replacements. This represents a saving of €100, choosing Phoenix.

Still unsure?

Choosing between best gravity fed water filters is a big decision. You want to make sure you select the best option for you and your family. With the Phoenix models, you might be reassured to learn that it comes with a 100-day trial period – as well as a 10 year warranty. This means you can try it out and see what you think, before committing fully.

While Berkey is perhaps the better-known water purification system on the market, it is worth exploring other options before the initial outlay. Comparable in terms of their filtration prowess, Phoenix has the edge when it comes to price. Both systems, though, will give you clean drinking water to enjoy for years to come!

Hopefully this “Phoenix vs. Berkey” article has helped you in deciding which water filters is best suitable for you!

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