If you are looking for a performant water filter that provides safe and clean water for your entire family to enjoy, you have probably come across Clearly Filtered vs Berkey, two of the most famous names in the industry. Keep reading to find out everything there is to know about them.
Both brands have products working on the same principle – eliminating water impurities through gravity filtration. However, each comes with advantages and disadvantages that we will explore in this article.
After comparing what ClearlyFiltered and Berkey have to offer, you should be able to make the right decision for you and your family about the best possible water filter.
What Is Gravity Filtration?
Gravity filtration is a mechanism for filtering water contaminants by using gravity to pull water through a filter, leaving behind the impurities. The primary mechanism of any gravity filtration device is pretty straightforward.
It has two chambers that hold water, with a special filter in between. The chamber on top contains clean water, while the lower one houses dirty or untreated water.
Gravity forces the water to flow from the upper chamber to the bottom one; at this point, impurities are left behind, and all you have is safe and clean drinking water to use for cooking, drinking, or anything else.
Clearly Filteredvs Berkey: Comparison Chart
Here’s a rundown of Clearly Filtered and Berkey features:
|Clearly Filtered||Big Berkey|
|Filtering system||Affinity Filtration Technology||Black Berkey elements|
|Filtered water capacity||10 cups||2.25 gallons|
|Filter lifespan||100 gallons||6000 gallons|
|Warranty||Lifetime||System and Parts - Lifetime
Black Berkey elements - 2 years
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Clearly Filtered and Berkey water pitchers use distinct filtration elements. Let’s take a look.
Clearly Filtered takes advantage of Affinity Filtration. It uses two technologies to eliminate 99.9% of more than 270 water contaminants – a magnet-like chemical absorption and a one-of-a-kind physical structure.
The contaminant magnet identifies harmful water contaminants based on their ionic signature, pulls them from the water, and creates a powerful bond to ensure they don’t re-enter the water.
Meanwhile, the unique physical structure ensures the water impurities travel in curvy lines so that the contaminant magnet has more time to do its job.
Berkey uses Black Berkey purification elements made of ceramic and compressed carbon. They contain silver ions for killing bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites, fungi, etc. These filters remove more than 200 impurities from your drinking water, including heavy metals like lead and arsenic.
Additionally, the Black Berkey elements eliminate dangerous water contaminants, including pathogenic bacteria such as E-coli, cryptosporidium, giardia cysts, lead, arsenic, and chlorine taste and odor.
If you need a water filtration system to reduce fluoride, you must also get the Berkey Fluoride Water Filter. It gets rid of up to 97% of fluoride, including (sodium fluoride, sodium fluorosilicate, fluorosilicic acid 1), pre-oxidized arsenic III and arsenic V, MTBE, and other heavy metals.
All Berkey filtration elements are made from FDA-approved and BPA-free food-grade materials.
Clearly Filtered and Berkey are both incredibly efficient in eliminating water contaminants. Nevertheless, several aspects set them apart.
Clearly Filtered water pitchers remove more than 270 contaminants from tap or well water. These include arsenic, atrazine, barium, BPA, chlorine, chloroform, chromium 6, fluoride, glyphosate (roundup), HAA5 (haloacetic acids), human hormones, lead, microplastics, nitrate, perchlorate, pesticides, PFAS (perfluorinated chemicals), radiation, styrene, total trihalomethanes (TTHMs), and rotavirus.
Berkey is not that far behind since it can get rid of over 200 water impurities. These include aluminum, antimony, barium, beryllium, bismuth, cadmium, cobalt, chromium 6, copper, iron, lead, mercury, molybdenum, nickel, vanadium, zinc, viruses, pharmaceuticals, fluoride, bacteria, glyphosate, chlorine, arsenic, monochloramine, E-coli, endocrine disruptors, nitrites, haloacetic acids and trihalomethanes, and PFCs/PFAS (PFOA and PFOS).
Both Clearly Filtered and Berkey are durable. The manufacturer of Clearly Filtered water pitchers holds a patent for Affinity Filtration, designed to last the lifetime of the pitcher.
Clearly Filtered water pitchers are durable enough to filter 100 gallons of water. They include a cleanable flat-side cartridge that you must replace every 4 months or 100 gallons, depending on your daily water usage.
However, the fact that Clearly Filtered pitchers are made out of plastic might scare away potential customers, even if the plastic is BPA-free. Besides, there’s only one model available, so there are no other materials to choose from.
The ceramic filter elements used in Berkey are among the most durable ones out there, capable of serving you for 6 months or up to 3 years (depending on your use).
Also, Black Berkey filters have a lifespan of 3,000-6,000 gallons each. That being said, you can easily replace them with inexpensive carbon filters once your Berkey system reaches its end of life.
Berkey sells multiple water pitcher models, and all are stainless steel, except for a plastic model; the spigot is also plastic. Nevertheless, it’s enough to put the mind of potential customers at ease.
Models and Upfront Costs
Let’s find out the models and upfront costs of Clearly Filtered and Berkey water pitchers.
Clearly Filtered offers only one water pitcher model: Clearly Filtered Water Filter Pitcher. It has an average filter life of 100 gallons that you must replace every 4 months (on average). Plus, it weighs only 3 pounds and has a capacity of 80 oz. or 10 cups.
For a one-time purchase, you will pay around $85 for Clearly Filtered. However, you can save a lot of money by buying Clearly Filtered Water Filter Pitcher with 3 Replacement Filters or Clearly Filtered Water Filter Pitcher with 6 Replacement Filters.
Remember that 3 replacement filters add 12 more months to the filter lifespan. So, if you buy this version, you won’t have to worry about buying new filter replacements for 16 months. The version with 6 replacement filters is even better since it means 28 months.
Compared to Clearly Filtered, Berkey offers more water pitcher models. All are stainless steel, except for Berkey Light; it’s cheaper since it’s BPA-free plastic.
Nevertheless, the most popular water filter pitcher is Big Berkey. Here are all:
- Travel Berkey(1.5 gallons)
- Big Berkey(2.25 gallons)
- Royal Berkey(3.25 gallons)
- Imperial Berkey(4.5 gallons)
- Crown Berkey(6 gallons)
- Berkey Light(2.75 gallons)
As far as costs are concerned, Berkey is more expensive than Clearly Filtered. Prices begin at $274 and rise to $407.
Filter Lifespan and Replacement Costs
There are many cases when water filters are cheap to buy, but their filter replacements are expensive. Thankfully, that’s not the case for Clearly Filtered and Berkey.
The Clearly Filtered filter is designed to last for 100 gallons or 4 months, whichever comes first. A single filter costs about $50, but you can save money by purchasing multiple filters at the same time.
Keep in mind that 3 replacement filters mean 12 months of filter usage, in addition to the 4 months of the original filter. Meanwhile, 6 replacement filters result in 24 additional months of filter usage.
Berkey water filter pitchers use Black Berkey Purification Elements that last for an average of 3000 to 6000 gallons each. You have to replace them as soon as the flow rate drops below 1 gallon per hour.
This shouldn’t happen all that often since the filters provide safe and clean drinking water for a few years – between 2 and 5 years.
A pack of 2 Black Berkey Purification Elements costs around $154. It seems like much, but remember that they will last you for several years. So you will be saving a lot of money on the long term, and you won’t have to worry about changing filters often.
However, if you need to remove fluoride from water, you must also buy a pack of 2 Berkey Fluoride Water Filters, which costs around $105. These filters have a capacity of 1000 gallons per pair, which should last for 1 year.
Certifications and Warranties
Certifications are essential because they prove that the claims made by the company are true. Independent bodies like the NSF test the efficiency of water filter pitchers and let you know if they passed by awarding certifications.
Note that if a water filter company claims to be tested by the NSF, it doesn’t automatically get certified. On the bright side, you can double-check this information by searching for the filter on the NSF official website.
Warranties are just as important as certifications. They give customers peace of mind, knowing that a company has enough trust in its products to repair them for free if anything bad happens.
Let’s see how Clearly Filtered and Berkey fare against each other:
Clearly Filtered claims that its water pitcher with Affinity Filtration technology has been tested by NSF against standards 42, 53, 244, 401, and 473. However, there’s no mention of Clearly Filtered in the NSF online database, so the case is pending or failed.
On the bright side, all Clearly Filtered products are backed by a lifetime limited warranty.
Berkey is certified by several bodies, including WQA, UL, FDA, EPA, NFSI, and SCAQMD. Furthermore, they offer a lifetime warranty for the system and parts, together with a 2-year warranty for the Black Berkey elements.
On the downside, just like Clearly Filtered, Berkey is not certified by NSF.
Advantages of Clearly Filtered Water Filter Pitchers
Let’s review the upsides of using the Clearly Filtered water filter pitchers:
Removes +270 contaminants
Clearly Filtered water pitchers remove more than 270 water contaminants from tap or well water, including fluoride, lead, chlorine, and aluminum. If we take a look at the numbers alone, Clearly Filtered is better than most competitors out there, including Berkey.
With a price tag of only $85, Clearly Filtered is cheap and affordable for most households with a tight budget. It would be best to replace filters every 4 months on average – one filter costs around $50.
But you can save money on the long run by purchasing bundles of 3 or 6 filter replacements so that you won’t have to worry about buying new filters for 1 or 2 years.
If your Clearly Filtered water filter pitcher breaks down, you don’t have to worry about paying money for a new one since the company will replace it for free.
Disadvantages of Clearly Filtered Water Filter Pitchers
It wouldn’t be fair to only mention the upsides of using a Clearly Filtered water filter pitcher, so let’s look over the downsides, too:
Only One Model Available
People love options and having multiple water filter pitcher models to choose from. Unfortunately, Clearly Filtered doesn’t make the cut in this case since it sells a single model – partly white, partly transparent, and all BPA-free plastic.
And, although the BPA-free plastic guarantees that no harmful agents will leach into the filtered water, it can be difficult to clean. It’s one of the reasons why many people try to steer away from plastic containers.
Clearly Filtered has a water filtering capacity of 10 cups (8 0z.). It’s pretty low, considering there’s only one model available for purchase.
If you have a large family, want to freshen up more often during summertime, or if you’re simply the type of person who needs to drink a lot of water, you might be disappointed with the filtered capacity.
On top of that, some customers say that Clearly Filtered needs at least 25 minutes to get completely filled with filtered water. In this case, it might be easier to get two pitchers to satisfy your high water demands.
Not Certified by the NSF
Clearly Filtered is not completely honest on its website. Although it says that it was tested by NSF, it omits the fact that it hasn’t received NSF certifications – not yet, anyway. However, we will keep an eye on it and update this article when and if that happens.
Advantages of Berkey Water Filter Pitchers
Let’s closely inspect the advantages of Berkey water filter pitchers:
Multiple Models Available
Berkey makes several water filter pitcher models, each with unique characteristics. This allows them to cater to different needs, preferences, and price points. Except for Berkey Light, which is BPA-free plastic, all models are stainless steel.
Huge Filter Lifespan and Filtered Water Capacity
Berkey is one of the most impressive brands when it comes to the lifespan of its water filter pitchers – from 3000 to 6000 gallons. In other words, its filters will work for over a year before you need to replace them.
The capacity of filtered water is equally excellent – 2.25 gallons. It means that you don’t have to refill the pitcher often, even if you have a big family. Once or twice a day should be enough if your water demands are reasonable.
Just like Clearly Filtered, Berkey backs up its water pitchers with a lifetime warranty. The difference is that it offers a lifetime warranty for the system and parts, together with a 2-year warranty for the Black Berkey elements.
However, when taking into account that the two filters with Black Berkey elements need to be replaced after 2 to 5 years of use, the warranty duration is reasonable.
Disadvantages of Berkey Water Filter Pitchers
Before drawing conclusions, let’s review the downsides of using Berkey water filter pitchers:
Unit and Filter Replacement Costs
Berkey water filter pitchers are more expensive than other models in the market. A unit may cost from $274 to $407. Also, a pack of two Black Berkey filters costs around $154. If you also need Berkey Fluoride water filters, that means an extra $105 per year.
However, when considering that the filters have an impressive lifespan and you’re not supposed to change them for at least 2 years (up to 5 years) – except for the Berkey Fluoride water filters (1 year), we think that the price is understandable in the long run.
All Berkey water filter models are pretty big, especially the Big Berkey. Unlike Clearly Filtered, it’s not a regular water pitcher that you can place on your kitchen countertop. Instead, you need to evaluate the size of your kitchen and find a dedicated spot for this system before purchasing it.
On the bright side, it’s built for both indoor and outdoor use. So you can pack it up, take it with you when camping, and just place it near a body of water to provide clean water that’s safe to drink by your entire family.
No NSF Certifications
Just like Clearly Filtered, Berkey is not certified by NSF. In other words, its water filter pitchers have not passed certain tests when it comes to the type of contaminants they can remove.
Many people overlook this aspect, but it’s rather important for those who value their health over convenience.
Discover more helpful information about Clearly Filtered and Berkey water filter pitchers:
Will Berkey filters remove fluoride?
Yes, Berkey filters can remove up to 97% of fluoride if you separately purchase the Berkey Fluoride water filters and attach them to the system beneath the Black Berkey filters.
Do Berkey and Clearly Filtered work with well water?
Yes, both brands are great for filtering well water since they remove contaminants typically found there, such as lead, arsenic, and mercury.
However, before purchasing a Berkey system or a Clearly Filtered water pitcher, we suggest asking your local municipality about the types of pollutants that may be present in your drinking water. If you have a private well, it’s best to get it tested.
What is a Black Berkey filter made from?
The Black Berkey elements used in all models of the Berkey pitcher family use activated carbon as their main component. They’re made from a mixture of powdered research-grade activated, granulated and pelletized activated, and extruded and pelletized carbon block.
Why are Berkey water filters banned in Iowa?
Berkey water filters are banned in Iowa because the state requires the company to prove its water purification claims. It would mean for Berkey systems to be independently tested and certified by NSF.
However, Berkey feels that it’s too expensive to comply with these requirements. Moreover, it said that it has already performed its own tests to prove that Berkey systems are capable of eliminating more than 200 contaminants.
Is Clearly Filtered legit?
Yes, Clearly Filtered is a legitimate water filter pitcher. In fact, it currently has an Amazon rating of over 4 stars based on more than 1000 ratings.
Why are Berkey water filters sold out?
The COVID-19 global pandemic has affected Berkey in the sense that the company has received high demands that it cannot keep up with. It’s why Berkey water filters are regularly sold out in online shops like Amazon.
Can Berkey water make you sick?
Some customers said they got sick after drinking water filtered with Berkey due to bacteria growth. It happened when the system was regularly cleaned and the filters were replaced after the required amount of time had passed.
Is Clearly Filtered better than Brita?
In many cases, Clearly Filtered is better than Brita. For example, Clearly Filtered can remove more than 270 contaminants, while Brita can eliminate only over 5. Furthermore, Brita filters don’t last more than 2 months, while Clearly Filtered filters go up to 100 months.
On the other hand, Brita is certified against NSF standards 42 and 53 for removing chlorine and lead. Meanwhile, Clearly Filtered lacks any NSF certification.
Verdict: Which is Better between Clearly Filtered and Berkey Water Filters?
Berkey and Clearly Filtered are, without a doubt, leaders in the water filtration industry thanks to high performance, long-lasting filters, and competitive prices. It can be challenging to choose one of them. At the end of the day, it all boils down to your needs and preferences.
Clearly Filtered offers only one water filter pitcher model, while Berkey has several available. Clearly Filtered is BPA-free plastic, while most Berkey filters are stainless steel.
Berkey has a better capacity for filtered water, no matter which model you choose. It also has a more impressive filter lifespan than Clearly Filtered. On the other hand, Berkey filters are more expensive, especially when it comes to the initial costs. You will end up saving money on the long run, though.
Neither company is certified by the NSF, which can be troubling for specific individuals. But both offer a lifetime warranty for the system and parts, while Berkey also provides a 2-year warranty for its filters.
At the end of the day, we think that Berkey is better than Clearly Filtered. But that’s only our opinion. What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.
You can also learn the differences between ZeroWater and Berkey water filters.