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Berkey vs Aquasana: Which one is the best for 2021?

By Austin Armstrong May 20, 2021

Berkey vs Aquasana: Which one is the best for 2021?


Are you in the market for clean water? Those of us willing to invest in an in-home water purification system are in a position to enjoy a high standard of purity when it comes to drinking water. However, one must do some careful comparison shopping to arrive at the best choice for your household. There are many products to choose from, and many of them do not filter your water at a very high standard. 

Today we compare two such products: Berkey and Aquasana. Berkey makes a simple countertop water purification system that drains from an upper tank into a lower one, using a pair of carbon filters. Although there are seven different systems to choose from, they all use the same design and filter. Aquasana also has a similar product called the Claryum Countertop system. It offers an attachment that hooks up directly to your faucet, cleaning your tap water as it pours.

We evaluate these two products based on filtration efficiency, cost, utility, and other factors. We suggest you read to the end, as you may be surprised by our conclusion.

Berkey vs. Aquasana: Which one Cleans your Water better?

Aquasana’s website provides filter efficiency data for its Claryum Countertop system, and Berkey’s website provides data for its charcoal filter element. As with Berkey, Aquasana’s countertop systems all use the same filter. To create this side-by-side comparison, we list the data here: 


n/a - Manufacturer provided no percentage for what portion was removed

* Berkey reduced chemicals in these categories to undetectable levels. Although some of them were specifically tested for, none were found.

The Results

To analyze the numbers, let’s consider these impurities by category. Aquasana does indeed remove several contaminants, and lists about 77 of them. However, many of them fall into a couple of specific categories, leaving several common contaminants out of consideration. 


Most of the 77 filtered contaminants on Aquasana’s list fall into two categories: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and pesticides. All of the chemicals in these categories are deadly toxins. Many of them are no longer manufactured or used, most having been discontinued decades ago. Many of them have a similar molecular structure, meaning that if a filter can remove one of them from a water source, then it will likely be able to remove others like it at about the same efficiency. That is exactly what the results of Aquasana’s filter testing show.

To put it differently, by listing all of these similar chemicals, Aquasana can “pad its stats”, and thus give the appearance of a high quality of filtration. But what about other contaminants that are more common in tap water? Aquasana does not list aluminum, copper, arsenic, nor iron. Removing heavy metals should be one of the main reasons for purchasing an in-home filtration system. So is removing fluoride. On Aquasana’s website, they specifically tell us that “All contaminants removed by this filter are listed”. Yet fluoride is not listed. Fluoride is one of the most common contaminants, and one of the more dangerous when consumed over the long term.

Berkey removes entire categories of chemicals from your drinking water. It will eliminate petroleum products, pesticides, VOCs, pharmaceuticals, chloramines, trihalomethanes, and others, reducing them to undetectable levels. Almost no consumer-grade filter product can purify water to this standard. Aquasana can remove certain toxins. However, Berkey removes those same chemicals at a higher percentage, and many others as well.


Aquasana does boast the ability to filter microbial cysts, while Berkey does not make that claim. But consider: Berkey removes 99.9999999% of all bacteria. And the two species of microbial cyst that Aquasana claims to remove are Giardia and Cryptosporidium, which vary in size from 4 to 10 microns. This makes them about the same size as most common bacteria. And Berkey removes 99.999% of all viruses, which are about 1/100 the size of the most common microbial cysts. In light of this level of performance, one can likewise assume that Berkey will be able to filter microbial cysts as well. 

However, Aquasana makes no claims about its ability to filter out bacteria or viruses. Does that sound like a filter system you want for your home? Would you rather have a water purification system that removes 99.9999999% of bacteria and 99.999% of viruses? Or would you rather have a filter that makes no claim about how many of each microbe it can remove? Think about that a moment. Why would anyone pay for a filtration system that can’t protect your home from bacteria or viruses?

So, which Product filters Water Better?

Berkey removes bacteria, viruses, pesticides, VOCs, heavy metals, chlorine, and so much more. Wouldn’t you rather have the peace of mind and invest in a product that actually does what you are purchasing it for? After comparing the lists of filtered contaminants, one product jumps out at you - the one that protects your health.

Berkey is the clear winner on filter performance.

Models and Costs

Cost Comparison: Berkey vs. Aquasana

Next we compare the costs of the two systems. Here is some pricing information taken from the two companies’ websites:


The Big Berkey $278.00

Replacement Filters (1 pair)   120.00


Claryum Countertop system   $64.99

Replacement Filters (1 pair)     59.99

For a true apples-to-apples comparison, we need to know how long these products’ filters last:

Berkey dual filter 6000 Gallons (approx. 11 years)*

Aquasana’s Claryum dual filter 300 Gallons (approx. 6 months)*

* assumes that owner(s) use 1.5 gallons/day

When you purchase the Big Berkey, it comes with a pair of carbon filters that last for 6000 gallons, or approximately 11 years. That means you’ll get 6000 gallons of drinking water before you have to spend any more money on filters. There is some maintenance involved with cleaning Berkey’s filters, but it is minimal.

With Aquasana, you will have to change the filter every 300 gallons (about 6 months of use). As with Berkey, the Claryum Countertop system comes with one pair of filters. For 6000 gallons of filtered water, you will need to purchase 19 more dual filters! This is what your shopping cart will look like when you want 6000 gallons of filtered water with Aquasana:

Aquasana’s Claryum Countertop     $64.99

Replacement filters (19 @ $59.99 each) $1139.81

TL $1204.80

By comparison, Berkey looks like this:

Big Berkey (includes 1 set of filters)   $278.00

Once again, this comparison tells us that in order to get the same amount of filtered water from your Aquasana system as with Berkey, you will need to spend an additional $926.80. All of that money goes to replacement filters. 

So if you choose the Big Berkey, you would end up saving $926.80 over the first 11 years of use! 

And Remember, while you are saving that money with Berkey, you get to enjoy a much higher quality of water. So if your goal is to save money on your water purification system, there is really one clear choice in this comparison: Berkey wins hands down.

Pros and Cons


Aquasana has created a product that is affordable for the average consumer, and its filters last for six months. It can filter certain dangerous toxins at a high level of efficiency, although there are many other chemicals which can pass through the filter at significant levels. And Aquasana makes no claims about protecting your household from bacteria or viruses. Aquasana’s product is very expensive over the long term, as you will have to spend an additional $59.99 every six months for a new dual filter. In conclusion, Aquasana’s Claryum Countertop system (and those like it) offers nowhere near the same quality of product that Berkey can.


Berkey dominates Aquasana in both key areas: performance and cost. The Big Berkey does have a significant upfront cost of $278.00. But after three years, you will save money that you would have spent on filters with Aquasana. Berkey offers a much higher standard of filtration than Aquasana does, protecting the health of you and your loved ones. Berkey’s filter depends on gravity, not electricity. It’s very easy to use, and only requires occasional maintenance in the form of cleaning the tank and filter.

Which should I buy? Aquasana or Berkey?

Neither! Buy the Water Machine!

Wait a minute! Who brought The Water Machine into this product comparison? A fair question. Berkey does indeed provide a product that is superior to Aquasana’s countertop systems. In fact, Berkey’s filtration systems outperform almost every in-home system on the market. However, The Water Machine beats Berkey’s products.

The Water Machine uses the same charcoal filter element that Berkey does. Not the same design, mind you, but the same filter. Meaning, The Water Machine purifies water at the same efficiency as Berkey’s products do. It filters the same contaminants at the same percentages. And the dual filter will last for 6000 gallons before you will need to replace it. The Water Machine is identical to Berkey with respect to filter performance.

So, how is The Water Machine better? The Water Machine outclasses Berkey in a few other key areas: Cost, utility, and taste. Let’s look at these one at a time:


Let’s revisit our cost comparison from earlier, except we’ll include The Water Machine this time.


The Big Berkey system $278.00

Replacement Filters   120.00

The Water Machine

The Water Machine $299.99

Replacement Filters     74.99

At first glance, you might think that The Water Machine is more expensive at $299.99. However, it holds 3 gallons of water, while Big Berkey holds 2.5 gallons. Yet Berkey makes three additional products that each hold more water and cost more than The Water Machine. In other words, The Water Machine is comparable in size and cost to Berkey’s other products. The real difference here is the cost of replacement filters.

The Water Machine charges $45 less per pair of filters than Berkey. However, if you are able to find four new customers who want to purchase The Water Machine, the company will send you a free pair of replacement filters. Given that your filters last for 11 years, you have plenty of time to make that happen. What a nice bonus for the company to offer: A way to make sure that you won’t have to pay another dime for your system! 


Both Berkey and The Water Machine use the same two-tank system: One tank sits on top of the other. Water is poured into the upper tank, and drains through the filter element into the lower one. However, six of Berkey’s seven towers are made of metal, while the other is made of plastic. The Water Machine is made of hammered glass. The glass design makes the tanks easier to clean. It also allows the user to quickly assess the condition of the interior of the tanks.


With Berkey’s products, the filtered water must drain into either a metal tank or a plastic one. Any time you store water in a plastic tank, it will eventually start to taste like plastic. Anyone who has ever purchased water in a plastic jug has likely experienced this. Similarly, when you store water in a metal tank, it can develop a metallic taste. 

Because The Water Machine is made of glass, the taste of the filtered water will always remain pure. If you want fresh-tasting water, don’t think too long! Choose The Water Machine!

The Water Machine is your Best Option for Pure Drinking Water.

If you want a water purification system for your home that always provides fresh-tasting, clean drinking water, free from all manner of contaminants, choose The Water Machine. It’s gravity-fed design requires no electricity, making it perfect in a crisis situation, when your life depends on you having clean drinking water. Its glass design is easy to clean and keeps your water fresh.

It filters out almost every kind of toxin, pathogen, heavy metal, chlorine, fluoride, and radioactive contaminant. One might assume that a water purification system producing the highest quality of drinking water would be the most expensive product on the market. Actually, the opposite is true. When you factor in longevity, The Water Machine is the least expensive product on the market! 

Go to our product information page to learn more about this amazing product, and add it to your shopping cart. Just think: From one purchase, you and your household will get 6000 gallons of amazing fresh drinking water! Who wins the product comparison between Berkey and Aquasana? Easy! The Water Machine!

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