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Berkey vs. Alexapure Water Filters: 10 Key Differences

Are you shopping for a water filter but can’t decide between Berkey and Alexapure?

Despite their similar function and appearance, there are several key differences.

In this comparison of Alexapure vs. Berkey, I break down those differences. You’ll learn how they compare in terms of product offerings, performance, design, filter lifespan, cost, and more.

Keep reading to find out which filter is better for you (and your wallet).

Use the links below to navigate the comparison:

Berkey vs. Alexapure: Comparison Chart

 The following chart provides a quick comparison of Alexapure vs. Berkey.

Product OfferingsPro system, pitcher, under-the-counter, replacement filters, accessoriesStainless steel systems, Light system, shower filter, replacement filters, accessories
EffectivenessRemoves 82.0-99.9% of contaminantsRemoves 99.0-99.9% of contaminants
FinishMatte stainless steelPolished stainless steel (or co-polyester)
SpigotStainless steelBlack
Number of Filters2-4 filters2-8 filters
Filter Lifespan200 gallons per filter3,000 gallons per filter
Warranty1-year6-months to lifetime (varies)
Price$$-$$$ (Amazon)$$$-$$$$ (Amazon)
Common ComplaintsFilter cost; filter clogs; slow flowExpensive; hard to clean; slow flow

Difference 1: Product Offerings

Both brands offer a variety of water filtration products, from purified water pitchers to sink water filtration systems.

However, both brands’ primary product is their large gravity-fed water filtration systems.

Berkey water filter next to a sink
Berkey water filter

One of the major differences between Berkey and Alexapure is that Berkey’s water filtration systems come in many more sizes. Alexapure only offers one water filtration system with a 2.25-gallon capacity, while Berkey’s has six systems with capacities ranging from 1.5 to 6 gallons.

The chart below makes it easy to compare Alexapure to the many Berkey systems.

Swipe or scroll to view the entire chart.

AlexapureTravel BerkeyBig BerkeyRoyal BerkeyImperial BerkeyBerkey LightCrown Berkey
Capacity2.25 gallons1.5 gallons2.25 gallons3.25 gallons4.5 gallons2.75 gallons6 gallons
Filters Included1222222
Maximum Filters4244648
Filtration Rate (standard setup*)1 gallon per hour2.75 gallons per hour3.5 gallons per hour3.5 gallons per hour5.5 gallons per hour3.75 gallons per hour6.5 gallons per hour
ContainerBrushed stainless steelPolished stainless steelPolished stainless steelPolished stainless steelPolished stainless steelCo-polyesterPolished stainless steel
SpigotStainless steelPlasticPlasticPlasticPlasticPlasticPlastic
Dimensions8.25″ x 22.5″7.5″ x 7.5” x 19″8.5″ x 8.5” x 21″9.5″ x 9.5” x 24″10″ x 10” x 27″9″ x 9” 22″11” x 11” x 34”
Empty Weight8 lb6 lb7 lb8 lb10 lb6 lb10 lb
* Standard setup refers to the filters included with the system. The Alexapure system comes with one filter; all Berkey systems come with two.

Here’s a snapshot of the other water filter products both brands offer:

Alexapure Water Filter Products

Pitcher Water Filter: Contains double water filters, holds up to a half-gallon of water, and delivers up to 100 gallons of filtered water before the filters need replacing.

Home Filtration Center (under-the-counter): Fits under a kitchen or bathroom sink cabinet and can filter up to 200 gallons of water using a double water filter system.

Personal Water Filter: Makes water safe to drink when you are near a water source like a pond, lake, or stream and is perfect for camping, travel, or enjoying outdoor recreation.

G2O Water Bottle: Fill with tap water or water from outdoors (like a creek or stream). It holds 22 ounces of purified water in an easy-to-carry bottle. You can fill about 750 times before you need a new filter.

Replacement Filters: The brand offers replacement filters for all its water products, including systems, pitchers, and personal water bottles.

Collapsible Water Container: A compact, 5-gallon container that breaks down for easy storage. You can fill it with purified water, but it does not have a filter.

Accessories: Extra products and replacement parts kits to help you enjoy clean water at home or during travel.

Berkey Water Filter Products

Shower Filter: Filters up to 20,000 gallons of water and comes with an optional shower head.

Water Bottle: Holds 22 ounces of water, can be refilled up to 640 times, and uses Berkey’s microfiltration technology to produce clean drinking water no matter where you are.

Go Berkey Kit: A portable stainless steel water filtration system and a reusable water bottle.

Replacement Filters: Berkey offers replacement filters for all of its products.

Accessories: A mix of extras, including spigots, replacement parts, and drinkware.

Difference 2: Effectiveness

How effective are the Alexapure and Berkey water filtration systems?

Alexapure and Berkey water filters remove contaminants like:

  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Semi-volatile compounds
  • Heavy metals
  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Disinfectants
  • Pharmaceutical drugs

View all of the contaminants both filters remove in the following independent tests:

Here are a few differences worth mentioning:

  • Berkey water filters remove 99.9% of zinc. Alexapure removes 82.0% of zinc.
  • Berkey removes 99.9% of lead, while Alexapure removes 99.2%
  • Alexapure removes 99.9% of aluminum. Berkey removes 99%.
  • Alexapure removes 99.9% of nitrites. Berkey removes 95%.

The following chart compares the effectiveness of Alexapure and Berkey filters:

Alexapure % ReductionBerkey % Reduction
Heavy Metals82.0* – 99.999.0 – 99.9
Organic Compounds99.999.9
Semivolatile Compounds99.999.9
Disinfectants95.1 – 99.999.6 – 99.9
* The Alexapure filter removes 82.0% of zinc from water; all other heavy metal removal percentages range between 96.4 – 99.9%

Difference 3: Set Up

While Alexapure and Berkey have a similar setup process, Berkey has multiple options for flushing the system before use. Alexapure’s flushing process is simpler.

Both systems require you to assemble the lids, attach a spigot, install the filter(s), fill the top chamber with cold water, and put the lid on.

With Alexapure, you flush the filter twice after installation, rinse the unit, and it is ready. Berkey’s black, standard filters also require flushing. Berkey calls this process priming.

To prime a Berkey filter, you choose from one of these methods:

  • Use the Prime Rite tool (included with all water systems) to flush the filter for one minute to ensure it works properly (water will bead on the sides).
  • Use a priming button (for filters that include it) that flushes water into the filter for ten seconds to see if it beads water on the sides.
  • Soak the filter under water for at least eight hours. When they sink, they are ready for use; if they float, they need more priming.
  • Use the Black Berkey Primer, a device that pushes water through a submerged filter until it comes out of the opposite end, indicating that priming is complete.

The soaking method can take eight hours or more, but if your filter has a priming button, it could be ready in minutes. Once the filter is primed, it is ready.

With Alexapure, you must flush the filter twice. At a capacity of 2.25 gallons and a filtration rate of 1 gallon per hour, it takes more than four hours to be ready.

Difference 4: Finish

The Alexapure Pro water filtration system features a matte stainless steel finish, which makes fingerprints less noticeable and provides a modern look.

Most Berkey systems feature a polished stainless steel finish, which shows fingerprints and smudges. So, you might be wiping it down frequently. Also, the shiny finish stands out more in your kitchen, and most people don’t want a water filter to be the focal point of their space.

Berkey water filter system
Berkey water filter system

Only Berkey offers a BPA-free system (Berkey Light) made of high-quality food-grade plastic. Unlike the stainless steel models, the clear design allows you to view the water level so you know when to refill the unit. Alexapure does not offer a plastic unit.

Difference 5: Spigot

The Alexapure Pro comes with a stainless steel spigot. It matches the unit and is durable and built to last.

Berkey also offers a stainless steel spigot, but it’s an upgrade purchase. The standard spigot that comes with each system is made of black plastic. The plastic spigot lessens the high-end look of the water system and is more likely to break.

Berkey plastic spigot
Berkey plastic spigot

Difference 6: Number of Filters

The Alexapure Pro water filtration system requires one large filter. However, you can use up to four filters to purify water faster.

All Berkey models utilize two black filters. Some systems can hold more. For example, Imperial Berkey can fit up to six filters, and Crown Berkey can hold up to eight.

Berkey water filters
Berkey water filters

Difference 7: Filter Lifespan

The Alexapure Pro filter can clean up to 200 gallons of water before the filter needs to be replaced.

When researching Alexapur filters online, you may find conflicting information about their lifespan. Alexapur’s official website states their filters last 200 gallons, but some independent websites claim they last up to 5,000 gallons.

To get the definitive answer straight from the source, I contacted an Alexpur representative directly.

They confirmed that Alexpur’s filters are rigorously tested to ensure effective performance up to 200 gallons. Beyond that point, Alexpur cannot guarantee the filters will remain as effective.

Here’s a direct quote from the conversation:

[Our filter] has been tested up to 200 gallons. How long it will last after 200 gallons will depend on water source used. As long as the filter is still filtering water the filter is still good. When the filter starts slowing down we recommend cleaning the filter. When the filter needs to be replaced it will no longer let water pass through.

Conversation with Alexapur about filter lifespan
Conversation with Alexapur about filter lifespan

Berkey filters last significantly longer. The included Berkey filters can purify 6,000 gallons of water. Each filter is rated for 3,000 gallons, and each Berkey system requires a minimum of two filters for operation.

Difference 8: Warranty

Berkey offers a lifetime warranty on its stainless steel and BPA plastic water filtration systems. It covers unit housings, standard spigots, washers, hole plugs, knobs, and wingnuts. The optional add-on PF-2 Fluoride filters come with a 6-month warranty.

You’ll only get a one-year warranty on Alexapure products, including the Pro water filtration system.

Difference 9: Price

Prices vary based on sales and where you purchase the water system. Alexapure sells direct, on Amazon, and through authorized dealers. Berkey sells direct and through Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers.

The initial cost of an Alexapure Pro system is more affordable (about 23% less) than the comparable Big Berkey system.

However, the long-term cost of an Alexapure Pro water filtration system is higher than Berkey.

The Alexapure filter’s lifespan purifies up to 200 gallons of water. Each Berkey system requires a minimum of two black filters; together, they clean up to 6,000 gallons of water.

For perspective, the average adult drinks 182.5 gallons of water per year, according to California State University. When you factor in Alexapure’s filter lifespan and replacement cost, it costs more than twice as much as a Big Berkey system after five years and more than triple over ten years.

To give you a rough idea of costs, the following chart shows a hypothetical example based on the water consumption of one adult drinking water:

AlexapureBig Berkey
Cost of System$280*$367*
Cost Per Replacement Filter$120*$83*
Lifespan of each filer200 gallons3,000 gallons
Average Water Consumption Per Year*182.5 gallons182.5 gallons
Replacement Filters Needed for 5 Years40
Replacement Filters Needed for 10 Years80
Cost After 5 Years$760$367
Cost After 10 Years$1,240$367
*Prices are subject to change

Difference 10: Common Complaints

Most Alexapure and Berkey reviews are positive, but neither brand is perfect. The most common complaints across both brands are high expense, slow filtration, and lack of NSF/ANSI certification.

Let’s quickly review the specific complaints for each brand.

Alexapure Complaints

The filter clogs easily: One of the most common complaints about the Alexapure Pro is that mineral buildup often clogs the filter. To prevent clogs, Alexapure recommends periodically cleaning the upper chamber and filter.

Not ideal for a large family:  The filter only cleans 200 gallons of water, and since the average person drinks 182.5 gallons per year (about 3.5 gallons per week), a family of five could drink 200 gallons within three months or less.

Not NSF/ANSI-certified: AlthoughAlexapure is tested to NSF/ANSI Standards and uses NSF/FDA-approved materials, its products are not NSF-certified. I spoke to an Alexapure representative, who confirmed: “The Alexapure Pro filters are not certified. However, they do meet or exceed NSF/ANSI Standards through Envirotek Laboratories and use FDA-approved materials.”

Expensive filters: Each filter costs about $100. So, frequently replacing them can become costly.

Slow filtration process: Filtering a gallon of water takes one hour with the Alexapure Pro system. Although this filtration rate seems slow, it’s typical for gravity-fed systems.

Berkey Complaints

Expensive system: Berkey water filtration systems range between $300-$500. They are investments. The upside is that the filters last for a long time.

Difficult to clean: The size and weight of Berkey water systems make it difficult to fit into a kitchen sink for washing.

Mold: Although uncommon, mold can grow inside the unit if you don’t periodically clean the system.

Not NSF/ANSI Certified: Berkey uses an independent lab and claims the testing follows or exceeds the NSF/ANSI 42 and 53 standards. Berkey claims the testing it receives is more comprehensive and cost-efficient than NSF/ANSI. However, NSF/ANSI is the industry standard.

Slow filtration: Depending on the Berkey system, the water filters at a rate of 2.75-6.5 gallons per hour. The water comes out slowly because it is gravity fed, and the filters can only process so much water at once.

Bottom Line: Should You Buy a Berkey or Alexapure Water Filter?

Now that you know the key differences between Alexapure and Berkey, which water filtration system should you buy?

Both brands’ gravity-fed water filtration systems effectively reduce and remove contaminants, making your water healthier and better tasting.

However, each has pros and cons to consider.

Here’s a quick recap to help you decide.

You should buy Alexapure if…

  • You live alone or have a small family.
  • You want a lower initial startup cost.
  • You prefer a stainless steel spigot.
  • You want a water system that removes more aluminum and nitrates than Berkey.
  • You prefer an easy-to-set-up system.

You should buy Berkey if…

  • You have a large family and consume a lot of water.
  • You want a choice of different-sized water systems (Alexapure only offers one size).
  • You are looking for a water system that removes more lead and zinc than Alexapure.
  • You want a choice of plastic or stainless steel water systems.
  • You want a long-lasting filter.
  • You want a system with a low ongoing cost.

Bottom line — Alexapure and Berkey both remove contaminants, have a modern design, and are easy to use. But I recommend Berkey because the filters last longer, it comes with a lifetime warranty, and it costs less than Alexapure over time.

If you’re ready to buy or just want to read more reviews, check out Berkey and Alexapure water filters at the links below:

Update: Berkey Sues the EPA

In August 2023, Berkey filed a lawsuit against the EPA. You can read Berkey’s full press release here. Below is a summary of the details and what it means for Berkey in the future. 

  • Lawsuit Filed Against EPA: NMCL and the James B. Shepherd Trust, owners of Berkey Water Systems, filed a lawsuit against the EPA. They seek to stop the EPA’s treatment of Berkey Water Filters as pesticides, arguing it’s an unjustified and arbitrary decision.
  • EPA’s Controversial Decision: The EPA has suddenly decided to register Berkey’s water filters as pesticides under FIFRA, a law that regulates chemical pesticides. Berkey argues that their filters do not fit this definition and that the EPA’s decision is inconsistent with the law. This move marks a dramatic shift after more than 20 years of the filters being sold as a safe and effective product for cleaning water.
  • Potential Impact of EPA’s Interpretation: The new EPA decision can lead to removing Berkey filters from the market, threatening jobs, and possibly introducing untested knockoff filters. If you own a Berkey, this could directly affect you.
  • Consequences of Pesticide Classification: This reclassification imposes numerous regulations and requirements, such as labeling the product as a hazardous material. These labels can be alarming to customers, and the pesticide registration process is expensive and time-consuming.
  • Berkey’s Efforts to Comply with EPA: Berkey originally agreed to have their filters classified as “treated devices” due to incorporating silver (a registered pesticide) in the filter media. The EPA reinterpreted this agreement, reclassifying Berkey filters as pesticides without proper legal procedure.
  • Legal Proceedings to Challenge EPA: Berkey is now taking legal action against the EPA. They argue that the EPA should follow proper procedures before enforcing these new classifications. It’s a critical legal battle that could have long-term effects on the industry.
  • EPA’s History and Potential Impact: The EPA has regulated pesticides for many years, but this move against Berkey is new and unexpected. It could affect not only Berkey’s business but also other companies in the industry, with potential consequences for employees and consumers alike.

I’ll update this article as new information becomes available.

Andrew Palermo Founder of Prudent Reviews

Andrew Palermo - About the Author

Andrew is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Prudent Reviews. He began his career in marketing, managing campaigns for dozens of Fortune 500 brands. In 2018, Andrew founded Prudent Reviews and has since reviewed 600+ products. When he’s not testing the latest cookware, kitchen knives, and appliances, he’s spending time with his family, cooking, and doing house projects. Connect with Andrew via emailLinkedIn, or the Prudent Reviews YouTube channel.

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