Alexapure made a splash when they launched their own line of water filters, but Berkey has been making quality products since 1976. When looking to purchase a gravity water filter do you go with the new brand that’s growing in popularity or the well-known and trusted giant?
We helped make the decision easier by taking the most popular product from each brand, the Alexapure Pro and the Big Berkey, and comparing them on their main qualities and features.
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Overall Conclusion – Alexapure vs Berkey Gravity Water Filters
It was a close call, but we believe the Big Berkey edges out the Alexapure Pro due to the lower price, slightly higher number of contaminants removed, and the lifetime warranty backing it.
The Alexapure Pro is still a great filtration system that may be the better choice for some homes’ needs – but that is ultimately going to be a matter of personal preference and what qualities you feel are the most important in your water filter.
|Alexapure Pro||Big Berkey|
|Filtration Rate||4.5 Gallons Per Hour||3.5 Gallons Per Hour|
|Filter Lifespan||5,000 Gallons Each||3,000 Gallons Each|
|Storage Capacity||2.25 Gallons||2.25 Gallons|
Alexapure Pro vs Big Berkey Overview
Both of these products are gravity filters, which means the weight of unfiltered water forces it down through the filter system. Even so, the compositions of their filters are slightly different as are some of their other functional features.
Alexapure is a relative newcomer to the water filtration industry. The founder couldn’t find a water filter that he wanted to buy so he set out to make one that met his ideal standards.
The Alexapure Pro uses the Alexapure gravity block filter, which incorporates carbon block and hybrid ceramic technology in order to achieve high-quality filtration. The outer casing is made of stainless steel with a spigot on the bottom for instant fresh water access, and it can hold 2.25 gallons of fresh water.
Its dimensions are 9 inches in diameter by 14 inches tall, and Alexapure sells a stand for the filter that makes pouring out fresh water easier. To use it, you simply fill the top compartment and allow the water to filter through and accumulate in the storage compartment below.
The Alexapure Pro comes standard-equipped with one filter, but you can purchase up to three additional filters and install them in the same unit. This will not only increase the filtration rate, it will also extend the lifespan of the filters.
As mentioned, Berkey has been in the water filter industry for over 40 years. This product uses Black Berkey filters, which contain a proprietary blend of five different filtration medias. The result is a filter that uses microfiltration, activated carbon, and ion exchange technology to also achieve excellent filtration. Like the Alexapure Pro, the outer casing is stainless steel with a spigot at the bottom and an optional stand available to elevate it.
This product can likewise hold 2.25 gallons of fresh water, and you use it the exact same way as the Alexapure Pro. The dimensions are 8.5 inches in diameter by 19.25 inches tall, but the main difference is that the Big Berkey comes in two different forms. One equips two Black Berkey filters, while the other equips four. Adding the extra filters also extends their lifespan and makes them filter water faster.
Now that you’re more familiar with our competitors, let’s look at how each model performs when compared on key specifications. Below we’ve broken down the number and amount of contaminants removed, the filtration rate, the filter lifespan and durability, and the certifications for each product.
These are the main classes of contaminants present in water, and the number of each class that the two filters are able to reduce or remove.
|AquaTru Countertop Purifier||Big Berkey|
|Semi-Volatile Organic Chemicals||44||52|
|Inorganic Chemicals (Including Heavy Metals)||20||24|
|Radioactive Particles||✓||✓ (24)|
|Total Dissolved Solids||X||X|
|Microbial Cyst Reduction||✓||✓|
Both products put up impressive stats when looking at the contaminants removed across all classes. There isn’t a big difference between the Alexapure Pro and the Big Berkey when comparing the numbers, and they perform similarly on the percentages of each contaminant removed as well.
The Big Berkey tends to do a little better at removing heavy metal contaminants more completely, and it’s also the only one that removes petroleum products and perfluorinated chemicals. The Alexapure Pro, on the other hand, works better on some organic contaminants. For the lab results and full lists of contaminants removed, click here for the Alexapure Pro and here for the Big Berkey.
The small difference in contaminants removed makes it unlikely that one is going to be definitively better over the other for your home’s filtration needs. However, you can be completely sure of that by having your water tested to see what contaminants are present in what amounts in your water.
Something to keep in mind is that neither of these products do much for reducing the total dissolved solids (TDS) in your water. This means that if hard water is a problem you’re struggling with, you may want to look into a separate water softening system as well.
According to Alexapure’s representative, it takes between 45 and 90 minutes to filter 2.25 gallons of water with a single filter. Having said that, you can boost the filtration rate by installing additional filters in your unit. Customers who purchased the Alexapure Pro said that with two filters the average filtration rate was about 4.5 gallons per hour – or about 30 minutes to fill the storage tank.
In comparison, the Big Berkey has a 3.5 gallon per hour filtration rate with two filters and a 7 gallon per hour rate with four. This is a little slower than the Alexapure system using the same number of filters, and you can expect a 2-filter system to take about 36 minutes to fill the tank.
Filter Lifespan and Durability
The Alexapure gravity block filter has a 5,000 gallon capacity, which can last anywhere from 6-12 years depending on your household size and water usage. The filter capacities are additive, so using a system with four filters would give you a total capacity of 20,000 gallons.
One of the main downsides to the Alexapure Pro is that it does not come with an associated manufacturer’s warranty. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee on unopened products, but Alexapure reviews return requests after 30 days or for opened products on a case-by-case basis.
The Black Berkey filters are rated for 3,000 gallons each. This means that you’ll get anywhere from 4-7 years out of them – again depending on how you and your household use water. The filter capacities are likewise additive for a total of 6,000 gallons for a 2-filter system and 12,000 gallons for a 4-filter system.
Berkey has a lifetime warranty on their products, which offers some peace of mind that the filter housing will go the same distance as the filters themselves.
The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and the Water Quality Association (WQA) are two of the main independent organizations that certify water filtration products. To earn certification, manufacturers submit their products to testing by these labs to ensure that products perform in compliance with set industry standards.
While neither the Big Berkey nor the Alexapure Pro have been certified, both have been tested by Envirotek Laboratories. The results of this testing showed that both products met the NSF/ANSI standards 42 and 53.
Standard 42 means that the aesthetic qualities of the water was improved, while 53 means that contaminants with known detrimental health effects were reduced or removed. They just haven’t been certified by NSF or WQA themselves for these standards.
The Alexapure Pro costs $269.95 for the standard model with one filter included. Each additional filter costs $119.95, so for a 2-filter system you can expect to pay $389.90. For a 4-filter system, the cost would be $629.80.
Considering the high filter capacities, you shouldn’t need to worry about replacing the filters for at least 12 years after purchase so the long-term cost is almost negligible.
In comparison, the Big Berkey goes for $278 for the 2-filter model and $388 for the 4-filter model, which is a lot more cost-efficient. Replacement filters are $128 for a two-pack, but while you’ll need to replace them somewhat sooner than the Alexapure filters you’re still looking at very minimal long-term costs.
Types of Models Each Company Offers
Unlike the majority of other water filter companies, Alexapure actually got their start selling air filter systems. If you’re looking for other options for water purification, however, Alexapure only currently offers the Pro as a dispenser-style gravity filter system. They do offer a pitcher and a water bottle filter, as well as a personal water filter that is marketed to backpackers and survivalists.
Berkey, on the other hand, makes an entire line of gravity filter dispenser systems. These are the other models that are currently offered in that line:
- Travel Berkey
- Royal Berkey
- Imperial Berkey
- Crown Berkey
- Berkey Light
In addition, Berkey also makes two different styles of in-line shower head filters as well as a water bottle filter. They do not offer a pitcher, however the Travel Berkey is designed to be more compact and mobile to bridge the gap between their larger dispensers and a true pitcher product.
Customer Reviews and Complaints
The Alexapure Pro has a 4.4 out of 5 star rating on Amazon with 428 reviews. 76% of the reviews are 5-star, while 9% are 1-star. The most common customer complaint for this product is that the filters become extremely slow to work after just months of regular use, when they’re supposed to last for years.
The Big Berkey has a 4.7 out of 5 star rating on Amazon with 1,638 reviews. 86% of the reviews are 5-star, while only 4% are 1-star. The main customer complaints are that rust-like staining appears on the stainless steel housing after some time, and there can be an unpleasant rubbery taste to the water from the filter parts.
Pros and Cons
When looking at each product at a glance, these are the main pros and cons to be aware of when making a purchasing decision.
Alexapure Pro Pros
- High number of contaminants removed
- Slightly faster filtration rate
- Higher filter capacity and longer lifespan
- Independently tested
- 4.4 out of 5 rating
- Can add more filters for faster filtration and longer lifespans
Alexapure Pro Cons
- More expensive up-front
- Some customers report slow filtration rates
- No warranty policy
- Lesser-known brand
Big Berkey Pros
- High number of contaminants removed
- Decent filtration rate
- Long lifespan and high filter capacity
- Independently tested
- 4.7 out of 5 rating
- Comes as a 2-filter or 4-filter system
- Lifetime warranty
- Much less expensive
- Well-established brand
Big Berkey Cons
- Slower filtration rate and shorter lifespan than the Alexapure Pro
- Some customers report staining on the housing and rubbery taste
Both the Alexapure Pro and the Big Berkey are two of the best gravity water filters that work on a large number and wide variety of contaminants. The Alexapure Pro tends to work slightly faster and the filters last longer, while the Big Berkey comes with a lifetime warranty and is the more cost-effective option.
By getting a home water test kit, you can find out exactly what contaminants are present in your water. This will help you see if the slight differences in contaminants removed between the two products will affect your supply. Overall, these are two excellent products and the best one for you is going to depend on your personal preferences and your home’s specific needs.