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Propur vs Berkey: Comparing Water Filtration Devices

By Jeff Wise May 10, 2022

Is the water you are drinking clean? Are you sure? 

Most of our drinking water contains chlorine and other chemicals. These may be safe to drink, but are they the best thing for your body?

Clean drinking water is essential to life. You want to do all you can to drink the best water for your body. When it comes to water filters two names often come up in debate: Propur vs. Berkey.

These are two providers of gravity filters for home drinking water. What is the same and what is different about them?

Keep reading and find out what each provides and which one is the best one for you. 

propur vs berkey

Gravity Filters

Gravity filtration uses the power of gravity to move water over a filter. The filter has small holes that trap contaminants and keep them out of the water. This is an extremely powerful and natural way to clean water.

How Gravity Filtration Works

Gravity filtration works in a two-step process. Water from an upper chamber passes through a filter to get to the lower chamber. The natural process cleans the water as it passes through.

Benefits of Gravity Filters

Gravity filters are extremely portable! You can take them with you whenever you move to another home. You can even buy different sizes based on your usage and how many people are in your home.

Countertop gravity filters don't need a plumber to install them. You can set them upright on any counter and add water. They also don't need any power, so you can use them even if the power goes out to your house.

With home filters, we would see less bottle water usage and waste. This would be much better than the 60 million plastic water bottles thrown out every year.

Black Berkey Filters

Berkey Water Filters are one of the most well-known gravity water filters on the market today. Their popularity comes from the power of their Black Berkey filters and helps owners not worry about water safety.

Black Berkey Purification Elements

Berkey filters are made in the USA and use microporous filtration. This process has been around for years and is one of the best ways of purifying water. The micropores in the Black Berkey clean the water as it passes through.

It does this by stopping any contaminants from continuing with the water. They even stop pathogenic bacteria because the pores are so small!

Water Contaminants Removed

The Big Berkey water filter will remove over 200 contaminants from the water running through it. It removes elements like lead, arsenic, iron, and mercury.

It also removes the pesticides that have been building up in the water.  Heavy metals are removed along with viruses and fluoride. Things you wouldn't normally think of like uranium are also taken out. 

The list of elements taken out is extensive and complete. They have had independent labs test their filters to see how effective they are in purifying the water. 

Propur ProOne Filters

The ProOne Filters are gravity filters similar to the Berkey. They take out 203 contaminants that are often found in water. They are used for well water, tap water, or outdoor water like streams or lakes. 

Propur also features filters that are different sizes for their units. They have units for their Big+ gravity systems as well as for their smaller pitcher and water bottle units.

Water Contaminants Removed

Their contaminant list is extensive for the ProOne filter.  They reduce or remove contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals. They hit a large assortment of volatile organic contaminants as well.

They also have independent lab test results showing the different elements their filters take out of the water.  

Propur vs. Berkey Water Purification Speed

Home water filters are a great thing, but you don't want them to be too slow. You want the water purified, but you don't want to be waiting around for it to finish. Here is how the two systems compare with their speed.

Berkey Speed 

The Big Berkey filter that contains the two filters that are recommended will filter the water around 3.5 gallons per hour. The flow rate decreases slightly as the amount of water in the top unit decreases.

The Big Berkey flow rate doubles by adding two more filters. This increases the rate to seven gallons of water per hour. 

Propur Speed

The Propur Big+ with one filter will take 4 hours to filter 3 gallons of water. Adding a second filter reduces the time to 3 hours for 3 gallons of water. A third filter reduces the time to 1.5 hours for 3 gallons.

The speed of flow also changes slightly depending on the size of the Propur filter you use.

Berkey Costs

Berkey does have a higher upfront cost for its supplies. However, their future costs are lower because of their filter life cycles. The filter life is also exceptionally longer than ProPur.

Upfront Costs

Berkey offers several different sizes of tabletop water filtration systems along with some other convenient sizes. Sizes vary based on your home's individual needs and how many people will be using the filters.

  • Travel Berkey water filter - 1.5 gallons = $345
  • Big Berkey water filter - 2.25 gallons = $387
  • Berkey Light water filter - 2.75 gallons = $243
  • Royal Berkey water filter - 3.25 gallons = $430
  • Imperial Berkey water filter - 4.5 gallons = $475
  • Crown Berkey water filter - 6 gallons = $504

By using high-polish 304 stainless steel, the Berkey units are exceptionally strong and rust-resistant. The exception is the Berkey Light is built with a BPA-free food-safe, copolyester that is lighter and see-through.

Filter Costs

Each Berkey tabletop system comes with two Black Berkey Elements filters. These filters last for an estimated 6,000 gallons of water before they need replacing. 

The filters cost $166 and last a very long time. Adding two more filters will double the lifespan of the filters. With four filters, your Berkey would last for 12,000 gallons of water before replacement.

Replacement Timeframe

To understand the true cost of the filters, you have to understand the timeframe for replacement. This helps you to see the full price you would be paying for the filters.

If you are a family of four and each of you drinks one gallon of water a day, here are some estimates of how long until you would need to replace the filters:

  • 2 filters would last just over 4 years
  • 4 filters would last just over 8 years

Estimates would vary based on water usage for each family.  

Propur Costs

Propur offers less expensive options for upfront costs. However, your filter replacements could add up based on your usage.  The filter lifespan of a Propure is way less than Berkey.

Upfront Costs

Propur has four different tabletop models for their gravity filters. They also offer a pitcher option for gravity filtering.

  • Big+ gravity water filter - 3 gallons = $229.95 - $379.95
  • Traveler+ gravity water filter - 2.25 gallons = $209.95 - $279.95
  • Big II gravity water filter - 2.5 gallons = $139.95 - $199.95

The differences in prices for the three units have to do with some options they offer. You get one filter with each system but you can upgrade the filter and get extra filters. 

Filter Costs

The Propur filters come with some different options based on the size of your tabletop unit. 

The G2.0 9" fits the Big+ gravity water filter. It comes with a cost of $89.95 for one filter up to $298.95 for a four-filter pack.

The G2.0 7" fits the Traveler, Big+, and Big II units. The cost for one filter is $78.95 and $208.95 for a four-pack.

The G2.0 5" fits the Traveler and Big II units. The smaller filter costs $72.95 for one and $135.95 for a four-filter pack. 

Replacement Timeframe

The Propur filter's lifespan depends based on its size. Overall, the bigger the filter, the longer it will last. You do need to keep in mind that the biggest filter only fits specific sizes of filter units.

The 5" filter has an average lifespan of six months based on average daily use. The 7" filter will last around 10 months. The 9" filter is the longest-lasting filter, lasting around 1 year.

Propur vs. Berkey Cleaning

There are some basics for keeping your water filters in top condition. Cleaning the tabletop unit and the filters will help to keep them clean and the water flowing fast.

Berkey Cleaning

Berkey recommends rinsing out the inner chambers to make sure they don't have any debris when you first get the unit. Their filters also need to be primed before use in the units.

You prime the filters when you force water through the pores at the beginning before using them. This helps to clear air that may have been trapped in the pores during their manufacturing.

About once a month, Berkey recommends cleaning the bottom chamber of the filter with soapy water. If your water is hard, you can stop scale buildup by soaking it in a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water for 15 minutes. 

Clean the unit with a ScrotchBrite pad or soft-bristled brush to help clean the scales after soaking it. Then you can wash it with soapy water and rinse it well.

The filter does need to be cleaned to help remove sediment that may clog it up. You can do this with a toothbrush or a ScotchBrite pad. Just make sure to reprime the filter before putting it back in the unit.

Propur Cleaning 

Propur recommends a similar style of cleaning for their tabletop units. Clean them with a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water for hard water areas. They also recommend using simple dish soap for cleaning.

The filters do not need priming. They recommend you run them under water before using them. Cleaning the filters is a simple process of placing them under running water for about 2 minutes.

While the water is running, you can scrub the ceramic part with a special sponge they send with the unit. You don't use dish soap or any soap with the filter!

Propur vs. Berkey Accessories

Each company offers different options to go with their tabletop water filters. They also offer different options for water filtration you can use across your house. 

Berkey Options

Berkey adds several different options for you to get with your tabletop unit. You can add a stand for the unit, as well as a stainless steel spigot.

They also give you the option to add a fluoride filter for your units. Their filter does take out fluoride at the beginning, but over time it loses some of its effectiveness for taking out fluoride.

They also offer a water bottle that filters up to 22 ounces of water.

Propur Options

Propur adds a couple of smaller options to their gravity filter systems. They offer a pitcher that holds 0.4 gallons of water. They also offer a small portable water filter that is good for travel and outdoor usage.

Propur has a few pressured filter systems you can use for your house. They have a whole-house system as well as multiple under-counter options for water purification.

You can also find showerheads that contain water filters for you to use as you shower and refrigerator filters.

Finding Your Best Water

Living your healthiest life means drinking the best water possible. Your body craves pure clean water, and it is sometimes difficult to get that water. Give your body what it craves by providing it with the purest water possible.

When it comes to Propur vs. Berkey, there are many different elements you can look at. Berkey's upfront costs can look intimidating, but the long-term filter costs make it the most affordable option for clean water.

The long-term cost, along with the larger number of contaminants it takes out, makes Berkey the clear winner in the debate.

Berkey Clean Water has a passion for helping you drink the purest and best tasting water possible. Contact us to find out the many options you have for Berkey filters and which filter is best for you and your family.  

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