Aqua Rain vs Berkey and Other Water Filters

By About Chef Austin Chef Austin


Aqua Rain Natural Gravity Water Filter System

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How does the Aqua Rain vs Berkey compare? Or the ProPur vs Aqua Rain? You know you want clean, safe, and great tasting water and if you've been looking for the best gravity water filter, check out Everything Kitchen's quick comparison over the major brands. Find the differences between Aqua Rain, Berkey, ProPur, and Brita water filters.


Aqua Rain vs Berkey vs ProPur vs Brita Gravity Water Filters


Here's a comparison chart to see the Aqua Rain gravity water filter vs Berkey, ProPur, and Brita water filters at a glance. We compare many important aspects and features such as capacity, filter element life-span, price, and warranty to quickly see the capabilities of each water filter.

Gravity Water Filter Comparison


Total Cost of Ownership


Your initial investment may not be the only money you need to put into your gravity water filter. You may have to buy additional filters over time adding to the total cost of ownership. Here is a breakdown of how much it really costs to own and use an Aqua Rain vs Berkey, ProPur, and Brita water filter:

Gravity Water Filter Cost of Ownership Chart

 *Prices based on average costs in July 2018 **Click here for the current price of AquaRain Gravity Water Filters

You can see the Aqua Rain gravity water filter has the lowest cost of ownership over time. In contrast, Brita filters will cost a small fortune while at the same time giving you a lesser quality water. This is because Brita is not rated to continually remove bacteria, cyst, or viruses. I recommend making the extra investment up front and get a gravity water filter that will give you the greatest savings in the long run. 


*End-of-life* Filter Testing 


When water filters are tested by labs to see how effective they are at removing contaminants, gravity water filter companies will often send in a brand new filter for testing. This is great for showing what the filter could potentially remove. The question is will their filter continue to perform consistently months or even years later after filtering hundreds of gallons of contaminated water?

When trying to decide what gravity water filter to purchase I am personally more interested in what a filter will do at the end of its life rather than brand new so I was surprised to see that only Aqua Rain had published testing data for its filters at "end of life". Aqua Rain even scrubbed down 10% below their end-of-life tolerance for these tests. This means that the filters Aqua Rain sent in for lab testing were fully expended filters, ready for the trash. The end-of-life filters were also exposed to contaminated water before laboratory testing to demonstrate the safety and reliability of the AquaRain filter. This is to show that through the entire lifespan (6-10+ years) of each filter that the Aqua Rain will continue to keep your water safe from cysts, bacteria, and viruses. 

Since Brita is not even rated to remove any cysts, bacteria, or viruses we have removed it from this comparison listing. 

End of Life Filter Testing Comparison

Aqua Rain will remove other organic contaminants, VOCs, chemicals, and more - Check out the full END OF LIFE test results here: Aqua Rain 303 Full Review here.


When is it Time to Change Filters?


Aqua Rain End of Life Gauge 

When cleaning your filters, you are scrubbing small amounts of clogged ceramic off, making the walls thinner. The Aqua Rain end-of-life gauge will show when its time to change filter elements.


When is it time to change the filter element of your water filter? When you install a new filter element, this protects you from unwanted contaminants but also adds to the total cost of ownership of your water filter. Fortunately, Aqua Rain, Berkey, and ProPur all have filters that can be cleaned multiple times before needing to be replaced. (Note: Brita filters are not cleanable - they need to be replaced every 40 gallons of water)

When you clean any filter from Berkey, ProPur, or AquaRain, you are scrubbing down the outer walls of the filter making them thinner. But how thin is too thin? When the walls get too thin, bacteria, cyst, and viruses can enter and live in your water. How do you know when you've exhausted the filter and it's stopped doing its job?

Aqua Rain is the only gravity water filter to include an end-of-life gauge to tell you exactly when the ceramic filter is used up so you can replace them.  With Berkey and ProPur, there is no way to tell when the walls get too thin. With Aqua Rain's end-of-life gauge tool, there isn't any guessing or counting gallons of water to try and figure out if your filter is still properly working. After cleaning, check the filter with end-of-life gauge. When you can fit the end-of-life gauge over the AquaRain ceramic filter, you know its time to replace it. It can be unclear when to replace ProPur or Berkey filter elements vs AquaRain. 

Having clean water shouldn't be a nuisance. It should be easy to clean and maintain your gravity water filter with no questions of if it's safe to continue using after cleaning. Berkey gravity water filters require priming and re-priming of their filters and they require special storage of the filters if they are not going to be used for long periods of time. Berkey says to lightly scrub their filters to clean them, but they can become clogged and requires you to peel - with a vegetable peeler - layers of the filter off to clean it properly. Unfortunately, Berkey does not have an end-of-life gauge to see if their filter is still doing its job of keeping your water safe to drink after it's been cleaned (and/or peeled) multiple times.


Where are the Gravity Water Filters Made?


Aqua Rain Gravity Water Filters

Above is an AquaRain Filter cut in half. Observe how thick the ceramic walls are on the Aqua Rain filter. The silvered, granulated activated carbon spilling out is sourced from coconuts instead of cheaper coal sources.


A gravity water filter is an investment so you'll want quality parts that you know are going to last. Some gravity water filters may claim to be made in the USA, but are all the parts made in the USA or only some of them?

AquaRain is the only gravity water filter that can claim to be 100% made in the USA. From the stainless steel housing down to the spigot, AquaRain gravity water filters are made in the USA. The metal of the AquaRain 303 housing is made from #T304 22 Gauge medical grade stainless steel and is produced in Wisconsin at a facility specializing in products for the medical industry. The plastic spigot is also made in the USA. When you compare the Aqua Rain vs Berkey & ProPur water filters, they can't claim to be made 100% in the USA because they are using imported parts that could be inferior quality. Brita is produced in multiple foreign countries.  

What are the filter elements made of?

The filter element is the heart of the water filter. A high quality and well-produced water filter element is the key to safe water. Aqua Rain will tell proudly let you know all the materials used to manufacture its ceramic filters, unlike Berkey. Berkey says that their Berkey Black filters are made from carbon and 5 other materials that they will not disclose. ProPur uses a white ceramic sourced from Great Britain that needs to be replaced every 12 months and they mention that the ceramic can crack from cleaning which indicates a much lesser quality ceramic. Brita filter elements are plastic that's filled granular activated carbon that filters the lowest amount of water (only 40 gallons).

You can find out more about AquaRain's ceramic filter construction in our Aqua Rain 303 Full Review here.




Already have a Gravity Water Filter like Berkey Or Propur water filters?

If you already own a gravity water filter like a Berkey water filter or ProPur? The powerful and long-lasting ceramic filters made by Aqua Rain will actually fit the Propur and Berkey gravity water filter systems. Simply purchase as many filters as you need for your Berkey (or other) system and install them into your unit. To make sure your gravity water filter is compatible, you can contact Aqua Rain directly at 1-800-572-2051 or by email [email protected]

Still have questions about Aqua Rain? 

Let us know any questions you have about AquaRain, we'll be happy to help you with your concerns. You can reach out to us through email [email protected] at or by phone at 866.852.4268


Learn more about how the AquaRain 303 gravity water filter works in our full Aqua Rain review article here.  



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About Chef Austin

About the Author: 

Chef Austin Merath is Everything Kitchen's Culinary Wizard, Kitchen-Gadget Reviewer, and New-Product Tester. He studied under chefs in College of the Ozarks' Culinary Program. It's his job to make sure you choose the kitchen tools that are right for you by testing the best we have to offer. When not cooking, Austin is tinkering with computers or exploring the Ozarks with his wife Amy. Click here for his full bio.



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