5 Best Gravity Water Filters – Eliminate 99.99% Of Viruses[…]

5 Best Gravity Water Filters – Eliminate 99.99% Of Viruses[…]
gravity fed water filter
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Looking for the best gravity fed water filter, but unsure which to choose?

You came to the right spot. 

Whether you’re going on a long camping trip, looking to try living off the grid, or simply want a reliable source of water for any challenge life throws your way, having a high-quality water filter that can filter everything from a microscopic virus, to fecal-contaminated river water is, well… important. 

How important?

Currently, over 2 billion people worldwide get sick from poor-quality drinking water, which leads to a terrible things like Cholera, Typhoid, and diarrhea, among others. 

But you, my friend, after reading this article, will not be part of these 2 billion people. 

Why?

Because having a quality water filter system like the ones I review in great detail below, ensures you have pristine, pathogen-free water at all times. 

Below you’ll find my ranking for the top 5 water filters and what I love about them (also, what I don’t love about them), so you can make an informed decision for your needs.

5 Best Gravity Water Filters
Big Berkey Water Filter
Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System
Sawyer One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System
Propur G2.0 Traveler Water Filter
Doulton Stainless Steel Gravity System
gravity fed water filter
Alexapure Pro Stainless Steel Water Filtration System - 5,000 Gallon Throughput Capacity
Sawyer Products SP160 One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System with Dual-Threaded Mini Filter, Blu/White/Clear
gravity fed water filter
British Berkefeld 2.5 Gallon Gravity-Fed Water Filter System- Stainless Steel with 2x ATC Super Sterasyl Candle Filters
Our Ranking
Our #1 Rated Option
Our #2 Rated Option
Best Budget Option
Our #4 Rated Option
Our #5 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
2.25 gallons
4.5 gallons
1 gallon
1.6 gallons
.5 gallons per minute
Flow Rate
7 gallons per hour
Variable
Variable
.18 gallons per hour
~2 gallons
Filter Lifespan
3,000 gallons per Black Berkey filter
5,000 gallons
100,000 gallons
6 months
400 gallons
5 Best Gravity Water Filters
Big Berkey Water Filter
gravity fed water filter
Our Ranking
Our #1 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
2.25 gallons
Flow Rate
7 gallons per hour
Filter Lifespan
3,000 gallons per Black Berkey filter
More Information
5 Best Gravity Water Filters
Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System
Alexapure Pro Stainless Steel Water Filtration System - 5,000 Gallon Throughput Capacity
Our Ranking
Our #2 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
4.5 gallons
Flow Rate
Variable
Filter Lifespan
5,000 gallons
More Information
5 Best Gravity Water Filters
Sawyer One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System
Sawyer Products SP160 One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System with Dual-Threaded Mini Filter, Blu/White/Clear
Our Ranking
Best Budget Option
Reservoir Capacity
1 gallon
Flow Rate
Variable
Filter Lifespan
100,000 gallons
More Information
5 Best Gravity Water Filters
Propur G2.0 Traveler Water Filter
gravity fed water filter
Our Ranking
Our #4 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
1.6 gallons
Flow Rate
.18 gallons per hour
Filter Lifespan
6 months
More Information
5 Best Gravity Water Filters
Doulton Stainless Steel Gravity System
British Berkefeld 2.5 Gallon Gravity-Fed Water Filter System- Stainless Steel with 2x ATC Super Sterasyl Candle Filters
Our Ranking
Our #5 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
.5 gallons per minute
Flow Rate
~2 gallons
Filter Lifespan
400 gallons
More Information

Gravity Water Filter

Features

  • Filters out 99.99 of all lethal viruses and pathogenic bacteria
  • Removes over 200 known contaminants
  • EPA Certified For Quality (AKA It Works)
  • Easy to clean and care for
  • Nesting design makes storage easy
  • Stainless steel body is attractive and fits well with most styles of decor
  • Holding capacity: 2.25 gallons 

Our Rating

4.9/5

4.9 out of 5

If you know anything about home water filtration systems, you’ve no doubt heard the name Berkey. Berkey Water Filters are the undisputed king of the gravity water filter world, offering unmatched performance at affordable prices—which is why they get our vote as the best gravity water filter.  The Big Berkey Water Filter is the most popular size of their classic filter. It uses a pair of nesting stainless steel tanks and gives you 2.25 gallons of total capacity. Big Berkey Water Filter What helps set the Big Berkey apart from the competition isn’t its tanks or capacity though, it’s the Black Berkey filters. Developed by Berkey from decades of testing, the Black Berkey filters are just about the most effective filter element you can find. Big Berkey reviews They’re capable of filtering a massive variety of bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, chemical contaminants, and even things like petroleum products. You can find a full list of these contaminants here alongside the lab results to back them up. Even more surprising is how quick these filters are. The Big Berkey is designed to work with one to four filter elements. Each one adds 1.75 gallons per hour to the total flow rate of the filter. With four filter elements, 16 people can safely and reliably get a water supply from the Big Berkey.

Specifications:

  • Flow Rate: Varies depending on number of filter elements, up to 7 gallons per hour with four filter elements installed
  • Capacity: 2.25 gallons 
  • Filter Lifespan: 3,000 gallons per Black Berkey filter

Pros 

  • Filters out 99.99 of all lethal viruses and pathogenic bacteria
  • Removes over 200 known contaminants
  • EPA Certified For Quality (AKA It Works)
  • Easy to clean and care for
  • Nesting design makes storage easy
  • Stainless steel body is attractive and fits well with most styles of decor

Cons

  • Replacement filters are more expensive than competitors

Our #2 Rated Best Gravity Water Filter: Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System (Best Runner Up)

Features

  • Affordably priced for its size
  • Reduces up to 99.99% of 206 different contaminants
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Large tank capacity
  • Long filter life with daily use
  • Can hold 2.25 gallons of water at a time
  • Filters rated for 5,000 gallons (before needing to be replaced)

OUR RATING

4.7/5

4.7 out of 5

The Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System is a relative newcomer to the gravity water filter market. In just a few years they’ve made a name for themselves as one of the most effective and competitively priced water filters out there. It uses a traditional dual reservoir stainless steel design with a pair of 2.25 gallon tanks. Like the Berkey filter above, the Pro can use  1 to 4 filter elements at once to increase flow rate. Alexapure Pro Alexapure’s biggest claim-to-fame are their pre-primed gravity block filters. They’re designed to filter out over 200 chemical, biological, virological, and heavy metal contaminants. Each filter combines a silver impregnated outer shell with an advanced internal filter matrix. They work really well, and offer a rapid flow rate with four elements installed. Even better, they’re rated to provide up to 5,000 gallons of use per filter. Given its affordable price, lab-tested filtration effectiveness, and ease of use, the Alexapure Pro missed out on the top spot, not because it isn’t an excellent water filter, but because Berkey filters are just that good.   Alexapure Pro Water Review

Specifications:

  • Flow Rate: Variable
  • Capacity: 4.5 gallons
  • Filter Lifespan: 5,000 gallons

Pros 

  • Affordably priced for its size
  • Reduces up to 99.99% of 206 different contaminants
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Large tank capacity
  • Long filter life with daily use
  • Can hold 2.25 gallons of water at a time
  • Filters rated for 5,000 gallons (before needing to be replaced)

Cons

  • Flow rate is slower than similar filters

Our #3 Rated Best Gravity Water Filter: Sawyer One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System  (Best Budget Option)

Features

  • Costs a fraction of other gravity filters
  • Capable of effectively filtering the most common biological threats
  • Highly packable and storable

OUR RATING

4.4/5

4.4 out of 5

is better well known in the hiking world for their groundbreaking pint-sized squeeze filters. Their entry into the gravity fed water filter market is both effective and extremely affordable.

It uses one of Sawyer’s proven MINI filter elements combined with a one-gallon reservoir. The filter is suspended at the end of a tube that sits below the reservoir. It’s basic, but it works. 

When you need water you just pop open the filter cap and it flows down from the reservoir. If you need to speed it along a bit, you can give it a squeeze as well.

Sawyer Gravity Water Filtration System

The filter itself uses .1 micron absolute filtration technology. It’s proven to remove bacteria, cysts, and protozoa from suspect water sources. 

Unfortunately, it doesn’t remove heavy metals, chemicals, or other contaminants that can cause long-term effects. It’s also not rated to remove viruses.

One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System

 

Overall the Sawyer Gravity Water Filtration System is a reasonable option if you’re looking for acceptable filtration at a rock bottom price.

One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System

Specifications:

  • Flow Rate: Varies
  • Capacity: One Gallon
  • Filter Lifespan: 100,000 gallons

Pros 

  • Costs a fraction of other gravity filters
  • Capable of effectively filtering the most common biological threats
  • Highly packable and storable

Cons

  • Not rated to remove heavy metal, chemical, or virological contaminants.
  • Offers no clean water storage
  • Not something you’d want to leave up in your house continuously


Our #4 Rated Best Gravity Water Filter: Propur G2.0 Traveler Water Filter

Gravity Water Filter

Features

  • Filter element is highly effective against a range of contaminants
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Smaller and easier to store than many similar gravity filters

OUR RATING



Our #4 Rated

The Propur Traveler is a smaller capacity gravity water filter designed for those who want high-quality water filtration that’s portable. It has a 1.6 gallon capacity in two stainless steel tanks and uses a single Propur G2.0 5” filter element. PROPUR The biggest upsides of the Traveler are its small size and portability. It’s just 18” high and 7.5” in diameter. That allows you to use it effectively in smaller spaces than some of the other filters we reviewed. The filter element itself is highly effective, but does have one glaring flaw. Flow rate. The G2.0 5” only filters about .18 gallons per hour. That’s noticeably slower than many similar filters on our list. PROPUR Instructions. If space is at an absolute premium and you only need water for 1-2 people though, the Propur Traveler can be a great option. 

Specifications:

  • Flow Rate: .18 gallons per hour
  • Capacity: 1.6 gallons
  • Filter Lifespan: 6 months

Pros 

  • Filter element is highly effective against a range of contaminants
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Smaller and easier to store than many similar gravity filters

Cons

  • Very slow flow rate
  • Not the best value when comparing to other water filters on our list

Our #5 Rated Best Gravity Water Filter: Doulton W9361123 Stainless Steel Gravity System

Features

  • Attractively styled stainless steel tanks
  • Rapid flow rate
  • Effective filtration of bacteria and other biological contaminants
  • Less expensive than similar gravity filters

OUR RATING



Our #5 Rated (For Best Overall Pick)

5 out of 5

5/5

Doulton is one of the oldest water filtration companies in the world. The original Doulton ceramic filter was developed in the 1820’s and has been in use almost unchanged ever since.

Their stainless steel gravity filter system uses a pair of ATC Super Sterasyl candle filters. They’re rated to filter out bacteria, cysts, protozoa, chlorine, and some heavy metal contaminants. Even better, they offer the fastest flow rate on our list: a full half gallon per minute or 30 gallons per hour.

Doulton Gravity Filter

That’s pretty incredible on the face of it, but less so when you remember that it doesn’t touch chemical contaminants, such as pesticides. It’s still an excellent filter, but it isn’t rated for some of the contaminants you may face.

Doulton Gravity Water Filter

If you’re only worried about bacterial and other biological contaminants, the Doulton Stainless Steel Gravity System is still a very viable option.

Specifications:

  • Flow Rate: 30 gallons/hour
  • Capacity: 
  • Filter Lifespan: 400 gallons

Pros 

  • Attractively styled stainless steel tanks
  • Rapid flow rate
  • Effective filtration of bacteria and other biological contaminants

Cons

  • Not effective against many heavy metal or chemical contaminants
  • Filter lifespan is much shorter than comparable filters

What are Gravity Fed Water Filters?

Gravity water filters were one of the earliest water filtration systems developed. There’s evidence dating back thousands of years of ancient peoples using simple sand filters that used the power of gravity to move water through the filter medium.

In more recent times the first modern water filters created were ceramic filters created nearly 200 years ago by Henry Doulton. It was so effective that the basic design of a ceramic gravity filter is nearly unchanged to this day.

Gravity filters have two tanks, one on top of the other, with a filter element between them. Dirty water is poured into the upper tank, then allowed to settle through the filter into the lower tank.

They use the force of gravity to push water only through the filters, capturing all the contaminants in the filters.

Benefits of a Gravity Water Filter

The biggest benefits of a gravity fed water filter relate to convenience, performance, and portability. Simply put, gravity water filters don’t require a lot of effort from you.

You can basically fill up the reservoir and let it do it’s thing. When you come back in half an hour or so you’ll have clean water ready for drinking and other uses. Contrast that to the filters that require you to turn a crank or work a pump.

Performance wise, it’s almost impossible to beat a gravity filter. High-end filter elements are capable of removing tremendous amounts of chemical, heavy metal, bacterial, and virus based contaminants.

They can take water that would have seriously sickened your family and make it into pure, clean tasting drinking water.

The last big benefit is how portable they are.

While there are inline filters that provide similar levels of performance and convenience to a gravity filter, they’re all permanent units that require professional installation.

You definitely can’t bring them with you if you go out for a longer camping trip and need to set up a basecamp. You also can’t use them outside your home if you want to have some water while enjoying the outdoors, as an example.

Gravity Fed Water Filter Buying Guide

When comparing different gravity fed water filters you should consider several key factors. The most important are filter quality and lifespan, flow rate, and tank capacity.

Filter Quality and Lifespan

The paramount concern when talking about gravity fed water filters is the filter element itself. The bare minimum needed to meet our criteria was filtration of bacteria, protozoa, and cysts. 

For most situations, filtering out these biological threats will render your drinking water safe. Depending on where you live and the condition of your water, you very likely may need more.

The next level of filters go after things like chemical and heavy metal contaminants. There’s some nasty stuff out there, such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury.

In short, you don’t want to drink these metals.

A great example of why this is important is the situation in Flint, MI, a city plagued serious health effects caused by lead leaching into the water supply.

Higher quality filters, like the Berkey Water Filter, will be able to remove at least 99.9% of heavy metal contaminants, chemical contaminants, and even dangerous viruses.

Portability and Storage

While gravity fed water filters offer substantial performance benefits, there is a tradeoff in size and storage. Most gravity water filters are substantially larger than a crank or squeeze filter.

Countertop models, especially, are usually over a foot tall and take up a good bit of real estate on your counter. There are several options designed for travel or for hiking/camping needs, but they generally come with their own set of performance or flow rate compromises.

Make sure you consider how much space you can spare for your filter and whether or not you want to take it with you places outside your home.

Flow Rate 

Gravity fed water filters are great for filtering a lot of water, but they don’t always have the fastest flow rates.

Given that they rely on the force of gravity to push water through a filter, it’s unlikely you’ll get more than about 2-4 gallons per hour of filtered drinking water. As you get into smaller and more budget gravity water filters, it can be even lower. 

For most situations though, that’s plenty of water. As long as you consistently remember to fill the tank and the tank capacity is adequate, you should be good.

Consider how much water your family uses on average and budget filter time in.

Tank Capacity

Due to the relatively slow filter rate of gravity water filters, tank capacity can be very important.

Larger gravity filters tank capacity can range between 2-6 gallons. This gives you plenty of water to use for a family of four and limits the amount of times needed to filter your water throughout the week. 

Carefully consider how much water you’ll need for your family as you make your purchase.

5 Best Gravity Water Filters
Big Berkey Water Filter
Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System
Sawyer One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System
Propur G2.0 Traveler Water Filter
Doulton Stainless Steel Gravity System
gravity fed water filter
Alexapure Pro Stainless Steel Water Filtration System - 5,000 Gallon Throughput Capacity
Sawyer Products SP160 One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System with Dual-Threaded Mini Filter, Blu/White/Clear
gravity fed water filter
British Berkefeld 2.5 Gallon Gravity-Fed Water Filter System- Stainless Steel with 2x ATC Super Sterasyl Candle Filters
Our Ranking
Our #1 Rated Option
Our #2 Rated Option
Best Budget Option
Our #4 Rated Option
Our #5 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
2.25 gallons
4.5 gallons
1 gallon
1.6 gallons
.5 gallons per minute
Flow Rate
7 gallons per hour
Variable
Variable
.18 gallons per hour
~2 gallons
Filter Lifespan
3,000 gallons per Black Berkey filter
5,000 gallons
100,000 gallons
6 months
400 gallons
5 Best Gravity Water Filters
Big Berkey Water Filter
gravity fed water filter
Our Ranking
Our #1 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
2.25 gallons
Flow Rate
7 gallons per hour
Filter Lifespan
3,000 gallons per Black Berkey filter
More Information
5 Best Gravity Water Filters
Alexapure Pro Water Filtration System
Alexapure Pro Stainless Steel Water Filtration System - 5,000 Gallon Throughput Capacity
Our Ranking
Our #2 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
4.5 gallons
Flow Rate
Variable
Filter Lifespan
5,000 gallons
More Information
5 Best Gravity Water Filters
Sawyer One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System
Sawyer Products SP160 One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System with Dual-Threaded Mini Filter, Blu/White/Clear
Our Ranking
Best Budget Option
Reservoir Capacity
1 gallon
Flow Rate
Variable
Filter Lifespan
100,000 gallons
More Information
5 Best Gravity Water Filters
Propur G2.0 Traveler Water Filter
gravity fed water filter
Our Ranking
Our #4 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
1.6 gallons
Flow Rate
.18 gallons per hour
Filter Lifespan
6 months
More Information
5 Best Gravity Water Filters
Doulton Stainless Steel Gravity System
British Berkefeld 2.5 Gallon Gravity-Fed Water Filter System- Stainless Steel with 2x ATC Super Sterasyl Candle Filters
Our Ranking
Our #5 Rated Option
Reservoir Capacity
.5 gallons per minute
Flow Rate
~2 gallons
Filter Lifespan
400 gallons
More Information

Final Thoughts

When it comes to ensuring clean drinking water at an affordable price, it is without question that gravity fed water filters are an excellent choice.

They’re efficient, easy to use, and can be set up literally anywhere, with no preparation and little upkeep.

Our #1 pick, the Big Berkey water filter, provides industry leading filtration in a compact and stylish package.

And while the Berkey gets our top choice and for good reason, you can’t go wrong with any of the water filters on our list.  

Stay thirsty, my friends, for clean drinking water of course.

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