Berkey vs Multipure Water Filters: Pros, Cons & Specs

Clean drinking water is a precious gift. Unfortunately, overpopulation, industrialization, and underregulation are a serious threat to our water quality in modern times. As a result, the selection of water filtration options available has become overwhelming. We want to help you separate out which water purification system is right for you. In this article, we will be comparing Berkey water filters to the Multipure line of filters to help you make an informed choice.

Multipure Filters

Multipure has been making filters since the 1970’s. They are based in Las Vegas, Nevada and they make several models of water filter. Most of their product line is designed to be connected inline with your plumbing system, but they do make one model, the Aqualuxe, that sits on the countertop like Berkey filters.

How They Work

Multipure filters refer to their filters as solid carbon block filters. A thick shell of compressed activated carbon forms the bulk of their filter media, which fits inside a canister. In most of their models, the metal filter canister is hung under the sink and connects into your plumbing so that the output from the filter goes either to the main faucet, or a dedicated tap installed over the sink. The Aqualuxe, which we are looking at here, is designed for kitchens where altering the plumbing system is not an option, such as in a rental.

Berkey vs Multipure water filters
 Pros Cons
✔️Higher flow rate ✖️Shorter life of the carbon block filters
✖️Higher per-gallon cost
✖️Higher initial cost
✖️Does not remove viruses to the same degree as Berkey
✖️Slightly less lead removal 

The most important difference to look at between Berkey filters and Multipure is the fact that multipure filters work under pressure. All their products, whether an under-sink canister like the Aquaversa, or the Aqualuxe countertop model that we examine here, use the pressure of the home’s water supply to push water through the filter at very high speed. We believe that this type of filter can only get this added convenience of on-demand filtered water by sacrificing some purification performance.

What They Remove:

Multipure’s carbon block filters are relatively high quality water filters. Their use of the same absorption, adsorption, and microfiltration technologies puts them in the same upper tier of water purification products as Berkey filters. They remove bacteria to the same stringent standards as Berkey. They remove viruses as well, but not quite as well as Berkey filters. They also work well at reducing chlorine, agricultural chemicals, VOC’s, pharmaceuticals, and most heavy metals, although they don’t remove lead quite as well as Berkey filters.

Berkey Water

Filters Berkey began in Colorado in the 1990’s as a family startup. Our innovative Black Berkey filter elements have been at the heart of high quality water purification technology for a generation.

We specialize in domestic water filters that use gravity to move water through our filter elements and purify drinking water to world-class standards. Berkey makes eight different filter units to fit your particular needs.

How They Work

Although the carbon block technology mentioned above works well, the Black Berkey filter element has a slightly more nuanced formulation. In addition to carbon, we use a proprietary blend of five additional types of media, bound into a tight structure. This matrix purifies drinking water by adsorption, absorption and microfiltration.

Microfiltration is the movement of water through the tiniest of pores in the filter media. Water meanders its way through these pores, which form convoluted pathways through the filter that we refer to as a, “tortuous path.” This excludes and filters out sediment and turbidity, bacteria, parasites, cysts, and other pathogens.

Absorption is the means by which the Black Berkey pulls heavy metals and other contaminants out of drinking water and into the filter media. This type of microscopic, chemical absorption works a lot like the type of absorption you see in the visible world. A sponge that absorbs spilled coffee on your countertop, for example, has tiny voids that draw the coffee into the body of the sponge and hold it there. The absorption action of the Black Berkey similarly draws in chlorine, VOC’s, or industrial chemicals that are present in the water, and holds them there. In addition, an ion-exchange process in the filter media facilitates the absorption of negatively charged ions like heavy metals. In this way, Berkey filters remove chromium, lead, cadmium, aluminum, copper, and mercury.

Berkey vs Multipure water filters

Adsorption is the process that Berkey filters use to eliminate viruses. Viruses are so tiny that they cannot be excluded by microfiltration, like bacteria can. Neither can they be absorbed into the body of the filter.

Adsorption draws viruses out of the water using their own electrostatic charge as they move into the filter. Adsorption is a lot like static cling. When shipping peanuts stick to the sides of a box or a balloon sticks to someone’s hair, electrostatic force is causing charged objects to adhere to a surface. In the microscopic world inside the Black Berkey, a very similar pull, known as Van der Waals Force pulls out viruses and essentially glues them against the surface of the filter media. This is how Berkey filters are able to remove 99.9999% of viruses from drinking water.

 Pros Cons
✔️Higher filter performance ✖️Slower filtration rate
✔️Removes more viruses
✔️Removes more lead
✔️Longer filter element life
✔️Lower cost per gallon

What They Remove

Berkey Filters remove the same contaminants as multipure although, due to the increased contact time between water and the filter media, they do a little better at some specific contaminants. Berkey filters remove chlorine, chloramine, BP-A, pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals, petroleum products, heavy metals, trihalomethanes, bacteria, cysts, 99.9% of lead and 99.9999% of viruses.

Head-to-Head

For a fair comparison, we chose the Mulitpure product that was most similar to Berkey filters, which is the Aqualuxe. This model sits on the counter and attaches to the kitchen faucet with a double hose. One hose brings tap water from the faucet to the filter, another brings filtered water back to the end of the faucet. In Berkey’s corner, we have the Big Berkey Water Purifier. Although the functionality is somewhat different, they are technically both countertop water filters.

Features
The Multipure Aqualuxe
The Big Berkey
 Volume
 n/a
2.25 gallons
 Unit Cost
 $1,035.00
 $278.00
Cost per Gallon
30 cents
2 cents
Contaminants Removed
Agricultural chemicals, VOC’s, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, 99.99% of bacteria and viruses, 99.3% of lead
Agricultural chemicals, VOC’s, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, 99.9999% of bacteria and viruses, 99.9% of lead
Materials
Stainless Steel, plastic, silicone
 304 Stainless Steel
Purification Speed
.75 gal/min @ 60psi
84 gallons per day
How the Filters Work
Microfiltration, absorption, and adsorption
Microfiltration, absorption, and adsorption
Filter Lifespan
500 gallons
 6,000 gallons
Warranty

1 year warranty on accessories 60 months on electronics.  Lifetime warranty on housing

6 month manufacturers warranty. 2 year prorated warranty on filters.  Lifetime warranty on spigots, chambers, and hardware.

The Bottom Line

Choosing a water filter is all about priorities. With the Aqualuxe, you may get a little break when it comes to convenience, but you pay a price, both in quality of purification and in dollars and cents. Alexapure doesn’t go as far as Berkey in getting rid of lead and viruses and with the frequent, expensive filter changes, you will pay 30 cents a gallon: that’s fifteen times more expensive than Berkey. After an honest, straightforward comparison, we think the choice is simple. If you want your drinking water purified to the highest standards possible at a price you can live with, Berkey water filters are the way to go!