🏆AquaRain vs Berkey vs AquaTru: Who Is The Winner In 2020?

The filters we are going to talk about today have a different approach to water treatment, and both of these approaches are highly efficient.


The three filters are going to compare today are:

  1. AquaRain
  2. Berkey
  3. AquaTru

How the fight between AquaRain vs. Berkey vs. AquaTru is going to end up and who is the winner?

Let’s find out together!

All products are classed as the countertop filters which means that they are quite mobile to shuffle around the house or convenient for traveling.

If you are not familiar with countertop filters, don’t worry as especially for you I have written a guide where I explain everything you need to know about countertop filters.

Click here to check out the guide.

What makes the difference between these two products and other common countertop filters is the treatment performance.

Let me explain…

Conventional countertop units usually have a couple of stages, and the overall performance is not as good as for the more advanced systems.

These are different.

Units are quite big, and they use different filtration media type.

So let’s talk about each product individually and at the end pick the winner.

Comparison table


Before we start, I understand that you might not have time to read the whole article, so I have created a quiz to help you out.


If you don't want to read full review, let me help you out! I have created a set of questions and considerations and based on your preferences you will see which filter will be the most suitable for you. Simply answer six questions below and find out yourself which one of these three is best for you!

How Important Is The Speed of Filtration To You?
How Big Is Your Household?
Do You Have Access To Electricity Plug On Your Countertop?
How Often Are You Planning to Replace Cartridges?
What Material Do You Prefer?
What of the Following Is More Important to You?

Let’s compare these three units in the table below.

I will highlight all the main features so you have them nicely in one place.

My Rating
Filtered capacity (Gallons) 3 2.25 0.75
Filtration Type Gravity Fed - Ceramic Shell Gravity Fed - Back Berkey Reverse Osmosis
Treatment Speed (Gallons per hour) 1 3.5 (2 sets)
7 (4 sets)
# of stages 1 1 4
Requires electricity?
Material Stainless Steel Stainless Steel Tritan Plastic
Filter lifespan (Gallons) 1,000< 6,000 (2 sets)
12,000 (4 sets)
600 (1,2 and 4 stage) 1,200 (RO membrane)
Warranty (Years) 3 On contact 1
Latest price

AquaRain Model 303

Aqua Rain Water Filter Model 303
10 Reviews
Aqua Rain Water Filter Model 303
  • Stainless steel material
  • Ceramic filters
  • Removes Bacteria
  • Durable build

Last update on 2022-08-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Here is the deal:

The following two products I am going to talk about are both working on the same principle called gravity fed.

Basically, the principle is simple. Water is pushed through the filter by the gravity force, which gives you certain benefits.

The most obvious thing you will get is the fact that such filters are completely energy-free.


Both filters are made of stainless steel, which is my favorite material. I always love to see stainless steel products.

They are durable and likely to last you ages.


Let’s have a look at what AquaRain can offer to you.

The filter comes with two tanks bottom and the top tank with filters, and the capacity of 3 gallons.

It is straightforward to assemble, essentially the only thing you need to do is to screw the whole thing together. The manual is provided.

Here is the best thing:

AquaRain uses three ceramic filters. These have been proven to be very efficient when it comes to the removal of bacteria and cysts.

See the datasheet here.

On top of that, the carbon filter inside adsorbs well-known contaminants such as chlorine, odor, pesticides, and improves the overall taste of water.

The difference is:

We are used to measuring filter lifespan in gallons of water.

What I find interesting is the way that manufacturer measures lifespan of their filters. Well, it more of a shell rather than a filter.

Basically, they measure how many times you can clean the shell of the filter before it needs to be replaced.

What it means is that every time you clean the shell, the wall thickness is reduced.

At some point, you get to the end of the cartridge line because the wall is going to be very thin and this will become a point when you have to replace it.


The manufacturer claims that the ceramic shell will last roughly about 200 cleanings if you are doing it carefully with the light pressure.

Essentially, this should be able to produce more than a thousand gallons with careful manipulation.


The carbon filter inside of the shell should be replaced annually.

However, as to my standards, I suggest you do so no longer than every 6 months.

It will also be a good idea to clean tanks and shells quite regularly if you are continually using the filter.

I would suggest every couple of weeks.

What is disappointing:

Regarding the performance, the filter is able to produce roughly a 1 gallon of water per hour, which is let’s be honest slow.

However, assuming that the filter uses the gravity as the main force, it is not that bad.


When it comes to a warranty AquaRain is offering a great piece of a deal as well. The filter comes with 3-years limited warranty from the original date of purchase.

  • Stainless steel
  • Ceramic filter shells
  • 3-Years warranty
  • Great lifespan
  • Very mobile
  • Removes bacteria and cysts
  • Slow filtration rate
  • I would like to see other contaminants performance sheet, but I assume the performance would be similar to other carbons block filters.


I must admit I am quite impressed with this filter. If you like to go to the nature for weekends or just like to camp this filter will be easy to take and efficient friend of yours.

With the great lifespan and metal materials combined with a 3-year warranty this filter is definitely worth considering.

Big Berkey BK4X2

Big Berkey BK4X2 Countertop Water Filter System with 2 Black Berkey Elements and 2 Fluoride Filters
1,832 Reviews
Big Berkey BK4X2 Countertop Water Filter System with 2 Black Berkey Elements and 2 Fluoride Filters
  • Includes Big Berkey stainless steel housing (Upper, Lower, Lid and spigot etc.), 2 Black Berkey Filters, and 2 Fluoride Elements.
  • Holds 2.25 gallons of purified water. Designed for home use for 4 to 16 people
  • The Big Berkey is made with High Grade 304 Stainless Steel and measures 8.5"D x 21"H when assembled
  • Each (1) Purification Element has a lifespan of 3,000 gallons. That's 6,000 gallons for a two-filter system.
  • Each (1) Fluoride Filter attaches onto the stem of the Black Element, as a post filters, and can filter up to 1,000 gallons (3,785 liters).

Last update on 2022-08-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


I have written the review of the Big Berkey that is slightly bigger than this one in the other article, so make sure to check it out.

However, since we have a comparison article, it would only be fair if I highlight some of the features it offers.

Here is the thing:

The company British Berkefeld offers different types of stainless steel filters.

For this review, however, I have selected a Big Berkey type as I feel like it is comparable size with other products here.

The capacity is 2.25 gallons.

So here it goes:

The whole unit is made of the stainless steel as well as the AquaRain.


Compared to AquaRain, Berkey uses a different type of filtration media.

So, let’s have a look:

Big Berkey comes with 2 filters. There is, however, the option to install 4 filters which will increase the treatment rate and overall lifespan.

Combined lifespan is 6,000 gallons of water which makes it 3,000 gallons per filter.

Although, some sources have shown the real lifespan of about 1,000 to 1,500 gallons per filter.

These filters are called Black Berkey, and basically, they are made of carbon composite combined with 5 other media types.

I am not going into much details about the media as the most essential part of it is, that it works.

The reason why I am saying this is that because there is actual research done where Berkey was tested.

Guess what?

Yes, you are right. The study confirmed the performance of this filter.

Here is the link so you can read it yourself.

The great thing is:

That additionally you can get the optional fluoride filter, in case you want to remove fluoride from water.


Berkey can purify up to 3.5 gallons of water per hour with the set of 2 filters and twice as much with the set of 4 filters.

Basically, this depends on the quality of water in your area. So don’t panic if its less than that.


Some users have reported that their filter has arrived with dents or with the rust inside tanks.

People also experienced the “rubber taste.”

This, however, might be that the filter wasn’t appropriately flushed before the use.

Here is the tip:

TIP: Make sure to flush the filter with first 10-15 gallons of water before you drink it.

Most importantly:

Many people have reported that Berkey has provided them with pure water and improved its taste.


When it comes to a warranty, I am taking a few points down, because there is no information in regards to the warranty.

You will have to contact the manufacturer if you want to claim it.

  • Stainless steel
  • Long lifespan
  • Additional fluoride filters
  • Good treatment rates
  • Chambers can be nested for easy transport
  • Some users reported quality issues (dents, rust)
  • Reported rubber taste for some users
  • Fluoride filter is not very efficient


Big Berkey is the great filter that provides and excellent level of treatment as well as the lifespan.

It can be nested for easy transportation which makes it a perfect filter to take on the trip.

Although, it is not perfect and some users have reported dents when they receive a product, or they have experienced rust after a while.


AquaTru - Countertop Water Filtration Purification System with Exclusive 4-Stage Ultra Reverse...
780 Reviews
AquaTru - Countertop Water Filtration Purification System with Exclusive 4-Stage Ultra Reverse...
  • IS YOUR WATER SAFE TO DRINK? Studies continue to pour in regarding Toxins, Hormones, Microplastics, Cancer-linked contaminants, known Carcinogens and other toxins...
  • IS YOUR WATER SAFE TO DRINK? Studies continue to pour in regarding Toxins, Hormones, Microplastics, Cancer-linked contaminants, known Carcinogens and other toxins...
  • Tested and certified by IAPMO according to NSF/ANSI standards to remove 82 CONTAMINANTS - that's 15X more contaminants than the leading pitcher filters. Removes such...
  • NO PLUMBING OR INSTALLATION required - takes just minutes to set up. AquaTru’s Trusted & warrantied RO countertop system COSTS CONSIDERABLY LESS than fully installed...
  • QUICK CHANGE TWIST AND SEAL FILTERS come included with your first AQUA TRU system, and last from 6 months to 2 years

Last update on 2022-08-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Here is the deal:

AquaTru is the countertop filter, but the way it filters the water is through the 4 stages of reverse osmosis filter.

What does it mean for you?

Reverse osmosis is known as the most advanced method of water purification currently available.

So, you can expect the fantastic filtration performance of this unit.

The filter has the following 4 stages:

  1. Mechanical Pre-Filter
  2. RO Pro-Filter
  3. RO Membrane
  4. Carbon Filter

This combination will remove most of the contaminants, and the performance is assured by the NSF Certification.

What I like about it…

Is the fact that it is an RO system built into the countertop block.


There is no hassle with installation as the whole unit comes as the one block with two dispensers.

First one is for the unfiltered water and the second tank hold purified water.


Other two units are both using a gravity fed technology that was explained earlier in this article.

Compared to the other two units AquaTru also requires a connection to the electricity.

Another thing I like:

Is the overall design of the product I mean it’s nice and sleek and is going to complement your overall kitchen design.

Although I prefer the stainless steel material as used in Berkey and AquaRain, this filter uses plastic material Tritan.

So you don’t have to worry about the health impact of Bisphenol as there isn’t one.

In terms of capacity:

The first tank has the capacity of 1 gallon and the second dispenser is able to hold about three quarts of water.

This is enough for drinking and even cooking.

Make sure to clean both tanks regularly to prevent bacteria to spread inside.

TIP: All filters are designed to be used only with cold water.


The speed of filtration is quite impressive to be fair. AquaTru is able to purify a gallon of water in more less 15 minutes.

Again, this depends on the overall quality of the water in your region. It might be a bit more or a bit less if your water is relatively clean.

What you need to know is that, AquaTru is able to purify 0.75 gallons out of 1 gallon of water leaving 0.25 gallons of water in the first tank.

When it comes to a warranty, the manufacturer offers the 1-year limited warranty.


I have noticed that customers quite often complained that it was hard to claim it. This would be the biggest drawback for me.

Another thing that I would love to see:

I would really appreciate if there is this ability to connect the whole unit directly to the water supply.

It would be much more convenient that way, at least for me.

The way it works now is that you have to take the tank off and pour water from the tap.

I mean it works fine, but it would be a nice option to have.

  • Reverse osmosis system
  • Reminder to replace cartridges
  • Sleek design
  • Fast treatment rate
  • No-Installation
  • Customers reported that its hard to claim warranty
  • Reported leaks and overall quality of build
  • I would like to have the option to connect it directly to the water supply


If you are looking for the great purifier that will remove everything out of your water than AquaTru is the way to go.

It doesn’t require any installation so you can set it up in 5 minutes, and the RO offers excellent performance.

Although, note that you might experience some troubles with customer service.


If I’m honest:

It is tough to conclude which unit is the best as all of these are doing well when it comes to performance.

Although, for Berkey and AquaTru users have reported issues related to quality.


If I compare AquaRain vs. Berkey.

I would select Berkey and here is why:

  • There is a study that proves the efficiency of the filter
  • It provides great flow rate compared to AquaRain
  • Optional fluoride filters and possibility for additional 2 filters


AquaRain is a great filter as well, but the reason it’s not a winner for me is that there is a lack of information.

Room for improvement:

What both filters are missing, at least for me, is some sort of water level indication.

You know, there is no way to tell how much water is inside unless you open it and check.

So, something that would tell me that there is a low level of water would be amazing, and I am pretty sure that many people would appreciate it as well.


This is the hardest part to compare two filters that are not really comparable.

Bekrey vs AquaTru!

I mean, if I compare the treatment performance then the winner would undoubtedly be AquaTru.

It uses the reverse osmosis filter, and as we know, RO is the most efficient type of filtration right now.


For example, if we compare these two products on the travel suitability, then Berkey would definitely take the win.

It is challenging to compare those two so for this reason, I have created a list with the main benefits of each of them and also there is a table at the beginning of this post.

AquaTru is great if:

  • You want great treatment rate
  • You don’t plan to travel with it
  • You would like something with nice design
  • You want something easy to use


  • You plan to use it as home as well as when you traveling
  • You like steel material
  • You want to keep healthy minerals in
  • You don’t want to plug it to the electricity

Final Words

I hope I have given you some good information so you can make an informed decision and pick the right product for yourself.

I would also love to hear your experiences with any of the products mentioned here.

Don’t forget to share this article with your friends if you have found it useful.


Sharing is caring!

8 thoughts on “🏆AquaRain vs Berkey vs AquaTru: Who Is The Winner In 2020?”

  1. Nice article Eugen! A couple of things…

    I bought a Berkey, followed the procedure for the filters, and couldn’t shake the taste element. Whether it was “rubber-like” or what, it simply wasn’t like clean water. I was pretty bummed. I still have the unit in the garage.

    I then bought an AquaTru…and I love it! Immediately, the taste of the water was simply silky. I have used it for quite some time (just a single person), and still have not had the filter replace signal go off…kinda weird. I’m going to replace them today anyway.

    I wish the AquaTru had a larger tank – and I like your idea of direct hookup. The tank you put the water in and contains the post filtration residue tends to build up a crustiness that doesn’t come off easily. I don’t know that it matters much, but it’s a bit weird. I haven’t asked them about it. You do have to clean the filtered water tank every now and again or it starts to generate algae. But no big deal.

    The thing you don’t mention about the AquaTru, which is important here in CA and other drought areas, is that it’s much more efficient than your typical under the sink RO filter system. Those were not good in draught because it typically takes 3 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of filtered water – very ineffecient from the water usage perspective.

    The AquaTru uses 1 gallon of water to produce ¾ of a gallon. Much more water usage friendly.

    The other thing about the Berkey…while it filters out so much – impressively – according to the studies, the one thing that there is more residual of is aluminum, as that is part of the filtration process. Not so great, as aluminum is suspected of being involved in lots of health issues. But it is minimal, and the removal of everything else still is impressive.

    Nevertheless…I’m an AquaTru fan. I bought a couple of extra tanks, so I fill and store. Great water!

    1. Hi Adam,

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here. Such insight will definitely help others. Also, I will update the article with the water usage for AquaTru.

      I do get what you mean when saying “rubber-like” taste some, filters tends to leave it, and what I have found is that, this could be caused by the initial water coming into it. Have you checked it with the manufacturer, what they say about it?

      In regards to Aluminum, the metal itself is processed to not release the metal into water, but your are right it does have impact on health as any other metal.

      Once again, thanks for stopping by.


  2. Hi Eugen, great article. I just got a Travel Berkey that I had been saving for. I had had my eye on the AquaTru but wanted to keep the minerals in my water. After saving $ for 3 mths and after 1 day, I am returning the Berkey. It really is a pain in the arse. Priming s#cks, especially with the pf2 flouride filters. Water everywhere. Took about 15 min on EACH pf2 to get clear water. Then there’s the matter that you can’t fill the top chamber until the lower chamber is almost empty. I forsee my future of “making water” every day as a chore. I need about 3 gallons clean water each day. And then when you get to the nitty gritty online help….maintenance of the black filters is a pain. I really have to scrub them? Schedule for that is different for everyone as flow rate diminishes differently for everyone. Berkey really should include the primer pump for free. I bet their 30 day return rate would be cut in half. And in hindsight, i really wonder why they won’t submit to 3rd party testing/nsf. Maybe results are good but perhaps inconsistent?

    A lot of this post is my disappointment after waiting and saving up for this. Might try aquatru.

    1. Hey Robin,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience with Berkey. I have found that there are two types of people who either love it or hate the product. As you said, I think this depends on the quality of water in your area. So at least a basic test should give you an idea on what you should go for.

      With this kind of filtration you have to scrub filters unfortunately.

      Do you have hard water in your area by any chance as this might cause issues with filtration speed?

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. Its invaluable for readers of this blog.


  3. I know the Aqu Tru is BPA free but is it phthalate free? That’s a huge concern for me as it has been liked to so many health problems.

    1. Hi Perla,

      Thanks for stopping by and asking a question. In all fairness I am not sure but I would believe that the container should be phthalate free as well and here is why.

      Phthalates are used in a plastic production to make plastic flexible. However, BPA is used in hard plastic.

      Since, the container is hard plastic, therefore it’s likely not to have any phthalates in it.

      Hope this helps.


      1. I have a Berkey and an AquaTru. Good and bad to both. I use the AquaTru and keep the Berkey as a back-up if there is an outage or need portability. Downside of the AquaTru is MAJOR leakage outside of the warrant so I am out of luck. Had buy a dish drain board that drains into the sink. It looks terrible but keeps water from going everywhere. However, water tastes great and it is speedy. I ordered the new version shipping this August (2020) that is able to be smart phone enabled. Hopefully this time they fixed the leaking issue. Fingers crossed. I don’t worry about the minerals. I take a daily supplement that has the needed material in it.

        1. Hi Vicky.

          Do you mind if I asked you about the daily mineral supplement you mentioned in your comment? I would like to have it in mind if I ever buy either the Berkey or Aquatru system. Thank you.

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