by Jennifer Bellini
Marketing expert, Business guru
> 4 min read
Gravity water filters are excellent for producing clean filtered water without the need for an external power source.
While the Royal Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter is undoubtedly the best on the market, there are also a few runners up that are worthy of consideration, depending on your budget and needs.
Whether you need to prioritize your budget, transportation requirements, or prefer a wide range of features, there is a gravity-fed water filter for everyone. For best in class, it may be worth it to spend a little more upfront for the Royal Berkey system, which sits proudly at the top of the list.
Top Choices on the Market
How to Pick the Perfect One for Your Needs
What Is a Gravity Water Filter?
Gravity water filters do not require a connection to a water supply or power source, making them ideal for use when you are away from running water and amenities such as electricity.
You can use them to provide clean, filtered water that is suitable for many uses such as cleaning, cooking, washing, or drinking. Your pets can also benefit from purified water. Depending on your needs, a gravity water filter can remove a vast range of contaminants such as pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, and bacteria, or simply some poisons such as microplastics.
You can use a gravity water filter in the home, while camping, or on longer hiking trips. A gravity filter is also useful for survival purposes in inhospitable environments.
Things to Consider
Having a gravity filter can transform your next camping trip or make the water from your house faucet much more palatable. In cities where they use a lot of chlorination in the water, you may be concerned for both your health and the taste of the water.
When you’re looking at gravity filters, you’ll have plenty of questions, starting with, “Are gravity water filters good?” Be assured they are, and you can get amazing benefits from having one in your house or when traveling.
Next, you’ll probably want to ask, How do you use a gravity filter? These systems do not require any power source and have very few parts. They are straightforward to use and also to clean, ensuring they last a long time.
To make an informed choice, you can read gravity water filter reviews, but you also need to read expert reviews to make sure you’re getting a balanced viewpoint.
The best gravity water filters share some common features. They are well-constructed and can filter different contaminants. Some are portable, and all have long-lasting components that only require replacing after long and vigorous use.
1. Filtration of Impurities
Common tap water can contain dirt, rust, minerals, lead, pesticides, bleach, and heavy metals. Bleach, chlorine, parasites, and even uranium may also be present in drinking water. If your city had issues with clean water in the past or you want to have a trustworthy filter for your next trip, a gravity water filter can eliminate these harmful toxins and chemicals.
Some filters are designed to remove only some pollutants, whereas others have very powerful filters that can remove all but the most minute impurities. It is essential to research the capabilities of any filter before purchase.
2. Easy Transportation
If you plan on taking your water filtration system camping or hiking, make sure to check both the dimensions and the weight. Some filtration devices are only suitable for camping where they are used a short distance from a vehicle. Others fit into a backpack and can be brought out when needed and then packed away again.
3. Overall Ability
It’s likely you need a gravity-fed water filtration system that can check several boxes. Check to see if they can be used both in the home and when traveling, and the list of impurities that they filter. Budget may impact your decision, but many systems are wallet-friendly and capable of providing a pure water supply when you are away from a reliable, clean water source.
Depending on how and when you use your gravity water system, you can enjoy many benefits, some potentially lifesaving, and some which are a nice luxury to have.
1. Life saver
A gravity-fed water filter could save your life if you are lost while hiking or break down while on a long road trip. Humans need water to survive, but the water must also be clean and free from harmful substances. Drinking water containing bacteria or chemicals could have severe, or even fatal, consequences.
2. No need for power
It’s easy to forget how often we use power for the things we need, such as cooking and boiling a kettle. A gravity water filter lets the weight of the water move it through the system, and filters clean it as it goes. It’s perfect for camping or hiking.
Although they have an upfront cost, and filters may need replacing over time, these systems tend to offer overall excellent value for money. Even an expensive gravity water filter can still last you for several thousands of gallons of water.
4. Minimal Maintenance
Gravity water systems tend to have very few parts, which makes them easy to maintain. The only parts that usually need replacing are the filters, and even then, that might only be once or twice a year. Although requiring a bit more effort to clean, a reusable filter might not ever need to be replaced as long you keep it in good condition.
5. Multiple Uses
You can use a gravity water filter in the house if you want to have even cleaner tap water. Alternatively, you could take one into the wilderness on an adventure. You can buy a two-bag filter system in your car, and get a stationary option for your home, so you’re always prepared. Their versatility makes them ideal for many situations, and they can provide peace of mind when you are using water virtually anywhere around the world.
How Does It Work?
The job of a gravity water filter is to provide you with clean water. A basic filter may only remove some contaminants such as microplastics, but a higher-spec filter removes most, if not all, unwanted substances. While there are different types of gravity water filters, the basic premise of how they work is the same.
- Water is poured into the top of the filtration system, usually a chamber or a bag.
- Gravity moves water from the top of the system toward the bottom.
- As the water moves downward, it passes through one or more filters.
- The filters catch any contaminants, such as chemicals and bacteria (depending on the filter).
- When the water reaches the bottom chamber or flows through a tube into a separate bag, it is filtered from contaminates.
- The water is now safe for human or pet consumption.
- As the filters have been catching the contaminates, they may start to slow down after a lot of use.
- A simple backflush helps restore the initial rate of water flow.
- After prolonged use, you may need to replace the filters.
- A good gravity water filtration system lasts for many years and filters many thousands of liters of water at a cost-effective price.
Best Gravity Water Filter Reviews 2021 (UPDATED)
1. Royal Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter - Top Choice
- 1-Year Limited Warranty
- Eliminates 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and other harmful contaminants
- Proven and Tested
- Hassle-free, user-friendly, and portable water filter
Filtration Media: Black Berkey Purification Elements
Highlights: Filters Up to 6,000 Gal until Replacement
Powerful Filtration System
The 3.25-gallon chamber is perfect for families of 3-5 people. With one of the most powerful filtration systems on the market, the Royal Berkey can even remove food coloring from water while still leaving in nutrients and minerals that are beneficial. Their third-party independent lab test results consistently show the removal of different contaminants such as chemicals, bacteria, and pathogens.
If you are traveling with your Royal Berkey, the top chamber slides into the bottom chamber to reduce the height to a manageable 15.25”. With a weight of only 8.8 lbs., you can easily take it with you indoors and outdoors.
The replaceable purification elements last for up to 6,000 gallons of water, and each set of new elements provides the same filtering power. The overall cost of a gallon of purified water is around $0.02, making this an excellent environmentally friendly system.
- Extremely powerful system for confidence when drinking almost anywhere in the world
- Despite its power, the design is neat and relatively compact for easy transportation
- Provides clean filtered water at a fraction of the cost of many of its rivals
- Long-lasting filter elements
- Expensive up-front cost
2. Propur Big Countertop Gravity Water Filter System
- Silver infused filters to reduce growth of bacteria and other contaminants
- Made from High Quality Food Grade Steel
- removes heavy metals, flourides, and other chemicals
- Keeps good minerals beneficial to health
Filtration Media: ProOne G2.0
Highlights: Filter last up to 1 year with regular daily use
Long Life Filters
In keeping with using quality materials, the ProOne G2.0 filters have an average lifespan of 12 months, even when being used every day. They are even infused with silver to reduce the growth of bacteria. The intelligent design allows the filter to remove contaminants such as herbicides and pharmaceuticals while leaving in calcium to improve the water’s taste.
Made of high-quality stainless steel, this is a water filtration system that looks great on your kitchen countertop. If you want to use it outside, it’s also resistant to corrosion and rusting, making it an excellent choice for your next camping trip.
With an impressive 2.75-liter capacity, this water filtration system can hold plenty of water for 2-4 people. You’ll be able to cook, clean, and wash using your Propur, and then quickly refill from the nearest water source. Without the need to replenish your supply, you can relax and enjoy your vacation.
- Made with high-quality 304 stainless steel for style and durability
- Silver-infused filters remove many contaminants and are bacteria resistant
- Holds an enormous amount of water for your convenience
- Size is unsuitable for hiking trips
- Filters are expensive to replace
3. LifeStraw Flex Advanced Water Filter with Gravity Bag
- Flow rate of 0.5 Liter/minute
- Removes 99.9% of impurities in the water
- Exceeds US EPA drinking standards
Filtration Media: Hollow Fiber Membrane
Highlights: Filter last up to 3 months or 500 Gallons
An excellent addition to your survival kit, the Lifestraw Flex, is a multi-use filter. Attach it to your water bottle and use it as an in-line filter, with a gravity system, or attach the included soft bottle and use it as a personal straw filter.
For confidence when drinking at home or abroad, this filter exceeds both United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) drinking water standards and the National Science Foundation 3 (NSF 3) standards for filtering out lead and heavy metals. Proven results for filtering out bacteria and parasites such as E.coli and salmonella.
Built to Last
The long-life microbiological filter will last for over 1.5 years’ worth of drinking water, and the carbon filter will perform for 3 months’ worth of water. With replaceable filters, you can have the system working like new again when the time comes to swap an old filter for a new one.
- Exceeds safety requirements for peace of mind
- Durable to last a long time and filters are replaceable
- Useable in various ways to provide clean drinking water
- Unsuitable for use with chlorinated water
- Flow rate may be slower when compared to similar filters
4. Platypus GravityWorks 4.0 Liter High-Capacity Water Filter System
- Flow rate of 1.75 Liter/minute
- No pumping required
- NSF Proven & Tested to eliminate 99.9% of protozoa and bacteria that causes harm to health
- light and compact
Filtration Media: Hollow Fiber Membrane
Highlights: Filters up to 1500 Liters
This Platypus GravityWorks bag produces a remarkable 4 liters of filtered water in only 2.5 minutes. When it’s time to cook, clean, or wash, this bag provides all the water you need within just a few minutes, making it ideal for when you have an urgent need for access to clean water.
Hollow Fiber System
While many bags use standard water filters, Platypus uses hundreds of hollow fibers combined to form a single bag. Gravity moves the water from the top to the bottom of the bag, passing through these filters, which remove bacteria and other impurities. They claim this can allow water to pass through a filter surface area that is up to 18 times larger than other filters, giving a purer final product.
The GravityWorks Carbon Element filter reduces any unwanted flavors or smells that may be present with other filters. Ideal when preparing food or drinking water, it helps to filter out man-made chemicals and organic compounds that can make water taste unpleasant.
- Fast and efficient purifying system
- Advanced hollow fiber filtering technology
- Removes unpleasant tastes and odors
- Unlike a stationary filter, this one needs to be hung up or held up to filter which can be difficult in the backwoods
5. Travel Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter with 2 Black Berkey
- Flow rate of 0.045 Liter/minute
- eliminates viruses, bacteria, and other harmful chemicals
- No plumbing, electricity, or tools required.
- each pair of filtration has up to 6000 gallon of filter life, max of 2 pairs.
Filtration Media: Black Berkey Purification Elements
Highlights: Filters Up to 6,000 Gal until Replacement
Confidence and Quality
Berkey is a well-respected brand in the water filtration industry. Several independent third-party labs independently test each filtration system, and they make the results publicly available. Berkey backs up their claims to produce superior products by giving a 6-month warranty covering materials and workmanship, and a 2-year warranty to cover their filtration elements.
Rugged and Durable
The testing each filtration system endures is robust, and they need to withstand harsh conditions to pass the test. Berkey promotes their products as producing clean, safe, drinkable water just about anywhere in the world. The powerful replaceable Berkey purification elements can last for up to 6,000 gallons of water before needing to be changed.
Although the unit stands at a modest 18” tall and 7.5” in diameter, it still has a 1.5-liter capacity. That’s enough to provide safe and clean water for up to 3 people per day.
- Reliable brand name that is known for its quality product
- Powerful and durable purification elements for optimal filtration
- Capacity is large, despite the unit being reasonably compact
- Much more expensive than other options
- Can’t be folded and not as portable as many filtration systems
6. Sawyer Products One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System
- High Quality Filtration you can take anywhere
- Filter Life of Up to 100,000 Gallons
- removes microplastics, bacterias, and protozoas
- Hassle-free and Easy-to-use
Filtration Media: Hollow Fiber Membrane
Highlights: Uses a 0.1 Micron Absolute Inline Filter
Filters to Suit Every Situation
Choose the Select System (S1, S3) for the purest water following filtration. This choice is best when hiking near livestock or traveling abroad. The additional foam membrane protects from chemicals, heavy metals, and other harmful bacteria.
Simple Two-Bag System
The Sawyer one-gallon gravity water filtration system uses a simple, yet efficient, two-bag method. Fill the dirty water bag and leave it hanging from a branch or hold it with your hand and allow gravity to send the contaminated water through the included tubing and MINI filter.
The MINI filter can last an indefinite period, as you can wash it over and over again. This filter reduces waste by not using parts that need regular replacing, and as long as it is maintained, the filter continues to provide quality clean water for many years. If water flow begins to slow, perform a simple backwash to restore up to 98% of the original flow rate.
- Two-bag system is light and straightforward to use
- Reusable filter, so no need to spend money on replacing them
- Can choose a filter system to match your needs
- Only the most expensive filters protect against heavy metals and chemicals
7. Doulton W9361122 Stainless Steel Gravity Filter System
- removes water impurities like e.coli, cholera, salmonella. and other harmful contaminants
- Tank Made from Surgical Grade Steel for Maximum Corrosion Resistance
- 0.2 Microns Silver Impregnated Ceramic Shell
Filtration Media: Doulton® Imperial SuperSterasyl™
Highlights: Filter Life of Up to 1 Year Usage
Quality Brand Name
Doulton is a leading name in water filtration systems, known for their attention to detail in product construction and reliability. This gravity system with replaceable ceramic filters removes most impurities while also removing any unwanted aftertastes that can be apparent in other filtration systems.
Made from stainless steel, this is an excellent addition to any kitchen countertop. As it is a relatively heavy 100 lbs., it gives the appearance of a stylish unit built with quality in mind. Although minor assembly is required to build the unit, the intelligent design means there is no need for tools, and the whole process is swift. The extra weight means it won’t tip or push over easily, making it ideal for homes or offices with lots of activity.
One Year Warranty
Doulton is confident their gravity water filtration systems give many years of use and enjoyment. To support their claims, they offer a 1-year limited warranty. You can buy with confidence knowing the company will help if there are any unexpected faults.
- Good brand name synonymous with reliability
- Aesthetically pleasing and strong build quality
- 1-year warranty
- Doesn’t remove heavy metals
- Ceramic filter may need more maintenance than many other filters
8. MSR AutoFlow Gravity Water Filter
- Food-grade lining
- Durable Film reservoir
- Includes shutoff clamp to control water flow
- roll tight closure system
- Field Cleanable
- 3-year limited warranty
Filtration Media: Hollow Fiber Membrane
Highlights: Flow Rate of 1.75 Liters/Minute
Small and Discreet
Space is often at a premium when packing up for your trip, so you’ll be glad to hear the MSR Autoflow Filter is compact and light. Weighing just 11.2 oz., you can use it for filtration, and then roll it up into a small package for storage. The compact design means there is still plenty of room in your backpack for other essential survival tools.
Improves the Taste of Drinking Water
Some filters can leave an unpleasant taste in the filtered product. The MSR system uses hollow-fiber technology to clean the water without the need for a standard filter, with the water running through hundreds of hollow fiber cells. The food-grade lining also reduces any unwanted aftertastes or odors.
Choose Your Size
Keeping with their compact design, you can choose from either a 2-liter or 4-liter bag. For a small party of 2, take the smaller bag. If you are a family or a group going on a hike, the larger version meets your needs.
- Portable and lightweight
- Food-grade lining to improve the taste of filtered water
- Comes in 2 sizes depending on how many people are in your party
- 3-year limited warranty
- Doesn’t filter out viruses
9. Miniwell Gravity Water Filter Straw Ultralight Versatile Hiker Water Filter
- field cleanable and extend filter life by backflushing
- slidelock design reservoir with wide mouth opening
- portable and on-the-go water filtration
- tree strap included on the kit which 1 meter long
Filtration Media: 0.1 micron ultrafiltration membrane
Highlights: filters up to 2000 Liters
Lightweight and Portable
An excellent choice for those looking to travel light, this water filter weighs a mere 3.04 oz. and folds easily into a bag or backpack. Due to its medical-grade construction and compact size, this bag is also excellent for those traveling through difficult terrains or in a conflict area.
Competitive Water Flow
This system can compete with some of its larger competitors with a water flow rate of 600 mls/minute. Using ultra-low pressure membranes allows the flow rate to remain strong while filtering a large amount of water. While the filter will last for up to 2,000 liters of water, this period can be extended by following a backwash procedure.
Warranty and Guarantee
When going hiking or away from nearby help, you need to know your water filtration system works. Miniwell uses FDA-approved materials and offers a limited lifetime guarantee and a 100% money-back promise for your peace of mind.
- Very compact and lightweight for long trips or hikes
- Strong water flow rate for quick delivery of filtered water
- Excellent warranty and money-back guarantees
- May need to add quite a few optional accessories such as a bucket connector or water reservoir (both available on main product page)
- Filter needs to be replaced sooner compared to other filtration systems
10. Santevia Gravity Water System
- makes alkaline water
- keeps healthy minerals sauch as calcium and magnesium while removing contaminants in the water
- Eliminates flouride, chlorine, bacteria, rust, and other chemicals
- ideal for large families
Filtration Media: Ceramic, Flouride, and Mineral Stones
Highlights: 3-Stage Filtration System
Advanced Filtration System
Santevia claims to give you filtered water that’s almost as pure as a mountain spring using their 6-step advanced filtration system. Their replaceable ceramic filters and fluoride filters aim to remove all particles, chemicals, other contaminants, as well as unnatural tastes or smells from your filtered water.
Santevia has also designed an attractive, transparent container for their filtration system. You can see the water that you put into the top of the filter, and then view it when it strains to the bottom section of the chambers after filtration.
Simple Open Tap Feature
Once the contaminants are removed, it’s time to pour a glass of clean drinking water. While some designs come with tubing to drain the water, this appliance has a simple tap. Just lower and raise the lever to open the flow and to stop it again. Their minimalist design helps to reduce spillages when draining the purified water.
- Claims to provide a premium filtered water product
- Nice design with clear looking glass feature
- No mess with an easy-to-use tap
- Claims have not been evaluated by the FDA
- Six stages is a lot of steps, and more parts could fail or need replacing
11. Aqua Rain
- 3 years limited warranty
- removes dangerous cysts and bacteria that causes cholera, and typhoid
- provides great tasting water with no bad odor
- includes end-of-life caliper gauge to measure the remaining of each element
Filtration Media: Micro-Pore Ceramic Filtration Elements
Highlights: Heavy-Gauge Stainless Steel Housing
Aqua rain uses a patented extrusion process within its replaceable ceramic tubes to produce a clean product filtered from potentially harmful contaminants. The ceramic tubes come with a measuring gauge that you can use to accurately alert you to when the tubes need to be replaced. As the tubes are created in precision computer-controlled kilns, this is the most accurate way to know it is time to change your filtering tubes.
The ceramic shell withstands thorough cleaning for up to 100 washes. It filters thousands of gallons of unpurified water before you need to think of replacing the model. The wall thickness ensures your filtration system is both effective and durable.
Removes Wide range of Contaminates
Some filters only remove impurities such as microplastics and leave other pollutants in the water. Aqua Rain has designed its ceramic filters to remove a wide range of contaminants such as organic chemicals, pesticides, and chlorine compounds, which include carcinogens, for your peace of mind.
- Uses advanced technology to help remove impurities
- Sturdy build to withstand traveling and camping trips
- Designed to remove a range of pollutants
- May need replacing before other comparable filters
- Expensive when compared to rivals
Royal Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter
There are several good gravity water filters on the market and depending on your budget and where you intend to use it, you’ll be able to find one to suit your needs. Some aspects of water filters narrow down your choices for you.
In addition to filtering power, budget is often a deciding factor. Getting the best gravity water filter for your money may involve a higher upfront cost; however, this can provide a better final product. Gravity water filters should last for a long time, so the initial investment may turn out to be the most cost-effective option in the long-term.
Without question, the best gravity water filter is the Royal Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter, which comes with 2 Black Berkey Purification Elements. No other gravity filtration system currently available can match the immense power of the system that can even separate food coloring from water, while still leaving in healthy nutrients and minerals.
With a 3.25-gallon chamber, this filter is perfect for families or groups of 3-5 people per day. If you need a water filtration system that produces the cleanest water, while still being portable and good for the environment, buy the Royal Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter today.
About the Author
Jennifer Bellini is a business guru who’s spent most of her life working in her home state of Wisconsin where she still lives with her family. Her experience lends itself best to sussing out the unique problems a business may face with their water quality. She is also our lead market analyst and is the driving force behind site growth.