The Big Berkey water filter and the Royal Berkey water filter are two of the most popular Berkey models, and they’re both widely used in residential and backcountry settings to provide clean, healthy, filtered water. Which of these two is right for your household largely depends on your space constraints and how many people are in your family.
Both Berkey Models Provide Filtered Water
As is true with the rest of the Berkey lineup, the Big Berkey and the Royal Berkey have the same essential functionality. They each run unpurified water through a comprehensive filter so that it comes out clear, clean, healthy, and delicious for drinking (or any other use).
Where the two models differ is in their size and in how quickly they’re able to filter water.
The Big Berkey Water Filter is Smaller
The Big Berkey water filter is the smaller of the two, measuring 21 inches high with an 8.5-inch diameter. The tank’s capacity is 8.5 liters (2.25 gallons), and the system can be outfitted with two to four Black Berkey Purification Filters.
When two filters are installed, the Big Berkey’s maximum flow rate is 13 L (3.5 G)/hour when the upper chamber is full. As the water level in the upper chamber declines, the purification rate slows due to less pressure on the elements. For example, a full 8.5-liter cycle purified takes approximately 5 hours with 2 elements. This is reduced to 2.5 hours with 4 elements.
With this capacity and flow-rate, the Big Berkey is generally suitable for groups of 1 to 4 people.
These specifications make the Big Berkey well-suited for smaller families that sometimes have an extra person or two visiting. For example, empty nesters might want this system because it’s good for a couple on a daily basis but can accommodate one or two kids who come home on break.
If space is a major concern, the smaller size also makes this a good choice between the two.
The Royal Berkey Water Filter Purifies Faster and Holds More Water
The Royal Berkey water filter is slightly larger, coming with a tank that holds 12.3 liters (3.25 gallons). This model measures 9.5 inches across the diameter and 24 inches high, and it also comes with two filters but can accommodate four.
Purifies 15 L (4 G)/hour with 2 Black Berkey Elements (when the upper chamber is full). As the water level in the upper chamber declines, the purification rate slows due to less pressure on the elements. Purifies 30 L (8 G)/hour with 4 Black Berkey Elements (when the upper chamber is full). After listening to our customers’ feedback we highly recommend purchasing an extra set of Black Berkey Purification Elements and using all four together. This makes your unit twice as fast and more convenient. For example, a full 12.3-liter cycle purified takes approximately 5 hours with 2 elements. This is reduced to 2.5 hours with 4 elements.
Because of its higher capacity, the Royal Berkey is suitable for groups of 2 to 10 people. Families that regularly have more than two people living at home may want this option.
Find a Berkey Water Filter
No matter which option you choose, you’ll end up with an excellent water filter. The Berkey water filters offer the best filtering method that’s available, and both of these are excellent. The only question you need to answer is how many people are you providing water for.