Best Water Filter Systems – Countertop Filtration

Countertop Filtration for clean water is available.

Do you live in an area where water breeds contaminants?

You may believe your water is safe to drink, but the water you’re drinking may still contain impurities from chemicals; chemicals such as fluoride and or chlorine which eventually will harm your health.

Living in the country, where water is gathered from untreated wells or obtained from streams is another reason there is an uptick in people looking for the best water filter systems.

Lakes, streams or other sources where the water you are drinking may contain contaminants such as harmful bacteria and other impurities, are all reasons to look into water filtration.

Here are three primary filters which I have found to be the best water filter systems for above-ground filtration.

Berkey, Zen Water, and Katadyn Water Filter systems.

Best Water Filter Systems For Home

This article reviews and compares the gravity driven countertop water purification systems.

Each three, Berkey, Zen Water and the Katadyn are widely popular, especially among Amazon purchases.
The three are known as the best countertop filtration systems which do not need plumbing nor do they require electricity.

Their features include the following:

  • No need to be placed by or near a sink or attached to any faucets.
  • Filters very well leaving out microbiological organisms such as harmful bacteria.
  • No electricity is required making them perfect for emergency situations.
  • No special instructions or connections to put together.
  • They all come in a variety of sizes to fit your needs which include portable units.

The Berkey Water Filtering and Purification System does not require electricity or plumbing.

Best Water Filter Systems

This system has two chambers, an upper chamber, and a lower chamber.  This system will filter both treated and untreated water from wells, streams, and lakes.

The upper chamber contains two self-sterilizing and re-cleanable Black Berkey filters. These filters are made up of small pores which are too small for harmful bacteria, parasites, and viruses to pass through.

This system will eradicate chemicals as well as pathogenic contaminants. Chlorine and bacteria will be eliminated to levels higher than 99.99% but will leave in the minerals which are beneficial to your health.

A big plus for the Berkey system is the ability to reduce fluoride significantly.  Over 60 percent of municipal water is subject to fluoridation.  People are looking for ways to filter and eliminate it from their drinking water.

Along with removing fluoride, these specialized PF filters will also remove arsenic content.

The Berkey systems come in several different sizes as shown below.

For price information, please click the size you that interests you. 

Travel Berkey  1.5 gallon capacity will filter and purify 2.75 gallons per hour.
The Travel Berkey is the smallest model, perfect for on the go.
Royal Berkey, 3.25-gallon capacity, will filter and clean 4 gallons per hour. Will serve 4 to 6 people.
Crown Berkey  6 gallon capacity will filter and purify 6.5 gallons per hour. Serves 12 people and up.
Imperial Berkey  4.5 gallon capacity will filter and purify 5.5 gallons per hour. The Imperial Berkey Serves 4 to 6 people.
Berkey Light  2.75-gallon capacity will filter and clean 4 gallons per hour.  The Berkey Light Serves 3-4 people.
Big Berkey  2.25 gallon capacity will filter and purify 3.5 gallons per hour.  The Big Berkey Serves about three people.

There is also the Go Berkey Kit which is a portable system which comes with a compact Berkey system, a sports bottle, plus a carrying case. It is perfect for backpacking, hiking, camping, car, van or RV trips and more.

All of these filter systems except for the Berkey Light has manufactured high-grade polished stainless steel. Berkey Light has a non-BPA copolyester material. All the systems come with two self-sterilizing and re-cleanable Black Berkey filters.

Fluoride filters are optional, and some buy them parceled into a purchase.

Manufacturer’s warranty for each Berkey system: a period of six months from the date of purchase.
Black Berkey filters have additional two-year prorated manufacturers warranty which means if you’ve used the filters for six months, seventy-five percent of the guarantee will still apply which allows you to replace your filter set to twenty-five percent of the reasonable cost.

Zen Water Filtering and Purification Systems does not require plumbing or electricity.

Best Water Filter Systems

Product Description

Zen Water’s unique 5-Stage Mineral cartridge is composed of:

1-  Silver Impregnated Granulated Activated Carbon
2- Ionic-Exchange Resin
3- Far-Infrared Ceramic Beads
4- Silica Sand
5- Mineral Sand

Activated carbon has been proven to be extremely efficient in the removal of chlorine, odors, radon, solvents, bad tastes, herbicides, and pesticides, harmful organic chemicals plus hundreds of other human-made chemicals found in ordinary tap water.

The carbon is impregnated with colloidal silver to thoroughly disinfect and inhibit the growth of bacteria in the water filter system.

It is treated with oxygen to open up the millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms and is activated with a positive charge to attract negatively charged water contaminants.

Ionic-Exchange resin softens hard water by replacing magnesium and calcium ions found in hard water with sodium ions.

The Zen Water System purifies the water by removing toxin and heavy metal ions and replacing with more innocuous ions such as sodium and potassium.

Far infrared minerals are known to help promote growth as well as the health of living cells. It ionizes and helps activate water molecules in human blood and cells.

Far infrared is also known to increase the processing enzyme activity in our digestive tract, as well as boost metabolism.

Silica is known to neutralize acidic elements to create an optimal pH balance in the human body. It has excellent absorbent qualities to remove granular impurities as well as suspended solids to provide a brilliant sparkle in water.

With all this, it also helps in maintaining healthy nails and radiant skin.

The mineral sand in the final stage of the cartridge is comprised of over 30 different types of essential healthy minerals, such as calcium, manganese, zinc, and potassium.

Life of  Zen Filter is six months or 500 gallons, whichever comes first. The filter is designed and also is guaranteed to fit across all Zen Water Models.

Zen Water Systems are BPA free, and there are minimal instructions for assembly. It is effortless to put together. There is an upper chamber and a lower chamber.

Water flows from the upper chamber to the lower chamber when filtered. The Zen Water Systems come with all necessary filters: a micro-ceramic filter, a multistage mineral filter cartridge, and mineral stones.

Here is a diagram of the Zen Water Filter and how it works:

Best Water Filter Systems

Zen Water offers three different models depending on your needs.

For price information, please click the size you are interested in:

Four Gallon Countertop: measures 13 x 13 x 22 inches and weighs nine lbs when empty.
Six Gallon Countertop: measures 13 x 13 x 24 inches and weighs ten lbs when empty.
Eight Gallon Countertop: measures 14 x 14 x 26 inches and weighs twelve pounds when empty.

Zen Water is an excellent product. However,  it cannot remove viruses nor will it remove or filter fluoride.

Zen Water Systems has a full 30-day warranty.

Katadyn Water Filtering and Purification Systems does not require electricity or plumbing.

Best Water Filter Systems

Katadyn Purification Systems

Like the Zen Water System, and the Berkey Water System, the Katadyn does not require electricity or plumbing.  It stands conveniently on its own on a counter-top.
This system comes well equipped with a 2.64-gallon water reservoir.
Large quantities of water can be filtered with this system.
The Katadyn Purification System can be used with well-water, lakes, streams for it can kill off and inactivate harmful microorganisms such as bacteria as well as filter and eliminate chemicals and impurities.
This system is gravity based and is ideal for camping and all outdoor recreational events.

The Katadyn filter systems come in only two models.

For price information, please click on the particular model you are interested in:

The Ceradyn: Comes with three ceramic filters which can be self-cleaned several times.

The Gravidyn: Comes with three combined ceramic and activated filter elements, these filters can be self-cleaned several times.The only difference between these two models is their inner core filtration elements.

The Gravidyn’s inner core has activated charcoal.  The activated charcoal helps in the removal of odors, bad taste, and chemical residuals, however, this filter does not last as long as the Ceradyn.

The inner charcoal core of the Gravidyn doesn’t keep up with its ceramic parts, which will require the filtering elements to be changed more frequently than the Ceradyn. The Gravidyn filters are priced a bit lower than Ceradyn filters for this reason.

Note: The pore size of Katadyn Ceramic Filters is 0.2 micron which is capable removing bacteria but incapable removing viruses.

Both the Ceradyn and the Gravidyn systems are PBA free made of high-quality, durable plastic.

The method for filtration is gravity induced by filling the container and allowing the water to be pulled down as it is being filtered through all three ceramic filters.

The Katadyn Water Filtration System comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Which Filtration System is best?

All three systems are equipped to work without plumbing or electricity.

All three systems will filter and eliminate contaminants, chemicals, and harmful bacteria.

However, the Berkey is the only one that will kill viruses.

If you are living in an area where you are confident there are no known viruses, but you’re looking to filter out bacteria, chemicals, and chlorine, then the Zen Water or the Katadyn Water systems will work out great.

If you are looking to eliminate fluoride in your drinking water, the Berkey is the only gravity based countertop filtration system that will provide the specific filters needed for fluoride and arsenic removal. You may bundle these with your purchase as they are optional.

The Zen Water Filtration system, as well as, the Katadyn Water Filtration systems are both made of BPA free secure and stable plastic.

The Berkey is made of stainless steel, and many people buy this to match their stainless steel appliances.

Each Berkey Filter will filter 3000 gallons of water. When you purchase the Berkey system, you are provided with two filters, which will filter a total of 6000 gallons of water!

This feature offsets the initial higher price you are paying, saving you money in the long run by not having to buy replacement filters often.

If you are drinking on average 10 gallons per week; these filters can last up to eleven years without needing replacements, this is a significant deal on savings in the long run.

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11 Replies to “Best Water Filter Systems – Countertop Filtration”

  1. I really like the Berkey unit because it gets rid of viruses and parasites. Those are the things that scares me the most about water. Plus it has reusable parts, which is a total bonus. Can you take the filtration top tank off so that it can fit in the refrigerator? I like my water cold. Maybe I can filter the water then put it in a pitcher to put it in the fridge.

    Really informative site. Thank you for sharing this information.


  2. Having clean water is essential for health, and I just don’t know what my water authorities are doing with my local area’s supply. Is it healthy? What are they putting in it? For peace of mind, I think I should get one of these systems for myself. Thank you for showing me so many good options.

    1. Water is a valuable commodity which will only become more valuable with time. It’s very important to know where your water is coming from, and what is in it as well. Thank you for leaving a comment and good luck to you in finding the right system for yourself and your family.

  3. Awesome review, i never really realized or took time to think about the water I drink. I really appreciate you for sharing this… i learned a lot and may think twice before drinking faucet water, pure water seems to be the way to go… cheers! Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m happy you found this review helpful. Best water filters systems have proven to help many people with their lives.
      Clean drinking water is essential for a healthy life.

      Thank you for your comment =)

  4. My Mum used to have a Brita water filter. It really did a good job filtering the water. It would go from extremely cloudy, milky looking to absolutely crystal clear! The only problem was that she said the filters were expensive and need replacing too frequently.

    That was a few years back so things might have changed since then.

    I am definitely considering getting one of these some day as the water in my flat seems a bit dirty.


    1. Hi Hannah,

      Definitely, check out the links I’ve provided to find the best water filter system for your needs.

      It’s important to drink clean water!!

      Thank you for leaving a comment!


  5. Wow, thanks for the review. I have been looking for a good water filter system because where I live I have well water and it is very hard water. I never really knew the difference between a lot of the products, just figured they all did the same thing but looked different.

    After reading through I think the Zen system would suit my needs best because of its filtering capabilities.

    Thank you for the information.

  6. What is more important to man than pure clean water? Not a lot really!!! Having lived in Central America for several years of my life. I kinda have an idea of what it’s like to not have good clean drinking water, Some dude really had his thinking cap on when he invented this water filter.

    1. There’s a lot to be said for having the availability to healthy clean water!

      We may think we have the best water here but there are still loads of reasons to have a filter.

      Thanks for leaving a comment!

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