Free Shipping On All USA Orders

Free Shipping On All USA Orders

Do Berkey Filters Soften Hard Water?

Berkey Filters
Crown Berkey Filter System

USA Berkey Filters are a popular choice for those looking for a reliable and efficient way to purify their drinking water. However, one question that users often ask is whether our systems also soften hard water. The answer is no. Each Berkey water filter is designed to create delicious, pure drinking water, not to remove the minerals that contribute to hardness, including calcium and magnesium.

Hard Water Is Rich In Minerals

Calcium and magnesium contribute to hardness, making it difficult to clean and lather soap. These minerals can accumulate on fixtures and appliances, reducing their efficiency and lifespan. Hardness can also make your water taste metallic or bitter. These are just some of the reasons causing people to look into whole-house softening systems without considering that these minerals are also crucial for good health.

The Power Of Adsorption & Ion Exchange

One of the key goals of softening is to remove calcium, magnesium, and other minerals that cause limescale. These minerals are essential to human health, so Berkey filters use ion exchange and adsorption instead of sodium. Berkey’s dual adsorption and ion exchange technologies remove harmful impurities by attracting and bonding them to the surface of the filter medium, keeping them out of the lower chamber. Minerals do not participate in the ionic exchange but filter down to the lower drinking chamber.

The Pros & Cons Of Soft Water

The softening process typically involves exchanging calcium and magnesium ions for sodium ions, which reduces hardness. Many people enjoy the benefits of whole-house softening systems, but some drawbacks outweigh the benefits.


  • Feels Silky Smooth When Showering/Bathing
  • Leaves Fewer Spots On Dishes
  • Reduces Limescale Deposits On Plumbing Fixtures
  • Increases Efficiency Of Soaps & Detergents
  • Lengthens The Life Of Some Appliances


  • Expensive To Install & Maintain
  • Requires Large Amounts Of Salt
  • Removes Healthy Minerals
  • Contains Too Much Sodium For Drinking
  • Terrible For The Environment

A Greener Choice

According to the state of Minnesota, “The chloride used in home water softeners can also affect the water used for drinking. It takes only one teaspoon of sodium chloride salt to pollute five gallons permanently. Once salt is in water, there is no easy way to remove it.” Our Big Berkey and other Berkey gravity water filter packages offer a superior choice, retaining beneficial calcium and magnesium while providing safe and delicious water for drinking without polluting the environment.

Can I Use My Berkey With Both Hard & Soft Water?

Berkey is the best water filtration system for purifying hard water. We recommend cleaning the filters periodically and replacing them when necessary to maintain optimal performance. On the other hand, it’s better not to use your Black Berkey filters with soft water because the salt content may clog our elements.

Better For The Environment & You

As you have learned, Berkey filters do not technically soften hard water, but they improve the taste and quality and don’t pollute the environment as softener systems do. Another key benefit is their ability to remove impurities such as chlorine, bacteria, and heavy metals to keep you safe even during an emergency or when camping and hiking in the great outdoors.

  • Pesticides
  • Heavy Metals
  • VOCs
  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Pharmaceutical Contaminants

Get Your Berkey, Big Or Small

From the biking and hiking-friendly Go Berkey Kit to the Crown Berkey, capable of filtering up to 26 gallons per hour, USA Berkey Filters has a system for you. Find your ideal system by browsing our online catalog and placing an order with us today.