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Berkey vs Katadyn

Berkey Filters
Berkey vs Katadyn

Filtering water keeps you safe at home, in the office, or on the trail. There are many systems on the market today, including the popular Berkey and Katadyn brands. Of the two, which one is better? Let’s compare them to see which brand comes out on top. Spoiler alert: It’s Berkey for the win!

  • Method Of Filtration
  • Versatility
  • Level Of Purification
  • Holding Capacity
  • Filtration Capacity
  • Price Difference
  • Installation
  • Maintenance & Repairs

How Is The Water Filtered?

Both brands use gravity-based systems so you can filter water without needing electricity. Berkey uses the force of gravity to pass water from an upper chamber to a lower chamber via its patented filters.

Katadyn units are mainly designed for outdoor use, so some of their products require you to gather water in a membrane to hang and use your hands to pump or squeeze it through the filters into a reservoir such as a bottle.

Where Can I Use These Filters?

Berkey is more versatile than Katadyn filter systems. For one thing, they come in a range of sizes. Also, while Katadyn attracts many hikers, backpackers, preppers, and outdoorsy folk, Berkey systems can be used at home, in the office, while traveling by RV, and while hiking or adventuring.

What Do These Filters Do?

Both types of systems are effective at eliminating bacteria from water. However, Berkey can also remove viruses and heavy metals, including lead, cadmium, and mercury. Because of this, they qualify as water purifiers — one of the key reasons Berkey is the superior system overall.

How Much Water Can They Hold?

The largest Berkey systems have a higher holding capacity than the largest Katadyn. For instance, the Crown Berkey holds six gallons of water, while the Katadyn BeFree Gravity 10L and Katadyn Gravidyn / Ceradyn systems are limited to just over 2.5 gallons.

Filtration Capacity

Each Black Berkey water filter can process about 3,000 gallons of water. This means you can purify 6,000 gallons per two-pack purchased. There’s no time limit on how long a filter can remain in place. The Katadyn Ceradyn has a much higher capacity, enabling you to filter as much as 39,000 gallons. However, you must change the Katadyn filters every six months, even if you’ve only filtered a few thousand gallons.

How Much Does It Cost?

In general, Berkey systems are more expensive than Katadyn to purchase. Their higher price reflects superior quality and filtration capacity, including metal chambers vs. plastic or silicone.

However, a Katadyn will cost more in the long run than a Berkey. They require more maintenance.


Both brands are straightforward to set up and use. There’s no real winner here.

Maintenance & Repairs

Berkey generally requires less upkeep than their competitors. You must replace the three Katadyn filters every six months, even if you’re far from the filtration capacity. In contrast, there is no time limit on how long a Berkey filter can remain in place.

Keeping Katadyn going will cost more in the long run. Also, Berkey replacement parts are readily available if any repairs are needed. Katadyn replacement parts can take a lot of work to come by, especially if you’re traveling in remote areas.

The Best Water Filter Is…

Both brands are easy to set up and provide excellent filtration against impurities and contaminants. However, Berkey can remove some substances that Katadyn can’t. In addition, Berkey’s durable and versatile design and easy maintenance make it the superior choice. While the Katadyn is a great option for those on a budget, the Berkey is a better investment in the long run.

Ready To Buy?

Investing in a system from USA Berkey Filters is one of the best steps to ensure a supply of delicious, pure drinking water at home or on the road. For more information on our range of products, check out our website and place your order for a new water filtration system or replacement parts today.