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Top 5 Gravity Water Filters for Tiny Houses

How do you handle water in a tiny house or in the city in a small apartment?

Whether you are off-the-grid or using the city water system you might want to consider a water filter.

This way you don’t have to buy water. If you have a well or other access to water you can use a simple gravity fed filter to ensure your water is pure and 100% safe to drink.

Why Gravity Water Filters

  • No need to buy water
  • Cleans water inexpensively
  • Filters last a long time
  • You can clean these filters
  • Works with no power usage
  • Can take with you anywhere
  • Works well in emergency situations

Big Berkey Gravity Water Filter in a Tiny House

Top 5 Berkey Gravity Water Filters

My favorite gravity fed water filter is the Berkey Light because I’ve owned one for years and absolutely love it. They come in several different sizes and there’s even a small portable one that you can take with you anywhere. I’ll show you all of them in this post starting below:

5. Royal Berkey (3.25 gallons)


Royal Berkey with 2 Black Filters and 2 PF-2 Fluoride Filters

With 4 Black Filters and 4 PF-2 Fluoride Filters (filters water twice as fast)

Check out the rest of our favorite gravity fed water filters which would work great in a tiny house below:

4. Big Berkey (2.25 gallons)


Big Berkey with 2 Black Filters and 2 PF-2 Fluoride Filters or with 2 Black Filters only

3. Portable Go Berkey Kit

  • holds 1 carbon berkey filter
  • purifies up to 24 gallons of water per day
  • great for hunting, camping, hiking, or at office
  • comes with stainless steel system, 1 filter, carry case, priming button and sport bottle

This would be my pick for a tiny house because most of the other ones might be too big for a tiny house kitchen that has cabinets, etc. Because of this though it would need to be fed water to filter more often which is okay for me.

Go Berkey Kit with Filter and Sport Bottle

2. Berkey Light – Plastic (2.25 gallons)


By the way, I’ve owned this one for more than 3 years now and absolutely love it.

Berkey Light (Plastic) with 2 Black Filters and 2 PF-2 Fluoride Filters or with 2 Black Filters only

1. The Sport Berkey

  • portable
  • removes 99.9% of toxic chemicals, pathogens, heavy metals, and more
  • easy to clean

Berkey Sport Bottle Portable Gravity Water Filter

Cleaning Your Berkey

I like to clean my Berkey filter every two weeks to prevent mold/slime and all of that from building up in the container.

So be sure to clean it periodically once you start using it!

Other people say they simple rinse and flush it out with water every 3 days and this prevents you from having to clean it.

Setting Up Your Berkey

Once you get your gravity water filter in the mail it’s not ready to use. You have to spend a few minutes putting it all together first. You’ll also flush the filters with water before installing them so that they’re ready to use. There are several videos on YouTube of how to do this once you receive your filter:

Videos on Berkey Water Filters and How to Set Up

To bookmark this page for later hit Ctrl + D if you’re on Windows or Command + D if you’re on a Mac.

Even More Gravity Water Filter Options

1. 7″ British Berkefeld Ceramic Water Filters for Big Berkeys


  • Replacement ceramic filters for Big Berkey and British Berkey
  • 7″ long with rubber wing nut
  • Self Steralizing and Re-cleanable

7″ British Berkefeld Ceramic Water Filters for Big Berkeys

2. British Berkefeld® Gravity Water Filter

  • Holds 3.5 gallons
  • 19.25″Height and 8.5″Diameter
  • Filters 3.5 Gallons Per Hour
  • 304 Stainless Steel
  • 2 Ceramic Filters = 6000 Gallons

British Berkefeld® Gravity Water Filter with two 7″ Ceramic Filters

3. Crown Berkey Water Filter

  • Holds 6 gallons
  • 30″Height and 11″Diameter
  • Filters 6.5 Gallons Per Hour
  • 304 Stainless Steel
  • 2 Black Berkey Filters
  • 2 PF-2 Fluoride Filters
  • Filters last 6000+ gallons

Crown Berkey Water Filter With 2 Black Carbon Filters and 2 PF2 Fluoride Filters

4. 4-Gallon Countertop Water Filter

  • Filters, Purifies, Mineralizes, Alkalinizes and Magnetizes
  • Multi-stage filtration
  • Adds essential minerals
  • Gravity-fed system – no electricity
  • Filters last 500-1000 gallons
  • Cheaper but you have to replace filters more often

4-Gallon Countertop Water Filter

How Would You Handle Drinking Water in Your Tiny House?

Would you use a different filtering system altogether? If so, which one?

If you currently live in a tiny home, what do you do for drinking water right now?

Do you buy it, filter at the grocery store, or not filter it at all?

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Hunter
    March 26, 2013, 5:50 pm

    if you have rain water catchment couldn’t a whole house filter be placed into the incoming water line? I’ve used whole house filters before and they do a really good job of cleaning the water.

    • Alex
      March 26, 2013, 10:09 pm

      That’s a good idea too hadn’t thought of it thanks Hunter.

    • glorybe2
      March 27, 2013, 7:46 pm

      I would suggest that the best practice is to send samples out for testing before using any type of filtration. Frankly i strongly suspect that more health issues arise from the use of filtration than are prevented. It all depends upon how bad your water supply really is. City water almost always is of better quality than expensive bottled water.
      If I really had to clean a water supply I would go for a simple distillation rig if a fuel supply is at hand. Most country folks have access to wood or at least gas that could easily drive a still.

  • Kelley Chambers
    March 27, 2013, 4:06 pm

    Anyone have any experience with this model? Has super great reviews and is a crap load cheaper..http://www.amazon.com/CeraGrav-AquaCera-Gravity-Filter-System/dp/B001LIHVH0/ref=pd_sbs_k_30

  • jerryd
    March 27, 2013, 4:39 pm

    I’m going for a 5 gal bucket of sand pre-filter into a holding tank I’m looking to purify with O2 though I was wondering can you just pump filtered air to purify it?

    Or the old backup, bleach.

    My trimaran will have 2 50 gal or so tanks, a 50 day supply if needed to be stretched for 2, but far less stuff in it compared to collecting on land as most of the dirt has fallen out before it gets far over water. I’ll have my decks, sun shade and PV panels set up to collect, then filter for storage and a small 2-3 day tank that gets freshly purified.

    The first of the rain is used to clean decks and collection doesn’t start until the rain washes the decks of most contaminates. It’ll use a say bucket that once fills up, opens the collection valve to let the clean water in

  • AnnieinKC
    March 27, 2013, 7:00 pm

    Harriet Carter online mail order has a pump that you just insert into the top of a 5 gallon water bottle, like the one you use for water coolers. Having worked for an engineering/storm water firm, I’d be a little hesitant about filtering water that you don’t know if it’s toxic or not.

    • AnnieinKC
      March 27, 2013, 7:01 pm

      Remember the movie Erin Brockovick? True story. Now she’s working on all the people near Cameron, MO who have brain tumors.

  • Laurie
    March 27, 2013, 7:21 pm

    I very much like this site but this post on gravity filters has limited information and seems more like an ad for Berkey. If you research reviews of their black berkey filters you will find numerous reports of failure and breakage. There are other ceramic gravity filters on the market. A lot of them can be used in different systems ei Royal Doulton, diy bucket system, cera grav etc

    • Alex
      March 28, 2013, 1:47 pm

      Thanks Laurie, it actually isn’t an ad but I can see how it seems so. I plan on adding more to the list as I hear from you all which you’ve liked and used. I’ve only had a Berkey that’s why I focused on their stuff. But I agree that I should’ve included more for sure. Thanks for telling me!

  • Jerry
    March 28, 2013, 1:19 am

    No offense intended here, but a top 5 lists with only one brand name? Not as much research as I would like, but thanks for showing a good brand.

    • Alex
      March 28, 2013, 1:45 pm

      Thanks for telling me Jerry I’ll include more next time and maybe even just start adding more and more to this post as I gather more recommendations from you all. The only gravity filter I’ve used personally is a Berkey (and I love it) that’s why I focused on them.

  • Pete
    March 28, 2013, 6:11 am

    DIY Berkey Water Purifier


    Something to consider for the list.

    • Alex
      March 28, 2013, 1:47 pm

      Cool! Thanks Pete.

  • Eric T
    March 28, 2013, 10:56 am

    For an off-grid house, it’d be nice to have a water filter that I could keep re-using the cartridge. Is there a type of water filter whose cartridge could be cleaned? Isn’t there a way to re-activate carbon by baking it or something?

    • Jerry
      March 28, 2013, 2:31 pm

      Activated carbon can be re-used, but it’s not recommended to do at home and then use for drinking water. Better to save it for things like fish tank filters, heat exchangers, etc. You can soak it in a very strong solution of hydrogen peroxide, and then bake it in an oven or pressure cooker. However, it really depends upon what has been removed by the activated carbon. Most food based particles can be heat treated, but could still clog the carbon. Using a solvent (such as hydrogen peroxide) can help remove the clogs, but gives the chance of contamination by the solvent being left behind.

      Bottom line, activated carbon is cheap, and is better reused as fertilizer than attempting to recycle for further use as a filter material.

  • Diane
    April 4, 2013, 7:04 pm

    Although these filters are good, especially for living off of the grid, however, the statement above that it removes 99.9% of toxic chemicals is is way off. They do remove some chemicals like chlorine, and fluoride with the appropriate filters, But there are thousands of chemicals in the water, much of which a water filter such as this cannot remove. Reverse osmosis combined with carbon filters and other stages are the only way to ensure 100% safe water.

  • georgiana
    November 1, 2013, 9:29 pm

    Have you tried aquacera? It is so much less expensive then berkey and uses royal dalton filters. I can’t afford a berkey so this is a good choice for me.

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