The Best Gravity Water Filter of 2024: Finding the One for You

Reviewed by: James Layton
Updated on:
April 11, 2024

To identify the best gravity water filter, I tested 15 water filters using our seven-step methodology and teaming up with our in-house water filtration expert, James Layton.

Our #1 recommendation, the ProOne Big+, took home the prize for the best overall gravity water filter due to its exceptional filtration. If you’re looking for a filter for a big family, you might prefer the Crown Berkey. For your next camping trip, go with the MSR Gravity Flow.

Best Overall: ProOne Big+ 9.80/10

  • Removes more than 200 contaminants
  • Decent filter life and tank size
  • Competitive price
  • Options and accessories
  • 5-year warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Slower flow rate than others
  • Can’t see water level without paying extra

The ProOne Big+ is the best gravity water filter on the market. It removes more than 200 contaminants and has a great warranty, a sleek design, and a reasonable price.

Pros

The ProOne Big+ is our top gravity filter for six reasons:

Pro 1 of 5: Effective filtration

The first and the biggest pro of ProOne Big+ is that it effectively removes 200+ contaminants, including the most common pollutants found in city water — chlorine, trihalomethanes, PFAS, PFOA, and other so-called forever chemicals, as well as herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and more. This gravity filtration system is so good that it can even remove microbes, like E. coli and giardia, as well as 99.9% of lead, 99.7% of arsenic, 98.2% of nitrates, and 97.5% of fluoride.

This filter also includes a fluoride filter by default. Others, like Waterdrop and Berkey, require costly upgrades for fluoride removal. If you appreciate the added fluoride in city water, and you don’t want to remove it, check out the Waterdrop King Tank

This gravity filter is well-suited for treating well water in certain situations. It effectively removes forever chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, microbes, and other contaminants with ease. It will also get rid of 99% of iron and 97% of manganese. However, it may not be the most effective solution for eliminating the rotten egg smell caused by hydrogen sulfide.

All in all, if you want to deal with additives like chlorine and chemicals, along with tricky pollutants in your water, the ProOne Big+ is a great choice.  

Pro 2 of 5: Decent filter life and tank size

The second advantage of ProOne Big+ is its large size and long filter life. It’s nine inches in diameter and just under two feet tall. The stand adds about six inches to the height, so consider that if you plan to fit it beneath your upper cabinets. 

The 3-gallon tank is good for medium-sized families with around four members. You can use it with groups larger than that, but you’ll have to plan for refilling time because one tank probably won’t get you through the day. 

The filter life is pretty decent as well. You have to change the filter approximately every 1,200 gallons. If you fill it once a day, that’s a replacement not even once per year. If you fill it twice per day, you’ll need to swap it out every six months or so.

All this means that if you need a long-lasting gravity filter for families or groups of four people or fewer, the ProOne Big+ is an excellent choice. 

Pro 3 of 5: Competitive price

The third significant benefit of the Big+ water filter is its affordable price tag

The ProOne Big+ has the lowest price of all the filters on this best-of list, yet it is capable of removing a multitude of contaminants. And the replacement filters aren’t expensive either! Each replacement filter lasts about 1,200 gallons and costs just $80, making it very budget friendly. You can save even more if you buy them in bundles.

If you’re seeking a gravity water filter that combines functionality with affordability, the ProOne Big+ is your best choice.

Pro 4 of 5: Comes with extra options and accessories

The fourth benefit of this water filter is that it is equipped with customizations options and additional accessories. 

For example, you can choose between two looks: a polished stainless-steel surface or a brushed stainless-steel surface, whichever matches your kitchen hardware or personal preference. One thing to note is that the brushed stainless-steel tank costs a bit more than the polished surface one.

The package also includes a top-quality spigot, a stainless-steel rack, and a non-slip pad for placing it on a slippery countertop. You can also opt for a sight glass spigot, an accessory for checking the water level easily, but it comes at an extra cost. (More details on that below.)

If you’re seeking a water gravity filter that can be customized with your favorite accessories, consider the ProOne Big+.

Pro 5 of 5: 5-year limited warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee

And last but not least, this filter comes with a five-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee. You’ll also get a one-year limited warranty on the filter elements, which is a rare find in the world of water filters. 

Many brands offer only a one-year warranty, which means if it breaks down on the 366th day, you’ll need to replace the entire system with a new one. However, ProOne stands behind its products for five years and provides a 30-day risk-free guarantee at an affordable price. You won’t have to do any more research about gravity filters for years to come.

If you’re like me, and you prioritize products with a good warranty, you’ll find one in the ProOne Big+

Cons

As with any product, there are a few catches to the ProOne Big+.

Con 1 of 2: Slower flow rate makes it unsuitable for large families

The first and probably my biggest complaint about this water filter is the flow rate. 

All gravity filters are fairly slow, but this one has a flow rate of just 0.5 gallons per hour, assuming you use one filter. That means it’s going to take around six hours to fill the entire thing. The easy solution is to just fill it before everyone goes to bed and it’ll be ready in the morning, but it’s still unideal for large families or groups, especially compared to the Crown Berkey.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be completely full before you can access drinking water, but it’s not convenient to be constantly adding water. Luckily, you can solve this by adding more filters. Each filter improves the flow rate by 0.5 gallons per hour. So, if you add two (three being the max), you can cut the total filtration time to two hours. 

Con 2 of 2: Sight glass spigot is expensive

The second thing some people might not like about the ProOne Big+ is that if you want to know how much water is in your tank without lifting the top chamber, you’ll need to spend another $50 on a sight glass spigot. The Waterdrop King Tank includes this feature for free.

Adding one to the Big+ might seem like an unnecessary cost, but once it’s installed, you can easily see the water level just by looking at the spigot. It’s really handy. And it’s actually compatible with other brands of gravity filters.

Overall: 9.8/10

The ProOne Big+ is the best overall gravity water filter. It’s super effective against a wide range of city water contaminants, looks great, and requires almost no maintenance. 

It’s a perfect solution for families or groups of four people. Sure, the flow rate could be a little better, but as long as you don’t try to get more out of it than it’s designed for, you’ll enjoy its superior filtration and performance

If you’re ready to love your gravity filter, get the ProOne Big+ now.

Best for Small Households: Waterdrop 2.25 King Tank 9.20/10

  • Removes common pollutants from city water
  • Fluoride filter optional
  • Long filter life
  • Free water level spigot and other accessories
  • 2.25-gallon tank good for 1–2 people
  • Compact design makes traveling easy
  • Shady about third-party testing
  • One-year warranty

The Waterdrop 2.25 King Tank Gravity Water Filter is the best among small gravity water filters. It boasts a compact design that travels well, and it will remove common contaminants that make water taste and look unappealing. 

Pros

There are four things to like about Waterdrop King Tank Gravity Filter. 

Pro 1 of 4: Removes chlorine, rust, sediment, and heavy metals 

The first benefit of the Waterdrop King Tank filter is that it improves the taste and odor of city water laden with chlorine and its by-products, as well as enhancing your water’s look and taste by removing sediment and rust. It also reduces heavy metals, which can be extremely harmful, especially for children.

The King Tank uses a pair of natural coconut-shell activated carbon filters that remove chlorine, rust, and impurities, such as organic compounds. If you’d rather not have fluoride in your drinking water, even though fluoride levels in city water are safe, you can add a Waterdrop fluoride filter separately. But keep in mind that, unlike the ProOne Big+ that tackles all the stuff you don’t want with just one filter, you’ll need to cough up some extra cash for Waterdrop’s fluoride filter. 

In the end, if your city water’s got you holding your nose and cringing at the taste of disinfectants, the Waterdrop Gravity Filter is a great choice. 

Pro 2 of 4: Long filter life 

The second benefit of the Waterdrop King Tank is its long lifespan. The filter consists of a pair of coconut-shell carbon filters, used simultaneously and each with a capacity of 3,000 gallons. Waterdrop’s fluoride filters will last 1,000 gallons before requiring replacement. 

A longer filter lifespan translates to less-frequent filter changes and lower costs.

But if you just did the math for the King Tank’s capacity and realized it should last for 25 years, think again. I recommend replacing them annually or after every two years to prevent bacterial buildup and ensure optimal performance. It’s also important to note that the actual filter lifespan may vary depending on your water quality.

Looking for a filtration system with an extended lifespan? The Waterdrop King Tank offers just that.

Pro 3 of 4: Free water level spigot and other accessories

The third great thing about this water filter is it comes with a free water level spigot, unlike other filters, like the ProOne Big+, that make you pay for it separately. The water level spigot lets you easily check how much water is left without having to open the lid. 

Also, you’ll get a wrench to help set up the filter as well as a strong stand with non-slip corners. It can hold up to 220 pounds without bending, so you can trust it to keep your filter steady.

If you’re seeking convenience and value, the Waterdrop King Tank is the perfect choice.

Pro 4 of 4: Good for single people and couples

The fourth thing I like about the King Tank is that it’s perfect for individuals or couples seeking a compact and portable filter that effectively filters city water. You don’t just need a good filter; you need a good filter that suits your family. Don’t pay for more than you need.

The size of this unit is what really stood out to me. It’s two inches smaller in diameter than the ProOne Big+ and a whole four inches shorter, but it really makes a difference on your countertop. The tank can hold 2.25 gallons of water at a time, which is enough for two people to drink enough water all day. 

This compact size is ideal for kitchens with limited space and even for traveling. What makes it easy to travel with compared to other filters is its top chamber can nest inside the bottom one, cutting the whole unit down to half the size so you can easily carry it anywhere.

If you live alone or with just one other person, and if you’re seeking a compact and convenient gravity water filter, the Waterdrop King Tank Gravity Filter could be your next smart purchase.

Cons

Two cons you should be aware of: 

Con 1 of 2: Doesn’t display lab test reports

First, while Waterdrop claims this filter is third-party tested, I couldn’t find any lab performance sheets or test reports on the website. 

If a brand is reluctant to openly share its certifications and test reports, it might be hiding something.

Considering brands like ProOne Big+ and Berkey offer similarly designed filters that come with test reports, Waterdrop should be more transparent about its filter’s performance.

Con 2 of 2: Not the best warranty

The second issue is that while its competitors offer pretty good warranties, the warranty provided by Waterdrop pales in comparison. Waterdrop offers a one-year limited warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

These gravity water filters are pretty standard in terms of design and construction, so there’s no reason they should just break. But it’s our policy to favor products with longer warranties, and this one falls a bit short. 

Overall: 9.2/10

Get the Waterdrop 2.25 King Tank Gravity Water Filter if you live alone or with one other person and you want an effective, low-maintenance stainless-steel gravity water filter. 

It doesn’t offer the best warranty, but it’ll remove bad odors and funny tastes from your city water and give you 2.25 gallons of filtered drinking water every single day. 

If you’re unsure if this is the right filter for you, take advantage of the 30-day return period and try it out worry-free.

Best for Large Groups: Crown Berkey 8.5/10

  • Removes 200+ contaminants
  • Optional fluoride filter
  • Superior flow rates
  • Space for up to 8 filters to further improve flow rates
  • Lifetime warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Suits large families and groups
  • High purchase price
  • Costly replacement filters and accessories
  • Use with a water softener not recommended

The Crown Berkey Gravity Water Filter is an excellent gravity water filter for a large family or group. It has a six-gallon tank, which can meet the needs of up to 10 people, and lots of space for more filters to increase the flow rate.

Pros

Here are the four features you’ll love about the Berkey:

Pro 1 of 4: Removes 200+ contaminants

The first benefit of this Berkey filter is that it targets more than 200 contaminants in city water, including trihalomethanes, inorganic and organic compounds, heavy metals, and pharmaceuticals. These filters also reduce the most harmful contaminants, such as lead, arsenic, and forever chemicals. 

It uses three-stage filtration that includes a sub-micron sediment filter, activated carbon, and a proprietary mystery media that filters out a bunch of chemicals. I don’t love that we can’t determine what’s actually in there, but the filter passed all the tests, and the data is good. What’s even better is that the Black Berkey filter elements undergo rigorous third-party testing, providing detailed lab reports for your peace of mind. This solidifies Berkey’s credibility in terms of filtration performance. Plus, if you’re concerned about fluoride, Berkey offers fluoride filters that you can bundle with your purchase.

If you need a big tank-style gravity filter that does a great job of filtering your water, the Crown Berkey is the way to go. 

Pro 2 of 4: Superior flow rates

The second pro of the Crown Berkey filter is its high flow rate. If you run out of water, you won’t have to wait ages for it to fill up with filtered water again. 

The standard configuration, with just two filters, runs at six gallons per hour, meaning you can fill the entire thing up and filter it in just an hour. If you want to shell out some more money and use eight filters, the flow rate increases to a whopping 26 gallons per hour. This means it would take roughly 13 minutes to filter the entire thing. 

Berkey’s superior flow rate makes this gravity water filter perfect for heavy water demands. If it fits your bill, get yourself one here

Pro 3 of 4: Lifetime warranty and 30-day money-back guarantee

The third advantage of buying Berkey is you’ll get an impressive lifetime warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Given the filter’s high price, I had equally high expectations for its warranty coverage — and I wasn’t disappointed. 

If you’re in the market for a substantial tank-style filter that’s built to last a lifetime, Berkey is undoubtedly the top choice.

Pro 4 of 4: Suits large families and groups

The fourth best thing about this filter is its huge capacity of six gallons

This bad boy can hold a lot of water, meaning it can filter water for big groups and large families. Whether you’re having a party, going camping with friends, or just living with a lot of people, this filter has you covered with plenty of drinking water for everyone.

If you’re looking for a big tank-style filter that can handle your next shindig, you should get yourself the Crown Berkey Gravity Filter

Cons

While it’s a great gravity filter, there are two notable downsides to the Crown Berkey that you should be aware of:  

Con 1 of 2: Costly purchase price, filters, and accessories

If you’re thinking about getting the Berkey filter, remember that replacing the filters and adding a water-view spigot can be expensive. These extras can make the total cost higher than some other filters.

I have no problem recommending expensive products that work. After all, this is our drinking water we’re talking about. But these do go a bit above and beyond, so be prepared. 

It might be more expensive, but it’s one of the largest gravity filters on the market. It eventually pays off well, especially if you’ve been buying bottled water. 

Again, if you have a family of six and drink only bottled water, or you’re using this for large groups consistently, the costs eventually even out. But if you’re just a family of four looking for a great filter, other options won’t hurt your wallet quite as much.

Con 2 of 2: Can’t be used with a water softener 

Another thing to keep in mind is that Berkey specifically states that its filters should not be used with a water softener. This is because water softeners exchange hardness minerals (calcium and magnesium) for sodium. Something in Berkey’s mystery filter media must react with this sodium since the company says it will clog the filters. But it also says that if your water is hard you may need to clean the filters periodically with vinegar to remove scale buildup. 

In general, slightly hard water is not a concern and the minerals inside can actually be good for you. However, if you have moderately to very hard water, it will cause all sorts of other problems around the house, such as scale buildup on fixtures and appliances, streaks and stains, poor lathering of soap, and skin irritation. 

If you want to remove these issues, a Berkey filter might not be for you. The other gravity water filters on this list don’t have this issue. You could also opt for a whole-house water filter and softener combo, which would deliver soft, clean drinking water to the entire home for the price of roughly two Berkeys.

Overall: 8.5/10

For large families or groups, the Crown Berkey Gravity Water Filter is a truly excellent option. 

It’s more expensive than other gravity filters, but it’s also one of the largest out there. And it does look great, plus it comes with an impressive lifetime warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

If you’re ready for crystal-clear drinking water for your entire family, pick up the Crown Berkey Gravity Water Filter now.

Best for Backpacking: MSR AutoFlow XL 8/10

  • Removes 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa
  • Sediment trap keeps out sand, silt, dust, etc.
  • 10-liter capacity perfect for hiking
  • Fast flow rate
  • Strong, rugged materials
  • Easily folds into your pack
  • Hang strap and bag clip included
  • Not effective against chemicals
  • On the pricey side

The MSR AutoFlow XL (10 liter) is the choice for you if you’re a camper or hiker and want to bring a compact filter with you that will remove bacteria, parasites, and particulates from wild water sources.

Pros

Here are the benefits you can get out of MSR Gravity Flow:

Pro 1 of 3: Removes 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoans

The first pro of the MSR Autoflow XL is its ability to purify water of some of the dangerous substances lurking in wild water sources, which makes it the best gravity-fed water filter for backpacking.

It uses special hollow-fiber membrane technology to filter out a whopping 99.99% of bacteria and protozoa. That means you can sip safely from wild streams or lakes without worrying about getting sick. Plus, it’s got a nifty sediment trap that keeps out sand, silt, and dust. Don’t just take my word for it — it’s certified against the NSF/ANSI standard P231 for removing bacteria, viruses, and protozoa, so you can trust its filtration power. 

If you’re planning your next hiking adventure, the MSR Autoflow XR is exactly what you need.

Pro 2 of 3: Huge capacity and fast flow rate

The second pro of the MSR AutoFlow XL is its size and flow rate. 

The bag itself can hold 10 liters of water. That’s enough for five people to drink all day, or more if you just need it at night after hiking or doing something else. It’s also enough if you need it for drinking and cooking, which you often do when out in the woods. The large size also means fewer trips to the water source so you can enjoy relaxing around the campfire. 

With a 1.75-liter-per-minute flow rate, it takes 10 minutes to fill it, which is not going to be as fast as your faucet at home. But it’s pretty close! And you’re in the woods, remember!

If you’re seeking a reliable water filtration solution with ample capacity and a decent flow rate for your outdoor excursions, MSR AutoFlow XL is the way to go.

Pro 3 of 3: Ideal for backpacking

The final thing to love about this filter is simply how perfect it is for backpacking overall. From the use of high-quality material in its manufacturing to how easy it is to fold or carry, this is the water filter you want on your next hiking trip. 

The filter is made from top-quality plastic built for use outdoors. It can even withstand a six-foot fall on concrete! (We hope you don’t get a chance to test that.) It can easily fold into your pack, and you can sling the bag over a tree and people can grab water as they need it thanks to the included hang strap and bag clip. This also makes it easier to use since it needs gravity to work. Putting it up high ensures the fastest flow rate. The included tube makes it simple to transfer water into any container for storage.

If you like to go out into the woods and drink water from the local stream, the MSR AutoFlow XL is for you. 

Cons

A couple downsides to this filter:

Con 1 of 2: Not effective against chemicals 

First, this filter sadly cannot remove chemicals. This shouldn’t be a major concern for most people. But if you’re going to be drinking from sketchy water supplies, you might want to spend extra for a filter that will remove everything. 

Since it can’t remove chemicals, it’s best for those who go far away from cities and camp in the backcountry where they are unlikely to encounter industrial contamination. But if you want to drink from the river that runs through your town, I wouldn’t use this filter — or really do that at all.

Con 2 of 2: Expensive 

Speaking of money, the second knock on the AutoFlow XL is that it’s kind of expensive. You can get cheaper filters, but they’re not as big, not as rugged, and don’t have hanging straps. 

To me, this one is worth the extra cash. Just know that cheaper options are available, like the Katadyn gravity water filter

Overall: 8/10 

If you’re a hiker, camper, or hunter, and you need a solution for water filtration while out in nature, the MSR AutoFlow XL is a great option. It’s large (10 liters), rugged, fast, and comes with a hanging strap and bag clip for extra convenience. 

As you plan your next hiking or camping trip, get the MSR AutoFlow XL before you go.

Honorable Mentions

Santevia Gravity Water System Filter

The Santevia is certified to remove chlorine, lead, fluoride, microplastics, rust, and sediment, among other impurities commonly found in city water. 

What sets it apart is its ability to enhance the alkalinity of the filtered water by adding calcium and magnesium ions using ceramic stones. This feature can boost the pH by up to 2.0 units. 

The Santevia gravity water filter won’t take up much space on your kitchen counter, making it a great fit even for tight spaces. It can hold 2.6 gallons of water, suitable for small- to medium-sized families. Also, purchasing from this brand comes with an extra benefit: It actively participates in give-back programs. For instance, with every gravity water filter sold, Santevia provides 100 days of clean drinking water to underprivileged communities.

However, while it uses BPA-free plastic, some individuals may have concerns about the plastic construction of this filter. And it’s certainly not going to win any awards for style — it kind of looks like an automatic dog food dispenser. 

It’s not that much cheaper than the ProOne Big+ or the Waterdrop King Tank, and if you’re going to spend that much, you might as well get a stainless-steel one. But hey, if you like the look of the Santevia Gravity Water System, it’s still a good filter.

Doulton Stainless Steel Gravity Filter System

The Doulton Stainless Steel Gravity Filter System looks a lot like a Berkey, but it’s not. Doulton has been making ceramic filters and other water filtration systems for a little more than 170 years, and the quality is unmatched. 

One cool thing about the Doulton filter is that it comes in three sizes, with the largest being 3 gallons. The 1.5-gallon option might be great if you want something portable. Also, despite being of good quality, Doulton filters are rather modestly priced. 

However, this water filter has a low flow rate, around 0.5 gallons per hour maximum. The ProOne Big+ is slow, but it has additional filter options to help speed things up. Still, this is an excellent filter that won’t disappoint. Get the Doulton Stainless Steel Gravity Filter System here.

Katadyn Gravity BeFree Water Filtration System

The MSR AutoFlow XL may be ideal for backpacking, but like I said above, it’s a bit expensive. If you want something a bit more affordable, check out the 3-liter Katadyn Gravity BeFree Water Filtration System.

It’s similar in design to the AutoFlow, but this filter is smaller. The Katadyn design is unique, featuring three separate one-liter bags. One is for unfiltered water and the other two are for clean water. The idea is you fill one and empty it into another and then repeat so that you always have two liters of clean water. In theory, you could empty the bag into a bottle or something else to get more water out of the filter. 

This is less convenient than the AutoFlow’s 10 liters, but it’s also about half the price. If you need something to take camping and you want to save a few bucks, the Katadyn Gravity BeFree Water Filtration System is a good bet.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a high-quality and dependable gravity-fed water filter, look no further. The ProOne Big+ stands out for its effective and certified filtration of more than 200 contaminants, including tricky ones like lead and fluoride. What makes it the best gravity filter, besides its superior filtration, is its competitive pricing and extensive warranty. 

For those looking for something larger, there’s the Crown Berkey Gravity Water Filter. And if you’re looking for something smaller to take with you on the move, check out the Waterdrop 2.25 King Tank Gravity Water Filter.

Research Methodology

Given the importance of effective water filtration and the wide range of products on the market, researching and reviewing the best gravity water filter requires a systematic approach that uses both qualitative and quantitative data. 

At Drinking Water, we use a seven-point research methodology to test all our products. 

You can read all about how we review water filters, but here’s a summary of what’s involved:

Use analysis

The first step in any water filter review I write is to make sure the design of the product I’m examining aligns with its purpose. This might sound obvious, but water filtration is a very specific industry. To make money, manufacturers will often try to sell products designed for a specific purpose for a wide range of uses. This doesn’t usually work and is the first step in our process of elimination. 

Learn more about the use analysis stage of our reviews.

Tech check

The next step is to dive deep into the filter technology in whatever treatment system I’m reviewing. Again, the water filtration world is one of pretty exact science. It’s pretty easy to spot unsupported claims, and if there’s some new technology out there, there’s also research to support it. Before we recommend a product, we vet all the technologies being used in multiple ways. 

Learn more about how we do a tech check on all the products we review. 

Water test data

It’s not enough to simply analyze the products we review based on their use case and technology. I also rely heavily on data to make sure the filters I’m reviewing can actually do what they claim to. We collect data from companies and verify it, we get it from independent sources, and we’ll also collect it ourselves when needed, all in the name of finding the truth.

Learn more about how we collect and use water test data for our reviews.

Installation test

Once I’m comfortable with the functionality of a filter, I start to look at its usability. 

The first step is installation. Do you need a PhD to put this thing in? Or is it fairly straightforward? Needing a professional isn’t a deal breaker, but I want to know what it takes to get a filter up and running. 

Learn more about how we do our installation tests.

Cost-of-ownership analysis

The cost of buying a water filter does not end when you make your initial purchase. 

Filter elements need to be replaced, and these have their own costs. When I review products, I consider all the money you might have to spend over a 10-year period, so you have a complete picture and accurate comparison of costs.

Learn more about how we conduct our cost-of-ownership analysis

Warranty check

Water filter solutions tend to be expensive, which is why I prefer products that are built to last. Part of this is the warranty. Companies need to stand by their products. But warranties can be full of fine print and tough to understand, so we do the work for you. 

Learn more about what goes into our warranty check.

Customer service test

The last step of our review process is to look into the customer service operation of the companies we’re recommending. I want to set you up with good people, so I make sure to check them out before I recommend. This involves running dummy tests on customer service teams, reading reviews, and talking with past customers. 

Learn more about how we do our customer service test for each product. 

Before You Buy a Gravity Filter

If you’re brand new to the world of gravity filters, here are a few things you should know. 

First, a gravity-based water filter is a type of water filter that uses gravity to work. Duh, right? Basically, the water starts up high and then trickles down (hence, gravity), passing through the filter element as it does. 

In most cases, these filters look like large water coolers. They have an upper and lower chamber, with the filter in the top. You will manually fill the top with tap water and then it will slowly drip down into the lower chamber. You attach a spigot to the lower chamber to access water when you need it. 

Second, the big advantage of these filters is they don’t require any electricity and are easy to transport. They sit on your countertop, but you can totally bring them outside. So, the next time you host a barbecue, you can provide your guests with clean, filtered drinking water right out on the patio. 

A few things to note about gravity-fed drip filters like these:

  • Capacity is limited. These filters have tanks and once they’re full, they’re full. If you need more water, you need to drain it and fill it from the top again. 
  • Flow rates are slow. The nature of gravity filtration means it can sometimes take hours for your tank of clean water to fill. For this reason, it’s super important you get the right-sized gravity system. 
  • City water only. While gravity filters like the ProOne Big+ can be used for well water in certain cases, the reality is that the vast majority of these products are designed for city users. 

Gravity water filters are a convenient alternative to whole-house water filters, which connect to your main water lines and provide filtered water to every tap in your home. 

These solutions tend to be more expensive, but they do improve the quality of your water throughout the house. Gravity filters, on the other hand, only filter what’s inside the unit. 

They are also a more sustainable way to get clean drinking water in your home without relying on plastic bottles.

Most people buy a unit that’s large enough to store more than one day’s worth of water for their home. Then, each night, they fill it before they go to bed. This ensures there’s enough time for the filter to work and enough water for everyone for the entire day. 

Now that you have a better understanding of gravity filters, let’s get back to the best, so you can find the right one for you. 

Back to product recommendations

Dive Deeper: In-Depth Water Filtration Guides

If you need more information about gravity filters and water filtration in general, here are some resources to help you:

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best gravity-based water purifier?

The ProOne Big+ is the best gravity-based water purifier on the market thanks to its effective filtration, long warranty, sleek design, and low cost. 

Are gravity-based water filters any good?

Gravity-based water filters are a great home water filtration solution if you have city water and want to remove a wide range of contaminants with an easy-to-install and low-maintenance system. 

Are gravity filters effective?

Yes, gravity filters are highly effective so long as they are equipped with the right filter media. 

Nearly all gravity filters on the market are designed for city water, so if you use this type of water, gravity filters can be an extremely effective solution.

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Roxanne

Hi there, have you ever tried dry element gravity water filters. dryelement.com was wondering your thoughts on this one?

James Layton

Hi Roxanne, Based on their website, they have developed a filter cartridge using activated carbon-impregnated fabric. The carbon is also impregnated with silver, which is bacteria-static and inhibits microbe growth. Both of these technologies have been around a long time. The main objective with gravity flow filter systems is the water has to flow through the filter cartridge without being under pressure, like the water in your home. The manufacturer is using a filter technology that allows the free flow of water simply by gravity. It looks like this would be a good filter if you were prepping for a disaster and had no household water under pressure.

Charlotte

We have extremely hard water, with high manganese. Will this work well, and will it remove any of the hardness?

James Layton

Hi Charlotte,
Gravity filters, in general, are not really designed to work as water softeners. Depending on the design, they typically remove heavy metals and organic chemicals as the primary function.Some remove a bit of calcium but not as much as other filtration methods. If you want water that is low in water hardness minerals for drinking and cooking, a reverse osmosis filter system will provide very pure water that takes great. It is also good for misting plants, cooking, making tea, and other beverages.

Paul

I’m on city water that is on the hard side. While I like that these filters take the junk out, it will fail with family members if it doesn’t improve the taste of the water. Do these filters improve the taste?

James Layton

Paul,
There are two major causes of “taste” issues with drinking water. The chlorine disinfectants are one of them. Most people don’t like the taste and odors caused by the chlorine chemicals. The second most common issue is the chemical make-up of the water. It is not so much odor as it is the flavor certain combinations of minerals, like sulfate, iron, manganese, sodium, potassium and other metals and minerals. The absolute best way to eliminate all of these factors is with a reverse osmosis system. The filtered water simply will not have any of these minerals. Some people, like myself, love the taste of RO water. Some of the bottled “filtered” and spring water products either have a natural blend of minerals or the minerals are added to the filtered water to create a certain flavor. Minerals are not “bad” and they actually give water a nice taste, IF they are present in the right ratio. With the gravity filters you will definitely get purer, better-tasting water. But will it satisfy your family? I can’t say for sure. You can perform this test. Buy some distilled water and some spring water. Spring water will contain minerals that flavor the water. Have your family do a blind taste test. Don’t tell them which water they are drinking. See if like the distilled or mineral water. If distilled, an RO system will make them happiest. If mineral water, the gravity filter should do the job.