34.8 million real visitors so far... serving you since 2010.

Which One Is Best, A Water Filter Or Water Purifier?

January 15, 2016, by Ken Jorgustin


To know which one is the best (a water filter or water purifier), you first must understand the terminology and how it relates to water treatment standards.

The term ‘water filter’ is widely and generally used to describe many water filtration devices. While the term can be an accurate description, the meaning when talking about water treatment standards is different.

Lets take a look at the two standards when classifying water treatment devices:

According to documentation from the EPA, to distinguish a water purifier from a water filter:


Water Filter

The classification of ‘water filter’ means the filtration device must meet this standard:

Contaminant: Pathogenic Bacteria
Removal standard: greater than 99.99% reduction, also known as (Log 4)

Water Purifier

The classification of ‘water purifier’ means the filtration device must meet this standard:

Contaminant: Pathogenic Bacteria
Removal standard: greater than 99.9999% reduction, also known as (Log 6)

Plus this…

Contaminant: Virus
Removal standard: greater than 99.99% reduction, also known as (Log 4)


Choose The Best (A Water Purifier)

Most all of those water filter jugs that you might keep in your fridge, or the water filters that attach to your faucet, are water ‘filters’. Meaning that they filter out some pathogens.

But there are other choices that are actually water purifiers, and will remove a much greater extent of bacteria (plus viruses).

When making comparisons and decisions about which water filter (purifier) may be the best, pay attention to the reduction percentages (and/or Log #’s).

The best types will remove a higher percentage of pathogens and/or virus.

For example, one which I consider to be one of the best is the Berkey. All Berkey systems now contain the Black Berkey Filters and meet the Water purifier standard. In fact Berkey Purifiers far surpass the ‘purifier’ standard and actually remove 99.9999% when dealing with pathogenic bacteria (with Black Berkey filter elements). This distinction actually makes Berkey the only certifiable gravity flow water purification system on the market (that I know of).

I have been using Berkey for many, many years and all of our drinking water is purified via their filters. Our bodies are made up of more than 50% water, and I figure that it’s pretty darn important to take steps to assure that we’re drinking water that’s clean and purified…

Additionally, by having a good water purifier I know that in any emergency situation that I could easily purify water from other questionable sources that may contain pathogens, bacteria, or even viruses.

I believe that a quality water purifier is a very high priority investment for overall preparedness. From time to time I post an article about this (because I believe it’s so important) and I tend to ‘push’ the Berkey (because I have a few and can attest to it). There are other good water purifiers out there too.

With that said, I really like the stainless steel Berkey gravity filter for the house because it simply sits there and is always readily available with a press of the spigot handle…

The investment is expensive, but that expense is relative when you consider what you would do (pay) to get purified drinking water during an emergency situation – not to mention the everyday health benefit assurances from day-to-day use.


The Most Popular Berkey Water Purifier

Big Berkey Stainless Steel with 2 Black Filter Elements

Guide Standard And Protocol For Testing Microbiological Water Purifiers

For your interest (PDF download),
Specifications for Berkey black filter elements