The best water bottles not only help you stay hydrated, but will also help you save money and the environment. Bottled water is the No. 1-selling drink in America; we drink about 12.8 billion gallons of bottled water a year, or about 39 gallons of water per person. That’s a lot of money spent on water that is probably no safer than tap water — and that’s a lot of plastic bottles.
Rather than having to lug cases of bottled water from the store, it’s time to invest in a more environmentally friendly and (ultimately) cheaper option: reusable water bottles.
What are the best water bottles?
Luckily, there are tons of reusable water bottles to choose from, in different sizes, colors, designs and materials. Insulated stainless-steel bottles keep water icy cold and don’t sweat, while tritan plastic water bottles are durable and dishwasher-safe. In case you do happen to live in an area where the tap water isn’t safe to drink, some bottles have built-in purification and filtering systems. Don’t discount style, either; if you have trouble staying hydrated, a fun, stylish bottle may actually motivate you to drink more water.
Here are the 10 best water bottles you can buy right now.
Hydro Flask’s standard-mouth water bottle is just about everything most people want in a reusable water bottle. It’s durable, stylish and insulated, and it offers a variety of colors, sizes and cap options for lots of different situations. The standard-mouth bottle comes in 18-ounce, 21-ounce and 24-ounce sizes, and you can buy the 21-ounce size with your choice of the flex cap with a handle or the sport cap with a spout and a loop. (You can purchase the sport cap separately for the other sizes, too.)
While this bottle is stainless steel and therefore not dishwasher-friendly, it does have a wider mouth (48.5mm) that makes it easier to clean and fill with ice. The Hydro Flask comes in a variety of attractive colors, but not everyone will be a fan of the big logo on the front.
The Klean Kanteen insulated classic water bottle is pretty similar to the Hydro Flask (right down to the big logo on the front). This bottle also comes in a variety of colors and sizes and has several optional cap styles (including a sport cap and a kid’s sippy cap, as well as more-stylish caps made of bamboo and stainless steel), so it’s also very flexible.
Klean Kanteen claims that its insulated bottles will keep liquids cold for up to 50 hours and hot for up to 20 hours, about twice as long as other insulated stainless-steel water bottles can do. But it seems to perform on par with competitors in third-party tests and reviews. The Klean Kanteen and Hydro Flask bottles are similar enough in design and price that it mostly comes down to which colors and cap options you’re looking for.
The original 32-ounce Nalgene wide-mouth bottle is a classic for a reason: It’s durable, easy-to-clean and inexpensive, and it comes in a large variety of bright, attractive colors. This bottle isn’t insulated, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing; not everyone likes to drink liquids that are ice cold or piping hot. Plus, the lack of insulation means this bottle’s lighter and dishwasher-safe.
The Nalgene wide-mouth bottle indeed has a very wide mouth, at 63mm, and large threads, making it an ideal bottle for when you’re in freezing temperatures. The wide mouth makes it easier to break through ice if your water freezes.
The Thermos brand name is synonymous with insulation, but this Thermos bottle isn’t insulated. The 24-ounce hydration bottle is made of tritan copolyester and features a sporty design: grippy, textured sides; a flip-top lid that can be opened with one hand (it has a metal locking ring so it doesn’t get accidentally opened in your bag); and a rotating intake meter that you can use to keep track of how often you’re filling up your bottle each day. The Hydration bottle is dishwasher-safe and inexpensive, and it comes in several bright colors (purple, magenta, olive green, teal and smoke gray).
If you’re looking for a bottle that’s easy to drink from while you’re moving but that lacks the typical sport-cap feel, the Takeya Originals insulated bottle is a good choice. It has a spout-style lid that gives you the best of both worlds. This bottle comes in a rainbow of colors and a range of sizes, from 18 ounces all the way up to 60 ounces, and it’s less expensive than similar insulated, stainless-steel bottles.
The bottle has a wide mouth (58mm) that makes it easy to clean and fill with ice, and while the bottle itself isn’t dishwasher-safe, the lid is. The Takeya lid does use silicone O-rings in its lid for insulation, and if you don’t take these out and clean and replace them periodically, you may end up with mold.
If you’re looking for an everyday water bottle that doesn’t scream “workout” or “camping,” S’well’s original vacuum-insulated stainless-steel water bottles make good picks. They are sleek and iconic and come in a wide variety of pretty colors and patterns. The original S’well bottle design comes in 9-ounce, 17-ounce and 25-ounce sizes and is made of triple-walled stainless steel that will keep liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours.
Fashion comes at a price, though. S’well bottle mouths are pretty narrow (29mm on the 9-ounce and 17-ounce models and 30.2mm on the 25-ounce bottle), so you won’t be able to fit a lot of ice (the crescent-shaped ice found in most home refrigerators will fit, though).
Insulated bottles keep liquids cold and hot, but you may not want to sip piping-hot coffee from a narrow-mouthed bottle. The Yeti Rambler has such a wide mouth (70mm) that it’s basically just a large mug. In fact, Yeti sells a variety of additional caps and lids for when you need extra insulation to keep your hot drinks hot. Most vacuum-insulated stainless-steel bottles have similar insulation ratings (24 hours cold, 12 hours hot), but mouth size makes a difference, because the lid is the weakest area insulation-wise. Yeti’s insulation is on point thanks to the company’s top-notch lid game. This bottle is tougher and more durable than the other stainless-steel bottles on our list — it’s tough enough to be dishwasher-safe, which is useful — but it’s also heavier and more expensive.
Most collapsible bottles, while convenient to travel with, aren’t all that user-friendly. They often have no structure, which makes them hard to drink from and difficult to clean. The Hydaway bottle, which comes in two sizes (17 ounces and 25 ounces) is a pop-up silicone bottle that keeps its shape even when it’s not full of liquid. This bottle comes with both screw-on and spout lid options and collapses down to a disc that’s about 1.5 inches thick. It’s not the most collapsible bottle, but it’s small enough to be convenient.
The key feature of this bottle is portability, so it’s not necessarily going to give you the drinking experience of a normal, noncollapsible bottle; it’s still a little floppy, and the silicone and plastic construction means this bottle may retain odors.
I’ll admit I was initially skeptical that the self-cleaning Larq bottle was worth its $95 price … until I traveled overseas for three weeks. The Larq bottle’s cap has a built-in UV-C LED that eradicates up to 99.9999% of biological contaminants (e.g., the bacteria that make your water bottle smell funky), so it’s perfect if you’re going to spend more than a week away from your kitchen sink and bevy of bottle brushes.
The Larq’s cap has two cleaning modes: a 1-minute normal mode and a 3-minute “adventure” mode. That mode eradicates up to 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.99% of viruses, but it doesn’t filter the water. You can use this bottle to purify visibly clear water from human-made sources, but you should not use it to drink water from a stream or a lake.
Fancy cap aside, the Larq bottle has similar specs to other insulated, stainless-steel bottles. It doesn’t sweat and it keeps liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. This bottle is not dishwasher-safe, but as long as you’re using it only for water, you shouldn’t have to deep clean it very often (though you should hand-wash the mouth frequently). The Larq comes in five colors (black, white, navy, pink and mint green), as well as a larger size (25 ounces), which sells for $118.
If you want to drink water from a stream, you’re going to need something more intense than the Larq’s UV-C purification system. So check out the LifeStraw, an innovative water-filtering straw that was initially designed for humanitarian efforts. It’s distributed to people in developing nations and as part of disaster relief, because its two-stage filter removes bacteria, parasites and microplastics; reduces chlorine and organic chemical matter; and improves taste. You can use this straw to drink water from just about any source except the ocean (the LifeStraw doesn’t remove salt).
The LifeStraw Go bottle is basically just a bottle built around that filter. This 22-ounce bottle features a screw-on straw cap with a replaceable LifeStraw filter that will need to be swapped out for a fresh one every few months if you use the bottle regularly. This probably isn’t going to be your everyday water bottle (the filter does require stronger-than-average sucking action, because you’re actively filtering as you drink), so the fact that it’s made of noninsulated tritan plastic isn’t a big deal. And if you’ve already got a water bottle you love, look into LifeStraw’s $35 universal filtering cap, which is compatible with a number of wide-mouthed bottles from companies like Hydro Flask, Klean Kanteen, Nalgene and Takeya.
How to pick the best water bottle for you
Insulated vs. noninsulated
The first thing to consider when looking for the best water bottle for you is whether or not you want it to be insulated. The benefits of an insulated bottle, of course, is that it will keep your drinks at the temperature you want for a long time. If you’re going on a hike in the middle of the summer, your water will remain ice cold for hours. If you’re watching an outdoor hockey game in the middle of winter, an insulated bottle will keep your hot chocolate nice and warm for the duration.
However, insulated water bottles have two drawbacks: The tend to be more expensive than noninsulated models, and they tend to be heavier, as they have two walls and are typically made from steel or some other metal. So if weight is a premium, you may want to go with a noninsulated model.
If you have a water bottle that has a large opening at the top, it’s easier to pour in not just liquid, but things like ice, too. However, if you’ve ever tried drinking water out of a wide-mouthed bottle while moving, there’s a much greater chance that you’ll get some water down your shirt. Smaller-mouthed water bottles are easier to drink from while you’re on the go, but are more difficult to add ice or other solids. The best water bottles have tops that can unscrew to reveal a wide mouth, but also have a smaller opening for drinking liquids more easily.