You’d think that finding the best water bottle would be simple, but with so many different styles and options available, picking the perfect one for you isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. What’s more, despite knowing that good hydration is important for health, many of us simply forget to drink enough water – which is why having the right reusable bottle to hand is crucial if you want to meet your daily hydration needs. Wondering where to start? We’re here to help you with our ultimate guide to this essential accessory.
What the experts say
Personal trainer Elliot Hasoon told LiveScience that “many of us have multiple water bottles sitting in our kitchen cupboards and while it can be beneficial to have more than one for different activities, the most important thing is that you use it regularly. If you pick a water bottle that fits your criteria and that you enjoy drinking from, you’ll have a much better chance of remaining hydrated.”
So how much water should we be aiming to drink per day? Elliot Hasoon, personal trainer and founder of EH Coaching, told LiveScience that this depends on different factors including gender, how active you are, the climate you live in, your diet and your overall health. “However, as a rule of thumb, the average woman should aim to consume 2.7 litres per day and the average man should aim for 3.7 litres per day,” he said. “But bear in mind that this doesn’t purely need to come from water and other fluids you consume during the day can contribute towards this total.”
It’s also vital to hydrate properly during exercise and choosing a suitable water bottle that you can take to the gym or with you out walking, will ensure that you’re getting enough liquid.
“One of the biggest concerns we need to look out for when training is dehydration and maintaining optimal fluid balance,” said Hasoon. “When we exercise, our body’s core temperature will naturally increase resulting in us losing bodily fluid through sweat.”
He advised drinking around 250-300 ml, 30 minutes before a session, to sip water continuously throughout a workout, and to drink between 500 ml-1 litre of water post-exercise.
“The last thing you want to be doing during exercise is frequently visiting the water fountain or tap, so pick a water bottle that has the capacity for 500ml / 17 oz or more,” said Hasson. “This will mean that you only have to fill it up once before you get started so you can remain hydrated throughout your session.” He added that it’s easy for bacteria to build up in reusable bottles, so you should look for one that is easy to clean, too. “This will keep it fresh for exercise and will help your bottle stand the test of time,” he said.
Here, we’ve listed the best water bottles available, with tips on what to look for when choosing the right one for you.
The best water bottles
The Takeya Actives Insulated Bottle not only looks good and boasts a sweat-free grip that makes it perfect for gym use, the double-wall design of this 18/8 stainless steel bottle will keep your drink cold throughout a workout and beyond (24 hours in fact).
What users say
88% of users on Amazon have given this bottle a 5 star rating with it scoring 4.8 out of 5 on average across the board. Positive reviews praise the bottle’s ability to keep drinks cold and say it’s ideal for everyday hydration. “It doesn’t sweat! No ring of water on my table, the surface isn’t slick with condensation four minutes after I fill it,” said one. Another satisfied customer said: “The lid of this bottle is very well designed.” Negative reviews cite problems with the lid becoming moldy and occasional leaking.
It’s slightly heavier than some similarly designed bottles, but has a wide handle that makes it comfortable to carry.
A removable color-coordinated silicone base is included (not standard with all water bottles) that will protect the bottle from bumps and dents and help keep it in place when sat in cup holders or on treadmill trays.
The bottle’s lid is also insulated meaning moisture won’t collect around the narrow drinking spout and a great addition is a lid hinge lock which prevents it from flapping back and hitting you on the nose when drinking. Unscrew the lid and the wide mouth allows for easy cleaning or adding ice. You don’t need to hand wash this bottle either as it’s suitable for cleaning on the top rack of the dishwasher
If 18oz capacity isn’t large enough, there are other sizes to suit your hydration needs, including 24oz, 32oz, 40oz and 64oz.
The popular Hydro Flask Standard Mouth is the ideal companion when heading out on hikes and this larger-sized bottle will keep you hydrated during the day with water that stays ice cold for up to 24 hours.
What users say
The Hydro Flask Standard Mouth bottle has gained an average overall score of 4.8 out of 5 on Amazon and an impressive 96% of customers gave it a rating of 4 stars or above. One reviewer mentioned that “there is no weird taste transferred by the bottle,” and another rated the bottle for its solid construction and pleasing texture. Negative comments focused on how the bottle dents and scratches easily.
The bottle is made from durable 18/8 stainless steel with a powder-coated outer that resists condensation, meaning the sides of the bottle will stay dry to touch. Honeycomb insulation controls the temperature of the BPA-free lid, meaning this will remain cool, too.
The bottle comes with a standard Flex Cap that you unscrew to drink, but if you don’t enjoy swigging from a water bottle’s mouth, you can buy Hydro Flask’s Sip Lid or Straw Lid Cap which enables you to hydrate one-handed. What’s more, you can build a bespoke bottle by choosing different coloured parts and customising it with text and graphics.
If you’re a keen cyclist this may be the option for you.
What users say
80% of customers who purchased this bottle on Amazon gave it a 5 star rating with one reviewer saying: “I use these bottles in both summer and winter. There is no such thing as a great insulated cycling bottle. But these are the best I found.” Negative comments mention that the valve lock function is difficult to use with one hand and that it’s much stiffer to squeeze than the non-insulating version of the Camelbak Podium.
The beauty of the Camelbak Podium Chill Water Bottle is that it’s designed to fit in most bike bottle cages preventing rattles or ejections when out riding. It will also keep your drink cooler than other bike bottles thanks to its double-walled construction.
The flow spout is comfortable in the mouth and fluid is released with a squeeze of the bottle’s sides. Although the self-sealing design of the valve prevents leaks or spills – even without locking the nozzle, there isn’t a protective cap to protect against dirt or dust collecting around the mouthpiece but you can purchase a mud cap as an add-on if needed.
The Camelbak Podium Chill comes apart for easy cleaning and it’s fine to put this bottle in the dishwasher, provided it isn’t at the highest temperature setting.
Reusable bottles rely on us filling them with tap water.
What user say
This bottle has scored an average of 4.6 out of 5 on Amazon with 90% of customers giving it a 5 star rating. “I was really impressed by how much better tap water now tastes. I have ditched bottled water entirely thanks to this,” said one reviewer after using the bottle. Other positive reviews commented that with this bottle you don’t need to have a water filter jug at home and that the filter discs are easy to install. One dissatisfied reviewer said they disliked that you have to bite down on the mouthpiece to pull it up and another thought it lacked grip when wet.
However, this may not always taste to your liking, but with the easy-to-carry Brita Active Water Filter Bottle you can have fresh, pure-tasting water on the move thanks to its built-in filtration system.
The bottle has a replaceable carbon filter microdisk that removes chlorine and impurities from water while retaining calcium and magnesium so that you still get the health benefits of these minerals. One disk comes in the box and depending on your daily water consumption, it should last you around four weeks before it needs replacing.
There’s a cap that protects the mouthpiece from dirt, although it’s worth noting that this is fully detachable so there’s a risk of it getting lost. The easy-grip bottle comes apart and can be put in the dishwasher, making it simple to clean after use.
If you don’t like drinking plain tap water, the Welly Traveler Infusing Water Bottle will appeal.
What users say
The bottle has gained a 5 star rating from 84% of users with customers leaving overwhelmingly positive reviewers. “The bottle holds enough water to keep you hydrated but the bottle isn’t so big that the weight is a problem for a day of walking and adventuring,” said one happy customer. Negative reviews cite that the infuser section is too small and that having to remove it before drinking is frustrating.
Made from 18/8 stainless steel, natural bamboo, silicone and BPA-free plastic, this option also includes a removable infuser so you can naturally flavor water with fruit or herbs.
Drinks are kept cool for up to 24 hours thanks to triple-walled vacuum insulation and the bottle’s sweat-free exterior stops it from slipping out of your hands. A loop cap that unscrews comes as standard or there’s the option to buy an insulated flip cap if that’s your preferred lid for drinking.
There’s an aesthetically-pleasing range of bottle designs to choose from including terrazzo and leopard print and it’s also available in 12 oz and 28 oz sizes. Plus, your purchase will support a good cause with Welly donating 1% of bottle sales to clean water projects around the world.
If you’re looking for a durable plastic bottle to use every day, the Camelbak Eddy+ is a great value option.
What users say
There are 4,329 global ratings of this bottle on Amazon with 82% of customers giving it a 5 star rating and only 8% of people rating it 3 stars or less. “One thing that I particularly like is how the carrying handle is so wide,” said one satisfied customer. Others praised its ease of sip. Negative reviews mentioned that the flip up straw can be stiff to lift and that it can be difficult to get a decent flow of water without biting down hard.
It’s made from 50% recycled material that fights against odors and stains which are common bugbears when using a plastic bottle, plus there are six colors to choose from.
The Eddy+ holds 32oz of water that’s delivered through a drink straw that you flip up and bite to release liquid. The straw’s value is designed to prevent leaks when closed and spills when open but does need a strong bite to get a satisfying drink.
The only downside of this larger-sized bottle is that it’s too big to fit in standard cup holders. If this is a dealbreaker, you may want to go for one the smaller sizes in Camelbak’s range of Eddy bottles.
S’well is the ‘original’ stainless steel bottle and this non-toxic, non-leaching and BPA free reusable is a bestseller for good reason.
What users say
On Amazon, there are 9,826 global ratings for the S’well bottle with 94% of reviewers giving it a rating of 4 or 5 stars. One customer said that she loves its slender design and the fact that it’s absolutely leak proof and another went as far as saying this bottle changed her life. Dissatisfied reviewers complained that the bottle wasn’t worth the cost and several commented that it dents and scuffs easily.
With a stylish design (that’s been frequently copied) it’s available in an array of eye-catching colours and prints and three standard sizes of 9 oz, 17 oz and 25 oz. But that’s not all. The S’well bottle boasts tripled-layered vacuum-insulating technology with this largest size keeping your drink cold for an impressive 48 hours, all while remaining moisture-free on the exterior.
It comes with a standard screw cap meaning you have to stop to take a sip, but the wide mouth is comfortable to drink from and also large enough to drop in ice cubes. To customise your bottle there’s the option to buy accessories such as a sports cap for one-handed drinking, or a soft silicone handle for a more comfortable carry.
The one downside of this popular pick is that it isn’t suitable for the dishwasher, but you may be willing to overlook the hassle of hand washing this for a high-performing bottle that doubles up as an attractive accessory too.
The Klean Kanteen Classic is a popular water bottle choice.
What users say
On Amazon, customers have given this bottle an average score of 4.6 out of 5 with 81% of reviewers awarding it 5 stars. Positive reviews mention no spills, no breakages, and that it can go straight into the dishwasher when dirty. “You really can’t go wrong for the price. It’s perfect!” claimed one happy user. Several negative reviews mention a whistling noise that occurs when drinking from the sports cap.
This is mainly because it can withstand the demands of an active lifestyle as well as being lightweight even when full.
The chip-resistant coating protects against bumps and bashes, so is great for outdoor activities and although this bottle isn’t insulated, ice can be added to the 1.75 inch opening by unscrewing the lid. A narrow profile means it fits in most cup holders in cars and on exercise machines and strollers.
There are 10 colors/designs and four sizes in total to choose from and it comes with a sports cap with flow mouthpiece that can be removed for easy cleaning. Other compatible caps available to buy include a carry loop cap and a sippy cup cap for kids.
The Thermos Intak Bottle – also known as the Thermos Hydration Bottle, is a great value option for the gym or your commute to work and can be tossed in a bag without the worry of spillages.
What users say
Customers on Amazon have given the Thermos Hydration Bottle an average score of 4.6 out of 5 with positive reviewers rating it highly for ease of drinking and its ability to not leak. 78% of customers gave it 5 stars commenting that it is great value as well as being easy to hold, however negative reviews mention the lid can be fragile and the lock pin is prone to breaking over time.
The leak-proof lid opens with the press of a button and for peace of mind there’s the addition of a locking ring mechanism to prevent it popping off in a bag. A narrow spout means drinking from it while walking isn’t a problem and the whole lid screws off so you can easily add ice or fruit to your water.
If you need prompting to drink more water, there are handy volume markings on the side of the bottle and the lid has a dial tracker so you can monitor your intake. Although there’s a good range of colors to choose from, a possible downside is that this water bottle only comes in one size. However, most people will find that the 24 oz capacity is more than enough to stay hydrated on-the-go until the next refill.
If you have serious hydration goals, the Aquafit 1 Gallon Water Bottle is the bottle to help you reach them.
What users say
This product has 6,796 global ratings on Amazon with an overall score of 4.7 out of 5. “It’s nice to see how much water I actually need to drink without having to refill,” said one reviewer. Negative reviews from dissatisfied customers mention that the straw lid can be leaky and that the bottle will crack and break if dropped.
This large capacity vessel holds 128 oz of liquid so that you don’t have to worry about refills and there’s also a time marker on the side to track how much you drink and ensure hydration levels are topped up from morning ’til night.
Two lids are included, a spout lid and a straw lid, along with a carry strap. A large handle makes it easier to lift when drinking, however, this bottle may be better kept in your bag on-the-go as it will be heavy when full.
There are eight colors to choose from and each water bottle comes with a brush for cleaning as this bottle isn’t dishwasher-friendly.
How to choose the best water bottle for you
Water bottles come in various sizes, with different functions for ease of drinking and portability. The right water bottle for a hiking trip may be very different from the one you keep on your desk, so a good starting point is to think about how you’ll be using your bottle.
Because of the huge choice, water bottles range in price from a couple of dollars for a basic option up to $50 for a well-designed insulating bottle that looks as good as it performs. The more expensive bottles are typically designed to last longer and have features that prevent leaks, so look out for deals on these high-end bottles as they do tend to be worth the extra spend.
Key features and specs you should consider when choosing a good water bottle include:
Material: When choosing a plastic bottle, BPA-free is always best. “Repeated BPA exposure from plastics has been linked to disruption of hormones, brain/behavior problems and many other side effects,” said Hasoon. Stainless steel is also a popular choice and bottles made from high quality, food-grade stainless steel are long lasting and non-toxic – so very safe to drink from.
Capacity: How much liquid your bottle will hold comes down to personal choice. Refilling a smaller bottle more often means it’s easier to carry around, whereas a large capacity bottle enables you to sip from it all day. If a bottle is insulated, it’s possible to refill it less often if you like your drinking water cool, but keep in mind that larger bottles won’t fit in standard cup holders found on gym machines and in cars.
Lid choice: This will determine how you drink from your bottle. A screw cap means you sip straight from the bottle’s mouth but does require the use of both hands. Some bottles have a screw cap and spout, but for the easiest one-handed drinking – which is better when active, look for straw or flow mouthpiece with a value that stops spills. These may or may not also have a flip cap to protect against dust and dirt. Also check out the size of a bottle’s opening. Narrow mouth bottles will be easier to drink from whereas a wider mouth bottle allows you to add ice cubes, fruit and to clean it easily.
Ease of cleaning: Many water bottles are dishwasher safe, with the lids coming apart for proper cleaning. But for hand wash only bottles and those that are narrow in shape, a bottle brush can be useful so you can give it a thorough scrub. If a bottle starts to smell funky – as they sometimes do if you use it for fluids other than water, check the manufacturer’s instructions for details on how to deep clean the material.
Extra features: An insulated bottle can be the difference between sipping ice cold water all day or glugging tepid water after a few hours. Many of the bottles in our list are double or triple walled and will keep drinks colder for longer – some for 24 hours or longer. These will particularly suit those living in hotter climates or when refilling your water bottle often isn’t possible.
Some bottles are ‘sweat-free’ and condensation resistant, meaning the body of the bottle won’t get damp, making it easier to grip. Also, look how comfortable the carry handle is to hold – is it rigid or flexible and how many fingers can you pick it up with?
The benefits of the best water bottles
Ultimately, the role of a good water bottle is to aid hydration for optimum health. Our cells need water to convert the food we consume into energy plus every bodily function depends on us staying well-hydrated.
“Mild dehydration can lead to lightheadedness, cramps, dizziness, reduced motor function and a low energy,” said Hasoon. “Severe dehydration can lead to much worse outcomes including heat-stroke, loss of consciousness and in some extreme cases, death.”
It is even more important to drink adequate amounts of water during exercise, Hasoon added. “Given that workouts are usually high intensity, technically demanding and can involve heavy weights, any amount of physical activity puts us in a position where we could severely injure ourselves if we don’t stay sufficiently hydrated, so I advise always having your water bottle with you when exercising.”
If you’re frequently active, you should be mindful of avoiding an electrolyte imbalance too, said Hasoon. Electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, all play vital roles in the body, such as maintaining fluid balance, muscle, and nerve function, regulating blood pressure, among many more. To help maintain this balance, you can supplement your water by adding electrolyte powders to your water bottle.
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