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If staying hydrated is always one of your goals, then you're going to need a solid water bottle. Not only does a reusable water bottle help the environment by replacing the use of single-use plastic bottles, but it also reminds you to hydrate especially if you choose a bottle that looks attractive.
Of course, the options are overwhelming. What kind of material should you choose from glass, stainless steel, or plastic? And how big should your bottle be? This all depends on who and how you'll be using it. After all, you might want something insulated for both hot and cold drinks, while your kids need a smaller size that won't leak and can fit in their lunchbox.
We’ve researched a variety of water bottles with different specifications to help narrow down the best ones in each category.
Here are the best water bottles to buy.
Best Overall: Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
What We Love: Plenty of colors to choose from, stays cold for 24 hours
What We Don't Love: Kind of clunky
This water bottle is right at the intersection of affordable and reliable. While not the sleekest bottle on the market, it does come in a variety of colors. Take your pick of canary yellow to midnight blue to slate from the 13 options.
More importantly, the stainless steel water bottle comes in different sizes, from 18 ounces to 64 ounces. The lid seals shut, and the drinking spout hinges out of the way when you take a sip. The double-walled insulation keeps your drinks hot or cold and prevents condensation. Many users reported finding ice cubes in the water bottle after 24 hours.
Users like that the bottle is easy to fill with ice and easy to clean by hand. Plus there’s a carrying ring to attach it to backpacks and bags. What’s not to love about that?
Material: Stainless steel | Sizes: 18, 24, 32, 40, and 64 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: No
Best Budget: CamelBak Eddy+ Water Bottle with Tritan Renew
What We Love: Built-in straw, amazing water flow, made of 50 percent recycled material
What We Don't Love: Not exactly stylish
The CamelBak Eddy+ is about as solid as they come. The 32-ounce plastic water bottle is well-liked for its sturdiness, and it's easy to drink from, thanks to the built-in straw. You actually get 25 percent more flow when you drink from this bottle because of the way its valve is designed. Unlike the older models of this, it's now made with Tritan Renew, a plastic made with 50 percent recycled materials.
Camelbak created this BPA-, BPS-, and BPF-free water bottle to be both leak-proof and spill-proof when opened. Available in multiple different colors, it has an easy carrying handle and is safe to be put in the dishwasher. If you need a vessel that will get the job done then this is your best bet.
Material: Tritan copolyester | Sizes: 20, 25, and 32 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best for Versatility: YETI 26-ounce Rambler
What We Love: Highly durable, keeps things cold and hot for a long time
What We Don't Love: Pricey
Yeti is known for making products that can handle the elements and its water bottle, the Rambler, is no exception. The 26-ounce Rambler keeps drinks cold (or hot) for hours and can handle your rough-and-tumble lifestyle whether that means throwing the bottle in a diaper bag or going on a hike.
Made from stainless steel, the Rambler is resistant to punctures, rust, and shattering. Its double-wall insulation also guarantees it’s safe from condensation. And it comes in 12 UV-resistant colors. Users love drinking from the chug lid and appreciate that the bottle is dishwasher safe. If you prefer to drink from a straw, you can purchase a Yeti straw lid.
Material: Stainless steel | Sizes: 26 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Related: The Best Travel Coffee Mugs
Best Stainless Steel: Corkcicle Stainless Steel Canteen
What We Love: Chic silicone bottom keeps it in place
What We Don't Love: Some users report leaky lids
The Corkcicle 25-ounce canteen is both stylish and effective. The stainless steel water bottle is triple insulated and well-reputed for keeping hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold for hours. One user even reported that their champagne was still bubbly and drinkable two days later.
People also like that it has a silicone bottom making it less likely to tip over and ergonomic easy-grip sides for comfortable holding. The mouth is also wide enough to drop in ice cubes to keep that drink extra cold. It comes in an overwhelming amount of colors, but that’s part of the fun.
Material: Stainless steel | Sizes: 16 and 25 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: No
Best Glass: Ello Syndicate Glass Water Bottle with One-Touch Flip Lid
What We Love: Pure tasting water, silicone comes in multiple colors
What We Don't Love: Heavy, not ideal if you plan on taking it on the go
Glass water bottles aren't for everyone. They tend to be heavy, and the fear of it breaking always hangs over your head. But people appreciate how “pure" water tastes in this glass bottle as steel and plastic can impart funky flavors to your beverage.
If glass is your material of choice, then the 20-ounce Ello is your best bet. It’s fairly sleek, comes in a colorful silicone sleeve for easy gripping, and has a one-touch flip lid making it easy to drink from on the go. All the materials are free of BPA, phthalates, PVC, lead, and cadmium. It’s also dishwasher safe (silicone sleeve included), so it's easy to clean.
Material: Glass | Sizes: 20 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Related: The Best Water Filters
Best for Sports: Gatorade 32-Ounce Contour Squeeze Bottle
What We Love: Very affordable, squeezable, iconic look
What We Don't Love: Not as durable
If you play sports, you probably don't need all the bells and whistles when you just want to keep hydrated. Be like Mike, and buy this foolproof water bottle that also happens to be super affordable.
It holds 28 ounces, is made from BPA-free plastic, and is squeezable making it easy to get those fluids in. The high-flow valve also stops it from leaking and there’s a clear strip to let you know how much water is left. Toss it in your gym bag, and you’ll be good to go. Who doesn’t love the retro flair, too?
Material: Plastic | Sizes: 32 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: No
Related: The Best Ice Packs for Coolers
Best for Tracking Water Intake: Cactaki Water Bottle
What We Love: Helps you keep track of your intake, one-touch lid
What We Don't Love: Bottle can get sweaty
Some of us need extra help when it comes to staying hydrated. The 32-ounce Cactaki, made of leakproof, BPA-free Tritan plastic, offers encouragement in the form of a time tracker on the bottle. Its hourly inspirational reminders start with “Let's start!” through to “You did it! Refill and repeat.”
The bottle is also easy to hold and features a one-touch lid. Some users report that the bottle gets a little sweaty, and it’s not dishwasher safe, but you may be able to overlook that when you’re so hydrated.
Material: Tritan plastic | Sizes: 32 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: No
Best for Hot Drinks: S'well S'ip Stainless Steel Water Bottle
What We Love: Ideal for water or coffee
What We Don't Love: Tricky to clean because of the narrow neck
S’well changed the water bottle game with their sleek design and variety of patterns, colors, and finishings. The stainless steel bottles are double-walled and vacuum-insulated, which is ideal for keeping drinks cold and keeping drinks or broth hot.
The S’ip model comes in a 10- and a 15-ounce option that’s easy to tote around and easy to fill up with, let’s say, your morning coffee. It should stay hot for up to 10 hours (or iced coffee cold for up to a whole day) without spilling or dripping.
Material: Stainless steel | Sizes: 10 and 15 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: No
Related: The Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers
Best for Kids: CamelBak Eddy Kids 12-ounce Water Bottle
What We Love: Ideal size for backpacks and lunchboxes
What We Don't Love: Spout can be tricky for little ones to open
Even kids deserve to have their own reusable water bottles. The CamelBak Eddy Kids holds 12 ounces of water in a spill-proof bottle with a bite valve. Similar to Camelbak's larger water bottles, these are made with Echo copolyester, a shatter-proof plastic partially made from plant material. There are more than 25 design options to choose from, including “magical mermaids,” “UFOs,” and “Alpine Adventure.”
Sized at 7.3 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches and weighing only 4.6 ounces, the bottle's petite size makes it easy for small hands to hold on to and allows you to pack it away in their lunchboxes or backpacks. And every part of the bottle can be disassembled for easy cleaning in the dishwasher.
Material: Copolyester | Sizes: 12 ounces | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
The Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle (view at Amazon) offers a variety of colors and size options, but most importantly, it will keep your drinks cold all day. If you're looking for an affordable option that's also slightly sustainable, the CamelBak Eddy+ Water Bottle with Tritan Renew (view at Amazon) should be in your cart.
What to Look for in a Reusable Water Bottle
When choosing a water bottle, start with which material you want. Glass is the most natural material, making it the least likely to leach chemicals into your drink, and people typically love how clean it makes water taste. Of course, the downside is that it could break and glass bottles are on the clunkier side. Stainless steel bottles might make your drinks taste funky if not executed well, but it's the best material for keeping your drinks hot or cold. Plastic can also taste a little off, and you want to make sure that the bottle you choose is free of certain toxins like BPA. But if you want a bottle that's lightweight and durable, plastic is a fine option.
Think about how many ounces you want your vessel to hold. If you’re taking this bottle with you on the go (in a purse, backpack, etc.), you might want to keep it to 16 ounces and smaller. Some people even like to drink out of kid-sized water bottles because of how easy they are to throw in a bag. But if you need a bottle that’s going to sit next to you at your desk, then 24 ounces and larger would be ideal. The less you have to get up to refill it the better, right?
Finally, you’ll want to take design features into consideration. For example, most insulated water bottles can’t be put in the dishwasher, so if you rely on your dishwasher you might want to consider a bottle that can handle it. There are myriad lid options, too, and the right one can help keep you hydrated. Some of us do better drinking from straws while others like to chug from a plastic spout that can be opened with their teeth during a workout session.
How often should you clean a reusable water bottle?
More often than you’d think! "You should be cleaning your reusable water bottles after every use," Crystal Reinwald, culinary instructor and private chef. "Drinking out of your water bottle puts your germs on it and if not cleaned frequently, can harbor dangerous bacteria that could make you sick." Cathy Asapahu, a chef of Ayara Thai in Los Angeles, adds, "It's like a cup, you should wash it every day. And if you eat something and drink from it, you should wash it after every meal."
Can you recycle a reusable water bottle?
You can, but you can’t put it out with your other recycling for pickup. "Just because it's plastic does not mean it can be recycled like we tend to think," says Asapahu. "You can recycle a reusable water bottle but not curbside," adds Reinwald. "You will need to contact your local recycling center to see if and how they can recycle that specific material."
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Lia Picard is a freelance writer for publications like the New York Times, Washington Post, and Condé Nast Traveler. When she’s not researching the best products for Simply Recipes, she's trying to stay hydrated by using a reusable water bottle. She knows what it's like to take a sip and cringe.
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