The Best Water Bottles

The Best Water Bottles

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Arlyn Hernandez
Sep 7, 2017
(Image credit: S'well)

Updated in September 2018.

It's never too late (or too early) to make a resolution to drink more water. And if you're going through your checklist of everyday essentials and you're coming up short with a reusable bottle you can take with you on the go, now's the time to invest in one. Here are 13 of our favorite reusable water bottles right now.


How This Works

Every week we research new product categories and bring our final picks into the office, where we haggle and decide which ones make the final list. Everything is based on quality, appearance and price. These are what we could choose for our own home.


Maxwell's Favorite:

After a week of testing, discussing, and gossiping with my officemates over which was their favorite bottle, and then thinking on my own, I have to give the prize this year to the Soma glass bottle, particularly for the urban office/gym person. While I've used a number of these bottles and carry the Camelback when camping, right now the Soma bottle—well-priced, super elegant, comfortable to carry and lovely to look it—is on top.

The Soma bottle is made of shatterproof, BPA-free borosilicate glass. It is light and perfect to hold in the hand. On top of coming with a silicone sleeve that makes gripping easy (available in six colors!), Soma makes a donation toward clean drinking water for the 663 million people without access to it.


GLASS


This bottle should be your go-to if you want to avoid plastic, but are too clumsy to handle a fragile glass container. The colorful silicone sleeve, available in teal, magenta, and gray, protects the glass bottle from bumps. And if you have a tendency to neglect your water bottle in your grungy gym bag for days at a time, the dishwasher-safe lid and body make it easy to ensure a germ-free sip.


Fairly new to the market is Kablo, a company focused on producing sustainable and eco-friendly water bottles. Their glass bottle is leadless, non-toxic, BPA-free, BPS-free, phthalate-free, cadmium-free and composed of 100 percent high-density borosilicate, which is chemically unreactive and thermal shock resistant. Basically, you'll never get that weird chemical taste some water bottles give off (or any leftover flavors from yesterday's drink), and it can be used for both iced and hot beverages. Plus, one percent of Kablo's yearly sales go to the 5 Gyres Institute, which aims to reduce plastic pollution. All this, plus personal hydration—it's a win-win for all.


The most fashion-forward of the bunch, bkr bottles are favored by celebs and stylish working women everywhere. Made in a range of downright pretty colors and bag-conscious sizes (the smallest is 250 mL), these bottles are created with on-the-go women in mind. Plus, bkr recently came out with a line of lip balm meant to fit perfectly in the cap, an exciting prospect for those of us who constantly lose chapstick. So, while I like to think I wouldn't be swayed to buy something based on aesthetics, I definitely can't deny that I would be much more inclined to stay hydrated with this sitting on my desk.


PLASTIC


Good old reliable Nalgene. The much-loved water bottle hasn't changed its design in decades, because why fix a good thing? For those who take their hydration seriously, or want a water bottle that will stand up to bangs and other abuses, or are constantly outdoors, the Nalgene is your best friend. Inexpensive, straightforward and made with a wide mouth (with other narrower options available if that's your thing), this is a classic, no fuss pick that will stand the test of time.


An update on the iconic CamelBak 1L, the Chute Mag water bottle has a magnetic handle that keeps the cap stowed while drinking and an angled spout for easier sipping. This is a great pick if you like a wide cap for easy ice cube depositing but don't like the spills that tend to happen with wide mouths when you try to sip and walk at the same time. With several color choices and BPA-, BPS-, and BPF-free plastic, the CamelBak may not be anything incredibly fancy or stylish, but it gets the job done.


Beginning as a Kickstarter campaign, Memobottle took off with its innovative design that rethinks the cylindrical water bottle. Available in standard paper sizes, like A5 and A6, it's no surprise that these flat, rectangular vessels slip seamlessly into your bag, right next to your notebook or laptop. In the past year Memobottle has expanded their product lineup to include some seriously classy leather sleeves for their bottles, taking hydration to a whole new level of sophistication.


STEEL


This classic stainless steel water bottle has an electropolished interior that doesn't impart flavors, meaning you won't get a metallic taste. Durable metal, combined with a touch of natural bamboo on the lid, makes this bottle the perfect hiking accessory. Plus, for an extra $10 you can get the Insulated Klean Kanteen, which is made with Climate Lock double-wall vacuum insulation that keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and iced for 40.


Yeti products seem to have a cult following, though it's not hard to guess why. Their 18-ounce tumbler is built to last (especially in rugged conditions), making it perfect for hiking, camping or just a day in the office. Made of kitchen-grade stainless steel, it won't puncture or rust, has double-wall insulation to keep drinks hot or cold (and without pesky condensation), plus is dishwasher-safe.


If the pretty rose gold metallic finish on this stainless steel bottle isn't enough to convince you to buy this bottle, maybe the fact that it magically keeps water cold for 24 hours and hot for up to 12 will. We're sold: S'well bottles in various designs can be spotted all over the Apartment Therapy office. (Be sure to check out their seemingly unending design options if this one in particular doesn't strike your fancy.)


MULTI-TASKING


The best part of this BPA- and halogen-free plastic water bottle is the citrus juicer at the bottom, along with a compartment for storing fresh fruit. While lemon water isn't necessarily the health elixir it's sometime touted as, the enhanced taste is a great way to keep those of us who just don't like plain water hydrated. So, go ahead and infuse your water with a lemon wedge as you head into work—you'll have a tasty drink and get a small dose of vitamin C while you're at it.


This BPA- and BPS-free bottle from Australian company 321Water may look pretty futuristic, but its carbon filtration system is rooted in the long-understood abilities of carbon to clean water. Filtration is delivered with a filter tree plunger mechanism (like a French press), and each filter tablet lasts about 125 refills. This bottle is also designed for disassembly, so you can easily mix and match products and replace your filter as needed.


At $45, this bottle is a splurge, but it's also the smartest one you'll ever meet. Working in tandem with an app, a sensor inside the bottle tracks how much you drink. The bottle glows and the app sends reminders to keeping sipping towards a daily goal. But is it really worth it? With a 30-day trial and 100-day warranty, you can give it a shot and see for yourself before committing.


Important Things to Keep in Mind

  1. Hydration at work is key. Between answering emails, shuffling between meetings, and answering calls, drinking enough water during working hours doesn't always feel like a huge priority. Many people don't realize that proper hydration improves energy levels and alertness, aside from being an essential part of maintaining good health.
  2. Reusable is the way to go. Single-use plastic water bottles may keep you hydrated, but they certainly won't improve sustainability. 91 percent of plastic is never recycled, and the plastic that is recycled can only be recycled once or twice, so chances are your plastic water bottle is going to end up in the trash. Once used, these flimsy bottles take 450 years to biodegrade, clogging up our oceans in the meantime—eight million tons of it, to be exact. The only truly environmentally friendly option is to simply stop using these single-use plastic water bottles and make the switch to reusable options.
  3. Stay BPA-free! Some water bottles are made of plastic that contains BPA—a chemical that has been linked to serious hormonal problems. BPA-free plastic is one alternative, although beware that recent studies are showing that even that might not be enough. As researching is still forthcoming, consider switching to glass or steel to avoid the problem altogether.

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Other Good Resources:


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