To help you find the best water bottle, we purchased the top 20 models and tested them out as our daily drinkers. And after drinking water at ad nauseam, we chose the Nalgene Wide Mouth water bottle as our top pick. The Nalgene is one of the most durable options on our list, made from Tritan plastic that can take a beating and still keep going. It’s also lightweight and super affordable.
To find the best water bottle, we filled each water bottle with water and a variety of other liquids, both hot and cold, to measure how well each option insulated temperature and how well it retained the liquid without leaking. We also rated every water bottle based on their overall durability and user friendliness. Another important consideration that went into our ratings was water bottle safety. The best options are BPA-free and dishwasher safe, making for an overall healthy and user-friendly experience.
Keep reading to learn more about the Nalgene water bottle and the other best water bottles on our list for the year.
Top 7 Best Water Bottle
#1 Nalgene Wide Mouth Water Bottle
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best plastic water bottle on our list. Made from tough and BPA-free Tritan plastic, this water bottle can take a beating without a problem and without all the funky plastic-tasting water.
- Best plastic option
- Nearly indestructible
- Too big for cup holders
- Hard to drink and walk
The Nalgene is perhaps the best water bottle brand available today. In fact, its name has almost become synonymous with the term water bottle due to its overall popularity. And there’s a good reason behind Nalgene’s popularity. For starters, the bottle is made from nearly indestructible Tritan plastic. This makes it one of the most durable options on our list. Fortunately, you also won’t get any kind of foul plastic taste infused into your water, even after long periods of use. The Tritan plastic is also BPA-free and dishwasher safe.
The wide mouth design of the Nalgene makes it incredibly easy to fill up, clean and drink from. The bottle features a screw top lid that’s easy to get open and closed, and it even includes a handy strap that keeps the lid connected to the water bottle. You can even use this strap to clip the Nalgene to your backpack. One downside of the Nalgene’s wide mouth is that it’s too big to fit in standard cup holders, and it can be hard to drink and walk at the same time. However, these small downsides don’t detract too much from the overall experience. If you’re looking for a lightweight, super durable and easy to use water bottle, you can’t go wrong with the Nalgene. And, you can also drink water from any stream while hiking or camping by using our best water purification tablets for camping.
#2 Takeya Originals Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best stainless steel water bottle on our list with all-day insulation, a very well-designed lid and plenty of color options. If you need to keep your beverages hot for up to 12 hours or cold for up to 24 hours, this is the best option.
- 24-hour insulation
- Durable stainless steel build
- Hinge-Lock spout lid
- Some condensation around lid
- Too wide for cup holders
The Takeya Originals vacuum-insulated stainless steel water bottle offers a better and more affordable option to keeping your liquids cold or hot for longer periods of time. The stainless steel body is designed to insulate cold drinks for up to 24 hours and hot drinks for up to 12 hours. We were able to verify both claims during our testing. In fact, we still found ice cubes in our Takeya a couple hours after the 24-hour mark. We did experience some minor condensation forming (also called “sweating”) around the lid when the bottle was filled with cold liquids, but this goes largely unnoticed and didn’t negatively impact our experience with the Takeya Originals.
The overall design of this stainless steel water bottle also stood out to us during our testing, especially when it comes to its lid. This is a flip-top spout lid that’s easy to use and leakproof. The spout itself is wide enough to enable a fast flow of water while you’re drinking if you want it, but you can also easily sip from it without being inundated. Our favorite feature of the Takeya’s lid was the Hinge-Lock technology. When you have the lid opened, the Hinge-Lock keeps it opened and out of the way while you drink. Since this is a stainless steel bottle, you won’t have to worry about BPA or other harmful chemicals. Technically speaking, the Takeya is dishwasher safe, but the manufacturer recommends you wash it by hand with soap and water instead. When camping, the best water purifiers for camping are very handy.
#3 Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle
Award: BEST SIZE OPTIONS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best water bottle with a built-in straw on our list, and it even includes an additional two lids so you can swap between a coffee mug or a sports bottle. It’s also made from durable stainless steel and comes in a wide variety of size options, ranging from 14oz to 64oz.
- A great option for coffee
- 24-hour insulation
- Sweat-free exterior
- Not dishwasher safe
- Hot insulation could be better
The Iron Flask Sports water bottle is another excellent stainless steel option on our list that provides stellar insulation to both cold and hot liquids. The water bottle is rated for up to 24 hours of cold insulation and 12 hours of hot insulation, which mostly held up during our testing. While the cold testing gave us 24 hours of insulation, the hot insulation was more like 10 hours, which is still really good. One of our favorite things about the Iron Flask insulated water bottle with straw was the fact that it didn’t sweat at all during our testing with cold liquids.
The Iron Flask comes with three different lids, which gives you more flexibility in how you drink. Our favorite lid was the straw lid, but you also get flip-top and screw lids included with your purchase. The screw lid includes a handle retaining strap that keeps the lid attached to your water bottle, even when it’s not screwed on. The stainless steel body is durable; we dropped ours a couple times and only managed to create a very small dent. And if you have any worries about the logo flaking off, you can rest assured knowing that it’s laser engraved directly into the metal, which is a nice touch. The stainless steel design is also BPA-free, but not dishwasher safe. You’ll need to wash this one by hand. Great for camping, just like the best rooftop tents.
#4 Hydro Cell Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Award: EXCELLENT GRIP
WHY WE LIKE IT: This stainless steel water bottle offers the best screw-top lid on our list with an innovative anti-slip powder coating and a durable retaining strap for easier carrying and storage. It also offers the best insulation on our list, keeping liquids hotter or colder than any other bottle on our list.
- Best screw-top lid
- Anti-slip powder coating
- No leaks or sweating
- Extra straw lid isn’t great
- Cold insulation could be better
As its name implies, the Hydro Cell stainless steel water bottle is made from stainless steel for a longer lasting and healthier experience than most plastic water bottles. The metal is BPA and by-product free. It’s also incredibly durable and can stand up to most bumps and dings without any permanent damage. The Hydro Cell water bottle is also coated with a unique anti-slip powder that makes it easier for you to hold and handle, even when you’re working out or running.
To pair with this durable construction, the Hydro Cell has included both a screw-top lid and a lid with a straw. We favored the screw-top lid the most because it creates a vacuum seal that keeps liquids inside hot for up to an impressive 20 hours or cold for up to 30 hours, the longest on our list. It’s also leak-proof and includes a retaining strap that keeps the lid with the bottle. The lid and the stainless steel body work together to insulate whatever hot or cold liquid you’re storing in the water bottle, although we found that the hot insulation held up better than the cold. Take this with you on camping trips along with the best UV flashlight and the best backpacking stove, and you will be set.
#5 Cactaki 32 oz. Water Bottle
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: This bottle is made for fitness enthusiasts. With a time marker for tracking how much you drink over the day and a useful wrist strap, this option is the best water bottle for the gym on our list.
- Quick action lid makes it great for sports
- Anti-slip powder coating
- One-handed open/close
- Some condensation with cold water
- Not dishwasher safe
The Cactaki 32 oz. water bottle is one of the most creative options we’ve tested to date because of its unique exterior design. This is a clear plastic water bottle that is marked with both volume measurements and time markers that tell you how much you should be drinking by what time of the day. This way, you can easily track your water intake and refill as necessary. Since proper hydration is necessary for a healthy lifestyle, the Cactaki water bottle is perfect for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. You’ll also be able to retain your healthy lifestyle since this bottle is BPA and byproduct free.
It’s also a great pick for using at the gym for that same reason. Plus, it has a handy wrist strap that you can attach and detach as necessary. The other feature that makes the Cactaki great for gym usage is the one-hand open and close lid. Simply press the button with your thumb, and the lid will pop open. Then, you can also shut the lid and snap it into place with one hand. This plastic water bottle even includes a strainer that you can put in the mouth of the bottle to add fruit to your water bottle for tasty fruit-infusions without having to worry about all the fruit falling into your mouth with every sip.
#6 Embrava Sports Water Bottle
Award: BEST ECO FRIENDLY
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’ve ever wanted to drink fruit-infused water from your water bottle, look no further than this water bottle. This is the best water bottle for fruit-infused water on our list because it includes a removable strainer that prevents fruit from falling out while you drink.
- Great for fruit-infused water
- Fast flow drinking spout
- Leak and dust proof
- Not as durable as others
- Wrist strap can be hard to remove
The Embrava Sports water bottle is made for easier sips and handling. It features a fast flow drinking spout that allows you to drink your water as fast or as slow as you like. And with the included lid, you can keep your water bottle dust- and leak-free. The clear lid is really easy to operate. With a single touch of a button, you can open the lid and close it again with the same hand. When it comes to durability, the Embrava could use some work, in spite of its Tritan plastic build. We found that the lid is the weakest portion of the water bottle, but it can still stand up to some bumps here and there. Fortunately, the Tritan plastic is BPA free and can be run through the dishwasher for easy washing.
We were most impressed with the Embrava’s ability to create fruit-infused water with the addition of a simple plastic strainer that you set in the mouth of the water bottle. This strainer keeps fruit under the lid and prevents fruit pieces from escaping while you drink. This is an innovative and simple way to get you tasty water in the healthiest way possible. We also liked the included wrist strap, although it can be hard to put on and take off with ease. All in all, the Embrava Sport water bottle is a great choice in our lineup of the best water bottles.
#7 Ello Syndicate Glass Water Bottle
Award: BEST ON A BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking for the best glass water bottle, look no further than this water bottle. It’s affordable, easy to clean, and includes a handy silicone sleeve for more protection and better grip.
- Best non-metal and non-plastic option
- All parts dishwasher safe
- Lifetime guarantee
- Flip lid could be more durable
- No hot beverages
- Flip lid could be more durable
The best thing about glass water bottles is how clean the water you drink from them tastes. Glass water bottles are also really easy to clean. Every part of the Ello Syndicate is dishwasher safe, including the silicone sleeve. Speaking of the silicone sleeve, it’s an excellent addition to the water bottle that adds more grip and a layer of protection for the glass in case you drop it. Glass water bottles are also better for overall health than both plastic and stainless steel options. There’s no BPA or byproducts to worry about with glass. That’s because glass is non-toxic, stain-free, and does not seep chemicals, which makes glass water taste clean and fresh, and it’s odor-free.
The Ello Syndicate glass water bottle includes a clear plastic flip-top lid that you can open with a simple press of the button. We do wish the lid were a bit tougher, but it’s much better than many of the other options we tested. And if you do run into any trouble, the Ello Syndicate is backed by a lifetime guarantee. You can also buy affordable replacement lids, if desired. If you’re looking for an extra affordable water bottle that’s still durable and functional, the Ello Syndicate glass water bottle is a solid option.
How We Decided
When we started testing the various water bottles we purchased for this buying guide, we first focused on overall design quality. The best reusable water bottles are easy to use and won’t leak water all over you, both while you drink and while it’s stored. To test this, we used each water bottle throughout our working day, drinking and refilling as needed. We rated each product based on its design features that make drinking water easier overall, including things like lid design and portability. If the bottle offers insulation, we tested those capabilities, favoring options with cold insulation of at least 24 hours and hot insulation of at least 12 hours. We also only include bottles that are BPA-free and healthy to drink from.
Durability was another key consideration we measured during our testing. You’re likely buying a reusable water bottle so you can reduce the amount of plastic you’re sending to the landfill on a regular basis. As such, we made sure to only include water bottles that can last you a long time. They should either be dishwasher safe or easy to wash by hand, and they shouldn’t fall apart after just a few washes, although we favored bottles that could be run through the dishwasher.
Finally, we rated water bottles with multiple size and color options higher on our list. You’re likely carrying your water bottle around with you every day, so it’s important to be able to express yourself through its design since it’s essentially another daily accessory.
Best Water Bottle Buyer’s Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
In the world of reusable water bottles, there are three main materials to consider: glass, plastic and metal (or stainless steel). Each of these water bottle materials offers its own set of pros and cons. Let’s take a look:
- Glass is often considered the cleanest form of drinking from a water bottle. Glass bottles don’t transfer any strange tastes to the water, but they are more fragile than any other material.
- Plastic is durable, lightweight and affordable, making it the most common material you’ll see in water bottles. Unfortunately, plastic water bottles can leave you with a strange taste in your mouth, especially in hotter weather.
- Metal is also fairly durable, despite the scratches and dents, but it’s true claim to fame lies in its insular properties. Most metal and stainless steel water bottles can keep your water or other liquids very hot or very cold. However, stainless steel water bottles that are not coated can get too hot to hold when left out in the sun.
Water bottles come in all shapes and sizes, so this feature is largely subjective one, based on your individual preferences and needs. Most water bottles come in sizes ranging from 10 to 45 ounces, with the most popular size option coming in at 32 ounces. Consider what activity you’ll be doing with your water bottle. If you’re going hiking, you’ll want to be careful to pack a water bottle that will keep you hydrated without weighing you down too much. If you’re using it as a daily drinker around the office or your home, then any size will work for you.
- Lid Types
Other than holding the body of the water bottle itself, the next part you’ll handle the most is the lid. There are so many different kinds of lids to choose from, each offering its own functionality and purpose. The most common lid types to choose include straw lids, flip-top spouts and screw lids. Many lids also include additional structure to support attaching the bottle to your backpack or leakproof designs.