The best water bottles in 2023

best water bottles
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The best water bottles will help you stay hydrated throughout the day, and we've tried and tested the best models out there to see which ones we prefer carrying with us on-the-go. 

According to research, approximately 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, which can cause fatigue, weakness and loss of stamina. This equates to about 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women, according to the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. So, we're not drinking enough, but how do we fix it?

Carrying one of the best water bottles can help you stay accountable and measure just how much you're sipping as you move through your day. Our fitness editor recently drank a gallon of water every day for a month, and there are plenty of benefits up for grabs, including aiding digestion (feeling bloated after a workout? Here’s why) and carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells. 

Most brands now offer buyers high-tech features like insulation and fluid intake monitoring, with extra-large sizes to suit hikers or endurance runners. However you prefer to get your fluids, we tested some of the best water bottles on the market to see what they can offer you and whether they're worth your investment.

Best water bottles you can buy right now

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How to choose the best water bottle for you

Styles / Color Options

This is a great place to start, since you’ll be toting this thing all over the place. Or will you? Some water bottles were built for mobility, while others are better suited for tabletop use. (Or the floor of a tent.) The best water bottles have lots of color options to choose from, so if you’re looking for a gym accessory to match your personal style, you’re bound to find something you like amongst the slimmer models. 

Size and Liquid Capacity

Smaller water bottles might only hold 12 ounces or liquid (or less), which is great if you plan on taking yours on daily jogs. Others are built like tanks and are great for hardcore camping expeditions. Or maybe you’re just looking for a water bottle to keep by your desk while you work. Think about how you plan to use the water bottle before settling on a size. 

Mouth and cap style

If you want to be able to add things such as ice or powder mixes to a water bottle, then it’s helpful to have a water bottle with a larger mouth. However, it’s harder to drink from wider-mouthed bottles if you’re on the move. Look for a water bottle whose cap unscrews to let you pour liquids in easily, but with a smaller opening to let you drink from it without spilling.

Construction & Insulation

Many of the best water bottles, especially those that are insulated, have some heft to them, and are made from durable stainless steel; this allows for some models to handle both hot and cold drinks with aplomb. Budget-priced bottles are usually made from plastic — which makes them a lot lighter, too, which makes them more suitable for runners or bikers.

Bells & Whistles

Yep, even water bottles have built-in tech these days. You might have to spend a little more coin, but a variety of premium water bottles include customizable lights (they’re actually cooler than you’d think), smartphone app connectivity, and even built-in water purification. Some bottles have swappable caps and/or built-in straws, and those aimed at the fitness sector often include a carrying pouch of some kind. 

How we tested the best water bottles

For this story, we ordered both insulated and non-insulated water bottles, and evaluated them for usability: For example, how easy was it to hold them and screw and unscrew the caps? Was the bottle heavy? Was it offered in a variety of sizes and colors?

The best water bottles:

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

To test out any insulated water bottles on this list, which are designed to handle both hot and cold beverages, I filled them halfway to the top with boiling water, screwed on the lids, and let the bottles sit for 10 minutes. Then I removed the lids and quickly recorded the inner temperature of each bottle via infrared thermometer. (The overall temperature range fell between 160 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit for hot liquids, due to each bottle’s varying shape and size.)

After sealing the bottles again and letting them stand overnight in a 70-degree room for 12 full hours, I recorded the inner temperature a second time. (To measure fluctuations in cold liquids, I repeated this process using ice water and 24-hour testing intervals.) In short: the smaller the temperature flux, the more effective the insulation. 

What is the healthiest water bottle to drink from?

Of course, sustainability thinkers are trying to steer clear of plastic bottles. But what are the healthiest bottles to drink from?

If you're trying to be more mindful in your water bottle choices when choosing the best water bottle for workouts, consider glass. Stainless steel bottles are also proving popular, and both options are safe, durable, and toxin-free.

What is the safest water bottle to drink from?

Glass prevents anything unwanted from getting into your fluids, and most plastic bottles are classified as BPA-free. However, rememeber to wash your bottles regularly to keep them safe and clean. 

Metal bottles made from stainless steel or aluminum are also safe, but each material comes with its own pros and cons, from how durable they are to how easy your bottle is to wash or how heavy it might be.

Glass bottles might look great, but they're easier to break than durable stainless steel models, which are also great at insulating your drinks. Plastic is arguably most lightweight but can leave a taste in your mouth and don't fare as well in the wash. 

How often should I clean my water bottle?

We recommend giving your water bottle a wash every time you finish using it. The best way to clean them is using hot water and washing fluids rather than using a dishwasher, as some models aren't dishwasher-friendly. 

Air dry your bottle and remember to clean around the lid, washing and drying the bottle separately to the lid.

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Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy. 

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