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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The best water bottle overall
+ Simple, elegant design
+ Interior glass finish prevents metallic aftertastes
+ Multiple lid options
- Must be hand washed
Just because you’re using cutting-edge tech doesn’t mean the end result can’t be satisfactorily simple. The Purist Mover, which is part of a larger collection of bottles that range from 10 to 32-ounce capacities, has an outer wall constructed from 304 stainless steel, and an inner wall made from surgical-grade, 316 stainless steel. What sets this water bottle apart, however, is the 60-nanometer-thin glass coating on the inside, which prevents any metallic tastes (or a hint of last week’s coffee) from polluting your hydration experience. Plus, this makes it easier to clean.
The stainless steel exterior is simple and elegant, yet built for some abuse; it’s designed to keep drinks hot for 12 hours, or cold for 24. Other color options are available, but they’re a lot more muted than what you’ll find with other water bottles.
The Purist Mover bottle has three different lids to choose from: Element, Union, and Scope. My review unit had the Element lid, which has a pop-up handle. Unlike the other caps, the Element is insulated, which is best if you plan on using this thing for both hot and cold liquids.
Our rating: 4.5 stars
Best for form meets function meets value
+ Comes with three different lids
+ Wide variety of color choices
+ Sweat-free insulation
+ Reasonably priced
- Slippery when wet
Available in myriad size and color options (6 of the former and 23 of the latter), the double-insulated Iron Flask water bottle really does have something for everyone, no matter your age, body type, or budget. Ranging from a modest 14 ounces to a bladder-busting 64 ounces, each water bottle comes with three different lids for swapping between hot and cold beverages. Yep, the Iron Flask is rated to keep cold stuff cold for up to 24 hours, and hot stuff hot for up to 12.
I tested out the 40-ounce version of the Iron Flask, and my review unit came in the Black Marquina exterior finish, which is akin to a black marble countertop. In addition to one stainless steel lid and one flip lid, the third lid has a built-in carabiner clip, which is great for attaching your beverage of choice to a backpack or bike rack. The 40-ounce size felt a little unwieldy in my adult-sized man hands, and I imagine even less mobility with the 64-ounce model. The powder coat finish is slick-looking, but make sure you’ve got a good grip on the thing if the outside is wet. Since this water bottle is sweat-free, though, this is only an issue if you’re sloppy during fill-ups.
The double-walled insulation is meant for any liquid temperature; according to the company, it’ll keep drinks ice cold for up to 24 hours, or piping hot for up to 12. When I tested out the bottle’s insulation, its internal temperature dropped from 176 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit when left alone overnight. Conversely, the temperature rose from 35 to 54 degrees under the same conditions when I tested the bottle with cold liquids.
Our rating: 4.5 stars
The best water bottle for on-the-go UVC purification
+ Built-in UVC LED light to kill germs and bacteria
+ Keeps drinking water fresh
+ Neat personalization options
- No insulation
- Cold liquids only
The LARQ Bottle Movement PureVis is more than just a mouthful to say: it’s a state-of-the-art water bottle with a self-cleaning UVC LED light built right into the cap. When activated, it can eliminate up to 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.99% of viruses from your drinking water; the 280 nanometer UV light (similar to those used in hospitals) triggers a photochemical reaction right within the bottle to eradicate germs and viruses, such as E.coli and Salmonella. Constructed from electropolished stainless steel (with a silicon sleeve), the LARQ Bottle Movement PureVis comes in six different color options.
I tested out the 24-ounce model, and the contoured design fit well in my hand. The silicone sleeve is slightly grippy, too, and it’s not easy to tip over the bottle when filled. (Some water bottles can be somewhat top-heavy, especially if they’re made of steel.) The LARQ Bottle Movement PureVis comes with a microUSB charging cord and quick start guide, though for $78, an extra silicon sleeve (or carrying pouch of some kind) might have been nice. For an extra $15, you can personalize the bottle with a custom engraving, up to 10 uppercase characters.
Our rating: 4 stars
Best smart water bottle that makes hydration fun
+ Tracks your water intake for you
+ App-enabled for iOS and Android
+ Customizable glowing lights
- One size
- No insulation
Aimed at presumably forgetful techies who can’t get enough connectivity, the Hidrate Spark 3 is a fun, fitness-focused way to keep your body fully hydrated. The bottle itself syncs up to the accompanying Hidrate Spark app, which keeps track of your daily hydration goals. It’s a bit gimmicky, sure, but the potential health perks outweigh the price. Available in just one 20-ounce size (but 6 gorgeous colors), the Spark 3 reminds you to hydrate by glowing at preset intervals. every slug, your smartphone stays on top of your daily, weekly, and monthly water intake. Thanks to baked-in location tracking, you can even use the app to find your bottle if you lose it. It might seem trite, but proper hydration is no joke (especially in the summertime or when working out), and the Hidrate Spark 3 helps you prioritize daily wellness by keeping up with your hydration goals; after you fill out a user profile, it calculates your ideal hydration situation, creating personalized goals for you to follow. It syncs your progress via the built-in Bluetooth sensor in the water bottle’s base.
The Hidrate 3 is compatible with a few different fitness apps, such as Google Fit, Fitbit, and Garmin. I had no problem syncing up the Hidrate app to Google Fit and Under Armour on my Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and everything worked glitch-free throughout my testing. However, I’m not sure what the exact benefit is to syncing Hidrate up to other apps; neither app on my phone seemed to be collecting new data when connected. (Though I presume that’s the intended purpose.)
Our rating: 4 stars
The best sports water bottle
+ Comfortable carrying pouch
+ Fantastic tool for runners
+ Handy phone pocket
+ Self-sealing cap
- Not insulated
- Not suitable for all-day hydration
While CamelBak is best known for its backpack-style hydration pouches, the Quick Grip Chill Handheld Hydration Pack is meant for shorter cardio workouts; it comes in one 17-ounce size, which is just the right fit for the palm of your hand. Which is the point, by the way. The triangular-shaped Peak Fitness water bottle has a tapered design, and the self-sealing cap is ideal for runners of all ages. This bottle fits snugly inside a breathable air mesh pouch, which is available in three different color schemes.
My review unit came in an eye-catching burgundy, accented by a reflective “hot coral” hand strap. I tested out the CamelBak Quick Grip Chill by taking it on a couple of jogs in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Once I slipped my hand through the loop, it was easy to cinch the strap tight; I never needed to clench my hand around the bottle as I ran, even at max-sweatiness levels. The highflow, self-sealing jet valve on the lid is satisfyingly leakproof. I could sip from the bottle mid-stride without dumping water all over my chest, and since you have to squeeze it to release any water, it’s essentially spill-proof.
For my part, I enjoy hiking with backpack-style reservoirs, and if cycling, I prefer water bottles that fit in my bike’s cup holder. When it comes to my trail running routine, however, most water bottles are a pain in the neck (so to speak) to carry while I’m in motion. The CamelBak Quick Grip Chill is a great cardio companion, and if you’re an avid runner, you’re bound to get your money’s worth.
Our rating: 4.5 stars
The best water bottle for road trips
+ Slim, attractive design
+ Dishwasher safe
+ Slip-free powder coating
+ Lifetime warranty
- Requires other caps
Some of the best water bottles on this list also make for a great thermos, and the Hydro Flask might just be my new favorite road trip companion. Constructed from 18/8 stainless steel, this water bottle is dishwasher safe, so you don’t need to worry about squeezing your hand through the narrow mouth to clean it. The slim, leakproof design of the 24-ounce model is also the perfect size for cup holders in just about any vehicle.
If you’re in the market for a water bottle/thermos combo that just works, this is it. The cobalt blue Hydro Flask I reviewed has a slip-free, sweat-free powder coating, but there are 16 other colors (and two other sizes) to choose from. The pivoting strap is easy to tote the bottle around, and the whole thing feels solid enough to function as a self-defense tool, to boot. This skinny bottle is predictably excellent for virtually any cup holder.
The one-two punch of TempShield double-wall insulation plus Hydro Flask’s proprietary Honeycomb insulation inside boils down to this: keeping liquids cold for 24 hours, or hot for 6. When I put these claims to the test for hot liquids, the Hydro Flask’s internal temperature dropped from 160 to 115 degrees over the course of 12 hours. (Performance-wise, this is on a par with the Iron Flask, which is rated for a full 12 hours of heat insulation. Impressive.) The temperature rose from 35 to 57 degrees under the same conditions when I tested the bottle with cold liquids.
Bottom line: whether you need it for coffee or Kool-Aid (or neither), the Hydro Flask is one of the best water bottles for your next road trip.
Our rating: 4 stars
Best for the great outdoors
+ Built tough, like a sasquatch
+ Tons of color choices
+ Tapered Chug Cap
- Wider diameter is a little clunky
If you’ve spent any time in the woods over the past 20 years, you’ve heard of Yeti. And no, this brand is hardly a myth. Known for some of the best coolers and insulated accessories that you can take into the wild, they make some pretty legendary water bottles, too. The Rambler collection is a fantastic line of insulated tumblers and jugs the whole family can enjoy. (Heck, there’s even a 12-ounce Yeti Rambler Jr. for the littles ones, complete with straw cap.) They come in sizes all the way up to 64 ounces, and are available in myriad colors, such as Copper, Coral, Graphite, Navy, and Prickly Pear.
My 26-ounce Yeti Rambler was of the Prickly Pear variety. The sweat-free coating is pleasantly cool (but not cold) to the touch, regardless if you have hot or cold liquid inside. While most water bottles are sealed with one singular lid, the Rambler’s mouth is muzzled by both a lid and the Chug Cap, which lets you utilize the wide 3-inch diameter opening during refills. When reattached, the Chug Cap lets you sip from a much-more-comfortable 1-inch spout. (Note: the Chug Cap isn’t meant for hot liquids.) It’s a simple design choice, but one that makes all the difference for both cleaning and consumption. Paired with the TripleHaul handle on top, these two features alone make the Yeti Rambler a great choice for outdoorsy types of any age.
Our rating: 4.5 stars
The best water bottle for car camping
+ Impressive triple-layer insulation
+ Beautiful design options
+ Hard to spill
- Bulky and heavy
While many of the water bottles on this list are meant for mobility, the S’well Roamer can practically double as a kettlebell. (It weighs nearly 6 pounds totally when filled with water.) In fact, S’well markets the Roamer as “your new on-the-go pitcher,” which is great, because I wasn’t planning on lugging this thing to my next HIIT workout. It comes in two large sizes (40 oz and 64 oz), and a variety of stunning designs, such as Teakwood, Blue Cornflower, Sunkissed, and Night Sky. If you’re looking for something smaller, S’well offers a variety of more diminutive mugs and bottles.
My 60-ounce review unit was Teakwood colored, and I fell in love with the design right away; it looks more like a piece of art than a water bottle/pitcher. By itself, the Roamer is already bottom-heavy, so it’s hard to tip over, and the mouth is just big enough to put ice cubes in. It’s easy enough to use this as a giant water bottle if you have the forearms for it, but as advertised, the Roamer works best as a mobile pitcher.
And how. Unlike other insulated water bottles on this list, which are usually rated for 24 hours of chill time and 12 hours (or less) for hot liquids, the Roamer’s triple-layer insulation is rated for 40 hours of the former, and 18 hours of the latter. Indeed, of all the insulated bottles I tested, the Roamer outperformed the competition with aplomb. For hot liquids, the Roamer’s internal temperature dropped from 180 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit when left overnight. The temperature rose from 35 to 50 degrees under the same conditions when I tested the bottle with cold liquids.
Our rating: 4 stars
Best water bottle for dirt-cheap nostalgia
- One size
- Narrow opening
- No insulation
The Tritan has been Nalgene’s best-selling water bottle for more than three decades, and one glance might send some nostalgia your way. Built for just the basics and nothing more (or less), this iconic bottle is available with both narrow and wide-mouth openings, featuring such colors are Melon Ball, Rustic Orange, and Slate Blue. The Tritan is rated for liquid temperatures between -40 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit, but at this price, don’t expect any extra insulation to keep those temperatures stable.
My Clementine-colored Tritan, which has attractive green accents on the lid, feels just like my old water bottle from college. (Heck, the quad was littered with these things on any given afternoon.) The leakproof cap is attached to the bottle, which makes the Tritan dummy-proof, too. Speaking of which, I do appreciate the handy side label for measuring ounces and milliliters.
Nalgene bottles are known for being virtually indestructible, and since you can pick one up for less than $15, it’s pretty much impossible to not get your money’s worth after just a month or two of regular use. Ounce for ounce, this is the best water bottle for dirt-cheap hydration.
Our rating: 3.5 stars
Best inexpensive water bottle
+ Built-in motivation
- Not insulated
Need a little extra motivation to stay hydrated throughout the day? BuildLife builds an extra boost into each and every one of their bulky bottles, complete with timed reminders of when to splash some H20 in your face. It comes with a carrying handle on the side and a nylon strap on top, which also makes it a great addition to any camping trip. There are 19 different color choices, so you’re sure to find one that matches your personal style.
My BuildLife bottle came in a beautiful blue-to-purple gradient, which stood out against the shiny aluminum lid. Which is leakproof, by the way. A welcome feature, since the stakes are higher when you spill a jug of this size. It’s easy to carry around, and I didn’t notice any drippage when I intentionally tipped the bottle onto its side.
Say what you will about those motivational phrases posted on the side (“Do I really need my water bottle to talk to me like a dog…?”), but I kinda like ‘em. It adds a little boost to my bachelor pad, and not for nothing, but sometimes I forget to hydrate.
Our rating: 3.5 stars
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?
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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