My son hates drinking water — but my favorite gadget of 2023 has been a game changer

Air up bottle and lunch box in kitchen
Air up bottle and lunch box in kitchen (Image credit: Future)

If you’re a parent or the designated babysitter for friends and family, then you’ll know the agonizing pain of getting children to drink enough water.

After twelve years of trying to get my son to enjoy plain water on a daily basis, I was ready to throw in the towel. That was until I discovered this ingenious invention that has literally changed our lives.

Air Up water bottle

(Image credit: Air Up)

The air up reusable water bottle is designed to trick the senses into thinking you’re drinking flavored water — simply by smell. At first, I was skeptical. My son isn’t easily fooled, and neither are his tastebuds. However, I was pleasantly surprised when it seemed to have the desired effect. He was finally drinking water!

So how does it work exactly? The bottle comes with a variety of sweet-smelling aroma pods that attach to the top of the bottle’s drinking straw. Once turned on, it releases a scent to create a perception of taste through smell. So you can easily switch from Mango-Passionfruit and Blueberry to Watermelon — while only drinking plain water.

Air Up® Royal Blue bottle + Raspberry-Lemon pods (3-pack)

Air Up® Royal Blue bottle + Raspberry-Lemon pods (3-pack): $49.99 @Air Up.com
This 22 oz water bottle is ideal for daily use and light to carry around. It comes with three, sweet ‘flavor’ pods that are sufficient for at least 4 gallons of water. The bottle itself is made from 88% less plastic than other drink bottles, making it more eco-friendly, and it’s easy to clean and store. Not only is this a more healthier option, but a great way to drink pure water without sugar or nasty artificial sweeteners. 

Here comes the science

Air Up bottle science

Air Up bottle science (Image credit: Air Up)

According to the company, this "retro-nasal smelling”’ means that with each sip of water, scent is then absorbed through the ear, nose, and throat that essentially tricks the brain into thinking you’re tasting flavored water. Even sitting by my son, the smell of the pods are quite strong, so it isn’t any wonder why it’s so appealing. Such a clever invention! 

My son now happily drinks his “flavored” water, and takes his bottle to school to show off to his friends.

More importantly, his water intake has gone up by far, leaving him feeling less dehydrated during the day. Plus, he enjoys swapping out the different aroma flavor pods, and it's become a fun way for him to drink what was once his most dreaded beverage. Win-win!

So if you struggle to get your kid (or anyone for that matter) to up their water intake, this cool water bottle is what every parent needs!

Air up’s 22oz reusable water bottles are available from the company's website.  

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 


Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.


With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!