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What Are the Different Types of Water Bottles and How Do You Choose?

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa Mertes

Promo Expert

Published: November 21st, 2018

Updated: April 22nd, 2019

In this fast-paced world, a water bottle is almost as essential as your wallet, cell phone, and car keys. You can’t really leave the house without it! While we all rely on a good water bottle to keep us hydrated, we have different needs for carrying one. For instance, some people like hiking, while others just want to take a good selfie with a stylish stainless steel S’well® bottle.

Which types of reusable water bottles are available? How do you choose the right one? Fill up your bottle, take a swig, and learn more about the different materials, styles, and shapes.

The 4 Types of Reusable Water Bottles

Luckily, most of us don’t have to go to a fresh stream to collect our water. We have a fascinating history of filling many different types of water bottles right from the water cooler or kitchen sink.

These are the main materials you have to choose from:

  • Plastic
  • Aluminum
  • Stainless Steel
  • Glass

Plastic

Plastic

It’s crazy to imagine now, but there was a time when plastic items were hard to come by. Most of the material was being used for World War II, leaving very little room for anything else. However, that all changed, and by the end of the war, the first reusable water bottles were flying off shelves.

Plastic water bottles are great for everyday use, such as going to work, heading to class, or running errands. They are also extremely affordable, making them great giveaways for fundraisers and community events. Most people have at least one plastic water bottle in their cabinet.

Plastic
  • Pros
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Variety of shapes, colors, and sizes
  • Most affordable
     
  • Durable material that doesn’t damage easily
  • Lid variety, including straw, push top, and twist options
  • Customizable with a design, message, or logo
  • Comes in unique shapes
     
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Cons
  • Difficult to recycle
  • Water doesn’t taste as fresh
  • Many are not insulated for temperature control
  • Can be designed with BPA
     
  • Bottle can start to smell or accumulate mold over time
  • Design can peel off after continuous use
  • Needs to be replaced every few years
  • Color will fade in the sun
Aluminum

Aluminum

Aluminum was another material that experienced a boom after World War II. These water bottles got the most exposure in the 40s and 50s, but today they’re still extremely popular as they’re affordable, easy to carry, and come in a variety of colors and designs.

Bicycle riders, hikers, and other outdoorsy people benefit the most from using an aluminum water bottle. This is because they usually have a larger ounce capacity, meaning you can stay hydrated for a longer period of time without worrying about refills.

Aluminum
  • Pros
  • Recyclable
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Trendy color & design options
  • Affordable
     
  • Strong, durable exterior
  • Lasts for years
  • Customizable with a design, message, or logo
  • Cons
  • Tough to keep clean due to narrow opening
  • Sometimes leaves a bitter aftertaste
  • Heats up in warm temperatures
  • Requires a plastic lining that contains chemicals
  • Dents easily if dropped or banged
  • Not as many lid options as plastic
  • Design can get scratched or faded over time
Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

The world has been gravitating toward stainless steel due to its vacuum-insulation and temperature control. Water stays cold for an insanely long time, meaning everyone from busy professionals to marathon runners can enjoy a refreshing drink throughout the day.

Trend setters and fashionable folks gravitate toward stainless steel water bottles. Brands like S’well® and h2go come in eye-popping colors and styles including iridescent and marble. There’s even a jewel-encrusted option with real Swarovski crystals that runs at about $150.

Stainless Steel
  • Pros
  • Recyclable
  • Well-insulated, which keeps the drink’s temperature longer
  • Doesn’t leach any chemicals
  • Resistant to rust and mold
  • Strong, durable material
  • Lasts for years
  • Stylish & trendy 
  • Customizable with a design, message, or logo
  • Cons
  • Heavy to carry
  • Sometimes leaves a metallic aftertaste
     
  • Often more expensive
  • Heats up in warm temperatures
  • Can dent if dropped
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Not as many lid options as plastic
  • Design can get scratched or faded over time
Glass

Glass

In the rural days, water was often collected in glass containers. Farmers could go to the fields and collect their drinks from an iron industrial well pump. Our water is collected a lot differently today, but we still love drinking from glass water bottles.

Glass is a lot heavier to carry and many places restrict its use. However, this water bottle is a classy touch at wedding receptions, dinner parties, and other fancy occasions. It’s also a good water bottle for lazy days when you’re relaxing with a good book.

Glass
  • Pros
  • Recyclable
  • Stylish appearance
  • Water is visible
  • Results in a fresh taste
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Doesn’t leach any chemicals
  • Lasts for years
  • Customizable with a design, message, or logo
  • Cons
  • Easy to break
  • Heavy to carry
  • Not well-insulated
  • More expensive
  • Not safe for children
  • Heats up in warm temperatures
  • Not permitted in certain locations
  • Design can get scratched or faded over time

A Water Bottle for Every Occasion

While water bottles are typically made from plastic, metal, or glass, every water bottle is unique and has its own features. Take a look at the various styles you have available!

Squeeze/Sports Image Source: target.com

Squeeze/Sports

Many teams and fitness centers rely on the easy squeeze of a sports bottle. The best example is the ones offered by Gatorade, which are used by professional athletes.

Squeeze/Sports Image Source: target.com
Built-In Straw

Built-In Straw

Kids love water bottles with straws since they’re easy to drink from and resistant to leaks. Schools can sell these at book fairs and print their logo or name on the front.

Built-In Straw
Infuser

Infuser

Water bottles with infusers have a built-in space to put fresh fruit like strawberries or raspberries. This adds a sweet, refreshing taste to your water.

Infuser
Collapsible

Collapsible

These water bottles fold down or roll up for easy storage in your bag or suitcase. This style is perfect for traveling and short outdoor trips such as bringing your kids to the park.

Collapsible
Attached Carabiner or Straps

Attached Carabiner or Straps

You can clip your water bottle right on your backpack with a carabiner or carry it by the strap. These portable features are great for hikers, bikers, and any other active individuals.

Attached Carabiner or Straps
Eco-Friendly

Eco-Friendly

Go green and carry a water bottle made from recycled materials. This drinkware is often biodegradable, meaning it won’t pile up in landfills.

Eco-Friendly
Novelty

Novelty

If you’re hosting a fundraiser, consider a water bottle with a cool visual element. You can find some that change colors, glow in the dark, or are uniquely shaped.

Novelty
Smart Image Source: hidratespark.com

Smart

The entire world is becoming digital, so it only makes sense for water bottles to follow the trend. A smart water bottle tracks your water intake and hydration level.

Smart Image Source: hidratespark.com

What Are Some Other Differences?

Of course, it’s possible for the water bottles to be more than one type. It could be a plastic bottle that’s also super trendy, a glass bottle with a built-in infuser, or a digital stainless steel bottle.

The main difference in one water bottle vs. the other comes from:

Ounce Capacity Alpine Aluminum Water Bottle 17 Oz.

Ounce Capacity

Some water bottles hold more liquid than others. The water bottles with the higher ounce capacity are typically a little pricier.

Ounce Capacity Alpine Aluminum Water Bottle 17 Oz.
Design

Design

You can buy a water bottle that’s plain and blank or it can come customized with a logo, message, company name, or design. This is typically done through screen, pad, or digital printing.

Design
Where It’s Made

Where It’s Made

Buying water bottles made domestically helps support the local economy, cuts down production costs, and reduces the carbon footprint.

Where It’s Made

These differences can affect the cost, quality, and overall look of your water bottle. It’s especially important to keep these variables in mind when you’re ordering water bottles in bulk for promotional events or trade shows.

Which Types of Lids Are Available?

Of course, a reusable water bottle isn’t really complete without its lid. Each lid is designed for easy drinking and portability without any spills. It’s also built specially for the bottle, meaning you don’t have a lot of room to mix-and-match.

Still, you have a choice as to which water bottle you choose based on the lid. Maybe you don’t like the taste of plastic or want something with an attached carabiner to clip to your backpack.

There are many different types available, depending on the material and style of your bottle, and they come in many colors, shapes, sizes, and materials.

Curious about your options? Sort through the different types of lids!

What Qualities Should You Look for in a Water Bottle?

Keep in mind the reasons why you’re buying a reusable water bottle. Do you want something to bring to the gym? Are you looking for a bunch to advertise your business? Maybe you just want something good for your kids to bring to school. This will help you determine which water bottle makes the most sense.

Aside from that, there are also some other characteristics you should look for in your water bottle.

  • Easy to clean
  • Portable
  • Large Capacity
  • Attractive
  • Leak-resistant

You’re going to carry around a water bottle all day, every day. Make sure it’s something that you can easily clean, won’t leak in your bag, keeps you hydrated, and is visually pleasing.

Why Should You Drink From a Reusable Water Bottle?

Why Should You Drink From a Reusable Water Bottle? Image Source: zazzle.com

When we carry a certain type of water bottle, we’re sending a powerful message. We’re letting people know a little bit about ourselves – are we a hiker? Trailblazer? Athlete? Our water bottle reflects that, especially if it has a design like a logo, favorite movie character, or written message. For instance, the water bottle pictured here most certainly belongs to an avid volleyball player.

Aside from that, we need water in order to survive and live a healthy lifestyle. It’s recommended that you drink at least 64 ounces of water every day, which is about half a gallon.

Why Should You Drink From a Reusable Water Bottle? Image Source: zazzle.com

Benefits of Drinking Water

Water is an essential part of life. Quite simply, we can't live without it! If that's not enough, there are a myriad of other benefits:

  • Improves concentration, focus, and memory
  • Moisturizes and hydrates skin
  • Prevents injuries
  • Relieves headaches
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Maximizes physical performance for athletes
  • Gives you more energy
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Leads to a healthier heart
  • Keeps your breath from smelling bad
  • Boosts your mood
  • Helps maintain blood pressure
  • Adds shine to your hair
  • Relieves digestion issues
  • Creates a better night's sleep
Improves concentration, focus, and memory

Improves concentration, focus, and memory

Moisturizes and hydrates skin

Moisturizes and hydrates skin

Prevents injuries

Prevents injuries

Relieves headaches

Relieves headaches

Aids in weight loss

Aids in weight loss

Maximizes physical performance for athletes

Maximizes physical performance for athletes

Gives you more energy

Gives you more energy

Boosts your immune system

Boosts your immune system

Leads to a healthier heart

Leads to a healthier heart

Keeps your breath from smelling bad

Keeps your breath from smelling bad

Boosts your mood

Boosts your mood

Helps maintain blood pressure

Helps maintain blood pressure

Adds shine to your hair

Adds shine to your hair

Relieves digestion issues

Relieves digestion issues

Creates a better night’s sleep

Creates a better night’s sleep

There are also the environmental perks of staying hydrated with a reusable water bottle. By using a reusable water bottle for a year, you could be saving 1,460 plastic bottles from ending up in landfill. Not only is this good for the environment, but you’re also saving a ton of money!

Ready for a Reusable Bottle?

Ready for a Reusable Bottle?

With all that in mind, it makes sense to take the time and choose a water bottle you won’t mind sipping from every day. It’s easy to get your daily intake of water since it’s portable, and you’re helping the environment and saving money in the process! Make room in your cabinet for a bunch so you can have one for any occasion!

Stats for Success

You save about $255 a year using a reusable water bottle.

The market for reusable water bottles is expected to reach $10.19 billion by 2024.

50% of US consumers who own logoed water bottles use them 2-3 times a week or more.

The Bottom Line

The reusable water bottles featured here are great for different reasons, but one thing they have in common is how awesome they are as advertising giveaways. New styles are getting introduced all the time, making water bottles as fresh as a flowing stream. You honestly can’t go wrong using them to promote your event or business.

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products. She has a BA in English & Communications and has written for Counselor Magazine and The Bolingbrook Sun. If you need her, you’ll find her buried in research, in the middle of a phone interview, or singing way off-tune in her office.