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The Different Types of Water Bottles: How Do You Choose the Right One?

Alyssa Mertes

Published: July 23rd, 2020

In this fast-paced world, a water bottle is as essential as your wallet, cell phone, and car keys when you leave the house. It's the best way to ensure you're drinking enough water throughout a busy day!

With that in mind, you should try to find something that you don't mind carrying around. Here's a guide to help you out! You'll know just what to look for next time you need to buy a new water bottle.

Things to Keep in Mind When Shopping for a Water Bottle

Clear water bottle

Not so fast! Before you go out and buy a new water bottle, you should think about the following:

  • Your lifestyle
  • Which material is best
  • Various styles you can choose from
  • Popular brand names
  • The right size to buy
  • Lid options

This guide is here to break all of that down for you. Let's get going!

Clear water bottle

What Are the Four Types of Water Bottles?

Most of us don't have to go to a fresh stream to collect our water like they did in the past. Today, we can simply go to the water cooler or kitchen sink to fill up our bottles.

There are four main materials you have to choose from:

  • Plastic
  • Aluminum
  • Stainless Steel
  • Glass

Blue plastic water bottle

Plastic

Plastic water bottles are great for everyday use, such as going to work, heading to class, or running errands. They're extremely affordable and can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher. Most people have at least one plastic water bottle in their kitchen cabinet!

  • Pros
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Variety of shapes, colors, and sizes
  • Most affordable material
  • Variety of lids to choose from
  • Comes in unique shapes and novelty options
  • Great for kids
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Customizable with a design, message, or logo
  • Cons
  • Water doesn't taste as fresh as it does in glass bottles
  • Many are not insulated for temperature control
  • May contain BPA
  • Bottle can start to smell
  • Easily accumulates mold over time
  • Color will fade in the sun
  • Needs to be replaced every few years
  • Design can peel off after continuous use
2 Alumninum water bottles

Aluminum

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

  • Pros
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Variety of sizes to choose from
  • Trendy color & design options
  • Affordable
  • Strong, durable exterior
  • Lasts for years
  • Customizable with a design, message, or logo
  • Cons
  • Isn't always dishwasher safe
  • Sometimes leaves a bitter, metallic 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

Trend setters and fashionable folks alike love stainless steel bottles. The water stays cold for an insanely long time, allowing everyone from busy professionals to marathon runners to enjoy a refreshing drink throughout the day.

  • Pros
  • Well-insulated, which keeps the drink's temperature longer
  • Variety of colors and sizes to choose from
  • Doesn't leach any chemicals
  • Resistant to rust and mold
  • Strong, durable material
  • Lasts for years
  • Stylish and trendy
  • Customizable with a design, message, or logo
  • Cons
  • May be heavy to carry
  • Sometimes leaves a metallic aftertaste
  • Often more expensive than other materials
  • Heats up in warm temperatures
  • May dent if dropped
  • Usually not dishwasher safe
  • Not as many lid options as plastic
  • Design can get scratched or faded over time
Glass water bottle

Glass

Glass is a lot heavier to carry and many places restrict its use. Still, this type of water bottle is a classy touch at wedding receptions, dinner parties, and other fancy occasions. It's also well-known for keeping water tasting the coolest and the freshest!

  • Pros
  • Stylish appearance
  • Variety of sizes to choose from
  • Well-insulated
  • Results in a fresh, cool drink
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Doesn't leach any chemicals
  • Lasts for years
  • Customizable with a design, message, or logo
  • Cons
  • Easy to break
  • Not as many color options as other materials
  • More expensive than other materials
  • Heavy to carry
  • Not safe for children
  • Heats up in warm temperatures
  • Not permitted in certain locations
  • Design can get scratched or faded over time

What Type of Water Bottle is Best?

Lady drinking water bottle in locker room

The best type of water bottle is a matter of preference. Most people, however, like to use glass water bottles for the cleanest, purest taste.

That isn't to say other materials aren't just as good. Plastic is much easier to carry, aluminum is great to bring to the gym, and stainless steel is trendy and looks good in Instagram pics. It just depends on your lifestyle and why you need to use a water bottle.

Lady drinking water bottle in locker room
Did you know?

A study in 2018 found that some tongues are more sensitive to the taste of metal than others. This is why certain people don't like sipping from metal water bottles!

What Are the Other Types of Water Bottles?

Now that you know the materials you can choose from, the next step is looking at the various styles out there. Here are your options:

Squeeze/Sports
BPA-free bottle

BPA-Free

Experts are debating the harmful effects of plastic, and new discoveries are being made all the time. Regardless, it's always a good idea to look for BPA-free water bottles to ensure your water is clean and healthy.

Infuser

Built-In Infuser

Water bottles with infusers have a designated space for fresh fruit like strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries. This adds a sweet, refreshing taste to your water.

Insulated water bottle

Insulated

Do you always want a cool sip of water? You can't go wrong with an insulated bottle! This style is particularly great if you have a long day ahead of you and want your drink to stay cold for longer.

Collapsible water bottle

Collapsible

Collapsible water bottles fold down or roll up for easy storage in your bag or suitcase. They're a great choice for traveling or short outdoor hikes.

Eco-Friendly water bottle

Eco-Friendly

Go green and carry a water bottle made from recycled materials. Drinkware that's made using leftover plastic is much better for the environment in the long run.

Slim water bottle

Slim

Stainless steel water bottles tend to have a slim and trim design. The best part about this style is it will always fit in your car's cupholder!

Color changing water bottle

Wide

Wide bottles typically have more space for water. Some even have measuring lines on the side, so you can know exactly how much you're drinking throughout the day.

Wide water bottle

Color Changing

If you're hosting a fundraiser, consider a water bottle that changes colors. They'll be extremely popular with the kids in attendance!

Glow in the dark water bottle

Glow in the Dark

Are you looking for favors for your Halloween party? Everyone will love glow-in-the-dark water bottles! Turn off the lights and enjoy the cool, luminescent effect.

Unique shaped water bottle

Shaped

A water bottle with a unique shape is sure to turn heads. You can find one that looks like your favorite character, or something unique like balls or lightbulbs.

Digital water bottle

Digital

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

Yeti Water bottle

Brand Name

A brand name water bottle, like Yeti or Contigo, is more high-end and sleek. These bottles are particularly great gifts for the holidays!

What Are Popular Water Bottle Brands?

Lady drinking cleaning bottle

A brand name water bottle is typically more stylish than generic versions. They also tend to last for a long time, even though they're more expensive.

Here are the most popular water bottle brands on the market today:

  • CamelBak
  • S'well
  • h2go
  • Contigo
  • Klean Kanteen
  • Hydro Flask
  • Yeti
  • Nalgene
  • Soma
  • Takeya
  • Iron Flask
  • Thermos
  • Sigg
  • Lifefactory
Lady drinking cleaning bottle

CamelBak is very popular with hikers since it can hook onto a backpack, while S'well bottles are a favorite with the Gen Z and Millennial crowd. No matter what, these are good brands to consider when shopping for a new water bottle.

What is a Normal Water Bottle Size?

4 bottle size comparison

Most reusable water bottles can hold 16 to 24 ounces, which is about one to one and half disposable bottles. If you're hiking or working out at the gym, it's much better to use a water bottle that has a larger capacity.

Luckily, there are a ton of size options to choose from!

4 bottle size comparison
16 oz. bottle 16 oz.
20 oz. bottle 20 oz.
25 oz. bottle 25 Oz.
31 oz. bottle 31 Oz.
40 oz. bottle 40 Oz.

Remember, it's never a bad idea to drink more water! You should have at least one higher ounce bottle that you can use.

Which Lid Should You Use?

It might not seem like it, but the lid can really make or break your water bottle purchase. If you have a busy lifestyle, you should go with a lid that hooks onto your bag. Kids, on the other hand, do better with lids that have a built-in straw.

Want to see all your options? Take a look at this handy chart!

40 oz. bottle 40 oz. bottle

The right lid comes down to where you're bringing your water bottle. For instance, a screw-on cap is more leak-resistant than a push-pull lid. You'd easily be able to throw it in your bag without any spills.

A flip up cap, on the other hand, is a good style for athletes. They can quickly take a sip and get back to playing!

How Do I Choose a Water Bottle?

You're going to carry around a water bottle all day, every day. It may as well be something that you actually like!

Look for the following:

Types of water bottles step 1

Safe to drink from - You don't want your water bottle to contain any harmful chemicals. Search for a BPA-free label, or a glass bottle to ensure you're always sipping safely!

Types of water bottles step 2

Easy to clean - Even if you have a dishwasher, you should still clean your water bottles by hand at least once a week. Over 60% of the germs on water bottles could make you sick, so a deep cleaning helps get rid of that harmful bacteria.

Types of water bottles step 3

Portable - The ideal water bottle has a leak-free lid and is lightweight enough for you to carry around. Bonus points if it has an attached carabiner that can hook onto your bag!

Types of water bottles step 4

Large capacity - Look for a water bottle that's at least 16 ounces. A larger size is even better, especially if you have an active lifestyle.

Types of water bottles step 5

Insulation - Lukewarm water tastes fine, but it's not as refreshing as a cool drink! The best bottles are well-insulated and keep your water cold for a long time.

Types of water bottles step 4

Leak-free lid - Nobody wants to deal with an unwanted mess! Avoid any leaks or spills by making sure your bottle has an airtight lid.

Types of water bottles step 7

Stylish look - A stylish water bottle can be a bona fide fashion statement! There are plenty of trendy colors, patterns, and designs for you to choose from!

Types of water bottles step 8

Price - If a brand name floats your boat, more power to you! Just make sure the water bottle you buy is reasonably priced based on the quality.

Why Should You Drink From a Reusable Water Bottle?

All in all, it's worth being picky when shopping for a new water bottle. It's a great item to have as it leads to an overall healthier, more eco-friendly lifestyle.

You should drink from a reusable water bottle for many reasons:

Woman drinking water from reusable bottle. Image Source: zazzle.com

#1: You'll Drink More Water

We need water in order to survive! It's recommended that you drink at least 64 ounces of water every day, which is about half a gallon. A reusable bottle makes it easier for you to always have that drink in arm's reach.

There are many benefits to drinking enough water:

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

#2: Better for the Planet

Plastic garbage

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!

Plastic garbage

#3: Stylish Part of Your Outfit

Water bottle as part of an outfit.

Water bottles can be insanely stylish and are often accessories that complete your look. Who wouldn't love a fun bottle in bright color, or one with an interesting pattern?

Water bottle as part of an outfit.

Try any of these trendy water bottles!

h2go Force Bottle

h2go Force Bottle

Glass Bottle With Wood Cap

Glass Bottle With Wood Cap

Gradient Bike Bottle

Gradient Bike Bottle

Stats for Success

Stats 1 icon

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

Stats 2 icon

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

Stats 3 icon

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

The Bottom Line

Reusable water bottles are as fresh as a flowing steam! There are a ton of great styles out there, so it's easy to find one that works for your lifestyle. No matter what you choose, a reusable bottle is always a better option than a disposable one!

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products. As a promo expert, she's uncovered the world's first custom tote bag, interviewed the guy behind rock band ACDC's logo, and had a piece published by the Advertising Specialty Institute, a leader in the promotional products industry.

References

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Nourished Bite. (2018). What's the Best Type of Reusable Water Bottle. Retrieved from, https://www.nourishedbite.com/nourishedbite/whats-the-best-type-of-water-bottle

Wiersma, M. (2018). 9 Best Water Bottles. Retrieved from, https://faveable.com/best-water-bottle

Lee, K. (2013, July 10). Comparing Reusable Water Bottles on Sustainability. Retrieved from, https://www.drkarenslee.com/comparing-reusable-bottles-stainless-steel-glass-plastic/

Munro, C. (2018, July 5). When Did Reusable Water Bottles Become a Status Symbol? Retrieved from, https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/expensive-reusable-water-bottle-trend-swell

Gunnars, K. (2018, June 20). How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day? Retrieved from, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day

Leech, J. (2017, June 4). 7 Science-Based Health Benefits of Drinking Enough Water. Retrieved from, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-water

McIntosh, J. (2018, July 16). Fifteen Benefits of Drinking Water. Retrieved from, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290814

Arcadia Power. (2018). How Many Plastic Water Bottles Does One Reusable Bottle Save? Retrieved from, https://blog.arcadia.com/how-many-water-bottles-does-one-reusable-bottle-save/

Speer, A. (2012, January 6). Reusable Water Bottles Help You Go Green and Stay Healthy. Retrieved from, http://www.isustainableearth.com/green-products/reusable-water-bottles-help-you-go-green-and-stay-healthy

Transparency Market Research. (2016, October 21). Reusable Water Bottle Market to Reach US $10.19 Billion by 2024. Retrieved from, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/reusable-water-bottle-market-to-reach-us1019-billion-by-2024---new-research-report-published-by-transparency-market-research-597905681.html

Advertising Specialty Institute. (2016). Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study. Retrieved from, https://media.asicentral.com/resources/impressions-study-2016.pdf