We’ve picked the best water bottles from a cast of thousands, because while reusable bottles make a great deal of sense from both an economic and an environmental point of view, they aren’t created equal.
Some supposedly leak-proof bottles are anything but, drenching schoolbags, handbags or gym bags because they were left at a slight angle. Some are hopeless for using on the move. And some, are, well, some are just plain ugly.
It’s estimated that 38.5 million single-use plastic bottles are used every day in the UK alone – but only half of them are recycled. More than 16 million are sent to landfill, burnt or leak into the environment and oceans, where each plastic bottle takes over 450 years to break down. Some of the waste is finding its way into the human food chain, and plastic production is set to double in the next 20 years.
Obviously buying a reusable bottle won't suddenly fix the world's plastic problem, but it's a small thing you can do to reduce your footprint.
Not only will it help reduce waste and save you money, carrying a refillable water bottle means you’re more likely to drink the recommended amount of water a day.
If you want a cheap but cheerful leak-proof and fuss-free reusable water bottle, we think the Thermos Intak is the one to go for, and if you want something a bit more stylish, we suggest you go with the S'well White Marble Drinking Bottle.
Whether you're looking for a gift for the eco-warrior in your life, or are treating yourself, you can't go wrong with the entries on this list.
The best stylish water bottles you can buy
This distinctive flask is one of the main drivers behind the trendy water bottle revolution. There are an incredible amount of colour options and patterns, including a stylish-looking copper, but our favourite are these marble-effect designs. In this case beauty is more than skin deep. This bottle is vacuum sealed, which means it should be able to keep liquids warm for 12 hours and cold for 24 hours. It’s stainless steel, has a capacity of 500ml and requires handwashing, and it’s definitely one for one-upping your co-workers’ boring flasks and supermarket specials.
Looking for a stylish way to keep your liquids warm or cold? Enter the Canteen by Corkcicle. It features triple insulation, and will keep beverages cold for 25 hours or hot for 12. It even keeps your drink ice cold while you're out in the hot sun. The Canteen is crafted from 18/8 stainless steel, is BPA and lead free, and is easy to clean, making it suitable for switching between coffee, ice water, and more delicately flavoured drinks like wine. It also features an anti-slip base, and, best of all, is available in 14 colours.
Sometimes, remembering to drink is difficult, but thankfully those wiley inventors at Joseph Joseph have a product for you. Tes sleekly designed bottle has a 600ml capacity and its lid adds a dot each time you fill it up. That's designed to make it easy to track your hydration level and make sure you’re keeping on top of your intake. There’s no insulation to keep your drink cold, but it's affordable, dishwasher safe, and much lighter than the stainless steel bottles in this list.
Ohelo is a UK-based brand that launched at the end of 2019. Its aim is to make insulated reusable bottles and mugs that are "tougher, safer and prettier" than competitors. There are a few designs on offer, including a honeycomb, blossom and swallows (pictured), all of which are laser-etched on so they won't fade or peel. You can also choose from a coloured, powder-coat outer or a plain stainless steel – if you want to be able to pop your water bottle in the dishwasher, you'll need to go for the latter, but the former adds a nice, grippy finish.
Some effort has gone into adding useful features, too. It's completely leak-proof, vacuum insulated to keep drinks hot for 12 hours, cold for 24 hours, and has a handle you can unhook and rehook, enabling you to attach the bottle to things. Finally, the brand has a welcome focus on sustainability – all packaging is recycled and recyclable, 5% of profits go to charitable organisations, and this water bottle is recyclable (although it's designed to last a long, long time).
This reusable drinks bottle from Dopper keeps you hydrated when you're on the move. It even comes with a detachable cup and sports cap for easy, sophisticated sipping! The sizeable bottle is made of stainless steel and BPA and toxin-free plastic, and it's dishwasher safe to make cleaning simple.
Clima, launched in September 2017, is a double-walled, stainless steel bottle that keeps beverages hot or cold for 12 and 24 hours, respectively. What's cool about this bottle is that as well as helping people reduce their own carbon footprint, Clima Bottle is 100% carbon neutral. The overall CO2 emissions coming from 24Bottles' production, packaging and transport is offset through international reforestation projects that will help the planet breathe better.
The Ted Baker Water Bottle in Black Onyx (also available in dark green and gunmetal), is crafted from coated stainless steel and is suitable for both hot and cold drinks. It's constructed with a double-insulated body and a stainless steel knurled leak-proof lid (which looks great). The stylish 500ml capacity bottle is finished with a laser-etched Ted Baker logo. Perfect for drinks on the go, the morning commute, sports or school.
Most water tastes like, well, water but the Blum EAU Good Charcoal Filter bottle promises to make it taste even better thanks to its Japanese Binchotan charcoal filter. Whatever the case, you simply drop one in and the filter will last for six months, magically removing impurities. The 800ml bottle has a sexy, ergonomic shape with a stylish lea- proof natural cork and silicone stopper, while a fabric loop makes it handy to carry. Great for ramblers and eco-warriors alike, the organic filters can be replaced without any guilt and the bottle is also made from BPA-free Tritan, making it more durable than other plastics – and it can be recycled once you’re done with it. The bottles come in a choice of colours and doesn't cost very much. On the downside, you’ll need to buy more filters, but they only cost £5.
If you’re a connoisseur of picnics and like your kit summery and stylish, you’ll love Orla Kiely’s multi stem bottle. Bright and colourful, the bottle features a popular Orla Kiely retro-inspired flowery design, and is made of glass, meaning there’s no flavour transfer so it’s super versatile. With a secure lid, the bottle is perfect for festivals and other situations when you might want matching accessories, but due to its fragile material, it’s probably not a great pick for the gym.
The best sporty water bottles you can buy
The Intak is a hydration bottle, not an insulated one, so don’t expect Thermos’s famed cooling here: the Intak will keep your drink cool for a reasonable time but it isn’t a vacuum flask. What it is is a tough, dishwasher safe plastic that weighs just 180g and carries 710ml of liquid. The Intak is shaped for comfortable holding and has a one-button operation for easy access, and there’s a nifty little meter that tells you how much water you’ve consumed.
There are many, many Camelbak bottles, but the Podium range is our pick for pedalling: the bottles fit a standard cage, even in Big Chill format, the interior is treated so that the plastic doesn’t taint the taste, it’s easy to fill with ice and water and it has a self-sealing valve to prevent spills. The Chill and Big Chill models use double-wall insulation to keep drinks cool for twice as long as normal bottles, and the Ice models go a step further with aerogel insulation to keep drinks cold four times longer than normal sports bottles.
This beast of a water bottle is made from 100-percent leak proof, BPA-free, tritan, making it ideal for drinking on the move. It holds 1000ml so it’s a fairly hefty bottle, but it's also designed to fit in a car cup holder or a bike bottle cage. To prevent accidental opening when carrying in a bag, Ion8 has a lid lock which can be operated easily with one finger. It even has a carry strap.
The M8 is Mizu’s most popular product because it is the ideal size and weight whether using at home, in your car, or on any adventure. It’s a big bottle for big drinks and it's single-walled, so it's still pretty lightweight. That makes it ideal for running, hiking or biking. There are plenty of colour options, but our favourite it this green tropical print.
If you love counting your steps and wear a Fitbit religiously, you might want to track your water intake too, in which case the Bellabeat Spring bottle will be right up your street. Cool by name and nature, it calculates how much water you need based on your day-to-day lifestyle and measures how much you drink, sending notifications to your smart phone when you need to drink more. The 500ml bottle itself is made of glass with a stylish silicone design to add to durability, and conceals a CR2 battery that should last for around 6 months of use. You need only shake the bottle to sync your drinking data with the Bellabeat app, which shows you trends and progress. The bottle might help you stay on the straight and narrow when it comes to sipping frequently, but the technology comes at a price…
CamelBak’s a name you can trust when it comes to practical bottles. Beloved of cyclists and gym fanatics, the brand has a whole host of sporty, leak-proof options. This Peak Fitness Chill bottle has double-walled insulation to keep water cooler for longer, as well as a tapered, ergonomic fit in the hand. There’s also an innovative high-flow, self-sealing Jet Valve delivering more water per squeeze, which is a godsend if you’re working out in the heat. It’s a practical price point for most people, and these bottles are built to last.
The best outdoors water bottles you can buy
The problem with many bottles is that they don’t get any smaller when they’re empty - and if you’re trying to pack light for a hike or a festival that can be a pain. Hurrah, then, for the HydraMate Foldable bottle. It’s a foldable 750ml bottle that stands upright when full, can be clipped via karabiner to clothes or a rucksack, and doesn’t take up much space when folded. Some reviewers praise its ability to smuggle alcohol into festivals, although of course we couldn’t possibly condone such shenanigans. It’s not really one for the gym or bike - it’s too wobbly for one-handed use - and it’s a bit of a pain to clean, but if you’re short of space it’s worth putting up with the odd inconvenience.
If your tap water doesn’t taste fantastic, filtering can make a big difference: while we’re wary of some of the more excitable health claims made for water filters, there’s no doubt that they can take terrible-tasting but potable water and make it taste considerably less horrid. This model uses Brita’s MicroDisc, which filters water more quickly than previous Fill&Go filters and lasts for a month or 150L, whichever comes first; a three-pack of filters is currently £8.44 on Amazon. The model we’ve gone for here is the sporty Active bottle, but Brita also makes more lifestyle-oriented Vital bottles with the same filtering but prettier, more colourful designs. Both the Active and Vital models are dishwasher safe.
This massive water bottle is perfect for a long hike or camping trips. When you want to keep liquids at the right temperature for a long time, you need insulation - and in particular, you need vacuum insulation. The same technology that works in the humble Thermos flask works just as well in the considerably more attractive-looking Hydro Flask, whose Wide Mouth bottles can keep cold liquids cold for a whopping 24 hours and hot liquids hot for 6 hours. That means it’s capable of transporting anything from builders’ tea to Brut. The bottleneck is really wide, so it's difficult to sim from while walking. There are plenty of great colours to choose from as well. If you want something smaller, we suggest you check out the Hydro Flask Travel Mug, which has the same insulation, but has a 355ml capacity and a sippy lid.
If you’re trying to do your bit for the planet, consider a Dopper Bottle. The sustainable bottle is cradle to cradle certified so you can be sure it’s not doing too much harm. The 450ml polypropylene bottle comes with a removable cup as well as a screw top and promises to be easy to clean and dishwasher safe. Made in the Netherlands, it’s BP and toxin-free ad is recyclable. But most importantly, your water may taste sweeter because part of the bottle’s price tag goes to charity. Dopper which sells the bottles, donates 5% of its net turnover to the Dopper Foundation to reduce plastic pollution and provide clean water where people need it most.
Space can be tight whether you’re carting stuff to and from work, or packing for a holiday. This is when the que Red Collapsible Water Bottle comes into its own. Made from silicone, it features a unique spiral design allowing that allows the bottle to collapse upon itself for easy storage and transportation, folding to 12.2cm tall when collapsed and extending to 21.3cm when opened. It’s certainly clever and eye-catching, but it’s hand wash only, which may be a turnoff for those who are short on time as well as space.
If you like your water with something extra – maybe some apples and blackberries you’ve picked up on a walk - there’s a bottle for that. Lots of bottle have a plastic cage in which to trap fruit, but they can be fiddly and a pain to wash up. Instead, the Eva Solo My Flavour drinks bottle has a stylish metal skewer in its plastic body, enabling you to make a fruit kebab that will flavour your water. The 750ml bottle comes with a carry strap too, so it’s easy to clip onto your backpack.
How to choose the best water bottle for you
There are three key things to think about when choosing a reusable water bottle: where you’re going to use it, what you’re going to put in it and whether you want to filter it.
In some areas tap water doesn’t taste brilliant, and a cost-effective filter system can massively improve the flavour. If that sounds like the water in your neck of the woods, skip straight to the Brita bottle in our list.
If you don’t need filtering then the choice is much simpler.
Avoid really cheap no-name bottles - they won’t have been treated (if plastic) or polished (in the case of metal) to prevent strong flavours from hanging around after multiple washes - and consider an insulated option if you’ll be travelling far and wide.
If you’re travelling really far in warm conditions, keep an eye out for aerogel insulation: that’s more effective than the double-wall insulation of most sports bottles.
If you’ll be hiking, a bottle that can be clipped to a karabiner is a very good thing to have, but if you’re looking for something for the gym or bike a sports cap is a better option.
Pay attention to the design too, especially around the nozzle: some bottles are fiendishly hard to clean, and while they may be dishwasher safe their nooks and crannies can still provide places for germs to multiply. It’s a good idea to get a bottle brush to ensure that no germ gets left behind: washing a water bottle is hardly onerous or time consuming.
In our line-up we’ve presented bottles of varying capacities.
Some of the bottles on the market are bigger still, such as this stainless steel model that’s available with 1l capacity. But bigger isn’t always better, because of course liquids are heavy - so a 1L bottle that already weighs nearly 700g empty will weigh 1.7kg when it’s full. That may be fine for a long bike ride or trip on public transport, but it’s not much fun to lug around in a handbag, schoolbag or backpack.
And of course the bigger the capacity, the more space the bottle will take up.
To help make your decision even easier, we've divided this buying guide up in three sections, stylish, sporty, and outdoorsy water bottles.