Best water bottles 2018: 13 reusable water bottles rated

Which bottle is best for biking or hiking, commuting or communing? We pick the best bottles you can buy for any activity

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We’ve picked the 13 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.

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.  

 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.

Stylish water bottles

Best water bottles: Swell

1. S'well White Marble Drinking Bottle

The water bottle for the Waitrose crowd is so hot right now

Specifications
Capacity: 500ml
Weight: 404g
Material: stainless steel
Insulated: vacuum sealed
Filter: no
Dishwasher safe: no
Reasons to buy
+Distinctive design+Vacuum sealed+So many designs
Reasons to avoid
-Handwash only

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.

Best water bottles: Leon

2. Leon Crest Drinks Bottle

The best water bottle for fashionable offices

Specifications
Capacity: 500ml
Weight: unknown
Material: stainless steel
Insulated: no
Filter: no
Dishwasher safe: no
Reasons to buy
+Great brand+Ideal for the office+Carry handle
Reasons to avoid
-Difficult to clean

Show you appreciation of Leon's fast food with this branded water bottle. The stainless steel bottle is really pretty, and the 500ml capacity is more than adequate for desk-bound drinking. It’s one for the more fashionable entires on this list and, you'll look completely on-brand when you eat a Leon Rainbow Mezze Salad at your desk.

Best water bottles: Joseph Joseph

3. Joseph Joseph Dot Hydration Tracker Water Bottle

The best water bottle for people who forget to drink

Specifications
Capacity: 600ml
Weight: 90g
Material: tritan (plastic)
Insulated: no
Filter: no
Dishwasher safe: yes
Reasons to buy
+Reminds you to drink+Affordable+Lightweight
Reasons to avoid
-Not for use with hot or carbonated drinks

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.

Best water bottles: 24Bottles

4. 24Bottles Clima Bottle

The best water bottle for eco conscious drinkers

Specifications
Capacity: 500ml
Weight: 230g
Material: stainless steel
Insulated: double-walled
Filter: no
Dishwasher safe: no
Reasons to buy
+CO2 neutral+Stylish+Plenty of colour options
Reasons to avoid
-Quite heavy

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.

Best water bottles: Ted Baker

5. Ted Baker Water Bottle

A sophisticated and manly design from Ted Baker

Specifications
Capacity: 500ml
Weight: unknown
Material: stainless steel
Insulated: double-walled
Filter: no
Dishwasher safe: no
Reasons to buy
+Slick design+Leak-proof lid+Three colour options
Reasons to avoid
-Not dishwasher safe

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.

Best water bottles: Stay Sixty

6. Stay Sixty Stainless Steel Water Bottle

A water bottle that's really easy to clean

Specifications
Capacity: 500ml
Weight: unknown
Material: stainless steel
Insulated: single wall
Filter: no
Dishwasher safe: no
Reasons to buy
+Easy to clean+Grippy material+Sleek
Reasons to avoid
-Can get dirty

Stay Sixty is a sleek and sustainable steel water bottle, aiming to tackle plastic wastage with innovative design that sets the brand apart. How is it different from the rest exactly? The bottles have a removable compartment at the bottom, which solves the common issue of cleaning reusable bottles by making the entire container easily accessible. It's a really neat feature. The Stay Sixty water bottle is available in Stone, Coal, or Blush.

Sporty water bottles

Best water bottles: Thermos

7. Thermos Intak

No-leak, no-mess, no-fuss. Just water when you want it

Specifications
Capacity: 710ml
Weight: 180g
Material: plastic
Insulated: no
Filter: no
Dishwasher safe: yes
Reasons to buy
+Cheap+Nifty water meter
Reasons to avoid
-Quite basic-No insulation

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.

Best water bottles: Camelbak

8. Camelbak Podium

The perfect bottle for pedalling, especially in Big Chill form

Specifications
Capacity: 620-750ml
Weight: 91-128g
Material: plastic
Insulated: some
Filter: no
Dishwasher safe: yes
Reasons to buy
+Plenty of choices+Good chilling options
Reasons to avoid
-Wildly varying prices-Some awful colours

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.

Best water bottles: Ion8

9. Ion8 1-litre water bottle

A beast of a water bottle that still fits in a cup holder

Specifications
Capacity: 1000ml
Weight: 191g
Material: Tritan (plastic)
Insulated: no
Filter: no
Dishwasher safe: yes
Reasons to buy
+Massive capacity+Still fits in cup holder+Affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Not the most attractive

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.

Best water bottles: Mizu

10. Mizu M8

It's sporty and stylish

Specifications
Capacity: 800ml
Weight: unknown
Material: stainless steel
Insulated: no
Filter: no
Dishwasher safe: no
Reasons to buy
+It's big+A great all-rounder+Recyclable
Reasons to avoid
-Soft touch could peel

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.

Outdoorsy water bottles

Best water bottles: Summit

11. Summit Eco Foldable

The little bottle that gets even littler when empty

Specifications
Capacity: 480ml
Weight: 27g
Material: plastic
Insulated: no
Filter: no
Dishwasher safe: no
Reasons to buy
+Tiny+Smuggling potential
Reasons to avoid
-Hard to clean-Wobbly

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 Summit Eco Foldable. It’s a foldable 480ml 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.

Best water bottles: Brita

12. Brita Fill&Go Active

The best water bottle for filtering your water

Specifications
Capacity: 600ml
Weight: 170g
Material: plastic
Insulated: no
Filter: yes
Dishwasher safe: yes
Reasons to buy
+Can transform tap water+Fast filtering
Reasons to avoid
-Filters need replacing-Not the prettiest

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.

Best water bottles: Hydro Flask

13. Hydro Flask Wide Mouth

This Hydro Flask is perfect to keeping hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold

Specifications
Capacity: 950ml
Weight: 440g
Material: stainless steel
Insulated: double-walled
Filter: no
Dishwasher safe: no
Reasons to buy
+Hot for 24 hours+Large
Reasons to avoid
-Difficult to drink from while walking-Heavy when full

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.