The 6 Best Water Bottles for Kids of 2021

Help keep your children hydrated with these non-plastic, BPA-free options.

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Giving kids their own bottles in kid-friendly colors and designs can help them develop good habits that reduce plastic waste. However, it can be tough to find one that doesn’t drip when your child drinks out of it or that won’t leak when it’s tossed in a soccer or lacrosse bag. You also need one that fits well in your child’s hand, opens easily, and, oh yeah, will survive being dropped a few (hundred) times.

There’s also been concern in recent years about Bisphenol A, or BPA, in products such as water bottles. This chemical is used to make plastics hard and to line metal containers, and traces can leach into food. Studies have shown chemicals such as BPA may have an effect on kids’ hormones, growth and development. The American Academy of Pediatrics says because there are significant gaps in data concerning BPA’s effects on growing kids, who may be more susceptible to such chemicals, parents can take precautionary measures by using alternatives to plastic and avoiding products that contain BPA.

Ahead, our top picks for the best BPA-free kids’ water bottles:

The Rundown
With a convenient wide loop handle, this insulated water bottle is easy to carry or attach to a backpack.
The double wall construction can take being dropped and dinged a few times, making it a durable and affordable choice.
Just like the popular grown-up bottle, this kids’ version keeps drinks cold up to 24 hours.
Best for Travel:
YETI Rambler Jr. at REI
The integrated straw cap is leak resistant when closed, so it’s fine to toss in a backpack or gym bag.
A spill-proof sports cap and soft silicone spout makes it easy for little kids to take a drink.
This BPA-free bottle holds just 10 ounces, so it’s perfect for the little ones.

Best Overall: Takeya Kids Insulated Water Bottle with Straw Lid

Takeya Kids Insulated Water Bottle w/Straw Lid

This 16-ounce double-wall insulated bottle keeps drinks cold up to 24 hours. Even the lid is insulated to keep beverages cold longer. The bottle is made of stainless steel and is BPA-free. Its convenient wide loop handle makes it easy to carry or attach to a backpack. The wide mouth has a folding leak-proof straw and a stainless-steel pin, which keeps the lid flipped back out of the way while your child sips.

The bottle is powder-coated so it won’t chip easily, it comes in several colors, and it has a limited lifetime warranty. It’s also available in a smaller 14-ounce size.

Best Budget: THERMOS Funtainer

Thermos Funtainer

This 16-ounce BPA-free vacuum insulated stainless steel water bottle keeps drinks cold for up to 12 hours. The double wall construction can take being dropped and dinged a few times, and the integrated carrying handle makes it easy to tote everywhere.

Pop it open with the push of a button to reveal the covered drinking spout; though this bottle doesn’t have a straw lid, it actually may be a better choice if your kid likes to bite down or chew on straws. It’s safe to wash on the top rack of your dishwasher, though the company suggests hand washing to retain its appearance. It’s available in several colors and also comes in a smaller 12-ounce size, adorned in your kids’ favorite characters. It has a five-year warranty.

Best Splurge: Hydro Flask 12 oz Kids Wide Mouth Bottle

Hydro Flask 12 oz Kids Wide Mouth Bottle

Just like the popular grown-up bottle, this wide-mouth kids’ version keeps drinks cold up to 24 hours with its double wall vacuum insulation. It’s made from stainless steel and is BPA and phthalate-free. It comes with a wide mouth straw lid, which can be flicked open for quick sips.

Although the straw lid isn’t leak-proof, you can buy an optional leak-proof lid (without straw). It also has a non-slip rubber sleeve and handy spot on the lid to write your child’s name with a permanent marker. It has a limited lifetime warranty.

The company created Parks for All, a charitable organization which has donated more than $1.9 million to date to support building, maintaining, and restoring public parks.

Best for Travel: YETI Rambler Jr. 12oz Kids Bottle

YETI Rambler Jr. 12oz Kids Bottle

The 12-ounce BPA-free bottle is made from stainless steel with double-wall vacuum insulation to keep drinks cold all day. Both the cap and the bottle are dishwasher safe, which makes it super easy to keep clean. The integrated straw cap is leak resistant when closed, so it’s fine to toss in a backpack or gym bag. The coating is extra-tough, too, so it won’t crack or chip when dropped.

It’s available in several colors, and you also can order it customized with your kid’s name, initials or favorite design It comes with a five-year warranty. Yeti supports many conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited and American Rivers.

Best Leakproof: Klean Kanteen Insulated Kid Classic 12 oz Bottle

Klean Kanteen Insulated Kid Classic Bottle 12oz

This BPA-free 12-ounce insulated stainless steel bottle has a spill-proof sports cap and soft silicone spout, which makes it easy for little kids to take a drink. It’s designed to keep drinks cold up to 40 hours, which is the longest of any product on the market. The chip-resistant exterior puts up with a lot of drops or dings, and it’s available in a few fun colors and designs.

The lid is dishwasher safe, but the bottle should be hand washed. Another bonus is that the company’s other lids fit this, too, so you can upgrade as your child grows up. Kleen Kanteen is a 1% for the Planet member, and its headquarters is 100% solar powered and 100% carbon neutral.

Best Small: Thermos Kids Bottle 10oz

Thermos Kids Bottle 100oz

This BPA-free bottle holds just 10 ounces, so it’s perfect for the little ones. The stainless steel bottle is easy to open and won’t spill when closed. The reusable straws can be removed or replaced, and it comes with a five-year warranty. It’s a good basic bottle for kids on the go, made by a company that’s been in business since 1904.

Final Verdict

Our top pick of BPA-free water bottles is the Takeya Kinds Insulated Water Bottle (view on Amazon). We also like that sales of the Hydro Flask Kids Wide Mouth Bottle (view on Hydro Flask), help provide funding for public parks.  

What to Look for in Non-Plastic Kids' Water Bottles

Size

Make sure the bottle fits your child’s hand comfortably. Consider the diameter of the cups that your child uses comfortably, and look for a similar size.

Dishwasher Safe

You don’t want gross stuff growing in there, so make sure that all (or most) parts are dishwasher safe.

Parts that won’t present a choking hazard

You don’t want a nozzle or part that will come off easily and create a choking hazard. At least two manufacturers (not included on our list) have recalled water bottles for both kids and adults recently due to a silicone valve or spout detaching and causing a choking hazard. Check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure yours hasn’t been a problem.

FAQs

Are small-neck water bottles safe for kids?

For most kids, they’re probably fine. But there have been a few cases of children’s tongues being trapped in the hole, caused by a vacuum effect. If your child is the inquisitive type (“what will happen if I stick my tongue in here?”), you may want to stick with a wide-mouthed style.

Are glass water bottles good for kids?

“Glass water bottles are safe for kids to drink from. They also have the added benefit of being free from chemicals that may be found in plastic and also are easy to clean,” says Jennifer Shu, MD, a board-certified pediatrician in Atlanta. “Many glass water bottles are very sturdy but they still can break, so use supervision when allowing kids to use them.” Thus, stainless steel may be a better option if your child will be using it at school (and some schools may not allow glass).

How often should kids’ water bottles be cleaned?

“Kids’ bottles should be cleaned every day with hot soapy water,” says Shu. “You may need to clean it even more often if it’s visibly dirty.” Special bottle brushes also reach all the nooks and crannies that even your dishwasher may miss.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger is dedicated to helping parents make the world a better place for our kids by eliminating the need for single-use plastics and by protecting our kids from chemicals such as BPA.

Arricca SanSone specializes in writing about home, shelter, and gardening. To make this list, she researched the market, taking into account data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and NIH. She also interviewed pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu.

View Article Sources
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  2. Leonardo Trasande, et al. “Food Additives and Child Health.” Pediatrics. DOI:10.1542/peds.2018-1408

  3. Fernandes VT, Ng E, Campisi P. “Metal water bottle causing tongue entrapment in a child.” CMAJ. DOI:10.1503/cmaj.140112