The 7 Best Reusable Water Bottles, According to Our Tests

The Yeti Rambler water bottle is our top pick for reducing waste.

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Our team measures the temperature of water inside different reusable bottles.
Our team measures the temperature of water inside different reusable bottles.

Conor Ralph / Treehugger

Reusable water bottles are not a perfect environmental solution (after all, they do require resources to manufacture), however they’re still invaluable for limiting the amount of trash we create. Your water bottle should be able to go with you everywhere, from the office to the trail. However, if it breaks, leaks, or you don’t love it, that bottle is just one more disposable item.

That's why Treehugger put 26 water bottles to the test at our New York City lab and in our homes. We evaluated each one for its durability, how well it sealed, how enjoyable it is to drink from, how well it keeps water cool, and its value. We also factored in the sustainability of the materials and the manufacturer's community programs. You can learn more about how we tested below our list of picks.

Ahead, the best reusable water bottles, according to our tests.

Best Overall: Yeti Rambler Stainless Steel Bottle with Chug Cap

4.8
YETI Rambler 26 oz Bottle

Yeti

The Yeti Rambler got the closest to a perfect score of 5-stars out of all the bottles we tested, earning top marks for durability, insulation, sustainability, and comfort while drinking. It really stood out during our drop test, taking on less damage than similar metal water bottles and it never leaked.

It only lost a point on the portability scale, because the bottle is wider and heavier than some. It barely fit into a standard car cup holder. However, our testers found the ring on the top of the cap comfortable to hold. The food-grade stainless steel didn't impart any metallic taste and is dishwasher safe. It comes with a five year warranty, and can also be used with hot beverages.

We also like that Yeti donates to a number of different wildlife restoration projects, and has committed to reducing its carbon emissions.

Woman drinking from the Yeti Rambler reusable water bottle during Treehugger testing.

Conor Ralph / Treehugger

Best Overall Runner Up: Hydro Flask 24 Oz. Standard Mouth Bottle with Flex Cap

4.6
Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Reusable Water Bottle

Hydro Flask

Our testers found Hydro Flask's standard mouth bottle both enjoyable to drink from and comfortable to carry. It also got top marks for its seal and insulation, keeping water very cold for three hours. The 24 ounce size fits in a standard car cup holder, and is also available in a range of finishes and other sizes. It's also a great value, at its mid-market price point.

It's made with food-grade stainless steel, and the plastic parts are BPA and phthalate free. The one major downside is that in our drop tests, this bottle dented easily against the hard floor. Although this bottle is dishwasher safe (put the lid on the upper rack), Hydro Flask recommends cleaning it with warm soapy water and a bottle brush.

We also like that Hydro Flask created Parks for All, a charitable organization that has donated more than $1.5 million to date to support building, maintaining, and restoring public parks.

Best Budget: ThermoFlask 24 Oz. Bottle with Chug Lid and Straw Lid

4.5
ThermoFlask Water Bottle with Chug Lid and Straw

ThermoFlask

For a more affordable stainless steel option, our pick is this bottle from ThermoFlask, which comes with two different cap options (other brands tend to sell additional caps separately). It did dent when dropped on its side, but didn't come open or leak when dropped on its lid. One tester noted there's no chance of spills while drinking from the straw lid, and the bottle did a good job of keeping water cold after three hours.

ThermoFlask offers a limited lifetime warranty, and is dishwasher safe.

Best Glass: w&p Porter Water Bottle

4.3
w&p Porter Water Bottle

w&p

This glass bottle is great for those who prefer drinking from glass rather than plastic or metal, which sometimes changes the taste of water or other drinks. Glass on the other hand is inert, so water and other beverages don't pick up any off tastes from this bottle. Our testers gave it top marks for its seal and said it felt nice to drink from, but didn't insulate as well as the double-walled metal bottles.

Though we usually stay away from silicone, you'll be hard-pressed to find a glass bottle without a silicone sleeve (they do help to grip it easily and prevent breaks). Sleeves are less concerning because they don't actually come into contact with the beverage. 

Our lab manager requested that we didn't drop test any glass bottles for safety reasons. However, we feel confident giving the Porter a fairly high durability score, because one Treehugger editor has owned this bottle for years and noted that it's survived a number of real-world drops on tile and wood floors. We also like its elegant design, and that it's dishwasher safe.

Best Lightweight: Platypus DuoLock SoftBottle Flexible Water Bottle

4.3
Platypus DuoLock SoftBottle

Platypus

Plastics are a product of the fossil fuel industry, so Treehugger tries to steer our readers towards alternatives when possible. However, we know that plastic might be the best choice in some circumstances, like when you need something very lightweight. If you need to buy plastic, look for one that is free of bisphenol-A (BPA).

Our top choice is Platypus' cool SoftBottle option. It's made in the United States, and can be packed flat or in a super tight roll when it's empty. It's free of BPA and phthalates, dishwasher safe, and can even be put in the freezer (just don't overfill it).

Unlike the metal bottles we tested, the SoftBottle was completely unaffected by the drop test, showing no signs at all of damage or wear. However, it doesn't keep water cold, so expect water to be the ambient temperature after a couple of hours.

Tester with leg brace holding the Platypus DuoLock SoftBottle.

Conor Ralph / Treehugger

Best for Hot and Cold: Healthy Human Stein Water Bottle

4.6
Healthy Human Stein Water Bottle

Healthy Human

Some metal bottles aren't suited for hot liquids, so if you want something can also keep your coffee steaming without burning your hands, look for a double-wall construction like this one. The Healthy Human Stein water bottle earned a top mark for insulation, as well as for its seal. The lid is lined with steel, so if you do choose a hot beverage, the plastic part of the lid comes into less contact with anything at a high temperature.

The main drawback is that it dented pretty badly during our drop test, but the lid stayed intact and sealed. Our tester found the bottle comfortable to drink from and to hold by the ring on its lid.

Healthy Human is a Certified B Corp, and pledges to remove 1 kilogram of ocean plastic for every bottle sold. The company also participates in a number of other social good initiatives.

Best for Sports: Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

4.5
Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Takeya

One tester described this Takeya water bottle as perfect for someone who is very active, adding that the cap is just the right size to take a sip while walking. It dented less during our drop test than other stainless steel bottles, and earned top marks for keeping water cold. A few drops did escape after shaking this bottle in a backpack, so it's probably best to carry it in a dedicated exterior pocket or keep it upright. It's also a bit heavier than the other bottles we tested.

The removable silicone "bumper" on the bottom of the bottle helps keep it from getting scratched and adds a bit of stabilizing grip, making it harder to knock off a slick surface. It also comes with a straw. All Takeya bottles have the same mouth, so the bottle is compatible with any of the brand's other lid options.

Final Verdict

Our top pick for a reusable water bottle is the Yeti Rambler, which kept water cold and got top marks for durability. However, if you prefer the taste or feel of drinking from glass, check out the elegant Porter Water Bottle.

How We Tested Reusable Water Bottles

We spent a full day testing 26 water bottles at our test lab in New York City, to gather both qualitative and qualitative data using a scoring methodology written up ahead of time.

We performed five tests and assigned 1-5 a rating to quantify the results of each one. To measure durability, we repeatedly dropping bottles from different angles from a height of 3 feet, to recreate knocking a bottle off a table. To measure insulation, we took temperature reading of cold water after 3 hours. To test the seal, testers looked for spills and leaks after shaking full bottles around in a backpack. To evaluate portability, we rating how easily a bottle fit in one's hand, and if it fit in standard cupholders and backpack pouches. Finally, we conducted drink tests standing still and while walking.

In addition, we took into consideration real-world insights from our editors about the bottles they've been using for years. We then assigned value and sustainability scores, to calculate an overall star rating. To make our final list of recommendations, we only include products with a star rating of 4.3 or higher.

Treehugger's Margaret Badore performs a drop test on a Corkcicle water bottle.
Treehugger's Margaret Badore performs a drop test on a Corkcicle water bottle, which didn't make it onto our list of recommendations.

Conor Ralph / Treehugger

What to Look for in a Reusable Water Bottle

Before you buy, think about how you’ll use it. If you sip water when you’re on the road, you need a reusable bottle that fits into the car cup holder. If you bring it to the gym or use it while on your treadmill, it needs a spill-proof cap. Cyclists need one that fits in a bottle cage on the frame and can be operated with one hand.

Size

Consider how you’ll use your bottle. If it’s when you’re driving, you need one that tucks securely into the car cup holder. For biking, it needs to fit in your water bottle cage. Capacity is also important; if you’re on a long hike, you’ll want one that’s larger than the one you have on your desk most of the day because you can’t stop to refill while you’re on the trail.

Material

The most popular materials are metal, glass, and plastic. Each has its pros and cons. Plastic products aren’t our first choice, but if you must (because you don’t like the weight of metal or the fragility of glass or metal, for example), stick with BPA-free plastic.

Some people prefer metal because it’s generally durable and shatter-proof, while others like glass because there’s no transfer of flavors or off-taste. It's worth noting that in our lab tests, none of the metal water bottles came out scratch-free, and many were majorly dented during the drop test.

A stainless steel water bottle with a dent.
A stainless steel Kleen Kanteen water bottle that dented during our drop testing.

Conor Ralph / Treehugger

Mouth Size

If you like to add ice cubes to your bottle, it’s easier to do so with a wide mouth bottle. However, some people find that a wider mouth is easier to spill as you drink, so the best size for you is a matter of personal preference.

One-Handed Flip Top Cap

This feature is handy if you plan to use it while you’re on a run, biking, or carrying a child. It's also important for some differently-abled folks.

Dishwasher Safe

Many reusable bottles and/or their caps are not dishwasher safe, making it less efficient to clean them. Read the manufacturer’s specs to determine if yours must be hand washed. On this list, we marked down bottles that require hand washing.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do you clean a reusable water bottle?

    Many bottles and their lids can be washed in the dishwasher, usually on the top rack. If not, take apart and clean your bottle every day with hot, soapy water—not just a quick rinse with water. Use a bottle brush to get in any nooks and crannies so nothing icky grows. Let the parts air dry separately. Some manufacturers have additional recommendations for their specific bottles and lids on their websites, for example, what to do if rust forms inside a metal bottle.

  • Can you freeze a reusable water bottle?

    That depends on the material, though most manufacturers advise against it (and probably won’t honor the warranty if you damage your bottle this way). But double-wall insulating metal bottles aren’t going to get any colder anyhow because the water inside will be protected from the temperature inside your freezer. Glass bottles can’t expand when the ice forms and could break. While some plastic bottles are freezer-safe, double-check with your manufacturer.

  • Can you recycle a reusable water bottle?

    It depends on your community and the type of bottle. You’ll need to check with your local waste management company or search Earth911 to learn more about what’s accepted in your area. For example, many curbside programs take only empty food or drink cans and won’t take scrap metal such as metal water bottles. You’ll have to drop these off at a local scrap metal recycler.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger wants to make it easier for our readers to avoid single-use plastic whenever possible. We researched dozens of water bottles available today and tested the best to find the most eco-friendly and durable options to create this curated list. 

Arricca SanSone is a home and gardening expert, who researched materials, brands, and products. Treehugger's Associate Editorial Director Margaret Badore spent hours in the lab and at home evaluating water bottles, and has dented up more than she cares to admit.