Best reusable water bottles for 2021
A reusable water bottle will help you cut down on plastic waste and save you money when you're on the go.
We've tested 20 reusable bottles from brands such as Bobble, Dopper, Chilly's and S'well to find the best options whether you're hiking, commuting or heading to the gym.
Five water bottles impressed us enough to be named Best Buys, including some excellent cheap reusable bottles, but others were marked down for annoying lids or leaving water tasting of plastic.
What type of water bottle is right for you?
Metal water bottles: usually made of stainless steel, these generally keep your drink cooler for longer and stand up well to knocks and scrapes. Look out for double-wall or triple-wall insulation to keep drinks cool and prevent condensation on the outside. They're often more expensive, heavier and bulkier than plastic alternatives, and most need to be washed by hand.
Plastic water bottles: like metal bottles, these usually won't break if dropped. They tend to be lighter and cheaper than metal bottles, and it's easy to see how much water you have left too. Some plastic bottles can affect the taste of your drink. Picking a bottle with a built-in filter could help, and it's worth looking out for BPA-free plastic.
Glass water bottles: borosilicate glass bottles have similar benefits to plastic, although they are more breakable and usually pricier. Most have soft silicon sleeves to absorb shocks and make them easier to hold, and the water taste shouldn't be affected.
Other features to consider include sports lids, which will come in handy if you want to take regular sips on the go. Some bottles also have temperature indicators or tracking features to help you keep track of how much you drink.
Best reusable water bottles
We've tested and reviewed 20 popular water bottles, getting a range of people to try them out and rate them for ease of use (including drinking, carrying and cleaning). We also tested how well each bottle kept drinks cool and prevented spills.
Prices correct as of June 2019
How we test reusable water bottles
On our mission to find the very best reusable water bottles, we paid close attention to the features that matter the most, rating each bottle on features such as ease of use, ease of cleaning and portability.
We asked a panel of users to try out each bottle and rate them on the following aspects:
- How easy is the bottle to drink out of? Some reusable water bottles have a narrow opening, sharp edges, or use a bite valve, which requires some effort on your part.
- How comfortable is the bottle to hold? Some bottles are unwieldy to handle, particularly if you have smaller hands, and they can be slippy.
- How easy is the bottle to dismantle and hand clean? Reusable water bottles with narrow necks can be tricky to clean, especially if they're not dishwasher-safe. We marked down bottles with dirt traps where grime can gather.
We also tested how well bottles with insulating properties worked to keep your drink cool (or hot) and checked how leakproof each bottle was.
How to clean your reusable water bottle
Once you've picked your reusable water bottle, you'll want to keep it nice and clean. This is how to keep it in good condition:
If your bottle has a narrow neck, you may find a slim brush is handy for getting into the nooks and crannies. Some manufacturers sell these alongside their bottles.
You can also soak tricky parts such as drinking straws and lids using effervescent water-cleaning or sterilising tablets.
Three things to watch out for with reusable water bottles
- Some can't go in the fridge. It can damage the vacuum seal.
- Plenty can't go in the dishwasher. But washing them regularly is important to prevent germs building up.
- Fizzy drinks can cause the lid to pop when released. So take care when opening.