The 5 Best Water Bottles of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

The Takeya Insulated Stainless Steel kept our water the coldest

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best water bottles
People / Janelle Jones

We've all heard of the golden rule of hydration: drinking 8 cups of water a day. But how often do you actually reach that goal, and how much has to do with not having a reusable water bottle to tote around? Having a stylish bottle that keeps your beverage cold may just help increase that water intake, whether you're at home or on the go. With the plentiful options out there, from Yetis to Britas, you'll never know until you try.

You may have seen the motivational gallon jug that had celebrities like Khloe Kardashian quickly adding to cart, but there are real perks to using refillable water bottles like these to keep you hydrated throughout your day and be more eco-conscious. While Dana Cohen, M.D. and medical advisor for Cure, suggests adding more fruit and veggies to your diet to increase your hydration, she has a few hard rules when it comes to water intake as well. "Front load your water by drinking 8 to 16 ounces first thing in the morning," Cohen advises before diving into her tips. "I also drink a glass of water before every meal [and] keep a big bottle of water on my desk that I refill and it's in front of me all the time," she shares.

To help narrow your search, we tested 26 water bottles with varying features and designs to see which one you need to achieve max hydration. The Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle nabbed the title of "best overall" with four other winners following suit. Read on to discover the five water bottles with the PEOPLE Tested stamp of approval.

Best Overall: Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Spout Lid

best water bottles

Pros: This durable water bottle is not only incredibly well-insulated and easy to open, but has an attractive price point as well.

Cons: There was a slight bit of leaked water when carried around inside a bag, but no water leaked at all when being shaken or dropped.

The Takeya Actives Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle impressed our testers with its "perfect" cap, smart design, and durable material. Though this specific size can hold up to 24 ounces of water, there are sizes ranging from 18 to 64 ounces depending on the type of water drinker you are (and how heavy of a bottle you're okay with carrying around). Made with double-wall vacuum insulation, this bottle was in fact able to keep the water we tested with colder than what it was when it was first filled up (thanks to the ice that was added) even after six hours. "This [was one of] the top performers in our insulation test, keeping the temperature 5 degrees colder at six hours than when it was filled," our testers recorded.

The Takeya also did extremely well during the drop test, where it was dropped on the floor three times from table height. "[I] dropped it on the cap and every time remained intact, no leaks or cracks," the tester shared. "I'm pleasantly surprised by how durable it is." Though there was slight leakage when turned on its side and jostled around inside a backpack, this bottle performed very well compared to the others and proved to be one of the most leak-free options.

Our tester mentioned that the Takeya felt ideal for an active person, stating, "This is a great water bottle for everyday use because of the smaller cap and ease of drinking from that while being in motion, plus its durability." At its comparable price to others on the market, sleek design, and standout performance, it's easy to see why this bottle swept the competition.

Material 18/8 food grade stainless steel
Capacity 24 ounces
Dimensions 3.25 x 3.25 x 10.38 inches
Weight 1 pound
Insulated Yes, double wall
Lid type Twist-off cap with spout
Dishwasher safe Yes
BPA-free Yes
best water bottles
People / Janelle Jones

Best Budget: Nalgene Wide Mouth Ultralite Bottle

best water bottles

Pros: The price tag on this bottle is super low while still being of good quality.

Cons: This water bottle was just a little too wide to fit into a cup holder and is not insulated.

Everyone loves a good way to save, and you'll be saving on not just the cost of water bottle packs but traditional prices of reusable bottles as well thanks to the Nalgene Wide Mouth Ultralite Bottle. This plastic bottle weighs next to nothing and can hold up to 32 ounces, which requires less refills throughout the day to achieve optimal water intake. The handy loop that connects the twist-off cap to the bottle also provides an extra feature for functionality. Our tester shared that it "does make it easy to hold, and I've seen people connect it to a carabiner to attach it to a pack/bike/what have you." Since it's durable enough for the outdoors, we found that this bottle was made of strong enough plastic to where the drop test had seemingly no effect on the bottle at all.

But besides holding it, connecting it to a bike, or storing it in your bag, it's a bit hard to bring around due to its size. "The wide bottle didn't fit in [the] cup holder, and it wouldn't be good for kids or folks with small hands," the tester recorded after the trials. It did, however, fit snugly in the backpack pocket. This may just be the bottle for you if you plan to hook it onto a bag or piece of equipment or if you simply want to save a little cash while upping your water intake.

Material Plastic
Capacity 32 ounces
Dimensions 3.5 x 3.5 x  8 inches
Weight 3.75 oz
Insulated No
Lid type Twist-off cap
Dishwasher safe Yes
BPA-free Yes
best water bottles
People / Janelle Jones

Best Splurge: Yeti Rambler 26 oz. Bottle with Chug Cap

best water bottles

Pros: The mouth opening is conveniently designed and the double-wall insulation keeps the water super cold.

Cons: This model felt a bit large and hard to carry unless you held it from the handle.

We all know Yeti to be a great drinkware brand, and the Rambler Bottle is no exception to this reputation. Not only is it made from a durable stainless steel that passed our drop test wonderfully, but it comes in an array of colorful hues to match your style. Our testers called it a "delight to drink from," noting that the chug cap was very well-designed for water flow and the double-wall vacuum insulation kept the water freezingly cold. But this specific style can do it all, as the insulated interior performs well with both cold and hot drinks. There were no spills to be had during the testing process and the paint was still intact after being dropped three times thanks to the durable sealant used on this bottle.

The Yeti Rambler was a bit wider than the typical water bottle, which made it a little challenging to carry normally or put in the cup holder comfortably. However, there's a convenient top handle that you can use to carry around the bottle and the bottle does fit into a typical cup holder, it's just a bit snug.

Material 18/8 stainless steel
Capacity 26 ounces
Dimensions 11 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches
Weight 22.22 ounces
Insulated Yes, double wall
Lid type Twist-off and chug cap
Dishwasher safe Yes
BPA-free Yes
best water bottles
People / Janelle Jones

Best Insulated: Thermoflask Double Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle with Two Lids

best water bottles

Pros: You can customize which lid you prefer that day with the option to choose between a chug and spout cap.

Cons: This bottle was a tad heavy when fully filled and dented a bit when dropped, but the bottle continued to stand upright and not leak.

When it comes to reusable water bottles, the name of the game is good insulation. That's why this option from Thermoflask was a standout compared to the others with the ability to keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for 12, while also having the option to use a spout or chug cap. "Love that it comes with two different lids," our tester shared after testing. They admired the versatility of this bottle, noting that there were "no chance of spills [and] the handle is really convenient for carrying around."

During the drop test there was some denting that occurred, but the damage was so slight that it had no effect on the bottle's ability to stand upright and remained leak-free. Our tester also mentioned that the bottle got a bit heavy after being completely filled, but this is to be expected when the bottle can hold up to 40 ounces of water (2.5 pounds).

Material Stainless steel
Capacity 40 ounces
Dimensions 4.6 x 3.8 x 14 inches
Weight 14.1 ounces
Insulated Yes, double wall
Lid type Spout and chug cap
Dishwasher safe No, handwash
BPA-free Yes
best water bottles
People / Conor Ralph

Best Filtered: Brita Stainless Steel Filter Bottle

Pros: You can fill this bottle up just about anywhere and end up with drinkable water thanks to the internal filter.

Cons: The material didn't hold up as well as some of the others during the drop test.

Available in several soft hues, this stainless steel water bottle from Brita stands out from the rest due to its internal filter, allowing you to refill and rehydrate wherever you may be. The filter is said to reduce the taste and smell of chlorine in water and only needs to be changed about every two months (or after 40 gallons of water). The spout can be opened by pressing the small button at the bottom of the cap to produce a straw for drinking, which our testers thought was super convenient. This design was praised for its design, our testers noting that it "has [a] convenient loop over the top, is smooth and fits easily in the hand and the cupholders."

However, this bottle did feel the effects of the drop test, as it landed on the cap and compromised the seal that kept this bottle from leaking. Thankfully it has convenient handles and is small enough for backpack pockets, cup holders, and more for safe storage.

Material Stainless steel
Capacity 20 ounces
Dimensions 3.23 x 3.23 x 10.83 inches
Weight 0.32 ounces
Insulated Yes, double wall
Lid type Leak-proof lid with straw
Dishwasher safe Yes, on top rack
BPA-free Yes
best water bottles
People / Janelle Jones

Things to Consider


Arguably the most important aspect to consider before buying a water bottle is whether or not the material is BPA-free. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical used in many plastics and epoxy resins that can seep into food or drinks being consumed from utensils that are made with this material, potentially causing negative health effects down the line, according to research conducted by the Mayo Clinic. Fortunately, the packaging of most water bottles will let you know if they are BPA-free or not, making the search for clean materials a whole lot easier.


Reusable water bottles should aim to not only reduce the amount of plastic that goes to waste but also retain the temperature of your drink — that is, if it's insulated. Many water bottles are constructed with double-wall vacuum insulation, which is ideal for keeping cold drinks freezing and hot coffee scalding. However, this often ups the price of a water bottle and isn't necessary for those who want to just take their water on the go. Plastic water bottles are just as common and often come at a cheaper price, providing you with the portability of your water, but only being available for use with cold drinks (do not mix hot beverages with plastic).


It's pretty easy to drop your water bottle while on a hike or walking around, so it's important to go for a kind that doesn't dent or leak easily. Stainless steel and hard, BPA-free plastics are often the best options for this type of durability, a standout model being the Yeti Rambler 26 oz. Bottle after passing the drop test with flying colors. Grace Martinez, Rock 'n' Roll Run Club Leader of the PNW Ladies Running Group, finds durability to be paramount in the search for a worthwhile water bottle. "If I was also using [it for] a hike, it'd be nice to have a sturdy bottom for the times you set it down or a clip for the backpack," she shares, touching on the extra features that really upgrade a bottle.


Another factor to keep in mind when shopping for your new water bottle is the way in which your water bottle can be cleaned. Make sure to check if the bottle is dishwasher safe or not and to clean accordingly, as non-dishwasher safe plastics can melt when exposed to sterilizing heat. The cap and bottle may have different instructions as well, as many caps are not dishwasher friendly or can only be used on the top rack while the bottle can go on the bottom.

best water bottles
People / Conor Ralph

How We Tested

Our testers were asked to evaluate each of the 26 water bottles based on drinkability, seal, portability, insulation, durability, ease of cleaning, and value. Each product was then evaluated on a scale of one to five, one being poor and five being excellent, based on the tester's experience with the product. First, each person tried opening the caps and seeing how easy it was to take a drink. They then tested the seal to see if it was leak-proof or had a few spills. Next was carrying around the bottle, testing the handles and feeling how heavy or light each felt while being full of water. The bottles were then left for six hours to see if each one remained cold, testing the water with a thermometer before and after the six hours. Our testers then evaluated the bottles' durability, dropping them from waist height three times and assessing the damage (or lack thereof) afterwards. They then were shown the prices of each bottle and our testers gave their honest feedback on whether or not they felt the value was justified.


Is it better to drink from a glass or stainless steel water bottle?

There are pros and cons to both types of water bottles when it comes to drinkability. Glass keeps water in its purest form, by not imparting any taste or chemicals. Stainless steel can sometimes leave a metallic taste, but it is also safe from chemicals. Another big advantage for steel bottles is their ability to insulate cold or hot drinks for hours which glass cannot do.

Is it OK to drink water left overnight in a water bottle?

Yes, if the bottle is clean and closed properly, it is perfectly safe to drink. However, you should not drink water from a disposable bottle that has been in a particularly hot environment, such as a car or the sun, for an extended period of time. In this case, chemicals can leach from the plastic into the water.

Can you freeze a water bottle?

Freezing a water bottle can be a great way to ensure you'll have an ice-cold beverage for hours. Unfortunately, putting a metal water bottle in the freezer is not recommended. Reusable plastic or disposable bottles work better and will not release chemicals through the freezing process.

How do you clean a water bottle?

You can and should clean your water bottle daily. Using warm water, a bit of dishwashing liquid, and a bottle brush, scrub the sides and bottom of the bottle as well as the lip. Then rinse thoroughly and dry with a clean dish towel or paper towel or let air dry with the lid off.

Why Trust PEOPLE?

Alyssa Brascia is a PEOPLE commerce writer with experience covering beauty, fashion, home, and lifestyle products. For this piece, she compared the durability, portability, insulation, ease of cleaning, and tester insights on 26 water bottles in order to curate this list of the 5 best. We also consulted Dana Cohen, M.D., medical advisor for Cure, on how to increase water intake, and Grace Martinez, Rock 'n' Roll Run Club Leader of the PNW Ladies Running Group, on what features are most important in a good water bottle.

What Is People Tested?

We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.

But we don't stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we've awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.

In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.

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