The 5 Best Water Bottle Brands After Years of Testing


We found the best water bottle brands on the market after years of testing. And the winners are…

line up of different top brand water bottles on wood bench in front of brick wall

Quench your thirst with one of these best water bottles! 💦

There are an overwhelming amount of water bottles on the market. After years of testing, we picked the best water bottle brands for you.

1. The YETI Rambler Bottle is the most heavy-duty bottle that will outlast every water bottle. 

Best durability 

hand holding large yeti water bottle

I’m in year 4 of testing this YETI water bottle and the quality and durability are unrivaled. This 36-ounce capacity has a $50 price tag. GULP! 😳 However, there are more affordable options on the market the smaller you go. Plus, depending on your fluid-ounce needs, there’s an option for everyone.

Over the last 4 years, my partner has taken this water bottle to work and has lugged it around on various hiking trips and outdoor adventures.

Despite its high cost, it was more than worth the cost since it’s still performing great and only has minor signs of use. 👏🏻

Hand holding a dark gray yeti rambler water bottle

One thing that set the design of the YETI rambler apart is the stainless steel bottom. Every other water bottle brand we tested had a coating completely covering the bottle and no matter how durable, every single one chipped and scratched eventually. Our YETI only has minimal surface scratches and dents that are barely noticeable! I’ve got to give it to YETI because they truly thought of everything from the design to the durability! 👏🏻

Speaking of design, they even changed their standard insulated bottles since I purchased mine to now come with their innovative chugging cap. This cap gives you a splash-free drinking experience and is much easier to sip from especially when you have your water bottle loaded up with ice.

However, I do still favor their MagDock Cap which has the same spout, but is magnetic too!

close up of magdock cap on yeti rambler bottle

Here are some of my favorite things about the YETI Rambler water bottle:

  • Easiest cap with a handle to grip and open
  • Never leaked or sweat
  • Keeps drinks hot or cold for hours
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Easy to grip exterior “DuraCoat”
  • Stainless bottom (no chipping coating over time)
  • Magnetic MagDock Cap option
  • Extremely durable
  • 5-Year Warranty

Here’s what I don’t like about it:

  • Expensive
  • Some may need to use two hands to drink from larger sizes
  • Larger sizes may not be car cup holder compatible
  • Heaviest bottle out of all the ones we tested

2. The Takeya Water Bottle has proven to be the best kid-friendly water bottle on the market.

Best for young kids 

girl holding purple stuffed bunny and pink takeya water bottle sitting on stone ledge

The screw-top is by far the easiest one to open and close out of all the best water bottle brands we tested. I’ve heard teachers prefer kids to bring straw-lid water bottles to school (which Takeya also makes), but after trying the kid’s Hydro Flask straw-lid bottles and experiencing backpack leaks, the screw-top lids by Tayeka proved to be a better choice for us.

There’s zero fussing with the Takeya lid to get it back on with a great seal and it’s simple enough to open and close my daughter could do it when she was in Kindergarten. Now both of my middle school boys replaced their Hydro Flasks as this one is much easier for them to handle. Even better, it’s easier to clean than straw lids too! 🙌🏼

Not only is this water bottle a favorite in our home, but it was also voted the most versatile water bottle on the market by Healthline and The New York Times! 🤩

Hand holding a navy blue takeya water bottle

The ergonomic handle is another huge bonus about the Takeya water bottle and it has proven to be very durable over the last three years. As an adult, I can comfortably fit two fingers in the handle to carry it around, it can easily clip to any keychain or carabiner, and it makes it easy to pull it out of a backpack side pocket. It also folds down making it easier to store in your cabinet.

hand pulling navy blue takeya water bottle out of white the north face bookbag

Most Takeya stainless steel water bottles come with a silicone sleeve bottom which protects the bottles from dents and scratches. It’s also a great feature if your kiddo plans to take this best water bottle brand to school because it will be less disruptive to the class and it has a better chance of staying put and not sliding around on a desk. Just keep in mind, that they’ll slide in and out of side pockets on bookmarks much easier without it.

In the last four years of owning one of our Takeyas, I recently purchased 2 more for my boys and have been incredibly impressed with the minimal dents and scratches it has to show after daily use! 🤯

hand holding a takeya water bottle with rainbow smiley face sticker

Here are some of my favorite things about the Takeya water bottle:

  • Silicone boot comes standard (also comes off easily for cleaning)
  • The rounded stainless steel bottom makes dents less likely to happen without a silicone boot
  • The lid is easy to unscrew and put back on
  • Kid-friendly design
  • The adjustable handle is easy to carry and store in cabinets
  • Affordable
  • Easy to drink out of with one hand
  • Never leaked or sweat
  • Fits easily in car cup holders
  • Dishwasher safe

Here’s what I don’t like about it:

  • Doesn’t perform as well as YETI when keeping drinks cold in warm weather, but overall it still performs well.

3. The Owala FreeSip water bottle is gorgeous and one of the most versatile on the market.

Best versatility 

hand holding an owala freesip purple water bottle

Owala is a new-to-me brand, but it was after hearing many Hip sidekicks and readers raving about this brand that brought me to order one. If you’ve seen Owala before, the most obvious thing you’ve likely taken notice of is the gorgeous color combinations you can choose from. Their aesthetics are unmatched! I am simply obsessed with the variations of purple on this combination I picked for my daughter. 😍 (And that’s coming from someone who loves neutrals!) 😉

finger pushing button on owala water bottle lid

Another unique feature of the Owala FreeSip water bottles is the unique and innovative push button lid. The lid is designed for either sipping upright through the built-in straw or tilting back to drink like a traditional water bottle.

The piece that locks the lid from leaking also doubles as a handle when not being used. This feature alone makes it a great travel companion. The unique flat sides also make it more manageable for little hands and it also doesn’t limit you by being able to stash it in a traditional-sized cup holder. My second grader has had no issues using this water bottle on her own, but I would say younger kiddos may struggle to lock it properly which could result in leaking.

hand holding a purple water bottle showing the inside of drinking cap

Typically, I veer away from straw lids because they tend to be more hassle than they’re worth, but Owala has nailed it on functionality and practicality. The straw easily detaches for easy cleaning and it’s dishwasher-friendly. Plus, the lid itself has a seamless design so there are no silicone seals or tight spaces that I have to worry about mold growing.

Here are some of my favorite things about the Owala FreeSip water bottle:

  • Locking lid
  • Dual-function lid (sipping or chugging abilities)
  • Easy to keep clean
  • Flat sides for easy gripping
  • The lid is seamless to unscrew and put back on
  • Kid-friendly design
  • The locking handle is easy to carry
  • Affordable
  • Easy to drink out of with one hand
  • Never leaked or sweat
  • Fits easily in car cup holders
  • Overall extremely versatile
  • Dishwasher safe

Here’s what I don’t like about it:

  • May not be suitable for younger kiddos who may have trouble locking the lid properly.

Best overall

white hydro flask sitting on table

There’s no denying that Hydro Flask is one of the most popular water bottle choices for basically anyone. For many consumers, you’re either team Hydro Flask or team YETI and for me, I just love my Hydro that’s been with me everywhere!

Even New York Mag agrees it’s the best choice overall. 🙌🏼

various sizes of white hydro flasks on white table with blue background

While this bottle is also a top performer, the simple and sleek design is what initially won me over. And they’ve recently enhanced the design on some of the sizes to give consumers a sleeker and more modern look. On top of that, they’ve mimicked the genius lids of YETI and also now offer a similar lid to the chugging cap.

I’ve always been partial the the handle on the Hydro Flask as it’s the widest one of all the bottles I’ve tested and the most comfortable to tote around from your car to the gym or even for longer trips around the city. Maintenance is also a breeze since they’re dishwasher-friendly. 🙌🏼

green white and blue hydro flask water bottles on wood table

Our Hydro Flasks have slowly accumulated more chips and dents as our family adventures continue so I’m not sure I’d recommend them over YETI for durability. However, they’ve still performed well at keeping drinks hot or cold regardless. And like any true Hydro Flask lover, you probably appreciate the added character anyway. 😉

hand holding a white and black hydro flask

Here are some of my favorite things about the Hydro Flask water bottle:

  • The sleek design is my favorite out of all the bottles I tested
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Softest handle & most comfortable to carry
  • Never leaked or sweat
  • Keeps water cold all day
  • Different lid options
  • Various accessories available including protective boots
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Here’s what I don’t like about it:

  • Pricey
  • Larger sizes may not fit in some car cup holders
  • Less durable than YETI
  • Wide mouth design splashes easily

5. The Ozark Trail Tumbler is a great alternative to Stanley and boasts better features. 

Best for road trips 

hand holding a white ozark trail tumbler in car cup holder

Ozark Trail is a tough competitor to Stanley priced under $20! 😱 Plus, other notable features are the fact it weighs less, and the silicone straw is safer for your teeth and more enjoyable to drink from.

The Ozark Trail brand is notorious for providing products that look eerily similar to other top brands like YETI and now Stanley. From an aesthetics standpoint, this tumbler is identical to the popular Stanley Tumbler and doesn’t leave you feeling like you sacrificed anything. And I can confidently say all of that having owned both brands! 👏🏻

white tumbler next to blue bag in car

This insulated water bottle may be cheap, but there’s nothing cheap about its awesome performance. Many people have asked if it still performs well after being put in the dishwasher and I only continue to be impressed by its stellar performance after washing it in the dishwasher countless times. I left it on my nightstand overnight and it still had whole ice cubes inside the next morning! Overall, it’s a great (and trendy) option if you’re looking for a budget-friendly tumbler.

The Ozark Trail tumblers easily fit in car cup holders thanks to its design so it’s a great water bottle to bring along for all your errands. Plus, it’s the best one on our best water bottle brands list for single-handed drinking which certainly comes in handy for road trips.

Given the better price point, trendy design, and outstanding performance, this is easily a better choice than even the most popular Stanley brand.

Hot Pink Ozark Trail Tumblers sitting on a counter, 1 had a label and the other doesn't

Here are some of my favorite things about the Ozark Trail Tumbler:

  • Very affordable
  • Travel-friendly
  • You can easily drink with one hand
  • Silicone straw (safer for teeth)
  • Keeps drinking icy cold or hot
  • Looks like a trendy Stanley
  • Features pretty matte colors
  • Doesn’t chip on the bottom
  • Dishwasher-safe (even the straws)
  • Leak-proof straw design
  • Fits in my car cup holder
  • Never leaked or sweat

Here’s what I don’t like about it:

  • It’s not a good option to store in backpacks or other travel bags unless the straw is removed.

BONUS TIP: If you’re buying a handwash-only bottle or prefer to handwash your bottles buy this innovative brush and nothing else.

hand holding blue bottle brush in kitchen over sink

I did a lot of research on bottle brushes and when I came across the Swell S’ip Cleaning Brush I knew my search for the perfect brush was over. They’ve since ditched the blue color and replaced it with a wood grain and I love it even more. I’m secretly wishing ours would go missing so I can replace it with the newer edition. 😆

It’s long enough to reach into any bottle for easy cleaning and I love the stainless handle so you can assure that it’s going to be durable enough to last a long time. (I’ve had mine for over four years now!) Most importantly, even the newest wood color is designed to stand on its own which makes it a more sanitary and cleaner choice as well. 🙌🏻

Check out these genius kitchen organization ideas.

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