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15 best reusable bottles to help you stay hydrated without single-use plastics

These reusable options are good for hydration and the planet

Siobhan Grogan
Tuesday 09 April 2024 10:18
UK consumers still go through around 14 billon plastic drinks bottles every year
UK consumers still go through around 14 billon plastic drinks bottles every year (The Independent)
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We all know that single-use plastic water bottles are a big no-no. Yet UK consumers still get through around 14 billion plastic drinks bottles every year, many of which end up in landfill after use. With so many reusable water bottles now available to buy, there’s really no excuse to ever reach for a single-use bottle again. A reusable one can even save you cash in the long term, as you won’t need to splash out every time you want a drink.

First, it’s important to consider what material you want your bottle to be made of. Stainless steel ones are environmentally friendly and durable and will maintain the temperature of your drink, particularly if they’re insulated. Ceramic options will also keep the liquid cold (or hot), while glass is eco-friendly, easily recyclable and looks good but isn’t practical to carry around. Reusable plastic bottles tend to be a little lighter so may be easier for children to use, but they must be BPA-free to ensure the bottle is non-toxic.

Other features to look for include how long the bottle will keep your drink hot or cold, whether or not it’s leak-free, and capacity, as this will determine how heavy it is when full. You’ll also need to choose the right cap for your lifestyle. Those on the go – or children – may prefer caps with straws attached, while wider bottle necks are ideal for adding ice to the water.

It’s worth thinking about how you will use the bottle, too. Some can be used with one hand and are ideal for drinking on a treadmill, while others fold almost flat after use for packing. A few even offer filters, if you’re unsure whether the water is safe to drink – a must for travellers or campers. Just choose one and get sipping.

How we tested the best reusable water bottles

The reusable water bottles we tested for this review (Siobhan Grogan)

We always carry a reusable bottle wherever we go, so we tested a vast range of options to find the one we liked the best. For each one, we took it with us when out and about, to test whether it leaked and if it kept our water cold all day – or kept hot liquids piping if it promised it would. We also considered how easy the bottle was to wash and dry, if it was awkward to carry around or fit in our bag, and if it had any extra features that made it worth buying. Finally, we judged if it looked good and if it represented decent value for money.

The best reusable water bottles for 2024 are:

  • Best reusable water bottle overall – Contigo chill couture autoseal vacuum-insulated water bottle: ?27.40, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best budget reusable water bottle – ProCook life’s a beach stainless steel water bottle: ?15, Procook.co.uk
  • Best reusable water bottle for filtering water – Brita water filter bottle: ?14.98, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best reusable water bottle for runners – Decathlon Kalenji flexibile trail running water bottle: ?9.99, Decathlon.co.uk
  • Best reusable water bottle for iced drinks – Built perfect seal charcoal hydration bottle and water bottle ice cube tray: ?21.64, Amazon.co.uk

Contigo chill couture autoseal vacuum-insulated water bottle

Contigo chill couture autoseal.png
  • Best: Reusable water bottle overall
  • Capacity: 720ml
  • Material: Stainless steel with plastic lid
  • Dishwasher-safe: Lid only
  • Why we love it
    • Totally leakproof
    • Protective cover keeps the spout clean
  • Take note
    • Only comes in one size

If you want to chuck your water bottle in your bag and forget about it for the rest of the day, look no further. The seal on this bottle is utterly leakproof, even when we left it lying on its side for hours. It operates by pressing a button on the front, which makes the spout pop up. Once its pressed back again, there’s a protective cover to stop it getting dirty – a nice touch – and a tiny sliding lock to prevent the button pressing accidentally when it’s in your bag.

The double-wall vacuum insulation keeps drinks cold for up to 28 hours – even after sitting in our car all day – and there’s a carry handle to make life easier, too. The only downside is it only comes in one size, which some people might find a little too large. However, if you’d prefer a bottle for hot drinks as well, we’d recommend the Contigo matterhorn thermalock vacuum-insulated water bottle (?15.01, Amazon.co.uk) instead, which will keep liquids toasty for 10 hours. We also liked the fact the twist-off lid is attached to the bottle, so there’s no chance of losing it while drinking.

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ProCook life’s a beach stainless steel water bottle

ProCook life’s a beach stainless steel water bottle.png
  • Best: Budget reusable water bottle
  • Capacity: 500ml
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher-safe: No
  • Why we love it
    • Looks premium
    • Supports the work of charity Life’s a Beach
  • Take note
    • Supports the work of charity Life’s a Beach

This has everything you could want in a water bottle, without costing a fortune. It’s available in four attractive shades of muted blue, pink, black and grey, has a carry handle and the double-walled vacuum construction will keep drinks hot for 12 hours and cold for 24 hours. We also love the fact it’s not enormous, which makes for easier drinking, and it has a sleek, modern design that makes it look a lot more expensive than it is. Plus, 10 per cent of each sale goes towards the Life’s a Beach charity, which works to eradicate single-use plastic from beaches and waterways, as this makes up a shocking 49 per cent of beach litter. What’s not to love?

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Air Up original bottle

Air Up original bottle.png
  • Best: Reusable water bottle for people who hate water
  • Capacity: 480ml, 650ml and 850ml
  • Material: BPA-free Tritan
  • Dishwasher-safe: Handwashing recommended
  • Why we love it
    • The flavour can be deactivated
  • Take note
    • Difficult to drain after washing

If you haven’t heard of the Air Up bottle yet, you clearly don’t have pre-teens in the house. This oddly clever invention has become a must-have in schools across the UK, and a viral sensation on TikTok. It’s the perfect bottle for anyone who hates water, as it magically makes you believe you’re drinking juice.

Simply fill it with water, pop a flavour pod over the mouthpiece and your brain will think you’re drinking what you’re smelling, rather than plain water. Not convinced? We weren’t either but it really does work. We also liked the fact you could push down the pod to deactivate it and stop the flavour whenever you want.

Air Up says each pod lasts for around 5l of water and there are countless flavours available, including kola, wild berry, ice tea peach, iced coffee, elderflower and – our favourite – pineapple. Our one gripe is the slanted mouth means you can’t stand it upside down to drain after washing up. Still, our junior tester has never drunk so much water, so it’s a major thumbs up from us.

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Frank Green ceramic reusable bottle

Frank Green ceramic reusable bottle.png
  • Best: Ceramic reusable water bottle
  • Capacity: 595ml and 1000ml
  • Material: Stainless steel lined with ceramic
  • Dishwasher-safe: No
  • Why we love it
    • Choice of lids
    • You can mix and match colours
  • Take note
    • The ergonomics of the straw spout could be improved

This is one seriously good-looking bottle. We loved the range of colours it comes in, including neon green, mint gelato and the blush pink we tested. You can even mix and match colours, so the lid is a different shade from the bottle itself.

Although the bottle is made of stainless steel, the inside is lined with ceramic, to avoid any metallic taste transferring to the water. It’s fantastic at keeping hot and cold drinks at the right temperature, too, thanks to the triple-wall vacuum insulation.

There’s a choice of two lids – a one-handed push button lid or one with a gold stainless steel straw, which makes a change from the cheap plastic straws many bottles use. We did find it tricky to lift the spout of the straw lid without touching the end we needed to drink from, though.

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Stanley go quick flip water bottle

Stanley Go quick flip water bottle.png
  • Best: Reusable water bottle for the long haul
  • Capacity: 470ml, 700ml and 1.06l
  • Material: Stainless steel and plastic lid
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes
  • Why we love it
    • Completely leak-proof
    • Single button operation

There’s not much this bottle can’t do. It looks more like a flask than a traditional drinking bottle and could certainly withstand any hike or camping trip – that’s unsurprising, though, when you consider the company is best known for its outdoor gear and makes everything from coolers to camping mugs.

The brand recently found more fame when its ‘quencher’ – an oversized tumbler with a handle and straw – became a TikTok sensation.

The quick flip bottle, though, is more for practicality than posing, keeping iced drinks cold for a whopping 40 hours, thanks to its double-wall vacuum insulation. It’s utterly leakproof and didn’t spill a drop even when it lolled around in our bag for a whole day. We like the fact it operates with a single button and has an extra metal ring fastening to prevent accidental opening, which means this has now become our go-to when carrying hot drinks. However, it’s worth upgrading to the largest size (?38.99, Stanley1913.com) if you can’t reach a water source all day.

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Emma Bridgewater blossom Chilly’s Bottle

Emma Bridgewater blossom bottle.png
  • Best: Reusable bottle to brighten your day
  • Capacity: 500ml
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher-safe: No
  • Why we love it
    • Lovely Emma Bridgwater design
  • Take note
    • Needa bottle brush to clean the inside

This is a no-nonsense bottle that won’t let you down, but its big selling point is the pretty exterior. Designed by acclaimed pottery designer Emma Bridgwater, it features a gorgeous painting of blossom on the outside that made us smile every time we reached for a drink.

The bottle itself comes from Chilly’s which helped introduce reusable water bottles to the world back when few of us had even thought about carrying one. The performance remains unbeatable, keeping drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours, while the no-messing screw lid is entirely leakproof and the price is reasonable too. We would, however, recommend investing in a special bottle brush if you buy one of these, as the slim neck can make it tricky to clean.

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Klean Kanteen insulated classic

Klean Kanteen insulated classic 12oz.png
  • Best: Smaller reusable water bottle
  • Capacity: 355ml, 532ml, 592ml and 800ml
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes, though handwashing is advised for bottles with patterns
  • Why we love it
    • Wide range of colourways
    • Easy to drink from

Giant bottles that hold enough water for a full day are all very well, but there’s no getting away from the fact they weigh a ton. They’re also no good for children who have to carry it all day – and would never drink that much anyway. So, we tested the smallest size of the Klean Kanteen bottle and became instant fans.

The 355ml size is perfect for a short trip or for a child to use, yet the double-wall vacuum insulation keeps drinks hot for 16 hours and iced for 41 hours. There’s a great range of colours to choose from and the simple screw cap and rounded lip makes drinking on the go easy. Best of all, it’s dishwasher-safe – a rarity with stainless steel bottles but a godsend if you loathe washing up.

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Brita water filter bottle

Brita filter water bottle.png
  • Best: Reusable water bottle for filtering water
  • Capcity: 600ml
  • Material: BPA-free plastic
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes
  • Why we love it
    • Makes water taste better
    • Sanitary mouthpiece

No need to turn to pricey bottled water if you hate the taste of tap water, the king of the water filter has a nifty solution, with this sturdy bottle that includes a MicroDisc refillable water filter. This lasts for around 60l (or four weeks) and has an activated carbon filter that removes chlorine and other nasty-tasting substances. However, good-guy minerals such as calcium and magnesium will still pass through the filter and remain in your water.

We were surprised to discover just how good water tasted while using this bottle – our teen tester in particular was a big fan. We also liked the pull-up mouthpiece that’s protected by a lid to keep it all clean, though it is quite stiff to use. There’s also a squeezable one-handed sports bottle available if you’d rather drink on the go (?14.18, Brita.co.uk).

This model gets bonus points for being dishwasher-safe, though, do remember you will have to buy replacement filters once a month.

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Hydro Flask 21oz standard mouth water bottle with flex straw cap

Hydro Flask water bottle.png
  • Best: Reusable water bottle for versatility
  • Capacity: 532ml, 621ml and 710ml
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes, but handwashing recommended
  • Why we love it
    • Grippy powder coating
    • Prevents condensation
  • Take note
    • Flex straw cap is slightly stiff

This bottle does it all – and in a really gorgeous range of colours that are a bit more interesting than the average water bottle. Available in three different sizes and with both wide and standard mouths, it keeps drinks cold for an impressive 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. We tested it with tea and it really was piping hot hours later, thanks to the double-wall insulation (happily it didn’t taste of metal, either).

It’s a smart design, too. We love the fact the outside is powder coated, making it a lot easier to hold than slippery stainless steel, while preventing condensation from forming. The carry handle folds away to take up less space in your bag, and the range of lids available make it super versatile. Plus, it’s dishwasher-safe.

We tried the flex straw cap, which comes with two straws that need cutting to fit the size of the bottle. However, we did find it quite stiff to operate, so this lid isn’t ideal if you’re looking for speedy drinking on the go.

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Le Creuset hydration bottle

Le Creuset hydration bottle.png
  • Best: Classic reusable water bottle
  • Capacity: 500ml
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher-safe: No
  • Why we love it
    • Ridges make the screw cap easier to remove

Trust iconic cookware brand Le Creuset to make a bottle as discreetly stylish as its covetable casserole dishes. Available in the brand’s distinctive range of stand-out shades with an attractive ombre design, the company has elevated the bog-standard water bottle with small but smart tweaks for added user-friendliness.

There are ridges on the silver screw cap to make it easier to undo and the double-wall vacuum insulation has a copper wall layer, so you won’t risk condensation. Drinks will also stay cold for up to 24 hours and hot for 12. Plus, it clearly displays the name Le Creuset in block capitals on the front, for tasteful showing off while you’re sipping.

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Decathlon Kalenji flexibile trail running water bottle

Decathlon soft flask.png
  • Best: Reusable water bottle for runners
  • Capacity: 500ml
  • Material: Plastics
  • Dishwasher-safe: Hand wash only
  • Why we love it
    • Capacious but fairly lightweight
    • Nifty space-saving design
  • Take note
    • Needs rinsing thoroughly before first use

Intrepid trail runners need something a little more specific than the rest of us, so this bottle is a must-buy for sporty types. Although it holds a decent 500ml of water, it weighs just 35g when empty, so you won’t need to lug around a heavy bottle until the end of a run. It has a silicone bite valve and is made of compressible material, which means it gets smaller the more you drink, for easy storage on the go. There’s even a thumb hole to hold it securely during even the most challenging run. Just be aware it does have quite a plastic taste initially, so needs rinsing several times before the first use.

If you need something a little sturdier that will keep drinks cold, we also rate Decathlon’s aluminium hiking water bottle 900 instant cap with straw 0.6l (?9.99, Decathlon.co.uk), which is easy to use with one hand and was particularly popular with our junior tester.

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Built perfect seal charcoal hydration bottle and water bottle ice cube tray

Built perfect seal water bottle.png
  • Best: Reusable water bottle for iced drinks
  • Capacity: 540ml
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher-safe: No
  • Why we love it
    • Included slim ice cube tray means ice actually fits
    • Bullet-style shape looks great
  • Take note
    • It can sometimes be tricky to open

If you’ve ever tried to ram ice cubes into the narrow mouth of a reusable water bottle (surely it’s not just us?), you’ll know it’s no easy feat. However, icy drinks are much simpler with this clever water bottle from Built, which comes with a BPA-free silicone ice mould tray that makes long thin ice cubes, perfect for popping straight in the bottle without a struggle. The ice cubes will even come with a New York skyline design embossed in them, which is a nice touch.

We loved the look of this bottle, too, thanks to its cylindrical bullet-style shape and go-with-anything charcoal colour. The silver screw lid can be a little tricky to open – especially with wet hands – but it really was leakproof, and the vacuum insulation technology kept our drink chilled for an entire day.

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Flsk stainless steel drinking bottle

Flsk stainless steel drinking bottle.png
  • Best: Luxury reusable water bottle
  • Capacity: 500ml, 750ml, 1,000ml
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher-safe: No
  • Why we love it
    • Luxury look
    • Nine colourways available
    • Closes easily and securely

We’ve never really considered a water bottle a luxury item but then we clapped eyes on this swish offering from German brand Flsk. The packaging’s even good enough to gift – with a stylish cardboard sleeve and material carry case. Available in nine chic shades – we tested tasteful ‘champagne’, which is a very pale gold colour and comes with a ridged silver screw cap for easy opening – the bottle is seriously good-looking. Of those we tested, this also has one of the easiest lids to refasten and doesn’t spill a drop even when lying on its side all day.

The bottle’s made with VICC technology, which keeps drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 18, and we can confirm it really does work for that long. It’s also worth noting that 1 per cent of the company’s overall turnover is invested in Flsk future fund, which supports other sustainability-focused enterprises and social impact projects.

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Cupple 2-in-1 drinks bottle and cup

Cupple 2-in-1 drinks bottle and cup.png
  • Best: Space saving reusable water bottle
  • Capacity: 525ml (and 340ml cup)
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher-safe: No
  • Why we love it
    • Versatile and saves on space
    • Handy for spontaneous coffee shop trips
  • Take note
    • The bottle can’t be used for hot drinks

Keep your options open, with this ingenious two-in-one bottle that on-the-go coffee drinkers will love. It consists of a lightweight bottle for 525ml of cold water, plus an insulated 340ml hot drinks cup with a lid that slides over the outside. That means you can head out for the day with cold water in your bag for later, but carry a homemade coffee to drink straightaway. Once you’re finished, you won’t need to lug around the cup all day but can slot it over the water bottle to save space. It’s also ideal if you like to buy drinks in coffee shops, as you’ll always have a reusable cup to hand and can take advantage of discounts often offered for bringing your own.

The single-wall stainless steel bottle itself isn’t suitable for hot drinks, though, so you won’t be able to fill it with coffee and pour into the cup later, as you might with a flask. However, it’s ideal if you’d rather enjoy cold drinks from a cup rather than a bottle, making it a must-have for bring-your-own-wine picnics.

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Reusable water bottle FAQs

How much plastic is saved by using a reusable water bottle?

According to Water UK, 7.7 billion plastic water bottles are used in the UK each year, with the average person using 150 plastic water bottles every year – that’s around three a week.

The organisation states if just one in 10 Brits used a refillable water bottle just once a week, around 340 million plastic bottles would be saved each year.

How much water should I be drinking each day?

While each individual’s needs are unique and dependent on health, age, height and weight, the NHS’s Eatwell Guide recommends drinking 2l (between six to eight glasses) of fluid a day, including water, lower-fat milks, sugar-free drinks, tea and coffee. Dehydration can cause both mental and physical fatigue, as well as headaches, while a healthy water intake is thought to boost mood and mental well-being.

What to look for in a reusable water bottle

  • Material: Glass is the best and safest material for storing food and water. Unlike plastic water bottles, it keeps flavour pure, as it doesn’t contaminate its contents. If you want something a little more sturdy, stainless steel is also a great bet and often has the benefit of keeping your drink cool for longer.
  • Drinking spout: If you’re planning on using you’re water bottle in the gym, we highly recommend opting for one with a drinking spout rather than a twist lid – the latter makes taking a sip mid-run unnecessarily difficult.
  • Size: This will depend on personal preference, water bottles come in a range of sizes, from 250ml all the way up to 2l, so it really depends on how much you’re willing to carry with you during the day and whether you have easy access to a tab to refill your bottle throughout.
  • Leakproofing: No one likes a soggy sports bag, so double-check if the water bottle you have your eye on is leakproof. Pay special attention to this if you’re opting for a bottle with a drinking spout, as they tend to be more sensitive to the issue than twist lids (such as Chilly’s vacuum-insulated water bottles).
  • Dishwasher-safe: Some bottles are dishwasher-safe, while others can only be cleaned by hand. Retailers will usually list on the product page if a water bottle is dishwasher-safe, an important feature to look out for, especially if you plan on using your bottle for more than just water.

The verdict: Reusable water bottles

We were staggered by just how many water bottles are out there, so it’s really worth thinking about exactly what you need before buying. However, for a guaranteed leakproof bottle that can be used with one hand and keeps drinks exceptionally cold, it’s hard to beat the Contigo chill couture autoseal vacuum-insulated water bottle.

If you’re heading somewhere you know won’t have access to fresh water, though, the LifeStraw go is essential, while the Air Up original bottle is a game-changer for anyone who can’t stand plain water.

If you want to keep your drinks hot or cold for hours, read our review of the best flasks and travel mugs

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