Last Updated on November 22, 2020
Plastic water bottles are filling up the earth’s oceans and landfills, so a reusable water bottle of some kind is more important than ever to the environment. The best reusable bottles are made using stainless steel. Glass is a great option too, but it is heavy and easily broken. Stainless steel has the advantages of being lightweight, affordable, and immune to the hazards of being dropped.
More than 60 million plastic bottles end up in landfills every day in the U.S. alone. This is a staggering number that can be easily, cheaply, and dramatically reduced. By using a stainless-steel bottle, you can do your small part in mitigating this environmental disaster and have the benefit of BPA-free drinking water too.
There are plenty of different options available on the market today, and it can be difficult to make the right choice. This is a purchase that you ideally want to make only once, so choosing one that will suit your needs can leave you confused. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place, as we’ve done all the hard work for you! We’ve put together this list of in-depth reviews to help you choose the perfect stainless-steel bottle to suit your unique needs.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||IRON °FLASK Sports||
|Best Value||Contigo Stainless Steel||
|Premium Choice||S’well 10025-A18-06465||
|Simple Modern Summit||
|HYDRO CELL Stainless Steel||
The 10 Best Stainless-Steel Water Bottles — Reviews 2021
1. IRON °FLASK Sports Water Bottle — Best Overall
This stainless-steel water bottle from IRON FLASK is made from vacuum-insulated stainless steel and will keep the liquid inside cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours. This insulation is on the outside layer too, meaning your bottle will never be too hot or too cold to carry. The design is a great blend of form and function — it looks and feels great while working perfectly too, making it our top choice overall. The bottle comes with three different lids: a spout lid, a flip lid with incorporated handle, and a stainless-steel lid to match your every need. The steel-constructed bottle is guaranteed to never rust or leave a metallic taste in your beverage and is non-toxic and BPA free. It has a durable, non-slip powder-coated finish to top it off. This product comes with a 100% money-back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied!
Despite claims to the contrary, the bottle may not be 100% percent leak-proof. Also, the finish chips and scratches easily, even without significant dropping or mishandling.
2. Contigo Stainless Steel Water Bottle — Best Value
The best stainless-steel water bottle for the money is from Contigo, with its exceptional design and functionality. The bottle has specialized Thermalock vacuum insulation that will keep drinks cold for up to 12 hours, plus a simple one-handed operation. The Autospout lid has a straw that pops up via the push of a button, with a protective spout cover to keep out dirt and grime. The lid is leak-proof and has a convenient carry handle for use on the go. It can store up to 20 oz. of liquid and comes with a lifetime warranty. This bottle combines quality, aesthetic, and affordability and is fantastic value for money.
This bottle is not ideal for use with hot liquids, as the plastic components and straw in the lid may deform. The folding spout lid has several moving parts that may break and will definitely leak at some point. This straw mechanism is also difficult to clean thoroughly and may eventually lead to mold. This poorly designed straw mechanism keeps the Contigo from our top position.
3. S’well Stainless Steel Water Bottle — Premium Choice
If you are looking for a premium, long-lasting, and beautiful-looking water bottle, S’well might have just the one for you. You cannot discuss water bottles without the name S’well coming to mind, as it has long been the industry leader. The bottle features triple-layered, vacuum-insulated construction designed to keep your beverage cold for a whopping 54 hours or hot for up to 26 hours. The bottle comes in a wide variety of colors and textures to choose from, so it looks great while having superior functionality. They are designed to conveniently fit most standard cup holders for on-the-go use, and the sip opening is just wide enough to slip in ice cubes on a warm day. An added copper wall insulation layer will prevent condensation on the exterior of the bottle, keeping your bag and hands dry. These bottles are made from food-grade stainless steel and are BPA free for worry-free hydration.
The inside of the lid of these bottles is made from plastic, so beware of over-tightening the lid because it may crack eventually.
4. Simple Modern Summit Water Bottle
This 22-ounce water bottle from Simple Modern is double-walled and vacuum insulated to keep your beverage hot or cold for hours. Additionally, it has an extra copper layer for added insulation. This will keep the outside temperate to the touch, no matter the contents inside, and will prevent any condensation. It is made from durable food-grade stainless steel and has a tough painted exterior in a range of different colors. The bottle comes with two different lids, a sealed stainless-steel lid, and a plastic flip-top lip for one-handed drinking. The lids are made using BPA-free plastic, and the bottle itself is completely plastic-free.
However, do not throw this bottle into your bag unless you want wet clothes — it leaks easily. The carrying loop on the lid is sharp to the touch and can be painful to carry with a full bottle of liquid. The rubber insulation loop inside the lid may disintegrate after extended use with hot liquids and leave black particles inside your drink.
5. HYDRO CELL Stainless Steel Water Bottle
This stainless-steel water bottle from Hydro Cell comes with two different lids. One is a stainless-steel screw cap that creates an airtight seal for travel and on-the-go use, and the other is a sports cap with a straw for sports and exercise. It is made from high-quality corrosion and oxidization-resistant stainless steel and is coated with a non-slip powder coating that offers perfect grip during workouts or hikes. The double-walled and vacuum-sealed construction will prevent condensation on the outer surface of the bottle and keep liquids cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 8 hours. The bottle and lids are also byproduct and BPA free, and Hydro Cell offers a lifetime warranty.
This bottle is not well insulated, likely due to the lid design. It will not keep beverages cold or hot for an extended amount of time and most likely not the claimed amount. The straw lid can be difficult to drink from, as it creates air pockets that don’t allow the liquid to flow through it efficiently. Several users report condensation on the outside of the bottle with cold drinks too.
6. bubba 2103830 Trailblazer Water Bottle
The Trailblazer water bottle from bubba holds 24 ounces of liquid that will keep warm for up to 6 hours or cold for up to 12 hours, without condensation. The lid has a push-button lock that is leak-proof with a mouth cover to keep the spout clear of dirt and debris and has convenient one-handed operation. The lid also has a three-finger handle for comfortable carrying, and the bottle will fit into most standard cup holders. It is made from vacuum-sealed stainless steel, with a BPA-free lid and a lifetime guarantee.
The inside of this bottle may rust, and several users have reported this happening. This is a huge health concern and is something most other bottles do not commonly suffer from. They are also not as well insulated as stated, and ice will melt inside within 1-2 hours. The lid is also not leak-proof, so make sure you don’t store this bottle with anything valuable.
7. Coleman 2015761 FreeFlow Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
The Freeflow Autoseal water bottle from Coleman has a durable, double-walled, vacuum-insulated stainless-steel construction. This insulation will keep beverages hot for up to 11 hours and cold for up to 30 hours. It has a high-flow spout to get you hydrated quickly, with a button-operated auto seal feature to seal the lid between sipping and keep it free from leaks and spills. This button is also protected by a patented slide lock to prevent accidental opening of the lid and provide double the protection. The drinking spout is sealed by a protective cover to prevent germs and dirt from getting inside, and all the plastic components are BPA free.
While these bottles insulate well at first, after a couple of months of use, you may find your coffee getting colder quicker. The insulation doesn’t seem to last long. The lid has complicated components that can be difficult to keep clean, leading to potential mold issues. Several users have reported this bottle rusting inside, and the bottle is heavy.
8. CamelBak 1515101060 Chute Mag Water Bottle
CamelBak is a well-known leader in the hydration game, and the Chute Mug water bottle lives up to its revered reputation. The bottle lid has a magnetic cap to keep it out of the way while drinking and has a comfortable handle for carrying. It is vacuum insulated and will keep beverages hot for up to 6 hours and cold for up to 24 hours. The drinking spout is conveniently and ergonomically angled to deliver a high flow rate without spilling or leaking while sipping. The bottle is protected against condensation and guaranteed to keep dry inside your backpack.
Ice is not ideal for use with this bottle, as it will block the spout and make drinking difficult. The bottle also dents and the finish scratches and chips easily, so be sure not to drop it! Some users report the bottle does not insulate well after a couple of months of use, and it is difficult to clean properly.
9. Hydrology Water Bottle
The Hydrology water bottle features double-walled, vacuum-insulated, premium-grade, stainless-steel construction and comes in a variety of colors. It claims to keep your beverages hot for up to 12 hours and cold for up to 48 hours, which is impressive. The bottle includes three different lids: a carabiner straw and sports lid, a flip-top lid, and a stainless-steel lid. The lids are BPA free, and the bottle itself is powder-coated for good grip and durability and will stay free from condensation.
The straw lid doesn’t work well, and you’ll mostly be getting air rather than liquid when drinking through it. The flip lid doesn’t seal correctly, resulting in leaking and wetting the contents of your bag. In fact, all three of the lids leak between the threads unless the bottle is perfectly upright. The vacuum seal is anything but, and you’ll be able to depress the outer layer easily by hand, which means it won’t be well insulated.
10. Brita 36393 Premium Filtered Water Bottle
This 20-ounce water bottle from Brita is unique in that it has a built-in carbon filter, which will reduce the bad taste and odors that can come from chlorinated water. Plus, the clean filtered water is said to stay nice and cold for up to 24 hours. It is constructed from double-walled stainless steel, with a BPA-free lid. The lid has a comfortable carrying loop, a one-push button opening, and an enclosed straw sipper.
The straw is difficult to get liquid from, if at all. The bottle is also not at all well insulated, and the liquid inside will not stay cold for long, let alone 24 hours. The bottle is also difficult to clean due to the numerous components inside, which may quickly result in mold. While filtered water may be a great addition, you’ll need to replace the filter every two months at least, which can become a pain. The filter also limits the use of the bottle, and it’s not suitable for much more than water.
Choosing to use a reusable stainless-steel water bottle over disposable, single-use plastic bottles is a great way to do your small part in reducing waste. Every day, around 8 million pieces of plastic make their way into the ocean, and at least half of this plastic trash is single-use plastics like water bottles. Americans alone use 50 billion plastic bottles a year, and at least 60% of the waste in the ocean is plastic. Bottles made from plastic can last up to 450 years in a marine environment.
Here are a few important factors to look out for when purchasing a stainless-steel water bottle:
- Certain insulating methods can make stainless steel bottles heavy, as will their capacity. You’ll need to find a balance between how well insulated you want it vs. how much liquid you’d like to carry around.
- Water flow. The bottle should be well sealed, but not so much that it’s difficult to drink from. Most bottles have a choice of button presses for opening, straws, flip lids, and traditional screw tops. Which one you purchase will depend entirely on your intended use. That said, some bottles come with multiple lids for versatility.
- BPA free. Although almost all stainless-steel bottles do not contain much, if any plastic, the lids usually do. You’ll want to make sure that they are free from BPA. BPA stands for bisphenol A, a potentially harmful chemical found in some commercial plastics. This chemical has been found to leach into foods and liquids and may have a negative effect on health.
- Will you be using the bottle for hot drinks as well as cold beverages? Then you’ll want to use a bottle with a well-insulated interior and lid. Some will keep liquids hot for an entire day and cold for even longer.
- This is an obvious point, but you’ll want your bottle to leak as little as possible. In general, the less complicated the lid, the less chance there is of leaking.
- You’ll be carrying this bottle around with you all day, which means you will definitely drop it at some point. While most will dent slightly, they should be able to handle small falls without breaking.
- Lastly, you want your bottle to feel and look good. It should have a comfortable non-slip grip and ideally, a handle of some kind for easy transportation.
The best choice overall is the IRON FLASK stainless steel water bottle. It is made from vacuum-insulated stainless steel, comes with three different lids, and is guaranteed to never rust or leave a metallic taste in your beverage. Plus, the bottle comes with a 100% money-back guarantee!
The best stainless-steel water bottle for the money is from Contigo, with its exceptional combination of beautiful design and superior functionality. The bottle has specialized Thermalock vacuum insulation, an auto spout lid, and a convenient carry handle for use on the go. This bottle offers fantastic value for money.
We’d all like to do a small part for the environment, and a stainless-steel water bottle is a great way to begin. It is a purchase that you won’t want to make often, so choosing the right one can be a challenge. Hopefully, our in-depth reviews have helped you find the right stainless-steel bottle to suit your unique needs.
David Slone runs the TapIt Water blog. He first learned about water filtration and the impact it has on the world in college. Ever since that day he has worked towards making the world a better place. He writes to inform you about water filtration, the consequences of plastics, bottled water, and how we can do things better.
He loves to spend time with his beloved wife, 3 kids, and dog when he’s not writing.
- 1 A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- 2 The 10 Best Stainless-Steel Water Bottles — Reviews 2021
- 2.1 1. IRON °FLASK Sports Water Bottle — Best Overall
- 2.2 2. Contigo Stainless Steel Water Bottle — Best Value
- 2.3 3. S’well Stainless Steel Water Bottle — Premium Choice
- 2.4 4. Simple Modern Summit Water Bottle
- 2.5 5. HYDRO CELL Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- 2.6 6. bubba 2103830 Trailblazer Water Bottle
- 2.7 7. Coleman 2015761 FreeFlow Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- 2.8 8. CamelBak 1515101060 Chute Mag Water Bottle
- 2.9 9. Hydrology Water Bottle
- 2.10 10. Brita 36393 Premium Filtered Water Bottle
- 3 Buyers Guide
- 4 Conclusion