Owning a reusable water bottle is a great way to cut out single-use plastic and stay hydrated. Most people have specific preferences for their drinking vessels—nearly every WIRED staffer has their own favorite—so the best water bottle is the one you’ll use. If you’re unsure where to start, we’ve rounded up our favorites after years of trial and error and a lot of water.
Whichever bottle or brand you go with, remember that you don’t need to own a collection of any bottle—that defeats the environmental purpose of purchasing a reusable bottle in the first place.
Be sure to check out our other buying guides, like the Best Travel Mugs, Best Reusable Products, and the Best Recycled Products.
Updated February 2024: The Owala FreeSip is our new top pick. We’ve added the brand’s tumbler, as well as the LifeStraw Go, Yeti Yonder, and HydroJug Pro as options. We’ve also made a note about Stanley’s use of lead in its viral bottles.
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How Much Water Do You Really Need?
Drinking water is extremely important, but there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to just how much we need. The old 8-glasses-a-day rule isn’t for everyone, but it’s a fine place to start. Talk to your doctor, who can assess your needs given your health and lifestyle. If you’re an active person, working out and sweating a lot, you should drink more, as you should if you’re in a hot and humid area. If you’re thirsty, drink.
The Mayo Clinic states that about 20 percent of your daily fluid intake should come from food and that in total—counting both from drinking and eating—adult men should get around 3.7 liters a day and women 2.7 liters a day. Drinking too much water can cause your sodium levels to drop to dangerous levels in a condition called hyponatremia, but that’s, uh, quite a bit of water. Sipping your water bottle all day shouldn’t be an issue.