The Best Insulated Water Bottles | BuzzFeed Reviews
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The Best Insulated Water Bottles

We hope you love the products we recommend! We do a lot of research and testing before making our picks for the best thing to buy in each price-point. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change. For more info on how we choose products and make money, go here.

Mira Alpine Water Bottle

$16

  • Compact and functional
  • Metal carrying handle
  • Comes with two cap styles
Buying Options

Takeya Originals Water Bottle

$20

  • Enjoyable, versatile lid design
  • Fold-down handle
  • Premium coating
Buying Options

Yeti Rambler Water Bottle

$30

  • Indestructible build
  • Three-finger handle
  • Comfortable to carry for extended periods
Buying Options

We might start by telling you that water isn’t a thirst-quencher so much as it is a life necessity, but you already know that. We can also say you could benefit from more water — but who do we look like, your doctor? Point is that despite what anyone knows, we all could use an assist in the hydration department. May we suggest a reusable water bottle? And not just any ol’ reusable water bottle: we’re talking temperature-regulating insulated water bottles. You know, the kind that keeps liquids hot or cold all day long and won’t ever sweat. Not only are they more durable, they actually make drinking H2O … uh, fun? At least for us, anyway. So we tested a bevy of bottles within the 15- to 20-ounce range — portable enough to tote around, big enough to help you reach your recommended daily intake — to find the best insulated water bottles for any budget. Stay thirsty, friends.

 

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Mira Alpine Water Bottle

Starting from $16

Where to buy

The Details

Holds 17 fluid ounces

BPA-free

Food-grade stainless steel

Powder-coated finish

Hand wash only

Available in 11 colors

What / Who It's Best For

  • Laid-back trips
  • Bags and purses where space is at a premium
  • Nine-to-fivers looking for a bottle to keep at the office

Why We Love It

If you hate the idea of spending more than you absolutely must on a water bottle that will keep water cold and won’t sweat all over your bag or desk, allow us to introduce you to our $ winner, the Mira Alpine water bottle. In fact, our budget-range test group also included the Mira Cascade model, but the Alpine won by a long shot, thanks to its fantastic insulation, convenient size, wide-mouth opening, and nifty handle.

At eight inches tall and three inches wide, this bottle was the smallest of the test group, but definitely made the most of its compact size. We found that most bottles in this price range are either taller or wider than they need to be for the amount of water they hold, but Mira’s Alpine model manages to keep things compact — easily slipping into car cup holders, backpacks, and large purses — without sacrificing insulation.

Mira Alpine Water Bottle held by hand

To test the temperature, we placed five ice cubes in each bottle, filled them with filtered water, and let them sit on a counter at room temperature (73 degrees). We then evaluated the temperature one hour, five hours, and ten hours later: times that correspond with everyday use cases, like quick trips to the store, half-day errands, and a full day of activity.

All insulated water bottles claim to keep water cold (or hot) for 24 hours. That’s nice, but rather excessive. We just wanted to know if a bottle could last through a 10-hour day without the water temperature changing  dramatically from its starting point. The contents of the Alpine bottle rose by 4.9 degrees Fahrenheit after 10 hours. This was in line with the other contenders in this price range, which included brands like Simple Modern, Iconiq, and Polar Bottle.

It wasn’t just the Alpine model’s insulation function that impressed us. Our parched testers particularly appreciated the fold-down metal handle, which is slightly reminiscent of the lid design of our $$ pick. Not only does the metal handle make the bottle easy to hook onto a carabiner or carry for extended periods of time, it also serves as leverage for twisting the cap on and off. The Mira Alpine also won because of its wide-mouth opening, which our testers clearly preferred, citing that they’re easier to load with ice and lemon slices.

Mira Alpine water bottle with sport cap

The bottle is not without faults, however. While the powder coating feels better than those on most low-cost bottles, it didn’t take much to scratch it. But if you’re looking for a solid budget water bottle that’ll keep you hydrated from point A to point B and back again, we say a few scratches here and there come with the territory. It’s worth noting that the bottle also comes with a sports cap, which none of our testers actually used. (We also collectively agreed to go to the gym more often.)

If you’re looking for an everyday water bottle that’s easier to lug around and that’ll keep your H2O cold, you can’t go wrong with Mira’s Alpine water bottle. Need more proof? Check out the reviews below!

User Reviews

“This bottle is AMAZING! I got the 17-ounce one and I am so happy with it. I tell everyone to get one and I'm purchasing another. I left ice cold water in this bottle in my car when I arrived at work at about 8 a.m. It was a sunny, hot day and my windows were up. At 4 p.m. when I left, I got stuck in traffic and was thirsty. I assumed that it would be hot or at least warm, but in desperation I tried anyway. The water was STILL ICE COLD! After about eight hours in a sweltering car! I couldn't believe it. I'm sold! The outside is also perfect for fun vinyl stickers.”
— Stacey Lynn From Amazon
“I first ordered the 35-ounce bottle for work because I drink a lot of water. It is amazing! I like my water ice-cold, and the ice cubes that I put in the bottle in the morning before I go to work are still in there the following morning! It's large yet portable and the metal screw on lid is strong and sturdy (just make sure you screw it on completely before holding it by the handle). I loved this bottle so much I ordered a smaller one for the gym. Every bottle comes with a metal screw-on lid and a sports lid with a mouthpiece. The only negative thing I took away from these products is that the sports lid is a little difficult to drink out of, since the piece keeps closing when you try to drink out of it. All in all, a great product! I've already recommended it to friends and family, and they have also been impressed at the great quality for a decent price.”
— Victoria From Amazon
I got this for my son to take to school. I tried it out first. It is a very sturdy bottle. And I love that it came with two different lids. I put ice water in it in the morning. And that afternoon, there was still some ice in there. I will be buying more of these!”
— Nicole From Amazon

Mira

The Budget-Friendly Go-To

Where to buy

$16 at Amazon
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Takeya Originals Water Bottle

Starting from $20

Where to buy

The Details

Holds 18 fluid ounces

BPA-free

Stainless steel

Double powder-coated finish

Hand wash only

Available in six colors

What / Who It's Best For

  • Super-commuters
  • Fitness junkies looking for a gym buddy
  • Parents with thirsty kids

Why We Love It

When is a water bottle more than just a water bottle? When it manages to elicit as much imagination and enthusiasm as the Takeya Originals water bottle. Out of all the bottles we tested, regardless of price point, there was something about Takeya that made us want to drink water, with one tester even noting that it made her wish she went to the gym regularly.

Now, if there’s one major reason to stop using those plastic water bottles you get for free when you, say, sign up for a new bank account, it’s bisphenol A, or BPA. As the the Mayo Clinic explains, BPA is a chemical byproduct found in some plastic water bottles that has possible adverse effects “on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants, and children,” adding that “additional research suggests a possible link between BPA and increased blood pressure.” Like most insulated-water-bottle makers, Takeya claims its bottles are BPA-free.

In short: It’s buyer beware with the cheap plastic stuff! Accept nothing less than BPA-free.

Takeya Water Bottle full view

If you’re research sleuths like us, chances are you’ve seen that the Takeya Originals bottle is one of Wirecutter’s top picks, and for good reason. While this double-walled insulated bottle is attractive in an unassuming kind of way, it really is the lid that demands attention. You can drink through a flip-cap spout or by unscrewing the whole lid, and it features a flip-up handle for carrying.

When compared to our runner-up in this price range, S’ip by S’well (S’well’s hip younger s’ibling), it was the combination of Takeya’s leakproof spout lid, which can be used for sipping or chugging, and the mouth opening, which is wide enough to accept ice from any source, that made all the difference for our testers. Actually, Takeya ran circles around its competitors in every category, from portability to overall look and feel.

Takeya Water bottle lid handle

For all you parents out there, the flip-cap spout makes this bottle ideal for sharing with kids. It’s easy enough to open and close, even for tikes as young as five. And because the spout locks in place, securely out of the way, the kiddos won’t have a difficult time getting their daily intake. Another great use we found for the flip-cap spout? Watering your office desk plants. That’s what we call versatility.

However, the lid design appears to be susceptible to letting cold or heat escape. Of the bottles we tested, Takeya’s temperature climbed the most (by a few mere degrees) over the course of 10 hours, even though the twist cap and flip-cap spout are both insulated. The flip-up handle is a benefit, but it isn’t perfect. It’s fastened with a stainless-steel pin but is made from plastic, and it’s not hard to imagine the handle snapping off. Still, these seemed to be nitpicky knocks for a water bottle that got a universal thumbs up from all of our testers.  

Takeya water bottle top shot

When it comes to form, the Takeya is slim and constrained, which makes it a viable option for the car, a bag, and nearly all other places you’d want to take an 18-ounce water bottle. Since the bottle has a double-powder textured coating, eliminating the cold touch of stainless steel, it feels really nice to hold while drinking.

If you’re willing to spend more than the bare minimum on an insulated water bottle and need one to accommodate a lot of different situations, be sure to take a serious look at the Takeya.

User Reviews

“I have the 18-ounce bottle and I use it primarily in my office. I love the wide-mouth opening that makes cleaning and filling with ice simple. I love the smaller cap opening for drinking. I prefer this type of lid design as it is simple to clean. The gasket is removable so all nooks can be properly cleaned. I have had issues with other bottle lids that were like jigsaw puzzles to take apart and clean. The rubber grips make opening and closing the lid easier. I also like the powder coat colors over stainless, as it does not show fingerprints. I have it in orchid, which is a great color.”
— A. Collins From Amazon
“Takeya advertises this as the BEST LID EVER, and I agree 100%. Best water bottle I have ever used. And five bucks cheaper than the Yeti! The Carlisle 4000104 Sparta Commercial Quality Bottle Brush I purchased on Amazon fits in the Takeya very well for cleaning it. One tar for the Takeya customer support number: I called two days in a row during their business hours and all I get is a recording saying to call back during business hours. It is business hours. My thoughts is they do not want to talk to anyone, and want you to use email only. Forget trying to contact them by phone, NOT going to happen. Makes me wonder why they even list a number.”
— S. Joiner From Amazon
“I bought two of the 18-ounce bottles for my kids for school. We had been using the Camelback bottles for years but my daughter complains her water would get warm and wanted a bottle that kept ice and her water cold. So I tried these out. These bottles are great! I tested them out before I used them for school and the ice stayed in the bottle until the next day.”
— JHH26 From Amazon

Takeya

Unmatched Versatility

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Yeti Rambler Water Bottle

Starting from $30

Where to buy

The Details

Holds 18 fluid ounces

BPA-Free

Stainless steel

Extra-wide mouth opening

Dishwasher-safe

Available in nine colors

What / Who It's Best For

  • Rough-and-tumble types
  • Outdoor enthusiasts who want to stay hydrated on the trail
  • Weekend warriors

Why We Love It

Plain and simple: the Yeti Rambler is a great insulated water bottle. It’s a premium brand that actually performs as such. At first glance and touch, we found obvious differences in build quality and design that separate it from other water bottles in the splurge-worthy price range. And though it’s built with outdoor enthusiasts in mind, that doesn’t mean us city folk can’t get in on the action.

Let’s look at this bottle from top to bottom. Beyond looking the part and feeling extremely solid, there are a lot of niceties that make this bottle as practical as it is attractive, the most notable of which are its three-finger carrying lid and wide-mouth opening, which fits over your entire nose while drinking.

Yeti Water Bottle open with cap on side

Not only does the handle design have substantial heft, it makes carrying the bottle for, say, an extended hike (through the woods or the New York City subway system) easier than most. In comparison to the Rambler cap’s simple but highly effective construction, other built-in lid handles felt over-designed and unnecessary.

And who can forget the rim of this thing? It’s thick and rounded, not sharp or uncomfortable — a subtle detail that makes an enormous difference. The wide opening feels as natural as drinking from a standard cup, which means it’s easy to drink water in most situations without needing to completely stop what you’re doing. It also makes cleaning as easy as cleaning a typical drinking cup.

Yeti Rambler water bottle held in hand

It’s unclear if Yeti is doing anything in its double-wall vacuum insulation that others aren’t doing, but it definitely gets the job done. Which reminds us: now would be a good time to explain what vacuum insulation means, exactly. The easiest way to think of it is as a bottle within a bottle.

To say a water bottle has “double-wall vacuum insulation” simply means that it has an inner and outer wall. The internal vessel does all the work maintaining the temperature of any given liquid, while the outer wall is what you come into contact with. Where the vacuum comes in is in the space between those two layers, which are sealed airtight. That’s why insulated water bottles don’t feel too cold to the touch and don’t sweat.

Yeti Rambler full view

Aside from Yeti’s superior double-wall construction, the Rambler has a simple yet pleasing silhouette — no extra ridges, no extra flare, just a clean sightline where everything lines up perfectly. All of which makes the bottle enjoyable to hold while drinking. And thanks to the stainless-steel construction and extra-durable coating, you can bet on this bottle surviving a few tumbles.

Don’t expect anything flashy from the Yeti Rambler. Overall, it performs like a premium insulated water bottle, and we love it because it does so in modest fashion.

User Reviews

“First of all: I do not have any financial interest in this company nor have I received any incentives to write this review. My only agenda is to provide you with factual information so you can make an intelligent purchasing decision. This product is SUPERIOR for the following reasons: 1. The bottle is made of durable material which affords you maximum temperature control. 2. The 18 oz. size is easy to handle for children over six years of age and mature adults. 3. The cold temperature holds solid ice for 48 HOURS! With liquids included: 36 HOURS! 4. The hot temperature remains piping hot for 24 HOURS! Warm: 36 HOURS! 5. The price is affordable for the quality and will last a lifetime.”
— On The Fly From Amazon
“If it is a Yeti you know it is the best. I use my travel mug every day but got this for times when I want to seal it up completely, like when taking along some hot soup. Yes, it is expensive, and if you don't need the best insulated bottle on the market by all means get a cheap knockoff. If you want to keep your liquids hot or cold longer than any other commercially available product on the market, this is it.”
— Joseph Solomito From Amazon
“I owned an RTIC 18-ounce water bottle for a long time. I recently lost it and decided to try the Yeti 18-ounce. As soon as I opened the top, I felt the quality that I paid for. The cap goes on and off very easily. There was always a little struggle with the RTIC. Furthermore, this feels lighter as well. I am impressed with this product.”
— UrbanTurbin From Amazon
“Love it. I got one as a gift and absolutely love it. I bought this one in pink for my fiancée. She loves it and uses it every day. Not big and heavy for her. Keeps drinks cold and ice doesn’t melt for over a day, even sitting in the vehicle in the blazing hot sun.”
— Ter From Amazon

Yeti

Modest perfection

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