Skip To Content
    Apr 10, 2020

    The Best Insulated Water Bottles You Won't Mind Lugging Around All Day

    Keep the hot stuff hot and the cold stuff cold.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    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?

    Universal Television / Via giphy.com

    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.

    Editor's Note: We're currently updating this review with new picks! Come back soon for more.

    Mira Alpine Water Bottle

    BuzzFeed

    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.

    BuzzFeed

    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.

    BuzzFeed

    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.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.

    Takeya Originals Water Bottle

    BuzzFeed

    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 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.

    BuzzFeed

    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.

    BuzzFeed

    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.  

    BuzzFeed

    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.

    Get it from Amazon for $14+.

    Yeti Rambler Water Bottle

    BuzzFeed

    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.

    BuzzFeed

    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.

    BuzzFeed

    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.

    BuzzFeed

    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.

    Get it from Amazon for $23.