You want to know the best insulated water bottle, and we’re here to tell you.
The Simple Modern Summit Water Bottle combines versatility with elegance in a 20oz. bottle that’s as sturdy as it is striking. But the real reason we consider this one of the best water bottles out there is the Summit’s temperature retention abilities. That, and the fact that the company’s generosity extends to both planet and people.
Insulated water bottles make the daily challenge of not dying of dehydration a little more fun.
Between the trail of Earth-threatening plastic they leave behind and the tepid horror of lukewarm water, throwaway bottles are, at this point, planetary villains.
And yes, we suppose you could say that insulated water bottles are the BPA-free heroes that swoop in and save the day.
But you can’t just go out and buy the first insulated water bottle you come across. Well, okay, you could. But we’ve got a better plan: We’ve done the hard work for you so that you can pick out one of the 10 best insulated water bottles. Any of the bottles on our list will be an excellent choice.
The Insulated Water Bottles We RAVE About
Insulated Water Bottles vs. Regular Water Bottles
There are no arguments that favor throwaway bottles. They are expensive, potentially hazardous, and ultimately destined for the landfill (and then the ocean).
While we can agree that all reusable water bottles combat single-use plastics, not all bottles are equal.
Some water bottles are ill-equipped for temperature retention. However, there are others that are specifically designed for holding your water (or tea, or coffee, or other beverage) at its desired temperature.
Another perk of insulated water bottles? They’re close to dent-proof. Because of the construction and materials, insulated bottles tend to be extremely durable, long-lasting, and generally able to take a punch. That’s more than you can say for their disposable plastic counterparts.
How Insulated Water Bottles Work
Remember the Thermos?
Today’s insulated water bottles look nothing like the unwieldy drink receptacles that inspired them. However, the technology at work has essentially remained the same.
Insulated bottles are containers within containers, with a vacuum or foam layer in between to limit temperature transmission. Foam-packed containers were first designed for cold fluids and vacuum-sealed containers the opposite. But newer-generation vacuum-sealed containers actually do a seamless job for both.
The mechanics of insulation are simple: The heat or cold is trapped between the bottle’s layers, slowing down the process of temperature dissipation. Naturally, if these layers are compromised, the insulating properties of the bottle will be too.
Choosing An Insulated Water Bottle
If choosing an insulated water bottle were merely a question of skimming through the reusable bottle aisle, you probably wouldn’t be here.
Insulated water bottles should fit the needs of its owner. Case in point: The insulated water bottle that is parked on your work desk may not do well rattling around in your gym bag.
Hot/Cold Insulated Water Bottles
When choosing an insulated water bottle, its ability to retain the temperature of your drink is the crux of the matter.
If you are looking for something that can alternate between piping hot and freezing cold, it’s best to choose a vacuum-sealed option. Double-walled vacuum style bottles are ideal for this purpose, but they do tend to be rather bulky.
Unless you’re planning to head out on a multi-day backpacking journey in the near future, don’t be deterred by the added weight that comes with these bottles — they’re worth it.
Insulated Water Bottles For Hiking or Cycling
For hikers and cyclists everywhere, the rule is the same: The faster you want to be, the lighter you want your insulated bottle.
There’s nothing quite like trying to ascend the Himalayas with a 3kg water bottle sabotaging your efforts.
Bottles that are exclusively designed to store cold water are often the lightest. If you need a bottle that can also handle hot beverages, you’re likely to pay for it with some added weight.
Insulated Water Bottles For Kids
How much water is your child drinking, really?
Nothing will guarantee a child’s hydration better than a water bottle that boasts great temperature retention and is also fun and interesting to look at.
Want to track your child’s drinking progress?
Arm them with a leak-proof bottle with finger-grip caps and a playful design. Be sure to keep it lightweight!
Insulated Water Bottles For Your Car
If your water bottle is mostly going to be a resident of your car, its weight should be the least of your concerns. Go big if you must. Provided it is leak-proof and can slip into your cup holder without much fuss, it should pose no trouble.
That said, a key feature to consider is the accessibility of your drink. Most of this is dependent on the lid type, and whether or not there is a straw.
While driving, a traditional screw cap might be difficult to manage. Instead, opt for a flip top with a straw lid. Narrower mouths are less likely to cause a spill, and what’s more narrow than a straw, right?
We combed through dozens of water bottle brands and models to bring you this definitive list of the best insulated water bottles. Wondering how we filtered down our winners from the barrage of available options?
Here’s what we looked for:
- Construction: From trekking the Appalachian Trail to falling on the pavement in front of your office building, insulated bottles have to be able to take a beating. It’s important to know whether your bottle is built to last.
- Portability: Weight, shape, and size can take away from the convenience of an insulated water bottle. You want to be able to easily carry it in your hand, your purse, or your backpack without giving yourself back problems in the process.
- User-friendliness: Is the cap easy to remove? Is the bottle dishwasher safe? Do I have to worry about getting drenched if I attempt to take a sip while in a moving vehicle?
- Design/Appeal: What’s the point of buying a reusable water bottle if you’re just going to be tempted to leave it at home?
- Insulation Performance: The most important of all the features of an insulated water bottle is how long it retains the temperature of the liquid, whether hot or cold.
The result of this thorough investigation? A carefully selected list of the best insulated water bottles on the market.
Best Insulated Water Bottles
Simple Modern Summit Water Bottle
The Simple Modern Summit Water Bottle is testament to the fact that not all good things bore a hole in your bank account. It is inexpensive, comes in a myriad of sizes and colors, and can take a good beating without dings.
You’ll love the collaboration between the 18/8 stainless steel and copper in this bottle. The result is a canteen with poor temperature transmission that also disallows the growth of bacteria.
It’s finished with a durable matte coat, which may sweat after being filled. But this small flaw can be forgiven, since the matte coat also makes it a cinch to wash the bottle by dishwasher or by hand.
But here’s the cherry on top: Simple Modern gives away at least 10% of their profits to charities around the world. You have to admit, it’s hard not to be swayed by this generosity. Who doesn’t like a brand that gives back to both the planet and its inhabitants?
- Compatible with different lids
- Lightweight and scratch-proof
- Copper-dipped coat
- Sweaty exterior
- Lids are only sold separately
- Some users report a mild odor
MIRA wins us over with this dent-proof, sweat-proof, and rust-proof number. It is free of frills and yet outshines most of the competition. Our favorite thing about this bottle? It is compact, giving it a small boost in its insulating abilities since there is less room for the temperature to escape.
Between its rugged construction, its BPA- and phthalate-free cap, and its dual hot/cold function, it is easy to see why this bad boy tops the ranks on customer review sites. At a mere 23 ounces, it realizes the nomad’s lightweight ideal without compromising on insulation performance.
That said, it is not without a few snags. Its finish scratches easily, and its mouth isn’t accommodating to ice cubes. But this still leaves plenty to recommend, including its straightforward design that fits easily just about anywhere, from backpack pocket to car cup holder. You can see why the RAVE team is among MIRA’s many fans.
- Ideal for hot/cold beverages
- Sweat-proof coating
- Dent-proof stainless steel
- Finish scratches easily
- Narrow mouth
- Smaller than some others
Iron Flask Insulated Water Bottle
The Iron Flask Insulated Water Bottle is an excellent choice, provided you don’t mind the extra weight.
The bulk is easily justified by its double-wall insulation that guarantees that your cold beverages are kept nippy for 24 hours, while hot drinks stay toasty for 12. However, it may not fit into your standard size cup-holders; at least, not without some trouble.
On the upside, the vacuum-insulated 18/8 stainless steel bottle is sweat- and slip-proof. It has a scratch-proof powder coat exterior that will leave no rings on your table or desk.
To top things off, Iron Flask throws in 3 lids. The straw, flip, and stainless steel covers suit every function imaginable. Add them to the bottle’s sleek design, and you have a water bottle that is basically the canteen equivalent of a convertible.
- Sweat- and slip-proof
- Keeps drinks cold for 24 hours
- 3 different lids
- Prone to spills
- Large circumference
BottleBottle Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Some days, you need a cupholder-compliant, leak-proof bottle. On other days, you need an ergonomic straw to stay hydrated on the go. Well, the BottleBottle Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle was designed for you: the indecisive drinker.
It is a 40oz. stainless steel option, which means fewer refills are necessary. However, we must warn that it takes up quite a bit of space in bag real estate.
At first glance, the BottleBottle seems no different from other stainless steel insulated water bottles. However, the feat that this bottle accomplishes with its insulating layer of copper between its double-wall vacuum seal proves otherwise. It keeps cold drinks cold for a full 24-hour day, and hot beverages hot for half that time.
It is finished with a sweat- and slip-proof powder coat that manages temperature transfer as reliably as it keeps the exterior sweat-free. It’s a dehydrated workaholic’s dream come true.
- Double-wall vacuum seal
- Keeps drinks cold for 24 hours
- Large capacity
- Changing lids is inconvenient
- May be cumbersome to carry
POP Design Insulated Water Bottle
Thanks to its signature look, the POP Design Insulated Water Bottle has garnered a well-deserved cult following. The high-end finishes on this eye-catching bottle make it the go-to pick for anyone with an artistic eye. The only bad thing about this bottle? Deciding whether you prefer the silver, black, or wood finish.
But this bottle isn’t all about looks. It is vacuum-insulated and finished with a signature SafeShield powder coat, guaranteeing that sweat is not left trickling down your bottle.
Like most of its competitors, this bottle keeps cold liquids cold for 24 hours (12 hours for hot liquids). However, it is set apart by a narrow, drip-free mouth complete with a non-leaching cap that ensures fewer accidents.
That said, there might be a few accidents if this bottle is accidentally tossed in the dishwasher. No, it is not dishwasher safe.
Also, with complaints about a slight metallic taste, we would advise against allowing water to sit in this bottle for any longer than 24 hours.
- Urban-chic design
- Narrow, spill-proof mouth
- Lifetime warranty
- Not dishwasher safe
- A few reports of rust
- May have slight metallic taste
Thermos Vacuum Insulated 18oz. Bottle
Right off the bat, it is apparent that the Thermos Vacuum Insulated 18oz. Bottle is a keeper. And no, it is nothing like that clunky Thermos your dad used to lug around.
This is a sleek, ergonomic canteen with a durable design and signature Thermos vacuum insulation technology for maximum temperature retention.
What sets this 18oz. bottle apart from its peers is its push-button lid and locking ring. Combined with a comfortable rubber grip, this bottle is essentially spill- and slip-proof. With its push-button design securing the lid during transport and its condensation-proof exterior, there’ll be virtually nothing standing between you and proper hydration.
Of course, an 18oz. option is not the best idea if you’re not willing to make a few refill trips. But its size does make it cupholder-compliant.
- Keeps water cold for 14 hours
- Secure clasp
- Comfortable rubber grip
- Small capacity
- Cold beverages only
- Gasket comes undone easily
Healthy Human Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Healthy Human makes a statement with the Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle. This lightweight bottle features a carabiner with an 18/8 steel-lined lid.
The sleek ergonomic design of the bottle makes it an ideal companion for just about any purpose — especially when you need the guarantee of a cold beverage for at least 14 hours, or hot for 12.
On the other hand, this thing is pretty bulky, and even more so when it is loaded with liquids and perhaps ice.
But the extra weight is a fair trade-off for its durability. Overall, the Healthy Human Stainless Steel Bottle wins high praise. Despite being a little too large for cup-holders and quite a weight to lug around all day, it makes a great life-long companion.
- Keeps drinks cold for 14 hours
- Keeps drinks hot for 12 hours
- Comes with carabiner
- Some complaints of an odor
- Pretty unwieldy
- Not great for hiking/cycling
The Flow Stainless Steel Water Bottle
In some ways, the Flow Stainless Steel Water Bottle is not unlike the others on our list: It’s a stainless steel bottle featuring double-wall and vacuum insulation technology. It keeps liquids hot for 12 hours or cold for 24, and it’s BPA- and toxin-free.
However, the Flow’s minimalist design and multi-lid options add an interesting twist to what would be an otherwise generic bottle.
It is accompanied by a pop-up straw, a screw cap with clip, and a flip-top sipper. These 3 cap options suit any situation imaginable.
The only gripe with this bottle may be its lack of a tapered end. This ultimately makes it unable to fit into any vehicle cup-holders. Otherwise, its dribble-free mouth and cap versatility are enough reason to go with ‘The Flow.’
- BPA- and toxin-free
- Convenient lid handle
- Multi-lid caps
- No tapered end
- Flip top is notoriously flimsy
- Does not fit in a cup-holder
Contigo AutoSeal Chill Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Given Contigo’s reputation as a tried and true brand, it is no surprise that the Contigo AutoSeal Chill Stainless Steel Water Bottle is unmatched in features and quality.
This model impresses with Contigo’s signature AutoSeal technology, which ensures a leak-free and spill-free experience. With a push button resting over the spout that allows for one-handed access and an integrated carry-handle, this is as good as it gets.
In terms of insulation, the Contigo over-delivers with the double-walled vacuum-sealed Thermalock feature. This ensures drinks are kept chilly for a record-breaking 28 hours.
It’s worth noting that many customers reported that their Contigo AutoSeal bottle dented easily, and there were some complaints about the ease of access on the push-button lid as well. But all in all, this is still a worthy choice for your insulated water bottle purchase.
- 28-hour temperature retention
- Carry handle
- Notoriously bulky
- Complicated push button access
- Prone to dents
Polar Bottle Insulated Water Bottle
The Polar Bottle Insulated Water Bottle is a departure from the stainless steel construction of many insulated water bottles. Made from BPA-free plastic, this surprisingly stylish bottle is a head-turner.
This bottle proves to be the perfect companion for a jaunt into the wilderness (or for a jog in the park). The 24oz. bottle is virtually crush-proof, with an auto-sealing valve for on-the-go hydration. It also has an alternative sports bottle cap with removable Carry Loops for clipping your bottle to anything. Ingenious, right?
Compared to other insulated water bottles, we can’t say that the Polar Bottle scores high in terms of insulation. Cold water will stay that way for about 2 hours, and hot a little shy of 3.
That said, extremely hot beverages are not advised, as the bottle scrunches up slightly when you pour in near-boiling liquids. It is plastic, after all.
- Freezer & dishwasher safe
- Wide mouth
- May harbor bacteria, mold…
- Short insulation time
- Best Glass Water Bottles
- Best Stainless Steel Water Bottles
- Best Collapsible Water Bottles
- Best Infuser Water Bottles
Can I freeze my insulated water bottle?
With traditional throwaway bottles, this is a no-brainer. You buy it and stash it in the freezer until it is frozen solid and practically bursting at the seams. And sometimes (against popular advice), you refill and repeat.
It seems like a natural progression to do the same with your insulated water bottle. You fill it up and stash it in the freezer to ensure that it stays extra cold. That’s fine, right?
Your insulated water bottle is nothing like the $0.99 bottles you toss into the freezer with reckless abandon.
As the liquid freezes, it expands, putting your water bottle at risk of being deformed. Even worse, it might damage the vacuum seals responsible for the insulating properties of the bottle. In an instant, your investment could become a deformed bottle with no insulation.
If you are contemplating putting your insulated water bottle in the freezer, we admire your dedication to ice-cold drinks. However, your best bet is to pick an insulated bottle with room for ice cubes.
How can I fix my leaky insulated water bottle?
This is the part where we emphasize that warranties are no joking matter. A few brands will offer replacement parts and repairs as part of a limited warranty offer — take advantage!
If your bottle didn’t come with a warranty, take heart: Some problems with your water bottle might be easy to fix on your own.
In some cases, the silicone valves in the cap may loosen, allowing liquid to escape. You can fix it by cleaning out the inner workings of the vent-valves or replacing the silicone ring on the inside of your bottle cap.
Some brands provide patch material along with their insulated water bottle, with which you can repair the leak. Alternatively, you can use a bicycle tire inner tube repair kit.
However, if the vacuum seal has been perforated, the bottle’s insulating properties will be compromised. You may never be able to enjoy insulation, but at least your bottle will be leak-free.
If the leak persists after taking those steps, it might be time to lay the bottle to rest.
Can I put hot beverages in my insulated water bottle?
Most insulated water bottles work both ways — hot and cold.
Vacuum-sealed insulated water bottles boast hot water retention of up to 7 hours or more. However, they do not work the same way that travel mugs do.
For metal bottles, higher temperatures may not pose a problem. The same cannot be said for other bottles, especially those with plastic straws that can be distorted by extra-hot liquids.
Bottles which are single-walled conduct heat and may pose safety concerns. Foam-sealed bottles will do nothing for maintaining heat, and glass will likely break with piping hot water.
How do I clean my insulated water bottle?
So, you’ve gotten your insulated water bottle — it’s convenient and versatile. You love it. But it isn’t dishwasher safe, or you don’t have a dishwasher to put it in. How do you properly care for your bottle?
Don’t sweat it. Cleaning your insulated water bottle is easy…for the most part.
If you are expecting to hear that your bottle will be fine with a perfunctory rinse under running water, we hate to disappoint — but no. This is not the case. You’ll need a little more effort and elbow grease if you are interested in keeping your bottle around for a long time.
Begin by purchasing a natural dish-washing liquid. It is also a great time to invest in a few water bottle cleaning brushes.
Get down to business with a few drops of the dish-washing liquid and some warm water. Close the bottle and shake, then whip out the bottle brush and get scrubbing. To eliminate deep-set stains, or that lingering coffee whiff, get creative with some vinegar or baking soda.
Ideally, water bottles should be washed on a daily basis, but a day apart is not a bad deal either.
What are the best insulated water bottles?
To arrive at a definitive list of the best insulated water bottles, we worked through an in-depth meta-analysis of expert reviews and trends on consumer sites.
Overall, the Simple Modern Summit Water Bottle proved to be worth the hype. In addition to its elegance and the convenience of insulation, the Summit offers a slew of compatible caps, designed for various functions. And don’t get us started on its spill-proof-but-ice-cube-accommodating mouth, or the fact that it is dishwasher-safe.
It was a close race, though. The Polar Bottle Insulated Water Bottle and POP Design Insulated Water Bottle prove worthy rivals to the Summit. Read through the entire list to get a good sense of all your options, and you’re sure to find the insulated water bottle that’s perfect for you.
Ready to get started on your insulated water bottle journey? Here are a few accessories that will liven up your experience.
- Silicone Water Bottle Brush By Sur La Table: Lather up and scrub down your beloved insulated water bottle with a pliable, food-safe silicone brush for that fresh, just-bought feel.
- Insulated Water Bottle Sleeve by Coldest Water: Because a few more hours of keeping your beverage cold couldn’t hurt.
- Water Bottle Ice Stick: If you can’t toss your insulated water bottle in the freezer, you can always bring the freezer to your water bottle.
- HydraQuiver Water Bottle Carrier by Orange Mud: This accessory is perfect for trail-running, marathon training, or any other time you don’t want your water bottle sloshing around in your hands.