When it comes to keeping your drink ice cold, nothing beats a good stainless steel water bottle.
We absolutely love Hydro Flask’s 32oz. Sports Water Bottle. The double-walled vacuum insulation keeps your hot drinks hot and your cold ones cold, without creating those annoying droplets of condensation that get your stuff all wet. With its sporty design and wide range of bright colors, the Hydro Flask is easily one of the best water bottles on the market.
We love well-designed, practical, stylish products. Our favorite stainless steel water bottles are no exception.
With so many people turning away from disposable plastic bottles and looking for more eco-friendly, healthy solutions, it’s important to know what the options are. Our team at RAVE spent hours researching the alternatives — BPA-free plastic, glass, and stainless steel — and looking through hundreds of different designs and models. Which one you go for depends on your personal taste. But to help you get started, we’ve created these rankings.
This time we look at our favorite stainless steel water bottles. If you spend a lot of time in the great outdoors, or if you’re simply (more than) a bit clumsy, stainless steel might be the way to go (although make sure to check out our ranking of the best glass water bottles too — some of our faves are surprisingly sturdy!).
Stainless steel is one of the most durable materials out there, so it should last you a long time. Steel also has great insulating properties, so bottles made of this material are great at keeping your drinks the temperature you want them.
The Stainless Steel Water Bottles We RAVE About
It’s hot outside and we need a refreshing drink, so we buy a $1 bottle of water from the store. Or it’s winter, we can’t feel our fingers, and all we want is a nice, piping-hot cup of coffee to go. We’ve all been there, and chances are we thought nothing of it.
But should we stop and think about that plastic bottle or disposable coffee cup we’ve just tossed in the trash? Just take a look around and you’re bound to see lots of people drinking out of disposable containers.
What happens to them all?
Well, here’s the sad part: If not recycled, plastic ends up in landfills and in the ocean, where it can stay for up to 1,000 years! Some reports estimate that there are more than 150 million tons of plastics in the oceans already, with another 8 million tons being added each year. That’s a whopping 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean and counting.
If we carry on like this, research suggests that the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish by 2050. We’re not sure how much all the fish in the world weigh, but we’re willing to guess that it’s a hell of a lot.
While a plastic-free world is a long way away, each one of us can make small changes to help make a difference. The good news is there are lots of environmentally friendly options out there.
Stainless Steel Is As Green As It Gets
Compared to plastic, stainless steel is a lot kinder to the environment and to your body.
First of all, stainless steel products are made to last for years and even decades, so you won’t be constantly buying them and tossing them out. Stainless steel is also 100% recyclable, and much of what we use now is actually made of about 70% recycled material.
Although plastic bottles can also be recycled, manufacturing and recycling plastic is usually more harmful to the environment than manufacturing and recycling stainless steel, since the latter doesn’t generate toxic run-off.
And, although we hope your stainless steel products never find their way to the landfill (recycle, recycle, recycle!), it’s good to know that they won’t leak harmful toxins into the soil and water.
Here’s to Your Health
A few years ago, people started worrying about the harmful effects of BPA (which stands for the scary-sounding Bisphenol A). This is a potentially dangerous chemical which — until recently — was commonly used in plastic products like food containers and water bottles.
Thankfully, companies have started switching to BPA-free plastic, so there are a few safe plastic options out there. Stainless steel, too, is 100% BPA free, so you can be sure that there are no nasty chemicals leaching out into your water, even if your bottle is exposed to the heat.
Be aware, though: Not all metal bottles are made of stainless steel. Some are actually made of aluminum, which is not supposed to come into contact with food or drink, and is coated on the inside with a plastic liner which could contain BPA. Back to square one!
Unlike aluminum, stainless steel doesn’t need a liner, so you can sleep (and drink) safe and sound.
A Water Bottle for Every Style
So stainless steel water bottles are good for the environment and good for your health. That should be good enough, but we’re not going to lie: At RAVE, we like things that look nice too.
And unlike those battered-up disposable plastic bottles (come on, we all have one of those! Bet there’s one hiding under your car seat right now), stainless steel water bottles look oh-so-good. They come in a variety of bright colors and are designed for different lifestyles: Some will look elegant in your kitchen, and others will help you stay hydrated during a big hike.
But remember, beauty is more than skin deep, and good design is about more than mere looks (but we do like the pretty colors). Some of our favorite bottles come with a handy carrying loop, so you can easily carry them around with you during a festival or camping trip, while others are wrapped in a rubbery sleeve which stops them from slipping out of your hand.
Whether you’re looking for something sporty and fun or something simple and elegant, you’ll find it in our list of top 10 best stainless steel water bottles!
It doesn’t take a genie to find the best water bottles, but it does take a whole lot of research. Luckily, that’s why we’re here!
We looked at heaps of different models, then combed through dozens of websites and read hundreds of customer reviews to find out the good and the bad. When creating our scoring system, we took several main factors into account:
- Overall quality and design
Best Stainless Steel Water Bottles
Hydro Flask 32oz. Sports Water Bottle
These good-looking stainless steel bottles are made out of non-toxic BPA-free plastics (for the lid) and food-grade stainless steel, so they’re good for keeping your drinks chemical-free.
Besides the wide range of bright colors you can choose from, the thing we love most about Hydro Flask Sports Bottles is that they come with double-walled, vacuum insulation. Your cold drinks will stay cold for 24 hours, while your hot coffees and teas will stay hot for about 6 hours.
The outside surface of the bottle is textured rather than smooth, which makes it easy to hold onto when you’re out and about. It’s no wonder that the Hydro Flask is a favorite with active, outdoorsy people.
Hydro Flask bottles have a wide mouth, which some people love (you can fit ice cubes into it) and others not so much (if you’re not careful, you’ll get water all over your face).
- Great insulation
- No sweating
- Anti-slip surface
- Dents easily
Simple Modern Summit Water Bottle
Simple Modern specializes in making stainless steel bottles, tumblers, reusable cups, and helpful little accessories. Their Summit bottles, which are made of premium stainless steel, are among their most popular products thanks to their design and versatility.
Each bottle is coated in a matte finish, which stops it from getting slippery when wet and also looks great. You can choose from dozens of colors — and if you’re the indecisive type, you can also opt for a multi-colored one.
All Summit bottles — you can choose between 40oz. and 64oz. — are insulated with a thin layer of copper and come with a stainless steel lid and a handle lid, so you can easily take it with you wherever you go. Better still, you can buy 5 different kinds of lids, so you’ll never have to face the wide-mouth-with-risk-of-dribbling or the narrow-mouth-but-hard-to-clean dilemma (it’s a big one).
If that weren’t enough, just remember that every time you buy a Simple Modern Summit bottle, some of your money will be going to charities around the world.
- 10% profits go to charity
- Different size caps available
- Anti-slip surface
- Not great for hot drinks
- Inside insulation is delicate
MIRA Cascade Stainless Steel Water Bottle
MIRA makes a whole variety of different stainless steel water bottles and containers, but we thought their Cascade model was especially sleek. Like the other bottles on our list, the Cascade bottle is made of high-quality stainless steel and claims to keep your cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours, and your hot ones hot for 24 hours.
Some users, however, have tried and tested the Cascade’s insulation, and found that it doesn’t quite live up to its claims: According to some, cold water tends to get lukewarm after only a few hours, so this bottle might not be perfect if you’re into hiking in the heat.
But overall, this is still a great choice. It’s made in a way that stops condensation, its cap is easy to twist off, and you can buy a handy silicone carrier and carabiner clip to go with it.
- Attractive design
- No condensation
- Silicone carrier available
- Hard to carry without extra clip
- Insulation isn’t great
- Paint flakes off
Takeya 32oz. Originals Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Takeya specializes in making practical, easy-to-carry stainless steel water bottles that look good and last a lifetime. (If you have kids, you might want to check out their super-cute kids water bottle.)
The BPA-free, food-grade stainless steel Takeya Originals Water Bottle doesn’t transfer flavors, so you can switch from smoothies to coffee to water, and each will taste just like it’s meant to.
One major problem people have with water bottle caps generally is that they sometimes get in the way while you’re drinking. But Takeya’s clever design features an innovative hinge lock that keeps the lid clear of your face (so no unsightly dribbling, hooray!).
Takeya Originals Stainless Steel Water Bottle claims to keep beverages ice-cold for 24 hours, but take that number with a pinch of salt!
- Practical carry loop
- Well-designed cap
- Variety of sizes
- Not well insulated
- Durability issues
- Paint flakes
Healthy Human Insulated BPA-Free Water Bottle
If you know RAVE, you’ll know that we love a good, ethical company. Healthy Human’s mission is to make products that enable healthy lifestyle changes that have a positive impact on us and on our planet — it’s in the name!
These bottles are made completely out of stainless steel. This means your drink never comes into contact with plastic, so you can be 100% sure that what you’re drinking is toxin-free. They are also sweat- and leak-proof — meaning you won’t end up in one of those disastrous situations we all know too well — and they come with a helpful carry handle.
Last but not least, we absolutely love the colors and patterns you can choose from! From bright yellow to sleek silver to lovely wood-grain and psychedelic patterns, we’re sure you’ll find one you love.
- Great designs to choose from
- Ethical company
- Practical carry handle
- Not the most durable
- Caps sometimes leak
- Some users report a metallic taste
Swig Savvy’s Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle
Swig Savvy’s 32oz. stainless steel water bottles are perfect for people who are always on the go. They’re easy to drink from, easy to carry — they even come with a practical carry pouch — and they keep your drinks warm (or cold, if you prefer!).
Like most of our top 10 stainless steel bottles, Savvy’s models feature vacuum insulation and have a double-wall design which prevents the outside surface from getting too hot or too cold.
Now to the usual contentious point: the lid. This bottle comes with a straw-type lid that makes it easy to drink even when on the move. But many reviewers complained about leaking, and even about funny “gurgling” noises when drinking.
- Great for an active lifestyle
- Easy to drink from
- Good insulation
- Straw-style lid sometimes leaks
- Lid is not as durable as bottle
- Some rusting
Thermo Tank Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Thermo Tank’s claim to fame is its incredible insulation: They promise to keep your drinks icy for 36 hours, and to keep your hot ones hot for 12. That’s pretty incredible, but is it true? Well, let’s look at their design first.
The bottle is made of 2 walls of steel separated by a small vacuum, where a layer of copper gives further insulation. And the result? It works really well!
This is the bottle to go for if you like bringing hot teas into work with you, or if you go on multi-day hiking trips but don’t want to be sipping lukewarm water.
- Best insulation
- Great customer service
- Narrow mouth, ice cubes don’t fit!
- Caps are not very durable
- Some caps leak
Takeya 14oz. Originals Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Just like its bigger brother (fourth in our ranking), this Takeya stainless steel bottle is made of BPA-free, food-grade stainless steel, so you can be sure it won’t transfer flavors.
And like other Takeya models, this small bottle has a convenient cap that screws on rather than snapping open. It features a clever hinge lock that stops you from splashing water all over your face (never a good look!).
We have to concede that at 14 ounces, this bottle is pretty small to go hiking, or even to carry you through a long work day. However, it’s perfect for children! It’s easy to drink from and light even when full.
- Perfect for children
- Practical carry loop
- Well-designed cap
- Not well insulated
- Durability issues
- Small for adults
The Coldest Water Bottle Stainless Steel Hydro Travel Mug
The Coldest Water Bottle – that’s a pretty bold claim! This stainless steel bottle is built with the outdoorsy types in mind: If you’re into cycling, running, camping, or hiking (in fact, any sport!), this could be an ideal option.
And our favorite thing about it? It floats! So you can be floating around in your pool, sipping on an ice-cold drink. Pure bliss.
And while this is a great bottle, don’t fully believe the hype: Most users found that drinks won’t stay cold for a whole 36 hours. Still, that’s a pretty high bar, and the Coldest Water Bottle’s insulation is impressive nonetheless.
- Good insulation
- It floats!
- Practical carry handle
- Only comes in 21oz. size
- Not the most attractive design
- Must be hand washed
Glacier Point Stainless Steel Water Bottle
If you’re really keen to not have your drink touching any plastic at all, Glacier Point’s stainless steel bottle is a good option. The cap is made of stainless steel, although the bottle also comes with a bonus (BPA-free plastic) straw-type cap you can use while on the move.
Glacier Point’s bottle is covered in a durable powdered coat, which stops it from slipping out of your hands while also protecting the bottle from bumps and dents.
But don’t worry, if you’re unlucky enough to end up with a dented bottle, Glacier Point offers a lifetime warranty on their products.
- Lifetime warranty
- Durable powdered coat
- Optional straw-cap
- Flimsy caps
- Some rusting
- Not the best insulated
- Best Glass Water Bottles
- Best Insulated Water Bottles
- Best Collapsible Water Bottles
- Best Infuser Water Bottles
Is stainless steel better than plastic?
In the past few years, plastic water bottles have received some negative press for containing BPA, which is linked to cancer. They’ve also been decried for the terrible impact that single-use bottles have on the environment. While the health risks of plastic bottles are still being studied, stainless steel is definitely much, much better for the environment (we cannot stress this enough!) than buying and tossing disposable bottles.
But not all plastic is made equal. Companies have become more conscious about the chemicals they use in their water bottles, and BPA-free bottles are now widely available. Still, the environmental impact of plastic— even the BPA-free, recyclable type — is worrying.
Annual consumption of plastic bottles is predicted to exceed half a trillion by 2021, and while recycling is increasing, it just can’t keep up. According to one study, less than 10% of plastic ends up actually being recycled, while a whopping 79% ends up in landfills.
Stainless steel is a lot more durable, meaning you’ll probably hang onto your bottle longer. Although there are lots of sturdy reusable plastic bottles to choose from, they’re just never going to be as tough as a stainless steel one — as hard as you try, the most you’re likely to do to a stainless steel bottle is put a dent in it.
On top of that, stainless steel bottles are made with culinary-grade steel, meaning they won’t leach toxins into your water. And (in case you need another reason to make the switch) it doesn’t retain flavors, meaning your drinks are always going to taste how they’re meant to taste.
Are stainless steel water bottles dishwasher safe?
All stainless steel water bottles are different, so make sure to read what the manufacturer has to say, or at the very least check the bottom of the bottle.
Stainless steel itself is not the problem. However, the paint or rubber coating that covers the bottle might not withstand the heat of a dishwasher, and could end up peeling off and making your bottle look shabby.
Insulated stainless steel bottles (so most of our favorites) should not be put in the dishwasher, as the insulation is quite delicate and can crack, leaving you with a bottle that doesn’t keep drinks the right temperature.
Same goes with the freezer. When liquids freeze, they expand and take up more space. As the liquid freezes and expands, it puts pressure on the walls of the bottle, causing it to deform or even crack.
With non-insulated bottles, the solution is to only half fill it before you pop it in the freezer. Insulated bottles, though, should never go in there, as the vacuum seal could easily break and will never keep your drink cold again. Ironic, isn’t it?
And last but not least, your stainless steel bottle should never, ever go into the microwave.
What are the best stainless steel water bottles?
We spent hours trawling the internet’s most popular review sites and aggregating consumer data to find an answer to this very question (you can read about our methodology up at the top).
With so many great options out there, it wasn’t really as easy as you might think. But we finally picked our favorite: The Hydro Flask 32oz. Sports Water Bottle is designed to insulate your drinks and keep them the perfect temperature, and it manages to look great while doing it. With dozens of colors to pick from, you’ll have a hard time settling on only one!
But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say, so make sure to look at the other options in the ranking to find the perfect stainless steel water bottle for you.
You’ve got your stainless steel water bottle. Now take a look at some of our favorite accessories:
- Bottle Brush Cleaner ($7): One of the complaints we get about water bottles is that they can sometimes be hard to clean. This useful brush is designed to fit into even the tightest of bottle-mouths, ensuring your drinks stay tasty and fresh.
- Drinkmate Beverage Carbonation Maker ($100): Love fizzy drinks? With this gadget you’ll never have to go without — it carbonates literally anything!
- Healthy Human Insulated Stainless Steel Tumbler Cruisers ($27): You already know how much we love Healthy Human’s stainless steel water bottles, but have you seen their tumblers? These are great for outdoor parties in the summer or to keep you cozy during winter.
- Wild Wolf Outfitters Water Bottle Holder ($20): If you’re serious about keeping your drinks ice cold or boiling hot, you should get your hands on one of these insulated bottle holders. They come in a variety of different sizes (and prices) to fit any kind of bottle.
- Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle ($25): Short on space but serious about hydration? This ingenious water bottle rolls up and takes up barely any space when empty, and still manages to be tough enough to survive falls thanks to its flexible silicone body.