The best water bottles we’ve tested for the gym, hikes & daily life

We’ve tested the leading brands of water bottle to find one that meets your needs, whatever your lifestyle.

Whether you just want something to help you stay hydrated day to day, or something you can take to the gym, choosing the right reusable water bottle for you is important because we all have different needs. But where do you start?

There are so many options on the market, each claiming to do different things, that it can feel overwhelming. But our testing has proved that there are bottles more suited to certain activities and purposes, whether that’s improving water quality (handy when out hiking) or being a trusty companion at the gym.  

Many modern bottles deliver more than simply ‘holding water’. Some have helpful prompts that remind you to drink to help you hit your hydration goals. In recent years, the water-bottle market has also seen an increase in filter bottles or insulated bottles, some of which we’ve put to the test here. 

A selection of different coloured Super Sparrow water bottles on a white background
Editors Choice

Best water bottle overall

Super Sparrow Insulated Stainless Steel 500ml Bottle


RRP: £16.48
Who’s this for?
Ideal for most people’s needs, whether used around the house or on the move. Especially good for keen hikers or travellers who need a bottle that will keep drinks cold or warm for a good few hours.
Goppus Tritan 1-litre motivational pink-blue coloured bottle with accessories.
Recommended

Best budget water bottle

Goppus Tritan 1-Litre Motivational Bottle


RRP: £11.99
Who’s this for?
Anyone who needs regular reminders to top-up their fluid intake. If you’re a runner, this is not the bottle for you.
Water-to-Go 750ml bottle in black.
Editors Choice

Best premium water bottle

Water-to-Go 750ml Filter Bottle


RRP: £33
Who’s this for?
Walkers, hikers, travellers or people who like exploring the outdoors. If you’re after a day-to-day bottle, it might be more than you need.
RELOAD 2.2-litre pink and plum water bottle with accessories.
Recommended

RELOAD 2.2-Litre Bottle


RRP: £18.95
Who’s this for?
People who don’t want the hassle of having to refill their bottle, or those who don’t need to carry much and want to avoid carrying an extra bag. Not suitable for people who want a bottle that fits in a bag.
QAZW 1-litre motivational bottle in blue to pink gradient.

QAZW 1-Litre Motivational Bottle


RRP: £19.99
Who’s this for?
People who want to track their water intake and/or need reminders to drink throughout the day, or those who want a bottle for their rucksack.

To find the right one for you, it’s worth thinking about what you need from your bottle. For day-to-day use, will it be robust enough? If you need something to keep you hydrated when you’re walking or hiking, is it easy to carry? Does it hold enough fluid? Or, if it’s a gym-friendly option you’re after, then a single-handed-use bottle might be your best bet.

And, most importantly, no matter your needs, does the bottle have features that make it leak-proof? This is a basic requirement, as no one likes to lift out a water bottle to find a soggy bag. Here is our pick of the best water bottles and you’ll be glad to know, none of them leak! 

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How we tested

Our five testers all have a variety of interests and requirements, so we selected a range of bottles with different functions that are suited to different purposes.

Testers were each given one water bottle to use in various situations, from sitting at their desk or on the sofa to moving around the house, travelling on days out, and activities such as hiking or working out.

In between uses, the bottles were washed by hand or in the dishwasher, or both. 

Some tests were also performed at Saga Exceptional’s testing facility. These included:

  • Weight: We weighed each bottle using an ADAM 6kg scale (accurate to within 0.1g) and checked the volume capacities. We also determined whether each bottle was easy to carry when full or if it could fit into a small backpack.
  • Fluid temperatures: For bottles that claimed to keep fluid cool and/or warm, temperature readings were taken at onehour, two-hour and 17-hour intervals of the bottles filled with approximately 15°C water in a 23-24°C temperature-controlled room.
  • Drop test: Each bottle was dropped twice from a one-metre height (around the height someone may hold them) onto hard cement flooring, once on the lid and once on the base.

One key criteria for each and every one of the bottles we tested was that they were free of BPA, a chemical used to make certain plastics (including reusable drinks bottles). Tiny amounts of the chemical can be transferred from plastic into food and drinks, which can be harmful to our health. Every item on this list of the best water bottles meets that criteria.

What our testers looked for

This is essential. We wanted to find out what the bottle was like to use on a day-to-day basis. Did our testers find it easy to fill, empty and clean? And did they have any major issues using it? 

Was the bottle easy to carry, or did it prove cumbersome? Was it particularly heavy when full? And would it fit neatly into a bag?

If it had any, we also identified whether it lived up to its claims; for example, if it promised to keep water cool, was it effective?

A pretty important one – did any water escape at any point during use? We tested the bottles in a variety of situations and positions, such as being upside down in a bag, to find out. Each bottle was also filled to its maximum capacity and placed upside down for one hour as well as shook for two minutes. 

We assessed each water bottle on the quality of the finish and its unique design features. Our drop-test also assessed how robust and durable the bottle was.

Based on the RRP and the other bottles in the test, we decided whether each bottle represented a good buy or if we expected more for the price. 

Super Sparrow Insulated Stainless Steel 500ml Bottle Overview

Best water bottle overall

Super Sparrow Insulated Stainless Steel 500ml Bottle

A selection of different coloured Super Sparrow water bottles on a white background
Editors Choice
Competitive

This multifunctional bottle is ideal for taking almost anywhere thanks to a choice of two lids. The sports cap is great for use around the house and in the gym, whilst the screw-top carabiner lid is great for hiking adventures. It does a great job of keeping liquids cool or warm, too.

Ease of use

Practicality

Leak-proof

Design


Who’s this for?

Ideal for most people’s needs, whether used around the house or on the move. Especially good for keen hikers or travellers who need a bottle that will keep drinks cold or warm for a good few hours.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Looks smart, with a range of colours
  • Keeps drinks warm or chilled
  • Leak-proof caps
  • Washes well in the dishwasher
  • Sports cap occasionally awkward to drink from
  • Strap is on the short side
  • Case proved tricky to remove and put back on

Expect to pay

RRP: £16.48 A decent price for a great bottle. We’ve seen it even cheaper at Amazon (as low as £13.25), making it even better value.

The best water bottle we tested

Available in five different sizes and with two interchangeable lids (a sports straw cap and a stainless-steel carry cap with a carabiner), the Super Sparrow is suitable for any situation – making it our top choice.

It comes in an impressive range of 20 colours, offering more choice than other bottles. It also boasts Insu-Shield technology (double-walled vacuum insulation) to keep hot drinks warm for up to 12 hours, and cold drinks chilled for up to 24 hours. As per all bottles in this list, it’s BPA-free and won’t leak chemicals.

We tested the 500ml bottle, which was well-proportioned at 22cm (8.6) in height with the carry cap and 25cm (9.8”) with the sports cap, by 7.3cm in width. A nylon sling bag is included in the price for hands-free transportation.

We liked: The bottle easily passed our leak-proof tests. Our tester bravely carried the bottle, containing a hot drink, in a designer tote bag, and not a drop escaped.

When used with the sports cap, our tester found the straw easy to drink from, and wide enough to handle smoothies as well as water. Meanwhile, the screw-on carabiner lid easily and securely attached to a belt clip or bag. 

The insulation also proved effective; a black coffee was kept warm during a four-hour drive and ice-cold water stayed that way on a hike. Testing at our facility confirmed this: when filled with cold water (15°C ) in a 23-24°C room, it only rose by one degree after an hour and to 20.4°C after 17 hours.

A dishwasher-safe bottle was essential for our tester, and it came out clean and looking good as new after each cycle.

This bottle was one of the most robust and durable in our drop test, with or without the sleeve. It only resulted in minor dents to the metal and scuffing on the lid handle, which meant the bottle was slightly wobbly but still able to stand.

We didn’t like: Our tester found the bottle bag strap a little on the short side; even when fully extended, it nestled into her armpit when worn across the body, and repeatedly fell off when worn over her shoulder.

Removing and replacing the nylon jacket around the bottle was tough, too. Indeed, our tester noted that sliding it back on would be almost impossible for people with arthritis or mobility issues in the hands.

When using the sports lid, she occasionally found that the carry loop touched her nose. However, none of these issues detracted from her overall satisfaction with the bottle.

We say: Despite a few small niggles, this is a brilliant bottle at a competitive price. The choice of lids makes it versatile enough to use in any situation, and the excellent insulation will keep drinks cool or warm as needed.

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Goppus Tritan 1-Litre Motivational Bottle Overview

Best budget water bottle

Goppus Tritan 1-Litre Motivational Bottle

Goppus Tritan 1-litre motivational pink-blue coloured bottle with accessories.
Recommended
Budget

A greatvalue motivational bottle with a stylish design that’s ideal for the gym, walking, at home, or increasing fluid intake. However, minor details are inaccurate.

Ease of use

Practicality

Leak-proof

Design


Who’s this for?

Anyone who needs regular reminders to top-up their fluid intake. If you’re a runner, this is not the bottle for you.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Secure lock to help stay leak-free
  • Pleasing design and finish
  • Two lids, making it suitable for a variety of situations
  • Motivational messages encouraging fluid consumption
  • Bulky
  • Awkward strap that gets wet when cleaning
  • Error with time markings

Expect to pay

RRP: £11.99 That’s the price for the bottle with two lids (the straw and the free-pour flip-top) – alternatively you can save £1 and pay £10.99 for just one lid (the straw lid).

A good value all-rounder

You get a fair amount for your money with this BPAfree bottle made from Tritan – a type of co-polymer (in other words, plastic). It’s available in the stylish gradient colours (ranging from the subtle bluepink one we tested through to a striking orangegreen combo), or in singleblock colours: blue, grey, green, pink and transparent.

The bottle measures 29cm (11.4”) by 7.5cm (3”). It comes with two lockable lidsa sports fliptop with a detachable straw or a fliptop chug cap. It has a built-in carry handle and a plastic insert to stop fruit blocking the flow of water. A handy thin brush is also included for cleaning the straw.

The side of the bottle features handy volume and time markings to track fluid consumption and has motivational messages for encouragement.

We liked: The gradient colour design is appealing and stylish; our tester felt proud to take it to exercise classes.

The flip-top sports lid made it easy to grab a quick sip during intense exercise. The tester even managed to use it while in a yoga pose without losing her balance, as you don’t need to use both hands, or unscrew or tilt it in order to take a drink.

The tester noticed herself drinking more, thanks to the time measurements and motivational messages. And it didn’t leak once – the well-thought-through lock stops you accidentally pressing the button to trigger the flip lid when transporting.

It performed pretty well in the drop test, with only scuff marks and slight cracks (which did not appear to cause leakage) as a result. 

We didn’t like: One thing that our tester quickly noticed is an error in the time markings – what should be 12pm is written as 12am. This appears to have been edited out of the product images on Amazon, which we hope means they have corrected this small but vital mistake for future production runs!

The carry strap on the bottle caused some annoyance, as it felt too big for most wrist sizes. As it’s not detachable, it also got wet during cleaning and felt uncomfortable to hold until it had dried.

When full, the bottle is quite bulky and heavy at 1.1kg (2.4 lbs), meaning it doesn’t fit well in a small backpack and could quite easily fall out of a side bottle pouch. Even though it’s advertised as a bottle for running, unless you have large hands and a firm grip, it is not suitable for this. 

We say: This water bottle has a lovely design and finish – if only the strap and inaccurate time markings didn’t let it down.

It’s also not dishwasher safe, so be prepared to wash by hand. But if you can overlook these things, it’s a fab bottle for anyone wanting to track or increase fluid intake and keep hydrated.  

“I’d happily continue to use this bottle for around the house, taking on walks or to exercise classes as the two different lids make it suitable for different activities” our tester concluded. “But I’d never take it on a run again.”


Water-to-Go 750ml Filter Bottle Overview

Best premium water bottle

Water-to-Go 750ml Filter Bottle

Water-to-Go 750ml bottle in black.
Editors Choice
Luxury

A highquality specialist filter bottle that is hard to fault. It’s ideal for walking and travelling near or far, and for improving the quality and taste of water.

Ease of use

Practicality

Leak-proof

Design


Who’s this for?

Walkers, hikers, travellers or people who like exploring the outdoors. If you’re after a day-to-day bottle, it might be more than you need.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Completely leak-proof
  • Effective filter that improves taste and quality of water
  • Fits easily in small rucksack
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Replacement filters are an extra cost
  • Requires suction power

Expect to pay

RRP: £33 Go Outdoors members can get it even cheaper at £29. That’s still the most expensive bottle in our test, but worth it for the specialist features. Replacement filters are an additional cost (from £12).

A worth-the-pricetag specialist bottle

Available in army green camouflage, blue, black, green, pink and red, the BPA-free WatertoGo Filter Bottle does what the name suggests and has some impressive features.

The 3-in-1 filter is based on technology originally developed for the NASA space programme and tests for Water-to-Go by BCS (a recognised US laboratory) show that it removes 99.9999% of contaminants from water. This makes it safe to refill in parts of the world where the water may not be as good as UK mains supplies, and from rivers and streams on long hikes when you don’t want to carry too much water. What’s more, the filter is 100% recyclable. 

The bottle holds 750ml of fluid, and measures a compact 23cm (9”) by 8cm (3”), making it a similar size to the Super Sparrow – but with an extra 250ml capacity.

We liked: It fits easily inside a small rucksack and even after bouncing around on walks, not a drop escaped. It’s also simple to use and the filter is effective at improving water quality and taste.

Our tester filled it from her mains tap water at home, which she says usually tastes awful, but once this passed through the filter, she reported that it tasted lovely. She also refilled it from local streams without suffering any ill effects. 

Although replacement filters are an additional cost (from £12 for one), they are made from biodegradable and recyclable materials. Plus, they only needs changing after using 200 litres of water (approximately every three months).

We didn’t like: If drinking from the spout, suction power is needed to get the fluid moving, which isn’t ideal for anyone with weaker mouth or facial muscles.

When it landed on the lid during the drop test, the mouthpiece completely broke off (although it’s worth bearing in mind that this was conducted on concrete).

We say: While the bottle lid didn’t withstand the drop test, it was fine when dropped onto the base. We think it would survive landing on a slightly softer surface, such as a carpet or field, and so don’t consider this to be a major issue. 

Our tester concluded: “I really rate this bottle and it’s become a rucksack essential for my long days out in the mountains. For anyone who wants to improve the taste of their tap water, and filter out any nasties it might contain, then this bottle is fantastic.” 


RELOAD 2.2-Litre Bottle Overview

RELOAD 2.2-Litre Bottle

RELOAD 2.2-litre pink and plum water bottle with accessories.
Recommended
Competitive

Another goodvalue option, with a dual-purpose bottle sleeve for protection and storage. Ideal for gym use, although the large size might not be for everyone.

Ease of use

Practicality

Leak-proof

Design


Who’s this for?

People who don’t want the hassle of having to refill their bottle, or those who don’t need to carry much and want to avoid carrying an extra bag. Not suitable for people who want a bottle that fits in a bag.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Handy bottle sleeve with storage space
  • Suitable lids for different uses
  • Zero leaks
  • Carry strap to combat weight
  • Doesn’t fit in rucksacks easily
  • Water can go warm due to large size
  • Heavy weight

Expect to pay

RRP: £18.95 This direct-from-the-retailer price includes shipping to UK mainland addresses, and is (unusually) cheaper than Amazon.

A great-value sizeable bottle

This huge bottle measures 27.5cm (10.8”) by 13.5cm (5.3”) (including the sleeve), and holds 2.2 litres (3.9 pints) of liquid. It’s been designed to help you reach your daily recommended fluid intake, without the need to refill. 

A unique feature is that it comes with a neoprene sleeve featuring two builtin pockets that can hold items such as a phone and cash or bank cards, as well as a built-in key hook.

Made from fully-recyclable BPA-free plastic, it’s an eco-friendly choice. It comes in four simple-but-stylish colours: black, khaki, a taupe-like ‘nude’ and plum, the colour we tested.

We liked: The choice of two lids gives this bottle great versatility; the tester was able to use the sports lid at the gym and the open mouthpiece around the house. No leaks occurred, even when the bottle rolled around in the car footwell.

Our tester particularly loved the pocketed neoprene sleeve as she was able to stash everything she needed for the gym in it – her phone in the pocket and keys attached to the hook. The shoulder strap made carrying it easier, which was helpful given how heavy it was when full.

We didn’t like: The big size was sometimes off-putting for the tester. She filled it up in the morning to keep by her to drink throughout the day, but the liquid gradually got warmer and made her not want to drink it.

Temperature readings taken in controlled conditions at our testing facility confirmed that 15.5°C water rose almost four degrees (to 19.4°C) after just two hours. The water temperature climbed further to 24.1°C after 17 hours.

Weighing approximately 2.3kg (5 lbs) when full, it is bulky and heavy and certainly doesn’t fit in the side pockets of gym bags or average-sized rucksacks. 

Similar to the Water-to-Go bottle, the lid broke off fully during the drop test on a concrete floor – although the base survived the same test in tact.

We say: While the size can be inconvenient, the pocket and key hook save space, meaning you don’t necessarily need another bag for the gym. If the size is too much for you, a smaller 1.3 litre (2.3 pints) version is also available.

Despite the outcome of the drop test onto the lid, the bottle withstood the impact very well when dropped onto the base, considering this was on a concrete floor. 

Our tester concluded: “For its size, the quality of it and the fact it has a jacket, it’s a really good buy for a leak-proof water bottle.” 


QAZW 1-Litre Motivational Bottle Overview

QAZW 1-Litre Motivational Bottle

QAZW 1-litre motivational bottle in blue to pink gradient.
Competitive

Slightly more expensive than the Goppus and you don’t get as much for your money, but the higher price means a more accurate design.

Ease of use

Practicality

Leak-proof

Design


Who’s this for?

People who want to track their water intake and/or need reminders to drink throughout the day, or those who want a bottle for their rucksack.

Our likes and dislikes

  • Secure, lockable lids to stop leaks
  • Fits in small rucksack
  • Features handy measuring gauge
  • Pretty design with motivational comments
  • Strap not detachable and can easily get wet
  • Soft material makes it hard to grip
  • Cumbersome to carry

Expect to pay

RRP: £19.99 Similar bottles are available for less, but you’re paying for a good-quality finish.

Great for tracking fluid intake

This has a similar design to the Goppus bottle (our best-value water bottle) but it’ll cost you more. Made from BPA-free Tritan (also like the Goppus), it too features motivational messages and volume markings to track fluid intake. It also has the same dimensions of 29cm (11.4”) by 7.5cm (3”).

However, this only comes with one sports straw lid, contained within a secure, lockable flip-top design. It’s limited to four colour options: block grey, and gradients pink to blue, blue to purple and green to pink. For the higher price, you might expect more for your money. But at least with this one, there are no inaccuracies in the time markings.

We liked: Our tester was able to easily fit this bottle into a small backpack. 

Leaking water bottles are a bugbear for our tester, so she was pleased with the tightly closed lid and lock for extra security, and she’s confident it will stay leak-free.

She liked the handy measuring gauge on the back that features both ounces and millilitres, as well as the guide displaying the time of day and a motivational comment on the front.

This bottle was another sturdy contender in the drop test, with only a few scuff marks to show for it.  

We didn’t like: The main issue for our tester was that the carrying strap is permanently attached to the lid. She found that when putting the lid back on after filling, the strap would often fall into the bottle and get wet.

The large size and soft-touch finish required a tight grip when holding it. Due to the weight (1.1kg when full), our tester wasn’t inclined to take it even on short walks, especially with her dog, as she felt it would be too cumbersome to carry.

We say: Our tester was really impressed by the lockable lids and the fact the bottles stayed leak-free. The tactile, soft finish was pleasing, but she found this slippery in practice.

Our tester summed up: “I’d be more comfortable if this was closer to £15 but if it doesn’t leak or break, then in my home it’s priceless, so I’ll be keeping it locked away for my use only.”

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Gemma Harris

Written by Gemma Harris she/her

Updated:

Gemma Harris has been a journalist for over seven years and is a self-confessed health and wellbeing enthusiast, which led her to specialise in health journalism. During her career, she has worked with top editors in the industry and taken on multiple high-discipline fitness challenges for certain outlets. She is particularly passionate about nutrition; after being diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome in 2016, she discovered her fascination for gut health and founded thegutchoice.com – a dedicated space for providing a hopeful outcome for people with gut issues. Gemma’s core aim is to help others through her writing.

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