How to choose the perfect water bottle


If you’ve read last week’s blog post, you know there are many reasons to ditch bottled water. The alternative? A reusable bottle! But with all the options out there, you easily get lost. Therefore, this week we share some tips on how to choose the perfect reusable water bottle.

Plastic, aluminum, glass or steel?
Because plastic eventually will have to be disposed of and because plastic is known to leak chemicals, I strongly recommended to go for a plastic-free option. A common alternative on the market are aluminum bottles. These are very light weighted and often come in colorful prints… but may not be the safest option. Aluminum is controversial: some scientists link it to Alzheimer. But what about the coating that manufacturers use to avoid that the content of the bottle comes in contact with aluminum? Well… some of these linings contain bpa, which is said to distort hormones. The bottles that are bpa free, have a bpa substitute, which is not necessarily any safer. So because it’s better to be safe than sorry, I would say to go for glass or stainless steel.

Of course, the cheaper the better! Glass is usually cheaper than stainless steel. You could even simply reuse a bottle of tomato sauce or juice that you bought at the supermarket. Of course, you risk that it breaks if you drop it, so you need to be careful. Stainless steel bottles can be pricey, but remember that you only need to purchase it once! Klean Kanteen bottles even come with lifetime warranty.

Previously, I had a blue, aluminum SIGG bottle with colorful design, but after a while I got tired of the colors. Also, bits of the print came of the bottle, it got scratched, and just didn’t look nice anymore. When I found out that the material may not be that safe (and that SIGG had been lying about bpa in its bottles), I purchased a Klean Kanteen Reflect. After years of usage it still looks super nice.

If you want to use your bottle for things other than just water, make sure to buy a bottle that is easy to clean. My Klean Kanteen Reflect is not easy to clean on the inside, but the same brand also has wide mouth bottles. Same applies to the cap. Some brands sell coffee and sports caps. If you’re ok with some plastic, make sure to check how easy it is to clean these.

Hot/cold drinks
Hot drinks in a stainless steel bottle that is not insulated is not a great idea. The material will get Very Hot so that you will burn your hands. Been there, done that. This was a bit of a problem when I lived in China because water is usually served hot. To solve this problem, I purchased a bottle sleeve through Etsy. It fits perfectly and prevents my hands from burning. If you want to also use your bottle for hot drinks, consider buying an insulated stainless steel bottle. Yes, it’s a little heavier and more expensive, but it is much more versatile. You could even use it for soups and smoothies.

Bottle sleeve

Hope these tips help if you’re looking for a durable solution to bottled water.

 What’s your favorite water bottle?


About Author


In 2013, after reading yet another article about plastic soup, Annemieke started her Dutch blog Plasticminimalism where she documented her small steps towards life with less plastic. To create more awareness about the adverse impacts of our plastic consumption, she launched Plastic-Free Tuesday in spring 2014. She strongly believes that building a better world starts by changing our own behavior. Annemieke is trained in environmental science and policy. She alternates living in the Netherlands, Sweden, the US, and China.


  1. You can also get the insulated water bottle from tree tribe, cool colors & a moon design. There is a completely plastic free version, life time guarantee, and the company plants 10 trees per item purchased.

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