Sarah Kauss, founder and CEO of S’well water bottles, says the purpose of her uber-popular reusable stainless steel brand is to “rid the world of plastic bottles.” As much fashion accessory as functional hydration aid, the S’well bottle can supposedly keep cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12. Sounds pretty great, right?
Well, there’s one small detail keeping S’well from claiming the title of best water bottle: Not everyone is keen on spending up to $45 on a drinking vessel. And not everyone cares whether their water bottle matches their aesthetic, either. Let’s see how some similar products in the marketplace stack up against S’well.
The Klean Kanteen brand’s insulated stainless-steel water bottle has fewer frills than the stylish S’well, but customer reviews and product ratings indicate it’s every bit as functional.
Available in 27- and 40-ounce sizes, it’s larger than the heftiest S’well option, and it comes in more than a dozen solid colors. Its newly added Cafe Top replaces the original cover with a better, leak-proof alternative. The bottle insulates well and boasts the same health benefits of the S’well brand (BPA-free, food-grade stainless steel, vigorous health and safety quality control) but with a slightly lower price point.
The Hydro Flask insulated stainless-steel bottle comes in a wide range of sizes — up to 64 ounces. Colors are less diverse, but there are still several options to choose from. The Hydro Flask boasts the same 24/12 insulating capability as the S’well and Klean Kanteen options, but it offers a unique “5 Percent Back” program that allows you to choose the charity to which the company donates part of your purchase.
With a slightly higher price point than the Klean Kanteen or the S’well bottles, Hydro Flask is definitely on the upper end of the price spectrum. However, customer reviews seem to bear out its worth.
Corkcicle’s more angular approach to bottle design is the only thing that truly differentiates it from S’well bottles; it also comes in a large, 60-ounce size that S’well doesn’t offer. Customers rave about the bottle’s insulating prowess, fashionable color selection and ergonomic no-slip grip design.
The Mira insulated water bottle offers the insulating ability and durability of its aforementioned competitors, but at a much lower price. The trade-off is that the Mira bottle comes in just a small handful of color choices. But at a starting price that’s up to $15 lower than the rest of the pack, less style-focused guzzlers can get a functional bottle for a steal.
If you search Amazon for a few minutes, you’ll likely come up with at least a dozen or more brands that sell some variation on the basic theme these five brands have perfected. Some are less expensive, while others are available at a comparable price. Some are made of surgical steel rather than the 18/8 food-grade steel S’well and others boast. Some have slightly lower insulation abilities, but none offer more.
The bottom line? There’s probably no one clear winner for best water bottle on the market today. If you’re looking for an insulated stainless steel water bottle that provides a greener alternative to plastic and quenches your thirst throughout your busy day, you simply need to compare and contrast the options and choose whichever suits you best.