It’s no secret that kids need to drink plenty of water in order to keep hydrated and healthy. Research even shows that if kids drink water throughout the course of the day, they stay focused for longer and their ability to learn increases. So keeping them equipped with water at all times – whether they’re at school, sports, after-school activities or camp – seems like a no-brainer.
We compiled our list of the 5 best water bottles based on the following criteria:
- EASY TO CLEAN: I think once you’ve been through the gauntlet of cleaning baby bottle and sippy cup parts for years upon years, you are just over the whole take-apart-the-bottle-and-put-it-back-together-once-it’s-clean ordeal. So now your child is finally old enough to graduate to a water bottle, you need one with as few removable pieces as possible. Preferably none. We got you covered. As an added bonus, all our picks are dishwasher safe.
- LEAK PROOF: I mean, if we have to mop up a wet puddle in the bottom of a backpack one more time we’re gonna lose it.
- SAFE: Now here’s where we get a little serious. Most of you are probably aware of the concerns regarding BPA, and the adverse health effects it has been linked to (read here for more info). As a result, most manufacturers have switched to using BPA-free plastics in their products. However, there has been research published in Environmental Health Perspectives that shows almost all plastics, even BPA-free ones, may leak chemicals with estrogenic activity when exposed to ultraviolet rays (think of your child’s water bottle sitting in the sun on the soccer field) – which they believe can lead to many health-related problems, including increased rates of some breast, ovarian, testicular, and prostate cancers. So, with all of this in mind when making our picks, we chose mainly non-plastic bottles made of safe, non-leaching materials like stainless steel and glass.
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THINKSPORT INSULATED SPORTS BOTTLE, 12OZ OR 17OZ
Oh how we love this water bottle from ThinkSport. Its double-walled and vacuum-sealed stainless steel design will not only keep the contents cold, but it won’t break a sweat; keeping your kid’s backpack nice and dry.
The top screws off to reveal a wide-mouth for easy filling, but there’s a smaller spout for convenient drinking. The top is tethered to the bottle so you don’t need to worry about it getting lost. One of our favorite features is the interior mesh “filter” that you can put in to keep ice from blocking the drinking spout – so smart!
Shop Thinksport water bottles here
LIFEFACTORY GLASS WATER BOTTLE, 9OZ, 12OZ OR 16OZ
This is a great bottle for older kids who are far-removed from their I’ll-throw-my-cup-on-the-floor-so-mom-can-play-a-fun-pick-up-game-with-me days. The 9oz design is a great size to fit in a lunchbox, and features their signature silicone grip sleeve and an easy screw top. The 12oz and 16oz bottles offer a few different top options – a straw, a flip top and the classic screw top. Available in fun, vibrant colors your kids will love.
Shop Lifefactory glass water bottles here
CAMELBAK EDDY VACUUM-INSULATED STAINLESS, 20OZ
We’ve been fans of the BPA-Free Camelbak Eddy Kids for years, but we’re so excited that it now comes in an insulated stainless option. This 20oz bottle is larger than the 12oz kids’ version, but would be great for those situations where your child needs more water – like sports games, camp, or a day at the beach. Their patented bite valve is easy to flip up to drink, and click down to close. It wins our top pick for a “straw” top bottle.
Shop Camelbak Eddy Stainless here
CONTIGO THERMALOCK MADDIE STAINLESS STEEL KIDS, 12OZ
This 12oz stainless steel bottle was made with kids in mind. The mouthpiece is soft and the perfect size for a child’s mouth. The wide base makes it harder to knock over, and the attached screw top means it will never get lost. It’s the perfect size to fit in a lunchbox, and the designs are adorable!
Shop Contigo Maddie here
NALGENE ON THE FLY KIDS, 12OZ
To us, the only draw-back of a stainless steel or glass bottle is that they are heavier than plastic. So, we wanted to provide a BPA-free plastic option on our list, and the Nalgene 12oz On The Fly Kids is the clear winner. This bottle is SO easy to clean – there are no extra parts to remove, just unscrew the top and throw it in the dishwasher. Kids love using the “lock” feature on the cap which ensures a leafproof seal, and it comes in a multitude of kid-friendly designs they will love.
Shop Nalgene On The Fly Kids here
What’s your favorite water bottle your kids use? Let us know in the comments below!
Thanks so much for reviewing “big kid” options—most that I have found are for little ones.
You’re so welcome!
I also appreciate the larger bottle reviews. We live in Phoenix where even tiny kids have huge bottles. My youngest is one, he carries a 32oz bottle.