I was tired of replacing my drinking water bottles regularly due to various reasons like breakage, denting worn look etc. I started searching for a suitable water bottle suitable for my requirements, but that exercise turned out to be a bit interesting so thought of sharing my experience with you and wrote this article on How to choose water bottle.
First I cancel choice of plastic bottles due to following reasons.
1) They leach which is the most important reason for doing away with them. There are many manufacturers like Tupperware, Camel etc but their claims appear to be doubtful to me as some of their bottles were found to be leaching more in case of warm water stored in them and it's no use of a company giving replacement or apology after you have already drank leached water for years together and the damage is already done. Also you won’t be able to know for sure if the plastic bottle you are using is actually safe until after years of usage and experiment, testing, case study is done.
2) Plastics are creating lot of waste. Even with so much awareness about the pollution and ill health being caused by plastics, people are hardly taking real efforts towards curbing plastic usage. Most of the efforts are limited to paying lip service without actual inclination to act. One of the easiest thing people can do for the environment, is to stop using bottled drinking water. The bottled water industry is growing at a very rapid pace causing environmental and health issues for humans using bottled water packed in plastic bottles. As over the time during storage these bottles leach harmful chemicals causing cancer and other ailments. Those who do not use packaged water but use plastic bottles for drinking water are also getting affected by the leaching of chemicals from bottles they use for storing water. I did not want to contribute negatively to environment so decided to switch to using non plastic bottle for drinking purpose. With this thought in mind I decided to switch to some other material but the decision of which material and which make was more difficult than I had thought, as there are so many choices available in the market.
I can only describe that dilemma as “Bottles bottles everywhere but from which bottle should I drink?”
So I thought of sharing my experience on how I eliminated the materials and zeroed on which one will suit my requirements to make the decision making process easier for you. I have listed down all of them here as requirements may differ from person to person.
The prominent choice in terms of material is as follows.
Glass Bottles - Glass is the best material for storing water and there are wide variety of choices and designs available in the market. They are BPA-free (If without any lining inside). They are heaviest compared to other bottles options. The other problem with glass bottles is they are brittle hence one drop and your bottle is gone. I had to consider the hard flooring in my office and home coupled with lot of guest coming to my home with children as well. Glass can never be safe in presence of active kids who want to check out every nook and corner of your home. Only if you have carpet flooring, you may be getting one more chance at dropping it. So if you are using a glass bottle than you have to be extra careful. There are some glass bottles in market which have a lining inside the bottle allegedly to prevent glass from breaking and going into your system, but this appears to me as only a marketing gimmick as I have used glass bottles and am sure that a glass does not break partially or randomly in such a way which cannot be notice. Also if you are using a glass bottle with inner lining than the purpose of avoiding drinking leached chemical is defeated as you are actually drinking water stored in lining made of plastic like material. One more thing to take care while buying glass bottle is not to buy very colorful bottles as there are chances that they might be painted in which case the paint will leach into the water if painted from inside. Also as a caution it is better to check with the shopkeeper whether the bottle is painted or dyed even in case of single colored bottle. So glass was ruled out till I grow old and do not have many visitors’ especially unruly kids.
Copper bottles or flasks – They are available in market in limited varieties and drinking from copper vessel is recommended in Ayurved as it gives health benefits. It is advisable to use such flask only for keeping water as juices and soft drinks may have adverse effect due to their ph values. Also copper being a comparatively much malleable, ductile and soft the bottles were not sufficiently sturdy to last a few decades. So I dropped that choice as well.
Aluminum bottle - I could find lot of aluminum bottles in good shapes colors and size from variety of manufacturer in the market they are light in weight and less prone to be damaged compared to glass or copper bottle. They are also more easily available and last longer. One drawback of aluminum is there are chances of aluminum reacting with the drinks which are not ph neutral and lead to formation of unwanted salts but still I think is not a point to be worried as the amount that could get into water is not sufficient to cause any effect, the actual aluminum intake that affects our system happens through medication like antacid which have very high aluminum content. Also there is very strong possibility that the aluminum bottle you will buy from the market will have internal lining made of some plastic or other chemicals as even after searching many suppliers and websites I was not able to find a single vendor who would supply me with an aluminum bottle without lining inside. So if I am buying a aluminum bottle with lining for the purpose of avoiding the leaching chemicals the purpose is defeated. I would be effectively not drinking from aluminum bottle but from a chemical lining which could be leaching and also being very thin could peel off and enter my body. There are also claims that aluminum bottles even manufactured by Sigg etc need to have lining as it enters into water and could be harmful. But if someone is buying aluminum bottle to avoid creating lots of plastic waste than I think they can go for it.
Steel bottle – The only disadvantage that steel bottles have are that they are heavier as compared to copper and aluminum bottles. So if a person is not looking for light material steel can be very good choice, as steel bottles do not deform easily the surface of steel does not lose shine so if you have bought a steel bottle without any decorative exterior coating than it will look the same even after many years of usage. They are BPA-free (If without any lining inside). There are steel bottles which come in variety of decorative finish but the coating tend to slowly crack or peel off over the time so the bottle loses appeal and you may not feel like carrying it outside hence the purpose of not creating waste is defeated a little. But in case the only purpose of buying a steel bottle is to avoid leached chemicals or you are not so concerned about the looks of a worn out bottle than you may go for decorative steel bottle. However while buying steel bottle it’s very necessary to check that the bottle is made of food grade steel or at least good quality steel.
I have brought many steel bottle over the years from multiple suppliers in my quest to find out which one best suit my needs. The ones I evaluated were from -
And some unbranded manufacturer as well
Though all of them claim that they are made from food grade steel or more precisely 304 type of steel I found that only Pura steel and klean kanteen are actually made of high quality steel.
All of them claim that the bottles are free from internal lining but the variation in finishing of the outer and inner surface has left me in doubt. The inner surface of the entire bottles look similar to that of soda cans making me feel that they also have some coating but it is still a doubt till I check it myself through experiments and chemical analysis. The good news is that I found that at least one of the bottles I bought had a truly steel like inner surface but bad news is that it was unbranded and I do not remember where I bought it from so it's difficult to trace its manufacturer. In case I am able to find them I shall update on this site.
Sturdiness is one aspect you need to check if you plan to use your bottle for decades like me. Here Atlas ware bottle are ahead of the rest as they have of thicker walls and rounded bottom which are very desirable attributes as you may not like to carry a bottle which has multiple dents. My Pura steel bottle got dented the very first day of its use as the steel wall is comparatively very thin.
In terms of styling Sizzle bottles offer you very good designs and surface finish.
I am presently using Atlasware bottle and kept rest in the store. Though Atlasware bottle is not of 304 steel I do not mind it, as a bit lower quality of steel won’t react to potable water. Also even after of a year of use the bottle still looks new and without dents so a good choice as per me.
How to choose water bottle
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