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Is drinking water from a glass bottle healthier than plastic?

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How worried should I be about using a plastic water bottle?

Have you ever wondered why soda is sold in plastic bottles, juice comes in plastic bottles, milk comes in plastic jugs, and alcohol is nearly always sold in glass containers? Storing alcohol in glass bottles preserves the taste and quality of the beverage, as plastic may change the taste and doesn’t have a long shelf life.

That begs the question, if plastic is not an ideal beverage container, should we drink water out of glass? Which is the healthier option: plastic or glass?

Shop this article: Adidas Squad Glass Water Bottle, Ello Syndicate Glass Water Bottle, Aquasana Glass Water Bottles

Why do beverages come in plastic bottles?

Beverages come in plastic bottles because of practicality. Since plastic bottles cost roughly the same to manufacture as glass bottles, the benefit is in the weight and durability. Plastic bottles weigh much less than glass bottles, so they are easier to transport — which makes them a greener option. Also, plastic bottles are far less prone to breakage. This feature is important for shipping, stocking and consumer use.

Why are plastic bottles bad?

For all the good that plastic bottles offer the manufacturer, retailer and consumer, there are a few resounding negatives that are hard to overlook when it comes to plastic bottles.

Plastic can hold odors

If you’ve ever taken lunch to work in a plastic container, you may have noticed that it tends to absorb odors. It doesn’t take long for that container to greet you with a cacophony of undesirable smells whenever you open it. The same thing can happen with your water bottle. Bacteria from your mouth and food you’ve eaten can make the water smell less than pure.

If it smells, it’s creating vapors

Plastic has a distinctive smell. Unfortunately, we can only smell particles that we inhale. If plastic smells, that means it’s releasing volatile components.

It’s the bacteria, not the chemical leaching, that’s an issue

While chemical leaching is a big talking point with plastics, it isn’t much of a health concern unless you are storing your water bottle in high-heat areas. What you do have to consider is bacteria growth. Your water bottle can pick up bacteria whenever you drink from it. If you like your water at room temperature, you’d be surprised how much bacteria can grow in your water bottle throughout the day.

Plastic isn’t kind to the planet … or you

According to the United Nations, It can take plastic up to 500 years to decompose in a landfill. That means every plastic bottle that has ever been thrown out is still here. Even worse, when plastic bottles break down, they create harmful microplastics that filter into the environment, are found in drinking water and eventually make their way into your body.

What are the pros and cons of a glass water bottle?

Glass is a great choice for the individual who wants to have on-hand drinking water at home. Glass is made from organic ingredients. It does not absorb smells, and it does not leach any toxic chemicals into your water. It also does not let liquids or gasses penetrate, making it reusable.

However, glass could be better. Bacteria can still grow in a glass bottle if it is not regularly cleaned, and it is much heavier than plastic, making it difficult to transport. Also, glass will break if dropped, which adds other travel concerns. Some glass types are unsafe for extreme temperatures, so they cannot be put in the refrigerator or microwave, and some bottles must be hand-washed.

So which is healthier: plastic or glass?

If you are considering buying a reusable water bottle and health is the primary concern — not portability — then a glass container is the clear winner. A good lid seals your water bottle, letting the water stay fresh. Most importantly, a glass water bottle doesn’t leach chemicals or absorb smells and is endlessly reusable as long as you don’t break it and keep it clean.

What about stainless steel?

A third option is stainless steel. While stainless steel can leach chemicals when used as cookware, it doesn’t tend to leach in plain drinking water. It is durable and can be vacuum sealed for insulation to keep your water cold (or hot). On the downside, some people do not like the taste of water in a stainless steel container. Bacteria can grow on stainless steel, so it must be cleaned regularly.

Best water bottle options

Adidas Squad Glass Water Bottle

This glass water bottle from Adidas is 24.35 ounces. The double-screw interchangeable lid works with all Adidas steel and glass bottles and features ounce and milliliter markings for measurements. You cannot microwave or freeze this water bottle.

Sold by Amazon

Veegoal Glass Water Bottles

These glass water bottles hold 18 or 25 ounces of liquids. They are bisphenol A-free and come with a bamboo lid, a non-slip silicone sleeve and stainless steel leak-proof lid.

Sold by Amazon

Pyrex Color-Changing Glass Water Bottle

This water bottle comes in various designs and holds up to 17.5 oz. It has a five-layer shatterproof, hygienic glass bottle. It is eco-friendly and is made of BPA-free material. It comes with a leak-proof lock cap perfect for school, work or the gym.

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Ello Syndicate Glass Water Bottle

This 20-ounce glass bottle is made with odor- and stain-free glass that’s easy to clean. It has a one-touch flip lid that makes it easier to drink. It has a stylish silicone sleeve to protect it from damage.

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Kate Spade Apple Toss Glass Hydration Bottle

Kate Spade products are known for their stylish design. This double-walled glass water bottle is no different. It features a chic apple motif and has a wooden lid. The container holds 15 ounces and must be hand-washed.

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Aquasana Glass Water Bottles

This six-pack of glass water bottles costs less than most individual options. If you have a family that you want to keep hydrated, this dishwasher-safe set is a good way to go. It is important to note that the lid is made of BPA-free plastic.

Sold by Amazon

Probttl 32 Oz Borosilicate Glass Water Bottle

This water bottle has hourly time markers to ensure you meet your daily water intake. It is leak-proof, eco-friendly and free of BPA, bisphenol S, polyvinyl chloride, lead and cadmium. It has a bamboo lid and is covered with a food-grade silicone sleeve for protection.

Sold by Amazon

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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