Best Sparkling Waters

Updated July 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

21 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
340 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best sparkling water

Last Updated July 2020

Drinking sparkling water is a guilt-free way to invest in your health. It’s refreshing and fizzy whether you’re at a party or just enjoying it after a trip to the gym.

Sparkling water is very similar to still (or flat) water, but it’s infused with carbonation. Some sparkling water is naturally carbonated, thanks to the well or spring where it’s sourced. In other cases, carbonation is added to water that’s naturally still. The degree of bubbles can vary by manufacturer and is a matter of personal preference.

Some turn to sparkling water to replace sugary sodas or diet drinks loaded with artificial ingredients. Others are trying to increase their water intake for a specific reason. Whether you’re looking for the ultimate fizz or something both lightly carbonated and flavored, read our buying guide to learn more about your options. Check out our recommendations to find the sparkling water to best suit your taste.

The bubbles in sparkling water can make you feel full, helping to reduce your caloric intake.

Key considerations

Kinds of sparkling water

Some use the terms sparkling water, mineral water, seltzer water, and club soda interchangeably. It’s important to understand what you’re putting into your body, particularly if you’re switching to sparkling water to improve your health.

Natural sparkling water comes from sources like underground rivers and springs. It’s sometimes called sparkling mineral water because it’s naturally filtered through rock layers where it picks up trace amounts of minerals as well as carbonation. One of those minerals can be sodium, so those who need to watch salt intake should check the label carefully. Most sources of sparkling mineral water are in mountainous regions of Europe, so they may be priced higher than other types of water.

Carbonation is sometimes added to still mineral water to create sparkling mineral water. In this case, the minerals are naturally occurring, but the sparkling aspect is added.

Sparkling water is plain, still water that has been infused with carbon dioxide. It may also be known as seltzer water or carbonated water. Some sparkling waters are flavored with natural oils from fruits or with fruit juice. Pick this option if you need to watch your sodium.

Club soda also gets its effervescence from carbon dioxide, but it’s flavored with a blend of sodium bicarbonate, potassium sulfate, and sodium chloride. Club soda is frequently used as a mixer in cocktails and has a relatively significant sodium content.

Unlike other sparkling waters, tonic water is not calorie-free. Tonic water is carbonated and sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup. It also contains a few other substances, most notably quinine. Quinine is a natural chemical that gives tonic water a bitter flavor that pairs well with some liquors. It can interfere with some medications like antacids, blood thinners, and statins.

Bottles vs. cans

Most sparkling water is sold in BPA-free plastic bottles or aluminum cans. Both have minor impact on their favor. On the whole, sparkling water packaged in plastic bottles is a few cents less expensive per ounce than that sold in cans. The bottles can also be resealed so they last longer, and they’re less prone to spills.

Over time, unopened plastic bottles lose carbonation quicker than cans. This is because the gas is more quickly released through plastic than metal. If you’re buying and using your sparkling water quickly, plastic bottles are more cost-effective. Aluminum cans are better for buying in bulk and storing for a matter of months.

EXPERT TIP

For an exciting twist, experiment with your own mix of cucumbers, herbs, fruit, or honey in unflavored sparkling water.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Flavors

Some palates prefer the crisp, clean taste of sparkling water, but many don’t, especially those trying to give up soda. Sparkling water comes in a variety of fruit flavors, from subtle citrus to vibrant berry. Variety packs can help you find your new favorite. Be sure to check what’s used to flavor your water — some calorie-free options use natural oils from fruit rind or peel. Others may add juice, pieces of fruit, or artificial flavors and may not be totally calorie- or sugar-free.

Nutritional additives

A number of sparkling waters are fortified with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This may bolster their nutritional value, which is a benefit as long as they don’t interfere with medications, nutritional supplements, or health conditions. Check labels carefully to make sure additives won’t exceed recommended levels or react poorly with a vital medication.

Sodium content

Some sparkling water brands include a surprising amount of sodium, both naturally and artificially. Mineral water often naturally absorbs sodium and other minerals at its source. Many club sodas are infused with sodium bicarbonate to add fizz and flavor. Those on a low-sodium diet or who need to limit sodium for other reasons should check labels carefully and limit consumption if necessary. Seltzer water (also called sparkling water or carbonated water) usually has no sodium.

Carbonation level

There’s no concrete way to measure how effervescent each sparkling water brand is. Still, any sparkling water aficionado will tell you that different brands fizz differently. Some brands barely register a bubble, while others are so strong that some say they sting. Make sure you’ll be satisfied with the carbonation level.

EXPERT TIP

Switching to sparkling water from sugary soda usually saves 150 to 200 calories per can.


Staff  | BestReviews

Sparkling water prices

While pricier than tap water, sparkling water costs only a few cents more per ounce than soda. It costs you less in the long run in terms of your health and related expenses.

Inexpensive: The least-expensive sparkling water packs cost around five cents per ounce of water. At this price, you can get a multi-pack of bottled sparkling water. You can find both natural mineral water and sparkling water infused with natural flavors in this price range, as well as other options.

Mid-range: The next tier of sparkling water packs start at around seven cents per ounce. These packs are usually sold in cans. They likely have a light, fruity taste, thanks to natural flavoring.

High-priced: The most expensive sparkling water packs usually cost a dime per ounce or more. At this price, you are likely paying for added ingredients, such as flavoring from real pieces of fruit. Just make sure you’re getting healthy additives that you want and nothing you don’t.

EXPERT TIP

Hydrate with still water during your workout (the bubbles in sparkling water can give you cramps), but look forward to a refreshing carbonated treat afterward.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Some find the taste of sparkling mineral water bitter, so if you have a sweet tooth, it may be best to start elsewhere.
  • Mixed flavor packs of sparkling water are a great way to try different flavors without committing to a full pack of an unknown flavor.
  • Buying in bulk can help you save — the more cans or bottles in your pack, the lower the price usually is per ounce.

Other products we considered

There’s no shortage of sparkling water choices, from basil and cinnamon to cucumber. Some are even caffeinated. Here are a few options that narrowly missed our list. If you’re looking for pure, crisp sparkling water, look no further than Icelandic Glacial Sparkling Water. It’s renowned for its low mineral content, thanks to filtration through layers of lava rock. Icelandic Glacial water is sourced from the well-known Olfus Spring, which is replenished annually by rain and snow.

Bai Bubbles Sparkling Water Voyager Variety Pack incorporates both exotic fruit flavors and antioxidants to deliver a healthy helping of hydration. It boasts a single gram of sugar per serving, maintaining a low glycemic index, and it packs about as much caffeine as a cup of black tea.

Fizzy drinks of any type aren’t the best choice for individuals with acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, or other gastrointestinal issues. The carbonation can lead to discomfort, gas, and bloating.

FAQ

Q. How much water do I need to drink each day?
A.
Most experts recommend drinking eight glasses of water per day. This number may not be spot on, scientifically speaking, but it’s not hard to remember, and it’s a good goal. Those living in high temperatures or humid environments need more, as well as those who are exercising. The human body is roughly 60% water, and even slight dehydration can cause fatigue. Water is vital to your body’s waste removal, temperature regulation, joint protection, and many other key needs.
 

Q. Does sparkling water hydrate your body as well as regular water?
A.
Yes. Drinking sparkling water keeps you just as hydrated as still water, as long as it’s truly just water. Club sodas or other formulas that add sodium bicarbonate and other sodium compounds for fizz, however, may be less effective, thanks to their salt content.
 

Q. Can drinking too much sparkling water weaken your bones and teeth?
A.
Thankfully, these rumors are mostly false and come from studies tested with soda, not carbonated water. First of all, sparkling water does not appear to affect bone health. It is, however, slightly more acidic than still water, and could theoretically erode enamel, though it’s unlikely you could drink enough for this to happen.

Sparkling water with added flavors — even those without sugar or high fructose corn syrup — can damage your teeth if you drink them in excess. Many brands improve their taste with acidic citrus-based additives, which can eat away enamel over time when drunk in large quantities. Still, they’re nowhere near as bad for your teeth as syrupy soft drinks. If you’re concerned, you can add fluoride to your water, rinse your mouth after drinking sparkling water, drink through a straw, or enjoy it as a dinnertime treat so that your food cuts the acid.

 

The team that worked on this review
  • Amos
    Amos
    Director of Photography
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Ola
    Ola
    Writer

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