Cyber Monday has begun, and deals are going fast. Snag your favorites now!

 
Menu
Header Image
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 all opinions about the products are our own. 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 all opinions about the products are our own. 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 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

56
Models
Considered
60
Consumers
Consulted
8
Hours
Researched
Category cover

Buying guide for Best 1-gallon water bottles

Hydration is a vital component of any healthy lifestyle, but it’s fairly likely you’re not drinking enough water throughout the day. Whether you’re occupied with work, busy with school, or you just aren’t feeling thirsty, there are several factors that can negatively impact hydration, and the effects on your health can become noticeable quite quickly. That’s where a 1-gallon water bottle can help.

Water bottles on their own are fantastic hydration aids, but 1-gallon bottles allow you to take your daily water along with you wherever you go. Depending on your age, weight, and activity level, you’ll have all your daily water with you, which scores highly in terms of convenience. It’s also significantly cheaper than buying lots of smaller bottles of water, so these containers are fantastic for athletes, travelers, and everyone in between.

If you’re interested in learning more about the features and design of 1-gallon water bottles, dive into our buying guide.

one gallon water bottles1
A high-quality 1-gallon water bottle isn’t cheap, but think of it as an investment. If you use a $50 water bottle every day instead of buying disposable water bottles, it can pay for itself in a matter of weeks, as well as reduce the amount of plastic you have to recycle.

Key considerations

Materials

Like smaller bottles, most 1-gallon water bottles are made of either plastic or metal (stainless steel or aluminum). Glass versions are available, but they’re less common because they’re prone to breakage.

Plastic water bottles have several positive attributes. They’re low-cost, they don’t need much maintenance, and they weigh very little when empty. Weight is definitely a primary concern here because a gallon of water weighs about 8.33 pounds. If you’re worried about lugging around a heavy bottle all day, perhaps plastic is the best choice for you. Common plastics include polycarbonate, epoxy resin, and BPA-free Tritan.

Metal water bottles have their own advantages. While costlier and heavier than plastic, stainless steel bottles insulate your drinks far better, allowing them to stay cold — or hot — for several hours. They’re far stronger than plastic too, and they eliminate the risk of BPA leaching into the water.

Aluminum bottles split the difference in terms of weight and strength: heavier than plastic but lighter than stainless steel. They usually have a thin layer of epoxy or plastic inside the bottle to prevent aluminum leaching into the water.

In the end, the material you choose depends on your budget, arm strength, style preference, and any health-related concerns. Weigh the different factors and decide what’s right for you!

Expert TIp
I’m a big fan of using a bottle brush when cleaning water bottles. They clean the bottle better than a dishwasher.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Insulation

While hydration is the main reason to buy a 1-gallon water bottle, it’s nice to have one that keeps your drink at the perfect temperature throughout the day. This is done with insulation. It’s most common on stainless steel bottles, ranging from double-walled bottles to special coatings that regulate temperature. Insulated bottles are typically a bit more expensive than uninsulated ones, however.

One-gallon water bottles commonly have measurements on the side to monitor how much water you drink throughout the day. These can also keep you motivated!

STAFF
BestReviews

Features

Lid

Basic screw-top lids, particularly plastic ones, have a tendency to leak when the temperature changes or the bottle is rolled around. Leaking can be mitigated with a variety of solutions, including redundant seals, tough steel caps, and the like. You’ll pay a little extra for a “fancy” lid, but it will be worth it for the messes you don’t have to clean up.

Speaking of fancy lids, 1-gallon water bottles have a variety of designs to accommodate different tasks and preferences. Some of the most common lid types are the following:

Screw-top lids open fully to expose the mouth of the bottle.

Flip lids pop open so you can drink.

Carabiner straw lids have an internal straw and a flip-up nozzle for convenience.

Filtration

Fantastic for campers and backpackers, some water bottles have built-in filtration units to keep you safe from impurities and other harmful compounds. Designs vary, but most have a straw with a filter on the end. Some use coconut mesh, some use carbon fiber, and others use charcoal, but each has a similar purpose in removing contaminants, including heavy metals and chemicals, depending on the filter. Integrated filters are admittedly less common on 1-gallon water bottles than on smaller bottles, however.

Handle

Even a plastic 1-gallon water bottle can be quite heavy when full — close to 9 pounds — and it can quickly feel like more if you have to carry it for long periods. This is why nearly all 1-gallon water bottles have a handle, some on the side and some on top. Certain bottles have a shoulder strap to minimize fatigue. The type of bottle you prefer depends on your hand size and wrist strength, but soft, padded handles are always a plus.

one gallon water bottles2
Expert Tip
On very hot days when dehydration is a concern, I recommend adding 3 Nuun electrolyte capsules to your one-gallon bottle, which will provide some very important electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, and potassium. These capsules are only around 10 calories each and are very low in sugar.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

1-gallon water bottle prices

Inexpensive

Hydration is important, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can find 1-gallon water bottles for as little as $10 to $15. Expect basic plastic versions in this range, with a variety of lid choices.

Mid-range

Bump up to around $50 to $75, and you’ll enjoy high-quality, insulated metal water bottles. These might include several lids for different activities, as well as comfortable ergonomic handles.

Expensive

At the top of the range, you can spend $100 or more for a water bottle that will last you a lifetime. These typically boast double-walled insulation to keep drinks hot or cold for 24 hours or more. In addition, some bottles in this range come with drinking cups, filters, and a tough exterior powder coating.

Worried about losing your bottle’s lid? Select water bottles have a magnetic lid and handle, allowing you to keep everything together.

STAFF
BestReviews

Tips

  • Keep your beverage cold. If you want to keep your drink cold for hours but don’t have an insulated bottle, there’s still a way. Partially fill the bottle and freeze it overnight, remembering to leave room for ice expansion. Fill it the rest of the way in the morning, and the ice will slowly melt throughout the day, leaving you with refreshing coolness on demand.
  • Mix up your hydration. Add protein powder or even chunks of fruit for a boost of nutrition and flavor. Bottles with wide openings are the best for this, and they facilitate adding ice cubes as well.
  • Check the care instructions. Many, but not all 1-gallon water bottles are safe to put in the dishwasher. Take the time to confirm whether or not yours is dishwasher safe to prevent damage to the lid, seal, coating, or lining.
  • Decorate your water bottle. Water bottles are great platforms for self-expression. Add a bit of flair to yours with stickers, art clippings, motivational phrases, or even brand logos.
one gallon water bottles3
Don’t throw plastic water bottles in the trash. In landfills, plastic can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade.

FAQ

Q. How much water should I drink a day?

A. This is a question people are constantly asking, but the fact is the number fluctuates based on weight, body type, activity level, and even climate. According to the Mayo Clinic, men on average need about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) a day, while women need about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters). Again, this is simply a rule of thumb to get you in the right ballpark, and specific needs should be discussed with your medical professional. For a general idea, look online for a “water calculator.”

Expert Tip
Never underestimate how dirty and contaminated your lid can get. Be sure you really scrub the inside part of your bottle’s screw-top lid since it can hide bacteria and other germs.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Q. What’s the best way to clean my water bottle?

A. One-gallon water bottles are made of many different materials, and thus they don’t all require the same cleaning process. For instance, some are perfectly safe to put in the dishwasher, while others can be damaged or warped in the dishwasher. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to be sure, but the safest bet is to wash your water bottle by hand. To clean a 1-gallon bottle, rinse it with fresh water to remove any larger particles or contaminants. Use hot, soapy water and a bottle brush to clean the inside, then rinse the bottle thoroughly.

If your water bottle is particularly grimy, fill it halfway with soapy water and a cup of white vinegar. Swish the solution inside for a few minutes and then rinse. Place the bottle upside-down to dry.

Q. What is BPA?

A. BPA stands for bisphenol A, which is an organic synthetic compound that’s commonly used to increase the strength of plastics and coat the inside of metal products. It’s been in use since the 1960s, and while it’s effective at increasing the resilience of some materials, experts say it can leach into foods and drinks, raising various health concerns.

BPA-free plastic water bottles are extremely common and clearly labeled as such. While there is still research being done on the health effects of BPA, we recommend you avoid BPA plastic water bottles to be safe.

 

Our Top Picks