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  • Hydro Flask 12 oz Kids Wide Mouth

  • Simple Modern Summit Kids Water Bottle with Straw Lid

  • CamelBak eddy+ Kids 12 oz Bottle, Insulated Stainless Steel

  • How We Tested Kids' Water Bottles

  • What You Should Know About Kids Water Bottles

  • Other Water Bottles for Kids We Tested

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

Our Favorite Water Bottles for Kids of 2021

  1. Best Overall

    Hydro Flask 12 oz Kids Wide Mouth

    Pros

    • Lightweight

    • Dishwasher-safe

    • Double wall vacuum insulation

    Cons

    • Expensive

    • Silicone sleeve can feel superfluous

    Skip to the full review below
  2. Best for Older Kids

    Simple Modern Summit Kids Water Bottle with Straw Lid

    Pros

    • Easy-to-clean spout

    • Large capacity

    • Cool design options

    Cons

    • Vessel is hand wash only

    Skip to the full review below
Four of the Hydro Flask Kids 12 ounce bottles in varying colors.
Credit: Hydro Flask

The double walled vacuum insulation, the easy-to-carry design, and the fun colors of the Hydro Flask Kids' wide mouth bottle made it the clear winner.

Best Overall
Hydro Flask 12 oz Kids Wide Mouth

If you want a bottle that is durable, well-insulated, and can be thrown in the dishwasher without a care in the world, the Hydro Flask Kids' Wide Mouth 12-ounce is your water bottle. Well-insulated and well-built, it keeps drinks cold all day and stands up to numerous bumps and drops with nary a scuff.

The flip straw lid is easy to use and strikes a nice balance of being hard enough that kids won’t chew through it, while not being so dense that you feel like it will knock their teeth out. The loop handle is well-positioned for easy grasping and for when you need to hook the bottle onto a backpack. We also appreciated the powder coating that made gripping the bottle easy when hands were wet or covered in goop or slime—as they often are.

All of those things are great features but, as our poll of 30 parents revealed, the most important thing most parents look for is that a kids’ water bottle be dishwasher-safe. We are happy to report that these not only are, they have no little parts to worry about, so it’s a toss-and-go situation. All you need to do is open the spout, remove the straw, toss it on your dishwasher’s top shelf, and forget about it.

The only drawback we could find to this bottle is its nearly $30 price point. While this bottle is definitely on the more expensive side, it’s backed by a lifetime warranty, should you ever need it. This water bottle has held up well after a year of use, and we haven’t read any reviews that complain about the usual problems facing stainless steel water bottles (like rusting or mold) but should you encounter any issues, Hydro Flask will replace the bottle. It’s also worth noting that Hydro Flask has updated the colors of these bottles, but the design and structure is exactly the same as the one we tested this past year, only changing the previous model’s silicone bumper with a new perforated one.

Pros

  • Lightweight

  • Dishwasher-safe

  • Double wall vacuum insulation

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Silicone sleeve can feel superfluous

A girl smiles as she sips from a water bottle.
Credit: Simple Modern

Simple Modern's bottles are easy to clean and they come in a wide range of sizes and styles, to meet every kids' tastes and needs.

Best for Older Kids
Simple Modern Summit Kids Water Bottle with Straw Lid

While these bottles aren’t completely dishwasher-safe, they are super easy to clean and the wide array of sizes and designs make this not only our favorite tween- and teen-friendly choice for top water bottle, they are our favorite higher capacity water bottle for kids of all ages.

The bottles themselves have to be hand washed, but they are wide-mouthed and easy to clean with a swish of a bottle brush, and the patented leak-proof tops are dishwasher-safe for easy sterilization of the drinking area. We also like that these bottles come in a wide choice of sizes, from 14 ounces to 64 ounces and we found that sizes as high as 18 ounces fit in a variety of car seat cup holders. We also appreciate the array of patterns to choose from—from Disney-themed styles for tiny tots, to cool color ombre-styles for kids with more sophisticated tastes.

Because of the high capacity of water it holds, this bottle is our choice for any kid who can’t refill their water bottle during the school day, or for older kids who want to look cool while conveniently—and consistently—hydrating. These bottles did sustain a few small dents and scratches over the course of a year, but that’s to be expected of any bottle that doesn’t come with a bumper or a powder coat. Overall, however, they held up great through continual and constant use.

Pros

  • Easy-to-clean spout

  • Large capacity

  • Cool design options

Cons

  • Vessel is hand wash only

Related content

Three CamelBak bottles lined in a row. Two are stainless steel and one is BPA-free plastic.
Credit: Reviewed / Lisa Lawrence

Kids found the CamelBak fun to use. It's our favorite budget-friendly option for kids.

Best Value
CamelBak eddy+ Kids 12 oz Bottle, Insulated Stainless Steel

If you’re looking for a bottle that keeps water cold, is completely leak-free, comes in fun designs, and is a great budget pick—look no further. After a year of testing this bottle, our adoration for this kid-friendly bottle has only grown. It keeps water cold, is completely leak-free, comes in an array of fun designs, and has an intuitive bite-valve that kids love.

While the cap, straw, and bite valve can be cleaned on the top shelf of a dishwasher, it’s recommended the bottle itself be hand-washed to maintain the integrity of the graphic designs. That being said, we have top-shelf washed this weekly for the past year and it looks as good as the day we received it (this is not manufacturer recommended, however, so do keep that in mind). It’s also recommended, for both this bottle and the non-insulated version, that the bite valve be removed and deep cleaned on occasion. There are reports that after removal the bottle tends to leak. While—again, after a year of use—that was not our experience, it may be something to keep in mind.

With all that taken into account, this has been a steadfast favorite of our family for a full year and at $16.99 we think it’s the best value choice on the market.

Pros

  • Cool designs

  • Bite-valve

  • Vacuum insulated

  • Spill proof

Cons

  • Not dishwasher-safe

  • Difficult to clean bite-valve

How We Tested Kids' Water Bottles

The Tester

Hi, I'm Janelle Randazza. I’m mom to a 7-year-old, and we live in sunny (and HOT) Los Angeles. Our son is very picky about having not just water, but “ice water.” He likes his drinks cold, and he likes his water to be plentiful. For us, it’s essential that a water bottle is lightweight, well-insulated, and leak-free. And, since I’m a working parent juggling a pretty hectic schedule, that thing better be easy to clean. We searched far and wide for the best water bottle for kids, and we voraciously read consumer reviews to put each bottle's strengths and weaknesses to the test, and then we tested them again and again for a year. These are our unequivocal recommendations for a bottle that you’ll love the day you get it—and that you’ll keep loving for years to come.

The Tests

A row of kids' water bottles on the top rack of a dishwasher
Credit: Reviewed / Janelle Randazza

Parents overwhelmingly asked for bottles that are dishwasher-safe and easy to clean.

There is a lot that can be subjective about water bottles. Before testing, we conducted informal polls in numerous online parenting groups and ended up with approximately 30 respondents, whom we asked to list the top must-haves in a water bottle. Overwhelmingly parents were looking for a bottle that was, first and foremost, easy to clean. As one respondent answered, “I can throw it in the dishwasher. I can throw it in the dishwasher. I can throw it in the dishwasher.” Caregivers also looked for good insulation, that the bottle be leak-proof, and that it holds up to cleaning, dropping, and the occasional gnawing on the straw. These bottles went through a wide array of testing, but we placed the greatest emphasis on those points during scoring.

Every water bottle except for the Takeya and the newly-released 20-ounce Hydro Flask Kids Wide Mouth went through a full year of testing (both of these bottles were tested for one month). This is significant because, if you read most online reviews, the honeymoon period with most water bottles typically ends about two months into the romance.

We tested for insulation, both in a practical day-to-day scenario and by leaving the insulated bottles filled with five ice cubes and 8 ounces of water in a hot car with no air conditioning for one hour on an 90-degree day. We tested all bottles for their dishwasher safety claims, washing each manufacturer-approved component on the regular wash setting at least twice a month for a year.

A row of water bottles on a white towel. One is leaking green water.
Credit: Reviewed / Janelle Randazza

We tested for leaks by filling each bottle with colored water and setting it on a white towel for a few hours.

We tested for leaks by filling each bottle with colored water, vigorously shaking each bottle upside down, and then setting the bottles upside down for a few hours.

Other tests were conducted at the hands of a child for ease of use and carry.

Because we saw so many complaints online regarding children biting through straws, we conducted a “bite-test” where we analyzed each bottle's straws, mouthpieces, and bite-valves and tested their durability on kids that love to chew straws. We noted if the straw was bite-proof following the first two months of use, and then a year of use. We, literally, left nothing to chance in our testing.

What You Should Know About Kids Water Bottles

Insulated vs. Lightweight

With good insulation, like those with double-walled vacuum insulation, there does come a price. In general, non-insulated water bottles are made from BPA-free plastic. While they are lightweight, they tend to not keep drinks cold over the course of a full school day. If you are looking for a bottle that will keep drinks cold, look for stainless steel and look for bottles that say they are double-walled insulated. You will generally find those bottles cost more and weigh a few more ounces than the non-insulated kind, but they’ll be worth it on hot summer days.

Price

Let’s get real: Kids lose stuff. Many of the bottles we tested were around $25. There are definitely more affordable bottles available on the market. If your child is one to lose water bottles you may want to take the price point into consideration. Our “best budget” and our “best high capacity” winners are also incredibly affordable, with both being under $20.

Size

This year, in particular, you are going to want to be choosy about the size of the water bottle you buy. In some schools, kids won’t be allowed to refill their water bottles during the school day due to COVID-19 restrictions. That being said, if you get a bottle that’s too big to fit in the bottle holder of your child’s lunch box or backpack, you’re probably going to need to put it in the lunch box or backpack itself, which may cause it to tip or leak. We recommend buying a bottle that fits in compartments or sleeves meant to hold water bottles so that it remains upright.


Other Water Bottles for Kids We Tested

Product image of Yeti Rambler Jr. 12 oz Kids Bottle
Yeti Rambler Jr. 12 oz Kids Bottle

Yeti is known for its hyper-insulated coolers that can keep food cold for days. We were excited to put Yeti’s reputation for keeping things cold in tact, and we were not disappointed. The insulation on this bottle is excellent and, even after an hour in a hot car, the water in this bottle was still nice and cold.

The powder-coated exterior makes it hold up to any dishwashing cycle you can throw at it, and the wide mouth makes it easy for even small kids to refill with ice. We also liked that the chrome bottom takes the brunt of the impact when this bottle is dropped

This is a beast of a water bottle and what it gives in performance it pays for a bit in weight. The Yeti was one of our favorite bottles, but we found it a bit heavy for smaller kids. Empty it came in at 14.7 ounces, compared to other bottles that ranged from 7.5 ounces to 9.8 ounces. Add an additional 12-ounce of water and, even though this bottle has a ring hook to carry it by, you’ll probably end up finding yourself taking responsibility for carrying it.

That being said, this is truly a terrific bottle overall that we’d recommend for kids over age 7 for whom an extra 5 ounces of weight isn’t an issue.

Pros

  • Wide mouth

  • Sturdy handle

  • Double wall insulation

Cons

  • Heavy

  • Expensive

Product image of Contigo Kids Autospout Straw Water Bottle with Easy-Clean Lid, 14 oz.
Contigo Kids Autospout Straw Water Bottle with Easy-Clean Lid, 14 oz.

A lightweight, BPA-free plastic water bottle that can be thrown in the dishwasher? This bottle seems too good to be true, but—after a year of being washed weekly in our dishwasher—this bottle has held up better than even some of the stainless steel bottles we tried.

Not only is the graphic bottle dishwasher-safe, these bottles come with an innovative straw design that can’t be beat. When closed, the straw itself is protected from debris in a foldable shell that easily pops open with a push of the button. The bottom of the straw also has a genius pop-open feature that allows for easy cleaning.

If you don’t care about insulation and are looking for a super lightweight water bottle that is durable and easy to clean, the Contigo Autospout should be your choice.

Pros

  • Easy to clean

  • Vacuum insulation

  • Cool flip-top straw

  • Dishwasher-safe

  • Durable

Cons

  • None that we could find

Product image of Contigo Kids Autospout Straw Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Easy-Clean Lid, 13 oz.
Contigo Kids Autospout Straw Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Easy-Clean Lid, 13 oz.

There are a lot of things to like about this bottle. Like the BPA-free plastic version that we love, it’s durable, the flip-top straw is genius in its ability to both protect the bite valve and be easily cleaned, it’s dishwasher-safe, and it keeps drinks good and cold. The main problem with this bottle is that it just doesn’t come in any fun designs to appeal to kids. It only comes with a colored lid and a stainless steel exterior. We are certain it’s to maintain this bottle’s ability to be dishwasher-safe at a low price point, but kids just weren’t into this one and it was only grabbed when every other bottle in the house was dirty.

If you’re looking for a bottle with a little personality, this may not be the right pick for you. That being said, not everyone will have 13 other kids' water bottles in vibrant designs, sitting next to this bottle on the kitchen shelf. If you are looking for a no-frills, utilitarian water bottle, that keeps drinks cold and is easy to clean, this is a great choice.

It’s worth it to note that these bottles made between April 2018 and February 2020 were recalled. We reached out to Contigo and they said this, “You can rest assured Contigo puts consumer safety and quality first. ... Previously, the Contigo kids cleanable water bottle’s clear silicone spout found on the lid may have detached in some cases. There were no reported injuries, but out of an abundance of caution, Contigo reannounced the recall in February 2020.”

Pros

  • Easy to clean

  • Vacuum insulation

  • Cool flip-top straw

Cons

  • Bland design

Product image of Hydro Flask 20 oz Kids Wide Mouth
Hydro Flask 20 oz Kids Wide Mouth

Much like our best overall version of the Hydro Flask Kids’ Wide Mouth, the 20-ounce version is durable, a cinch to clean, and keeps drinks cold for hours. We also love the cool little features in this upgraded version, like the perforated silicone boot—which mitigates water collection when it’s tossed into a dishwasher—and the built-in name label on the bottom of the bottle.

The issue we had with this bottle was its height. It just feels like an adult’s bottle in cute colors. At 20 ounces, it was too big to fit easily into a backpack sleeve without kids feeling off-balance. That may not be a problem with older kids, however, but something to keep in mind. If you’re looking for a higher capacity water bottle for smaller kids, we’d probably recommend the 16-ounce option of the Simple Modern Summit, which is a bit easier to manage. Older kids may like this bottle and, if it proves to be anything like the smaller version that we love, the build of this bottle will make it a long-lasting option.

Pros

  • Perforated boot sleeve

  • Dishwasher-safe

  • Double wall vacuum insulation

Cons

  • Too heavy for younger kids

Product image of CamelBak eddy+ Kids .4L Bottle
CamelBak eddy+ Kids .4L Bottle

This lightweight, leak-free, sturdy, bottle by CamelBak comes in an array of fun designs. It also has an intuitive bite-valve that our testers loved and that has held up well after a year of gnawing and chewing on it. The drawbacks to this bottle weren’t huge standouts: Since the parents polled said they preferred stainless steel to plastic, it got marked off there. It doesn’t keep drinks cold. And, finally, it’s not dishwasher-safe. All in all, we do like these bottles, but if you’re going to go the lightweight route the Contigo’s dishwasher-safe distinction can’t be beat.

Pros

  • Cool designs

  • Bite valve

  • Spill proof

Cons

  • Not dishwasher-safe

  • Bite valve can be difficult to clean

Product image of PlanetBox Capsule 11oz Water Bottle
PlanetBox Capsule 11oz Water Bottle

If you’re looking for a simpler design and have a preference for a chug-spout mouth piece, we highly recommend the PlanetBox Capsule water bottle. At first we thought the kids wouldn’t be into the design, but it turns out younger kids really liked the unexpected rocket shape of this bottle and the super shiny chrome exterior.

We especially liked the ingenious soft silicone chug-spout, which is unlike any we’ve seen elsewhere. It’s soft for smaller kids, but—unlike many other silicon-topped bottles—gnawing doesn’t seem to be problematic with this design: After a year of use, this bottle is teeth mark- and tear-free.

Because of its wide mouth, it’s very easy to clean and there are no small pieces to take apart for deep cleaning: Every piece goes in the dishwasher and there are no crevices for dirt or food to get trapped in and no hidden gasket that surprises you with sneaky mold spores months in.

The build of this bottle also makes it easy for little kids to hold, which is a good thing because there isn’t a handle with this one. We feel like the lack of handle is an oversight in the design and caused frustration with some of our young testers. Overall though, we liked this bottle. If you don’t like straws, if your child prefers chug-spouts, and if you want a bottle that seals up tight to prevent spills, this is an excellent choice.

Pros

  • Cool chug-spout design

  • Easy to clean mouth piece

  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons

  • No handle

  • Leaks if not closed properly

Product image of S'ip by S'well - 10oz
S'ip by S'well - 10oz

If your biggest concern is keeping water cold, this is the bottle to buy! Out of all of the bottles we tried, the S’ip kept our water noticeably colder than all of the other water bottles; it was the only bottle that still had ice after being in a 90-degree car for an hour. We were so astonished that this beat out other brands that we tested this twice last year and again this year.

This bottle comes in really fun designs that appeal to small kids and big kids alike, and it is the only bottle we tried that keeps liquids hot, too—making this a good option for bringing hot cocoa to a campfire.

As much as we liked this bottle, however, we found the narrow mouthpiece a bit challenging to fill. Ice needs to be finessed in, hot liquids need to be poured very carefully, and it’s a tough bottle for kids to fill from the refrigerator by themselves.

We tried both the 10-ounce and 15-ounce bottles. The smaller size has an attachment so the screw-top lid never falls off or gets lost. It also makes it easier for carrying than the 15-ounce.

Pros

  • Kept water the coldest

  • Can also hold hot liquids

Cons

  • Hand wash only

  • Difficult to fill

Product image of Takeya 16oz Actives Kids Insulated Water Bottle With Straw Lid
Takeya 16oz Actives Kids Insulated Water Bottle With Straw Lid

If we are to be honest, we thought this water bottle was going to be the winner this year. There is a lot to like about this water bottle: It’s lightweight, well-insulated, and the thoughtful design really makes it stand out. The large and flexible handle is easy to hold and we love the cap is rimmed with grippy silicone to make it easy to tighten and loosen with wet hands. The straw lid is easy to flip with teeth, so there’s no cross contamination with your hands. All in all, this is a great water bottle and we loved that the 16-ounce size was still easy for a 7-year-old to carry in a backpack.

That being said, the issue that dethroned it from the top spot is pretty significant. We were only able to test this bottle for a few weeks, but within 10 days the straw split at the top and needed to be replaced. We noticed this is a common complaint on the Takeya website, and replacement straws seem to create the same issues.

Pros

  • Dishwasher-safe

  • Double walled insulation

  • Grippy twist-cap

  • Large handle

Cons

  • Internal straw is prone to breaking

Product image of EcoVessel Trimax Insulated
EcoVessel Trimax Insulated

The EcoVessel Trimax Insulated water bottle is dual-walled, lightweight, and it is one of the best-looking stainless steel water bottles around. The handle has a rubberized grip to minimize the bottle slipping through little hands, which we can see as being a major draw. We also liked that the hard straws have a rubberized coating, protecting teeth when they accidentally get knocked by the mouthpiece.

Sadly, this bottle showed the most wear and tear of the bunch after a year of use. The covered straw started to show signs of teeth marks within a few months, and the lid sustained a small hairline crack. It’s still usable, but those points are worth noting. This bottle also requires hand washing of all parts, making it a more high maintenance choice.

Pros

  • Attractive

  • Rubberized handle and straw

Cons

  • Difficult to clean

  • Showed the most wear and tear

Product image of Nalgene 12oz Kids On-The-Fly Lock-Top
Nalgene 12oz Kids On-The-Fly Lock-Top

The leak-proof lid of the Nalgene On the Fly, snaps closed securely is a serious foil against spills. We also love that the lid that doubles as a handle, making for an easy-to-carry design, as well as the thin profile of this bottle—which makes it the easiest to throw in an average-sized purse or a small bag that your kid might take to the park.

This isn’t the best bottle for younger kids, since the top can be a challenge to open for kids under age 5 or 6, but for kids 6 and older this makes for a good bottle to grab for a walk around the neighborhood or to throw in a bag for a quick trip to the park.

Pros

  • Lightweight

  • Cool design

  • Easy-to-close top

  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons

  • Difficult for little kids to use

Product image of Thermos Funtainer, 12oz
Thermos Funtainer, 12oz

This is one of the most popular and affordable bottles on the market. It keeps drinks cold, comes in at a great price point, and is mainly dishwasher-safe (though the cool printed versions tend to lose their colors and fare better over time if hand-washed). Our issue with this bottle, however, is significant and one that doesn’t seem to be unique to my family: The silicon straw is not only a big design flaw, we worry it could be a choking hazard.

The parents we polled consistently expressed frustration over the Funtainer straw: Kids love gnawing at it to the point of biting through and some even found their kids chewing on the bitten off piece as though it were gum. If that doesn’t bother you, the leaks that occur will: Once the straw is bitten through, it subjects the bottle to major leaks (we are talking a full inch of water in the bottom of my son’s backpack).

Soggy mess aside, this issue raises safety concerns. While the pieces gnawed off won’t likely won’t require the Heimlich, I don’t love the idea of my child ingesting pieces of a silicone straw. If you go for this one, be judicious about checking your child’s straw daily and being on top of replacement straws. As a note: There are complaints online about replacement straws causing leaks. We didn’t have an issue with that with our replacement, but the reasons for replacing the straws are concerning enough that we don’t plan to continue using these bottles either way.

Pros

  • Locking lid

  • Vacuum insulated

  • Lots of fun, kid-friendly patterns

  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons

  • Silicone straw can be bitten through

  • Prone to leaks

Meet the tester

Janelle Randazza

Janelle Randazza

Staff Writer, Parenting

@JanelleRandazza

Janelle Randazza is a writer/mother hybrid and taco enthusiast based out of Los Angeles, California.

See all of Janelle Randazza's reviews

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