If you want a bottle that is durable, colorful, and can be dishwasher cleaned without a care in the world, the Hydro Flask is the way to go. These took our "Best Overall" spot for two years in a row.
Double wall vacuum insulation
Silicone sleeve can feel superfluous
Simple Modern Summit Kids Water Bottle with Straw Lid
The insulation on this bottle is excellent, 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.
Double wall insulation
CamelBak eddy+ Kids 12 oz Bottle, Insulated Stainless Steel
Of all the kid must-haves, a good water bottle should be at the top of your list. Whether it be on the playground, on a soccer field, or even just running between classes, kids are always working up a hearty thirst. A sturdy, reusable water bottle that can stand up to drops, keep drinks cold, be cleaned in a cinch, and look good while doing it is key. But not all water bottles are created equal.
We tested 14 bottles to find the best, and the Hydro Flask Kids Water Bottle(available at Hydro Flask) took our top spot with its sturdy construction, its ability to keep drinks cold, and its easy-to-clean features. Our Best Value pick, the Simple Modern Summit (available at Amazon) is not only affordable and easy-to-clean, it comes in a wide range of sizes and styles, making it a great choice for everyone from toddlers to teens and tweens.
Whether you are searching for a cool number that kids will love, a high-capacity flask that will take them into their teens, or a super-sturdy flask that will never leak, we have found the best kids’ water bottle for some good ol’ H2O on the go.
These are the best water bottles for kids we tested, ranked in order:
Hydro Flask Kids’ Wide Mouth 12-ounce
Simple Modern Summit
Yeti Rambler Jr.
CamelBak Eddy+ Insulated
Contigo Autospout Stainless Steel
CamelBak Eddy+ Non-Insulated
EcoVessel Trimax Insulated
Hydro Flask Kids Wide Mouth
Well-insulated and well-built, the Hydro Flask was the best kids water bottle we tried—both for keeping drinks cold all day and for standing up to numerous bumps and drops with nary a scuff.
These cute little bottles come in both 12-ounce and 20-ounce sizes to keep kids hydrated from preschool to teen, and they come in an array of fun colors that our testers gravitated towards.
The flip straw lid is easy to use and strikes a nice balance of being hard enough that little 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.
This spill-proof and leak-free bottle didn’t give up a drop, even when turned upside down for 12 hours, and—with no small pieces and every part being dishwasher-safe, this is one of the easiest bottles to clean up that we tested. What’s more, two years into testing these bottles, they still look terrific.
While the higher price point of this bottle may be a deterrent for some, we are now on year two of testing these bottles and they are still going strong—much stronger than many of their competitors. While the Hydro Flask is twice the price of the ever-popular Thermos Funtainer, it has lasted at least twice as long so, for us, it’s no contest about which is best.
Simple Modern Summit Kids Water Bottle with Straw Lid
Simple Modern’s bottles have continually impressed us in our testing. Their designs are adorable, their price point is spectacular, and they clean up easier than most of their competitors.
With an array of patterns to choose from—from Disney- and Star Wars-themed styles for tiny tots, to cool color ombre-styles for kids with more sophisticated tastes—you are certain to find a bottle that will help you get your kid passionate about hydrating.
These easy-to-clean bottles come in a wide choice of sizes, from 12 ounces to 64 ounces and we found that sizes as high as 18 ounces fit in a variety of car seat cup holders—for older kiddos that still need to be in boosters.
With no small parts to deal with, the patented leak-proof top portion can easily go through the dishwasher cycle for easy sterilization. While the vessel of these bottles aren’t dishwasher safe, we did find them easy to clean. The wide mouth makes them easy to fill and the wide array of sizes and styles make them the best all-around water bottle you can buy for the price.
These bottles did sustain 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.
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 has gone through a full year of testing or longer. 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.
Hi, I'm Janelle Randazza. I’m mom 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.
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.
Because of the emphasis the parents we asked placed on an easy-to-clean bottle, we tested all bottles for their dishwasher safety claims. We washed each manufacturer-approved component on the regular wash setting at least twice a month for a year and we ranked the non-dishwasher-safe pieces for how easy they were to clean with a quick scrub.
Kids want their drinks cold, so we rigorously tested for insulation—both in practical day-to-day scenarios 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 a 90-degree day.
A leak-proof bottle is important, so tested for leaks by filling each bottle with colored water, vigorously shaking each bottle upside down, and then setting the bottles upside down for 12 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
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.
Kids lose stuff. If your child is one to lose water bottles you may want to take the price point into consideration. Our “best value” winner is not dishwasher safe but it’s well-insulated, durable, and very affordable.
Other Water Bottles for Kids We Tested
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 intact, 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. The Yeti Rambler Jr we have tested still looks new two years into testing.
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 ounces 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.
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.
CamelBak eddy+ Kids 12 oz Bottle, Insulated Stainless Steel
If you’re shopping for smaller kids or kids that tend not to drink enough water overall, we love the Camelbak Eddy+. This bottle has been a steadfast favorite in our testing.
The bite valve gets kids to drink more water without being overwhelmed and the container vessels come in fun, brightly colored designs that kids love.
While the cap, straw, and bite valve can be cleaned on the top shelf of a dishwasher, it’s 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.
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, but these bottles also 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.
Contigo Kids Autospout Straw Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Easy-Clean Lid, 13 oz.
There are a lot of things to like about the Contigo Autospout. 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 they chose to do that 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.
Editor’s note: The 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.”
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.
While it’s not dishwasher-safe, we are fans of this bottle if you are looking for a lightweight, BPA-free bottle in fun kids’ designs.
If you’re looking for a simpler design and have a preference for a chug-spout mouthpiece, the PlanetBox Capsule water bottle was well-liked by our testers. Kids liked the unexpected rocket shape of this bottle and the super shiny chrome exterior, while parents appreciated the 100% dishwasher-safe design.
The ingenious soft silicone chug-spout is 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.
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 a solid choice.
If your biggest concern is keeping water cold, the S’ip was the only bottle that still had ice in it after being in a 90-degree car for an hour.
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 to carry than the 15-ounce.
Takeya 16oz Actives Kids Insulated Water Bottle With Straw Lid
We thought this water bottle was going to be the winner this year. This water bottle is 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.
That being said, within 10 days of using this bottle the straw split at the top and needed to be replaced. We replaced it and the straw split again. We noticed this is a common complaint on the Takeya website, and replacement straws seem to create the same issues. While this bottle is well-priced, the frustration it caused wasn’t worth the price point.
The EcoVessel Trimax Insulated water bottle is dual-walled and lightweight, and 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 higher maintenance choice.
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.
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 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.
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