Best Filtered Water Bottles of 2024 - CNET

Ensure your drinking water is clean, whether you're looking to filter water from a creek or from the tap. Here are our favorite filtered water bottles, tested and reviewed.

Updated Jan. 1, 2024 8:00 a.m. PT Heavy Duty Fiberglass Connectors

Best Filtered Water Bottles of 2024 - CNET

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No matter what kind of exercise you like to do outside, you always need water to stay hydrated. Clean, fresh water however, is not always available everywhere you go. You can try boiling water, but carrying all that equipment isn't feasible and carting around clean water is inconvenient as well. You should consider investing in a filtered water bottle, which can help remove bacteria and sediment quickly. It's without a doubt the most crucial piece of adventuring  equipment in your backpack.

While many sources of groundwater and tap water are perfectly safe, it's never worth the risk to drink from an unfamiliar water source. Even if a water source looks clean, it could be non-potable water contaminated with viruses, harmful bacteria, protozoa or other microorganisms invisible to the human eye. And despite the Safe Drinking Water Act, tap water can still contain contaminants such as lead, chlorine, arsenic, pesticides and even particles from malfunctioning wastewater treatment. Why not give a filtered water bottle a spin instead? Our wellness experts personally tested the most popular filtered water bottles against tap water and freshwater.

The Grayl Geopress Water Purifier is the best overall filtered water bottle, because our tests found that it turned natural water into fresh-tasting bottled water. The purification system is the most intense of the bottles tested, as it can filter out chemicals, pesticides, particles, heavy metals, bacteria and viruses. It also requires little to no prep or waiting -- just fill and drink. The Grayl Geopress is great for backpacking, hiking or camping when clean water may be scarce.

The natural water I tested the bottles in already looked relatively clean, but when I poured a bit from the Geopress water purification bottle, I was shocked at how crystal-clear it looked. Although I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, as Grayl's heavy-duty filtering and water purification system is designed to filter out protozoa, chemicals, particulates (like dirt and sand), heavy metals and bacteria and viruses.

The Geopress water purifier is made of BPA-free polypropylene, a durable type of plastic. The wide base diameter of the water purifier gives it a sturdy feel, and it's apparently designed to withstand 10-foot drops onto concrete while it's full of water. Without a doubt, the Geopress is the best filtered water bottle to keep you hydrated with pure water on a backpacking trip due to its intense filtering mechanism and durability. 

Brita is known for its faucet and pitcher filters, but the company also makes filtered water bottles. According to Brita's website, these bottles aren't intended for outside use -- they're intended for just filtered tap water -- but this bottle also filtered natural freshwater for me just fine. The Brita filtering water bottle uses an activated carbon filter, which is extremely porous and pulls contaminants, such as chlorine and particulates. 

This Brita filtered water bottle is plastic, BPA-free and relatively sturdy. It consists of just three parts: the bottle itself, the flip-top cap and the active carbon filter, which nicely locks into place on the bottom side of the cap. It's easy to put together and requires almost no prep -- just quickly wash the bottle and run the water bottle filter under hot water before your first use. However, I wouldn't take this filter bottle on a backpacking trip. It would suffice for day hikes, however, if you filled it up with tap water first (use with natural water at your own risk). 

The Astrea One filtered water bottle filters out an impressive suite of heavy metals and chemicals, including lead, benzene, mercury, copper, chlorine and more. The website says you shouldn't use this filter bottle with water that is "microbiologically unsafe or of unknown quality," but I tested it in natural freshwater and turned out fine. However, use as directed. 

The Astrea One water bottle filter inserts snugly into the bottom side of the lid and locks in, giving the bottle an overall sturdy feel. The water I scooped from a natural water hole seemed to magically turn into bottled spring water inside the Astrea filter bottle. If the Astrea One bottle didn't have its filter in place, it would just be a normal wide-mouth stainless steel water bottle, making it super easy to clean: The bottle opening is wide enough to fit a standard dish scrubber inside the lid, and the lid has an extra opening where the filter attaches to make sure you hit all the nooks and crannies. 

If you want your tap water to stay cold during the day, then you need a water bottle made of heavier, durable material -- preferably, steel. Luckily, Brita's Premium Filtering Water Bottle also comes in stainless steel. For about $10 more, this water bottle has all the great features of the plastic water bottle and also keeps your water cold for about 24 hours. While I did notice that my ice in my water bottle may melt, the water did stay cold. 

This bottle is also BPA-safe, double-insulated and very sturdy. It looks just like the plastic Brita bottle but a bit heavier. Both are also the same circumference and should both fit into most car cupholders. Do note that while the straw and lid are dishwasher safe, the body needs to be hand-washed.

Despite being one of the most popular water-filtering products on the market, the Lifestraw Go did not meet my expectations for filtering. The double-stage filtration includes a hollow-fiber membrane and a carbon capsule, yet this was the only bottle that produced water with particles after passing through the Lifestraw filter. That's not to say the Lifestraw Go isn't safe to drink from -- the particles were probably just sediment -- but it did produce a relatively strong mineral taste compared to the other bottles on this list.

The Lifestraw Go is made of BPA-free plastic throughout and has three simple parts (bottle, cap and filter -- four parts if you count the carbon capsule inside the filter). Overall, the Lifestraw Go feels pretty sturdy. I prefer the durability of stainless steel, but it's lightweight and comes with a carabiner, so it would make a good backpacking water bottle. Any time you use the bottle, let the water sit for a few moments to prime the hollow-fiber membrane filter. 

Waterwell claims its double-stage filtration system removes 99.9% of waterborne pathogens, but based on the taste of the water that came from this bottle, I wouldn't be so sure. I didn't feel or see any particles like I did with the Lifestraw Go, but the taste alone was enough to make me wary of bringing this bottle into the backcountry for clean water. 

The bottle and cap are made from BPA-free plastic and feel just as sturdy as a plastic bottle should. The filter, however, is attached to the straw by a flimsy rubber tube, which could be the culprit behind the poor filtering. The water tasted sour, but I couldn't quite place the taste -- sulfur, maybe. Despite its poor filter attachment and sour taste, the Waterwell is easy to use, with the same setup as most of the other bottles on the list: bottle, cap, filter. The water bottle filter detaches easily and the bottle opening is large enough to insert a standard dish scrubber. 

I put six filtered water bottles to the test at a water source of fresh groundwater in Southern California.

For the sake of safe drinkable water, two friends and I ventured out to a freshwater source in Southern California. We were lucky to find a tiny trickle of a waterfall in the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa Wilderness area in the Santa Monica Mountains, which culminated in a series of four tiny pools of water. Of the four water holes, we settled on testing the bottles in the one that looked the least stagnant (and had the fewest bugs and tadpoles).

The day before the hike, I cleaned and prepped each water filtration bottle on my list according to their instructions. I filled each bottle from the same water hole and tasted the water from each bottle on site. I then drank from the bottles one by one and poured some water from each to see how clean it looked. I was ready to drink gallons of water if need be, and keep drinking until I found the best reusable water bottle.

I considered five important criteria when using each reusable water bottle: filtering and filter capacity, materials, taste, ease of use and cleanup. These are all factors you should consider when looking for a water purifier bottle -- you'll want to purchase one that suits the activity you plan to use it for.

For instance, if I was looking for a filtered bottle to take backpacking, I wouldn't choose the Brita. I also wouldn't invest in the Grayl Geopress if I only needed a bottle for tap water.

Look for a filtering mechanism that filters out harmful contaminants, bacteria and viruses, and other unpleasantries out of the presumably non-potable water. Does the water bottle filter leave any particles in the water after filtering? Also, consider how much replacement filters are and how easy it is to replace them. 

Most filtered water bottles are made of plastic or stainless steel. If the bottle you are looking at is made of plastic, make sure it is BPA-free. Also, make sure it is durable. Would a few drops dent the water bottle? If you are a hiker and need a lightweight bottle, is the material too heavy?

It's pretty obvious, but you want a filtered water bottle that leaves you with fresh tasting water. Specifically, you don't want any remnants of mineral odor or chemical tastes such as a chlorine taste. 

Putting the bottle together should be easy. Inserting and replacing the filter should be simple. Also, consider how the water flows from the straw to your mouth. Do you have to tilt it a certain way to get most of the water out?

You want a filtered water bottle that is easy to clean. Check to see if the bottle is dishwasher safe. After use, what are you supposed to do with the bottle? Can you easily store it?

Stainless steel or glass water bottles are the healthiest, because they are natural and chemical-free. Some plastic water bottles can expose you to chemicals when the material is under the hot sun too long. If you opt for a plastic water bottle, look for one that is BPA-free. 

Yes, filtered water bottles are good for you, because they can remove harmful contaminants from your drinking water. While your tap water may already be clean, filters can help remove bad taste from your water. Additionally, these water bottles are great for hiking when you need to purify natural water. 

Best Filtered Water Bottles of 2024 - CNET

RO Pure Water Filtration Equipment The disadvantages of a stainless steel water bottle include the bottles being a little heavier than plastic, often they are not dishwasher safe, may cost more and they may dent easily when dropped.