Are Stainless Steel Water Bottles Safe? Do Plastic water bottles contain harmful chemicals? Should I pick a glass water bottle? Maybe I should just buy disposable water bottles. With so many options out there it can be hard to pick the best water bottle for you.
We’re here to answer a few of these questions, and to help you pick the safest reusable water bottle.
Why go reusable?
There are many reasons to opt for reusable water bottles. Well and Good breaks down some of the best reasons to pick a reusable water bottle, but maybe most importantly
They are better for the environment: Every 60 seconds, an estimated million plastic water bottles are sold worldwide. In America, only about 23 percent of them make it to the recycling bin while the rest wind up in landfills (where they can't decompose), oceans (where they will be eaten by fish, dolphins, or birds), or roadsides (where they are likely to eventually migrate to the nearest body of water to turn into that aforementioned toxic "food").
Doing right by the environment is really important, but it’s best if it’s also better for you as well–and the best news is that reusable water bottles, like stainless steel options, are safer than single-use options which can break down and enter your body while you drink.
Is it safe to drink from stainless steel water bottles?
YES, it is safe to drink from stainless steel water bottles in most circumstances. In fact, if they are properly cleaned, stainless steel water bottles are amongst the safest reusable water bottles on the market. As we’ve talked about in this blog post.
Stainless steel is manufactured from safe, natural elements that are free of disease-causing chemicals and carcinogens. It’s completely safe to drink water stored in stainless steel bottles even for long durations. If that’s not enough, another benefit of stainless steel bottles is that they’re environmentally-friendly as they can be recycled.
As you can see, stainless steel water bottles are safe, and can be a great option–but the question remains, are they the safest reusable water bottles?
Are plastic water bottles safe to drink from?
Reusable plastic bottles are a much better option than single-use plastic bottles, as they reduce waste–but are they as safe as stainless steel water bottles? It’s a little bit hard to say–and that’s a problem.
Until recently, plastic water bottles were made from compounds that included a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA), BPA was found to cause hormonal disruptions, so most plastic bottles are now advertised as BPA free. But, as John Swartzberg, a clinical professor at the University of California at Berkeley School of Public Health said in an article in the Washington Post, “most plastic bottles today are not using BPA. There’s no health reason to consume it. The problem is they’ve replaced BPA with other things, so we don’t know about these other things that they’ve replaced them with.”
Thay mystery means it’s impossible to know if they are as safe as stainless steel water bottles.
Comparing Stainless Steel vs Glass Water Bottle Safety
Glass water bottles are a safer option than plastic, largely because we know what is in them. Glass is made of natural materials, so there’s no risk of chemicals leaching into your water. But, are glass bottles safer than stainless steel water bottles?
In that article in the Washington Post, John Swartzberg explained, “glass would be the best [safety-wise] if it wouldn’t break.” But, as he rightly concludes, breaking is a universal truth of glass. Even the shatterproof bottles that exist might chip or break, and the process to render them shatterproof makes them much harder to recycle in the future.
Breaking glass means that glass bottles may not be as safe as stainless steel water bottles.
Is aluminum safe to drink from?
So that leaves the battle to the metal water bottles, but are all metal water bottles safe? Metal can’t break like glass, and as Swartzberg points out, “metal obviates any concerns we have, rightfully or wrongfully, about plastic.” So it sounds like it may come down to aluminum vs. stainless steel for the safest reusable water bottle.
Unfortunately, many aluminum water bottles face the same safety concerns as plastic bottles. In 2011, WebMD published a study revealing “that some kinds of aluminum bottles may be releasing more of that chemical, known as bisphenol A (BPA), than the hard, clear polycarbonate plastic bottles they were supposed to replace.” While some of those concerns may have abated in the decade since, the evidence that aluminum bottles can leach chemicals into your water is alarming!
That leaves stainless steel. Stainless steel does not break like glass. Stainless steel does not leach chemicals like plastic or aluminum. Stainless steel options for water bottles can even have handles like their plastic counterparts. Are Stainless Steel Water Bottles Safe? Yes. Yes, they are.