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Is Stainless Steel Best for Water Bottles?

At this point, most of us realize that reusable water bottles are better for the environment, but are stainless steel water bottles our best option for a reusable bottle? Before we pit stainless steel water bottles head to head with other options, let’s firmly establish why we aren’t interested in considering disposable single-use plastic bottles in our search for the best water bottle material.

Simply put, disposable bottles are a massive problem for the environment. A recent Forbes article revealed two very startling statistics:

  • globally humans buy a million plastic bottles per minute
  • 91% of all plastic is not recycled

In other words, over 900,000 water bottles sold EVERY MINUTE end up somewhere other than the recycle bin. Sheesh! We can do better. We have to.

Fortunately, reusable water bottles (in stainless steel or another material) are an excellent alternative. As WellandGood puts it, “the average human could save an estimated 1,460 plastic water bottles per year by owning and using just one reusable bottle.”

So let’s put stainless steel water bottles up against the other reusable alternatives–and determine once and for all if stainless steel is the best water bottle material.

Stainless steel water bottles vs Reusable Plastic

Reusable plastic water bottles are much better than disposable plastic ones, but there are a lot of unknowns about just how safe they are. Not long ago plastic water bottles were made using a chemical called BPA. You may have noticed that most plastic bottles are advertised as BPA-free now–which is good because BPA was found to cause hormonal problems. But, as this article in the Washington Post explains, “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.”

Stainless steel water bottles are made from safe and natural materials, so you don’t have to worry about BPA or other chemicals. Add to that the fact that stainless steel is much more durable (it’s harder to crack, melt, or otherwise destroy), and the fact that stainless steel water bottles can handle both hot and cold drinks, and it’s pretty clear:

The winner is: Stainless steel water bottles

Stainless steel water bottles vs Aluminum

Aluminum water bottles are a good alternative to plastic, but are they better than stainless steel water bottles? On the plus side, they tend to be less expensive than stainless steel, they are often lighter weight, and they aren’t easy to break or melt, like plastic bottles. That said, aluminum does have a pretty big drawback.

In 2011, WebMD published a study revealing “that some kinds of aluminum bottles may be releasing more of a chemical, known as bisphenol A (BPA), than the hard, clear polycarbonate plastic bottles they were supposed to replace.” Recent studies have been mixed on the chemical leaching concerns, but as long as the possibility exists that’s a major concern.

There are also potential problems with some ingredients causing the aluminum itself to degrade, and to leach into your water. This article from Columbia University says, “Aluminum bottles, though quite durable, have been shown to leach higher than healthy amounts of the metal into their liquid contents, especially acidic liquids.” The same article concludes that, “Stainless steel is a great alternative that is commonly used in food preparation, winemaking, and brewing industries. It is durable, won't leach chemicals into your beverages, and does not retain flavors or smells. [...] Even acidic beverages are safe to use in stainless steel bottles.”

The winner is: Stainless steel water bottles

Stainless steel water bottles vs Glass

This battle is a little more complicated. Glass bottles are MUCH safer than plastic. They don’t have BPA or other unsafe chemicals (glass being natural, of course), and they don’t distort the taste of your water like some plastic and aluminum bottles do.

However, glass water bottles lose out to stainless steel water bottles in one key area: they are glass, which means they can break fairly easily. As Medium points out, “glass Bottles are fragile. So they are not ideal for rough outdoor activities like backpacking. And if they suddenly get broken, could cause an injury as well.” Stainless steel water bottles, as we said before, can’t break. Like John Swartzberg explains in the Washington Post, “glass would be the best [safety-wise] if it wouldn’t break.” But as long as that remains a possibility:

The winner is: Stainless steel water bottles

When put head to head with other options, the results are pretty clear: The winner is: Stainless steel water bottles Check out one of our most popular products, the 40 oz Tumbler With Handle!

Shop stainless steel water bottles today!

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  • Where are the Tru flask water bottles made?
    There is no marking on the bottle.

    Tricia on

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